Every once in a while, I get a bug to write something.  After three or four revisions (or more), it’s done and it’s time to send it out into the world and see if anyone will buy it.

Such was the case with the short story I wrote “Galenor’s Bounty”.  The story is four or five years old now.  It was one of my first attempts at writing a story specifically with the intent to sell.  I’ve written other stories, of course, back when I was younger.  Those were just for the enjoyment of telling a tale (or for class assignments).

Galenor’s Bounty, on the other hand was written as a sellable piece.  It was the first, in fact.  If you learn nothing from me, learn this:  Your first work will be very hard to sell.  Very.  No matter how well you think you did, no matter how many times you’ve revised it, checked spelling, made sure your grammar is right, you are an unknown.  That alone makes it difficult.

To give you an idea why other authors refer to the process as “Submitting to the black hole”, let me tell you about Galenor’s Bounty.  Long story short (that’s a pun, y’see): Galenor is a disgraced knight with an evil reputation who is reduced to collecting bounties for a living.  Along the way to deliver his latest bounty into the hands of the authorities, he picks up a pair of followers: Oxnard and Benning.  As they travel to the nearest town able to pay the bounty, Galenor remembers his history, and tells them how he became known as “Dragon marked,” a ruthless killer.

I originally wrote it as a humorous piece.  It was loaded with puns.  And very bad ones.  “He looked as if he had been beaten by a club; the kind of club that only take thieves and ruffians as members.”  It was originally submitted to Baen books.  At the time (I don’t know if they still do it this way or not), if you wanted to submit a story to them, you had to join their forums, post it there, accept community feedback, revise, rinse, repeat.  Eventually, if you stuck with it and didn’t let your ego get bruised, you’d eventually have a work they might publish and draw the publishers eye.

This was my first “for sale” work.  I let my ego get bruised.

It sat in my archives for two years.  I had moved on.  In August of ’09, I decided to try again.  So I took a look at all of the scraps I had, and Galenor popped up.  And it sucked.  They were right over at Baen, but I was too thin-skinned to see it.  So I got out my red pen and started editing.  I removed the forced humour.  I re-wrote several scenes.  It grew from eight pages to twenty-one.  It is far more solid, far more effective, and gets rave reviews from everyone I’ve let read it.  So I mailed it to Realms of Fantasy Magazine.  Within 2 weeks, I got my first real rejection (as in an editor actually read it and decided they didn’t want it).  This was a fast turn-around.  Everything I’d read by this point indicated that three months was typical, if ever.

Beyond Ceaseless Skies refused it too, a month later.  This didn’t bother me.  I had grown up.  I had grown a thicker skin, and knew this was part of the process.  So I sent it to Electric Literature in March of 2010.

Never heard back.  That black hole thing.

Clarkesworld Magazine:  Rejected in 3 days flat.  Daily Science Fiction took 9 days to reject it.

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly took four months.  The funny part of that is that I had given up on them and mailed it to Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.  I did that on my birthday in October, and eight days later, they rejected it.  A week later, I got the rejection from Heroic Fantasy Quarterly.  I thought it was pretty funny at the time, but it showed me that maybe I needed to give everyone a little more time.  As nice as it would be to have multiple offers on the same story, the publishers don’t like that too much.

I finally gave up altogether last Novermber.  I had been actively shopping that story around for more than a year straight.  I published it to my old blog.  As far as I know, it is no longer available there.  When I cancelled that blog and removed all of the information, as far as most people know, it ceased to exist.  I can still bring it up on Google (though doing so brings me to a ‘page not found’).

I’m thinking it may be time to send it somewhere else.  You can’t read it online anymore, but that may not make much difference to some publishers.  A lot of them have a policy of not accepting anything that was ever published online.  And that makes sense, after all.  Thanks to things like Google’s cache, you may still be able to pull up a copy from somewhere on the net.  And that may just be enough to kill it. But hey, it never hurts to try.

Galenor, BTW, is just one of several stories that I’ve tried to sell.  Currently I have four more that have not been actively rejected.

Something else to learn from me here:  Keep trying.  If you give up, you’ll never get there.

The funny part of the whole Galenor story?  Yesterday I got a letter in the mail from Electric Literature.  “Thanks for sending it, but it isn’t right for us.”  Well, duh!


The last time I wrote, I said I was having trouble deciding which system to run aside from Rolemaster.  Well, one of my players had a copy of the Hackmaster Player’s Handbook and Gamemaster Guide that he was willing to sell me.  He wasn’t getting any use out of them, they were just taking up shelf space.

