Friday Linkdump for December 6

Back when Renaissance Gamer was still Renaissance Dork, I used to do a weekly link post of stuff I found around the internets I thought was cool and interesting. I want to get back to that, because I’m still finding cool gaming stuff to share, as well as things that are…let’s call them “gaming adjacent”. These would be things that might inspire your campaign prep or spark an idea for a neat location, monster, NPC and so on. And Friday seems a good day to this, since it gives you the weekend to skim through it all and explore.

So I present to you, the first Friday Linkdump:

– Like Attack Wing, but hate the paint jobs on the minis? Calgarian and wargaming enthusiast Teri has some painting tips.

– Given the number of friends I have who are afraid of spiders, I’d need to buy several of these robots; at least one would always be in the shop.

– Re: my earlier post about maps, I can’t believe I forgot to mention Dysan’s Dodecahedron.  A great RPG blog, definitely worth checking out!

– Sticking with maps, here’s a great interview from Wired with Jonathon Roberts, the guy who mapped The Game of Thrones.

Have some holiday gaming gift ideas, courtesy of io9.

– I love finding little gems like this on YouTube: I give you, Role Initiative: A D&D Musical

– There used to be D&D Summer Camps! I want to go to there!

– The perfect gift for the rogue in your life: Lock Pick Earrings.

– Sticking with jewellery, this is a pretty cool necklace for the geek in your life.

– It’s no secret weird things get said at the gaming table. This blog collects them for you.

– Terry Brooks’ “Shannara” series is in the works to come to television. Cue manly squee of joy in 3…2…

– Looks like the Advanced Bestiary for Pathfinder is going to be pretty cool, if this post by Chris Pramas is any indication.

– And finally: Larry Elmore has begun another KickStarter, this time to fund a new SnarfQuest book. As you would expect it has already reached funding with 41 days to go. I’m interested to see what stretch goals make an appearance; maybe my dream of a Snarf plushie will become reality!

That’s it! Have a great weekend, play games, and I’ll see you on Monday!

Humpday Links for June 26

As our nation’s birthday approaches (Oh, Canada! What do you get for the country that has everything?) we say goodbye to the links of June, and welcome the warmer and hopefully drier links of July. If I don’t get a chance to share a Timmie’s and a brew with you on the day, Happy Canada Day, nerds!

– When I am independently wealthy, this will become my new home.

– As part of the online gaming convention ConTessa, Venture-Captain Nani Pratt gave an Intro to Pathfinder Society panel. Hint: skip the first ten minutes, they’re just dealing with technical issues.

They’re making a Lego movie. True story.

– There are many articles on how to be a better GM; I’ve written a few myself. Here’s one on how to be a better player.

– An interesting interview with Jim Sterling, about sexism in gaming.

– Because a ska version of the Game of Thrones theme is what everyone needed. That’s not sarcasm, I have this on a loop.

– I’m not trying to be the boy that cried Weeping Angel, but…

– If my players ever see this, I might have to rewrite how Diplomacy checks work.

– Waiting for a Fables movie? Here are some thoughts on casting.

– What, no Yoda?

– Great PBS documentary short on the influence of role-playing games. Focuses a lot on D&D, but otherwise pretty balanced.

That’s all for now, folks! Enjoy the day, and as always if you have a link to share drop it in Comments.

Humpday Links for June 19

Another week, another Humpday. And that means links! At least it does if you’re here, I have no idea what it means anywhere else.

– Chuck Wendig wrote a great piece about sexism in publishing, and then some follow-up pieces.

For shame, Kickstarter! For shame!

– I’d read these pulp Star Wars books. I’d read ’em good!

– How to pass the love of D&D (and gaming in general) onto the next generation.

– A great article on using duplication to hone your game design skills.

– Like Dark Dungeons, this BADD publication is a wonderful piece of hysterical nostalgia.

I knew about Bob Ross And James Doohan, but the others were interesting.

– If this comic doesn’t hit at least part of your feels, you are dead inside.

– Some damn fine ideas on a gender-swapped LotR.

Craig Ferguson talking with Stephen Fry. You’re welcome.

Guinea Pig Armour. Enough said.

– For whenever you want to complain about slow mail.

– If Game of Thrones is a bit heavy for you, I present Game of Hodor.

One of many reasons I think Patton Oswalt is a swell guy.

That’s it for this week! If you have a link to share, slip it into comments. Next time will be Part 2 of my Free RPG Day Reviews. Feeling nostalgic for Part 1? Go here.

