Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Frazetta

Please don't feed the gnomes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Remember this show?

I've been trying to remember the name of this weird show we used to watch when I was a kid back in the 70's. Seems like I'm not the only one feeling curious, as I stumbled across this discussion on a message board:

NetNostalgia Forum – Television (local)
Subject: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

Does anyone remember this kid’s show? It was called Candle Cove and I must have been 6 or 7. I never found reference to it anywhere so I think it was on a local station around 1971 or 1972. I lived in Ironton at the time. I don’t remember which station, but I do remember it was on at a weird time, like 4:00 PM.

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

it seems really familiar to me…..i grew up outside of ashland and was 9 yrs old in 72. candle cove…was it about pirates? i remember a pirate marionete at the mouth of a cave talking to a little girl

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
YES! Okay I’m not crazy! I remember Pirate Percy. I was always kind of scared of him. He looked like he was built from parts of other dolls, real low-budget. His head was an old porcelain baby doll, looked like an antique that didn’t belong on the body. I don’t remember what station this was! I don’t think it was WTSF though.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Sorry to ressurect this old thread but I know exactly what show you mean, Skyshale. I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ‘71, not ‘72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.
It took place in Candle cove, and it was about a little girl who imagined herself to be friends with pirates. The pirate ship was called the Laughingstock, and Pirate Percy wasn’t a very good pirate because he got scared too easily. And there was calliope music constantly playing. Don’t remember the girl’s name. Janice or Jade or something. Think it was Janice.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Thank you Jaren!!! Memories flooded back when you mentioned the Laughingstock and channel 58. I remember the bow of the ship was a wooden smiling face, with the lower jaw submerged. It looked like it was swallowing the sea and it had that awful Ed Wynn voice and laugh. I especially remember how jarring it was when they switched from the wooden/plastic model, to the foam puppet version of the head that talked.

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

ha ha i remember now too. ;) do you remember this part skyshale: “you have…to go…INSIDE.”

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Ugh mike, I got a chill reading that. Yes I remember. That’s what the ship always told Percy when there was a spooky place he had to go in, like a cave or a dark room where the treasure was. And the camera would push in on Laughingstock’s face with each pause. YOU HAVE… TO GO… INSIDE. With his two eyes askew and that flopping foam jaw and the fishing line that opened and closed it. Ugh. It just looked so cheap and awful.
You guys remember the villain? He had a face that was just a handlebar mustache above really tall, narrow teeth.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i honestly, honestly thought the villain was pirate percy. i was about 5 when this show was on. nightmare fuel.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
That wasn’t the villain, the puppet with the mustache. That was the villain’s sidekick, Horace Horrible. He had a monocle too, but it was on top of the mustache. I used to think that meant he had only one eye.
But yeah, the villain was another marionette. The Skin-Taker. I can’t believe what they let us watch back then.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
jesus h. christ, the skin taker. what kind of a kids show were we watching? i seriously could not look at the screen when the skin taker showed up. he just descended out of nowhere on his strings, just a dirty skeleton wearing that brown top hat and cape. and his glass eyes that were too big for his skull. christ almighty.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Wasn’t his top hat and cloak all sewn up crazily? Was that supposed to be children’s skin??

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

yeah i think so. rememer his mouth didn’t open and close, his jaw just slid back and foth. i remember the little girl said “why does your mouth move like that” and the skin-taker didn’t look at the girl but at the camera and said “TO GRIND YOUR SKIN”

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
I’m so relieved that other people remember this terrible show!
I used to have this awful memory, a bad dream I had where the opening jingle ended, the show faded in from black, and all the characters were there, but the camera was just cutting to each of their faces, and they were just screaming, and the puppets and marionettes were flailing spastically, and just all screaming, screaming. The girl was just moaning and crying like she had been through hours of this. I woke up many times from that nightmare. I used to wet the bed when I had it.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i don’t think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
No no no, not possible. There was no plot or anything, I mean literally just standing in place crying and screaming for the whole show.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
maybe i’m manufacturing the memory because you said that, but i swear to god i remember seeing what you described. they just screamed.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Oh God. Yes. The little girl, Janice, I remember seeing her shake. And the Skin-Taker screaming through his gnashing teeth, his jaw careening so wildly I thought it would come off its wire hinges. I turned it off and it was the last time I watched. I ran to tell my brother and we didn’t have the courage to turn it back on.

