A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

20 November 2014

New Minis: Praise and Complaints

So, a couple months ago, the Magic-users on the Beach jumped back into the miniature business. I knew that they were releasing a new miniature aerial combat game, but hadn't heard about the new randomized pre-painted plastics line. So imagine my surprise when I walked in to my FLGS back then and found them. Tyranny of Dragons no less. I bought a couple boxes, of course. I mean, scientific research purposes and all that.

Hey, don't look at me like that...I can stop buying minis whenever I want. I'm not addicted.


So, upon opening the two boxes I learned a couple of things that I want to share with you, just in case there's any of my readers who have NOT yet picked up a box of these for themselves.

First, I was shocked to realize that they are produced by WizKids/NECA, just like the Pathfinder pre-painted plastics are. I say shocked because (a) they're rival companies and it just seemed a little odd and (b) the quality is significantly lower than on the Paizo Pathfinder miniatures. No, I'm serious, the paint jobs are, for the most part, simply terrible. Let me give an example (although my camera with the macro function isn't working, and my cell phone isn't so hot at small close-ups).

This little beastie is a new sculpt of a wraith. They've prepped him up with the nice see-through plastic, tinted grey of course. Mantle streaming out behind it, nice pose, full of motion. They even put him on a post so that he appears to be hovering or flying along. Nearly everything would be perfect with this sculpt and make it a great addition to my collection.

Nearly everything...except for one thing: THE FACE.

Look at that face. THIS is the face they choose to strike terror into the hearts of the adventurers. Really?

And I know that it's not just WizKids' production issues, because dang...their Pathfinder minis have come a LONG way and they've refined the process. In fact, just this morning I deleted a draft post from a couple years ago complaining about the paint jobs in the first Pathfinder minis release.

This wraith looks like it came from the PRE-PRODUCTION runs of that first release.

And the guy who said, "Y'know, I think it looks GOOD with the 'faux-glowing-eyes-and-mouth' effect. Let's run with that paint scheme"? I have to wonder if he still has his job.

In fact, this wraith looks like something off of which the Scooby Gang is about to rip the mask.

And do I even need to go into the paint scheme on this Hobgoblin Fighter? There's four colors. Green on his chest plate. Red for his armor. Black for his hair and facial features. Black with a little metallic added for his underarmor and sword. So, really, he has three colors. There's no distinguishing features, really. Oh, y'know what? On closer inspection his right eye has a yellowish-greenish pupil while his left eye has the same color serving as eye-shadow. Nice job, Mages of the Beach. Yeah, it's a little thing, and I'm sure I'll get someone telling me that limiting it to four colors reduces costs, etc. These were just the first two minis I pulled out of my backpack.

Second beef.
Take a look at this picture. These are representative bases of the miniatures. Pathfinder (on the left) and the new Mages of the Beach (center), with an older Mages of the Beach (on the right). You see anything? First gut reaction?

Well, it may be tough, because the camera is picking it up better than the naked eye. The names on the new Mages of the Beach minis are next to impossible to read? Now, you may tell me that's another cost-cutting measure, saving on white paint, or you can tell me that the old ones didn't need white paint. Well, it may just be my aging eyes, but I still say that the new names are really tough to read: smaller fonts, not as raised, not as much contrast. And then there's this: The BIG minis have the names painted in white.

It's a minor thing, and easily rectified. You can also consider it your Free Tip of the Day: I grabbed a white paint Sharpie and scribbled a bit. It's not perfect, but it works. It adds just enough contrast for my old eyes. Here's a look at the result. I just realized that I probably killed resale value, but I don't plan on getting rid of these any time soon. And who knows, someone may actually pay more to be able to read the names. (Yeah, wishful thinking, but it's all I have.)

My final beef (for now) is kind of a mixed bag. There are dragons. New dragons. I love dragons. One thing that I can't get enough of is dragons. For example: I'm pretty sure I have most if not all of the dracolich pre-painted minis, and a good number of metal ones of all sizes. One thing I DON'T have is any red dragons. Mostly because they're so sought after and therefore expensive.

