Monday, August 10, 2015

Flash! Ah AAAAH! Action Figures!

Now I can realize my lifelong dream of owning a Brian Blessed doll! It's not quite my dream of one day owning a complete I, Claudius playstet, but it is close. 
I'd complete forgotten about this until I started looking for images. 
I'm dead serious. How could you NOT want an action figure of this?
or this?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Silver and Leather Pouch.

This leather pouch is embossed with silver wire and dates from the 15th Century.

For more details, go here.

As not to offend anyone, I will not give it stats or a false story, but I will happy show it here as a beautiful piece of artwork.

Imagine a variation of this, carried by the spellcaster to hold his spellbook and scrolls.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Explore Mars from Your Laptop

That is all. 


D&D screwed up big when it went with Kreo instead of LEGO, and we lost an incredible opportunity for dungeon builds and miniature gaming. Luckily, there are some incredible LEGO fans who are picking up the slack. 

I can't find the original builder's page, so I'll just post this one pic and a LINK to where I found it. 

The Dragon of Holding

This strange magical hybrid, also known as a dragonbag, is thought to have resulted when a dragon was stuffed into a bag of holding, and then forgotten after the campaign was abandoned. Over time, the two merged to become the artifact known as the Dragon of Holding.
The item functions exactly as a regular bag of holding and even has a strap across the 'belly' that allows it to be carried over the shoulder. The bag is fully alive however, and as items must be taken in and out of the dragonbag's mouth, this can create difficulties if the creature is in a bad mood, or dislikes its current owner. 
The dragonbag also has two functioning wings, which makes the shoulder strap necessary as the creature may try to fly away in fear, boredom or in search of food. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

"Come Out and Pla-Ay!"

A gang. A tribe. A family, leaderless and lost behind enemy lines must fight their way back to the safety of their home turf before sunrise. A simple premise makes for one of the best (and most) eighties movies ever made. This was back before New York was an overpriced tourist trap. This New York was gritty, dangerous and dirty place where the police feared to tread. Where a gang of baseball welding psychopaths are the MOST F*CKING TERRIFYING THINGS YOU'LL EVER SEE and the presence of a single gun is enough to throw off the entire balance of power.
I use the word tribal because the gangs are groups of young men and women who band together to protect themselves and their neighborhoods while dressed in matching outfits and living by various codes of honour. The only real crimes they are guilty of are some really awful graffiti tags and a lot of bare knuckle rumbles.

Its a fantasy film, though it is set in a 'modern' city, complete with Warrior Codes and matching uniforms. I have always thought it would make a fantastic roleplaying game on its own, or adapted to pretty much any setting (Shadowrun .. definitely Shadowrun).

Mental Floss has helpfully put together a list of the 21 Street Gangs featured in the film, though its unfortunate that the Soho based Hi-Hats didn't get a picture. Because you know that a mime gang has got to be pretty hard core.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ehdrigohr: The Role Playing Game

It has been a long time since I've seen something truly new in a roleplaying game, but Ehdrigohr by Native American author and designer Allen Turner, might just be the first new 'book' (as opposed to second hand or pdf) that I genuinely want to own and read in a long, long time.

If this image doesn't inspire at least a dozen gaming ideas, maybe try professional beerpong? 

Goodies from Blue Boxer Rebellion

My Netvibes feed (I will avenge you, Google Reader!) has about two hundred rpg blogs in it. I really enjoy reading and absorbing what everyone is doing and it makes me happy to see that our little hobby still has a solid core of die-hards that keep the spirit of our little hobby alive. The stuff these guys come up with boggles my mind.

Blue Boxer Rebellion is one of those sites, and here is a great map of a town that he is giving away for free.

For more map goodness, I also recommend Dyson's Dodecahedron.

I also found this there. Don't you hate it when someone has the same idea as you, but does it way better? Can't wait to see how this develops.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Terror Birds

While dinosaurs always get the glory, I happen to love all prehistoric creatures especially Terror Birds.

There is something about being stalked and preyed upon by a giant, insane, carnivorous turkey that is both absurd, and terrifying. Then there is the fact that they are basically feathered dinosaurs that flourished in South America right up until the time it merged with North America. The land bridge brought other predators like saber-toothed cats and the reign of the Terror Bird came to an ignoble end.

They don't appear enough in fantasy fiction and rpgs for my likeing. D&D has one, and Pathfinder has the Axe-Beak, but when was the last time you saw one in an adventure supplement?

Terror Bird 
Gamer's Common
Type: Animal, prehistoric. Can be found solitary or in packs (D6). Any environment except Arctic.
Size: Human or larger
Stats: High strength, agility and endurance. Animal, predator intelligence.
Weapons and Armour: Beak (high damage), Kick (high damage), Head Butt (high damage). Wing rake (low damage). Hide provides moderate protection.
Min/Max: Very fast runners. May hunt in packs or have camouflaged plumage in dense jungles/woods.

