Author Archives: Shane

comics writer mike baron shane plays podcast title 12-8-2018

Comics Writer Mike Baron! – Radio Show / Podcast Ep. 168

comics writer mike baron shane plays podcast title 12-8-2018Podcast version of the Shane Plays Geek Talk radio show from 12/8/2018:
Comics Writer Mike Baron!

Highlights: Eisner award-winning comics and novel writer Mike Baron (known for such comic books as Nexus, The Badger, Punisher, Star Wars, The Flash) joins to talk his “Bad Road Rising” biker action novel series, a heartwarming (no, really) book about a dog called Disco, and upcoming comics projects Off Worlder, The Wraith, Q-Ball and NEW (yes, new) Nexus material! Plus geek news and the usual tomfoolery.

Shane Plays airs on Saturdays at 1 PM Central on 101.1 FM The Answer in Little Rock. It can also be heard online at 1011fmtheanswer.com  and on the Tune In Radio app and iHeart Radio apps. Call in at 501-823-0965 or tweet @ShanePlays during the show!

Listen to the Shane Plays podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, SoundCloud & Stitcher (plus other fine podcast directories) after the live show.

Direct MP3 Download:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/shaneplays/Shane_Plays_12-8-18_podcast.mp3

Listen Here via Embed:

SHOW NOTES

Podcast zinger is from:
Avengers Endgame Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA6hldpSTF8

Mike Baron’s books at Liberty Island Press:
https://libertyislandmag.com/author/mike-baron/

Mike’s Amazon author page:
https://www.amazon.com/Mike-Baron/e/B004N7W25W/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1544724720&sr=8-2-ent

Mike’s personal website:
http://www.bloodyredbaron.net/

Captain Marvel Trailer #2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LHxvxdRnYc

Avengers 4 Endgame Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA6hldpSTF8

SECRETS of BLACKMOOR: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons Kickstarter
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/secretsofblackmoor/secrets-of-blackmoor-the-true-history-of-dungeons/description

Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard ‘Star Trek’ Series Will Debut at End of 2019, David Nevins Says | The Wrap
https://www.thewrap.com/patrick-stewarts-jean-luc-picard-star-trek-series-will-debut-end-2019-david-nevins-says/

Scientists ate Legos to see how long it takes to poop them out | BGR
https://bgr.com/2018/11/27/lego-head-poop-science-research-pediatrics


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Support Shane Plays Radio on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/shaneplays

KryptonRadio1Shane Plays is carried on Krypton Radio!
Krypton Radio is SciFi for your Wifi.
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keyforge starter set unboxing first look unique deck game

KeyForge Starter Set Unboxing & First Look (Unique Deck Game)

Unboxing and first look at the cards and material components of the KeyForge: Call of the Archons unique deck game Starter Set from Fantasy Flight Games (designed by Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield). This isn’t an in-depth overview of how to play, but it does have: One-handed unboxing stunts! Thrills! Spills! The pathos! The drama! Entertainment abounds!

KeyForge info from Fantasy Flight Games:

Enter a world where anything is possible in KeyForge! In the center of the universe hangs the Crucible, an artificial world built from the pieces of countless planets. Here, in the world’s first Unique Deck Game, created by legendary designer Richard Garfield, two players step into the roles of mighty Archons, racing to forge keys that unlock the Crucible’s hidden Vaults.

Leading their diverse teams, filled with followers from three of the Crucible’s great Houses, the Archons must gather Æmber, stave off their opponent’s progress, and ultimately be the first to open a Vault and gain its incredible knowledge. With a vast array of creatures, artifacts, and abilities and over 104 quadrillion possible decks, every deck is completely one-of-a-kind, and no two battles will ever be the same!

the haunting of hill house logo and imagery

So That Ending, Huh? Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House Final Episode Explained

the haunting of hill house logo and imagery

Confused, upset or just curious about the final episode of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House? This should help explain where it came from (and why it wasn’t as sudden of a change as it seemed).

I was very much anticipating Hill House’s tenth and closing episode not just because the series has been an amazing example of television storytelling, but also because of several comments I’ve read about it being very different from the rest of the series.

Some people seemed deeply affected emotionally, others instead surprised (startled?) and bemused by a drastic change in tone. 

Having finally watched it, I feel for the most part it stayed close-ish to the show’s already established tone. True, Hill House itself was less outright scary and there were no moments of primal terror or even any major jump scares… but there were still dismal, Gothic gloom, creepy ghosts, and a heavy sacrifice required to allow those that would survive, to survive.

