Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Worthless

Today an old gaming supplement I wrote a few years back was reviewed by an Italian webzine. It was described as “rough and noisome”, but I understand that these are currently considered compliments in the national panorama of fantasy fiction and gaming, in which being “ignorant” has become something we are supposed to be proud of.
So it’s OK.
Always good to be reviewed, especially if it’s a generally positive review.

Alas, the book in question, that I pitched, designed and wrote in 2015, was presented as somebody else’s project, to which I was attached as “compatriot”, essentially a second fiddle on somebody’s else’s gig.

For someone who is trying to make a living writing, seeing one’s work attributed to someone else is the ultimate sign of one’s worthlessness.
It is not pleasant.

And mind you, I know and respect the person that was indicated as the originator of my book – we are friends, and I like his work. And he was fast to point out the error, and the reviewer corrected immediately.
It all ended in a good laugh.
After all, what’s so bad about such a thing, right?

And yet all this basically means that nobody bothered to check out my book in the first place, not enough to read the title page and see who was the author. As I said, a measure of my worthlessness, and of my work’s.
It is not pleasant at all.


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Playing along the Frontier

So you are working not on one, not on two, but on THREE big huge projects, each on of them with a deadline ticking. One project is fun, another is just what you always wanted to write, and the third you hate every minute of it but is paying the bills, so bend on that oar and push!
What do you do, then?
Simple, you invent a fourth big huge project just for yourself.

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Zweihander + Main Gauche: RPG in the pocket

I wrote about Zweihander, the Grim & Perilous RPG developed, unsurprisingly, by Grim & Perilous Studios and Daniel D. Fox, back in 2017, when I got a copy of the basic handbook in PDF and was quite positively impressed.

Basically, Zweihander is a retro-clone of the classic Warhammer Fantasy RPG (WHFRPG) that made it big – it cleans up the rules and it straightens up a few of the glitches of the olf First and Second editions of WHFRP, and while preserving all the good parts of the old game, it also adds a few bits and pieces – the core rulebook is a hefty 672 pages. The hardback edition is impressive and rather costly – but you can get the PDF version for less than 15 bucks.

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What, no RPGs for Christmas?

It’s been pointed out that my list of Christmas gifts for the masses was fearfully lacking in the Roleplaying Games department. To set that straight, I’ll post here three suggestions for the roleplayer that has everything.
Because what’s better than spending Christmas day reading a new RPG handbook?
Here goes…

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Hamlet, James Bond and Rick Blaine

A new book in my ever-growing collection of volumes about writing, Hamlet’s Hit Points is somewhat different, because it is a book at least nominally aimed at game masters willing to improve the structure of their roleplaying scenarios, upping their game. But in laying down the foundations of a system to structurally map stories, Robin D. Laws manages to create a tool that works for games, for fiction and for movies/screenplays.

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Knave RPG

After years of roleplaying, my brother and I have put together a huge collection of … stuff. Rulebooks, sourcebooks, supplements, scenarios, campaigns, maps…
We do not play much anymore (here where we live polyhedral dice are considered a tool of the Devil, or something) but we still occasionally buy and read games, and dream of building our own, homebrew system.

Yesterday, to celebrate the launch of my new Italian ebook, I treated myself to two bucks and change of gaming handbook, and bought Questing Beast’s new roleplaying game, Knave.
And I read it all in a single sitting.

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Scheherazade

I’m taking a moment for a brief shout-out to my friend (and sometimes accomplice) Umberto Pignatelli’s latest game, Scheherazade, a roleplaying game that allows you to play into the Arabian Nights.
I’ll post a review here as soon as the game is released, but in the meantime, check out the gorgeous cover…