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This is the Primary page for Late Night Games. While the games themselves are all individually hosted and run, this page links them together. Play one game or play them all. This site is free, fan-operated and lots of fun.

If you want to play go to the individual game site and use the NEW PLAYER link for that game. Send an application and soon you will recieve a replay from the admin for that system that will eiter invite you in or tell you what you need to do to qualify.

The rules are simple, and the possibilities are endless. Let us know how we are doing at Admin@LateNightGames.com

Coming Soon? Okay...When?

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When we first started LA By Night, I never thought I'd end up with something as huge as Late Night Games. Now I am almost sorry I thought of it. Its a ton of work!

But, now that we are recruiting for LA By Night again I am revitalized by the excited and fresh new faces coming to join the game. They can't wait to show us their stuff!

So I need to knuckle down and get things rolling in the other games as well. I want to see what fresh faces come to explore the other universes I have planned.

Tentative Schedule 2002:
July ?: Start Mid-Season 1 on LA By Night
July ?: Launch Zion 3 Index Page
Aug ?: Start LA By Night Season 2
Sep ?: Start Zion 3 Season 1
Oct ?: Launch Mythic Index Pages
Nov ?: Start Mythic Season 1
Dec ?: Start LA By Night Mid-Season 2

This is of course subject to change and getting some help. Since I do this on my own time, getting time to do it has been tough (if it was someone else's time it'd be easy! 8O )

Good Gaming!

Things move...things change...Life moves forward

MrDave's picture

It would seem the schedule has been pretty accurate so far. LA By Night has just started Season 2. Midseason 1 of LA By night will be winding down in about a week or so (Aug 20). So there will be some overlap between those two things.

Zion 3 was scheduled to launch Season 1 on Sept 1 but I got an idea and jumped the gun a little. So there will be a brief pre-season while we post before the official start date. Anyone who is interested in playing Zion 3 is invited to apply!

Mythic's index pages will need launching soon (Oct 1) and I need to come up with a story arc for that fantasy game (Season 1 starts Nov 1). I don't have any volunteers for co-admin for that game yet. Anyone who has the time to handle simple things like checking posts for spelling, continuity and houskeeping tasks would be welcome.

Comings and Goings

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Looks like Zion 3 is not going to work out. Its just not attracting the interest I had hoped it would. So sadly It will be closing its doors at the end of the year. Something else will take its place I'm just not sure what.

Mythic on the other hand seems to be taking off nicely. The site has come together and the players are filling out the background and the setting and starting to recruit. LABN seems to be the largest source of players right now...hopefully that won't always be the case.

LA By Night print editions are now available feel free to download them. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Season One book was the size of a novel! Season Two will be even longer. It is good work.

LateNightGames Needs Ideas!

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With the demise of Zion3 Latenightgames needs a third game to fill the void left in the disappearance. I have heard some interesting ideas and have some interesting ideas myself...

It isn't neccessary that you keep the Science fiction Theme (although there is a certain kharmic balance in it). So I am soliciting ideas on what the next new game should be.

    :arrow: Spies like James Bond or Mission: Impossible. :arrow: Gothic like Space: 1889 or The Difference Engine.
    :arrow: Cyberpunk like Shadowrun or Neuromancer.
    :arrow: Fantastic like Buck Rogers or The Lensmen.
    :arrow: Pulpy like Doc Savage or Indiana Jones.
    :arrow: Gritty like Pulp Fiction or The Sopranos
    :arrow: Cartoony like Willy Wonka or Tiny Toons
    :arrow: Anything Else

Email me ideas and snippets of storylines you have in mind or want to play. Admin@LateNightGames.com


Conquer The World!

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Thank you Alexander Hotel!

MrDave's picture

A big thanks to the folks at The Alexander Hotel in Canoga Park!

They are hosting our "Cast Party 2003" and have extended a deal
for folks at LateNightGames. Just mention the site when you place your reservations and they will give you our rate.

