Friday, January 31, 2014

Daily Cosplay

Vikings on Kickstarter

While your digesting wandering apocalypses but sure to check out our Kickstarter for the Norse Mythology. For Castles & Crusades? Yes. Usable by anyone for any system? Yes. 

We are shooting for the next stretch goal and are only a few hundred from it. It unlocks Odin's Runes! Don't miss out, Join the Fray! 

creepy forest

somewhere I nnorway

A Path Most Captivating

real sword fighting

We may have posted this video in the past, but it bears another view.  It shows just how un-dramatic they probably were. But I real life, even small movements were very dramatic. Also, I always think about the sheer amount of butchery that must have occurred. Its gut wrenching to think of it.

Codex Nordica

Critical Hit dice

Haha, so mac showed up the game with the critical hit dice and I just ordered myself one.

from think geek

Now I need a critical failure dice, with sounds!

Speaking of dice. dice rolling downhill in Greenland

Hieronymus Carl Friedrich Baron von Münchhausen

hehhehea, what a name

I will call him the Baron for short. He fought in some wars and such and probably had some cool adventures. He told tall tales to ridicule and not really to amuse (though likely the latter had greater impact). His tales were related in print in the late 1800s for the first time, though they appear to be renditions of earlier folktales. Which, I would guess the Baron used as fodder for his tales in the first place.

Anywho and interestingly, in 1901, John Bangs wrote a book about the adventures of the Baron in the afterlife. This genre of literature is known as Bangsian Fantasy. It encompasses the Divine Comedy (speaking of Steve's current obsession with paths) as well as Riverworld by Phillip Farmer and even the movie RIPD starring non other than Jeff Bridges.

Jeff Bridges starred in the Movie Tideland (weird movie, can't say whether I liked it  or not) by Terry Gilliam and Terry Gilliam, we know as a teller of wonderful tales also retold the tales of the Baron in the movie Baron Muchhausen - which I just watched and quite enjoyed.

It has given me fodder for my own stories I tell to my children about an elf named Jingle Schmingle. An elf employed by Santa who has many adventures delivering presents and wandering the world.

Jingle has a bag of hats. Each hat giving him special powers. A green hat for invisibility, a red hat to travel back to Santas workshop, a yellow has to move fast with and a purple hat to travel through the ground with.

So now, some of the elements of Hieronymus Carl Friedrich Baron von Münchhausen shall enter the imaginative world of Jingle Schmingle and inferm my children of the world around them.

Thank You Baron.


Armor Up

Man of Steel News

It looks like Jeremy Irons has landed the role of Alfred in the new Superman movie; a movie apparently about Batman. And Jesse Eisenberg has scooped up the role of Lex Luther. Still not certain what Lex's role will be in this Superman movie about Batman.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Gears of War)

Killing Characters

So rpgs are a social game, more or less. They generally do not work with just two players, though we have all run those games. It is a gathering. In many rpgs, the threat of death for a character is ever-present and the one universal stress that in many respects drives the high interest or intensity of the gaming experience.

The downside is that a character can die and the player becomes eliminated from play. There are manners of countering this like resurrection, hero points etc. Never-the-less, if a character dies, that player becomes truncated from the story and the social interactions that created it.

This counters, many people believe, the social gaming experience (incidentally, European Games, which hold the social aspect of gaming in high regard, rarely have player elimination as a by-product of gaming). This may be why, over the years, both myself and others have noticed that rpgs have less and less character death in them. Even our games rarely have character death in them.

In the old days, this was part of the game. It was expected that one's character would likely die. The old rogue's gallery is basically a compilation of dead characters. We even had a death wall in our game room. And, even more so, even now 30 years later, some of the most memorable games involved character death.

So what changed? My guess is that as more people played and invested more time and energy into the game and its social nature that aspect of the game that incorporated character death was slowly and unintentionally jettisoned.

Such that now, character death is rare and does not present a real in game universal threat.

So what presents the universal now? The stressor may be the acquisition of ever increasing mechanical advantages and the game becomes a contest between players for those advantages. In this the referee just becomes the challenge maker and reward distributor.

This may have the advantage of heightening the social aspect of the game. Cooperative contesting is how I shall describe it.

So what would happen if we brought character death back - in a significant way. Since this would increase the referee/player contest, ever more codified rules need to be laid out to prevent the total advantage from falling into the referees hands or, even more importantly chance needs to be reduced in the game such that it becomes tactical.

just a thought


Music from the Dens

Steve's non-stop replay of


A Path Most Captivating

speaking of paths

the famous path

and then there is this

gif art of classical paintings

Found this perusing blogs last night. these are gifs of classical paintings - sorta cool, not safe for work, these are classical paintings after all.

