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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wow, Star Wars rpg books are expensive

I remember not that long ago, the d6, d20 Revised, and SAGA books were available at cover price or even less. Now, looking at eBay and various online sellers, they generally go for two or even three times cover price. I understand Star Wars stuff can get collectible, but holy heck!

Wish I'd bought the whole line of WotC Star Wars minis, too. ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Revenge of the Sith

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a decent movie, but I liked Ep. II better.

Once again, Anakin's dreams push him to the Dark Side. His own actions trying to avoid Padme's fate brought about what happened in his dreams, which I always love to see when it comes to prophecies.

Palpatine finally makes his move. He is nearly destroyed by Mace Windu, but Anakin saves the day. Mace was definitely going Dark Side, which was shown by his wanting to kill Palpatine instead of just arresting him. I suspect Mace was always struggling with being a good guy. Anakin saw this and wasted the motherfucker.

I hate the world "younglings". Whoever came up with it should be banned from writing forever.

Anakin went full Sith in a hurry. He always had anger issues, but it didn't take a big push to have him running around killing little kids.

Order 66 was handled well, in my opinion. I actually felt sorry for the Jedi, even though I'd only seen them on screen less than five minutes over three movies. That guy leading troops across the bridge and then turning around as he realized he wasn't being followed was a great scene.

I love scout biker armor painted camouflage.

Wookies should not do Tarzan yells. I can't believe I had to write that.

The big battle scenes were well done. The whole panorama lasted only a few minutes, but it really showed the scope of the war.

Anakin choking out Padme was interesting, as he thought she'd completely betrayed him when he saw Obi-Wan in the ship.

The Yoda-Palpatine fight was ok. It was kind of funny watching two old guys fight.

I didn't think the Obi-Wan vs. Anakin fight was all that great, other than the very end. It dragged on, and was more about the scenery than them fighting.

Obi-Wan letting his supposed brother slide into lava and cook was fucking cruel. He's crying about how he loves Anakin, but he wouldn't even pull him away from the fire. At least stick him with your lightsaber so he doesn't cook to death, asshole.

Padme lost the will to live. Bitch.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic

I recently installed this MMO, since it's been out for almost 8 months. I figured the bugs would be mostly fixed, though my hopes weren't all that high.

I am very pleasantly surprised. I like Star Wars, so that really helps, but this game is very well done. I have a Jedi Sage, and the character is a blast to play. I've also done the starting areas for every class. I suspect the Bounty Hunter is going to be my next main, once I max out my Jedi.

Things I like:

Sound effects = outstanding. Lots of voice actors, and little crossover. Some pretty famous people were involved in this, once you see the credits.

Various aliens from movies = all over the place. Hutts running a starting planet!

Graphics are fantastic, as well.

The storylines were all good, up until I stopped playing each character (I stopped once they finished each starting area. I expect the quality to continue till level 50). For example, while you play both types of Jedi in the same starting area, their main quests are drastically different from each other. Same with all of the other class options.

Customizable gear (orange). You can keep the same item your entire career, you just have to update it's modifications.

Combat is fun. Kind of clicky, since it's an MMO, but I like it. The whole atmosphere of Star Wars helps this.

Things I think could be better:

Too many cut-scenes. Every time you get or finish a quest, you have to go through a scene. It's not bad, but it can be tedious.

I don't like Jedi and Sith wearing heavy plate armor. It doesn't jive with any of the movies.

Not enough customizable gear. I really wish they'd just made all armor and weapons customizable. I think this was a missed opportunity.

Too many powers. Why can't MMOs figure out that I really only want to keep track of maybe 10 or 12 buttons during a fight? How about just improving them over time and not adding a new power every few levels? Powers do improve, but they quickly get lost in multiple rows of buttons.

Not enough player races. There are a number of popular ones, but many are not available. In addition, a bunch of races are only available to certain classes, until you get them to level 50 in a class they can take.


If you like Star Wars, you should play this game. You can go all of the way to level 15 on every class for free.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Star Wars prequels (The Clone Wars)

Episode II: The Clone Wars was actually much better than I remember. I liked it more than Ep. I, for sure. I think my biggest disappointment in the theater was that the movie was really "The Lead-Up to the Clone Wars" and not the actual Clone Wars, themselves.

Anakin was whiny immediately, which was a mistake. If he'd started out a little more humble and gradually twisted to evil, it would have been more believable. Instead, one of his first scenes is him bitching about how Obi-Wan is keeping him down. Very poor decision on Lucas' part. Hayden was actually a better actor than I remember, but his script just sucked in most places.

Ewan McGregor really stepped into the role of Obi-Wan in this movie. I think he did a fantastic job. His big fight scene in the rain against Jango was well done. Especially considering that neither won, it just ended up a stalemate.

I liked that Jar-Jar was used by Palpatine to gain control of the Senate. Now we know why that goofball was even in Ep. I.

This was not Christopher Lee's greatest work. He did ok, but I could tell that he wasn't comfortable with the role. Also, he just didn't pull off the sinister Sith vibe very well at all, which is surprising, considering how many villain roles he's done so well in.

