Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We're number one! And number five! And number two I guess. . .

MTV Geek has reported on the top 10 RPG products for the last year. D&D made the list twice, or thrice, depending on how you look at it. You could make an argument for four times (quarice?) but I digress.

The retro-based D&D Red Box made number 1. MTV says, "If you haven’t played Dungeons & Dragons for 20 years, this is the product that is calling you back." 

Furthermore, the D&D Dark Sun Campaign Setting made number five, and 4th ed based Gamma World made number 2. What an excellent year for Wizards! Sadly, I don't own any of these yet. Santa doesn't love me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nightwish, classic D&D rock

Ever since the days of Jethro Tull playing a flute and including Tolkien runes on their album covers, symphonic rock and D&D have had a place for each other.  Bands make songs that include fantasy elements, and we play them during D&D sessions.

The queen of D&D symphonic rock has to be Nightwish. The Finnish band has a fantastic sound that combines classical and rock easily. My favorite two albums are Nightwish (below) and Century Child, both featuring Tarja, the former singer of the group who was dismissed publicly a few years ago.

If you haven't heard of Nightwish, it's time my friend. I changed my entire soundtrack for my last campaign with Nightwish as the inspiration

Friday, December 24, 2010

D&D Map of the Internet

ENWorld Map of the Internet

Russell Morrissey of ENWorld is a mad genius. Not only has he managed to create an empire out of D&D fandom, create his own publishing company, and find time to write rules. He also used Hexagrapher to make a map of the D&D geekdom. Each hex represents 1,000 members. The actual map is hotlinked, so you can click on something and go there. It's amusing and useful, as all things should be.

Monday, December 20, 2010

We're number three! We're number three!

Britian's answer to Conan O'Brian, Jonathan Ross, has announced the top 100 games and toys of all time as selected by a survey. 1. Lego 2. Monopoly, and number three (drum roll please). . . .Dungeons and Dragons!  What's more, we beat out Wii at fourth. Yahoo! Now, we need to work on an Academy Award for Best DM Performance.

Check it out here

Player's Handbook Statue

I don't know how many hours I stared at that classic Player's Handbook image, you know the one.

It's a classic, with the two thieves trying to steal the gem eyes out. Otherworld Miniatures has a statue of it that looks like this.

Which looks so good I'm not sure if it's lit up or just painted that way. Either way, it's on the top of my "Gotta Have" list. Of course, Otherworld has loads of other good looking minis for your game too, check out their online store. They are also available from Amazon (links below

The minis are a bit pricey, but the quality of scuplts looks fantastic. They are also British, so there's converting pounds to dollars along with shipping across the pond to the colonies (they talk like that you know, I saw it on television.)

Albert the Owlbear (I don't know if that's his name, I made it up just now.)

Old school kobolds!

Slime, molds, and jellies, oh my!
Rumor has it that the artist who sculpted these went insane. Wouldn't you?

The Shreiker, finally, I have have a mini of one. My life is complete.

D&D Monster Man

The D&D monster man! He can imitate any D&D monster! Check him out.

The Gelatinous Cube is priceless.

Although funny, there's a lot to learn here. I plan to figure out all sorts of embarrassing things I can do to improve game immersion for my next session.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dieselboy and the Dungeon Master's Guide

In the world of Drum and Bass, Dieselboy is a king. He is a rare American excelling in a field dominated by British talent and manages to not only produce great music, but to innovate.

Resonating with we D&D nerds, Dieselboy (or DSL to his fans) created an album called "The Dungeon Master's Guide" in 2004. Enlisting none other than Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, to read the narration the album begins with this stirring piece.

"Welcome, to the Dungeon Master's Guide. Withing this reference work lie the keys to a universe bound only by limits of human creativity and imagination. It contains everything necessary to create adventures and sophisticated campaigns that blur the fine line between simulation and reality. The Dungeons Master's Guide is a complete and detailed system that will ready you for the demanding challenges that lay ahead. Listen closely and prepare to unlock the sound of pure drum and bass fantasy. This is the world of Advanced D&D."

It's how I start my weekly game.

Dieselboy, check him out here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dark Dungeons, the greatest D&D comic ever?

Many may remember the days when "D&D" was synonymous with "Satan Worshipper." In the tradition of McCarthyism, D&D was blamed for a lot of wrong in the 80s. Let's look now with quaint nostalgia at this fairly hysterical tract from religious comic maker, Jack Chick.

You know, I've been playing this thing for 30 years and I've never been invited to so much as the sacrifice of a goat. Either this Jack Chick guy is a little off, or I should be very offended.

Me to cultist: "I didn't want to participate in your Satanic ritual, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't appreciate an invitation at least. Honestly, have you looked at some of the guys you DID invite?"

World of Adventure

The basis of the current Red Box ads is this, the 2006 winner of the D&D Movie Competition by the same genius that brings us Dungeon Majesty.

Rainn Wilson discusses his young D&D addiction (with pictures)

Rainn Wilson discusses his hardcore D&D past, including sketches from his Jr.High notebooks. It's all tres geek chic.

I'm naming Rainn as my first "Geek of the Week" Way to go Rainn, your trophy is in the mail.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sex Goddesses Play D&D

An all girl D&D group.

No, not Dungeon Majesty (a similar experiment) but a group put together of girls. Four of them are porn stars, one is a stripper, and one is a hair dresser. The DM is also a porn star, along with being Harvard educated artist.

Yeah, it all sounds pretty weird.

Strangely, the show "I Hit It With My Axe" manages to convey mostly D&D and not porn. There is more sexual innuendo at my weekly table of dudes than occurs among these prominent sex industry workers. Porn stars make fewer sex jokes than I do, that makes me feel so dirty now.

There is an ENTIRE SERIES, nearly 3o episodes, of this. The group completely reminds me of my Jr. High D&D games. We interrupted the DM, we decided to do silly things, there was a definite sense of wonder about the whole experience which is captured nicely. Zak Smith is to be complimented on how he handles the group, his excellent imagination (even the bits he steals are imaginative), and how well he edits hours of footage to ten minutes of video. He sometimes seems painfully awkward, but his blog (also a good read, http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/ NSFW) he indicates this is deliberate, to give his players a little thinking time.

A worthy check out and an excellent series. I find myself reevaluating my game all the time. Of course, the best reason is when are you going to get a chance to see porn stars completely geek out?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wee bit of sacrilege and DnD

Amusing little video about DnD players involved in a Nativity play.

Provides a good example of providing a little backstory to magic items going a long way.

Best line, "Do we still get XP if we lose?"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

D&D Lifestyle Reporting

I'm a lifelong player. Since ten years old, I've been playing D&D or some other RPG. That's thirty years now, my children play, I run three campaigns, alternating two on Sundays and one for the kiddos during the week. I have bookshelves of books, several hundred miniatures, a corner of my basement for painting and D&D related crafts, and an entire room dedicated to playing. I spend nearly every spare moment dealing reading about D&D, planning for my next session, or working on some project (more on those later.)

One of my favorite activities though, is to see the culture of D&D, how it has firmly become ensconced in our modern world over the last 35 or more years. What celebrities have played it, what references exist in the media, what media has been produced for it directly, what non-game products have been made, and what non-D&D media concern players. Looking around, I never have found a blog (and I read a lot of them) that deal directly with D&D as a lifestyle, as a culture. So I begin this blog, to report on D&D outside of the endless stream of press releases, rumor mongering, excellent advice, and forum lurking.

I hope you find it enjoyable.