JP On Gaming

Monday, September 26, 2016

007 Lists about James Bond: Top 3 worse villains

As many great villains in the franchise, there are quite a few that don't just make the cut.

I had to think about the worst people in James Bond. And I don't mean Most Evil, just these villains that simply SUCK.

Now when I created this list, I have Michael Longsdale's Draw from Moonraker as number one, but as I thought about it more, the movie was terrible, but his plan was actually pretty sweet, and he found the means to get it done. So I decided to drop him from the top 3. So a decent villain and a terrible movie can go together.

Top 3 Worse Villains

3- Franz Sanchez (License to kill) I make no qualms saying that I think License to Kill - and the whole Timothy Daulton era was easily the worse of all Bond eras. Franz Sanchez who was a drug dealer. He was just horrible. While there are a few villains who were nothing special, this dude had no real gimmick. He had no gimmick, no unique ability, nothing. He was just a drug dealer with a hot wife and a goons.

Although not every villain needs to be over-the-top, for example Kristatos from For your eyes only had none of those special gimmicks, but he was a credible and interesting character. Sanchez is not.

I remember as a kid watching that movie just wanting for him to die, without feeling anything special about it. At least he died and no one heard or cared about him again.

2- Max Zorin (A view to a kill) This one was tough to put on this list, but I just had no choice. I love Christopher Walken. Max Zorin was a character that had a background so completely unbelievable, and we're talking unbelievable within the paradigms of the Bond universe here.

His origin had everything to become one of the top villains: a Nazi genetic experiment, load of money, and mob connections. But Walken's portrayal and the plot made him such a complete psychopath that I cannot see why anyone would be willing to join with him or give him millions of dollars. He was a complete caricature of an industrialist with a look vaguely resembling Andy Warhol.

So why do he rate so high in the level of suck? Other than being Chris Walken, what did the dude have? He was a psychopath that could not handle himself and would fly off the handle at the drop of a hat regularly. No way such a person would rise to such level. I think even the cast did not believe in the plot or Walken's rendition.

Sorry Chris.

1- Colonel Moon (Die Another Day) Colonel Moon's goal to restart a war between North and South Korea just felt underwhelming. Badly. Like I like Will Yun Lee as an actor but yeesh. Even pulling a face change couldn't help the character be move believable. He didn't even seem interested in starting a war. It's like watching Face-off again.

Oh and shall I speak of this fake Iron Man costume that make him even more ridiculous. The GIJoe movie failed. This failed too. Writing this list made me realize how terrible that movie was.

So I re-watched the movie recently and waited for him to finish his monologue with a "Hail Hydra" which would have made sense as the scene was essentially the same as the ending of Captain America: The First Avenger. I know, I know, the First Avenger came years later. However, in CA:TFA, the confrontation made sense and the Red Skull at least had a goal that made people care.

Just no. Just no.

At least he died and we never had to remember him.

Until I created this list.

*Groan*

Sunday, September 25, 2016

[Commission] Arcadia Quest Part 4

And here is the final three of Will's first batch of Arcadia Quest.

This group has a Legolas, "Chaz" (who ActionMan kept saying he looked just like Sir Patrick, his Adventure League character), as a Grace-Jones like character. I will say that I think she has to be one of the ugliest woman in history. That said, the model is full of character and captures the her wild and crazy persona in Conan The Destroyer.









Thursday, September 22, 2016

[Commission] Arcadia Quest Part 3

More from Will's ArcadiaQuest. This group includes three ladies. I don't have too much insight the pictures don't answer...









Tuesday, September 20, 2016

[Commission] Arcadia Quest Part 2

This second installment of Will's Arcadia Quest minis. This group drew a lot of excitement from my kids because of the Monkey King, Monkey Queen and the Pig. They were as the others, fun, quick and easy to paint. Their sculpt making it easy, with clean obvious lines that really help the painting.









Monday, September 19, 2016

[Commission] Arcadia Quest part 1

A while ago, I posted an offer to do painting commission for people. One of those who answered was Will-M, who needed help painting his mountain of plastic. He bought in to the Kickstarter and received a large number of plastics. We talked and I agreed to do work for him.

