Thursday, February 04, 2016

Daily Cosplay

Nadya as Triss Merigold (Witcher 3)

5th Edition on Kickstarter

We are barely a week in and are a quarter funded! Don't miss out on all the kickstarter that will help redefine your character. From role playing to roll playing familiars, animal companions, mighty steeds, heroic blades, muses, and more all bring an old genre to life.

Imaginarium ~ Turn the Mist

Essays on Pop Culture

Apocalyptic movies and TV shows are everywhere these days. They seem a bit more prevalant than they have in the past. There are probably several reasons for this.

Perhaps they are an expression of frustration and doubt seeded in a populace that has come to believe that the society they live in is too fragile and there is an inevitable collapse.

Or maybe this genre reflects the primeval in us as homo-sapiens, that through these movies we live a vicarious life, one less ordinary, far removed from the mundane nature of our lives.

It could be that we have an instinctive need for violence and struggle, for our species has fought a monumental series of battles to achieve its place in the world.

Of course it could be something as simple as access. Film equipment is inexpensive compared to a decade ago. The secondary market is flooded with it. You can learn the basics of the trade at school. And apocalyptic movies are cheap to make as you just need old, dilapidated materials and sets.

Then there is the inevitable question driven by the central core of Darwinism: competition. What would I do?

There is probably no one answer, there are probably multiple answers and multiple reasons. That's the way it generally is. Seeking a 'reason' is more often than not, a fool's errand. Better to look at a bigger picture.

Dangerous Fey

"Fairy cave" by Tianhia Xu (flowerzzxu) on DeviantArt (detail).

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Digitizing World War Posters

FIGHT or Buy Bonds!

Whether you're a history buff or love a good pulp game, this is incredible stuff. Head on over and take a look!

From the source:

"The Pennsylvania State Archives, in cooperation with the State Library of Pennsylvania, has digitized a collection of World War I posters from its Manuscript Group 200 – Poster Collection and made them available online. This assemblage consists of 258 posters, most of which include color or black-and-white illustrations. The posters were produced primarily on a national scale, although some were also made locally. Most were created in the United States, however, a number were manufactured in Europe, particularly in Britain, France and Italy. Some portray famous and legendary figures such as Joan of Arc and Uncle Sam, while others feature illustrations of common soldiers and civilians. The posters helped to fan the fires of patriotism throughout the United States during the Great War, and helped to transition the country’s position from one of isolationism to one of openly becoming military partners with the Allied Forces in Europe."

Then, once you've got your hackles up to run a pulp game set in the teens, roaring 20's or all the way through World War II, why not pick up Amazing Adventures and give it a go? 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Daily Cosplay

Annette Lunde as Captain America

5th Edition Gaming on Kickstarter

5th Edition Familiars & Companions is the ultimate resource for all your familiars and companions. In a well balanced approach we bring the classic animal companion back to life. We restore the wizard's familiar to its prominent place. But there is so much more....

Check out the full Kickstarter by clicking the picture below!

Imaginarium ~ The Murk

Word of the Day -- Plane (tool)

A hand plane is a tool for shaping wood. When powered by electricity, the tool may be called a planer. Planes are used to flatten, reduce the thickness of, and impart a smooth surface to a rough piece of lumber or timber. Planing is used to produce horizontal, vertical, or inclined flat surfaces on workpieces usually too large for shaping. Special types of planes are designed to cut joints or decorative mouldings.

Hand planes are generally the combination of a cutting edge, such as a sharpened metal plate, attached to a firm body, that when moved over a wood surface, take up relatively uniform shavings, by nature of the body riding on the 'high spots' in the wood, and also by providing a relatively constant angle to the cutting edge, render the planed surface very smooth. A cutter which extends below the bottom surface, or sole, of the plane slices off shavings of wood. A large, flat sole on a plane guides the cutter to remove only the highest parts of an imperfect surface, until, after several passes, the surface is flat and smooth. When used for flattening, bench planes with longer soles are preferred for boards with longer longitudinal dimensions. A longer sole registers against a greater portion of the board's face or edge surface which leads to a more consistently flat surface or straighter edge. Conversely, using a smaller plane allows for more localized low or high spots to remain.

Though most planes are pushed across a piece of wood, holding it with one or both hands, Japanese planes are pulled toward the body, not pushed away.

Woodworking machinery that perform the same function as hand planes include the jointer and the thickness planer, also called a thicknesser. When rough lumber is reduced to dimensional lumber, a large electric motor or internal combustion engine will drive a thickness planer that removes excess wood to create a uniform, smooth surface on all four sides of the lumber and may also plane the edges.

Grizzled Warrior

Ten years of grinding dungeon crawls, looting treasure troves, fighting monsters in the deep places of the earth.

Your youth is spent . . . .


Lego Star Wars!

Essays in Pop Culture

 Try Not to Think About It

Its best if you don't spend too much time trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of fantasy and science fiction worlds. They are what they are for a reason.

When you watch a western, you can look for realism. That makes sense. The movie is grounded in a genre that is real. The cowboys rode horses. The Cheyenne had large war bonnets. The trains belched smoke. But no one had giant mechanical spiders that they used to terrorize a community with (we're looking at you Wild Wild West). A little research in any number of books on dress and society can yield a vibrant field of exciting genre fiction.

Its different on the other side of the tracks.

In movies like Star Wars, or shows like the Walking Dead, the authors don't have to ground anything in realism. A little is good, but too much spoils the fun. Midi-chlorians were used to explain the force in the prequels. People were not thrilled with it (well the vocal ones were not). It took the mystical away form the Force and made it explained the magic trick. And the magic trick was a little less magic after that. But none of it was necessary, no one really questioned what the force was. It was the Force.

Subtle explanation is better. When you watch the Walking Dead the characters don't seem to understand the world of the zombie...shoot them in the head you say! But from what I understand there are no zombies in pre-walker culture. There is no concept of the undead. So no one would know what to do. But this is never explained in the show. It doesn't matter. It doesn't need to be. Just leave it alone. Try not to think about it.

And that's really the rub here. Jaws was a horror movie. It wasn't a nature documentary. Sharks don't have the capacity to recognize people and hunt them individually (its more random, like in Sharknado). They have very limited emotional responses if at all. Jaws is a horror movie. Try not to think about it.

In short, whether creating or watching, try not to think too much about it. Just slip into the moment and run with Rick and crew from the walkers, or life the X-wing fighter out of the swap or swim like a mothers-son-of-a-bitch to get away from that shark!