Narnia, Constellations, and Magic the Gathering – Geekout 12

And the catch up game continues. I’m hoping it only takes a day or two, but these posts take me a lot longer than I expected them to! Time to just jump right in to this! Today I’ll be writing about Two Chronicles of Narnia Titles, Four Constellations, and Four Magic the Gathering Creatures.

2017-01-13 Geekout

Not as open-ended as I like my questions, but I know the topics well this time!

Two Chronicles of Narnia Titles

Since I mentioned The Voyage of the Dawntreader in a previous post, I’ll be skipping it here. While I’m not a fan of all of the books in the series, I do like the ones I’ll be naming as well as the chronologically first book in the series, The Magician’s Nephew.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

How could I not have chosen this classic story?! It’s a fun tale of adventure for children and about children! And it almost feels like the whole story could be in the imagination of a child, which is one aspect of the book that I’ve always enjoyed.

Prince Caspian

Continuing the story with the same characters still, Prince Caspian adds a new element to the series. Much changes in Narnia between these two books.

Four Constellations

There aren’t many constellations that I go around naming, but I do have four that I easily identify in the sky. I’m going to skip the Zodiac constellations, since I’m not a big fan of the constellations themselves or the idea that “being born under one” has any meaning at all.

Orion

One of the easiest constellations to find, due to that “belt” of three stars. The rest is easy to find once you orient yourself from there. I’ve always thought this was one of the better constellations, since I can visualize what it’s “depicting” better than most constellations.

Cassiopeia

I like pointing this constellation out to my wife when we’re outside at night. I usually call it cas-three-opeia, because it looks like a rotated, malformed three. Human pattern-matching also makes finding the big three in the sky easy. And for the record, I don’t see Cassiopeia herself in the set of stars.

Ursa Major

Not quite as easy as Orion and Cassiopeia to find, but still quite easy, you just find the Big Dipper first. The dipper is the tail of the “bear”. To be honest, I never thought this looked much like a bear. It’s more rodent-like if you ask me.

Ursa Minor

Also supposed to be a bear, we know it better as “The Little Dipper”. It looks more like a measuring cup than a bear to me anyway. How someone got “bear” from this, I’ll never know!

Four Magic the Gathering Creatures

When I first read this, I was thinking this said “Characters”, which got me all excited. I was thrilled that the calendar had a page getting so specific to the lore of Magic the Gathering as to ask for the characters rather than the cards. I even brought up the topic to my wife, because I think it’s nifty. I knew she didn’t have any idea of the characters in it. I was planning to talk about Urza and Mishra as well as my favorite character, Squee. Instead, I’ll read the prompt correctly, naming creatures from the world…

Squees ToyUrzas Armor

Orcish Librarian

I love this card so much. I have a ridiculous deck where I run this card. This card can obliterate your own deck if you’re not careful, which makes the artwork on it so great! When I realized my character/creature mistake, I immediately suggested I could use this card now. We both laughed, thinking about the picture and commenting on the “Library Paste”!

OrcishLibrarian

Maro

I recall having a deck that revolved around having Maro. What I don’t remember is how I managed my hand size, keeping Maro strong.

Maro

Slivers

There are many different slivers. They’re creatures that provide a benefit to all slivers, so having many of them builds power quickly.

 Metallic Sliver

This was the only sliver I could find quickly. Sadly, it doesn’t include a benefit for other slivers. It’s an interesting one, since it’s also an artifact.

Plague Rats

One of my favorite creatures! These guys are crazy. I recall playing a deck with some of these in high school. Interestingly, someone else did the same thing. We played big group games, so the two of us teamed up that game. Stronger Plague Rats that way!

Plague Rats

Additional Creations

I couldn’t resist adding some extras!

Bonus: Orcish Farmer

This stick in the mud makes mud! Or Swamp in this case…

Orcish Farmer

Bonus: Prodigal Sorcerer

There are some who call him… Tim. I call him “Tim”, as many others do. He’s named after Tim the Enchanter. It’s a fun name given to him, because he can ping people and creatures for a point of damage.

Prodigal Sorcerer

Bonus: Llanowar Elves

These mana-producing elves along with their Fyndhorn, Quirion, and Urborg brethren are able to provide you with an extra boost to your mana economy. You find these in many decks, but the Quirion and Urborg are mostly found in multi-color decks as they can produce more than just green mana.

Llanowar Elves

Wrap Up

Yes, I did got dig up my cards and find those cards to take the pictures. Had I not sorted these cards a couple of weeks ago, I’d not have been able to find them.

Also, I noticed right before clicking that “Publish” button for this post that “Ursa” and “Urza” are both mentioned in this post. Totally not confusing at all!

Consoles, Comic Cats, and Cartoon Aliens – Geekout 11

Coming to the end of week two of this challenge, I’m attempting to Geekout with this page-a-day calendar I’ve received. It asks me to list a set of things each day. Today, I’ll need to come up with Six Video Game Consoles, Two Comic Book Characters with Cat Attributes, and Four U.S. Cartoons with Alien Creatures.

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These don’t look all that challenging. All three are open-ended questions again, so I think I’ve got them in hand.

Six Video Game Consoles

When I was a small child, my brother and I asked our parents for an NES for Christmas. My parents said that we couldn’t afford it, so we’d have to ask Santa. Christmas morning came, and no console was found under the tree. Later in the day, my family was all treated to small me screaming about something down in the basement. I assume my parents must have sent me downstairs to get something from down there. The console wasn’t under the tree, it was hooked up to a television in the basement. My first video game console. And boy was that a ride.

Nintendo 64

Nintendo’s venture into 64-bit consoles was something they’d been talking about for a while. I remember watching promotional videos Nintendo sent out on VHS tapes talking about the system. I read many articles about the system before its release.

The year that console came out, it was hard to find. Places sold out of them quickly. Somehow my parents managed to get one. My father had a cool idea for how to wrap it. I loved the idea so much then, and it has inspired me to do some creative work of my own.

The console was under our tree for a while before Christmas. It was wrapped together with games, additional controllers, and some extra pieces of cardboard. The interested part is that it was a uniquely shaped gift. It was shaped like some kind of poultry, maybe a chicken or a turkey. It was blocky, but you could tell what it was.

