Friday, April 18, 2008


I'm taking the family to Armageddon Expo this weekend ( It looks like a nice little gaming conference with a few fun bits tossed in. I think I am most excited to see the game/hobby stores represented, but all of it looks pretty fun. There are lots and lots of video game activities. While I know my son will love it, I am a little concerned that leaving will be torment on him. Hopefully we get a good long while to play. The TSB Arena is only a short walk from the train station so we can take the train and save parking, etc. Although... considering the median age of attendees will be around 15, parking wouldn't be an issue!

I'll post updates after we've been. Game on!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Desert of the Now (or WoW?)

I have been playing a little WoW still. I had a 55th level Rogue that I thought, "what the hell" and started leveling up so I can at least get in to Outlands (gotta be 58th level). I have managed to catch a few of the guys from Nebraska online so that's been cool to play and chat with them.

I've kept EVE active, but I'm only flipping skills when they are due. This is probably cool long term, but it isn't making any ISK for me. At this point, I'm not sure what to do with it. Ah well. I'll probably just set a couple of long skills (45 day trains) and cancel the sub. Maybe I'll come back to it.

Otherwise, I've been writing. This directly interferes with posting time and game time. But I'm sure I'll have more to post soon.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The WoW that won't Die

My wife's account gracefully expired and I stopped playing Warcraft. But then, like a group of drunks all going out on a bender, my old friends started playing their expired accounts again. So again I re-upped my subscription. Only this time I did my account. Most of my history in WoW has been on PvP servers starting on Daggerspine and moving to Nazjatar (after a Blizzard free move offer to uncrowd Daggerspine).

Our guild was Clarity of which my main was probably the 2nd member. My main was the oldest character on Daggerspine and I suppose by extension the olded main in our group. That character is now a 70th level undead warlock named Melongrim. I played all the classes extensively, but like warlock best. I guess I just like evil-against-evil themes. Plus the free mounts were the best looking in the game.

My other characters on the same server are Sharphoof (70th Druid), Shagreal (62nd Priest), Violated (55th Rogue), Lunna (40th Mage) and several others all lower than 40. Thankfully I can report I have no 70's on other servers, although I do have a 40 on a PvE server.

World of Warcraft recently expanded to 2.4.1 which added a new 70th level quest zone and some new Instances. *Shrug* I don't know... seems like more of the same. I'm not particually impressed. But there just isn't much else out worth playing. It is nice to talk to the guys again though. That's really what I play for.

See y'all around. Say Howdy to Melongrim if you see her. Hopefully you're not Ally...

Game On!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

1935 - Adventures of Doom

I originally focused on 1935 as a game setting as it was just before World War II and I thought that the war would be an adventure rich backdrop for a table top game. It would be current enough to have many modern conventions (phones, cars, plane, fire arms) but still be limiting when required. It would also have a recognizable political landscape with America, Europe, Asia, Australia, etc all more or less similar to what we know today. Also it is the middle of the Great Depression--plenty of fodder there too. But as I researched the year more, I became immersed in the shear enormity of this key year (at least to American history). Here's a few zingers...

Folks born in 1935:
  • Elvis Presley
  • Bob Denver (aka: Gilligan, born the day after Elvis)
  • Donald Sutherland
  • Gene Wilder
  • Phil Donahue
  • the Dahlia Lama
Interesting events of 1935:
  • Amelia Earhart flies to Hawaii non-stop from CA
  • The Lindberg baby trial begins and ends culminating with Hauptmann's execution
  • The Dust Bowl storm hits April 14th
  • Social Security Act is signed by FDR
  • Germany breaks the Treaty of Versailles and re-arms ignoring the UN
  • The Luftwaffe is created
  • Howard Hughes sets the air speed record of 356 mph
  • Babe Ruth retires
  • Goddard uses gyroscopes to stabilize rockets
  • RADAR is developed for military use
  • Fascism crops up in virtually every country in some form
  • The Boulder Dam completes
  • Parker Brothers launch the Monopoly board game
This is only a small taste of this year. The mid 30's is also the era of Bonnie & Clyde, Baby Face Nelson and John Dillinger. The Hindenburg commercially launches in 1936 and is destroyed in its infamous crash in 1937. The great inventor Tesla is still alive and living in New York. Egyptology is just taking off although 1935 will see the death of America's first PhD in Egyptology, James Breasted. The events go on and on and on. It is a fantastic era. I hope to have a lot of fun with it.

