Monthly Archives: November 2016

Review: Black Mirror

I just finished watching the first two episodes of Black Mirror. This is some seriously dark shit. If you are depressed or thinking about suicide, do not watch this show. The writers of this show are literally holding a mirror up to our modern society and showing us the worst aspects of ourselves. These guys are not showing us a dystopian future, they are showing us as we are living now. Certainly they are taking things to extremes and certainly they are putting a science fiction vainer on it, but it is none the less our modern society with the nice facade stripped away.

The Dark Web Sucks

I am messing around with Tor Browser, trying to look around the so called Dark Web. I have to say it socks the big one. The naming conventions are random letters more or less, the connections are slow and the web pages look like utter crap. I was looking around for some interesting forums or blogs, but really all I found was conspiracy theory bullshit. To be fair I did not spend a ton of time with it and I am sure there is more interesting stuff out there, i just need to look harder.

First days of no social media

So I am a few days into going cold turkey on social media. I think the wife feels a bit put out that I am not there to be entertained by her. For me it has not really been too bad, but I do have to admit that I do feel a bit cut off and isolated. On the other hand I seem to have a lot more time on my hands. Instead of going to Twitter and Facebook, I am going to other websites, in many cases sites I have not visited in years, reading up on RPG’s, comic books and computers. I am also researching secure Linux distros and brushing up on my penetration testing skills. I think my next step is going to be killing all the stupid TV shows I have been forcing myself to watch.

RE: Facebook and Me

Facebook, well really all social media, and I have always had a tenuous relationship. I mean I almost always have to force myself to post anything with any consistency. Lately I have found myself self censoring, basically not responding to things other people posted because I didn’t really want to stir the pot. When I would post things to stir the pot, I found basically everyone else is self censoring as well. So then the question becomes what do I need social media for?

The obvious answer here is so I can stay in touch with friends and family. This makes sense on face value, Facebook lets me keep track on people in more or less real time. Going back to my first paragraph, if I am self censoring and everyone I know is self censoring, then we are not really having any sort of real dialog. All we are really using the platform for is to send targeted messages to each other. Okay, I have an email address for that and a phone number that receives text messages. So then I am back to the question what do I need social media for?

PezWitch uses social media as a way to express herself. She posts pictures and video’s on a near daily basis. Much of this stuff is very creative and fun to do, I can see why she does it. My hobbies are very different though, I play dungeons & dragons, read comic books and mess with computers. This blog is very much an expression of those hobbies. For the most part I enjoy posting here because I know the people who come here do so to specifically read what I am writing and people who don’t like it rarely come back and that is alright with me. Posting stuff on Twitter there is a 100% chance someone whom you do not know and has no business reading your posts is going to read something they don’t like and freak out. Here its nice and quiet, its just me writing about things I enjoy doing and if someone gets stupid, I delete their comments and block their IP address. Once again I am back to the question of do I really need social media?

Review: Adventures in Middle Earth

aimeProduct Summery:
Name: Adventures in Middle Earth
Publisher: Cubical 7
Author: Staff
Line: 5E
Cost: $40/$20 for PDF
Pages: 224
Webpage: http://cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/adventures-in-middle-earth/

Frankly this was a bit of a disappointment to me, however this was probably due to my own inflated expectations. Cubical 7 previous attempt at Middle Earth gaming, The One Ring, was really really good. There was nice art, good layout, interesting game design. The whole thing came together as a top notch product. So my expectations were that the conversion of the One Ring to the 5E rule set would be just as well put together, unfortunately this was not the case.

First off, I did not like the cover art, I get what they were trying to do, but the picture just does not inspire me at all, it is flat and bland. The interior art is pretty much everything we saw in the One Ring, there may be some new pieces in there, but I have not done a side by side comparison to know for sure. So while I like the style of the art and it is very good, it does have the “Haven’t we been here before” vibe, so it again fails to inspire.

The game mechanic is a heavily modified version Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. The classes are different, the races are different, and they have added some new mechanics to make the game flow more or less the same way The One Ring does. My problem here is, if you are familiar with D&D 5E, this game will be easy to make sense of. If you are coming in from another game, never having played D&D 5E, you will find this game confusing. For instance there was no effort to provide a way to generate attributes, nor do they have any real explanation for the attributes or how they affect the game. This game assumes previous knowledge of D&D 5E and if you do not have it, this will come off as an incomplete game to you.

Finally, what can you say about the setting, it is Lord of the Rings, it is the Hobbit, it is well J.R.R. Tolkien. Cubical 7 does an good job of translating Tolkien’s work to a gaming setting, from the class descriptions to the flavor text, this is the best part of the book.

Overall, this is not a bad product, but it is not a great one either. If you plan to use it, you will also need D&D 5E, although the free download from Wizards of the Coast, would fill in the gaps well enough to play. Perhaps as they release more products for the line I will become more enamored with it. Hopefully they will not just recycle all of the old One Ring stuff and they will produce some original content for this title.

Summery (Scale of 1-5):
Appearance and Layout: 2
Game Mechanic: 2
Setting: 5
Overall: 3