Friday, June 30, 2017

The Meter of Jorune

A Thriddle from Scars of Temauntro
The question of Feet V. Meters came up about Jorune. English measure vs. Metric measure.

Since Meter is related to the size of the planet (or has that been proven wrong?) and when it comes to Jorune, who's damn feet are we talking about.

3-foot yard comes to make sense ... I have a 6 foot wingspan. Arms akimbo, my fingertips are 6 feet apart, nose to fingertip 3 feet, or close enough for jazz. I've used it to measure rooms in vacant houses, measure string, etc. But Some people aberly have 5 feet. I have friends with a 7 foot wing span. It is very individual.

So I'm thinking of running some number for mesurement on Earth, vs. measurement on Jorune.

You could feel comfortable but it would be impreciss.

And Thriddle love precision.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


What the Somar Found
When I was young I thought I would be a comic book artist. Over time I found that I could not draw the same face over and over, and it was not where my passion took me.

So over the years I play with drawing but have worked along "artists" and am in awe of them. On of the most satisfying art related chapters was Voyage of the Aylon Star many years ago, where I drew all of the NPCs and scenes, turned them over to George Barr and got to see what a real artist did with my preliminary art. A real artist taking my ideas.

And I am back and a point that I have visited before where I am doing art to cover the lack of artists for Jorune. So I take the descriptions. There was an "ebba cycle" from The Somar, (Sholari Magazine, Volume 1, Number 2). There was no picture of that device in that issue, but there will be when The Somar is reprinted in Sholari Magzine, Volume 2, Number 1.

I was able to do a blue pencil sketch, ink it with black, like a comic book page, and got my preliminary graphic. I think I will have to draw it again so I don't throw up from this first version winding up in the magazine.

I'm also redrawing the map of Gralis, and will do a map to the landslide site, and a floor plan to what they find.

But I really wish I had some real artists to take my art specs, or my preliminary sketches, and turn them into the 'art' Jorune deserves.


Yeah. I think I'd draw this again. I'm a writer, not a comic book artist. I'm also a reporter, a stained glass artist, a singer and (was) a guitar player. I've sold oil paintings and been an on-air DJ and comedy weirdo. But not a comic book artist.

I am still in awe of real artists.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I am pounding away on several projects. that's how I do it. Juggle Juggle Juggle, four things get finished almost at once.

ORFA: JORUNE, minimalist game play system. That is to say in action it flies. It takes a few minutes to build your character and grok your modifiers caused by race or environment or occupation. But when you get your Target number, roll 1d20. If you succeed, your Quality of Success is the difference between Roll and Target and determines modifications on the effect of that attempt - Damage, Quantity, whatever - related to your actual situation. It flies. Combat is damn near real time. You can keep pounding on them until they die, but so can they (whoever they is).

The goal is to finish ORFA: JORUNE at the same time as SHOLARI v2n1. The characters from SCAR OF FAR TEMAUNTRO will be presented as ORFA NPCs to be used, or not, in running a game in the setting or to pull into other games you may run.

Each Jorune SAK (Sholari Adventure Kit) will have ORFA: JORUNE characters for the NPCs so you can build up a nice repertorie company for later play or use in other games. (GOMO GUIDES, not so much.)

ORFA will be a freebie. Automatic download with a PDF of the product. ORFA JORUNE is the first appearance. But I also plan on a pulp/tubepunk game in ORFA terms, and a science fiction setting.

ORFA is simple. First you Generate Your chracter. That is where the book, chart and thought work are. It takes a minute, as the kids say (what kids and why are they always talking?)

Then, when you want to take an action that will require dice (not everything requires dice*), it is:

Target Number = Stat + Named Skills + Assuemed Skills + Modifiers = Target Number
State the EXACT Thing You Are Rolling to Accomplish
Roll your 1d20 die.
If you succeed (role under your Target Number) calculate Quality of Success, which gives you the effect of that role - such as damage, or how many rubies you find in a sack of rice.

Next Action - GO. C'mon. I came here to kill things, not read charts.

Combat almost runs at real time. and that's when you want speed. 

I've been running it with my own games going back more than twenty years under various names. "Oracle" "j20" (Guess what the "j" stood for). ONE ROLL FITS ALL just seemed appropriate and hasn't changed for almost 20 years. Five Stats, and the 5th Stat is setting specific. For Jorune it is "Isho". For the pulp game it will be "Weird". 

But it is chugging along nicely.

* You don't always have to roll. If you are putting vinegar on your fish, you shouldn't have to roll to see if you succeed. If you are trying to grab a can of soda of a table, you shouldn't have to roll. If you are trying to jump from one building to another, four stories up while people are chasing you - THEN you should have to roll.

