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September 28, 2022, 10:49:05 PM
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Alex
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« Reply #540 on: June 20, 2022, 04:36:55 AM »

Carlee and Kristi are off out today so she can finally get around to petting a highland cow. I have suggested to her that if it only has one udder, not to try milking it.

She is a bit naive about life.

Feeling hungry, I should make breakfast except I have no drive to actually do anything but relax for a bit. It is nice just having some peace and quiet in the house. Ash is having a nap. I am expecting him to sleep for a few hours.

I'm at work and we have had no electricity here since last Monday but our boss wants us to work  Buggedout

I hope you at least have a window for some work. You could always walk out and go home, I mean what are they going to do, fire you?

I actually told my boss "I have just over 5 months left before I retire: bring it."

Tomorrow I am going to the National Archives building where two of my colleagues are working so that shouldn't be too bad for me. I hope they sort our power out soon: I feel like dropping the National Archivist an email as I know him quite well.

Go for it Trevor. At this point, there is no gain for you in putting up with crap.
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Alex
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« Reply #541 on: June 20, 2022, 03:49:49 PM »

Taking Carlee through The Evil Dead series today. Currently, we are on Army of Darkness and I am wondering if I should go dig out the newest one or show her Ash vs The Evil Dead.

Dug out an old Amega game from the 90s to play. Settlers. Used to have it back in the day, but we never had the instructions for it, and back in those days you couldn't just hop on google and search for that.

Carlee got to touch her cow. Seemingly it objected to her touching its ear though and she got knocked back with its horns.
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Alex
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« Reply #542 on: June 21, 2022, 11:39:53 AM »

At long last, my figures of my D&D characters arrived today. The cat managed to break the blade off of one of their daggers, but I managed to replace it with a longer, thinner blade that I think looks better.

Not impressed with the cat though.

Carlee goes home tomorrow. It has been nice to see Kristi get to see a relative again. After all, for the past few years, it simply hasn't been allowed. We'll be going over to see her family next year, although Kristi agrees with me that we should also have a holiday that doesn't involve going to see either her or my family.

Even somewhere we've not been before would be fine if we are going with family.
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Alex
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« Reply #543 on: June 23, 2022, 04:28:10 PM »

And normality is restored.

Carlee, despite the best efforts of the rail strikes going on at the moment has managed to get home. I have returned everything that should be in the cupboard under the stairs to its proper location.

Ash has chicken pox. The spots started appearing yesterday. It doesn't seem to be bothering him much and he isn't scratching at them.
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Alex
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« Reply #544 on: June 24, 2022, 06:25:13 AM »

Feeling very physically drained right now, no strength to get up and do things. I guess all of us have some bug or other at the moment. Me, I am blaming our recent house guest. As usual, when I am feeling ill, I am incredibly irritable and just want to be left alone. When Kristi isn't well, she gets exceptionally talkative. It is not a great mix for both of us to be ill at the same time.

Still, I have managed to get to watch plenty of movies this month, which makes up a bit for my lacklustre January.

Getting tonight's D&D session prepped. There is a couple of big fights along with a plentitude of loot. Of course, the party will fail to pick it up and then complain that they don't have enough loot for their level. I tell you, millennials are not the only generation with whiny, self-entitled attitudes.
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Alex
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« Reply #545 on: June 24, 2022, 08:44:41 AM »

Essential horror films.

A friend has asked for a list of must-see horror movies. I'll add more to this list as I think of ones I think she has to see, this is just my initial thoughts. Ones marked with an * are movies that I put on for her while she was over.

Classic.
Dracula (Bela Lugosi).
Dracula (Christopher Lee).
Bram Stoker's Dracula (Gary Oldman).
Frankenstein (Boris Karloff).
The Wolfman (Lon Chaney jnr).
Creature from the Black Lagoon.
King Kong (original).
Night of the Living Dead.
Bride of Frankenstein.

Older Horror
The Thing*
The Fog.
Prince of Darkness.
In the Mouth of Madness.
Jaws.*
The Blob (1988).
Phantasm 1 & 2.
Candyman.
The Howling.
An American Werewolf in London.
Critters 1 & 2.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (original series, not the stupid ass remake).
Dawn of the Dead.
Scream.
Event Horizon.
Ring (Japanese original version).

Modern Horror.
Final Destination.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
The VVitch.
Midsommar.
Get Out.
Cabin in the Woods.
Dawn of the Dead (Snyder remake).
Alien.*
The Orphanage.
It Follows.
Orphan.

Twisted Horror.
Saw.
Strangeland.
Hellraiser I, II, V.

Horror Comedy.
Tucker & Dale vs Evil.
Shaun of the Dead.*
Reanimator.
Bride of Reanimator.
Grabbers.
Tremors.
Lesbian Vampire Killers.

