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Axebeak

MMCJawa's page

3,581 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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There are two very different ways to look at this here.

If you are taking a authentic to history/religion approach, than I completely agree with Alkenstarian. I don't think there is much dispute within the history community that Snorri modified and reinterpreted the legends, bringing in both Christian elements as well perhaps elements of the greco-roman beliefs. If you want to run a game that is super authentic to the original Norse cultures and beliefs, than you are better off trying to figure out what elements are probably exaggerated and what are authentic.

If you and your players however are more interested in the legends as they have been passed down since Snorri's time, the so to speak "Pop Culture" version of Norse myth, than your group should go ahead and use those elements. Because sometimes you don't want to play in the real setting, you want to play in the Pulp/Popular interpretation of said setting.

Both are completely valid game choices, if your group is all on board.


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My own preference for setting, at least gamewise is:

Either throw out every analog and go completely novel with everything, and don't have any fantasy counterpart cultures/nations/etc (which means no Faux Europe).

Or if you are going to have a Faux Europe, go full out and include some version of Asia, Africa, The Americas, etc.

Otherwise, it gets really weird, doing a combination of the two.

Now by all means include weird fantasy/ideas in there mixed with the analogs, I just don't feel comfortable with turning all the Mayans into Lizardfolk, or the Iroquois into Wood Elves or something.


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My friend sent me this comment he found online in reference to tonight's episode:

"I just watched an amazing show about the origins of a masked vigilante who doesn't kill. It featured a spectacular turf war between rivaling factions of organized crime, a city plagued by corrupt politicians and police officers on the take, and moral ambiguity around every corner. And then after Daredevil I watched Gotham, which had fantastic dialogue like, "I'm telling on you."


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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

I really enjoyed it. There were tiny things here and there that I might quibble about, but they didn't do anything to detract from the enjoyment of the best Marvel Comics TV show yet (and Agent Carter really set the bar high). Strong writing and good-to-amazing acting throughout, and the limited budget for TV surprisingly not posing an issue. Marvel's Feig recently spoke about re-re-casting Spider-Man as an actual teenager so they could cover many of the Parker's highschool plot & character points in the movies... screw that. Daredevil just proved that the Spider-Man re-reboot should be done in 13-episode seasons on Netflix.

However, there was a singular plot development in Daredevil that totally, infuriatingly unnecessary. ** spoiler omitted **...

I just finished up Daredevil (Should have gone to bed instead but oh well...), so I can actually read this and respond...

Episode 8-11 spoiler:

Ben Urich's death was a definite HOLY @$@! moment for me, probably one of the biggest in the show. Probably because I assumed he was safe being a major comic character. His Death was brutal and totally surprising.

Personally...I am glad they deviated, as I think his death did help the show. It provided a rallying point for Matt, Karen, and Foggy, and most importantly...it really solidified Kingpin as a horrible villain. The last few episodes before this had the Kingpin worry about his mom, see his girlfriend almost die, and saw the murder of his best friend. Going into the finale, the show needed a moment to jar the audience out of any sympathy, and raise the stakes on bringing Kingpin to justice.

As for not messing with Ulrich before hand, again the above events didn't exactly put the Kingpin in an exactly rational frame of mind, and stuff was rapidly spiraling out of control.

As for spiderman...shrugs. The expanded format of 13ish hours versions 2-3 hours is always going to provide a more rich story. BUT...I I don't think Spiderman or his major villains really could be portrayed on a Netflix budget for 13 episodes, nor do I really want a gritty Spiderman. Plus I think Spiderman is just more profitable on the big screen, since it appeals to wide age groups, and I tend to think that Netflix originals cater to an older demographic.

Now if anything deserves a Netflix series IMHO, it's Punisher. Now thats a show that would thrive in the Netflix corner of the MCU


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Thejeff captures a lot of my response. I remain very very skeptical of statements that the "WRONG" authors are winning recent Hugos. It comes down to personal preference, and someone isn't wrong if they have different tastes than you.

Going through recent Hugo winners, I can't say I have read all or even most of the recent winners, but I do see a lot of authors I have personally enjoyed either as nominees or as winners. As someone who has never voted for the Hugos, it makes me very skeptical that these folks don't appeal to large segments of Sci-fi fandom, or that they are the WRONG people to vote for.


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LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
That's the accusation. I'm not sure it's even all that true. SF has long had a trend towards liberal positions, at least culturally. It may be that fans just lean that way as well.
I used to believe that until I actually went to conventions and met more of "my own kind". It's probably more accurate to say that SF has a trend towards libertarian positions, although many of them aren't Randian in orientation. Most of the old line SF authors, tend towards a mix of conservative viewpoints with some having more liberal ones only in the areas of social privacy. Many tended towards a technocratic viewpoint, and tended downplay both artistic and social science disciplines.

