Category Archives: Action-Adventure

ELDRITCH ARCHER – THE FORGE

5th Edition Builds: The Eldritch Archer

Original artwork by the incredible Jason Engle

The eldritch knight archetype for the 5th edition fighter can technically be used to create a version of the arcane archer, though its powers are more suitable to melee weapons than ranged. With a few tweaks, the eldritch knight can become an impressive ranged combatant, while still allowing the knight’s melee advantages.

The Eldritch Archer

Spellcasting
The spellcasting feature of the eldritch knight remains the same with the following addition. Note: These changes apply to the spellcasting class feature of all eldritch knights.

Anytime the eldritch archer is able to learn wizard spells, including those limited to theabjuration or evocation spell schools, they may instead choose one or more ranger spells from the following list. These spells are considered wizard spells.

3rd: hail of thorns, hunter’s mark
7th: cordon of arrows, pass without trace
13th: conjure barrage, lightning arrow 
19th: conjure volley, swift quiver

Weapon Bond
The weapon bond class feature remains the same. Eldritch archers commonly bond one ranged weapon and one melee weapon. Though spells with a somatic component require one hand to cast, 2-handed ranged weapons such as bows and crossbows may be held in one hand while casting a spell.

War Magic
The war magic class feature remains the same with the following addition. Note: These changes apply to the war magic class feature of all eldritch knights.

If you use your weapon bond on a ranged weapon and that weapon is in your hand, you may spend a bonus action whenever you cast a cantrip to imbue one piece of ammunition with the cantrip’s arcane power. As a part of the bonus action you may fire the piece of ammunition at any target or location within the weapon’s range. If the spell requires an attack roll, the attack is rolled normally for the ranged weapon using Strength or Dexterity as appropriate, not your spell casting ability. If the spell requires a saving throw, you must make a successful attack roll against either the target creature or the desired point of origin (use a base AC 10 if the target is a point instead of a creature) before forcing the target to make the saving throw.

Whether or not the spell requires an attack roll or a saving throw, a successful ranged attack roll deals damage from the ammunition in addition to the effects of the spell (weapon damage is dealt before applying the spell’s effects, including any associated saving throws). Should the damage be reduced to 0, such as through the monk’s Deflect Missiles class feature or similar effect, the spell’s effects are negated.

Eldritch Strike
The eldritch strike class feature remains the same.

Arcane Sniper
At 15th level, you learn to weave arcane magic around yourself in order to hide your position. After you take an attack action while hiding, you may expend one 1st level spell slot to become invisible until the beginning of your next round. You may expend a 2nd level or higher spell slot to use this ability. For each slot level above 1st, the invisibility lasts 1 additional round. Invisibility gained through use of the arcane sniper class feature is not broken by attacking or casting spells.

Improved War Magic
If you use your weapon bond on a ranged weapon and that weapon is in your hand, you may spend a bonus action whenever you cast a spell (not only a cantrip) to imbue one piece of ammunition with the spell’s arcane power. Otherwise, this feature works as the war magic class feature.

SUPERGIRL – ALL-THING

I think my wife and daughters will like this. I’m not sure I won’t.

 

CIVIL WAR CAST

Excellent!

Civil War is the future Marvel film I am most looking forward to seeing. Especially after seeing the Age of Ultron. (Which kicked ass by the way.)

If you ask me Civil War was the best, and by far the single most realistic thing, Marvel ever did with their comic book superheroes. It also finally got me to firmly liking Captain America.

Who before I had always thought of as a naive government dope.

But afterwards I thought of as an independent, stand-up, fearless, patriotic solider beholding to his true and best ideals (American ideals) rather than to a corrupt US government.

And when he brought down both Hydra and SHIELD in Cap 2 I could really, really respect him.

 

Marvel Studios Reveals Captain America: Civil War Synopsis, Confirms Cast

MAY 7, 2015

Marvel Studios Reveals Captain America: Civil War Synopsis, Confirms Cast

Marvel Studios has commenced principal photography at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, Georgia onCaptain America: Civil War, the third installment of its Super Hero franchise. The production will shoot on location in Atlanta, Georgia, which serves as the base for the film’s production, as well as locations in Germany, Puerto Rico and Iceland.

Set for release in the United States on May 6, 2016, Captain America: Civil War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, “Community”) from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The Winter Solider, Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger). The film returns Chris Evans as the iconic Super Hero character Steve Rogers/Captain America along with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Paul Bettany as The Vision, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes/War Machine and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.

After his debut in Marvel’s Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Paul Rudd will make his first appearance alongside the Avengers as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in Captain America: Civil War.

The cast of the film also includes Chadwick Boseman (42, Get on Up) as T’Challa/Black Panther, Emily VanCamp (“Revenge”) as Sharon Carter/Agent 13, Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds,Bourne Ultimatum) as Baron Helmut Zemo, Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones, William Hurt (Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk) as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey).

Captain America: Civil War picks up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After anotherinternational incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is produced by Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, with Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s creative team also includes director of photography Trent Opaloch (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Elysium), production designer Owen Paterson (Godzilla, The Matrix), and three time Oscar-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).

THE IMAX INFINITY WAR

Interesting…

 

Avengers: Infinity War to be Filmed Entirely with Brand-New IMAX Cameras

MAY 7, 2015

Avengers: Infinity War to be Filmed Entirely with Brand-New IMAX Cameras

On the heels of the reveal of its nine-month production schedule, Marvel Studios, the Russo brothers and IMAX today announced that Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War – Parts 1 & 2 will be shot in their entirety using IMAX and ARRI’s next generation revolutionary 2D digital camera – a joint customized digital version of ARRI’s new large format camera, the Alexa 65. The two-part “Avengers” saga marks the first time a Hollywood feature film will have been shot completely using IMAX cameras and will feature IMAX’s exclusive aspect ratio, providing moviegoers a uniquely immersive experience.

Prior to filming Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War – Parts 1 & 2, Joe and Anthony Russo, who also directed Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will use the IMAX/ARRI 2D digital camera for select action sequences on the forthcoming Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, which will release in IMAX theaters in May of 2016.

“The intent with the Infinity War films is to bring ten years of accumulative storytelling to an incredible climax,” Joe and Anthony Russo stated. “We felt that the best way to exploit the scale and scope required to close out the final chapter of these three phases, was to be the first films shot entirely on the IMAX/ARRI Digital camera.”

