Sunday, October 28, 2012

Finished S.M. Stirling's Dies the Fire

And goddamn, Dies the Fire was excellence. I'll write up a non-review later, but it was excellent. With that out of way, it's time to move on to something else. I have three in mind:

Unofficial S.M.Stirling Fan Page.
The Protector's War is the sequel to Dies the Fire. I'm a bit worried about burning myself out on the Emberverse by jumping to the next book so quickly.

Lord of the Rings Wiki.
Partly because the first part of trilogy is coming out in December, but mostly because I want to read more of the classics. I did read a bit of this last year and enjoyed it.

A Wiki of Ice and Fire.
It's been several months since I finished A Game of Thrones and I'd like to be at least halfway through A Storm of Swords before season three of Game of Thrones airs, so I should probably get to reading A Clash of Kings soon.

What to choose, what the choose?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oh good lord, it wasn't a bad dream after all - Arnold Schwarzenegger taking up the Conan mantle again

Should be noted that he's 65 years old and while he's not completely flabby, his body isn't exactly 1982 level either. The movie will be called the The Legend of Conan, is a direct sequel to the first movie, so they're effectively de-rebooting the franchise or re-rebooting or restoring it to the last save point. They're also ignoring Conan the Destroyer. From what I can tell, the inspiration for LoC was the very end of Conan the Barbarian, where he's shown sitting on a throne with a crown on his head and so the new movie will carry off from that, showing an aged Conan.

I'm a bit mixed about this. On one hand, Conan the Barbarian was a great movie and if you've read some of the stories, it gets even better. On the other hand, I think it's a bit unfair to Jason Momoa. Insulting, to be honest. I know his Conan movie wasn't as well received as the original, but ditching him and it like this just comes off as a middle finger. I'm also not too thrilled about the idea (or the alcoholism-inducing mental image) of a senior citizen running around in a loin cloth and swinging a sword.

There are just some things a person should never have to see in their life. :P

Picture via The Blog That Time Forgot.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Interesting games: Spears of the Dawn

Since posting links to Kickstarters seems to be a popular thing with blogs, I thought I'd hop on the bandwagon and link to one myself. Spears of the Dawn is a fantasy RPG by Kevin Crawford, the maker of Stars Without Number, that has an interesting theme - medieval Africa. I like Crawford's reason for doing it:
Spears of the Dawn is intended to be an encouragement to other indie game designers. For decades, we've heard the common wisdom- "African games don't sell," people say. "People can't identify with African character art." "Medieval Africa hasn't got the variety and flavor of medieval Europe." "Players aren't comfortable with an African-flavored setting."

I've just laid down a $3,000 bet that the common wisdom is wrong. I've written this game, commissioned the art, and already paid out $1,800 of the budget in art costs. I've brought on the superb artistic talents of people like Nicole Cardiff, Luigi Castellani, Earl Geier, Andrew Krahnke, and Ian MacLean. I've gone to the sources, looked at the histories, checked out the mythology, and I can say with perfect confidence that medieval Africa provides amazing material.
Going by the fact that the Kickstarter has already surpassed its $3,000 goal, I'd say people are interested in an Africa-themed RPG. I just like the fact that there's going to be an RPG out there that isn't based on medieval Europe. Freshens things up a bit.

h/t Blog of Holding.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Speaking of guns

Wargaming blog Paul's Bods has several pictures of medieval artillery and I figured maybe it might be relevant to the last post. The miniatures are pretty nice, actually and includes a pot-de-fer, bombards, and veuglaire. Definitely saving that post for future reference.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A big bang: Artillery in fantasy

You don't really see it much in fantasy, do you? Artillery. Cannons, with the big booms and the big balls turning some poor bastards into a red stain and a column of brave soldiers into a slaughter house. Wow, that was a bit morbid, wasn't it? Well, in any case, it's a bit of an anachronism that you don't, especially since cannons existed during the middle ages. The Turks famously used them to batter the walls of Constantinople, ending the Byzantine and by extension, the Roman Empire. Indeed, according to Wikipedia, Europe started making use of cannons during the late middle ages, with the earliest one being something called a pot-de-fer, which debuted during the Hundred Years' War.

Granted, I'm still a relative n00b when it comes to fantasy fiction, so I'm probably generalizing. I suppose the reason you don't see them around in fiction is because writers are probably afraid of pushing the tech level to that point because where there are cannons, guns are sure to follow. I don't think that has to be. It would be simple just to BS an excuse for firearms not to exist in a fictional world, especially since the early ones were just godawful - literally just metal tubes mounted on wood.

Looks like it's going to be another Conan spree

I swear to Crom, those Ace paperbacks the library has will be the death of me. I made the mistake of taking one of them, Conan of Cimmeria, off the shelf just to take a peek at the table of contents. Just a peek! But, as soon as I gazed upon "The Frost Giant's Daughter", I knew I was lost. Despite its decrepit state, I also grabbed the first Ace Conan book, even though the thing is about five seconds from falling away.

Then I grabbed Kull: Exile of Atlantis because of reasons. Damn, I always fail my saving throws when it comes to Robert E. Howard!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Revolution gets a full season pickup and a thought on last night's episode (spoilers)

First off, WOO HOO! I was deathly afraid that Revolution wouldn't get renewed, but I guess NBC is at least willing to give it a go. Apparently, the show hasn't been doing too well in the ratings when it airs, but its saving grace was the fact that a lot of people are recording it on their DVRs and watching it later. Give whoever invented those things a f*cking medal! Hit the jump for a thought I had on last night's episode, No Quarter, but fair warning:

Topless Robot's 8 Things That Ruin D&D Games

Before anything else, can we all stop and take a moment to appreciate the fact that Bill Amend managed to reference LOTR, D&D, and Warhammer in a nationally syndicated comic strip?

Now, on to business. As soon as I saw this list, I knew I had to post it. The list includes such things as poor gaming location, forcing a session when some or all of the players' just aren't feeling it, and having a craptastic DM. Number eight on the list really caught my attention, though: "Putting Wayyy Too Much Money Into It". It instantly made me think of OSR, and the retro-clones. Oh, OSR and your supporting blogs, you have spellbound me.


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