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hairylarry
Gamer+ News March 16, 2020

Tonight the Related To Geeks Book Club will be discussing "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman. Starting at 9:00 PM Central we will be in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord.

Join the group here and help us pick our next three books.

https://gamerplus.org/groups/28

Last Monday on Inspired Unreality Vivian spoke (through a microphone) and we discussed memories of Kendrick.

And there has been a lot of game development going on at Gamer+.

FollowMeAndDie says "My series Roll20 For The Absolute Beginner is linked on the getting started page for Virtual Gary Con!"

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/2108

DragonMac says "I'm proud to announce that my rpg game system Adventure Maximum is now on sale at DriveThruRPG."

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/2107

Here's a discussion about DIY card decks.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/2104

Stay in touch,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com
hairylarry
Gamer+ News January 20, 2020

Tonight! On Inspired Unreality! It's the Related To Geeks Book Club.

We are reading "The Tower Of The Elephant" by Robert E. Howard. One of the first Conan stories.

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600831h.html

There's still time to read it. It's a short story.

Coming up in February and March we will read.

February 17 - Little Brother by Corey Doctorow
https://craphound.com/littlebrother/download/

March 16 - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Available on Overdrive and at libraries and booksellers everywhere.

If you have ideas about what you want to read after that we have a group for that.

https://gamerplus.org/groups/28

You are invited to join and participate.

Imspired Unreality is held in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. It's a book club and a podcast so we will be recording.

We posted two podcasts last week recorded on Inspired Unreality.

Related To Geeks - 2019 Geek Agenda
https://anchor.fm/relatedtogeeks/episodes/Related-To-Geeks---Season-2-Episode-5---2019-Geek-Agenda-ea77l4

Ask The Glen anything (about cyberpunk)
https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/ea9k16

Back at work organizing If You Play You Win actual play podcasts. Spark wants to run a game. Anyone else?

https://gamerplus.org/groups/26

I now have three Mini Zines up at DriveThruRPG/Fiction. "Just Quest" is a very minimal OSR rule set. "Chaos In The Eye Of God" and "Yon Rogar’s Hat" are super shorts. They're free on DriveThru and on my Mini Zines website.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/15994/MiniZines

https://www.drivethrufiction.com/browse.php?author=Larry%20Heyl


http://minizines.cc

What have you been doing? Let me know. Let us all know. Post your links to Gamer+ and I'll include your project in Gamer+ News.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com

hairylarry
9:00 PM Central Time in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. Everyone is welcome. Click above for Links below.


January 20 - The Tower Of The Elephant by Robert E. Howard

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600831h.html


February 17 - Little Brother by Corey Doctorow

https://craphound.com/littlebrother/download/


March 16 - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Available on Overdrive and at libraries and booksellers everywhere.


To make suggestions for April, May, and June join the Related To Geeks Bookclub group.


https://gamerplus.org/groups/28

hairylarry
Gamer+ News November 25, 2019

If You Play You Win Monday night!

Swords and Wizardry - Lost Lands
DM SD Houston
Monday, 2019-11-25 6:30 pm

The game is held in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord and is preempting Inspired Unreality this week.

If You Play You Win last Friday night!

We played The Chronicles Of Ember, Mine. We explored. We discovered. We nearly got killed. Some of us did get killed. Fortunately we had a wand of ressurection.

ZDL wrote Fringe Review: Spark, on her blog. She says "This is like RPG meets collaborative fiction with a dash of improv..." I hope she does more Fringe Reviews. Give it a read.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/post/74

On Inspired Unreality, November 18, 2019, Masked and Danger, Vivian, and I discussed Keeping It Real. This may be fantasy roleplaying but the DM and the players can't let it go too far over the edge without ruining the willing suspension of disbelief. A lightly redacted transcript can be found here.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/post/97

Come and play. Come and chat. Write some stuff. Keep us up to date on your games. Promote your products. Spread the word. Stay in touch.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com

hairylarry
Show notes for Fantasy and Science Fiction Reads

We discussed:

