Furious 7, Oddities, Crimson Worlds, Longknife and Pathfinder!

Chris Van Deelen

Happy Easter to all my friends and readers! You should see outside right now – Typical Alberta for you. The ground is covered in a light layer of snow. It’ll be gone by tomorrow, but this sort of thing happens all the time here.

Finally got the go-ahead from Michael Varhola to do some serious additions to the Harvesting Sourcebook. My editor Greg has the first part finished, and as of this week I have given myself a deadline of May 1st to finish it. I will be writing up entries from my Creatures of the Tropical Wastes source book.

No idea when it will be published, hopefully in a few months at the most!

The downside is my powered armor and the companion books have been pushed aside, yet again. I swear unless my mutation books are ready to go, after I’m finished with this harvesting book I will FINISH all three of those sourcebooks!

One other book was finished today and sent off to Mike. One of the biggest draws on the D-Infinity site is the 100 oddities articles. I decided to write up my own. Such a list really is not all that difficult to do.

So my list of 100 oddities found in the trunk of a car was completed this morning and sent off. It should be available fairly soon, as these lists do not require all that much in the way of work to publish.

I do believe that I can continue with this. I should come up with several lists for Mutant Future and fantasy games as well. Even if I did 14 a day, I could easily compile a full 100 each week.

Again another week with nothing new for sale from the company, but that is bound to change and soon. With Comicpalooza coming so soon, I know Michael and the rest of the Skirmisher staff are busy as all get out preparing.

I won’t be attending this year. Even with a free flight from Airmiles, the trip would cost me around $3000. And I’m still reeling from the financial blow suffered when we had to bury my father in law last August. Maybe next year?

Now, on top of my usual Sunday blog, I am now posting three more times a week. Monday’s is New Mutant Monday. I posted my third entry last Monday – The living Skeletons. Tomorrow I will be posting another creature. Over the next few weeks I will be posting new monsters, all of which either appear in my book ‘Buck Who?’ or were inspired by the novel. At this point I have three mutants, which all have appeared in the novel.

And Wednesday I posted my latest top five list. This time I wrote about my top five writing tips I have received as an author and decided to share it with my fellow readers and writers. Most of the advice I discussed has been mentioned numerous times over the years, although who knows – maybe my readers will pick up something new!

And of course I posted 'Chapter 11 of ‘Buck Who?’. As of this chapter, my free, serialized novel has entered the official full-length novel category. It is, at this point, 81,000 words. Now, here is the kicker. I try to write an additional chapter each long weekend. With this being the Easter long weekend, I am nearly finished writing ‘chapter 13’.

Yes, I am already a week ahead, and as long as I can finish 13 today, then I will be two weeks ahead of the game.

For those of you who have been following what is becoming an epic, the past few chapters have been rather sedate and slow. There are several reasons behind this.  The main reason is I’m trying to flesh out the characters a little more, showing interaction and personality. I’m trying to give my readers a feel when it comes to what makes them tick.

Action will be returning, and with a vengeance.

Speaking of action, I watched ‘Furious 7’ this weekend. Completely over the top, but at least it did not involve a tank this time around. Goofy chases, tons of stunts, and lots of fights. Jason Statham was also in it, playing the bad guy.

The ending had a heart-felt tribute to Paul Walker as well, and I will admit I had to wipe a few tears away while watching.

Goofy movie, but a summer hit, no doubt about it. If you want deep stories and heavy acting, go watch something else. If you want mindless fun, then this is for you.

I also was lucky enough to finish off two novels this week. First was Marines: Crimson Worlds by Jay Allen. Overall, it was an enjoyable SF military romp. I was annoyed at how quickly the main character rose in the ranks, but I did like the world Mr. Allen created. Its hard-core marine action and any fan of this sub-genre of SF will enjoy this series. I do plan on continuing with the books at a later date.

The second novel was Kris Longknife: Tenacious by Mike Sheppard. This is the twelfth in the series. Kris and her crew locate the home-world of the genocidal aliens they have been dealing with over the past several novels. It certainly is not what they were expecting to discover and it raised a whole new set of questions. Another alien race is also discovered and they end up defending the aliens against these genocidal monsters.

This certainly is not Honor Harrington, but that is a good thing. As much as I love Honor Harrington, it can drag on from time to time. Still, if you haven’t had a chance to read the Kris Longknife series, by all means do so.

I also spent a little more than I should have this week. I picked up several new Player Companions from Paizo. First, I bought The Dungeoneer’s Handbook. This little book sheds new life into the venerable dungeon. As is the case with all of the Pathfinder books, it contains the usual feats, spells, archetypes, equipment and magic items. This is the standard fare we have all come to expect from player companions. What really set this aside and made it worth more than usual for me were several factors. First, I enjoyed the ‘essays’ on the different types of dungeons, monsters and traps. I also really enjoyed the Dungeon guides – this is something I should use and expand upon with my own RPG design work. Worth every penny, and one of the few books I would enjoy seeing expanded upon.

The next book is the Dragonslayers Handbook. There are tons of sourcebooks available out there, some are excellent, some are mediocre at best. This one sort of falls in between. It contains what you would expect when it comes to the players companions, and other than the Dragonslayer organizations, there really was very little new in the book. Still, it provides quite a bit of useful information for those of you who do not possess a massive library of sourcebooks. Considering the low cost of the book, go for it.

Finally I picked up Champions of Purity. This caught my interest because a lot of players have a difficult time playing the alignments they take in D&D and Pathfinder. This book really goes into excellent detail on what each of the various good alignments means and provides some very basic guidelines on how to play. Of course it has the usual feats and magic items and some interesting sub-domains for clerics. I found the essay on redemption quite interesting and a good starting point for those who play evil, but want their characters to become good. I would recommend this for younger, less experienced players. It will help them figure out what their ‘alignment’ really means and how to properly play it.

And that is pretty much it for this week.

Next week I will post the usual blog, but the week after that might be missed. After all, it’s time for the 10th Annual Calgary comic and entertainment expo! VIP pass, as I have done for the past five years now, and a four day event. I will be exhausted by the end of the expo.

As always, please like my personal author Facebook page and follow me on Twitter!

Until next week, Peace!