MTG today guys! So far you have heard me moaning about certain things ingrained in the game due to Wizards of the Coast being an evil corporate. However, I have been playing the game for donkeys years, and me having a personal/moral issue with the producer doesn’t necessarily mean all I have to say about the subject is negative. I started playing Magic with my dad when I was in school – it was before my Warhammer days so I couldn’t have been much older than 9 or so. I believe it was also around the time that Pokemon the Trading Card Game came out and became really popular, so one thing kinda escalated to the other. My dad had a lot of Alpha/Beta onward cards and I seem to recall this was triggered by some sort of starter pack being released either with a magazine, newspaper, something like that. We bought the stuff and I was taught to play. Then when I got the grasps of the game we made my very own first deck – great father and daughter bonding exercise, don’t skip this part of your parenting skills!
Today we talk about a game no-one wants to play with me anymore: Jungle Speed!. I love it! I’ve owned for years and after a few games I don’t get to play it very often because apparently I always win…¬¬…Also, because people feel self-conscious of their lack of reflexes, eye hand coordination and incapability to distinguish shapes 🙂 X’D
In any case, that is exactly what Jungle Speed! is about, so if you are no good with your agile reactions, can’t differentiate a circle from a hexagon, and are incapable of remembering a couple of very basic rules then this is not the game for you – Yes, I am being facetious, sarcastic and scornful, it is time to redeem myself!! But if you are willing to give it a go, or you just want to watch your friends fail miserably, this is something you should try. Jungle Speed! is very much a casual game: perfect for parties, warm up gaming sessions, a quick game, etc. The great thing about it is that you can pretty much play with any number of people and it does not last long. The longest game I have personally played lasted 20 minutes, and it was a 1v1 with the entire deck plus the expansion pack. This is also a suitable game to play with kids, or for kids, and it can even be didactic. You can use it for improving reflexes and coordination, learning shapes, colour and definition sharpness – honest, it helps.
After waiting a short while for other search parties to be sent on various other routes, Arnulf and Burin were finally called forward to set off themselves. Burin was dreading the thought of an endless trek down the long marshes between the forest and the lake, but they were thankfully given a document with Glóin’s seal that would allow them to borrow a decent boat for their journey.
They found themselves grouped up with two other volunteers. One was a young man of the Laketown watch by the name of Lifstan. Arnulf was sure he had heard of the man before for some reason, but decided to leave the conversation until they were on their way. The other companion that joined them was named Runa, a woman of middle age who Arnulf knew was part of one of the noble families once linked to the town council. Today it seemed she was a member of the bowman’s guild.
After the four of them introduced themselves, it didn’t take long for them to find their way to the jetties used for official town business and acquire a boat. Lifstan appeared to have the most experience with boating on the lake, and especially with the use of a sail boat like this one, but Arnulf and Runa, having grown up in Laketown, were still of use. Burin wasn’t very helpful, but sailing continued smoothly southwards.
It would take them a whole day to cover the fifteen miles that separate Laketown from the southern end of the lake, close to where its waters pour out over high waterfalls. During the day they mostly kept watch for any signs of trouble on the western shores, and occasionally passed the time with conversation. Arnulf, being an inquisitive sort and an aspiring weaponsmith brought up the strange looking sword on Lifstan’s belt. It was fairly well decorated and more curved than what he’d seen of any blade made by Man, Elf or Dwarf. Lifstan handed the weapon over, allowing Arnulf to examine it, not seeming to mind his curiosity.
‘They call it a scimitar where it’s from, more specifically a serpent scimitar for the snake’s head decoration on the hilt. It’s actually been in my family for a couple of generations since my great uncle Nefstan, a merchant, brought it back from the lands to the East. Usually watchmen wouldn’t carry such a serious weapon, as there’s no real need for them, but since it was used by my father in the Battle of Five Armies I wouldn’t dare leave it to collect dust on the mantelpiece now’
‘So your father passed it to you after the battle? Or-‘ Arnulf began to ask.
‘No, no it was ah, found on the field. Still in his grasp’ Lifstan interrupted.
‘I see, I’m sorry to hear that my friend, mine is a similar story’
‘I’m sure many of our stories are these days, but it’s ok, I’m proud of his bravery, which is why I carry the blade now. It’s also why I’m here, my father proved that a man from a long line of watchmen can do more than simply watch, I feel I need to live up to that’
Arnulf nodded slowly, thinking about what the man said. ‘That’s very admirable, I think I understand your feeling’.