This is the first batch of minis. It includes the Cleric, Bob and Wisp. The minis are full of character and manga-esque. They paint real nice and quick, especially since he provided me with guidelines in the form of the game's character cards.

Fun for a few evening!









Sunday, September 18, 2016

[Interview] Meet Loren Peterson

After yesterday's big announcement, I thought it would be good for you to get to know him better. So I decided to run an interview for you guys to get to know him!


JP: Who are you?

Loren Peterson (LP) Well for starters my name is Loren and I am a California native with a healthy appetite for beer and science fiction. I am a freelance writer, avid rock climber, amateur game designer, and lover of cats.

JP: Where are you from?

LP For all of my 25 years I have been a SoCal native. I grew up and still live in Orange County.

JP: How did you discover gaming? What drew you to it?

LP I was maybe 9 or 10 and back in 1999 and I was playing super smash brothers with a few friends when one got bored and asked if we would like to play Dungeons and Dragons. The rest of us had never heard of it before and decided it sounded fun so we said sure. He took on the role of dungeon master and explained the game usually has dice and books but he didn't have them with him so we would just tell him what we wanted to do and he would tell us what happened. We ended up killing a gnome and taking his magical blue dagger that shot beams of light and I think we killed a skeleton with it, it was a long time ago. I became obsessed with storytelling and tried to find the books, but when a Wizards of the Coast store employee showed them to me they were far too expensive so I continued to just tell stories as I had, by making everything up with no rules. Eventually, in 2005 while waiting for some friends to get out of a showing of Serenity I picked up the 4th edition core book for Shadowrun in a Barnes and Noble and fell in love with the cyberpunk aesthetic and grabbed as many friends as I could into a game. From there it sort of took off as we jumped from system to system almost always with me as the DM and for the last decade we have had more adventures than I can count.

JP: There are table top RPGs, MMO Rpgs, Video RPGs, LARPS, CCGs, board games and war games. Which of these vices to you indulge in regularly?

LP I have been a video gamer for as long as I can remember, playing Donkey Kong Country with my grandmother at an early age and it still remains one of my favorite games. In the past, I dabbled in wargaming and trading card games but I could never keep up with them financially. Today I still play video games but I am a much more avid Tabletop gamer, I enjoy telling stories and crafting worlds, often time I am participating in one to two games weekly.

JP: Writing/ GMing/ Organizing, which one do you prefer?

LP Writing is by far my favorite part and world building in particular. I love being able to build something from the ground up and breathing life into it, populating entire worlds with characters and tiny details. My current obsession is my two campaign settings I am working on called “The Floating Isles of Karkaton” , a sort of post-apocalyptic magitech world filled with airships and political intrigue and a game I am tentatively calling “Throwdown” , set in a dystopian cyberpunk Hong Kong blending hip hop with martial arts schools.

JP: What other products have you written for?

LP Mostly I have written Pathfinder products for 3rd party publishers. I have done a lot of personal conversions and work commissioned by friends.

JP: What is your favorite game system?

LP This question is always tough for me to answer because the system I had the most fun with was 4th edition, but looking back on it I hated the system itself past 12th level. You could call it nostalgia or rose colored glasses but I really did have a blast running and playing 4th edition. Conceptually speaking I really love Legends of the Wulin and feel that no other RPG has quite captured martial arts action films like that game does.

JP: What is your favorite game supplement?

LP My favorite game supplement is the Dark Sun campaign setting. I was told about it by a friend who remembered it, not very fondly I might add, from his AD&D days and I remember thinking how weird a desert planet with no gods would be to play in. When Wizards re-released it as a supplement for 4th edition I snatched it up right away and poured over it. All that was in that book; art, the rules, stories, all of it inspired so much in me that it quickly became my favorite campaign setting.

JP: If you had a perfect RPG, what would be its most unique features?

LP A perfect RPG, for myself, would be a space opera or science fiction RPG that is neither rules light nor bogged down with clunky mechanics, with nonlinear character progression and great cinematic space combat rules. I have yet to find something that does space opera this well, although Edge of The Empire comes pretty close.

