The Sage Welcomes You

So, here you find a blog about life in general, but with a focus on family, games, books and creativity. Other "stuff" will creep in from timt to time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Punisher Issue #2

So, today, Issue #2 of The Punisher, written by Greg Rucka, came out (  We are still early in a serious plot arc, but the character work, as well as the art, is outstanding.  I have yet to see any critical reviews, but my short review is, if you liked and were intrigued by Issue #1 (and you should have been and if you don't have it go and GET IT!) then this will keep you going.  However, there is no quick payoff, this is a slow-burn story.  We are in the middle of things and this issue ends in a cliff-hanger.  The action is furious but the meaning is only coming to us slowly.  Fortunately, Issue #3 is out on September 7.  The bad news after that is that Issue #4 is not scheduled until October 5.  Still, The Punisher is expertly working his way through the small fry bad guys on his way to the big fish, and it is an amazing character driven and artistically magnificent ride.

Check it out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I can't go, but you can!

If you live in the DC metro area, consider dropping by Labyrinth Games down in DC (near Eastern Market Metro stop) for the August 13 Gamerati Tour (Tour Stops: Saturday, August 13th).  Gamerati is an organization developed by Ed Healy to try to build and link communities of game players.  This month he is driving across the United States and stopping to showcase local game stores, their patrons, owners, and cultures.  Ed explains his thoughts behind his tour at the tour site linked above.  My own spin is that I think that he sees the building of strong community and social network ties helps expand interest and acceptance of different kinds of games and gamers, and this in terns offers commercial opportunities to stores and game producers.  And everyone wins.

Well, I wish him much luck.  I will be heading out of town that weekend, but anyone remotely interested in games, from Scrabble to Dungeons & Dragons, should head to Labyrinth Games to see what it is all about.  The store is fantastic and the owner and employees are incredibly nice and knowledgeable.  I should note that this is a store that is totally mom and kid friendly.  Even if you haven't played a game for a long time, you will find yourself right at home (and probably playing a game before long) at this store.

I think Ed may be capturing some video to showcase the store and may also be doing some recording for podcasting, etc.  I think the event will be interesting, and, if nothing else, you can pick up a fun new game and maybe meet some cool new folks you never met before.  Wish I could be there.  Give it a shot!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple opens the way to fun for the whole family

Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple  is a game by designer Daniel Solis and published by Evil Hat Productions.  The game comes as a beautiful and well-written little harback book that allows a group of players to tell fun and funny stories about young people trying to do the right thing and help people while getting themselves in and out of trouble.

As it turns out, I wrote one teeny tiny part of the book (most of page 37), but until Sunday I had never actually played the game.  Finally, after having the game for a few weeks, I was able to round up the family and we all set to telling a fun story.  Others have already explained how the game goes better than I can, but essentially, everyone playes by creating a character (a Pilgrim) to be part of the story.  The story is about solving a problem that someone has written a letter about (my contribution was one such letter).  Each person takes a turn being the storyteller, while everyone else gets to decide how people get into trouble (the troublemakers).  Play passes until the problem at the heart of of the game is solved with a happy ending or an unhappy ending.  We managed to achieve a happy ending in our first play.

The Pilgrims were Clumsy Kitten (Fiona), Foolish Tiger (Ian), Zany Panda (Evan) and Friendly Gecko (Laura).  We were asked to solve the letter entitled "Is it Safe to Allow Cabbages on Roller Coasters?"(page 31 in the main book). 

Here is the story we told:

Pilgrim Friendly Gecko climbed up the side of the rollercoasterat the amusement park to check its maintenance.  But, Pilgrim Friendly Geck talks to the Talking Sky Cabbages and makes them uncomfortable by being too friendly and smiley because they are pessimistic cabbages.  Pilgrim Clumsy Kitten helps by making sure that the thousand thugs of the Coleslaw Front don't come into the amusement park and warms everyone if they try to come in by purring loundly.  Unfortunately, Pilgrim Clumsy Kitten knocks a modified cart into a Talkin Sky Cabbage, starting a riot.  Pilgrim Zany Panda helps to calm down the Talking Sky Cabbages by giving each one a big panda hug, rescuing Pilgrim Clumsy Kitten.

One of the Coleslaw Front is disguised as a giant cabbage and is so freaked out because Zany Panda gave him a panda hug that he attacks Zany Panda.  Suddenly Pligrim Foolish Tiger leaps on the Coleslaw Front member and saves Zany Panda.  In his eagerness to save Zany Panda, Goolish Tiger trips into the controls of a nearby ride and sends the tallest, fastest rollercoaster into heartpounding action!  Bystandards start screaming and Pilgrim Friendly Gecko quickly climbs back down the rollercoaster.  Pilgrim Friendly Gecko decides to find George and she talks him into letting her see him in the Executive Bathroom.  However George sees how friendly she is and decides to lock her in with him.

Pilgrim Clumsy Kitten helps Hazel Harrington by stalling the Cabbages and purring for traffic control on the bumper cars, because Cabbages don't like bumping.  It is going well until the Coleslaw Front gets on the ride with the Cabbages and Clumsy Kitten knocks the controls up to "Greased Lightning" speed.  Zany Panda thinks that it is so hilarious that he picks up Hazel Harrington and flies them behind the controls of one of the bumper cars.  Pilgrim Foolish Tiger leaps off the ride and into line at the bumper cars.  A six-foot wide Cabbage rolls on top of Foolish Tiger because he cut in line. 

Pilgrim Friendly Gecko opens the windo of the executive bathroom and flies away from George.

Clumsy Kitten purrs loudly and flies to the control panel and turns the bumper car ride off.  Pilgrim Zay Panda reassures Ms. Harrington with a hug and politely helps her off the ride in front of the Cabbages and the Coleslaw Terrorists.  Zany Panda smiles happily while Hazel Harrington takes offense to his hugs and slaps him!

Foolish Tiger lauches the Cabbage off of him and into the air!  Unfortunately, the now flying Cabbage goes through the open window of the executive bathroom and the cabbage lands on the despondent George.

Pilgrim Friendly Gecko takes Hazel Harrington for a ride on the merry-go-round to cheer her up, so she's not mad at Zany Panda anymore.  The Cabbages, who were unfomfortable with Friendly Gecko before, now see her laughing and smiling with Hazel and think Friendly Gecko is making fun of them so them demand to speak to Goerge.

Pilgrim Clumsy Kitten flies to help George so he will not be mad at Foolish Tiger, but when she purrs at the six-foot tall Cabbage, it gets scared and falls out the window!  Zany Panda rushes over to correct Clumsy Kitten's accident so there is not another riot at Popsicore Park and uses his cushy cuddly body to break the Cabbage President's fall.  This pushes him into the new underground ride which was made especially for the Sky Cabbages.  Foolish tiger scares away the Coleslaw Front terrorists out from the park.

After the hardcore Coleslaw Front leaders leave, the Pilgrims help the rest who rode the bumper cards and had fun with the Cabbages become friends and pay to become yearly members of the park.  Hazel becomes the general manager of the park and Geroge comes out of the executive bathroom and everyone becomes Facebook Friends.

The End.

Monday, August 1, 2011

And more from my freind

I hope to post an actual play from my family's first run of Do, Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, but until then, I wanted to point out that on Wednesday, my friend Greg Rucka has a new (and well-reviewed) gig starting as the author behind the relaunch of the Marvel Universe character The Punisher (see

I'll be picking it up on Wednesday.  Hope you do too.