NAGS Society Dispatch Archives
2004 : Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
[2001-2002 2003 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008]
December 31, 2004 Planetary Mysteries
Well close the year with a link to Planetary Mysteries.com, where art and science connect.
December 30, 2004 Mysteries-on-the-Net
Ive never taken the plunge to host a mystery party, but I imagine they would be amusing and fun. Mysteries-on-the-Net provides the resources you need to stage your own personal mystery in your very own home.
December 29, 2004 Submarine History
From the blue skies to the black depths, we look to Submarine-History.com for a look at the development of submersible technology from 1580 to the present.
December 28, 2004 Aviation History
From the roads to the skies: Aviation-History.com curates an online museum while FlightHistory.com features a nice gallery of photos. For another angle, the Ninety-Nines is an organization devoted to women aviators and has a nice piece on Women in Aviation History.
December 27, 2004 Automotive History
The humble automobile sports a long and interesting history. The About.com Inventors site has a nice collection of resources on the history of automobiles, as does the Autoshop.com site Automotive 101. The Encyclopedia Smithsonian features the bibliography to end all bibliographies.
December 26, 2004 Web Holidays
Every day someone somewhere celebrates a holiday. Today, for example, is Boxing Day in England (and Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Scotland, although some folks will celebrate on Monday). If youd like to bring a little holiday spirit into your gaming, have a look at WebHolidays.com.
December 25, 2004 vs. Monsters
Vs. Monsters is an innovative rpg by Philip Reed (who designed Frag for Steve Jackson Games). Philip explains the game in the introduction:
vs. Monsters is a roleplaying game in which the players take on the roles of monster hunters living in America. This is the America of twisted minds. This is America as seen though the goggles of distortion that are used by such greats as Lewis Carrol, Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman, and other creators more powerful than myself. This is America as it never really was. America merged with the London of the 1800s. America combined with every twisted ghost story Ive ever read or imagined.
And as I write this, you have a few hours left to go to OgreCave and download the pdf for free as a holiday gift from Ronin Arts.
December 24, 2004 Burton Holmes, Extraordinary Traveler
NAGS Society Member Burton Holmes traveled the globe around the turn of the last century and then created a business by telling people about his travels. Holmes invented travelogues elaborate lectures that included hand-painted magic lantern slides and later, motion pictures. If anyone knew what was going on in findesiècle terra incognita it was Burton Holmes, Extraordinary Traveler.
December 23, 2004 Shark Bytes #3
Shark Bytes, the unofficial Savage Worlds Fanzine, has released its third issue (112p. pdf, free). For your pulp gaming pleasure, issue #3 contains 51 urban legends, notes on a Stalking the Night Fantastic campaign, Infernal Books, Dusty Volumes, Mystical Tomes, Pulp Adventure Seeds, and theres more stuff in there!
December 22, 2004 Truth Be Known
TruthBeKnown is Acharya Ss site that reveals all the truth you can bear regarding Earth and its mysteries.
December 21, 2004 Grim Tales
Grim Tales is a new d20 sourcebook from Badaxe Games for pulp roleplaying (and not just 1930s pulp, but pulp from Conan to Mad Max). Heres a bit from the press release:
The Game Masters Section is presented in true tool-kit fashion, allowing the GM to pick and choose from a wide variety of campaign trappings Spellcasting, Horror, Technology, Vehicles, Firearms, Cyberware, and more and to integrate them seamlessly into any campaign genre. The book also includes background material detailing the primary arch-villains of Grim Tales: a collection of evil overlords and their minions that can plague humanity (and challenge the PCs!) in any time period or genre.
December 20, 2004 Antarctic Fiction
A sudden cold snap puts me in mind of life in the Antarctic. Youve read Poe, youve read Lovecraft, you may have read Kim Stanley Robinson for a modern take. Fauno L. Cordes has put together a little Bibliographical Tour of Antarctic Fiction.
December 19, 2004 Primitive Technology
The Society of Primitive Technology publishes a Bulletin devoted to the preservation of good old- fashioned know-how. You can read some of the articles online.
December 18, 2004 Virtual Perpetual Calendars
Historical roleplayers who want to get things just right might be interested in these Virtual Perpetual Calendars for figuring out if January 18, 1868 really was a Saturday, for example.
December 17, 2004 D20 Shakespeare
For those who take their roleplaying extremely seriously, I cant resist Dispatching a link to D20 Shakespeare from Louis Porter, Jr. Designs imprint Devils Workshop. Right now you can get two of my favorites, Macbeth and Henry V.
December 16, 2004 Noise Monster
Noise Monster is a new company that will release Space: 1889 audio adventures in January. Recorded with a full cast in the spirit of old time radio, youll be able to order the recordings on CD for £10.99 in the UK and £12.50 elsewhere.
December 15, 2004 The Last Round
The Last Round (Andrew Hind, $7.99 US, 42p. pdf) is an adventure for Pinnacles Savage Worlds (and thus easily Fudgeable). Its set in Portuguese East Africa on the eve of the Great War. Its the second release in Legion Publishings Savage Features line: a collection of one-shot adventures providing everything you need to run a single evening's play. Each title is based around a theme from the golden age of the silver screen. From B-movie aliens, to sweeping high adventure, to gritty noir attitude, Savage Features put your players in the starring roles.
December 14, 2004 Pulp Tidbits
Here are a couple of mostly pulpy tidbits found while combing the web this morning:
Adamant Entertainment is asking you to join the Secret Squadron a subscription ($29.95 US) to their Thrilling Tales line of pdf pulp resource material. Apparently 30 pages per month are promised.
Meanwhile, OtherWorld Creations (publishers of Forbidden Kingdoms) are offering portfolios of original pulp art (volumes three and four do look pretty cool for $3.99 and $5.00 US receptively.)
December 13, 2004 The Dark Continent Revealed
The Dark Continent Revealed is one of those lists contributed by readers to Amazon.com. Tim Martin has put together a reading list for those interested in exploring the Dark Continent. And for a gaming version, I remind you of a previously Dispatched resource, Brett Abbots Tanzanica, a colonial game using the Mordheim rules from Games Workshop.
December 12, 2004 Radio Lovers
Pulp inspiration is as close as your browser when you visit RadioLovers.com and take in some old time radio shows. Roleplaying has been compared to improvisational radio theater have a listen to some of the real thing to keep your creative juices flowing.
December 11, 2004 The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive looks like a fascinating resource for delving into the historical depths of electronic information. Spending a little time will no doubt uncover unexpected treasures.
December 10, 2004 OgreCave for the Holidays
The kind souls at the gaming news site OgreCave can always be counted upon to put together a holiday gift giving guide. This years contains little for the historical gamer, but theyre all fun games nonetheless.
December 9, 2004 Sultans Lost Treasure
Yet another of PBS excellent companion websites to their television specials, Sultans Lost Treasure recounts the quest to recover Chinese artifacts from a shipwreck off Brunei.
December 8, 2004 Victorian Science FACT Decor
Our friends at Fiddlers Green are working hard to make sure that your office/kitchen/cubicle, or whatever sport the proper Victorian technology adornment: the Early Flying Machines calendar for 2005! Drawn by Derek Roberts (designer of many of the FG cardstock models), this calendar is a 10MB download, with all $3.95 US of the price going straight to Derek for his hard work. The contraptions themselves are fact, of course, though the elevation they achieve in the cartoons is often fictional. But thats how these early birds deserve to be remembered!
December 7, 2004 Hollow Earth Expedition
Late next year, Exile Games promises to treat us to a new pulp rpg: Hollow Earth Expedition. Heres the press release:
Exile Game Studio announced its plans today to publish Hollow Earth Expedition, a pulp adventure roleplaying game. As the clouds of war gather, our heroes explore one of the worlds greatest and most dangerous secrets: the Hollow Earth, a hidden land populated by lost civilizations, prehistoric creatures, and ferocious savages! Players take on the roles of two-fisted adventurers, eager academics and intrepid journalists who must investigate the mysteries of the Hollow Earth. Meanwhile, on the surface, world powers and secret societies vie for control of what may be the most critical resource in the fast-approaching global conflict.
Set in the tense and tumultuous 1930s, the action-filled Hollow Earth Expedition is inspired by the literary works of such genre giants as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The subterranean action is powered by Ubiquity, an innovative roleplaying game system that allows for quick task resolution and cinematic adventuring. The Hollow Earth Expedition will launch in Fall 2005.
December 6, 2004 Campaign Gear
Ive seen the ads for the CampaignGear CafePress site while checking Miniature Wargaming each day; I didnt realize that they were run by the same person! It would be a great way to support such an excellent resource and to acquire appropriate apparel for gaming to purchase a Rivets and Steam or Aether and Iron tee shirt.
December 5, 2004 Engines of Our Ingenuity
Engines of Our Ingenuity is an NPR radio show that tells the story of how our culture is formed by human creativity. If your local station doesnt carry it (as mine does not) you can listen to a streamed version online. Of course, I like the ring of the title as its quite close to that I gave to my VSF resource page, Ingenious Engines and Clockwork Enigmas.
December 4, 2004 Le-Bris Albatross and Degen Ornithopter
Fiddlers Green has released a couple of new pre-Wright Brothers flying machines in cardstock. The first is the Albatross of Jean-Marie Le-Bris, a nice looking contraption from the 1850s-60s. The second is a real pioneering conveyance: the 1809 ornithopter of Jacob Degen, which apparently actually flew when tethered to an air balloon.
December 3, 2004 The Lost World
Not enjoying the luxury of cable television or a satellite dish, I rely upon the release of DVDs to see many popular television shows. The Lost World, based on Conan Doyles classic VSF novel, is one such show, the first three seasons of which are now available on DVD.
December 2, 2004 Londons Science Museum & Rippers
Londons Science Museum has a nice website with a number of online exhibits worth a look.
Pinnacles horror skirmish wargame Rippers is now available for download as a pdf (80p., $16.95).
December 1, 2004 Pulp Pot Pourri
Continuing the pulp vein of the past few Dispatches, Adamant Entertainment has released a six page pdf pulp resource for d20 Modern called Thrilling Tales. The first one details an advanced class: Man of Mystery. It would appear to be the first in a series of pulpy tweaks for the d20 Modern system.
For those who prefer their pulp with a wargame edge, the most recent playtest version of .45 Adventure (which was briefly called Noir) is available at the Hot Lead Steel Sinews website. The final rules are apparently set to go to press in January.
And finally, Chris Palmer, co-writer of GASLIGHT, announced in a thread on the Miniatures Page that the pulp supplement To Be Continued
by GASLIGHT is a few days from going to the printer.
November 30, 2004 Forgotten Futures IX
Marcus Rowland has posted a little news on the Forgotten Futures website regarding the imminent release of Forgotten Futures IX, which I believe is entitled Its My Own Invention, and covers the wondrous world of Victorian science fiction gadgetry.
November 29, 2004 Adventure Street Omnibus
Hank Harwell has put together Adventure Street Omnibus a nifty online resource for roleplaying the pulps with Risus.
November 23-28, 2004 The Pulp Companion
The Pulp Companion is a monthly online ezine from ThePulp.net devoted to the pulps, classic and modern.
Nota Bene: Dispatches will be on a holiday hiatus until Monday, November 29.
November 22, 2004 ET Friends Beneath the Sea
Among the many folks on this Earth who know more than I, the ET Friends website relates the truth regarding our humble planet and its contact with extraterrestrial visitors. Apparently they have developed a close relationship with cetaceans.
November 21, 2004 Agyris
Terra Incognita cover illustrator (and designer of the Fudge logo) Daniel Davis’ website Agyris has been getting some good press of late, being mentioned online at OgreCave and in print in Decembers Dragon Magazine. I hope you all will take a few moments to poke around and appreciate the incredible amount of love and labor that went into the site.
November 20, 2004 Inspiration from 1948
Bloodstone Press has put together a great page of inspiration in support of their pulpish alternate history/ pulp/WWII rpg 1948.
November 19, 2004 Dandelion Books
The NAGS Society has Dispatched about them before, but Dandelion Books offers free subscriptions to a number of online newsletters on topics of interest: the Unexplained, Ancient Mysteries, perhaps even Uncensored News & Views.
