Saturday, November 30, 2013

NaBloPoMo comes to a close

     So here we are, last day of November, and the last day of my involvement in National Blog Post Month. It has been fun making sure I post something on a semi regular schedule. November was full of stuff happening that I enjoyed writing about, especially with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who happening. Just over half of my posts were Who related, sometimes because of recovered episodes but mostly the bits of stuff leading up to the big day on the 23rd. I interviewed Andrew Raymond about his contribution to the local Who community and the amazing event that he helped coordinate at the local Grandview theater. When I attended the showing there, I almost felt like a reporter, though with a sucky camera. It was great and I look forward to attending more of these events and recommend the same to anyone able to, do it.

     I decided to give a shot at making a D&D character class, the Tinker, driven by cogs and gears. They use devices and mechanisms designed for defense and offense, and trap detection/removal and lock picking. I love D&D and various related OSR games, a special love for Labyrinth Lord. In addition, I got to go to Con on the Cob and play in a game of Cryptworld run by Tim Snider (co-author of Cryptworld) I loved reporting on that game as well as other events at the con. A wonderful interview with Jason Braun, and me wanting to go to Gary Con 2014 rounds out my posts for the month. I hope you all have liked what I have to say and I will continue this type of post, though not everyday, at least during the holidays here. Take care, and enjoy!

Design Schematics, part 5

Like before, comments are appreciated. Enjoy!

Cable of Grabbing, Advanced
Level 2
Duration: 1 turn
Range: 40'
This device is a step up from the first level version, as this can hold normal animals for the duration, up to 400 lbs. It is key wound, spiked to the ground and, when activated, springs a set of synchronized, articulated coils that capture the creature and lock into place. The beast is unable to move, though it can growl, roar or whatever.

Burning Geyser
Level 3
Duration: Instantaneous
Range: 20'
Key wound device, this can set to go off within 2 to 6 rounds (20 seconds to a minute) It produces a vertical column of flame 20' high and 5' in diameter, dealing 4d8 fire damage. Save vs. spells for half damage. The device can be set in place or thrown/ rolled/slid etc.

Lightning Rod
Level 3
Duration: 10 rounds per level
Once the mechanism has been wound and activated, it can attract a bolt of lightning that deals 2d8, +1d8 per level of the tinker who created it. The device must be driven securely into the ground, outdoors and in a stormy area. The target, who must be within 10' of the rod, may attempt to save vs. spells for half damage. The rod can attract lightning once every 10 rounds

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, everywhere!

     Had a great Thanksgiving here in the US, made better by the fact that most of the family were whovians. It was amazing, the kids asking questions about the show, telling who were their favorite doctors and companions. I had my eleven doctors shirt on, so we were using it as a reference, pointing to whomever we were talking about if there was some confusion. There were other geeky things we did, such as play a few rounds of Telestrations, but I really got a kick out of talking Doctor Who while sitting around with my family. I hope you all had awonderful day, whether you were with family, friends or just on your own. Even to those outside the US, because we are all wonderful in some way, we just need to figure it out. This is not about stuffing yourself (that is just a delicious side effect) it is about finding what you are thankful for and if it is a person, letting them know that.Take care my friends!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gary Con 2014, really want to go

     Last weekend of March, 2014 is Gary Con and I would love to go. I know at least one person who will be there, so I wont feel like I am totally on my own. One of my concerns is getting involved, since usually if I don't have a plan that includes participation in some sort of event or seminar then I usually end up being a wallflower. Anyone out there have any experience with Gary Con, that can give me any tips or suggestions? Please let me know, thanks you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day of the Doctor, in 3d! (spoilers)

     If you can see it in, it is fabulous. I don't think it is a necessity but it was neat, especially watching it on a huge movie screen. There are websites and blogs that have explained the easter eggs and stuff much better than I would. There are a few things I had to look up, like sand shoes (converse like shoes made for wearing on the beach), and Derren Brown (magician/illusionist) It was great to see a place on Gallifrey that was not the Capitol, and it's people. Regular old Gallifreyans who cannot regenerate and dress different from those in the Capitol.

     The Omega arsenal, where the forbidden weapons are kept, wow. The Moment, or the Galaxy Eater was amazing. This gave Billie Piper a chance to come back as it's operating system, in the form of Bad Wolf Rose. Her interactions with John Hurt are wonderful, with her trying to prod him to making a different choice, telling him "That's your punishment. If you do this, if you kill them all, you live." and that someday he will have to count how many children died on Gallifrey as a consequence. Then things get a bit Christmas Carol-like, with Bad Wolf opening windows to the Doctor's future so he can see how his decision effects the man he later becomes.

     The beginning of Day of the Doctor moves back and forth between the three different incarnations beautifully, the switches from one to the other occurring at what I feel is the perfect moment. No awkward scene changes that take ages to figure out. When they finally get together, it's magic "Who are you boys? Oh of course, you're his companions. They get younger all the time"  and "Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that, they're scientific instruments not water pistols!"

