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Everything posted by Dr.Bedlam

  1. She Who Dances With Mouselings likes zombie novels. Postapocalypse in general, but zombies are a big thing. This will be important later. Back in 1963, Belgian cartoonist Peyo had hit it pretty big with the Smurfs. That year, he released a new story album titled The Black Smurfs. In it, one Smurf is bitten on the tail by an unusual fly. Within seconds, the Smurf in question goes into spasms, turns black, becomes hostile, and can only say one word... "Gnap!" The Black Smurf staggers back towards the Smurf Village, where he encounters another Smurf, whom he bites. And THAT Smurf spasms, turns black, and becomes hostile. The two proceed to infect others, and form a horde that threatens the Smurf Village! Eventually, Papa Smurf, the only one who can possibly develop an antidote, is trapped in his barricaded house, under siege by an army of black infected... Eeeeyeah. You see where this is going. Five years later, George Romero made a movie with a very similar premise, Night Of The Living Dead. But I have always found it hilarious that the SMURFS guy, of all people, had the idea first! So when I found this at a used bookstore, I felt it needed to be in the Castle Bedlam library. When reprinted, these days, the Smurfs are purple instead of black, to avoid unfortunate implications. It's my understanding that at least one episode of the Saturday morning cartoon used this premise as well, although I've never seen it.
  2. ERTL, last I heard, still made a few toys, the likes of which are what you will find on the back wall of a feed store. Farm sets, rodeo sets, and toy trucks and farm machinery.
  3. Close enough for horseshoes. I got a Western Town years ago before they started going for gold on eBay, and have used it in western skirmish. And their farms are close enough, although you have to leave out the modern field machinery and suchlike. Now I kinda want one of those.
  4. I can't get a goblin village as a boxed set from ERTL at a local feed store in the toy section. An ordinary farm, on the other hand...
  5. It was on a thread somewhere around here recently that I was discussing with other forumites about the old TSR novels, books based on D&D and its environs, like the Dragonlance books. It was mentioned that most of this stuff was out of print. This is mostly true; look at contemporary bookstores, and what you will find is the first few Dragonlance books, in reprint with new covers, and whatever Drizz't books have come out recently. Most everything else is out of print, and there aren't many D&D novels being written or printed these days; Hasbro is a toy company, not a publisher, and presumably sees little point or profit in overseeing a line of novels. At a used bookstore over the weekend, though, I noted that in the recent past, there was a line of Pathfinder novels. And I noted with some bemusement that some of these novels seem to have been written by the same people who used to write for TSR... notably Elaine Cunningham, Ed Greenwood, and others... I couldn't help but find THAT sort of interesting.
  6. But more or less workable for BattleTech...
  7. Beholders were never all that hard to find in metal. I still have one for Chainmail that looks much like the Todd Lockwood concept art. But when they went plastic, prepainted, and collectible, they were VERY hard to find; they were invariably the rares in a given set, and therefore much harder to get. The old blind box models still go for a pretty penny, with or without a stat card. I would have THOUGHT that the new unpainted blister beholders would be plentiful. They aren't. I'm guessing they come in boxed assortments of figures, and are therefore shortpacked. Retailer either snatches 'em up before they go on the pegs, or they sell fast to the general public, and then retailer doesn't want to order any more until the Dwarf Barbarians and Rust Monsters sell down enough to justify buying another assortment to put on the pegs. Hence, no beholders. Hence, more DEMAND for beholders. Hence, they get snatched up and sell for hefty markups on eBay. Same as the shortpacked Star Wars action figures, when there was such a thing as Toys R Us. Hell, I don't even know why I wanted a beholder. I have beholders in metal and plastic, from literally every era of the D&D game, based on every illustration of beholders ever made. I have not-beholders from five separate companies, and two others that are licensed. I almost have enough beholders to make my own army of the dratted things. ....and still... there's that new one... I'd like to think when I'm old and greyer than I am now that I can get eBay prices for all the stuff sitting around the hobby room....
  8. Even when it's NOT collectible, it's collectible.
  9. This is why Bog gave us used bookstores. Lot of the stuff is still in print... but I recently learned that much of it is long gone, and fairly collectible these days, notably the Dragonlance books with the original Larry Elmore covers. Those will run you ten bucks or more each in good condition on the collector market. I also learned that Hickman and Weis rewrote the original Dragonlance saga into a series of children's novels! I'd had no idea! But the only way to find them is by haunting used bookstores....
  10. Frying MOST things tends to make them more palatable. Growing up in the south, fried okra, either pan fried or breaded and deep fried, that's comfort food. Babies, on the other hand, I don't recommend frying. It's an awful mess and leads to awkward conversations with police officers, and terrible rumors that tend to come back to haunt you when you decide to run for public office.
  11. I dunno. The only reason I can think of for buying a little model of Optimus Prime that I have to paint myself? To annoy people when I play a game of Battletech.
