Archive for the Dice Upon A Time Category

Beltane Blues (Cheap Day Return)

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on May 1, 2017 by Occult Detective

“At Bealltainn, or May Day, every effort was made to scare away the fairies, who were particularly dreaded at this season. In the West Highlands charms were used to avert their influence. In the Isle of Man the gorse was set alight to keep them at a distance. In some parts of Ireland the house was sprinkled with holy water to ward off fairy influence. These are only a mere handful out of the large number of references available, but they seem to me to reveal an effort to avoid the attentions of discredited deities on occasions of festival once sacred to them. The gods duly return at the appointed season, but instead of being received with adoration, they are rebuffed by the descendants of their former worshippers, who have embraced a faith which regards them as demons.

In like manner the fairies in Ireland were chased away from the midsummer bonfires by casting fire at them. At the first approach of summer, the fairy folk of Scotland were wont to hold a “Rade,” or ceremonial ride on horseback, when they were liable to tread down the growing grain.”

― Lewis Spence, British Fairy Origins

The tide has turned, it seems, as Beltane Fire Festivals and the like light the way to a new dawn of pagan revitalization. Oh, sure, there are some naysayers, calling the pagan movement, reborn in the 50s by many estimations, a passing fancy, but from my vantage point, being somewhat older than most of those writing of such things, that paganism, which has never been a unified thing to begin with, is merely undergoing a change, much like it has been doing for the better part of the past century and most likely has done so since we were painting bulls on cave walls.

You will find a litany of articles declaring paganism’s demise, of it falling out of favor. They couldn’t be more wrong. Welcome to the revolution, the evolution, of faith in the 21st century.

Beltane, being a welcoming of summer’s return, of renewal and rekindling, is alive and well here and I feel a continuation of what I wrote of last year at this time — that the old ways have steadily been seeping back into my weary bones, that the call of the spirits still beckon from beyond the pale.

I have many fires lit and I tend to them as best I can.

First Born, my occult detective collection due soon from Seventh Star Press, has passed through the proof stage. I will be looking forward to announcing a blog tour and book promotion in the coming weeks.

I’ll have a Landon Connors tale published in an upcoming issue of Skelos Magazine. Details once I can share them. One of my bucket List accomplishments I craved was being published in Weird Tales. As they are no more, I view Skelos as a worthy successor, so landing a story with them is a real honour.

I’ve been editing my son’s second novel, Word Hollow, and it’s really been such a tremendous joy to pore over this thing. Connor is a marvel and I thank the gods each and every day that he is a part of Kim’s and my world. We are blessed. I may be biased, but he’s one helluva storyteller.

I finally completed the Occult Detective Tarot and the writing on the rulebooks for Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game continues. It is coming together nicely and I look forward to shopping it around to game publishers soon. I have some in mind, of course, but am prepared to take the beast to crowdfunding if necessary. There is an audience hungry for it, I think.

tarot sample

Speaking of Occult Detectives, I have read the wondrously talented Judika Illes’s October release titled The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives and I will be publishing a review this week, giving the book my most heartfelt recommendation and endorsement.

You can also expect forthcoming reviews of several other books, including Getting Higher by Julian Vayne.

I have some other projects in the works, some more secret than others, but I’m in a bit of a rush, so that’s all for now. I love this time of the year, this Second Hallowe’en if you will. There is magic afoot and the ancient powers abound. I am thankful for my time here, for my friends and family, and for all of you. Be well and true, and may the gods bless you all of your days.


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Godspeed, @Gamerstable

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Last Writes with... on January 10, 2017 by Occult Detective

Dice Upon A Time

It is the end of an era. After 300 episodes, today is Lastday. Carousel begins. Gamerstable, in its weekly incarnation, breathes its last.

gtable

As a farewell salute I open the floor to Gamerstable’s own, Shannon, who will share with us her Last Writes.

shannonLast Meal: Tacos and pizza and polish sausage and sauerkraut, and like an absurd amount of all it. And I definitely need some ice cream to top it all off.

Last Book: This one is tough, if it’s just a single book I would say Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, I try to read this at least once every other year, if not every year as October rolls in. If I can swing a whole series, I don’t think anyone who knows me would be surprised to hear the answer is Harry Potter, but I can’t pick just one of the Harry Potter…

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Games & Portents: The Paranormal Worlds of Bob Freeman

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on November 12, 2016 by Occult Detective

Today we harness strange forces – occult studies, fiction, art and even role-playing – to bring you an exclusive and extended feature on paranormal adventurer Bob Freeman. From folklore and fiction to Tarot and character generation, we dance the Weird Fantastic. And we also get to ask ‘Who is the real Bob Freeman?’

