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    • By Dr.Bedlam
      I saw this ad in Fantasy Modeling #5 back around '80 or '81 and immediately sent off for the Dragontooth catalog, and promptly bought the dragon. I think it cost something like $20, if you factor in the shipping. I knew when the box containing him arrived, because I think the box must have weighed twenty pounds.
       
      He was about the size of my hand, five and a half inches from tabletop to wing tip, and weighed approximately fifty pounds. Solid lead. Eight parts; Two wings, torso, four legs, and the top of his head and upper jaw. Wings would NOT stay on with crazy glue, epoxy, solder, or Sovereign Glue.
       
      My players must have fought that dragon three or four times in the three years we existed as a gaming group before we all went off to college and scattered to the four winds. One of the boys named him Skippy. As in, "Dragon? Oh, man, Skippy's gonna hit the table!"
       
      There weren't a whole lot of dragons back then. Toy dragons may have existed, but we didn't have any clue where to find one. And metal dragons had begun to exist, but I lived in a little tiny Texas cow town in the middle of nowhere. For us, there was Skippy, and we loved him well.
       
      So naturally, he was among the things my parents tossed out when I left for college. I have never seen another Dragontooth dragon like him. He was seventy pounds of solid lead, and probably illegal to sell, these days, but I'd buy another one in a minute.
       
       This is my newest dragon. Arrived today. He's pretty, and I hear they have him at Wal Mart, now. He and his box of friends cost fifteen bucks.

      And back in 1980, I'd have flapped my arms and flown to the moon by sheer force of personality if I thought it would have got me a dragon like this.

      But then.... today... you can find dragons anywhere. I think Reaper makes one or two different dragons, don't they......?

      Who was YOUR first dragon?
    • By Dr.Bedlam
      NICHOLAS, DUKE OF NOMADS

      SYMBOLISM: Craftiness, ambition, facial tattoos
      When reversed, do NOT give money to panhandlers today. When upright, today is a good day to look for treasure in the usual locations, particularly Hot Topic and your favorite hobby shop, but NOT used bookstores; to a Nomad, a book is something you use to level a table with one short leg.
      QUOTE: "I have something in which you may be interested..."
       PIFFLE, FOOL OF DRAGONLORDS

      SYMBOLISM: Humor, fun, sheltered idiocy
      When reversed, do NOT get into arguments online, and stay away from the comments sections. When upright, it's a good day to do something fun, but as always, avoid teh stoopidz unless you have a higher level of protection than most of us, who are bogged down with consequences.
      QUOTE: "I say, I say, I say!"
    • By Dr.Bedlam
      I’ve done it.
      I’ve done it.
      I’ve finally figured out what my Super Power is.
       
      Now guys like Superman, they get the combo platter. Not me. I knew I wouldn’t get anything like that. Hell, I’m amazed I got anything at all, and Murphy’s Law firmly dictates that I wouldn’t get anything USEFUL.
       
      At least not without a little thought.
       
      For years now, I have not much cared for the chore of grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is a pain in the tuckus. For some reason, in grocery stores, people don’t seem to notice my existence. People blaze in front of me like they’re in a desperate hurry to get to the bakery section before they run out of rolls... and then stop cold once they’re blocking my path. If I am attempting to buy, say, a can of beans, I will arrive at the beans only to find one or two people strategically blocking all the beans while they indulge in the Trance of Meditative Consumption, serenely contemplating the nature of beans and their place in the universe.
       
      And then they’ll give me a dirty look when I invade their personal space to reach over their fraggin’ shoulders to get a honkin’ can of beans.
       
      But today, though, it hit me. What if my particular super power is to interfere with the brain function of those around me?
       
      It doesn’t work on everyone, sure. My coworkers and my students don’t seem to get any dumber; it’d be kind of a bad thing for a teacher to have. Berni doesn’t seem to notice it, and she’s rather sharp, and gets no dumber in my presence. But it definitely affects some people, some more than others. It seems to hit the elderly and the very young particularly hard. And for some reason, it works like CRAZY when I’m at the supermarket.
       
      So today, I actually experimented, mapped it out. I discovered that it’s a FIELD, it surrounds me, and it extends about ten feet around me. What’s worse, the outer EDGE of it extends another five feet or so, and it SPEEDS UP brain function. Walk into that perimeter, you may or may not notice me, but suddenly, slow and sedentary Grandpa is going to RUSH LIKE HELL without even realizing it... and if his path takes him into the Dead Zone, he’ll suddenly stop right in front of me with an expression on his face that says, “Where did I leave my keys...?”
       
      And from MY perspective... or anyone else’s... Grandpa was making his leisurely way through the meat section, suddenly put on a burst of speed for no apparent reason, and stopped cold RIGHT in front of me, blocking my path, most likely with a confused look on his face...
       
      It’s not always that pronounced. Sometimes, they won’t stop, but they’ll slow down. Or suddenly decide to take five minutes to pick a brand of cereal. And other times they’ll stop cold with little OUT TO LUNCH signs in both eyes, right in my path, where just before, they were productively rolling along, picking products off the shelves. I think it also might account for the habit the bag boys have of loading all the canned goods on top of the bread and/or the eggs.
       
