With his combination of productivity, imagination, and brevity, Ragnar Hill's Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets - An Old School Gaming Blog is a sterling example of the ubiquitous elegance of old school gaming, demonstrating the ease with which new ideas can be shared without the necessity of screeds of statistics and pseudo-legalese jargon to quantify the latest magical item, mind-blowing critter, or sorcerous spell.
(1) How long have been blogging, and how’d you get into it in the first place?
I actually had started a personal blog of observations (that at least I found witty) in 2007 and wrote it for 11 months before tapering it off. Then in early 2009 the OSR began to take off in gaming and I began Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets in March of that year, and, with a few breaks in the middle, have been writing it ever since.
(2) What do you blog about, and how frequently do you post?
My blog is a stream of consciousness type endeavor, I blog about a monster, a spell, a magic item, deity, etc for use in old school games. I wrote a post every day for the first three years as a study in discipline. I took a break, and there was some life upheavals, and that ended the blog.
Due to feedback I was getting and a sudden inability to shut off the ideas I started up again and write a post every other day now. I have had offers to collect the posts into a book, but I am more interested in making a graphic story with them.
(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?
When I started it was the first to have the format of fluff story, description, and rules. Now there are others that use this format, so that is less unique. Maybe my tenacity makes it stand out for sheer volume of posts of material to use in a game.
|Ragnar's catalogue of creations is written for use with any old school gaming system|
(4) What’s the best (and worst) thing about blogging?
The best is getting emails and comments that tell me how something I sent out there was used in a game. There is no real downside to me, writing my posts is relaxing and unloads the pent up post from my mind.
(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?
I just keep my blog family-friendly and try to avoid disputes with others. I really just try to make something for others to run with.
(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).
Everyone should read Shane Mangus' Swords Against The Outer Dark! A nice, humble guy with a lot of great ideas.