Bards Redux

The October/November Bard contest is over, and we have some clear results.  The Podcasting for Water Benefit book is done, and John Wilkerson speaks a bit about his perspective on the past year.  Some cool music from The Get, and the final few days to take advantage of a huge offer from Spirit Blade Productions.  Merry Christmas to all!


November Contest: Create a Bard

Hi, this is Winston from the Critical Mass Podcast over at Critical Press  The guys and I are really juiced about the new release of the Pathfinder core rules from Paizo Publishing.  There’s only one problem

Bards still suck.

This is our mission to you: using the Pathfinder core rules, make a Bardic character that can reasonably substitute for one or more of the four basic dungeon crawl classes: fighter, thief, cleric, or mage.  You have 16, that’s 2d8 maxed out, levels with which to build.  At least 8 levels must be in the Bard core class; multiple core classes are not allowed.  You may use any Prestige class or ability substitution from any published fantasy d20 book, provided you can tell us which book you used.  Links to the Pathfinder System Reference document may be found at

Entries must consist of a completed character sheet, generated using any of the ordinary methods in the core book.  Complete characters include pre-calculated attribute bonuses, saving throws, skill bonus, spell selections, and feats, as well as a description of the character’s role in the party.  Extra points will be given for explaining how skills, spells, feats, and classes work together.  Double bonus points will be given for magic items that uniquely enhance your bard’s abilities – and you have a whopping 315K gold to spend on gear.  Points will be subtracted for detailed history and backstory; this is a dungeon crawl, characters don’t even need a name.

The contest runs from November 1 to November 30, ending promptly at midnight.  The winner will be selected by dungeon crawl survival ratio, and will have his character published in an upcoming Critical Press Media publication.  Because the only bardic character we’ve ever been impressed with is Merrik Scythe from Paeter Frandsen’s “Spirit Blade”, the winner will also receive a CD set of the Spirit Blade audio drama.  Submit your entry by email to, with the entry contained in the body of the email.  Emails with attachments will be deleted unread. All entries will become the property of Critical Press Media.

Good luck, and hot dice.

Pathfinder System Reference Document

Critical Press Media is not associated with Paizo Publishing, or with Dead Gentlemen Productions, whose excellent movie “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising” inspired this contest.

Pathfinder is DnD 3.75

The guys and I are well-pleased with the new offering from Paizo.  Pathfinder is the next evolution of the d20 fantasy system, and they’ve done it up right.  Join us for an enthusiastic review of the new product, and help us decide whether or not Bards truly suck….

The Bard Contest:

Create a Bardic character using the Pathfinder ruleset; the system reference document may be found online in the links below.  Characters must take at least 8 levels of the Bard core class and no more than 16 levels total. Characters may not use any other core class.  The deadline for submission is Dec 1, 2009.  A single winner will be chosen by the committee to receive a CD copy of “Sprit Blade” from Spirit Blade Productions.  (‘Cuz I like giving away their stuff.)

This is a rules contest.  We are not interested in elements of the character that are not expressed on the character sheet.  Explanations of how feats, skills, spells, and class features should be used together will likely garner bonus points.  Email submissions to Good luck!


Savage Detectives

I realize we’re only two episodes into the new television season, but I’m really impressed with Nathan Fillon’s new crime drama “Castle”.  I get my father on the phone for a better perspective of television crime through the years, and wrap it up with a review of the newest addition to my gaming library – Savage Worlds!


Fear the Con 2

I spent the weekend at Fear the Con 2 in St Louis, MO.  The guys over at Fear the Boot put this on, and it looks like its going to be a regular event.  I debuted the Atomic Earth board game this weekend officially, and got some cool conversations with other podcasters.  Also, the Watchmen premiered this weekend, and you’re getting my impressions of that event as well.


Brave and the Batman

The gang is back in house, properly bribed with chili and cornbread.  We caught up on the latest episodes of the new Batman cartoon – Brave and the Bold – and then talked a bit about other animated Batman incarnations, along with other shows.  Plus, Curtis and Greg tell me about the new RPG from Palladium Books, “Dead Reign”.  Zombie hunters beware!