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Posts tagged “Wizard

Dungeon Situational – Pandemonium Spell List

Let us suppose a variation of magic that does not manipulate a natural force ever-present in the world. Instead let us consider a school of magi who pull their power from the realms beyond the material, reaching into the turning gears of Mechanus, the glorious light of Celestia, the feral twilight of Ysgard, or – as presented here – the twisting tunnels, the ever blowing gales mingled with the howls of souls as they shred and dissolve into the headwaters of the Styx, Pandemonium.

The spells here are selected with a view to their aesthetic relation to Pandemonium, which borders the roiling chaos of Limbo and the demonic halls of the Abyss. Pandemonium itself is predominantly home to demons, a handful of damned souls that endure the winds, and a few evil or mad gods who have come to build their realms within. The spells are heavy on necrotic forces, death, madness, and eternally howling winds. (more…)


Re-Skinning Spells part 2

So, rather than starting with my spell like I did in my Re-Skinning Spells part 1 last week, I’ll be starting with the spellcaster. To give your unique character a unique feel rather than just a colour-by-numbers hack-n-slash dungeon crawler, plant a little of their personality onto their spell list. For each character I’ll be throwing in more details like magical implements or Individual Magical Effect to give you some ideas on how to really change up your wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, and spellslingers.

Let me start with a character I’ve wanted to build for some time.

Chronomancer

A wizard heavily invested in the nature of time, it’s mechanisms, how it shapes and is shaped by space and matter. There’s a few spells that are no-brainers for a master of time, Slow, HasteScrying, at later levels Time Stop and it’s not a huge stretch to throw in spells like Mending as a way to reverse time on a broken object, or Disintegration to accelerate time to the point of crumbling. But not every level comes with a complete collection of spells perfect for the Chronomancer.

It would not take an overly permissive DM to alter Conjure Minor Elementals to summon Modrons instead, those mechanical life-forms from the plane of rigid order and law. The collection from the Monster Manual sits within the Combat Rating requirements. Scrying and locating spells might help pinpoint the eddies and currents a creature leaves in the currents of time, Move Earth and Control Water might toy with history so ancient that the world was different.

Each time the Chronomancer casts a spell it is accompanied by the sound of a ticking clock, a whirling of spectral gears about his/her arms, and at later levels the very stars wheel in the heavens as he/she exerts power on the universe. A stopwatch might be the focus for the Chronomancer, or a sundial with a shadow that always points to the correct time, no matter the light in the room.

Alchemist

The magic of an Alchemist is all chemical, no otherworldly powers required. The correct admixtures can turn acid into a projectile capable of flying great distances, contain fire in a case of metal to be called upon later, or spawn lightning in a jar. The Artificer class for Eberron has dabbled a little in this, although I have to say I preferred the sub-type of wizard from an earlier issue of Unearthed Arcana. That works up to a point, but there are plenty of spells that you might not be able to pull out of a bottle.

Consider a spell like Wall of Stone, rather than a movement of earth the spell could be a growing mountain of foam that solidifies into a barrier. Illusions could be the result of a potent hallucinogen; it’s hard to summon an Insect Plague with chemicals unless you keep a box of larvae or a vial of potent pheromones in your pack.

Alchemists can fit into a low-magic setting, but have to plan accordingly. Your alchemist may have to carry a hefty medicine bag filled with bases, reagents, admixtures and solvents, along with enough glassware to refit a cathedral. You might be walking around in lab gear, goggles and gloves, collapsible work bench, the works.

Et Al

Ok, let me draw some examples from elsewhere. I’ll grab some characters with signature spells or spell-like powers and give you something that’ll do the same job:

Maya’s Phaselock – Shamelessly going back to Borderlands, the Siren Maya has the power to imprison an enemy in a hovering bubble of raw energy from whatever plane of existence the Sirens draw power from. Hold Person would work fine as the basic version, but lacks the upgrades, they’re much harder to replicate without your DM allowing you to add powers and expending higher spell slots, or even several slots. Dominate PersonBless, or Resistance can give you ideas for effects to pile onto a single spell.

