Showing posts with label DC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DC. Show all posts

Friday, January 12, 2024

Justice League: Crisis On Infinite Earths Part One

 Spend any time here, and you know I am a HUGE fan of the DC Comics event "Crisis on Infinite Earths."  I loved the comic, the DC YV Universe version, and more.

We are finally getting a DC Animated version.

It looks great, and telling it from Flash's point of view makes a lot of sense.  It's on Amazone Prime right now. I might check it out this weekend.

It features Supernatural's Jensen Ackles as Batman and Alexandra Daddario as Lois Lane (sadly not as Zatanna)

I can't wait for the whole trilogy to be released.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

#RPGaDay2023 Game you'd like a new EDITION of...

 This is a two-fer for me. There are two games I want to see a new edition of and I hope that once again they are the same system.

I would love to see a new edition of Mutants & Masterminds AND a new edition of a DC Comics RPG.

DC Adventures and Mutants & Masterminds

I started with M&M back in 2nd Edition and I loved it. Such a great game.

When 3rd Edition came out I grabbed the PDFs right away and was going to pick up the print versions, but Green Ronin also had released the DC Adventures game that used the same M&M 3rd edition system. So I got all of those books.

I'd love a 4th edition of M&M and wonder if it couldn't move a little closer to their AGE system.

I also want a new DC comics RPG. I know there is a new Marvel game out and yes it looks great, but I have always been more of a DC guy.  I also want to buy more Green Ronin stuff.


Saturday, July 15, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 6 The Mistress of Magic

The Mistress of MagicDo you know what today is? Well, yes, it is the last of my superheroes for Wasted Lands, but is it also a Zatannurday! Have not done one of these in a very long time. So lets end this exploration right with someone really powerful.

Today I cover the Mistress of Magic. She is a scion of a magical lineage and has worked out ways to do magic with little corruption. It makes her spellcasting more difficult but keeps her from going mad. Or evil. Or both.

The Mistress of Magic

Class: Sorceress
Level: 20
Species: Human
Alignment: Light Good
Background: Magical student and adept

Strength: 13 (+1) 
Agility: 13 (+1) 
Toughness: 16 (+2) 
Intelligence: 20 (+4) A
Wits: 16 (+2) N
Persona: 18 (+3) N

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: None 10
Vitality: 52 (d4)

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +8/+6/+4
Melee Bonus: +6 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +6 (base)
Saves: +7 vs. Spells and Magical Effects

Sorcerer Abilities
Spells, Arcana, Arcane Powers

Arcane Powers: Astral Projection, Beguile, Enhanced Senses, Polymath (Sage Lore), Precognition, Telekinesis, Psychic Ability: Domination

1st Level: Arcane Darts, Chill Ray, Command, Create Light, Glamour, Read Languages
2nd Level: Beguile Person, Conjure Flame, Invisibility, Levitate, Magic Lock
3rd Level: Blinding Speed, Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic, Protection from Normal Missiles, Zone of Protection against Evil
4th Level: All-seeing Invisible Eye, Conjure Fire, Globe of Daylight, Illusory Landscape, Protection against the Deeper Dark
5th Level: Commune with Deeper Dark, Elemental Wall, Passage Way, Teleport
6th Level: Destroy Undead, Dispel Evil, Invisible Servant, Shadow Duplicate
7th Level: Ball of Sunshine, Create Catatonia, Precognition, Wave of Mutilation
8th Level: Animosity/Affinity, Mind Shield, Wail of the Banshee
9th Level: Astral Projection, Breath of the Goddess, Feedback Barrier

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Sense Magic
Level 2:  
Level 3: Psychic Ability: ESP
Level 4: 
Level 5: Fly
Level 6: 
Level 7: Magical Recovery
Level 8: 
Level 9: Ability Increase: Intelligence
Level 10:
Level 11: Spell Resistance: 20%
Level 12:
Level 13: Reroll Saves: Poison or Disease
Level 14:
Level 15: Persistent Luck
Level 16:
Level 17: Heal Corruption
Level 18:
Level 19: Time Slip
Level 20:

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Magic

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends. 

And there is my Justice League of the Dreaming Age!

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.


Friday, July 14, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 5 The Occult Detective

John Constantine
 The Dreaming Age is an age filled with magic. Dangerous to both the wielder and those around them, the magic is the leftovers of the Deeper Dark; an aberration of a time when the Old Ones walked this Earth. Magic is dangerous, seriously deadly, and ultimately corrupting. It should only be handled by the most serious and dedicated of practitioners. 

And then there is this arsehole.

The Occult Detective is the guy who has a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of magic, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of bad choices.

He is obviously modeled after John Constantine, but his type ends up in all sorts of horror-related media. It makes him perfect for the world of the Wasted Lands.

