WIP-it Wednesday: June 1st, 2016


Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

This past week has been a doozy. My writing took a backseat to my seventeen-year-old cat when he got a nasty eye infection. I was very upset with the possibility that we might have to put him down. However, the antibiotics and eye-drops are slowly improving the situation.

2016-05-27 15.56.31

You can’t see it in the picture above because of his happy squint, but his left eye’s gone white and might not regain sight. But he was mostly blind already, so it’s not a big deal to him. And now as a bonus, he also resembles Hakbutt Bryne.

I did manage to hammer my outline for The Orgcrist into shape amid the chaos, filling in its gaps and finding a great way to end it. It’s going to be awesome! :-) Instead of starting writing the story on Monday though, I answered the call of a friend in need who’s running the RPG section of my local geek convention, PortCon.

I’ve written about PortCon before. My home state of Maine doesn’t have a huge bastion of metropolitan geekdom, so PortCon is one big roof under which a large number of local fantasy and sci-fi fans can gather and have a convention that singularly we couldn’t have. We’re a very small community compared to most other conventions, but at the same time we’re like an extended family and clan. You don’t find that at many other Cons, and it’s yet another way that illustrates how Maine is “The Shire” of New England.

Nevertheless, PortCon is the largest annual convention in the state, held at the largest venue available within its borders! And even with that, the Con could use a bigger base of operations…

Anyways, I was thinking about doing some role-playing game mastering for PortCon last year. But I had dismissed it to focus on getting my book written. Then my friend Ian, who I met though PortCon and is a really great guy and gamemaster, asked me if I could help out. He’s running the RPG section of the Con this year for the first time, and was in a jam because he was short on game masters for the event.

“A friend in a jam? A Convention in danger, you say? Let me get my red cape…”

So now, I’m suddenly creating and running a bunch of RPG sessions in three weeks. ;-) But I get a free ticket to the Con out of the deal!

Fortunately, I have the pre-existing notes I made for a few games before shelving my ideas earlier this year. By combining that with some older concepts in my dusty back drawers, I was able to put together some proposals.

The staff’s been great, and allowed me to have a lot of fun crafting a quartet of one-shot adventures. Writing good one-shot role-playing sessions for strangers that will run in a four or five hour block is a challenge… but it’s got my creative gears spinning!

I finished my Über Redux of the classic 1984 TOON! adventure The Cartoon Olympics yesterday. The theme of this year’s convention is Sportsball er… yes, Sportsball. I’m not a sports-guy, but I still wanted to run at least a few games that touched on the theme. The TOON! game immediately came to mind because of The Cartoon Olympics being the opening adventure in the out-of-print rule-book. TOON! is an ultra-lighthearted game that emulates the wacky spirit of classic Warner Brothers cartoons and others of yesteryear. It’s a simple, zany game that I think will really work in a convention setting.

Katie Calamari by Kimberly Abbott.
Katie Calamari by Kimberly Abbott.

So I revamped and expanded the whole adventure, filling it with my own original cartoon “superstars”. Now I’m looking forward to players taking on the roles of Katie Calamari, Beefalo Bob, Holly Hamhock, and Wet Wailin’ Willy as they run relay races with lit sticks of dynamite and dodge falling pianos. It should be a hoot! ;-)

My wife has even been lending me her awesome cartooning and design skills to make great player handouts! Here is her picture of Katie Calamari…

Next on the agenda is to write my three all-original adventures and get them done. The Werewolf Wrestling Federation vs. the Vampire Women, has already generated a lot of interest from the title alone. Its going to be over-the-top pro-wrestling action (a “sports” theme… see?) mixed with B-grade monster movie hijinks…

Five years ago, the werewolves came out of hiding… and entered the ring! Eager to reform their reputation, the Werewolf Wrestling Federation was created to show the face of lycanthropes as rambunctious entertainers and not bloodthirsty monsters. But now on the heels of their success, old enemies have emerged… Enemies with a chair aimed at the lycan’s backs… and a score to settle with them and mankind!

Ork Quest might prove to be an interesting spin on your typical fantasy RPG adventure with a liberal dose of humor and role reversal…

After accidentally ruining the debutante ball for the chieftain’s daughter Wartfair, a band of monsters is genuinely surprised that Rottbutt the Girthy would entrust them with an important quest! Of course, they are banished until they return with the artifact they quest for… and everyone keeps saying it’s a suicide mission… but maybe they’re wrong?

Can monstrous heroes like dimwitted Bert the Ogre or constantly overlooked Shahnana the She-Ork Shieldmaiden recover the magical grog horn they seek and return to the tribe?

And on the last day of the convention, I’ll run my mysterious mash-up of two literary classics: The Most Dangerous Game of Doctor Moreau!


I’m working hard to get all of this stuff done well before the convention. Then my mind can be at ease about keeping my promises before I start work on The Orgcrist. I also should have the feedback from my second alpha-reader this week on The Unicorn Hunters and Tears of the Joyous Mare. After a bit of unfortunate delay, I’m really eager to share these pieces on Aethereal Engines… So as soon as I can do the edits the feedback might require, they’re off to the beta-readers!

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction awesome role-playing adventures that inspire fiction! Take care!

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