It was no sudden bowl of sappy syrup (as I was starting to expect).

That is, until about the final 6 minutes. Without going further into detail, suffice it to say that not only did the entire tone change drastically, but they completely altered the underlying spirit (sorrynotsorry) of Shirley Jackson’s book (which has often been called the best modern haunted house story written).

Normally I would be nonplussed by this and feel like a cheap and clumsy trick had been pulled on the viewer, yet if you haven’t read the book it’s important to understand the creators changed the entire nature of things in their adaptation from the very beginning.

It’s only in those last few minutes that they stop even trying to disguise it.

Hill House the novel is about a freaking literally insane house that has a history of alleged supernatural events as well as being cleverly designed to mess with peoples’ sense of physical reality. Four strangers spend a week there to investigate it’s paranormal aspects.

One guest is somewhat delusional and open to possession (or a delusional telekinetic, or a mixture of the two) and off we go. On an aside, analysis of the novel often debates whether Hill House was actually haunted. I tend to think the novel version’s Hill House *is* haunted, it just “likes” or is highly activated by Eleanor in some way.

Hill House the Netflix series is about a broken family in need of healing first and a haunted house story second.

The Crain family we get to know in the TV show is almost completely an invention of the show creators, with some bits of the book’s characters, dialogue, and narration sprinkled in throughout.

In fact it can be argued the TV version’s Hill House and related supernatural events are just metaphors for dysfunction in family relationships and personal choices. It is also the story of a father giving everything to protect his kids at the cost of them disrespecting him at best and outright despising him at worst because they don’t see or believe the big picture and it’s impossible to tell them.

Let’s look at the opening and closing of each version:

The Novel

Opening:
…silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

Closing:
…silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there walked alone.

The circle is unbroken. The evil of Hill House continues unchanged as always.

There was no family dynamic, just four strangers in a dangerous house.

Netflix

Opening:
Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House. And whatever walked there… walked alone.

Closing:
Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House. And those who walk there… walk together.

The circle (for the Crain family) is broken. Hope and light arrive.

Hill House itself finishes the Netflix series almost (actually?) as a place of refuge.

I tend to agree with something I read a while back… the Netflix version is This Is Us meets The Haunting of Hill House. If I go with that, I can also accept that it has a different overall thesis and end goal from the source material.

With a different storytelling intent, I can live with how the Neflix version ends, at the same time acknowledging it is an abrupt and arguably confusing tonal and narrative pivot in those final minutes.

Sword Coast Legends

Let’s Play Sword Coast Legends Story Mode #50

Into the Underdark! First stop: the Forlorn Cliffs and associated puzzling magic portals as we search for Tezzarea’s camp. Those quasits were tougher than we expected. Umber hulks, hook horrors, and *oops* we pulled on Fletcher a just a tad too hard.

This a let’s play of the single player campaign of Sword Coast Legends.

Set in the lush and vibrant world of the Forgotten Realms, Sword Coast Legends offers an all-new way to enjoy the time-tested magic of playing Dungeons & Dragons as a shared storytelling experience. With a deep narrative developed by a team of long-time industry veterans and a partnership with Wizards of the Coast, the single player campaign of Sword Coast Legends brings the world of Faerûn home like never before.

https://swordcoast.com/

shane plays podcast extra title Spectaculars RPG with Rodney Thompson of Scratchpad Publishing 11-4-2018

Spectaculars RPG with Rodney Thompson of Scratchpad Publishing – Shane Plays Podcast Extra

shane plays podcast extra title Spectaculars RPG with Rodney Thompson of Scratchpad Publishing 11-4-2018

Podcast Extra:
Spectaculars RPG with Rodney Thompson of Scratchpad Publishing

Highlights: Interview with Rodney Thompson about the new Spectaculars superhero RPG from Scratchpad Publishing! Plus: What’s Rodney reading right now? What the heck is Neon City Outlaws? What are the design differences between Dusk City Outlaws and Spectaculars?

Direct Download:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/shaneplays/Shane_Plays_podcast_extra_Spectaculars_RPG_with_Rodney_Thompson_of_Scratchpad_Publishing_11-4-2018.mp3

Listen Here via Embed:

D&D Out of the Abyss Notes Title

D&D Out of the Abyss Notes #82 – The City of Spiders / Sorcere

Menzoberranzan continues with the tower of Sorcere, including Gromph’s Inner and Outer Sanctums! Moon elf graffiti, labyrinthine puzzles, and a long-trapped “drow”. Hey, don’t shrink away from searching… diamonds are a rogue’s best pen. Grappled is not restrained, and restrained is not grappled (but they have similarities). Can you charm someone who is already charmed, and if so… what happens? Saying yes to a player in the right circumstance.

