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Oct 7, 2021

Dubbing Differences: Mulan

  Dubbing Differences:


I found the following notable changes in the Brazilian Portuguese dub of Disney's Mulan:
  • Shan-Yu says “Very good,” instead of “Perfect.”
  • Mulan to Little Brother: “Come on, love” instead of “smart boy.”
  • “Uphold the family honor” is simplified to “Honor the family.”
  • Mulan: “Root for me!” instead of “Wish me luck!”
  • Another fun reversal: “The bath’s cold because you were late” instead of “It would have been warm if you were here on time.”
  • On the last few notes of “Honor to Us All,” the Portuguese singers drop an octave, almost like they can’t sing high enough?
  • Instead of saying “Not good for bearing sons,” the matchmaker says “Don’t even think about being able to have sons.”
  • “The Final Admonition” is called “The Duties of a Good Wife.”
  • Mulan: “Reflect before you fall. ...Act!” Done for rhyming in Portuguese, but it’s not as humorous.
  • Mulan: “This isn’t fair!” instead of “You shouldn’t have to go!”
  • Instead of saying “Don’t make me have to singe nobody to prove no point,” Mushu says “I’m not even going to teach you how to use this cutting-edge technology.” I don’t understand what that means in either language.
  • Instead of saying “Your misguidance led Fa Deng to disaster!” the ancestor says “Fa Deng lost his head because of you!”
  • The head ancestor speaks in a continental Portuguese dialect instead of Brazilian.
  • Shan-Yu says “I’m here” instead of “I’m ready.” This fits the voice acting much better.
  • When Mulan is rehearsing before entering the men’s camp, she says “Your sword is nice” instead of “I see you have a sword.”
  • Mulan says  to Mushu “Do I know you?” instead of “Who are you?”
  • Chien-Po says to Yao “Let’s sing” instead of “Chant with me.”
  • Instead of “You ain’t worth my time, Chicken-boy,” Yao says “Never mind, you big coward.”
  • Mushu calls Yao a “weakling” instead of a “limp noodle.”
  • The word for “captain” is “commander.” Makes me wonder about the translations of other military titles and stations in other languages.
  • The soldiers say “It’s his fault!” instead of “He started it!”
  • Mulan has a very interesting and intensive change in one of her lines. The original is “Sorry you had to see that. But you know how it is when you get those manly urges, and you just gotta kill somethin’! Fix things, cook outdoors...” In Portuguese, she says “Excuse the mess, but it’s the masculinity! The desire to break things! Belch, say swear words…
  • Mushu says “Saúde” instead of “Gesundheit,” which is the proper Portuguese response to a sneeze. Also, he says “I’m too much!” instead of “I kill myself!”
  • Mushu expands upon an English line in Portuguese. Instead of saying “Of course, Ping did steal my—” he says “He did steal my girlfriend—”
  • Li Shang says “You’ll spend a pleasant night choosing rice in the kitchen.” I think this might be a genuine error in translation, because the verb definitely means “choose,” as in “pick” something. Not “pick up.”
  • Mushu just calls the “porridge” “breakfast.” Probably another lip-syncing issue.
  • Instead of “No fightin’, play nice with the other kids” Mushu says “you’re not gonna fight, you’re just gonna play” which rhymes nicely in Portuguese, and instead of “kick the other kid’s butt,” they say “break his nose.”
  • Mushu says “Make a grimace” instead of “Let me see your war face,” and he says his “fur slippers” ran for cover, instead of his “bunny slippers.”
  • Instead of saying “That’s my tough-lookin’ warrior!” Mushu says “That’s what the people like!
  • The pun with Chi-Fu saying “Order!” and then they start “ordering” food is lost. 
  • The soldiers order “a caramel banana,” something called “mia casubia,” and some kind of sandwich.
  • Instead of “And I’ll do it with my shirt on,” Yao says “And keep watching, because I’m not even going to break a sweat.”
  • Man, there are a lot of differences. Li Shang says “One is not complete without the other” instead of “You need both to reach the arrow.”
  • The line “I’ll make a man out of you” is “I’ll change you, improve you, one by one.” It fits the lip syncing nicely.
  • A lot of “Make a Man Out of You” is translated directly and impressively, especially the part about the coursing river, great typhoon, and raging fire. Though instead of saying “mysterious as the dark side of the moon,” they say “the light of the moon will give us inspiration.”
  • Mushu says “She has some things that are impossible to ignore!” instead of “There are a couple of things I know they’re bound to notice!”
  • Chien Po doesn’t yell when he jumps in the water, which is a weird and awkward change.
  • Ling and Mulan say “I think Ping and I can take you!” “I don’t want to take him anywhere” in English, but this slight change in the meaning of “take” is lost in Portuguese: “I think I and Ping can overthrow you!” “I don’t want to overthrow him.”
  • In English, Ling starts to say “C’mon, don’t be such a…” but in Portuguese he says “Stop being a little woman...”
  • Mushu says in English “And since we’re out of potpourri, perhaps you wouldn’t mind bringing us some.” In Portuguese, he says “Since we ran out of lipstick, see if you can bring us eight more boxes.”
  • Instead of “What’s the matter? You’ve never seen a black and white before?” Mushu says “What’s the problem? I’m the Panda General. Never heard of me?
  • Chi Fu says “Are you from the army?” instead of “Who are you?”
  • The song “A Girl Worth Fighting For” is very different and has some good lines:
    • Yao: “She can tend to my wounds” instead of “Adore my battle scars”
    • Chien Po: “But if she cooks with dexterity.”
    • Ling: “I know I’m sensational, irresistible.” Yao: “Your modesty is terrible.”
    • Chi Fu: “A woman to me has to be colossal.” Yao: “A woman to him is his mom who cooks him lunch!”
  • Mulan: “It’s a great loss” instead of “I’m sorry.”
  • Li Shang: “Let’s march!” instead of “Move out!” And later: “March. Didn’t you hear?” instead of “I said move out.”
  • Mulan: “You missed! How could you miss? He was a meter’s distance!
  • Mushu says “This won’t be easy” instead of “This won’t be pretty.”
  • Instead of saying “I have to do something,” Mulan says “I have to take an attitude,” which has the meaning of “I have to take action.”
  • This may be an issue with the excess of syllables in Portuguese compared to English, but instead of saying “Did you see those huns? They popped out of the snow. Like daisies!” he says “You saw what happened. All of those Huns... popped out of the snow!
  • We must have more expressions in English involving butts than I realized. Every one in this show is replaced with something decidedly non-butt related. Mushu says “Let’s make those Huns run!” instead of “Let’s go kick some Hunny buns!”
  • Mulan: “Pay attention” instead of “Keep your eyes open.”
  • The emperor calls his “children” his “subjects” and replaces “The Middle Kingdom” with “our glorious empire.”
  • Shan Yu omits “and now it’s your turn” when talking to the emperor to immediately talk about bowing to him. This is probably because the verb for “bow” has many more syllables: “a-jo-elh-ar.”
  • Instead of saying “Ugly concubines,” the Hun says “Ugly like a beast.”
  • Instead of “That’s what I call Mongolian barbecue,” Mushu says “That’s instant roast chicken.”
  • Mushu says “The enemy of crime” instead of “Your worst nightmare,” and I think it might be a superhero reference or something similar.
  • Li Shang: “It was a good fight” instead of “You fight good.”
  • Mulan says “imperial seal” instead of “the crest of the emperor.”
  • Li Shang: “I would love to dine” instead of “Dinner would be great.”

