Monday, January 30, 2006

Cool HMP News

Two very neat news for Highmoon Media:

1- I have finished the new Bardic Lore release. Now it's just waiting for art so I can lay it out. I am very happy with it, especially because I am writing again (and I also think it is very cool, in my own very biased opinion).

2- It looks like the new Explorer Guide might become a reality. I'm still in talks trying to iron out all the details, but the manuscript is in, the budget is being assembled, and artists lie at the wait. I am psyched about this!
2a- A corollary to #2 is that I have discovered that the writer of both the new Explorer Guide and the other mini-campaign setting we are working on is also an artist, and a good one at that! He sent me today some sketches that, with a little polishing, would be perfect final pieces for the book. It seems that what was going to be a new Legendary Land will become a new setting for HMP to produce. I'll leave you with a sample from Montdargent:

Sunday, January 29, 2006

New Explorer Guide

So, what if I were to say that I might be able to publish an all-new installment in the Explorer's Guide line to follow the very successful Frost & Fur? What would the feedback be?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Follow-Up: Christ On Trial

As first reported in a previous blog post here, it seems an Italian judge is now set to deliver his verdict on a most bizarre case where the very existence of Jesus as a historical figure is being debated.
Judge to Rule on Merit of Christ Case
An Italian judge heard arguments Friday on whether a small-town parish priest should stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed.
I repeat, this kind of thing only happens in Italy.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Understatement Of The Year

And we're just barely ending January!

Officials: Hamas Wins Palestinian Election (emphasis mine)
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Hamas' top official told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday the Islamic militant group is ready for a partnership after
defeating the ruling Fatah Party in parliamentary elections — a shocking upset sure to throw Mideast peacemaking into turmoil.

I have such fear in my heart right now...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Thoughts For 2006

Got this in the mail; I thought it was funny.

Ten Thoughts to Ponder during 2006
  • Number 10 - Life is sexually transmitted.
  • Number 9 - Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
  • Number 8 - Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
  • Number 7 - Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
  • Number 6 - Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
  • Number 5 - Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
  • Number 4 - All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
  • Number 3 - Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?
  • Number 2 - In the 60s, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.
  • AND THE NUMBER 1 THOUGHT FOR 2006: We know exactly where one cow with mad-cow disease is located among the millions and millions of cows in America but we haven't got a clue as to where thousands of illegal immigrants and terrorists are located. Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of immigration.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The American View Of The World

I got this in my email today. It's funny, mostly because (in general) it's true.
(Click on the pic to enlarge)

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I just finished closing a deal to work with one of my favorite freelance artists working in the industry now, Jeremy Mohler. Ever since I saw some of his work a year ago at, I have wanted to have him do illustrations for my products, and it looks like I'll finally get my wish. I am uber-excited about this!

Car Problems

The front left tire of my car has been making a weird sounds, on and off, for a few months now, kind of like banging a stick back and forth inside a plastic pail. It would just come and go, but yesterday afternoon, as I was driving home on the expressway at 70 MPH, it started in earnest, really loud, accompanied by a shaking of the steering wheel. Needless to say I freaked out and slowed down to a crawl, much to the chargrin of the other drivers, and made it home ok. This morning the sound started again as soon as I left the house, then it went away, and started once more when I was on my way to deliver some office paperwork not far from my neck of the woods in Miami Beach. As soon as I dropped those papers, I called my boss to let him know I wasn't coming in, and made my way back to my area to drop the car off at a mechanic.

I took the backroads, which means a 15-minute trip took almost an hour, but I didn't dare risk the expressway again, not when the sound was now very loud even at 20 MPH. Thank G-d I made it ok to the mechanic and they are already fixing the car; the ball bearings on the front left tire needed to be replaced, and the wheels rotated. It'll cost me about $500 that I don't have, but I will gladly credit card it. I want no funny business with tires, especially after last April, when a friend from the synagogue died from his SUV having lost a tire on the expressway, sending his car into a series of spins. It was the first thing that came to my mind yesterday and earlier today as I heard the sound and then felt the car shaking. $500 is a small price to pay for assuring as much as it's in my power that I will avoid a potentially-lethal accident.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Religion In The News

I opened My Yahoo! this morning to find that religion has front-page status today with three different articles.

