Last Chance for the Girl Genius contest!

Today is the last day to get those Girl Genius inspired mad science entries in to me!

Confused? Check out the contest announcement here for more details.

So far I’ve had three entries… three really good entries, mind you, but you’ve certainly still got a good chance to show off your ingenuity or creativity.

Good luck!

The BBB Girl Genius Contest!

To celebrate the release of Agatha H and the Airship City by Kaja and Phil Foglio, I’m going to have a little contest.

You can’t have a contest without some kind of prize, so here’s what the lucky winner will receive;

Girl Genius Volume 1: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank, in softcover!

The first volume of the awesome Girl Genius webcomic; the perfect synthesis of Johannes Gutenberg’s mad science creation and the Foglios’ mad science imaginings, brought directly into your home!

Why, the very act should feel slightly edgy!

But enough about the prize, how do you, the reader, go about obtaining this classic of modern iMADgination?

It’s quite simple… deceptively so.

You have to bring your own mad genius into play!

Using your imagination, and whatever artistic talents you may have, bring your favorite character creation and the concept of mad science together… and then send your juxtaposition of imagination to me here at the Big Bear Butt. (email to tigerlordgm AT yahoo DOT com)

It’s not about World of Warcraft, although you can use your favorite character from WoW if you’d like. It’s not about screenshots, although you can choose to submit one if that’s what the mad little neurons drove you to do when they got all excited up in your cranial housing.

What it takes is a character, an avatar, an alter ego of yours from a game or story of some kind, and your placing that character into a context highlighting and celebrating the whimsical genius and enthusiastic inventiveness that is mad science.

You can send in screenshots, short stories, movies (or links to movies posted by you on YouTube), songs, pictures of sculpture or knitted scenes, or anything your mind can imagine and that you would love to show off. The main thing is, it has to have been created by YOU.

Heck, create a cake sculpture and send in a picture, whatever you’d like. It’s not meant to be work, it’s meant to be fun! How your creativity is expressed is up to you!

I will gladly accept screenshots or pastiches of your character in-game amidst the panoply of rendered mad science… bless those gnomes and goblins for their hard work.

I will accept all submissions , beginning today and lasting throughout the week, ending on Friday, January 21st.

The weekend of January 22nd – 23rd, Cassie and I will review all submissions, and pick our favorites to go up on the blog for YOUR votes!

That’s right, the final winner will be determined by you! Well, the collective ‘you’ of readers that choose to vote.

So put your best set of thinking goggles on, and get hopping! Time is running out!

Again, email your submission (or a link to your submission) to tigerlordgm AT yahoo DOT com!

The BBB would like to inform all potential contestants that this contest is being held completely under the direction and control of the BBB. Prizes are submitted by the BBB, shipped by the BBB, and any issues are wholly the fault OF the BBB. Phil and Kaja Foglio are completely unaware of this contest, and should not be bothered with any questions or concerns ABOUT this contest. Failure to understand this may result in being blasted by a death ray. Thank you.

The BBB Arthas book contest – the winners announced!

The decisions were difficult to make. I want to be very clear about this. We received a lot of great entries, and every single one of them was very well written, and in almost all cases it was easy to tell that a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of your personal thoughts and imagination were caught up into your stories.

In choosing the winners of the contest, we tried to pick the stories that we loved the most that embraced and ran with the concept of bringing your own character into a personal moment with Arthas, as we defined in the original post.

There were a great many stories that were extremely well written and imaginative, that we felt were great… but just did not fulfill that one rule, that it be about you interacting directly with Arthas.

In the end, however, we could not simply disregard every entry because they chose to write about or around arthas rather than face to face. It was also about imagination, after all.

So we chose four winners from the group that wrote a story of their character directly interacting with Arthas, and one winner that wrote an extremely imaginative story weaving their in game activities with the recent patch shenanigans, into a story where the presence of Arthas was there, but there had been no true interaction between them.

So here we go, the list of winners who will be receiving a book. Over the course of the weekend, I will be sharing those stories with you, one story per post. I think their work deserves it.

