Monthly Archives: October 2011

So Saturday night, two of my friends and I headed over to Amstelveen to see Darkwave band Diary of Dreams.  I talked a little bit about them back in a GamerGrrl Music Pick when I was talking about the Clan Tremere song (off of the Succubus Club CD).  I’ve got to say, they were a complete pleasure to see live.

The opening acts outright sucked.  It was clear the club promoter knew nothing of the people who were coming to see Diary of Dreams.  The first act was this dutch DJ doing some electronic dance music that better belonged at a rave or dance party.  One guy (we dubbed Steve Jobs) was doing stuff on his Apple Mac Book the whole time.  Whatever the other guy took before the show, I wanted some.  I imagine that’s what Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang would have looked like on drugs.

The second act was slightly more appropriate.  Just slightly.  It kind of looked like a bunch of guys in midlife crisis that decided to form a band.  The only interesting person was the keyboard guy who had a trench coat and a spy vs. spy type hat.

Diary of Dreams, however, was well worth waiting through the garbage for.

Ok, this is where I get to be 100% girl.  Front man Adrian Hates is hot, hot, hot.  He was originally a classically trained guitarist and pianist (he has been known to play the guitar for Diary of Dreams if something happens to their guitarist) and then he decided to start the Diary of Dreams project in the 80s.  Yea, they’ve been around that long and lord the man still looks hot.  What I really like (but is annoying trying to take photos) is, like Rogue from the Cruxshadows, he never stands still.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised because like typical Darkwave music, you can’t hold still either.  It still amazes me how many dutch people can just stand there and watch in stead of move to the music because it just calls to your soul.  Oh, and Adrian’s voice is as amazing live as recorded.

Something else I really enjoyed is they didn’t stick just to their English songs.  They played several of their German tracks as well, which is pretty awesome.  I know the songs, and the words, but it always sounds different live than on CD.

Ok, I’ve got to give props to the dude with the mohawk too.  He was all over the place as well and Adrian and the bassist played off of each other well.

While I didn’t take any video and nobody has put any video of the show on YouTube just yet, this video is from Friday night and gives you a taste of the closing song.  This is, Amok from Diary of Dreams:

I don’t know if Diary of Dreams tours outside of Europe, but if you have a chance to see them, I highly recommend it.  It won’t be a waste of time if you like this type of music!

From the Mark Twain Stormfield Project

So we’ve taken the word ‘nigger’ and ‘injun’ in Mark Twain’s classic Huckleberry Finn.  There’s no more Christmas, Valentine, or Thanksgiving parties in elementary schools.  We now have Spring, Fall, and Winter festivals.  Schools have asked publishers to take a lot of religion and religious culture out of Social Studies books because Lord forbid, the minority might be offended.  People voted for a black president not because he’s the most qualified individual to choose from, but because they didn’t want to appear racist to the outside world.  We can’t say the word retard anymore because it might hurt someone’s feelings.  Oh, and in children’s sports, the sport is stopped before someone can ‘win’.

This is what America has been reduced to.  What more can they take away from us? How about Halloween?

Yes, Political Correctness has now officially crept it’s way into the realm of spooky and tacky costumes of Halloween since there is a group of students at Ohio University who have launched a campaign to ‘prevent’ culture from becoming stereotypical costumes.  Want to be a Japanese Geisha? You might offend someone.  How about a rapper or Bollywood dancer? Nope, think again.  Indian princess? No, no, and no again.  It seems we really have thin skin these days.

Wake up folks, it’s HALLOWEEN.  Political correctness shouldn’t be able to hold court here! What’s next? Get rid of all the zombie brides because they don’t take the ‘institution’ of marriage seriously? How about dressing up as a skeleton? Is that going to offend the Mexicans because we’re suddenly making fun of Dia de los Muertos? How about wearing a Carnival mask?  Do you know this has less to do with throwing beads at women in New Orleans to see their tits and has more to do with the religious tradition of Lent? I don’t hear anyone bitching about that.