Universe Unleashed by RobboG

Star Wars: Edge Of The Empire

Dread

ARPGCON
https://tabletop.events/conventions/arkansas-rpg-con

Home School Game Club at Game Goblin

Dragon Truck

Isaac Asimov

Mary Shelley - Frankenstein

Greek Tragedies

Shakespeare

Edward Dunsaney

Gilgamesh

Beowulf

Honor Harrington

Martha Wells - Murderbot Diaries

Isaac Asimov - The Robots Of Dawn

J. Jacques - Questionable Content
https://questionablecontent.net

Chrome

Sylvain Neuvel - Sleeping Giants

Nicky Drayden - The Prey of Gods

China Mieville

Neal Stephenson - Seveneves

Jim C. Hines - Janitors Of The Post-Apocalypse

Ann Leckie - Imperial Radch

Clarks Law - Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Poul Anderson - The Chapter Ends
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/41064

Neal Schusterman - Arc Of The Scythe

Yu Godai - Avatar Tuner - Digital Devil Saga

C.S. Lewis - The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe

Pratchett, Gaiman - Good Omens

Chuck Palahniuk - The Fight Club

Tamora Pierce - Tortal

James S.A. Corey - The Expanse series

Nicholas Eames - Kings Of The Wyld

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hobbit, The Trilogy

David Eddington

Terry Brooks

Jack Vance - The Green Pearl, The Dying Earth

Anthea Sharp - Feyland

Fritz Lieber - Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser

Poul Anderson - The Broken Sword

Fred Saberhagen

Dungeons and Dragons

Edgar Rice Burroughs

L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

Robert E. Howard - The Tower Of The Elephant

Jon Peterson - Playing at the World

George MacDonald - The Princess and the Goblin

Jonathan Swift - Gulliver's Travels

T.H. White - The Once And Future King

E.A. Wyke-Smith - The Marvellous Land Of Snergs

Capetta, McCarthy - Once and Future

Brandon Sanderson - The Emperor's Soul, Mistborn, Wheel Of Time, The Edgedancer, Steelheart, Skyward

Robert Jordan - Wheel Of Time series

Rick Riordan

Cressida Cowell - How To Train Your Dragon

Hairy Larry's Super Shorts

http://sffshortstories.com


William King - Trollslayer, Skavenslayer - Gotrek and Felix

David Gemmell - Legend - Drust

Terry Pratchett - Good Omens, The Last Hero, Guards Guards, Tiffany Aching, The Wee Free Men, The Witches, Wintersmith, Equal Rites, Soul Music, The Monsters Regiment, Small Gods, The Luggage, Rincewind, The Hogfather, Mort, Going Postal (books and characters discussed)

Earthbound

Undertale

Neil Gaiman - The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, A Study In Emerald, American Gods

Gene Wolfe

The Wheel Of Time Companion

Max Gladstone - Three Parts Dead

Samuel R. Delaney - Nova

Hillary Bell - A Matter Of Profit

William Morris - The Well At The World's End

Andrzej Sapkowski - The Witcher Series

Douglas Adams

George R.R. Martin - Game Of Thrones

hairylarry Nov 7 '19 · Comments: 2 · Tags: science fiction, literature, fantasy, games
hairylarry

Serpents Fall




caeora.com/product-page/serpents-fall


"Here is the finished Serpents Fall map! The colossal remains of a dead sea serpent, twisted around a few dark rocks and shallows just off shore. When I was making this I imagined that the serpent has been killed by something even bigger in the ocean like a Kraken! And the creepy statue in the top right was brought to the rocks by a kraken worshipping cult, using the blood and organs of the sea serpent for dark rituals."


Caeora will be our guest on the Gamer+ Inspired Unreality open game chat at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord next Monday, August 12, at 9:00 PM Central.

hairylarry Aug 6 '19 · Tags: art, fantasy, maps, caeora
hairylarry

   

Artwork by Arthur Rackham - public domain


Sweet Mary
by Larry Heyl


Sweet Mary was born in the spring. Her parents were well off and unconventional. Which in itself was strange because Mary was quite conventional. She occupied herself with being a very normal baby until Christmas. Even though she was only nine months old when Kris Kringle came she got a big sparkle in her eye and you could see joy radiate from her and light the room. She was brighter than the tree.


