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.