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    • By Guyscanwefocusplease
      In the spirit of the new year, I am trying to pick up old healthy habits that went by the wayside in 2017.  One of those is running.  Another is reading.
      My goal is not a specific number of books (in 2017 I only read 5), but to simply read more and enjoy it.  To that end, I'll be keeping a list here.  Note: I'm cheating a bit by including books I started in 2017.  Asterisk indicates started prior to 2017; Two asterisks indicates it is a re-read.  
      Completed (in order):
      Breakthrough: Why We Can't Leave Saving the Planet To Environmentalists*
      The Golden Compass*
      Resolving Ecosystem Complexity
      The Investor's Manifesto**
      Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How To Correct Them
      It happened in the Florida Keys
      Meditations by Marcus Aurelius*
      The Subtle Knife
      In Progress: 
      Ecological Forecasting
      The Wrong Stars
      Untangling Ecological Complexity
      The Amber Spyglass
      How to Read Water
      I'll be updating as I progress!
    • By SamuraiJack
      Some of you know I help run a convention call MarCon here in Columbus, Ohio  Marcon is held Mother's Day weekend in Columbus Ohio in the same hotel that Origins uses.  This year we have a few guests, some you might recognize.  Still working on media guests, but this is the group we have so far.  Marcon.org for more info..
      Author Guest of Honor: F. Paul Wilson Young Adult Author Guest of Honor: Cinda Williams Chima Music Guest of Honor: Dandelion Wine Legendary Artist Guest of Honor: Larry Elmore Artist Guest of Honor: David Lee Pancake Cosplay Guest of Honor: Alexa Heart  Cosplay Guest of Honor:  Mogchelle Cosplay Guest of Honor: Charles Xavier Conley (Ebony Warrior Cosplay) Fan Guest of Honor: Todd Cameron Hamilton Miniatures Guest of Honor: Shoshie Bauer   Featured Author: Walter Jon Williams Featured Author: Eric Flint Featured Author: Walter Hunt Featured Artist: Andy Hopp Featured Cosplay Guest: Nerd Girl Cosplay Featured Cosplay Guest: Brit Bliss
    • By Auberon
      Gaming books are just like any other book - they have word count targets as well as page count targets and the people who write them tend to go over their allotment. This requires an editor to trim the fat. Unfortunately one of the first things to go under the knife in a core book is the game master advice portion of the book. As anyone that's read more than a few tabletop RPG books has noticed, there is always some system specific advice, but the general advice seems to be the same basic ideas, maybe presented slightly differently, but repeated over and over across the industry.
      Fortunately over the last couple of decades more and more books geared specifically for game masters have been published. For those GMs that want to up their game, whether it be plot, combat, handling NPCs, worldbuilding, or problem players there's advice out there for that. Not all of them give good advice and not all are worth picking up. This thread aims to be a resource, not just creating a list of books but also giving a bit of a review.
      The books listed here will not include core books unless someone finds one with unique advice. At this point my idea is to keep the list more general and avoid books that are majority system specific.  You won't find the DMG listed here, but you might find a DMG II. After all, that's where the advice that got cut out of the first one ends up.
      Title: Cityscape
      Authors: Ari Marmell & C.A. Suleiman
      System: 3.5E d20 (w/ a lot of more generally applicable sections)
      Publisher: WOTC (2006)
      ISBN: 978-0-7869-3939-8
      In Print: No

      Title: GM Essentials Book 1: NPC Essentials
      Authors: Johnn Four
      System: Nominally 3.5E d20, but only one chapter is really tied to that system (a mini-adventure)
      Publisher: RPGObjects (2003)
      ISBN: 978-0-7869-3939-8
      In Print: No (?) Might be available electronically from Role Playing Tips (Johnn's Blog)

      Title: Hamlet's Hit Points
      Author: Robin D. Laws
      System: None
      Publisher: Gameplaywright (2010)
      ISBN: 978-0-9818840-2-8
      In Print: Yes

      Title: Heroes of Battle
      Author: David Noonan, Will McDermott, Stephen Schubert
      System: 3E (but applicable to other systems)
      Publisher: WOTC (2005)
      ISBN: 0-7869-3686-X
      In Print: No


      Title: Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding
      Author: Wolfgang Bauer, Michael Stackpole, Keith Baker, Monte Cook, and others
      System: None (fantasy-oriented)
      Publisher: Kobold Press (2012)
      ISBN: 978-1936781119
      In Print: Yes
      Title: A Mighty Fortress
      System: 2E d20 (but it is also a historical reference)
      Publisher: TSR (1992)
      ISBN: 1-56076-372-8
      In Print: No, but .pdf
      Title: Play Dirty
      Author: John Wick
      System: None
      Publisher: John Wick (2015)
      ISBN: 978-0990547853
      In Print: Yes

      Title: Play Dirty 2
      Author: John Wick
      System: None
      Publisher: John Wick (2015)
      ISBN: 978-0990547860
      In Print: Yes

      Title: Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering
      Author: Robin D. Laws
      System: None
      Publisher: Steve Jackson Games (2002)
      ISBN: 1-55634-629-8
      In Print: Not last I checked, but you can track down a .pdf
    • By ub3r_n3rd
      Magically Distracted
      She sat on her favorite stool, having gotten mostly undressed and relaxed, gently swirling the goblet of red wine in her hand as she read through the grimore in her lap... closing her eyes she gently concentrated on the spell that was before her... suddenly the books piled around her lifted up in the air as if they had minds of their own and were caught in a small windstorm. She giggled to herself and took another long drink of the wine from her goblet and continued to study...
      This was a really fun project that I started up in April of this year. My goal was to get her done in time for the 'eavier metal online contest (Facebook) and see if I could place or perhaps get a random draw. I ended up uploading her about 10 minutes late, so I have no idea at the time of doing this post if she will be considered in the contest or if she will be disqualified. Either way, I had fun, I had tons of amazing feedback during the WIP and a lot of people cheering me on to get it finished.
      I present to you "Magically Distracted" a NSFW Kingdom Death figure in the 54mm scale, she is a limited edition resin release. Please feel free to give your comments and critiques. I'm going to check and see if I am allowed to bring a nude figure to ReaperCon this year for entry into their painters contest or not. If not, she'll stay home as I do have plenty of other things to enter as well. A few firsts on this one, I did some elaborate tattoos, magical floating books, writing in books in freehand, a completely nude figure, texturing pattern, Venus dimples, and last but not least sheer stockings (which were a lot of fun and a lot of work!).
      First - pics that are SFW and then I'll post some NSFW links (special thanks to @Thrym for hooking me up with his site for hosting as Facebook links expire) and for helping me out with the really cool title placard).

      NSFW Links
      ETA: Better pics after a bit of clean-up to the OSL and added red ink to the drink.
    • By ub3r_n3rd
      Starting this one up as it now has my attention due to a contest on bookfarce by the 'eavier metal facebook group. This is Distracted by Kingdom Death, she's a 54mm 1st run collector's edition resin miniature that I couldn't pass up a while back when she was released for a very limited time. 
      This figure is completely nude so she is definitely NSFW and I'll make sure to link any pics that would violate forum rules.
      Let's start off with the pic I can show!

      The NSFW pics that show the body parts -
      As I go along, I would like very honest and forthright comments and critiques to push me as she will be a contest entry and I may bring her to ReaperCon as well!
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