From what I have observed...science fiction tends to attract the extremes of different positions. So on the right you have a lot of libertarians, while on the left you get a lot of socialists and other strains of progressives. It's never been that difficult to find libertarian sci-fi authors, and some of the classic authors of the genre like Niven, Pournelle, etc all lean that way.


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DM Beckett wrote:


That would lead to some confusion. Is a Cleric a Martial or a Spellcaster? How about a Bard?

Honestly, and this really should have been done from the start, I think they really should have bumped everyone up to 4+Int minimum. Classes that already had that or higher, no change. And sort of like the Barbarian is the exception for the BaB = HD thing, there would be an exception here, too, in the Wizards and Int based casters (Witch) would stay at 2+Int for skill points.

The main issue is really just Clerics, Fighters, and Paladins. Clerics and Paladins had too many essential class skills needed to do their basic job effectively, while also being very Feat starved and lacking any means of boosting their essential skills. Both are also very MAD classes that generally leave Int as a dump stat.

Fighter is mostly in the same boat, but it's less that they lack the skill points to effectively do their job as it is they just have no room for anything else, and in their case, their "job" is 90% in combat focused.

So, in order to buy "fluff" skills, they basically are required to make themselves significantly less effective doing their actual "roles" job, like a Cleric or Paladin that doesn't know anything about Religion or the planes of heavens and hells or a Fighter that can scare people, but can't jump, climb, and/or swim in armor or maneuver around the field without getting smacked in the face.

The truth is, no matter what, no one is going to have "enough skills", and that's a good thing. It should be a choice between putting ranks into this or into that for everyone. I'm just saying that the Cleric, Fighter, and Paladin have it unproportionately worse than basically everyone else.

I also agree on the idea of the...

I think deciding that a subsystem will be bad for the game as a whole when it has even been released or even PREVIEWED strikes me as a bit presumptuous. All we have right now is a name and a very very basic explanation of how it might work. Lets actually get the system before we dismiss it.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:


Well, they seem to be hiring pretty constantly. There are several options.

That new talent, instead of flowing to the Adventure card game, flow it to a hardback.

That new talent, instead of flowing into a new item, flow it temporarily to the a hardback.

I presume that if they are hiring these people, it's because they need them, not just to have them around. So just assigning the new hires (who are not all card game devs...in fact most of them I have seen announced seem to be on the RPG) will continue to cause time management issues. I'd rather see and extra editor or developer attached to a hardcover book than have those resources devoted to a hardcover AP compilation.


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How about the recent Solomon Kane? I think there is a thread here somewhere about it, but it probably flew under a lot of people's radar and was pretty awesome


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as far as less well known movies go, Black Death with Sean Bean was pretty good. More like Medieval horror than straight fantasy.

Every other example that pops up in my brain is historical fiction however, without much of any fantastical elements to it.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
it's funny they've all forgot about the Clairvoyant by now
It's funny that you forgot that the Clairovoyant was just a cover for Garrett. All of that "secret knowledge" that the Clairovoyant had was stated to just be information available via SHIELD agents of a certain security clearance. The obsession with how Coulson returned to life and the reason why "The Clairovoyant" couldn't see that was because Nick Fury arranged that off the books, and Garrett couldn't find that info out via Shield intelligence.
no way man! Zola lives! Garrett wasn't that good of a hacker! ;)

Uh...hacking is not required when you have permission to read the files with the information in question.


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Joynt Jezebel wrote:


I am going to have to withdraw my original post.
I had a look at the research. It is a mess of competing claims. One article that seemed better referenced and thorough to me is here http://www.christopherjferguson.com/pornography.pdf.
Contrary to what I thought, the rate of rape in Japan is low. And while porn became more available in the US and Australia in the 90s and 2000s the rate of rape was falling in these countries, much of the time anyway. And the availability of largely unregulated porn on the internet since the 90s hasn't resulted in...

Something to keep in mind if you are comparing incidence of rape in the US versus Japan, is that Japan is very very much behind the West in how incidents of rape are dealt with by the law enforcement community. So rape is probably under-reported and under-prosecuted

attitudes toward rape in Japan

Not that I think porn really has anything to do with Japan's cultural issues with rape. It's probably appropriate to mention here that a lot of pornographic material from Japan that shows up stateside really is not indicative of its popularity in its country of origin.


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darth_gator wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Nope. State-sanctioned discrimination is antithetical to American values.
It isn't "state sanctioned discrimination" though; it's allowing people to do as they please with their private property. If I own a business and choose to be a bigoted douche bag, that's my choice. It doesn't make me right. No one is forced to do business with the bigots either. If you dislike their stance on an issue, you're more than welcome to take your business elsewhere. If enough people agree with you, the bigots will run out of customers and they will either be forced to change their policies or they will go out of business. That's how the free market works.