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

i visited my mom today at the nursing home. i asked her about when i was littel in the early 70s, when i was 8 or 9 and if she remebered a kid’s show, candle cove. she said she was suprised i could remember that and i asked why, and she said “because i used to think it was so strange that you said ‘i’m gona go watch candle cove now mom’ and then you would tune the tv to static and juts watch dead air for 30 minutes. you had a big imagination with your little pirate show.”

Weird Huh?

UPDATE: I found what's purported to be an episode of the show on Youtube, but all I see is static, so its probably just a prank. Check out whether you can see anything?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Frazetta

The kids had an interesting assortment of Halloween costumes this year...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Frazetta

Halloween is getting uncomfortably close...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Frazetta

If only someone had shown this to Stanton...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Frazetta

While Barak didn't relish his sales trips to Lemuria, he had to admit the taxi service there was fast and reliable.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lazy Blog Post - The Girls of Oktoberfest

Look at those huge... mugs of marzen!

This is why adventures always start in taverns.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Frazetta

Always carry a pointy stick when you venture into Bigass Spider Swamp.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The original "Adventure Path"

Reminiscing some more on those high school gaming days, I was struck by how often we repeated our own sort of "Adventure Path", or string of connected adventures.

Typically, this "Path" consisted of:
T1 The Village of Hommlett
T2-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil
G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief
G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King
D1 Descent into the Depths of the Earth
D2 Shrine of the Kuo Toa
D3 Vault of the Drow

Then, after D3, there would be some sort of foray into the Abyss or Hell, and big showdown between the party and every single damn Demon Lord or whatever in the MM.

Occasionally, there were variants of this sequence, such as running through the Saltmarsh triligy, followed by the Slavers quartet, but these would still lead back to the "holy" Giant and Drow modules.

In a way, I guess it was like playing a tough video game over and over - we never got particularly tired of playing those adventures, and it was fun to test new ideas and new characters on these challenging scenarios.

I've lamented before the lack of a "flagship" adventure for the OSR - with so many great retro-clones of D&D's various iterations out there, it's surprising that there has yet to emerge that universal adventure (or series of adventures) that everyone has played, with multiple characters.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What is a "Character"?

Last weekend's reunion got me thinking a lot about how we used to play back then, in high school. In some ways, we played in a very "archaic" fashion - long on hack & slash, short on character background development - and yet, somehow, all those characters are still very memorable today. Before high school, I lived in a different part of Florida and played with a group in middle school.

That group played things very differently. I can barely remember one character (an elf, I think), though I played dozens. We used the Moldvay/Cook sets back then, and games were basically a meat grinder. I don't remember for sure whether it was because our DM was out to get us, or because we thought getting killed in dungeons in spectacular and gory ways was simply part of the game. I suspect it was both. A character in those days was little more than a Parcheesi pawn - I, me, was the one exploring dungeons, playing a game, not my character. To continue with the Parcheesi pawn comparison, I had a set of Grenadier "hero" miniatures I had clumsily painted, and I'm pretty sure I cycled through the entire set at least three times!

All that changed when I met the new group in high school. These guys had been playing (AD&D) together for years before I met them, and they often played the same character for months or even years at a time. They knew these characters so well, they could play them anywhere, at the drop of a hat. Books, dice, and table were preferred of course, but occasionally around a campfire or during a roadtrip sufficed just as well.

When I joined up, I plunged into to the fray with the reckless abandon (and Monty Haulish list of magic items) from my original group. And died. And died. And died again. It wasn't long before I noticed no one else was (well, at least not every session). I started to pay attention. These guys were cautious. They were crafty. They planned, and planned well. They were meticulous, knowledgeable, and brutally efficient. I started to learn.

As I learned, I noticed something peculiar: these guys were not playing a game (with Parcheesi pawns), they were playing characters in a game. During "game time", they stayed "in character". Whatever they said aloud was considered to be what their characters said aloud. If they picked up something I thought was obviously a wand of fireballs or a laser pistol, they still experimented with it, refusing steadfastly to fall back on their "out of game" knowledge, preferring instead to take on the challenge of figuring it out on their character's terms.

Slowly but surely, my own characters began to survive! I was meticulous, knowledgeable, and brutally efficient. I planned, and planned well. Characters like The Ravyn, The Nameless Bard of Nehwon, and Adron the Desert Druid are still fresh in my mind after all these years, as are their exploits. Their backgrounds aren't something I wrote down on a piece of looseleaf paper before rolling up the character - their backgrounds are what happened from 1st level to 10th level, or even higher. Their exploits became the stuff of legend, shared across campfires and open beers for decades after their character sheets had long since moldered into dust in the corners of mothers' attics.