      This has been happening to me for years. I don’t even GO to Wal-Mart any more; the effect there is so pronounced, it can take me hours to find and pay for three items and work my way out the door. Weekends at King Soopers, it varies... but I’ve found that going to buy groceries on the weekdays, when there’s no one but retired people and young moms there? Be ready to stop the basket QUICK, because someone’s four year old WILL bolt in front of the basket and stop cold like he just forgot his name, and allow for some extra time at the dairy case, because Granny will suddenly go into a trance while she looks at the milk like she’s wondering which color would go with the kitchen drapes the best.
       
      And now I know. Now, all that’s left is to figure out how to best harness this power for good.
       
      Or failing that, how to use it to make a bunch of money...
    • By Pingo
      http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/klingon-tourist-center-sweden/?iid=ob_lockedrail_bottomlarge
       
      Sweden is a major epicenter of the international LARP community, isn’t it?
       
      Anyhow:
       
       
       
    • By Dr.Bedlam
      I have a question for the group mind, and I'm tossin' it out HERE because this board is a congenial bunch and perhaps geeky enough that someone might have a clue as to the answers I'm lookin' for. But it's a COMPLICATED question, and requires some background.

      Awright, Star Wars. SW is owned by Lucasfilm, outright. No one owns any PIECES of it. And Lucasfilm is owned by Disney, so Disney's who you ask if you want to make a SW TV show, movie, theme park, candy treat, garment, or toy product. Period. One stop shopping. Perhaps Disney's licensing department has a special Star Wars division, but that's about it as far as divisions go.

      Now, The Walking Dead is a little different. Anything based on the TV show has to go through AMC, the TV cable channel that produces the show. However, there is an entirely separate licensing division based on the comic book that the TV show was lifted from. Hence, you want to make a Daryl Dixon action figure, or use the likeness of Andrew "Rick" Lincoln, you go through AMC... but you could make a TWC miniatures game based on the likenesses of the comic characters by simply contacting rights owner and TWC creator Robert Kirkman. But there's TWO different ways to go.

      ...which brings us to The Avengers/Marvel. The Marvel Cinematic Universe... that is, The Avengers, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America... is OWNED by Marvel Comics, which is owned by Disney, who made the movies. However, the Fantastic Four are owned by Marvel/Disney, but 20th Century Fox has the movie rights, and made the movies, while Sony has the movie rights to Spider-Man, and I'm STILL trying to figure out who-all has the rights to X-Men.

      All the CHARACTERS are owned by Marvel, but the MOVIES and MOVIE RIGHTS are tied up nine ways from Sunday by different companies, to the point where getting Spider-Man for the last Avengers flick was considered a major achievement. And SOME of these people are JERKS about it; the first Fantastic Four movie was literally made solely to keep the movie rights, and was never intended to be released, and when the rightsholders wouldn't sell back or even lease the rights back to Disney, Marvel cancelled the FF comic in retaliation... despite it having been in print continuously since 1963.

      But I'm digressing; this is piled too deep as it is. So back to my question: I'm thinkin' about Star Trek.

      Been on a bit of a kick lately; bought the Modiphius minis for the Next Gen bridge crew, and have begun acquiring the HeroClix minis of the original series. And I have been in several discussions about the new Star Trek TV series, about which I have mixed feelings, particularly about the Klingons, who for some reason still speak tlhIngan Hol, straight out of Okrand's dictionary, but in no way resemble any Klingons ever seen on TV or movies previously, as well as having some weird new cultural traits.

      I do not care for this. I want the Next Gen Klingons back. But the show is what it is, and some like it and some don't, and, well, we'll always have Qo'Nos, right?

      But then someone on Facebook was tellin' me, "Dude, it's because the people makin' this new show don't have the rights to the old style Klingons."

      I said, "Hah? It's Paramount. Paramount Pictures bought the rights from Desilu Studios, back in the day. How can they not have the rights to their own show?"

      "Naw, dude, Paramount split from Viacom, and now they both have different rights to different parts of Star Trek, dude. That's why Shatner's Captain Kirk was born in Iowa but grew up on space colonies, but Chris Pine's Captain Kirk grew up on Earth and stole classic cars. That's why the new Klingons are bald and blue and fly around in giant Christmas ornaments, dude -- they had to create NEW Klingons, because the OTHER company has the rights to the Michael Dorn Klingons."

      "................do WHA?"

      So I did some research. Then I stopped, because my head hurt. Near as I can tell, boiled down, Viacom has SOME of the Star Trek IP rights... and Paramount has some OTHER Star Trek IP rights... but as far as I could tell, it was largely a matter of who could make TV shows as opposed to who could make and distribute movies. And if Klingons are a bone of contention, why are there Vulcans in all the new iterations?

      Are Klingons an issue of property rights, or did someone just say, "Naw, I think Klingons should be bald and blue now, for no apparent reason, other than that I am a Hollywood Big Shot, and I Say So,"?

      And what about the merch rights?

      Can anyone out there shine some light on this?


       
       
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