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    Today, 05:06 AM
    My problem with the Destroyer is that The Barbarian was actually a really good movie, one of the best fantasy flicks ever made - a true classic. It was as if with the sequel they remembered the era and they made just another silly 80s fantasy movie, in the vein of Krull, Beastmaster, and Sword & Sorcerer. ​But yeah, it is kind of fun.
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Today, 02:29 AM
    "Bad" is so subject to interpretration, but if you're talking solely about box office flops then I'll go with Dark Phoenix. It wasn't great, but it was much better than the Last Stand and still a decent movie. I didn't feel like my childhood was destroyed like I did with the Last Stand. Here's a list of 52 box office flops:...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Today, 01:35 AM
    This looks so good; I agree, more expansive and interesting than I originally imagined. Who do people think the young woman is? Obviously she's tied to the Borg somehow...maybe the first "Borg child" somehow?
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 01:01 AM
    I agree probably notas well, but considering the large populations of Latin America and Asia, I think it is worth at least sending a line out to see if it catches. To address your specific points: We Americans do seem to be obsessed with violence, don't we? I find it rather disturbing how embedded the idea is in media culture that everything can be solved with violence (see just about any...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:39 PM
    OK, fair enough. I shouldn't have said it wasn't at all interesting or implied that either of you are guilty of BadWrongInterest, but I was irked in that it is the only quasi-controversial thing in the article, and of course it happens to be the center of discussion. I was concerned that it would be yet another opportunity for people to be offended, feel entitled and/or mis-treated by WotC for...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 12:36 PM
    The PDF thing is one tiny aspect of the article and not really a very interesting one, but oh well - let's fixate on that and ignore the rest.
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:56 AM
    This article is about a month old, so pardon me if it has already been discussed. It brings up a point that I haven't really considered all that much, that "the future of D&D is international." Chris Perkins said they're looking at South America and Asia, with Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese languages a focus. Considering that there are almost 900 million native Mandarin speakers (and over a...
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  • grodog's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:16 AM
    Bump again! :D Allan.
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 11:34 PM
    First of all, I'd check out futuretimeline.net - you should find lots of good stuff there, and maybe even the answer to most of your questions if you comb through everything. But as far as details go, it is hard to answer because there are so many routes you could take. Scifi tends to be optimistic, but we currently live in a world that is perpetually on the cusp of disaster, great or small....
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 04:36 AM
    Well, the Beginner's Box maybe? But to address the second sentence, I don't think Pathfinder could possibly be anything resembling "strong" competition for D&D. It was to 4E, but that's a different story. My sense is that Pathfinder serves those wanting a crunchier game, and also loyalists - which is, of course, a Venn diagram. Part of the impetus behind starting this thread is that P2 seems...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 10:22 PM
    ...very simply, it sucked. So I've had Wrath of Ashardalon for a few years and never played it. My daughters and I had played and enjoyed Dungeon maybe a dozen times over the last couple years, and I wanted to up our game, possibly in preparation for eventually transitioning to D&D. I thought Wrath might be a good step up. But we were all underwhelmed...it was just...boring. Game play was...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 10:15 PM
    Of course. But you'll probably want to playtest the system extensively, at least if you want a quality finished product. You have more "creative autonomy" with the setting, but the system is best served ironed out with the help of others.
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 10:41 AM
    I'm not really sure if this belongs in the Pathfinder or D&D forums, so put it here in General as it touches upon a variety of topics and is more meta than system-specific. I don't know a lot of details about Pathfinder 2 and haven't been following whatever discussions might have happened over the year, but upon doing a cursory browse, I'm reminded of what happened with 4E. Like 4E, P2 seems...
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  • Mercurius's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 09:44 PM
    I don't think reducing options such as races and classes really simplifies the game: it just reduces options. The complexity of the game (relatively speaking) comes from all the little things you have to remember during game play, and the granularity to what degree the rules mimic everything that happens in the narrative environment. The easiest way to simplify is probably just to become more...
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Saturday, 13th September, 2014