Of course, all things change.

Soon, Dragonlance would rear its head in the world of D&D gaming, and characters would become part of a story, rather than the center or catalyst of a story. Shortly after that, 2nd edition would arrive, and what a character could do would slowly become based more in static rules like non-weapon proficiencies and class kits, and less rooted in meticulous planning and brutal efficiency. That's not to say gaming was tremendously less enjoyable, but it would rarely ever be as engrossing or engaging again.

Which leads us back to our question: what, exactly, is a "character"? After so many different styles of play, editions, and groups, what a character is, really, is pretty amorphous. In the end, I guess, characters are, simply, what we make of them.

And for a while there, we made them pretty damn good.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Renunion 2012 - the Shrine

Last weekend I had the pleasure of jetting back to Florida for a reunion with a lot of the folks from my high school D&D group. I hadn't seen a lot of these guys in 20 years, and it was a kick to catch up with everyone, and swap old game stories. To make it even better, we met at the garage where most of those game sessions were held, so long ago!

Here's a couple of pics of the "Shrine" we set up on a table in the garage, with lots of the early D&D stuff we used (and even some newer stuff people have used since). I don't have a picture of it, but we also had our "original" game table, with many of our names carved into, hung nearby on a wall. Hung, because I'm pretty sure we burned the table's legs after they broke off. Yeah, stuff got burned back then.

Some of the goodies you'll spot: an original D&D "white" boxed set, an original Moldvay set, a copy of "Bored of the Rings" that got passed around about 400 times and was regularly quoted at the table, and a laser-disk version of "Basket Case", one of our favorite bad movies.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Drew Morrison

I went to the Elmwood Art Festival last weekend, and had a great time browsing through the various vendors and artists there. Naturally, there was the usual array of overpriced wooden spatulas and badly painted landscapes and poodles, but there were also several very talented and visionary artists displaying their wares as well.

The work of one of these, Drew Morrison, particularly struck me, so I picked up a print (the first one below, titled "Aquaduct") for my home studio.

You can see more of his great stuff on, and buy prints from, his website online, and yes (if you're curious) he does take commissions. Nice guy, too.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Alternate B/X, S&W Wandering Monster Tables

This is the Wandering Monster table I use for my Omegea setting and the occasional Wilderlands pick-up game. The tables are based on the B/X Wandering Monster tables, which I gradually adjusted over time to better suit my Weird Sorcery & Science style.

Obviously, there are not a lot of specific details available on a Wandering Monster table, such as physical description or how exactly certain special abilities work. I tend to work mainly off a combination of evocative names (such as "Fly, Giant Talking", or "Spiderbear") and whatever suits the situation and character abilities best.

Incidentally, you will notice there are no Clerics on these tables - in the Omegea campaign, all spell casters are considered to be "Sorcerers", with d6 HD, no armor use, may use all weapons, and may choose spells from Cleric or Magic User tables alike, using these according to the Magic User Spell progression. So, if you use Clerics in your campaign, simply give it a 50/50 chance whether a table result of "MU" is a Wizard or a Cleric.

Armor Class is Ascending, so if you use Descending AC, simply subtract the AC's listed below from 20 to get what you need (for example, AC14 below is AC6 for a descending AC game).

(Monsters typically attack and save as Fighters of level equivalent to their HD. Monsters typically have 1d6 hit points per hit die. Some stronger monsters may have d8 or d10 per Hit Die at the Referees discretion)

