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Dungeons and Dragons: An Overview

By Zeeman Haus

Know ye now of days gone by where elves ruled and dragons flew? Know ye not? Well I'm going to tell you a thing or two about Dungeons and Dragons so you can impress all your friends.

D&D began in 1974 and saw its climax in the mid-80s as one of the guilty pleasures of the "geek" crowd. Though that is an inaccurate description of its players, the public perception was that the game was the loner "smart kids" were the game's marketing demographic. The fact of the matter is, D&D was a lot like marijuana for the imagination; everyone tried it, but not everyone admitted in inhaling.

Dungeons and Dragons could be considered a board game as well and a role playing game. It does, after all, have a "board" or map that players will have to navigate. There are game pieces to be used, but all similarity ends there. The dice used is the beginning of the divergence from the "normal" board game.

The game is heavily dependent on the roll of the dice. Unlike other games your game piece- pardon me, character can only move so many spaces a turn, or round. The dice determine combat scores (roll for a hit) and success of spells and other factors, such as whether or not your character will be turned into a goat and for how long. By goat, we mean literally, a goat, it's happened. The kicker is that the dice are not your standard 6 sided variety. They come in an amazing assortment of sides and colors.

Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Half-Elves and Halflings are all races that can be played through 99.9% of the mods; they are the base classes. Each of these races has areas of strength and weakness. Which one is chosen as the character to be played will help in determining the class of the character.

Class is what the character does for the group or party. The four main classes are: Warriors, who provide strength and tenacity and are the "shock troops" of the group. Wizards, which lack the Warrior's strength and stamina, but have the ability to use magic. Priests, which are the healers of the game and will keep a party moving forward without having to stop and heal "naturally." And Thieves, which specialize is stealth, trap detection and lock picking. There are infinite combinations of these classes, from Paladin knights to Rangers, but typically, these are considered the main character types.

The alignment of the character is the character's moral stance; good, neutral or evil. Since this is a role-playing game, this is also how your character will interact with other characters. Being an evil character does not mean you can eat another party member's hot pocket if they fall asleep on the couch, but it does mean that your character might argue with say, one of the "good guys". This adds a little something to the game. So does your character's level. The level of your character is based on what you've accomplished while playing them. With every battle won and quest completed, the player is awarded experience points, which when added to points already accumulated, will "level" a character. Higher levels mean more options as characters will gain strength and new skills with each new level achieved.

Part of the lure of Dungeons and Dragons has been its ability to adapt and how the game will allow players to adapt it to their specific tastes. This brief article is but a sliver of the options and game play of the D&D realm. What's amazing is that the game is still alive in certain gaming circles and still played today, proving to not be a fad. So if you missed it at its pinnacle, you can still drop by the local comic book shop, check the bulletin board and buy what you need! - 30647

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Plenty of Short Book Reviews

By Annette Lybacki

The Ha-Ha by Dave King: Dave King avoids easy answers and neat resolutions to Howard's dilemma. Howard knows that eventually Sylvia will come home and Ryan will leave his house. He's afraid that his life will revert to the way it was before Ryan came, and now that he's had a taste of something better, he can't go back to that again. He also doesn't know if there's anything he can do about it.

The Havana Room by Colin Harrison: Still, The Havana Room manages to capture the soul of a city, although it's not an honorable one. New York is as complex as the characters within The Havana Room and just as full of secrets and desires for more. Perhaps the city is really the central character here, flawed, beautiful, and impossible to understand. Within its scope, Colin Harrison paints a portrait of a man struggling to understand himself and his place within it, and to give up wanting more and appreciate what he has. Enjoy the secrets of The Havana Room.

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner: With Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner have given us a new way to look at our world. This is a short book, about 200 pages, and reads very quickly. As each story gleaned from the data unfolds, you'll find yourself surprised, laughing, and reading passages aloud to someone else. It is like a treasure hunt, with little secrets unearthed that were there in plain sight much of the time. The authors have created a book that is both entertaining and educational. The last thing you should do, though, is take my word for it. Get a copy and find out for yourself.

