Thursday, June 30, 2016

Historical Thursday - Odd Burials

Over on sciencenordic.com, they tell us a "Unique Viking tomb contains remains of noble couple" here.


Also, on seeker.com, we learn a "Mummy Shows Ancient Egyptians Bleached Their Skin" here.


Finally, on dailymail.co.uk, a recent headlines run "Was Germany's 'Dark Countess' the daughter of executed French royals Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette? Mystery could be solved after grave is exhumed."  Find out more here.


Sifting through History to
enhance our tabletop RPGing.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Worldbuilding Wednesday - Tunnels Revisited

I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago on "Ancient Tunnels" here but wanted to revisit tunnels again.  Over on quora.com, a curious person asked "What techniques were used to construct tunnels, during ancient and medieval times, to meet exactly at the same point midway?"  Find out here.


Also, on atlasobscura.com, they tell us "We Still Don't Know Why Medieval Europeans Built Their Mysterious 'Erdstall' Tunnels" here.


Finally, on dailymail.co.uk, they let us know "Tunnels of war: 200-year-old passages where French prisoners were held during the Napoleonic Wars go on sale for £19,000" here.


Worldbuilding Wednesday on GRYMVALD.com
The nuts and bolts of Worldbuilding
for our tabletop RPGing.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Tuesday Sundries - Mysteries

Over on cracked.com, they expound on "16 Famous Mysteries That Everyone Forgets Have Been Solved" here.


Also, on listverse.com, they share "10 Mysterious Swords From Legend And History" here.


Finally, on medievalists.net, we learn of "15 Mysteries from the Middle Ages" here.


The Tuesday Sundries on GRYMVALD.com
Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on GRYMVALD.com
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mapping Monday - Manuscript Maps

They have a ton of cool stuff over on manuscriptmaps.com.  Have a look at the "Durham Bailey" map here.


Also, check out the "Whiskey Map of Scotland" here.


Finally, they also do custom maps here.


Cartography and Mapping are the order of the day,
from setting maps to battlemaps, it's all good.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Setting & Society Sunday - Medieval Time & Money

Three from the Medievalists.net this week with the first being "Time and Clocks in the Middle Ages" here.


Also, "Did Purchasing Power Parity Hold in Medieval Europe?"  Find out more here.


Finally, check out "The ‘Buying and Selling of Money for Time’: Foreign Exchange and Interest Rates in Medieval Europe" here.


Looking closer at Setting and Society
as a part of what is presented by GMs.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday in Space - Jupiter

Over on sciencealert.com, they tell us "Researchers have finally peered behind Jupiter's colourful clouds" here.


Also, on sciencealert.com, they tell us "NASA's Juno spacecraft is almost at Jupiter" here.


Finally, on space.com, they share "Jupiter's 'Twin' Found: Is This Solar System 2.0?"  Find out more here.


Saturday in Space on GRYMVALD.com
What's happening in Space and
what can it mean for our tabletop RPGing?
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Flora & Fauna Friday - Snakey, Crabby, & Froggy

Over on prettyawfulthings.com, a "Newly Discovered Fossil Snake That Makes an Anaconda Look Small" here.


Also, on sciencealert.com, "This massive blanket of crabs crawled right out of your nightmares."  Learn more here.


Finally, on the Dean Boshoff YouTube channel, a video shows the "Worlds Cutest Frog - Desert Rain Frog."  Enjoy!



Examining animals, plants, and the
environments we use for our tabletop RPGing.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Historical Thursday - Surviving the Cold

Over on smithsonianmag.com, they share "Restored Photos From Shackleton’s Antarctic Wreck [which] Reveal New Details" here.


Also, on thevintagenews.com, they discuss "Surviving winter in the Middle Ages – Man spends 8 months living all alone in 10th Century conditions" here.


Finally, on ask.metafilter.com, they ask, "How did peasants in the Middle Ages survive the winter?"  Get some answers here.


