Friday, August 30, 2013

Daily Cosplay

Plunder the Belabored Trolls! Huge Labor Day Weekend Sale!

Labor day is upon us and we are hard at work as always so its a great time to once again"PLUNDER THE DENS". Join the mayehm of this SITE WIDE SALE with COUPONS!

From now until the end of later, save 20 - 50% off items in the Troll Lord StoreBut there's MORE. If you spend $50.00, you can get an additional 10%off of your total purchase. If you spend $100.00, you can get an additional 25% off your total purchase!
In order to get the additional savings, you need to enter one of the following codes in the Discount code field during checkout.  If you spend $50, put in: BELABORSALE10 and if you spend $100, put in: BELABORSALE25 and start saving today!

Friday Music

Enjoy this combo of Lindsey Sterling (Davis' favorite you tuber) and Peter Hollens.

Sups and The Batman Land in Detroit

Looks like Warner Bros has scored a sweet deal to film the next Man of Steel in the Motor City, Detroit. The city has granted some 35 million in tax incentives to the movie production house to film in Detroit. The film is expected to pump about 150 million into the local economy which is great news for that city's exhausted treasury.

Surveying the ruins of Motor City it looks like both Metropolis and Gotham are in a rough state. But who better to bail them out than two of the greatest American icons. 

Aurora, Bounty Killer - Movie Trailers


I like toilet paper too much to buy into the anti-corporation theme, but this movie has a wenebago being pulled by a pack of motorcycles. So all I can say is, I'm in!

Pulp Heroes: The Shadow

The Shadow is without a doubt one of the most well-known of the various heroes of the Pulp era. The radio serial's catch phrase, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?" has found its way into popular culture, so deeply in fact that many don't even know where it originated.

Like many pulp heroes, the Shadow began in a series of pulp novels, and then branched out into other media, from radio and serials to comic strips and even to a 1994 film starring Alec Baldwin as the titular hero. There is a new film rumored to be in the works, with such names as Sam Raimi and Quentin Tarantino (two luminaries of modern pulp) whispered to be attached.

Originally the narrator of a detective story radio hour, eventually the popularity and mystique of the character led to him being developed as a hero in his own right, the star of a series of pulp novels penned by Walter B. Gibson using the pen name of Maxwell Grant and claiming the stories were "from The Shadow's private annals as told to" him.

A wealthy businessman trained by eastern mystics as a master of disguise and super sleuth with the power "to cloud men's minds," the Shadow could be viewed as something of a prototype of Batman, who debuted 9 years later.

In Amazing Adventures, the Shadow would be a multiclassed Gumshoe/Mentalist.

Castles in the Mist

Long centuries ago Dunnttar was home to men and women who lived out their lives in the Scottish wilderness upon the edge of the sea. Here picts built hill forts (Dun being the pictish word for fort or stronghold) and later Christians built a stone church (5th century). By the ninth century the headland overlooking the sea played host to walls, a gatehouse to block access and a number of stone buildings to house the people who dwelt there. These eventually evolved into a castle whose walls dominated the headland.

The castle was thriving by the 12th century and played host to a quest that involved a magic shield. By the 13th century the castle was sacked twice and burned during the Scottish Wars and the ruins left until rebuilt in the 14th century. Wars continued to plague the castle for centuries, reducing it at times, only to see it rebuilt.

When at last Great Britain settled into her routines the castle, in partial ruins, found a new owner and was dismantled by a building firm, who presumably sold the stone for other works.

In 1925 the property was bought by the 1st Viscount Cowdray. His family has attempted to repair it for years.


Bugei no jo

The 19th century Bugei no jo text has been deciphered and translated. The text is a teaching manual for young Samurai, imparting rituals, methods and translations of other masters to the martial arts.

"When knowledge is mature, the mind forgets about the hand, the hand forgets about the sword." 

The book does however, lack specifics about techniques, restricting itself to advice couched in terms much like the above. The actual techniques were taught by a Master, and kept secret for reasons of mysticism and safety . . . it doing no good to allow your enemy access to your style and technique.