  • 11:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post (More) ruminations on the future of D&D
    ... battle cries, etc, but do not fundamentally drive the game. Choosing whether my fighter is faithful or impious, headstrong or cautious, grumpy or welcoming of human contact - to me these are not significantly more creative than choice of weapon. They add fun colour to a session, and - if the GM is running a tight railroad - can make bearable, even pleasurable, what would otherwise be intolerable. But the only reason WoW couldn't be played with the same spirit is that it doesn't have a voice-driven interface, and so sociaility isn't as big a part of the game. When playing through The Sunless Citadel, for instance, whether my fighter is grumpy or friendly, or headstrong or cautious, makes no more real difference to the outcome than it might in WoW: it's just that, in the D&D session, with my friends there with me, I have more incentive to play for laughs or kudos from them rather than just playing to win. I'm still far from clear what sort of imaginative/creative/artistic element Mercurius believes is key to RPGs and missing from video-games, but if it is this sort of player creativity - generating and expressing colour for their PCs - then I'm not sure that it's a point of quality, as opposed merely to difference, from computer-gaming. Now a game in which the players contribute meaningfully to backstory, and to theme and stakes, and thereby (for instance) choose who their enemies are within the context of the campaign (eg are we soldiers for Heaven, or for Hell, or playing each side off against the other? for profit, or for humanity?), and really make a difference to how the plot of the campaign unfolds, is a different thing. That involves creativity, and something like artistic commitment, from the players. But I'm not sure that this is the norm for D&D play. Perhaps we should also look at the difference between creating something oneself--whether as a GM, a story writer, movie maker, musician etc--and participating as a player, reader, viewer, listener. I th...

Friday, 22nd August, 2014

  • 06:22 AM - Lanefan mentioned Mercurius in post 5E Wishlists!
    Mercurius hit pretty much all of what would be on my list. The "splat annual" is a good idea. I wouldn't mind seeing some classic 0e and 1e modules updated/converted to 5e, but tied in better with their particular setting. Isle of Dread, for example, could tie in with Mystara/Known World. Night's Dark Terror could be one of those sandbox boxes you're talking about. And so on. Lanefan

Thursday, 21st August, 2014

  • 11:59 PM - Thunderfoot mentioned Mercurius in post I think we can safely say that 5E is a success, but will it lead to a new Golden Era?
    Great post Mercurius I think you've brought up some valid points, but let me address a couple. As to the stigma involved - Even those that were the "jocks" in the 80s can't deny the social acceptance of nerd culture; so parents in the 30 to 50 range are much less likely to rely on the "My kid won't be no nerd... (bad English intended) As a parent of two 20 year olds (the wife and I are in our mid 40s) I can say that we did it the old fashioned way, we birthed more gamers. And as to the "graying" of the hobby, the number of second, third, & even fourth generation players is solid - GenCon (a small but efficient sampling, showed that attendees under the age of 30 were out in droves, and while some were there for other activities, (cosplay, CCGs and anime) the vast majority were hard core gamers of the Table top variety. I think the growing number of pop-culture stars that are outing themselves as closet geeks, nerds and freaks is helping to ease the stigma (are YOU going to tell Vin Diesel that...

Friday, 15th August, 2014

  • 07:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post I think we can safely say that 5E is a success, but will it lead to a new Golden Era?
    To make it clear what I think: * I think it is too early to confidently predict that 5e will enjoy enduring commercial success of the sort that Mercurius has described upthread (ie a steady stream of supplements sold to a large base). * Furthermore, I think that Mearls has as much as said that that is not their goal for D&D. * I think that explaining 4e's commercial problems by reference to "it was a radical departure from D&D" is post-hoc. It is simply a reiteration of the fact that 4e experienced commercial difficulties. It doesn't tell us anything about what was or was not appealing about 4e. To give a concrete example of the 3rd point: edition warriors often complain about healing surges and extended rests; but those features of 4e carry on into 5e (though without the integration of surges into the broader framework of the combat and magic mechanics). Hence we can infer that healing surges and extended rests were not too radical a departure from D&D. The only real way to work out what aspects of 4e were widely unpopular is to examine 5e closely to see what bits of 4e do or do not carry through. And even then, I'm not con...