Avoid.
Serbian Story.
Jaws 3 & 4.
Exorcist II.
Hellraiser III & IV.
An American Werewolf in Paris.
Human Centipede (any version).
« Last Edit: June 25, 2022, 03:48:13 AM by Alex » Logged

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Trevor
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« Reply #546 on: June 24, 2022, 09:19:31 AM »

Essential South African horror films:

Jannie Totsiens [Johnny Farewell]
The Shadowed Mind
Dust Devil
The Stick


To watch once and then have eyes removed  Buggedout

The Demon (for sheer badness)
Return of The Family Man (The Stepfather knockoff)
The Howling IV
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« Reply #547 on: June 24, 2022, 10:17:27 AM »

Essential horror films.

A friend has asked for a list of must-see horror movies. I'll add more to this list as I think of ones I think she has to see, this is just my initial thoughts.

Classic.
Dracula (Bela Lugosi).
Dracula (Christopher Lee).
Bram Stoker's Dracula (Gary Oldman).
Frankenstein (Boris Karloff).
The Wolfman (Lon Chaney jnr).
Creature from the Black Lagoon.
King Kong (original).

Older Horror
The Thing*
The Fog.
Prince of Darkness.
In the Mouth of Madness.
Jaws.
The Blob (1988).
Phantasm 1 & 2.
Candyman.

Modern Horror.
Final Destination.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
The VVitch.
Midsommar.
Get Out.
Cabin in the Woods.

Twisted Horror.
Saw.
Strangeland.
Hellraiser I, II, V.

Horror Comedy.
Tucker & Dale vs Evil.
Shaun of the Dead.*
Reanimator.
Bride of Reanimator.
Grabbers.
Tremors.
Lesbian Vampire Killers.

Avoid.
Serbian Story.
Jaws 3 & 4.
Exorcist II.
Hellraiser III & IV.

Suggestions: add BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN to "Classic." Add THE EXORCIST and THE SHINING to "Older Horror." (Sorry Trev.)  NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is probably a must; founded the entire zombie genre. Remove STRANGELAND and LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS (these may be favorites of yours but I don't think they're "essential" to most horror fans). I don't think EXORCIST II is to be avoided, but she'd have to be into "so bad it's good." Could think of a ton of films to mark avoid! Otherwise good list.
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Alex
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« Reply #548 on: June 24, 2022, 11:34:25 AM »

Honestly, I've always felt The Exorcist is overrated which is why I've left that one out. I found religious people find is scarer than atheists, so I only ever recommended it to believers. She prefers atmospheric movies to slasher types, so while Halloween makes it onto the list, most of the Friday the 13th movies won't (or most of the Halloween sequels for that matter won't feature), or Hostel. She asked for my favourites which is why those movies have been included. I will add Bride of Frankenstein to the list though. I did think I'd already added Night of the Living Dead, but I am not seeing it, so I guess I forgot, but it will be going on there (as well as Dawn of the Dead). Strangeland is in there as something of a left-field inclusion, but it has a solid reason for putting it on here that I won't go into here.

It is a work in progress though, and more movies will be getting added. I figure a list of 100 or so movies should keep her going for a while.
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Trevor
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« Reply #549 on: June 24, 2022, 12:04:38 PM »

Honestly, I've always felt The Exorcist is overrated which is why I've left that one out. I found religious people find is scarer than atheists, so I only ever recommended it to believers. She prefers atmospheric movies to slasher types, so while Halloween makes it onto the list, most of the Friday the 13th movies won't (or most of the Halloween sequels for that matter won't feature), or Hostel. She asked for my favourites which is why those movies have been included. I will add Bride of Frankenstein to the list though. I did think I'd already added Night of the Living Dead, but I am not seeing it, so I guess I forgot, but it will be going on there (as well as Dawn of the Dead). Strangeland is in there as something of a left-field inclusion, but it has a solid reason for putting it on here that I won't go into here.

It is a work in progress though, and more movies will be getting added. I figure a list of 100 or so movies should keep her going for a while.

Alex, I would like to know what you think of The Demon (1979): I knew the director well and the cinematographer was a mentor of mine.
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Alex
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« Reply #550 on: June 24, 2022, 12:22:31 PM »

Honestly, I've always felt The Exorcist is overrated which is why I've left that one out. I found religious people find is scarer than atheists, so I only ever recommended it to believers. She prefers atmospheric movies to slasher types, so while Halloween makes it onto the list, most of the Friday the 13th movies won't (or most of the Halloween sequels for that matter won't feature), or Hostel. She asked for my favourites which is why those movies have been included. I will add Bride of Frankenstein to the list though. I did think I'd already added Night of the Living Dead, but I am not seeing it, so I guess I forgot, but it will be going on there (as well as Dawn of the Dead). Strangeland is in there as something of a left-field inclusion, but it has a solid reason for putting it on here that I won't go into here.

