Scott Betts wrote:
Apples and Oranges.
If I lend a book to a friend, or a DVD they get the same experience as I did. They don't owe the author, or the production company a cent. That copy is bought and paid for.
If I give away my copy of Mass Effect to a friend, then it's not the developer's business that I do that.
If they are going to insist on charging a licence to play a game, then the consumer better get something out of the deal, because right now we don't get anything except treated like idiots.
The difference between renting a home and paying for a licence to use a video game is that if I wanted to I could buy a home instead (assuming I had the money, or the ability to get a mortgage).
Also none of these are analogous to buying a video game. We already have a way of RENTING video games, they are in video stores across the world.
See that's the thing, paying for a product licence to have PERMISSION to play a game would make you think there is a service involved. I have yet to see what services developers are offering for cutting out the brick-and-mortar's ability to compete for my dollar.
Look I liken the experience of a video game to a movie.
If I buy a movie that I think is great, and want to talk about it with my friends/share the experience I can lend them the DVD and they can watch it. Free of charge. Because I bought the DVD, it's mine because I paid for it. So if I want to give it away, or resell it then that's fantastic I can do that. I paid for the DVD, it's mine.
Now take a look at an Xbone game. I buy Mass Effect XBone Edition. It installs on my XBone. I play the game, I think it's fantastic and I can't wait for the sequels. I decide to lend my copy to a friend. Suddenly my friend has to pay full retail to play the game?
Uh what? I already paid for that game. Just like I already paid for a DVD. If you can't see how not owning the things you pay for is a problem then there isn't much point in continuing this conversation.
I might have let it slide if it was just a generic space movie. But this is STAR TREK, which at its heart is about an optimistic future society where humanity has actually achieved lofty ambitions like equality.
Lets consider the female characters in this film:
Uhura - Most of her character stuff involves humanizing the male Spock, in addition her one contribution (Diplomacy) goes hilariously wrong.
Dr Carol Marcus - After being touted as a brilliant scientist, she doesn't actually get to do anything super intelligent at all. She saves the doctor by punching the torpedo. Oh yes, and she gets into her undies to show a character trait of KIRK's. Which by the way was completely unnecessary because we already established that when he awoke with two sexy alien cat-girls in his bedroom. But guess which gets used again and again in the promos? Hell's bells she even gets kidnapped and needs rescuing by men.
EVEN PUTTING THAT ASIDE:
In the council of Admirals how many female human admirals were there (hint: who knows they didn't make any significant contributions to the scene).
So yes, I do say so.
The way I handled the Iron Lords in my game is during a feast between book 1 and 2 at Restov where Drelev, Varn and the PCs receive their official titles there was a lot of speculation about what happened to the Iron Lords. Then King Irovetti shows up, clad in Iron (my Irovetti is more like Doctor Doom), and throws down the shield of the Iron Lords on the table where everyone is feasting.
"You send scavengers to pick at the edges of my domain!? You have overstepped your borders Sword-Lords. There. Will. Be. A. Reckoning."
My PCs were thoroughly intimidated.
When I bought my Xbox 360, it had been out for about two years. I bought it and about 6 pre-owned games to get me started. I bought some DLC for those prowned games.
I might jump to the PS4 for my next console.
Super Quick Run Down
Mordred and Brando helped Koya retrieve an inheritance from her grandmother. Earning a darkwood cobra that could be worn as a shield.
The Automatic Hound
Probably the best session I've run in a long time, but because I'm dumb I didn't write it down. You just had to be there.
XP Gained: 1,160 xp
I enjoyed Star Trek a lot as a movie, it was very emotional, fun and sexy.
It was ALSO dumb, unoriginal and completely predictable.
JJ Abrams is convinced that surprises are what make good movies. I think he might be right, but he is BAD AT MAKING SURPRISES. The twist that Cumberbatch is Khan was the worst kept secret in the world.
Also the movie just goes to show the original timeline crew was bad at decision making.
Also there was that one scene where the new female science-officer character strips to her undies for no reason, because apparently the perfect egalitarian future is STILL super sexist. Great.
