Friday, February 28, 2014

We just Broke 10,000 Page Hits!!!

I know some sites get more hits in microsecond but I'm encouraged by this number anyway.

Thanks to everyone who comes here to my blog and reads my posts.

I appreciate the traffic and interest.

Here is what the stats read: Pageviews all time history 10,019

Me celebrating at Dave and Busters!

Dungeons & Dragons & Gaming Link Archive

For a while now I have been adding to this growing list of RPG and D&D links on my computer. Continually devouring articles and searching for resources has been keeping me busy in my downtime. I figured it would be a nice thing to pass along some of the better links to these articles and resources.Without further adieu here is my list...

 Articles & Books

 Google+ First, if you have not already done so, I recommend heading over to Google+ and setting up an account and joining some of the gaming communities there. There are too many to list but for starters the D&D Next community is as good a spot as any to jump in. Google+, unlike Facebook, is a great place to meet new people. It's all right, not everyone is out to get you. Relax a bit, let down your guard some. Make yourself a gaming circle and add new people to it and share only what you want to with them. There are lots of great people out there just waiting to be your new friends. Now go find them!

What Is the Future of D&D and Tabletop Gaming? This is a fantastic article by Ethan Gilsdorf from over at  The website is cool too. As well, Ethan has a great book available called Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. That's a mouthful for sure. I'm not done reading it yet but it is a strong book and may require a full review at some point.

The Surprising Inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons' Weirdest Monsters. This is a article that says some about the origins of the AD&D monsters and links back to the source article. They are both a good read. I remember chewing on those plastic monsters and dinos as a kid while watching Land of the Lost in the early 70s.

Here's what I'd do with 5th Edition D&D... This is a short read. Everyone has an opinion about D&D Next. This is am interesting take on it. I myself have recently tracked down the basic and red box D&D sets from my youth. Simple is always better. Imagination needs to fill in the blanks.

Dungeon of Signs. This is just a great gaming blog. Lots to read and see here.

Dyson's Dodecahedron. Another great gaming blog. This one has amazing maps. Delve deep and you will be rewarded. Top notch. Top shelf. Don't miss this site.

Heather Souliere Art. Personal art by Heather Souliere with lots of amazing maps. Very personal. Done by hand. The way it should be.

Gygax Magazine. The website says, "Gygax magazine was founded in 2012 by Luke Gygax, Ernest Gary Gygax Jr., Jayson Elliot, and Tim Kask. Our first issue was released on January 26, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York." I have already subscribed. Issue one is sold out but you can do like I did and grab the PDF over at DriveThroughRPG. Old School (quarterly) print magazine about gaming right to your door like it was the 70s again. What are you waiting for? Do it! This is a great blog by my best friend Colin. Here is what it's all about. Lots of great Eve Online tutorial stuff up right now at the top of the feed. I feel like he wrote those posts just for me! Thanks bro!

Forbes. David M. Ewalt writes articles about D&D for Forbes now and then. He also wrote this cool book, Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It. A man worth following and a book worth buying.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Dungeons & Dragons: One Woman's Quest to Trade Self-Help for Elf-Help. Women play D&D too and here is the proof. It's not all men at the gaming table. Don't be shy. They won't bite. Get a lady's perspective with this cool book.

Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress: A Girl's Guide to the D&D Game. Another one for the ladies. I have not read this one but I am curious. It's in my Amazon basket ready for my next order. Now if I could just get my wife to play! Maybe this book will help!
Playing at the World. Jon Peterson has written a masterful gaming tome. This is the end all be all resource for Dungeons & Dragons and the history of RPG gaming, backdated to the beginning of time. The book is written into 5 massive chapters. It's so comprehensive that the author even tells you how it's written and what to expect from it. The first and last chapters, (a decent sized book alone) are what held my interest the most. The center 3 chapters—the meat of the book—goes into insanely researched detail about the history of war gaming and how it all led to the inception of D&D. Everything is covered. J. R. R. Tolkien. Battle straggly war games. Everything. The last chapter gets back to D&D, Gygax and Arneson and ends basically around the time when most of us first learned about D&D. This is the book you need. it's the one you want. It has everything you ever wanted to know and tons that you didn't even know you wanted to know. Learn something new and delve into real actual history.


