Cadaver Bone anthology

My pal Chris Pramas of Green Ronin started getting shoulder pain last year. I thought he might be joining me in the joy of adhesive capsulitis, aka frozen shoulder (shut up, it’s totally not just for old guys), but it turns out his malady was much more dire.

Dire enough that he needs spinal surgery to replace his vertebra.

Since health care in this country is the best in the world if you can afford it, and not so great if you can’t, he’s looking for some help in paying his medical bills. But he’s not just asking for your help, though he has provided countless hours of entertainment in a long and illustrious career. Instead, he asked for my help.

And the help of Cecil Castellucci, Christopher Robert Cargill, Richard Dansky, Ed Greenwood, Matt Forbeck, David Gaider, Steve Kenson, John Kovalic, Robin D. Laws, Jess Lebow,  John Rogers, Lucien Soulban, Melinda Thielbar, John Scott Tynes, and James Wallis.

We’re writing stories for a benefit anthology for Chris’s surgery. That’s a lot of stories. Granted, it’s also a lot of surgery– so I’m putting the word out now.

Kick in a few bucks and you get to help out a highly talented designer, AND you get some sweet stories.

Here’s the link.

A recommendation: the Broken Eye Books Kickstarter

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Yes, right away I’m going to start by offering a link. This Kickstarter is just about 2/3 of the way to its final goal, and it’s something that’s pretty damn cool.

The summary is basically this: Authors with twisted minds and fun stories want to share those stories. This is your chance to help make it happen.

Richard Pett is (or at least should be) well known for his work on Pathfinder’s more ghoulishly twisted adventures, and I’ve had the opportunity to read his fiction. It’s good. In fact, it’s damn good. So damn good that I wrote a blurb for it:

If you’re familiar with the work of Richard Pett, then you know that he’s a master of the macabre and a painter of unearthly horrors. “Crooked” follows in the vein (and I use that word advisedly) of his other efforts, and it’s a stunningly cool book. If you’re not familiar with his work, you should be… and “Crooked” is a great place to start.

Then you’ve got Clinton Boomer, whose Hole Behind Midnight was hilariously entertaining, foul-mouthed, and also extraordinarily reminiscent of the stranger side of Planescape.

Then there’s a dark fantasy anthology featuring authors such as Jennifer Brozek, James L. Sutter, Elaine Cunningham, Erin Hoffman, Shanna Germain, Cat Rambo, Jeffrey Scott Petersen, Christie Yant, Lillian Cohen-Moore, Torah Cottrill, Erik Scott de Bie, Andrew Romine, Ed Greenwood, Amber E. Scott, Jaym Gates, Nathan Crowder, Julia Ellingboe, Minerva Zimmerman, and Dave Gross! (I totally copied those names from the Kickstarter page)

Seriously, what more could you want? Pledge three bucks and you get some stories free, right away.

I’m totally in. You should be too.

Today in personal news

I had to sit out today’s karate tournament because of the broken toe, but my daughter competed. As I was offering her advice and strategies, I suddenly realized how I must sound to her – namely, like a hockey dad. I apologized to her and told her that I don’t care if she wins or loses; I’m only passionate because I want her to feel like she did her best, and if she knew she did her best then she’d be happy no matter the result. I added that I’m just happy to watch her compete, and that I was proud of her just for getting out there.

I also bribed her by telling her she’d get a treat if I saw her rush in on an opponent at least once during her sparring match. Since she’s ordinarily a back-peddler during sparring, I figured I wouldn’t have to pay up. But after her opponent kicked her in the side, my little sweetheart charged in and chased her opponent around the ring for a bit, and for the first time I can remember, she came out of a sparring match smiling.

She didn’t win, but she did her best. That was good enough for me.

Plus, she enjoyed the 2nd-place trophy.

About souls in games with gods.

This was sparked by George Zeits’s post about “What’s Great About Project Eternity” on Formspring (which has apparently made some sort of deal to continue).

Anyway: reading about the soul mechanics for PE combined in in my head with a Cracked article about ghost TV shows.

So the obvious question now is: in a fantasy universe with a provable afterlife and direct intervention from the gods via their priests, why would anyone who follows the tenets of their faith fear an ordinary death? Sure, if they’re fighting a soul-sucking creature or something that can divert their spirits to an alternate (and suckier) eternal destination, that becomes a pretty serious concern, but unless the faith has a specific injunction against dying early, the faithful can just look forward to spending an eternity with the god they’ve chosen.

I’m aware that they might believe their deity has a specific plan for them and are otherwise not into suffering as they die, but they wouldn’t have the nagging fear that their faith is a lie–they have certain evidence that the afterlife exists.

So now it’s a question of how people would behave. I’m assuming they wouldn’t be foolish with their lives, but I’d imagine that they’d be braver in the face of death. How would you change your life if your afterlife were certain?

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.

The Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera is wrapping up in a few hours. I’m sitting out here in California, at inXile’s office, for the wrap party, and I’m looking at the numbers climbing and climbing. They don’t even show the PayPal number, which at last report was approximately $127K.

Back when Brian first suggested a new Torment to me, I was terrified at the thought. I still kind of am, but it’s a channeled, focused terror rather than the blind panic: “Oh no! What if I blow it? Am I even good enough to do this?”

Apparently the hours, days, weeks, and months of work that Adam, Kevin, and I have poured into this project (to say nothing of the time spent by all the rest of inXile’s talented team) have put that fear to rest. Rather than asking whether anyone will get onboard with my ideas, now it’s a question of how I’ll be devoting my time and managing my team.

I am (and I know I’ve said this before) truly humbled by the faith you all are putting in me. I’m grateful to Monte to making a world we can play in, and to Ray and Shanna for their help in pushing it along.

We’re making this game.

Holy shit, we’re making this game.

This is going to be so cool.

Concept art of the male PC after the jump.

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