Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Untamed Women Vs. The Manster

You can’t be everything to everyone. It is a sad lesson. I also have realized that although it is easier I can’t be a cypher or little to a lot of folks either. I struggle with balance, always have. Being able to be yourself, while allowing for constant evolving, and yet being what others need you to be is a balance. To take our basic human selfish nature and find within it selflessness for others that we care about is not something I have been good at in the past. I have to work at it.

I am beginning to learn that I ‘am’ something to others though. What a strange realization. A lot of time in life I’ve felt distinctly apart, a passenger in my own life or at best a side kick to a bigger, ‘better’ personality. I wrote once that I’d never be Superman in my own story and that as much as I tried to believe it, I wasn’t Lex Luthor either, but instead maybe I was just Jimmy Olson, an ancillary character in my own story. The last 8 months or so have made me realize that I perhaps was wrong. I think maybe I’m just Clark Kent.

I’ll never be all I want to be. I’ll never be able to give what I would desire to those who need or want it. I can’t fix all the things I desperately want to. I can never fly fast enough around the Earth to turn back the clock and undo my mistakes or some of the things that I’ve endured. I can’t change the world on a macro level. Superman is the ideal, an unrealistic ideal. I am no hero, I am a simple man, and if I’m honest I want simple things. My ideals, my ethics, and my mantras aren’t overly complex in nature; however their completion isn’t as easy as I would hope.

In my simplicity though I’ve found an honesty of self, and of life; Be decent to yourself, be better to others. I think that is very Clark Kent. In that honesty I’m starting to become more self-aware about the world I am building around me. That self-awareness is helping me realize that I am not that ancillary character. Through my interests I’ve helped to forge relationships and groups that I am beginning to realize I am the center of. I’ve never been that. Ever.

I’ve always deferred to others. The idea of being in a position like that has rarely appealed to me, mainly because I never have quite felt like I was ‘good’ enough for it. I loathe letting others down, and invariable folks in that position let me down. There is the rub though; they let ‘me’ down. I have always put them in a position to. I have contributed to that almost without fail. When taking on a new mantra of ‘No Pressure, No Expectations’ I have found a sort of relaxed ease with my role in this. It has allowed me to step into this without real fear.

There has been this construction of groups where I get a chance to see these folks and do these awesome things and I’ve realized that they meet at my organization, for the most part, and at our home. I have inadvertently found myself in the center, inadvertently found myself a leader, and inadvertently found that the role works. This all terrifies me. I’ve stated it before, life was SO much easier when I didn’t care, and had nothing to lose.

I now have SO much to lose, and I care about things, relationships, and people in ways that I didn’t know I was capable of. It is scary, in a good way. Seeing all those people at our home, whether it is Movie-A-Thons, our Recommitment Ceremony, crappy BINGO, L.E.W.G.I., board gaming, D&D, etc. it humbles me, and it makes me want to have our home continue to be a place where those folks feel not only that friendship, but that sense of family. These people have become my Family. How odd is that? How strange to find what you’ve wanted for so long was there all along right in front of your face if you simply stepped forward and helped to forge it.

I feel like I am driving my life, to where I have NO idea. I am steering it though now, and that car is full of loud, fun, loving, amazing, creative, and wonderful people. People I’d do anything for, but folks I realize I can’t be everything for. I can only be me, and in the end I just hope that is enough.

Not what I intended really to write about today, but frankly when is this blog anything but my ramblings? Never that’s when. How about we wrap up with some…


