Monday, August 18, 2014

The Aftermath Vs. Liquid Sky


It seems like every large subject I have to yammer on about ends up as a Podcast, so I guess you’ll just have to settle for a heaping spoonful of…


- We’ve done like 10 hours’ worth of Podcast material in the last 10 days or so.  All if it very different, and all of it turned out really well in my humble opinion.  It is all over the place as far as content, humor, and seriousness.  So what I’m saying is there is something for everyone between Antagonist Relations, Heel Turn Radio, & the Insecurity Blanket Podcast.

- Thank you to the Nick World Order for all the free RPG/free Comic Book swag.  That was awfully incredible of you sir.

- Congrats to Magic Mike on the engagement!

- The streaming service for the WWE Network was awful last night.  It is frustrating to sit and have them constantly shilling $9.99 and then have my service buffering constantly and the feed cut out twice.  That being said we were really down on the ‘Product’ prior to the show’s start; however it was a very entertaining show, shockingly so.  Oh and that main event was every Jern hater’s wet dream.  Watching Bork Lazer SMASH for 20 plus minutes and have Super-Cena get in literally 5 moves the entire match while taking about 20 suplexes was epic.  As quiet as we were last year with frustration at the screwing of Daniel Bryan we were just as smugly satisfied and quiet at the beat down ‘The Beast’ gave ‘The Champ’.  And that made all the buffering worthwhile. 

- Oh and congrats to Master Kedrin 4.0, new L.E.W.G.I. member for tying for the win in PPV picks. 

- Speaking of L.E.W.G.I., Sunday was our 1 year L.E.W.G.I.-versary.  I said this on the Podcast, I hugged my brethren mightily, and I even took it to ‘teh Fazebookz’ and shouted it out loud; THANK YOU!  It has been a year of meeting new people, forming new Friendships, enjoying more wrestling than a bunch of rambunctious adults should be allowed, eating more great grub than I need, and having more discussions about things that I truly adore than I thought possible.  James & his Magical Beard and I discussed a few weeks ago while roasting succulent meats over a flame about how life is odd in that people come and go out of it, but that when you find your group of people it really is something spectacular.  In the last year and a half or so I’ve found my ‘Peeps’, and it has been amazing.  So thank you to my L.E.W.G.I. ‘Family’, and know that this is only the beginning.

- I buzzed through Tim Pratt’s “Reign Of Stars” (**** out of 5) over the last few days.  This is a follow-up to City Of The Fallen Sky and picks up where we left Skiver and Alaeron post that adventure.  The reality is I dig Skiver and Alaeron as characters.  From Alaeron’s hyper focus and almost Autistic Spectrum Disorder mind, to Skiver’s devious, lecherous, but remarkably loyal outlook they are just two characters I thoroughly enjoy reading about, very similar to my enjoyment of Radovan and Count Jeggare.  While I don’t think that this tale is quite as immersive as the previous entry in the series, you just can’t help but be enthralled because Mr. Pratt has crafted such damn likable and intriguing characters.  This time we go knee deep into the land of Numeria and the intrigues of the Technic League.  This is where Alaeron fled pre-City Of The Fallen Sky, and we finally see the consequences of that decision.  As a non-Pathfinder player I found Numeria and its dichotomy of barbarism and stolen technology to be fascinating and to me a bit reminiscent of the Hawkmoon stories by Michael Moorcock.  The politicking is the main focus as the book, which is a strange bait and switch as I expected more of an exploration tale like we received in the first tale and less of the machinations of the League, and the caper that takes place towards the end.  This book is a hodge podge of a story that works, not just because of the main two characters, but because Tim Pratt knows how to make you want to turn the next page.  And then the next page.  AND then the next page.  So if you are looking for some fun fantasy reading that is more than a bit different than the norm make sure you take the time to read City Of The Fallen Sky and its follow-up Reign Of Stars.

