Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dollar Store Dungeons: Creatures

If you are going to run a game of Heirs to the Lost Worldthe New Fire, or are planning a Xeno-Meso or Hollow Earth Expedition adventure, you'd do well to pick up a $1 bag of creatures from the local dollar store. The Aztec and Mayan Underworlds are filled with bug-like creatures - especially centipedes. You may actually want a few bags of them.

For example, on Saturday, I played in one of Jeff Berry's wonderful Tekumel miniatures games where a big collection of bugs from dollar stores came in quite handy. I was playing a high-level priestess of Ksarul, up in the howdah of one of these wonderful Sro dragons:

At a certain juncture in the battle, it became necessary expedient amusing to summon some of Lord Ksarul's spider-like demon servitors in order to dispatch some of the Pe Choi and Shen who were harassing us. I didn't do too well on the roll, so Jeff told me I had summoned 13 demons who were not spiders. So out of the huge bug supply box came all kinds of other demons: centipedes, ticks, beetles, scorpions, a dragonfly, even a squid (freshwater/ambulatory/arboreal).

So don't leave home without your dollar store demons!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Warriors of the Steppe - Myn Bala

A scene from Myn Bala - Warriors of the Steppe

Nothing says Christmas quite like a handsome bowman defending his steppe and mountains against the Dzungar horde. This week, we're watching films about the Mongols, their offshoots, and enemies. No shortage there.

And yes, The Everwayan is back from the dead. We're still not completely sure of our future direction, but we're feeling re-energized by many things these days that are Central, South, and Southeast Asian.

You'll see.

Sunday night we watched the Russian film, "The Horde". It certainly tells the Russian side of the story about the Mongol Yoke, and we had some experience of this a number of years ago in my friend Boris' medieval Russian AD&D campaign.

A very grim and gritty movie. Unromantic. It makes all that crybaby stuff about "Blood Weddings" in A Game of Thrones sound like wedding reception precedence kvetching.

Still and all, I am not sure I would recommend "The Horde" except for die hard Mongol fans. It's definitely not this Horde:


That being said, we watched a very fine movie last night. "Warriors of the Steppe - Myn Bala"Myn Bala is a Kazak film set on the steppes in the 18th Century. It's about the resistance and gradual unification of the Kazak peoples against the Dzungar horse nomads. It was much more enjoyable, and managed to portray the Dzungar as black armored baddies without dwelling in the horrors of their everyday atrocities.

I think this film falls into a more Central Asian "Steppes and Minarets" genre. We're reading a novel in a similar vein called "The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas" by Dmitry Chen, the first novel in his Silk Road Trilogy. Recommended.