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Andrew Prosser

TV, Movies, Music  - 
 
I'm not a big TMNT fan, but this is freaking hilarious!
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Andrew Prosser

TV, Movies, Music  - 
 
Loving the new single from Motionless In White. Can't take it off repeat!
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Chris Groff's profile photoAndrew Prosser's profile photo
2 comments
 
So +Monica Groff has told. Maybe one day...
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Ed Northcott

Video Games  - 
 
I'm wondering if anyone else here has been checking out Overwatch. I've heard a few people raving about it so far.

What's interesting is that they've thrown all the details on their fictional world and the characters up online, creating a rich background for them, and just let people's imaginations run wild in a team shooter. Given what I've read of Blizzard's thoughts behind the design of this game, I'm suspecting we're going to see this get fleshed out a lot more over time, if it continues to grab attention.
Overwatch™ is a team-based shooter where heroes do battle in a world of conflict.
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Rob Wakefield's profile photoChris Groff's profile photo
7 comments
 
Speaking of the Division I just saw yesterday that they are planning on making a movie of it. The Division certainly has enough story elements and characters to bring into it to make a modern urban warfare kind of movie with a conspiracy twist. In a more grizzly sense the Cleaners could be positively terrifying on the big screen.
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Rob Wakefield
moderator

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
A recap from the next leg of our group's adventurous D&D5e adventures, as written by +Ed Northcott;

Our intrepid dwarven lynch pin, Sarge, once again collected a motley crew of fools to help him clean up the mess that his other so-called "friends" had left. Not droop, but the various messes of an adventuring sort.

Rin seems to have shuffled off (probably with some loot), Ekememnon simply wandered off (likely for fiendish purposes), Korum disappeared on an "extended hunting expedition" (conveniently after a certain lass in town used the phrase "We need to talk about us."), and Varis may very well have disappeared into the mysterious miasma that has begun to leak out of the crevice beneath the keep.

So Sarge gathered three more fools... er, intrepid heroes... to join him in clearing out the flaming skull from the spell forge: Eramus, a mad but powerful spellcaster who converses with voices that nobody else can hear; Ulf Grimfang, a skilled woodsman and deadly hunter, possessed of bestial blood and a hatred of werewolves; and Sir Dane Lionheart, a young knight and lordling devoted to Torm and the Order of the Gauntlet, who's family has fought alongside Sarge for two generations now.

Ulf agreed to help Sarge, in exchange for reinforcements when he attempted to track down the beasts (possibly werewolves -- or maybe the work of a certain dragon) who had been attacking travellers.

The group functioned well as a team. Sarge and Sir Dane functioned as a bulwark against threat, while Ulf and Eramus attacked from a distance. They made short work of the skull, shattering it swiftly and dousing it in holy water to prevent it from rising again.

After a brief rest with the dwarves, the group set out to investigate the rumours of danger on the roads. Sure enough, they soon came upon an overturned cart laden with farming supplies, two half-eaten horses, and evidence of people having been attacked.

Two days into the woods, they found the mangled corpses of the couple; likely farmers who were coming to start a new life in Phandalin. The tracks indicated that the beasts that did it were not so large as to be a dragon, but were quite dangerous in themselves, and had returned to the site of the attack several times, as well as dragging this poor pair off to devour them. It was not the behaviour of normal animals.

Ulf continued to track the beasts, following a stream, with the other three following to provide support, until they reached the foothills. Eventually they found a waterfall pouring from a cave some 15' up a steep cliff face, and evidence pointed there. Upon investigating, Ulf discovered three owlbears; two of normal size, and one unusually large one.

The rest waited outside. Flasks of oil were poured on the ground, and wooden stakes set behind it; behind which Sarge and Sir Dane took up position, with Eramus further back to provide support from range. Ulf attempted to sneak in and lure the beasts out... but stepped on a stray branch and attracted the attention of the owlbears.

He barely survived his flight from the cave -- though survive it he did, managing to get behind Sarge and Sir Dane, while Erasmus used a spell to light up the oil once the owlbears were on top of it, attacking the pair of warriors. The stakes and fire helped weaken them, but the battle was still fierce, with both Sarge and Sir Dain taking a beating from the beasts, while Erasmus and Ulf peppered them with spells and arrows. Though things looked tight, the group managed to dispatch the monsters without taking casualties.

