We here at GeekOut South-West like to use words. We like to write words down and share words with you. Sometimes other geeks like to share words that don’t even exist – Not until they’ve put them down. There are plenty of made up languages out there which are awesome to listen to, or are downright ridiculous. This week, we’re going to check out our Top 10 Fictional Languages.
Ok, we started Kickstarter Highlights to shine a light on smaller or lesser known projects that we wanted to see shine, or managed by people we love, but occasionally we like to talk about projects that we love that really don’t need the help. Case in point, Critical Role, the series that broke MCM London, a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors who play Dungeons & Dragons live on the internet for a few hours every week and draw massive viewership and crowds, and have been partially responsible to the exponential boom in popularity of the hobby!
I’ve talked about them before. They’re a good – if inaccurate – representation of the hobby, vastly more entertaining to watch as it’s being played by actual performers, voice actors who know about taking turns when talking so that there’s no cross-talking, who can totally immerse themselves in their character so deeply that we can more clearly envision the action, and who get visibly emotional about the narrative, reacting appropriately to every moment of drama and capable of deftly improvising moments of their own.
So it makes sense for a bunch of actors with characters that they love and live, with connections in the industry who also love D&D, to club together and make a cartoon! One to go alongside the comics written by Matt Colville, and all of the other products, the books, the art, the live appearances… you get the idea they’re doing well.
The project will be supported by the studio Titmouse Inc, famous for shows like Metalocalypse, Venture Bros., Tigtone that I put on my to-do list lately, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, alongside a host of other major projects, so the animation will be in excellent hands. The cast will be played by themselves, with Matt Mercer serving the bulk of the NPCs… or rather those characters who are not the protagonists.
The test will be how well a D&D style narrative can be translated into a linear format, as it rarely crosses well into other formats – at least those that endeavour to capture the spirit of tabletop RP. As this project is dedicating itself more to existent characters and a well developed and explored world, things could be very different.
So, to the campaign itself. The target is $750,000 to fund the actual animation to a high standard, with a projected release of late 2020. Backer rewards do not include access to a digital stream or download of the final result, rather heavily implying that the final product will be available for everyone to enjoy, likely via their (newly independent of Geek & Sundry) YouTube channel and probably Twitch as it is their principle platform.
The rewards backers receive are instead encouraged to pledge for loot, some digital downloads of music uniquely composed for Critical Role, including a piece written and (partially) performed by the cast. Dice, sticker packs, art prints, cuddly toys, accessories for roleplay and memorabilia, and of course the upper echelons include personalised artwork by Titmouse, producer credits, and when you hit a five figure sum you get a studio tour and more.
Those upper echelon rewards? All gone. I would not be surprised to find a lot of D&D executives towards the top of that list, and possibly Matt Colville himself. The campaign? When I started writing it was at about $2.1 million, it’s now approaching $2.4M, and the campaign started less than five hours ago. IGN managed to squeeze out an article last night a few minutes after the project passed $1M, and I won’t be publishing this for another ten hours, who knows how much money might have poured into the pot. Stretch goals are disappearing, and the twenty-two minute animated short will be treble the length before I go to bed, and will be a feature length film by morning unless pledges slow down.
Sam Riegel and Travis Willingham have apparently been talking to producers for a while, and the attachment of the hobby still makes studios reluctant to engage with projects, presumably offers may have been made with limitations or changes. Crowd funding may lack security for the consumer… fairly certain the same group have ripped me off twice now… but it does put creativity in the hands of those passionate about a project. The CR team have proven time and time again that they are capable of producing high quality content. Here’s to another one.
Oh… there goes $2.5 million!
Side note…! Hot damn, 514% funding on Lasers and Liches!! Go check out this awesome project blending sci-fi and D&D, and adds bonus dinosaurs, perfect for anyone wanting to RP their way through Kung Fury or a Shadowrun Rave. You still have a week to get involved, and there are still stretch goals left to reach.
~Text message from Tim~
What do you mean it was made by a “different Chris”?
BOOM! That’s the sound of how much power these weapons have as a collective. Individually however, they’d still make a loud bang. Indeed, we’ve scoured far and wide for the best explosive weapons in video games, film, anime and TV. We’re not stipulating that it has to be a specific type of weapon, but instead we’re just focused on the explosive power that the weapon provides. In the spirit of Bonfire night, with all of the impending booms and bangs in the sky, let’s check out our Top 10 Explosive Weapons!
