I learned today that the quintessential writer of the great Swords & Glory, the RPG set in the imaginary world of Tekumel has passed away. You can read this article which summons it up nicely:
As I try to better represent myself, as well as my ideas in Gaming, History, and print I have made some recent changes to the Emerald Tablet. Please take note of some additional and modified tabs at the top, most specifically “Other Writing” to which I added my novel for easy reference. I have also significantly updated my “Troy Christensen” tab with a number of cover images from my games over the years as well as a listing of all my credits. I also will be making two new additional entries into my Civ 4: Mod tab, as I am releasing a new version of Extreme2 and my reformatted mod Multiverse.
I hope you will return to the site regularly, as I update the blog on a weekly basis trying to add in new original content on my thoughts, aspirations, and ideas on gaming and history.
As always, I am looking for opportunities in Publishing, History, Gaming, and Print Production and would be interested in talking with anyone about such endeavors.Troy Christensen September 14th, 2011
One of the few published Phantasm Adventure modules. The only other official module was called the Maldake Adventure. The Black Keep of Serpent Lake was published in 1988 by Dai Nippon Kaiga, the Japanese publisher of the game.
I cannot remember much about the game, and sadly the English version has been lost in time. It do remember writing a number of module packs for the game, but do not remember having a lot of contact with Dai Nippon Kaiga after the game was published.
I am still in negoitations with the Dai Nippon Kaiga and another Japanese game company about re-printing the game. If you would like to see another print, I ask you to write Dai Nippon Kaiga and express your interest: firstname.lastname@example.org
So, as I sit here on the cusp of ending two development cycles at the same time, I can look back at the two and clearly see the direction I am going on both. As with any mod for Civilization IV, it is always hypothetical game of chances, what if’s, and possibilities. With that said, however, I wanted to create two different kinds of games with the mods. The first mod was born in the early days of my modding experience and included some rather fanciful stuff, while the second mod was based more on more or less realistic boundaries. I preface that phrase knowing all to well that the game itself lends to weird possibilities such as Lincoln with long bows, Hitler with the jets, or even Solomon with a tactical nuke — that is just the game.
In the first mod, ExtremeMod, I decided to rename it so that it better represents the game at large. Drawing from my RPG of the 1990s, I gave it the name Multiverse. Rightfully so, it is full of magic, steampunk technology, dinosaurs, psionics, weird technologies, and endless combination of the bizarre. I also wanted to make the game a resource battle, and thus I placed almost every item and building on the need of owning a particular resource. I also created at least 30 new resources and the appropriate technology and improvements to support it. Multiverse will grow in the coming years, if I have the chance, to be the pinnacle of fantasy design with new player cultures (such as the elves, amazons, dwarves, dark forces, and perhaps even a zombie king). It will also have new units, technologies, and experiences.
In my second mod, I wanted to create a game that had a rich source of Unique Units and Buildings, drawing on history to recreate some of the greatest technologies and wonders. It is not necessarily about having specific resources, but more about experiencing all the different cultures and civilizations in the game. There are some aspects of the game, most notably combustion units, that require a specific resource (oil), but for the most part it is open to building anything with the minimal number of resources. This game so far has proven great fun in play testing and I hope the game will continue to grow with new UUs and UBs. I am finishing up the second test phase of latter half game play, basically starting after the Renaissance.
I also want to specfically thank the designer known as Tsentom for provided me with such a great base to design my game. I love what you have added and have learned so much from you. I have never met the guy, nor even had a correspondence with him, but feel indebted to him. It has been a scant year since I started modding for the game and I have learned so much — I wonder what another year will hold for me.
August 21, 2011
Playing Phantasm, Bloodbath, or Realms of Ardaan but you do not have a dungeon map handy? Well try this nifty site I found and generate one randomly on the fly. It has great tile sets and really looks cool. I have been using it for a while and truly deserves a visit:
What is even more exciting about this wonderful site is that it is from a local gamer to me. After briefly talking with him, I discovered he is in Kentwood, Michigan just a stone’s throw away from my hometown. There is even more reason to follow this guy and try his product.
Take a look at the newest game to be uploaded to the Emerald Tablet. A game design from 1997, the Realms of Ardaan is full of playable races, classes, skills, adventure ideas, gods, equipment, and rules for combat and further adventuring. This game is looking for a home with a small gaming group, and I am more than willing to support the product with updates, Q&A, and additional development with feedback.
Digging through all of my old notes and boxes of APA stuff, I came across a very detailed character sheet. This baby has it all, but it is 4 pages in length — if you taped it up correctly, it would be a nice double-sides 11 x 17 sheet!
This character sheet is provided as a PDF here: PA4_Csheet
With the recent flushed success of Phantasm Adventures, I am back into writing some new ideas for the long dormant game. I am hoping that I can get some feedback from anyone interested in playing the game again.
I still think the game needs a more comprehensive description of the lands of Monokan, as well as a thorough timeline. I am also thinking of creating more creatures & monsters to flush out the limited bestiary.
What thoughts do anyone have on TRPG (table-top Role Playing Games)? How many still play? How often?
After discovering my spoils of original 3rd edition manuscripts, I also found a box of a dozen other rules that I had been working on from 1987 to 2000. Most of these games are half complete, and often in such a chaotic order that even when I looked at them I could not make heads or tails out of them.
I also found startling enough, some royalty free artwork which I planned to use as covers to my games. They all look very nice and must have come from a single artists — I am unsure who, but I do remember either buying or finding them with the condition that they were royalty free.
In the coming months, I am hoping to resurrect some of these games and put them up. It will be a challenge to support them, and even more so interesting to see if anyone even takes a look at them.
The internet can be such a great audience, but it is also like trying to find one person in a Colosseum of 200,000 people — shouts and waves are simply lost in the sea of bodies and indiscriminate voices.
I ask everyone who comes visit here to spread the word and to find use for these little treasures. I am more than willing to answer questions.
Write me a question, comment, or note at: email@example.com