- Last Friday night was 1st Group’s trip into the Iron Mountain.  Zack really shouldered the load as I was just fried.  I was fried to the point I couldn’t really even complete sentences and had a meltdown after everyone left.  When I go to long with that little sleep I eventually hit a wall and I did, and I hit it really hard.  I slept more though the last few days and while I’m nowhere near 100% I am far better than I was.  Now I just need to get back on a regular schedule.  Anywho, no one cares about that crap, you guys (all ten of you) want to know how D&D went.  Well a few months back Zack showed me this giant Robot encounter he had constructed and it was beautiful.  There was a simplicity about it that made it deadly, but easy to manage.  However we couldn’t just give them a one encounter evening, so we also put together a devious hallway full of really great traps which added a TON of tension to the session and really challenged the PC’s.  I know it was a source of consternation for some, but I thought it stretched them to the limit, made them be inventive, and in the end added to the game.  Sandwiching these two encounters were two heavy Role Playing Encounters.  The first had to do with introducing Jimini Xmas, James’ Bard, to the group, dealing with the fallout of Larry Charmin, Gene’s PC, finally coming into contact with his mortal enemy Hugo Burlington, and handling the politicking of the Baroness.  I thought it went well; it started off poorly as without me being totally there mentally the PC’s went a little bit wild.  That will happen.  There is a LOT of personalities in that room, not to mention 8 players, who will push and who have an agenda of their own.  When I am on my game I excel at handling that, when I am in that mental state where I can even pronounce words, not so much.  However, we got through, had some fun, and moved forward.  The final social encounter came out of strange circumstances.  Zack and I had really planned for the Elder Wyrm, Gorgel, or the Baroness to go through the portal to shut it and therefor take the massive Shard, and ascend to Godhood.  And yes, I know THE Karl, I said it seemed like it was at least 35 Shards, and that 35 is not 50.  C’mon THE Karl, that kills people!  Anywho, I am going to blame it on lack of focus and sleep, rather than my ability to remember how to count.  It was 50 Shards, RETCON!  Magic Mike’s Genasi Mage, Oxalic, has ascended to Godhood.  I think the best part about it is he did it completely selflessly, he did it perfectly in character, and he did it without even thinking about the potential of what he would become.  I also dug it because it completely crap housed our preconceptions of how the session would end, and we rolled with it beautifully.  Cassandra said something interesting on our way to ‘The Cloud’ on Saturday morning.  She said Zack excels at putting the DANGER in the game, he builds encounters that challenge PC’s in new and different ways, he teaches the game as he runs, and he does it all easily.  In contrast I tell stories.  I bring the DRAMA to the game, I challenge PC’s to get immersed in the game, and I challenge you to have fun.  Together we make a pretty amazing tandem.  I thought it one of the highest compliments I have been paid as part of a DM duo.  In the end we adjusted Gorgel took the city, Larry Charmin cashed in his ‘favor’ and Hugo Burlington died horribly, earning the PC’s enemies in his son, Ernesto Burlington, and the now outcast Baroness, and the PC’s headed home.  In doing so they headed right into the teeth of the 2nd Barony Wars.  You see Zack and I have plotted out the broad strokes of what 1st Group will be doing in its final 8 sessions and I for one am beyond pumped.  I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to enjoy the D&D story telling experience with, and I don’t think there is ANYONE out there that compliments my running style and tall tale telling like Zack.  So a hearty THANK YOU to Group 1, I can’t wait to see where the next 8 sessions take us.

- I have almost entirely abandoned the DVR for YOUTube and The Chris Gethard Show right now.  This will make the transition when we dump our cable/satellite provider all the more easy.  Currently it is all I want to watch.

- Casual Doug is one of my favorite people in the world.  Oh and thank you to La Randita for the Honey Mead!  YES!

- Dungeon Saga has shot past $400,000.00 with just over ten days to go.  I can’t state enough that if you dig Dungeon Crawl board games then you should go spend your hard earned ‘chedda’ on this Mantic product.  What you get for the initial buy-in of $100 is pretty damn amazing, but with all the ‘Add-ons’ and then the other kits you can grab of miniatures on the dirt cheap you could easily double that hundo and walk out with what really is a game PLUS so much more.  They haven’t given us quite as much about the Advanced Rules as I’d like, but as a company that ALWAYS seems to exceed expectations and puts the onus on not just getting the most bang for their buck, but in being a part of a growing company I expect us to get the ability to make our own characters, bring in miniatures from other games (not even just Mantic either), and for to truly get something magical here.  Ronnie and the Boyz have yet to leave me disappointed since they started Mantic so jump on board now so you don’t have to wish you did later.

- Speaking of spending, DCM apparently has another Kickstarter on the horizon, WWE 2k15 may have finally got its damnable claws in me, and there are new Pre-paints from both D&D and Pathfinder on the way.  My dollars have been stretched pretty thing so it looks like I might be laying off some of these purchases for a while.  At first this made me sort of sad, but the reality is I have yet to get any of my 5E books yet (F’ you Amazon), Deadzone has another wave in the mail, Bones II should be coming in October, my DCM minis are supposedly coming soon, and there a TON of other folks’ B-days on the horizon.  I have more than enough on my disposable income plate without going mad buy crazy. 

- Oh and we had two massive scary explosions in our life, one a house that blew up in our neighborhood and one a tire on the way to St. Cloud Sat. that almost a car to hit us.  And on the way home tonight there was a 'Jumper' on the bridge.  Life is weird.
- And thank you to Diamond Dave and Mighty Mike for inadvertently reminding me why we own and play games.

I think that’s all I got.