Thursday, July 11, 2019

Comics Haul from July 10th, 2019

On the waning hours of Tuesday, I blogged my Comics Haul from the July 3rd release comics. Only the URL will state July 2nd. Fixed it; but my gaffe is there. Sigh... Was in such a Tuesday mindset, I had finished playing D&D, that I counted back seven days from Tuesday.  Didn't want to make that mistake again so I was sure to make the trip to the comics shop to buy my haul from those comics released on the 10th of July, 2019.

Thus, why there's a Comics Haul a mere day or two after the previous.

Besides, doesn't feel odd posting my collection the day after New Comics Day versus posting the day before New Comics Day. What can I say? There are weeks when I want to go to the comics shop once a week and then there are weeks where twice a week pilgrimage is appealing.

My haul was very, very light for me this week. No trades. End of the month might be a killer though...

Star Wars #68 (Had considered dropping the title with the change in writer; but Star Wars is now the single longest running title I have been collecting from beginning to present.) and Detective Comics #1007 (My final new issue of Detective Comics for awhile. Only hung around for the Spectre story. Love, absolutely love, the Batman TAS homage on the cover!)

Batman and the Outsiders #3 (Black Lightning calling out Batman? Oh yeah!) and Young Justice #7

Savage Sword of Conan #7 (didn't I buy issue 6 on Tuesday? Should probably check if I bought a duplicate...), Hawkman #14 (Sienkiewicz Cardstock Variant - It's because of the variant I didn't drop Hawkman with this issue.), and House of Whispers #11 (Another title I may or not drop within the near future.)

And dat dat dat's all folks!

Rather surreal to blog my comics haul the very same week those comics hit the stands!

Next time.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Comics Haul for July 3rd, 2019

Often I won't buy comics until the Tuesday Game Night (Adventurers League or Shadowrun Missions). As such, my Comics Haul will be posted at the last possible second. While I bought comics last Tuesday, the entry wouldn't have posted until Wednesday. Granted, I am not technically violating my no combining rules I felt posting it on the day of release violated the spirit of the rule. Ergo, I skipped last week.

Since I did purchase comics today, here's my Comics Haul from those comics released on July 3rd 2019:

Doom Patrol Weight of the Worlds #1 (loved  show on DC Universe!), The Green Lantern #9, Savage Avengers #3 ( I had been buying the Deodato variants. However, none were offered. Conan with a symbiote sword? Cool!)

Dreaming #11, Uncanny X-Men #21, Talk Bernie to Me! One - shot (Please no political rants...)

Captain America & The Invaders: Bahamas Triangle One-Shot Ron Lim variant (Grew up on Lim art. Plus, how can you beat WW2 super-hero teams?), Savage Sword of Conan #6, Justice League #27

Steve Gerber Conversations  (One of my favorite comic writers. Had to acquire a compilation of interviews and statements on the internet.) Doctor Who Gallifrey Time War Volume Two Audio Drama CD. (Cause Time War and some old time radio narration.)

A decent sized haul.

Next time.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Emulating The BECMI Elf in D&D 5E: Leather vs Chain Mail

What better way to end June than the way I began it: by contemplating equipment for an Elf PC.

Recently, I decided to finally create an Adventurers League PC following the BECMI Elf Class emulation I blogged about back in December. While 5E character creation is almost as simple as BECMI days, I ran into a stumbling block. Deciding which piece of equipment to select. One of the few decision quandaries players needed to make back in those halycon days.

I decided to break my decision into two sub-categories. Debate between longbow versus shortbow was the first. Now, I didn't blog in a vacuum as I turned to the wisdom of the crowd, i.e. social media.

The response did not disappoint. There were discussion on archery in general and back in medieval times. Folks talked about shooting a long bow indoors versus outdoors. Same with a short bow. Then, there were the aspects of BECMI rules, which as a 2E gamer I learned about for the first time, i.e. minimum damage via weapon mastery in short bows.

Edition agnostic concerns such as range and money were raised. Got to say range and money are huge concerns in 5E too. Well, yes and no. If you take the standard package... but more on that later.

To my one chagrin, no answered my question itself: what is more iconic, the long bow or short bow?

The lack of response is more likely a sign of more symbolic thinking than what anyone playing BECMI would have worried over. When you're playing D&D for the very first time, you don't go 'Hmm, really need the Elf bow...'

Cause what is the elf bow? I suppose if you saw this picture you'd think this is:

So a short bow. I mean if the masses, those who played BECMI far more often than I, didn't have a particular bow they felt their Elf NEEDED, then art is the key.

By golly, short bow it is!

Except D&D 5E has the standard package of equipment.

Yes, long bow is an option - with leather armor.

The next ranged weapon is a light crossbow. Simple enough fix. Just swap out the light crossbow for a short bow. Easy. Right? Except, then chain mail is the armor available via the package. Certainly, doesn't look like the elf pictured is wearing chain mail...

Furthermore, I will likely play the Elf PC while the gold rules for Season 8 are still in effect. No gold until reaching 2nd level. How much gold? Enough for either a long bow or suit of chain mail. Uh why is chain mail an option if your basing icon status on the picture?

Easy. The Elf PC could wear any armor such as plate mail. While I don't plan on my PC donning plate mail, the character will eventually don the best armor suitable. Plus, the prior question is still a concern, do I go for range, i.e. the long bow or settle for a short bow?

If I choose a long bow and thus leather armor, then I could select the fighting style for wearing armor and gain a bonus. Upon reaching 2nd level, spend all the PCs gold to chain mail. The Elf would be able wear the chain mail for an upcoming battle and possess a slightly better AC. If stealth is required, just don leather armor and hope the fighting style more than makes up for it?

On the other hand, starting out with chain mail frees up 75 gp. Who knows when 75 gold will come in handy down the road? Maybe buy a long bow? However, I've already settled for a shorter range. One more level later, the Elf will become an Eldritch Knight and have access to attack cantrips. A long bow is only really helpful past the range of those cantrips. Attacking with a penalty though... So how much wiggle room with gold do I need?

What did players during the BECMI days do? Wait, I own a copy of the Rules Cyclopedia. What are BECMI players doing now? When they play an Elf PC, do they prioritize armor over weapons?

Select the best armor type available via funds or select the best weapon? Ditch the leather or go for the mail?

Go for flexibility in armor types depending the situation or go heavy and save gold?

