A Spoiler-Free Review of Bandersnatch

Posted in Movie Review with tags , , , on January 16, 2019 by boccobsblog

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

  • Initial release: December 28, 2018
  • Director: David Slade (30 Days of Night)
  • Screenplay: Charlie Brooker (Black Mirror)
  • Music composed by: Brian Reitzell
  • Production company: Netflix
  • Producer: Russell McLean
Cast
From Netflix:
In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a dark fantasy novel into a video game. A mind-bending tale with multiple endings.

Bandersnatch follows Stefan Butler who is played by Fionn Whitehead (I Google it, this is not a type of zip that plagues high elf adolescents) as he attempts to create an interactive video game called Bandersnatch (a fictional character/creature created by Lewis Carroll). Here is our review of Netflix’s first adult interactive movie:

The Good
  • Great soundtrack (which you can partially control)
  • Dozens of Black Mirror Easter eggs
  • Fionn White makes a creepy programmer with a dark past
  • Will Poulter plays a acidmancer with a sweet Billy Idol hairdo
The Badass
  • New and novel interactive TV experience
  • 5 “main” endings, but as many as 12 possible endings
  • Readers of Choose Your Own Adventure books will feel a great sense of nostalgia
  • Bandersnatch keeps the dark/gritty feel that makes Black Mirror so good
  • The Tuckersoft Games website gimmick
The Ugly
  • The restarts get a bit tiring, like watching Run Lolo Run
  • The show is a bit limited (but as the first of its kind that is to be expected)
  • It relies a bit too much on being meta (the viewer controlling the action) over strong storytelling

Netflix Sued

Chooseco, the current owner of the popular Choose Your Own Adventure titles from the 80s and 90s, filed a 25 million dollar lawsuit against Netflix claiming copyright infringement.

“We have received an unprecedented amount of outreach from people who believed we were associated with the creation of this film, including parents who were concerned that we had aligned the CYOA brand they knew and loved with content that surprised and offended them,” Shannon Gilligan, co-founder and publisher of Chooseco, said in a statement. (NBC)

Hopefully Netflix will continue producing interactive titles. Leading up to Bandersnatch, Netflix created an interactive Puss in Boots shows as well as a Minecraft cartoon.

 

Skanky Clickbait:

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Gen Con 2019 Badge Registration Open

Posted in Conventions, Gen Con 2019 with tags , on January 13, 2019 by boccobsblog

Registration for Gen Con 2019 is now open!

(Just in case you live in the Underdark:)

Gen Con is the original, longest-running gaming convention in the world!

Founded in 1968, Gen Con hosts the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America. With 500 exhibiting game companies, award-winning authors and artists, vibrant costumes, thousands of events, family entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden, and the debut of hundreds of exciting new games, Gen Con truly is The Best Four Days in Gaming™.

Here are some pictures from last year’s trip:

 

Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

 

 

20 D&D Rogue Quest Ideas

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons with tags , , on January 11, 2019 by boccobsblog

d&d rogue quest ideas

This week’s guest blogger is author, Thomas Biehl. He has prepared 20 quest ideas for the party’s rogue.