This is an ongoing series of Shane’s notes, thoughts and tips for running the D&D adventure Out of the Abyss, which is the tabletop portion of the Rage of Demons story line.

Each video follows the most recent session with his group.

rodney thompson spectaculars rpg interview thumbnail

Spectaculars Superhero RPG with Rodney Thompson of Scratchpad Publishing

 

Interview with game designer Rodney Thompson about the new Spectaculars superhero RPG from Scratchpad Publishing! Plus: What’s Rodney reading right now? What the heck is Neon City Outlaws? What are the design differences between Dusk City Outlaws and Spectaculars? And: Surprise appearances by the Emerald Stranger and Shane’s archenemy Shane Works!!!

(Note: From 21 minute mark until 23 minutes, Shane drops due to weird Chrome lockup error thingy)

Spectaculars RPG Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/481478805/spectaculars

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 10 flowing

A Non-Artist’s First Inktober: 2018 Drawing Compilation

If by some chance you haven’t been introduced to Inktober as the images begin flowing all over social media each year, here’s the elevator pitch from the Inktober website:

“Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month… post it on any social media account you want or just post it on your refrigerator. The point is to share your art with someone. :)”

I genuinely don’t consider myself much of an artist, however there’s a large part of me that always wanted to be a cartoonist. So I found myself, without really planning to, jumping in spur of the moment this year.

Overall it was pretty fun and yesterday (the first day of November) I felt itchy to draw something after thirty one days of doing so, and somewhat incomplete that I hadn’t.

I’ve also gained a greater apprecation for creators who have to create constant output… there were days when, even though it was fun, I had a hard time thinking something up. There were also a couple of instances where just due to life I didn’t have time and ended up drawing two sketches the next day to make up.

So here are my 31 drawings. I should note that the last few drawings were done on a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (I recently upgraded my phone) which occurred to me later was probably cheating since it’s not actually ink and I can undo, redo, use layers, etc. 

I followed the “prompt” Inktober method where you use a list of prompt words for a drawing theme for each day.

(Again, please remember I don’t actually consider myself an artist so have mercy on a poor geek who is maybe, hopefully?, a cartoonist is a parallel dimension!)

Day 1: Poisonous
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 1 poisonous
Day 2: Tranquil
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 2 tranquil

Day 3: Roasted
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 3 roasted


Day 4: Spell
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 4 spell


Day 5: Chicken
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 5 chicken


Day 6: Drooling

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 6 drooling


Day 7: Exhausted
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 7 exhausted


Day 8: Star

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 8 star


Day 9: Precious

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 9 precious


Day 10: Flowing
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 10 flowing


Day 11: Cruel

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 11 cruel


Day 12: Whale
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 12 whale

Day 13: Guarded
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 13 guarded


Day 14: Clock

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 14 clock


Day 15: Weak

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 15 weak


Day 16: Angular

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 16 angular


Day 17: Swollen

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 17 swollen


Day 18: Bottle

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 18 bottle


Day 19: Scorched

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 19 scorched


Day 20: Breakable

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 20 breakable


Day 21: Drain

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 21 drain


Day 22: Expensive

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 22 expensive


Day 23: Muddy

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 23 muddy


Day 24: Chop

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 24 chop


Day 25: Prickly

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 25 prickly


Day 26: Stretch
(Samsung Galaxy Note 9 drawings using ArtFlow app start here)
shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 26 stretch


Day 27: Thunder

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 27 thunder


Day 28: Gift

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 28 gift


Day 29: Double

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 29 double


Day 30: Jolt

shane plays inktober 2018 ink drawing day 30 jolt


Day 31: Slice

 

Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana with Jon Peterson & Michael Witwer shane plays podcast title 10-20-2018

Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana with Jon Peterson & Michael Witwer! – Radio Show / Podcast Ep. 167

Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana with Jon Peterson & Michael Witwer shane plays podcast title 10-20-2018Podcast version of the Shane Plays Geek Talk radio show from 10/20/2018:
Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana with Jon Peterson & Michael Witwer!