     We get things set up here, like setting up the idea of starting a process with an earlier Doctor that will finish up with a later Doctor. The idea that John Hurt's Sonic begins to calculate how to disintegrate the door to their cell and Matt Smith's Sonic has it finished. Also, the translation of the zygons to the paintings pays off later when Clara prompts Smith to come up with something better than using the Moment. At the climax, the general says "I didn't know when I was well off, all twelve of them." then someone corrects him of course, there are thirteen, and we get Capaldi's eyebrows, hehe. This harkens back to the Brigadier in the Three Doctors "Three of them, eh? I didn't know when I was well off."  Of course there is Hurt saying "Wearing a bit thin. I hope the ears are a bit less conspicuous this time." before he regenerates, a call back to Hartnell stating that his body was "wearing a bit thin." way back in 1966.
Getting the world ready for Capaldi and the next fifty years. Also, was it just me or was the sound of Gallifrey disappearing the same as the end exploding sound on the Peter Davison theme music from the eighties? Tom Baker surprises everyone by showing up as the curator (Queen Elizabeth mentions at the start that she has made the Doctor the curator of the under gallery, hmm) and giving everyone
a thrill. All in all, amazing stuff here and I hope you all enjoyed it, take care!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day of, in 3d Tonight

     Tonight I will be getting out of work a bit early so I can make the 10:30 showing of Day of the Doctor, IN 3D! Afterwards or tomorrow morning, I will be talking about it, spoilers and all. So brace yourselves and be prepared to give your opinions. Later guys!

An Adventure in Space and Time

     It was so amazing, I cried at the end, I wont lie to you. Let me know what you all think. No judgements.

I love Jon Culshaw

     One of the byproducts of the Doctor Who is the amazing Jon Culshaw, whom I first experienced narrating the special that aired before Rose. He can capture the essence, with his voice as well as in his movements, of several doctors. His biggest one is of course Tom Baker, which he did for the Dead Ringers (this clip has a bit of language, you have been warned) in the UK. Here is a clip from the BBC whereas he talks a bit about his impersonations and gives a couple tips on how to capture the essence of Matt Smith. He also can be heard as the voice of Tom Baker in the Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, which I highly recommend, very funny stuff. It is currently only available via the BBC iplayer. Check out more of Mr. Culshaw on Youtube and enjoy!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day (Oh) of the (My) Doctor (God)!! (No spoilers)

     Today I went to the Grandview Theater for their Doctor Who 50th Anniversary, and man it was awesome!! Starting at eleven this morning we were subjected to trivia, parody videos, and the main event-Day of the Doctor Who!! They played the very first episode, An Unearthly Child, and everyone enjoyed it so much, laughing and cheering at Hartnell's performance. The concession stand was selling jammie dodgers and jelly babies, so we were well stocked in that regard. The Night of the Doctor was played, as well as Last Day and stuff like the Doctor Games (parody mash up of Doctor Who and Hunger Games) It was just so fun and comforting knowing that at that moment all over the world, there were dare I say millions of fans getting together in homes and theaters to celebrate our favorite show. Tremendous stuff, and Andrew Raymond and Doctor Who Columbus are to be commended for getting this together. In addition to all of that, there was a local improve group, the Wayward Saints, performing there.
     Enjoy this pic because because I do not have a proper camera, so any pic I took was rubbish.
If you are in the central Ohio area please consider joining Doctor Who Columbus as they are fabulous, just saying. Take care, and I hope you all enjoy the special as much as I did!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Schematics part 4

A couple more for you guys, I ran short on time today. Hope these work out alright.

Door Stop
Level 1
Duration: none
A key wound, hand held device that fires a wedge into the door jamb keeping it firmly shut. The only way to open the door would be to successfully force it open.

Lock Cracker
Level 2
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch
An upgrade to the Door Stop device, this fires a projectile into the lock, essentially disabling it permanently. This action results in a loud noise which may alert any creatures in the vicinity.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More design schematics part 3

A few more schematics for you all, and I hope the updated stats are clear, later guys!

Level 1
Duration: 10 turns (1 minute)
Range: 30'
This is a useful schematic that when built can be used to move devices undetected. A crawler is key wound and resembles a spider in shape. It is up to the GM what chance someone has of noticing this device in motion.

Drowsing Mist
Level 1
Duration: 4d4 turns
Range: 60' if thrown, 30' if using a crawler
A key wound timing device controls when sedating compound is misted into the air, affecting a 20' cubed area and up to 2d6 hd worth of creatures. The device can be thrown, rolled, or can be attached to a crawler. Sedated creatures are oblivious to most noises and jostling, but will be awakened by very loud noises and being slapped or wounded.

Ocular Fascination
Level 1
Duration: 1 round, + 1 round per level
Range: 5'
A glowing, key driven driven device that faintly resembles a metronome. This can only affect 1 person at a time, leaving them vulnerable to suggestion, though they can never knowingly take an action that would harm themselves or their loved ones.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Doctor Who: Best to Worst

     Recently, as in this past week, a friend has gotten into Doctor Who and was wondering where they should start with the classic series. Not surprisingly a web site came up with a best to worst list here. I totally agree with their number one, Davison's swan song is amazing. If more of his tenure was like that, Davison has said he may have stuck around. Directed by Graeme Harper, who would go on to direct some amazing stuff in new who, does a fantastic job here with lighting and development. City of Death comes in at number three and you can see Douglas Adams influence (he was the script editor at the time) in the story. This is one that most fans agree that you can show folks unfamiliar with Doctor Who and they will get it. Tom Baker really gives his performance a wonderful energy, with lines like "What a wonderful butler, he's so violent!"