Either choice will impact my Elf PC emulation. Decisions, decisions.

Happy Gaming!

Next time.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

WWE: Bischoff and Heyman Can Save Smackdown and Raw

Feels strange blogging about pro wrestling, excuse me sports entertainment - sorry, Vince!, on a comics and gaming blog right after a "coverage" of WWE Stomping Grounds. However, you write what your excited over and the reaction toward Stomping Grounds is the genesis for some serious change.

While I felt Stomping Grounds was an enjoyable way to spend an evening, much of the lifeblood of the WWE (i.e. those who spend lots and lots of money) chose that moment to say nay.

Or at least the WWE realized a significant problem festers after Stomping Grounds. Reportedly, Vince McMahon accepted change is needed.

Shocking, right?

Despite Raw and Smackdown 'being separate brands', Vince McMahon runs both shows. As in, he personally directs each show. If you ever wonder why both Raw and Smackdown feel alike; and the boundaries aren't hardened, that's why. Honestly, Vince running both shows is the number one reason that despite arguably boasting the best roster today, the WWE roster lacks quality. Focusing too much on the top for two "brands" means the undercard does not receive the attention and development it deserves.

Fortunately, Vince McMahon has come to his senses. He can't run the flagship show, Raw, and run a high quality Smackdown show to the satisfaction of Fox executives. Smackdown could be the B show when it wasn't aired on a major network. Fox won't tolerate what Smackdown's current home considers adequate. Smackdown needs to become must-see. However, Raw is Vince's major creation. Raw is the show that shatters records. The show is Vince McMahon's television legacy. He isn't sacrificing it for Smackdown's sake.

Ergo, Paul Heyman will run Raw, while Eric Bischoff will run Smackdown. With the caveat, Vince will have final say.

Worst case, this status quo change is a paper tiger or endures as long as Heyman's first tenure within creative (or running WWE ECW). The Fox Deal should delay the worst case.

Best case, wrestling fans should expect a renaissance in WWE programming quality. Both Bischoff and Heyman are experienced old hands in the wrestling business. Bischoff, with the help of Ted Turner's money, led WCW to the top of the mountain. Heyman was the force propelling the small promotion ECW to national prominence. They both can run a televised wrestling program. Plus, unlike most of Creative, they're actually more than familiar with wrestling. They've written wrestling before. Lots of wrestling.

Yes, Heyman can be his own worst enemy.

Yes, Bischoff's time in TNA didn't propel that promotion to the top of the mountain.

Neither man has final say nor are they competing against another wrestling promotion. Unless, of course, they count the other or AEW as their competition. Otherwise, their sole task is running a high quality televised wrestling promotion.

Smackdown will be on Fox. As such, the show needs to be must see television. Bischoff loves twists and turns designed to draw viewers in. Plus, unlike Vince, Bischoff loves variety. Cruiserweights and lucha libre had regular installments on Nitro, the flagship WCW program. On WWE, maybe a small handful of performers a given a shot. 205 Live provides the rest a spot. The crowd treats them as after thoughts. Whether or not such wrestlers perform en masse on Smackdown is another matter. 205 Live DOES exist. Regardless, Smackdown will be ran as an A show. I do worry about the younger wrestlers though...

I do not worry about the younger wrestlers and undercard on Raw now. One did not watch Raw for the undercard. They were pretty much the castoffs. Under Heyman, they will become the strength and must-see portion of the show. On ECW, Heyman was a master of developing new talent and transforming them into stars by emphasizing the strengths and hiding their weaknesses. He had to. WWE and WCW kept hiring away his top talent. Furthermore, Heyman has remarked about the wrestling industry NEEDS new stars. Constantly. 

What should occur on both shows is more talent will get utilized, which will boost morale. Thus, elevating the quality of the product.

This should be a win-win.

Here's hoping.

Next time.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

WWE Stomping Grounds 2019

Today is unusual in that I am closer to watching a WWE PPV live than normal. 'Closer' because I am watching the kick-off match as the PPV proper begins. Ergo, this will be a 'live blog' of sorts in the same vein as past efforts.

Today is also the very first Stomping Grounds PPV as WWE attempts stomp out the bad taste from the Super Showdown PPV two weeks prior. Sorry, had to go there...

Did see the Samoa Joe and Bryan/Rowan promos though. Joe is wasted in his spot. I, too, am with Bryan/Rowan in their quest to make the Smackdown Tag Titles serious again. They've been joke titles for far too long.

Kickoff Match: Akira Tozawa vs Drew Gulak vs Tony Neese (c) for Cruiserweight Championship:

A shame this match wasn't a part of the PPV proper as all three men wrestled a solid match demonstrating the best of 205 Live. Some nice spots. The mat-based Drew Gulak won the championship. Heavily recommend seeing this.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Stomping Grounds PPV

Raw Women's Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs Lacey Evans:

Becky shoving Lacey's sweat cloth down her mouth was hilarious. A decent back and forth match which had the challenger keeping up with the more experienced champion. However, Evans tapping out to Lynch wasn't much of a surprise. A solid match for what it was.

Rating 3 out of 5 stars.

Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods):

Match quickly became a two-on-one when KO took out Big E. Then, it was Zayn and Owens beating down Woods until Woods managed to tag Big E. Bedlam eventually followed. KO got the win with a stunner!

Never got into the match much.

Rating 2.5 out of 5 stars.

United States Championship: Ricochet vs Samoa Joe (c):

If only this match took place a decade ago, both men would have set the arena on fire with high-flying moves! Instead, Joe was the crafty mat-based veteran heel. On the other hand, I liked the mat-based work! Furthermore, Ricochet's acrobatics is enhanced by the contrasting styles. Some nice impact shots. And we've got a new champion as mere months after reaching the main roster Ricochet wins!

Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Triple H congratuling Ricochet was a nice touch!

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Heavy Machinery (Tucker & Otis) vs Daniel Bryan & Rowan (c):

Fans cheered Bryan as a hometown hero. You'd swear he was wrestling as face! Meanwhile, Otis is booed like a heel. Heavy Machinery are certainly athletic. Otis feeding off the Yes Kicks was cool. Bryan rolled up Tucker to retain the belts.

An excellent tag team during which all four men looked good and spotlighted the new team Heavy Machinery.

Rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Smackdown Women's Championship  Bayley (c) vs Alexa Bliss (w/ Nikki Cross):

This match was about whether Bayley belonged at the top with the likes of Alexa. Despite Alexa dominating, Nikki's intervention, and a banged up arm, Bayley retained.  Their feud is only beginning.

Rating 3 out of 5 stars.

Roman Reigns vs Drew McIntyre:

Shane McMahon accompanied Drew to the ring. Both Reigns and McIntyre brawl outside of the ring before starting the match. Shane flees pursued by Roman only for Drew to intercept the latter. They both brawl with Shane intervening occasionally. Crowd chanted 'This is awful' at one point. When Drew was trying to submit Roman, Shane kept 'checking for a submission' with the ref.  Reigns later on Superman Punches Shane twice followed by being slammed by McIntyre face-first into the anmounce table. Drew superplexes Reigns! Oh, Shane just dragged out the ref stopping a pin to coast-to-coast... Of course, Roman kicks out... Hey, Roman wins! Thus, mercifully ending the match.

If there was ever the epitome of what's wrong with WWE, it is the match. With that these two big men did in the ring, this should've been a spectacular match. Maybe WWE will end the Reigns vs McMahon/McIntyre feud now?

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

WWE Championship Steel Cage Match - Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston (c):

Always been a fan of steel cage matches. I was not disappointed. Kofi leaping through the doorway was simply amazing!

Rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Universal Championship Match with Special Referee - Seth Rollins (c) vs Baron Corbin:

Special guest referee is... Rollin's 'gf' opponent from the beginning of the card... Lacey Evans! Corbin thrown into the Announce Table collapsing was a cool, big spot. Lacey's ref work doea a great job of building heat for her. Rollins is booked too strong for Corbin... Sigh... first, no countout as decreed by Evans then she decreed no DQ. Maybe if this was a main event on Raw... Hey Becky Lynch is attacking Lacey Evans! Whew, new ref counted Seth's successful pin count.

This match was more about furthering the Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch romance; and the Evans-Lynch feud. Really better suited for Raw than a PPV. For that it's not a stinker...

Rating 2 out of 5 stars.

Overall: Stomping Grounds story-wise was about establishing established champions (Sorry, Samoa Joe!), showcase new acts (Heavy Machinery, Ricochet) and be the best day ever for Raw's power couple (Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch). Other than a couple matches that should've been TV matches, most of them were solid PPV quality matches. Ultimately, what helps the PPV is the WWE Network. If you saw it as part of the network, it was an enjoyable enough way to spend a Sunday. However, it is another example of how much wrestling fans need AEW to succeed as a whole Stomping Grounds while being more than filler wasn't quite what I would call a solid PPV.

Rating 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Next time.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Superman: Year One and Rest of the Comic Haul for 6/19/19

Another week. Another week of new comics. Another trip to the comics store.

Time for show off my latest comics haul!

Here's what I picked up among the comics available on 6/19/19.

Superman Year One #1 part of DC's Black Label imprint is the big purchase of the week. Frank Miller and John Romita Jr tell their rendition of Superman's Origin. Aquaman #49 is the other title pictured.

Uncle Scrooge #46, Uncanny X-Men #20 (penultimate issue of the most recent volume), and Star Wars #67 (Gillen's final issue).

Justice League #26, Lucifer #9, Savage Sword of Conan #6

I conclude this week's comics haul with next major of purchase of the week: the first issue of Usagi Yojimbo published by IDW! Not only is it a start of a new era for the rabbit ronin but it's in full color too! Captain America #11 and Guardians of the Galaxy #6 round out the haul.

Next time.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Comics Haul: The Week of 6/12/19

Welcome to this week's edition of my comics haul of those comic books and trade paperbacks (well book format comics...) released to the public on 6/12/19. If you're puzzled because you've never seen a blog post of my comics haul before, don't fret. I haven't blogged my weekly haul since... maybe 2009?

I stopped for a number of reasons. One, listing them felt tedious. I simply didn't possess the technology to snap a photo. Ergo, I needed to list them. Second, my trips to the comics shop become less weekly for a spell. Third, longtime readers can attest I can't really keep up on my purchases. Which led to my fourth and final reason why I ceased blogging my latest haul, listing the comics haul for the sake of listing them.

What's changed since then?

Technology. I have the technology. With my smartphone I can snap a picture and then upload said photo to my blog.

Social media. Social media has encouraged me to show off my latest purchases. Okay, maybe encourage is the wrong word... share... share is the word.

Lack of comics blogging. Comics is the literally the first word after my name on this blog's title. Blog about wrestling more than I do comics. At the very least, my haul from my latest trip to comics shop will remedy that.

More incentive to review comics: More of a longshot, but I may become more motivated to blog about the actual comics and trades that I've shared pictures of on my blog. Sigh... or demonstrate I'm reducing what I buy...

A couple ground rules:

1) I am only showing comics and trades (maybe Big Finish Audio CDs) that I purchase at my FLCGS the week they arrive. If Diamond doesn't list the product on that day, I am not including it. If my I don't buy from my local comics shop, I don't consider it part of my comics haul.

2) This weekly and only the week thereof. If I make a trip to comics shop once during a month, there won't be any Comics Haul blog entries. Not listing all those comics! If I miss a week and go the next, same thing. Once I resume a regular rotation, then the Comics Haul blog category resumes.

So here's my haul for the week of 6/12/2019

A smattering of Disney, Vertigo, and superhero action.

The comic in the middle is Hawkman #13.

Think this is the final issue of Amazing Spider-Man that I am collecting from the current run. Not reading 24 issues is more than enough reason to call it quits. Likewise with Detective Comics. Much more than 24 issues await my To Read pile; however I wanted to finish collecting the story began in Detective Comics #1000/

The Star Trek crew is the animated series crew.

A fairly light week...

Next time

Friday, June 7, 2019

Adventurers League: Longbow or Shortbow for An Elf?

Never thought I would reach this point while playing Adventurers League; but it finally happened. None of my PCs are Tier One (levels 1 - 4). Therefore, if on Tuesday nights to improve table flexibility I am going to have to create a new PC. It's a long time until Season 9 begins so I'm stuck in the old seasonality.

Why the question about bows used by elves? A picture is worth a thousand words.

A while back I provided my quick emulation for adapting the Elf Class to 5E. In it I gushed about my desire to play a version of the iconic BECMI class. Seasonality doesn't harm the concept so now is as good of a time as any other.

