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Author Topic: Winter Games: Steampunks or Samurai  (Read 2524 times)
Lex
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« on: November 06, 2013, 09:08:41 AM »


I've been wanting to try out the new rules from Monster Hunters, specifically Ritual Path Magic (which now has its own supplement) and Expanded Wildcards, but I haven't been in the mood for a modern wainscot fantasy campaign.

Instead, I thought I'd see if there was any interest in either of the following, to be played with 400-point characters based on the (shamelessly cinematic) MH rules, if not necessarily the official MH templates. We could try to get a session or two in between the holidays (maybe Nov 17, or Dec 1, 8, or 15), but probably start in earnest in January and through the winter doldrums.

FR: Age of Wonder (for G&AINC: I Can't Believe It's Not Falkenstein) - Steam Age Forgotten Realms ... dragons, dirigibles, six-shooters and high sorcery, based in the fabled metropolis of Waterdeep, at the height of the Techno-Magical Revolution. Player characters are Persons of Importance (police inspectors, magical adepts, famed inventors, aristocratic adventurers, etc) who live and operate in and around the city. The default campaign frame would be the "Office of Sorcerous Affairs," wherein the PCs are employees or allies of the city's Supernatural Scotland Yard, though the setting could support other kinds of protagonists who take an interest in the Unusual Goings-On of the Realms' Greatest City. (Masked vigilantes? Private paranormal investigators?)

Campaign TL: Arcane Steampunk, TL5 to 5+1. Most PCs have individual TL5, with penalties to use technical skills (or tech-magic) on advanced TL5+1 devices. Enchantment has gone industrial, making minor talismans, gadgets, and elixirs (of highly variable quality) widely available.

Tone & Flavor: High-magic high-fantasy high-cinematic gothic horror Steampunk ... Castle Falkenstein with a dash of Deadlands, a pinch of Planescape, and a teaspoon of Tolkien-by-way-of-TSR.

http://virtualfunzone.com/steampunk-concept-will-blow-your-mind.html


The Fortress of Xie'e Wu Xing - In the Lands of Nippon (which share exactly as much with Mythic/Medieval Japan as is convenient or awesome), an ancient evil stirs. Rumors spread of dark cults infesting towns and cities, goblins and demons rampaging the countryside, all issuing forth from an almost-forgotten stronghold of darkness, high in the Akato Mountains of the South. Player characters are loyal samurai or crafty ninja in the service of the local Daimyo (or some other clan or faction), or others who have an interest in the strange and ominous goings-on in rural Tanomura Province ... mystic Yamabushi swordsmen or Shugenja sorcerers, wandering ronin or monks, even shape-shifting Henge-Yokai tricksters.

Campaign TL: Mythic Nipponese, TL3 with certain TL4 developments, and certain TL2 or earlier holdovers. Iron is rare and precious, seldom wasted on peasant tools or weapons, but used to maximum effect by the legendary Swordsmiths of Nippon.

Tone & Flavor: Sword-flashing, high-kicking Chambara dark fantasy ... Toshiro Mifune's anime avatar vs. Kurosawa's id on acid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O6_N4mQBos


[Note: StarCraft: Game Over, Man! isn't actually over, it's just resting.]
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Lex
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 09:13:17 AM »

A few concepts that didn't appear in MH, but which I think make Wildcard Skills more appealing:

"Style Wildcards," from Martial Arts. They cover all of a style's skills and techniques, including cinematic traits. Even Gun! becomes badass if taken for the Way of the West (Gun Fu).

Magic-use will mostly be based on "Sorcery Wildcards," specialized by magical style or tradition (e.g. Dark Arts!, Elf-Magic!, Old Ways!, Shugendo!, etc), rather than individual Path skills. Each Sorcery Wildcard covers a range of possible effects (i.e. specific Books/Paths and Rituals from Thaumatology), but can also be used to create improvisational effects in the same general idiom using the full RPM rules.

Finally, as a house rule or clarification, a Talent adds to a wildcard skill when subbing for a skill covered by the Talent. For example, Craftiness adds to Skullduggery! when using it in place of Camouflage, Shadowing, Stealth, etc, but not to other uses. Likewise with other advantages which provide bonuses to specific skills or tasks, e.g. Charisma, Flexibility, Voice, etc.
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tshiggins
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 09:41:14 AM »

I'd play in the Fortress one.

