Oct. 16th, 2014 @ 09:53 pm Another Movie I Have To See: The Book Of Life
Death Reversed
Oct. 12th, 2014 @ 10:15 pm And I was wondering if they'd do a video clip...
Here We Go Again
Latest Whim: cheerfulcheerful
Sounds Like: Don't Stop Me Now (Foxes)/Mummy On The Orient Express (Doctor Who)
Oct. 11th, 2014 @ 07:31 pm Guardians Of The Galaxy: Animated Series Test Footage
Best Ship In The Galaxy
Latest Whim: optimisticoptimistic
Sounds Like: Once Upon A Time seasons 1-2, Frozen, Scorpion
Sep. 27th, 2014 @ 08:48 pm Jupiter Ascending - this looks interesting...
The Invaders
Sep. 19th, 2014 @ 08:42 pm And the title of Star Wars Episode VII is apparently The Dark Knight Returns
Best Ship In The Galaxy
Latest Whim: ecstaticecstatic
Sounds Like: Star Wars, Sleepy Hollow, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Doctor Who
Look how much practical detail is on this non-CGI thing:

J J Abrams is going to be taking a lot of my money next year...
Sep. 10th, 2014 @ 11:23 pm Guardians Of The Galaxy Japanese Trailers
Best Ship In The Galaxy
Latest Whim: amusedamused
Sounds Like: Guardians Of The Galaxy
Sep. 6th, 2014 @ 08:52 pm The Friday Five
The Dice Man
Latest Whim: draineddrained
Sounds Like: The Lego Movie, Guardians Of The Galaxy
Recommend one:
1) Book
2) College/University/Personal Interest course
3) Song
4) Web Site
5) Something of your choosing (ie- author, video game, food, movie, etc)

Give a reason for each choice.

1 - The original 18th century Beauty And The Beast. It is effectively a short novel, about ten times longer than most fairy tales, and feels like it was written in more modern times
2 - Don't go to college or university, follow your own interest instead
3 - Everything Is Awesome. Because it is
4 - Astronomy Picture Of The Day. Fast-loading and rubbish-free
5 - Go see Guardians Of The Galaxy again, best movie of the year
Jul. 20th, 2014 @ 12:57 am Something Here Feels Strangely Familiar...
Here We Go Again
Jul. 14th, 2014 @ 10:30 pm Here We Go Again: Into Darkness
OB DW Orphan Who?
Jul. 9th, 2014 @ 01:17 am ORANGE ALERT: #keepmespoilerfree
Orange Alert
Latest Whim: grumpygrumpy
Sounds Like: The Prisoner, Doctor Who, Falling Skies season 3, World Cup
Telling people that the ship sinks and everyone dies in Moby Dick is not a spoiler, because the narrator tells you this already by the end of chapter one. Same with Titanic, as it is a matter of historical record. How you get there, the journey...

There's the fun of seeing a few steps ahead anyway, and having your guesses confirmed...


...and then there's the kind of absolute stupidity that merits no attention whatsoever.

Even mention the leaked scripts, and I will sic Helena onto you. Not an idle threat.
Jul. 6th, 2014 @ 03:34 am This Game Is Not Worth Buying Or Playing, or, I'd Rather Be Doing Amost Anything Else
Old School Gamer
Latest Whim: crankycranky
Sounds Like: World Cup, Falling Skies, Tour De France
Dwarven women do not have beards

I have read the Basic Rules of the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and do not approve.

Dwarven Women Do Not Have Beards

Could I use this game to run my fantasy campaign world? No.
Are there any campaigns I might run this game with? No.
Would I ever consider running this game? No.
What about house rules? It is easier to write my own game.
How about playing this game? Maybe, probably not.
Why not? Do you really want to know?


First and foremost, above all else, there is a fundamental issue of practicality. While the PDF may be free, it is not only incomplete - the printer-friendly version is much easier to read. On this alone, if the final product really looks like that, I would seriously consider not buying the game in printed book form. Furthermore, at 110 pages the so-called Basic Rules are longer than the 1981/1983-release Basic and Expert Rulebooks combined. Did I mention it was incomplete?

