All manner of scifi/fantasy/nerdness: RPGs, comic books, Firefly, RPGs, Community, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, RPGs, Avengers, Doctor Who, And RPGs. And comic books. And RPGS. Not a "fandom" blog, unless D&D alignments count as a fandom.


Affect vs. Effect

Aragorn’s arrows affected the attackers.


The effect of Eowyn’s effeminate essence was the execution of evil.


Affect is a verb.

Effect is a noun.

Maybe I’ll finally be able to remember which one is which now.




This was meant to be a quick warm up, but it turned into a comic that I’ve wanted to draw for a while. This is something that is extremely important to me, and I appreciate it if you read it.

A while ago, I heard a story that broke my heart. A family went a cat shelter to adopt. The daughter fell in love with a 3-legged cat. The father straight up said “absolutely not”. Because he was missing a leg. That cat was that close to having a family that loved him, but the missing leg held him back. Why?!

Many people have the initial instinct of “nope” when they see an imperfect animal. I get it, but less-adoptable does NOT mean less loveable. 9 out of 10 people will choose a kitten over an adult cat. And those 10% that would get an adult cat often overlook “different” animals.

All I want people to do is be open to the idea of having a “different” pet in their lives. Choose the pet that you fall in love with, but at least give all of them a fair shot at winning your heart.

Don’t dismiss them, they deserve a loving home just as much as any other cat. They still purr, they still love a warm lap, they still play, they still love you. Trust me, next time you are in the market for a new kitty, just go over to that one cat that’s missing an eye and see what he’s all about!

As someone who regularly volunteers at an animal shelter this is so so so important! 

My biggest problem with adopting cats? That I cannot adopt all of the cats!

This is my dog Kitty.  We got her from a Greyhound Rescue organization in our area.  She has a pronounced limp in her front right leg from an accident on the dog track she came from, a cloudy right eye, was attacked by another dog when she was with her previous owners, and is already turning white at 7 and a half.  More importantly though, she loves all other dogs, she thinks running is the most fun thing in the world, and there is no dog treat on earth she likes more than pepperoni pizza.  She has a complete disinterest in chasing cats, squirrels, or anything other than whoever is holding her leash.  She is soft and super pettable and only wanted someplace to call home.  She was already crate & house trained, knew not to get up on the furniture, and doesn’t chew anything other than her toys.

I’m not saying cute little puppies and kitties don’t need good home.  But there are so many other animals than also need a home and when you get past a few cosmetic details, sometimes the injured or older ones just make better pets.

What to do when your character concept clashes with the game

Okay, so that title is intentionally inflammatory and sensationalized.  I just got a note from a dear, sweet follower who is really distressed because her character is having a really hard time in her current campaign.  This isn’t the first time I’ve seen or heard of something like this happening.  It’s actually happened to me several times quite recently in the past few months.  Sometimes the GM makes it close to impossible, to play the character you want to.  Sometimes you have a really clear picture of a character concept that you very much care about, but it just isn’t working in the GM’s world.  So maybe this is a good time to tell some stories and offer some advice.


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So I’ve had in my drafts folder for the longest time a question somebody asked about getting miniatures without spending a ton of money.  I’m sure everybody loves the plastic or pewter minis, but as far as bang for your buck, nothing beats paper minis.  Many of you probably already know about this, but I only came across this in the past couple of years and I just really love it.  All you need are some pictures, scissors, and some binder clips.  You can have a great set for your entire campaign for what it might cost to get 1 traditional mini.

Pictured above are some of the minis I bought from Battle! Studio Paper miniatures for my Savage Worlds campaign.  They cost less than $2 for the pdf sheets that had about 30 different “characters.”  

There are also plenty of places with Collections of Free Paper Minis you can use.  The modern horror minis you see above came from Seven-Wonders Paper Friends, who uses a lot of comic books, movie, and cartoon scans & screen caps to generate free paper minis.  And if you can’t find a picture you like, you can always either draw your own or commission somebody else to.  Attach a binder-clip to the bottom and voilà, you’re done.

You can spend maybe $5 accumulating an enormous pool of minis, $5 on a box of binder clips, and maybe another $5 worth of printer paper & toner to print them out.  So altogether, you decide whether you’d rather spend $15 for a set of minis, or $15 for a single mini.  Your choice.  :)

So apparently someone had already done that “Hasbro acquires Paizo” gag before.  I had no idea, but I’ve got no problem giving credit to where credit is due. I just don’t want anyone thinking I’m ripping off somebody else’s work.  RPGGeek did a gag along the exact same lines last year.

