Archive for 'Ramblings'

Merry Geeksmas – Updated

pac-treeOr, y’know, whatever holiday you want to celibrate.

But if you really want to geek up your Decemberween rituals, you’ll need appropriate background music.

Like a little horror with your turkey?  Well, you should check out the HP Lovecraft Historical Society’s album A Very Scary Solstice (and the followup album An Even Scarier Solstice), which includes such holiday classics as:

Or do you prefer your Eggnog with a little shot of 1985 brandy, just for that retro feel?

If so, you may want to check out 8-bit Jesus, a new Christmas chiptune album, with each song done in the style of a different 8-bit era game.

Be sure to listen to “The Legend of Noel” and “Carol of the Belmonts”, my personal favourites from the 9 available thus far.

In site news, we still have two new session logs to go up, but we’re taking a seasonal break from gaming until January, as the next couple weeks are busy for everyone.  New posts will hopefully keep coming, though.  And that site redesign is being worked on now that my computer has returned.

But tonight we need to put up our gorram tree and geek wreath.

EDIT: The 8-bit Jesus album has been updated, and it is now completed.  New link above and here.  You can also get a physical copy now, if you feel like dropping $15 (US) his way.

New favourite songs:

  • Bubbles we have heard on Bobble
  • Have Yourself a Final Little Fantasy

Changing things up…

Well, you’ve probably all noticed that I (Graham) am not the only one writing here any more.

But it’s difficult to tell just who is writing, isn’t it.

So that, among other reasons, has spurred me to finally redo the site (a task I have been planning since the spring).  But something occurred to me.

I don’t know what all of you like/dislike about the current design!

So comment!  Let me know what parts of the current design you would have to see go, or what parts annoy the hell out of you!

Do you love the Wiggum quotes to death?  The Gah caricature?  Hate the d20 in the title bar or the unfinished “Aboot” section?

All suggestions and comments will be considered.  Some will be laughed at.

Holy Hell

The float for the cartoon “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” (a pretty awesome show, actually) got Rick Astley to Rickroll the entire fucking Macy’s parade!

Seriously epic.

As a side note, please continue to let me know if you experience any issues with posting comments.  We’ve been having some problems with the captcha lately.

Not September Yet

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our wrong-day-Thanksgiving-celebrating backwards American readers.

Silly Americans.  Thanksgiving isn’t in November! :P

Anyways, we are going to be posting more soon.  The time since the last post has been extremely hectic, with university projects piling up, my main computer dying a week before the end of semester (with shitloads of project work left and a bunch of important data on that computer, creating a panic to get the data off and restore the computer, so much fun), and Christine landing in the hospital for a few days (she’s good now).

So yeah, more soon, but life comes before blogging.

As if that wasn’t already apparent from my sporadic-at-best update schedule, eh? :)

Fishing, or something

It has been mentioned to me that some people are having difficulties posting comments.

Please try to post a comment on this post.  Even those of you who never comment.

If you can, then hooray!  If not, then please email me (email is at the top of the sidebar) and let me know what sort of error you got.

This will help make the site better for everyone involved.  Thank you.

DDM is dead, and nobody is looting the body!

So, the D&D Miniatures line is being revamped.  The minis themselves are becoming solely an RPG accessory, and the skirmish game is no longer going to be supported.

Personally, I have no problem with this.  I never really cared for the skirmish game.  (Though I had some fun a few weeks back with the star wars minis.  Lost twice, and had Vader and a diplomat attempt a suicide melee rush.)  I’ve always just used them for D&D anyways.

But I just noticed that nobody was looting the body.

Allow me to explain.

With DDM (and Dreamblade before it) defunct, there is now a community of minis gamers with no home.  It’s not a huge community, but they need a place to go.

Why is one of the competing minis game producers (WoW minis, for instance), not offering something?  Produce stats for the DDM minis that these people already own that are compatible with your own game!  Or even just list equivalencies (DDM Orc Berserker may be used with WoW minis Orc Thrasher, for instance).

Heck, even WotC did this when they introduced D&D Minis (well, two years later, in 2004).  They brought out a big table of equivalencies for old Chainmail players to update their sets with.

Why is nobody doing that for the crumbling DDM fanbase?

Even a statement of intent would be good enough for now.

Seems like a missed opportunity to me.

(There are, of course, some legal issues with copyrighted names, but you can still do 90% of the minis, leaving out Elminster and the copyrighted monsters like Beholders.  Hell, you never even have to list the DDM names anyways, since every mini is numbered!  Tordek (from Harbinger) could just be “DDM Set 1 #13”.  The Eye of Flame (Dungeons of Dread) could be “DDM Set 15 #14”.)

Apparently there’s a carnival in town…

So, Donny began the second edition of an RPG Blog Carnival.  The topic this week: Homebrew.

I read his original post, and then NiTessine’s post on a campaign world I really, really want to play in some day.  And between the two, they inspired me to share my own dip into a homebrew world.

It was when I first started GMing, which was admittedly not that long ago.  I was trying to run the group through the WotC adventure “City of the Spider Queen.”

Now, this wasn’t the first time we had tried to get through this particular adventure, nor was it the last.  Not all that far in we were sick of it again, myself especially.  So we wandered back out of the Underdark, and I switched dimensions on them.