Arnulf then tried to learn more about Runa, but couldn’t get much out of her about her reasons for being on this quest, or much about her past. He did definitely recall her being related to one of the council members of the old Laketown some years ago however. He considered that she would still be reticent on the subject, so gave up his polite probing and decided to finally ask her about her own equipment. She was clearly a member of the Bowman’s Guild with her exquisite longbow taller than her, but he was more interested in the strange armour adorning her upper body. It had the appearance of golden scales, probably made of some form of copper or brass as far as he could tell. It reminded him of the dragon’s own armour, and he wasn’t sure if that was deliberate or not.
‘Not unlike the watchman’s sword, it also came to my family by way of trade with folk from the East. Many coats of mail like this one hung in the great hall of the old town until…’ She paused for a moment, cleared her throat then carried on. ‘I acquired it then, and have decided to make use of it where I can, and today seemed appropriate time for it, as… Lifstan, said things like this probably should be left to collect dust’ She finished as she gave a slight nod to the watchman manning the tiller.
Soon enough the sky was beginning to darken and they could hear the distant rushing of the falls, so they knew it would soon be time to stop. Travellers heading south usually disembarked on the western shore of the lake, where several wooden piers would jut out from the shingles. There were a number of huts huddled close to the lake and they could see fires twinkling in the dim light. These were the homes of the Lake-men that seved as porters for the Stair of Girion.
The Stair of Girion was a paved portage trackway, built long ago by the Lake-men with the help of Dwarven masons, allowing for the swift transport of boats and their contents from the lake down to where the Running River resumes its course beyond the falls (or up to the lake from the river, for boats coming from the south). Entire boats could be loaded on wheeled carts, that were then pulled along grooves dug into the paved trackway.
The stair of Girion hadn’t seen a lot of traffic in the past few centuries. Not even the death of Smaug had provided the chance to put it to much use, as only well armed and courageous merchants (a rare breed…) dared to approach the lake directly by boat. Fearing to enter the darkest parts of the Long Marshes, they would usually prefer to unload their wares ninety miles south of the lake, where the Running River enters Mirkwood and the marshes, and then continue their journey overland along the eastern borders of the wood.
The group arrived at the Stair at the end of this first day and proceeded to load their light boat on the trackway to proceed the next morning.
This is Cymoril, my Daughter of Cacophony who I truly like. I have been playing Vampire the Masquerade for over 12 years now. I have played as every single playable clan. I have Dmed in every single period, story-arch, multitude of different groups and dynamics. I have killed characters, I have made them suffer. But Cymoril is special. There is a narrative inside her that I like. I am not one for exploiting female attributes such as beauty and sex appeal with my characters – I’m hard-core, I kick ass, that’s what I do! But then I thought of giving myself a challenge.
So here are the stats for Cymoril – through Google Drive.
The entire character has also been inspired by the art work of the amazing and undeniably good Maciej Kuciara. His character concepts for Showtime allowed me to understand the true nature of Cymoril. And this shows in her story – which I leave with you now:
My life is somewhat a lane of memories with twists and turns I will never be able to fully comprehend.
I do not remember my parents – sometimes I doubt I ever had any. The chasm of the 1920s spanned many on Earth, and some born to the ungrateful ended in cold crates awaiting someone to find them a home. Vague details of a hospice come to mind every so often…But all I can tell you is that my childhood didn’t matter much, except for the Jazz. Oh boy did I love hearing the bluesy notes coming out of the bars and cabarets of Quebec city center…I remember dancing around with the other girls while an old cranky witch would boss us around…I use to escape through the window quite often…Music was The Thing, if you follow me…When the war started, I entered the service – didn’t understand why all these people had to die and bleed…What was the point? Life seemed so short…I used to sing a lot while in duty, helping the typist at the office, making the coffee, cleaning, anything to earn a few dollars so the system would give me my independence and precious freedom away from the cranky house, with the cranky witch, in the middle of a currently infested with people old town; Quebec.
