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Vondy last won the day on April 11 2016

Vondy had the most liked content!

About Vondy

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    One With The Force
  • Birthday 07/13/1972

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    Bremerton, WA

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  1. Vondy

    Martial Art(s) for a Batman-esque Character

    Martial arts in Hero are are really shorthand for powers, skill levels, and modified strength. So...how about a Variable Power-Pool? 20 points should be able to model almost any book maneuver. Just add the limitation "only to model martial arts effects." Or... a power pool "only for heroic skills and talents." Then, grab whatever heroic combat talent is appropriate from the Dark Champions or Hero System Martial Arts books.
  2. Vondy

    Black Panther with spoilers

    I'm going to disagree about his powers being boring and say that its not the powers that make a super-hero interesting. I thought the way they worked the super-serum into the kitchy pseudo-african culture and made it a part of the land he rules (the king and the land are one) to be at least archetypal. And his suit is boiler-plate, though adding the kinetic absorption and release was kind of cool. My issue is that I found T'Challa boring not as a super-hero, but as a person. He is a staunch conservative, monarchist, and traditionalist. And, while he's willing to open a center outside of Wakanda by the end of the film, his realm remains essentially closed-off and isolationist in character. The actor is very talented, but the character is overly stoic. He makes solemnizing speeches, and and is admirably resolute, but he's not vibrant. I like a man of and for his people, but as presented he's not a very evocative figure. He doesn't inspire. He's everybody else's straight man and sounding board. The people around him bring the key notes to the scenes. I don't blame the actor. I blame the writers. They could have done a great deal to make him inspiring, innovative, or even humanized him with some wry humor of his own. Chadwik Boseman was not given as rich a script or as developed a character as Chris Evans. I also found the depiction of Wakanda banal and tone-deaf. Americans tend to have atavistic, idealistic, ignorant, and unrealistic ideas about "ancestral homelands" they are generations removed from and have little, if any, direct experience of. I am not sure, if I were African, I would appreciate this presentation of "Africa" no matter what color the skin of the writers and directors happen to be. Its a fallacy rooted in our love of hyphenating ourselves. We appropriate and misrepresent cultures that haven't really been our own for generations. If a German American makes a film about Germany filled with lederhosen, oompa bands, giant beer steins, humorless engineers, and gourmet sausages we all know its ridiculous and a bit offensive to real Germans. I didn't see the Black Panther as being any different: an bizarre fantasy Africa produced by a hyphenated American. Knowing where your people are from does not make you from that place or give you a critical pass when you to rip it out of its accurate and authentic ethnographic context to produce an emotionally convenient caricature of a culture that serves your wholly unrelated social and cultural circumstances and aims (even if those aims are, in of themselves, admirable). You can choose to do that. What you can't do is demand someone regard it as worthwhile art. My people primarily come from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Germany. That does not mean I can create bad caricatures of those countries and cultures and expect accolades for the final product just because happen to slap Irish-Scottish-Welsh-German on the left of my -American. Unless I'm writing a comedy and seeking to lampoon the stereotypes, I'm pretty much saying "hey, look at me, I'm an offensive American ignoramous!" I really wanted to like this movie, but overall, I found it groan-worthy.
  3. I agree overall. To be fair, there are some American shows that make an effort to do better. They aren't the majority, but every so often I run across something that doesn't scream "written by boorishly didactic idiots." Less so the mainstream news....
  4. I'll be honest and say I've mostly stopped watching marvel movies. In fact, I've seriously curtailed the amount of American media I consume at all. This is not because Marvel is making bad movies. The production values, cinematography, acting, and set-piece scenes are top notch. The movies are, overall, fun. Rather, its because Marvel, like most American media these days, has fully embraced the obnoxious trend of ideological didacticism. I believe this devalues art. Art is cultural product and politics is downstream from culture. I'm an art and culture snob in the sense that I consider our political class unwashed barbarians. They have no business interfering with art. When you politicize art it becomes rank propaganda and loses its intended impact. When you attempt to legislate culture it ceases to be haute or lowbrow (I enjoy both). Rather, It becomes an oppressive and farcical caricature of culture. It is also, quite frankly, tonally dissonant and off-putting. You can address serious social issues in cinema in an intelligent, nuanced, provoking way without resorting to sophomoric binary framing of issues and soap-box lectures. One of the most counter-productive ways to address a social issue is preaching. Art doesn't tell its audience what to think. Art merely provokes rather than informs reaction. The writers at Marvel are becoming increasingly didactic. Part of the problem is that I have been consuming a lot of cinema and television from around the world. I'm not consuming in an Anglo bubble. One show I watched recently was the Spanish crime drama Mar Del Plastico. Now, it is a Spanish show. These cops have no business looking this good. These cops have way more sex while doing their jobs than is quite right. And, MARIA! There is melodrama ramped up to 11. Yet, this show tackles refugees and racism in Spain today in a far more intelligent, nuanced, and story-driven way the propagandists masquerading as script-writers in the US do today (I'm looking at you SWAT!). None of the characters stop and tell you what you should think and feel about an issue. You are confronted with characters on both sides and forced to react. Deadpool 2 was an exception that consciously called the trend out and played with it, but it will not stop the tide. And, 20 movies in, I'm looking for something other than superheroes, anyways. Variety is the spice of life. Heresy on the Hero Boards, I know! Again, I am not saying Marvel is making bad movies or that being more inclusive is bad. I'm 100% for more women and minority heroes on screen insofar as its done well and doesn't undermine its goal in the first place. And, even the bad Marvel movies are top shelf in a technical sense. But, as someone who loves comics as a form of literature and art, I will say the trend is that Marvel is now producing movies that - while spectacular in the literal sense - are neither literary nor artistic. Finito and Excelsior!
  5. Agreed. We went and saw this one last week. It was a laugh-riot.
  6. Vondy