The Occult Detective

Class: Sage
Level: 9
Species: Human
Alignment: Twilight Neutral
Background: Con-man, Occultist

Strength: 12 (+0) 
Agility: 13 (+1) 
Toughness: 14 (+1) 
Intelligence: 16 (+2) A
Wits: 15 (+1) N
Persona: 16 (+2) N

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: None 10
Vitality: 36 (d6)
Degeneracy: Uncomfortable Aura
Corruption: 5

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +5/+3/+2
Melee Bonus: +3 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +3 (base)
Saves: +5 vs. Spells and Magical Effects

Sage Abilities

Languages (16), Lore, Mesmerize Others, Suggestion, Renegade Skills, Spells, Read Languages

Renegade Skills

Open Locks: 55%
Bypass Traps: 50%
Sleight of Hand: 60%
Sneak: 60%

1st Level: Chill Ray, Command, Obfuscation, Protection from Evil
2nd Level: Conjure Flame, Invisibility, Subtle Influence
3rd Level: Clairvoyance, Globe of Darkness, Zone of Protection from Undead
4th Level: Conjure Fire

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Arcane Power: Mystical Senses
Level 2:  Level 1 Sorcerer: (Arcane Power Attack Supernatural)
Level 3: Hedge Mage
Level 4: 
Level 5: Psychic Power: Photokinetics
Level 6: Psychic Power: Telekinetics
Level 7: Arcane Power: Exorcist
Level 8: 
Level 9: Astral Projection

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Occult

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends. 

Damn. Now I want this character moved over to NIGHT SHIFT.

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 4 The Demon's Daughter

The Demon's Daughter
Okay, let us scale things down a bit and see what we can do with some mystical characters and some that are not super-powerful. At least not yet.

Another concept that comes up is the Demon Spawn that tries to do good. These characters often appear in comics with magic as a theme and they are a great choice for a Wasted Lands game since there is likely to be a lot more interaction with demons. 

This character could be a lot of different things, and "demon" might even be an alien, say in the case of Karolina Dean from Marvel's Runaways. But my example here will be borrowing heavily from DC's Teen Titan, Raven.

Now there are a lot of ways to do Raven. We have Psychics, Sorcerers, and even Necromancers. But Raven's primary powers come from her empathic abilities and astral projection with some spells. So I am going with Psychic for her here.

The Demon's Daughter

Class: Psychic (Persona Aspect)
Level: 6
Species: Human-Demon
Alignment: Twilight Good
Background: Student

Strength: 12 (+0) 
Agility: 13 (+1) 
Toughness: 14 (+1) 
Intelligence: 15 (+1) N
Wits: 15 (+1) N
Persona: 17 (+2) A

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: None 10
Vitality: 30 (d6)
Corruption: Unnatural Parlor

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +4/+2/+0
Melee Bonus: +2 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +2 (base)
Saves: +3 to Persona based saves

Psychic Powers

Supernatural Attacks, Sixth Sense, Empathy, Psychokinesis (Telekinesis, 2d6+1), Temporal Sense, Shadow Walking, Astral Projection

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Rebilous Child of older God/Demon

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Mystical Senses (as Sorcerer spell)
Level 2:  
Level 3: Additional Movement: Fly
Level 4: 
Level 5: First-level Sorcerer
Level 6: 

1st Level: Protection from Evil

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends. You likely will not use all of these on one character. I'll have some less-super examples coming up.

She has fewer to reflect that she is still just a teen or young adult. This also more likely the speed in which people will want to hand out the Divine Touchstones. 

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 3 The Paragon

The Paragon
 We are working our way up the power scale to tackle the Paragon. Now this guy (or gal) has Power, with a capital P. They are also a favorite of late for deconstruction or alternate attempts (The Boys, Brightburn) but I am not interested in that right now. I am interested in the one that has power, great power even, and wants to use it for the right things. But this is also the Dreaming Age, and life is pretty rough and dangerous. The Paragon of this world and time will also need to be a little rougher around the edges.

In D&D, they would be a paladin or some other knight in shining armor. They are the bright reflection of the Dark Avenger. Thankfully they both have the Amazon Warrior Princess to help balance them out.  One of many reasons why this unlikely trio works so well together.

The Paragon

Class: Warrior
Level: 14
Species: Human
Alignment: Light Good

Strength: 22 (+5) A
Agility: 17 (+3) 
Toughness: 17 (+2) N
Intelligence: 15 (+1) 
Wits: 15 (+1)
Persona: 16 (+2) N

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: Plate (7)
Vitality: 75 (d8)
Degeneracy: None
Corruption: None

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +6/+4/+2
Melee Bonus: +5 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +3 (base)
Saves: +5 to all saves

Warrior Skills

Combat Expertise, Improved Defense, Increased Damage, Melee Combat, Master of Battle (90%), Ranged Combat, Spell Resistance (36%), Supernatural Attacks (Melee), Tracking, Extra Attack (x4)

Improve Defense: -4

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Justice, Hope

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Mystical Senses (as Sorcerer spell)
Level 2: +1 to combat rolls
Level 3: Additional Movement: Fly
Level 4: Increased Ability Score (Strength +2)
Level 5: Divine Smite 
Level 6: Gout of Flame (as Sorcerer spell), as Heat Vision (unique mode of attack)
Level 7: Divine Aura
Level 8: Damage Immunity from missile fire
Level 9:  Increased Ability Score (Strength +2)
Level 10: Half Damage from Mundane slashing
Level 11: Chill Breath (as Ray of Frost Sorcerer spell)
Level 12: Unique Attack, Heat Vision 60' line
Level 13: Down But Not Out
Level 14: Divine Recovery

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends. You likely will not use all of these on one character. I'll have some less-super examples coming up.

This one looks great. And don't tug on his cape.

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 2 The Amazon Princess

The Amazon Princess
I am continuing my exploration of various superhero archetypes in the Wasted Lands.  Today's topic is the Amazon Princess. While this could be Wonder Woman or someone like Starfire, it can also be a character like Xena Warrior Princess. In truth, Xena would fit in quite well in the Dreaming Age.

