Monday, July 28, 2014

I Don't Believe in Bloody Mary

I don't believe in Bloody Mary, I don't believe in Bloody Mary, I don't believe in blood...

Bloody Mary is one of the more scary childhood monsters under the bed, or more accurately in the mirror.  Say her name three times while looking in the mirror in the dark and she will appear.
But who is she?

Stories abound, was she a young mother whose children had died?  Was she murderess who killed her husband to be before taking her own life?  Or is she as some stories have told the mother of Jesus, weeping tears of blood for the son she lost?


Bloody Mary Trickery by ~Skyberry-13 on deviantART

One of the stories I remember best was one about a witch named Mary Worth who in the late 19th century would kidnap slaves to torture.  Very so like the tales of Elizabeth Bathory or even Cathy Bates character of Delphine LaLaurie in American Horror Story Coven.

For The Witch I thought something else might be nice.

Mary Worth was a young woman who dreamed of her future life as a wife and mother. One All Hallows Eve Mary waited till midnight to look into her looking glass. She had heard the stories that you would see the face of your future husband in the glass.  But what Mary saw filled her with dread and horror.  The face she saw was that of a man, covered in blood with a countenance of pure evil and murderous intent.

A year later Mary was arranged to be married to an acquaintance of her father, it turned out to be the same man. Though this man seemed fair enough and treated her well.  Years went by and she gave him two children.

To protect herself and her children Mary turned to witchcraft so she could learn more of her fate and possibly change it. She suspected her husband was unfaithful that one night she went to brew a potion to ensure faithfulness. When she returned home she discovered her husband in the arms of another woman while her children slept.  They argued and she struck him with the poker from the fireplace. As blood raced from his brow she saw the vision she saw so many years ago.  She screamed and pushed her husband back into the fireplace.  Quickly the fire spread throughout the house.  Mary ran screaming, but her husband, his mistress and the children all died in the flame.

From that day forward any time Mary looked into a mirror she saw the faces of her dead husband and children.  Mad with grief she clawed her own eyes out and dashed her head into the mirror.  The glass severed her neck and she died in the mirror.

She now haunts all mirrors, scarring girls away who wish to learn their fates too soon.  She also captures younger children to replace the ones she lost, but these children cannot survive in her land of the dead.

Bloody Mary (when alive)
4th Level Witch (Eclectic Tradition)

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 16
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 16

Saves
Death Ray or Poison:  13
Magic wand or devices: 14
Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone: 13
Dragon Breath: 16
Rods, Staffs and Spells:  15

To hit AC 0: 20

Hit Points: 25
Alignment: Chaotic
AC: 9

Occult Powers
Familiar:  Talking Mirror

Spells
Cantrips: Chill, Daze, Detect Curse, Ghost Sound, Open, Sound
First: Bad Luck, Cause Fear,
Second: Burning Gaze, Evil Eye,

That works for me!

--
Like what I do here?
Let me know by voting for me for "Best Blog" in the 2014 ENnies.
http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/
Go to Best Blog and put a "1" next to "The Other Side". Thanks so much!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Long Day

Been a long day. Long week really.  The Day job kept me busy and I didn't get the posts in I wanted.

Hope to fix that soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Whatever Happened to the Teenage Witch?

I don't talk much about Sabrina the Teen-age Witch much here.

I never read the comic, I never watched the Melissa Joan Hart TV show or movies.  I do remember seeing a cartoon of it back in the 80s.

A while back I did do a post about her as a potential Queen of Witches.  But that was it.

Well, not just content with zombies, Sabrina has a new adventure in the Afterlife with Archie comic.


Check out these links for more information.
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/07/23/the-rather-surprising-fate-of-sabrina-the-teenage-witch/
http://lovecraftzine.com/2014/07/24/afterlife-with-archie-issue-6-is-a-comic-every-lovecraft-fan-will-enjoy/

Sabrina Spellman, Queen of Carcosa.

I have to admit. I never saw that coming.




Why Should You Vote for the Other Side?

The Other Side is up for an ENnie Award for "Best Blog" this year and I could not be more thrilled.
You can see the list of nominees here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/2014-ennie-awards-nominees/ and can vote here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/



As you can see I am in some really great company.  But there are some reasons I think that my blog deserves this award.

- I am going to be at Gen Con this year with my kids.  I like to take my kids to Gen Con. They love it and they have been talking about it for WEEKS now.  What would really be nice is to see their dad win an award for all the hard work he has been doing.