I like Natalie Portman running around in a tight white spandex outfit with no bra. The scene where she was sitting with Anakin in the spaceship watching the computer message from Obi-Wan was very "interesting".

I really didn't get Padme getting all excited and horny after Anakin told her he killed a bunch of women and children. Then again, she's in full cougar mode, so who knows?

The big battle at the end was pretty good. A bit deux ex machina, considering just how fast they managed to get the clone army together and ready to fight.

The big lightsaber battle at the end was good, but not great.

The wedding scene was good, though the metal hand looked way too cheesy.
I think that Return of the Jedi kind of showed that denying love is a really bad idea, and it was one of the big reasons for the downfall of the Jedi. Balance in the Force really means not denying yourself completely, but also not diving in headfirst and using emotions to fuel everything you do. Both Jedi and Sith are wrong.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rewatching Star Wars Prequels (The Phantom Menace)

I haven't watched the prequels since they were in the theater. Figured I'd rewatch them to see how they've held up.

I remember The Phantom Menace as being pretty decent when I saw it at the movies. However, after watching it yesterday, I'm much less impressed. Lots and lots of actions scenes, and next to no plot or even decent dialogue.

The pod race was WAY too long. It should have been cut down to only a couple minutes (I think it lasted at least five minutes in the movie). In any case, it was just way too long.

Jake couldn't act for shit. It's not really his fault, since he's just a kid. It just pisses me off that Haley Joe Osment was busy making The Sixth Sense at this same time, and he was a great actor. (Also, it's been 13 years since Ep I was in theaters! How the heck did that happen?)

Jar-Jar was bad. If he'd been toned down a bit, I think most people would have been ok with him. Stupid crap like his taking fruit off the table with his tongue was annoying, though.

Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor both did good jobs, but Natalie Portman was kind of bad. Ray Park was awesome as Darth Maul, and I think he only had 5 or 6 lines in the whole movie. Ian McDirmid was very good as Palpatine.

I loved the gungan and droid armies. Very cool tech. Costumes were extremely well done overall, as well.

Again, they could have cut out one destination or some scenes, and added some actual character development to the movie. It just seemed to jump from one action scene to the next, with the exception being the initial half of the Tatooine location.

Overall, the movie did not hold up well. It was flashy and bright, but had little substance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hags for BFRPG

Armor Class: 18
Hit Dice: 9**
No. of Attacks: 1 claw
Damage: 1d10 / poison
Movement: 30’
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: Magic-User 9
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: M, N
XP: 1,225

Hags appear as large, bent-over, incredibly ugly old women. They are very strong, and can easily kill animals such as a bear. They usually live alone in swamps or dark forests. They prefer to eat people, and usually have a pot brewing in their home, ready for the next victim. Most other creatures avoid them.

Anyone facing a hag must make a Save vs. Spells or suffer a -2 penalty to hit. This effect will disappear one turn after the victim can no longer see the hag.

Anyone clawed by a hag must Save vs. Poison or immediately lose 1d6 points of Strength. A victim who drops to zero Strength lies helpless, and can be killed as a free action by the hag. Lost Strength will return at a rate of one point per hour.

Hags can cast bane (the reverse of bless) once per turn. Horses and animal companions used by adventurers will not approach the hag, and will attempt to flee if forced near her.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!!!!

Time for the fireworks to start!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ars Magica-style D&D

While reading this thread on RPGSite, I got the idea of running an Ars Magica style game using D&D or a retroclone. For those of you not familiar with Ars Magica, it's all about mages running their own covenant. They research spells, acquire new sources of magic, and often get involved in politics with both local rulers and other magical covenants.

Mages are already pretty powerful in the OSR, but in this type of game, they should likely start at level 5 or maybe even higher. Their bodyguards would be low level fighters and thieves. Clerics may or may not be friendly, based upon the setting. If I ran this, I'd likely limit clerical magic, as well.

Things that are important:
The Library. Seriously, you need to have one and need to use it, or you won't learn any new magic.

Item creation may or may not be included, though I like the idea of it. Especially if you use a skills system, where one mage is a smith and another is a bookbinder.

Sources of magic. It might be a hidden glen in the woods, or it might be the finger bone of a powerful saint. Either way, the source provides the mages with extra power. Maybe their spells do more damage or last longer. Either way, other covenants will be looking to acquire the source from you.

Lots of politics. The local ruler or church may or may not be aware of who you are. The other covenants in the area definitely do. You may have to deal with them without blowing your cover.

Typical adventures:
You've heard rumors that the Ring of Aladar, a powerful artifact used by an ancient mage, has resurfaced in a nearby ruin. You need to find it and get it. Other covenants and maybe a thieves guild are also looking for the item.

A grimoire from the old empire has shown up in the local bazaar. A local priest wants it burned.

The Duke's family has been assaulted by magic. He knows of you, and asks your aid. Failure to help will likely get you killed, but finding the evil spellcaster could be very dangerous.