As she grew she remained very conventional. She would read, draw, and walk in the forest. And when Christmas came each year Kris Kringle brought her books, paper, charcoal, crayons, and walking boots. It wasn’t the presents that made her glow. She just loved Christmas in an extraordinary way. It is normal for children to love Christmas but for Sweet Mary her joy of Christmas was unconventionally exuberant.


And so Mary would walk in the woods, reading and drawing, and the years drifted by. Until one fall, at the top of the hill, she found a fairy circle of big beautiful mushrooms and unknowingly she walked through it. She made friends in Feyland, Puck, Took, and Willow. For fairies they were still young and the four of them would romp through the woods playing fairy games almost as if Sweet Mary belonged there. But she loved her parents very much and after a few hours she would always go home. She was still conventional enough not to eat between meals so she could always find the fairy circle and the path back to her house. When she greeted her parents she had that sparkle in her eye they had only seen at Christmas and they very much approved. They quickly grew used to her radiating joy after returning from her walks in the woods.


Then one year she grew up, as girls do, and in the fall when she found the fairy circle she was a maid, even though she didn’t really know what that meant yet. Puck, Took, and Willow knew what it meant and since they were in Feyland it wasn’t long before they were enjoying themselves as fairies do for fairies have no thought for the future and no concerns about morality, they live and love in the present moment only concerned about their own pleasure and enjoyment.


And Mary in Feyland was the same. Conventional no more she also lived for pleasure in the present and greatly enjoyed Puck, Took, and Willow.


When she came home for supper her glow would light the room. Her parents could see she had changed but they were unconventional and left Mary to her pursuits. Mary said nothing of her time in Feyland to her parents. It was her secret.


But when winter came and the fairy circle was gone and her belly began to swell it could be a secret no more. Her mother loved her very much and took her into her confidence explaining the ways of the world to Sweet Mary. But she did not ask after the father because she feared if they found the father he would soon become a husband and take Sweet Mary away. And Mary did not talk about the father either, whether Puck or Took she did not know, and she certainly did not know how do explain her time in Feyland.


In early summer the babe was born and it was a good thing Mary’s parents were unconventional because little Pookie was clearly fey. Her parents were well aware of the dangers of raising a fey child and so they set up all night, every night, taking watches, so the fairies could not steal the babe away. And Sweet Mary, with a babe at her breast forego her trips through the fairy circle, perhaps Puck, Took, and Willow missed her, perhaps not.


In fact, her parents were well pleased with their grandchild. They were unconventional and aware of the fey blood in their own ancestry, weak as it was. They married each other to preserve their heritage and were glad for the fresh infusion of fey blood into their family line. And they were overjoyed when they set up the tree and the babe just smiled and giggled, loving the Christmas spectacle.


So when little Pookie was three and safe from abduction they encouraged Mary to go back to the woods where she once again walked through the fairy circle. Puck, Took, and Willow were most pleased to see her and Sweet Mary once more enjoyed afternoons full of pleasure and companionship. But she said nothing of little Pookie. She had learned, in her life, to keep secrets.

hairylarry

This is from Gamer+ Inspired Unreality, July 29, 2019. My suggested topic was Fantasy Fiction but we spent more time on the soon to be released World Anvil for Lost Worlds. Actually kind of closely related.


---


First suggested topic - fantasy fiction. All gaming is on topic. Anyone can suggest a topic.


I'm reading Stephen Brust, the Vlad Taltos series. I'm on Jhereg, the first book. Currently 15 books in the series, 19 planned.




Stephen Brust - he's a musician.


In the Brust there are two kinds of magic, witchcraft and sorcery. Witchcraft is spells. Sorcery is reaching for power and projecting your will.


There is also teleportation, psionics, telepathic communication, familiars, all in their own coherent systems.


I think it would be a great foundation for a gaming world.


There's a fandom wiki - https://dragaera.fandom.com/wiki/Main_Page


They say "Dragaera is a fictional world, the setting of a number of books by Steven Karl Zoltán Brust. It is inhabited by two major intelligent species, generally known as Dragaerans and Easterners, as well as several other races such as the Serioli, cat-centaurs, and the gods."


So you can see; races, classes, two types of magic, two styles of combat, rapiers and swords, perfect for a gaming world.


And I'm only on book 1.


