Review: Return of Wolverine #1

Posted in Comic Books, Product Review with tags , on September 20, 2018 by boccobsblog

RoW1

Today marks the return of everyone’s favorite cigar-chomping, baddie-impaling superhero, Wolverine. If you just said, “wait, what? Wolverine was dead?!” Then you should check out the Death of Wolverine. Check out the video trailer for more details:

//players.brightcove.net/5359769168001/rkg9u15t7b_default/index.html?videoId=5836560256001

Details: Charles Soule
Penciler: Steve McNiven
Inker: Jay Leisten
Color Artist: Laura Martin
Letter: Joe Sabino

While beautifully drawn, the comic raises more questions than it answers. A few I had while reading:

Why are Wolvie’s claws glowing red hot? Was he in Hell?

What caused the wound on his side? (Muramasa blade?)

Why was the lunch lady wearing a lab coat? And why does she know how to suture a wound closed with a staple gun?

The lunch lady say, “I know why you wear blue and yellow.” Then Wolvie puts on black and red? Is he the real wolverine, or just a clone? Is that why he has no memories? Are they being uploaded into a clone body?

Too early to say much, we’ll have to let a few issues unfold, but I’m excited none the less.

 

Alexandria RPG

Posted in Conventions, Dungeons and Dragons, GURPS, Interview, Pathfinder, Star Wars with tags , , on September 19, 2018 by boccobsblog

AlexRPG

Directly across from the chaos of the exhibit hall at Gen Con 2018 was a quiet sanctuary of pure awesomeness. The Alexandria RPG library was a room with about ten tables piled with RPG books, as well several well-stocked shelves of gaming treasures. Today we sit down with the chief librarian to learn more about this amazing find.

What can you tell us about Alexandria RPG?

– We are a nonprofit lending library that shares RPGs with as many people as we can via events.  We also work with teens, PTSD service members, and soon senior citizens.

What was the impetus for starting an RPG library?

– I have been the deputy manager of gaming at Emerald City Comicon for a few years new and tossed the idea out to fill space.  The manger thought it sounded fun and a few weeks before ECCC 2017 I was asked if I could still do the library.  I ran out and bought some exrat books to fill in holes and add a wider variety dropping like $2000 in a couple days.  Then was laid off the next month.  But that first event we had like 400 books or so and people loved it. We got kids playing RPGs for the first time and had people asking if I would come to their show.  Part way through that first show we got a box of donations from an old friend of mine in Iowa.  He mailed them out when he heard what we we’re doing.

Needless to say people loved the idea so we put our heads down and ran forward with it. We are now near 1800 books and over a 100 different systems.

If you could roleplay with one historical figure, who would it be and why?

-Thomas Jefferson.  I figure he was super smart, self taught, and well read. I bet he had a wild imagination that he kept locked away.

Do you think Andrew Johnson would cheat on his rolls?

– As in the 17th President? Sure he would, he was a politician.

What is your favorite book in the collection?

– My first book is in the Library, my AD&D players handbook my brother and I bought at Sears in 1982. It still has the price tag on it $10.57.   That book has tons of memories for me and the comic shop my family had.

Which cons will you be attending in the near future?

– Friday we will be at PAX West last year was huge there for us, we hosted 100 games in four days. I only brought GMs for 6. The rest we’re people that just wanted to play.

We just did Dragonflight 39 last weekend

We will be at RenCon two weekends after PAX West

Working on trying to get to PAX Unplugged

Jan we have OrcaCon

How can people help Alexandria RPG?

We have a Patreon people can pledge to even a $1 a month helps get us a van rental or new boxes. They can donate funds via PayPal on our website or via our email donations@alexandriarpg.com.  we also take book donations. They can reach us at the donation email for information on sending books

Also follow us on social media because that helps too. We have a YouTube channel and if we can get enough followers we can make a buck or two off videos there as well.

Money is always needed. I have put a couple thousand dollars into the library this year and a couple of other people have as well.

As a reminder we are a 501c3 and registered as a charity in Washington state.

You can learn more about Alexandria RPG at their website: https://www.alexandriarpg.com/

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, Dungeons and Dragons, Uncategorized, Wizards of the Coast with tags , on September 18, 2018 by boccobsblog

Im a bit disappointed that we’re still in the Forgotten Realms, but I’m willing to give this adventure a try. According to WotC:

A fantastic treasure trove is yours for the taking in this adventure for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

Famed explorer Volothamp Geddarm needs you to complete a simple quest. Thus begins a mad romp through the wards of Waterdeep as you uncover a villainous plot involving some of the city’s most influential figures.

A grand urban caper awaits you. Pit your skill and bravado against villains the likes of which you’ve never faced before, and let the dragon hunt begin!

