Category Archives: Horror

CANDLE COVE – I’LL MISS YOU

I thoroughly enjoyed the final episode of Candle Cove tonight.

Probably the creepiest TV show I’ve ever seen in my life…

 

THE WITCHQUEEN

THE WITCHQUEEN

I’ve always said that Cersei Lannister was the single greatest and most degenerate sociopath in the entire series of novels. She is also the Queen Mother of degeneracy and should have long ago been hung by the neck until dead. She is vile, not in the common usage of the term but in the accurate usage of the term, and she is a communicable disease.

Of course the other events in this episode were equally good (which I will not now mention), for the most part, and this was definitely the best episode of this season, the Battle of the Bastards being the next best.

But yes, even Jamie Lannister, a definite degenerate himself, must now fully recognize the twisted nature of his sister and that she is every bit as “mad” as was the Mad King.

If he has any sense at all he will behead Cersei as Sansa and Jon should do to Littlefinger, but will not.

 

 

GRAVEYARD ENCOUNTERS

10 Graveyard Encounters

A collection of graveyard encounters, adventure seeds, and half-baked thoughts…

1. The group stumbles upon a cemetery with tombstones a quarter of the standard size. Engraved on the tombstones are names like Kitty, Tiger, Max, etc. Half the grave soil has been disturbed as if something dug its way out. A meow can be heard in the distance as dozens of undead cats prowl the perimeter of their resting ground.

2. There are numerous mausoleums spread throughout the graveyard. Each one has four gargoyles leering at each of its roof corners. Anyone who crosses the shadow of any of the perched gargoyles will have the shadow come alive and attack. Once slain that gargoyle will no longer cast a shadow.

3. You encounter an elderly man who is digging up a grave. If questioned he tells you that he recently had a dream where his dead wife was calling for him to rescue her.

4. A young girl scream pierces through the cemetery. She is running frantically and crying for help. She and her partner came to the cemetery to make out when decaying arms rose up from the ground and dragged her lover beneath the surface. All that remains is a broken picnic basket, a shredded blanket, and a used sheepskin.

5. You cross paths with a half dozen gravediggers. Their cart is filled with dozens of bodies. Half of them deceased, the other half clinging to life. They tell you the other half will be dead soon enough and there is no point in waiting for the inevitable.

6. As you pass by a gravestone you hear scratching and clawing coming from the ground. The soil begins to break apart and you faintly hear mumbling asking for assistance. A few moments later a ghoulish man in victorian dress and a top hat pull himself out. He believes he is awfully late for a dinner engagement and ask your were Wilson Pub is.

7. A cemetery with a hundred gravestones and 12′ tall memorial plinth in the center. Once a living being enters the cemetery the dead begin to rise from their graves. Wave upon wave of zombies attack. Once a zombie is slain it will reanimate 1 hour later. The plinth in the center of the cemetery has the name of every person buried here. Only by crossing out their names will they stay dead.

8. You stumble upon a gravestone with a square glass in the center of it. Next to the glass are two dials. With the right combination on the dials or a successful disable trap check you are able to speak with the person who’s grave this belongs to. Their image will appear in the square glass and will gladly answer questions.

9. You enter into a graveyard and suddenly realize that the exit is no longer there. As far as the eye can see appears to be an endless rows of tombstones. You quickly realize that all gravestones bear the same name. Only by putting that soul to rest can you escape this distorted reality.

10. In a long abandoned cemetery you meet a farmer planting seeds on the burial plots. He claims that the dead are wonderful fertilizer and the crop yield has remnants of their past memories.

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES – ALL THING

Very, very nice… from Ed

My 6-Year-Old Designed A Dungeon, And It’s Terrifying

Well met, adventurers! Today I am going to do something you have not seen me do before. Something bizarre and unexpected. I am going to gush about my kid. I had meant to write this prior to Father’s Day weekend, but things here at BardCo have become somewhat hectic, what with school letting out for the summer, sports programs beginning, and new multimedia ventures coming to fruition. Suffice to say, this is a little late, but still retains much of its potency.

There are two things you should know about me. The first is that I am a fan of the old Gygaxian dungeon crawls of yore, with its pitfalls and terrors beyond reckoning. They were punishments disguised as fun, and damn it if he didn’t accomplish both. Never have I had so much fun being rent asunder or crushed to death, or boiled alive, or having my soul torn out or… well, you get the picture.

The second thing your should know about me is that my young son has a strong desire to play D&D or Pathfinder. He can’t decide which cover art is cooler. He likes to play with the minis I have on hand, set up my terrain, draw maps on my dry erase flip mat, and tell a story. Sometimes he even asks to use my dungeon master screen for reasons that are unknown but undoubtedly sinister.