Once we abolish everything offending in Halloween, where do we go from there? Role-playing and video games? Because let me assure you, games have more than enough of their share of stereotypes.  I’m sure I’d offend some Hindi from India with my current Vampire the Masquerade character.  She’s named after an important goddess and she’s Indian.  Alternatively, I had at one point a super villianess named Doomsday Barbie.  I’m sure this duel chainsaw wielding, exploding, barbie doll would offend some woman somewhere for being an unattainable model for little girls everywhere.

How about the typical high fantasy game where the men rush out to rescue the princess? I mean, in this day and age, you’d think princesses wouldn’t need to wait for the knight in shining armor to come and slay the dragon for her.  Modern princesses should be able to fend for themselves.  And finally, what about evil sorcerers? Isn’t this giving the wrong idea about Wiccans and other ‘good’ magic practitioners? Where’s the rage?

People, leave Halloween alone.  It’s one day in the year where leaving political correctness at the door is OK.  No one culture is perfect, we all have stereotypical things we’re known for.  Hell, I know most foreigners think all Americans are fat idiots who can’t point correctly to any Euro country on a map.  Am I offended? Nope.  Laugh on people if it makes you feel good.  Sit back, have a laugh, and have a beer on me! Just leave the sanctity of Halloween ALONE!

 


Do you ever get a song in your head and no matter how many times you listen to it, you just can’t get it out of your head? This is how this gamer girl feels about a song called Roll a D6.

This song is a parody of Far East Movement‘s song Like a G6 and from the moment it came out in spring of 2011, it’s gone viral in the gaming community.  I can walk into any game shop or sit down at any gaming group and it’s only a matter of time until someone utters, “Roll a d6.”

The creator, Connor Anderson, runs Broken Record Films which has been in the business of making films since Anderson was in high school.  It’s well worth checking out some of their films on the SirConnorAnderson YouTube channel (I’m patiently waiting for their web series The Heroes of Reason to finally come out).  So how did he come up with the idea of Roll a d6? He was in the middle of a Dungeons and Dragons game when he wanted to try something out of the ordinary and his DM said, “Roll a d6.” The rest is history!

If you want to read Wizard of the Coast‘s interview with Connor Anderson, click here!

I just caught the trailer for the new 3 Musketeers movie and I’m hoping that the rest of the movie is just as good as that trailer.

From the 2 minutes I caught airships, sword fights, a smoking hot assassin chick (Milla Jovovich), and cool costumes.  Lets hope that this lives up to expectations! I think I’ll be hitting 3 Musketeers in the theaters in a few weeks to check it out!

Two weeks ago when a friend of mine stayed over at my house, I invited him to play Vampire the Masquerade with my regular bi-weekly group.  He’d be here and it would be fairly rude to make him watch.  So, I gave him my other half’s ghoul to play.  Normally I NPC’d her, but this would allow him to take on a character that’s already present in the game.  Event the change of personality worked…it was the ghoul of a Malkavian after all.

Well, my players have been running about trying to please a man named Julian, who is actually Brujah (Ilyes…the actual Brujah Antediluvian who’s childe was supposed to commit diablerie on.  Being able to manipulate time is a great skill to have…).  My players have figured out who Julian is and they tend to tread on eggshells around him.  I would too around a 4th generation vampire that has nearly 10 dots in every physical attribute.  However, my friend had absolutely no idea who this man was and before anyone could shout “noooooooooooo…” the Malkavian’s ghoul was back talking this very, very powerful man.

It’s not such a long story, but in short Julian simply reached through Blythe’s chest and grabbed her heart, yanked it out, and threw it against the wall.  This effectively eliminated the ghoul.  Of course, it didn’t really help that Mr. Trujah botched his self control roll.  Ooops.

