YOMI for ipad

ipadyomiAwhile back I had the opportunity to play YOMI face to face with another living human being.  Later, I played via an old dead technology killed by Steve JOBS ,called FLASH, on a personal computer.

I discovered later that the creators of said game, YOMI, had built a piece of software for a more personal device called an IPAD that allowed users singly or in pairs play this game via this device.  This was found to be fantastic news by all.

YOMI is for those of you that are intrigued by fighting games such as street fighter, virtua fighter, blazblue, jo jo’s bizarre adventure, time killers and World heroes perfect but don’t have the dexterity or desire to learn all the moves, get your ass kicked for months and months before winning even one game against another human being, etc. It is a TURN BASED fighting game that does an amazing job of emulating the genre. While I don’t think the character designs are all that strong (there is a fucking TAUREN from WOW in there…), the gameplay is really something to experience. At it’s core, it’s rock paper scissors, but once you play even a few games, you can have a view into the crazy depth of this game. Once you start to learn a character and beat the living shit out of some people with them (and vice versa) you come to know just how awesome this game is.

Someday when there is no more electricity or power we will be able to play fighting games via YOMI with cards, but for now, get it on the ipad.

Dark Souls Progress report

I suck as a gamer and here’s proof.  I think I started Dark Souls in late 2011.  It’s now early 2014 and I’m still not done.  I’m getting CLOSE though, and both as a touchbase on my progress for the single reader of this blog, and to push me through to the end, here is a picture that for some will speak a thousand words.

darksoulsprogress

Some More RPG stuff

Haven’t posted in a bit which is largely irrelevant but notable in that I’ve been busy with not only wounding my very soul trying to finish DARK SOULS before I start the second one but I also ran Lamentations of the Flame Princess on Wednesday night and 13th Age on Thursday night.  This is good.  Given the potential of burn out, I think it’s going to be tough for me to work on both at once but fuck all I’m going to try.  I’m in an enviable position, at least from my view, that I get to run both these games and can compare them.  13th Age, of course, represents the ultimate in new-school design for D20 and D&D.  It’s fundamentally based off 4th Edition but has a lot of things from Original D&D that infiltrate it, like not using miniatures for fights (we sort of do) and all that.  The fact that there are no experience points is wonderful and it’s very very easy for me to make encounters that are balanced (and imbalances them when I want), so that’s sweet too.  However, the game does not have very many adventures out for it and that’s sad for now.  I look at the massive amount of OD&D, 4th and 3rd edition content created in just the last 5 years and it’s staggering.  While most is absolute tripe, there are still some gems in each of those systems.   I think anything 4th Edition could easily be converted to 13th Age, but given that it’s a miniatures battle game (and a very very good one) that’s not the type of game I want to run at the moment (nor my players want to play), so the adventures for that are really fight fight fight fight.  3rd Edition– what can I say, there’s a lot of shit out there for it, and some excellent modules.  However the rules are not to my taste and the stuff is probably really tough to convert.  That said, 13th Age is great, but as a lazy ass GM, I want modules to pull shit from and they do not yet exist.

In contrast, Lamentations of the Flame Princess simply has so much content available to it out there because it is essentially a super-tight version of the Basic D&D from 1981.  For the one off I’m going to run next week, I made a list of adventures on a piece of paper that included modules from the late 70′s to pieces written in 2013 and had this one girl I sort of know pick the name she liked best as my groups demise.  Stuff like Secret of Bone Hill (classic) and Anomalous Subsurface Environment (newschool megadungeon) were on the list in addition to the Lamentations stuff so I am just crushed with choices.  She picked something appropriately terrifying (the Lamentations of the Flame Princess module names are hard to pass up).

bonehill

Hot chick zapping shit 1981

In contrasting these two games I must note one key thing that Basic D&D does compared to 13th Age, something that the Lamentations author notes in his referee book: you focus on what your character is doing in the game rather than what your character can do.  There isn’t a lot of fucking around with X at will daily power and this combo of powers with other players in Basic D&D.  One of the players commented during the Lamentations game:  ”I’ve got one spell and a mace! I can’t do anything!” yet that certainly didn’t stop the gaming night from being pretty damn awesome.  The constraint of limited powers (or none) helped focus the game to different things.

disintigrate

Hot chick zapping shit 2013.

