Friday, July 29, 2011

Should higher AC be an even bigger encumbrance?

I'm sure I'm not the first to pose this question, but a new study aimed at quantifying the physical strain and exertion of armored medieval knights might shed some light. Researchers from the University of Leeds outfitted test subjects with heavy armor and ran them through a battery of tests, the most telling of which was the treadmill. From
Donning these replica suits — which were modeled on the armor of a 15th century London sheriff named William Martyn — forced the volunteers to expend approximately twice the amount of energy when engaging in cardiovascular activity.

After physiologist Graham Askew of the University of Leeds monitored the mail-bedecked volunteers trudging and jogging on treadmills, the researchers discovered that wearing the armor resulted in volunteers using 1.9 times more energy while running and 2.3 times more while walking.
Emphasis mine. It goes on to say the researchers would like to test out different types of armor, but the verdict seems written on the wall--heavy stuff is HEAVY!

Given these findings, should encumbrance be further modified? Should there be a minimum Strength score to even WEAR certain types of armor? (Some games already do this, yes?). Get your fighters back to the gym!

Check out the full article.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Avengers "teaser-of-a-teaser" trailer now out

So this new teaser trailer is really a few smatterings of a the longer teaser that appears at the end of Captain America. If you want to see the full length version, plan on staying after the credits when you see Cap in theaters.

Here's a peek at Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk and Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton (Hawkeye):

BTW, the new Cappy film is shield-wielding-tastic and worth the full-price of admission, IMHO.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Avengers Teaser Poster Assembled!

click to embiggen a whoooole lot!

Important items about the Avengers film:

  1. Avengers teaser poster has been released, click to see the new team in all their glory. 
  2. Go see Captain America. Not only is it one heck of an action flick, it has the trailer for Avengers after the credits. 
  3. While there's no Henry "Hank" Pym (aka Ant Man, aka Giant Man, aka...) or Janet "the Wasp" Van Dyne, I'm pretty pleased with the inclusion of Black Widow and Hawkeye who are not only more believable (at this point) but their roles are well cast. Now if we could just get to putting the Vision in the second Avengers I'll be a happy nerd. C'mon Marvel, it's easy--just introduce Pym at the end of Avengers working on Ultron....
  4. The Avengers are awesome...but you already knew that.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

HELP! Any Wikipedia Editors Out There?

Looks like the D&D Simulacrums page is scheduled for merger with--I'm not sure what. But the users on that page are saying it doesn't deserve it's own page. To be clear, this is the page that explains what retro-clones, etc. are.

I'm not adept enough to get in there and discuss--is there an experience Wikipedia editor out there in the OSR that can intervene?

It's important that the OSR and related movements have some solid article there to explain these games. This page sets up the reasoning for Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, X-plorers, Mutant Future, and more.

Here's the discussion page

John Carter Trailer!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

D&D Documentary Set for 40th Anniversary

Looks like there's a D&D documentary in the works, set to debut in 2013 on the history of the game. From the Examiner:
Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary will be a definitive look at the game Dungeons & Dragons, its history, appeal and effect. A game like no other, with influences far-reaching and subtle. A feature length film, shot on HD video. 
There's not much more info at this point--including whether or not this is an official project of Wizards (it doesn't look like it). That may be a strong point since they'd likely provide a more balanced look. However, a solely independent project could possibly have issues getting access. I wonder if they'll be able to incorporate any interviews from Gary or Dave before they passed. Stay tuned on this one.

The full Examiner article.

Props to Geekdad

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sendak and Tolkien: "The Hobbit" that never was

Image: Maurice Sendak/Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University, via LA Times
There's been much ado about dwarves recently with the latest image to come out of Peter Jackson's version of the Hobbit. I stumbled upon this amazing article from the LA Times (back in March) on an abandoned project by beloved children's book author/illustrator Maurice Sendak and Lord of the Rings himself. From the article:
If you look closely, you will discover a master at work in the art of subtlety: Notice the heavy crosshatching used to weigh down a world-weary Gandalf contrasted with the open, airy line work that renders the jovial Bilbo. These depictions speak in an artistic conversation that has been ongoing for centuries, yet they are immediate and approachable by the child of today.

As Sendak noted passages for possible illustration and sketched in the margins of his copy of the book, the publisher prepared the art samples for Tolkien’s approval. The editor mislabeled the samples, however, identifying the wood-elves as “hobbits,” as Sendak recalled to Maguire. This blunder nettled Tolkien. His reply was that Sendak had not read the book closely and did not know what a hobbit was. Consequently, Tolkien did not approve the drawings. Sendak was furious.
Read the rest of the article to get the full story.

I find this fascinating and heartbreaking all at once. Sendak's art is vibrant and original and his interpretation may have defined fantasy for a generation had it made it to publication. Sadly, where the wild things are not is Middle Earth.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

X-plorer Box Sets are Going...Going...

If you're planning to pick up the X-plorers Box Set, now is the time. It's gone by tomorrow--and only a limited edition has been printed.

So swing on over to Brave Halfling and get yours!