Thursday, August 28, 2008

What are my spell capabilities?

The guy throws out a half-assed hypothetical scenario, and Diesel asks what the weather is like and what his racial bonuses are.

I ask you, how can Vin Diesel be so awesome?

Monday, August 18, 2008

GenCon 2008 -- Engage!

UPDATE: Now with elevator Cougar!


Warning: The sheer NerdCore joy experienced at this year's GenCon will be difficult to ever be surpassed by mere mortals.

Four of my fellow adventurers from last year joined me at GenCon this year, and we totally rocked the damn house in 2008. Our party of brazen PCs were under constant attack from all angles throughout the duration. We defeated a plethora of dastardly beasties during our travels, let's see: brigands, kobolds, werewolves, goblins, Egyptian spider queens, living scarecrows, Imperial Stormtroopers, vampires, carnivorous pixies, and one elephant-sized fire-breathing death goose, to name a few.

Paul and I had a great time playing a game of Hollow Earth Expedition called Burt Fedora and the Temple of the Spider Queen. I had bought tickets for it hoping it would be an alright RPG to check out. Turned out that that four hours had to be some of the funnest rpging I've ever experienced. Paul was hilarious as the ex-prizefighter snobby English Butler.

The costumes were in full effect this year, and while the expected Stormtrooper teams and Jedi were present, the convention has a serious case of Anime infection. I don't know what the hell is wrong with people, but the same people who like to make costumes also have a penchant for giant swords, eyeliner and spikey hair. I didn't take any pictures of Anime dudes, but while I didn't recognize a single costume I could appreciate the wierdness of the female costumes. For example here's a girl who, when asked what her costume was, simply replied "I'm a nurse." Upon hearing this I forced Travis to pose with her for a picture, with him being a doctor and all it only seemed natural.

There was also some sort of Steampunk "dance" going on at GenCon which we missed entirely (on purpose), though some of the Steampunkers came through the convention center and I got Devin to snap a shot with the Verne'nites.

Clearly I was more discriminating with who I got pictures with.

Drow and Twileks....

An evil ice queen....
...the queen asked me (in character) whether I was a follower of the Kingdom of Narnia. I informed her that I felt that using talking Beavers to present setting history to the reader is a stupid plot device. She was not pleased.

You may have noticed that I'm wearing a seriously Geek Level 11 T-shirt in some (all) of the pictures. This is not because I make a habit of wearing dragon T-shirts, but is because I was one of the DMs for the never-ending and highly-dangerous Tower of Gygax 1st edition AD&D adventure going on in honor of the Late Great Gary Gygax at GenCon this year. I had to wear the representative Dungeon Master T-Shirt during my session (and thus for the rest of the day). I got to DM the level of the tower I wrote, The Grimm Forest of Unending Sorrow, and I am pleased to say I was able to kill eleven out of twelve PCs in a single hour. I keeps it real for Gary.

There was also a zombie walk that Travis and I checked out. It started at the convention center and spread out into the major metropolitan area, terrorizing the poor NPCs of Indianapolis.

I picked up a number of goodies at GenCon this year. Every morning I was up and lined up at the convention center an hour before opening, even on Saturday and Sunday when the rest of my adventuring party were fast asleep after enduring the 4:30am sessions of Star Wars Miniatures. Why was I so hardcore about this? Because I wanted to pick up the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide and the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide from WotC, of which they were only releasing 150 copies a day during the convention.

Both were excellent purchases, and are highly recommended if you're into that kind of thing. Especially the Forgotten Realms one. WotC totally Ravenloft'ed Faerun, and killed off a ton of the iconic characters and gods, making the world much darker and dangerous, which I wholly endorse. Elminster and his Deus Ex Machina Mystara magic can suck it.

I also picked up the sister boardgame to the fantastic Last Night on Earth from Flying Frog Games, A Touch of Evil. This game is super-fantastic, and in it you play 18th-century monster hunters who are trying to save a small town from some (randomly-determined) gothic monster. Its very Sleepy Hollow, and the best part is that it is totally cooperative! No more will I have to play the zombie master/evil wizard lord/alien invader just because I own the game. Once I cracked the box and we checked out the rules; Devin, Wes, Jen and I played the hell out of it. I also got my picture taken with one of the characters.

