Monday, September 15, 2014

October is coming

Well it is getting down in temperature here and my thoughts are turning to October.

October is usually a busy time around here. both here at home and at The Other Side.

This October I am planning to participate in two blogfests.

Horror Movie Challenge
As normal I am going to participate in the October Horror Movie Challenge hosted by Krell Laboratories.
To add a little extra challenge to my challenge I am only watching vampire themed movies this year.

Witches in Fiction
I am also participating in Magaly Guerrero's Witches in Fiction blogfest.

This is an opportunity to complete some bit of witch related fiction that has been languishing on my hard drive or brain.   The challenge here is what NOT to do!  I have so much to choose from.

I am looking forward to both of these.

Still Alive

I am still here.

Have had a couple of sick kids (must be the start of the school year) so my "free" time has been reduced to nothing.  Plus we didn't do our planned gaming this weekend.

I am sure it is only a matter of time before I get what they got.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Zatannurday: Darwyn Cooke Alternate Covers

If any artist captures what I feel should be the soul of DC comics it is Darwyn Cooke.

Well Darwyn is doing alternate covers for the various issues #37 out in December and they look awesome.

The cover for JLDark looks great.

Though I would have wanted to see more Zatanna and John.

You can see all the covers here too.

And to celebrate here are some more of his Zatannas!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Kickstart Your Weekend: That 70s Kickstarter

Today I have three new(ish) Kickstarters that all have their roots in the late 70s.  Either in tone, feel or in gaming.

Maximum Mayhem Dungeon #2: Secret Machines of the Star Spawn
Brought to us by the same group that gave us "The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen".  Only this time it is more of a tribute to Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.  Only more gonzo. And 100% more Chocolate Thunder.  If you liked "Hanging Coffins" (and I did) then this should be fun.
Some of the things that could have ended up looking gimmicky, like the 3D glasses, seem to work here.  It is funded but there are a lot of nice add-ons.

I was part of the Hanging Coffins Kickstarter and outside of the product Mark's communication was great.  There was a slight delay, but he let everyone know and still got the books out under his modestly revised schedule.  I can't complain at all.

Spirit of 77 - a Funky 1970's Tabletop Role-Playing Game
Another one that looks awesome is Spirit of 77.  I have talked about 70s-era role-playing before.  This game looks ridiculously fun.  For me the entire game was sold on this image,

Luchadore vs. Bigfoot?  Sign me the hell up!  The only thing that would have been more awesome would have been fat Elvis vs. Bigfoot.

This one is also funded.  I would love to get this, but use it as background material for my own Spirit of '76 game I want to run under Chill.

Time of the Dying Stars: Book One
Another one that takes it's cues from the 70s, but is really more of an early 80s homage is Time of the Dying Stars.  A collection of short stories set in the City of Dolmvay.
I love the idea of Dolmvay and am happy to see more support for it.

Plus it includes some classes designed by Barrel Rider Games as a Kickstarter bonus.

This one just started so it is not yet funded. But it is very, very close.

So put on some Parliament or Earth, Wind and Fire and check them all out and see what you can do to give them a hand!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #9 October 1975

October 1975 is on the dial for the wayback machine today.  O&W seems to off of their D&D high for now and getting back into other games.  One of which is a new American game call Organized Crime. It is a board game, but sounds like a prototype for a cool crime related RPG.

Ian Livingstone has a bit on the local Monopoly championships and how he won't be going to the European or World rounds.

For D&D people are submitting house rules.
First is some advice for the novice player (which at this point is most people) and an alternative to dying and healing that offers more math than game rules.  Basically your death is a function of your HP and Con.  Nothing simple like negative Con or -10.

Not really a lot in this issue that interested me to be honest.  It is a good issue to show how the game industry was evolving.  Not every uncovered treasure is as significant as a "Lucy".

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Witch With No Name

Today the last Rachel Morgan book "The Witch With No Name" is released.

Rachel is one of my all time favorite witches. For the last few years I have enjoyed all 12 books (now 13) in the series. I have watched Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, Trent and even the demon Algaliarept grow into interesting characters.  It will be sad to see this at an end, but I am glad she is ending on the top of her game.
The Rachel Morgan/Hollows books are very much like another urban supernatural series I enjoyed and just ended on it's 13th book, the Women of the Underworld series by Kelley Armstrong. Both feature strong world building and great strong characters, male and female.   But Rachel as a character grabbed me more than Savannah, Eve, Elena or Hope ever did.  Armstrong's Savannah Levine might be the more powerful witch, but Rachel can think better on her feet.

