Friday, March 29, 2013

Daily Cosplay


The Liberian Civil War began in 1989 and lasted off and on for years. It was particularly brutal and included some of the most bizarre and strange people to have walked the earth. In the midst of mind numbing brutality men rose to the fore to command legions of wild eyed, drug crazed armies, many composed of children. In their midst was the Prince, Charles Taylor, crazy generals like Mosquito and Mosquito Spray.

But above them all towered the utter chaos and evil terror of General Butt Naked. He led a band of soldier, again many children, in battle for several years. Before each battle he and his cohort would strip off their clothes, leaving only shoes on their feet, take up their weapons and charge into battle. But before that the general would kid nap a child, murder it, drink its blood and feed the child to his troops.

They were merciless on the field of slaughter which they commanded so well.

Read more about General Butt Naked.

The General has recanted his evil and works now as the founder of an evangelical church in Liberia helping the poor and victims of the war. Many of his remaining cohorts have joined him. There is no doubt, of course, that if the war erupts again the General will rise again.

Heading into the Black

Curiosity's on board computers seem to be working fine. A noted earlier computer A went into safe mode and they used the back up to keep things running. A is good to go now, the software glitch fixed, and B is working as well. The B computer is running the show right now.

However, the Red Planet is moving behind the sun shortly, so on April 4 Curiosity will go into the black, all communications will cease out of fear that the sun may interfere with a transmission and damage the computers. He'll be up there alone and in the black for the better part of a month.

In the meantime Curiosity it analyzing some particle dust taken from a dig.

Meanwhile Voyager continues her cross-universal trip; earth as seen from her on board camera.

Armor Up

A Giant of the Sea

Its hard enough to run sea-borne adventures in RPGs, let alone under water adventures.

Years ago we published The Hermit by Gary Gygax; it contained a really cool sequence where shrunken characters found themselves at the bottom of a pond, looking up at swimming fish. It opened up a whole new vista of adventuring material, material usually unreachable by most game masters.

But cracking that nut offers wonderful potential. When one reads about the giant squid, that grows up to 40+ feet long, it is easy to imagine the chaos of such a battle. A creature moving in all the space around you, above and below, behind and in front; tentacles grasping and pulling you in. Its a true monster of the deep. And this does even take into account the other actual creatures that dwell in the earth's oceans.

Very cool stuff, if it can be cracked.

Chariots of the Gods

Bored at Work . . . Make an RPG

Breakdaddy sent me over an interesting article yesterday about an accountant who sat down in excel and made a fully interactive RPG. Gary Walkin designed the game; it comes complete with monsters, story lines, items and thousands of possible encounters. You can play it in most versions of excel.

It is called Arena.xlsm and you can download by hoping over to Gizmodo and downloading the game (I would upload it for download but I'm entirely too lazy for all that craziness).

post script: one can't help but wonder if Gary did this on the clock or off. He might need less free time!

Word of the Day -- Dundrearies

Dundrearies are long flowing sideburns.  This might be the new look for the Trolls.  What do you think?

In the United States, Our American Cousin by Tom Taylor is often best remembered as the play Abraham Lincoln was watching at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Word lovers may also recall that the show gave us "dundrearies," a name for the long, bushy sideburns (called "Piccadilly weepers" in England). The term for that particular men's hair fashion, which was popular between 1840 and 1870, comes from the name of Lord Dundreary, a character in the play who sported those elegant whiskers. The name can also be used in the attributive form "dundreary whiskers."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Take our short survey, win a free book! It could be you...

Hey all! We have another survey going that we'd like for you to try. We are giving a free PDF book of your choice to one survey taker chosen at random. And if we get at least 300 respondents, we will give it away to 2 people. If we reach 500, we'll up that to 3 people! So tell your friends, neighbors, buddies, enemies, etc! Here is the link: But hurry, the survey only goes through the end of March.