Witcher Signs – Igni screams Burning Hands, nice and easy. Aard, maybe use Thunderwave. At early levels you might use Crown of Madness for the hypnotic sign Axii, rather than the more appropriate Dominate Monster. The shielding sign Quen has loads of possible options, from Shield to Magic Circle. And Yrden… is difficult, planting rune-circles that trigger when you pass over them is something you’ll have to wait for when you get level 3 spells and Glyph of Warding, but that’s such a versatile spell you should pick it up anyway, no matter who you are.

Waterbending – It’s easy to replicate earth, air, and firebending from the Avatar Series, plenty of fire-based spells, mobility and defensive spells for air, and things you can change into stone, especially if you build a druid. Water might be trickier, but there are things that could be made more… watery. Magic Missile and Cloud of Daggers, streaks of water hurled at opponents, Slow and Evard’s Black Tentacles could be used as patches of water that grip and bind.


Video Game Review – Zenith

From Infinigon, an action RPG that follows the story of a reluctant wizard dragged out of the bottle he’s crawled into, and thrust into an adventure he’s not all that interested in. I had no idea this game existed, and was pleasantly surprised when it dropped into my lap. It’s been a while since I played a game knowing nothing about it, so it was refreshing to go blindly into something new.

Now, I will say that since getting Zenith I haven’t played much more than a couple of hours for reasons I’ll get to shortly; suffice to say that this is very much a “first impressions” review, but I made sure to get a big impression in the mean time.

NSFW Warning because of the rude words Zenith uses. That language is acceptable behind the wheel of a car, but not in the workplace, or around young people and the permanently offended.

Story

We begin with our reluctant hero, Argus Windell, already in deep trouble at the hands of his captors, a band of elves that we can easily label “The bad guys” because… well they’re threatening the hero, nice and easy right? Actually this looks to be a straight forward wartime situation where honestly neither side is right, they just have different opinions on what belongs to whom and how it should be dealt with, all swiftly and effortlessly delivered with a minimum of dialogue and no painfully expositional lines. This opening scene also delivers a lot of information about the nature of our main character Argus, who has a very classic “begrudging but snarky hero” thing going very well for him, comes across as well informed and fairly important.

Then in come the giant, arctic, tenor singing spiders to comically spare his life, followed by a chase to grab his stuff from the fleeing elves who have mercifully scattered into easily defeated groups in their flight. You follow a path laid out for rich people to fill their adventure fantasies complete with conveniently dispersed chests and potions for which Argus has a snide remark, and the first joke that made me laugh in the game (a sorcerer who never hired guards for his tower, he just left bottles of red-coloured poison lying around) after only a few minutes gameplay. Score one for Infinigon.

Shortly after this point I’m thrown a bit of a curveball. After Argus is helped out by his friends there’s the sudden appearance of a spaceship, a jarring blast of sci-fi injected into what I’d taken as plain fantasy, but after a fairly short space of time the sides start to drift together, and just like that I’m impressed. I don’t often see games where civilisations have the presence of mind to use magic to do sensible things. Fireballs, strange and terrible artifacts, sure, but let’s talk transport here!

In short a lot of story is injected into not a lot of time, and done so very well. This section could get longer, but there’s more to discuss…

Style

Visually the game suffers a little from an obviously low budget, but delivers at the very least a comfortable viewing experience with a few interesting little quirks that stand out, and played with all graphics set to full it’s more than enjoyable, with crisper and cleaner without overwhelming the senses in bright lights and pointless details. Once the magical technology fusion becomes more organic to the situation the characters start to look more fitting, shifting from overly colourful and out of place to a kind of understated magic-punk, stylish but not overbaked.

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Textboxes can only be advanced by means of the spacebar, fairly high on the list of things you’d think to try, but there is no other option. Still, only a minor nuisance, but there are a few instances of text floating above character heads during cutscenes in which the text is hard to read because it lacks a harder outline, and the colours aren’t distinct enough to clearly make out the words. At least these aren’t the moments when important details are revealed, more often than not it’s during these moments when you aren’t entirely focused on the dialogue.

Gameplay

Here’s where I have a few gripes.