  1. An adventuring group asks you to open a chest for them, it’s empty, but they don’t believe you and think you stole its contents.
  2. The local magistrate wants someone to be gotten rid of ‘quietly’, so they hire you, but then you realize you are the intended target.
  3. You use Mage Hand to pickpocket a wizard’s spell book, which contains dark magic; you think nothing of it until someone close to you dies under mysterious circumstances.
  4. A local noble hires you to spy on his enemy who is gathering righteous forces; to do so you have to impersonate a paladin.
  5. A healer needs money; she asks you wound, but not kill, several people so that she can heal them and split the profits with you.
  6. A party hired you to deal with traps, then left you for dead; you escaped and are ready to get even.
  7. A ranger scout on an opposing side spots you alone in a thick forest, and a deadly game of hide and seek ensues.
  8. A party is auditioning for a thief; the task, steal the jeweled necklace of a local nobleman’s wife, which she never takes off.
  9. Members of your old guild are disappearing when a mysterious note appears in handwriting you recognize and asks you to meet.
  10. A fellow Rogue inadvertently tries out a new form of poison on you…
  11. You awake stripped of all your equipment and weapons; you must escape using only your skills.
  12. A lout at a bar challenges you to a dagger throwing contest, and you win his dagger only to find out that it is cursed.
  13. The only way to get to something you need to steal is by an opening only a child could fit through, what do you do?
  14. A man is certain that his wife is cheating on him and wants proof, he will only pay you for proof. You find out that she isn’t cheating, but is rather attractive…
  15. A dragon suspects a rogue stole from his hoard and tells you to find out who or he’ll roast you.
  16. A lord hires you to attend a dinner party for his noble. He wants you to steal something special from each one of the guests.
  17. You are hired to assassinate a local rabble-rouser; when you got to his home, he isn’t there, but his daughter catches you there.
  18. A member of your party finds things of theirs missing and blames you; you scoff, but the items are found among your belongings.
  19. An anonymous person hires you to test out the traps they set to protect their dungeon, but it turns out to be an old rival who is trying to trap you.
  20. You wake up, hung over, to find out several people were stabbed by daggers, a few died, in a tavern brawl and you are being blamed.

About the author:
Thomas Biehl is a writer, teacher, parent, and petty dabbler in theoretical physics, metaphysical philosophy, and abnormal psychology. Read more at biehlsnotebook.wordpress.com.

 

Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Roll Player Game Review

Posted in board game, Product Review with tags , , on January 9, 2019 by boccobsblog

At GameHoleCon in November we had the the pleasure of trying Roll Player, by Thunderworks Games.

According to their website:

Mighty heroes don’t just appear out of thin air — you must create them! Race, class, alignment, skills, traits, and equipment are all elements of the perfect hero, who is ready to take on all opposition in the quest for glory and riches.

In Roll Player, you will compete to create the greatest fantasy adventurer who has ever lived, preparing your character to embark on an epic quest. Roll and draft dice to build up your character’s attributes. Purchase weapons and armor to outfit your hero. Train to gain skills and discover your hero’s traits to prepare them for their journey. Earn Reputation Stars by constructing the perfect character.

The player with the greatest Reputation wins the game and will surely triumph over whatever nefarious plot lies ahead!

Roll Player
Players: 1-4
Time: 60-90 minutes
Ages: 10+
Rules: PDF

What’s included:
• 1 Rulebook
• 6 Character Sheets
• 73 Dice
10 Green
10 Blue
10 Red
10 Purple
10 Black
10 White
13 Gold
• 1 Dice Bag
• 101 Cards
4 Player Aid / Reputation Track Cards
6 Class Cards
16 Backstory Cards
17 Alignment Cards
53 Market Cards
5 Initiative Cards
• 55 Gold Tokens
• 12 Tracking Tokens (2 in each Class Color)
• 6 Charisma Tokens

What I enjoyed:

  • There are several win conditions
  • The game allows multiple play styles (cooperative or cooperative)
  • Well thought out alignment system that rewards and punishes your choices
  • Roll Player has some great art
  • There are several character classes and races to choose from

All in all, Roll Player is a fun game and I recommend it. The rules are well thought out, and there was a lot time put into the game’s creation. I enjoyed bringing my sociopath frogkin ranger to life. Learn more about Thunderworks games at their website.


Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Escape Room (2019) Movie Review

Posted in Films, Movie Review with tags , , , on January 6, 2019 by boccobsblog

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Imagine that The Game (1997) and Cabin in the Woods (2012) banged in a Waffle House bathroom while The Cube (2004) and The Maze Runner (2014) watched — their inbred mutant baby would be Escape Room.