Here is a list of the best resources I've found online for D&D and gaming. This is not a complete list but a selection of my favorites. feel free to post below this entry with links of your own.

D&D Next Index. I'm not sure how I found this. I'm also not sure why I never see it listed anywhere on websites. Either way, here it is. A full resource of all the D&D Next game rules. It must be official. How could it not be? Use it before it goes away. Hopefully it wont.

Donjon. This is one of the greatest gaming resources you will ever find. Dungeons generators, inn generators, character name generators, treasure generators, etc. AD&D, D20, D&D 4e, Pathfinder, and more are all covered. May you be gaming enough to have a need to use them all. I'm still continually blown away by this free resource.

Pre-Generated Character Library. Over at they have compiled this fantastic resource of (mostly official) pre-generated D&D characters. In my opinion pre-gens are not nearly as common as they should be. Character creation for the many different editions of D&D can often be daunting complex to create, especially for those new to the game. A vast resource of hundreds of pre-gens from every edition should be made available by Wizards. I think it would help more people get into playing the game and at a younger age. All editions should be embraced with this idea of mine. Until that day comes this is the next best place to find pre-gens. They are mostly 4e but there are some D&D Next characters up there now. Download them. Print them. Use them. Sometimes I even laminate them so my kids don't destroy them.

Character Sheets by Dyslexic Studeos. This is another great resource. For creating characters for D&D or Pathfinder this is the link you need. The website is beautifully laid out and easy to understand. Make, create, download.

Mad Irishman. This is an insane resource for character sheets and lots more. Here is one great character sheet just to give you an idea what is here just waiting for you. From OD&D to Basic, all the way to 4th edition you will find what you want. There is a lot more there then just D&D too.

Reaper Miniatures

Hasslefree Miniatures

Pathfinder Miniatures


Wizards of the Coast D&D on Twitch. I'm new to Twitch. Like I went there earlier today for the first time new. Wizards was running a new D&D adventure. I had already played it Wednesday night. It was a nice video feed with three cameras and the maps and all. Very professional. Check out Twitch for this and more.

For now I'll end here with Geek Chic. This is for rich gamer or very dedicated games who save, borrow, or creatively pool resources into gaming furniture. They have amazing tables that cost a fortune, including the amazing Sultan. If you own any of these or have even seen them in real life please comment. I'd love to read what you have to say. is this stuff excessive? Sure. Would I get the Sultan if I had the money? You bet! Hehe. I cant complain. I have a pretty sweet gaming table of my own—an old Pier One table (picture not of my house) hand me down. I'll be using it till I get the Sultan. ;)

The Sultan Gaming Table. 

——Note—— More links can be added. Please post links in comments and after some time I'll add them to the blog here. Thanks.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Am I?

Found this rather long and involved questionnaire to find out what D&D character I'd be in real life. Hehe. Given that I'm 6th level the stats seem a bit low. And I'm still not sure why I have no HP. Anyway, here are the results...

I Am A: Neutral Good Human Ranger (6th Level)

Name: Rardaxx (added this myself)

Ability Scores:

Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Rangers are skilled stalkers and hunters who make their home in the woods. Their martial skill is nearly the equal of the fighter, but they lack the latter's dedication to the craft of fighting. Instead, the ranger focuses his skills and training on a specific enemy a type of creature he bears a vengeful grudge against and hunts above all others. Rangers often accept the role of protector, aiding those who live in or travel through the woods. His skills allow him to move quietly and stick to the shadows, especially in natural settings, and he also has special knowledge of certain types of creatures. Finally, an experienced ranger has such a tie to nature that he can actually draw on natural power to cast divine spells, much as a druid does, and like a druid he is often accompanied by animal companions. A ranger's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Zero Charisma Film Review

Zero Charisma is comedy about a nerdy game master and the fringe RPG gaming world he inhabits. The plot is a slice of life of the main character, Scott Weidemeyer, and how the close knit RPG group he runs begins to fall apart once a new artsy hipster type fills a suddenly vacated slot in the gaming party. The loss of his house, where he games, is threatened too.

Certainly the hook of the film is nerdy RPG world and social misfits that often (guilty as charged) inhabit it. Some who see the film and actually play RPGs might take offense, as the film clearly pokes huge amounts of fun at this world and the people within it. I myself was not offended, (little offends me) and I was able to see the truth and exaggeration in the film simply as sort of love letter to the way the RPG world can often be, is often perceived, and the nebulous reality in-between.