     Coming in last is the perennial last place, Timlash! Poor Colin Baker's contribution has Peri once more the object of the monstrous villain's attentions, serious over acting, the scenery gets chewed so much, it is insane. Paul Darrow hams it up (to eleven) and a squeaky voiced blue android does not help. Give the list a look and see what you find.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Doctor Who: Companions 0 Science of 1

     So having watched Doctor Who: Companions I found myself disappointed, possibly because I was expecting more. They spoke a bit of the classic series, but all of the speakers were from new who. Despite that I enjoyed it. Now Science of Doctor Who was fun, especially the filmed bits with Matt Smith's Doctor. I liked his explanations of the physics involved in time travel. I was hoping they would talk about the science that would be needed to replicate things from the show, such as regeneration (stem cells) and transcendental dimensions of the TARDIS. (worm hole?) Still, really looking forward to the rest of the week, take care everyone!

Zeppeldrome Kickstarter

     Zeppeldrome: the humorous, hazardous dirigible rally, is a kickstarter that have heard about here and there. Despite the fact that they demonstrate the game with the play test pieces/art you can see how cool it will be when finished. It is a screw your neighbor board game with puzzle aspects, or vice versa. Just wanted to put this out there in case any of you are interested, I will definitely be keeping an eye on it. Maybe even do an interview with either or both of the creators. Let me know what you guys think!

Monday, November 18, 2013

OSR continuation of my 4E campaign

     My 4E game kind of petered out last year, and lately I have been wanting to run a new fantasy campaign. Actually, I was thinking of running it in the same world as my 4E game, just further along the timeline. The group did allow a group of devil troops to enter the world. To update the world I would have that an army of devils laying siege to Galen, and Jinx ruling the teifling nation. In addition, there were events happening that the group never got involved in, some things they actually heard of, like dragons taking an interest in what is going on. Some things I do not want to mention just yet but it should be exciting. Just wanted to put that out there, now back to waiting patiently for the 23rd. *Squee!!*

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Upcoming Doctor Who Blitz!

     This is the final week before the anniversary special and here is what BBC America has planned! Monday starts with Doctors Revisited (first through tenth) all day, then Tales from the TARDIS which features exclusive interviews with cast members from the show's fifty years. Afterwards is the Science of Doctor Who with Professor Brian Cox, going over the science behind the show. Tuesday is a ninth Doctor marathon, Wednesday is the tenth, Thursday, Friday and saturday they have split the eleventh up. Friday night there is Doctor Who Explained, which is more interviews with cast members and others involved in the show. Finally they have Adventures in Space and Time at 9:00 PM eastern time and I am almost as excited to see that as I am to see the special! Saturday of course has Day of the Doctor and later Tennant and Smith show up on the Graham Norton Show at 10:00 PM. Lots of wonderful Who related goodness, just dig in everyone!

Doctor Who: Children in Need

     So, have you all seen the children in need special? Fantastic, and we get to see Tennant in a fez. Speaking of fezzes, my oldest has a fez that he likes to wear around and today he got stopped twice and asked if he liked Doctor Who! Amazing, since growing up that would have rarely would have happened and it would have seemed like some deep, dark secret. Back to the CiN special, unfortunately I have no direct link, since it is for charity. You should be able to view it still on the Doctor Who news page, just scroll down a bit. It looks like a lot of fun with Smith and Tennant, well just take a look.

The Tinker!

Requirements: Dex 9
Prime Requisite: Int
Hit Dice: d6
Humans who become tinkers are fascinated by the way things work, especially clockworks. They enjoy creating wondrous mechanisms to delight and amaze. There are a select few who thrill to see there work used in new and different ways, possibly in dangerous circumstances. Tinkers learn and create schematics that allow them to create these mechanisms, and as they level, the designs become more and more complicated. Their armor is limited to leather and weapons they have some skill in are daggers, blunt weapons, and bows. Magic items a tinker may use; armor, weapons, rings and potions. Also, they are able to pick locks, find/remove traps, and hear noise as a thief of the same level. At the upper levels, they are able to create amazing mechanisms that can delight and thrill onlookers.
Character Attack Table
                              Armor Class
Level          0    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9
1-3            19  18  17  16  15  14  13  12  11  10        
4-5            18  17  16  15  14  13  12  11  10  09
6-8            17  16  15  14  13  12  11  10  09  08
9-10          16  15  14  13  12  11  10  09  08  07
11              15  14  13  12  11  10  09  08  07  06
12              14  13  12  11  10  09  08  07  06  05
Saving Throws:
Level    Breath Attacks   Poison/Death   Petrify/Paralyze   Wands   Spells/Spell-like Devices
1-4               16                      14                   13                  15                    14
5-8               14                      12                   11                  13                    12
9-12             12                      10                   9                    11                    10
Gearborn Level Progression
Experience   Level    Hit Dice(d6)
0                     1            1
1,240              2            2
2,480              3            3
4,960              4            4
9,920              5            5
19,840            6            6
39,680            7            7
77,500            8            8
155,000          9            9
232,500         10          10
310,000         11          10+ 1hp
387,500         12          10+ 2hp
Design Schematic Progression 
Tinker     Schematic Level
Level      1      2      3  
1            1      -      -
2            2      -      -
3            2      1     -
4            2      2     -
5            2      2     1
6            2      2     2
7            3      3     2
8            4      3     2
9            4      4     3
10          5      4     3
11          6      5     4
Tinkers have a chance to learn schematics that they pick up while adventuring, based on their intelligence.Once they have rolled to see if they are able to learn a schematic, they are unable to try again unless the referee deems it acceptable.
Intelligence     Learning
Score             Probability
3                        20%
4-5                    30%
6-7                    35%
8-9                    40%
10-12                50%
13-14                70%
15-16                75%
17                      85%
18                      90%
More schematics to follow, including some specific ones for upper levels. Please let me know what you think and I will see what I can do.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mark Gatiss' Adventures in Space and Time!

