Towse: views from the hill

January 31, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 5:39 pm

Moved from ciHost to another provider. Long story there … cost was just one of the factors. Now I’m testing to make sure the blog will update at its new location.

January 23, 2002

More RPG links: caustic commentary courtesy of James Kendall

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:07 am

More RPG links: notes courtesy of James Kendall []

  • RPG Archive ~ a *huge* archive of pre-written adventures, along with links, reviews, and a few other tidbits.
  • BlueTroll ~ : This is -the- premier DnD Netbook site online. Had dozens of them the last time I checked over a year ago, and is always being updated. Also had a number of general purpose books like ‘Book of Herbs’ ‘Book of Poisons’ ‘ Historical Weapons’ ‘Creation of Thieves Guilds’ and so forth, as well as hundreds of fan-created DnD stuff. Spells, classes, races, so forth. Don’t know if WotC cracked down on that aspect of it or not, but the rest should still be there.
  • Google’s list of roleplaying magazines and ezines ~ : A nice concise list of online Ezines and RPG mags.
  • Google’s roleplaying links ~ : Is where I’m getting a number of these links. Might want to go through it in greater detail on your own. Under the 200+ links for ‘World Building’, Patricia’s page is second on the list.
  • Roleplaying Tips Newsletter ~ : Just found this one and haven’t had time to look through it indepth. Looks like a weekly email fanzine that’s made up a a couple of “how to GM/Roleplay’ articles sent in by subscribers and emailed out to everyone on the list. All the old ones are in archives, and there seems to be some really good advice amidst it all. (After a bit of further reading, it seems that a number of the articles come complete with links to other websites that explore the topic in further detail. Very nice indeed.)
  • ~ : Admittedly, I don’t recognise about half this jargon, but it’s a simple primer on most of the gamer/geek terms that’ve cropped up in the last 10 years from OOC to ‘all your base’. Not sure all of them are real, though.
  • Uncle Figgy’s Realm ~ Uncle Figgy! The Dear Ann Landers of RPGing. Though the site has sadly gone un-updated since June, it’s still a wonderful RPG (and writing) resource. The FAQ section where reader questions on how to deal with powergamers, properly describe scenes, and create believable NPCs are covered and also a small ‘so you want to be a writer, eh?’ section that talks about what exactly those slushpiles are. The guides, however, are where it’s at. There are five of them, written over the course of a few years, each one very indepth and must reads. ‘How to GM’, ‘How to RolePlay’, “Roleplaying for Non-roleplayers’ (sort of an intro piece to show to your friends when they want to know what it is you do), and my personal favorite ‘The Fantasy Guide.’ To paraphrase his intro to it: “In bookstores you’ll find dozens of books on how to create belivable weapons and armour, but not one on how to create a believable magic system, which is what all of fantasy writing is inherently based on.” So he goes into his own ways to create your own homebrew. A *very* nice site.
  • S John Ross’ BIG LIST of RPG plots ~ : An interesting page, even from a writing standpoint. A quick summary of the 34 basic RPG plots. Almost every single adventure ever published falls under one of these groupings. Also features common twists to each plot type, and a few links to pages that cover the topic in a more scholarly fashion.
  • RPGNet : More a ‘what’s new in the world of gaming’ page then anything else, but a good place to hook into the rumor mill of what’s upcoming. Also features pages on ‘how to’ for game creation, game publishing, as well as job offerings for playtesters and similar sorts.
  • The Malkavian Web page ~ : Malkavians are the ‘insane’ vampires from the WoD, and this is a page set up with some very good articles about how to realistically portray an insane character beyond the ‘walks around in teddybear slippers and wacks people with a fish’ (fishmalks) stereotype that seem to crop up. The page also has some miscellaneous vampire stuff, as well as a fair crop of WoD humor. The page (Malchavian Insanity, one of the first links there) where they talk about roleplaying madness is what I nominate this page for, though.