Send me an email if you'd like the details and contact names, I'll be glad to give them to you. Admin@latenightgames.com

The dates (for those of you who missed it) are June 13th - June 18th
bring DVDs (any region: I'll have a multi-region DVD there) and any food or drinks you want to share. I will have a webcam set up so that you can participate from anywhere, but I gurantee that those of us in attendance will be having more fun. ;)

Thanks to Sherlynn for being a hub there in LA to make arrangements. She is also going to be running our "tour" of the LA sights and stuff. Not to mention the cookout (sorry, Barbie) at her house.

PM or Email her if you plan to attend (even if its one day).

I can't wait! I am SOOOOO excited!

Traffic Chart for the Last 12 Months

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Heather's picture

This affects all of us...

Microsoft MSN To Shut Down Or Limit Chat Services

POSTED: 7:26 a.m. EDT September 24, 2003

SEATTLE -- It's certainly one way to make sure people don't use chat rooms to solicit children -- shut the chat rooms down. SURVEY
Microsoft is shutting down Internet chat services in most of its markets around the world. MSN will still offer chat services to users in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Brazil, but users must subscribe to at least one other paid MSN service.

Microsoft has announced a move aimed at improving its profit picture and protecting kids from Internet predators.

Microsoft is shutting down Internet chat services in most of its markets around the world and limiting the service in the United States.

The changes take effect Oct. 14.

The service is being shut down in European, Latin American and Asian markets. MSN will still offer chat services to users in the United States, Canada, Japan and Brazil, but users will be required to subscribe to at least one other paid MSN service.

The services will be limited in those lands to help cut down the number of adults who try to pick up kids through online discussions.

A spokeswoman says the change will help curb inappropriate use of its sites, including pornographic spam. A business analyst says it also will enable Microsoft to shed some free users who are a drag on profits.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Dave is researching a number of in-house solutions that will be feature-rich and stable enough for everyone to use. Hopefully it will be a free solution. If it isn't then it should be an affordable one at the very least.

If anyone has a solution that they can provide then please by all means let Dave know. PM or email them to me. Before Oct 14!


MrDave's picture

For the next week or so the LateNightGames server will be doing backup duty for another of our servers that died because of a hardware failure. It will be most noticeable from around 5am to 7am GMT when it is accessing the logfiles of most of our online products.

There may also be times when it will seem to be locked up when in fact it is just running much slower than usual. Be patient, it will get to you eventually.

Sorry for this inconvenience folks, but when you are running on a server with no limits for no chaqrge you sort of learn to take what you get.

On a sadder note, it has been 6 months since anyone posted to Mythic so I am closing it down. It will be locked forever with an RIP on the front page and 6 months from now it will disappear without a trace.

There are no immediate plans to open a new game unless someone steps up with a great idea and a burning desire to run it. But before you let your enthusiasm take hold be sure to talk to Shaun and Ric about how Legends has been to manage first.

Also, if you are already playing Legends and LABN forget it...Two games is brutal..three would be insane. But Ideas are welcome as always.

New Features on Late Night Games

MrDave's picture

The menus have been fixed so that they all say the same thing. Mythic is gone from the front page (sorry you had to go) but the good news is I am talking with a fellow who may want to start a high sci-fi game (ala Lensmen) where the PCs are planet-hopping heroes. More on that as it starts to develop.

In its place on this page is a LNG Glossary assembled by one of the FL crew. It might help with some of the acronyms, insider words and weirdo mentality that prevails among our little community. If not, consider it a warning against getting too close. Do not feed the monkeys.

There is now an actual links page. Although it is very bare at the moment. Feel free to fill it up as you see fit. PM me if you want to add categories or subcategories...its quick and easy to do. Better yet, anyone who wants to be linkmaster (or link mistress) can email me admin@latenightgames.com and let me know so I can add you to the system and you can add and edit to your heart's content.