This character's drive is not Vengeance (like the Dark Avenger) or even Justice (like the upcoming Paragon) but rather the most good possible.  In a lot of ways she is also an emissary of a more enlightened, but still warrior, culture.

In both the cases of Wonder Woman and Xena they have a relationship to the Gods, the Greek Gods in particular. In the Wasted Lands then she would come the same culture that the warriors Zeus and Ares come from. But godhood is not her goal.

The Amazon Princess

Class: Warrior
Level: 12
Species: Human
Alignment: Light Good
Background: Nobility

Strength: 20 (+4) A
Agility: 18 (+3) N
Toughness: 17 (+2) N
Intelligence: 16 (+2) 
Wits: 16 (+2)
Persona: 16 (+2)

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: Studded Leather (7)
Vitality: 60 (d8)
Degeneracy: None
Corruption: None

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +5/+3/+2
Melee Bonus: +4 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +3 (base)
Saves: +4 to all saves

Warrior Skills

Combat Expertise, Improved Defense, Increased Damage, Melee Combat, Master of Battle (90%), Ranged Combat, Spell Resistance (36%), Supernatural Attacks (Melee), Tracking, Extra Attack (x4)

Improve Defense: -4

Stealth Skills

  • Open Locks: 15%
  • Bypass Traps: 10%
  • Sleight of Hand: 20%
  • Sneak: 20%
  • Climbing: 70%

Danger Sense 1-3 (d6)
Perception: 40%
Vital Stike: x2 damage +4 to attack

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Justice, Truth

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Unique mode of Defence, -1 vs. Missile attacks
Level 2: +1 to combat rolls
Level 3: Charm humans
Level 4: Increased Ability Score (agility +2)
Level 5: Level 1 of Renegade
Level 6: Unique mode of Attack (lasso) +1 and Detect Lie
Level 7: Ceases to Age (Natural)
Level 8: Divine Aura
Level 9: Signature Item, Lasso.
Level 10: Half Damage from Mundane slashing
Level 11: Transporation mode: Fly
Level 12: Restore Corruption

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends.

This one works out quite nicely, I think!

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 1 The Dark Avenger

The Dark Avenger
The Dreaming Age is both very dark and very hopeful. 

Humanity (well...proto-Humanity) has cast off the yoke of the Old Ones and now lives in a time of unimaginable horrors. There are monsters, there are forces of evil, and their are even evil humans that are all too willing to take over where the Old Ones left off. It is post-apocalyptic in a very real sense. But also, humanity has the chance in the form of our (your) heroes to make a better world.

The characters will one day be remembered as the Gods and Heroes of yore. 

But not all of them are bright, happy people.

Making "superhero" characters for the Wasted Lands RPG really only takes a change of reference or point of view. If Superheroes are modern myths, then the Wasted Lands RPG can also make those. Though your character's origin story is not going to be one of being a young adult, and then BAM, your character is powerful. Legends are built over time, and legendary characters even more so.

The Archetype of the Dark Avenger is a great example. This character had a really bad day once and now spends a lifetime fighting against the forces of Darkness and Evil (yes capitalized) by donning the guise of evil.  In comics, these characters are usually just normal humans but have something special about them. They are unnaturally dedicated to their cause for example, or maybe even they have a bit of an edge. It should also be noted that many take on the guise of an animal or creature that strikes fear into others; the bat, the wolverine, and even devils.

For these Superhero Archetypes, I will present them at higher levels to get a feel for what their legends will be like. I will also add the various Divine Touchstones to make the character a bit more "super."

The Dark Avenger

Class: Renegade
Level: 10
Species: Human
Alignment: Dark Good
Background: Nobility

Strength: 18 (+3) N
Agility: 20 (+4) A
Toughness: 17 (+2)
Intelligence: 16 (+2) N
Wits: 16 (+2)
Persona: 16 (+2)

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: Studded Leather (7) (See below for mods)
Vitality: 36 (d4)

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +5/+3/+2
Melee Bonus: +3 (see below)
Ranged Bonus: +9 (+4, +5)
Saves: +5 to Death attacks and area effects

Improved Defense: -6 to attackers

Stealth Skills

  • Open Locks: 110%
  • Bypass Traps: 115%
  • Sleight of Hand: 125%
  • Sneak: 125%
  • Climbing: 100%

Danger Sense 1-5 (d6)
Perception: 95%
Vital Stike: x4 damage
Read Languages: 85%

Superhero (Divine) Archetype: Vengeance, Justice

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: +1 to Melee Combat
Level 2: Additional Vitality Points
Level 3: Level 1 of Warrior
Level 4: Level Two Spell: Invoke Fear
Level 5: Auto Success (once per session)
Level 6: Gains +1 to all attacks and +5% to all skills
Level 7: Servant: Ward of Vengeance
Level 8: Signature Item: Batarang (+5 to hit, +5 to damage, -3 DV, 1 fate point)
Level 9: Down but Not Out
Level 10: Hop and Skip

This is not a guy you want to meet in a dark alleyway.

The Divine Touchstones are really what separated the normal people from the heroes and the heroes from the legends.

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter.

Wasted Lands Playtest: Superheroes in the Dreaming Age, Part 0

 I have been thinking a lot about gods, monsters, humans, and demons in these pages lately. Between my One Man's God, my ideas for Deities & Demigods II, and playtesting The Wasted Lands gods and their relationship to humankind have been on my mind a lot.

