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Out-of-Context D&D – “Machine-gun Darts aren’t stupid!”

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Blog Epic Fail Related News & Announcements

Epic Fail – Relaunch!

Epic Fail is returning in October!

It will be monthly,  and I’m also re-launching my Patreon as a monthly subscription.

October is also Inktober! And I’m going to be participating this year!! (I’m kinda nervous about that, but I’ll try it and see how it goes).

You may have noticed I’ve been developing my art beyond the comics: Improving my portraiture, drawing animals for fun, and generally experimenting creatively.

I want to continue doing this, so in addition to the comic you will get to see what I’m doing creatively.

Patreons will get a more in-depth look into my process: Behind the scenes, Work-in-progress photos, videos, streams, time-lapses, etc.

I have lots of ideas for content you might like, including funny, out-of-context gaming quotes (as I play D&D up to three times a week) Cute Guinea-Pig photos, and art experiments where I try out different methods & materials.

I’d like to try vlogging, but I’m a bit self-conscious of talking directly to camera so I’d prefer to make videos where I speak through an animated character.

For those of you who were concerned by my hiatus I stopped updating due to chronic migraines. I was in pain almost every day, not just a little pain either: Traumatic, nightmarish, debilitating pain.

In turn this impacted my mental health. It’s really hard to stay positive when in constant pain. Because of light sensitivity I couldn’t draw or look at a computer screen.

After a lot of trial and error I’ve found a medication that really helps me. I’m doing a lot better and feel I’m ready to live again.

I’ve discovered a lot about my own coping mechanisms – Art is really important; it reduces my anxiety and improves my mood, So It’s literally keeping me sane!

If you become my Patreon now (or are already) you won’t be charged until the 1st of October. I’ll make a personalized video for everyone who joins or upgrades during september.  

Thank you for your support.

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Blog Movie Reviews Movies/Film

Dark City Movie Review

Dark City is a Film Noire Detective story and Matrix-esque Science fiction movie by the director of ‘The Crow‘. My reaction on watching it was ‘How did I miss this?!’ In 1998, with so many good movies being released and poorly publicized as a teen horror flick, Dark City passed under the radar. In a way it is unfair to describe Dark City as ‘Matrix-esque’, since it predates The Matrix, it would be fairer to say The Matrix is like Dark City.

So, what do they have in common? They are both movies about not trusting/questioning your reality. But I would personally say Dark City goes further with the concept, since it is not just about questioning the current situation, but your past, your memories and the essence of who you are. Non-human ‘agents’ who can manipulate the world chase the protagonist (the roof-top chase in both movies are strangely similar). There’s also a mental training scene. The protagonist is special, one might almost say, unique. *wink*

The point is not to do a direct comparison of the movies, but had things gone differently, Dark City could easily have had the reception the Matrix later received with it’s somewhat derivative knock-off.

The antagonists of Dark City are strange alien beings call ‘the Strangers’ that look like a cross between the Cenobites of Hellraiser and the Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They re-shape the world by an ability they call ‘tuning’. They want to understand humans by taking them apart and putting them back together again, giving them different memories and different lives, to locate the soul. I liked this inhuman motivation. What I didn’t like was that it’s inserted that they need to do this to survive, but it is never explained how this will save them. Are we supposed to feel sorry for them now? I think I would have found their experiments more sinister if it was simply something they wanted, rather than needed, to do.

The cast is a stellar team of mostly British film and TV actors. It’s likely you’ll recognise quite a few of them, even if you have trouble placing from where – which fits the mood of misplaced memories. Rufus Sewell plays John Murdoch; he was part way through the ‘tuning’ when something went wrong and is trying to discover who he really is. Jennefer Connely, of Labyrinth fame, is the female lead and it’s interesting to note that Labyrinth imagery turns up a lot in the movie. I think this is symbolic of the journey to find oneself. Connelly also sings some beautify, offbeat versions of well-know songs. I wonder if these slightly ‘off’ versions are also due to reality being messed with?

The atmosphere in the movie is impressive. It is always night (“What was the last time you remember doing something during the day?”) and the entire enormous City is an intricately built set. When reality is altered the special effect is impressive and eerie. Dark City is effective at world-building and the back story unravels as mystery. You see other minor characters in the background in different roles as clues [SPOILER] that their memories have been altered and they are now living different lives as the Strangers experiment every night. Small visual clues are scattered throughout so rewatching is rewarding to see what you missed. A seemingly insignificant memory from the past leads to an earth-shattering plot-twist.

If you like beautiful, dark, dreamlike imagery then this is for you. If you like conceptual sci-fi that asks you to question the nature of your reality then this is for you.

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Blog D&D

D&D GM tips: How to save the PCs from Certain Death

Perhaps you have accidentally put your Player Characters against an enemy that’s too big a challenge for them, the dice are just trying to kill them, or your players are making very dumb decisions. Fear not: The odds may be against them but you, the GM, is (secretly) on their side. Remember you can do anything… you just need to make it believable.

Keep a cool demeanor and pretend everything is going as expected, even if it has totally fallen apart. Pretend you’d love to kill all their characters (even if it’s your worst nightmare); it will keep them on their toes. When you save them from certain death they will feel like heroes who just beat the odds. They will never realise that you are actually the hero (but that is as it should be).

Here are a few suggestions on how to save the PCs from certain death:

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Blog

Valentine’s Day Sex Drive 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day. Once more Epic Fail and a whole bunch of other comic creators are coming together (heh) to provide you with nude character art, thereby making your Valentine’s Day a little extra special.