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Advice from a supervisor

"You want me to wear what?"

“If she only had a brain…”

Dear College Coed,

In the future, you might want to put down the cell phone and stop texting when a customer is waiting to pay you.

Love,

Me.

 

PS: You’d think this would be obvious…

Hey! I made a map! All by my little old self!

Exarchate of Monckton effects on

This scratches several itches for me. First, as some of you know, I manage a small Earth Sciences library at UCLA that has an extensive map collection. And I love maps. I often look at them and think “What cool source material for fictional worlds.”

I also happen to love fantasy and science fiction literature, as well as roleplaying games. Good maps are often vital to both. I can’t tell you how often I stared at the map of Middle Earth in my copy of Lord of the Rings in high school and imagined the adventures that could take place there.

But, well, I have the artistic talent of a clam. I draw a straight line, it looks like an amoeba. It was only through the help of a good friend (Hi, Alfred!) and the services of a master artist hired by the publisher that my sketch map of the city of Marienburg became the wonderful map it is.

But there are several programs on the market meant to help one create beautiful maps on the PC and then print them out. One of the most well-known is Campaign Cartographer, which is currently in version “3+”. It’s a marvelous program, based on a CAD engine, so it’s very powerful, but it also has a steep learning curve. So steep, that, even though I’ve owned it since version 2, I never tried to make a map of it. Just kept buying the upgrades.

Now, is that silly or what?

So, after moving to the new digs, I told myself that one thing I would do is finally start learning Campaign Cartographer (aka “CC3+”). And, yes, the curve has been steep. But, at the same time, it’s been fun. There’s a helpful community at the Profantasy site, where I’ve learned a lot. “Monckton” is sort of a worksheet for me, where I try different things to see how they work. I’ve barely even started to scratch the surface of what can be done with this program, but I think I’m going to have a good time digging even deeper.

I might even get a game going, set it in the Exarchate, and let them explore the dangers of the Tower of the Astrologer. :)

PS: Here’s a PDF of the map, which I think shows it better than the pic above.

Best left alone?

Best left alone?

I mean, it’s just asking for trouble:

And speaking of Pluto’s features, NASA scientists are now giving unofficial names to some of the things they’ve spotted — names they can submit to the International Astronomical Union for official approval. They’re sticking with the trend of underworld creatures and gods — Pluto, after all, was the Roman god of the underworld — and have tentatively named a previously observed dark, whale-shaped splotch (just to the left of the broken heart) after “Cthulhu,” the dark deity invented by author H.P. Lovecraft. Described as part man, part dragon, and part octopus, Cthulhu has gained something of a cult following in the Internet age.

Okay, so Cthulhu is supposed to be trapped under the Pacific, where he lies dreaming, but what if R’lyeh was really located on a dark plane on a dark planet at the far edge of the Solar System, and Lovecraft was trying to spare us the sanity-blasting truth? And what if this awakens him… er…. it?

Yeah. We’re doomed.

PS: Let us enjoy this moment while forgiving the article’s author his apparently weak knowledge of all things Cthulhuoid. First, he’s never been described as “part dragon,” though he does have wings as I recall, and an octopoidal head. But he is definitely not a god. Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, and Hastur are gods. The Big C is “merely” a Great Old One, himself a servant of the gods.

polyhedral dice

So, according to this 100+ question test, if I were to suddenly find myself translated to some AD&D setting (Greyhawk, please!), I’d be a NG Elf Bard — and only 5th level?

In other words, I’d be positively annoying to my party. I can already hear the “no singing!” jokes straight out of Holy Grail.

And I was so hoping for a powerful Chaotic Evil wizard. They have the best costumes. The. Best.

(Hmmm…. Worrying about fashion. Maybe I am meant to play an Elf… :/  )

Anyway, Here are the results:

I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Bard (5th Level)

Ability Scores:

Strength-11

Dexterity-11

Constitution-12

Intelligence-16

Wisdom-13

Charisma-13

Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Class:
Bards often serve as negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies. They love to accompany heroes (and villains) to witness heroic (or villainous) deeds firsthand, since a bard who can tell a story from personal experience earns renown among his fellows. A bard casts arcane spells without any advance preparation, much like a sorcerer. Bards also share some specialized skills with rogues, and their knowledge of item lore is nearly unmatched. A high Charisma score allows a bard to cast high-level spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

On the other hand giving him the personality of a singer at a 3rd-rate resort lounge might be kind of fun…

bruce-lee-game-of-death-280x280

Just watch. This kid has *all* the moves:

I wouldn’t be surprised if some Hong Kong studio signed him to a long-term contract.

I know he could kick my butt.

stripper

Also does weddings and bar-mitzvahs

 

Look, everyone is sad at a funeral, okay? So why not cheer everyone up with strippers and a live sex show?

Chinese officials are launching a campaign to crack down on stripteases and other lewd shows that have become popular at funerals in some rural areas, the Ministry of Culture said Thursday.

The ministry said in a statement that it will tighten control over rural culture, where vulgar performances have been thriving because of a general lack of cultural events.

Such erotic performances at funerals are a relatively new phenomenon. Many rural people believe that a large attendance at funerals is a sign of honor for the deceased, and the shows are used to attract more people and display the family’s prosperity.

The funerals also are a rare occasion for crowds to gather as villagers working as migrant workers in industrial centers return home to bury the deceased.

(…)

In the last several months, people who have returned to their rural homes for funerals have complained on social media about lewd shows, remarking that troupes hired to play dirges suddenly changed their tune and began to peel off their clothes.

There are kill-joys in every crowd, y’know? I’m sure the stripteases and sex acts were performed will all the dignity the occasion merited.

Ahem.

"You want me to wear what?"

“You want me to wear what?”

Although a straw doll is not quite the way I would find to deal with the loneliness….

A kinky Argentinian man croaked while having sex with a scarecrow that he dressed in lipstick and a wig — and strapped a sex toy on, according to reports.

Jose Alberto, 58, was found dead in his San Jose de Balcare home, lying next to the straw doll, the Irish Mirror reported.

“There were no signs of violence, and we are working on the assumption that the man died during sex with the scarecrow,” police spokesman Rodolfo Moure told the publication.

The deprived sex fiend, who tended to sheep, had puffed up the scarecrow with clothes and tied a 6-inch strap-on penis to it, reports said.

They found him after things got a bit… “stinky.”

What a way to go.

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