In these two photos, look as you might, but you won't find fear.

Armor Up (Maya Warrior)

Well Now this is a Good Idea

Cuddle shmuddle, you can jam your arm down between the slates and sleep on your side! Now we're talking.  But it does fight Honeymoon Palsy! What more can you ask. 

I'm in!

World of Warcraft Movie News

It looks like WOW is going to get its own movie at long last. It looks like it is going to be in live action as the director has mentioned that he's going to pitch in the same tone as Lord of the Rings, capturing the epic feel of the early Warcraft game.


This is all very cool news, but maybe a version like these old Warhammer vids:


Cassini is sending back mixed signals from Titan. It seems as though the 'mountains' on Titan do no possess the normal amount of gravity for a rock formation of that mass on a moon of that size. Generally around mountains there is a greater pull as their is so much more mass, but on Titan that is not the case. This has lead some to speculate that Saturn's moon is actually covered in a rigid ice sheet and the mountains we see are actually icebergs of biblical proportions.

This means the moon isn't as geologically active as we had at first suspected.

The verdict is still out on this however and the old fly by has to do more research, or alternatively, we need to get more boots on the ground . . . and by more, I mean one.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Daily Cosplay (Shiva)

Walking Dead (S4) Comic Con Trailer

Somehow I missed this .  .  . by a  month. Well, that is about Troll Time!

Word of the Day -- Contraband

The world of Aihrde is rife with contraband... 

Contraband is illegal or prohibited traffic in goods, smuggling; also goods or merchandise whose importation, exportation, or possession is forbidden.

Contraband first appeared in English in the early 1500s as a borrowing of Italian "contrabbando." This Italian word can be traced to the Medieval Latin word "contrabannum," a combination of contra- (against) and bannum (decree). Bannum is Germanic in origin and is related to Old High German bannan (to command). Bannan is also related to Middle English bannen (to summon or to curse), the source of the English verb ban (which now means to prohibit but which once also meant to curse).


Armor Up

Dragon Death (Game Update)

Much as promised I used the pictures from yesterday's blog in last night's game. The party encountered a man in the wilderness. He approached their campfire and asked to join them for warmth. He had an odd perfumed smell about him, masking a deeper stench. He wore ragged hunters clothes and carried al one sword he didn't know how to manage. His speech was halting and he had no emotive responses, even after the wizard attempted to surprise  him by cantripping the fire to light. A long, though strange, conversation ensued before he invited the party to join him in a cave on yonder hillock to trade his catch for some new clothes.

In route the cleric pretended to trip, grabbed the man's cloak and snapped his neck back. It snapped back so violently that it rather showed the fellow had no real neck muscles. At this point though they were itching to kill what the rightfully suspected was an undead creature the wizard asked them to let it play out and see where he would take them.

The hillock was some miles off and they approached it in the dark. Once there they sensed what they knew to be true, it was some type of trap. But almost simultaneously they discovered a pack of goblins climbing the slopes and a dragon lying in the ruins upon the hill. 

Without a moment's notice Ki, the knight, lopped off the undead's head and charged with the dwarf up the hill. The dragon frighted and leapt up into the ruins. The rest of the party followed after (the goblins scattered at sign of the dragon) and a band of undead began charging out of the cave.

At this point the knight transformed into his avatar, a giant crow and flew up to circle around, leaving the dwarf to suffer the the sorcery of the dragon who cast a suggestion upon him, easing off his attack. But by now the wizard and cleric joined the fray and attacked the dragon, passing the dwarf paladin as they charged up the hill. In the confused melee that followed thew wizard dimension doored himself and the cleric on top of the ruined tower where the dragon had crawled and attacked. The knight transformed back and leapt upon the dragon's back hacking with his dragon slayer. The paladin broke the sorcerous spell only in time to see the undead pile upon him. He called on the power of the All Father and blasted them from the plane of Aihrde with one a turn. 

