Welcome to the Screamsheet!

Posted in Site Stuff on January 8, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Ryoko - Screamsheet icon, space pirate, secret lover...Welcome to the Screamsheet! This place can best be described as a reflection of my weird and fragmented personality. Here you’ll find rants both childish and mature, fiction both published and unpublished, music, videos, and anything else that might wander across my brain.

The Hierarchy of Fandom and Why it’s Bullshit

Posted in Comic Books, Life in General, Pathfinder, Rants, RPG Rants with tags , , , , on October 20, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

The Batman logoWhile reading through an article on Cracked.com (which, though it shames me to admit it, is a thing I do once in a while), I came across this tidbit that implored people to shut up about Batman:

You are not a fan of Batman. Very few people truly are. Understand, that’s not a knock against Batman. It’s a knock against you for being angry at me for having the audacity to question your love of Batman when you’ve “seen, like, all of the movies.” OK, well, so have I, but that’s just because I’m a fan of movies. That doesn’t make me some kind of Batman historian by any stretch of the imagination, though. Until you can list the names of comic book writers and illustrators I won’t recognize and don’t give a shit about anyway, I have every reason to doubt the authenticity of your claims to Batman super-fandom.

This is, quite honestly, bullshit. I’m not going to blame the writer for it, though. The guy’s writing for Cracked.com, and it’s foolish to take anything presented there as anything more than an amusing diversion.

My problem is not with this particular article. My problem is that many nerds tend to present that same point of view, and not as a joke for a list-based comedy website. There’s a large portion of nerd culture that seems to think you need to pass some sort of test in order to be considered a fan of something, and that attitude is asinine. Continue reading

21 Faces, Chapter One: Wake Up Dead

Posted in 21 Faces, Fiction, Novels with tags , on October 17, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Toe TagThe hollow feeling inside me came from the fact that I didn’t have a liver. In fact, somebody had removed most of my vital organs. Continue reading

RPG Rants: Evolution of the D&D Halfling

Posted in Rants, RPG Rants with tags , , , on October 15, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

A halfling from AD&D 2nd editionDungeons & Dragons has almost always been in a precarious spot when it comes to the balance between being a generic fantasy adventure game and possessing valuable intellectual property of its own. There are plenty of hits out there, such as the beholder and mind flayer which were deemed so valuable to D&D that they weren’t made open content with the rest of 3rd edition. There are also plenty of misses out there, such as the acid-farting flumph which has been largely ignored before suddenly (and arguably inexplicably) being included in the core Monster Manual for 5th edition. But there’s one race that has neither been a resounding success nor a colossal failure, instead doomed to get reinvented every few years as designers try to find a marketable niche for them. That is, of course, the D&D halfling.

Okay…also the gnome. But fuck gnomes. Continue reading

Comic Rants: Old Wonder Woman versus New Wonder Woman

Posted in Comic Books, Rants with tags , , , , , , , on October 7, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Wonder WomanReboots are tricky things. Oftentimes, they rehash stories that have already been told, aiming for a new audience. Of course, capturing a new audience often means disenfranchising the old one. For fans who are effectively being fired from their favorite franchises, that can be a tough pill to swallow.

Maybe that’s why DC went in halvsies when they did the New 52, with some stories remaining in continuity so as not to upset existing fans while others got tossed out to make way for something new. The success of this is debatable – I personally think it’s a tangled mess, but at least it gave me some good Wonder Woman stories.

Wonder Woman has gone through two of these universal reboots now, and both have been great. But I wouldn’t be a nitpicky comics fan if I just revelled in the good times. No, there must be comparisons. Which Wonder Woman reboot is better? We must know. Continue reading

Comic Rants: Four Books from the New 52 That I Actually Like

Posted in Comic Books, Rants with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Jonah Hex is my kind of hero.I’ve given DC Comics’ New 52 a bit of grief since it came out, and I’ve been fairly outspoken about the fact that there is a huge lack of variety coming from both DC and Marvel these days. However, like almost everything else, the New 52 has some good spots as well. I mean, why else would I care about the quality coming from that company anyway? If it were complete garbage, I could just ignore it entirely.

With that in mind, here are my thoughts on what’s been good about the New 52 now that we’re three years in. Continue reading

Random Blogness: More Mythic Adventures

Posted in Pathfinder, Random Blogness, Role-Playing Games with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Mythic AdventuresWhen I decided to start running Paizo’s Wrath of the Righteous adventure path, I didn’t plan to make use of the mythic rules. I didn’t really want to learn a whole set of new rules, and I didn’t see what mythic added that high-level play couldn’t already do. My wife Sarah encouraged me to do it because she wanted some new options for her sorcerer, and in retrospect I’m now glad she did. The mythic portion of the campaign is admittedly still young, but so far this stuff is awesome. Continue reading

Pathfinder Treasure Trove: The Truthful Harp

Posted in Pathfinder, Role-Playing Games, The Treasure Trove with tags , , on September 3, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

The Truthful HarpAura moderate divination; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 7,500 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

Description
This item appears to be nothing more than a simple wooden harp, exquisitely crafted though it may be. The harp can be held comfortable in one hand, but must be played with both hands. The owner of this harp gains a +10 competence bonus to any Perform (string instruments) check made when the harp is the primary instrument used. Bards who use the harp as part of their bardic performance also gain two additional rounds of performance per day. These benefits can only be gained after a user has spent 24 hours getting used to the intricacies of playing the harp. Otherwise, it functions only as a masterwork instrument.

The harp forms a connection to its owner which some find to be beneficial and others see as a hindrance. Whenever an individual who has unlocked the harp’s magic tells a lie, one of the harp’s strings snaps. Particularly big lies may cause multiple strings to break at the GM’s discretion. A harp string takes one minute of work to repair. This quirk of the harp gives the user a -5 circumstance penalty to all Bluff checks. If the person being lied to knows of the harp’s nature, the GM may determine any Bluff check to be an automatic failure.

The harp can only have one owner at a time. Its truthful nature functions even when out of the owner’s possession as long as the harp is within 30 feet of the user.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, discern lies, creator must have at least 5 ranks of Perform; Cost 3,750 gp

Inspired by Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain.

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