NAGS Society Dispatch Archives
2003 : Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
[2001-2002 2004 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008]
December 31, 2003 The Stone Pages
The Stone Pages Web Guide to Megalithic Europe is an extremely informative guide to ancient stone structures our forebears bequeathed to us.
December 30, 2003 Books for the New Year
Here are two TI-inspiring book suggestions from David Crowell:
Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science by Dick Teresi and Amelia Peabodys Egypt by Elizabeth Peters.
December 29, 2003 Erebus: City of Shadows
Pulp and/or steampunk infused fantasy would seem to be the flavor of the month. For example, Wizards of the Coasts new Eberron setting is described as D&D meets Indiana Jones. Erebus: City of Shadows is a ~90 page pdf ($7.50 US) of pulpy fantasy. You can read an introduction on the website and download a free adventure to see if you like it.
December 28, 2003 Terrain Makers
Ive just discovered the TerrainMakers Yahoo Group, a treasure trove of tips and suggestions for scratch building terrain for your little lead people.
December 27, 2003 Iron Stars
Majestic Twelve Games, publisher of the excellent ARES fantasy miniatures skirmish rules, has announced Iron Stars, a game of space combat in an age of steam and steel. Set in a fictional universe based loosely on the writings of H. G. Wells and other fantasists, it provides a back story and ship designs from an alternate history in which the Martian Invasion really happened, the ether is all-pervasive, and Cavorite is a reality. You can download a free fourteen page pdf intro to get a feel for the game.
December 26, 2003 Aeroplanes & Dirigibles of War & the World Wide School
The World Wide School, the best place on the Internet to learn just about anything, hosts an extensive library of e-texts in a clean, easily browseable format. Youll find classic science fiction, books for young people, literature, history, &c., &c. Check out Frederick Talbots Aeoroplanes and Dirigibles of War, for example, for a perspective the state of the art from flights first decade.
December 25, 2003 Neverland
Veteran rpg author Matt Forbeck has launched a new personal website with a free download for the holidays Neverland, a game based upon Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.
December 24, 2003 ColonialWargames.org
To continue my ongoing series of link updates, Bob Corderys excellent Colonial Wargaming site has a new home: Colonialwargames.org.uk.
December 23, 2003 Fine Scale Modeler
Fine Scale Modeler is a print magazine devoted to creating stunning models and terrain. Browse back issues by subject to locate topics of interest (back issues are available through the website for about $5.00 US.) and a number of articles are freely available online.
December 22, 2003 Victorian Science Fiction Aerial Torpedo
Reviresco flies to the rescue with this fabulous Victorian Science Fiction Aerial Torpedo. The torpedo is thematically linked to their bicycle-powered airship and six-wheeled racer.
December 21, 2003 RetroTechnology, Housekeeping, and Triangle Pulpsters
The Museum of RetroTechnology has a new ætheric home (so my link has been dead for awhile). Old habitués of the site will notice new exhibits, including some unusual tricycles and extreme steam locomotives.
Ive also parsed several months worth of Dispatches into their proper categories on the Links page for your convenience in browsing. Please feel free to send along any interesting links for future Dispatches.
N.B. Triangle Pulpsters: Im joining a new pulp campaign meeting in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area! Players who are interested in two-fisted action in 1937 can contact the GM.
December 20, 2003 The Colonial Angle
Owing to a change in ISPs, it seems that my link to Steve Winters Colonial Angle website has been dead. See the Colonial Angle for some excellent scratchbuilding tips on the workbench, as well as an account of one of my favorite wargames scenarios: The Demise of Professor Prufrock.
December 19, 2003 Museum of Hoaxes
The Museum of Hoaxes is a weblog devoted to the Truth that is Out There. Read it online or buy the book.
December 18, 2003 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Go to SkyCaptain.com for a teaser of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, what looks to be a pulp movie slated for release next summer. This one looks good! Thanks to Scott Conner for the tip.
December 17, 2003 OneLight.com
OneLight.com would seem to be the home page for the work of Dianne Robbins, author of Messages from the Hollow Earth, Telos, and the Call Goes Out. Aside from purchasing the books as pdfs, you can read this account of a stargate in Peru.
December 16, 2003 Sir Roberts Last Discovery
Hirst Arts makes some wonderful rubber molds for casting your own building components in plaster or resin. Mold #46, for example, can be used to create a spooky Gothic Graveyard, in which the aforementioned Sir Robert meets his end. And even if you dont want to delve into the world of self-casting, the website offers a plethora of Tips and Tricks for scratchbuilding that are sure to come in handy.
December 15, 2003 Around the World [By Auto] in 80 Days
Have a look at the Team Busch website for a day-by-day account of an actual circumnavigation of the globe in a 56 Mercedes-Benz to support Médecins Sans Frontières.
December 14, 2003 Ancient Automatons
Ancient Automatons is a great site devoted to the creators of machines that imitate life.
December 13, 2003 Explorer Chic
Ive previously Dispatched the link to the Foundrys article on Explorer Chic. Well, Al and his Rivets & Steam website can help you get into the act yourself with brass Girl Genius goggles from Studio Foglio (a steal at $16 US) and an obligatory pith helmet in khaki or white from the Village Hat Shop.
December 12, 2003 Gutshot Contest
The fine folks at Hawgleg Publishing are giving away a prize per quarter until the release of their new Old West skirmish game, Gutshot. Go to the Online Contest page to enter your name. And if you live anywhere near Rice University, you can see Gutshot in action at OwlCon, February 6-8.
December 11, 2003 PilotundLuftschiff
Heres another great airship page with text in German. PilotundLuftschiff has some great illustrated timelines of the airship development (look under Luftschiffe). Theres probably also a lot of useful information that knowledge of the German tongue would reveal.
December 10, 2003 Coliseum
I’m not entirely certain how you might work this into your TI campaign, but have a look at the lovely Coliseum Adam Hughes built. Hell even teach you how to make your own.
December 9, 2003 Victorian Colonial Terminology
In an effort to bring more authenticity to your gaming (or to help when reading all those memoirs of nineteenth century explorers and soldiers) we give you Askews Glossary of Victorian Colonial Terminology. This website is an exhaustive guide to all the Victorian military slang thats fit to print.
December 8, 2003 Weird Creatures
Tired of hearing about Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster? Heres a menagerie of lesser-known yet equally strange and elusive creatures from around the world. This About.com page has information about all your cryptozoological favorites.
December 7, 2003 Back to the Back of Beyond
Mark Copplestone has released a slew of new figures for his excellent Back of Beyond pulp line, set in Central Asia in the 20s. Youll find Armed Archeologists, Bolsheviks, Chinese Warlords, fossil hunter Roy Chapman Andrews and his finds, and dont forget the yetis. New figures include Bolshevik heroines, British infantry in tropical kit, and Tibetan nomad cavalry. And if you dont know much about the period, there are some excellent articles by Chris Peers to get you started.
December 6, 2003 Heliograph and Tsar Wars
Heliograph seems to have resuscitated a bit with the print release of George Griffiths Angel of the Revolution (available now) and Syren of the Skies (forthcoming). This pair of Victorian science fiction novels (from the author of the Astronef stories) serve as the inspiration for Marcus Rowlands Forgotten Futures VII Tsar Wars. As with all Forgotten Futures products, Marcus includes the complete text for free, but its so much nicer to read them on paper, dont you think? Both books are illustrated by Fred T. Jane, a name military enthusiasts will recognize.
December 5, 2003 The ACME Catalog
Aside from Wile E. Coyote, the NAGS Society is the largest international client of the ACME company. Browse the ORIGINAL Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products for some of the fascinating gadgets they sell.
December 4, 2003 Help for the Holidays
The thoughtful folks at Ogrecave (Matthew Pook, Allan Sugarbaker & Mike Sugarbaker) have come to the rescue again with this years Christmas Gift Guide. Thus far, they offer A Dozen Stocking Fillers (12 games of $20 or less) and Games Under the Tree (12 games of $40 or less). Coming soon are twelve d20 products and a new, secret fourth category.
December 3, 2003 Would That it Were
Im a little late with this one, but, Would That it Were, the internets premier magazine of historical science fiction, has posted a new issue covering October to December.
December 2, 2003 Flying With National Geographic
The December issue of National Geographic Magazine includes a cover story on the history of flight, coinciding with the centenary of the Wright bothers flight at Kitty Hawk, NC. The NG Website has some supporting material such as a Wright Flyer Construction Simulator (which requires Flash) and some 3D images of famous aircraft (mostly W.W.II to modern era). The Flashback shows auto/plane hybrid that made its debut in San Diego in 1947.
December 1, 2003 Dark Continent
Ive just finished reading, and can enthusiastically recommend, Dark Continent by David Salisbury and Mandy Smith (New Breed Games). It came out at the same time as TI, but has been an elusive quarry in the U.S., hence my delay in mentioning it. You can read Matthew Pook’s review from 2001 in the recent 10th Anniversary issue of Pyramid, 10.24.03).
Dark Continent offer an extremely detailed primer on African exploration during the Victorian era. It includes all the crucial crunchy bits, such as how to hire a guide, how much porters can carry, how African magic works, and how to rid ones self of the filarial worm (you need a needle, a friend with a steady hand, and you dont want to know more). Dark Continent comes complete with its own system, but could easily be converted to another.
You can now get it in the States from Chaosium for $50, or, as I did, from Leisure Games in the U.K. for £25 (which, with the exchange rate and the British postal strike, added up to more than $50 and 2 weeks!).
November 23-30, 2003 If You Read it in Pravda, Its So
Straight from the GASLIGHT Yahoo group comes this recommendation: the online edition of Pravda reports There is another Sun and human civilization inside the Earth.
The main NAGS Society campus will be on hiatus through 30 November Dispatches resume on the First of December.
November 22, 2003 VSF on TMP
The Miniature Page is currently conducting a Victorian science fiction scenario design contest. One of the specifications is that it is set on Mars a completely different terra incognita but the entries do list sources for TI period miniatures and they are fun to read. Read the rules and start planning your Martian invasion.
November 21, 2003 Philip Burns Interests
Philip Pib Burns maintains a wonderful collection of links about his interests, which range from old TI chestnuts such as archaeology and cryptozoology to more wide ranging concerns like carbonated beverages and wrestling.
November 20, 2003 The Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers
Ive just sent off my check to join the ranks of the Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers. One of the benefits of membership is a subscription to their excellent magazine, Ragnorak. Its exactly what I want in a gaming magazine articles concerning a variety of genres, with a slightly off-kilter perspective. For example, you can find both Marcus Rowlands excellent Tusk scenario Where Pterodactyls Dare as well as a guide to gaming Thomas the Tank Engine on the Island of Sodor(!) Browse a large selection of articles from back issues to get a feeling for the magazine.
November 19, 2003 Uchronia
It has been quite awhile since the NAGS Society plugged a favorite, Uchronia: The Alternate History List. Robert B. Schmunk has assembled an extensive annotated bibliography of novels that ponder what might have happened in history. The introduction is a wonderful primer on what is alternate history.
November 18, 2003 Paranormal Internet Guide
The Middletown [New York] Thrall Library thoughtfully provides a Paranormal Internet Guide on their website.
November 17, 2003 Teotihuacan: City of the Gods
The NAGS Society is particularly interested in ongoing exploration of Teotihuacan, near Mexico City. This site maintained by Arizona State University offers some background, movies, maps, &c.
November 16, 2003 The Wayfarer Online
The Wayfarer Online is (was) a magazine devoted to roleplaying games. It seems not to have been updated since sometime last year, but the archives contain all the past issues. Buried without a direct link is the underwater game Depth Factor, mentioned on the Aquazone page.
November 15, 2003 Weird Mysteries
Let Weird Mysteries guide you to websites concerning all your favorites. Nota bene: many of the links are outdated and broken, but a few here and there are worth your time.
November 14, 2003 Aquazone
The members of the Schild en Vriend Miniature Wargaming Club in Leuven, Belgium dabble in gaming a variety of historical periods. Here’s an interesting experiment that could be adapted to TI: Aquazone: The Game of Deep Sea Exploration and Combat. Its obviously got a futuristic feeling to it, but add some brass and steam and youve got something new.
