Busy Week for Writing, Various Ideas and My View on Cosplay

Chris Van Deelen

Welcome to another week’s edition of my personal blog. Let me astound you with my insights into various topics, let me astonish you with my upcoming ideas, allow me to amaze you with the amount of work I’ve managed to accomplish – ah, who am I kidding? It’s just going to be more of the same. =)

I’ll get right to the point. This week saw another short story of mine completed. A little tale called ‘You’ve got some ‘splaining’ to do’ and is a bit of a follow-up to several amusing events that took place in ‘Sword of Kos: Dark Inheritance’.

And for those of you who are younger than myself, see if you can figure out the reference in the title.

Last night I began work on my 11th short, which I will have finished by July 31st. This story is called ‘School of Hard Knocks’. I can’t really go into detail as it would be a major spoiler to the events that took place in the yet to be released novel.

I’m still waffling if I am going to write a particular short that involves traders coming to the monastery. I will have to put some serious thought into that. Odds are pretty good that I will end up writing it, because once I get a story idea, it usually refuses to back down until I’ve typed it out.

I was quite pleased to see the release of ‘Lives of Kos’ last week and I’ve had a chance to go through the book. Since it’s system neutral it is very easy to use all the characters presented in the book in pretty much any campaign setting with very little work when it comes to changing some of the background.

There are several more characters from my stories that should be written up and submitted to Michael Varhola for future editions of this book, or maybe updates? I know that as I continue to write my short stories and once I begin work on the sequel there will be more characters to add.

Especially when I start writing ‘Challenge’. I know for a fact that there will be several brand new characters that will need full descriptions. After all, that particular short is going to be quite long compared to the others I wrote.

Frankly with the ideas that I have for that short, and some of the background that I wrote up regarding the Drow-Elf Tresta, I could more than likely write an entire novel based upon that.

Do I want to do that? I’m not entirely sure!

Speaking of, the image with this blog is of Master Farthis and Viya. Nice to finally have a good look at the Master of the Five Animals Monastery. Shame I couldn’t have gotten it in time to add to the ‘Lives of Kos’ sourcebook. And it was drawn by the exceedingly talented Alfonso Maesa, who I would once again like to welcome to the Skirmisher family!

Even though I am not posting as many conversions as I had earlier this year, I am trying to write up one or two a week. This week I wrote up two and posted them on the site, as many of you will already know. First was the Three Eyed Raven, inspired by ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, and the second is called Sathra, a Spider-man Villain.

You will see quite a number of conversions from Spider-Man over the next several weeks or even months. I have the Spider-Man Character Encyclopedia and it is quite the invaluable resource for me to mine for ideas for conversions. With today’s conversion posted, that makes two that I have used, so far, from the book.

Also here are several ideas that I wish to eventually write up. I’m currently reading a novel called ‘Loch Ness Legacy’ by Boyd Morrison and it has a terror weapon that would fit beautifully into the Mutant Future game. I will have to write it up for certain.

I believe it was Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 11: Optional Combat Rules in which I introduced the effects of injury in combat. These were pretty simple and easily incorporable into a Mutant Future game and as one would expect, had detrimental effects on characters who suffered injury during combat.

It got me thinking that I should expand upon these rules and have different effects from different types of weapons, including poisons. This will include loss to statistics (which can be healed easily enough), maybe vulnerabilities to varying types of attack as a result until healed, possibly negatives to saving throws, that sort of thing.

Yet another idea that I will eventually write up for an issue of Wisdom from the Wastelands.

Speaking of which, I have posted three more issues of the E-zine to Bookforge. Issue 24: Weapon Modifications, Issue 26: Energy Weapons and Issue 28: Nanotechnology 1 has been posted. Sort of makes up for my lack-luster performance getting the issues up over the past several weeks.

Last week I touched upon how angry I got when someone insulted my wife online because of her cosplay. It is time for me to post my views on the whole cosplay issue. And Brendan, this is not a rant. =)

Over the nine years that I have been attending the Calgary Expo and now expo’s in other cities, I have seen quite literally thousands upon thousands of men, women and children all dressed up in cosplay.

My initial reaction was one of curiosity. Years ago I had said that I would never dress up in costume to attend these functions. Of course my view has changed, starting with my first ever cosplay as John Thomas Rourke from the series The Survivalist. The costume was incredibly simple. A beat-up leather jacket, black T-shirt, jeans, aviator sunglasses, an M-16 and a dual shoulder rig.

Since that day I have gone to the expo dressed as Harry Dresden, Michael Carpenter, Amon and a Colonial Marine from Aliens.  

Quite the change from saying that I would never dress up, isn’t it?

Now I have seen the entire gamut when it comes to costumes. I have seen some that were mind-blowingly incredible, some that were clearly done as a joke, and some where the people at least put the effort into the costumes even if they did not look the best. I have seen hotties that nearly made me drool. I’ve seen old, I’ve seen young and I’ve seen some that in my humble opinion should not have gone outdoors because of their physical size.

Now is the crux of this.  Would I say anything to the big ones, or the ones who clearly did not have the time or money to make really good costumes?

Not a chance in hell.

Let the big ones or the unattractive ones dress up. It’s great for their self-esteem and they certainly are not hurting anyone. And frankly those who insult them are assholes. Have I thought negatively towards these people? Damn straight I have, but I ALWAYS kept those thoughts to myself. I rarely ever want to hurt someone’s feelings.

Would I defend someone being verbally abused because of the way they look? Again, damn straight I would. It can take a lot of courage for someone who is not attractive or on the plus size to dress up and go out to show their support and how much a fan they are of a particular character.

Also would I get my photo with them? Since I cosplay myself, if they asked me, by all means. Would I ask to take a photo of them? Maybe, maybe not. I guess in that way I am sort of hypocritical. Still I will never insult or shoot someone down for what they are doing.

A perfect example is of a young kid, probably about 15 or so, who dressed up in his version of a Colonial Marine. He clearly could not afford the armor like myself and several others at the expo, and he took the time to make a M41A pulse rifle out of Styrofoam.

Damn good on the young man for doing so! It took a lot of imagination and both Rose and I were sure to encourage him and complement him on his costume and how well he did with it.

That is the sort of thing that people need to hear and all it takes is a little kindness from people like myself.

I really hope that I made the kid’s day.

Speaking of, I found out that the Recon Armor I mentioned in my last blog that I bought for my lovely wife was shipped on Friday. For anyone who is interested, just click on the recon armor link and you can go to Spatcave and see what he has to offer. It may take a while (especially in my own armor’s case) to get it made but you will not be disappointed with the end result.

Anyhow, that’s it for this week. As always I would like to invite my readers to like my personal Facebook page, and maybe follow me on Twitter if you would feel inclined.

Until next Sunday, peace!