Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Sword-wielding cats

Some split the world into cat people and dog people, and if such oversimplification are worth anything, then I am a cat person – I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by cats, and find the little killing machines both fascinating and charming. Nothing against dogs, of course, but cats are better, in my opinion.

And cats have a long tradition with fantasy and science fiction writers – authors as different as H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber and Robert A. Heinlein were cat-lovers, and cats have been featured in a number of stories.
Off the top of my head, I tend to remember Greebo, the cat in Terry Pratchett’s Lancre stories, but also Jones, the cat on board of the Nostromo, in the movie Alien. And of course we all know where the Gray Mouser comes from…

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Radio Karavansara # 4: Aeon Trinity

In about 24 hours I will start a new roleplaying campaign, playing online a game of Trinity – the science fiction RPG originally published in 1997 by White Wolf as Aeon. The game was just re-issued with a new engine as part of the Trinity Continuum by Onyx Path, but we’ll be playing the old ruleset and universe.

And as I have always done with Trinity, I’ve been sketching the campaign while listen to some music – and so I decided to prepare a sort of soundtrack, and put it up on Mixcloud.
Will my players (and my readers) appreciate it?
I do not know.
In case you are interested, it’s here…

And now, off to draw some pre-rolled characters.


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An old friend, found again

One of the perks of being (occasionally) a game creator, is the trickle of revenue coming my way via DriveThruRPG, whenever someone buys a copy of Hope & Glory. I am not swimming in gold, but this means I can afford to buy a new game once or twice a year – it is much more convenient for me to spend these money as credit against purchase rather than cashing them in (expenses would erode an already modest figure).

And so I went and bought me a game that’s been on my wishlist for a long time: Trinity Continuum, the revamped/redesigned/refurbished new edition of the old Trinity games. A system and a universe I am very fond of, and that now is back in print with a new, streamlined game system.

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Roleplaying Ye Olde Englande

I still buy roleplaying games, when I can afford it, and when I find something interesting. And Romance of the Perilous Land, published by Osprey (the purveyors of great wargaming and historical recreation books), caught my eye a few days ago.
I loved the cover, the concept and, indeed, the price – as Amazon lets you get a digital copy of the book for 1.99 US Dollars/1.78 Euro.
I mean… come on.

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Visit the Dying Earth (and do some good)

A quick heads-up for those of you out there that like roleplaying games, or Jack Vance – or both.
The Bundle of Holding is offering the Compleat Dying Earth package – everything you need to play in the world of Cugel and Rhialto, as to say The Dying Earth Roleplaying Game, designed by Robin D. Laws and published (quite fitytingly) by Pelgrane Press.

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Brancalonia at the University of Edimburgh

Brancalonia, the “spaghetti fantasy” roleplaying game has been a runaway success on Kickstarter – which means the writers and illustrators are hard at work on these hot summer days to get everything ready.
But meanwhile, back when the Kickstarter was still running full tilt, the History & Game Lab at Edinburgh University took an interest in us.

As a result, you can listen to an interview on the subject of games, history, the interplay of the real world and fantasy, and a lot of other things, on this podcast.

Brancalonia art by Lorenzo Nuti

My voice is horrible, I am quite obviously clueless, but hey, you might find something interesting in my ramblings.


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Fear of finishing, part 2

And let’s admit it, it is fitting that a post about the endless reworking / rewriting / tweaking / revising we do to our work in order to push the finish line as far as possible should have a second part.
I mean, the first was not quite finished, right?

Well, here is where I talk about academia, roleplaying games, and “the funny incidents that happen when you try and make your living as a writer” (remember? this was the topic of the comic book I was told to start posting instead of these useless words I am putting on my blog and nobody reads anyway).

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