Any group of people can be made fun of. Sports groups, artists, car enthusiasts, etc, will all have fanatics embedded within. The film was obviously made by people who love RPGs and just embraced and exaggerated the nerdier aspects of how gaming groups can sometimes be.

The actual plot of the film could easily be lifted out of the RPG setting and overlaid onto any group or social network of friends. Once the new hipster character, Miles, enters the mix, the dynamic begins to change, and Scott, someone who likes being in charge, is distraught by the unraveling of his cloistered reality. The nerdish group enjoy Miles creative and extrovert type  personality as well as his many apparent accomplishments. Scott is not impressed and tries desperately to hold his world together. I'm not going to explain further but for me the crux of why this film is great lies within the social dynamic that plays out as the story progresses. Simply making fun of RPGs is good for some laughs but what the creators of this film understand is that you need depth and emotion to have a film that will have some staying power.

The film often gets deadly serious—a quality all great comedies possess—and is definitely in the realm of the black comedy.

I loved the film. It's not the best film ever made, but it is unique and for what it sets out to do, it succeeded with flying colors.  5 D20s! A Critical hit!

The film is a must see for anyone who enjoys a good comedy, especially if you play and/or enjoyed RPG games at any point in your life.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My RPG & Board Games Industry Wish List

RPGs can easily be altered to be played any way one wants, but we can wish for out-of-the-box simplicity, perfection, ease of use, etc.  Board Games are not as easy to alter any different way one wants and need some improvements too, going forward. Here is my wish list for Games/RPGs. And be aware that I don't know everything so if some or all of what I list exists, please enlighten me. I am willing to learn.

• Monster Manual Card Decks for each monster. Monsters need stats for small, medium, and large parties, so if a DM choses to play a monster they can easily chose what stats to use based on party size. These decks could come with the MMs or be sold separately. The S, M, L, XL stats are the crux of this idea. Even if card decks are not in your company's future, please put the varying stats for varying party size with each monster. Sometimes it's just me and my son playing, not a full party of 7.

Prefab Characters, lots of them. The complexity of creating a character is the biggest roadblock standing in the way of new and young players. Character creation is almost always the most complex initial hurdle, and requires much flipping back and forth through a user guide/players handbook all before any game is actually played. While a few prefab characters are available online for all or most systems, I wish there were dozens, or even hundreds of prefab characters to chose from, download, print, buy, etc. Imagine a prefab character box with 100-200 prefab characters to leaf through and hand out. This need not detract from personal play choices either as certain traits can be left to be filled in by the player. Alternatively, blank, 1/2-made, and 100% prefab character sheets can all be included.

• Online Character Creation Tool.  D&D kind of did this but in general RPGs are lagging far behind the rest of the world with new technology integration. If Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network can have loads of games and junk for kids to play, then RPGs can have online services too. Online character creation is a must for any RPG system going forward that hopes to include new young people, instead of just jaded older men playing their systems. Fees can easily be charged for such services. Fast character creation that uses online tools or tablet apps needs to happen now. You may be shaking your head and saying, "NO! RPGS are for pencil and paper only," but once someone comes along and does it right, you'll all be scrambling to catch up. Get ahead of the curve now before it's too late.

• DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube, & Online Instruction Videos. Games are too complicated to play easily. If the rules were written better this might not be a problem but the fact of the matter is that the rules for many board games just flat out suck. Sure if you are a veteran gamer, already used to the way games tend to operate you might pick up on a new game fast. For kids, teens, and even adults who have not been at this for decades, more well-written rules are needed. Video examples of unboxings, setup, and game play solve this problem quickly. Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game has videos and they are a great example of how to do this the right way. Just do it! There are people out there doing this on their own to help new games and I applaud their efforts. The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is one such game with instructions that were decent but not great and I needed online YouTube videos to get going.

