The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #377: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #377: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-377/Podcast%20377.mp3

This week, my brother and I are watching the 1985 film, Young Sherlock Holmes, which we had both seen as kids but not recently.  This is probably both our favorite of the ones we have watched for this series of 80s fantasy films.  This one has many fine elements that make it an enjoyable adventure movie, even if (or perhaps especially if) you’re not that familiar with Sherlock Holmes from the original books.

Young Sherlock Holmes - Rotten Tomatoes

Jeremy and I do a little DnD style interactive adventure ourselves in the latter part of the episode.  You can follow along by using the rule set depicted below.  This was an attempt to come up with a more nuanced combat system with health, stamina, and combinations using an 8 sided die, so picked since the number 8 figures into a lot of Thirteenth Hour imagery, and I wanted to pilot a more advanced combat system for the Thirteenth Hour Patreon DnD campaigns here.

YoungSherlockDnD1

YoungSherlockDnD2

The 3 playable characters

YoungSherlockDnD3

The bad guy

YoungSherlockDnD4

Based on some ideas from the martial arts Sherlock supposedly practiced, bartitsu

YoungSherlockDnD5

YoungSherlockDnD6

Just using an eight sided die …

YoungSherlockDnD7YoungSherlockDnD8

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!  

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #376: Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick on Faith: Book One of the Katana Chronicles and Martial Arts DnD

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #376: Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick on Faith: Book One of the Katana Chronicles and Martial Arts DnD

https://archive.org/download/podcast-376/Podcast%20376.mp3

This week, Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick joins the show as a guest to discuss his martial arts-themed novel, Faith. It’s been awhile since we last worked together, but if you’ve been a listener of the show for awhile, you may recall our collaborations from before around a number of classic martial arts movies – The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Ong Bak, First Strike, Wheels on Meals, Dragons Forever, and Showdown in Little Tokyo. We had a great conversation on various aspects of the story as well as martial arts in general and then wrapped up with a little theater of the mind, using the post-apocalyptic setting as a way to see if it were possible to mesh interactive story telling with nuanced turn based combat.  This ended up being the basis for the combat system piloted in The Thirteenth Hour DnD Patreon mini campaigns.  Click on the cover below to find your own copy:

Faith - The Katana Chronicles Book 1 - Autographed

If you happen to read this in time, you may be interested in an event that Whistlekick is hosting, Free Training Day, which is exactly like what it sounds like (a day of martial arts training, various styles, no cost, no ego) being held in Keene, NH on 11/12/22.  If you happen to be there, you may see some Thirteenth Hour swag floating around …

Next week! Just in time for Halloween, my brother and I revisit Young Sherlock Holmes!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #371: Making a Rocketeer Figure Mold, Thirteenth Hour Figure Updates, Dragon Fall Reading Part 6, and More

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #371: Making a Rocketeer Figure Mold, Thirteenth Hour Figure Updates, Dragon Fall Reading Part 6, and More

https://archive.org/download/podcast-371/Podcast%20371.mp3

This week, I’ve been finishing up the Thirteenth Hour action figures.  I’ve gotten almost all of them put together and am now putting on the finishing touches.  I ended up revising the color scheme when I had to redo all the limbs so be simpler and now am glad I did – no shading, brighter colors – simpler, just like the original 5 points of articulation Kenner figures of the 70s and 80s.  Logan and Aurora on Lightning below.  Aside from some finishing touches, I just need to add some clear blue-green resin to the console on Lightning the hoverboard’s front.  You can see a slight depression there at the front, near Aurora’s feet, where the clear resin will go.

img_8888

Hopefully, some of the knowledge gained there will help when making 5 points of articulation Rocketeer figures.  I just finished the mold this week.  It’s always exciting to see if your hard work and planning will pay off when you crack open the mold for the first time.   

img_8889

In the second part of the pod, we are finishing Chapter 4 in Dragon Fall (1984) by Lee J Hindle.  