This has also got me thinking about how in today's society, the role of the hero of myth is now played out by comic book superheroes and maybe even more so by their movie counterparts. 

Christopher Nolan quote

Rick Riordan

Edna Mode

And there are more.  So this week I am going to make some modern "gods" and recraft them as Wasted Lands heroes. 

As is my nature, I am going to lean in on DC Characters, or at least their archetypes.

So come back later today and all this week for some humans as superheroes as gods in the time of the Dreaming Age for Wasted Lands.

And don't forget to checkout and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter too!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Zatannurday: Zack Synder's Justice League

I took some time today to revisit the 2017 "Justice League" movie in preparation for Zack Synder's Justice League.  I have to admit, I am glad I did.

So I watched four hours of this movie and I have this to say.

I freaking loved it.  It 100% totally lived up to the hype.

For now, I am going to avoid spoilers but this version of the movie totally fixes nearly all the mistakes for the 2017 version.  I'll have more to say later, but right now consider me pleased!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Character Creation Challenge: Mutants & Masterminds

Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition
Mutants & Masterminds from Green Ronin might feel like a stretch from all the other systems I have done, but really it is quite appropriate given the playstyle I like.  And if I am doing a multi-verse of witches here, then it behooves me to throw some supers into the mix. 

The Game: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition

M&M 2nd Ed was one of my favorite superhero RPGs, so it made sense for me to upgrade to the 3rd Edition when it came out.  Also given that the same system was being used in the DC Adventures RPG, I just really could not say no.

I have talked a lot about M&M 3 and DC Adventures here. And it is no surprise with my Zatanna postings that I am more of DC fan than a Marvel fan. 

I am happy to see the M&M is still going strong.  One of the true success stories of the OGL experiment. 
Green Ronin even has a Pateron for Mutants and Masterminds at

From the very start of War of the Witch Queens, I knew there was going to be some influences from other games and other universes.  Mutants & Masterminds, which already embraces the Multiverse, was an early obvious choice for me.   But something that no one knows is that my Come Endless Darkness also had an origin point in M&M.  Back then it was going to be Dracula trying to take over the world.  I really could not pass up the chance of Dracula fighting someone named Summers.  While I moved the whole thing over to D&D (and Dracula to Strahd) I can still see some of the old DNA of M&M in it.  Some of the rest moved on to WotWQ.  One idea, in particular, was an anti-hero Scáthach.

Now before I get into the character of Scáthach, I do want to address that this is neither the Ulster cycle character Scáthach, nor is the Red Sonja character of Scáthach, The Red Goddess, though in true comic book fashion, both are inspirations.  Since she is supposed to be a witch of sorts I am going all the way back to one of my first WitchCraft RPG games that took place at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Plus I wanted a character I could port back over to D&D if I wanted.

DC Adventures

The Character: Scáthach the Shadow Witch

Professor Moria Stewart, Ph.D. was a lecturer on classic Irish and Scot Mythology at the University of St. Andrews.  She was busy sketching pictures of Dunscaith Castle in Scotland while working on a new paper about Cú Chulainn when she noticed that all her sketches featured the same shadowy figure.  She did not remember drawing it, nor even seeing it.  She compared it photos she took but nothing was uncovered.  She returned to the castle site and was confronted by a Shadow.  She fell and hit her head on some rocks below the castle. She was certain to die but the figure came to her saying it would give her power if it could bond to her.  Not wanting to die Dr. Stewart agreed and became a creature of shadow herself.

While during the day she goes about her life and teaches her classes to bored undergrads by night (or when she needs too) she can veil herself in shadows and she becomes Scáthach the Shadow Witch!

Scáthach, The Shadow Witch - PL 10
Realm Name: Moria Stewart

Strength 1, Stamina 1, Agility 1, Dexterity 1, Fighting 7, Intellect 3, Awareness 2, Presence 1

Contacts, Languages 3, Well-informed

Athletics 2 (+3), Deception 2 (+3), Expertise: History 8 (+11), Insight 2 (+4), Intimidation 2 (+3), Perception 4 (+6), Ranged Combat: Shadow Blast: Cone Area Damage 10 8 (+9), Stealth 8 (+9), Technology 4 (+7)

Blend in Shadows: Concealment 2 (Sense - Sight; Blending)
Faerie Fire: Cumulative Affliction 5 (1st degree: Impaired, 2nd degree: Disabled, 3rd degree: Unaware, Resisted by: Will, DC 15; Cumulative, Increased Range 2: perception; Limited: One sense (Sight))
Shadow Blast: Cone Area Damage 10 (shadow, DC 25; Cone Area: 60 feet cone, DC 20, Increased Range: ranged)
Shadow Form (Activation: Standard Action)
   Alternate Form (Shadow) (Activation: Standard Action)
      Concealment: Concealment 5 (All Visual Senses, Sense - Hearing; Limited 2: Darkness and Shadow)
      Insubstantial: Insubstantial 4 (Incorporeal)
      Movement: Movement 3 (Safe Fall, Trackless: Choose Sense 1, Water Walking 1: you sink if you are prone)
   Flight: Flight 6 (Speed: 120 miles/hour, 1800 feet/round)
   Ríastrad: Enhanced Fighting 6 (+6 FGT)
      Strength Effect
   Shadow Aura: Protection 6 (+6 Toughness; Sustained; Noticeable: Visible effects)
Shadow Magic: Illusion 5 (Affects: Two Sense Types - Sight, Hearling, Area: 30 cft., DC 15)
Shadow Sense: Remote Sensing 5 (Affects: Visual Senses, Range: 900 feet)
Shadow Sight: Senses 3 (shadow, Darkvision, Low-light Vision)