Anybody plan to see "47 Ronin"?
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 09:44:55 AM »

FR: Age of Wonder (for G&AINC: I Can't Believe It's Not Falkenstein)

Heh, thanks. I'm in for either of these, for the record.
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Lex
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 11:07:13 AM »

I'd play in the Fortress one.

One vote for Samurai.

Anybody plan to see "47 Ronin"?

Hadn't heard of it. I hardly ever see anything in the theaters anymore, but I'm sure I'll eventually check it out if it gets good reviews. And does NOT have Tom Cruise in it.


Heh, thanks. I'm in for either of these, for the record.

Got a preference?
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tshiggins
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 09:52:51 AM »


(SNIP)

Hadn't heard of it. I hardly ever see anything in the theaters anymore, but I'm sure I'll eventually check it out if it gets good reviews. And does NOT have Tom Cruise in it.


(SNIP)


Well, it's got Keanu in it, and that can be almost as bad...  Roll Eyes

On the other hand, I understand Hollywood refused to make the movie without a highly-recognizable American actor, and Reeves agreed to be in it -- at least in part -- just so it would get made, at all. I also understand the studio didn't like what the director did, and actually removed him from the final edit process.

So, it could seriously suck for reasons that aren't Keanu's fault...  Wink
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Lex
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 12:25:49 PM »

Ugh, it sounds like another Hollywood-train-wreck-in-the-making. Maybe I'll just wait for the inevitable Director's Cut.

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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 05:22:57 PM »

Anybody plan to see "47 Ronin"?

Hadn't heard of it. I hardly ever see anything in the theaters anymore, but I'm sure I'll eventually check it out if it gets good reviews.

Yeah, I have to be pretty excited about something to spring for the real theater anymore. Haven't been since The Hobbit, I think. It's amazing to me how much people are willing to pay for something that's going to be at the Elvis theater for three bucks in a month, and on the Netflix account I'm already paying for in half a year.

47 Ronin is probably going to suck, for reasons that may not have much to do with Keanu (who can at least be brilliantly cast once in a while - see ref Dangerous Liaisons, where he soars as the bumbling dumbass commoner way over his head caught up in aristocratic intrigue)... It looks pretty, though. Could do well on the x-mas release, without anything similar to compete with.

And does NOT have Tom Cruise in it.

I'll just leave this here. ;]

Got a preference?

+1 for TFOXWX.
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Lex
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2013, 08:28:20 AM »

Yeah, I have to be pretty excited about something to spring for the real theater anymore. Haven't been since The Hobbit, I think. It's amazing to me how much people are willing to pay for something that's going to be at the Elvis theater for three bucks in a month, and on the Netflix account I'm already paying for in half a year.

Exactly. Let's see ... I think the last one I saw in the theater was Drag Me To Hell.

How was the Hobbit, by the way? It seems like they'd have to stretch the plot pretty thin to break it into three movies....


47 Ronin is probably going to suck, for reasons that may not have much to do with Keanu (who can at least be brilliantly cast once in a while - see ref Dangerous Liaisons, where he soars as the bumbling dumbass commoner way over his head caught up in aristocratic intrigue)... It looks pretty, though. Could do well on the x-mas release, without anything similar to compete with.

Yeah, hopefully Keanu is contained in a role that won't wreck the whole film, but I think you guys are right: it'll likely suck for so many reasons that Keanu will seem downright Shakespearian in comparison.


I'll just leave this here. ;]

That will haunt my nightmares. You are a bad, bad man.


+1 for TFOXWX.

Roger. I'll go ahead and start marking up templates & traits this weekend (assuming I don't have another 20 hours of work to finish before Sunday afternoon).
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2013, 09:28:09 AM »

How was the Hobbit, by the way? It seems like they'd have to stretch the plot pretty thin to break it into three movies....

True story, but it was okay. A lot of the stretching is done by incorporating some stuff from the Silmarillion, and the second one looks like it's going to be way more of the same (basically covering a whole war that got a paragraph or three in the books as possibly-entertaining filler because trilogies are a thing now and $$$). I wouldn't rate it on the same level as the LotR movies, but it was decent and had its moments. Disclaimer: I first read the book when I was eight, so I may be a little biased here.

Yeah, hopefully Keanu is contained in a role that won't wreck the whole film, but I think you guys are right: it'll likely suck for so many reasons that Keanu will seem downright Shakespearian in comparison.

