Tag Archives: Travis Legge


Osama Would Play A Paladin

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Categories: DDO, Gaming, LARP, President Obama, Randomness, RPG, Shadowrun, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I believe in the power of gaming.

By gaming, I mean console and computer gaming as well as pencil and paper role-playing games. To a lesser extent, I would also include board games.

When I look at the impact this hobby has had on my life, it’s a bit overwhelming.

If it weren’t for gaming, I would not have met most of my friends. Specifically, my friend Mike Diamond and I would not have met if it weren’t for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Second Edition. (We had an ongoing AD&D2E game that we played in junior high by writing on a desk [in pencil!]. It was play-by-post before there was play-by-post.) Mike and I graduated from from junior high, and graduated from D&D, together. We spent hours playing all kinds of other games: Star Wars, Starfleet Battles, Marvel Super Heroes, Rise of the Dragon (Oh my God, Shandi!), and my favorite RPG of all time, Shadowrun. We still play Shadowrun together, every Saturday night.

Without Vampire: the Masquerade, I would have never met Travis Legge. My friend came from a very different world than I did, but we shared a love of gaming. Travis was the best man at my wedding and we even ran our own game publishing company for a time. We met at a Vampire LARP, but we played plenty of other White Wolf games together: Hunter, Trinity (taint in the Tesser!), Aberrant, Wraith, and one of the most influential games I’ve ever played, Mage.

I met my wife at the same Vampire LARP that I met Travis at. We had seen each other in passing before then, but never really met. Through some boneheaded moves by other people, she ended up playing a character with a direct connection to mine. The time we spent together in-character led to meetings out-of-character, which led to her ending a dysfunctional relationship with her longtime boyfriend and starting a new dysfunctional relationship with me. We’ve been dysfunctional together ever since. Tiffanie and I have played a ton of games together, from D&D3.5 to Zombies. We still play Dungeons & Dragons Online together, when time allows.

The breadth and depth of people you meet through gaming is sometimes astounding. By playing games, I’ve had the pleasure of chatting for hours with a couple of guys from Chile (¿Cómo están, amigos?), been guild-mates with a carny (Luv ya, Bernie!), called people by some strange nicknames (Shaggy and Little Shit top the list, I think), watched someone laugh so hard they puked (indirectly due to gaming: a gaming buddy was over for Bad Movie Night. Blackula + well-placed one-liner = puke!), had the cops question me about “having an orgy in the street” (actually a mob combat in the aforementioned Vampire LARP), and so much more. Gamers have been some of the kindest, friendliest, and most genuine people I’ve ever known.

I don’t want to overstate the point, but games can be powerful tools to bring people together that never would have met or seen eye-to-eye before. Where else can you bring together an atheist with a devout Catholic, a radical feminist with a staunch Republican, a high-school dropout with a graduate student, a teenager with a pensioner, or a cop with a drug dealer? Not only have I seen these disparate people gaming together, I’ve seen them working toward common goals and having fun doing it.

So, here’s my proposal: I’ll run a game. Kim Jong-Il, Osama Bin Laden, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, Hamid Karzai, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, and Omar al-Bashir (along with many others) are invited to play D&D with me some time (3.5: I don’t care for 4E). Perhaps, when they’re faced with the World’s Largest Dungeon, they’ll realize their countries and causes are pretty small. Maybe, when confronted with the alien nature of a great wyrm red dragon, they’ll realize people have more commonalities than differences. Maybe, when they’ve reached level 20 together, they could usher in a new age of peace and prosperity for humanity.
And I bet Osama would play a paladin.


Read Reckoning!

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Categories: Aegis Studios, Comics, Tags: , , , , , ,

I would like to strongly encourage everyone who’s remotely into comics to check out my friend Travis Legge’s webcomic, Reckoning. Travis’s description of Reckoning is “a webcomic about love, loss, and revenge.” It’s a great read and his weekly updates make it easy to follow the story without sacrificing a ton of time or waiting until the local comics shop gets their shipment (a sketchy proposition at best around these parts lately). This book is recommended for mature readers and with good reason. If you can’t stomach graphic violence, nudity, and language, you may want to skip Reckoning. If, however, you like your comics hard-boiled and distilled to a razor-sharp edge, put Reckoning in your favorites or subscribe via RSS.

The art is truly top-notch, though I wish it were in color. That being said, Santiago Espina’s pencils and inks are exceptional. The art brings into stark contrast the current dark world of the book and the happier times of the past. One almost gets a sense of two different protagonists through the divergent styles used in main sequences and in flashbacks.

Justine, who is the protagonist of the story, is every bit the deranged vigilante of dark anti-hero comics. Picture the Punisher, thirty years younger with a nice rack, and you begin to glimpse who Justine is. Justine is a normal girl, with relatively normal problems and life events. What makes her comic book hero material is her complete and utter lack of a normal response to those problems and events. Justine is as her name implies: justice, with no regard for the means used to achieve it. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but in the very first issue, Justine takes out one of the villians in a manner befitting a mohel. You’ll have to see it for yourself; trust me.

I have a certain affection for this comic based on its history, also. The initial seeds of this story blossomed from an idea Travis had many moons ago for a character that was to be called the “Prowler”. The Prowler was to be one of the first titles produced by Aegis Studios, which was then envisioned as a comics publishing company. Travis and I began work on Prowler and another comic, Nephalim. A quick copyright search revealed that Marvel already had a character named the Prowler (a pseudo-Batman character), so the comic became known as Retribution. We did get the first issue of Retribution printed and even went to a few cons to promote it. (In fact, I still have a box of Retribution comics in storage that I plan on hawking on eBay when Travis becomes a rich Hollywood writer/ director. Either that, or I’ll use them as blackmail material after same.) Our focus changed shortly thereafter to role-playing game publishing, however, and Retribution died the swift, painful death of many indie comics.

The death of Retribution was necessary and good for the life of Reckoning. Like the phoenix, the ashes of Retribution allowed something stronger and more beautiful to emerge. Reckoning strips away the cumbersome and clichéed parts of the old story and gives a unique perspective into the possibilities lurking beneath the surface of us all. The rebirth of Reckoning also brings in fresh artistic talent, something Retribution had a sore problem with. (No offense, Matt, but the old book did not look good.)

If you like gritty, graphic comics with psychologically tortured characters and gorgeous artwork, click on the banner below and check out Reckoning. While you’re at it, subscribe to the RSS feed on the website, follow Travis Legge on Twitter and friend his ass on Facebook. When your friends come up to you a year from now talking about this “Leg” dude you can correct their spelling, tell them you’ve been reading his stuff for months now and that they suck for not following the Screw City’s biggest talent sooner.

P.S: Though Travis is a good friend of mine, I assure you that this review was completely unsolicited and that the statements above reflect my honest views of my friend’s work. Ask Travis himself: I am not afraid to tell him when what he’s doing sucks eggs, and Reckoning definitely does not suck eggs.