JP: If you ran a perfect RPG adventure or campaign, what would players remember a decade later?

LP Well, a decade after our first D&D game my players still remember the grand battle they had with a Kraken and several Kua-Toa worshippers of Dagon on a 3d model of a ship I built from plywood, that was the culmination of our 4th edition campaign and while it wasn't perfect I think it’s the closest I will get. We sat around the table for hours as tentacles thrashed and moved players around what looked like a 3d chess board, we still tell the tale of the Dragonborn warlord who valiantly fought the kraken with nothing but tooth and claw.

JP: What got you started doing freelance work?

LP Well I was 21 and jobless going to college and studying literature and gaming pretty actively and thought to myself maybe there's a solution to this predicament. At the time a lot of the stuff I was implementing in my home games was coming out in Pathfinder products two or three months later so I figured I was on the right course and started with the RPG superstar contest. That didn’t go so well. I kept at it and eventually saw that LPJ Design was looking for freelancers so I shot him a resume and some writing samples and a week later he gave me a project. The rest is history.

JP: You have done some freelancing before, what product(s) did you work on that people might know you for?

LP People might know me for my work on LPJ Design’s undeFEATable Alchemist or the Claw of Xon from treasure of NeoExodus, but those who are familiar with the NeoExodus campaign setting would recognize me as the designer of the Crown Council (JP: This last book remains unpublished).

JP: How would you describe your writing style?

LP My style is straightforward, although another way of putting that might be lacking nuance. When I write it's usually for practical reasons like outlining an adventure or filling in stat blocks and abilities so I tend to focus on getting information across concisely. When I do delve into fictional stories I rarely write out of the first person and like to load them up with vibrant details, I have been told I focus a lot on the sense of smell.

JP: When writing something, where do you start?

LP When I go about writing or creating I think about the kind of story or stories I want to tell, is it going to be pulp adventure, cyberpunk espionage, or good ol’ swords and horses fantasy? From there I create a mental image, a sort of visual theme and begin collecting images on Pinterest that match it. Once I have my concept board I may throw some music on a playlist to get my in the right headspace and then I start using those images and sounds to help me put ideas on paper. From there I form them into bullet points and begin to assign mechanics like classes and encounters until an adventure outline or campaign setting takes shape.

JP: Why FOE?

LP Well to be honest, I had been away from the writing game and from the 3rd party community for a while and when I saw that FOE was looking for someone I figured it would be a good opportunity to get back into the industry.

JP: What do you want to do with FOE?

LP I plan on doing a bit of everything here at FOE. My biggest focus right now is on increasing our social media presence, answering questions from the fans, and helping to really bring our products to life for them.

JP: What would be the first project you want to drive forward?

LP While I am not sure what projects FOE has in the pipeline I am most interested in delving into the world of Saggakar and really fleshing it out, bringing the whole thing to life.

JP: What will you do for FOE?

LP My overall goal is to do for FOE the best I can, bring my skillset and experience to the table and really help FOE develop its product line.

JP: What do you like best about Saggakar?

LP The concept of slavery and ownership that is prevalent throughout the Saggakar is a new niche I haven't seen before as one of the major focuses in a campaign setting and I found that to be really cool. Every campaign setting has its schticks and the “you are never truly free” angle is usually reserved for more science fiction/contemporary settings so it has been cool to see it implemented in a fantasy setting and reminds me a lot of some of the themes in Dark Sun

JP: What needs to be improved about Saggakar?

LP Saggakar is well on its way and right now I believe the setting still needs a boost but such is to be expected at this stage. Golarion, Eberron, Greyhawk, etc. these were all built up over years by dozens in not hundreds of people, in time Saggakar will get there.

JP: What is your favorite race in Saggakar?

LP HALFLINGS! Hajit if we are getting specific. I really like their origin and how different it is from every other setting, it’s just fresh.

JP: What race needs some love/attention?

LP I personally would like to see the role of the Ptahn and their history fleshed out more. They intrigued me a lot in the NeoExodus setting as a very unique and different race so it would be interesting to see how much they differ in Saggakar.