JJ Abrams understands what makes a good action movie, but doesn't understand what makes a good science fiction movie.
Except this particular twist was about media manipulation of perception. I thought it was a good twist, and while it was unexpected wasn't actually untelegraphed. Earlier in the film Stark is talking to himself about the strange mix of iconography the Mandarin uses. The accountant that was shot off screen. I liked it because in this case the medium was the message in many ways.
I've watched it twice now and all told enjoyed myself both times. At first I was conflicted.
I was conflicted due to the Mandarin bait-and-switch because I'm a fan of the villain from the comics, but as a fan of cinema I loved the idea of a villain being entirely a construction of the media.
It's a pretty bold statement considering how recently the Boston bombings occurred but as a metaphor it's a pretty powerful one. Now there's plenty of people who are going to whine that means Mandarin got short shrift. I don't disagree is a comic book fan. I disagree as a fan of cinema because I'd rather sacrifice the Mandarin and play with the audience expectations in order to craft that metaphor and on a metanarrative level put together such a brilliant misdirection.
Sure for the first five minutes or so it's a heroic struggle, but after that it's mostly 16 years of sitting.
Ragathiel: "You dead yet?"
There was pictures and footage of people running towards the explosions immediately to try and help. Just as we see the worst of humanity we also see the best. I hope we see no more casualties and fatalities today.
Lucasarts was my childhood. Verb based adventure games are still my biggest influence as a GM, because they showed me a story, could be a reward and a punchline could be a payoff. To my friends I was the Lucasarts tip line. I've been missing Lucasarts for years, but I mourn for the opportunity lost to see the company realise its potential.
A lot of common DCs are right there in the book under Skills. I find the game speeds up immensely if the players know whether or not they can take a 10. It's very rare that I use a secret DC, and usually it's only because the players have incomplete information. Even so I'm pretty consistent with my DCs (5 simple, 10 basic, 15 tricky, 20 challenging, 25 heroic, 30 super-heroic, 35 legendary, 40 epic, 45+ mythic). Those truly high DCs are usually reserved for really tricky stunts, and the PCs will have an idea of how tricky they would be.
Perform (Dance) on the head of a pin? DC 50 (with the right combination of magic, feats and skill points sunk in not entirely impossible).
I think it's a common misconception to believe the game is about rolling dice. Dice are wonderful randomizers but they are there to force players to adapt to situations.
What the game is really about is choice:
Do I try and hit the baddie or do I pull my injured friend out of the fire?
Do I spend some spell-slots so we can fly over this challenge, or do I save them for if more of those bloody skeletons come crawling out of the walls again?
Do we arrest the villain so he can answer for his crimes, or do we murder him here because he killed the party henchmen and taunted us?
THOSE are the game. The Dice Rolling is just gambling, you can stack the deck in your favor, but rolling the dice is just watching to see if you made a good choice or a bad one.
In my games, I don't fudge either for or against the PCs. To me the part of the fun is adapting the story the whims of the dice. My players know this and plan accordingly. It's improv at its best, and the rest is making decisions based on situations created by previous choices and the whims of the dice.
That said, I wouldn't call my games hard mode. I do prompt my players if they're sure they want to take a course of action and tell them what likely consequences might be. They can go ahead with their crazy plans in spite of that, but they rarely act ignorantly and with good teamwork rarely lose a PC.
I thought Mr Plugg was a great name for a villain. I don't even know what this association is.
Heck in real life there were pirates named Calico Jack, and Hornigold, and Lafitte.
If you think a pirate has a ridiculous name, just make sure the players only laugh once. Keelhauling isn't for the weak of heart.
There is plenty of places for the ME universe to go. Consider this is the first galactic civilization that will be allowed to evolve beyond the arbitrary stopping point created by the Reapers. What if the Reapers were right, and this is the beginning of the end for all biological life in the galaxy?
I just finished it today (about 79% completion - there was a bit of narrative pull to completing the main story without deviating too far).
I think it's a great game, that really understands the joy of exploration and movement. I do wish they toned down on the fighting enemies but overall I never felt like an insane action hero, more John McClane on Die Hard Island.