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is available in hardcover for $43.91.

Pathfinder 2nd Edition Playtest

Posted in Pathfinder with tags , , , on September 12, 2018 by boccobsblog

BetaLogo

Today we sit down with Patrick Schreurs to discuss the Pathfinder second edition playtest. Patrick is a venture lieutenant for the Pathfinder Society in Illinois and spent a great deal of time at Gen Con 2018 running players through the playtest materials.

Did any classes get deleted or added?
The “core classes” are back, they also included the Alchemist into the core group. During the design they looked at the “core” question and landed with the list as it sits now (Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Rouge, Sorcerer, Wizard). But don’t worry, in future products they will look to include the other base and expanded classes that have become so popular in 1st ed.
Did they fix the stacking modifiers?
This one is hard to answer, I’ve played a lot of lower level play, but have yet to expand in higher level which normally has those stacking modifiers. Looking at it, it does look like they have addressed this issue as there are fewer modifiers but that could also be that I haven’t come across it yet. Time will tell.
Does it resemble 5e or is still it’s own thing?
It felt like Pathfinder to me. I’ve played some 5e, and it doesn’t fell like it to me, but I can see why some think so by simply looking at it and not playing.
What do you like best about the redesign?

There’s a ton!

Encounter mode (combat mode), the simplicity and elegance of the three-action a round is widely understated! The ability to get through a combat round with ease and near limitless option in choices, in my opinion, is by far the best change in the game. It’s Simple, Quick, and effective!

Spells, for as long as I’ve been playing RPGs, have had some form of requirements for spell casting such as verbal, somatic, and material, or some other forms. In this edition is the first time I am aware of that those requirements fit into the action-based economy perfectly. It just makes sense to me, I love that.

How closely does it resemble Starfinder?
Pathfinder 2ed has similar feels when it comes to character creation, and it does use the “bulk” rules for item incumbrance which seem to come straight from Starfinder.

Will it take much work for DMs to use their 1e materials?
I don’t believe this will be an issue. Its never simple to convert one game material to another as a general rule, but being so close in concept and design it can be done.

What did player dislike during the Gen Con playtests you ran?
I’ve run a ton of demo play so far (all lower level), the only dislikes I’ve heard is players want the classes they had in 1st Ed, which will come in time, and the general hesitation or reservation in the beginning of play that would wash away after the game finished. I assume that’s the normal reaction to something new, especially after they’ve played the same game for years and are now looking at a New game.

What is the estimated release date?
2ed release date is schedule to launch at Gen Con 2019.
Play testing is running from Gen Con 2018 – Gen Con 2019. Paizo has been and will be collecting information and feed back from the surveys and adjusting the game as they find areas that don’t work or need tweaking. They have already adjusted rules based on those feeds backs, so please if you play, take a minute or two and fill out those surveys, they can and will impact the game in its final version.

 

You can learn more about the playtest and download materials at:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderplaytest

 

Patrick Schreurs is a gamer with 29 years of experience and the organizer of Lodge Con


Lodge Con – February 9th and 10th 2019, is an annual consumer fantasy, sci-fi, adventure, and hobby game convention in Peotone, Illinois. In February gaming enthusiasts will converge to share their love for all things gaming, from tournaments, guest appearances, vendor hall, seminars, and workshops.
Find us at https://www.facebook.com/lodgeconn/
 

Spoiler Free Review: The Nun

Posted in Movie Review with tags , , , on September 8, 2018 by boccobsblog

The-Nun-Poster

According to The Nun Movie Official Site:

New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “The Nun” explores another dark corner of the “Conjuring” universe, whose record-setting films have terrified audiences around the globe.

The new fright-fest, directed by Corin Hardy (“The Hallow”) and produced by James Wan, and Peter Safran, the latter of whom has produced all the films in “The Conjuring” franchise, delves into the shocking origin of the demonic Nun Valak, who first made her evil presence known in “The Conjuring 2.”

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

“The Nun” stars Oscar nominated Demian Bichir (“A Better Life”) as Father Burke, Taissa Farmiga (TV’s “American Horror Story”) as Sister Irene, and Jonas Bloquet (“Elle”) as local villager Frenchie.

The cast also includes Charlotte Hope (TV’s “Game of Thrones”) as the abbey’s Sister Victoria, Ingrid Bisu (“Toni Erdmann”) as Sister Oana, and Bonnie Aarons, reprising her “Conjuring 2” role as the title character.

Hardy directs “The Nun” from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (“IT”), story by James Wan & Gary Dauberman. Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter, Gary Dauberman, Michael Clear and Todd Williams are the executive producers.