It gets crazy toward the middle end.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Rick, Walking Dead)

Monty Python

From the Vault. Old '72 travel film, the boys whilst in Canada. You cannot watch this until you SUBSCRIBE to their Channel!


Cold - get a face beard

The Beard Beanie

Builkding with Hirst arts

For those familiar with Hirst Arts castle molds, it will come as no surprise to see something like this.

 Taken from here. This is awesome. I am hoping to drag out my molds soon and start working on stuff. Ahhh, to have the time again.

I love mini terrain.


A Path Most Captivating

Cool Monster - Cerastes

The cerastes (Greek: κεράστης, English: cerastēs, English translation: "having horns"[1]) is a creature of Greek legend, a serpent that is incredibly flexible—so much so that it is said to have no spine. Cerastae can have either two large ram-like horns or four pairs of smaller horns. The cerastes hides its head in the sand with only the horns protruding out of the surface; this is meant to deceive other animals into thinking it is food. When the animal approaches the cerastes, the cerastes promptly kills it.

From wikipedia

Stolen from here.

Zombies, Robots, Bullets and Lundgren

Favorite fantasy heroine/nemesis

would be angelina jolie

the seduction of beowulf

Then there is also the epic dragon fight

Armor Up

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Dragon Age)

Hrunting Fails Beowulf

I had forgotten that Beowulf had to use a sword other than Hrunting to defeat Grendal's mother. It was the Giant's Sword.

Then he saw a blade that boded well, 
a sword in her armoury, an ancient heirloom 
from the days of giants, an ideal weapon, 
one that any warrior would envy, 
but so huge and heavy of itself 
only Beowulf could wield it in a battle” (lines 1557-1562). 

more here.

Grendal's Mummy

if only!

Movie Trailer ~ Maleficent

Speaking of Jolie! This looks fantastic!

Arrow heads and pain

So we commonly read about different types of arrow heads and stuff, their penetration power and such and the agonizing pain they could cause. What is less well known is that many arrowheads were only lightly attached to the shaft, like beeswax, such that once inside the body, the wax melts and the head falls off or detaches once it is yanked out.

Removing the head could be difficult.

Al-Zahwari, an arabic surgeon developed a spoon type instrument to dig into the wound and pull the arrow out.


A Path Most Captivating

The Griffin - dod you know?

In Medieval Euprope the griffin might have been used as an emblem of the Church's opposition to remarriage - because it mated for life (or so the legend related).

It is also supposed to be a guardian of lots o' treasure….

The griffin

Mass produced 18 sided dice

Finally in mass production. Apparently the 18 sided dice is fairly difficult to make or impossible so has to be faceted on a sphere or put pin a spindle of some type. Anyway, here is the faceted sphere from shape ways….

Same goes with the d14 and d16 I think.

Anyway…. Check out shapeways for a lot of unusual dice.

Armor Up

Sculpted by Yury Serebryakov

Monday, January 27, 2014

Video World Closing ~ Short Documentary

This is a little sad. Having lived through the age of VHS and video rentals. Very cool documentary.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Power Girl)

Codec Nordica ~ Kickstarter

About this time last year we launched a Kickstarter to bring the Codex Celtarum to print. It was a smashing success and the book released on in April. Here Brian Young explored the worlds of the Celts. Their history, mythology and culture, with an ass ton of spells, monsters and mayhem for you Castles & Crusades game!

Well, Mr. Young is back!

Yesterday we launched a Kickstarter for Brian Young's next book, the Codex Nordica. In record time it funded, broke through the first stretch goal and then broke through the second, all in 22 hours!

But we're not done yet. We'd like to ask you to help us make this even better, with Odin's Runes, more content and more free adventures! Check all the noise out here!

The unclean cometh, doom, despair and DIRT

So, I was meandering about the blog and, as always am sorta interested in depiction of my favorite character, Braelik (from our home campaign). He was a hermit who never bathed or anything for decades before hitting the road as a priest. So I came across an article about some guy in Iran who has not bathed in 60 years…..

From this site.

That's what my cleric would like. He smokes dung. hahaha

and for your edification, a poem.

The Dirtiest Man In The World

    Oh, I'm Dirty Dan, the world's dirtiest man,
    I never have taken a shower.
    I can't see my shirt--it's so covered with dirt,
    And my ears have enough to grow flowers.

