Monday, June 28, 2010

Gaming Ads of Yor - Villains and Vigilantes

I'm a BIG super hero buff. I like reading comics (in that new-fangled PDF format you darn kids are always lookin' at) and I liked role playing them. Of course, the only one I ever really played was Marvel Super Heroes. Not exactly the best representation of a super hero game available.

I've heard a lot of good things about Villains and Vigilantes and I have quite of few of the PDFs, now I just have to find someone to play with and my super hero fantasies can continue.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flashback Thursday - Willow


This one came out late in the 80's and, to my recollection, is the only "fantasy" movie that Ron Howard has done so far.

I liked this movie. It was fun and adventurous and the characters were likable enough. The plot is a little hammy, and you can sorta see whats coming next a mile away, but it's still fun to see it when it arrives. This was done long before Peter Jackson's team really brought forced perspective to the forefront so you get to see all of your favorite "little people" actors: Billy Barty, Warwick Davis among other.

Val Kilmer stars as Mad Martigan, the reluctant anti-hero and, soon to be wife, Joanne Whalley plays Sorsha, the villainess with a heart of gold...well, sorta. A particular fan favorite were Kevin Pollak and Rick Overton as two brownies (or pixies or whatever they were) along for the ride.

The biggest surprise however is the writer: George Lucas. Who knew he could write something that wasn't Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark related. Maybe he should try do that again!

All in all, I would recommend this movie, especially to anyone with younger children. Just not TOO young as there may be some scenes too scary for them.

IMDb Rating - 7.1

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dice Bias?

I knew I wasn't a crappy role player! It's not my fault that my thief can't kill anything, it's the dice's fault!

Most Six-Sided Dice Biased by 75%

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gaming Ads of Yor - Star Frontiers

Now this is a game I DID get to play.

Star Frontiers was like a poor mans Star Wars in that it didn't have the notoriety and publicity that Lucas' films did. This was always like a little brother to D&D and I don't think that many people had the pleasure of playing it, but it was a fun game. This was one of the few games when I wouldn't play a human. I usually played a Yazarian (basically a space monkey with flaps for wings). They just seemed cool. I liked the concept of the Dralasite, but they reminded me of Gloop and Gleep from the Herculoids.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Flashback Thursday - Quest of the Delta Knights

Here's a little known film (and if you've seen it, you'll understand why) that was spoofed on the ever popular MST3K...Quest of the Delta Knights!

I stumbled on this movie on late night TV years ago and noticed something that made me do a little research on IMDb. I noticed that in certain scenes, early in the movie, when they are showing the town, it was filmed at the Renaissance Faire in Northern California at Black Pointe Forest. Of course, the faire has since moved locations several times since this was made, but with as often as I went there, I definitely recognized it.

Anyways, anyone from the bay area that frequented the Ren Faire in the 80's will probably spot some familiar turf. Other than that little piece of trivia, there is absolutely no reason to sit though this two hour abomination. It is a horribly B-grade movie that nearly makes Sci Fi original movie look passable. The only person I recognized in the whole thing was David Warner, who you may remember as SARK from Tron or a thousand other roles he's played over the years. He's never really been known for blockbuster success, but I can only imagine he too this role because he had gambling debts he had to pay off.

In summary, only watch this if Comcast shuts off your cable and this is the only movie available.

IMDb Rating - 2.2

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gaming Ads of Your - Daredevils

This looked like a fun game to me. Sort of like Call of Cthulu (minus the insanity) meets Indiana Jones. I always liked the old black and white adventure movies that would play way later than I was supposed to be awake. There is something more adventurous about the 1930's when firearms were a little more rudimentary, travel was an adventure in itself and there were no cell phones to call for help. And there was always plenty of Nazi's to beat up on.

Never had the pleasure of playing this game, but the genre definitely appeals to me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How Many Attributes are TOO Many Attributes

I was reading a post from JB over at B/X BLACKRAZOR about character attributes and how many are too many in his opinion. While I agree with him in principal that too many attribute can become cumbersome and tedious, I find myself designing a game system that has 10 attributes.

Flashback Thursday - Labyrinth

Labyrinth - 1986

Let me preface this post by saying I have never seen this movie while I was completely conscious. Every time I watch it, I'm half asleep and I wind up going in and out of consciousness while the movie plays.

Now, having said that...being semi-conscious is the only way to watch this movie. And I mean that in the best possible way. Watching muppets and David Bowie in a giant maze while in a semi-dream state makes for the best hallucinations this side of dropping acid. You're never really sure whats going on or what the hell those damn muppets are saying, but it doesn't really matter.

The scenes that I have seen while coherent were pretty entertaining and looked like a fun movie. It's definitely geared towards kids, but can be fun for the whole family.

IMDb Rating - 7.3

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gaming Ads of Yor - Fantasy Paths

These lovely accessories were offered to the gaming world in the early 80's and I can't believe they didn't sell like hot cakes (However well hot cakes sell). Considering how many similar accessories there are on the market now, I would have imagined they would have been quite popular, but I never met anyone that used them or owned them.

