Navbar-Links

BOOKS    |    BLOG    |    CONTACT    |    NEWSLETTER    |    TWITTER    |    FACEBOOK

Jan 12, 2015

Guest Post: Introducing Junior Inquisitor by Lincoln Farish (coming soon)

From time to time I like to open my blog up to guest authors with upcoming books that I've taken a look at and gone "Damn! Why didn't I think of that?" err, I meant "That looks like a fine read."

As such, I'm pleased to have with me today Lincoln S. Farish, author of the upcoming dark fantasy:

JUNIOR INQUISITOR

He's here to whet our appetites a little for what looks to be a bloody fun read...emphasis on the bloody part. Check out the blurb below and tell me that doesn't make your mouth water just a little bit.



Brother Sebastian is halfway up a mountain in Vermont, hell-bent on interrogating an old woman in a shack, when he gets the order to abandon his quest for personal vengeance. He has to find a missing Inquisitor, or, more likely, his remains. He’s reluctant, to say the least. 

Not only will he have to stop chasing the best potential lead he’s had in years, this job—his first solo mission—will mean setting foot in the grubby black hole of Providence, Rhode Island. And, somehow, it only gets worse…

If he’d known he would end up ass deep in witches, werewolves, and ogres, and that this mission would jeopardize not only his sanity but also his immortal soul, he never would’ve answered the damn phone.



Q&A with Lincoln S. Farish

When did you start writing?

On this series I started about ten years ago. I'm not sure if I will ever use it, it is a kind of Origins story. But once I wrote it I was kinda hooked, I realized there were many many more stories about Sebastian that needed to get out. I wasn't in a hurry, and I took my time, hence the slow pace. Since then I am almost finished with my fourth novel in the series.  It's funny I wrote my first book long before I'd ever heard of any of the other authors that write along similar lines. The first time I read Larry Correia,  Junior Inquisitor was with my editor. I wish I'd read him earlier, his creation of a useful silver bullet is better than mine.

Why dark urban fiction?

I was really stuck trying to shoe-horn in my story into a genre, because it just didn't quite fit. I'm not trying to scare anyone, act as a warning to the populace at large on the dangers of Cthulhu, or teach a moral lesson like horror usually does. At the same time if you have a group of people who have powers that can and usually do harm regular people, your story is not going to be a happy one. Bad things will occur, people will die, and mayhem will run rampant. It's not dystopic, for most people magic never enters their lives and they go about quite happily unaware it actually exists. Those that do, however, experience all kinds of terrible events and traumas. Set more or less today that kinda makes it urban fiction, minus the romance. So dark urban fiction almost horror.

What research did you have to do?

Quite a bit on Providence, it's been a long time since I've been there. And lest anyone think I hate Providence, I do not. I just needed a decent sized town for creatures of madness and mayhem to run around in. I could have picked Worcester, New Bedford, even Hartford. I went with Providence. I also spent time learning about the different orders of monks, so that part of the story would be authentic. On weapons I had a lot less research to do since I've used weapons ever since high school and quite a bit through out my twenty-eight years in the military. I've been over to Iraq twice, Afghanistan, three times for the military, and spent about a year in Afghanistan working for a private security firm. Every bit of equipment the Inquisitors use I have experience with, the same with their tactics, which made it easy to describe but boring to read. Most of the time when there is a fight people focus on what is right in-front of them. To give a story any kind of continuity and avoid “Well  if you remember Bob,” or “Tell me again what happened when the Ogre attacked,” dialogue I had to expand Brother Sebastian's peripheral awareness. At the same time I didn't want to descend into omnipotence, so it was a balancing act.

So tell us a little about the magicians in your world  All evil S.O.B.s or any heroes like, say, the Harrys (Dresden or Potter)?

