Monday, August 29, 2011

Finding a groove

I am back from traveling, and have the opportunity to find a groove again in my new job. Be posting regularly soon.

Edit: I have moved posting to my main website. Kicking it old school.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So, for the two people who read this blog, I have been traveling and will continue to be traveling until this Saturday, after which I will resume my normal blogging. Hope all is well.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Friday Flop

In addition to my normal, albeit nerdy posts, I am going to run weekly series. One of those is "The Friday Flop." This is where I discuss a game book, film, or similar geek text that happens to be a painful, colossal failure. This week's "Friday Flop" will be about a film that I tried to watch last night. The title seemed promising: Quest for the Mighty Sword. But I quickly learned things are not always what they seem.

Quest for the Mighty Sword is an Italian fantasy film, apparently the fourth and final film in the Ator film series, (though, the series creator, Joe D'Amato, who disowns the third film, considers it the third). The basic plot is that Ator, who as a child witnesses his father's death and the theft of the "mighty sword," begins at the age of eighteen to track down his family's legacy. But the odd thing about that is a hobgoblin known as "Grindal" (who looks like the troll from Troll II) killed his father, and took the sword (first breaking it), then proceeds to raise Ator as his own child after promising to give his mother a potion that would kill her (which, instead, the potion is an erotic love potion that causes her to have uncomfortable sex with the Grindal and then roam the earth as an eternal, mindless slut). Sounds great, right?

The movie was rough right from the start. I couldn't tell what was going on, and found myself making up reasons for why characters existed. One scene toward the beginning of the film comes to mind that kind of puts it all into perspective.

The main character, Ator, is told of the treachery of Grindal by a witch called Raven (?). He then returns to the cave/hut thing where he and Grindal live (where he was presumably raised), and Grindal reveals the sword. But, wait, doesn't Ator have to "quest" for it? Anyway, Grindal gives the sword to Ator, who proceeds to try to hack the hobgoblin in twain. The sword passes right through him, and Grindal laughs viciously. "Now I see what you would have done if I gave you the actual sword, hahahahaaaa!" Dude, come on. You killed his father and stole his birthright. Did you think he'd make out with you like his mother?

The scenes that follow are a collection of oddly verite-style shots of Grindal working in his workshop, or Ator stumbling about like a buffoon, or perhaps getting angry and punching a tree in half. I think we succeeded at finishing about a third of the movie before shutting it off. This movie made Lou Ferrigno's Hercules seem like a pretty good film.

And so, this Friday's Flop is Quest for the Mighty Sword. I think I've seen porn with a better handle on their narrative. Even that crazy viking movie with the dude shitting in the woods was better than the little I saw of this film. If you're ever brave enough to sit and watch the whole thing, let me know how it ends. Actually don't; it's probably a cliffhanger.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Forged Earth

My deep appreciation for the RIFTS settings and my affection for epic fantasy made love, got pregnant, and gave birth to a love-brainchild while I slept. I thought about developing some of these ideas into a campaign world, perhaps for game application through ACKS. I call this progeny, "Forged Earth."

Okay, so admittedly I have to work on the name. I have to work on the lot of it. But my idea is this:

Origin myth states that humans from ages past began to outnumber their homeland that they called "Earth." Life became too stifled, too polluted, and many joined together to come up with a plan to find a new home. But rather than search the cosmos on their great flying machines for a distant star or another planet capable of supporting life, magicians--who were then called scientists--looked inward at the power of energy in order to build a doorway to another dimension.What they discovered was more than an unsettled land. The gateway they forged could not be closed, and its aura began to corrupt the surrounding areas.

The gateway, known as the "Blue Eye," corrupted the flora and fauna around it, and the aura of corruption began to grow in intensity. Fearing the worst, the lords of the earth plotted to launch their most powerful weapons, weapons capable of tearing the very fabric of existence, at the Blue Eye to destroy it and all it threatened. But when their magic descended on the Blue Eye, it had the opposite effect, and a massive energy enveloped the known world. The Blue Eye became entwined with the earth, and its energy caused massive catastrophes. Earthquakes, flooding, and the corruption of life as it was known changed the face of the world. Yet the Blue Eye remained.

