Things Mr. Welch can no longer do during an RPG

See the full list at

1. Cannot base characters off the Who's drummer Keith Moon.
2. A one man band is not an appropriate bard instrument.
3. There is no Gnomish god of heavy artillery.
4. My 7th Sea character Boudreaux is not 'Southern' Montaigne.
5. Not allowed to blow all my skill points on 1pt professional skills.
6. Synchronized panicking is not a proper battle plan.
7. Not allowed to use psychic powers to do the dishes.
8. How to serve Dragons is not a cookbook.
9. My monk's lips must be in sync.
10. Just because my character and I can speak German, doesn't mean the GM can.
11. Not allowed to berserk for the hell of it, especially during royal masquerades.
12. Must learn at least one offensive or defensive spell if I'm the sorcerer.
13. Must not murder canon NPCs in their sleep, no matter how cliche they are.
14. Ogres are not kosher.
15. Plan B is not automatically twice as much gunpowder as Plan A.
16. I will not beat Tomb of Horrors in less than 10 minutes from memory.
17. Collateral Damage Man is not an appropriate name for a super hero.
18. When surrendering I am to hand the sword over HILT first.
19. Drow are not good eating.
20. Polka is not appropriate marching music.
21. No longer allowed to recreate the Death Star Trench Run out of genre.
22. There is no such thing as a Gnomish Pygmy War Rhino.
23. Any character who has a sensitivity training center named after him will be taken away.
24. Even if the rules allow it, I am not allowed to summon 50,000 Blue Whales.
25. The green elf does not need food badly.
26. Valley speak has no place in a fantasy setting. Especially if you're the paladin.
27. I am not to shoot every corpse in the head to make sure they aren't a zombie in Twilight 2000.
28. The Goddess' of Marriage chosen weapon is not the whip.
29. I cannot have any gun that requires me to continue the damage code on back.
30. I am not to kill off all the vampires in the LARP, even if they are terminally stupid.
31. The backup trap handler is not whoever has the most HP at the time.
32. I cannot buy any animal in groups of 100 or over.
33. There is no such skill as 'improvised cooking'
34. I am not allowed to base any Droid off any character played by Joe Pesci.
35. I am not allowed to convince the entire party to play R2 units.
36. I am not allowed to convince the entire party to sit on the same side of the table.
37. They do not make black market illegal cyberweapons for rodents.
38. When investigating evil cultists not allowed to just torch the decrepit mansion from the outside.
39. Gnomes do not have the racial ability 'can lick their eyebrows'
40. Gnomes do not have the racial ability to hold their breath for 10 minutes.
41. Gnomes do not have the racial ability 'impromptu kickstand'
42. Having a big nose adds nothing to my seduction check.
43. No longer allowed to set nazi propaganda music to a snappy disco beat.
44. Not allowed to spend all 100 character points on 100 1pt skills.
45. My character names are not allowed to be double entendres.
46. Sliver rhymes with silver because the computer frelling says so.
47. They do not make Nair in wookie sizes.
48. The elf is restricted to decaf for the rest of the adventure.
49. Not allowed to blow up the Death Star before that snotty farm kid gets his shot.
50. Not allowed to use thermodynamic science to asphyxiate the orcs' cave instead of exploring it first.
51. No longer allowed to use the time machine for booty calls.
52. My bard does not know how to play Inna Godda Davida on marachas.
53. Not allowed to start a drow character weighing more than a quarter ton.
54. Cannot pimp out other party members.
55. Before facing the dragon, not allowed to glaze the elf.
56. No matter how well I roll, a squirrel cannot carry a horse and rider at full sprint.
57. In the middle of a black op I cannot ask a guard to validate parking.
58. Expended ammunition is not a business expense.
59. Not allowed to pose the Netrunner in embarrassing positions when he's on a run.
60. Not allowed to short sheet the bedroll of impotent deities.
61. Can only taunt the ranger about his lack of swimming after my USCG E8 saves him.
62. I am not allowed to do anything I saw Han Solo do once.
63. No, I cannot buy 10,000 marbles even if I say please.
64. My paladin's battle cry is not "Good for the Good God"
65. There is no Summon Bimbo spell.
66. Not allowed to start a character that speaks every language except ones the party speaks.
67. There is no Kung Fu manuever "McGuire Swings For Bleachers"
68. Bring him back intact includes redundant organs.
69. There is more to wizardry than magic missile. Even if I can do 200 damage automatic with no save.
70. Not allowed to cook up nerve gas in the sink even if the target number is 5.
71. There is no 'annoy' setting on a phasor
72. Not allowed to start a character who is over 100 years old unless he's an elf or dwarf. Humans are right out.
73. Not allowed to name my cudgel Ceremonial Whoopass Stick.
74. My thief's battle cry is not "Run And Live"
75. Nor is it "You take care of the orcs, I take care of the traps"
76. I am not allowed any artistic license while translating.
77. I did not get my super powers from James T. Kirk.
78. Not allowed to commission a pistol that costs more than a sedan.
79. I am not liquid metal.
80. When accepting a challenge for a duel, I must allow the other guy time to find a pistol.
81. A picture of my ex-wife is not an acceptable backup weapon.
82. Victory laps after killing the dragon with my 1d2 bow is considered in poor taste.
83. My gnome does not like big butts and he cannot lie.
84. Not allowed to talk my fellow inquisitors into buying a 220lb pull crossbow.
85. Not allowed to talk my fellow inquisitors into buying an industrial strength flamethrower.
86. Not allowed to make a superhero with a 99% chance of dodging even after the -10 penalty for a successful called shot.
87. There is no such thing as a dwarven katana.
88. My bard does not get a bonus to perform if she is obviously not wearing anything under her tabard.
89. The elf's name is not Legolam.
90. My swashbuckling fop cannot take the flaw Dark Secret: Not Gay
91. A wet towel does not constitute an improvised weapon.
92. The name of the weapon shop is not "Bloodbath and Beyond"
93. I am to remind my DM that he must never, ever give my paladin a dire boar for a mount again.
94. I cannot base my ancient kung fu master on neither Gene Simmons or Bluto Blutarski.
95. I must not put the Thunder God on the spot again.
96. No making up polearms.
97. My one wish cannot be 'I wish everything on this piece of paper was true'
98. There is no such thing as Speed Polka.
99. Not allowed to see if Jedi can parry a shotgun blast with their lightsaber.
100. When any character from a d20 sourcebook is allowed, that doesn't include System Lords.
101. I am not allowed to pave ANYTHING.