Those are differently worlds with different rules. Jim Butcher has within his series, The White Council and the Laws of Magic to reign in true evil. That kinda sorta works for Harry Dresden, but that does leave a lot of room for abuse as Harry's mother pointed out. If you notice in Harry Potter, Arthur Weasly, as nice as he is written, makes remarks about how clever Muggles are for inventing things like electricity and phones because they don't have magic. Like they're an occasionally bright child, there is a kind bigotry of low expectations. This is shown pretty clearly when the Minister of Magic visits the Prime Minister, and of course how Dolores Umbridge acts towards non-humans. There is some real nastiness in the margins of Harry Potter's world, and I think the stories are better for it. The other difference is in both of those worlds, one is born into magic or not, and they grow into their power, no one reads a strange book and has magic unleashed upon them as in my world.

I took, I think, a harder, and more realistic approach as to what would happen if there was magic. It's power. People rarely handle power well, especially if they get it suddenly. A decent comparison is when people win the lottery. They tend to go a bit crazy with all of the new possibilities open to them now they are a millionaire.

Imagine you had the power, magically, and from across the room, to slap someone who was rude, maybe they're yammering away on their cell-phone in public, perhaps they're driving like a jerk, maybe talking during the movie, cutting in line, whatever. Now if you could do that, and no one would know that it was you doing the slapping, and there was no way you'd be punished by the law for doing so, would you be tempted?

Even if you never slapped anyone, but knew you could, how would your attitude change towards regular people? Would you start to hold them in contempt, just a little, because you had abilities they did not? How would your attitude change towards following the law knowing you were above it?

Now toss in some evil entities encouraging you to do more than just slap around people who get in your way and you have a real monster being created.

Some heavy stuff there. So where do you go from this book?

The Soulless Monk, the next in the series is with my exceptional editor Danielle Fine and I am finishing up The Witch's Lair now. With luck that will happen in the next week or so.

When are they coming out?

Not sure. Should be later this year, but I'm sure The Soulless Monk will be out by fall, if not sooner, but there are lots of factors like re-write time, outside influences like the wife and helper dog and their willingness to put up with my antics that will have an impact on timing. A big one is, obviously, how many copies and how quickly they are sold of Junior Inquisitor. From those sales I'll be paying my editor, to work on the other two. I'm hoping to sell a lot as she gets real cranky when it comes to her money, and she does such a good job it feels wrong to try and pay her in kindness and with my good looks.

I know how that is.  :)



Please join me in thanking Lincoln for introducing us to his dark twisted world!  Junior Inquisitor comes out on March 1st 2015 and is currently available for pre-order at:

AMAZON
SMASHWORDS

Check it out!

About Lincoln S. Farish:

Called an adventurer and quite possibly insane, Lincoln has traveled to many continents and countries on his own and at his country’s behest to determine from whence the darkness comes. Despite persistent rumors, Lincoln maintains that he had nothing to do with the tiger, was not involved in illicit wiener dog races, and has never used his knowledge of genetics to create a better life form. He lives in Virginia with a very patient wife, a Godzilla level engine of destruction named Veronica, and a helper dog named Calvin.

Twitter
Facebook

Jan 6, 2015

HALF A PRAYER (The Tome of Bill, part 6) is here

Getting there is indeed half the fun, but it can likewise be tiring as all hell. Regardless, I am pleased to announce the release of

HALF A PRAYER (The Tome of Bill, part 6).

When last we left Bill Ryder and his friends, their lives had gotten a wee bit more difficult. Sadly, that was just the tip of the iceberg.  The world is hanging on the brink of annihilation and a few folks are ever so ticked at Bill for his role in things.

But enough of my yammering.  See for yourself in the below teaser...



"Are those..."

"Yep," I replied to Ed's unfinished question.

"Are we..."

"Fucked beyond all possible measure of the fuckery scale? I'd say so."

The crowd began to murmur amongst itself, no doubt commenting on our obvious discomfort. I couldn't bring myself to turn my head away from the Draculas, but I picked up bits and pieces of it anyway thanks to my superb vampire hearing.

