Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So I Did a Thing on EN World

I wrote another article for EN World! It's really cool that Morrus let me write another one and hopefully this one will do as well as the last! This time I decided to talk about 10 blogs that will help make your 5e game better because there's so much good stuff coming out right now that it's making it incredibly hard to keep up.




By the way, doing research for this article was part of what lead me to my 5e theory, but not the reason why I've been reading so many blog posts over the last few weeks. Would anyone like to guess why?

I Have a Theory about 5e


Over the course of the last few weeks I've read nearly 7,000 blog posts for . . . purposes that aren't important right now (nailed it), and I've developed a theory about why 5e is enjoying the level of success it's seeing right now as opposed to previous editions. Where many of the previous editions* of the game tended to present themselves as an authoritative version of the game that all of us should attempt to live up to, 5e has been consciously designed to mold itself to our needs. In other words: by making 5e so malleable the Wizards of the Coast design team has created an edition of the game that its consumers have taken full ownership of. 

I've never run across a version of the game that so many people are sculpting to their own needs without seeing the stereotypical backlash that seems to come when someone goes away from the rules as written. If you think that I'm wrong about this, what accounts for the way that people have been reacting to 5e?



* Clearly I'm referring to the more formalized rules and not the free form fun that was Chainmail and Original D&D.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Artfest: Ark by Manabu Ikeda

Manabu Ikeda Ark (2005) [click the picture to make it bigger]


I love pen and ink art, and over  the last twenty years I've spent a lot of time working with that medium. Nothing I've ever done or seen has compared to Manabu Ikeda. His unparalleled work with ink has made my jaw drop and this piece in particular has forced me to rethink what I've done and what I'll do in the future. 

What do you all think about it?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Block the Gate and Let Them Fight Their Way In

When I'm running Dungeons and Dragons one of the things that I like to set up is a choke point. I like letting my players find them and watching them devise ways to stop their enemies from making the big push that will assure them of victory. I like that these locations almost force my players to be the heroes of the story as they make the hard choices that most of us (hopefully) never will. 

In real life so few of us get to be the real heroes of our stories. Instead we swallow our pride and muddle our way through the insults that people fling at us - it's so much easier than making waves. But role-playing games are our opportunity to be the hero; and being allowed to make the grand sacrifice to ensure that your fellow players, or the kingdom you've spent so much time investing in, survive is one those special things that only comes up if you're lucky. So why is it that I'm seeing so many examples of people refusing to take that moment and make it theirs? 

I'm not saying that you should make a foolish sacrifice and needlessly waste your life; you're one of the main characters in the game and that makes you too important for such foolishness. Yet when those moments come up, where sacrificing your life will save everyone important to you and your story, why waste it by running away like a coward? Why let your lasting memory of that campaign be the missed opportunities to be great and heroic? 

 

Words Making Sentences and Other Inane Things

The new banner for anyone that wants to use it to link to the blog.
Yesterday I spent most of the day working my way through the 690 published posts on this blog trying to make it easier for people to actually search for the stories I've written. I don't know that anyone besides me and +Jim Haltom like reading these things but I sure enjoy writing them. Anyway, if you're interested in reading any of the short stories I've written over the last year or so then you're welcome to peruse the new Short Stories and Unfinished Tales page. And an imaginary dollar for anyone that can spot the reveal on that page. It's totally good for buying you an imaginary product that you'll never receive and aren't really sure you want.

Over the next few days I'm going to be updating the remaining pages so that I can start on the super-secret and totally stupid idea that will take me at least two months to complete. This idea is so fucking stupid that it's got me ridiculously stoked to work on it and trying to figure out how to make it easier for me next year (yeah, it's another one of those yearly projects). Anyone want to make a guess on what the nature of the project?

Oh, and I'm also starting work on the 2015 Great Blog Roll Call which will probably take me till the end of the year to finish (if not a little beyond). The goal is to expand the roll to 500 blogs - which means I need to find another 135 blogs to add to the current list. If you have any suggestions I would really appreciate a link below. 