However, I don't need to create the 'Elf' PC by Tuesday. My schedule isn't movie-going friendly. Really want to see both the latest Godzilla and X-Men movies before they leave my local cinema. Missed out on Shazam! and Hellboy cause of gaming, which frankly kind of bothers me. So I've got time to deliberate more on a 5E PC than I would otherwise.

There's two conceptual problems. The first problem, the topic for today, is kind of caused by the second problem. However, I'll leave the second for another post. Simply because the first feels more iconic.

Which type of bow is more iconic for an Elf PC? Which was more iconic for an Elf PC back during BECMI? I am talking the longbow versus the short bow.

Longbows do more damage and can shoot farther. However, gamers felt some degree of realism was important back then. The historic longbow didn't lend itself very well to the feats of mobility we envision today. Legolas's feats of acrobatics would be incredibly difficult with an actual longbow. They're also expensive. Buying a longbow limits armor and other weapon choices.

Meanwhile, short bows are inferior in the damage and range departments. They are much cheaper. Furthermore, none of the gamers I played with back in the day had any problem with archers equipped with short bows roaming about heavy forests, while shooting at their foes.

Nowadays, the reflection of realism in archery doesn't seem important. Image is king. So it really does come down which choice is more iconic.

The long bow or the short bow?

Once again, just blogging out loud.

Happy Gaming and Next time!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

D&D AL Season 9: To Play an 'Angel' or a 'Devil'?

Disclaimer: Players won't be able to play angels or devils during the ninth season of Adventurers League.

Yep, I remember the Satanic Panic. Can't be too cautious.

Yes, I am aware that during 3.X edition of Dungeons and Dragons players could.

Talking about fifth edition here. Angels and devils aren't playable races in 5E according to WotC sourcebooks.

How can you...?

Back when the Dragonborn were unveiled as a playable race one of the taglines was "if you want to play a dragon."

Well, in 5E, Aasimar and Tieflings are the angel and devil equivalent.

I am not so sure about that...

Season 9 rules allows PC Tieflings and Aasimar to grow wings upon reaching 5th level.

But you have to sacrifice something...

Neither race option doesn't count as your +1 beyond PHB supplement. You can emulate those lost abilities with class abilities.

You can emulate an angel or demon PC!

Knew the lure of a winged PC combined with Xanathar's Guide to Everything would convince you! Cause it convinced me.

I could make the angelic concept character I've been thinking of: a multi-classed combo of Paladin, Warlock, and Sorceror using sub-classes from Xanathar's for an aasimar PC.

On the other hand, I could play a winged tiefling. Never played a tiefling before.

Heck, never played an aasimar before.

Don't own a copy of Volo's Guide to Monsters.

So I'll have to buy a copy.

Just blogging out loud.

Decisions, decisions.

Happy Gaming!

Next time.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Does the Threat of Imminent TPK Define Cyberpunk Gaming?

This is it. Tonight should conclude the Chicago arc for Shadowrun Missions at my FLGCS.

After playing four seasons of the Chicago arc, roughly five to six modules per, tonight those of us who've been playing the same character for years will play those characters for the final time tonight. Except as Prime Runners in Prime Runner-only mods - ideally... Next month, we create brand new characters for the Neo-Tokyo arc.

Sure, we received forewarnings the final season would be rough and the conclusion BRUTAL. As we began playing season 8, it certainly HAS. While previous seasons contained rough patches, overall there was sense of coasting. Season 8 has been 'will this frag my character?'

The visuals of each encounter have become quite the sight too! Like how some of the photos turned out too. While I was planning on blogging the session events sooner, I will actually blog them chronologically. Will be a fitting memorandum. Telling the adventures of Nox the Combat Mage and Co from their beginnings to their fiery end.

Cause I don't know if, let alone how, our PCs will survive the final module. Heck, the entire module feels like you're in the drek now. May you not get fragged.

If we were playing a level-based game, we'd just run away or avoid until we level up to confront the threat. Or we'd be level appropriate. In a storytelling game, this would be climax. Will our protagonists emerge victorious?

In Shadowrun, or any cyberpunk game, it's pretty much  you're hip-deep in drek. Accomplish your mission chummers and don't get fragged in the process. Oh, by the way, some poor PC will get geeked (i.e. killed). Can't have a dystopic future without PC deaths. Plus, TPK (total party kill) does fit the neo-noir vibe of Shadowrun.

Without the TPK vibe. If the gaming experience was more rose-colored, it wouldn't be cyberpunk.

Honestly, I wouldn't have realized this important revelation about cyberpunk gaming if I didn't feel my Shadowrun Missions Chicago PC along with the other PCs would ride into the sunset after tonight.

Now excuse me. I've got to update my player character.

Happy gaming!

Next time.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Marvel Should Follow DCs Lead With Variant Covers

The culmination of a 20-plus movies series, Avengers: Endgame officially opens tomorrow. As such as it doesn't quite feel right to pass along criticism to the House of Ideas that they should copy their Distinguished Competition. However, I heard today marked the deadline for comic book orders. See, comics are solicited three months ahead of their release. When I compiled my Previews Order (the name of said catalog), I noticed something while browsing through DC Previews.

DC provides a small image of the variant cover with the solicitation.

Marvel's not new to variant covers. They've been incredibly strong in offering them since the mid-00's. Marvel Previews include a list of variant covers along with samples of them. Whether or not a customer can order the variant shown within Marvel Previews is another matter. Quite often the order form doesn't include ANY of the variants. Sometimes, it'll include the variant shown such as was the case with Savage Avengers #1 with the Deodato variant. However, there are times a variant will be available for solicitation within the order form that wasn't shown in Marvel Previews. The Deodato variant for Savage Avengers #2 was available within this month's order form; but Marvel Previews did not show it.

What if a variant isn't on the order form? Well, you're going to have to request a copy from your FLGCS. Unfortunately, they may not be able to provide that copy to you. Many of those variant covers have conditions attached to them. Let's not get into comics shop politics here.

As for DC, they haven't really been good actors regarding variants either. Heck, for awhile they were worse than Marvel! Sure, a customer could order a variant from Previews. However, one had to order it blindly based on the artist listed. There was no picture of the variant was available among the solicitation!

I suppose the advent of DC Previews along with the decision to reduce its comics line by 10% led to the change. With titles to occupy pages within DC Previews, DC could provide a full page to an issue's solicitation. Granted, not every title can receive its own page. Just the better sellers. The one's that would have variants published.

