Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Musical Portion of the Program

Our local entertainment guide, Metro Pulse, recently ran a story of popular songs which mention Knoxville. Most of these songs are about outlaws and this seemed depressing to me. But I had to consider the modern songs which mention my hometown, Birmingham Al. The two songs which I immediately thought of are; Sweet Home Alabama and Black Betty, "She's from Birmingham, Blam, Ba-damn," and this musical selection is pretty depressing too.

The saving grace is a song which does not mention Knoxville, much less B'ham, in the original version. Richard Thompson's 1952 Vincent Black Lightning received a reference to Knoxville when recorded by Del McCoury in 2001. Despite being one of the most talented singer-song writers alive, Thompson is not a widely known musician. He is a personal favorite of mine and has performed in Knoxville twice in the last three years. I suggest his recordings; Action Packed or Live from Austin City Limits for any interested in his style of folky-rock.

I'll paraphrase Matt Everett, author of the original article, for the rest of this story.
It’s a haunting, beautiful song, and if the tragic tale of Red Molly and the motorcycle outlaw James doesn’t move you to tears, there might be something wrong with you... McCoury also modified Thompson’s reference to Box Hill—“and down to Box Hill they did ride”—to “Knoxville,” giving the city yet another fist-pumping anthem of Appalachian anti-authoritarian defiance to go along with “Thunder Road” and “Copperhead Road.”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mutant Future session 3, part 2; 2009, 12.15.09

The adventurers relaxed and collected their thoughts after their defeat of the one-eyed giant with four arms. Bucky yelled down to the others, “Should I try to bring the raiser back up?” Everyone agreed that they should explore the pit since they had found no exits or additional rooms at their current level of this temple and ancient vehicle storage complex. Bucky pushed the lever forward again to activate the raiser in the pit and the mechanism groaned as gears pushed against the strain of the recent explosion of the magic item the adventures a had activated.

They saw that the raiser was covered with organic goo, the remains of the blasted one-eyed giant formerly with four arms. “Someone must travel down into the Pit of Mystery to seek a tunnel,” began Bro. Mathias. “You, Bro. Bacon Fat, travel down the lift and explore the mysterious pit.”

“How will you know what I’ve found Bro. Mathias,” asked Bacon Fat.

“We can yell,” Bro. Mathias explained as he pushed Bacon Fat toward the raiser. “Activate the raiser,” Mathias yelled up to Bucky.

Bacon Fat was lowered into the pit and after a few seconds he yelled, “I see another passage way.”

“Do you see the slot of sluts which might control this mighty raiser,” Bro. M yelled at Bacon Fat.

“Yes Brother,” Bacon Fat responded.

“Toss me the magic card of activation,” Bro. M instructed Bucky. “We will send Axel Grease and Brother Bottom down to Bro. Bacon. They will in turn raise and lower the raiser so the remaining three of us may join them.”

After moments of manipulating the lift all the members of the group met on a second, lower, level of the ancient vehicle storage facility and temple. They discovered many men working busily on this level. At least these creatures resembled men in appearance, movement and manor.

“Look at them,” squealed Bottom, “Their working!”

This lower level was as large as the level above. These humanoids were working all around the adventures. The workers were disassembling cages similar to the one that contained the monster on the lift.

“They’re taking apart the cages,” continued Bottom. “We must learn their motivation,” Bro. Mathias suggested and approached a group of the dedicated workers. “Hello brothers, what is the nature of your task?” The rather dumb looking human glanced at Bro. M but immediately returned to his work. Mathias followed the laborer, insistent on attracting the attention of the hardhead. Mathias danced in front of the worker attempting to distract him. “Excuse me brother,” Mathias panted while hopping from foot to foot. Again the worker avoided Mathias and continued working.

"Stop him,” said Hedgehog Jack. Mathias grabbed the worker and attempted to communicate with the man. The worker moved too quickly and avoided Mathias who lunged at the man and pushed him. Then Mathias pushed him to the floor. Mathias called, “Help me brothers,” and Axel Grease and Bacon Fat surrounded the worker too secure him. As the three men grappled with the laborer, Alex and Bacon held him by his arms and Mathias appeared to be ready to inflict bodily harm, he began to yell.

His call was a simple repeated, “Ahh, Ahh, Ahh,” and within the minute a group came rushing to his aid. Three humanoids carrying clubs rushed in to the area to aid the alarmed worker. These new guards ran straight to worker too engage Axel, Bacon and Mathias who released the worker too defend themselves. One of the guards paused a moment before entering the combat, he placed one had at the tip of his club and a spark ignited a flame on the end of his club.

Bucky, Hedgehog Jack and Bottom prepared their various means of defending their “brothers,” Axel, Bacon and Mathias. While the guards were busy with the melee Bottom turned and kicked the combatant with the club of flame. Bottoms kicked knocked the guard away from the combat and the club of flame fell from the guards grasp and Hedgehog Jack quickly retrieved the club. The other adventures had defeated a second guard and the third attempted to flee to safety, away from the seemingly combat savvy adventurers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Order of the d10,000, Paperback Swap and such...

Since G. Benedicto at the Eiglophian Press has created the Order of the d10,000 I was inspired to create a chart for using this set of dice. There are only 100 possible names in the chart but it was fun using the d10,000 designations and I hope this is just the beginning of my chart making. The chart is a random name generator for PCs and NPCs for weird fantasy rpgs. I hope you all follow the text link to the download at Scribd and enjoy!

I threw the dice a few times to test the chart with these results. 5887 = Stretcher, 2120 = My Space, 5163 = Soda Pop, and 6041 = Claw or Claws.

As suggested in the archives of the many rpg blogs, I have been using the Paperback Swap for a few months now. I enjoy using this service and have found many classic fantasy and sci-fi novels through the site. Occasionally I'll receive a paperback which is on it's last dog-eared leg. So I'm beginning a new feature for my blog to distribute these books. I'll use the title Pulp Fiction Giveaway in the blog header when I have an old book up for adoption. In fact, I've already started the Giveaway as I mailed The Skylark of Space to my in-state neighbor Brutorz Bill this morning.