Friday, May 13, 2016

"Viv"

Hey, Guys and Girls!

I was at work the other day, sitting in my office all alone and bored, and I found an article (with accompanying video) about a new piece of tech called "Viv." Some of you may have heard of this, but for those who have not: Viv is essentially Siri 2.0 on steroids.

According to the article and video, she maps out her own code and does all kinds of complicated stuff! Way more than Siri could even dream of doing. The tech was created by the same guys who created Siri.

Check out my video (my reaction) to this tech in my new series "Random Thoughts From The Office" in which I will be posting all the random things that come to my mind. They may be like this, they may be philosophical, they be super stupid, they may make you ask yourself if I take crazy pills. In all honesty, my brain works in mysterious ways! Ha!

Anyhow, I've posted the link below. Go check it out! Smash the sub button; give me a big thumbs up! Leave me a comment in the comment section and let me know what you think of the new tech!

Personally, I watch way too much TV and have a whole Terminator scenario playing over in my mind (seriously, aside from Bicentennial Man, where does A.I. not leave mankind completely devastated??? Do these creators NOT watch TV???)

~ Kitty

{Quick edit here. Seems Blogger ate the link. Here it is. ---Josh}





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

5 Odd and Creepy YouTube Videos

Those that know me know that I have a love for all things surreal, strange and downright creepy. I spend many nights browsing the internet for videos of the strange and unusual. Between creepypastas and videos I have read or watched quite a bit and felt like I wanted to share. What follows are five videos that I felt fit a certain dynamic of surrealism, creepiness and horror factors.

There are no jump scares here and there is only gore if it is relevant. If you do not like things that can and will be disturbing, please pass on this post.


1. The Hand Thing





Shaye Saint John was the brainchild of Eric Fouriner who conceived the character as a former supermodel that was in an accident and replaced most of her body with mannequin parts. The videos are campy and disturbing on a surreal level rather than being outright shocking.

Fouriner died in 2010 but leaves us Shaye, and the hand thing, as a legacy of weird.

Shaye's Website


2.  Dining Room or There is Nothing


This one still disturbs me even after seeing it many times. Dining Room/There is Nothing is one of those videos that come right out of a nightmare. It is a one minute or so looped film that I will let you watch to get the idea. Despite the lower quality of it and the simplicity it remains a disturbing thing to watch, especially on an continuous loop.


3. Illusion of Bias



I really don't know what to say about this one other than it is solid nightmare fuel. Part surrealism and part body horror Illusion of Bias mixes the two well in what becomes something more engrossing than most modern horror movies. There is a great narrative here that is worth the watch.

4. Elisa Lam


This one would not be creepy if you did not know the story behind it. Elisa Lam was the victim of a very strange series of events that led to her death. The above video is the last known recording of her. Since the story is too long to place here so follow this link to a good summary of the story.

5. The Backwater Gospel





Maybe not so much creepy as it is a cautionary tale in a western horror genre. I love the animation and music style as well as there being a solid story wrapped up in six or so minutes. This story also screams Deadlands and if I ever get to run a game of it I will be using it. 



That's it for this five videos. I will be looking for more and if you have suggestions let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#badkitty

Hey, Guy and Girls:

What is up? How's it going? I hope you are all having a FANTASTIC week and have an even better weekend.

Kitty here and I just wanted to introduce myself, talk a little about the channel, and give you a bit of a preview of what I've got coming your way in the VERY near future!

Firstly:

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'm 27 years old and have been gaming for about 24 of those years. I proudly own, and frequently use, every console in the U.S. (yes, even my NES!). I became a "dedicated gamer" in junior high and my senior year of high school I put a gaming channel on YouTube. As I got older, I began to care about not only the games I was playing, but the people watching those games.

I had well into the 4-digits for my subscription base, but I wound up deleting the old channel (some of you may have been on there: kittythegamerchick) and creating this one. I want this new channel to be something positive and fun. My goal is that the commentary is entertaining and the games are what you, the viewers, want to see!

Granted, I'll also be uploading some of the games that I love, but I'm doing my best to bring new content to the channel and make it even better than it was before. This new channel has only been up a few weeks and I've already gotten 22 subscribers! Let's keep that number growing!

That being said, I do more than just play video games. You'll be seeing some "vlogs" (although, I don't really consider them vlogs) featuring Magic The Gathering, D&D, and just fun times hanging out with my friends and siblings. I want you guys to be, and feel like we are, a community! Guys, we're the gamers!  You'll travel with me (in vlog form) to gaming and geek events and participate in blind boxes!!

