Christmas Vacation is finally here. After long days and longer nights of working to make sure everything got done before I left the office, it's Christmas Eve, the college is closed, and I think I can relax. I'm off from December 24 through January 4, and we've got all manner of family fun planned, including watching Guardians of the Galaxy with my parents (something the kids are eager to do) and some family skiing (which I'm eager to do).
It's the night before the night before Christmas ... and I have a cold. It seems to be a fast moving cold -- it hit me yesterday afternoon, and made last night miserable, but today I'm half human and I expect to return to the species full tomorrow.
I owe most of my esoteric knowledge of mythology, religion, art, and culture to role-playing game. Much of it was learned at the literary knee of Gary Gygax in the form of the Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual, both of which were packed with strange monster names, advanced vocabulary, and random loot tables.
Scavenger’s Guide to Droids is the definitive droid source book for Star Wars: Saga Edition, introducing a new chassis-based system for creating droids, a new streamlined “protocol” format that lets players run droids as equipment rather than NPCs, new droid manufacturing traits and personality quirks and a 96 page codex containing dozens of droids.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is either too short, or too long ... I haven't decided which yet. Regardless it's a movie filled with spectacular moments, tremendous visuals, and a sense that there's a story that was some how missed.
Consider Phlebas is a sometimes thrilling, often meandering, always morally gray novel about people caught up in a galactic war. It's antihero is Horza, a human shape changer working for the Iridans, an alien civilization of religious zealots hell bent on breaking the galactic strength of The Culture, humanity's own star-faring civilization.
One of the great things about Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition is the re-emergence of recommending reading lists. The new lists (Appendix E in the Player's Handbook, Appendix D in the Dungeon Master's Guide) are patterned after Gary Gygax's legendary Appendix N from the original 1st edition AD&D DMG.