Thursday, October 09, 2014

That was the best kickstarter to read. How'd you hear about it?

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

| Late-breaking link!

Please seriously consider this RPG Kickstarter, it looks amazing!

| Link-rich content!

Doomtowners! There is a fancy new deckbuildin' site up (it's even official!).

Had a grim n' gritty night of sick-guy sleep, including the classic progression of: get into bed -> start shivering violently despite the warm ambient temperature -> cover up with the biggest blanket in the house -> wake up an hour later boiling in my own sweat and filth. I'm still feeling rundown, but I think I'm on the right side of it now.

I bailed work early, but did make a pit stop at the conveniently on-the-way-home-in-certain-respects game store. I picked up a couple things: the new Hordes book, which looks cool and is totally going to be the release that gets Elzar back into the game; and the new edition of The One Ring RPG. It's a Tolkien RPG set in the geographical area covered in the Hobbit, set in the time between the Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring. enr0n and I played this at GenCon a couple years back and had fun -- interesting mechanics for common themes in the Tolkien books like fellowship, traveling, and whoring. The default game mode assumes the campaign covers many years of the characters' lives, with roughly one adventure per year or so of game time. There's a cool-looking campaign out that covers a thirty year period. I think that's rad!

I would've picked the book up online for better cheapz0rs, but the manufacturer participates in a cool program called bits & mortar wherein the LGS gives you the PDF for free when you purchase the book there. Lots of the smaller RPG companies participate (the guys that do 13th Age/Trail of Cthulhu, the Fate guys, bunches of other dudes; major exceptions: Privateer, FFG). Anyway, if you're thinking about picking up any RPGs, check the site to see if the manufacturer and your LGS participates.

While we're talking about Star Wars*, there was a preview for Imperial Assault that was interesting. Basically, if you're familiar with Descent 2nd ed the upshot of this article is "this is basically the same shit as that*", but the components are looking slick. I'm getting more excited! Plus, maybe my wife will be more interested in playing a Star Wars adventure game than a fantasy one? Nah, who am I kidding.

* This segue made sense in a previous draft of the post.
** Notable exception: the "miss" attack result apparently has moved from the attack dice over to the good defense die, which is interesting -- presumably you'll always be able to hit mook-types. That's probably a good thing, misses are frustrating to roll, and you should always be able to shoot some shitty Stormtrooper.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

So sick! Sitting on the couch, taking some of the codeine-laced cough syrup I've got lying around, and lazily watching my hand drift through the air Jael-playing-D&D-style sounds pretty great right now. Instead I guess I'll go to target and babies r us, that sounds cool too!

Monday, October 06, 2014

So the trippy thing about the Extinction Point trilogy was how utterly bad the first book was, but it wasn't until I was midway through the last book (yesterday!) that I realized the second and third book were way better.  Totally weird!  When I finished them I read the acknowledgements.  Whaddya know?  He picked up an editor for book two!  It was like a light switch went on, and all the cockroaches of +5 bad writing disappeared.  It also happened to be Jeff Vandermeer, who wrote the excellent Southern Reach trilogy.  If you're looking for some good reads, pick those books up.  They were great.  Try not to learn anything about the trilogy, just start reading.  They're stra-a-ange.
The third-book pratfall is pretty common in trilogies. Anyone read the Golden Compass series by Phillip Pullman? (There was a not-great movie version of the first book several years back.) The first two books are really good, but the third falls down so hard it's painful. I still strongly recommend the series based on the strength of the first two books, though.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

| Raiders

Since I'm suffering here at work, here's another strange nugget to chew on if you get some time:

Raiders of the Lost Ark in black & white with no sound and a weird techno soundtracks.

Director Steven Soderberg (Traffic, Out of Sight, Oceans 11, etc) has his website where he occasionally talks about movie making. I like his stuff. He's very off-the-cuff, but in an intelligent way that feels totally earned.

He recently posted the entire Raiders of the Lost Ark as a study in awesome "staging", taking away the sound and color and showing how masterfully staged Raiders is. It's so well layed out and shot and framed and everything, that you can literally follow along fine without hearing the dialog. The music he inserts is a little off-putting at first, but after awhile I got used to it.

| Game Night

There was a time when I'd have been all over your offer for some subpar-reading, but I find it hard to make room for reading "good" stuff, let alone the pulps.

I'm hurting at work right now because last night we had a Game Night for my wife's 40th birthday. It went off pretty well! We over did it with food, then underdid it with booze, but those kinda things seem inevitable with a party. We don't throw them enough to get the balance right. The biggest benefit of hosting a party is that we end up cleaning our house a million times better then we ever do during a normal week.

So for Game Night, we played "Hollywood Game Night", based on the tv show, Reverse Charades, Cards Against Humanity, and Pictionary.

Hollywood Game Night is basically a bunch of smaller party-games bundled together, that you play in rounds. There's a few clue-giving games where you're trying to get people to guess Celebrities, TV Shows, and movie titles. The best game in the bunch though is "How do you doo?" where you're trying to get your team to guess a popular song by only using the word "doo". So, say the Star Wars imperial theme would be "Doo do doo do da doo doo - etc" - not as funny to try and write it out. People were wicked tone deaf and it was hilarious.

Reverse Charades, which I've tried to bust out at Cabin Cons with little success worked awesomely with this crowd. It's a lot less stressful to be charading in a group, and these people were all into it. After a few rounds, people have really loosened up, and get good at using each other as props.

Cards Against Humanity was another big hit, and no one but my wife and I had played it. It's funny to bust that game out in a crowd. People were blown away that it existed and asked multiple times where they could find it. We played with 11 people, and while that game can kinda drag for me, we still got in a bunch of turns and people were laughing till the end. The Go-Gurt card was a hit with this group, go figure.

Pictionary was the night ender, and it worked well because by then we were down to 6 of us. We played the super short version and there were enough "all teams draw" to keep it engaging. We busted out the baby's wipe-board easel, so it was legit.