Friday, March 30, 2012

First Edition AD&D reprints delayed until July

It appears that the 1e reprints have been delayed until July 17th. That is OK; I was in for a DMG, and with the delay perhaps I can save my pennies for the other two books.
I'm still curious about how "limited" this edition will be. Did Wizards get more orders from distributors than they expected, sending them back to print more copies?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flying Swordsmen -- Old-School Role-playing in Mythic China

I meant to post this over a week ago, so you may have already seen it. Lord Gwydion posted his Flying Swordsmen RPG rules at his blog. He uses the base rules from Your Favorite Fantasy Role-Playing Game and incorporates an incredible amount of detail in a wuxia-influenced Mythic China that could-have-been. Imagine if Oriental Adventures had been more focused on China rather than Japan, and you might have had something almost as good as Flying Swordsmen. It's filled with great rules, adventure ideas and period illustrations; a solid presentation of the material. Roll up some characters and shake the pillars of heaven!

Monday, March 19, 2012

John Carter (of Mars): go see it

We finally saw John Carter on Saturday night. It was great fun! To me, it was reminiscent of the Saturday afternoon matinee, "Family Classics" style of film, like Journey to the Center of the Earth or Jason and the Argonauts.
It strayed from the storyline of A Princess of Mars, but not terribly so. If you enjoy sci-fi/fantasy adventure movies, I think you'll like this. (we saw the 2D version)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Back From Being Sick (and Star Wars Links)

I lost the last week or so to some pretty serious sinus problems. For a day or two it was almost like having the flu. I'm on the mend now but not back to normal yet. With luck, by next week I'll have the restored brain cells to think about games and movies and important stuff like that again.
For now, I'll leave these links here.
Machete Order: A New Way to Watch Star Wars
What if "Star Wars Episode I" was good? (some NSFW language)
Topher Grace edited the 'Star Wars' prequels into one 85-minute movie and we saw it

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Too Many Kickstarter Projects

There are too many great Kickstarter/IndieGoGo gaming projects in the wild right now. How can I choose?
* Mobile Frame Zero, the new edition of Vincent Baker's Lego robot game Mechaton
* Battle Blokx wargaming terrain
* Tectonic Craft Studios laser-cut wargaming terrain
* Story Forge brainstorming cards
I had already decided to use my March allotment of gaming funds to pre-order Night's Black Agents, and then I see that Skyrim is on sale at Best Buy this week...

Monday, March 05, 2012

Ralph McQuarrie, RIP

My friend K. reflected that, concerning the appeal of Star Wars, Ralph McQuarrie is at least the equal of George Lucas. I have to agree.

Lucas invented the characters and story and hired conceptual artist McQuarrie to create art and designs to show 20th Century Fox. These designs and storyboards convinced skeptical executives to greenlight the project.

My own understanding and visualization of the Star Wars universe is based heavily on three sources: the original film, the Marvel Comics series, and Ralph McQuarrie's art. I never followed his career as closely as I should have, as much as some other favorites. However, I have a strong and distinct memory of seeing those images from his imagination on the pages of Starlog Magazine and others. Some of the designs made it into the films intact, some were changed like the Millennium Falcon design, and others -- such as "Luke Starkiller" and the original Chewbacca design -- were dropped from early drafts. But they all have that great, grand feeling of adventure and they tell stories. You want to know who these people are, where they are from, what the source of conflict is.

Ralph McQuarrie designed concepts for many films and other projects, including Battlestar Galactica and the "Planet of the Titans" Star Trek film project, part of an outstanding visual legacy that will be long remembered.