(Note, during this swapping of worlds, before they got to the other one, I also managed to spring a Wight Dragon on them, followed by a Gold Golem.  I also managed to send them through a reality-warping series of hallways on their way.  I realise now that I wasn’t so much bored with CotSQ as bored with standard fantasy tropes in general, and wanted to mix it up a bit.)

This new world had next to nothing written about it, and most of what was written happened after the group arrived there, but I had it all made in my head.  I even made a map within a few weeks.  I dubbed it Generica, since there was nothing specific or extraordinary about it.

But I was wrong.  Looking back now, I see that in my desire to escape from standard fantasy, I had actually created a very different, very unique world.  The portal to this world deposited them in a desert.  As they crossed a dune, they came to an arabian-inspired city… of Dwarves.

The Elves were plainsmen, I believe.  The Halflings, savage jungle-dwellers (if I remember correctly).  I basically took every standard fantasy trope I could think of and turned it on its head.

The main plot was centered around dragons, and could have been quite good with a bit more work.  We stopped playing that game before we got too far, though.

In the time since, whenever musing about where to set the next game, I’ve often gotten had a player suggest Generica.  I always assumed it was in jest, and perhaps it is.  But someday, maybe I should call their bluff, and return them to the land of Generica, where everything is most definitely not generic.

Stupid Monsters ahoy!

Log of the last session will be up in a day or two.

For now, I’m sure most of you have seen Jared Hindman’s Dungeons and Dragons: Celebrating 30 Years of Very Stupid Monsters.  If you haven’t, go read it now for context.

You see, after writing that article, it took off beyond Jared’s wildest expectations.  To the point where he got brought into a local (Berlin) D&D group, and has been playing for the last 6 months, including GMing at D&D Game Day.

So, of course, he wrote another article.  Well, two actually.

A Noobian’s Guide to 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons.

Dungeons & Dragons:  Celebrating 30+ Years of Stupid Monsters:  PART TWO.

Read.  Enjoy.  Comment.

And if you like his stuff, feel free to support him by getting him to custom-paint you a banner ad.  It’s cheap, because he sucks at business. :P

To 4e, or not to 4e

Yeah, imaginative title, I know.

It’s not really the question, anyways.  Our group has been pretty excited about 4e since the announcement.  Well, at least I have, and my excitement can tend to be contagious.

We’re finishing off the Pathfinder series in 3.5e, still.  Unless everyone rebels and demands an upgrade, which I doubt will happen.

But the big topic right now is the release on Friday.

Our FLGS, Gameknight, is hosting an event for the release.  Starting Friday morning at 10 am, they’re keeping the store open for 24 hours of D&D.  At 10 am on Saturday, D&D Game Day begins.

Grand total?  32 hours of D&D.

I’m planning on being there for the whole time.  Playing and DMing for the 24-hour event, and DMing on Game Day.

Should be fun.  I’m going to need a lot of this.

In addition, I’m considering doing a bit of live-blogging during the ordeal.  I doubt we’ll have wireless internet access, so I’ll make a post when I leave for the day, with a Twitter feed embedded in it.  I’ll update it via SMS every so often with news and happenings.  I’ll grab pictures as well, and post those afterwards (or during, if I can figure out a way).

Sound like fun, everyone?

Awesome.

New Box!

Box!So, with Christine/Nox being diabetic, we tend to rack up the bonus points at the pharmacy (Shopper’s Drug Mart).  We were at the point where we could cash them in for up to $150 on a purchase.  But there was one problem.

We live in Canada.

How is this a problem?  Well, really, it isn’t.  But with our subsidised prescriptions it makes it much harder to spend $150+ at a pharmacy in one go.

It was then that a friend (who plays Ristan in our games) reminded us that Shopper’s Drug Mart has a photofinishing department.  See, on top of selling film and printing pictures, they sell digital cameras.

Our digicam is average, but we figured why not get a new one?  It’s $150 off, after all.

So we left last Thursday, to get a new camera and go out for some dinner.  After perusing the offerings, we decide on a shiny new 8 megapixel unit, a Kodak V803.

The lady takes the box out from under the counter.  It has a small tag on it saying “demo March 3rd”.  We ask about it, and she tells us that it just means it was on demo that day, and that there shouldn’t be any problems because of that.  If there is an issue, we can always exchange it.

Satisfied, we pay (New camera for $40!  Woot!) and go have dinner.

Upon arriving home, I begin going over our new toy, taking all the parts out and checking over the manual.  (Mostly to see if we need the AC adapter to charge, or if we can do so through USB.  AC it is.  Apparently cameras haven’t advanced to the point of MP3 players yet.)

As I’m going through the manual, I discover something interesting I want to try out, and reach for the camera.

…which isn’t there.

No camera came in the box.

And more than that, I had emptied the box without realising that there was no camera in it.

In any case, it suddenly became clear that we were the proud new owners of a $180 box.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice box.  A testament to the craftsmanship of the Kodak box factory.  But is it worth $180?  Well, that’s debatable.

Y’see, it seems that “demo” didn’t mean that it was a demo.  It meant that it IS the demo.  So, everything gets packed back into our new expensive box, and we head out to the store again.

After a laugh with the salespeople, we get our new camera (along with the 5 or 6 pictures people have taken with it while it was on demo!  Yay!) and go home.

We now have what we came for.  A $180 box, plus free bonus camera.