Thursday, 14th August, 2014

  • 11:11 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post I think we can safely say that 5E is a success, but will it lead to a new Golden Era?
    Every time a player says "Edition n+1 does this so much better", they're also saying "Edition n did this so much worse". Sure, praising A as better than B implies that B is worse than A. At the moment on another thread I'm trying to persuade Li Shenron that 4e's cover rules are easier to use, in play, than 5e's because they require less finicky adjudication. But that's not what I mean by an edition war. (And I don't think that's what Mercurius means either.) By an edition war I mean attacks upon the game as "not RPGing", or "not D&D", or "a tactical skirmish game rather than an RPG", or "making immersion/verisimilitude/roleplaying/whatever impossible". That sort of stuff was fairly routine in relation to 4e. But it seems to me that there is no rule of RPG discourse that says, in choosing not to play game A, and even perhaps in explaining why you prefer to play game B, you have to characterise game A in those sorts of terms. A new edition means that new material isn't coming out for their game, that new copies of books are going to be harder to find and that new players are less likely to be familiar with the old system or interested in learning it. A new edition really hurts those who don't like the new edition.If people feel the need to lament, rather than just sucking it up, I still don't see any requirement that the lament take the form of vitriolic arguments that others are playing RPGs wrong.
  • 12:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post I think we can safely say that 5E is a success, but will it lead to a new Golden Era?
    Are you implying that D&D's success is based on how loudly/frequently people express their disdain for itNo. I am asking Mercurius if that is the metric - because that is basically the only evidence put forward to enable us to "safely say that 5E is a success". Those were mostly things that edition warriors latched onto, but they were either nonsense or would require a much thinner skin than the fanbase has displayed before or since <snip> But you did catch a real issue in that list of edition-war-era talking pointsThis. Mercurius is writing as if, at this time in 4e's rollout, we could already tell that it would be a "failure", despite the fact that it was successfully selling a lot of books, because the Alexandrian wrote a blog attacking it for "dissociated mechanics" and for not being a RPG. My own assertion, made upthread and repeated here, is this: if the opinions of the Alexandrian and other online "pundits" are crucial to the medium-term success of any edition of D&D, then the market is small enough and that the overall goal of growing RPGers has failed. Contrast the LotR movies, which did n...

Friday, 11th July, 2014

  • 11:45 PM - Lanefan mentioned Mercurius in post Rangers: Your Thoughts and Preferences
    Reading through here a few thoughts leap to mind: - Mercurius - I agree that the Ranger is probably the "fifth class"; the closest thing to a core-four class that isn't one. It'd be an interesting speculation to see what others think...somebody mentioned the Paladin, which to me is way on down the list; I'd see probably Druid as the "sixth class". - 62 votes in and I'm ecstatic that Drizz't has yet to get even one! That character ruined the class in later 2e and then into 3e. Let's hope the 5e design team got similarly decisive feedback in their research and didn't go and design Rangers as two-weapon dancers. Again. - Stealth penalties and all, I love me some tank Ranger! - many of the houserules mentioned here (only one attack with a second weapon, stealth penalties for heavy armour, etc.) all look like things we did/are doing also. One houserule we implemented with Ranger was that they could not start out proficient in "urban" weapons such as crossbow, rapier, polearms more complex than spear or pike, and so forth; but could pi...

Monday, 6th January, 2014

  • 07:25 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Mercurius in post Phases of systems mastery - Novice, Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master
    Mercurius I think there's another factor besides system mastery, and I would call it comfort with rules improvisation. For example, I have not mastered 4e's system (there are plenty of rules I am not on top of since errata or common situations that I forget the rules on); however, I am very comfortable making an improvised ruling that is in the right ballpark and feels right. I think this has to do with the transparency of 4e that Storminator describes; in a less transparent system I would not feel so comfortable making stuff up without system mastery. As an aside, 4e made character creation far too narrow IMHO; something which started to be reversed in Essentials but should have expanded far beyond combat capability. If you strip out AEDU, it's actually a decent system for old school style play (though the DM does need to understand how to design encounters to run fast). Take away AEDU, design scenes/settings rather than set piece encounters, and incorporate old school flavor, and 4e feels l...
  • 07:26 AM - innerdude mentioned Mercurius in post Why the claim of combat and class balance between the classes is mainly a forum issue. (In my opinion)
    ...grasped by a "typical" D&D play group. From your perspective, 4e isn't gamist---because you very thoroughly push the (what seem obvious to you) "narrative" dials within it to set up your group's preferred fictional positioning. However, for anyone who doesn't grasp the narrative positioning and scene framing aspects--and everything I've ever heard from you, and @Manbearcat, and other "scene framing" advocates, your playstyle is simply not explicit in the core 4e texts. And if you do not apply your "scene framing" bent to the 4e core rules, then yes, D&D 4e is hands down, far and away the most gamist version of D&D ever, and second place is not even close (I would probably say 1e is the second most gamist after 4e). Nearly EVERYTHING in the "prima facie" presentation of the 4e ruleset, ESPECIALLY in the original "Core 3," is all based on scene-level, encounter based challenges, with combat being the primary "frameset," and skill challenges the secondary. In this case, pemerton, @Mercurius and Marshall McLuhan is right --- the medium of 4e is the message --- the entire presentation of the 4e PHB is about getting each classes' powers in front of the player in the most straightforward, unambiguous way possible. Why? Because powers are the primary mechanical construct used by players to face encounter challenges----which forcefully communicates to the player, regardless of any surrounding material, that facing and defeating challenges is, in fact, the primary function of the 4e game itself. That is 100%, unequivocally a gamist mindset. Period. Full Stop. Now admittedly, 1e has metric TON of gamism built into it as well. But it's not couched or presented in the same straightforwardly gamist manner. The 1e DMG and Monster Manual go beyond strict gamism to present its material. Now, you've repeatedly stated you don't like "Gygaxian Naturalism," which is perfectly valid. However, whether you like it or not, the whole point of "Gygaxian Naturalism" is that it makes an attemp...

