Category: Dungeons & Dragons

Comic Review: Night’s Dominion #1 – A Medieval Magical Heist!

Night’s Dominion is a brand new comic from Oni Press that came out today and the first issue is a pretty promising little start to what’s sure to be an epic adventure. I’ve been looking for a cool comic book to quench my thirst for fantasy adventure and stuff like Dungeons & Dragons for a while  now. Well this book could end my search with a strong first issue that’s a ton of fun & feels like the opening evening of a great classic game of D&D. The book is written and perfectly illustrated by Ted Naifeh. His artwork and rich colors are quite impressive as well, setting the tone of mystery nicely in this first issue. Excellent artwork is almost always a determining  factor of whether I’m gonna drop the cash for a new title. It’s also got some heft in the dialogue so it’s not a five minute blur which is always nice in this age of quick read comic books.  

This debut issue essentially starts out much like most D&D campaigns, we’ve got a gang of interesting characters meeting in a dark, smokey tavern where an old bard proposes a dangerous journey in search of an ancient presumed treasure of legend. Of course it’s rumored this treasure is supposedly guarded by a menacing effigy. The group he proposes this to are an interesting bunch, a shady alchemist, his young assistant, an assassin and a bar maid who claims she’s secretly the greatest thief in all the kingdom.

It also in a way feels like a superhero story set in a classic fantasy world as by the end of the issue you’re introduced to a character that reminds you more of Batman than Aragorn. I totally dig it to as I’ve always thought of The Fellowship in the Lord of the Rings  & the teams formed in a classic game of Dungeons and Dragons to feel much more like a midieval version of The Avengers. It’s also got some nice meat to it as well as interesting character motivations and cool subplots that drive the desire to get rich for this band of vagabonds.

So if you’re looking for a strong, playful new title to pick up this week I think Night’s Dominion is a super solid offering. I’m feeling a bit of an Indiana Jones meets Lord of the Rings type vibe to the whole thing. if that’s the case then we’re dead set on a path to a ton of fun and hopefully it will take us on a memorable trek through some fantastic and dangerous landscapes. I’ll drop the four bones for issue #2 next month!    

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HarmonQuest: Real Life Animated Dungeons & Dragons Sessions?!

This rad series called HamonQuest is fucking awesome. It takes a real life D&D game and puts it into an animated adventure as it’s happening! What a brilliant idea, I wish I would have thought of this. I always imagine what our games of D&D might look like if we could see them on screen with all of the ridiculous scenarios and decision making that ends up going on.

I always as a DM plan for a serious game but then when you get the actual group together and people begin smoking weed, drinking or being caught not paying attention you often times get a totally different storyline than what you may have originally planned for. Ultimate rpg buffoon-ery to the max. That’s fine by me too, I totally dig the unpredictable nature of a D&D session. Well HarmonQuest puts that grand idea into perspective in an incredibly entertaining way. Check this shit out! 

 

Check out the whole series on youtube and get ready to laugh your ass off!

 

Dungeons & Dragons Gets….Sexy?!!

Here’s an awesome Kickstarter campaign to get behind it’s called “Dungeons After Dark” and if you have any interest in the world of Dungeons & Dragons or the like you’ll get a kick out of this. What we’ve got here is an adult coloring book (these seem to be getting quite popular these days) filled with all of your favorite fantasy RPG races in sexy pin ups! Yep you no longer have to wonder what a Gnome, or heck even a Treant looks like when they’re totally feelin’ frisky!

Nope artist Cori Redford has taken the time to give the genre a full on erotic kick in the ol’ booty! It seems that Redford decided for a tabletop game to actually draw a Dwarf in a sexy pin up pose and everyone in the game had a blast with it.

Hence the idea was born for this fantasy coloring book! As a Dungeonmaster myself I too draw the characters for my campaigns and I really dig this girl’s idea as I’ve also been responsible for some pretty outrageous D&D character pics myself! Check this cool little Kickstarter out it’s pretty damn sassy….

Comic Book Cover of the Week: Adventure the Dungeons with Peter Hsu!