The Things You See WhenYou Haven't Got a Gun

I was answering a question someone had about the art for the cover of ALIEN LOGIC, the Jorune computer game from 20 years ago, and hope I gave the right information.

But in the original for that piece (I think the grayscale piece was first and later colored by Miles?) gave me something to steal, and I stole bigtime. The Corastin became my portrait of Dadin Dado, my favorite Corastin, and his son. Photoshop let me open Dadin's mouth and scale his son down a bit.

But it was a satisfying piece of artistic larceny.

Thought I'd share it here, too. To compound the crime.

"He many bits. Very proud."

Monday, June 26, 2017

My favorite chracter by Robert Smith from
favorite illustration he did. I just like her. 
Plinka Plinka Plinka.

I'm waiting for word back from DriveThru to see if my book SONG OF ORPHANS can be made public. I keep going back and forth about PDF formats and such. Again. Seems like every time I try to get files to the public, there is something wrong.

Oh well.

SHOLARI Magazine, Volume 2 Number 1, is waiting for a few pieces of art and then it can run into problems with DriveThru and the PDF dance.

And now the GOMO GUIDE: TAN IRICID is chugging along, based on comments and requests through the Facebook page and the Yahoo group.

But really - as many people as are signed up on both of those, only bout two dozen people post. Whis can ge disheartening.  But... that's what goes on.

When SONG OF ORPHANS and SHOLARI come out, it is my intent to use the dread "promotion" tool to push them. Just to see if ti does something for sales.

And I'm converting all of my Jorune notes into Scrivener. it is a really powerful program, but I'm only using the word processing functions. And the Corkboard. And the outliner. So far. I have to learn how to use the full majesty of the damn thing. But for organization it is great. I can get all my notes, drafts, maps, graphics, and manuscripts into one system, and then do ONE set of style sheets (called "Pre-set Formatting" because - why? But that style is reflected through all of the documents in the "Binder" because - why? It's just a nice word that describes where you could put a lot of different folders with a bunch of different files of different types.

But, it is progress.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Less Damage

Seal of the Angel Jolanta
Well, I did a theme change to the blog and it blocked getting to themes to change it back. But I'm learning how to bypass the design page for direct access to the account. That gives me the ability to repair damage my constant experimentation may cause the blog.

Sidethought: Is there a way to do a "Special" message with the Yahoo Group or the FaceBook page to pop up on the - literally - hundreds of people who are signed up but who apparently are not reading the posts over the past year or so?

I know I have just a few people signed up to this page, but it would appear to be people with more interest expressed through their action of reading the page.

I'm selfish and want more people to get back to Jorune.

Maybe I should rent a hall in a low crime neighborhood in Allidoth. Is there a low crime neighborhood in Allidoth. It really has gone downhill in the past twenty five years.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dream Commands

I have dreams that sometimes order me about. The whole Return to Jorune thing was one of those, as was the Gomo Guide reboot.

But this was a different dream. Doing a new blog in the character of Kinder Brinden, a publisher of trashy pulp magazines out of Allidoth - the despised "Yule Dreadfuls", like Slam Desti, Boy Yord. He hired Mord Jalanor to write trashy stories of Jorune adventures, but Mord sobered up and became a private Yord (Allidoth Confidential) and highly honored querrid (The Scars of Far Temauntro).

Kinder had set up shop in Allidoth to publish his trashy little best-selling booklets on the cheapest paper possible using the technologies of ceramic plates, and rather than ship printed books around the planet, he prints his run, ships the plates onto a circuit around the plant - York in Heridoth, then around to Ros Crendor, through Dah ah-dey to Kirlan, over to Auklin, then down to Thantier and down to Ponteer. Each stop publishes locally based on the same plates, and with a couple of quick blossoms of delivery as far as Jasp and Sallay, the human and muadra circuit gets completed. there is a fresh run of new stories - although other markets may have gotten them earlier (always new to someone who hasn't seen them before).

Kinder started a new line of Woffen adventure magzines, which have shown him there is an audience with the Boccord and Bronth communities of young readers. Crugar just don't seem to have the interest in reading, probably because of poor eyesite. Maybe Kinder will set up touring companies to put on plays for the younger kits and red blooded adults.

He makes a few bits on each issues of each title in each edition and from those bits built a nice villa on the slopes overlooking Draeeli in Ponteer, where he runs a profitable 'information service' on the side (and under the table). One Thriddle called Draeeil the "Lisbon of Jorune", but no body knows what that means. Ponteer is where the trade of the western world funnel, and where there's trade, there is intrigue.

