Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The Ministry of Thunder, 3 years

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The Chopping Squad on Patreon

The guy with the sandy hair and the Yankee accent ordered a second serving of pie and some more coffee.
“Thank you,” he glanced at her name tag, “Lucy. Best pie I had in a while.”
She smiled back at him, and walked back behind the counter. The bell on the door chimed and three kids walked in.
“What are you doing here, kids?” Lucy asked. “Skipped school today?”
Suzy Johnson was the older of the three, in a Shirley Temple get up, her knees dirty and her socks bundled around her ankles.
She ignored the waitress’ question. Her brother, Billy, was pointing at the man eating his pie.
“That’s him,” Billy said.
Her brother and the other boy in tow, Suzy walked to the stranger’s table.
Lucy crossed her arms and leaned on the counter.
Suzy stood by the table, staring seriously at the man.
“He says you a magician,” she said, in a confrontational tone.
The man turned and stared at her, then at the boys. He shrugged. “I used to be,” he said.
“Show me some trick, then.”
He put down his fork and closed his eyes.

A big first today: I’ve just sent a story to my Patreon supporters.
And I’m a bit nervous.
This being the Christmas season and all that, I chose a 6300-words horror/thriller set in 1930s New York and called The Chopping Squad.

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The story was written for an anthology that never happened. Later, I expanded it to pitch it to another publisher, that liked it enough to ask me to try and expand it to short-novel length.
And I’m working on it.
In the meantime, I hope my Patrons will like it.
Now we are finally cooking with fire.


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Red Box Nostalgia

D&D_1983_Basic_Rules_coverI was talking with a friend today about this sick nostalgia thing that has swept the culture ever since the nerds have won weltanschauung hit us hard.
Case in point, and the subject of our discussion today – people waxing nostalgic about the D&D Red Box.
I mean, really?
Don’t get me wrong – the Basic Set Red Box was certainly the first form of roleplaying game for a lot of people, including my brother (me, I started playing with Call of Cthulhu), but really thirty years on people still consider that their best, and most memorable gaming experience? Continue reading


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The Miskatonic Repository

On the 12th of this month, Chaosium announced on their blog the forthcoming Miskatonic Repository, basically doing what D&D and TORG and other roleplaying games are doing: opening the door to user-created content.

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Through the Miskatonic Repository, it will be possible to create and distribute Call of Cthulhu material on DriveThruRPG…

Here’s how it works – you create content, format it to our design template, and then upload the PDF to the site. Your work becomes part of the Miskatonic Repository content on DriveThruRPG – able to be accessed by the community and, optionally, providing a financial return to you.

Meaning it will be possible to distribute these contents as pay what you want, or for free, or for a fixed price. Continue reading


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Virtual Globetrotting, the website

It would be lovely to board a train and a ship, or maybe a plane, and take two weeks off in Egypt and Sudan to visit the places I’m describing in AMARNA.
As things stand now with me and my finances, I can’t even board a train to go and take an afternoon off in Milan, that’s barely 80 kms away.
But, praised be Thoth, God of Knowledge, we have the web – and while I was browsing the usual Google Maps and Google earth, I stumbled on something that’s quite fun, and useful, called Virtual Globetrotting.

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View amazing and beautiful satellite imagery from across the globe. Celebrity homes, roadside attractions, movie locations, landmarks, military, and more!

The website allows users to upload and share tour maps and guides, with links to online resources and extras, basically building virtual tours.
I’ve spent the last half-hour checking out the Valley of the Queens, and I’m seriously thinking about creating an account and later on use Virtual Globetrotting to add extras to my serial.

In the meantime, check it out – it’s a wonderful resource.


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Good news for the 1-Buck Brigade

unnamedFollowing the thousands of protests and complaints from both Creators and Patron, Patreon has announced they will NOT change their billing system as previously planned.

This is good news especially for all those patrons that are showing their support with 1$ or 2$ pledges – that may seem nothing to outside observers, but are actually significant and important for the creators, and that were on the receiving end of the harshest increase in fees. It was just unfair to have these patrons pay an extra to make a donation.

Jack Comte’s announcement is an excellent show of how damage control should be handled, and is a first step in restoring the public’s faith in Patreon.

This is certainly good news as far as I am concerned – and now back to work on this month’s Patreon contents.