November 18, 2004 Neo Noir
There was an rpg awhile back entitled Noir, but it would seem that due to its departed, out of print status, Green Ronin has decided to call the new Mutants and Masterminds supplement Noir. This one looks cool, though, and should wear the name well.
November 17, 2004 Discovery of Atlantis
I admit to borrowing this scoop from the Steve Jackson Games Daily Illuminator, but the Discovery of Atlantis website features yet another take on the present location of the lost island the island of Cyprus. Theyre hawking a book, of course, but the website itself has a good bit of interesting stuff
November 16, 2004 Mad Scientists Club
One of my inspirations for the NAGS Society was a book I read as a child, The Mad Scientists Club by Bertrand Brinley. A bunch of young sleuths, decidedly not Hardy Boys material, solve some fascinating mysteries in the town of Mammoth Falls. The stories usually involve some type of technological wonder cobbled together with bailing wire and bubble gum. Have a look at the Mad Scientists Club website for more information and you can order the books from Purple House Press.
November 15, 2004 Mapping Resources
Drawing maps have always been one of my favorite parts of the roleplaying experience. The Mapping Resources page offers a variety of mapping formats in pdf format including the offset square, which I had never thought of, but looks interesting.
November 14, 2004 Surfing the Short Waves
In this age of the internet, it is delightfully anachronistic to pursue alternate communications methods such as short wave radio. Teichs Tech Tidbit of the Week from 9/4/00 concerns one of the intriguing mysteries that rewards those who surf the short waves.
November 13, 2004 Blowing Up Hong Kong
And elsewhere in China, Atlas Games has released Blowing Up Hong Kong, a sourcebook for their excellent Feng Shui rpg that ought to provide copious information on another great adventure setting.
November 12, 2004 Tales of Old Shanghai
From an excellent GASLIGHT campaign setting by Luc Burlage posted in the GASLIGHT Yahoo Group files section, comes this link to Tales of Old Shanghai a wondrous resource for pulp or penny dreadful campaigns set in this exciting Chinese port. There are photos of Lucs game at GASLIGHT Photos.
November 11, 2004 Back of Beyond Times
The second issue of the Back of Beyond Times is now up, in what looks to be an online homage to Bob Murchs excellent 28mm pulp minis called Pulp Figures.
November 10, 2004 Good Stuff from Gutenberg
John Reiher on the Space: 1889 Yahoo Group (message number 19261) passed along an interesting list of books, the text of which is available online for free from the excellent Project Gutenberg. Among the titles were The Book of Were-Wolves, Clairvoyance and Occult Powers, and Steam Steel and Electricity.
November 9, 2004 Wee Willie Winkie
One does not usually think Shirley Temple when thinking of good colonial era movies, but I just thoroughly enjoyed John Fords Wee Willie Winkie (1937). The backdrop of the Northwest Frontier in 1897 is helpful to gamers, but better yet are the characters, any of whom would translate wonderfully into role-playing.
November 8, 2004 Proper VSF Attire
Nothing helps one to derive maximum enjoyment from ones VSF or colonial games as obtaining the proper accoutrements. As I type this I wear the Superb sun hat and goggles pictured on the Rivets & Steam website. My online transactions with Studio Foglio and the Village Hat Shop were both expeditious and satisfactory. And, somehow, my games take on a more realistic quality when I take off my helmet to mop my fevered brow.
November 7, 2004 The Old West is Busy
The Old West is enjoying one of its periodic gaming resurgences right now. If you preorder Warhammer Old West from Old Glory, theyll give you four free 28mm cowboy figures for free. Meanwhile, Task Force Productions have released a free 9 page pdf for playing their We Can Be Heroes in the Old West. And finally, after many press releases, Green Ronin has brought out the paper version of Sidewinder: Recoiled.
November 6, 2004 Report of the First Bly Expedition
The action-packed report from the first expedition mounted by Miss Bly into Darkest Jimland is available for your reading pleasure. Go to the Jimland Yahoo Group and check the files section for report #247. Of course you have to be a member to download files, but membership is free and well worth the few moments required to complete. The Bly Expedition marks my first foray into Jimland. The game was played solo with 15mm figures on a two-foot square piece of hardboard. With just a few figures, a little bit of scenery, and the space on the top of your desk, on can explore the mysteries of terra incognita.
November 5, 2004 Guy Fawkes Day
English members of the NAGS Society celebrate Guy Fawkes Day today. For more on this historically based revelry, have a look at the Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night website.
November 4, 2004 Enigma
Enigma: Paranormal Phenomena is part of the Parascope site devoted to topics of paranormal interest.
November 3, 2004 Sweeney Todd
PBS has a wonderful site devoted to that archetypical penny dreadful villain, Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street.
November 2, 2004 Constellation Chamber
The Constellation Chamber is an as-yet-incomplete but thoroughly impressive site devoted to astrology. The sections on individual signs include a wealth of information such as links to the tarot and mystic events and celebrations.
November 1, 2004 Undersea SF
Kathleen L. Fowler at Ramapo College in New Jersey (USA) has created this list of science fiction reading for young people with an undersea or living ocean theme. Scroll down past the magic Schoolbus books in the list to find inspiration for older readers.
October 31, 2004 PentaCon XX
The Northeastern Indiana Gaming Association (NIGA) is sponsoring PentaCon XX [November 5-7 in Fort Wayne, IN, USA]. PentaCon is the oldest gaming convention in Indiana, held annually in Fort Wayne. With well over 350 games last year, notable special guests, various contests, demonstrations, seminars, and charity events, and nine gaming sessions over three days.” No TI this time, but one Call of Cthulhu game and loads of D&D and those newfangled board games.
October 30, 2004 Haunted Architecture
Keeping with the spirit of things, the Glass Steel and Stone site features a list of haunted architecture while the About.com Architecture site offers its own take on haunted architecture.
October 29, 2004 Humberside GASLIGHT
From the Humberside Wargames Society and Wayne Olivant comes this site devoted to an incipient GASLIGHT universe that will be inspirational for any Victorian science fiction gamer.
October 28, 2004 The Spirit of the Season
The excellent Miniature Wargaming site has unearthed a large collection of web resources for roleplaying and miniatures that are apropos of Halloween. Stop by in the next few days to sample the smorgasbord.
Meanwhile, C. Demetrius Morgan at OgreCave has released Night of the Living Gamer a roundup of thirteen games for horrific roleplaying.
October 23-27, 2004 Victorian Literary Studies and a Hiatus
For more conventional Victorian literary genres, try the Victorian Literary Studies website.
N.B. Unexpected family business necessitates a hiatus until Wednesday. My apologies.
October 22, 2004 Science Fiction Studies
Science Fiction Studies is an online scholarly journal from DePauw University devoted to science fiction. Among other items of interest, Herbert Sussman has a review of a book on Victorian Science Fiction.
October 21, 2004 The Supernatural World
And for even more information, try the SupernaturalWorld.
October 20, 2004 Paranormal Phenomena
The About.com page on Paranormal Phenomena can point you in the right direction to what the web has to offer.
October 19, 2004 The Haunted Bibliophile
The Haunted Bibliophile has put together some lists of interesting reading that suits the season.
October 18, 2004 633 and Counting
If youve not checked it out in awhile, the ENWorld thread devoted to cataloguing 1000 non-RPG websites for RPG ideas is now up to 633! This is an absolutely brilliant collection of the webs best resources for maps, weirdness, mythology, and just about anything else you can think of.
October 17, 2004 M.U.C.U.S.
Jim Skipper, the same fellow who published the much missed Victorian Gamer ezine, also hosted the website for Miskatonic University College of Unknown Sciences, or MUCUS. Like the VG, the site is no longer active, but its worth a look nevertheless.
October 16, 2004 A Jimland Scrapbook
The NAGS Society has authorized the release of a scrapbook of dagueurreotypic images documenting the adventures of the Bly-Challenger Expedition (or Challenger-Bly Expedition, depending upon whom you speak to) in Darkest Jimland.
October 15, 2004 The Malleus Monstrorum Halloween Monster Contest
Venerable horror gaming company Chaosium has announced a contest. Submit your Call of Cthulhu monster and the winner will be featured in the upcoming Malleus Monstrorum book.
October 14, 2004 Frontier Trails
Frontier Trails is a website devote to those thrilling tales from the realm of fact, rather than fiction. If youve lived a life of adventure, you can even submit one of your own stories.
October 13, 2004 The Victorian Dictionary
Ye gods, the Victorian Dictionary is incredible.
October 12, 2004 Pumpkin Town
As were fast approaching the spooky season, I feel obligated to put in a plug for my favorite Halloween game: Peter Secklers Pumpkin Town a six mile cube of scary, silly roleplaying.
October 11, 2004 A Great Review
I blame my recent return to full-time employ for my unfortunate disconnect from the world of Fudge and rpgs in general, but I am extremely embarrassed to say that I missed the release of a thoughtful review of Terra Incognita on RPG.net by Jonathan Benn. The NAGS Society thanks Mr. Benn for his time and effort and for all his kind words.
October 10, 2004 Web Books by Dr. Konnilyn Feig
Dr. Konnilyn Feig (of Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California) has made available some interesting web books on various historical topics, including an article on one of my favorite mystery authors, Anne Perry.
October 9, 2004 An Agreeable Way to Spend a Day
For those who think spending years crafting the perfect roleplaying game misses the point entirely, Philip Reed and associates have created the 24hour RPG project. Challenge yourself to take one day twenty-four consecutive hours and write an entire rpg, then submit it the 24hourRPG website and share it with the world. And if your imagination holds more wonders, or else youre already thinking about cross marketing, were coming up to November which is National Novel Writing month. Follow your one day game with a one month book.
October 8, 2004 Would That it Were
The online historical sci fi magazine Would That it Were has posted a new issue for October through December. In addition to fiction and book reviews, there is a nice article by Michael Ricciardi entitled The World as Tesla Would Have It.
October 7, 2004 Whitewash City Grows
Eric Hotz has released ten new buildings in his cardstock cowboy town, Whitewash City. A train station, pool hall, and various and sundry businesses add to the most attractive cowboy town west of the Pecos. Eric has also assembled an extensive list of western rulesets, published, free, and rpg.
October 3-6, 2004 Touring Turn-of-the Century America
Learn about turn of the last century America from primary sources: photographs of the people and places themselves. The Library of Congress, courtesy of the Detroit Publishing Company, provides this online collection of images.
The NAGS Society will enjoy a brief hiatus in Dispatches as we conduct an expedition to the stomping grounds of the dread pirate Blackbeard.
October 2, 2004 History, Day by Day
Weblogger Tristan Louis has put together a useful little resource a calendar of historical events listed day by day. Youll find, for example, that on October 2 Darwin returned from his voyage on the Beagle (1836), Paul Von Hindenberg (1847), Gandhi (1869), and Groucho Marx (1890 -- Tristan has it wrong), were born, and Rome became the capital of Italy (1870). The History Channel does it too, with This Day in History.
Scope Systems Anyday offers an expanded list of birthdays as well as deaths. (For example, I learned that Aristotle died [322 B.C.] and Sting was born  on this day.)
October 1, 2004 Four Months Later
Somehow the release of the new issue of Fudge Factor four months ago eluded the notice of the normally- vigilant NAGS Society! If, by some twist of fate, you are as oblivious as I, have a look. I love the Chronos Academy.
September 30, 2004 Archaeology Online
Treat your inner archaeologist to a look at the online magazine Archaeology.
September 29, 2004 Weird Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Paranormal Clipping Network is your online portal to the outré in Wisconsin because we all know that whats weird in Wisconsin is weird for us all
September 28, 2004 Crystalinks
Ellie Crystal hosts Crystalinks an extensive collection of factoids and links concerning just about all of our favorite subjects.
September 27, 2004 Chaos in Cairo
Have a look at this press release on the Miniature Page for the scoop on Chaos in Cairo, a pulp skirmish game with accompanying figures from West Wind Productions and Four Color Figures.
September 25-26, 2004 Colonel Marbles
Colonel Marbles Miniature Masterworks is an incredible online, period style resource showcasing the variety of (25-28mm) miniatures available for playing Victorian science fiction. Even if you dont use miniatures, the style is amusing and the images inspirational.
