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Monday, July 31, 2006

Not Pirates of the Caribbean

It's been a helluva long time since I posted any action figures here. Here is a group shot that my son Anthony and I made for a Pirate contest over at fantasynet.
It came out pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Not all pirates hung out in the Caribbean. This band of Cutthroats led by Hung Wai Lo terrorized the coast of the Shang Tung province and The South China Sea during the early 1930’s. Here is a dated photograph of unknown origin that shows the Pirate lord and his officers celebrating with the spoils of a recent raid.

Friday, July 28, 2006

David Gemmell passed away

I am shocked and saddened beyond words. It was just announced that one of my favorite writers, David Gemmell has died at the age of 57.I have loved his work from the first time I read "Morningstar" back in the 90's. he was one of a handful of writers whose work I would gladly purchase the moment it hit the shelves. David's masterpiece "Legend" is considered a modern day classic in the genre, and in my opinion will hold up against any work as a great piece of fiction. My personal favorite work from David Gemmell is "Winter Warriors" a great story of three aged fighting men called up for one last adventure. David Gemmell was an incredible storyteller.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Doctor "Z" conspiracy"

Dr. Z

and Doctor Z

Coincidence? You decide,

Monday, July 24, 2006


You may not have known his name. but you would recognize him the moment you saw him. His name was Mako, he was a prolific, Oscar nominated actor, with a resume that lists over 150 movies and Television appearances. He played opposite actors like Steve McQueen, James Caan, Bruce Lee, and Michael Douglas. He played everything from a Japanese Admiral to a Hyborian Wizard. Mako passed away last friday, after a battle with cancer. He will be missed.

"I'm a wizard, mind you. This place is kept by powerful gods and spirits of kings. Harm my flesh and you will have to deal with the dead!"

Friday, July 21, 2006

Marvel Legends Heroscape

Heres a photo from the Hasbro booth at the San Diego Comic Con. It looks like Heroscape is really going Hero! now we'll be able to stage our own Marvel Secret Wars. Kewl stuff!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Howard stories on the net

Found this on one of the Robert E, Howard boards I belong to.
It seems that in Australia Robert E Howard's works are entering the public domain and are now appearing on Project Gutenberg of Australia. follow the link and scroll down to the H's.
It's a great selection of many of his Conan and non-Conan works ("Pigeons from Hell" is a MUST READ)

Robert Ervin HOWARD (1906-1936)

Pigeons from Hell (1938)--Text--HTML
The Valley of the Worm (1934)--Text--HTML
The Purple Heart of Erlik (Nothing to Lose) (1936)--Text--HTML
Black Canaan --Text--HTML
Black Talons--Text--HTML
Black Vulmea's Vengeance--Text--HTML

Fangs of Gold--Text--HTML

Graveyard Rats--Text--HTML

Moon of Zambebwei--Text--HTML

Names in The Black Book--Text--HTML

The Black Stone--Text--HTML

The Cairn on the Headland--Text--HTML
Sea Curse--Text--HTML
The Fire of Asshurbanipal--Text--HTML
The Haunter of the Ring--Text--HTML
The Horror From The Mound--Text--HTML
The House of Arabu--Text--HTML
The Tomb's Secret--Text--HTML
The Valley of the Worm--Text--HTML
The Shadow Kingdom--Text--HTML
The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune--Text---HTML

Skulls in the Stars (1929)--Text--HTML
The Footfalls Within (1931)--Text--HTML
The Moon of Skulls (1930)--Text--HTML
The Hills of the Dead (1930)--Text--HTML
Wings in the Night (1932)--Text--HTML

The Daughter of Erlik Khan (1934)--Text--HTML
Hawk of the Hills (1935)--Text--HTML
Blood of the Gods (1935)--Text--HTML
Son Of The White Wolf (1936)--Text--HTML
The Country of The Knife (1937)--Text--HTML

The Phoenix on the Sword (1932)--Text--HTML
The Scarlet Citadel (1933)--Text--HTML
The Tower of the Elephant (1933)--Text--HTML
Black Colossus (1933)--Text--HTML
The Slithering Shadow (1933)--Text--HTML
The Pool of the Black One (1933)--Text--HTML
Rogues in the House (1934))--Text--HTML
Shadows in the Moonlight (1934)--Text--HTML
Queen of the Black Coast (1934)--Text--HTML
The Devil in Iron (1934))--Text--HTML
The People of the Black Circle (1934)--Text--HTML
A Witch Shall be Born(1934)--Text--HTML
Jewels of Gwahlur (1935))--Text--HTML
Beyond the Black River (1935)--Text--HTML
Shadows in Zamboula (1935)--Text--HTML
The Hour of the Dragon (1936)--Text--HTML
Red Nails (1936))--Text--HTML
Gods of the North (1934)--Text--HTML

Monday, July 17, 2006

Going Postal

Thanks to a buddy on the Joe Deals list I just got the heads up on these. It looks like they make their debut at Comicon but go on sale nationwide this Friday! More info here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

“So Lai Zhao, you think your Zombies can beat my Kung Fu, eh”?

Shortly before 3rd edition D&D was released, the WOTC website had a download available for a very nicely done 2nd edition AD&D variant set in the Wuxia genre of Asian cinema. The game was called Dragonfist. I remember downloading it, but it was lost several hard drives ago. WOTC apparently sold the game to Green Ronin who immediately shelved it for future development. Thanks to networking on various gaming boards and good Karma, a friend and fellow gamer hooked me up! I never got to play the game the first go around but now I'm thinking I’ll give it a go.
On the subject of the Asian themed gaming A fellow on another board posted this link to some cool sets of Chinese undead. Chinese zombies anyone?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

“Ok, you find three +1 swords, two potions of healing, and another wand of wonder”

Here is another draft excerpt from my Legends of Steel game, This time addressing magic items in the Sword & Sorcery genre.

