Thursday, September 29, 2005

Brilliant D&D Ad

I saw this ad in a recent magazine and thought it was genius!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Of course, only comic fans will recognize that as the sound of Wolverine's claws, as in the movies it's more of a schiiing!

This guy wins the contest for biggest Wolverine fan. Wonder how long before we read about a tragic Wolverine accident though.

I have to admit though, if I had a pair of retractable Wolverine claws strapped to my forearms, I'd probably run around popping them and showing them off, then going to the emergency room for stitches.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Alt Religion vs. Alt Lifestyle

All right, this post may make me sound like an un-pc prude. Oh well.

While I was at Pagan Pride Day, I noticed the growing number of booths representing alternative lifestyles. I wonder at the wisdom of creating the perception that the two are intertwined, alternative religion and alternative lifestyle, because they are not and I think linking the two only hampers our (pagan's) acceptance by society.

As open as Hollywood would have us believe America is regarding alt lifestyles, I think the last presidential election paints another picture. The push for gay marriage won the Republicans the election because a lot of moderate or mildly conservative Americans balk at redefining what they see as a societal lynchpin, marriage. They believe that marriage = husband and wife, just like they wouldn't want to redefine father or mother. These are even people who are okay with civil unions because a civil union doesn't try to change something fundamental in society.

Because of this, the Republicans were able to successfully mobilize voters who were more afraid of having to redefine marriage then they were of a war in Iraq.

Back to my original point, every time I see someone proclaim to be a pagan bisexual polygamist cross-dressing dominatrix I mentally flinch... because people will associate all of those things together. I don't go around proclaiming myself to a straight vanilla dress-as-my-own-gender pagan. I think that people need to keep their sexuality out of alt religion as they only damage the religions in the process.

Of course now I'll be labelled as a narrow-minded negative uptight homophobe.

Oh well.

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Serenity Premiere

Here is a site with a bunch of photos and videos from the premiere of Serenity.

Interesting note: sounds like $80 million in worldwide box office is the point that a sequel becomes likely.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Review: Magic of Incarnum

Why don't I listen to myself?

"I'm not buying any more D&D books until I read more about them."
"Ooooh... new book."

While I've admittedly been better, passing on the various environment oriented books like Frostburn and Sands of Flame (or whatever the damned desert book was), I saw this book on the shelf and thought it might provide some useful fodder for my Epic D&D campaign Mything.

I should stick to making up my own material.

As usual, we have some pointless races who exist to have new races along with variations on a theme set of classes. I was underwhelmed and while probably use very little of the new material. About the only thing I really liked was the connection with chakra points as an explanation on the limit on the number of magic items you can wear (ie., the two ring rule).

My players are entering the realm of what I call Quasi-Deific Heroes, a la CuChulain, Arthur, el Cid, etc. They aren't Divine Level 0 yet, and for that matter they aren't that 'Epic' as far as D&D tends to judge 'Epic' campaigns (the highest level character is 21st). But I have a system worked out based on level and heroic/epic deeds and boons that cause them to progress towards QDH and what abilites they gain as they progress.

Oz > WotC.

Oh, and 1.5 flying soul-carnate pointless-race monkeys for Incarnum.

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This could be bad

Every time I see an update on Rita, I keep expecting it to swing north towards New Orleans. Don't ask me why... I just think it's going to end up a lot closer than they originally projected. Probably not a direct hit, but I think it will pass west New Orleans over the part of Loiusiana between New Orleans and Texas.

But what do I know? I'm not a meteorologist. But back when I heard folks were returning while Rita was still chugging towards the Keys, I thought 'someone is going to get to say 'I told you so'.'

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For the Pirate Supermodel


I guess fishnets would be out of the question with the hook and all.

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In memorium: Scooter 1986 - 2005

Kuriko has an old friend joining her in the Summerlands. Scooter was my ex-wife's cat that we had when we were married (he was actually given to us by my ex-sister-in-law). He was one of those big happy 'flump' cats that could always make you feel good. I was sad to hear that he passed.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I need a new gym

I went to the gym today (well, I tried) only to find a sign on the door that they had gone bankrupt and had shut down.