September 24, 2004 Quick CoC
Chaosium has just released a free set of quick-start rules for Call of Cthulhu. If youre curious but have never played, this is your chance. If youd like to start a new game with your old crew, hand them out as primers.
September 23, 2004 Nyambe.com
Theres a new website devoted to Chris Dolunts excellent rpg of African fantasy adventure, Nyambe.
September 22, 2004 Cartographic Images
Henry Davis Consulting hosts this wonderful online collection of maps, from the ancient (Catal Hyük in 6200 BC) to the Renaissance.
September 21, 2004 Lost
I heard a radio review of a new television show in the US that should prove inspirational to all sorts of games Lost. The premise is that a disparate group of people survive a plane crash on a mysterious island. Through the course of the series they will find out why their plane crashed, where they are, and whether they can ever get home. Of course, they are not alone on the island. The review made it sound not at all like Gilligans Island (in case my description did). TV Tome has an informative review.
September 20, 2004 Compendium Magnificum
The NAGS Society just received something glorious in the mailbox at the Main Campus the Compendium Magnificum from Eureka Miniatures. The Compendium is what all miniatures manufacturers should produce a catalog of their entire lines with full sized photos so that you can actually see what you get and how big it is. Of interest to TI fans will be the Pax Limpopo line of VSF figs from Eureka, but they also carry (and they are also included in the catalog) 15mm figures from Museum Miniatures and my personal favorite, Irregular. The travel time from Australia to the southeastern US was amazing sent Wednesday, arrived Monday.
September 19, 2004 1948
Just a tad outside the TI timeline, but Bloodstone Press’ 1948 is is a historical/sci-fi/fantasy adventure setting that focuses on an alternate WWII history. Theyve not yet released the core book, but the supplement 1948: Organizations, Agencies and Secret Societies is what caught my eye. Its available as a downloadable pdf from RPGNow.
September 18, 2004 Aviators Handbook
The NAGS Society is a little late with this announcement, but Deep 7 has released a new supplement for their great pulp 1PG Dime Heroes the Aviators Handbook (15p. pdf for $2.50 US) great for airborne pulp adventure.
September 17, 2004 Bureau 13
Its been quite awhile since the NAGS Society issued a Dispatch concerning its sister organization, Bureau 13. All of the books are available from Tri Tac games as pdf files on CD.
September 16, 2004 Planet Pulp
Heres a pulp era rpg that flew under my radar screen Planet Pulp. Ive not seen a copy, but from the teasers available on the site, it looks like you get some crunch along with the pulp (separate stats for Aim Left and Aim Right, for example).
September 15, 2004 Eyewitness to History
Im stealing this one from MiniatureWargames.com, but its too good not to pass along EyewitnesstoHistory.com. The site features accounts of famous historical events portrayed as through the eyes of a participant. Dead useful.
September 14, 2004 Unlocking the Archives
Unlocking the Archives is an educational site from the Royal Geographical Society. Among the themes of interest is one on Encounters: Images of Empire which treats the mighty British Empire of the nineteenth century, complete with articles and some useful maps, images, &c.
September 13, 2004 Back to Jimland [Updated]
Jimland owner and proprietor Jim Wright has, with good reason, decided that Jimland deserves an ætheric home of its own. He has therefore set up a Jimland Yahoo Group where you can download the rules and battle reports and keep up with others who are adventuring in the wilds of Darkest Jimland.
Update: Of course, Adventures in Jimland is now available, free for download, on this very website!
September 12, 2004 String Can Phone
String Can Phone is Michael Paulukonis weblog concerning archaic technology.
September 11, 2004 Up the Nile Without a Paddle
Up the Nile Without a Paddle is an exciting photo essay of the adventures of General Lord Colchester Blethering-Blethering in Sudistan.
September 10, 2004 Ever Forward into Jimland [Update on September 13]
Author Jim Wright has graciously agreed to share with us his wonderful creation, Adventures in Jimland. Youll find it all for free download in the files section of the TIrpg Yahoo Group. [See below]. I simply cannot say enough good things about this game. Jimland is a colonial wargame which you can easily play solo, against a friend, or with a game master.
Jim has also converted all of the battle reports to pdf files. These contain literally hundreds of pages of reports of the adventures of intrepid forays into the dinosaur-pirate-pygmy-lizardmen-harem girl-and worse!- infested wilds of darkest Jimland. These files are the best record I know of a living campaign. You also get the sense that this campaign involves a number of people who thoroughly enjoy the hobby.
I have found no end of inspiration, both for wargaming and roleplaying. If you play GASLIGHT, there is a version called Expeditions by GASLIGHT in the Scenarios section of the GASLIGHT homepage.
I and the entire NAGS Society offer our thanks to Mr. Wright for sharing his creation with us.
Update: Of course, Adventures in Jimland is now available, free for download, on this very website!
September 9, 2004 Rocket League has Launched
Playus maximus, the company of Terra Incognita illustrator DT Strain has launched the website for their upcoming rpg, Rocket League: The Thrilling Roleplaying Game. The site offers some glimpses of the artwork, a précis on the system, and some other tidbits, along with a chance to preorder. Theres even a wonderful tour of a flying saucer. I just preordered my copy.
September 8, 2004 World-Mysteries
World-Mysteries.com offers articles about the worlds greatest secrets, the option of reading about them in a number of languages, and theyll even try to sell you stuff.
September 7, 2004 Tour the Louvre
Theres nothing like great art in a mediæval setting to set creative juices flowing. If you cant make it to the Louvre Museum itself, take an ætheric tour on their excellent website.
September 6, 2004 Victorian Roleplaying Themes
Ive Dispatched it before, but I must once again tout the utility of Mark Whitleys Victorian Roleplaying Themes, an essential resource for gaming the Victorian era by taking inspiration from period fiction. Even Nineteenth Century English lit majors should find something of note.
September 5, 2004 Essential Housekeeping
We here at NAGS Society Headquarters have spent the past two days engaged in some essential housekeeping, parsing Daily Dispatches into their proper locations in the website. If youve not browsed the links in awhile, have a look its a respectable resource, if we dont say so ourselves.
September 4, 2004 Time Travellers Guide to Victorian Britain
The Time Travellers Guide to Victorian Britain offers some helpful links to topics of interest from the Civilized Century.
September 3, 2004 GW Modeling Secrets
As I use 15mm figures primarily, I never have need to buy miniatures from Games Workshop (Warhammer, et al.). I will say that their website provides some excellent advice for painting and modeling.
September 2, 2004 Earthlores Harbor of Mysteries
[This site seems to be gone They Must have uncovered a bit too much of the truth!]
Earthlores Harbor of Mysteries is a nice looking and fairly meaty site devoted to some great mysterious topics: King Arthur, gothic art, and Irish mythology. Well worth a look.
September 1, 2004 Forgotten Wonders
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are well remembered and remarked upon. But have a look at Alaa K. Ashmawys homage to some Forgotten Wonders.
August 31, 2004 We Can Be Heroes and Pinnacle
A couple of gleanings from the Miniature Page today: Task Force Productions has announced a new skirmish level wargame called We Can Be Heroes: The game is intended for the playing of Heroic small battles with miniatures. By Heroic we mean the TV or movie approach, where Heroes and their Sidekicks lead men into battle with an enemy, who may also be made up of Heroes, Sidekicks, and such. Its dramatic action designed to entertain, according to the website.
Also Pinnacle has released more of their Deadlands (and other) product lines on pdf from RPGNow.
August 30, 2004 The Silven Trumpeter
The Silven Trumpeter is a free, online and pdf magazine on roleplaying. Pulp aficionado J. Dregg Carpios Lights, Camera, Action column this month concerns the pulps.
August 29, 2004 Victorian Books from the British Library
The British Library hosts an interesting website on Victorian books, from popular genres to the economics of publishing to methods of binding.
August 28, 2004 The ABoyd Company
The ABoyd Company specializes in myriad oddball models and toys that you never knew you needed.
August 27, 2004 An Amazing Story
It seems rather amazing, but Paizo Publishing is advertising for an editor-in-chief for its newest periodical, the worlds oldest science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories. Have a look at the website for more information on this amazing rebirth and their search for a leader.
August 26, 2004 Babylons Burning
Hetzerdog Industries Babylons Burning is a new post apocalyptic skirmish wargame available as a pdf from RPGNow. Its written with the modern era in mind, but whos to say one couldnt modify it to play a turn-of-the-last-century catastrophe.
August 25, 2004 Hunt for the Alligator
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Navy are currently diving off the coast of North Carolina in order to find the wreck of the Navys first submarine, the Alligator. National Geographic has a brief article with an accompanying drawing of the ill-fated sub.
August 24, 2004 Surrey Earth Mysteries Group
The Surrey Earth Mysteries Group began its quest for the Truth in the 1970s and is still going strong today. Member Alfred Watkins discovered Ley lines in 1921.
August 23, 2004 Gloriana
While predating the TI timeline by a good many years, Gloriana an rpg of Elizabethan fantasy and intrigue has been long-discussed by that master of weirdness, Ken Hite. Adamant Entertainment will bring it out next year.
August 22, 2004 Green Flashes
Green Flashes are a meteorological anomaly that the NAGS Society has studied assiduously for years. See what non-Society members have discovered on Andrew T. Youngs Green Flash page.
August 21, 2004 Prehistoric Settlement
Here is a lengthy review of a Steve Barbers Prehistoric Settlement game a wargame for playing prehistoric adventures, such as those novels in last weeks Dispatch. If you go to the Steve Barber Models website you can have a look at the minis and scenes from the game in action. I find games such as these fascinating and they offer inspiration for Lost World adventures.
August 20, 2004 International Fudge RPG Meetup Day
Thursday, September 2 is the day to show your support for Fudge by coming out for International Fudge RPG Meetup Day. Let the Fudge Dice tumble!
August 19, 2004 Deep Secrets
Deep Secrets reveals, well, some deep secrets regarding the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Golden Ratio and the Royal Cubit. Footnotes, diagrams, bibliography
its all there.
August 18, 2004 Ned Kellys World
Ned Kellys World is an informative website devoted to the famous Australian bushranger featured in a recent movie.
August 17, 2004 Places To Go, People To Be
Following an extremely lengthy hiatus, the excellent free online zine Places to Go, People To Be has a new issue!
August 16, 2004 Pulp Radio
Pulp master Joe Coleman on the Pulp_Games Yahoo Group gives us these two links for online connections to Golden Age radio programs of the same vintage as pulp: Old Time Radio and EYs Audio Links.
August 15, 2004 Birthdays
August 15 is auspicious for its list of famous births, including Napoleon Bonaparte (1769), Sir Walter Scott (1771), Edna Ferber (1887), the late Julia Child (1912), and my first son (1997). You can look up the famous birthdays for any day on FamousBirthdays.net.
August 14, 2004 Prehistoric Fiction
Right out of our time period, perhaps, but dead useful for Lost World adventures
Steve Trussels EclectiCity website features a great collection of resources on Prehistoric Fiction that is, books set in prehistoric times (not novels carved on stone tablets).
August 13, 2004 Worlds of Cthulhu
Yet another magazine in support of Call of Cthulhu is on the way. The latest, Worlds of Cthulhu, is an English version of the German zine Cthuloide Welten. According to the press release, it will be 128 and published twice yearly and shall debut at GenCon.
August 12, 2004 Captain Peet on the Æther
Captain Peets excellent Space: 1889 and Sky Galleons of Mars website is once again on the ætherwaves.
Also, with regards to Mondays Dispatch on Legends of Araby, the Two Hour Wargames site has a battle report starring pulp hero Arizona Bob. Join the THW site to get a file of pulp era weapons called FIN-LOALTL-Firetable.doc and bring Legends of Araby into the TI timeline.
August 11, 2004 The Real Scoop
Theres nothing like a roleplaying game to necessitate facts at a moments notice. For geographical queries, try the CIA World Factbook for the lowdown on anyplace in terra incognita.
August 10, 2004 Ada, A Programme for Jenny
I fear that this one is romance of the Harlequin ilk, but the premise of R.H. Shimers Ada: A Programme for Jenny is fascinating, featuring Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron and associate of Charles Babbage, as a detective.