Back in 1986 a cool little series came out from Aricel / Adventure Comics for those D&D nerds called The Adventurers! It was a great comic book jam packed with swords, sorcery, monsters galore and yeah…ninjas. My brother collected this series and though I was a Marvel & DC kid at the time I’d often sneak his much more daring and graphic indie comics any chance he’d leave the house. It was interesting as a kid learning that there indeed was more out there than the “big two”. This rad cover is from the first issue of The Adventurers by Peter Hsu and make no mistake each issue had incredible painted covers. I’m going to have to dig these out again cuz I’m feeling the need for some serious adventures lately!

 

Kick Don Bluth in the Butt and Kickstart The DRAGON’S LAIR Movie!!!

Yes! It’s such a pleasure to do a blog post that I really am totally hyped about these days! This morning I got wind of the brand spankin’ new Kickstarter page for Dragon’s Lair: The Movie and this is something I’ve always wanted to see since the 1980’s.

First let me state that Don Bluth was responsible for my favorite animated movie of all time, The Secret of Nimh, a movie from 1982 that still easily holds up today against the mass produced CG animated movies which have flooded the market. If you’ve never seen it you’re missing out big time. Anyway a year later in 1983 we got quite a surprise in the Arcades, when Dragon’s Lair was released-it was the first hand drawn animated video on the scene and it was a true wonder to behold. Yes the 1980’s were a wonderful era.

 

I know many people these days don’t even remember what a video game really arcade is, but back in the 80’s it was the place to be. We’d head off to the mall on a saturday afternoon and spend hours there playing video games and then maybe catch a movie afterwords. Ahh, yes, those were the days. I would spend hours watching my brother play Dragon’s Lair and besides it being a very difficult game it was, for me, just fun to watch the incredibly inventive action sequences & adventure unfold before my very eyes. Dragon’s Lair was total eye candy, I was never very good at it myself but I loved it.

So here we are in 2015 and (the now retired from animation) Don Bluth is being challenged by fans to make Dragon’s Lair into an old school style animated feature film via Kickstarter!! The good news is that Don Has officially accepted the invitation. Bluth started out working as an animator with Disney in 1971 having films like Robin Hood & The Rescuers under his belt, he later left and started his own animation company.

So fans we all need to support this venture, get a full on Don Bluth revival going on here, How amazing would it be to see a classic animated Dragon’s Lair feature movie? Who knows maybe if this happens we could get him to do a ‘Space Ace’ movie!!!

I’ve really been missing those classic hand drawn animated feature films, they had so much damn character, I think the world just might be a little better place if we could get this one made, check out the Kickstarter Page right HERE-let’s head into the Dragon’s Lair again!!   

Grand Holiday Adventure With The Krampus?!! You Bet!

Ho Ho Ho & the horror of it all! I just finished the novel “Krampus: The Yule Lord” by Brom the other evening and it was an awesome holiday journey! Now this could in fact be old news to a lot of you out there, but I was only recently turned on to Brom by way of this here book. Even though I LOVE the Krampus mythology to death I wasn’t quite sure about delving into the book until I read one of the endorsements on the back cover by easily one of my favorite comic book writers and artists of all time, Mike Mignola. Yeah the man most well known for Hellboy was quoted saying “Terrific. A wild ride–the idea sounded like a stretch and I’m not sure how many guys could have really pulled it off, but Brom sure has. I loved it. It hooked me and I couldn’t put it down. Plus, the illustrations are amazing.” 

At that moment I knew I was going to love this book to death. Turns out Mignola was dead on (of course), the book is simply an incredible epic ride. It reads more like a comic book and in my mind I had grand visions of Guillermo Del Toro adapting this one to film. It tells a the story of a man named Jesse who’s a down on his luck, boozin’ musician in West Virginia who lives in a trailer and longs to win the love of his ex-wife and daughter back. On Christmas eve though this year, after a night of drinking he spots something quite strange in the sky above, what appears to be “Santa” flying in his sleigh trying to fight off some sort of demonic men. As Jesse is no believer in Santa, he’s downright perplexed until this sleigh from the sky crashes nearby and he’s face to face in the dead of a cold winter’s night with the creatures himself. As he fights for his life he also stumbles upon something else that has fallen from the mysterious sleigh, an odd bag that seemingly has no bottom to it.