Thursday, 2nd January, 2014

  • 10:45 PM - steeldragons mentioned Mercurius in post Why (and how) 5E can succeed
    There are several...and divergent...elements to take into account here. Some are temporal...some are generational...some are something else entirely. D&D...or any other element of culture, does not live in a vacuum. I have a story similar to yours, @Mercurius and many others here in EN World. But, we are not 8-14 any more. What created that automatic sense of wonder, that "this is what D&D is to me" feel, is not the same now as when I was 10, picking up the Basic set for the first time. Just as watching the Hobbit movies does not inspire the same feeling as reading the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was 10-12ish. I like them both...still...but in a sense of different ways that simply come from being at a different place in one's life. I do not know that 5e can really, truly, account for that feeling of 30 years ago or, for that matter, the feeling I get/have now. All they can do, with marketing research and a goal/aimed demographic, is appeal to whatever age they are shooting for. Which brings us to my next, larger point... The other thing, that is completely a different account than when we [you and I and many others here] were first introduced to D&D and rpg's, is that...the generation coming up now (assuming they w...

Friday, 20th December, 2013

  • 09:18 PM - Tovec mentioned Mercurius in post Wandering Monsters: Worlds of D&D
    With all these threads (most of them started by Mercurius) I'm starting to lose track of what the specific arguments are now. I have long understood what KM has been saying about the default effect but from what I'm reading it doesn't seem like this necessarily applies here. That is I don't think it applies to the various subraces of dwarves (or other races) because there is an easy option NOT to show a single unified version of them. I think Wyatt is wrong in this regard, that mountain dwarves are NOT the same as gold dwarves (or whatever variation they were), but I think my problem is I don't see what that has to do with what we are actually discussing here OR what it has to do with cosmology in general. Humor me. Why is the default effect huge? Or specifically, how does having a default mountain dwarf (which has always been the case, at least in the core game) inhibit you in any way from building and creating as you see fit? I think the problem is less about having multiple options and more about which one is presented as default. If so...

Thursday, 19th December, 2013

  • 08:50 PM - DMZ2112 mentioned Mercurius in post [DM's Poll] Homebrew, Published, Hybrid or Other?
    Where do you get that? I'm seeing about 55% homebrewing and 30% using a published setting, with the remainder in the "medley" camp. Well, where to draw the lines between homebrew, medley, and 'as published' is pretty arbitrary. Avoiding that, what I see is five results out of seven within one vote of each other, one high outlier toward the homebrew end of the spectrum, and one low outlier toward the 'as published' end of the spectrum. I'm not surprised the "published as written" option has so few votes, and I'm also not surprised that the "homebrew traditionalist" option has so many. What does surprise me is that the other five results are so even. I was expecting -- and in Mercurius' other thread, I erroneously predicted -- a far more substantial skew toward homebrewing. That's all.
  • 08:10 PM - DMZ2112 mentioned Mercurius in post [DM's Poll] Homebrew, Published, Hybrid or Other?
    I have to admit defeat, Mercurius. It looks like the published settings are very nearly as popular as homebrewing. I am very surprised by this outcome, and no mistake.