JP: Do you have any experience with Organized Play before?

LP From time to time and con to con I have played in organized games for 4th edition, pathfinder, and 5th edition but never for any lengthy or extended periods of time. It was hard to find a consistent group that I meshed well with at the table.

JP: What can we expect you to do on the Legacies front?

LP You can expect me to be fun and engaging (Plenty of gestures and funny voices) as well as dedicated. I have a firm grasp on rules and ultimately strive to create an environment that is not only fair but fun for all involved.

JP: Do you have any planned appearances at any local conventions?

LP Not currently but the future will likely change that and hopefully I will be Attending PAX or Gen Con next year.

JP: Where can we contact you?

LP You can reach me at loren@FoeLegacies.com with any questions, comments, or concerns. I also plan on starting up threads on the Pathfinder and enworld forums in the near future in case you have larger topics that need addressing publicly and of course feel free to e-mail me anytime if you see something deserving of my attention or input. You can also get in contact with me on my rarely updated blog Taverns and Tankards where I talk about alcohol, festivals, and taverns in fantasy fiction.

JP: Any last words of wisdom?

LP It’s all a game, so make sure you have fun with it, roll some dice, play some characters, laugh, love, and be merry, and power attack that orc as hard you can.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Loren Peterson joins FOE

Pretty much since the beginning of summer, I have found myself in need of assistance. In the end, I reached out through this blog. I was seriously surprised by the level of response. I got to chat with a number of new folks, as well as reconnect new guys.

I had a number of conversations: my Facebook messenger exploded with people wanting to know about the position, or just to chat. The process went surprisingly fast: a few guys only wanted to chat about the state of FOE, some disqualified themselves for various reasons, and a select few made it through that first round (two guys).

After talking some more with my final two, the interest and desire of one of them really brought him to the top.

So it is with great pleasure that I can today announce the addition of Loren Peterson to the FOE family! Loren's background differs greatly from mine, and I know this contrast should provide different perspectives and a nice mix of influences.

Tomorrow, I will publish an interview with him for you all to get to know him better.

JP

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday art

I woke up this morning to a welcome sight: another email from Irene with some of the oddball characters.

The poll conducted on our Facebook Group showed a clear winner: the drakonian druid! So he is in!

I had some other illustrations of the Kyneans, but none of them felt right. So I had a new one done.

The final character is a surprise! Feel free to try and guess what that one is.

I plan on having them all ready for a spin at Imaginarium in Louisville at the beginning of October

JP

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DragonCon 2016 AAR, Part 2: A Charisma-tolerating Bill Cavalier

Continuing from Part 1 about our time at DragonCon 2016.

Sunday morning, ActionMan and I slept in late. For us two early risers to get up much later than usual was a clear sign of the tiredness we accrued the night before.

It was barely 9AM by the time we were parked and ready for the morning events. I had a single event that day: a book signing at 11:30. This was the second time I participated in such an event, the previous time was at MidSouthCon earlier in the year. DragonCon being a much bigger venue, I was worried and nervous, but also thrilled, much like in the hour preceding my first GMing slot at a con.

Just before our turn, there were a group of other authors there and I took the opportunity to talk briefly with them. I always find interesting and fascinating people's journey into writing.

As ActionMan and I were seated on chairs waiting for our turn, a lady sat next to us and started talking to us. She was nice and all and began telling us about her husband who was a writer and how she wasn't too much into what he wrote at the start, but got into it more and more.

Her husband, Mark Alan Edelheit wrote was she called "military fantasy".

I must've made a fun face for she immediately said. "It's like Romans with fantasy." Suddenly, my interest level rose a few notches.

The two of us went to the ATM to get some money and hopefully buy a buy and see what it was all about.

PANIC! I did not have my wallet! So I took ActionMan and we ran through the hordes of Pikachus, Marios, GI Joes, and Deadpools back to the car where O JOY! The wallet was. Crisis averted. We had just enough time to get back and catch our breath before it would be our turn.

