Tag: The Dresden Files
Man, do we have some great nominations this year. The Hugo Award is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. The Hugos are awarded each year by the World Science Fiction Society, at the World Science Fiction Convention. Let me go over some of the ones I am excited about.
This actually came as light surprise to me. I am not used to having already read one of the year’s Hugo Award nominees for Best Novel. I’ve written about how the book is awesome. FEED is by Mira Grant, the alter ego of Seanan McGuire and it has a sequel coming out, DEADLINE, on May 31st, a book I am anticipating as much as Ghost Stories by Jim Butcher. So congratulations Ms. McGuire!
Best Short Story
I have not read any of the short stories nominated, however I will be looking forward to Escape Pod in the coming weeks, as they typically make a point of releasing all five Hugo Nominated short stories on as podcasts.
Best Related Work
Speaking of podcasts, Writing Excuses: Season 4, has been nominated for Best Related Work. Created and staring , Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells, the podcast focuses on various topics related to writing and becoming an author while keeping any particular topic under fifteen minuets because, as they say: “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Obviously you’re smart enough to get nominated for a Hugo. Congrats guys!
Utter hilarity. In case you were wondering this comic undoubtedly refers to the Dresden Files books, Changes, which is well worth reading despite what the comic may hint. You might want to read the other eleven books that happen before it, however. Sorry.
So last time I talked about the Aspect system of DFRPG and I talked about a character whose concept was “Man of Many Faces”. This time I’m going to turn things around and talk about another character I’ve made. My Wizard.
My apologies since I promised last time I’d talk about the Man of Many Faces, but as it turns out, the tabletop game I am playing in wanted to meet again sooner than expected and I finished my Wizard before I finished the Man of Many Faces.
So meet Jesse Warner. I had a hard time making up this character. I knew I wanted to make a Wizard but playing a wizard has a serious mental dichotomy with me, namely that Wizards can’t use technology. In a fantasy setting, this is fine because there is no technology. But the Dresden Files RPG is based in the modern-day. So what kind of profession can a Wizard have in the modern-day that doesn’t at least require cursory use of computers and cellphones? Since I am a software developer and I am surrounded by technology all day long, thinking up solutions to such an issue was difficult for me.
This is an issue because of the High Concept aspect that needs to be created for a character. A wizard needs the word ‘Wizard’ (or something that implies Wizard) in their high concept, but you should always strive to make it more interesting. Add a job, or a characteristic of some kind that sets your character apart from others of its type.
Jesse is a Wizard in the year 2011 in the city of San Antonio. I didn’t want to create a character that was a complete copy of Harry Dresden, the main wizard character from the novels, but during our city creation we had made it slightly clear that the campaign we would be playing in would be mystery/action. So a Wizard Private Eye not so much but what else could a Wizard be in San Antonio? Talking it over with my game master, I learned that he had envisioned San Antonio to still be a kind of wild place in regards to the supernatural, that the wizards of the White Council hadn’t actively had a presence in the city since it grew up so fast. A kind of “Frontier City”.
I’ve been playing roleplaying games (RPGs) for more than half my life. Primarily tabletop roleplaying games, followed by online RPGs, and even snuck in a little live action roleplaying. I don’t categorize most video games which typically fall under the moniker roleplaying as roleplaying games.
For the uninitiated, roleplaying games are cooperative storytelling games. You play with them multiple people in an attempt to create some kind of story, usually by making up and then acting out some sort of character. The most popular RPG known in this day and age is Dungeons and Dragons, but there are many other games such as Vanished Lands, the World of Darkness games, Pathfinder, Exalted, Shadowrun, Eclipse Phase, CthulhuTech, and Dresden Files. Each of these games presents rules on how to play the game fairly and create certain types of stories.
I’ve been playing a lot of Dungeons and Dragons over the last year. Two of the latest edition (4th edition) and one of the prior edition (3.5). And while I still enjoy these games, I’ve been itching to try something new. One of the problems with roleplaying games is that it requires a significant time investment (anywhere from 8 hours a month to 3-4 hours a week) and that most standard types of RPGs require someone to play a Game Master (GM) position. The Game Master typically does a lot of the “work” necessary to help keep the game running and while it can be a fulfilling position, it requires even more of a time investment and there are less people willing to GM than to be a player, where you only have to worry about your own character, for the most part.
So it is the time of year where I start to think about gifts. I like gift giving, especially if I can think of a good gift for someone. The end of the year is about the only time I can give a gift without people giving me a weird expression. Plus I have this awesome scheme where I get one of my best friends to wrap them all for me. It’s sweet.
And since it is that gifting time of year, This means that I usually need to make a gift list since my friends and family also want to give me gifts. I know, it’s strange.
A few years back I tried an independent website called Wishlist that worked alright, except half my friends couldn’t figure out how to mark something bought. But what is the holiday without a few returns, right?
Lately I’ve been using Amazon’s built in wish list. Since it can support non-amazon things. I’m not sure I like using amazon, but it’s interface is streamlined enough that I don’t have to worry about people getting confused. Although the amazon wishlist puts a lot of emphasis on the product, and a lot of screen time on the notes the user adds to the product.
Which leads me to the topic of e-books in a very round about manner. I’ve recently started collecting eBooks, or iBooks, or whatever. Electronic files which contain the written word, and sometimes images, usually to present a story or information. You see I have an iPad, and I am a gamer, in the more traditional pen and paper type as well as lots of board games. The iPad has actually proven a decent way for me to carry my gaming library around and read the games whenever I like although I’ll admit I still prefer to have the physical books for reference. For board games, it is awesome to have more than one copy of the rule book at the table.
I’ve also tentatively tip toed into actual eBook novels, with Jim Butcher’s Side Jobs, which was amazingly priced in hard back when it released, that I was able to afford the iTunes eBook version so I could read it immediately while I waited for the physical version to arrive int he mail. The eBook version proved to have somewhat more poorly formatting than I was hoping from a commercial eBook file but I digress.
The reason why I bring up eBooks is because I think I would like to continue receiving eBooks. With the holidays approaching, I have two questions; How do I communicate this to the people wanting to purchase books for me and are there methods for them to actually do so in an electronic form?
How do I communicate to the people wanting to purchase books for me what particular eBook vendor or file format to use and are there methods for them to actually gifting these books?
Continued in Part 2. Stay tuned!