“Over the years, IMAX has had the incredible good fortune to work with some of the world’s finest, most talented filmmakers, who continue to push the envelope both technically and creatively,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “We could not be more excited to deepen our partnership with Joe and Anthony Russo, a pair of filmmakers we believe are next-generation trailblazers. Marvel’s Avengers franchise has become aglobal phenomenon and to have it pay off in this epic way using the IMAX/ARRI digital camera is the very definition of event movie-going.”

The next-generation 2D digital camera – co-developed by IMAX and ARRI – is meant for use by today’s leading filmmakers working in the IMAX format. The joint solution is designed as a complementary tool to IMAX’s high-resolution capture technologies – including its 3D digital and 15perf / 65mm film cameras. Moreover, IMAX worked with ARRI to achieve the highest level of digital image capture for playback on IMAX’s xenon and new laser projection systems.

Set to be directed by the Russo brothers and featuring a script by Marvel favorites Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 is slated for release in IMAX theaters on May 4, 2018; Part 2 will open on May 3, 2019.

ODD IN EVERY WAY – GAMEPLAY

I was looking forward to this. This is very odd.

 

Signs point to cancellation for Kojima’s Silent Hills [Updated]

Del Toro quits collaboration, playable trailer coming off of PSN.

A GIF-ified version of the key part of the P.T. reveal of Silent Hills.

Updated: Konami has sent out a Q&A responding to the series’ supposed cancellation. While the company notes that it will continue to develop the Silent Hill series, it doesn’t specifically mention that Silent Hills is still being made. The full Q&A from Konami is at the end of the story.

In all of last month’s drama surrounding Hideo Kojima’s troubled relationship with Konami and the Metal Gear Solid franchise, there was little information on the fate of Silent Hills, the survival horror sequel collaborationbetween Kojima, film director Gullermo del Toro, and actor Norman Reedus. While the Kojima Productions logo was removed from the game’s home page late in March, there was no official word from Konami regarding the project’s fate. This weekend, though, a number of strong signs point to the game’s outright cancellation.

The bad news started when a member of the Metal Gear Solid subreddit noticed a troubling message on Konami’s Japanese site: “The distribution period of ‘P.T. (Playable Teaser)’ on PlayStation Store will expire on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.” That cryptic “teaser” was the same interactive demo that hid the original Silent Hills announcement last August. It’s possible Sony or Konami simply decided that P.T. had run its promotional course, but it seems odd to remove such a well-received free download with little warning… unless the game it’s promoting no longer exists, that is.

The bad signs continued today, with del Toro reportedly telling a San Francisco International Film Festival audience that his collaboration on the project is “not gonna happen,” according to tweetsfrom multiple sources in attendance. Norman Reedus responded to reports of del Toro’s statements,tweeting that he was “super bummed” about the apparent cancellation and “hopefully it’ll come back around.”

It’s quite possible that Reedus doesn’t have any insider information, and he’s simply working off the same incomplete reports that we all have at the moment. IGN cites an anonymous source who clarified that del Toro was only speaking of his involvement in the project, not speaking definitively about the game’s overall fate. “You’ll have to go after Konami for those answers,” the source said. (Konami and representatives for del Toro were not available to respond to a request for comment over the weekend).

On the other end, Polygon cites an anonymous “person with knowledge of the project’s development” in reporting that the project is “effectively cancelled.”

Given the already fragile relationship reported between Kojima and Konami, all the new smoke surrounding the project likely points to some sort of fire regarding Silent Hills‘ cancellation. If confirmed, the news would be another blow to a fan base that has been waiting patiently for the series to return to form following 2012’s disappointing Silent Hill: Downpour.

ROGUE ONE

I’ll be on a working vacation next week. So I won’t have much time to post.

But when I find good things I will.

BATTLEFRONT

Very, very nice.

D20 MODERN AND URBAN FANTASY – DESIGN OF THINGS TO COME

I’m a longtime D&D player, but I’m also a sucker for urban fantasy. With the Dungeon Master’s Guide and some tweaking, I’ve begun to use the fifth edition rules to explore the possibilities of gunplay in a modern fantasy setting.

When Wizards of the Coast released the d20 Modern roleplaying game in 2002, I was in heaven. Gnolls in crushed velvet! Ogres decked out in London Fog overcoats! Living dumpsters that ate people!

I was crazy about the Urban Arcana campaign setting in particular. The scenario was a familiar one, seemingly plucked from my own daydreams. D&D monsters and magic (called “Shadow” within the setting) are finding their way into our world. The vast majority of humankind remains largely ignorant of this development, thanks to our awesome capacity for denial. Only a small number of humans and friendly Shadowkind races can even perceive—much less combat—the threats that such an incursion brings.

I ran my Urban Arcana campaign for six years. By that point, other games had clamored for my attention, but I never forgot how interested I was in the marriage of D&D to urban fantasy. When the fifth edition Dungeon Master’s Guide was released last December, I knew without a doubt that my first homebrew setting using the new rules would be an updated take on Urban Arcana, adapting firearms and modern armor for use in an urban fantasy game.

Rules of Engagement

The Dungeon Master’s Guide provides optional rules for firearms in D&D—including modern and even futuristic weapons. However, this left me in a quandary regarding character defenses. In a typical fantasy setting, adventurers, guards, and other possible combatants are fully expected to wear armor. There are no social penalties when characters are observed in full armor while going about their business. Modern settings are a different animal in this regard.

Using the old d20 Modern Core Rulebook as a guide, and tweaking the math for fifth edition, I created armor options for my “5e Modern” campaign. Because it can be assumed that most characters operate undercover, incognito, or simply in an unobtrusive manner for at least part of the time, I made sure that those options included concealable armor. More obvious armor—whether riot armor, flak jackets, or Land Warrior milspec armor—will likely have an affect on characters’ social ability checks and their ability to move freely in your campaign. By that same token, armor might afford bonuses to Charisma (Intimidation) checks.

Modern Armor
Armor Armor Class (AC) Strength Stealth Properties Weight
Light Armor
Heavy coat 11 + Dex modifier Disadvantage 6 lb.
Leather jacket 11 + Dex modifier 4 lb.
Light undercover shirt 11 + Dex modifier DR/2 ballistic 2 lb.
Kevlar-lined coat 12 + Dex modifier DR/2 ballistic 8 lb.
Undercover vest 13 + Dex modifier DR/2 ballistic 3 lb.
Medium Armor
Concealable vest 13 + Dex modifier (max 2) DR/3 ballistic 4 lb.
Light-duty vest 14 + Dex modifier (max 3) DR/3 ballistic 8 lb.
Tactical vest 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) Str 10 Disadvantage Resistance: ballistic 10 lb.
Heavy Armor
Special response vest 15 Str 10 Disadvantage Resistance: ballistic 15 lb.
Land Warrior armor 17 Str 13 Disadvantage DR/5 ballistic/slashing 10 lb.
Forced entry unit 18 Str 13 Disadvantage Resistance: ballistic/slashing 20 lb.

