I love the stars. I love their breathtaking, pristine beauty. Whenever I’m feeling low I can always find a great picture of the stars or some universal phenomena that just puts everything in perspective and let’s my soul bask in the awesome wonder of the universe.

Today’s wondrous joy belongs to The Pleiades. Enjoy.


Scribbles In The Dark

I’m going to preface this post with a simple disclaimer:

Warning! Role Playing Geekery Ahead.

This is going to be a gaming post. Full of geeky references about polyhedral dice and the effect of certain types of magic on mythical creatures and lands. Stuff that the mundanes among you probably won’t care about or even want to read. If this constitutes you (and I’m sure there are one or two you lurking amongst my regular readers), then you might as well just ignore this post. If however, you’re interested in that sort of thing, feel free to read further. I can’t promise you’ll like it, but then this blog never has been about pleasing anyone else but myself now has it.

As I mentioned about a week ago, I started writing about my gaming world again. I’m actually going to lay the full blame of this on Jon this time around. He’s the one who has spurred me on and started the creative juices flowing again whether he intended to or not. He did it the simplest way possible. He started his own world and is documenting his world-building via his blog and his enthusiasm has encouraged me to work on mine. It also helps that he’s asked my permission to use a couple of my more memorable characters in his campaign and while I was giving him the outlines and a rough idea of their histories and personalities the gears inside my head started to crank up into overdrive and off I went. I think I’m just going to call it a beneficial, creatively fertile environment and leave it at that.

While our worlds are wholly different and we’re using different rules systems, it’s the idea that counts for me. I’m finding it a fun process. I honestly don’t know how much he’s getting out of the arrangement but until he tells me to piss off I’m going to ride the wave until it beaches which at the moment doesn’t seem to be anytime soon *knock on wood*.

This is the fourth day in a row that I’m up very, very late scribbling in a book like a madman and coalescing random ideas for the back story and fictional world history as I go. It’s brilliant. I go to bed dreaming ideas and wake up with even more. I have almost the whole of my world’s history sketched out in rough point form from the creation of the universe to “modern day” and each point is pregnant with untold stories and details that I’m slowly expanding on as I copy it from page to computer.

I now know that the asteroid that caused the great mutagenic plague was not eradicated as first thought, but instead is sent on a great elliptical orbit and will return one day to herald new dark times.I know that auroras are not things of wonder and beauty as in our world, but are looked on with fear and dread for they are thought to be the fingers of the dark god reaching out to touch the world.

I know where Anselan is from (Yes THAT Ancelyn!) and how he fits into the world stage. He hasn’t changed much, and no you still don’t want to meet him in a dark alley (or a brightly lit street either for that matter).

I know who the ultimate Big Bad is and who it’s minions are and what nefarious dark goals are plotted as dead gods lay dreaming.

I have the pantheon pretty firmly entrenched with a pretty little family tree drawn up (they’re almost as interbred as the Greek gods were) and some unwritten and untested ideas about ancestor worship, cults, alternate pantheons and the like.

I know the sun is more blue-white than ours and slightly larger and there are two moons. Heck I have the whole solar system mapped out and it can be linked to the pantheon family tree.

Hell, I even have the origins of the sentient species (all of them) down, although they all need a little bit of polishing at the edges.

What’s left you might ask? Still a fair bit as far as I’m concerned.

I still need to write up a complete bestiary. Catalog the flora and fauna that populate the landscape, give them some semblance of an ecology, reason for existing and most importantly some gaming stats. The latter shouldn’t be too hard as most of the critters I’ll be using have stats already so I can just transplant them but even copying and pasting will take a little time.

I have the pantheon and the gods defined to some degree and I’ve got some sketches about religious observances but I need to flesh those both¬† out more.

Related to that, I also need to look at the spell lists and see if there are any that won’t exist. Off the top of my head I know that Resurrection won’t, but I need to see if there are any others that just don’t fit with the world view (The Cheese College and Nuclear College will probably go as well but for different reasons).

I need to define the cultures and countries of the world (roughly about twelve) and try and give them each a unique flavour and independent history outside of the broad scope. This is actually harder than it looks. I know what the cultures all are because they all have earth-born parallels and I could easy describe them as such but I don’t want to just keep saying “The culture is Egyptian.” or “They look like vikings” or “They dress like native american indians”. I want to be able to define the race and culture without resorting to those examples if I can help it. For some reason I find it somewhat daunting. Moreso for the countries than the races, but still it’s tough.

I also need to finally use Campaign Cartographer, the mapping program I have, and completely flesh out the world map. I have a hand drawn map that has served me well for ten or so years now but I really want something that I can modify in a heartbeat and zoom in from a continental scale map to a roadmap of an individual hamlet (yes CC is that powerful.)

Of course I’ve now spent two hours typing this post and distracting myself by fiddling with my website instead of actually working on all this that I’m talking about. So on that note I’m going to stick my nose back on the grindstone and churn out some fun and useless facts about a world that most of you will never see. Then when the sun comes up I can dream up more ideas.


Changing Themes

As you may have noticed, I went ahead and changed the theme for the blog. It’s a little darker than I’d prefer and the background isn’t the one I really want but until I can get my computer working and access all my images and files, I can live with it.

In the meantime, I’ve made a couple of minor (and probably unnoticeable)¬† modifications to this theme to personalize it a little more. There are a few other tricks that I want to incorporate from other themes and I’ve been trying to track down the php code by switching themes back and forth over the past few days so if you happen to see thematic oddities you’ll know why.

Hrrm. I suppose I should ask here in case anyone actually knows and can save me the effort. The main thing I’ve been looking at is changing my Archive from the increasingly loooong list that it has become into a drop down menu. I know it can be done as there are many examples in various themes but I haven’t been able to narrow down the code that’ll accomplish it. If you know please share, I’ll buy you a pony.

I originally thought I wouldn’t ever have a use for a three column style theme but with me blogging so much recently I think it actually might be the best thing for me. Plus with the lack of any other pages on the website it’ll have to act as the navigation panel

About the only thing I can’t get to work was the Snap Shots pop-up plugin. For some reason it just doesn’t seem to work with this theme. Not that I’m complaining because I’m somewhat torn about it to begin with. Part of me liked it but it was sometimes a pain to click on a specific link, or at least it was in the old theme. This one seems to have the links spaced out a little better so it could be useful if I could ever get it working.

Anyway, I just thought I’d blather a bit about the site for no apparent reason other than I can. I’d like to hear your thoughts though. What’s your opinion on this theme? And what about snapshots? Should I bother trying to fix it or just go without.

Speak! I will listen.