Sunday, January 22, 2017

And now...rise up, Falcons!!

So last year brought Cleveland one title...and almost a second, only falling short in maybe the best Game 7 ever played in any sport, and to the freakin' Cubs.

Surely Atlanta sports fans can hope for something out of 2017...?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wasteland Wednesday: HEX

If you survey the comic book offerings of The Big Two publishers for a specific era, there are some niche comics that are sure to get lost in the mix, even if they figure into the main universe of the publisher.  DC's 1985 series Hex fits into this group, I think.  To be honest, it wasn't until the last few years that I was even aware of its existence.  I can't even recall seeing ads for it as a kid.  (I suppose its 18-issue run finished up around the time I really started getting into comics, so that's probably a big reason why, but it you can see on the cover of #1 below...was published outside the confines of the Comics Code, which may mean that it was never found at the gas stations, drugstores, and mall bookshops where I got most of my comics.)

I managed to pick up a nearly-complete run of Hex for a good price a while back, and I've recently (finally) taken some time to read a couple of issues.  It's a pretty fun story, and I honestly think you'll have a good idea of how much you'll enjoy it based upon how much you like the premise.

IF you think the idea of western hero Jonah Hex transported to a post-apocalyptic future (by a madman obsessed with the warriors of the past) and doing his thing as a Mad Max-style antihero sounds like fun, you should check this series out (if you can find it at a decent price).

IF you think that idea sounds stupid, you should probably stay away.  (Also, what's wrong with you?)

Seriously, the series is described very appropriately by that tagline at the top of the first issue's cover:


(I'm also just now realizing that Jonah Hex stories in general can probably be described pretty appropriately by a slightly different line...)


(Oh!  Along those lines, I think I've just figured out what my next high-concept RPG campaign is going to be based around...)


Hrm.  Okay.  Anyway, yes, in the binary post-apocalyptic worldview, Hex certainly occupies the Mad Max end of the spectrum.  There are some scenes that could have been straight out of The Road Warrior:

(With everything comic-book-futurized a bit, of course.  Hey, this is a story about a time-traveling cowboy; don't expect Miller-esque gritty realism here...)

Honestly, the thing that might bug me (no pun intended, seriously) the most about the series is that we have to constantly contend with Jonah's accent and diction.  It just throws off the rhythm of the dialogue in my head sometimes.  There are places where it's fun, like this scene where Hex first encounters the wasteland gang known as the Road Reapers:

Other times, it's just a bit more jarring.  I might be alone in feeling that way, though.  And hey, it's kind of a Jonah Hex trademark, so what're ya gunna do?

Unless there's something I'm blanking on at the moment, I'd say that Hex competes with the Atomic Knights for the status of DC's secondary take on a post-apocalyptic Earth (behind Kamandi, of course!).  Jonah Hex as Mad Max really does work as a high concept, especially when one considers the similarities between the Western and post-apocalyptic genres.  It's been a fun comic so far and is an interesting slice of pop culture history, so I'm glad I'm finally giving it a spin.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


This artifact of an ad from this 1946 comic is a little bizarre, but I have to say...I'd love to get my hands on one of these...!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monstrous Monday: Basil Wolverton's Brain-Bats of Venus

Basil Wolverton has one of the more distinctive styles among Golden Age (and really any age) comic book artists.  He may be best known for his Mad magazine work, but I found about him just a few years back with the reprinting of his intergalactic epic Spacehawk by Fantagraphics.  As with many of the greats, people seem to love or hate his style.  I tend to love it.

Here's a great monstrous piece from Mister Mystery #7 (1952):

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A 2d100 American professional sports team (from a superhero's hometown) name generator

You know the situation.*  Everything's going smoothly in your supers RPG campaign when your team of heroes has to handle a situation at a local professional sporting event.

"Who's the visiting team?" asks one of your players.

Whaaa---? you think.  The home team is easy.  You're in Knight City, or Forest City, or Whatever City, after you have that figured out.  But who are they hosting?  The pressure's on...they need a name...c'mon...3...2...1...

"It's the _____ City _____.  Archrivals..."

1d100 Comic Book City Names (_____ City)

1 Autumn
2 Basin
3 Bay
4 Bear
5 Bell
6 Blade
7 Border
8 Bridge
9 Cable
10 Cactus
11 Calendar
12 Camp
13 Cathedral
14 Cave
15 Channel
16 Chess
17 Circle
18 Club
19 Coal
20 Coil
21 Cook
22 Cork 
23 Current 
24 Day
25 Dock
26 Empire
27 Fall
28 Flame
29 Flower
30 Gate
31 Grain
32 Hall
33 Hammer
34 Harbor
35 Holiday
36 Hook
37 Hope
38 Island
39 Judge 
40 Key
41 Knight
42 Lake
43 Leather 
44 Letter
45 Line
46 Lock
47 Low
48 Lumber
49 Machine 
50 Marble
51 Market 
52 Match
53 Metal
54 Money 
55 Moon
56 Motion
57 Music
58 Needle
59 Night
60 Oil
61 Orange
62 Paper 
63 Pear
64 Pipe
65 Plate
66 Point
67 Porter
68 Power
69 Print 
70 Quilt
71 Rain
72 Rhythm
73 Ring
74 Rock
75 Rose
76 Route
77 Sail
78 Sand 
79 Science 
80 Ship
81 Slope
82 Snow 
83 Space
84 Spring
85 Station
86 Steam 
87 Story 
88 Stream
89 Summer
90 Sun
91 Tiger
92 Time
93 Trade 
94 Veil
95 View
96 Voyage
97 Wall
98 Winter
99 Wood 
100 Zephyr