Sep 3, 2021

Fixing (or at Least Improving) the Crafting Systems in D&D 5e

So you have a good idea for a magic item for your character. You approach your Dungeon Master about it, who flips through the downtime options in Dungeon Master's Guide and Xanathar's Guide to Everything and gives you guidelines on how to get started. The problem is, if you follow those rules exactly, you'll run into problems like the following:

  • An arrow +2 will cost 1,000 gp, and an arrow +3 will cost 10,000 gp.
  • Uncommon potions of healing cost TWICE as much as simply buying them (which I seriously think is an error), based on the Adventurer's League prices.
  • A Legendary single-use spell scroll (9th level) costs TWO AND A HALF TIMES as much to make as a Legendary item that has permanent enchantments.
  • It can take you anywhere from half a year to FIVE YEARS to craft a Very Rare item that you could find much earlier while just leveling up and adventuring during that same time period.
Luckily, Xanathar's Guide makes crafting a lot more viable, but the system still suffers from too broad of rarity ranges, a lack of specific rules for magic item attributes, and just a general lack of fun. I get that 5e's primary quality is simplicity and being streamlined, but if a player wants to craft a magic item, some complexity is required to make a balanced system. You can't just abstract everything about the process.

Making crafting too easy breaks the game and cheapens magic items; however, making crafting too hard discourages it from ever happening, which is a shame. How can we make a crafting system that is closely based on the existing rules, but fixes rarity ranges, ensures balance and viability, and gives balanced, reverse-engineerable rules for giving magic items attributes? Below is my suggested solution.