Level One
1. Acolytes(1d8) – AC14; HD1; dmg1d6
2. Bandits(1d8) – AC13; HD1; dmg1d6
3. Beetle, Nuclear(1d8) – AC16; HD1; dmg1d6; bladder glows 20’ for 1 hour.
4. Wretches(1d6) – AC16; HD1; dmg1d6
5. Thieves(1d6) – AC15; HD1; dmg1d6
6. Marauders(2d4) – AC14; HD1-1; dmg1d6
7. Green Glowing Slime(1d4) – AC1; HD2; dmg dissolves person in 1d10 rounds unless burned off (1/2 dmg to both slime and victim).
8. Murderous Lepers(3d6) – AC13; HD1-1; dmg1d6
9. Giant Black Bees(1d10) – AC13; HD1d4; dmg1d3+poison(2d6).
10. Corn Children(4d4) – AC13; HD1d4; dmg1d4
11. Lizard, Giant Purple(1d3) – AC15; HD3; dmg1d8
12. Thugs(2d4) – AC13; HD1; dmg1d6
13. Giant Albino Mole(1d10) - ; AC16; HD2; dmg1d6
14. Mildew Skeletons(3d4) - ; AC13; HD1; dmg1d6
15. Snakes, two-headed(1d6) – AC13; HD1; dmg1d3x2+poison(1d6).
16. Spiders, baby-faced(1d4) – AC13; HD2; dmg1d8+poison(paralysis).
17. Mocking Faeries(3d6) – AC15; HD1d3; dmg1+poison(2d3).
18. Vampire Bats(1d10) – AC13; HD1; dmg1d3+1d6/rnd blood drain.
19. Sly Looters(1d8) – AC13; HD1; dmg1d6
20. Oozing Curs(2d6) – AC13; HD2; dmg1d6+5% chance oozing disease.

Level Two
1. Beetle, exploding(1d8) – AC16; HD2; dmg1d6; explodes when killed 2d6 5’r.
2. One-armed Berserkers(1d6) – AC13; HD1+1; dmg1d6 (+1 to-hit and dmg).
3. Cat, Giant Green(1d4) – AC14; HD3+3; dmg1d3/1d3/1d4; camo.
4. Elfs, Sadist(1d4) – AC15; HD2; dmg1d6; spells as MU2.
5. Fungus Ghouls(1d6) – AC14; HD2; dmg1d3/1d3+fungus paralysis.
6. Amazons, Jackal-headed(1d6) – AC15; HD2; dmg2d4.
7. Oooze, Stop-motion(1) – AC12; HD3; dmg2d8; acid dmg.
8. Slavers(1d6) – AC14; HD2; dmg1d6.
9. Lizard, Giant Frilled(1d4) – AC15; HD4; dmg1d10, hypnotic frill.
10. Lizard Men, Red(2d4); AC15; HD2; dmg1d6+2
11. Morlocks(1d10) – AC12; HD2; dmg1d6
12. Fops, drunken(2d6) – AC18; HD1d3; dmg1d6.
13. Imps(2d4) – AC17; HD2; dmg1d4+poison(2d6).
14. Fly, Giant Talking(1d6) – AC14; HD1; dmg1d6+1d4digestive bile.
15. Monkeys, Undead(2d6) – AC14; HD1; dmg1d6 or 1d3 ranged.
16. Snake, fire-breathing(1d8) – AC14; HD2; dmg1d4 15’ cone.
17. Spider, human-handed(1d3) – AC14; HD3; dmg1d6+poison(death).
18. Lizard Men, black horned(1d8) – AC15; HD2; dmg1d6+2.
19. Mercenaries(2d4) – AC18; HD2; dmg1d3.
20. Hazmat Zombies(2d4) – AC12; HD2; dmg1d4/1d4

Level Three
1. Ape, Four-armed albino(1d6) – AC6; HD4; dmg1d6/1d6/1d6/1d6.
2. Beetle, Halbard(1d6) – AC17; HD3; dmg1d10
3. Hulking Brutes(2d4) – AC15; HD3; dmg1d6+3
4. Silverfish, Giant Poisonous(1d3) – AC13; HD3; dmg1d2+poison(paralysis)x4
5. Shapeshifters(1d6) – AC15; HD4; dmg1d6; change appearance at will
6. Ice Ants(2d4) – AC17; HD4; dmg1d6; cold aura 30’ dmg1/rnd.
7. Doll, murderous(1d6) – AC15; HD4; dmg1d3/1d3/1d6
8. Compost Heap, Living and Hungry(1) – AC12; HD4; dmg1d6+paralyze and envelope
9. Houri(1d6) – AC13; HD3; dmg1d6; charm person at will.
10. Suit of Armor, animate(1d6) – AC4; HD3; dmg1d6
11. Wereworm(1d8) – AC13; HD3; dmg1d6+poison(2d6)+5% infection.
12. Witches(1d4) – AC11; HD2; dmg1d6; spells as MU2.
13. Obsidian Judge(1d3) – AC12; HD1; dmg1d6; gaze petrifies.
14. Pulsing Jelly(1) – AC12; HD5; dmg2d6; vampiric aura 30’ drains blood 1pt/rnd
15. Vicious Warriors(1d6) – AC14; HD4; dmg1d6+3.
16. Shadows(1d8) – AC13; HD2; dmg1d6+1pt Strength.
17. NPC Party(3d3) – 80% Fighting Men, 10% MU’s, 10% Thieves, Levels 1d3 each.
18. Spider, Howling(1d3) – AC15; HD4; dmg1d6+poison(2d6); paralyzing howl.
19. Ghoul Sorcerers(1d6) – AC14; HD3; dmg1d3/1d3+paralysis; spells as MU2.
20. Lecherous Spirit(1d6) – AC15; HD3; paralysis touch + cold 1d6/rnd.