Back in the tower the party hammered the dragon hard but it spun around in a violent attack upon the tower, brining it to ruin with its tail, wings, arms, and legs. As the whole tower fell the cleric plunged into the rubble and the wizard cast fly on himself. The dragon then rose from the collapsing building with the knight on his back and breathed his mighty gaseous flaming breath upon the wizard. He failed his save and was killed, falling 20 feet into the rubble. 

The paladin and cleric rushed to attack the dragon but too late as it rose on high and flew up into the air spinning wildly, moving at break-neck speed as the knight rained blows on him with the dragon slayer. Three rounds into it the knight failed his dexterity check as the dragons wild aerial antics took their tole and he plummeted from 750 feet, only to crash into the earth. He was killed instantly. 

The dragon flew off into the distance and the party gathered their dead. After much debate with a  now liberated cobylnau familiar they summoned to fey who owed the party a boon and these promised to bring aid to bring the characters back from the Stone Fields. A murder of crows came, bringing back the dead souls and restoring the bodies health and limb.

Awesome game with a some magnificent heroics on the battlefield.

This is who they fought, from yesterday, though he was only a quarter the size of this one.

Wings of Terror

Pulp Locales: Cabaret l'Enfer!

Okay, seriously, this needs to go into an Amazing Adventures game that has even a whisper of the supernatural involved. Or even just one that needs a good base of operations for an evil secret society like the Hellfire Club.

Holy crap, is that evocative.

And yes, I do intend to detail it for the game!

Here's a YouTube video with images from l'Enfer and its spiritual sister clubs, Ciel (Heaven), and Neant (nothing, a death-themed club).

Curiosity and the Giggly Eye of Doom

Our intrepid adventurer Curiosity has been wandering across the Martian landscape for several weeks now, headed on his journey toward Mount Sharp. He can only travel a few feet each day, wanting, as he does, to avoid rocks, crevices, and other pit-falls . . . though it seems odd to define a rock as a pit-fall. So this leaves him plenty of time to site see.

Recently he saw a solar eclipse, or as much of one as the poor misshapen Matian moon, Phobos can manage. Curiosity captured a snap shot.

Of course, it might just be some wild eyed demigod come to gawk at Red Planet.

47 Ronin - International Trailer

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Daily Cosplay

Megellan Sails Again

Well not really, but they are working hard to bring together the Great Megellan Telescope whose mirrors, some of which are 20 tons, will allow us to see deeper into the cosmos than ever before. The telescope, once complete, will reside in Chili and employ seven giant mirrors and dozens of smaller ones to mitigate the blurring affect of the atmosphere.

It will be several years before its complete.

Read on.

Armor Up (REALLY)

Okay I can't do this one justice on the blog, you have to go to this guys page. The series of pictures are really cool and show you the depth of this piece. It is down right amazing, inspiring and thank goodness I'm gaming tonight because I just landed the encounter.

There's more there than you know!

Beowulf's Hall Unearthed

Archeologists have unearthed what they believe to be the hall highlighted in the Saga of Beowulfjust on the outskirts of Cophenhagen. Lejgre's first royal hall was called the greatest hall in the world in the saga and was the scene of much of the action of the epic poem. The excavations place the halls use and construction around the 5th and 6th centuries, placing it roughly in the right time zone.

Read more here. 

I'm not certain that there can ever be clear evidence linking the poem and site (though we do know where legendary Delphi is), but what was of equal interest was the diet of those who lived in the hall. According to the bones found at the site they ate "suckling pig, beef, mutton, goat meat, venison, goose, duck, chicken and fish." I'm not sure what that last bit is, some type of tuber I guess, but the rest of it just confirms that the Vikings achieved the pinnacle of human evolution 1400 years ago!

post script: I think I use this image more than any other.

The Gottland in Spring

The Gottland lies in the World of Aihrde, highlighted in recently released Rune Lore.

Tropes of Pulp 1: What is Pulp?

Hi, everyone, Jason Vey, here. I'm the author of Amazing Adventures, and I'm thrilled to be contributing to the Troll Dens!

I was thinking about what to post for my inaugural blog, and it occurred to me I should address a question I get all the time when I'm giving people the schtick about AA.

"A pulp RPG is all well and good," they say, "But what exactly constitutes pulp?"

