Monday, May 3, 2010

Daytripper Vs. A Hard Day's Night

That was the longest most productive weekend I’ve had in some time. Sure Saturday was mainly Dave and I cruising around the cities twin from bookstore to bookstore. Dave was able to find and procure me the first five Fritz Lieber Fafhrd & The Grey Mouser books for a buck a shot. Which is C-R-A-Z-Y cheap for those that don’t know. From there I picked up some other $1 books, mainly fantasy stuff, and a slew of $2 Doc Savage stuff. I have a ton of things to read on the bookshelves in the ‘study’ now.

Sunday I did some yard work, including assisting my lovely and capable wife with putting together the fire pit. I can’t express enough how excited I am to have the fire pit, and be able to burn “mo stick”. I took a shovel to some of the weed jungle behind the garage. It’s going to take a lot more work, some anti-weed & anti-bug stuff being spread, and then that area is going to have to be tilled, but it’s a start. In addition, once I’d finished my time outside we finally cut my hair off, which was as long as it’s been in like seven years, and I finished cutting out my Cave Works stuff. So now I’m simply at the mercy of my builder, Cassandra.

It was delightful outside, just cool enough to refresh you when you sweat, but the sun warmed you through. The air was crisp, clean, and made being outside and getting things done less of a chore and more of a treat. If our summer remains similar to this then I can’t wait. Although I will say I desperately wanted some rain.

So this weekend I was able to finally finish Solomon Kane (*** ½ out of 5). Granted it was a crappy copy so the ending was a bit muddled, BUT it wasn’t horrible. Now it wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but it wasn’t Kull The Conqueror (0 out of 5) with Kevin Sorbo & Tia Carrera, which I also sat through this weekend. After watching and re-watching the trailer for Whisperer In The Darkness I just don’t understand how a group of fans with a limited budget, and by limited I mean virtually non-existent, can make a wonderfully true to the source material movie that looks good, while tools in Hollywood take properties like Kull or Conan and take a fat steaming dump on it. They have the same source material, and yet they can’t figure out that no one wants to see your ‘vision’ of the material they want THE MATERIAL. There is a reason H.P. Lovecraft & Robert E. Howard’s books are so popular, THEY’RE GOOD! You don’t need to muck with the tales just to tell them. Now I haven’t seen Avatar so take this for what you will, but if James Cameron can make a gorgeous looking movie while basically aping all the tropes of sci-fi movies of the last 20 years at the same time just re-telling Dancing With Wolves (*** out of 5), then WHY can’t I get a better than average and true to the source material Kull movie? WHY! Anywho, Solomon Kane was good, but I’ll withhold my final judgment till I see a better copy of the flick.

I was also able to watch Clash Of The Titans (*** ½ out of 5). Now understand I love the original Harryhausen movie. I grew up on that movie, and saw it at the Drive-In like 3 times in one summer. It had a sense of wonder and whimsy in it while still being an adventure movie. I had a lot of preconceived notions about this flick, but was told by Joe C. to just let it go and try to enjoy the movie. He said it was a lot like watching a live action D&D adventure. He was right. Is this a great movie, no. I will however say this is a fun movie, a big dumb fun movie. I also agree with the Jumpin’ Joe C., this was like a D&D adventure, and would make a good Roman-centric D&D adventure. I will also say I enjoyed a lot of the homage’s to the original movie, the acting was decent, and the special effects were very good. So if your looking to be entertained then go on, release the Kraken, you know you want to…


- It’s SO nice to have the shaved head back.
- Watching Clash of the Titans makes me want to watch a butt-load of Harryhausen movies including the original Clash. I’m running these flicks down again as I loaned them out to someone and never got them back. Not to mention I’m throwing them on disk for Duke’s family down in the ole’ stomping grounds. Maybe an impromptu Harryhausen Movie-A-Thon is in order.
- Cassandra finished the Ziggurat that she had been working on for some time and it looks fantastic. I can only hope that she knocks out Cave Works as fast and as perfectly.
- D&D is this Saturday. It’s the continuation of the ‘ESCAPE From The City That Shall Not Be Named!’ portion of the adventure. The party is still in the lower depths of the Temple Of Bane. They have yet to fully understand the depth of the danger they find themselves in. I’ve determined that I need to step up the atmosphere of the adventure a bit though.
- Although I’m not huge on shopping with Dave, as it’s like shopping for Dice with Mary, Christina, & Cassandra, a guy can’t ask for a better person to cruise around the cities twin with.
- I’m thinking that in order to do the sort of Dungeon Crawling game I want to do I’m going to have to use the DDM rules with either the Advanced Heroquest or Warhammer Quest advancement, henchmen, etc. idea. I know for the Dungeon Crawl portion I would use the random dungeon idea from both games, which is different than DDM. I would also use “Monster Decks”, which would consist of the denizens of the dungeon turning over deck style randomly. This would mean that the game would be a ‘players Vs. game’ system, so I could play. My idea is to make 1st –5th level characters using DDI, then when transferring them into a DDM setting making the powers “buy-ins”, meaning if you have a 1st Level At-Will power it would at 10 points to your base cost of 10 points per level for your character. All powers cost would depend on the level, 10 points adding per level of the power, with the exception of Utility powers, which would only be 5 points. So a 1st Level character with 2 At-Wills, 1 Encounter (1 use per combat), & 1 Daily (1 use per day) would cost a player 50 points; 10 points for the 1st Level character, 10 points for the 2 At Wills, 10 points for the 1 Encounter, & 10 points for the 1 Daily power. It’s simple and efficient. I think when it comes to Henchmen the hire cost will be the point value cost, DDM point cost, to employ per sojourn into the dungeon. I would also bring back moral checks for henchmen using the DDM 1st Edition rules, meaning that once a piece reaches bloodied (1/2 hit points) they would make a Moral check, rolling a 20 sided dice. If the number is 10 or above they pass the 1 time Moral check and fight to the death, 9 or below they run for it. If a 1 is rolled they lie prone and play dead, if a 20 is rolled they gain 10 temporary hit points. Heroes would still retain their 1 Action Point, and Mini-Boss & Boss bad guys would also possibly have 1 Action Point. The DDM powers would make sure that there isn’t the fight over using only 1 weapon in combat, we would simply use the DDM rulebook as the combat system. The ‘Adventures’ or Dungeons would not be scaled, as I am NOT a fan of scaled adventures. Instead it would be more of an organic feel. There might be monsters in the dungeon that are beyond the adventurers so running would be a good idea. Hmmm, the more I look at this the more I like it.
- Wow, I had no idea that I was going to go on and on about that.
- I’m really hungry for hot dogs or sausages, brats included, grilled out and soaked in a ‘brat tub’.

On that hungry note I’ve got crap to do…


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