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Minesweeper Adventure Mode

So, did you guys know that Minesweeper has an adventure mode?

I think I play Minesweeper the same way normal people play sudoku, although I still play sudoku from time to time. It’s a quick, mostly logic-based puzzle solver that requires next to no thought to play, especially once you know roughly what patterns to look for. After a while you can play with a kind of numbness, flying your way through the basics, hit the isolated corners, learn to spot quickly where you can fill out large clusters and then open up the cells that you’ve eliminated… I feel like this might all be gibberish, we’ve all played Minesweeper here, right? (more…)

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Eberron in 5th Edition

I could never decide whether I liked how 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons handled it’s classic campaign settings.

On one hand I liked that everything was left sufficiently open and multi-purpose that it could be applied to any setting and modified to suit most fantasy-plus genres, and we get the occasional allusion to how these creatures appear in other settings. Of course I respect and understand that the big three take front and centre: Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, and Greyhawk, and my favourites get a few nods, Dark Sun and Eberron, but there were never plans for a full-blown campaign setting “release”, singular books devoted entirely to establishing a fixed world with a vast array of content, plot hooks, geography and history! (more…)


Spider-Manuary – Into The Spiderverse

Ok, let’s do this one last time.

Into the Spiderverse was Sony’s most recent effort with Spider-Man, having almost completely lost power over the main thread of Peter Parker to the Disney/Marvel steamroller. Sony have been left with the castoffs to play with, and they’re doing the best they can with limited control, including a Venom solo movie that had an underwhelming but not disastrous response from audiences, and now the animated feature that brings together Spider-Mans from across the Marvel Multiverse.

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The Streaming Half of Strongholds & Streaming

I may have mentioned… repeatedly, that I am a tremendous fan of Matthew Colville, and that I gave to the Kickstarter that was ostensibly to get a streaming series up onto Twitch and YouTube, but for the purposes of putting a product into the hands of backers, it was also for the Strongholds & Followers supplement that he had hinted at repeatedly in his “Running the Game” videos that a few fans had been asking about.

Well the MCDM stream began last Wednesday, and aired on YouTube (where I will be watching) over the weekend, and I squeezed in watching between games I was running, and as I already reviewed the book, it’s only fair I have a look at what else our generously given donations have yielded. Side note Strongholds & Followers has had an update with extra artwork and some fault-fixes! Version 1.1 is available for download now, and free if you’ve already got 1.0. (more…)


GeekOut Shrewsbury January ’19 – It’s Not Going To Chairs

Previously: The Frigid North

Name changed for reasons that will become apparent later on. Now the original idea was to combine any fantasy setting that included cold north spaces, Tamriel, Westeros, Britain, or Azeroth, wonderful in principle, but coming to sit and think about it… I was scuppered. So thank you Alan for A: giving me the idea, and B: bringing his own Jenga tower with him, so that we could have a tournament. It’s wall building, we seem to like walls to stop encroaching peoples from marching south, and there’s a rather ominous metaphor to the whole thing I rather like.

Anyway, to the photo gallery.

Pre-Meet

Back to where it all began, if only for a little while. A few casual games of Love Letter over coffee and cake… which may or may not have been breakfast. The warmth that makes the Coffeehouse unsuitable for a summer meet (although for a quick brew it’s pretty good) makes it an absolute blessing in this chill.

Cal arrived with gifts! Sample stickers for the purposes of shameless branding and for selling on to you in the name of supporting the Meets, the prizes, and materials thereof. The first sticker adorned the Resolutions Box, more on that later.

Monty’s

Werewolf, chair stacking, Tsuro, cards against humanity, kingdomino, tides of madness… other games that I wasn’t really paying attention to because I was busy talking to people. We had a lot of new faces, and a lot of people who have become regular attendees that now feel like they’ve been with us forever. As we fast approach our second anniversary, it’s nice to see the mixture of old hands and fresh victims… people… people victims.

And we’ve brought back the Resolutions box! When I bust open last year’s efforts (most of failed to uphold our promises, myself included) a lot of people took a keen interest, and were pretty swift to enter into a cruel bargain with me this year… pinning their hopes onto a card, sealing it away, and placing their name upon the box, entrusting their very future to me, making me guardian, arbiter, and judge.

