Monday, April 30, 2012

It's the Magic: Campaign Sloggin'

A few weeks ago, Terry and I were sitting around bored whenever we began chatting about Magic games we'd like to see.

Terry wanted the magic Holy Grail of the Magic: The Gathering: The Roleplaying Game. He wanted to run a campaign in Magic's rich multiverse. The rub, as it always is, was the system. Everyone wants to cast the spells from the cards, but then you have to find a way to integrate that with dice, character sheets, experience, etc. without making everything into an unwieldy mess. I know D&D is doing a pretty good job of having character sheets exist alongside cards right now, but that's an established game, not something we're making up around the dinner table and trying to sell to a friend market saturated with tried and trusted games.

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Horizons


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Comics v Terrorism

As you might have heard, convicted terrorist Tarek Mehanna credits Batman for inspiring him to plot against American forces (and allegedly against American civilians here in the states).

I've made passing reference to the similarity of superhero ethos and terrorism before (something that's hard not to do when talking about Marvel's Civil War). Quite simply, the desire to punch the world until it behaves is common to both superheroes and terrorists.

Both of them tell the world it's not good enough. Both want to use their power to bend it to their will. Both break the law to do what they think is right. 

You could argue the difference is scale. Terrorists seek to affect political change through fear; constructing like-minded governments, removing foreign influences from their territory, suppressing criticism, and/or simply dictating the social structure of the world around them. Superheroes usually punch out the guys that regular governments and law enforcement can't handle.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's the Magic: Avacyn Restored Inevitable 10 Top Things

New Hotness
As you know, Avacyn Restored is coming out a mere week from Friday and the entire set was just spoiled over on the website. Since it's painfully obvious that I didn't go anywhere to play Magic this weekend because of a crippling addiction to school avoidance that forced me to spend much of my weekend studying (and roleplaying), today is all about the ten top things in Avacyn Restored.

Top Most Confusing Eldrazi Spawn

It's like this guy and Vampire Interloper can combine forces to make one wholly functional Falkenrath Noble. My only real question is what happened to the sexy vampires from Innistrad and Dark Ascension?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Morning Soapbox: Watch What You Want, Expect What You Watch

Hunger Games Tweets is a tumblr highlighting negative fan reaction to the character of Rue from the Hunger Games books being cast (correctly) as a black girl.
Just a taste, really.

It highlights the insidiousness of racism and just how easy it is to stumble into. Granted, not all of these people are racist; some of them are privileged white people. They don't hate black people: they don't expect black people exist.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I Support Gays In Government...

...but sometimes I think it goes too far.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Linkstorm: After Sulking at the Corner of Your Eye

The artist of Scandinavia and the World illustrated animal kingdom sexual dynamics if those people were humans. It's illuminating and the best example I've seen so far of representing how socially-constructed and rigidly-enforced gender roles are far more "unnatural" than banging another dude.

Afghanis are starting to train units to use women in night raids. Is this a thing? Was this a thing? Was one of the big elements holding us back in Afghanistan the fact that we weren't willing to give guns to women? #&*$ing really?! Then Af--"still heavily influenced by strict Islamic code of The Taliban"--ganistan does it? I hadn't realized until then that I'd always considered that if some of our open, democratic, tolerant culture rubbed off on the folks in Iraq and Afghanistan that it would in some small way begin to offset our fighting a war in their backyard. That makes getting upstaged by them on this front incredibly humbling. It should be a wake-up call for us to maybe hustle up on that cultural advancement a bit. It won't be, but it should.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's the Magic: We Still Do This, Right?

I haven't had a lot of time to go to Friday Night Magic lately--okay, no more lies. I've been too lazy/schooly/relationshippy for that lately, but now that the relationshippy bit is out, it's the fire and ice combo of laziness and responsibility compromising the quality of something something I made Magic cards!


I don't know guys, did I made the inspiration for this card too subtle? Terry and I have been working on an MTG-RPG-slash/and/or-campaign-system and we've been brainstorming plane ideas. One of our sources of inspiration was trying to figure out what plane the titans came from. That got me thinking about how they're unlike any other giants I've seen and conjecturing about external causes. A "Titan Makeover" enchant is a natural way to go with it. I like Entropic Mantle because it has an enters the battlefield trigger and an attack trigger, which parallels the real titans while falling just short of mythic.