November 13, 2003 The Paranormal Database
Those with an interest in England and the paranormal will undoubtedly want to explore the Paranormal Database.
November 12, 2003 Arabia and Atlantis
I recently saw two movies that inspired a variety of adventurous excursions. The first was the classic epic Lawrence of Arabia (1962), apparently a faithful rendering of the exploits of T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt of 1917. The T.E. Lawrence Studies page will fill in those historical details that filmmakers missed.
The second picture was the animated Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001). Although in no way a classic, this steampunk adventure (set in 1914) is ripe for the picking.
November 11, 2003 When Terra Was Truly Incognita
Although this falls out of the TI timeline, sometimes one has to go to original source material. The website Le miroir du monde, ou Epitome du Théâtre dAbraham Ortelius reproduces a lovely world atlas from 1598, when terra was truly incognita. The text is in German, but non speakers (such as myself) ought to be able to find their way around.
November 10, 2003
and Some Paperclad Empires, Too
A couple of recent cardstock releases might be of interest to explorers in TI. The mad doctors at Microtactix have added a new weapon to their arsenal: Mad Lab 2: the Graviton Gun. You can also see the Microtactix page for some free Diabolical Devices to whet the appetite.
And what does any self-respecting madman do with a graviton gun? Raise an army of the dead, of course. The most recent Miniatures in Paper Showcase at PaperWorlds.com was devoted to horror: skeletons and zombies. You can download an eclectic horde of undead for the price of your time.
November 9, 2003 Ironclad Empires
Scheltrum Miniatures have just released several new miniatures in their excellent Ironclad Empires 28mm Victorian science fiction line. From the Jules Verne Class French Aerial Torpedo Destroyer to the Self Contained Gas Crystal Super Weapon to Dr. Octopuss Squid Pirates, Scheltrum can bring your Victorian imagination to life.
November 8, 2003 From Balloons to Zeppelins
Turning from Walts balloons to their larger cousins, here are two airship sites: Airships Online from the Airship Heritage Trust and the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen.
November 7, 2003 Balloonacy; or Le Grand Courses Des Aérostats
Walt OHara has done it again, translating another Victorian mania into humorous and entertaining game form. Balloonacy, or Le Grand Courses Des Aérostats is an outgrowth of Walts brilliant Le Grand Cirque racing game. The site recounts the initial outing at this years Cold Wars. Let us hope that more detailed guidelines are to follow.
November 6, 2003 Dinosauria
The University of California at Berkeley maintains a nice site concerning Dinosauria: Truth is Stranger the Fiction. The site offers some basic information, dispels some myths, describes the history of fossil hunting in the US, and provides links and bibliographical references for further study.
November 5, 2003 Karel Zeman and Jules Verne
Karel Zeman is a Czech director who made a number of experimental films in the 50s based on the works of Jules Verne. This page affords some images from Extraordinary Voyages (the text is in German), and this page will lead you to more Zeman related pages. Apparently the films blended animation and live action to evoke nineteenth century etchings.
November 4, 2003 BBC History
The British Broadcasting Companys history website is a fascinating online reference, centered primarily on Britain, but with a worldly perspective. Subsections include archaeology, science and discovery, timelines, wars and conflict, &c.
November 3, 2003 Londons East End
Johnos fascination with the unsolved Jack the Ripper case has led him to Londons East End and the sites of the murders. See his website for a look at the scene of the crimes, more than one hundred years on.
November 2, 2003 Thugee
With the recent release of the Indiana Jones saga on DVD, many a game masters mind will be turning to the nefarious Thugs. Heres a BBC page on the cult, and heres some information on their patron goddess, Kali.
November 1, 2003 Gothic Realms
WorldWorks Games recent release might interest TI players: Gothic Realms. This new cardstock dungeon can be used to create church interiors, catacombs, sewers, and other spooky gothic settings. See the website for an enticing Flash introduction.
October 31, 2003 Sherlock Holmes
Jens Byskov Jensens Sherlock Holmes Page is an excellent illustrated resource on Londons famous consulting detective, his possessions, and environs.
October 30, 2003 Commercial Roundup
Here’s a roundup of several commercial products available that might interest the discerning TI gamer:
Chaosium brings us the Parapsychologists Handbook, a look at this fascinating science and how it might be gamed in the late Victorian, 20s, and modern eras;
New Breeds Dark Continent the game of African exploration is now available in the US from Chaosium;
and, just in time for Halloween, the free Wizards Map-a-Week is a crypt.
October 29, 2003 The War Scholar
Particularly for the martially minded, we bring you The War Scholar: A Military History Timeline of War and Conflict Across the Globe, 3000 BC to AD 1999. It is an undoubtedly useful resource for trying to determine into which turmoil your Nags might stumble.
October 28, 2003 Tanzanica
Brett Abbots Tanzanica (a colonial campaign using Games Workshops Mordheim rules) has a nice section on finding Miniatures for Darkest Africa Gaming. The African History and Culture Resources are also useful.
October 27, 2003 Lets Go to the Film
The British Pathe Film Archive collects 3500 hours of fascinating film reels from 1896 to 1970. You can preview the footage for free or purchase them for commercial uses.
October 26, 2003 Archæology in Fiction
I previously Dispatched the address of Anita Cohen-Williams excellent online annotated bibliography of Archæology in Fiction not just the boring stuff, mind you, but archæology as it should be, with lost Roman legions and undiscovered races populating the Hollow Earth. Ive just discovered that Ms. Cohen-Williams has an even more extensive list of Archæology in Fiction at another site. Enjoy!
October 25, 2003 The Narwal
Reviresco has come out with a new 1:100 (15mm) Victorian Science Fiction cardstock submersible the Narwal. The craft is about 2 feet by 2.5 inches, $15.00, and intended to hunt the renegade Captain Nemo and his destructive Nautilus.
October 24, 2003 Virtual Roma
Anyone planning a Roman recursion should plan for a visit to Virtual Roma. The site features images, chronologies, treatises on Roman currency, and other sundries that can fill those knowledge gaps.
October 23, 2003 Sir Wilfred Thesiger
Last month saw the passing of one of the last great explorers of terra incognita, Sir Wilfred Thesiger. From his obituary: at the age of six he witnessed the victory parade of Ras Tafari - all glinting spears and captives in chains. The next year he went on a tiger shoot in India with his uncle, the Viceroy. After such excitements he found it difficult to fit in at his English prep school
. This page from Worlds Apart provides Thesigers condensed biography, while this offering from the Pitt Rivers museum gives you a glimpse of Sir Wilfreds spectacular photography.
October 22, 2003 Oz
Certainly within the TI timeline but worlds away geographically, L. Frank Baum’s Oz is a classic American fantasy setting. The Piglet Press Oz Encyclopedia is an excellent online resource for the multifarious world of Oz, including entries on all the characters, places, as well as links to interpretive articles. If you only know of Oz through the movie, try reading one of the original books by Baum its well worth your time.
October 21, 2003 Starting Points: Tarot
Dimensions Game Software has added a new online resource Starting Points: Tarot. If youre unfamiliar with Starting Points, they are free online scripts that provide inspiration for game masters. Topics include freakish phobias and mad manias, governments, geologic time periods, inventions, wars, explorers, &c.
October 20, 2003 Game Notes
Ive not done business with Boulder Games, but I enjoy their ocassionally-published Game Notes for insight reviews of the variety of games that come out each month. And, of course, the wisdom of Ken Hites Out of the Box is now hosted by GamingReport.com
October 19, 2003 Discussion by Gaslight
Referring not to the VSF wargame this time, but to the Gaslight Electronic Text and Discussion Site. To wit: Gaslight is an Internet discussion list which reviews one story a week from the genres of mystery, adventure and The Weird, written between 1800 and 1919. The chronology and links to the stories alone makes this site worth a visit.
October 18, 2003 An AllStar Jam
The new GURPS book slated for a January release looks interesting: GURPS All-Star Jam 2004. The rpg celebrity authors include Ken Hite on ghost hunting, Phil Masters on ghosts, muskets, and magic, William Stoddard on subterranean settings, and Brian Underhill on airships.
October 17, 2003 Victorian Heat
From Alternate Realities Publications comes Big Bang: The Mostly Illustrated RPG Guide to Firearms Vol. 4, a $3.50 pdf from RPGNow. The blurb states, This particular volume revolves around a document published in 1889, Small Arms of the European Armies. This volume looks back at the start of the era of modern firearms, detailing a number of weapons used around the world between 1870 and 1890. Included is a copy of the public domain 1889 article, which will provides [sic] valuable insight into the struggle of small arms advancement in the military. [Submitted by David Bruns].
October 16, 2003 Pantoffelhelden.de
Straight from the GASLIGHT Yahoo group comes this link to Pantoffelhelden.de: Home of Oldschool Wargaming. Inspirational to TI fans are the Old West, Atlantis 1881, and Blue Max pages.
October 15, 2003 The London War Room
And if your Victorian Pulp heroes are in need of suitable transport, the London War Room has a wonderful assortment of 25mm resin vehicles. The Mark VI traction engine and Mark VIII Leviathan Class Steam Battle Strider would suit any intrepid explorer.
October 14, 2003 Victorian Pulp
Dr. Dennis Denisofs Victorian Pulp is intended as a scholarly introduction to the lurid popular fiction of the Victorian era. The site provides some helpful links and the text of a number of penny dreadfuls.
October 13, 2003 Instant Campsites
New at the Little Grenadier, Gary Chalks webzine, are plans for Quick-build campsites cardstock campsites and accoutrements for fashionable explorers of terra incognita.
October 12, 2003 Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century
Matthew Whites Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century site is an impressive collection of maps of the world and all its components. Coupled with the extensive collection of links to other relevant sites, the Atlas is an invaluable resource.
October 911, 2003 On Assignment
Key members of the NAGS Society Ætherial Transmission Crew are on assignment for the next several days. Regular Dispatches will resume on Sunday. Until then, a few tidbits of interest:
TheHistoryNet offers an ever-changing smorgasbord of historical tidbits for easy consumption.
Paris: The Spectral City is a new pdf supplement for d20 pulp game Forbidden Kingdoms. The 160 digest-sized page pdf is listed as $8, but is currently available for $6.
Finally, for images of another fae haunted city, see the Collage website, a database of 20,000 images of London.
October 8, 2003 Just the Fax
Many technologies which seem to embody the information age actually had their roots in the steam age. One such example is the fax machine, the prototype for which was patented by the Scottish inventor Alexander Bain in 1843. See the HF Fax site for a history of the Victorian technology you still use in your office.
October 7, 2003 Skull & Bones
Of course, the Golden Age of Piracy is well outside the TI timeline, but how can one resist the lure of things piratical? Green Ronin’s newly released Skull & Bones is an excellent d20 resource for pirate gaming. The website features a free 11 x 17 map of the Caribbean.
October 6, 2003 Ancient American
Ancient American: Archaeology of the Americas Before Columbus is a print magazine whose editorial position stands firmly on behalf of evidence for the arrival of overseas visitors to the Americas hundreds and even thousands of years before Columbus not only from Europe, but the Near East, Africa, Asia, and the Western Pacific. The website features a number of free sample articles and images. [Submitted by David Crowell]
October 5, 2003 Flat Planet
One of the core mandates of the NAGS Society is to uncover, discover, and produce accurate cartographic representations of terra incognita. The FlatPlanet Map Catalogue is a great resource for a variety of excellent maps.
October 4, 2003 Toy Knights
ToyKnights.com carries a wealth of plastic miniatures, from Romans to vikings to pirates. While nothing falls within the TI timeline, strictly speaking, figures like these are great for pickup games or for introducing young folks to wargaming and roleplaying.
October 3, 2003 E-Roleplaying.com
Its been awhile since Ive plugged Dirk Collins excellent E-Roleplaying.com site. Dirks site features some excellent cartography and inspirational images for modern-era rpgs. Add a few game master tools, and you get a useful resource for any genre of roleplaying.
