All the ideas make me crazy #Starwars

Sorry if you are sick of me writing about Star Wars. I love the series, and the Universe. And all the new ideas that come from the new film and novels are especially interesting. So many ideas! If there was one thing I took away from the new movie is that there are now so many different things that could be done, new movies, new series, new books. It is one good thing about effectively restarting the canon. But there is one continuous thread that does drive me up the wall.

Okay, here’s the deal. Prior to the Clone Wars there were at least hundreds of Jedi Knights. And they came from many races, they were not all human by a long shot. In fact one of the most powerful was an alien, Yoda. And yes the Clone Wars and Order 66 wiped out all of the Jedi at that time. And yes it is possible that in the 20 some odd years of Imperial control that Vader was somewhat successful in hunting down the remaining Jedi, and also preventing anyone else from training as Jedi.

But, there are thousands of planets, hundreds of systems in the Star Wars Galaxy. It defies logic that somehow Vader was able to track down and wipe out any Force user on all of those planets. Even with Faster Than Light travel it is still impossible to be in more than one place at once. And in some of those planets, particularly the ones on the Outer Rim, Empire control would be termed shaky at best.

And yet, all of the speculation coming out of the movies was about whether those using the Force were or are somehow related to each other. That they somehow all stem from one or two human bloodlines. That just does not jibe with common sense.

First, it is established that use and mastery of the Force is not limited to Humans. That is true even in the original trilogy, because Yoda is clearly not human. So aliens can train in the use of the Force. And if you look at everything that is in the prequel trilogy, and the Clone Wars series, all of which is still accepted as canon, there were many alien Jedi from many different races.

Second, although it is never explicitly pointed out, but is pretty clear, the Jedi Knights were to remain chaste at a minimum. Which theoretically means that the Jedi were not having offspring. And Jedi training began at a very young age, as children throughout the Republic were brought to train. Those children had to come from somewhere. And if they were not children of Jedi Knights than clearly the use of the Force is not an inherited trait. You either can use the Force or not.

Which means that in the time since the ascension of the Emperor and the rule of Vader, it stands to reason that there are or were Force sensitive children out there. They may not be getting trained but they are out there. And they could be of any race, not just human.

And yet, despite all of this, we are somehow led to believe that only Luke could be a Jedi Knight. And somehow only his relatives would have the ability to be trained in the use of the Force. No, I tell you, that fails the logic test. That somehow the ability to use the Force would somehow be wiped from the Galaxy in one human generation or two at most.

So, as cool as all the theories are (and I came across a really cool one today let me tell you) spare me. There must be others out there who can use the Force and be trained. And that is not even mentioning other groups with odd powers like the witches in the Clone Wars series. And I understand there are challenges in portraying aliens. But come on Disney, I want more than one human Jedi in an entire Galaxy.

Thinking beyond the expected #StarWars #RPG

I’ve been reading this book:

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To see more go here: Star Wars Battlefront Twilight Company

I am really enjoying this book. Got it from the library of course. But it does something that many of us are not used to when thinking of Star Wars. It completely goes away from the core characters, there are mentions of Luke and Leia, but they are just that, mentions in passing. There are no Jedi Knights running around with light sabers.

Instead it is a war novel, set in the Rebellion era. It most reminds me of the Warhammer 40K novels. It is gritty, violent, and very interesting. I really like it when stuff like this is released. It reminds me of the Clone Wars series (except for the proliferation of Jedi in the show.) The thing that I love about it is that it shows that there is a great big universe out there. I think that is important, especially if you think about role playing game settings.

It is all very well to tell the story of the heroes. Luke, Leia, Frodo, Aragorn, Gandalf, Bilbo are all interesting characters and their stories make for good fiction and thrilling movies. But what is happening elsewhere? That is the area I like to focus.