As you can see from the table, many of the heavier armors grant damage reduction (DR) or resistance to several damage types, including a new damage type: ballistic damage. In game terms, ballistic damage is the type of damage that firearms inflict, and is a subset of piercing damage. This means that all ballistic damage counts as piercing damage, but not all piercing damage counts as ballistic damage. Magical effects or creature properties that grant resistance to piercing damage also apply to ballistic damage, but effects or properties reducing ballistic damage do not automatically apply to piercing damage.

(Armor in my game currently has no price because my modern ruleset uses a wealth system for characters, similar to that used in d20 Modern. Characters gain equipment based on their wealth, rather than tracking income and expenses. I won’t get into the full system here, but it might make a good topic for a later installment of Behind the Screens.)

Who Gets What?

Because of the high potential damage granted to firearms, it was also necessary to introduce a complication or condition in order to balance their use with more traditional modes of attack. In my campaign, a character proficient with a firearm does not automatically add any proficiency bonus to the attack roll. Rather, proficiency with a firearm allows a character to use a bonus action to take the aim action, which adds the character’s proficiency bonus to the attack roll. Without taking the aim action (or if a character is using a firearm without proficiency), the shooter receives only the benefit of a Dexterity bonus on the attack roll.

When it came to weapon proficiencies, I decided that several classes would enjoy proficiency with firearms, while others would have to earn their proficiency with multiclassing or by training through the use of downtime days (see the Player’s Handbook). I divided firearms into two basic classes: sidearms (for anything up to a submachine gun) and long arms (for anything up to a light machine gun.) Anything heavier—such as a heavy machine gun, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, or a flamethrower—is given special dispensation according to the in-game situation. In my own campaign, I created a feat called Heavy Weapon Specialist that allows proficiency in all modern weapons heavier than a medium machine gun wielded by an unassisted individual on foot. I also made this feat available as a fighting style for the fighter class.

Firearm Proficiencies by Class
Class Firearm Proficiency
Bard Sidearms
Barbarian Long arms
Cleric None (though possibly granted through domains such as City or War)
Druid None
Fighter Long arms and sidearms
Monk Sidearms
Paladin Long arms and sidearms
Ranger Long arms and sidearms
Rogue Long arms or sidearms (chosen at character creation)
Sorcerer None
Warlock None (though sidearms and long arms can be created through the Pact of the Blade class feature)
Wizard None (though sidearm proficiency might be granted through the School of Technomancy)

Hold up! City Domain? School of Technomancy? I’ll get into those next time!

About the Author

Daniel Helmick is a contractor attached to the Dungeons & Dragons R&D department, formerly of the D&D Insider studio at Wizards of the Coast. He has contributed numerous articles and adventures to Dungeon and Dragon magazines, as well as the Tyranny of Dragons and Elemental Evil Adventurers League programs. He’s thinking about getting a cat, but he’s torn between the names Trapspringer and Dragonbait.

MARVEL’S ANNOUNCEMENT

Marvel Encodes: I have two theories of my own but let’s see…

By the way, the images are on the original link.

Marvel Has A Big Surprise Coming, Here’s A Clue

By Eric Eisenberg 43 minutes agodiscussion 27 Comments
Marvel Has A Big Surprise Coming, Here’s A Clue image
The next few weeks are going to be rather huge for Marvel Studios. This Friday will see the release of their first Netflix series, Daredevil; then Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be dropping on May 1st; and soon after that the company will begin production on Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: Civil War. That’s all pretty huge stuff, but evidently it’s not enough, as now a big Avengers announcement has been scheduled for tomorrow morning.

This extremely exciting news comes to us from Marvel Cinematic Universe star Robert Downey Jr. himself, who teased the special reveal on his personal Twitter account. In addition to revealing that there will be big Avengers news tomorrow morning on Good Morning America, he also presented us fans with a rather cryptic image as well:

Given the source of the tease, the metallic plates, and the red and gold coloring, it’s pretty clear that what we’re looking at is a close-up of some kind of Iron Man-related “thing” – but what the hell is it? Is it a new suit of armor? Is it something bigger? Is it some kind of vehicle? (UPDATE #1: As one of our commenters pointed out below, it looks like this shot is a closeup of Iron Man’s shoulder from his character poster). Perhaps even more importantly, what’s up with the very strange and very specific white spaces. My first instinct is to look at them as letters, but that still doesn’t really clear things up.

Because the image isn’t much help, let’s look at this mystery from another angle. It’s interesting to note that Downey Jr. says “Avengers announcement” as opposed to “Iron Man” announcement, and while that could be a reference to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, what if it is instead something to do with The Avengers: Infinity War? That movie is certainly many years away, but Marvel Studios has earned a reputation for always thinking 10 steps ahead.

Without more information, it’s tricky to figure out this puzzle at face value – and hopefully throughout the day we see more clues pop up and give us more of a hint of what to expect. Of course, speculation is always fun, and this is a fun and exciting jumping off point to do just that. Hit the comments section below to tell us both what you think the image is and what you think the big announcement is going to be tomorrow. And be sure to come back in the morning, because you can be sure that we will have full coverage of what goes down!

UPDATE #2: The official Good Morning America Twitter account has posted a clue of their own, which appears to be Hawkeye-centric, and has more of what now definitely appear to be big white letters. Check it out below:

UPDATE #3: Now the official Jimmy Kimmel Live! Twitter account has chimed in with their own post, this one featuring Captain America’s chest star. It’s pretty clear that the letters here say “Jimmy,” and as one of our commenters pointed out below, it looks like the lettering in the Iron Man image above is very similar to the logo of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

ESSAYS ON GAME DESIGN – ESSAY ELEVEN: LUCK BE NOT LAZY

My next Essay on Gaming and Game Design, since this is my post for Design of Things to Come.

ESSAYS ON GAME DESIGN

Essay Eleven: Luck Be Not Lazy

“High Fortune is the Good Wife of the Brave Husband.”

“Our survival kit is within us…”

“Good Luck befriend thee, Son…”

Synopsis:Boldness makes you luckier.” Boldness and risk taking make you more likely to survive and succeed than timidity and cowardice. This is true both in life, and in-game.