His Illegal Self by Peter Carey: His Illegal Self is not an easy story to read, and it's tedious at times waiting for any sense of hope to come to its characters' lives. It's the characters that are the highlight of this novel, though, and Peter Carey's expert handling of their relationships and emotions that binds it all together in a flurry of emotions that buffets the reader as well.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris: It's sentences like that grab your attention with his off-kilter way of telling about his life that makes you want to find out what it's all about. Fortunately, David Sedaris continues to deliver on the promise with more interesting, funny, and thought-provoking parts of his life. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is a welcome addition to his private literary genre and a gift to the world that can always use more laughter. My time spent with David Sedaris passed too quickly, but this is a book that can be read again when a dose of laughter is needed. If you haven't read any of his work before, this is a fine place to start. If you're a fan of David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is one you must read.

The Ghost by Robert Harris: Following Robert Harris' own explanation, The Ghost feels true. His characters act like we believe politicians would, and his intrigue and secrets, while surprising within the story, are unsurprising in the world of political theater where the ends often justify the means. While Adam Lang is not Tony Blair, Harris' outrage at recent history hits the nail on the head. The Ghost rises above political thriller to an eye-opening examination of the recent past and current issues. Whatever literary or political points he meant to score with The Ghost, Robert Harris has done so in both a thought-provoking and entertaining way.

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips: Despite a few bumps along the way and some mean, pernicious behavior of the gods, Gods Behaving Badly eventually rescues itself from the traps it must avoid. When it tends to get repetitious or too over the top, Marie Phillips guides it back to a scene or setting that highlights human foibles or insights, and the novel is back on the road to being an entertaining read. Once Neil and Alice are confident enough to take over the novel, it glides full of humor to its immortal conclusion. Gods Behaving Badly is an original concept wrapped around a familiar theme, and the combination of the unique setting, absurd and lecherous as it is, with a sweet love story makes it a successful debut novel for Marie Phillips. While you can't necessarily count on the gods to do the right thing, reading Gods Behaving Badly is a safe bet for any reader.

The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard: All this makes The Great Fire an easy book to put down, and difficult to read at times. Ultimately, there's little invested in the characters besides some gentle interest as to how each of their stories would play out. The plot, whether it be the love story or the different reactions by each character to the postwar world, is slight and never consuming. Others may be able to look past these shortcomings and indulge themselves in the fine literary qualities presented in this novel, and enjoy it much more than I did. For me, it was like going to a movie or a play where the scenery was perfectly captured, the costumes entertaining and optimally chosen for each character, and the acting brilliant, except they forgot to wrap it around an engaging story. Perhaps sitting back and enjoying the presentation can be an enjoyable experience, if you can live without the story. The Great Fire, despite its praise and award, was a disappointing book because of its inability to foster much interest in the lives of the people within it. - 30647

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Watch Legion Online

By Jennifer Smith

It's funny how I keep getting asked how to watch Legion online? 2010's latest action thriller Legion certainly looks very promising. But is there a place to However is there a site online where one can watch Legion online? We searched all over the net looking for a place to watch Legion online via a stream however found little success. But did we find a working Legion stream?

First of all,what is Legion? Legion is 2010's latest action thriller telling the tale of a band of survivors as they have to battle God himself, fighting for the survival of mankind.. God has grown tired of Man's inability to maintain peace, and use earth as a dustbin. Now he has had enough, and only the Archangel Michael has had to come to the rescue in a last ditch attempt to save the planet

Legion is predicted to be a huge success at the box office. I think it shall definitely be a big contender for 2010's many awards.. So do we say you should go see it? Definitely. Where you watch it however is up to you!

And therefore comes the rather difficult question how whether you should watch Legion online. Different websites around the web state you are able to watch Legion streamed directly from their sites. Do any of these work? Well I haven't tried them. Only some of these probably do.

In regards to whether it is ethical to watch movies online... I can't really say. Countries around the world are facing debt and individuals are really strapped for cash at the moment.. Does anyone want to spend their money on movie tickets, plus even more on popcorn? You can answer that one.

Is it therefore true that there are websites on the net where you can watch Legion online via a Legion stream? To put it frankly: yes there are. There are likely a few sites that can do just this. - 30647

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An Introduction To Astronomy

By Owen Jones

Although astronomy is the oldest science, it continues to be at the forefront of not only scientific thought, but that of the public at large too. Who has not looked up at the galaxy while walking home late at night and wondered? Having said that though, the ancient people of certainly the northern hemisphere, but probably both, knew the movements of the stars and planets better than most of us do nowadays.

