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New Horizons in Copyright Infringement

 I've been playing with some of those dice designs, experimenting with different dyes in the epoxy. These are the basic Starfleet dice with a mixture of blue/red/yellow alcohol ink and steel mica, which I grabbed thinking it was black and was going for depths-of-space kind of look. Definitely not what I was intending, but not bad. One of my minor dissatisfactions with SJ Games is that they've never produced a lot of GURPS swag. There was a round of t-shirts a while back and I gather there are some dice bags on the way, but nothing like what they've done for Munchkin, Car Wars, or even Fantasy Trip. Now, I can't help you with that, but I can at least make my own GURPS -themed d6. True to the game's generic nature, each face has a different style of number. And more of the d6s9 in various different colors. They're mostly various mica colors swirled with a semi-transparent black. I quite like all of these. Oh, and what's in that transparent one? Yes, it'
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Next Project (Lies)

 I've been talking to SJ Games about some writing for them for the near future, and in lieu of saying anything true or interesting about it, I can now announce the falsehood that my next project will be a collaboration with Peter Dell'Orto , GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Locations: Orc Ninja Dungeons of Venice . As you know, Timmy, Venice is a city built on pilings, landfill, and small islands, all at sea level (or, in times of very rough weather, slightly below). Common belief is that it's essentially impossible to dig down in Venice, since the water table is inches or at best a couple of feet below the surface. However, during from a little after the Fourth Crusade to the 17th century, when Drebbel submarines were used to clear out the tunnels, orc ninja were able to use this as cover. Extensive semi-aquatic dungeons were constructed from the Arsenal to the Rialto, allowing them to pass unseen around the city using snorkels to survive the trip, while painters like Titian and Gior

My Dice This Time

 I've been working with making dice out of epoxy, which is fun, but I've been fascinated by custom dice designs and making your own molds. Fortunately, the internet is a fountain of information about it, and I'm fortunate to have had most of the pieces kicking around already. Design your dice in the software of your choice (used to that; dice are easy to build), 3d-print (doing that for years), and make molds by pouring some kind of rubber around them. While I went a somewhat different direction, this video from Dice Witchery was particularly useful for me. The main problem I faced was that I absolutely could not get platinum-cure silicone rubbers to cure no matter what I tried, so I ultimately used a polyurethane rubber, and I've got a tin-cure silicone rubber on deck for further mold-making. But this isn't really about technique yet. This is just proof of concept. Can I, in fact, make reusable molds in order to make my own dice designs in resin? Signs point to ye

Dice Tray

 I've got some old, crumbling trees on my lot which I haven't had the time or energy to remove. Now and again, they drop hollowed-out branches, which I've always thought have interesting shapes. I didn't really have a clear idea of what to do with them until I started seeing people making resin dice-rolling trays. It naturally occurred to me that I could combine the two.  I roughed out some wooden rings by slicing a branch with a chainsaw, then dried them in the oven for a few hours, knocked out the loosest bits of decayed wood, and ran them through a planer. The wood got sealed with shellac, then I poured some green and blue tinted resin into it to make a floor. The resin has set up nicely, it's surprisingly lightweight (thin layer of resin plus very dry old wood), and I like the organic look. I've just made the one so far, but I may do more, possibly adding inclusions to the resin and switching up the color scheme.

The Path of Cunning and Cold Shard Mountains

Issue #3 of the GURPS fanzine The Path of Cunning is out. It contains some notes I wrote on Cold Shard Mountains . Part of it expands on how it runs contrary to the premise of the Dungeon Fantasy line, and some of it gets into the sources of some of the ideas I used as the basis of parts of the setting, including this:

More Dice

With the addition of a pressure pot, I've got the basic technical infrastructure for dice-making mostly in place (just need to figure out polishing; my attempts so far have been...unsuccessful), so i can concentrate more on the artistic side. Several of my latest have been more work on dice representing places using the Terrain2STL-based technique described here .  First, the cliffs of Moher: When my lovely and talented spouse and I visited Ireland, we stopped at the cliffs at a spot near a Medieval tower, which I added to the landscape. Monument Valley: This one likewise needed a little help. The section of Monument Valley I did here included West Mitten Butte, East Mitten Butte, and Merrick Butte. However, the resolution of the GIS data was sufficiently coarse that it excluded the chimneys on the Mitten Buttes. I had to add them back in. This involved a lot of dry brushing to get the layered earth tone effect. And the Grand Canyon:   This needed no help on the modeling. Print, pa

GURPS Research

At the GURPS session of today's Fnordcon , there was a question about how much research a GURPS book required. The answer is, of course, that it varies with the length and nature of the book, but I'd like to point out another key factor: the author.  I write historicals in large part because I've got a social science and humanities background. I'm already oriented in various historical periods and in the language of history, archaeology, and anthropology. There's basically an investment of research humming along under the surface there. Consequently, I do less research specifically for any given work than one might think. Indeed, there have been some things where there's a specific place or idea that comes up in my reading which looks like a good idea for a GURPS work and only a fraction of the resulting work comes from research specifically for it. The rest is contextualizing and providing background from stuff I already know.  Consequently, I can write somethi