Item Rarity

The main thing we need to understand, and what a lot of the problems revolve around, is 5e's rarity system. Magic items range from Common to Legendary, and the range has some problems, particularly within the "Very Rare" rarity level. This is the level where the cost range is 5,000–50,000 gp, and the power of the items ranges from arrows +3 to flying carpets and swords that can lop creatures' limbs off. One of the first ways to fix the crafting system is to separate this Very Rare rarity into two: Very Rare and Epic. Epic rarity will split the rarity in half, allowing for a smaller range of gold and time to work with. For the purposes of this classification, Epic magic items cost between 20,000–50,000 gp, and Very Rare magic items range from 5,000–20,000. For existing magic items, we can say that Minor Very Rare items are Very Rare and Major ones are Epic.

Magic Item Design

The next thing we need to know are the guidelines in the DMG for Dungeon Masters to create magic items. Here are the tips they give:
  • +1 bonuses are Uncommon, +2 bonuses are Rare, and +3 bonuses are Very Rare. 
  • Uncommon items are for up to 4th-level characters. Rares are for up to 10th. Very Rares are up to 16th. Legendaries are 17th and higher. 
  • Items have a maximum spell level based on their rarity.
  • Items have a maximum bonus based on their rarity
  • Items that do NOT require attunement should not have lasting benefits and should not grant a bonus that other items also grant, to avoid stacking.
This is an okay start, but we're missing a lot of information here: How rare is granting resistance? Why is a longsword +1 Uncommon but half plate +1 Rare? What if an item can cost its maximum spell level at will instead of once per dawn? An easier way to determine an item's rarity is to look first at the item's cost range and then at the rarity. By assigning gp values to different attributes, we can make a system for determining rarity much more simply.

Also, it's worth considering the DMG's rules for custom spells here as well, at least in terms of damage. A 1st-level spell deals about 2d10 damage, or 2d6 damage to a group, a 3rd-level spell deals about 5d10 damage, and so forth.

Lastly, it's also good to keep in mind existing class features. Simply look at the level of the class the feature is gained at and use that as a guideline (see the second bullet point up above).

Magic Item Cost and Time

I'm just going to throw the DMG rules for crafting right into the garbage here, because if you look at them and do the math, a magic item of Legendary rarity takes fifty-four years to craft. Xanathar's Guide is much more reasonable by prescribing a time and a cost that each rarity of item takes, instead of just saying "25 gp per day toward the total cost."

However, I think we can do better. I think we can split up the magic item costs within their respective rarities even more by looking more closely at the spell level. Consider Rare items. They encompass items that have a spell level of 4th to 6th, yet by Xanathar's rules, all of them only cost 2,000 gp and take about two and a half months to craft. That's quite the jump (5x) from a mere two weeks for an Uncommon item, and the next jump (2x) to Very Rare is a half a year's worth of crafting time and ten times the cost. I'm all for exponential growth in cost, but not this drastic. The CR range of the magic item ingredient is also a bit too wide for my taste.

By organizing price by spell level and crafting time dividing the cost by a rarity standard, we split Uncommon items into two cost tiers and Rare items into three cost tiers. And if we say our new Epic rarity of magic items goes up to 8th level and Very Rare goes up to 7th level, we've got a much more evenly distributed range for our magic items to be crafted.

With those changes and with a more even distribution of the CR range for ingredients (or as I like to call them, reagents), the table looks more complex, but it will give us a much more reasonable set of rules to work with:

Magic Item Rarity

Max Spell Lvl

Reagent CR






50 gp / week

50 gp




100 gp / week

200 gp 



400 gp




200 gp / week

1,000 gp



2,000 gp



3,000 gp

Very Rare



500 gp / week

5,000–20,000 gp




800 gp / week

20,000–40,000 gp




2,000 / week

50,000+ gp

There's still wide range of prices between Very Rare and Epic items, which causes a weird disconnect in the time range, and Legendary items don't have a cap on cost, but if we focus more on that cost value than on the rarity itself, it probably doesn't matter much. You simply divide the total value by the time, and you'll get a crafting time that's reasonably close to that in Xanathar's Guide. And DMs can use their best judgment when making items whose prices are close to a threshold. This is also a more useful table for determining the gold value of existing magic items in the game.

In summary, Common items take 1 week to craft, Uncommon items take 2–4 weeks. Rare items take 5–15 weeks. Very Rare items take 10–25 weeks. Epic items take 25–60 weeks. Legendary items take at least a year to craft. And remember that the cost (and therefore time) of all consumable items is halved, but I'm fine with even quartering the cost of things like ammunition just to make them more worth crafting. A single arrow that costs a month's wages of a modest lifestyle and loses its power after a single hit is pretty steep.