So - maybe I should do some columns by Kinder?

Any comments?

We don't have any pictures of Kinder, but here is a picture of the Scars of Far Temauntro; a rare double rise skyrealm pit, with a floating islet connected to the rim of the crate by a rope bridge, to be tended by Dark Shantha as a memorial to the greatest Shantha in the planet's history - Sho Eelshon Desti - THE DESTI. Read all about it in the forthcoming relaunch of SHOLARI MAGAZINE, Volume 2, Issue 1. (Picture was painted by a thriddle on a shipstone in cooperation with the Dark Shantha guardians. (Click for detail) -- I'd tell you more, then then I've have to charge you. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Chugging Away Again

I'm still at it, but juggling recent crisis with my computer, both hardware and OS. But things seem to be calming down. I'm behind on projects, including Jorune, but should be announcing the release of my first novel - The Song of Orphans - with I'll announce that as soon as it goes live.

Song of Orphans is a fantasy novel from 1977, long before I ever heard of Jorune. But members of two races, outcasts who have to work together. One is less enthusiastic than the other, but... strange buddy story. The last 70 pages of the book were written in one sitting at an old Selectric typewriter over about 26 hours. I rose tired and bent over, my hands stiffened into claws. But no one who has reached that scene has been able to put it down before it is over. And some really good people gave me guidance and encouragement, so ... I'll stand by it as a first work.

I'm still finishing the presentation on Horror in Radio Theater for August at the Ghost Town Horror Writer's Workshop in Colorado. It's a horror writer's workshop in a real ghost town -which I think is kind of cool. I may not be able to go in person to present, but the presenter should serve the material well.

If I haven't said it before, radio theater is one of my favorite art forms. It forces the audience to create to complete the scene - the pictures are always better on radio! Radio is a 'hot' medium. Only two others have the same level of audience involvement in completing the creation - reading and role playing games. The reader, the listener, or the player decides what the character really look like, what the setting is, the lighting, the choreography of the movement (whether it is walking the parapets of a castle or a saloon fist fight), and all of the props.

If you hear "It was the most money I had ever seen", some of you will picture a card table with a one-foot pile of bills and coins, while someone else will picture Scrooge McDuck's swimming pool. And that picture will perfect - because you made it just the way you want it.

I should mention that the cover for Song of Orphans is by Joruni Fred Lang out in San Francisco.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Breaking Secrets

Croid saving Thirddle rom Cleash
I like having the blog to post about what is going on behind the scenes. I'm having fun.

Since there seems to be interest in a GOMO GUIDE: TAN IRICID, that is what I'm working on. Pulling together 20 years of notes, art from previously published sources, specing new art (particularly the map of Tan Iricid), and writing the actual copy.

But it becomes clear that Tan Iricid will reveal some major secrets because Tan Iricid is the domain of Thriddle, Thriddle are the archivist of Jorune, and the Thriddle have systematically plotted to keep certain things out of public knowledge. We will share new and previously revealed Thriddle information, but wait, there's more.

GOMO GUIDE: TAN IRICID will break those seals. The revelations will include:
  • The Lamorri Invasion, what they were doing, and what remains of their explusion by
  • The Desti, and we mean THE Desti, the head of the Eelshon, who led the military operation to make Jorune too expensive for Lamorri to hold, creator of the Tlosk (Isho Cannon), and exactly what allof those elements looked like. And more about the Warpflash of 
  • The Eighth Isho, and the vanished lih-al with that Isho, and why the only real stores of metal on Jorune are found in the great Western continent. Something happened. Something very bad. 
  • The Thriddle-Shantha connection. Unexcpted but logical because of shared trauma. Which includes why Jorune, with almost 1,000 years of healing from the Lamorri invasion, was barely up to fully functional when humans arrived.
  • The Launtra Experiment, the full story of why there are even more races on Jorune than could be accounted for with the two alien invasions.

It is great fun to write all this out, retire old notes, and open eyes into fresh aspects of the game world by going to the home of masters of secret knowledge. The Working Title for the project is GOMO GUIDE: TAN IRICID, but on the cover it will say GOMO GUIDE: TAN IRICID AND RELATED SECRET KNOWLEDGE.
It has to be fun for everybody involved, and this is fun.
It also leads to the next one: GOMO GUIDE: PONTEER WITH PARTS OF DRAIL. Which will do a similar job on the Earth Colony and how it effects Jorune today.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Thriddle Font Conflict

When Thriddle had the opportunity to investigate Earth colonial documentation, they went into decades of friction on the variety of fonts and the meaning those different fonts meant.

