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Tuesday, May 31

The Children of Leviathan - Part 2: The Shrike

“Aye,” said the grizzled old sea dog, “but trouble be all we’ve got these days.” He jabbed a thumb at his own chest. “I be First Mate Baldric. An' I don’t care wi' th' captain thinks, I own this ship an' th' crew listens t' me. If ye want t' be on here, ye`re goin' t' be havin' t' pass th' test.”

Grumbles of “pass the test” and “they won’t do it” came from the assembled crew.

“What kind of test?” asked Vlad.

Baldric grinned a mouthful of rotten teeth. “Arr, that’s th’ rub. Ye need…” he leered closer to Ilmarė, “t’ sin’ a song.”

Ilmarė blinked. “What did he just say?”

“I think,” said Bijoux, “he wants us to sing a song?”

“Sing the song!” shouted the pirates over and over. “Sing the song!”

“Each o’ ye has a certain part t’play. An’ ye better sin’ it!”

Crazy Bob handed out slates with each part of the song. Cal turned his around several times.

“What’s this say?” he whispered to Bijoux.

The Fihali looked at Cal’s slate. “That’s the letter A, I believe.”

Ilmarė looked up from her slate. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:27 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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New Pictures of the Shrike

Check out the latest pictures of the Shrike, the converted pirate ship that our heroes use to sail the seas of Onara. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 12:06 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, May 26

Frost & Fur Index

Check out the Frost & Fur Web Enhancement, featuring an index of all the new game material in Frost & Fur divided by cultural group. This index makes it easy to know which feats, spells and magic items to use if you are only featuring one culture in your game, like the Norse or the Eskimo.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:02 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, May 25

The Children of Leviathan - Part 1b: Enter the Heroes

“Food there?” Cal asked.

The legionnaire took a step back. “I’m sure there is, but…”

The Ss’ressen took off at a run, his long strides easily clearing carts, startled commoners, and a fruit stand.

“I said they HAVE food,” Quintus shouted after him, “they’re not THE food!” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:32 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, May 23

Review: Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith isn't the greatest of the Star Wars series, but it is by no means the worst. If you can look past the cheesy dialogue, contrived romance, and the fact that Chewbacca doesn't do much besides stand there, this is the best of the prequels.

Congratulations to George Lucas. He bowed out of the Star Wars with grace…but I still recommend watching the original three movies first. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:28 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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The Children of Leviathan: Part 1a: Enter the Heroes

“If the three of you will follow me,” said Bezyli. He stood stiffly, with one arm behind his back.

“Three of us?” asked Ilmarė.

“Yes,” said the Captain, arching an eyebrow. “She’s not with you?”

Ilmarė whirled and drew her sword. “Fihali!” she hissed.

Vlad drew his own blade. “One of them must have followed us through the portal!” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:19 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, May 21

Movie Review: The Replacement Killers

What makes the movie worth watching is Fuqua's direction. He knows what he's doing and he does it well. Music is well timed and appropriate (scored by Harry Gregson Williams), even during an exchange of gunfire. There are inventive and acrobatic shots of Fat diving, rolling, shooting, and sliding. If it weren't so spattered with blood, the choreography might be considered beautiful. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 12:42 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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The Children of Leviathan - Prologue

Bijoux didn’t know where she was, but she was sure they were the intruders her mentor Clodius had spoken to. He had exhorted her to escape however she could, but the magic Clodius taught her was simply not powerful enough. There wasn’t enough time for Bijoux to learn all of Clodius’ arcane knowledge to save her world. There was never enough time, it seemed.

But perhaps this world, the world of her mentor, would be different. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:53 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, May 18

The Children of Leviathan - Introduction

This is the first soft point of Year 2 of the tournament module, "The Children of the Leviathan," written by Scott Charlton and set in the Arcanis setting. I haven’t been in the DM seat recently so this was my chance to dive into it. And dive into it I did, with all the sweaty madness of a guy who has a 9 to 5 corporate job and doesn’t get to express himself often enough. I knew this was an adventure on the high seas, so I went out to the local party store and bought pirate props, including a pirate mask, a treasure chest, edible gold coins (a treat for the players afterwards) and used the Weapons and Warriors Pirate Battle Game set as a prop. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:15 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, May 14

Review: Godzilla 2000

This movie is more like two movies, bridging the original Godzilla film with the later Monsterama battles that Godzilla has become known for. In fact, it's more a homage to all the Godzilla films that went before. All in all, a worthy successor to the Godzilla series and certainly more respectful of its origins than the American version. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:15 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, May 8

Review: Kingdom of Heaven

On some level, Kingdom of Heaven is both a fine war epic and a blandly PC religious tract. The Crusades were awful because a lot of people on both sides had very ignorant views of the world and each other. As cast by the director, Balian is conveniently antiseptic, a crusader without any of the crusade in him. He seems mostly to want what's best for everyone…but what exactly that is (besides, you know, not killing people) is ill defined. Which is perhaps the message Scott wants to get across. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:55 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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The Complete Guide to Werewolves Delayed to June

One shapechanger stands above them all as the ultimate source of fear and cunning. For centuries, werewolves have been staples of folklore worldwide, spreading terror in the night while hiding amongst mankind in the day. Now the Complete Guide to Werewolves brings this historical monster into your d20 game. Grounded in folklore from multiple cultures, this thorough and imaginative sourcebook gives you everything you need to engage the world's most dangerous shapeshifter. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:40 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, May 5

Ancient Kingdoms: Greece™

Roleplay in the golden age of Greek civilization. This is a place where the gods gaze down from their fastness on Olympus, a place of brave hoplites, ferocious minotaurs, wise priestesses, mystical druids, mighty athletes and magic-wielding hermetics. Here, only the bravest and the most cunning survive. Find adventure in ancient Greece, but only if you have the heart of a hero!

The Glories of Greece
Ancient Kingdoms: Greece™ is a sourcebook for a campaign set in the bygone era. From the depths of Hades to the peaks of Olympus, from the martial splendor of Sparta to the wisdom and learning of Athens, this book contains all you need to run or participate in an ancient Greek campaign. Play one of a dozen new player character races or nearly 30 new classes. Brave the dangers of the labyrinth, participate in the ancient Olympics, battle over 50 new monsters.

Estimated Retail Price: To be announced
Estimated Page Count: To be announced
Authors: Michael Tresca
Scheduled Release: 2006 (Kenzer) [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:21 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, May 1

Review: 1421: The Year China Discovered America

Menzies' research is compelling: he quotes several sources that clearly indicate the Portuguese and later Columbus had evidence of unexplored continents before they stepped foot on them. But the connections are so varied and presented with such authenticity that it's extremely difficult to determine the veracity of all of his findings without being a scholar.

Still, given the choice of theorizing just what caused the similarities across continents in culture and mythology, I'll choose the Chinese over aliens and Atlanteans any day. [MORE]

posted by Michael Tresca at 10:04 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Review: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an insane mess, but it's a lovable, nutty mess that's quite comfortable with its own twisted philosophy. It just feels like the first half of another film. If we get a sequel, things might begin to make more sense.

Or maybe not. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:52 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Review: Along Came a Spider

Along Came a Spider tries to be serious, mysterious, action-packed, scary, and ironic. We know this because the music forcefully tells us when those moments are. But the movie just doesn't have a compelling plot to back it up. Even with the major twist mid-movie. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 2:44 PM | 0 comments links to this post


Want more? Please consider contributing to my Patreon; Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the web; buy my books: The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games, The Well of Stars, and Awfully Familiar.