The issue (to me) is that in many smaller communities, the business that chooses to discriminate maybe the only business around. Their really won't be any selective pressure against such businesses, and instead the people being discriminated with may have to travel hours to find an accepting business, or be just plain forced to leave the community completely.


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MMCJawa wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Finished Old Venus yesterday

Pretty good anthology, although the book would have benefited from reading a few stories at a time in between other books and anthologies, since unsurprisingly a book of short fiction set on pulp Venus is bound to be a bit repetitive.

As with any anthology, there is a bit of range in quality as well. There are some straight up pastiches which...err...don't read that well, especially compared to some stories which subvert those cliches while still providing a solid story.

At any rate, might take a look at Old Mars next, not sure...

Would you mind calling out those you liked in particular?

Will try to do so later, when I can look through the list of stories/authors again. It's hard to do so from memory, because there is a blurring of stories because the Venus theme does lend itself to similarities in stories.

Going through the list of stories, I would say probably the most powerful (as well as the most depressing) was Tobias Bucknell's "Pale Blue Memories", which is a parable of racism, slavery, and privilege set in a Venusian setting. good enough that this was the one story whose author was clear in my mind even weeks later. Other stories I really liked were Michael Cassett's "The Sunset of Time" and Stephen Leigh's"Bones of Stone, Bones of Air"

Overall even the weaker efforts hear were still pretty enjoyable.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

You use the C-listers because it's MARVEL, not a bloody show of "Heroes" or "The Alphas" or whatever else lame attempt of the day is to latch unto the superhero genre.

I'm only watching this barely average Marvel Agents of SHIELD show because of my love for Marvel Comics, and if they start being this lame about it, I'm out.

I mean, who the heck is Gillette Razor Lady? should we call her "Lady Schick" or "Disposable Bi*c*?"

Barely average? I watch Agents of Shield because it has had great plot arcs and characters, and I love the worldbuilding it does for the MCU. Too me, the Inhuman reveal, war with Hydra, build up to civil war, etc are far more important tie ins than random C-list villains which I only get after the fact due to the io9 "Secrets of..."

Gotham LOVES comic references...and that has if anything only made the show worse.


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Heroes suffered from a showrunner with absolutely no spine, who gave into every complaint and criticism online and from the network, with no interest in sticking with his guns.

As an example, Sylar, Peter, and Nathan were suppose to die at the end of the first season, and season 2 would have been mostly a new cast. Had they done that, I think a lot of the later seasons would have been much better.

That's not getting into the whole Sylar evil or not flip flopping, or all the aborted plot threads that were just dropped.


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I know this is a tangent on this thread, but I feel I have to reply.

As someone who has lived in New Zealand and Japan, and has also visited a diverse range of countries including South Africa, Kenya, Australia, and the UK...sex is not any more visible in those countries than it is in ours, unless you go and look for it. It sees about a comparable use as it does in our own country for advertising and such. There are different attitudes towards sex maybe, but unless you are clubbing and hitting the night clubs, or perusing the dating scene, I doubt you will encounter them. About the only place that might pose an exception to that rule was the Akihabara district in Tokyo, which is Otaku central and has a really weird mix of shops (i.e., a store will have a huge selection of gundam toys in the front, but as you walk through it you suddenly find yourself in hardcore porn land. It's weird).

If you go out of your way or live in an area a long time, you might encounter some stuff you don't run into in the US often, but otherwise you really won't encounter anything outside what you see in an urban area in the US, especially if you are hitting up cultural/natural history/etc tourist sites.


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I would feel more reassured if there was more Dinklage and less Sandler in the trailer...


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thejeff wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
I think in the case of the realism vs magic thing, a lot of difference is opinion in how "grounded" fighters and mundane classes should be is based on what archetypes they are visualizing in their heads for how a class should be like. If you want your fighter to emulate Bruce Willis in Die Hard, Bronn from Game of Thrones, or other western action/Fantasy movies, than your threshold for what is acceptable ability wise will be lower than someone who might be using Wuxia martial arts movies or Neo from the matrix as their mental archetype.

The problem is it's increasingly hard as you go up levels to keep the martial as grounded as those characters. When you can punch out a rhino or cut down a 20' giant in seconds, you're not Bruce Willis anymore. Even if you're not as flashy as the wuxia heroes, you're way beyond mundane.

And that's with the current "martials can't have nice things" paradigm.

If you want the gritty grounded fantasy, you've got to stick to low levels in PF.

There is certainly some element of handwaving you have to do with games, I am mostly just offering this up as one take on the Realism vs Magic debate. What breaks one groups sense of realism in a fantasy game isn't going to be even noticed in another group.