Well, in these two boxes, I pulled--would you believe it--a red dragon. (Oh, wait. You CAN believe it; a picture of its base is right up there.) This new mini is a red dragon in flight. It's executed quite well, to be honest. I'm glad to have it and I was excited when I saw it in the box. However, I have a complaint about size. In this picture I've included an elf and a halfling for scale. As you can see, it doesn't seem as daunting as the old Mages of the Beach dragons used to be. Now, I'm not expecting a colossal red dragon, but this is on--what used to be considered, anyway--a large base. Now that I mention it, maybe it is to scale. I haven't measured it against any of my others. It just seems small.

Whew. That's enough beefing for a while, I suppose. Gotta go work some more on Issue #1 of the Stronghold. More soon.

19 November 2014

[From the Mailbag] Manor Micro-Adventure

Look what came in the mail today!

Yay me!

(Yeah, I actually said "Yay me"...so sue me.)

Gotta love them Patreon perks. Map goodness, micro-adventure goodness, and my friend Tim Shorts' warped mind-- all wrapped into one. And let's not forget the joys of getting something useful and fun in the mail instead of another overdue bill.

Guess work is on hold for a little while today while I read through the Hideout of the Long Dead Mardrid. That's OK. That foreclosure will hold off just a little while longer.

Oh, and if you want cool stuff like this in YOUR mailbox -- and who wouldn't -- head on over to Patreon and sign up to support Tim's work!

EDIT: I should note that the vertical lines in the pictures are a product of a bad camera and low lighting and not due to any defect in the actual product. Sorry, Tim.

16 November 2014

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

It's time to start getting a little excited. The Stronghold 'Zine is nearing completion. The articles are getting a few finishing touches. The artwork is nearly ready. The cover art has been commissioned. Layout is in the planning stages. Next step...finish up and find some poor suckers slaves editors to tighten the work up. Then it'll be up to you, my readers, to want to take a gander.

A word about the artwork: I've been blessed to obtain the help of a couple of FANTASTIC artists. First off, Jim Magnusson agreed to do some illustrations for the interior...and they look TERRIFIC. Then, I managed sneak in a request for a cover from Jay Penn  just before he closed his commission's calendar for the next year. I'm really excited to see what he comes up with.

More coming soon....

03 November 2014

Wherein the Effects of Unfortunate Pizza are Experienced

I have to admit that some of my best ideas are the fault of Tim Shorts over at Gothridge Manor. Today's is no exception. Over on Google+ he mentioned he'd had leftover pizza for lunch. It was good enough, apparently, to be "stat-worthy"...if he hadn't eaten it all. He followed that up with a list of XP awards, as follows.
I'm gonna go with 25xp per slice. And additional 50xp if you can eat the whole pizza in one setting. However you'll need to make a save vs. heartburn. [Aside: for my PF/3.x readers, I'd suggest a Fortitude Save, DC 16. End aside.] A failure means you'll have a -1 on your rolls when interacting with others.
Then Mr. Jason Zavoda (from Hall of the Mountain King) provided the kicker: If you fumble you have to roll on the flatulence table.

Well, how could I let that gauntlet lay untouched on the ground? Answer: I couldn't, not without bringing great shame to the OSR Blogging Community at large.

And so I present to you: The Flatulence Table: (Note: roll once on each table for each failed save.)

Flatulence Table 1: Severity

d20 Roll
Area of Effect
Silent But Deadly Completely silent, but oh, so potent.
Mousey Nothing but a little squeak. Sounds like a shoe with a bad sole.
FlapperThere’s some flapping cheekage. Sounds a little moist.
TrumpetProud, triumphant. Heraldic, even. Nothing to be ashamed of.
ElephantineTrumpet, but more so. Worthy of a grass-fed giant mammal.
Weapon of Mass DestructionThe truly epic, in all respects: sound, smell, and yes--taste.

