Building a Random World. Part 1: introduction. By Yasadu De Silva

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By: Yasadu De Silva

Hello all,

Recently, I had the idea to start a new tabletop RPG campaign. A tabletop RPG is where a group of friends sit around a table telling stories about characters they made up. All the major points of a story are there (setting, plot, etc.) However, there are two major points in which tabletop RPG’s differ from collaborative storytelling. Firstly, what the characters can do in the story is determined by rules and dice. There can be many rules; for example, RPG’s like Pathfinder or Shadowrun, or very little rules, for example RPG’s like Risus or Dungeon World. Secondly, the setting and the non-player characters are controlled by one person who does not have a character, called the GM. Sometimes, most of the setting is included in the rules, sometimes, the GM makes the setting by his/herself. For me, this is the case. I want to make a dark, low fantasy (low to no magic) setting for a RPG. I haven’t decided specifically which RPG, but most likely, it will be a RPG with many rules.

To do this, I have employed the aid of a book called the World Builders Guidebook, by Richard Baker.

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It is now out of print, but you can find many copies floating around on the internet. There are many random tables inside, which I will use to build the world I want.

Thank you for reading,

Yasadu De SIlva.

Umberland( Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Umberland, the second book in the Everland series, by Wendy Spinale is a remade version of Alice in Wonderland. This series is about the deadly Horologia virus ripping through the world. The English were working on the virus in a lab but the Blooded Queen of Germany strategically bombed this lab so that the virus got released into the air. Everyone is falling ill and there is no end in sight.

In this book, Doc finds the Professor’s journal that includes a missing ingredient of the virus. This ingredient is a poisonous apple from a tree that supposedly no longer exists. With this new information, Doc realizes they aren’t sick at all – they are poisoned. He needs this apple to make an antidote. Countless people are depending on it and he must enlist the help of someone crazy to retrieve the apple. Since Doc needs to stay and care for the ill, Duchess Alyssa of England goes to the Maddox Hadder, who knows how to get the apple. The apple tree is in the middle of the Bloodred Queens labyrinth. This is already extremely dangerous, but with two of the Bloodred Queen’s men looking for the same thing, it is even more so. With the Duchess gone and the Queen too ill to rule, England goes into chaos.

I liked this book because it was a twist on regular fairy tales and it combined a lot of different fairy tales into one interesting story. I recommend this book because it is very interesting and you will not be able to put it down.

The Three Stooges Collection, Volume 1

three-stooges-largeReview by: coolkid73

During the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, there was a comedy trio known as The Three Stooges, which consisted of actors Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard . They made 190 short films, and in the late 90s their shorts were released in a DVD series known as The Three Stooges Collection, which had eight volumes. This review is only about the first one, which features their first 19 short films. These shorts have been remastered in high definition and high quality sound, but are still in black and white. Here are some of my favorite shorts on this DVD.

“Men In Black”- In this short, The Stooges are doctors who can’t do their jobs. The jokes in this short are hilarious. It can be kind of boring to watch, but if you can understand the jokes, it’s really funny.

“Pop Goes the Easel”- In this short, The Stooges steal brooms from a store and hide in an art school to escape the police. This short has some great jokes, but the most interesting part is the huge clay fight towards the end.

“False alarms”- In this short, The Stooges work at a fire station but mess up every task and steal the chief’s car. It is a little too long in my opinion, but it’s funny to see The Stooges mess up every task they’re given and wreck the chief’s car.

“Whoops I’m an Indian”- In this short the stooges hide out in Native American disguises but are in trouble when they meet a guy whose wife just ran off with Native Americans. The humor is at its best here.

Hope you have enjoyed this reveiw and be sure to buy this DVD for yourself, or check it out on YouTube. Thanks for reading.

Book Review for The Hero and the Crown

The Hero and the Crown is a fantasy novel written by Robin McKinley. The main character is Aerin, who is the daughter of the King of Damar. Aerin never knew her mother, who had died birthing her, but people rumored that she was a witchwoman from the north that had enspelled the king into marrying her so that she could have an heir to the throne. Because of these beliefs, Aerin is an outcast in her own kingdom.

For years, Aerin’s  only friends are Teka, her maid, Tor, her cousin, and Arlbeth, her father, the King. They respect and believe in her unlike Galanna, another member of the royal family. Gallana hates Aerin, and tells her that she is not the King’s true daughter. She tells Aerin that she doesn’t have kelat (magic passed down in a royal family that acts as protection) in her blood, and dares her to eat a leaf of a surka plant, a lethal plant to all those not of royal blood. Aerin ends up eating a whole branch of surka leaves (supports her character of being stubborn and daring). She doesn’t die, which proved that she truly did have royal blood, but became very weak and sick, a condition that she had to put up with for many more years.