Playstation

When my brother and I were little, we saved our allowance money for years. We didn’t receive as much as most people we knew, but we also knew that saving it meant you could get better stuff with it. This is one example of that paying off. In fact, this console is not ten feet away from me right now and still works well, which is impressive for being the initial model to hit stores. We bought it when the price was still $300. This is one of my all-time favorite consoles, having been host to so many great games! I loved that this generation had both cartridges and discs, since both had advantages at that time. This system was a true marvel, being a success right out the gate.

XBox 360

Microsoft’s entrance into console gaming didn’t go as well as Sony’s. Their first console wasn’t as hugely successful, however, as we all say, the second time’s the charm. The 360 was a massive success, not just for having improved their game library, controllers, and system itself. Their true win was in their online support. Xbox Live may not have been free, but it worked so well that it destroyed its competition.

Sega Genesis

Being the only Sega console I owned, I had to name it here. It had some great games, including the more violent version of Mortal Kombat. The console was fun, however, Nintendo did have the better controller in that generation with the SNES. Sorry, Sega.

Atari 2600

This classic, famous console is old and goofy. I know some people love the wood-paneling along the side, but I think it just makes it look older. Joysticking was still the thing for this machine. Helping to contribute to the crash of game consoles, who could leave it off of the list?

Game Boy

Since I incidentally named other consoles in previous bits of text, I’m going to allow a handheld console in here. The original Game Boy was awesome; I played that handheld so much. My Game Boy is also within 10 feet of me right now. It’s right next to my two Game Boy Pockets and my Game Boy Color. I’ll lump those together for the most part, since Nintendo was brilliant enough to have them play the same games. Unlike the competition, Nintendo realized that quality games and battery life were far more important than colors an specs.

This brick of a handheld only showed images in shades of green, but it did so for hours on far fewer batteries than the competition. I remember using the magnifying glass and light combo adapter to use at night. I also was one of those people who caught the Pokemon craze immediately, picking up the game as soon as it released in the US.

Two Comic Book Characters with Cat Attributes

Thinking about what “Cat Attributes” might mean, I’m going to decide that naming actual cats would be outside of the spirit of the question, so Luna will not be listed. I do, however, think you can have “cat attributes” without physical feline traits; whiskers on humans will not be a requirement for this.

Cat Woman

Too obvious on this one? Cat-like? Absolutely. I will say that giving her a movie of her own may have been a mistake… She’s a fun character, because she’s not just a straight up villain.

Black Panther

They’ve brought him to the big screen, and it’s good. Great work, Marvel! Do this character well! I am looking forward to his having his own movie!

Four U.S. Cartoons with Alien Creatures

Well this is going to focus on some of the weirder characters from cartoons.

American Dad

While it’s not a show I watch, I’ve seen more than a few episodes of it. I included it, because it’s a show that prominently features an alien and isn’t sci-fi other than that (as far as I know).

The Flintstones

I’m sure you forgot or are trying to forget that this show had an alien! The great Gazoo, if I recall the name and spelling of that green, stereotypical alien thing.

The Simpsons

For as much of the Simpsons as I’ve seen over my lifetime, I’m blanking on the name of the two green aliens from the show. They’re cycloptic , tentacled alients wearing tall, nearly-cylindrical space helmets. Also, I didn’t want to list Futurama, since that seemed too easy.

Space Ghost Coast to Coast

There are a couple of aliens here, including my favorite bean-loving idiot, Brak. If you’ve never watched this show, you missed out. It was one of my favorites as a kid.

Wrap Up

Yes, I’m going to playing a bit of catch up on these! I was unable to publish each day, so I’ll be doing a couple of these some days until I catch back up!

Fictional Elements, Greco-Roman Movies, and J.J. Abrams – Geekout 10

Well into the second week of this, I’m hoping to get back on track. This seems to be the day. Some large numbers here, but I think I can get some good answers to these. Today we’re looking for Two Fictional Sci-Fi Elements/Materials, Six Films Based on Greco-Roman Mythology, and Four Films or Television Shows Created by J.J. Abrams.

2017-01-11 Geekout

That first one, the sci-fi one, is a cake walk. The fantasy prompt should also not be too hard to come up with, even with six being the number. The general geekiness question about J.J. Abrams at first seemed easy, but “created by” might be the challenge here. Let’s get started!

Two Fictional Sci-Fi Elements/Materials

Well here’s an easy one. Don’t even have to leave Star Trek and Star Wars for this one.

Transparisteel

As the name implies, this is a strong, transparent material. If you’ve played any Star Wars games, you’ll have come across this material frequently. It’s often used for “windows” on starships, cockpits and other areas needing transparency.

Dilithium Crystals

Any Star Trek fan will immediately know these crystals. They’re used in the warp drives on starships in the Star Trek universe. As such, they’re important in many episodes of Star Trek.

Six Films Based on Greco-Roman Mythology

I’ve not seen plenty of these, but I do know of their existence. Surprisingly difficult, since I’m (for now) unwilling to accept multiple Hercules movies.

Troy

This movie follows Achilles and depicts the events of the Trojan Horse. Definitely qualifies for this category.

Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief

Based on the first book in a series, this is a light take on mythology. It’s a modern setting, but involves gods, their children, and plenty of other mythical creatures.

Hercules

I’ll lump both Rockules and the animated Disney movie together for this. I’m not a big fan of either of these two movies, but they exist!

Clash of the Titans

Classic movie. I’ve not seen this one either. It’s about the titans, so it fits the prompt.

300

Yes, I’m counting this one. The same as the Trojan horse story, this seems to fall into the realm of myth closely enough.

Wrath of the Titans

I did not see this movie when it came out a few years ago. Was it good? I was guessing not, since most of this type of movie aren’t. Also about titans, so fits the bill for this one.

Four Films or Television Shows Created by J.J. Abrams

I’ve been wrestling with the idea of what constitutes “created by”, because I’d like to consider it to be something he had the idea for, produced, directed, helped write, etc. I started with three TV shows that I believe qualify, but couldn’t come up with anything else that I thought fit the bill.