Continued... Keep reading at

Arrow's DC Superheroes and Villains

If you haven't been watching the new television show ARROW then I gotta let you know about all the great superheroes and villains that have been making appearances in the show...

#1. Green Arrow / Oliver Queen - Well obviously, he's the main hero of the show!

#2. Felicity Smoak - Computer hacker - in the comic books she ran a software company, but in this case she is Oliver Queen's go-to-girl for all things computer geeky.

First Appearance: The Fury of Firestorm #23 (comics); Season 1 episode 3 "Lone Gunmen" (Arrow)

#3. Walter Steele - The CEO of Queen Consolidated.

First Appearance: Green Arrow Vol 4 #1 (comics); Season 1 episode 1 "Pilot" (Arrow)

#4. Merlyn - The Arch Villain of Green Arrow... In this case there is actually two of them. Merlyn Sr and Tommy Merlyn. So far only the older Merlyn has shown any skill in archery - having beaten Oliver at his own forte.

First Appearance: Justice League of America #94 (comics); Season 1 episode 1 "Pilot" (Arrow)

#5.  China White - Chinese Triad Leader.

First Appearance: Green Arrow Year One #3 (comics); Season 1 episode 2 "Honor Thy Father" (Arrow)

#6. Constantine Drakon - Martial artist / Assassin / Bodyguard.

First Appearance: Green Arrow #27 (comics); Season 1 episode 1 "Pilot" (Arrow)

#7. Deadshot - Assassin who uses poisoned bullets.

First Appearance: Batman #59 (comics); Season 1 episode 3 "Lone Gunmen" (Arrow)

#8. Black Canary - The future wife of Oliver Queen... complete with fishnets!