October 2, 2003 Steampunk Central
Sarah ODonoghues Steampunk Central website is an impressive collection of articles, images, fiction, and links on the subject. Particularly interesting are the photo tours of Artemus Gordons Wanderer the train from Wild Wild West and the Nautilus. I will note its an Angelfire site, so the quantity of popup windows is prodigious.
October 1, 2003 Another Pulp Pdf!
Otherworld Creations Forbidden Kingdoms Master Codex Babbage Edition is now available as a downloadable pdf for $8.00. Forbidden Kingdoms was among the first pulp d20 games. Heres a review of the print version on rpg.net.
September 30, 2003 Great Buildings
GreatBuildings.com is a useful resource for information of your favorite edifices. You can search the archives by building type or time period to find photos and many 3D walk-throughs using the free Design Workshop Lite software (which even works on Macintosh!).
September 29, 2003 Numericana
This page of the Numericana website offers some reasoned explication of a variety of mysteries, with a decidedly mathematical focus.
September 28, 2003 Book of Dark Wisdom
The first issue of the Book of Dark Wisdom, a new print magazine supporting all eras of Call of Cthulhu, is now available from the website, Chaosium, Noble Knight Games, and elsewhere. Check out the press release for the full contentsone adventure offers a mini-guidebook to New Yorks Greenwich Village in the 20s.
September 27, 2003 Over the Wire
Over the Wire Games has several interesting lines of skirmish rules and accompanying miniatures. England Invaded, for example, is an alternate fin-de-síecle scenario involving a German invasion of England. The 28mm miniatures are worth a look lots of desperate looking chaps brandishing clockwork pistols.
September 26, 2003 Alamut
Michael Blairs Alamut website is a clearinghouse of interesting tidbits for roleplayers and wargamers.
September 25, 2003 Delta 7 & the Seven Wonders
Delta 7 Studios features an impressive collection of cardstock models available for purchase on CD. Of particular interest to explorers of Terra Incognita is the series Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The celebrated Hanging Gardens of Babylon is available for free download, with the other six Wonders to follow. The upcoming White House and Nautical Legacy of Robert Fulton models will interest some, while the Space Pulp crowd will delight in Rosie Retrorocket. This series includes several great pulpy spacecraft as well as the Jules Verne Projectile Coach (the original of which, by the bye, was lent by the NAGS Society to the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., though it is cleverly labelled a model.)
September 24, 2003 More on the Pulpy Pair
I have updated information on a couple of pulp rpgs mentioned in a previous Dispatch:
Spectre Press, publisher of Matt Stevens Two-Fisted Tales, has merged with Politically Incorrect Games. The game is still available in print and pdf versions.
Pisces All Medias Golden Hero Pulp d20 Sourcebook ($10.00 pdf) has been updated and expanded by 75 pages.
September 23, 2003 Perspectives
Profantasy has released an expansion entitled Perspectives to their popular map making software Campaign Cartographer. Perspectives allows you to crete those marvelous isometric maps you see in commercial adventures. Unfortunately, the program doesnt (and apparently never will) run on Macintosh, so I cant offer a review, but it looks invaluable!
September 22, 2003 The Company of Crimson
I cant say enough good things about this site the Company of Crimson is a detailed campaign for roleplaying (live action, tabletop, and by email) set in 1897. Amidst this age of reason a group of friends are bound together by an interest in the Paranormal... Be it Hypnotism, Ghosts, Time Travel, Folklore or purely aesthetic appreciation of the Gothic... Using renowned Professor Flinders Petries country residence as a base for their gatherings....
September 21, 2003 Were Not in Kansas Anymore
This site about explorer/filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson is trying to sell you something, but it also provides an informative look at this fascinating husband and wife team.
Also, Bob Murch offers a first look at a forthcoming set of Pulp Figures: Safari Into Danger.
September 20, 2003 Guineazilla
The current number of the journal Science is reporting on the discovery of a fossil rodent. Not particularly engaging except for the fact that this particular specimen, which once roamed South America, was the size of a buffalo! Proceed to Science online to learn more about this creature discovered by the NAGS Society ten years ago. [N.B. You have to register with the site to read articlesits free to read abstracts and summaries, but access to the full scholarly articles costs $125.00, though there are discounts for academics and teachers.] Submitted by David Crowell.
September 19, 2003 Back on the Æther
Recovered from the ravages of hurricane Isabel, the NAGS Society is once again transmitting on all ætheric frequencies.
If youre in need of some specific weather-related data from the past, the WeatherForYou.com history page offers some useful tidbits.
September 18, 2003 Historias Paralelas
Among its numerous, excellent digital collections, the Library of Congress has put together this look at the relationship of Spain, the United States, and the American Frontier: Historias Paralelas. Youll find relavent texts, maps, and images from the fifteenth century to the Spanish-American War.
September 17, 2003 12 to Midnight
12 to Midnight is an interesting online horror setting written for d20 Modern, but minable for great ideas. The freely downloadable Journal of American Paranormal Research is in its second number.
September 16, 2003 Back to Old Wold Newton
The fine folks at Monkey Brain Books (who are bringing out the print version of Jess Nevins Victoriana website) have also announced the release of Win Scott Eckerts Creative Mythography: An Expansion of Philip José Farmers Wold Newton Universe. You can see whats to come on Wins Wold Newton Universe website (Ive mentioned it before).
September 15, 2003 Armies, Unknown and Undead
David Bruns has brewed up a new vintage of his Reptilian Fudge as well as an Unknown Armies inspired plug in. Head to the Games page of Daves website for a look.
Also, Gary Chalk has added an article to the Little Grenadier about kitbashing miniatures to come up with some undead pirates.
September 14, 2003 Horatios Drive: Americas First Road Trip
The new PBS Ken Burns film that premiers October 6, Horatios Drive: Americas First Road Trip, chronicles the 1903 cross country jaunt in a brand new Winton Touring Car. You can find out more on the Ken Burns site, including notes on the upcoming website to supplement the movie.
September 13, 2003 The Anomalist
This ones a keeper! The Anomalist: Unexplained Mysteries, Maverick Science, Unorthodox Theories, Strange Talents, Unexpected Discoveries.
September 12, 2003 Secrets of Egypt
You can count on our associates at the National Geographic Society to bring us the scoop on Egypt: The Secrets of an Ancient World.
September 11, 2003 Brookhurst Hobbies
Id like to relate the excellent service I received from Brookhurst Hobbies in sunny California: I ordered a passel of Peter Pig pirates on Monday morning and had them in my hands in North Carolina at noon on Wednesday (paying normal shipping, I might add). They carry miniatures, models, roleplaying games, artwork, and much more. They even ship overseas (though if youre closer to the source of an item, such as, say, Peter Pig miniatures, this obviously doesnt apply). Anyway, such extraordinary service deserves a mention.
September 10, 2003 United States Rocket Corps
Bob Murch of PulpFigures.com has released a new free set of miniature rules, United States Rocket Corps. Heres a bit from Doogans Digest to give you the scoop:
Doogan here and Im lucky to be alive.
Loyal readers will recall my harrowing rescue from certain death by a fantastic rocket man. I am now able to identify my aerial savior as Lieutenant Merian Archer of the United States Rocket Corp.
For nearly a year now, stateside rumors have been circulating about an elite new branch of the United States Army Air Service...
September 9, 2003 The World Through a Pinhole
Ive mentioned before that the best way to get ideas for absurd technology is to try it yourself. Its quite simple to learn about photography, for example, by making your own pinhole camera. Stewart Woodruff teaches you how to make a camera from an oatmeal box, while this Exploratorium page give instructions for turning a Pringles potato chip can into a camera obscura. Finally, Kodak offers its own version of a pinhole camera, one that doesnt even involve eating!
September 8, 2003 Imladris VII
This years Imladris a Polish science fiction/rpg convention in Cracow from October 24-26th has a steampunk theme. Check out the Imladris website for more information (or just plain inspiration, if you, as I, dont read Polish!). [Submitted by Krzysztof Janicz]
September 7, 2003 The Foundrys Library
I believe Ive mentioned it before, but the English miniature company Wargames Foundry, in addition to their extensive ranges of gorgeous figures, features a library of useful articles. Examples include Explorer Chic and Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson - A Painting Guide. Also, interestingly, they have the original Wargames Illustrated version of the Gary Chalk pirate ship.
September 6, 2003 South American Explorers
The South American Explorers website is useful for factual information about travel in South and Central America. Of particular interest is the article concerning theories about Easter Island.
September 5, 2003 Trevors Colonial Wargaming Page
Trevor Brabyns Colonial Wargaming Page is a treasure trove of expertly-painted figures, house rules based on the Sword and the Flame, and gripping battle reports.
September 4, 2003 Indiana Jones
For those who cant get enough of the behatted hero, Roy Fitzsimmonds presents the Indiana Jones Temple of Tales chock full of original, amateur yarns about the whip-wielding archæologist.
September 3, 2003
and the Temple of Foamcore
If youre in the market for an Aztec temple and cant afford real stone, David Kuijt comes to the rescue with his webpage Making an Aztec Step Pyramid.
September 2, 2003 Timecast
Timecast produces fabulous buildings for roleplaying with miniatures, wargames, or collectors. The wesite even features a great page of tips for adding details to scenes.
September 1, 2003 Half Way There
Awhile back on the EN World forums, I mentioned a thread challenging members to come up with 1,000 non-RPG websites for RPG ideas. An ENWorld member has now thoughtfully compiled the list of 500 websites into a spreadsheet for easy reference. Click here to view the thread and here to download the spreadsheet.
August 31, 2003 Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
I will freely admit that I dont know what any of this means. But I like it.
August 30, 2003 Leonardo Online
Straight from the GASLIGHT Yahoo Group comes this link to a fabulous site devoted to Leonardo Da Vinci from the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. Youll find a Leonardo chronology, information about his manuscripts, and a 3D tour of his inventions using VRML (which, of course, doesnt work on a Macintosh, so I cant tell you how they look).
August 29, 2003 Scrapheap Challenge / Junkyard Wars
Junkyard Wars Online is the support site for the English television show devoted to outré technology. As an example of the sort of madness they get paid to do, see this page on constructing clockwork cars.
August 28, 2003 A Steampunk Chronology
Krzysztof Janicz has assembled an impressive Steampunk Chronology, from 1965s Wild Wild West to a list of upcoming works in the genre.
August 27, 2003 Victorian London
The Dictionary of Victorian London goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide anything you might ever need to know concerning ones favorite city in ones favorite era.
August 26, 2003 Brain Bank
Brain Bank is a utile little collection of tidbits that everyone ought to know. Need to know the orders of mammals? The correct form of address of an English Baron? Try the Brain Bank.
August 25, 2003 The Steam and the Flame
Rob Beatties The Steam and the Flame is a cross between Space: 1889 and The Sword and the Flame. The site is inspirational for Victorian science fiction of all stripes.
August 24, 2003 Shadow Bindings
Joseph Tellers Shadow Bindings is an excellent, multi-genre, and best of all, free roleplaying game. There are three original settings: Victoria Eternal (Neo-Victorian Fantasy/Espionage), Night Watch (1950s Fantasy/Horror), and Mysterious Earth (1930s Neo-Pulp).
August 23, 2003 Red Kelso Finds New Home
Gary Chaloners online pulp comic Red Kelso, previously appearing every Wednesday on AdventureStrips.com, has moved to ModernTales.com. You can read the comic weekly for free, but to see the back issues you have to subscribe for $2.95 per month, or $29.95 per year.
August 22, 2003 WWI in Cardstock
Check out this website for some incredibly detailed WWI vehicles rendered in cardstock.
August 21, 2003 Revenge of Cthulhu
Heres your chance to get in on the ground floor and influence the creation of a new set of rules. J.P. Snowdon has posted a work-in-progress release of a new pulp miniature games, Revenge of Cthulhu. Download the rules, give them a spin, and then give your feedback on the Target: Earth forum.
August 20, 2003 1896
The Vassar College site devoted to the U.S. Presidential election of 1896 offers some interesting historical tidbits to spice up your late 19th century TI campaign.
August 19, 2003 Fearless Pulp
Check out Joe Colemans excellent Fearless Pulp site for some information and useful free downloads, including some Fudge and Elegant Roleplaying material.