I also filled out the disclaimers page. If you think there is more to say there please let me know, okay? Thats about it for Late Night Games...FL has started thier first crossover mini-series and LABN has started medseason three. Wow...it all grow so fast!

Get Real...

MrDave's picture

A co-worker pointed this out to me today...


It is a product that a production company called "MyTwoCents.com" is trying to patent whereby a community can submit scenes, vote on them, and then have them integrated into a complete story.

But isn't that want we do here at LateNightGames.com? Or at any of hundreds perhaps even thousands of fan fiction sites? Oh it is slicker and automated but its still essentially the same damn thing.

So how can they patent it? Well, the truth is, you can't. Just because you automate a system does not mean that it is now something completely different. And (in the US at any rate) there is no way to patent a "process, algorythm, or a system" but only a tangible invention.

But the patent system is being deluged with "software patents" because a computer is a tangible invention whose operation can be "significantly altered or enhanced by the use of" patented software.

Frankly I think that the Patent office needs to issue a statement that it will categorically deny patents for any invention that falls under the following categories:

  • Commerce (ways to make money, management structures, or revenue generating ventures)
  • Marketing (delivery of advertising in any way shape or form. Although much of these can be disguised as delivering "information")
  • Any 'new' invention which is an old idea just placed on a network or a computer.

And there are probably more. And I even have a patent pending on a technology that was filed by our company. Ah well, the threat of a patent is usually more potent than the patent itself.

Once something is patented it is availble to the public for examination. Until then, however, it is a closely guarded secret. So you can make wild and (often) unfounded claims about what a patent covers and often times get away with it.

So if these people come sniffing around our groups and tell us they had this idea first...then slap them on the forehead and send them to me. i will set them straight.


Website Statistics Review....

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Access our Stats

I have published our LateNightGames User Statistics for all the world to see.

We are pretty popular. For a laugh try searching for page accesses including the string 'mythic' or 'legends' to see how the other games have fared.

the 404.php page seems to get a lot of views doesn't it?

Just thought I'd show everyone how well we are doing keeping up the site.


MrDave's picture

FL and LABN are going so fast I can barely keep up with them. I had to resort to the flick-and-read tactic on FL at theend of the Crossover Series One and at the end of Midseason 3 of LABN. It works like this...

    [1]Open the Timeline and scroll to the last post you remember reading. [2]Open that post and skim it. Then close the post.
    [3]Skim ahead on the timeline to follow the thread of the action for that character.
    [4]Open and read any post that seems interesting.
Its a terrible cheat, but thanks to a really good timelining system it is pretty easy.

I have to say that Heather and Lou are very dedicated to take it upon themselves to keep the timelines up to date. It means at a minimum that they must read every post, summarize, and correct any inconsistancies. Set times and dates where missing and then maintain the whole mess according to an arcane and obscure formatting convention that Heather and I agreed on years ago.

But thanks to their efforts you can now have complete timeline for both LABN and FL and there is a shortcut to keeping current on the board.

Be sure to read the


I'll hang myself with a red ribbon....

MrDave's picture

...if I see one more damn "I Support the Troops" yellow ribbon or a red, white and blue "God Bless America" ribbon.


I cannot think of any gesture that is less sincere, less useful than buying a magnet and sticking it on the back of your car. It neither suports the troops - because I cannot imagine that the hucksters who make those yellow ribbons are giving anything back to the troops - or blesses America since it is neither a prayer or an action. Saying "God Bless America" is a wish, not a prayer. It is a hope that God will do something without actually asking Him to do it at all.

Besides, God has blessed America enough. Pray for other countries that need it, like Iraq or Afganistan. I think I am going to sell plain white ribbons that mean pray, support, bless, or fuck whoever you want to and then I'll feel as if it is the duty of whoever sees it to take some action on their own rather than taking a pathetic action like wearing a ribbon and feeling like I am making a statement.