Anybody seen any other good d&d-related April’s Fools pranks?

Hasbro Toys to Acquire Paizo Publishing

In a joint statement today, Hasbro Inc. CEO Brian Goldner and Paizo Publishing CEO Lisa Stevens announced their companies have reached an agreement to bring the roleplaying game brand into the multinational toy and game company’s “family of products.”  Stevens read a prepared statement which said in part, “We are excited to see Pathfinder become part of the Hasbro family.  Their longstanding commitment to roleplaying and adventure games makes them the leader in fantasy gaming and we are thrilled to be a part of that.”  Goldner said a 9-month plan was being worked on to fold Paizo’s existing operations into the Wizards of the Coast (publishers of the eponymous Dungeons and Dragons) game line.


Bad Guy DM Feelings


Anyo ther DM/GM’s out there feel like they have to be the bad guy a little more often than they like? You hear your players talking about all kinds of cool ideas, and things they want to do, that you just know will break whatever it is that you’re trying to set up.

Your players come up to you asking if they can do something awesome, and you have to tell them no. Maybe it’s not entirely within the rules, or maybe it’s a stretch, or they don’t have the gold for it, so on, so forth. There’s got some reason within the game it doesn’t work.

I feel like I’d love to be more fun about it sometimes, but that that would impede the proper progress/direction of what we were doing.

Anyway, rant over~ Just wanted to see what you guys thought.

I don’t know, maybe my players would respond differently than I would.  I usually want to know what they or their characters would like to do, so I can incorporate it into the game.  It’s a whole lot easier for me to find out what motivates them and use it as part of the campaign, rather than me try to force them to be interested in whatever idea I like.

Usually I have a conversation with those players about exactly how we can use whatever idea they come up with.  I don’t say “no” very often.  More often, I say something along the lines of “Okay, well you want the Power of Amazing Awesome?  Alright, well here’s how we can do it… that seems like something NPC X would know how to obtain, but he’s not going to tell you about it unless you complete the Long and Complicated Task.  Are you willing to lose track of Bad Guy You’re Currently Hunting?  If they say “yes,” then they’re welcome to go off on that tangent… but guess who discovered that item first?  That Bad Guy they stopped chasing down.  So that thing they want is an integral part of the storyline and their own personal motivations make them MORE interested in the storyline I expected them to be interested in.

A more specific example from my Star Wars game: my players have their main cargo ship that they use to go on various adventures, a YT-2400 named The Rogaine’s Fury.  They’ve been requesting additional ship(s) for a while.  It makes sense, especially for 10th level characters: they don’t want to constantly be fighting bad guys from their living room, they don’t want to risk life, limb, and all accumulated items & allies whenever their is a firefight, and they also are interested in ship crafting/building, which is hard to do when you’re in hyperspace.

So my players wanted another ship, to the point that they were getting distracted from the main plot by spending all their accumulated money on turbo-charged Starfighters of Infinite AwesomeSauce.  Some were entirely uninterested in chasing down “Missing Bad Guy and Clue to Underlying Conspiracy,” preferring to spend their time getting overpowered weapons.

So I built a broken-down Starship that sucked them in with a giant tractor-beam they’re currently stranded on it.  After several days (in-game, IRL 3 sessions) of exploring it, they realized that this was much more versatile than their overpowered flying death-rays.  It’s really busted up and not ready for combat right now, but they can look for items and capabilities to modify it so that becomes even more awesome later down the road (when it’s level appropriate).  

It also contains some major hints about the bad guy they were chasing down.  Why?  How?  They got the thing they were wanting (a separate ship to protect things while they’re in space combat, ability to build and modify ships on their own), but it serves to reenforce & support my main plotline.

Wow this post is really long and boring and I’m sorry.

tl;dr:  I can totally relate to players wanting ridiculously over-powered items & abilities.  But rather than saying “no,” let those things be the carrot on the stick.  Give them watered-down or advanceable versions of those things, but most importantly use those things that they want to further fuel & guide your story.

it’s the tag game!



Tag Game

Rule 1: Always post the rules 
Rule 2: Answer the questions the person who tagged you asked and write 11 new ones. 
Rule 3: Tag 11 people and link them to the post. 
Rule 4: Actually tell people you’ve tagged them.