BKTG06250

More from Dragon Fall next week!  Soon – stay tuned for podcast exclusive episodes with actors Catherine Mary Stewart (about Night of the Comet) and Billy Campbell (about the Rocketeer) that you can unlock!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #370: A Look Back at 80s Choose Your Own Adventure/Endless Quest Style Books, DnD, and Dragon Fall Reading Part 5

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #370: A Look Back at 80s Choose Your Own Adventure/Endless Quest Style Books, DnD, and Dragon Fall Reading Part 5

https://archive.org/download/podcast-370/Podcast%20370.mp3

This week, I’m taking a little trip down memory lane, talking about some of the Choose Your Own Adventure style books I recall liking as a kid. 

Endless Quest Series OneTime Machine #06: Rings of Saturn: Cover, Arthur: 9780553244243:  Amazon.com: BooksBattleblade Warrior - Fighting Fantasy Books 31: Ian Livingstone, Steve  Jackson, Marc Gascoigne: 9780140324129: Amazon.com: Books

One of the show’s previous guests, Chad Derdowski (on episodes 107, 108, and 119), wrote and illustrated his own (hilarious, I might add) 80s inspired Choose Your Own Adventure style fantasy books, Fortune Favors the Bold and its sequel that are brilliant.  Look up his work on IG here!

I’ve been reminded of books like these since I’ve been working on something specific for Patreon members – a Thirteenth Hour specific Dungeons & Dragons style series of scenarios.  I’m modding an existing rpg platform called Quest and adding some additions to the combat system to allow for more nuance there and hopefully make it less dependent on pure luck.  Patreon members – stay tuned.

My brother, Jeremy, wrote an article on his blog about the one issue of Dragon magazine we had as kids.  We read it often (even though we didn’t understand what it was about) due to the great fantasy art and the fact we knew it was about games, and though we couldn’t really comprehend what role playing games were, the game books, the imagery, the rep (Satanic panic and all), and the miniatures all made it an alluring mystery.

And another Jeremy!  Shout out also to a different Jeremy – Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick.  We’ll be recording a show this week about his martial arts-themed novel, Faith.  Maybe we’ll even get to discuss some of these things in the context of his story.

In the second part of the pod, we are starting Chapter 4 in Dragon Fall (1984) by Lee J Hindle.  

BKTG06250

More from Dragon Fall next week!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #366: Adding a Synth Layer to “I’m Here, You’re Not” and Reading from Dragon Fall, by Lee J. Hindle, Part 2 (1984)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #366: Adding a Synth Layer to “I’m Here, You’re Not” and Reading from Dragon Fall, by Lee J. Hindle, Part 2 (1984)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-366/Podcast%20366.mp3

This week, we’re doing two things – adding to a track we started in episode 364 and reading another segment from Dragon Fall by Lee J. Hindle.  The track I’ll be adding to is for the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack album.  It’s an additional layer to complement what we did before.  I also came up with a variation of it for another part of the book that uses the same central theme; just a different voicing. 

We will also be starting Chapter 2 of the 1984 novel, Dragon Fall. It’s pure 80s overload!

BKTG06250

More coming in subsequent weeks!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #365: Reading from Dragon Fall, by Lee J. Hindle, Part 1 (1984)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #365: Reading from Dragon Fall, by Lee J. Hindle, Part 1 (1984)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-365/Podcast%20365.mp3

This week, we’re starting to read from a short fantasy novel from 1984, Dragon Fall.  When I was reading some reviews of it, people mentioned they liked it, though there were plenty of 80s references that might get annoying if you weren’t into things that might date a book (not a negative in my mind).  It seems like the sort of thing that would come right out the era of Dungeons and Dragons, heavy metal, and the Satanic panic. 

More coming in subsequent weeks!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #363: Starting to Make Video Games Again!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #363: Starting to Make Video Games Again!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-363/Podcast%20363.mp3

This week, I talk a bit about two upcoming projects – starting to make video games again after a few decades of not doing it!  Though I’ve used a number of the animations and sprites I made in various things, most recently the music video of Logan using the music Jeff Finley and I made, for the most part most of the work I did making games using engines like Klik ‘N Play and The Games Factory sat mostly unused all these years.  But every now and then, I’d take a look at the games making software out there, since the dream of making a Thirteenth Hour game in some capacity has never really gone away.  Fast forward to now, and I discovered a freeware games making program called GDevelop, which seems to have the abilities of the programs I used before with more user-friendliness.   So, I decided to learn how to use the program by making a simple, one level game of the Rocketeer where he runs, shoots, and flies to escape from a facility where he’s (almost) been taken captive.  Turns out, I’ve been able to reuse some of the animations I did in the past, which has saved a lot of work of creating everything from scratch.

rocketeer idlerocketeer run

So, more updates to come as I learn the program and advance the game!  