On a more personal note, there is a glaring omission. There is no mention of handedness. While handedness got short shrift in previous editions, there was at least some mention of the game effect of using the non-preferred hand, glossing over of it not making much difference whether a character was left or right handed, and of course rules for fighting with two weapons. I am left-handed, and cannot condone this oversight.

I mean, seriously, they couldn't have added a few words to the Other Physical Characteristics section, alongside age and hair colour? Information that describes a character, and helps other players visualise who you're playing, and the whole section gets at most a quarter of the word-count of a section on sex and gender that resorts to the worst of offensive stereotypes? It's like everyone's been reduced to a bland grey blur of conformist indistiction.

As for the rules changes, well - this is like a random sampling of the clunkiest additions to the game from 1989's Second Edition onwards. I am not even going to get into this - beyond noting that giving ability score bonuses to every race, even bog-standard humans, and throwing out penalties, making all characters above average regardless of what you roll for ability scores, is quite possibly the most idiotic thing I have ever seen.

The death knell of this game is the word-and-page count. It is bloated beyond the worst excesses of too many other games to mention, taking pages to spell out stuff that only needs half a column at most. No wonder this is incomplete.

I will not be buying this game. I will not be playing this game. If I ever game again, it will be with the system I know and can run best - Basic/Expert Dungeons & Dragons. If this means I never game again, no worries. Life's too short.

Jun. 22nd, 2014 @ 10:19 pm Dance Party at Clone Club, or, How Did They Film That?
OB Too Much
May. 24th, 2014 @ 11:38 pm Falling Skies: If This Was A Real Game I Would Never Stop Playing It
The Invaders
Latest Whim: amusedamused
May. 21st, 2014 @ 10:28 pm The Hitchhikers Guide To Daleks
Cup of Tea
May. 14th, 2014 @ 01:40 am Can't wait for the next season 2 episode of Orphan Black?
In The Village
Sounds Like: Vikings, Orphan Black, Intelligence, Once Upon A Time
Watch the DVD of season 1 again...

(Apparently the makers of the show prefer this trailer to their own)
Apr. 5th, 2014 @ 11:41 pm The Chronicles Of Miklagarn: Ransil (Rat-Kin) Character Race
Hawk The Slayer
Latest Whim: crankycranky
Sounds Like: Terra Nova, The Returned
RANSIL (Rat-Kin)

XP Modifier: +250
HP Modifier: None
Damage Modifier: None
High Scores: DEX
Low Scores: STR
Talent: Excellent Swimmer, Skill Bonus
Flaw: Weapon Restriction
Movement Rate: 9

Rat-kin, or Ransil as they name themselves, are a race of bipedal rodents. They are shorter than humans, roughly four feet tall with a two to three foot tail. Sociable and inquisitive, Ransil are restless wanderers, making the seas and rivers their homes. Their society is organised by guild, rather than clan or town, and their guilds are mercantile in nature and often family-oriented. Rat-kin traders are found throughout many worlds, and they are believed to have spread throughout the cosmos in ages past due to inter-dimensional portals. Lifespan is equal to that of humans, maturing slightly earlier.

Ransil are excellent swimmers (movement rate of 9 on land and in water), and gain a +1 bonus to the rogue skills of Alertness and Stealth. Even if a Ransil character is not a rogue, they still gain this bonus. Due to their small size, they cannot use large weapons.

Typical classes for adventuring rat-kin include the fighter, magician (or artificer/technician), healer (or psychic), and rogue (particularly scouts and spies). Rangers and scholars (bard/specialist) are not unknown. Ransil clergy are rare, and tend to be associated with the local dominant faith.

In the galaxy of Seeded Space, rat-kin have become one of the primary species of the Merchant League. Originally a sea-faring culture, they took to the diplomatic and economic aspects of space-faring society with swashbuckling gusto.