Finally, I can make an informed decision on variant cover (cause I can see what it looks like) on whether or not to order.

Thanks DC!

Just wish Marvel would extend the same courtesy to Marvel readers with the variants they can order, which don't depend on the comics shop jumping through hoops.

Next time.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Shield's Final Chapter Was Ho Hum

If follow WWE, tonight was the night it finally happened.

The Shield's Final Chapter was written.

Well, until next the final chapter. Not counting the match that was dubbed the final match of the Shield cause tonight was the FINAL match the Shield will wrestle together as one in the WWE.

Yeah, never say never in pro wrestling/sports entertainment.

Although if rumors are true and Dean Ambrose turned down a great deal of money; because of creative differences, it may not be until Vince McMahon.

Instead of jobbing Ambrose on his way out, which the typical way of pro wrestling, the WWE aired an event called The Shield's Final Chapter on the WWE Network. Ambrose would wrestle a final match. The WWE would commemorate one of its few new ideas that truly got over with the fans. Plus, a bunch of wrestlers not wrestling the Shield would be on the card. Oh, and Ambrose would be provided a chance to say goodbye.

Only the last segment was worth watching in my opinion. The Shield's Final Chapter felt more like a so-so Raw or Smackdown.

Finn Balor defended his IC belt for the first time as member of the Smackdown roster against Elias. The latter who gets squashed so often he should be glad his mic skills are top-notch.

The women's tag match was a little better with the storyline that "deserted" member of the Riot Squad inadvertently cost her former team the match - due to her hair color. Hey, Ember Moon might be someone again!

As for the Shield's final match? If you thought they might lose, you haven't been watching long. Overall, it was decent as much as it could be. I'm not surprised the departing Ambrose didn't get the pin. Rollins is the champ of the red brand after all...

The mere highlight was the Independent-like "Please don't go" chants followed by Rollins & Ambrose's speeches. Ironically, Rollins was the more retrospective speech. Dean Ambrose's speech was motivational. Maybe WWE will take heed of it?

Overall: If you want to see a rare moment, a wrestler whose departure receives its own show, The Shield's Final Chapter is an alright hour and a half. Otherwise, there's always clips.

Next time.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Wrestlemania 35 Thoughts

What better way to mark my 400th blog entry than by blogging my thoughts on Wrestlemania 35 as it happens?

Yep, time for one of my 'doesn't fit the theme of my blog' posts!

Should point out this isn't exactly a live-blog as I didn't begin watching 'Mania 5
35 until 38 minutes in. So I've been spoiled on the outcome of one match. Grrr....

Also, the kickoff show isn't included. Wouldn't post until Monday morning!

On to my thoughts:

Liked the helicopters during the National Anthem!

Hulk Hogan - Alexa Bliss moment was unexpected. Very fitting to begin WrestleMania with the Hulkster.

Nice AEW reference, Heyman! Surprising, Lesnar vs Rollins for the Universal Championship opens the card. Btw, this is the outcome I was spoiled on...

 Nice Beast Slayer opener!

Really liked the story of Lesnar not allowing the match to begin by demolishing Rollins outside the ring. Story-wise, the low blow was the only believable way to change the durection of the match. Three stomps to defeat Lesnar is nice symmetry with how Lesnar match typically ends. Is it hoping too much the comment about Lesnar departing for AEW was a shoot?

Jerry the King Lawler announcing!

A.J. Styles versus Randy Orton:

Awesome match! Nice counters mixed with impact moves. Both Orton & Styles had excellent ring chemistry. Liked the story of AJ figuring out how to counter the RKO. Rating 4 out of 5 stars.

Usos vs The Bar vs Shinsuke Nakamura/Rusev vs Ricochet/Aleister Black for Smackdown Tag Team Championship:

Usos retained the belts in an action-packed, wrecking derby match. Main roster newbies Black and Ricochet were spotlighted as they wrestled much of the match. Highlight was when Cesaro swung Ricochet while Sheamus made the circuit pounding on hapless wrestlers caught on the ring ropes. Match slowly built to groups of four men inside the ring at once. Highlight 2: Ricochet rolling through a mob super plex off the top rope!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Hall of Fame (Class of 2019) roundup was touching as always.

Miz vs Shane McMahon Falls Count Anywhere Match:

Omg the superplex off the scaffolding! Excellent hardcore/former friends/involving family match. Could of done without Miz's dad becoming physically involved in the match. The twist ending of Shane landing atop Miz and winning the match prevented the match from becoming special though.
Rating 3 out of 5 stars.

Women's tag team championship match: Boss and Hug Connection vs Nia Jax/Tamina vs IIconics vs Natalya/Beth Phoenix

Marked when Bret Hart appeared! Nice sneak victory by the IIconics to win the belts. Beth Phoenix still has it. Loved the homage yo the Hart Foundation. Double sharpshooter was cool. The champions being heavily involved felt refreshing compared to the prior four way. Nice blend of styles. Overall, it felt like an iconic, pardon the pun, Mania match.
Rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Daniel Bryan vs Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship:

Two wrestlers I've liked for a long time locked up. Huge Bryan mark. As for Kofi, it's been far, far past due for him to wrestle in such a high profile match in my opinion. I wasn't disappointed as Bryan and Kofi wrestled a stellar match that felt different from the WWE norm. Despite Bryan being a dominant champion, he elevated Kofi to the next level in grueling match that finished dramatically with victory for Kofi. Kofi Kingston has finally become WWE champion!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Hey, Hall & Nash!

Booker T announcing!

Rey Mysterio (coming out as the Spider-Man villain Mysterio!) vs Samoa Joe for U.S. Championship:

Wow, quick match! A 619 was nailed by Rey; but Joe followed quickly with a Kaukina Clutch to beat Mysterio and retain the belt.

Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns:

Scottish band welcomes McIntyre to ring with our first big entrance of the night. And... fireworks for Roman...
Despite some impressive moments from Drew in a power match, this was welcome back from leukemia, Roman!
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Wouldn't be a PPV without Elias... John Cena Thuganomics! Nice trip down nostalgia lane.

