Monday, January 25, 2010

Kobold Quarterly #10 PDF for free!

I just saw the posting at RPGBlog2 about this great deal -- download a free copy of Kobold Quarterly #10 in PDF format for free until January 31st.

I haven't looked at any copies of KQ yet, although I've wanted to pick one up since it started publication. I miss Dragon Magazine, believing that a major print magazine focused on RPGs is important. Between this copy and the free issue #11 as part of the Gamers Helping Haiti bundle, I'll have good samples to try.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bob Howard!

Today marks the 104th anniversary of the birth of ol' Two-Gun, and it's customary to raise a toast to his shade and read a favorite story. Mrs. Kaiju has a performance with the band this evening, but when we get back I'll curl up with a book and drift off to slumberland (not The Dreamlands) with the roar of battle ringing in my imagination.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gamers Helping Haiti

I've had to stop watching the coverage because of the sheer scale of it. It seems very daunting for someone so far away to do something to help.

DrivethruRPG/RPGnow has set up links for $5 and $10 donations, but the $20 donation bundle offer is just incredible. Partnering with many of the small-press publishers that sell through the site, DTRPG is offering $1,400 in PDF ebooks with a $20 donation. They email a coupon code that allows a customer to then load all of the listed items into a shopping cart for free.

The titles in this free offer are not the dregs of the site, by any means: BASH! Basic Action Super Heroes, Copper Dragon: Basic Dungeons 1, Castlemourn Campaign Setting, Chronica Feudalis, Dragonshire: City Interiors and City Ruins, Damnation Decade, Hollow Earth Expedition Earth Drill, Kobold Quarterly 11, Mars: Savage Worlds Edition, Roma Imperious, Squirrel Attack! Operation: Get Mr. Jones’ Nuts, Thrilling Tales (2nd ed., Savage Worlds), 3:16, Trail of Cthulhu Player’s Guide, Serenity, several items from WorldWorksGames... absolutely incredible. The donations go to Doctors Without Borders. Thanks to Blink for pointing this out today.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A great deconstruction of The Phantom Menace

If you haven't watched this already, take a look at this seven-part, 70 minute video review and breakdown of The Phantom Menace. Despite the crazy voice-over and the crude humor (some parts NSFW), there are some genuinely insightful bits of commentary and critique in this video series.

Before watching this, I had my own (mixed) feelings about Episode I. I enjoyed it in the theater, but I found disappointment on subsequent viewings, although it's not as bad as Attack of the Clones. I liked the opening scene with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon on the Trade Federation ship, the sneaking into the Palace on Naboo, and I enjoyed the pod race scene. After years of waiting for another Star Wars movie, I really wanted to see a film which showed the Jedi at the height of their power, what Obi-Wan called "a more civilized age" in the original film. I wasn't sure if that's the movie that we got.

This video critique nails most of the obvious points, but it also made me rethink some of the scenes and plot issues that I had previously glossed over. It's worth the hour of your time to view these videos. The filmmaker also has video reviews for some the the Next Generation movies and it appears that he's started a series on Attack of the Clones. Watch these and think about what could have been...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First post of the New Year

It only took twelve days, but here's the first posting of the New Year.

I had big hopes for the Christmas vacation: getting things done around the house, reading, watching DVDs, catching up on reading blog and forum posts I missed, posting here more... but other plans happened, especially with the new kitten. It seems that whenever one has free time, other commitments expand to fill up that time.

So, now it's back into a new semester and other real-life commitments, but I think it will be good. I don't make New Year's resolutions; however, I have a few hopes for this year: reading more books, watching more movies, posting to the blog more often (and I have several draft posts yet to publish), playing more games, and in general having more fun.