August 9, 2004 Legends of Araby
Although its not at all in our time period or genre, I cant say enough good things about Legends of Araby by Ed Teixeira from Two Hour Wargames. Its part wargame, part rpg, and part solo adventure. Im sure it could easily be adapted for adventures in a colonial time frame. Well worth a look.
August 8, 2004 Martian Empires
Nascent miniature foundry Black Hat Miniatures has just issued an invitation for folks to join the Martian Empires Yahoo Group and playtest their 15mm VSF rules, Martian Empires, which will soon be supported by a line of 15mm VSF figures (huzzah!).
August 7, 2005 More Lost Than Machu Picchu
This brief report from Netscape/CNN reveals that archæologists have discovered the ruins of Llactapata, a lost city in the Andes, and quite nearby the famous Machu Picchu.
August 6, 2004 Truth Stranger Than Fiction
RickRichards.com will take you on a ride to the truth you wont find elsewhere.
August 5, 2004 On the Morrow
This one is not in the TI timeline, but a classic from back in the day that I can’t resist: Timeline Ltd. is republishing the Morrow Project, an old-school rpg set in a post-apocalyptic future. Bringing it a little closer to home, the Morrow Project: Reign of Steel converts it to Fudge!
August 4, 2004 Science Frontiers
Science Frontiers is a collection of 2000+ digests that examine the edges and not the established paradigms of science. While originally a print publication, you can now browse the archives online.
August 3, 2004 350 Monsters
Mike Harvey has laboriously typed in 350 Monsters from the D&D Rules Cyclopedia and converted them to Fudge stats. If youre in need of some foes and willing to overlook a D&D pedigree, then this file is for you.
August 2, 2004 Further Underground
Continuing my research on the London Underground I discovered this informative Wikipedia entry on the topic. The thing that I found invaluable, and perhaps everyone else already knew this, is that the Wikipedia has entries for every year. For example, see the entry on 1863, the year the Underground opened day by day events. Simply amazing.
August 1, 2004 Underground History
Underground History is the website devoted to those dark and disused corners of the London Underground subway system, which of course is where all the interesting stuff happens.
July 31, 2004 Mirabilis
Mirabilis is a blog from Christine from Vancouver which covers topics such as history & archaeology, religion, books & lit, language, food, environment, fun, animals, insects, etc, computers & internet, miscellaneous, science, art, strange stuff, Italy, Canada, wireless internet, health, Norway, Linux, Vancouver, privacy, outdoors, Christmas, PDAs, Easter, blogging, politics, search queries, and quotations. There seem to be lots of interesting archæological links of late.
July 30, 2004 Frontier Towns & Paranoia
Dog House Rules brings us this new supplement for their western rpg Sidewinder:Recoiled Frontier Towns:Fort Griffin. This 55p pdf ($6.75 US) includes complete description, NPCs, and floorplans of a passel of western chestnuts like Shannseys Saloon and the Pickett Jail. The Dog House Rules site also provides several free maps.
An ad on the page reminded me that Mongoose Games (who have recently published OGL Wild West and Steampunk books) will reboot the legendary rpg Paranoia as Paranoia XP. I never played this one back in the day, but I can easily imagine an historical conversion in which a city-block-sized, steam-powered, Babbage-created monstrosity opposes the NAGS Society
July 29, 2004 A New Dungeon
As I Dispatched last month, the August issue of Dungeon magazine (#114) contains several articles on the classic D&D adventure Isle of Dread, including a new adventure and poster map. As it is replete with dinosaurs, natives, ancient temples, et al., the Isle can easily be adapted to the TI timeline. Also, for the first time ever, Terra Incognita is mentioned in Dungeon (in tiny print in the Metacreator Ad for RPGNow on page 15). Finally, on a non-TI timeline rpg note, the back cover features an ad for Arena Overdrive, a new post apocalyptic Car Wars style game from Testors, complete with a line of cars to customize.
July 28, 2004 First Casualty
First Casualty is a new fanzine devoted to Conspiracy X, Eden Studios modern era rpg of global secrets and mystery.
July 27, 2004 Prairie Ghosts
Prairie Ghosts is Troy Taylors ode to ghosts, the paranormal, thanatology, and the mysterious from a Midwestern USA perspective.
July 26, 2004 Great Dreams
Dreams of the Great Earth Changes is one of those wonderful electronic equivalents of the notebooks covered in feverish scribbles carried by chaps who mumble to themselves and then try to convince anyone within earshot of the profundity of their wisdom. Which is to say its definitely all true!
July 23-25, 2004 Into Space
Two space related bits of news (which puts them right out of the TI milieu but have other connections):
Carnivore Games, publisher of the Fudge based Now Playing has announced Space 2150, a hard science rpg that will use Fudge as its system; and
Playus Maximus, the company of Terra Incognita illustrator DT Strain, is offering a contest for writing fiction or cartoons set in their Smugglers of the Galaxy game. There’s a link for contest details near the top of the page they use frames so I can’t get you closer.
N.B.: There will be no new Dispatches until Monday, July 26.
July 22, 2004 Walking Secret London
Diane Burstein offers walking tours of Secret London. See the website for a taste.
July 21, 2004 Computers Old & New
If yesterdays taste of Babbages baby whet your appetite for more computer history, this Aussie Educator site devoted to Computers Old & New will take you down binary memory lane. I believe it’s all of a newer vintage than the TI timeline, but it ought to be inspiring in some fashion.
July 20, 2004 Emulate the Analytical Engine
John Walkers Fourmilab homage to the Analytical Engine of Charles Babbage includes a java based emulator of this steampunk staple. Before you let your villain steal one to take over the world, take the Babbage Engine for a spin to what it can do.
July 19, 2004 OGL Steampunk
Mongoose Publishing has just released OGL Steampunk, a 304 page meditation upon adventuring with weird science in the Nineteenth Century. The NAGS Society is pleased to welcome this undoubtedly excellent resource into the world of rpgs.
July 18, 2004 Above Top Secret
AboveTopSecret.com is your online source for the truth that you wont find in your run-of-the-mill media.
July 17, 2004 Mondo-Tronics
If youre in the market for an artificial life form, Mondo-Tronics Robot Store is the place to go.
July 16, 2004 The Mean Streets of Casablanca
Deep 7 has added an interesting item to its eclectic line in Casablanca (35p. pdf, $4.95), a sourcebook for the city featured in one of my favorite movies.
July 15, 2004 Historical Mysteries
Dean James has assembled a nice bibliography of historical mystery fiction, from ancient times to World War II.
July 14, 2004 Knuckleduster
If youve not wandered into the Knuckleduster website in awhile, Forrest Harris is selling some reproductions of 1864 poker cards and will soon have CDs with old western piano music, perfect to liven up those wild, wild western evenings.
July 13, 2004 Weird Research, Anomalous Physics
Weird Research, Anomalous Physics is Bill Beatys contribution to scientific lunatic fringe.
July 12, 2004 Popular Science
Ætheric disturbances at the Home Campus have temporarily delayed Dispatches. Apologies tendered.
PopularScience.net is a nice site concerning fascinating topics of scientific import.
July 11, 2004 Isle of Dread
The latest issue of Dungeon Magazine (#113) reports that the next issue will feature an all new adventure (complete with poster map) of my very favorite, eminently TI adaptable, D&D module, X1 The Isle of Dread.
July 10, 2004 Steam Automotive Technology
Andy Patterson has assembled an interesting collection of information on Steam Automotive Technology. In addition to useful pages on steam engines and autos from the golden age at the turn of the last century, Andy includes pieces on steam cars from the 1970s. Who knew?
July 9, 2004 Pyramid
Todays issue of Pyramid Magazine is chock-full of items worthy of mention:
- The new version of GURPS Lite (a distillation of the forthcoming fourth edition GURPS rules) is available for free download. Fudge and GURPS have a long history together and I find the Lite version to be extremely useful (Note: you can get this without subscribing to Pyramid; just click the link);
- Ken Hite’s Suppressed Transmission concerns one of my favorite events in American History (predating the TI timeline, alas) the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr;
- Chris Aylott writes about the new online rpg vendor DriveThruRPG and what it means for gaming and electronic book distribution.
As always, if you decide to subscribe to Pyramid, mention paigescott as the referring user name and Your Humble Editor get a free month!
July 8, 2004 The Alligator
Hank Harwell has updated his Adventure Street Signs with some information concerning the search for the Civil War submarine Alligator, lost off the coast of North Carolina.
July 7, 2004 The Tech Museum
The Tech Museum is a commercial site that celebrates technology. There are a number of interesting exhibits in the online museum, such as this one about robotics.
July 6, 2004 Treasures of the Sunken City
Treasures of the Sunken City is the companion website to the PBS special (which was rebroadcast last year) recounting the explorations of Jean Yves Empereur in the sunken city of Alexandria, Egypt. Among the discoveries: the Pharos, one of the seven wonders of the world!
July 5, 2004 Victoria Trading Co.
If its important to you to look the part, try the Victoria Trading Co. for your period dress and accoutrements.
July 4, 2004 On This Day
Some dates have memorable events connected with them that can tie into your historical roleplaying. Other days seem less important. The Reference.com page On This Day can help you by listing the significant events in history that occurred on each day. For example, most Americans know that this was the day in 1776 that the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, but it was also the day in 1845 that Thoreau went to live at Walden Pond, and the day in 1848 that Marx and Engels published the Communist Manifesto.
July 3, 2004 Now Playing
Ive just finished reading through my copy of Bradford Younies Now Playing from Carnivore Games. Now Playing (hardcover, 220p., $35 US) is a Fudge-based rpg for gaming all genres of television shows. As such, the rules included all the Fudge goodies one would need to game comedy, horror, sci-fi, &c. You’ll find lots of good advice for designing adventures and campaigns according to the typical tv program structure, as well as stats for a numbers of beasties and vehicles. The sample program, FPI (the Foundation for Paranormal Investigation) contains, could be a modern offshoot of the NAGS Society. The two adventures, complete with maps and NPCs, are easily moved into the TI timeline. The Big Dig might occur during the construction of Boston’s subway (which was the first in the US).
July 2, 2004 The Making of America
The Making of America is a digitized collection of primary sources from antebellum through Reconstruction America. There are nearly 9,000 volumes available, according to the home page, all courtesy of the University of Michigan.
July 1, 2004 The WWW Virtual Library
As everyone knows, these electrical Babbage engines are an invaluable resource for conducting research. The WWW Virtual Library can be an excellent resource for information when one cannot adjourn to an actual library.
June 30, 2004 A Request for Adventure
The NAGS Society and Grey Ghost Press are putting out a call to all you adventure writers! Try your hand at creating an interesting, challenging, and fun Terra Incognita adventure to run at gaming conventions. Your adventure would need:
- Predesigned player characters (6-8);
- Any necessary maps and diagrams;
- Full write-up, just like a published adventure;
- Designed to run in a little under two or four hours;
Grey Ghost Press will pay a small fee in cash or product. Please contact Ann Dupuis for more details. The NAGS Society counts on you to handle this RFA with your usual dedication and discretion.
In addition, Ann has the outline of an Out of the Gobi adventure which needs some fleshing out. Contact her if you are interested in doing a little polishing.
Also, see the update to yesterdays Dispatch.
June 29, 2004 Edens Gate [Update]
N.B.: Dirk has asked us to take down Eden’s Gate for the time being, as he has offered it to a group running Terra Incognita at gaming conventions. Keep your eyes open for TI games in your area to discover the Gate to Paradise. Dirk has agreed to write an adventure set in China and the Pacific exclusively for the TI website.
Back from Origins, intrepid NAGS Society member Dirk Collins has released his adventure Edens Gate. Your heroes are asked to track down eminent and respected archaeology professor Charles Woodruff, who disappeared just after announcing that he had found the gate to the Garden of Eden.
June 28, 2004 Maiden of the High Seas
Moving from below the waves to upon them, Worldworks has released the Maiden of the High Seas, a cardstock vessel worthy of the saltiest sea dogs. Multiple levels for below decks battles and notice the ratlines printed on transparency stock! (Thanks to Dave Crowell for the tip.)
June 27, 2004 The Submarine Wikipedia
Submersibles are among the NAGS Societys most frequently used craft fast, stealthy, and discreet. The Submarine Wikipedia page does a wonderful job of providing an illustrated history of humanitys undersea exploits.