Recently while reading the book The Survivor’s Club (I am a survivalist and often study various aspects of survival art and science) I came across a very interesting equation by Nicholas Rescher.

The equation is as follows:

λ(E) = ∆(E) x [1-pr(E)] = ∆(E) x pr(not-E)

Rescher was attempting to mathematically illustrate how conclusions are drawn about the conditions and functional nature of “luck.” I have not had the time to examine the mathematics in detail for myself since I have only the basic equation formulation and a basic interpretation by the author of the book (not the author of the equation). I plan on looking up the entire background of the equation when I have the time.

Basically the equation states that how lucky an individual (or theoretically an event, with variable exchange) is considered to be depends upon a number of factors, but not least is the level of sufficient risk associated with any endeavor. That is to say the greater the risk taken by an individual, when success is finally achieved (though success is not guaranteed), then naturally the “more lucky” such an individual is considered in relation to others. This is of course only logical, and can be illustrated in the following way.

Two men decide to cross a chasm. One does so by a secure wooden footbridge with a safety railing, another along a length of tightrope. If both men make it safely across then most objective observers would say that the man walking upon the tightrope was “luckiest.” His risk was greatest and when (if) he succeeds then luck has been said to play a greater role in his crossing (in spite of any personal skill he might possess in wire-walking) than in the guy who has crossed the chasm on a relatively secure footbridge (in which case chance or luck plays a much smaller, if any, role as regards the crossing). This is self-evident, though perhaps often ignored or not noticed in this way in most circumstances by some observers.

lady luck

But I suspect that an even more interesting underlying and basic assumption fundamental to the structure of the equation (though it may not necessarily be overtly stated, when considering “normative variables”) is this: the greater the risk you take the more lucky you are likely to be. Not merely as a matter of relative comparison to others in different circumstances, but as a practical and fundamental matter in most any circumstance. And by extension then the more risk you assume in your given situation then the more likely you are to eventually succeed within that given situation. (Also this implies that luck is not a matter merely to be judged and quantified after the fact, or after the conclusion of the endeavor, but as a functional force, and likely an indirectly measurable force, operating throughout the course of events.)

Think about that for a moment. For the idea may just very well be fundamental to the nature of what many consider “good fortune.” Whether most people realize it or not.

The implication is that with great risk comes not only great danger, but also a greater probability towards actual and more capital success. (I think that there are several reasons for the likelihood of this conclusion, some physical, some psychological, and a few of which I will discuss here). The equation actually states that if you succeed then a larger level of risk can be said to include within the nature of the success a greater degree of good fortune, expressed colloquially as “luck.” But underneath the equation, if you examine it closely, is a sort of sub-structural formulation that implies that the greater the level of risk you assume in attempting any given or particular thing, the more likely you are to actually succeed, but that this does not become absolutely mathematically obvious until after the events are actually concluded.

In short the equation is covertly implying that all things being equal, and excluding the impossible (of course, as well as the intentionally foolhardy and reckless), it is the one who assumes the greatest risk who is far more likely to be lucky and in the end, to succeed as a result of the advantages bestowed by luck. (Is luck the only factor in success? Good Lord no. Preparation, skill, cunning, cleverness, drive, desire, etc. – all of these factors and more, or even less, can help to assure success. But what it is saying is that among roughly equivalent situations and/or competitors it is the more daring and less risk averse who is mathematically far more likely to “get lucky” and win the day, other factors not withstanding. Risk is therefore, as counter-intuitive and paradoxical as the idea may seem, one of the open and golden gateways to good fortune. Or as the old maxim goes, “Fortuna favet fortibus.” There is far more to that observation than mere Latin wit.

We all know that boldness is a fundamental aspect of the nature of Heroism. (Indeed, I personally would not attempt the execution of the function of anything heroic lacking the mettle of individual bravery as my guide. There is neither room for in most risky situations, nor likelihood of success in most dangerous situations for the ‘timid hero.’) Heroes therefore are universally bold. Or on the royal road through hardship and risk to becoming universally bold. Yet often heroes also triumph over seemingly vastly superior opponents with vastly superior resources. Why? Because they are bold. Because they are daring, and audacious, and brave. They also almost universally, whether in real life, or in myth or literature, “get lucky” or at least luckier than everybody else around them. Why? Because fortune does indeed favor the bold. The bold risk great things and therefore fortune is a natural and interested companion along the way. Fortune is attracted to bravery and risk-taking. (This does not imply that all risks are equal, or even equally fortunate, only that fortune prefers boldness to a lack thereof.)

Now it might appear on the surface that the heroic individual, or group, is often both bold and lucky. But the actual truth is they are lucky precisely because they are bolder than everyone else. Hence luck does not make one bold, being bold makes one lucky. There is a direct, if not always immediately observationally evident, correlation. That man who takes the most risk is that man who is likely to be luckiest and to be most successful. Even if bravery does not create good fortune in a particular circumstance it at least maintains and augments what good fortune already exists within that circumstance.

There are several reasons for this I think, some derived from my own personal observations, others I have gathered from anecdotal evidence, some taken from historical studies, still others implied by the equation I listed above.

First, the psychological ones:

1. The man who is audacious and daring tends to impress others with their vision. Small visions do not attract interest or followers. Bravery impresses and heroic visions and examples evoke imitation. Courage inspires devotion. And devotion inspires more courage as well as more of itself, which thereby tends to augment good fortune through cooperative enterprise and shared labor and objectives. Making success far more likely.

2. The individual who is brave tends to impress even dangerous creatures and animals, which will sometimes flee a man who the animal could easily kill because the man exhibits no fear. So if something or even someone thinks you’re crazy enough to be unafraid (regardless of whether you really are or not in that situation) when they think you should be then this gives them pause about their own chances of success against you. Courage in yourself can often inspire caution in an enemy or dangerous opponent, tipping the scales of good fortune, as well as the initiative and control of the situation in your favor.

