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Khymir lives!!!

Game Design: Khymir Mark Rogers, author of Zorachus and The Nightmare of God, and I have teamed to write a role-playing game based on his fictional world. The RPG is called KHYMIR: The Role-Playing Game (check out the link for an outline of the game). Yeah! As of January 2006, the book is a reality. If you would like to buy a copy, please drop me an e-mail! staats@alum.mit.edu (So far, so good, but it will need some public support to make the economics work.)

Items of Interest to the Gaming Community

NEWS! I am back from Iraq again for the second time in the last two years. The first time back I decided to hang up the dice bag for a while for a variety of reasons. Drop me a line if you would like to hear more.

Zhalindor is my fantasy gaming world. If you are interested, feel free to run your own adventures there! I would be glad to help you set-up plot lines, etc. Hundreds of gamers have had the pleasure of playing in Zhalindor over 25 years. My site includes a large amount of information on Zhalindor. To get started check on the Kernan links (below on this same page) or Zhalindor page. The world is absolutely huge (about ten times the surface area of Earth)! I have put all the Kernan Campaign data (Kernan links) at the end of this page. DISCLAIMER: Zhalindor is a collaborative effort. I did not design the entire world from "whole cloth" myself. You'll see elements liberally "borrowed" from many sources. Check out my article on World Design to see some of the references.

Finding Gamers On-line: AccessDenied.Net Gamer Database Profile

Wow! If you are looking for Fantasy RPG Adventures ... Click Here! or Here!

Links to Articles

Check out my background/articles, and drop me a line if you have any questions or comments on them.

LAST MODIFIED: 1 FEB 12 Play by E-Mail and RPG Pages
More about the author
More Role-playing and other links of interest on this page
Links on the Kernan Campaign, June '97-'00
See some pages that are linked to this site!

Rich Staats' Gaming Articles

Thoughts on the "Create Magic Item ritual" in 4th Ed. D&D by Rich Staats 2012 (HTML)(2K)
Thoughts on "Old School Gaming" by Rich Staats 2010 (HTML)(2K)
Comparing Original AD&D and Ver. 3.5 by Rich Staats
Gamemastering Principles by Rich Staats
Dealing with Evil One of the key points I've made at seminars on GMing is that the GM serves his players best by working inside his own moral comfort zone. The article here deals with what to do when the party heads down the wrong path. Enjoy!
Legend of Sluggotha. One of the questions that I am asked most frequently is "how do you avoid 'burn-out'?" The answer is that my groups have always taken frequent breaks by doing "silly role-playing." One recent example was the Legend of Sluggotha. Check out the link; it was a lot of fun
Comparison of Diablo-2 (tm) and Neverwinter Nights (tm)
Article on forming a gaming group and designing cool PCs
Article on integrating Glorantha into non-Gloranthan campaigns by Rich Staats [HTML] (8K)
RPG Articles and Fun Stuff

Other WWW Pages of Interest

The classic world building page Juha juuso Vesanto's classic primer in outline format, describing various approaches, resources, and advice about world design.
Peter Maranci's RQ Page
World Builders Forum
How to design an FRP World by Rich Staats and expanded on by J.Vesanto (PDF)
Movie Reviews: Lord of the Rings: The Twin Towers Review! and a Review of The Ring!
Listen to Yoda explain how fear is behind everything to young Skywalker > WAV format.
Internet Dating Advice I occasionally get questions from folks about interesting topic areas. Most of these are via direct e-mail. Here is one that has come up a number of times, and here is my version of a FAQ on internet dating. I'm not in the dating market, but I have some personal experience with meeting people (most of the current gaming group) over the Internet and some children that are getting into dating. Internet Dating FAQ.
Lord Monty's excellent RPG site -- one of the most popular in the English speaking world! Check it out!
Highland Games
The Tony Jones RPG Page
PRINCE ETRIGAN'S ROLEPLAYERS' RESOURCES Prince Etrigan's Role Player's Resource
Role-Playing Site List
Discount Games Company - Largest Game Catalog on the Internet
the gamers attic is a premier WWW site for buying games on-line. Check it out! My dealings have been good.

