Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Risus - the Anything RPG

Using the Universal Comedic System, this game system has been used for everything from Firefly to Super-hero gaming. The entire base system is 6 pages. 6! And it's free! You can download it here.

The whole basis of the game is that characters are composed of Cliches that are rated 1-6, higher being better. So I might be:

Martial-Artist (2)
Beer God (3)
Gamer (4)
Neo-Pagan Clergy (2)
Near-sighted - wears glasses

There are a few options (which is why the system is 6 pages). Now I'm chewing in my brain how to use this system. Even though it's designed as a beer-and-pretzels late-night pick-up game system, it's been put to use for full-blown campaigns.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

... and One Court to rule them all and in the Darkness bind them.

I love my friend Sherri's reference to the Supreme Court as Nazgul. It seems like they are serving the Dark One under the guise of the Reicht I mean Right.

Today they ruled that certain displays of the 10 Commandments on government property was admissible and not in violation of the Establishment Clause, despite the large capital letters proclaiming "I AM the LORD thy GOD" on top.

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Friday, June 24, 2005

Fridge from heaven...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Movie Review: Serenity

First of all, no spoilers.

It's almost 1 am, and I just got home from a sneak preview of Serenity. I am too wired to sleep. Oh my effing gods! It was awesome. Granted, I am biased in favor of the source material, but then again I am a Star Wars fan. If Serenity had stayed in its original release slot, it would have been hurt by the marketting juggernaut that is the Star Wars franchise. But it would have been interesting for reviewers and viewers to see the two movies side by side. Sure, Star Wars has ILM special effects and CGI, but Serenity is a quality movie. It's shiny, to use the vernacular of the Firefly Universe.

Here's what I think made the difference. Watching Star Wars, you watch Ewan McGregor play Obi-Wan, Natalie Portman play Amidala, Grover and a Macintosh play Yoda... in Serenity you see Mal, Zoe and Wash. The characters are alive in Serenity, you not only forget they are actors, you care about them. You know how Star Wars will end... you don't know how Serenity will end. I can't go into more detail without spoiling. Also keep in mind that I saw a working print of the movie, not the polished final version.

Trust me, go see this movie when it comes out. Five times.

And 5 flying monkies for Serenity.

Another nice treat at our sneak preview was that Ron Glass, who plays Shepherd Book, was at our screening. He spoke to the audience before and after the screening and took questions from the audience.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Movie Review: Batman Begins

First of all, no spoilers here. I can't make the same promise for the comments though.

First of all... Yay! I think this movie will reinvigorate the Batman franchise. I think this movie is at least as good as the original and probably better. But it's hard to compare as they are two different flavors of Batman. The original still had some camp, but it was Jack Nicholson playing the Joker and having so much fun doing it. There are no antics to Prince in Batman Begins, but unfortunately there is no Danny Elfman score (not that the score is bad in BB... but Elfman's was dead on for the original).

Bale makes a great Bruce/Batman and I hope they keep him on. The director I'm not sure on... he did a pretty good job here, but there are some plot holes and other issues that made the difference between a good job and a great job. Gotham, while feeling depressed and decaying, doesn't have the dark gothic tone that Burton employed and didn't seem to have a distinctive character. Oldman, Freeman and Caine were all also excellent in their roles. Katie Holmes was great... to look at, but only so-so in the acting department. Some of it may have been the dialogue she had to work with as I've liked her better in other movies.

Normally I'd give this movie 3 and a half flying monkeys, but I'm going to toss in the left-over half monkey for redeeming the franchise.

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Friday, June 10, 2005


Looks like a seperate Wolverine movie has been greenlit!


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Best Borg downs and ups

It really started yesterday. Our General Manager told us that since our store wasn't closing enough sales, the department leaders would have to do evaluations on customer contact. These contact evaluations themselves are pretty easy. Then we are told how many we need to do... 2 for every employee working a shift Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This is Thursday afternoon, which means most of my team is gone (and I had been there since 5am), Friday night is a truck, which means a lot of employees working shifts and a lot to do, and I'm off Saturday. So basically I have to get all of mine done Friday, as we are told "do this or turn in your seperation notice."

I get to work Friday and find out that my department (Loss Prevention, Inventory and Merchandising all rolled together) has to do more than any of the sales teams. Sales is screwing up... but we have to do more of these evaluations than they do. I'm bordering on fuming and engaging in a little passive-agressive protest while knocking these out. I have a ton of stuff that I could do instead of this and I'm not a happy camper.

Then my trouble employee comes in and puts in her two weeks notice. :)

Then two cute young women from another department decide they need to give me a hug and come running over to hug me. When your a middle-aged bachelor like me and a couple of cute 18 year-olds decide they want to give you a hug, you don't ask why.

Then I find out that the GM that screwed me over in my last store, pushed for me to step down, and screwed me out of my bonus "is seeking other employment opportunities".

It's a good day after all.

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Scottish society

Most folks don't realize that Indianapolis has a Scottish society. Indy doesn't exactly bring cultural diversity to mind, especially amongst the "whites". Part of the problem, IMHO, is part society in general is becoming homogenized, especially amongst the younger generation where what music you listen to is more important than where your family comes from.

So I'm at this Scottish society meeting, having flashbacks to when I was young and my grandparents would take me to the restaurant where all of their friends ate. At least 2/3 if not 3/4 of the people there were older than me, mostly by a generation. But they were very friendly and welcoming to me, a first time visitor, so don't construe this as me making fun of them for their age (though old men with their kilts hitched up to their chests is funny). But it made me wonder, will groups like this exist when I'm their age? Without an influx of younger members and no impetus to celebrate cultural identity, will organizations like this fade out?

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Early Batman reviews

There were a couple of early reviews from foriegn press screenings here on Ain't It Cool News, and they look extremely encouraging. Now I am really stoked to see this.

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Darth Conductor

Got this from my friends in my SWG guild... hence why the site is in Swedish or Finnish or one of those other viking-like languages (but the video itself is all visual and music, so no language skills required).

Lego Imperial March

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