Posts Tagged Gotham
Fangs and Feathers
Posted by burgandyskies in Boardgames, Comics, Movies, Music, RPG Commentary, TV Shows, Video Games on October 24, 2014
This past weekend was wall to wall DGS activity. We had a very successful Halloween party, thanks to much help from my team of volunteers. We went with a spider and skulls theme, with many spider webs any place we could put one up. For food and drink, the host team provided a build your own sandwich bar, sodas, and chips, while attendees brought additional sides and desserts, with one of our DGS members going above and beyond and brewing us a special DGS run of his home brew beer. Our master brewer also won our costume contest having dressed up, appropriately enough, as a steampunk mad scientist/brewer.
Several attendees also brought board games, which became the primary activity of the party. We got to try out Lords of Waterdeep, a D&D themed strategy game that played like a far more complex version of Revolution or Monopoly. As the name suggests, you play Lords living in Waterdeep, and as you play the game you hire adventurers and acquire resources for completing various “quests” in exchange for victory points. Everyone got the gist of the game pretty quick and had a good time. I won. This game is likely to go on our Christmas list.
On Sunday I ran the second to last session of Mirrors. We started the game right where we left off last month, with our protagonists running for lives from a group of vampire guards while their escape was covered by a Changeling dragon. It is one of the few times I’ve actually busted out the dry erase maps and miniatures for a World of Darkness game. There was much running and sword fighting and crashing of elevators. World of Darkness isn’t exactly known for its fighting rules, but they are adequate for running a more action based scene. However, because players rarely have to actually engage the rules, I find they tend to go kind of slow. I ended up cutting the scenario down a bit to accommodate our time limits. That was okay though, because my surprise twist went over with the same dramatic oomph I had hoped for, and we ended the session with one of our PCs making a very serious moral decision. Now my players have some important choices to make that will determine not only their characters’ fates, but the fate of the NPCs they’ve been representing this whole story arc. Which is really how every good World of Darkness game should end, don’t you think?
We started Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and having a blast. It’s an interesting twist to be working for Handsome Jack instead of against him, although he is still an egotistical jerk, so the characterization is at least consistent. Also, the story is actually told as a giant flashback, so you still get to enjoy commentary from all your favorite Borderlands characters while exploring a whole new area. My only real issues are that so far, the oxygen mechanics have been just another resource to manage, and it is taking what feels like FOREVER to get our additional gun slots and to use the new Grinder system. But as an expansion on the Borderlands universe, it’s overall been good fun.
On the TV front:
This week’s Supernatural was one of my favorite episodes in recent memory. This was the Demon Dean I’d been expecting. The Shining-esque scenario was very well played out, with some great acting moments by both Jared and Jensen. It actually made me think if Constantine or Gotham do well, DC should give Jensen a shot at playing Etrigan/Jason Blood. Supernatural is on Season 10 – it can’t last forever. Or can it? This season is pretty awesome so far. Knock on wood.
Gotham continues to be brilliant. If you are not watching it, do yourself a favor and go stream the season so far. There is just something really fun about a crime procedural set in a fictional 60s universe with super villains and a young Bruce Wayne who is getting an early start on being the smartest guy in the room. The magical realism tone is very similar to Hannibal, but so far the show is way more PG-13. It is BATMAN after all.
We have also watched the pilot for Arrow and it was amazing. Between all the video game releases and RPGs and wedding attendance plans, and everything else, I’m not sure when we are going to get a chance to binge watch the rest of the season, but hopefully we can make that happen soon.
Thing I’m geeking out on this week:
The Crow. Specifically the 20th anniversary screening we will be attending next month that is being hosted by Nerds Like Us, as part of their monthly nerdy midnight film viewing series. (If you like geek flavored cinema and/or attended high school in the 90s, you should totally check them out.) I am so going to rock the Eric Draven face paint.
More specifically, getting tickets to that made me want to look up the soundtrack. I forgot how much I used to love this album. There are some favorites of mine on here: Stone Temple Pilots, NIN covering Joy Division, Violent Femmes, Rage Against the Machine, Rollins Band, Pantera, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and The Cure. This album is like early 90s non-grunge rock in a time capsule.