(This has happened to me on more than one occasion with animals, men, and situations. For instance I’ve been shot at and drawn on on more than one occasion. Most recently this happened to me about two weeks ago. Yet I managed to defuse that particular situation without bloodshed or anyone being harmed because I walked towards the gunfire instead of freezing or fleeing from it when guns were drawn. Not that walking into gunfire is the most impressive or important kind of courage, it is far from it. Other things are often far more dangerous. I know that from personal experience. But the policeman in this case had the wrong location and the wrong target and he was obviously afraid of attack himself and so he drew and fired when he thought he was under attack. I don’t blame him by the way, he did indeed think he was under attack and may have even thought he could possibly be killed. He was also a young fella and a bit of a rookie. I doubt he had ever drawn his weapon before in the line of duty, but that’s just an assumption mind you based upon my observations of the boy, I didn’t really ask him. But he didn’t do anything really wrong; he was just surprised and scared by the situation, not knowing what was really going on. So I supported him when his commanding officer came out to do the in-the-field inquiry about why and how he had discharged his weapon. But I was able to prevent any real harm during the incident by walking into his line of fire [he wasn’t shooting at me, but I caused him to pause by interjecting myself] and taking control of the situation with my voice. Thereby stopping any further firing. I don’t think most people realize how effective an instrument the human voice can be in controlling a dangerous situation but those of you with law enforcement or military backgrounds probably know exactly what I mean. Your voice is probably often your most effective tool of courage and control. So I wasn’t afraid at all when it was happening, though my wife later yelled at me, as she often will, by saying “you stupid white guys run towards gunfire instead of away from it.” But obviously it has got nothing to do with being white, I’ve known a lot of brave men from all kinds of backgrounds, or even really with being stupid I would argue, but with training. I wasn’t afraid at all and so acted as I have trained myself over time, to walk towards danger and not away from it, and to attempt to command any given dangerous situation by not panicking, but by trying to assume control of the circumstances. I also wasn’t scared at all in this situation because I wasn’t thinking about myself at all. Over time I have basically trained fear for my own safety out of myself so that when others are endangered I think about others and not myself. Which eliminates the occupation with “self-fear.” It has become a matter of habit by now, and I never consciously weigh dangers for myself in my mind in that way anymore. However this does not mean the elimination of fear, if my children or wife had been under fire or endangered then I would have been afraid, I would have been thinking of their survival. I do not think though, and thank God this has never occurred, that even in that situation it would have paralyzed me, but I would have been afraid. Afraid for them. Indeed after the shooting I spoke about before was over and I realized just how bad the situation could have become for everyone – there was another officer who could have drawn and started shooting but he remained basically calm and watchful – I had about two minutes where I needed to sit down. To prevent my legs from shaking. But that was about 15 to 20 minutes later. Various friends and some people at church heard about this little adventure from my wife and the police and they all said I was a lucky fool. Just shook their heads. But I wasn’t a lucky fool; I was lucky because in that situation my training allowed me to be bold enough to prevent the situation from becoming completely out of control. I guess what I’m saying is that training yourself to move towards danger may seem apparently crazy, and so the assumption is that you just get lucky that nothing bad happens. Actually you get lucky because you act boldly. The crazy is only relative to those who do not understand that boldness enhances good fortune, not detracts from it.)

3. Bravery does not allow for panic, especially not debilitating panic. Courage is usually prepared for most situations (through exercise, practice, training, and habit) or at the very least does not panic and make situations worse. Boldness has “faith in itself.” Because boldness and enterprise are habits and skills that can be learned through practice. Perhaps some people are naturally born fearless or bold. But regardless of the veracity of that statement a person can become bold and daring through the exercise and practice of courage, just as is the case with bodybuilding through resistance training. You become muscularly and physically stronger by working ever-heavier resistance against weak and inexperienced muscles. You become more courageous by placing yourself in dangerous situations and exercising control against your fear. Eventually your “courage physique” will increase and it will take more and more danger to cause fear any real friction or resistance against you.

That’s all I’m gonna say about the psychological factors because it is not my intent in this essay to discuss all possible psychological variables. But merely to present basic possibilities.

greek

Now for some of the physical factors:

1. I suspect that on the physical level there is an “Entrainment of the unlikely” but nevertheless “necessarily possible” whenever boldness is a factor operating upon the physical environment. That is to say that boldness has both a physical and a quantum effect upon the surrounding environment much as it does on the psychological environment in which courage is in operation. Though the effect may be subtle, it nevertheless positively influences events in favor of the party operating “boldly.” The apparent physical effect is displayed as a tendency of events to move favorably in relation to the “bold party.” Though of course more than one party may be simultaneously operating in a bold fashion. It is not my intention in this short essay though to discuss competitions or conflicts between separate parties acting against each other each in their own bold fashion. That subject can be taken up by another if they so desire.

2. I suspect boldness is probably also a “quantum excitement” to the local environment, causing obstacles and frictions to move away from or bend away from the “bold party.” Friction and resistance does not build up in the environment against the bold, but rather boldness acts as a sort of overlaying energy field that slightly tilts the operational environment in the favor of the bold. You might think of daring and risk as exciting the local environment in such a way that it acts as a sort of simultaneous lubricant for good fortune, and as a sort of barrier against misfortune.
Now if all, or indeed if any of this is true, then this idea has large scale implications for human activity and work in the real world. It also has large scale gaming implications, because heroic gaming could therefore be used as a sort of imaginary training ground for the development of higher and higher states of mental and psychologically habitual (behavioral habits begin in the mind after all) boldness, which could then be effectively transferred outside the self-contained environment of a given game and exported to the wider world.

But for the moment, since this is a website and forum dedicated to gaming let’s examine how we might exploit the idea encapsulated by the statement: “Boldness makes you luckier.”
So I’m going to make a few suggestions as to how to use this hypothesis within your game and/or game setting.

1. If you use some factor, variable, or attribute in your game that represents or expresses Luck (I use several in my games) then (given that my previous statements and hypotheses above make sense to you) anytime your players display real courage this should have a corresponding and even compounding “Luck Effect.” If they are brave, and bold, then their level of Good Fortune should naturally increase, or be augmented in some way. Good luck is never lazy, and it is rarely risk-averse. Rather the braver the character the more likely he is to be lucky in any given situation (assuming he or she does not face impossible odds or an inescapable situation).

So acts of courage and heroism are more than likely to have a direct and positive corresponding effect upon factors of good fortune and the benefits bestowed by luck. I can’t tell you how to do this exactly in your game or setting (because I don’t know the details of your setting) but it is my recommendation that you bind together in some way acts of heroism and boldness to corresponding gains in good fortune. (However these things might be expressed, as bonuses to saving throws, or as “luck advantages,” or as gains to certain types of abilities or skills, or whatever the particular case may be in your situation.)

2. I would also suggest that acts of cowardice and timidity have a corresponding suppression upon factors involving luck. The risk averse would also be averse to natural good fortune. After all the obverse of my proposition, that bravery makes you luckier, is easily demonstrable. No great thing was ever achieved by timidity. The timid do not attempt and therefore naturally do not achieve great things. That is self-evident. Therefore good fortune can hardly be considered a close ally of timidity or cowardice, for achievement is the opposite of being retiring and timid. And achievement against great odds can be called one of the potential proofs of good fortune. So the bold often achieve where the timid will not go. And good fortune goes where the bold dare to lead her. Therefore fortune is long time friend of the bold, but always the stranger to the timid.