I probably muddled my point above using Bron, since Game of Thrones is far more realistic than say...the action movie genre. In action movies however (with or without Bruce Willis), characters are regularly surviving damage and events that would leave a person in the real world dead. Same thing with a lot of the feats they perform. If you can sit down in front of this sort of movie, you are probably pretty forgiving on this stuff.

A lot of the realism vs magic debate is really different people having different areas where their suspension of belief breaks down. Their are probably ways of boosting fighters that can keep them within those boundaries for a lot of people.


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I think in the case of the realism vs magic thing, a lot of difference is opinion in how "grounded" fighters and mundane classes should be is based on what archetypes they are visualizing in their heads for how a class should be like. If you want your fighter to emulate Bruce Willis in Die Hard, Bronn from Game of Thrones, or other western action/Fantasy movies, than your threshold for what is acceptable ability wise will be lower than someone who might be using Wuxia martial arts movies or Neo from the matrix as their mental archetype.

Personally, Mundane martial should be boosted at the SAME TIME that classes like the Wizards should be nerfed. A lot of common complaints on the forum against some classes would be reduced if the Wizard could be more specialized and didn't have the ability to emulate every single class role in the game with preparation.


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Although the way OA is set up with its inspirations, I could see a ton of countries plot lines being able to make use of this book (perhaps more so than psionic). Ustalav, Jalmeray, Darklands, Razmiran, etc could all be places that I would see occult classes and such being associated with them.


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Aranna wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Do you honestly think that Paizo is going to cancel an AP or book if you post multiple replies about how lame that product is going to be?

If just I post it? Nope. If there are a LOT of similar posters I sure hope they would have the wisdom to rethink what they are doing. If they go ahead with a rather unpopular expansion then they risk creating different factions in their customer base and dividing their profits downward.

As for not spending any money in the lead up to the new product? Not very useful as the company will have no idea why you aren't spending any more. Actually posting in forums they read is far clearer.

By the time a product announced here, it is usually so far along that canceling it isn't feasible. The same for hardcover books when play tests are released.

And really the sales data tends to be most useful. Your only getting a vocal minority on any issue, and I think some of the vocal complaints (and to be fair some of the gushing praise) are not indicative of the broader community


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Aranna wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Wraithstrike... there is a valid reason to resist the production of a product you will not enjoy. Why? Because that product isn't something you can just ignore and it will go away. That product will start to taint other future products by becoming official and being included in many future products down the road from adventure paths to future rules supplements which rely on it. Before long you will be forced to start swinging the ban hammer far and wide to remove the tainted rules or options from the game you wish to play. And that can get really old really fast especially when you have some players who want it and think since it's official that they should get their way.

I guess my problem with this mentality is what one groups loves, another group loathes. Really the only way to accommodate that viewpoint is to just cease any further production of new books.

I would rather get some products released I am not a huge fan of, than...no new products.

~tries in vain to stop laughing~

Wow you so totally missed my point I am going to have to go back and make sure I made one.

I am not saying stop making any product that even a few people disagree with. I am saying don't get upset about people speaking out against an upcoming product or idea, it is literally the best way we fans have to influence a company for the better to actually let everyone know what we want and don't want and then let the company decide if it's still worth pursuing. And if the product still comes out please don't get up in arms if a faction of the GMs ban it. They didn't like the product and so they are not including it in their games.

(Although I suspect there are a small number of players who think any official product is their right to have so the GM better make sure he buys or uses every supplement ever made to please these players.)

Hypothetically I don't have a problem raising such objections, if done in a polite way. I especially encourage people to cancel subscriptions temporarily, since ultimately money makes more an impact than viewpoints of vocal posters (who may or may not be a minority)

But on the other hand, some people just don't LET IT GO, or can't raise that objection without accusing the people who want that material as wanting to ruin their game or being Weebos/Furries/Munchkins etc. Its especially aggravating in product threads, playtests, and the 3PP forum. Do you honestly think that Paizo is going to cancel an AP or book if you post multiple replies about how lame that product is going to be?

People also sometimes just take the hyperbole up and suggest that because such a product exists, the game will be broken for ever, or that Pathfinder will stop being fantasy, etc.


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Like others here, I really hate the concept of mortal races having an innate alignment. There might be cultural reasons for why race X is hostile and unpleasant, but that is it. Granted a lot of humans and similar races might THINK that is true, but that's true in the real world

This probably has the most effect in my homebrewed Golarion.

For starters, stories of Lamashtu and similar gods being responsible for the creation of specific races is just...religious propaganda sponsored by clerics of said gods.