     So looking forward to Adventure in Space and Time (written by Mark Gatiss), but we have a slight peek at it from the extras off the Doctor Who: the Beginnings dvd. Part of the extras include four film shorts, two of which deal with the beginnings of the program, and all of which have the illustrious Mr. Gatiss in them. First we have Pitch of Fear which parodies the concept origin of the series. It has Sidney seeing a Mr. Borusa to pitch his idea for a new sci-fi programme. Very funny, I especially like the nod to the theme song at the towards the end.

     Next is The Corridor Sketch where fun gets poked at the filming the first episode of the show.We have a television reporter giving us a behind the scenes look at this new show, with people dressed as cavemen walking down the hallway as the lead actor mistakenly says it hospital drama. The writer straightens him out and when we next see him, he describes it as "James Bond in space". It just gets goofier from their, ending with a cameo from Nicholas Courtney!If you do not have the Doctor Who: Beginning dvd, you can always look them up on You Tube. Give it a look, lots of fun!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Night of the Doctor: minisode

     OMG! Just a few hours ago, the BBC gave us this wonderful present. To give you some time to watch it and avoid spoiling what happens, I have placed a couple picture in the interim.
Imperious Hartnell
No Ben, I don't think your head will fit.

     So, we have Paul McGann in a bit of new Who, plus the Sisterhood of Karn. Now I have to get Brain of Morbius out, hehe. Definitely time war related, a lot of folks hate the time lords as much as the daleks, but you know what? PAUL McGANN! Sorry, just excited to see him acting as the Doctor as opposed to listening. Lovely seeing the Sisterhood again, way back with Tom Baker we saw them and he helped them out so now they return the favor. "Fat or thin, young or old, man or woman." is what Ohila said, giving the possibility of switching genders, though with the elixir from the sacred flame they can do amazing things. I am really looking forward to what the BBC and Moffat have in store for us in the coming nine days. Later folks.

Looking for feedback

     I am so looking for some kind of feedback, just to get a sense of what people out there like. Currently I do interviews, write about Doctor Who and games. More of one and less of the other two? Maybe something I have only touched upon briefly? Please let me know. I have a couple more interviews in the works as well as finishing up work on the Tinker, also I have some more Con on the Cob stories. Constructive criticism is welcome, as long as it helps me develop. Alright, I am done grousing, later guys!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jolly Jason Braun!

At this past Con on the Cob, I got to hang out with Jason Braun. I had seen him at previous CotC's but had not recognized him, mostly because I have only in the past year or two gotten into the whole OSR thing. The following is from an online chat we had last week. Jason has experience in fine art in addition to gaming related works.(check his Tumblr page out) Enjoy!
First question, what first got you into creating art?

I've always made art. There are drawings in my baby book from when I was two years old. Drawing was always my favorite hobby, and when I got into RPG's, it was always what drew me in. I was president of the art club for a few years in high school and won various mid-level awards in scholastic art competitions. When I was a junior, I spent one semester as an art mentor for a special ed student in a nearby elementary. He had trouble socializing with other kids, so we'd get together once a week to draw cartoons and rap about school. That was a great experience.

Groovy! So what got you involved in RPG's

My friend, Steven Streubel, introduced me to it in 1985 when I was 11. I asked him, "Won't that make me worship the devil?" and he just laughed at me. He sat me down with the Mentzer red box and had me go through the solo adventure. From there, I was hooked. We played as often as possible after that, squandering every penny of our allowances on books and dice. We played an amalgam of D&D and AD&D because we simply didn't know any better.
In hindsight, I'd had some AD&D action figures prior to that (both the articulated and bendy/PVC type), but just played with them in the sandbox as you do. I wasn't yet aware of their connection to the RPG. Or even what an RPG was, for that matter.

Sweet, those were the days. What was your first art job?


In gaming, it was a series of interiors for a giant 250-page core book called "Of Gods and Men". That had to be 1995 or so. Some guys I knew around the FLGS put it together, which was an admirable feat back before Lulu, open source layout programs and kickstarter. It must have cost a pretty penny to produce.
A couple of years later, I came across a copy of it at a Half Price Books store. On one hand, it was a bummer that someone had discarded it; but on the other, it was the first time I'd seen one of my books in a store. I wish I'd had a pen - I'd have signed it and stuck it back on the shelves.

