Book Review – Pathfinder Tales: Pirates Promise

Alright ladies and gentlemen, it’s book review time! Still working on some other updates, but I thought I’d smash this one out-of-the-way while the book is relatively fresh in my mind. It’ll be a quick one, and free of major spoilers, since I’m kind of pressed for time at the moment. Got a lot of stuff on the go at the moment. If I can, I’ll try to come back and write some more in-depth analysis of the book, but this ought to do to get my opinion of it across.

Anyway, let’s get down to it.

Pirate’s Promise

Chris A. Jackson

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Captain Torius Vin gets ready to throw down against a trollhound

Captain Torius Vin gets ready to throw down against a trollhound

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Professor Jimbles Presents! Shameless Bragging

I won a friggin’ award!

Seriously, they just give these out.

Seriously, they just give these out.

Phenomenon, “Canberra’s friendliest roleplaying convention!” Was held on the June long weekend about a month ago. Every year it tries to pull the best GMs, Organizers, Vendors and Players together for as many games as you can handle. The Pathfinder Society holds games all weekend and gives out honourable mentions to their best players. This year they plowed through Rise of the Runelords! In four days!

Phenomenon also holds the Triptych and Diptych events, what I call “Competition” games that are played with a team of five people. They should all involve the year’s theme in some way. The triptych is a series of 3 serious games that are generally rules light and should provoke deep characterization. The diptych games are exceptionally well crafted comedy games that are treated as palate cleansers from all the angst and introspection of the Triptych.

This year, these competition games were: *note* These descriptions are stolen from the Phenomenon website.

Jinkies: A Space Opera (Diptych)
The air duct is dark, claustrophobic. Stale air clings to you, exacerbating the felling of confinement. You still your breathing, straining to hear the footsteps in the corridor beyond the vent. Gradually, you adjust to the darkness, and can make out the forms of your friends, four others in all, silent and shivering from the cold. And the fear. At the edge of your hearing, it comes, the rhythmic tapping of feet, and the metallic grind of a large blade dragging on the steel floor. It seems to be getting louder, and one of your compatriots lets out a noise, little more than a whisper.

The scene is Prima-Rho Alpha, an abandoned scientific outpost turned hip and happening hang-out for all the cool kids. It’s Earth-Hallow, October 31st, and all the kids in the system have turned out for a rocking evening of costumes, pranks, spiked punch and unprotected premarital…holding hands…

What could possibly go wrong?


Vampire: The Ugoogly (Diptych)
Death. Such a simple and complete concept. One second you are here, and the next you are not.

Time. One thing you cannot fight against, as your face withers, and the things and people you knew move on.

Is there anything that can stand up to these irresistible forces? Well anything besides an Orange Mocha Frappuccino of course!

There is one thing, one thing we’re always lead to believe is a dark and tragic existence, one thing which is painted in horror and tragedy. The so called curse of vampirism.

To five friends, all models of exceptional looks, all the talk of the town, the promise of immortal beauty and youth is too good to pass up. To these five, a curse becomes a gift, and a gift they plan to use to its full advantage.

Maybe it is possible to have a good time, even when blood replaces milk in your nightly pick me up. Maybe it is possible to not let the loss of friends and family be the only thing to define you, as there’s always new and interesting people to meet, and new places popping up to explore.

Maybe it’s even possible to show the stiffs that there’s still a good time to be had after all.

Just have to make sure they don’t find you breaking their precious Masquerade.


Ever On (Triptych)
Too few years from now.

Our Earth in decline.

A last frontier; a last hope – but a hope for what?

Five explorers venture into space to find solutions to Earth’s problems but return with only more questions.

Ever On is a substantially free-form/somewhat systematised exploration of super-humanity and decision-making across a flexible time-scale. It intends to present players with an opportunity to engage with the consequences of making decisions that direct their personal, cultural, and civilisational development.


Closing The Gates of Dawn (Triptych)
Age creeps up on us. Aching knees. Fingers that are not as nimble as they once were. Changing priorities. Friends grow old. Get married. Move away. Die. Technology advances. New rules appear.

A door in your home still leads to a place where this is not true.