Hacker Attack

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On December 21, 2004 a hacker maliciouosly and deliberately attacked the Friedbaloney server where Late Night Games is hosted. They did so through a security exploit in phpBB - the LateNightGames software - that was only announced at the end of December.

Consequently everything went down. And - indirectly it was my fault becasue I more or less left the door open.

So I have had to upgrade all of the software for phpBB to the latest version which closes the hole. Unfortunately it means that all of the nice mods that had been added in are now gone.

I'll gradually add them back in. But for now, sorry to say, they are gone.

I'll start working on it as soon as I insure that everything is completely secured.


MrDave's picture

I just got this in my email:

From: Emerson Pineda To: Jmroyse
Date: Fri, 04 Mar 2005 10:04:29 -0600
Subject:set the application's parameters for the best possible performance cheerleader

companies to stop supporting Symbian phones, they were just
Bribed monsters go away and take their treasure with them.
on and found myself unable to play the hundreds of dollars' worth
your back and escape, and will help you out afterwards. The Goat
reacting to feedback from their surroundings. The premise behind
While you'd never be able to tell by the appearance of this piece
away. The Tanner put off his departure from time to time, saying
mouth, and eyes, when too late, repented of their folly.
act truly human. Without it, and others, social interaction feels
A BLIND MAN was accustomed to distinguishing different animals by
curtail the United States drug problem by 1993, unless it is artificially
the wall, I see them now as a link, a possible tool for fusion,
such an exhibition of yourself? That bell that you carry is not,
and stood under the branches, saying how earnestly he desired to

No link, no image, no anything, just this Dadaist tripe. Is it my imagination or has the entore bulk email industry just gone fucking bananas? I mean really, if they have servers that are spewing out this kind of word salad then they are responsible for the slowing down of the stuff I really want read like news, literature, televisoion shows, comic books, games, and well...real stuff.

Not pipe dreams like a bigger penis or dating a supermodel (My wife is a supermodel to me and that's all that's important thanks!) or getting cheaper drugs via mail (that is what insurance is for moron!)

the 'text' portion of the above email wrote:
Here Lisbeth broke from words into moans, swaying herself backwards and forwards on her chair. Seth, always timid in his behaviour towards his mother, from the sense that he had no influence over her, felt it was useless to attempt to persuade or soothe her till this passion was past; so he contented himself with tending the back kitchen fire and folding up his fathers clothes, which had been hanging out to dry since morning—afraid to move about in the room where his mother was, lest he should irritate her further.
I get 6 pieces of regular mail every day that beg me to sell my house becasue the market is so strong right now I could set up a carboard box on the corner and make $1000 a month in rent.

But my email!...my God you would not beleive it. 70-80 pieces a day of junk junk junk. It is all the same crapola all the time. But this one above here...this one just baffles me. Why even send it? To test me email address? 75 out of 100 spammers recommend Dave's email address for the mailing of crap...why test it? Heck I get 30-50 emails a week that aren't even to me they are to some doofus named MrDan.

here are the last three emails I've gotten...

micheleHouston cheapp pain pillz - Pre]scription Med-ic-ation(s) via Internet Based Pharmacy salepricedtoday.com/?wid=100104 … 1:23pm
Ted Summers Online Casiino Business - Make the big bucks Run an online casiino from your home computer We provide everything you need … 12:55pm
Kurt Dwyer SU-per Hu^ge 0ffers Mrdan7 - Look at this of-fers: Vi-codinn - 225.00 (90 pi-lls) Hydro-codonee - 297.00 (90 pi=lls) Valliuum … 11:47am

They are going to get dumped...is anyone really responding to these emails? I mean REALLY? Today's email scanning technology has improved to the point where nobody is really getting these emails.

They don't care about making money on the email any more, it is all about the marketing. The only person making money on this huge industry is the bulk emailler. He has gotten his umpty-millon payment to send out his gazillion emails and he is just cranking it out on autopilot from here.