Kobolds are still xenophobic and prone to Napolean complexes, but are also incredibly loyal and democratic within their own society, and also have great inventors. Their small size and weak martial ability however has continually made them vulnerable to enslavement or marginalization by other races.

Hobgoblins are still close to the Pathfinder model, but are heavily based on the Peacekeepers of Farscape, in that they lack a real homeland and function as "neutral" peacekeeping forces brought in to pacify or police a region.

Orcs are from Akiton, and somehow got into the Darklands via a portal. They still have a "might makes right" background, but the current chaotic and barbaric practices are largely a result of Dwarves annihilating the culture.

Drow are basically the culture presented in the Purge movies. Decadent elite who remain in power (and curb their own violent tendencies) by fostering a kill or be killed attitude amongst those of lower (economic) class

Most of the core races remain the same, but I hate the fluff of Golarion Dwarves, which is basically about as cliched and unoriginal as you can get. Instead, I use the Midgard model, and most dwarves are more along the lines of neurotic German engineers than drunk scottish clansmen. I do like the variants dwarves in Garund however

Other minor tweaks:

Guns and similar technology is more widespread, but restricted to only a few races, such as Dwarves and Kobolds (who fiercely argue who originally invented the technology) and Ratfolk.

The Worldwound effort is a much more international affair, with crusaders receiving significant backing from practically every organized, united, and stable nation in Avistan, including Cheliax

Probably other stuff I haven't thought of. It should be noted that I am also developing my own setting (for writing purposes), which really doesn't share much in common at all with DnD/Pathfinder.


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Aranna wrote:

Wraithstrike... there is a valid reason to resist the production of a product you will not enjoy. Why? Because that product isn't something you can just ignore and it will go away. That product will start to taint other future products by becoming official and being included in many future products down the road from adventure paths to future rules supplements which rely on it. Before long you will be forced to start swinging the ban hammer far and wide to remove the tainted rules or options from the game you wish to play. And that can get really old really fast especially when you have some players who want it and think since it's official that they should get their way.

I guess my problem with this mentality is what one groups loves, another group loathes. Really the only way to accommodate that viewpoint is to just cease any further production of new books.

I would rather get some products released I am not a huge fan of, than...no new products.


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I could think of a couple of new classes that would fit into such a book, most obviously an artificer.


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All we can judge the film by at the moment is the number of characters

At the moment, we have confirmed (or I think they have confirmed...)

Captain America
Iron Man
Black Panther
Baron Zemo
Crossbones
Winter Soldier
Black Widow
Falcon

Maybe Spiderman? (This technically is not confirmed...all that is confirmed is that he will show up in a MCU movie before his stand alone

ON the other hand, Winter Soldier had:

Captain America
Black Widow
Falcon
Nick Fury
Winter Soldier
Maria Hill
Batroc
Crossbones
Dr. Zola
Alexander Pierce

So like...superficially Winter Soldier had a comparably packed cast, and the movie still remained a Captain America movie. Given the Russo Brothers are also doing Civil War...I have high hopes.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Ok, I was just asking because the new product occult bestiary has was said to be variant as well as new monsters. That made me think of the mythic variant versions of monsters mythic adventures has.
The occult variants of other classic monsters do speak to the same sort of ideas as the mythic ones, in that they give you a new variant of that monster that can enhance the way you portray that monster's society and the like. Occult Adventures is in the same line as Mythic Adventures, the "Adventures" line, which gives you the tools you need to run a game with a different feel. However, Malwing is also right that the tools in this one are also meant to work seamlessly in your normal game (as befits the themes of the occult as being the hidden layer beneath the surface, after all), whereas Mythic is a whole new mode that changes the CR balance.

huh...this is the first time Adventurers has been referred to as a line. Might that suggest future volumes (cough Steampunk Adventures cough)


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Yep...at this point I am completely unclear what is being meant by brand.

Paizo has done a great job with the RPG, but even Pathfinder players refer to it as DnD. Outside of the roleplaying games fanbase, Pathfinder is basically complete unknown. We don't get jokes about Pathfinder on the Colbert Report, Community, or Big Bang Theory. So the brand name is still visible and marketable.

That they are going slow on the marketing of DnD doesn't surprise me. WoTC doesn't rely on DnD for money...Magic is their breadwinner. Hasbro is obviously pursuing the movie option, otherwise they wouldn't be going through a legal battle over it. The Brand still carries weight

Also don't undersell the Nostalgia factor. A large chunk of movies produced by major studios in the last several decades solely exist because of nostalgia. Hasbro could very well bin active support of 5E and still make money off of DnD.


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biggest pet peeves?

While trying to keep myself as vague as possible...

Probably my biggest is that its impossible to have a reasoned discussion about certain topics in certain forums, without the the same set of posters coming into the thread and pitching a fit, causing a thread lock. At this point I would rather have some sort of forum specific ban than have to see this repeat over and over.