Tuesday, 17th December, 2013

  • 05:28 PM - steeldragons mentioned Mercurius in post Buy In - thoughts and queries
    As much as buy-in from the players is concerned: exepect nothing and you won't be disappointed. Lol. Ain't that the truth! Thinking about the topic in this context, a possible solution may be to break down the material into tiny bits and give it to player(s) asking for it. While it's probably no less work than writing up the complete stuff, I feel it's more likely to acutally be used that way. This is my leaning...and reflects my suggestions to Mercurius in his Player Primer thread. Write up the generals, with individual pages for those classes/races as needed for the players who choose them. Hence, their amount of buy in is determined by the players, themselves...and everyone likes a sense of control. Those that can't be bothered, don't need it. Those that want the extra info have easy access to it. But then, OTOH, I imagine people becoming disinterested because they need/want to read through everything to make their choices...and be annoyed that they don't have immediate/easy access to everything in order to make those choices. "How do I know if I want to be an elf is I don't have the specs/stats/abilities of what an elf in Orea can do?!" or a mage or a druid or half-orc or a human from this realm as opposed to that realm or whatever. For a table/individual game, I think this would work very well. From a publishing/"what to release/produce" perspective...I don't know that it's really possible. I mean, I can produce tidbits, speci...
  • 04:50 PM - steeldragons mentioned Mercurius in post Buy In - thoughts and queries
    This thread is brought to you in part by @Mercurius ' thread on a Player Primer. It is also brought to you in part with my own indecision and wonderings on the best way introduce a new game setting & system. I have a Player's Handbook, nearly complete for my World of Orea RPG [to be played, specifically in my decades old setting of Orea, but designed in such a way that the system could be used in a variety of settings...and the setting could be used, independently with any system of your choice]. The classes are each 2 page spreads, detailing what the class is , that class' features, and a few variants on the theme. The rules take significantly less pages, I assure you, and the spells, traditionally included in the player material, are pulled out into an individual book of spells and powers - since DMs need access to this info as well. I am striving, with all of the editing and layout magic I can muster to keep the PHB to 64 pages. In a random thought experiment, I thought of putting together a basics/primer kind of short manual (n...

Monday, 16th December, 2013

  • 10:50 PM - TwoSix mentioned Mercurius in post Beyond Old and New School - "The Secret That Was Lost"
    I'm not sure we are successfully settling on terms and we're certainly not settling on relatively quantities and metrics, which is what I got out of your difficulties understanding what Mercurius means with his fuzzy quantities. In fact, this whole thread (and message board) might go better if we did try to stick more to what practical things we do and how they work out for us and our groups rather than try to put them into overarching frameworks that always seem to have political overtones. I totally agree. Mercurius seems to have some good ideas, which is why I would like him to flesh them out more than say "Well, this is too much, but this is just enough." So let's here some examples of where fiat was used, and where it wasn't, and why those worked.
  • 10:36 PM - TwoSix mentioned Mercurius in post Beyond Old and New School - "The Secret That Was Lost"
    Perhaps so. However, we have a metric here that we're evaluating (of which the OP invoked); "the quality of various D&D mechanics to expand or contract the imagination". I was just trying to pin down its boundaries. If someone posits that Fortune in the Middle mechanics (which require association to "game reality" due to their malleable nature) yields a net loss in the evaluation of "the quality of various D&D mechanics to expand or contract the imagination", I think a comparison to the work of Monet, Renoir, Dali is apt as their work is willfully malleable such that that association to reality by the audience is a requirement. Excellent metaphor. And kudos as to the concise post, which I know can be an effort. :) I would think, considering Mercurius's own posts, that he would consider FitM mechanics to create more space for creativity, as they map less to a described reality and allow for greater imposition of one's own interpretation. I guess I'll invoke my standard of Wall of Thorns example. Go read that spell in the 3.5 SRD, and tell me whether you think its design ethos is imagination expanding or imagination contracting.
  • 09:29 PM - TwoSix mentioned Mercurius in post Beyond Old and New School - "The Secret That Was Lost"
    But the contrast should still be valuable within each domain. And, from there, you have some point where the contrast is still valid in aggregate - a place where someone is so excessive in one or more domains that they are simply excessive overall. If your chosen framework makes the statements of others less useful... that's kind of your own problem, isn't it? I mean, it is your choice to restrict yourself to that framework. It doesn't make him wrong - it just means you need a translation step between frameworks. The problem is that describing the issue as between "mild and judicious use" and "excessive power-mongering" isn't a framework at all. There's nothing to translate or analyze there to make the statement useful. It's a Goldilocks measurement. I mean, I get that Mercurius thinks you need some fiat, but not too much fiat, or else the players might find out. But I don't know why he thinks that, or where he draws the line between "just enough", "too much", or "too little".

Sunday, 15th December, 2013

  • 11:25 PM - pemerton mentioned Mercurius in post Beyond Old and New School - "The Secret That Was Lost"
    ...hat those who see Rule Zero (or fiat, if there's a difference) as cheating can only say so if they house rule it out of the RAW, so then it is only cheating in their house rule version of D&D. Hey, that's fine, but let's call a spade a spade!I believe that I was the poster who introduced the terminology of "cheating" upthread. And I stated that, playing Gygaxian D&D, changing the dungeon maps or contents without some ingame explanation being available would be cheating (with the ingame explanation, it might be good GMing or highly adversarial GMing, depending on further context). If you are playing a version of D&D in which that sort of GM transformation of backstory is not cheating, fine - from that we can infer that you're not playing Gygaxian D&D. Judging from their posts on this thread plus other parts of their posting history that I'm familiar with, I think that the two posters on this thread who play Gygaxian D&D are ExploderWizard and Libramarian. Certainy not me. And not Mercurius either, at least judging from posts in this and other threads.