If was a few months ago that he asked me if he could “Make a dungeon” for my weekly group.  I gave a wry chuckle and found myself filled with something I believe to be a mix of pride and amusement. I gave him the go-ahead, handed him a Monster Manual and a Bestiary, a couple magic markers, and a boat load of minis, and he went about his dark work. What he created still gives me pause. It would have been an act of pure cruelty and insidious design.

And it was good.

I’ve given the map he gave me the digital upgrade, as the only remaining picture I have of it (aside from the one seared into my mind’s eye), is blurry as all-get-the-funk-out. I will detail each room of this two level horror show.

The Tomb Of Xandarr, The Cruel
 The first thing you may note about the “Tomb” is that it is a little oddly shaped. The triangles, rectangles, squares, and ovals (all shapes easily recognizable to a Kindergartener) that are connected together by a series of strangely-shaped hallways. But when you really take a look at it, a couple things become apparent.
First, the rooms aren’t the typical square rooms we’re used to in dungeons, leading someone who has no idea the whole thing was designed by a 6-year-old to believe that the entire complex was created by a madman with some issues. The rooms are chaotic, adhering to no symmetry or even consistency. There is no sense of familiarity between rooms since they vary in size and shape with each new chamber. This puts characters on the defensive, never knowing what each room might hold. Granted, this should be the normal state of mind for every character going into a dungeon.
Secondly, those hallways. If you are playing with players who get paranoid easily, these halls are nightmares. Bizarre angles and narrow passages make for an almost claustrophobic setting. Without realizing it, my wee geekling is playing a psychological game with the players, putting them through their paces and tearing away any semblance of peace.
Now, let’s get into Level 1
Section 1 – Orc Encampment: “A crooked and jagged hallway of jutting stones zigs and zags its way toward a mostly rectangular chamber. Grunts from the eastern wall signal that the room is occupied. Half a dozen burly orcs rise from a sitting position gripping cruel axes.”
The dungeon begins with a pretty straight forward fight between the characters and a band of orcs camping in the room. I say camping because that is what my son explicitly said they were doing. In my “Game Master must justify everything” brain, I reasoned the orcs were about to enter the dungeon and made camp in this empty and defensible first room to regain their strength for the path ahead.
For most characters who enter this room, this battle should be a breeze. Since I figure the average party should be about level 8 to take on the bulk of the dungeon, six orcs is a pittance. Still, with good tactics and focused fire, the orcs could still pose a problem, especially if the retreat down the hall in the north end of the room, which would bottleneck the players.
Section 2 – The Pit of Mummies: “This oval, domed, stone chamber is mostly empty. The walls are bare and there are not sconces for torches. The only thing of import seems to be a single, simple stone sarcophagus sitting in the center of the room. Small cracks run the length of the dust-covered floor like a spider web.”
Most dungeons will place their boss at the end. My 6-year-old says “To hell with conformity” and sticks that sonnova bitch in room 2! But he was not content with a simple boss fight. No. He wanted a boss fight with a trap. He wanted a boss fight in a trap! The stone sarcophagus sits in the center of a fragile circle. If a character spends more than two rounds on the surface of the circle, if two stand on it at once, or if two characters pass over it one at a time, the floor will give way into a 40-foot free fall onto a spiked floor. That’s a little rough, especially considering on top of the spikes you are also taking bludgeoning damage from the falling rocks.
But wait! There’s more!
Once the sarcophagus breaks after the fall, it reanimates the mummy lord within. This is Xandarr, and he doesn’t take kindly to being woken up. When I asked my progeny what kind of magic spells he had, he simply said, “Ones that make characters fall down so when they fall down they fall on spikes.”
That’s actually kind of evil. So, here is the scenario. If the floor collapses (because the encounter is actually entirely avoidable), any poor bastards that find themselves on the floor need to make dexterity or reflex saving throws. Anyone that screws the pooch ends up at the bottom of a 40-foot deep pit of spikes fighting a mummy lord that can put them back on those spikes with a wave of his hand.
 “Are you my mummy?”
Did I mention the second mummy down here? Oh yeah. Impaled on one of the spikes is yet another mummy. Granted, this is just your run of the mill mummy, but damn! That just ups the chances of the poor characters stuck in the pit to get a fun case of mummy rot (still sounds like an STD).
What’s more, the rest of the characters would be stuck up above, trying to find something to attach  a rope to, of which there is nothing. Melee characters would either have to traverse the rope and hope the mummy lord isn’t leveling spells at them or jump and deal with the spiky goodness. Those that choose the rope are looking at a 2-3 round commitment since the  average climb speed is 15-feet, and the pit is more than twice that.
The walls of the pit are flat and smooth (not to mention round, so no corners to shimmy up), making climbing out without assistance a virtual nightmare as far as difficulty is concerned (and failure meaning another trip to spike town).
On the plus side, the mummy lord is carrying an amulet that can make your skin as tough as stone, so hooray for loot. On the downside, the mummy lord is wearing said amulet, and would be foolish not to use it.
Evil, evil child.
 “There is nothing more precious than the laughter of a child.”
Section 3 – Trapped Hallway: “The door opens to a 25-foot long hallway. The hallway stretches off into a straight line, but there seems to be a five-foot deep, 10-foot long recess on the eastern side. Seven stone tiles make up the floor, each emitting a clicking sound when stepped upon. A stone door stands at the far end of the hall.”
