Monday, May 28, 2012

(Mobile Post) Why Not Narnia?

I get this thought in my head from time to time so I thought I would do a post about it.  There have been 3 professionally produced RPGs based on Lord of the Rings and many fan made homebrew games using some form of D&D or some homebrew system; there are also many forum games based on Lord of the Rings.  I would think a Narnia rpg would have been professionally produced by now, but there has not been one.  I have searched several times for a fan made Narnia system but all I have found are some D20 conversion notes.  I have found several forum based Narnia games available.

I was just curious if anybody had any thoughts about the absence of an rpg based on The Chronicles of Narnia?  Given the popularity of the books and the recent movies, I would think that at least a fan made game would be available.

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8 Years

Since it is Memorial Day and this seems to always come up once people find out I was in the Army, I thought I would just share some thoughts on my experiences while I served...
Basic Training:  8 weeks of HELL that I would not want to do again.  There are many misconceptions about what takes place during the training - any stories about violence directed at trainees in the modern Army is not the standard or accepted practice.  Believe it or not, the modern Army is about professionalism and that is what is expected from the complete chain of command.  Back on point, basic training is essentially about testing the limits of the recruits and molding them into soldiers.  The Drill Sergeants DID stress us out and push us to the limits.  War and combat is - regardless of cartoon portrayals - a stressful situation.  When you get to the end of it, the first thought is "Oh, it wasn't that bad" - YES, it  After basic training, there is AIT; the training for your military speciality.  I was at Ft. Leonardwood for a total of 3 months; 1 week in processing, 8 weeks of basic, and 3 weeks of bridge training. 
Ft. Campbell, KY:  Six of us left Ft. Leonardwood after AIT and were assigned to Ft. Campbell.  It was kinda cool knowing that there would be 5 other guys that I already knew there.  Out of all the places I was stationed, Ft. Campbell was my absolute favorite.  It is actually on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee with most of the base being on the Tennessee side.  The only reason Kentucky is associated with the base is that the post office is located on the Kentucky side.  I did several cool things at Ft. Campbell.  I was part of a team that went to West Point and trained cadets, I was also a part of the team that built a Bailey Bridge for the Atlanta Olympics, and there were 5 of us that volunteered to go to Somalia.  Fortunately, the biggest battle we usually fought over there was against the forces of boredom.  There were a few times it could have gotten nasty but it did not.  I was at Ft. Campbell for over 2 years.
Ft. Riley, KS: HELL on Earth.  There is absolutely nothing there at all except flat fields of nothingness between the towns and cities.  The only good thing about being there is that it was just like 4 hours from home.  I was only at Riley for a year.  I got lucky that I missed out on the entire unit going to Bosnia because I was on orders for Korea.  After having been married for a little over a year I was on my way to Korea on an unaccompanied tour. 
Camp LaGuardia, South Korea:  I was not a big fan of South Korea at all.  I was stationed at a small camp that had my unit and the band.  The whole thing was very small.  There was no big PX close by, the movie theatres on base were showing movies that I had seen 8 months ago, I was on the other side of the globe in a land that I just did not care for, and the food was terrible.  I am a pretty boring eater, I admit it, but I just have no desire to eat squid jerky, dog, or whatever the hell else they might try to cook. 
Ft. Hood, TX: It was nice to be back in the states and somewhat close to familiar ground.  Hood is absolutely huge and has two of just about everything - PX, commissary, class six, etc.  By the time I had gotten to Hood, I had a growing desire to get out of the Army.  I showed up everyday with a good attitude and I did my job to the best of my ability but I really just did not want to give up any more of my life.  The re-enlistment guys would bother me periodically but I rode out the last of my time at Ft. Hood and just went home.  I spent almost 3 years at Ft. Hood.

I was in the Army from 1992 to 2000.  I do not have anything bad to say about my experience.  It was just one of those things that turned out to not be my thing.  There is nothing wrong with that.  The only thing I would change is that I would have checked out the recruiters from all four branches to see what they had to offer. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dance Recital Later...

My four year old daughter, Emma, has a dance recital later this afternoon.  She has been in dance for several months and this recital is going to serve as a sort of graduation before the summer season. She always does good at practice but she got to experience a big crowd last night - she looked pretty scared about all the people and just stood there for a while.  She did do all of the last number and it was made clear that if she did good tonight then we would go get ice cream after the show.  Fingers crossed...


