Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Ghost Ship King Shaassa.

I started a new game last night with a group of guys I met at the local game store.  We played at my house this time, which was nice because the presense of alcohol seemed to encourage role playing, and to get a snack you didn't have to run down the the drugstore on the corner.  I also enjoyed that it was much quieter.  In keeping with my usual practice of encouraging characters to not always be champions of goodness and light, my party created the ugliest bunch of lawful-evil fighters and assassins as I've ever seen.  The most loveable of them was a half-orc known only as "Inmate #..." What to do with this horrible band of criminals and mercenaries?

When presented with the opportunity, they quickly enlisted on a pirate vessel (no need to Shanghai them!).  After days at sea the ship's lookout called "A sail!" and the captain changed course to intercept.  There they found a derelict vessel which had been at sea for many years.  The ship's captain sent the party aboard to investigate where, after some poking around in the various parts of the ship, they found the ship's log.  Soon afterwards, they were set upon by a hungry ghoul and then another. 

So far so good, I thought, for a short adventure intended to be played in an evening.  We took up about half the time shoring up some loose ends with character generation, so we didn't finish the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Hobbit Review

The other day I walked down to the IMAX theatre at the National Air and Space Museum and watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  As renderings of The Hobbit go, this one fell flat on me.  There were definitely amusing points.  There were exciting points.  I also really liked the idea of interweaving bits where The Simarillion overlaps The Hobbit  in order to add depth and a sense of a larger evil afoot in Middle Earth.  Unfortunately, for all the good ideas in the movie, for some reason it just doesn't manage to connect to me the same way the cartoon Hobbits did, or the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings renderings did (which were truely excellent). I'm at a loss to explain exactly why that was the case, though.  I felt like the movie really took it's time getting started.  I also started off really liking Radaghast and in the end, I just couldn't take my eyes off the stream of bird poop on his head.  I liked how you only saw fleeting glimpses of the dragon.  It definitely heightened the mystery of it.  I liked how they rendered the dwarven mines and halls.  I loved the goblin king and his lair.  There's an awful lot to like in that movie.  The problem is, emotionally, I just couldn't connect to it.  The Hobbit cartoon is one of my all time favorites.  It's like comfort food for the soul.  I was hoping to find that in this movie as well, and somehow, in spite of all indications that it might have achieved that, it didn't.  My hope is that the second film will be better.  The pace of things picked up considerably after Bilbo left the village.  None the less, I worry that a slow first film doesn't bode well for the rest.