Flatulence Table 2: Side Effect

d6 Roll
Side Effect
Gas only. No effect.
Shart. A little s**t, a little fart.
Total Trouser Betrayal.

For Area of Effect: roll 1d20 x 5' for each occurrence.

As usual, free for your use. Just drop me a note to let me if and how you used it, and to what effect.

27 October 2014

'Zine Construction Continues

Work continues on the first issue of the Stronghold 'Zine. Foundations have been laid; bricks for most of the outer walls have been put down and mortared. Some of the infrastructure is still a bit unclear--the architect keeps changing his mind about exactly what rooms need to be included and where they need to go.

I think there's some good stuff there. Most of it is the kind of stuff that would be included in the online version of the 'zine. Most of the struggle is coming with the mini-adventure I want to include. I've drawn three different maps and started to digitize each of them...then I try and stock them, and that's where the wheels fall off the wagon.

I'm also in the need of some illustration(s). I've got a couple specific ideas and then some general needs. The biggest problem is finding someone to whom I can beg for a freebie commission. I can't afford anything for art, at least for this first issue or so. If anyone out there has some ideas or offers, let me know...please. I've put out some initial feelers, but it's tough approaching people I barely know and saying, "Hey, you do good work, I really like the art you spend so much time on, and could you do me a solid and give me some for free? I'd really like that."


Anyway, I just wanted to throw out this update; it's been a little while since I gave one. More soon, I hope.

13 October 2014

[Map Monday] Still Alive, Still Plugging Away

Despite appearances and weeks of sickness, I'm not dead yet. I'm not dead and neither is this blog. This is also despite two trips to the Emergency Room in the span of four days for non-stop vomiting (including vomiting up blood). The diagnosis? "Well, you're sick."

No joke.

Oh, even better was the comment, "We don't think your internal bleeding is critical."

While the dizziness continues, the stomach issues have (mostly) resolved, and since I don't have the $400+ "up-front" to get the esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), I'm just crossing my fingers for now and trying to relieve stress in my life.

In "Even Better News," the Stronghold Zine is still alive. I'm plugging along, trying to come up with more ideas and doing my best to make the Stronghold epic. Tim, over at Gothridge Manor challenged his readers to a massive map-share. So, I dug into my drive and threw out a little sneak preview for The Stronghold, Issue #1. And so I need to share it here as well:

It's your basic forest lake, gnoll village (complete with boar pen), and gigantic monolith on a small mid-lake island. More details will be forthcoming in Issue #1 of The Stronghold.

02 September 2014

"Death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth."

Nah, it's not a new monster. Or even an old one. It's a new stapler. Yep. I purchased one of these puppies.

Having already assembled my arsenal of the bone folder, my big ol' metal ruler, and my heavy duty razor knife, I've got the essentials for the physical creation of my planned 'zine, The Stronghold. Guess the purchase of the stapler means that I've committed myself to actually producing the 'zine now. (The list of "necessities" courtesy of (or fault of, whichever is applicable) the magnificent Matt Jackson.
  • Foreword written
  • Treasure table drafted
  • Gratuitous map drawn and digitized
  • Monster article #1: WIP
  • Monster article #2: WIP
  • Adventure article: Planning stages
Artwork is looking sparse for this issue. I'd be willing to accept any offers of donated art (hint, hint, nudge, nudge) from readers. I have some artwork donated by Dylan Hartwell for one of the Monster articles, and some stats for the critter. It looks utterly KILLER and I can't wait for you all to see it.

Over all, I'm getting more and more excited about this project. It's a ton of work, including stuff you never think about when you're simply vomiting onto a blog post. Gives me a whole new respect for those heavy-duty 'ziners out there.

So why the vorpal bunny quote as the title? Hey...if you've ever stapled yourself, you know just how bad it hurts.

28 August 2014

Not Quite Dark

Yes, I have to admit, the blog has gone a bit dark of late. Not through any intentional act, but suffice it to say that depression, family problems, car problems, career problems, and money problems have all descended upon me all at once and have made it hard to really find any joy in anything right now.

