Tag Archives: Awesome

Mobile D6 Dice Roller App

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What is it?

The Mobile D6 Dice Roller App is simply that: a free to use web based dice rolling app that is compatible with the D6 System. Whether you are playing Star Wars D6 or any other campaign that uses D6, this app should help keep the flow of your game going so you can get to the meat of your adventure.

Why?

Since I started playing a Star Wars D6 campaign at my work, I saw that there weren’t very many D6 Dice Rolling apps, and even less that were optimized for mobile devices. I decided to put together a simple dice roller for my group, and figured why not share this with the world?

Features:

  • Easy Total Bad at Maths? Don’t fret, my friend – the D6 roller sums up all your dice rolls for you!
  • Wild Die First Die is wild, and will keep on rolling as long as you are getting sixes. You feeling lucky?
  • Roll History Accidentally roll over an amazing total? Bummer. Show your history to you GM and save your hide.

You can open this app directly in your phone by scanning the QR Code to the left, or you can just go to http://kristruitt.com/d6 on your iPhone, Android, or any other internet capable mobile device. While you are at it, why not save it to your home screen for easy access?

Preview it! »

 
 
Know of any ways to make this D6 Dice Roller any better? Have any issues or suggestions? Let me know in the comments!

04/20/2011 – Quick Edit: I’ve made a D20 version too, you can check it out at http://kristruitt.com/d20.

Toonami

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For some odd reason on Friday I got a weird nostalgic craving for anime I loved as a kid – anime brought to me mostly by the block of programming on Cartoon Network known as Toonami. It was especially strange because the 14th anniversary of Toonami was last Thursday (though it had been cancelled in 2008). I couldn’t help but think back to the seventh grade and the long bus rides back home, eager to watch DBZ and whatever other cool shows they had lined up for me.

So what was it that made Toonami great? It was more than just an awesome line up of action cartoons and anime – it was a brief glimpse into a culture half the world away from us. It was a gateway “drug” that lead many kids in my generation into seeking more of this out and becoming Otakus (or just plain anime geeks) in their own right. Even those that didn’t go down this path can still recall the epicness of Super Saiyan battles and giant robot action. Sure, sometimes the shows were edited to the ground, but when I think about it now, maybe that wasn’t really a terrible thing. It allowed parents a little peace of mind when they let 9 to 12 year olds watch these kinds of shows (which even unedited were fairly tame compared to the anime you could rent from Blockbuster at the time).

One of the other neat things about Toonami is that they put together really cool promos, with fun techno/electronic drum and bass music. They even redid some of the show intros, which to my 11 year old mind were the coolest things ever (though anime purists would probably pull their hair out about that). Not only did they have the cool promos, but they had inspiring lessons for kids, with sweet action spliced in middle of it all. Observe:

So what’s next? The multitude of ways for kids to acquire anime is tremendous. With sites like netflix, hulu, crunchyroll, and many others streaming these shows legitimately, anime has become increasingly accessible. It’s still sad that many kids might miss out on anime and the awesome message that Toonami brought with it, but with the landscape changing the way it is, there is still hope that they’ll find joy and inspiration through these new sources.

Thank you Toonami, for being awesome.

Check This Out: Merantau

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I caught this Indonesian martial arts film the other day and was pleasantly surprised. While on his Merantau (basically a rite of passage journey), Yuda befriends a girl who he must protect from a dangerous human trafficking ring. He does this using Silat – the versatile and bone crunching martial arts style native to the Indonesian area – which results in some fantastically choreographed fight scenes. Iko Uwais, the lead, was enjoyable to watch, and I’m looking forward to his future roles (it looks like he’s got a movie coming this year titled Berandal, sweet!). – Scratch that, it looks like the new project is titled The Raid. Thanks, Kunderemp!

At first glance this movie might look similar to Tony Ja’s Ong Bak or The Protector, but it has deeper characterization and I liked the story better (think Taken) and kind of a surprise ending. In any case if you enjoyed those two movies I just mentioned, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this as well. Those of you with Netflix, Merantau is available to watch instantly, so check it out!.

REVIEW: Rot & Ruin

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Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Jonathan Maberry definitely has a new fan for life. I was already a fan after the action packed Patient Zero and Dragon Factory, and Rot & Ruin just seals the deal. Plus, he just seems like an awesome guy.

Maberry transitions to the young adult scene without a hitch, providing us with the coming of age story of Benny Imura, who’s grown up without ever knowing the world before First Night (aka the zombie apocalypse). The world building is handled creatively, showing each aspect of Moutainside, the village the survivors of First Night inhabit, by way of Benny searching for and trying out many of the jobs, which range from fence tester to bottler. Bottler – as in bottling the juices from dead bodies to create Cadaverine, useful for tricking zoms into thinking you are one of them. He finally admits defeat and joins his brother Tom, who Benny has zero respect for, to become a bounty hunter, and this is where the real fun begins. Benny has an eye opening experience out in the Rot & Ruin, realizing that the bounty hunters he had once looked up to were less human than the zoms they hunted, and gradually learns the truth about the kind of guy his brother really is.

Maberry sticks with the philosophy so prevalent in Romero’s zombie films, which is that the zombies aren’t the real things we should be careful of – it’s other human beings. The same existential “I take what I want” type of attitude that is apparent today is still rampant (if not more so) out in the Rot & Ruin, as expected in any post apocalyptic society. Maberry does take the social commentary a step further, however, and makes you really question the way we think about zombies. About how they used to be someone’s family member, lover, child, parent, and how even though they might try to gnaw your eyes out, they should still be treated with respect. This doesn’t mean the novel skimps on zombie slaying action – there’s plenty of  katana slicing and bokken bashing to keep fans of the genre excited.