Friday, May 25, 2012

Word Verification is ON

No earth shattering news is contained in this post. This is just a heads up to let everyone know that word verification is on at this point.  I turned it off mainly for the A to Z thing and only got one spam comment so I left it off.   Since the A to Z thing has ended I have gotten several spam comments so I am turning it back on. 

D&D Next: First Impressions

As soon as I was notified by email that the playtest packet was ready to download I headed over to the Wizards site to do so.  It seems that so many people were doing the same thing so I had issues with access.  I tried a few times and then decided to download the stuff later in the day after the initial rush. 

After finally downloading and browsing through the playtest documents I can say one thing for sure - I am interested!  I believed that I would be disappointed after 4E but I can honestly say that I like the impression I got when I browsed through the documents.  I did not do a line by line read through of the material but I think it could serve as a steady base that will obviously get houseruled by groups looking for a certain style of play.  If it continues in this manner, then I will definitely pick up a PHB on release.

Now I am off for a thorough read through...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

(Mobile Post) Netflix + Wii = sad face

I have been a Netflix subscriber for approximately 1 year; streaming service only.  It seems to be the perfect compliment to our local cable service by providing plenty of viewing material for all of the family members.  Plus, for $8 a month the price is definitely right.  Recently, Netflix has been a terrible viewing experience on the Wii.  The selection will start playing and then stops unexpectedly with an error message stating that "there is a problem playing this selection. Please try again later or make another selection.".  Anybody out there have any suggestions?

I'be looked at the FAQ section and it is pretty much barren. All I could do was report a problem.

Service seems fine on mobile phone & laptop.  I want it to work on TV so the kids will have plenty to watch.

I have a large amount of selections in my instant Que - does that matter?

I have no interest in the mail service.

I tried Hulu Plus and it is even worse an the selection is terrible or was when I tried it.

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. I really like Netflix and would like to keep it but I will probably look into other options if it will only work properly on the laptop or mobile phone.

Sent from my HTC Inspire™ 4G on AT&T

Monday, May 21, 2012

(Mobile Post) Escape From Camp Blood

This is an old idea of mine. I never put anything on paper but it would have qualified for an entry in an old gaming notebook.  I have been a fan of the Friday the 13th films since the 1980's and always wanted to do something to show my appreciation.  One idea that keeps coming back to me is a board game that plays out like the basic plot of the films - a group of teenagers are staying at the camp grounds and must keep away from Jason so they can survive the night.  A few thoughts about the game are presented below:

The goal of the game is to avoid the killer and escape the camp.

The game board will depict some cabins, a lake or river, baseball field, and a large wooded area.

Each player will control one token representing a different type of teenager - jock, punk, prep, country guy, etc. Each one can do something special such as hotwire a car, etc.

The killer will either be controlled by another player or by some random method in the rulebook.  Of course, the killer has specials such as stealth, etc.

There will be random item and event cards to increase replay value.

Just some random ideas I needed to get out of my headed. More later...

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

A General Update and Assorted Ramblings...

Between life in general, an increased work schedule at my job, two kids, and the significant other about to start on her summer semester of college it has been busy around here.  I slacked off on the easiest place to slack off - my blog - but things seemed to have slowed down somewhat and returned to "normal" so I should be posting somewhat regularly now.  My general thoughts about moving forward with this blog are presented below.

I started this blog for topics of various role-playing game interests and have stuck to that for the most part.  I have dipped into other areas such as movies, comic books, music, and professional wrestling just to name a short list.  I thought about tightening the focus of this blog to nothing but role-playing related posts and banishing the "off-topic" posts to another blog somewhere.  I really do not want to maintain two blogs and Eric over at Memories of the Mayfly pointed out that these "off topic" posts give a better picture of the blog author and their interests.  Put simply, from this point on this blog will be focused on gaming BUT I will also post about my other interests including sports, movies, professional wrestling, and just about anything else.  I will probably not post anything resembling politics or religion just because they can be so divisive and I would rather have a fun dialogue here without real world conflicts that so often turn into something resembling blind allegiance.