They understood then, thousands of years ago, that the majority of stars appear to rise in the Eastern skies at night and travel on circular paths. They also noticed that some 'stars' were 'wanderers' (we call them planets) and that sometimes they went 'against the flow'.

They also named clusters of stars that we now call constellations or even galaxies and knew that those visible in the winter were different from those visible in the summer.and that others were visible all year round. The average common man of 5,000 - 10,000 years ago almost certainly knew more about the movement of the celestial bodies than the average common man of today does. (I mean men and women here, of course).

They discovered how to work out or at least locate the extremities of the sunrise and went to extraordinary lengths to mark those positions with massive stone structures, such as Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, probably to facilitate the location of certain positions of the sun or other planets or stars, which may have been vital to their religious beliefs or crop cycles.

In 1609, Galileo invented the first artificial device for looking at the stars and planets. It was the first astronomical telescope and through it he was able to see things millions of miles away that no one had ever seen before. Because of the conclusions he came to from his observations, he had trouble with the Roman Catholic Church and was often in serious danger for his life, so radical were his discoveries.

But mankind was not to be put off, and since then we have gone on to construct ever bigger and ever better astronomical telescopes with which we can even detect radio waves, microwaves, X-rays, infrared waves and gamma waves from outer space. Forty years ago, we even travelled to our Moon. and we have sent probes to eight of the nine planets in our Solar System, as well as to several comets and asteroids.

Where are we going next? That decision was always up to the government of the United States and the old Soviet Union, but now there are other players in the field. What will China or India want to explore with their possibly slightly different outlook on life? Or will it be just a question of financial benefit?

The world may be in a state of flux and power may be shifting from its traditional seats, but it has not diminished interest in questions that scientists think can only be answered in space. These are exciting times in the science of astronomy, but then man has always found astronomy exciting. - 30647

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Make Your Own Superhero

By Marion Karen

Don't you wish that you might create your own superhero? I'm aware that I have! Whether you sit in a cubical or work construction for hours at a time, regular life can get actually mundane. The stress of bills piling up, the upward thrust of gas prices or simply making new buddies can all be challenging. The fictional sector of superheroes will permit the creator to have an outlet to get away from the each day grind. So why not make your own superhero and explore your creative side? It can be quite a release from all the daily stress and if you follow definite rules, you might end up making the following famous superhero.

The number one way to start is by contemplating the tale of good vs. Malicious. A superhero that has an enemy of equal magnitude is a load more exciting for folk. This is as everyone loves a good story about good and malignant being at war with one another. A very great enemy also understands what makes the superhero tick and the way to get within their head. The excitement will build each time that they meet.

Then think about how different your superhero will be from the person they cross in the street. Perhaps they started just like everyone else but got bit by a radioactive spider like Peter Parker. Don't steal the idea of anyone else but judge whether they're really a superhero or simply somebody that stumbled into it. Whatever you decide, a superhero always has a power that makes the most unlikely seem like a bit of cake.

Does your superhero only have super strength, healing ability or is the majority of his power contained in his head? There are different sorts of superheroes and it is better to decide first whether yours is a physical or psychological fighter. Consider the Hulk. Obviously a purely physical fighter and small if any of his fighting has anything to do with the mental side of things. We won't see him trying to beat a contestant at chess anytime soon!

If you are getting overwhelmed, you do not have to because this is fully meant to just be for entertainment. It's so cool to form a superhero in a world that rules just don't control. because they haven't made the capability for things to go completely invisible yet, does not imply that you can not have a car for your superhero that doesn't disappear! The vehicle that you design for your superhero is typically one of the coolest parts of the entire process.

