I was on Splinters of a Broken Sun

Earlier this month, my old friend Matt asked me to be on Splinters of a Broken Sun, his most excellent actual play podcast. My friends Patrick and Trudy were also involved, so it was an extra special experience for me. We all met on text-based internet games over ten years ago, so it was a great reunion.

Anyway, we play as the church/government’s elite agents, tasked with tracking down the series’ regular protagonists. And, as Trudy said when we took a lunch break, we were “the Team Rocket of elite government agents.”

Also, I loosely based my character on Outback from GI Joe.

I think it turned out great, and I wanted to share it with you. If you want to hear my nerdy voice, if you like dark fantasy settings, and if you like the idea of three buffoons running amok in a dark fantasy setting, you’ll love this podcast.

Matt is also an excellent MC, storyteller, and GM. And he has the voice of an angel.

FFO: Harmonquest, The Adventure Zone

Click here to listen to the episode, use the embedded version below, or check it out on iTunes.

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1998 star wars expanded universe luke skywalker from dark empire

1998 Star Wars Expanded Universe Luke Skywalker (Dark Empire) – Dragon Fortress Reviews

1998 star wars expanded universe luke skywalker from dark empire

Six Years after the destruction of the second Death Star (but thirty-something years and a thousand-something beers before the destruction of the third one), the galaxy is thrust into turmoil. Which was honestly pretty normal at that point. It had been normal since that dorky kid fell into the lava, really.

Anyway, a reborn evil threatens to enslave the galaxy, and the Republic’s third-best-selling action figure – Luke Skywalker – may become their greatest enemy.

Freed from their detention cell, a group of rebels begin their escape from the Imperial planet Byss. But the sudden appearance of Luke Skywalker, who is the only Jedi so he gets to call himself a Jedi Master, could mean unfortunate news for the Rebels.

Has Luke fallen under the spell of the dark side, or do those dark circles under his eyes just mean he needs to drink more water and invest in a better concealer?

So, The Last Jedi came out last month. My last blog post came out before that. This post was originally meant to coincide with TLJ and get me some sweet trend-clicks, but I goofed up on that one.

If you don’t want to talk about Star Wars, that’s totally fine. I get it. You can come back to this whenever you’re in the mood.

If you do want to talk about Star Wars– hello! Let’s look at a Luke Skywalker figure from the 1990s. I think it’s a safe bet, because good ol’ Luke would never generate any sort of controversy… right?

Continue reading “1998 Star Wars Expanded Universe Luke Skywalker (Dark Empire) – Dragon Fortress Reviews”

Top 5 Best GI Joe Characters

The Top 5 Best GI Joe Characters (According to Me)

Before we look the top 5 best GI Joe characters, I need to tell you a little story.

On the morning of Saturday December, 2nd, I sustained a nasty head wound. It required a 3:30am visit to the ER, an ambulance ride, a CAT scan, and three layers of stitches– with 30 stitches on the outer layer alone. The wound covers my forehead and goes down to my nose, which means my eyes are swollen, black, and blue. I looked like I just got jumped into the Los Locos gang from Short Circuit 2.

I say this not because I’m asking for sympathy (it was a dumb, clumsy, non-car related accident that was totally my fault) but because the photos in this post are a bit sub par. I’m not the world’s best photographer, anyway, but I’m always trying to steadily improve.

Because my eyes are swollen, my vision is not the best. My hands are even shakier than normal. But I wanted to get this post out, even with inferior photos. This blog is one of my favorite things to do, and I don’t want to let something like a little head injury stop me.

That said, this will be a Quick And Easy Article.

Now, on with the top 5 best GI Joe characters.

Continue reading “The Top 5 Best GI Joe Characters (According to Me)”

1993 GI Joe Street Fighter 2 Vega

1993 GI Joe Street Fighter 2 Vega – Dragon Fortress Reviews

1993 GI Joe Street Fighter 2 Vega

Of noble blood, Vega has successfully combined the Japanese art of Ninjutsu with the skills he learned as a matador. He honed his ninja skills by watching Ninja Scroll 12 times in one week, and he’s pretty sure he saw a cow once. So, total ninja and matador. The result is a beautiful, yet fearsome, ballet in which led him to call himself “The Spanish Ninja” on all online forums and job applications. Vega lives by the philosophy that beauty is strength. Despising anything ugly, such as Hammer Pants and any post-1986 McDonald’s play place, Vega views himself as perfect– much how he views all Lisa Frank (™) products. He wears a mask to protect his face from enduring damage in battle, but it really just gives him pretty bad acne and allows him to smell his own tapas breath. Grody, dude.

Used by M. Bison primarily as an assassin, Vega often dispatches foes with his claw (sold separately).