In the Lands of Miklagarn, Ransil are found throughout the Jistani Isles, which are considered by many to be their native homeland, and the various trading ports of the Dragon Sea. They are also firmly entrenched in certain long-standing business concerns of Arnath and Theraine, most notably the Lamp Lighter’s Guild of Landovery, household services in Palantyras, and tavern-keeping in Atronel.

In a world of pseudo-Victorian pulp adventure, such as The Kaldavian Empire, rat-kin wealth has purchased them discreet influence in the major cities, including public works and publishing, and control over strategic resources in the far-flung provinces.
Mar. 27th, 2014 @ 11:01 pm Cultures Of Seeded Space: One Of Those Colonies part 2
This Makes No Sense At All
Latest Whim: exhaustedexhausted
Sounds Like: Red Dwarf III Marooned
Attitudes Towards Technology

1 Use safety glasses when watching television
2 Motor vehicles are banned as too dangerous
3 Motor vehicles must be repairable by blacksmiths
4 Household goods must be repairable by owners
5 Communications devices derided as childish
6 Squeamish about surgery, prefer pills and patches
7 Vat-grown food and cloth is an idle hobby
8 Every homestead has its own power supply
9 Every family has their own mobile home
10 Genetic domestic servitors in every household
11 Firearms considered sign of weakness/cowardice
12 Tailored animals must be of the latest fashion

Other Oddities

1 Journalists attacked on sight (privacy concerns)
2 Surveillance devices destroyed (privacy concerns)
3 Tailored guard beasts instead of alarm devices
4 Surrogate motherhood is first job for many girls
5 Owning a space (or diving) suit is a rite of passage
6 Owning a spacesuit is a privilege of academia
7 Everyone has their own space (or diving) suit
8 Every family has its own holiday submarine
9 Hunting beyond the colony is a rite of passage
10 Hunting beyond the colony is a privilege of traders
11 Psychics deemed good for only fortune-telling
12 Psychics banned from doing transport guild’s work
13 Road transport network considered sacrosanct
14 Roadside service stations run by secretive guild
15 Tailored courier beasts for all communications
16 Boys use house-genies for sexual practice
17 Genetic slavery considered highly civilised
18 All youths trained in basic swordplay
19 Portals considered best ever form of transport
20 Portal perils subject of children’s warning chants

Latest and Greatest Scandals

1 Blood Control: company issues vampire patients with Red Milk laced with feeble-mind factor
2 Dark Craft: unknown disc-shaped spacecraft raid colony and abduct settlers with impunity
3 Cold Vault: conspiracy theorists accuse administration of exploiting elder cold-sleep vaults
4 Genie Games: genetic servitors thrown unprepared into gladiatorial and survival games
5 Mind War: psychics and vampires kidnapped and held in company indoctrination camps
6 Maths Chant: obscure science sect takes over outlying settlement as re-education camp
7 Graft Strike: medical xeno-transplantation ruined by tailored plague of rival company
8 Mutant Prayer: acceptance-seeking followers of hideously grotesque prophet gunned down
9 Freak Rage: administration turns blind eye to thrill-kill gangs harassing variant humans
10 Off Now: recently contacted world shuns interstellar trade and deports space-farers
11 Tainted Eggs: widespread fertility problems exposed as caused by major chemical leak disaster
12 Strange Returns: conspiracy of silence over world’s previous inhabitants infiltrating colony
Mar. 26th, 2014 @ 10:51 pm Cultures Of Seeded Space: One Of Those Colonies part 1 of 2
Is That What You Humans Call A Joke?
Latest Whim: draineddrained
Sounds Like: Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles seasons 1 and 2, The X-Files season 2

Cultural practices and genetic variations are often the subject of rumour, ridicule and scandal, especially those of colonies “out there” in the galaxy.