Continue reading Games & Portents: The Paranormal Worlds of Bob Freeman

Source: Games & Portents: The Paranormal Worlds of Bob Freeman

Sacrificial Writes #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 16, 2016 by Occult Detective

A side note, before I get into today’s Bobtober blog post: sometime in the near future, I will be archiving my sister site Dice Upon A Time. Do I view it as a failed experiment? Not at all. It did everything I wanted it to. The views fell short of what I’d hoped for, overall, but certain posts got respectable hits.

The reason for mothballing Dice Upon A Time comes down to two things: One is time management. It’s too hard to keep up with one blog, let alone two, and with folks finding blogs and message boards less appealing these days, it makes more sense to give them a one-stop-shop.

Which brings me to my second reason. With more and more of my gaming focus being on the development and promotion of OCCULT DETECTIVE: The Roleplaying Game, having that work showcased here at occultdetective.com is really a no-brainer.

bgodrpg

I guess that’s a decent lead-in to what is on my mind today.

I am not a ‘game designer’ by trade. I am a writer, particularly of occult detective fact and fiction. It’s what I do. But I’m also a ‘dungeon master’ and have been since 1978. I’ve played a lot of games, predominately Dungeons & Dragons, but I’ve wrestled with more than a few others.

I’d like to think I have a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t and I’ve been putting my years of experience as a gamer into OD:TRPG.

My dilemma is in the presentation. Not visually but the words themselves, and by that I mean, the game’s focus. It makes the most sense to me that this game should reflect my fiction.

An argument can be made to make the game as generic as possible so that it appeals to the widest possible audience, but that seems disingenuous to me.

I have worked hard to ensure my stories compliment one another, that they occur in a common universe. I cannot see how I can treat OCCULT DETECTIVE: The Roleplaying Game any differently.

lc

That doesn’t mean you’ll have to read my novels and short stories to understand the game. Far from it. But you will be introduced to the characters and factions and beasties that populate my fiction within the game itself. My stories and my game will be in complete harmony with each other.

So, my dilemma isn’t really a dilemma at all, but it does present a challenge.

As I said at the start of this, I am not a ‘game designer’ by trade. I hope that by approaching the game mechanics and the rulebook itself from the perspective of a storyteller that it translates not only into a unique game experience, but that the reader will find an entertaining narrative within.

connorspanelODI2

We will become Summer’s ghost

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 1, 2016 by Occult Detective

“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.”  — Henry Rollins

My favorite time of year is looming. Traditionally it has been my most productive.

firstbornI have resolved to finish tweaking First Born by the end of Labor Day, September 5th, and send it off to my editor Scott Sandridge. Once his edits come back to me, I aim to wrap it up in three days time and get it back in Seventh Star Press’ hands. I’ve no idea when it will be released, but I’ll be sure to let you know.

As of now, I believe I’ll be handling the art chores. I have a wealth of images already created for it, so I’m hoping to see this thing come alive in the coming month.

Hopefully I will finish tweaking Descendant for re-release before my surgery on the 16th.

That will free me up to really throw myself into the project that Connor and I have had our heads wrapped around now for a couple of months. The plan right now is for me to begin writing the rules for Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game come mid-September.

bgodrpg

I’ve a lot to squeeze into Summer’s End: playtests and ultrasounds and ghost hunts and surgeries and board meetings and roleplaying sessions and writing and editing, cursing and screaming… and our 16th Wedding Anniversary on the 22nd.

If I get through all that I hope to get down to some serious yarnspinning. I want to write six short stories through the end of September and all of October, but if OD:RPG is really singing I’ll be happy with one…

I’ve been waiting for the Witching Season to return for months on end. We’re so close now, it hurts… but I can smell it, far off in the distance.

I’ve a feeling this will be one for the ages.

 

Occult Detective RPG Pawns

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Horror, Occult Detectives on August 27, 2016 by Occult Detective

Just for fun I made up a few pawns for playtesting purposes. In addition to a few characters from my own mythos, I threw in a couple of my favorite occult detectives. These won’t make it into the official game (though a few certainly might), but for our playtest, it just seemed right.

pawns3

Gumshoes & Grimoires (updated)

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Occult Detectives on August 18, 2016 by Occult Detective

Just a quick salute before descending back into the trenches. Lots of things in the works, especially this:

ODRPGCharacterSheet

downloadable pdf of the Occult Detective RPG
Playtest Character Sheet: ODRPGCharacterSheet

I promise, an update on this, and more, soon. In the meantime, if you have an interest in RPGs, you might follow along with me at Dice Upon A Time as I take part in RPGaDay throughout the month of August.

UPDATE (8/21/16): Connor and I tweaked the character record sheet over the weekend and have uploaded the new form for your viewing pleasure. Cheers.

 

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