Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Zovarue

Zeugma's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 876 posts (1,038 including aliases). 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 4 aliases.


Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some further thoughts on THoC:

The aspects of the novel that seem most D&D-like are:
-"magic" dust that lets people travel to an astral plane.
-a gate-way into another dimension that the heroes HAVE to go through.
-a big THINGY OF DOOM that Thou Shalt Not Touch, and someone touches it anyway.

Oh, and the contest the heroes are forced to compete in is a bit like some contest-based modules where the PCs need to use their own particular skills to succeed.

Spoiler:

There's even a Thief character in the story who uses his pick-pocket skills to get around in alt-Philly, and is forced to compete against the Chief of Police in the "Hunger Games"-like contest.

If I were to borrow from THoC for my own role-playing game, I'd probably have Ulithia be a place, because the White Weaver is certainly cool, but the more satiric-alt-timeline stuff I likely wouldn't use. However, I could see someone else using it, especially if they like mixing in "real world" stuff with their fantasy, like the "Reign of Winter" Pathfinder book where the PCs get to kill Rasputin.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A review of Francis Stevens' The Heads of Cerberus:

Spoiler:

The plot may be a bit hard to summarize so please bear with me. The premise of the book is that three normal people from 1918 (the modern day when the story was serialized) accidentally snort the "Dust of Purgatory" and travel to an astral-plane called Ulithia, where time flows backwards & forwards. The lady in charge there (The White Weaver) tells them to pass through the moon-gate, and when they do, they think they've returned home to 1918 Philadelphia...it looks just like the normal world they left! Almost...
It turns out the moon-gate leads them to another dimension, an alternate-dimension future (the year 2118) where they're stuck in a dystopian society, where the lower classes are known by numbers, not names and all knowledge is controlled by a corrupt elite. Because they're outsiders and ignorant of alt-Philly's laws, the good-guys are to be put to death! But! There's a chance for them to escape death by competing in a "Hunger Games"-like contest (only less "Hunger Games," more...Gulliver's Travels meets Star-Search). Action and adventure ensue. Guns and fist-fights are involved; two of the adventurers fall in love with each other in the course of fighting for their lives (hetero-style, because 1918).
Finally, at the very last minute, they manage to escape by ringing the big red Bell of Doom that EVERYONE says they Should. Not. Ring. (that part really does remind me of some D&D games I've played in). The alt-Philly timeline dissolves and they find themselves in the "real" Philadelphia they left, and discover that only several hours had passed in their world, while many days had passed in alt-Philly world.

The sci-fi part comes in when the guy who was trying to steal the "Dust of Purgatory" in the first place explains Star-Trek style that the dust is really a strange alchemical substance that allows people's "sympathetic vibrations" to vibrate in a pattern that leads them to become out-of-phase with the atomic structure of this world, and helps them visit the astral plane of Ulithia; that there are other worlds "within worlds" through the moon-gate and infinite-timelines, that they just visited one of them. The explanation reminded me of that episode of ST:NG when Ensign Ro Laren and Geordi LaForge are "out of phase" with normal matter because of a cloaking-device malfunction (ep: "The Next Phase"); only in this case, instead of the protagonists being able to see-and-hear the "real" Philadelphia, they're totally phased into alt-Philadelphia. When the Bell of Doom gets rung, the "sympathetic vibrations" of the bell knock their molecules back into alignment with the world they came from and they return home.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay! I read "The Heads of Cerberus"! Time for a review.

My preliminary thoughts, which I wrote on a secret map made of moonlight:
Weird/occult/sci-fi written in 1918. Definitely has some Gygax-like flourishes: A bit of astral-plane hopping; an alternate-history time-line; Star Trek-like explanations for said time-line ("as you know, Scotty..."), adventure (fights! romance!) with a dash of "1984" and/or "Gulliver's Travels" dystopian satire. Also: bad Irish stereotypes and accents (see: 1918).

A more involved review to follow (spoilered for length/and-or you really want to be surprised!)

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Div-blooded sorcerer! Yay! :)

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The US Trademark Office is a silly place. Next, they will go after the OED for including <gasp> WORDS, as in "Words with Friends," in their product!

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Francis Steven books came! I got "The Citadel of Fear", but, more excitingly: "The Heads of Cerberus" in a 1st edition library binding, with illustrations and a foreword by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach! He describes THoC:

Eshbach wrote:
Of her works, only The Heads of Cerberus can be called science fiction -- though even in this story a strong inclination toward a wilder fantasy is evident.

More review will be forthcoming, once the novel is read.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

And I want to see Bette Davis as Jezebel.

Um...I'm pretty sure the Bette Davis "Jezebel" has nothing to do with the Old Testament. Jezebel on imdb

Also:

Spoiler:

Mel Brooks wrote:


15!...10! 10 Commandments!

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh dang, I just noticed a BIG mistake in that review. Knode misidentifies Brackett as the author of The Big Sleep. Raymond Chandler totally wrote that book! Maybe Brackett was involved in the screenplay, but that does not excuse a mistake THAT big!