That's a better question than people realize, and it's a much harder question to answer than people realize. You see, Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian is pulp, as is H.P. Lovecraft's Randolph Carter. Philip Marlowe, P.I., the creation of Raymond Chandler, is also pulp. Tarzan and John Carter also apply. So does Fu Manchu.

The term "Pulp," as many know, really was just applied to the cheap paper on which the genre fiction magazines of the early- to mid-20th century were printed. So to tell the truth, "pulp" applies to any sort of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, or adventure story that has its roots in that tradition. In the modern sense, the term has been expanded to include such figures as Indiana Jones, and retconned to include heroes like Allan Quatermain. In an ultra-modern sense, the films of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez champion many elements that are in the pulp tradition.

So where does that leave Amazing Adventures? Well, there are certainly tropes that people generally associate more with pulp than others. Lost cities to explore, two-fisted heroes (be those fists armed or empty), wisecracking archaeologists, hard-boiled investigators, femme fatales, and a distinctly 1920's to 1940's setting full of stereotypes and cliches. If you can deliver a Bogart speech, or convincingly utter the phrase "trust me," you've probably got a handle on what it takes to do pulp.With a very little work, AA can handle just about any type of pulp you can imagine, all 99% compatible with Castles & Crusades. In fact, next time I'm going to talk a bit about how you can adapt C&C to serve your AA game.

I don't want to get too longwinded with this, so I'll leave that little introduction to hopefully whet your whistle, and know there's much more to come!  For now, here's a gem that should occupy hours of time--I know it did for me....

The PULP-O-MIZER custom pulp cover generator! If you're ever at a loss for an adventure idea, play around with this for awhile--it'll come to you!

Spawn Movie Reboot

For over a decade now, pushing two really, Todd McFarlane, creator of the Spawn comic book, has been talking about another live action movie for his title character. The first movie rolled out back in the 90s to some moderate success, the follow up however, may start shooting next year.

McFarlane is supposed to deliver a script by end of year as "they" are putting a lot of pressure on him. I'm not really sure who They is in this article at the Gate is but they must be a production company with optioned rights or some such or maybe some dudes who like comics. He also mention some big guys, "academy award" winners, who want in the movie that's yet to be written.

So once he delivers the script that they need then the big guns will all come out to get in on the movie that might be.

Walking Dead Season 4 Sneak Peak

Boy they aren't kidding . . . this is a sneak peak. Season starts Oct 13.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Daily Cosplay

Lex Luther

To continue our super hero theme today I suppose. The star of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston, has been cast (or so rumor has it) as Lex Luther in the next Superman movie.

I applaud the casting. He will make a perfect Lex.

However, I really dislike that villain. Luther should always be a shadowy figure in the background because fighting him either involves some stupid geologic/time stopping plot that Lex machinates (new word) with his money and brilliance or the military industrial complex super weaponized dudes. Both themes are very old and very tired.

Lex equals subtly.

But I loved Man of Steel and leave it in Snyder's capable hands.

Armor Up

Not until I started reading up on the Religious Wars of the 16th century did I truly appreciate this type of armor and weaponry. Those dudes might have had frilly cloaks and feathers in their hats but they were some really bad ass sons of bitches!

A Shout out to Jack Kirby!

Kamadi was a great comic book!

Oh Sweet Heavens

It looks like CBS has decided to bring back Love American Style. I remember this show from when I was knee hight to a jumping frog. It had a catchy tune and then proceeded to put people in romantic situations that were both funny and ridiculous. Lord knows what the show will do these days.


According to the article the reruns are enjoying a bit of a resurgence in afternoons in syndication. I'm curious about this. How much of a resurgence one has to wonder. 

Better to bring back this classic . . . 

What the Vikings Saw

Before they sacked England, and Ireland, and Scotland, Wales, northern France and the whole Atlantic Seaboard, this is what they saw . . .

Memories from the Office of a Game Publisher – Office Space

Everywhere I look across social media I seem to be encountering two things. Economic news about the pending commercial real estate collapse,...