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"Has anyone seen my D20?"

Month

August 2015

Daily D4

While we were visiting the Apis Mead and Winery Jade and I took the time to play Loonacy for the first time, we had a blast playing it out while Jade tried a flight. In Loonacy each player starts with a hand of seven cards, you win by being the first player to get rid of all of your cards. Depending on the number of players you have one to four discard piles which you can place your cards into as long as one of the symbols on the top card matches one of the symbols on your card. One of the unique things about the game however is that you don’t take turns, everyone places their cards at the same time, so being quicker than the other players is the key to victory. If you’re looking for something perfect to play in restaurant setting then I suggest checking out Loonacy.

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Episode 39: Hoard of the Dragon Queen Part 3

This week our heroes finally return to kick the Cult of the Dragon in the teeth…immediately before being swallowed whole.

http://outofcharacter.buzzsprout.com/13127/301846-episode-39-hoard-of-the-dragon-queen-part-3

Episode 38: It’s FATE

In the last episode of the podcast before we get back to actual play for a while I discuss some of my favorite products that use the FATE system. If you’ve ever been curious about FATE this is a good podcast to check out.

http://outofcharacter.buzzsprout.com/13127/299774-episode-38-it-s-fate

Shadowrun Beginner’s Box Unboxing

One of the things I acquired for my birthday was a Shadowrun Beginner’s Box. I tore through it’s guts and displayed them on the internet. I really like this and I am planning to do some sort of Shadowrun adventure as soon as I can find the time.

Paint It!

To celebrate my birthday yesterday a few people came over so we could paint miniatures and watch some nerdy movies (The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, and The Gamers: Hands of Fate which were both purchased at Gencon a few weeks ago). I love painting miniatures. I don’t do it very often, but every time I do I have a blast and I’d like to make it more of a regular thing. As with all things I plan to link it to the podcast in one way or another.

One idea I had was to allow people to throw out suggestions of what I should paint. I can’t make any promises as to my skill, but I can at least paint a mimic, purple worm, or blacksmith if that’s what fans want.

So throw out a suggestion and watch me fail at painting a mini of your choice.

Make Mine a Hero 3

I thought I’d do another one of the X-Men for August’s installment of Make Mine a Hero, and since it has been so hot I figured Sunfire would be a good choice. I’ve always liked the character and given the number of teams he’s been a part of it seems odd that he doesn’t get more attention. Most of my sources suggest that Shiro is a peak level human when it comes to physical abilities, but I hold Captain America up as the benchmark of peak human abilities and I don’t think Shiro is quite up to his level. He is however a serious martial artist so I I gave him well above average stats in most of his physical abilities. He’s also an Alpha-Level mutant so his powers absorbed quite a few power points. Skills got the least investment, and I used most of them to enhance his combat abilities. You could easily power Shiro up if you wanted to, I would focus on giving him additional advantages personally to represent his training as a martial artist.

Shiro Yoshida “Sunfire”
PL 10

Abilities
Strength 5
Stamina 6
Dexterity 6
Agility 6
Fighting 7
Awareness 2
Intelligence 2
Presence 2

72 points

Skills
Acrobatics 1 (+7)
Athletics 1 (+7)
Close Combat (Unarmed) 3 (+10)
Close Combat (Sword) 1 (+8)
Intimidation 7 (+9)
Expertise (Martial Arts) 4 (+6)
Perception 2 (+5)
Ranged Combat (Plasma Blast) 3 (+10)
Stealth 1 (+7)
Technology 2 (+4)
Vehicles 1 (+7)

12 Points

Powers
Plasma Blasts (Blast 10 Extras: Penetrating 4)* 24 points
Environment (Heat 2)* 2 points
Flight 8* 16 Points
Immunity (Fire, Radiation) 11* 11 point
Protection 4* 4 points
Heat Signature Sense (Senses: Infravision) 1* 1 point

58 Points

Advantages
All-Out Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Languages 2 (Japanese, Chinese)

4 Points

Combat
Initiative +6
Close Combat (Unarmed) +10 Toughness DC 21
Close Combat (Sword) +8
Ranged Combat (Plasma Blast) +10 Toughness DC 25

Defenses
Dodge 6, Fortitude 6, Toughness 12*/10, Parry 7, Will 5
*With Defensive Roll

2 Points

Complications

Arrogant: Bullied and raised believing that it was his duty to help restore Japan to greatness, coupled with his own power, Shiro has grown into an arrogant man and this sometimes hinders him. Many find him so arrogant that they cannot stand to be around him, while others see his arrogance as a barrier to be overcome.

