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1  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: Today at 06:14:50 AM
  I honestly don't think DC is wrong to not mimic Marvel's formula.

  Marvel has deeply secured their space. DC is already playing catch-up, badly. Trying to catch up doing the same thing is not gonna earn them points even if it would lighten the mood a bit. 'Copy cat' is a damning description in the geekosphere even if we liked it.

  I'm actually looking forward to the broader base of civilization LOSING THEIR MINDS at the revelation of Superman and the brief, nearly world-ending invasion of Earth by aliens. That fact is the mere existence of Superman is the end of agency on Earth. Every single human being goes on about their business only because he chooses not to meddle. There is no flight option. Your choices are shiver and wait for the end, or fight - no matter how futile. And there's 10,000 examples of ego-insertion fiction you can find on the web that says any human with that power would act like an unmitigated jerk/tyrant when it becomes apparent no rules apply to you. Who can expect better from someone who lacks even the basic kinship imperatives that make us almost tolerable to each other?

  If any one wants to find me, I'll be submitting my resume to Cadmus, cc Lexcorp. Because after the millions dead in Metropolis, there are no half-measures when it comes to safeguarding against Krypton's misbegotten spawn as far as I'm concerned.
2  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 16, 2015, 02:03:31 PM
I really like the inverse livery on the TIE fighters - black bodies with white wing panels. Surprisingly striking and new despite retaining the classic silhouette.
3  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 07, 2015, 10:18:24 PM
Welcome to Now, where The Fast and the Furious is one of the best cinema franchises on the screen.

  I know I've seen FF1 but I don't remember it well, it got filed on comparatively typical cop/crook buddy/buddy fare. Maybe some clever betrayals thrown in. I don't think I've seen FF2 or 3 but my curiosity has been growing. I think I was about half way through FF4 when it clicked what it was a sequel to (It stood on its own quite respectably).

  But 5... oh man. five was a hit out of the park and they never slowed down. As an action movie fan I was intrigued to see how they'd handle a fight between new "I am the law!" Agent hobbs (The Rock, who is pretty much goddam awesome) and Vin Diesel's "Its all about family" speed-thug Dominic Torreto. I think it's the same choreographer because they NAILED IT...

(click to show/hide)

  I suggested some alternative to the plot that wound through FF6 but at the end of the day it was another excellent romp with cars, Cars, and OMGWTFBBQCARS!! Hobbs has evolved into an on again off again but ultimately honorable ally and the new villains do it right as an evil doppelganger Legion of Doom to the protagonist's Hall of Justice. And the stinger is a hook that couples it together with FF7 like cars on an unstoppable freight train on fire (and who doesn't like those?).

  And with all that history FF7 says "prologue? why? This rocket has already left the tube! you wouldn't be here if you didn't know we've brought in Statham to be the god-king of 'holy (*#$ he's coming to kill us all'." And he's more unstoppable than the Terminator because he's powered by the need to fight for his family too (sense a theme?).

  Dang, I'm still giddy. As I was watching I could feel it climbing the rungs of my Action Movie Ultimate Throw Down Ladder until it was kissing the rear bumper of Diehard... and then it just kept working.
4  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting. on: April 05, 2015, 03:32:41 PM
Given the size and the prime real estate, its reasonable to think a Dragon King appropriated the site for a nice summer residence.
5  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 05, 2015, 03:24:56 AM
  Just stepped in the door coming back from Fast & Furious 7...


  The banter was faster than gunfire, the affection was liquid gold, the machines were avatars out of mythology, the fight choreography was pitch goddamn perfect for every character, the locations were vast and epic, the soundtrack danced in the garden of themes they've built throughout the franchise, and everyone shined. They glowed.

(click to show/hide)

  I'm gonna let it cool a few days (who am I kidding? I'm going back to see it on the big screen again ASAP) but I do suspect it may displace from its throne in the galleries of my mind the original Diehard as the finest action movie ever made.