Upon investigating the owlbear cave, they discovered a cot and supplies, as well as a pouch of goodberries, and a hole in the cave ceiling. Evidence pointed to a Druid making it his home. The group lay in wait, but the Druid was wise to their presence, and used powerful spells to attack them in the night; giant centipedes followed by a wall of flame. As the group were dangerous enough to have dispatched the owlbears, the druid was wary enough to do corall them from hiding, and demand they leave immediately or die. As the group was soundly getting their asses kicked, they pretended to have dignity and left after reviving Erasmus (who had lost consciousness when struck by the wall of flame), with Sir Dain telling the Druid to appear in Phandalin, to answer for the actions of his owlbears.

The Druid was wary enough (aka, the DM decided not to go for a TPK) to avoid engaging the group further, whereas the group then set about limping two days through the woods to get back to Phandalin, heal up, and report word of the Druid to the Order of the Gauntlet, the Harpers, and anybody else with a vested interest in the common good and the firepower to stop him.

Lots of combat, lots of danger, no loot. The group is down a few wooden stakes and a couple flasks of oil (which are easy enough to replace). All in all, Sir Dain is quite chuffed about the experience; deadly and tense as Hell at points, but the common good has been served, and dangers to the people of the area either removed or significantly weakened.

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Ed Northcott's profile photoChris Groff's profile photo
5 comments
 
I like the current line up. The characters have some more interesting dynamics then the last bunch. 
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Rob Wakefield
moderator

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
Seven new character backgrounds for Curse of Strahd. Some interesting. Some just plain odd. There might be something for our group in here for anybody creating a new character who perhaps comes from within Barovia.

By the way? Phlan? Worst name for a city EVAR.
Those who live near the town of Phlan are the hardiest of folk. With control of the town by the green dragon Vorgansharax townsfolk are every more on their own, doing whatever they can to survive u…
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2 comments
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Rob Wakefield
moderator

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
I think I know what adventure our gaming group should tackle next.
Droop's Dilemma - Introduction: Droop has been living the dream by goblin standards ever since he came to live in the rebuilt Cragmaw Cast
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Rob Wakefield's profile photoChris Groff's profile photo
10 comments
 
To be fair he is a trained catapult calibration technician. 
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Ed Northcott

TV, Movies, Music  - 
 
Batman vs. Superman review

The Good: 
This is basically a giant Batman wankfest... and as Snyder is an unabashed Batman & Frank Miller fanboy, that means the movie is much better than critics are saying. It's drawn heavily from the Dark Knight Returns series by Frank Miller, with a dash of the Doomsday plotline from Superman comics. The two work surprisingly well together -- no doubt partly due to the influence of Chris Terrio, the award-winning writer of Argo, who was brought in by Warner to try and fix the mess that was this script. He mostly succeeded. 

People who were wringing their hands over Affleck as Batman can finally get past their butthurt. Affleck is arguably the best Batman we've seen on film yet. He rocked this role, and rocked it hard

Wonder Woman doesn't have much screen time, but what time she does have is full of awesomeness. People are excited for the WW movie, and there's no doubt as to why; Gal Godot is fantastic in the role, and Warner's making her  a wonderfully tough character. 

As this is a Zack Snyder film, it's visually gorgeous. From Batman's rage rampages to dramatic, saviour-like visions of Superman descending to save people, it's just frickin' gorgeous. The only thing that could have made it better was not desaturating every goddamned thing. Even with that, however, it's beautiful. 


The Bad: 
The movie is blatantly a set-up for others to follow. That in itself isn't bad, but Snyder does it in a way that can be pretty heavy-handed at points, and at others even seasoned comics fanboys will miss the big clues being dropped -- because he's using obscure imagery, or it's buried in vast visual spectacles where even giant signs carved in the ground are easy to miss. Hint hint.

For people who aren't hardcore comic nerds, it's easy to see how this story could turn them off... when even the hardcore nerds are missing bits and pieces throughout the movie. Storytelling needs to be clear and concise, and those are two of Snyder's weaknesses. 