Bodily Functions and Taboos

1 Public consumption of food is taboo; no restaurants, and nobody eats in the presence of other people; nutrition is rumoured to be administered via intravenous implants
2 Vat-grown fabrics (cotton, leather, fur, etc) are high fashion, synthetic fabrics are disdained
3 Natural fabrics from tailored domestic animals are high fashion, vat-grown are for the poor
4 Vat-grown food slabs are reserved for the social elite, everyone else must eat natural food
5 Tailored microbes are used to regulate hair growth, style, pattern, and colours
6 Tailored microbes are used to control fertility, sexual arousal, and work ethic
7 Virginity is lost in “may the best sperm win” group mating rituals, with any offspring raised in communal facility while mother completes education, and paternity is not acknowledged
8 First born child of any mating is raised and trained by highest-bidding company
9 Offspring conceived on company property or time is automatically adopted by the company
10 Refusing to taste the milk of a breastfeeding mother is as rude as accepting in public (conjectured to be a holdover from time when vampires fed upon families in secret)
11 Sneezing on each other is the best way to spread the latest immune-assist tailored microbes (so using a handkerchief indicates a selfish desire to not share healthiness)
12 Infanticide considered acceptable and a private matter, holdover from colony’s famine era

Physical Changes and Secrets

1 Idealised androgyny; clothing and physical appearance as neutral as possible
2 Cosmetic eyebrow-feather implants, colour and length indicate social status and clique
3 Altered sleep cycle designed to accommodate advanced hypnotic sleep-learning
4 Tailored microbes used to alter gender of selected male embryos, to create “phallic females” designed to serve as “conception assistant specialists” during group mating rituals
5 Tailored microbes in digestive tract release proteins that inhibit undesirable behaviour in subject populace, surreptitiously introduced into food supply
6 Conspiracy theory: intelligence-suppressing tailored microbes secretly introduced anally
7 Little finger has extra knuckle, nobody knows why
8 Conspiracy theory: people missing a little toe are carriers for a tailored microbe of elder origin that will become a 100% lethal “clean-up plague” when the lost elders return
9 Conspiracy theory: some people are carriers for a tailored microbe that tags them as servitors for an elder race believed to be waiting for the next ice age to return and reclaim the world
10 The remnant population from a previous colony seeding carry a tailored gene sequence that serves no known purpose, although it does resemble part of an archived elder genome
11 Excessive hairiness (almost full body fur) in a reviled subgroup, nobody knows why
12 Three extra pairs of ribs, incidentally resulting in increased height and lung capacity
13 Cultural survival secret: can last twice as long without water
14 Cultural secret: reduced elimination of wastes due to increased efficiency of digestive tract
15 Cultural secret shame: tailored microbes necessary to stimulate intelligence, to offset cerebral deterioration due to unknown biological factor in native environment
16 Cultural secret pride: excellent climbers due to retractable claws on all digits
17 Tailored microbes in bloodstream taste foul to vampires; while believed to have been engineered by elder culture, may as side effect contribute to several major health problems
18 Altered sexual dimorphism; females are exuberant athletes, males cloistered intellectuals
19 Indigenous insects burrow en masse into flesh, secreting a cocktail of hormones, enzymes, and symbiotic microbes, enhancing sensory apparatus and inducing perpetual mild euphoria
20 Populace has become dependent on trace minerals in local food chain, dizzy spells without
Mar. 19th, 2014 @ 11:04 pm Cultures of Seeded Space: Hauntings And Psychic Events part 2 of 2
Trust No One
Sounds Like: Haven season 2, Falling Skies season 2
Haunting Cycles and Patterns

1 For a few minutes, every few days
2 The midnight hour, two or three times a month
3 Late afternoon, a few days in a row
4 On the third of consecutive rainy days
5 Area grows slightly larger each investigation
6 Haunting continues until madness inflicted
7 Haunting continues until séance conducted
8 Can be held off for by meditative trance
9 Area shifts focus from one event to the next
10 One whole day, a few times a year
11 Several days over a month, a few times a century
12 Conjunction with other-dimensional forces