  So, yeah. I liked it.
6  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: March 28, 2015, 12:19:37 AM
  Ok, THAT trailer has serious spoiler content. Wave off if you want to keep your brain pristine for the movie!!
7  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: March 28, 2015, 12:16:10 AM
  I'm a little skeptical that ionized air has much in the way of enhanced kinetic absorption properties over ordinary air (which we know does such a great job of shielding you from flying shrapnel... Wink). Still, if there's money in it research will continue.

  OTOH the main replacement for jet turbines in Farthest Star involves a sort "air hardening" effect. Some in-setting characters have observed it works a little like running up a waterfall by freezing the points when you make contact for 'traction' and shoving off them fast enough to outpace gravity (yes, the "frozen" chunks are propelled downward a lot faster than the freely falling water around them). It wasn't until years after I settled on this propulsion system I realized if could be repurposed for ablative armor... Not force fields precisely but 'hard air screens'.
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Vids (Keep it Clean) on: March 27, 2015, 10:35:18 AM
You guy are about to start killing juvenile female cathar...
Not quite.  I mean, it did turn out that the Emperor was right about needing the fleets and the Death Star for the Yuzan Vong.

  I want it to be known that even if the new Star Wars movies are steaming piles of unadulterated bantha poodoo, I will still cherish them forever for invalidating the bottomless shithole that is New Jedi Order novels.
9  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Vids (Keep it Clean) on: March 27, 2015, 07:43:34 AM
  Honestly it depends on what their original deployment profile was intended for. As low cost raiders designed to subdue merchant vessels they make sense. They are also plausible scouts in a culture highly resistant to widespread use of droid pilots. The "Rebels" cartoon has hinted at various in-atmosphere air support duties where shields might not even be possible to deploy. And despite the lack of shields, most games present their hull structure as decently rugged. They don't all fly directly into asteroids and explode Wink.
  The later, more expensive TIE Aggressors also lack shields and are specifically intended for anti-shipping/raid duties adding a rack of 6 missiles.

  The wiki article on the overall TIE series comments:
Very few TIE starfighters were equipped with combat shielding, though they were included on the Avenger and Defender and could be retrofitted onto most TIE types. This lack of shielding was a factor toward the TIEs extreme speed. Retrofitting of this type was fairly common in the New Republic era, as ships and manpower became more valuable to Imperial forces.

  Once the Empire realized it had a fight on its hands with a resistance movement sporting actual space-superiority snub fighters, they started branching out into a lot of new designs. Interceptors still lack shields, but their performance is generally written as scary-good. After that the TIE Avenger (a general production version of the TIE Advanced), TIE Defender, TIE Hunter, and TIE Phantom all had shields.

  Amusingly the TIE fighter probably established in writer minds and then was partially justified in-setting by the long standing habit of the Sith cultures/rulers to produce high speed shieldless attack craft as their basic fodder. There are "Sith fighters" found in three other major eras in the setting (Old Republic, Great Hyperspace War and the Legacy era after the movies) that all lack shields and rely on speed. And if you guess the majority of them were powered by a pair of Ion engines, you'd be right Wink.
10  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] Seizing Initiatve on: March 26, 2015, 07:48:05 PM
  Hey Big_Jim,

  I think my best advice is the same thing we say to so many folks joining us from D&D who read the book and freak out- "Try it first, then judge." I'll be the first to say it needs playtesting. But it'll be a lot more helpful if that playtesting starts with the shared text we can all see.

  It's just not uncommon for systems I design to play out at the table a little differently than it looks like they will reading them on the page. In this case I don't think the added bookkeeping will be all that heavy because Initiative changes won't be all that common in actual play. Stall and Seize Initiative are costly, situational actions that I think any single player is unlikely to use more than twice in a fight (if at all). The rest of the things that can modify Initiative are the tools of specialists. And even when ebbs and surges do happen they fit the same basic principle as a player tracking their Vitality - people do stuff to you, dice are rolled, it goes down. You or your allies do something good for you, dice are rolled, it goes up.
11  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] Seizing Initiatve on: March 26, 2015, 07:20:00 PM
Ok, I've already been told by several players this isn't gonna fly in my normal game because of both the "added bookkeeping" of permanent initiative manipulation and the overpowering of the +2 to attack and +2 Defense against characters with a lower initiative. It was all a bit much in the awesome department - they felt that the +2/+2 was to good as a default effect. I kinda agree. It would be nice as a feat, though.