June 26, 2004 Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines
Recently released on DVD is a classic race film, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (Ken Annakin, 1965). I wouldnt rate it as highly as the similar Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies, but watch it for the æroplanes. All of them were reproductions of actual aircraft. Next up: the original Around the World in 80 Days.
June 25, 2004 Circus Murderous
I LOVE racing games (such as Walt OHaras brilliant Le Grand Cirque) and have recently discovered a new one Circus Murderous. While it is fantasy as written, it can easily be adapted for a more steampunk/pulp feel so that competitive Gadgeteers can show off their stuff.
June 24, 2004 Little Lead Heroes
Andy Cowells superb Little Lead Heroes site includes a fairly regular web log on wargaming and a most impressive, one might say humbling gallery of miniatures and terrain.
June 23, 2004 Paranormal Anomalies
The somberly-titled Death and Dementia website has a rather excellent collection of links to resources about paranormal anomalies. Theres a little something for everyone there.
June 22, 2004 Ocean Mysteries
The Marine Biology website has a nice section on ocean mysteries such as monsters, mermaids, and the Bermuda Triangle. The site is also a great reference for marine creatures of all sorts.
June 21, 2004 Tomb of an Ancient Hero
As this year-old BBC Online story relates, some scientists in Iraq think that they have uncovered the tomb of Gilgamesh, hero of the 4500 year old epic.
June 20, 2004 ZombieSmith
If youre not willing to take the plunge into a new scale (see yesterdays Dispatch) but are still shopping for undead, try ZombieSmith. Youll find a pleasing assortment of rotting, shambling zombies in friendly 28mm scale.
June 19, 2004 Moonlight Miniatures
Ready for a new scale? Moonlight Miniatures has release a new line of pulpish themed miniatures in the novel 34mm scale. Heres the blurb: Set in the 1930s on an uncharted chain of islands near the Caribbean, daring adventurers and dastardly villains battle vile creatures, horrible abominations and each other as they search for their destinies amid the Islands of Blood. The minis themselves have a cartoony quality that is bound to attract some and put off others. Nice paint jobs, though.
June 18, 2004 Secrets of Japan
The NAGS Society has been patiently awaiting a sourcebook for mysterious Japan leave it to Chaosium to come through. Secrets of Japan by Michael Dziesinski is currently at the printer and expected in July (348 p., $34.95 US). While intended for modern day adventures, Im sure there will be enough historical information to sate the appetite.
June 17, 2004 Lost Prehistorica
Like nearly everything these days, Lost Prehistorica is intended for fantasy campaigns, but the enterprising historical roleplayer might just find bits of inspiration here and there. Packed full of new playable races, information upon long lost cultures, lost continents, nomadic tribes and settings specific monsters, this book could be just what you need to spark a whole new range of adventures in a land untouched by time where dinosaurs still roam!
The book is a 3.5 MB pdf file for $6.95 US from RPGNow.
June 16, 2004 Bloomsday
Today is the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, the day that Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dædalus meandered about Dublin, Ireland, in James Joyces masterful novel Ulysses. Even if you’re uninterested in the book (it is TI time period, if not genre), then think about creating an epic adventure based upon Homer’s Odyssey the movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou shows that the story can be adapted to fit a variety of genres.
June 15, 2004 Iron Stars
Majestic XIIs game of Edwardian Space combat, Iron Stars, is now available for purchase, with a line of spacecraft miniatures from Brigade Models to steam their way to Earth this August.
June 14, 2004 Steambots
Those in the market for steam powered robots are directed to the Terraform Steambots page from Armorcast. Even if you prefer to build them yourself, the images ought to inspire.
June 13, 2004 Crunchy Vehicles
If you are looking for a little more detail, a few more options, in a word, more crunch in your vehicles than TI provides, try Loïc Prot’s Crunchy Vehicles on the Fudge Guide page. You get transportation from bicycles to space colonies, all lovingly described in Fudge terms.
June 12, 2004 Game Quarterly Magazine
Im a big fan of gaming magazines and would love to see this new one Games Quarterly succeed. It covers all types of non-electronic games and features articles by popular rpg authors Matt Forbeck and Ken Hite. The premier issue is available for free download.
June 11, 2004 Occultopedia
From Aaronic Order to Zygomancy, the Occultopedia is your online source for information concerning knowledge, mysterious and hidden.
June 10, 2004 Oriental Trading Company
If you cant afford a trip to the Mysterious East to load up on precious supplies, try the next best thing The Oriental Trading Company. From plastic gold coins to glass bottles to a single shot cork gun, you can claim to buy stuff for the kids (or nieces and nephews or neighborhood urchins) but you know wholl play with it!
June 9, 2004 Urban Legend Reference Pages
The Urban Legend Reference Pages provide informative and often amusing details behind a plethora of favorite urban legends. The horrors and history sections are particularly relevant.
June 8, 2004 Atlantis Found
The BBC reports that scientists using satellite photography have once again located the probable site of the lost city of Atlantis, this time in southern Spain.
June 7, 2004 DriveThruRPG
DriveThruRPG is a new RPG ebook vendor, offering some competition to RPGNow. Right now you can find games by Eden Studios (including Terra Primate), with Chaosium and Dream Pod 9 among others on the way.
June 6, 2004 D6 Adventure
West End Games venerable D6 system is in the process of being reborn. The D6 Adventure hardcover is now available and D6 Adventure Locations to follow. One of my favorite free rpgs Craig Griswolds Into the Shadows uses the D6 system.
June 5, 2004 Adventure Street Signs
Adventure Street Signs is a new web log that discovers the pulp adventure plots in daily television shows, newspaper articles, &c.
June 4, 2004 Astounding Tales!
Ive just received my copy of Howard Whitehouses most excellent pulp wargame Astounding Tales! You can use the rules to shoot your own tabletop B Movies. Support Mr. Whitehouse by purchasing it from And Thats The Way It Was
but I should also note that you can get the playtest version by registering at Amazon Miniatures, which includes about 90% of the material in the commercial version.
And if you need some inspiration to get started, this weeks Pyramid features a treatise on the Shanghai Municipal Police by Hans-Christian Vortisch.
June 3, 2004 Antique Hardware
For those seeking to bring their game world into everyday life, the NAGS Society recommends Antique Hardware, the online store for buying retro hardware and tchotchkis for the perfect steampunk home.
June 2, 2004 Sweet Chariot
Just over a year old, Sweet Chariot is an interesting independent RPG from Flying Mice. Its billed as steampunk/pulp, set on an alien world colonized by humans at some point in the future. The website has some great images of traction engines in the jungle, heroes riding zebras, and airships everywhere. You can buy the 167 page pdf for $8 US from RPGNow.
Also, TI illustrator Daniel Strain and his company Playus Maximus have released their new sci fi boardgame, Smugglers of the Galaxy.
June 1, 2004 Army Men
While not really in the TI time period, T. and A. Sheil’s Army Men Homepage is an impressive homage to the little plastic soldiers that many youths cut their combative teeth upon.
How much better is this amiable miniature than the Real Thing. H.G. Wells, Little Wars.
May 29-31, 2004 A Blazing World
Monkey Brain Books is now taking preorders for Jess Nevins companion to volume two of the graphic novel League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, entitled A Blazing World. Alan Moore writes in the introduction: Without these two companion volumes, I doubt that the experience of the original work would be as complete, and I also doubt that Kevin and I would have felt sufficiently liberated or encourage to push the concept quite as far as we currently are doing. The book will be 300+ pages for $15.95 US.
The Home Campus will be on brief hiatus until June 1.
May 28, 2004 Hollow Planets
Hollow Planets is Jan Lamprechts feasibility study for the (quite reasonable) hypothesis that Mercury, Venus, and the Earth, are in fact hollow. You can read news reports, listen to radio interviews, and then, once you truly believe, buy the book.
May 27, 2004 Fort Griffin Echo
Dog House Rules have released a free, 36 page pdf supplement for their Old West game, Sidewinder: Recoiled. Its in the style of the newspaper from Fort Griffin, Texas, is quite attractive to look at, and includes historical information, an article about the Comanche, weapons, prestige classes, and rules for playing spaghetti western style.
May 26, 2004 The Call of the Wild
Although it is, no doubt, trite to say so, there is nothing like the inspiration derived from walking in nature. I am fortunate to live in a rural area with nearby federal, state, and local parks, as well as acres of undeveloped land upon which to wander. Even when I lived in New York City, one could travel to the northern tip of Manhattan to find bits of forest dating back to pre-colonial times. Use Google to find a natural area in your area and have a long walk to recharge your creative batteries.
May 25, 2004 HauntedHouse.com
HauntedHouse.com is an excellent resource for finding haunted houses, building haunted houses, buying stuff related to haunted houses, and meeting other folks interested in haunted houses.
May 24, 2004 MiniatureWargaming.com
MiniatureWargaming.com is a daily web log on a variety of subjects involving gaming with miniatures. The site is wonderfully categorized so that one can easily find items of interest. Well done!
May 23, 2004 Sewergator Sanctuary
Sewergator Sanctuary is devoted to one of the most widely cited urban myths, alligators in the citys sewers. The Sanctuary examines the phenomenon in literature, the press, art, &c.
May 22, 2004 DeMilles Lost City
Heres a website devoted to a lost city of another sort the set to Cecil B. DeMille’s epic movie The Ten Commandments, which the director ordered to be buried when shooting was completed. This sounds like the beginnings of a lovely TI, CoC, or d20 Modern adventure.
May 21, 2004 Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, with its unpronounceable title, indecipherable text, and unidentifiable author, is one of the most puzzling, enigmatic and fascinating books ever conceived. Since its publication (1499), it has surprised its readers with its vast knowledge of architecture and landscape and garden design, but also engineering, painting and sculpture. Part fictional narrative, and part scholarly treatise
. MIT Press hosts the entire book in facsimile, perfect for printing as player handouts. Perfect to add to ones library, right next to the Voynich Manuscript.
May 20, 2004 MIP Showcase VSF: Steamtanks & Landships
Expanding a bit on some of the above abbreviations, the Brabantini Yahoo Group and Paperworlds.com have announced the latest Miniatures In Paper Showcase Victorian Science Fiction: Steamtanks & Landships. Contribute your own cardstock creation or just stick around to reap the fruits of others labor.
May 19, 2004 The Universal General
I believe it has quite some time since Ive praised Rudi Geudens excellent Universal General website. Youll find a plethora of inspiration for colonial campaigns, both roleplaying and wargaming. Just the map of Afriboria is a pleasure to ponder.
May 18, 2004 Unknown Ancient Hellenic History
The Unknown Ancient Hellenic History site features some interesting topics such an Ancient Greeks in America and a small selection of Ancient Technology (including our old friend the Antikythera mechanism).
May 17, 2004 ONeills Ghost Stories
ONeills Ghost Stories is a wonderful resource for tales that can form the basis for spooky investigations.
May 16, 2004 Inside the Gates of Troy
SteamPower Publishings Gates of Troy, which apparently includes a nice map of the city, is available for $5 US at RPGNow. Perhaps the movie will inspire some explorations of this long lost city.
May 15, 2004 Mayan Online
If you ever have need to create some impressive player handouts in authentic Mayan hieroglyphics, the Yamada Language Center site from the University of Oregon has everything you need Mayan fonts (Macintosh only), a primer on writing your name, and some useful phrases.
May 14, 2004 Project 1557
Pulp Project 1557, the quasi-encyclopedic Pulp RPG resource and reference work has had a number of updates through the months, but could still use contributions. If you have any relevant notes lying about, be sure to add them to the Wikipedia.
May 13, 2004 American Science & Surplus
An amazing resource for all Gadgeteers, American Science & Surplus is an online clearinghouse of odds and ends who knows what one could build!
May 12, 2004 Lost Maps or Manuscripts, Lost Libraries, Gothic Winds
Lost maps or manuscripts, lost libraries, gothic winds is Richard Pangburns Listmania! suggestions from Amazon.com. The selection of books looks fascinating.
May 11, 2004 Would That It Were
Would That It Were, The Internets Premier Magazine of Historical SF, has been updated, with some new fiction and a nice, succinct article Definitions of Steampunk by Cory Gross.
