29 June 2015

Peter Jackson really likes Hobbit-holes

It would appear that Peter Jackson really is quite fond of Hobbit-holes ('Smials').

Also: here are the most metal deaths of Middle-earth.  A decent list, but shouldn't the death of the Witch-King of Angmar be somewhere on it?  (Thanks to my friend Marcus for the link.)

12 June 2015

Some more Chaosium news

Following up on the big change over at Chaosium, Sandy Petersen chats at Yog-Sothoth.  Among other things, he speculates on the possibility of bringing Pendragon and Glorantha back to Chaosium in some way.  Of greatest interest to me, Petersen proposes that Chaosium will steer more carefully their BRP (Basic Role-Playing) line of products, including Magic World (the 'de-Moorcockized' version of Stormbringer 5th edition).

Also, Chaosium is having a big clearance sale!

11 June 2015

Christopher Lee RIP

Actor Christopher Lee has passed away at the age of 93.

The man was a legend and will be missed.

He made me cheer for Saruman!

03 June 2015

Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen return to Chaosium

Greg Stafford, founder of Chaosium, is back with the company as President and CEO.

Sandy Petersen, creator of the Call of Cthulhu RPG, also is back with the company, and seems to be in charge of the CoC line.


The announcement is here.

UPDATE (June 4):
There are some interesting bits of info from Sandy Petersen in this thread over at Yog-Sothoth.

18 May 2015

Luther Arkwright and the Tyrant of New Toronto

The Design Mechanism has released a preview PDF for their forthcoming RuneQuest 6 book, Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across the Parallels.  Check it out here (link opens the PDF directly).

This is the basic premise of the setting:
"The Characters are agents of the Valhalla Project, people aware of the existence of the multiverse and possessed of talents and qualities the Valhalla Project needs in its bid to safeguard and preserve the fundamental structure of the parallels. Other forces, principally those known as The Disruptors, seek to destabilise or control the multiverse for their own ends. The Valhalla Project’s agents oppose these plans and frequently work in the shadows, frequently alone, to target Disruptors and ensure that each parallel is free to develop without a malign, external influence."
I’ve only skimmed the preview PDF, but it exudes a strong Moorcock-ish and steampunk-ish vibe.  And the book looks to be loaded with game material that will be helpful for RQ games independent of the Arkwright setting.

But as someone who has spent much of his adult life in Toronto, and continues to do so, I could not help notice that the book’s main scenario is set in a place called “New Toronto.”  New Toronto apparently is located in a parallel universe enduring a horrific ice age following the misuse of terra-forming technology. 

Here is a snippet from page 135:
“Only a few hundred years since the last glaciation, society has already reached an early industrial age with ice-clippers carving paths across the ice from settlement to settlement.
The largest settlement, with over 10,000 people is New Toronto, built on the remains of the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto megaplex. The settlement’s leader is Mayor Frode, a massively corpulent man, assisted by a clockwork exoskeleton. More and more people flock to New Toronto when word spreads of the available work and relatively plentiful resources.”
Mayor Frode?  Sure, the new ice age is horrible and everything, but another Ford, er, Frode regime in Toronto is just too terrifying to contemplate – even in a fantasy role-playing game!

[Behold, the eyes of pure evil]

03 May 2015

Scientists Dig Tolkien

Did you know:
  1. There is a region in Australia called "Mordor Alkaline Igneous Complex"?
  2. There are a pair of asteroids named "Tolkien" and "Bilbo"?
  3. This is a 900-pound ancient crocodile named "Anthracosuchus balrogus"?
More such info here!

25 April 2015

Book of the New Sun: the television series?

I’ve recently posted links to articles on Gene Wolfe and The Game of Thrones television series.  A good friend of mine (this guy), who is a massive fan of Wolfe’s ‘New Sun’ stories, recently explained to me why The Book of the New Sun would make an amazing GoT-style televisions series.  

Here it is:
I really think it would make a great HBO series! Here's why: 
1. It is completely episodic
2. The characters are amazing:
A giant and his fox-faced companion
The most beautiful woman in the world (until the augmentation-magic wears off)
A resurrected woman who coughs up the lead slugs that were forced down her gullet to sink her body(!).
A robot who has repaired himself with found biological human body parts.
And a professional torturer who turns out to be Jesus, but not before he consumes the flesh of his aristocratic girlfriend and absorbs her memories and personality. And then proceeds to have sex with literally every woman he encounters in the story....and then becomes the king. 
3. The settings are amazing:
Buenos Aires in a million years is quite a different place.
The citadel in the middle of the city is actually a spaceship, but no one realizes it.
The city is surrounded by a mile-high wall to protect it from rampaging giant aquatic aliens who are currently quiescent and laying in wait in the oceans deep.
The mountain ranges to the north (the Andes) have been under the rule of this particular civilization so long that every single one of them has been carved into the likeness of one king or another.
Further north the "rotting jungles that circle the waist word' divide our heroes land from the "Ascians", their sworn enemies and Ascia is the ultimate totalitarian state: people may only speak by quoting from a collection of approved texts. 
4. Mysteries abound:
Is the hero's lover really his grandmother?
Is the injured robot actually from North Korea in our era (not kidding)
Is the giant actually a baby version of the giant evil aquatic aliens?
Is the fox-faced guy actually the giant's homonculus-slave? 
5. And finally, like "Lost"...there are no answers!
Fair enough!  (Although I'm not sure about #5.  Years later, I still get annoyed when I think about "Lost".)

I personally would love to see such a television series.  But I’m not holding my breath…

About Me

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I'm a Canadian philosopher, fantasy gamer, and procrastinator extraordinaire, who divides his time between Milwaukee WI and Toronto ON. I lived in Dublin Ireland 2005-2008, and still miss it very much! At least I still have Guinness.