Monday, November 10, 2014

Burnt Offerings Vs. VHS

11/10/14 - Musings from last week...

This is like a week old, but what the hell all I’m really giving you here is some stale…


- Hugs not drugs.

- D&D 1st Group kicks off again this weekend. I’m a bit worried to be honest, because while I feel I ‘get’ 5E, I’m not sure that you ever truly ‘know’ a system until you’ve run it for some time. That being said I think the premise of the adventure is solid, if not fun; the monsters are put to paper, the encounters constructed, and my mind sharp. In this process I’ve noticed just how much I’m missing have a DMG to sort of help me through the process of constructing my own beasties. I’m VERY confident in my ability to weave a tale, make it fun, and pull the players in. I am not as confident in my ability to play within the confines of the ‘rules, deconstruct the math, and build balanced baddies and encounters. That being said, here is my first attempt at building a beast. I’m excited to hear any feedback.

Small humanoid (gnoll/gremlin), Chaotic Evil
Armor Class 9
Hit Points 9 (2d6 + 2)
Speed 35 ft.
STR      DEX   CON    INT   WIS   CHA
10(+0)  9(-1)  13(+1)  3(-4)  8(-1)  4(-3)
Condition Immunities - charmed
Senses darkvision - 60ft., passive Perception 9
Languages - Gnoll
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)
Magic Resistance - The Pugwampi has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Bad Luck Aura - When a creature starts its turn within 30 feet of the Pugwampi, they make all their rolls at Disadvantage.  This lasts until they are either outside the 30 foot radius or until the Pugwampi is dead.
Claws - Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 5 (2d4) slashing damage.

I’m a fan of the Pugwampi that is used in Pathfinder and sort of took that and the 5E Mane as the shell to re-skin. I’m hoping that the Magic Resistance and Aura don’t make this support beast to much of a pain, but isn’t that sort of the point? Time and adventures will tell I suppose. Not bad for a first go of it.

- Believe it or not I’ve finished the VAST majority of my Christmas shopping!

- Here’s a BIG ‘F’ YOU’ to EA Sports for it NOT being in the game. I received my WWE 2k15 for X-Box 360 and it is merely a shoddy port of the X-Box 1 version. In fact it seems to be missing a lot of the amazing functions that last year’s model had. I can’t add in my own music, there are FAR less intro motions to pick from, the roster is FAR slimmer, and the Season Pass seems sort of ‘light’. C’mon EA, I expected SO much more from you, instead you give me this, the worst port since the 2nd Marvel Ultimate Alliance on PS2! You could have at least told me you were going to do this before I pre-ordered and dropped the funds on this game. Oh well, at least I can hope against hope that there won’t be all the bugs and glitches from last year’s game.

- For those that know, “ALL the Ditto!”

- We are on a bit of a slow down on Arrow right now due to just ‘real life’ craziness, however we did just catch up on The Flash, Constantine, & Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., and HOLY CRAP! The insanely talented and scholarly Joel V. of L.E.W.G.I. pointed out that we have waited a life time as comic nerds for television and movies to FINALLY get it right and now that they are it is surreal. Watching The Flash be that positive, high powered, four color counter point to Arrow is magnificent. Seeing and digesting all those ‘Easter Eggs’ and trying to guess how they are going to play out in the long term is a joy. Constantine is another beast all together. It is enough ‘monster of the week’ to hook folks, but at the same time it gets that nasty vibe of the book down. John Constantine is a right bastard and proud of it. It struck me as incredibly cool that I get to watch a show where a Demon drags a little girl to hell because of a ‘Petty Dabbler In The Black Arts’ mistake and they show it! Last, but certainly not least, is Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. The first season was good, but a bit slow to go. Once the turn hit in the last quarter of the season though this show went from sort of super powered procedural to straight up super powered Torchwood. You never feel like anyone is really safe, sans Coulson, the concepts are great riffs on a lot of the comic material, and Hydra is played as a legitimately terrifyingly competent agency of terror. The way they used Crusher Creel was pure magic, the way that they take even the most outrageous portions of the Marvel Universe and make them feel like they’ve got weight, and the ongoing relationships between the characters make it just a fantastic show. It is a WONDERFUL time to be a comic book nerd who likes T.V.

- Cassandra is totally radical.