May 10, 2004 Floorplans Galore
Finding the perfect floorplan online can simplify the process of fleshing out an adventure. Authentic Historical Designs has a collection of floorplans for American Victorian houses. If you need more variety, CoolHousePlans.com should satisfy. Theres even a cool castle with all the conveniences.
May 9, 2004 Edens Gate and a Sale
NAGS Society member Dirk Collins reports that his adventure, Edens Gate, is now appropriately listed on the Origins Convention website and he will release it as a free pdf after the Con.
A quick look at RPGNow.com this morning revealed that a number of great items are on sale, including Two Fisted Tales, Action! Classics: The War of the Worlds, and a number of WorldWorks cardstock building sets.
May 8, 2004 Ancient Worlds
AncientWorlds.com hosts message boards and links to information concerning ancient sites throughout the world.
May 7, 2004 Vampire Slayers and Bushrangers
A couple of new cinematic releases in the US explore different aspects of terra incognita: for heroes, monsters, and cool gadgetry, we have Van Helsing. My newspaper reviewed it as a Victorian James Bond, which sounds perfect. Next up is Ned Kelly, a slightly historical retelling of the famous Australian bushranger.
Also, this weeks Pyramid magazine features a steampunk adventure by James Cambias, The Hidden Valley of Science.
May 6, 2005 Cthulhu by Cards
Those who enjoy Cthulhu and collectible card games have two items to look forward to: the Call of Cthulhu Collectible Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games (you can download sample cards and beta rules and give it a try), and, in an effort to court the NASCAR set, Cthulhu 500 from Atlas Games, which combines the mythos with automobile racing!
Also, Fudge Factor 15 is up.
May 5, 2004 A-Tlan-Tis
This Ancient Mysteries Newsletter from Dandelion Books posits an Atlantis/Mexico connection. They have an archive of other such nuggets of wisdom, as well as a collection of newsletters on the Unexplained.
May 4, 2004 Mysterious Lake Vostok
Visit Lake Vostok, a mysterious body of water in the midst of Antarctica.
May 3, 2004 Alternate Perceptions
Get the real scoop with Alternate Perceptions Online magazine.
May 2, 2004 The 153 Club
The 153 Club is devoted to travel in the Saharan Desert (the clubs name comes from the number of the Michelin map covering the area). The site describes a variety of people and places one could explore in the desert; Timbuctoo the Mysterious, for example.
May 1, 2004 SteamPower
The well-named SteamPower Publishing has a number of upcoming releases that look promising. Yesterdays Tomorrows is a nuclearpunk game set in an Orwellian United States. Dead of Night will be a horror game while Darksteam features three settings in which industrial technology and magic coexist.
April 30, 2004 Mysterious Australia
Rex and Heather Gilroy have assembled this ætheric homage to mysteries Down Under: Mysterious Australia. Youll find a little bit of everything outré from an Australian perspective, including Yowies and enormous cats.
April 29, 2004 Sea Works
From the cardstock realm of WorldWorks Games comes a new set SeaWorks: The Legend of Skull Cove. Its obviously intended for pirate games, but whos to say what sort of adventures transpire on those deserted tropical islands?
April 28, 2004 Playus Maximus
Playus Maximus is the new game company founded by Terra Incognita illustrator D.T. Strain. I’m definitely looking forward to Rocket League!
April 27, 2004 Victorian Gamer
Though now sadly defunct, Jim Skippers ezine Victorian Gamer is a wonderful resource for Victorian tidbits. Youll find articles on the Babbage Engine, authentic Victorian recipes, and more.
April 22-26, 2004 JSTOR
Reading Richard Burtons account of his exploration of Lake Tanganyika in 1857-59 prompted me to look for online sources to the periodical where he published many of his observations: the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. This led me to the Journal Storage JSTOR.org website which affords access to numerous academic journals stretching back decades, if not two centuries. The only catch is that one needs to be affiliated with an academic institution or public library to access the archives, though common folk can try a demo. So, head to your library or alma mater to have a glimpse at what they were writing about terra incognita back in the day.
N.B.: I will be attending to some important business in the nation’s capital through the weekend; Dispatches resume on Tuesday next.
April 21, 2004 Cartoforge
Latest in my ongoing series of fantasy-gaming-utilities-that-I-would-like-to-adapt-to-historical-gaming is Cartoforge, a mapping program for PDAs. From the website:
Cartoforge Adventures are created as a series of scenes, each a location where something takes place, complete with a map, notes, and cast members associated with each scene.
Create the adventure when you have spare minutes during your day, then use cartoforge at the game to automatically keep track of NPC / Creature details, maps of the action, rewards earned by the players, and more.
April 20, 2004 Tablesmith Express
Bruce Gulke at Mythosa.net sells a number of Windows OS utilities for fantasy rpgs. The recent Tablesmith eXpress for Palm OS looks like it could be interesting for players in our time period. In addition to spitting out dwarf and elf names, it does names for demons and angels, Arabic names, Lovecraft names (Im intrigued), and even Shakespearean insults. One could probably add Vancean oaths for playing Dying Earth!
April 19, 2004 Adventure Tweaking
Our intrepid Gadgeteers made a few minor tweaks to the TI Adventure Starter, viz:
Reload the page for a new adventure each time!
April 18, 2004 The Mysterious and Unexplained
The Mysterious and Unexplained treats most of the usual suspects, but one is bound to find a new link here and about.
April 17, 2004 The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency
A NAGS Society partner since 1868, the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency (FVZA) has been a stalwart bulwark against undead incursions.
April 16, 2004 A Gaming Bouillabaisse
Ed Allen has posted a slightly-sorted list of gaming links Game Links.
April 15, 2004 Astounding Tales!
Heres something to look forward to: Astounding Tales! by Howard Whitehouse. See the press release on the Miniature Page for all the gory details.
April 14, 2004 Uncover Edens Gate at Origins 2004
Despite being too sensitive for public dissemination in the Origins (June 24-27 in Columbus OH, USA) preregistration materials, Dirk Collins will lead an intrepid group of NAGS Society Members to uncover the Gates of Eden. Here are the details:
Name of Event: Edens Gate
Event System: Fudge
Event Category: RPG
Event Description:* Join in the 1912 expedition to find the entrance to Eden, lost since biblical times.
Characters/Materials Provided to Participants Yes
Rules Edition: Terra Incognita
Publisher/Manufacturer of Event System: Grey Ghost Press, Inc / Scott Larson
Number of Players: [Min/Max] 3/6
Minimum Age: 12+
Maximum Age: None
Complexity of Game: [Easy]
Experience Required: [Newcomers Welcome]
How Many Times Will You Be Running This Event? 1
Event Date: Sun Jun 27
Event Start Time: 10 am
Event Duration: 3 hrs. 45 min
I request that the Manufacturer/Publisher of my Game be contacted for support: No
I Will Be Charging an Additional Fee for this Event: No
Notes: Terra Incognita is a fantasy roleplaying game of exploration, intrigue, and mystery, featuring adventure-scholars whose exploits span the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Armed with exclusive training, unpredictable technology, and unimpeachable discretion, Society members ("Nags") travel to the four corners of the globe -- exploring unknown lands, investigating mysteries, and uncovering ancient knowledge.
April 13, 2004 Unorthodox Archæology
This is one of those lists people make for Amazon.com, but it may be of interest to the TI fan: Unorthodox Academic Archæology.
April 12, 2004 Rub Al Khali The Empty Quarter
Rub Al Khali or the Empty Quarter is the Central Arabian region reclaimed by the desert. This website will point you towards some of its more interesting secrets, including the afore-Dispatched Atlantis of the Sands, the lost city of Ubar.
April 11, 2004 Zombie Run
For those who cant get enough zombies comes Zombie Run from Pinnacle, a 42 page, $7.95 pdf available from RPGNow. Zombie Run includes detailed scrounging tables, a mini-campaign suitable for many nights adventures, and an epic conclusion that should prove a real blast for the whole party! says the blurb.
April 10, 2004 The Dirty 30s!
Paper Dragon Productions has posted a new, extremely informative website Dirty 30s! in support of an Adventure Campaign. Youll find numerous pulpy resources all in one spot. Dig in!
April 9, 2004 World Explorers Club
And if one lost city isnt enough, the bookshop at the World Explorers Club sells a whole series of books on them!
N.B.: Tune into the latest dispatch from Darkest Jimland and help Julius Flagstone to choose his next adventure.
April 8, 2004 Ubar, the Lost City
Here is the website for the PBS Nova special on the search for Ubar, the Lost City of Arabia.
April 7, 2004 Fighting Fantasy in Your Palm
While not at all the TI genre, ProPorta Ltd have licensed the Fighting Fantasy Book 1 by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone and programed it in the Palm OS. I love the idea of being able to play solo adventures on a PDA. Perhaps at some point more genres than fantasy will be represented.
April 6, 2004 War of the Worlds
Back in 1999, Steve Dismukes created this fine War of the Worlds site. Thanks to the longevity of data on the ætherwaves, we can still enjoy it today!
April 5, 2004 Blood Games, Ætherverse & Rippers
Flying Mice are about to release a new modern horror/occult rpg entitled Blood Games;
Multiverse, from Triskele Games, is now to be entitled Ætherverse: the Infinite Game of Miniature Battles; and
Pinnacle Entertainment Group has released further details concerning their upcoming miniature battle game, Rippers.
April 4, 2004 Afristan
Afristan is the setting for BlueBears (aka Jeff Hudelson) colonial wargames campaign. The site has a number of good ideas worth borrowing.
April 3, 2004 Pulp-Fu
Bayn.org has released a new supplement for Wushu, their cinematic martial arts rpg: Pulp-Fu: A Wushu Game of Noir Style & Pulp Action! (38 page pdf, $5.00 US).
April 2, 2004 Fudge Factor 14
A jam-packed issue Fudge Factor has hit the æther waves! You’ll find meaty interviews with Fudge author Steffan O’Sullivan and publisher Ann Dupuis (who makes a variety of flattering comments about TI blush, blush), and a complete game by Carl Cravens: Department 13: Underfunded, understaffed, overworked and our last best stand against the Darkness.
April 1, 2004 Miskatonic University Press
William Denton is the editor in chief of Miskatonic University Press, an eclectic (and apparently no longer updated?) collection of electronic tidbits.
March 31, 2004 Amazing Stories
Paizo Publishing (who now publish Dragon and Dungeon magazines) have announced that they will relaunch Amazing Stories in July. This chestnut from the pulp era (first published in 1926) will include new science fiction and supernatural horror stories read it to find the H.P. Lovecrafts of the 21st century!
March 30, 2004 The Steampunk Compendium
The Steampunk Compendium is a new website devoted to all flavors of steampunk. Its just getting started, but includes a reference to Dinotopia, one of my favorite explorations of terra incognita.
March 29, 2004 Now Playing
The premier release from Carnivore Games is Now Playing, a Fudge game that allows you to convert your favorite TV show from any genre into an rpg. The setting featured in the core rulebook (a fictional TV program) may interest TI fans: “The Foundation for Paranormal Investigation was founded by a very wealthy and eccentric man who has good reason to believe in ghosts. He decided to start the foundation as a means to learn all there is to know about the mysteries of world. He assembled a team of scientists, psychics, investigators, scholars and religious experts to delve into these mysteries and turn fable into fact. With his backing, other teams were formed all across the U.S., and even abroad, creating a large network of cells that are all geared toward the investigation of the paranormal.”
March 19-28, 2004 Tales of Future Past and a Hiatus
Have a look at the Davidszondy.com tribute to past dreams of the future, Tales of Future Past. The site includes wonderful little assays and images from various science fiction and pulp imaginations and how they thought we might be living in the 21st century. Future cities, future war, Hugo Gernsback its all there. [Thanks to David Crowell and the GASLIGHT Yahoo Group].
NOTA BENE: The NAGS Society Main Campus will be taking a brief hiatus in order to attend to an item of critical import in the Big Easy, New Orleans. Dispatches will resume on March 29. In the meanwhile, we encourage Society members to look in on the near daily reports from Famous and Brave explorers Julius Flagstone and his wife, the fetching Olivia Fate, as they plumb the secret depths of Jimland.
