5:37AM 5/31/05 - Hello ladies and gents! A bit of news concerning RIFTS World Book A: The Republic of Wa-Daisho. I have conducted a word count and discovered, much to my amazement, that in it's current guise this book has more words in it that J.R.R. Tolkien's book "Fellowship of the Ring"! I was stunned to say the least. We are up to 223 pages, all told, but that still does not include the oodles of full page maps that flesh out the communities of the Republic. Several of which are already completed, but have not yet been added to the book. I have noticed a couple of glaring errors in my many previous representations of Wa-Daisho. Firstly, where the bloody hell are all of the construction companies that would be so common in a rapidly growing Republic?! I plan to create at least a half dozen of these for Wa-Daisho City alone, plus a branch office for two of these in Silverstone, in addition to a local construction company, then I'll also have one in each Avery and Angel Peak. Secondly, how are these separate cities run? Obviously the Republican Council doesn't handle EVERY aspect of city governing - these are the heads of state after all. I'm figuring on creating an elected town council for each community, after the same fashion as the Republican Council is laid out. I'm not going to roll out each and every N.P.C. in these councils, but I'll list occupations, alignments, levels of experience, and any significant notes about each person in question. (Political aspirations, black market involvement, other criminal backgrounds, etc.) At this point in the writing I am sitting mid way through the places of interest in Silverstone, the second largest community in the Republic. As I said earlier this month though, don't go looking for the details on here just yet - you'll get to see it all once I post the book in it's entirety. One of the major edits I have conducted as of late is to reduce the amount of repeated print. I noticed that just about every school I laid out I reprinted the grading, the curriculum, and all of that stuff. That's unnecessary to do so - so I removed all of that reprinted crap. I know I still have more, such as the details pertaining to James Akersley, a significant businessman in Wa-Daisho, with all of his many businesses, but I'll get to it. It'll take me weeks to edit this monstrosity I know - but it will be worth it in the end. I will be very surprised IF nobody chooses to include Wa-Daisho in their' campaign - it's adventure qualities are nearly limitless, surprising for such a small place actually! If there is one thing I have learned in the writing of Wa-Daisho, though, is that Detail=Adventure Hooks, and by that I mean by the barrel full. Of further significance, during my spare time I have been conducting research for my next book. The next book will be RIFTS World Book B: The Western Highlands. This book will explore Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming in detail. This book will include native american, simvan, and psi-stalker tribes active in these regions, their culture, their practices, and their ongoing conflicts. Plus it will also reveal to the world a little known river pirate haven known as Crab Apple Cove, located in the Wind River Valley. In addition to these it will also include details on the Black Winged Monster Men, a deep look at their innermost circles, their beliefs, their domains, their aspirations, and their bloody culture. This book will be approximately 160 pages in length, by my initial guestimates, +/- 40 pages either way. I'm only in the research and outline development phase of this book, as I intend to complete the two Wa-Daisho books first and foremost.
7:18AM 6/2/05 - A bit further along the line in the work on RIFTS World Book A: The Republic of Wa-Daisho. We're up to 226 pages of completed text now, 180,417 words, and I just breeched the half way mark on the Silverstone Places of Interest. Lots of neat story lines being cooked into the mix there including black marketeers, tortured memories, hunted families, and oh so very much more. A couple more productive days like this and this section will be completed. I dropped the idea of opening a branch office for a construction company in Silverstone. Communications between Silverstone and Wa-Daisho City are good enough so as to not warrant that. Coming along nicely though, day by day, week by week. Am I insane for doing this without any financial kickback for it? Probably. Do I suffer from insanity though? Nope. I enjoy every minute of it. ;o)
3:05AM 6/10/05 - A little progress on RIFTS World Book A: The Republic of Wa-Daisho has transpired. I went on ahead and went back to start working on the separate governments of the various communities within the Republic. Great stuff there, with plenty of plot hooks, and plenty of background on these folks. Worry not though - I didn't include a full character sheet for every tom, dick, and harry in these sections - just enough to give a game master some real meat to work with. Onto other news, I have recently attained an assignment to write for a model builder's magazine, plus will likely have secured a regular day job for some cash by the beginning of next week. This writing assignment has gotten me thinking about writing for Palladium Books. As a result I decided to go ahead and rewrite the air combat rules I had laid out in the House Rules section of this website, as a Rifter article! Whether or not it will ever see print, I don't know. We'll all just have to wait and see! Wish me luck! In the meantime it is no longer available for viewing on the website. I hope this does not disappoint any of you! Also in the news here is that I have attained permission from R. Talsorian Books to use their artwork on my website, provided that I provide the credit where it is naturally due.