I may have mentioned I’m a bit of a late-to-the-party Avatar fan, I marathon’d the entire series a few years ago, and it’s become something of a node, a go-to point in my creative reference library whenever I create something fantasy. It’s an off-piste and indirect approach to the classical westernised fantasy of elves and dragons that Tolkien drew together from Arthurian, Norse, and Christian mythologies. The series embraced eastern viewpoints and philosophies, the notions of household and local gods or spirits, the Qi-like elements of elemental bending, and with it brought profoundly human elements, and rich political analogues.
That’s a tall order for a kids show! (more…)
To be proud of where you come from – That’s what we all wish to be. To be able to say, with your head held high, that you come from a proud, noble people. Your homeland is the envy of the world and you are one of its many fine citizens. A nation is defined as a large body of people united by common grounds (culture, history, language, etc). So, it’s time to fly your flags high for our Top 10 Fictional Nations!
Do you ever feel like your life is meek and bland compared to those over-zealous do-gooders of the world? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, as in every world there are characters who just so happen to be in the background. What do we mean by this, exactly?
If you look at the best stories, they need solid supporting characters. These characters aren’t even the supporting cast. These are characters that are simply just there. They won’t make you go “I enjoyed this title because of that background character”, but they’re often memorable in their own, unique ways. Join us as we check out our Top 10 Background Characters.
So, rather than starting with my spell like I did in my Re-Skinning Spells part 1 last week, I’ll be starting with the spellcaster. To give your unique character a unique feel rather than just a colour-by-numbers hack-n-slash dungeon crawler, plant a little of their personality onto their spell list. For each character I’ll be throwing in more details like magical implements or Individual Magical Effect to give you some ideas on how to really change up your wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, and spellslingers.
Let me start with a character I’ve wanted to build for some time.
A wizard heavily invested in the nature of time, it’s mechanisms, how it shapes and is shaped by space and matter. There’s a few spells that are no-brainers for a master of time, Slow, Haste, Scrying, at later levels Time Stop and it’s not a huge stretch to throw in spells like Mending as a way to reverse time on a broken object, or Disintegration to accelerate time to the point of crumbling. But not every level comes with a complete collection of spells perfect for the Chronomancer.
It would not take an overly permissive DM to alter Conjure Minor Elementals to summon Modrons instead, those mechanical life-forms from the plane of rigid order and law. The collection from the Monster Manual sits within the Combat Rating requirements. Scrying and locating spells might help pinpoint the eddies and currents a creature leaves in the currents of time, Move Earth and Control Water might toy with history so ancient that the world was different.
Each time the Chronomancer casts a spell it is accompanied by the sound of a ticking clock, a whirling of spectral gears about his/her arms, and at later levels the very stars wheel in the heavens as he/she exerts power on the universe. A stopwatch might be the focus for the Chronomancer, or a sundial with a shadow that always points to the correct time, no matter the light in the room.
The magic of an Alchemist is all chemical, no otherworldly powers required. The correct admixtures can turn acid into a projectile capable of flying great distances, contain fire in a case of metal to be called upon later, or spawn lightning in a jar. The Artificer class for Eberron has dabbled a little in this, although I have to say I preferred the sub-type of wizard from an earlier issue of Unearthed Arcana. That works up to a point, but there are plenty of spells that you might not be able to pull out of a bottle.
Consider a spell like Wall of Stone, rather than a movement of earth the spell could be a growing mountain of foam that solidifies into a barrier. Illusions could be the result of a potent hallucinogen; it’s hard to summon an Insect Plague with chemicals unless you keep a box of larvae or a vial of potent pheromones in your pack.
Alchemists can fit into a low-magic setting, but have to plan accordingly. Your alchemist may have to carry a hefty medicine bag filled with bases, reagents, admixtures and solvents, along with enough glassware to refit a cathedral. You might be walking around in lab gear, goggles and gloves, collapsible work bench, the works.
