THE LEGEND

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Just as the title indicates, ip man (master of bruce lee) has done it again in there latest “IP MAN: FINAL FIGHT”.  It seems that these movies only seem to get better, and the last of this series of movies is a perfect send off and tribute to the life of ip man himself.

Now, to the action! Although the sammo hung and Donnie yuen combination make for a deadly one, I find myself quite refreshed seeing the different flows and pacing of the action choreography in chun chi li (RUSH HOUR, SHANGHAI NOON, DAY AFTER TOMORROW) and kwok lam sin(IP MAN, IP MAN 2) direction of the action sequences. The action seems to be more fluid and smooth in nature compared to the sharp fast rhythmic direction of sammo and Donnie.  Now it goes without saying that the fight choreography doesn’t miss a beat and will have you “oooohing” and “oooowwing” but it is graceful all at the same time.  No fast cuts needed as there were consultants and wing chun experts on set long takes and lots of dolly and panning methods where used here, leaving one to ponder how many takes did I take for them to get the perfect shot?  Insane… I know. But my young padawans these are masters of their craft at work.

The plot was solid, just a biopic of the life of ip man. Not much to ask, not much to complain about. But the setting seemed to be more interesting than the life of ip man.  1950’s hong kong makes for tear jerking life struggles and internal conflict within a lot of the characters. But the overall theme seems to be that of “loyalty”.

All in all I have found this movie to be extremely enjoyable. Plot was solid enough for me to enjoy but I wasn’t watching it much for the plot but for the action which I give high praise as all the ip man movies. I would absolutely recommend “IP MAN:FINAL FIGHT” to action movie junkies such as myself!

 

-Eric Stevenson

Dungeons and Dragons Essentials

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Alright so it is that time of the week. The time that I give all you Around the Geek fans your weekly dosage of D&D. What’s D&D? If you don’t know check out my post from last week on this exact topic!

Right, you have now decided to dive into the amazing D&D experience. Before learning the rules; however,  you need to find and buy the materials to play.

D&D as the grandaddy of roleplaying games has a bewildering amount of materials. There are literally hundreds of different dice, books, miniatures, and other player aids. Luckily for anyone whose pockets are not endless, you do not need all of this, in fact you do not need most of it. By making a few simple choices, your group can have an exciting and fulfilled D&D experience, without breaking the bank.

The first decision you must make is what edition to play.  Similar to a console update, in the video gaming world, D&D undergoes sporadic updates to its rules. Sometimes this is a tweak, other times a complete overhaul.  Choices range from Original D&D to D&D 4th edition (and the up and coming D&D Next, or 5th edition).

Largely choice of what edition to play doesn’t matter. If everyone agrees on the same type, then everyone should be happy. Each edition brings perks and problems. Older editions may be cheaper to pick up online, but some books may be harder to find. I would suggest looking online at the many different D&D reviews for a break down of editions (or shoot me and email, and if someone asks maybe I will give my opinions next week, email will be at the end of the post). I personally play and prefer D&D 3.5, so naturally that is what I would suggest.

So you have chosen your edition now what? Well I will describe what I consider D&D essentials. Starting with

Bare Minimum: This is the least you can buy, but still play with.

First, dice.

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Every D&D game will require at least one full set of dice. That means one of each of the dice shown above, a D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20. (named for the number of sides on the die)

If money is tight a group can share one set of dice; however, I usually find players get superstitious and want at least one of their own set. Many players want multiple of certain important dice, so if one is rolling unlucky they can swap it out. Luckily dice are pretty cheap. Most game stores sell full matching sets for roughly $10.

Second, Player’s Handbook.

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At least for the 3.5 edition, the entire rules set is included in this book (keeping in mind for other editions this may be different).  If you are running on a tight budget a creative DM can use this, use the method for creating character, and create different monsters. The group can then share this book around and have a good time.

Technically these two items are all you need to play; however, there are two other items I would strongly recommend buying, which will help make your first time playing D&D an enjoyable one.  If money is an issue, keep in mind that this a group activity, and it is only fair that the group as a whole chips in to buy the books. Also keep in mind that these books will last you for years if taken care of. I am currently using books my father bought before I was born!

Recommended Essentials: These are what I would recommend also buying, in addition to dice and at least one player’s handbook.

First, the Monster Manual.