My son, of course, wanted to play Hackmaster from that moment.  So much so that he wouldn’t entertain any of the other possibilities.  So no Rifts, no Palladium Fantasy, no Star Frontiers, nothing else.  So I decided I’d at least run a one-shot and see how everyone liked it.

So Wednesday comes around, and by this point I’ve already helped my boy make his character (Dwarf Fighter: named of Clay Anvilbinder).  I pay for the books, and he hands them over.  then we go on and play in the other game we play in between my sessions, which is a western-sci-fi-indiana jones-pulp adventure on a desert planet.  But the adventure there ends early.  In looking for something else to do, I agree that it’s time to make another character for Hackmaster.  We end up with a Thug Halfling Thief.

There’s still an hour or two left for the evening, so we start Hackmaster.  Remember, I only just got the books that day (all I know for sure is it is based on 1E AD&D, so I’m winging it rules-wise), and all I have are a few pages from the beginning of a module I found online that I printed ‘just in case.’  Enough to make a start on something if it came down to it.  I was not really prepared.

But they wanted to give it a go.  So I read the introductory text, described the first room of the dungeon and away we went.

The first real encounter they have is with a pair of snarky “magic mouth” spells designed to frighten away intruders.  These Magic Mouths follow them down the hallway, making all kinds of racket, and making it obvious that there will be no way to get rid of them without a fight.  Further, all of this noise is sure to bring other denizens of the dungeon down on them.  Of course, I was totally unprepared, so I missed the part where it says they can’t be damaged except by magic.  So we had a rollicking good time fighting these two wise-cracking defensive spells.

A ROLLICKING good time.  I don’t pull out the old-fashioned words unless I mean them.  Even though we didn’t really know the rules, and I spent much of the time page-flipping looking for the ones I needed, things flowed smoothly, and the battle proceeded apace  We laughed for the rest of the evening like we’ve never laughed during a session before.

Coming Wednesday, I get to run more of the dungeon crawl.  There’s also a good chance we’ll be bringing in a new player.  (Partly to help round out our 2 PC group, and partly because the Hero GM is moving to Indiana in the middle of the summer.  Playing an RPG with just two people can be done, but it just doesn’t seem as fun.)

Now I just need to get started on a campaign of my own so that when we are done with this module, I have something else to throw at them.  So…what next?

In light of my recent experiences running a game of Rolemaster, I’ve decided to look for greener pastures.  To that end, I’m either going to run some Hackmaster (probably as just one-off adventures) or Palladium/Rifts.  I haven’t decided if I want to stick to mainly fantasy or sci-fi, which is why I list Palladium and Rifts both as possibilities.

If we decide to run with Hackmaster, the gnome has already decided he wants to play dwarven fighter just so he can smash things.  We made his character yesterday, and he’s happy and ready to go.  Tomorrow, we’ll set up a Palladium character to see if we can make a more effective version of his gnome.  Then, once everyone has an idea of their capabilities, we’ll put it to a vote.

As I started to brush up on my Palladium fantasy , I realised that 1) it’s written assuming you already know about Rifts, and 2) I think I want high tech weapons.  Of course, if the players want something else completely, that’s what we’ll go with.  Without players, I have no game.

In order to decide which system I wanted most to run, I dusted off my game shelf.  There are a lot of games there.  After all, I’ve been gaming most of my life, ever since I borrowed my dads copies of 1E AD&D.  The standout possibilities are Hackmaster, Palladium Fantasy or Rifts, Star Frontiers, and Traveller.  GURPS is out, as I don’t like how long it takes to build characters (longer still to set up a game as a GM, since you have to review everything and line veto one by one), and Hero 6th edition is out as well, for many of the same reasons.  Those are also one of the major reasons why I liked, but disliked Rolemaster.

At any rate, my goblin player is running a hero 6th game anyway.  He also wants to try some cyberpunk, even if it means he has to run two games.  I’m in a similar position with Hackmaster/Palladium.

My most successful campaign (as in longest-running) was a RIFTS game.  That game saw the creation of a villain that I feel like writing up again every so often.  I’ve tried to work out a good story for him, but my character, Guardian, is so much like so many other robot characters bent on world domination, that I can’t find a unique enough angle to make th story work.  The last time I put serious effort into it was right around when Terminator: Salvation came out, and I set it aside for fear people would think I was cribbing notes from it.