…And perhaps wishes come true. I took the habit of singing while feeding the ducks on my way back to the hospice. One evening, it was getting on, but I didn’t want to go…I kept on hearing things around me, I wasn’t feeling very well…Then I saw her. It was the 15/05/1950. I remember it because word in town was nothing but the conception of a rocket being able to fly to the moon as Dr. von Braun had announce on the papers the previous day…This woman, with her ruby-red curls, her polka-dotted dress and her bright crimson heels walking along the lakeside with 2 gents, like if they were her escorts. My sight followed her for a moment, while words of a song came to my mouth out of nowhere, some kind of swing, but with edge…
Next thing I remember the woman was inviting me into her car. She took me to a gig she was playing. She was a singer, you see, like we all are. She went back then by the name of Kassie. She roared on the stage full of soul and charm, she loved the limelight and everyone knew it, and everyone loved her. The chorister that accompanied her invited me to the backstage. Everyone was seriously mesmerized by her. How could one woman who I had never heard of before hold such power…? …The Siren signs and Ulysses gets lost at sea…That’s how. Before I realised, this woman turned to be not a woman at all, but a creature of the moonlight. She promised me another life, and afterlife before death. And the possibility of a song that would never end…No more hospice, no more cranky, noisy, grubby Quebec no more…So I took it.
Cassandra ‘K’ taught me all one can possibly ever know of the voice, of human psyche, desire, power, control, and otherworldly things. She said I would need them “for when you grow up”…Growing up…I’ll always be 21…And so, the showed carried on: we moved to the States, she went off to do some voice acting for Hollywood and I found myself in Beverly Hills…Too much glamour for my liking…And that soul, swing with edge captivated me…So here I am. It’s 1980, I am the lead singer of a post rock-grunge-drone band, and my name, is nothing but a memory…Twisted and lost, somewhere…In a lonely, quiet park, in Quebec old town…
Today I am just going to tell you about one of my current decks, probably my favourite in fact. This deck has evolved from its original build back in 2012, but the concept remains the same. After so many years of playing, like most players I have become a creature of habit, likes and dislikes. Turns out, who would guess, that red seems to be my predilection. I like playing red in any combo, and it has been pointed out that most my decks are red-something-or-another.
Hoy os hablo de uno de mis mazos actuales de Magic que más me gusta. Le llevo usando desde 2012, con modificaciones a medida que voy encontrando otras cartas que me gustan o me vienen mejor para la dinámica del mazo, ya que después de llevar jugando bastante tiempo uno se acaba convirtiendo en animal de costumbres, gustos y disgustos. Parece ser que mi predilección en Magic es jugar con rojo en combinaciones multiples – İsorpresa…!
If you are a PC gamer, you often will find yourself looking for games new and old. In the old days your house would have shelves coated in thin CD cases which store your library of gems. But it’s likely those CDs are now scratched to death due to the multiple replays and certain gamer abuse they have received from you – don’t be ashamed, we are all in the same boat. But as you know, technology changes affect the gaming industry drastically and we now live in an era where digital copies are preferred. They take less space, the won’t break due to scratching, etc. But more importantly even if you tried to buy physical copies of the games this would become a challenge. There aren’t many shops that sell them. All good if you’re a console gamer though, otherwise…so of course you must result to the internet. And as you know you have a few options – downloads, or the comfort of Steam. And Steam knows you don’t want a thousand Trojans killing your PC. So because Steam is free to use, you will end up there. And to be honest, Steam has good features – mods, community forums, access to thousands of games at the same time, some indie some mainstream. So why wouldn’t you love Steam?
Os traigo hoy un asunto del que no he hablado todavía en ninguna de nuestras entradas en español. Me refiero a una serie de televisión que a mí me encanta, y que por desgracia en España no se transmiten (al menos por el momento) – Gotham. Me ha parecido ver que al parecer hay un doblaje para ambas que se produce en Méjico, pero no estoy segura de que esto sea en capacidad oficial, ni tampoco estoy segura de que sea accesible a aquellos que no vean series en Internet. Por tanto, dejad que os hable sobre el tema.
Evidentemente la serie es el producto de la oleada de superhéroes que están abarcando todos los medios y servicios de marketing y merchandise posibles: pelis, juegos, figuras, os los sabéis todos. Tanto Marvel como DC están a ver quién consigue arruinarse primero en este negocio. Actualmente tienen las dos franquicias bastantes series en televisión. Marvel empezó con Agentes de Shield, Agent Carter, y está siguiendo su historia de Los Defensores con Daredevil, Jessica Jones y Luke Cage, e incluso se rumorea que le van a dar al Punisher su propio nicho. Por su parte, DC ha sacado Arrow, Flash, Supergirl y más recientemente Lucifer – y Gotham, por supuesto. Así que hay para escoger y repartir. Tal vez os preguntéis porque con tantas series a escoger de estos dos titanes del comic, he ido yo a coger esta. Veamos.