First Appearance: Flash Comics #86 (comics); Season 1 episode 1 "Pilot" (Arrow)

#9. The Huntress / Helena Rosa Bertinelli - Oliver's brief romantic squeeze in one episode - but also the future Batgirl and wife of Bruce Wayne.

First Appearance: The Huntress #1 (comics)

 #10. Deathstroke - Highly skilled mercenary Oliver fights on the island.

First Appearance: The New Teen Titans #2 (comics), Season 1 episode unknown. Mask seen in "Pilot" (Arrow)
#11. Speedy / Red Arrow / Roy William Harper Jr. - Oliver's future sidekick.

First Appearance: Speedy I: More Fun Comics #73; Speedy II: Green Arrow vol 3 #2 (comics)

Special Note! There is actually two versions of Speedy - the other being a female version. Not sure if she will also make an appearance.


While there is no plans to have Bruce Wayne / Batman appear in the season 1 of Arrow, it is possible he might make an appearance in season 2. Should be interesting...

On February 11, 2013, ARROW was renewed for a second season by The CW. Ratings for the show are reportedly through the roof!

All the recent fuss about archery in movies has caused demand for archery lessons in Toronto to skyrocket.

Your Studio and You

Michael J. Fox and Sylvester Stallone in the same short film?

Watch and see!

Sean Connery is a ham actor

Sean Connery has good looks.

Sean Connery has an attractive accent.

But he isn't particularly good at acting. He never took any actual acting lessons. And while he has many fans he actually is not that good of an actor.

In contrast let's take a different actor like Kirk Douglas. The star of many films including Spartacus. He's a career actor with many films to his name. Just as many as Sean Connery.

He doesn't just look good in front of the camera, he has actual acting skill. And he doesn't need an accent to prop up his career.

If you want to compare this even more let's compare their children. Sean Connery's son acts in various B movies. You probably don't even know his name.

Kirk Douglas's son is Michael Douglas and famous all on his own for his acting skill. (And good looks.)

Sean Connery's real claim to fame is being the first James Bond. But he isn't the best James Bond. Many fans agree that Roger Moore is the best James Bond. Why? It is because Roger Moore has actual acting skill. Whereas some people just like Sean Connery, but they're really just attracted to his name and his looks.

Can you name a movie with Sean Connery in it in which he shows off his acting skills? The kind of performance that gets you an Oscar nomination.

Hint: It is for his role in The Untouchables. And it wasn't for Best Actor. It was for Best Supporting Actor. Which is a bit like winning "Best Second Fiddle".

And that is best award that Sean Connery has ever won. Mostly because his acting skill is negligible.

In contrast lets look at the lengthy career of Kirk Douglas... who began acting in 1942 and starred in many Film Noir films during the 1950s and continued to act well into the 1990s and even the 2000s. (Sean Connery stopped acting in 2003 after his horrible performance in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... another ham role.)

Kirk Douglas has also been nominated and won Best Actor for his various roles - spanning a film career of 70 years!

And he's still alive and kicking. His last films were in 2010.

Meanwhile Sean Connery has retired from public life and according to the rumours is now "completely gaga" as Alzheimers has set in and melted his brain to mush.

So I think it is pretty safe to say who is the better actor.

And while we are at it lets not forget Roger Moore - who has been acting from 1945 to present. Playing such roles as Maverick, Ivanhoe, The Saint, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond.

Here is more photos of Sean Connery and Kirk Douglas.

Above: A recent photo of Sean Connery in 2013.

Below: Proof that Sean Connery lacked some sense when picking roles.

Brad Pitt in a Zombie Movie? WTF!

Watch the following trailer for World War Z to see what I mean... which shows a very different interpretation of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Now I admit... the whole argument about "fast zombies vs slow zombies" goes in pretty random directions. And its an argument many nerds like to discuss.

This particular film apparently goes for "super fast zombies"... and I admit, it does make it look a lot more exciting.

Just wait someone will come out with a film featuring "smart zombies"... and then someone else will top it by creating "super smart zombies". Oooooo! Judging by the trailer Brad Pitt's zombies apparently are smart enough to make human pyramids.

