Saturday, December 29, 2012


Movies, Games and Books that I wish were available as Roleplaying Games.

CARS ... seriously. Hear me out.

10,000 years from now, humanity has been wiped out by a combination of war, plague and environmental collapse. Only sentient robots survive, but have developed a society that perversely parallels their long extinct creators. 

Their favourite pastime is the deadly bloodsport known as The Race, which is played out on increasingly convoluted and dangerous tracks.

Suggested Supplements:  
Route 66, The Piston Cup, World Grand Prix.

Suggested Gamesystem:
Car Wars, of course. 

The Ugly, the Bad and the Good

Yer all dying to know what I thought of my Holiday Viewing, aren’tcha?

The Ugly
We should all just admit it: The Doctor Who Christmas specials suck. Flying Sharks in a Christmas Carol? The Mecha, the Box and the Wardrobe? Titanic in space, ferchrissake! They usually run the gambit from goofy to this bad. And then there is this year’s abysmal offering which just utterly fell apart as both a Doctor Who story, and as a coherent narrative in general.

Matt Smith isn’t very good at angst or grief. He’s quite good at the manic, playful side of the Doctor, which I quite like (Doctor Two is a personal fav), and he can handle angry okay. But I did not buy him as sad and alone at the beginning. A little upset maybe, but he immediately perked up the minute that something interesting happened, and as a result, he got a whole lot more interesting to watch. His playing with he alien butler was the highlight of the episode, and the best Who dialog that Moffat has managed to shake loose all year.

But this year, the playfulness went right off into teeth aching twee. The best example I can give is the idiotic ‘invisible stairwell’ and the TARDIS being parked on a cloud. It was suppose to represent loneliness and perhaps a bit of romanticism for the good Doctor (when Oswin showed up anyway), but it came across as ‘we ran out of money, so someone run down and grab a fog machine and old wrought-iron stairway from props!’

Don’t even get me started on the splattered cow pat that Moffat passes off as 'plot’. I can’t even begin to tell you what happened here. The super-saphic duo of Lizard and Wife were brought in because the fans liked them, and then promptly did absolutely fuck all (Screenwriting 101: Show Katanta -> USE THE KATANA!). What the ice-nanny and the kids had to do with it, I have no idea. The snowmen where about as scary as a slush puddle. And most unforgivable of all, they somehow wasted the awesome Richard E. Grant (Withnail!) even more than they wasted the awesomely awesome Derek Jacobi (Claudius!). 

Fine, Oswin is kind of neat, but I’m TIRED of the “Doctor and cute-female-companion-with-a-destiny show”. Can we please have something different now?

Not until Moffat leaves, unfortunately.

The Bad
There are a lot of mixed reviews for the Hobbit, and this is because it is an incredibly mixed movie. There are some parts really didn’t like (the battle in the Goblin King’s cave was … incredibly video-gamey), and some parts I adored (Riddles in the Dark).

But I have to say, unless the next two movies (a VERY bad sign given how padded this one is) are a marked improvement, I will not be adding them to my movie collection the way I eagerly gobbled up LotR.

Which actually depresses the hell out of me; since ‘The Hobbit’ was the first ‘grown-up book’ I remember reading.

The Good
It doesn’t seem to have gotten much press, but if you are a fan of Zombies, animation, or just enjoy funny, well written movies; see ParaNorman. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I just signed on to LEGO CUUSOO, which is an amazing page where fans build their own LEGO projects and you get to vote on your favorites. If the project gets 10,000 votes, you can BUY A SET. Do you realize what this means?!

When this baby its 88mph ... you're going to see some serious shit.
Having just unwrapped a metric craptonne  of LEGO Monster Fighters (the wife found a sale) and the official 'LEGO BOOK' , you could say I was something of a LEGOholic. Or at least I would be except for the fact that I'm also very, very poor.

