It’s the first week of November, and here at Nerds we’re cranking out some love for the nerdy stuff we’re into. I suppose it’s my turn to wow and astound you with all the nerdy things in my orbit that I dig of late. Here goes!
7 Nerdy Things You Need in Your Life
What it is. Gaslands is a miniatures racing game that uses 1:64 scale model cars (think Hot Wheels and Matchbox) to create post-apocalyptic flavored vehicular mayhem. I have written about it a couple of times now at Nerds on Earth (here and here), but it bears repeating just how flipping awesome this game is. Gameplay is raucous and unpredictable, and the price of entry can be relatively cheap.
Why you might like it. Who doesn’t like playing with cars? You can bring back all the nostalgia from your youth of racing around cars with the added fun of tabletop gaming. There’s a ton of fun to be had in searching for the right cars to bring to the table. Players can feel comfortable leaving it at that, but Gaslands encourages players to modify their cars to trick them out. It’s a rabbit hole I haven’t gone down myself yet, but many have found significant pleasure in modding.
2 Marvel’s Star Wars Comics
What it is. Star Wars returned to Marvel Comics back in 2015. Marvel has been absolutely killing it with the property since then. While the array of titles has nowhere near the breadth and scope of the Dark Horse years, Marvel makes up for focusing exclusively on the film timeline by putting top notch talent on their books. These comic books certainly feel like Star Wars, something Dark Horse was spotty at achieving with many of their titles.
Why you might like it. Every Marvel Star Wars book brings something unique to the table. Fans of the prequels, original trilogy, and sequel trilogy will find something to love in the books. Though the focus has been primarily on the original trilogy era, there have been plenty of titles set outside the holy trilogy. Marvel has produced an array of ongoings, miniseries, and one-shots that offer more homeruns than Dark Horse ever accomplished. Shade thrown? Maybe, but Marvel is putting out spectacular material!
Where you can get your hands on it. Your local comic book store is a good place to start for individual issues, but big box retailers like 2nd & Charles, Books-a-Million, and Barnes and Noble have collections out the bantha bottom. Comixology and Amazon also have everything you need online.
3 The 13th Doctor
What it is. The eleventh season of the rebooted Doctor Who started in October. While any new season of Doctor Who is worth celebrating, Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor is the first female to take on the role of everyone’s favorite double-hearted space and time traveling alien.
Why you might like it. Jodie Whittaker’s new Doctor is the perfect jumping on point for anyone curious about the show. The new Who does a great job of catching up viewers very quickly on who the Doctor is and why anyone should care. New showrunner Chris Chibnall promises all new monsters and plenty of thrill for this season. Jodie Whittaker is also absolutely killing it as the Doctor.
Where you can get your hands on it. Interested nerds (and I suppose, non-nerds) can check out the Doctor’s adventures on BBC America here in the states. For the cordcutters or folks without cable like me, you can also purchase a season pass on Amazon for less than $20.
4 D&D Dragon Heist
What it is. The latest D&D adventure from the folks at Wizards of the Coast is played it yet, but it sounds like insane fun! Set in the famed city Waterdeep, Dragon Heist leads players on a grand caper to uncover a villainous plot to find a lost treasure. I’m currently on DMing hiatus, but the more I read this adventure, it feels like my vacation from weekly planning and finding creative ways to tell players “no” is going to be short lived. This adventure provides a fun and wildly entertaining sandbox for players to explore. You even get to own a haunted bar. Who hasn’t wanted to do that at some point in their life?
Why you might like it. With 5th edition, it has never been easier to get into Dungeons and Dragons. Really, if you’re even a smidge curious about what the game is like, plan out a visit in the near future to your local game store. They will no doubt be able to connect you to a group. Dragon Heist has everything players new and old players could ever want out of an adventure. Players get to interact with famous D&D characters, play different factions off of each other, explore the mysteries of one of D&D’s most famous locations, and get the chance pull off a pretty impressive heist.
Where you can get your hands on it. Your local game store definitely has this in stock or can at the very least order you a copy pronto. Wizards of the Coast also has links to several place that one can buy the physical book, along with Amazon. (Our full review of Dragon Heist.)