  • I won’t go much into the Recommitment Ceremony, because I want to do a Photo Blog of it. I think that is the only way to do it justice. I do want to say Thank You though to everyone who made it what it was. THE Karl, Kedrin, Them Damn Wheeler Boyz, my In-Laws, Magic Mike, El Bobert-O, etc. all contributed to making it a special night for my true Love. Thank you again to everyone who helped and to everyone who shared in it with us.
  • Yesterday was the coldest I have ever been in my entire life.
  • In the Spring I’m going to be getting rid of some Board Games. Not a ton of them, but I need the room, and there are enough of these games that I don’t or have never played that I don’t need to keep them. In fact I really think I’ll just ask a very low price on them and hopefully get them to some good homes where they will get some serious play. They deserve that.
  • We recorded a Heel Turn Radio Podcast Sunday. Oh wait no we didn’t, because somehow I didn’t record it…*sigh*
  • I’ve been on a bit of reading tear of late. I read the whole of the Hunger Games. I’m not going to review it here. It warrants, deserves, and demands its own Podcast where it will be broken down and filtered through the lens of two people who enjoyed it tremendously. I can’t wait to do that Podcast!
  • I will review Tom Piccirilli’s Hellboy Emerald Hell (**** ½ out of 5) though. 
  •  The Hellboy novels are generally pretty hit and miss, I’ve had good luck thus far though. Mr. Piccirilli was able to hammer out a tale where there was a tangible mood of Southern dread, what felt like a slight homage to Silver John by Manly Wade Wellman, and still make it all feel like it fit into the larger Hellboy universe. The premise of a holy man ‘wronged’, falling from grace, and becoming an instrument of hate was fantastic and well done. The Nail family curse was perfect, in fact SO perfect I want to steal it for D&D. I also feel like I might have to steal Mamma and her Girls from the swamp as well. In fact there was very little that I didn’t enjoy, I think my only real complaint is that it sort of meandering in pace in the middle as the Protagonists and Antagonists make their way through the swamps. I also wanted a bit more resolution to the whole swamp mutant people as well. It felt like that got resolved a bit too easy. Overall it was a good read, and was damn entertaining. I recommend it if your hankering for some Hellboy.
  • I am beyond tired right now.
  • I missed a BUNCH of Wrath Of The Righteous previews so let’s just hammer ‘em out, shall we?

