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Showing posts from February, 2015

Foxbat Beware

As an 8-year-old boy, he and his parents were mugged one night after leaving the movies. The thugs got away with $35, his parents wedding rings, and nothing else. They were never caught. That's not why he does this. He was raised in a solidly middle class neighborhood north-east of the city, without a maid or a butler. Twice the family's lawnmower was stolen, once his bike was snatched outside the Robinson's Dairy, and three times the house was egged in his teens. None of that drives him to fight crime. He was a high school quarterback. A veteran of the middle east wars. A college graduate thanks to Uncle Sam. And he had a solid union job ready for him, but he threw it all away for one reason. "Icon is a dick. There is no way I'm putting my city under the protection of that douche bag." So he rigged the lottery. Won a 700-million dollars. And put his money, athletic abilities, and military skills into a crusade against crime in Millennium City. A campaign to u

Quotable Stephen Koch

"Every writer must be taught how to write every book she or he writes, and the teacher is always the book itself. Writing becomes good by accretion. It builds on itself; it picks up its own cues, it takes its own suggestions. You rarely if ever start out knowing exactly what you are doing or what is to come, and by the time you reach the middle, you rarely know how you are going to get out alive. The project must be your guide, and it will not be finished teaching you the job until the day you type the final page. Then, if you're lucky, it will let you go." --Stephen Koch

Lessons from Tetris

Google Hangouts and Warlock's Cauldron

I found this video by Lex Starwalker and his Starwalker Studios on YouTube. It's a tutorial on using Google Hangouts for roleplaying games and I was impressed by what I saw. Looks like using Google Hangouts has a lower learning curve than Roll20 and will actually do everything I might want to do. Especially given that I'd like to get  back to running games like I used to do, which means no battle mat, no miniatures, no war game veneer over my 'theater of the mind' game play. I'm going to share the link here, because I don't know that I want this on the Warlock's Cauldron page... yeah, that's really it. Check out the video. In other campaign news, I've gained some new folks to the campaign. Kevin, Doug, and Tyler have joined Denis and Joel. We're still waiting on 3-5 ideas from each of them to help create the campaign and everyone is still working on building their character

And Now For Something Completely Different

Voltage, part 2

The dazed couple was oblivious to me as I stepped into the alley and stripped down to my briefs and pulled on my gently used, carbon nano-tube enhanced body suit. I don’t know who Vandal Blast was, never heard of the guy, but that’s not surprising since he donated three of his suits to Goodwill. Generally, if you do that, you've decided that the heroing business is not for you. Or maybe he got killed and his family donated the stuff. Better to not think about it. Anyway, he was not a perfect fit for me, so I took the three suits I picked up for a steal and had some alterations done. You know, let out the shoulders, tighten up the waist, shorten the legs, let out the crotch, that sort of thing. I also had them recolor the material. I mean, really, who fights crime in contrasting shades of brown? They did a molecular dye on the suit and I had them add a lightning bolt symbol to the chest and deltoids. I know, everybody does lightning bolts, but it seemed fitting, you know, because I

The Stunning Voltage

The big decision I had to make was whether to wear the suit or take it with me. Sure, I know popular wisdom says you should wear it under your ‘street' clothes so that you’re ready to go when danger threatens, a shot rings out, or a baby gets caught in a tree; that sort of thing. But have you ever tried wearing one of these things. They’re not as skin tight and weightless as the comics would have you believe. Sure they’re form fitting, but it’s more like having a quarter inch think, leather body suit on. And it weighs close to ten pounds. Not exactly the thing you want to wear under jeans and a tee shirt. Besides, your shoes never fit over the feet. You end up with your yellow feet sticking out of your business suit and that’s a dead giveaway every time. I know, you were thinking these things are spandex or lycra; like one of those speed skater outfits from the Olympics. Those would be great for hiding your super identity; you could wear them under anything. But spandex doesn't

The Incredible Icon

"Celestial, started the Heralds of Justice, wasn't me. I joined, sure. I guess you could call me a founding member, but it wasn't my idea. I mean, I wasn't the driving force behind that group." "Look, I hit things and I let things hit me. It's my thing. There's not much more too it then that. Oh, and I fly. I guess that is more... whatever." "I grew up in Arkansas, played football for awhile and probably could have gone pro if the strength-thing hadn't become an issue. By the time I was 19 I was unstoppable, literally. You can't have supers on the field with normals, they tend to get hurt." "I tried Hollywood, but the acting part of it was a bummer and just getting blown up and knocked around wasn't cutting it for me. Didn't hurt, mind you, it was just lame." "All the news Detroit was getting..., oh, sorry, Millennium City. Well, I saw the Champions and I thought, I could do that. Catch some kooks, knock a