That said I do wish this game tried to get a little trickier with the puzzles and didn't rely on a Find and shoot all X tiny targets hidden in a level for its achievements.
I was also hoping there would be one of those awesome urban legend style secret bosses. Like a Dragon somewhere on the island, but it seems that was not to be.
I guess my real complaint is that the narrative took too much space and the exploration/puzzle solving suffered for it.
If you PM me your e-mail address I'll e-mail you the characters at the first opportunity, (if there's mistakes then forgive me. I'm new!)
My players played along quite happily. Some of the Diplomacy rolling was done between sessions. Also while there's nothing stopping the PCs from just searching the whole map by themselves that's a lot of hexes, random encounters and crossing fingers hoping for the best. The PCs don't know where the Valley of the Dead is, nor do they just know where Vordekai's lair is.
Could the PCs just intimidate the centaurs into giving information?
Absolutely they could, but I made it clear that these Centaurs had been warring for years with Varn and that was the reason why Varnhold was such a small kingdom. Intimidating the Centaurs would be tantamount to declaring war and then the PCs will have a much harder time looking for the villagers as Centaurs attack and harass the PCs. There's no love lost between the Centaurs and Varn and so for the Centaurs it takes a BIG leap of faith to let the PCs just run willy-nilly across the land.
Lastly, my notes worked for my group and were tailored to their interests/motivations. There are other carrots to dangle perhaps completing the Kankerata Run or the Mountain Climb is a powerful ritual that connects the PC's to the land (providing a boon equivalent to a feat or medium wondrous item).
The Full Metal Alchemist Soundtrack. Performed by the Russian Symphony Orchestra, these CDs have a lot of great Russian themes, are classical music based and mood-setting without being intrusive. Some of the best gaming music period, but most excellent for Reign of Winter.
Here's a link to my opening intro for a Clone Wars era one shot:
I've put together 6 CL 3 characters, and an adventure to try out the system with some friends. I don't feel comfortable about posting them online (since I use images that I don't own), but if anyone wants a copy of No Moon (a 3rd Level adventure set during Season 5 of Clone Wars) just message me your e-mail address and I'll get to it when I can.
If the player won't play unless she gets to be evil, then play without her. That smells too much like trouble for my tastes. Evil PCs can be trouble for the inexperienced GM and if she's going to hide her alignment and work with the good guys anyway there's not much difference between evil and neutral.
I once played a cleric of Thor and when my allies took some damage after the first combat of the day they wanted healing. My response was:
"Verily I have communed with Thor and he hath said thou shalt suck it up princess. Art thou an adventurer or art thou a milk-maid fresh from the farm? Thou shalt be cured when it is neededeth, verily I shall not swap out the lightning of Thor to fixeth thy tiny booboo."
Rob McCreary wrote:
Everything travels through time. Now the present on Golarion would be the past on Earth because of the distances involved, but from Earth's perspective we are seeing Golarion's past too.
I know, it's silly to bring such things into a game where "it's magic" is the answer to any problem but still the Hut MUST travel through time in order to travel instantaneously through space because otherwise that means it moves faster than light which relativity says is a hard speed limit. But by travelling through space and time (or even bending space which is the same thing) the hut can connect two different times AND places. It must be so otherwise considering that Golarion is so far from Earth (unofficially a different galaxy) the light from our star might not have reached it and Golarion's present might be during some prehistoric era.
Last night I ran a Mass Combat as a skill challenge.
The bridge to the North of Drelev was controlled by barbarian forces. So I put 12 tokens down to represent the barbarians. I had the players describe the forces they brought with them (one unit per player each unit had a variable number of tokens depending on role (5 for warriors, 4 for specialists and 2 for casters) - they chose Human/Dwarven foot soldiers, Elf Archers, Centaur Archers, Erastil Clerics and Candlemere Wizards)
If you keep your ideas Golarion specific then there's no real harm, it's not like one could publish a Golarion AP.
Besides, it's not like a person can run out of ideas.