My kid loves Minecraft. Moreover, he loves pressure plates and making them do things. This is a simple hallway, but a very complicated hallway at the same time. Immediately, a canny rogue is going to realize that every single inch of floor is a pressure plate. This makes the rogue’s job so much more difficult. Not to mention that recess. What is that? What even is that? Is it a trap?
Oddly enough, no. It’s just the shape of the hall. The mean part comes when an unfortunate character stands in front of the door leading out of the hall. Should they fail to disarm the trap, or if they step on the pressure plate before the door, that entire 10-foot section of wall on the eastern side of the door springs forward and crushes anyone standing there.
 “Holy broken bones, Batman!”
It’s sort of a fake-out. A trap fake out. The recess screams “look at me!” when it’s the stationary wall that is the killer aspect here. I am both proud and afraid on the kiddo.
Section 4 – Go Ahead. Touch It: “This triangular room is lit with a pair of torches on the northeastern and northwestern  walls. The torches burn with a sickly blue flame that casts the chamber in a ghostly light. A small pedestal stands at the apex of the triangle. Atop it rests a smooth violet jewel that size of a child’s fist. There is a pair of stone doors on the eastern wall.”
“What’s in this room?” I asked my son as he drew the funny triangle.
“A stone.” he replied matter-of-factly, “It’s purple. If you touch it it automatically steals your soul.” he continued, drawing a tiny stone in the room.
That’s right, the ultimate game of “I dare you to touch it.” The danger in this room is easily bypassed. Just walk on out. But that gem. That gem is likely to get someone into trouble. Let’ss face it, we all know that one player that can’t talk past a shiny red button without pressing it. Even if the button had a “Do not touch the red button” sign hanging over it, they would still have to push it, just to know what happens. Hell, more than one of us has been that character at one point or another.
“Touch not, lest ye be touched.”
The punishment for greed or curiosity is the loss of your soul. No save. Yeah, I made sure to ask him about that, but he insisted that it was automatic.
I asked, “Why?”
“Because they touched it.”
Can’t argue with that.
Section 5 – Dragonfire Pass: “This curved hallway has intricate carvings of dragons set into the stone walls. The doorways on the west and south are carved into the shape of dragon’s jaws. A strange and pungent odor fills the air here, leaving a sort of haze. The ground is wet, with a shimmering purple film seeping in between tiles and cracks.”
When I told my son about a dungeon I’d created where a bunch of kobolds lit everyone on fire with flammable liquid on the floor (such are out dinner conversations), his eyes grew wide and he couldn’t help but tell his grandmother, and anyone else who would listen. It was, I think, cool to him.
So cool, in fact, that he wanted to do something like it in his dungeon. The hall, as he told me, had dragon heads near the doors. The center of the hall marks the trigger for a burning hands spell to erupt from the dragon heads on both ends, and set the oil-soaked floor ablaze.
  “It’s a disco inferno.”
Sweet. Simple. Barbeque characters. Even if they didn’t get a soul stolen, the hall can easily become a serious pain in the ass, especially for those bringing up the rear. What’s worse is that the door at the end of the hall is locked. How good is your rogue? Picking a lock while burning to death good?
Section 6 – Treasure Room: “The door opens revealing a large rectangular room with heaps of gold coins and overflowing chests of treasure. The room is lit by torches in each corner. The flickering firelight dances upon each glinting bobble. An iron door stands against the south wall.”
Treasure! Who doesn’t love treasure? And there are piles of it here. Coins, gems, magic weapons, and armor. Everything an adventurer could want. But apparently, I have raised the kind of child that doesn’t let anything come too easily. I blame years of telling him to clean his room.
Something lives in the piles of treasure. Well, lives may not be the word. A pair of dread wraiths haul ass out of the coins like a demonically possessed Scrooge McDuck. Dread Wraiths, as I am sure you know, are not kind creatures. My son equally so. With a plethora of enemies at his disposal, he hand picked the wraiths because, of course, they looked cool.
 “Rule of cool.”
Section 7 – The False Exit: “The iron door opens to a long hallway with a simple wooden door at the end. Hanging over the door is a small sign that says ‘EXIT’. The walls of this hall are bare.”
The characters beat the bad guys, got the treasure, and managed to live. Now it is time to get out and  enjoy the spoils. Except, this isn’t an actual entrance. That wooden door leads to nothing. The hall, on the other hand, does lead somewhere, and it’s nowhere good.
The hall, according to my spawn, is like a seesaw. If more than one character heads to the door, the weight will tilt the entire floor, effectively turning the hall into a massive chute. A chute to where?
Well… Nightmareville, basically.
Room 8 – Arena With Two WHATS?!: “The chute leads to what looks like a large arena with a dirt floor. Empty seats encircle the arena, void of spectators. Two large creatures hover above the ground. They have massive, fanged mouths with a sickeningly huge, singular eye. A number of stocks jut from this monstrous floating head, each with an eye of its own.”
 “Eye see what you did there.”
 I had to ask him three times to be sure. He was sure. Not only had he taken the notion of escape from the players, he pitted them up against not one, but two beholders, or as he called it, “The monster on the front of the book.”
“No. Just no.”
The fight is pretty straightforward, or at least as straightforward as a fight with two beholders can be. All the characters need to do is defeat them and they can get out. According to my son, the door only opens when both are dead.
I don’t think everyone will be getting out of this one alive.
“Kids these days.”
There we are. Short, simple, brutal. I should be making some comment about child-like innocence, but honestly, after that… I think he might be pure evil.
The kid has a promising future as a Game Master.
Roll well, my friends,

