Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weekend Music: "Unbroken" by Tim McGraw

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's the Magic: You Are Here, Part Four

Three weeks ago, I introduced a tactical multiplayer Magic rules set involving a map and rules that altered areas of effect and ranges of attack. Two weeks ago, I posted that map and finished the core rules. Last week, I went over minion rules and this week, I'm finishing up the project with player-as-planeswalker rules. 

Summoning a Planeswalker

            Whenever the active player would like the aid of another player, they may suggest a mana cost to that player. That player may decline and may also decline further offers for the rest of the turn. If they approve of the cost, the active player may cast them from their hand by paying that mana cost and discarding a card
The name of a player planeswalker spell is the summoned player’s name.
A player’s mana cost is the same from the time it is approved until the end of the game.
Once a player has a mana cost, any other player may cast them by paying their cost (the mana cost plus discarding a card). A player cannot summon themselves.
Casting a player as a planeswalker works like casting a planeswalker spell. It goes on the stack and may be countered. Its colors, mana costs, and characteristics are for those of a planewalker spell with that player's name, thier mana cost, the colors reflected by their mana cost, its subtype is that player's first name or nickname, its loyalty is equal to its converted mana cost plus one, it has no text.

You will pretty much be casting this, but hopefully better.
Inevitably better, really.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Penny Reviews: 2011, Part III

I got a lot of comics in 2011, and as people often do at the end of a year, I've taken a moment to reflect on my purchases and share the resulting insights with you, the unwary reader. This is the last day, so if you’re visiting for the first time, I’m afraid you’ll have no idea what’s going on.

Midnighter, Vol 1 & 2 by Garth Ennis
The Midnighter and Garth Ennis do graphic, fun violence. Volume One was The Midnighter versus Hitler and time cops. The concept is so high that when high gets a long weekend, it gets Ennis’ Midnightered for three days straight. On paper, it’s diet pepsi and pop tarts.

The execution was pop tarts and the star Rigel. This analogy doesn’t work because those two things don’t “mix” and don’t make bad comics. Maybe it’s not Ennis’ fault. The Midnighter is admittedly a two-faceted badass character; it’s possible that he needs an ensemble to contrast with, or at least a straight man.
#1 Worst

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Penny Reviews: 2011, Part II

I got a lot of comics in 2011, and as people often do at the end of a year, I’m taking this week (week does not include Playing Favorites Tuesday, It’s the Magic Friday, Weekend Music Saturday, or Sunday) to reflect on my purchases and share the resulting insights with you, the unwary reader.

Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller
Daredevil is not and will never be on a top ten list, except for possibly “Top Ten Things Called ‘super’ That Can Stub Their Toes on Florescent Orange Safety Equipment,” a category in which he would take nine slots out of ten, ultimately losing to a comatose Miss Marvel.

His momma so fat—oh, right his mother left him as a child and never loved him so her body proportions are unknown.

Born Again is about The Kingpin learning that Matt Murdock is Daredevil and destroying Matt Murdock. Murdock gets better. The end.
Honorable Mention

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 45

Every Most Tuesdays I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites.

Since my villains list thus far has consisted of Doctor Doom, Lex Luthor, and Victoria Hand (with a brief aside on Norman Osborn), I think it’s safe to say that this exercise is somewhat self-indulgent. In that vein, I’d like to talk about Chaplain Action, He-Man of the Cloth!

Chaplain Action, He-Manof the Cloth appeared in The Authority arc “Transfer of Power,” where the original team was presumed dead/murdered and a government-sponsored team I refer to as The Republican Authority took their place as the center point of the story. Chaplain Action, He-Man of the Cloth was originally part of a publicity effort to cast the new Authority as devoutly religious (to contrast with the…somewhat hedonistic style of their predecessors). When the cameras turned off however, he continued to (mostly somewhat) bring the team to heel on their moral excesses. Even when success pushed the team itself to the same hedonistic heights (depths? No. Definitely heights.) as the original, it was him who provided the bulk of the leadership and integrity. While his main focus was on bringing The Colonel (the racist, sexist electricity-manipulating jerk who was team leader) in line--with violence of course--he also managed to focus on the best parts of the team and attempted to bring them to the surface.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Penny Reviews: 2011, Part I

I got a lot of comics in 2011 (while reviewing them for this blog, I made the mistake of estimating their cost and lost three hours to a haze of fiscal shame), and as people often do at the end of a year, I've taken a moment (actual value of moment is three days) to reflect on my purchases and share the resulting insights with you, the unwary reader.

Planetary Vol 4 by Warren Ellis
Fucking. Awesome.
Here's your change
#1 Best

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Weekend Music: "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack

The December Weekend Music arc continues upwards towards, ever-brighter.

