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Exploration in Tabletop Gaming

Undefined Imagination Exploration

Lately I have been experimenting with building my own gaming ideas into a d20 style play system. For those of you that may read this that are not familiar with d20, it is the play style typically used by Dungeons & Dragons and similar games. It uses polyhedral dice with a variety of faces the main one being a twenty sided die. I never played D&D as a kid, and only started playing after their fourth edition was published. I was then in college. It was fun but a bit complicated so my friends and I played sporadically. When the fifth edition came out I found it vastly improved in playability, and began running regular games at a local game shop.

The more I played the more I realized I was not personally happy with the feel of creating a world and characters. It all felt too much like each class…

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the Secret of Innsmouth Miniatures Campaign

Black Fez Society

H.P. Lovecraft was known for many things; he was a prolific writer, a vivid imaginarian, and the creator of one of the most enduring mythos of all time.

That being said, he was also a raging bigot and alienist. It would be easy to write that off as a byproduct of the Eugenics craze that was sweeping the nation during his lifetime, but it’s still a problematic issue. It’s not like he benefitted from this, though; he pretty much died penniless and unknown.

You can, however, appreciate the man’s contribution to the horror genre, especially in the realm of Role Playing games. Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu has been a staple of the horror RPG community for decades now, and Blind Beggar Miniatures has stepped up with some cool miniatures from one of Lovecraft’s greatest stories, the Secret of Innsmouth.

Innsmouth Banner

The Kickstarter campaign is winding down, but the figures…

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THE GUNDESTRUP GHOSTS – Hidden Images in the Gundestrup Cauldron



Discovered in a peat bog near the village of Gundestrup in Denmark in 1891, the Gundestrup Cauldron is the largest and finest example of Iron Age European silverwork (diameter: 69 cm (27 in); height: 42 cm (17 in.). Despite being discovered inDenmark, the workmanship and iconography on the cauldron indicate that it originated on the Balkans, either among the Thraco-Celtic (Scordisci) or possibly Celto-Scythian (Bastarnae) tribes, although the exact date and location of production is still uncertain.


The Gundestrup Cauldron


Antlered deity on Plate A of the Gundestrup cauldron, identified with the Celtic God Cernunnos, holding a ram-horned serpent and torc.


Celtic carnyx players depicted on Plate E of the Cauldron   


X-radiograph of inner plate C 6575 showing details of traces from working tools.



The ‘Gundestrup Ghosts’


While extensive academic attention has been paid to the cauldron’s iconography and origin over the past century…

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Melee Lessons from the Battle of Pharsalus (48 B.C.E.)

The Tavern Knight's Barracks

Recently stumbled across the Historia Civilis Youtube channel, which has a slew of ancient military battles animated in that history book “Xs & Os” style illustrations (which I love).

On Friday night I watched one of his newer videos on the Battle of Pharsalus, which was a battle in Greece between the Caesar and Pompey.

Now onto the lessons from the battle:

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3Novices : Supergirl Producer: Warner Bros. Was ‘Supportive’ of Superman Plan


Melissa Benoist as Supergirl

Supergirl TV Superman Boots Cameo Supergirl Producer: Warner Bros. Was ‘Supportive’ of Superman Plan

Supergirl season 2 looks like it?s going to be a strong one despite the network change. Now that the series has settled into a rhythm, the show can focus on world building and putting more stock into character development. With the addition of new allies and villains, Kara is going to need a little help now that baddies actually see her as a threat.

A massive cross-over with all of her new CW compatriots is on the horizon, but the first partnership we can expect comes as Superman finally gets some face time in National City. Buzz around the set tells us that Tyler Hoechlin is a great fit for the character even if he …

Click to continue reading Supergirl Producer: Warner Bros. Was ‘Supportive’ of Superman Plan 3Novices

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Gateway Geeks Podcast- Episode 14 Don’t Believe the Hype

Gateway Geeks Podcast

Gateway Geeks Podcast Episode 14- Don’t Believe the Hype

Welcome to episode 14 of The Gateway Geeks Podcast! This week, Joe and Aaron take on hype, should we believe it? Must everything ‘suck’ or ‘rule?’ HAVE WE NO MEASURE OF MODERATION? The guys discuss No Man’s Sky, Suicide Squad, and the surrounding buzz, and engage in an exercise in critical polemics.  Get Aaron’s pre-VR impressions before he ventures into the great beyond!

