philmophlegm: (Concentrated power)

"We can all put aside our partisan differences for a moment and agree that this Trump-Clinton “Dirty Dancing” duet is the best thing to come out of the debate."

Don't trust "factcheckers". Maybe it’s just my innate cynicism and a background as a professional sceptic that always makes me doubt someone who claims to be “unbiased” when giving you “the facts”.

Why Truman fired MacArthur. Fascinating account.

Weaker Sterling is (on balance) somewhere between good and very good for the UK economy.

...and another article making a similar argument.

Tolkien might not have been too impressed by the current trend to concentrate on the ethnicity of science fiction and fantasy authors rather than the quality of their work.

There is no such thing as trickle-down economics.

This is the best explanation of why so many people will vote for Donald Trump that I've seen.

Ched Evans is Not Guilty. Here's ten myths about the case that need to be busted.

Who is winning in Labour and the Liberal Democrats' race to be the most anti-semitic party?

Dennis Byrd didn't deserve to die in a car crash.

Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' slowed down is amazingly good. (Thanks beckyc)

18 Game of Thrones moments improved by quotes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Given the dearth of available options, who should American conservatives vote for in the presidential election?

Are we seeing the beginning of a political realignment in the UK? Interesting lecture.

Here's a particularly unsubtle example of simple corruption from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

Political map of Europe, year-by-year from 3650BC to 2016AD.

70-year-olds play D&D for the first time.

The third most likely person to become the next President of the United States, and how he would do it. OK, it’s beyond unlikely, but not impossible…

philmophlegm: (K'Kree)
All are in 28mm scale. Photography by bunn. They're either characters from A Song of Ice and Fire or from my own roleplaying campaigns.


Melisandre. I'm pleased with how red she came out.


More miniatures behind the cut: )
philmophlegm: (Night's Watch)
I went back to work today. I actually ended up working a fair number of hours last week because unfortunately January is the busiest time of the year for my most important client. In my previous job, where I got eight weeks holiday a year, I would take four of those weeks from Christmas and into January. Now that I work for myself, I don't get eight weeks. In fact last year I don't think I had two full weeks. Most of the holiday I had last year was either running a roleplaying campaign set in the east of Middle-earth in the Second Age or preparing for that campaign.

This Christmas I made an effort to do some creative stuff.


Most of the creative stuff is directly related to that same roleplaying campaign. First of all, a pair of maps (hand-drawn, using dip pen, assorted calligraphy and cartographical nibs and drawing ink and using handmade paper from Nepal). The first (of Numenor) is a direct copy of a Tolkien map, the second is of a non-canonical Numenorean colony in the east which I wanted to do in the same style.



Read more... )
philmophlegm: (The Shop on the Borderlands)
We've started our sale here at The Shop on the Borderlands. I won't actually start advertising this until Thursday night (ready for Black Friday), so here's your opportunity to snatch some bargains among the classic roleplaying games and boardgames. Well over 1,000 items reduced, and more than 500 of those are half price or better.

Obviously there are far too many bargains to list here, but I will pick out some of what I think are the best deals:

Our entire 13th Age range, including the core rulebook, brand new and 15% off.
Cirque for Traveller 5 - half price.
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire specialisation decks - all 35% off (and brand new)
Designers & Dragons - The Complete Four Volume History of the Roleplaying Game Industry - 25% off (and brand new, from the Kickstarter)
Dreaming Spires boardgame (brand new) 15% off
5th edition D&D Starter Set (brand new) 15% off
Numenera Core Rulebook and Player's Guide - both brand new and 15% off
Out of the Abyss Campaign for 5th edition D&D (brand new) 15% off
Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign for 5th edition D&D (brand new) 15% off
Tons of d20 and 3rd edition D&D slashed to £1, £2 or £3.
Tome of Magic (2nd edition AD&D hardback) - was £29 now £7!
Elven Fire (Shadowrun adventure) - 75% off!
GURPS Space - was £40, now £10
Horror on the Orient Express 1st edition (not the new one) - was £150 now £37.50!
Skills & Powers (AD&D 2.5th edition hardback) - 75% off!
Ruins of Zhentil Keep (AD&D boxed set) - 75% off!
RA3 Touch of Death (Ravenloft adventure) - was £30 now £7.50
HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourceboo (2nd edition AD&D) - was £36 now £9
HR2 Charlemagne's Paladins - half price
Sorcerors of Pan Tang (Stormbringer) - 75% off!
Big reductions on Shadowrun
Ars Magica 2nd edition rulebook - half price
Book of Vile Darkness (3rd edition D&D) - half price
Challenge magazines - half price
Dragon magazines - half price
Changeling: The Dreaming (World of Darkness) - half price
City of Splendors (AD&D Forgotten Realms boxed set) - half price
Dawn of the Emperors (BECMI D&D boxed set) - half-price
Droyne (Classic Traveller) - half price

...and there's loads more, but if I told you about all the great bargains now, it would take away the fun of browsing through the lists wouldn't it?

The full list of all of our SALE STOCK is here.

Oh, and we now sell Shop on the Borderlands gift vouchers too. Face it, I just solved your Christmas present buying problems, didn't I?
philmophlegm: (Google Partners)

Never swallow a porcupine whole.

And the lesson to be learned here is this: make a self-deprecating joke to a conference that could be misinterpreted as politically incorrect if removed from the context in which it was made, then it _will_ be removed from its context, selectively quoted and used by a social media mob to hound you out of your job, no matter how great your previous accomplishments. Richard Dawkins is angry about this, and really so should we all be. This is typical of the condemnatory articles that didn't think to check facts.

Doctor Who Online does look to be defrauding advertisers. They’ve tried this with The Shop on the Borderlands (we sell Doctor Who RPGs), but I was too sceptical. Combine a proprietary analytics system that massively overstates traffic with quite persistent selling, and yes, I think Mr Sandifer is on to something.

Half of households receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes. (And that’s before you include the cost of state education, state healthcare, public sector salaries etc…)

Free market lessons from Scandinavia.

The man who invented trainspotting (sort of) has died.

Well Google, this is awkward...

Sir Nicholas Winton, the "British Schindler", has died aged 106.

Did Joss Whedon base Firefly on Traveller? This is a good examination of the evidence.

Holograms that you can touch (sort of). Next step, Holodecks!

This year's ENnie Awards (the RPG and miniatures industry awards)  nominees

So let me get this straight - Scottish votes for Scottish laws is right and proper; Welsh votes for Welsh laws is right and proper; Northern Irish votes for Northern Irish laws is right and proper but English votes for English laws is "racist".

Nice collection of photos of the British Grand Prix over the years.

I'm amazed that the Forth Bridge isn't already a World Heritage Site.

This is who we got to present the winner's trophy at this year's You're Hired! final. Seems a good chap.

This time it really is the end of the line for  the Avro Vulcan.

philmophlegm: (3D Monster Maze)

Bah humbug.

Two things have really got me annoyed this afternoon and frankly put me in something of a bad mood. This is a shame, because earlier I was in a good mood, having returned from lunch with a friend to find that my RPG shop had taken two substantial orders from France in my absence.

Both those orders came on the back of a little bit of digital marketing. I wrote a couple of blog posts. The first simply reproduced Dungeon Magazine's 2004 list of the 30 Greatest D&D Adventures of All Time, while the second explained what was wrong with the original article and suggested 20 more adventures. I then included both posts in an email newsletter, sent the newsletter to existing customers and posted about the articles on a couple of relevant facebook groups. Lots of interest, discussion, likes etc on the facebook page, and subsequently these two sales this afternoon.

And then one guy posted this in response: )

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philmophlegm

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