Magic items
Magic items in LoS are rare and special. Many of you I'm sure have been in games where the players have at least one magic weapon and a half a dozen or so minor magic items. I played in one game where we were so magic-heavy that we had an NPC hireling carry a bag of extra magic stuff, which we used for bribes and trade. Magic items exist in LoS make no mistake about that. However, in LoS there isn’t the focus on them that you find in traditional fantasy games. There are no “Magic shops” where you can buy a lightning wand or a “+1 sword”. If the players somehow acquire an enchanted item, then that item should have a name and a history. In the genre of high fantasy, magic is common sometimes to the point where they border the mundane, not so in Sword & Sorcery tales.
With the exception of potions and maybe minor charms, magic items in the Sword & Sorcery genre are usually in the form of relics or ancient artifacts created for a specific task. The Barbarian Prince doesn’t use a +2 axe; he wields “The Blood Axe of the Bear killer clan”. By making magic rare its value increases hundred fold. When your players gain a magic item it becomes a defining moment. Take into account that the hero’s of the game represent at most 2% of the general population, and of that 2% maybe one in twenty would choose the path of a Mage. And of those, how many will ascend to the level at which the crafting of magic items is even possible?

Magic VS. Monster
With the scarcity of magic items and weapons it’s only fitting that supernatural creatures be given sufficient vulnerabilities that allow the heroes at least a chance at overcoming them, which is completely in line with the genres main theme; That a man with guts, and cold steel in his hands can overcome any obstacle. If it bleeds then it can be hurt. Therefore, the old standard fantasy RPG rule “Can only be hurt by magical weapons” should go right out the window. However, it shouldn’t be a cakewalk for the heroes. Maybe the Barbarians sword does hurt the Elder Demon, forcing it to dissipate and fight another day, but only the “Spear of Kings” can slay it forever, and there lies the adventure.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Still only .99 cents!

I love comics. I've been pretty active on eBay, hunting down the good stuff from the 70's. I've never been a collector, I'm a reader, having a shiny comic in a plastic case does absolutely nothing for me, which is why eBay is such a goldmine for me. I look for "lots" or "runs" of my favorite titles. I recently won a 17 issue run of "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: for .99 cents ($4.99 with shipping). Lately I've been filling in my Sword & Sorcery gaps for LoS research. There are some good new titles out there, but at $2.99 + an issue, It's getting harder and harder to convince "She who must be obeyed" that we NEED to stop by the Comicshop During our weekend supply run.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Happy 800 Genghis!

In Mongolia they are celebrating the 800th birthday of the Khan.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Heromachine at Sci-Fi

My good Buddy Jeff Hebert just released the news that he has been working on a brand new Heromachine type project. It's related to a new show on the Sci Fi Channel from the mind of the immortal Stan Lee.
Good fun folks. I came up with my Hero "Prada". Prada has super fashion sense and leaping ability. He also sports a tan to die for.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Jagged Alliance 2

I don’t do much computer gaming. And when I do I stick to the bargain bin games. I can't see myself paying full retail for a tabletop RPG, why should computer games be any different? So it's no surprise that I'm way behind the pack when it comes to discovering cool games.
I found one at Big Lots over the weekend for $6.99, It's called "Jagged Alliance2: Unfinished business" It's a turn based tactical military game done at squad level. These are generally my favorite type of games; I loved the old "Close Combat WWII" series of games that Microsoft made many moons ago.
In JA2 you control a group of mercs sent to a banana republic to help with a revolution. You have cash with which to recruit your mercs. All the mercs have varying levels of skills and personalities. Anyway I’m fumbling my way through it and having a blast. It may not be a new game, but it’s new to me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

More LoS stuff

Along with the rules set for LoS, I'm working on other projects to round the game out. Yesterday I posted some thoughts on taverns. I'm planning to add a section on Taverns and other dens of ill repute. I have also been working on a campaign world, actually revamping my own “Homebrew” world of Erisa by removing much of the high fantasy elements and restructuring it more in line with a classic Sword & Sorcery type of world (you could say getting rid of much the Elmore and adding more Frazetta). That way, there will be a ready-made S&S world in which to play.
Up above is a map I did back in 1995 using MS paint. Today, I finalized plans to have the map reworked and done Professionally. In addition to the map and World book, I’ll probably add a short adventure or two to try and set the tone. If anyone can think of an element they would like to see addressed in Legends of Steel please feel free to comment.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

LoS update: "Ale & Whores"

I've been thinking that you can't have a decent Sword & Sorcery game without addressing the subject of the Tavern. The Silver Eel, The Golden Lamprey and the Vulgar Unicorn - all classic taverns in S&S fiction. When Conan wasn't splitting skulls he could always be found at the nearest tavern or brothel. With that said I'm exploring different ways to have the tavern play a part in the LoS game. I'm trying to come up with something a bit more alive than the watered down taverns usually found in fantasy RPG's. Any suggestions out there? Hey, I ain't too proud.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Super Blog!

I havent posted a link to a favorite site in awhile, heres one thats been capturing my attention. Chris's Invincible Super Blog!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

DM Down

Things have been mighty slow round theses here parts, mostly cause yours truly has been down with Pneumonia. Trying to get over this in the summer heat has been a drag. But it looks like the worst is over.