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Media Musings + General Update - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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November 9th, 2015


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02:54 am - Media Musings + General Update
First off, I'm excited to see the upcoming World of Warcraft movie Warcraft: The Beginning – you might ask why – I don't play WoW, and most such films are sub-dreadful. However, this one is directed by Duncan Jones , the director of both Moon and Source Code, and now the trailer's out. teaotter said it looked good, so I started watching it – there was a specific point when it went from dull and predictable to interesting and unexpected – 40 seconds in and I was interested, especially with Duncan Jones in charge. See for yourself what you think.

Today, teaotter and I also watched The Last Witchunter, with Vin Diesel (amberite has far less interest in more fun than good action films and didn't go with us). An online friend and colleague described this as Vin Diesel's D&D campaign on film, which given that Diesel actually plays D&D seemed far from impossible. I went into it expecting a typical Vin Diesel film – fun, inoffensive 9which is all too rare in action films), and non-terrible, but not better than that. I got was I wished for, with one exception. It was fine in terms of gender, but for a film mostly set in NYC, there were far too few people of color in the background, and it had a single character of color, who got killed. Not OK, and unexpected for film with Vin Diesel, but the absence of overt racism and sexism was nice and not nearly common enough in US action films.

Afterwards, teaotter and I talked about it – it will almost certainly have a sequel, but we both agreed that it would make a better TV series (which is admittedly my reaction to most films, since I find long-term storytelling more interesting), and that a better ending and good set-up for a longer story would be having spoiler - highlight to read:
Chloe eat the Witch Queen's heart, gaining her power, and some of her memories (or rather the memories of all of the previous Witch Queens) rather than Kaulder simply locking it up. Also, attempting to rid the world of humanity in 1200 CE seems far too late, and this makes much more sense if there had been a dozen or more long-lived Witch Queens through history, and this one was relatively new and bat-shit crazy in 1200.

This also got us talking about the use of magic in the universe of the CW's Arrow (quite a good show) and the Flash (a far less good, but mildly fun show). All comics face the problem of overload – aliens + supertech + magic + super powers tends to end up with a setting that makes little sense and hangs together very poorly, which is one of the reasons I liked reboots like the Marvel Ultimate-verse – they simply this (at least for a while). The CW's "Arrowverse" has supertech, metahumans with powers, and magic. Thankfully, they have avoided aliens, and seem likely to continue to do so. However, given that they've already mentioned the "Speed Force" (although without any of the associations) on The Flash - personify it a bit as something like Hermes, and you've got magic. More to the point, it we both agreed that the "Arrowverse" would work better if metahuman powers were basically innate magic unlocked by exposure to weird energies. Then, you add in the bit about superscience tapping into the same forces as magic (albeit in a very different fashion) and you've got a nicely unified cosmology. Of course, this is hardly original, I thought of this as a nifty way to adapt the Conspiracy X RPG into a supers setting, and more recently Charles Stross used similar, if darker logic to add superpowers , to his mythos-inspired Laundry Files series.

In other news, while the purchase of White Wolf (and thus of the old World of Darkness RPGs, the new World of Darkness RPGs, and Exalted) by Paradox Interactive has caused concern about the future of Onyx Path's licenses for producing these RPGs (and thus a fair amount of my work), I'm very pleased to note that the game I'm developing (Trinity Continuum: Æon), and in fact the entire Trinity Continuum & Scion game lines are all owned by Onyx Path and so entirely independent of any such concerns.

In addition, I've written two pieces (one inhabited star system and a bunch of gadgets and vehicles) for the Mindjammer RPG - transhuman space opera is one of my loves, and while I'm entirely uninterested in the FATE rules, it's easy to write setting material for, and I'll also be helping with the conversion to the Traveller RPG rules, which I'm really looking forward to, since that's a rule system I like and which makes sense to me. The Traveller conversion is going to be part of an upcoming Mindjammer Kickstarter, I'll provide more info when I know it.

In other news, after taking prerequisite classes in early 2014, accounting classes in 2015, teaotter has now taken 2 of the 4 tests necessary to get her license to become a CPA (and eventually manage her boss's very lucrative business once he retires) – each test must be passed with a 75 and less than 50% of people pass each test on the first try (and only about 10% pass all 4 tests on the first try). Becca got a 90 on the first test, and while she thinks she might have done a bit less well on the 2nd, that still pretty much guarantees a 75 – her 3rd test is Sunday, and her 4th is on the 29th (3 days after Thanksgiving). With luck (but rather less luck than with most people, since teaotter is exceptionally brilliant), she'll pass them all this time and from December onwards will time to relax, socialize, and next year, start running a new RPG campaign of some sort or other (perhaps even with magically-powered supers).

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:andrewducker
Date:November 9th, 2015 11:20 am (UTC)
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I think that the Warcraft movie has potential, and I'm glad they're sticking to at least that part of the original plot.

Last Witchhunter I'm intrigued by, but not enough to go pay for cinema tickets.
[User Picture]
From:mrteufel
Date:November 9th, 2015 11:31 am (UTC)
(Link)
"In addition, I've written two pieces (one inhabited star system and a bunch of gadgets and vehicles) for the Mindjammer RPG - transhuman space opera is one of my loves, and while I'm entirely uninterested in the FATE rules, it's easy to write setting material for, and I'll also be helping with the conversion to the Traveller RPG rules, which I'm really looking forward to, since that's a rule system I like and which makes sense to me. The Traveller conversion is going to be part of an upcoming Mindjammer Kickstarter, I'll provide more info when I know it."

Oooh, I'm glad I'm still following your blog! This interests me greatly!
[User Picture]
From:darkoshi
Date:November 10th, 2015 04:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
Heh, yes. At about 40s into the WoW trailer, my interest got piqued.

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