Lost

My wife and I really enjoyed watching this show. There were points where it was not-so-good, so it’s hard to evaluate its legacy at this point. I think it suffered from the same issue that many shows do, which is they don’t set out with a full story and are making too many changes as they go. Each season gets a focus, throwing off the rhythm.

Fringe

Walter. The show is good, but Walter makes this show. Some great characters and a lot of fun here. This show is supposed to go off the rails a bit, so it’s fun that it does. Setting expectations for the win!

Alias

I only saw a few episodes of this show, but my wife watched it consistently. She seemed to like it, but I never got around to catching up from the beginning.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I didn’t want to use this example, since he’s not the creator of Star Wars. He didn’t even say, “hey I want to make Star Wars VII”. I think a more accurate description is that Disney wanted to make episode VII and he was selected to work on it. I’m fairly certain he was involved in screenplay, directing, producing, etc. I guess I’ll call that enough and include it here.

Wrap Up

Didn’t finish it as well as I would have liked, but I did manage to get there. Calling that a win for now.

Scientists, Pants-less Protagonists, and Frank Miller – Geekout 9

Nope. Can’t get out of this streak yet! I just don’t know real people’s names! Sorry, but it’s kind of my thing. While yesterday, I didn’t know He-Man well enough. Today I’m struggling to remember who Frank Miller is and what works he’s done. I’m supposed to name Four Fictional Scientists in Television, Four Video Game Protagonists that Don’t Wear Pants, and Two Frank Miller Comic Books.

2017-01-10 Geekout

I’m already having a laugh about that gaming question. The general geekiness and comics questions are normal questions.

Four Fictional Scientists in Television

Wishing this weren’t restricted to television, because I know a steely-eyed missile man I’d like to be naming right here. Well, there are more than enough scientists on television, so here goes.

Dexter – Dexter’s Laboratory

I’ve mentioned his sister Dee Dee already, so I might as well mention him as well. The titular character of the series, Dexter is quite the scientist (not just for his age). His lab, experiments, and creations make for some fantastic episodic fun in the show. I don’t even know if we’re rooting for him to succeed or not most of the time, but he’s a wild character for sure.

Samantha Carter – Stargate Franchise

With a Ph.D. in astrophysics, she makes an awesome part of the SG1 team. She speaks nerd with Daniel and military with O’Neill. She may be a military woman first, but her science background is vital at points during the show. While Dr. Jackson may be the one referred to with the title, it’s only because her military rank is used instead. Her promotions through the series are also quite useful, since it lets you know where you are in the series when someone calls by rank.

Gaius Baltar – Battlestar Galactica

Being a famous scientist is what got him to safety in the first place, and set him up in a great position with the fleet. He’s a very fun character in the show. I don’t want to get too far into things, but some of his decisions are quite enjoyable to watch him make! And if you ever play the Battlestar Galactica board game, be careful of trusting this character.

Spock – Star Trek

I wanted to choose one of the many Science Officers from Star Trek, and I figured Spock was as good a choice as any. I think being the Science Officer of the Enterprise would qualify you as a scientist, don’t you? I’m not sure how much I need to say about this pointy-eared alien. When you think about it though, you can choose nearly all of the characters in The Federation, since being a scientist is basically a requirement for all of them!

Four Video Game Protagonists that Don’t Wear Pants

Some characters I’m having trouble remembering if they wear pants or not, so I’m avoiding them just in case. With cartoony characters either wearing just a shirt or just pants is sometimes a thing! And for clarification, I’m interpreting this as no pants, shorts, skirts, etc. It would be way too easy a question if it allowed dresses and skirts to count!

Sonic the Hedgehog

The pants would only slow him down. Shoes and gloves are all that are required for speed! The Blue Blur has so many games, but his originals are the real classics we all love. If you’ve never played a sonic game, they’re classics of the 2D platforming genre that you should play. They’re old games, so most of the gameplay was in replay value. That means the time commitment to “have played it” is very minimal.

Conker – Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Now if you enjoy raunchy, inappropriate humor, this is your Squirrel! My introduction to him was in one of my all-time favorite racing games, Diddy Kong Racing. He wasn’t so out there in that game, but he ends up in the gutter and down the toilet in his own game (sometimes literally). He was the protagonist of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and I think many parents were surprised the cute red squirrel game was rated M.

Donkey Kong – Donkey Kong Country

Could’ve gone with Diddy as well, but figured the classic made the most sense.  I believe his only article of clothing is a tie. This was a wonderful game from my childhood. I remember going crazy for this game. It was remarkable what they did with the series as well. I still listen to the music from this franchise. The character design for this guy was wonderful. Don’t let his lack of pants dissuade you from playing this classic series of games!

Meat Boy – Super Meat Boy

Meat doesn’t need pants. Plus, it would get caught in all of the gears and such. Who wants to eat that? This guy is from a crazy platforming game that really is a lot of fun, which I think might surprise some people. You play as a moving, slab of meat sliding and jumping on floors and walls. Yep, it’s not a normal game. Fun though!

Two Frank Miller Comic Books

After some thinking, I think he’s the 300 guy. That’s all I’ve got. I know I’ve heard that other stuff was created by the creator of 300, but I just can’t recall what it was for. I know the others have to be realistic, gritty stuff, but I don’t want to guess.

300

Surprisingly I never saw this one, but it’s on the list of movies I want to see. I may read the comic book. We’ll see if I’ve got the time for it!

Thoughts on possible other works by Frank Miller

My wife was trying to get me to think of what might have worked on (I’m sure she knows plenty!), but I said I didn’t want to be giving guess answers. So I’m adding some thoughts here instead of guessing.

I know they’ve got to be gritty comics. He might have done some Batman comics for DC, since Batman tends to have darker, grittier stories than many other heroes. I could see him writing for one or more of the Defenders characters on the Marvel side; Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones all seem like characters he could work with. And I’m probably even guessing on these lines based on her thinking I would be capable of guessing them.

Wrap Up

I’m hoping a future one of these asks for works by Alan Moore, since I could name a few without even trying. I’m really enjoying the open-ended ones though, where I can choose from any franchise I like. The first two questions today are great examples of that!

