Saturday, January 7, 2017

Atomic Highway RPG - Smokes's Journal #2

After watching a battle van kill the men we were sent to find, encountered two guys named Ash and Buford. Dougie stole our dune buggie and, of course, Ace stole Ash's motorcycle to go after him. One crashed motorcycle later and we're walking after our stolen car. Sigh.
We arrived at the "church" where Dougie lives with the "reverend" and his "children." Basically a religious communist community. They forced us to swim in a lake to be "baptized" and then let us take the car back (plus a truck.)
Buford shared that while at the church he made radio contact with Lord Awesome. This is the man responsible for the deaths of my wife and children. Vengeance burns in my heart.
Returning to Rugby, the Baron was pleased with the information we brought back. He sent us back on a mission to find Lord Awesome's base. I think, instead, we'll try to pit Lord Awesome against the Baron. Maybe they can kill each other and save us a big headache.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Atomic Highway RPG - Smokes's Journal #1

Came to the settlement of Rugby. Odd place filled with men acting unusually, as if scared constantly. They've got me holed up in a "welcome center." They have an operation arcade. One other visitor came in, a man that goes by Ace. He seemed friendly enough. I hope to get enough work to keep me going for awhile.
Met another visitor today - Gopher. I can tell this is a man carrying a heavy burden but he's a closed book. Discovered that Rugby's run by "The Baron." Got a job lined up for tonight but the townies are tight lipped.
The job was a complete set-up arranged by the Baron. Ace and Gopher fell for it. The whole thing smelled wrong from the get go. Fortunately, I avoided the trap succeeded and came out smelling like roses. Gonna have to distance myself from these two knuckleheads.
Second job from the Baron puts me on the road with Ace and Gopher. Gonna have to teach them a thing or two if we're gonna survive. We need to find three men from Rugby who went missing.
Met a runaway on the road. Convinced him to show us the way. He spoke of a razed settlement and a "church" where he came from. When we reached the settlement, it was just as he said - completely leveled. Reminded me of losses is my own past...

Atomic Highway RPG - Meet Smokes

In our ongoing Atomic Highway campaign my character's name is Smokes. Here's a little character profile on him.

Smokes a drifter but he wasn't always that way. At one time, he had a wife and children. They lived in a nice, safe settlement... until the raiders came and wiped it all away. After losing everything, he contents himself with survival, staying on the move. Experience has taught him that sticking around in one place too long means you're there when it all goes south. 

Smokes is an honorable man. Guarded but kind. He values his reputation as a honest man. After his own losses, he sees life as precious. Hence, he abhors violence, instead preferring to resolve conflict through dialogue and negotiation. But he also knows that cruel, unreasonable, violent men can, at times, not be dealt with rationally. 

Hence, the pack of cigarettes he carries with him everywhere he goes. Smokes doesn't smoke as a habit. But when evil men give him no choice but to violently take life, he smokes a cigarette, perhaps to recognize the loss of life, perhaps as some small self-imposed punishment. There were twenty cigarettes in that pack when he found it. There are now fifteen. Smokes hopes that's the way it stays.

Atomic Highway RPG - new ongoing campaign

We just wrapped up our 2 1/2 year D&D 5e campaign in November and we've decided to launch a new Atomic Highway RPG campaign. For those not in the know, it's a post-apocalyptic world that features souped up vehicles. Think Mad Max and you're on the right track.

I'll be updating the blog with campaign notes from my character's POV. I'm playing a drifted called "Smokes."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Geek Gear: Dice Rings

My friend Sam recently brought this project to my attention. This is a Kickstarter project that has met and exceeded its goal. You can check it out here.

The creative folks behind this Kickstarter have created high quality "dice rings" made out of etched stainless steel. Each ring has one or more independently spinning outer ring that is fitted into a grove on the inner ring. Instead of "2d6" to represent 2 six sided dice, they note each die with and "r" so if you wanted to spin two six siders it would be "2r6."

Pretty clever. I can't say I would necessarily use them myself but I applaud the effort.
Dice Rings

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Steve Jobs: Genius by Design Graphic Novel

Steve Jobs: Genius by Design
People love Apple and they loved Steve Jobs. During his life and since his death he has been the subject of a large number of articles and biographies.

Steve Jobs: Genius by Design is the newest graphic novel biography on the legendary tech titan.

What I particularly loved about the solicit is the cover of the comic. What a brilliantly simple design, shaped to look like a iPad with an unembellished image of Jobs himself looking away from the reader, lost in thought.

This volume is being publihsed by Campfire and will be only $12.99 for 104 pages. You can count on it being well researched, visually interesting, and enlightening.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome Webisodes

I'm a huge fan of the revamped Battlestar Galactica series from SciFi so I was very excited when I heard about the new prequel series being released online. It follows a young Adama on his very first mission as a pilot. It's very good. Four of the 10 episodes have been released thus far and two more come out on November 23rd. I can't wait! Check out the first episode: 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl Comic

Ah, the Comic Con Girl. What an enigmatic creature.

