Friday, March 23, 2012

...Then Again, Maybe Not?

Well, here it is Friday and I have no idea if we are going to see The Hunger Games in the nearby theatre.  I assumed it would be a done deal after my wife blazed through the books in a week.  She likes to read and does read quite a bit but it is often sporadic.  When something holds her interest and I find her nose buried in a book I try to find all of the books in that series and get them.  Besides, it gives me another reason to visit the bookstore and I could always go for that.

The trailer for the first movie in The Hunger Games trilogy has been showing recently.  I posed the trailer in my last post.  The trailer looks pretty decent to me and has piqued my interest.  I still have a little under 200 pages left to read but I would see it whether or not I am finished reading the book.  She watched the trailer and said it looked pretty good but after a few days she said something that was totally unexpected - "I don't know if I want to see the movie because they'll just ruin the book".  I admit that I was a little surprised by this revelation.  My surprise came from my misconception that people that are not fans of role playing games, science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and other assorted geekery did not generally worry about such things.  Lesson learned :-).

I know the book vs. movie debate - maybe better called original vs. adaptation - has been discussed before by many other people.  I am not trying to start up that debate again.  FYI, I do generally prefer the book or original when it comes to film adaptations.  Even though I usually prefer the book or original source I can enjoy other adaptations and see the merit (if any) in some of them.  I started this post just to comment on our indecision on seeing The Hunger Games today but I started thinking about the whole original source vs. adaptation debate.  To sum it up, some assorted thoughts on the subject are included below...

Chronicles of Narnia: I read these as a child and have recently bought new copies.  I own the audio adaptations by the BBC (iirc?) and those are amazing to listen to with the different voices and sound effects.  I thought the film adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was done really well.  I believed that Narnia was going to get the proper treatment it deserves.  The second movie was not bad but it seems to be missing the charm of the books.  I have yet to see the third movie. 

Resident Evil: It seems to be in a special spot of admiration with me.  I have played most of the games and enjoyed them.  I have read all of the novelizations and enjoyed them.  I own the first 4 movies on DVD and will in all probability buy the fifth one.  I have heard some the desire the movie to be a walk through of one of the games.  I think that is a bad decision.  I can separate the games, books, and films into separate story lines and enjoy them all so I do.

Spider Man: My uncle had issues with the Spider Man movies right from the start.  The organic web shooters bothered him because he remembered Spider Man changing the formula of his webs to win in certain circumstances.  I enjoyed the first two movies and thought the third stunk.  I viewed Peter Parker as the "everyman superhero" so the organic web shooters made sense to me.

Stephen King's MISERY: The book was fabulous and did an amazing job of describing the feelings and emotions of Paul Sheldon during his captivity.  The movie was really good also but one area I felt where it exceeded the book was in the ending.  When the server looks at him and says, "I'm your number one fan" you can almost feel the anxiety from the character on the screen.

WATCHMEN: People seem to either love or hate this one.  I did and still do enjoy it tremendously.  Regardless of what is said otherwise, I believe the ending in the movie is better.  I am ready for the flames on this

Maybe I will follow up on this later...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Friday Night Movie Prediction...

I have seen the books at Wal-Mart for months but never picked them up.  My wife started reading them this last weekend; already 20 pages away from finishing the second book.  I started reading the first book and I predict that I will be seeing this movie Friday.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Assorted Links I Enjoy

I admit it, it IS a lazy Sunday.  Here are some links that I enjoy that you may also:

Born of Hope A story from the past of Lord of the Rings that tells the story of Aragon's parents.

Fan Films collection A collection of fan films satisfying your needs from Akira to Yu-Gi-Oh.

The Hunt For Gollum An unofficial prequel to Lord of the Rings.

Starship Exeter A Star Trek like series set in the time of the original series.

Star Trek New Voyages A fan made continuation of the original Star Trek series with seasons 4 and 5.

Wrestlecrap The very worst in professional wrestling plus an interesting "What if?" section.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Amanda at Drama, Dice, and Damsons has passed an award on to me.  THANKS!!!!

It is my first such award so that is pretty cool. Naturally there are provisos to the accepting of such awards, which are the following:

Here are the instructions for the lucky recipients:

1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.