Verdict: There’s a good reason why Rot & Ruin has been getting rave reviews – it’s awesome. It rocks that Maberry is creating something that adolescent male readers can easily get into, and even though I claim to be an adult, I know I’ll be buying the sequels.

REVIEW: Rainbows End

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Rainbows End – Vernor Vinge

Rainbows End is a book crammed with ideas. Set only fifteen years from now, it has some ideas that might seem inconceivable at first, but when looking at the rate of progress in technology, and the rate at which our society accepts and becomes accustomed to each piece of new technology, it’s really not hard to believe Vinge’s future.

The main focus of the technologies used in the story is augmented reality, and it’s a technology I can definitely get excited about. In this story, the characters all “wear” their computers using a special shirt and contacts. Using gesture based recognition and data overlays on their contact lenses, they text message, google search, and game – the interactions are the same ones we are using with smart phones today, the only thing that’s different is the hardware, so the story is able to stay grounded in reality. Still having a heard time deciphering that? Just check out these modern day examples, or check out the following demo video (warning – this one goes a little overboard):

As kind of a side note/rant, the book never really discusses the price of the wearables and data plans, which is good because that might have been boring, but if things continue on as they do today then there’s a good chance we’ll be paying huge lump sums to carriers for the data plans. Here’s to hoping things change in that area.

Vinge does a decent job of introducing us to the tech through the character Robert Gu, who had just spent the last decade in a coma and learns about the changes in the world as we go along. Kind of a cheap trick to use him as an audience surrogate, but it works.

The actual story starts off by deliberately revealing the main antagonist’s goal and motive, which is a bit surprising. This could have been held off for a reveal later on for suspense purposes, but it adds a nice layer to the story and puts the focus more on the methods with which the antagonist arranges everything, and also on how he is being used himself.

I loved the mystery set up around the character that goes by the moniker of “Rabbit”, and how he interacts with each character to get them to the point that fits into his master plan. I was a little disappointed that Rabbit never got full closure by the end of the book, and it’s left open to interpretation as to who (or what) he is.

Towards the end of the story, there’s a huge chunk dedicated to two factions of book lovers who participate huge LARP game to decide who’s favorite author would get a floor in the library. I found that part a bit harder to get in to, but it fit into the scheme of the rest of the story, and by the end it make sense why it needs to be there.

My biggest complaint is that there are a couple of threads left dangling – hopefully setting the story up for a sequel – and I would have liked a bit more closure with a couple of the characters (okay, Rabbit).

Final Verdict: Pretty Awesome, read Rainbows End if you want a good look at a very near and very possible future.  I just hope Vinge writes a sequel for it, and soon!

Check This Out: Greenside

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Greenside is a a short feature from Corridor Digital, featuring some pretty fun choreography mixed in with a dystopian setting – what’s not to like about that? I especially enjoyed the night stick fight (I’m a sucker for arm locks!), and I like the fact that the baddies don’t always go down after one hit.

If you liked the video above, why don’t you go check out the movie in it’s 42 minute entirety?

Anime you should watch

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SFSignal recently did a mind meld on the topic of Underrated Anime, which certainly listed some great series (RaXephon, Seirei no Moribito, Noir), and even had some that I’ve now got on my to watch list (Master Keaton, Boogie Bop Phantom, why have I not watched you?).

In the spirit of that mind meld, I thought it would be fun to share a short list of anime that in my mind should get more attention.

Noein

The first thing you’ll notice about this series is the loose/sketchy style, which really shines with the absurd fight scenes.  Great action, and a very intriguing story involving a parallel future in which beings intent on destroying everything rule the world.  But seriously, just check out this fight scene:

Kurozuka

Crazy awesome and violent fight scenes and a timeline that stretches from Feudal to future post-apocalyptic Japan.  Brought to you by Madhouse Studios, so you know the animation is top notch. The opening will make your ears bleed, so it sets the mood appropriately:

Claymore

Half demon chicks with swords.  Large swords.  Madhouse Studios continues to pump out quality work, and this is no exception (though I’ll admit they dropped the ball on the last few episodes, oh well). Available on netflix watch instantly, so go check it out (this one is also EXTREMELY bloody).

Honorable Mentions:

Basilisk – Iga clan vs Kouga clan, it’s sort of like Romeo and Juliet except it’s an all out battle royale of ninja proportions.  Warning: do not grow connected to any of the characters.

Outlaw Star – this is just a fun series that only took itself seriously when it had to, and when it did it rocked.

G Gundam – Giant robots demolishing each other in hand to hand combat, ala street fighter.  What’s not to love about that?

This list is not exhaustive in any way (and I’m going to do a follow up post with shows I did not mention here), so if you feel like there’s an anime series that’s underrated and needs some attention, let us know in the comments!

Read The List – Episode 2: Big Game, FREE!

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Hey, it’s a bonus chapter for this month!  Why?  Because I love you, that’s why!

Read episode 2 online now! And don’t forget to tell everyone how super awesome it is!

The List – Episode 1: PSA (Read Online!)

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Part of what I want to use this site for is to post some of the fiction I write.  The List is an episodic story about a man who assassinates super heros in a futuristic dystopian metropolis, and I plan on releasing an episode at least once a month.  Fans of action, science fiction, and awesomeness – check it out and let me know what you think:

When in doubt, make a list.  That’s exactly what Levi Cole did, and on his list was the names of the people he planned to destroy.  In his line of business – super hero assassination – it paid to stay organized.

Read Online Now:  The List  – Episode 1: PSA