Jenga

Sixteen competitors, sixteen games, tension, dirty tactics, heart failure, and a tie breaker that I don’t think we’ll ever forget. Would we have it any other way? Could we? For once, maybe have a competition that people can just enjoy instead of the genuine concern for our respective health? It’s not a quiz, dammit, it’s just Jenga. Here I thought it would be a nice and relaxing evening of good natured fun, only tangentially related to the theme of keeping frost zombies from marching south, or romans from getting too far north.

During the quarter finals we saw something I had never thought possible, a tie in Jenga, that could only be resolved by adding a second game on top of the tower! Congratulations Matt on second place, Hannah for the tense fight for third, and finally to Zach for demonstrating dexterity and steady nerves enough to reach first place.

The lesson, should we ever find ourselves in a tie break scenario, chairs are the answer, but we shall always do our utmost to prevent it. Thank you to everyone who came. Next month’s meet: February 28th, Meme Your Own Adventure, details on Facebook and Meetup soon. Expect the worst, and you won’t be disappointed.


Spider-Manuary – Amazing Hate

Ooooookay.

I really enjoyed Amazing Spider-Man, I really did, it was not without its flaws, and it took a spin on the character that split opinions, but was respectably set apart from the Raimi/Maguire rendition, with a villain we’ve wanted on screen for quite some time realised by an actor who could compensate for the… odd choices made in the script. I left the cinema with questions, a handful of doubts, but with hope for what a sequel might bring.

Then the hype train starting rolling, and what we saw was a modernised version of Electro with none of the daft yellow spandex in the hands of a very capable actor, Jamie Foxx, and the Rhino in a questionable but ingenious casting choice in Paul Giamatti, in a rhino-shaped tank which looked cool, and we had a Goblin set-up that looked slick and who was obviously going to kill Gwen Stacey. (more…)


Thors-Kin Podcast Guest Spot

About a year or so after meeting Alex from Thors-Kin Podcast, inviting him to a GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet, even having him join us at a couple, and repeated invitations to join in the podcast and talk about GeekOut, who we are an what we do, I finally got time and opportunity together to join in with Alex and Tom to talk GeekOut, Shropshire Dungeon Master, and… other subjects. (more…)


Spider-Manuary – Getting Amazing

To a chorus of “why though?” we get into the first major reboot of the series. Five years after the critical flop of Spider-Man 3, Sony elected to take a do over than try and save the Raimi series. With Tobey Maguire in his late thirties and a lot of ill feeling around the mishandling of the third film of an acclaimed series, it was a reasonable response, although the staggering box office return and the good favour bought by the first two films made a lot of people a little nervous. Sam Raimi had a proven track record, and there was hope that the studio might have learned the lesson to take their hands off the reigns and let the creativity fly.

A cautious audience went to see Amazing Spider-Man, with new face Andrew Garfield and director Marc Webb. name jokes aside, Webb’s previous credentials included 500 Days of Summer and a host of pop-punk music videos, and Tom Holland was already 29 and trying to play a high school student. A cautious audience also left the cinema… (more…)


Review – Punisher Season 2

And so it looks like I am here to finish my reviews of Marvel’s foray onto Netflix. Oh sure, Jessica Jones hasn’t been cancelled, and neither has Punisher, really, but it’s only a matter of time and not a lot of time either the way these things are dropping. So while we wait for the last of the bad news, while Disney pulls in the dragnet, calling the last of its properties back to the mines, we have another series of Punisher to watch. (more…)


Spider-Manuary – Re-Writing Spdier-Man 3

There’s not a lot can be said about Spider-Man 3, last in the Raimi trilogy, that hasn’t already been said. It’s common knowledge that pressure from the studio forced Raimi into introducing an extra villain that the fans wanted to see, one that he wasn’t entirely happy implementing, and one which he infamously screwed up (and he knows it), Venom. And maybe that’s on us! There was a lot of hype at the time, and I seem to remember a lot of discussions featuring the words “Well it’s got to be Venom, right?” from kids raised on the 90’s series who adored the Venom saga responsible for bringing the symbiote off the page and onto screen. (more…)