- You gotta love when you waddle through your time somewhere and are continually just treated disrespectfully by your ‘betters’. I generally suffer my shite with a smile at the place that feels that I “should be happy with what I get”, and it has been much better since I’ve sort of just kept my head down, done my gig, and kept ALL my opinions to myself. However, I find it virtually intolerable to have people butt into my schedule and let me know that their ‘folks’ are more important than people who have already scheduled their time. It bothers me to no end when people backdoor me to these ‘higher ups’, spin their own version of the truth, and then put me in this spot. I have no recourse, I have no respite, and I have no voice with these ‘people’. They do what they want, logic be damned, and if that effects other people they happen to currently pay as well then it doesn’t matter. It is like dealing with this never ending parade of the shortest sighted and egocentric middle school children alive. Ugh, I’ve really got to get back on the sending out resume horse as soon as possible.

- I wish the 5E DMG would hurry up and come out, I need those Gunpowder rules.

- Our 9th Annual Halloween Party has come and gone. It was a strange party honestly. It was the first time in a LONG time where I felt like I had to entertain people, or to keep conversations going, or to just be ‘on’ in order to bring the mood of the group up. Thank goodness for La Randita Rojo, because once she got there and started mingling the pressure came off. Everyone just seemed sort of ‘blegh’ that night, myself included. Which is sad because the costumes were good, the kids hilarious, everyone seemed to have an ‘ok’ time, but for whatever reason it didn’t erupt into the craziness and hilarity that some of our others have. On a side note the Podcast we recorded of my asking questions to adults and children really turned out well. Thank you Magic Mike for the Ambient Mic. It is a joy to work with and makes things like that night SO easy. If you ever wondered what people’s favorite holiday is and why, what scares them, what their favorite candy is, what they would dress up as if they had wealth beyond avarice, and so much more then go give it a listen.

-I need to make a good chili soon.

- This spooktacular season I did some serious movie watching. Rather than do long right ups, here are my pellet reviews. First up was the black and white gem, Curse Of The Demon (**** ½ out of 5). I thoroughly enjoyed the dicky skeptic being proved oh so wrong, the creepy antagonist who came off as somewhat sympathetic, and the overall mood of the movie. I found it fascinating that the original cut didn’t show the demon at all. I don’t think the film needed to show you the demon, but when it did it was pretty cool. Overall this was a great flick and a lot of fun. Next up is The Legend Of Hell House (*** ½ out of 5) based on the work of Richard Matheson. I hate to say this, but I adored almost everything but the last 15 minutes of this movie. The explanation for the antagonist, the way he’s defeated, and the ‘twist’ just don’t work for me in comparison with the rest of the flick. This one is knee deep in mood and vibe, especially with all the outdoor fog shots that transition scenes. The acting is decent, again we get a dicky skeptic, and it attempts to push some of the viewer’s buttons with its allusions to bestiality, cannibalism, and sexually deviant behavior. I’m not sure it really hits its mark with that, but it certainly will with its possessions and ghost sex. Yeah, you read that right. I haven’t read this Matheson story, so now I feel I have to just to compare them. This should be very interesting as Matheson wrote the screenplay as well. My last of this batch of pellets much more current, The House Of The Devil (*** ½ out of 5). This is a relatively new movie, and honestly relatively short. It is a throwback of sorts as it literally DRIPS the vibe, purposefully, of a 1980’s horror flick. In fact it almost apes them a bit too much. That being said if you enjoy a LOT of slow build and then insanity for 15 minutes then you’ll love this flick. There is a palatable sense of dread that is constructed as you ride shotgun with the protagonist towards inevitable disaster. The fact that you can see the noose closing in tighter and tighter and she is unaware makes it ‘fun’. However, I did think that if I went to all that trouble to set up this threat then it shouldn’t be so damn incompetent and weak. The last 15 minutes are bloody, sort of strange, and end with the classic 80’s ending. It is a good flick, but I guess I just expected just a bit more.

- I going to get some of those minis DIPped this weekend, THIS I SWEAR!

- Ugh, just when I think I’m getting ahead we get hit with about $500 in car repairs. It is really hard to get ahead of things when you can’t get any type of increase in your income and you repeatedly get smacked around by circumstance. I feel like I give NTB about $700 every 6 months, it sucks. It isn’t like this could have waited, it is a necessary evil. However, its timing couldn’t be worse with Cassandra’s birthday and Christmas staring me down. I think I’d really like for once to not be behind the proverbial fiscal 8 ball due to circumstances beyond my control. Then I wake from that pipe dream and remember I’m lower middle class and going nowhere fast. *sigh*

- I’m not ready for snow…

I think that’s all I got.

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