TWERPS: Terror Birds
ST: 5.
Movement x2.
Beak +1 Hit 3 Damage.
Kick: +1 Hit. 2 Damage
Head Butt: -1 Hit. 4 Damage
Armour: 3

Video Hits Wed: Dayman, Fighter of the Nightman!

This mash-up of the new Superman vs Batman trailer and It's Always Sunny in Philidephia makes me happy on eighteen different levels. I counted. 
by Rosedoodles

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Goonies Storycard Map

I have stitched together all of the Goonie Story Card Adventure Map pics I could find. 

I have have no idea why I did this, but sometimes I find it best not to argue.

Original Pics found Here


Monday, August 3, 2015

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I prefer to get my super-spy fix from shows like Archer and Venture Brothers, but I kept hearing that this show got better so when I saw season one in the library, I figured, 'why not?'. I watched the first few episodes when they first aired, but gave up when they kept reminding me of that old A-Team show. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Howlin' Mad, but I'm also not six anymore and watching people shooting at each other in a dark warehouse has lost its appeal.

The good news is that it does get better. The even better news is that when you watch it on DVD, you can watch it on 1.5x speed. Trust me, it helps. I still don't give a crap about about most of the cast and I openly cringe every time Ward is on screen. They could distill his personality if they ever run out of ammo for their 'nighty-night guns'. The mysteries of Coulson's death and the origin of the newbie-hacker-girl were not nearly as suspenseful as they were built up to be and there is far to much 'hand-waving computer 'magic' and deus-et-machina plotting. I'd like to add here, on a personal note: F*CKING STOP using computers as magic. No matter how you dress it up, they are as boring as hell to watch on screen. The show is also pretty guilty of all of these.

I think I started rooting for HYDRA when the characters started debating whether or not telepathy and/or clairvoyance exists. This is a world that openly acknowledges aliens, gods, cyborgs, dozens of different 'super powers' and includes a man who can turn into an unstoppable rage beast, but not telepathy? C'est impossible! Really? Really? Had it been a one-off joke I would have let it slide, but it develops into a minor plot point over a couple of episodes.

Combine that with the the general ineptitude of SHIELD and the rather terrifying real-world implications of such an organization's existence, and I have come down firmly on the side of our guys-in-green.
Looks like they have good Dental
Why will I rent Season 2? Season one did get better as it went along and while I wouldn't say I'm invested, I am curious to see how it develops. But mostly I'm watching for the Marvel easter-eggs ("What's a Man-Thing?"). There is a lot of source material to mine here, and I am curious to see how the show will interpret that material.

There is also another reason. For all its faults, or maybe because of them, this show is a perfect example of a good-gaming group in action. Its a perfect way to run a spy campaign, or even a super-heroes game using regular people characters. They operate independently of the Mother Corp, each person has their own specialties, the group is mobile, lots of cool gadgets and powers, plus the the mix of plot-of-the-week alongside the longer term mysteries means the players have a reason to come back to the table. Imagine the fun the spymaster would have handing out notes to each player that read: "You have come back from the dead, but don't know how", or "You are an enemy double agent. You may not act until you receive orders. Until then, be as boring as possible".

Let's face it, most game masters don't have the writing skills to come up with something truly original. You don't need to be. Capture the bad-guy, find the MacGuffin and solve the mystery are all solid staples to build a fun night around. It doesn't need to be a plot worthy of The Usual Suspects or Fargo. It just needs to be fun.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Cecil Gambit

While I don't do it myself, I have lots of fiends who hunt. They might have a pair of antlers on the wall, but they eat what they kill and if I'm lucky I get a couple of moose steaks out of it as well. 

However, I believe that hunting anything just so you have head to put on your wall and a rug for your man-cave is repulsive in the extreme. The romantic days of long safaris on foot to face off against a bull elephant with nothing but a rifle and your nerve are long, long, gone. If they ever existed at all. Nowadays its all high tech vehicles, blinds and bait-traps to lure these endangered animals out of protected parks. If that's what you are in to, you are a coward, a sadist and a few years in an African jail cell might be something approaching what you truly deserve.  
"You know what would make this world a better place?  If I blew this away with a ridicoulsly overpowered rifle and left it for the vultures!"
Slaughtering creatures is a big part of any roleplaying or video game. We usually don't think much of it because of one key difference. Its fucking imaginary.
Papel de Parede de Jogos: Turok Dinosaur Hunter
But what if some pretentious noble payed the players to act as guards and scouts while be went hunting rare and beautiful creatures just for the hell if it? Would your group grow uncomfortable with the slaughter, or gleefully participate in the slaughter for the promise of gold and x.p.?

Where do we go from here?

