[D&D5e] The Vault of Ezel Torm

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Riffing on the Last Home of the Three Heretics of Xaeen map posted last week, Clark Peterson (former founder of Necromancer Games and Legendary Games) put together an overall background and description that then leads into an encounter description for one of the chambers (one of the more evocative chambers – room 16).

Last Home of the Three Heretics of Xaeen (300 dpi promotional - no commercial license)
Last Home of the Three Heretics of Xaeen

It includes monster stats, tactics, and of course background and lore, all assembled in a nice 5e D&D package that he sent me and gave the blessing for posting here.

[Download Clark Peterson’s 3-page Vault of Ezel Torm here]

View original post

Premiere Review | Assault Lily: Bouquet

The Afictionado

What’s it about? Many years ago, mecha-monsters known as the Huge began appearing and wreaking havoc on Earth. Hitotsuyanagi Riri dreams of joining the Lilies, the elite squad of teenaged girls who fight the Huge with a combination of magic and science. Lucky for her, she got on the waitlist for the prestigious academy where the Lilies are trained—and now it’s time for her monster-fighting debut!

Speculative fiction is at its best when it’s asking big questions, such as “is teen girls fighting mechs with oversized weapons the coolest thing you’ve ever seen, or what?”

Read the whole article on AniFem!

View original post

Weird Autumn: September ’20 Roundup

The Afictionado

It’s been another busy month, ensconced in grading, teaching, and wading through research! I had to take two days off to sleep the other week, but apart from that I’m holding it together and powering along!

In other good news, my brain is processing image-heavy media like comics again, so I’ve been consuming a lot of good good gay graphic novels.

On the blog:

The Ship of Theseus, Questions of Identity, and Phos – a philosophical rumination on the weirdness of changing identity and personal growth, with some help from Land of the Lustrous and a borrowed metaphor about deep-fried pineapple.

Queer YA Spotlight: Spellhacker – a celebration of the fun sci-fi-fantasy genre blend that’s all about sticking it to the man and saving the world.

On The Conversation:

Night in the Woods: the video game that captures bittersweet millennial life under COVID-19 – I’m back on…

View original post 544 more words

In Which Adulthood is a Construct and Rent-a-Girlfriend is Compelling

WOW. This is Pretty Deep Stuff™ for something that’s supposed to be a rom-com anime.

The Afictionado

Every now and then I come across a show I am just… compelled to write about, a series that strikes a chord somewhere deep in my brain that simply must be noted down. Something in the narrative rings oddly true about life, youth, relationships, or some combination of all three; sends a resonant note that I simply have to pick apart and answer, often with far too many words at a time to be reasonable.

I didn’t necessarily expect that show to be this one, but here we are, and I have some thoughts about relationships, the markers of Adulthood, and how all that crap’s 100% made up… and how I think there’s a message about this sneaking through the heart of this bawdy drama-comedy.


View original post 2,194 more words

Premiere Review: Rent-a-Girlfriend

The Afictionado

What’s it about?Deliriously lonely after being dumped by his first ever girlfriend, twenty-year-old Kinoshita Kazuya spontaneously downloads the app Diamond, where you can pay for dates with a girl of your choice. The fake dating routine threatens to extend beyond the paid time slot, however, when he and his rented girlfriend are mistaken for a real couple by their respective grandmothers.

“Shenanigans,” with a capital S, seems to be the name of the game in this premiere. There are gossipy grandmas. There is slapstick comedy. There is the sort of improvised corny cuteness that you would only find under the banner of the fake dating trope. There is a scene where our love interests—who of course, don’t actually love each other, don’t be ridiculous—have to suddenly hide and thus they end up squashed together in a compromising position. Because of course they do. Right out the gate, Rent-a-Girlfriend

View original post 29 more words

May ’20 Roundup (and the “Oh My God I Have So Much Writing to Do” Hiatus)

The Afictionado

Emiya Menu (13)

In the words of one of the great commentators of our times, “everything happens so much”. I hate to do it, but between research, thesis writing, Exciting Career Stuff, and, well… [gestures to the world at large] my queue of blog articles has run dry, and I think it’s sensible that I take a break and come back fresh with my brain switched on, rather than trying to fill the space with writing that may not be that good. The plan at current is to take June off and return in July, but we shall see how things pan out. I will, of course, still be saying words into the void over on Twitter.

Stay safe out there, everyone, and take care of yourselves and of each other. I know I sign off with some variation of that every time, but it feels more pressing than ever.

On the…

View original post 627 more words

Papers, Please: November ’19 Roundup

The Afictionado

Carole and Tuesday (2)

At the very real risk of repeating myself, it’s been a busy month (I’m feeling a little like Carole in that image up there). But a productive and rewarding one! I failed miserably at my attempt to do a pseudo NaNoWriMo, but I did get all my grading done… finished writing a presentation on Tricksters… travelled to a conference and presented said paper to positive reception… and hey, I had some great conversations about the creative project I’d intended to add to every day, it just didn’t grow as many new words as I wanted it to. But there’s still time. NaNo was definitely invented in a timezone where November isn’t the end-of-year crunch time.

Oh, and I entered something akin to a berserk state and bought far too much manga/YA at a giant bookstore. That’s productive and creative, right?

On the blog:

Personal Space: Carole & Tuesday and…

View original post 549 more words

Headcanons, Queer Readings, and the Art of “Reading Too Much Into Things”

This is some thought-provoking stuff here.

The Afictionado

this cat

The nature of media is that we will all look at it a little bit differently—we all have different brains in our heads, after all, and we’ve all had different life experiences that will frame and shape the way we perceive things. A result of this may be that you’re watching a TV show with your pal and you spot what you see as the blossoming of a beautiful queer romance, but when you mention it to your friend they blink in surprise and say they hadn’t noticed that at all. “Are you sure?” they ask, sincerely but bemused. “They just seem like good friends to me.” Maybe they’ll suppress a sigh, maybe they’ll laugh it off. “Not everything has to be gay all the time. You’re overthinking it.”

Damn, you think, suddenly unsure. Maybe they’re right. Maybe I am reading too much into this—maybe in my hunger…

View original post 1,756 more words