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Ryan Macklin
Game designer, writer, editor, publisher, podcaster, raconteur, deist, rake. One mouthy dude.
Game designer, writer, editor, publisher, podcaster, raconteur, deist, rake. One mouthy dude.

Ryan Macklin's posts

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My Brief Guide to Watching the Fast & Furious Movies

If you know me, you know I love the Fast & Furious movies. I've written about how they explain Technocratic vulgar "magick." I mean, I'm making a game where "car wizards" are a serious part of the setting. So yeah, they sing my heart's song.

But they're not for everyone, and to view them as I view them takes some explaining.

First, these aren't normal people. You are watching movies about car wizards—extraordinary mortals who don't play by the rules we do. So when you see blatantly bullshit stuff like "instead of trying to ditch the car before it goes over the cliff, let's ride it down and jump off into the ravine below," you have to suspend your disbelief at the same level that you would a superhero movie.

The action isn't the only unbelievable bits there. The dialogue is… well, what I tell people is "No, the dialogue is perfect. That's just exactly how car wizards talk to each other. You need to learn their culture." They're a people without nuance, who say exactly what needs to be said to get to the next beat.

If you can accept this, you can celebrate the movies as I do. And you can accept the plot jumps as "of course that needed to happen, car wizards gotta car wizard."

Sure, it's not without its problems, namely the sexploitation element. My wife pointed out "Oh, she's an important character. She's wearing clothes." Most women (including named characters) are there to be ogled by men on-screen and off. If that would make you not like the films, I definitely don't recommend them—there's no sense of watching something someone else likes if it has stuff in it you don't.

Now for the practical bit: Start with the fourth movie, Fast & Furious (not The Fast & the Furious). It follows from the events of the first couple movies. (Tokyo Drift[1] happens later; that's the one movie that isn't in chronological order.) But if you accept my caveats above, you don't really need to see them. Four is where the movies start to embrace their car wizards narrative, and is the kickoff for the arc that drifts through Furious Seven.

Spoilers for Fast One & Two Below

A real quick, somewhat hyperbolic summary of the first movie so you have a vague clue of what's going on in Four:
- Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has a crew of street hijackers, including is girlfriend Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) and a bunch of other people, it's cool I don't need to name them. They're pretty wicked.
- Enter Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), a cop who goes undercover to bust Dom's gang. Only shit gets complicated because feels. He may be a cop on the outside, but his heart beats to car wizard nitro.
- Dom's sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Brian get romantically involved.
- Eventually Brian's outted as a cop, but lets Dom go because car wizard dude feelings, and also man is Mia pissed. Sad about-to-be-ex-cop is sad.

And for 2 Fast 2 Furious:
- Dom and co aren't in the movie. It's about Brian.
- Brian's on the run from the feds. Surprise!
- But it's cool, Brian totally gets pardoned at the end because he uses his car wizardry for good.
- Also, Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) gets introduced here, who you'll see again in Five and on. He's great.

Now you know why Dom "can't go home" and people give Brian the stink eye (especially Mia).

If you do enjoy the movies, awesome. :)

[1] Disclaimer: I haven't seen Tokyo Drift yet. But now that I don't have to pay to rent it, I will.

Hey Dungeon World peeps, I have a sitch as a GM: One of my players, new to DW, is playing a paladin. Her and her character are pretty awesome, but none of the alignment options are doing it for her or for me.

She's a sarcastic, world-weary battle medic with mild PTSD. Her god (we discovered through some interactions and a spectacular moment of turning undead) is a nameless primordial force of creation, and doesn't care if it's worshiped. Her form of morning prayer is to complain about things, but her piety is still there—she does the job of good and healing and shit, even if she's not in the mood.

(I'd argue she's more honest about it than most paladins, but maybe she's just portraying the first paladin I've found interesting in some time.)

Soooooo… I need some suggestions for alignment names/XP triggers. Thoughts?

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A private Blue Rose RPG game with me is still available as a pledge level.

Other private games also available: Katanas & Trenchcoats with +Ryan Macklin; Mysteries of the Yōkai: An RPG Inspired by Japanese Folklore with +Andrew Sudangnoi; the yet to be released game, The Crew! Co-designed by Special Guest Carinn Seabolt; Bluebeard’s Bride with Special Guest +Whitney Beltrán or Special Guest +Marissa Kelly ; D&D 5E adventure in Waterdeep with Special Guest +Joseph Carriker; Mutants & Masterminds: Emerald City with +Steve Kenson; Play a game of your with GoH, +raven mimura!

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Wherein I get into some numbers for the Katanas & Trenchcoats budget, a.k.a. "It's not nearly as much as you think it is."

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I came back from Write the Docs with my mind full and blown, so I had to make an ambition sheet to sort through it all. That might be a useful technique for you.

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Reminder: +Anna Kreider and I are looking for artists for Katanas & Trenchcoats. We're closing the submission period tomorrow night. :)

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Ryan counts down the last few minutes of the Kickstarter campaign, taking questions and stuff #YOLF  

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The Katanas & Trenchcoats Kickstarter ends in 37 hours. We're so close to unlocking having the book in Darkest Color!

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Wherein I talk about what I want to accomplish on a personal and social level with Katanas & Trenchcoats.

Our world is filled so many wonderful people—many ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, different sexual orientations, and the full spectrum of genders. So I need a creative crew that isn't homogenous. More to the point, I want that crew of writers and artists to be a part of this vision.
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