Thursday, March 19, 2009

Top Cow Subscriptions

I love being able to subscribe to the comics I want to read. Not only does it allow me to make sure I get every issue, but I don't have to make the hour long drive to the nearest comic book shop. It kind of upsets me that few companies offer subscriptions anymore. Heroic Publishing, DC and Marvel are pretty much the only companies I've found that still offer this service. Although DC & Marvel don't offer every series, they do offer quite a few, which is better than nothing. But what if you really enjoy reading Image, Dynamite, Dark Horse or other comics that don't offer subscriptions and you don't have a shop anywhere near you, well for the most part you are screwed and have to use some type of online order service. Although that may be changing soon.
Top Cow is now offering subscriptions to their books through Mayhem Comics. The prices don't seem to be too bad, a few bucks less than in the shops, but at least now you can get the latest issue of Witchblade or Darkness.They offer 6 or 12 month subscriptions as well as subscriptions for limited series such as Black Vault. This is something Marvel and DC should do more of.

You Are 60% Nerdy

You may be a bit surprised with this score, but you are more of a closet nerd than an actual nerd.

Stop denying your inner nerd! You're truly dorkier than you think.

You Are Very Skeptical

Your personal motto is: "Prove it."

While some ideas, like life after death, may seem nice...

You aren't going to believe them simply because it feels good.

You let science and facts be your guide... Even if it means you don't share the beliefs of those around you.

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...

But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Your Brain is Creative

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.

You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.

People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.

But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

You Are 68% Politically Radical

You're political views are just plain weird. A little far left, a little far right, and a whole lot of radical.

You Speak General American English!

65% General American English

25% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

5% Yankee

0% Midwestern

You Should Rule Mars

Mars is a planet that shines brightly and loops wildly around the solar system.

You are perfect to rule Mars, because you are both energetic and independent.

Like Mars, you seems attractive and bright to others - but you're difficult to pin down.

You are a great thinker, but you only think in the present and ignore the future.

Full of enthusiasm and inspiration, you are into your own thing... and are rather insensitive to others.

It's Finally Here!

My PHB2 came in today, which seems to be the case for just about everyone else. I haven't had time to read through it yet but plan on doing so during spring break. I have a few other game books I am trying to finish reading and will get some kind of review of them all posted in the near future.

BTW, is anyone keeping up with the final episodes of BSG? I have read a lot of posts where people on various forums and blogs are commenting that the direction of the show seems to have gotten lost in these last episodes. I for one think have been pretty damn good.
I just hope appropriate supplements gets released for the RPG. Of course given the delays in other products like Serenity, we may not get them until Caprica is in its final season, or my little girl graduates high school (in about 6 years) which ever comes first.

Speaking of Caprica, I sure hope MWP gets on the ball and does release stuff that will take BSG up to the end of the show as well as producing products that will allow players to run pre-BSG games in and before the timeframe of the Caprica show. Also, just for fun, I hope they do a Classic BSG book with stats for the old Cylons and characters (ain't gonna happen, I don't think they have the rights to the original).
HeyMWP, while your at it I'd like to see a Buck Rogers (the 1970's version), and Greatest American Hero RPG.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who is the greatest warrior on Spike TV

Though this is not all rpg related it does have some cool aspects that go along with RPG's. Spike TV is doing a series called Who is the Deadliest Warrior?. This is going to air in april and is unscripted. It will give answers to who is the better fighter the samarui, vikings. It is going to see who is better between William Wallace and Zulu. Also facing off will be the Yukuza and the Mafia.

The first episode is April 7 at 10 PM eastern and will have a gladiator facing off with an Apache. Chuck Liddel from UFC is going to make a speical guest appearance to test his abilities against the fighters.

This seems like it could be a very good idea and could be very interesting. Hope it can live up to it

It's Just a Game.

I have played with some really great and some really bad gamers over the years, but my all time favorite groups have been the one(s) that completely buck the system. The groups that seem to live by their own warped moral code. It goes deeper than hack and slash or running evil aligned PCs, though on the surface that is exactly how they seemed.

I know that as DM/GM I can control this behavior in players by having repercussions in game, and I have done this. During these "good" games the players did stay in character, and did a damn fine job of it, but their hearts weren't in it. For some reason they always wanted to play bad characters that sometimes did good things. They would steal from each other, undermine each other, attack and sometimes kill each other, and they liked playing that way. For some reason they could come up with better reasons for being a party with these types of characters than with a group that is suppose to be doing "good". It always seemed like they were more of a gang than an adventuring party.

I can't tell you how many times characters would openly "go after" another PC, spending an entire nights game trying to "do them in", whether it was by spreading unfavorable rumors, stealing possessions or just cutting their heads off. Games would sometimes go like this:
DM: "Your group is sitting in the darkened corner of the tavern, farthest from the door. The barmaid has just brought you another round of drink as the door to the tavern busrts open. You see a man dressed in the garb of the city watch standing there clutching his right side. Even from where you are sitting you can see the fresh blood staining his clothes and dripping off his hand, that is covering his wound."
PC1: "How close am I sitting to PC2?"
DM: "About 3 feet."
PC1: "I want to take the change purse he tied to his belt before we came in."
Check are rolled and PC 2 feels PC 1 trying to lift his purse.
PC2: "I pretend that I don't know what is going on and put my crossbow, which if you remember I loaded before we came in, in my lap and aim it at PC1."
PC1: "Do I see him to that?"
More checks are rolled and PC1 fails his checks.
PC2: "I shoot PC1."
A fight breaks out, PC2 & 3 kill PC1, while PC 4 uses the multiple distractions to steal stuff rom around the tavern.

Like I said before, I did control the situation on numerous occassions, but it ruined the game, so I eventually quit doing it. In some ways this made me a better DM/GM as I had to learn to be very adaptive, make my adventure work in the context and spirit of the game and most importantly to improvise. I was resistant at first, but actually came to appreciate their style of play.

Despite all the infighting and subterfuge, when the chips were down most of the time they were one hell of a team. Mostly when the enemy was external and they had something to gain. While it may seem that groups like this are a royal pain, they can be really interesting and rewarding in their own way. Gaming like this does limit the type of adventures and you sometimes have to railroad playes, but if you are a halfway descent DM you can make it seem as if it what you want is a natural result of what the PCs have done in game. Of course in groups like this it helps if the everyone is good friends and understands that this is just a game, and don't take it personally. This includes the DM, who sometimes gets upset (I use to before I came around to their way of thinking) when the countless hours he/she spent planning a session and creating "brilliant" plot hooks gets ignored. While it is all in good fun, it does suck that most of the PCs don't get to see very high levels and sometimes your well planned adventures turn out completely different and often better than you had originally planned.