You’ve Got Jack: Changes That I Think Could Fix “Bad” Movies Episode 1

youvegotjackbannerChanges That I Think Could Fix “Bad” Movies:
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Quite often a movie comes out that is just bad. It loses itself completely or it’s a confusing mess. Unfortunately, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is one of those movies. It bugs so many Star Wars fans that a machete viewing order has been created that ignores the film completely. Below are the 6 things that could have been done to make the movie make a whole lot more sense.  Before I start I want to say that I am in no way a director or writer. I’m just a nerd who thinks he can fix “bad” movies.

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Gen Con 2014 Advice: Advanced

Gen Con 2014 is just around the corner. In this post I am going to give some advice that appears simple but can make your time at the convention so much easier.


The convention center in which the convention is held has several coin operated lockers. If you get to Gen Con on Wednesday, I highly recommend dropping the money on one of these lockers. If you are a shopper, they provide a nice place to safely store your stuff while you are out and about. Sure, you can haul all your stuff back to the hotel room. The problem is that not everyone has a hotel that is connected to the convention center. On top of that, not all the hotels are right next to the vendor’s hall. If you have a locker, you are able to drop your stuff off and go about your merry with a little care in the world.

If you are a gamer and ignored my basic advice of not bringing everything, this gives you place close to the action to store your stuff. You can take what you need for each game and just run to the lockers to drop off stuff you no longer need and pick up the new necessities.

The downside of the lockers is that there aren’t a lot of them and the keys go pretty quick. This is why I say if you get in on Wednesday to check them out. If the keys are all gone it still worth swinging by and checking to see if any lockers have opened up as they are nice little hidey-hole when you don’t want to lug around your stuff. The other down side is that they have been doing so much work on the convention center that they may have moved or been removed completely. Fingers crossed here that they have not.

Food Trucks

Another piece of basic advice was that you need to get two meals a day. If you’ve been to Gen con before you know that the hotel breakfast bars are exorbitantly priced. The other difficulty is that the restaurants fill up quickly during peak hours. If you have a short amount of time between slots, getting a meal can be difficult. Gen Con and Indianapolis have made getting a meal easier by locating a large selection of food trucks down the street right next to the vendor hall. The variety of food available is wonderful and the quality ranges from OK to phenomenal. They also have catered to those with special diets such as vegetarians and gluten-free as well. Sure, you can still get a cupcake as big as your head from one of the food trucks but having healthy food options for lunch and dinner within easy reach is a good thing.

Games on Demand

Sometimes the best laid plans fall apart. The game you really wanted to play has had nobody sign up for it or the GM doesn’t show up. This leaves you with a slot open. My first advice would be to make sure you have hit the 3-2-1 rule with this time. If you have made sure you’ve met those minimums and aren’t feeling crabby or tired, then I suggest giving Games on Demand a visit. This is a group of indie game designers and volunteers that run these types of games. All you need to do is show up with a generic ticket or a ticket of some kind and they will do their best to get you into a game that will mostly likely be new to you. When you show up, keep an open mind as they games fill up quick and you may have to take what is available but the staff will try their hardest to get you into a game that you may enjoy. The slots run on the even hours so make sure to drop by when you have time to check and see when the next set of games start and see what might interest you.


Reign of Ironclaw: Welcome to Sepouia!

kor_s03e01.fwThis world is not the one we knew. Reignsborough is no more and our heroes are… changed.  New alliances, new friendships and new enemies populate the capitol city of the United Tribes.  Sepouia is the destination of many eager souls dreaming of a better life for their children, but in a matter of days, those dreams will dissolve to a boiling nightmare.

We’d love to hear from you! Give us a call at 972-763-5903 and share your comments, questions, and suggestions. If we use your voicemail in the show, you’ll win an Ideology of Madness SurPrize!

GM’s note: Knights of Reignsborough: Reign of Ironclaw is a role playing game actual play podcast. It is not our intent to teach a system, rather to entertain. As such, much of the game mechanic discussion has been edited from the audio.

Knights of Reignsborough: Reign of Ironclaw is on a bi-weekly release schedule.  Episode 2 will be released the weekend of August 8.


New Evil Dead TV Series To Star Bruce Campbell Himself!

Friday night at Comic-Con was the Screen Gems panel.  During the panel, they revealed that Sam Raimi, his brother, and Bruce Campbell are currently working together on an Evil Dead television series. Early this morning, Bruce broke news on his twitter that will be welcome to any classic Evil Dead fans: Bruce Campbell’s Ash will be the star of this new series.

Right now, it’s not known if this will replace the plans for an Army of Darkness film sequel. In my opinion, if the multiple Army of Darkness games are any example, Army of Darkness is a concept that will lend itself much better towards a series than films due to it’s dimension and time hopping themes.

Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie: #FireWayneCole

FBEP244.fwWhile Paul and Andrew are away this week, Aron, Tim and Wayne are left to wonder where those guys are and kick off the next social media storm: #FireWayneCole.

Don’t forget! Funnybooks is sponsoring the Orc Stomp 5k taking place this year at GenCon! Sign up and get your run on! All profit will be going to the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana, so support this great cause!

Also, check out the Knights of Reignsborough Season 2 Feedback Show, the first of our Actual Plays from this year’s Fear The Con, THIS EMPIRE EARTH and our second AP of the Atomic Robo RPG.

And this Friday… Knights of Reignsborough Season 3 episode one!

We love your feedback.  Give us a call on the Ideology of Madness hotline 972-763-5903.  If we use your voicemail on the show, you’ll win an Ideology of Madness SurPrize.


Gen Con 2014 Advice: Basics

Gen Con, the best four days in gaming, is just around the corner. It starts August 14th and runs through August 17th in Indianapolis, Indiana. Badges and event tickets have been winging their way across the globe to tens of thousands of excited gamers.

With it being less than thirty days out, I thought I would share some advice for those attending Gen Con for the first time as well as veterans of this convention.

The Basics

The 3-2-1 rule is something simple yet easily over looked by both those attending Gen Con. It stands for a minimum of three hours of sleep, two meals a day, and one shower. Please note that I state that this is a minimum. This is for your’s and other’s enjoyment of the convention. Yes, you can push yourself to do without these minimums. The down side is that as time goes along you will wear down quickly and become grumpy. This will make it more difficult to enjoy this thing into which you have invested so much. In addition, you will inadvertently take this out on those around you which will decrease their enjoyment also. Getting more than the 3-2-1 is highly recommended as it will increase your enjoyment of the convention exponentially as well as improving your chances of avoiding con crude.

Cardio. I know that t his word doesn’t seem like it has a place in an advice column about Gen Con but it does. You see, Gen con covers a large amount of real estate. It is spread across a convention center as well as 7 or more hotel venues. The amount of ground that you will cover only increases when you include side trips to the various restaurants that surround the convention. There is going to be a lot of walking in your future at Gen Con. Take the time before the convention to build up a little stamina. Take a walk every evening to get yourself used to it. Especially if you work is something sedentary. This way the long trek through the dealer hall will not leave you wrecked and make you want to just take a long nap afterward.

Pack light. Once again, you are most probably wondering when I lost my mind. Just hear me out. I know that you are coming to Gen Con to game. This is great. The problem is that if you bring everything that you think you need to play whatever game you love, you will bring way to much. The probability that the room you are staying in is filled with people is very high. this means that space will be at a premium. If it is filled with your stuff it will make getting the minimum 3 hours of sleep very difficult. You also will most likely be playing games in different venues which means walking. Walking a lot carrying all that stuff is even more difficult. If you aren’t running a game, dice, pens, and paper will most likely be enough for you to get by for the weekend. If you are running games try to think long and hard about what you need to run a good game. This way you can pare down what you have to lug around and enjoy your time at Gen Con.

In my next post I will discuss some advanced advice.

IoM Actual Play: Atomic Robo, Year 2 – It’s a Madhouse!


This episode of Ideology of Madness Actual Play features the first of our APs recorded at Fear the Con 7 in St. Louis.

It’s a Madhouse!

Alexi, Victoria, Thomas, Mitch and Intern Timmy return for another year of super science mayhem. After their stunning success dealing with a fungus infestation (and dealing with the fallout of utilizing Soviet space based weapons on US soil) they now find themselves investigating mysterious disappearances in the northern tundra.

This game utilizes the Atomic Robo RPG rules from Evil Hat Productions, and features Aron and Paul from Funnybooks. John from Knights of Reignsborough, and Dan and Joey. Recorded live at Fear the Con this year in St. Louis, Atomic Robo, Tesladyne Team 8 is the second year of our Atomic Robo RPG hosted by Andrew from Funnybooks.

Note that, because this was recorded at Fear The Con, there is a decent amount of background noise, especially in the second half.

Give us a call at 972-763-5903 and leave us your thoughts. If we use your voicemail, you’ll win an Ideology of Madness SurPrize!


Madness at the Movies: Snowpiercer

snowpiercer-posterIf you’re going to the movies today, don’t see Snowpiercer.

Don’t get me wrong…I think it was a good movie.  It may even be a great one.

Snowpiercer is about the last remnants of humanity, who all live aboard a specially-engineered train that protects them from the outside environment. Since a failed geo-engineering effort ended up overcompensating for global warming, the Earth has become, well, Hoth.  As far as these folks on the train know, they’re all that’s left of life – of any kind – on the planet.  The movie is set 17 years after the doors of the train closed and it began its never-ending circuit around the world (yes, world…I’ll get to that).  The train is stratified into the first class “ticketed” passengers who live in luxury at the front of the train, and the abused refugees who live in the rear. (Incidentally, I’ve never read the graphic novel that this movie is based on, so I can’t speak to whether any of this adheres to the original).

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Universal HHN Face Off_Logos


ORLANDO, Fla., UNIVERSAL CITY, Ca. (July 17, 2014) — The most twisted and gruesome character creations featured on Syfy’s hit competition series “Face Off ” will be live and “In the Flesh” at both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Halloween Horror Nights” events, beginning Friday, September 19. Nightmarish creatures will surround guests on both coasts as the macabre visions of some of the most talented up-and-coming make-up artists’ from the show are brought to life.

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights will feature an all new street experience with ten different character creations inspired by the acclaimed Syfy series, including a look designed by season 5 “Face Off ” winner and Universal Orlando make-up artist, Laura Tyler. The hair-raising, horrifying characters will inhabit five unique and immersive environments within the scare zone, from eerie scarecrows that go to great lengths to protect a spine-chilling farmland to ghoulish brutes that haunt dilapidated castle ruins.

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Why Skyline is the Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Movie of the 21st Century (Thus Far)

skyline_smallSo, nobody likes Skyline. When I speak to the few people I know who’ve watched it, they’re universally negative about it. And my circle of friends isn’t unique in that respect; Rotten Tomatoes lists it with a whopping 15% approval rating. It made a few “Worst Of…” lists in 2010 when it was released. One review was even titled, “Skyline is the most pointless movie of the year.”

The problem is, everybody is looking at this movie wrong. This movie is actually a brilliant story, and what I think works against it is the fact that it asks the viewer to really challenge their pre-conceptions (which is, incidentally, one of the goals of any good science fiction story). This movie is a reversal of the “alien invasion” storyline that we’ve received over and over again from the Michael Bays and Roland Emmerichs of the world.

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