Outside of gaming, I believe I got a few bucks to illustrate a program book for a local community center. That was in high school. 1990 or so. Cheezmo cartoons of people enjoying various activities at the center.

What is your favorite medium to work in?


I paint with acrylics because I just don't have the attention span for oils. If I'm doing interior illustrations, it's India ink with small liner brushes, and a bit of hatching thrown in with a technical pen.
I have worked in Photoshop and Corel Painter with my Wacom tablet, and have found they can produce some amazing results. But it's not as fun as traditional media - and since I never do it, digital winds up taking longer than just slinging ink on paper.

Tell me about an embarrassing moment involving your art?

I was having a drink with my sister in the bar of a restaurant for which I had painted a large commission. When the bartender found out who I was, he asked me if "the rumors about the painting are true". Meaning, that I had painted in an Easter egg to symbolize one of the owners' propensity for displaying her 'whale tail'. I had to quickly assure him that it was just  hilarious but untrue workplace scuttlebutt.

As for the actual truth - I cannot comment further, Senator.

So then, what is your proudest art moment?

I was thrilled to have my art appear alongside Jim Holloway's in Cairn of the Skeleton King, even if it was just one tiny piece in the bestiary portion. Subsequently, I worked closely with Jim on the follow-up, Tower of Blood. Holloway was one of my favorite RPG artists growing up, so I had to try not to get all fanboi on him. The first time we spoke on the phone, he asked for "Jaybird" and introduced himself as "Your nemesis, Jim Holloway."

That sounds so cool! Are you able to get any gaming in these days?

Thanks. It was very, very cool. I haven't done any face-to-face gaming in a few years, though I was recently part of a bi-weekly Castles & Crusades game which utilized Skype and Maptool to unite a group from all over North America. It's the next best thing to being there. Unfortunately, 2013 has been super busy for me, the highlight of which was a move from Texas to Wisconsin, so I had to put gaming on the back burner for a while. I figure I'll seek out a game once the cabin fever sets in.

Are you a fan of cats? I noticed in some of the paintings on your site, if they are not the subject then sometimes a cat is hanging out in the background.

I love cats. My fuzzy little soul mate, Sir Winston, loves to sit and watch me paint, so he often winds up in them - both as a subject and usually as a stray hair or two embedded in the paint. Ha. Any time you see an orange cat, that's him. I did a series of souvenir posters for a wine and music festival in Texas. Winston was in it the first year and everyone loved it. So each subsequent year, I'd include a different cat with whom I was acquainted. A hermit has to entertain himself somehow.

What is the best way for someone to contact you for commissions, or just to whisper sweet nothings in your ear?

I don't take too many commissions these days, though I am working on a secret project at the moment. Sweet nothings, drunken ramblings and thinly veiled threats, however, may be sent to

Any projects you are working on?

I'm doing a couple of interiors for a fun module for a publisher with whom I've worked in the past. I can't say much more than that. Otherwise, I'm elbows deep in a bunch of personal work, trying to make some paintings available for Convocation in Detroit in February.

Sounds fantastic! One last question, how did you find out/get involved in Con on the Cob?

I met Andy Hopp at GenCon 2002, and was drawn into his charisma. He started CotC a few years later and I knew it would be something worth checking out. I missed the first couple of years, but have been there steadily for the last six. It's one of the most fun Cons around!   

Thanks for taking some time out to answer my questions. Take care! 

Thanks, man. It was a pleasure. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Check these out! Doctor Who stuff

     I have several pod casts that I enjoy, and of the Doctor Who related ones, there are two that stand out. First is The Memory Cheats, hosted by Steven and Josh, it is an amazing walk through Classic Who. The premise is the give their instant reactions to randomly selected, Classic Who stories. Whether it is available or not, they talk about it, since the missing stories have a reconstruction or an audio track. They post on Thursdays and are currently on #87. If it is an episode they have seen, they will talk about the circumstances in which they saw it, maybe their PBS station skipped an episode or played part of it in black and white. Little things that make it a little different then your standard "Well this happened and then that, and there you go." You can check out their Facebook page here.

     Next we have Radio Free Skaro, which includes Steven from before, as well Warren and Chris. This is a more general pod cast in that they cover most everything Doctor Who, but they also do an an amazing job covering , well...everything. My favorite segment is the mini-scope especially the current series of them, which has them covering the producers of Who from Verity Lambert to Moffat. It has been recommended by Doctor Who Magazine and voted most popular pod cast by members of Gallifrey Base, you should definitely check it out (Facebook page here)

     Finally I really enjoy Siskoid's blog of Geekery, with it's general geek related stuff, but he has been going episode by episode through all of Doctor Who. Go to his blog and you will find he is currently in Christopher Eccleston's season. At the end of each season he writes it up as if it were a group of people playing in a Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space campaign, really cool stuff.

     Just give these a look and tell me what you think, take care folks!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Doctor Who Anniversay Trailers!!

     This past weekend we have been gifted with not one, but two trailers from the BBC! Oh man, starting off, watched it with my wife and she asked about an alien that appears at the one minute mark. I informed her it was a zygon, and quickly set forth to get Terror of the Zygons for her to watch. Once she had seen that I said "So basically, with the zygons involved, you can't really trust that anyone you see in any trailers are who they are supposed to be." Plus, it was a good reason to go out and get a copy of it, since it had just released this past October. So, where was I? Oh yes...