Humpday Links for February 27

As February draws to an end and we realize we’re about to start the third month of the year (holy effing crap, where did the first two months go!?), let us enjoy these links together.  Well, not together, I mean by the time you read this I’ll have moved on to other things…whatever, enjoy.

– Turns out there is some statistical evidence that it wasn’t the red shirt that got those crewmen killed.

More news about possibly the most significant scientific accident of our time.  The possibilities of this discovery excite the crap out of me.

– Have concerns about your grocery bill?  Here are 16 foods that can re-grow from kitchen scraps.  And it doesn’t require a farm to pull it off.

– If you enjoyed “A Knight’s Tale”, then The Jousting Life website is for you.

Here’s a great little article about the rise of Pathfinder Society, Paizo’s organized play option.  As a Venture-Captain, I approve this message.

– Given that this was the first RPG I ever owned, I will acquire this shirt eventually.

– People, there is a new Stargate computer game coming.  I’m a bit leary of the use of “unleashed” but otherwise optimistic.

– In a similar vein, there are rumours of a “Knights of the Old Republic” movie, coming…whenever.

8 Tell-tale Signs You Are a Geek.  Something about the tone of this article bothers me, but I can’t put my finger on it…

– Again, you’ve likely seen this already.  Of course, you might have also put the new Game of Thrones trailer on a loop.  For a day.  Or two.  Shut up.

– Felicia Day has decreed it, and it is so: March 30th is International Tabletop Day.  You can join or create an event here.  You can also take part in two events already happening in Edmonton and area: GOBfest, and at Mission: Fun and Games in St. Albert.

– Want to learn new things, but don’t have the time/resources to take a class?  Hank and John Green have you covered with Crash Course.  Seriously good video lessons on chemistry, biology, world and American history, and literature.

That’s it that’s all!  Enjoy your slow slide into the weekend, and I’ll be back with more geekery soon.

Humpday Links for February 20

Another Odin’s Day is upon us, and with it the traditional offering of electronic links, as it was in ancient times.

But first, the news.  I reached my fundraising goal for the Hair Massacure with a nail-biter of a finish.  A huge thank-you has to go out to everyone who donated to the cause; I just paraded Imagearound in pink hair for a month but you guys made this fundraiser work.  Thank-you so much, and I hope you’ll keep the support going next year.  As you can see by the pic, I need to get going on growing out the hair now…

Also, the “My Patronus is a d20” t-shirt I created to support the fundraising did not get enough pre-orders to print, which is sad.  What isn’t sad is that I re-started the campaign with a Imagelower price, longer duration and lower pre-order minimum.  Proceeds still go to the Stollery, it just won’t be part of the Hair Massacure donation.  But I wanted to make sure the T-shirts printed this time, to reward the stalwart few who wanted them.  So click on the T-shirt image (or here) to go to pre-order and get your very limited edition nerd shirt.

Okay, less blather, more links!

Ernie Gygax Jr.’s home has burned down. Thankfully no one was hurt, but he could use our help.

Wizard’s of the Coast is set to re-print the original D&D white box set.  On the one hand I’m happy that a new generation will see where our hobby started. On the other…hey WotC, how about some new gaming material?

– Dragonchow (makers of my favourite dice bags) is undergoing a fantastic change as it turns three years old.

Weregeek creator Alina Pete has a Kickstarter going for her fifth Weregeek collection.  It is already on to stretch goals, so jump on board now!

– You’ve likely seen the “Chaos” teaser for the return of Game of Thrones. But it’s worth another watch, right?

– While you await the return of GoT, maybe you can hug these Jon Snow and Ghost plushies.

– If you’re like me, you love the old pulp sci-fi covers.  Now you can make your own.

SyFy is set to adapt Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” as a four-part mini-series.  I’d write more, but I think that is the punchline.

– Paizo Project Manager Jessica Price gives a great article on how the gaming industry is getting less sexist.

– Wondering who the nominees for the Nebular Awards are?  Let SFFWA President John Scalzi tell you.

– If you are going to Gen Con (or even if you aren’t), why not book a few extra days and stay in a castle?

– If you like to doodle, why not give it a try in three dimensions?

– Ever wonder what Star Trek would look like if Pixar took the reins? Wonder no longer.

That’s all for this week, stay tuned for more bloggy goodness and don’t forget to be awesome.

