'Baldurs Gate' Revisited, Vanity Publishers, and More!

Chris Van Deelen

A day late but what do you expect, I’m on vacation! This is my second-last blog for this vacation, and then I’m home and I’ll be adding links to my work.

This week has seen more work on the Weapons Compilation book, mainly adding some important rules to the game and clarifying a few entries. I hope to have it off in Michael Varhola’s hands by the end of my vacation.

I know I keep saying it’s almost done, but there are just so many things I need to re-write and modify for the book. I hope in the end my readers will appreciate the effort which has gone into it!

Finally was inspired to create more creatures for New Mutant Monday series two. I was relying too much on images sent to me by my various readers for inspiration. Last night I had a bit of a brainstorm and now have five new creatures to create over the next three weeks.

The two new creations for this week were the Camicat and Progget. Say it with me… two more will be posted this week. I have to keep up with the creations, of course!

And I finally got around to creating the New Mutant Monday series two index.

After checking the totals for the conversions, I discovered I was sitting at 272 in total, after I removed the Xenomorph and Predator line. I decided to do my best to write up the remaining 28 as soon as possible, and as of this blog I have created the ‘Radioactive Zombie, Arachno-claw, Eyeless, Terrapusmordax and the Wrapped. Two of the creatures were inspired by the 2005 version of King Kong, and I have several more from that movie which will be created over the next week. One was from Mockingjay Part 2, one from Z-nation, and the last from a truly horribly dull movie called ‘Day of the Mummy’.

I still have the images for 12 more creatures in the que to be written, and I’ll be searching for inspiration for more so I can get the last written and then put the same effort and work into getting the book formatted and all the additional rules written as I had with the New Mutant Monday book.

So there you have it, the various projects I’ve worked on this week.

With it being my vacation, I’ve enjoyed a couple of books this week. I’ve read a couple of books, which was really great! I’ve had to spend a lot of time on the road with Rose (my wife) and her family, and since I don’t speak the language I’ve been engrossed with my books. So I have finished The Tomorrow War by J.L. Bourne and The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy.

One is about an economic apocalypse and one man’s fight against the horrors inflicted upon the survivors by the local government. It was a typical survivalist type of novel but I have to admit I rather enjoyed it.

The other was a post-nuclear novel about a journey from one safe but overpopulated zone to another, one of the main characters having been ‘summoned’ by the ruler. It’s a journey of discovery and terror, intermixed with the happenings in the city of Sanctuary – who the people believe they are the last survivors on Earth. A novel which had a very heavy Deathlands vibe, but I found it far better written.

The way the novel ended, I am looking forward to seeing more in this potential series.

I’m almost finished a third novel, but did not have enough time to get through it today, so it’ll be discussed in next week’s blog.

Speaking of novels, I am VERY disappointed to learn an author who’ve I’ve followed for quite a while has a scam company, which is nothing more than a vanity press. The company is called A&M publishing and they are charging an obscene $8000 or more for would-be authors to publish their work. And that does NOT include the cost of printing the books, which is left up to the author.

New authors beware, never, EVER fall for these scams. That’s exactly what they are, scams. An author should be getting PAID for their work, not paying someone to publish their work.

So I do believe I will be boycotting his work from this point on. After all, when he’s stealing from up and coming authors, I sure as shit will not support him in any shape or form.

All up and comers should use the writers beware site, it will help protect them from thieving predators like this.

And that’s what they are. Thieves.

The other advantage of being on vacation is I finished another three movies this week. I watched Halo – Nightfall. This took me by surprise, it was quite well done! The story revolves around a terrorist attack using a weapon that hits a specific genome of humans, and the source is traced back to a chunk of the Halo which was launched deep into space after the destruction at the hands of Master Chief. A small squad is sent to ensure the mining operation is shut down permanently.

Expect a new conversion in the near future from this movie. I can recommend it, as I did enjoy it!

The other two movies – not so much.

One was a cheaply produced horror movie called ‘Day of the Mummy’. It was horrible, as not ins scary horrible, but just poorly made! The only upside is this movie gave me one of the conversions I posted this week.

The other was a movie called ‘After Death’, about five people who realize they are dead, but are trapped in a cabin on a deserted plain near the ocean, with a Lighthouse in sight. Kind of confusing, but ultimately boring to watch. I do not recommend it.

And finally I decided to purchase the Enhanced Edition of Baldur’s Gate. It has been so damn long since I’ve played the original edition it is entirely new to me once again. Although I am much more used to the 3.5 and Pathfinder rules editions, I do find this game enjoyable. The graphics have not been changed, at least from what I can remember, but the game does run very smoothly on my laptop.

They’ve even released to brand-new expansions for this game, and I do not mean Baldur’s Gate two or Icewind Dale.

It is kind of nostalgic, but what the hell, I find it fun!

And that’s it.

Signing off from the tropical lands of the Philippines, until next week!