Saturday, 7th December, 2013

  • 06:00 PM - Cyberen mentioned Mercurius in post Beyond Old and New School - "The Secret That Was Lost"
    ... and some others :D : The "Christmas present model" (in reference to Mercurius post) is the secret here, that enables our monadic imaginations to share the same space (as a world spanning community or at the same table). Concerning worldbuilding, scene framing, adjucation, or whatever, the trick of rolling some dice behind a screen make all possible resolution methods indistinguishable from a player point of view. Consider, for instance, the iconic dungeon door (tm), the ultimate scene framing device, marking the boudary between the known and unknown. What lies beyond ? If howandwhy99 is the DM, he would have a look at his carefully prepared notes and detailed map, before reading a carefully prepared description of an orc with a pie (playing riddles). If pemerton is the DM, he would consider your character backstory, handwave you through some corridors of little significance, and lead you to an encounter with an orc and a pie (baked by your ex girlfriend). If <insert 2e fan here> is the DM, you would be entering the food producing complex necessary to sustain ...


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Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 11:11 PM - Istbor quoted Mercurius in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 3
    I realize that. It doesn't make it less silly, and of course it is important how it is implemented. Defeating the Night King just seemed too...easy. Such build-up and then, voila, done - and his entire army with him. Winter is no longer coming in one sneaky move by Arya. Yeah. I think summing it up in Too easy or voila, done is over simplifying what was sacrificed. Those were whole armies being chewed up, spat out, and then raised back up to kill what remained of their once-allies. The impact was there, as well as the stakes. Kill the necromancer and defeat his thralls in one fell stab.
  • 09:11 PM - Morrus quoted Mercurius in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 3
    I realize that. It doesn't make it less silly, and of course it is important how it is implemented. Defeating the Night King just seemed too...easy. Such build-up and then, voila, done - and his entire army with him. Winter is no longer coming in one sneaky move by Arya. Well yeah. That’s the fundamental problem with the trope. It’s never been satisfying.
  • 06:59 PM - Morrus quoted Mercurius in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 3
    I read somewhere someone comparing the Night King to the golden snitch in Harry Potter's quidditch game. It is just a silly rule, making the rest of the game superfluous. Kill the Night King, win the whole thing. It's a well-known trope. Also see Independence Day, The Phantom Menace, The Last Starfighter, Army of Darkness, and a hundred more!

Friday, 26th April, 2019


Sunday, 21st April, 2019

  • 06:33 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument
    Evidently you don't understand me perfectly because I'm not saying SW is "bound" to Campbell, Taoism, or anything in particular - including whatever the latest ideological trends of Hollywood. I am saying that SW is richer for being connected to deeper ideas of myth (Campbell) and spiritual wisdom (Taoism). The difference is semantic. Your posts continually push those infleunces quite strongly as things that must be contended with. Telling me that I’m “ignoring” the connection of Campbell, for instance. The actual point of contention is whether it’s new and interesting to make female heroes that are different from male heroes because of their gender. IMO, few things could be less new or interesting.
  • 05:31 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument
    You're reading too much into what I'm saying. In truth, I'm not proposing anything specific, like heroine as nurturer or peacemaker. If anything I am suggesting that what a hero/heroine is can be quite different, and that there are interesting archetypal possibilities to explore. Furthermore, you seem to ignore the fact that SW is based on Joseph Campbell's ideas about mythology, which very much embrace different masculine and feminine archetypes. Look, I get what you don't like and I don't like it either: that men or women "have to" be a certain way along culturally bound stereotypes; and we both like our fantasy to be free from such notions. But I'm talking more along an archetypal level, which fits in with the mythological view of Campbell and the original vision of Star Wars, and would allow for deeper differences in male and female beyond just different body shapes and cultural stereotypes. Unfortunately in today's cultural debates, the differences between a stereotype and an archety...
  • 05:25 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    I am not suggesting that SW does away with Light vs. Dark, but that it reimagines it as not so dualistic, not so absolute. Furthermore, what is "light" can change, and with it what is "dark" in relation to it. I'm not talking about extreme relativism, but some degree of relativism, which is an intrinsic aspect of the Taoist philosophy that partially inspired Lucas's idea of the Force. Taoist philosophy would likely hold that "aberrations" are just extreme variations of Nature, and ultimately "natural" expressions of it. "Evil," in this sense, isn't as much what is unnatural, but what is in resistance to the flow of Nature. It is egotism - fighting against the flow (Force). In that sense it could be argued that the Jedi fall short of a "true" Taoist philosophy. The are more "in the flow" than the Sith, but still fall short. So we could imagine a Skywalker order that recognizes the necessity of both Light and Dark. If I remember correctly, we get glimmers of this from Yoda and Luke. Right, ...
  • 04:48 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument
    Double post
  • 04:38 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument
    I disagree with this assessment. First of all, the Star Wars universe is based upon our own in which male and females are "meaningfully different," at least if you think biology and tens of thousands of years of cultural patterns matter. Secondly, even if we view SW as an entirely different universe, it is still based upon mythic ideas from our world, in which there male and female are quite archetypally different. In fact, some have criticized Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey for being overly male-centric, that the "female journey" is or can be quite different. There is no evidence that the SW Galaxy is as deeply gender split as our own, or that the same cultural and influences exist to push people toward the same roles and tropes such male aggression and female nurturing, etc. There is a good deal of positive evidence that the SWG does not feature those elements. SW shares this with much of fantasy and science fiction in general. Beyond that, I’m not sure what would be new at all ab...