So, aside from what I just listed, here is the current game list:

-- more TubeTycoon Beta
-- Shadow of Mordor GOTY (by request)
-- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (had some issues with the previously posted videos for this one)
-- Battleborn
-- Ratchet & Clank (which, I'm currently working on)
-- Overwatch Beta
-- Overwatch (upon release)
-- Darksiders 1 & 2 (by request)
-- Assassin's Creed Syndicate (by request)
-- Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

I still have some slots available for summer gaming so, let me know what you want to see!!

So, here are some links for you guys to follow/subscribe!

Twitter
YouTube
Instagram

Also, shoot me an e-mail and let me know what games you want to see this summer or just to say "hi!"

E-Mail

Hope you guys have a great rest of the week, an even better weekend, and I will see you guys later!

 ~ Kitty




Grimmhaus Update: 4/4/16

Happy Star Wars Day!!!

Here are a few things that is going on with the blog and it's partners that I thought would be worth sharing. As well I am going to be giving a look at what I am planning with Grimmhaus as a whole. I plan on doing one of these updates every week or two just to keep all of you informed on the goings on behind the scenes and around my corner of the multiverse.

So without further ado. . .


Kitty on YouTube  


Kitty has begun a play through series featuring the Wizard for Diablo III and has also begun a Let's Play for Tube Tycoon. The Diablo III one is going well but I have yet to watch the Tube Tycoon one. She has also completed her series on the Battleborn Beta and is still working on her Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Walkthrough. Kitty also has been invited to be an author on Grimmhaus so you may be hearing from her soon.

Definitely go check out her work as she also has other plans in the works that are very exciting. I can also say that these plans will take her to a more recognizable place on YouTube so get in so you can say you was watching when she started.

Here are some links to get you started:

Diablo 3 - Wizard

Battleborn Open Beta

Let's Play Tube Tycoon #1


The Raven's Loft



Having survived the first annual Lebanon Mo Mega Con, the Loft is back in order and ready for the usual gaming, shenanigans and chaos that it is known for.

They have gotten in a new vintage toy collection that should be out and priced by the time I get there Saturday night. So that means that if you are by the shop buy everything you can so I don't have to explain new purchases at home.

The weekend will bring the usual Magic games on Friday and RPG sessions on Saturday with me and some co-workers showing for our after work Magic wind down. Next Wednesday will be the Yu-Gi-Oh tournament and my 5e game in the back.

If you're in the area be sure to check them out.

Raven's Loft

Lebanon Mo Gamer's Guild


The LMGG has a new Facebook Page that I have linked up to the side under 'Partners'. The new page is doing well and is much more user friendly than the old one. The page is used to organize events, trade and keep up with other gamers.

Many of the members also went to Mega Con and from the ones that I talked to they all had a great time. I wish I could have went but the corporate taskmasters had other plans. There is always next year.



LMGG


Grimmhaus

 Many things are going on here at once. I am looking for a new layout and logo for the blog, researching a couple articles and getting an idea of the direction I want to go with it. As well, I am still setting up the new computer and getting all of my DM tools found again. I had just barely got a few of the better 5e ones found before my old computer quit so it has been a long haul there.

As for direction on the blog I am looking at table top gaming and retro video and computer gaming as the main focus. I am also adding in some other things I enjoy such as vasping, paranormal phenomenon, and a few other odds and ends that strikes my interest.

I am also looking at doing some things that cover the growing gaming culture in my area of Missouri (Lebanon area to be specific) which has went from barely being able to support a comic shop to having a growing gaming community with at least one shop focusing on pre-2000 D&D and retro games. So, I am hoping to share news of this community as much as possible.

There are other projects too that I am not ready to reveal just yet as they are in a nebulous state at this point and I do not know if I will have the time or resources to pull them off.

That's it for now. Please go check out the above sites and let me know if there is anything else you want me to tackle or cover.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Plane Shift: Zendikar. A good beginning.

I have always wanted WOTC to do something for those of us that are fans of both Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering. Whether it be a few creatures from Magic used as monsters, a spell or two or even a setting book, I always felt there needed to be something done between the two games. So you can believe that I was happy when I heard about the release of the Plane Shift: Zendikar PDF a few days ago.

After getting the new computer set up I downloaded the PDF and began reading it while making a point to ignore all the comments made not only in the Blogosphere but on social media. I figured it would be met with the usual snark and derision things like this tend to be and I did not want my opinion colored.

I'm glad I stayed away because in my opinion, this is 38 or so pages of something I hope we'll see more of. While it is somewhat of a supplement to The Art of Magic: The Gathering--Zendikar the book is not needed to use the Plane Shift supplement. I will say though that it is suggested that you have the book but there is enough fan content on the web to make it optional.