Speaking of games, the second project I’m working on is learning more about becoming a DM to be able to host DnD games set in the Thirteenth Hour universe for Patreon members.  So far, I’m looking at modifying some of the existing systems out there to fit the world and the ideas I have.  So stay tuned!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #353: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Mazes and Monsters (1982)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #353: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About Mazes and Monsters (1982)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-353/Podcast%20353.mp3

This week, Jeremy and I are tackling the 1982 TV movie, Mazes and Monsters!  This was a movie (based on a novel by Rona Jaffe) released in the midst of the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons as well as the public fear/backlash of the Satanic panic and all that.  Not surprisingly, it’s a bit of a shlock fest, but we have a surprisingly nuanced discussion on a variety of topics related to the film, role playing games and adjacent activities, distant parents, 80s social panics, steam tunnels, and more.  You can watch the film for free on Tubi (click on the VHS cover below to watch) 

Mazes and Monsters (TV Movie 1982) - IMDb

Ironically, the showing of this TV movie was sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, who acquired the stomach discomfort drug Pepto Bismo also in 1982!

Mazes and Monsters (TV Movie 1982) - IMDb

Mazes and Monsters (TV Movie 1982) - IMDb

The main cast of Mazes and Monsters with their characters and game paraphernalia.  Below, the article about the book the film is based on from the 7/1983 issue of Dragon magazine is below.

dragon1dragon2

There are a few things that are notably positive about the film that I think deserve some mention.  I liked the scene where two of the characters are painting their miniatures.  I liked the fact they had game notebooks.  Then there’s the interesting subject of gender, which has an interesting history in DnD.

I think it was notable that the story actually included a female character at all, and she took a more active role in the story (the fact the book was written by a woman may have had something to do with it).  Glacia (Kate Finch) was the party’s only fighter, which I think is notable since Dungeons and Dragons was still fairly overtly unbalanced in its gender roles.  At the time of the filming of this game, DnD was still in its first edition, where female characters of different races had lower stats (e.g. lower strength) and the game was generally written using only male pronouns (e.g. “fighting men”).  Although the female : male player ratio is more even today (about 60% male : 40 % female), it was apparently much more male dominated at the time (estimated around 10 % female in one source I found). 

As we talk about in the episode, DnD drew heavily from earlier (more male dominated) historical wargames, so it’s interesting to hear what female players of the time thought of it (here’s a interview with RPG pioneer Jean Wells, the first woman hired by TSR).  However, my main exposure to DnD as a kid in the 80s came not from the actual game but from TSR’s Endless Quest books, many of whom were written by a woman, Rose Estes, a TSR employee who, like many other women of the time, was frustrated at the male centric nature of the game and the play – centered around stats, dungeon crawls, and combat – which she felt took away from the telling of a cohesive story. 

So I think it is admirable that this film gave the fighter class role to a woman, who, though she does feature in a requisite love triangle, is not passive in her involvement in the main story.  She seems to be the only one for most of the film that actually owns a car, and the movie does not relegate her to passenger status in favor of having one of the male characters drive it.  Again, perhaps the film was just staying true to the original source material, but in that case, good on them for not changing it. 

Also, as mentioned in the episode, my interpretation of the film’s ending differed from most of thoughts found in the reviews I read at the time or since.  As much as the game was depicted as an experience potentially blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, I thought they also seemed to be saying that this was a way, separate from the world of distant adults, where four lonely young adults could connect with each other.  Such is the power of make believe (normally relegated to the word of children), even, in the end, cutting through psychosis.   When I saw it, the ending seemed to be saying that while aspects of day to day adult reality can be drab, disconnected, and limiting, it doesn’t have to be that way as long as there is still a human connection that binds people together.