When you think about Star Wars, imagine a large galaxy, where faster than light travel exists, where thousands of non-human races exist. And imagine an Empire large enough to control most of that galaxy. An Empire rich enough in resources to create not one, but at last count 3 Death Moons. That’s a huge effort. And the logistics is kind of overwhelming when you think about it. That’s a lot to imagine. And then imagine all the stories that can happen in that universe.

One of my favorite fantasy series is the Malazan Book of the Fallen. And one of the things I like about it is the way it focuses on the stories of the grunts, who spend their time trying to figure out what their leaders are doing. I understand that in Middle Earth the main characters are the closest thing to grunts, because it is a world with a seemingly small population. But not every fantasy world has to be like that.

And that is an approach I like to take in coming up with my stories and the setting. Yes, there is a bigger world out there. And yes, the events in that bigger world will eventually impact the players. But not every player can be the Emperor killer. Not every group can find the great sword, staff, orb what have you, that spells doom for the Evil Big Bad Guy.

I prefer to tell the little stories. The players are the settlers on the frontier, just trying to scratch out a living. And maybe they will make some small contribution if there is a war. But not everyone gets to be the Hero who Saves the Day.

That’s what I mean by thinking beyond the expected. For every Knight with a +5 Holy Sword, there need to be a certain number of grunts sweeping out the trash, killing the goblins and orcs. Some campaigns are about the Heroic Journey. Mine are about survival and exploration.

Let’s talk Star Wars for a minute #Starwars #RPG

I saw the new movie not once, but twice last week. I really enjoyed it, it was a fantastic space fantasy movie. You really could not ask for more from a movie like this, the first in what is effectively a ‘reboot’ of the franchise. It had call backs to what came before it. There was laughter, tragedy, action, and things that made you go hmm. I wanted to take a few minutes to go over the highlights, and some things that made me think. There will be spoilers, so if you have not yet seen the movie please do not go below the fold.

Continue reading “Let’s talk Star Wars for a minute #Starwars #RPG”

Diving back into it, and a Merry Geekmas! #DnD #RPG

Tonight we return to the boys campaign. I am excited to play again, especially since I left things off at a somewhat cliffhangerish point last time. They were in the depths of a dungeon, and I didn’t say they were resting, just that they had just finished off some bugbears. So who knows what sort of things they will encounter tonight (well obviously I know, but they don’t, and I can’t reveal as I think my son occasionally reads this blog.)

It should be fun to dive into this adventure. And the best part is that I am pretty far ahead in my planning, with the next arc already started, so I am fully prepared for tonight. I have ran through the next point over in my head a few times, enough that I should have no problem just diving into it tonight.

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Let me say I am glad to be running D&D 5E though. I enjoy playing Pathfinder, and there are a lot of resources there. But I think there is almost too much to work with, it is daunting. Plus I prefer my systems to be a little more elegant. I used to love the real granular systems, I loved GURPS for years, and Shadowrun is really good. But over the years my preferences when it comes to running a game have changed. I like a little less crunch, and a little more elegance, a simpler system where anything can be resolved with a simple dice roll.

I picked up the rule book for the Mutant Chronicles role playing game yesterday. And from what I have read it is an interesting system. And the rule book is pretty extraordinary. But it is one of those systems where there is a rule for everything. And to be honest that can be a little daunting, a little hard to just dive into.

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Last, the one thing that is on everyone’s mind, and the question most people ask me: when am I going to see Star Wars? I’m not sure yet to be honest. I have the time next week if I can convince Kim that we should go see it. But she is not nearly as excited as I am about it. But I do know I will see it, and probably sooner than later.

That being said, go ahead tell me what you thought. I can take it. Like Patrick Swayze says about pain in Roadhouse, Spoilers don’t hurt! I know this is not some movie like Sixth Sense where the whole movie rests on a final reveal at the end. This is Star Wars, I go to see the characters, to see them blow crap up with blasters and slice things up with lightsabers. Nothing they can include in the movie will ruin that experience for me.