+Ed The Bard 

DREADFUL THRONE

 

Now that was an excellent episode of Game of Thrones.

And an equally excellent episode of Penny Dreadful.

It is hard however for me to imagine Dracula being more ominous than Lucifer, but perhaps he is. Just not as cunning. But I thought the writers did something rather brilliant with that juxtapositioning.

I had suspected for some time that the Children had created the White Walkers, but not in that way. Now it makes sense why they would turn on them. They weren’t ever meant to be controlled. It seems they were meant to be Wild Card. A Doomsday Machine.

Or monster in this case. One on which they misunderestimated.

Though I was hoping that eventually Hodor would fight and kill (for good) the Mountain. I guess that’s out of the question now. At least on a man to monster basis.

Maybe monster to monster it’s still on the card.

 

THE TOMBS OF THE WHISPERING WORMS – LOST LIBRARY

THE TOMBS OF THE WHISPERING WORMS

Not my work but I fund the idea to be very interesting… see title link for .pdf download

 

WHICH NOVEL WOULD YOU PREFER TO READ?

This year I have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. And this year I have several good ideas for a potential novel I’d like to write for NaNoWriMo.

However I am trying to solicit the opinions of others on which idea and novel they’d prefer to read. Of the three novel ideas/plots I’ve I’d like to write for this November and that I have personally shown to family and friends so far I have the following results:

13 votes for The Old Man

10 votes for The Cache of Saint Andrew, and

4 votes for The Wonder Webs (all have been kid votes)

So I’d like to ask you, as my readers and internet friends, which novel story would you prefer to read: The Old Man, The Cache of Saint Andrew, or The Wonder Webs?

Right now I’m leaning towards The Old Man but still have a couple of days or so to finally decide. So if you wish to voice your opinion then just let me know. If you want to tell me your reasons that would be appreciated as well.

The Old Man – The Old Man is a mixed genre novel/novella consisting of three or four related stories about the same character set in different eras and story genres. In the story the child or children of a deceased man discover some old and unknown recordings which reveal their father in a totally different light and engaged in a fantastic set of secret lives. One section of the book will involve the science fiction genre, another the fantasy genre, another the detective/espionage genre, and the fourth the horror/weird genre. Despite the complexity of the story and the various genres it should be very easy to research and plot.

The Cache of Saint Andrew – The Cache of Saint Andrew is a literary genre novel involving a white man who marries a black woman. Although I did eventually marry a black woman the book is not autobiographical because I first had the idea for the novel in college and began writing it in college and I didn’t marry until I turned thirty, and at the time I began the book didn’t ever expect to marry. The story involves an older established, fairly wealthy white man who marries a younger (college student aged) black woman. The book describes their courtship, marriage, and the things that eventually dissolve their marriage, such as the loss of their first child shortly after childbirth. The novel is called the Cache of Saint Andrew because of the fact that the man, for years, plants secret messages inside the cache of a grave marker at the Orthodox Church of Saint Andrew in North Carolina. The Cache of Saint Andrew is actually the third book I ever started writing and the first one I started writing as an adult, but I put it aside to start my first business. I have replotted it many times but never actually finished it. It will require fairly complex plotting although I already have the main story well sketched out.

Wonder Webs – The Wonder Webs is a young adult book I first started plotting out a couple of years ago in a writing class. It involves a fictional city, park, and zoo based upon Greenville, SC. It involves three main characters, two boys and a girl of late Middle School/early High School age. It also involves a secret “underground world” in which dwell three magical/supernatural spiders who are capable of building “Wonder Webs” or webs that help miracles occur. This book will be very complex to plot because of the characters involved but especially because of the complicated background/world involved, which is multi-faceted.

