Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday morning in the 70's

Every Saturday I woke up to these lovely ladies.

And of course...

Friday, July 30, 2010

One of my guilty pleasures in Gaming - Spelljammer

I have to admit it I have always loved Spelljammer.  My Sweet Lord, D&D in space- how can you not love that?  Yes it had some real boner ideas. But the rest is just so cool. When my campaign world of Erisa was created it was a house rule that no Elves would be allowed. 

I used Spelljammer's Elven Imperial Fleet in the opening game of my campaign. A spelljamming Elven Fleet survey ship found the planet Erisa and sent a landing party down to investigate it. The party was almost entirely Elven, except for one Human. within hours the elves of the away team were dead from some unknown virus. The virus infected the survey ship and all Elven personnel perished.  In the end Erisa was classified by the Elven Fleet command as a hazardous planet and a cordon of fleet ships manned by non Elven personnel were stationed in the system on picket duty to make sure no one lands on Erisa or leaves it.

A later campaign involved the Scro and Neogi finding out about the virus on Erisa and trying to run the blockade and let the virus loose on the rest of the universe!

Fun times.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Conan for the new Millennium - What do you guys think?

What kind of conditioner do you think Conan uses? His hair doesn't seem to have a lot of "bounce".

 This is some really bad "green screen" work

 Not too bad here but his sword looks like he just took it out of the package. And he needs many more scars.

 Okay, this one is a bit more "Conanish"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More choices less choosing

     I've been so busy with Dicey Tales and life in general that I haven't had much time to keep up with whats going on in the gaming industry. Funny thing the "industry" used to be a bunch of companies like TSR, GDW, I.C.E, WOTC, White Wolf and Steve Jackson games. I always imagined these to be regular businesses with an office, a staff, and all the traditional trappings of a small to medium sized business (cubicles, copy machines, water coolers, cure receptionists, etc.). But now it seems that the traditional company is less and less a presence. Oh there are still the Big boys like WOTC and Steve Jackson, but since the creation of PDF software  and the "open license", the playing field has really opened up, and in some ways, been weakened. 

     I was at a store called Gamescape in San Francisco this weekend. Gamescape has been a Mecca for bay area gamers for more than 30 years. It's still every bit a wonderland that it has always been for me, but i couldn't seem to part with any of my money to buy a hardcopy of a game. they were just too damn expensive. and the reason they were so expensive is the same reason textbooks are so expensive- the print runs are so small that the cost of printing them is driven up. I saw the new supers game Icons there. the price tag was like 30 dollars. I winced, and set it back on the shelf. Back in the day I would have picked it up in a heartbeat, but these days I start thinking about all the other choices I have, the more affordable choices I have, and all the other supers games I have sitting at home on my hard drive. 

     All those thoughts gave me the freedom to say no. but it also helped contribute to the problem in the first place. 

No sale = a smaller print run next time = a higher price per copy. 

None of that had anything to do with the Icons game itself (although my experience with products from Adamant have been hit and miss), but the fact that Icons was an unknown entity to me helped make my decision to not buy it, a lot easier.  
I did pick up a copy of Thrilling Hero Adventures that I found in the bargain bin for $5.00
Thrilling Hero Adventures is a collection of Pulp adventures that were all previously released as PDF downloads, which are all sitting on my hard drive- go figure.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tales of the Gold Monkey DVD set- FINALLY!!

After many years of waiting, the DVD gods have finally released Tales of the Gold Monkey on DVD here in the US!
I can finally retire my old home made pirated DVD copies I got off of Napster years ago.  
They served me well but the DVD set is a thousand times better.  
Although, all is not Champagne and Starlets with this DVD set. There are no Subtitles or  a Closed Caption option.  I don't really NEED them, but they are nice to have,  especially when you're trying to watch the show with a house full of screaming Minions running around. 
My other minor gripe is that the sound quality is not the finest. I guess I shouldn't complain too much seeing as I've spent the last two decades waiting for this to come out.

All in all I'm a happy Geek. Now if we could just get Thundarr the Barbarian and The High Chaparral on DVD I'd truly be at peace.  

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hard Boiled Adventure tiles

I ran across these pulp styled adventure tiles the other day at RPGNOW
They are a great resource for any Pulp game. Of course they could be easily used for just about any modern/supers/horror setting as well but they're gonna be used for Pulp (specifically Dicey Tales) here at the Lair!
I bought Craven Manor and The Docks set. The dock set printed up beautifully. they look like they come straight out of an old Robert Mitchum movie like Macau

The PDF's are layered for complete customization. they also include a nice set of crates and cars and furnishings. Both of these tile sets are packed with value and as your going through them your mind will just start coming up with adventures to use them with on the spot. Did I mention that the manor set has a hidden laboratory and cells for prisoners? well it does!
 I have plans for both of these set and for the Rumored "Airfield" set that is supposed to see release soon- till then check out what this line has to offer. 
Two thumbs up from The Evil DM!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sonic Legends a great mood setter for Gaming...or Blogging

Many years ago, when I had a lot more free time, I used to love using props in my games. I used to look for the old Halloween sound effect recordings to use in my games. 