Qualified Expert: All Ninja Force accessories, All NATO and Warsaw Pact chainlink fences, red roses, hockey mask, white roses, all animal-tested skin creams and moisturizers, wolverine claw (singular)

From the Files of M. Bison, Shadowloo Overlord: “Vega is a useful idiot. He’s like one of those kids who buys swords at the mall and practices in his backyard after school, but instead of his backyard, it’s my courtyard. Oh, and guess who buys his claws for him? Yeah, that’s right, me. Even though the guy has more money than sense, he’s super stingy. Still, someone has to distract Guile and Chun-Li when they come knocking at my door, and sometimes Vega gets a pretty good cheap shot in. Oh, and he’s really not that handsome. Have you seen Christian Slater lately? I mean, come on. There’s really no comparison.”

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The Hardest of the HardCorps! – A Love Letter to Lanard’s The Corps!

 

Lanard Corps! Chopper and Whispering Willie

Only GI Joe is GI Joe. Nobody Beats GI Joe. GI Joe Is There.

But what if someone else is GI Joe? What if someone might, in fact, beat GI Joe? And what if someone else is there?

Dear readers, I present to you– Lanard’s THE CORPS!

The Corps! is a highly skilled group of soldiers, hockey players, skiiers, wrestlers, spacemen, forest rangers, and street punks recruited from all over the world to fight a nebulous enemy force. No, not that team… the other one. Members of The Corps! are divided into units based on each individual’s skills, weapons, specialties, pants-wearing preferences, and the colors of their outfits.

If you can afford them (and you probably can), then you can hire THE CORPS!

A few weeks ago, I got bored of looking for the few GI Joe figures on top of my “most wanted” list. They’re all painfully expensive and hard to come by. Granted, there are plenty of great figures I don’t have, but I was feeling defeated.

To curb that feeling of rejection and further feed my plastic army man habit, I purchased a few lots of vintage, o-ring style Lanard Corps! toys from eBay. I bought one carded “8 man team” collector’s pack and a few mixed lots.

Lanard Corps!

This caused me to remember everything I love about The Corps!… and just a few things I don’t.

The Corps!, oddly, aren’t written or spoken about too much in the GI Joe community despite their similar construction, great sculpts, awesome vehicles, and neat character concepts.

So, in an effort to fill that void, I assembled a crack commando squad to nerd out about THE CORPS!

Since this is a huge post, even by Dragon Fortress standards, I’ve included a handy table of contents below. Simply click the chapter you’d like to read or, better yet, enjoy the whole post.

Let’s party.

Continue reading “The Hardest of the HardCorps! – A Love Letter to Lanard’s The Corps!”

Star Trek Innerspace Shuttlecraft Goddard

1995 Star Trek Innerspace Shuttlecraft Goddard – Dragon Fortress Reviews

Star Trek Innerspace Shuttlecraft Goddard

For this review of the 1995 Star Trek Innerspace Shuttlecraft Goddard, I’m writing a smaller review than usual. I’ll say I’m keeping at a micro level in honor of this tiny vehicle/playset and its diminutive inhabitants, but it could also be because there’s only so much to say about two semi-articulated figures and their dwarf hamster-sized vehicle.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether I’m paying tribute or being a lazy slob, dear readers.

Anyway, no smartass filecard or tech spec mimicry this time! If you want to read about the Shuttlecraft Goiddard, here’s a link to its entry at Memory Alpha.

On with the review!

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1997 GI Joe Baroness – Dragon Fortress Reviews

1997 GI Joe Baroness

The spoiled offspring of wealthy European aristocrats, THE BARONESS is one of the few anti-government radicals to ever put her trust fund where mouth is. She graduated from student radicalism to international terrorism, and grew more and more ambitious with her plans to subvert international capitalism and the military industrial complex. Her parents still think she’s going through a phase. Despite her librarian glasses and privileged upbringing, The Baroness is a qualified fighter pilot, assassin, espionage operative, and intelligence analyst. If Cobra Commander ever dared to pay her 70% of what he pays Major Bludd or Zartan, he knows he’d wake up with one fewer kidney and his secret identity revealed on the front page of TMZ. Ruthless, cunning, smart, disciplined, and ambitious, Baroness put her college degrees to good use in service of COBRA.

Qualified Expert: M-16; AK-47; RPG7, Standard Issue Early 00s Laser Rifle, Leather Pants, Warby Parker Coupons, Uzi, All NATO and Warsaw Pact Fashion Magazines, H.I.S.S. tank operator, Fixed Wing Aircraft

From the Files of Cobra Commander: “Though my forces made extensive use of the scoped high-density laser rifle when we were suffering a budget crunch in the early 2000s, Baroness used that weapon before it was cool. Though it pains me to admit it, I often listen to her advice. After all, it’s either her or Destro– and who are you going to trust? The college graduate with glasses and a sophisticated-but-vague Eastern European accent, or a guy with an open collar and a disco medallion? And, unlike most of my command structure, Baroness does more with her spare time than snorting crushed up prescription cat valium, watching reruns of Home Improvement, and prank calling Storm Shadow. Though, to be honest, I wish she’d prank call Storm Shadow more often. She’s a master of silly voices! He’d never catch on!”