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The Monster Manual, though not technically required, is a really helpful item to have around. It contains premade stats and information on literally hundreds of monsters.  This is great for Dms, as these monsters can be inserted into adventures, rather then having to design and balance monster rules of your own.

It is also a great way to get creative ideas for adventures. Just flip through the book, see an interesting monster, and go from there.

Second, an adventure module.

Premade adventures are exactly what they sound like, premade areas, dungeons, and plots, written in a way for the DM to guide a party through them. They contain information on the people the adventurers will interact with, as well as towns, cultures, wilderness, and dungeons.

To many this may sound like a bit of a cop-out for the Dm. After all isn’t the main fun of being a DM to let your creativity flow into an awesome adventure of your own design? While true, I have found premade adventures, rather then causing me to have no work, just lay a template out, which I tweak and adjust as I see fit. Think of the adventure module as a solid foundation, which you can expand upon to create an amazing adventure, rather then wasting your time figuring out minutia already in an adventure module.

Premade adventures are relatively cheap, with a ton of older  ones found on ebay. The great thing about premade adventures, is that you can take adventures made for other editions, and with a little work, adjust them to fit into the system you are playing in, while keeping the plot, maps, and personality of the adventure.

Some of my favorite starting adventures include

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This is an adventure that takes place on the borders of a kingdom. The party gets quest to adventure into the nearby system of caves filled with evil monsters. Each cave gets more difficult as the party goes, but the town is nearby, so items and rest are easily available. This adventure has wilderness, dungeons, and a a town all in one! For first timers and veterans alike this adventure is a fun one. Its placement on the edge of the wilderness also leaves plenty of potential for future exploration.

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While I have never played as a character through this adventure, I have DM’ed it. It is a great adventure in which the party quests into an underground Citadel filled with weird monsters. The adventure brings a new monsters into play, and has some great encounters! Though not quite as cool as keep on the border lands Sunless Citadel is excellent in that it is made for the 3rd edition rules set.

If you are looking for a dungeon delve into the weird a weird underground lair filled with all kinds of monsters, then this is the adventure for you.

With dice, a Player’s Handbook, a Monster Manual, and an Adventure Module you are well on your way to a great D&D experience.

The final book would recommend is the Dungeon Master’s Guide

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The Dungeon Master’s Guide (now on referred to as DM’s Guide) is the least necessary of the “D&D Essentials”. For a few sessions you could probably get away without it; however, eventually your DM will want it. Luckily the Dm’s Guide, Players Handbook, and Monster Manual form the “Core Set” of most editions, so there are plenty of copies to go around, and even occasionally bundles of all three together.

This book, rather then containing rules, contains tips and advice for Dms. It also contains many charts and suggested ways for things encountered during an adventure. Want to figure out how weather effects you players, look in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Want to figure out different suggested way to give out experience, look in this guide. More useful as a reference book, rather then something to try to read from cover to cover, the Dungeon Masters Guide can be quite helpful. In addition the Dungeon Master’s Guide has hundreds of premade magic items and rules for creating your own.

With all these items your party has all the things it needs to play D&D for years. Sure some other supplement books come in handy, or contain cool information. But,  I guarantee that with the items I have suggested you will have all the tools you need for hundreds of hours of D&D.

Hopefully you have enjoyed my advice on D&D essentials. Next week I will continue with the getting started theme, covering tips on learning the rules and beginning to play.

If you have any questions, comments, topic requests, or input please feel free to email me at theeternaldungeonmaster@gmail.com. You could also tweet me at jake_hutton or at my D&D account DMing101.

PS Plus brings Outlast and More

Sony really is amazing me with the lineup of games they release for playstation plus users. The games for February is as follows:

  • Outlast – PS4
  • Metro Last Light PS3
  • Payday 2 – PS3
  • Remember Me – PS3
  • ModNation Racer – PS Vita
  • Street Fighter X Tekken – PS Vita

Yet another set of games that makes having PS Plus worth it.

