In addition to not blogging, I also haven't been doing much gaming. Both the D&D game that I play in and the one that I run have been on hold. My group managed to get together twice in recent weeks after a 2-month hiatus (as so often happens in gaming), so it's starting to move forward again. This week the group's strong-arm fighter found himself weakened by magic and then webbed in place my summoned giant spiders...it was neat. One player switched from a yogi/monk character to a much more fun swashbuckler character. It's a better character in general, and a better fit to the PC group. The other group I'm in is transitioning toward a new Mutants & Masterminds campaign. That'll be exciting! Supers is my favorite genre of roleplaying games.
I've been focusing all of my RPG time on a new discovery called Spirit of the Century. It's based on the FUDGE system and uses a strongly narrative-driven mechanic, which encourages player immersion and character-personality focus. This kind of mechanic is just what I've been wanting in an RPG! Lots of situation- and character-driven action, rather than focusing on a map grid. D&D is great, but its current incarnation is much too tactical for my tastes.
Spirit of the Century is a high-action game set in the pulp era, and is full of some of the most fun things like robots, intelligent apes, Nazis, and Nazi apes. It's long been established that Nazis and apes or monkeys make the best bad guys in movies and games. And this game has them both!
This has been mostly Munchkin and Fluxx. They're both quick, entertaining, and I always have two or three willing players at hand. I picked up the new Munchkin Impossible not too long ago, and it's been more fun than I expected. Two days ago, I found my way into a copy of the newly released, and mostly back-ordered Munchkin Cthulhu! I can't wait to break it out and see how cultists and Things Not Meant to be Known translate into this fun, cheeky card game. Insanity is sure to ensue. And I just heard last night that Fluxx is soon-to-release Zombie Fluxx!!
Go see Grindhouse! See it before it leaves the theaters. It's the most fun I've ever had in three hours, well, in a movie theater at least. Afterward, my throat was sore from laughing and hollering during the movie! It is Kurt Russell's best performance since Big Trouble in Little China. There's even a scene where, as he's getting ready to wreak havoc, he looks right at the camera across the roof of his car, and gives us the treat of his shit-eating grin. Best car chase movie I've seen since I was a kid. And that's only part of the thrill. The double feature and filler stuff in between combine to create a truly fun experience.
Rodriguez and Tarantino fill a void in today's movie line-up. Letting other people make mock movie trailers really added to the fun. If nothing else, Eli Roth's mock-preview during the intermission serves to remind us all just how insane he truly is, as if Cabin Fever and Hostel weren't enough to convey the depths of his dark mind.
Also watched The Descent a few weeks ago. It immediately soared to the top of my list of Favorite Horror Movies Ever. Even without the monsters, the movie delivers a terrifying look at the characters' descent into madness. It was only afterward that I realized the title wasn't referring to the caving...
Since I haven't had time to watch TV, socialize, or game, I've been reading a lot instead. Here are the things I can remember.
- Books: Anansi Boys and American Gods by Neil Gaiman (both very, very good), Evil: An Investigation by Lance Morrow (interesting but repetitive philosophizing about the nature of evil in the modern world by a top journalist).
- Comics: first volume of Warren Ellis' Planetary (I'm hooked!), lots of current DC titles, and other Warren Ellis titles, namely Fell. Unfortunately, Marvel dropped NextWave: Agents of HATE. That was one of the funniest parody comics I've ever read. Check out the trades if you can.
The end of the school year is approaching, and that means class field trips. I've been to a botanical garden with the first grade, and spent the day at a summer camp with 80 third graders. I had to pass on the trips to the recycling center and local park.
So that's some of what's been up with me. Now I'm off to bed.
Playing on XM: something by the White Stripes