A few times I even recorded audio clips of movie battles to add flavor to a game. needless to say doing it right was labor intensive as I spent hours in front of the TV /VCR with my cassette player trying to get just the right sound bite (this is obviously when I was a lonely single geek).  Now that I'm a busy married geek I have absolutely no time at all to even consider such foolishness. But thanks to the internet and Sonic Legends I dont have to. 

Sonic Legends is a company I ran across on RPGNow that makes these wonderful recordings of background music for use in your games. The recordings run the gamut of just about all of the RPG genres, fantasy, western, pulp, horror,sci-fi,etc. Some  of them (such as the Arabian Bazaar) overlap and can be used in more than one genre. The quality of the recordings is excellent and contain little bits of background flavor noise- like the jingling of coin or a far off police siren, all seamlessly woven into the track. you could actually take different tracks and loop them together as to play softly in the back ground or you can cue them up to add an extra touch to an encounter or narrative. 

At just $2.99 a download they are affordable and addictive.  The Evil DM gives Sonic Legends- Two Hearty Thumbs-Up!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010


We saw Spamalot Last night. It was a regional production, so no Tim Curry or David Hyde Pierce, but it was a great show none the less.  Gary Beach was King Arthur, and he did an excellent job.

If you ever get a chance to see a professional theater company perform Spamalot, do it. 
I promise you wont regret it. Not only will the wife get a night out, watching Spamalot gives you a +3 to your Geek Cred.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pretty funny for a taco commercial

They drive to their missions in an El Camino. Too cool.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Pulptastic here at the Lair lately

We have been in full on Pulp mode here at the Lair. I've been working on Dicey Tales, and  reading A. Merritt's  Seven Footprints to Satan

The Minions have been watching the Tailspin DVD collection (Costco has it for $8.99) , and we are all awaiting our Amazon order of the Tales of the Gold Monkey DVD set.  

I also ordered a cool looking book called The Rook.  It isn't The Rook from the old Warren magazines, but it looks interesting just the same. 
Ron Fortier recommended it, so thats good enough for me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dicey Tales Update - with new finished art!

The work on Dicey Tales is going great. I've gotten some very useful feedback from my group of "Peer Editors". They have taken me to task on a number of things and hopefully helped me dodge some bullets when this is released.  Below are a pair of final illustrations from Chris for the interior of the book.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Russians are coming (well actually, they left already).

The whole Russian spy thing got me thinking.
So here is my rough pitch-ripped from the headlines:

There is this typical american family. husband, wife and daughter. The Daughter is 19 and  is named Ann, though her family calls her Anna.

One day a man arrives. his name is Nick and he's an old friend of Ann's father from college. 

Nick is charming and handsome. Ann's father is nervous. Ann's mother appears very happy.

eventually Ann observes her mother and nick talking, they think they are alone and suddenly her mother and nick kiss.

At dinner Ann sneaks into the guest room and quickly go through nicks suitcase where she finds a hidden compartment with a gun, passport and a whole wad of cash.

not sure what to do she turns to her grandparent and tells them what happened. the grandparents become concerned.  but tell her to forget about it and let them talk to their daughter.

the next day Ann returns from class early and finds hears her grandfather arguing with Nick in the cellar . they begin to yell and her grandfather says something to nick in a foreign language. Nick snaps out his hand and stabs the grandfather in the throat. Ann screams. she runs upstairs just as her parents and grandmother arrive.
chased by nick Ann runs into her fathers arms, all is chaos everyone is yelling. and suddenly Nick strikes Ann and knocks her out.

when she comes to she is in her bed  her grandmother is in the room with her and she can hear everyone talking downstairs in a foreign language.

The adults are all Russian spies. The Grandparents are from the old Soviet era, placed during the height of the Cold War and the parents placed in the U.S. in the 90's.  They had all but thought they were deactivated. Especially the grandparents. Nicholas is a current Russian agent sent on an assassination mission in the U.S.
the family is supposed to serve him as a "Safe House".

The Mother still considers herself an active agent, and in fact was a lover of the assassin many years ago.
The father and grandfather have basically tried to put the whole spy thing behind them.
The Grandmother is an old school communist and still serves.

So. Will Anna escape? and if she does who will she tell? Who will believe her?
Everything she knew about her family was a intricately crafted lie. 

So there's my pitch. If any of you Hollywood types are interested, drop me a line.

Sunday, July 11, 2010