Daily Cosplay

Russian Glacier Lakes and Hitler

This news feed went so far south that it catches one by surprise . . . .

The Russians have, for some time, been drilling in Antarctica, attempting to breach the wall of an under-glacial fresh water lake. Several months ago they broke through the nearly 3000 meters of ice to tap the water.

What they found was . . . well, water. But it had some microbial creatures in it that were new to us and apparently survived in the deep dark and cold of their monumental tomb.

But then, the Russian media report that this is close to where Admiral Donitz claimed that the Third Reich had built a secret fortress to house the Furor. And that after the war several submarines were sent there, carrying secret records, and the remains of Adolf and Eva in order to clone them later.

Leave it to the Russians.

Ria Novosti.

I guess down there, somewhere in the ice locked caverns of the remnants of the Nazi Empire there stands a whole crop of Hitler Clones . . .

Armor Up

What Would Dracula Say

Bats are awesome. I know this because they are continually getting in the print shop and flying around. They fly and look cool. And apparently, as was pointed out to me not long ago on this blog, their bones are so weak they can hardly carry their own body weight (most of them). As a mammal I'm thinking they are part of our extended family tree; and as the only flying mammal they are unique.

This is awesome:

BUT . . .  apparently bats are frequently eaten by spiders, they are snared in the spider's web and devoured like any old insect. These are usually younger bats of course as older ones can break the webbing.

But being a mammal, and therefor part of my extending family tree, the bat deserves a little better than to be snared in a giant arachnid's web, trussed up, dehydrated and the juices drained from his fragile little body. It might be time to petition the UN to pass a spider-on-bat resolution or something.

One wonders what dracula would do if he were flying around in bat form and became ensnared in a spider web. I suppose he could transform back . . . but what an inglorious end if the spider bit him first.


Word of the Day -- Aegis

Aegis has several meanings: 1. : a shield or breastplate; 2a : protection b : controlling or conditioning influence; and 3: auspices, sponsorship b: control or guidance especially by an individual, group, or system.

We borrowed "aegis" from Latin, but the word ultimately derives from the Greek noun "aigis," which means "goatskin." In ancient Greek mythology, an aegis was something that offered physical protection. In some stories, it was the thundercloud where Zeus kept the thunderbolts he used as weapons. In others, the aegis was a magical protective cloak made from the skin of the goat that had suckled Zeus as an infant. The word first entered English in the 16th century as a noun meaning "shield" or "protection," and by the 20th century it had acquired the extended senses of "auspices" or "sponsorship."

Vehicle 19 Trailer

Looks like a good chase movie; cars, guns and explosions. Beautiful people doing extraordinary things. I'm in . . .

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Daily Cosplay

 Harlaquin (original I think) and Steam Punk Poison Ivy

The Rage of Love

A super storm has been raging on the south pole of our sister planet, Venus for some time  now. Apparently it breaks up and then reforms, creating giant super cyclones. We first took note of them in 2006 and have watched these cyclones form and re-form, maybe marking a permanent part of our sister's planetary atmosphere.

Venus moves very slowly, taking 243 earth days to spin on its axis . . . give truth to the saying its a "long days night"; its atmosphere however thunders across the planet at breakneck speeds, circling it every four days or so. The cause has baffled scientists for some time and the resident cyclones only increase their consternation.

The eye of the storm!

Armor Up


Scientists want to bring back 24 different species that have become extinct in the past few hundred to several thousands of years. They include the dodo bird, tasmanian devil, and mammoth.

Read more here.

This is an interesting concept, and has all kinds of implications. Presumably they are going to place the embryos of targetted species in the wombs of existing species. If so, we'll find out fast . . . assuming the creature survives . . . if the DNA of the mother can influence the creature itself. And if so, all manny of hybrid beasts could be born.

Not only can we see the mammoth once again tread the plains of North America and Northern Europe, but  maybe, just maybe we can bring back, er actually create (?) beasts like the manticore or chimera and whatever this thing is that is just bad ass!