     The first trailer really got me excited, especially with the music going in the background. Going by what I said previously, Rose at the :23 mark could possibly be a *gasp* zygon. I mean with the glowy eyes, it's that or residual energy from the vortex when she was Bad Wolf. The building suspended over the pit at the :04 mark looks to be the same as in the painting of Elizabeth's Credentials and the people in the background of that little clip, including the woman with the Tom Baker scarf, can be seen at the :21 mark. Of course, there is a big red button, that we can safely assume should not be pressed under any circumstances!

     The second trailer released doesn't have the cool music playing as the dalek saucers are attacking and the "camera" sweeps through the mayhem. It makes up for that with it's 1:20 minute run time, though the two trailers each have a scene or two that the other does not. At :43 mark we have the "brainy specs"and :39, :48 we have the sonic screwdriver comparison, and :56 mark could be Elizabeth. I don't have the eye (or computer) for detail that some of you do, so let me know what you all have found or surmised. Take care and happy hunting!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Design Schematics part 2

      Some more designs for the tinker, let me know what you think. I will be updating the class info soon.

Electrifying Touch
Level 1
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch
A small key wound mechanism, which deals 1d8 +1 per tinker's level, fastens to the hand of the user. Only works if the user successfully strikes the target.

Stink Bug
Level 2
Duration: Permanent
Range: 30'
A key wound mechanism that moves a predetermined distance in a straight line, then discharges a 20' cubed patch of haziness, making living creatures within it helpless with nausea. This condition exists for as long as the creature is in the cloud and 1d4+1 rounds after it leaves. Any creature making a save vs. Poison when leaving is not affected for the additional rounds.

Tangle Mesh
Level 2
Duration: 48 turns
Range: 10'
A key wound, gear driven device delivers a mass of viscous mesh. It can be thrown at the target or sent in a manner similar to the Stink Bug. Creatures caught in it become ensnared in the strong, clinging threads. Entangled creatures cannot move, but can break loose depending on their strength. Any being with human range strength can break free of it in 2d4 turns. Creatures with a higher, or augmented strength (above 18) can break free in 4 rounds. The filaments in this mixture are flammable and all creatures in the mesh take 1d6 fire damage from it for 2 rounds. After this any surviving creatures are free.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Design Schematics part 1

Shimmer Dust
Level 1
Duration: 4 rounds per level
 This schematic creates a small hand held, bellows like contraption that produces a cone of pale phosphorescence that adheres to those in it's path. This creates a glow that outlines those affected with a shimmering luminescence, up to 12' per level of the person creating the device. This means 2 human sized targets at level 1 and 4 human sized at level 2. This phosphorescence  does not harm the creatures, but it makes it easier to see them, giving anyone attacking them a +2 to hit.

Cable of Grabbing
Level 1
Duration: 1 turn
Range: 40'
This schematic typically creates a long articulated coil that fastens to the ground and can be set to spring, via a winding mechanism, on an individual walking into it, or can be tossed at someone. If used in the former way, the victim gets a save vs. spells at -2. They are able to speak, though they cannot move as the coil wraps around them and gears lock it in place. May only affect one person/creature at a time.

     To create items found in these schematics, the Tinker (previously gearborn) needs a kit to facilitate this. The tinker's kit costs 30 gp. and has some gears and cylinders, but also molds for creating more, as well as various tools needed. More to come, let me know what you think!

Andrew Raymond, Grandview Theater, and Doctor Who's Fiftieth Anniversary!!

     Andrew is a big part of the Columbus Doctor Who scene, as a founding member of Doctor Who Columbus and part of the Grandview theater showing Doctor Who. I though it would be cool to ask him some questions and see what was in store for us on November 23rd.

First question, how did you first discover Doctor Who?

     I was exposed to Doctor Who at a very young age. My father liked the programme and I watched it along side him from the time I could stay up late enough (10pm Saturdays on WOSU at the time). My first memory is from 1986, but I may well have been watching from before then. It was Seeds of Doom, and I remember the Krynoid. 

Awesome! Which classic Who episode would you say is your favorite and why 

     Many, many favorites. I really do have fond memories of Seeds of Doom, so that certainly rates highly. I also love Revenge of the Cybermen. It was the only Doctor Who videotape that the Grandview Library had at the time, and we borrowed it, and I watched it very day for a month, way past it's due date. I think my mom ended up nearly buying it with the late fees! I've also always liked Inferno probably because of the alternate universe aspect. 

I knew that question was a bit unfair, though it isn't stopping me from asking again. This time pick your favorite new Who, and why? 

     I love Blink. Steven Moffat had really made the ultimate Who episode. When I first watched it I knew it was supposed to be suspenseful and scary, so I came home from work late that Saturday and hooked it up on my living room TV with all the lights out and just basked in it's combined humor and fright. It was wonderful. 

How did you become involved with Doctor Who Columbus? 