I am not going to say that I never want to recieve another piece of spam again. I am not. Becasue I know that it is futile to complain about it (just like it is futile to complain about all the crap in my snail-mail box). But I would like it to be in English and at the very least be hawking something I might have a remote interest in.

The tools of the spammer haven't changed in 10 years. They still do the same stupid shit. They scrape emails from websites, DNS registrations, newsgroups, bulletin boards and bulk-email lists. They send unsolicited junk to these people who didn't ask for it, don't want it, and won't respond to it.

I've done spam. I did it for the hammer when I worked there and until we started using an in-house only likst that we never-ever supplemented with outside lists we never got any response (go figure?). We spent a crapload of cash on lists and scraping technology and it was all a loss leader to a well-maintained list.

So I am done ranting for now...it just bafffled me why this particular mail made its way to me. Maybe I'll break it into spam email haiku or better yet, start bulk-emailling to their servers.

I was so curious about this email I decoded it and looked through it. It had an image telling me...

DOWNLOAD > PLAY * BURN - Unlimited -
Music & MP3s
Adult movies
TV Shows
Access to 90,000,000 songs
And much, much more...
* Click Here for Unlimited Access!

The site it went to was http://www. getcompatible .com/ DON'T GO THERE! They are a site that sells Kazaa or eDonkey or WinMX pro. All of which are actually pay versions of LimeWire. All of these are available for free and are a pale candle to BitTorrent (and Azeurus).

If you want to spend $34.95 then it isn't a free stuff download is it? IT COST $34.95 didn't it? Download something for free and get free stuff, there is no shortage of people willing to let you have prgrams, movies, tv, music and free things. but caveat emptor you might also get viruses, spyware, trojans, and stuff.

My rule? Unless you know what you are doing, don't do it.

Our Ban List

MrDave's picture

The following 1950 ip addresses are now banned from LateNightGames forums for continuous XSS exploit attacks against our bulletin Boards. I recommend that all phpBB administrators add these ip addresses to your banned ip list. Here is an sql script that will make it as easy as inserting the rows into your database.

Banned Forever!

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

MrDave's picture

MrDave wrote:
I wish I could claim credit for this, but it comes from a gaming portal I read and was drafted by a gentleman by the nickname of Thain but it was so perfect I had to reprint it.. It refers to a recent news item

For those of you with rusty Latin, that means "Before this, therefore because of this." Its a common fallacy, basically claiming that because X happened before Y, then X must be responsible for Y.

Example One: My computer is working perfectly, for weeks. Monday I plug in a new printer. It won't boot up on Tuesday. Therefore the new printer is at fault.

Example Two: I keep rolling very high with my red D20. Then my friend Bill used it for a skill check. I keep rolling low with it now. Therefore Bill "broke" my dice.

Clearly, one of the above is more feasible than the other. But without supporting evidence each is an example of committing the same fallacy.

With no doubt the death of a child under any circumstances is a terrible thing. In one recent "Blame Games!" case, the child had been playing with his Yu-Gi-Oh toys and cards an awful lot. Then he committed suicide. "Post hoc ergo propter hoc!" screams the mother, the media, and the usual slew of anti-gaming talking heads. He had been playing Yu-Gi-Oh, then he died. First Yu-Gi-Oh, therefore because of Yu-Gi-Oh.

In this case, it appears that someone had played a few rounds of D&D before they commited a homicide. The ADA prosecuting the case must had himself a quick flip through the Arms & Equipment Guide, and put two and two together. He got 5. "Post hoc ergo propter hoc!" he shouted, "D&D has daggers!"

A young man somewhere in America murders someone. That afternoon he had watched the movie Kalifornia. "Post hoc ergo propter hoc!" screams the victim's family, the media, and the usual slew of anti-violent movie talking heads. He had been watching a movie, then he committed homicide. First Kalifornia, therefore because of Kalifornia.