Superheroines and Hitchhiker’s Guide – Geekout 8

It seems I got fairly lucky in the beginning of this, because I’ll again be defeated. I can, however, get two of the three on today’s page! This page-a-day geekout calendar is an interesting challenge, and it really is a challenge sometimes. For today’s challenge, I’ll need to list Six Female Comic Book Superheroes, Two Characters from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Four Heroes from Masters of the Universe.

2017-01-09 Geekout

And of the comics, sci-fi, and fantasy prompts on this page, only the fantasy one eludes my area of expertise.

Six Female Comic Book Superheroes

Glad they went big on this one, because there are a lot of great female superheroes that don’t get enough attention. My wife and I went to an interesting symposium on Wonder Woman where there was quite a bit of discussion about female superheroes. One of the speakers discussed the idea that there could (and should) be a difference between a “superheroine” and a “female superhero”. In it, he pointed out that the latter is the female version of the male counterpart, and the former has a different approach to things.

Wonder Woman

I’m obviously starting here, since I already mentioned a symposium on the character. She’s an extremely powerful character, sure. The significance of the character, however, is in how she uses her power. She shows much more empathy and understanding than many of the beat-the-villain-to-a-bloody-pulp heroes. She has a lasso that restrains rather than kills. Does this mean that all interpretations of the character follow these rules? No, certainly some have made her a beat-em-up hero who seems to be around as eye-candy.

Supergirl

This is one strong Kryptonian who’s currently featured in her own TV series. The show is on my list of shows I want to watch, but timing is often a challenge. I’ve heard reasonably good things about it, so I’m on board. I’m sure most people know that she’s the cousin of Superman. I was going to include Power Girl in the list as well, since my wife and I find her outfit a bit ridiculous. She was complaining that it would be cheating to include her. For the record, the alternate reality version of me is not me.

Kamala Khan – Ms. Marvel

Starting only a few years ago, this new Ms. Marvel is awesome. I’ve only read one book about her (my wife left it sitting around), but she seems like a great person to hold this mantle. Who wouldn’t love a story about a teenage Muslim-American living in New Jersey? In addition to being a superheroine, she’s also able to reflect on some situations many readers won’t have experienced. Looking forward to great things from her!

Sakura – Cardcaptor Sakura

I am going to consider the magic of magical girls to be a super power, so she’s totally going to count for this. There are plenty of other magical girls to choose from, but this one is covering the bookshelves to my right at this moment. This is shōjo manga from Clamp, which is the way of saying Japanese comics for teenage girls. Sakura is a very young girl who uses magical cards to cast spells. The cards have powers, and I like to joke that she uses “Windy” for everything. I’m told that’s just because it’s her first card, but it seems to apply in nearly every situation!

Hawkgirl

I don’t know my Hawkgirls well enough to pick one of them. My knowledge of the character mostly comes from cartoons and the new Marvel TV shows. And since those are different Hawkgirls, I’m not going to choose one. Flight has always been a popular power. Some characters’ flight powers are never explained, but wings are fairly obvious. She’s a very skilled fighter and wields melee weapons, which is totally awesome. Being one of those reincarnating-types, she’s also got lifetimes worth of knowledge and training, making her a very worth superheroine!

Carol Danvers – Captain Marvel

While she was once Ms. Marvel, and has been successfully replaced by Kamala Khan,  she took on the mantle of Captain Marvel. Carol has had a whole host of powers longer than I want to name. Let’s just say that she’s by far one of the more powerful supers out there, and she’s been involved in plenty of great team-ups and crossovers over her many years.

Two Characters from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Now here’s a ridiculous book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, which I received as a gift when I was in college. Surprisingly, I hadn’t read it before that! My wife gave me a copy of this book!

Arthur Dent

Our protagonist for this book, this guy is lucky (or unlucky) enough to escape Earth with the character I’ll name next! He’s kind of clueless when it comes to traveling the galaxy. And with the story being a bit ridiculous, he’s in for quite the challenge!

Ford Prefect

An alien friend of Arthur Dent’s, Ford rescues Arthur during Earth’s destruction at the novel’s start. Not a spoiler, considering how early that happens! He’s a galactic hitchhiker, and you can start guessing where things go from there. Even better though, read the book!

Four Heroes from Masters of the Universe

Didn’t watch the show, so this will end quickly (and with fewer answers than I should have).

He-Man

Not even sure if this one counts, since it’s “He-Man and”. And if you want to argue that, give me a break, because I’m missing the other 3 anyway. And yes, I did turn on that ridiculous “Heyeayea” video while I was writing this.

Wrap Up

So I’ve bombed three questions now. I’m worried what will appear for tomorrow. Crossing my fingers!

Failing to Geekout – Geekout 7

And my streak of successfully listing answers for the page-a-day calendar comes to an end. I can’t get this one. Today I’ll need to list Two Named Animals from Beastmaster, Four Dr. Seuss Book Titles, and Two Named Victims in Assassin’s Creed.

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Here goes…

Two Named Animals from Beastmaster

I don’t know Beastmaster at all, so I don’t have anything to list for this one. I did a quick search, and it seems like it might be a movie.

Four Dr. Seuss Book Titles

This is more of a “do you remember your childhood” question than anything all that geeky. Did non-geek children read something else? Well his books are certainly some of my favorites today. Not just because of how well-written and entertaining they are, but also for all of the great lessons they teach.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I’m not really the adventurous type, but this book does make life seem like a wonderful journey. The places I’ve gone have been interesting.

The Sneeches and Other Stories

Some sneeches have stars on their bellies others don’t. None of them are better than the others, but before anyone learns that lesson, everyone is willing to pay a lot to always be the “better” type of sneech.

I think there are plenty of things you can take away from this story, beyond the obvious ideas of equality among people. You could also interpret that you don’t need to always be chasing the popular things to do. If everyone is buying the greatest new stuff, you don’t have to. You can be yourself. You’re already pretty great!

Green Eggs and Ham

I’ll admit, I’ve never tried green eggs and ham, and I don’t try as many new things as I probably should. I do know in my mind, however, that making judgements without information is a mistake. Whether that be about food or something else doesn’t matter.

