23 March 2007

A Busy Weekend

These days, all my weekends seem to be busy ones.

Tomorrow, I run the second session of Sideshow in Barovia, which is my Expedition to Castle Ravenloft campaign. I'm not sure what I'll be doing earlier in the day, but it will probably include caring for my children, maybe a nap. I've got some reading to do, on several different topics. I surely wish I had more time to read these days, because it's probably the most time-consuming thing I do.

Sunday we plan to take the kids to the Birch Aquarium so that Stephen can check out all the "Nemos." Yep, that's right: any fish is a Nemo. He's been there a couple of times, but I think that he'll have a much deeper appreciation for the fish this time around. After we get back home, I need to sit down and get to work on my latest writing project.

So, yeah. Busy. All that, and I want to try to get back into painting miniatures. Thing is, I'd love to buy just the right pack of Unhallowed and pick up a Strahd mini, but I doubt that's going to happen. I've taken matters into my own hands and bought a suitable vampire figure from GW, which I'll need to paint. This means going through my paints, seeing if they're serviceable or not, etc.

On the plus side, I don't guess the PCs will encounter the master of Castle Ravenloft for some time, so I'm not in a huge hurry to get the figure finished.

The work D&D game is also this coming Tuesday, as opposed to Thursday, to account for our newest player's scheduled visit to Vegas next week. I picked up a copy of The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergard, and plan to incorporate it into that game. It should keep them busy for a while. The adventure itself is pretty neat, and I like it overall. I don't think they'll get into the meat of it for two or three more sessions, but it gives me something to work towards.

All for now.

21 March 2007


A friend of mine sent me an email last night to let me know that there will be a re-make of John Carpenter's Escape from New York. It's currently in pre-production, and scheduled for release in 2009.

When is enough enough? It seems to me that we've had a ton of classic movies re-made in the past few years: The Omen, Psycho, Dawn of the Dead, The Hitcher, The Poseidon Adventure, War of the Worlds, and The Fog, to name a few.

And don't get me started on The Ring and its ilk, taking perfectly good foreign movies and re-shooting them with popular American actors and releasing them abroad, almost as if they're completely original. After all, why would anyone want to see a movie with subtitles?

I'm not entirely anti-re-make: I'm more fond of the Dawn of the Dead re-make than I am of the original, for example. Yet it's tough to win me over to a movie's "re-envisioning" until I've seen it and given it my stamp of approval. (I've got much the same problem with cover songs.)

Escape from New York doesn't need to be remade, any more than The Breakfast Club did. Yet someone obviously feels that they can do it better, and win over a new generation of moviegoers in the process. Time will tell, I suppose.

17 March 2007

Lost a Sorceress; Gained a Druid

We've had our first casualty in the workplace D&D game. No, she wasn't torn to pieces by goblins or gobbled up by a gibbering mouther. The game just isn't her thing.

Our sorceress, Raven, has left the group. I'm proud that she gave it a shot, and played through two sessions. After the last game, I could tell that she wasn't as excited as the rest of the group. I talked to her about it on Thursday morning, and told her that if it wasn't her bag, she didn't have to play. Under the circumstances, I think it was the best possible outcome.

I've been involved in games that were painful to play -- and I actually enjoy the hobby. There's nothing worse than sitting through a game session that provides you with no stimulation whatsoever; where you find yourself looking at your watch more than you look at the DM or your character sheet. If you apply such a situation to someone who isn't a gamer at all, I guess the pain is probably worse.

So, yeah. I told her she could skip out if she wanted to, and she seemed relieved about it. "It's the most boring thing I've ever done!" she exclaimed. Under normal circumstances, I might feel bad about such a comment. Truth be told, the other three players are enjoying themselves, which leads me to believe that the game as a whole is merely not to Raven's tastes.

Onward and upward, I started discussing the game with another co-worker of mine, Toni, who had previously expressed interest in playing, but who has been too busy to participate up until recently. She's decided that she'll give the game a shot, and she wants to play a druid. Raven even gave her Player's Kit to us, so I bestowed it upon Toni so that she could read up on characters, druids, etc. I guess we'll generate her character sometime next week.

Speaking of the D&D Player's Kit, I can't say enough good things about it. If you pick it up on Amazon.com, you can get it for a song. It comes with a lot of things that an experienced player doesn't really need (booklets that detail the basic rules and methods for creating characters), but it also includes a set of nifty dice and a softbound edition of the Player's Handbook. The softbound PH is well worth the price, right out of the gate.

15 March 2007

The Adventure's End

So, we played the third installment of the workplace D&D game last night. It's evolved somewhat past the "workplace only" moniker, mostly due to the fact that a player's spouse has joined the group. Despite the fact that "iconic" parties aren't a strict requirement to good fun, the group was sorely lacking a fighter. Now they have one, rounding out the player base to four.

They managed to complete the adventure, which (for those of you who are interested) is available on the Wizards site under the title "A Dark and Stormy Knight." They have a little more ground to cover before they make second level, especially given the staggered introduction of the characters into the game.

We started the night by introducing the new player to the game. He's playing a human ranger named Kaiser. With his help, the rest of the group managed to destroy the zombie that they'd had so much trouble with previously. Knowing now that slashing weapons are the way to dispatch zombies, it was just a matter of getting the right attack rolls and making sure that all the damage counted.

The rest of the exploration including a battle with a giant spider, and a lesser vargouille (introduced in the adventure). The spider fight was somewhat touch and go, but the vargouille was taken down with a critical hit from Tobias' crossbow (right between the eyes).

From here, I reckon the characters can wait out the storm (which should end soon) and then make their way back to civilization in order to spend their hard-earned money. After that, I've got another adventure or three up my sleeve...

04 March 2007

Happy GM's Day

So it's GM's Day again. I'm still waiting for last year's gifts. This makes me think that the holiday hasn't really caught on yet. At least, not with my players it hasn't.

It's been quiet on Neuro-Suction for the past week or two. Reason is, my daughter was born last Monday, 2/26. We've been busy with her since she and Amy came home, adjusting to our new life as sleepless zombies. I figure this will be worth the eventual change to d12 hit dice. The single action every round kind of stinks, though.