Thursday, October 27, 2011

Enterprise...I get it.

Thanks to Netflix I started watching Enterprise. Enterprise was the most recent in the TV franchise and from what I understand one of the less popular of the franchise. Personally I've been a casual fan of the franchise, I grew up with a daily dose of the original series throughout my elementary and Jr. High years so I am more versed in that area of the timeline. I know enough about the other shows to keep myself involved in a conversation, but that's about it. 

Sitting down and watching this series in it's entirety I think I have come to an understanding as to why they have such a loyal fan base. When you look at the shows depicting the future you see repressive regimes controlling mankind, evil sentient computers hunting us to extinction, or a post-apocalyptic zombie filled wasteland.   The Star Trek universe offers hope and a less pessimistic future for mankind. It's not a perfect future- there are still wars and plagues and repression, but we've also conquered many of the demons that haunt us today. 

What I like about Enterprise is watching humanity stumble into space. The crew on Enterprise don't have it all figured out. they brazenly walk in to situations waving hello when they should be scanning for life forms and sending out armed recon teams to gather intelligence. They involve themselves in situations that alter the cultural evolution of an entire species, merely because they are too ignorant to know better.  There is no "Prime Directive" to guide them, the Prime Directive is created because of their actions.

I'm sure there are reasons that the hardcore fans can give me to explain why Enterprise didnt make it. But I'm enjoying it. I even like the controversial theme. If you listen to the lyrics and watch the video it is kind of moving, yes its a little Rod Stewart meets Bryan Adams, but its not terrible.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday, October 07, 2011

Netflix online works for me

I've been hearing all over the media how people are upset with Netflix for their current business practices. One of their biggest complaints is that their streaming video service doesn't offer a wide selection of the hottest and newest movies.  I can see their point - I love watching a new movie as much as the next guy, but I also make a few bucks writing material for role playing games set in the pulp genres. so Netflix's library of classic, hard to find, and downright quirky movies is like mana from heaven to me.  I hope that Netflix becomes more responsive to the wishes of their customer base-many of which have shown them years of proven loyalty. But I also hope that in doing so, Netflix doesn't purge its catalog of their less in-vogue offerings. Where the hell else am I supposed to get a hold of a copy of   "Bamboo Gods and Iron Men" on short notice?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Life at the Lair -Update

Sorry for the long sabbatical, but things have been rather up and down over here. On the up-side, She Who Must Be Obeyed, the minions, and I have been looking for a new Lair and think we have found the perfect one for our current needs. It was however, a long and tedious process. I'm hopeful that all will go as planned and I can finally have my long desired library room!

On the Evil DM Productions front. Dicey Tales #1 has been available in print and is selling. I wish it was selling faster, but I really haven't put a great deal of effort into promotion, so I figure much of the blame is mine.

Dicey tales #2 is ready to go. We just need an open spot on Jason's schedule for cover art and layout to finish it up.

I have been discussing the next Barbarians of Lemuria project with Simon and he seemed enthused about it (so much so he even offered some of his own work that was sitting "in development").

The working title of the project is "Sulan" and is basically the BoL engine powering an Oriental/Asian flavored setting similar to that found with shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kung-Fu Panda,  and  Jet Li and Jackie Chan's Kung-Fu fantasy film Forbidden Kingdom. 
In Sulan I'm working on a world combining elements of Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, and Southeast Asian Myth and culture. Careers have been added and Boons have been re-worked to add Wuxia flavored Martial arts. I've also been working on Chi Powers-similar to the psychic Powers found in Dicey Tales #1.

As is said Sulan is in the early stages of development and play-testing, so it  may not see completion until the first part of 2012.  

Here are a few sample paragraphs from an early rough draft:

Barraku are “handlers of the dead” in Sulanese society. A character with this career is a professional involved in the business of funeral rites. These tasks often entail the embalming and burial or cremation of the dead, as well as the planning and arrangement of the actual funeral ceremony. It might even involve making the casket to put the body in, but unless the Barraku is a skilled carpenter, these boxes can be very basic. Because they deal with death, they are also trained in the tanning of animal hides, taxidermy and they are even called upon to execute convicted criminals. Barraku also have extensive knowledge of the Undead and the ways of destroying or dismissing them. Barraku do not tend to favor any particular attribute over the others although Appeal is the attribute that would be least required in the performance of their work.

Elemental Sorcerer
These Sorcerers specialize in one of the four core elements; Wind, Flame, Earth, or Water.  Some practitioners learn traditionally from a Master but many learn the basics of their craft at schools. Elemental Sorcerers follow the same rules from the magic section of the BoL Legendary Edition in regards to spell power, cost, and magnitude.  Each element has an associated school the students in these schools learn not only the skills to summon and shape the elements but also specific martial arts fighting style which they use for inner discipline and self-defense.

·       Wind School- Crane style
·       Flame School – Tiger Style
·       Earth School - Stone Rhino Style
·       Water School -Water Snake style

The five different types of magic found in the lands of Sulan are Elemental Sorcery, Celestial Magic, Shamanistic Magic, Witchcraft, and Wizardry. While magic is not an everyday occurrence in the lands of Sulan, those who practice magical arts are not as shunned or reviled as they are in less civilized places. Much honor is bestowed upon practitioners of magic who use their skill for the benefit of mankind.

City-State of Quai

Between the southern jungles kingdoms and the borders of Great Sulan lies the powerful  city-state of Quai.  Quai’s well manned castles and fortresses control the passes through the mountains and therefore the flow of trade for the entire region. The Raja of Quai leads an army of hardened warriors, Bound Earth Elementals, and a fierce contingent of War elephants. Though officially a tributary state to Sulan, past efforts to conquer this mountain state have always failed.  With the current treaty, honor is maintained, face is saved and trade flows to the benefit of all.