This story is so old and told in Japan that it has its own fucking genre. It's completely ridiculous and a little insulting that they felt they needed to put a Whitey in it to sell it to anybody, let alone Ted "Theodore" Logan, and I'd rather they just didn't, and it's especially hilarious considering that the rest of the cast are all Japanese unknowns chosen for authenticity, but none of that is Keanu's fault, really; he just wants to make a good movie and get paid and I can't blame the earnest, weird simpleton for the producers being dickheads.

I'll just leave this here. ;]

That will haunt my nightmares. You are a bad, bad man.

:]
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Lex
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« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2013, 06:31:37 PM »


Yeah, hopefully Keanu is contained in a role that won't wreck the whole film, but I think you guys are right: it'll likely suck for so many reasons that Keanu will seem downright Shakespearian in comparison.

This story is so old and told in Japan that it has its own fucking genre. It's completely ridiculous and a little insulting that they felt they needed to put a Whitey in it to sell it to anybody, let alone Ted "Theodore" Logan, and I'd rather they just didn't, and it's especially hilarious considering that the rest of the cast are all Japanese unknowns chosen for authenticity, but none of that is Keanu's fault, really; he just wants to make a good movie and get paid and I can't blame the earnest, weird simpleton for the producers being dickheads.

It is as we feared ... "Keanu Reeves' new movie has 47 problems, but the Ronin ain't one"

http://io9.com/keanu-reeves-new-movie-has-47-problems-but-the-ronin-1489456200

"Nobody was expecting the new 47 Ronin movie to be good — its long delays and problems have become legend — but it's bad in a particularly depressing way. This is a film that's not only boring and campy, but also kind of nonsensical, turning a classic story of revenge and loyalty into a stew of crap."


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Bill
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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 07:04:35 PM »

It is as we feared ... "Keanu Reeves' new movie has 47 problems, but the Ronin ain't one"
Yeah, Kim wanted to go see that, but I really couldn't work up the energy to give two shits about it.
We went and saw Frozen instead. 
It was better.  The characters were able to convey much stronger emotions than Keanu . . . and they're CG.
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Lex
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2013, 10:05:18 AM »

Poor Keanu. He ruins so many movies that could be awesome, and yet people throw huge buckets of cash at him for doing so. And it's hard to say -- maybe he -could- be a great actor, if only everyone around him would stop rewarding mediocrity.

Not that I had high hopes for this one -- to my knowledge, there's no role for a vacant-eyed white dude in the original story, so it's no surprise that his part is completely bolted on. Judging from the IO9 review, it should have been called "47 and a Half Ronin."
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2013, 11:58:30 AM »

Poor Keanu. He ruins so many movies that could be awesome, and yet people throw huge buckets of cash at him for doing so. And it's hard to say -- maybe he -could- be a great actor, if only everyone around him would stop rewarding mediocrity.

Name one bad movie that starred Keanu that would be plausibly awesome with no changes other than: Force Sub: [Your Living Choice] For Keanu. :]

Not that I had high hopes for this one -- to my knowledge, there's no role for a vacant-eyed white dude in the original story, so it's no surprise that his part is completely bolted on. Judging from the IO9 review, it should have been called "47 and a Half Ronin."

Except that he's not in any way a ronin, so he doesn't have to die at the end and can, y'know, get the girl.

Final Voiceover: "I never saw those forty-seven dudes again. I guess they probably offed themselves, since they'd been talking about it for a couple years now. Happy Ending? Whoa..."
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Lex
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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 01:38:31 PM »

Name one bad movie that starred Keanu that would be plausibly awesome with no changes other than: Force Sub: [Your Living Choice] For Keanu. :]

Fair point ... they all probably would have been just as terrible without him. He's really more like a symptom of bad movie-making than a cause.

That just makes me feel more sorry for him. Poor (fantastically wealthy and famous) guy.


Except that he's not in any way a ronin, so he doesn't have to die at the end and can, y'know, get the girl.

Final Voiceover: "I never saw those forty-seven dudes again. I guess they probably offed themselves, since they'd been talking about it for a couple years now. Happy Ending? Whoa..."

Heh, exactly. That's why "47 and a Half Ronin" ... he wasn't one of the ronin, but he was their indispensable ally (because the script-writers said so). Like a ronin-in-law, or a step-ronin.
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