Monday, November 11, 2013

Awesome news about the Warcraft movie and games

According to Kotaku, director Duncan Jones revealed at BlizzCon that the Warcraft movie won't be an adaption of World of Warcraft. Instead, the movie will be set during early wars between humans and Orcs, so closer to Warcraft and Warcraft II, I'm assuming. One big difference between the movie and the games is that the Horde will be led by Durotan, the father of Thrall. Durotan didn't take part in the two wars, as he and his clan were exiled shortly after arriving in Azeroth. It's a bit odd that they're not using Blackhand or Ogrimm Doomhammer, the warchiefs during the First and Second Wars, respectively..

Not a big deal, I'm just glad that they're starting from the beginning. I was worried that the Warcraft movie was going to be based on WoW. I'm actually intrigued by the idea that the movie will show both Durotan's and Anduin Lothar's (the leader of Azeroth's armies during the First War and leader of Alliance forces during the Second) point of view, so that the Horde isn't depicted as the stereotypical evil monsters. That fits with the franchise - in Warcraft 3, the Horde was revealed to have been tainted by demonic blood and had once been an honorable, shamanistic warrior society.

Speaking of games of my youth, Blizzard announced that they're going to release new versions of Warcraft, Warcraft II, and Warcraft II's expansion, Beyond the Dark Portal that will work on modern PCs. I'm assuming that they're talking about computers that run Windows 7 and 8, because Warcraft II runs on Vista pretty well. I'm hoping that this will maybe lead to Blizzard making another Warcraft RTS. One can dream.

h/t The Wertzone.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pedal powered battery charger and an IKEA refugee shelter (because of course IKEA makes refugee shelters) for your post-apocalyptic RPGs/world building needs

First up, Boing Boing posted a video detailing how to rig a bicycle to recharge batteries. Becky Stern, the woman behind the video explains that in the black out caused by Hurricane Sandy, she was able to use this method to stay online thanks to her friend Hackett setting this rig up. Check it out below.

Interesting. I can see this being useful as part of a quest in a post-apocalyptic RPG like Mutant Future or Gamma World.

Quest ideas:
  • Maybe a party has to construct one or several to help out a settlement
  • They find a piece of pre-apocalypse technology, but need to charge up its battery in order to activate it.
  • If the party has a base, they have to build some of these to power objects.
In terms of fiction/world building, a bicycle-turned-generator could be a fairly common sight in post-apoc settlements since bikes would likely be in abundance.

Second, Web Urbanist has this interesting shelter that the IKEA Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees teamed up to create for use in refugee camps. The shelters normally employed in the camps are only meant for temporary habitation.

Like the bike generator, these have uses in both gaming and world building:
  • Possibly a common sight in settlements or at the players base.
  • A quest aimed at acquiring a load of these shelters to bring to an existing settlement or to help establish a new one.
  • The main character(s) come across a warehouse or derelict truck with some of these inside and decide to appropriate them for their own use.
Are you a DM running a post-apoc RPG or a writer of post-apoc fiction? Do these look like something you'd use?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Barnes & Noble might be overdoing it on the A Song of Ice and Fire front

Went to a B&N today for the first time in six months and headed straight for the scifi/fantasy section. On one hand, I saw some books that I plan on getting next month or in January, but on the other hand, I saw something that actually ticked me off a little: four shelves dedicated to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Four shelves, all carrying varied types of hardcovers, paperbacks, and box sets, with only five books not part of that series. What ticked me off about it is the realization that in order to make room for the Martin bounty, they had to remove a lot of other writers' books, meaning that those people are going to get less money, especially if other B&N's did the same thing. Now, this might not be a problem for the more established writers, but what about the new ones? The folks who are just starting out and need every dollar they can get from book sales? I don't know, maybe I'm overreacting, but it just seems like Barnes & Noble is taking a giant piss on a lot of people.

As for the books that caught my attention:

The Ten Thousand by Paul Kearny.
The Eyes of God by John Marco.
The Darwin Elevator by James M. Hough.
Hooded Man: An Omnibus of Post-Apocalyptic Novels by Paul Kane.
Stark's War by John G. Hemry.

I'm forgetting a few. I know it's more than a little hypocritical to talk about buying books at a store that I ranted about in the same post, but there's nothing to be done about B&N's poor decision making.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

There's screwed, then there's screwed like a prom date in the back of a Volvo. This picture is of the latter sort

This is why the Devil is never allowed to DM.
(via Doktor Archeville)
I feel like if the DM puts something like this into a game, you're morally justified and obligated to introduce your foot to their nads.


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