Then there's Superman. Once again, Snyder proves that he just doesn't 'get' the character. Batman? Certainly. He understands Batman on a very visceral level... it's easy to. Batman's the ultimate teen fantasy wankfest: dresses all in black, comes out only at night, is super-cool, intimidates everybody, knows every martial art ever invented, gets all the girls, has all the cool toys, and is three steps ahead of everybody else at all times. He's teen emo angst and superiority complex given validation... and that's fun!   We've all been there. 

Superman, however, is tougher to write. He's an insanely physically powerful character, so the challenges have to be on a surprisingly human scale.  Superman's not an adolescent power fantasy -- he's the fantasy of unstoppable altruism. The idea that out there somewhere is someone who not only has the power to make change, but who cares enough to put himself out there time and again to do so... and succeeds. He's about social responsibility, compassion, and action on those things. It really shouldn't be that hard to write a likeable character who's a nice guy -- in real life, they're the easiest people in the world to like. It's a mark of a writer's failing that they can't do so. 

So Snyder resorts to 'humanizing' Superman by continuing to have him act inconsistently, and lessening him. Snyder basically tells us that the only reason Superman is a hero is because of Lois -- without her he'd be a homicidal tyrant, and she's apparently the only reason he bothers saving the world.  His handling of Superman continues to fall flat... and that affects the timbre of the movie. We're not nearly as moved by the Man of Steel's struggles as we should be, because it's so frickin' hard to believe that Clark himself gives a damn. 

He really should have stopped to take a cue from the comics or the animated version of the character. The animated feature, Superman: Doomsday, while not a brilliant piece of work, did a pretty solid job capturing Superman's dedication to the common good.


All in all,  Batman vs. Superman was fun. A lot of fun. I'd give it three stars out of five... maybe even four.  The haters are beating up on it unnecessarily. The cast is fantastic, the visuals are beautiful, and the story is passable. It could have been a great film, perhaps even a classic, with better writing. Films that miss the mark tend to leave a bad taste in people's mouths, but the truth is that it's not nearly as bad as critics are saying. It's worth a view on the big screen.
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Chris Groff's profile photoEd Northcott's profile photo
2 comments
 
Man of Steel is a pretty bad movie. I say this as someone who really, really wanted to love it, but just couldn't. It was obvious from the first movie that Snyder just doesn't 'get' the character, and turned him into something boring and depressing. 

The last 40 minutes are non-stop action scene of exploding buildings and super-powered chaos... to the point where you get bored with it. If massive super-powered battles are becoming boring, the director probably needs to re-think his vision. That and the plot holes you could drive a Mac truck through make it an absolute disaster of a movie, saved only by an excellent cast and pretty visuals. 

It works as a set-up for Batman vs. Superman, but outside of that Man of Steel is entirely forgettable. 

Warner really needs to pull Zack Snyder off of Superman. He's killing any hope of a decent Superman movie.
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Chris Groff
owner

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
I picked this up on the weekend and started going over it.  Think it may have been love at nearly first site.  Haven't read enough to give a more formal opinion but I like what I've seen so far and flipping through it gives the impression of a solid series of adventures in a cursed land.  Lots of maps and artwork, the adventure is flexible and I love the idea of a variable seed to set things in motion.  I can see this being really fun to run.  

Fair Warning ->
+Andrew Prosser +Rob Wakefield +James Brett +Ed Northcott 
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Ed Northcott's profile photoChris Groff's profile photo
26 comments
 
That's fair
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Chris Groff
owner

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
Juntah Hix will take full advantage of this.  Then again if/when we get back to Star Wars a player reboot may be in order for the lot of us.
 
Finally the Technician book for Edge of the Empire has been announced.  Been waiting for this one a long time.  Sounds like some potentially awesome content in side for item/droid/ship crafting/modifying.  
Preview the Rules for Crafting Droids and Weapons from Special Modifications
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Rob Wakefield's profile photoChris Groff's profile photo
2 comments
 
More time, More time!
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Fraser Ronald
moderator

Podcast Episodes  - 
 
This time we're talking about Kickstarters - what we like, what we don't, and why we back.
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Fraser Ronald's profile photoVictor Wyatt's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Rob Wakefield You need to invest in some restraining bolts.
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About this community

Welcome to the Accidental Survivors Community. About Gaming, Entertainment and whatever else crosses our minds.

