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zslane

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  1. Like
    zslane reacted to Lord Liaden in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    Much of the really cutting-edge drama these days is being done for television, while movies tend toward broadest-appeal films. It used to be the reverse, when television was the medium targeted for the masses. But as the range of channels and services has proliferated, television has more and more had to find niche markets appealing to specific tastes and expectations; whereas films, more and more obsessed with blockbuster box office, is aiming for as many targets as possible with every release.
     
    I'll just add that one person's junk is someone else's treasure, one size does not fit all, etc.
  2. Like
    zslane reacted to Grailknight in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    The large amount of content out there confuses the issue. There are so many bad to mediocre shows out that they seem to drown out the good to excellent ones. But the percentages of awful, bad, mediocre, good and excellent stuff is pretty much the same with possibly a shift towards the middle overall.
     
    Remember, we're judging new content against not just other new content but also against everything that's come before and some older stuff gets bonus points because it was the original . So the classic westerns, detective stories and war movies hold up pretty well while the SFX heavy genres of sci-fi and fantasy lean heavily to more modern stuff. 
     
    Movies and TV haven't gotten worse, our standards have gotten higher.
     
     
     
     
  3. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Ninja-Bear in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    Hollywood is becoming dependent on Chinese box office the way western society is dependent on Middle Eastern oil. It is difficult to be the master of your own destiny when you are beholden to someone else's resources.
  4. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Pattern Ghost in Top Secret [TSR]   
    If I were ever to write a campaign setting for the Hero System, I'd use the Plot Point Campaign structure. I think this structure can be adopted for any system, and I'd like to see it become the preferred approach for all future Hero System campaign settings, regardless of who authors them.
  5. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Steve in Building a Better Hero Block   
    As an aid to the GM I guess this has merit, but aren't there computer tools to help manage all this during play?
     
    Players, even new ones, shouldn't need anything more "stripped down" than what you find on an old 2E Champions character sheet. Obviously for something like Fantasy Hero where you've got more adventuring equipment to track, and possibly lots of spells to keep track of depending on your chosen magic system, you might need more than what a single-page superhero sheet provides, but I think the essential premise is the same: keep it as simple as a 2E Champions character sheet in terms of overall information density (which, BTW, included the maneuver table and a line for circling your Phases during a Turn).
  6. Thanks
    zslane got a reaction from Scott Ruggels in The Upcoming Marvel Game Is Cutesy   
    In some ways it is good that Marvel is publishing it themselves. They have unfettered access to all of their IP and don't have to pay anyone else for that privilege. On the other hand, this new RPG will only be supported for as long as it looks strong and profitable in Marvel's ledgers. RPGs are not Marvel's core business, and my prediction/expectation is that as the CoV2 lockdown eases and people have other things to do (again), this game will inevitably end up on Marvel's chopping block.
  7. Thanks
    zslane got a reaction from fdw3773 in Tolkien's Rings of Power for Fantasy Hero   
    The One Ring was designed to make it easier for its wearer to dominate others, particularly those of weak mental fortitude or those easily corrupted. Sauron was all about domination and control, and the One Ring reflected this. He knew he would never be able to subdue and control his most hated enemy, the elves, through military action or the sheer power of his will alone, so he tricked them into crafting the means by which he could: the rings of power. His greatest fear in the Third Age was that his ring would find its way into the hands of someone who could use it against him; an elf lord, a descendant of the Kings of Westernesse, or another maia. They would have the means to bend Sauron's armies to their will rather than his, and he would be supplanted as the "lord of the rings" (and all of Middle-Earth as a result).
     
    In terms of FRPG "powers", I would say it grants Invisibility with a very slow Transform Self into Wraith side effect, and a small Cumulative Mind Control with a massive Area of Effect that can only be unlocked by someone with a massively high EGO and PRE (and the Endurance to keep it going long-term).
  8. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Lord Liaden in Tolkien's Rings of Power for Fantasy Hero   
    The One Ring was designed to make it easier for its wearer to dominate others, particularly those of weak mental fortitude or those easily corrupted. Sauron was all about domination and control, and the One Ring reflected this. He knew he would never be able to subdue and control his most hated enemy, the elves, through military action or the sheer power of his will alone, so he tricked them into crafting the means by which he could: the rings of power. His greatest fear in the Third Age was that his ring would find its way into the hands of someone who could use it against him; an elf lord, a descendant of the Kings of Westernesse, or another maia. They would have the means to bend Sauron's armies to their will rather than his, and he would be supplanted as the "lord of the rings" (and all of Middle-Earth as a result).
     