"See how guilty they look?"

"Betrayers."

"Five bars of gold says they kill the abomination first."

"They should strip the blonde one. She is one fine slice of gorvu."

I was tempted to scan the crowd for the owner of that last one. There's always gotta be at least one perv among the bunch. Asshole. That was my job.

Before I could turn my head away, though, Alex's mismatched eyes met mine. I expected to find fury radiating from them, enough to scorch me where I stood. Instead, he grinned and inclined his head ever so slightly. That motherfucker was one seriously weird dude.

I tore my gaze away and looked over the rest of the bunch. Each of them was dressed in regal finery, obviously befitting their station, but wearing fashions and colors which I assumed to be of their own respective preference. To Alex's immediate left and right sat Theodora and Yehoshua, respectively. I recognized them, and not just because Thea was probably the hottie the wicked stepmother in every fairytale was modeled after.

They'd been the ones who ultimately had let me go back in Europe, confiding in me that they weren't all that pleased with either Alexander's rule or his plans for decimating the world. Yehoshua wore a neutral expression. He might as well have been sitting down to watch a particularly dull game of golf. Theodora was far less collected. The look on her face was one of utter loathing. At first, I thought it might have been toward the crowd in general, but every so often, her eyes would flicker in Alex's direction.

With the exception of James, the rest of the Dracs were all new to me. I counted three other women amongst their number and six men, all of various lineages. Interestingly enough, none of them seemed to fit any stereotypes of what I might have imagined a vampire ruling counsel to be. There were no obvious Mayan high priests, Spanish conquistadors, or Roman consuls sitting there, looking like they'd stepped out of a time warp. Hell, most of them looked like you could pass them on the street without giving a second glance.

I wasn't fooled, however. Each and every one of them possessed several times the power needed to pulverize a vampire newb like me into a puddle of Bill-flavored goo.

For all I knew, the only one who lacked the inclination to do so was James and he was...what the fuck?

He sat at the last chair to Alex's right, dressed as regally as the others, but there was something very much off about him. Normally, James was bright-eyed and very full of life for a man who was over six hundred years in age. It wasn't unusual to find a wry grin upon his face. Not so today. The best I could say was he looked haunted. Sadly, I couldn't glean any further insight as he refused to look my way.

"What happened to his arm?" Sally whispered under her breath. She was just barely audible to me, but I didn't fool myself into believing that some of the others present hadn't picked it up too.

Regardless, I had no answer for her. His left hand rested upon his knee, but the right sleeve of his suit jacket was pinned to his side. It was the same arm he'd lost in battle to Vehron. That made no sense, though. It had already started growing back when last we'd seen him. It should have been fully regrown by the time he'd reached whatever destination Colin had spirited him off to after the fight.

Whatever was going on, it wasn't good. James was typically our lifeline; a guy strong, smart, and influential enough to pull our asses out of whatever shithole we'd gotten ourselves stuck in. Things seemed to be different now. For all of his rank, he had the look of low man on the totem pole with this bunch. What the fuck had happened since he'd left us?

Sadly, I got the feeling we wouldn't get an answer to that anytime soon. One of the vampires guarding the inner circle in which we stood turned and stepped toward the Draculas. Judging from the way he carried himself and the crispness of his dress, it wasn't hard to guess he had some position of authority here - maybe a vampire general or something.

Words were exchanged, but thanks to the continued yammering of the crowd, they were lost upon me. The only thing I got out of it was the guard asking what sounded like a question.

Alex gave a single shake of his head, then inclined his gaze toward another door leading out. Who knows? Maybe he was having second thoughts and was gonna let us go.

Never let it be said I'm not an optimist at heart.



I hope that whets your appetite a bit. If so Half-a-Prayer is currently available for:

Kindle
Nook
Kobo
Google Play
iBooks
Smashwords
Coming soon to Paperback and Audio.

Enjoy!