Perhaps it was the nature of the game (1st edition AD&D) that didn't require these types of tool. Back then, all you needed was graph paper and imagination in equal parts. With then new systems, you are nearly required to use some sort of 1" scale mapping system, of which this is one. There are a ton of companies that seemingly took a note from these little beauties and are making some good quality products.

A further curiosity is the manufacturer's location: Pleasant Hill, Ca is within a few miles of me and I never knew they existed until about 30 minutes ago when I really looked at this ad.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I'm a cheap ass...

I couldn't see buying actual miniatures, so I made these little bad boys instead. I used the Fiery Dragon token packs and bought some 1"x1" and 2"x2" acrylic squares from Litko. Two pieces of acrylic, a picture and a bit of super glue gel and you have instant token with the added benefit that you can write on them with erasable markers for status effects.

I put a little skull & crossbones on the back so I can flip them over when they die.

The smaller (1"x1") one ran about 30-40 cents each, the larger (2"x2") cost about 50-60 cents each. This starts to pay off when you get to the more unique and larger creatures as some of the huge miniatures can be rather expensive.

Granted, you don't get the 3 dimensional effect of actual minis, but like I said, I'm a cheap ass.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Further Adventures of Captain America

Just to continue with the Captain America theme for a few minutes...

I dredged these up as hilarious examples of how a Captain America can go horribly wrong.

First is Captain America from 1979...God bless Reb Brown

Next we have a, what I assume, made for TV movie starring Matt Salinger in the red, white and blue

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Comic Book Movie News

A little off "gaming" topic...
The new Captain America costume was unveiled the other day, or at least a concept drawing, and I have to say I think I like it. It would be REALLY easy to make ol' Cap look pretty ridiculous (I'm looking at you Reb Brown!) on screen, but I think this may actually look pretty good. Not sure it looks right for WWII, maybe a little too "futuristic", but maybe this is his modern day costume. I've always been a big comic book fan and Cap it in the top ten of my favorites, so I'm looking forward to a good movie, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed just in case.

Now Thor on the other hand...

Flashback Thurday - Ladyhawke

Ladyhawke - 1985

Rutger Hauer (one of the coolest names ever) stars in the this mid 80's fantasy action flick with, of all people, Matthew Broderick.

Captain Navarre (Hauer) and Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer) have been cursed by a jealous high priest to live separate lives forever. During the day she would transform into a hawk, a Ladyhawke to be exact, and at night he would transform into a black wolf. Always together but always apart.

This was a good story and the cast is surprisingly good as well. The costumes leave a little to be desired, but all in all it's an enjoyable movie.

IMDb Rating - 6.8

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My First Convention

So after 31 years of gaming, I finally went to my very first Gaming Convention.

Kublacon was held this weekend at the Hyatt in Burlingame, California and a couple of my friends were going and invited me along with them. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I had thoughts of a hotel-sized Magic the Gathering tournament complete with the scent of the great unwashed masses. Luckily my image was unfounded. The hotel had a nice open feel to it and there were tables set up everywhere to house board games, RPG, dealers and events for the kiddies. 

Monthly Poll - Favorite Dragon Type

Sort of an odd-ball poll this time. I was browsing my old Monster Manuals and noticed a disturbing trend of letting cats-walking-across-keyboards name monsters. So I wanted to see what people thought was the weirdest, and now I know.

With a dominating 60%, you, the people, have chosen Ixitxachitl as your weirdest monster name

2nd place belongs to Neo-Otyugh with 15%
3rd place with 9% is the beloved Vargouille
Tied for 4th with 6% are the Aurumvorax and Galeb Duhr
and in 5th we have Sahuagin with a mere 3%

Apparently everyone thought Couatl, Tarrasque and Thri-Kreen were normal enough to not warrant a vote, or Ixitxachitlwas just so weird it couldn't be passed up.

This month, lets hear what your favorite dragon type is.

This Ain't Good...

Looks like "The Hobbit" movie is in big trouble. I've been waiting for something, ANYTHING to come of this since it was announced a couple of years ago, but nothing has materialized. When they signed director Guillermo Del Toro I was very interested to see what he would do with it, but still nothing came about. Now, as tired as I am of waiting Mr. Del Toro is apparently even more tired of waiting than I am and has quit the production.

Apparently MGM is in a huge financial hole ($3.7 billion) and can't get things going until its solved, so this is very bad news for anyone hoping to see Smaug grace our movie screens anytime in the near future.

Gaming Ads of Yor - Gaming Organizers

Another fantastic looking product that I never got. These looked great; a fantasy binder, game grids, pouches, dividers and a map making template!

I would have been the envy of my high school library with this under my arm. All the nerds would want to be me. The football team would carry me around on their shoulders, the cheerleaders would swoon as I danced down the hallway like Spiderman 3, the principal would announce a special rainy day schedule in my honor and I would have been named Prom King all because of my Dungeons & Dragons binder loaded with accessories.

Alas, I never got the binder, or the dividers or grids or pouches, I didn't even get the damn template. I was never the envy of nerds, the football team took turns giving me wedgies, the cheerleaders would swoon but it was because I forgot to shower that day, the principal had me escorted off campus because he didn't know I was a student and I rented Prom Night instead of actually going to mine.

If I only had the binder...