Continue reading “1997 GI Joe Baroness – Dragon Fortress Reviews”

1993 GI Joe Battle Corps Law

1993 GI Joe Battle Corps Law – Dragon Fortress Reviews

1993 GI Joe Battle Corps Law

As head of Security for GI Joe, Law has acquired a reputation as a relentless narc in the barracks and a loudmouth nerd on the battlefield. He’s a slow-talking, uneducated, and lazy military cop, but he usually shows up to work on time. That makes him an ideal candidate for the Battle Corps team. When Battle Corps needed a new member to protect the innocent from Cobra, they tried to call Shockwave, but he was busy driving a Lamborghini around Miami and loading up on gas station hot dogs (the kind with the cheese in the middle). Law wasn’t the team’s second or third choice, but he’d know that if he ever bothered to read the paperwork– or if he bothered to read anything other than Bazooka Joe comics and the Jungle Strike instruction manual!

Law is the kind of soldier who walked a beat for days, and then complained about it until HQ gave him a patrol golf cart. Law’s main goal is to rid the world of criminals, but since he thinks everyone but him is a criminal, he’s going to lead a very lonely existence if he ever succeeds.

From the Files of General Hawk: “I never cared much for cops, and Law is no exception. I liked him much better when his dog, Order, was still around. No one knows for sure, but the rumor is Law lost Order in a custody battle with his ex-wife. Order’s probably better off, but the Joe team mourns the loss of one of its favorite members. Order would go fetch you an ice cold Yo Joe Cola right out of the fridge, and even shut the refrigerator door when he was done. What a good boy! Law, on the other hand? Eh. He’s Duke’s responsibility, as far as I’m concerned.”

From the Files of Duke: “God dammit, Hawk.”

Continue reading “1993 GI Joe Battle Corps Law – Dragon Fortress Reviews”

1996 Transformers Beast Wars Tigatron

1996 Transformers Beast Wars Tigatron – Dragon Fortress Reviews

1996 Transformers Beast Wars Tigatron

MAXIMAL: Tigatron
Function:  Reconnaissance
Secret Weapon Location: Bum and Tummy

Appointed by Optimus Primal as the Maximals’ main polar kitty, TIGATRON is one furrocious recon-bot. Supposed to roam the frozen tundra in animal form, but spends most of his time among the same temperate climate, composed of four CGI rocks and six CGI trees, as the rest of his team. His cute kitty butt and wiggly tail convert into a powerful quasar cannon, and the Meow Mix and tuna that powers his toxic fluid blaster renders his enemies’ bodies completely useless. Powerful and considered fearless, even though he’s just a pale version of Cheetor. He is Airrazor’s soulmate, but spends most of his time napping and knocking Optimus Primal’s coffee mug off of the Axalon’s kitchen table. Wise beyond his years and born housetrained.

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1992 GI Joe Headhunter

1992 GI Joe Cobra Headhunters – Dragon Fortress Reviews

1992 GI Joe Headhunter

Cobra’s elite street level guards, the HEADHUNTERS, are ruthless, highly trained, and picked from the best Cobra has to offer. In order to meet the daunting Headhunter qualifications, a Cobra soldier must have a high school diploma, a GED, or any Warsaw Pact equivalent. Vetting for Headhunters is so extreme that candidates must pass a gruelling algebra test, know where the safety is on a 9mm pistol, be able to name four Bob Marley songs, and have a valid driver’s license. Former food service workers with more than four customer complaints are also heavily considered. Once a Cobra soldier becomes a Headhunter, they can look forward to standing around behind HEADMAN in a variety of dark alley and nightclub situations. The only thing Cobra Headhunters love more than sticking it to GI Joe is selling weed to undercover cops.

Qualified Expert: Shotgun, Knife, All NATO and Warsaw Pact Leather Jackets, Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstasy, and Alcohol… C-C-C-C-Cocaine

From the files of Cobra Commander: “Headhunters? Oh, yeah. Those guys are okay. You can hit them up on their beeper at 3am, and they’ll be at your house in under 30 minutes with whatever you need. And I do mean whatever you need. Well, kind of. I usually just end up with a bag of dirt weed (mostly seeds and stems), some prescription cat valium, and a frozen Tony’s Pizza. But, let’s be honest, that makes them more elite and dependable than 90% of my forces. That Headman guy, though? Fedora, ponytail, goatee, or bandit mask– you only get to pick one! Cripes, what a doofus.”

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