Dec 24, 2014

Raging Anger against The Legend of Korra

Well okay, more like very minor gripes, but I got you to click, didn't I? Oh yeah!

Err, anyway...

I make no secret that I was a big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Hell, I kept watching it long after my kids abandoned it (they have no taste), eagerly awaiting each new book.  While there are some spectacularly bad episodes within the series, for the most part it's an awesome cartoon. Thus I was excited when I first heard about The Legend of Korra.

Now here's the thing, for the most part Korra lives up to her predecessor. It grew into an exciting show with likable characters and some fun plots. I was there with it right up through the end.  Now that it's over, though, and I find myself wondering if we'll ever visit the world of benders again in cartoon format (Nickelodean will almost certainly continue things in comic format...and if they don't, they're idiots), I find the Star Trek nerd in me coming to the forefront to whine about minor things that bugged me.

Yes, I am a jerk that way.

Closure from the old crew: I know what some of you will say, this was a new show about new characters. We should be thankful we got a shot of Katara in the opening episode, and for the most part I'd agree.  However, that wasn't the only mention we got of the past generation.  We got to see the grownup spirit of Aang, met up with Iroh in the spirit world, got some quality time with elderly Zuko and Toph. You know where I'm going with this.

Where the hell is Sokka!?  Sure we got a glimpse of him in one episode, and Katara hinted that he had died, but that was it.  No mention of him, whether he and Suki got married, whether he eventually hooked up with Toph (we learned who Lin's dad was, but not Suy's) or how he died?  Why did the lone non-bender of the original Team Avatar get no love? That dude was epic, yet for all we know one day he drank some more bad cactus juice and then wandered off into the Earth Kingdom, never to be seen again. Lame!

The new team excelled...at getting their asses kicked: Sure, the original Team Avatar didn't always win, but for the most part it was because the odds were stacked heavily against them.  The new Team Avatar...sorry, but those folks suck at the one thing they should be good at - fighting other benders. Hell, in a match between them all I might give Asami the edge and all she had was a taser glove.

Let's start off with Bolin and Mako. These two are former world-class professional benders, emphasis on world class. They went all the way to the championship.  You'd think these guys would steamroll over most folks who dared bend a drop of water in their direction. Not so.  Their fighting strategy seemed to consist of "Throw rocks or fire at our enemies and hope we get lucky?" More often than not, they didn't.  Think about it.  This is like Michael Jordan teaming up with Lawrence Taylor...and then getting their butts handed to them in high school pickup games across the country.

Korra wasn't much better, obviously having rejected her training to follow in the footsteps of these "masters".  Compare this to the original team.  All of them: Aang, Katara, Zuko, and Toph were smart fighters - using their environments to their advantage, often with devastating results.  Hell, elderly 80+ year old Toph pretty easily pimp-slapped Korra in their training matches. One got the impression that she could have singlehandedly stopped Kuvira in season 4 in between gumming her food and complaining about her back.

I liked Korra's friends, but if they were to ever travel into the past to before the end of the Hundred Year War, they'd get smoked...probably by Sokka alone.

Seriously, that was their plan with Baatar Jr???: Their city was being sacked, their forces destroyed, and people were dying left and right...yet Korra refused to beat the information out of Baatar Jr.  Instead relying on some lame strategy to threaten him with never seeing his girlfriend again.  Sure it worked, but it was only because Baatar Jr was a wuss.  In a show that often has not shied away from the horrors of war, this just seemed out of place.  Seriously, what would Korra have done if he'd said "Fine. Have fun with that" - throw her hands up and surrender. "Well, I've done all I can do."

The Ending: Oh relax.  I don't mean that ending. I thought that was cool (and I won't spoil it).  No, this gripe is for Verizon or Nickelodean - whoever was responsible for the show running a bit long and causing my DVR to crap out a minute before the real ending.  There I was, watching them walk toward the spirit portal and then...."Would you like to delete this recording?"  What?  That was it?  It was not until a few days later when I realized I needed to get my butt to Nick.com and watch those last few seconds.  Jeez!  Some days technology truly stinks.