HAUNTED CASTLE: DUNOON MASSACRE

HAUNTED CASTLE TOWARD: THE DUNOON MASSACRE

THE DEVIL’S TONGUE AND KILL THE BOY

Verbis Diablo (Penny Dreadful) really bothered me.

You know I’ve seen a lot of evil things in my day. And studied a lot of evil men and even hunted my share.

And yeah, I know it’s just a fictional show… but baby butchery and Satanic voodoo?

I hope they behead those witches soon, then burn their bodies and scatter the ashes, because that’s going about as far as even I can tolerate in a show.

As for Kill the Boy (Game of Thrones) I thought that was a superb episode, especially the poetic recounting of the Doom of Old Valyria.

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.

NEW ALIEN LANDSCAPE

It’s a go…

New ‘Alien’ Movie Confirmed with Director Neill Blomkamp

Alien: New Movie Confirmed with Director
February 18, 2015 | 04:32PM PT
Justin Kroll
Film Reporter @krolljvar

20th Century Fox has closed a deal with director Neill Blomkamp to develop a new “Alien” movie, sources confirm.

The untitled sci-fi project is separate from “Prometheus 2,” which Fox is still making with Ridley Scott.

Blomkamp, who directed “District 9″ and the upcoming Sony feature “Chappie,” had been teasing the project in recent months but said the extra-terrestrial reboot was likely abandoned. It was supposed to star “Alien” veteran Sigourney Weaver.

But on Wednesday Blomkamp confirmed the tentpole was back on track at Fox.

“So I think this is officially my next film,” he confirmed on Instagram.

It’s unclear whether Weaver is still attached to the movie.

According to insiders, the new “Alien” takes place years after the “Prometheus” sequel. Scott is producing both films through his production company Scott Free.

“Prometheus,” also distributed by Fox, was “loosely based” on the “Alien” franchise and earned over $400 million worldwide. But the 3D movie opened to mixed reviews, and Fox hopes Blomkamp, who last directed “Elysium,” can take the franchise to the next level.

Born in South Africa, the 35 year-old Blomkamp is repped by WME.
Filed Under:

Alien

 

BLOMKAMP’S ALIEN

Neill Blomkamp Says There’s A ‘High Possibility’ He Makes An ‘Alien’ Movie After All

By 02.10.15

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 3.23.23 PM

Instagram

Back in early January, out of nowhere, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp posted previously unseen concept art for a new Alien movie that he’d been tossing around in his head. Needless to say, the art was received quite positively on the Internet, with images ranging from Ripley wearing a space jockey helmet to another one of Ripley and Hicks. (Needless to say, Sigourney Weaver, who Blomkamp just worked with on Chappie, is a big part of his vision.)

So, what exactly are these?

On Tuesday, I met with Blomkamp, who is promoting Chappie (the full interview will run closer to release), at his New York City hotel room and asked him about this art. As it turns out, there’s a very real possibility that Blomkamp may actually be making a new Alien movie, and it sounds like the ball is very much in his court.

Where did this Alien concept art you posted come from?

Basically, what happened was, when Chappie got heavily into post-production, I could take my foot off the gas a bit. I was thinking about what I wanted to do next and I’ve been wanting to make an Alien film for like years and years.

But you’ve never really said that before.

No.

People have heard you say that you don’t want to make an existing franchise type movie after what happened with Halo, before District 9.

That’s still true, by the way.

So that’s why it’s surprising that you want to do Alien.

Speaking to Sigourney Weaver, when we were doing Chappie, she set off a bunch of thoughts in my head — I had come up with an idea that didn’t have Sigourney, it was a different idea. But I spent all of the shooting time with her, it was like, holy shit, that could actually be really interesting. When I came back to Vancouver, I had an entire year to work on Chappie. And when I wasn’t needed in the edit, I could think about Alien. So, I basically developed an entire movie and I did all of this artwork as well.

Is this an abnormal way to go about this?

It’s totally abnormal. But it’s for the reason that you bring up, if it’s going to happen, it has to be on my terms. So, I came up with it and I’m bringing this to you. It’s not like, “Would you like to do Spider-Man 36?” I still love it, I love the idea of the movie and I produced way more art than I put out.

The art was very specific, it looked like a complete story. Ripley is wearing a space jockey helmet.

It was a whole story. Then I just wasn’t sure if I was going to do another film, like, at all.

Why?

Sometimes Hollywood just sort of gets to me. I love movies, but Hollywood itself is a difficult animal to negotiate. So, then I was like, if I don’t do any, I should put some of this artwork out and that’s exactly what happened.

Is that you giving up on possibly doing an Alien movie?

It’s not really giving up on the idea.

People on the Internet responded really well to that artwork.

There’s a high possibility, a high degree of chance that it happens that I go back and try to get Alien made.

In case it never happens, why is Ripley wearing a space jockey helmet?