Joining Hardy behind the scenes are director of photography Maxime Alexandre (“The Voices,” “Annabelle: Creation”), production designer Jennifer Spence (“Annabelle: Creation,” “Lights Out,” the “Insidious” films), editors Michel Aller (“Lights Out,” “Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension”) and Ken Blackwell (“Ouija” “Friday the 13th”), and costume designer Sharon Gilham (TV’s “Black Mirror”). The music is by Abel Korzeniowski (“Nocturnal Animals”).

New Line Cinema presents an Atomic Monster / Safran Company production, “The Nun.” Opening in theaters on September 7, 2018, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

This film has been rated R for terror, violence, and disturbing/bloody images.

In B3 fashion, here is the good, the badass, and the ugly regarding The Nun.

The Good

  • The cinematography is good, not great. Standard shots, no risks taken.
  • Abel Korzeniowski’s score was fitting and enjoyable and added to the dark atmosphere.
  • The acting by the three main characters was decent. Taissa Farmiga makes a believable young novitiate and manages to seem both flirty and naive as well as fragile and strong in equal parts. Demian Bichir is believable as a gruff priest and war veteran. Finally, I found myself liking Jonas Bloquet as Frenchie, who does a good job in spite of subpar lines and a total lack of backstory.

The Badass

  • Frenchie screaming, “I’m French Canadian!”
  • The sets are creepy and well-crafted.
  • There are a few location shots at Corvin Castle are stunning.
  • The film is full of creepy imagery and jump-worthy moments.

The Ugly

  • The Warrens are well-documented frauds, and it is a shame these projects are tied to them.
  • Frenchie screaming, “I’m French Canadian!”
  • The entire movie is very light on plot. The writers attempted to give a backstory to the haunted castle, but the scene is less than two minutes in length and remains largely undeveloped.
  • We are given no explanation of why Frenchie is in Romania.
  • The first few moments of the movie are a choppy and hamfisted attempt to tie it to the earlier Conjuring series. The same holds true for the last moments  of the movie. In all, the Conjuring content of the movie is less than two minutes total.

The Nun was an enjoyable excuse to eat popcorn, but a fractured, barely existent plot keeps it from being a good movie. The Nun currently has a 29% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Conjuring Series is Available on BluRay:

The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Annabelle (2014)
Annabelle: Creation (2016)

Dungeons and Dragons: Endless Quest Series

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Fiction with tags , , on September 7, 2018 by boccobsblog

Wizards of the Coast and Penguin Random House have released a new series of children’s choose your own adventures books entitled, Endless Quest. According the website:

In the Forgotten Realms® Endless Quest® books, you don’t just read a fantastic tale set in the most popular Dungeons & Dragons® world of all time. You become the hero! Answer the call to adventure, and choose your own fate!

The series contains four novels:

Escape the Underdark
“You awaken in an underground cell, stripped of your armor and your sword. Your fellow prisoners inform you that you’re trapped in the Underdark, soon to be taken to the great drowcity of Menzoberranzan and sold off as a slave. But word is that demons are stirring in the underworld’s depth. Perhaps you can use that to break free, fighter.”
(Also available in paperback)

Big Trouble
“When evil giants attack your home in Ardeep Forest, your parents think you’re dead and they go hunting for your missing little brother. You wake up and set out after them, helped by a giant wizard who lives in a flying tower. You don’t know where they’ve gone, but you know that if you don’t find them, you’re all in big trouble. Wield your magic wisely against the giants, wizard.” (Also available in paperback)

Into the Jungle
“The Harpers have lost one of their own, a legendary adventurer named Artus Cimber, keeper of the artifact known as the Ring of Winter. They’ve hired you to travel to the jungle-clad land of Chult to find him. If only you can manage to find Cimber before the frost giants do — or the zombies that infest the land get you first. You’re in the jungle now, cleric.”
(Also available in paperback)

To Catch a Thief
“When you tried to pick the pocket of a civilar in the night-shrouded streets of Waterdeep, you never thought she’d catch you — and you never dreamed she’d force you into her service. Now you must find the baby griffon stolen by the beholder Xanathar, leader of the city’s powerful Thieves’ Guild. And if you should fail . . . you can count on spending the rest of your life behind bars, rogue.” (Also available in paperback)

About the author
“Matt Forbeck is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author and game designer with thirty novels and countless games published to date. His latest work includes the Rogue One junior novel, Dungeonology, Halo: New Blood, the Magic: The Gathering comics, Captain America: The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger, the Monster Academy YA fantasy novels, and the upcoming Shotguns & Sorcery roleplaying game based on his novels. He lives in Beloit, WI, with his wife and five children, including a set of quadruplets. For more about him and his work, visit Forbeck.com.”