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!  We will be back with another look at another fine piece of cinema!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #337: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About The Black Cauldron (1985)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #337: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About The Black Cauldron (1985)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-337/Podcast%20337.mp3

This week, my brother, Jeremy, rejoins the show to talk about the 1985 Disney film, The Black Cauldron.  The film is loosely based on the first two books in the Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander, a series I was sort of introduced to as a kid when I bought The Black Cauldron book in a school book fair since it had the cover of the movie, like this one:  

The Black Cauldron: Boxed Set of 5 Books by Lloyd Alexander - Paperback -  1980 - from Books In Time (SKU: 320155)

The film poster usage for the cover of the novel is a bit misleading since the majority of the plot to the film is actually from the first book in the series, The Book of Three, which I was unaware of at the time.  So, it’s not surprising it didn’t make much sense.  However, we did have this Scholastic comic adaptation of the film which we found at a yard sale and read many times in childhood:

Black Cauldron GN (1985 Scholastic) comic books

You can find copies on eBay periodically (click on the picture above to search):

Here’s the theatrical trailer and some screencaps:

Pin on Cosplay Ideas

The Black Cauldron - Classic Disney Image (29480426) - Fanpop

An Urgent Question About 'The Black Cauldron' – The Dot and Line

The Black Cauldron (1985) Review |BasementRejects

Disney Rumored To Be Working On Live Action Remake of 'The Black Cauldron'  - mxdwn Movies

10 Spooky Disney Movies That Brought the Horror! - Bloody Disgusting

The film had to be cut for length and content.  Here is the first in a series of videos that has deleted scenes from the film:

As a part of discussing the film, we also discuss a bit on the computer game made by Sierra.  Some screenshots:

The Black Cauldron gameplay (PC Game, 1986) - YouTube

Download The Black Cauldron | DOS Games Archive

The Black Cauldron Screenshots for DOS - MobyGames

A full playthrough:

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.  Thanks, Jeremy, for coming on the show!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #328: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About DnD and Red Sonja (1985)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #328: Welcome My Brother, Jeremy, as We Talk About DnD and Red Sonja (1985)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-328/Podcast%20328.mp3

This week, my brother, Jeremy, rejoins the show to talk about movie we watched a fair amount as a kid, 1985’s Red Sonja.  Neither of us had seen it in decades and we honestly weren’t expecting much, but I asked Jeremy if he’d want to join me in rewatching it given all the experience he’s had the last few years with tabletop role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons.  From what I had recalled, it seemed like an example of those games in live action, and I was curious to see what he thought.  Suffice to say, Jeremy did a deep dive and more than delivered, which you can hear if you check out the episode.  I had always operated under the assumption that 1986’s Howard the Duck was the first real Marvel comic book movie, but you could make a case for Red Sonja, which was under license by Marvel at the time, though there’s no mention of it in the credits from what I recall.   Click on the picture below to watch:

img_5550

If watching the whole film is not your bag, check out this 8 min compilation of some great lines plus the trailer.  You’ll get the basic gist of the film and perhaps learn a thing or two, like why it’s important to not grip your hilt too tight (important life skill courtesy of Red Sonja that is generalizable beyond sword play, though I’m not exactly sure how).

Check out Jeremy‘s work over at Pixel Grotto, CBR.com, and Classic Batman Panels on IG.  You can support his work on Ko-fi and get access to in-depth, exclusive Batman content here.   If you are of the DnD persuasion, his articles on DnD Beyond may be right up your alley.

 

img_5555

 

In toymaking news, I’ve been working on all these Beverlys!  There is also a connection to our 1985 film above.  A year after, we would, of course, see the film version of Beverly Switzler, another lead heroine, but one of a considerably less violent nature, the one depicted in the figurine above.  Her costume in the film was equally impractical as Red Sonja’s but a lot less revealing than that of Red Sonja’s.  There’s another connection, though.  The very first issue of Howard the Duck featured a vaguely Red Sonja like character (it’s Beverly, though it’s presented kind of as a dream) in a parody of a Conan / DnD story.  There’s even an appearance of everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood webslinger for some off-the-wall reason (the original comics were pretty bonkers).

img_5563img_5564img_5565img_5566img_5567img_5568

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
Continue reading

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #252 and Like a Hood Ornament 12: Welcome back Jeremy, Max, and Antonio – Nirvana Pilot Yume Redux and Fragments of the Past (Part 2/2)