My friend had so much fun obliterating hubby’s ghoul, he decided to make himself present at our bi-weekly games but he didn’t want to play a full fledged vampire.  So, he’s going to become the Malkavian’s new ghoul.  May the 3 fates help him (yea, the group has met them too).

So what does all this rambling lead up to? Character creation time! Ghoul style.

Creating a ghoul is a lot like creating a vampire, except that it’s slightly weaker and it doesn’t get a plethora of Disciplines, Backgrounds, or whatnot.  It’s a tad more conservative.  The main source book for ghoul creation is Ghouls: Fatal Addiction.

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Guess who I’m going to see tonight.  Oh, yea, I forgot…I added it in my title didn’t I? Oops.  Oh well, tonight is full of PAIN!

The last time I got to see Peter Tagtgren and the rest of the band was 2 years ago when Pain opened for the band Nightwish.  I actually had tickets to see Pain last year, where they were the main act, but I managed to catch the swine flu after a business trip to the US.  I couldn’t peel myself off the couch long enough to get ready much less make the hour drive to the concert venue and then stand there for hours for the show.

Aside from a bit of a left over cough from last week’s cold, I’m happy to report I’m healthy AND excited to finally see Pain in a setting where they’re not opening for anyone else! This means a much longer set.  Plus the venue is one of my favorite in the country, it’s called the Tivoli de Helling and it’s small and intimate.  So far I’ve also seen the Cruxshadows and Birthday Massacre in there as well.  Needless to say, the stage is very low to the ground so it was a perfect Rogue venue. LOL

I’m sure we can look forward to several of Pain‘s regular songs such as Same Old Song, I’m Going In, and of course Shut Your Mouth as the encore.  I think Pain is much like the Cruxshadows in the fact that it’s just not a concert without their trademark encore song (CSX didn’t close with Marilyn My Bitterness at the 2009 Summer Darkness concert at the main Tivoli building…I can tell you, it just didn’t sit well).

And what I’m really looking forward to is plenty of songs off Pain‘s 2011 album, You Only Live Twice.  I think the one song off that album I have an affinity with more than all others is one called The Great Pretender.  The song is extremely catchy, but above all, the video shows furry abuse.  Anyone that shows furries getting the crap beat out of them is awesome in my book.  Sorry to all the furries out there, that’s just how this GamerGrrl crumbles.  A lion paw is NOT foreplay.  Got it?

Who doesn’t love zombies? Especially when you have a zombie in a penguin suit!

This little gem of a zombie film started out as an idea for a Halloween costume, but ended up as a viral seven minute clip about the escapades of a zombie from the time he woke up after being bitten to the point where he’s killed by humans.  The genius behind Zombie in a Penguin Suit is Chris Russell, a relatively young director and writer who also worked on a web series called Blood Light.

What does this gamer girl think of the film? Brilliance! The song, Mara’s Lullaby (by Marc Mellits and performed by Real Quiet) completely set the tone for ZIAPS.  This composition really tugged at my heartstrings in the beginning, I’ve got to say it’s pretty rare that I ever feel sorry for a zombie.  I much rather see them taken out with a flame thrower or chain saw.  But when you watch that zombie come back to life, sit up and look down at the other zombie, it’s almost sad.

What I also found intriguing is how the calm and relaxing score didn’t incite the normal “yea, get them” reaction when I see people killing zombies in a movie.  It’s almost a zen zombie flick, if there’s such a thing.

I won’t ruin the end so you can watch it yourself if you haven’t already.  I’ve got to say, I’ve yet to find someone I’ve shared it with that doesn’t like it!

Here’s Zombie in a Penguin Suit for your viewing pleasure:

I really don’t know about your gaming sessions, but in my experience a lot of us are arm chair politicians.  About 75% of the night is actual gaming, 20% BSing, and 5% in political debate and solving the world’s problems.  Personally, at this point I don’t think it would be a bad thing to put a gamer in office.  I mean heck, rolling percentile dice for policy probably would have a much better outcome than what we have currently.