Initiative +1
Faerie Fire: Cumulative Affliction 5 (DC Will 15)
Grab, +7 (DC Spec 11)
Shadow Blast: Cone Area Damage 10 (DC 25)
Throw, +1 (DC 16)
Unarmed, +7 (DC 16)

Identity: Shadow Witch is different than Moria
Mythic Weakness: Can't touch any metal while in Shadow form

English, French, Greek, Latin, Scots Gaelic

Dodge 3, Parry 7, Fortitude 2, Toughness 7, Will 4

Gender: Female
Age: 35
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 145#
Hair: Black
Eyes: Blue

Power Points
Abilities 22 + Powers 98 + Advantages 5 + Skills 20 (40 ranks) + Defenses 5 = 150

Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at Mutants & Masterminds, Third Edition is ©2010-2017 Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

This character could be a lot of fun!  I can see her working in either the DC Universe or the M&M Universe.

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Golden Age of Wireless: Streaming Service Offerings

No. I am not talking about one of the most fantastic albums ever released (though I should probably spill some virtual ink on that someday).   I am talking about the number of options afforded to us in streaming entertainment.  

In this time of Covid-19 we are supposed to stay at home and avoid interaction with others. That is fine, but it means we are spending a lot more time at home.  So I have been enjoying a lot of what streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon, HBO, and CBS All Access are really trying to get our attention with more programming.  Since I am also saving a small fortune by not having to drive into work anymore I am enjoying all of them.

Since I have been spending my week categorizing over 350 different demons for my demon book I don't have much RPG content to share right now.  So what's good on streaming?

CBS All Access

Or the all Star Trek all the Time Channel. Star Trek Discovery Season 3 has been fantastic this year.  The crew jumped 900+ years into the future (3188 to be exact) to save a sentient AI from falling into the wrong hands.  It doesn't quite have the emotional connection that Season 2 (the search for..well...Spock) did BUT for a Trek fan like me it has been great on the fan service and easter eggs.  This is essentially Season 1 of the new 32nd Century Star Trek.   This gives the creative team so much more freedom to do the special effects they obviously wanted to do anyway but also gives them some good storytelling freedom away from the established Trek canon.  This is amusing because this season has had the most callbacks to previous versions of Trek outside of Season 2's TOS homages. 

image of Star Trek Lower Decks and Discovery

Additionally, we are getting new episodes of Picard, Lower Decks (maybe and second season is coming I have not heard), and new shows like Strange New Worlds (Pike's Enterprise) and Section 31, Starfleet's Gray Ops group.  For a Trek fan this is fantastic!  

Amazon Prime

My October Horror Movie Challenge would not have been possible without Prime.  We have been watching a lot of Vikings lately.  Don't confuse it for actual history (even though it was on the History Channel) it has been fun and has given me some ideas. 

The Second Age Middle Earth series is underway.  Casting has been announced, but I don't think filming has started yet. 


Have not taken as much advantage of this one as I should.  But the really fun Helstrom was here (and not Disney+ for some reason) and it shows that when Marvel does Horror, it can do a great job of it.

In many ways, Helstrom and Satana (Ana in the series) was Marvel's answer to DC's Constantine even though Hellstrom (2 "L"s) premiered a decade before.  Hellstrom, Satana, Doctor Strange, Blade and Dracula were all part of the Marvel Horror universe that I loved as a kid.  The changes from the comic to series were needed and very welcome to me really.  It is still full of Marvel AngstTM, but it is also a lot of fun. 

HBO Max (or + or Go or whatever it is called now)

HBO has been around forever. It and Showtime were two of the very, very first "movie channels" out there.  But today HBO is better known for its series.  True Blood (which for some reason is getting a reboot) and Game of Thrones are two notable ones.  This past year I have been watching Lovecraft Country (which is fantastic!) and His Dark Materials, which is getting better in Season 2.  We also got the DC shows, Harley Quinn, Titans, Doom Patrol, and soon we will be able to see Wonder Woman 84 and the Synder Cut of Justice League.

I don't care. I am such a DC fanboy that I am excited about this.


The Champion of the Streaming Channels, but it has had some serious competition from Disney+.  Let's see what they have been offering me.  Netflix will be forever fixed in Geek Heaven for Stranger Things.  We will be getting the 4th season of that soon; filming is underway.  Enola Holmes, based on the YA books was also a hit, even if it didn't exactly conform to the established Holmes canon. We also got The Witcher based on the video game and now R. Talsorian Games RPG of the same name.

Speaking of Season 4, we are getting the LAST installment of the Chilling Adventure of Sabrina near the end of the month. It looks like they are taking it where the comic also went, into dealing with Cthulhu and other Lovecraftian horrors.  It looks like it should be great.

I was a little disappointed in ChAoS when they killed off Dorcas played by the lovely Abigail Cowen. while it may have been part of the plot, she was quickly scooped up it seems by another Netflix production, Fate.  I saw the trailer for it today and thought it looked cool, THEN I saw what it was at the end.

Fate: A Winx Saga. Whaaat? Winx Club as a comic and then a kids Nickelodeon animated series.  I thought it was a poor rip-off of Disney's W.I.T.C.H. so did Disney in fact.  Turns out Winx Club was published and in production a full year before the W.I.T.C.H. comics came out.  This is by the same people and is supposed to be darker and more adult.  I happy to see Abby Cowen is something where she is the star, I thought she had great potential on ChAoS and this should be fun too.