5 Image Comics
What it is. Image is really killing it these days. Expecting Marvel or DC to be really innovating with their titles is a little like expecting Ohio State fans to be pleasant, tolerable people. Both of those companies are in the business of protecting intellectual property these days more than actually telling stories through the medium of comic books. Image, on the other hand, is breaking ground with seemingly every single comic they put out these days. Image Comics has come a long way from their overly muscled art and whisper-thin stories of the early 1990s. Image is producing the most diverse and entertaining set of comic books on the market today.
Why you might like it. Image literally has a book for everyone. Want Sci-Fi? Try Paper Girls, Saga, The Manhattan Projects, Port of Earth, or Descender. Want fantasy? You should really pick up Monstress, Rose, or Maestros. You want horror? You’re looking for The Walking Dead, Redneck, or Outcast. Want post-apocalyptic nihilism? Try Lazarus, Port of Earth, Oblivion Song, or The Realm. Want gritty realism? Buy Stray Bullets or Southern Bastards. Want something that will make you laugh? You have to give Sex Criminals and I Hate Fairyland a try. Image literally has something for everyone, with many of their first volume trades going for $9.99 each. You really can’t go wrong.
Where you can get your hands on it. Like the Marvel Star Wars books, checking out a local comic store is your best bet. You could also try Image’s own print subscription service, Image Direct.
6 SagaBorn Roleplaying Game
What it is. SagaBorn is a simplified d20 system that asks players to focus on storytelling rather than thumbing through a rulebook to discern the labyrinthian minutiae of a heavy rules set. The world of SagaBorn takes place in The Dark Return setting of Atheles, which was originally created as a setting for Pathfinder. I know, this must be shocking to Earth Nerd Clave, but there are actually other settings besides Golarion in Pathfinder!
Why you might like it. I was never a Pathfinder convert. I don’t have anything against the system, and I do want to try 2.0 when it hits in its final form, but in my listening to several PF play podcasts, there’s a lot of superfluous rules that seem to bog that game down immeasurably.
The system interests me, but SagaBorn plays like Pathfinder/D&D 3.5, but with less cumbersome rules. SagaBorn’s focus on quick play and less rules feels like a good balance between Pathfinder and D&D 5e. Plus, the story for Atheles is really cool. The game is set in a world where magic has been gone a very long time, and is only now just returning. The magic system focuses on a mana point system and has a dark side if used too much.
Where you can get your hands on it. The website for SagaBorn features a store that has the rulebook, several of the Pathfinder adventures set in Atheles, and the newly released Creature Compendium. You can also get products from DriveThruRPG and Amazon.
7 Lucas, Nerd in Training
What it is. Lucas is my son. He’s precious, he’s four, and he is a budding nerd. The last year or so has been an amazing time to watch my son grow. He just turned four and loves many nerdy things. He’s obsessed with space, and has been for as long as he could sit up in his crib and point to the Moon light in his room. He’s into Star Wars, Spider-Man, The Incredibles, and P.J. Masks. He wants to read comic books and play video games with his dad. He likes doing small science experiments with his mother.
Why you might like it. Having a kid is great most of the time. I really love the age he’s at now. He’s old enough to have opinions on his entertainment choices and he’s definitely showing an interest in all the nerdy things his dad loves.
I’m trying really hard not to impose my own nerdy choices on him, but it’s so amazing to see him get excited about a video game, cartoon, or comic book. I gave him the first three issues of The Incredibles 2 comic book from Dark Horse back in October for his birthday. There’s something magical about hearing him laugh about a particular panel or his asking questions while we read those comics together. I’m enjoying fostering his nerdiness.
Where you can get your hands on it. You see, when a daddy nerd and a mommy nerd love each other very much…Well, I don’t want to go all biological here, but I reckon you can follow where I am going with all of this stuff.
You can’t have my kid, but if you have your own, I hope you’re showing him or her the positive side to being a nerd. There’s nothing wrong with geekily tearing into your own interests and fandoms. Seeing comics, video games, and tabletop gaming from his perspective has given me afresh outlook on what is important.
Our nerdy pursuits often produce lifelong, meaningful bonds between people. Together, we’re finding new worlds and interests to explore. It’s the best thing on Earth.
Do you want to nerd out with Brandon about his favorite things? Or maybe share that you enjoy similar? Here is the direct link for you to connect with him via Facebook.