- Where else can you go to get the variety of games I talk about?  D&D, Unisystem, Chill, d20, Old-school, new-school, Call of Cthulhu and many more.

- My week long dips into various games.  I know from my stats that you have enjoyed it when I take a game and cover it all week long, whether it was Adventures Dark & Deep or Super Babes!

- Features. I give you features on either a weekly basis like Zatannurday or White Dwarf Wednesday. Or my semi-regular features Plays Well With Others or The Best Blog You Are Not Reading or Kickstart Your Weekend.  I may not have the most up to date news or know what is going on in every corner of the Internet, but I like to think I am posting things that people want to read.

- Reviews. Along with the features I have posted my reviews of various game products here.  So far I have written 676 reviews.  Not too shabby really.

- Community.  I try to bring other blogs and bloggers into our orbit.  Either they have something really interesting to say or to help expand our hobby.  I believe than in a strong community more ideas will flow and ultimately that will be better for our hobby.  Both for ourselves and people outside of it.  While I am not the one to sit around the camp fire and sing songs about getting along, I am the guy that will say we should chill out and just roll some dice.

- Gnome Stew is a great blog, but while they have a team (nine authors) I am just one guy.  They have 2,000,000 visitors and I have 1,500,000+. They have written 2500+ articles since 2009, while I have written 2300+ since 2009.   Plus they have won every year, so maybe it is time to give someone new a chance!

- I respect the ENnies as a peoples choice award. Does ENWorld have problems? Sure. But the truth is that gamers and fans of games vote for these products and sites.  It is a way of the community saying "yeah Tim, you are OK" and I appreciate that.  So yeah, I would love to have one.

- You know who else likes awards? My Mom!
No seriously, she does. This would make her day.

- The ENnies do open up doors for writers. This would help me out a lot in getting more material written and out to you all.

My fellow nominees all have fine blogs, but I hope you will vote for me and The Other Side.
http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Owl & Weasel Wednesday #3 April 1975

Owl & Weasel #3 takes us back to April of 1975.
We are still at 8 pages and 10p but there is more "layout" now.

Ian Livingstone's first Editorial is a sample of what we will see later in White Dwarf, only much more verbose and more personable.  It get the feeling that Ian and Steve knew their subscribers personally or at the very least knew where they were coming from.

There is still a lot of "Subscribe to us" and "Advertise with us" through out the zine.  This is not unexpected.

If you ever doubt the roll Chess plays in the gaming community then look no further than pages 4 & 5 of this issue.  Two pages of an analysis of a game played by Arjura Parakrama and John J. McCallion in Colombo Sri Lanka on December 8th, 1974.

There are discussions of Kingmaker and Avaon Hill's Baseball.

Page 7 has the various games now all in one place and Page 8 has a feature that will be a regular in White Dwarf; the Notice board.   People looking for games to play, players and some games for sell.

It is hard for me to gauge this issue.  By today's standards the articles are long(ish) and there is nothing to grab into the article.  To be fair this is Ian and Steve at 25 and 23 (respectively) and they are inventing our fandom here.  But this is less of a "rough draft" of White Dwarf and really a different sort of animal.
Though all the seeds are here really.  Just missing a comic really.  Though I do feel I need some more cultural context here.  With WD I had my own experience to draw on. Here I was 4 and the only board game I knew how to play at this point was checkers.  I'll do some more research.

--
Like what I do here?
Let me know by voting for me for "Best Blog" in the 2014 ENnies.
http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/
Go to Best Blog and put a "1" next to "The Other Side". Thanks so much!

Map of the Flanaess

There are a lot of really, really great products and people up for ENnie awards this year.  But I want to draw one to your attention in particular. 

Anna Meyer is the founder of the Flanaess Geographical Society on Facebook.  She is also up for the Best Cartography for her Map of the Flanaess. A project she spent a considerable time on.

So if you can, please consider voting for.
"Map of the Flanaess - Anna B Meyer Fantasy Maps"

These maps are beautiful and frankly I want a large print to put in my game room.  
If you are an old-school Greyhawk fan like me then this should be a no-brainer vote.

I could spend hours going over these and never get bored. But I love maps.


--
Like what I do here?
Let me know by voting for me for "Best Blog" in the 2014 ENnies.
Go to Best Blog and put a "1" next to "The Other Side". Thanks so much!