  12. Louise Fletcher is known as a remarkably pleasant person, but durn, she plays some EVIL characters.
  13. KotB wasn't bad. Not great literature, but not bad. Haven't read QK since high school.
  14. I would cheerfully buy Masters of the Universe characters in 28mm, but I have no idea what I'd do with Optimus Prime in the same scale. Or most other scales, really. Whose idea was THIS? I'm envisioning some Hasbro executive who wanders through the D&D offices occasionally, saying, "Hey, neat miniatures! You know what would go GREAT with these? Something from a preestablished toy line! How about Transformers? Yeah, Transformers! Make it happen!"
  15. Published around 2001, there were a BUNCH of these, based on the old Greyhawk modules, notably Against The Giants, Descent Into The Depths Of The Earth, and White Plume Mountain. There may have been others. They all followed the same basic plot as the modules; this one opens with our heroes arriving at the Keep and aiding the local guards at fighting off ambushes on supply caravans. Our heroes later take the fight to the enemy, and guess where they find them...?
  16. The novelization actually STARTED with that. Such is the nature of dragons. If they can't kill you for one reason or another, they'll annoy you half to death.
  17. Balgin's got the right of it. KotB was a functional ecology of monsters, albeit a bit crowded. One of the first "clever" moves I ever made as a DM was to rule that no wildlife bigger than a mouse could be found near the Caves of Chaos. I did not tell the players this; I simply fudged the rolls when the players "went hunting." They either encounted nothing, a Wandering Monster, or a scene where something had happened -- dried blood spots, a pile of offal, and nothing more. Even the birds were quiet (there weren't any). Once they encountered the Caves, the Elf figured out what the score was. "No wonder there are no animals... not even birds or squirrels. This bunch has been EATING them!" Everybody had kids to feed!
  18. Lorne Michaels tells terrible tales of the time Milton Berle hosted the show. To hear Michaels tell it, there wasn't room in 30 Rockefeller Plaza for SNL's cast, crew, and Milton Berle's ego.
  19. In 1982, I encountered Dustin Hoffman. He ran away from me. Wondered about that for years afterwards.
  20. When I find myself with a similar problem, I start by drilling and pinning and testfitting, and then dropping a pin in, gluing, and using putty or Zap-A-Gap to fill any obvious space. The medium depends on the size of the gap.
  21. You are, of course, correct. Your facts are factual, and I can add nothing. But in 1979, I did not know this, and assumed anyone who looked like HIM certainly did drugs by the barrel. That, and if you listen to his instrumentals, he SOUNDS for all the world like an extremely talented freestyler, not someone who ruthlessly regimented every note. Hell, in "The Radio Is Broken," he included a blatant mistake in the recorded track, as well as himself and at least one other band member laughing about having made a mistake! HOW could this guy be an arrogant, smug perfectionist? HOW? And of course, at the time, I regarded SNL as the brave new world of television, the greatest thing on the air, and a blazing experiment in the immediacy and electricity of LIVE TELEVISION! Yes, yes, I know, I know, I was an idiot, you don't have to quote all the live television of previous decades. I was a kid, and I thought what I thought. Until I read a number of books about SNL and Zappa, years later, and was afterwards wiser and richer in facts. At any rate, how could one NOT be utterly delighted to participate in this grand and glorious experiment? ....well, apparently, any given arrogant musician who regards television as trash, and yet is willing to take money to perform on it. Go figure.
  22. Eeeeyeah, Murlocs are not known for blending into the background. In terms of coloration OR behavior...
  23. I was fortunate to have been just the right age to have seen the first generation of Saturday Night Live, with the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players. And I remember the times the show sort of went off the rails. And the time Frank Zappa was there was one of those times. The energy was WEIRD that night, and Frank seemed a little odd and stiff. They ALL did. NOBODY was relaxed and on target, and at least one sketch seems to have gone meandering, instead of hitting its punch lines. I was familiar with Frank's music, and expected a much looser, more relaxed, funnier fellow. Instead, he seemed to range from "stiff" to "barely restrained hostility." Well, except during his musical interludes, which I enjoyed immensely -- they were tracks that hadn't been released yet. Years later, I would find that Frank and the SNL cast and crew did NOT like each other -- Frank was put off by their loosey goosey attitude (they were famous for being sloppy all the way up to dress rehearsal, and Belushi in particular would loll around even during dress, but then get hyperfocused during live performance) and the SNL gang did not care for his prima donna artiste act; he was apparently rather arrogant, smug, and contemptuous of the whole "television" thing. And of course, he did NOT do drugs, whereas the SNL cast ran on the stuff.
  24. In the city of Paradise, Arizona, there's roughly one police officer for each seven citizens. In addition as many as one in five civilians has a concealed carry license, or at least whips out a gun if there's trouble. And yet, there is no fire department whatsoever. In the game "Postal II," which is set entirely in Paradise, AZ, on Tuesday, an angry mob of activists will set the library on fire at some point, regardless of what you do or don't do. The library remains on fire throughout the rest of the game... which ends on Friday evening. Paradise's library, seen above, is quite large. The town also has a largish law enforcement center, a HUGE church, a surprisingly large post office and parcel distribution center, a fairgrounds where elephants are trained, and a variety of other businesses one would expect to find in any town.Paradise seems to have no schools or educational facilities whatsoever. Given the nature of the game, this is probably a good thing.
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