  1. What is one character or work that you think is greatly misunderstood or under-appreciated?
  2. Do you have any hobbies?
  3. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  4. Who would you most like to spend a day with? (can be real, fictional, alive or dead)
  5. If you could travel anywhere in space and time where would you visit?
  6. Who is your favorite hero character? (superhero, main character, action movie star, whatever)
  7. Do you have any favorite media tropes?
  8. Is there any piece of media that influenced you a great deal/made a difference in your life?
  9. What would be your ideal breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
  10. Cake or pie?
  11. Speak any other languages?

Alright so….

  1. One character or work you think is under-appreciated:  So I made a post once about the movies that people hate that I really like, but if I had to go with one particular thing I would say the original TRON.  Unlike the remake (which was a fun but shallow scifi spectacle), the original TRON was a fantastic allegory for the tech industry and portrayed some major things about both the culture and the technology itself (ie, microkernel vs. macrokernel architecture) very well.  I’ve never seen anything else so accurately portray our contemporary relationship with technological engineering, and most folks just pass it off as bad ’80s scifi kidstuff.
  2. Do you have any hobbies?  I’m going to guess this question was more directed at somebody else in that tag list.  Because yes, I have hobbies: roleplaying games, comic books, I play piano, I’m learning the autoharp, I’m heavily involved in my church both with our worship team and our youth ministry, and I run a meetup group for roleplayers.
  3. What is your favorite childhood memory?  It’s not a specific one, but “family vacations” almost always meant my mom & my sister going shopping somewhere and I hated it.  The only upside was finding an arcade in the mall and sinking every quarter I could into it.  My dad loved pinball machines and sometimes he would let me control one of the flippers.  I was always worried I was going to disappoint him and lose the ball, but I never remember him actually getting upset with me.  So yeah, playing pinball with my dad.
  4. Who would you most like to spend a day with?  I’ve had the same answer to this question since I was 8 years old.  I always thought it would be amazing to spend the day with Jim Henson.  He was just such a kind man and so very creative & weird.
  5. If you could travel anywhere in space and time, where would you visit?  This is going to sound really stupid, but I’m going to say Woodstock.  I would love to know the difference between the myth that it became and what it was really like.
  6. Who is your favorite hero character?  I LOVED The Flash / Wally West when it was just him & Linda in the comic books.  My enjoyment lessened after they had kids, but I couldn’t tell if that was a decrease in the quality of the writers after Geoff Johns’ fantastic run, or if it messed with the dynamic I enjoyed between Wally & Linda.  But yeah, that’s my favorite.
  7. Favorite Media Trope:  I’m not sure exactly what you’re looking for here but I’m going to go with “A good guy who’s actually a nice guy.”  Looking on TVtropes they described it as “All-Loving Hero."  That’s definitely my favorite.  An uncomplicated unapologetically unabashed good guy.
  8. Influential Media:  As a kid I devoured the Oz books by L. Frank Baum, regularly reading and re-reading the original 14 books.  They are on a very short list of books I have voluntarily re-read.  They are goodhearted, fun, and wholesome.  
  9. Ideal Meal:  chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and fried okra.
  10. Cake or pie: Cheesecake (ideal combination of both)
  11. Other languages:  C/C+/C#, Java, Perl, Python, Javascript, a little bit of MatLab, some assembler,  QBASIC, and a smattering of Spanish

Okay, so here’s my questions for aletheialoki, wizarddevon, koboldbard, doncoyote, cyberkraken, cartoongoblin, misskikicat, rageofthetitan, ravenna7939, geekgirlsmash, girlgamemaster

  1. Who’s your favorite DC comic book character?
  2. Who’s your favorite Marvel comic book character?
  3. Who’s your favorite Muppet?
  4. If you woke up tomorrow gender-swapped in the body of a fictional character of your choice, who would it be?  (Note: You still wake up in your bed in your home living your life, not in the other person’s life.)
  5. Do you prefer small towns or big cities?
  6. If you could only listen to one musical artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?
  7. What’s your favorite roleplaying system/edition?
  8. If you had to describe yourself in real life as a particular class / alignment from D&D, what would it be?
  9. If you had to leave the country you live in now, what country would you want to live in?  (Let’s assume you automatically learn the language when you get there.)
  10. Captain America is running against Kermit the Frog for President of the United States in 2016.  Who do you vote for?
  11. You have the choice of growing gills or a prehensile tail.  Which do you pick?

(Source: tylerfaith)