Because when it comes to Star Wars, I am looking for one thing: entertainment. It is why I am not as offended by the prequel trilogy as some people might be. Because they were fun for the most part. And that is all I ask.

It is why I absolutely loved Wil Wheaton’s turn on Big Bang Theory last night. Hey guys it’s just a movie, when I see it, and come out, I will get in my car, go home, and wake up the next morning the same person I was when I enter it. I am way past the point where spoilers bother me in any form of entertainment. The story is the thing, the pictures on the screen, the dialogue, the words in the book, they all form a whole. It is why I re-read books I love, re-watch movies and TV shows I like. Did it matter that Vader was really Anakin? No, I still enjoyed all of the original movies.

I will defend it with my last breath, and looking forward to the weekend #Starwars #RPG #DnD

Like I mentioned yesterday I just finished reading the latest Star Wars novel. I will admit I was slow on getting into reading some of the novels for Star Wars. And I have not ever really gotten into the comic books. So I am not 100% integrated into the entire canon. But I am still a huge fan of the series. And in recent years I have gradually read through more of the books, and really enjoyed them.

And I am very excited about the new movie, and the new ‘canon’. I am excited for the movies. I am glad that there will be new merchandise. And I liked the new book, describing a new universe. But, and here is where I diverge from most people, I enjoyed movies 1-3. They were fun movies. There was some cool action. I saw people running around with lightsabers fighting other people with light sabers. And big battles where lots of shit got blowed up real good! Were there some plot holes? Yes. Were there some annoying points, and characters? Sure. But I don’t care, because I go to movies to be entertained, not expecting Shakespeare.

And so I like all of the movies, and the television shows (although I have not really gotten into Rebels.) And I will defend them as what they are: pure fun entertainment. I don’t care about all the little stuff. And for that reason, I will enjoy the new movie, because it already promises all the things I like: action, lightsaber battles, stuff getting blowed up real good. If the plot makes some level of sense, and the comic relief fits in without chewing up the scenery, well that just become gravy.

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On another subject this weekend is our Pathfinder game in Denver. I am excited to play again. When we left off we had reached the point where we could finally liquidate our treasure and sell it all. And then turn around and spend that loot on things that we wanted. That’s always a fun time. I have compiled a list of what I want to spend money on. And it is all things that will go toward my cinematic vision of my character.

That’s one of the reasons I enjoy this diversion in Denver. I am not so good at doing the role playing as the GM for the boys campaign. So the Denver game is my chance to really get into a character once a month. Make some choices that don’t necessarily make strategic sense but do make sense to the character. That’s something I cannot always do as a GM.

If only I had one or 2 more nights a week #RPG #Gaming

I did some more painting this week. I really dig painting these Skaven. And I am pondering some new schemes and ideas there. Plus I am enjoying the first ‘official’ new Star Wars book written for the new canon. So much so that I wish I could maybe get into one or more of the new Star Wars table top games. It really boils down to not having enough days in the week.

I got in the ink on the Skaven this week, and then did the two leader types, that I will use as the character types when the boys run into them.

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Painting these, and the lizards, and looking at all of my Empire figures does give a little twinge of ‘gee it would be fun to go to the store and engage in some Age of Sigmar games’. And on top of that I kind of wish I could get at least a few adults together to run a different D&D game for them as well, in addition to the game with the boys. Not that I want to end the game with the boys, that is actually fun, and it is fulfilling to watch the boys grow and get better at the games. It just would be fun to run a different style of game.

I have enjoyed reading Aftermath, the first book of the new ‘official’ Star Wars canon. It has so many plot threads in it, so many ideas to spin off into a role playing scenario. Or to use as a focus for a set of table top games. Games that I have not played, but judging by their popularity are actually quite good. Of course table top games are a different monster, that requires money on top of time, I couldn’t just use what figures I have.

I love my life and routine. And I really enjoy what gaming I do. And the writing and planning for those games has been a great diversion. But what I wouldn’t do for an extra night or 2 that I could use to go to the store and play games with my old buddies.