     I had started my own DW club years before in 1997 which had then gone defunct by 2001. But, two years later I was interested in being a part of a group again. I noticed online that there was a website called and they had a Doctor Who group listed for Columbus. In reality there was no group, and is a website you have to pay money to to advertise a real group. Luckily I was able to contact the other two people who were trying to be a part of it as well, and we circumnavigated and setup a time to get together. I was unable to meet at the first meeting, but came to the second one I think. One thing lead to another and we grew into a Yahoo group as well. 

You are part of the Grandview theater showing Doctor Who Saturday nights, was that difficult to get started? 

     Strangely enough that was very easy. One of our club members, Steve Pompa, who lives in Grandview, was attending the theatre and they happened to mention they were interested in showing the new Doctor Who. He called me up and suggested I stop by and talk with them. So I did, and voila! This was the start of season six, with Matt Smith. after that went so well we discussed showing classic Doctor Who, which has now also gone very well. 

The 50th anniversary is close (November 23) can you tell us what the Grandview Theater will be doing in celebration? 

     Sure! It's quite an event we're lining up. It will start at 11am. First of all the episode 'Day of the Doctor' is almost movie length. It will be simulcast across the world, and as of now it will be airing around 2:30pm, but we have a full schedule lined up beforehand. We will be watching the first ever episode of Doctor Who at 12:15, but beginning at 11 we will have clips and videos from the whole run of Doctor Who history. Between these little videos we have quiz questions lined up for prizes. A full costume contest with bigger prizes, and a silent auction for an actual Doctor Who costume from the original series. We will also have groups in the hallway who will be selling/ promoting their stores and groups. We have goodies at the concession stand including the Doctor's favorites: Jammie Dodgers and Jelly Babies. Seating is for 300, but that has been filled to capacity for prior events so show up early! More details will be coming too, so be sure to check the DWC Facebook, and the event page for updates.UPDATE: The episode will air at 2:50pm here. See how everyone needs to join the Event page to keep up with it all. 

Awesome, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Take care!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Con on the Cob: Friday Night

     Friday night and I was able to get a ticket for Tim Snider's Cryptworld game. Thankfully I there were three other players, so Tim went over the basics of the system for those of us who were unfamiliar with it. Basically a percentile based system, you want to role under the target number for general checks. For specific ones you take the difference between what you rolled and the target number and consult an action table.

The game was called Condition Critical, and is this; Dr. Howard Eastman has called a press conference at his remote research facility to announce a medical breakthrough that will “eradicate human illness and suffering forever.” But what if the cure proves to be worse than the disease? We were a newspaper reporter, his photographer partner, a magazine journalist, and a medical researcher (me). We ended up at a creepy building that had been converted into a small country hospital and it went downhill from there. Tim set the scene beautifully, so to speak, I felt like I was in a seventies b-movie. Since it was set in modern day, we all had cell phones, as much good as that did us. We all had a great time and Tim had a copy of Cryptworld that Dan Proctor had sent with Tim to give away, since one guy already had it and the other two did not have a gaming group with which to play, I got it!
Once again, I can't remember any names, except Tim Snider (far left) and myself
     So, after the game I hung out with Tim and helped him in his quest to find Brian Thomas. Brian had some original Cryptworld art That Tim wanted to check out. That is a whole other story, after that the night kind of went downhill. My family was running a little late and when they were almost to the con, a deer jumped out in front of them. thankfully no one was hurt (besides the deer) and the van was drivable. It really was a awful end to a pretty great day. Remember, comments are welcome and they help decide what I do or do not write about. Take care everyone!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Con on the Cob 2013: My Thursday

     Running a bit late with this, but here you go. As I have stated before, cons are more fun if you get involved. Now, I had two seminars on Saturday that I was a part of, but I had not signed up for any games. I looked through the schedule and found a Realms of Cthulhu game that was available. So I got my ticket and when the appointed hour arrived, so did I. It was in the Rogue Cthulhu room and they had replaced the regular bulbs with black light. I would later discover that when you play in one of their games, you receive points that you can spend at their table. All kinds of things were there, from a little Cthulhu statue to
role-playing books. Enough of that, let's start playing!

     Unfortunately I was the only one to sign up. So the gm (Heather) went in search of at least one more person to play. The issue may have been that the title was Auschwitz, the description was that you played either prisoners trying to escape or Russian soldiers trying to liberate the camp. The premise was that the Germans had left seven days prior, taking most of the prisoners with them. I was playing Sandor, a fourteen year old boy who is among the group left to scavenge what little there was. Also, ever since the Germans had left, people have been disappearing. That is when the second player showed up!

     She decided to play a Russian soldier, ready to liberate us poor unfortunates. The prisoners and soldiers met at the gate which, like the rest of the fence, is electrified. The soldiers went to shut the electricity off, and that is when everything went crazy. Partway through fights with two headed wolves and Nazi occult stuff, we picked up a third player, who played another prisoner. So much fun, though it was a bit tense since we were dealing with an actual historical place/event that was horrible. The gm did her homework, the pregens were based on people who were at the camp, she had a map of the camp layout, as well as pictures of prisoners.

     All in all, a good first day of the con. Unfortunately I cannot remember the other players names, but here is a picture of them. Take care, and I will be back later.
The gm had a tentacled cat mascot, sorry I don't recall the names of the other two.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Clockwork Mage? Gearborn?