As background, Thriddle have no record of a Thriddle culture prior to their life as slaves among the Lamorri invasion forces. Thriddle were librarians, clerks, and messengers with at least eleven full planetary occupations, Jorune being the last in a long line. Occupation involved delivery of an elite Lamorri governing force with Cleash and slave races occupying key sites to ensure Lamorri access to the conquered planets resources and subjugation of the native race. Other than this general summary of Lamorri methods, Thriddle have effectively concealed the existence of Lamorri with a layer of deception called "Shantha B". This deception involves suggestions that Shantha had once warred with a second sentient race, now extinct. On a world with two dozen races, it has been a very acceptable lie.

But the original Allonkarb cryo-bin discovery included a small container, approximately .5m-square. Thriddle had insinuated themselves into the Dharsage's structure because they unparralleled  superior skills as archivists and field iscin. This container was obscured from Allonkarb's human and boccord troops in the flurry of discoveries that were flowing from the vault, including a stock of 'new' Earth-tec weapons and devices that played directly in Allonkarb's conquest of his new Empire of Burdoth. By comparison with the wonders of these tools of military victory overshadowed one small box, which had markings Thriddle correctly translated as library data with readers similar to a few already in the possession of the Tan Iricidi thriddle of the Mountain Crown.

In the seclusion of a back hall of the Mountain Crown, and under direct supervision of the Somar, Thriddle discovered a library that was intended to serve as the seed library of Terran Colonial information repositories with instructions for translation of the digital information into older technologies including personal media, arts, and the technology of information dispersal to future generations of colonists. This included detailed information of the non-electronic media, including print with the attendant technologies of paper making, typesetting, printing, bookbinding, and examples of what had existed before the advent of digital media, which was already a few centuries old at the time of the Colonies on Jorune.

Cover of Forest Thriddle textbook for Burdoth History
This was the point where the different fonts created a schism in the scholarly halls of Tan Iricid. Thiddle text was written in one font which was a simulation of one scholar's hand-printed texts from the Lamorrid era. To do anything different from the official font was considered to be a sign of imperfect education – the writers had not yet leaned to use "real" writing and were tolerated with the same condescension as most races view children learning to write basic letters, sentences, paragraphs, and manuscripts.

But the Colonial documentation showed thousands of typefaces and the Somar directed a decades long study to find the "real" typeface of the Colony. A generation long conflict between the elite of Tan Iricid and their primary competitors from Gauss Valley. Forest Thriddle seers believed that the use of different fonts reflected a diversity of human history where typefaces represented information about the author's culture, language, and purpose. Forest Thriddle welcomed the expansion of documentation with thousands of fonts, which Tan Iricidi reflected as proof of their Forest cousins inferiority.

The Font Debate was a driving force behind the development of an independent archive of non-Triddis documents by the Forest Thriddle and proliferation of duplication techniques that quickly spread outside Thriddle scholary circles. While hand copied scrolls continued to hold the highest level of regard by all nations, particularly with issues of diplomacy and trade, the technologies of type-setting and increasingly popular periodicals offering news, querrid reports, and fiction. The technologies of printed created an economic boom with farmers who could produce crops specifically for varieties of paper ranging from fine rag and linen stock for documents intended to be read and reread for generations, to the cheapest possible sheets for use in disposable fiction and entertainments. A similar boom came with source developers for inks that ranged from long term archive fluids to cheap formulations that cold fade away in a few years after a page was printed.

The techniques used for disposable publications ranged from finely engraved type faces for the most primitive block-press techniques, to recreations of equipment powered by water-wheel driven belt systems to set type from molds, and shown in the ancient Colonial references. While this elevated single color text production to a mass market phenomena, color reproduction had a similar boom with such old Terran techniques as serigraphy (silk screen printing) and linoleum carve blocked techniques.

Cover of 380-page report in proper Triddis.
Thriddle research gave them a fascination on the apparent availability cheap metals on the Colonial homeworld, compared to the scarcity of metals in the crust of Jorune.

Forest Thriddle creation of teaching materials from the disposable media has resulted in lines of 64 page student textbooks to carry uniform information to students who come to new schools, increasing the literacy of nations who carry the programs. Although rejected by Tan Iricid authorities, the drive of literacy spawned thousands of cheap publications with stories of romance, adventure, history, and intrigues between the races and classes within those cultures.

This disposable literacy has been decried by the Somar and initiated Thriddle of the Mountain Crown as a corrupting influence on general dependability of printed media, and that 'fiction' by its very nature clouds real documentation of the subjects of their poorly written narratives.


Maybe I'll do a longer version of this in a future issue of Sholari.