For now, I will continue to enjoy what I do have. And be happy that I have these fun hobbies that I have. And enjoy the fact that I can share them with family and friends. Still, it sure would be fun to add to that, without sacrificing any of my other time that I have for work, family, solo time.

I’ve been going about it wrong #DnD #Pathfinder #Starwars #Jedi

When I first opened up my 5E book I imagined that you could create a Paladin role that was like a Jedi. I thought it was a pretty cool idea. And then when I started really looking through the Pathfinder rules I tried to figure out the same concept. Again, I think it’s a cool idea.

Well I was reading a post today where the writer was commenting about how he had a problem with Magic in role playing, because simply codifying the rules limited Magic, making it no longer ‘Magic’. And while I was formulating a response I got thinking about this whole idea of the Jedi again. And it hit me, I had been thinking about the Force and Jedi in the wrong way entirely.

They are not Monks, using mystical martial arts. Which is how I was basing much of my ideas in Pathfinder. No, what they are is Sorcerers. Think about it, what effects are they able to do: Levitate, Telekinesis, Jump, Lightning, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Enhanced Senses. Those are all spells, and as a Sorcerer they could learn just those spells and be able to repeat them at will to some extent.

So now my idea is a Paladin-Sorcerer, who trains in the sword, using a bonded object. And then uses these specific spells as much as he can. And the Paladin element comes in the strict Jedi Order (or Sith Order.) The really powerful Jedi used the Force more than their swords, which would make sense in this case, as they got more and more powerful they could do more with their chosen spells.

Well I did some tinkering with this yesterday. And realized that some of my work was already done in the form of the Eldritch Knight Prestige class in Pathfinder (or Fighter option in 5E.) Which is okay with me. I am more looking for the rules backing for a character concept. And I think this comes closest. Start with a fighter type, progress him to a certain point, then veer to Wizard/Sorcerer, and gradually build him up. This accomplishes the idea of a training period devoted to learning their weapon, then delving into the Force (read magic.)

And as they grow more powerful in the Force, they do not need to use their weapon as much. Or they could just progress to a certain point with the Force, and re-focus on their martial skills. Overall, this would be fun to play in the right game, or deploy as NPC’s or even foes in a game.

Not even sure how to answer this one #DnD #30DayChallenge #StarWars

30-day-challenge

Day 13 – Favorite Trap/Puzzle

I don’t use traps or puzzles. So I really have nothing to say about this topic. Just want to say I covered it. I’m terrible at puzzles myself so devising one is just not something I will do. So there you have it.

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It’s gonna be Star Wars

A few weeks back I was looking at alternate game systems to dive into at some point. I was torn between Shadowrun and Star Wars. It really comes down to what do I have a better feel for and can come up with games for the boys. While I know Shadowrun well, and know the system and general world, I just don’t think I would be able to get the boys into that world.

So I have decided to focus on Star Wars. I’ve been reading some of the novels, which are actually better than I thought. And occasionally re-watching a Clone Wars episode or 2. And of course there will be the new movie in December, which is what I will use as my impetus.

I am semi-patiently waiting for the new game set to come out from Fantasy Flight. I want to use that one as it will include the ability to use the Force, which I think is vital to being able to interest the boys. Not all of them could play Jedi, but Star Wars just isn’t Star Wars without at least someone spouting about an ancient religion.

I am taking my time right now, really getting my head into the Universe. I want my knowledge of the campaign to be almost second nature by the time I begin running the game. Not necessarily trying to script out a long campaign, but just so when I do have to wing something I can.

Oh oh, now I’ve gone and done it

When I was doing that little research for my rant about publishing and costs for Role playing games I went down a rabbit hole, and now I am not sure how to get back out. I have begun to look with lust and avarice at other games, I’m sorry Dungeons and Dragons, I will always love you, but you don’t give me everything I want and so my eyes wander sometimes.

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