I guess I need to shop around for one that isn't stupid expensive and is close by (if I have to go far I'll end up not bothering).

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Indy Irish Fest

Went to the Indy Irish Fest on Saturday and had a good time. In addition to seeing Gaelic Storm (who appear to have another new fiddler... though this one looks to be another cute brunette like the one they had when I saw them in Chicago), I saw a new (to me) band, Searson. Of course, two good looking redhead fiddlers did nothing to get my attention. :)

Canadian Celtic Band Searson

The After Festival Party at the Hilton was a bit of a let down. I was expecting a bunch of drinking and Celtic musicians jamming together. By the time I left at midnight, there was one bartender, 20 people, and no music. And here I was proud of myself for going out on my own and doing something that involved hanging out with a bunch of people I didn't know.

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Talk like a pirate day

Avast ye swabs! Click on the lynk to find out more!

And speakin' o' pirates, check out Keep to the Code.


(A remember... pirates are good for the environment... Arrrr)

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Another new Goblet of Fire trailer

This trailer is a UK one. It has a lot of new footage I haven't seen before.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

It's a Big Ad

Thanks to my friend Dave for sending me this ad for Carlton Draught.

Hope they sell some beer.

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Why Atheism?

Let me preface this by saying I'm not an atheist... I'm a pagan. However, I found this essay an interesting read. Anyone infuriated by the Conservative Literal Christian (my term) movement pushing to make our children idiots by pushing their ignorant beliefs into schools disguised as science under the so-called "intelligent design" theory should read this.

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Katrina: the Gathering

Katrina the Gathering

Even though I don't play Magic, I read through the whole deck. Yes it's wrong... but when has that stopped me?

Katrina the Gathering

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Merry Hallowmas!

Am I the only one noticing that Halloween decorations are getting more abundant every year and are looking more and more like Christmas? Sure, it's still orange and black instead of red and green, but there are Halloween lights and little light-up animated Halloween villages. And at Menards I saw a Halloween tree.


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New HP: GoF trailer

For those of you who are Harry Potter fans, here is the new trailer.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

New Serenity Poster

Australian Serenity Poster

This is the poster from Down Under for the Big Damned Movie. I think they glammed up Summer Glau a bit too much for these posters... she doesn't look like River.

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Can't stop the signal...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Guns confiscated in New Orleans

The government has decided it's time to start disarming the populace down there. And of course we know that looters and other sundry criminal predators will be where the gov troopers can confiscate their firearms and will cooperate like the law abiding citizens having their defense taken away.

A cartoon my friend Sherri found.

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Movie Review: Transporter 2

I'll start off by saying I like the original movie, The Transporter. It had a very different feel for an action movie, one that I call European. Well, Hollywood got its American paws on the sequel and muddied it up.

I still like the lead, Jason Statham, who does a good job reprising his role as Frank Martin. He excels in fight scenes, where his ability to do his own stunts allow wider views of the action, and he's very believable in his role. Amber Valleta does a good job in her role, even though she doesn't get much screen time. I'd heard she was a model, so I didn't expect much, but again she was believable.

OK, now that we are done with what's believable, there's the rest of the movie. The stunts in the Dukes of Hazzard are more believable. And that's saying something, since we know the DoH universe is one with slightly silly rules of physics that allows cars to jump 20' in the air and drive away.

The plot is an excuse for the action. Sure, it is an action movie so I wouldn't expect Forrest Gump or Rain Man, but again the Dukes have more plot. And the lingerie assassin... I guess she's to get the guys into the theater. Which may work if you are into heavily mascaraed strung-out crack whores in expensive lingerie. Valleta, who kept her clothes on, was much more appealing. Or better yet, where is the hot Chinese chick from the first movie?

Speaking of the first movie, the French Inspector returns, though he and Frank talk almost exclusively by phone so the interaction from the first movie is missing. And he can miraculously get into the US Marshall computer system and pull up files based on pictures Frank sends him from an iPod (the Dukes would have made a more believable use of an iPod but they still have an 8-Track).

