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Everything posted by DanJW

  1. Movie/TV recommendations

    I went to see Attack the Block earlier this evening. I thought it was a really fun film. It's fairly short, so some of the themes and characters aren't developed as much as would have been nice. In the early parts of the movie some of the story-telling feels a bit rushed. But it's just got so much warmth and hits all the right notes. It's a proper classic schlock scifi monster movie like The Thing, Predator and Tremors. Like the latter it has a good balance of humour, scares, action and gore - just as Thunderpeel noted earlier. The setting is nice. Most folks who have been teenagers in Britain in the last 30 years can relate to the main cast I think. And if you live around that current teen culture then you've probably picked up a lot by osmosis (there were only a couple of lines in all that I didn't catch). I've never lived on an estate but I felt familiar with them and their world pretty quickly. The soundtrack was also perfectly suited. Good monster design too, with nods to the genre anchorpoints like Alien (lots of other references in the movie too, like 'Wyndham Tower') whilst still being effectively menacing and different enough to not seem like a rip-off. I really want to watch it again, if just for the last action sequence, which I think is near-perfectly shot and may well go down as a classic moment for many years.
  2. Tabletop RPGs

    For everyone, here's a couple of examples of how automata appear in the setting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automaton#Ancient_automata http://www.al-hakawati.net/english/Stories_Tales/laila77.asp So, such things are incredibly rare wonders of uncertain origin that fetch high prices amongst nobility. Iron is fairly rare so wood and leather (maybe stone, ivory, mother-of-pearl and shell) are going to make up the bulk of their parts.
  3. Wizaaaaaards!!

  4. Tabletop RPGs

    Good questions! Fewaters/Feyshores and all the other things they get called, normally exist as "pockets", a wrinkle in the cloth of reality. A fey cave might be much, much larger on the inside than the hill it supposedly exists inside. They are generally accessed through a specific entry point, that is very difficult to find or even invisible. A group of fey islands might only be visible when approached from a certain heading. Some pockets may be accessible by different doorways that are leagues apart, or only accessible at certain times, or when carrying a particular herb. The 'key' might be anything. A doorway into a fey realm can be identified by an arcana check. Fey races get a bonus. While such places exist as discrete pockets, some powerful fey claim to know how to travel between them without going via the mortal world. This involves travelling through even more dangerous and magical landscapes/seascapes, that become more and more unpredictable until they completely break down into the Elemental Tempest (my version of the elemental chaos). Most fey travel, if they need to, from pocket to pocket on certain dates in the dead of night, while all good mortals are sleeping. The most likely starting place is going to be the Autumn Straits. It's a wide scattering of small islands roughly analogous to Iron Age Northern Europe, with a generally Gaelic flavour. More remote islands there are closer to bronze age. Lots of fey pockets. Major exports are bronze, gold and silver, herbs and goats. There are a lot of goats. It is also the region most recently affected by war - 40 years ago it was the subject of an attempted invasion from the North, by a massive army (of various races, mostly goblin-types and monsters) raised by a huge black dragon named Korth. He was defeated and his skull rests in the feast hall of the largest northerly settlement, Redgate. To the North is the North Rime. It's a pretty dangerous place, with not many trade-lands and a lot of monsters. To the South are the Asorl Seas, the most civilized area on the map. To the South-West are the Westerlies. The Autumn Straits trade with both - in a friendly manner with Sorlish and in a more black-market way with the Westerlies.
  5. Tabletop RPGs

    You can never have too much healing! Besides Sombre hasn't gone all-out healing either. Sombre, I don't plan on including a lot of undead, so you'd be pretty safe changing to a more healing focussed Channel Divinity power. On the other hand if fighting undead is something you especially want to do then you can always make an effort to seek them out. I might tweak the dwarf culture a little - they still don't feel quite right to me. Still, the way they appear on the obsidian portal entry is pretty close. Altered a bit from standard D&D dwarfs, although it doesn't affect their stats at all. They're more like folkloric dwarfs. Whoever takes the role of defender should probably have a little bit of experience, or at least be tactically savvy - the defender is most responsible for teamwork to ensure that the squishy people don't get stomped ! I guess I'll be talking to everyone before we start to clarify a few background details about your characters. This can be individually or as a group, as you wish. Snooglebum, I'll get in touch with you soon to discuss the setup for the campaign and shoot ideas around. Once we have a whole party we can figure out an appropriate way to bring them all together. As I said before, if anyone has questions or ideas about the setting then ask away - it's all about the cross-pollination!
  6. Bitchy thread tags

    That's the other tenth.
  7. Bitchy thread tags

    90% of the time I forget they're even there, unless someone mentions them.
  8. Movie/TV recommendations

    Your friend is right about Grave of the Fireflies. You know you're in for a tough film when it opens with the child protagonist homeless and dying. For me The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo comes close to being this. It's pretty good, but also brutal (the original title of the book was 'Men Who Hate Women") Also Stalker. It's a long film and the tension build so slowly but inexorably that it just becomes too much. I can't watch it in a single sitting.

