Beyond Zeppelin – Using Music to Set a Mood in RPGs

Dungeons & Dragons Music

I have a confession to make. With all apologies to Stephen Lynch, I have never once listened to Led Zeppelin while running, writing, preparing, or in any other way involving a D&D game. I was never that huge a Zeppelin fan, and, although they occasionally toss in a fantasy reference or two (like mentioning that Gollum slipped up and made away with one’s lady so fair) and have songs about Vikings, I just don’t feel like the mood of their songs matches the mood of my games. Many people have … [Read more...]

Dear Anon-O-Box: I’m A Geek Girl With No Emails…

mailbox

Dear Anon-O-Box, It is mentioned in several places that women on dating sites are inundated with emails and (ugh) winks. I don't seem to suffer from this problem. I get absolutely no response; emails, winks, rotten tomatoes or otherwise. Not even creeps or scammers bother me. I have a picture (it isn't the greatest, but I don't look like a swamp beast), and a passing grasp of the English language. And those are just the basic qualifications! What am I doing wrong? Signed, Single Female … [Read more...]

Dude Rolls Like A Lady: Cross-Gender Play In RPGs

coed

There are a lot of things that go through a player’s mind at the time of character creation. “What class would work best with these crummy ability scores I just rolled?” “I always play a Toreador – should I go Lasombra this time?” “My last character was a complete extrovert – maybe a quiet type would be better for this game?” “Hmmm, OK, I think I’ll go with a half-elf sorcerer of the fey bloodline. Do I want to be a boy or a girl?” Does that last query seem odd to you? Perhaps … [Read more...]

Portal 2: Superior Core

portal

Okay, I'll be the first to admit it: while I thought the first Portal game had ingenious gameplay, funny voice acting, and a strangely addictive end credits song, I didn't get the hype. Unlike other phenomena that took me a while to warm up, it was not that I'd heard that this game was ah-maze-ing before I'd ever played it.  I think I might've played it shortly after it was released.  No one was talking about it, then.  And it was cute, and funny.  It was funnier later to see that Rock Band … [Read more...]

Spotting a Fake Online Dating Profile: Is That Picture For Real?

tineye

Ever wonder if a profile you've seen on your dating site is for real? Maybe the person looks too good to be true. They're ultra geeky, they're super attractive (to you!) and best of all, they've emailed you and are interested in getting to know you better! Surely, there's a catch. The good news is that more often than not, there's not. There are millions of good singles out there on online dating sites and they're just like you. But there are spammers and scammers too. Luckily, the fine … [Read more...]

Scrolls, Satire and Strangely Large Eyes: The Prehistory of Manga

prehistory manga

When I’m not being a geek over anime, video games and science fiction, I can occasionally be found geeking about writing, literature and history… and what better way to compound my geekiness than combine them all together a bit? And while most of the time I’m content to have a bit of history in my manga – albeit usually rather loose history at best – recently I thought I’d get a bit of manga in my history and do some research on how manga as we know it came to be. And while a lot of people know … [Read more...]

Beyond the Game – D&D in Other Media, Part 2

zombieking

Before I continue my surge into other bits of media, I wanted to touch on 2 other direct-to-DVD items and one…I guess you’d call it a web-TV series that eluded my original article. Scourge of Worlds was an interactive, computer-animated D&D movie. It was kind of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style piece, where you guided a group of iconic D&D characters – Regdar, Mialee, and Lidda – through an adventure. The animation was decent, but what really helped the piece was the strong sense … [Read more...]

Dear Anon-O-Box: The 10 Commandments of Online Dating Safety

mailbox

Dear Anon-O-Box, I've been single for the past six months and I feel I'm ready to jump back into dating. The problem is I have issues haphazardly meeting people while out and about because 1) I'm usually surrounded by other people that I know and 2) outside of my little circle of comfort, I'm just too shy. In the past, my relationships have blossomed from friendships that started in school, but having recently graduated and moved to a new city combined with coming out of a three-year … [Read more...]

Girls Love Fantasy Too (Or Why “Boy Fiction” Doesn’t Exist)

a-game-of-thrones-book-cover

Odds are you’ve heard something about this little TV show called Game of Thrones that’s just started on HBO. Odds also are that you’ve heard something about a couple of the less-than-positive reviews that went up last week in which it was painfully clear that the reviewers simply don’t like fantasy and think that those of us who do are childish at best, stupid and uncultured at worst. Let me make a couple of disclaimers before I get too deep: I haven’t seen Game of Thrones. We dropped … [Read more...]

Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith

sarahjane

Even though the new series starts on Saturday, the world of Doctor Who is a somber place today.  Elisabeth Sladen, the actress most well-known for playing Sarah Jane Smith, has passed away.  It was an unexpected shock for fans, and the loss is felt deeply across multiple generations.  I've said before that I come from a family of Doctor Who fans.  My mother has often mentioned that while her first Doctor was Pertwee, more importantly, her first companion was Sarah Jane Smith.  You see, Sarah … [Read more...]