  • First up is the magnificent Will-O-Wisp! This is a Small, Common. That’s right; this little fantastic bugger is a COMMON! First off the transparency is fantastically done, secondly it is a monster, which while done before wasn’t done that well, and lastly there is a tiny skull in there that just reeks of AWESOME! Seriously, this thing is just loaded with personality. This beastie will see SO much play on my table as escaped souls, as Will-O-Wisps, as casted spells, as traps, etc. It is just perfectly functional for so many purposes. This is a MUST BUY for me. 
  •  This is the Demoniac, he’s a Medium Common. This set is CHOCK full of great Cultists. This is no different. I know it is most likely some type of Pathfinder-centric demon, but I know in my house it will be a Cultist caster. The pose is wonderfully menacing, with the knife held high, but what sets it apart is that sphere of fire in the other hand just waiting to be hurled at the PC’s. I do also really enjoy the fact we can’t see its face. The plain and drab clothing colors works for the miniature. Again this is a MUST BUY for me.
  •  Here we have the Lost Soul, a Medium Common miniature. I’m not sure what I think about this shambling undead. I’m again not rote on the history of the beast in terms of Pathfinder, but it has a certain appeal to me visually. The plain two color scheme works well with this husk of a person as it stumbles forward. It gives it an almost shade quality, like something stepping out of decay to devour life. The ragged clothes help to give it that all too sad former human form. I’m not sure how exactly I’d work this into one of the campaigns, but I feel like it would work well. Perhaps 5th Group, where these could be the husks of those whose ‘sacrifice’ were used to fuel the divinity of the PC’s. Something to ponder. This would also be a MUST BUY. 
  •  This is the Mongrel Huntress, and she is very hard to get a good look at. She’s also a Medium, Uncommon. I wish I could get a better look at this miniature, because it simply looks like a crouched, hooded figure with a bow. Otherwise I don’t see a whole lot of detail currently. This is the thing with these pictures; certain miniatures are hard to get a feel for, until you see them in hand. There is literally nothing more I can really say about this one. I wish there was. Until I can get it an in hand shot I suppose this is a PASS. 
  •  Holy Crap! The Dominion Invader, a Large, Rare miniature, is AMAZING! And yes, those are tiny brains in those pustules. The colors here pop and work so well to give you that true alien feeling. The sculpt itself makes you feel like this monstrosity is scuttling towards you, longing to get it’s pincers on your melon. This would be a perfect addition to the horde of Aberrations that I have unleashed upon my PC’s and the world they are trying to constantly save. Perhaps as some type of harbinger of more horrible things to come, speaking with the voices and reason of those whose brains it has ‘liberated’, sort of like a giant Mi-Go! So many ideas, if I can find it on the reasonable this is a MUST BUY! 
  • We follow that up with Queen Galfrey, who is a matronly Medium, Rare. There is a lot of ornate sculpt work here. It definitely warrants the Rare level just taking that into account. I also like the color choices, which feel feminine, but also retain a utilitarian armor colorization. The thing that bothers me here, the thing that made me snicker when I saw it, and the thing that makes me feel like I won’t be picking this one up though is that face. WOW, is that face sculpt bad, like early Mage Knight bad. I want to like this miniature, hell I want to like it so much I’d buy it, but I just can’t, that face prevents it. It prevents it and makes it a PASS for me. 
  • We follow that doozy with Arueshalae, the redeemed Succubus. She is a Medium, Rare. This one is another direct lift from some Wayne Reynolds art, and it is again perfect in its pose translation. The stance isn’t overly dynamic, but again works for that ‘at the ready’ PC, Big Baddie vibe. Like most Wayne Reynolds inspired work it is a bit busy equipment wise. The paint job doesn’t blow me away here, but it is decent. I think that is my thing with a lot of the Rares in this set. Most of them just feel sort of ‘meh’. This isn’t a bad miniature, in fact it is a damn decent one, but it certainly doesn’t make me excited to drop a bunch of money on it. Again, this is just a PASS for me. 
  • We go from back to back Rares to a Small, Common. The Brimorak is a great example of less being FAR more! The pose works, while again it isn’t overly dramatic or dynamic. The translucent red helps really get across the fire effect. The actual design of the monster is wacky, so you know I like it. It is a small so it feels right in my head as a horde of gibbering, smash happy, little beasties running like mad to mob the PC’s. That flaming sword is just excellent. The rest of the miniature is decent, but the concept more than covers up any of the deficiencies, that and it is a tiny Demon that fits a role that is currently unfulfilled. So this is a big time MUST BUY for me. 