The Lorax

Speaking for the trees is an important thing, since they can’t speak themselves! I admit, I need a thneed, but I’d rather find a more sustainable way to get my thneed. Perhaps we could try cutting and replanting the trees only in one place? Assuming we could produce enough thneeds for everyone’s needs, I think we’d be OK.

Two Named Victims in Assassin’s Creed

And this page gets me again. I’ve played only the first of this series. I own a few of them, but I want to play them in order. Having started the first a few times, but never completing it means I don’t know any target names.

Wrap Up

I did not expect two on the same day to end that streak. I guess I need to get around to playing Assassin’s Creed again. One of these days I’ll finish it, but I’m always distracted by other games I’m playing. Too many games, books, movies, etc. Too little time.

RPGs, WW2, and Sci-Fi TV – Geekout 6

I am disappointed that the first prompt for the day only requires listing 2, but I can understand that for many people only 1 is obvious. Let’s jump in! Today’s prompt is Two Tabletop RPGs, Four Comic Book Characters Alive During WW2, and Six Sci-Fi Television Shows.

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I’ll warn you in advance that I’m adding an honorable mentions list to my gaming question of the day, since I’ve got too many to name.

Two Tabletop RPGs

Well here’s one that I wish had a larger number. Yeah, plenty of people are going to name one obvious one and have trouble coming up with a second. That’s just that outside the RPG community, only one game has risen to the public’s mind as much as D&D.

Dungeons & Dragons

Considering that the Geekout prompts have already challenged me to name Two Dungeons and Dragons Character Classes, it seems like they made this one incredibly simple to get the first. Even people who’d forgotten the game existed would’ve been reminded five days ago.

As I mentioned in that post, I’ve been playing this game a looong time. My father got my playing D&D using the first edition advanced books. As years passed, my friends and I moved through Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, Dungeons & Dragons v3.5, Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, and Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Yes, I did play Pathfinder (a.k.a. D&D 3.75).

Here are some of my D&D books that were near enough to grab and take some quick photos. I grouped them roughly by edition, having the 3.0 and 3.5 together.

AdvancedDungeonsAndDragonsSecondEditionAdvancedDungeonsAndDragonsDungeonsAndDragonsThirdEditionDungeonsAndDragonsFourthEditionDungeonsAndDragonsFifthEdition

 

Exalted

While you might have thought that my favorite Tabletop RPG (based on the amount of D&D I’ve played) is D&D. It’s not. My favorite game is definitely Exalted. I’ve been playing in an infrequently played Exalted campaign for years now, and my group gets together to play whenever we’re in the same city.

My regular, weekly gaming session is currently an Abyssal Exalted game and the less frequently played one is a classic, Solar Exalted game.

Solar Campaign

In my solar campaign, I play a priest of the Unconquered Sun. As anyone who knows the game would expect, the character is a Zenith caste. He frees slaves, protects innocents, and tries to provide food and shelter to anyone and everyone he can. Driven primarily by compassion and conviction, he’s trying to carve out a better world than what exists today.

Abyssal Campaign

Surprisingly, this campaign has had a severe lack of combat considering we’re playing Abyssals, which are commonly known as Death Knights. We’ve been working behind the scenes and are establishing positions where we’re likely to behave more like you’d expect from creatures of darkness. Just hasn’t happened yet. We find it funny, because our “light-side” game involves much more killing than the “dark-side” one.

Honorable Mentions

  • Pathfinder – Often referred to as D&D 3.75, this game leveraged the D20 system based on Wizards of the Coast making it an open system for expansion. That means that when D&D went to 4th edition, the people who thought it had gone the wrong way we able to fall back to 3.75. My group was among those, and we enjoyed Pathfinder as it added new life and ideas to D&D 3.5.
  • Eclipse Phase – A game I’ve played once that seemed very interesting. It’s futuristic, and has some cool mechanics. I’ve got the book for it, and I’d like to use that to play the game more. It’s so hard to get games going (and finding the time to play them requires even more!)
  • GURPS –  I wanted to mention this one despite my not having played it. I know plenty of people who swear by this system. They tend to be the people who play way too many Steve Jackson games already. The name of this system is ridiculous. It’s the “Generic Universal RolePlaying System”, and yes, people do say “gurps” rather than spelling G-U-R-P-S.
  • Shadowrun – I’ve only played a little bit of Shadowrun, but it’s also a very cool roleplaying game. It is set in a fictional future society and combines technology and fantasy ideas. There are fantasy creatures like elves, dwarves, etc. in their world, and it’s on Earth still. It’s set in the future, so technology has advanced some. I’ve often laughed with people about how off the game is in its technology though. A challenge that anyone imagining the future will run into!

Four Comic Book Characters Alive During WW2

OK. This one is a little tough, since I know my comic book characters mostly through their cartoon, movie, and TV adaptations rather than the comics. I’m fairly certain that my selections here were alive during WW2 in the comic books, but I can’t say for certain.

Captain America

This one should be obvious, so I started here. This is kind of his thing, since he’s basically the character made to fight that war. With all of the movies about him, do I really need to say much more? No I’m not including his friend Bucky in the list.

Magneto

I’d guess he’s that old in the comics as well, since he’s been around for quite a long time, and he’s (as far as I know) often one of the older characters. In the films they certainly have him alive for WW2. In fact, it’s quite central to his character’s backstory in the films. He’s got the tattoo as a reminder of that time period.

Wolverine

Not sure how old Wolverine is to be honest, but given that he doesn’t really get much older, it’s not hard for him to have been there. At least in his origin movie, he was definitely there for WW2.

I liked this character a lot as a kid, despite the outfits from that period that I now laugh at. He’s interesting because the claws are nice, but his real power is just healing. On the surface that might seem super amazing, but keep in mind that is different from impervious. When Superman deflects a bullet, does it hurt? I doubt it. I’d guess that Wolverine feels every cut before it heals closed. Now that would build a not-so-light-side character over time.

Peggy Carter

And we’re back to the badass herself, Agent Peggy Carter! Yes, she’s probably more of a badass now than she was in the early comics, but she’s kicks some serious butt. Obviously around for the right time period, since she was in that time period with Cap.

Six Sci-Fi Television Shows

Well here’s a great one for me! I’ve watched so many sci-fi shows, so I’m going to lump franchises together. I’d have too many to list otherwise.

