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 Here you’ll find rants both childish and mature, fiction both published and unpublished, music, videos, and anything else that might wander across my brain.

Goodbye Movember, Hello Brovember

Posted in Random Blogness with tags , , , on November 10, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Photo by Sarah BrooksI am not participating in Movember this year. Instead I’m participating in Brovember.

Despite the change, the game is the same this year as it has been in past years:

  • Go to my donation page.
  • Make a donation.
  • Decide what goofy facial hair you want me to have.

If you want to participate in Step #3, send me an email after you make the donation with how much you donated and what your choice is. One dollar equals one vote, and the style with the most votes will get put on my face at the end of the month. The only exception is no vulgarity (sorry penis-beard fans) and no Hitler mustache. Continue reading

21 Faces, Chapter Four: Summer Wine

Posted in 21 Faces, Fiction, Novels with tags , on November 7, 2014 by Charlie Brooks
Two Glasses of Wine

Picture by Vera Kratochvil

Previous Chapter

My corpse had left an indent on the sidewalk. A set of orange construction cones linked with yellow police tape formed a perimeter around the cracked pavement where a body had been scraped up not too long ago. People broke stride as they approached, stared at the circle of authority that isolated it from the rest of the world, and then gave it as wide a berth as possible. I drew my fair share of looks when I walked right up to the scene and knelt down. I ducked under the police line and touched the cracked sidewalk. If I squinted, I could see the rough outline of my body indented in the concrete, all sprawled limbs and broken bones – a silhouette of carnage, like something out of a cartoon. I could still see my dried blood smeared on the pavement. Not long ago, my body had cooled and settled into a state of rigor mortis in that very spot. Continue reading

The History of Dungeons & Dragons (revised for 2014)

Posted in Pathfinder, Rants, Role-Playing Games, RPG Rants with tags , , on November 5, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

AD&D Dungeon Master's GuideFor the next few paragraphs, I am going to talk about the history of the Dungeons & Dragons game, which gave birth to the role-playing game industry. I particularly like this history, because it has a nice moral to it: what goes around comes around.

I originally wrote this history in 2010 and am revisiting it now in light of the 5th edition of the game being released. To see the original article, click here. Continue reading

Why is the Hulk my Favorite Character?

Posted in Comic Books, Rants with tags , , on November 3, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Heart of the MonsterThe Incredible Hulk is far and away my favorite comic book character. In fact, I’ve posed the argument before that he is one of the greatest literary characters of all time. I could delve into the many reasons that he is compelling not only as a superhero but as a creature of horror and a modern allegory. But, no matter what sort of merits I think the character has, the fact is that I only discovered most of them after I became a fan. So what got me hooked on the Hulk in the first place?

Well, truth be told, it was mostly because he was in the right place at the right time. Continue reading

21 Faces, Chapter Three: Dream a Little Dream of Me

Posted in 21 Faces, Fiction, Novels with tags , , on October 31, 2014 by Charlie Brooks
Record Player

Picture by Petr Kratochvil

Previous Chapter

“Do you believe in God, Eddie?” Robin opened the office door and walked down the front stairs, leading me by the hand to the dungeonesque basement I had avoided before.

“How should I know? I don’t remember anything.”

“I didn’t ask you what you remember. I asked you what you believe.”

“What’s the difference?”

We reached the bottom of the stairs, which led to a short corridor and then a locked door. Robin let go of my hand and started fishing through her pockets, eventually pulling out a piece of black iron – a skeleton key that might have been a century old.

“Belief and knowledge are separate,” she explained, twisting the key in the lock. “You don’t have to know anything to believe in something. It’s something that’s either there or it’s not. So I’ll ask you again: do you believe in God?”

The door opened. I took a step backwards and put my hand over my nose as a rush of stale air washed over us. It smelled like I had just woken up in the morgue again, but with the added presence of rotten meat and mold-covered concrete.

“No,” I said. “No, I definitely do not believe in God right now.” Continue reading

Shaking up Assumptions: Creating a Setting by Tweaking Race and Class Lists

Posted in Pathfinder, Role-Playing Games with tags , , , on October 29, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Dwarf Earth PriestIn the five years since its release, Pathfinder has grown into quite a big game. It has seven hardcover rulebooks covering player options, four bestiaries, and ten full adventure paths. That’s a lot of options – so why should every campaign setting contain forest-loving elves, mountain-dwelling dwarves, and knights who wear full plate mail?  By embracing some of the new options and barring some others, you can plant the seeds of an interesting new setting in a few minutes. Continue reading

5 Major Plot Holes That Aren’t

Posted in Film, Rants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2014 by Charlie Brooks

Hans GruberI love the Internet like a sibling – a sibling with very little social grace or common sense who is constantly embarrassing me at parties. I love the fact that it provides me with an outlet to gab on endlessly about things I like and vent about things I dislike. But with that territory comes a degree of frustration. In some cases, this is just minor irritation. In others, usually a result of a poorly-worded image search, it results in screaming horror that makes me want to stick my thumbs into my eyes. I’m going to focus on the former right now and save the eye-gouging for later.

Movies are one of those areas that I tend to read up about a lot and one of those areas where people tend to get me grinding my teeth. Almost all movies tend to have plot holes, but there are certain holes that people just won’t let go. They reach a viral level and become repeated by everybody who wants to take a shot at popular cinema. The most popular of these tend to irritate the Hell out of me because they aren’t actually plot holes. Continue reading

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