Now all we need to do is figure out how to distribute the cost when crafting a custom magic item.

Magic Item Attributes

Okay, now that we have our new table set up, let's determine some basic attribute rules for item customization. I want to keep this as simple as possible, since the table is already upping the complexity of our 5e game quite a bit as it is, so let's see if we can use the existing magic items in the DMG as examples we can reverse-engineer. This won't be a perfect process no matter what we do, but my goal here is to just give a resource that will help DMs get as close as possible to a balanced item without having to just take a wild guess.

Looking at the existing magic items, it's easy to see some patterns. For example, armor is one step rarer than weapons and other items with numeric bonuses. It's almost a universal rule that resistance requires attunement and is at least of Rare rarity. It's also rarer to find items that have charges than it is for an item that can only be used once per dawn, and even the maximum spell level isn't always a hard and fast rule, since spells that affect multiple targets seem to be rarer.

After some research and trial and error, I've come up with the following basic rules to follow when determining a custom item, based on a specific spell or effect, or modifying/upgrading an existing item:
  • Anything in addition to normal bonuses adds 1 level to the rarity.
  • Armor is one level rarer when it has bonuses or resistance.
  • Additional charges or uses increase the effective spell level by at least 1.
  • An item with unlimited uses has its effective spell level increased by 3.
  • An item with a concentration spell always requires attunement.
  • Limitations lower the rarity.
  • Resistance always requires attunement.
There are, of course, other things to keep in mind, such as different types of damage that are more commonly resisted and whatnot, but these keep it simple enough for a starting point. Also, keep in mind that the rarer the item, the less dependable all of these rules are. Epic and Legendary items may require more fine-tuning than others depending on their complexity. The best thing to do is just compare it to similar items and mechanics in the game and hope for the best. And if possible, test.

Let's put these rules to use with a handful of magic items from the DMG. Ones that follow the rules easily, like weapons +2, are self-explanatory. Let's go with the dragon slayer, staff of healing, cap of water breathing, ring of telekinesis, and the Ollamh harp.

Dragon Slayer

Let's start with an easy one. An Uncommon weapon grants a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls, which the dragon slayer does, but since it also deals an additional 3d6 damage to dragons, the rarity is bumped up to rare. Since 3d6 is roughly the damage of a 2nd-level spell, but since it's limited only to dragons, I'd say adding 1 to the spell level of the item would make a dragon slayer cost 1,000 gp and take 5 weeks to craft. A rare magic weapon with no attunement cost. Perfect.

Staff of Healing

Let's see if this staff fits our criteria. It has 10 charges, for starters, and the highest spell it can cast is mass cure wounds. That's 5th level, so it can cast it twice, or cure wounds up to 4th level (so 2–10 times), or lesser restoration 5 times. It's pretty dang good for a Rare magic item, but it does require attunement, and if you use it too much and are unlucky, you won't be able to use it every day, and may even lose it forever. It's toward the higher end of Rare items, so I'd definitely say 4,000 or 5,000, but it fits pretty well there.

Cap of Water Breathing

Water breathing is a 3rd-level spell, but casting it at that level allows you to affect up to 10 people with it, so only affecting the person who's wearing the cap lowers its effective spell level by a bit. It can be used at will, but water breathing has a duration of 24 hours, so that's not a huge stretch of its power anyway. I think this fits as a 200-gp Uncommon magic item just fine.

Ring of Telekinesis

Alright, since we're dealing with a Very Rare or Epic item this time, let's start out a bit simpler. A ring that lets you cast the telekinesis spell at will. By our rules, that would mean a 5th-level spell raised to an 8th-level spell since it has an unlimited number of uses. That does fit as an Epic item, but it's very important to take limitations into account: The ring's description says "but you can target only objects that aren't being worn or carried." That lowers its power considerably since you can't affect creatures with it, so I'd say that lowers the spell level by 1. That makes it fit as a Very Rare item. 

Since Very Rare has a reagent CR of 11–15, I'd say a beholder (CR 13) would have a good reagent since once of its eye rays is telekinetic. That puts it right in the middle of the Very Rare price range at 10,000 gp. I'm not sure why, but my DM gut says I'd probably bump it down just a bit more though, to 8,000 or so, because not being able to target creatures is a big knock down. Still within the rarity, and I'm all for going with your gut in cases like this. These are only guidelines, after all!