3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.

4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.

5. In the same post, include this set of rules.

6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Points 2, 3 and 5 are now covered. Now for the rest of it.

I am aware that some of those listed below may already be lucky recipients. If so, accept both my apologies and the admiration that getting another nomination implies. 

Seven Random Facts...
1.  I served 8 years in the United States Army.
2.  I grew up Baptist but converted to LDS almost 2 years ago.
3.  I met my wife on a blind date.
4.  I have not played in an rpg session in almost 3 years.
5.  Forget the Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Elvis; I'm a BLACK SABBATH fan.
6.  I'm an '80s slasher fan; my favorite horror icon is Jason Vorhees.
7.  I have yet to read any of the Elric saga by Michael Moorcock.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Turning Off Word Verification

I had no idea that blogger turned on my word verification.  For those interested in turning theirs off, you can read about it here.  I am not in a position where I get spam or need someone's comments moderated so I turned mine off.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mobile Post: World Maps

Ok. I admit it. I absolutely stink at drawing world maps. The outline seems to be decent but filling in the details - rivers, plains, etc. - seems to be my problem area. It makes me wonder how much realism in world map layout and detail is needed. Is there a program that will assist in filling out the details? Is there a set of guidelines somewhere? Is this unnecessary concern? Any thoughts?

Sent from my HTC Inspire™ 4G on AT&T

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shout Out For Dan's Diminutive D20

I just found it in the last few weeks becasue I have not been part of the blogosphere for long.  In case others have missed it, there is a neat mini D20 game called Dan's Diminutive D20 out there for those of use that like a smaller ruleset to mess around with.  I have not done a lot with it but it is tempting to dive in with the small amount of rules.  Check it out!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers - Opening Theme

That talk of the 1980's and Red Dawn in the last post made me think of another blast from the past.  When I was in middle school there were several different cartoons that came in and out of rotation before school.  Sometimes I would sleep a little extra and get ready at the last minute without a care about missing the show.  There was one show, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, that I made absolutely sure that I watched every morning.  It was not dumbed down like most of the shows.  Yes, it was aimed at children but it still handled some mature themes.  If you have never seen the show, look it up and enjoy.

Red Dawn Trailer 2012 Movie HD Trailer

This film has been rumored for quite some time.  I saw a fan made trailer or two a while back that looked pretty decent but then I stumbled onto a real trailer.  I grew up watching Red Dawn in the 1980's with my buddies during the last remaining years of the Cold War.  It was an awesome speculative fiction film.  I still watch it when I happen to catch in on cable these days.  It is my understanding that the original has fallen out of favor with some due to alleged "right wing extemism" and that is too bad.  How about let's worry about a movie/book/etc. telling a good story, holding our attention, and entertaining us?  Isn't that what is important anyway? 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Dilemna...

The fiercest of enemies to all things electronic, my 5 year old son, has put me in the market for a new laptop screen.  It seems everything works and all documents are there but there is an obvious crack down the middle of the screen and streaks running across it also.  My posting may be a little sporadic temporarily until I get a new laptop, netbook, or replace the screen.  I just tested out the mobile email blogging feature and it seems to work fine.  I can use the laptop of my better half but I am not going to tie hers up for hours while I type, revise, type, etc. until the post feels "just right".  Rest assured, faithful readers, I am still hear but I am experiencing a minor setback. 


Testing out the mobile email blog posting feature.


edit - replaced listing with posting - damn you, autocorrect.
Sent from my HTC Inspire™ 4G on AT&T

Saturday, March 10, 2012

OPUS: One Page Universal System

In my wanderings on the old internet, I ran across the OPUS role-playing system.  It is supposed to print out with rules on one side of the paper and the character on the other.  It looks pretty smooth and adaptable to me.  For those interested in a quick playing, easy going go then I would suggest taking a look at it.  If you are interested, there is also a yahoo group focused on the game.

[Toldara] House Rules - Character Generation

After a long absence of too many years, I returned to role playing games with the release of D&D 3E.  One of the first things I did was start work on a campaign world, Toldara, for my own games.  With the release of 3.5, the rules bits of the setting had to be adjusted in a few areas.  Eventually, Pathfinder came out and I found myself tinkering with another 3.X iteration of the game.   