    But the water is either a little too hot,
    Or else it's a little too cold.
    I'm musty and dusty and patchy and scratchy
    And mangy and covered with mold.
    But the water is always a little too hot,
    Or else it's a little too cold.

    I live in a pen with five hogs and a hen
    And three squizzly lizards who creep in
    My bed, and they itch as I squirm, and I twitch
    In the cruddy old sheets that I sleep in.

    In you looked down my throat with a flashlight, you'd note
    That my insides are coated with rust.
    I creak when I walk and I squeak when I talk,
    And each time I sneeze I blow dust.

    The thought of a towel and soap makes me howl,
    And when people have something to tell me
    They don't come and tell it--they stand back and yell it.
    I think they're afraid they might smell me.

    The bedbugs that leap on me sing me to sleep,
    And the garbage flies buzz me awake.
    They're the best friends I've found and I fear they might drown
    So I never go too near a lake.

    Each evening at nine I sit down to dine
    With the termites who live in my chair,
    And I joke with the bats and have intimate chats
    With the cooties who crawl in my hair.

    I'd brighten my life if I just found a wife,
    But I fear that will never be
    Until I can find a girl, gentle and kind,
    With a beautiful face and a sensitive mind,
    Who sparkles and twinkles and glistens and shines--
    And who's almost as dirty as me.

    -Shel Silverstein

medieval misconceptions

I won't bother to list them I only comment b/c there is a good thread on rpg the net about it.

Visions of the Apoclypse

Trouble In Tarzan Town

We're seeing a bit of a resurgence on the Tarzan front. There's a new animated flick coming out that ties the Ape Man into Global Warming, super comets, fusion energy, the Ant Man, 3 bears and some porridge, an oil spill, the Tobin Tax, Lousianna Purchase and other hot button topics of the day.

Now it seems we have a feature film coming out with Maggot Robbie as Jane. This seems like a nice fit. She's blond, that's a good start and seems to fit the bill pretty well.

But the movie will also star Samuel L. Jackson . . . Say what again Tarzan! SAY WHAT AGAIN!

Speaking of grog - the Stein the mug

The memories

The Cosmic Maelstrom

We talk a lot about the cosmology of Airdhe and Inzae.  Haha. And the Maelstrom comes up a lot.
It is from which all things come.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Codex Nordica Kickstarter has begun!

Attention: Our Kickstarter for Codex Nordica has begun! You can check it out HERE.  Lots of great pledge levels to choose from, with many great rewards and stretch levels.  By award winning author Brian Young, the Codex Nordica continues the exploration of mythological realms, with spells, monsters & more for your Castles & Crusades game. Trollzah!

Daily Cosplay

A Roman Tic Tac Toe

So Tic Tac Toe can be fairly boring. That is what I always thought. Well not so much. Tic Tac Toe and its variations go back a long way. The Roman version (perhaps) of the game was played on a wheel and one continually moved pieces until one had three in a row.

You can read a little more here.

It may have been called rota - but really its anyone's guess.

Rota is also the name of one of the Valkyrie. Her name may mean sleet or storm. See the wikipedia link for more.

Which leads to the word valr. This is an old norse noun referring to a person slain on the battlefield. I don't know of a specific word in the english which refers to a person slain on the battlefield. Might ask Tim to chime in on that one. It always fascinates me when I come across a word so specific as it connotes much about that culture.

Thinking about it, I had the thought that the word valor may have derived from valr. Alas it did not but came to us by way of ancient Rome from the word valor, meaning essentially the same thing but more specifically in combat.

But where did the romans get it.

Perhaps while playing an ancient game from the northern Europe called taabel they picked up the word and maybe even the game rota.

The A series is finally finished

Just thought I would remind everyone. Ten years in the making. Its done. Made me think of the title of A2, Slag Heap.

Here is a slag heap for you.

Slag is now used to make high performance concretes. So save your slag, it may be worth something if you have tens of thousands of tons of it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Commedia erudita

Should I double check that spelling. Early Italian role playing? Not really, but sorta cool. Actors and actresses played out comedies and such. The use of improv was notable. So I am thinking they just made up stuff for fun and acted out certain roles to see what would happen. Much later would these become codified - perhaps.

Don't know much about it but will read more. It gave rise to or came together with masked theater in Italy.

The masks are cool.

Of course, you can find masks such as these at mardi gras in New Orleans as well….

Daily Cosplay

What the … man dresses

from somewhere here

maybe we should have woman beards

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,...