On Monday morning, I was given a major raise in my pay by my manager. I had spent the entire weekend prior playing through White Plume Mountain, in a marathon session with my Sunday night gaming group. "Post hoc ergo propter hoc!" I shout, and try to get the guys to run another All-Nighter so I can get even more money on my next check. First the gaming, therefore because of the gaming.

Today's culture is one of instant news, instant information, and on-demand theorizing from talking heads on the 24 different 24-hour talking head channels. Anyone with a balding pate, a power tie, and a bit of air-time can become an "Expert" to be interviewed by these media conglomerates. They have to feed us this stuff, because we keep demanding that they do. Sometimes its a good and useful thing, look what good the "instant information" society has done of late. Exposed corruption, uncovered ringers in the White House press corps, and even given birth to the Amber Alert system.

But, it has its downsides too. Americans are no longer taught to think critically, or even to attempt to analyze what they're being told. If an "Expert" on Fox News tells them that violent games and D&D are to blame for a murder, they buy it. Harris and Keibold played Doom before the Columbine shooting. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. First the violent video game, therefore because of the violent video game. (Michael Moore illustrates the absurdity of this claim by pointing out they also went bowling. First bowling, therefore because of bowling?)

I have no doubt that in the wake of the tragic shooting that occurred just recently that we will soon see talking heads on TV blaming one (or more) of the following. No doubt, they will resort to the "Post hoc" argument to explain how ________ is responsible for the tragedy. So, what could be at fault... My money is on (some one blaming) the following:

- Video Games
- Role-playing Games
- Music
- Graphic Novels/Comic Books
- Literature
- Religion (So long as it is not a mainstream Protestant -ism)

Now, its is a simple and cold fact that one or more of the following could very well be the cause. I don't see it as likely, but it is possible. It is also possible that the recent release of Martha Stewart from prison, caused the boy to flip. "Hmm. First Martha got free, then the shooting... Ah-ha!"

The trouble is that these hobbies will get blamed. No one will look for a conclusive connection between the event and the hobby. They will ignore all contrary evidence, and will not produce any supporting evidence of their own. My advice to you, whenever someone comes after you for your hobby, your taste in music, or even your religion... Foaming at the mouth, and screaming about how that Expert on TV said all Metal-Head Gamer Wicca Bibliophiles are ticking time bombs of rage... Heh, heh. My advice?

Look them dead in the eye, and say very softly, "Post hoc ergo propter hoc." They'll probably think you just cast a spell on them, and hopefully they'll just run away. If they don't then you have a much more difficult job...

You need to explain to them why they are mistaken. Tell them the good, positive, and fun things about your hobby. Invite them to play a game, read a comic book, listen to your music, or talk to them about your faith. Be nice. Remember, whatever it is your into, that you are not alone in your interest, although it can feel that way sometimes. If your the only Goth dressin', Hip-Hop listenin', Chess playin', Comic Book Geek in your small Iowa town, you'll likely be happier if you can get a few others to take an interest. If you happen to be part of a small cadre of role-players on your campus, wouldn't one more player help you get through the dungeon that much faster?

Yeah, we're getting attacked for our hobby again. But we're smarter than they are... and we speak Latin.


MrDave's picture

It is my intention to move the Legends game forum to merge with the LABN forum to create a "true" Late Night Games forums. This will likely involve a lot of swearing and cursing and general mayhem. Not to mention backups backups backups. But in the end I hope to have merged the two forums. It might may involve shutting down LABN for a while to do it.

The date for this massive undertaking? Sometime during the week of the 17th - the 23rd. I am not sure which day, but for certain it'll be during 9am-5pm easter times as those are the slowest times of the day for the board.

I am warning you now so you don't wander in and wonder where everything went.