Star Trek

Is there a more iconic answer to this? I don’t think anything else could have come before Star Trek. Sure, Trek and Wars are often compare, but Wars is known for movies and Trek for TV. They may both cross over that, but traditionally that’s where each stood strongest.

My favorite of these would surprise many people. I’m a Deep Space Nine fan, which is not a common opinion. It bridged the Next Generation and Voyager gap nicely. So far no Star Trek series has been made that I did not enjoy. I’m not sure if I’m going to watch the upcoming one, since they’re planning to have it be streaming only and behind a subscription paywall. If I were watching their full lineup of shows, maybe, but I’m not and won’t be.

Firefly

This is a fantastic, wonderful show that probably could have and should have been one of the greatest shows ever made. Joss Whedon is known for doing ensemble casts well, and this show is a lot of the reason why he’s known for that. I’d watch the heck out of this show if it continued, but I don’t want it to continue anymore. More than anything else, I worry that this canceled-too-soon show will be made far worse if it were continued at this point.

I did not watch the show when it originally aired. To be honest, I didn’t get a good vibes from the marketing of the show during its airing. After it was cancelled, some people made sure I saw the show. I was hooked after watching the first episode. Yes, the 2 hour pilot that Fox didn’t air until the show had been marked for cancellation was so good that it along sold me on the show. Most shows take a few episodes before I’m really into them.

Anyway, if you want t good Firefly rant, I enjoy this video. The Firefly rant starts at 1:30.

Battlestar Galactica

I’m referring to the reimagined series here, not the original. I tried to watch that one, but just didn’t get into the original one. As you’d expect, fans disagree on which parts are good and bad, etc. Through the series, however, I believe the best part is the characters. I may not always agree with the directions a character took, but I love the characters in this story. And if you’re a board gamer, I’m a big fan of the board game based on this show. The more popular game, The Resistance, is pretty much based on a mechanic from this board game.

Stargate

Again I’m talking about multiple shows here. SG1, the original series, is a classic that is loved by the fans. Before the later-season cast changes, it’s one of the best shows you’ll find within the genre. No, the issues weren’t the cast changes themselves, but the show did start going off the rails a bit toward the end. I think they were just getting exhausted for ideas and still trying to keep the show going.

Teal’c, Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, Jack O’Neill, “Hammond of Texas”, and a wide variety of other enjoyable characters kept that show going strong for a long time. The concept itself is great, and it allowed the series to expand on the idea a few times.

I’ll probably bug some people here, but I did not like Atlantis. I watched it at the beginning, but it lost me very quickly. The show seemed to drift from science fiction into fantasy, and that’s not what I like in my Stargate. It just didn’t feel like Stargate anymore.

And for the show that got cancelled too early, Stargate: Universe, it only received two seasons of content, which in some ways seems deserved. The issue, however, is that the show was great right at the start, and didn’t hit its stride until it was nearing its cancelation. Yes, that happens a lot with shows, they get something going and just end. And yes, I’m a big fan of Nicholas Rush in the show.

I didn’t watch infinity, so I’ve not much to say on that point.

My favorite episode of Stargate is definitely the Groundhog Day Episode, “Window of Opportunity”, which features a Groundhog Day-like timeloop. In it, Jack starts each loop being asked a question by Daniel while he’s eating his bowl of Fruit Loops. The problem is that Jack didn’t hear the question the first time, so can never answer that question. The best part is after Daniel suggests that they can do anything, so they decide to go golfing through the Stargate. “Colonel O’Neill, what the hell are you doing?” “IN THE MIDDLE OF MY BACKSWING?!?!”

Sliders

This must be the least popular of the shows on this list, but Sliders did have quite a few seasons in the 90s. In this show, the main character invents a device that allows people to “slide” between dimensions. He and some others end up traveling together through dimensions as they try to find their way home. It’s a fun show that obviously gets off its rails quickly, but there are some good seasons at the beginning if you’re interested in some 90s nostalgia.

The Expanse

My wife suggested we watch this series. I agreed, since it sounded interesting. After watching a couple of episodes, she mentioned something about the books. Well, I’d not heard of the book series, so I started reading the books. They’re great! I’m currently reading the 6th book, which came out almost exactly a month ago. I’m not reading it quickly, usually a chapter at a time. I think the TV show did the books justice, and I’m really looking forward to what they do going forward.

If you’re interested, the first season of the show doesn’t follow the books exactly, but is mostly the first half of the first book. Looks like they’re pulling in characters earlier than they appear in the books, but this makes sense for a TV show where you need to meet characters sooner. Books can get away with that a little better.

Aliens, Mermaids, and Old Films – Geekout 5

It would seem that I can list quite a few things. Without thinking too hard yet, this one includes a more challenging question than the previous ones! I’ll now need to choose, Four Named Fictional Aliens/Extraterrestrials, Four Franchises in which Mermaids appear, and Two Prohibition Era Films. Did you identify the difficult question?

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Well, here goes nothing. It’s time to answer a Sci-Fi, a fantasy, and a general geekiness prompt!

Four Named Fictional Aliens/Extraterrestrials

I could name four each easily from a variety of franchises including: Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Justice League, Mass Effect, and more! I won’t do that. I’ll keep it to one per franchise.

Also, is the author of this just a conspiracy theorist, or is there something the author knows that I don’t? Are there known, non-fictional extraterrestrials?

Quark – Star Trek

Along with his brother, Rom, Quark runs the best bar on Deep Space Nine! One of my favorite Star Trek characters, this was an easy choice. While there are so many aliens from so many series (most of them quite awesome). Quark is just too much fun to pass on!

And if Quark reads this, I’m sure he’ll agree that it never hurts to suck up to the boss – rule of acquisition number 33.

Admiral Ackbar – Star Wars

When I started answering this question, it took longer than I expected, because… It’s a trap!

Sorry. Had to do that. Now at least everyone knows that I’m talking about the Mon Calamari admiral leaving the Mon Cal Cruiser in the battle of the second Death Star who let’s us all know why the shields are up.