Ollamh Harp

Okay, now let's go a bit more complex and check out a Legendary magic item. The Ollamh harp can cast fire storm and control weather once each a day, 7th- and 8th-level spells already, and it also lets you cast five other lower-level spells once per day, and it gives disadvantage on all spell saves against being charmed by a spell cast through the harp, even if it's just being used as a spellcasting focus. Even though this item is limited to bards, it's still high enough in power with all of those powerful spells that it still fits in the Legendary rarity. I'd say a solid 60,000 gp cost, and a year and two months of crafting time, would be fair for the harp.

These were chosen at random out of the hundreds of magic items in the game so far, so I'm sure there are some outliers (like the vicious weapon, which is Rare despite only dealing an extra 7 damage on a roll of 20 with the weapon, or the coiling grasp tattoo, which should be a lot rarer than an Uncommon if it allows you to deal 3d6 force damage and auto-grapple at will. Seriously); however, this was a fun exercise in any case, and I really think this should help the process of crafting magic items be more accessible and fair to DMs.

If you have a question, notice an error, or have a particular existing magic item you'd like me to explain the rarity of, leave a comment and I'd be happy to look at it. The magic item dissecting process was kind of fun.

Aug 16, 2021

My 9 Favorite Creative D&D Tools

I've been a DM for just over 4 years now, and I've learned a lot during that time. Though I most of the time prefer "theater of the mind" for my games (it's a lot easier than you think!), I also enjoy a good game on Roll20. With the advent of Inkarnate battle maps and Hero Forge in color, there are a wealth of tools available to enrich your adventures. Here are my favorite creative tools when I'm preparing my games:

1. Hero Forge

Hero Forge was okay when it first came out. I never really intended on spending money on my own miniatures, especially since I was most often a DM instead of a player. But once Hero Forge came out in color, it became an invaluable asset for character creation. Besides using it to supplement this very blog, I use it to make depictions of my player characters, which I can then make in different poses to represent actual moments in gameplay. I also use it to make specific NPCs, enemies, and even races to illustrate to my players more clearly who they're addressing so they can have a mental picture of them.

The best part is, Hero Forge is constantly gaining new features, both in objects the mini can hold and wear and new features like decals, which have been amazing. I highly recommend subscribing to this tool. It's easy to use but has a big learning curve for exercising creativity in making a variety of characters.

2. Inkarnate

I've used Inkarnate for quite a few years for world maps. It's another tool that's grown extremely useful as new assets have been added to it over time. It's great for making detailed color travel maps as well as parchment-style maps you could use as handouts. However, the real use for grid-based combat came when they started offering battle maps.

I used to use Dungeondraft to make maps for Roll20, and it was okay for a while, but it was cartoony in comparison to what Inkarnate now offers. The tools and UI are also much less buggy, and while I miss the dynamic lighting and ease of making walled areas a little bit, the beautiful artistic look of Inkarnate greatly makes up for it.

3. Token Stamp (RollAdvantage)

This is a great, simple tool for making player character tokens and monster tokens alike. I like to give each player a different color that matches their color in Roll20. The variety of borders and customization options makes it easy to make your tokens look exactly how you want them to. The only feature I wish they'd add is the option to make larger tokens, because when they're blown up on Roll20, the border looks rather large.

Here's a recommendation while using this tool: Treat "Medium" creature type tokens as the standard for how large a creature's face should be. I've realized a Huge token of a hill giant looks dumb if it just looks like a gigantic head. It's better to take size into account when making Large, Huge, or Gargantuan creatures. A hill giant token should show its entire body, since when it's enlarged to fit the grid, its head will be about the size of a Medium creature token anyway.

4. Kobold Fight Club

This is an invaluable tool for planning encounters and organizing plans for creatures of a similar home environment, creature type, size, CR, or even alignment. This makes it easy to tell what encounters are Easy, Medium, Hard, or Deadly, as well as how much experience the encounter is worth and how much each player gets. It doesn't get much simpler and easier to use than this, and I'm a real fan of it.

5. Tabletop Audio

This guy does such good work I signed on as a patron on Patreon, the first time I've ever done so. His site offers free 10-minute audio clips with ambience, music, and sound effects built in. He updates once every couple of weeks, so there's always new stuff to find, and if you're a patron, you can download alternate versions of each track in case you just want ambience or just music of one you like.

The site has virtually every RPG environment covered you can imagine: everything from battle music to taverns, deserts, rainforests, swamps, mountains, and even sci-fi and modern ambiences, so you're not limited by genre. There's also a tool offered called "SoundPad," which is a way to broadcast a live feed of sound effects to your players. This makes it fun to add sound when a player casts a spell or triggers a trap, and you can modify subtle ambiences like horse noises, a blacksmith working, or even rain falling or flags waving. I don't use it much because of the effort involved in doing it alongside all my other responsibilities as DM, and the music selection (which is what I like most as background noise in my games) is limited. But it's still a great tool for some types of games.