  Fortunately its all optional Smiley. If they like initiative bonus as a dump stat despite costing nearly as much as BAB... *shrug*

I think Aim (since you feel the need to change it) should ebb you. You are taking a moment after all.

  Whereas I find the opportunity cost of it consuming a half action when you could have just attacked already grinds this action's utility into the mud Wink. In every circumstance where you can hit a target with anything less than a roll of 20 and you have more than 1 ammo left RAW aiming is a losing proposition.

Total Defense's Interrupt mechanic is horrible. just fiddly  blarg crap and is only going to stall out the surprise rounds and combat even more. Hate it. Really, really, really hate it.

  Um. Most people are flat-footed at the beginning of combat (20th level Burglars and Explorers excepted). So it doesn't really affect the first round/surprise round of combat at all Smiley. People who do use it mid-fight as an interrupt don't do much else that round, and usually nothing that involves rolling dice, making combat play out faster, not slower.

All the feats should have the Ebb & flow requirement.

  No, they shouldn't.

Roughhousing, Rub It In, Nettle, and  Waiting Game all feel weak as feats - but would be great as advanced tricks.

  Wait. The joys of +2 to attack and defense are too powerful but feats that let you gain it are too weak?

And finally, I hate Total Defense's Interrupt mechanic.

  I admire your passion Smiley.
12  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] Seizing Initiatve on: March 26, 2015, 06:46:52 PM
It can even be 4 times per combat with What in the World is THAT?! as well.

  I'm pretty sure the language used doesn't support that. Neither trick says "additional time". 2nd and 3rd times are quite explicit.

Plus, I mean, beguiling is already a thing.

  Dance Off not having the action die escape clause makes it quite a bit more powerful than beguiling which lines up with its limited number of uses. I may cap the feat directly at 1/scene per target to lock out the tricks. If that happens it'll probably shed the E&F prerequisite
13  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Vids (Keep it Clean) on: March 26, 2015, 06:20:46 PM
  TIE bombers and interceptors don't have shields in their base configurations.
  TIE Advanced (all models), Defenders, and Phantoms do carry shielding as a standard feature.
14  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] Seizing Initiatve on: March 26, 2015, 05:02:07 PM
Really liking the new stuff!  Cheesy

Thanks Smiley. The concepts are evolving nicely under peer review.

Dance Off, Bro actually seems like it doesn't even need the Ebb & Flow campaign quality prerequisite. The mechanics are perfectly compatible with regular Distract, after all.

  I'm... hesitant... about allowing that off the leash provided by E&F's once per combat limit on distracting specials.

Also kind of neat that it's compatible to combo with Engaging Diversion and Fan Service -- catch a mixed group of standard and special characters and fixate the whole group, the standards with the Yowza! trick and the specials with Dance Off.

  Yup. Pass it over... now take it back! Everybody dance now! *bmmmp-bmmmp-bmp-bmp'bmp*
15  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Vids (Keep it Clean) on: March 26, 2015, 04:54:50 PM
Imperial propaganda at it's finest.

Examination of the documents clearly shows that the TIE/LN was a death trap that was only capable of tactical victory over the T-65 with massive numerical superiority or battlefield advantage.

  I think that's largely borne out in the video. Its clearly a special character (if low level) on the stick for the basic TIE that solos an "X wing" and there is no shortage of TIEs exploding on camera even with them having steep numerical superiority. The majority of the damage inflicted in the engagement was by capital ship turbolasers after using the TIEs as a screen to cover their approach through Rebel bomber wings.
  We also see that the spotlight TIE Interceptor pilot is an older veteran and experienced wing leader able to advise and encourage even ad hoc wingmen. The implication being as your combat hours stack up you graduate to the more expensive but more imposing Interceptor.
  ...TIE Bomber pilots are of course a breed apart (read "lunatics"). And not just because of the two X chromosomes Wink.

  Oh, and the X-wing miniatures game kicks much backside Cool.
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