August 18, 2003 Shades of Earth
Shades of Earth is a forthcoming roleplaying game set in an alternate pulp era. You can preview the art and download sample chapters from the Hinterwelt website.
August 17, 2003 Whitewash City Grows
Just back from an extended western perambulation, Mayor Eric Hotz reports that business in Whitewash City is thriving! More than ten new buildings include a grocer, boot store, land claims office, newspaper, three customizable establishments, the town church, the Orient Saloon, and four styles of houses.
August 16, 2003 Pulp Gear
For those who like to wear their pulp on their sleeve (and the rest of their torso as well), Fusiontees can put the cover of a classic pulp comic on a tee shirt. The historical crowd might prefer the Antique images.
August 15, 2003 Our Dynamic Earth
On your next visit to Edinburgh, Our Dynamic Earth looks to be an interesting stop. See the website for some fancy Flash animation to attract ones attention.
August 14, 2003 Nap Nuts VSF
The Nap Nuts Singapore Wargamers Group has posted some battle reports of their recent forays into the wilds of Victorian science fiction using GASLIGHT.
August 13, 2003 Microgames Museum
Those who have been gaming for awhile may remember the classic boxed microgame of the early 80s. The Mavericks Classic Microgame Museum can help you relive the nostalgia of a world in a small plastic box. You can read some more of my thoughts on the issue here.
August 12, 2003 Pulp Figures
Bob Murch at Pulp Figures has released a new collection of miniatures: Scientific Masterminds. Have a look at the rest of the figures to outfit your next adventure into the pulpy beyond.
August 11, 2003 Strange Magazine
Online source for the outré, Strange Magazine Number 22 is now available. See the website to subscibe to the free Strange Report to taste the strangeness before spending $5.00 for access to the Magazine.
August 10, 2003 Grey Ghost Goodness
If youve not been in awhile, have a look at the home of Fudge, the Grey Ghost Press website. Aside from trumpeting the well-deserved Origins Award for Gamemastering Secrets 2/e (which was mentioned in the Dungeon/Polyhedron I noted yesterday), the GG website features new links to Fudge resources, a new Fudge chatroom, an offer for a collectors edition of Fudge, and many more tidbits. Support for Fudge just begins when you download your free version.
And, if youve got your own Fudge notes lying about, consider typing them up and sharing them with the rest of the Fudge community. Support for Fudge continues to grow. Lets keep it as strong as possible!
August 9, 2003 Modern Pulp Heroes
The July issue of Dungeon/Polyhedron Magazine (#102/161) contains an update to the Pulp Heroes minigame from issue #149. The classes have been revised for d20 Modern, the Origins are now Starting Occupations, and there are a couple of new Feats. Im more excited by the great pulp setting, The Seedy Streets of Northport. Also, I loved the Iron Lords of Jupiter pulp sci-fi Minigame from the last Polyhedron, and this issue contains an article explaining how to Create and Alien World. NB: you can go to the Dungeon website, but as of this writing, they dont have any information regarding the new issue.
August 8, 2003 Would That It Were
Would That it Were, an online magazine devoted to historical science fiction, has a new number available.
August 7, 2003 Le Grand Cirque
Once again, global tensions are exacerbated. The world is on the brink. Theres only one solution; drive silly, dangerous conveyances in a race held in some dangerous, remote location and winner take all. From the genius mind of Walt OHara comes Le Grand Cirque, a comic take on Victorian science fiction. The site now contains all the rules you need to run a race, free for the download. Have a look at this detailed report of Le Grand Cirque du Yucatan for a taste of the madness.
August 6, 2003 While We Were Out
We missed Alter Ego Softwares GenCon re-release of their universal character generator application, Metacreator. You can use Metacreator to create Terra Incognita characters and vehicles and then print out completed character sheets. Click on the TI link for more information, screen shots, and a free demo version. Metacreator with Fudge Templates costs $24.95 and can be downloaded immediately.
July 29-August 5, 2003 Just One More Mission
One final scrap of business will empty the NAGS Society Home Campus for a week. Dispatches should resume August 6.
July 28, 2003
And who better to assist one in the search for mythical African fauna than the indefatigable duo of Stanley and Livingstone. See the Crawfurd.dk pages for more on Dr. Livingstone and Henry Stanley.
July 27, 2003 Mokele-mbembe
Those on the hunt for the elusive Mokele-mbembe, are directed to Mokelembembe.com, where you might find information regarding the cryptids appearance, behavior, and diet.
July 26, 2003 Tesartas Online Gaming Resource
Its been a loooooong time sice Ive plugged Tesartas Online Gaming Resource. Here youll find utile tidbits such as what happens to a human body following death, the probability of finding an uncharted island, and one hundred personality traits.
July 25, 2003 Pulp Magazine Heroes
Pulp Magazine Heroes is a generous collection of pulp-related links.
July 24, 2003 The Khemri Project
The Khemri Project is a source of inspiration and images for Egyptian adventures.
July 23, 2003 Its the Cutlasses Now, Men!
Owing to the release of the wondrous Pirates of the Caribbean, my mind has turned entirely to things piratical. In a timely fashion, Gary Chalk has made good on his promise to release plans for constructing 28mm pirate ships. Join the Little Grenadier to plunder the goods. If youd like to see a ship built using the plans as originally published in Wargames Illustrated, check out Andy Watkins and his lovely Jolly Jill.
July 22, 2003 Underwater & Maritime Archaeology
The Cyberpursuits Underwater & Maritime Archaeology website collects a plethora of links concerning the mysteries of the deep.
July 21, 2003 Harpers Weekly
Harpers Weekly was an influential American periodical throughout the time period covered by Terra Incognita (and it’s still going strong today as Harpers). The Harpers Weekly website features a number of free articles, and you can check with your local university to see if they have access to the complete, indexed archive. Theres no better way to learn about a time period than reading what they read.
July 20, 2003 Rosebuds WWI Aviation Image Archive
Rosebuds WWI Aviation Image Archive assembles an extensive collection of copyright free (I hope) images of WWI era aeroplanes and airships. The death photos are particulary evocative of the horrors of war and the dangers of new technology.
July 19, 2003 Abandoned Places
Henk van Rensbergens Abandoned Places website features his photographs of unused buildings and sites in Europe. These dramatic images should inspire any number of adventures in Terra Incognita. See the links page for the work of other like-minded photographers, including some in the United States.
July 15-18, 2003 Duty Again Calls
Still more secret duties necessitate broadcast silence from the home campus of the NAGS Society. Dispatches will resume this Saturday, July 19.
July 14, 2003 The Cave Pages
If you get the urge to explore terra incognita yourself, or just want to conduct a little research, you can find out more about those dark places from the National Speleological Society website. For still more, try the Cave Page.
July 13, 2003 Ponape!
B.C. OLearys Ponape website, featuring Victorian Piracy and Adventure in the South Pacific, is pure inspirational eye candy. Have a look at the rest of his website for more about building a whole world from polystyrene.
July 12, 2003 Lexus - Dwellings Volume 1
July 11, 2003 Paper Playground
Penguin Labs Paper Playground has released Terrain Pak 1The Fields of War. The $9.00 download gets you a variety of hills, fields, rivers, roads, bridges, hedges, shrubs, fences, walls, and small trees. Create your own world of cardstock.
July 10, 2003 Schlaghund Gets a Home
David Bruns website now has its own domainwww.Schlaghund.de. Check the Games page where you’ll find all of David’s Guideline Gazettes (optional rules for Terra Incognita) as well as Reptile Fudge, his homebrewed version of Fudge.
July 9, 2003 While Ive Been Away
Germs World (a great source for free cardstock buildings and terrain) turned two;
Microtactix released an expansion to Twilight Street (a set of gritty urban cardstock buildings); and
This weeks (7/4/2003) Pyramid features an excellent article by Hans-Christian Vortisch entitled In Her Majesty's Service: Weapons And Equipment of the Late Victorian British Soldier.
July 2 8, 2003 Silence Maintained on All Frequencies
All members of the NAGS Society home campus are in the field on super-secret Society business. Dispatches will resume on July 9.
July 1, 2003 Gutshot
Mike Mitchell & Mike Murphy of Hawgleg Publishing are hard at work on a new Western skirmish game, Gutshot. Its currently in the playtesting stages in Houston, but check out the website to get a taste of whats to come, and for a few great western adventure ideas.
June 30, 2003 Tales of Zimdar
Scott Matthews Tales of Zimdar site is a particularly useful colonial wargames site, with ideas to borrow, scenarios to adapt, painting advice to follow, and so on.
June 29, 2003 Intrepid Explorers
David Bruns has added a third Guideline Gazette Special on his website, this time detailing a quarter of pre-generated characters for a wilderness survival adventure. Just print it out and you’re ready to explore Terra Incognita.
June 28, 2003 An Honor Well Deserved
Through the years, quite a few Grey Ghost Games have been nominated for Origins Awards: Fudge Expanded Edition, A Magical Medley, Another Fine Mess, and even Terra Incognita. At long last, we have a winner! The most recent Grey Ghost Press release, Gamemastering Secrets, 2/e, has won the Origins Award for Best Game Aid. The entire membership of the NAGS Society offers its congratulations to publisher Ann Dupuis, author Aaron Rosenberg, and all of the excellent co-authors who made Gamemastering Secrets such a useful book.
June 27, 2003 Metacreator Incognita
Alter Ego Software, creators of the universal character generator software Metacreator, are currently hard at work building templates for Terra Incognita (and Five Point Fudge). If you are interested in beta testing the program when it becomes avaialable (and you use Windows), email Alter Ego. If youd like a taste, you can try demos of Metacreator for Fudge (and CORPS or Ars Magica. as well). Many thanks to the folks at Alter Ego from the NAGS Society and Grey Ghost Press!
June 26, 2003 Dark Wisdom
Coming in August, Dark Wisdom is a new print magazine devoted to Call of Cthulhu. The thriceyearly periodical will contain fiction, articles, reviews, and adventures for the original and d20 versions of CoC. Find out how you can submit by checking the submissions guidelines.
June 25, 2003 SeanAlonzo
From the man himself: SeanAlonzo.com is the official site of occult fiction author Sean-Alonzo, exploring symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition. The site looks nice, with lots of Flash animation and music, so be sure to bring your bandwidth.
June 24, 2003 The Adventures of Sir Rand McNally
For a nicely done colonial wargames page with loads of great ideas to steal, have a look at Sir Rand McNallys Colonial page.
June 23, 2003 Golden & Two Fisted Tales!
Pisces All Media has released a new d20 Pulp supplement entitled Golden d20 Hero Pulp sourcebook (148 page pdf; $10). If anyone has seen this and would like to pass along their comments, I would be happy to post them.
More eagerly anticipated, however:
Spectre Press has released Matt Stevens Two Fisted Tales (you get a 120 page pdf formatted for printing and 160 page pdf formatted for onscreen reading, $16, 10.1 MB). Two Fisted Tales was first available as a free pulp rpgone of the first, I believe. I cant wait to read this new incarnation!
June 22, 2003 More Unofficiality
Other online unofficial companion sites for period fiction include the Hardy Boys Unofficial Home Page, the Unofficial Nancy Drew Home Page, and the Unofficial Tom Swift Home Page.
June 21, 2003 Those Fantastic Victorians
This is not really new news, but fans of Jess Nevins Fantastic, Mysterious, and Adventurous Victorians website will rejoice to hear that Monkey Brain, Inc. plans to bring this magnum opus out as a book in 2004. Right now you can preorder Jess Heroes & Monsters: The Unofficial Companion to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
June 20, 2003 Steam Cars
The automobile has had a long and interesting history. The About.com inventors site features a great page describing early steam powered cars.
Also, todays (6/20/03) Suppressed Transmission in Pyramid Magazine deals with one of my favorite topics: the Mona Lisa.
June 19, 2003 Online Adventures from E-Roleplaying.com
Dirk Collins at E-Roleplaying.com has released the d20 Contemporary Adventures Generator. You can try a free demo version. While its intended for d20 modern games, the basics of the adventure are applicable to historical games as well. If you want something a little different, try the Terra Incognita Adventure Starter and Random Character Generator.