Since they’re from another galaxy, I guess that would make all of the characters aliens…

Thor – Stargate SG1

I bet some people were thinking of the Avengers character before I said SG1. And of course I chose the alien from SG1. The Asgard were one of the best additions to SG1. The concept of ancient gods being powerful aliens is a very cool idea, and the Egyptian gods had been the villains in the beginning. It made it very cool when the team first learns about the Asgard and learns of the protection offered to some worlds by the Asgard.

While he may show himself to the more primitive humans as a hologram of a strong Viking warrior, he is actually a little alien who wields power through technology rather than physical might. They’re brilliant allies of the humans, dealing with far more than is fair for one species to put on themselves. Truly honorable aliens everyone would want living nearby.

Lavos – Chrono Trigger

Spoiler alert! Lavos, the final boss in Chrono Trigger is an alien. Had to include this, because the game is too much fun to not find a way to include! If you’ve not played this, you should. For being as old a game as it is, it’s held up very well. Much of this is due to the style of game it is, being from the SNES days. It was at the end of those, so it benefitted from a lot of the advances made along the way.

Four Franchises in which Mermaids appear

A wonderful idea from classic fantasy storytelling, mermaids are one of many sea-dwelling creatures. And also like a lot of those, some stories make them benevolent, helpful creatures and others have them more mischievous than helpful. Choose the style you like, but sea-dwelling creatures like this certainly spark an imagination!

Peter Pan

While I don’t remember these being in the book, I’ll count the mermaids in the franchise from Disney’s animated adaptation added them in. And because of that, I’m sure Disney included them again in their other works.

Dungeons & Dragons

Now some people might say that I’m cheating by including a rules system franchise, but I’m not! The novels written about the worlds of Dungeons and Dragons include merfolk as well.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Not common in the franchise, but I remember at least one mermaid scene and it wasn’t a friendly one either! Almost seems that way at first, but becomes very ominous quickly…

The Chronicles of Narnia

Again, not too common in the series, but they do make an appearance in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Not that I want to get into how or why that encounter occurs.

Two Prohibition Era Films

While I don’t remember the exact dates of prohibition, I do know it encompassed the 1920s, so I’ll name some films from that decade. Being much too young to have lived during prohibition, this was the challenging one I mentioned, since I’d have struggled if the number were increased to 4 or 6.

Nosferatu

While not an American film, I believe it made it to the US still during Prohibition, so I’m counting it! This is a fantastic, classic horror film. If you’ve not seen it, I’d recommend it. It’s clearly a knockoff of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, avoiding using the names, but the vampire being a “Count” kind of gives that away.

It’s 1920s-style scary, so you’re probably relatively safe to watch it, even if you don’t like horror movies.

The Jazz Singer

Could I really leave this one out? If I’m not mistaken, this is the film credited with the rise of sound films and the decline of silent films. While clearly a product of its time period, the film is still well-known and respected today. Not that I get around to seeing old films. It’s not really my thing.

Wrap Up

Glad I made it through that one OK. I may have to go re-watch some things now!

Drawn Characters – Geekout 4

I’ve now found a very interesting one in my page-a-day calendar! All three of the prompts deal with drawn characters. For today, I need to list: Six Recurring Animated Female Characters on 1990s Television, Six Characters from the Mario Bros. Game Franchise, and Two Dark Horse Publications.

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These are just fun! I’ve got good choices for all of them! And I think my category guesses are correct; general, gaming, and comics are the categories this time.

Six Recurring Animated Female Characters on 1990s Television

Now here’s a prompt that my wife exclaimed about when I revealed this page. Considering we both watched quite a few 1990s cartoons, we’ve got quite a few choices!

Barbara Gordon – Batman: The Animated Series

Starting off strong (even speaking literally!) Who wouldn’t have chosen Batgirl? She has always been one of my favorite characters from the Batman franchise, so she was a must include for this list. Through her incarnations, she’s had some changes, but I do enjoy this TV series.

Jean Grey – X-Men

Staying on that strong note is Jean Grey, a mutant of impressive powers. I’d fault this version of the character for her goofy outfit, but that’s just kind of what was worn for this era of the X-Men. It’s definitely nostalgia more than anything else that I like about that era. The colors were crazy. Oh, did I mention that she’s also Phoenix? Yeah… Badass..

Dee Dee – Dexter’s Laboratory

One of the greatest agents of chaos to ever exist, Dexter’s wonderful sister, Dee Dee is a source of endless strife in Dexter’s Lab. Oh how she manages to foil so many of his plans. My favorite of those was when he made her smart, but she was smarter than he was then. Haha!

Bulma – Dragon Ball Z

This brilliant dragon ball hunter may not have been one of the primary combatants of the series, but she was terrifying in her own right (no Chi-chi of course). Bulma was often the person that we could relate to, since she was almost sane. Almost. Her common sense, technical expertise, and tenacity made her an always valuable member of the team!

Harley Quinn – Batman: The Animated Series

Didn’t think I was going to skip this one after bringing up this TV series, did you? Harleen Frances Quinzel was introduced in the 1990s in this series to be exact! Her current portrayal and relationship you may have seen in a recent movie seems quite different from what existed in this series. She may love “Mistah J”, but in this series her relationship with him almost seems abusive.

While I hate discussing a female character based more on her connection to a male character than herself, this one is a bit of an exception. Since I chose Harley Quinn specifically, I’d say that the Joker created her, so that relationship is extremely important. She’s also got an interesting relationship with Poison Ivy, so that’s a thing.

Angelica – Rugrats

And for the show about a bunch of babies, the young, bullying child is a great choice. She’s in an interesting role in that show considering how strange their whole dynamic is in general. I guess when you’re applying wisdom and intelligence to a bunch of babies, you get some weirdness.

Six Characters from the Mario Bros. Game Franchise

Wario

“I’m-a Wario, I’m-a gonna win!” I shouted, crossing the finish line seconds ahead of my nearest opponent! He’s about as “American” as you can get. He’s greedy. He’s overweight. He pushes people around. And he’s such a good driver…

Toad

This topic reminded me of a time I was playing a game of Telestrations, and I was supposed to draw the word “Toad”. I didn’t draw the animal, since I’d have no way to avoid the frog/toad debate in a cruddy marker-drawn picture. Being the nerd that I am, I drew our mushroom-headed friend, Toad with some question blocks and a pipe for added clarity. My drawing was guessed correctly, and the next person, also being a video game nerd, chose to take the same route, drawing a picture very similar to mine. The guess? “Video Game Character”. That could have gone better.