Episode #252 and Like a Hood Ornament 12: Welcome back Jeremy, Max, and Antonio – Nirvana Pilot Yume Redux and Fragments of the Past (Part 2/2)

https://archive.org/download/podcast-252/Podcast%20252.mp3

On this week’s show, my brother, Jeremy, and I continue the conversation with European game developer team Dev9k (Massimiliano ‘Haematinon’ Nigro and Antonio Scacchetti), who, aside from last week, were last on the show in episode 123.  At the time, they had recently released the 80s anime / Skyroads inspired video game, Nirvana Pilot Yume, for the PC.  Today, we’re mostly discussing Massimiliano’s recent fantasy art book, Fragments of the Past, including how his world came to be, how he did his illustrations, how myth holds up a mirror to reality, and the extensive role historical research had in the creation of the world in the story.

Below are some pictures from the book.  According to Max, aside from the research entailed, the paintings, on average, took about a week to do.

The beautiful poem that Max reads at the end of the show, “The Last Fragment” is here.  The imagery reminds be a lot of the poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Coleridge (about Xanadu).

img_1178img_1179

777261cc-33ff-42cb-b641-368622356139

In the intro, I discuss a few segments from The Smithsonian Book of Flight by Walter Boyne, where Hermes, the Greek messenger of the Gods, was often featured in the golden age of aviation when it came to flight. Here’s an art deco painting from the book showing Hermes leading zeppelins and airplanes into the future:

img_1181

I’ve also been meaning to do this for weeks given the name of this segment of the podcast (“Like a Hood Ornament”) but never got around to having a segment on actual art deco hood ornaments from the era that tie Greek mythology (Icarus, perhaps?) to flight.  Here are some reputedly from a late 1920s Cadillac LaSalle.  You can find these on Etsy as well as auction sites.

hoodornamnet

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #248 and Like a Hood Ornament 8 – My Brother Jeremy Comes on the Show to Discuss DnD Alignment of Thirteenth Hour and Rocketeer Characters!

Episode #248 – My Brother Jeremy Comes on the Show to Discuss DnD Alignment of Thirteenth Hour and Rocketeer Characters!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-248/Podcast%20248.mp3

This week, my brother Jeremy joins the show to discuss Dungeon Dragons alignments of characters in The Thirteenth Hour books and in The Rocketeer.  Read more about Jeremy’s response about fantasy races and alignment here.

You can find these alignment charts around on the internet, and while some of those were probably done as fun or funny memes, the concept of figuring out a character’s alignment along good vs. evil, lawful vs. chaotic, and neutral vs. not helps to develop a character and make him or her more fleshed out and 3 dimensional in terms of psychological motivation, so it can be a useful tool for a writer, even if you’re not a DnD player.

Here are the ones we discussed as well as some unofficial archetypes (“knight, judge, etc”) I found for each online.  You may disagree, as there’s a lot of subjectivity in what makes a character fit a certain alignment (Image made via this site: https://imgflip.com/memegenerator/73659174/Alignment-Chart), but that’s part of the fun of the discussion.

Thirteenth hour alignments

Lawful Good – “The Knight” – like Jake, the unofficial leader of the Imperial Rangers in The Thirteenth Hour and Empty Hands.  He is by-the-book, rule abiding, believes in the hierarchical structure of the military, and a stand up, straightforward guy who takes his job and unofficial leadership position seriously.  Picture from Empty Hands.

Lawful Neutral – “The Judge” – no picture from the book, but probably many of the Imperial Army soldiers might fall in this category.  They are there to do a job, whether they agree with it or not.  The Head General believes in maintaining the order and the rank hierarchy of the military.  He believes in following protocol and in protecting his men and the military budget but is not above a little bribery from the King, who he does not especially respect but still follows (since its his job).

Lawful Evil – “The Overlord” – King Darian is the narcissistic, spoiled monarch of Tartec that decides that he wants to live forever and creates a whole plan to send members of his military to the ends of the Earth so he can get what he wants.  He wheedles, bribes, and complains his way into getting what he wants, and when that fails, he is not above threats and the wanton loss of life if it serves his own means.  However, as the King, he does believe in law and order as a well a certain religious scrupulosity to serve social order.  Picture from The Thirteenth Hour.