The Ending part 2: No, I still don't mean that ending.  What I mean is that the whole series finale felt more like a mid-season ending.  Maybe it was the lack of a full, multi-season arc like the original show, but season 3's plot with Zahir felt a lot bigger.  The entirely of season 4 felt kind of like a minor subplot or epilogue to that.  Not cool.  Last Airbender's finale was epic.  One almost felt like they needed to smoke a cigarette when it was all over.  Korra...more like "Um, is there gonna be a season 5?  No?  Well, um, okay I guess."

*sigh*

Oh well, at least I  was able to get these off of my chest.  Now that I have, maybe I can move on with my life again.

But yeah, it was still an awesome show.  :)

ps: Old Zuko should have totally started dating old Katarra...that would have been cool too.

Dec 14, 2014

Half a Prayer (The Tome of Bill, part 6): Teaser 1

It's that time again...time for a cover, blurb, and teaser reveal. That means a new release can't be all that far behind.

HALF-A-PRAYER 
The Tome of Bill, part6

Coming soon!


Terror lurks below and it’s about to surface.

The end of the world is rapidly approaching, but Bill Ryder - gamer, geek, and legendary vampire - finds himself with more pressing matters to worry about: the women in his life. Sidelined from action, he’s forced to reevaluate his feelings. Sadly for him, it’s a luxury he can ill afford.
 

An unstoppable terror from the dawn of time has awoken deep beneath the Earth and is headed his way. To make matter worse, he’s been deemed a traitor by those he thought to be his allies. Now he finds himself fighting off enemies from all sides while warring with his emotions. Talk about sucky timing for introspection.
 

As the world crumbles to pieces around him, Bill must muster his courage, master his powers, and rise to the destiny he’s been trying so long to deny - because if he doesn’t, his love life will be the least of his worries..



"So what does it taste like?" Miranda asked as I took another swig from the canteen to shore up my enhanced abilities.

"Huh?" We'd taken a short break, and I'd stepped away from the group to recharge and double check we were still on the right path. I hadn't realized she'd followed me.

"The blood. I know you need it to survive, but do you actually like it?"

It had been rare for anyone outside of my roommates to ask that, and they'd mostly just made fun of me for it. Dave had inquired on a few occasions, but it was more in a clinical sort of way - like I was a lab rat.

"The truth is," I said, "it's hard to describe. Think of your favorite food."

"Oh, that's easy. There was this little roadside stand right outside of St. George that used to make these incredible fried brain sandwiches served with fresh okra. They were..."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah."

"You ate fried brains?"

"Whenever I could get out there."

"That's fucking disgusting," I said, horrified.

"You drink blood."

"I know, and I still find that vile."

"You don't know what you're missing."

"And for that I am thankful." Ugh. My stomach churned at the very thought. I had figured nobody outside of that crazy Andrew Zimmern dude would stuff shit like that down their gullet. Man, people were just fucking weird. "Anyway, imagine that every single one of your senses was now attuned to...brain, I suppose, especially your taste buds. Think of how that sandwich would taste magnified a hundred-fold. That's pretty much how it is with blood."

"But even something that tastes that good doesn't explain why."

"Why what?"

"Why some of you are such animals."

I chose to ignore the implied insult. "Actually, I think it does. If something is so insanely good, it's gonna be almost like a drug."

"So what you're saying is that you're all addicts?"

"I'm not ready to call myself a crackhead quite yet, although I've gotta have some rocks in my head to be in this place."

"About that, why are you down here? I'd heard the official story upstairs, that it was a rescue mission, but there's gotta be more to it."

"No, not really."

"But this guy..."

"Ed."

"Fine, Ed. He's just a human," Miranda said skeptically.

I decided to hold my tongue on that just a human part. Ed was something else nowadays, something that had apparently not been seen before. Even so, at the end of the day, he was still my friend, and that was what counted. I voiced as much.