There have been a few momentous upheavals in my life of late. Because of an inept government decision, my wife has had to move out of the province for work, leaving me alone, bored and depressed.

This had led to something of a mid-life crisis on my part as I know have (too much) time to reflect on my life. While we have a nice little house, and have had a rotating assortment of fuzzies, most days lately it doesn’t feel like it amounts to much.
She looks sad, but what she is really saying is, 'board me again, and I'm shitting on your bed'.
My family and friends are literally scattered across the country, and this includes my old gaming group. I’ve looked here, but of the two groups I’ve met with, one was into miniature games (which I enjoy, but do not have a great talent for), and a die-hard Pathfinder group that was already too large and two years into a truly epic quest. Honestly, I was looking for something a little more in the shallow end of the game pool. 
The greatest game ever written. 
I started this blog mostly so I could keep my halberd in, so to speak, and keep writing and reading about roleplaying games, but I have never been truly able to find that right direction or niche that gets people reading.  

I was initially thrilled when I discovered the idea of Gamers’ Common, which allows you to write about RPGs without having to choose a specific rule-set. The gaming community has fractured so much in the past few years that focusing on one specific game or rule-set could easily leave you being a relic very quickly. Then again, is that such a bad thing? 
Justifiers forever!
The problem being, that there are rule-sets that I absolutely adore, and would love to spend time converting to, or building magical items and ferocious beasts for the Talislanta Omni-System, WEG D6, TWERPS, Kobolds Ate My Baby, and Basic D&D (sure I’m missing some).  Or look into older systems, or explore the OSR! Then there are my own ideas for my homebrew games.

What about my own miserable attempts at writing? Or my experiences as a cancer patient? What about my thoughts on current events or pop culture? What about my other interests; martial arts, motorcycles, music? Should I throw them up here as well?
The world NEEDS more Concrete Blonde
Sorry for all of this. I’m attempting to focus myself and contemplating the future of this site is a part of that. I really don’t care if anyone reads it, that was never the intention, but by the power of Greyskull, a little more focus in my life would be nice.
And a magic sword would really help. 
What is likely to happen is a broadening of topics that I cover here. Maybe something will stick?  Hey, I might be borrowing the format of a Cracked article, but at least I. not out there buying gold chains and a sportscar.
Your loss, ladies.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Video Hits Wed: The Pirates of Dark Water

The Pirates of Black Water was a one season, Hanna Barbara Saturday morning cartoon from 1991. Though not a hit at the time, it has gained a small cult status for its strange, Vance inspired world of Mer.    

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My Beautiful Blue

Ms. McNarland and her voice have been blowing my mind for almost twenty year now. I've been lucky enough to see her live twice and I can attest that for such a small woman, she had an amazing and powerful voice. I distinctly remember her voice rattling my teeth as I sat on the second teir of Barrymore's Music Hall. 

Initially marketed as a 90's Riot Grrrl, she only barely fit the description but it did her get shown on MuchMusic enough to boggle my meager brain, still soaking in enough leftover teenage hormones to really make an impression. However, it was her voice that really got me and I have remained a devoted fan ever since. She has faded from the scene now, though she still does shows from time to time (east coast, please?). Most importantly she has become a mother and has taken to writing about her experiences in her new blog.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Sword of Sir Pratchett

Forged of thunderbolt iron by the man himself, the Sword of Sir Pratchett was hidden after his death to prevent looters and agents of the Queen from seizing the sword after his demise. 

The sword is an artifact of incredible narrative power. When welded, all 1 in a million chances happen 1 time out of tweny; you become very skilled in running away, you gain +10 to all headology rolls, plus 50% chance of succeeding in the rite of Ask-Ent, and finally, you can always find a cheap sausage-inna-bun when you need one (1gp each, more in dangerous places and outer dimensions).

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Video Hit Wed: The Barsoom that Might Have Been

I didn't  mind the John Carter movie. I think it was a serious  misfire, but an entertaining one. Here is a mix of some early concept art that was done before Andrew Stanton and Disney pooped out the mangled mess we ended up with. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Rain of Tentacles

In Alaska, there have been reports of these creatures raining down from the sky, landing on gardens, streets, cars and unsuspecting passersby in Alaska. They are lampreys and scientists suspect that they are being dropped by gulls after being plucked from the ocean.

Rain of Petromyzontiformes
This spell summons a number of hungry lampreys (number appearing equal's spell level) to appear approximately 5' above the target. The lamprey's are disorientated, angry and slimey, and will cling to armour, clothing and skin. They do only minimal damage, but their presence creates a great disadvantage to the victim, forcing them to take a penalty to all rolls until the creatures are dislodged. It takes one complete action to remove one lamprey.