I can’t tell you! It might happen! It’s cool though; it’s really cool … I’ll decide soon.

Someone at Fox should listen to you about this.

That’s not the problem, actually.

What’s the problem?

Me. I’m the problem. Fox, they would make it. Like, tomorrow. They would make it.

So if you called right now and said, “OK, done.”

Yes. Then it would happen.

Would it be your vision, or do they have their own ideas?

No, I think it would work out.

Then just do it.

I know, I just have to mentally agree with that.

Then what’s the problem here? I assumed there were obstacles, like maybe Ridley Scott wasn’t on board.

No, no, it’s not politics.

Then let’s do it.

[Laughs] OK.

DEAD HEADS

I’m not really a fan of the Walking Dead, but my children certainly are. So for all your Dead Heads out there, in the case you haven’t seen this already…

SOME OF THE BEST

36 of the Best Roleplaying Games

“I love video games, but you can’t beat the magic in the personal interaction around a table.” — Filamena Young


Just as there really is no such thing as a best book or movie, there is no best roleplaying game, or even best in a particular category. But if you’re looking for something new to try, this selection of games will help. The games were selected to cover a wide spectrum of game mechanics, settings, and play styles. Some are well known, others relatively obscure. Some are licensed from video games, movies, TV shows, or books. Some are free for download, and several provide free quickstart PDFs.

Select an image to read a full page writeup about that game, including overview information, three of the things that make the game stand out out, purchasing information, and links to reviews and community sites.


13th Age
All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Apocalypse World
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WALKING BACK IN

Rick and his gang take aim in the woods in new teaser for The Walking Dead’s fifth season 

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his gang of survivors take aim in the just-released teaser for The Walking Dead’s fifth season.

In the slow-motion preview, which premiered Friday, the hardened former sheriff’s deputy brandished a rifle in a chilly Atlanta forest.

‘Surviving together is all that matters,’ Rick says in the voiceover.

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Resuming on February 8! Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his gang of survivors take aimin the just-released teaser for The Walking Dead's fifth season

Resuming on February 8! Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his gang of survivors take aim in the just-released teaser for The Walking Dead’s fifth season

His right-hand man Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) wielded two different weapons – a shotgun and his trusty crossbow.

The formidable Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) readied her knuckle-grip knife for lurking walkers in the woods.

Michonne (Danai Gurira) grimaced as she raised her trusty katana at more unseen enemies – dead or otherwise.

The Walking Dead Season 5 trailer: returns Sunday Feb 8th

'Surviving together is all that matters': In the slow-motion preview, which premiered Friday, the hardened former sheriff's deputy brandished a rifle in a chilly Atlanta forest

‘Surviving together is all that matters’: In the slow-motion preview, which premiered Friday, the hardened former sheriff’s deputy brandished a rifle in a chilly Atlanta forest

Two is better than one: His right-hand man Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) wielded two different weapons - a shotgun and his trusty crossbow

Two is better than one: His right-hand man Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) wielded two different weapons – a shotgun and his trusty crossbow

She's come a long way: The formidable Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) readied her knuckle-grip knife for lurking walkers in the woods

She’s come a long way: The formidable Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) readied her knuckle-grip knife for lurking walkers in the woods

Samurai of the apocalypse: Michonne (Danai Gurira) grimaced as she raised her trusty katana at more unseen enemies - dead or otherwise

Samurai of the apocalypse: Michonne (Danai Gurira) grimaced as she raised her trusty katana at more unseen enemies – dead or otherwise

Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) clutched a dagger as the gang, including his fiancée Maggie (Lauren Cohan), hunted.

Tyreese Williams (Chad Coleman) bounded down a hillside with a rifle on his back through the foggy forest.

His sister Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) carefully listened for any disruptions in the eerie stillness.

Love still survives: Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) clutched a dagger as the gang, including his fiancée Maggie (Lauren Cohan), hunted

Love still survives: Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) clutched a dagger as the gang, including his fiancée Maggie (Lauren Cohan), hunted

Non-violent at heart: Tyreese Williams (Chad Coleman) bounded down a hillside with a rifle on his back through the foggy forest

Non-violent at heart: Tyreese Williams (Chad Coleman) bounded down a hillside with a rifle on his back through the foggy forest

Paranoia or panic? His sister Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) carefully listened for any disruptions in the eerie stillness

Paranoia or panic? His sister Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) carefully listened for any disruptions in the eerie stillness

Sergeant Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) warily peered through the scope of his automatic rifle.

Confessed fraud Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) armed himself with a tiny knife alongside gun-wielding gals Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Rosita (Christian Serratos).

Porter’s false claims that he could deliver a cure to Washington, D.C. for the zombie outbreak derailed the entire group’s plans this season.

