Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ravenloft - The End (Again)

Arthaus Reverts Rights to RAVENLOFT and GAMMA WORLD to Wizards of the Coast
Sword & Sorcery Studios to release electronic manuscript for VAN RICHTEN’S GUIDE TO THE MISTS

Atlanta, GA and Renton, WA; August 15, 2005 — Arthaus Publishing, Inc. and Wizards of the Coast, Inc. today announced that they have reached an agreement for the reversion of rights to the RAVENLOFT and GAMMA WORLD campaign settings. Wizards of the Coast has tentatively agreed to allow White Wolf, which solicits and sells all Arthaus products, to continue to sell back stock in both lines under its Sword & Sorcery umbrella brand through June of 2006.

This reversion means that the RAVENLOFT supplement Van Richten's Guide to the Mists will not see print. Sword & Sorcery Studios will release the unproofed manuscript (by authors Carla Hollar and Rucht Lilavivat and outgoing developers Jackie Cassada and Nicky Rea) as a free download available at The manuscript will be available this September.

"It has been a pleasure to publish and work on these two classic properties," said Stewart Wieck, Managing Editor of Sword & Sorcery Studios. "These are icons of the RPG culture, and I think we did them justice, added to their lore, and gave them a fresh treatment for this generation of gamers."

Arthaus Publishing licensed the rights to RAVENLOFT, the gothic horror brand of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®, in 2001 and—under the Sword & Sorcery banner—has released 19 different products in the line over the last four years. Van Richten's Guide to the Mists was to be the twentieth product in the line. Arthaus licensed GAMMA WORLD in 2002 and released six products in the line.

"Sword & Sorcery has done a great job with both lines," said Rich Redman, Wizards of the Coast's Assistant Brand Manager for Licensing. "We never had any doubts that these lines were in good hands."

The end of another Ravenloft era. What will it take to kill off Ravenloft? This is the second time it's died. First was TSR. Now it's Arthaus. Sigh. It's horrible. I guess I'll go start writing up notes for my own campaign world now.

Ravenloft... The End
The Beginning of... WORLD OF PROSECRAFT

Thursday, August 18, 2005

There's been the haze, the insane workload at work and the loud music because of the hungry ghost festival. I also went to sign up for PPS (Project Petaling Street), but since my posts aren't usually noteworthy, I won't be pinging anything anytime soon. Which makes me a sleeping member of the PPS. And why is it called the PPS anyway? Shouldn't it be the PSP (Petaling Street Project)? The Omnicron Conspiracy. The Last Crusade. The Seventh Seal. The Petaling Street Project. Maybe it's a Malaysian thing. Projek Lebuh Petaling. Projek Petaling Street. Project Petaling Street. Or maybe it's my damnable Westernized grammar. Fie on you for colonizing my country, you English people!

On the haze, a pox on whoever who started the forest fires which has caused us all to be enveloped in smoke. It's tempting to just call every Indonesian a dirty forest-burning bastard, but I doubt the entire country turned up en masse to set their forests on fire just so that we can suffocate. No, this is the work of a few people, and we must hang them. Or burn them. I kinda prefer burning them, since they're so fond of burning trees. What would the Night Elves do if they found out that us humans are still burning their precious little trees?

And then there is The Star. On the day the haze hit Penang, I woke up to find the words "WHAT A RELIEF!" all over the front page of The Star. Outside, visibility was so low I couldn't see the Jelutong Highway anymore, let alone the hills or Butterworth. And what did The Star had to say about it? "WHAT A RELIEF!". This front page "rubbing it in because you have the haze and I don't" continued with pictures of children playing under blue skies and bright sun. They should tout it as 'The Klang Valley People's Paper'. Bastards. Karma has gone around and now the haze has come back to haunt us all by blanketing everybody equally. Please, don't start a civil war between the north and the south by snubbing your northern cousins when the haze decides to take a walk to the upper peninsular. Sometimes, I think Lim Kit Siang had the right idea when he went "BURRRN THE STAR!" so long ago.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The plight of the owls touches my heart. There they are, sleeping peacefully, and then suddenly bulldozers come rushing in, slamming down their homes and everything. It's ridiculously rude. All that hardwork making a place comfy and then these bunch of so-called 'evolved' apes just destroy everything to make way for the next phase of the Jelutong highway.

