Tuesday, May 30, 2006
We had a big meltdown over Memorial Day weekend my relatively new dell computer decided to give me blue screen hell. It took 5 years for me to suffer a major crash on my Aptiva and less than six months for it to happen on the Dell. And you sure in hell can tell the difference between the sales department and the tech support department. Sales is full of sunshine and promises while tech support can barely speak English (and their tech support is in the U.S., they wouldn’t give me a specific state “for security reasons” Feh.). so needless to say not only did I have to stay on hold for hour long stretches of time, but when I did get to the support, their answer was to wipe my drive clean and start all over. After all is said and done I guess all I can do is keep making backup discs every month. Not a happy Dell customer right now.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
For some reason today my wife decided to have a chick flick marathon: Bridget Jones Diary, Serendipity, Sleepless in Seattle, Fools rush in, Etc. My boys were sitting there with their eyes glazed over watching Meg Ryan whine about men. I was forced to do what any self respecting Gamer Dad would do. I dragged the boys into the bedroom, set them up in front of our TV and slid in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. My little ones are 6 and 5 so this was their first exposure to a Harryhausen film. The results would make any Gamer-Dad proud; my boys were in awe of all the cool monsters. After the Golden Voyage I popped in the 7th voyage of Sinbad. The indoctrination has begun.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
For some reason I’ve always been a fan of the super heroes on the lower side of the superpower spectrum. Rather than Superman, Thor, Wonder Woman, or the Silver Surfer, I’ve preferred heroes like Wildcat, Red Wolf, The Black Panther, and Union Jack. To me these guys have a tougher haul in the super hero world, they can’t leap over buildings or wield Power Cosmic, but at the end of the day they get the job done. I just found out that Union Jack will be getting a mini series in September, which is great news to me; I’ve been a fan of Union Jack since the original Invaders days. Check out the link for the whole story.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I'm still chugging along with Legends of Steel (LoS) the rules and mechanics are 90% done (still working on the Bestiary). In the “Game masters” section I’ve been adding some articles on the genre and advice on running a Sword & Sorcery game. Below is a part of an article for the movies section of the game book.
Appreciating Sword & Sorcery Movies
What can be said about Sword and Sorcery movies? To mainstream moviegoers the genre of Sword & Sorcery is a joke. Low budget sets, low budget actors, and low budget production values. But for lovers of the genre these are some of the very things that we treasure about them. I remember watching The Scorpion King and thinking “Ehh, it’s ok.” But then I watched the movie again while listening to the director’s commentaries and it made me re-evaluate the entire movie. Listening to the director speak about the details that the set designers added, the training the actors went through to get the sword fighting scenes down right, and countless other little touches that the cast and crew contributed to the film. I then began to realize that the guy was really proud of this movie and that a lot of folks put all their professional talent into the production. When I watch some of these movies now I tend to appreciate the efforts of the cast and crew so much more. Sword & Sorcery movies by their very nature are the most physically demanding movies some of these actors ever make. In “The Beastmaster”, Marc Singer was running around the desert in a loincloth, wrestling with tigers and ferrets, while his co-star Tanya Roberts had to swim partially nude in freezing water (Thank you Movie Gods for that scene). There are movies where it’s apparent that the actors are having a great time hamming it up for the camera (Jack Palance in “Hawk the Slayer” immediately comes to mind) and other movies where the actors are just going through the motions so they can pick up a paycheck.
If you’re a gamer chances are you’ve seen many of these movies. In fact some of the characters in your games may have been modeled after some of the characters in these movies right? Come on, admit it, what self-respecting gamer wouldn’t want to play a badass warrior like Captain Navarre in “Ladyhawke”?
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I've been with the DH Conan since day one, and while the ride has never been a bad one, it really seemed uninspired art-wise at times. Thank goodness for Tim Truman. Tim brings the big barbarian alive for me. I'm a bit biased being a Truman fan since Scout back in the 80's. I no longer buy Conan just because it's Conan, I buy it to enjoy the adventures AND the art!
And incidently, "The Spear" was a great story and a real "Free comic day" treat.
Monday, May 08, 2006
A few years ago I had a buddy who sank close to $8000.00 on Magic: the Gathering cards. Another friend paid around $300.00 for a magical axe, a virtual magic axe for use in an online game, I think he got a ticket or password to use the axe in the game. The only real thing about that whole deal was the $300 bucks. Up until now I’ve managed to avoid the “collectable” arm of gaming. I have a few Mageknight figures, a shoe box of Heroclix figures, and I must say the D&D miniatures get better with every release, those I buy from time to time, but usually just what I can use as dungeon fodder.
I suspect that’s all about to change, because I just found out that a Conan Collectable card game (CCG) is on the horizon. And I loves me some Conan. I'm thrilled and scared all at the same time- thrilled cause the game looks cool and I like what I’ve seen so far art wise, scared because I can see myself getting all freaky and hunting down every last card in the series, including promo cards and those damn “convention specials”.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Just an FYI to everyone out there celebrating Cinco de Mayo- Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence day (That’s September 16th). May 5th is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. Where a combined force of Mexican Cavalry, and militia defeated a much better equipped force of French Dragoons outside the town of Puebla in Mexico.
The battle did not decide the war; in fact the French reinforced and later occupied the country. However, the victory of the Mexican forces was crucial for the nations morale and served as an example of how determined patriots could defeat a more experienced and better-equipped force. In time the French were in fact driven from Mexico.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Flashing Swords is a wonderful e-zine of Sword & Sorcery tales. They are on their 6th issue and show no signs of slowing down. There is plenty of new fiction and even a few tales by some of the old masters like Harold Lamb. They also have a cafe press storefront where you can buy some nifty Flashing Swords gear. The E-zine is free but don't be shy about tossing a few bucks their way to show your support for the effort, projects like these are labors of love, your support will keep the site up and help pay for the stories.