     While looking for weird historical items for a Cryptworld game I came across the following information:

"Driven by a key-wound spring, the monk walks in a square, striking his chest with his right arm, raising and lowering a small wooden cross and rosary in his left hand, turning and nodding his head, rolling his eyes, and mouthing silent obsequies. From time to time, he brings the cross to his lips and kisses it. After over 400 years, he remains in good working order. Tradition attributes his manufacture to one Juanelo Turriano, mechanician to Emperor Charles V. The story is told that the emperor's son King Philip II, praying at the bedside of a dying son of his own, promised a miracle for a miracle, if his child be spared. And when the child did indeed recover, Philip kept his bargain by having Turriano construct a miniature penitent homunculus."

     Pretty cool, eh? Then I started thinking what a fantasy class involving clockworks. So, even though I have not come up with a good name, here is what I have come up with. I used the customized classes article by Paul Crabaugh from Dragon magazine #109. I would like to try it out with Labyrinth Lord, but any osr system will do.

Gearborn (?)
Requirements: Dex 9
Prime Requisite: Int
Hit Dice: d6
Humans who become gearborn are fascinated by the way things work, especially clockworks. They enjoy creating wondrous mechanisms to delight and amaze. There are a select few who thrill to see there work used in new and different ways, possibly in dangerous circumstances. Gearborn learn and create schematics that allow them to create these mechanisms, and as they level, the designs become more and more complicated. Their armor is limited to leather and weapons they have some skill in are daggers,  blunt weapons, and bows. Magic items gearborn can use; armor, weapons, rings and potions. Also, Gearborn are able to pick locks, find/remove traps, and hear noise as a thief of the same level.
Saving Throws:
Level    Breath Attacks   Poison/Death   Petrify/Paralyze   Wands   Spells/Spell-like Devices
1-4               16                      14                   13                  15                    14
5-8               14                      12                   11                  13                    12
9-12             12                      10                   9                    11                    10
Gearborn Level Progression
Experience   Level    Hit Dice(d6)
0                     1            1
1260               2            2
2520               3            3
5040               4            4
10080             5            5
20160             6            6
40320             7            7
78750             8            8
157500           9            9
236250           10          10
315000           11          10+ 1hp
393750           12          10+ 2hp

So, how was that? Next I will come up with some schematics and we will see where that goes. Until then, take care and remember, comments are always welcome!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Ice Warriors, animated episodes, and me

     So recently I picked up the Ice Warriors dvd, happy to have a Troughton story I had not seen before. Even better, it was the first appearance of the the title monsters! The story was good, but tended to drag a bit in places, but I discovered something about myself. I am not a fan of the animated episodes. I much prefer to see the actual actors, to watch their expressions and their little idiosyncrasies. This is not to say I do not appreciate them. To be able to watch the entire story is great, and the animation is preferable to the still photos found in the recons.

     Enough about the animation, back to the story. The ice warriors leader, Varga (played by Bernard Bresslaw) is impressive, though when he hisses it sounds like laughter. Also, I did not know the original mask was a single piece as opposed to the later design where there is an appliance covering the mouth/chin and the helmet. Set design are decent, costumes look good though the visors/glasses that go over the head instead of around like regular glasses. All in all, it was decent. I think it could have been a four or maybe five part story as opposed to the full six parts. Enough for now, later guys!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Enemy of the World, at last!!

     So finally, The Enemy of the World can be viewed by the masses! I had read the novelization, wonderfully penned by Ian Marter, so when I heard it had been discovered I was excited. The chance to see Troughton playing the treacherous Salamander as well as the Doctor, and it was worth the wait! All involved do a wonderful job, from David Whitaker's script to Cristopher Pemsel's design work. Amazingly nothing disappoints and Barry Letts, who would later produce Jon Pertwee's era, does a great job directing the action. My most favorite part is seeing Troughton pulling off two different characterizations, moving from Salamander to the Doctor, really amazing!!

     The story starts on an Australian beach, with the Doctor taking a swim while Jamie and Victoria look on in amusement. Soon they become victims of mistaken identity, eventually being taken to a man named Giles Kent. He is looking for a way to prove that Ramon Salamander is not the humanitarian philanthropist he claims to be, and the Doctor may be the key to making that happen. There is intrigue, bluffs, twists and turns. When you think you have it figured out, something new pops up and, though it is a six part story, the pacing does not drag. The climax is exciting, but is resolved a bit quickly for my taste.

     It is available on iTunes currently, and BBC plans to release the dvd November 25, 2013. If you are a classic Doctor Who fan, this will be a welcome addition to your collection. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Savage Afterworld and NaBloPoMo

     So I met the amazing Tim Snider at Con on the Cob (more about CotC later) and subsequently learned of his blog, which for the most part deals with Mutant Future from Goblinoid Games. In today's post on his blog, he spoke of three writing exercises for the month of November (national novel writing month, national game design month and national blog posting month) It is the last one that caught my interest, with my spotty postings. I will endeavor to have at least one post a day for November, of course I will have to make up for yesterday. Also, he mentions that tomorrow there will be a big announcement on his blog. I am hoping for something from Cryptworld (Tim has co-author credits that book), but whatever it is I am looking forward to it. Let us see what this month brings us!