Sly Cooper movie coming in 2016

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I have to say that i am really excited to hear that one of my favorite games on PlayStation is getting a cg i movie release. Following in the footsteps of Sony brethren Ratchet and Clank , everyone’s favorite platforming raccoon, Sly Cooper, will be getting his own feature film. all the voice actors from the game will be in this movie. with sucker punch and Sony finally doing something big with their franchise we can only hope that this will be good. expect a early 2016 release

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Review

 

As I near the island that my next target is on I notice, through my eyeglass, that there are five British ships that would not take too kindly to my presence. I tell the men to give me all sails, because we sit right on the air current, sending us straight toward our destination. I call for mortar fire on three of the smaller ships that were huddled together to get them out of the way for the huge Man-O-War that sits in my path. They sink all to easily as my newly upgraded Mortar cannons shreds through their deck. The cost, I gain the attention of the rest of their friends. I quickly tell the men to raise the sails a bit so I can get in a better posision to use the broadside cannons. “Hit the deck” I say as they shoot their first volley of cannons at us. Continue reading Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Review

The Walking Dead Returns With Season 2

ATTENTION!!!!! ATTENTION!!!!! ATTENCHUUUUUUN!!!!!! THE ARTICLE BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS I REPEAT THE ARTICLE BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. With that being said…..

 

Previously on The Walking Dead, Clementine escapes with her life as Lee lies dead, chained up to protect her as he got bit and became zombified. While all this is happening Wyatt, Vince, Russell, Bonnie, and Shel have been having their own survival issues during the zombie outbreak. Ranging from prison escapee’s to a young lad trying to make his way home. No one is safe in this new world……And now we return to The Walking Dead Season 2.

This game picks up immediately after Season 1 ended but this time your in control of Clementine a young girl that is trying to survive. Telltale wastes no time in reminding you that this is The Walking Dead and the world is we once knew is gone.  Alas I am not allowed to further give anymore information about the story due to the Managers of Around the Geek preventing me (the Jerks…Jk i like this job) so I will be vague as possible.

Season 2 of The Walking Dead starts off with a nice BANG! The action and the story draws you in as you try and help Clementine survive in this world with the knowledge she acquired from Lee in Season 1.  I normally play straight through each episode in one sitting because I have a hard time putting it down. Decisions that have to be made, moral choices, and bandages. We all know someone is gonna get hurt, it happens in every episode. I dare someone prove me wrong. Unlike playing Lee, Clem is much younger and has to be much more careful in placing trust in others and vice-verse for obvious reasons of course. For example, Clem gets bite mark on her arm and is searching for medical help. Now imagine a young girl in the woods, alone,  asking you for medical attention and you notice a bite mark on her arm. What would you do? What would your thought process be? Would you believe her if she said it wasn’t from a walker? The game play takes a dramatic shift when your a young girl and not a grown man and that is what makes this better than Season 1.

Season 2 of The Walking Dead is a great game to play especially if your a Walking Dead fan. If not, play an episode at a friend’s house and see if it’s worth your time. If you haven’t played Season 1 or 400 days you will not be confused if you decided to start with Season 2 Episode 1. Season 1 Game of the Year is available for purchase,  it comes with all 5 episodes and is available on Mac/Pc, Ps3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, Steam,  and the App store. The Walking Dead 400 Days is available for a separate purchase cost on all major systems.  Season 2 also offers a Season pass which offers all 5 episodes for a discounted price and allows you to immediately download them upon release (Check your local system for price details) Prices may vary. Remember the rules: Cardio, Double-Tap,  Limber Up, and last but not least Don’t be a Hero. The Walking Dead TV show returns Feb 9 at 9pm on AMC.

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WHAT TIME IS IT? ADVENTURE TIME!!!!

For starters if you don’t know what Adventure Time is by now..not cool. For the rest that do your all mathematical and are deemed worthy to lay eyes upon this post for you have passed the test. Adventure Time Explore the Dungeon because I Don’t Know is a dungeon crawler for all systems and supports up to 4 players. My review will be from a 360 standpoint.

Upon purchase of this game I quickly realized that this game does not support online co-op. In this age that is a rare so i proceeded to do what anybody would do…take it to my friends house (Actually I took it home first and tried to solo it but it wasn’t much fun). Upon arriving at friends house and gathered the players deemed worthy taking up this quest we proceeded to Explore the Dungeon because We Don’t Know ( We do know but I’m not telling PB would be mad). The game is crafted with a mix of 16-bit and HD graphics and it is wonderfully blended together and has the regular voice actors too. Each character is different of course each with their own special move that you can activate by using your imagination. After choosing our characters Finn, Jake, Marceline, and Cinnamon Bun it was ADVENTURE TIME!