People who feel the need to bring their pet cause into every single thread, even one that has absolutely nothing remotely to do with the topic in question. This gets irritating fast, especially if this is the 500th similar post that person has made.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I guess if you exclude the successful products, they haven't had much success. However, I suspect WotC are using a different metric than you. No doubt Drizzt counts, in their eyes.

It's hard to see why they'd take the approach they seem to be adopting if they shared your view that D&D has failed as a "sustained, consistent" brand over the years.

Even on the movie front, they have started a legal battle to get the license away from someone whose track record with the license is not what WotC and Hasbro were expecting. It's not because of any sustained success, but quite the opposite. Successful brands don't have to essentially hit the reboot button like WotC has had to consistently do throughout their ownership of the brand. To be fair, TSR had the same difficulties; they just chose a different way to try to solve them, with about the same amount of non-success. D&D has always been more successful on a cultural level than a business level.

I don't think you can blame the problems with the movies on WoTC or Hasbro. TSR sold them off at a pittance, to a company that wasn't really qualified to manage them.

And I would still say comparisons with Marvel are valid. Marvel made a lot of dubious decisions in the past, and had severe financial issues. I think Marvel has done a good job of turning around their brand, and I think WoTC learned from their mistakes in the past regarding the 4E launch. The fact that I am encountering vastly lower levels of venom from the fan community about the transition compared to 4E lends credence I think to that idea


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sunshadow21 wrote:


Even as a commercial success, D&D as a brand is not all that large outside of the gaming community; it peaked a long time ago in terms of the wider market. Most of the commercial successes are almost a decade old, or older. Not much there to help them now.

As a brand, Drizzt and Baldur's Gate and a few other successes aside, there has been no sustained and consistent development of the brand under WotC, despite several decades of trying different methods of accomplishing the exact same goal that people have stated is WotC's intent this time around as well. From what I've seen of how WotC is approaching 5E, I'm not convinced that even a successful movie would really help the brand all that much in the long run right now. It's basically the same problem they have following the success of the core books for 5E. There's nothing ready to launch in that crucial period immediately after their initial success to feed it and keep it going.

I get the feeling from reading this that you think the purpose of all these media outlets is to somehow pull people into playing traditional 5E DnD. When in fact I don't see that as the point of branding at all in this case. How much Brand identity did Guardians of the Galaxy have? I would argue that DnD is probably more visible than that.

I would guess that for Hasbro right now, there is far far more money to be made from movie ticket prices if they can pull off a good movie. Transformers has made BILLIONS, a franchise predicated on fighting robots that turn into cars. You could say the same thing about Marvel comics....I doubt Captain America or Iron Man as a brand was more popular than DnD is currently, maybe even less so.

With the Hobbit done, there is certainly a market for the next big secondary fantasy series, and DnD has numerous fantasy settings, plotlines, and character good and ready to go. And you only need to excite a relatively tiny fanbase to increase buzz and get people talking, something of which DnD can easily do.

If your going to use DnD for boardgames, movies, TV, toys, etc, than it's important to keep the original product on the shelves, if only as a form of justification and to satisfy people's curiosity. I think 5E has done that well, while potentially sidestepping the dreaded edition treadmill issues (at least for now). What it comes down to now is whether Hasbro can exploit the current GoT and LotR popularity in time to cash in favorably.


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Bluenose wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
The novels are more or less in the same boat. You have a handful of big successes in a field of mostly mediocre efforts.
That's pretty much the normal model for all published fiction, certainly not unique to TSR/WotC.

I "think" Death Heretic has been the only Pathfinder novel to crack the best sellers list, although I might be wrong. That hasn't stopped Paizo from doing other novels, and I would guess they are still quite profitable for the company.

A lot of Forgotten Realms/Dragonlance/etc have never made it on the list, but I would guess they are still bringing in enough money to make the novel line successful. Otherwise they would have been cut long ago


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and if they can get the rights issues cleared up, A D&D inspired movie could bring in far more income than sales of the game rules.


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magnuskn wrote:
Kalshane wrote:
My concern about the merging of the two Universes is how much of the "dark and gritty Wasp-eating, drug addict mutants, jerks-in-costumes Ultimates" aspects are going to get ported over.

Well, Mark Millar seems to be not working for Marvel anymore, so a lot of those tendencies have gone away. Kyle and Yost still get work sometimes for them, so there is still is cause for concern.

The last two years have seen a pretty tame UU in terms of jackassery and lethality. I'd say they already took a little part of the over-the-top grittyness and a lot of the moral ambiguity and made it part of the 616 universe with their big storylines since Civil War, which is why the UU is pretty obsolete nowadays.