6. Statblock Generator (Tetra-Cube)

I'm a perfectionist editor at heart, and to me, consistency is everything. I hate when people publish homebrew content and put their own spin on the 5e stat block's format, font, or really anything. It has to look exactly right in my eyes. That's why I love this tool. Not only does it generate perfect stat blocks consistent with published material, it makes it easy to edit any part of the stat block, style its shape in whatever way fits on the page you're trying to put it on, and generate ability scores and things as well.

The generator comes with all of the Monster Manual entries as samples you can edit, which is invaluable. I just wish they would expand this selection to blocks in Volo's Guide and Mordenkainen's Tome, since they have a lot of useful creatures that can be turned into sidekicks with this tool, but alas, they just offer stuff from the Tome of Beasts and other unofficial homebrew stuff I have no interest in.

7. Abelhawk's D&D Tools

I feel no shame in showcasing these tools, because I worked very hard on them and frankly, they're super useful and more people should know about them. Need an NPC name on the fly? Use my Character Creator to determine a race and a gender, and it just takes a click. What about the name of some far-off place an NPC talks about but you don't have a ready name for? My Town/Place Generator offers a ton of specifications for crafting the right name. If a player roots through a random drawer and asks what they find, you can use the "Pickings" option on my Loot Generator to generate something much more evocative than "Just some personal stuff and garbage with no real value."

There are even options for in-combat tools like random traps, as well as calculators for mob battle damage. As I realize more things that would be nice to randomly determine, I'll add to these tools, so I highly recommend trying them out and seeing how they can help you out in your game.

8. Homebrewery (NaturalCrit)

I don't use this tool as much as I used to because of its lack of UI. You have to know basic CSS to organize things on it, which is inconvenient, but it does make things look like very official 5e resources. Most of the time I'm fine just using Google Docs or Google Sheets to keep track of notes for my own use, but this tool is great for when you actually want to publish homebrew content, or make things like spells look official. 

9. Notion.so

I've tried Obsidian Portal and World Anvil and Scabard, but my favorite campaign managing tool so far has to be Notion.so. It's simple, which is a big plus for me. You can essentially make a wiki for your entire campaign organized however you like, with internal links in the pages that can navigate to others. It supports images, emoji-based identifying icons, tables, checkboxes, and everything else you'd need to organize all your NPCs, storylines, loose ends, magic items, player characters, and anything else you can imagine. I highly recommend Notion.so as the go-to for campaign structuring; however, I recommend trying other tools like the ones I mentioned above as well to find what's right for you and your own group specifically.

* * *

Being a DM and creating entire worlds and mechanics has been one of the most fulfilling creative ventures I've ever experienced, and these tools make it a lot easier. I would also recommend DnDBeyond, which is pretty obvious, as well as Beyond 20, which is a Chrome extension that makes using DnDBeyond with Roll20 a lot easier, both for players and for DMs. Have a tool that you find invaluable as well? Reply about it in the comments!

Jul 12, 2021

Poem: Heaven's Brushstrokes

Heaven's Brushstrokes

 by Austin Ballard

            What beautiful brushes have you, Lord,

            That paint across the azure skies.

            With strokes of white across your board

            Ignited pink with each sunrise.

            And after rain from tempest cries,

            Rainbow tears and golden sun

            Adorn the heavens and wet mine eyes,

            And leave the works of men outdone.

Jul 9, 2021

Dubbing Differences: The Lion King

 Dubbing Differences:

