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 Here you’ll find rants both childish and mature, fiction both published and unpublished, music, videos, and anything else that might wander across my brain.

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The Most Head-Scratching Demon Lords in D&D

Posted in Rants, Role-Playing Games, RPG Rants with tags on November 14, 2017 by Charlie Brooks

DemogorgonOriginally published on Sidekickcast.com

Demon lords in Dungeons & Dragons are the ultimate embodiments of evil in the multiverse. They each rule at least one layer of the Abyss, which is where the evilest of evil spirits go after they pass on. These include monsters like Baphomet, the prince of beasts, Dagon, the ruler of monsters of the deep, and Graz’zt, the patron of tyrants and despots. Then…there are these guys.

Like the Roman pantheon, which had dozens of mundane gods, D&D has a demon lord for just about everything. Did you know that mushrooms and mucus could be inherently evil? Well, they can in D&D. Then again, this is a game that literally has monsters that disguise themselves as floors, so you shouldn’t be that surprised.

Trapper

But at least only one appears at a time.

Without further ado, here are some of the demon lords that get me to raise an eyebrow. Fair warning to long-time players of the game: some of these guys are very popular. Remember that I’m not saying they’re bad, just weird.

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The Many Worlds of D&D, part one

Posted in Rants, RPG Rants, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 26, 2017 by Charlie Brooks

Dungeon MasterDungeons & Dragons has never been about one single fantasy world. In fact, beginning in the 1980s, the game spawned a multiverse that stands on par with anything churned out in the comic book industry. Through the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition years especially, D&D became home to dozens of parallel fantasy worlds.

Unfortunately, the D&D multiverse was very bad for business. In the 1990s, TSR split its market by supporting too many settings and chasing diminishing returns. Recent editions have focused on the most profitable settings, with 5th edition adventures taking place almost entirely in the Forgotten Realms and paying lip service to other worlds.

Despite the more sensible business model, the many settings of D&D still have their fans and, thanks to the existence of affordable PDFs, are available to new audiences who want to explore the past. I can’t tackle the many settings of D&D in a single article, but this is a start with more to come.

For the purposes of this survey of worlds, I’m focusing solely on officially published campaigns released by TSR or Wizards of the Coast. Including other D&D compatible settings such as the ones introduced through the Dungeon Crawl Classics and Pathfinder lines would quite honestly make my head explode. Continue reading

Why I Stopped Reading Marvel and DC

Posted in Comic Books, Rants with tags , on September 19, 2017 by Charlie Brooks

Comic book movies may be big business, but sales of the books have dropped. There have been many different explanations for the drop, including a now-infamous statement from the VP of Sales blaming diversity. But no one seems to know the real reason for the slump.

I’m not business savvy enough or sufficiently knowledgeable about the market to point to the reason for the plummeting sales, but I do know what’s driven me away from the big two of Marvel and DC. Here’s what moved me off the treadmill…and it has nothing to do with diversity. Continue reading

Pathfinder Rogues Gallery: Samuel the Hunter

Posted in Pathfinder, Rogues Gallery, Role-Playing Games, Uncategorized on September 12, 2017 by Charlie Brooks

SamuelIn life, Samuel was a mortal bounty hunter. Originally self-serving and hard of heart, he grew less selfish with age, ultimately settling into a code of his own and never straying from that. When he died and found himself before the goddess of death, he received not a judgment but an opportunity to serve the goddess. He now serves as the huntsman of death, tracking those who alter the wheels of fate.

Although fully devoted to his new cause, Samuel retains much of his mortal personality and memories. In life, he considered himself the greatest warrior of all time. That he was chosen to serve the goddess of death only confirmed that belief for him. Despite his pride, Samuel rarely boasts and brags these days, believing that his talents are self-evident. Now more powerful than he ever was as a mortal, he feels he has nothing to prove and focuses solely on his duty. Continue reading

Buster Moon is History’s Greatest Monster

Posted in Film, Rants, Uncategorized with tags on September 5, 2017 by Charlie Brooks

Buster MoonIf you want an animated movie that teaches all the wrong lessons to kids, Sing will fulfill your desire. The film pulled in more than $600 million worldwide and garnered positive reviews from critics who seemed to miss something very important: Buster Moon is a monster who must be stopped.

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The Greater Deck of Many Things

Posted in Pathfinder, Role-Playing Games, The Treasure Trove on July 27, 2017 by Charlie Brooks

Deck of Many ThingsThis artifact looks and functions very much like an ordinary deck of many things. The back of each card featured an intricate and ever-shifting ink pattern that seems at once to represent a viewer’s secret desires and a mocking grin. Those who look at the pattern for very long can almost hear a whispering voice urging them to draw a card. Continue reading

4 Great Character Introductions in Film

Posted in Film, Rants, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 12, 2017 by Charlie Brooks

Humphrey Bogart as Rick BlaineYou’ve got a great film hero and you’re just dying to make audiences fall in love with the character. How do you make that happen effectively? Introducing a character is no easy task, but it helps that there are dozens of examples of great introductions in film.

The best character introductions have a few things in common. They are efficiently shot, with nothing in the frame going to waste. They tell the audience the essentials about the character, usually without a lot of dialogue. And they get viewers invested not only in the character, but the film as a whole.

The list below is by no means comprehensive, but it represents what comes to my mind when I think of great character introductions. This being a purely subjective list, it is tinted heavily by my love of pop culture. That said, I do think that each of them stand out as great moments in cinema. Continue reading