The High Tech Superhero

Take two ordinary guys. OK, scratch ordinary. Two extremely rich people.

One is the orphaned son of a murdered billionaire tycoon, the heir to an industrial empire and the most eligible bachelor in Gotham City. At night he dresses up like an oversized bat, and puts his life on the line to fight crime on the city streets.

The other sits at the head of the world’s most advanced weapons and robotics manufacturer, and is a billionaire playboy and genius inventor. With a heart powered by a cutting-edge reactor and a flying suit of robotic armour, he’s doing his best to privatise world peace. Neither man has any supernatural abilities, genetic mutations or extra-terrestrial super-powers. All they have is training, courage, and some of the hottest technology imaginable.

Sadly, imaginable is the operative word – Batman and Iron Man aren’t real. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a real-life Tony Stark facing down an army of killer drones or a real-life Bruce Wayne taking down the mob. Frankly, we’d hate to think of what a Steve Jobs (let alone a Steve Ballmer) might do with a real Iron Man suit. But is there any truth behind the tech? If you were to win the lottery, would you have any hope of fighting crime on, say, the mean streets of Swindon, or does the stuff just not exist?

Well, lets see...

Powered Armour

Bruce Wayne relies on a rack of muscle and stringent combat training to keep him safe, but where would Tony Stark be without high high-tech tin suit? Nowhere. Well, there might be no real Iron Man suit, but that doesn’t mean that work isn’t heading in the right direction.

In 2000, America’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched a program – Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation – with the stated goal of developing “devices and machines that will increase the speed, strength and endurance of soldiers in combat environments.”

Amazingly, the program has resulted in at least two real-life prototypes that might one day see active service. A team at robotics specialist Sarcos – best known for creating the dinosaurs for Universal’s Jurassic Park theme park rides – built XOS, a robotic suit capable of amplifying its wearer’s strength by a factor of 10:1. If you can lift 10Kg, then the suit will lift 100Kg, and in theory do it over and over again without you getting tired quickly.

The really clever stuff happens in how the suit is controlled. Just as the Iron Man suit needs to work in concert with Tony Stark’s body, so the XOS suit needs to understand its wearer’s every movement. The XOS suit’s actuators are controlled by processors and sensors which read movement from the user’s hands and feet, translating each tiny motion into suit movement, instantly and with a surprising degree of finesse. The exoskeleton takes all but the minimum of weight and effort from its wearer, and is responsive enough to allow them to run, jump, box and even throw and catch a ball. It’s not armoured as such, but it’s certainly a kick-ass bit of kit.

The one problem? At the moment XOS only works when tethered to a power-source, and while it’s hoped that this can eventually be integrated in a case or backpack, with the suit regenerating energy while in use, it’s something that – literally – holds the exoskeleton back from active service.

Lockheed Martin’s HULC might not be a full exoskeleton, but this suit, which reinforces and works with muscles in your legs and torso, allows troops to carry up to 90Kg over all terrains and march at speeds of up to 10mph, albeit only for brief periods.

As the suit supports full mobility, its wearers can squat, crawl and lift, with the suit supporting its own weight as they do so. An over the shoulder harness allows the user to manage heavier loads, and there are plans for armed and armoured models in the future. Best of all, it’s powered by lithium ion batteries, each lasting for an hour or so, depending on usage.

HULC is currently under evaluation by the US Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Centre, and is already available for what a Lockheed Martin spokesperson calls “limited application in select groups.” Could this be the basis of a future Iron Man suit, we asked them?

“We see significant potential for this technology in the defense, industrial and medical arenas. As a load-carriage device which augments a person’s endurance and capabilities, this technology can be applied to numerous missions including logistics, infantry, explosive ordnance disposal and chemical and biological defense, to name just a few.”

We’ll take that as a yes.

Exoskeletons and powered armour

Not all the exoskeleton action is taking place in the US. In Japan, Cyberdyne, a company set up by Professor Sankai of the University of Tsukoba, is manufacturing HAL (Hybrid Assisted Limb, pictured right), a gleaming white suit developed, in Sankai’s words, to “upgrade the existing physical capabilities of the human body.” HAL multiplies the user’s strength by a factor of two to 10, with the exoskeleton supporting its own weight. The suit responds to bio-signals running beneath the human skin, interpreting signals going to the wearer’s muscles to mimic his or her movement exactly.