MrDave's picture

Bob wrote:
Sorry for the short notice, but we're going to be getting some new IP addresses on Wednesday night (between 5pm and whenever.) As most DNS changes seem to happen fairly quickly, I don't think downtime is going to be a major issue. I'll let you know what the new addresses will be
tomorrow once I verify it is happening, etc.

Be prepared for some possible downtime, guys. I'll get everything back online ASAP.

Fool me once, shame on you...

MrDave's picture

I just found out Dungeons & Dragons II: The Elemental Might is going to be spared the straight-to-video hell it was slated for and has been picked up for theatrical release this summer.

From the Cannes Movie Festival Schedule

Now if you didn't see the first one, thank the maker. it was pretty bad. If you don't beleive me, try reading this review without saying "Oh come on, he has to be exagerating." I've seen it. He isn't.

Now there are people who are saying things like "It will be better than the last one." Well I, for one, can't see how it could possibly be worse. Frankly I think that the idea of building a movie on something like D&D instead of "Forgotten Realms" or "Dragonlance" or "Greyhawk" is just silly.

A D&D movie is like having a movie called Swords and Sorcery...okay, that is a bad example, how about Fantasy Movie - Subtitled No it isn't a porn flick. D&D isn't a specific thing, it is everything fantasy. High fantasy specifically (unlike Army of Darkness and Conan which are low fantasy).

To define my terms, High Fantasy is dfferent races, an alien or alternate world, and magic within the grasp of at least some of the general populace. Low Fantasy is all (or mostly) human with magic in the hands of a very select few. So having set this as our base definition, where would you, as a screenwriter, start to write a story?

I suppose, if you had any sense, you'd go straight to the rule books and read about the possibilities. D&D has some specifically defined things. Races, Roles (Classes) and Monsters which reside in Dungeons.

First movie. None of that. We have ill-defined roles (theif-ish, warrior-ish, but wizard as a seperate elitist role) and no Priests (an important class) at all. But we have dragons. Okay bad movie.

What does this fortell for the second film. To quote all six of the Star Wars movies, "I have a bad feeling about this." Wizards of the Coast is supposedly working closely with the film's producers. Which means, I suppose, that they are gleefully accepting the licencing fees and big (okay moderate) checks from the distributers in person rather than by courier.

I will probably go see this movie (I admit with shame). I am desperate to see my beloved D&D well treated. But I admit that if I am disappointed a second time that I will be demanding a refund.


MrDave's picture

This is one of the most eloquent statements of Science vs Mysticism I've ever read. It was written by Phil Plait (http://www.badastronomy.com) for a short speech to local students in a science fair. It is awesome and I had to share it.

Phil Plait wrote:
I know a place where the Sun never sets.

It's a mountain, and it's on the Moon. It sticks up so high that even as the Moon spins, it's in perpetual daylight. Radiation from the Sun pours down on there day and night, 24 hours a day — well, the Moon's day is actually about 4 weeks long, so the sunlight pours down there 708 hours a day.

I know a place where the Sun never shines. It's at the bottom of the ocean. A crack in the crust there exudes nasty chemicals and heats the water to the boiling point. This would kill a human instantly, but there are creatures there, bacteria, that thrive. They eat the sulfur from the vent, and excrete sulfuric acid.

I know a place where the temperature is 15 million degrees, and the pressure would crush you to a microscopic dot. That place is the core of the Sun.

I know a place where the magnetic fields would rip you apart, atom by atom: the surface of a neutron star, a magnetar.

I know a place where life began billions of years ago. That place is here, the Earth.

I know these places because I'm a scientist.

Science is a way of finding things out. It's a way of testing what's real. It's what Richard Feynman called "A way of not fooling ourselves."

No astrologer ever predicted the existence of Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto. No modern astrologer had a clue about Sedna, a ball of ice half the size of Pluto that orbits even farther out. No astrologer predicted the more than 150 planets now known to orbit other suns.

But scientists did.