The game is pretty straight-forward as far as dungeon crawlers go, you go through each level looking for the stairs to take you down to the next floor. The game play mechanics are very simple so it is was easy to pick up and play. The fun kicks in as soon as you start playing. Everybody was running around each level defeating monsters and trying to be the first to get the many treasures throughout the levels. The more treasure you got the more money you had to spend to upgrade your characters at each checkpoint. It became competitive quickly because there is always that one players that wants to be THAT guy. So after diving ten levels deep we had the pleasure of kicking the 1st bosses butt.  Needless to say he wasn’t ready for that.

I believe the purpose of this game is to bring people together like in the 80s and 90s to have a good time enjoying each others company. If you have kids it helps get them to experience what it was like when we played games as kids. But tell them to bring their own controller because ain’t no kid about to break my controller. Its not my fault if he gets upset that my kid is getting all the treasure first. On side note I don’t have any kids, I’m just sayin’ haha. Overall this is a great game to play with your friends around in the same room like old times.  When I get around to beating it I’ll further update my review.

By: J.T. Dogzone

Dungeons and Dragons: What is it, is it for me?

 

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Approaching the end of a musty, stone hallway a thick, wooden door stands closed in front of you; blocking your path. Attempting to calm your nerves, you quietly press your ear against the door. Even through the thick oak you can hear multiple creatures talking in gruff, harsh voices. Though their words are in a language you do not understand, their tones and inflections are known to you, orcs. At least a dozen of the brutes.

Turning around you creep back to your group of friends. “Orcs,” you whisper, “at least a dozen.”

The squat, heavily armored dwarf fighter snorts at your caution. “Not even enough for me to break a sweat, whelp, lets have at it,” he exclaims drawing his sharp double handed axe.

However, before he can advance  the human wizard, clothed in bright red robes, shakes her head. “A cautious adventurer is a long lived one, let us give these orcs something of a surprise,” the wizard says with a twinkle in her eye.

Sighing the dwarf shrugs his shoulders, “very well, but at least leave a few for me.” With that you creep back up to the door. Your ally the wizard is already deep in her incantation. The excitement of combat creeping upon you, you grab the door handle swinging it open. Moments afterwards a ball of flame shoots into the room, radiating an intense hear. It impacts upon something in the room, exploding in a orgy of destruction. The shrieks of the orcs are quickly silenced as the inferno consumes the monsters.

“Thought you were going to leave some for me,” the dwarf shouts, glaring at the wizard. The human shrugs, smiling, “My bad,” he exclaims.

Player 1 (Dwarf): Wait this is a fantasy adventure, people don’t say my bad!

Player 2 (Wizard): What ever, that’s 12 more kills to my tally.

Player 1 (Dwarf): You better hope you didn’t destroy the loot. I walk into the room, careful to stomp out any fires, please tell me some loot is safe.

Dungeon Master: (rolls dice) Yes. Though their armor is destroyed, their weapons and gold remains safe.

Player 1 (Dwarf): Woohoo! I begin to collect it…

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Ever wonder what playing Dungeons and Dragons, better known as D&D, is like? Well this has been a brief example of a session between 3 players and a Dungeon Master.

D&D is a pen and paper Role Playing Game, much like Skyrim, Fallout, or Dragon Age. In game one person plays as the Dungeon Master, or DM, and creates the adventure, which a group of friend then play through as the heroes (or villains).  Much like those aforementioned games, D&D is a game of choice. How will you navigate the dungeons? Will you help the town? Do you negotiate for more money? Do you even pursue this adventure, or look elsewhere for something else? Would you rather spend your time building a business or buying equipment?

Unlike video game RPGs, D&D is completely flexible. Players can do pretty much anything they desire, within the normal bounds of the physics of the world and their character’s power. In addition, unlike video game RPGs, you get to play with a group of your friends. Finally, D&D is a game that you the players dictate the flow of. Unlike video games, which have set parameters, D&D is set up to be tweaked freely taking into account what each player wants out of the game.

Does this sound interesting to you? Want to know how to get started? Or perhaps you already play and are looking for playing tips, either as a player or as a Dungeon Master? Look for future articles coming soon while I walk you through how to cheaply start D&D, quick and easy ways to learn the rules, and other help strategies!

-Jake Hutton

 

 

 

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