The Lion King

I found the following notable changes in the Brazilian Portuguese dub of Disney's The Lion King:
  • “The Circle of Life” is instead “The Circle without End
  • Instead of “pouncing” lessons, Mufasa gives him “attack” lessons.
  • During Zazu’s “morning report,” the only pun he gives is “The baboons are doing monkey business.”
  • Instead of saying “sire,” Zazu always says “Majesty.”
  • “The Pride Lands” are simply renamed “The Lands of the Kingdom.” Pride Rock is called “King’s Rock.”
  • Instead of “Pleeeease?” Simba and Nala say “Let us!”
  • Zazu: “Your parents will vibrate.”
  • Nala: “Gotcha!” instead of “Pinned ya!”
  • Ed’s voice is not dubbed.
  • Simba: “But Zazu, you said they were nothing but dirty, barbaric butchers.”
  • Instead of “Ix-nay on the upid-stay,” Zazu says “Into a closed mouth enters no fly.” And Banzai says, “Hey, don’t call me a fly!
  • Banzai: “We’d like to have a lion on the table!”
  • Shenzi: “Oh wait, I got one, I got one! I’ll have a lion sandwich!” Those two aren’t puns, so the hyenas seem to be portrayed as just being more evil or giggly.
  • The “birdie boiler” is simply called a “pan.” As in, a frying pan.
  • Simba: “I just wanted to be valiant like you.”
  • The song “Be Prepared” has all of its numerous metaphors removed and replaced with simpler terms.
  • Scar says “Simba, it’s a surprise of death,” but I’m not sure if that translates to the same idiomatic meaning.
  • Instead of “There’s no way I’m going in there,” Shenzi says “I have no idea where he went.”
  • Timon: “I’m baked. Let’s find some shade.”
  • Simba tells Timon and Pumbaa he doesn’t know where he’s going, instead of saying “Nowhere.”
  • Instead of Timon and Pumbaa saying “Boy, he looks blue.” “I’d say brownish-gold,” they say “Boy, he looks beat.” “Who beat him up?
  • Timon: “Ah, you’re a rejected one! That’s great, so are we!”
  • “You got to put your behind in your past” vs. “You gotta put your past behind you” actually translates really well. The word for behind (as in, rear-end) is trazeiro, and Pumbaa confuses it with the word for behind (as in, back in the past), atrás.
  • Timon: “No, no, no, bungler. Stop thinking before you get a headache.”
  • For some odd reason, sometimes they say “Hatuna matata.”
  • Timon: “Take Pumbaa, for example. Why, when he was a cub…”
  • There was no effort to make the “Not in front of the kids!” part insinuate a rhyme like English does with the word “farted.” He says “I felt so sad / Every time that I—” but there’s no way a verb would have rhymed with the Portuguese word for “sad.”
  • Instead of saying “Hippo?” Simba says “Rabbit?” This is clearly to match his lipsyncing, since the Portuguese word is “coelho.”
  • The word for “grub” doesn’t also mean “food” in Portuguese, so Timon just says “Food. What’s it look like?” when he holds up a grub.
  • At the end of the Hakuna Matata song, Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba just scat a bunch instead of singing the actual words “Hakuna Matata” a few more times.
  • Banzai: “Yeah! It’s dinner time, and we don’t smell even a trace of any food.”
  • Zazu: “Oh, you wouldn’t like me. I’d be so tough and bitter.”
  • Banzai says “Que brasa” instead of “Que pasa,” which more or less means “Holy mackerel!” I feel like it would’ve been find to just keep it as “Que passa.”
  • In English, Simba says “Pretty dumb, huh?” but in Portuguese he says “Nonsense, right?”
  • Pumbaa says “I pull myself away from your feet,” and Timon corrects him, “It’s drag, not pull away.” The gravel/grovel joke gets kind of muddled.
  • Simba says “You’re starting to sound like my father." In English, Nala retorts with “Good. At least one of us does,” but in Portuguese she says “Good. It’s good to remember him.” A much more innocent comment, yet Simba gets offended.
  • Instead of “I can’t cut it out. It’ll grow right back!” Rafiki just says “I can’t stop. It’ll return!” which makes less sense.
  • Timon: “You can count on us!” instead of “We’re with you till the end!”
  • Simba: “No. Simba.” instead of “No. It’s me.”
  • Scar: “Criminal!” instead of “Murderer!” But later, Simba says “I’m not a murderer!” so maybe it was done for lip syncing.
  • Scar: “Please. Have piety. I implore you.” The Portuguese word for mercy is “misericórdia,” which would’ve been much too long to replace in that line.

Jun 4, 2021

Warcraft II Abel Voices Pack download!

A few months ago, I set about recreating all the timeless iconic voice lines from Warcraft II. When I realized how easy it was to set them as the actual sound effects on Warcraft II by simply replacing the files in the GameSFX folder, I realized that I had to complete the set and recreate not just the voices, but all the sound effects.

Unfortunately, the microphone I used to use doesn't work anymore, so the new sounds sound too high of quality to match the voice lines. And some of the sound effects were harder to make than others, but overall, it was a fun project to complete.

If you'd like to have me making all kinds of weird sound effects and imitating all the voices in your own Warcraft II game, simply download the sound files at the link below and follow the instructions in the readme file it contains!  

Click Here to Download the Pack!