Toad is really interesting though. Considering how many there are, I guess I’ll have chosen the one from Mario Kart, since that game is a blast. Sometimes literally!

Daisy

As the games shifted away from the main titles and more into all of the spinoffs, Daisy became much more prominent. I’m really glad that she was added to the games, because these games would have a broad appeal and were somewhat lacking in interesting female characters. If I’m remembering correctly, she’s athletic and quite capable (despite her initial appearance being as a captured princess).

Bowser

Hooray for the villains! Although, I may like him best in Mario RPG, which casts him in a very different light! Always kidnapping, scheming, and causing problems. I enjoy how he causes problems in the Mario Party games as well. As is there way, Nintendo finds ways to make the villains fun (even the monstrous ones).

Peach

Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle! Well that’s frustrating. Perhaps next time I should figure out which castle looks best defended and go there first…

I remember there being some strange things about her name. I don’t think she really had one at first, or maybe it came from a manual or something. Was this always her name in Japan? Was it something else at first? Either way, she definitely had a name when Mario Kart came around, and I think that name was just “Peach”. Did she sign her name as “Peach” in the note on the cake in Mario 64? Either way, great character.

If you played the game released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in the US, she was just awesome. Love that she wasn’t a “damsel in distress” in that one. She was a playable hero right alongside Mario, Luigi, and Toad! And in some ways better than they were!

Birdo

Now here’s one with some extra weirdness if you dig more deeply. Being a recurring boss-like character in Super Mario Bros. 2, this egg-spitting, bow-wearing creature was more of a nuisance than anything else. It took a real mistake to get hurt by her/him. If memory serves, Birdo is actually male, but wears the bow? Not sure where the eggs are coming from then… Either way, Birdo came back and was featured in more stuff, which is very cool. The games could always use more non-humanoid characters.

Two Dark Horse Publications

Clearly there are none of these on my bookshelf! Why would there be? And I definitely can’t just turn my head and see plenty of Dark Horse logos! No way!

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Comics

If you read the previous ones of these, you may have noticed that I like Star Wars and specifically The Old Republic, having played the single player and MMO games. I don’t think Dark Horse is still the ones publishing these, but they did for a time. That whole Disney acquisition of Star Wars changed many things.

Serenity – Comics

While I agree that restarting Firefly would likely make the series worse than it is, I am glad it received a movie to help wrap things up. Getting canceled before a season completes tends to leave much unanswered (as plenty still is). There are some comics that do as the movie did, helping to tie up additional lose ends and add bits to the story.

I’m happy where Firefly/Serenity is today. Although I really wish I could see what the show could have been!

Wrap Up

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And no one will ever guess how I chose those two Dark Horse publications…. And if you’re paying careful attention, you’d notice additional Dark Horse publications I didn’t mention…

Conventions, Races, and Slytherin – Geekout 3

On this third day of the year, I’m feeling great! I got some good work done, and I’m ready to tackle this geekout challenge. It looks like I’ll need to list: Two U.S. Comic Book Conventions, Four Races from the Star Wars Universe, and Two Characters from the House of Slytherin in Harry Potter.

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Maybe January is the warmup round for this, because these could use larger numbers to be challenging! Looks like our categories today are Comics, Sci-fi, and Fantasy.

Two U.S. Comic Book Conventions

There are so many small ones all throughout the US. It’s sad that the question limits on that even, since there are so many great ones outside of the US. I think I’ll go a bit obvious here!

Comic Con International – Various

The most attended of these must be the San Diego one, but there are others as well. This is a crowded event that I doubt I’ll ever attend, if only due to the number of people. Cosplay is likely what these are best known for, but there’s much more than that at comic book conventions.

Wizard World – Various

Again I’m going with another group of conventions. Wizard World conventions are all over the country, so you can go to one that’s somewhat local. The local ones will be much lower-key, but can still be a blast. You can look online to see which celebrities will make appearances at them as well.

Four Races from the Star Wars Universe

If there’s one thing your sci-fi needs, it’s aliens. OK, that’s not really true, but Star Wars certainly shows that you can include plenty of aliens without getting too crazy (all that often).

Cathar

Considering that I’ve named one of my cats after Juhani, the Cathar in Knights of the Old Republic, I had to include the Cathar first. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m also a big fan of Aric Jorgan, a Cathar companion in The Old Republic and a character voiced by one of my favorite actors.

Chiss

Anyone who’s read any of the books now considered legends should have read about a Chiss named Grand Admiral Thrawn. He’s been added into the cartoons, so he’s no longer just a “legend” character. He’s canon now.

This Chiss are blue-skinned, red-eyed humanoids that have been part of the empire in all of the non-movie sources.

Twi’lek

Having such interesting and often vibrant skin colors, the Twi’lek are best identified by the lekku that extend from the back of their heads. They’re the big tenatacle-headed, colorful aliens.

Jawa

While we don’t see them too well in the series, these aliens are quite interesting. Somewhat mysterious under their cloaks, these junk-loving aliens will try to push R2 units with bad motivators on you if you’re not careful!

Two Characters from the House of Slytherin in Harry Potter

The house of cunning, ambitious, resourceful people is my house. No, we’re not all evil!

Horace Slughorn

Harry’s potions teacher in his sixth year at Hogwarts was none other than Horace Slughorn! We don’t know much about him, but we assume he was a member of the Slytherin house as a student based on his being the Head of Slytherin house. I don’t remember it being said explicitly that he was in the house, but I’d think you would have to have been in order to head a house!

Regulus A. Black

At the end of reading the sixth book in the series, we all remembered the brother of Sirius Black. We all assumed that the R.A.B. carved into the locket must have been someone we already knew, and this is the character who fit the bill.

He was one of the first fighting the battle that Harry fights in book 7, so we must have some respect for this man.

Wrap Up

Wondering if there’ll be a gaming convention question along the same lines as this comic book convention question. We’ll see what we get!