Sand Castles: Adventures in Design

I really couldn’t come up with a snappy title for this article so we are going with Sand Castles. I believe it works for now but I could change it in the future. “Sandbox” games are a term which describes open ended tabletop adventuring where the players make choices which leads to further development in the story. This type of adventure design contracts the much maligned “Railroad” story where player’s choices mean little in terms of where the narrative travels. Sandbox adventures lay at the core of RPG design with…

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Casual Magic: The Summer of Brawl

Magic the Gathering: BRAWL

If you have been following any of my recent articles on casual Magic, you have seen an interest in Wizard’s newest format Brawl. To summarize, Brawl is a 60 card singleton format based around a commander that follows the Standard rotation schedule and to some extent its banlist. While it is easy to think of it as EDH-lite, its complexities and nuances seem to have both positives and negatives for different fanbases. Brawl has also had a rocky start from the bizarre rollout, to an online domination of one deck,…

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IMMORTAL – Northern Chaos Gods

Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods

Immortal. Okay, we can do this. If you have not heard of Immortal before then you most certainly have seen pictures of their members in some fantastic pose in the woods. The band’s face paint has become almost iconic in the realm of heavy metal and the name Abbath is almost as recognizable as the band. Immortal, as a band, has become inseparable from the history of Norwegian black metal with its members intertwined with the other bands that have become famous and unfortunately infamous.

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Baahubali: The Beginning

Okay, there is a lot to talk about. Even though Indian action movies haven’t been explored on this site, Baahubali fits into any realm of interest for people who could adore epic narratives. Touted as one of the most expensive films at the time of its release, Baahubali: The Beginning unfolds the tale of love, betrayal, glory, and tragedy in a two and half hour introduction to the lays of a guy who can hit a lot of people using other people. Indian action films have a tendency to bleed…

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Watchtower III

Viktor Mukhin Final Land

Watchtower is a monthly digest compiling interesting developments in speed, heavy, and doom albums on Bandcamp. to fit the theme of the site, these albums were chosen for their recent release and also for potential interest with people who are already adventuring in the worlds of fantasy. this month’s feature image comes from Ukrainian concept artist Viktor Mukhin whoese works can be seen here for anyone interesting in getting lost in imagination.

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BONGRIPPER – Terminal

I know I say a lot that these metal reviews are not fitting of the site but as an exception. Bongripper could be the furthest thing from fantasy metal as I can ascertain but we are traveling to the realms of stoner doom and while the genre certainly has its own flair for the fantastic they also have one goal in min which is pure suffocation. Terminal is the band’s 7th record for this instrumental stoner doom act and by the two tracks which total over 40 minutes, they are not giving up the drugs of heaviness.

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Casual Magic: The Philosophy of Group Hug

This is perhaps one of the first deck explorations I have written for this site and it comes from years of tinkering and playing with a specific EDH strategy called Group Hug. To catch everyone else up, EDH is a format for Magic the Gathering where multiple people play with 100 card singleton deck at 40 life. The games are longer, the cards are crazier, and format has become a paragon for casual players as its regulations is dependent on social politics and in group rules. While the atmosphere of…

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OBSCURA – Diluvium

Oh Obscura. Why are you so entertaining? It was in 2011 when I really got into this German progressive death act and even had the opportunity to interview them for another publication. Since that time, I have been enjoying the band’s work as they make their way across the galaxy much in the same way a colossal malevolence devours star systems. Diluvium is the band’s 5th album and while not changing their main focus from space based annihilation, does continue the quest to make that annihilation as entertaining as possible.

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Watchtower II

Watchtower is a monthly digest dedicated to seeking out interesting and new releases that encompass the sphere of heavy, speed, doom, and power metal. There is less restrictions to what is put in this digest with the only scope being of interest to people already on board with the rest of this site’s content. I am not going to say that one with an interest in fantasy comics, fantastic movies, and certain video games will enjoy everything in this digest but it maybe a safe bet. Artwork for this month’s…

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MTG / D&D: The Ruins of Zendikar

Zendikar is a dangerous world of lethal risks and priceless rewards. From the perspective of its inhabitants, it is a hostile place that seems to be actively trying to kill any creature that has the audacity to live there. The danger is unrelenting. Precarious terrain, cunning predators, and natural disasters on a massive scale all present a constant challenge to survival— as do the unpredictable ripples of change that wash through the plane, known to its people as the Roil. Even the mana that suffuses the land is wild and…

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GHOST – Prequelle

It is difficult to believe that we only four albums into their career. It feels strange as so much has been written on this Swedish heavy metal band that their tenure in the world of heavy metal seems like it should be longer. With so many fans, detractors, press coverage, marketing schemes, and new converts, Ghost should be at least 20 years old. It certainly feels that long.

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Weirding Ways

Out of the Dungeon I believe it is time to say farewell… for now. Since the close of the Dungeon Synth Compilation project, I have found myself unable to harbor the same zeal for discovering new projects associated with this scene with the same frequency as before. This is no one’s fault but rather a migration of interest to other things. Over the past handful of Dungeon Synth Digests, I have found more interest in the fringe and odd sounds found on Bandcamp. These genres can range from experimental, new…

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The Tomb of Dracula

Alight, before we begin let our get our bearings of what Dracula comic we are talking about. Dracula, the famous literary and film villain everyone has already heard about, got a lengthy stay in a Marvel based comic during the 1970’s. Though the villain appeared in a 50’s comic called Suspense, the modern narrative of Dracula in the Marvel universe began in 1972 with creators Gerry Conway, Gene Colan, and Marv Wolfman. Dracula, as a character based on literature, was used as a way to circumnavigate the Comics Code which prohibited ghastly things like vampires. Tomb of Dracula, as a color comic, ran throughout the 70’s along side a 13 issue black and white magazine publication called Dracula Lives!

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