I’m in no doubt that this game would have played much better with a controller, I was running on mouse and keyboard. The controls were well mapped and thought out, (unlike a few blockbusters I could mention) and despite the fact that they couldn’t be adjusted, I found there wasn’t really a need. Where the issues came for me were with facing my character in the right direction. Two noticeable instances in which this was an issue:

Enemy corpses fade fast in Zenith. More often than not I’d find myself finishing a fight having lost half of my spoils already, which became less of an issue if I could easily spam to collect mid-combat, but that’s not so easy to do. Now this wouldn’t be so irritating, but post-fight I’d often find myself amidst the bodies unable to pick them clean fast enough because I have to spin myself around to face the bodies that still have something to grab, and when they’re merged together, and every time I turn I also run a few feet, suddenly the corpse I wanted is behind me, and again, and aga- oh now it’s gone.

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Second was a puzzle. Now I loved the puzzle, definitely stealing that for my regular Dungeons & Dragons game (strictly not for profit of course) but the objects that I needed to interact with in a specific order were fairly densely packed together given that I was having trouble getting Argus to point in the right direction.

That said, once you’ve acclimatised a little to the pace and motion of the game combat itself flows fairly nicely, and you’re quickly given a few nice little tactical options; interesting melee weapons, a ranged spell, a conjured shield, and a massive shockwave spell to cover your back when you’re surrounded. Potions have a recharge time to prevent spamming (and overdose of course) which is a little long. You may find yourself needing more than one in a fight and unable to drink fast enough, made worse by the fact that health doesn’t replenish naturally. All of which brings me to my final point.

Why I Stopped Playing…

Your first boss is fairly early in the game, before you’ve even gained your first level and started to really see what Argus is capable of achieving. The demon Deuueagh has moderate health which should make for a quick fight, jumps backwards and forwards from the combat area, leaving you with a smattering of easily defeated skeletons to keep you occupied. Sounds good on paper, but there are some pretty tremendous problems I found with it.

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If you like your RPGs hardcore with a punishing difficulty curve I commend you, sadly that’s not me, and Zenith could do with a variable difficulty for the likes of people who enjoy games despite being really bad at them (me). It wouldn’t even require any alterations in the level designs, shortened waits for potions would be a good start because this boss hits hard, and is fast enough to hit you constantly no matter how much you run or block.

Worst of all, with only one save point prior to the fight, there’s a nice little cutscene for you to watch over and over and over again following disappointment after disappointment. Come on Infinigon, that’s game design basics, at least make it easier to skip past.

… For A Short While

I have a new computer!

Aside from being overjoyed and looking forward to doing a lot more game reviews in the near future, it made the game run a lot smoother, look quite a bit nicer, and more importantly I surpassed Deuueagh to find the first major plot point and break into what one might call “the game proper”.

And that’s the thing, for all the issues I faced early in the game I found I really wanted to surpass them and break into the real meat of what Zenith had to offer me. Now that first awkward hurdle is behind me I’m enjoying it more and more, and while it’s still a game hampered by design flaws, it’s still fun, compelling, and ultimately achieves what it sets out to achieve; a humorous ARPG filled with parody, sarcasm, action, and elves in barrels being thrown over mountains. Well one, but that’s more than I expected.

Get Zenith. It’s worth it at £10.99, and I think Infinigon as a studio has a lot more to offer in the future.


Top 10 Wizards

GeekOut Top 10s

Knowledge is power!

Learned wielders of great magical powers, weavers of great and terrible spells, and generally overpowered. Wizards are one of the fantasy classics that’ ingrained into our culture, so long as magic captures our imagination and we can still keep coming up with incredible characters to use it, then wizards just won’t die (we’re looking at you Gandalf).

We have gathered for you the finest magic casters (you might call it a Magical Gathering) but there’s a rule! The best wizards in this list have learned and obtained their powers through study and practice, and less dependence on biology or innate power. This one stipulation may cause some shocking revelations, as you will discover as we make our way through the Top 10 Wizards.


Top 10

10) Time Wizard – YuGiOh!

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He’s got Wizard in the name, but we don’t know his mortality – other than the fact that he can take some damage and be killed. We also don’t know how learned he is. But he’s certainly got a lot of magical power. The Time Wizard is one of the most iconic cards from the Childrens Card Game, YuGiOh. If you’ve ever seen Joey Wheeler from the anime, then you’ll no doubt be familiar with this tricky time trickster.

