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About BigJackBrass

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    Two Separate Gorillas

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    Charlatan, Humbug and Imitation Humorist.
  1. Surely these are not legal to distribute? None of the stuff is public domain, after all.
  2. Something else to consider might be a programme such as Bits & Mortar, where participating publishers provide a free PDF if you but their game at other than an online discounter. Evil Hat are especially generous in this regard, but others are involved. It can save a lot and provide additional convenience, although naturally it's for RPGs rather than boardgames.
  3. Generally the books and games I want to buy aren't easy to find in stores locally (and that includes the area where I work, which is a major city over an hour away by train from where I live), but my first choice is to ask one of the shops if they can be ordered. Quite often they can't, so I then turn to smaller businesses on the internet. Some of them are actual shops offering mail order, so buying from them is basically supporting someone else's local store; some are internet only but far removed from the likes of Amazon. Often they are people I've met at conventions and got to know through Twitter. Sometimes it works out surprisingly well: last week I ordered what I guessed were second-hand Champions supplements from a shop, but they turned out to be old stock... Shrinkwrapped third edition supplements including the GM screen for less than the original selling price, because the seller wasn't trying to inflate the cost and offer them as collector's items. So I ordered some more. I don't have much money to spare, but where I spend it does matter to me and in recent years I've tried to move away from automatically seeking the greatest discount. Ultimately, if I can't really afford the price of a hobby purchase then either I save up and buy it in future, or else I don't really need it; but that's a personal choice and I would not suggest that it should be the one everyone makes.
  4. That's helpful, thank you Beast. I've not looked into 6th edition as the thought of starting again after 5th was rather daunting, so I don't know how different the numbers are. I'll do a bit of reading now I know that the cards might work.
  5. These cards are a terrific idea and certainly address one of the key complaints about Hero, the lengthy and involved character gen. How much would need to be changed to make them work with 5th edition instead of 6th? Would it be worthwhile, or are the numbers simply too different?
  6. Fantastic, Lord Liaden. I'll definitely be settling down to watch that later.
  7. Re: What Are You Listening To Right Now? The Duckworth Lewis Method, a sort of concept album about cricket by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash. And it's simply glorious
  8. Re: What Have You Watched Recently? As a filler for a couple of weeks until our regular GM gets his superhero game together I'm running a brief Deadlands: Reloaded adventure, so naturally I had to head back to the DVD cabinet to rewatch my two essential Old West research models: Tombstone and Blazing Saddles They both still stand up rather well. Tombstone has the right feel for the sort of game we're playing and Blazing Saddles is essential viewing if you're going to catch what the players are laughing about. Charlie - They said you was hung! Bart - And they was right! Mind you, they're roughly equal in terms of historical accuracy, but what the heck, this is entertainment! And research... Yes, yes, research... Sadly, I can only watch films like these when my girlfriend is out for the evening. She hates westerns
  9. Re: What Are You Listening To Right Now? Brainiac's Daughter - The Dukes of Stratosphear (XTC's secret identities).
  10. Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it... Partly because I'm using them as research material for an upcoming adventure and partly because I haven't read them for a while I'm working through the Jerry Cornelius stories and novels, primarily by Michael Moorcock with contributions from several other writers and artists. There isn't really a single comprehensive edition of the short stories, but you can piece them together in The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius (the more recent American version loses The Dodgem Decision but collects several additional stories) and The New Nature of the Catastrophe; The Cornelius Quartet and A Cornelius Calendar are the easy way to get the novels and novellas. The older I get the more I get out of these stories, rooted in contemporary culture but universal enough to outlive their direct inspirations, be they the war in Vietnam or the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Hilarious, terrifying and brutally satirical. The experimental forms may not be as fresh as they were forty years ago but they still sparkle. Despite a couple of shelves groaning under the weight of my Moorcock books I notice that the man has no sympathy and continues to keep writing... A new Cornelius story appeared recently, as yet uncollected. You can also read one of the Cornelius stories, The Spencer Inheritance, online.
  11. Re: What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it... Ah, haven't read that one in years. It has survived occasional enforced weeding of my book collection, though, so I really ought to revisit it soon. I've just completed The Blue-Haired Bombshell by John Zakour, one of the increasingly predictable Zach Johnson P.I. series. The premise is fine - last P.I. on Earth, old-fashioned but has a snooty supercomputer wired into his brain - but after five books the continual appearance of powerful female characters (with the emphasis on "powerful" more than "character" as they're pretty much interchangeable) threatening the world with psionics and superpowers, defeated only by Zach, his smugly superior computer HARV and his telepathic secretary Carol... well, half of the pages seem to be devoted to justifying why someone doesn't just kill Zach first, then get on with their plan. Light reading, then, not anywhere near as funny as it ought to be and yet still fairly enjoyable. The jokes seem a little more tired and rather less frequent than in the earlier books; and the titles have never surpassed that of the first in the series, The Plutonium Blonde. Start there if you have any interest, rather than the later books. Before that I read Greg Farshtey's old Bloodshadows novel, Hell's Feast, fantasy noir detective thriller, with vampires. Every bit as cheesy as it sounds, on top of which it's gaming fiction. I enjoyed it immensely Hmm, what to read next...?
  12. Re: Death Race They played the trailer for this when I went to see Hellboy II. I may be mistaken, but it appeared to last for twenty long, long minutes... Well, I might be exaggerating, then. I turned to my girlfriend, who was staring in horrified disbelief at the screen, and said, "I think we've just watched the entire movie." Can't imagine how much else is left, considering that the plot is not exactly deep.
  13. Re: What Are You Listening To Right Now? Sheik Yerbouti - Frank Zappa
  14. Re: What Are You Listening To Right Now? Einstein A Go-Go by Landscape (having a bit of an eighties week, so dug out their album From the Tea-rooms of Mars... to the Hell-holes of Uranus.) Might move on to Japan's Tin Drum next.
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