Level Four through Five
1. NPC Party (3d4) – 70% Fighting Men, 10% MUs, 20% Thieves, Levels 1d3+1.
2. Bear, Stuffed Undead(1d2) – AC15; HD7; dmg 1d6/1d6/1d10
3. Jackals, Vampire(1d6) – AC15; HD4; dmg1d6+3d4 blood drain.
4. Giant Hookworm(1d3) – AC14; HD6; dmg1d8.
5. Heron, Evil Black(1d4) – AC14; HD5; dmg1d6+petrify
6. Shapeshifters(1d6) – AC15; HD4; dmg1d6; change appearance at will.
7. Ooze, Electric(1) – AC12; HD3; Dmg2d8 20’ radius.
8. Plague Men(2d4) – AC16; HD4; dmg1d6 or 3d6 acid 30’ cone.
9. Lizard, Black Centipede-headed(1d2) – AC16; HD6; dmg3d6.
10. Wereslugs(1d4) – AC16; HD4; dmg2d6
11. Werecentipedes(1d6) – AC20; HD4; dmg2d8
12. Brute, croc-headed(1d6) – AC14; HD6; dmg2d6
13. Jelly, Hypnotic(1) – AC15; HD5; dmg1d6/rnd; hold person 3/day.
14. Roachbear(1d4) – AC15; HD5; dmg1d6/1d6/2d6
15. Giant Mantis(1d4) – AC15; HD4+4; dmg2d6/2d6
16. Disintegrating Cloud(1d4) – AC18; HD5; dmg save or disintegrate one item or limb.
17. Blood Phantom(1d4) – AC18; HD6; dmg save or 3d6 blood loss dmg
18. Iron Giant(1d8) – AC16; HD6; dmg1d6/1d6; regen 2d6/rnd
19. Crab, Giant Land(1d4) – AC17; HD4+4; dmg2d4/2d4
20. Assassin, Shadow(1d4) – AC17; HD6; dmg 1d6+3/1d6+3; invisible

Level Six through Seven
1. NPCs(3d4) – 70% Fighting Men, 10% MU’s, 20% Thieves; Level 1d4+3
2. Razorworm, segemented(1d6) – AC16; HD7; dmg1d10+bleed 1/rnd
3. Mantisbear(1d2) – AC15; HD7; dmg1d8/1d8/1d10
4. Obsidian Orb(1) – AC14; HD10; dmg1d10+paralyzing tendril.
5. Stone Maw(1d3) – AC14; HD6; dmg1d8, walk through stone
6. Vampire Batman(1d4) – AC14; HD7; dmg1d4+4d6blood drain; teleport 120’
7. Dragon, Small, Stupid(1d4) – AC17; HD6; dmg1d3/1d3/2d6 or fire 60’ cone for 6d6dmg 3/day.
8. Brass Bull(1d2) – AC20; HD8; dmg2d6 or petrifying gas 60’ cone
9. Faeries, undead(2d4) – AC18; HD1; dmg1d6; spells as MU5
10. Snake, Giant 7-headed(1) – AC15; HD7; dmg1d10x7; regen5/rnd
11. Werebeetle(1d4) – AC22; HD8; dmg1d12
12. Brute, Elephant-headed(1d6) – AC16; HD8; dmg2d6
13. Bleeding Mummy(1d4) – AC5; HD5; dmg1d6/1d6 + 20% bleeding disease (1/rnd until cured).
14. Brain Jelly(1) – AC12; HD8; dmg1d10/rnd digest; hold person at will.
15. Spiderbear(1d4) – AC5; HD5; dmg1d6x8.
16. Ice Men(3d6) – AC18; HD2; dmg1d6; freezing aura 1/rnd 30’
17. Fire Men(3d6) – AC20; HD3; dmg1d6; burning aura 1/rnd 30’
18. Scorpion-bat, Giant(1d6) – AC18; HD4; dmg1d10+poison(4d6).
19. Ripping Spectre(1d4) – AC20; HD6; dmg1d6x6;
20. Clay Guardian(1d8) – AC18; HD6; dmg1d8/1d8; regen5/rnd