Family: Although many of his family members are dead Shiro counts several relatives among the mutant community. His half-sister, Leyu Yoshida, operates as a superhero with similar powers to his own and calling herself Sunpyre. His cousin, Keniuchio Harada, is the Silver Samurai.

Former Horseman of Apocalypse: At one time Shiro allowed himself to be transformed into one of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, Famine, the process restored the mutant abilities he had recently lost, and augmented them far beyond their former power levels. Apocalypse also replaced the legs he had lost in combat with Lady Deathstrike. During his time in Apocalypse’s service he fought his former allies the X-Men on numerous occasions before he was freed from the brainwashing he’d undergone. His actions during this time period are a great source of shame for Shiro and he struggles with the memories of what he has done.

Honor: His honor, though tarnished, remains important to Shiro and he works to maintain it in his thoughts and actions.

Japan’s Greatest Hero: A proud citizen of Japan Shiro and many others consider him to be the nation’s greatest hero, and he strives to protect his country and serve what is in its best interests at all times.

Mutant: As a mutant Shiro is subject to the same hatred his fellow mutants experience around the world.

If you enjoyed this month’s Make Mine a Hero and there’s a character that you’d like to see in a future installment leave a comment and I’ll put them on the list.

Make Mine a Hero 2

In all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Gencon I totally forgot to do a Make Mine a Hero installment for July, so you’ll be getting a second one this month. This time around I felt like doing one of the characters from the X-Men, and who better than one of the greatest X-Men of all time? The amazing Nightcrawler himself!

Surprisingly I spent more points on skills and abilities than I did on powers. Kurt’s teleporting range is awfully limited, and carrying others along with him wears him out pretty quickly so even with all of the additions to allow to perform a few tricks each time he BAMFS I had plenty left over. I hope you all enjoy it.

Kurt Wagner “Nightcrawler”
PL 10

“In the Munich Circus they called me the Amazing Nightcrawler.”

Abilities
Strength 3
Stamina 5
Dexterity 10
Agility 10
Fighting 5
Awareness 4
Intelligence 2
Presence 5

88 points

Skills
Acrobatics 2 (+12)
Athletics 5 (+8)
Close Combat (Unarmed) 5 (+10)
Close Combat (Sword) 5 (+10)
Deception 2 (+7)
Investigation 2(+6)
Intimidation 2 (+7)
Expertise (Religion) 8 (+10)
Expertise (Teleportation) 8 (+10)
Perception 2 (+6)
Persuasion 5 (+10)
Sleight of Hand 2 (+12)
Stealth 2 (+12)
Technology 4 (+6)
Treatment 2 (+4)
Vehicles 2 (+12)

30 Points

Powers
Concealment 4 [Visual] Limited [Shadows]*4 Points
Extra Limb [Tail] 1*1 Point
Feature (Fur) 1* 1 point
Senses 2 Night-Vision* 2 points
BAMF!- Teleportation 1[Extras: Accurate, Change Direction, Change Velocity, Extended Teleport, Increased Mass 4, Turnabout] 11 points
Movement Wall-Crawling 1* 2 points

Advantages
Benefit 2(Priest, Member of the X-Men), Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 1, Improved Initiative 2, Languages (German, Latin) 2

8 Points

Equipment
Sword (Damage 3 Slashing Critical 19-20)

Combat
Initiative +18
Close Combat (Unarmed) +10, Toughness DC 18
Close Combat (Sword) +10, Toughness DC 18

Defenses
Dodge 10, Fortitude 5, Toughness 7*/5 (*With Defensive Roll), Parry 7, Will 6

4 points

Complications

Flirt: Kurt would like nothing better than to rescue a damsel in distress, and sweep her off her feet. He flirts more than Iceman and the Human Torch combined.

Trickster: After years of pulling pranks and practical jokes on them Nightcrawler is considered something of a trickster by many of his teammates.

Swashbuckler: Kurt considers himself something of a swashbuckler and sometimes this perception causes him to showoff.

Background: Circus Brat: Kurt spent years as a performer in a traveling circus where spectators assumed that his appearance was just part of the act.

Demonic Appearance: Part of Kurt’s mutation is his decidedly inhuman appearance, a feature which many view as monstrous which drives them to flee from him or attack on sight.

Mutant of God: Nightcrawler is a devout Catholic, and his beliefs sometimes come into conflict with his role as a member of the X-Men.

Honor Thy Mother and Father: Nightcrawler’s mother is the mutant terrorist Mystique, and his father is a demonic mutant named Azazel. Despite his parent’s less than respectable reputations he has chosen to defend the world, and works to make it a better place for human’s and mutants.

