Monday, January 22, 2024

(Pocket) Monstrous Monday: Scyther

I've had a soft spot for Scyther since pretty early in my journey with Pokémon.  I'm sure this was partly influenced by how universally valuable its card from the Jungle expansion used to be (seriously, it could go in every deck)...but I also like mantises...and Scyther are just cool looking.  And they're like ninjas!  What's not to like?

I also recently had a Scyther buddy named Slash in Pokémon GO.  He's a Scizor now, but we had some good times while he was growing up.

I hope he avoids the beastfighting pits, but if he ends up there, his fighting will probably play out something like this...

Slash at work with me

(4'11, 123 lbs., DEX +2)

HD 2d8, AC 14
Actions:  Swords Dance (Slash attack deals double damage next round); Slash +2 (1d6 slashing damage)

Weakness: Fire
Resistance: Fighting

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Geeky SKAturday: Blank Expression (The Specials)

Image from HERE

I recently saw it reported that 2024 will bring the premiere of This Town (the source of the still above), a TV series from the Peaky Blinders guy set during the 2 tone era in the UK.  I'm excited!

I was going to feature them anyway, but that's still another good reason to turn my attention to the Specials for today's Rude sound!

Image from HERE

Blank Expression

1st-level Sound

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 8 hours
Attack/Save: WIS save

You choose one target creature within range.  If that creature is familiar with you, they forget who you are and their history with you for the duration of the sound.  The creature may still be aware that someone of your name and description exists, but they are unable to make that connection to you.  A successful save negates the effect.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Man with a Movie Camera (1929) - decopunkrock experiment #1

(I guess I can turn anything nerdy.)

I have a few friends that I get together with as often as possible to play some music.  I play drums.  We've put some work into getting songs together, but our "natural state" as a band seems to be just jamming through blues/psychedelic/punk rock progressions until one of us feels like stopping.  It is great fun, and as the drummer, it's admittedly easy because I don't have to worry about what key we're in, and everyone pretty much has to follow my rhythm or they're the ones who sound wrong.  I just get to play.

(I don't really have what are referred to as "chops," and while I wish I could say I make up for that with rock-solid timing...well, I don't.  But man, do I enjoy it.)

Our latest "project" is to attempt improvised scores to silent movies.  We had our first go of it last Thursday...just my buddy Tom on guitar and me...playing along to the avant-garde Soviet documentary film Man with a Movie Camera.  This was probably a good one to start with, as there's really no wrong way to score this movie.

If that sounds like it interests you, maybe you'll want to give this a watch and listen.  I certainly don't post this to impress, but in the hope that others might enjoy the journey with us!  (Editing to add: Tom's guitar work is, however, impressive by my calculations.  Very atmospheric and melodic.)  We only got through about 38.5 minutes of it before stopping for the evening.  Maybe we'll finish it at some point.  Or just move on.  I'm looking forward to getting our bass player Joel back in the mix.

(Man with a Movie Camera, by the way, seems to be pretty popular for adding original can check out its YouTube search results HERE to see some of the options out there...!)

Monday, January 15, 2024

(Pocket) Monstrous Monday: Jigglypuff

While Pokémon has come up a fair amount on this blog, I think I've somehow managed to not even mention the one that I keep coming back to as my favorite (although I guess I do have a lot of "favorites"...some of which I've talked about previously).

This favorite is...






This amazing crocheted 'Puff was a gift from my talented friend Judy!

(And Wigglytuff.  And Igglybuff.  And I guess Scream Tail too.  The whole Jigglypuff line and lineage, really.)

So, obviously, that means I want to put one in a pit for brutal combat vs. other 'mons.  (It's just the way of the world, right?)  And it would probably look something like this...


(1'8", 12 lbs., CHA +2)

HD 2d6 (6 HP), AC 13
Actions:  Lullaby (all within earshot must make a Wisdom save or fall asleep); Pound +4 (1d4 bludgeoning damage)
Weakness:  Fighting

A final note: If you are in the United States and have the day off, I hope you enjoy, and either way, I hope we'll all take at least a moment today to be inspired by the dedication, courage, service, and sacrifice of Martin Luther King Jr.  (Kinda felt like I need to at least acknowledge what day it is if I'm going to take the opportunity to put up a silly game post...)