June 18, 2003 A Little Victoria Hawkes
Most gamers who use miniatures to enhance the roleplaying experience tend to use 25-28mm figures. Those for whom table space and painting time is at a premium might consider switching to 15mm figures. Numerous military figures are available (see the Miniatures Page), but until now, adventurer or civilian types have been limited to Irregulars Sir Harry and hunting party. Brigade Games has come to the rescue with a new line of 15mm GASLIGHT figures. The adventurers character pack includes:
Victoria Hawkes [the star of the Journals of Victoria Hawkes, American Civil War Scenarios for GASLIGHT] in Adventuring outfit (boots, jodhpurs, shirt, wide brimmed hat, rifle)
Victoria Hawkes in ACW Zouave outfit
Indiana Jones type adventurer. (Long coat, famous hat, pistol, bullwhip)
Colonel type adventurer - a shotgun, a pistol on each hip, ammo belts over each shoulder, suspenders, baggy white shirt, jodhpurs and windswept heroic hair
Evil Miliatry Officer Character (trench coat, officers hat, pistol)
Arab Henchman leader (Fez, eyepatch, pistol, Monkey on shoulder)
2 x Arab Henchmen (baggy pants, vests, one fez, one turban, scimitars)
June 17, 2003 The Hollow Earth, with Pictures
The V-J Enterprises site devoted to the Hollow Earth features Admiral Byrds secret diary, a nice map, and even photos of the opening in the North Pole!
June 16, 2003 War Factory
War Factory is, quite simply, one of the best sites I have seen for advice on painting miniatures and scratchbuilding scenery.
June 15, 2003 Pulp Project 1557
Members of the Pulp_Games Yahoo Group have decided to create a Whole Pulp Catalog using the Wiki format: Pulp Project 1557 (the intro page explains the title). As I understand it, Wiki allows you to contribute your knowledge to the collective document. As this grows, it will prove an extremely useful resource for games set in the pulp era.
June 14, 2003 Clues Unlimited
Clues Unlimited, a mystery bookstore in Arizona, has compiled this interesting list of mystery novels set throughout American history.
June 13, 2003 How Stuff Works
HowStuffWorks.com is an award-winning site that you can rely upon for clear explanations, helpful animations, and printable fact sheets on numerous complex devices.
June 12, 2003 I have returned. Major General Tremorden Rederring
After a lengthy hiatus, Major General Tremorden Rederring (also known as David Helber) has added some new material to his website. (Heres whats new.) If youve not explored its depths, the Generals website is an extraordinary resource for Nineteenth Century wargaming (and roleplaying). Youll find inspiring images and adventure ideas, helpful reviews of relevent films, links to sources for figures in a variety of scales, and step-by-step modeling advice.
June 11, 2003 Springs, Sprockets, & Pulleys
I just saw an installation by artist Steve Gerberich at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina. His creations, animated scenes assembled from junk other people throw away, were inspiring. Steves website will give you a taste, but you really have to see them in person to get the full effect. Springs, Sprockets, & Pulleys remind me of the sort makeshift technology in which Gadgeteers in the NAGS Society specialize.
June 10, 2003 South of the Sun
Atlas Games has brought back a long out of print Ars Magica supplement set in a fantastic Africa: South of the Sun. Heres a bit of the blurb: From their iron citadels, the Colossi of Dis rule their demon-haunted hills; the Queen of Niobia, monarch of the last refugees of ancient Carthage, leads Junos rites of worship; and Good King Prester John strives to forge a legacy of a united, Christian realm. Stranger wonders abound -- from the mysterious river Physon, whose banks are lined with jewels, to the fearsome Sphinxes of the Veldt, and the enigmatic dream-sorcerers of the Horn Jungles.
June 9, 2003 Scythians
The new issue of National Geographic features an article on finely crafted gold by the Scythians. Here are a few online resources concerning these ancient Middle Eastern horse masters: an article by Jona Lendering, the Horses of the Scythians, and the Scythia-Greek Mythology Link.
June 8, 2003 Night City
Microtactix has released a new set of cardstock urban buildings: Night City. While more modern than your usual TI campaign, inventive modelers could certainly adapt them or mine them for inspiration.
June 7, 2003 Rivets & Steam!
Rivets & Steam is a new website devoted to Victorian Science Fiction in general and the GASLIGHT skirmish rules in particular. The pictures are inspiring, youll find some house rules for GASLIGHT, and a nice collection of links.
June 6, 2003 Build the Nautilus
The Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Learning Center hosts this paper model of Nemos Nautilus. The webpage is bare-bones (the link to download the model is at the bottom of the first page) but it does provide images to guide you through the entire construction process.
June 5, 2003 Terra Incognita GMs at GenCon
The GM scheduled to run two TI events at GenCon (July 24-27 in Indianapolis, IN) has had to cancel. If you would like to take over the events Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27, from 12:30-4:30 please contact Ann Dupuis at Grey Ghost Press to discuss compensation. You can create your own adventure or use one that is provided.
June 4, 2003 Another Plug
Id like to give one more plug for Gary Chalks new online venture, The Little Grenadier. Gary emailed to assure me that the Magazine will eventually include all of his plans previously published in Wargames Illustrated. My favorite examples include the paddle river steamer and pirate ship (click on Vehicles and small details). Heres another pirate ship, this time built by Andy Watkins. The magazine also includes other nifties such as wargames rules, printable flags, &c. The subscription was 30 Euros (about $36 the day I subscribed). To me, well worth every penny.
June 3, 2003 Mini Science
The best way to understand technology is to try it for yourself. Mini Science is a collection of science projects for school children which can be fun to try yourself. When youve generated electricity with a potato, Nag Tech doesnt seem so strange
June 2, 2003 Around the World in 72 Days
The many adventures of Nellie Bly were one of my inspirations for the NAGS Society and Terra Incognita. Check out the PBS website describing Blys 1889-90 race around the world to beat Phileas Fogg.
June 1, 2003 Island of Lost Souls
If you can get your hands on a copy, I recommend the 1933 adaptation of the Island of Dr. Moreau titled the Island of Lost Souls. Charles Laughton is an oily rather than intimidating Moreau, while Bela Lugosi puts a wolfman suit to use as the Sayer of the Law. It would also seem that George Lucas lifted the make up from one of the beasts for his Sullustans in Star Wars. The movie departs from the original book by Wells, but agreeably so. I only wish it were longer.
May 31, 2003 The Universal General
And if Darkest Africa isnt sufficiently exciting, travel to Afriboria! Rudi Geudens Universal General website is a treasure trove of ideas for gaming in the worlds mysterious and exciting corners.
May 30, 2003 Back to Darkest Africa
The Foundrys superb line of 28mm Darkest Africa miniatures is again available, along with a number of free Africa articles for inspiration.
May 29, 2003 Two Fisted Tales Anon
Spectre Press has just released a free preview of Two Fisted Tales. The real deal will be available in mid-June as a pdf (120 pages formatted for printing, 166 formatted for the screen, plus tables, the Christopher Shy cover, and sundriesI dont see a price).
May 28, 2003 The Sphinx
No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot pass up any site concerning the Sphinx. Heres the Sunship site concerning the Sphinx and its mysterious history.
May 27, 2003 Sir Richard F. Burton on the web
Tim Spalding has put together an incredibly useful collection of resources on that intrepid explorer of terra incognita, Sir Richard F. Burton.
May 26, 2003 Cardstock Martian Tripod
I just remembered this link to a great cardstock Martian Tripod if youre anxious to get your war of the worlds started immediately.
May 25, 2003 Earth Mysteries
Earth Mysteries is a site devoted to, well, the Earths mysteries.
P.S.: Theres a TI-related thread beginning on RPG.net.
May 24, 2003 Planetary Maps
Robert Johnson has created some beautiful maps of the Earth and other interesting places.
May 23, 2003 Ingenious Inspiration
While these Fantasy Inspiration Cards from Imaginary Places are, obviously, intended for fantasy games, the principle is eminently adaptable to games in other genres. You can use the FATE combat cards for TI mêlées as well.
May 22, 2003 Patently Absurd
Heres an article from the BBC about those inventions that the uninitiated just might consider improbable.
May 21, 2003 Dreams Do Come True
Illustrator and wargamer Gary Chalk has debuted a new website, the Little Grenadier. The site combines a miniatures webstore and, more importantly, an online magazine (subscription £12 or free if you buy £25 worth of stuff in the shop) in which Chalk provides plans for wargames terrain and vehicles, as seen in various now-impossible-to-find issues of Wargames Illustrated. Check out the free sample plans for making a Greek Templemake it ruined and it’s a perfect setting for a TI adventure.
May 20, 2003 Action Classics! The War of the Worlds
If youve ever considered gaming a version of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, you can find a good bit of guidance in the Action Classics! War of the Worlds sourcebook by Chistopher McGlothlin. Heres what you get in the 112 page, $6.95 pdf file:
Following an introduction by James Cambias (auther of the excellent GURPS Mars) is the complete text of the novel with new illustrations (72 pages). Of course, you can get the book in a number of cheap, mass market paperbacks or online for free from the University of Virginia.
The sourcebook (pages 73-109; the last few pages are the OGL and advertisements) is helpfully formatted so you can print it out separately from the text of the novel. It opens with some cursory information on setting the scene in Edwardian England. Youll find some additional rules for the Action! System (which is also available for free). Next come game statistics (Action! System and d20) for the Martians and all of the other significant characters in the book. Ten pages of advice will help GMs to work PCs into the action of the novel or to change the story altogether. Just before the bibliography comes the all-important one-page summary of how to wargame the novel using the Monster Island rules.
This sourcebook will be extremely useful to those who want to jump into the War of the Worlds right away. If you know the book well (N.B.: more than half of the file is the text of the novel), or want to go in an entirely different direction, it may be less helpful. The original price of $4.95 seemed about right; it now has jumped to $6.95. One æsthetic note: you dont get the cool cover with the pdf file.
For those miniature fans out there, Reviresco has some nice 25mm martian tripods. Or, if youd prefer that screaming mob look, make a leap and order some 10mm tripods and troops from Pendraken (get the stock numbers from the Pendraken catalog and then email Blake at Papa Willies Wargames in the US). I just remembered this link to a great cardstock Martian Tripod if youre anxious to get your war of the worlds started immediately.
May 19, 2003 Brigade Games
I heartily recommend Brigade Games for your role-playing and miniatures needs. In my experience theyve been fast, friendly, and they carry an exclusive line of cool miniatures for GASLIGHT.
May 18, 2003 Germs World
I feel compelled to mention Jeremey Claridges excellent Germs World. Jeremeys site is full to bursting with cardstock buildings in a variety of scales (6mm, 10mm, and 25mm), all of them free for the downloading!
May 17, 2003 Crimson Skies Quick Start
The Crimson Skies website now has the quick start rules for the imminent collectible miniatures game.
May 16, 2003 Just a Speck
Here are some images from the Ananova site that bring home the point that Terra Incognita is just a speck in the cosmos. [Suggested by Dirk Collins thanks for all the help, Dirk!]
May 15, 2003 An Ocean of Links
This Coraweb Australia page collects links about ships and shipwrecks. [Suggested by Dirk Collins.]
May 14, 2003 America in the 1930s
For those whose campaigns are set in the USA during the Great Depression, the University of Virginia hosts a thoroughly useful site concerning America in the 1930s. Browse lists of radio programs, news stories, films, and a year-by-year timeline. [Suggested by Dirk Collins.]
May 13, 2003 Michigan Toy Soldier Co.
These days, miniatures come in a plethora of scales: 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 28mm, &c. In golden days of yore they were all one size: BIG! See the Michigan Toy Soldier Co. website for the modern version of these classic miniatures. Britains, the soldiers with which H.G. Wells played with his sons, are still for sale. [Suggested by Dirk Collins.]
May 12, 2003 Paleoclimatology
Looking for evidence of the Lost World? Check the resources available on this Paleoclimatology website by Steven Baum. [Suggested by Dirk Collins.]
May 11, 2003 The Real Raiders of the Lost Ark
This weeks Dispatches come courtesy of Dirk Collins at e-Roleplaying.com. The first is a story from Haaretz.com regarding the search for the real Ark of the Covenant.
