Bill Owen Q&A
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:50 pm 
 

Thanks for the heads-up on the plagmada folder, Bill.

"Down here in Belize, I finally opened up what's left of my game collection and found that the movers repacked my miniatures turning them upside down. While they were magnetized and with some packing peanuts, I figured that they would only survive the usually rocking and rolling of a ship at sea... not being turned upside and shook loose thousands of times. I'll have to see what's salvageable and what been turned into Rock Tumbler product."

Speaking as a miniatures enthusiast, that's like a dagger in the back! Sorry to hear that. I hope more survived than not. Drop a line with an update once you have a chance to go through them if you could.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:21 am 
 

TollHouseGolem wrote:Thanks for the heads-up on the plagmada folder, Bill.

"Down here in Belize, I finally opened up what's left of my game collection and found that the movers repacked my miniatures turning them upside down. While they were magnetized and with some packing peanuts, I figured that they would only survive the usually rocking and rolling of a ship at sea... not being turned upside and shook loose thousands of times. I'll have to see what's salvageable and what been turned into Rock Tumbler product."

Speaking as a miniatures enthusiast, that's like a dagger in the back! Sorry to hear that. I hope more survived than not. Drop a line with an update once you have a chance to go through them if you could.


Okay. I have barely set up the Tower of the Elephant (with an appropriately colored roof for Llangewellen the Blue!) and so my minis are resting in the same state as the tanks that were sunk off Truk.

My wife's family is coming today to visit... and in their honor, England's Prince Harry is also throwing a party in the nearby capital of Belmopan. http://www.travelbelize.org/royal-tour

Lulu has a 29% discount today for http://www.lulu.com/gamedesign (in addition to my temporary discount).

Enter coupon code LEAPYEAR305 at checkout and receive 29% off your order. The maximum savings for this offer is $250. Sorry, but this offer is only valid in US Dollars and cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use this code once per account, and unfortunately you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer expires on February 29, 2012 at 11:59 PM PST, so don't miss out! While very unlikely, we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:51 am 
 

Bill Owen wrote:Thanks Ronald!

I got an email from a guy named Tim Hutchings who runs a website called http://www.plagmada.org. He solicits gamers' maps, descriptions, and miscellaneous items* associated with FRP. If you haven't seen it, I'd suggest you look at it and consider offering some of your own home brew.


Hey Bill,

Well it took a while but the book finally arrived today! :)

The mailing address was interesting, it looks that Lulu sent it from France to Hong Kong. I think it would have been faster if it had been sent from the USA.

Best regards,
Ronald

  

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:42 am 
 

rhynne wrote:
Hey Bill,

Well it took a while but the book finally arrived today! :)

The mailing address was interesting, it looks that Lulu sent it from France to Hong Kong. I think it would have been faster if it had been sent from the USA.

Best regards,
Ronald


I suppose they did it for economies of printing and/or postage cost ...or total lack of geographic knowledge! I hope you enjoy it!


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:04 pm 
 

Bill Owen wrote:
I hope you enjoy it!


Hey Bill,

Well the book looks so nice all shrink wrapped... I haven't opened it yet.  :oops:

I was thinking I might buy a second one just to be able to read it. :)

Best regards,
Ronald

  

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:25 pm 
 

I can't argue with that.  :D

I'm glad it looks so good but I hope that it's okay when unwrapped!

Unlike cafepress, I don't think lulu has a satisfaction guarantee...

Which is a reason to buy a framed reprint of the original Tegel Manor: if it's a bust, you can get your money back. http://www.cafepress.com/judgesguild.280432347 or framed Wilderlands http://www.cafepress.com/judgesguild.11876878

FYI, the proceeds for Tegel go to supporting Bob Sr.'s charity in his name ...and Wilderlands split between Bob Jr and I.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:37 pm 
 

Some updates... I got my ship miniatures up and running. I decided it was the easiest terrain (blue cloth sea!) and so wargaming Central American style is on.