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 10:49 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    Yes, I very much agree with this and like the idea of a more Taoistic, non-dualistic Force tradition. Of course as with the Hegelian dialectic, even if the Skywalkers were a synthesis and transcendence of the duality of Jedi and Sith, a new antithesis would form in contrast to it as a thesis, so we'd be back to "good" Skywalkers vs. "bad" ??? I’d much rather continue to have a franchise where there is genuine Good, genuine Evil, and folks in between. In more DnD terms; the Dark Side is the corruption represented by aberrations, and the Force is Nature/The Will of Nature. Nature is unbalanced as long as beholders and aboleths exist. There is no balance between Nature and Aberrations. In the same way, I prefer Star Wars to leave the “everything is grey” stuff to nearly every other franchise out there, and keep doing what makes it special.
  • 10:41 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument
    doctorbadwolf, I watch absolutely zero anime or cartoons, so can't comment on that. And yeah, it would be nice to see a male hero that doesn't solve everything through brute force. I don't disagree with what you said re: Carol Danvers and WW, but also think there's room for exploring gender-flavored themes and ideas (e.g. "How might a woman use the Force differently than a man?"). My issue is, why would a woman use the force differently, in a universe or where they seem to take it for granted that female and male humans (much less other species) aren’t meaningfully different? Regardless of any “liberal orthodoxy” or whatever the phrase was in your earlier post, the SW Galaxy doesn’t pay any mind whatsoever to any meaningful difference between human sexes or genders, beyond some elements of fashion and gendered pronouns and titles. If you swap Han and Leia in the OT, the audience will feel differently about them, but nothing about the fictional universe actually changes, for instanc...
  • 09:57 PM - Zardnaar quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    Yes, I very much agree with this and like the idea of a more Taoistic, non-dualistic Force tradition. Of course as with the Hegelian dialectic, even if the Skywalkers were a synthesis and transcendence of the duality of Jedi and Sith, a new antithesis would form in contrast to it as a thesis, so we'd be back to "good" Skywalkers vs. "bad" ??? Something like this? https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Aing-Tii
  • 08:01 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument
    @Zardnaar, I empathize with some of your issues with TLJ and don't think questioning whether Rey is a Mary Sue or not is inherently sexist, but I think you are going a bit overboard in trying to line her up with Luke and compare them in every detail. No matter what way you look at it, their "Mary Sueness" is similar. The only thing that bothered me about Rey's Mary Sueness in TFA was how she could hang with Kylo Ren in a lightsabre duel. I know he was injured, but it still seemed a bit absurd and definitely damaged my suspension of disbelief. But overall she wasn't really any more Mary Sueish than Luke. If she was, it wasn't by much - and not worth getting upset about. The Mary Sue is a female version of wish fulfillment. Luke, and superheroes in general, are male versions of wish fulfillment. I don't know why female wish fulfillment would be any worse, except insofar as TFA felt like fan fiction and the Mary Sue is derived from fan fiction. The more obvious difference is that it is generall...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 11:26 PM - Zardnaar quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument
    @Zardnaar, I empathize with some of your issues with TLJ and don't think questioning whether Rey is a Mary Sue or not is inherently sexist, but I think you are going a bit overboard in trying to line her up with Luke and compare them in every detail. No matter what way you look at it, their "Mary Sueness" is similar. The only thing that bothered me about Rey's Mary Sueness in TFA was how she could hang with Kylo Ren in a lightsabre duel. I know he was injured, but it still seemed a bit absurd and definitely damaged my suspension of disbelief. But overall she wasn't really any more Mary Sueish than Luke. If she was, it wasn't by much - and not worth getting upset about. The Mary Sue is a female version of wish fulfillment. Luke, and superheroes in general, are male versions of wish fulfillment. I don't know why female wish fulfillment would be any worse, except insofar as TFA felt like fan fiction and the Mary Sue is derived from fan fiction. The more obvious difference is that it is gene...