The Dimetrodon

Still one of the coolest dinosaurs to date . . . .

Word of the Day -- Wifty

Those Trolls are a wifty lot...

Wifty is: eccentrically silly, giddy, or inane : ditzy. 
"Wifty" is a synonym of "ditzy." And, like "ditzy," its origins remain unknown. The earliest known print appearance of "wifty" is in a quotation that appeared in the Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Pennsylvania) in 1972, though the word was certainly being used in spoken English before that. "Ditzy" appears to be almost as old as "wifty"—we are able to trace it back to at least 1974. But "dizzy," which in its Old English origins meant "foolish" or "stupid," has been used in a sense similar to "ditzy" or "wifty" since the 16th century.

Ra's Going to Lose His Way

By now you may or may not have heard that a group of Russian tourists slipped past security and climbed one of the pyramids at Giza. The took pictures of the world from the top of the greatest of all man's tombs.

The pictures themselves are amazing, the view breathtaking, the climb a feat to be sung about . . . but there is something a little disturbing about the pics. You can see the city lights slowly crawling across the desert toward the pyramids like a slow moving tide of light.

Its going to mess up Ra's boat.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Daily Cosplay

The King Upon the Chair

Frederick Barbarossa "Red Beard" ruled the Germany Principalities for over 30 years; he reigned as the Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Germans. His armies fought battles throughout Central Europe against brigands, knights, lords and Popes. His energy was unsurpassed and his abilities equal to those of Henry II of England, perhaps the greatest of all medieval monarchs.

His long reign ended in the far east where he led a Crusader Army. He joined with Richard the Lion Hearted and Philip Augustus of France on Crusade. While his contemporaries traveled by sea (though Philip never actually left France, being far to wise for that) and conquered the island of Cyprus, Frederick traveled by land. His army, so vast, could not find ships enough to carry them. They crossed the long Balkan peninsula and then over the straights to Anatolia.

In Asia Minor not far from the borders of Syria the Emperor fell from his steed while crossing a river. The torrent caught him and unable to pull himself out he drowned (though some say he caught cold and died later). Or so it is said.

But it was said back in Germany, that this was not so, that the King had not fallen; there it was known far and wide that the King left his living host and retired to a great mountain in the Black Forest in southern Germany where he gathered his greatest knights about him. There he sits still upon his throne and tis said that when his beard, white now with time and age, reaches the floor and the ravens cease to fly around the mountain, that he shall come again and lead the Germans to greatness once more.

Very Cool Piece by Horsley

Ralph Horsley

Plunder the Dens! Sunday is the final day to save big!

A quick reminder, the big "Plunder the Dens" sale is in full gear.  From now until the end of March, save 20 - 50% off items in the Troll Lord Store.  And... we now have coupons!  So if you spend 50 dollars, you will get an additional 10% off of your total purchase.  And if you spend 100 dollars, you will get an additional 20% off your total purchase! So come Plunder the Dens!  In order to get the additional coupon savings, you need to enter one of the following codes in the Discount code field during checkout.  If you spend $50, put in: Plunder the Dens 50 and if you spend $100, put in Plunder the Dens 100 and start saving today!  But even if you don't spend 50, you can still save big on ALL our items.

And that's not all, you can also Plunder the PDF Dens too! For any purchase you make in our print store during the sale, you will receive a 35% coupon for RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.  There's never been a better time to save on all the Trolls have to offer, so come Plunder the Dens today!

Armor Up

Dang Fur Blasted Cats!

Long ago, in a monestary in Croatia, a monk labored for hours over his manuscript; painfully etching the calligraphy if his craft, marking down the knowledge of his day in a beautifully rendered script.

Then his cat knocked over his ink bottle and ran across the book  . . .

Songs from the Drowned Lands ~ Kernaghan

Recently I took a trip to New York (the city) and needed something to read that I could easily carry on the plane. I don't really buy pa...