A half-British half-Belizean and half-American neighbor invited Pat & I to watch the entire Lord of the Rings extended edition on Blu-ray yesterday. He had gotten it as a gift and I think his Brazilian wife, a new mom, wouldn't go for the whole 11 hours and 23 minutes--plus bathroom breaks. Armed with 24 pies (meat pies delivered by guy with a chef's hat on motorcycle--sometimes I think I'm living in a fantasy game plot written by Bob!) and Coca Cola (the only drink brand of Belize), we started just after 11 AM and finished right after 11:30 PM!

I was pretty excited about the opportunity as I have had a varying interest in seeing it for 9 years but the delay wasn't just because the time or money involved. Mainly it's because of the three levels of investment I already put in to the series.

But I was encouraged by it being filmed in New Zealand, which is packed with some of the most sublime scenery in the world. So much so that when we considered where to move to, I also seriously considered NZ for its English speaking aspect and some great wargamers down under. Unfortunately working with tour leaders back in the CDT (which is now an hour off from our CST) would mean working Sunday-Thursday 1-9 PM. I guess that would give me the days off! Maybe I should reconsider :)

Here are the 3 levels I'd already invested:
1. I read the trilogy in the early 70's and generally movies rarely live up to a favorite book. Certainly Tolkien had constructed a high-toned, coherent world that set the scene for millions of prospective fantasy gamers worldwide. How couldn't a movie fall short of that?
2. Even more importantly since it then served as the general background for Bob's fantasy campaign, I had mixed emotions about reopening all that. As I need not explain to you-all, the active playing of such a game is another step beyond even the imagination required in reading excellent fiction.
3. I'm sure you have read how Bob would pass out Tolkien's fantasy story guidelines. And so Tolkien's world took on a third gyration for me. Did I want to sit in disappointed, interminable silence for a fourth, a likely let-down. Obviously we may have set our sights too high and (except for Bob's efforts) often fell short of that. But we made no pretense of being classy literature but rather producing helpful aids and fun starters (for a game system that was an awful mish mash).

Wow, I was very impressed! After watching the whole show I had no complaints and was appreciative of the obvious care they took in producing it. The characters seemed 'right', the natural splendor, sets or computer-generated cities were Tolkienesque. I can't speak to the normal-length version, but now by comparison can't help but figure that it would be "too short". But I'm not a guy to watch shows a second time anyway. And my wife liked it too. This is saying a LOT for a show that's almost 12 hours long!

I suppose if I read the books again (more apt to now; I will occasionally reread) I would find all sort of discrepancies. But the general story was so good I hesitate, to mention some notions that I have dredged up. Like shorter battles and more character. But I think that this probably says more about the modern film-goer and as old guy not in tune with that.

Another thing that struck me was how little "magic" is present--one fireball in 11.4 hours. Boy, is that different than our actions in D&D as "Indirect Fire" 2nd rank howitzers really. The opposite of that is the tendency in the film to have several melee situations be seemingly overwhelming odds rather than challenging opponents--but the buzz-saws (as Bob used to call the Superheros among us) making short work of them--then they have the elf & dwarf doing a personal body-count (that seemed too low) but more than that, just crass. If that was in Tolkien's LOTR then it didn't affect me that way back then. In the film I suppose the impossible odds and minimal counts strained credulity a bit. And for acrobatics, I'm particularly thinking of Legolas here. I really am trying too hard to have something to note things now.

Considering the role of imagination in books and fantasy gaming, it's a wonder that they did so much, so well, throughout! So much for piddly preferences. But as I've learned about the difficulty of creating from whole cloth, it's much easier to revise something than to create it! And handed $280 million, I'm sure I couldn't have done half as well.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:12 pm 
 

While there are differences from the book I am a fan of the movies in their own right. In regards to the extended version, I like the theatrical release of Fellowship slightly better for the pacing. The last half hour was a wild ride that ended on a perfect note and just about everybody who seen with me wanted to see the rest of the films right away.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:36 am 
 

I think that 99% of the world would probably prefer the shorter version. I'm just surprised that I married someone of the 1%. And if I had seen the shorter first, I doubt I could stand to sit through the 11.4 hour version.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:47 pm 
 

Lulu has a mystery sale and I have no idea what the actual % or $ discount is. If one of you wanted to buy one or more items would you see if it's appealing? Thanks!