Will you give away everything real for a chance at lost glory?


Inner Space (Triptych)
There was an incident…

Shots fired.

What happened?

Where am I?

Who am I?

From a moment of crisis, there can be many possible outcomes. Split second decisions lead to unforeseen consequences. Some people accept the responsibility for their actions, intentional or not. Some people deny their part in the cause or in the effect. Others spend the rest of their lives second guessing and judging themselves for what they did in those few moments, cursing their lack of vision, foresight or courage.


I went in with my loyal team “Cardgames on Motorcycles” and played hard in all of them. The team knows each other so well that we can push boundaries in playing that others could hope for. We can separate in character and out of character knowledge so well that we can be screaming at each other and then eating dinner and praising each other’s skill. I feel like I let them down.

We particularly shined in Ugoogly, devolving everyone (including the GM) into gales of uncontrollable laughter for up to ten minutes at a time. I thought we’d definitely get an honorable mention.

But we won! The GMs for the Diptychs found us so good that they awarded us the year’s Diptych Perpetual Trophy.

While this is a fantastic honour; some friends have raised concerns about competition roleplaying. I would like to examine the concept in the next Professor Jimbles Presents!: “I play to win, baby.”

EDITORS NOTE: Professor Jimbles forgot to post this for a while, and then forgot to update the published time on it. Silly Jimbles. So while it’s a bit old, I’m updating the time stamp on it since it’d be nice if people actually saw it. Additionally, I’m hoping to get Jimbles to add the photo of the team posing with their medals. Other than that, I’ve just added some spacers to make it a bit easier to read. 

Kaiju, Mutants and Robots Oh My! – Godzilla & X-Men: Days of Future Past Reviews

I’m going to make this one quick. The last couple of days have been a drain, but I wanted to at least get a quick review of these movies done. I’m going to do them both in the one post, and they’re going to be short reviews compared to the essays that I normally write. That way I can devote time to some other updates I’ve got in the works without feeling like I’ve got something else I have to do first.

Fair warning, same as whenever I review stuff, there could be some spoilers in here. I’ll try to avoid anything major.

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CIFF Reviews Round One: My Sweet Pepper Land, Ginger & Rosa, Mirage Men

Well, we’re long past due for the first batch of reviews for the films I saw at the Canberra International Film Festival. Unfortunately I’ve been ill again, and had some personal stuff going on that had essentially killed my motivation to work on anything that required more effort than sitting down on the couch and watching TV or reading a book. Well we’re past that now (not the being sick, I’ve once again got the flu and am also due for a minor medical procedure in a week or so… yay me!), so I’m back into writing. I’ve decided I’m going to do the reviews in order of viewing, so the first ones up are My Sweet Pepper LandGinger & Rosa, and Mirage Men. I’m aiming to get these smashed out of the way as quickly as I can, after which I may not post again until I get home from visiting the family at Christmas. All depends on how long it takes I suppose.

Just a reminder, when I do film reviews, I don’t tend to focus on the technical elements and quality of the cinematography (unless it’s a film that is being sold on those elements). I focus on how I felt about it, and the enjoyment I get out of it. I’m not a professional critic, and I’m giving an unabashedly biased review based entirely on my opinion.

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Woohoo! Character artwork!

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I just thought I’d share something I’m very excited about with you quickly. As you might recall, I said that I had ordered some artwork for my second entry in The Unusual Suspects.

Well, I received the character sketch for my character Varian Blackthorne last night. Turned out really well, and I’ve already updated the post with it. You can see it here:

The Unusual Suspects – Varian Blackthorne

For anyone looking to get their own character sketches done, I’d highly recommend checking out the artists page on Fiverr. His sketches are $5 for a single character with a simple background, and you can add extras if you’d like. For example, I added another $5 to get a more detailed background, since I really wanted to show him in a bar. If you want a more detailed or polished picture, you can add more. Personally I really love the sketch style that he uses, so I normally just get the basic sketch and add a bit extra for a background or a little more detail.

He’ll do pretty much any character style, you can see some examples of his work here:

Draw Your Character

Expect to see more of his artwork in my updates in the near future.