Monday, October 24, 2011

A Night in the Lonesome October: The Society of Shadows

Adam Page is probably best known in the RPG Blogging community as @blindgeekuk.  He wrote a phenomenal amount of material for the Winter is Coming blog carnival last month, and is a regular contributor to the Daily Encounter. Here, he gives us the Society of Shadows, an outline of an organization whose feel dovetails nicely into the students of Evard the nethermancer (featured prominently in one of the last seasons of D&D Encounters). In addition to the introductory material, there are two themes: The Shadow Caller and the Shadow Seeker.

Download the document here.

A Night in the Lonesome October: The House of Dr. Chamberlain

Our first guest post in the Brain-Attic comes courtesy of Brent Newhall, the RPG Doctor. He tells us of his contribution:

"The House of Doctor Chamberlain is a self-contained horror-themed adventure using the simple Risus system (explained within), perfect for an evening of fun with friends. The player-characters are invited to a manor house, where they witness a murder. As they explore the house in investigation, they turn up ghosts and the tone turns increasingly macabre, leading up to a frightening confrontation."

The PDF is available here. Try it out this week and let us know how it goes!

A Night in the Lonesome October: An RPG Blog Carnival

The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere -
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir -
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through and alley Titanic,
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul -
Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
These were days when my heart was volcanic
As the scoriac rivers that roll -
As the lavas that restlessly roll
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
In the ultimate climes of the pole -
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
In the realms of the boreal pole.

-- Edgar Allan Poe, "Ulalume"

Welcome to the "A Night in the Lonesome October" blog carnival. We're collectively a group of RPG enthusiasts, for all sorts of games and all editions of games, who are coming together between now and Halloween to write all kinds of spooky things for our players (and, we hope, yours). As the week progresses, I'll add links here either to guest posts at my brain-attic, or to things people have written elsewhere, so that this can serve as a single go-to place from which to browse to your heart's content.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On a Night In the Lonesome October: An Upcoming Blog Carnival

Inspired in large measure by the phenomenal success of T.W. Wombat's "Winter Is Coming" blog carnival, I'm going to see just how crazy I can go in the next month and try organizing one of my own. I've snagged the theme for this one from the title of a phenomenal book by the late Roger Zelazny, which he himself snagged from Edgar Allan Poe's "Ulalume". For those not familiar with the book, I will encourage you to run-don't-walk to your local library and check out a copy. I will otherwise note only that it was born out of a wager in which somebody bet Zelazny that he could not write a book in which the audience would root for a certain infamous Jack of the late Victorian era. (Image below the cut courtesy of the fabulous Mark Meredith.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ada Lovelace Day

Who is Ada Lovelace, you might ask? The super-short answer is the only (legitimate) child of Lord Byron, a correspondent of Charles Babbage, and a talented mathematician. Today, people worldwide are writing about women in science and technology to celebrate her too-short life.

I've got three women I want to talk about, all scientists or science educators, who have been immensely influential to me. I can also virtually guarantee that you will have heard of no more than two of them, no matter how well you know me.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Playing games with kids

A few months ago, I started writing a column for a local parenting blog/website on playing games with kids, in part because my local library has a collection of games that goes beyond checkers/chess/Candyland, and supports that collection with a monthly event. It occurs to me that I should start at least mentioning it when articles go live there, and so I now present links to my first three columns to date.

Series introduction - hobby games generally, places in Chambana to purchase or play them
Forbidden Island & Pandemic

Later this week, an article on Upwords will be going up. In the meantime, I know that my next three installments will be on the games Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Ticket to Ride. (Technically, it'll be about TTR: Europe, since that's what the library has, although I'll at probably focus on the parent game and then mention the differences at the end.) I haven't yet decided in which order I'll tackle these, as I'd like to give them a try with my son first to figure out just how far down you can push the age range so I can discuss that part knowledgeably. In the meantime, if you're a reader who has suggestions on the order in which to write about those three games, leave a comment.

Edited Friday to provide link to Upwords article.