Welcome to Quick and Easy Games!

logo1Clayton J. CallahanClayton Callahan is a science fiction writer, game designer and all around devotee of geek culture. This site is dedicated to promoting all things good in those fields. From gaming to galaxy spanning fiction, this site covers it all. Clayton is the sole proprietor of Quick & Easy Games and this site also serves as an outlet for those products.

Since 2007 Quick and Easy Games has created games that are low in cost but high in quality.  Q&E customers appreciate fast moving, simple to learn rules that make gaming fun. If your tired of paying too much for slick packaged games that take a PHD to learn, we’re the company for you.  If you have any comments or wish to place an order you can contact, Clayton Callahan, the General Manager.

Thank you, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Providing the best value in role playing and miniatures gaming since 2007

Book Signing at The Coffee Station

Coffee Station front

On Saturday, August 29th at 5:00 pm, I’ll be at a coffee shop in Aloha, Oregon for a book release party celebrating Red Coat Running. It’s a nice little place with a huge bookshelf and lots of great coffee. You’ll find it in the Bales Thriftway Shopping center on Farmington Road.

Map to Coffee Station

I hope to see you there.

 

 

Why Steampunk?

Well…lots of reasons.

Lindsey

I was inspired to write this post after watching a Lindsey Sterling video. If you haven’t heard of her, she’s this spunky kid who does some very contemporary and creative things while plying the violin. Her latest video (that I’m aware of) is called Roundtable Rival and can be found at, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvipPYFebWc

As the video opens, we see its obviously taking place in a wild west setting, but soon we notice the goggles and, bam! its steampunk. Frankly, there’s no reason for the video to be steampunk, per se. The music could be set to many eras, and if you have all these wild west sets; why not just set your story in the historical wild west?

Easy answer; although we love cowboys, we don’t like the historical wild west.

First off, I need to be clear on who is “we.” We are the Americans of pop culture circa 2010. We were raised on cowboy movies and television shows as a part of our cultural education and we found that learning was indeed fun. We also have enjoyed Sherlock Holmes novels, Lovecraftian horror, and bold tales of great white hunters searching the jungles of Africa for lost cities of gold…and we have felt incredibly weird enjoying all this stuff.

Ever read the original Dr. Fu Manchu novels by Sax Rhomer? Racist as hell, aren’t they?

Today we are repulsed by the racism, sexism and rampant homophobia that saturated the Victorian age. Between 60% and 75% of us cheered when gay marriage became legal nationwide (and many others grudgingly admit gays have rights, they just wanted it to be done by the states or whatever). How can people of such a socially enlightened age enjoy a good Victorian tale where the white male hetero characters do all the cool stuff and everybody else is just a servant, a native guide, the girl to be rescued, or the villain? Heck, we see white cop on black citizen injustices on our television screens and we want to scream. How can we read that in our fiction and not be legitimately repulsed?

And yet, the Victorian era was so cool in so many other ways. It was an age of invention, exploration and expansion into the unknown. The costumes, the music, the architecture and even the weapons offer an extremely rich pallet for fiction. Remembering a time when people didn’t need spaceships to go exploring, two good boots were all that was needed to find the source of the Nile, is very appealing. Yet as frontiers were expanded native peoples were exterminated; a legacy we are dealing with still.

So, we find our salvation in the works of Jules Verne and HG Wells. True, they were men of their times but they were certainly more benign than the monsters of that day. We take their leave to re-imagine the Victorian era as something less ignorant and mean than it actually was. Put some googles on and the woman becomes the hero, the black character the aviator, the inventor a homosexual, and the story flows from there. And if the steampunk author includes the ugly side of that time he or she can show it to us as the injustice it was and not white wash it and pretend it doesn’t matter.

Let me be clear, I am not opposed to steampunk and may even write a story of that ilk someday. However, I do request of my contemporary Americans that we remember the past for what it was as well as for what it could have been. That way we can take today’s world for what it is, and work to make it what it should be.

New Book- New Book- New Book

Final Cover- Red Coat Running
World Castle Publications has just released Red Coat Running.

I’ve got to admit, this novel is a big departure for me. No space ships or laser guns. No time travel or aliens. Nope; this story is so thoroughly grounded and gritty it will take the enamel off you teeth. Red Coat Running a spy novel, set in Europe of 1948. This was a watershed year for the cold war. The Russians were no longer our friends from World War II days, but had become our bitter enemies; setting up puppet governments in the east, establishing the “Iron Curtain” and blockading Berlin in the summer of that year. What a great setting for a book.