The Time Wizard is literally a clock, which comes out and does some weird things with time. He can reverse time, or sent time forward but hundreds or thousands of years. So in terms of magical power, this little ticking time tinkerer is actually pretty strong. Unfortunately, due to a lack of lore about him, we can’t tell if this is a character that learned the ticks of his trade, or if he simply was born with them.

9) Doctor Strange – Marvel

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Ok, we’re raising Strange because he has a film on the way, but his official title is the Sorcerer Supreme. Some concession of course because he did study for the role under the previous Sorcerer Supreme after a car accident damaged his hands, hindering his ability to perform brain surgery. Spoilers by the way…

Through his manipulation of magical forces he helps protect our realm from forces far darker than any other hero in the Marvel universe, demonic forces and magical entities that dwell in border dimensions. Interestingly the powers of the Sorcerer Supreme also draw on beings of ancient entities such as Cyttorak, which also makes him a Warlock, so credit where credit’s due, Stephen Strange really hits all the spell-casting classes at once.

8) Gandalf – Lord of the Rings

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The first in our incredibly long line of shocks is Gandalf the Grey, or Gandalf the White. This grizzled old human is seemingly one of the most wise and powerful wizards on this entire list – So how on Earth, (or Middle-Earth,) did he end up so far down the list? With his massive beard and his staff… And all of that magic, how can he be so low? I mean he even refers to himself as a wizard.

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is, a Wizard is primarily mortal. This is someone who is learned, someone who has had to study, without there being magical power within them. So with this in mind, it’s impossible for us to put Gandalf here… For he’s not mortal. He is in fact a Maiar Spirit, along with, yes you guessed it, Saruman. But instead of disregarding it fully, we respect sorcerers equally – But they’re not what we would call a wizard. Not when the true age of Gandalf is known. He was born before the shaping of Arda.

7) Dumbledore – Harry Potter

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“Wait, hold on one minute here,” I hear you screaming at your monitors with an intense rage, “this ruling is a little bit ridiculous – Dumbledore is a human!” To this, I fully agree with all of you out there, Dumbledore is a very clear human, who was born a human and who died a human. Regardless of the non-confirmed fan-theories opinions of Dumbledore being a physical manifestation of Death, we’ll stick to the concept that Dumbledore is a wisened, learned wizard of human blood.

However… We’re going to have to point out, that much like Gandalf and our next entrant to this list, Dumbledore (indeed, Hogwarts as we know it,) might be a lie. For you see, a Wizard is a mortal who is learned. A man or woman who has learned their craft, through being taught. This means that if magical energies are latent within them, albeit needing training, they are actually a sorcerer. This is the definition of a Wizard to a Sorcerer – and Gandalf might be the greatest Sorcerer of all time. Don’t forget what the American’s named the first book: The Sorcerer’s Stone. I’m gutted, as I wanted Dumbledore to be our number one slot.

6) Merlin – Arthurian Legend

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So if Gandalf and Dumbledore have now been, at least for our definition, proven to be sorcerers instead of wizards, how can Merlin be that much greater? The answer lies in the term “learned”. Merlin is possibly more learned than both of these men, which is why we have had so many shocking revelations throughout this list. Merlin was many things, to which they called him a wizard. He was an incredibly intelligent man.

But notice once again he’s only placed at number 6? What could possibly stop him this time? Unfortunately, lore strikes once again – as Merlin was born to a human lady and an incubus. Yes, his daddy whom passed incredible powers onto the most important wizard on this list bar-none, was an Incubus. Now that’s pretty gross – but to make it worse, it stops Merlin going one greater. Sword and the Stone? Sadly, it was another Sorcerer’s Stone!

5) Hoodies – Magicka

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Now we’re beginning to move into the realm of real wizards – so we’re sorry it’s taken us this long to get here. The above are all considered to be wizardly. In fact, some of them literally bare the name wizard and one of them even conceals a whole school of sorcerers as wizards. However, the Hoodies of Magicka is an affectionate nickname we’re giving the main characters of the game, who are powerful wizards.

They’re completely mortal and due to how they’re presented to us, we’re able to surmise that these wizards learned it entirely through dedication and hard work. Sadly though, we don’t have that much evidence that they learned their craft, no matter how learned we believe they are… So we’re setting these powerful mortals to the middle of our list. Because finally, the magic is real guys. Also this game is pretty hard, go play it with some friends and watch your friendships disappear… Like magic!