No psychic, despite their claims, has ever helped the police solve a crime. But forensic scientists have, all the time.

It wasn't someone who practices homeopathy who found a cure for smallpox, or polio. Scientists did, medical scientists.

No creationist ever cracked the genetic code. Chemists did. Molecular biologists did.

They used physics. They used math. They used chemistry, biology, astronomy, engineering.

They used science.

These are all the things you discovered doing your projects. All the things that brought you here today.

Computers? Cell phones? Rockets to Saturn, probes to the ocean floor, PSP, gamecubes, gameboys, X-boxes?

All by scientists.

Those places I talked about before — you can get to know them too. You can experience the wonder of seeing them for the first time, the thrill of discovery, the incredible, visceral feeling of doing something no one has ever done before, seen things no one has seen before, know something no one else has ever known.

No crystal balls, no tarot cards, no horoscopes. Just you, your brain, and your ability to think.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here.

Unique Visitors

MrDave's picture

We recently had a comment by an "anonymous" visitor name "The Man In the Bowler Hat" and I wondered how many people were coming to view and not participate. So I got our stats for the last month.

First Time Unique Visitors 766.00
Prior Unique Visitors 129.00
Total Unique Visitors 895.00
Average First Time Unique Visitors Per Day 21.28
Average Prior Unique Visitors Per Day 3.58
Average Unique Visitors Per Day 24.86
Initial Sessions 895.00
Repeat Sessions 528.00
Total Unique Visitor Sessions 1,423.00
Average Initial Session Per Day 24.86
Average Repeat Sessions Per Day 14.67
Average Unique Visitor Sessions Per Day 39.59

Just for purposes of definition...
A Unique Visitor is identified by a cookie or ip address. So if you clear your cookies, AND change your ip you would appear as a different visitor. Not likely, so I trust the "unique" part.

A Session is identified by a "session id" that is set by your browser when you start it. So as long as that brower is open it is a unique session. If you exit your browser (and all the windows) then it will reset your session.

I want to welcome all of the 800 or so new visitors we had over the last month. Registration is free and we welcome you as new members of our community. Please sign up and participate rather than just view. We want to hear from you.

New Faces

MrDave's picture

I'd been meaning to redesign the LNG site for a long time. This time (I told myself) I'd do the whole thing using a cooler look. Something not quite so 90's looking. I'd use web standards like css and DHTML and AJAX (if I could get away with it). I'd do something different with the design that would be hip and grabby.

While I was in there I'd futz around with the keywords and descriptions making it more friendly to search engines.

And then I didn't do anything for months. But then I saw a cool site. I don't even remember where I saw it. It had the look I wanted. And so , without stealing anything I might add, I used that site for inspiration and created something new.

Hope it works for you. I know it has some difficuties still, but I am working to minimize them. Thanks to the new standards (seperating design from content) I can do that without having to redo every page of the site.

How's that for progress?

The sound of one hand...

MrDave's picture

Clapping. Yes definately clapping.

Heather, Adam, John and I had a sit-down old-fashioned Gaming weekend at the house this weekend. We played Arkham Horror (board game), Buffy The Vampire Slayer RPG and Settlers of Catan (Expanded Knights and Cities) with as many as 9 people for some of the games. It has been probably 7 or 8 years since the last time I did one of these and I'd forgotten how tiring it can be. Ah, but I was much younger then.

In other news Robin and Kris got hitched (in the eyes of the Govt. at any rate) in a small ceremony with celebration to follow on the scheduled date of Mar. 3rd. Out congratulations go out to the happy couple and we wish them luck in dealing with the paperwork and bureaucracy of the Department Of Homeland Security in sorting out Robin's paperwork. Any chants, prayers or spells you want to send to ease that will be greatly appreciated I am certain.

So that means that this past weekend there were no less than 5 of the more active players elsewhere for the duration. I am not surprised it seemed dead. What did you do with yourself without Late Night Games to keep you company?

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