• Clear Well Written Instructions. Instructions and rules need to be written by people who know how to write but not necessarily know how to play the game. If you are a seasoned gamer and you came into writing instructions as a adjunct of your job, I hate to break it to you, but you are doing it wrong. Tannhäuser, Eve Online, D&D 4e, Pathfinder (Pathfinder basic box is not bad), Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and more, all need better instructions.  The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is just my most recent boxed game that I found difficult to comprehend. Were it not for YouTube, I think I might have wasted my money. Even with a 70-80% grasp of the game I still needed to go back to YouTube to make sure I had it correct. I'm going to attempt to make a quick-start guide for this game to hopefully show what is lacking and how simplicity and clear writing needs to be a big part of games going forward. After all, who wants to produce a game that people find difficult to play? And who wants to buy a $50 board game or RPG book that is maddening to comprehend. Remember, if you've been playing games forever this suggestion is not for you. Better writing of rules is needed for new or casual players. I play and read game systems quite often and I still only consider myself a casual gaming enthusiast, or a mid-level gamer at best.

• Better Box Storage. If I pay $60+ for a board game and it comes with more than 200 bits for me to punch out, and I then have to get in my car and head over to Michaels Arts & Crafts Stores to buy plastic containers to hold all the bits, well, that is lame. The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is the first boxed game I've gotten that is actually constructed for real actual game play. Follow Paizo's lead here and design and construct your game boxes with actual game play in mind. And no, Ziploc bags do not count.

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game does storage correctly.
Slots are even there for future purchases! 
• No More Bits! I could, and may, write an entire blog entry just on this point. Good Lord there are so many freaking bits, scraps, custom dice, tiny minis, and pieces that come with the games I feel like I need to be stuck in the jail from The Walking Dead just to have enough time to punch em, organize em, learn em, set em up, and play em. They make my head want to explode! Solution? Make games with fewer bits. All the bits may make it seem like you are getting your money's worth, but I see through this nonsense and just see it as a clever way to fool people into thinking they are getting a lot when it's actually just a box of cardboard with some fast photoshop work that is die-cut over in China. If you feel your game needs a complex mechanic with tons of bits then put in the ability of the bits/counters to be tracked on paper, or at the very least add the option to the game with a paper counter sheet. Most bits are used as markers and counters so a player sheet to fill the stats in manually would help. Include a few in the box and make PDFs available online. Gamers all have home printers. Also, and this is important, tablet/smartphone apps could solve this all. Most people have smartphones and tablets now. Gamers who can buy expensive board games can, and usually do, have a smartphone. Even if you want to keep in the billion game bits, make smartphone or tablet apps as virtual solutions for keeping track of bits. A truly clever company would make one master app to rule all their board games and then have a tab/hierarchy in the app for navigating to the game being played and the virtual bits being used. If you are worried about games being played without being purchased, just put essential components to game play in the box. Or put download codes in the box. Or charge for the app. The solutions are there. Companies just need the will to make these ideas happen.

• No More Blind Box Minis! I wrote about this already but it's worth reiterating again here. Gambling style sealed minis for each and every game needs to end. Now! RPG gamers want to get either all the minis or just some minis. Heroclix, where it might be necessary to have a few rare miniatures, there are solutions. Randomly include only rare figures as blind. Or just make them rare like is the practice for action figures. People revisit stores more frequently to check for rare figures. If the nerds running the gaming stores will glom them all and sell them on Ebay, then make nothing rare--but alter the rules that require playing with powerful figures that everyone wants to use. Altering the game rules to make certain figures rare/infrequently-used is easier and nicer to your consumers then making buying your product a form of gambling. I already severely limit my son's buying of Heroclix because of the way they are sold.
Don't make us blind-buy your minis, because if we saw how many doubles you packed in them, we'd buy fewer of them. This practice is the most horrid, despicable way of doing business. If your company can't make money by selling us a product we can see, then you are making crappy minis. The Pokémon Trading Figure Game has one solution with only one figure coming blind. It's somewhat acceptable to have just one figure be blind to the consumer. Not all of them. We'd stop buying packs with 5 figures we already had. Only fools would risk $25 on 5 figures they already had and did not need, just to possibly get one rare figure they needed. I still suggest making nothing rare, nothing blind, and just changing game mechanics for powerful/rare figures. Dice rolling for use of a powerful figure will solve this problem and save all the companies from looking like vultures.