Sifting through History to
enhance our tabletop RPGing.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Worldbuilding Wednesday - HPB Finds & MB's Musings

I've been mentioning a few Half Price Books finds from the last couple of weeks and I have just a few more, two of which I will mention right now.  The first is a replacement copy of a Role Aids book from Mayfair Games I must have lost at some point along the way.  I had it in the back of my mind to replace it someday and that day came last weekend when I found a copy of Dragons (1986) on the shelf.


Also, I picked up a first printing to replace my second printing of The Castles Guide (1990), a 2E AD&D supplement.  As it happens, it is also a cleaner copy, so that's doubly good.


Finally, Merric Blackman has recently updated his listings of 5E adventures over on Merric's Musing here.  If you play the system, check those out along with dozens of reviews he has done on many of them.


Worldbuilding Wednesday on GRYMVALD.com
The nuts and bolts of Worldbuilding
for our tabletop RPGing.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Tuesday Sundries - Father's Day HPB Finds

Some Father's Day travel had me down in Illinois for a couple of days so I managed to pop into a couple of Half Price Books along the way and am so glad I did.  Three of the books I picked up were not strictly game books but looked to be interesting reading with RPGing in mind, so I snagged them: one at $4.99, one at $2, and the last for $1.  The first was an Osprey Publications tome written by Daniel Mersey, the same fella who penned Dux Bellorum (2012),  the Lion Rampant (2014), and Dragon Rampant (2015) wargaming systems.  It's titled King Arthur (2013) and is part of the Osprey Myths and Legends series.  I had noted this one was out there when looking at other Osprey titles and kept it in mind in case I ran across it in this way, so I was lucky I did.  Mersey also has another in this series titled The Knights of the Round Table (2015).  I'll grab more of these when I see them at HPBs in the coming years and likely buy some more directly as the spirit moves me.


Also, in the clearance section, I found a 2006 printing of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Volume 1: The Medieval Period.  This is a fine textbook by a Canadian publisher with just a bit of underlining and marginalia.  Naturally, everything in it has been printed elsewhere and I am fairly certain I have it all in various sources but this was in great shape.  I'm particularly interested in reading their historical notes and refreshing myself on some of the literature.  I don't think I've read Beowulf for a few years and some of the material I have not seen since college.


Finally, also from the clearance section, I stumbled across a book I had once known was written but had never picked up and read.  This is one of the Dover Thrift Editions, so it is of material in the Public Domain, and is by the author of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe.  It is titled A Journal of the Plague Year (1722) and is meant to be a fictionalized account of the events of 1665 when the plague once again hit London.  Although Defoe lived from 1660-1731, the material is said to bring more to the table and be more enlightening about the events than the work of Samuel Pepys who wrote an eyewitness account at the time.  It has been argued over the years as to whether this is truly a work of fiction or, more so, and edited compilation of sources from the historical notes of others but I am leaning toward it being an early example of what we would today call a Historical Novel.  I'll wait to read it to fully decide, of course.  And naturally, once I am done reading this, I will want to devastate a portion of my RPG campaign setting of Grymvald with a plague!


The Tuesday Sundries on GRYMVALD.com
Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on GRYMVALD.com
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mapping Monday - Gaming Paper Megadungeons

I'll be mentioning Gaming Paper again at the end of the week to bump their current and fourth Kickstarter campaign for the Gaming Paper Megadungeon line here but I thought it might be nice to check out each of the three that came before.  The first was simply Kickstartered as "Gaming Paper Adventures" is is now available elsewhere like the Paizo store here.


Also, the second Kickstarter was billed as "Gaming Paper Megadungeon 2 - Lost Catacombs" and is available at places like Paizo here.


Finally, the third Kickstarter was titled "Gaming Paper Megadungeon 3 - Sewers" and is available here.