According to Escaperoom.movie:

Escape Room is a psychological thriller about six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to find the clues or die

Directed by: Adam Robitel (Insidious: The Last Key)
Screenplay(-ish) by: Bragi Schut and Maria Melnik (American Gods)
Story by: Bragi Schut (Season of the Witch – that explains a lot)
Produced by: Neal H. Moritz, Ori Marmur
Executive Producer: Rebecca Rivo

CAST
Taylor Russell
Logan Miller
Deborah Ann Woll
Jay Ellis
Tyler Labine
Nik Dodani
with Yorick van Wageningen

The Good

  • The sets are well-crafted and detailed
  • The score added to the suspense without being obnoxious

The Badass

  • Jay Ellis (Insecure) does a great job, and is the only character with even a hint of complication or backstory
  • Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil, True Blood) has a brief role as a tortured war vet
  • The plot moved quickly and jumped right into the action (I have the attention span of meth-addicted lemur, so this is always a big plus for me)
  • Escaperoom.movie has a Million Dollar Challenge where you can attempt to solve clue, win a trip to Los Angeles, and get a shot at a million dollars

The Ugly

  • Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) is awkward and seems out of place.
  • Dr. Wu Tang Clan.
  • The Game Master is goofy, and appears too late to have an impact.
  • The plot is beyond ludicrous.
  • Using the Illuminati as the BBEG is weak writing. When you use a cabal with limitless resources and reach, it allows you to easily explain away ridiculous plot holes.
  • The trope of the rich and powerful watching us kill ourselves via the internet is tired and overused.

This movie was an enjoyable excuse to eat popcorn, but you can wait to watch it on Netflix. It was silly and had little substance.

20 D&D Bard Quest Ideas

Posted in D&D 5e, D&D Fifth Edition, D&D Next, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , , on January 4, 2019 by boccobsblog

 

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Yeah, that’s a gelatinous cube in a thong. Art by Mia Johnson.

Today we have a guest blogger, Mia Johnson from Tipsy Badger. She has prepared 20 D&D Quest Ideas for bards.

  1. The children of the surround farmland have been disappearing, some say a satyr play his flute just on the edge of the woods, enticing them to join his dance.
  2. Despite the disappearing members and strange accidents happening around the traveling circus, the troupe seeks new headliners for this evening’s show.
  3. A haunting melody rouses the party from their sleep to see a ghostly veiled woman drifting towards a pond, beckoning the party with her hand before sinking below the water.
  4. Drunken revelry draws the party’s attention to  a crowd of townsfolk gathered round a fighting pit, the betting pot valuing a small fortune.
  5. The whole town decorated in fresh flowers and summer banners, many walls and posts are littered with fliers detailing a competition on the center stage, winner receives a hefty some of gold and a masterwork instrument by a local craftsman.
  6. Many musicians have been disappearing from town, rumor has it a devilish creature stalks through the streets at night with his corpse band chained to his side.
  7. A young red dragon with a belled collar around its neck comes bounding through the woods near the party, followed by an out of breath young elf singing an off-key lullaby in an attempt to soothe the beast .
  8. The thieves guild has got a big score lined up from a nobles manor, and they’re willing to give the party a cut if a big diversion is made in the market district.
  9. After a long evening of celebrating their latest victory, the party finds their pockets and sheaths empty with the vague memory of one of the tavern names that they had visited.
  10. The streets are littered with a variety of statues locked in expressions of fear, in the town square large stone beings gather up statues, dragging them towards the keep.
  11. A symphony of terrified screams bring the party’s attention to a large troll walking down the city street, peering through doorways and windows looking for someone.
  12. Desperate, a baron seeks local performers in an attempt to make his bride to be smile.
  13. A woman follows the party wherever they go, claiming to be the bard’s daughter.
  14. It is an annual tradition for a musician to enter the catacombs perform a song to soothe the restless dead, with a necromancer claiming the area as his own, no musicians have been willing to enter the dead infested underground, and the deadline is fast approaching.
  15. The party stumbles upon a slaughtered caravan, the only survivor, fast asleep among the carnage is a blood covered old man with scars over where his ears should be. As the party approaches, the old man opens his eyes, and a toothy grin spreads across  his face as he transforms into a hideous abomination.
  16. While building a new addition onto the lord’s manor, the workmen discovered a series of tunnels underneath the household as well as a gray cow-like beast with milky eyes guarding them, at least that’s what the surviving woman claimed to his lordship. A reward has been posted to all the surrounding towns for anyone who can slay the beast.
  17. In a run-down tavern, a huntsman recounts finding a carved door surrounded by small shards of glass and other found objects set into a hillside, he swears the door opened a crack when the birds were singing.
  18. A neatly written letter is delivered by courier detailing out a plea by a well-renowned songstress, believing someone is going to make an attempt on her life, asks the party to protect her or take her place on stage.
  19. When performing in a local tavern, a finely dressed heckler insults the bard’s performance. If confronted, it will be revealed that the heckler is in fact the duke that rules over the surrounding land, and will call for the arrest of the party, and will try to have them run out-of-town.
  20. In danger of losing his position as royal court jester, the old fool begs the party to help him perform a simple play of three old maids for his lord. In return, he promises to reward the party his grandfather’s prized possession.