Hump Day Links for June 6

Wow, a hump day and it’s cold, raining and thundery.  You might need these links more than ever…

– Frodo had The One Ring; I have this.  My birthday is coming up, that’s all I’m saying…

– In addition to stairs, Daleks were apparently stymied by buses.

– Would you believe Wright, Pegg and Frost are getting together again to make an apocalypse movie? Excellent, your credulence calibration is complete…

– An ode to every gamer’s friend, the Natural 20.

– For Game of Thrones fans: I think they should hand out a copy of that book to so many characters

– If the zombie-proof homes I posted last week didn’t suit you, maybe this evil villain starter home will.  I’d want it for the submarine port alone…

– This is so awesome I don’t even have a clever thing to say:  The Last Unicorn is getting another theatrical release.  And Peter S. Beagle will be at each of the screenings.  @britl, keep your calendar open…

– Ever wonder if freelancing is for you?  Here’s a check-list to see if you’re right.

– For those that spend some time in Photoshop, here is a handy graphic of keyboard short cuts.  You’re welcome.

– Andrew Peregrine would like to dispel some myths about the gaming industry.

– Another one for Game of Thrones fans: look, if 300 of us just chipped in $100 each

– If you like modding Nerf guns (and why wouldn’t you?), here’s a list of the best ones to get you started.

– I’m excited to see Prometheus.  But I’d also watch the paper version

– I’d want to be reeeeeally sure of the navigational software before I’d fully trust a robotic lawnmower.  “Huh, who keeps bumping against the front dooaaAHHHHHHHH-”

– If you follow nothing else on Tumblr, you need to follow Text from my Dog.  Some of the few laugh out loud moments I have on the ‘net.

Okay folks, go splash in some puddles and then run back inside for hot cocoa; repeat as necessary.  Why yes, I do have the rest of my morning planned, why do you ask?

Humpday Links for April 18

Another Wednesday, another week come and almost gone.  If only there were some way to pass the time until the inevitable slide into the weekend.  Some listing of amusing and/or thought-provoking links, perhaps…

– I’ve posted this here before, but it bears repeating: you’re all going to see Knights of Badassdom, right? RIGHT!?

– If you think that lava is all you have to worry about with volcanoes, you are sadly mistaken, my friend…

– It should come as no surprise, but I am a firm supporter of CCOKC.  So should you be.

– Somewhere there exists an R-rated version of Galaxy Quest AND IT MUST BE MINE!

– I won’t say these nerdy bathrooms gave me home renovation ideas…but I won’t say they didn’t, either.

– Need a pictoral map of four-thousand years of history?  Got you covered.

– Are you a self-hating genre fan?  If you have done any of these things you might be…and verily, thou must needs check thyself ere thou wreck’st thyself.

– For Game of Thrones fans, a most prodigious unboxing video.  HBO really went all out on this one.

– Like painting your gaming minis, but don’t like the cost of metal figs?  Paizo has you covered with Bones

– Charlene Rooke shares some tips on getting back to the roots of editing (from the Alberta Magazines Conference)

So this guy walked across Australia in his Stormtrooper armour for charity.  Yeah, I feel like a slacker, too.

This article should be a wake up call for anyone who thinks Facebook privacy isn’t a real issue.

– While I’ve brought the mood down, we may as well look at 5 Ways Modern Men are Trained to Hate Women.  Agree or not, there is something to talk about here.

– Staying in this vein, Ashley Judd had a few choice words for the media recently

– Okay, lets lighten things up a bit: Specimen B-28 is a Canadian-created webcomic about a guy abducted by aliens.  A lot.  There is also a short film you should watch first.

And that’s it for this Wenesday!  Join us tomorrow for <redacted>.

Friday Guest Post: Bookmonkey

A while back I asked for guest post submissions, and from now on I’ll be throwing them up on Fridays as they come in.  I still have room for plenty more, so if you have something you want to talk about and need a place to do that, drop me a line.

Our first Guest Post comes from Kirk MacLoed, of the Clan MacLoed.  Enjoy!

XPerience and the recommended reading list

Years ago, after I had left gaming in the world of Dragonlance and was seeing the end of my brief affair with Battletech on the horizon, I came across the first edition of Vampire: the Masquerade.

Now hold on a second – I’m not going to spend this post lecturing on about how fantasy gaming is merely a stepping stone to the more advanced Storytelling system of the world of White Wolf (besides, I’m currently enjoying an exploration of P’Tolus, so there you go), but am instead going to give you one of my favourite tips as a GM.  But first back to Vampire.