Ok, let me draw some examples from elsewhere. I’ll grab some characters with signature spells or spell-like powers and give you something that’ll do the same job:
Maya’s Phaselock – Shamelessly going back to Borderlands, the Siren Maya has the power to imprison an enemy in a hovering bubble of raw energy from whatever plane of existence the Sirens draw power from. Hold Person would work fine as the basic version, but lacks the upgrades, they’re much harder to replicate without your DM allowing you to add powers and expending higher spell slots, or even several slots. Dominate Person, Bless, or Resistance can give you ideas for effects to pile onto a single spell.
Witcher Signs – Igni screams Burning Hands, nice and easy. Aard, maybe use Thunderwave. At early levels you might use Crown of Madness for the hypnotic sign Axii, rather than the more appropriate Dominate Monster. The shielding sign Quen has loads of possible options, from Shield to Magic Circle. And Yrden… is difficult, planting rune-circles that trigger when you pass over them is something you’ll have to wait for when you get level 3 spells and Glyph of Warding, but that’s such a versatile spell you should pick it up anyway, no matter who you are.
Waterbending – It’s easy to replicate earth, air, and firebending from the Avatar Series, plenty of fire-based spells, mobility and defensive spells for air, and things you can change into stone, especially if you build a druid. Water might be trickier, but there are things that could be made more… watery. Magic Missile and Cloud of Daggers, streaks of water hurled at opponents, Slow and Evard’s Black Tentacles could be used as patches of water that grip and bind.
Blood is thicker than water, but to be honest there’s no circumstance in which being thicker is better… except in sandwiches, and we all know that blood doesn’t keep us from conflict. In fact fighting in a family is often more brutal than a standard grudge match, there’s always history, and the feelings get hurt long before the bruises show.
So far as storytelling goes there’s rarely more bitter rivals, or more hated nemeses than a parent or sibling. Join us as we take a look at games, films, television, literature and more to find the Top 10 Family Feuds.
Christmas time is peace and goodwill to all men and women on the planet. It’s a time of rest and relaxation, festive cheer and plenty of food and drink. It’s a time where we get together with those that we care deeply about, to remember the year fondly and to reflect upon the coming years. We’re thankful for a lot of things at this time of year: Good health, fortune and wealth, love and family. We’re keen to share in our holidays with those who we are endeared to and sometimes to that old crazy uncle that you know will bust out a dance move or two. Forget the fireplace and mistletoe, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.
Super Sayians aren’t the only anime characters who can do some devastating things to whole planets. From the mere thought of seeing ladies undergarments to firing out small chips of bone that can kill a man, there are characters out there that are just so powerful, we don’t even know where to begin to explain how to comprehend them. But not all is bad, as today we’re going to look at the Top 10 Anime’s Most Over Powered. By this, we mean specific characters who are just insanely overpowered in terms of their universes and perhaps even other anime universes too.
10) Bertolt Hoover – Attack on Titan
Bertolt is relatively stale when he’s not displaying his actual power. He’s a graduate of the 104th Trainees Squad and he ranked 3rd. So you know, he’s got something going for him, but he’s not particularly special in this regard. Good, but just good.
Oh did we mention that he can turn into a Titan who dwarves other Titans!? Supposedly a 60 foot monstrosity who can take out other Titans easily enough. It begs the question: where’s the fun when you can be a more powerful version of the enemy you’re aiming to beat? Still, we love the fact this quiet, shy man can turn into such a massive Titan who is able to control his body and not hurt his allies in the process. Good job, Bertolt!
9) Guts – Berserk
Guts is a normal enough guy. No special powers except well honed strength and combat reflexes faster than even his own brain can keep up with, he can swing a sword the weight of a tree with instinctual speed and well trained grace and precision. Does that make him OP?
Over time Guts has earned respect enough from the God of the Battlefield – Nosferatu Zodd – that he casually threw him a spare sword before a major fight. The introduction to the Anime shows a future long after the series ends and the Manga picks up, showing the Black Swordsman he would eventually become, with a canon replacing his arm, and he later gains the Berserker armour that unlocks the full potential of the wearer’s muscles, at the risk of destroying themselves in the process. Seeing Guts in that armour is enough to make Zodd show fear.
Guts is horrendously mortal, but amongst mundane, normal, workaday human beings he is the most legendary, and goes on to fight untold monsters, name forgotten, only the death he brings.