Level Eight +
1. NPC Party(3d6) – 60% Fighting Men, 20% MU, 20% Thieves. levels 1d4+4
2. Floating Green Cube(1) – AC20; HD12; dmg2d6 per 6 rays: cold, fire, electric, negative, nuclear, disintegrate.
3. Dog, Giant 3-headed(1d2) – AC18; HD8; dmg3d6x3
4. Giant, helmeted(1d3) – AC20; HD10; dmg1d12+3
5. Dragon, Fast, Smart(1d4) – AC22; HD12; dmg1d6/1d6/3d6 or 12d6 fire 60’ cone.
6. Demon(1d4) – AC20; HD9; dmg1d6/1d6/2d6 or weapon 4d6
7. Giant, Hawk-headed(1d6) – AC16; HD8; dmg3d6; flies.
8. Statue, Giant Guardian(2d3) – AC24; HD10; dmg2d10
9. Toad of the Abyss(1d4) – AC20; HD9; dmg1d20; adhesive/corrosive tongue.
10. Vampire Sorcerer(1d3) – AC15; HD9; dmg1d6 or 3d6 blood drain; spells as MU9.
11. Black Knights(2d4) – AC22; HD9; dmg1d6+5.
12. Master Assassins(1d6) – AC20; HD7; dmg1d6+poison(death); surprise.
13. Living Idol(1) – AC24; HD20; dmg5d6/5d6, poison breath 60’ cone.
14. Great Worm(1d3) – AC14; HD15; dmg2d8; swallow 15 or better.
15. Burning Bones(1) – AC19; HD9; dmg fireball (6d6) at will; flies.
16. Platinum Eidolon(1) – AC21; HD8; dmg2d6/2d6; immune to magic.
17. Spider, massive(1d4) – AC18; HD9; dmg2d8 + poison(death)
18. Mantis, Great Purple(1d3) – AC22; HD10; dmg3d6/3d6; spells as MU5.
19. Cold Shoggoid(1) – AC24; HD15; dmg1d8/1d8/1d8/1d8; cold aura 6
20. Mindlord(1) – AC20; HD12; dmg1d8+4; spells as MU10.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gangnam Style!

Occasionally, the odd contemporary pop-culture phenomenon manages to bypass all the traps I've laid and reach my luddite inner sanctum of pulp novels, 80's music, and vintage rpg supplements.

So, allow me to share with you, Gangnam Style!, from the Korean performer called "Psy".

What's remarkable to me about this chubby older guy's gaudy, bizarre, outlandish, and hypnotizing visual assault is that, as of this posting, it has garnered more than 52 million views since it was first posted on July 15th 2012.

Yes, 52 million views.  In 5 weeks.

To put that into perspective, the video for Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", arguably one of the most famous songs ever, has had 47 million views since it was posted on Aug 1st of 2008.

As to the "Oppen Gangnam Style" phrase Mr. Psy keeps repeating: "Oppen" is apparently a Korean term akin to "dirty uncle", or an older man who dates younger women, and "Gangnam" is a wealthy and pretentious Seoul neighborhood (a sort of Korean Beverly Hills, I guess) that Mr. Psy is poking fun at. So there you go.

If you're wondering what this has to do with classic games, well, I'm at a loss, except to say it never fails to amuse me how unpredictable and unexpected sudden pop-culture phenomenons can be, not unlike a certain little brown box was 4 decades ago.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blake's 7 remake in the works?

The online rumor mill has it that there is the possibility of a remake of Blake's 7 on the horizon.

I really enjoyed this show when I watched it, years and years ago. For me, it combined elements of Star Wars-like space opera, with the peculiar English Science Fiction sensibilities I enjoyed so much in Doctor Who. And those crazy outfits! The fact that the series was sequential, telling  a complete story, was a draw as well, as most series tell largely independent stories in each episode.

And the series finale? Blew my mind.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Warriors of the Red Planet update!

If you haven't been by the WotRP site late lately, swing by for a couple of new previews!

Thomas and I are happy for, and extremely flattered by, the continued interest in our old-school Sword & Planet RPG book. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some TSR History

A little bit of cool TSR history, generously shared by EGG, Jr recently on the FB.


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