Plane Shift: Zendikar is broken up into three sections: The World of Zendikar, Races of Zendikar and A Zendikar Bestiary. (I will go over these below.) Each section is brief but holds quite a bit of information to get you started on the path to running a campaign on the plane. Be forewarned that the Bestiary is light only having a handful of statted monsters and relies on reskinning monsters. Also there is no map of the plane included and I cannot seem to find one on the web so you may be on your own there.

The World of Zendikar

The first section is three pages and covers the basics of the world. You get some on the world's feel and tone as well as the eras before, during and after the Eldrazi came to Zendikar. There are sections on ruins and names of various locations from the above three eras.

Overall this section is light and provides a very basic overview that I have heard is somewhat different from the tone set for the plane in actual Magic lore. The feel I do get from this section is that Zendikar is a very 'points of light' setting (to use a 4e D&D term) and one that you do not want to be caught in the wilds of for long.

Races of Zendikar

The next twelve or so pages cover the various races of Zendikar. Included here are Humans, Kor, Merfolk, Vampires, Goblins and Elves. There are sub-races for the Merfolk, Goblins and Elves with the elves showing how a standard D&D race can be changed for a new setting. Something I hope that WOTC continues with for future D&D settings as an elf on Zendikar would not be the same as an elf on Faerun.

Of the new races I find the Kor the most interesting and may actually include them in my Eberron campaign as a replacement for the Kalishatar as I never were a fan of them. Vampires are actually playable but as a DM I would be leery of letting a player have one as it could lead to problems in a group. Merfolk are fine as is and could replace the annoying aquatic elves of the Forgotten Realms whole cloth. Goblins are actually a nice surprise and I may tweak them a bit to fit my Eberron game.

What I took away the most from this section was that you can get away with not having all the core races in a world and that even those that do appear should be different than core D&D. The elves are a prime example of a similar race evolving on a different world. I hope WOTC remembers this if they actually ever produce setting books again.


A Zendikar Bestiary

The last eighteen pages covers the monsters of Zendikar and does this well. While there are only three monsters given stats the section shines on how to reskin monsters from the Monster Manual into Zendikar creatures. While some may call this lazy, I see it as showing the versatility of 5e and WOTC backing off their old stance of rules are everything and not wanting DMs or players to change anything. In my opinion this section is a win.

Reskinning is the big theme here and it works well. Drakes can be made by using Giant Eagles or Pteradons, Baloths can be made by reskinning the triceratops and the various Eldrazi by reskinning certain monsters with a couple of stat mods.

The take away here is the versatility of the Monster Manual in different situations and how easy it is to make a new creature out of an existing one very easily. This section works both as a bestiary for Zendikar and as a guide for inventive use of existing monsters.

Final Thoughts

Plane Shift: Zendikar does some amazing things in just a few pages. It also really showcases not only how 5e D&D benefits from a design that lets you do what you want when and how you want ( A far cry from the 3e and 4e days) but also shows you how you can create, move and redo things to make an entirely new concept out of something older (looking at the bestiary again). Something that was lost in post-2000 D&D for awhile.

Would I use it as a setting? Yes and if it wasn't for running an Eberron game right now I would be working on a Zendikar campaign. As it stands it does give me ideas. Like I said above, I want to include the Kor as a race.

 It also has me thinking on a couple other things; what if it was an Eldrazi that blew up the Cyre and created the Mournland? What if the Lord of Blades was actually a Phyrexian priest? How would the party deal with a Dragonmarked house doubling as an expeditionary house on Zendikar and owning a portal between the worlds? What if a few warforged made it into Zendikar and helped take on the beasts there?

If nothing else, Plane Shift: Zendikar has sparked my imagination and for that I give it a 5 out of 5.

Featured Article on WOTC's Site: Plane Shift

Get it here: Plane Shift: Zendikar

Monday, May 2, 2016

New Computer and Zendikar

I finally got the new computer hooked up and running and am on the way to getting my stuff organized on it. It will take some time to get everything back in order but I can also do a bit of a 'remodel' on how I have things organized.

This also means I can work more on the blog than I have been as it will be easier for me to keep up on things than it was with just using a phone or tablet. I have learned that while they are nice, they will never replace a good ol' PC. So, in the next few days I should have most everything back in some form of order and get to work on some things I have been holding off on.


That all said. .  .

By now most of you know about the Magic: the Gathering crossover with Dungeons & Dragons in the form of Plane Shift: Zendikar. I have yet to read it so cannot give my thoughts other than it being about time we saw something like this. I have been borrowing ideas from M:tG for some time and I hope this is the beginning of something bigger.


Unfortunately that is all the time I have for now. I need to get back to getting things back in order. So have a good day, keep your work load light and your gaming load high.