The CIA was created by the National Security Act of 1947. Safe to say, it wasn’t doing a whole lot in ’48. Lacking an effective national spy agency; the US relied on the military to do most of it’s cloak and dagger work. Back then, it was called the US Army Counterintelligence Corps (the OSS had been disbanded by 1946). Today the “corps” part of the name has been dropped, but the US Army still does a lot of intelligence work.photo (8)

I served as a US Army Counterintelligence Special Agent in Iraq and used that experience to inform Red Coat Running. Setting it in 1948 was one way to be sure I didn’t slip any secrets. However, I feel the book is stronger for my experiences and insights gained while serving overseas in this unique capacity.

The book is now available on Amazon, Barns & Noble and other online outlets. Right now the e-book is only .99 and the paperback is $11.99. Quite a deal for a riveting, no-holds-barred, spy adventure.

I hope you like it. Oh, and World castle is offering it as a contest prize!

Ad Platform Red Coat Running Main ad

 

 

A Tripie Trip Down Memory Lane

Basic D&D cover

Anybody remember this?

This was the first exposure to role playing that my generation had (yes, I’m that old…moving on). This is TSR’s Basic Dungeons and Dragons. What you see pictured her is my original copy, purchased in 1980 (thanks Mom). I recently re-discovered it on my book shelf and decided to dust it off and give it a go. I got a bunch of good friends and family together and we rolled up characters for some old school D&D action!

How did it go? Well…

For one thing, we all learned just how far gaming has come in thirty five years. This system was/is extremely clunky and hard to navigate. This was D&D 0.0 and dwarf, elf, and halfling were considered to be character classes.D&D Classes Oh, and by the way, an elf could basically do anything any other class could do but thieving skills. There was also no consistent roll to succeed at tasks. Rolls to hit, saving throws, use of non-combat skills had nothing in common. As to character alignments (the only real nod toward character personality), you had three choices; lawful, neutral and evil, and each was rigidly defined.

It would have been handy if all the charts and tables had been on one page…but no. My players and I spent a lot of time flipping through the old, crinkly book for the right to hit roll or saving throw. Honestly, I’m not sure how this game grew to be so popular in the first place. By modern standards, it’s a disaster.

But let’s step back a bit. I had a lot of fun playing this game back in the 80’s. My buddies and I would just make up rules to fill the nonsense gaps and we had a ball with this new concept of a “role playing game.” In short, it was a start. Soon after came Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, followed by an almost endless stream of new editions. So lets show some respect to Mr Gygax’s clunky creation.

As the saying goes: You have to start somewhere.

 

 

Three Out of Three Give It A Five!

2-crazy-liddy-510Crazy Liddy has been on Amazon’s e-book shelves for just over a month now but the response has been outstanding. All of the reviews thus far are “five stars” and people genuinely seem to love the novel.

5 stars

Diana said:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’d describe it as a space-opera – fast-paced, brimming with non-stop action and wry humor. The characters have distinctive voices that made me laugh aloud. The Adventures of Crazy Liddy is a spin-off of Callahan’s first novel, Tales of the Screaming Eagle, where Liddy has a small role as Kilroy’s girlfriend. It’s not a sequel, so readers don’t need to have read the first to enjoy this ride.
Sheri called it:
A fun story for any who likes fast-paced scifi, wry humor, and a kick ass female protagonist.
And Tim commented that:
Callahan’s writing possesses his usual wry humor, his story a constant stream of action and laugh-out-loud moments. Highly recommended.
I am grateful to everyone who took the time to write a review. A writer is nothing without his fans…just ask Gorge Lucas.

Have a free game on me

2nd Edition CoverIf you go to “Our Catalog” page right now you will notice something unusual. My miniatures wargame, Battlefields: From Broadswords to Bullets, is no being offered for FREE. This offer will last only for the month of June 2015. It is adapted for HO scale model soldiers and is extremely flexible and fast moving.

Enrico Nardidi, of  Play Unplugged had this to say about the game:

“In the end, it is the simple core mechanics coupled with modifiers that makes this game so customizable. I’d been wanting to do some Roman vs. Celt skirmish gaming, and I’ve already thought of the relevant modifiers I could use. It was quite fun just thinking of things to add to make a custom variation of these rules for my specific need. It’s very empowering and reminds us that any set of rules we pick up can be changed to fit the needs of the user.

In addition to these rules, Battlefields includes an advanced rules section. This section includes variety of rules for things like destroying terrain pieces or playing in a fantasy setting. This offers some examples of how the rules can be customized to fit your needs and is good for inspiration even if you never end up using what is presented there.”

See you at the Con

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It’s happened again. Orycon has once more lowered their standards and invited me to be a guest speaker at Portland’s primer science fiction convention. I had a blast last time, serving on panels with some amazing personalities in the SF field.

Hope to see everybody there in November!