Monday, December 24, 2012

T'was the Night of the Zombies

T’was the night before Christmas and surrounding the house,
The undead where gathering and lurching about.
The windows were boarded with plywood in sheets,
In the hopes that the zombies would move down the street.

The shotgun was nestled right next to the bed,
If they come through the door, I’ll blow off their heads.
And Mamma had turned from the bite in her hand
So I bashed in her head with an old frying pan.

When out on the lawn I heard something shatter,
I peaked through the spyhole to see what was the matter.
A ways down the block, there walked Mr. Nash
Torn open and turning, from a big bloody gash

The moon on the breast of the blood splattered snow
Gave a luster of crimson to the slaughter below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight zombie reindeer;
With a gruesome old driver, so gory and sick,
I knew in a moment, it was the dreaded Saint Nick.

More bloody than leeches, his legend, defamed,
As he flew through the night, seeking the living to maim.
On Duke street! On Main street! Now Frank Street and Dixon!
On Finch street! On Dutch street! On Conner and Nixon!
To the top of the town, all the way down to the mall,
He slaughtered the, slaughtered them, slaughtered them all!

As dead as a doornail, the living they slew,
When they met with an obstacle, they bashed their way through,
So up to the house, the undead did hunt
With a yard full of zombies, and St. Nicolas in front.

And then in an instant I heard overhead
The gnashing and clawing of the dead.
As I loaded my shotgun and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicolas fell before I could get off a round.

He was covered in gore, from his head to his feet,
And his clothes were all tarnished with blood, brains and meat;
A bundle of bodies he had flung in his pack,
And he looked like a tiger, just about to attack!

His eyes how were like pustules, his skin grey to the bone!
His teeth were all broken, his nose was just gone.
His hungry, black mouth was pulled up in a sneer,
And the side of his head was missing an ear.
The remains of some poor soul, held tight in his teeth,
And the stink of the dead, encircled his head like a wreath.

He was bloated with rot, a gashed open belly
That shook when he walked, guts running like jelly.
He was hungry and rotten, right scary and dead.
I laughed when I saw him, my sanity fled.

The dead look in his eye, and the twist of his head,
I soon pissed my pants, my heart filled with dread;
He spoke only one word, a long twisted, “braaaains’,
And lunged with a jerk; my life nearly slain.

But laying my hand aside of my gun,
I fired one last shot for I had nowhere to run.
His head it did burst, like an overripe melon,
And then I noticed the bite like the stab of a felon.  

But soon I will have nothing to fear,
Happy Christmas to all, I’ll be coming for you next year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Mayan Zombie Apocalypse!

I am ridingout the end of the world on a small island in the North Atlantic. Good luck to any other survivors out there and see you soon!

Monday, December 17, 2012

RPG Wish List: Brazil

Movies, Games and Books that I wish were available as Roleplaying Games.

Sam is a man who works in a mind-numbing, bureaucratic job, living in a cramped apartment in a dystopian world in dependent on ducts, paperwork and poorly maintained machines. But when he sleeps, he is a warrior on a quest to rescue the woman of his dreams.

Then one day, he sees her walking into the Ministry of Information to complain about a clerical error that will thrust both of them into a dangerous game filled with renegade heating engineers and pursued by an inept government that will do anything to cover up its mistakes. At night, his dreams grow ever darker as he tries to save the woman of his dreams.

I have no idea how I saw this movie when I was eleven years old, but I didn't have the slightest clue as to what was going on. Then nine years later, I saw it as a late night movie and was completely blown away. This is one of those films that you can watch again and again and see something new every time. It struck me that it would make for a trippy campaign, where the party is stuck is a bureaucratic nightmare during the day, but at night they must battle through a surreal landscape and ruled by dream logic.

Suggested Supplements:
A Citizen's Guide to the Ministry of Information, A Citizen's Guide to Central Services, The Lucid. Of course all character sheets must be filled out in triplicate.

