Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flashback Thurday - Excalibur

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Excalibur - 1981

This is by far the best King Arthur movie ever made. This is what knights in shining armor should look like. The combat was fast and violent and the visuals were stunning.

According to legend, John Boorman was originally hoping to do The Lord of the Rings but was unable to secure the rights so he used the same sets and filmed this instead. I would love to see what it would have looked like if it had been LotR, but I'm glad that we were given this excellent King Arthur movie.

If you haven't seen it...rent it
If you've rented it...buy it
If you've bought it...go see it again

Also, look for some big name actors in cameo roles: Gabriel Byrne as Uther, Liam Neeson as Sir Gawain, Patrick Stewart as Leondegrance and Helen Mirren as Morgana (although this isn't really a cameo)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gary Gygax Memorial

I was reading an article over at The Escapist regarding Gary Gygax and him impending memorial and one of the suggested memorial ideas struck a heart-warming card in my cynical old heart...

"One idea, most praised of them all, envisioned a simple statue of Gygax seated behind a Dungeon Master's screen at an actual table, where gamers could sit and play beside the man himself."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

AD&D??

So I finally got around to setting up some Google Alerts and one of the fist I set up is for AD&D.

The second article on the list is for an insurance company Accidental Death & Dismemberment.

That TOTALLY could have been the name for our beloved RPG

Post-Apocalyptic Nuclear Flashback

I'm a huge fan of fantasy gaming, but I'm an equally huge fan of post-apocalyptic gaming and all things "end of the world"

The other night I was watching The Road Warrior for the 83rd time and I kinda got in the PA (post-apocalyptic) mood as I sometime do, so I decided to break out my Aftermath! boxed set and browse through it. I've had this same boxed set since 1982, the year after the game was released. I was about 12 at the time, but I guess total world annihilation and the gruesome struggle for survival in a world burned to ash is ok for 12 year olds. Heck, I turned out just fine.

Comic Strip Tuesday - The Return!


Good news ladies and gents...
While browsing some old Dragon Magazine issues, I stumbled on two more comic strips that I didn't realize were in there. So I had my crack team of pdf extractors (read: me) go to work to pull from the ancient pages the last two, forgotten, D&D comic strips.

First up, from Dragon Magazine #53 we have to continuation of a brief adventure into the mysterious Dungeon of Roakire. The followup has our adventurers Auric, Tirra and Khellek traveling deeper into the dungeon after a deadly battle with a Jacklewere. They encounter goblins and a Beholder (who put those two together in the same room?) until the reach the fabled treasure room in the deepest bowels of the earth.

Will this be the end of their adventure?

Not hardly! Were you not paying attention when I said I found TWO new strips??
Sheesh...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Monks: Who got Eastern Philosophy in my Western European Setting?

Personally, I always had a soft spot in my adventuring heart for the monk. Sure D&D was, for the most part, based on Western European medieval society, but there was always something about a character that had a little bit of everything that seemed self-sufficient to me. 

Flashback Thursday - The Crystal Shard

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1982 brought us a lot of interesting and not so interesting fantasy-type movies. This was, I believe, aimed at smaller children but was still one of the more interesting fantasy movies of the time. The Dark Crystal was almost entirely shot using puppets that, lets be honest here, creeped me the f%$* out! I don't know what it is about puppets, but their like clowns to me. They shouldn't be moving around like that and they sure as hell shouldn't be entertaining kids!

Anyways, despite my creepy puppet hang-up, it was still a good story and well done by puppet-gurus Frank Oz and Jim Henson. I would recommend people see it that haven't...unless you're creeped the f%$* out by puppets...or clowns...even though there's no clowns in this.

Clowns are just creepy...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Small Post

Sorry I haven't been around much lately, been having "kitty-related" issues for the past few days.

Just wanted to post a couple of links to some outstanding web shows that I've been following for a while now and I wish they would all do new episodes. I'm sure most of you have already seen or heard of them, but for the two of you who haven't, go check 'em out.

First up is The Guild. This follows a group of online gamers that play 'not' WoW and are socially inept in every way but totally hilarious together.

Second is The Legend of Neil. A story about a man named Neil that is sucked into the Legend of Zelda...Hilarity ensues. Careful where you watch...NSFW language and situations

And finally for today is GOLD: The Series. This follows a group of professional gamers as they prepare for the World Championship of Goblins and Gold. They are perpetual silver medalists and are trying to usurp the gold medal away from the dominate English team.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gaming Ads of Yor - Gen Con IX

A little blast from the past with this ad for Gen Con IX in 1976 with special guest Fritz Leiber!

That's right, a Full Three Days of Gaming!!

I've been gaming since 1979 and have never managed to make it to a Gen Con. Wonder how I could talk my wife into going on vacation to Lake Geneva... (is it even in Lake Geneva anymore?)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bi-Weekly Poll - Favorite Wizard


We asked, you decided...

The most annoying monster ability for a hearty band of adventurers to face is none other than...

Level Drain with 51% of the vote (certainly one of my top 3 worst to face)

next came Paralysis with 17%
Psionics with 11%
a two way tie for 3rd with 8% is Invisibility and Regeneration
and last with registered votes was Summoning with 2%

Looks like people aren't too bothered by Reach, Damage Reduction, Spell Resistance, Disease or Teleportation.

