Tuesday, November 3, 2009

R.I.P.Thool and Current Activities

Real Life concerns, my recent purchase of Borderlands and "D.I.Y. Booklet Fever" has been keeping me away from posting. However, I am still banging away at Planet Algol and have been somewhat productive.

I've been meaning to blog about this subject for a while, so I would just like to take a moment AND BEG THE WORLD OF THOOL TO RETURN. The fact that the World of Thool blog is gone is almost criminal, although I appreciate the Thool Wiki. If anyone was smart enough to cut, paste and save Thool content please let me know...the Phasmids are crying!

Fortunately we have Thool's spiritual successor, Athanor, and I am gratified by the recnt news that Doug is working on more Hex Descriptions (one of my favorites in any product) and a Athanor booklet on Lulu. Check out (if you haven't already) the blog and the PDF booklets.

As I said, Planet Algol is still going strong. This last sunday was the Halloween session, with a rare appearance of our gaming group's "Trucker's Wife" Cameron. Much Hawkwind and Spaceart was listened to, a deceased companion and his magic armor was recovered, and the party repeatedly got lost in the Forbidden Mist Valley while seeking the rayguns of a crashed flying saucer.

I have been working on laying out and printing/assembling booklets myself (somewhat digest sized at 5.5"x8.5"), "Planet Algol I: The Iridium Plateau Players Guide"(16-20 pages) "Planet Algol I: The Irdium Plateau Referees Guide"(16-20 pages) and "Planet Algol: Kharhem - Snakepit of Daggers" (32-36 pages). I'm planning on selling these booklets at a modest price in the near future.

Kharhem is a Swords & Sorcery city setting with serpent cults, slavers, assassin guilds, subterranean complexes and an avatar of the black goat with a thousand young. Some of you may be somewhat familiar with it in a previous incarnation.

The booklets will be printed out and assembled by hand, D.I.Y. style, and I'm having a lot of fun with formatting and different papers. I'll be using quality paper and am planning on having great artwork (thanks to Fat Cotton and Douglas) so if everything works out as planned these will be an aesthetically pleasing bundle of weird science fantasy.

Much of the Planet Algol information from the blog will be in the booklets (and I'm not planning on taking any of that down), however much of it will be improved/expanded (I have to fix the terrible jungle symbols on the Iridium Plateau map), without any unnecessary wordcount bloat.

I have some Players Guides and prototypes printed up although the final version will definitely not have the Virgil Finlay artwork (I wish...).

21 comments:

  1. Wow those books look really cool. I rarely purchase setting stuff, but I definitely want a set of those.

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  2. If anyone was smart enough to cut, paste and save Thool content please let me know

    I did. Drop me an email and I'll send you the file - trowuttatwo at yahoodotcomdotau

    Warning though, I'm going away for four days, so it might take me a while to write.

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  3. I'm planning on selling these booklets at a modest price in the near future.

    That's good, because I'd be planning on buying them!

    I think I'm more excited about Algol and Athanor than anything else in gaming slated for release in the near future.

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  4. I'm not even sure what ever happened to Scott Driver, or what led to his removal of his blogs entirely. It's a shame. Wildly imaginative stuff that man put out, and his blog really did a lot to start my own blogging.

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  5. Totally agree on the Thool (as well as his Wilderlands of Darkling Sorcery and the medieval one). I don't know him at all in the flesh, but I kind of wondered if something bad happened to him. Hope he's okay.

    ALGOL stuff looks great. Man, a few years ago, I was rather smugly saying that I hardly ever bought any new gaming stuff. Now there's something awesome coming out of the OSR everytime I turn around.

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  6. The more I hear about Thool, the more I wish I'd found out about it earlier...

    If Planet Algol is ever available on Lulu in any form, I'll definitely buy it.

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  7. Thool certainly was a healthy grove of gaming goodness! I can't remember where exactly, maybe it was in the comments on the Ode to Black Dougal blog(?), but I'd heard Scott decided to quit gaming completely.

    I was completely surprised when he deleted the blog and I did comment before he nuked it asking for him to reconsider.