    Fuck. 2/3s said no. That really is shitty. This is one of those times, I imagine like the second Bush Jr term, when you think "do I belong in this country with these people who voted this way? Do I want to be in here with them?" OK maybe not quite that bad. But almost. Because it means that soooo many people just bought into the whole propaganda of "This is bad because we say so". But where else is there?

    Still awaiting results of AV referendum, although it doesn't sound good. On the plus side, my city (the first UK constituency with a Green Party MP) just became the first Green Party-led local council. Yay! It's funny how you can kind of tell the character of each part of the city by its election results (generalizing of course).
  11. Tabletop RPGs

    So that's two strikers. Do we have any defenders or leaders in the works?
  12. Edited

  13. The great Valve re-play

    Maybe you are approaching t as an FPS (where it went up against the likes of Quake, Unreal, Battlefield) rather than as a First Person Survival Horror, with action elements. Granted the survival horror part was downplayed in HL2. From what you said, it seems like the main issue you have is with the pacing.

    Well, germophobia can be a real problem, like OCD. I'm just surprised he even believes in germs, rather than disease spread by evil spirits and miasma.

    I like how he claims Meyer “...fell totally flat" despite the fact that we can hear the laughter on the video. A fine example of FOX spin.
  16. Tabletop RPGs

    The nice thing about the setting is that almost anything can exist on an island somewhere. It's kinda like the Star Trek principle - travel by ship is fast, but each location is essentially isolated and unique. Primal classes fit in best of any of the power sources bar martial. So no problem with barbarians. Goliaths - sure I hadn't thought about them, but there are pigmies (haflings raftlings] so why not an island of really tall big bastards? He's going to cause comment when he steps off the boat, but that's just part of the fun Toblix, no worries, we can work on his background between the group or we can find out who he is as we go - old-school style. Have a look at the kind of thing Marek and Spaff and people wrote (they went slightly tongue-in-cheek, which is fine if you want to). Some possible questions to ask are: How did your PC become what they are (ie a sorceror)? How did he wind up here (sailing about looking for adventure)? How does he deal with people? How does he react to dangerous situations?
  17. Tabletop RPGs

    I doubt it is as suicidal as it was in 3E. What's the source book for wild magic, I'll go check it out? edit: ah OK it's one of the default PH2 builds. Should be no problem at all. Some nice benefits in fact. Just watch out for those 1's to-hit - they'll push around any friends standing next to you. Fun! Any thoughts on who this crazy sorceror is and what s/he's like?
  18. Edited

  19. Edited

    To which, the only reply: Elmuerte, Haiku'd
  20. Edited

    I'm so proud of that thing. I can no longer find the thread that spawned it though. Probably in the archives somewhere.
  21. Edited


    I was working in a tiny boiling hot kitchen in a restaurant café. The head waitress told us that a plane had crashed into the WTC (we didn't know it was terrorism at that point). We watched some news during our break, but we were too fried to think anything other than "weird". On an unrelated note, the other kitchen staff were Turkish, Italian and Serbian (at least I think he was Serbian - he was always a bit cagey about exactly where he was from. This guy was like the inspiration for Nico Bellic; looked and sounded just like him. Nice guy though).
  23. General Video Game Deals Thread

    EA sale on Steam this week. I guess I'll finally get around to playing Dragon Age Origins. Sweet. (Why did they decide to give the first game a subtitle and then the sequel just got a number? Huh?)
  24. Movie/TV recommendations

    That was a pretty good double bill. I would say it was the best writing, or at least plotting, in Dr Who to date - if it wasn't for all the loose ends we have to wait on. Also it felt a little rushed, and really needed to be a three-parter. The defeat of the Silence was so incredibly clever, but it happened so quickly I nearly missed it. Is this an argument for making Dr Who even more long-arc, reducing the monster-of-the-week format that TV execs love so much?

    Heh yeah I expected more proof too. But still, if they were lying or mistaken, Osama could release a video saying as much and it would be a huge embarrassment (understatement!)