Oh. If you have not seen The Queen's Gambit it is fantastic.


What can you say about Disney+? I mean even before they acquired Lucasfilm and Marvel they had one of the deepest wells of titles and characters.  Honestly just between the Disney, Pixar, and ABC material they own they could have been fine as a streaming service.  But let's be honest, as great as Pixar is no one dropped the cash for Disney+ for that alone.  Disney+ has been moving along famously in the last year or so thanks to The Baby Yoda Show The Mandalorian.  It has been a fantastic show and Season 2 has been delivering an action-packed episode all season long AND with great storytelling AND with characters I never thought in 40 years I'd see on TV.  While I am a Star Trek fan deep in my DNA, I do love Star Wars.  The adventures of Not Boba Fett and Space Pikachu has been some of the best Star Wars I have seen.  Disney+ could honestly do a victory lap now, but that was until yesterday when they made their 2021 announcements.

I have no idea how many new shows and movies are coming out for Marvel and Star Wars now. Lots. More than I ever thought one studio would try to do.  Instead of trying to recap them all (lots of other sites are doing that) let me just focus on the ones that interest me. 


I have a love/hate relationship with Scarlet Witch in Marvel.  First, she was never really a witch so I often felt "lied" too, except the times she was a witch. And a mutant. She was a villain, she was a hero, she was depowered, she was overpowered. As a character, she was all over the place. And sometimes she was just that, all over the place. She suffered from bouts of insanity, deep depression, and loss.  

I will give the movies credit on a couple of things.  Divorced from her "mutant" background it gave her character more definition. Also for the first time, I bought into her's and Vision's love for each other.

The new series WandaVision looks like it takes the background of the comic's characters and really makes a good series out of it.

Seriously, this could be Wanda going mad and her powers acting out creating new realities or something else. Or both. Given the character, it is likely both. Elizabeth Olsen is also a great actress and she can pull this off.  Frankly, the riffs on "Bewitched" are enough to get me to watch it. 

Watching this new trailer really puts a different spin on the first trailer released.  

There certainly something else going on here. I am looking forward to it.

Marvel: What If...?

One of my favorite Marvel Titles was "What If...?" The comic would break off into different sorts of stories all under the "What If" question.  What if Spider-man joined the Fantastic Four? Was the first one. "What if Gwen Stacy had lived? was an interesting one as well.  The best may have been the introduction of May "Mayday" Parker as "Spider-Girl" and the Gwen Stacy arc eventually planted the seeds to give us "Spider Gwen".  If Barry Allen/The Flash is the center point of DC's multiverse, then certainly Spider-man is the center of Marvel's.  It seems a little odd to me then that Spider-man doesn't feature at all in the trailer of Disney+'s "Marvel: What If...?" series.

I am sure it is more shenanigans with Sony.  Though the rumor is now that Alfred Molina will return as Doctor Octopus in the third Spider-man movie. Additionally, we could get past Peter Parkers as well now that Disney owns what was 20th Century Fox and Into the Spider-verse was a huge success. 

Here we are.  Our geek cups run over and there is more to fill even more cups.

Never would I have suspected that we would have so much genre entertainment at our fingertips.  Which is good since we really should not be going anywhere.

Ok Prof. Dolby, play us out.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Zatannurday: Zatanba Live Action Movie in the Works?

I know we have all heard this one before, but it seems like a new live-action Zatanna movie is in the works at Warner Brothers.

DCEU Mythic / Comic Book Resources reports.

We have all heard rumors before of Emilia "Mother of Dragons" Clarke being eyed for the part for either the movie or the HBOMax Justice League Dark series.  But right now everything is either hearsay or rumor. 

But hope springs eternal here at the Other Side.

In other DC news, Ray "Cyborg" Fisher accuses Justice League relief Director Joss Whedon of unprofessional behavior.

Or the same thing I have been saying about this asshole for the last 20 years.

Here is hoping that we start seeing something better from the DC Movies.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Zatannurday: Justice League Dark: Apokolips War

New Direct to Video DC Movie is hitting the "shelves" next week.
Of course, it has my attention.

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War deals with the Justice League deciding they need to stop Darkseid once and for all.

Among others, we are getting John Constantine (voiced by Matt Ryan again), Raven (Taissa Farmiga of AHS fame), Rosario Dawson as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, and Camilla Luddington as Zatanna Zatara (reprising her JLDark role) and more.

Yeah I guess Superman and Batman are in it too.

The big news though that this is supposedly the final film in the DCAU, or DC Animated Universe.
Did it fall prey to Crisis too?

I'll let you know next week.  I got my pre-order in.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Zatannurday: Harleen

Had the chance to pick up the new DC Black Label publication of Stjepan Šejić's Harleen.

It is absolutely fantastic.
Not only can he produce some fantastic art that just grabs you, he also is a great story teller.

If you don't know Stjepan Šejić's work then make sure you change that now! 
You can see some of Harleen here from Issue #1.  This hardcover combines issues 1 to 3.

I hear he wants to do one for Poison Ivy now too in the same universe.  I am all for that!
Though I am still waiting for that WonderCroft comic!

You can find Stjepan on the web:

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Zatannurday: DC All Star Games

Now here is something truly unexpected!

