Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Darkening of Mirkwood - A Review

Heya folks!

I'm back with a review of another The One Ring RPG product; The Darkening of Mirkwood campaign.  Lets start off by saying this is another wonderful TOR accessory.  It's a hard cover, full color campaign that clocks in at 142 pages long.  This book has enough material in it to keep your fellowship playing for months if not years depending on how frequently you get to play!  More after the break!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Heart of the Wild - A Review

The Heart of the Wild is a resource book for The One Ring Roleplaying game that focuses on the Vales of the Anduin to the west of Mirkwood and also Mirkwood itself.  The One Ring has been releasing a series of resource books that cover different parts of Middle-Earth followed up by an adventure book that focuses on that same area.  The Darkening of Mirkwood is the adventure book that coincides with this book.  I'll cover The Darkening of Mirkwood in a separate review later on.

The Heart of the Wild is a hardcover color book that's 128 pages long.  The cover was done by Jon Hodgson and shows Radagast the Brown facing off against the Children of Shelob.  This is another beautiful book by Cubicle7 in the same style as the core rule-book.  The three main chapters are; The Lands of the River, The Greatest of Forests and Monsters of the Wild.  More after the break!

Monday, August 15, 2016

The One Ring - Character Creation

Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain
Heya folks,

Today I will be walking you through the process of creating a new character in The One Ring RPG.  I've decided to make one of the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain and I think I am going to make him a Treasure-hunter.  First lets start off with a name, each of the cultures in The One Ring comes with a list of names appropriate to that culture.  I think we'll go with Nár Goldflame.  Being one of the Dwarves of the Lonely mountain his standard of living is considered Rich, all that dragon-gold enables him a comfortable lifestyle!  Bling, bling!  More after the break....

Friday, August 12, 2016

The One Ring RPG - A Review

I'll start this review by stating the following: I am a huge fan of Tolkien's work.  I've read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy many, many times (and am currently in the middle of Return of the King again).  There have been a number of RPG projects involving his work over the years, the biggest being Middle Earth Role Playing or MERP.  I loved that game mightily.  To be able to play as a Rider of Rohan or one of the Dunedain was just an awesome experience.  Tolkien's work is what inspired me to start role-playing in the first place and I suspect this is the same with many other young people who have encountered his books.

While MERP provided a way to play in Tolkien's world it never really felt connected to his work.  To me the magic system was too much and the magic items felt to plentiful and common.  The supplement books contained a wealth of information and are wonderful to read even for people that are not interested in role-playing but just in Tolkien's world.  It was a very robust system that was well supported, books for it were published from the early 1980's though the late 1990's.  My friends and I spent many hours thwarting the enemies of the Free Peoples.

After death of of MERP came Decipher's The Lord of the Rings RPG, It was published in 2002 and was abandoned in 2006.  I cannot comment on this game as I never played it but it does not seem to have ever achieved the same level of success as MERP.  More after the break!

Monday, August 8, 2016

I'm back! (sort of.....)

Heya folks!

Its been a little while since I've been around these parts, but as the title explains, I'm back!  Well as much as I can be with a six week old baby.  On 06/27/2016 Amelia Jieun Carter was born, she was a healthy 8lbs 11oz and is growing like crazy!  My wife an I feel very blessed, everyone is healthy and doing well.

Needless to say that this new little one leaves me with very little free time, so this blog dropped down the totem pole of things to keep up on.  I have no intention of abandoning this blog though, I still enjoy hopping on here and talking all things gaming.  I will be posting a review soon, I have recently been enamored with The One Ring RPG and I will be doing a review of it and several of the expansion books.  I am also still working on a few new artist interviews, keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best!

I hope you all are well.  Stay tuned, more to come in the next few days!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Happy Memorial Weekend

Lily stopping by to say hi!

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe memorial weekend.  A very hearty thanks to those that have served or are still actively serving our country.

It's been a busy weekend for me, in the last twenty four hours I have gone for a seven mike bike ride - and walked the last mile as I took a bit of a tumble and snapped my derailleur hanger - dropped off my bike at the bike shop for repairs, attended a three year old's birthday party, cleaned the house, went grocery shopping, cleaned my garage and basement, spent some time painting on my cosmic horror piece and did some human gesture drawings.  Thanks goodness I have one additional day this weekend!  We have a party/cook out tomorrow and I can't wait for burgers!  RED MEAT, nom, nom nom.