Some of the gaming posts to look forward to include the continuation of my read through of both Adventures in Fantasy and Perilous Journeys, a continuation of posting information from my old gaming notebooks, and information on my home campaign world of Toldara.  AiF is cool just from a historical perspective and Arneson's involvement while PJ is basically Lejendary Adventures done right.  That is why I want to finish my posts about them.  My old gaming notebooks were full of ideas and I want to get them uploaded and updated so I can expand on them in the future.  I have already posted some of this information and will continue to update them in the future to offer them for download once they are completed. 

 My attempts to get some of the old gaming group together to game again has not been completely in vain.  Jamie, my friend of over 30 years, is definitely going to participate.  He is planning on getting his girlfriend to try it out and I am planning the same thing.  That should be interesting.  I hope both of them like it so that will be four dedicated players.  I met another old school player, Ed, through Jamie.  That brings our total up to 5 participants.  That is a good sized group and will give us some variation among styles and characters.  As Jamie and I are the only players from the old group this group will not be a reunion game but it will definitely work.  All that is left is to come up with a game system to use.  So far, the systems proposed are B/X D&D, Castles & Crusades, or RIFTS.  It really does not matter to me what we play, just that we play.

I am now half way through the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy.  The first book was a very quick and easy read.  I am enjoying the books so far.  Katniss is a strong female lead character and not a damsel in distress that constantly needs rescuing.  It is a very refreshing perspective and take on the action and adventure genre.  I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.    I still have not seen the movie but I am sure that we will see it on DVD soon enough.
I just started watching the Game of Thrones season 1 DVD set.  I actually already watched the first two episodes because we had a free HBO preview for a week or two and was able to see catch them when they originally aired.  I was pretty disappointed that I would be unable to watch the other episodes as they aired but I knew that I was going to get the DVD as soon as I could.  As I am a book person, I wonder if I am missing a lot by not having read the books yet.  Anybody got any opinions?
I have lost 13 pounds in the last month - all thanks to eating better.  I have done nothing fancy like joining the gym, signing up for Weight Watchers, or anything like that.  I am not currently in horrible shape but I just would like to "drop a few pounds" to feel better about me.  It's all been done with portion control and better decisions.  I am happy that my available wardrobe is expanding to include pants that would not fit comfortably a month ago.  :-)

That should just about cover everything.  I could probably go on and ramble for a while but I know when to turn the faucet off.



Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z 2012: Reflection Post

I just participated in my first A to Z post challenge since I began blogging.  It was an interesting exercise and here are some of my thoughts on the challenge:
I actually did get a post out for every day that was scheduled;  There were 2 posts - iirc, of course - that I posted late due to a minor finger squishing at work.  It looked like my finger was going to be splinted for an entire week but it turned out to only be for two days.  I made the appropriate number of posts but a few were delayed momentarily due to a lack of right index finger 
Most of my posts were prepared and scheduled ahead of time.  This is especially true of the earlier posts.  That seemed to make the entire challenge much easier to complete.  I would recommend that others at least plan the subject of the post in advance.
The problem letters for me were X, Y, & Z.  I honestly did not complete them until pretty much the day that they were scheduled to be posted.  I tried using prompts and ideas from other places but those three letters were a challenge for me. 
I got quite a bit of traffic to my blog.  On some days it was two, three, or even four times the usual traffic.  I figured that it might increase a little bit due to participating in the challenge but I was pleasantly surprised by the number of visitors.
The comments from all those visitors was very interesting.  There were very many unique perspectives and experiences in relation to the theme of my blog.  I only had to delete one spam comment with all of the additional traffic so it was not a hassle at all.  I appreciate every single bit of participation in the comments section of my posts - THANKS!
The only area that I felt I failed on was visiting and commenting on other blogs.  I did visit many but I did not visit all of them.  My employer unexpectedly increased the work schedule during the challenge so something had to give - sorry :-(.
I survived the A to Z challenge of 2012 and I am interested in participating again next year.  I am already thinking of ideas for 2013 but I would also like to break away from just gaming on next year's posts.  I am not quite sure what the subject may be - maybe some of my followers can make suggestions for each letter or an over arcing theme and I can go from there.  ANY IDEAS?

Thanks to all my fellow participants, all those that left comments, and all those that just stopped by to read a random post.  It was a fun time and, as I stated previously, I am not opposed to participating again.