Much ado about fifth edition D&D

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So much ado, in fact, that Forbes Magazine even did a piece on the new “crowd-sourced” rule set.

Me, I was disappointed that this was the big news. For a long time now, I’ve been waiting to hear that Wizards would work out a licensing deal with Lego to create a Dungeons and Dragons line of figures, with swappable accessories and armor. Hell, they already have many of the humanoid creatures. How hard could it be to create a few Yuan-Ti, amirite? And everyone would buy a Lego beholder, just because.

I mentioned this to my son, and he immediately began to put together a tableau. Here are some high-level heroes taking on a red dragon and its minions.

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Skeleton kebob!

More pictures at the flickr set.

On obsessing over email and twitter

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It’s amazing how deep I can get into checking email over and over, not to mention refreshing my Twitter client. The deadly thing about Twitter is that it contains links. Many, many links of tremendous interest, and before I know it, an hour has passed.

With emails, it’s more complicated, but there are some things I need to respond to right away and I feel guilty about waiting. These are not good choices.

Anyway I did a little test: I promised myself I would do 300 words before I checked email again. I turned off my wifi, wrote 500 words instead, then got back online.

No emails had come in. On Twitter, I had 11 new tweets, two as part of a conversation I was having. It took me all of three minutes to get through them, and I was ready for another 500 words.

In this way, empires are built.

Reminder: 24 hours left

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Pat Rothfuss is auctioning off a signed copy of The Wooden Man to benefit his Worldbuilders fundraiser, and to sweeten the deal, I’ve included a ghost knife–the only ghost knife prop I kept from the book trailer shoot.

And there’s only 24 hours left to bid.

The “Implied” Author

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Posited: When a critic says “George R.R. Martin is a conservative authoritarian who believes monarchy is a great system of government,” they’re not referring to the real George R.R. Martin. They’re talking about an imaginary George R.R. Martin they dreamed up while reading one of his books. If you confuse the real GRRM with that imaginary one solely because the critic is referring to the imaginary one with by the real author’s name, that’s only because you’re insufficiently knowledgeable about criticism.

I’m agnostic about whether this is true or not, but if it is, that rule would be just as stupid as if it’s a made up thing.

By the way, if you’re not reading James Nicoll’s LJ and comment section, you’re missing out.

Five Things on a Friday

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1) I have a number of things to take care of in the upcoming week, so I will be offline for much of that time. I have some posts that are scheduled to go up, but I’m going to be focusing on family and my WIP.

2) Often times, when I’m online, I don’t have access to all my online “stuff.” Sometimes I’m on Twitter but not email. Sometimes I’m online but not ready to reply to a comment on my LJ. Don’t ride me about that, please. Everyone controls their online time in the ways they think are best.

3) I like asparagus with my breakfast. I also need to create a new map for my WIP. These things are not related in any way.

4) I have figured out the “ending” of my book, and my word counts are going to start piling up again. Hopefully the time coming up this week will allow me to finish by the end of next month.

5) My son wanted to play Neverwinter Nights, so we started it up. (I “received” the anthology for Getmas, which means I bought it for myself and thanked my family for their thoughtfulness.) He played it for his entire computer time, and he really enjoyed it. Watching the LOTR movies has given him a love of dwarven fighters. After he finished, he asked me to take a turn. And omg, I really like it and want to be playing it again right now. I recognize this feeling and I fear it. Computer games can make me obsessive, so I’m hopeful that I can keep this thing at arm’s length.

Randomness for 1/26

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1) 20 Amazingly Weird Pieces of Classic Video Game Box Art.

2) AZ school officials ban “ethnic studies.” No racism here, folks, just move along.

3) What a comic script is for, by Warren Ellis

4) Cop or Soldier? I could only get 12 out of 21. Can you do better?

5) Meljean Brooks’s Diary of an Author Reader, I LOLed.

6) A comic script, from conception to finished product.

7) A funny video about breast cancer self examinations. No, really. Also features hot dudes with their shirts off. Video. Via +Kat Richardson

I’ve read some bad comics in my time, but…

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The Dusk Society set a… well, is it a new low? Because I’ve read some genuine shit in my time, and this book, while it was definitely bad, was mostly just dull and anti-dramatic. The villain continually thought up reasons not to kill his enemies, the photo-based art was ugly, and if there was an interesting way to get a plot point across, this book dodged it.

Sure, it’s supposed to be fore kids, so they didn’t want a lot of bloody murder, but you can’t call a villain worse than Satan if all he ever does is collect magic trinkets and tell his henches not to kill people.

The plot covers the recruitment of four modern teens into a monster-fighting society (they each have Speshul Powers Or Skills). I got bored with it less than halfway through, but my son read the whole thing, laughing all the way through.

Then you get to the end of the book, when the sexy teacher in the bad clothes who inducted the students into the Dusk Society offers a contract to the reader. Would YOU like to be a secret monster fighter???

Dusk Society Contract FAIL!

The large size is easier to read. But here’s what the contract says:

Contract

I solemnly promise to serve The Dusk Society, with my life* if needed.

I understand that my life will at risk–everyday.

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Signature of member

Notice that asterisk? What it refers to is handled in a caption, not even on the contract itself. It reads:

*UPON DEATH, ALL YOUR LIFE SAVINGS AND PROPERTY WILL BE SEIZED BY THE DUSK SOCIETY. WITHOUT NOTICE, THE DUSK SOCIETY MAY ALSO EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO ACQUIRE THE SAVINGS AND PROPERTY OF ANY SURVIVING RELATIVES.

That is one helluva clause, isn’t it? I’m tempted to make a joke about asking kids under 18 to sign contracts, or about the ways cults enrich themselves from their members, but in truth this sort of dopey story choice just makes me depressed.

By the way, that thing beside the couch is a cat.