    Is someone in Seattle in need of a Doctor?

    Sadly, I'm on the wrong side of the water. Kitsap.
  7. Vondy

    D6 Star Wars to be Republished!

    I never found the crap organization of the original books debilitating. Retro-clones don't just reorganize the material, they also make changes to it. If you want authentic feel, play the original. Indeed, weird organization is part of that feel.
  8. Vondy

    D6 Star Wars to be Republished!

    Unless one is a proud Luddite!
  9. Vondy

    Star Wars 8 complaint box

    Titling this "complaint box" poisons the well of discussion from the outset. I will pass on participation beyond saying "haters gonna hate."
  10. I prefer the answer that the pursuing Star Destroyer had jammed their communications. Another possible one, sending anything but a encrypted burst communication to the base over channels could compromise the location of the base? We are talking about a lot of data and the data transmission did appear to be directional. While both of those explanations make in-universe sense the real reason is: wireless data communications wasn't really in the public's consciousness in 1977. Neither was the Internet. The holonet and "slicing" in the star wars universe, let alone wireless communications, are mirrors to real world technology developments that were retconned into Star Wars over time. The original star wars, while having AI droids, was not computer or information technology centric the way we are.
  11. Vondy

    VIPER: Who's Your Dragon?

    I've used Occulon and Viper-X to great effect. I even managed to turn Occulon into "not a chump." I did use Viperia in one scenario. She was, of course, scary. The heroes had to out-think her on the battlefield and had to focus on their mission objective rather than just beating her. Overall, I felt she was overpowered and that her powers were slapped on "just because" She was a little to narrow for me, personally, to use over the long-haul. She was more of a "doomsday weapon" than a well-rounded character.
  12. Gnomes are Halflings who talk to badgers, squirrels, and such-like. In our games Gnomes and Halflings have been replaced by 3-foot tall Elves known simply as "smallfolk." There are no D&D or Tolkein styled Elves.
  13. Vondy

    D6 Star Wars to be Republished!

    Bah! There is a time-worn yet serviceable copy of D6 Star Wars 1st Edition on my shelf. I also eschew AD&D reprints and retro-clones. If you want to play 1st Edition AD&D, or even B/X, the originals are yet obtainable. And, if you don't mind "used," not entirely unfordable.
  14. Vondy

    Describe a rpg mechanic you love.

    Jovian Chronicles: has options for a sliding scale of realism. Reality Distortion Levels: three settings changing how you tally successes from the dice pool - gritty, adventurous, and cinematic. Cast Rating: tied to RDLs, defines who, based on cast rating, gets what adjustments and fudges - and how system shock, etc, are handled. Archvillians followed by heroes / henchmen followed by supporting cast, followed by mooks. WOO Factor: weapons out of ordinance. Inspired by the endless stream of rockets in anime, and in handguns in John Woo films. The character rolls to see if they can keep firing even if the weapon should be empty. Existential Angst: when the narrative gives the hero personal trauma and loss, they can drop their psyche score to -3 and boost another stat or skill to +3 until the angst is resolved.
  15. Vondy

    STAR TREK: Discovery

    Hippy-dippy boomer woo-woo utopian pipe dreams has never done much for me. Oddly, the boomers who produced TOS created a show that was less of that than this one is claiming to be. I have seen every episode of trek prior to this series, but will happily skip this one. We've had 28 seasons of Trek prior to this, not including TAS. The only way we'd ever need more would be if it were actually good. The only new Trek I'm interested in at this stage is the reboot films