First up, an article about two stations' refusal to air the new NBC series, The Book of Daniel. I've been seeing the promos for the show and I have to say it looks funny enough for me to set it to tape tonight and check it out later. I think people really need to relax, these are just TV shows.

Next up is an article that actually made me laugh out loud: An Italian court is set to hear a case in which it will be determined if Jesus actually existed. Two 70-something men--one a priest and the other an atheist, both from the same central Italian town, both having attended the same seminary when young and then going down different paths--are set to go head to head in court to prove the existence of the historical Jesus. I quote:
The plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, became a vocal atheist who, after years of legal wrangling, is set to get his day in court later this month. "I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression," Cascioli told Reuters.
Cascioli says Righi, and by extension the whole Church, broke two Italian laws. The first is "Abuso di Credulita Popolare" (Abuse of Popular Belief) meant to protect people against being swindled or conned. The second crime, he says, is "Sostituzione di Persona", or impersonation.
"The Church constructed Christ upon the personality of John of Gamala," Cascioli claimed, referring to the 1st century Jew who fought against the Roman army. "In my book, The Fable of Christ, I present proof Jesus did not exist as a historic figure. He must now refute this by showing proof of Christ's existence," Cascioli said.

This kind of thing only happens in Italy, I swear. I'd love to be in the courtroom for this case!

Lastly, and on a more serious note, 700 Club-dude Pat Robertson has spoken again:

Robertson Links Sharon Stroke, God's Wrath
Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land."
"God considers this land to be his," Robertson said on his TV program "The 700 Club." "You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.'"

I just want it to go on the record that it is Robertson, a Christian, who's saying this, so they don't go blaming the ultra-Orthodox Jews around (though I am 100% sure there have been some of those as well, I'm sad to say).

Now the big question, do I agree with him?
Not in the literal, no, but I cannot discount that I also had seen the link between the events of Tisha B'Av/August 15, 2005 (the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif) and his current condition. I am very careful not to sound like a hatemonger or a divine-retribution-with-a-lightning-bolt kind of guy, which is why I say that I don't agree with Robertson's literal expression, but I cannot shake the feeling that there indeed is a connection between the two events. G-d alone knows the whole truth, and I don't think I am in any position to be passing that kind of judgement. I actually do wish Sharon a refuah shelemah (full recovery to health) regardless of the fact that I don't agree with his plans to continue to give away land.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

[HMP Open Call] Seeking Writers for Liber Sodalitas line

Highmoon Media Productions is seeking writers to contribute to our Liber Sodalitas line of products.
From our website:
Liber Sodalitas (LEE-ber So-DA-lee-tas), the Book of Societies, presents different organizations from a variety of backgrounds, each generic enough to be easily usable in any fantasy campaign, but with enough detail to give you a fleshed-out group to simply drop into your game. Each group is presented along with its history, tenets, ways of becoming a member, as well as with iconic NPCs, generic NPCs that can be used to introduce the group to your players, and new rules such as new feats, spells and prestige classes.
Writers for Liber Sodalitas should be well versed with d20 fantasy rules. You will be expected to write both crunch and fluff. It's ok to use existing OGC, though we like to present around 60%-70% new material. The Liber Sodalitas organizations should be interesting, and explore new concepts of fantasy or, alternatively, present staples and archetypes in a new light. Though we do have a template of information that each product should present, the rest is really up to you. I try to be flexible with my freelancers and give them the opportunity to really get creative.

Payment for this project would be in royalties, and paid monthly via PayPal.

We already have three titles in the series, which I strongly encourage would-be applicants to be familiar with. You can find more info about them at our website: Liber Sodalitas product line info.

We are looking to expand the series to at least 15 throughout the rest of the year, though if we can make more, then all the better. Once we have between 10 and 15, we will collect a number of them into a Liber Sodalitas book to be offered both as a PDF and POD.

If you are interested, and/or would like more information, please just email me at and we'll talk.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Quoted For Truth

From Order of the Stick #262:
"Love makes the world go round. And has been known to provide a +2 circumstance bonus to certain skill checks."

Ain't that the truth!

Happy New Year 2006 Everyone!!! :-)