January 22, 2002


Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 1:58 am

Arguing now with over why I deserve my promised billing credit of “two-days-credit-for-every-day-without-service after the changeover from @Home” for the twenty-seven days in December that my cable modem was non-functioning. says my problems had naught to do with the switchover, that the problems appearing when they did was just an amazing coincidence of timing and I don’t deserve the credit.

I argue. They repeat their stance. I argue.

If they’re selling “good will” along with their assets, their buyer is paying too much.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 1:55 am

In honor of the one-hundredth bday of Barnum’s Animals [Crackers]

[], Nabisco will be adding another animal to the menage detroit.

Will it be the penguin, walrus, cobra, or koala bear?

January 21, 2002

RPG links galore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 9:09 pm

Collecting together links for role-players on the Web as well as newsgroups and such for the new role-playing sub-section in the Fiction section of the writing links site :

January 10, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 7:08 pm is a LookSmart engine attached to a Gale Group archive of articles from more than 300 magazines/journals dating back to 1998.

The magazines available range from Academy of Management Review and Accent on Living to Worldwide Biotech and Wrestling Digest.

The collection includes Sunset Magazine, but knowing that things come and go and disappear without a moment’s notice, I think I’ll keep the decades of paper Sunset archives I have stashed away for the nonce.

January 9, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 4:40 pm

Northern Light is getting out of the search engine biz “in order to focus on the enterprise market” says a story in Internet Week yesterday. David Seuss says “The business model for free, advertising-supported, public Web search has not been developing for us.” Question is, though, do they have any idea how many of their enterprise customers came their way because they’d tried that free public Web search and liked it?

January 5, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 3:21 am

I’ve decided the ATTBI e-mail support is run by a ‘bot. There is no other explanation for the lame cut n’ paste “answers” I get to serious concerns, like (a) my mail service isn’t working and (b) the Web-based mail doesn’t know my account exists.

I get back a generic “this is how Web-based mail works” note from the friendly, helpful support staff.

I know how Web-based mail works. I used it while my cable modem connection was unusable through December 27th. This afternoon, sometime between 12:30P when I went down to the main house for a cold lamb sandwich and 1:15P when I returned, their mail got screwed.

Luckily, my e-mail to most addresses in existence redirects to both and, so I spent the afternoon using’s Web mail to access my VERY IMPORTANT EMAIL ON VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECTS.

After I sent back a “did you even read what I said?” note and then sent another note explaining the problem in different terms, I got a mail back the following day (05 Jan) telling me (in response to my “did you even read” note) that I should try their online support chat for help using my mail.

Next mail in from attbi in response to my second note, following closely on the heels of the “use chat” mail said, “On 01/04/2002 there was an issue on the mail servers preventing most users from logging onto the mail server to retrieve their email, Please try again, and if you are still getting an error reply to this message.”

“Preventing most users?” Oh, please.

You have to wonder how much support time was spent sending ‘bot messages and using staff time to answer a question that could’ve been easily handled by putting something on their support Web site saying, “We’re having problems with our mail servers. We hope to have them functioning again soon. Please be patient.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 3:16 am

Revised the blogger article for Computer Bits today. Boy howdy, did I ever.

I was confabbing with the Computer Bits editor about what to do in March (something on photography on the Web, maybe to include Ray Rasmussen’s photos. ???)

During the midst of this, while we were discussing some blogs I hadn’t put into the article, the editor said she’d been planning on getting to editing my article this weekend and if there were changes I wanted to make I was allowed as long as (1) I didn’t make the article any longer than it had been and (2) I got it back to her before the day ended.

Then, of course, I had to revamp my hyperlink lists here of what was and was not included.

January 4, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:54 am

Uploaded the 200201 revised edition of the misc.writing Book Turners Club List to

Added a counter to the blog and also moved a counter from the soon-to-be *poof* writing links set on to the writing links subset on

Put a checkbox on the blog so users can toggle whether to pop up a new window for a hyperlink click.

Some links stashed away today:

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