Wednesday, October 26, 2016

At Change can be good

Over at, this week my article suggests that RPG players shouldn't limit themselves by not allowing their characters to change. And I'm not talking about long character arcs, but from session to session.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

At You c---sucker!

This week over at Nerdarchy, I create a D&D version of the infamous Al Swearengen, crime boss, runner of whores, knife fighter, throat slitter, and all around nasty guy from the HBO TV show Deadwood. If you don't know Al, then you should. He's great.

Really. No kidding. He made the show.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Books read in 2016: No. 53 -- Killing Jesus

by Stephen Mansfield

Started: Oct. 14
Finished: Oct. 17

Notes: This book apparently takes a look at the execution of Jesus from a political point of view, which currently interests me more than another rehash of the religious angle. So, I'll give it a try.

Mini review: For the casual Christian reader this might be of some interest, but I found this mainly to be little more than a prose version of the last few days of the life of Jesus. It's not written badly, but this is no deep scholarly work. Most of the information is based upon the Bible, which is to be expected, but I had already read the non-Biblical sources, such as Josephus, etc. Some of this information might be new to others, but it wasn't to me. So, basically, this one wasn't for me. No big deal. I did pick up a few interesting tidbits here and there, but that was about it. I've found most mainstream Christian non-fiction works to either be overly reaffirming, which is annoying and I don't feel necessary for myself, or else they present nothing new, which is more the case here. Probably I should stick to apologists or secular Christian scholars, for at least there I find intellectual challenges.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Books read in 2016: No. 52 -- The Sable City: Book One of The Norothian Cycle

by M. Edward McNally

Started: Sept. 28
Finished: Oct. 13

Notes: As I do from time to time, I like to try out authors unfamiliar to me, especially indie authors. So, I'm giving this one a go.

Mini review: Once every century the doors of an ancient city open to allow adventurers to enter and search for loot. It sounds like a bad Dungeons & Dragons adventure, but it actually all fits together quite well, even though it's obvious the world is based upon the D&D game to the point even many of the monsters have the same names as their gaming counterparts. The writing here is quite good, and the characters are strong and have a likability quality to them, even the ones who border on darkness. I did think the first chapter was pretty much a waste, being little more than information that was or could have been handed out piecemeal later in the story. And a few characters introduced towards the end had a flippancy I didn't think went along with the seriousness of the rest of the tale, but these are just quibbles. This was excellent epic fantasy writing, and I can highly recommend this book and author to others.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

At Dr. Strange

Yes, there's a Doctor Strange movie coming out next month, but did you know there was a Dr. Strange made-for-TV movie back in 1978? I discuss it over at my weekly Nerdarchy article.