Things are back in full swing at the moment, and hopefully will remain safe enough to stay that way! We’re in the middle of a 4 week stretch of back to back conventions at Alicia’s Anime, and it’s been amazing seeing con friends and fam, staffers, attendees and even our own con crew!
Once things slow down in a few weeks I’ll be getting back to working on Feralia: Book 3 at a better pace again. I’ll also be trying to keep updating here, as well as the new blog on AliciasAnime.com which can be found here:
If you’re like me, you’d love to jump into a fantasy campaign… but life doesn’t always make it easy. In fact, it sometimes makes it next to impossible. And it seems like there aren’t a lot of options designed for single players. I mean sure, there a a ton of great fantasy video games, but sometimes it’s nice to roll actual dice, to hold onto something physical, like cards or pencils.
One of the very few options that I’ve found is Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. It allows you to easily play a single player game and play vs. the deck. It’s easy to play as more than one character as well. The stories are interesting and well written, and you even get to level up your characters over the course of the game!
You will need a space to set things up, preferably a table that you can come back to and play at your convenience, although, I have found creative ways to take a small deck and dice with me on trips, enabling me to play in hotels and other places such as conventions. If you’ll be playing at home though, it’s nice to have and leave everything set up.
This brings me to another point if you’ll be leaving your game set up…….. cats. My cats are almost always a menace to any game left set up! I’m sure to come back to dice and cards scattered all over the place! So if possible, cover the game or ban them from the room. The latter option of course ends up making it their life’s goal to enter. You know your cats best, so you’ll be the best judge of how to deal with this menace, but don’t underestimate them. ;P
With the menace hopefully taken care of, it’s really nice to have a space to spread the game out, as there are multiple paths you can take.
There is a bit of a learning curve, especially if you’ve never played a trading card game. Knowledge of tabletop RPG’s will help immensely too, as there are many similar principles and mechanics. Don’t be discouraged though! Watching a YouTube video which shows you how to play along with the directions and you’ll be up and running on your own in no time. It’s worth the time spent learning for the hours of enjoyment you’ll get out of the game.
PACG is also a lot of fun as a multiplayer game, so you can have any guests jump in and out as well! (My daughter and I have had fun playing together whenever the mood suits her!)
Aother of my favorite features is that there are a bunch of different class decks which can be purchased seperately and used in any game! My favorite is the Druid deck, but there are also Bards, Rogues, Barbarians and Rangers just to name a few. Most come with the iconic Pathfiner heroes to play as (including my favorite, Lini!)
Lastly, and and one of the best things about PACG briefly mentioned above, are the stories and absolutely beautiful art. I used the Mummy’s Mask base set as the featured picture for this article since it was my first foray into the game and I love Egyptian mythology, but there are lots of others, including the newest, the Core set, and the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path. The new sets bring some new rules and adjustments that improve the game but still work with all previous sets and decks, which for me personally much appreciated.
I’ve had a blast with PAGC, and if you’re looking for a single player game with the option of multi-player, it might be great for you as well, so check it out!
If you’ve been touched or affected by covid-19, it sucks. Over the past several weeks, three members of my family have been battling the disease. Two were hospitalized, including my 89 year old Grandma, and another with with acute respiratory failure. Thankfully all three have made great progress, and those hospitalized are back home.
Today I wanted to take a moment to talk about how excited for the new album from Garbage (who are one of the bands dearest to my heart), which came on June 11th: No Gods No Masters. Garbage has been really special to me ever since their self-titled album when I was a teeneger. This new release is no different, with the band’s signature heavy guitars and electronic aspects, and as always, lyrics which resonate with me on a personal level.
No Gods No Masters is another timely release, protesting injustices while promoting kindness, all the while maintaing Shirley’s often crude (and fun) manner. I feel like some of their best songs to date are on this album, and the second disc includes some singles which were released between albums, which is a great way to catch up if you’ve missed anything, or just a nice place to have everything together.
So the music is great (I feel like longtime fans will be happy), and so is the message. Themes of equality and kindness are ones that everyone should take to heart.
So it’s been about 17 months since my last con! After doing 34 events in 2019, I did just 4 in 2020 because of the pandemic. Finally, some of the shows we work with are being able to resume their events. I’m looking forward to working with them as they safely begin again. This weekend, come out and see me with Alicia’s Anime at Galactic Con in Howard County Maryland this Saturday! We’ll have both Feralia books as well as a ton of other cool merchandise!
I love the Nintendo Switch! (As if that wasn’t obvious :p ) I’ve had a ton of fun with the many great games, both solo and with family, and am super excited for what’s to come. I’ve had a blast with most of Nintendo’s home consoles, but honestly this is the most fun I’ve had with one in years.
There’s been a lot of talk of Nintendo releasing a “Switch Pro,” and while I adore the Switch, there are a few things I’m hopeful that will be added with the next model. Some are pretty likely while others are probably a long shot, but here they are:
Faster and easier eShop browsing
One of the places where Nintendo lags behind other consoles is the eShop. Making it faster and easier to navigate would be a plus.
Improved battery life
The battery life on my original model Switch really isn’t good. My wife’s Switch Lite did seem to improve upon that, but it’s still not amazing. I’d like to see it at least rival the battery life of the PSVita, which has been much better for me.
The return of the Wii/3DS eShop library
I know, this is the biggest longshot, but the catalog of the previous eShop games were AMAZING. Not only for classic Nintendo consoles, but arcade, Neo-Geo and others! I totally get the online bonuses to encourage people to sign up, but it would be a nice option to purchase them as well.