I look forward to reading these books with my children. I still remember long hours reading the Rose Estes choose your own adventures books in the 80s. (The trick was to never remove your thumb from the last page so you could hop back quickly if you died.

 

Attack Dice!

Posted in Crowdfunding, Interview, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 5, 2018 by boccobsblog

AD

Today we sit down with John Jacobs of Attack Dice, LLC to talk crowdfunding, dice, and zombies.

What can you tell both of my readers about Attack Dice?
Attack Dice was founded by two longtime friends, Emil G. Palisoc and John S. Jacobs, who first started gaming together back in the mid-1980’s. Like many gamers they dreamed of becoming owners of a gaming store, Emi and John made it a reality in 1996 when they opened Sanctuary Games & Books in Jacksonville, Florida. The store was a local success until they decided to sell it in 2007. After selling the store, Emi and John moved on to “real life stuff” as wives and children entered the picture but we did make sure to keep gaming whenever we could.

Fast forward to November 2011, we began further development on a dice game concept we came up with in 1998.  This concept was reintroduced because with our busy lives, it was hard to find a lot of time to game. We needed to have something we could play with minimal setup time, but it also had to still be engrossing and entertaining. After some refining and play testing, When Zombies Attack! was born. In January 2012 we took the plunge and founded Attack Dice LLC.  On June 1, 2012 When Zombies Attack! was released, the first game we published using our proprietary TrioDice Game System. Our second game, Dungeon Attack! was successfully produced via Kickstarter in 2014. We also have several other game concepts in the development pipeline.

 

Trio

Trio Dice

 

 

I understand you have a new game currently being funded on Kickstarter?
Yes, we currently have our third TrioDice powered game called Roach Party! funding on Kickstarter. Roach Party! was actually the first game concept we came up with back in 1998. Like our other two games, Roach Party! is easy to learn, fast to play, affordable, and a whole lot of fun! We really had a good time developing the game and are excited to get it into the hands of our backers. We would love for your readers to come join us on this Kickstarter, you can find it here.

RP

How does Roach Party differ from your earlier games?
That’s a good question, all of games are powered by our proprietary TrioDice Game System, but they all do have a different playstyle and feel to them. When Zombies Attack! is our most competitive player vs. player game where you are directly competing against the other players in an effort to escape a zombie apocalypse. Dungeon Attack! is a far more co-operative system where players must help one another in order to survive the perils of adventuring in dark dungeons filled with fierce monsters. Roach Party! is a hybrid between the two, you are definitely directly competing against the other players but you do need to utilize some cooperation to ensure that the building is free from the infestation and not condemned.

What sets Roach Party apart from other dice games on the market?
Honestly, I think our TrioDice Game System, is the greatest strength of all our games, including Roach Party! It’s easy to learn and once you learn it, the same basic dice mechanics carry over to our other games. This dramatically cuts down on the need to learn a totally new system each time you pick up a new release. Even though each game has the same basic dice mechanics, they do have a different play style and strategies you must employ to be successful, although it never hurts to have a little luck on your side. Also, we limit the number of components you need to play our games. This helps to keep the cost of the game down and eliminates the need for players keep up with too many pieces that are easily lost or damaged. Of course, I may be a bit biased, but most importantly, I believe that our games are a lot more fun to play with a group of friends than other dice games on the market.  At the end of the day, you don’t really remember the game so much as you remember the great time you had playing it with your friends.

What was the most difficult part of creating Roach Party?
I think that this applies to every game that any one has ever created, and that is the need to be very open and accepting of critical feedback and use it as an opportunity to improve. It’s very easy to dig in your heels and dismiss this type of criticism, but if you are honest with yourself you will step back and try to view this feedback you will find that there are some very good suggestions that will help improve your final product.

What’s your desert island game of choice?
Attack Dice games of course, but I’m assuming you don’t want me to state that obvious answer so I will answer without choosing them. If I am on a desert island with other people with lots of time on our hands, I would probably want a copy of Dungeons & Dragons, it is the system that introduced me to the world of gaming and will always be one that I love. If I am alone, I might just want a pack of playing cards, there are a lot of things you can do with a simple pack of cards.

What’s next for Attack Dice?
Next up, we have plans to publish a new revised and expanded edition of Dungeon Attack! Unlike many publishers, we do plan to offer an upgrade kit for those who already own a copy of Dungeon Attack! and will only need the new material. Beyond that we have plans to do a similar treatment for When Zombies Attack! as well as new dice games based upon the Cthulhu Mythos and Superhero genre. Stay tuned true believers, we have a lot of fun stuff to share in future!