Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hero System 6th Edition

I came across this blog article while poking around the RPG Bloggers Network.

Essentially, Hero Games is putting out a new edition of their rules, and it will cost you $80 to get the two core books.

I'm wondering if Hero is pricing themselves out of reach. I know that cost is comparable for a DM needing the three core books for 4e, but a 4e player only needs the one. Plus, Hero doesn't have the name recognition or fan base that D&D does. In fact, I'd argue that Hero players tend to be more technically inclined and thus more able to go to other sources for the material when they come out. Roll for torrents, 14-.

I probably won't bother with HS6E unless I hear awesome reviews. The basics of the system has stayed the same for the roughly 30 years it has been around, I don't see shelling out $80 for some tweaks. That and many of my players are not fans of Hero. It is crunch intensive, not suited for more casual players, and combat bogs down despite being balanced. It is harder to run on the fly, though an experienced GM can do so. It's main appeal, IMO, is to combat-centric players, min-maxers, and architects (players that like to build characters in crunchy systems). I don't think that'll be a big enough paying player base to make the new edition successful.

Hopefully I'm wrong.


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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Global Warming isn't new

While researching for my marvel 1941 campaign I stumbled across Modern Mechanix, one of a multitude of interesting sites that look at how we used to view technology and the future.

Ths article caught my eye. Looks like in the late 50's some people were blaming atomic bombs for changing climate and this article refutes that theory.

Maybe Al Gore should read it?

Now don't get me wrong, I think we should avoid polluting where possible. But I'm not going to live on a compost heap in a hippie commune eating organic grass-trimming to do so. I'm in favor of hybrid cars and wind energy. One of the negative side effects of gas prices going down is that the sales of hybrids plummeted and SUVs rose again.

But I also tire of the self-righteousness of many in the Green Movement, not to mention the hypocrisy (is that a hybrid jet, Al?). The climate is changing, but it is not all due to us. I think we should do what we can to mitigate our impact, but I'm not going to become Amish. But I won't join those who hate eco-friendly ideas just because they come from the left. And we need to get off the oil. We won't because the oil companies have too much money in Washington, so they don't care if we are beholden to foreign powers for 70% of our oil because we pay them for the other 30%. Highest profiting company? Exxon. Bet they don't want to see us go solar/wind/nuclear.

And yes, in Ozzistan we'd use nuclear power, along with green means. Nuclear power is safe enough. Hybrid cars until full electric becomes practical. Improved recycling, nature preserves, green buffers, reduced industrial emissions all would play a part in Ozzistan's ecological policy.

What the hell did I start off talking about?

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Evil Day-Star

Is the evil day-star out to get us, or at least make us all go Amish? Check out this article and chalk up yet another way life as we know it could end.

Though it might make a good background for a post-apocalyptic game...


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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


In ur fort...

Who wants to go to Vulcan?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

XMO: Wolverine - War

Is it wrong every time that I see a trailer and think that it looks awesome I also think "please don't screw this up"?

I think the Star Wars prequel trilogy has scarred me.

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New Star Trek TV Spot

Monday, March 23, 2009

What Captain Are You quiz

Your result for the Which Starship Captain Are You? test...

Well done, Bill Adama!

21% Benjamin_Sisko, 9% Kathryn_Janeway, 16% Jean-Luc_Picard, 30% Johnathan_Archer, 43% William_Adama and 4% James_T_Kirk!

Technically an admiral, previously a commander, and never a captain... but... he captained a ship... er battlestar... WHATEVER, damn! Stupid nitpicking nerds. Not so much a hidden result but more like a "pick one that doesn't belong". His character is a lot like Sisko's and that isn't much of a coincidence considering Battlestar Galactica is co-written and co-produced by one of the best writers the Star Trek series ever had: Ronald D Moore. Adama's role is another tough one to play because he is one of those rare military heads that actually cares about the lives of civilians but doesn't let his compassion get in the way of making volatile and controversial military decisions. Plus, he actually lived after getting shot twice in the chest! Now THAT's tenacity.