A couple more notes on the 2015 Great Blog Roll Call.
  • The 2014 Great Blog Roll Call was a smashing success with the structural reorganization to the way that I presented the materials but I think there's still room for improvement. 
  • I liked that the Graveyard as it let people know which blog had gone by the wayside. Do you all think that I should include a dated Graveyard so that people can recognize which blogs died in previous years? It seems like a good way to ensure that everyone is up to date.
  • I'm thinking about expanding the blog descriptions to include three articles to be used as an introduction for the blogs. What do you guys think about that addition? 
  • Last thing. I'm going to be leaving a comment on every blog included in the Roll Call this year letting them all know about the new listing and their updated information. I noticed that some blogs are still sporting the Original Great Blog Roll Call and not the current version, while others have asked to be added when they're already on the list. Do you all think sending out the comments will help clear up the confusion?
 Oh, and I'm continuing to edit my Google Reader list and move everyone over to a different reader. So if you see my name disappear off your rolls it isn't because I've stopped reading you; it's because Google is sucking dick at making sure that I'm able to see your updates.


Damn it! I'm also working on creating a new banner for the Great Blog Roll Call. I want something that be cool and not so drab as this year's model. Surely to God I can do better than that. Surely. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Time, What is it Good for Anyway?

Over the last few weeks I've noticed that I'm not really all that good at keeping track of time in my games. Oh sure, I do fine when it comes to rounds and that sort of thing; but when it comes to longer scale events I tend to just lose interest. What about you? Do you keep track of time really well or are you like me?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Working on the Blog

I'm hammering away on the blog for the next few hours trying to make it look better than the warmed over piece of dog poo I've been dealing with visually for the last few months. Hopefully by the end of it you'll see something that looks a hell of a lot better and that doesn't break your computer screen through sheer hideousness.

Right now the borders of the blog are set at 1500 pixels. Is that too wide for everyone or is that showing up in an okay manner?

Bob the Angry Flower is Still My Guide Through Life

I'm just going to leave this here so that those of you who never got the chance can understand why 90s underground comics mattered, and why they're still better than so much else out there today. 

Bob the Angry Flower in Shark in the Pool by Stephen Notley
You can read more of Bob the Angry Flower here. Check it out because every strip is fucking outstanding. 

Why I Stopped Exploring in Pseudo-European Settings

It's always been odd to me that whenever I sit down to a game of Dungeons and Dragons that I'm expected to be playing in a pseudo-European setting where the social pressures and standards for morality of an imaginary Europe (typically England, but not always) are the accepted practices that I must follow. The problem, however, is that I am not European so mocking their ways has always been an issue for my own delicate sensibilities as the effort tends to make me inconsistent and heavy-handed. Which for a Dungeon Master is a terrible practice to ever engage in.

About nine years ago I moved my game away from the pseudo-European worlds that have dominated my friends campaigns and solidly into a mock Americas world where I am intimately familiar with the social mores and interactions of its many peoples. At first the move was a difficult one as most of my players came into the games with certain expectations built around the inherited European background, but once I was able to break that notion from them the games really started taking off. 

We were able to leave behind the expectations that our world was locked into the same steady march that always accompanied pseudo-European campaigns and were instead able to explore the vast richness in a world that was barely explored with indigenous peoples, both kind and hostile, waiting in the vast expanse in front of us. The sort of people who made those treks into the wilds of my pseudo-Colonial Americas are the very type of people that all of us grew up telling wild tales about. We are now Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett, and the countless frontiersmen who explored the lands we call home. Our natural disdain for authority in all its multifarious forms isn't an automatic derailment of the setting as we hurl our insults at whichever heavy-handed prick comes to the fore to tell us what we're to do - instead its an asset that rings true in our worlds.

Europe may have it's knights but we've got cowboys, Indians, pirates and the explorers that everyone grew up dreaming about being. We've launched explorations west and fought ancient civilizations while searching for golden cities that may never be found. And we've searched for buried treasure along the coast; all the while fighting against the repressive powers from lands we've only heard about in stories and books.

Playing at home, here in the Americas, has allowed me a wider freedom to explore the legends and wild tales that have dominated the consciousness of these lands since it was first discovered by the white man. It's a freedom that I never found in Europe and by bringing it into my games it's allowed my players to stop worrying about the setting and to really start digging into the world about them. 

