Numenera — Starter Set

One of my current RPG groups is in recovery. After two years of weekly Pathfinder campaigns, the group collectively lost interest in most RPG games which has led to a fun delve into weekly boardgames. Because I always want to play new games and learn new games, I am making a small campaign of introducing the group to new systems / settings by use of starter sets. These 20-30$ boxes come with a condensed ruleset, pre-generated characters and enough material to run a gamer for 2-3 hours. It is from…

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AMON AMARTH – Berserker

Amon Amarth Berserker

At some points, one can admire a band like Amon Amarth. Not only has the band retained a core lineup but they have found a sound and niche that will always be understandable to veteran fans and new listeners. Amon Amarth exists for a reason and that reason seems to work with many people. It is not difficult to see why as the band’s mixture of gruff vocals and understandable lyrics center around an expected subject material and is a heavy metal band for people who want to listen to…

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1d4 Con 2019

Worlds Away It was Saturday of the convention and during the twilight hours of 10pm, all of the blocks of games would be in their 2nd or third hour with still two hours to go. The vendor hall closed early at 7 and for few quiet hours the outside of the Clarion Hotel in Shepherdstown West Virginia is filled with the occasional shuffle is a person carrying games or the occasional smoker — though that activity is smaller than other conventions. It had rained all days and by now the…

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TWISTED TOWER DIRE – Wars In The Unknown

Getting into Twisted Tower Dire maybe more complicated than most people are willing to venture. This of course doesn’t matter if you have already been into the band prior to 2019 or never hearing anything from this band except for this record. Twisted Tower Dire has had a long history of contemporary power metal with members weaving in and out of bands like October 31, Walpyrgus, While Heaven Wept and even the maligned Arghoslent. If those first three bands ring any bells, it is a good indication on where Twisted…

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Dungeon Synth Meditations: Chaucerian Myth

A few weeks ago, Out of Season contacted me to write a reflection on Chaucerian Myth’s The Canturbury Tales. This 2016 record is seeing a CD reprint and the label wanted thoughts and musings about the record for the booklet. I was more than happy to take a walk down a nostalgic path. I was also pleased to write about dungeon synth again as the sound still interests me after a brief sabbatical with other things. I do not think I will ever write monthly digests again but reflecting upon…

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Witchlords – Demons in the Dark

The debut album by Belgian outfit Witchlords is more or less tailor-made for a Hollywood Metal review. Boasting a steely-thewed barbarian battling an undead warlock on the cover, the stage is set for some fighting fantasy metal, which is exactly what you get. And then some. I don’t know what is behind this corner Just do it, roll the dice Double red skull What does that even mean? These words kick off the album opener and title track Demons in the Dark, a fast-paced Maiden-esque ode to dungeon crawling that…

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WARRIOR PATH – Warrior Path

When I read Greek power metal band Warrior Path featured vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos from Beast In Black, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed since I did not know who Beast in Black was and it was being used as a selling point for Warrior Path. I was also embarrassed as Beast in Black was a Nuclear Blast release with an impressive traction before realizing that band also had a recent release in 2019 so I feel like less of a pretender. The reason I am talking so much about this…

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE – The Eighth Mountain

rhapsody of fire the eigth mountain

Walking into the 12th studio album from Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire can be done in two ways. the first, and perhaps easiest is to enjoy the sound of triumphant power metal centered around the beginning of a new narrative. The second, and perhaps more interesting, is to step back and take int he dramatic history of a band that started with an almost different set of members and two narratives and over 20 years ago. We will, of course, choose the second road as the saga…

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Watchtower IX

This month’s Tim White image is a gorgeous image depicting two figures reveling in their apparent solitude among lush alien foliage. The cover was used on 1992’s Exile by Michael P. Kube-McDowell though the synopsis “The surviving witnesses to an alien encounter have been sentenced to exile for two decades, and now one man is ready to listen to their forbidden memories” does not feel like it fits the cover image. Regardless, Kube-McDowell’s Trigon Disunity trilogy recieved much praise in the 1980’s as well as a 1990’s trilogy of Star…

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