March 18, 2004 William Hensons Ærial Steam Carriage & Multiverse
And if Boilerplate needed to fly, he would undoubtedly had taken William Hensons Ærial Steam Carriage. Chip Fyn at Fiddlers Green has posted another new cardstock æroplane.
Also, Triskele Game Design Studios has released a demo of a new science fiction/fantasy miniature wargame entitled Multiverse: Set in a future in which the theory of multiple universes has been proven true, Multiverse features armies from alternate Earth futures battling for domination. I mention it for two reasons it might serve well for those historical recursion scenarios where the British Army fights lost Roman legions, and also because the cover features two cool pith-helmeted explorers facing off against a robot.
March 17, 2004 Boilerplate News
If youve not checked in awhile, have a look at the latest news about Boilerplate, the famous Victorian Robot.
March 16, 2004 Undiscovered
Undiscovered is the Fortean weblog of one Tarquin Rees, an interesting-sounding chap who lives in Paris.
March 15, 2004 The Virtual Armchair General
Returning from a catastrophic computer conundrum, Patrick Wilson has unveiled a new and updated Virtual Armchair General website. Items of interest are the Bhoys line of cardstock buildings, miniatures, and rules for fighting the Gangs of New York; Buffalo Chip western cardstock buildings; boats for Rajah Brooke and the Kris and the Flame, and more.
March 14, 2004 Dr. Zeuss War of the Worlds
Dr. Zeus has assembled what has to be a complete collection of images from H.G. Wells War of the Worlds. In addition to its historical and bibliographic value, the site provides a rich vein to mine for VSF inspiration.
March 13, 2004 Philately.com
The Philately.com site, devoted to the collection and study of postage stamps, is quite a useful resource in its own right. The thematic index will point you to a number of utile databases concerning interesting topics such as dinosauria, historical events of the 19th century, and an extensive list of capsule biographies.
March 12, 2004 Kokogiak
Alan Taylors Kokogiak website is an eclectic little collection of bits and pieces. I got there via the collection of Megafauna, but stayed to learn more about Our Journeys to Luna and then to try the link to NoWords.org.
And, once again I managed to miss the anniversary, but as of March 5, the NAGS Society has been broadcasting Daily Dispatches for two years!
March 11, 2004 Behind the Name
Names are a critical part of any character (and theyre handy in real life, too). Behind the Name: the Etymology and History of First Names is an expansive site that reveals the history of nigh innumerable first names in a smorgasbord of languages. Find one for your character or name all your NPCs according to their hidden natures.
March 10, 2004 Burning Void
The kind folks at Burning Void have posted an extremely thorough, and I would say flattering, review of Terra Incognita. The Burning Void site itself contains scads of information for roleplayers, including players, GMs, and those folks who like to write games. There is an email zine entitled Twilight Time and more. Have a look!
March 9, 2004 The Soul Traders
This article from LewisCarroll.org (and actually reprinted from the Independent of 27 April, 2000) reveals that Victorian photographers wanted to capture more than the image of their subject; they wanted their Souls.
March 8, 2004 Chinese Undead Terra-cotta Army
This thread on the Miniature Page is starting to sound just like a Terra Incognita adventure!
March 7, 2004 Delay and Bad News
Bad weather and the loss of electrical power delayed the todays Dispatch, which is itself bad news. A notice on Gary Chalks Little Grenadier website indicates that he is closing down the site. If you are a member and havent visited in awhile, be sure to download all the plans you want while they are still there!
March 6, 2004 Free Pulp Villains
Politically Incorrect Games (which merged with Spectre Games) has released a free 28 page pdf supplement to Two Fisted Tales: Pulp Villains. Get it at RPGNow.com.
March 5, 2004 Northern Crown
As I suspected, the gaming company bringing out Doug Andersons Septentrionalis is Atlas. The book is now called Northern Crown: New World Adventures. Read yesterdays Dispatch from Atlas (3/3/04) for a mention.
March 4, 2004 March Fo(u)rth
Creative Mountain Games has proclaimed March the Fourth to be GMs day. You can read more on their website. All the specials are for fantasy material, but whos to say that other genres of rpgs cant get in on the fun.
March 3, 2004 Test Drive a Narwal
The fine folks at Reviresco are giving away a great cardstock Victorian science fiction submersible, the Narwal. Its 1/100 scale (roundabout 15mm), over two feet long, and a lovely shade of green.
March 2, 2004 CanGames
Eric Paquette will be running a Terra Incognita adventure at Cangames 2004. The event will be run on Saturday, May 22nd during the afternoon [the complete schedule doesnt seem to be posted yet on the website; check back).
And, the March issue of Fudge Factor is up.
March 1, 2004 Best of the West
Minifigs has just released a line of 15mm old west figures, including US cavalry, plains indians, gunfighters, accessories such as stagecoach and buffalo, and free rules, Bite the Bullet. Read the announcement on the Miniature Page for more information. As usual, I find the Minifigs US website confusing; I cant find any mention of the minis or rules, but perhaps an email to Tom Dye will reveal where those varmints are hiding. [Until the rules are up on the website, email Tom and hell send them to you via email].
February 29, 2004 Lloydian Modelling Tips
Lloyds Modelling Tips website offers some useful guidance for constructing a variety of tabletop terrain.
February 28, 2004 Æther Traveller
The Links page of the Æther Traveller has some links to various alternate history and Victorian science fiction related websites.
February 27, 2004 Savage Worlds Showdown and Rippers
Pinnacle (which now seems to be called Great White Games; I missed the memo) has released a free redaction of the Savage Worlds rpg/miniature skirmish rules entitled Savage Worlds Showdown. Designed for competitive play, the rules will be featured in an upcoming miniatures game called Rippers, Victorian monster-hunting steampunk, according to the advert on the back of Showdown. I cant find any more information on the website just yet; Ill pass it along when it becomes available.
February 26, 2004 The Alliterates
The Alliterates Writing Society includes some of the bigger names in rpg writing. Check the website for links to their personal sites and some original fiction.
February 25, 2004 Baen Free Library
Visit the Baen Free Library for free access to some downloadable ebooks, including Doc Sidhe by fabulous rpg author Aaron Allston.
February 24, 2004 Once Again into Jimland [Update]
Jim Wright has made a number of updates to the Adventures in Jimland website. Of particular note, the revised rules are now available. I recommend printing out and reading all of the battle reports in order (nearly 200 pages of 9 point text!). It’s like a VSF novel with all the trimmings great characters, adventure, mystery, intrigue, and humor. And in the latest update (2-23-04) Julius Flagstone receives an important communiqué from the NAGS Society.
Update: Of course, Adventures in Jimland is now available, free for download, on this very website!
February 23, 2004 Game Storm
This years Game Storm is coming up on March 5-7 in Portland, Oregon (USA). You can join in a Terra Incognita adventure Jabberwock from 9-11 AM on Saturday. You can also try HeartQuest run by its author, Michael Hopcroft, from 2-6 PM on Saturday.
February 22, 2004 The Great Race
Before there was Monte Carlo or Bust there was The Great Race (1965). This Blake Edwards farce includes a submersible, bicycle-powered blimp, Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk as the evil Professor Fate and his assistant Max, a gadget-filled car, an homage to The Prisoner of Zenda, and Natalie Wood in a teddy.
Professor Fates Hannibal Twin 8 comes in a paper version by Ed Bertschy and a 1/64 miniature by Reviresco. They sell a matching ærial torpedo and balloon as well.
February 21, 2004 Risus Companion
S. John Ross Risus is a free rpg perfect for those outings when you want to share an enjoyable story without worrying exactly how many damage dice to throw if you fall off a cliff. The Risus Companion (64 page pdf, $10 US) fleshes out the free game quite nicely.
February 20, 2004 Believe It or Not!
I grew up devouring secondhand Ripleys Believe It or Not books and visiting their fine museums throughout the US. Mine the Ripleys website for examples of the weirdness experienced by members of the NAGS Society every day.
February 19, 2004 Peanutbutterjellyfish.com
In addition to its droll name, Ray Boemlers Peanutbutterjellyfish Studios Website is worth your while for a look-see. Begin with his bio hes lived a life worthy of any rpg character. Next have a look at the sculptures that shop in New Mexico where he found the Little Jars of Horror sounds interesting! Finally, pay a visit to the miniatures page, as Ray is planning a range of Victorian science fiction vehicles that sound Superb.
February 18, 2004 Around the World with Jackie Chan
Disney has made a new version of the Verne classic Around the World in 80 Days, opening June 16 (in the US, I imagine). Visit the Movie Box page to see the trailer. The movie stars John Cleese, the governor of California, and best of all, Jackie Chan as Passepartout!
February 17, 2004 Polymancer
Polymancer Studios is bringing out a new gaming magazine Polymancer. Visit the website to read sample articles and the submissions guidelines. A new magazine that publishes articles about a variety of systems is certainly welcome.
February 16, 2004 Monte Carlo or Bust
Monte Carlo or Bust (1969), known in the US as Those Daring Young Men in their Jaunty Jalopies, is an amusing cross-Europe automobile race movie with Tony Curtis, Susan Hampshire, and a young Dudley Moore. National stereotypes abound, much of the humor is juvenile, but the bits with gadgeteer Major Dibgy Dawlish and Lt. Kit Barrington are worth it all.
February 15, 2004 Horror Rules
While were on the subject of new roleplaying games, heres something in a different vein Horror Rules: The Simply Horrible Role-Playing Game you can get it as a 100 page softcover for $17.99 US or as a pdf from RPGNow for $5.00). Reading the description, it sounds as though this one has a bunch of nice touches to recreate the B movie experience.
February 14, 2004 Septentrionalis, and a Little More Smilin
After a lengthy hiatus, Doug Anderson has updated the Septentrionalis: Roleplaying Adventures in 17th Century America webpage. If you don’t recall, Septentrionalis was a free d20 game which I can best describe as Terra Incognita in colonial America lots of mysteries in the new world and cool colonial gadgets to help you explore it. About a year ago, Mr. Anderson removed the pdf in anticipation of commercial publication. The update on the site explains it shall be published by an established but undisclosed publisher in 2005. I kick myself weekly for not having downloaded the pdfs when I had the chance, and am eagerly awaiting this one!
I forgot one more Old West rpg, this one already in stores: Link Medias Link:West, a Guardians of Order Magnum Opus product using their d20 Silver Age Sentinels rules. You can read a Ken Hite review to see what he thinks.
February 13, 2004 When You Say That, Smile
The world of Old West roleplaying is heating up again with some imminent releases:
The first is Gunslingers: Wild West Action! from Gold Rush Games, a 168 page softcover sourcebook (apparently also as a pdf) using the Action! system. Check the list of authors to see Grey Ghost Press own Ann Dupuis (author of GURPS Old West). You can download a free preview to get a taste.
Next up is Sidewinder: Recoiled, the d20 version of Sidewinder updated to the d20 Modern rules. It will be a pdf or print-on-demand book available later this month. The Dog House Rules website has samples of many of the chapters.
February 12, 2004 Destroy All Monsters!
Picking up upon the thread of post-apocalyptic games mentioned in a previous Dispatch as well as any number of movies made in the 50s, have a look at John Crimmins Destroy All Monsters. Pick your favorite movie monster or create your own and take it to the streets. Of course, in the TI timeline your beast may have to face a squad of intrepid Nags.
February 11, 2004 Beneath the Waves
Planned Movement Production, a game company based in Sweden, has on the drawingboard a steampunk submersible combat game called Beneath the Waves. Have a look at some preliminary information and photographs, including a photo essay detailing how they made subs from Pringles cans and styrofoam!
February 10, 2004 A Cordial Invitation to Share Your Expertise
You are cordially invited to share your expertise with members of the NAGS Society in their explorations of terra incognita. Several members of the Terra Incognita Yahoo Group propose to begin a campaign conducted through the mail, consisting of letters exchanged by Nags in the field. Inspiration comes most directly from the great Cthulhu rpg De Profundis, though it is entirely in the spirit of Victorian exploration to correspond with one’s colleagues. If you think you might be interested in breaking out fountain pen and foolscap, visit the TI Yahoo group and join the discussion. Obviously, the correspondence will proceed slowly so you’ll have plenty of time to think and write.