About the Author:
The minute I could pick up a crayon, my parents had to cover the walls with paper to save the walls from my creations. I’ve been fascinated with art, story, film-making and of course Dungeons & Dragons all of my life. I’ve been attending Columbia College Chicago with a major in Cinema Arts & Sciences and minoring in animation to further my love and appreciation for both art and story. I founded the art page Tipsy Badger after finishing a piece for my own D&D game for some extra experience points from my dungeon master. One hairy dwarven maiden pin-up and I was hooked on this genre of art. The traditional hero type I have a harder time connecting with, you’re telling me those huge badonka-honkers don’t have stretch marks anywhere on them? I don’t think so. It’s important these little details, especially in art. Most everyone is going to have sagging bits, or folds, or stretch marks or hair (so much hair). It’s important to be proud of these features, both in-game, in art, and outside of it. If you’re looking for some naked hairy wizards you can find my work at any of the links below.

Teespring: https://teespring.com/stores/tipsy-badger-2
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/tipsybadger/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tipsybadgerdesigns/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tipsy_badger


Buy me an 1/18 of a cup of coffee
D&D 5E Core Rulebook Gift Set
Dungeon Mayhem – D&D Card Game
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

GameholeCon 2018

Posted in Conventions, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder with tags , on January 2, 2019 by boccobsblog
GameHoleCon 2019

Pic by Arcadya Photography

GameHoleCon is a tabletop convention held at the Alliant Energy Center  in Madison WI each fall. We attended GHC for Saturday only, and this is our review.

Free Parking
One of the biggest draws for GameholeCon is the parking. If you’ve been to GenCon or another major event then you’re used to paying $25+ a day on parking. The Alliant Energy Center has nearly 6,000 free spots. There was ample free parking. This was a welcome change.

Food & Drink
This is one area that the con really suffered. The concessions in the AEC are limited. The food was expensive and they only carried Pepsi products. If you prefer or need to drink diet soda, then Diet Pepsi is your only choice. Diet Pepsi is somewhere between demon piss and gasoline. The con had a deal where you could get a refillable cup, but again a refillable cup of demon piss isn’t really a win. There were food carts outside the AEC, but the prices were high (I spent 5 dollars on a bottle of soda from a vendor).

If you attend you should know ahead of time, there are no restaurants close to the convention center.

Booze
The AEC sells beer in their concession area. This is a rare find at most cons.

Hotels
The hotels are close to the hall, but many require a short walk outside. This isn’t a bad thing, but should be considered because booking a room. The Clarion Suites is the onsite hotel with an enclosed walkway to the AEC. There were plenty of hotel rooms available for the con (another welcome change).

Vendor Hall
The vendor area is fairly small, but all the major names and usual suspects were in attendance.

Access to Industry Celebs
The most impressive aspect of this small con was the sheer number industry celebs that attended,, and how easy it was to approach and even game with them. On the one day we were in attendance we saw, Matt Mercer, Chris Perkins, Satine Phoenix and Matt Lillard.

In Conclusion
GameHoleCon has all of the features of a large con-True Dungeon, miniature painting, Adventurer’s League, Pathfinder Society, industry celebrity games (maybe more so than a large con). The staff was extremely friendly, and there was plenty of free parking. GameHoleCon is worth visiting and we will be returning.