Okay. Lets get the bad news out of the way first.
I’m really sorry guys. I know I said I’d have the next lot of reviews up over a week ago now, but there are a number of factors just killing me at the moment. Work is getting busy again (I’ve got a pretty much day long meeting tomorrow, which leaves me wiped) and I’ve had some unpleasant stuff happening outside of work as well… today was a prime example, since first thing this morning I got to simultaneously face my fear of needles and my general fear of even minor medical procedures, and spent the rest of the day feeling like crap once the anaesthetic wore off, which left me not really wanting to write much. I’ll try to get some more done on it tomorrow if I’m doing okay after the meeting, and I’ve expanded the goal to get four movies reviewed in this update so I can get a bigger chunk out of the way. I’m pretty disappointed in myself for letting it slip this far yet again, but unfortunately that’s the way things turned out. Not much else I can say beyond that.
Now for the good news. There’s a couple of things to mention here.
First up is that I’ve recently come across something that is apparently a bit of a Christmas tradition over on the Paizo Publishing messageboards, started a while ago by a poster who goes by the name Mikaze. A few years back, Mikaze apparently decided to spread some Christmas cheer, and posted a list of PDFs that would be purchased for the first twelve people to request them. This led to many others deciding to join in on the generosity, and it became known as Mikazemas. This year I was lucky enough to receive copies of Cerulean Seas: Beasts of the Boundless Blue and The Expanded White Necromancer from Mikaze, a copy of the Direlock Base Class from Oceanshieldwolf (who created it and runs the 3rd party publisher Forest Guardian Press, and is I believe a fellow Aussie), and a copy of Cerulean Seas: Indigo Ice from Berik. I’ve been feeling pretty down lately after crashing my bike and realising how much of an impact that would have on my life. Although I came out of it pretty much unscathed, the financial aftermath has had knock-on effects for all kinds of stuff I had planned… currently I’m not even sure if I can afford to go to a close friend’s wedding in March without asking my family for help. That’s not to say that I’m not able to pay bills or anything, it’s just unfortunate that it happened when it did, given that I’d only just purchased all my tickets for Soundwave and a few other events, along with accommodation and travel… if it had happened after, I’d have been in a much better situation since I could have made the decision to skip those events which, while disappointing, would have been better in the long run. Anyway, the point is that this amazing generosity on the part of people who are almost complete strangers – given that our only interaction is through commenting on messageboards – has done a lot to cheer me up. As soon as I can afford to, I’ll be spreading some Christmas cheer of my own to other people (even if it does end up meaning I have to do a “Christmas in July” event). Also, when my CIFF reviews are done, you can be sure there’ll be some reviews of these products on the way.
One thing I can do right now though to try and help spread the joy though, is to direct people to an IndieGoGo project by Christina Stiles, a veteran designer in the RPG industry. The Talented Adventurers of SpirosBlaak is a charity project, setup to help Christina’s sister and nephew through some hard times. They’ve lost their house, belongings and pets to a fire, and are struggling to make ends meet at the moment. By giving to the project, you’ll be helping them get through this period of difficulty, and will also be given a copy of the Talented Adventurers of SpirosBlaak PDF when it is completed as a thank you (assuming you pledge $25 or more). The book is a gallery of NPCs (Non Player Characters for any non-gamers reading this) built for the world of SpirosBlaak, an upcoming campaign setting designed by Christina. For higher pledges, you can help populate the book with characters by working with Christina to stat them out and develop them. So please, if you can, take a look. Even if you aren’t interested in the book, please consider throwing even $5 in, since ever little bit helps. The project is open for another 8 days.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that if you’re looking to get a new generation of gamers started, and you’ve been wondering where to start if they’re not quite ready for Pathfinder or Shadowrun (which is understandable, I’ve only recently been happy to start teaching my teenage cousin and her friends since they were a bit young for traditional fantasy hack and slash prior), the Bundle of Holding has got some options for you. Their Family Friendly Game Bundle gives two options, a 4.95 USD purchase that will give you copies of Mermaid Adventures, Hero Kids and The Princes’ Kingdom; or, if you beat the threshold price (currently set at 12.45) you’ll also receive copies of School Daze, Adventures in Oz – Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road; and Project Ninja Panda Taco. While I haven’t played most of those games, I can say that I’ve heard nothing but good reviews for all of them. They’re all suitable for kids aged 8+, except for School Daze, which is suggested for 13+. I’ve personally got a copy of Project Ninja Panda Taco from when I backed the KickStarter (if you have a look in the book, there’s actually a little picture of me as an evil mastermind in the back done by Brian Patterson of d20Monkey), and I can say from experience that it’s a fantastic game for parties. It’s not a roleplaying game for campaigns, more of a quick one-shot party game where you play villains and minions trying to take over the world. For $12.45 you get nearly $60 worth of PDFs, and you can gift them to someone through the site. 10% of all purchases goes to the Save The Children and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital charities, so it’s also helping some good causes.
Anyway, that’s all I really came on here to say. Like I said, I’ll be trying to get working on the film reviews again tomorrow. That’ll be the next post you see from me, I promise you that. Cheerio for now.