2:52AM 8/9/05 - The Rifter article mentioned in the last update was a beautiful success. All told she wound up to be over 25 pages of spectacular detail, tables, and corrections for RIFTS products all across the board. Now that it is complete, printed up, and ready to roll - all I need to do is slap her in the mail. From the feedback I got on the Palladium Books message boards I think it's going to be a smash hit. Be on the lookout for it! If you don't see it soon, write to Palladium and say, "Hey! Print that RIFTS Air Combat Article, you literature nazi!" Okay, don't do that, but feel free to inquire about it. Next, I got into a discussion about RIFTS currency on the same message boards, and so I reworked the art for the Alliance Credits in a few hours of work. These new versions of the material look 10 times better than the old versions. Check it out! This new art will most certainly find it's way into the pages of RIFTS World Book A: The Republic of Wa-Daisho. In other news, I am sad to announce, that no reference to Wa-Daisho, Desert Star, or Kyatashiro for that matter will ever see print in the official RIFTS series. Unfortunately, I have come to the realization that our game world is simply too evolved and developed for Palladium Books. In our campaign, as I mentioned on the main page, our timeline is just too different from the official story in the books. While many of our story lines are epic and of wonderful quality, approaching, if not exceeding that in the official printings - it just doesn't fit with the Palladium standard. I'm sorry to say this, to those of you who may be disappointed, but bear in mind - you will ALWAYS get to see it here. We've been around since '96, and I fully intend to be here when 2016 rolls around. Besides, with the books being available on here, you will be able to get the books for free, without having to pay $35 for the two books, that likely would be released months or even years apart. Anyway, I have started a full time job, and am still writing - hence the completion of the Rifter article. The next Rifter article deals with armored combat, and the resistance to damage that heavy armor provides. In this article I also intend to add some new armored vehicles to the mix to try to return to the RIFTS market the availability of conventional armored vehicles, the same way that RIFTS Mercenaries did previously. I hope you enjoy and appreciate the work! Meanwhile, the article for Scale Aircraft Modelling is coming along nicely. I have a beautiful intro written up, I have all the reference material I could possibly need, and now all I need is the time to complete the initial printing of the article before I start the lengthy editorial process. If any of you gamers are modelers, I invite you to check out Scale Aircraft Modelling. It's often available at the same hobby shops you purchase your' RPG books. If this article turns out to be a success you are likely to see much more work in there by your's truly. I have EVEN considered doing a couple of modeling projects for RIFTS! Imagine a Naruni Crescent Moon in Tolkeenite markings, built up in 1/72 scale. How about a Megaversal Legion Neo-Apache? Or what about a Larsen's Brigade Gray Falcon? Now imagine these same models built up for articles in that magazine! I have even thought about maybe building some RIFTS armored vehicles! The APC V would be relatively easy to do, with a vacuform machine, and parts donated from a few other models. Stuff like robot vehicles and power armor though, those would be a bit beyond my abilities, I'm afraid. Maybe after the movie though we'll get some resin kit manufacturers interested in doing limited run molds of these. I'll certainly make some inquiries through my contacts in the modeling industry...
5:26AM 8/10/05 - I have updated the links page to include one new site, www.riftsguild.com. This site is an interesting one in that it doesn't super detail things to death, but just gives game masters enough idea inspiration to really kick off their own creative juices. That having been said, in regards to setting ideas, they do have some new occupations, some really interesting new martial arts, and a bunch of other stuff. After browsing over it for about an hour I was able to see and read everything there, so there's not a whole lot of stuff there. From what I can see though it's certainly worthy of a listing. If this game group keeps this up, it could turn into a really dynamic website. If you're interested, take a look at the links page, it has a brief review and of course a functioning link.
4:12AM 10/17/05 - LOTS of updates to do. Firstly the RRVGG is in the midst of it's longest hiatus from gaming since it was first formed back in 1991. The last time we played was in late August. Our first game MIGHT occur late this month - at least that's our goal. The younger May family is in the process of a move, immediately following the move of the founder of the RRVGG, Jan Knoell. The reason they are so closely aligned? We bought his old house! His three children are grown and moved away - what need did he and his wife, Sharon, have for a four bedroom home? There are some unresolved issues with the property - but those will all be addressed in time, and with lots and lots of work. As a result all future games of the RRVGG will take place in the ample dining room area of our new home in Halstad Minnesota. In other news, Angelina, long time RRVGG member had a bad string of health problems which we have linked to her use of the psyche drug called Cymbalta. Beware of this medication! If your' anxiety levels go through the roof and/or you begin to experience what appear to be siezures within the first 3-6 weeks of taking this medication - seek medical assistance immediately and have your' pharmacy fax your' doctor the side effect sheets on this medication. If this message reaches even ONE person, it was worth taking the time to type it out, because it certainly caused a GREAT deal of undue stress. In RIFTS related news, quite a bit of work has been done here and there on the book projects. I have added about 20 pages of material between the civilian goods, vehicles, and between the rural places of interest descriptions. Excellent material all around and should make for some spectacular adventures. A conversation with some folks on the Palladium message board and with a couple of individual gamers I know, led to the development of a new set of rules to rearrange the RIFTS Combat System. This revision is perhaps the most cutting edge development made yet that eliminates the RIFTS Syndrome