After downing a few glasses of ice water, he came to us and said "do you guys want a free book?" Well say no more to my innate sense of cheapness! I was gonna buy one but if you plan on giving me one, I'd be a fool!

I got to speak to him albeit too briefly about his book, as many others opted to take him on his offer. I had a few questions about it that piqued my interest and curiousity about it and I already started reading it. (I will post a more complete review here later).

Another author was Richard Estep who writes about the paranormal. Now I will admit that I consider myself an agnostic on these things. I don't know whether it is true or not, I am sceptical about it until I find real and definite proof. Too often, I found people who are into these things "want to believe".

Well not me.

I will admit to my own chagrin that I dismissed him a little quickly and I should not have. Chatting with his wife as they were packing, I was happy to hear that they both were much like me in outlook, except they had first-hand experiences. Wow. Interesting.

Then it was our turn. The boy (here posing as if ready to sign books) and I too our places and waited for fans to show up.

I got to speak with Sarah Beth Durst whose newest book, Queen of Blood should be out next week. I am more and more fascinated with fiction writers I meet this year. This book is about (and I paraphrase) epic fantasy about nature fighting back. Interesting concept for sure... I may very well add this to my Amazon wish list as she seemed quite a character herself (and I say this in the nicest way).

A few folks came by, many as they waiting to meet with Brandon Sanderson, but Chris and Laurel chatted with us for a while, about their own games, about how to hold together a RPG group, about Saggakar and why it was good/ different/ same/ awesome and why they should check it out! Time flew by and it was extremely enlightening, as usual. I find that the more I learn and focus on my writing, the more insight I begin to have into people and that is something I find odd. I never thought of myself as anything but a self-centered jerk. Turns out, I may have empathy for people and seek to make their gaming lives better.

Am I turning into a gamer's version of "Dear Aby"? Or a Charisma-tolerating Bill Cavalier?

Tough to say.

Our session over, for we wished to avoid the stampede Brandon Sanderson would create, so we headed back to the gaming area where I chatted with a few folk. I talked with James-R from D20 Hobbies in Lexington KY about his Pathfinder grind event. I can see how people could enjoy it, not my thing, but something a lot of people seemed to enjoy. The basic idea was that you created a character, as cheezy and powerful as you could make it and see how long you could survive in their mega-nasty dungeon.

Throughout the day, ActionMan took part in the kids' track where he had to do one RPG, one board game, one CCG and a miniature game.

We had already taken part in the paint and take, so that was one. We were going to play Adventure League, so that was two.

Saturday, we spent some time with these guys, talking about games, Space 1889, and how old it is. So I was very interested in seeing what they were running today. I mean I have been a fan of Frank Chadwick's Space 1889 since the 80s. I still play it - thought with Savage Worlds, and really am having a blast or it. We moved the hall and looked at a massive game of zombie assault they were running. The GM asked ActionMan to add a few more zombie spawning points. He thought it was really fun to do so, as the players cried and whined at the pain he inflicted upon them. I too thought their tears to be delightful.

Next we spent a few moments at learning to play Guild Ball. I will admit that I stayed away from the game, too worried that I might like it. Well. I liked it. The minis are nice and the game flows really fast. I have been a fan of Blood Bowl for years, but it has been a while since I played it. Could this be an alternative game I could get in with ActionMan? Perhaps. Though he is a tad young. Hopefully, it will be around when he's a little older.

We headed to the Adventure League section and the pair of us sat down to play COR1-01 A Scream in the Night by BMG. A very different experience than the one I had at Gencon. I really enjoyed it, even though it was TOUGH.

Lucky for us, we had Sir Patrick, ActionMan's paladin leading us through or we'd've been mince meat. Still we managed to complete the mission in our schedule time. ActionMan being voted the best player at the table hands down.

With that, it was time to go back home. I wanted us to return before it was too late, as I grew more than a little worried about possible car issues, following our Friday night of fun and adventure.

The drive back was easy and smooth with the two of us chatting about what we would do next year.

JP

Monday, September 5, 2016

DragonCon 2016 AAR, Part 1: Craziness in Atlanta

My first DragonCon is in the books and it provided a lot of insight and fun.

