So after an entirely unintended absence from Swords, Dragons, and Nerds, I am back! The reason for the absence was due to my worst fear when it comes to reading: burn out. You see, I got into a bit of a binge this summer, reading something like ten books from June until about October. Of those ten, all but three were fantasy. Well, it looks like I hit a point where my brain just said "Okay, too much swords and magic! I need starships!" so I decided to take a break and read some science fiction to clear the Orcs and Grue from my head. Now, I'm back and I've decided to tackle one of the biggest hurdles in my nerd life: The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I've made numerous attempts in the past to read the series, but could never quite get the ball rolling. I can't tell you why I could never get into what is largely considered the greatest of fantasy fiction, I just never could. I'm equally baffled as to why I'm reading it now, but I'm 43 pages into The Fellowship of the Ring and not feeling the urge to drop it for something else.
I like it when Penny Arcade veers off the usual gaming related comics. I really like it when they do fantasy-style stories like The Vault of Winter, which follows Acquisitions Inc. - Binwin Bronzebottom, Jim Darkmagic, and Dran - as they're hired to acquire the Enscriptor Malefica (aka naughty list) from the vault of Lord Wyntyr. Basically, it's a Christmas-themed story and so far, it's not bad. The above is the first part and you can read parts 2-5 here, here, here, and here. The mini-series isn't finished yet, but I figured it was worth posting about now.
Edit: Here's parts six and seven. There's also a missing eighth strip that Penny Arcade decided not to publish in light of the tragedy in Connecticut. You can see it here.
Just found this blog on Tumblr and I'm digging it! Unfortunately, many women in fantasy art are cursed to wear the much derided chainmail bikini, an outfit that can't really provide any protection at all in a fight. Women Fighters In Reasonable Armor instead posts pictures of ladies in armor that's a bit more realistic than the kind you would normally see in a Frank Frazetta painting*. There's too many awesome pictures to post, but here's two ofmy favorites so far.
*Nothing wrong with a Frank Frazetta painting, mind you.
Table Titans is a comic created by Scott Kurtz, who writes and draws another webcomic called PvP, and Wizards of the Coast. It's based on a storyline he did for PvP that I posted about last year where a trio of D&D players play through a almost mythical module for fame and to be unbanned from their FLGS. The storyline proved to be so popular, WoTC asked Kurtz if he'd do a new series revolving around the characters.
I can't really pass judgement on the comic yet, since it just started and aside from the original storyline, there are only two new strips. However, the original strips were pretty good, so I sort of recommend it. What's interesting about Table Titans, though, is the "Tales from the Table" feature. People can submit their favorite D&D stories (no idea if you can submit tales from other tabletop games) and they'll be posted on the site. I've read the ones they have now and honestly, most aren't all that great. Some are amusing, b…