entirely. (The RIFTS Syndrome being 30 soldiers in light body armor with pulse lasers ambushing a main battle tank, and taking it out within the first three seconds of a melee.) It also eliminates the entire M.D.C./S.D.C./H.P. system as well, but these are secondary effects of the conversion, and are unnecessary if you like those aspects of the game. I will be discussing these rules at length with the RRVGG when we convene for our next game. IF we all agree to impliment these, all future games run by the RRVGG will use this revised system. Since the conversions all rely upon existing RIFTS terminology, however, I will continue to post the details on this site according to the old system. Besides, that will prevent you nay-sayers from having to reconvert stuff I post, were we to decide to impliment this new rule set. I plan to submit this to Palladium Books as a Rifter article. IF it is published, I will put a blurb here about it, referencing which Rifter it is in, and what pages. If it is not published it will be posted on this website in the house rules section. The only other project I have been working on is editing material on the People's United Island Nation - or P.U.I.N. for short, the creation of Shane Hanson, a fellow gamer here in Minnesota. He loves tech, loves planes, and loves to create - but he's a little disorganized, a curse of just about every overly creative person I've ever known - myself included! PUIN is an island nation composed of three islands in the South West Pacific, where Indonesia once was, largely populated by a species of elf and humans. They are pretty low in technology, but they make up for it in sheer enginuity. In time I hope to post P.U.I.N. on the site here, under a new tab in the Kingdoms section, with Mr. Hanson's permission of course. Expect to see details on the history, demographics, geography, and their grand navy. In terms of technology, plan to see a lot of old stuff, reproduced from pre-cataclysm designs but using new technology, plus plan to see some new stuff using something that sounds startlingly similar to protoculture - with a sick twist - the mystical aspect of the substance is addictive! While I continue to work on the Wa-Daisho series of books, it's been slow going with the move, Angelina's health, and work. Once we've settled into the new house though, expect it to pick up dramatically. My new hobby room/office will work wonders for improving my productivity!
4:26AM 10/30/05 - The move is finally, or more or less complete. We are living in our new place in Halstad, at any rate, so technically we are ... moved. We still have many belongings back at the old house that need to be brought up. I've been bringing loads of stuff home with me with every return trip from work. Hopefully, one day soon, my father will be able to use his SUV or his pickup to help bring some larger loads home. In gaming news, not much development to report, except that the RRVGG hiatus from gaming ended on the 29th of October - two months after it began. We congregated in our new dining room yesterday morning, and gamed until 5 PM, though half of that time was consumed with getting caught up on gossip, and a thank you breakfast served by Angelina to Tony and Jan for helping us with the move. It was quite nice! The game progressed slowly, unfortunately, but I hope to be better prepared for the next session. I was tired, and hadn't had any time to work on the adventure, so it seemed rather generic. All GM's that I've ever known have their off days though. The next one will be spectacular though! Lots of ideas boiling up for this next turn of events in the Darkheart campaign! In game design news, the idea of using a new system of RIFTS combat has been brought to the table. We will be experimenting with this, not the next time we game, but likely the time after - probably the second session in November. We will have to wait to see though. I would like to get through this next chapter in this campaign, and get on towards the final goal of the campaign before exploring any other campaign ideas.
5:37AM 11/22/05 - In the world of the Tenzan, there is some significant news. This morning, Wayne Smith contacted me, to tell me that my RIFTS Air to Air Combat article will be appearing in Rifter #33 in January 2006! This is very exciting for me, and I look forward to submitting dozens of other articles. I just hope that people enjoy this first one as much as my group did. In other news, I've been working on Wa-Daisho, and S-Mart in a joint project. I outlined a lot of technical detail for some of S-Mart's equipment so that it makes a little more sense. Essentially this is some preliminary work towards the custom vehicle creation rules that will be appearing in the S-Mart Source Book! As it applies to Wa-Daisho, I needed the details for some of the civilian vessels manufactured there, as they have some S-Mart systems installed.
4:26AM 12/18/05 - It has officially been announced that the RIFTS Air to Air Combat article will see print in Rifter 33. We of the RRVGG are all very excited. On a semi-related note, the RRVGG has voted, and has decided to make the plunge into the category of being an official gaming club as of January 2006. With this decision we will be publishing a newsletter every month, hopefully with contributions from all members, rather than just from the game master. It has certainly helped to structure our meetings more than they were previously. In the world of game design, work progresses on my latest project, maintenance procedure for high tech energy weapons and body armor! This stuff is absolutely saucy, be on the lookout, as this one is going straight to the Rifter - provided it is as warmly received as the Air to Air Combat article was. I have also been working here and there on the Wa-Daisho books. Both are rapidly nearing completion. With my prior engagements and similar, I'm shooting for an early summer release for the World Book, possibly a late summer release date for the Source Book. I promise you, you WILL be stunned with everything I've included. These are ultimate adventure guides, for weeks, months, maybe even years of constant gaming. It's excellent, and I hope you will agree. With the Source Book approaching completion, I decided to concoct my own cover for this book. Originally I was going to go with a simple black cover with a white view of the Kamiken - but then I started thinking about the symbol of the Republic, and so changed my mind to what it is now. Take a look at the main page for a view of what the cover of this netbook will look like.