February 9, 2004 Where Anything Can Happen
I have been meaning forever to Dispatch a link to Adventures in Jimland, Where Anything Can Happen, an excellent Victorian science fiction site by Jim Wright. Mr. Wright includes numerous reports on the fascinating history and current events in Jimland, a remarkable spot ripe for exploration.
February 8, 2004 A Sale on Skeletons
The is an ad on the Miniature Page today for Dark Ages Miniatures for 25mm skeletons (with an axe) for $.35 each. If youve got a ruin that needs to be populated by the restless dead, heres your chance to do it cheaply.
February 7, 2004 ButterflyShip.com
Have a look at these gorgeous handbuilt, wooden ship models from ButterflyShip.com. Quite reasonably priced, too. Many people on the Miniature Page thread where I got the link attest to their quality. And you can get mounted butterflies if you somehow have use for them, as well.
February 6, 2004 Dimensions Game Software Does Fudge
Dimensions Game Software, whose Starting Points online tools have shown up in previous Dispatches, have a variety of Fudge related products that are worth a look:
The Interactive Fudge Accessory Pack (free from RPGNow.com) includes a Fudge die roller, a cool slot machine game that uses Fudge Dice, and most importantly, a Fudge character creation utility (based on the basic Fudge document, but easily customized for TI characters.)
And finally, the newest item (which I just bought) is the Fudge Random Bestiary Generators ($4.57 US from RPGNow.com): Generate random seeds for countless creatures: dinosaurs, fantasy beasts, robots, and downright silly mutants. Manually edit them to meet your gaming requirements, then either print them or copy and paste them to your word processor. The generators will create generic info such as the creatures name and attacks as well as Fudge specific info such as Wound Levels and Damage Factors. The Generator functions exactly as advertised, offering some interesting creations such as Japanese Beetle Man or Water Dragon Zombie, with complete stats.
February 5, 2004 Odds & Ends
Here are a few odds & ends gleaned today:
Fiddlers Green has released yet another cardstock model of a great early æroplane, 1912s British Mersey monoplane.
If youve not been in awhile, the Moonlit Road is a great online source for American folklore in digital recordings.
And finally, this is quite outside the TI timeline, but too cool to pass up June will see the release of the Trojan War from Green Ronin.
February 4, 2004 PAMedia
As readers of Marcus Rowlands Forgotten Futures V: Goodbye Piccadilly well know, the end of the world and what happens after was an important subject in Victorian science fiction. The excellent Post Apocalyptic Media site collects all you might want to know about more recent visions of the end. The rpg page has a refreshingly complete roundup of post-apoc games, and I discovered that the Morrow Project is, apparently, still in print!
February 3, 2004 History of Science in the US
Clark Elliots History of Science in the United States website is a treasure trove of information about American scientific progress. The Chronology runs from 1790 to the 1900s, year by year.
February 2, 2004 Adventure Specialists
Check the website of these Adventure Specialists for information about some real expeditions into the mysteries of Colorado and Peru.
And, as promised, Fudge Factor has returned.
February 1, 2004 WWI.com
WorldWar1.com is an extremely informative site about all aspects of the Great War. Have a look at the VRML Hall to see some WWI technology up close.
January 31, 2004 Fudge Factor to Return
Fudge Factor, the online magazine devoted to Fudge, is slated to return in February. The best way you can contribute to its continued success is to write down those notes that have been languishing on you laptop or notebook and SUBMIT AN ARTICLE!
January 30, 2004 Yog-Sothoth
Yog-Sothoth.com (what would Lovecraft have thought?) is a website devoted to all things Cthulhu. Their most recent big news is the release of Return to Arkham Horror, the unfinished, unreleased supplement to the Arkham Horror boardgame. They also have a story about Worlds of Cthulhu, a new Lovecraft related magazine.
January 29, 2004 Cliffhangers
The online journal Images features a special on Cliffhangers, an illustrated history of pulp serials.
January 28, 2004 Historical Atlas of Expeditions
For those with an interest in the exploration of terra incognita I recommend the following guidebook: Karen Farringtons Historical Atlas of Expeditions. From ancient Egypt to the turn of the last century, the Farrington provides an excellent summary of the expeditions undertaken by the worlds great explorers, complete with maps and illustrations.
January 27, 2004 Get Ready for Origins
Dirk Collins is busily preparing his TI adventure for Origins 2004 (June 24-27)
Here’s the scoop from Dirk: Eden’s Gate is a Terra Incognita murder mystery designed to be played in four hours. The storyline includes an epic arc that carries the players from Chicago, and the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute in 1936 to New York, and then London (via a chartered PanAm flying boat), on to Paris, and Constantinople (on the Orient Express), and into the wilderness of Turkey and Iran via any available transport including possibly caravan pack animals, in an epic adventure with truly biblical origins. Portions of this RPG adventure is based on a Learning Channel special from the now renowned archaeologist David Rohl.
January 26, 2004 Wargames Journal
Wargames Journal is a free monthly online magazine for wargamers (though roleplayers are bound to find items of interest). There are lost of great terrain how-tos, reviews of rules, assorted downloads, &c.
January 25, 2004 Igor: The Mad Scientists Lament
Igor: The Mad Scientists Lament, the upcoming card game from Interactivities Ink, is the perfect diversion for budding mad scientists everywhere.
January 24, 2004 Steel Roses
The newest addition to the Fudge family is Steel Roses: the HeartQuest Guide to Mecha (11 Mb [!!] pdf for $5.95 US), being in the main Fudge rules for mecha combat. Those who prefer to combat steam-powered colossi rather than sleek Power Rangers will undoubtedly want to tinker under the hood a bit, but it should prove to be good sport, what?
January 23, 2004 Dog of War
The GASLIGHT section of the Dogs of War gaming club features a detailed photo essay on building a Prussian Airship. Follow along and watch them transform a plastic toy into a gorgeous, steam powered, Zeelium filled beauty.
January 22, 2004 Felix du Temple and Fiddlers Green
Chip Fyn at Fiddlers Green has done it again with another cardstock wonder Felix du Temples steam-powered monoplane from 1874. You can get the 3 page pdf for only $2.95 and be up and hopping in no time. And have a look at Hensons Aerial Steam Carriage, coming soon!
January 21, 2004 Beau Gest
From a great film to a great read, today I give you Beau Gest by P.C. Wren. Its one part Agatha Christie, one part Robert Louis Stevenson, and a delight to read. Ive not yet seen it, but the 1939 movie version with Gary Cooper is a classic.
January 20, 2004 Casablanca
Latest in my ongoing series of movies-I-ought-to-have-seen-long-ago is the classic Casablanca (1942). The romance is affecting, of course, but the real interest to me was how a small problem finding a way to get out of Casablanca grew to epic proportions because of the engaging quality of the characters. If it has been awhile since youve seen it, Casablanca is worth another look.
January 19, 2004 Spacebuckler
Spacebuckler is a forthcoming d20 game by Mike Martinez from Twisted Paradigm Press. Similar to a TI variant I have been mulling over for some time, Spacebuckler is a Space:1489- type thing, with starfaring swashbucklers and flat planets. It should be available as a pdf later this spring.
January 18, 2004 The Friedrich Files
Friedrich Kappes has collected a volume of links for turn of the century vehicular technology (æroplanes, airships, ships) on his site, the Friedrich Files.
January 17, 2004 Voyage to Our Hollow Earth - 24 Day Trip
This Dispatch is stolen from the Steve Jackson Games Daily Illuminator, who in turn got it from Marcus Rowland, but its too good to pass up. Steve Currys Expedition Company is planning a trip to the Earths hollow core, departing June 26, 2005, and reasonably priced just shy of $19,000 US. (Im sure Mr. Curry is a former member of the NAGS Society; Ill have to check the membership roll). For more on the expedition organizers inspiration, see the pdf book World Top Secret: Our Earth is Hollow.
January 16, 2004 Daedalus
Somehow I managed to miss the fall 2003 premier of Matt Dust Devils Snyders roleplaying magazine Daedalus (the next issue is due at the end of January). Authors include some big names from the indie game scene Emily Dresner Thornber, Ron Edwards, and T.S. Luikart, for example. Articles in the first number discuss fantasy gaming (specifically, HeroQuest) and the roleplaying hobby itself. Im sure pieces on a historical theme would be welcome read the Contributor Guidelines and submit!
January 15, 2004 The Lost World on TV
The Lost World TV show is, criminally, not on in my area, but the website does an admirable job of presenting the show. You can examine the episode guide (for adventure ideas), view excerpt from the show, get desktop wallpaper, &c.
January 14, 2004 French Foreign Legion
If youre like me, perhaps you, on occasion, suddenly realize just how much you need to game a completely new period or genre. My most recent mania involves the French colonial experience in north Africa. The catalyst came from the nifty plans for a French Foreign Legion fort that one Mister Palmtree contributed to the files section of the Colonial Battles Yahoo group (in the file entitled Colonial Architect).
If youd rather go the quick and easy plastic route (and you have deep pockets), have a look at the Conteco Beau Geste Deluxe Fort Playset, which comes with the book and 1939 movie Beau Geste.
And finally, for inspiration, Ian Croxalls Red Shadow page features background reading, figure painting guides, and illustrated battle reports.
January 13, 2004 Basic Pulp
From J. Parker, J. Carpio Dregg, and Chapter 13 Press comes Basic Pulp!, a free 26 page pdf pulp game.
January 12, 2004 Chain Reaction and Larger Than Life
Delving further into the Two Hour Wargames catalog we find some items of interest to the TI fan: Chain Reaction (also available as Guns and Girls) is a skirmish game that asks and answers the question World War II, Bug Hunts, Colonial Wars, Vietnam, B movies, and Al Capone. What do all these things have in common? Heavy firepower.
Joining the Two Hour Wargames Yahoo Group gets you access to the Chain Reaction 2.0 material (in the files section) which includes Chain Reaction VSF rules and Haferland, which is a preview of Larger Than Life, a forthcoming pulp skirmish game from THW.
January 11, 2004 Yee Haw!
A couple of recent developments could interest those who game in the Old West:
J & T Miniatures is running a sale on western buildings through January 31 buy three and the fourth is free (and who can resist that pirate ship);
and all Two Hour Wargames, including the western skirmish game Six Gun Sound, are now available in pdf format (pay by credit card or Paypal and they email it to you later).
January 10, 2004 Not Affiliated with the Television Show
The Unsolved Mysteries website (which proudly proclaims that it is not affiliated with the US television show of that name) is great, great, great stuff.
January 9, 2004 Unmuseum Swag
Support your local Museum of Unnatural Mystery by visiting the CafePress shop and purchasing an Unmuseum tee shirt, mug, or wall calendar.
January 4-8, 2004 Go West, Young Nag
A brief sojourn to the western wilds of the US will interrupt Society transmissions this week. Dispatches will resume on Friday, January 9. Here is a potpourri of tidbits until then:
While neither Victorian nor pulp, Gatecrasher is an old chestnut formerly published by Grey Ghost Press. Domibia Games is about to bring it out a new edition; check out the press release for a link to a free setting preview.
If youve not been in a while, check out Steam-Trek, the adventures of the HMAS Dauntless, to satisfy your VSF cravings.
And finally, the New York Times ran a nice article in the travel section on mysterious Easter Island (which was just reprinted in my local paper today).
January 3, 2004 VillainSupply.com
As mentioned on the Pulp_Games Yahoo group comes this answer to all your nefarious needs: VillainSupply.com! Here youll find everything you need to set up shop as a wold-dominating evil mastermind.
January 2, 2004 Try Some Printed Poison
Got your Printed Poison? Its the ezine possessed by the ghost of a dead 30s pulp! Inside every issue you'll discover a treasure trove of pulse-pounding, two-fisted, spine-tingling tales of mystery, horror, adventure and sci-fi! Printed Poison is published bi-monthly and all the stories are newly penned by our stable of capable hacks!
January 1, 2004 RPGNow Monthly Downloader
The RPGNow Monthly Downloader for December features an article about Fudge and reviews of several commercial Fudge products for sale via download, including Amanda Dickerson’s TI adventure Dead Sea Murder.
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