A huge thank you to everyone that entered. I only wish I could give every one of you a book, because you far surpassed my wildest dreams with your creativity, your ingenuity, and your passion.

In no particular order the winners are –

Malphailuron of Eredar (also known as Warriorpanda) with a story about the desire of preventing the evil that would be the Lich King… tempered with a love and trust in the faithfulness of the Light.

Hannelore with a story that, while short, invested an incredible amount of emotional power, of passion and dread into her brief encounter with the Lich King that made me want to see a lot more of her adventures.

Cowsareus of the Twilight Hammer EU, who wrote a stirring story of a Druid seeking to work in the way of nature, preparing for a future spring right at the start of the most brutal winter.

Kraggette of Anvilmar with a story of intrigue and betrayal on the very eve of war against the Banshee Queen.

And, last but not least, Ærynn Lómëhtar with the entry that, as I said, may not have quite fulfilled the concept of a face to face encounter with Arthas… but was our choice to represent all those that went nuts with great stories that just didn’t follow the rules.

Congratulations to all of you, and to everyone that wrote such stirring stories.

All of the entries will eventually be posted in an archived format later, so that all of them can be enjoyed as they should. Just because these five were the winners in no way means the other stories were bad. Far from it. Some of them were just incredibly wonderful, including the POEtic efforts of Krizzlybear, and the explosive fun of Honorshammer. Those stories certainly should NOT just vanish into the darkness.

But in the meantime, the winning five will be here on the blog this weekend!


Contest is closed… thank you for your entries!

As of now, every entry in my inbox has been properly filed, and the contest is closed.

I had a much stronger turnout that expected, and each and every entry was of exceedingly amazing quality. There are a LOT of excellent writers out there amongst you, and to be honest I didn’t expect to only get great entries. I had thought that at least a few of you would have tossed in a lame entry. No such thing occured, they are great one and all.

Which is a big pain in the butt, since they are so well done and imaginative. It’s gonna take me a bit longer than I expected to read through them all, and take notes, and compare with Cassie, and make the final decision.

Sooo….. it’s probably going to be late Friday afternoon/evening before we announce the winners. Sorry about that.

Still…. great job to everyone that submitted an entry. Just amazing. You folks are amazing.

I’ll be back with your update Friday!

Contest rules update

Just to clarify one thing… you are not limited to two paragraphs, and if you go longer you will not be disqualified.

However, this is meant to be your story about one short encounter, five minutes or so, a brief moment in time.

If it takes you 3 pages to get your encounter described the way you think it should be, go with it, it’s your writing. You won’t be excluded.

Give it a shot; creativity, imagination and fun will matter a lot more than how many words or paragraphs you use.

Good luck!

Contest – Win your own copy of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King!

The contest is a go, I say again, the contest is a go!

We have five hardcover copies of the new World of Warcraft novel, Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden, and they are going to go to you, my wonderful readers!

Here is the good news; the contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world to enter. It will be open to everyone who reads my blog, irrespective of where you live. The one stipulation; you have to actually be able to receive mail. Gotta have what they call an ADDRESS

The nice lady who is providing these books for the contest is working with me on this… she will mail the US copies directly to the winner, and she will send the copies for international winners to me to mail out.

So, five books. Five wonderful, glorious books.

I will now proceed to make you jump through hoops. Because I can.

I, of course, am full of imagination, wit and wisdom. So, when presented with the need to come up with an appropriate contest for these wonderful books, I came up with the most brilliant idea ever.

I asked Cassie to come up with the idea.

And she delivered, boy, did she deliver. You think I’m kidding, but nope, this was all her idea, and it’s certainly better than the crap I was coming up with. 

The Contest!

You are to email me a written interaction between you and Arthas, a little creative writing project describing a five minute encounter. It should take you no more than two paragraphs.

EDIT: You can certainly go over that length… you will not be disqualified in any way. If your idea takes longer, take as long as you need. Just, try and remember… it’s supposed to be one scene.

The Challenge!

