Gaming Stories: Curse Your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal!

Night Below: An Underdark Campaign is a classic AD&D adventure that I purchased when it came out in the 1990s but which I never got to run all the way through until the 2010s. Beginning with D&D 3rd edition and eventually converting to Pathfinder, my final version of the campaign saw some changes, including revising the Rockseer elves and adding a secret villain behind the aboleth conspiracy: the Red Mage.

Continue reading “Gaming Stories: Curse Your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal!”

Phantom Histories: The 2004 Film

The 2004 Phantom of the Opera film has a fairly large fanbase, and I think that mostly reflects the fact that Gerard Butler is a sexy man. My opinion is…less enthusiastic.

This film is a result of director Joel Schumacher teaming up with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Schumacher’s career was still recovering from the debacle that was Batman and Robin, and Webber had lost whatever magic he once had. The result is a lot of pretty sets but a story that has very little substance.

Notably, this film is an adaptation of the Broadway musical, not the original novel. Even so, I deem it to be markedly inferior, dropping the ball as a love story and making just enough changes to render the plot of the musical nonsensical.

Continue reading “Phantom Histories: The 2004 Film”

Henry Ford’s Racist Square Dancing Conspiracy

The term “system racism” refers to the way that racism and bigotry are embedded into the laws and societal norms that form our everyday life. And if you ever doubt the existence of systemic racism, consider that 28 states have square dancing listed as their official state dance, spurred on largely because of Henry Ford’s hatred of Jews.

Continue reading “Henry Ford’s Racist Square Dancing Conspiracy”

Pathfinder Fantasy Adventures Revisited

One year after my original Pathfinder Fantasy Adventures course, I took a class on how learners use their brains. This allowed me to overhaul my lesson plan to give a better and more educational experience should I ever get to teach the course again. While I have not yet had an opportunity to run this course, here’s what would have been, along with an outline for an adventure roughly based on Paizo’s Crypt of the Everflame module.

Continue reading “Pathfinder Fantasy Adventures Revisited”

Pathfinder Fantasy Adventures: Day Three

Three days in, the distance began to grow between the two groups. Group One was initially behind because of some bad rolls that kept them in their cell for an extra day, and then fell further because they didn’t work very closely together as a team. I had to institute the initiative system not as a way of keeping track of combat but as a way of determining who got to act when the group was trying to decide on a plan. Things were complicated a little bit by the player who is in both groups, who I had to give an actual warning about metagaming. Since Group Two had befriended the goblin, he was convinced the same tactic would work with all goblins. The rest of the group, though, wanted a fight.

Continue reading “Pathfinder Fantasy Adventures: Day Three”

Pathfinder Fantasy Adventures: Day Two

The second day of my Pathfinder course had a couple of hiccups due to some poor coordination that left the kids half an hour late, meaning that both of my hour-long sessions became 45-minute sessions. Despite the delay, the two groups began to show their separate personalities on day two. Group One was much more violent and more prone to infighting, while Group Two ran like a well-oiled machine.

Continue reading “Pathfinder Fantasy Adventures: Day Two”

Lincoln the Wrestler

Abraham Lincoln is one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States. Without him, the country would likely have split in two during the American Civil War. Also, he was a heck of a wrestler.

Lincoln is, actually and factually, a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, albeit inducted very posthumously in 1992. Now, it’s worth noting that there are very few records of Lincoln’s wrestling “career” and that the catch fighting that the 16th President engaged in doesn’t bear much resemblance to the modern sport. But at 6’4″ in an era when the average American height was 5’7″ and strengthened by a great deal of physical labor in his youth, he had a notable advantage over almost any opponent he faced.

So let’s take a look at the career of Abe Lincoln, frontier wrestler.

Continue reading “Lincoln the Wrestler”