What about you?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Letters of Intent


My September average has been pretty well shot in most all meaningful ways due to my son learning how to use YouTube (I fixed that by hiding the direct link from the drop bar) and living in one of those shitty areas with limited internet access. I've been able to make some alternative means if it happens again but I'm doing my best to ensure that I won't be in the dark again.

Anyway, I'm working on a few articles that I'm submitting to other sites right now and they're taking up a lot of my time, so I thought that I would take a few minutes to talk about what I'm going to be attempting through the remainder of the year to hopefully wet everyone's appetites.

  • Friday Art Fest will be making it's return starting this Friday and should be back throughout the remainder of the year.
  • Q3 2014 blog report should be up in the first week of October for those of you who look forward to seeing how the blog has been doing. I expect that this will be the lowest performing quarter of the year.
  • Best Reads of the Week will return for the final quarter of the year thanks to my alternative internet sources! I really love this series and it's one of my favorite things to do on the blog. I'll post more details in the coming days.
  • I've got a super-secret and totally stupid idea that will hopefully be posted each week of December. It's going to be a real son a bitch to complete, but if I pull it off it will be really fucking cool.
  • I'm going to be working my way through the 5e Player's Handbook to help teach myself the new edition. The series is going to run a while (god alone knows how long) but it will be one that I can actually complete. With the Basic Game I was looking at a document that would be changing on a regular basis and for my purposes right now I really need a static document.
  • I'll be participating in a really cool project with +Sean Bircher, +Jens D. , and +Stelios V. Perdios that will be coming live in the next little bit. It's the first time I've done something like this and working with these guys has been a real treat for me as they're each really creative and smart. 
  • I'm working on building and editing a book that will be taking some of my favorite posts on the blog and expanding them with new content. We'll talk more about that project when it gets nearer completion.
  • Great Blog Roll Call 2015 will be up in early January and I'll be placing a call out to see if you all have encountered any new blogs in December. The idea is to do the GBRC every January so that the list is pretty accurate at the time when the most new bloggers are joining the hobby
  • I'm well into the process of re-building the "pages" for the blog and the labels to make everything easier to read and explore. Hopefully this should be done by January 1, 2014 so that I won't have to make this slog again. 
  • I'm also hoping to have the first WTF article up in the new quarter but the topics are so broad that doing them any justice is a labor intensive process on my part - well worth the effort, but labor intensive all the same. 
  • I've got two new actual play series that I need to write up over the coming months. Here are the titles for anyone interested: 3d6 and a Pocket Full of Hate; and Screaming at the Sun and Other Ways to Make Love on Athas. I'm not sure which one I'll write first. Perhaps I should put it to a vote?
Right. So that's the plan for the remainder of the year. I hope you're as excited as I am about what's coming up! 

As always, thank you all for reading this little blog, for sharing your favorite articles with your friends, and for clicking the advertisements on the right when the right thing comes along.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Set Your Teeth, Son, This is Going to Hurt

I was lost.

I had been exploring a long stretch of woods near the house when I'd stumbled across a yellow jacket nest and had to run away from the menacing swarm. I ran with my arms up, breaking through tangled briars and tree limbs alike - not once did I even think about checking for a landmark! 

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I wondered about for nearly an hour before I realized that I was circling the same stretch of ground. Luckily, for me, I had managed to clear the adrenaline and panic from my mind by that point so that I could start thinking about how to get out of this mess rather then letting myself race about like a foolish child. The first thing I had to do was figure out where I was as there were nearly twelve miles of interconnected woods that I had been stumbling through with roads cutting through them at various points, I just had to figure out where I was in relation to them.

Easy right?

I climbed the highest hill I could find and scanned everything about me looking for something I recognized. An edge to the woods would have been great, or even one of my landmarks that would lead me out. Nothing. I couldn't find anything familiar. Well, fuck, I said as I started climbing the pine tree near the crest, looks like I'm going to have to do this the hard way. The pine sap got on my hands and on my jacket while little piss ants did their best to discourage my progress up the forty foot tree; but God what a view. I broke the canopy and hung to the top of the tree looking out over God's creation like Jove himself had made this view just for me. 