Rain of Tentacles
This spell is almost indistinguishable from an 'entangle' spell (or similar) except the victim is wrapped in strong, constricting tentacles that also moderate damage per round. A strength check is required to break free.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Mega-Helm

Based on this offer from Capcom, I present .... the Mega-Helm

The Mega-Helm allows the wearer to recreate the effect of a recently cast spell. To use it, the wearer must concentrate as the spell is being cast. There is a fifty-fifty chance (modified by magical ability of the wearer) of absorbing the spell. There is also a 5% chance the helm will automatically absorb any spell caste in a 50' radius. 

The helm can only hold one spell at a time and attempting to absorb a second spell will automatically wipe out any previously held. Once the helm has 'copied' the spell, it can be cast d6 times per day (game-master rolls once per day). 

Rumor tells of an arm-piece of similar design with the ability to mimic the properties of magical wands, but to date, no credible witnesses have come forward. 
Deviant Art by MM4

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Disney Crawl Classic

I love this. Living 4 Crits figured out a way to play Dungeon Crawl Classics with his young daughters. His solution is genius....

The Dry Valleys of Antartica

I love looking at strange real-world environments as inspiration for stories and campaigns. There are dry valleys in Antarctica that have little to no ice or snow, but are just barren, frozen wastes besieged by 200kph winds. 

You can just picture the heroes walking through this on their way to some forgotten temple filled with all sorts of Lovecraftian delights....

Photo by Peter Rejcek

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Video Hits Wed! The Pan-Universal Parental Reconciliation!

The Middleman is one of my favourite shows from the past ten years. This was a table read from the original cast to promote the release of a new graphic novel. For more Middleman merch, please go here. 

Monday, July 6, 2015


The Shark Sword normally appears to be a normal longsword with a golden crossbar and pommel.

When activated (to do so, the welder must imagine a huge shark), the blade transforms into a huge and hungry shark!

The shark attacks of its own volition and its stats and damage are the equivalent stats of a large shark or equivalent (but magical!).The sword must be held in order to attack, but the welder can use a one handed weapon in their free hand with a penalty.

It being a shark, it also has a 50% chance of attacking it's welder! The sword will have time for one solid attack before being dropped.

If the blade is sheathed or dropped at any time, it will return to its original blade form. However, there is a 50% chance the shark will attack (once) before returning to its blade form. Killing the shark will permanently destroy the sword.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Queens of Space

Who knew that a French release of an Italian Disco hit could be this awesome?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Video Hits Wed, ya Hosers! The Last Polka

In honour of Canada Day, I present the second greatest Canadian Music Movie ever made! 
When its a Schmenge, you know you got something!

The greatest Canadian music movie ever made is of course, Hard Core Logo

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Xenomosaurus Rex

When a regular TPK just won't do ....

Oliver Pabilona
This little beauty  gives me a brilliant idea for a campaign.

Xenomorphic Rex - Gamers' Common
-Type: Animal, prehistoric. Alien-parasitic
Size: Very large
Stats: High strength, agility and endurance. Animal, predator intelligence.
Weapons: Bite- Very Powerful. Kick - Very Powerful. Claws-Moderate. Tail swat- Very Powerful. Secondary mouth-moderate
Armour: Very Strong
Min/Max: Fast runners. Acid blood (strong) which sprays when damaged.

TWERPS-Xenomorphic Rex
St: 10
Movement: x2. Two Attacks per round
Bite +3 Hit. 7 Damage
Claw: +1 Hit. 5 Damage
Tail: -2 to Hit. 6 Damage
Armour: 5
Min/Max: When hit, sprays Acid Blood in all adjacent hexes for 2 damage. 

Hive Castle
Just over a month ago, shortly after the Night of the Falling Star, all contact was lost with the remote province of Wayland. Messengers have not returned, and as yet, there has been no word from the armored battalion of knights

Now the Chancellor Iutan is asking the adventures' help. Go to Wayland and find out what happened out there. The chancellor's adviser, a wizard named Kartar Burke, and two royal guard will accompany the party, though Chancellor Iutan will not say why.

It is a week-long journey through the mountains until you come to the remote valley province. The region is volcanic and barren, with some pockets of green. The only human habitation in the region is a medium sized mining community centered around the fortress known as Bishop's Keep (it was once an abbey) which is at the far end of a town called Hadley's Hope.

As the party approaches the town, they see no sign of any villagers. Homes are all abandoned and many show signs of violent struggle.

As they investigate the town, the party begins to encounter the evil star creatures. Shadows at first, perhaps an npc dragged off by something in the night. When they come, in force and it becomes a desperate fight for their lives. The party flees to seek the security of Bishop's Keep. Once there, however, they begin to learn about the star creature's true nature.

They also learn that Kartar's goal has always been the great dungeon below Bishop's Keep, which according to legend, is the prison to the great dragon known as Nostromo,,,