8) Alucard – Hellsing
Alucard has a bit of a Mary-Sue issue because he can basically do everything. He’s a true immortal, able to regrow his entire body from the smallest fragment; can dual wield pistols with the force of anti-tank weapons; can turn into an amorphous demon-hound that simply devours everything in its’ path; and also contains within his own body an army of every soul he has devoured. Bearing in mind that he is Vlad the Impaler, that covers soldiers from many centuries, and monster-hunting villains that he has swallowed whole in the past.
What brings Alucard down is that he’s generally bored by the squabbling of all the little creatures squirming beneath him and only wants a good fight and to protect his master and train up his new little monster Seras Victoria. But damn if he doesn’t look cool while he’s utterly ignoring everything that’s going on around him.
7) Haruhi Suzumiya
Though far from normal, Haruhi Suzumiya gives a great impression of being an overly eccentric, demanding and enthusiastic high-school student who commits to the weirdest projects to help everyone stave off boredom, to shake up the status quo as it were. She’s a happy go lucky soul with a band of rather begrudging friends trailing along behind her.
And if she ever gets too bored she might realize that she’s a god-like being that will immediately become aware of its’ immense power, lose control over it and unravel time and space itself, thus ending causality. All in all, a pretty embarrassing rock-band incident seems like suitable payoff. Haruhi gets a spot on the list for requiring aliens, time travellers and espers to keep an eye on her lest she bring about the end of everything, and for starting a religion.
6) Aang – Avatar
So Aang is a pretty cool kid, that’s a fact. Not only is he the last airbender, but even when all of the air-nomad temples were full he was one of the best. He spent a century frozen in ice and came out swinging, and he’s a master of all four of the classic elements. How does a twelve year old pull that kind of trick? He’s the host to countless others before him who could do the same, each pouring their power into his, combined with (as we discover later in the Legend of Korra) the soul of all life and peace in the living world, Raava!
Aang is awesome, it’s as simple as that. He was also one of the only Avatars to learn the unified final bending form, the power to bend another human’s soul, and with it the power to remove any bending ability they might possess. In the Avatar state he can condense stone to be tough as metal, fly at supersonic speeds, generate lightning, and bend anything within a half mile with pinpoint precision and immense power. More to the point, he can quell the urge to do so thanks to his own impenetrable sense of justice and mercy. Good job kid, Fire Lord Ozai deserved a damn-sight worse than what you gave him! That’s real power right there.
5) Anyone – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Now JoJo fans may disagree with me on this one and that’s completely understandable. I’ve not fully gotten my head around all of the incredibly powerful JoJo’s characters out there, but the reason this is the mid-way choice of characters is that the whole of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure seems to revolve around the insanely powerful and incredible Stands.
I originally wanted the Gold Experience Requiem Stand to be the flagchoice, but we’ve specifically said anime and to my knowledge, Giorno has not been in the anime as of yet. However let’s not get too worked up about all this – Joseph, pictured above, is pretty powerful in his own right and heck, he’s the main protagonist of Part II, is important in Part III and is even a character in Part IV. He’s a super recurring character and in terms of the anime, so let us know in the comments below who your pick for the most overpowered JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime character is. We just can’t decide.
4) Eliza Faust – Shaman King
Right, so let me tell you a quick thing about Oversouls in Shaman King.
An Over Soul is the most powerful control over Furyoku, known to us English speakers as Mana. Basically, you take your Spirit companion, let’s say Yoh’s Spirit: Amidamaru. You then allow him to possess a physical weapon, so let’s say Yoh’s Harusame (sword). The result is an Over Soul. These cannot be damaged by anything physical, but only other Over Souls can damage these. Hopefully this has made sense!
Now, let’s take Eliza Faust into the equation. She is not an object (how dare you imply such things), but instead she’s a skeleton… And she’s Faust VIII’s spirit. She’s a skeleton. Yes, his spirit is actually a skeleton and let me tell you – She’s close enough to being invincible thanks to the power of necromancy. In fact, from remembering the series, Faust was the only opponent Yoh had that I felt could have legitimately done away with Yoh, except for Hao. If only love weren’t so blind.