And you know? We shouldn't stand for it. Yes. We. We shall not stand by and watch while our government destroys the natural habitats of these precious white owls! Ask yourself! What would Harry Potter say if he finds out that you're just standing around while dozens of near-extinct white owls are deprived of their living spaces and forced to relocate, a relocation which might fail and end in certain death? How would you explain to your children when they ask you why you allowed the white owls to fade away by not doing anything when the government was destroying their homes?

Our time is now! Our hearts must now be one as we embark on the...


Here, have some little mini-banner thingies to show your support for the Jelutong Owls.

Save the Jelutong Owls!Save the Jelutong Owls!

All together now:
"Save the owls! Save the owls! Save the owls! Save the owls!"

Save the Jelutong Owls. For they are our future.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ah, here we are on a Sunday night. It's been a fun start for the hungry ghost festival so far.

Friday night:
Father saw a white owl perched on a car when he came home from work. It flew away when he approached it.
Friend in Vietnam thought she saw something.
I helped set up hungry ghost prayer stuff. Candles, joss sticks, hell money.

I saw a white owl flying over the Jelutong Highway.

Well, the Vietnam thingy turned out to be a hallucination ( I *think* ). The core of the whole "fun start" experience is the owl, but my father has a theory. Lately, the swamp area and the many patches of wild vegetation around my house has been cleared to make way for the next phase of the Jelutong highway. It's not something I agree with, but there's nothing I can do while the government just tear apart whole parts of town and turn my quiet peaceful neighbourhood into the slums ( for real this time ). Anyway, all this destruction has made quite a lot of patches of trees extinct. So the poor owls have been displaced, and now they must seek out new homes. Poor little birdies. Farking government.

And now, a Hungry Ghost Month community awareness message:

"Do not stay out after 10pm".

Friday, August 05, 2005

I'm feeling all down and demotivated today, but one piece of news managed to perk me up.


FYI, today's the first day. I should known it was that time of the year when I saw the fire on the road and the burning papers whirling around in a circle when I was driving home last night.

Yes, it's the month-long Halloween. Dust off your Ouija boards. Polish your RM0.50 coins. Buy another bottle of beer and go break it for a piece of glass. The spirits are here and they're here to staaaaaaay ( for one month, at least)!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

It's another fun night in the office. Today, we have with us... an ulcer. Yes, ulcer. That thing that's a minor annoyance at a minimal and a reason to kill everyone and yourself at most. Is okay though. I'm cool.

With lack of sleep and all, I'm starting to regress to my less civilized more brutal self. Back to the one who broods and meditates upon the destruction of all speed trap police while waiting for his build to finish. Back to the almighty violent unforgiving Man-God who walks this earth with strife and suffering beside him. Back, you might say, to the basics.

[Reality check: This means I'm just grumpier and melodramaticer... melodramatiker... more melodramatic than usual.]

Rage, yeah. Rage against the speedtraps in the morning when you're late for a meeting. RAGE, my brethren, against idiots who do not understand that the only people who are in a hurry in the morning are people who are late for work - the rest will be half asleep turtles causing everyone else behind them consternation and grief. You wanna organize a little speedtrap party, you cocksuckers, you hold them in the night when aimless young people who should just DIE anyway are racing up and down looking to turn each other into blood confetti.

Man, you can tell when the ulcer is getting to me. I'm more subversive and rebellious than ever. At my age, that's saying a lot. It's the quarterlife crisis, I tell you. The red sportscar and the underaged 16-year-old chick is not too bloody far away.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'm sitting in a building in Penang, Malaysia listening to a radio station from the UK playing 'Everything I Do I Do It For You' which was sung by a Canadian and I find myself missing my room in Plantation, Florida. That was a nice room where I drank a lot of Budweiser and watched lots of American TV.

I met one of my old schoolmates in the toilet today ( he's now a colleague I don't work with ) and he said, "Yeah, I miss the US too". If not for him, I won't be missing the land of big cars and bigger portions of food now. Jamie Dunbar isn't helping by playing all those old 90s songs. We used to tune in to a radio station which played a lot of old songs when we were driving around in the US ( driving was something we did a lot ).