    I'm not sure what purpose it served to delete it--there are blogs on Blogger with only one entry in the last 4 years that still exist. In any case it was a loss.

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  8. P.S. I just remembered that I saved some of his links for pics and ideas. It's all I was able to save before the site was erased:

    http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/illustrations/index.html

    http://collections.stanford.edu/copyrightrenewals/bin/page?forward=home

    http://ozmatron.nonestica.com/1-1.html

    http://library.morrisville.edu/coyecollection.aspx

    http://www.geocities.com/area51/5555/

    http://www.arduin.com/

    http://www.thenightland.co.uk/nightmap.html

    http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~fadey/sime.html

    http://www.charlesrknight.com/

    http://www.copyrightexpired.com/earlyimage
    /prehistoriclifeafterkt/index.html

    I haven't looked to see if they're still active, though I imagine most are still good.

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  9. Thanks everyone, It'll be a while before I have anything available. Hopefully I'll be able to do something special for some of them.

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  10. Hey Algol,

    Nice blog! We met last year at the expedition to Under The Volcano:operation Black Mountain.

    Do you need another Vancouver player?

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  11. "Kharhem is a Swords & Sorcery city setting with serpent cults, slavers, assassin guilds, subterranean complexes and an avatar of the black goat with a thousand young. Some of you may be somewhat familiar with it in a previous incarnation."

    Now ain't that the truth. I have seen that previous incarnation, and it comes with my highest recommendation. Very game-friendly, basically a grab-bag of stuff that leads to adventure.

    WRT Thool, I think it suffered from the "not actually being played" syndrome. It looked interesting, but the author didn't have any players for it, and might have finally given in when he saw his considerable work did not generate the player feedback and enthusiasm that fuels a real campaign.

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  12. A bunch of folks wanted to play in Thool, and said so, although we were mostly not available for face-to-face.

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  13. Thanks Melan!

    My suspicions regarding Thool involve maintaining a professional reputation in the legal field.

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  14. I'm the Thool guy. I'm just coming off a period of significant upheaval in my personal life, and gaming was a casualty.

    I don't have a fully coherent explanation for having taken the blogs down completely. The biggest factor is a regrettable tendency to scorch and salt the earth when I walk away from something. (Years ago, I destroyed at least a decade's worth of accumulated journals and poetry in a fit of pique. It seemed perfectly rational at the time.) Another factor is, as Blair noted, my discomfort with leaving some deeply weird material online in perpetuity.

    I've considered working on Thool again, having frankly been surprised at the level of interest in the stuff. I'm also kicking around ideas for "dark Romantic" material, either as a separate small sandbox setting or as an added thematic element in Thool. (I re-read a lot of my old "real literature" favorites this summer.)

    Unfortunately, I no longer have my Thool notes. The wiki wouldn't even still exist except that apparently I'm not very bright, and I deleted my user account before I deleted the wiki itself. It sounds like David may have yoinked the actual blog between the time I took it down and the time the Google cache lapsed, so I will likely be e-mailing him shortly.

    I suspect at some point I'll have marshalled enough energy to have another go at the setting; right now I'm held together with duct tape. :)

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  15. Scott! Great to hear from you--and even better to hear that you're okay. Obviously what you created has struck some chord with your fellow gamers and we'd welcome any attempt to ressurect those efforts--as well as your new ideas which sound very intriguing. But we're just happy to know that you're still kicking. Hope you're on the mend and glad to have you back!

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  16. It sounds like David may have yoinked the actual blog between the time I took it down and the time the Google cache lapsed, so I will likely be e-mailing him shortly.

    Email received and reply sent. Great news. :)

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  17. Thanks for the well wishes, and thanks to David for the infodump. :)

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  18. @Scott: Great to hear that you are back! Thool was an great inspiration resource and one of the major impetuses for Planet Algol.

    As an aside, I noticed that the pages Dave saved lacked the D&D statistics for Byarzoths, Pnomaks, Vat Men and other critters..I would love to see the return of those bad boys.

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  19. I can't be the only person who copied the blog material as it was posted. Hopefully someone else will come forward who was a bit more thorough than I was. :(

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