LAW website here.

Merry Christmas, guys.

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's the Magic: You Are Here, Part Three

Two weeks ago, I started talking about a tactical tweak to multiplayer Magic involving a planar map that messed with areas of effect and ranges of attack. Last week, I posted that map, finished presenting the core rules, and started listing the (extensive) optional rules. I'm continuing with the optional rules this week with the concept of minions borrowed from the Magic website (link below). Next week, I'll start in with some player-as-planeswalker rules. Both are long and complicated and thoroughly fun according to the several (imaginary) people I've shown them to. 

Minions and Masters: Minion and Master are player statuses (as is, by default 'neither minion nor master'). Minions are usually players who would have been lost the game because of life loss, but became a minion instead. Their life total becomes ten and they simply continue playing (see optional rules for Poison and Minions, below). Though it is possible for a minion to win, it is very difficult. Minions always have a master, and a minion's master is usually the player who controlled the effect which would have eliminated them from the game. A player cannot become their own minion (ie, killing themselves with their own ability). If a master becomes someone else's minion, their master gains their minions. If a minion loses a second time, their life total becomes five and they simply continue playing with a new master (or the old one. Again, depending on who killed them). The last non-minion player wins the game.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Ha-ha. Seriously. I was on boat all day yesterday and most of today. The original post here was an outline that I had scheduled to run and couldn't take down or finish because I was incommunicado (and pretty much comatose).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 44

Every Most Tuesdays I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites.

Seriously, I never read Osborne as a Spider-Man villain, so maybe being a cackling maniac with no depth was what made him one of the arch-nemeses of one of comics’ standard bearers, but, man, I’d like to think that there was some characterization at work that made him a loathsome counterpoint to the naïve, morally-driven Peter Parker. Even in the movie, he was an aggressive, dominating figure who loved his family, but took it (well, just Harry) for granted in his quest to remain powerful (perhaps even powerful enough to protect them, which I don’t think was the angle from the movie, but it could have been, given that if they did explicitly cover what happened to his wife, I’ve long since forgotten.). That’s a hero.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weekend Music: "When She's Gone, She's Gone" by Brooks and Dunn

I know three things about these guys:
1) They did not make a video for my favorite song of theirs.
2) Barack Obama played one of their songs, "Only In America," whenever he received the Democratic nomination in 2008, which was awesome!
3) How to link their website.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's the Magic: You Are Here, Part Two

Last week, I started talking about a tactical tweak to multiplayer Magic involving a planar map that messed with areas of effect and ranges of attack. It was insanely over-complicated and had all the thoroughness of one afternoon's manic crafting of Magic rules, but I still present it (and it's map) to you for your digestion. 

This week's addition finishes the core rules with the special rules that apply to some of the planes and begins the first of three entries related to optional advanced rules which have no place in any game ever. Where articles from the Magic website are the inspiration for a particular rule set, I try to give them credit.

Planar Special Abilties
There are several different multiplayer modes which work with Tactical MPM.

            Planechase – There are five Planechase planes. When a player first moves to a Planechase plane they turn up the first card of their planechase deck (or a common planechase deck, if one is being used). That planechase card works identically to a normal planechase card. If a player rolls a planeswalk symbol while attempting to planeswalk on a planechase plane, they can either opt to replace the current plane with another from the top of the deck, or move to another plane normally (see The Things You’ll Do from last week's blog). Additionally, if another planechase plane has a planechase card that has the same subtype as the planechase card of the plane you are currently on, you may instead move from one of those planes to the other as if they were adjacent for free (regular responses and restrictions for moving to a new plane apply). Planechase planes are colorless and have RoA and RoE 1.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Results for doing a YouTube search for Ezra Miller (reason isn't important!):
Videos of interviews with Ezra Miller: 10,278 average views
Videos of movie clips and trailers with Ezra Miller: 12,059 average views
Videos of other people talking about Ezra Miller: 3,150 views
That one video that's just stills of Ezra Miller set to obnoxious music: 396
Video with the clip from the movie where he's making out with another dude: 26,807 (well, 26,808 now)

Thank you, internet. I will never feel alone with you around.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 43

That said, Victoria Hand is a pretty good example of an ideologically-motivated villain who becomes a hero even because her environment (and not she changes). I suppose that The Punisher would also count as someone whose morality wouldn’t change, though the context of their actions might mark them as a villain, but I’m hard-pressed to think of any other characters who would qualify for this. I mean, The Crime Syndicate of America (from Grant Morrison’s “Earth 2” Justice League of America) sort of counts, because (or so I hear it) in their universe, the paradigm supports evil, selfishness, and corruption, while on the DC main universe, it supports good, selflessness, and integrity.  The bad guys can’t win in the DCU and they can’t lose on Earth 2. They’re still criminals and jerks, but their effectiveness is, in fact, determined by just what universe they’re in (I don’t know if this is a subtle nod to the ‘uber if their name is on the cover’ principle of comic book battles or not, but it’s Grant Morrison, so there really is no telling).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Team Fortress 2 Videos

I could swear I've posted these before.