May 10, 2003 Tom Swift
One of the great pulp heroes of the 30s was Tom Swift. I first got to know him through Viewmaster disks, but the books themselves are the best. Jonathan Cooper has put together a nice homage to Tom Swift, being the Complete Tom Swift, Sr. Home Page. You can find the text of the books for free at Project Gutenberg.
May 9, 2003 Gunga Din
Continuing my series of movies I should have seen a long time ago (which began with African Queen) I can heartily recommend Gunga Din. Inspired by a Kipling poem, the movie has English colonialists in India, Cary Grant, pitched battles, and those nefarious Thuggees who show up again in Indiana Jones.
May 8, 2003 Spring Cleaning
I’m in the process of tidying up the TI website, moving Dispatches to their proper category on the Links page, updating urls, &c. Please email me if you discover any dead or outdated links, or if you have a great website for a future Dispatch.
May 7, 2003 World Works
I dont know how I missed this one for so long, but World Works produces downloadable pdf cardstock buildings. All fantasy themed, of course castle, dungeon, village, and cave but an enterprising GM can always find a use for them. The website has really cool Flash trailers for the sets (big downloads but worth the wait, I think).
May 6, 2003 The Sphinx Temple
The Sphinx Temple has links and articles about my favorite Egyptian monument, the Giza Sphinx.
May 5, 2003 Mysteries of History
The U.S. News Online Site features a nice double issue on the Mysteries of History.
May 4, 2003 Technology Marches On
Ive mentioned before the excellent online reference Bartleby.com. One of the many sources available is the World History Encyclopedia which includes a useful list of Technological Developments from 1800 to 1914.
May 3, 2003 Wreckhunter
Look to Wreckhunter for all you need to know about shipwrecks and those who seek to uncover them. Among the finds described is the Worlds Oldest Wreck!
May 2, 2003 The Éole
Clément Aders Éole has always been one of my favorite airplane precursors a bat-like, steam powered craft with a comfortable looking cabin. Card Modelers Online has a 1/72 card version for free download (down near the middle of the page).
May 1, 2003 The Sphinx
This one comes via the rpg site Ogre Cave: Wargods of Ægyptus features a prepainted, 28mm scale resin sphinx, a steal at $75.
April 30, 2003 African Images
While the text is in Swedish (I think) which I dont read, the NationalMuseet site features scads of scans of pictures from 19th century African colonies.
April 29, 2003 Ghoulash
Heres a little something to entertain you between sessions of TI Ghoulash: The Last Game on Earth. Its a fun, free boardgame about potting ghouls with lots of support on the website.
April 28, 2003 Vanishing Point
Stephen Goodfellow offers some interesting mathematical philosophizing about the master plan behind the Pyramids at Giza.
April 27, 2003 First in Flight?
We just passed the centenary of the first flight by New Zealand inventor Richard Pearse, months before the American Wright brothers flew in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Pearse didnt get far, and ended up in a bush, but some argue that he made the first sustained, controlled flight. See his website for a few of his other inventions, such as a mechanical guitar musicbox and the Convertiplane.
April 26, 2003 E-Publishing
A new release on RPGNow.com might interest those who dream of polishing those notes and releasing their own rpg. The ePublisher Guide offers 80 pages of industry-insider know how from writers such as Sandy Antunes, Clinton R. Nixon, Monte Cook, Jim Butler, John Nephew, Gareth-Michael Skarka, and more.
April 25, 2003 Mexican Adventure
Tim Gisby Peterson has been updating his webpage devoted to the Mexican Adventure, when the Austrian Maximilian sat on the Mexican throne.
April 24, 2003 British Empire
Stephen Luscombe created a useful site devoted to the British Empire. The site includes maps, biographies of eminent Britons, an extremely useful timeline, and numerous other tidbits that I havent yet discovered.
April 23, 2003 Landships
One of the martial innovations introduced in World War I was the landship, commonly called the tank. Peter Kempf has put together Landships a wonderful website devoted to modeling WWI tanks.
April 22, 2003 Hidden Mysteries
Hidden Mysteries is an online bookstore specializing in items of interest to the discerning TI player: pyramids, the hollow Earth, hidden science, conspiracies unveiled, &c.
April 21, 2003 Alchemy
Adam McLeans Alchemy website features an expansive repository of articles, images, links, &c. just about everything one would need to set up shop.
April 20, 2003 Paper Worlds
Anyone who shares my Victorian enthusiasm for paper miniatures will be glad to see this new online resource: Paper Worlds is devoted to modeling and gaming with cardstock miniatures, buildings, and terrain. The site features news, reviews, links, and a growing library of free downloads.
April 19, 2003 Starting Points
Dimensions Game Software has introduced Starting Points little scripts that spit out random tidbits as inspiration for rpg adventures. They also have an online dice roller that does Fudge dice!
April 18, 2003 War of the Worlds
Anticipating next months new release, Gold Rush Games has released a free 12 page sample of Action! Classics: War of the Worlds.
April 17, 2003 Mysterious People
Here is a wonderful site to complement all those places of mystery: Mysterious People.com. GMs should have no trouble coming up with adventures involving these enigmatic folk.
April 16, 2003 Inspiration Incognita
Here are a couple of press releases for inspirational material. First up, Tri Tac Games has announced that they will produce a d20 version of Bureau 13 this August. Gaming Report has the press release. Second, Chaosium has released H.P. Lovecrafts Arkham, statted for both d20 and BRP, and incorporating material from the out-of-print Arkham Unveiled and Compact Arkham Unveiled.
April 15, 2003 Grey Ghost Goes on the Record
The About.com roleplaying site has an interview with Ann Dupuis, the publisher Terra Incognita. Readers will learn, among other things, the origins of the name Grey Ghost Press.
April 14, 2003 Covered Wagon
Covered Wagon is an appropriately-titled site devoted to Old West gaming. Youll find a lot of links to current western RPG publishers as well as other online resources that might be of use.
April 13, 2003 Tombs!
Mysterious, ancient burial places can be the heart of many a TI adventure. While intended for fantasy games, Dreaming Merchant Press’ new pdf release, Tombs!, is a 44 page guide to tomby adventuring. (Note: Ive only read the description at RPG Now, not the file itselfif any one does get to read it, feel free to send a review).
April 12, 2003 Guns and More Guns
From the desk of David Bruns comes Guideline Gazette Special 2: Guns Revisited. Get it here or at Davids site, Schlaghund Games.
April 11, 2003 Bobs Bits
While primarily geared towards tabletop wargaming, Bobs Bits/Wargrid Terrain is a wonderful way to put together expansive cardstock layouts in a variety of scales on the cheap. The Wargrid website has wonderful images to whet the appetite, and this page has an independent review of the 6mm buildings.
April 10, 2003 Antikythera Again
Last year, the Economist magazine ran an article on the Antikythera device. Its brief, to be sure, but its always nice to read about an old friend.
April 9, 2003 African Queen
I finally saw the Bogart/Hepburn, African river adventure classic African Queen. Heres a link to a website featuring the actual boat used in the movie.
April 8, 2003 Fly the Crimson Skies
As the proud new owner of the old FASA Crimson Skies boardgame (thanks to luck and Ebay), I will note that the new Crimson Skies website for the latest incarnation, a collectible miniatures game by Wizkids, is now up and running. [Link fixed; Thanks David!]
April 7, 2003 Just Dont Try to Stoke the Boiler
Ed Bertschy has created this 1:20 scale model of a late Nineteenth Century steam engine. If youre a careful builder, all of the parts actually move!
April 6, 2003 Colossal
The Steve Jackson Games Daily Illuminator scooped me on this one, but scientists in the Ross Sea of Antarctica captured a young Colossal Squid. CNN has the Reuters version of the story while the AP take is on USA today.
it is an extremely active and extremely aggressive killer, says scientist Steve OShea.
April 5, 2003 By Jingo!
Ive mentioned it before, but Chris Ferrees By Jingo website is a treasure trove of ideas for games set in the glorious Nineteenth century. Examples of interesting articles include Ubonga: A Solo Campaign For Darkest Africa! and Ships For Land, Sea, And Air by Gerard Boulianne (AKA VonHindenblimp).
April 4, 2003 Victorian Adventure Gaming
For those who enjoy exchanging ideas with like-minded souls via email groups, here is another of interest: the Yahoo Victorian Adventure Gaming group.
April 3, 2003 Steam Power
The University of Rochester, NY history department hosts the Steam Engine Library, a wonderful collection of primary documents concerning the development of steam power, from first century Hero to Parsons of the late-Nineteenth century.
April 2, 2003 Canvas Eagles
Canvas Eagles is a free set of rules for WWI dogfights using 1:72 scale aircraft models, compiled by Eric Hotz. The neat part is that you equip your little biplane with a telescoping antenna and zoom it up or down to indicate elevation. The pictures on the website tell the whole story.
April 1, 2003 Mamod Model Steam Engines
Although they are a bit pricey, Wilesco sells actual steam-powered vehicles and engines, available either pre-assembled or as a kit. The models burn a fuel tablet and then the engine propels the vehicle with satisfying puffs of steam.
March 31, 2003 Master List
For the technologically and historically minded, I discovered the Master List of Inventions, from 1450 to 1950, from the printing press to the Polaroid. Now when youre creating your own fantastic technology, you can see what your competition was up to
March 30, 2003 Gratis Weirdness
For those who have put off trying Pinnacles Deadlands all these years because of the cost, you now have no excuse: the Deadlands Players Guide is available for download from RPGNow for only the cost of your time.
March 29, 2003 Men of Steel, Tanks of Cardboard
Brian Broocks Victorian Science Fiction page features some impressive scratch-built vehicles.
March 28, 2003 Guideline Gazette Vols. 3 & 4
David Bruns has been hard at work, bringing us two new Guideline Gazettes. Volume 3 is devoted to vehicles, including some new Gifts and Faults and a garage full of sample vehicles. Volume 4 covers Friends and Foes, with some brand new rules for using contacts and a rogues gallery of potential enemies. Get them at Davids website.
March 27, 2003 1893
1893: A Worlds Fair Mystery is a CD ROM text mystery game with period photos. Ive just ordered my copy, so a complete playtest report will be forthcoming.
March 26, 2003 Lego Incognita
David Bruns has pointed me back to Legos Orient Expedition line (and provided todays catchy headline), where I discovered a few new additions to the site. Check out the Story & Games section for an online, Flash-based game, The Restless Mummy (intended for children, of course, but one can regress from time to time), and an Orient Expedition boardgame which, of course, requires you to buy all the sets to play. It would seem to be a junior CCG or nascent RPG the characters have stats and everything!
March 25, 2003 Monolith Designs
Monolith Designs features a wide range of 25mm resin buildings: spooky ruins, Egyptian tombs, Aztec temples, African huts, even WWII bunkers.
March 24, 2003 Steampunk Wikipedia
The Steampunk Wikipedia page has a serviceable bibliography as well as links to a zillion other related topics.
March 23, 2003 Zombies
I recommend my latest two rpg purchases: Pulp Zombies and Fistful o Zombies. Both books are supplements for Eden Studios All Flesh Must Be Eaten, so youll need the core rules if you want to use Unisystem, but I find the rules sufficiently Fudge-like to allow for easy translation. Both books give some background on the era, detail weapons and equipment, &c. Then each describes several possible Deadworlds in which zombies walk the Earth. Hollow Earth is my favorite of the pulp offerings, a melange of the classic and inspired, including a climactic appearance by an unexpected undead beast. From Fistful (written by Shane Hensley of Deadlands fame) I offer this choice: Spaghetti with Meat or Dances with Zombies. How can you go wrong?
March 22, 2003 A&E by G, Heromachine, and the Lost Temple
Regarding Adventures and Expeditions by GASLIGHT (which I mentioned back in February), author Chris Johnston has now added some properly Victorian paper miniatures he made using Heromachine.
The latest Map-a-Week of the Lost Temple reveals the main catacomb, first level.
