30 Days of Hellraiser: Hellraiser

30 Days of Hellraiser: Hellraiser

I’ll say it out front. Hellraiser lives up to its reputation. It also holds up very well, something which can’t be said for a ton of mid-80’s horror films. Clive Barker’s psychosexually violent tale of lust, sadomasochism, and infidelity is as effective in today’s torture-porn saturated landscape as it was upon its release in 1987 and if nothing else deserves praise for introducing two of horror’s most iconic images – the baroque Lament Configuration and the perverse, demonic Cenobites. The heart of the story is a thoroughly dysfunctional love triangle between nebbish Larry (Andrew Robinson), his cold, spiteful wife Julia (Clare Higgins), and Larry’s n’er-do-well brother Frank (Sean Chapman). Larry is a meek pushover whose finances seem to be the only thing keeping Julia around; on the other hand, Frank is everything Larry isn’t – virile, seductive, and forceful. It’s no surprise Frank was able to cajole Julia into a sexual tryst shortly before her wedding. Indeed – Julia still carries a torch for her brother-in-law, and when she comes across some erotic photos of Frank after moving into his and Larry’s childhood home she pockets one as a memento. But hey – good news for Julia! Frank’s disembodied spirit is hanging around the attic, where months before he was taken into some sexual hell-dimension after using a mysterious puzzle box to summon a bunch of aliens in bondage gear. After Larry injures his hand on moving day and deposits a fair amount of blood on the floor of the attic, Frank’s gradual reincarnation begins. All he needs now are a host of unwitting saps to spill more of...
I Hear Chicken Little Has a Kickstarter…

I Hear Chicken Little Has a Kickstarter…

Whenever Gen Con rolls around, there’s always an understandable impulse to take the temperature of the gaming industry. If one were to use Gen Con attendance numbers as a metric one could be forgiven for thinking the industry was on a pretty good upward trajectory. Since moving to Indianapolis Gen Con has practically doubled it’s attendance…which is no mean feat given the economic turbulence we’ve seen the last few years. But what do people mean when they ask about the ‘State of the Industry’? Is it the total revenue generated by RPG’s? Is it the financial well-being of industry leaders (which is now clearly divided between rival corporate entities)? I haven’t got a single clue, myself – my head for business is about as good as my head for particle physics, so if you want me to prognosticate about the financial well-being of the RPG industry you’ll get just as accurate a prediction out of me by handing me a goat and a sacrificial dagger as you will by giving me a stack of sales reports. A few things are clear: 1.) Wizards of the Coast is no longer in a position to assume they’re at the top of the food chain.Thanks to the cold reception given to 4e by the gaming community, coupled with some pretty unwise decisions to kick the OGL (and by extension their former partners at Paizo) to the curb, they’ve now got someone else eating off their lunch tray. Frankly, as much as I despise Pathfinder as a game, this is probably a good thing overall. Competition drives innovation – at least in theory....
Tomb of Horrors Session 3 (and 3a!)

Tomb of Horrors Session 3 (and 3a!)

The Tomb of Acererak the Demi-Lich has finally claimed a victim! Who and how? Watch and you will find out! And yes, after 3 sessions – the party is still left standing in the entry hallway. Will they ever find the way in? Stay tuned! (Also, apologies – we experienced some technical difficulties – the original Hangout crapped out on us and we had to re-start. Therefore this one’s in two parts).   Session 3 Session 3 (Part...
Tomb of Horrors – Session 2

Tomb of Horrors – Session 2

Who lives? Who dies? I won’t spoil it for you! Let’s just say: gargoyles come in handy. Also: we have a new party member! Geeky and Genki editor person and leatherworker extraordinaire Steph McW enters the fray as our resident traps and finding hidden stuff...
Tomb of Horrors – Session 1

Tomb of Horrors – Session 1

It’s ADVENTURE TIME! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be running Gary Gygax’s infamous killer dungeon Tomb of Horrors for a group of friends – and you get to observe their misery! Although, truth be told, the guys did pretty well this time out…no deaths. (Though not for lack of trying.) However, we ended on something of a cliffhanger. Stay tuned for Part 2…coming to a Google Plus Hangout near...