Riot Games have gone all out for their 10 year anniversary, which is a pretty exciting thing to be able to say. Riot Games made the Free-To-Play giant, League of Legends, which is a major title in the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre. For years, they’ve run just the one game but this year, they’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and show how much progress they’ve made in their world.
The astute among you, or at least those who read this site regularly, will know I’m a bit of an anime nerd. I love a good anime series; some of the emotions you get, some of the stories, the intensity, ooh it gets me going! Naturally then, I quickly heard that Boku no Hero Academia, or My Hero Academia, has returned for season 4 on Crunchyroll. If you’ve never seen the superhero themed series before, then read on, for this series is truly a blast! Even if you’re not an anime fan, I reckon you’d get a kick out of this series – It’s truly phenomenal!
Ok, so we have another late article, but for once it’s not because I have very little to talk about, I have a great deal of RPG things I would love to be discussing right now. I’ve started a new home campaign, I have a Hallowe’en game coming up, and I’m staring at a list of plans for a whole year of games at Oswestry Library ready to submit some extra dates because people are desperate to start booking in advance… which sounds like a complaint, but I’m actually really pleased.
Add to that a long list of subjects that are bit-by-bit being turned into YouTube videos, I’m sitting on a lot of scripts, preliminary notes, and a folder of images for simple video creation purposes (not that it’s making the job much easier or faster), and I don’t want to duplicate too much work.
This is something I can’t believe I’ve not addressed in the past. I’m a Dungeon Master, most of my friends are players, most of my social circle includes players in various games and campaigns, so all of the ideas that I would really love to talk about, I simply can’t because if I do I give too much away. I mention a great idea for a narrative point or a trap, or clever monster design in anything less than the most general terms, then suddenly I have no surprises left in my arsenal.
But oh dear god do I want to talk about things! I can’t help that, I’m a writer with a lot of ideas that I want to talk about, and that’s a good thing! Narcissistic, sure, but talking about ideas helps you and other people because it encourages them to share their ideas with you, ultimately building better writers and creators, we’re all learning from one another ultimately, by reading, watching, listening to anything created by anyone you learn something from them… y’know what, I’m wittering, you get the idea, art is a collaborative and nebulous thing.
So here’s a shallow dive on some of what I’ve got in the pipeline with very little context:
Killing with Confidence – I’ve been playing some Call of Cthulhu of late, a game that one expects to lose, you can only strive to do enough before you lose your mind to… I don’t know, protect the world, keep a tenuous grip on reality. It takes conviction to kill a player character, one should never be afraid that a character’s death will impact their enjoyment, and it takes some practice and confidence to kill someone’s character. Depending on the game, the death could be a glorious, noble, and heroic, or perhaps gruesome and unpleasantly descriptive, so long as the fallen player appreciates what has happened and why.
Collaboration – An idea I rather blatantly stole from Matt Colville, because “Wooh! Sharing ideas!”. Some of us have players who have left us for the other side of the country or maybe to another country, or continent. And yeah, maybe you miss playing with those people but don’t like normal online role-play, or maybe time zones are just against you? Not a problem, employ them as a powerful NPC so that your villains have distinct motivations, and might kill your party with far less remorse than you might have. Delicious verisimilitude…
Roll for Knowledge – Most games with a list of skills include a diverse range of skills that describe a character’s studies and learning in particular fields, like history, anthropology, the natural world, technology, you get the idea. You can roll multiple skills while studying the same thing, and that can and should yield different results. For example, if you are analysing a mechanism, rolling technology when looking at a computer would tell you how it works and what part serves what function, rolling psychology might help you learn something about the person who owns the computer by perusing the files, rolling arcana would lead you to every kind of wrong conclusion but all of them involve magic in some way, and as a result is fundamentally flawed.
There’s a lot of these, I stop now or I give too much away. Besides, I have to get back to work on this…
Bit of background on me, I’m currently in my final year of a programming-based degree. It has a more specialised focus on using what is taught and applying it to game engines & programming, but at its core is teaching good practice and technique within programming languages.
A Spoiler Warning is in effect throughout this whole article, I want to do a deep-dive as best as I can, and it can’t be done without discussing some huge plot points.
Todd Phillips’ Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man trying to be happy in the 1980’s at a time when the world doesn’t care about him or anyone like him. He’s beaten down just far enough, that during the events of the film we get to watch him break. Combining elements of the Killing Joke with a subtle hint of the Court of Owls (like, a tiny hint, really small) and creating a version of the Joker that we can really empathise with… a little too much. (more…)
They came, they saw, they spooked the regulars at the Old Market Tavern. On Saturday, the geeks of Bristol were back for another day and night of shenanigans and fun, combining board games, lots of drink and chats and of course, costumes. You can never celebrate Halloween too early in October, right? … Right? Well, we think so anyway, as we got our geeks together to celebrate the spooky month. The Old Market Tavern came to the rescue, bringing us excellent decorations to the conservatory and plenty of warmth and spirits in the main bar. So how did the event go?
Don’t you just love it when the temperature begins to drop? You get to stay indoors, snuggle in with a loved one, or just put your feet up by a warm fire… Or, y’know, whack on the central heating or just a radiator. The point is, feeling warm on a cold day is lovely. These characters however, they might not agree, as it turns out their coldness is their speciality. So come and check out our Top 10 Cold Characters.
I’m going to preface this with “this is a short article”. Literally, I was sat up with Joel last night chatting about the new Pokémon designs and for the most part, we agreed that most of them looked fantastic. There are a few highly questionable decisions, but overall, I really am digging the way this new generation is turning out. The Galarian forms of old Pokémon look fantastic and I’m glad it’s a trend we’re continuing from the Alolan regional variants from Sun and Moon. As more gets announced, I’m going to be keeping my eye on Sword & Shield, because I think the Pokémon Company know how to laugh with their fans – and that’s a beautiful thing.
Stephen King never really goes out of style in the film industry, he waxes and wanes like the moon, his work is prolific, and readily adapted for film, although it can be a little variable in quality. Certainly with IT Chapter 2 forefront in everyone’s mind, now is definitely the time to adapt some of his lesser known work, and here we have In The Tall Grass popping up on Netflix, and while I’m watching, I can’t help but be reminded of another film with a concurrent theme. And then I think, hey, haven’t done a film-versus in a while. (more…)