Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another Free Comic, Complete With Awesome

Adam and Comfort have done it once again, with another great addition to their comic series, The Uniques Tales. These stories take place in the generations leading up to their amazing regular work, The Uniques. This time it's a 1940s tale, straight from the battlefield of WWII.

Each issue, all of which are free, is written and illustrated by a different team. The author this time around is Bryan J. L. Glass, art by Charles Holbert, with Adam and Comfort tackling the coloring. I can vouch for how fun this sort of project is to tackle, as I had the pleasure of writing The Uniques Tales #5, due out in a couple of months. Adam and Comfort are great to work with, and their world a vibrant and fun one to explore.

Check it out. Right now.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hal Jordan For Congress

Just a super quick hit today. Do you think that prospective U.S. Representative Hal Jordan of North Carolina understands why his website gets so many random hits? I'd love to see his Google Analytics report to see what searches bring people to his website. It would be awesome if he turns out to be a former test pilot. There's a "DC" joke in there somewhere, as well.

While we're noting which of our favorite comic book characters are in public office, I should point out that I know a City Engineer named Steve Rogers. Maybe there's something to this.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unforgivable Geek Behaviors

As the duly-appointed final authority on all things, I have some announcements to make. I think it's high time that we, as a geek culture, had a talk. We have been letting some things slide, and it's high time that we laid down some ground rules that must be followed by all of us, for our own good.

Before we get too far into things, what's a geek? Consulting Merriam-Webster provides us with these definitions:

1 : a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake
2 : a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked
3 : an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity

Now, I can't say that I've ever personally known someone conforming to definition #1, but I'd say that I more or less agree with definitions #2 and #3. My personal definition has always been that a geek is someone who is waaaaay into something that most people don't understand, or in which the general public has little interest.

Doesn't that describe everyone, in one way or another? With that established, I think we need to take a good, long look at ourselves, and do some soul-searching. Allow me to begin with a personal experience.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spend Two Minutes To Benefit The Gaming Hobby

Happy Monday, gamers. I'm sure, like me, you're struggling through your work day, fueled only by caffeine and the thoughts of the upcoming weekend, which is probably a long one if you're here in the States.

To help you survive the drag of this most hellish of all days, I invite you to take two minutes to give something back to the gaming hobby. Find out more, below.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Complete Characters #17: Tarash Cyn, Space Station Operator

Seems like it's been a lot of news and current events on the blog, lately, so it's nice to sit down and work on something that we can all use at the table. We are continuing some recent trends, however, as this character is only thinly veiled against its intended setting, Star Wars. My first one-shot game leading up to my Star Wars D6 campaign starts in a couple of weeks, and if you're one of my players, you can expect to see Tarash Cyn show up at some point.

Read on to learn more about this character, and the space station that he operates for the star system's independent operators.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Palladium Sues MMO Developer: A Rifts Author's Thoughts

I first read yesterday morning about Palladium's lawsuit against Trion Worlds over their new name for an MMO in development: Rift: Planes of Telara. Palladium Books, as I'm sure you know, has been long-publishing the very popular and often maligned tabletop RPG, Rifts. That's basically all there is to the story, that the new MMO shares a name with Palladium's flagship title. There are other blogs and news sites covering this better than could I, so I'll refer you to, which even has screen captures of the MMO. I thought that for my part, I'd offer some commentary on my thoughts.

For more on what I think as a Palladium freelancer and Rifts author, please read on.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How "Red Dead Redemption" Could Kill Tabletop Gaming

No D20s required

Let's be honest. I'm not about to run out and play Red Dead Redemption, even though it looks amazing. I literally just completed Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which most of you probably had long since sold back to GameStop by Christmas of 2006. I'm behind, I know. The next games on my list are Force Unleashed, BioShock, and Fallout 3. I consider myself to simply be "fashionably late" for these gaming experiences. I do look forward to checking out RDD, however, but I also fear that it could mark a trend that could deal another heavy blow to conventional, tabletop gaming.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quick Hit: George Lucas is a liar

So, George Lucas is a liar.

Hey, we already knew that, right? But, finally, after years and years of his constant fibbing, Lucas has admitted that he made up the Star Wars story as he went along in a letter that he wrote to the producers of Lost. Read what he says, below the fold:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rebels, Imperials, and Scoundrels: Star Wars One-Shots

Nothing to do with anything

So, as we discussed last time on Jason Richards cannot be trusted, I have an imminent Star Wars D6 campaign coming up. Killer. Now, how will I, as a seasoned and professional game designer, introduce this new glorious work of collaborative fiction into the world? Using my limited skill set, I have devised a way that will not only be of great asset to my gamers and me, but to you as well.