Heck, I even tried to map my way out of it and the result came out looking like...well...it wasn't pretty.

One bright spot was being able to sit in the living room of Tracy and Laura Hickman on Sunday and have a nice 2+ hour chat. Catching up, gossip, that kind of thing. I was also able to pick up my Kickstarter-funder copy of their game, Sojourner Tales. I can't wait to get the families schedules all worked out so that we can sit down and play. The final product looks TERRIFIC. Tracy and Laura know what gamers want, know what board gamers want, and this product fits the bill. Just PHYSICALLY you know that when you pick up the box. This thing has heft.

I believe you could kill a kobold with it. Although that might scratch up the box a bit.

This past weekend was my birthday, too. I received a copy of the Hickmans' latest book, Unwept from some close friends. Couldn't wait and stayed up most of the night to read it.

I loved it.

I'd highly recommend it. Great dark gothic work. I told my wife I kept expecting someone to mention how much Rebecca was missed, or "Look, over there. There's Mandalay." (And I mean that as a compliment. I LOVE Rebecca.) I was truly sorry when I reached the end, because of course, there wasn't any more.

Work continues on the Inaugural issue of the Stronghold. Slowly, but surely. I hope to have some more news for you soon.

19 August 2014

Printing Press Installed at the Stronghold

This post serves as the formal announcement. The Stronghold is about to see print.

Well, OK... "about" is a relative term. But it's in the process.

That's right. A 'Zine is on its way. Inspiration such as Christian Walker, Tim Shorts, Dylan Hartwell, and Matt Jackson has made me yearn to have my own musings put into black and white and mailed out to various and sundry parts of the world.

Or at least that's my hope.

There's going to be a definite 3.X Edition focus; that's just how I roll. Of course, there'll be some system neutral stuff, some fiction, some tables, maps, NPCs. Everything that you've come to expect from the Stronghold.

And that'll be it's name: The Stronghold.

Yeah, I was inspired by Tim's "The Manor"--I had a couple other thoughts for titles but he gave his thumbs up (and blessing) to "The Stronghold."

The first few articles are penned. I just need a little more stuff, some art, and then figure out how to assemble it all together. I REALLY don't need to try and learn new software right now. We'll see how it goes. I also have to figure out the whole OGL and copyright thing.

07 August 2014

Bilingual Stronghold

Just sitting here, typing away at my desk, when my e-mail buzzes at me. It's an e-mail from my 13-year-old son, who rarely messages or e-mails me so I dropped everything to see what it was. Now I want to share it with all of you.

Apparently, it says "The Dwarven Stronghold" in Elvish. Now, I have to take his word for it, as I have not sullied my pure, Dwarven mind or tongue with anything Elvish (except that one half-Elvish ranger lass that once, but that's another story for another time). I need to find out from him how and what he used to translate and write it, but it looks like it may have been by hand. No matter. I still wanted to share his handiwork.

It warms a Gamer Dad's heart, y'know?

02 August 2014

Random Table: Picking

In celebration and honor of having my first set of Zocchi dice, I've created my first d2 and d5 tables, for use, obviously, with my new d2 and d5.

Plus, I need to pay a little Joesky tax. OK, a LOT of Joesky tax. Call this a down-payment on my tax payment plan.

Your characters come up against an NPC. He's a bumpkin and a character. You need a little bit more color...flavor...to his description. You're wracked with indecision. I have you covered.

NPC Nose Picking Table 1: Nostril

d2 Roll
Hand Used

NPC Nose Picking Table 2: Hand

d2 Roll
Hand Used

NPC Nose Picking Table 3: Finger

d5 Roll
Finger Used
Ring Finger
Middle Finger

You're welcome.

Mailbag Paradise!

Just a quick post to let you know I'm still alive here at the Stronghold.

I received a wonderful package in the mail this morning: my first (and likely only) set of Zocchi dice.

Yeah, I know, they're controversial with some people. After all, when am I ever really going to need a d3, d5, d14, d16, or d24? I mean, really?  When am I going to use them?