I think they won't do a full reboot. They are mostly going to finish the UU and situate some of the more interesting characters in the core 616 universe. I am crossing my fingers that Ultimate Peter Parker and his supporting cast will make it, but since Bendis will want to place his golden child, Miles Morales, firmly in the 616 universe, I sadly doubt it.

What really pisses me off is that apparently the rest of the multiverse also got killed off in the collateral of this big storyline.

As far as Spiderman goes, it looks like we are getting married, family man Peter Parker, as well as Spider-Gwen and Miles Morales. So it's going to be a big buffet of Spiderman characters from different universes.


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Given that Kree ruins are in Puerto Rico, did anyone find themselves amused that Raina sort of ended up looking like a Chupacabra?


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It would be great if WotC could start providing pdfs of the 5E rule set. I don't have the space right now to buy a set of hardcover books, especially for a game I am not actively playing at the moment.

HOWEVER, I also don't think I represent the typical gamer, and I think a lot of casual groups don't even know there are PDF options, not to mention various grognard groups that probably don't even allow computers at the table. Also, while we can laud Paizo for their PDF options, I should note that Paizo having their own storefront helps alot with this. I will also note that until the recent TOR announcement, Paizo had 0 support for Kindle and similar devices, which had to have been significantly impacting sales of their fiction.

So I think PDFs are important to woo over the gaming crowd, but perhaps not vital to keep the edition going.

As for the release schedule, 5E is a simplified game and I honestly think simplified games work better with slower production schedules. Really the only material that would benefit from a high production cycle are campaign setting books, which given all the settings WotC has are pretty near inexhaustible. Hell, I worry about the Pathfinder production schedule, and that is a complex game. The only real issue I might criticize is the almost complete lack of news regarding what if any rulebooks are coming out this fall. This really feeds the speculation that 5E might be an "abandoned" system.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Falcone - Victor --> their "brainwashing" of Butch seems like it's a ruse or something... I think Falcone - Victor didn't really brainwash Butch and they're waiting to see if Butch will betray them when Fish comes back. Maybe a test. And Falcone's offering to Penguin "you no longer have to sneak around, you're officially one of my guys" could be true, but I think Falcone knows full well that Penguin cannot rest if he's not completely in charge. So by making an official announcement that he owns him, he knows Penguin will chafe at the bit and start scheming... whether Butch/Fish join Penguin or whether Butch stays loyal to Falcone is the critical variable here...

So far Penguin seems quite content with his club. My guess is something will happen to his mom, which will set him off on a roaring rampage of vengeance.

I just want....something to happen with the mob plotline...


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Freehold DM wrote:
I would say that's unfair. You pay subsistence wages, you get transitory staffing at best.

Yeah the universities are looking for any way they can to cut costs for actual instruction of students, while administration keeps growing and growing.

Making the situation all the worse is the over-production of PhDs, since Universities increasingly rely on grad students to cover classes and labs, since they are fairly cheap labor. That means that the current system is producing PhDs at a far greater rate than the number of available positions opening up each year. So a lot of people have to take adjunct jobs, or leap from Postdoc to Postdoc (and budgets cuts to research make the latter rarer and rarer).

I received my PhD last spring and the market is terrible. I am cashiering at a grocery store, and only since January has my publication record built up enough to land me job interviews. I thankfully landed a postdoc position for the fall, otherwise I would have driven out to San Diego and been forced to enter the community college adjunct market.


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Slayer sort of seems to fill the Assassin niche


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I thought it was significant that they focused on Black Widow removing that flash drive after plugging it in. Marvel has been pretty good at leaving room for villains to come back.


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That said with the above, in the 10 years I have been in academia, I have seen a huge surge in increased participation of female grad students. I do think there is a huge shift, and that things are improving.


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I really wanted to post on women in academia earlier today but didn't have the time. So excuse the return to the earlier tangent.

At any rate, I only recently finished a PhD in Ecology (really biology/paleontology), and have several female friends who also recently have finished their degrees (and know of many more)

I would say that I feel fairly confident that current discrepancies in the sciences are not simply some sort of gender-related differences in science.

TheJeff made a great point earlier about the old adage that sciences progresses by the old guard dying off. This very much also applies to attitudes towards women in science. Unlike many jobs, scientists don't really fully retire, and tenure often means near complete immunity against even egregious offenses.

I don't consider myself a huge social butterfly, but I have heard the following stories:

First, my advisor (who was in a PhD program in the late 70's/early 80's), was forbidden from field work, because it wasn't consider a proper activity for a women.

More recently,

A museum curator told one friend she shouldn't bother with getting a PhD, but should instead work on her MRS

Same friend, when on a field season dig, was always assigned (with the other female PhD) cook duties. Despite not at all being a good cook.