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:59 pm 
 

Bill Owen wrote:A half-British half-Belizean and half-American neighbor invited Pat & I to watch the entire Lord of the Rings extended edition on Blu-ray yesterday. He had gotten it as a gift and I think his Brazilian wife, a new mom, wouldn't go for the whole 11 hours and 23 minutes--plus bathroom breaks. Armed with 24 pies (meat pies delivered by guy with a chef's hat on motorcycle--sometimes I think I'm living in a fantasy game plot written by Bob!) and Coca Cola (the only drink brand of Belize), we started just after 11 AM and finished right after 11:30 PM!


Hey Bill,

I did the exact same thing some years back with my wife, and my brother on Christmas Day. It was the extended DVD's as the Blu-ray edition had not come out yet. :)
Almost 12 hours though is really tough, and I have to admit that my brother and I fell asleep at one point during the The Two Towers.

We did finish it all in one sitting but all three of us agreed that it was a one time event and never to be repeated. :P

As much as I enjoy the books and the movies, I had to agree with them on that point. :)

Best regards,
Ronald

  

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:19 pm 
 

Perhaps it was the combination of the giant supply of meat pies and Coca Cola that kept us all awake! And because I had a strong ambivalence about watching the show, having it turn out to be so excellent helped keep me perky.


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Post Posted: Mon May 07, 2012 10:33 pm 
 

Had an idea for a wilderlands game the other day. (Or it finally hit "paper".) So I wrote to James Mishler to get some feedback. He kindly pointed me to www.hexographer.com which is pretty cool.* I fiddled with it a bit and wonder if any one here has used it?

*It didn't quite hit the mark for what I was thinking about but completely blew me away that free tools like this exist and for the about the cost of set of D-Tac cards (in constant $'s) you can upgrade it to do a lot more.

PS And their Dungeon dice or program or whatever hits the mark of the 50 doublesided dungeon cards what I wanted to publish 34 years ago in Instamatic sleeves. Very impressed.


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Post Posted: Mon May 07, 2012 10:47 pm 
 

Oh, I forgot to mention that I visited the Arneson collection ebay* pages which I assume you all knew about. The things that struck me are:

1. So few, only 200 items -- I was a real collector perhaps and ended up with about 500 saleable items (and only about 4 that didn't sell for 99 cents or more) but I had a 1/50th involvement in the FRP hobby of a Bob Bledsaw and 1/250th of an Arneson. I assumed he'd have a lot more review copies etc.

2. Where are the personal materials? In that little briefcase? I had boxes of that stuff and again with a tiny fraction of the involvement--that was limited really to 1968-1980 so a shorter time to boot. But then I was the actual publisher during 2 years so had a lot of unique items because I'd drive for the day and see the printers personally and watch the proof sheets and the product come off the press. So you end up with negatives, proof sheets, blueprints etc. that are one of a kind. Whereas he was the author and got a free copy! (How generous!)

3. Where are the boardgames? There's one or two. My unpunched monster games got lotsa bucks--some to Japanese guys.

Finally, I'm sad to say that part of the experience is missing--the writing of the actual auction descriptions. I tried to put some of myself in many of the blurbs. It was part of my letting go. But getting emailed questions and comments was fun.

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Post Posted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:12 pm 
 

Bill this is but the first of many such auctions.


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Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:37 pm 
 

And stratochamp will be bidding on most of them :)  And so will I, but I'm not sure how successful I'll be...

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:03 pm 
 

I've got a few bids in and am anxious to see what else they put up in the coming months.

  


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Post Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:52 pm 
 

so i think i bid on seven auctions and won six of them. so now there are what, 9800 more lots to go :-)


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