Choose any point in the life or transformation of Arthas, from as early as his childhood, to as late as his full transformation into the Lich King, or anywhere in between, where you would like to meet Arthas as your character for just FIVE MINUTES… and describe the encounter, what you would like to ask of him, say to him, or DO to him. 

Be imaginative.

I love the idea. For one thing, it works for both Horde or Alliance of any level… and Cassie hit the nail on the head, what better contest to hold when the prize is an original novel delving deep into the history of Arthas and the lore of the World of Warcraft?

So you are to perform a little creative writing, and knowledge of or at least enthusiasm about the lore or story of Arthas is what it’s all about.

Write up your encounter, and email it to me (with your name and address where you want the book mailed) to tigerlordgm AT yahoo DOT com no later than the evening of Thursday, April 16th, with the subject header “BBB Arthas Contest“.

Cassie and I will read all of your entries Thursday evening, and choose the winners Friday morning, April 17th.

You hear that? You’ve got until the night of Thursday April 16th to email me your contest entry! So don’t delay!

A break for station identification.

Now, I’d like to take the time to seriously thank Marni and the fine folks at Simon And Schuster Publishing, who are making this contest possible, who are offering these books as prizes for this contest, and in general are being really awesome.

I’d also appreciate it if those of you who are choosing to compete in this contest (and anyone else interested in book news) would do me a favor, and sign up to receive Simon & Schuster book news, videos and more at Simon And Schuster’s Preference Center.

Hold on, put down the damn pitchforks… give me a chance here.

You don’t have to buy anything or anything like that… but, you know how these things work. They want to get the word out about their new book, and are offering advance copies for people like me to review, and copies as prizes for contests.

It’s all about getting the word out.

So, as far as I’m concerned, if you could take a few moments to confirm for them that promotions like this actually reach people who like the books and contests by signing up for email news… well, it helps convince them these kinds of promotions are good ideas.

Hey, they’re the ones nice enough to publish the books I like to read, so you’re damn right I’m going to support a mail opt-in. You can choose to sign up or not, as you prefer.

If it increases the possibility I will someday see an advance copy of a novel about Sylvannas Windrunner, you best be believing I’m going for it.

Thank you for your time, and seriously… good luck in your entry, I can’t wait to read them!

And you know… you KNOW I’ll be posting the winners, so make sure you also include, along with your mailing name, your chosen nom nom de plume.

Child’s Play is in da House!

It’s that wonderful time of year, when Child’s Play is once more rolling into action.

And of course, I will be exhorting you to do your part.


Okay, I better stop. Some of you are starting to get excited.

This year, Cassie and I will be donating as usual, but I’m also going to do something a bit more ‘reader involving’.

This year, I will be holding some kind of charity drive, where I will have prizes, and you can donate money for a chance to win.

I think it should go without saying that 100% of the money collected will go to Child’s Play. But nah, I better say it.

100% of the money brought in will go to Child’s Play.

There will be more about that very soon, after Cassie and I figure out what form it should take. A raffle seems obvious, but there must be certain limitations on some types of events based on legal rules from various countries. Quebec, I understand, hates for it’s citizens to win prizes. So we will have to investigate.

If you happen to HAVE a prize you would like to donate, feel free to contact me at “tigerlordgm AT yahoo DOT com” to work out the details. Title of email – Bear Blog Childs Play.

In the meantime, remember… a donation to Child’s Play serves two wonderful purposes…

It provides some measure of comfort, joy and distraction to children all over the world who are sick and suffering in Children’s Hospitals…

And it provides a wonderful /facepalm to all those ignorant asshats that think all gamers are selfish anti-social basement-dwelling geeks that live at mommy’s house and plan Columbine-style massacres to make up for feelings of inadequacy.

Just think, every time you donate a dollar to Child’s Play, you make Jack Thompson cry.

Cry painful, bitter tears.

How can you possibly resist?


Where YOU are the star!

Well, I’m a Bear of my word.

I said that I’d showcase the photos of your BlizzCon adventures and Halloween costumes if you sent them in, and by gosh here we go!

