April 5th, 2021

marcus 2013

Eastercon Day 3 (continued) and 4, and Congrats Alison!

The tech used for panels mostly seemed to improve on Sunday, but there were still a few very late starts, and I ended up watching three of the items that interested me on the "holodeck" replay late in the evening. I don't think I interacted with anyone the entire day, which really isn't what I normally expect to get out of a con.

Today I was on a panel at 10 AM which went fairly well - a few sound issues, and glitches with one of the participant's bandwidth which could have occurred regardless of the tech used, but it all seemed to go well enough apart from that. The other panels I viewed seemed to be running well. But again I felt a bit remote from the panels I wasn't involved in - for some reason the page that took you to the viewer didn't link to the separate site you needed to use to enter a question etc., unless I missed something, and while I'm sure that the information was out there somewhere I for one couldn't find it. I didn't try Gathertown again, and really hope that nobody plans to use it for another con.

So - not as bad as I initially feared, but not as good as I'd hoped, which seems to be a fairly common reaction. Caught the start of the closing ceremony to see who won the Doc Weir award - Congrats, Alison, if you're reading this! - but really didn't feel inclined to stay for the rest, since I wanted lunch.

Still a bit of daylight left so I can go take test photos with some of the lenses I'll be selling next week. Oh, the excitement...

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marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Chivalry and Sorcery 5E

This one is new, but the game is pretty old - Chivalry and Sorcery


"Chivalry and Sorcery Fifth Edition core rulebookAmong the oldest FRPGs still published, Chivalry and Sorcery has a 40-year reputation for historical authenticity. Created by Ed Simbalist (1943-2005) and Wilf Backhaus (1946-2009), C&S depicted a feudal Europe (originally 12th-Century France, later a range of periods) with nobles, knights, Christian priests, and medieval doctrines. Though the First Edition (Fantasy Games Unlimited, 1977) has the usual fantasy races, monsters, and an elaborate magick system, it wears these trappings lightly. In those early days, and in its cleaned-up Second Edition (1983), C&S focused not on dungeon crawls but on the feudal system, court intrigue, tournaments and jousts, and a comprehensive catalogue of ordinary life. The designers took inspiration from flavorful historical treatises such as Life on a Mediaeval Barony (1923) by William Stearns Davis.

Chivalry and Sorcery also has a well-earned reputation for complexity. Early characters had 13 attributes, a social background in a rigid hierarchy, a multiplicity of skills, and astrological auspices; there were 21 classes of magick users. Resolving a single battle could take hours. Several later editions (C&S3, 1996; "C&S Light," 1999; "Rebirth Edition," 2000; "Essence v1.1," 2011) aimed, in various ways, for accessibility.

Now, four decades on, Chivalry and Sorcery is still accessing new audiences with its Fifth Edition (2020), funded in a July 2019 Kickstarter campaign from UK designer Stephen A. Turner at Brittannia Game Designs. C&S 5E refines the mechanics of past editions into a single percentile-based "Skillskape" mechanic. Though character creation remains intricate (Brittannia sells a custom Excel utility), attributes are simplified, and magick moreso.

Most interesting, especially in terms of accessibility, the new C&S draws on modern research to present the Middle Ages as they really were: diverse in cultural influences and rich with visitors from outside Europe. Now priests can follow Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, or you can tailor the faith rules to any religion, whether real-world or fictional. What hasn't changed: The Fifth Edition still weaves its fantasy on a foundation of realism, believability, and history. Want to foil an assassination plot at a royal wedding -- clear a pack of bandits from Creag Hill in Somerset -- or find a missing priest and recover his tithes from a haunted keep? Chivalry and Sorcery helps you tell stories at every level of medieval society with authority and conviction.

For those who fight, those who pray, those who toil, and those who enchant, this all-new Chivalry and Sorcery Bundle is a comprehensive guide. We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Twenty percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity chosen by Stephen Turner of Brittannia Games, The Honeypot Children's Charity. Honeypot supports young caregivers -- children under 18 who provide care and emotional support to a parent, grandparent, or sibling who is ill, disabled, or suffers from a mental health condition or substance abuse.

Chivalry and Sorcery Night-walkers supplementThe total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$120.50. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all seven titles in our Player Collection (retail value $49) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Chivalry and Sorcery 5E Core Rule Book (retail price $30) plus the Character Generator Excel spreadsheet (retail $1); four Companion character supplements from earlier editions (and still compatible with 5E) -- Dwarves' Companion (retail $4), Elves' Companion (retail $4), Armourers' Companion (free), and Knights' Companion (free); and The Art of Chivalry and Sorcery (retail $10).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Gamemaster Collection with nine more titles worth an additional $71.50, including the rules expansion Nightwalkers (retail $14), for vampiric and lycanthropic characters; the location sourcebooks Dragon Reaches of Marakush (retail $15) plus its Dragon Reaches Map (retail $4) and Anderia (retail $3) along with its Anderia Map (retail $2.50); three full-length adventures -- Treachery (retail price $12), Treason (retail $12), and Creag Hill (retail $4); and the C&S 5E GM Screen (retail $5)."

This is a game I never really got into, possibly because I was playing Pendragon occasionally and that covered the Arthurian side of things pretty well, and possibly because it's a fairly complicated rules system. But it has a loyal following, and it's been around long enough that there are a LOT of players around. I think this is good value and an interesting offer, but as I should always try to remember to mention, I should stress that I get this stuff as freebies if I want it - if you don't your mileage may vary.

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