The Greater Deck of Many Things

Deck of Many Things

This artifact looks and functions very much like an ordinary deck of many things. The back of each card featured an intricate and ever-shifting ink pattern that seems at once to represent a viewer’s secret desires and a mocking grin. Those who look at the pattern for very long can almost hear a whispering voice urging them to draw a card.

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4 Great Character Introductions in Film

Casablanca

You’ve got a great film hero and you’re just dying to make audiences fall in love with the character. How do you make that happen effectively? Introducing a character is no easy task, but it helps that there are dozens of examples of great introductions in film.

The best character introductions have a few things in common. They are efficiently shot, with nothing in the frame going to waste. They tell the audience the essentials about the character, usually without a lot of dialogue. And they get viewers invested not only in the character, but the film as a whole.

The list below is by no means comprehensive, but it represents what comes to my mind when I think of great character introductions. This being a purely subjective list, it is tinted heavily by my love of pop culture. That said, I do think that each of them stand out as great moments in cinema.

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Rogue One and the Disturbing Implications of Star Wars Droids

K-2SO

(Spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story below.)

My wife and I recently watched Rogue One. Better late than never, after all. Happily, I found it to be a really good movie. That really puts it into above and beyond territory, because it could have been awful and still been worth watching just for the Vader scene at the end.

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Super Mario Pathfinder

Super Mario Pathfinder

I have a son who is getting interested in role-playing games. He is also extremely interested in the Mario franchise, to the point where he refers to himself as Mario. His sister gets to be Princess Peach, his mother gets to be Princess Daisy, and I’m stuck as Luigi.

Recently, I decided to fuse these two interests together, resulting in a Super Mario Brothers edition of Pathfinder.

The process was actually pretty easy. Since combat and task resolution in Pathfinder are abstract, you can fill the flavor text in yourself. If you hit and do 1d6 bludgeoning damage, what difference does it make if you’re swinging a mace or jumping on bad guys’ heads?

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Delving into the Book of Erotic Fantasy: Wear Protection

The Book of Erotic Fantasy

Originally posted on Sidekickcast.com

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition introduced the Open Gaming License, which made huge chunks of the D&D rules open to third parties. It created thriving adventure lines, such as Dungeon Crawl Classics and even allowed the creation of competing games, such as Pathfinder. But by far one of the most simultaneously awesome and horrible products that emerged as a result of this license is the Book of Erotic Fantasy.

According to the introduction, “The Book of Erotic Fantasy is a sourcebook that deals with the topics of sex in the world of fantasy roleplaying games, written with the adult player in mind.” Depending on who you talk to, it’s either one of the best third-party supplements out there or one of the worst.

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Weird Magic Items I Wish I’d Used

Lidda

Originally posted on Sidekickcast.com

Thanks to whatever weirdness inhabited the heads of Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, fantasy gaming has some really bizarre stuff baked into its history. I’ve gamed long enough to use a lot of that weirdness (including my personal favorite, the deck of many things), but there’s still so much more out there. Here’s a quick list of some of the fun items in Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder that I’ve always wanted to slip into an adventure but have never quite been able to make fit.

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