Ginger thunder: Sergeant Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) warily peered through the scope of his automatic rifle

Ginger thunder: Sergeant Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) warily peered through the scope of his automatic rifle

Stay behind the ladies: Confessed fraud Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) armed himself with a tiny knife alongside gun-wielding gals Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Rosita (Christian Serratos)

Stay behind the ladies: Confessed fraud Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) armed himself with a tiny knife alongside gun-wielding gals Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Rosita (Christian Serratos)

Thanks, Eugene: For the first time since the show began in 2010, Rick and his gang are loose in the woods with absolutely no shelter

Thanks, Eugene: For the first time since the show began in 2010, Rick and his gang are loose in the woods with absolutely no shelter

For the first time since the show began in 2010, Rick and his gang are loose in the woods with absolutely no shelter.

Not seen in the one-minute trailer were Rick’s children – son Carl (Chandler Riggs) and daughter Judith aka ‘Little Asskicker’ (Charlotte & Clara Ward).

The Walking Dead’s just-released poster prominently features the discarded map Abraham gave Rick outlining their abandoned plans for D.C.

It’s the same map Rick’s old friend Morgan Jones (Lennie James) picked up during the midseason finale – hinting at a reunion.

Where were the kids? Not seen in the one-minute trailer were Rick’s children – daughter Judith aka ‘Little Asskicker’ (Charlotte & Clara Ward) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs)

So much for a cure: The Walking Dead's just-released poster prominently features the discarded map Abraham gave Rick outlining their abandoned plans for Washington, D.C.

So much for a cure: The Walking Dead’s just-released poster prominently features the discarded map Abraham gave Rick outlining their abandoned plans for Washington, D.C.

Season 1 standout: It's the same map Rick's old friend Morgan Jones (Lennie James) picked up during the midseason finale - hinting at a reunion

Season 1 standout: It’s the same map Rick’s old friend Morgan Jones (Lennie James) picked up during the midseason finale – hinting at a reunion

Sexual tension: Beth Greene's senseless death during the finale was shocking, but it did open the show up for a possible romantic relationship between Carol and Daryl

Sexual tension: Beth Greene’s senseless death during the finale was shocking, but it did open the show up for a possible romantic relationship between Carol and Daryl

Beth Greene’s senseless death during the finale was shocking, but it did open the show up for a possible romantic relationship between Carol and Daryl.

Now in its sixth year, The Walking Dead is beloved by critics and it’s scored two Emmy awards and one Golden Globe nomination.

The post-apocalyptic drama was developed by Frank Darabont based on the 2003 Robert Kirkman comic book.

The 16-episode fifth season of The Walking Dead resumes February 8 and airs Sundays through March 29 on AMC.

The Walking Dead returns in February: Watch the trailer

Hit show: Now in its sixth year, The Walking Dead is beloved by critics and it's scored two Emmy awards and one Golden Globe nomination

Hit show: Now in its sixth year, The Walking Dead is beloved by critics and it’s scored two Emmy awards and one Golden Globe nomination

Weee! The 16-episode fifth season of The Walking Dead resumes February 8 and airs Sundays through March 29 on AMC

Weee! The 16-episode fifth season of The Walking Dead resumes February 8 and airs Sundays through March 29 on AMC

THE BE(A)STIARY

TRACE BACK

THERE IS A SECRET, KEEP IT WELL

THERE IS A SECRET, KEEP IT WELL

There is a Secret few will know
Until that day it rises up,
For buried deep beneath the Earth
Lie coiling serpents in a cup,

Long before came history
To marque out frontiers of the past,
There toiled and bled unspoken days
That men today should flee aghast,

Wonders weird and terrors dark
Did stalk about the world those nights,
When those we’d hardly recognize
Did marvels by their hoary might,

Too long in sand or sea or clay
Has lain the wreckage of their age,
But those with other eyes to see
May still by peerage time assuage,

Specters worn by passage deep
Spectacular in deathless climes
Have breached the wall of life again,
And up from Hell made dreadful climb;

I’ve watched from shores by looking glass
As all these things have sure approached,
As seas disgorge the ancient rimes
That feed those things that do encroach,

And man with gore and screams of pain
Will roil in grave and long revolt,
But to what end I cannot name
Of torture, doom, or final hope?

Chaos will man gather round
Calling for it from afar,
A Heart of Stone imperfect cut
Whose pulse does beat for blood bizarre,

Like nothing man thinks anymore
Except in Secrets buried deep,
When questioned if he is in truth
A Man like God, or that which creeps,

It is not for me to say
What Man will be or where he goes,
Knowing only that I watch
As man revisits with his Ghosts,

Yet this I’ll say and temper hard
With all I know of what’s no more,
The day comes swift when men will find
That death is what they least abhor…

 

because these things are engraven by Tome and Tomb

THE DOCTOR IS IN

Looks like Cumberbatch will play Doc Strange. Very interesting, because I’m hoping Marvel will do for the Strange film what they did for Thor and Iron Man.

I actually want it to be creepy, horrific, and supernaturally threatening. Not a bunch of pyrotechnics and a mere stage show.