I enjoy playing the 3.X/Pathfinder versions of the game but I want less book keeping and rules referencing the older I get.  I have fiddled around with a few of the other games to see what they have to offer.  I like the idea of Microlite20 but I do want just a little more crunch than that; it is a great game regardless.  C&C may be "just right" but I need to purchase my own copy of the rules to make sure.  I have been looking at the retroclones to see which one catches my eye.  Of course, which ever game I decided on will include house rules and this is what I have decided on so far.   

Rules System
The Toldara campaign will be powered by the Basic Fantasy rules.  Following the link will take you to the downloads page that contains rules, supplements, adventures, and more.

Ability Score Generation
The generation of ability scores is done by rolling 9D6 and then splitting them up into sets of 3D6.  The three scores generated are then assigned to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution.  Another 9D6 is rolled and then split up among Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma using the previous method.  After all of the scores are generated the racial modifiers are applied to the scores.  The rolls must be used on the abilities rolled for and can not be switched between groups.

Hit Points
All beginning first-level characters begin play with the maximum available hit points according to the appropriate hit die for the class and any modifiers gained from the Constitution score.

All of the core Basic Fantasy races will be available for play plus the addition of the following:
  • The Gnome, Goblin, Half-Elf, Half-Orc (with appropriate changes), and Lizard Man (Slarn on Toldara) from the supplements on the download page. 
  • The AnshuKarnin, and Oranian races will need to be converted to the Basic Fantasy standard.
All of the core Basic Fantasy classes will be available for play plus the addition of the following:
  • The Assassin, Barbarian, Druid, Illusionist, Necromancer, Paladin, Ranger, Scout, and Sorcerer classes.

Of course, this is all a work in progress.  As play progresses, things may change further.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

When Is Enough, Enough?

In my post from yesterday I was curious about how much info should be included in a campaign document.  I made the post from my cell phone so it was really short and to the point.  I got a reply from Eldrad that instructed me to "just tell a good story".  I completely agree with this and think that is exactly what the goal should always be in a role playing campaign.  What I was actually looking for was just a little bit different.  What I would like is feedback about the following questions:

As a player, how much information about a campaign setting do you feel is the "right" amount for proper play and at what point does it become information overload?

As a game master, how much information about a campaign setting do you feel is the "proper" amount for getting the players into the game and at what point does it just become pointless details?

I am asking because I really want to start delving into the details of my campaign world but I am torn on what to include and what to leave out.  For instance, when it comes to religion in the campaign do people prefer just a simple list of gods with a few blurbs of information or do they want that information plus a breakdown of followers by race, area, worship centers, artifacts, etc.?  

Any and all opinions would be highly appreciated!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mobile Note: Campaign Info?

I am considering posts about my campaign world but I would like to know how much info people typically include in a campaign document.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wrestling & Memories of the Mayfly

There have been several posts over at Memories of the Mayfly about a tabletop wrestling game and what should be included in the design.  I am a big fan of old school wrestling from eighties that was done under complete kayfabe.  My favorite promotion of all time was World Class Championship Wrestling from the Dallas Sportatorium.  A short video tribute can be found on youtube:

WCCW was the home of the Von Erich family for those that do not know.  In my opinion, the older wrestling was much better than the crap that is on the TV today.  Although I prefer old school gaming and old school wrestling, I will not be hollering at any kids to get off my lawn any time soon.  If you dig old school wrestling or are interested in the design of a tabletop wrestling game then go check out the Mayfly.

Marvel Avengers Assemble (2012)

Yeah, I know that many other people have probably posted about this already but I just wanted to give a "HELL YES" to upcoming Avengers movie.  I was concerned with how well this would be pulled off but it looks like everything is in good hands.  I can not wait until opening day...

I'm Back

I got my replacement broadband modem/router combo in the mail yesterday.  I got it all hooked up after work and caught up on my blog reading; I even made a comment on a few of them.  I am assembling a few posts for later in the week.  In the meantime, I present some motivational music....

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mobile Note: Dead in the Water

My high-speed modem/router died. Due to free replacement instead of out of pocket expense, I opted to wait while it shipped. I will return in short time...