4) Mustrum Ridcully – Discworld

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We’d have loved to have included Rincewind here, but Rincewind only ever knew one spell, (albeit one of the great spells of creation,) and he was never all that senior. The closest he ever came to authority was as the Head of Cruel and Unusual Geography.

Now Mustrum Ridcully on the other hand, he’s the genuine article, Archchancellor of Unseen University, the one who brought the highest orders of wizardry to heal with a healthy diet and plenty of hygiene; a master of all things magical, except for the strange things those youngsters get up to in the High Energy Magic Buidling; he achieved the 7th level of Wizardry by the age of 27, and has no fewer than eleven qualifications of varying degrees. He is, in fact, Mustrum Ridcully D.Thau., D.M., D.S., D.Mn., D.G., D.D., D.C.L., D.M. Phil., D.M.S., D.C.M., D.W., B.El.L. and Archchancellor.

Ridcully has ended the long string of assassinations to snatch the top spot in the faculty, after the first attempt ended in the ambitious assassin being unceremoniously brutalised by very non-magical methods. He’s also so incredibly powerful, he’s done away with all that messy magic stuff; it’s unhygienic.

3) Mirdon – Doraleous and Associates

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One of Doraleous’ oldest friends and closest allies, Mirdon the wizard is a multi-talented mage with a battery of spells at his disposal, powers that transform his comrades into wild beasts, spells that enhance his senses beyond mortal comprehension, spells that summon inconvenient avalanches of large rocks that kind of just get in the way, and make it difficult for enemies to carry on with what they were doing.

He’s also selfish, disrespectful, foul-mouthed, and actually surprisingly dim for a wizard. He’s a straight-up wizard, studied hard to obtain his power, and joined up with an adventuring party to try and help people. That’d be very honourable and respectable but… he’s just so unlikable! Now, we’re a respectable site, so I can’t really share exactly how horrible he is… suffice to say his most evil spell is one that gives you a permanent nose whistle that never goes away.

Check out the Machinima cartoon to fully understand what I’m getting at here… just don’t do so at work. Unless you’ve got a cool workplace that’s fine with that kind of thing.

2) Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil – League of Legends

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If you’ve been reading through this list so far, you may be surprised seeing all of the powerful people we assumed were wizards to be so low down. To then turn around and see a hero from League of Legends reaching all the way up to number 2, with no mention of Warcraft or otherwise in sight, it might feel like we’ve gone mad. But Veigar is a well thought out wizard, of non-human origin – Although still mortal.

Veigar was an ordinary boy, who wanted to learn more about the world beyond Bandle City. Being a Yordle, he doesn’t conjure many images of a grand and powerful wizard, but yet neither did the Gnomes of Warcraft. Veigar wanted to learn more and to really be a bit of a trader, so he studied hard. But a deal went wrong and off to jail did Veigar go. Now, jailing a Yordle is pretty dangerous, as is evident from Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil. Instead of heading back to Bandle City, he ended up seeking out dark wizards to be trained in the ways of evil. Now a twisted little Yordle, this barely 1 meter tall hero, (or shall we say villain,) looks to bring conflict of all of Valoran to a stop… Mostly because he wants city states to bow before him. Ah well, can’t blame him for trying.

Whilst we could argue he’s a Warlock, there’s no evidence that he actually makes any kind of pact. Therefore, he’s a wizard until proven warlock… Because ultimately, all he did was study hard to be the Tiniest Master of Evil.

1) Jace Beleren – Magic: the Gatheringjace-the-mind-sculptor

When we set out to write this list, we both agreed that Jace belonged on the list of wizards. Ultimately, he started as a humble human who aspired to be more, so he self-taught himself until he knew enough to assist where he was needed most. His magics got greater and greater, until one day, he became more than just a mortal. He became a Planeswalker, a powerful entity that can literally walk across different planes of time… But what does this mean exactly?