DC Universe wants to get in on the "Critical Role" action and do a live-action unscripted 5-part special with actors playing the 1980s DC Adventures RPG.

Here is the information for DC.
DC UNIVERSE Announces Original Unscripted Gaming Mini-Series
'DC UNIVERSE All Star Games'

Clare Grant, Vanessa Marshall, Sam Witwer and WWE’s Xavier Woods Join Freddie Prinze Jr. For Five-Part Role-Playing Game Adventure Set in The Classic 1980s Game DC HEROES

DC UNIVERSE has announced its first original unscripted gaming mini-series, DC UNIVERSE All Star Games. This new anthology series brings famous DC fans together to play a variety of games in the increasingly popular gaming show genre. Season One features a nostalgic role-playing adventure, The Breakfast League, from Executive Producers Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sam Witwer. The first episode of the five-part series will premiere exclusively on the DC UNIVERSE digital subscription service on Friday, February 28.

DC HEROES, the famous post-crisis role-playing game, sets the stage for the first season in which Vanessa Marshall, Clare Grant and WWE superstar Xavier Woods also join as players. Set in the same 80s era as when the game was first published, the five participants role-play as a group of high schoolers stuck in Saturday detention. As they improv their way through a variety of situations familiar to fans of beloved movies from that time period, they soon discover their destinies as the world’s greatest super-heroes.

“DC Heroes was the first RPG I ever played as a kid. It was also my introduction to the DC Universe, its Heroes and, most importantly, its rich pool of villains.” said Prinze. “ I had a blast making this series and I hope all of you love it as much as I do.”

Directed by Jon Lee Brody and produced by Telepictures, “DC UNIVERSE All Star Games” is the first unscripted addition to DC UNIVERSE’s expanding original programming slate which includes “DCYou Unscripted” and “DC Daily.” New episodes will go live exclusively on DC UNIVERSE every Friday after the series premiere on February 28.

For more information on DC UNIVERSE and “DCU All Star Games” please visit and follow DC UNIVERSE on Facebook and Twitter.

This could be a lot of fun.

Join Freddie Prinze Jr (Buffy's Husband), Clare Grant (Oz's wife), Sam Witwer (multiple DC shows), and more. I am looking forward to this!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Friday Night Video: Crisis on Infinite Earths

Not music videos tonight but the trailers for The CW's Crisis on Infinite Earths five hour crossover that begins on Sunday.

It is no lie or exaggeration that Crisis. the comic. had a HUGE impact on me and my games.  We did our own Crisis of Infinite Oerths back in 1986-87 to bring all our various worlds into alignment.  I am doing something like it again with my Come Endless Darkness campaigns for 5e.

But this is a big one.

So what do we have?


Even the fan-made videos look great!

I have been waiting for this since I was 16.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Fear of a Black Superman

Very, very few characters reach out and touch people in a profound way.  Life-changing or life-affirming when we get one of those characters then we tend to be fairly protective of them.

So in way, I understand the...well lack of a better word...anger surrounding the rumor (and that is all it is at the moment, rumor) that Michael B. Jordan would be cast as the next Superman. 

Frankly, I would love to see DC/Warner be so bold as to do this.  Plus if you have seen Creed you know that MBJ is a talented actor and he could pull this off.  He has the physique for it to be sure at 6'1" and only 31 years old. 

That is all fine.  Until you get online.  Then the so-called fans begin their bitching, whining an complaining.  Yes, it is overwhelmingly white and male that are doing the loudest wailing.

Superman/Kal-el/Clark Kent was created by two Jewish immigrants who wanted to tell the tale of another immigrant and how he could hold up the ideals of Truth, Justice and the American way.

So why then does he have to be white?

Well originally I am sure it never occurred to them he could be anything else.  And there is the practical reasons that a black superhero would have never sold comics back then.  Plus I am sure they wanted to see themselves in the comic.  We all do.

But to hear the "fans" you think this was a travesty, a crime worthy of a mob rule.
Or in other words, the masses being a bunch of dicks again.  More to the point a bunch of dicks who have never read a Superman comic before.

I mean we have had Val-Zod.

Calvin Ellis,


And President Obama,

Ok. Maybe he doesn't really count here.

There are plenty of precedents (not just Presidents like Ellis and Obama) for a black Superman.

It's time for the fandom to grow up.  We as geeks are accepted like never before in mainstream society. It is time now for us to show mainstream society that we are still not a bunch of basement dwelling adolescents.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

DC in the News

So I remain, despite a box-office trouncing, a devoted DC fan.

Few things are cooking in the DC Universe that will make me happy this fall.  Lets start with a big one and move on to EVEN BIGGER ONES!

We already knew that Kate Kane, AKA Batwoman will be featured in the Fall sweeps 4-Episode Arrowverse crossover (I guess that also means no tying in Black Lightning just yet).

Now it seems they want to use that as a backdoor pilot for a Batwoman series for 2019-20.
They are currently looking for an out lesbian/queer actress of any ethnicity to play Batwoman.

I commend them on this.

There is nothing about Batwoman's background that says she has to be white, or black, or Asian, or Algonquin, or Hispanic.  There are three things though that immutable about the character.

1. Kate is a Soldier. She lives to serve. Just now she wears the uniform of the Bat.
2. Kate is a Lesbian. Even in her earliest interactions, this is something she knows about herself and we know about her.
3. Kate is Jewish.  This informs how she sees life, how she approaches everything she does. The colors of her uniform.