Unusual Effects and Circumstances

1 The stench of rotting meat
2 Large squishy spiders with extra legs
3 Enhanced telekinetic power, diminished control
4 Mental barriers rapidly torn down
5 Flickers of movement out of corner of eye
6 Telepathic messages from other times
7 Dogs turn on and attack owners and families
8 Zone of electrical interference
9 Toys animate and move about
10 Small possessions go missing when needed most
11 Door that keeps opening by itself
12 Glowing mist that moves to strongest will
13 Glowing mist that pursues weakest will
14 A large stain that slowly changes shape
15 Voices of the dead heard all too clearly
16 Death in the area traps the soul in the haunting
17 Rift opens to toxic atmosphere of alien world
18 Time accelerated as area drawn into other realms
19 Clothing becomes mildewy and malodorous
20 Phantom rider interposes between combatants

Emotional and Mental Residue

1 Burning rage
2 Fragments of memory
3 Increased hypnotic susceptibility
4 Easily lulled to sleep
5 Crushing despair
6 Grief of loss
7 Grinding fatigue
8 Loneliness
9 The promise of hope
10 The certainty of revival
11 Clear finality
12 Feverish/contagious excitability

Attitudes of the Dead toward the Living

1 Possessive jealousy
2 Wistful longing
3 Cannot let go
4 Tearful regrets
5 Cheerful reminiscences
6 Eager to help
7 Refuse to listen
8 Think it is all a trick
9 Think they are still living
10 Anger over unfinished business
11 Love conquers all
12 Free from mortal frailty
13 Agents of the otherworldly
14 Have deigned to leave the afterlife
15 Barred from entering the afterlife
16 Self-appointed caretaker
17 Seek to explore new states of being
18 Scheming to return to life
19 Alternating playful and shy
20 Attempt to possess and live again
Mar. 17th, 2014 @ 09:13 pm Cultures of Seeded Space: Hauntings And Psychic Events part 1
Death Reversed
Sounds Like: The Returned, Carnivale season 1

On many a world throughout the cosmos, there are points where the barriers between dimensions have become weak and strangeness has arisen – places where psychic residue has built up, spirits have become trapped between lives, and uncanny influences have leaked through.

Causes of Haunting

1 Murder of an innocent
2 Suicide of a monster
3 Mystical experiment gone wrong
4 Psychic awakening
5 Betrayal of a secret or cause
6 Ritual sacrifice
7 Terrorist attack
8 Fatal traffic accident
9 Family breakup
10 Relationship gone very bad
11 Terrible illness
12 Dimensional rift

Sites and their Secrets

1 Foreign weeds in a back alley
2 Bright flowers bloom out of season
3 Disused lavatory works during haunting
4 Old monument with faded carvings
5 Unusually warm patch of ground
6 Where a house burned down
7 Where a public building once stood
8 Abandoned building in unremarkable street
9 A garden where the wind never blows
10 A tree that looks like it is about to fall down
11 Radio plays music from an unknown station
12 Television receives signals without antenna
13 Lights works despite mains power cut
14 Images in mirrors a few seconds behind or ahead
15 Tree that sways to the wind of another world
16 Damp patches appear and dry up at random
17 Odd smell clings to clothes after leaving area
18 Rocks and stones stacked in strange patterns
19 Clammy touch as if invisibly brushed against
20 Distorted shadows at edge of vision

Trigger Events

1 Whenever previous survivors return to site
2 On anniversary of initial victim’s demise
3 Whenever someone similar to victim arrives
4 Psychic abilities used in vicinity
5 Meteor shower the night before
6 When certain phrase is repeated
7 Discovery of a relic from the original event
8 If hypnosis is used in the area
9 Speak aloud the main ghost’s name
10 Ritual performed using dirt taken from site
11 Blood from serious wound spilt upon soil of site
12 Furtive sexual experience

Victims and Ghosts

1 Schoolchildren
2 Debunkers driven mad
3 Passionate lovers
4 Friends turned rivals
5 Murdered seeks vengeance
6 Murderer unable to be forgiven
7 Soldiers in desperate siege
8 Terrorist attack
9 Bereaved parents
10 Sailor looking for a good time
11 Wandering strangers
12 Swordsman out of time
13 Mercenary hunters
14 Teenagers on a dare
15 Perpetually bemused researcher
16 Old survivor of similar long-ago event
17 Alternate reality doubles
18 Servant endlessly performing duties
19 Suicide attempt
20 Weird entity from another dimension