Neutral Good – “The Hero” – Aurora is a kind, warm, good-hearted person who believes in following one’s dreams, even if they don’t necessarily align with societal norms.  At the start of The Thirteenth Hour, she is a 19 year old, single female who never knew her parents (to her knowledge) and was raised in an orphanage, which provided a good chunk of stability and allowed her some shelter from societal norms for young women of her village (marriage, childbearing, homemaking – all of which she considers boring).  Because of that or because she would have always been an independent thinker, ideas around what is expected, good, or bad, are somewhat subjective to her.  Picture from The Thirteenth Hour.

Neutral Neutral / True Neutral – “The Outsider” – there aren’t a lot of characters in The Thirteenth Hour that fit this alignment, though some of the animals in the story probably would fit, like sea serpents and dragons.  They are separate from the whims and politics of mankind, and while they may attack, destroy, and kill, they are generally doing so since their territory has been invaded, the same way any animal might defend its turf.  The dragon picture was from The Thirteenth Hour.

Neutral Evil – “The Villain” – while the character Klax is a more sympathetic villain than he might have been, there’s no doubt he isn’t an especially nice person – he imprisons Logan and Aurora to fulfill his own desires, he is physically, verbally, and mentally abusive to both characters, and holds a long standing grudge against his biological brother, so the thirst for revenge, even at the expense to others, motivates a lot of his actions.  Age has somewhat softened his resolve and hatred, and he does have some fairly well defined goals in mind, leading him to have some fairly liberal internal guidelines about what is acceptable vs. not.  Picture from The Thirteenth Hour.

Chaotic Good – “The Rebel” – while Logan could also fit in the neutral good category, he leans a little more heavily towards the chaotic side, since, like Aurora, societal norms and (some) laws seem subjective and relative to him.  Like Aurora, he was raised mostly in an orphanage, which provided (ironically) a higher level of education that some of this peers, since both he and Aurora were never adopted.  He spends what free time he has dreaming and thinking, and that, plus a naturally curious mind, means that to some degree, he marches to the beat of his own drummer.  In Empty Hands, he aligns with the “void” element, suggesting that he tends to pull from the other elements (earth, water, wind, fire) intuitively and is not locked into one or another.  Picture from The Thirteenth Hour.

Chaotic Neutral – “The Nomad” – one of the Imperial Rangers in The Thirteenth Hour and Empty Hands, Aron, kind of fits this category.  While he can have his moments (like when he comes up with a plan to row into the open water to distract an attacking sea serpent), he does not follow any particular vision or moral code for himself and tends to respond to whatever thought or urge passes through his mind.  As a result, he is quite impulsive with a short attention span, so ideas (like the sea serpent plan), tend to fairly superficial.  He enjoys gambling, though it’s a punishable felony in the military, but would probably do better if he could keep his pride in check.  While naturally athletic, his fighting style has more flash than substance and can be unpredictable, which makes it hard for his teammates to be able to depend on him.  Picture from Empty Hands.

Chaotic Evil – “The Psychopath” – there really isn’t anyone in The Thirteenth Hour books that fit this alignment, as even Klax and Darian have their scruples.

Let’s try the same exercise with the characters from the Rocketeer universe.

777261cc-33ff-42cb-b641-368622356139

This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks.  Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!”  The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!

rocketter alignments

Lawful Good – “The Knight” – pictured is agent Fitch, a FBI agent working to recover the stolen rocketpack for Howard Hughes, its inventor in the film.  I debated who would best fit this category but figured that the police and FBI agents involved were doing what they thought was right (recovering stolen property, upholding the law), and mainly were antagonists to Cliff because he was essentially stealing / borrowing someone else’s property and refusing to give it back.  While they’re seen as foils to the hero in the film, they’re upholding what they feel are societal norms.  While they could slap many more charges on Cliff, in the end, they don’t, making them decent enough folks in my book.

Lawful Neutral – “The Judge” – I wasn’t sure who exactly to put there but figured that like the G-men, the German stormtroopers were also just doing a job.  While the individual soldiers may not have agreed with the mission, the German WW2 agenda, or the Nazi party line, they were following orders from a superior.  It wasn’t their job to question whether it was right or wrong, and if asked to fight, that’s what they were supposed to do.  Although Germans are usually put in the villainous category in WW2 movies made in former Allied countries, there were probably plenty who were just fighting for their country like anybody else but just happened to be on the losing side of history, which is obviously subjective depends of who writes it.  The aircrew of the German zeppelin could also fit this alignment.