That other dude is from Last Night on Earth (also a fantastic game -- but not totally cooperative). Ignore him (Delp sure did when he snapped the picture).

That's it for this year. Remember to always turn off the targeting computer and Use the Force.

Monday, August 11, 2008

GenCon preemptive strike!

That's right folks, its GenCon season again! The original seven of us had a blast last year, and this year the remaining five of us diehards are going to kick ass like Throthgar the Barbarian with one of the Githyanki's Vorpal Silver Astral Blades. What? That's right mofos. I'll make references like that all freaking week and the people around me will actually get it.

Now normally you may look at the Cyberninja and say "What? My host with the most DJ Ninja-tron is the hippest cat I know! No way does he roll the D20s and makes the Saves Vs. Paralysis!." But you'd be wrong. I'm like some sort of hyper-evolved chameleon nerd, come back in time from the enlightened year 2525. I may look all Fonzi and cool during most of the year, but when I go to GenCon I fit in like a Modron in Mechanicus. Like an Ewok on Endor. Like a Space Hamster in Spelljammer.

Give it up for GenCon Two-Thousand and Freaking Eight!

I think I need a little MC Front to survive the wait...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Starship Troopers 3: Marauder

I just watched the newest addition to the Starship Troopers trilogy, and I gotta say...uh...well, I'll be was terrible.

Terrible in a good way. This is one of those times that you wished you waited to watch this movie with all your friends, because making snide comments to no one in particular just makes you look crazy.

Rico is back, which is nice. But really the main character is the botox-addicted Vulcan chick from Enterprise, who plays the latest stranded supermodel pilot.

They took the ridiculous omnipresent Federation/Big Brother direction from the second movie and cranked it up to 11. The bug effects are alright, but not as good as the first movie, and a lot of the sets are clearly computer generated. You can almost see the hazy blue line that you used to see in the 80's around actors while they're standing around in front of the green screen.

I gotta say though, they did set aside the budget for some good death scenes, exploding blood-filled puppet heads and all. I knew it was going to get the gore award when within the first five minutes a bug-grenade goes off and an entrenching tool flies into a trooper's back, pinning him to the wall. Unfortunately, they decided to "upgrade" the awesome Morita rifle, and now its something no human could reasonably lift for long periods of time, much less fight with.

This movie is worth watching just to see the actors fire these things (they are built on an AK-47 frame that fires blanks-- yes I watched the 'behind-the-scenes' special features). Every time they are about to pull the trigger the actors look like they're taking a really constipated dump.

When the heavily-foreshadowed Marauders are revealed its CGI-central, and not good CGI. Like really, really bad CGI. Like Hanna-Barbara Herculoids animation. But good news is that the Brain Bug is back. Its nice to see that both Casper Van Dien and the Brain Bug aren't too busy to make some direct-to-DVD sequels for the fans. Thanks Brainy!

Nitpick fan note: Throughout the movie they keep refering to Rico as "The Hero who captured the Brain Bug." But you and I know that it was Drill Sergeant Zim who captured the Brain Bug in the first movie.

But really, who cares.

Now get out there and kill some bugs!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tower of Gygax -- Art Show!

So GenCon is coming up, and the late Gary Gygax is getting a special tribute at this year's convention. One of them is a straight 72-hour original super-deadly AD&D adventure session (broken up into 1-hour increments), written by old-school D&D DMs (your humble host included), and put together by Keith Baker, author of the Eberron campaign setting. It is called the Tower of Gygax!

I have submitted a level for the Tower (graciously edited by Dr. Girlfriend), and will be taking my turn to DM it on Friday, August 15th from 6-7 PM. I don't want to repost the whole level and ruin it for anyone who encounters it, but I will post the crappy art I drew for the level to enhance the old-school style.


Come to GenCon and see:

Cannibalistic Fairies!

Magic Mushrooms!

Princes of Stirgedom!

And sweet old grandmothers!