The human population either died off, went into hiding (those who survived), or was altered in some way. A large group of survivors--ancestral humans--decided they would go to the source of the Blue Eye's aura and investigate. They journeyed for five days and five nights, finally arriving; there they decided to step into eye. Instantly, the humans were transported into another land (Gor stylee, haha) that appeared to be abandoned, and thus they began forging their future. The idea is that humans would be the Player race, and basically would have to adventure around and discover that they were not alone, and begin to forge an empire and improve their station until they were able to discover where they were.

Essentially, I think it would be interesting to have a fantasy campaign where adventuring/dungeoneering had a bit of a post-apocalyptic feel to it; additionally, where the conventional elements of the fantasy world were not givens that the PCs would potentially know, but were completely unknown. Humans would have an "ancestral" memory, linking them to their long-destroyed world.

So, yeah, I think there are some elements there that can be refined.

I need a new theme

Help Yeti Mountain Pizza Tree find a new theme that is less load-heavy for the web. I like my current theme and all, but it seems to run a lot of odd script in the background that makes the page scroll slowly. I don't like that. So, I thought I'd ask my followers (all 2 of them) if they would have any suggestions. The end.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eldritch Blast, Eldritch Blast, Eldritch Blast

Meet Mevek Kell, my level 23 Tiefling Warlock, shaper of the planes, harbinger of fire.... Eldritch blaster?

D&D4e. No matter what the encounter, it seemed like the best defense was always a good offense. And I do mean always. That is: Shoot first, ask questions later. The game seemed very combat-heavy to me. I was blasting people left and right AT WILL with no real limitations other than my turn in the encounter. That type of video-game style throw down made it difficult for me to play a character that did not want to fight unless absolutely provoked. I found myself saying, "Fuck it; ELDRITCH BLAST," quite a lot.

I enjoyed 4e for a time, but playing the game reinforced in me a real desire for a solid old school game again, from days gone by. It was difficult to become immersed in the role in 4e for me; there the story took precedence, the adventure took the front seat, and my character was simply enacting the outcome of whatever quest needed completing. I mean, I made it to level 23, and I feel just as invested in this character as I did when I created the guy. Where's the personal development? What was I doing wrong here? My DM?

Let me hear your thoughts. If you've played 4e, have you played the published modules? If so, describe your experience as a player, and your connection to the "Role" in this RPG. Where does the emphasis fall? General thoughts? Questions for me?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I miss Dragon Warriors

THE LANDS OF LEGEND. You know you love it. A bleak, dangerous world full of wondrous fiends and underdog heroes. Where the adventure is palpable, the mist creates its own shadows, and a string bean named Gardener Jack haunts your dreams.

I certainly did not relish the PBP atmosphere, but even in that I thought that Dragon Warriors was one of the best games I have played in the past few years. I'm sure it was a number of factors, including who I played with, and my own attachment to my character, but I still think that the game lends itself to a very memorable fantasy.

I'm reading through some of the adventures this afternoon and laughing. This is good stuff. My character's name was Taebryn Kayatlaen, born of a Thulish mother and a Mercanian father, the young warrior grew up in his mother's homeland--A Thulander--before wandering to the mainland to seek fame and fortune. The game chargen lends itself to a simple yet immersive background. If you have any favorite memories from that game, comment here. If not, you should login to your old account at the forum and read through our adventures.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ACKS in your face

I am kicking this blog off the right way, by introducing a project I am backing called ACKS--that's Adventurer Conqueror King System, an old school gaming rules system based on Labyrinth Lord that seems like it will become the new standard for my gaming needs.

The ACKS group will be at GenCon this weekend; will you?