Batista vs Triple H No Holds Barred, Triple H's in-ring career on the line:

Uh, wasn't Triple H retired before? Okay, the Mad Max Fury Road entrance for Triple H is very cool. Brutal match. Never saw a nose ring yanked out before! Triple H spearing Batista through the German Announce Table! Sledge (Game) Hammer! Ric Flair for the distraction and Triple H finally lands a blow with the GameHammer for the win.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Ron Simmons followed by JBL announcing!

Kurt Angle's final match vs Baron Corbin:

Nice Angle highlight reel; however he put Corbin over in his final match. Classy exit.

Bobby Lasley vs The Demon Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship:

The Demon descending from the air was quite the sight! Finn Balor beat Lashley to win the IC belt in a decent match meant to pump up the crowd.

R Truth & Carmella dance break  - meh

Charlotte Flair vs Ronda Rousey vs Becky Lynch for the Women's Championship (both Raw & Smackdown):

Flair arriving via helicopter - talk about a grand entrance! Meanwhile, Rousey receives the live band entrance. All three women put on a clinic during their historic main event. Furthermore, Lynch's pin of Rousey is subjective enough that the match hints strongly at whom the Winner-Take-All (Lynch) feuds with next. For the very first women's main event at WrestleMania this match set a very high bar that would be hard to top.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Yes, WrestleMania ran LONG. Didn't start watching until over a half hour in and took several intermissions. Plus, transcribing my thoughts on my blog adding more time. Hence, why I am finishing this close to Monday afternoon instead of Sunday night. However, WrestleMania is the pinnacle of Sports Entertainment; and quite frankly, the best matches WWE puts on during the course of the year. On those two scores, it didn't disappoint. Furthermore, WrestleMania 35 ran long because there was lots of wrestling. Lots of it. High quality matches too. Plus, milestone after milestone. 35 was full of them. Overall, a more than solid WrestleMania with excellent booking despite some hiccups.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Discussion Question Answers: Torchwood - Ghost Mission Audio Drama

There's a story behind why I am holding a photo of a shrink-wrapped copy of the Torchwood: Ghost Mission Audio Drama CD. Will get to that in a moment...

Over on a social media platform, which as part of a lark I'll refer to as the Book of Face, Big Finish the UK producer of audio dramas started a discussion group for a select audio drama. Toward the end of the month Big Finish releases a list of discussion questions. February's selection was the aforementioned drama. I actually listened to Ghost Mission last month; but I have waited until the questions for this month's selection to be released. Funny word 'wait'...

You see living across the pond acquiring Big Finish audios can be... difficult. So I order them from FLCGS. Namely select Doctor Who audios; but when they debuted I bought the Torchwood solos as well. Then, I realized I really wasn't interested in every Torchwood solo so I stopped buying them. Eventually, I cut back on purchasing Big Finish audios all together. I just wasn't listening to them. They're really too pricey not to listen. Besides, I started to purchase digital copies of the audios whenever they're on special. Ergo, no sense in buying the CDs...

Anyway... I discover the Big Finish discussion group on the Book of Face. Why not start with February selection, Ghost Mission? As the audio selection, the digital was on sale. Why not purchase it? After all, I did STOP BUYING the solo Torchwoods...

I'm sure you get where this is headed...

Once I finished downloading my digitial copy of Torchwood: Ghost Mission, I begin listening to it when I scan my collection of Big Finish audios. There, still enshrined within the shrink-wrap it arrived across the pond, is my physical copy. On the bright side, I listed to both copies. I really can't listen to audio once and get everything on the first go.

Honestly, I could probably listen to Ghost Mission a third time and then I would understand how Sergeant Andy Davidson (the main - or is it sole? - protagonist) solves the problem at the end. Fortunately, such understanding is unnecessary to answer the questions.

Overall, I felt Torchwood: Ghost Mission was a solid romp featuring a character who doesn't often embark on such adventures. Heck, this is pretty much Sgt. Andy Davidson's first romp. I'd say his lack of experience is as much a part of the story as his his overcoming it is. His chemistry with his... evaluator... is top-notch. 

I did dislike a couple things. One, the audio is best enjoyed by those who have followed not only much of the Torchwood range but much of Big Finish's output as well. Dusclaimer: I didn't realize what I missing ubtil I read the discussion questions. My second issue was the prevalence of the word 'stalk-y'. While hilarious back when this audio was released several years ago, it comes across as dated in the wake of recent social developments.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Now the discussion questions...

Norton Folgate is a Big Finish created character. Do you want like him? How well do you think he fits the Torchwood universe compared to other Big Finish characters?

I rather liked the smarmy, dapper Norton Filgate. While I can't comment too much on comparisons with other Big Finish characters, Norton Folgate is a perfect example of the morally grey, complex characters that dot the world of Torchwood.

Do you think there's a place for Andy full time in Torchwood?

Heck yeah! I bought Ghost Mission precisely because I am a fan of the character. There's always room for a cgaracter full of naievity and levity whose just beginning to dip their toe.  Besides, Torchwood is quite hazardous so there's always room for someone new...

Does comedy have a place in a Torchwood range?

Yes, especially when characters like Andy are the focus. Not every mission Torchwood needs be grim. 

Do you think the Bad Penny is the same as the Bad Penny from the fourth doctor story or the Torchwood story? Does it add to mythos? What Torchwood elements should return?

I, er, haven't listened to either the Tom Baker or Torchwood Bad Penny stories. Maybe? Guess, it would be cool if it did. I always did love when elements would reoccur. As for which Torchwood elements should return, I haven't the foggiest.

Would you like to see future Norton and Andy adventures? What other situations would you like to see them in?

Future Norton and Andy adventures would be fantastic as they suit each other like a glove. Honestly, I like to see Andy interact with Norton in Norton's time. Although that could be the Doctor Who fan in me thinking. Perhaps a situation stemming from the outcome of the Bad Penny's appearance in Ghost Mission?

Who do you think sent Andy the egg plant emoji?

Uh, really, that's a question??? One of his co-workers whom goes on pub crawls with...

Mayhap, I will provide a review/discussion question answers for the March Big Finish audio selection. I KNOW I don't own a physical copy of that story.

Next time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

After X Years Redeemed My First Bonus Digital Marvel Comic

Hey, did you know if you buy a Marvel comic book you can redeem a bonus Marvel digital comic?

Yes, Matt, bonus digital copies have been standard practice with Marvel Comics for a number of years now.

Okay, got me there. I've been aware of bonus digital copies for awhile now.

