End to April Cruelness

Yes it was if you live in the Midwest — snow on the ground to April 15.  36 degrees on April 29.  It is over and the semester with it.

Writing projects continue. Of the many on my list this month is finishing my work for Mythopoeia Games Publications (@mythopoeiap) writing the third installment (and final in this edition) of sourcebooks for the Realms of Fantasy RPG.  The publisher is struggling (as most are) and at this point it is pro bono work but I hate to see projects unfinished so it will be done.

Along with that task podcasts with We Hate Bards have continued this month.  One using my award-winning adventure from the 2012 Gary Gygax Dungeon Design Contest by The Secret DM – “The House of Dark Shadows” and the second a guest spot in a game of Jeffrey Thomas‘ “Punktown.”

The International Congress on Medieval Studies is fast approaching (May 10-13) and I will be attending (but not presenting) to support two presentations of my fellow NEH scholars as they present our experiences from Beowulf Camp 2016.

Lasty I want to mention how excellent the Weird Fiction Review by Centipede Press (edited by S. T. Joshi) is.  There are few other publications in this field that can collect a vast and exceptional array of fiction, articles, art, interviews, columns, and poetry collected in these pages.  Issues are up to 8 (2017) but I’ve just recently acquired this from the back catalogue with a great piece on artist Mike Ploog.


Here’s to May!

March End (ness)

Starting off with a photograph I worked out this month.  I have no name for it yet, but it is likely be included as an image for something soon.  Taken on a March night with plenty of moon madness and the branches of the dark young reaching out to hold it up.


Many random events since the Ides of March…  The highest honor among them being a personal letter of mine to my early mentor and teacher of twenty plus years, the courageous and insightful Donald Freed has been added the Donald and Patty Rae Freed Foundation page.  There are few other working artists with such a Debt of Honor.

One of my Weird poems has been selected for publication in Spectral Realms No. 9 edited by the great S. T. Joshi and published by Hippocampus Press.  An official announcement on this is forthcoming as this is the summer issue due out in June.  I have also pitched a recent essay of Lovecraft Scholarship, 2001: A Lovecraft Odyssey to S. T. Joshi for consideration in the Lovecraft Annual 2018 (also published through Hippocampus Press).

While I type away on my last source book for Mythopoeia Games Publications (SIII: Caverns & Campaigns), the Return to Rappan Athuk (by Frog God Games) podcasts have resumed for We Hate Bards… Horrifying and fun.

April is looking good for more developments.  To everyone at Marmalade Dog this year — have fun.

Happy Easter.


PS – Ash Vs. The Evil Dead Season III has been a riot.



2018 Update and Podcast Overload

Two months into 2018 though it’s been near six months without a post.  Work.  Work.  Work.

In September of 2017 I participated in “Grand Con” (as in to “con”) with Mythopoeia Games Publications and a host of other wonderful people from We Hate Bards, Thunderhead Gaming, and Imagining Games.  We shared what was proposed to be a premiere table at the entrance to Grand Con but in reality became a series of lies and overstatements by the management of Grand Con (who I won’t name here).  We ended up buried in the wasteland of the exhibit hall, among other things.  Not the greatest experience from your home town con and I certainly have no intention to return.  Just as the great comic conventions have been overrun by “cos-play”, the same faux fandom has beset conventions for role-playing games.

Also participated in U-Con in Ann Arbor once again, where RPG’s are still celebrated over Marvel Comics movies and Star Wars zombies.  My nod to Clark Ashton Smith via the Call of Cthulhu Classic Trail of Tsathoggua was sold out to the maximum — far better than my own Great Mutant Escape — but I am no Keith Herber.

2017 also saw the release of my Realms of Adventure (available at The Gamers Wharf) with artwork by Brook Anderson, David Castro, Naomi Lili Nirmala, Tim A. Odland, and Stephane Sabourin; edited by Jonathon D. Hallberg.