From up there I could see where the creek cut through the hills towards the lake and the distant path of a road as it cut its way through the woods and off towards the civilized world. I sighed as I measured the distance to the road from my position. Two hands breadths, I whined, this is why you don't run in the woods you dumb ass. Now you're looking at one hell of a hike just to get started going home. Resigned to my fate, I started climbing down the tree only to find three wild dogs circling the tree like they had run me up it. Two chows and rottweiler started snarling and barking at me as I came back into their view. 

My heart sank as I sat on a limb out of their reach and tried to figure out how long they would sit there. An hour? Four? More? Did I have that long? I held my heads up towards the setting sun and measured my remaining daylight. If I wanted to make it home before dark then I would have get a move on; but how? I looked up the tree trunk toward the heavens and contemplated jumping from tree to tree like a man dreaming of flying. Nope, I said as I looked back at the rottweiler, that way isn't going to get me anywhere.

The dogs were pawing up the tree trying to get me and snipping at each other when the scratched flesh. I came to a decision and looked about me as though this would be the last time and said, Set your teeth, son, this is going to hurt. With that I leapt off the tree limb and dropped right on top of them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shush! The Two Year Old is Listening!

This morning I was getting my son's breakfast and cleaning his room when I heard him giggling from the living room. Fearing the worst I braced myself for what must assuredly be some form of destruction taking place. Instead I found him sitting at my desk and proudly proclaiming, "It's Elmo!"

I walked over to the computer and saw him streaming from YouTube. Which isn't a bad thing - but damn it, I'm on a limited data plan here. I have 413 mb left to get me through the next nine days. Expect my updates to be pretty sparse for the next bit.

Son of a bitch.

At least he's smart. At least he's smart.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Early Morning Thoughts on Dungeons

I've noticed lately that I am increasingly becoming convinced that the Dungeon adventure - by which I mean an actual fucking Dungeon and not the woods, cities, and multitude of hellscapes that so many of us have taken to calling dungeons lately - has gone by the wayside. Sure there are the occasional modules produced or the oddball outlier who stands to the side with his mega-dungeon; but as for the traditional kick in the door and kill all the monsters fare? 

Gone. 

Why is that do you think? Why have we gone away from the traditional dungeon crawl in favor of these increasingly far flung adventure locations that we call dungeons yet are anything but dungeons? 

I don't like it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Pause in Your Regular Schedule

Sadly, last night my power went out for a couple hours - when rednecks, beer, and transformers meet - and I wasn't able to get the post I've been working on done. Which means I'll have to work on it tonight before I can get anything done.

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that I should be back to posting more substantive posts tomorrow.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Book Shelf: World War Z by Max Brooks



This is a wonderfully written book that looks at the possibility of a Zombie outbreak through a completely different lens. Unlike most books that focus on a single individual or group and their struggles throughout the outbreak this wonderful book is presented as a series of loosely interconnected survivor stories. 

It's an incredibly well written book that only fails in two survival stories (about 15 pgs total). That's a pretty impressive considering that Max Brooks makes some daring choices throughout his narrative that will have you on the edge of your seat far more than you would ever have thought possible in a book filled with stories from survivors.

I should caution you that if you've watched that terrible movie Brad Pitt starred in that this book is nothing like that awful mess. This book is an outstanding read that feels more like reading World War II eye witness stories than anything else. Definitely worth reading.

Five LARPers out of five.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Did I Tell You Guys I Wrote a Guest Post at EN World?

So on Sunday a guest post I wrote for Morrus at EN World went live. I was pretty excited to have an opportunity to talk about some of the many great blogs out there today and then this happened.


Holy shit that's cool. I've never had anything I've written be read by 60,844 people before.

FUCK YES!


Saying Horrible Things for Fun and Profit

One of the best parts of running the Underdark Wars game has been watching all of these really creative players come up with these complex ideas and fantastic insults. As the game goes along I'm compiling what they're writing to make it easy for everyone who comes along to read where they're going and what they're experiencing - because those sorts of records largely don't exist for any of our games, and this style of game really lends itself to a broader narrative.

Right now we're in the middle of a vote on opening up the Underdark Wars Community to the wider public so everyone can follow along as it goes. Spectators will have their own area where they can talk about the game, cheer on their favorites, and help stoke the flames of war.  

