TR Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Awesome RPG-Related Gifts

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Solarbotics
Happy Nerdy Holidays

It's hard to ask for RPG gifts for Christmas. The social stigma is fading year by year, so I no longer fear my parents calling an exorcist over my wish list, but there's still a maze of editions, similar-sounding games and supplements to ask people to dig through. This is in addition to the fact that RPGs still tend to be a little bit hard to find; arguably harder to find now than they were fifteen or so years ago before Barnes & Noble and Borders replaced so many independent booksellers...before closing most of their own locations..

People only have so much spare time, and playing more than one or two systems at once is pretty difficult; even if someone played two different games every week they would be playing at most 8-10 different games in a month, which is only a tiny portion of the massive amount of games available these days. Especially with Kickstarter helping to launch more RPGs than ever and many companies releasing their back catalogs through DrivethruRPG. The point being that it can be harder to find the right RPG for someone than finding a good costume in the New 52.

With all of that said, the list that follows tries to work around these challenges by providing ten system-neutral gifts for the RPG fan in your life. Even if that person is you. I don't judge. Even if I did judge, I probably wouldn't judge this time since I've already bought a lot of these things. They're pretty awesome.


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6 Reasons Why Assassin's Creed Unity Has Cemented My Hatred of the Series

Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 6:00 am

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It's become an annual event these past few years, along with Madden and Call of Duty: a new game in the Assassin's Creed franchise has become expected as we move closer to the winter months. While midnight launches might not be flooded with eager gamers, the fan base is large to ensure we can expect yearly games for some time.

That being said, it's now time for an admission: despite all of the great review, the ton of fan acclaim, and over seventy-three million copies sold, until Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, I absolutely despised the series.

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Shape Shifters, Deaf Gangsters and More: 7 Upcoming Horror & Crime Films Reviewed From AFI Fest

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Los Angeles' AFI Fest - I'm sorry, AFI Fest 2014 Presented by Audi, as they generally ask us to say at least once per article, is like Comic-Con for movie bloggers, in ways that are good and bad. It delivers the first looks of the season at many high-profile awards contenders, at screenings that are nigh-impossible to get a ticket to; and makes even the press have to wait in long lines to try and see anything else.

Fortunately for this site's purposes, I'm less interested in covering the new Martin Luther King biopic than I am midnight movies about monsters, Paul Thomas Anderson's attempt at a stoner comedy, and tense tales of criminals killing each other all over the world. Here are my full reviews of seven films (in no particular order) coming to, if not theaters, then at least an on-demand service near you soon.

(This took me all week to finish. Buckle up, and please note that not all embedded trailers are SFW.)

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9 Beloved Classic Arcade Games Revisited (and How We Can Learn From Them)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Sam Howzit, Flickr

Man, remember arcades? The noise of cabinets trying to outdo one another with their crappy blown-out speakers, the flashing lights, the Liquid Paper curse-words on the machines, the drug deals... arcades were the bomb.

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Weekstarter: Doctor Who Xmas Clip, Religious Vader, Skeletor Sells Hondas, Weird Al and More

Monday, November 17, 2014 at 6:00 am

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It's Monday! And you may be miserable, but we've rounded up a whole bunch of stuff - 15 items in all - from the Weekend Open Thread to make you smile and grimace, compiled with the aid of Kyle LeClair.

This week's tipsters include troi, Dredder, Gallen_Dugall, skrag2112, Anyone00, SlyDante777, GhostRacer21.

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15 Sequels That Don't Exist (but Should) Courtesy of iam8bit

Friday, November 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Liz Ohanesian
Cobra 2 by Jim Rugg
There are some movies that really could have used a sequel. Then there are the movies that we wish were left sequel-free. Los Angeles art gallery iam8bit plays with the dynamic between the sequels we want and the sequels we get in their latest group show. Called "Sequel," the show brings together a massive collection of prints for sequels that don't exist.