That's just it. I may NOT ever use them. But I NEED them. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Hey...dice!

And here they are:
If you didn't know, it appears that GameScience has closed its doors. The website is defunct (at least as far as purchasing goes) and hasn't been updated in a while. There are rumors from online retailers that the last of the d100 (the Zocchihedron) are up for sale. There are also rumors from the same sources that the last of the Zocchi dice 5-sets are now being received and sold as fast as they can get them unpacked. I'm not one to buy into hysteria or rumor-mongering, per se, but you never know. I mean, it's been a LONG time since I've seen a Zocchihedron in my FLGS, and they used to stock them ALL the time.

So I caved in and bought a set. They came all the way from the UK, partly because I trust the seller, but also because I couldn't find a comparable price here in the States. That's right: even with shipping, etc., it was still cheaper to import. I was shocked. Now, I got the uninked set, but that can be easily rectified, even if I have to resort to (gasp) OSR Crayon techniques.

Plus, they're purty. I have a couple other "clear" or "diamond" crystal polyhedron's in my collection, and I wanted some more. My other GameScience dice are ruby red, so these will contrast nicely. These are quite nice to behold, even without colored numbers.

And last of all.... Hey... DICE.

Also purchased at the recent FantasyCon, but forgotten about resting in my pocketses, is my very own, brand-spanking new and shiny d2. Yep. I bought myself a d2. "But why," you ask, "do you need a d2 when you can find any size d2 in your change pocket at any time?" "Well," I would answer, "I don't always have change. I'm a starving business owner."

"And didn't you hear me? It's shiny!" It's for a good cause, too. Proceeds go to my friend Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary fame.... Yep, it's an Officially Sanctioned XDM d2! [Aside: Extreme Dungeon Mastery or "XDM" is the book written by Tracy Hickman and illustrated by Howard Tayler. I've written about it before. End aside.] And here it is!

Click HERE to get your own!

15 July 2014

Mail Call!

Over the weekend, I received a Mail Call extravaganza.

OK, see, that implies that I received a hefty-sized amount of mail. I don't mean to imply that. I just mean that what I got in the mail was terrific.

A week or so ago I finally had enough disposable income to jump on-board a couple of Patreon funding projects. The first one was Tim Shorts' Micro Adventures efforts. Anyone who knows Tim from The Manor 'zine knows that he does good work.

In the mail I received three of these micro adventures--two copies of #3 and one of #5. (As you may know, Tim and I have this running joke about me getting two copies of everything he does.) These babies are fantastic! They're ideal for a little short side adventure; I can even see using these as adventure hooks to something bigger.

The first one he sent was his "The Pig and the Ogre" micro adventure while the second one was entitled "Ghost Ship." For patrons of his efforts, he sends out 4" x 6" copies of these adventures--hand-drawn color map on one side and flavor on the other. The copies are laminated, both to protect them and to enable you to use grease pencil or dry-erase markers to customize them and make notes for your own campaign use. Initial reviews suggest that 30-45 minutes of game play can be culled from these little gems. I'm guessing that a good DM could stretch that as necessary.

I can't wait to take over the DM screen in my group sso that we can incorporate some of these adventures. Meanwhile, I'll just have to content myself with reading them over and over.

If you haven't already, please consider following the above link over to Tim's Patreon page and throw him some monetary love. The quality of the product--both physically and intellectual--is top notch.

14 July 2014

Post-FantasyCon Catch Up

It's been a hectic couple of months around the Stronghold. Health issues have rebounded and expanded, while stressful life- and career-related problems have stayed fairly constant. I still haven't paid myself a paycheck in three months. More ecclesiastical duties heaped on my shoulders as well.


This shirt may be my new favorite!
But we had scrimped and saved and, for our "summer stay-cation," attended the inaugural three-day FantasyCon, as well as the 67th annual WesterCon, both in Salt Lake City. We made it to both the inaugural Salt Lake Comic-Con last fall and the "FanX" version of the Comic-Con in the spring.