This is why I support Occupy Wall Street.  Change needs to happen and the way our current political system and corporations need to be reigned in and their greed curbed.  So regardless of your own political stances or your view of the people who are pounding the pavement and braving the weather to support the Occupy Wall Street movement, here’s 5 ways that you can vote with your wallet and keep your money local:

1.) Support indi artists, authors, and publishers by buying directly from their web store, their con booth, or their publications at your gaming store.  Most gaming publishers such as Mongoose, Savage Mojo, Pinnacle, Green Ronin, etc have their own web stores.  By buying from their web store, you’re supporting your favorite publisher 100%.

2.) Contribute to your favorite artist, author, or publisher’s Kickstarter project.  If you don’t know what Kickstarter is, it’s a pretty cool concept.  Basically, it’s a platform for people to fund creative projects.  Since I discovered Kickstarter, I’ve seen some pretty cool projects come through.  Such as Dinosaurs in Space!, loads of comics and graphic novels, board games, card games, art, and so on.  You pledge money to the project and when it’s complete you get stuff.  The more you pledge, the more cool stuff you get.  If the project doesn’t meet it’s goal and is never created, no worries.  Your money isn’t put towards the project.

3.) If you must have products from a certain huge mainstream publisher, buy used.  This way you keep your hard earned money from going to their profit margins.  Better yet, don’t buy from them and discover non-d20 systems.  ;-)

4.) Support your local game shop vs. buying online.  These guys usually own a game shop due to their love of games, not because it’s a booming business.  Some products are really hard to move and if they take a risk and buy stock from a publisher, there’s always the chance that they lose money because nobody comes in and buys copies of those books.  Lets be honest, we all love going in and seeing the pretties…so instead of buying it from another internet store (unless the game shop has their own web shop for your convenience), buy it from the physical brick and mortar store if possible.

5.) Keep your game snacks local! Instead of getting pizza from that large nation wide chain or fast food from the other big national chains, support your local mom and pop shops.  Even better, go to the farmers market and get green good for you snacks from the local farmers! Oh, don’t worry…there’s more than enough locally made sweet stuff for you to sink your teeth into.  And of course, if you make your own dinner instead of getting pizza or the fast food variety, support your local butcher or mom and pop stores instead of buying from big chains.  Heck, you can even look at your local community events and get your sweet treats from a bake sale! Support several causes at once! Including bribing your DM with home made treats!

I know it isn’t much, but until the consumers start showing the corps we don’t approve of what they’re doing, nothing will change.  In the meantime, we can support our local and small businesses with our patronage and hard earned dollars.

It’s absolutely true.  Today, in the 21st century where we’re supposed to be open minded peoples, people are being thrown behind bars for…wait for it…manga and anime.

What is Manga and Anime?

I’m not going to go into the full depths of this question, as a true fan might be tempted to, but in a nutshell it’s a Japanese animated cartoon.  Anime is short for “animation.”  I don’t know what’s popular today since I haven’t watched nor collected any anime since 2005, but in my day Tri-Gun, Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach, Vampire Princess Miyu, Hellsing, and of course Vampire Hunter D were what was in.  Of course there’s Sailer Moon, Pokemon, Dragon Ballz, and all those that can be considered anime as well.

Manga is the Japanese word for “comics” and consists of comic and print cartoons.  Think graphic novels, but done in the Japanese style.

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Finally! After 18 months the first episode of gamer girl Felicia Day‘s web series Dragon Age is finally here! The first episode is Dragon Age: Redeption – Tallis.

I’ve got to admit, good things come to those who wait.  While I’m not a Dragon Age player, I can appreciate the costuming, the acting, and the props.  In 7 minutes I was drawn into the Dragon Age world and I’ve got to say, I fell in love with Felicia Day’s character Tallis.  That girl is one talented bunny! Actor, director…and man she looks awesome with muscles!

Without further ado, I offer you episode 1 of Dragon Age: Redemption.