1d100 Sports Team Nicknames

1 Aardvarks
2 Angelfish
3 Armada
4 Arrows
5 Aviators
6 Barbarians
7 Barons
8 Baymen
9 Bears
10 Bees
11 Bobcats
12 Boxers
13 Bruins
14 Bulls
15 Burn
16 Cardinals
17 Cavaliers
18 Challengers
19 Cobras
20 Comets
21 Cowboys
22 Coyotes
23 Crabbers
24 Crocodiles
25 Dolphins
26 Dragons
27 Eagles
28 Express
29 Falcons
30 Ferrets
31 Fireballs
32 Firewalkers
33 Geckos
34 Giants
35 Gladiators
36 Goblins
37 Grooms
38 Gunners
39 Harriers
40 Hawks
41 Highlanders
42 Hippos
43 Hornets
44 Hounds
45 Howlers
46 Huskies
47 Hyenas
48 Internationals
49 Jaguars
50 Kings
51 Knights
52 Leopards
53 Ligers
54 Lightning
55 Lions
56 Lumberjacks
57 Lynx
58 Manatees
59 Marauders
60 Miners
61 Monarchs
62 Mudcats
63 Mustangs
64 Oilers
65 Outlaws
66 Owls
67 Panthers
68 Pioneers
69 Pipers
70 Pirates
71 Pointers
72 Presidents
73 Princes
74 Railers
75 Railroaders
76 Ramblers
77 Rampage
78 Rams
79 Retrievers
80 Rippers
81 Roadrunners
82 Rockets
83 Rockhoppers
84 Rogues
85 Scorpions
86 Seahawks
87 Sharks
88 Spaniels
89 Spirit
90 Stars
91 Terriers
92 Thunder
93 Thunderbirds
94 Tigers
95 Titans
96 Trolls
97 Vikings
98 Welders
99 Whales
100 Wolves

* You don't know the situation?  Consider yourself lucky...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monstrous Monday: Tuberrible! (Elemental Beast)

There's a good chance I think about Underground Elemental Beastfighting a lot more than I should.  I even took the time recently to make a list of elements I want to use and map out how they should typically interact...

I think I'm getting closer to turning this theme into...a thing of some sort.  Exactly what hasn't materialized yet.

In any case, though, the next step to thinghood is probably making some Elemental Beasts that aren't just Pokémon rehashes.  So, my general plan will be:

1.  Find a public domain image that looks like an Elemental Beast.
2.  Give it a name, hopefully containing some ridiculous play on words.
3.  Stat it up in a way that's simple enough to fit on a card but suitable for use in an RPG.
4.  Repeat.

So here's the first...  Tuberrible...!

Type: Wood Beast
HD 3d4 (7 HP)
Defense 11

Attack:  Bite +3 (1d6 Wood damage and defender must save vs. poison.  If failed, the poisoned character has disadvantage on all d20 rolls until healed.)

Tuberribles will live happily in greenhouses until they feel they are threatened.  They can quickly shift into a mobile, carnivorous form and turn on their caretakers.

(As always, I get these icons from the awesome site, which has tons of amazing bits of art to use in games, completely free of charge!  These "cards" are proportioned such that they can be printed out at 2.75"x3.75", with 1/8" then trimmed around the edges to bring them to standard poker size.)

And now it's up on RPGNow...

Just a quick note:  "In Bleakest Midwinter" is now up on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG (link).  I can't get the full-size preview to load properly, for some reason.  That's part of what this process is about, though...learning how this self-publishing thing works...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Not all viral videos deserve that status...

...but this one does!

I am definitely thankful to this Mitsubishi dealership in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, for sharing these outtakes with the world.  Is there anything funnier than a mascot falling down?  (Rhetorical question, but...the answer is no.)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

"In Bleakest Midwinter" now up on Lulu

This is just to note that I've put my silly little holiday funnel-type adventure thing, "In Bleakest Midwinter," up on Lulu (link).  I also have it in review for placement on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG.  Free on both, of course, and still available straight from Google Drive here.

While it's a very (and did I mention, very?) amateur product, I figure it can't hurt visibility to put it places where people actually go looking for stuff like that.  It's cool to finally learn a bit about the self-publishing process, too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

One last OSR Eeveelution

I kind of feel like I should have something a little more weighty for my first post of 2017...but I suppose this'll do.  After missing #MonsterMonday yesterday (due to one final surge of holidays), I now present the last of the Eeveelutions (so far), translated to generic OSR terms.  Here is the Generation VI monster known as Sylveon...

(As always, I get these icons from the awesome site, which has tons of amazing bits of art to use in games, completely free of charge!  The "cards" I post here are proportioned such that they can be printed out at 2.75"x3.75", with 1/8" then trimmed around the edges to bring them to standard poker size...and I've now added dotted lines for the trim...)

Sylveon is a little more...I dunno, abstract(?) in the elemental sense...than previous Underground Elemental Beasts, since its Pokémon type is Fairy.  That's not really an element.  It's not even a quasi-element like Mind or something.  But with an attack called Fairy Wind, Air seems like a reasonable element, doesn't it?  So...that's what that icon up there is supposed to represent...the element of Air...weak to Air and resistant to Lightning.


One more note on Underground Elemental Beastfighting...I'm starting to play around with incorporating these into an RPG campaign and/or competitive game unto itself, so I also started playing around with cardbacks.  Here's one of my first go's at it...

I hope everyone's 2017 has started out on the right track!