Either way, what this really means is that for the time being, our two wee adventurers are on the back burner.  I’ll probably know more in a day or two.  Keep checking back!

I want you to imagine for me a zoo.  It should be a large zoo, with animals from all over the world.  But it should be a long drive to get to it.  At least 2 hours, preferably more.  Now imagine that at this zoo, they recently acquired Mongo, an 800 pound silverback gorilla.  This zoo (whichever one you are thinking of) is proud of their newest acquisition.  They spend an inordinate amount of time and money advertising this “eighth wonder of the world.”  In fact, you can hardly go through a normal day without hearing something about Mongo.

So you decide one weekend to drive to this zoo to see what all the hubbub is about.  Four hours on the road, you have to park a mile away because the lots on the site are full or charge an arm and a leg.  While there, you have to jostle among all the other people who for some reason also decided this was the weekend to make the same trip: whiney kids who are tired of wandering aimlessly, babies crying because they are hungry, and the know-it-alls who like to tell everyone (whether they are listening or not) everything they know about the creatures they see on display.

Finally, you make it to Mongo’s enclosure.  And there, behind glass thick enough it must be bulletproof is the 800 pound gorilla.  Mongo is impressive.  Huge, full of strength and intelligence, he sits there watching you watch him.

And that’s all he does.  All day long.  You made this trip because of the advertising and hype to see something which in the end doesn’t really do anything special.  Behind him, is another, younger gorilla.  This smaller upstart is active, full of energy, and loves showing off for the crowd.  But you can’t really see him.  Because of the 800- pound gorilla in the way.  You can’t hear him, either, because the zoo is busy shouting everything they can about Mongo over their loudspeakers, trying to distract you from the smaller one in the back.  After all, they paid good money for him, and they want your money in return.

How would you feel?

Let down?  Irritated?  Would you try to find a vantage point that lets you see the younger gorilla playing in the background?  Most people are drawn in by the spectacle and wonder, and buy into the hype the zoo is spreading about their newest star to even notice the little guy.  The zoo therefore makes all of its money on Mongo, and the loner in the back goes pretty well unnoticed.

I am a Linux user, and artist and a gamer.  And in all three of those areas, there is an 800 pound gorilla.

In the art world, I was told by more than one of my instructors that my reliance on the cheap supplies would not let me properly express myself.  The only way, they said, to produce an accomplished piece of art was to use the more expensive paints (or charcoal, or pencils, etc.).  In this case, the gorilla is business.  School is business, after all.  And business looks out for business.  My school tried to teach me that I could not shop at Wal-Mart for my supplies, not if I wanted to be taken seriously.  And I do want that.  But I defy anyone to look at a painting and tell me what brand of paint they used.  It can’t be done.  In this case, the little gorilla, the one trying so hard to be noticed is the guy who lets his creativity through, as opposed to his wallet.

Of course, not so many people know about the art supply world, so let’s move to something a bit more recognizeable.

Linux vs. Windows.  Which one weighs 800 pounds here?  Odds are, you’ve never heard of Linux, or if you have, it’s described as too technical for the average user.  That’s the zoo’s hype at work.  You know all about Windows.  Windows is everywhere.  You can’t turn on the TV without seeing an ad for some Microsoft product or another.

In my experience, Windows is not worth the hype.  Let me make myself clear:  I have used Windows, a lot.  I used to be an old DOS hand.  Remember DOS?  It’s what computers ran on before fancy graphical environments were created.  Instead of a point and click interface, you actually had to know what the names of the commands you were invoking meant and how to use them.  Then Windows comes along.  Now everyone is writing software for Windows.  They won’t run right (if at all) under DOS.  Windows.  Windows 3.1.  Windows 95.  Windows 98. ME, XP, Vista…well, not vista.  I never used Vista.  I stuck with XP because of the mess Vista turned out to be.  I’ve never touched Windows 7.

But to keep Windows from going belly up, you need a solid anti-virus program (a good idea regardless of OS, I admit).  You need more than one ad-ware and mal-ware scanner, because no single piece of software catches them all.  In fact, you still have ad-ware and mal-ware no matter how many you use.  And yes, I know Linux has it too.  It just isn’t as bad.  You need registry scanners and fixers, hard drive de-fraggers, all of which are just to keep it in tune and running.    That’s like hauling a pit crew in your back seat because just driving your car around makes it fall apart.  And then, at least in my experience, it still goes belly up, blue screens and dies.