  • 05:22 AM - ccs quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    Except for the fact that the Death Star would have been completely pulverized on impact, leaving virtually no trace of it - let alone a rather intact chunk, like we see in the trailer. I'm not disagreeing with the possibility of a sea existing, mind you, or even taking issue with the chunk of Death Star existing. It just seems silly to provide scientific, logical rationale for something (the existence of the sea) in an already inherently improbable scenario (the chunk of Death Star remaining intact). Star Wars is, in the end, at least as much fantasy as it is science fiction. This isn't Star Trek. ?? You're arguing Star Wars physics (of wich there are none), on a website dedicated to a game about elves & dwarves & s** where dragons flying is a thing....
  • 01:18 AM - Jester David quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    Well again, its the third movie of three - so he has to make sure to tie up loose ends rather than create new ones...except insofar as they might want to set the stage for the next trilogy (e.g. maybe the Knights of Ren escape and become villains for later on). Rian Johnson is off doing his own trilogy. I imagine it will be largely unrelated. On a side note, I don't mind Kylo getting his helmet back as he is more imposing that way. I really like Adam Driver as a quirky Indie movie actor (e.g. Paterson, What If, etc), but for me he was miscast...his greatest strength as an actor is his comedic presence which is, by necessity, entirely lacking as Kylo Ren. I don’t disagree. And if it was just the mask I wouldn’t mind. But they didn’t even let Rey customize her lightsaber... She should totally have a staff/sabre hybrid. Like a glaive. Maybe, but I wouldn't hold your breath. Even if they kill the bloodline in this film, they're going to bring it back somehow, somewhen. I think they ...
  • 12:37 AM - Morrus quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    Sure, but maybe this just points to what "originality" is and isn't. I see novelty and originality as different. Novelty is just being different for the sake of being different and is often not really original. Originality has more to do with creativity and authenticity. It might not even be novel (new/different), but could still be quite original. I don’t know what that means. But anyway, Lucas copies a lot of stuff. And not in a subtle way - like shot for shot. It’s not a criticism. I like what he made. I like Tarantino a lot too.
  • 12:28 AM - Morrus quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    Disagree on this. By "originality" I don't mean mere clever novelty. The original series was plenty original in terms of how it brought imaginative worlds to the screen. When Star Wars came out there was nothing quite like it. Sure, it was based on Joseph Campbell's ideas, but even that was something fresh and new. It was based on much more than that. Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe is Luke and Han infiltrating the Death Star in disguise as Stormtroopers. The Hidden Fortress is C3PO and R2D2. Dam Busters is the Trench Run (Lucas even copies WWII movie footage for the X-Wing TIE fighter scenes). The Jedi are mystical Samurai (they're named after 'Jidaigeki', a type of Samurai drama). Hell, check out Darth Vader and the stormtroopers in The Fighting Devil Dogs: 105965 105966 There's books on this. I think what he made was great. But he's like Tarantino - he cobbles together homages to other things.

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 11:37 PM - Morrus quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    I hear you, although let's face it: that's what Abrams does best. Has he brought forth anything vaguely original? Did Lucas? If you’re looking for originality, Star Wars is not your huckleberry. I’d try indie cinema! :)
  • 09:23 PM - Jester David quoted Mercurius in post Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer
    I hear you, although let's face it: that's what Abrams does best. Has he brought forth anything vaguely original? No. That's why I was disappointed he was back as director. But I was hopeful he'd try harder and bring his A-game. Instead… Rey rebuilds the destroyed lightsaber exactly like it was. And Kylo is back in his lame performance-hiding helmet. And we're returning to a planet we've seen before. Or two. And now the villain seems to be recycled. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt but now my expectations are loooooow. Furthermore, at this point it might a matter of choosing the best of not-great options, as far as who the final (and "real") villain really is. Kylo Ren simply isn't convincing, and I think is more evocative as a troubled (and possibly redeemed?) soul. Which makes Palpatine returning more of a problem. This was Ren's movie. He was the big bad. It was his time to shine, restoring him as a menacing threat and a worthy villain. But having to share the s...


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