3. Courage might not only affect “Luck Factors” but even attributes like Charisma, Wisdom, and leadership. Courage should and will increase luck and overall good fortune but it might also temporarily or even permanently increase attribute scores like Charisma, Wisdom, Intelligence, or leadership abilities.

4. Courage causing increases in luck and good fortune might also have a corresponding positive effect upon things like intuition or even psychic abilities (I use the term psychic to reflect both mental abilities and spiritual capabilities.)

5. Courage would make one “fortunate” in the types and quality of the individuals you attract to yourself as friends, allies, and followers.

6. Another suggestion I might make is that in game terms at least allow for a sort of generalized and conditional reaction to acts of heroism, bravery, and boldness on the part of the surrounding environment. This could take any number of different forms but the overall effect would be that the environment “acts lucky” towards the person exhibiting bravery, initiative, and enterprise.

7. Courage and luck might have a beneficial effect upon the degree of power and level of control one may exercise over magic, magical items, artifacts, and devices, and/or more mundane types of tools/technology.

8. If courage increases good fortune and good fortune makes survival more likely then heroism and bravery should likely have direct and positive effects upon any useful survival mechanism or skill within your game.
These are but a few simple ways that the relationship between boldness and good fortune could be exploited in game, and could also serve as a sort of “reward system” to your best and bravest role-players. I could go into other related matters such as the possible mathematical relationship between boldness, confidence, and chance mechanisms, like gaming dice. But I’ve explored pretty much what I personally wanted to explore as regards this subject, and since I am presenting this post as an Interactive Essay others can add related or peripheral content as they see fit.

But in summation I would also like to encourage you all to make better use of heroism, enterprise, initiative, and boldness in your own situation(s), both in real life and in-game. I suspect that given time you will find yourself more and more inclined to boldness through practice (assuming you are not already), and as a result of that more likely to find yourself enjoying an ever increasing level of good fortune and definite luck.

Good luck to you then.

KILLER CROC

I very much liked him as the Priest.

 

‘Lost’ Alum  to Play Killer Croc in WB’s ‘Suicide Squad’ (Exclusive)

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Ian Gavan/Getty Images); Killer Croc (DC Comics)

Ian Gavan/Getty Images; DC Comics

Actor switches sides from Marvel to DC and reunites with his “Concussion” co-star Will Smith

After playing dual roles in “Thor: The Dark World,” Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is switching sides and moving from Marvel to DC, as he’s set to play Killer Croc in WB’s “Suicide Squad,” TheWrap has learned.

Representatives for Warner Bros. and Akinnuoye-Agbaje did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

David Ayer is directing “Suicide Squad,” which is set to star Will Smith as Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo and Jared Leto as The Joker, as TheWrap first reported.

Jesse Eisenberg is also expected to reprise his upcoming role as Lex Luthor, while Scott Eastwood is set to appear in a small role that is rumored to be Wonder Woman’s love interest.

Karen Fukuhara has also been cast in an undisclosed role, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

Killer Croc’s real name is Waylon Jones, and the character is among Batman’s rogue’s gallery of supervillains. He has a reptilian appearance and he first appeared in Batman #357 in March 1983.

Charles Roven and Richard Suckle are producing “Suicide Squad,” while Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns are serving as executive producers. Production starts in April, and Warner Bros. will release “Suicide Squad” on Aug. 5, 2016.

“Suicide Squad” reunites Akinnuoye-Agbaje with Smith, as the duo will soon be seen in Ridley Scott’s football drama “Concussion,” in which the “Lost” and “Oz” alum plays NFL veteran Dave Duerson.

Akinnuoye-Agbaje is well known to fans of comic book movies, having played both Algrim the Strong and the villainous Kurse in Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World.” He recently appeared in Sony’s “Annie” remake and will soon be seen on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and in the Bryan Cranston drama “Trumbo.”

CBS/TV DOES THE FINAL FRONTIER

A government that is a dysfunctional, bloated, complacent mess prompting several other governments to abandon it and led by people who allow Star Fleet to become outdated and ineffective?

Next you’ll be throwing in a treasonous leader making secret deals with the enemy, the desertion of your own men in the field, a corrupt State Dept. (probably led by a Romulan) and a Senate of degenerates and cowards.

Now who could possibly believe in that kinda thing?

By the way there has been talk of this for years now. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Star Trek May Be Heading Back To TV, Get The Details image

A lot of hardcore Star Trek fans have been critical of the rebooted film franchise, and almost every time a story drops about that, there is a minor clamor for the franchise to return to television, where it began almost 50 years ago. According to one new report, that could be closer than we think, and new series may be on the way.

Sources tell Latino Review that CBS is working to bring Star Trek back to your TV sets. They don’t offer much in the way of details, but the biggest tidbit they share is that  X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer has been bandied about as an executive producer through his Bad Hat Harry Productions. We’ll have to wait and see if this news pans out, but there’s definite potential, and Singer is a well-known fan and has a history with the franchise.

Star Trek: Enterprise, the most recent series, went off the air in 2005, and since then there have been a couple of attempts to mount another in its wake. Bryce Zabel (Dark Skies) and Babylon 5’s J. Michael Straczynski worked on a version called Star Trek: Reboot the Universe. There was also another one called Star Trek: Federation, and wouldn’t you know, Singer was one of the main three involved with that project, along with Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) and Robert Burnett, with novelist Geoffrey Thorne handling the writing.

Singer is the only name specifically mentioned in LR’s report. There’s no concrete word on whether any of the others are still involved, but Burnett has continued dabbling in that realm, working as a producer on the fan-funded film Star Trek: Axanar, from the people behind Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar. McQuarrie is busy getting Rogue Nation in shape for its release in July, though he is working with Bad Robot on that one, and has mentioned Trek on social media as recently as last December. For his part, Singer is prepping X-Men: Apocalypse, but has sporadically talked about Star Trek over the years. If nothing else, they all still appear to have love for the franchise.

If Singer and/or any of these people are working on a new Star Trek series, it will be interesting to see if it is similar to Federation. That idea didn’t reboot the universe, but instead takes place in the distant future. In this vision, the United Federation of Planets has become bloated and complacent, and Starfleet has become outdated and ineffective. Basically, it imagines a world where the Federation is a dysfunctional mess, causing many worlds to withdraw due to the ineffective way the government responds to an emerging threat called the Scourge. That’s definitely fertile ground for a new series to explore.