The last time it happened to me, I installed a new copy of XP as a dual boot so I could still get to my old files.  that’s when I realized that I had re-installed Windows almost exactly a year prior.  Thinking back on it, I never got Windows to function properly for more than a year at a time, and often considerably less.  With Linux, I’ve been up and running with no issues for going on two years now.  The only time I’ve had a problem was when I had an issue upgrading from one version to the next.  It was my fault.  I was impatient, and thought the computer had hung for some reason.  Eventually, the in-complete upgrade gave out.  But it takes less time to re-install Linux and all of the software I use than it does to do the same for Windows.  And it just works.  No fancy configuring, no guessing at what settings to use.  I can turn on my computer, and it boots and connects to the internet, no problems.  And, it’s free.  I don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to rent Windows.  (Look at the fine print, you don’t own your copy of Windows, you have a license to use it.)

In gaming, it’s much the same.  I don’t play Dungeons and Dragons anymore (though I used to).  It’s gotten too complex (depending on version), and too munchkin-y for my tastes.  4th edition sounded good during the preview days, but once we tried putting it into play, it sucked.  I won’t go back.  I was already burning out on d20 games before then anyway, and the new edition did nothing to help.  Now I’m back to trying out all those smaller, less well known games.  I’m looking for a good fit, something that lets me run the game I want to run, and lets me keep my players from throwing their books and dice at me in disgust (unless I earned it, like with a TPK).

If you take nothing away from this post (and really, its nothing more than a 1300 word rant, anyway), take away this:  Try out some of the other games.  Try an alternative OS, heck, find a decent hybrid car.  You never know, you might find something you like even better.

It sure beats trying to toss bananas (thoughtfully provided by the zoo, for a small fee) at an 800 pound gorilla.

For a long time, I’ve been trying to convince everyone I know just how good of a system Rolemaster is.  I’ve been preaching against all of it’s bad reputations.

Now I haven’t changed my mind.  But, in a way, I have.

Ok, when a combat starts, everyone rolls initiative, and then in order, each character gets to take actions.  To make an attack, you roll 1d100, add your Offensive bonus, subtract the targets defensive bonus, and other applicable modifiers and then cross reference that result with the targets armor type to find out how much damage you do, and whether or not you score a critical hit.  It sounds pretty complex.  But it works pretty smoothly, if everyone has even a little bit of experience with the system.

That has not changed, I still feel that it is not so complex as everyone says it is.

However, putting the system into use the past few eeks, I have modified my opinion a bit.  I still like the system, and would be happy to play it.  But to GM?  Not so much.  Let’s forget the arcane way (as in needlessly difficult) they stat up creatures, the way they code all of the game effects in the critical hit charts, and the way they make character creation take hours (the fastest I ever made a character was 30 minutes, and that’s with a spreadsheet).

Let’s focus on the game in play.  In order to achieve a certain level of smoothness, each player should have the proper table for each of their weapons.  If you like to use multiple weapons, you have to have multiple charts.  Then you need all of the proper critical hit charts available easily.  And that’s just so that each player has the information close at hand.  If each player has his ow copy of the rulebooks, this is less of a problem.  Each magic user needs his spell lists at hand, and then the static maneuver table and the moving maneuver table should be close at hand as well.  Magic users need the spell casting static maneuver table, too.

What ends up happening (and this will ease up with experience), is that everyone has a pile of papers next to them in addition to their character sheets, which could be four or more pages long (depending on spells available, status effects, and whether or not you use the long form skill sheets or the short).  When someone wants to do something, they then have to flip through this mound of paper to find the chart they need, remember what modifiers to apply (exhaustion, power point use, range, bleeding, penalties for moving…).

Now, I’m usually the GM as I have the rule books.  It’s always been that way.  And to a degree, I’m okay with it.  But when I’m running a game, and I look up to see the faces of my players and how much they are struggling just to do basic things – like swing a sword – I begin to wonder if I haven’t backed the wrong horse.

Of course, it’s worse for me as the GM.  I’m expected to know all of the rules (which I do), and create interesting, balanced encounters.  But instead of a proper monster stat block, you get a paragraph or two of description, with a long run-on sentence of codes that describe the creatures game stats.  Codes that require a novice to look up what those numbers are (instead of, say, listing the numbers with the monster’s description like so many other systems do).  If someone scores a critical, you get another run-on code block that tells you about stun and rounds of bleeding, instead of just saying “target bleeds this much per round, and can only parry.”