My copy has not come yet.  I listened to the audio books while driving to Gen Con by myself one year and fell in love with Marguerite Gavin's portrayal of the characters.  So I have stuck with the audio books ever since.

Rachel Morgan for Classic Unisystem (WitchCraft/Armageddon)
I had done Rachel a while back for Cinematic Unisystem (Buffy/Ghosts of Albion) but in the later books she really becomes more and more a "WitchCraft" style witch. Even if there is really nothing like "Essence" in the books.
The Turn is, game wise at least, similar enough to the Reckoning discussed in WitchCraft and Armageddon to let me use the Armageddon book.  There are no gods per se, but there are some beings of great power like the Goddess of the Elves and of course the Demons.

Camille as Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan
Greater Gifted
Life Points: 39
Essence: 50

Strength: 3
Dexterity: 3
Constitution: 2
Intelligence: 4
Perception: 5
Willpower: 5

Endurance: 35
Speed: 10 mph / 5 yrds/sec

Acute Senses (taste, smell) (Witches in the world are more sensitive), Attractive 2, Contacts 3 (Weres, Demons, Witches, FIB), Gifted, Hard to Kill 3,  1, Increased Essence Pool 4, Nerves of Steel, Occult Library 2

Adversary 4 (nearly everyone hates her wants her dead),  Honorable 2, Obsession (Help Ivy), Status -2 (she is a day walking demon)

Acrobatics 4, Craft (earth witch potions) 5, Guns (paint ball "splat" gun) 4, Humanities 3, Intimidation 3, Martial Arts 4, Occult Knowledge 8, Research 4, Riding (horse) 3, Rituals, Earth magic 3, Rituals, Ley Line magic 3, Rituals, Demon magic 5, Rituals, elf wild magic 1, Stealth  3, Streetwise 4

Elemental (Earth Magic)
Lightning Bolt, Earth Tremor, Flame,

Find Person (Ley Line)

Shielding (Ley Line)
Essence Shield, Physical Shield,

Spirit Mastery  (Ley Line, Demonic)
Summoning, Dismiss, Compact

Spirit Travel (Ley Line)

Earth magic charms, Red Splat gun with Sleepy-time potion ammo, cell-phone, knife
Camille *IS* Rachel Morgan
Can't wait to see what Rachel has in store for her last adventure and whether or not it will truly be her last.

Until you get your book check out Camille's Deviant Art Page for all her great Rachel Morgan cosplays.  One of the best, if not the best one I have seen.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Castle Amber by Candle Light

Running behind on posting (and reading).  We got slammed by a freak storm in Chicago and we were without power from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.

Friday we went out in the hope that the power would be back soon.  No such luck.  So we spent the night reading by flashlight and candle light.  I grabbed my old 2e Ravenloft Boxed set to flip through.

Saturday was spent grilling everything in the fridge so we would not have to throw it all out.

Eggs, toast and bacon on the grill. I might never eat inside again.

We then spent the day preparing and playing one of my favorite modules X2 Castle Amber.

And trust me, nothing was quite as fun as playing it all by candle light.

We played it under 5th edition rules.  Unlike Bone Hill, I did not have 5e stats for all the monsters in this adventure.  But fortunately the conversion process was very easy and most I could do one the fly.

Yeah that is my 1st Ed. DMs screen.  I had my kids grab everything and they also got that.

So far 5e is still working very nice for us.
Castle Amber is also a great adventure to play and run.  The kids are having a blast.  They managed to get through the west wing and they even found an intelligent magical sword.  I am not sure what do with that one yet. I hand-waved it for now since I have not found any D&D5 rules about intelligent weapons yet.

My family is loving this adventure so far and I have to admit I was rather gleeful inside at scene where they have to run from the "Grey Mists" to get into the castle.

The nice thing is that even though this feels like a "monster of the week" adventure there is a great tie-in to the overall "Cult of Chaos" plot I have been weaving through all the adventures.  Yeah, yeah I have seen the posts that D&D isn't supposed to be "cinematic" or "storytelling".  Screw that. I do what my family and I enjoy.   My youngest spends his time playing looking for any clues that might help him understand more about the mystery and my oldest wants to read Lovecraft now.

So next time they will finish the central forest and hit the East Wing and then beyond.
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