DS and 3DS games on the eShop
Along with the previous one, this would be an amazing addition to add to the hybrid console, but again, this one’s a long shot, and maybe not even realistic, as I have no idea how they’d incorporate the dual screens.
Better games prices on “old” games
I love the fact that we’re getting so many games on the Switch that were only available on other consoles at first, but buying a game for $50 or $60 when other consoles have game of the year additions for $20. I totally get that porting them over takes time and money, but this is another thing on the wish list for me.
Music and sound are a big part of games for me, and going cordless without having to buy a third party device would be a big plus.
So these are my hopeful additions for the next Nintendo Switch model. What are yours? Hopefully we’ll find out more on Nintendo’s pre E3 presentation next week!
It took me about a year and a half but I’ve caught up on most of the major storylines of everyone’s favorite merry mutants. My X-Men Reading Project can be found here, and covers most of the big stories from 1975 to 2012 in order of release, then a list of the main titles through 2012-2018, ending with an intro to 2019-2020 with Dawn of X. It’s been a blast, and while there are some missing stories here and there, I feel confident that I can continue to stay current without fear of important spoilers.
The current era of X-Men (House of X/Powers of X, Dawn of X, the X of Swords Crossover and Reign of X) has been a lot of fun and I look forward to keeping up with the X-Men from here on out.
And who knows what the Marvel Cinematic Universe will bring?
I leave you with my favorite cover of this new era of X-Men. Written by Jonathan Hickman, this is a beautiful variant cover by Stanley Artgerm Lau (whose amazing work you should check out!).
Just wanted to do a quick writing update! As I mentioned earlier, the past year I was pretty much in a slump creatively. Recently I have been motivated however, making progress, and it’s been great. Unfortunately I’m going to have to push back my release target for Feralia Book 3 from Spring 2021 to TBA. I’m hopeful to still set a new goal for this year once I get more completed.
As always, thanks so much for sticking with me! I feel like Book 3, while a more challenging story to write than 1 & 2, will be the best yet and I can wait to share it with you!
Since I mentioned it in a recent entry I thought it would be cool to feature my favorite music of 2020, especially because 2021 is nearly half over! You’ve got to quit procrastinating some time, right? 😉
As has been mentioned by me here in the blog and pretty much everyone else, 2020 sucked over all. But in line with my recent theme of finding the positives in the year, I wanted to feature these albums and songs which helped me forget about the bad and find some joy.
2020 saw not only the release of the first new music from Stabbing Westward since 2001, but a surprise ep as well! New music from my favorite band was truly special!
What better theme to focus on in 2020 than love? Ferris Wheel was my song of the summer, which I’ll always look back on lovingly. The entire album, Free Love, came out a few months later and has been one of my favorites ever since.
While Sylvan Esso gets the song of the year, Chromatica was released in May, just in time to become my album of the summer. The timing was great and was the perfect soundtrack to weekends at home with the family while in quarantine, in the pool, grilling, and enjoying each other’s company.
Fiona’s album, for me personally, is her lightest and most fun album yet, delightfully weird at times, it was one of me favorite releases of 2020. And I love the cover – it’s so silly, derpy and adorable!
“Concrete conclusions be damned they won’t listen until it’s far too late”
The lead single, Apocalyptical, was the perfect song at the perfect time, providing a stark, yet accurate view at much of the population that continues to ring true (be dumb, be damned) while maintaining the bands trademark weirdness. Speaking of weird, the rest of the album, Existential Reckoning, continues to take you further down the rabbit hole musically with great videos adding to a fun and odd experience.
Run the Jewels
Another timely album. Though it was recorded before the chaos that was engulfing America during its June 2020 release, RTJ4 couldn’t have come at a better time, painting a detailed picture of everything going on at the time.
In the last entry I talked about my nephew Rex’s recent and sudden diagnosis with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I personally didn’t know much about it at all. I was somewhat familiar with the basics of Leukemia, but little beyond that, and especially little about different types.
The night I received a phone call with the news of Rex being taken to the hospital I knew so little. Because I knew so little, I didn’t even know if he would make it through that first night. I stayed up until the early morning hours, searching for any information I could find. But because a diagnosis hadn’t been made, there was no way to know what type of Leukemia he was dealing with.
Thankfully, as I mentioned previously, Rex is doing an amazing job fighting and staying strong despite treatments which are extremely taxing. I’ve learned much more about not only the disease, but a few helpful organizations and resources as well, which I wanted to share.
First up is the amazing Children’s National Hospital, in Washington DC, where they’ve taken amazing care of my nephew. They’re one of the leading hospitals in the US in childhood cancers. You can learn more about their pediatric cancer here.
Next up is a wonderful organization which has been extremely helpful to Rex and his family. Travel to and from the hospital is over an hour, adding added exhaustion on top of the already stressful situation. Thankfully, Ronald McDonald House has been a great help, providing accommodations for the family super close to the hospital!
Lastly, if you’re like I was, you’ve heard of Leukemia many times but may not know many details. There are a lot of different types of Leukemia with different aspects. This can be really overwhelming before an exact diagnosis is made. One of the scariest parts, for me as at least, was the period at the beginning – just not knowing was awful. A good resource for reading up on things is The American Cancer Society. They have a lot of info on not only T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia but the many other kinds as well, along with other valuable resources.
I’ve you or someone you know has been affected by Leukemia, these links will hopefully provide a bit of help.