ActionMan and I left Nashville around 4pm, drove down I-24 then I-75, arriving in Atlanta around 8:30PM. We reconnoitered the locations as I had never been there. So we walked in and began a game of walking around. The boy and I walked around for about ninety minutes until we finally reached the Marriott and got our Guest badges!

Great!

We get back to the car only to find that was have a flat tire! Well no worries... The two of us change the tire and head for our hotel.

Then POW!

Right on I-75, the spare blows up!

W. T. F.

That's right! So I limped the car to the exit where our hotel was and stopped there. Then I spent an hour on the phone trying to organize our next step!

We went to sleep. Well, ActionMan got to sleep as I restlessly twisted and turned in bed, but at least there was a plan. We got up and walked to the McDonald's and made our way back to the car. ActionMan was really excited by the tow-truck ride.

We were taken to a local Honda dealer where we waited for our tires to be fixed. Why tires? Simply because I had another one that was about to give up the ghost! So my costs rose, and rose, and rose...

What drove me insane was that I would have to miss running my morning slot. While I understood there was very little I could do about it, it still gnawed at me. I take great pride in doing what I promise and commit to do.

We finally returned to the gaming area around 11:30AM. I inquired from the Adventure League folk whether they would be willing to run ActionMan by himself. They were not, so I took him with me to play Tyrants of Saggakar.

Now you may think that I be annoyed by their refusal, but no. I much prefer someone who tells me to my face "No, your child is too young" than someone who uses strange, behind-the-scene-pseudo-rules to do it. I can respect that - and that was precisely why I asked if they were okay with doing this.

So ActionMan and I got ready to play some Saggakar. That one hour before game time is always one filled with nervous energy. I can't wait to start and walk around neurotically, trying to channel and focus my energy.

GAME TIME!

I ran the final official table of ToS2-02 Fogs of Days Past and it was a crucial one: there are two major choices in that adventure and guess what... they were split 50/50 after Gencon. So I was really looking forward to it! And it did not disappoint! ActionMan was very happy to take on the role of JawBreaker, his favorite iconic character. He "led" the party through the difficult choices.

After that, he was tired. And truth by told so was I. The four hours of nervous twisting and turning sleep I had really weighed on me. We went for dinner and by 9pm the two of us were snoring peacefully.

And by 9pm, I mean we were already in deep sleep. For at least thirty minutes...

Next time, Sunday

JP

Thursday, September 1, 2016

007 Lists about James Bond: Top 3 Bond Girls

This list was perhaps the toughest one to write and to narrow down to a few. There are so many great ladies that graced the screen with 007 that to limit myself to "just" three was very very difficult. With a few exceptions (Grace Jones), most of the ladies could have made this list.

So I will go with the three that most stuck to mind.

Top 3 Bond Girls

3- Agent XXX

I chuckled so much when I first heard the name of the Soviet Agent from The Spy who loved me. I did not know why or exactly what that meant, but I knew it was funny. The relation between her and Bond was always one that would end interestingly. After all, did not Bond kill her previous man?

The plot of the movie allowed for a number of great moment, and Jaws as the villain added to the story. She was resourceful and playful, very much a female-version of Bond, which I thought made the role so interesting.

2- Teresa Bond

Ahhh. Diana Riggs...

Perhaps it is my own love of The Avengers? Whatever, I loved that she re-branded her Mrs. Peel role in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. She brought that playfulness, but also a no-non-sense feel to the role.

Plus she is the only woman who ever managed to capture James Bond's heart got to marry him. She is without a doubt, the most referred-to character in all the Bond movies. With references and jabs in at least six other movies.

Oh and how many Bond girls can say they were related to the Queen of the Iron Throne? She's just the best.

1- Honey Ryder

From the moment Honey Ryder walked out of the water in Dr. No the tone and feel of not only the movie, but the whole series changed. How can she not be the greatest of the Bond Girls when she was the first one, the one that set the tone.

Hummm that I could go to the Bahamas on an secret island that she would come out of the water...

Sigh...

Dreams

JP