Since she was mostly confined to bed because of her illness, Aerin became extremely restless and she started wandering around the castle. She happened upon an old book about the history of Damar, and in the back there was a recipe for an ointment called kenet, which was fireproof (and dragon fire proof, as the book was also about Damar’s dragons). Aerin befriends her father’s lame war horse, Talat, because of his easygoing nature and her desperate need for a friend. She starts to experiment with the measurements for the kenet, and when she finally gets it, she decides to ride out with Talat to test it with a bonfire. (She had been practicing with Talat until he had been able to gallop smoothly even with his injured leg, and he had “become” Aerin’s horse now)

When the kenet proved successful on Aerin and Talat, Aerin decides that she will become a dragon killer, and rides put with Talat to a small village that was being terrorized by a dragon.

Again successful with her kenet, She kills the dragon and ends up saving many more villages from dragons. (These dragons were much smaller than the dragons described in the old book of Damar, those had died out and these were their relatives)

During this time though, Damar was being threatened by the northerners, and Arlbeth has to ride out to deal with them. Aerin asks to join the court’s journey, but her request is denied because her people don’t trust her. A plea of help arrives from another village that was being terrorized by the vicious dragon Maur, but Arlbeth had postponed that until he had delt with the northerners. Aerin saw her chance to earn her people’s respect, and she was able to go fight Maur because she wasn’t going with her father. When Aerin meets this dragon though, she finds out that it is much more dangerous and harder to beat than the rest of them…

Aerin ends up getting extremely injured from Maur so much that she was laying unconscious in a stream for a few days. When Arlebeth and his men found her and took her back to the castle, doctors found that her health was declining, and there was not much they could do for her. She had dreams about a man who said that he can help her, and she finally sets out to find him with Talat, leaving only a note to Tor behind. When she finds Luthe, the magician from her dreams, he helps her to heal, and in their time together, Aerin finds a true friend. But Luthe knows that there is evil still lurking, and Agsded, an evil magician who stole the crown of Damar. Luthe sends Aerin to fight Agsded, remembering that it was her mother’s wish to defeat him, as he was her brother that turned evil. Luthe finally gives Aerin The Blue Sword, named Gonturan for protection.

Along the way to Agsded’s fortress, Aerin is joined by wild cats and dogs, who prove to be very gentle and good companions. When she reaches Agsded’s fortress with “her army,” Aerin meets Agsded in a fight between the Blue Sword and the Red Sword. Agsded has a massive amount of power and knowledge on magic. But Aerin has the force of pure goodness, and the dragonstone of Maur, his last drop of blood that he shed before he died. Aerin must defeat Agsded and get the Crown back before time runs out.

I truly enjoyed this book as a book that you can’t put down. It was extremely satisfying to finish, and I was captivated by the heroic ending. I would recommend this book for more experienced readers though, or else you might not get it, and be in a drag. (And that’s not good at all!) I would rate the Hero and the Crown 5/5 stars.

The Running Dream Review

Stars- 5/5

Summary- Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?
As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say, act like she’s not there. Which she could handle better if she weren’t now keenly aware that she’d done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.
With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.

Thoughts- It was really good. I love books like this. I liked how Jessica learned how to deal with her disability and how people supported her and helped her get through something that changed her life.
Age- 11+

The Empty Street

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Walking down the empty street,

With broken arms and crippled feet.

Trotting down the empty lane,

Healing minds break the insane.

Fleeing from your cold embrace,

Freedom’s rags are Slavery’s lace.

Running through the empty street,

Panting in the freezing heat.

Sprinting down the cobblestones,

Absconding from the gruesome moans.

Treading the cruel and empty street,

Pursued by the sinister demon’s fleet.

Love has left the eagle’s nest,

Dwelling now where vulture’s rest.

In the wake of the empty street,

Carnage and desolation meet.

Joy is dead! Broken and lost,

Drowned amidst the summer’s frost.

Love is gone! Crushed and forlorn,

Darkness in the street til morn.

https://rakurinwritesblog.wordpress.com/

Dewey: The Small – Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (Book Review)

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I personally LOVE cats, so this book really popped out at me when I was looking for a book to sit down and read. It is a warm and beautiful story, and really touches your heart as you read every word that Vicki Myron writes. This is a true story that she lived, and some copies have pictures in them of the real Dewey.

You might think that something like this, a book about a library cat, would not be very interesting. But it was! What would you do if someone dumped a stray kitten into the drop box of your library? “It was as cold in the box as it was outside; maybe colder, since the box was lined with metal. You could have kept frozen meat in there. I was still catching my breath when I saw the kitten.” And that’s how it started for Vicki and Dewey.

Dewey, named after Melville Dewey, reminds me of a very defined character from any book. He has that kind of comical sense to him like, when someone uses the word ‘bath’ and ‘Dewey’ in the same sentence, he should suddenly disappear for a few days until someone can coax him out with treats. At the same time, Dewey is extremely affectionate. More than I can explain. When there would be children at the library, he would cuddle. When there was a handicapped person, he would keep them company. If someone was sad, he would comfort them in ways that humans couldn’t understand.

But Dewey was always Vicki’s best friend. With her struggles with family issues and cancer, she really needed someone, and Dewey was there for her. He was so sweet, and I cried at some parts in this book. It went slow sometimes, but it’s a very good read. Dewey really shows a strong character, even if he was only a library cat.