Another female colleague took a postdoc at a prestigious university in the lab of a rather well known researcher, and suffered some pretty nasty sexual harassment

Add on several researchers who have a notorious...record of hitting on/harassing younger female researchers? Yeah I think there is still a lot of discrimination going on overtly.

But even ignoring the overt stuff, there are a lot of aspects of academia that turn women away. For instance, one common complaint is that the tenure system basically means a faculty member has to devote most of his life towards that goal. He always has the option of waiting until his 40's to start a family, or foisting a lot of the childcare onto his wife. A women however really doesn't have that freedom, and many faculty members don't really consider pregnancy or child-rearing "acceptable" reasons why a given person's productivity is not on par with her male colleagues. It's also a lot harder to get tenure when women often get consistently worse teaching evaluations than men, or are judged as less successful than male candidates with similar publication records


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I think it could work, especially if you have a sheltered upbringing...I don't believe their are any rules saying common followers have to be one step away from their God's alignment. I would say that eventually such a character should probably catch on that Asmodeus isn't at all a good god.


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Lord Snow wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

I'm moderately optimistic. I actually liked MoS quite a bit, and if they can make it as good as that, this should be a good movie.

Sure he won't be the best Aquaman, but he might just be good.

holy shut someone else who liked man of steel! I liked the movie very much and found the complainers to be boorish in their views.

It seems we really must disagree :(

I disliked Man of Steel. I actually fell asleep while watching it, which should be quite the proof of my extreme sense of boredom since it was very loud. It should be pointed out I never read a superman comic in my life and never watched a movie about him either.
The movie was bad because supermen didn't have a character - it literally skips between him as a space baby and him saving people from a burning freighter in the gap of a single scene, and throughout the movie we never learn about him as a person. Maybe that works for people who've seen many variations of his story before but for me that made the character so flat that I just couldn't care.
Then there were the action scenes which were the industry standard of toppling sky scrapers and destroying entire towns and killing thousands of bystanders without ever giving the fact a second thought. Not very heroic - as some people pointed out, it's less as if Superman is saving humanity and more as if two hostile aliens invaded Earth and chose it as their battleground, at the expense of the helpless natives.

Maybe there was some more character development and plot in the middle of the film. I wouldn't know, though, seeing as how I was asleep.

I completely agree. I think Superman is a horrible character to do the grimdark angle on. It works for Batman, because Batman is a dark vengeance driven character. It doesn't work for Superman, which ultimately is a more of an optimistic, hopeful character/comic.


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I think it looks badass. I don't think the original costume would be very easy to adapt, and given that Aquaman is routinely considered a joke character in pop culture, he needs all the help he can get for the big screen.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Maybe if they stretched things out to CR 35 (which I think they could have done with mythic), but currently...nah. Would require a new edition probably.

That can be solved by simply putting out another Bestiary... say in the style of the old Fiend Folio.

Make funky god-like enemies whose powers are auras that force you to reroll if you roll an even result... or if you fail a save, you fall in love with them, and must roleplay that.

Actually, as far as the core rulebook line goes, they would need to revise and release a new version of Bestiary 4. Since Pazuzu and Cthulhu are suppose to be at the top tier of power levels in Demigod-hood, increasing the CR scale suddenly only puts them at mid-range. Which I am pretty sure is not the place James Jacobs and Co want them to sit.


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Like I mentioned, it has the overall same idea as the movie, but is executed very very differently (For instance, the main character is definitely sane, and only spends part of one episode in an asylum, and that is only to get the next clue to the origins of the virus).

So very very different shows.


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Addams Family DM wrote:

About the Civil War stuff, isn't Captain America's actor leaving after Avengers 2? That leaves an unrecognized Captain America as the leader of the Anti Registration side and an Iron Man that is completely in the spot light. Not sure how that would work since the storyline was as much about public opinion as anything else.

Unless...wait...wait...NO! NO! NO!

I think all of the avengers are contracted for at least 3 avengers movies and 3 stand alone movies in the series. This will be Cap's last stand alone but, but he will be contracted to appear in at least one of the Infinity War movies.

Robert Downey Jr wasn't contracted for anymore movies outside of another Avengers, but I am guessing they showed up with a dump truck of cash to convince him to be in Cap 3.


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RainyDayNinja wrote:
Since Spider-Man is based in New York, they're going to have to address what he was up to during the events of the first Avengers movie. Will they retcon him in, saying he was fighting the Chitauri somewhere else in the city? Or maybe the Battle of New York spurs him to move beyond fighting purse-snatchers and seek out SHIELD so he can make a real difference?

That's easy...Spiderman didn't exist yet during the Chitauri invasion. They want to have a Spiderman in high school, which sort of implies he hasn't been active for more than a year at best.

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