In Comics Dark seems to be the new Black.

The Witching Hour will be a 5-comic arc featuring Wonder Woman, JL Dark and the plot revolves around Hecate and Witches!

I mean read this:
Part one, WONDER WOMAN AND JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK: THE WITCHING HOUR #1, with art by Jesus Merino, sets the tone for the Wonder Woman-centered event. In this 48-page debut one-shot, Hecate, the witch-goddess of magic, always knew a day would come when the monsters she stole her magic from would return. Now she must activate the Witchmarked, humans within whom she secreted vast stores of power. This hits Justice League Dark especially hard: one of the most powerful of the Witchmarked turns out to be Wonder Woman! WONDER WOMAN AND JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK: THE WITCHING HOUR #1 is on sale October 3.
Those aren't tears in my eyes.  No. Not at all....Shut up, you're crying.

And just when my poor heart couldn't take anymore.

Holy Shit!  Robin just said "Fuck Batman" and that Raven!  That is the Raven I have been waiting nearly 38 years to see on my screens.  Even Dove and Gar look great.

So yeah.  You can have your Infinity Wars and your snappy Thanos (who is a rip-off of Darkseid anyway). I know where my action is going to be this fall.


That's so Raven!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 A Look Back

It is already 2017 in some parts of the world, but here 2016 is staying around like that last guest that just won't leave.  So let's look back on 2016 on The Other Side.

D&D 5
Without a doubt D&D 5th Edition was the biggest game this year and D&D5 posts here got the most traffic. D&D got a big push in the media this year and D&D 5 benefited from all of that.  Closer to home I played a lot of 5th edition this past year. I ran games for my kids and various cousins and my oldest son ran three different campaigns. Ok, they were all roughly the same adventures, but with three different groups.
Not everything was all 5e all the time. I managed to work in some Basic (B/X) D&D as well and even a little AD&D 1st Ed. Back in October, I reignited a Blue Rose game too and even worked in a little Castles and Crusades.
I have caught some rumors of some very interesting 5e related news I can't share yet.  But 5e is going to have just as much of a good 2017 as it did 2016.

Geek Culture
This is a wonderful time to be alive if you are geek. Really. In 2016 we got more superhero movies than I can recall (ok Civil War was a bit of a let down compared to comic), Star Trek AND Star Wars in the theatres in the same year. Doctor Strange came out, a movie I wanted since the 70s, new Ghostbusters, new Jason Bourne, a new movie in the Harry Potter universe!  And that is just the movies.
On TV we have super heroes, scratch that, DC Super Heroes every night of the week! Luke Cage on Netflix. STRANGER THINGS! So much great content that I can't even keep up.  We have an embarrassment of riches here.
Speaking of DC. The rebooted, reboot of DC's Rebirth in comics is doing fantastic. Not just in sales, but also in terms of story. While the DC movies are hit and miss (I am a fan, but I am also realistic here) and the TV shows are nailing it night after night (still a fan) the comics, especially the "New52" had been iffy. Not anymore.

My output decreased this year and it is likely to decrease more next year. More on that later, but mostly it is due to me needing more time for work, family and other projects.  I had a lot of fun with my deep dives into Victorian RPGs and Blue Rose. The stats show you liked them as well. I said goodbye to some regular features like Zatannurday and Friday Night Videos.  I have mostly retired Class Struggles and "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading", but I retain the right to post something with them in 2017.
I was nominated again for "Best Blog Ennie" for 2016. I didn't win, but I had a lot of fun going to awards show.

Things are good here at home. Family is healthy and good. My wife and I launched into a new exercise plan where I run every day and exercise in the evening.  I am healthier now in my later 40s than I was in my 30s. My weight is way down and my blood pressure (something I have had issues with since I was a teen) is also down. In fact, save for a minor respiratory bug last week 2016 has been one of my healthiest years on record.
Work is going fine. In 2017 I have a new graduate program whose curriculum I am redoing, so that will keep me busy for the next couple of years. I got a promotion (of sorts) and a raise (of sorts) and a new boss.

The Other Side Publishing
2016 saw the launch of my personal imprint The Other Side Publishing.  I am not trying to take the RPG world by storm here, I just want to put out a few books of things I want to play.  My biggest success so far has been Sisters of the Aquarian Order (currently a Copper best seller!) for White Star.
I am making enough here to keep going and I can keep myself in other people's books too.  That is a success in my mind. Actually, people buying my stuff and getting enjoyment out of it is much more of a success than the actual money, but the money does buy more art.

And Then There Was That Other Thing...
Yeah 2016 had it's fair share of suck too. More than it's fair share to be honest. The election was shit-show and the outcome was pretty much to worst of all possible outcomes.  I have mentioned before I am less of a "Social Justice Warrior" as I am a "Social Justice Veteran" or, more to the point "Social Justice Terrorist".  I was in the trenches before Facebook, before Twitter and back when letters and phone calls to Congressmen, Senators, and Judges were a common thing for me. I got back on the phone this year to my Representatives and other elected officials. 2017 might be the year that pulls me back into social activism.  In fact, I have already started to put my money where my mouth is, so I am also going to put in my time.

We had a lot of our icons die this past year. Not much I can say about that really. I am going to miss Bowie the most I think. I just liked the idea of being in a world that also had him in it.

So here is to 2016. The good, the bad and the ugly. And there was a lot of bad and ugly!
Here is to a much better 2017! Though it is really 2020 I am looking forward to the most! ;)