And because I've been having so much fun reading their trash talking I've collected everything so you cats who didn't have a chance to join in are able to see what you're missing! Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!


“Mark Van Vlack, shall we use plan 2.3 a 
or blitzkrieg 5.6 b to tromp them down?”
– James Aulds (Duergar)

“5.6 b naturally. Only we'll use the sneaky version this time.” – Mark Van Vlack (Duergar)

“Your plans will not matter while Nick Foster and I are feasting on your dwarven brains. It's quite a bit of work getting through the thick skulls for the tiny morsel inside.” – Jim Haltom (Mind Flayer)

“Correction ‘Duergar’ skulls, not our weaker surface loving cousins. As to the morsel you speak of will be foul and bitter, it contains only hate.” – Mark Van Vlack (Duergar)

“I don’t know what the hells going on here but I want in . . . Come to me spider queen in this time of great chaos!! May the world know your greatness at the hands of your faithful children, the TRUE rulers of the Underdark!” – Jarrod Shaw (Drow)


“Grind, Grind, Grudge, Grind , Grind, Grudge, KILL!!!!!!!!!!!”
-- James Aulds (Duergar)

“There are only grudges.” – Mark Van Vlack (Duergar)

“For you, there is only despair #slurpslurp” – Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)


“The chisels and spikes of war are being sharpened in the under-dark,pale eyes filled with hate.”
-- Mark Van Vlack (Duergar)

“There is no revenge for slaves. #slurpslurp” – Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)


“The most loyal servants of Lloth, those loyal beyond death, preserved with the Great Queen's own searing venom - the creche sisters, vestarches of the black city - have returned and call for war. All who are loyal to the spider queen shall march with them, and all others fall into the barbed web of destruction. 

“Lloth has marked the ancient enemy, the stunted mine worms, coal covered wretches, self style Duregar, scurrying grubs, that bastard band grown from the splintered stock of a stunted tree as the first to kneel. All else will follow. The Ghilman of Lloth are mobilizing.”
– Gus L. (Drow)

“Dwarves make good slaves and precious little else. #slurpslurp” -- Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)



“To all those who dare challenge the one great Beholder you shall call me Master or my visage will be the final image your eyes will gaze upon as life slowly drains from your worthless hide. “Praise to The Great Mother!”
-- Edchuck Sockmonkey (Beholder)

“What an eye-sore. Wakka, wakka, wakka!” – Mike Davison (Svirfneblin)

“You would do well to mind your tongue, gnome. The Far Realm is here. #slurpslurp” – Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)


“Tremble, all you angled and jointed weaklings! 
The True Voice of the Great Mother is here, 
the most magnificently spheroid of them all. 
I've got a very special eye on each of you...”
– Anders Nordberg (Beholder)


"We watch. And we wait. 
We have all the time in the world." #slurpslurp
-- Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)


"Duergar are a lesser species, little better than goats. Hardly good for eating, they are tough and stringy. Dwarves make better slaves and are not fit to rule. #slurpslurp"
-- Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)

“Hurumph!” – Mark Van Vlack (Duergar)

“Thems fighting words if I've ever seen 'em!” – Charles Akins (Referee)

“Duergar attend only to the stone and those who should dwell within it. The Ithalid seem better suited to an aquarium, hardly a concern.” – Mark Van Vlack (Duergar)

“Concern yourselves with the stone, for it will be less that you have to work on when the Illithid emerge victorious. Be sure to make my chambers comfortable dwarf.” – Jim Haltom (Mind Flayer)

“I see you do not dare mention the might Beholders! That is wise, for we love calamares.” – Anders Nordberg (Beholder)

“The Far Realm is here.” – Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)

“Totally beat me to the Calamari reference ! .. DAMN YOU BEHOLDERS!” -- Mark Van Vlack (Duergar)

“Your pitiful holds will be washed away in a wave of slime and madness, gormless mortals that you are. #slurpslurp” – Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)


“Raises a cranium-cup To our oculoid cousins in the north: may lesser creatures fall before your armies, and the world be your buffet. May the slaves pay homage to your Great Mother, and slake her hunger.”
– Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)