I have been thinking about how to approach this post for a while. I wanted to write about these two series that I enjoyed thoroughly. Yet when I ask most people about either of them, I usually get the “You what?” look and the conversation ends. For some unknown reason most Sci-Fi fans I know have never heard of them or have shown little interest in having a look for themselves. Why? Well, I am still trying to come to terms with it, but there may be several reasons to this issue.
Starting with Dark Angel – this was Jessica Alba’s big hit on TV. Yet after a couple of seasons the show met the fate that us Sci-Fi fans know all too well: cancelled! How could a show created by James Cameron end up failing so hard? I mean for once FOX seemed really keen on a sci-fi show, the first season was received with a positive mental attitude…So what went wrong? Well, seemingly the fact that FOX changed the show to Friday nights and certain plot developments during the second season lead most viewers to drop completely and forget about Max and her bio/cyberpunk corporate dominated world. So what, people didn’t like that the female lead got her presumed love interest in trouble after breaking out of Manticore and fought hard to expose the evil corp to the world? Perhaps we are far too cynical to appreciate science fiction when fiction becomes too close to reality – I don’t really know. Perhaps the audience rejected Alba’s more proactive role, where her character was prompted to think and react rather than just posed epic for the camera and run around trying to figure stuff out in her bike. Who knows. Maybe I am missing something…In any case, somehow, somewhat a loved and acclaimed series and an audience favourite stopped being so and the fans had to just deal with its legacy. Thankfully there was an arrangement to produce a video game for the Play Station 2 and to publish 3 novels written by Mark Allan Collins to continue exploring the universe Cameron had created. And yet…
Arnulf and Burin approached the large main entrance to Laketown for the first time in many months. Since they had permanently moved to the new City of Dale a few years ago they had only rarely needed to return here. Today, of all days, seemed the perfect reason to come however. Today was the first day of the great new festival to be held hear each year named Dragontide, in commemoration of the events five years past and those who lost their lives, as well as a celebration of the new age of prosperity the people of the lake and Dale were enjoying.
The pair passed through the main entrance, manned by a few more of the town guards than usual, and then through the busy tollhouse to enter the town. As they opened out onto Bridge Street Burin was quite surprised to the place heaving with people.
‘By Durin’s beard lad! Would you look at the amount of folk they’ve managed to squeeze into these streets, it’s a wonder the place hasn’t sunk!’
Arnulf couldn’t help himself from beaming with pride at the success of his hometown
‘I know, isn’t it brilliant?’ He said ‘I only hope we can see the great streets of Dale as busy as this soon!’
They continued down the main street until they reached the market pool, which was somehow even busier still, with various merchants and craftsmen from lands near and far. They spent some time wandering the stalls, taking in the sights of exotic wares and enjoying the somewhat frantic but cheerful atmosphere. Continue reading “The One Ring Chronicles – Part Two: Where Noisome Waters Pour”
Today I am sharing the following campaign concept for Mythic Iceland – the Chaosium Ink game, based on Basic RPG, using a d100 system. I have been Dming Mythic Iceland since 2013. As a Viking Age scholar, I am quite particular on how my games go: everything is about keeping it real, but with a otherworldly touch to it. If it is not worthy of the sagas or the Eddas if you want to go super epic, then it is not welcomed in my game. So I created this campaign scenario in the Western Fjords – the hardest place to live in due to the topography and resources available. The time frame is set in this particular place to see how the players would experience living in the deepest most pagan part of Iceland while Christianity is taking over. The country goes through several changes in the way the society behaves and how this affects the ordinary man, so I thought both from a historian and a DM point of view, seeing this struggle come to life would be quite interesting. So here are the materials:
Arnarfjörður is one of the large fjords in Western Iceland. It is an area enclosed by mountains, where birch woods used to be abundant. However, for several decades now the woods run thinner and trees are becoming scarce. The land goes further into the sea and diverts in two further fjords forming a fork. The northern one features the waterfall Thunderer (Dynjandi), and the community of Seilerdal, a settlement where Christianity is flourishing. The entire land is well-known as an area where hidden folk (elves) are more often seen than elsewhere in the country. In fact, the Western Fjords – and Arnarfjörður specifically – are lands were magic and pagan folk have deep roots.