March 21, 2003 Biplanes Aplenty
David Bruns has sent along a smorgasbord of sites concerning WWI-era aircraft:
March 20, 2003 Unknown Ancient Hellenic History
If youre in need of a secret backstory to tie all of your campaigns loose ends together, try some Unknown Ancient Hellenic History. The site has got Greek pyramids, great technology (the Antikythera mechanism and the Pharos of Alexandria), proof that Ulysses travelled to North America, and even a link to the Anasazi. A little something for everyone.
March 19, 2003 Whats an Aeolipile?
If youre not sure, have a look at this website. If youre careful and can follow directions, the site even tells you how to make one.
March 18, 2003 Revealer.com
Revealer.com is yet another spot on the web that uncover the real truth for you. The most substantial bit would seem the be the pdf Secrets of the Sphinx, which costs $2.00, on the honor system.
March 17, 2003 Irish Myths and Legends
Here are some Irish myths and legends to ponder on this St. Patricks Day.
March 16, 2003 Steampunk 2
Steampunk 2 is a reasonably new site devoted to Victorian Adventurers in a Past that Wasnt.
March 15, 2003 Encyclopædia Britannica
You really cant beat the Encyclopædia Britannica as a one stop source of information. If you cant make it to your local library or you want to do some research on the go, have a look at the online version. It seems you can try it free for 72 hours; after that, you have to pay for access. But the Britannica is certainly a name you can trust!
March 14, 2003 A Few More Plugs
Here are a few random plugs to close out the week:
David Bruns has created a handy Goon Sheet for keeping track of minor NPCs. Its part of the Gazette Guideline Special on Davids games page.
The second map of the Lost Temple is available from Wizards of the Coast.
Finally, theres a great article in todays Pyramid on Nan Madol, the Machu Picchu of the Pacific.
March 13, 2003 No Mans Land
Wizards of the Coast has released a new free adventure for d20: No Mans Land. Set in the modern day with a World War I theme, this adventure could easily be adapted for TI.
March 12, 2003 More Miniatures
Dirk Collins (of e-roleplaying.com) suggests having a look at RavensForge Miniatures for your tabletop Terra Incognita needs. I especially like the bipedal triceratops. And, straight from an advert on the back of the new Dragon magazine, come the Dunwich Detectives, a set of prepainted 28mm pewter 1920s detective figures from Crystal Caste. They are apparently too new to be available in the US, but those in Europe can get them at EM4Miniatures.com.
March 11, 2003 Shopping Incognita
TI: The NAGS Society Handbook has an expansive list of everyday items and their prices in the 1890s and 1930s, both in dollars and pounds, for when your Nag has to buy some knick-knack on the go. Here are three more online resources for Nineteenth Century prices: 19th Century Prices by Stephen Mann is a distillation of the 1897 Sears & Roebuck catalog (which was my source for many prices); Provisions and Prices focuses on the American West towards the middle of the century; and How Much Stuff Cost Long Ago offers an indirect, quick and dirty route: simply multiply an items current price by the appropriate decimal (listed by decade, from 1800 to the 1990s) and you have an approximation of the price.
March 10, 2003 Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Alaa K. Ashmawy has assembled a wonderful site devoted to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Check out the Other Wonders page for some other wondrous sites around the world.
March 9, 2003 Secrets Unveiled
For a free, online example of the quality articles in Grey Ghost Press latest release, Gamemastering Secrets, visit John Kims RPG Page. He features Genre and Setting Simulation: Perils, Pitfalls, and Possibilities by Steven S. Long, reprinted with permission. Look in the Articles and Tips section of the GM Secrets website itself for an excerpt from Ken Hites piece on research as well as Warren Shulzabergers great pulp how-to (exclusive to the site).
March 8, 2003 Need a Date?
If you have need of some specific chronological information for your TI campaign, here are two utile resources: either 10,000 Year Calendar or Timeand Date.com can let you know that February 12, 1809 was a Sunday, with a new moon two days later (actually, you only get moon phases on the latter).
N.B. Dave Bruns has updated the Guideline Gazettes (volume 1 and volume 2) with a spiffy new logo.
March 7, 2003 Lost Temple
This months free Map-a-Week from Wizards of the Coast details a Mesoamerican style Lost Temple. This week we get the overview; coming weeks will bring more details. Note especially the classic rotting vine bridge that crosses the river. If youve not checked them out in awhile, have a look at Wizards free fold up paper buildings and the rest of the map collection. Free adventure is there for the taking.
March 6, 2003 Old (English) Maps
Old-Maps.co.uk hosts an extensive collection of digitized historical maps of England. You can zoom in to your desired level of magnification and print out those you like. Try the enlarged view to get the big picture.
March 5, 2003 New from Pinnacle
Pinnacle (publisher of Deadlands) has a few new announcements that might interest TI players: first the Deadlands Resource Center is an impressive collection of Deadlands related information, and includes the beginnings of a new setting London: The Old World intended to bring the Old West into the Old World. Pinnacle also has a sneak peak at some pulpy artwork for their Savage Worlds Action Deck. You can read more about the action deck here.
March 4, 2003 Deep Pulp
Deep 7s 1PG series features a variety of genres, including pulp: Dime Heroes and the supplemental Jungle Adventures. These are by no means new, but I admit that I just got around to reading the adventure ideas and found them inspired. If youre in the mood to spend a few dollars on a downloadable pdf, a Deep 7 1PG could do the trick.
March 3, 2003 Virtual Fudge Dice
David Bruns has created a Fudge dice roller for OpenRPG. Youll find it along with a manual on his website, Schlaghund Games.
March 2, 2003 Cairo Moon
Cumberland Games & Diversions has released a new set of Sparks paper miniatures in the form of a font: the pulpy Cairo Moon. As with all the Sparks sets, S. John Ross provides enough character hooks for you to create your own campaignjust add rules (Fudge will do nicely!)
March 1, 2003 Thrilling Adventures Updated
Tim Hartins Thrilling Adventures website, created in support of the PulpHeroes d20 rpg in Dungeon/Polyhedron #90, has a number of new updates since our last visit. Pulpy inspiration is there for the taking.
February 28, 2003 The Great Unknown, The Great Explorers
The Great Unknown, The Great Explorers, an expansively named website devoted to that perennial favorite lost explorer, Colonel Percy Fawcett, has its own web address. Youll find here everything you ever wanted to know about the elusive colonel as well as loads of inspiration for a Lost World adventure in South America.
February 27, 2003 Wide World Adventures
Wide World Adventures is a new webpage devoted to a pulp setting (it even name checks Terra Incognita). The most significant portions thus far are a list of arcane tomes and a well developed set of d20 rules for voodoo.
February 26, 2003 Add-on to Whitewash City
Eric Hotz has released five sets of Add-on files to customize your Whitewash City cardstock buildings. Sets include new doors and windows, new signs, wanted posters, backs for the false fronts (complete with realistic paint drips from sloppy painting), a shed to transform the sheriffs office into another building, and, the newest, a set of furniture and weapons flats.
February 25, 2003 GASLIGHT
There have been a number of rumblings of progress in the world of GASLIGHT, known expandedly as Glorious Adventures in Science Loosely Involving Generally Historical Times. The authors have unveiled a new GASLIGHT website and announced the imminent release of a new rpg, Adventures and Expeditions by GASLIGHT. For the uninitiated, GASLIGHT is a set of rules for conducting tabletop skirmishes among miniatures and fantastic steam-age conveyances. The website has some pictures to give you a better idea.
February 24, 2003 Random Suggestions
From Guideline Gazetteer David Bruns come the following suggestions for using the Low Tech, pen and paper TI Random Character Generator: To introduce the use of a General Skills Point, if the skill point distribution roll calls for one skill point, treat it as a General Skills Point, rolling for three skills in separate groups. (You might want to add additional possibilities David also describes and interesting randomizing method using playing cards:
Take a deck of poker cards and separate the cards by suit. Aces count as 1, Jacks as 11, Queens as 12 (Kings are not needed, as we have no d13). Make 4 stacks (each consisting of cards of the same suit) one from 1 to 8, one from 1 to 10 and one from 1 to 12. Use the appropriate stack in exchange for a corresponding die but DO NOT reshuffle when determining the Skill Groups and associated Skills! This way you never have to re-roll if you get a skill/group you already rolled.
February 23, 2003 Worlds Fairs
Worlds Fairs were a popular venue for showcasing new technology. This site from BoondocksNet.com provides an index of expositions from 1876 to 1916, mostly those held in America. For more information, try a Google search on individual fairs.
February 22, 2003 The Terra Incognita Adventure Starter
The same picked body of Gadgeteers who labored so admirably for untold years to bring you the TI Random Character Generator have once again triumphed. The NAGS Society is proud to bring you the Terra Incognita Adventure Starter!
Call upon this Babbage Engine-powered utility whenever you are mired in a creative quandary or in need of an immediate adventure idea. Ignore the chronological and geographical information if irrelevant to your campaign. And, of course, fudge details as you wish.
Some combinations will require a modicum of ingenuity to explicate. But then again, is not that the point of a random adventure starter?
Refresh this page (or the Adventure Starter homepage) for a new starter each time.
February 21, 2003 Frank Reades Victorian Airships
From BigRedHair (the same folks who brought you the adventures of Boilerplate) comes Frank Reades Victorian Airships: Frank Reade Jr. and his daughter, Kate Reade, were the greatest explorers and inventors of the late 19th century. Their exploits were recorded in hundreds of magazines, including their own Frank Reade Weekly Magazine.
Or, Check out his Femopolis, a graphic novel.
These people are geniuses.
February 20, 2003 Beyond Heroes
Marco Ferraros Beyond Heroes website has a lot of great suggestions for roleplaying. For example, theres some great suggestions for adventure hooks.
February 19, 2003 Modus Operandi and Adventure Advice
Modus Operandi is a website devoted to the Spycraft RPG (which in itself could be of interest to TI players, but of particular interest are a series of five articles by Dru Pagliassotti concerning Adventure Writing.
February 18, 2003 LXG
Fans of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic might be interested to see the movie trailer. Youll soon be able to check out the official LXG site as well.
February 17, 2003 Yet Another Cardstock Cowtown
Studio 33 and the Virtual Armchair General bring you yet another cardstock cowtown: Buffalo Chip (click on the bannerframes again). As with the previously mentioned Bhoys Towne, this one comes preprinted rather than as a downloadable pdf. And like Bhoys Towne, it looks great but will break the bank ($180.00!! for the whole enchilada).
February 16, 2003 Low-Tech Random Character Generation
If you have the desire to generate random Terra Incognita characters on the road but you don’t have a portable ætheric connection to the Online Random Character Generator, then todays download is for you: The Terra Incognita Random Character Generator. A four page pdf file (about 360 Kb on NAGS Society servers) that puts the polyhedral dice back into your hands.
February 15, 2003 Fear and Loathing in Terra Incognita
From the intrepid David Bruns comes the Terra Incognita Guideline Gazette, vol. 2: Monsters & Fear. This time, David describes a useful method for introducing fear and Resolve checks into your Terra Incognita campaign, and includes some useful advice for determining just how horrific that fearsome foe might be. Get it at Davids website.
By the bye, David has also updated the Guideline Gazette, vol. 1, which I somehow missed.
February 14, 2003 The Eye of Kilquato
New in the Adventure Resources, a link to The Eye of Kilquato by Shane Hensley from Pinnacle. Date: 1939. Setting: South America. Cast: Buck Savage, Virginia Dare, Danny Dare, Doc Gold, and Kator the Ape Boy. Price: Free. How can you go wrong?
February 13, 2003 Madison Gamers
The Madison [Wisconsin] Gamers (formerly the Last Square Gamers] host a wonderful webpage concerning the exploits of Sir Peter de G. as he bashes his way across the unknown reaches of the Dark Continent, Darkest Asia, and Beyond. The site contains loads of inspiration, particularly the variety of vehicles used by Sir Peter and his comrades.
February 12, 2003 Victorian Women Writers Project
The Victorian Women Writers Project is an online source for texts by Victorian women authors, notable and obscure.