RPGs for little kids. A simple RPG system with prefab characters, cartoon images, and playful and fun adventures needs to be made by Wizards or Paizo. I've seen small efforts at this idea with Wizards free PDF of The Heroes of Hesiod A Monster Slayers Adventure. This is a good thing, but something people can buy for their kids as a gift needs to be the next step. Something with cool sturdy painted minis in the box. Something that is tame, simple, yet cool to play. Kids love rolling dice. And kids love, love, love being the Dungeon Master! Keep this in mind.

Take my advice.

Go forth and improve your products.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Scarcenna A Short Film by Brandon J. Hall

Poster for the film Scarcenna
One Tuesday last April (2013) I headed over to the local Barnes and Noble to pick up the Criterion release of Naked Lunch on blu-ray. I started chatting with the bookseller there about the film and a quick connection between us formed. Fast forward now almost a year later and Brandon J. Hall and I have become friends with more then a few things in common—a strong love of the cinema, paramount amongst them.

The traditional view of film directors I grew up with was that of a person high up the Hollywood food chain.  While that may still be the case for many mainstream directors, today technology has made it possible for anyone with the drive to make films to turn inspiration into the reality of a completed film. Cheap high quality video cameras and non-linear editing on home computers grants abilities to us mere mortals that was a near impossibility back when I was in college in the early 90s. I remember friends who majored in film having to schedule 4am time slots to get onto the nonlinear editing machine at school. Thankfully today that is behind us.

In thinking about the way the playing field of creation, in general, has been changed recently by technology, I thought back to when I was lucky enough to see Francis Ford Coppola speak live in NYC for an episode of Inside the Actors Studio. Here is a quote of his I found.

To me, the great hope is that now these little 8mm video recorders and stuff have come out, and some... just people who normally wouldn't make movies are going to be making them. And you know, suddenly, one day some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart, you know, and make a beautiful film with her little father's camera recorder. And for once, the so-called professionalism about movies will be destroyed, forever. And it will really become an art form. That's my opinion—Francis Ford Coppola

Coppola's sentiment, in one way or another, is what I see happening with films each and every day. Cinema as art is beginning to bleed out from many directions, not just from the top down. As Brandon himself put it, "a democratization is happening with film now." I agree. I remember as a kid after seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark with my childhood friend Jesse Feigelman, another filmmaker, and us both wishing we had a video camera to record something, anything, and make a video story. Back then it took years before we even had access to a video camera. Today for those like Brandon with the drive to create film as art — the sky's the limit.

Brandon's current film, Scarcenna, a wonderful short film he recently completed, is the result of that inner inexplicable drive to create, coupled with today's technology granting almost anyone the ability to acquire easily-obtainable equipment to make ideas a reality. Talent comes into the mix too, and Brandon clearly is in no short supply of it.

A frame from the film Scarcenna.
When I asked Brandon about the meaning of the film's title, Scarcenna, he said, "There is none. I wanted something with no meaning so people couldn't be influenced by it."

I know Brandon has ideas about what Scarcenna means to him, but I also know that he wants you, the viewer, to bring your ideas to it too. What you derive from his film is as important as what he intended. His intentions are for your ideas to manifest into something more than just what he had in mind. Now this is a new way of thinking about how films are made and how they are intended to communicate. It reminds me of what the blogger mstrmnd said on the commentary of the film Room 237 of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. I'm paraphrasing, but the gist of it was that Kubrick was possibly attempting to create a new film language that would spur disparate meanings from one film.

Check out Scarcenna below. Dim the lights, turn up the sound a bit, set the quality up high, and expand the film to full screen to get the maximum out of your viewing. If you can watch on a widescreen TV, I recommend it.

I found the film hauntingly beautiful. The music, editing, photography, and acting, all coming from one mind, one vision, yet open-ended enough to allow for our interpretation. Rather than give my thoughts and influence your thinking, I'll allow you to see it as intended, unbiased and fresh.

I enjoyed it a great deal and am happy to be friends with the creative mind behind this short film.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Land of the Lost RPG Miniatures Part 4 Sleestaks!

-- UPDATE --

Here are a few more shots of the mins painted. I finally did Enik and one Sleestak.

The Sleestak miniatures from Forge of Ice have arrived!

Her are some pictures...

Now comes the hard part. Stay tuned!