When it comes to GMing games, I have a lot of experience.  I have run several campaigns in GURPS, Rifts, d20, and several others.  But as a Rolemaster GM, I’m a rookie.  And that learning curve is terrible.

Moreover, it turns out I prefer cinematic action to gritty realism.  I’m more likely to fudge the dice if it makes for a better story.  Hard to modify the effects of a strike when the system tells you “you slash across his eyes and into his brain.”  Great and cinematic if it’s a player killing an orc, but when that orc scores that result on a player…

So, in the end, after all the money I’ve spent on the system, I’m thinking I’m going to have to change systems.  The collector in me wants to keep buying the set.  I have so many of the books now, and you never know when you’ll find a game that needs another player.  But my group was hesitant about playing the game in the first place.  They aren’t having a lot of fun (our Magic User spends most of each session unconscious), and if they aren’t having fun, the game falls apart.

The difference is, I now agree with them, at least in part.  On top of that, it is very difficult (for me at least) to GM the game.  Too many things to look up, too many things written in a way that seems deliberately obtuse.  And when a system gets to that point, I usually start looking for greener pastures.  The most successful games I’ve run were lighter-weight, dice pool systems.  In this case, I’m referring mostly to Silhouette core rules (Dream Pod 9’s system: Jovian Chronicles, Heavy Gear, etc.).  In light of the news about “Airship Pirates” coming soon, I’ve been looking at Victoriana 2nd edition.  Of course, my group is not fond of dice pool systems.  But maybe once the first battle occurs, they’ll see how much quicker and easier it plays compared to Rolemaster.

So if you read my old blog, and you remember how much I gushed about the system, please don’t point and laugh.  (Oh, okay.  You can.  A little.)  A lot of times you’ll read a set of rules, think they sound good, and then it all falls apart under actual use.  In fact, that’s kind of how I feel about the World of Darkness system.  So all the good things I said about Rolemaster in the past were from a position of inexperience.  Now that I’ve put it to use, I can see the other side of the coin; for the sanity of my players, I’m going to look for a new system.  Something easier to play, easier to use (and certainly easier to set up and GM).  Let me know in the comments what your favorite system is, and why.  Feel free to tell me a bit about how the mechanics work.

Just a warning, It’ll be a very hard sell to get me to pick up d20 again, regardless of its form.

So, discuss!

A couple of weeks ago, we finally got to play Rolemaster (Standard System).  It went pretty well, with only the minor hitches that accompany the first game of any system.

Our Cast:

Snok Ngo’Olek: Goblin Swashbuckler.  4’5″, and all of 70 pounds.  But he has a fighting attitude that reminds me of the saturday morning cartoons.  Remember when something small and full of sharp teeth would get ahold of Sylvester?  That’s right, nothing but a blur and the sound of a buzzsaw, until all that was left was Sylvester standing amid a pile of his own fur.    He believes that everyone else is the bigoted one, and that he’s just misunderstood.  “I’m not antagonistic, I just like to fight.” “I don’t steal things, people leave them to be taken.”  “I’m not a smart-ass, I’m just way ahead of them intellectually.”  Things like that.

Rundarr: Gnomish Mana Molder.  4’6″, 135 pounds.  By comparison to Snok, this guy is pretty pudgy, but he knows how to make things appear out of thin air, can muddle enemy minds, and likes to tinker with machines, and invent new ones.  He has the odd occasional magical flare-up that he doesn’t understand (I didn’t mean to burn that wolf to a crisp, i was just trying to distract it!).  He hasn’t been adventuring for very long, and is still pretty naive when it comes to surviving the adventure. He often gets caught up in the moment and forgets that he has spells, instead trying to use a weapon he has no training in to fight alongside the nimble swashbuckler.

The campaign:

After several abortive attempts to create a playable campaign, I finally threw my notes out of the window and just decided on a situation to throw my characters into.  I figured from there, I’ll let things develope.  As a result, we all had a lot more fun than usual. As things progress, I plan on introducing a lot of steampunk elements into the game (just because I think they are cool and fun).  Besides, this summer Abney Park’s Airship Pirates will be out, and I want to end up with something compatible.

The story:

I started by describing how our two intrepid adventurers were out in the wilds for whatever reason floated their little boats.  They were ambushed, sacks dropped over their heads, and kidnapped.  The adventure started after the hoods were removed, and they saw they had been penned up with a lot of other, scraggly looking people.  It didn’t take long for them to realise that they were taken by slavers and sold to a fighting arena.