"That's it?"

I blinked for a moment. "What do you mean, ‘that's it'? Isn't that enough?"

"I didn't mean it that way. It's just that..."

"Most vampires you've met wouldn't step across the street to help out a human?"

"Yeah."

"I know what you mean. Of the vamps I've met, I'd say the vast majority of them have been total assholes."

"But you're different?"

"No, he's still an asshole," Sally called from where she and the others were checking their ammo.

Goddamned vampire super hearing. "Will you stop fucking eavesdropping?" I lowered my voice to a bare whisper and added, "Bitch."

"I heard that."

"You were meant to," I snapped before turning back to Miranda. "Here's the deal. I've been a vamp for less than two years." Her eyes opened wide in surprise. "It's true. Before that...well, okay, during most of it too, Ed was my roommate. He and my other roommate, Tom, are my friends. I'd do anything for them."

"And they're not thralls?"

"Would I risk my ass to save a thrall?"

Miranda appeared to consider that. Finally, she nodded, satisfied with my answer. She glanced back toward the group where Sally was busy spray-painting a marker on the wall to note our passage, as she'd been doing every couple hundred yards since we'd started this journey. When it was time to bug out, chances were we wouldn't have the luxury of waiting for me to smell our way back to the surface. Finally, she stopped and put the can away in her pack.

It was time to move again.

Before we stepped to rejoin them, Miranda said, "Your friend is lucky to have you."

"Us," I corrected. "Sally didn't have to come along. This was her choice too."

"Are you and she..."

"In his dreams," Sally replied from her position a couple of yards away.

I sneered in her direction. "Only the ones that take place near a free clinic."

Nov 12, 2014

Bill The Adventurer - Character Class Summary part 2

Read Part 1

The Tome of Bill is the tale of a gamer / geek turned vampire. Thus it's only natural to wonder what would happen if Bill found himself and his friends in the very setting he often cites. How would he stack up as an adventurer on a character sheet? Time to find out.

For those wondering on the below, Pathfinder rules apply and stats are meant just as a relative examples - not true representations of their power in the books. Let's not drive the poor DMs too crazy.  ;)


Name: Sheila O'Connell
Class: Paladin
Alignment: Lawful Good
Race: Human
Level: 7
STR: 12
DEX: 17
CON: 15
INT: 13
WIS: 15
CHA: 16*
Special Abilities:
  • Aura of Faith - You radiate positive energy, as if from a continual Protection From Evil spell, 10 feet in all directions. As a swift action you may leave up to 2 allies per every five levels untouched by its effects.
* Unless your name is Bill Ryder, in which case consider it a 30 for charm, intimidation, and diplomacy purposes


Name: The Wanderer
Class: Horizon Walker
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Race: Vampire
Level: 15
STR: 24
DEX: 19
CON: 25
INT: 22
WIS: 19
CHA: 20
Special Abilities:
  • Font of Knowledge - Once a day per level, plus a number of times equal to your intelligence modifier, you may add 20 to any knowledge roll.


Name: Harry Decker
Class: Sorcerer
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Race: Formerly human, now Demilich
Level: 8
STR: 10
DEX: 12
CON: 13
INT: 15
WIS:14
CHA: 14
Special Abilities:
  •  Choose 2 additional spells per day, up to your max spellcaster ability, from the Madness domain


Name: Gansetseg
Class: Ninja
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Race: Vampire
Level: 12
STR: 20
DEX: 24
CON:20
INT: 18
WIS: 14
CHA: 18
Special Abilities:
  • Your movement is double what your level, ability scores, and encumbrance would normally dictate.
  • True Love's Guidance - Designate another player character as your soul mate. At all times you have an innate knowledge of their general direction and location within a number of miles equal to your perception modifier - allowing you to track them unerringly as long as they are within range. Should your soul mate die, you may choose another after a two week mourning period.