    In terms of FRPG "powers", I would say it grants Invisibility with a very slow Transform Self into Wraith side effect, and a small Cumulative Mind Control with a massive Area of Effect that can only be unlocked by someone with a massively high EGO and PRE (and the Endurance to keep it going long-term).
  9. Like
    zslane got a reaction from assault in Tolkien's Rings of Power for Fantasy Hero   
    The One Ring was designed to make it easier for its wearer to dominate others, particularly those of weak mental fortitude or those easily corrupted. Sauron was all about domination and control, and the One Ring reflected this. He knew he would never be able to subdue and control his most hated enemy, the elves, through military action or the sheer power of his will alone, so he tricked them into crafting the means by which he could: the rings of power. His greatest fear in the Third Age was that his ring would find its way into the hands of someone who could use it against him; an elf lord, a descendant of the Kings of Westernesse, or another maia. They would have the means to bend Sauron's armies to their will rather than his, and he would be supplanted as the "lord of the rings" (and all of Middle-Earth as a result).
     
    In terms of FRPG "powers", I would say it grants Invisibility with a very slow Transform Self into Wraith side effect, and a small Cumulative Mind Control with a massive Area of Effect that can only be unlocked by someone with a massively high EGO and PRE (and the Endurance to keep it going long-term).
  10. Sad
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    Ternaugh is absolutely correct. We single folks are not expected to get the same value from the PVOD price as a family, or even a couple. As usual, those of us who do participate subsidize all the families out there (just like with health insurance and other financial programs with society-wide reach).
  11. Like
    zslane reacted to Ternaugh in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    I don’t think you’re the target audience for the streaming option*. I have always assumed that it’s aimed at families who already subscribe to Disney+. The math works a lot better for a family of 4 or more, and does include repeat viewings.
     
     
    *I’m not either, as I live alone.
  12. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Matt the Bruins in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    Shazam! was mediocre at best, in my view. It tried too hard to be an homage to Big, and while that worked for lots of people, it didn't work for me. The movie suffered from tonal whiplash to a degree, and the supersuit was awful.
     
    As for Aquaman, I agree with you. It was colorful, but the underwater action scenes made no sense whatsoever and were a complete cinematographic mess more often than not. Moreover, I don't care for this take on the character, which isn't Jason Momoa's fault; he does a great job doing what he is asked to do. I just think this particular Aquaman characterization is rather misguided, and almost a little embarrassing to watch sometimes.
  13. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Christopher R Taylor in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    Shazam! was mediocre at best, in my view. It tried too hard to be an homage to Big, and while that worked for lots of people, it didn't work for me. The movie suffered from tonal whiplash to a degree, and the supersuit was awful.
     
    As for Aquaman, I agree with you. It was colorful, but the underwater action scenes made no sense whatsoever and were a complete cinematographic mess more often than not. Moreover, I don't care for this take on the character, which isn't Jason Momoa's fault; he does a great job doing what he is asked to do. I just think this particular Aquaman characterization is rather misguided, and almost a little embarrassing to watch sometimes.
  14. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Pattern Ghost in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    I'm sure it is all in an effort to make gods "relatable" to general audiences. It seems that television is still not regarded as the place for epic spectacle. Teevee is small, you see, and so too must the action be.
     
    Agents of Shield tried to put the entire world in peril every season, but the show didn't have the budget to really do it right, and so everything seemed really small even though we were constantly told how huge the stakes were. And while Disney presumably gives these Disney+ shows bigger budgets and permits them to have whatever scope Feige wants, there seems to be an unspoken rule that says the shows can't be allowed to match (or eclipse) the scope and spectacle of the movies. In Disney's mind, teevee can never be allowed to compete with the movies. And it usually shows (no pun intended).
     
    It is the same with Star Wars. The Mandalorian is just low- (okay, medium) budget side action; (mostly inconsequential) events in the margins of whatever epic struggle the movies intend to cover.
  15. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Grailknight in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    I wonder what the studio execs think the reason for that is. I wonder what the real reason for that is. (The answer is rarely the same for both.)
  16. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Christopher R Taylor in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    I wonder what the studio execs think the reason for that is. I wonder what the real reason for that is. (The answer is rarely the same for both.)
  17. Like
    zslane reacted to Greywind in How much of a limitation would Needs END be?   
    No limitation. GM handwavium at an appropriate (or inappropriate, for the player) time.
  18. Thanks
    zslane got a reaction from Scott Ruggels in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    It just seems to me that Disney isn't maximizing the potential of the IP they are working with, and merely because it is the small screen that is the delivery device. For instance, I've seen season 1, chapter 4 of The Mandalorian done twice before; once when it was called The Seven Samurai and then again when it was re-skinned as The Magnificent Seven. But since this is teevee we're talking about, it had to be scaled down to The Rugged Two apparently. The grand cinematicism of Star Wars and the MCU is being reduced to "fit in the home", which I find disappointing.
     