Anyway I hope you all enjoy whats left of the weekend, take care!

P.S. I'm thinking about watching Deadpool tomorrow, is it worth the time?

Minutes before the crash

Monday, May 23, 2016

Our Favorite Artists - Skinner


I'm very excited to introduce today's featured artist!  Known as Skinner he is a full time artist that creates some of the most imaginative, interesting and bizarre art I've ever seen.  He has pieces inspired by Lovecraft and D&D and works in multiple mediums including print, sculpture, painting and many others.  You might have seen his work on Adult Swim or if you live in the San Francisco/Oakland CA areas you may have seen one of his many shows there.  I'm very happy to introduce you my readers to a true original and a very talented man, Skinner! 

  • First of all, thanks for taking some time out of your day to speak with me, please introduce yourself and give us a brief bio:

My name is Skinner and I make art for a living. I do a bunch of different stuff. I write stories and paint and make music videos and conceptualize shit and theorize about life and stuff.

  • When did you first discover your creative talents?

When I was a little ass kid trying to figure out how to draw monsters and dinosaurs. I wasn't conscious of it being anything other then an interest in trying to emulate stuff that a little ass kid likes. You just draw sharks and hulk hogans and enjoy it. No one thinks it's art really.

  • How would you describe your style and where do you draw your inspiration from?

Describing my style is weird because I do so many different kinds. Illustrative comic book style or fantasy paintings but mostly my style is just little kid trying to make something look good. My inspiration comes from fantasy artists and comic book artists and old illustrators. Marvel comics back in the day. Stuff like that. Jack Kirby.

  • Who is your favorite artist? What draws you towards his or her artwork?
One of my favorite artists is Louie Cordero from the Philippines. I love a ton of artists but he's alive and still doing stuff and since my favorite artists are dead I thought I'd mention him. His shit is so fucking weird and great! It's like a surreal Ghana movie poster mixed with Japanese vibes and Satan.

  • Is art a full time occupation for you, if not what do you do for a living?

I do art full time. Always on the grind!
  • What projects are you currently working on?
Finishing an animated music video for high on fire. Commercials for adult swim and my own illustrations and paintings. I have been writing a lot of stories and show pitches these days. 

  • What type of work do you enjoy doing most?
My own weird fantasy paintings or inking. Writing is fun as fuck too but painting lovecraftian fantasy shit is probably the best.

  • You've created art inspired by D&D, are you yourself a gamer and if so what are your favorite games?  How did being a gamer influence your style? 

I wish I had time. I grew up memorizing every little detail of my monster manuals and fiend folios and shit. I loved it so much. Now I just kinda honor it in my work! Old AD&D art was so crazy. Trampier was a standout and Errol Otus. I got to hang with Larry Elmore at comic con! He's great!

  • Who is your favorite musical artist and why?

I'm into Melvins! Always pushing subversive rock and fuck it attitude in the face of a world that wants to contrive everything and make a buck. Melvins make art not products.

  • What was the last book you read?

Alan Moore biography and some Clark Ashton smith. Just finished Mezolith which is an amazing book full of prehistoric folk tale stuff! 

  • What is your favorite place that you have traveled to?
Cuba hands down. 

  • What superpower would you have and why?
The power to make people shit their pants at my behest. Whenever I want. Any distance. Don't cross me. 

  • Where can the readers go to see your art?


  • Are there any books, videos, or other forms of media that you would recommend to new artists to help them learn? 

Oh shit man everything's so available now. I wouldn't know where to start. Shit I don't know. How bout anatomy by Burne Hogarth, Frazetta paintings and drawings and maybe " How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way".

  • Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring artists?
Well, don't get lured in by the validation that comes from people liking your stuff on the Internet. You can't base your growth on that. You have to put in an insane amount of work before you don't even kinda not suck let alone before you've developed an even small level of your own style. Just don't be lazy about putting in work. Put your heart into it ya lazy bum! It's the best!