The HAL suit is powered by a battery lasting between three and five hours, and while the first suits on sale are targeted at the medical industry, future applications will include heavy labour and rescue support. Why not add dispensing justice to the list? Professor Sankai certainly seems confident; he’s already built a factory to produce 500 HAL units every year.

Of course, Iron Man’s suit has another function: keeping Tony Stark safe from terrorist machine-gun fire, plasma whips and missile strikes. In real life, even a nickel-titanium alloy suit might not be of much use here: even if the armour withstood every blow, it would still transfer force to the wearer – but some high-tech padding might help. For instance, a foam of carbon nano-tubes – molecular scale tubes of graphite carbon – may be resilient and strong enough to dampen the blow.

There is, however, an alternative to the whole Iron Man concept. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is working with the US military to create a “multi-capability battlesuit” for tomorrow’s troops to wear in the field. MIT is already talking about nano-structure actuators that could give the wearer inhuman strength, and nano-fiber materials that could literally deflect bullets. The battlesuit might even be able to sense toxins in the air and filter them away from the soldier without him or her knowing about it. Frankly, it all makes an Iron Man suit seem so last year, even if the research is years away from bearing real fruit.

For Bruce Wayne, of course, things are easier. In Batman Begins, the Batsuit is based on a ‘Nomex Surivival Suit’, with a neoprene undersuit featuring the same heat-resistant materials used by real firefighters today, covered by bulletproof Kevlar panels and topped with a graphite composite cowl with Kevlar plating – all stuff that’s available right now. In The Dark Knight the suit had evolved. In the words of Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), the suit now featured “hardened Kevlar plates over titanium-dipped tri-weave fibers for flexibility” making Batman, “lighter, faster, more agile.”

All very advanced stuff, but Wayne Industries might want to invest in some more R&D if it wants to keep Batman ahead of the curve. Last year, BAE in Bristol demonstrated an armour system which utilized what’s called ’shear thickening technology.’ Here, tiny particles are suspended in a liquid where, in normal conditions, they repel each other slightly. With a sudden impact, however, the particles instantaneously clump together, creating a hard surface that can stop bullets and dissipate the energy of impact.

BAE’s scientists have referred to the liquid as “bullet-proof custard” on the basis that the two materials share basic properties (and more than that if my mum is cooking). This liquid, when used to treat Kevlar plates or garments, creates materials which bend and flow until you need them – perfect for the average stealthy super-hero. In ballistics tests with a gas gun firing ball-bearing bullets, 10 layers of treated Kevlar outperformed 31 layers of untreated Kevlar, dissipating more of the bullets energy and lessening the deformation of the plates.

An alternative approach uses what’s called a magneto-rheological fluid, where the armour is treated with an oil filled with tiny iron filings. When exposed to a magnetic field, the particles line-up, thickening the fluid and instantly turning thin clothes into solid armour at the flick of a switch. Sadly, while armour and sports equipment which use shear thickening and similar technologies are already entering the market, magneto-rheological fluid armour is still a few years away from practical use.

Finally, don’t forget those carbon nano-tubes.

Massachusetts-based Nanocomp Technologies has already demonstrated carbon nanotube armour plates capable of stopping 9mm bullets while only a few millimeters thick. Working with the US Army Natick Soldier Systems Centre, Nanocomp hopes that carbon nano-tube will be the next-generation of US army body armour. When asked for more details a company spokesman informed us that armour applications were some years away, and might not be suitable for superhero use, but we’re not fooled: a real-life Bruce Wayne is probably getting his first suit as we speak.
Publishing a fantasy book? Make sure you get a professional fantasy book editor.

Study Archery in Toronto

So you want to study archery, but you are having difficulty finding an archery instructor who is local. However there is a solution. If you are willing to travel you can take a crash course in archery in Toronto, Canada. 10 lessons over a two week period will take you from archery novice to an experienced and capable archer.

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