Allow me to introduce a series of Star Wars one-shot adventures for your enjoyment.

These one-shot games will provide an introduction to the D6 gaming system, as well as to the Star Wars gaming universe for potential players. It will provide a taste of my gaming style to potential players, most of whom will move on in disgust. Those few that can stomach these few sessions will, hopefully, join me for an ongoing campaign.

To give a balanced view of the world, I plan on running at least three one-shots, each from a different perspective and unrelated to the others. They will provide some history and flavor on which the eventual campaign will draw. Let's dive into those a bit more, shall we? If you haven't read my last post about selecting the setting in which these games will take place, this is probably a good time to give that a look.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When, Where, and How: Imagining A Star Wars Campaign

Bring it! It's game time! You probably read in yesterday's post (and if you didn't, shame on you) that my little cohort of local gamers has finally found a place to play. It's wide open, has an established network of gamers from which to pluck new players, and is just a really kick ass place. It's the one last great hurdle that we have overcome. Now, on to the next phase, where another Game Master and I will take turns running some games to get our feet wet with new gamers in a new environment. For my game, I'm 90% settled on running some Star Wars.

I love playing in a good one-shot. I love building a character over a long campaign. I love sitting behind the screen. But, right now I'm embarking on my very favorite part of the role-playing hobby.

It's time to plan.

This is where I'm at my best, and probably the reason that I've found myself in the writer's and now publisher's chairs. It's probably why, even though I love a good narrative short story or novel, I have gravitated toward writing RPGs rather than straight fiction. This is the part where I get to set up a world, map out a city, fill it with places and people of interest, ripe for adventure and then just drop in a bunch of player characters and ask, "So, what do you want to do?"

Before I ramble on and make this post about my love for world-building, let me just stop there, for now. Today, let's talk what I view as the essentials for this Star Wars game, and how I plan to shrink this vast universe down to a single, bite-sized bit for my players.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Enter "The Gamers Realm"

Color me surprised.

No, you'd better make that "shocked."

When I first decided to check out a new gaming store in my little burg, it was at the suggestion of a potential gaming buddy. We've been trying to figure out when and where to host a game for months now, and he told me that an acquaintance of his stumbled across this place called The Gamers Realm. "It's perfect," he said.

So, I went to check it out. What did I find? Read on for more.

Quick Hit: RIP Frank Frazetta

Another very unfortunate departure of a real talent from the geek world. Even if you don't know the name, you certainly know the work of legendary fantasy artist, Frank Frazetta. We all wish him well on his journey. Read the New York Times article for more.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quick Hit: What Should I Ask Phil Collins?

Not exactly geek/gamer material, but too interesting not to post about. I'm actually going to get the opportunity to rub elbows with the rock legend tonight. He's giving a lecture about his collection of Texas Revolution artifacts, which is the largest collection in the world.

Yes, he's a Brit. Yes, he lives in Switzerland. Yes, it's weird. But yes, it's also very true.

I'm fortunate enough to have an invite to the VIP reception in addition to his limited-engagement talk. So, what should I ask a man who has an Academy Award and Eric Clapton's phone number on speed dial?

Update: My report on the event follows. Read on for more.

The Future of Complete Characters

I make no secret about the fact that I view characters as the foundation of any good story. Setting, dialog, and even plot can all ultimately take a back seat if a reader cares about the characters in a story. Naturally, this extends to my more-than-weekly Complete Characters, each designed to inspire and create amazing gaming opportunities for players and Game Masters, alike.

The next stage of the Complete Characters project is drawing nearer and nearer, so here I am to spill some of the beans (including some example characters). Read on for more.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Quick Hit: How Soon Is Too Soon?

So, my lovely and darling wife had to work on Friday night, so I had a bro-date with my little brother to check out Iron Man 2 on opening night at the IMAX. She doesn't understand my need to see it on opening weekend, but I'm used to that.

The question is, when is too soon to geek out over a movie and see it again? I was thinking about tonight, but it feels a little like calling a girl within 48 hours after a date. Too soon. I fell like I need to let the experience stew in my brain a little bit before I can re-watch it with a fresh mind.

Next Friday complicates things, as we'll be seeing Robin Hood. Can I watch Robin Hood on Friday night and then check out Iron Man 2 on Saturday? Or should I try to fit in a weeknight showing?