Suggested Systems:
Depending on how the Gamemaster wanted to handle this kind of game, it could range from Chuthulu Dreamlands, to Over the Edge, to Paranoia. I would try Something Went Wrong where a GMless game would be a good fit for the directionless ineptitude of the Ministry, and the dream logic of the Lucid.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Video Saturday: Christmas Edition II

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.
So delightfully trippy and weird, I love this one.And you have to admit that the characters would make some incredible collectibles.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Seventh Son

A movie that is apparently due out late next year. I'm intrigued if only because I'd pay to watch a movie of nothing but Jeff Bridges making and eating a sandwich, and because it teams him up with his Big Lebowski co-star Julianne Moore. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Geek made Good

One of my game group has turned her PhD thesis into a book, so a very proud and shameless PLUG!

Cyberpunk Woman. Feminism and Science Fiction.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Instruments of Deathmas!

12 Nightmare Inducing Medical Instruments of Yester-Year 
(above: an amputation knife for your next cleric character)

RPG Wish List: Galaxy Quest

RPG Wish List Movies, Games and Books I wish were available as Roleplaying Games.

Galaxy Quest
"By Grabthar's Hammer, Questerians Unite!"
A group of washed up actors from a cancelled, low budget sci-fi show suddenly find themselves in way over their heads when an alien race with no concept of fiction enlists their help in facing a galactic threat.

Best Star Trek movie EVAR. Some movies just make you happy and this is one of mine. If I ever ran a Star Trek campaign, this is how I would do it. You could run it (semi-)straight as a proper NSEA crew with disposable redshirt. Or and this would even be more fun, as a troupe of washed out actors and conventioneers as they bumble their way through the galaxy aboard an alien built replica of the NSEA Protector.

This website is old, but has some great info, including an episode guide for the show.

Suggested Supplements: Ships of the NSEA. Aliens of the Galaxy, The Sarris Dominion, The QuestCon 2013 Handbook.

Suggested Game Systems: Star Trek FASA. Star Trek DecipherThere is also a new OSR game that is based on Trek that I've seen some good reviews for, but I can't remember the name for the life of me.

Update: The Game is Starships and Spacemen. Thanks, Tim!

Monday, December 10, 2012

National Geographic Photo Contest 2012

If at least one of these images doesn't inspire you, you haven't looked hard enough.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My RPG Wish List: ALIEN

It being the Holiday Season, I decided to put together a list of what I really, really want for Christmas...

RPG Wish List
Movies, Games and Books I wish were available as Roleplaying Games

I'll start with an easy one. I’ve seen homebrew versions of this since I logged on to my first BBS and it is not hard to see why; a team of marine/scientists/colonists up against the last great movie monster. You’ve got space ships, terraformed planets, androids, space wrecks, cool gear and a hell of a monster manual, plus enough movies, comics, games and tie-in books to keep any gamemaster rolling for years.

Suggested Supplements: The Colonial Marine Manual. A Handbook for Employees of The Weyland-Yutani Corporation. The Predator Sourcebook.

Suggested System: WEG d6. Simple system that runs quickly, with enough crunch and variation for character and gadgets. Handles space opera and scaling (from human to vehicle up to capital ships) well.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Video Saturday: Christmas Edition

It's not technically Saturday, but they said I had to use the last of my vacation days or lose 'em, so it is Saturday to me! Anyway, this is a Xmas special from a long, long time ago that I only half remembered until my wife found it on Youtube. Which is pretty impressive when you consider that all I'd had given her to go on was 'aliens' and 'a goose'.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Beginnings Blogfest

The Beginnings Blogfest

The Awesome that is TRON

Retronaut has a great gallery of original TRON posters. Its a damned shame this never made it as an RPG. One of my wish list projects would be to do a TWERPS or ROLLCORE TRON/Matrix book.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NaGaDeMon: I Win!

A quick playtest last night with no major snags means that I win NaGaDeMon, 2012!

Dungeon Dealer: Updated!