If you want to see the sounds in action, check out this video:

Jun 1, 2021

Dubbing Differences: Disney's Aladdin

 Dubbing Differences:


I found the following notable changes in the Brazilian Portuguese dub of Disney's Aladdin:
  • In the opening song, instead of “Arabian nights 'neath Arabian moons,” it says “There’s beautiful moonlight and tons of orgies.” ...I’m guessing this is a more overt reference to “hotter than hot in a lot of good ways,” but wow.
  • Traveler: “This is the famous Dead Sea container.”
  • The phrase “a diamond in the rough” is changed to “a rough diamond.” Quite a different sense.
  • The Cave of Wonders is called the Cave of Treasures.
  • Aladdin: “All this for just one loaf of bread?”
  • Lady: “Still I think he’s rather exciting.”
  • Aladdin: “Look at that, Abu. It’s not every day you see one animal riding another.”
  • Most instances of “street rat” are replaced with “thief,” which is kind of funny when Aladdin says “I’m not a thief!”
  • Jasmine: “Just you, Rajah” instead of “Except you, Rajah.” I like subtle differences like these.
  • When Jafar shows up, in English the sultan just sort of goes “Ah ah! Oo!” like he’s startled, but in Portuguese he gives a huge, terrified gasp that is hilarious to listen to.
  • Shopkeeper: “Try this! Your tongue will dance and sing!” 
  • Instead of saying “Breakfast is served” to Abu, Aladdin says “A good lunch for you.
  • Aladdin: “But she didn’t take anything” instead of “But no harm done” (as he gives the shopkeeper an apple)
  • Iago says “Your Lowness instead of “Your Rottenness,” and “Your Evilness,” instead of “O Mighty Evil One.”
  • Aladdin: “Well, you don’t seem to be from around here” instead of “You do kind of stand out.”
  • Aladdin: “We have total freedom” instead of “We come and go as we please.”
  • When Jafar gets bitten on the wrist by Abu, he makes a sort of warbling noise instead of screaming in pain. It’s kind of silly, but it works somehow with his character.
  • Aladdin: “That cursed traitor!” instead of “That two-faced son of a jackal!”
  • Genie: “Can we call you Al, or maybe just Din? How about Din-din?” (pronounced jing-jing)
  • This has been the case with every Disney movie I’ve seen so far: the word idiota is used to replace almost every insult: “chump,” “stupid,” “fool,” etc.
  • Genie: “I feel like an animal” instead of “I feel sheepish.” This movie's use of puns must have been really frustrating for the translators to make sense of for viewers.
  • Genie says “chicken á la queen” instead of “á la king,” and “crab á la mermaid instead of “Alaskan king crab.”
  • Genie: “Now it has a lot more space!” instead of “Talk about your trunk space!”
  • Aladdin, to Elephant Abu: “Abu, you’re so skinny!” instead of “Abu, you look good.”
  • Jafar: “Urgent problems require urgent measures, my lord.”
  • In the “Prince Ali” song: “He has thirty golden camels.” (In English, he has 75)
  • “He has more than a hundred little monkeys” (in English he has 95)
  • When Aladdin says “Much farther than you’ve traveled, I’m sure,” Jafar says “Where?” instead of “Try me.”
  • Iago: “‘An excellent judge of character.’ NOOO!” Technically, "no" and "not" are the same in Portuguese, but it was still funny.
  • “A Whole New World” is instead “An Ideal World.”
  • Instead of saying “Not that I want to pick out curtains or anything,” genie says “That doesn’t mean I want to marry you.”
  • Iago says “garden of animals” instead of “menagerie.”
  • Most of the laughter in the movie (mostly Iago and Jafar) is kept in their original voices.
  • “Finders, keepers” (spoken by Jafar) has an interesting translation: “Whoever finds it is the owner.”
  • When Genie is in his giant evil form, his voice is made digitally deeper when he speaks.
  • Jafar: “There’s someone I’m dying to introduce you to” becomes “I’m going crazy to introduce you to someone”
  • Jafar: “Don’t talk back to me, ya big blue lout!” changes to “Don’t refuse me, you big blue clown!”
  • Jasmine, to Jafar: “I never realized how incredibly likeable you are.”
  • Jafar: “Get the point?” becomes “You understand?”
  • Genie’s cheer, “Jafar, Jafar, he’s our man. If he can’t do it, GREAT!” actually rhymes in Portuguese, and translates to “Jafar, Jafar, he’s my lord. But if he loses, BETTER!
  • Instead of saying “Wish for the Nile,” Genie tells Aladdin to “wish for all your dreams [to come true].”
  • Instead of “Made ya look,” Genie basically says “Y’all come back now, ya hear?