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Using the as-yet-unpublished D6xD6 2e Zine Edition!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?

#RPGaDAY2023 Day 8: Favorite Character

Some fantasy characters from the early 1980’s

At last! A fairly easy topic!

Back in the early 1980’s, when I worked in a factory, had few children, and the future was far distant, I actually had time to paint miniatures for my characters. (I’m not saying they were very good, but at the time they seemed so.)

Raedel Pinehaven

That guy in blue up front is the earliest I remember playing, a half-elf sorcerer thief, and the gal in purple just behind him, Mistress Goldleaf, was an elvish NPC, a full mage he developed a crush on. (The unpainted figure in black is a recent sculpt of him, a gift from my old friend and GDW colleague Steve Maggi.) Since that time, Raedel has shown up here and there as an example PC sheet in one of my own RPGs. Needless to say, I’m fond of him.

Twill

Originally the Pictish warrior just to the right of new Raedel, Twill went on to become a burglar, a second story man in various campaigns by various GMs, and sometimes in solo play since. He had a code of honor that basically cast himself as Robin Hood, though he was pretty much the only person on his “give to the poor” list. He once burned a merchant’s house down for having sent some bully boys to rough him up after one successful caper.

Petit Louis, Vampire

I no longer paint minis, so he isn’t in this lot, but per Dracula his image couldn’t be captured anyway. Let’s pretend he’s there but we just can’t see him.

Artist’s Conception of Petit Louis, Vampire

Louis is a bastard son of Louis 14, and was a courtly sycophant by necessity. He’s a small guy (hence “Petit” Louis), vampirized at age 17. And despite the new supernatural powers, he’s amused that feigning obsequiousness to the posh provides a convenient source of both blood and high fashion. Having only recently left the “court” of Donald Trump, Louis has been hanging out in Hollywood, grooming a starlet by whispering a word in the ears of a few movers and shakers. 

Currently he’s hiding out somewhere with his own little retinue*, recuperating from getting his ass kicked in a bathroom stall by a paparazzo dogging the starlet’s heels. (I had a series of really poor dice rolls, starting with failure to mesmerize.)

You can probably tell that this is my favorite character, originally statted out in the D6xD6 “Fear the Light” setting, now in the “Dracula’s Get!” setting for the Bookmark HP RPG. He’s shown up in a few TikTok videos a year ago, and will likely do so on YouTube Shorts soon.

* Retinue: Bethan Troise, Starlet, Lover; Aaron Burdex, “Techretary”; Danile Mclachlan, Driver; Dane Mclachlan Bodyguard, Danile’s brother

Kindle Fire RPG Adventure Contest

Through an ordering error on my part, I’m in possession of an unneeded, Woot refurbished, 16 GB, red Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet (7th gen). The OS is fresh, ready for connection to a new owner’s Amazon account, but I’ve preloaded the tablet with PDFs of every published Lester Smith Games RPG title: D13, D6xD6, D6xD6 Dungeons, and Bookmark No HP RPGs, plus all their supplements.

I don’t need the tablet. What I do need is adventures for those role-playing games.

So I propose a trade.

A trial by contest. Send me a publishable 1,000-word adventure (or longer) by 30 April (2023), and I’ll choose one as winner of this Kindle Fire with the complete LSG RPG library of PDFs. All other publishable adventures will receive the same PDF library, sans Kindle Fire.

By “publishable,” I mean that if in my judgment I can edit into shape, and it hasn’t been published elsewhere, it’ll count.

In return for the prizes, I’m asking for all rights to publish the adventure online and/or in a compilation, with your name in the credits.

That’s all there is to it. Please knock my socks off. Thanks!