Chess Dice

The secret is to aim low. I didn't want to create a full game from scratch (would never have had the time), but I figured a couple of quickie games that required very little set up might be fun.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NaGaDeMon: Dungeon Dealer, How to Play

Got it under the wire, but I finished! It has been playtested in its rough form and hopefully I'll be able to squeeze out a quick hand or two before Sat. PDF to follow.

How to Play
Once the first Dealer has been determined, she then deals out 5 cards to each player and one for herself. She then sets the deck down and turns over one card. This is the Monster Card.
The Monster Card’s Suit determines its type, and the card’s value determines its HP and its final XP total. (Ace is one, all Face Cards are 11). 

The first person to act is the player sitting immediately to the Dealer’s right. To hit the monster and reduce its HP by one, the player must play a card of the same suit of the Monster, but of Greater Value, OR any card of their Class Suit. 

For Example: The Dealer draws a Monster Card of 8 Clubs. The first player to act is
John, who is a Thief. In his hand he has a 10 of Clubs and the 3 of Spades. He can play either to reduce the Monster’s HP from 8 to 7.

The next player to act is Susan, a Cleric. She can now defeat the Monster by playing a Heart, or any Club 7 or higher. 

Players MUST play a card on their turn, and the play goes around until either the Monster’s XP is reduced to 0 (Players’ win), or all the players run out of cards (Monster wins). 

Dealers may play Saving Cards at any time, but they are not forced to ‘act’. 
If the Monster is defeated, the player who took the Monster’s final HP gets XP equal to the Monster’s original HP total. If the Monster wins, the Dealer get the XP.

Next Dealer
Once the battle is done, the Monster card is placed in the Dungeon Discard pile. All other cards are collected by the next dealer, shuffled and dealt out for the next round. The Dungeon Discard pile represents the gradual attrition of resources suffered by all dungeon delvers.

The Monsters get Tougher, the Deeper you Delve
Once around the table, giving all players a chance to be dealer is called a ‘Level’. The first level, all monsters are dealt one Saving Card. On the second Level (when the player who was first Dealer is Dealer again), the Monster is dealt two Saving Cards. On the third Level they gain a third Saving Card, and so on. Saving Cards are not put on the Dungeon Discard pile.

Once a player has collected 20 or more XP, they gain an extra starting card in their Hand. You do not get to keep extra points, if you defeated/played a 10 XP monster and an 11XP monster (for a total of 21), the extra point is discarded. 

 Additional Notes
Aces beat Face Cards, but do not beat number cards. This applies in all cases.

  While Face cards all have an XP total of 11; Aces, Queens and Kings beat Jacks; Queens are beaten by Kings and Aces; and Kings are only beaten by Aces. 

  Ties go to the player acting that turn. When the player is ‘attacking’, they would win a tie, but if a Monster then plays a tied Saving Card that would then win.

 So Who Won?
Games can continue as long as the players wish (eg, limits of 2 hours or up to six Levels, etc). Keep track of the players’ points collected through the game. The player with the highest point total wins.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Video Hits Saturday: Put Down the Duckie

Unlike the horrorshow unfolding at the BBC, I certainly don't think that Kevin Clash is a predator or a pedophile. Instead I think he was an extremely foolish man who made a collossally stupid mistake and the ultimate ramifications to the Elmo Brand, Seasame Street and gay men in general have yet to be fully realized.

That being said, whatever faults he may have it cannot be denied that the man was one of the foremost muppeteers of our times. Here he is as Hoot the owl giving Ernie a few tips on playing the sax.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

The 'Z' Word

I read a review that said 'The Walking Dead' is a better show the less the characters talk. I couldn't agree more, especially during the idiotic conversations where one character is calling them 'Walkers' and the other is calling them 'Biters'.

Has no one ever gone to a movie? They're ZOMBIES you assholes!

I can see it now, have the show run for seaven seasons and we'll have Walky, Bitey, Lurchy, Bloaty, Smelly, Thriller and (hopefully!) Deadites.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Video Saturday

Oddly enough, this song reminds me of the 'Legend of Zelda' because that is the game I was obsessively playing right around the same time I was obsessively playing this album (remember those?).

