Memories in High Fantasy

I don’t usually get this excited about an item in the mail, but in this case I’ll make an exception.

Back in the previous century, around 1983 to ’84, I came across an even-then obscure RPG titled High Fantasy. It took a decidedly different approach to fantasy role-play, with no “hit points,” injury instead deteriorating your character’s skill percentile scores. Its character types had a distinctly different feel than D&D or TFT. And its solo adventures were perhaps the best I’ve ever seen before or since.

I bought every supplement available—or so I thought.

Last year I stumbled across mention of another book—Goldchester—and went looking for a copy. The only one I could find was on eBay for about $300, not a price I could justify, though sorely tempted.

Then last week I found a copy on Etsy for $50. It seemed worth it for the nostalgia factor alone.

Today, as you can see, it arrived! And I’m transported back to 1983, starting what would be a 2-year campaign in the Free City of Carse (Midkemia Press).

It’s not just a book. It’s memories.

Battle Bookmark KS Launch!

Over the course of the past year, I’ve had many, many requests for further combat rules for the game:

  • “What happens when a group gangs up on someone?”
  • “What about ranged combat?”
  • “When’s a fighter dead?”
  • “Can I run away?” and such.
  • Today, Kickstarter approved a “Make 100” project for a Battle Bookmark to answer those questions and more. I’d appreciate your passing the word, if you would.

Click the Kickstarter image to the right for more info. Thanks!

My Gary Con 2024 Events Are Go!

As of today, the five events I submitted to run at Gary Con are officially scheduled! (I’m very happy to see that all are slated for the same table in the same room—GWD-261 in Galewood D—which makes one less thing for me to remember, letting me focus on the fun!)

One note: I’ve intentionally designed Lester Smith Games RPGs for “Show up at the table and we’ll design a character in the first few minutes.” To my mind, character design is part of role-play, players better connect with someone they make, and my character rules are easy enough to do that quickly. The rest of the rules come up naturally during play; over the decades I’ve developed a strategy for jumping right in and learning as we go. And I love gaming with new players and old alike.

(I’ve no D13 RGP events slated this year, but I’ll bring a few of limited premium edition for just in case. And I’m slated to play in a celeb AD&D game Friday night. More news about that soon, I hope.)

Here’s my event schedule, should you wish to sign up for one when registration opens.

Bookmark the Stars: First Contact on Fumalsamakah

Thursday from 13:00 to 16:50

A subspace broadcast is detected from the unsurveyed Beta Piscium system, thought to be uninhabited. Yours is the nearest vessel, making this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fame. What mysteries await you near this backwater star?

This expansion of the Bookmark HP RPG is as heavily influenced by the Lensman series and C. J. Cherryh’s Pride of Chanur novels as by Star Trek, so truly alien characters are welcome.

Bookmark Cthulhu: The Gibbering Nightmare

Friday from 12:00 to 15:50

The halls of Arkham Sanitarium are awash with mindless gibbering, and its wards are growing overfilled with new patients each morning. Can you uncover the reasons for this outbreak of madness and bring it to an end?

Not your father’s Lovecraftian setting, Bookmark Cthulhu builds on dread instead of insanity, which I figure is more in keeping with Lovecraft’s actual work. (No insult intended to other RPGs.)

Ghost of a Chance: An Undying Will

Saturday from 12:00 to 15:50

On your deathbed, you revised your will. On the way to file it, your executor was killed. Now a deadbeat relative stands to inherit! Will you exert your will to assert your Will from beyond the grave?

Using the as-yet-unpublished D6xD6 2e Zine Edition! (A February KS “Zine Quest” project. More news about that in a blog post soon.)

Fairytale Fubar: Ghost Wolves of Grimwald

Sunday from 12:00 to 13:50

Queen Goffin has received no emissary with tribute from Duke Grimwald this year. Will you enter Grimwald Forest to discover why? More importantly, will you return as her Champion, her Fool, or not at all?

An experiment with using the Fairytale Fubar card game rules as a three-act role-playing adventure!

Bookmark Supers: Save Our Safes!

Sunday from 14:00 to 16:50

Businesses in Belleview City are being robbed, their doors smashed and safes removed. When the police receive a prediction from your old nemesis Forsyte, they ask for your help. Can you trust Forsyte’s tip?

Last year’s Bookmark Supers! introduced Forsyte, a supervillain who can predict the future and  react to your actions before you act. Just what is she up to this time around?

Racing Thanatos

Photo by Prometheus ? on Unsplash

Slooowly recovering from this intestinal flu bug. Sleeping most of the time. It’s taking a toll on my limbic system. Which is to say that inactivity triggers my clinical depression.

Not complainin’; just reportin’.

Meanwhile, the bookmarks continue to do well. The Bookmark Dragon Dice RPG has become a DriveThruRPG Copper Best Seller (which means the entire dozen bookmark titles are now best-sellers), and the Paranormal Wordbookmark has risen to Silver!

Next on my agenda:

  • Finish the 21-card adventure deck for previous Kickstarter backers.
  • Turn Battle Bookmark notes into text for play-test.
  • Take another trimming pass through D6xD6 e2 to get it down to 48 pages in time for February’s KS Zine Quest.
  • Turn notes for Ann Christy‘s Neverending End of the World novel into a bookmark RPG. (I asked, because it’s a wonderful novel. And I love her handling of language as much as LeGuin’s.)
  • Build a D6xD6 player’s mini-deck for use with the GameMaster’s Apprentice and HandiQuest pack.
  • Do the same for D13—which also means formalizing a way of using GMA as tarot or poker cards.
  • Somewhere in the midst of all that, record a pair of video demos of playing D&D modules with D6xD6 and Bookmark HP RPGs.
  • And then recheck my list of future projects. Especially things I’ve promised.

(There’s construction & maintenance work to be tinkered with around the homestead, too. I never forget, Jennifer.)

How’s that for a footrace, Grim Reaper?