Team Fortress 2 is the sequel to a popular First Person Shooter that I've never heard of, but I can guess the name of. It uses a set of different types of characters you can play, from a flame guy(no video) to a soldier(video!). Anyway, the characters are visually and functionally distinct, giving them miles of personality, as the introduction videos below demonstrate.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekend Music: "Once Upon a Fool Ago" by Trace Adkins

I know two things about this Trace Adkins:
1) The dude is a 20th Level Redneck with a Divorcee Prestige Class.
2) How to link his website.

Friday, December 09, 2011

It's the Magic: You Are Here, Part One

For the longest time, I've wanted a larger structure to my games of Magic. I was trying to make that happen when I accidentally stumbled upon a tactical version of mutliplayer Magic that uses a player's position on a map of the multiverse instead of their seating arrangement to determine who they can and cannot attack. Turn order remains unaffected until you Ally with someone else (see The Thing's You'll Do, below).

This does add a game board element to Magic, but then, if you've got the table space for decks, graveyards, battlefields, exile zones, command zones, life counters, poison counters, sideboards, deck boxes, proxied double-faced cards, at least one laptop somewhere to consult the comprehensive rules and gatherer for any rules/errata disputes, and possibly command zones, scheme decks, planar decks, coins for flipping, planar dice, tokens, and counters then you can probably just go ahead and squeeze a game board on there.

Don't actually have the game board on file. I'll post it next week.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Timewalking Archive Trap: Rules of War

Time: Oct 1, 2006
Location: A forum on the internet

[Name Withheld 01]: And I hate to say it, but where is ANY kind of body armor for ground forces....oh wait, they dont HAVE ground forces, they just send the "security" guys down there. Even during the Dominion War, no one even THOUGHT about putting any personell assigned to ground duty in any body armor.

[Name Withheld 02]: That's right -- Noone. Including the Cardassian and Dominion militaries.

VanVelding: There's a reason for that:
Scene: Start of the Dominion War, somewhere near the Cardassian/Federation/Bajoran/whatever border. Sisko, Weyoun, and Dukat sit down.
Weyoun: Captain, we should discuss the terms on which this war is to be fought.
Sisko: That's why I'm here gentlemen.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 42

Every Most Tuesdays I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites.

Materialistic villains are a simple counterpoint to heroes, but I can see why it’s not a dynamic that’s played up more often. Modern super-criminals  who are after money will usually use it to either do drugs, buy weapons to kill superheroes, or get foiled in the attempt and never have their full plans revealed. It’s usually unambiguous that they’ll spend it on something terrible when it’s discussed at all. It’s pretty rare that they’ll spend it on rent or their daughter’s operation (Thomas Hayden-Church). Sometimes, there’s a plan to retire somewhere far away with a special someone, but more often, that special someone is a harem. If they didn’t, if they were paying off student loans or funding cancer research (the real kind, not the kind that you test on human subjects to accidentally turn them into super-villains), then the heroes would be put in an ambiguous moral situation. The righteous violence that pervades the medium is grounded on a sense of clear right and wrong, and that ambiguity undermines a central theme. That clash with the fundamental nature of the comics is why you rarely see those types of robberies.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Linkstorm: It Gets Less Political. Promise.

Jon Huntsman isn't crazy. He realizes Republicans need to face facts on science. He's not calling for the dismantling of federal regulatory agencies simply so that he can make more money hand over fist. He's pro-second amendment, pro-life with the standard exceptions and fully supports civil unions. He is still a politician, and is thusly slippery, non-committal, and often says nothing, but he's better than the alternatives. If Bachmann, Cain[1], Perry, and Gingrich can be frontrunners, Huntsman at least deserves some limelight. He has the potential to be unifying instead of polarizing. But hey, it's probably going to be Romney anyway. I don't mind that actually, so long as they make his biopic soon enough for Bruce Campbell to get the lead role[2].

I actually only bring this up because I have a tab open for his donations page, but I'm not certain on whether or not it's worth it. I do like him (if you hadn't guessed) and he needs the money (his dad actually dropped a load of cash into his campaign, which is embarrassing and gives a pretty bad impression). At the same time, I have to ask if its worth the effort the minimal (easily forgettable) indecision I've had over this has given me ideas for the novel[3], so it's not a total waste.