Taken directly from MTGSalvation, a Wikia dedicated to all that is Magic: the Gathering – “The defining trait of [planeswalkers] is the ability to travel between separate universes with ease, while the vast majority of people throughout the multiverse are not even aware that other worlds beside their own exist. Planeswalking is a form of magic. With enough time and mana, or with specialized spell knowledge, or with access to enormous power, it’s possible for a planeswalker to transfer clothing, artifacts and/or creatures with him as he planeswalks.”

Due to his studies and the fact that Jace started not as a Planeswalker, but became more due to all of his studies. To make matters more complicated though, it’s actually entirely unknown as to how long he studied. Still, time aside, all we know is, this might be the most learned man in any literature, game, film, anime or otherwise.


Venerable Mentions

Given the harsh judgement we have imparted on a few favourites, our honourable mentions have really had to fight hard to get this place. Years of study, diligence to the craft and service to the realm have earned these entries, a Venerable Mention.

Wizards of the Coast

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This one very nearly slipped by us. Wizards are the game studio who make some of the best traditional games on the market, most notably Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: the Gathering, a couple of our personal favourites, but there are a few others you may not be entirely aware of in their catalogue. Ever played Betrayal on the House on the Hill?

Founded in 1990, now a subsidiary of Hasbro, (damn you Hasbro and your Monopoly of traditional games,) Wizards of the Coast manage a wide variety of nerd classics and firm favourites. Sadly though, despite many a magical hour spent gathered around a table playing wizards and casting spells, WotC are drummed into the honourables list because they’re not actually magical and it’s all make-believe.

Wait…

Tim the Enchanter – Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Tim the Enchanter is sadly bumped down to the honourables list for his brief appearance, most of which he spends slinging fire around for the sake of it, and for the applause. He seems possessed of prophetic abilities, knowing all about King Arthur and his quest for the Holy Grail before he even approaches.

Only one beast in all of christendom does the mighty Enchanter fear, and that fiend is no ordinary bunny rabbit. Played by Billy Connolly, the Big Yin may only show up for a few minutes in the classic tale of messing around in the British countryside, but it’s one of the best cameos in film history. Oddly the goat horns and robes suit him. [EDIT] Apparently I need to do my research more thoroughly, John Cleese plays the Enchanter.


This one might cause a bit of controversy, but we’re not afraid of that. Instead, we hope that you found our interpretation of a wizard to be a compelling, or even correct one to you. In the meantime, we’re going to ask you to vote on next week’s’ list, which can be one of the below. We’re going for a slightly less ambiguous term for our next list, so please do vote wisely, oh venerable one.

With a puff and a cloud of smoke, it looks like it’s time to wrap up another one of our Top 10 lists. But don’t despair, for we’ll be back again this time next week with yet another Top 10 list as chosen by you. Until then, why not get involved with this week’s list and tell us what you thought of it. Do you feel we were too harsh on some of the characters? Is Jace Beleren worthy of such praise? Do you feel the tiny master of evil was in the right position for this list? Will anyone believe Merlin’s lies after this trick?! As always, leave a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Multiclassing & Story

There are frequently benefits to multiclassing your characters, giving your fighter a level of rogue or barbarian can really up his damage output, or perhaps a little paladin or cleric can make him a greater utility to the group. Giving your monk a few sorcerer spells can really change the way she plays in combat without compromising her usefulness, or perhaps some ranger to turn her into a serious close-range menace.

But why? Surely you’re not just chasing numbers and making a more effective combat-unit, or chasing some build that you found on a forum to break the game. Your character shouldn’t just be a collection of stats on a piece of paper because that ceases to be role-playing, but there’s no need to avoid multiclassing because it doesn’t fit, and if it works in your story then you should absolutely add a level of a class that makes no sense. Like bard…

I’m kidding, bards are fine. (more…)


Cosplay Post – You’re A Wizard, Timlah

All of these conventions are sneaking up on us as of late, however it’s come to my attention that next week, on Saturday 26th, it’s BristolCon! This marks the third year I’ve attended this event, which is a really fun local Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention. There’s some interesting talks, a lot of nice merchandise and an art room to go with it. Couple this with the fact we’re right next to a bar at all times as well (… I’m saying nothing about hanging about at the bar, it’s not like last year we had a huge game or two of Zombie Fluxx there or anything, ) I like to make use of my time as a cosplayer.

Why? I dunno. I just enjoy this stuff. So with that said, what am I going to BristolCon as?