  • We go from small to Large, with another Demon. This time an Uncommon monstrosity in the Vescavor Queen. It amazes me how in Pathfinder they are able to make Demons have such an unsettling Lovecraftian vibe. This thing screams Great Old One to me. It is literally dripping viscous bile and slime. At first the paint job looks almost sloppy, but damn if it doesn’t work. It is the same thing with that pose, which is rather plain. Again though in the overall product it is fantastic. The deficiencies are hidden in its awe inspiring nastiness. The paint, and those creepy and weird ‘arms’ make this thing almost feel like some type of plant or fungus. I think that is the real success of this miniature. It literally made my mind race about what it ‘could’ be in my campaigns. It attracted that immediate interest, making it a MUST BUY!
  • From one gross beastie to another, Xanthir Vang is a Medium Rare. I’m a sucker for a Larval Mage, a Son Of Kyuss, so of course I’m going to love this miniature. I’m not sure if I like this one as much as the one from the Dungeon Command Undead army, but it is a damn fine miniature. The pose is static, but understandably so. The body paint job seems to lack some shading, so some depth, but the cloak is fantastic. This would make a very good Kyuss though, a great Paragon Level threat. Perhaps a herald to Kyuss. Hrm… I dig this nasty guy, so he’s a MUST BUY, but only if he’s reasonable. Stupid Rares. 
  • We continue our streak of grossness with the Apocalypse Locust, a Large Uncommon. Yeah, that’s right another disgusting, insect like Uncommon. I am going to make my PC’s grow to LOATHE all insects. This thing is just so damn creepy with its demon like face, and yet it’s very insect-like body. It is off putting. The coloring is rather plain, but it works. The sculpt is pretty perfect for what it is trying to convey. Also those wings look translucent, and if they are that is SO metal. Again there is just a creepy ass menace that I really like in this miniature. If I can get them reasonable I will get a boatload of these nasty bastards. This is a MUST BUY for me. 
  • The nasty beat goes on with the Grimslake, another Large, Uncommon! The rest of these nauseating insect like beasties are good, but to me this is the piece de resistance! A nasty caterpillar like monster that apparently feeds on the carrion of Demons. And once again this thing SCREAMS Lovecraft to me, it will fit my Campaign world perfectly. Hell the many tooth maw is enough to get my crazy DMing heart all a twitter. I love the paint job, to me that is Rare level paint job. The sculpt is dynamic, has movement, and conveys that this monster is about to consume you, body and soul. C’mon was there any doubt that this is a MUST BUY for me? PC’s beware! 
  • From the lowest of the Demon low to the top of the food chain, Nocticula is a Medium, Rare. This continues my previous rant; the Rares for the most part in this set are unimpressive. The face on this miniature leaves SO much to be desired. The pose is very plain, and does nothing for me. The skin feels so plastic that it is off putting. The paint job overall just isn’t impressive. I’m very disappointed in this miniature. I really don’t like it. At all. PASS! 
  • Rares you vex me, you VEX me HORRIBLY! This is Gimcrak , he is a Small Rare. I can’t even tell you what I’m even looking at here. I’m all for Demons, and I’m all for Familiars, hell I’m all for Demon Familiars, but I need to be able to tell what they are. This picture is like the Zapruder film of miniature previews. I just have no earthly idea what I’m supposed to be seeing. This one gets a PASS till I actually see a picture that doesn’t give me a massive headache. 
  • Last but not least is Areelu Vorlesh, a Rare Medium. Who is apparently the ‘Big Bad’ of the Adventure Path. Now this rare I can get behind. The sculpt has a sassiness to it that is sort of refreshing. Like she wants to taunt you before eating your soul. The gauntlet is very nasty looking, and again held up in a nonchalant way. The paint job is solid and busy in a good way, with what looks like tattoos all over the body. I think the best part is that Cheshire cat grin on her face. It is a smirk, a dangerous look of slight mirth. There are a lot of subtle details in the knick knacks on her belt as well. It is just a well presented and well-designed miniature with a TON of personality. This one is a MUST BUY if it is on the reasonable. That apparently is it for the Wrath Of The Righteous set. It is a strange one as there are a LOT of Common and Uncommon minis I am clamoring for, but the Rares left me cold. I guess that is good for my wallet, time will tell.
    I know there were other things that I wanted to talk about, but I am so fried I can't even recall them. Perhaps I'll figure it out another day....

    “No Horizon Is Obscured By The Clouds. Settlements Make Nary A Sound.
    And There Were Black Birds Singing And Fish Floating On The Sea.
    While The Bells Of The Buoys All Rang In Harmony.

    Bury Your Treasure, Burn Your Crops,
    Black Water Rising And It Ain't Gonna Stop.

    The Governor He Been Long Gone, Anchor Dropped On His Front Lawn.
    Build A Keep And Dig A Moat, The Return Of The Swollen Goat.
    Can You Hear The Fife And Drums, Barnacles Barking At The Sun.
    Ain't No Chance, So Don't You Try, Now Everybody Got To Die.

    Bury Your Treasure, Burn Your Crops,
    Black Water Rising And It Ain't Gonna Stop.

    We Do Not Desire Tributes.
    We Desire Information.
    We Seek The Worm Drink Who Has Lately Betrayed His Nation

    Albatross On Your Neck And A Hooker On The Shore,
    Dog-Men To The Deck, There's A Hooker On The

    In The Wake Of The Swollen Goat

    Bury Your Treasure, Burn Your Crops,
    Black Water Rising And It Ain't Gonna Stop.”

    * = Walker Races...

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