Monday, July 31, 2006

Dragonlance Movie?

Here's an odd bit of geek news, courtesy of RPG Blog. Apparantly, there is going to be an animated Dragonlance movie. I'm skeptical, especially considering some of the names in the cast (Keifer Sutherland as Raistlin?), but they do have an official site that looks rather official. We'll see...
But it would be pretty darn cool, if it were done right. And the fact that it is animated means that the curse of the previous Dungeons & Dragons movies can hopefully be averted. I have fond memories of the initial trilogy and I owned most of the original modules. I loved the feel of world and the characters seemed to resonate with me some how. and my current Dragonspire campaign is inspired, in part, by the original trilogy. Alas, I never read the subsequent Raistlin and Caramon series (mostly because they were my two least favorite characters). But perhaps I'll catch up before the movie comes out?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Quantum Leap

Today's tech news brings us a fascinating (and very optimistic) article about the future of computing in Fortune magazine. I can't get enough of this stuff, even though most of the predictions are nothing new. A companion article on Googling the Brain is also at Fortune.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Geek Humor

Inspirational Posters for the Geeks:
To quote Homer Simpson: "It's funny because it's true."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Amazing Screw-On Head

Based on a comic by Mike Mignola, the Amazing Screw-On Head will be appearing soon on the Sci Fi Channel. The pilot will run on July 27th and, theoretically, the show will get picked up if it fares well. You can also watch this "hilarious send-up of Lovecraftian horror and steampunk adventure" at their webite, which I highly recommend. Of course, I'm a sucker for anything that is "hilarious", "Lovecraftian", and "steampunk". It also has Mike Mignola's wonderful aesthetic and some wickedly cool lines (like "he was abducted by two horrible old women and a monkey").

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

ENNie Award Nominations

As a nominee for last year's ENNie Awards for Slaying Solomon, I feel it is my duty to help spread the word about this year's ballot. The nominees can be reviewed here and you don't need to register to vote here. If you are like me, you may not be terribly familiar with many of this year's nominees. Fortunately, many samples have been provided. Hmm, I think I need to free up some funds for a few of these excellent products.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dragonspire Update

We had a great session of D20 Dragonspire last Sunday. I've been meaning to write about it, but I had been hoping to update the site content first. I haven't posted a session summary yet, but I have started work on the character pages. More characters will follow as the players give me their updated sheets.

I am quite pleased with how my first Dungeons & Dragons campaign has started. The action has been fast and furious, thanks in large part to my use of character cards for organizing combat stats and initiative order. I've also set in motion (what I hope to be) an epic plot based on the five chromatic dragon types (if you don't know what I'm talking about, then you are not a D&D geek...move along). Originally, my intent was to run this epic plot with the online Risus Dragonspire group, but it is flat-out impossible to cover enough ground in online play (even using Risus). My revised goal is to have the face-to-face group cover the main plot, with the online group creating some important background events.

I'm also having a good time with adventure design. D&D provides a lot of built-in-structure, which is kind of liberating for someone who is used to much more open-ended systems. It's ridiculously easy to scale encounters and balance the awards given to each player character (though the baby dragon that the party has found has complicated that... more on that in future updates).

One final note: I can't recommend Tact-Tiles highly enough. A good grid system seems to be a requirement for D&D. Tact-Tiles are much easier to manage than a conventional Battlemat.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Inflatable Space Hotels?

Hotel mogul Robert Bigelow is looking for ways to expand his business... into space! Check out this article about the launch of a prototype of his inflatable orbital hotel module. His goal is to have a space hotel by 2015. That would make me 45 and not even old enough to claim a seniors discount. How cool is that?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Baby Robots

Today's tech-related item comes from MIT. Specifically, it's a followup to this post about Professor Deb Roy's experiments on raising children. According this article and this NPR story, MIT has a baby robot named Ripley. This robot is learning about it's (limited) world in (apparently) the same manner has a human child would. Listen to the NPR story, it's fascinating. It makes me wonder what kind of AI architecture they are using and if Jeff Hawkins' theories could be put to this kind of test.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

D20 Dragonspire

I'm in the process of creating a D20 Dragonspire site to support our new Dungeons & Dragons campaign. The site has actually been up for a while, but I'll (hopefully) be adding last session's summary and character info before tomorrow's session. The online Risus Dragonspire campaign is still chugging along nicely, though we did miss last Thursday's game.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ooo, More Maps!

A friend pointed me towards another great RPG map resource. contains many top-quality maps for the HârnWorld setting and they could easily be adapted to other fantasy worlds.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Ooo, Maps!

The coolest thing about the Wizards of the Coast D&D site is that they make their art and maps available for download. Thanks to them, I have a whole database of maps that I can use for my games. Check out this example gallery from their Mysteries of Moonsea supplement.

D20 GM Cards

Getting ready for my second session of D20 Dragonspire (site pending the completion of all PCs), I have started making use of a wonderful resource from The Other Game Company . They have kindly made their Blank D20 Cards able to be edited and saved with the free Acrobat reader. This is going to save me a huge amount of time. D&D/D20 really benefits from index cards for player characters and NPCs (for initiative and general reference). I was going to do it all by hand, but TOGC have saved me the trouble. Their well-formatted and printer-friendly  SRD handouts are really handy as well.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Cyberwear Breakthrough

I haven't posted cool tech items for a while, mostly due to my reduced Internet access. But this item on BBC news is cool enough to break my silence. Researchers have found a way to attach bionic limbs directly to bone. This will (someday) allow the cyberwear to be controlled directly by the nervous system,

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Behold The Shatner!

Check out this clip of Shatner performing at the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony for George Lucas in 2005. Youtube is a beautiful thing.
(Thanks to Chris Roosenraad for the tip)