Tag Archives: Star Wars

Crossing Paths with C-3PO

"The first duty in life is to be as artificial as possible."

I love my school. I’ve had the pleasant occasion of meeting Anthony Daniels again! And this time I was asked to write a short report on our time with him.

Photo by JD Hancock on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons Attribution license.

First-Time RPG Referee

I haven’t ever played in a tabletop RPG, much less GM’d, DM’d or refereed one. I’ve got the itch to try it out, though, so I’ve been compiling articles and tools about learning how to GM. Here’s a list of what I’ve found. Much of the material written on this topic is specifically about Dungeons & Dragons, but the advice can be applied more generally; myself, I’d really like to try running Star Wars Roleplaying Game: SAGA Edition or maybe Spirit of the Century. Here’s hoping these resources will help me (and maybe someone else) get started!

So You Wanna Be A DM? by AKA_Bait is the most friendly and thorough introduction to the topic I’ve found.
How to Run Roleplaying Games by Greg Stolze. Very professional.
A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming by Matthew Finch talks to both players and GMs about an older style of RPG… but to me it just sounds like good principles for running a fun game.
Rama’s Rules of Running an RPG by Jason Rama is a quick list of things to remember when learning to GM.
GM Guide by Colin G Hetherington seems like a very detailed resource, but it’s incomplete.
17 Steps to GMing a New RPG for the First Time by Martin Ralya is about your first encounter with a new system.
How to GM, DM, ST or just Run an RPG by lhewitt is a shorter and more general introduction to the topic.
The Rancor Pit – Gamemaster Tips for the West End Games D6 Star Wars RPG.

Sites and blogs for GMs
The Tao of D&D is a blog about making the rules serve the game, not the other way around.
Newbie DM.com has some interesting resources.
Gnome Stew claims to be the #1 GM blog on the planet.
Roleplaying Tips posts regular articles for DMs.

Free (or free-to-try) RPGs
Spirit of the Centry can be played for free from the SRD on their website.
Swords and Wizardry is a totally free, very simple game that’s a throwback to the earliest fantasy gaming. Lots of resources here.
Castles & Crusades Quick Start Rules are also free classic fantasy gaming.
Savage Worlds provides a Test Drive to try-before-you-buy.
The Four Color System is a free superhero RPG.
Have-A-Go Heroes is an extremely simple and quick Superhero RPG based on Mystery Men.
The West End Games D6 System core books are free PDFs.
The Dawn of Defiance Campaign for the SWRPG SAGA Edition would be a good thing to DM first. Not sure how badly you need the core book for this.
True20 Quickstart Rules for yet another fantasy system.
Blue Rose Fast Play is a free-to-try adventure.
GURPS Lite is a free condensation of the commercial GURPS roleplaying system.

World-building resources
Liam’s Pictures from Old Books is an archive of free images, including illuminated lettering and drop-capitals.
The Medieval Bestiary has similar illustrations of various animals and monsters.

The Order of the Stick is a D&D Webcomic. It never hurts to see how others have had fun with the genre/game!

Selling Books

On Saturday, I finally got around to selling books down at Powell’s City of Books downtown. I had a couple boxes full of books that I’d been waiting to sell, and several around the house besides. So I gathered them all into a corner of the living room, hunkered down over my laptop and used Powell’s Online Bookbuyer to get a feel for what they might accept.

The online tool took about half of my books and offered me around fifty dollars for the lot. Of course, selling online takes a few weeks to process – I’d much rather get it over with. So I grabbed all the books that the website said it would take, and all the books that were pretty similar to those, and headed downtown.

The line wasn’t bad for a Saturday, and I wasn’t the only person carrying two boxes of books, so that was good. I was amazed at how much they took – I made eighty dollars selling books! ($75 after paying $5 for parking.) They took my complete New Jedi Order series, which is unusual – you’d think they’d have enough Star Wars books. They turned down a few paperbacks due to damage – creased covers and such (My copy of Shadows of the Empire is pretty well-loved). All in all, I did much better than I expected.

We’ll see how I fare selling textbooks on Thursday.

Space Base 1

In order to foster greater creativity within myself, I would like to make a habit of sketching daily.  To be honest, at this point in my life I don’t necessarily have time to sketch every day, but I figure it can’t hurt to start now – maybe after graduation I can sketch more often.

So I’ll just upload my sketches to this blog.  In addition to pen-and-paper sketching, I’ve been practicing with Google SketchUp.  So some of my sketches (like this first one) will actually be 3D sketches… neato.


It’s a Space Base! I know it looks like something out of Star Wars – the door on the left is straight out of Jedi Outcast. I’ve been on a Star Wars kick lately, and I’m not sure it will end anytime soon.

This is a 3D model – click on the image to go to the Google 3D Warehouse and download it to SketchUp. Or, you can find detail shots (different angles) on Flickr.