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By Brian Downes, November 1, 2014 0 Article

Suppose that you were selected as a child for intense training in politics, military strategy, and the martial arts. Suppose that your life was guided through many years of demanding study, and many perilous tests of your resolve, with the… Read More »

By Brian Downes, October 31, 2014 0

  The Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition is the latest in a long and honored line of… Read More »

By Brian Downes, October 19, 2014 0 Article

This lesson from the Downes’ School of the Gamemaster’s Art will be about how the brain works, how the body works, how environment affects both, and how to use all that for more successful adventures. A tragic fact of our… Read More »

By Brian Downes, September 17, 2014 0 Article

And so begin our sunny days of Gods & Monsters. Two Orlando geeks of long pedigree and impressive connections are launching a grand bazaar of nerd on International Drive, with the aim of making O-town a destination for science fiction… Read More »

By Brian Downes, September 7, 2014 0

  I have been doing this a long time. I remember when Druids were a new option. I remember when… Read More »

By Brian Downes, September 5, 2014 0

Street Grimoire provides plenty of new spells, spirits, adept abilities, and other magic for Shadowrun, 5th edition, many of which… Read More »

By Brian Downes, August 22, 2014 0 Interviews

Something frightful befell little Cade Mikaels in 1987. Not even ten years old, the girl who loved to draw pictures of the people she knew saw something so terrifying it changed the course of her life. It was the third… Read More »

By Brian Downes, August 14, 2014 0 Gaming

    Gamemastering is a labor of love. Which is the same as saying that it is an obsession and a compulsion that should probably be reconsidered. But what this lesson in the Gamemaster’s Art is going to focus on… Read More »

By Brian Downes, August 4, 2014 0 Convention Report

CONjure 2014 took place this weekend, and I went down there to cover it for Florida Geek Scene. This was CONjure’s first year, and I ask for a moment of respectful silence for our fellow geeks who have the full… Read More »

By Brian Downes, August 1, 2014 0

300: Rise of An Empire Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures 2014 300: Rise of an Empire… Read More »

By Brian Downes, July 24, 2014 0 Event Report

    We had a great time yesterday at Heroes Landing in Clermont, where I was signing copies of my dark historical fantasy novel, The Berlin Fraternity. It was also Batman’s 75th birthday, so you can imagine how it felt… Read More »

By Brian Downes, July 24, 2014 0 Article

In this lesson from the Downes’ School of the Gamemaster’s Art, we’ll see techniques for how the gamemaster can interface most successfully with her players once play has begun. The first rule of that is this…make them do the work…. Read More »

By Brian Downes, July 12, 2014 0 Article

If paint hangs on a nail within twenty miles of Lake Eola, Parker Sketch is there. A prolific Orlando painter and curator of art shows, Sketch was recognized as a leading art advocate by The Orlando Weekly in 2012 and… Read More »

By Brian Downes, July 4, 2014 0 Interviews

    In a tank-top and pony tail, across the width of a coffee shop table on Bumby Avenue, Ruby Darling is more Vargas than two normal women. Recently returned from a marriage misadventure in Polynesia, Darling sat down with… Read More »

By Brian Downes, July 4, 2014 0 Article

    The Cloak & Blaster pub stands out among all of Orlando’s attractions as a noisy mead hall of heroes, Hrothgar’s place on the east side. A bar and restaurant full of gaming tables, with a library of games… Read More »

By Brian Downes, June 26, 2014 0

Shadowrun: Run & Gun – Core Combat Rule Book, 5th Edition Catalyst Game Labs 2014 All our near-now dystopias are… Read More »

By Brian Downes, June 19, 2014 0 Gaming

The subject of this lesson from the Downes’ School of the Gamemaster’s Art is how to operate the interface between the players and the gamemaster during character creation, and how to get the most out of it. If you don’t… Read More »