I just didn't buy them because I already owned a physical copy of the issue. Plus, there was my on-and-off dalliances with Marvel Digital Unlimited. Frankly, I didn't really see point to redeeming them.

Have to admit, I was also kind of a Luddite regarding them. Ahem. This from the guy who bought Nook copies, bought Dark Horse Digital, and has a subscription for both Marvel Digital Unlimited AND DC Universe?

Eh, maybe I just too lazy to figure out how to. Plus, I wasn't keeping up with reading my physical copies...

So why the change?

First, when a Marvel comic retails for $3.99+ is the bonus digital really a bonus digital?

Second, one of my goals for 2019 is to reduce my bulk. All those comics I bought to sample yet had no intention of keeping. Redeeming a digital version (for those issue in which the deadline hasn't elapsed anyway) is a way to keep a copy while freeing up physical space.

Third, my gift Marvel Digital Unlimited subscription was far more transformative than previous subscriptions. Don't really recall checking Marvel emails regularly when I had a normal subscription before. That changed with the gift subscription I received as part of Christmas 2018. I'd check it weekly. During that time, I stumbled over Marvel Insider. It's kind of hokey; but Marvel Insider got me checking out the Marvel site about as much as I checked out ANY comics site. In the process I discovered...

Fourth, redeeming my bonus digital copies would net Marvel Insider points. Sure, there's a limit. And hokey. Yet, it's the extra carrot that spurred me onto redeeming my very first bonus digital Marvel comic.

So my thoughts:

One: It took me quite a bit of flipping and reading until I found the page with redemption instructions. It was kind of irritating but not quite as irritating as...

Peeling the label off!
If you're not careful, you can peel of both the sticker AND the label off of the page! Plus, the stickers don't peel off equally. It's also best to peel on as flat of a surface as possible so as not to mangle the comic itself. After all, one reason to redeem the bonus digital comic is to preserve the physical comic. I am assuming this is an anti-theft feature as it would be quite noticeable if someone tried doing so in a comics shop!

Third: Will there be back issue market based on whether or not the sticker covering the redemption code has been removed or not? It is a mere sticker after all. The grader or prospective buyer would need to flip through the given issue to notice it missing. On the other hand, the speculation market has been based on plenty curious things. Can't really say the comic is Mint or Near Mint if an issue is missing the sticker, can you? Guess, it depends on how copies of X-Force #1 removed from their non-archival plastic AND missing the card are graded as. Then again, if you're careful enough removing the sticker, the comic isn't really damaged. A question for ten or twenty years down the road, perhaps.

Fourth: Sometimes the redemption process leads to multiple copies of the same issue being "redeemed". Didn't actually redeem these multiple "copies" to see if they were phantom redemptions or not. Therefore, I didn't discover whether multiple digital copies of the same issue would become available. I just deleted them. After all, Marvel Insider has limit on how many Insider points one can accrue so why waste slots on phantom copies? One caveat: the multiple copies available for redemption only occurred before I discovered...

You can only redeem ONE comic at a time
That's right. You can only redeem one comic per redemption. I tried to redeem three separate issues; and only the most recent entry was redeemed. Most of the 'duplicate' occurred during this time. Then again, the phantom issue may have just been a bug. The message is clear: can't skip the process of re-loading the redeem page. Can't just redeem the ten Marvel issues you were planning on redeeming on a given week all in one go.

Now, I haven't read any of my bonus digital copies yet. A blog post for another time? Okay, probably not an entire blog entry. More like a side comment.

Overall, I am surprised I didn't redeem my bonus digital copies sooner. I spent plenty of money after all. Wasn't as bad as I made it out to be.

Happy reading!

Next time.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

New Comic Prices Make Antique Store Prices More Amenable

Don't worry folks! Aquaman didn't just lose his hand nor was Jason Mamoa the first time Aquaman had long hair and a beard.

In fact, this is also a 'finally!' post too as I finally acquired a copy of the key issue where Arthur lost his hand!

Don't worry his hand got better. Was a long, strange trip in the most comics way possible!

Anyway, about thirty years ago, I saw a copy of Aquaman #2 on the rack at a comics shop. Ten dollars was the sticker price! The cover price was $1.50; there was no way I would ever pay that much for a back issue comic. After all, I hated the beard and the harpoon hand. About that, my disgruntlement over beard and harpoon hand, which I felt was a slap in the face of my childhood Superfriends nostalagia was overcome pretty quickly. A year or two later, I jumped aboard the tail end of Peter David's Aquaman run and bought the title until its end with the stellar Jurgens/Epting run.

Still, the thought of picking up a copy of Peter David's Aquaman #2 never dawned on me until I picked up a run bag of Aquaman comics at a used book store. Issue 2 wasn't among them. When I did see a copy there, I think it was like 20 bucks... Too rich for me.

Near where I live is an antique store, or two, or three, and you can't call it a good antique store if there are no comic books there. Needless to say, comic books are available. Lots of them.

Now, if you've ever been to antique store, the prices for the comics for the condition they are in can be a bit sketchy. Doubly so if you've been exposed to the ins and outs of comic book collecting and value as I have. Comic looks worse for wear but it's from the 70's? Think I will just write, yes I said write, $10 on the comic ITSELF. Enough to drive a collector mad. Then, there are the dealers who've actually stepped into a comics shop. Those comics are bagged. At least. You can bet they cost more than the original cover price though.

Over the years, I have become bearish on buying back issues. You're unlikely to flip for more than the cover price - if that. If you're buying them at an antique store, chances are you're buying them at price that doesn't correspond with their condition. For years, paying $4 to $10 for an issue, forget about that.

Funny thing is... new comics ARE available within those price ranges. Want to buy the latest issue of Aquaman? Four dollars, please. An annual, likely $8. Heck, I've spent ten dollars on a comic or two as well.

So I browsing through the comics in the antique store, most of them are late 80s to early 00s. Of course, there's the obligatory Silver Age comics with their high sticker prices yet they are in Good condition - at best. Those aren't the topic of this entry. If I want to read those stories, I would just buy the trade or read them digitally. Or become rich. But, I digress.

Anyway, I am browsing through 80s to early 00s comics and the nostalgia bug tingles. These are the comic books that form my early comic book collecting/reading experience. Sure, key issues are few and far between but I can't help getting a little giddy. What's more and the prices fall within that $4 - $10 range. Even, the comics that look worse for wear are drawing a hard 'NO' from me. Those that fall within the $4 - $10 range.

