Thursday, April 24, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Just Cool)

Sword and sorcery note on game time

I believe the average game time for most RPGs is in the are of 4 hours of play per session. I don't know if this true or not. My feeling for a sword and sorcery game is that the 'adventure sessions' should run more like short stories and not chapters an book. An adventure should be short, perhaps and hour to two hours.

I like this idea. Sword and sorcery is quick and to the point and action oriented. It is better suited to the short story and novella rather than novel or the dreaded 3 in a series model. Running a quick paced action oriented adventure would be different than running an adventure in which exploration and treasure finding are the key elements.


Of course one could run as many adventures back to back as one desired, making a session as long as one wanted. Just thinking to those days of yore in our youth when we would run 12 hours of games or more, we could have done six or more adventures in one night. A whole book of adventure so to speak.
Each edition of the game and other role playing games allow for differing amounts of activities to occur in this time frame. Those with more crunching to undertake tasks are, generally, more restrictive in 'how much can occur' in that four hours than those with low crunch. So, to keep the game in under two hours and include some combat and other activities, a low crunch game is necessary.
And, did you know there was a Gore movie.

Kickstarter News

We will submit the Kickstarter for the Castles and Crusade game today and will probably go live on it on Monday or Tuesday, assuming all goes well.

This will include some simple pledge levels, basically 8 where you can get the Players Handbook, the PH and Monsters and Treasure, the PH and MT and Castle Keepers Guide, a retailer level, digital only level and a combination of the above that include the leather books.

Lots of stretch goals and add-ons for you.

Look for it soon!


Five Line Movie Review ~ The Legend of Hercules

I had a gander at Hercules the other day, not the one with the Rock in it, but the other one, the one that shot through the movie theaters so fast last month. Here's a five line movie review:

Hercules is well acted with some cool costumes and sets. The movie has next to little relation to the actual story of Hercules, but is rather a conglomeration of Roman and Greek culture into some weird rat-king like story. The story is a little disjoined, almost as if it needed about 30 more minutes of screen time, but it does have an intense romance (well portrayed) and some good action scenes. Its G rated as far as action and violence are concerned, more like the tv show of the same name. The sword-weilding lightening bolt scene at the end is pretty damn fun.

I give it a laager of trolls!

Movie Trailer ~ Sin City

Heading Up

Word of the Day -- Keep

A keep (from the Middle English kype) is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but usually consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the castle fall to an adversary. The first keeps were made of timber and formed a key part of the motte and bailey castles that emerged in Normandy and Anjou during the 10th century; the design spread to England as a result of the Norman invasion of 1066, and in turn spread into Wales during the second half of the 11th century and into Ireland in the 1170s. The Anglo-Normans and French rulers began to build stone keeps during the 10th and 11th centuries; these included Norman keeps, with a square or rectangular design, and circular shell keeps. Stone keeps carried considerable political as well as military importance and could take up to a decade to build.

Armor Up (Ren Knight)

That's Why Goergia is so Bumpy

For a long great while geologists have pondered on the large, odd rock formations with unusually high magnetism beneath the surface of Georgia and Alabama. They have recently unearthed the reasons (see what i did there?) and have come to the conclusion that that region was part of a suture that connected the two continents 250 million years ago.

I think that means that Florida was almost part of Africa…if the rock had broken differently or the Gulf of Mexico could be filled with Tarzan's jungle.

Sales Tax Wars (of life finds a way)

Like drunken gamers studies are staggering out of various think-tank doors . . . these latest have tracked the affects of sales tax on Amazon stores. A bundle of states passed laws charging the online retailer a sales tax. It forced Amazon to pull some of its programs from those states, but was supposed to drive business to brick and mortar.

It failed.

Sales dropped 10-24%, however brick and mortar only picked up 2%. This is largely due to people using the Amazon marketplace and the smaller vendors.

Like they said about life in Jurassic Park….it will find a way. Same goes for avoiding taxes…people will find a way.

Read more.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Alice)

Sting has Nothing on This Guy

More than 100 years ago, a young German man named Richard Platz stuffed a message into a brown beer bottle, then tossed the bottle into the Baltic Sea during a nature hike.

Platz, the 20-year-old son of a baker, had no way of knowing that his message would survive two world wars, the Great Depression and the Cold War — not to mention more than a century of brutal winters and ocean storms.

Last month, a German fisherman trolling the waters of the Baltic Sea fished Platz's bottle out of the water, where it apparently had been floating since May 17, 1913. Some authorities believe that — at 101 years of age — it may be the world's oldest message in a bottle.

Scientists believe the message, when translated, says: "C&C is my favorite RPG"  :-)  Actually, the message asked the finder to send the postcard back to the author's home address in Berlin.  I remember doing something like that as a kid in the Spring River with a friend.  Perhaps in 100 years someone will find my stick figure drawing of my dog.

Venture Bros. Coming Back

This cartoon has been running on Adult Swim for five or so seasons. Its not bad, though I haven't followed it much. Dark Horse is putting out a full sized art book this October with original art, storyboards etc etc. Look for that sucker.

I don't know about Venture Bros, but it does remind me of the classic Thunderbirds!

Armor Up (Sand Man eh)

Why Your Body Rocks

Word of the Day -- Pack Saddle

A pack saddle is any device designed to be secured on the back of a horse, mule, or other working animal so it can carry heavy loads such as luggage, firewood, small cannons or other weapons too heavy to be carried by humans.