Who the hell knows if this will actually amount to anything? Paramount is still working to get Star Trek 3 together, though there appears to be movement — Simon Pegg has been talking about the script, and Idris Elba is reportedly up for an as-yet-unnamed villain role. The Justin Lin-directed film is scheduled to hit theaters on July 6, 2016, but it would also be pretty cool to have more Star Trek on TV to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s groundbreaking franchise.

BOND DOES SPECTRE

Superb! This looks as if it might be as good as SkyFall.

CAP DOES ULBOT

Actually, I did wanna see that. That was immensely entertaining.

More of that kinda thing please…

 

Fancy seeing Captain America drop kick and decapitate an Ultron bot? Of course you do. So I’m not going to waste your time with any preamble, just watch the Australian television spot for Avengers: Age Of Ultron and immediately start to salivate.

Sensational. Despite being just 15 seconds long, this brief look at Joss Whedon’s hugely anticipated sequel rams home the two main aspects of Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Firstly, that the world is in utter chaos because of Ultron’s decision to wreak havoc across the globe. And secondly, that the Avengers themselves are going through their own issues. That’s why Iron Man has created a Hulk-buster suit that he uses to drag the big, green monster through a skyscraper.

The fact that both Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) are easily able to destroy the Ultron bots with an almighty swing of their hammer and shield, respectively, suggests that we’re going to get action scenes reminiscent of Age Of Ultron’s predecessor (2012’s The Avengers) and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. In these films, each of our heroes took down the repeated sway of enemy soldiers with no difficulty, and the directors of these films made sure to keep audiences entertained by injecting humor and making the characters work as a tag-team to defeat them. Thor’s thwack of Cap’s shield with his hammer suggests Age Of Ultron’s battle scenes will be broken down in this manner, too.

Meanwhile, one of the most prominent aspects of Avengers: Age Of Ultron’s promotional campaign has been the tease of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and The Hulk’s (Mark Ruffalo) tussle. Because of The Hulk’s height, weight, anger and gamma-ray advantage over his metallic pal, Tony Stark has created a Hulkbuster suit to tackle Bruce Banner’s less-than-friendly alter-ego. Many rumors have started to circulate about the reasons for their tussle. Some have suggested that Iron Man resorts to tackling The Hulk because he has lost control and is wreaking havoc in a heavily populated area, while it’s also been teased that they go toe-to-toe just to see who is tougher. Scarlet Witch might also factor in to the fray, from what we have heard. Either way, the tease of their tussle has done a great job of amping up anticipation ahead of Age Of Ultron’s release, so much so that Avengers 2’s box office predictions are insanely high.

And now that we know that Captain America: Civil War will revolve around an almighty quarrel between Iron Man and Captain America, it basically proves that Age Of Ultron will help to sow these seeds ahead of Steve Rogers’ third solo adventure in 2016. But before that though, Avengers: Age Of Ultron will hit cinemas on May 1st. And it promises to be a pretty big deal.

DAWN OF JUSTICE: LEX LUTHOR

The mark of a good villain is how he knows to stop monologuing before he gives away too much of his plan. That’s also the mark of a good superhero-franchise director.

Details on Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (due March 25, 2016) have been scarcer than kryptonite. We know that a cameo by Aquaman sets up 2017’s Justice League and that Wonder Woman has a sizable role. And now we have our first glimpse of Jesse Eisenberg as one of comics’ greatest bad guys: Lex Luthor.

“He’s not any of the Lexes that you’ve seen, that’s for sure,” says Snyder, “other than him being a captain of industry and one person to the world and another person to himself. And bald, of course.”

Eisenberg might not be the first person you’d think of to play the supervillain, but he did have experience portraying a morally challenged billionaire in The Social Network. And this edition of the follicularly challenged megalomaniac taps into a similar hyperintelligence mixed with malignant straight shooting. “Our Lex is disarming and he’s not fake,” says Snyder. “He says what he believes and he says what’s on his mind. If you can unravel the string and decipher what he means, it’s all there.”

Now excuse us while we try to unravel that string and decipher what Snyder is secretly trying to tell us.

Image Credit: Clay Enos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEKUMEL II

Today I’m going to make another post on Tekumel and the Empire of the Petal Throne RPG setting and fantasy world. This one will give you the basic Wikipedia background.

 

TEKUMEL

Tékumel is a fantasy world created by M. A. R. Barker over the course of several decades from around 1940.[1] With time, Barker also created the role-playing game Empire of the Petal Throne, set in the Tékumel fictional universe, and first published in 1975 by TSR, Inc. In this imaginary world, huge, tradition-bound empires with medieval levels of technology vie for control using magic, large standing armies, and ancient technological devices.

Contents

Sources

Barker’s legendarium, like that of the better-known J. R. R. Tolkien, considered not just the creation of a fantasy world but also an in-depth development of the societies and languages of the world. In other words, the setting also provided a context for Barker’s constructed languages which were developed in parallel from the mid-to-late 1940s, long before the mass-market publication of his works in roleplaying game and book form.[1][2][3]

The most significant language created by Barker for his setting is Tsolyáni, which resembles Urdu, Pushtu and Mayan. Tsolyáni has had grammatical guides, dictionaries, pronunciation recordings, and even a complete language course developed for it. In order for his imaginary languages to have this type of depth, Barker developed entire cultures, histories, dress fashions, architectural styles, weapons, armor, tactical styles, legal codes, demographics and more, inspired by Indian, Middle Eastern, Egyptian and Meso-American mythology in contrast to the majority of such fantasy settings, which draw primarily on European mythologies.

Setting

The world of Tékumel, Nu Ophiuchi d (a.k.a. Sinistra d), was first settled by humans exploring the galaxy about 60,000 years in the future, along with several other alien species. Their extensive terraforming of the inhospitable environment, including changing the planet’s orbit and rotation rate to create a 365.25-day year, disrupted local ecologies and banished most of the local flora and fauna (including some intelligent species) to small reservations in the corners of their own world, resulting in a golden age of technology and prosperity for humankind and its allies. Tékumel became a resort world, where the wealthy from a thousand other stars could while away their time next to its warm seas.