Why? I spend that on new comic books already. I buy A LOT. Too much, honestly. Which is also why I haven't tried to clear out the antique store... But, anyhoo... Therefore, I've become used to paying a certain cover price for a given issue. Really, doesn't matter how old the comic is or if it's not too worn. Thanks Diamond! A rant for another time...

Back to Aquaman #2. Among the trip to nostalgia lane, I find the copy pictured above. Condition? Not too bad. It's bagged so I don't know how mangled the insides are. However, the covers seem in reasonable condition. Furthermore, as long as it's readable and looks good for its age, I am happy.

Remember, how I said Aquaman #2 can cost more than $10? This copy cost me THREE DOLLARS. $3 dollars! Sure double the original cover price; but a steal compared to how much it would cost in the back issue market. Heck, it was cheaper than the new issue of Aquaman I am buying this month!

The experience has taught me two things. One, you can fill holes in your collection by visiting antique stores. Two, the old price tags no longer induce sticker shock deterring me from purchasing; because I am already spending that much on new comics.

Next time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

WWE 205 Live 1/29/19 Thoughts

Must admit I haven't watched much WWE 205 Live since June. Heck, I've commented on here I really have not made WWE programming must-watch of late. However, this Sunday's Royal Rumble kicked off WrestleMania season. While I didn't watch much of it yet, I did catch the 30-Man Royal Rumble match. It whet my appetite for more WWE programming.

Thus, one can expect more of my thoughts on WWE's latest here. I'm not able to watch both flagship shows (Raw, Smackdown Live) live; but I was able to watch 205 Live er, live for the first time in months. Here's my thoughts:

Kalisto (with Lucha House Party) vs Mike Kanellis (with Maria)

While Maria ranted about about favoritism, Mike Kanellis dominated with stiff strikes. Much like a typical WWE match. Then, Kalisto took the lead with until a sick bump outside the ring. Match takes on a more 205 Live form after both gather their breaths on the mat. The three suplexe were cool; but not enough to prevent Kalisto rolling Kanellis for the pin. Crowd was dead most of the match. Have to agree with the crowd.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

There were several promos one of which I missed as I was too busy live-blogging my thoughts on the Kalisto/Mike Kanellis match. No more live-blogging. Buddy Murphy's promo, which aired after the footage of Tony Neese's attack on Noam Dar was... meh. Also wasn't impressed too much with Daivari's promo hyping Itami's match with Tozawa either. Too be fair I haven't watched 205 Live in months...

They hype Saturday's Worlds Collide event on the Network including the rosters from both NXT rosters and 205 Live as they compete in tournament, which will allow the winner to challenge the champion of their choosing from either 205 Live, NXT, or NXT UK. Maybe I'll watch it...

There's also hype for Halftime Heat, which streams during the Super Bowl halftime. It'll be a six-man tag match starring NXT stars. If am able to I'll watch it live...

Akira Tozawa (with Brian Kendrick) vs Hideo Itami (with Ariya Daivari)
Loved the story of this match which the announcers sold as the culmination of a 2018 storyline between the idol and admirer whom were once tag partners but then soured. They really played up Tozawa as the underdog trying to prove himself against the famed Itami. Much more action in this match filled with striking, grappling, high-impact moves, and high flying moves. Both men outside the ring also gradually became more and more involved. Kendrick would encourage Tozawa by doing Tozawa's signature shout, while trying to keep Daivari honest. After several near finishes, Daivari finally succeeded in distracting Tozawa after knocking out Kendricks. Ironically, Daivari ended up becoming a distraction himself enabling the underdog Tozawa to defeat the noted Hideo Itami.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. A solid match to end the show and end this feud. I may've enjoyed this more if I had followed 205 Live more during 2018.

Afterwards, Ariya Daivari turns on Hideo Itami, So we know who Hideo Itami will be feuding with next! Since I am familiar with Hideo Itami as KENTA, I am more than ready to cheer him on as face. Based on the chants of 'One More Time!', the rest of the crowd may require more convincing.

Overall, it was an okay post-Royal Rumble show. It introduced Mike Kanellis to the 205 Live audience, elevated Akira Tozawa, and kicked off Hideo Itami's next feud.

Next time.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Hey, Multiclassed 5E Druids Could You Please Not Wear Metal Armor?

When I was new to Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition, I spotted a potential loophole regarding druids. Back in the old days, druids were prohibited from wearing metal armor such as plate mail. D&D 5E had a curious note regarding armor. Merely, druids choose not to wear metal armor.

One could surmise the taboo would extend to single-classes druids and those from races without armor proficiencies. What about Fighters or Paladins with heavy armor proficiency who later multiclass into druid? After all, they all ready are proficient in plate mail. A fighter-druid clad in plate mail! While in previous editions armor hindered spell-casting, Fifth edition (5E) ties unimpeded spell-casting to proficiency. If the caster is proficient in the donned armor, the caster suffers no ill effects casting spells. Ergo, there really is nothing in the rules mechanically forbidding a druid from wearing plate mail if proficient.

Wait, multi-classing is an optional rule. Must every core class account for character multi-classing into it from another class?

Okay, you've got a point there.

What about dwarven druids wearing metal armor? Mountain dwarves have a history of crafting exquisite metal items, armor among them. Not only do they craft metal armor, they wear it as well. In fact, mountain dwarves are proficient in medium so they can don quite a number of metallic armor. Granted, not plate but you get the gist.

However, someone posed the question to WotC's Jeremy Crawford, the de facto rules guru for 5E, Twitter. His answer is an emphatic no.

Neither multi-classed nor dwarven druids can wear any sort of metal armor; because of the setting of D&D. Should a druid with requisite training buck the taboo, the DM is encouraged to take DM action.

I'm old timey gamer so saying my Fighter-Druid can't wear plate mail; because druids just don't do it is enough of an excuse for me. Furthermore, enough of the DMs I play will enforce the taboo either by fiat or by imposing some form of penalty.

Still, even Paladins suffer a mechanical consequence for violating their oaths significantly enough. Why only an honor system approach to the druid?

I guess I am just grumpy that cunning rules exploit, a druid wearing plate mail, is foiled by fluff without a 'this is what happens if you break taboo'. Fifth edition expands Dungeons & Dragons in  many ways.

Just don't break any of the role-play assumptions.

Happy Gaming!

Next time.