If you enjoyed this month’s Make Mine a Hero and there’s a character that you’d like to see in a future installment leave a comment and I’ll put them on the list.

Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D Heroclix Booster Video

I picked up a couple of Heroclix boosters from the newest set at my friendly local game store, I figured I’d give people a peek at what sorts of figures they might be able to get.

Dungeons and Dragons Movie

After years of legal disputes between Warner Bros., Allspark Pictures, and Sweetpea Entertainment the latest attempt at a Dungeons and Dragons movie is moving forward. There aren’t many details being revealed at the moment, but a few facts have been released. The biggest piece of new is probably the fact that the movie is going to be set in the Forgotten Realms. The biggest question on my mind is will the creative team be using some of the highly recognizable characters from one of the many novels set in the Forgotten Realms, or will they choose to feature new characters of their own. Elminster and Drizzt would seem like the most likely choices to appear in a movie.

In the past Dungeons and Dragons movies have been very hit or miss, and they have yet to achieved the level of success that studios expect from such a popular franchise. Dungeons and Dragons is one of the most recognizable staples of the fantasy genre right alongside of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

As we anticipate the upcoming film I thought it might be worth examining the history of previous Dungeons and Dragons movies that have been released in the past.

Dungeons and Dragons
The first Dungeons and Dragons movie came out in 2000, and since then it has been an almost universal sore spot for tabletop gamers. The plot revolved around a pair of thieves, an aspiring mage, a dwarf, and an elf in the service of the empress all of whom were attempting to keep a magical staff out of the hands of and evil mage named Profion.

Viewers criticized everything from the acting and the directing, to the plot and the overall look of the film. I actually own it on dvd, and I’ve never felt that it was as bad as many of my fellow gamers make it out to be. However the first time I saw it was more the a decade before I played Dungeons and Dragons so I didn’t have any emotional connection to the game. To me this movie is a lot like a campaign being run by a new dungeon master for players who are just getting started with roleplaying games. It relied on a plot that was familiar, the characters felt more like stereotypical than anything else. I can easily imagine the actors from this film sitting around a table years later remembering moments from this campaign with a mixture of groans and laughter.

Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God
In 2005 another attempt was made to capture the attention of audiences with a made-for-TV sequel. In this film the evil Damodar played by Bruce Payne returns as the new antagonist. After his defeat at the hands of Ridley Freeborn, he suffered as an undead entity under the curse Profion placed on him. Seeking revenge he spent years searching for the Orb of Faluzure, a powerful artifact linked to an imprisoned black dragon.

This film achieved an impressive feat in and of itself, it carried on some of the plot threads from a wildly unpopular film and managed to improve some of the things that had hurt the first Dungeons and Dragons movie. For one thing the characters are just cooler for lack of a better word. This time around the heroes are Lord Berek a lord and former captain of the king’s guard, his wife Melora a young mage, Lux a female barbarian, Nim the master thief, Dorian a cleric of Obad-Hai, and Ormaline a elf wizard.

While Berek, Lux, Nim, Dorian, and Ormaline go on a quest to recover the Orb of Faluzure from Damodar Melora works with the Mage’s Council to find a way to defeat the dragon. The plot feels far more adventurous and epic than the first film did, and the characters were purposefully patterned after characters from an actual Dungeons and Dragons campaign. It also featured some classic D&D creatures such as: a white dragon, magimin, lizardfolk, and a Lich named Klaxx the Maligned.

Critics said that Wrath of the Dragon God should only be viewed by hardcore Dungeons and Dragons fans as many of the references would be lost on others. Most people I talk to vastly prefer the sequel to the original film, and feel that it was a move in the right direction.

Dungeons and Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness
In 2012, more than a decade after the release of the first Dungeons and Dragons movie a third installment was released as a direct-to-DVD feature. This time they tackled an issue that has been plaguing DMs and players for years. The evil campaign. A warrior in the service of Pelor infiltrates a group of evil warriors seeking the Book of Vile Darkness. I enjoyed the movie, but I think it’s been largely ignored by most people aside from those who are avid followers of everything related to Dungeons and Dragons.

So what can the crew behind this new film learn from the previous attempts? First, don’t ignore the source material and rely on fantasy tropes to draw in a broader audience. Second, don’t make the movie inaccessible to people who’ve never rolled a d20. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Say what you will about the first three movies I give the creative teams behind them credit for telling their own stories I’m looking forward to learning more about the new movie as further details become available.

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