Overall... two coked-up mascara-plastered lingerie-wearing flying monkeys.

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Serenity Plaque

Serenity Plaque

I know it doesn't match the pinyan I've seen on the official site, but I could swear I've seen it somewhere before. Besides, it's not even close to "official" ... I found it at Meijer's along with Harmony and Tranquility.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

GenCon Rumors


This article in the Indy Star reported that GenCon is leaving Indy. On their official forums, one employee stated that Indy is on for 06 but that they are shopping around.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

My friends Keith and Sherri got married yesterday (some would say "finally"). Of course, cellphones don't make for good pfotojournalism but I snapped a shot of the wedding and the wedding cake (complete with Star Wars Action Figures Qui-Gon Jin and Mara Jade.

Wedding Cake Jedi

To get a better look... see the pic below...

Bride & Groom

(Okay, the last one is really a Halloween pic).

Congratulations Keith & Sherri!

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RIP Lich-King of the Nazighul

Yes, I should be more respectful of the dead. Chief Justice Rehnquist died, something I was really afraid would happen when Justice O'Connor announced her retirement. Now Bush's cronies will get to put 2 Conservatives in position on the Supreme Court.

I know the net result doesn't seem much... replacing Rehnquist with another right-winger, but I was hoping he'd hold on until after the next election, which between the war, the economy and now New Orleans I think will weigh heavily against the Republicans. Rehnquist holding on would have meant that a moderate could replace him to counter-balance the loss of O'Connor.

I bet the Christian Conservatives are high-fiving each other behind closed doors.

Cue Third Reich fanfare.

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Girls of Comic-Con

Yes... it's my favorite Princess Leia from Celebrations.

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Serenity: The Roleplaying Game

I was one of the lucky few able to snag a copy of Serenity at GenCon and we've already experimented with converting my Firefly Campaign from d20 to S:RPG. Serenity could be called the "Everything but d20" system, as the only traditional polyhedron not used is the d20.

The system itself is pretty simple and is designed to flow smooth. In some cases I found myself wishing for a little more detail, but then again when have I ran a system "as is"? And the simplicity is good for more casual gamers who don't want to use calculators or five different books to make and run characters.

The basic mechanic of the system is that your stats and skills are both expressed as dice, with the higher the die (as in d12 versus d4), the better. There are 6 stats, Strength, Agility, Vitality, Intelligence, Alertness and Willpower. Skills are in groups such as Guns, Unarmed Combat, and Piloting. You can go up to d6 in a Skill Group. Beyond that you need to specialize, so to you could have d6 Guns with d8 in Pistols.

To do something, you roll the appropriate stat die and skill die and try to beat a target difficulty. Certain things may make your die step up or down and opposed actions such as combat are usually against the target's appropriate skill and stat dice. So if my character with d6 Agility and d8 Pistols was shooting at a Goon with d6 Agility and d4 Dodge (he is just a Goon), I would roll my dice and the GM would roll for the Goon.

The odds in the above example would be in my favor, but also illustrates the big difference between S:RPG and d20. Mid to high level PCs in d20 can mow through low level goons almost with impunity. A low level goon might have +4 Attack Bonus in d20 and probably about the same Defense Bonus. Meanwhile a mid-level PC could have +10 AB and around +8 DB, which mean the Goons need 14+ to hit while the PCs need 4+ to hit (on a d20). Then figure the Goons will have around 20 hit points while the PCs will probably have around 50.

In the S:RPG example the PC's average would be 8 while the Goons would be 6... I don't know what the percentages are off the top off my head, but as you can see, there is less of a spread. And since characters in S:RPG don't gain "Life Points" easily and even the toughest PC doesn't have that many, even Big Damned Heroes need to be careful.

Which one works better depends on the feel that you are going for. D20 is more cinematic, S:RPG is grittier.

Overall, I'd say 4.5 Browncoat Flying Monkeys for Serenity the RPG.

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