Full CoverRoAOrange-1_TEST

The remainder of 2017 was spent facilitating an avalanche of We Hate Bards podcasts for my Realms of Fantasy RPG written for Mythopoeia, signing the extended option of Bullets For Breakfast (co-written with Matthew L. Schaffer), and researching a slew of projects (devouring many volumes from Hippocampus Press) that will reveal themselves this year, among which sorting and editing the archives of past writing and making them available here. One of my personal highlights was a brief but rewarding correspondence with S. T. Joshi.  Academically, the finish of my 10th year in the Ivory tower is approaching.

Plenty of announcements in the making.  Regretfully, I will not be able to attend Marmlade Dog Con this year due to professional commitments.  For now, here are the many podcasts (5 – 11) mixing the Realms of Fantasy RPG with Frog God GamesRappan Athuk.

Enjoy (or cringe).

Episode 11: http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/?name=2017-11-02_rappan_athuk_7_28_17_spectre_fightn.mp3

Episode 10: http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/?name=2017-10-19_rappan_athuk_7_14_17_battle_in_the_lava_pit.mp3

Episode 9: http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/?name=2017-10-19_rappan_athuk_6_30_17_fumblefest.mp3

Episode 8: http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/?name=2017-09-01_rappan_athuk_6_23_17_skull_crackin.mp3

Episode 7: http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/?name=2017-07-30_realms_of_fantasy_rappan_athuk_6_9_2017_ghouls_a_plenty.mp3

Episode 6: http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/?name=2017-07-30_realms_of_fantasy_rappan_athuk_6_9_2017_ghouls_a_plenty.mp3

Episode 5: http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/?name=2017-06-01_rappan_athuck_giant_worm_4_5_17.mp3

For episode 1 -4 see: http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/


On The Shelf

Very pleased to announce that two of the works I wrote for Mythopoeia Games Publication’s (@mythopoeiap) Realms of Fantasy RPG are now for the first time in store at one of the best game stores in the biz: The Gamer’s Wharf!


To kick off the launch, the We Hate Bards (@wehatebards) Gaming Community will be running an intro to the game.  See The Wharf’s Calendar of Events for more details (or stay tuned for an update as I’ve been asked to attend lay a session with the guests).

RoF_SI-Wizards&Warriors_Unsecured 1


March Madness

This month’s furious activity culminated in this short convention tour for Mythopoeia Games Publications @mythopoeiap  Running sessions at this con for the Realms of Fantasy game I penned for them.  Also the podcast world has blown up a bit with We Hate Bards (http://www.wehatebardspodcasts.com/?name=2017-03-02_rappan_episode_1_rof.mp3) hosting continued explorations of Rappan Athuk meets The Realms of Fantasy RPG…

The cruel month of April is upon us and much work ahead finishing up my tenure as Interim Director of Inquiry & Expression at Aquinas college, prepping for The 52nd International Congress of Medieval Studies, and getting all those writing submissions out.

PS – Possible film & music announcement this summer too!


The Podcast and Safe Spaces

Had another awesome Rappan Athuk session tonight, though just about every player was out sick with some kind of illness. So out of about 14 people only 3 showed up and only one was in good health. I’m pretty sure it’s Mummy Rot, but we persevered! It’s Christmas in March! Mike again runs his homebrew Action…

via Everyone is Sick! And Podcasts! — We Hate Bards

—  One of the many projects I have been involved with — Serving as Magister for the Realms Of Fantasy RPG and @froggodgames Rappan Athuk mega-dungeon — catch all the action here.



Will be at Mythopoeia Games Publications table at GrandCon Gaming & Comic Arts Convention Fri, Sat, and Sun, talking about the Realms Of Fantasy RPG and maybe signing some copies of the two source books written by me. As an added bonus, MGP’s sponsor We Hate Bards(the #1 role-playing game community in West Michigan) is also running the lion’s share of games this year, near 40 events including three sessions of Realms Of Fantasy RPG.