    WandaVision was similar in that it spent far too much time developing a single idea, primarily I suspect because that was much cheaper than producing 6 hours of story that had the scope and intensity of a trilogy of MCU Scarlet Witch movies. Which, IMO, should be the whole point of producing 6 (continuous) hours of anything that takes place in the MCU (or the Star Wars universe).
  19. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Simon in How much of a limitation would Needs END be?   
    I happen to think it matters just how often this slow-drain END issue is going to affect the character. If the answer is "very rarely" then I question the merit in modeling it so accurately and bothering with all the bookkeeping it requires.
  20. Thanks
    zslane got a reaction from Scott Ruggels in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    I'm sure it is all in an effort to make gods "relatable" to general audiences. It seems that television is still not regarded as the place for epic spectacle. Teevee is small, you see, and so too must the action be.
     
    Agents of Shield tried to put the entire world in peril every season, but the show didn't have the budget to really do it right, and so everything seemed really small even though we were constantly told how huge the stakes were. And while Disney presumably gives these Disney+ shows bigger budgets and permits them to have whatever scope Feige wants, there seems to be an unspoken rule that says the shows can't be allowed to match (or eclipse) the scope and spectacle of the movies. In Disney's mind, teevee can never be allowed to compete with the movies. And it usually shows (no pun intended).
     
    It is the same with Star Wars. The Mandalorian is just low- (okay, medium) budget side action; (mostly inconsequential) events in the margins of whatever epic struggle the movies intend to cover.
  21. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    I liked the Shang Chi character as a kid growing up in the '70s (because let's face it, who didn't love Bruce Lee when they were kids in the '70s), but I am only slightly more interested in this movie than the Black Widow movie, which isn't really saying much.
  22. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Christopher R Taylor in Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three and BEYOOOOONND   
    I liked the Shang Chi character as a kid growing up in the '70s (because let's face it, who didn't love Bruce Lee when they were kids in the '70s), but I am only slightly more interested in this movie than the Black Widow movie, which isn't really saying much.
  23. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Christopher R Taylor in DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...   
    That also describes the aspirations of the first Suicide Squad movie. It was dumb and violent, but it wasn't much fun. I'm skeptical that even James Gunn can elevate the core premise to the point where it escapes its intrinsic dumbness and delivers on the fun. But I'm willing to be proven wrong.
  24. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Spence in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    Whenever a debate about superhero comics strays down the path of, "well in the real world...", you know something is wrong.
     
    In my experience, comic book writers--even the highly regarded ones--generally don't write with enough deftness (and depth) to make any "real world" allegory actually work because there are too many essential things they handwave away just to get on with their story. You can't say, "Well we have racism and bigotry in the real world, and so it makes sense that mutants would be victims of such," and also ignore the fact that in the real world, non-mutant superheroes would also be hunted down and destroyed if they behaved as they do in the comics. The massive amounts of collateral damage they regularly incur would see to that. I mean, something like the Sokovia Accords would never have any legal authority in the real world, but the sentiment behind it is nevertheless 100% dead on realistic and sensible.
     
    I largely agree with Christopher that attempts to say something deep about racism and bigotry is completely undermined by these stories being implanted in a universe that is inconsistent and conceptually dishonest/oversimplified about the interaction between normal humans and superpowered beings--mutant or otherwise--in general.
  25. Like
    zslane got a reaction from Grailknight in Mutants: Why does this idea work?   
    Whenever a debate about superhero comics strays down the path of, "well in the real world...", you know something is wrong.
     
    In my experience, comic book writers--even the highly regarded ones--generally don't write with enough deftness (and depth) to make any "real world" allegory actually work because there are too many essential things they handwave away just to get on with their story. You can't say, "Well we have racism and bigotry in the real world, and so it makes sense that mutants would be victims of such," and also ignore the fact that in the real world, non-mutant superheroes would also be hunted down and destroyed if they behaved as they do in the comics. The massive amounts of collateral damage they regularly incur would see to that. I mean, something like the Sokovia Accords would never have any legal authority in the real world, but the sentiment behind it is nevertheless 100% dead on realistic and sensible.
     
    I largely agree with Christopher that attempts to say something deep about racism and bigotry is completely undermined by these stories being implanted in a universe that is inconsistent and conceptually dishonest/oversimplified about the interaction between normal humans and superpowered beings--mutant or otherwise--in general.
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