Sadly, the creature just derps for a turn with summoning sickness, just waiting to get removed, and I didn't have enough space to add a few lines to revert the enchantment if it died. Restrictions breed creativity, right?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Comics: Stormwatch, issues #1-6

In 1993, Wildstorm comics launched Stormwatch, a typical 90's blood n' guts/faux military comic book with gritted tooth heroes protagonists. The series was forgettable until Warren Ellis—The Most Awesome Deflier—took over, gutted it, and spent 25 issues bashing America and stroking pet characters until the series was canceled and the non-pet characters killed off in a WildC.A.T.s/Aliens crossover/cashgrab.

It sounds terrible—barely footnoteworthy[1], but it was seminal and those pet characters[2] became plank owners for The Authority.

Also written by Ellis, The Authority was the prototype of big-screen, no-holds-barred, decompressed storytelling. The adolescent, oversexed, ultra-violent comics of the 90's finally evolved into mature, slightly-sexed, ultra-violent comics of the 00's. The Authority's success—and it was successful—was largely due to being well written (first by Ellis, then by Mark Millar) and being something completely different.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Hanks: Sometimes

Hey guys, it's my first week of my last semester at school. I've had a lot of stuff going on this week (and more to do [sarcastic "yay!"]), so in lieu of a legit blog enjoy the dulcet tones of The Hanks' Sometimes.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Prisoner: Fall Out

About a year ago, I purchased--at the unspoken behest of the geek hive mind--the classic BBC series The Prisoner. I watched it offshore to pass the time and I've been sharing spoiler-free responses/reviews with the internet without provocation, cause, or request because that's what the internet is for. Enjoy.

For my final episode review of The Prisoner, I was fortunate enough to get the man himself to find out why it was so..."Fall Out." I curse a lot (I think all the curses), but keep the spoilers to a reasonable minimum.

Believe me, I still love the show somehow, but wow, that last episode.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

There Will Be Brawl, Episode 3: Questions


There Will Be Brawl is a web series that creates--and then exposes--the seedy underbelly of well-known Nintendo characters with exceptional dedication and insane unpredictability. It's the entire internet in ten minutes. Minus the furries.

For a series that's only ten episodes long, There Will Be Brawl is almost audacious to wait until the third episode to throw our protagonist (Luigi) into the central conflict. I'm assuming that one of the lesser reasons for putting that off is because that the acting doesn't spike up in quality to match the intensity of the characters. I hope that passion is a commodity that the creators sprinkled lightly over the series, because it just doesn't work and probably won't come to in the next seven episodes.

Monday, April 02, 2012

It's the Magic: Standard Tour of San Antonio - Heroes and Fantasies

While the internet is full of ways to find game stores in your area, it does very little to tell you about the real character of those stores: their atmosphere, their product, their staff, or anything else a curious gamer might want to know. To help others out, I've started a week-by-week survey of the stores in my area, playing a Friday Night Magic at each one as a way of familiarizing myself with it.

This week I went to Heroes & Fantasies, located at 4945 NW Loop 410, nestled along the back of a shopping center just off the I-410 frontage road, just off Evers Road.

The tag for Heroes & Fantasies is "Where families collect." I don't think anyone can contest that. This place is chock full of collectables. Statues and statuettes of every variety dot the store, ranging from simple, desktop busts of Rorschach to a five-foot Spider-Man (complete with webs). If there's a famous comic book story line, there's probably a statue of it at Heroes & Fantasies. Of course, it wouldn't really be a wonderland of nerd collectibles if it didn't have action figures. They have new figures, like Matt Smith's Doctor Who), still-packaged action figures for characters I thought I'd never I'd see (like "Klingon" from the Deep Space Nine episode where they went back in time to Kirk's show), and used figures. The used ones were my favorite, as they consisted of banged-up X-Wings, vintage Star Wars guys, and a metric ton of toys I actually had back in the day. There are even separate displays dedicated to fantasy-inspired merchandise and baseball cards.