Before they can make any escape plans, the pair of them are chosen for a fight, some gear is thrust into their hands, and they are pushed out into the pit.  Their opponent: an emaciated, hungry wolf.

DM Note: I chose the encounter because I knew it would be tough (according to RM rules), but not so tough that while dire, they shouldn’t have trouble overcoming it.  I also chose it so that I could teach them the rules for combat, which work a little different from other games.

The swashbuckler started trying for a flank attack on the wolf, while the mana molder tried fighting it with a quarterstaff (with no skill in it).  After a few exchanges, the mana molder is knocked out.  The wolf turns it’s attention to the swashbuckler, and the two of them take turns exchanging attacks.  Both are scoring hits on the other, but the wolf has more hit points to burn through, meaning unless the swashbuckler pulls something amazing out of his…er…rear, he is going to lose.  The table finally turned when the swashbuckler started scoring critical hits against the thing.  By this time, though, the gnome was back on his feet, throwing stones.  The ploy worked, and as it turned to deal with him again, he enveloped it with flame.

DM Note: I failed to notice that he didn’t have enough ranks to cast that spell, so I retroactively decided that he has occasional flares.  It should be interesting to see what happens with the next flare (Rolemaster is a D% system, and if you roll a natural 66 or 100, the GM can apply any unusual result he sees fit).

The wolf dispatched, the slavers came for them.  They tried to struggle, but until the gnome started using his “Jolts” spell (which stuns the target for a number of rounds)  things weren’t going well.  The Jolts spell came in very handy through the rest of the evening, as they stunned or killed as many slavers as it took to escape the slave pens and steal a wagon to make their escape.  Session #2 starts with them on the run.

And Now, Next Week:

Actually, this is going to happen in just a couple of hours from now.  In fact, the gang should start showing up soon.  The plan is for them to have a nice chase scene.  Them on a wagon loaded with weapons (from smugglers!) being pursued by the remaining slavers and the owners of the wagon.  I’ve planned such obstacles as a ravine jump, and steampunk air pirates.  At first, it looks like the pirates are coming to their aid, but in the end, what kind of story would that be?

I didn’t plan much to happen in last weeks session, because I knew with a group of new players, and me GMing the game for the first time ever, things would go slow.  This weeks plot has a lot more elements, and we’ll just see how far we get before we run out of time.

If you’ve never heard of Abney Park, go here for basic information: www.abneypark.com

Abney park is an Industrial punk band that went steampunk a few years back.  I like just about every song they sing, and since the steampunk stage, they tell some pretty interesting stories as well.  Furthermore, www.jango.com has some of their music (possibly other sites, I don’t know).

And, coming this summer, based on the stories they tell in their songs: http://airshippirates.abneypark.com/

It’s based on the rules for Victoriana 2nd Edition :  http://shop.cubicle7store.com/epages/es113347.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es113347_shop/Categories/Victoriana  which is a dice pool system, and so will take a bit of work to convert to Rolemaster.  But I think it will be worth it.

Victoriana itself has been a very interesting, well researched and entertaining read.  I may just have to use their settings more often, if not their rules (I’ve sunk way too much into my Rolemaster set to just stop using it).

And for those of you who know nothing about Rolemaster:   http://www.ironcrown.com/, and    http://www.ironcrown.com/ICEforums/index.php  are good places to get info.  Also look here:   http://www.icewebring.com/what-is-rolemaster/

The Hobbit

There is one movie (well, two) that I am waiting for on pins and needles.  And that is the Hobbit by Peter Jackson.

Despite the flaws, I think The Lord of The Rings trilogy was the best I’ve ever seen.  Yeah, they skipped bits, and yeah, some of their CGI sucked horribly.  But it was an awesome effort.  And now they are going back.

Earlier today I found this blog, entitled ‘Dark Dungeon.’  It’s a place to get the ‘Dark Dungeons 2nd edition rules’, an old-school styled RPG that they’ve been providing since 1989, but like any good group of fantasy gamers, they write about a lot of other things as well, in particular LoTR in all of its forms.  So I’m going to send you to their blog today.

Because they have the first trailer for the new Hobbit movie (well, it’s on youtube, but it’s easier to point you there), and the first video blog from Peter Jackson that takes us on a tour of the rebuilt sets, and shows us a bit about the start of filming.  It’s very cool.

So go, take a look.  Maybe tell ’em I sent you.