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Posts from August 2009

Issue #2 of Level Up seems to be hitting stores and subscribing mailboxes now, or at least imminently. As a contributor, I recommend you pick it up—if not for my sake, then for the fact that it's so freakin' affordable. $2!

In issue #1, my "Deities of Áereth" article featured Gorhan, the lawful good deity of valor, chivalry, and war. The ultimate paladin god, with a dash of religious ferocity thrown in. But in this issue I give you Lasheeva, goddess of undeath, murder, and affliction. Here's a short excerpt:

Lasheeva is known foremost as Lady Dissolution, for she aims to burn the naïveté from the world, destroy its heretics, and bring mortiferous enlightenment to all societies. Her dogma is one of death, undeath, and whatever afflictions are required to shape the world according to her vision. She is called the Black Desecration, for her destructive wrath is often leveled against Áereth's self-righteous religions. Lasheeva is also sometimes known as the Cold Seductress, for she lures mortal and immortal alike into her fold not with promises of loyalty and affection, but of cold, uncompromising power. Despite the stigma undeath holds the world over, none can dispute the supernatural strength and invulnerability it grants its recipients. The Cold Seductress vaunts this like no other, and refers to the power of undeath as the Dark Salvation.

As always, the article is mostly flavor text ("fluff"), roleplaying ideas, and cultural information. For those who prefer new rules and game options ("crunch"), there's a new Channel Divinity feat, a magic item, and a paragon path to go with the clergy of Lasheeva.

Okay, my article aside, there are some other goodies to be found in this issue. My favorite is "Sheep's Clothing," written by co-conspirator Ken Hart, part of the "A Picture Tells 1,000 Words" series. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that I probably won't look at a sheep the same way again.

posted on 08.29.2009

District 9 is worth seeing in the theaters. And it has been reviewed by me right here.

posted on 08.19.2009

I don't normally have cause to put up a baby picture up on my website (not having any kids myself at this time and not particularly inclined to put up photos of anyone else's baby), but I'd like to make an exception today by putting up this photo of Maximilian.

Max is the 4½-month-old son of author and friend Marcy Rockwell, and aside from being ridiculously cute, he's also very sick right now. He was recently diagnosed with stage 3 neuroblastoma, a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system.

Recently I've been working on an RPG book that addresses the concept of faith. In the D&D world, faith usually only takes the form of spell-slinging and other varieties of divinely inspired butt-kicking. But in this book I've really tried my best to infuse a bit more flavor, and meaning, into the concept. And why? Because in the real world, faith really does mean a lot to me. Belief in God (any god) doesn't seem to be something I share with too many people in the RPG industry, so I generally avoid talking about directly. Writers and game designers, like any artist, are pretty passionate and opinionated people.

Anyone with any faith at some point is confronted with the question of miracles. Do they exist? If you believe the validity of the Bible—or, like me, the validity of some/many things in the Bible—then you probably believe that miracles have taken place before. But do they still? Not a question anyone can answer. If you pray for something, will God grant it? I'm not so sure it works that way, or even should work that way.

But you can ask. You are encouraged to. I believe the asking is often more important to God than the question.

If any of you are so inclined, please pray for Max, to give him a fighting chance. Divine intervention is one thing, and the skill of a doctor is another. I think they can be mostly the same thing.

posted on 08.09.2009

So what does Alex Lifeson (of Rush) have in common with the Thundercats? Not very much...until I put them both together in this sound clip.

You see, Alex composed the intro music for the first season of the sci-fi TV show Andromeda, which was much better than the later intros. It was only natural, then, to add some Thundercats outtakes. I mean, who wouldn't?

posted on 08.04.2009