Lawful Evil – “The Overlord” – Eddie Valentine, the crime boss in the film tasked with the “snatch ‘n grab” job of retrieving the rocketpack for actor Neville Sinclair fits this alignment.  While he operates on the wrong side of the law, he tries to run his syndicate as a businessman, with his arms in the operations of a swank LA nightclub, the South Seas Club, and seems to be fair to his men.  We also find out at the end of the film he has his own personal code – “I may not earn an honest buck, but I’m 100% American.  I don’t work for no two-bit Nazi.”

Neutral Good – “The Hero” – Jenny Blake is an aspiring actress in the film (Betty was her name in the comic, where instead of an actress, she was a glamour model like her namesake, Bettie Page).  Like Aurora, she is an independent thinker and can take care of herself, though doing so may put her at odds with the establishment and/or convention.  Although it ultimately isn’t a successful ruse, she uses guile to lure Neville Sinclair close enough to knock him out by hitting him with a flower pot, enabling her to sneak into his secret room, try to call for help, and snatch the rocket plans that Lothar had stolen from Peevy.  Not exactly the actions of  the truly lawful, but certainly not the actions of someone in the story “to just do a lot of screaming” (to paraphrase something Aurora said).

Neutral Neutral / True Neutral – “The Outsider” – Howard Hughes, the Cirrus X-3’s creator, marches to the beat of his own drummer but is beholden to no one but himself, as he has the funds, skills, and resources to be able to cooperate at his own discretion, as he mentions to the military brass at one point.  While he helps Cliff, you get the sense he is doing so for his own reasons.  He may lean toward the good category at times, given his natural scientific curiosity and mistrust of government intervention (“your gentlemen in Washington want to turn anything that flies into a weapon!”), leading him to be protective of those working under him.  There is a character in the comic called Jonas (an ode to the Shadow) who seems quite similar.

Neutral Evil – “The Villain” – Lothar in the film, Neville Sinclair’s giant of a henchman, while just doing a job, seems to have some sadistic methods (breaking people in half, twisting them into pretzels).  He’s a bit different in the comic book, but in the film, he seems cruel, putting him in the evil category.  If you have any doubt, look at his expression when he encounters Cliff and Jenny (both unarmed) on top the zeppelin.  He whips out a switchblade and cackles as only a bona fide villain would.  He is, however, operating for a paycheck, and I somehow doubt he would care one way or another about the rocketpack if not being paid.

Chaotic Good – “The Rebel” – like Logan, Cliff, is an inherently good-hearted person who sometimes gets in trouble inadvertently or bumbles his way through things.  He is more hot headed in the comic book than in the film, but even there, spends much of the film evading the law.  You get the sense that while he might not naturally be the kind of person who deliberately chooses to be the hero, he doesn’t hesitate to put himself in the line of fire to help other people if the situation calls for it.  You also get the sense that if you were in his shoes, you’d be feeling a lot like him.  He was one of my main influences for creating Logan’s personality in The Thirteenth Hour.

Chaotic Neutral – “The Nomad” – in the comic book, Lothar is somewhat of a tragic figure.  While he serves as a villain, he is doing so out of revenge.  He doesn’t hesitate to break the law in his relentless pursuit of people who he thinks were involved in a past crime which turned him against the world.  However, he seems to act mostly out of his own independent, free will, even if misguided, making him quite different from the movie version of his personality.

Chaotic Evil – “The Psychopath” – I debated giving Neville Sinclair this alignment, but his actions in the latter part of the movie show his truer colors, and not only does he break multiple laws and societal conventions, but he is pretty unpredictable, turning suddenly on people he formally allied with.  Not to mention he drugs Jenny and tries to take advantage of her, making him one of *those* Hollywood guys.  Definitely evil.

Agree or disagree?  Comment below if you are so inclined!