—— Update —— Despite the awesomeness of the Forge of Ice miniatures I felt Enik looked a little feminine. The tunic was not as long as it should be and the mini has a sort of hourglass lady-like shape. I easily remedied this with some epoxy resin. Today I start painting.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Land of the Lost RPG Miniatures Part 3 The Zarn & Matrix Table

Here are 2 more Land of the Lost miniatures. The Zarn and a Matrix Table.

I figured i'd give The Zarn a new updated look for the mini and speckling paint was easy. The Matrix Table was made with this green epoxy stuff I found at the store.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Land of the Lost Music Mashup

Here is a track I did. One of many Land of the Lost inspired songs or Mashups I've done over the years.


Friday, February 7, 2014

WizKids Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures coming!

This is going to be the year of D&D! D&D Next will be out...eventually, and now news has surfaced that WizKids & Wizards of the Coast will be joining forces, (Wiz & Wiz) for a new line of pre painted minis.

Let the Wiz jokes begin!

I see pre-orders are already being taken by some places. Something tells me these will not be in short supply. Just a hunch I have.
For larger images of the miniatures go here. Click the tabs and go to the gallery tab to see the larger images of these figures.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Eve Online: The Last Game You Will Ever Need

Do you have a lot of time and want a game to sink down into, never to resurface to reality?

Look no further, Eve Online is the game for you.

My good friend and fellow gamer, Colin, over at his blog, has slowly planted the seed into my mind that I should try out Eve Online. For the few of you like me who are not in-the-know, Eve is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG for short. The word massive does not even come close to expressing the near infinite vastness of this game. I spent the better half of my morning today first checking out the website and then downloading the demo with a 3 week demo. You cannot buy this game and use it, like others, as you wish. You need to pay a monthly online subscription. The choices are 1, 3, 6, and 12 month options. The 12 month option will set you back $99.99. I definitely recommend going the demo route first.

Once I decided to download the game and join up for the 3 week demo I needed to create an account. Username. Password. The whole 9 yards. Then I downloaded the game for my Mac. It took a very long time. 1/2 an hour easy. It was a 7+gb download and installed at over 14+gb. Make sure you have the room and the time, as this is not some casual plugin. With a 14+gb game on my Mac, now I'm not sure the online part should be so prominently advertised. Obviously it is the online aspect that links all the players together. You are paying for that service, which I'm assuming needs to be pretty advanced to coordinate all the virtual locations within this MMORPG so that the virtual world functions flawlessly when you might meet up with the countless other online players.

So once the game was downloaded, it needed to unpack itself and install. That took more time. That's fine. I know my laptop is showing its age and a new mac-pro could likely have done this all way faster. Hmmmm...gears in head turning...

Once up and running a character needs to be created. This is very much like the creation of a D&D character except you start with jack shit. You get to make your character M/F, chose a race from 4 different descriptions. I went with the Gallente who from the brief description seemed very much like the Libertarian party. The other three were a theocratic society, an economic society, and a colonizing society. It's all spelled out in text as you go. There is a lot to read. My eyes are not what they used to be and I have not yet found the old-man ENLARGE TEXT option. I need to find that, if it exists. With all the options available I'd be kinda bummed if it did not have this.

Remember that this is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game. After the hour it took to explore and download, install, sign up, log in, and create a character, I still needed to go through the tutorial to just be able to play. The bottom line is that this game is complex. Once up and running for a few weeks, I might have some rudimentary handle on this game. Now I'm lost in space. The tutorial is good and slowly takes you through every aspect of what your character will be doing. Missions, ship controls, battles, docking, space navigation, etc. The controls and all the various screens that can be opened or closed are complex. Below is a full screen shot of my newbie character Kxern Angstrom (the x is silent) with many of the different function screens open. These can all be closed at any time. It is a lot to learn, especially since much of these screens are opened via icons and they are not always obvious ones like the camera on your cell.
Kxern Angstrom

I did not even get through the full tutorial. I had a very hard time using the controls because I have a Mac mouse that only has one button and even though I was using the Mac version it still was telling me to right-click or left-click. Also there is a radial control menu that is supposed to open with a mouse click. The best I was able to get was a drop down menu with a control. The tutorial not explaining exactly what my Mac experience was added to the complexity and my ignorance. I was almost destroyed because I could not figure out how to lock onto a moving ship. I'll get the hang of it. This was day one for me and I did quite a lot.