Plus its always funny watching Checy Chase as a young (but funny) jerk before he became an old (but funny) jerk.

-this video was brought to you by Hawthorne Wipes.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chess Dice

Not my main NaGaDeMon project, just something I tossed together one night while walking the dog.

Chess Dice

Its not been playtested, so if anyone gives it a try, please let me know how it goes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Not Sure How I Feel About This...

I've loved Sir Pratchett ever since I used to watch him on 'Prisoners of Gravity' and begged my mother to bring home a copy of 'Dark Side of the Sun' from one of her trips to England to visit my Gran. When I learned that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's it felt like a member of my own family had been afflicted and since then I've been obsessively collecting his last few books, wondering each time if this will be the last one. It is the knowledge that Discworld series is, like its creator, is all too limited that makes them precious to me. 
The knowledge that they will continue on past Sir Pratchett's ability to continue is a deeply troubling thought. Will they thrive, or become some undead marketing machine, resembling its original intent in name only? Unfortunately, the history of such endeavors suggests the later.
So it is with fingers tightly crossed that I will pick up Rhianna's first Discworld book, all the while keenly aware of what has happened to the legacies of Dune, Middle Earth, Foundation, Hitchhikers Guide, Rama and many others once new authors have taken over the helm. Not to mention the long dead carcasses of Star Wars, Star Trek, Buffy, Aliens, Transformers, Doctor Who and a hundred other franchises that the corporations who own the rights are all too happy to flog and squeeze and rape until there isn't a single penny left to wring out of the piggy.
The sheen quickly turns to an ugly patina of bland sequels, prequels, bland video games and illiterate tie-in novels and the amazing thing is that is completely our fault. We are the ones who continue to buy this shit out of sheer nostalgia driven entropy. We blame Lucas for 'raping our childhood', but he isn't the one to blame, he's just a mediocre filmmaker and a savvy business man. We're the ones dropping pennies in the piggy.
Where are our new franchises, some fresh ideas that push the envelope forward? Rather than continuing to wallow in the imagined glories of our youth, maybe we should be out there trying to make something new.*
Okay, maybe I do know how I feel about this 
*As much as I might hate to admit it, the main media for generating new and interesting franchises is now video games. This isn't really a bad thing, and it is a fascinating example of the changing face of media.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph

I have a confession to make. I don’t much like video games. I don’t seem to have enough time or money to get the things I NEED to get done, let alone spending $40+ dollars on something that will suck away hours of my life and accomplish exactly diddley-squat. That isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed video games in the past, or that I won’t play them in future, but as the years roll on I find myself less and less inclined to pick up a controller.

That being said, I still loved Wreck It Ralph. I’m sure there are a hundred jokes I missed for every one I laughed at. It also does something I’ve always wanted to do as a GM and that is run a coherent cross-genre campaign. The movie takes place across three distinct games; the 8bit Fix-It Felix Jr., the ‘unnamed planet’ of Hero’s Duty, and the saccharine Sugar Rush. It also assembles a party made of up heroes from each of those worlds, each with a distinct ability; Ralph can wreck things while Felix can fix them. Calhoun has a really big gun and Vanellope can race.

It is a true flailsnail (am I using that right?) campaign with a genuine threat presented for each of the games, while linking all the elements together in a plausible (within the movie) fashion.

And I might even pick up the Wreck It Ralph video game.  

Yub Nub Forever!

Image by Tom Hodges
Lately I’ve been thinking about how to end a campaign. I’ve been paying close attention to the end of movies looking for inspiration on how to, and how not to, end a storyline. Warning: Spoilers.

Inception ends with the ‘is he still dreaming or not?’ which is a classic kind of Twilight Zone ending to a mind-frak movie. This is very difficult to pull off in a campaign, but they are the Holy Grail for GMs if you can leave your players stunned and amazed at the last minute reveal.