3) Zaraki Kenpachi – Bleach
In Bleach, Shingami (the soul reapers) wield swords that are part of their souls. They can unlock a true form – Shikai, which reflects their personality and power; and a full form – Bankai, available only to the most incredibly powerful and ancient Shinigami, the commanders of the 13 squads of soul society, and intensely, apocalyptically powerful. Shinigami can also utilize the power of their soul – Reiatsu, to create spell like effects that can blast, bind or deceive opponents.
Zaraki Kenpachi has never unlocked Shikai, can’t control his reiatsu even a little bit, and is the commander of the 11th squad, the hardest, strongest, most fanatically combatant of all the Shinigami. He wears an eyepatch that not only impedes his vision, but devours vast amounts of his spiritual power, and wears bells in his hair so that he can’t sneak up on anyone.
Because it’s the only way fighting world-ending monsters can be fun for him. The protagonist, Ichigo, split a mountain with a flicker of his arm when he was at the height of his power, and didn’t make the list.
2) Adam Blade – Needless
The most unnecessary anime ever made has a vast army of characters who are preposterously powerful. Fireballs the size of mountains? Sure. The power to increase and decrease the effect of gravity on something? Hey, knock yourself out. I want my character to make rain with the power of lasers! Ahh go on then you little scamp!
So the most powerful ability of all? How about the power to copy them all! To memorize absolutely every single power and use them whenever, doesn’t even matter. Adam Blade has a clone who can use the same power, “Zero” to even greater effect, “Positive Feedback Zero!” Doesn’t matter, that guy’s falling apart at the seams, and Adam is a mental case who can destroy whatever he pleases.
In fact Adam’s greatest power is that the story is always on his side, Needless is not an anime for those in need of deep cerebral involvement. His greatest weakness is cute girls, so his immense power is easily diffused… but he’ll fight so much harder to protect an adorable face!
1) Whis – Dragon Ball
I hate to use such a vague character as the most overpowered, but even the creator of the series has confirmed the amount of power this guy has. Let’s just say this: the most powerful foe that Goku has faced to date is arguably Beerus. On the power scales of a scale of 1 to 10, Akira Toriyama assigned the powers as Whis not just breaking the scale, but being 1.5 times more powerful than the most powerful entity in the universe (Beerus).
The most positive message to take out of all of this: If Goku in a Super Saiyan God form cannot defeat Beerus, then that gives Goku something to work towards in the future. Eventually, maybe he’ll get to fight Whis when we’re not playing Dragon Ball Xenoverse? Heck, even in that, Whis doesn’t really lose. He just gets bored of you.
Hercule/Mr Satan – DragonBall Z
Specifically from the Z saga, would you believe that Mr Satan was the strongest human ever? Did you know he beat Cell?!
Well actually, this blubbering buffoon didn’t do anything like that. In fact, he was rather lame. But it doesn’t change that in the books, he’s defeated some of the most powerful foes. Humans world wide are aware that Hercule defeated the incredibly powerful Cell. Not only that, he managed to take on the newcomer Android 18 to win a tournament. With his Super Megaton Punch with a Delayed Reaction, which he had been perfecting for 10 years.
Never change, Mr Satan.
Principal – Nichijou
Hits the German Suplex on a deer. He is in a losing battle against one ferocious competitor, the deer, who he needs to remove from campus. We can’t be having a stinkin’ deer on school grounds now can we!? He gets smacked around, is even dangerously close to death himself. From losing all that blood, to doing moonsaults and the old offer a deer biscuit trip, the Principal seems like he’s going to fall to his competition. Then, from outta nowhere, he hits his German Suplex which was so perfect, so pristine, that his hair seemingly cannot cope with the amount of awesome it’s been put through.
My work here is done.
That’s all we’ve got time for in this weeks Top 10. Did you find the characters to be pretty damn overpowered? What do you all think about the strange inclusion of characters such as Eliza, who isn’t overpowered in terms of how long she’s able to be maintained for, but in terms of a character we felt she actually was. So then, let us know in the comments what you thought about our choice of overpowered characters. Did we miss any? We know we did.
Don’t forget to vote for next weeks’ Top 10, where we’ve got some crazy choices for you this week! Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook or Twitter what you liked or disliked about this weeks article.