She's revered and perhaps feared in a way few will ever understand. Of course, the Comic Con Girls are as diverse as their Comic Con Brethren. There's the ultra-fan who could out-geek the biggest boy nerd. There's the loyal spouse/girlfriend who attends out of mere obligation. There's the hostile gamer-girl who just wants to game and doesn't want to be looked as a woman at all. The variety is endless.

So Antarctic's comic examining the experiences of females at comic book conventions intrigues me. What is it like to turn the heads of a thousand geeks just simply by showing up in a rockin' Power Girl costume? How does one act when one realizes that they possess such power? What motivations do these mythical creatures have?

This comic book limited series of three issues promises to be both humorous and insightful and an industry almost exclusively devoted to males examines the fairer gender's experiences at comic book conventions.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Geek Gear: Tetris Ice Cube Tray

Tetris Ice Cube Maker
Alright, now this may be the coolest of all of the Tetris gear I've seen. It's a Tetris ice cube tray that creates all of the basic Tetris shapes made out of ice.

This just sounds endless hours of mindless fun to me. I would be that person that would buy, like, 15 of them, add food dye to water and make colored frozen blocks and then spend an entire evening playing my own home-made frozen Tetris game. Hey, don't judge! I write for a geek blog, what do you want?

But, if you're normal, you'd just serve drinks to your guest with Tetris block shaped ice cubes in them and smile as they sip from the glasses, blissfully unaware that in the liquid swirling around are the shapes from a video game come to frozen life.


Okay, maybe I am weirder than I thought.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Geek Gear: Tetris Heat-Changing Mug

Mugs are boring. Everybody knows that. But this mug has a pretty cool gimmick.

It's a Tetris mug, inspired by the video game Tetris. When you pour hot liquid into it, the display changes to show a more advanced game display. Pretty cool!

Of course, it's not perfect though. The heated display says "Level 11" and "15 Lines" when everyone knows that you need ten lines to pass a level so it should be 115 lines. Duh!

Anyway, perfect or not, this throwback to a simpler era of video games is pretty sweet.

Look! The long blue piece is about to fall and make a Tetris! Sweet!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Fantastic Four (1994)

The unreleased Fantastic Four movie from 1994 is literally a joke. The joke was on the cast and crew who thought they were making a serious movie when, in fact, the studio never intended to release it.
The 1994 Unreleased Fantastic Four Movie
As you might have heard, this movie is anything but fantastic. In fact, dreadful is a more fitting descriptor.

First and foremost, the entire story is horribly boring. The pacing is incredibly slow and there isn't a single genuine character moment in the entire film. The actors seem to want to act but you can actually see them acting which is never good. Not only is the plot a cure for insomnia but it is also needlessly complex. In an attempt to cram in as much stuff from the comics as possible, the story meanders from the character's college years to the rocket launch and finally over half way through the film we finally see the formation of the Fantastic Four. The inclusion of two villains, Dr. Doom and the The Jeweler (a Mole Man rip-off), demands that we spend a lot of time away from our protagonists. While at first this seems like a good thing because the protagonists are all very boring and you don't care about them you quickly learn that the villains are basically generic comic-book villain cardboard stand-ups that are even more boring than the heroes. Somehow, Alicia Masters is shoehorned into the plot as well but I doubt you'll really care or even notice.

Honestly, when I watched this my five year old son watched it as well and he was completely lost. He couldn't tell the difference between Johnny, Reed, Ben, and Victor as well as Sue and Alicia. When the can't tell the difference between Dr. Doom and the Human Torch you know there's a big problem with characterization.

Now, there are a couple of positives to pluck out of this train wreck. First, although the costumes are far worse than those that I've seen at comic book conventions, the looks are directly inspired by the original comic book designs. I've got to give the creators credit for the attempt at least. Close-ups of Dr. Doom's face actually look pretty good when he is totally obscured by shadows. Secondly, the story does attempt to be very true to the comic books. The origin of Dr. Doom, the rocket ship, even the awkward age difference between Sue and Reed all comes directly from the comics. The execution, once again, is clumsy and awkward. But they made the attempt and that counts for something... right?

I can't overstate how awfully, horribly, absolutely bad this film is though. It's like watching a very, very slow and boring car accident that isn't interesting at all. And it's boring. Very, very boring.

1LR REVIEW - 1 out of 20! A Critical Fumble!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics Graphic Novel

A Thinking Man's Graphic Novel
What is thinking? How does our thinking set up apart from other animals?

What is reality? Is there one reality or many subjective realities?

What is truth? Can truth actually be determined?

Do we have a free will or is our life predetermined?

These questions and more are examined in Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics by Margreet de Heer. She examines and digests western philosophers including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Erasmus, Descartes, Spinoza, and Nietzsche.

So don't expect Spider-Man to ponder how to defeat the unstoppable Juggernaut. This graphic novel tackles the REALLY tough questions about life, the universe, and our role in it.