Contagion ends with a dull fizzle. It does approximate what really happened in the real-world cases of Bird Flu, SARS and H1N1 as the story never becomes quite as big as the hype (fortunately!), and the media moves on to the next big thing. Unfortunately, this was a fairly tense movie until the fizzle out and when the movie suddenly ends you are left wondering where the hell the climax went. This is how NOT to end a campaign, but we’ve all run/played in games where it becomes clear that both the GM and the players are just not into things. When that happens, break it off immediately and move on to something the group will get excited about. If you are a completest and must end the story, move the final battle up/confrontation as quickly as possible. Remember, role playing is first and foremost a game and games are meant to be fun.

Bridesmaids wraps up with one of those big sing-a-long endings that my wife calls a Big Ewok Party or a BEP (though to be honest, what she calls it would actually be abbreviated as FEP). Unfortunately, in this otherwise funny movie, the BEP feels utterly unearned and an excuse for the writers to end it with a flourish without bothering to actually clear up any of the storylines. I’ve only ever managed one BEP ending, and that was in our long running Star Wars campaign when the characters participated in the destruction of the second Death Star. Everyone joined in a rousing rendition of ‘Yub Nub!’ which was utterly awesome.

The better endings I’ve seen lately come from animated movies, which seem to be the last bastion of traditional (and coherent) storytelling. How to Train Your Dragon and Wreck It Ralph, both have classic final confrontations against a Big Bad, completely with sacrifice, pathos and genuine intensity. This is what every GM should be aiming for. Make the players EARN their ending and that earn should come at some sort of cost. Even if a PC or two dies, if you can pull off an honest ending, it will be one of those campaigns that you talk about years later.

"Remember when Ash Warbow stayed behind to hold off the zombie horde while we rushed the Lich Queen? That was awesome!"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Video Saturday

"Ladies and Gentlemen, up until now you have seen the Creature perform the simple mechanics of motor activity. But for what you are about to see next, we must enter, quietly, nto the realm of genius. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mesdames et Messieurs, Damen und Herren, from what was once an inarticulater mass of lifeless tissues, may I present a cultured, sophosticated, Man About Town. Hit it"

Friday, November 9, 2012

NaGaDeMon 2012: Monster Cards

Monster Cards
The Dealer always plays the Monster. There is the revealed Monster card, which shows what kind of Monster the party is facing (its suit), plus its current HP total. Numbered cards have starting HP equal to their value, while Face cards always have 11 HP. The Dealer also has a number of cards dealt to her face down; these are known as Saving Cards. 
Any time a Monster is successfully defeated by a player, its HP goes down by 1.
Saving Cards
If a Monster is about to lose a HP due to a player action, but the Dealer can play a Saving Card to avoid taking damage. The Saving Card must be a higher card of the same suit as the attack. 
 Example: An Undead Monster is about to lose a HP after a Warrior played the 3 of Clubs. However, in her Saving Cards, the Dealer has a 5 of Clubs. Playing this, she is able to defeat the attack and do not lose any HP. 
This is in addition to the Monster Skills listed below
Clubs: Regular Monsters
Natural Weapon: If the monster has any Clubs in their Saving Cards, they can immediately play them face down in front of the monster. To defeat the Monster on its own terms (ie, Clubs), you must now defeat the total of the Weapon card PLUS the current HP total of the Monster.
The Weapon card does not affect the starting amount of Hit Points.
Hearts: Undead Monsters
Drain: If a Monster successfully plays a Heart as a Saving Card (must be the incoming attack), then the player must discard an additional card from their hand.
Diamonds: Magical Monsters
Magical Barrier: the Dealer can defeat any attack (except a magical one) by playing a Diamond Saving Card. The value of the Diamond does not have to beat the value of the attack.
To defeat a Diamond (a magical attack), the Saving Card must beat the value of the attack card.
Spades: Traps
If the Monster card is revealed to be a Spade, this is a Trap. All players must play a single card. Only Spades defeat Traps, Class Suits do not (except Thieves). The player who played the highest Spade defeating the Trap's Card Value has disarmed the Trap.
However, if the Dealer has another Spade in their Saving Cards, they can immediately play that card (representing a more convoluted trap) once the first one is defeated. The party must again play a single card in the hopes of defeating this next layer. This can go on as long as the Dealer has additional Spades in their Saving Cards or until all players are unable to defeat the Trap Card, in which case the XP are awarded to the Dealer.
 XP is awarded only after ALL layers of the Trap have been disarmed, and are equal only to the point value of the first Trap Card played. The first Trap card played is then put into the Dungeon Discard pile.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Not Dead Yet