The Table Map

“You’re probably better off outside them walls; our lovely Lady Mayor’s ribbons don’t take well to your kind, even during the best summers.” “There’s truth enough to that. Here’s a loaf to go with that mug. Stew will take another minute, but it’ll be out. And stop giving him that look, lad. You ain't a merchant and you couldn't pass if’n you tried.” “Don’t mind the missus, it’s not like you’re a diamond in a goats ass, but we've seen plenty around this town. Merchants and caravan folk all summer long, every summer. And you’re a different type all together.” “Ain't no merchant. He’s trouble, he is. Got’s that look to him, just ask the ribbons. They’ll be around tomorrow, checkin' up on him and deliverin' their message of peace and good will.” “Prolly, prolly will. But as long as you’re here and you’re payin' and you stay clear of town for most things, you’ll be given a fair shake, mostly. But word gets out that you’re askin ‘bout the ol' wizards tower and

A Host of Heroes

As I mentioned a while back, I've been playing around a bit with the superhero MMO, Champions Online. I played quite a bit this weekend as it was a "double XP" weekend and I had one character that I wanted to get to level 40 (which is the level cap in the game). So now I have two level forty characters, Icon and Voltage, and a whole slew of mid- and low-level characters. Despite my best efforts, crime in Millennium City is still rampant. The gangs are running amok and there seems to be a super villain behind every door. But it's fun. Here is a peak at my current character line-up. From left to right my current roster of heroes; Plato, Officer Action, Street Eagle, Chevalier, Fletcher Bowmen, Doctor Midnight, Archon, Hawkspar, Excalibur, Paragon, Voltage, Icon, Kid Death, Omegastorm, Avenger, Vanguard, Stoneheart, Djinn, Inferno, Ace Carter, Virgil Dante, and Cor Leonis. As you may gather, the character creator in this game is my favorite part. They give you lots of op

You Know What

Doesn't Seem Like A Good Plan

The universe is conspiring against me, or so it seems. My car needs an oil change and I have Monday off, seems good so far. But Monday is President's day and I have already received email from Berger offering me $2500 on a new car during their President's Day sale. This is in addition to the mail Chevrolet sent me and the email that I received about my JLL corporate discount on a new car from GM. Then, get this, we did Chinese take-out tonight for dinner and what should turn up in my fortune cookie.... "Something on four wheels will soon be a fun investment for you" Lady Ronn has already made the pronouncement that the car's oil change can wait a week. She knows me too well.

Happy Valentines Day

In addition to cards and candy and sweet, sweet lovin' my darling wife found me a little something extra to give my Batman and Robin shelf a little extra pow! I like it quite a lot and it sure does seem to be a fitting addition. I hope everyone else out there has an action packed Valentine's celebration.

And Two Make Four

Han's head didn't want to slide into his shirt and anybody who has read the reviews knows about the issues with Chewbacca's arms not fitting their sockets, but I managed. It may be Friday the 13th, but I will not end up with a broken bowcaster. I found a tip on amazon; Andy Holland suggested soaking Chewie's arms in hot water for 30-seconds before trying to install them. I did that and it worked. So then I did it with Han's head. It worked for that as well. Seems to soften up the plastic just enough to let them push into position. and here's  how they look on top of my bookshelf. I have issues with the quality control that let these things get onto the shelf fitting together as poorly as they do right out of the box, but with a little care and a little work, they are a fantastic addition to the Kotobukiya ArtFX line. I see that Luke and Leia are scheduled for mid-July, and there are already two versions of 1/10th scale Vader, I'm hoping that Ben will be next

What the Heck

Don't Stress About It

I Am What I Am

Dragons and Dungeons and Oh No, Not Again

I have mentioned before that the latest, greatest version of the Dungeons & Dragons game is out.  (5th edition, if you follow the logic that the first couple incarnations of the game don't count that WotC and the rest of the internet are running with.) This latest release has made changes, and those changes seem to be garnering much praise. All of this praise has piqued my interests. My interest in what changes have been incorporated. My interest in whether those changes are positive or negative. My interest in running a game. And my interest in what advances have been made in the realm of the virtual table top. And so I have ordered my copies of the core rule books from amazon. Those rule books arrived today. Let the obsession fun and exploration begin.

To Be, Or Not To Be

I'm in the planning and experimentation phase of coming up with a D&D campaign to check out this new system. I have ideas on how to do it. I have ideas on how it will work. I have ideas on the tools to make this happen. But really, all I have right now is ideas. Well, that and a webpage over at Obsidian Portal. Right now, I'm still in the campaign planning/figuring out the rules stage of things. I've recruited a couple of buddies and former players from the olden days to help me figure this all out and iron out the wrinkles. Once that's done and I'm sure this is something that I can do successfully, and more importantly, that it's something I actually want to do; then I will open the floodgates and issue invitations to players. In the meantime, feel free to check out what I'm working on and see if it looks/sounds interesting to you. At this point I'm planning on using, what seem to be, the most popular Tools of the trade: I'm going to use Obsidia

Dog Gone, It's Simple