Highlights: D&D authors / historians Michael Witwer and Jon Peterson discuss their fantastic new Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History book that’s taking the scene by storm! Plus: RPG news including the unfortunate passing of important figures Greg Stafford and Bruce “Duke” Seifried.

Shane Plays airs on Saturdays at 1 PM Central on 101.1 FM The Answer in Little Rock. It can also be heard online at 1011fmtheanswer.com  and on the Tune In Radio app and iHeart Radio apps. Call in at 501-823-0965 or tweet @ShanePlays during the show!

Listen to the Shane Plays podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, SoundCloud & Stitcher (plus other fine podcast directories) after the live show.

Direct MP3 Download:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/shaneplays/Shane_Plays_10-20-2018_podcast.mp3

Listen Here via Embed:

SHOW NOTES

Podcast zinger is from:
Greg Stafford Speech at the ENnies 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky_X0T-RgBY

Greg Stafford 1948 – 2018
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Stafford
Stafford is most famous as the creator of the fantasy world of Glorantha, but he is also a prolific games designer. He was designer of Pendragon, he was co-designer of the RuneQuest, Ghostbusters, Prince Valiant and HeroQuest role-playing systems, founder of the role-playing game companies Chaosium and Issaries, designer of the White Bear and Red Moon, Nomad Gods, King Arthur’s Knights and Elric board games, and co-designer of the King of Dragon Pass computer game. Stafford considered his Arthurian chivalric role-playing game King Arthur Pendragon (1985) his masterpiece.

Miniatures wargaming, roleplaying and adventure gaming pioneer Duke Seifried has passed away | Tabletop Gaming
https://www.tabletopgaming.co.uk/historical-games/news/miniatures-wargaming-roleplaying-and-adventure-gaming-pioneer-duke

BRUCE “DUKE” SEIFRIED Obituary | HMGS
https://www.hmgs.org/news/420494/BRUCE-DUKE-SEIFRIED-Obituary.htm

DnDSports – New Competitive ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Tournament Announced | ComicBook.com
https://comicbook.com/gaming/2018/10/15/dungeons-and-dragons-competitive-tournament-/

The Dreams in Gary’s Basement documentary Kickstarter
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dorksofyore/the-dreams-in-garys-basement-a-documentary-on-gary

Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen on Kickstarter by Ceres Games
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceresgames/realms-beyond-ashes-of-the-fallen

Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History – “Unboxing” and First Reactions!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr6edzGSsag
What are Shane’s first thoughts and reactions to an advance copy of Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History? Hint: he may squee (okay, he *actually* squees at one point and he’s a big manly man not known for his squeeing). Make sure to watch the parts with the special edition boxed book and ephemera set!


patreon logo in fieldLike what you hear?
Support Shane Plays Radio on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/shaneplays

KryptonRadio1Shane Plays is carried on Krypton Radio!
Krypton Radio is SciFi for your Wifi.
http://kryptonradio.com/

dungeons & dragons art & arcana a visual history

Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History – “Unboxing” and First Reactions!

What are Shane’s first thoughts and reactions to an advance copy of Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History? Hint: he may squee (okay, he actually squees at one point and he’s a big manly man not known for his squeeing). Make sure to watch the parts with the special edition boxed book and ephemera set!

Many thanks to the authors (Michael Witwer, Jon Peterson, Sam Witwer, Kyle Newman) and Penguin Random House for the chance to behold this spectular geeky D&D goodness in advance.

The marketing copy:

An illustrated guide to the history and evolution of the beloved role-playing game told through the paintings, sketches, illustrations, and visual ephemera behind its creation, growth, and continued popularity.

From one of the most iconic game brands in the world, this official DUNGEONS & DRAGONS illustrated history provides an unprecedented look at the visual evolution of the brand, showing its continued influence on the worlds of pop culture and fantasy. Inside the book, you’ll find more than seven hundred pieces of artwork—from each edition of the core role-playing books, supplements, and adventures; as well as Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance novels; decades of Dragon and Dungeon magazines; and classic advertisements and merchandise; plus never-before-seen sketches, large-format canvases, rare photographs, one-of-a-kind drafts, and more from the now-famous designers and artists associated with DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. The superstar author team gained unparalleled access to the archives of Wizards of the Coast and the personal collections of top collectors, as well as the designers and illustrators who created the distinctive characters, concepts, and visuals that have defined fantasy art and gameplay for generations. This is the most comprehensive collection of D&D imagery ever assembled, making this the ultimate collectible for the game’s millions of fans around the world.