It is a work in progress though, and more movies will be getting added. I figure a list of 100 or so movies should keep her going for a while.

Alex, I would like to know what you think of The Demon (1979): I knew the director well and the cinematographer was a mentor of mine.

Off hand, I really can't remember if I have watched that one or not. As mentioned above, I am not feeling great today and my brain is telling me it is a little fuzzy which isn't helping. I'll find a copy and give it a watch maybe after tonights D&D session (when hopefully the weather will have cooled down a lot).
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Trevor
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« Reply #551 on: June 24, 2022, 12:30:39 PM »

Honestly, I've always felt The Exorcist is overrated which is why I've left that one out. I found religious people find is scarer than atheists, so I only ever recommended it to believers. She prefers atmospheric movies to slasher types, so while Halloween makes it onto the list, most of the Friday the 13th movies won't (or most of the Halloween sequels for that matter won't feature), or Hostel. She asked for my favourites which is why those movies have been included. I will add Bride of Frankenstein to the list though. I did think I'd already added Night of the Living Dead, but I am not seeing it, so I guess I forgot, but it will be going on there (as well as Dawn of the Dead). Strangeland is in there as something of a left-field inclusion, but it has a solid reason for putting it on here that I won't go into here.

It is a work in progress though, and more movies will be getting added. I figure a list of 100 or so movies should keep her going for a while.

Alex, I would like to know what you think of The Demon (1979): I knew the director well and the cinematographer was a mentor of mine.

Off hand, I really can't remember if I have watched that one or not. As mentioned above, I am not feeling great today and my brain is telling me it is a little fuzzy which isn't helping. I'll find a copy and give it a watch maybe after tonights D&D session (when hopefully the weather will have cooled down a lot).

Here you go: it's bad quality but that might actually improve the film.  Wink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zML5xR-PSLk&t=95s

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Alex
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« Reply #552 on: June 24, 2022, 01:29:54 PM »

Basing an upcoming part of my Friday night D&D campaign on Apocalypse Now. It involves the party going up river to set up a trading route, but finding they have to deal with some Yuan-Ti (a race of half-humans half snakes. They come in three types, purebloods, half-bloods and abominations and can shape change into various-sized snakes at will. I guess Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian would have been one in D&D terms). Anyway, here is what I've wrote so far for an introduction.

Quote
The Heart of Darkness.

Should the party hire Miron and agree to his terms, this plays out his scheme. Mostly it is the Book of Cylinders from Mysteries of Candlekeep but adapted to the group's situation and 3.5. Familiarity with Apocalypse Now may help with setting the tone of the initial river journey, prior to the arrival at the village and starting the adventure from the book.

“Miron remains tight-lipped on his plans for the first day, but as you settle down in the cabin for the first night, he gathers you all up. ‘For years now, a tribe upriver has kept the city supplied with an unusually good-tasting kind of crab meat. While local fishermen catch wild crabs frequently, somehow it just doesn’t have the same cachet as the imported stuff and the nobles of the city are crying out for more. They just can’t get enough of it. With the summer approaching it is coming up to ball season, and any wealthy upstart worthy of the name wants to have this stuff to feed his guests. Anyway, around the same time as the city was taken over, the shipments stopped coming in. Barges went upriver, but never returned. If you can find out what is going on, restore the trade, I can guarantee you’ll make a killing. My calculations estimate that if we can corner the trade on importing crab meat, then we will triple our profits compared to any other regular trade route from the city.’

Encounter 1.

You continue upriver for two full days. Every day the crew are exhausted and sleep heavily. Evidently travelling against the flow, even in a currently empty trading barge is much harder than riding the current down river. On the morning of the third day, you take a northerly fork in the river. It is on the edge of the swamp where you fought Gustav.

After a few hours of travelling, you hear some shouts from the top deck. Running out, you can see several bodies floating in the water, along with the debris of what you would guess was from a ship. Many of the bodies floating by are lying face down in the water and have open wounds. Many have what look like light spears protruding from them.”

If the party recover any of the bodies and check their injuries, it will take a DC Heal check to determine the cause of death (mostly because the bodies have been dead for a couple of days and many fish, birds, insects and other river life have had nibbles). What looks like spears is actually arrows and the wounds are poisoned. If Speak with Dead is used, the sailors can tell the party that they were ambushed as they travelled upriver, a hail of large arrows raining down on them (the cause of death mostly seems to be arrows), then a massive snake wrapped itself around the boat itself and crushed it. Hopefully, this will worry the party a little. Occasionally they will spot other bodies caught up in the tree roots at the edge of the river.

Encounter 2.