Ideally the pack saddle rests on a saddle blanket or saddle pad to spread the weight of the saddle and its burden on the pack animal's back. The underside of the pack saddle is designed to conform well to the shape of the pack animal's back. It is typically divided into two symmetrical parts separated by a gap at the top to ensure that the weight being carried does not rest on the draft animal's backbone and
to provide good ventilation to promote the evaporation of sweat.

The pack saddle consists of a tree, or the wooden blocks that sit on the horse's back, the half breed which is the canvas saddle cover, the breeching and often a crupper which prevents the loaded saddle from sliding too far forward and the breast collar which holds the loaded saddle from sliding too far back on the packhorse or mule. The flexible bars on this packsaddle adjust to a horse's back and offer several options for hanging panniers.

There are several styles of pack saddles. The cross buck style has crossed wooden bars to attach sling ropes. The army style of pack saddle has two large metal hooks each side for hanging pack bags or crates. The Decker style has two rings for tying sling ropes.

The modern pack saddle is usually not intended to support a human rider. The upper side of the pack saddle resembles a rack to let its load rest on and be tied on with ropes, straps, a surcingle or other devices. One historical exception was a pack saddle used in feudal Japan by non-samurai class commoners who were not allowed to use riding saddles (kura) for transportation.


Sorry Betty. We missed your birthday.

So here's to you Betty Page.

Happy Belated Birthday!

Asteroids Pummel Earth

Not surprising, but those studying the earth's various spheres have discovered that more asteroids hit the earth than previously thought . . . by whom I'm not sure. But it seems some 16 or so have hit us in the past decade. Not a bad score.

Its an interesting video but like all the fear mongering that goes on these days it leaves us thinking that this is new. Of course its not new. Its been going on for about 4 billion years, or however long we've been running about the sun. It goes on to discuss the strategy of "blind luck" that earth practices as if there is some planetary defense force that is plotting and planning to defend the earth from the Predators and Aliens.

There is. There is no strategy. Its like having a strategy to avoid a tornado. You can move if you see it coming, but sometimes, sadly, you don't.

No reason to live in fear.

Cool video though.

Well we do have this guy…

Monday, April 21, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Borderlands)

Suffered For Want

Those same winds crossed the ruins of Alanti so the shattered remains of the dwarves who dwelt there still and the men of the ancient Engale who served them, avoided the bitterness of the cold of the dark and dwelt in some peace. Though here, as everywhere, the Shroud blocked out the sun and men suffered for want.

~The Codex of Aihrde


War for Space

Nah, this is news on Milton's desk or the red stapler. Apparently a US government think tank has released a report on the dangers posed by other countries space program to the US satellites and all that that entails.

You can read the report here.

But we better get some movies out of this, and something better than Moonraker for heaven's sake!

But here's Milton's desk anyway . . .

Armor Up

Movie Trailer ~ Whitewash

Not sure what to make of this one . . . . love Thomas Haden Church though.

Word of the Day -- Tontine

A tontine is an investment plan for raising capital, devised in the 17th century and relatively widespread in the 18th and 19th centuries. It combines features of a group annuity and a lottery. Each subscriber pays an agreed sum into the fund, and thereafter receives an annuity. As members die, their shares devolve to the other participants, and so the value of each annuity increases. On the death of the last member, the scheme is wound up. In a variant, which has provided the plot device for most fictional versions, upon the death of the penultimate member the capital passes to the last survivor.

The investment plan is named after Neapolitan banker Lorenzo de Tonti, who is credited with inventing it in France in 1653, although it has been suggested that he merely modified existing Italian investment schemes.  Tonti put his proposal to the French royal government, but after consideration it was rejected by the Parlement de Paris. The first true tontine was therefore organised in the city of Kampen in the Netherlands in 1670. The French finally established a state tontine in 1689 (though it was not described by that name because Tonti had died in disgrace, about five years earlier). The English government organised a tontine in 1693. Nine further government tontines were organised in France down to 1759; four more in Britain down to 1789; and others in the Netherlands and some of the German states. Those in Britain were not fully subscribed, and in general the British schemes tended to be less popular and successful than their continental counterparts.

By the end of the 18th century, the tontine had fallen out of favour as a revenue-raising instrument with governments, but smaller-scale and less formal tontines continued to be arranged between individuals or to raise funds for specific projects throughout the 19th century, and, in modified form, to the present day.

1968 Movie Poster

Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton should be in every movie.  Really, every movie. Here's some cult classics right here .  .  .

Philip the Ghost

Back in the long ago days of the 1970s when it seems everyone was stoned on LSD . . . not sure if you get stoned or high or trip on LSD . . .  people were disco dancing, clothes shrank at the waist and exploded at the foot, painting turned into soup cans, and broadway into a weird technicolor dream coat it seems the Owen Group (not to be mistaken for the Owen Brothers) decided to create a spirit named Philip.

This group of parapyschologists or pyschopyschiatrists or whatever decided to create a fictional spirit named Philip. They drew his picture, gave him a history, and bladerunnered him up. In a seance they were able to actually speak to him, he rapped on the table, dimmed the lights and so forth.

io9 has more.

I don't even know what to make of this, but that it didn't surprise me for a moment when I saw the year 1973.