The book introduced me to a new modern world, in which you took the character of the monster and got to stand on the tops of buildings, watching your humanity ebb away, and also girls seemed to be interested in the game (Including a young lady who would end up marrying me).  But from a GM perspective, the thing that stood out for me was the recommended reading list.

You see, the book gives a list of movies and books (and in later supplements other games, both RPG and video) as well as music that could be used to show readers what this strange new World of Darkness was supposed to feel like; including movies like The Crow, and books like Interview with the Vampire (remember, this was the ’90s).

Immediately I showed this list to my Battletech friends and found that on average they had seen about half of the movies and read about a third of the books.  Suggesting we check out some of the other films before playing the game I got a modest turn out and overall we had a pretty good time, but no matter how many times I said a movie or a book was great, I couldn’t get some of my players to check it out.

Until I realized I could bribe my players.

Here’s the thing, players will do almost anything for extra XP – and being a decent guy who tries not to take advantage, I chat with my players ahead of time and figure out what they have and haven’t seen (or read, or played) and then tell them I will give them extra XP for every additional book, movie or game they read.

From the player’s point of view, this is some easy XP.  Instead of waiting all week for me to get around to our next session they can simply pick up XP by reading Game of Thrones or watching the new Conan film (HEY! If I had to sit through it so do my players).

From the GM’s point of view, you get a group of players who now have all sorts of common points of reference to your game world, allowing you to crib descriptions, costume and weapon ideas, heck even plot points (if the players are interested) and greatly increase the quality of your game.

In the end, the experience of the game is what counts, and giving the players homework that they want to do benefits everyone.  Also, sometimes they recommend stuff to you that you might never even have heard of before.

Kirk (Bookmonkey) MacLeod has been inflicting his views about various TV shows, Movies and Books to all who are interested for the last two years at his own blog, http://wisdomofbookmonkey.blogspot.com

Humpday Links for August 31

It certainly has been a busy few days here at Renaissance Dork.  Frankly, I’m ready to get back to enjoying my geekery instead of having to defend it.  In that spirit I’ve tried to find links to, well…silliness would be the best way to describe it.  So, in an effort to remind myself and you why we love this hobby so much, please enjoy the link smorg I’ve laid on for you today:

– I think we can agree, this pie chart is pretty darn accurate.

– Did you ever feel like your DM or players needed to be officially rewarded for their gaming prowess?  Look no further than this collection of GM Merit Badges, courtesy of Strange Magic.  Now, if I can just hunt up my old Scouting sash…

– Fan Expo was this past weekend, and apparently Toronto’s The Daily Mail had some douchey things to say about Haydn Panettiere’s appearance.  Eliza Dushku wrote a letter to them, explaining the error of their ways.  Here’s hoping it did some good.  Also, did not know Ms. Dushku’s middle name was Patricia.

– Ever wonder how the world might have developed if there hadn’t been an extinction-level event that killed most of the dinosaurs?  Then you need to visit the alternate world of Spec, and take a look at some pretty decent best guesses.

– If I had the money and six months to wait, I might just ask Benjamin Harff to make me a hand-illuminated copy of The Silmarillion of my very own.

– If you are a Game of Thrones fan (and why wouldn’t you be?), please enjoy some wonderful cartoon versions of all the characters, courtesy of artist Themico.

– Here is a thoughtful little article on body perception and the portrayal of lady geeks, “Do You Wear Your Clothes or Do Your Clothes Wear You?”

– Courtesy of Geek Soap, now you can show your true allegiance in the Game of Thrones.  Or if you’re like me, use both sides to keep clean…

– Continuing with Game of Thrones, here is an amazing version of the theme song, performed by a solo violinist.  Yes, I know, another one. But this one is pretty great.

– Jim C. Hines, fantasy author, presents for your amusement the lyrics to “Baby Got Books”, with apologies to Sir Mixalot.  Now we just need to record it…

– Here’s a little something about Phoenix Jones, real-life superhero.

– And of course, what we’ve been missing from out lives is the various Doctors, drawn as cats.  You’re welcome.

– All I can say about this shirt is, “Dear God Yes!”

– And finally, from the “About Damn Time Department” comes this series of women in sensible armour.  Does anyone else think they actually look hotter when armed and armoured properly?

That’s your Humpday links for this week, I hope that helped you while away some of your Wednesday.  We’ll see you tomorrow for some more fun and frivolity!