What 13th Age does it does extremely well.  My players are starting to learn some bread an butter character buff and debuff combos that will serve them very well in the more difficult fights to come.  The magic item system is easy to use and the constraints by chakra I adore as a GM and while classes can be complex, they reward study and application in fights. I really want someone to roll up a Wizard one of these days because that class is what I would play if I could stand playing rather than DM’ing.  There are spells where effects are made up EVERY SINGLE TIME they are cast, and that’s cooking with all sorts of rump gas.  Battles are fast and the escalation die makes it so later in a fight players are GOING to hit the enemies–and when some monsters also use the escalation die, look out!  So both of these game systems I say at this time I really like, but 13th Age is in it’s infancy for adventures. What’s more, 13th Age and Lamentations of the Flame Princess are great for the lazy DM for sure, which, despite running two games in two different systems the same week, I really really am. I promise.

If you have a passing interest in the Old School D&D scene/’community’, I can’t recommend this blog enough.  They basically say everything is absolute shit, so if they say something is good, which they do from time to time, it’s REALLY good.  The blog also does trainspotting on some of the human trainwrecks barreling down the D&D nerd express (and most importantly, blogging about it) with shit like this amazing gemstone:

The fighter says, “I press her down to the sand. I’m very careful not to push to [sic] hard, not to hurry. I want her to understand that this is not sex, this is me caring for her.”

 

RIP Dave Trampier

Dave Trampier, the best of the old D&D artist has died.   Trampier was the WORMY guy who also did the counter art for TITAN and all of the art for DIVINE RIGHT as well as all the greatest pieces (along with Erol Otus and Willingham) from D&D basic and AD&D.  His shit was the fucking best– and then he dropped off the face of the earth in the mid 80′s, last seen as a cab driver in Illinois in some town you’ve never heard of.   His art was a huge inspiration to me– I used to trace his counter art from KING OF THE TABLE TOP and TITAN and then, like everyone else, just stare at his shit from from Deities and Demigods and the Monster Manual.    He was super versatile with various different styles.  Apparently he grew to hate the whole D&D scene and just dropped out.    I guess there’s not much to say good about him croaking except that we may get a complete WORMY book and likely the guy has a massive stash of art that he’s doodled over the years.  If you were as good as he was, I can see stopping commercially but stopping art entirely?  Impossible.

Enough with the typing, here is some of his stuff.

Pseudo-Dragon rakshasa TITAN Titanrules frostgiants DMcover mushroomgarden

Books with spys and the like

Well I got some goddamned reading in the last month or so. I finished St. Liebowitz and the Wild Horse Woman and wanted some lighter pap to clear the palette for later heaviness. I got my dad GHOSTMAN for Xmas which he devoured and sent back to me so I tackled that first. As you can see it has a SHIT ASSED cover typical of the Robert Ludlum type books around today with some lame ass smeared photoshop crap across the cover.

Ghostman-Roger-Hobbs

This was a solid read about a guy that gets involved in cleaning up a failed bank truck robbery. It moves very fast and has a lot of really good spy tricks and trinkets going on. There was one scene used to establish the villain as a ‘real bad guy’ that was pretty fucking stupid and extreme, but the rest of the book was good. Unlike the two books below Ghostman says NOTHING about anything. It is meaningless except for the story itself, it makes no commentary about modern life or anything–just an ego trip by the author with some sneaky main character with a lot of pre paid cell phones.  And they will probably make a movie of this one.  It will be good action and a good story, but ultimately meaningless.

the-glass-key

The second one goes back into the 30′s: Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key. This is a fucking masterpiece of noir/mystery writing about a political fixer (vote repeating, getting unions to vote X way, etc.) who is purportedly involved in some sort of murder. He’s assisted by the protagonist who is a gambling addict on waivers who uncovers a big fucking mess of intrigue. Hammett is no joke and this is as good if not better than Maltese Falcon. I’m going to watch the movies soon. What’s more this is a SCATHING indictment of political back-door dealing and buying elections. Hammett is trying to reveal some very bad things going on in addition to all the, you know, beatings and murders.