I also said that I would try and give a prize to the best Halloween costume I got.

There could have been a reader poll for costumes, but as I had only one Halloween costume entry, I think picking a winner ain’t gonna be that hard.

That being said, I have a few reader pictures to share with you from BlizzCon first, and then a Halloween photo full of win!

First, let’s have a few really neat photos from BlizzCon.

Our first photos come to us from Ted Kniazewycz, who says that he went to BlizzCon, and took part in the Costume Contest as a Feral Druid in Bear form… I’m assuming as Alliance, since there is a conspicuous lack of horns. Ted, you just don’t look very horny in these photos, dude.

He says that not only did he go as a Bear, but he even did the Bear dance on stage… and Mike Morhaim took his picture for his personal album… okay, that last bit kind of scares me.

You’re a very brave Bear, Ted!


ted3dance.jpg ted5.jpg


Everyone, give Ted a big round of applause!

Next, we have a wonderful round of photos from Phaedra and her husband (who apparently shall remain nameless, and whose role in these photos was designated camera holder. Poor guy.) 

Phaedra says that she leveled Druid with a bizarro spec, and raided as a healer, but after switching to Feral, she has developed a love for tanking with her face. Ah, words I love to hear.

The two of them obviously had a great deal of fun at BlizzCon, and that Murloc was a constant friend and buddy, that went everywhere they did. Ah, the stories that little guy could tell!

Well, he could if we could understand Murloc, anyway. Perhaps we need a few of the more famous Murlocs to be Ambassadors for the cause, help us develop a Murloc to English dictionary. I nominate Phaedra as the human representative.

No, Phaedra is not in costume… but she does wear an “I tank with my face” shirt, and she tanks her Murloc with her face, so it’s all good.

phaedra1.jpg phaedra5.jpg


I have to say, it gives me goosebumps to think that someone was proudly representing the Feral Druid Facetanks at BlizzCon! Way to go Phaedra!

And finally, our one and only Halloween Costume entry…

From Joe, aka Lazaros of Llana, we have this!

Heya, Bear! I saw your Halloween picture call and I’d like to at least toss one your way. It’s not a druid form, but it should be semi-familiar to the Hordies out there.

May I present, my daughter, Nicole, the Barrens Giraffe!


Congratulations, Joe, that’s adorable!

As the winning Halloween Costume entry, Nicole wins a t-shirt of her choice! Just go to the store and make your pick, and email me the link (and your address, of course!).

Very fun, everyone. And thank you all very much for sending in your pictures, I really enjoyed seeing them!

Communications breakdown!

As I pine for the absence of Dammy and Wulfa and the Orclette, who are journeying cross country to their new home, I sat myself down with many, many plans for blogging.

Yes, sad to say that I never find myself at a loss for things to write about. No, I find myself at a loss for TIME!

Time, time… ask me for anything but time!

Anyway, today I had a simple plan.

I’d throw up an early morning post shining the spotlight on some really neat pictures a few readers sent me of their fun and happiness at Blizzcon. I meant to do it when I got them, and then, things kept getting posted. So today, I’d do it!

And then, once the fires of postage were satisfied, I could spend some leisure time writing the next PBeM post to put up today, kind of a late ‘last week’ thing, and get a start on this Friday.

So I went to my email, to go get those photos…

Did you know I get over a hundred emails a day?

And that I read every single one, delete the ones that are spam (which are damn few), and then, inevitably, say to myself, “I am short on time right now, but just as soon as I get some free time, I am totally going to answer those.”

Well, I realized that I had not actually replied to some of my emails. So I decided to go to the beginning of the emails in my Inbox, and start deleting anything that was obviously junk, leaving only serious stuff for my keepfile (like Photobucket registration confirmations and other stuff), and reader mail. Then I could go through it all and get caught up!

How long could it possibly take?


For those of you that were nice enough to email me, beginning last December, who never heard a reply, all the way through to now, I offer my most sincere apologies.

