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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Operation Zzz

by Ken Newquist / January 21, 2008

Operation Zzz Day 0 I look like death warmed over. There are deep bags under my eyes, my neck muscles are vise-tight despite a massage on Saturday, and my face has that hang-dog, puffy look that comes from one too many nights spent sleeping far too little.

This is actually an improvement.

Things were worse in December and January, which were hell on sleep in the Newquist household as the kids forgot how to sleep through the night, family emergencies smashed our piece of mind, and a nasty stomach virus had my wife and the baby fighting to keep food down. And while it feels like we’ve been under siege for the last three days fighting this virus. Not all of my sleep deprivation is family induced though. There was a marathon session of Civilization IV of Saturday night, and more than a few late night DVD forays to watch the two Resident Evil sequels, the first two discs of Doctor Who, Season 3, and the Futurama movie Bender’s Big Heist.

Some days, I’m my own worst enemy.

Savage Worlds: Explorers Edition

by Ken Newquist / January 13, 2008

The Savage Worlds: Explorer Edition game book is a slim, seductive little tome that promises to deliver “fast, fun, and furious” action for any genre and in hundreds less pages than Dungeons & Dragons takes to recreate just the fantasy genre.  It’s a promise it makes good on … up to a point.

Off the Shelf: Hyperion, The Golden Compass, American Gods

by Ken Newquist / January 12, 2008
Book Cover: Fall of Hyperion

The end of the summer saw me pick up a bunch of new books, including Hyperion and its sequel, The Fall of Hyperion and autumn actually gave me enough time to read one of them!

As we moved into December, the movie release of Phillip Pullman's The Golden Compass – and the religious controversy that surrounded it – led me to pick up the book, and the subject of gods and religion inspired me to return to this summer's audio book listening project, Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

Game Day: The Book of Almost Everything

by Ken Newquist / January 12, 2008

With the Dark City campaign back in full swing, I’m finally able to use my Book of Almost Everything. I created the Book in the waning days of the original Dark City campaign as I realized that I had a treasure trove of instant non-player characters, random encounters, and flavor text lurking in my back issues of Dungeon Magazine.

I spent a weekend finding and copying useful articles from my back issues, accumulating about 40-odd articles to use at the gaming table. And then the campaign promptly ended as I ran out of free time to work on Dark City, and the group moved onto other adventures.

With the campaign’s resurrection, I’m dusting off the old book, and eyeing a few new charts for its pages.

Get A Head with Futurama Icons

by Ken Newquist / January 9, 2008

If you're like me, you saw the shelf-based Dock for Mac OS X Leopard and thought ... hey, I could put some heads in a jar on that! And now you can, thanks to the Futurama "Heads in Jarks" icons from Icon Factory. I give you my ... "Al Gore's Head in a Jar" Dock! (which will be even better once 10.5.2 is out, and you can assign icons to Stacks).

 Al Gore's Head in a Jar Dock

Radio Active #60: NaNoWriMo Wrapup, Zelda, Podcast Roundup

by Ken Newquist / January 7, 2008

 Nuketown Radio Active Radio Active returns from its holiday hiatus with a wrap up National Novel Writing Month and news about my new reviews up at SCIFI.com. I also talk about my family's adoption (finally) of a TiVo, ramble on about boys and their trucks, spend some time playing Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and get caught up on a half-dozen different gaming and political podcasts.

Getting the Show

There are several ways to get the podcast:

Game Day: Ravenloft Ends, Dark City Returns, D&D 4E Prelude

by Ken Newquist / January 4, 2008
Book Cover: Book of Nine Swords

When last we left our weekly Game Day, our Ravenloft campaign was slugging along, pitting a heroic band of adventurers against the monstrous horrors of the fading land of Count Straud. It’s based on Expedition to Castle Ravenloft an old school, 1st-edition style monster-crawl in which role-playing is minimized, and encounters with level draining undead are maximized.

We knew this getting into it, and in spite of the fact that most of us were getting burned out on the 3E combat mechanics, we plunged ahead anyway for nostalgia’s sake. At the same time, we were running a superheroes campaign using the Mutants & Masterminds rules, and loving the largely free-form, role-playing intensive style of play.

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