Check out the latest episode of Joe’s VR Vlog in which Aaron ventures for the first time into the virtual expanse!

Show Notes

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Game of Thrones: The books or the show?

Bumbling Bookworm

Ah. The age old question: “which is better, the books or the show/movies?” It’s a question I find myself asking time and time again. As a lover of both books and TV or films I tend to both read and watch a story whenever I get a chance, and the answer, for me, is usually the same.

Which was better, the book or the show/film. . . Harry Potter? The books. The Fault in our Stars? The book. Vampire Academy? The books. A series on unfortunate events? The books. With pretty much anything I’ve ever both read and watched, I’ve preferred the books. They leave more room for storytelling, are often more detailed and don’t cut out any of the quirky little bits, and take more time to get through so you can enjoy them for longer.

But I’ve recently started reading the  ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ series by George R. r. Martin (AKA, the Game of…

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Tomb Raider Tidbit: The Time Lara Croft Almost Visited Mali

The Archaeology of Tomb Raider

In the 2006 game Tomb Raider: Legend, Lara Croft travels across the globe in search of pieces of the mythical Excalibur, visiting such places as a military base in Kazakhstan, the ruins of Tiwanaku in Bolivia, an ancient temple in the Ghanaian rainforest, and an abandoned monastery in Nepal.

But did you know that the West African nation of Mali was almost a stop on Lara’s grand tour?

Perusing my archive of Legend concept art recently, I spotted two pieces of artwork that seemed to depict a small alley and market place around what appeared to be the Great Mosque of Djenné in central Mali.

I was already familiar with this World Heritage Site as I’d read about it for a course on West African archaeology a few years ago and had seen videos of the mosque’s annual maintenance on Youtube (honestly, it’s amazing to watch the local community in action

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The monster which attacked Mars


In Hindu myth, Rāhu and Ketu are imagined to represent demons which cause eclipses of the ‘Moon’.  In astronomy these points are the nodes of the orbit of the Moon. They were mythologically imagined to be the head (Rāhu) and body (Ketu) of the Rg Vedic Svarbhānu, a demon which tried to attack or eat Indra, as depicted at the top of Figure 1.
Cyclic Catastrophism explains that during each kalpa, when Mars was in its geostationary orbit, above Mt. Kailas, it passed through phases of illumination, similar to the Moon, every day.  It approached full illumination around midnight because it orbited close to the ecliptic plane.  Due to its great size and proximity to the Earth it would pass, at least partially, through the shadow of the Earth at approximately 11;15 PM as seen in the Aryan lands, what is now the Punjab. At these…

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25th August 79 A.D. The Death of Pliny the Elder #Onthisday



Pliny the Elder also known as Gaius Plinius Secundus born in 23.AD and died August 25th 79 A.D. he was a Roman naturalist, author, and a natural philosopher. He was also an army commander and navel in the early Roman Emperor and a personal friend of the Emperor, Vespasian. Pliny was mostly remembered for his great works of writing, investigating nature and geography phenomena in his spare time. His great works such as Naturalis Historia. which was a model set for encyclopedias.

When Pliny died #onthisday in history he tried to rescue by ship of a friend and his family from the eruption of Vesuvius in the Stabiae which had destroyed two major cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii.



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RoboCop (1987) Film Review | 100 Day Film Challenge – Day 56

alycat geekery

HOLY CRAP, I’VE BEEN DEPRIVED! I absolutely adored RoboCop. I think I’m officially a Paul Verhoeven fan girl now.

The story takes place in  a futuristic Detroit, and a brand spanking new robot crime fighter named ED-209 has been created by the police force. Yay for technology! After shit hits the fan, though, they have to rethink their strategy. Conveniently, one of their own officers, Murphy (Peter Weller) is gunned down and basically blown to smithereens by a gang. The police force saves him, and they get the brilliant idea to turn him into one “badass motherfucker”. Hence, the titular RoboCop is created.

The effects still hold up relatively well today. Yeah, some are cheesy, but for the time period, these were cutting-edge visuals. I loved the unique cinematography, and the action scenes are basically porn for fans of explosions and shoot outs.

The acting is decent. Nobody really stands out…

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