delicatetruth

The last one was a new one from John Le Carre (of Tinker Tailer Soldier fame) called A Delicate Truth. While not as strong as The Glass Key, this is an excellent read about a bunch of really incompetent public officials and ‘spies’ who constantly fuck up everything and it sort of works out in the end. No one in the book is all that smart, so it’s sort of an everyman thrust into a series of terrible situations where more bad choices are made. Le Carre here is calling out corporate security and corporate war making abilities as adjunct to a government’s power over control of mass violence. It’s message is not subtle and resonates throughout the text where the shadowy shit is not in the government but in this horrific mash up of government, corporate and law enforcement mess where it’s not clear who is actually in control.  Think Executive Outcomes from the 90′s (and of course, Jagged Alliance!) They are going to make a movie of this fucker eventually.

All three great reads, the first one is super light and altogether meaningless, but fun. The other two are also fast paced pulp noir stuff but have some interesting subtexts and social commentary.

Now back to the heavy stuffs.

The insane fuck sequences of Eva Green

Last weekend I had a bender in Miami.  Part of this bender was being passed out on a couch with the TV on.  Dark Shadows was playing over and over on one of the various cable channels and I was awake during one of the showings to watch the crazy furniture shattering fuck scene between Johnny Depp and Eva Green, a vampire and a witch respectively.  That same evening I stumbled with Matt into a dark theater playing 300: Rise of an Empire. During the movie Eva Green is again involved in an insane fuck sequence with the main Athenian Character.  Given that it was Alpha Male fucking Alpha Female for the win, this wasn’t actually too disturbing, but to have seen this same actress in two different films having furniture destroying fuck sequences was a fairly comedic coincidence to me.

Now, I guess I’m not a fan of 300 Rise of an Empire and will be even less so of the next film that doesn’t have Eva Green in it since her character gets eviscerated, but there are two notable things about it: the above mentioned sex scene and the multiple scenes of Eva Green’s character staring from a bow of her ship with her right eye twitching in anger–that’s one for the meme pile. The rest of the film, while visually stunning in parts is just plagued by… well, everything. They paint the main Athenian as some sort of physical badass, where he could have played the part not like Leonidas (since we already had the sacrificial alpha male in the first movie) but instead a scheming little rat who plays all these tricks on the Persians for the win. He did play tricks in the movie over and over and over so this would have fit (and also made a better contrast between Athens and Sparta) as they also characterize him as someone totally awesome at everything– sword fighting, archery, etc. He literally is a character characterized by his complete lack of any weaknesses in character or prowess–sort of like Superman. Also, the Athenians made the Spartans look sort of pussy, which just ain’t right. In 300, the Spartans work together as a UNIT to defeat the Persians, but the Athenians are seen fighting in Rise of an Empire like the Germanic and Celt tribes would– mano y mano in a full on melee. What’s more, the Athenian leader gives I believe FOUR pre-battle speeches, with all the heartfelt music playing and all that. That was ridiculous. Overall, the film just could have been so much better. I’m glad I saw it, if nothing more to make fun ever more of the gouts of blood that issued forth whenever someone was so much as touched by a sword, but Hotel Budapest was playing in a packed theatre next door, and I would have much rather seen that in retrospect. Anyway, back to the fucking. Below are two vids from the movies in question. You can see watching them the same day would create a comic juxtaposition.

Here is the comedy scene from Dark Shadows:

And the non-comedy scene from 300: Rise of an Empire (has boobs)

Farewell to Dark Souls (#1 at least)

With Dark Souls 2 out in a few days, players are lamenting the end of Dark Souls 1 as the video above is probably just the first of many tributes. Now this is strange because it’s a single player game primarily? Correct, however there is a massive multiplayer component to the game that some people may never experience (with the exception of the computer invasions that mimic when another player invades). Since many people will be immediately switching to Dark Souls 2, they have to say goodbye to their characters and such, so it’s truly bitter sweet since the new game has already been reviewed and found AWESOME.

What caught me on this video is that it references the dragon archers I mentioned in an earlier post. The money shot is at 2:12.