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I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but just in case, the nation of Al’Dahan is named after one of my best friends’ D&D characters. This was a 2E character, mind you, so we played in this campaign something like [REDACTED] years ago. It was the same campaign wherein I played Jasoom Basrali, as a matter of fact.

Speaking of D&D, man, I have a wicked new idea for a campaign for 5E. I’ve begun developing it, because I made the mistake of mentioning the idea behind it to a couple of my would-be players, including Will, and they IMMEDIATELY had character ideas. Once we have a break in the campaign we’re currently running, I have a mission, apparently.

The opening statement is this: “The gods are dead, and their bodies dot the countryside. There are no marks on their bodies, the only clue as to the cause of their passing is the rictus of fear written on their dead faces.” There are details to sweeten the deal, like the fact that divine magic still works, although no one knows why. I’m still wrestling with certain ideas. Despite the insanity of massive dead gods scattered around the world, this is a low-magic setting, and I’ve seriously considered eliminating non-human races altogether. (I probably won’t, since one of my players desperately wants to play a dwarf.)

The tone of the campaign is supposed to be dark, and it’s as much about the upheavals in a changed world as it is about the investigations into what caused the death of the gods. I’m plucking things out of some of my favorite shows and books, as well as some of the darker parts of actual history, to inform the storylines. Once I have a better hand on the world itself, and the main details of the first few adventures, I’ll let my players make characters and I’ll start crafting the story in order to make it more personal for them.

I’m considering using some of the optional rules presented in the 5E DMG, but I really need to defamiliarize myself with them. This is gonna be a lot of work to well, and I already have a lot of work to do. I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress.

 

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A big shout-out to Jacob Bascle, our lettering and design wizard (he is Fourteenth of Thirteen…lettering is cool, but it’s certainly not necromancy). Not only does he do an outstanding job all the time, including with one-off effects like the note in Panel Five, this time around he added a bit of dialogue that will entering our permanent canon. I’d originally had no dialogue in Panel Five, because I was letting the note “speak for itself.” But Jacob thought something was missing and added Hunter’s oath. It cracked me up and I love it and I’ll use it again. I’m not afraid to use someone else’s good idea…but credit where credit is due.

Man, are people complaining on the Internet about the Fantastic Four and Batman v. Superman trailers! In an effort to counter all of this negativity, here are some SWEET posters for both films, courtesy of The Beat and io9.

FF poster

batman-v-superman-imax-poster-batman-405x600

batman-v-superman-imax-poster-superman-406x600

I think that all of these are awesome. The FF poster also allays most of my concerns about The Thing, who looks GREAT to me there. The BvS posters are unique (well, not so much since there are TWO of them, but you know what I mean)…I can’t recall ever seeing posters quite like these before.

It’s a great time to be a geek if people have so much to choose from that they bitch all the time.

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You know, I’m starting to accept that I might never get the chance to write Doctor Doom in any official way, and I guess I’m okay with that…but if you’re wondering why Zezem is referring to himself in the third person, that’s probably the reason. John Byrne’s run on the Fantastic Four remains one of the highest of high points for me when it comes to superhero comics, and I make no apologies for trying to capture a bit of his voice there…it was just so NATURAL. (God help me if I ever start to channel Grant Morrison!) You know, the cadaver with The Cur’s hand turned out looking better than I’d hoped. Will made that really awesome.

Well, this was obviously the weekend of big trailer, and of course, the trailer for The Force Awakens was the crown jewel of the weekend. Batman v. Superman was…okay, but it also demonstrated that my biggest problem with Man of Steel (which has become more and more pronounced with subsequent viewings) will be writ even larger in this film…nothing about the trailer felt HEROIC. I hope I’m wrong about that.

But we also got the trailer for Josh Trank’s new Fantastic Four film. I have been EXTREMELY skeptical about this film, as I am of all of Fox’s superheroic forays into cinema, but this trailer has really captured my interest. You all know how big a deal theme is to me, and how important it is that films get the thematic essences of their characters right. Well, the themes of the FF are family and crazy science…and this trailer tells me that they’re going to get those two things right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still cautious about this film, but now, at least, I’m planning to see it.

Does The Thing look a little wonky? Yeah, but I think it’s one hell of a lot better than what poor Michael Chiklis had to wear. Am I still worried about stories describing Doom as an upset blogger? Yeah, especially given how much I love Dr. Doom. (Go reread the first paragraph.)

But it looks like they’re getting the big things right. If they get the big things right,and when it comes to Doom, more than anything else, I just need him to be desperately envious and hateful of Reed Richards, then I can forgive all of the little things.

Color me officially intrigued.

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I love how Zezem’s expression is almost one of boredom. He’s all, “I wonder if we have any of those apples left?” (Note: I’m pretty sure that the apple thing from a few pages pages was a reference to the first Pirates of the Caribbean film.) Will was understandably proud of this page…and so am I. Also, homedude only has four toes on each foot. I’m pretty sure that’s what killed him.

Now let’s be real: Daredevil? Loved it. Big Hero 6 (which I finally just saw for the first time)? Amazing. Flash and Arrow? They bring joy to my every week. These things are nothing.

This was the high point of my week…of my year. As someone said on Facebook, and I have been saying ever since I saw the LAST Force Awakens teaser, I’m trying very hard to remember how excited I was when the trailers for Phantom Menace hit…because I was pretty damned excited, and that movie was an enormous disappointment.

It’s entirely possible that there is nothing in all of geekdom that I love more than the Star Wars saga. The Empire Strikes Back remains my favorite film of all time; Knights of the Old Republic remains my favorite video game of all time.

Great visuals in this teaser. The opening shot, of the crashed Super Star Destroyer? Breathtaking. The final shot, featuring my favorite movie character ever? I’m still excited.

(Also, in case you hadn’t heard…that desert? It ain’t Tatooine. It’s the as-yet unspelled Jacquoo? Jaccoo? My current favorite potential spelling is “Jakoo.” Maybe, just maybe…it isn’t a single ecosystem world. Maybe.)

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Anybody in the house from the Washington, DC area? Anybody old enough to remember the Greaseman? I look at Panel One and think, “These hands have been touched by God!!!”, which I was one of the Greaseman’s comedy routines, if I’m not mistaken. He was a beneficiary of the earliest success of Howard Stern, as I recall, doing his thing on DC-101. (It was a long time ago.) I like the little touch of magic in the thread in Panel Six, and the droplets of blood flying out of the refuse pail in Panel Five. I like it when these things WORK, because I’m not always sure that they will when I write them.

Boy, I have a lot to do. Binge-watching Daredevil wasn’t the best thing in the world for my deadlines. I DID get my taxes out of the way, with some help, so at least THAT isn’t hanging over my head.

I’m not someone who can take breaks from writing. Once I’ve lost the muse, it takes the movement of Heaven and Earth to get back in the groove. Today begins that process, though.

The good news for you guys (at least I hope it’s good news) is that writing Hunter Black is almost always how I get back on track. For whatever reason, writing Hunter Black is always easiest for me, in part because there are just fewer restrictions on me in terms of what I can do and how many pages I can decide to use to do it. Also because it’s just FUN.

Here’s to FUN.

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