It sucks when life gets in the way, but work has gotten busy (I know, wierd!) and I've got a couple of projects on the go. However, those are winding down and hopefully I'll be able to get back to actually doing something for me again!

Being a little out of practise and to kickstart my foggy noggin' I'm going to finish Dungeon Dealer for NaGaDeMon and throw something in for Winter is Coming II, Blog Carnival.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Anybody seen this?

Just curious. I've seen Faintheart and thought that was actually amusing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Kids in the Hall Saturday

Disney has released a bunch of its old movies in bundles. You can get a 'Kurt Russel Pack', a 'Shaggy Dog Pack' and a 'Dog Pack'. However the Dog pack does not have 'Old Yeller' which I thought was odd, until I realized that a certain kind of modern parent might find the movie 'too traumatic' for children. These kind of parents are idiots and need to be smacked with a large polo mallet.

Dungeons and Dragons ... for SCIENCE!

"Please don't tell my Boss I was sleeping!"

Friday, November 2, 2012

NaGaDeMon: Dungeon Dealer

Class Suit: Clubs
Class Skill
Weapon: Choose any club card from your hand to use as a weapon. Place in front of you face up. The value of this card can be added to any Club or Monster Suit card played by the warrior. At the end of the battle, you can choose to keep this card, or discard it in the hopes you get a higher club next battle. This does not work against Traps. 

Class Suit: Diamonds
Class Skill
Spells: When you play a Diamond card successfully, draw another card to replace it.

Class Suit: Spades
Class Skills
Disarm: You double the value of any Spade card played against a Trap.
Backstab: Whenever another player successfully hits a Monster, the thief can immediately (out of turn) play a card of the same suit and take another hit point off the Monster. The card played must be of the same suit played by the previous player and must defeat the Monster Card's current HP total. 

Class Suit: Hearts
Class Skills
Turn Undead: When facing an Undead Monster Card and ONLY on your first turn, if your defeat the Monster Card's current HP, the Undead Monster has been successfully "Turned". The Monster is now defeated and the Cleric collects the XP.
Heal: If you play a Heart against a monster and the card value is higher than the Monster current HP, you get an extra card that can be kept, or given to another player. You may not look at the card before choosing to heal and this does not work against Traps.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaGaDeMon: Dungeon Dealer

The Premise 
Acard game that uses standard fantasy and roleplaying elements. A game for 3-4 players and requires each player have a pencil and piece of paper, plus a standard deck of cards (with Jokers).For those nights when no one feels like going through the trouble of running an adventure.
  -The Premise
  -The Set Up
  -Monster Cards
  -How to Play
  -Advanced Dungeon Dealer (allowing for players, classes and rules)
The Set Up
To begin, everyone chooses a Class: Warrior, Wizard, Thief or Cleric.
Write down your choice on your paper.
To determine who will be the first Dealer, everyone cuts the deck. High card is the Dealer and any ties are resolved with pistols at twenty paces.
The Dealer then deals out 5 cards to each player and one for herself. She then sets the deck down and turns over one card. This is the Monster Card.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just a simple Keymaster in search of a Gatekeeper

Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

-This might very well be my favourite movie quote ever. It is a beauty line of throwaway nonsense spoken with great conviction by Vinz Clortho the Terror Dog, who just happens to be possessing the body of weenie accountant Louis Tully (both marvellously played by Rick Moranis).