This begins a tale full of mystery, monsters, folklore and grand adventure. Don’t be fooled by the whole “Santa Claus” aspect of it though, this isn’t a kid’s book by any means. This story is filled to the brim with gore, scares, suspense and foul backwoods language. It’s also got a some great twists and turns in the plot that will have you guessing ’til the very end. And it doesn’t hurt that Brom has a truly unique way with words that puts you right there in all of the creepy action as he paints the perfect picture quite literally. Yes, Brom is also quite an amazing artist getting his start with Dungeons & Dragons way back in the day(yeah how cool is that!), this book has some truly breathtaking art within. I’m eagerly awaiting checking out more of this guy’s work.

I’ve gotta say it- now is the time to pick this book up it’s a must read this holiday season and appeared first back in 2012. Once you jump into the first chapter you won’t be able to stop reading, especially if you’re a fan of Christmas horror and Krampus mythos. The story is huge, Brom did his homework on the vast Krampus folklore but it’s kept to a very personal level following Jesse (who I picture in my head as kind of like Nick Stahl in Carnivale every time the character opens his mouth). I hope Mignola adapts this to comic book form or someone picks this up as a movie. I’d love to say more about this book but alas I wouldn’t dare want to spoil all of the surprises-Pick this up now, grab some spiked egg nog, a candy cane and curl up by the fire this season you won’t be disappointed! The Krampus is on the move this holiday season!!  Here’s a cool interview with Brom:

Paperless Table Top D&D: The Ipad Takes Over the Dungeon?!

So I arrived at my weekly D&D session this last sunday, ready to play a brand new adventure, stepping down from the throne of being the Dungeonmaster & eager to finally play a game as a PC! As I entered the room I saw the usual suspects getting the table set up for the first night of the new game, however something was different, there were four Ipad/tablet stands set up on the table in from of each seat where there might usually be some folders a stack of papers and some players handbooks, monster manuals etc. At first sight it kinda shocked me but then I quickly realized my group had decided to make the tech savy switch from the middle ages straight into the modern world!

I had sat down with my stack of papers and newly hand drawn pictures of my character, the rest of the group said “Check out this app we are using for d&d now it’s amazing!” they all began to show me their characters, all neatly on their Ipad screens and I’ve gotta say it was quite impressive. No more pencil scribbles, wine stains or candle wax upon a weathered piece of paper. Press the tabs on the screen and it tells you all you need to know, instantly calculates your hit points, heck it even rolls a dice on screen for you when you press a tab! The next question was “are you gonna bring your Ipad and get this App or what?!” I responded that I spend enough time as it is looking at computer screens, smart phones and my Ipad at home that I wasn’t quite ready to integrate it into my world of D&D just yet!

So what’s the damn problem huh?! Should I just drop this old school pen and paper attitude already?! Get with the damn times with my D&D? I mean, does anyone even use pen and paper for table top RPG’s anymore?! Do people even roll real dice? The last game I DM’d I had a giant stack of papers, and a ton of books piled around me! It was a frantic scene of animated movement as I paged through books checking rules while role playing all the NPC’s like a damn madman! So now our new DM is equipped with an Ipad and stated the fact that in this day and age you don’t even need books to play the game anymore. It’s true, but part of that make me a bit sad in a way. There’s something quite charming about the old school pencil and paper game, where you might have to add and subtract on a piece of paper, erase some stuff with a rubbery eraser or write down your new magic item with a page number next to it.

In a way it feels like the only way to play for me, I almost imagine myself transported back to 1970’s when the game had some mystery behind it still and the religious fanatics thought it was causing people to worship Satan. But It clearly ain’t the 70’s and I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I get on the ol’ Ipad bandwagon and bring my trusty hi-tech tablet along to the game of swords & sorcery. Paper books are surely on their way to becoming extinct, all music now is downloaded, comics are headed to digital downloads and let’s face it there a motherfuckin’ “app” for pretty much anything and everything you can imagine these days. For the mean time, I know I’m dying breed of  D&D player, a bit like I’m actually living in the dark ages and for the moment i’m going to relish in it, but man I gotta admit those Ipad apps sure do look slick…now if I really wanted to be shocked I guess I could have walked into this: