I'm going to have to eat a bit of crow with this blog post. My family has a long history of "worthless Christmas gifts" from the year of multiple copies of "Dragons of Autumn Twilight," to the early nineties when I got one of those Lollapaloser flimsy sleeveless flannel shirts with an attached flimsy hood (because I liked punk rock...) and the "$25 worth of Costco gift certificates" debacle (great, a present that means I have to wait in line forever to buy a giant box of granola bars). Oh well, it's not like one should expect their parents to get them Sodom vinyl LPs and early OOP TSR products.
So this year my sister, bless her square heart, got me a copy of The Sword's "Warp Riders" for Christmas as "Blair likes metal." Yeah Blair likes metal... the same way Jamie Mal likes Dungeons & Dragons. Blair likes primitive, bestial low-fi thrash, doom, sludge, grindcore, black metal, power violence...you get the picture.
So, of course, I was less than enthused with that gift, although my making lemonade out of lemons reaction was "Well a fair amount of my friends are hipster-ish so I can just re-gift it whenever I hear of a birthday..."
Today I had to take the day off work due to a strained back; after my 11 am wake-n-bake I was restless, bored and lookign for something to entertain me. I spotted my copy of "Warp Riders" gathering dust and thought "Why don't I put this on and laugh my ass off at how slick and false it is!", the metal-nerd version of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
Well, although the production was slicker than what I was used to, after a few minutes I was sucked in! I really let my "underground nuclear goat chaos punk hessian" stance interfere with enjoying some awesome music, as this album really kicks ass!
This band really has it all: awesome riffs & hooks, psychedelic space fantasy lyrics, and lush production that propels you on nebulae of pot smoke through the cosmos!
I really learned my lesson about being judgmental about "bands not being underground enough," and I have already discovered a bunch of awesome new bands on youtube like Priestess, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse and Probot just from looking at music with an open mind, and I encourage you to do the same.
I know that when I resume DMing Planet Algol games that The Sword "Warp Riders" will be the official album of the Planet Algol campaign, and I encourage all of you to check out this kickass band.
Now here's a little random table of "The Sword Inspired Plot Hooks"
1 - Tres Brujas - The party encounters three witches, are they potential allies or adversaries?
2 - Warp Riders - The party finds a downed starcraft, do they dare to ride the warp?
3 - Night City - The party arrives at a city ...where it is always night!
4 - Arrows in the Dark - Out of the darkness arrows fly at the party ...what is this ambush?!?!
5 - The Chronomancer, Pt. 1: Hubris - The party encounters a sorcerer with unusual time-manipulating magic, however he/she suffers from hubris!
6 - Lawless Lands - In their travels the party has to cross a land without any lawful authority...danger and crime abounds!
7 - Acheron/Unearthing the Orb - The party comes across a party of archaeologists studying ancient Acheronian ruins ...and they have just discovered a mysterious orb!
8 - Astraea's Dream - An NPC, names Astraea, just had a mysterious dream that bodes of adventure for the party!
9 - The Chronomancer, Pt. 2: Nemesis - The party encounters a time-manipulating sorcerer who is being hunted by another time-manipulating adversary who seeks to punish them for their hubris!
10 - (The Night The Sky) Cried Tears of Fire - After sunset storm clouds gather; the clouds...they look like embers...why is the lightning flaming? Oh gods no...the rain..it burns!