---


My friend, the librarian, recommended this series and I'm enjoying it. He also plays jazz bass and I enjoy that too.

hairylarry



Elphonium by INDRIKoff from Deviantart
used with permission

This painting was the inspiration for this story. I saw it on Tumblr and followed the link path to Deviantart. Thanks to INDRIKoff for painting this remarkable image.


Elphonium
by Larry Heyl

The King was bored. The King was restless. Peaceful times were great for his Kingdom. His subjects were happy and hearty. Trade flourished. But the King … was bored.

He thought of calling his musicians with their lyres and flutes but lately all their tunes sounded the same. Even his fool’s raunchy jokes failed to amuse. He would rather saddle his horse and ride.

That’s it. He would ride. A real ride. Just the King, his fool, and his groom. Not a ride to somewhere. Just a ride. He had purpose. A purposeless ride.

The King moved. “Come Fool.”, he bawled, “We ride.”

Somehow the groom already knew. Gossip in the castle travels faster than thought. When the King and his fool arrived at the stables the groom was ready. Three good horses saddled and prancing. They were a sight for sore eyes. The King, his fool, and his groom mounted and rode.

They stepped lightly across the drawbridge and quickly broke into a canter, the King in the lead. He hadn’t gone a quarter mile before he veered off onto a lightly used path into the woods. They slowed and the King let his horse pick the trail. Sometimes the path disappeared but his horse had a sense of direction beyond human abilities. When the trail forked his horse knew which way to go. The fool and the groom followed behind without effort. Their horses followed the King’s horse. The King gave his horse his head.

The forest changed. It was now more open. Lighter. Brighter. The leaves on the trees shimmered. The grass waved in the breeze as if begging to be trod on. The horses slowed to a walk, a slow walk, somehow barely moving. And then they heard the music.

It was like nothing they had ever heard before. A sweet plaintive sound, sometimes like an oboe and sometimes like a flute but always changing. Music without thought, apparently without direction. But somehow it always seemed to get there. The phrases morphing into each other, one after the other, drawing them in.

They came to a clearing and under a pear tree standing alone they saw an elfin princess blowing a horn beyond description. Not a horn with one bell. Not a horn with one sound. Many bells. Each with it’s own sound. And the horn was not separate from the elfin princess. Somehow it grew right out of her. And the music flowed right out of her too. Tumbling through their minds like a river tumbles through the valley.

They dismounted and the groom tended the horses. He didn’t have to tie them. They weren’t going anywhere.

The groom brought a sack of wine from his saddlebags and they all three drank and listened to the music. But they didn’t get drunk. They drank so slowly, sip by sip, the wine enhancing their senses, carrying them deeper and deeper into the music.

Other elves appeared, charming fellows but none as beautiful as the elphin princess. The King noticed other mouthpieces on the horn. Soon the other elves were playing too, each on their own mouthpiece. Each creating countermelodies out of one of the bells.

The music became denser with bass patterns underlying harmonies underlying the ever changing melodies played by the elphin princess. The King, his fool, and his groom stood their entranced. Slowly sipping wine. Captured by the music.

And then the faeries came. A dozen, then a hundred, dancing out of the woods. Soon the King, his fool, and his groom were surrounded by hundreds of faeries dancing naked in the meadow. The fool wanted to make a raunchy joke but his mouth wouldn’t make the sounds. His lips wouldn’t speak.

The sun set. The moon rose. The King joined the dance. The moon, high in the sky, looked down on the three of them dancing with the faeries, thoroughly ensorceled.

And what a night it was dancing naked in the clearing with the faeries. It was better than the hunt. Better than battle. Better than life itself. Just the music, the dancing, the faeries, the elves, the elphin princess, and the horn.

As the moon set the faeries danced off. The wine was finally gone. The music wound down. Softer, slower. And they slept.

They awoke after dawn, under the pear tree, still naked, not another soul in sight. Their horses nickered standing at the edge of the clearing. They dressed. They mounted. They rode.

It seemed like only minutes and they were back at the castle. The King’s subjects shouted “Hurrah! the King is back! Hurrah!”

They were lucky.

Only a year had passed.


The story “Elphonium” by Larry Heyl is CC-BY.


 

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