Suddenly,[4] and for reasons unknown, Tékumel and its star system (Tékumel’s two moons, Gayél and Káshi, its sun, Tuléng, and four other planets, Ülétl, Riruchél, Shíchel, and Zirúna) were cast out of our reality into a “pocket dimension” (known as a béthorm in Tsolyáni), in which there were no other star systems. One hypothesis is that this isolation happened through hostile action on the part of an unknown party or group. Another is that the cosmic cataclysm was due to over-use of a faster than light drive which warped the fabric of space. No one knows, but the inhabitants of Tékumel, both human, native, and representatives of the other starfaring races, were now isolated and alone.

Severed from vital interplanetary trade routes (Tékumel is a world very poor in heavy metals) and in the midst of a massive gravitic upheaval due to the lines of gravitational force between the stars being suddenly cut, civilization was thrown into chaos. The intelligent native species, the Hlüss and the Ssú, broke free from their reservations and wars as destructive as the massive geographic changes ravaged the planet. Several other significant changes took place due to the crisis: mankind discovered it could now tap into ultraplanar energies that were seen as magical forces, the stars were gone from the sky, dimensional nexi were uncovered and pacts with “demons” (inhabitants of dimensions near in n-dimensional space to Tékumel’s pocket dimension) were made and a complex pantheon of “Gods” (powerful extra-dimensional or multi-dimensional alien beings) discovered. Science began to stagnate until ultimately knowledge became grounded in traditions handed down from generations long ago, the belief that the universe was ultimately understandable slowly faded, and a Time of Darkness descended over the planet.

Much of Barker’s writing concerns a time approximately 50,000 years after Tékumel has entered its pocket dimension.[5] Five vast tradition-oriented civilizations occupy a large portion of the northern continent. These five human empires, along with various non-human allies who are descended from other star faring races, vie to control resources, including other planar “magical powers” and ancient technology, as they vie for survival and supremacy among themselves as well as hostile and other non-human races.

Much of the gaming materials and other writings focus particularly on these Five Empires which control much of the world’s northern continent (only about an eighth of the planet’s surface has published maps).

Languages

Tsolyáni is one of several languages spoken on the world of Tékumel, and was the first conlang published as part of a role-playing game. It is inspired by Urdu, Pushtu and Mayan, the latter influence can be seen in the inclusion of the sounds hl /ɬ/ and tl //.[dubious ]

As could be expected, Barker put great effort into the languages of Tékumel. Although Tsolyáni is the only Tekumeláni language that has had a full grammar book, dictionary, pronunciation tapes (on CD) and a primer, publicly released, it is not the only language for this world that Barker developed.

Also available are grammar guides for the Yán Koryáni and Livyáni languages which are spoken in two other of the “Five Empires” of the known parts of Tékumel, as well as grammar books for Engsvanyáli and Sunúz. These two languages are now extinct, dead languages. Engsvanyáli is of use as it is the root language for Tsolyáni and many of the other currently spoken languages of the known parts of Tékumel. Sunúz is of interest because, although it is obscure, it is quite useful for sorcerous purposes. For instance, Sunúz contains terms to describe movement in a six dimensional multi-planar space, something of use to beings who visit the other planar realms where “demons” live.

Barker also published extensively on scripts for other languages of Tékumel.

 

BLACKLIST AND VIKINGS

I have a feeling that both the Blacklist and Vikings will be superb tonight.

Here we go…

GONE A’VIKING

I’m not going to Ireland to do this, but you gotta admit, it looks like a fun gig.

Looking for some extra work? ‘Vikings’ need 8,000 extras for filming in Ireland

Ever fancied joining a viking army? Now you can. Here’s how to apply…

Vikings, the hugely successful History Channel production that is filmed in Ireland, has announced a casting call to find a minimum of 8,000 extras to work on its forthcoming season, which will be filmed here.

The Canadian/Irish production recently began its third season and will begin filming the fourth in Ireland in April. The producers have today announced they are looking for extras to take part, and the selection process will be held in Dublin, at the Film Base in Temple Bar, and at the Grand Hotel, Abbey St, in Wicklow.

We covered the application process last year, and you can learn a bit more about what life as an extra on Vikings is like HERE

The work is casual and temporary, but with 8,000 spots to fill it would appear you’ll have a good chance of getting the call sometime between April and December, when filming wraps up.

Those interested can attend the open casting days, with the events page on the Vikings Extras Facebook page offering the following advice to applicants turning up to stake a claim.

They are mainly looking for adults aged 16+
People from all ethnic backgrounds are required
You do not need an appointment
You only need attend one day of auditions
Each person who attends will fill out an application and have a photo taken
The process will take roughly 20 minutes
When you head along, have your measurements to hand. E.g. Height, chest, dress, shoe size etc. (You’ll need them for the application form)
No need to bring a CV or headshots, but the team will accept them if you do have them with you
There’s a long list of specific skills and appearances they’re looking for, including: Fishermen, carpenters, skilled swords people, bowmen and women, ship hands, Latin speakers, tree surgeons, and males with long hair and beards (you can find a full list of these – and there are plenty more – on the Vikings Extras Facebook page).

Full listing

There will be 3 x Extras Open Casting days in 2015 – 2 days will be held in Dublin and 1 day will be held in Wicklow. Details are below

Dublin

FILMBASE, Curved St, Temple Bar, D2

Tuesday 31st March 2015 between 9.30am -4.30pm

Wednesday 1st April 2015 between 9.30am – 5pm

Wicklow

The Grand Hotel, Abbey St, Wicklow Town

Wednesday 7th April between 10am – 6pm

Check out the Vikings Extras Facebook page for more information

And if you haven’t seen Vikings, here’s a taster

PREVENGERS

I’m kinda stoked…

SPECTRE

The first poster for the next James Bond film ‘SPECTRE’ has arrived and to say it’s not giving much away would be like calling 007 a “civil servant”.

As several commenters online have already pointed out, the costume worn by the moody-looking Daniel Craig appears to be a nod to Roger Moore, as it bears more than a passing resemblance to the rollneck/gun holster combo sported by Bond in ‘Live and Let Die’.

Daniel Craig Channels Roger Moore In First SPECTRE Poster

As well as the teaser poster above which first appeared on the official @007 Twitter account, there also appears to be a few subtle variations of the design kicking around too.

image

One key fact it has divulged though is that the 24th film in the franchise will be getting an IMAX release when it hits cinemas later this year. ‘SPECTRE’ follows in the footsteps of ‘Skyfall’ which also got a release on the super-sized screens in 2012.

‘SPECTRE’ is coming to cinemas in November, 2015.

Could SPECTRE Explain The Death of Bond’s Parents?
Bond Girls: Then and Now
Is James Bond a Time Lord?

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