Stay tuned for more Rocketeer talk next week!  Stay safe!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #75: My Brother Visits – Reflections on 80s Movies Part 2 of 2 

Episode #75: Reflections on 80s Stuff Part 2: Video Games, Miniatures, and More Movies

https://archive.org/download/Podcast75_201701/Podcast%2075.mp3

We talk more sci-fi and fantasy movies from the 80s this episode … like this one:

Image result for howard the duck

My brother, who you may remember as my first phone guest in Episode #30, recently visited for the holidays.  We did an in studio recording while trying to paint little plastic miniatures for the sequel to The Thirteenth Hour while discussing 80s movies and games we’d both enjoyed as kids.  This is part 2.  You can find part 1 here.  We continue reflecting on 80s films in this episode and touch on a few favorite video games from the 8 bit era as well.

Here are some of the movies and games we talk about:

-Ladyhawke

-Legend (see the Tom Cruise running clip here)

-Highlander

-Highlander: The Animated Series (you can watch the series on youtube)

-E.T.

-Earth to Echo (a modern homage to E.T.)

-The Iron Giant (80s in nature)

-The Back to the Future trilogy

-Howard the Duck (here are some clips set to music from the movie with vocals by Lea Thompson and appearances by Jeffrey Jones and Tim Robbins – Don’t Turn Away and the ending song where Howard pulls some Marty McFly guitar riffs onstage).

-Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (that scene where the Jennifer Grey character kicks the Jeffrey Jones principal character in the noggin a few times)

-Conan (scenes where Conan abuses the quadrapeds)

Conan the Adventurer cartoon

-Quest for Glory

-Gauntlet …

As I mentioned last week, while were having this conversation, we were trying to paint little miniatures from Hero Forge, a site that allows you to create more or less custom miniatures (I made Logan and Aurora for the sequel to The Thirteenth Hour).  We had no idea what we were doing, really, though I got a lot of good tips from Mhawkinsart and Knives_mcdougal on Instagram.  Here are some pics of the process:

2017-01-05-16-29-22

It was messy …

2017-01-05-16-28-20

My first attempt at painting Aurora …  She kind of reminds me of an amphibian here.

2017-01-05-16-29-12

Doing the faces was really hard …

2017-01-06-01-41-50

Yup … none of these guys are going to win beauty awards … not that appearances are everything …

2017-01-10-00-07-22

My second attempt at doing Logan – now he looks like a burn victim.

logan-final

The final attempt – now Logan looks like Mickey Mouse!  But I’ve lost patience to it again …

aurora-final

…but Aurora I think looks a bit better … the whole process of painting these little guys reminds me of soldering electronics (never was great at that) or trying to pipet things in a lab (bad memories from college), but it was cool to see the final effect.  There’s one more figured to go … you’ll see periodic updates on Instagram.

You can follow Jeremy on Twitter and Instagram as well to get real-time updates and his unique insights into games and how we play them.  He’s written a number of insightful articles on his Tumblr blog.  Here are some representative articles on the Lone Wolf game books and Quest for Glory (also here). 

 

Happy New Year, and thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #74: My Brother Visits – Reflections on 80s Movies Part 1 of 2 

Episode #74: Reflections on 80s Stuff: Dungeons and Dragons, Choose Your Adventure Books, and Movies

https://archive.org/download/Podcast74_201701/Podcast%2074.mp3

We talk sci-fi and fantasy movies from the 80s this episode … 

My brother, who you may remember as my first phone guest in Episode #30, recently visited for the holidays.  We did an in studio recording while trying to paint little plastic miniatures for the sequel to The Thirteenth Hour while discussing 80s movies and games we’d both enjoyed as kids.  We took the opportunity to rewatch a few, including Willow and The Last Starfighter, and I recently rewatched E.T., so those adult reflections on beloved children’s impressions formed a core of this episode.  Here are some of the films we touch on:

-E.T.

-Willow

-The Last Starfighter

-Labyrinth

-The Dark Crystal

-War Games

-Flight of the Navigator …

Since it’s quite long, I’ve broken the talk into two segments.  The last segment, which also talks a little on video games, will come out next week.

While we are having this conversation, We were trying to paint little miniatures from Hero Forge, a site that allows you to create more or less custom miniatures (I made Logan and Aurora for the sequel to The Thirteenth Hour).  We had no idea what we were doing, really, though I got a lot of good tips from Mhawkinsart and Knives_mcdougal on Instagram.  We did our best, but since it was basically our first time doing, some parts were pretty shite, and the faces came out pretty dysmorphic.  So I’ll post those later.  But Jeremy made this picture of our initial attempt:

Happy New Year, and thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!