What I love about it is that it is not even meant to be understood. It does little to further the plot (beyond the hint at a 'pre-chosen form') and only contributes to the world building in the absolutely loosest sense. You don't loose anything from the movie by not understanding what is being said.

This sort of thing is hard to do in most rpgs ("gimme the Monster Manual! I don't remember the stats for a Slor!"), or in any form without sounding idiotic, but it is marvellous when it works.

On a not completely unrelated note, I'm taking another shot at the Malazan books by Stephen Erickson and Ian Cameron Esslemont.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Video Hits Saturday

Also applies to traffic jams and people who do not know how to use the self-checkout machines in the supermarket. Get out of the line!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NaGa-DeMon and LEGO

Once I clear my plate of a few smaller projects, I'm gonna take another shot at NaGaDeMon.

A List of Ghosts from A-Z

Tell'em, Large Marge sent ya.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Drinking and Dragons

*sniff*, someone got metaphorical chocolate in my hypothetical peanut butter.

Drinking Quest.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Video Saturday

It is a well know fact that Canadians of a certain age cannot hear the phrase 'humble pie' without getting this stuck in their heads for two days.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Park of Monsters

"The park of Bomarzo was intended not to please, but to astonish, and like many Mannerist works of art, its symbolism is arcane."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reviews No One Asked For….

The wife rented Prometheus and Chernobyl Diaries. Both managed to take an interesting premise and drive it straight into the ground hard enough to warrant a quick mention. Warning: Spoilers, and at one point I will be saying fuck a lot.

Chernobyl Diaries (the title implies 'found footage' which mercifully, it is not) is about six, very first-world tourists on an adventure tour of Chernobyl, lead a local named Uri. However, once they get back to their van they find it has been sabotaged, and then things start to go kinda badly. It takes too long to get going and once it does all you can do is marvel at the stupidity of the characters. All of it wrapped up in a thundering turd of an ending. 

So, mutant zombies? …. whoopdeshit.

Gameraid: However, Chernobyl Diaries does at least have one redeeming feature. The scenes where the idiot tourists explore and run amok through the abandoned city (when running from C.H.U.D.,down is always a bad choice) are excellent fodder for Post-Apocalyptic or a Zombie Survival game. 
To learn more about CHUD consult your local library!
Alas, we geeks had such high hopes when we first heard of Prometheus, only to watch them crash to the earth like a giant spaceship doing a cartwheel across a volcanic hellscape. Like all franchises, this one seems destined only to turn a once great film into a very small part of a much weaker whole. You know it is a bad sign when the movie was two thirds over before I realized who the main protagonist was supposed to be.

In the first movie we got to experience true Lovecraftian horror as we ventured out into an utterly hostile universe filled with experiences we do not even have a concept for yet, and mysterious beings who barely notice us as they follow their own unknowable agendas.
no, not these guys
Prometheus ignores all that and basically tries to prove that this guy is the greatest scholar in all of human history …
which would be kind of awesome!
I could spend days writing about what goes wrong here, but personally I love that the Engineers worship the Big Giant Head, effectively tying together not only Aliens, but also Predator and Bladerunner with Third Rock from the Sun.
All Hail the Great Shanter's Toupee Stand!
The film also touches on one of my favourite peeves against the 'life on earth originating with aliens' argument, in that two of the characters have the following (paraphrased, but not as much as you'd think) conversation:
      'So the Muthafuckin' Engineers created life on earth?"
      "Fuck yeah!"
      "But, then who created the Muthafuckin' Enginners?"
      "Oh fuck, we'll never know that."

I guess it is still muthafuckin' turtles all the way down.

Gameraid: Can't think of s single thing that would be of particular use to gamers, except maybe the 'laser bots' that mapped out the interior of the ship.