Strange could be an awesome character facing lethal and terrifying opponents if they don’t muck it up.

Benedict Cumberbatch Is ‘Doctor Strange’

Marvel just made it official, folks — Benedict Cumberbatch will play the title role in Marvel Studio’s upcoming superhero fantasy film Doctor Strange. The sorcerer supreme hits theaters November 4, 2016, as part of Marvel’s Phase 3 in their shared movie universe. The film will be directed by Scott Derrickson (and let me use this opportunity to plug the fantastic occult horror film Sinister — if you’ve not seen it yet and want an idea of how perfect Derrickson is for the Doctor Strange film, check out Sinister, just make sure you aren’t alone in the house when you do).

Marvel’s announcement quotes producer and president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige as saying, “Stephen Strange’s story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity. In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character.”

The official confirmation also included word that the film will indeed focus on how neurosurgeon Stephen Strange survives a car crash and discovers the occult world of magic that leads him to become master of the mystic arts Doctor Strange. This origin was originally revealed way back in the comic book series Strange Tales in issue #115, in 1963.

Cumberbatch is getting much Oscar buzz for his performance in The Intimidation Game, and is considered a top contender for the award. Should he walk away with the little golden fellow next February, it will certainly be an added bonus for Marvel in securing the actor as part of their superhero cinema. But even without a win, Cumberbatch is pretty much a sure thing for a nod at the Academy Awards, and that alone is great for him and for Marvel’s boasting rights. And going a step further, even without an Oscar nomination, Cumberbatch is one of the most popular and acclaimed actors in film today, with a large fanbase on TV and film. So he brings instant credibility and power to Doctor Strange regardless of award season speculation.

After the huge success of Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s impossible to say that anything is too far-out or weird or different in the Marvel movies to be a big hit. So, Doctor Strange clearly takes the fantasy elements in a new direction and is going to be the first truly pure-magic story in Marvel’s stable of franchises (Thor‘s films treats Asgard’s magic as a form of advanced science and harnessing of cosmic forces), and will surely be unlike anything we’ve seen from Marvel Studios so far; however, the Marvel brand plus the general global popularity of fantasy films and occult-horror, Cumberbatch’s built-in personal brand and popularity, plus Derrickson’s deft hand at handling films of the occult and horror variety, adds up to lots of reason to expect this to be another feather in the studio’s cap.

ON MONSTERS

THE MONSTERS AND THE MAN

To me the monster is that Man
Whose spirit we cannot
Unwrap from evil in the womb
That ferments as it rots

To me the monster is that Beast
Whose tearing maw will bleed
With uncanny ichors hot
To digest what it breeds

To me the monster angelic
Who fell to Daemon’s pit
Broods on murderous revenge
With septic, cold intent

To me the monster prodigal
Like a Titan strides
To grind upon the red shorelines
Where terror does abide

Yet in me Monster curls and sleeps
Hibernating long
Dreaming when he will awake
To sing his monstrous song

So knowing this, and monsters well
I keep him drugged and bled
So he will never wake in me
To do what I most dread…

__________________________

To me there are four types of monsters in this world: The Evil, Unrepentant Man, the Naturally Savage Beast, the Supernatural Daemon, and the Unrelenting Prodigy/Prodigal.

And then there is me…

ALONE IN THE DARK – AGAIN

The original Alone in the Dark I liked almost as well as the original Silent Hill. One of my very favorite survival horror-games of all time.

I don’t know what this will be like but it looks interesting. Although the archaeological and preternatural puzzles and the clues of the original were just as fascinating to me as the horror. So I very much hope they leave in the exploration parts of the game and do not turn it into a mere shooter.

The new Alone in the Dark mixes Left 4 Dead with Lovecraftian horror

Atari is returning to its Alone in the Dark series of survival horror games this holiday season with Alone in the Dark: Illumination, a different take on the franchise that’s more similar to Left 4 Dead than the original ’90s Alone in the Dark games or the 2008 reboot. Developed by a new studio called Pure FPS, Illumination brings co-op and online play to the series for the first time, and the studio is hoping it can honor the franchise’s heritage while delivering something fresh.

Los Angeles-based Pure FPS is led by CEO Jason Brice, who was previously the head of the indie studio Plastic Piranha. That company released the first-person shooter Rekoil in January to a poor reception, but Brice told Polygon in an interview earlier this week that he learned a lot on that project, and that the two studios are very different.

“We took the foundation of what was working” at Plastic Piranha, said Brice, and “shed most of the Rekoil” team for Pure FPS. The new studio also brought on some former 38 Studios employees, and has been working on Illumination with a team of about 20 individuals, plus some outsourcing. The project came into being after a chance meeting between Brice and some Atari representatives during a Christmas golf tournament last year, and the company offered Alone in the Dark to Pure FPS…

 

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