Extremely specifically, however, I’ve been obsessing on the track “Burn” by The Cure.
Rediscovering this song was like finding an old flannel in the back of my closet and finding out it not only still fits, but it somehow still smells of strawberry cloves (don’t judge me – it was the 90s). For me, this song is pure nostalgia in aural form. I can crank this song up on my headphones, close my eyes, and instantly I am sitting in the back of my pickup, parked on the roof of the parking garage at Fullerton College after a night class reading the latest Mercedes Lackey novel. I can smell the rain in the air, feel the brisk fall chill, and remember a time when I actually had to call people on the phone to find out who was hanging out at the Winged Heart before heading over for a late night cup of coffee and maybe a round of pool. Good times.
Women of Action
Posted by burgandyskies in Comics, Geek Girl Stuff, RPG Commentary, TV Shows on March 11, 2015
Sometimes the fun in playing an RPG is the chance to really immerse yourself in a totally different world, personality, life situation, etc. There is tremendous fun in escapism. However, there is also something very emotionally satisfying about using the game as a chance to explore actual issues in a safe fictional space. Which is a roundabout way of saying things got real in my VtR game this past Saturday. I threw my players into a situation of non-stop action, and they were more than up to the task. I also couldn’t resist throwing in one of my infamous magnificent bastard NPCs to mess with one of my PCs who, to his credit, took the situation and ran with it. It was a good game.
I am less happy with the DC television universe as of late. They started out strong, but Gotham continues to slide from amusing absurdity to total hot mess. Which is a shame because all the actors on the show are awesome and fun. But the writing is, honestly, just awful. It’s getting painful to watch. It is totally confusing to me that Gotham not only got a back 9, but got a second season, while Constantine, which is far superior, got cut off at 13 episodes and is now in production limbo. No justice in ratings, I suppose. Constantine is my new Firefly.
I’m also disappointed with the female characters on the main DC shows. (I exempt Constantine because Zed is awesome and they have not given in to doing some stupid romance plot with her… yet.) But over on Arrow, Flash, and Gotham, the treatment of the female characters has been incredibly frustrating. With the huge exception of Thea Queen (who probably has the best story arc and character development of ANYONE on any of these shows, male or female), the female characters on these shows seem to be all portrayed as crazy or broken or just under developed. There are characters in these shows that are amazing strong female superheroes in the comics, but then the writers just totally screw them up on screen. Black Canary is dead/a defensive alcoholic who can’t fight worth a damn, Selina Kyle seems to solely exist to be Bruce Wayne’s love interest, Barbara Kane (who I thought was going to totally be Batwoman) is having a nervous breakdown and a super creepy relationship with two teenage girls, Future Poison Ivy is the most amazing example of a lamp character ever, Montoya is just… missing for some reason, and Flash fails the Bechdel test on such an epic level it’s cringe worthy. There are tons more examples, but seriously, I don’t even consider myself a feminist and I find this offensive. Hopefully, iZombie will balance out the scales a bit.
Way over on the side of the spectrum, Harley Quinn #15 was amazing and brought diversity to the DCU on a massive scale. So much girl power. You should be reading this book. And it deserves a Netflix show. It could be like Daredevil meets Orange is the New Black. But only if the writers don’t totally screw it up.
Thing I’m geeking out on: ETSY, but specifically Mythica Metalworks
When I attend a Strategicon, I always make a it a point to visit this one booth in the dealer room that sells these awesome handmade goods from crochet cephalopods to arm warmers to really neat chain mail jewelry. This last trip I acquired a stretchy chain mail bracelet that I love. I love it so much, and have received so many nice comments on it, that I tracked down the maker – Mythica Metalworks – and have requested a few more. You can keep your Tiffany baubles – give me personalized commissioned art pieces any day. Check out her online shop, order some things, she is amazing.
Arrow, Constantine, DC Comics, ETSY, Flash, Gotham, Harley Quinn, Mythica Metalworks, Onyx Path, Vampire