In all the thrill of creating a superhero, it might be simple to overlook what makes your hero real and relatable. A good back story is vital to the development of your personality and the struggles he may face. As an example, Peter Parker was simply a nerdy small boy that happens to get bit by a spider. He didn't realize how much his present decisions would affect his future. Unfortunately , he did not stop a criminal that ran by him that later murdered his uncle, throwing him into the pursuit of justice.

there is not any reason that you cannot spend as much or as little time on your superhero as you would like. Maybe just drawing out your personality is enough but you might also want to run the entire thing. Every single decision is up to you and it can be so much fun to see your superhero come to life. So why not take five and make your own superhero? - 30647

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Lena Headey to join HBO's Game of Thrones

By Jon Hunter

Sean Bean who played Richard Sharpe will be joined by Lean Hedely of The Sarah Connor Chronicles fame, in HBO's 'A games of Thrones' based on George RR Martin popular 'Song of Fire and Ice' series of fantasy books. Lean will be playing the role of queen everyone loves to hate-Cersei Lannister

They will be joined by Mark Addy, Jennifer Ehle, Peter Dinklage, Tamzin Merchant, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau , and Iain Glen, as well as a few lesser known actors who have been confirmed for the pilot. No Firm date has been set for the pilot, and there is not yet a promise that HBO will commit to a full series either, but with an impressive cast list headed up by Bean and Hedly, HBO is definitely taking this project seriously.

The cast is already impressive, but some new casting is still to be announced and unconfirmed but strongly rumoured casting of Rory McCann as Sandor "The Hound" Clegane.

The show is been adapted and is being produced by David Benioff and Dan Weiss. David Benioff has suggested a 'crappy' tagline for the project could be, "The Sopranos in Middle-earth", which can only get you thinking. If true to the books plot elements that should contain a spot of conspiracy, incest, child murder, corruption, conspiracy, a rival claimant to the throne across the sea, the still-festering legacy of a civil war 20 years before, a growing threat in the North and did I say conspiracy? We should see a show which is much darker than previous fantasy adaptations Sean Bean has starred in.

Production of the pilot will begin in Northern Ireland in 26th October 2009, at Paint Hall Studios in Belfast and has the support of the northern Irish government. It is also likely that the BBC will have a financial involvement in the same way they did in HBO's Rome series.

HBO has a strong history of producing great television drama, and with the strength of the source material, the cast and HBO's pedigree. I think we can look forward to a truly exciting proposition. - 30647

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Zygor In-Game Alliance ... Horde World of Warcraft 1-80 Leveling Guides Blog Post

By Todd Harmons

Welcome to the Zygor In-Game Alliance ... Horde World of Warcraft 1-80 Leveling Guides Blog Post.

The Zygor Leveling Guides are designed to enable World of Warcraft players to quickly increase their level. With the new Zygor Guide you don't have to switch back and forth between screens so you can keep your attention on the game play.

There are two separate screen modes. One is a large picture view that shows you all of the steps that you need to complete to advance your character in the quests. Players do not use this modes a lot because the amount of information affects the game play. The second screen mode is smaller and shows the current and next steps that you need to complete the current quest. A small arrow shows you the direction in which you need to travel to reach the next encounter or step in the game.

Zygor's Leveling Guide is an easy to use guide for newer players and it's the least intrusive one. You will learn from the guide as your your character's level improves to the next level.

One more great thing about Zygor's Leveling guides are its interactive components.
There are only a few guides that are designed with an in-game guide mode.

A very good feature included in Zygor Guide is the waypoints. Players who have used the original version of this Guide will remember that it was full of waypoints and was filled with so much information that it was almost impossible to use in an efficient manner. As opposed to the old design, the new Zygor Guide gives you only the waypoint for the quest that you have highlighted. You are given a clear map window and when you move your cursor to a waypoint you will be shown the steps that you need when you arrive at this new location. As a WOW tool this comes in handy and new players will greatly appreciate this feature.

With the option feature provided, players change window opacity and increase and decrease the size of on-screen guides, waypoints and icons. A starter guide for each race is included in everyone one of the in-game leveling guides.

For instance, you're playing as an Alliance character. Zygor's In-Game Alliance Leveling Guide includes a Starter Guide for Gnome, Dwarf, Draenei, Night Elf, and the Human races. And if you are playing as Horde character The In-Game Horde Leveling Guide includes a Starter Guide for the, Orc, Troll, Blood Elf, Tauren, and Undead races.

Zygor In-Game Alliance and Horde Guide offer a good learning solution especially for players who have recently entered the WOW arena. These in-game guides enable you to quickly increase your level. Players who have a high level can access special areas of WOW where the competition is also high.

Want to find out more about these Leveling Guides? Visit the Zygor In-Game Alliance and Horde Guide Websitefor more information. - 30647

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