BristolCon 2015

I can’t remember for the life of me if I’ve mentioned it, but it’s time to retire Oskar. He’s been great and I’m sure in the not too distant future he’d be fantastic to return to the world, but his old bones are weak and weary now. It’s time to look towards the future and decide what will become my latest casual cosplay? I’ve got one… And it’s another Original Character. Whereas Oskar was developed from an existing character (Oscar Kass), this one I wanted to make completely unique, a definitely unique costume.

For all of the Facebook and some of the Twitter fans of GeekOut, you may have noticed I’ve been tweeting and posting about a wizard hat. After all, to debut a new costume at BristolCon, a fantasy convention, it’d make sense to make it relevant to Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Last years BristolCon, I went dressed as Twoflower. It’s only fitting then that this year, I go as a Wizard. For those unfamiliar with Discworld and The Colour of Magic, Twoflower is a tourist and he travels with Rincewind the wizard. Instead of going as Rincewind himself, I decided to make a character somewhat inspired by his antics.

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So to be a wizard, I need a wizards hat. There it is above. Want to know how I made it? It’s pretty simple… But pay attention to the equation part!

  1. Material; I used Pleather. Felt is the traditional material of choice for this type of hat. The pleather gave this a really extra floppy feel which was kind of my goal.
  2. Thread & Needle; I used a matching thread, but later I went over it again with a black thread so it stood out.
  3. Pattern Paper; I just used normal paper and taped them together. It worked wonders!
  4. Scissors, craft knife, a pen (or chalk, depending on your preference.)
  5. Measuring tape, Ruler

Material cost: I bought several metres worth of pleather for £10. I didn’t even use 1 metre for this. This hat cost approximately £4 to make.

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Some of the things you’ll need!

First, get your measuring tape and let’s figure out how we’ll make the pattern:

  1. Measure around your forehead for your heads circumference. Add some extra on for how low on the head you want it to sit. You do not want it to be the exact size of your head, as it will barely fit. Write down your heads circumference and any give. anything between half an inch to one and a half works wonders. I put up half an inch extra.
  2. Figure out how wide you want the brim. I decided to add 4 inches for the brim.
  3. You can suss out the brim circumference if you want, I found it didn’t matter too much.
  4. Find your heads radius: That’s half of your heads circumference (with the extra give you gave in step 1.)
  5. Figure out how tall you want your ‘peak’, that’s the long pointy bit!

For a better explanation of how this works, I’d highly recommend this page, which has some amazing information about the maths behind making the hat. Once you’ve finished writing all this down, you’ll be making two patterns: One for the peak and one for the brim.

2015-09-15 23.40.25

The peak is interesting to make the pattern for. You need to think that you’re making a whole cone. You need to make what is close to three quarters of a full circle, which seems like a bizarre thing to do… But the reason is simply that you’ll be folding the peak on itself to sew it up. You’ll notice my brim (the big circle) didn’t have a hole in it: This comes afterwards. I used my craft knife to score out the part and it popped out quite easily. I used scissors when I was unsure of how well the knife scored it. I also used the scissors to cut out the main shapes.

When you go to sew the peak, remember to sew the “wrong way”, as when you’re finished, the untidy bits of your sewing should be on the inside. If you’re going to use pleather, I might advice that you use a lining of some kind. I didn’t mind so much, I personally prefer it without lining, but I’d probably recommend a simple lining for the brim. It would make it look a lot tidier. But heck, my guy is an accidental wizard.

A book for all budding wizards

A book for all budding wizards

With two pieces now, you need to sew them together. The way I did it is probably not the recommended way, but: I used some extra room I left on the bottom of the peak (the hem) and pinned it to the brim. Then I sewed the peak to the brim by sewing along the hem and whallah. I had a pointy wizards hat! Well then, that’s that.

Couple this with my blue robes, commonly used with Oskar and armed with a brand new book (That I made), I’ve just got one thing remaining: I need a wizardly weapon. Y’know I already have one..? Cast your mind back to this image:

DSC_0537You might notice what appears to be a large stave of kinds and you’d be correct. I already had a staff made up, which was the basis for the scythe. The staff needs a tiny bit of love (some duct tape sounds good) and we’re good to go. Therefore, by reusing things I already have, this costume has cost me no more than £4 to make. Bargain cosplaying if there ever has been some!