Take the Which Starship Captain Are You? test
at HelloQuizzy

To be honest, the test wasn't fair... Mal Reynolds wasn't an option. And I could only wish I was as hardcore as Adama.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

BSG is over

I'm still mentally chewing on what I saw. I feel a little empty, I think both because I'll miss the show and I'm not satisfied with some of the way it ended. No spoilers for now.


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Jedi Church

How It Should Have Ended: Lord of the Rings

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sims 3 trailer

You know I'm going to make an evil Sim. Bwah hahahaha. And it looks like you can still kill off Sims to get ghosts. Not that I did that in previous incarnations of the game.

Bwah hahaha.


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Sheep + LEDs

Leave it to the Welsh to come up with this. :)


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Flying Car in 2011?

You can see the news article here.

The problem I see is that you still need an airport to fly. Called me spoiled, but I want my flying car to be vtol. :)


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Friday, March 13, 2009

Nerds go on "Watchman" tour

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm a Barbarian?

D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

I tried really hard not to skew the results and this is what I got. Or maybe the survey has been here to see my feral bachelor lair.

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Marik's take on Watchmen

My friend Marik sent me this review on the Watchmen... (after the jump)

I read the novel when it came out, and grabbed it from my wife’s library for a read over a couple months ago.

From the moment the opening credits started running I was enthralled. It never quite got that “art” feeling that 300 inspired, but the material wasn’t that weighty. This movie also had the advantage of not being based on history, in fact the yarn is spun in an alternate universe that diverges in the early 50’s (maybe late 40’s). Watchmen, based on the DC graphic novel by the same name, takes you on a fantastic spin with a group of superheroes first formed to fight crime in NYC, then eventually joining with the government to fight the Commies, then the government turns on them and they’re outlawed. The shtick is colorfully portrayed in the opening credits with a sort of ‘living montage’ of scenes staring the lead characters, and other side characters. This is wonderfully used to get rid of entire sections of babbling exposition from the graphic novel. And since the movie masses more than 2 ½ hours, brother it’s a good thing.

The cast is lacking any real star power, and for this you find yourself grateful because these heroes aren’t of the uber powered types like most Marvel characters, they’re a kind of cross between Heroes the TV show and Mystery Men. Some are just dudes in suits, others have some real powers, and still others are actually energy beings that can teleport, or destroy you at a whim. I think it was a tough decision to hand more than $100 mil to a director, but with the ultra successful 300 under Legendary Pictures belt, it’s no surprise they let them run with this one. And the results were spectacular. Like 300, the movie follows much of the book panel for panel, some scenes even shot as if they used the graphic novel as a story board. Fan boys like myself are glued to the screen, while it is shot so gracefully that even non fans will find themselves stunned at the effect. The story telling is very fractured, with some very non-linear plot elements and a zillion flashbacks. You do NOT want to go for popcorn if you haven’t read the book, you’ll be screwed and pissing off the row behind you begging to find out WTF just happened.

I have a few beefs, but very few. A few central characters were basically removed. In particular I looked forward to the fat newspaper guy and the kid reading comics. In retrospect they were imminently cuttable and their demise should be no surprise. They make an appearance in the cataclysmic ending, though. Also lost is several subplots, again to save time. In particular I was sad to see Owl’s dad reduced to a one scene wonder. In the graphic novel his book “Under the Hood” in integral to the story integrity in several ways. Here it is only a foot note. Also the character Ozymandias (lol Oz!) is somehow altered in a few ways that I might have to see the movie again to understand. In the novel he had a depth that the movie doesn’t quite seem to capture. And ultimately there is the change that our Oz mentions. This change is the very nature of the plot hook that hinges the climatic scenes. At first I was a little pissed because the element is awesome in the book, but then I realized that by changing this they cut out several sub-plots and likely reduced the length of the movie by an hour. I also suspect that this change is also was has hurt the character of Ozymandias so much, and damaged Dr. Manhattan is ways I can’t go into.