Additional Information about the Author
Google search Highly Recommend It!
Gaming & Education, 3-2
iG's on-Web PBeM List
IJCAI-95 Workshop on Adaptation and Learning in Multiagent Systems
ITS Evaluation: A New Framework Which inexplicably has been quoted in around 400 scholarly publications! Thank you for the continued support!
Mirabilis LTD. - Make a friend
RPG.NET Gamer's Realm-- Essays and Articles
ICQ You can contact me via ICQ even if you don't have the program at ICQ 57958690
Surge's RPG archive and WWW references
Casting Model Terrain/Items: Many of you know that I enjoy making and using props in games. I experimented using silicon rubber molds to cast blocks from plaster of paris to make a small scale castle. I picked up three molds (one from a trip to Europe and two from a wholesale art house here in the US) for around $25 for all three. The company that made the molds is called SES, and it is based in the Netherlands. A typical medium structure takes around 800 blocks to complete, and doing three sets per day (in-between work and sleep) it took around a month to make all the bricks. It seemed like the "coolest thing in the world" to me, but I was unable to spread my burning enthusiasm to my gaming friends and family -- looked too much like real work I suspect. So, working predominantly solo, it took me around three months to complete a decent looking castle. I met the owner/creator of another company specializing in the same thing during Origins last year. I highly recommend this site for the plans, advice, etc. as much as for his product. He also sells molds for sections of walls, etc., and that seems like a better approach. Looks like you could cut the time to create a structure in half at least using his molds. Try it out, and let him know that Rich Staats sent ya! Fantasy Model Molds

Interesting Gloranthan Myth Links Click here to see

Music Composition Some of you know that I do musical compositions for my gaming sessions. I've been fortunate in the past to get some of these published. I am also willing to do composition on commission if you are interested in getting some background or atmospheric music done for you. Better than competative rates! If you make a good enough case, I've been known to donate the work - recently contributed two hours of Polkas to my Church.

PBeM Game: Company looking for new players. See KJC Games .

Here is a quick comparison of two popular RPGs (computer) I've played -- just my thoughts: Comparison of Diablo-2 (tm) and Neverwinter Nights (tm)

Links to Kernan Material and Other Recent Gaming with the Group in the Washington DC Metro Region

Gaming and Writing Seminars
by Rich Staats
Dr. Games RPG Lib and Ratings A sample of my RPG library with some arbitrary ratings
Recent Convention Panels The outlines for several of my presentations from last year are in this directory Odd-Con Panels
These are links to some of the earlier campaigns I ran in Zhalindor. Check out TSYF Fall Starter to see more of what the group is doing!
We did a two-session sequence where the party from Kernan went to Starside (Starside and the Wampheri were terms taken from Brian Lumley's excellent Necroscope series) after five years to rescue their trapped, hostage henchmen. The party was extremely successful. They not only rescued their henchmen, they also brought the sun back to Starside and eliminated the Wampheri domination.
We did a Zhalindor one-up on 1 APR 01. Check out the background and character data HERE.
Zhalindor An overview of the campaign in Zhalindor I ran from 2001-2005 Link to the TSYF Homepage.
The Kernan Campaign Log from the Cauldera to the City of She Who Waits
Campaign log kept from first session through the Cauldera by Mark Thomas Extremely well written. This is the campaign in action! Check it out! Back up! Yeah!
Background for the Kernan campaign
Copy of new PC backgrounds for Kernan Fall 99 Campaign MS Word NT
The party's victory in the dread City of She Who Waits
Plot threads for the Kernan Campaign that were open at the beginning of the '99-00 season.
Funny session write-up by Greg Friend (who is both a great gamer and a good friend)
Josh did a very nice write-up on the Halls of the Dwarven Kings from a player perspective. Josh's write-up for the HoDK.
This is Joe's Homepage. Joe plays in the current Zhalindor campaign and also ran a RoleMaster (tm) Campaign for the group in March '98
Ballad for Kernan Campaign
The StarWars Summer '98 Plotline
The Rolemaster Mini-Campaign Write-Ups by Joshua Caulfield
Every year the gaming group does a silly session around the Holiday season. It is much fun, and it is a tradition. In '98 we did "Return to the TOON of Horrors." Enjoy! Overview for 1998 Holiday Adventure
Hugo Weaving was both Elron in the Lord of the Rings movies and played Agent Smith in the Matrix series. Check out this reprised, combined role in a couple of MP3 files that my kids and I put together ... behold Lord of the Matrix
Here is the backstory for the RPG session that was a combination of the Xena and Hercules RPG and It Came from the Late, Late Show called Time Enough for Death MS Word 7.0 doc
We did a Zhalindor one-shot on 2 SEP 01. Check out the background and the player-characters' backgrounds for a one-up set at the same location. Here are the secret backgrounds for the one-up ... SECRET backgrounds for characters . Here is the tentative calendar for Zhalindor sessions for winter/spring 2002 winter/spring 2002 .