“The light starts to fade, and the shadows lengthen. It is time to stop the ship for the night. The crew do not want to risk taking the ship to one of the riverbanks and instead suggests anchoring in the middle of the river for the night. It would cause problems should the river level rise unexpectedly, but the sky does not look like it promises a heavy rain tonight.”

If the party insist on mooring up for the night, they will have to handle the ship themselves as the crew will outright refuse. They aren’t being paid enough to die.

If a deck watch is set, 5 hours after dark, have them make either a Listen check (or if they have either a strong light source or Darkvision) a Spot check on a DC of 15. Anyone passing will spot or hear a Yuan-Ti raiding party swimming through the water towards them.

“You hear an unusual splashing in the water. Listening intently, there is no further noise, but you get up and look over the edge anyway. The river is alive with a virtual army of snakes, thicker than a man’s thigh swimming through the water towards the ship. Some of them have wrapped their bodies around the anchor and slithered their way up onto the deck. One rears back, its mouth open wide to strike you. 

Allow 2 snakes per party member and then add on an extra one just to make it an odd number for a change. If they overcome all the resistance on the deck, then they will switch into their humanoid forms to attack anyone still below decks. The Yuan-Ti are used to this tactic working on ordinary river travellers and their guards. They will not expect a heavily armed group with spells and high enough resistance to their poisons. If their tactic is obviously not working, they will attempt to abandon the attack, jumping back into the river.

Encounter 3.

   The Mary Jane wanders into an ambush of Yuan-Ti half-bloods. The Yuan-Ti are looking to weaken the party since they were able to fight off the initial attack so easily. Have the party make Spot checks against the Yuan Ti’s camouflage of 30. Assuming anyone on deck fails to see them in advance, the half-bloods will get a surprise round of shooting arrows at the party. If the boat continues upriver, it will take 4 rounds to get out of range of the bows. If the party stops fighting, should they split their forces, the Yuan-Ti on the refused bank will swim over to overwhelm the boat. The Yuan-Ti being attacked will conduct a fighting retreat, looking to keep peppering the party with arrows while moving deeper into the jungle.

Encounter 4.

   “Your sailors continue punting the boat against the flow of the river. Alron the first mate is on lookout duties and gives a strangled cry of alarm. Rushing to the deck, you see that up ahead on either side of the river are lines of stakes, each with a severed head atop each one. A wide mixture of races is represented, human, elf, dwarf and so forth, but also species you don’t recognise. In particular, you frequently see what looks like the head of a large frog. The line of heads stretches on as far as you can see.

   The crew do not look comfortable or happy.”
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Alex
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« Reply #553 on: June 25, 2022, 01:41:21 AM »

We had a really good D&D session last night. The group got to a boss fight, and Kristi managed to save the day by accidentally casting the wrong spell. She had meant to give everyone a minor buff, but instead cast a spell that caused the 320lbs of muscle tearing up the group with a massive sword to be frozen to the spot allowing the rest of the party to cut his throat while he stood there. Two of the three main fighters in the party came close to dying (one was dropped to a single hit point left).

In the end though they prevailed and now (potentially), have a lot of loot (if they manage to remember to A) look for it and B) pick the damn stuff up.

The session went on for an hour or two longer than we normally play. One of the players had to drop out (since we have 7 people playing I was quite happy about that, I prefer 6 as a maximum), and he was also the last non-UK-based person playing which means we don't have to watch time zones quite as closely. Unfortunately, Ash woke up just as we were going to bed and proceeded to be awake for the rest of the night. I've just managed to settle him down on the couch downstairs. He suddenly has a problem sleeping in his own bed, which we are struggling to find out what the issue is.

Well, I am off to catch some sleep before he wakes back up.
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Alex
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« Reply #554 on: June 25, 2022, 04:24:28 PM »

So in my Saturday night game, the party have found a very powerful (major artifact level) item while they are still first level. This item (a mask), is the plot macguffin.

That was in the first session.

In the second session they come across a lone figure on horseback being attacked by a dozen or so bandits. The lone figure is winning the fight, but the party joins in to help him.

Good guys win the fight and get thanked for the assist (although he would have killed them all himself had he been left to it).

The party then decides to ask this complete stranger if he has any idea about this mask they found.

It turns out the lone man is a bounty hunter who has accepted a commission to retrieve this very same mask.

The man, politely but very firmly makes it clear that this encounter ends with him walking away in possession of the mask. He would rather not kill the party, but if they force his hand, then so be it.

He agrees to buy the mask off the group for the token sum of 10 gold, then walks off (his horse was wounded in the fight, so he leads it, rather than riding it to give it a chance to recover.

The group no longer has the legendary artifact.

(He was 12th level, while the four player group had just made 2nd level).

In other news, Kristi and Ash both have covid. It is going to be a "fun" week.
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