Name: Alexander of Macedon
Class: Battle Herald
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Race: Vampire
Level: 20
STR: 30
DEX: 22
CON: 28
INT: 22
WIS: 21
CHA: 19
Special Abilities:
  • Die for Your Lord - Cast Dominate Person as a move action once per day / level. Targets save at -4 against it.  Protection from Evil has a 50% chance of failing to end this effect.


Name: Turd
Class: Barbarian
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Race: Dire Ape
Level:18
STR: 28
DEX: 15
CON: 27
INT: 8
WIS: 7
CHA: 6
Special Abilities:
  • You are proficient with exotic weapons. 
  • Stench of the Woods - You radiate a continual aura of Stinking Cloud in a 15 foot radius. Slow Poison is negated by its effect.


Choose your equipment and spells wisely, mighty adventurer.

Nov 8, 2014

Bill The Adventurer - Character Class Summary part 1

The Tome of Bill is the tale of a gamer / geek turned vampire.  As Bill fumbles his way through the dark world of supernatural horrors he often calls upon his experience around the gaming table to guide his way - for better or worse.

But what if Bill found himself and his friends in the very setting he often calls upon? How would he stack up as an adventurer on a character sheet? Well, let's find out.

For those wondering on the below, Pathfinder rules apply.
Note: stats are meant just as a relative examples - not true representations of their power in the books. After all, it wouldn't do to allow a player to start the game with a 24 in strength, dexterity, and constitution. Let's keep it fair for the poor DMs out there.  ;)


Name: Bill Ryder
Class: Fighter / Barbarian
Alignment: True Neutral
Race: Vampire
Level: 3
STR: 14
DEX: 12
CON: 16
INT: 17
WIS: 7
CHA:  11
Special Abilities:
  • Blood Rage - Upon ingesting another vampire's blood, you gain temporary levels equal to the enemy's hit dice. Add one point of STR and CON for every level of hit dice gained, but lose two points of INT for every 4 levels gained.  If INT is lowered below 3, you enter a berzerker rage, attacking the creatures nearest you whether they be friend or foe. These temporary levels remain for 1d4 rounds for every 4 levels of experience.


Name: Sally Sunset
Class: Slayer
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Race: Vampire
Level: 5
STR: 16
DEX: 18
CON: 18
INT: 17
WIS: 16
CHA: 22
Special Abilities:
  • Hypnotic Personality - Once a day per level, you may choose to add your charisma modifier to an intimidate or diplomacy check made against the opposite sex. If the check succeeds the victim must succeed in a Will saving throw or be charmed for 1d6 rounds.


Name: Christy Fenton
Class: Witch
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Race: Human
Level: 4
STR: 7
DEX: 10
CON: 11
INT: 15
WIS:16
CHA: 18
Special Abilities:
  •  Choose 2 additional spells per day, up to your max spellcaster ability, from the Charm domain


Name: Ed Vesser
Class: Gunslinger
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Race: Human(?)
Level: 2
STR: 11
DEX: 11
CON: 13
INT: 14
WIS: 13
CHA: 9
Special Abilities:
  • You can gain access to Sneak Attack and Uncanny Dodge as a Rogue of the same level.


Name: Tom McIntyre
Class: Arcane Trickster
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Race: Human
Level: 2
STR: 10
DEX: 13
CON: 12
INT: 9
WIS: 7
CHA: 15
Special Abilities:
  • Insane Fetish - You may designate one non-weapon possession as your personal Fetish. When wielding this item you may Channel Positive Energy as per a Cleric of the same level.  In addition, once per day for every five levels you possess you may cast Holy Smite through your Fetish.  If your Fetish is ever destroyed, you must wait 2 weeks and spent 500gp / level to obtain a new one.


There's your beginning party.  Choose your equipment and spells wisely.

Should you survive your first few adventures, we'll continue this series in a few days with some of the higher level threats that exist in this world...

Read Part 2

Oct 28, 2014

Guest Post - Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.