All in all, this movie rocks the house. It is rare that a superhero movie is so completely satisfying, especially after the multiple misfires by the X-men movies (I’m a Rogue fan, I’ll never forgive them). I give this one a well earned 5 our of 5 glowing, ethereal, crime fighting falcons.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

10 Ways to Save Your FLGS

In case you didn't know, FLGS stands for Friendly Local Gaming Store, an endangered species of mom & pop retailer that was a huge part of the gaming hobby's early years. Now they are being driven out of business by the likes of Amazon, unable to maintain the overhead of a brick and mortar store and compete with an online mega-retailer's economy of scale.

I read an interesting blog article with some good ideas in it. If you're a gamer, take a look.

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

I watched the Watchmen

Reviews have been all over the board for Watchmen. Some hate it, some like it, I think it depends on a couple of things. It's not a movie that everyone will get, and I just don't mean if you've read the graphic novel. You have to have the right kind of mind, able to adapt and accept creative realities. If not you lose enjoyment worrying about things like how Nixon was able to get term limits appealed instead of being able to absorb the information that establishes the framework for this alternate 80's. It also depends on if you review movies as entertainment for from some sort of "intellectually critical" standpoint. Everyone who has read this blog for a while knows I pay to be entertained.

And Watchmen is very entertaining. Is it chaotic? Sure. Does it make a few leaps people might not get, especially if they haven't read the story? Yes. Is it chock full of awesome? Hell yes. I saw it on IMAX last night and I'm toying with seeing it again.

The movie is highly faithful to the source material, more than I would have expected. There have been a couple of changes, most likely necessary to keep it from bloating into a behemoth of Jacksonian proportions. But there is a lot of detail and it makes the most of its two and a half hours. If you don't pay attention you'll miss a lot of details (Welcome Vietnam... our 51st state!)

Go watch the Watchmen.

4.5 of 5 mask-wearing blue-glowing flying monkeys.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

New Star Trek trailer

I am stoked. I also need to see if the guy doing the music is the same one from Batman Begins and Dark Knight, because the music in this trailer reminded me a lot of them.

You can also see larger versions of the trailer here.

*edit* Nope, the music for the movie is by Michael Giacchino. He also did Speed Racer, for which I own the soundtrack. Also, Hans Zimmer was one of the composers for the recent Batman soundtracks, something I should have remembered. Double fail (unless the music for the trailer is not from the movie and lifted from a Batman soundtrack).

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Yet another Wolverine trailer

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

March 4 is GM's Day

The RPG "community" seems to have proclaimed the anniversary of Gary Gygax's death as GM's Day. What is GM's Day? I guess whatever you want to make of it. I'm not running a game (or playing one) today, so it really doesn't matter. You check out a lot of posts about GM's Day and Gary Gygax on the RPG Bloggers Network.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Belief-O-Matic Quiz

Your Results

The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. Reform Judaism (89%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (88%)
4. Sikhism (82%)
5. Secular Humanism (76%)
6. Jainism (74%)
7. Liberal Quakers (71%)
8. Orthodox Judaism (68%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (67%)
10. Mahayana Buddhism (65%)
11. New Age (65%)
12. Hinduism (58%)
13. Islam (58%)
14. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (58%)
15. Nontheist (58%)
16. Baha'i Faith (56%)
17. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (53%)
18. New Thought (48%)
19. Scientology (43%)
20. Taoism (41%)
21. Orthodox Quaker (33%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (27%)
23. Jehovah's Witness (27%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (25%)
25. Roman Catholic (25%)
26. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (24%)
27. Seventh Day Adventist (16%)

The quiz is at:

Hmmm... the pagan options are Neo-Pagan and New Age. Choose between vague and nebulous. I am curious how Reform Judaism scored so highly.

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New Terminator: Salvation trailer

Check it out here.


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