Pith Helmet

OD&D Sleestak Stats
June 23, 2008, 3:11 am
Filed under: Gaming | Tags: ,

Sleestaks, AC 5; Move 3; HD 1+1

Sleestaks are nocturnal reptilian humanoids that dwell in the remains of their once advanced technological/mystical civilization. They are a bit dim and are usually armed with ineffective light crossbows with ranges as follows 1″/2″/3″. they will always miss on the first shot and seldom surprise anyone because of the noisy hissing they make when excited. They do not like to operate in bright light and will flee areas of all but the mildest of illumination.
[ h/t Philotomy Jurament who posted at ENWorld ]

Sunday Night Photodump





Quote o’ The Day
June 21, 2008, 7:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

“Politicians never accuse you of ‘greed’ for wanting other people’s money, only for wanting to keep your own money. ‘Need’ now means wanting someone else’s money. ‘Greed’ means wanting to keep your own. ‘Compassion’ is when a politician arranges the transfer.”
– Joseph Sobran

The Moldvay in The Machine
June 20, 2008, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Gaming

Jeff Rients of Jeff’s Gameblog provided a link to a random “dungeon” generator that does all the nuts and bolts work for the busy DM, so that all he needs to fill in is story and flavor. You pick the number of encounters you want, click the “Create Adventure” button, and voila!. I picked eight encounters and got the following. I could see it all making sense.
Continue reading

John Carter, Warlord of Pixar
June 20, 2008, 9:46 am
Filed under: Gaming, Movies

Like every parent of every child born in 21st century America, I have seen almost every Pixar movie to come down the pipe. I’ve found Nemo, raced with Lightning McQueen, and followed a plucky group of rice farmers ants as they hire a band of samurai an insect circus troupe to defend their village hill against roving bandits grasshoppers. I have enjoyed them all. But now, according to The Pixar Blog, Andrew Stanton is writing the script for “John Carter of Mars.”

*Insert fannish squee from geekparents everywhere here*

The Pixar Blog‘s MB1000 posted the following back on June 6:

Stanton: “I am writing John Carter of Mars right now.”

[ h/t io9 ]

Unclebear’s Appealing Idea
In his post yesterday titled “How I’d Do Risus D&D,” Uncle Bear offered the following idea:

For spells, you can pick spell names and effects out of a D&D book of any edition, or, to be more creative, invent spells on the fly. For authentic flavor made-up spells should be named using the Name-Adjective-Noun(ish) format. “Cure Light Wounds” is boring; I always wanted to cast something like Garbledor’s Astonishing Recovery. Fireball? Feh. Try Faldoron’s Spectacular Holocaust.

I never played magic-users for more than a single adventure, but I always thought that casting Bigby’s Crushing Fist or Drawmij’s Instant Summons sounded much cooler than casting the generic Magic Missle. However, I will say that while Rary’s Mnemonic Enhancer has much more flair than a plain old Fireball, it doesn’t do squat for you in a pinch when your party gets bushwhacked by a band of frost giants.

[ h/t Uncle Bear ]

A Blast from The Past circa 1989 or so
June 18, 2008, 3:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dotcom Debauchery
June 16, 2008, 10:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Ain’t no party like a west coast party ‘Cause a west coast party don’t stop …”
–Coolio, “1-2-3-4 (Sumpin’ New)”

“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/A stately pleasure-dome decree”
–Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan, or a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment.”

The New York Post compares 6’6″ billionaire Henry Nicholas III to Iron Man; however, the SoCal computer chip mogul has more in common with the likes of Wilson Fisk than he does Tony Stark. Sure the gadgetry, the womanizing, and boozing are there, but where Stark uses his powers for good, Nicholas, aside from a few philanthropic donations, uses them for self-gratification. Far from being heroic, the Broadcom giant rules his roost with threats and intimidation.

His story reads more like an old VH1 Behind The Music than it does the story of Charles Foster Kane.

( Enjoy?… )

Up for auction at Christie’s:

Circa 2nd Century A.D.
Deep blue-green in color, the large twenty-sided die incised with a distinct symbol on each of its faces
2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm.) wide

The father of the current owner, a Maryland Fine Arts professor, in Egypt in the 1920s.

M. Night Shymalan’s “The Happening” Ain’t
June 14, 2008, 4:44 am
Filed under: Movies

In M. Night Shamalamdingdong’s latest film The Happening, a mysterious outbreak strikes the northeastern United States. However, this is no ordinary outbreak. No monkey-borne Motaba virus. No Trioxin-tainted zombies. Rather than cracking each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside, victims of The Happening become disoriented then proceed to kill themselves by whatever means necessary. Some leap from tall buildings in a single bound (giving new meaning to the old Weather Girls single “It’s Raining Men”). One group plays Russian Roulette with an automatic pistol. Then there are lions, and hairpins, and mowers (oh my!). Science teacher Marky Mark spends the entire film trying to figure out the cause of the en masse suicides when the answer is really quite simple.

What would cause that many people to kill themselves with such complete abandon? The realization that one spent nine bucks a ticket to see this cinematic trainwreck. Were William McGonagall alive today, I am certain he would immortalize this film in verse.

My loathing for this film is such that one may think that I have an axe to grind with Mr. Shyamalan. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve long considered myself a fan of his work. I liked The Village. I loved The Sixth Sense. And Unbreakable was one of my favorite films in 2000. I find his ability to translate the magical into the modern via storytelling and cinematography a refreshing delight in an overly CGI-dependent Hollywood. Not since Rod Serling’s right ring finger typed out its last period has there been a screenwriter who so mastered the art of plot twisting. Shyamalan’s mastery of the surreal even shines through in this muddle cloud.

Unfortunately, these talents which carried movies like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable straight to the winner’s circle carry this film straight into the realm of bad 80’s horror cinema. Mark Wahlberg, who impressed me by his performances in such films as Fear, The Basketball Diaries, and even in Tim Burton’s superfluous blasphemous remake of Planet of The Apes, was just plain dead in this movie. Perhaps suicidal ideations weren’t the only contagion in this movie. Perhaps Wahlberg was infected by Zooey Deschannel’s trademark cardboardedness. As always, her performance was as awkward as Jo Polnachek in a pair of stiletto heels after tossing back shots of Jagermeister at the Eastland Academy Class of ’83 reunion. Even John Leguizamo’s performance had a terminal case of the lacklusters. In fact, one of the most lifelike characters in the film, Private Auster (played by Jeremy Strong) was nothing more than a rehash of the airman in the “Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming” of The Simpsons.

Perhaps the best advice I can give to anyone stepping into the theater to watch this movie is to pass along the advice that Mrs. Jones (played by Betty Buckley, whom you may remember as the stepmom on Eight Is Enough) gives to Marky Mark’s character in the film: “Get out!”