Help me, dear readers. I'm stumped.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Avengers As A Gaming Party

After seeing Iron Man 2 last night, and completely enjoying every moment of it, I find myself thinking about the Avengers as they will be constituted on-screen, and how they stack up as a typical adventuring party. It's no secret that Marvel is building their own larger movie continuity, currently including Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and The Incredible Hulk, with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger to be added on prior to the release of the team-up film, The Avengers. Then you have Nick Fury and Black Widow, who will play prominently in the mix, plus the outside chance of some War Machine, and what I suspect is a likely role for General "Thunderbolt" Ross. Other members may be introduced in that film, with Hawkeye potentially at the top of that list, depending on which rumors you believe. After that, it appears that the potential Avengers roster will expanded even further, with movies for Ant Man and Hawkeye (if not already included), plus the rebooted Spider-Man which will potentially exist in this same universe.

*Whew* That's a lot of heroic goodness.

This prospect excites me to no end, but how will this mash-up work as a traditional RGP adventuring party?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Complete Characters #16: The Hand, High-Tech Vigilante

This post filled with extra Shellhead goodness

It's an Iron Man sort of day here on Jason Richards cannot be trusted. I'm psyched for the heavy dose of IMAX goodness that I will receive tonight at 7:30 PM, so much so that it inspired today's Complete Character, which asks the question, "What if someone found just one piece of Iron Man's armor?"

Read on to read my take on that, and how it relates to a teenage vigilante known as The Hand.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quick Hit: One More Gaming Thought


First off, I would like some credit for resisting posting another picture of a scantily-clad Princess Leia as the header image. I am a man of substantial restraint.

So, how's this for a Random Thought: Star Wars is awesome. Or, it at least is potentially awesome, especially for gaming. Maybe it's yesterday's International Star Wars Day festivities, but I sure am itching to play me some old school D6 Star Wars.

Quick Hit: Random Gaming Thoughts

Congrats to Green Ronin. I hope DC doesn't screw it up.

Today's Quick Hits, like everything terrible, comes in threes. Brief thoughts on Green Ronin's DC Adventures license, a new gaming shop in my neighborhood, and how badly I suck at video games.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Complete Characters #15: Sergio Alvarez, Chemically Enhanced Soldier

Working out is for suckers

I try to keep a lot of these characters on an even keel. However, when drawing inspiration from the Rifts RPG, that's sometimes tough to do. This is a game where it's possible to magically augment your walking tank that is piloted by a psychic. Subtle? Not so much.

So, with this installment of Complete Characters, I've decided to go full-on action movie hero on you. The guy is inspired by the iconic Juicer, so I figure there is no sense pulling punches.

Intrigued? There's more below the fold.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Feel-Good Monday: Make-A-Wish Makes A Superhero

My hero

You very well may have read this story already, but I felt the need to share it on a dreary Monday. I have some things to say on the subject, but read this incredible article before moving below the fold. Have a tissue handy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Night Chatter: Reading and Networking

I found this image when I GID'd "corporate synergy paradigm mission statement"

Happy Sunday, everyone.

As you sit at your computer, trying to remember how many sick days you have left and whether or not you could get away with calling in tomorrow, I thought we might have a little talk. We're growing up, we each have our own hobbies and different sets of friends, and that's perfectly fine. It's okay that you're not into extreme lingerie gawking, and I honestly have no desire to take up your new pastime of Peruvian jousting, or even to ask what that means for fear that is a euphemism for something truly, truly terrible.

Yes, we're growing, but we don't have to grow apart. I thought we could take this time to briefly chat about this new-fangled Internet thing, whose blogs you like to read, and who you think should be reading mine.

As the blog continues to grow in both volume, popularity, and ridiculousness, I find that I want more and more to connect with other like-minded bloggers. However, it's a big ol' Internet out there, and I want to be sure that I'm adding blogs that you actually care about.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Complete Characters #14: Rick Hix, Cybernetic Psychotic Supersoldier

The traditional Rifts RPG Crazy might actually be LESS crazy than Hix

So, this was a wild ride. Sometimes when you start writing something, you end of somewhere totally different than where you were going. Usually, that's for the best. I think this worked out to contain much more awesome that originally conceived.

So, keep on reading to check out Rick Hix, a character based on a re-imagined version of the classic Rifts RPG's "Crazy" character class. Read on for more.

Quick Hit: Notes and Quotes

Had nothing better to put here this morning, or ever

I'll be delivering more exclusive, platinum, and premium content later today, but wanted to jump on with a few notes on this fine Saturday morning. After all, geek life keeps rolling even on the weekend, right?