Yes, Salt Lake City hosted three fantasy/sci-fi conventions in the last 9 months. (Not counting WesterCon or LTUE.)

The Comic-Con experiences were a lot of fun, even if you had to endure a LOT of people. I hate crowds, so it was a real downer for me. But it was a blast to be around the cosplayers, the vendors, and the celebrities. Plus, I grew up with one of the founders. So, I thought that this newcomer upstart, FantasyCon, had a lot to prove.

Turns out, IMHO, that they instead raised the bar for Comic-Con to meet.

Yep. I said that. Despite being on July 4th weekend, and despite not having the benefit of public transportation ON the 4th, there was a pretty good turnout. Around 50K is the last estimate I saw. While not Comic-Con numbers, it was a reasonable result for a holiday and a convention lacking the "Comic-Con" branding. Of course, the smaller numbers were a definite plus for me. I think the planning and mechanics were better than Comic-Con, as were the panels and the exhibits. (Although some of the volunteers were trumped-up little Nazis with delusions of grandeur. Also, I didn't like being searched upon entry. Comic-Con didn't bother to check for my concealed carry; FantasyCon almost made me surrender my grandfather's pocketknife. Guess where I felt safer?)

This guy sums it up pretty well. The LARPing was amazing. As were the displays and all the "extra-curricular" stuff. It was fun to walk through the Hall and feel the thumping of the kettle drums coming from the battle arena and, simultaneously, hearing the clangs of hammers on anvils from the on-site blacksmiths. Then to randomly hear the notes of a bagpipe echoing through the Hall above everything?

The guest list was pretty stunning, too, especially when comparing it to the guests that Salt Lake Comic-Con has announced. FantasyCon had a pretty hefty line-up of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit actors. Heck, they had Elijah Wood (yes, Frodo) DJ their opening night party. The day after that was announced, Salt Lake Comic-Con announced who? Oh, yeah. Smallville's Lex Luthor. Ho-hum.

As I said, FantasyCon really raised the bar.

Of course, getting to meet some childhood and longtime heroes of mine didn't hurt. I'll have to share my conversations with John Rhys-Davies, Sylvester McCoy, and Claudia Christian. But that's for another time. Suffice it to say that not only did I have a longer beard than Gimli, but Sallah (the finest digger in Cairo) told me I had a beautiful family and took the time to speak to each of my children (and forced the photographer to break the rules about the number of people in one paid picture and forced him to take another photo). The Seventh Doctor showed me on my Day of the Doctor shirt exactly where his TARDIS was parked. And Susan Ivanova was calling us "her family" by the end of the weekend.

While there, I increased my gaming inventory. A local game store--that has heretofore gone unnoticed by me--had a booth and were running a 20% off sale. I was tempted to pick up a couple of Pathfinder tomes, but even at that price, I would have quickly blown my budget. Instead, I picked up a couple sets of dice...they were pretty and hey, as you know, I can never have too many dice. Here they are, in all their polyhedral glory: they come from Chessex, of course. "Silver Volcano (speckled) and "Purple-Teal/Gold (gemini)" dice sets, shown in that order. These latter ones are the first ones I saw, from quite a distance away. They grabbed my eyes and held on for dear life. (Of course, it didn't hurt that  They're also ones my wife fell in love with. I think she thinks I'm going to give them to her.


Because, hey, dice. Am I right?

There was also a booth for an outfit called "Dark City Games." I didn't know anything about them, but their booth signage boasted "solo and single-player" games. The packaging was sufficiently retro to catch my attention: they looked for all the world like a 'zine stuffed into a plastic zipper bag. Now, when I go to conventions, I collect business cards. I collect them like crazy. I'd rather do my research online than be harangued by a salesperson in a crowded space. Plus, if I do see something I like, I can always get more stuff later. But all these people had on their counter space was some resin scenery, some WotC miniatures, and a display of their own wares. It looked like they had some fantasy, sci-fi, and steam-punk adventures, as well as a western and a horror title.

No business cards.  No flyers, No advertising materials of any kind.

