Morningwood: Everybody Loves Large Chests

Morningwood: Everybody Loves Large Chests (Vol.1)Morningwood: Everybody Loves Large Chests by Neven Iliev

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This isn’t “bad”, its more like … meh.

Without giving too much away I can say it has no real feeling, no emotion, and not really different from a dozen other stories built around similar ideas (even though the POV is completely different). It is like eating stale bread, no real bite, no taste and forgettable.

I do have a few more observations but only if you have read the book or don’t mind spoilers.

——————SPOILER ALERT ———————————–

First, the whole snippet they write about the story is not true and is somewhat of a lame way to misdirect people. It starts with you not being an adventurer written about, but a newly created mimic in a dungeon. That is a very weak monster under the control of the dungeon itself. You are found by that adventurer that the author writes about on the jacket. Then that person and all of his friends die, while the mimic accidentally wins its first battle.

I would say this is the most interesting part, but it could only be gimmicky so long until it gets old and loses any interest it had.

The next 6 of 8 hours is spent with the mimic still being a monster, slowly growing more intelligent and leveling up, but never anything a person can identify with. It is a series of repeat events just larger. Usually involving a group of adventurers that the Mimic kills each time, unlocking even more mimic powers.

Things change slightly and the Mimic learns magic. Eventually he accidentally learns how to absorb things he has eaten, and even causing him to take ownership of others. He enslaves a succubus and damages her enough physically and emotionally to break her. The book still doesn’t change with that new development except the encounters gets bigger and bigger, but even so its more and more boring as well.

——–END SPOILER. ——————–

The book is different with its POV and “surprise”, I hadn’t seen that starting point before. However, even with that large change, the writing itself had no real personality or life. It is slow

Don’t do what I did, pay full price. If you find a really good sale and if you have nothing else you want to read it is ok.

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5th ed. Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook

Player's Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition)Player’s Handbook by James Wyatt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been a long 20 years since I have played Dungeons and Dragons steadily. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to start running it again. What I did find was that the writing itself got a lot better.

The game is less focused on a white male target audience. The artwork does have a few slightly sexier images, but it shows women dressed in realistic armor, it doesn’t assume all adventurers are men only and there is even a part where the book addresses genders and the non-binary possibilities:

“You can play a male or female character without gaining any special benefits or hindrances. Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior.

You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example, and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon’s image. You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.”

That alone wins my heart and shows a thousand steps forward from what I learned in the late 1980s with the Basic and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

The new system itself seems pretty tight, but I am still new with it and haven’t fully seen it in action. I am definitely looking forward to playing it more.

The only reason it doesn’t get five stars is because I hate rolling up stats for a character, so many years used to using points and customizing it a little more then that.

I recommend it for everyone!

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Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery

Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & SorceryRat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First, I need to say I love Betty! Absolutely favorite character in this volume.

I have heard about this for a long time. Some of my friends online talked and talked and talked. Others disliked it a lot. I can tell you from my experience that it is an awesome story and I love the Rat Queens.

It makes it crystal clear by reading this how misogynistic our fantasy stories are. The objections I have heard to the story are more to do with the people not liking it is about women, strong women, not just passive healers.

The artwork is pretty good, the characterization is great and the time flew by while I read it. The only con to reading this is that the artist was caught beating his female significant other, which really puts a strain on supporting this series. I don’t know if I would have read the series (both Volume 1 and 2 which will probably have the same review) if I had heard about the artist first, just because I won’t support that.

I have heard the third volume is a different artist and that the writer fired the illustrator. Hopefully it maintains its story and interest along with not supporting abusive people.

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Two Posts, Two Days

I know, this is a surprise for me as well, but a second post in as many days. Its like a Christmas miracle. I just thought I would try and keep up on reporting my boring daily life as I go.

Yesterday was a normal payday. The money slipped into and out of my bank account so fast I couldn't even be sure I had it. Paid a little on credit, got the wife a haircut/bleach and dyed my hair black. I am now the evil whisper, a coworker thinks I need to grow back my goatee. Maybe I will, it will complete the look at least.

Work is going fairly well honestly. Another coworker of mine got hired at the DCAA. She is taking a 5% paycut this year, but after one year with the feds she will shoot up to GS-11. This means she will be making about 10k more than me. In another year she will be a GS-12 and that will pay about 20k more than me a year. She will wrap up the quick rise as a GS-13 in 3 years and that is making about 40k more than me. The DCAA opened up application process through October for next year. I think I will apply. It means if I got hired in the next round it would be about this time of year and I will have hit my fifth year here at SAO, thus vesting the retirement I have put in.

Gaming life is going pretty slow at the moment. I had to put one of our games on hold until fall at least (I suspect when I start the second game again in the fall it will be Shadowrun, I just can't get enough interest in the GURPS Partisan game). Also in the three months wife and I are developing the online capability. I know I have several people available online, so we will see how that goes.

Relationship wise things are great. The wife and I are getting along fabulously, and I go on vacation starting Saturday. We also went to the Everett Poly Munch last Friday. That was pretty cool. We met several nice people and we may do breakfast with them at the Hitching Post on Sunday. We also got invited to a lot of different events. I am still a little nervous about that, but I am taking it slowly and if I don't feel comfortable I won't do it.

Well, thats it for now. Better get to work 🙂