Cartography and Mapping are the order of the day,
from setting maps to battlemaps, it's all good.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Setting & Society Sunday - Ink & Printing

Three from the Medievalists.net this week with the first being "How to Make Ink in the Middle Ages" here.


Also, have a look at "Oil-based printing ink on paper: Bleeding, browning, blanching and peroxides" here.


Finally, check out "Printing with gold in the fifteenth century" here.


Looking closer at Setting and Society
as a part of what is presented by GMs.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday in Space - New Planets

Three from Science Alert this week with the first being "Astronomers say there could be at least 2 more mystery planets in our Solar System" here.


Also, "Scientists just discovered the largest 'Tatooine' planet yet orbiting two suns."  Find out more here.


Finally, "NASA (. . .) announced the discovery of 1,284 new alien planets" here.


Saturday in Space on GRYMVALD.com
What's happening in Space and
what can it mean for our tabletop RPGing?
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Flora & Fauna Friday - Oceans of Mystery

Three from Science Alert this week with the first being "Rare aerial footage reveals a pod of whales chasing down a shark" here.


Also, "Scientists have tracked where whale sharks go after tourist season."  Find out more here.


Finally, early this month, "Scientists [were] streaming a live video feed of the Mariana Trench."  Grab some info on it and some pictures here then check out footage of Okeanos on their YouTube channel here.


Examining animals, plants, and the
environments we use for our tabletop RPGing.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Historical Thursday - Cervantes in La Mancha

More than 400 years have passed since the death of Miguel de Cervantes (and that of Shakespeare who died nearly the same day) and his work as a fiction writer lives on mostly though his greatest literary work, Don Quixote.  Much has been made of this masterpiece and Cervantes influence on the Spanish language and literature as a whole is highly considerable.  Cervantes was also an interesting person in his own right, as an assistant to a Catholic Cardinal, a soldier, a prisoner of war, a purchasing agent for the Spanish Armada, and as a tax collector (of which his activities earned him some jail time).  All of this took place long before he became a novelist.


Don Quixote has been recreated as a play and on film any number of times in the four centuries since its original publication as a novel.  My own first experience with the work was as the film adaptation of the 1964 musical Man of La Mancha (1972).  The cast included Peter O'Toole, Sophia Loren, James Coco, and Ian Richardson.  I subsequently read the novel and years later was saddened by the events which prevented a Terry Gilliam adaptation of the novel, events which are detailed in the tragic documentary Lost in La Mancha (2002).  The celebrated artist Gustave DorĂ© did over 300 illustrations in the 1860s for a French edition of Cervantes's Don Quixote, the first of which is below.


Now it appears that Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2017) will finally be made and distributed next year, albeit with a very different cast than originally slated over a decade and a half before theatrical release.  The history of Cervantes material has been a part of my own history as long as I have been a gamer and I love when I can bring some of the same nuance and flavor to my tabletop gaming, particularly RPGs.  I urge others to delve into this work as well and I think it will bring depth and breadth to their own efforts.


Sifting through History to
enhance our tabletop RPGing.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Worldbuilding Wednesday - Crystals

Over on crystalage.com, they detail the many "Stone Types" here.


Also, on sciencealert.com, "Scientists might have finally figured out where the rarest crystals on Earth formed."  Find out here.


Finally, on telegraph.co.uk, they shared the "Amazing caves of giant crystals inside the Naica Mine in Chihuahua, Mexico" here.


Worldbuilding Wednesday on GRYMVALD.com
The nuts and bolts of Worldbuilding
for our tabletop RPGing.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Tuesday Sundries - Bog Finds

Over on smithsonianmag.com, they give us "A Brief History of Bog Butter" here.


Also, on pbs.org, they uncover "Bog Bodies of the Iron Age" here.


Finally, on wired.com, they explore the "Bogosphere: The Strangest Things Pulled Out of Peat Bogs" here.


The Tuesday Sundries on GRYMVALD.com
Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on GRYMVALD.com
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!