February 11, 2003 High Flying Clicky, Kriegy Pulp
For those interested in the pulpy end of the TI timeline, two games can serve as great idea mines: Crimson Skies and Gear Krieg. Crimson Skies began as a board game by FASA, transmogrified into a computer game by Microsoft, and is now being reborn as one of those clicking miniature games from WizKids. Gear Krieg (Dream Pod 9) is a miniatures game with a sourcebook for playing as an RPG.
February 10, 2003 Explorers Society
The new d20/7th Sea sourcebook from Alderac Entertainment might be of some use to TI players: The Explorers Society. While it probably has a fantasy/swashbuckling bent to it, Im sure it will have lots of great ideas to plunder. (As I write this, the blurb is on Alderacs front page. It may later move I couldnt find a page devoted to the book itself.)
February 9, 2003
and a Ruined Castle to go with it
Gary Williams and Microtactix have created the perfect set of modular cardstock ruins for your Nags to explore the Vyllage-on-the-Cheep Castle Ruins and Vyllage-on-the-Cheep Ancient Ruins. Use these sets to assemble a variety of ancient sites in need of exploring.
February 8, 2003 A Cardstock Cavalcade
I have some updates regarding some previous Dispatches. Bhoys Towne from The Virtual Armchair General is now available for order. Click on the Bhoys Towne banner for more information and photos of the sets. The buildings come printed on cardstock (they are not available as downloadable pdf files) and one would need deep pockets to acquire the whole set. They do look beautiful, however.
I cant resist another plug for Eric Hotz updated Whitewash City. The website now features photos of the buildings in action. Im nearly finished with mine and hope to post some photos as soon as I can lay my hands on a digital camera. I must say that Eric has been extremely responsive in customer service, even going so far as to act on my suggestion to widen the balcony of the Grand Hotel to allow miniatures with 3/4 inch bases to stand on it. If you have any desire to assemble a whole western town quickly, Whitewash City is an excellent choice.
February 7, 2003 Victoriana
This May, Heresy Gaming will bring us Victoriana, a Steampunk Genre Role Playing Game set in a Dark Industrial world based on our own Victorian Era, according to the website. Check the downloads page for some preview material.
February 6, 2003 Chinese Tombs
The University of Washington provides this site concerning ancient Chinese tombs.
February 5, 2003 Steam Power
Here is a site devoted to steam technology as it really was in the beginning: Historic Steam Models. The site sells working scale models of historic steam engines. Just looking at the ads is inspiring!
February 4, 2003 The Crystal Palace and Fudge Factor
Forwarded from the Steampunk Yahoo Group to the GASLIGHT Yahoo Group comes something of note to those interested in Victorian history. J. Max Johnson posted some images he created as a Steampunk patch for Furcadia, a Massively Multi-player Online Social Game (MMOSG) with an isometric perspective, according to the website. Anyway, the images are an intrepretation of the Crystal Palace, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 (and about which I wrote an article for Pyramid Magazine). If you are at all interested in the Crystal Palace, have a look at the images: Entrance, Pavillion, difference engine, and airship.
Also, the new issue of Fudge Factor is up.
February 3, 2003 E-Roleplaying.com
Dirk Collins, creator of the Tamerthya 25mm Floorplans, has renewed his online presence as E-Roleplaying.com. The floorplans are still there (now at a new and improved 30mm), along with a number of other resources for roleplayers, including a mention of TI.
February 2, 2003 Stone House Miniatures
Stone House Miniatures makes a glorious set of Meso-American pyramids for use with 15 or 25mm figures. Next time your Nags are hacking their way through the dense South American jungle, you can really show them what they find.
February 1, 2003 RPG Freelancers Guide
To those interested in freelance writing in the rpg market, the first RPG Freelancers Guide has been released. You can have a year’s worth for $20 (US) or $3 for the first issue. The 399 (!) page pdf file contains guidelines from your favorite publishers from 01 to Wingnut Games, reviews, resources, articles, &c.
January 31, 2003 A Buyable Bibliography
In anticipation of the upcoming release of their new rpg Zeppelin Age, Heliograph is making some resources available on their website. First up is the Pulp Fiction Buyable Bibliography, a guide to getting your hands on the pulps.
January 30, 2003 Bhoys Towne
The Virtual Armchair General has an upcoming miniature release from Studio 33 productions that might interest TI players: Bhoys Towne, cardstock buildings appropriate for any 19th century urban area.
Also, please see my correction to yesterdays dispatch.
January 29, 2003 RPG Index [Correction]
If you are trying to track down that rare rpg, have a look at Sebastian Dietzs RPG Index. The index has, at present, nearly 1400 games and 12,000 rpg products an impressive listing, to say the least. [Yesterday I mistakenly attributed RPG Index to Pen & Paper (P & P has its own RPG database, but is unassociated with RPG Index].
January 28, 2003 A Motherlode of Miniatures
This Teradex site is an expansive annotated list of miniatures manufacturers. If you are look for miniatures of any kinds youre sure to find it on this list.
January 27, 2003 A Castle on the Hudson
Perched above the Hudson River in New York State is the crumbling ruin of a castle constructed by Francis Bannerman VI, an enigmatic arms dealer. Read a brief story in Archaeology online magazine and then visit the website of the Bannerman Castle Trust.
January 25-26, 2003 Online Old West
The new GURPS Online project will feature an Old West setting based on the popular GURPS Old West by Grey Ghost Press own Ann Dupuis.
Dispatches will resume on Monday, January 27.
January 24, 2003 Skyscrapers
If youre in the market for a skyscraper (for, say, a secret hideout) then have a look at skyscraperpage.com. The diagrams are particularly useful for comparing the size of the worlds tallest structures.
January 23, 2003 More Adventures
I added some new links to the Adventure Resources, including a classic Old West adventure by S. John Ross, a Call of Cthulhu annex, and a host of horror adventures from the RPG Archive.
January 22, 2003 Dr. Moreau
I have just been rereading, and heartily recommend, H.G. Wells classic Island of Dr. Moreau. Read it for free at Project Gutenberg or get a cheap copy from Amazon.com. For the visually inclined, you can have it on DVD with Marlon Brando (1996), Burt Lancaster (1977) or Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi (1933, called Island of Lost Souls).
January 21, 2003 Midnight Society
Check out the Midnight Society website. According to the creator, Dave Flora, it is a pulp hero writing group. Apparently the adventures reside somewhere in the message boards.
January 20, 2003 Would That it Were
Would That it Were, an online magazine devoted to historical science fiction, has posted a new issue for January through March.
January 19, 2003 Combat for the Masses
When Nags find themselves involved in the machinations of warring countries, the TI GM might find it interesting to try some rules for conducting mass combat. You might have a look at Large Scale Battles for Fudge by Helge Lund Kolstad or Daniel Frohlichs Mass Combat Rules.
January 18, 2003 Sub Technology
The Learning Channel website has a nice online feature about the first submarine the Drebbel along with a timeline of developments in submarine technology.
January 17, 2003 Help From the Wizards
The Wizards of the Coast website features several recent updates that might be of use to the TI GM. Januarys Map-A-Week depicts a small seaside area with a number of interesting locales to explore (a monastery, lighthouse, &c.).
In addition, the recent free adventure for d20 Modern Le Chien de lOnyx is easily adaptable for Terra Incognita. Instead of an elf mage, Nieulor becomes a Tenebre shaman trying to recover an ancient artifact.
January 16, 2003 A Little Reorganization
I spent some time going through the old Dispatches and parsing them into categories on the Links, Library, and Resources pages. I also created a new Resource Adventures containing links to adventures and advice that are appropriate to TI. If you have any Terra Incognita (or other pulp or Victorian) adventures, or even notes for running an adventure, drop me a line and Ill post a link.
January 15, 2003 A New Coat of Whitewash
Eric Hotz emailed to announce that Whitewash City has grown! He has added First National Bank, the Longhorn Saloon, a Drug Store, an Undertaker, and a Doctor/Dentist. You can purchase the new buildings from his online store for $3.00 (US) apiece of $10.00 (US) for the set. Photos of the new set will be up soon. I purchased and constructed the first two sets and can attest that they are beautiful. The scale bump up (to 30mm) is welcome, as the buildings looked too small next to the Vulture Gulch buildings from Microtactix.
January 14, 2003 Adventure Advice
The DMs Haven website features a useful article on Adventure Development in Little Time. While its intended for creating fantasy adventures, I think that most of the advice is relevant to historical and modern gaming as well.
January 13, 2003 Random Character Generator Update
Chained to their Babbage Engines for the past week, Gadgeteers have succeeded in updating the Terra Inconita Online Random Character Generator. Random Nags (see 7 Jan below or the dedicated page) should now be safe from mutually exclusive Gifts and Faults. Im sure the code is wildly inefficient; have a look at the sourcecode and offer suggestions, if you are so inclined.
January 12, 2003 A New Review
Heres a link to a new review of Terra Incognita by Adam Waskiewicz of the New Guild in Poland. The review is, of course, in Polish! Thanks, Adam! (Theres a review of Fudge as well.)
January 11, 2003 Lewis & Clark
For journeys that rival the splendor of Burton in Africa, have a glance at the Journals of Lewis and Clark and their Voyage of Discovery (1804-1806). The University of Virginia provides this handy online collection of extracts.
January 10, 2003 Myth and Mystery
MythandMystery.com is yet another clearinghouse of links to world mysteries.
January 9, 2003 TwoFisted Tales
Venerable indie pulp game Two-Fisted Tales by Matt Stevens is slated to be expanded and published by Spectre Press this spring. Check out the cover art by Christopher Shy!
January 8, 2003 The Guideline Gazette
David Bruns has revised and expanded his TI alternative rules, launching his TI Guideline Gazette! The Guideline Gazette, Vol. One covers dice rolling and combat, including an expanded weapon chart. Future volumes will cover alternative vehicles rules. David welcomes TI players to send their own rules suggestions to him for inclusion in future Gazettes.
January 7, 2003 A Terra Inconita Online Random Character Generator
A body of picked Gadgeteers have labored untold years to bring you the Terra Incognita Random Character Generator! Use it when you need a quick Terra Incognita character, when you don’t have any ideas and want to allow fate make the choices, or when you desire interesting and unexpected trait combinations. Old-school players might actually crave the challenge of using a randomly generated character.
A Randomly Generated Terra Incognita Character
January 6, 2003 Pulp and Dagger
And while youre waiting for your pulp figures to arrive in the mail, you might want to read some two-fisted fiction at Pulp and Dagger Fiction Webzine. Read some modern writers who are keeping the pulp flame alive (and find some TI inspiration while you’re at it).
January 5, 2003 Pulp Figures
Bob Murch at PulpFigures.com released seven new packs of miniatures in December. The Dangerous Dames and General Cappy Boyd and his American Expatriates are both glorious to behold.
January 4, 2003 The Papyrus Chase
If youre looking for some primary documents for Nags to discover in those ancient tombs, have a look at the Duke Papyrus Archive. Many of the manuscripts are reproduced in images for easy printing and distributing as player handouts or set dressing.
January 3, 2003 Fogg & Fudge Factor
Todays Pyramid contains an extremely useful article from C.J. Beiting entitled Phileas Fogg: International Man of Mystery. In addition to an illuminating discussion of the character, you get complete GURPS stats for Passepartout and Aouda, a Fogg template with four customizations: Victorian, Espionage, Screampunk, and Steampunk Fogg.
Also, the new issue of Fudge Factor is out!
January 2, 2003 Bruns Rules
From TI fan David Bruns comes a free download: Terra Incognita Alternative Rules. This 8 page pdf contains some insightful tweaks of the basic and combat rules (David streamlines ranged combat considerably), a handy one-page Character Creation Spreadsheet, and character and vehicle records that include oft-used modifiers for easy reference. The supplement closes with a list of weapons from the end of the TI timeline (the 1940’s). You might also have a look at David’s website: Schlaghund Kennel V.3.
January 1, 2003 Orient Expedition
I am a little late for the gift giving season, but on my holiday I saw a demo of a new Lego release: Orient Expedition, starring Johnny Thunder. While using Lego figures is not the same as traditional miniatures, perhaps one could give them as a gift to ones child, niece or nephew, or even the neighbor kids and then borrow them back!
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