Well, that’s it folks. There’ll be pictures of Timlah, the Accidental Wizard no doubt some time after BristolCon is over. For now though, we roll onto Saturday. I’m looking forward to the event and hopefully people will get a bit of a chuckle out of my attire. If you’d like to make your own for Dummies book, please check out this website, a generator. As a warning, there’s a small watermark on the printed page, but it’s not so bad. I’d recommend doing what I did which is copying the embed code into a text file and adding <html><body></body></html> tags around it. Change the size to something more appropriate (I chose 1024 x 768) and then display that on screen and print it. That was, for some reason, the only way it would get larger for me.

That’s all, the Accidental Wizard is about ready to go. Let me know what you thought in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. The costume has taken no more than 4 hours to make and at just £4 to make the hat..? This was one of the easiest decisions and simplest costumes I’ve ever worked on. This will become my future casual cosplay pieces. Keep your eyes out over the coming weeks whilst I work on my horror Original Character, Ashe.


The Light Fantastic

Ah yes, it’s time for another look at one of the classic novels written by Terry Pratchett, the father of Discworld and all around awesome sci-fi/fantasy legend. In case you missed the last one, we had a look through the first in the Discworld series, The Colour of Magic, go check it out! We’ll wait right here whilst you go look… Are they gone? Good, let’s get on with this look at The Light Fantastic!

So this is the second book in the Discworld series and is a continuation from The Colour of Magic. As you may recall, that book finished on a cliffhanger. The Light Fantastic is the continuation and conclusion of this adventure featuring Rincewind the Wizzard and Twoflower the Tourist, along with their faithful companion, Luggage… the Luggage. Written in 1986, this was the only Discworld book to be a continuation of another Discworld book. No, seriously – I want you to go and find any other Discworld book that ends on a cliffhanger and is continued in another book. You won’t find one.

The Light Fantastic

The plot of The Light Fantastic is about the journey of Rincewind and Twoflower coming to an end, but along the way, there’s still some unresolved business. Rincewind manages to fall over the edge of the Discworld and is brought back by the Octavo, thus saving him. Without their knowledge, Death goes and tells the leading wizards of the impending fate of the world… Unless all of the spells are read from the Octavo. Typical, isn’t it that it’d have to be with the inept wizard Rincewind?

Of course, this means that Rincewind is now a wanted man… So a damn lot of wizards go out to capture Rincewind and the Octavo. After a while, Rincewind meets back up with lovable tourist Twoflower, before they are accompanied by the aging Cohen the Barbarian.

Rincewind

Through the rest of this story, we see luggage become a hero that saves Rincewind (Which is amusing to think a little box with legs could be a hero)! We also see more of the Great A’Tuin, who has decided to change the path the Discworld is on. We also see Twoflower go toe to toe with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse… In a game of Contract Bridge. There are people who are heading to mountains after hearing about the impending apocalypse, because they want a better view.

The whole premise of The Light Fantastic is there to close off the events of The Colour of Magic and to bring resolution to this journey. It’s an amazing fantasy story filled with a lot of light hearted humour and wacky characters. Much like The Colour of Magic, there was a television show for this, which happened along side The Colour of Magic. Once more, David Jason retains his role as Rincewind.

You can buy fantastic Discworld miniatures from http://pjsmprints.com/miniatures/index.html!

You can buy fantastic Discworld miniatures from http://pjsmprints.com/miniatures/index.html!

Overall, The Light Fantastic is definitely worth the read. It’s got great pacing and it’s really satisfying seeing the end of the journey that Twoflower and Rincewind set out on. I won’t spoil the ending for you all, as I reckon you’d enjoy experiencing the story for yourselves. But that’s all for now, so what do you think? Have you read The Light Fantastic? What Discworld book should we have a look at next? As always, comments below, over on Facebook or Twitter. Keep the fantasy spirit strong!


The Colour of Magic

Have you ever been so enthralled by a book that you went on to read the whole series? I’m sure you have. In the modern world, some of the most captivating books are amongst the most magical and surreal. It’s with this in mind that I wanted to look through one of my favourite book series, Discworld.

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