Ok, for our next poll...Who is your Favorite Wizard?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Flashback Thursday - Wizards & Warriors

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Wizards and Warriors was a short-lived (blink and you missed it) television series that premiered, aired and died all in 1983. It stared Jeff Conaway, of Taxi fame, as the good Prince Erik Greystone in sort of a D&D-esque show obviously attempting to capitalize on the Dungeons & Dragons craze of the early 80's. Unfortunately it wasn't very good or very funny and died quicker than a zombie at a cleric convention.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gaming Ads of Yor - Advanced Dungeons and Dragons for Intellivision

This is the print ad for the fantastic Dungeons & Dragons game for the Intellivison gaming system. This is the first D&D related video game that I ever remember seeing and I was jealous of my friend that had an Intellivison while I was stuck with my stupid Atari 2600.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Forgotten, The Neglected...The Copper Piece

As a DM, I always felt bad for the poor copper piece. Always the one to be tossed aside for something better. Always scoffed at when offered as payment. Most likely to be thrown down a hallway to check for trapped floors. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fresh Coat of Paint

Decided to do a little remodel of the ol' Frothy Friar today. Slapped a fresh coat of paint and some new curtains on her. Hope everyone likes it. 

If not, I go to black and white.

Now I need to hire a waitress like Daddy Grognard did. It can only help business

Talislanta

As noted on some other illustrious blogs, Talislanta - The Free Edition, was released and I just popped over to download it. 

This was another of the games that I always wanted to play but never had the opportunity to get involved with. I had all, and still have, all of the original rule books but no one in my gaming group wanted to venture far enough away from D&D to try it out. The excuse was always the same "It's a fantasy game just like D&D, why bother learning a new system, lets just play D&D"

So all I ever really got to do is read the rule books and look at the artwork. Some of which was absolutely spectacular...

Flashback Thursday - Lord of the Rings [1978]

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Today we have another Ralph Bakshi classic, but not in a good way. This was his total destruction of The Lord of the Rings. In this train wreck of a cartoon, he tells the story of The Fellowship of the Ring and HALF of The Two Towers. It ends just as Aragorn and Theoden ride out of Helmsdeep to face overwhelming numbers of orcs. Unfortunately those overwhelming orcs were UNDERwelming rotoscopes of really really bad costumes.

This was a disaster from beginning to end with little in the way of saving graces. The balrog looked like it was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers, Saruman was renamed Arrowman so people wouldn't confuse him with Sauron, and Samwise looked like a bronze medalist at the special olympics.

It was a crap movie and needless to say I watched the hell out of it throughout the 80's. I'm not proud of it, but there it is.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

To Fudge, or Not To Fudge

So my turn to DM is coming up pretty soon with the new group of players I'm with and I questioning my usual DMing style. Typically I like to play behind a screen, obviously to hide maps and things, but also to hide dice rolls. Especially at low levels, characters can die VERY easily. Even at max hit points, a character can only suffer a couple of hits from a average monster before folding like a road map. So I would generally like to roll behind a screen so if the hits and damage are flowing TOO freely, I can make some minor adjustments. This isn't to help the party and make it a nice soft, fluffy game but rather to help ME. I don't like running games that force the players to spend half their time recovering from near-death injuries. It seems to detract more from the flow of an adventure when the party has to continually retreat to a safe haven (i.e. town) to lick their wounds and rethink strategy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hogworth's School of Mazes & Monsters

In keeping with a previous post in which I got the insane idea to work on a High School setting for monsters, I remember an article from an old Dragon Magazine, issue #65 to be exact, that was actually a game called Monsters of the Midway. I went back and looked at the article again for a specific image I remembered, that was particularly relevant to a monster high school.

Behold...Monsters of the Midway. Or as I like to call it...The Hogworth Monster's Varsity Football Team

Awesome Site


I was looking for some tokens or markers we could use in our game to tell who has been stunned or blinded etc and I stumbled on THIS site. They have some awesome stuff and you can even custom make your own!


Gaming Ads of Yor - Dungeons and Dragons Computer Fantasy Game

Mattel Electronics was responsible for a good portion of my wasted youth and this was one of my vices. I can honestly say, and with no regrets, that I never once slew the dragon. In fact, I think the only thing I ever found was the damn pit! 

Damn you Mattel Electronics!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Monthly Poll: Most Annoying Monster Ability

The polls have closed on another monthly poll and this one wasn't even close...

With an astounding 65% of the votes, you have decided that Dungeons & Dragons was your favorite TSR game.

In second place with 12% was Gamma World
8% of the voting, oddly enough, went to OTHER games in the TSR lineup. I would be curious to hear what those other games were. I have to imagine it was Revenge of the Snits  :)

Star Frontiers got 6%
Top Secret received 4%
Boot Hill and Marvel Super Heroes both garnered a pitiful 1 vote for 2% of the voting

Poor Ghostbusters struck out completely with 0%

This month, however, we may change format a bit and shorten the voting time for polls so that we can get to even more and exciting polls, so check back often to cast your votes.

This months poll? What is the most annoying monster ability for your character's to have to deal with?

Flashback Thursday - Circle of Iron

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Originally called The Silent Flute, this story was written by the late, great Bruce Lee. But like the TV series Kung Fu, this was given to that master of slow motion karate, David Carradine. Granted, he got this role years after Bruce Lee's death by acquiring the rights to the movie and choosing to star in the, not one or two, but FOUR roles originally intended for Mr. Lee.

This is the only kung fu fantasy movie I've ever seen, but if there are more please tell me 'cuz, like a scab you have to pick, I have to watch crappy fantasy movies!