Archive for May, 2010

Primate Assistance
16 May, 2010

Listening to Wil, Gabe, Tycho, and Scott play D&D awakened my inner gamer. After reading some of Wil’s blog entries where he talks about gaming with his son, I wanted to see if my kids would be into it like I was when I was their age. After some googling I found that Wizards of the Coast provide a small game specifically designed to introduce youngsters to D&D. The rules are simple enough that it only takes a single explanation for folks to understand them. But you can definitely see how they were designed to ramp up to 4th edition proper.

The kids were pretty excited before we started playing and took to it like ducks to water. I may have even misted up a bit when I gave them a d20 for the first time. They enjoyed it so much that they insisted on an impromptu game later that day and then another the next day. Now the real fun begins: it’s time to graduate them to Keep on the Shadowfell.

They both took to the game so much that they went off and created their own map and characters. There was a fair amount of powergaming in those characters but I can’t complain when they’re so excited and creative. I love the flavor text for the Daily Power my eldest originated:

Primate Assistance – when it looks like your attack will miss, your faithful monkey companion climbs out of your backpack and nudges your weapon on target – if an attack roll misses, once per day you can reroll the attack.

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How To Train Your Dragon
3 May, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon is an animated film about a boy who does not fit in and how befriending a dragon takes him from zero to hero. The creator and his co-director from Lilo & Stitch successfully bring their sensibility for excluded children and creatures to this film.

Directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois adapted the Cressida Cowell book with the help of DreamWorks Animation. Jay Baruchel and America Ferrara voiced the lead and his love interest. I didn’t care much for their performance. But Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson both delivered memorable performances as the chief and blacksmith. (While Vikings are not traditionally associated with Scotland, I appreciated the Full Scots Employment Plan.) The animation was superb. The hair and fur on the chief looked incredibly lifelike. John Powell provided an excellent score.

I recommend How To Train Your Dragon to fans of animated movies and family movies alike.

Ninja Assassin
2 May, 2010

A coworker warned me that Ninja Assassin was too violent for my kids. I like movies where the hero conquers the villain so I am not unfamiliar with what others might call violent films. But Ninja Assassin blew past Violent City on its way to Gory Town. I could only watch a few minutes before I had to quit.

I can only recommend this movie to those who like gory slasher films.