It's almost Halloween and what would the holiday be without at least one public service announcement. Sadly, I'm ill equipped to discuss anything outside of surviving an attack on one's collection of Transformers - a scenario that will probably be fairly rare for most on this All Hallows Eve.

Fortunately guest blogger Naomi Shaw was kind enough to step in and help me hide my shortcomings with a little info and her awesome infographic about that perennial favorite (and ever present threat): the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.

Take it away, Naomi!

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

If you haven’t yet jumped onto the zombie bandwagon in popular media, you still have time. Zombies have never been more popular across so many different types of media, meaning that you have plenty of options from which to choose, any of which will let you catch up quickly so you don’t feel left out during coffee break discussions with co-workers.

Zombie TV Shows

Much of what is driving the current excitement over zombies is The Walking Dead. But here are three zombie TV shows that fans of the genre are watching.

1.    The Walking Dead--This show has set records for cable TV viewership for a non-sports show at 17.3 million.
2.    In The Flesh--A quirky and well done British offering, In the Flesh shows an attempt to incorporate “cured” zombies back into society.
3.    Z Nation--The SyFy channel has greenlighted the newest zombie apocalypse show in Z Nation.

Zombie Movies

Plenty of great zombie movies have been released--far too many to list here. But there are three referenced in the accompanying infographic that will help you familiarize yourself with the zombie genre as its appeared in a few different eras.

1.    Night of the Living Dead--This cult classic in 1968 was one of the most controversial movies of the time.
2.    28 Days Later--A fast-moving zombie outbreak leads to a breakdown of society.
3.    World War Z--The latest big-budget zombie thriller grossed $540 million worldwide.

Zombie Books

Books about the zombie apocalypse are plentiful. And although there isn’t one book that’s generating the kind of buzz that The Walking Dead is generating, here are five can’t-miss zombie-related books to expand your knowledge of the genre.

1.    Adrian’s Undead Diary: Dark Recollections by Chris Philbrook
2.    Aftertime trilogy by Sophie Littlefield
3.    As the World Dies trilogy by Rhiannon Frater
4.    Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
5.    World War Z by Max Brooks

Taking the Next Step

If you’ve now become a fan of the idea of zombies, you’re probably ready to take the next step: Preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Now keeping in mind the idea of the undead rising up and taking over the earth is pure fantasy for all but the most hardcore zombie fans, you may not want to invest a lot of serious time in prepping specifically for the zombie apocalypse.

On the other hand, as you can see in the infographic attached here, much of the preparation you might do for a zombie apocalypse will apply to all sorts of natural disasters, such as a hurricane or outbreak of an illness. The folks running the Ready.gov web site don’t care exactly why you create an emergency kit, as long as you do. Some items to include in a kit include:

     Clothing. Keeping warm is always tough in a disaster, so pack your kit with clothing you can wear in layers.
     Documentation. Have your driver’s license with you in any emergency situation … even the zombie apocalypse.
     First aid kits. Any emergency kit needs basic first-aid supplies, including clean bandages and anti-bacterial ointment, as well as personal prescriptions.
     Food. Keep some non-perishable food in your kit, including packaged nuts, energy bars, and canned soup.
     Radio. Remember that your cell phone may not work in an emergency situation, so a portable radio may be your only source of news.
     Light and batteries. A small flashlight with extra batteries are both important items to have in an emergency kit.
     Water and sanitation. Finding clean water will be challenging in a disaster situation, so keep some drinkable water, as well as some tablets or household bleach for purifying water, in your kit.

And if you want more information on specifically how to battle zombies, Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide is a great resource. It also is a fun read, keeping the idea of zombies fun and amusing.




About Naomi:

Naomi Shaw is a journalist and entrepreneur based in Southern California. She lives with her husband and three kids. She has done enough research to believe that, in the case of a zombie apocalypse, her family would fare very well. You can connect with Naomi on her Google Plus Page