I have spent over an hour clearing email now… not reading it yet, just clearing away the weeds.

And it has become obvious to me that for the most part that I have not answered the majority of reader mail I have gotten since December.

I still have it all, it just got… pushed back. By the next days’ deluge.

A hundred a day. With spikes on WoW Insider days.

I have spent an hour… and I have several thousand more to clear, before I can even start reading them.


Just unbelieveable. I knew I was horrible, but that’s just stupid. How the hell can someone not answer email like that?

But you all have such great comments and questions, that I just never felt right about sending a stupid form “thanks for writing!” reply, I meant to sit down and answer each and every one of you in depth.

Ah, well.

Let the record show that my client, the Big Bear Butt, sucks, your honor. Fo’Shizzle!

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to get to the photos from Blizzcon.

HEY! I know!

While I’m dealing with this, here is a reader challenge!

A two parter!

Blizzcon Photo request!

If you went to Blizzcon and took pics, send ’em to me (or a link to them in photobucket or wherever you stored them), and an accompanying story, and I’ll try to include them all tomorrow!

So the deadline on sending me pics for a Blizzcon reader roundup is 5 AM Central Time tomorrow.

Halloween Costume photo request!

With Friday being Halloween, if any of you are dressing up as a WoW-related character (or dare I say wish it, in Tree form or Cat form or Bear form), then take some pics and send those to me afterwards, and I’ll do a reader costume contest with Poll!

Deadline on that would be next Monday morning by 5 AM Central.

I can’t promise there will be prizes for the best costume per reader poll, but I think I should be able to swing a shirt for the winner.

Yeah, yeah, I know. “Dude, where’s my car?” Sorry, shirts are the best I can do.

Yeah, this is totally not my way of casting /Distracting Shot at all of you whose emails I blew off. Not at all.

So send those photos in from Blizzcon with a writeup, and also think about whether you want to send me pics of your Halloween costume.

And if you made a gaming-related or fantasy/sci-fi costume you think is uber neat that you’re going to wear, but it ain’t WoW related, send that in too. I’d prefer to do a post admiring your WoW awesomeness, but I love neat costumes, so don’t be shy. I figure WoW costumes should be the ones competing for the prize, though.

And now, to see if anybody actually sends me any pics at all, and to get back at that email.

Somebody hand me a machete, I gots some hacking to do!

Congrats to the T-Shirt design winnah!

The votes for our T-Shirt design contest, the theme of which was “I tank with my FACE!“, are in… and your voices have been heard.

Clearly, while all three of the designs were enjoyed, and are delightful, only one could be the people’s choice.

And that one is… Kody!

Congratulations to Kody for your very cool picture of the bear nursing a sore jaw with an ice pack… it certainly captured the feel of tanking Prince with our face, and I think others most definitely agreed.


Tobysandwich, you are the winner of a T-shirt with your design on it, and a WoWTCG loot card, “The Footsteps of Illidan”, with code.

I’ll be giving you an email, so I hope I’m not on your spam list!

But don’t fret, my friends… I’m not a mean old bear.

I have WoWTCG loot cards of “The Footsteps of Illidan” with code for both of our other wonderful designers, as well!

That’s right, all three of our finalists are winners! See?

I’m not mean! Just cranky!

Hey, when they’re that awesome, how can you settle for a virtual handshake and a ‘better luck next time’?

So Cynra and Neo Geen, you can expect emails of your own. Grats!

Congratulations to all three of you for being such incredibly talented artists, and a hearty thank you to everyone that participated in the contest, you made this a lot of fun!

There will be more info coming as to when designs will be available in the store, and when I can get a gallery up here of all our entries.

Thank you all once again, and I hope you all enjoyed the contest!

Disclaimer: All prizes awarded are provided by the Big Bear Butt, because even with my extra large ursine posterior, I’m too small to have a sponsor. The choice of prizes is meant to reflect on what I think is neat in the game, and is not meant to be an endorsement of anyone… but I wouldn’t turn down any WoW related items in the future to offer as prizes for other contests. Hint, hint.