Gaming and Writing Seminars by Rich Staats These have been given at a variety of conventions, seminars, etc., and even as classes at MIT

Christian RPG I came across this game Holy Lands RPG. I actually ordered the hard-copy version of it and some of the accessories. My bottom-line up-front on this one is that I would take a pass on the system. The write-up on the WWW page does not really match the product. The books and supplements leave a lot of work to the "Rac," the game's version of a GM. I've been playing RPGs since 1976, and after a dozen reads through the game system I am still not sure that I could run a session. There is a fair amount of conflicting advice in the various books. I am not sure whether you make one or two rolls for your attack (it is clear that you do one that is supposed to be higher than the defensive roll), but then they have kluged on an armor factor. The rules say that you have to "roll higher" than that number "to hit." I have three possible interpretations of that. It might be that the attack roll must be higher than the defensive roll AND higher than the DEFense (armor factor). It could be that the armor factor is somehow added to the defensive roll, but the rules rumbles about how defensive and defense are different -- so, perhaps not, or you might make a separate d20 roll to penetrate the armor? The world may never know. In any event, most of that is guesswork on my part as the rules are thin on explanation. Another area of confusion for me was on the four different types of rolls you made to accomplish actions and prevent Bad Things (tm) from happening to your character. Characters have saving throws versus positive, helpful "miracles." I am not sure what this is supposed to capture in terms of the gaming world?!?! Every once in a while God screws it up? The products themselves were of mixed quality. The materials got delayed due to some issue with customs. To the company's credit, they worked through the returned package and kept me notified. So, that was a good thing. The binder the materials came in had ripped plastic pockets when I got it. Also, the "battle-map" was a laminated piece of 8.5x11 graph paper. The company sent the next shipment missing one of the ~$7 supplements. I wrote back to them inquiring in polite terms as to whether I could get the supplement and never heard back. Now, it is a small press production, and families, regular work, and even health issues have profound impacts on customer service. I get that. It just followed on the heels of some existing disappointment with the products. The biggest question that I am left with had to do with how one is promoting fair play, moral values, etc.? The system itself seems to be focused around combat. How many experience points does one get for "saving someone"? The artwork for the system is nice. The layouts for the books are nice. Overall, the product just does not deliver something worth the cost or that delivers on the hype on the WWW page. By the by, the WWW page for the game is very professionally done! I just wish that the game had lived up to the hype and promise of the WWW page.

D&D NPC Generator : It has links for versions 3 and 3.5 and other links too here is the link .

Exalted RPG!: First time I played Exalted was in the tourney at Origins -- ended up winning the first prize for role-playing due to some wonderful fellow players in the preliminary qualifying rounds here is the link for the game.

Everlasting RPG!: Had a Chance to Play in the Everlasting tourney at Origins 2004 here is the link for the parent company. Fighting diabolical bikers and the evil forces of rock'n'roll was quite fun!

Games Springing from the Ashes!: Take a look here at "Tastes Like Phoenix Games".

More Games Springing from the Ashes!: Take a look at a Masterbook homepage. (Masterbook was an RPG system developed by West End Games that is best remembered for its movie / book tie-ins, e.g., Indiana Jones, Wampheri.)

Cool and Cheap RPG Props!: The folks at Microtactix have developed a series of PDF files with pre-printed cardstock props. Take a look here. Tell 'em Dr. Games sent ya!

Cicada Invasion: Washington DC recently was invaded by cicada's. Using some advanced signal processing based on some cryptographic research, we were able to "crack" the cicada language. Listen to this (MP3 - 800K).

Who's Who: The folks at Who's Who were silly enough to induct me! What is that famous W.C. Fields' quote, ...?

Adding some personal/professional information: I'm doing a seminar in April. See the brochure at this link IDGA Seminar.

Origins 2005 was my last Gaming Convention for a while. Dr. Games Origins 2005 Seminars
Thank you for visiting my site!

� 1993-2006 staats@alum.mit.edu

A list of some links to this site. Tell them that Dr. Games sent you!

Game Surge
Argonline in the UK
and Detonated in the UK
AOL TV Search Site
E-scape games
Games Links
CompuServe UK
AOL Canada
Aldar Open Directory