Dark Dungeon

For random reasons too trivial to explain I thought of this old comic religious tract today. It was quite easy to find at which apparently still seriously publishes these ridiculous comics.
This particular still is from the "Dark Dungeon" tract talking about the "occult" game Dungeons & Dragons.
Little Debbie here on the left has apparently received her Mind Bondage spell from her DM (on the right). My old game group used to raz the Hades out of our DM for our Mind Bondage spell... ah... good times. We never got it. We never did any of the cool stuff. Mostly we just laughed a lot and burned a lot of candles--can't be a dungeon without candles. We also drank a lot of very bad beer (we were all well above 21). On the whole we were about the most wholesome game group around. We even bathed often.
Anyways.... Folks don't talk about D&D being a gateway to evil anymore. At least none of the folks I talk to. D&D is just releasing 4th edition and is now owned by Hasbro. If anyone still thinks otherwise, then seriously, take my word for it, it is just a game. Just a game.
And to my old DM, Aaron... That was a great game! I can safely say that quality of my life has been vastly improved. Those hours of relaxation and just general goofery are some of my happiest memories. Thanks for all the hard work!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Evelyn and the Spector in the Adventures of Doom

In 1935, Devon and Guy Lareux decided they needed a pair of "acquisition specialists". The antiquities business had turned more competitive since the Great War. With trouble brewing "over there" again they thought it best to leave the more dangerous retrievals to younger souls.

It was a warm Chicago summer day when Evelyn Drake responded to their ad. She had excellent recommendations from her instructors at Radcliffe and even a letter from the famed Alice Hamilton--the first woman professor at Harvard. She was petite, blond and appeared vulnerable in a way that always inspired men to help her--she rarely needed it. She was well dressed, but Devon was a shrewd judge and could tell by her worn luggage and scuffed Marshal's boots that she was probably wearing her only "good" dress and a gifted hat. She was a trained pilot, well educated, young and capable. She was perfect.

Joshua Spector was in nearly all ways the opposite of Miss Drake. He was tall and muscled with rough features and dark eyes. His father worked the docks. His mother worked as a maid. His clothes were worn, his knuckles scraped and he needed a shave. Still... he had other talents. He had just returned from Japan after training with the old masters--quite a rare opportunity for an American. Devon smiled as he remembered a favorable wager he had placed about the youth with his brother, Guy. Devon recognized a diamond in the rough and the surprise discovery of Josh's training and proved him right. Joshua had an uncanny ability to slip in unoticed. He virtually disappeared in the dark. He could jump like a cat and kick like a mule. The junk katana he picked up from a second rate Chinese trinket shop became a deadly weapon in his hands. After proving himself in retrieving Old Gilmore's map and key, Guy had been satisfied as well. They hired Spector.

Thus begins the Adventures of Doom... a pulp fiction table top roleplay game. Set in 1935 Chicago just before WWII and in the middle of the Great Depression.

In their first adventure, Evelyn and Joshua retrieve a stolen talisman from the Rising Sun Hotel from the Yakuza controlled Red Fist Gang. The pair sneak to the roof where they subdue a wandering guard. Then proceed to the small "penthouses" of the hotel's 4th floor. Although stealthy, the hyper alert gang members spot Spector. But the young ninja takes them down quickly. Evy takes down her own guard and knocks out the loud-mouth gang groupie in the hall. The last man to deal with is Big Mosaki. Josh swings at the mountainous man who ducks the blow. Unfortunately he ducks right in to Miss Drake's improvised chair attack. The chair smashes across his face leaving him staggered and easy for Spector to finish off. The pair retrieve the talisman and return to Devon victorious.