The bottom line is that the game is incredibly immersive. The music is amazing but might lull you to sleep if you are not fully rested. And overall the sublime beauty of this virtual outer space reality is a wonder to experience. Will I find the time to sit and give Eve the effort it deserves? Not sure. Do I want to? Yes! At the very least I'll be back soon to finish the tutorial.

More complicated than your new job at NASA.
Here are a few more screen captures to check out. Please head over to my friend's blog to see his beautiful captures and posts on Eve too.

Every location is gorgeous.
Like me but much cooler. 
Can I oder these clothes? 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Land of the Lost RPG Miniatures Part 2

So in the last post I showed a few pictures of 2 Arkham Horror minis I altered and repainted to look like Rick and Will Marshall from the Land of the Lost TV show from the 70s. In my first post on a Land of the Lost RPG may people posted replies and suggested Savage Worlds RPG system. I very much appreciate the suggestion and the help. Thanks.

Ultimately it was minis we wanted here the most. We just use basic D20 rules and are heavy on story and light on mechanics. Especially here at home. In the dead of winter finding something to do—so we don't go nuts—is important. Painting minis seems to be the new annual tradition here. Last winter it was Blade Runner minis. This year it's Land of the Lost.

So over at Hasslefree Miniatures they are selling Ellie and Joel miniatures from the video game The Last of Us. Obviously they are not labeled as such, I'm guessing for legal reasons. Painting the Ellie mini to resemble Holly is going to be fun. The mini is dressed almost identical to Holly and her hair is even close, pulled into two pony tails. Holly had two braids but beggars can't be choosers. This is so close I am super excited.

I'm not sure about the guns and other weapons. The TV show never had guns, but removing this and having the mini still look good might be difficult. I'm considering allowing for the use of guns and other light weapons like axes, machetes, etc. Using some small weapons might help gameplay so I'll decide once I get the mini.

Family outfits from Land of the Lost

The Joel mini is dressed very Land of the Lost too. Since this game will be an open world with more playable characters than those just from the TV show I have decided to make other made up playable characters, or perhaps variations of the original characters from the TV show. Getting the three main characters as close as possible will be fun but adding new characters to the game and creating a sort of fan-fiction aspect will be a must to make any land of the Lost game enjoyable.

I'm going to try and find a nice wooden box for the minis I customize and store them all in there.

Here are the minis from Hasslefree Miniatures. Please visit their great site to search and find interesting minis for what ever games you might be running.

Here are the minis I ordered. Aside from the girl with the gun that will become Holly the other minis will be made up playable or non-playable characters for whatever game we run here.

"Holly" and other possible LOTL NPC minis 

I'm not sure I'll be using this woman with the sledge-hammer but she seemed like if I made it into a torch it might work as a NPC. The dino mini was a sweet find and considering the setting it will be perfect as a monster. I already have lots of dino toys so finding and painting dino minis is not necessary. Now I need to find minis for the Pacu/ape men. I already found Sleestak minis online but I'll save that for a later post. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Land of the Lost RPG Miniatures Part 1

With some digging and some help from good people online I have begun my work on Land of the Lost RPG miniatures. For Rick and Will Marshall I have used Arkham Horror miniatures. I still need a suitable mini for Holly.

—Update. I found a suitable mini for Holly over at Hasslefree Miniatures. Here is a link to the mini I'll be using for Holly. I'm not sure about the gun. The TV show never had guns, but removing this and having the mini still look good might be difficult. I'm considering allowing for the use of guns and other light weapons like axes, machetes, etc. Using some small weapons might help gameplay so I'll decide once I get the mini. I ordered a few other minis that seem like they will fit into the Land of the Lost world.—

I added a backpack onto Rick like one from a photo I have. Unfortunately the minis I had that were good had their arms in wacky positions because they were holding things I removed. To solve this problem i added color crystals into their hands. Crystals and torches were pretty much all the weapons they tended to have. I think this is a decent solution. He are some pictures of Rick and Will Marshal.

There is a 1/2 finished Matrix Table in the photos. It's needs to dry and then painted before it's 100%. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Sons Latest Creation

Here is the just finished cover for my oldest sons latest creation. It's for an adventure he is working on and it has all the imagination, energy, wonder, and excitement that every game should hold. Bravo! I cant wait to play it.