Monday, October 24, 2011

Lolth Love

I have always rather liked the Demon Queen of Spiders.  Sure she is totally the bad girl cliche, but I am only human.

Others share my love it seems and have also played on the Lolth/Lilith connection some.

Mythopoeic Ramblings has some good material on the Spider Queen,

Lawful Indifferent also give us their take,


October Challenge: Sleepy Hollow

Looking for a change of pace I stumbled on this little gem last night. I think Tim Burton is fantastic.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

The story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is one of the great American Horror stories.  The film versions though have to compete with the Disney classic version. This one is a worthy version.  Yes it takes a number of liberties with the story.  Yes it is exits in some weird Tim Burton alternate reality where all the leading men are played by Johnny Depp and all leading women are played by Helena Bonham Carter-er I mean Christina Ricci.
Ok so Depp's Ichabod is a detective for the NYPD in 1799.  He is sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a murder.  His Ichabod is still a bit of coward and has a weak stomach, which I am glad they preserved, but is quite smart.  And apparently his mother was some sort of witch.
Christina Ricci is here and I'll be honest.  I think she is great, I love her in just about everything she does, but all her characters sound exactly the same.  Granted, I have not seen a lot of "Monster" but nearly everything else.
We get cameos and co-stars of some of the highest quality and number are (or will be) Burton alums.
I was particularly pleased to see Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Martin Landau, and Michael Gambon.  Of course the award for biggest surprise casting goes to Christopher Waken as the Headless Horseman.
The actors are first rate and script is good too.
The effects looked a bit dated in some cases, even though it is only 10 years old, but still good enough.

I enjoyed the story in all it's supernatural spookiness. I think I was thinking that it was going to be a more mundane killer than a supernatural one, but instead we got both and that was kind of cool.

Tally 23 movies, 20 new.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More OSRIC Player's Guide woes

EDITED TO ADD:  I am getting a lot of links to this.  To be clear: WotC is NOT going after OSR blogs or books.  They asked 1 author to remove 1 product that had some clear violations of the OGL.

A while back I posted the tales of the OSRIC Player's Guides/References.

The first one I detailed here,
It was just a copy-paste job of the OSRIC rules and some stolen cover art.  The author claimed he did not know, which is fine, but then he turned around and did it AGAIN with Holmes Basic producing something called "Mazes & Perils", detailed here, and

Frankly that guy has lost all benefit of the doubt from me.

But that is not the tragedy today.

Today I want to mention the OSRIC Player's Guide, the one detailed here and here

This one was done by the same guy that ran the blog BreeYark!.  Unlike the first, this one had been in the works since Jan/Feb of 2011.  Unlike the first this one also was full of original art.  But like the first one, this one has also been taken down from OneBookShelf and the BreeYark! blog is now gone.

I am not going to speculate as to why.  There was a C&D order issued and you can read some more at the K&KA forum,
I just think it is too bad really that all the work that went into it was lost.

I guess the learning point here is if you are going to publish something and put it up on DriveThru/RPGNow/OBS then you better be sure you know what you are doing.  Make sure you understand the OGL (if you are using it), know where your art is coming from.  Though I'll admit I thought the OSRIC Player's Guide was fine as far as copyrights/trademarks are concerned.  Just goes to show you can't know everything.

I am reminded of something though Clark Peterson of Necromancer Games once said about OSRIC.  I won't detail it here, but I am wondering if the eye of Hasbro/WotC is becoming more focused on the OSR.  I know they read these blogs, they are gamers afterall.  And I am sure that the sales of legit products are nothing compared to what a multi-billion dollar company like Hasbro makes.  But all the same we have had some pretty spectacular screw-ups and it might not be long for that attention is on all of us.

I do hope the BreeYark! blog comes back tough.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October Challenge: The Amityville Horror (1979)

Amityville Horror is one of those classic horror films. Tons of sequels, a remake, and a sub-genre of haunted house movies.  But how does the original stand up?

The Amityville Horror (1979)
It has been years and years since I have seen this movie.  So long in fact that I had forgotten most of it. Watching it now with more modern eyes the film seems a bit slow and even a bit anti-climatic.
So what do we have.  There is a great build up here to a creepy story. The actors are great, and this is back when Margot Kidder was still really good. Rod Steiger of course was fantastic and Josh Brolin's descent into madness is great.  The haunting itself is a bit lame.  The flies are kinda cool, the red room is neat and the house still looks creepy as all heck.

Though watching this makes really want to see Poltergeist again.

Tally 22 movies, 19 new (but I kind of forgot it...)

Zatannurday: Young Justice

The newest episode of Young Justice aired (for me) last night and featured a young Zatanna.  I thought I would share my thoughts about the episode today.


The Young Justice team is still getting backtogether after their betrayal by Red Tornado when there new "baby sitter" Giovanni Zatara and his teen daughter Zatanna.   The team "kidnaps" her (her idea) to go after Red Tornado.

There is some good natured flirting between her and Robin; I think they are supposed to be about the same age.  Zee shows off some cool magic and even a couple of quick costume changes.  The team grills her on her powers and she mentions that she is no where near her Dad's powers.  I thought it was great that she has a "sneak out of the house" spell.

She wears a variation of her classic outfit, modeled after her dad's.  May she picks up her penchant for fish-net from Black Canary.

The episode is cool, though not really as Zee-centric as I had hoped. Plus despite being grounded for life at the end it looks like's she might be joining the team.  Or at least I can hope.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Gift ideas

Need a Halloween gift idea?
What do you mean you don't send gifts for Halloween, of course you need to send gifts for Halloween!

I always buy a new Horror themed RPG for Halloween.  Here are two that qualify.

Conspiracy X,
ConX is a modern horror game of UFOs, aliens and world wide conspiracies.  Like X-Files, Dark Skies and shows like that?  Then this is a great choice!


Spellcraft and Swordplay,
While not a horror game per se, it is a great D&D-like game and is cinematic enough to emulate any Dark Fantasy genre you like.  The game itself grew out of Jason Vey's own Hyborean Age game.

October Challenge: Dracula's Curse (2002)

Last year I did a big run of Dracula movies, but obviously I missed a few.

Dracula's Curse (2002)
This one was an Italian TV movie.
The story is fairly close to the book with some odd bits.  It takes place in modern times in Budapest.  All the characters are there, but some of the nationalities are switched around, but everyone is recognizable.
The is an odd bit where we see young Dracula before old Dracula and then young Dracula again. Other than that it is again really close to the book.
So close in fact that it makes it difficult judge this one.  The trouble with this one it is a bit boring.  You don't get the same dynamic between Lucy and Mina or even what makes Mina so important to the Dracula story.  In truth too the horror is missing to make this really one of the most, uhm..., anemic Dracula's I have ever seen.  They lost all of the depth and essence of what made Dracula, the book, so special.  Mina and Lucy were both very shallow and lacked anything that made them special.
I did like the Renfield character, interesting twist.
The actors were fine and the actor for Dracula looks like what you would expect from the description in the book and he is not a bad actor either.
The ending is different than the book.

Tally 21 movies, 19 new.