"It's part social commentary on Hollywood's franchise fatigue," says Jon Gibson, who co-owns iam8bit, "part just fun, movie-lover antics." The artists, who hail from across the globe, had relatively free reign over what they did and the offerings reflected that. Some of the sequels were goofy what-if scenarios, like a sequel to The Shining called The Torrances that appeared more comedy than horror. Others seemed like they could actually work as a sequel. Below are 15 highlights from the show. "Sequel" runs until November 23 and prints are now available through the gallery's website.

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20 Questions with Wizards of the Coast's D&D Development Team

Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Old Men Rolling Dice

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game. It also marks the release of the fifth and newest edition of the game. Well...fifth edition if you think "3rd Edition" was actually the "third edition."

After asking the keepers of secrets that are Wizards of the Coast's PR department, I was recently able to send in 20 questions to be answered by the D&D Research & Development team regarding the new edition. The questions cover a lot of territory, some old and some new. Given the indirect means of communication, I am uncertain whether the answers are direct from Mike Mearls or if they are team answers that have been redacted for security reasons. Whatever the case may be, many Bothans died to deliver these answers to you.

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12 Other Events Marvel Should Revisit for Their New Secret Wars

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Marvel Comics

Part of Marvel's big New York Comic Con news this year was the announcement of Secret Wars, a crossover from Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic that will act as an anniversary celebration of the original, as well as tie up all of the stories Hickman has been telling in his Avengers books. At the same time, Marvel started sending out preview art for old crossovers that...didn't really match what the old crossover had happen, unless the original Planet Hulk was secretly a porno (check out that handlebar stache on the bottom Hulk in the headline picture) and I missed it. They're digging deep on some of these crossovers, bringing back "Armor Wars," "Planet Hulk," "Days of Future Past," "Age of Ultron," "Marvel Zombies," and "Civil War" among others. With that in mind, here are 12 more crossovers that they could bring back, and how they can update them as part of Secret Wars' presumed multiversal insanity.


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The 10 Best Things About the Dope New Batman '66 Blu-ray Collection (Besides Its Mere Existence)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

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By the time I was old enough to really appreciate television - I'd say I was maybe 14 or 15 months old - the well-loved Batman '66 TV series was already more than a decade into reruns. But those reruns were a fixture of my youth, and the youth of millions of couch potatoes the world over. The show was fun no matter what: if you were a kid, you loved the colorful heroes and cartoonish fistfights, and if you were a little older, you also appreciated the show's fine sense of the absurd. Consequently, for a good few decades, it was impossible to go more than a week without stumbling across Batman while channel surfing. It was omnipresent.

The thing is, Batman never came out on home video in the DVD age. We got so many other popular shows from that era- Star Trek, The Time Tunnel, Man from UNCLE, and of course, The Dick Van Dyke Show- but Batman never made that leap. There are a few competing theories about why, but they're all generally about the same problem - red tape resulting from the show's complex brew of producers and rights-holders. Who was calling the shots for Batman on home video? DC Comics, who owned the character? ABC, Fox, or Greenway Productions, the three separate television companies who all had a stake in the show during its production? Or Warner Bros, DC's parent company? Somehow or another, the mess got sorted out, and Warner Home Video are poised to unleash the entire, fantastic run of 120 episodes on both DVD and Blu-ray today. I took a look at this tremendous new release - let's see what I've taken away from the experience.


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7 Ways Blizzcon 2014 Rocked

Monday, November 10, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Blizzcon has been the (mostly) annual videogame convention for all things created by Blizzard Entertainment since 2005. (They skipped putting on a show in 2006 and 2012.) Fans of Warcraft, Diablo and more converge at the Anaheim Convention Center for two cosplay-dressed days. Like a younger, just-as-caffeinated kid brother to LA's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Blizzcon delivers more hang time with game developers, competitive gaming tournaments, and, obviously, more orcs. Here are the seven things that rocked along with a few that felt a bit out of tune...


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