So I asked for their contact information. The girl looked left and right and told me that, if I was really interested, she'd give me a free sample; the contact information was inside the product. Well, who was I to say "no"? So I grabbed their fantasy offering and thanked her. Come to find out, it's a $12.95 bit of gaming.  At first glance, it appears to be their own system; at least, I didn't see anything immediately obvious that denoted an outside system of any kind. It contains a 48-page booklet, outlining rules, backstory, maps, and the adventure itself; it also comes with a fairly nice (albeit small) sheet of counters and an 8"x14" map.
The map isn't great quality, but sturdy paper stock (not quite card stock weight). I haven't had a chance to really delve into the system or mechanics. Hey, if nothing else I can either throw it in the trailer for use while camping or use the background, flavor, and maps for my own world, throwing out their mechanics.

My wife was shocked. I told her, "Hey, it never hurts to ask, right?"

WesterCon was a fun experience, although the panel selections weren't as varied or numerous as those at, say, LTUE. I had the chance to sit down and talk to author Larry Correia for a while as well.

All in all, despite hurting my knee the second day (which prompted me to buy a sweet cane topped by the "Hound of the Baskervilles" in bronze), it was a terrific vacation and money well-spent.

06 June 2014

Abrams' Star Wars

I'm really trying to keep an open mind about all of this. I truly am.

You probably have guessed I'm a HUGE Star Wars fan. HUGE. The original trilogy (hereafter referred to as "the Trilogy")? Tops in my book. While I tend to disavow knowledge of the second trilogy, I can sometimes convince myself to watch them...usually by convincing myself they're simply part of the Expanded Universe. As for the EU, I'm not sure I've ever read a BAD EU novel, although I'm told by many that they exist and that most of them were penned by Kevin J. Anderson. I refuse to acknowledge the "Legends" label.

I had to do the same thing with J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movies: I've had to convince myself that they exist in an alternate time-line. One with a madcap, out of control lens flare epidemic.

When Abrams was announced as the new director for the upcoming authorized movie(s)...I was scared. Then upset, then in denial, then scared again.

But now I've figured it out. I've learned to accept the possibility. You see, I've figured out what may very well be the plot to the next trilogy.

You see, these films are about a couple of misfit New Republic security agents who fly around the galaxy investigating reports of "weird science" occurrences, like missing star-liners and invisible polar bears. One of the agents happens to be Han Solo's son.... Han Solo travels with his son and the other agent because, y'know, he's flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and he's seen a lot of strange stuff, but he's also gone just a bit senile from the lens flares caused by the Millennium Falcon's new warp drive.

Then there's the sub-plot--the time travel sub-plot--that involves the character of Wedge Antilles. Now, Wedge is a hero from the EU; after all, he's the only pilot other than Luke Skywalker to survive all the major battles of the Rebellion (at least, as shown in the Trilogy). The EU expanded upon the character and made him a fairly major player. Actor Denis Lawson has already stated that he won't reprise his role in Star Wars VII. HOWEVER: what if they were able to convince him to appear for one single solitary scene--a flashback to pre-Trilogy--in which he has been catapulted back in time to meet his younger self, played by another actor, and give his younger self advice pertinent to staying alive throughout the Rebellion period and into the New Republic Era? Then this new actor could take the reins and be shown (albeit aged) in the new films? 

Then there's the sub-plot? R2-D2 is now (secretly) able to access security cameras from all over the New Republic worlds and can send anonymous information to the New Jedi Order to help save innocent lives. Thus Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3P0 race around the galaxy saving those lives (actually, C-3P0 usually stays on Coruscant manning the computer systems from a forgotten digital library because, well, he doesn't get around as quickly as you would imagine necessary).

When I ran this past a friend, he suggested that the time-travel sub-plot also allows for the cast to wear costumes from the 1970s in the new movies. An added bonus!

Does all this sound a bit too extreme? Maybe so. I just don't want to see this happen on the big screen:

Cosplay by BelleChere; Picture courtesy of FirstPerson Shooter
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