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

F5, F5, F5, F5!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

[pouts] I bet she just has a two-second walk-on part...maybe not even any spoken dialog.[/pouts]

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mojo Nixon.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Took a detour from Norwich and Shakespeare to read John Bellairs' "The Face in the Frost" for Halloween. It was fun, and not nearly as scary as people have said it is. :)

Qadira

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Introducing the next Appendix N read: Manly Wade Wellman!

I think one of the commentators on the Tor message-board is correct in saying that the reviewers have it backwards: they are judging the books by their latter imitators (such as the X-Files) and not appreciating them as progenitors.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

JOHN BELLAIRS! JOHN BELLAIRS!

Can you tell I'm a fan?

I mostly (okay, only) knew him from his YA works, but "The Face in the Frost" started it all. I think he would have been a good Miskatonic/Cthulhu fan-fiction writer, because of all the great "weird" elements he puts in his books.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
Circe wrote:
Why would anyone want to re-boot that pig? You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear...I should know!

But Circe, if they make a Wonder Woman movie, it could be your big chance to light up the silver screen! (I mean, let's face it, your competitors for Wonder Woman's arch-nemesis are Cheetah and Giganta, so you're darn close to a shoe-in...)

My fine dog-headed canine, reverse that sentiment. The "Circe" movie is a fine opportunity for Wonder Whinny to get some screen time, if I let her live awhile...

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I need to get out more... I'd read all of the ones they've reviewed so far. Hope they do Bellairs' The Face in the Frost next -- possibly the best book about wizards ever written.

It has been FOREVER since I've read John Bellairs! I read all of the Anthony Monday and Lewis Barnavelt books when I was in middle school. Wow. That takes me back. I've got to re-read and see if they hold up now that I'm an adult with my "sophisticated" Eng Lit degree.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:

(Psst...Dicey! Two up!)

Uh, hi, Zeugma, have you met my friend, Lord Dice? He's got quite a library at his estate...no, don't look in the kennels!

[Don Juan de Doodlebug: Wingman Extraordinaire]

[snark]Doesn't a Private Message option on the boards obviate the need for wingoblins?[/snark]

Spoiler:

No seriously, have you and HD been talking about me behind my back?What's he say about me? Is it the snakes? Is he staring at my snakes? Great, now I just sound paranoid!

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:


Here's the wiki page.

Of the four films that are mentioned as examples of pre-Jaws blockbusters--Quo Vadis, The Ten Commandments, Gone With the Wind, Ben-Hur--not a single one of them was released in the summer.

I suppose one could argue that the Biblical epic Ben-Hur could cut it as a modern blockbuster, but Gone With the Wind? In modern terms, that's a total (racist) chick flick. The other two I've never seen.

You haven't seen Yul Brynner's abs in The 10 Commandments? Also, there's a sequel: The 15 Commandments.

While we might call Gone With the Wind a "chick flick" nowadays, it wasn't marketed as a "women's picture" back in the day, and it certainly had a much bigger budget and action sequences than if it had been one. Link. Aside from the racism and atavistic view of the South, there's no way GWTW would be made by any studio today.

Producer: You want us to produce a 4-hour romance movie based on a novel for HOW much money? Hahahaha! Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan. She just announced its sequel on her website.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

History documentaries (good ones) are really expensive. Even a single historical photograph that is "public domain" material costs money: there are archive fees, research fees, and lots of due diligence from the legal department to make sure the image can be used. And that's just one photo!

Also, the "easy to watch" factor. Sad to say, but people would rather look at fools making fools of themselves than get interested in history that actually matters, because doing that takes thought and reflection.

Mikaze wrote:
Grey Lensman wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

Why and how did it get this way?

Is it a case of it being cheaper to make shows like this? I'm talking about the reality based shows.

Sadly, it's the 'cheaper' part that I think is the answer. A reality 'star' commands almost no salary at all unless the show becomes a big hit. Mostly, they are hoping to get famous. Few to no sets, plus low paychecks for the cast combine to make a program that costs substantially less than a sitcom, drama, or even a documentary. If a program costs 10% of a standard show, then even if it gets half the ratings the network has still made a large jump in profitability.

This is the cold hard truth of it.

Coupled with the fact that people actually watch those shows and enable this downward spiral, it gets downright depressing.

The only exceptions seem to be those networks that have a "labor of love" thing going for them. Again, TCM is the only one that comes to mind for that.

TCM is great, and I think of it as the "Film History" channel.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lanx wrote:

But ... he is the ruling pharao, just as Grand Prince Stavian III is the ruling emperor of Taldor (and Charles is the Prince of Wales as sovereign over this county, not as son of Queen Elizabeth). "The Ruby Prince" is something like a titular name, just as his father was the Crocodile King.

Edit: I just scrolled up and saw that I just answered a post before. But it's true none the less.

Thanks Lanx, for the clarification on the title. It still bothers me though. I understand the Prince of Wales is a sovereign over Wales, but in the future he will be king of England and his title as Prince of Wales won't be as important as his greater-scope sovereignty. I just find it odd that, in Golarion, the Pharaoh would choose to go by his "lesser" title rather than the more-expansive title of Pharaoh. Stavian may have political reasons for doing so, because he needs to unify fractious Taldor (the same reason Prince of Wales is such a "hot" title for heirs apparent in England, to quell Welsh nationalism), but Khemet doesn't seem to have those problems.


©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.