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Geeky SKAturday: Keep Him Away (The Slackers)

Another sound for the Rudie to cast...

(Active for like 30 years straight, the Slackers are one of my favorite bands.  I'm lucky enough to now live within close proximity to their native NYC that I can go to their shows about as often as I want to, and they never disappoint.  This song is often used to kick off their sets.)

7" cover, seen HERE
Keep Him Away
1st-level Sound

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Duration: 10 minutes

You choose one target creature within range.  For the duration of the spell, an invisible force (claimed to feel like a pair of strong arms) prevents that creature from getting within 10 feet of you.  If the creature is 10 feet away and you move toward it, the force will gradually pull them in the opposite direction until at least a 10 foot distance is established again.

Image from HERE

Monday, January 8, 2024

(Pocket) Monstrous Monday: Psyduck (and Pokémon Concierge)

As 2024 rolls on...another element of Monstrous Matters that I'd love to revisit (maybe pretty often) is Underground Elemental Beastfighting - a sort of grim/gritty take on Pokémon rooted in the facts that (1) I love the franchise, and (2) there are some genuinely questionable ethical standards at the heart of it.  (Y'know, the forced combat and all.  Although please feel free to let me know if you're of the belief that Pokémon always love to is certainly a point of great philosophical debate...)

As luck and fate would have it, I also want to spread the word about the newest Pokémon show, Netflix's Pokémon Concierge.  I love this show.  The stop-motion animation is beautiful.  The story is touching and non-combat-related.  It is just a delightful experience.  Laura and I have already watched it more than once, and she's not really even a Pokémon fan.

Now, however, she is definitely a Psyduck fan.  While a number of monsters get screentime in Pokémon Concierge, there's a certain worried duck Pokémon that is undoubtedly the monstrous star of the show.

Image from HERE he is for the beastfighting pits..."converted," with a method similar to the one(s) I've used before, from an old TCG card (but with a fair amount of winging it - no pun intended - thrown in)...

(2'7", 43 lbs., CON +2)
HD 1d6+2 (5 HP), AC 13
Actions:  Headache +3 (Psychic attack; if hit, an Elemental Beast-trainer can't act for 1 round); Fury Swipes +3 (1d3 slashing damage)
Weakness:  Electric

(And seriously, you should watch Pokémon Concierge.  I think the whole season is less than an hour and a half.  I definitely wish there was more of it...)

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Geeky SKAturday: Pick Yourself Up (Stubborn All-Stars)

Stubborn All-Stars (who I've always called The Stubborn All-Stars, and only realized in looking at their Wikipedia page now that maybe that "The" isn't supposed to be there) were (are?) a trad ska supergroup assembled in '90s NYC by King Django of Stubborn Records.

They are one of the greats of the era, IMO.  "Pick Yourself Up" apparently got some airplay on MTV back in the day (again, I am informed by Wikipedia about this).  It comes from their album Back With a New Batch and serves as a rejuvenating sound for Rudies...

Image from HERE
Pick Yourself Up
1st-level Sound

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Duration: Instantaneous

You remove all levels of exhaustion from a character within range.

And what the's another performance by the Stubborn crew...this one from the fairly short-lived program Oddville, MTV, back in around 1997...the really fun tune "Tin Spam" (dig that Victor Rice bass groove!)...

Monday, January 1, 2024

This Day in Anthro History: Happy New Year from Steamboat Willie!

Happy New Year everyone!  Welcome to 2024!!

On this date, in this year - once again, that would be 2024 - what once seemed impossible has come to pass: Mickey Mouse enters the public domain in the United States in the form of his earliest appearances, most notably the short film "Steamboat Willie."

(Something tells me you've probably seen this news...)

I'm looking forward to seeing where this American icon ends up now that we all have access...and how far folks push the envelope before getting Disney on their backs.

Do you have any plans for Steamboat Willie?  (And actually...who is Steamboat Willie?  Is he Mickey in this film, or is that just sort of a generic title for the short?)

As with so many things...I have my ideas but don't know if I'll follow through.  I like the idea of "Steamboat Willie" as a story of anthropomorphic animals on a postapocalyptic Earth...and the Gaming Like It's 1928 game jam would be a perfect opportunity to finally get Battleyacht off the ground...but y'know, my attention span and all...