“For too long now we have avoided conflict with the various other creatures of the Underdark. Our neutrality has caused many of them to deride us, to look down upon us as lesser beings to enslave or kill. Those days of peace are over. By the Beard of Callarduran Smoothhands, The Svirfneblin will not go gently further into the depths.
We shall rise above andprotect our own from all the evils
that this dark world presents!”
-- Christopher McGurr (Svirfneblin)


“The Darkness knows one boundary 
and that is the hopeless stone. Best to yield. 
For, the children of stone are all around you.
#Grudge #Gore”
– Mark Van Vlack (Duergar)

“In the Far Realm, stone is aqueous as the sweat from your pores. Tremble! The Far Realm is here! #slurpslurp” -- Nick Foster (Mind Flayer)

“Stone is for coffins - you should know to be afraid of what is within the coffin, not the inanimate stone - silly stunted insect. We march North to fill your coffins with your maggots and pay the ancient debts.” – Gus L. (Drow)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Updated Map



Here's an updated Underdark Wars Map with the locations gridded out and given alphabet denotations. There are 40 locations to be conquered not including the 12 starting locations. The advance begin very, very shortly!

I'm over clarifying some rules questions in the Community so if you're looking for some answers I'll be about.

The Drums of War Sound in the Deep!


The armies are marshaling their forces for war and the drums are beating throughout the Underdark! War is here, kids. War is here. 

Without giving away their troop strengths or anything that might help their opposing players here are the introduction paragraphs that alerted each of the kingdoms' players that the troops were ready.
The Beholders

The three of you (+Anders Nordberg+edchuk sockmonkey,  and Tom) represent the entirety of the Beholder Kingdoms! At this point the Kingdom is equally divided amongst each and it will be up to you whether these forces combine their efforts to destroy the filth cluttering your dark landscape or wage a bloody civil war.

The Drow

The mighty and proud kingdom of the Drow has chosen three to lead them into the coming war: +Andrew Davis, +Gus L, and +Jarrod Shaw! Will you unite under a single banner and crush the vile opposition or will you let your kingdom's tradition of intrigue and fratricide brake you into a civil war with each seeking to destroy the other?

The Duergar

Deep within the halls of the mighty Duergar the drums of war have begun to sound as two generals have been chosen to lead their people against the foul machinations of their neighbors: +James Aulds and +Mark Van Vlack! Will these two generals unite their forces to grind their enemies beneath their heels or will the allure of power drive a wedge between them and cause them to paint the halls of their fathers with the blood of their brothers?

The Mind Flayers

From across the endless realms of the multiverse and the infinite expanse of space the Old Ones have stirred from their slumbers and awakened two of the Elder Brains with a single thought, "The time is at hand!" Now these two have brought the kingdom under their control and have divided their forces between their cities. Will +Jim Haltom and +Nick Foster be able to work together to crack the skulls of these  lesser kingdoms or will they be driven mad by the whispers of the Old Ones and wage war against one and another?

The Svirfneblin

The rock trembles with the heavy footsteps of marching soldiers outside the halls of the deep gnomes. War has come to the Underdark again, and this one will not avoided. The Svirfneblin have sharpened their blades and have left their holds; led by two of their greatest generals: +Mike Davison and the Shadowplay! Will these generals be able to teach their enemies the meaning of fear, or will they fall to bickering and destroy each other before their enemies even have the chance?
It's pretty clear to me that I got more verbose with each call to arms. This is my first time doing one of these call-to-arms so I was experimenting with styles as I went. For me it was better when I got a bit more into building a (very limited) story for why they were going to war than when I was less descriptive. 

What do you think? Was it better when I started getting a bit more into it or when I was more subdued? Which would you prefer if you were playing?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Underdark Wars Starting Map

Click to make larger.


This is the starting map for the Underdark Wars!

Due to my scanner crapping out on me I elected to modify an existing map and use it for our first game (you can see the original here). I'm sending out everyone's starting troop levels over the next 24 hours and we will officially begin the first round on Wednesday morning with the Beholders (+Anders Nordberg+edchuk sockmonkey, and tom, in that order). Since tom is connected through e-mail I'll be sending each of his Kingdom fellows his e-mail so that each of them can directly contact him; though I would ask that you guys key me in so that I can keep up with what's going on.

Good luck to all our players! And remember that we have a Google+ Community available for everybody!