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Richard Aiken
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Just went and saw Rogue One. I'm not going to give any spoilers, but I simply must make a couple of comments: 1) the plot plays out (to my mind) as if it was using SW core with Gritty Damage engaged - e.g. these are not your usual Star Wars blaster battles and 2) Alan Tudyk's motion capture turn as a re-programmed Imperial battle droid is hilarious.

In a recent comment, I posted a link to a page with a cartoon version of the Village of Hommlet. I am now DYING laughing actually reading it [http://media.wizards.com/2015/images/dnd/articles/Toon_Hommlet_full.jpg]. A typical entry: "10. Giant lizard and giant tick attack [following giant frogs and giant snake]. Illutionist speculates that the boundary of the planes may be thin, allowing incursions from a 280mm scale universe."!

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Richard Aiken commented on a post on Blogger.
Nowadays - after three decades or so of official and fan-created material - the geographic database for Harn [http://columbiagames.com/harn/] is staggering. But the original published setting dealt mostly with its [heavily historically medieval] society and history, with location information revealed in a separate "Harndex" booklet, a compilation of every location noted on the overall map, each with a couple of lines of description. Now I have to wonder: which came first? The locations or the map?

+Pete Nixon Since you seem to be really into WWI, I thought I should mention that lately I've been reading "Into The Breach: American Women Overseas In World War I," by Dorothy and Carl J. Schneider. It's been a fascinating read so far. Of particular interest from the POV of roleplaying, much of the conflict appears to have been run by amateurs . . . with the unvoiced comment I could not help hearing in my head regarding how much better things might have gone if ALL of it had been so run. One tale that sticks out particularly is that of the Smith College Relief Unit, which got a lot closer to the front than previous accounts have apparently ever credited: [pg 78] "the Smith women were literally retreating with the British army, inch by inch."

I went to see Suicide Squad yesterday. Although nothing could have lived up to the film's pre-release hype, I did find it really good. But the thing that really got me was finally seeing the performance by Jared Leto that everyone involved has been praising endlessly. And I agree that Leto portrayed the Joker amazingly.

But of perhaps even more interest to rpg gamers is how his portrayal impacted the rest of the cast. The film's directer kept Leto's exact role under wraps even from the cast, until the actual moment he appeared on set in character. Leto went along with this request for mystery to the nth degree, not only keeping himself away from the rest of the cast but also doing odd Joker-like things on impulse (like sending Margot Robbie a gift box containing a live rat). The effect of all this tension was that his ultimate appearance had a truly monumental impact. Viola Davis perhaps put it best when she said (paraphrased from memory): "When Jared finally appeared in that tuxedo firing that gold-plated machine gun, for just a moment I was in shock, thinking: 'Into what alternate dimension have we just been dropped?!"

Which observation caused something of an epiphany for me. I have always assumed that professional actors are essentially paid roleplayers. Thus I could not get how people like Ron Glass (Shepherd Book of Firefly/Serenity) just couldn't seem to grasp the point of rpgs. Now I understand: the accent in the usual case is on "professional" rather than upon "roleplayer." Actors are normally so concerned with the mechanics of getting their performance down on film correctly ("Am I on my mark? Am I looking in the correct direction? Am I in someone else's light? Etc, etc, etc?") that they seldom if ever actually inhabit the roles they are playing, in the way that tabletop gamers (at least the Method Actors and Storytellers) often do. Therefore, what so startled Davis is the transcendent experience of suddenly being Elsewhen . . . the very same experience that gamers (should they be lucky enough to experience it) will talk about for years afterwards.

I just discovered that the netflix library of online content includes the movie "Event Horizon" (1997). If you want to put some horror into your spacefaring science fiction (such as Last Parsec), this is the film for you!

Someone recently posted a suggestion about using SJGames Car Wars in place of the SW chase rules. I've been aware of Car Wars for eons (I ran GURPS for many years), but had never actually read the rules. So I went to do so . . . and I realized that Car Wars goes beyond even GURPS highly-OCD one-second turns to break the combat action down into ONE-FIFTH second "phases." So . . . methinks some conversion work would be necessary to keep the FFF flowing here.

T-shirt slogan for your next redneck character (based on a comment made by a local-to-me radio personality): "Whup-Ass Canning Company: Meet the guy who CANS the whup-ass."

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Someone posted recently about looking for a good SW conversion for Star Wars and in response I posted a link to:
http://savageheroes.com/conversions/savage-star-wars-6.0.pdf
However, I've since taken the time to read some sections of the above and I thought I might share a marked difficulty I found with the treatment of droids.

Now, I don't really mind how the work explains why droids are generally happy as slaves (e.g. their limited intellects prevent them from realizing their disadvantageous situation). But rather than leaving this as a roleplaying notation, the work goes on to rule that because of this limitation droids can't earn Advances through Experience but must instead use credits to purchase improvements. The authors seem to have forgotten that in SW PCs don't have to do anything special - such as the level-up training required by certain other games - before chosen Advances go into effect. Imposing such a rule on droids could actually become a source of friction in a party, both because the other characters can get better much easier and also because the work also states that droids normally don't have any access to money . . . meaning that a droid PC can only get better if the other player characters generously allow their slaves to spend thousands of credits on self-improvement.

If I were to run a Star Wars game, I would treat droids as per Last Parsec, as ordinary characters who just happen to have the Construct Edge. Their Advances would still be justified in-game as upgrades to programming and/or equipment, but the money or favors this requires would be earned and spent off-screen . . . just as whatever other characters would logically be required to do to Advance is assumed to be handled off-screen.

Just finished watching Jessica Jones on Netflix. And it occurred to me that it would be rather hard to run this single-season series as a SW campaign . . . since the Final Solution would occur to the players about three seconds into the first session, with the rest of the campaign consisting of the GM trying desperately to delay them locating Kilgrave.

And to save myself from falling into a "show hole," I just started watching Daredevil through the same service. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica "Baby Vamp" Hamby from True Blood) playing a secretary with surprising depths:

Wesley: "Now, Miss Page . . ." BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
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