Fraser Ronald
moderator

Podcast Episodes  - 
 
Had some drinks with some other game designers and we got to talking, it got recorded, we figured we could use it . . . and now . . .

It's Alive!

Ottawa Game Publishers. Let's see what happens with this.
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Rob Wakefield
moderator

Podcast Episodes  - 
 
On a whim, I decided to listen to the 2008 Gen Con Wrap-up Episode with +Fraser Ronald, +Colin Couchman, and myself. The David Faustino discussion has me laughing out loud – again.

"They're offering a hamburger."
"Is there cheese on it?"
"No."

"Okay, I'll do it. Can I get a Coke?"
"No."
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I think we were sleep-deprived and a little giddy. There were lots of great moments that weren't recorded as well.
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Fraser Ronald
moderator

Podcast Episodes  - 
 
Our farewell episode is up, and it's our longest one ever at one hour and 42 minutes. Lots of rambling and nostalgia.
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6 comments
 
Yeah. That ending really felt like an ending.
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Ed Northcott

TV, Movies, Music  - 
 
I wasn't exactly thrilled when they announced a remake of the Magnificent 7... but it looks like they may have pulled it off.
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Todd Crapper (The Warden)'s profile photoFraser Ronald's profile photo
9 comments
 
He was the Bad in the Good, the Bad, the Weird. And he was Stormshadow in the GI Joe movies.
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Rob Wakefield
moderator

Drink Check  - 
 
What a time to be alive.
A Scottish craft brewer has created the world's first spreadable beer to mark the opening of its new Beer Kitchen.
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Chris Groff's profile photoAdam Aronovski's profile photo
2 comments
 
Local brewery near me already has some made from the various beers they make
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Chris Groff
owner

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
Some new 5e player options for a Gothic setting.

Some neat stuff in here.
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Ed Northcott's profile photoChris Groff's profile photo
3 comments
 
Yes that's out of the book, well that one is errata'd a bit but the background is in the book. James used that background for his character.
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Fraser Ronald
moderator

Podcast Episodes  - 
 
I ended up doing a very quick and lonely episode talking about Breakout Con.
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4 comments
 
I definitely enjoyed it. Lots of good gaming going on.
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Chris Groff
owner

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
I picked this up on the weekend and spent some time digesting it (which didn't take long as it's only 96 pgs). 

The content is all good with a lot of coverage for tech's.  It gives you new races, new classes, and skills for tech's.  It also has new background info, motivations etc... all the things you could want for flushing out tech characters.

In addition it has a bunch of new tech, from gear to robots, to cybernetics and ships.  So that's well covered.  But for me the real wealth this brings is the rules for crafting items from scratch to come up with something new.  You do this by taking basic templates for the type of item you are trying to build and then through resources and skill checks you can attempt to make it.  Usually you'll end up with something that's slightly better then an off the shelf item but possibly with a quirk as well.   This could be a forcepike that accidentally shocks you to an astromech that's a kleptomaniac.  Or maybe a cybernetic leg that is really good but occasionally locks up.  The rules are simply but comprehensive and create the type of gear that has a personality to it that I'd expect tech's to make.

They have also added a pretty good area on slicing for those that want to add a cyberpunk flare to their Star Wars vs.  I could take or leave this chapter personally for my Star Wars games.  But I could also see using this system to run a modern Cyberpunk game so they are handy to have.  

They flush out the book with ways to cater stories to tech's by giving them ways to shine and things to do.  It's a welcome chapter that helps flush out the non-combat sides of Star Wars.  Overall this is a good concise book with a lot of information in it's 96 pages.  As a lover of tech classes I was happy to see this book finally come out and they did it justice.   It finally rounds out the game.
Without the brilliance of Technicians, the Star Wars® galaxy would be unrecognizable. Their work has created sentient artificial beings, put the most distant systems within reach via hyperdrive, and defined the ways that wars are fought. Yet even with such advanced technological marvels, there is no replacement for good, old-fashioned, ...
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4 comments
 
Clearly we just need to play twice as often.  
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Chris Groff
owner

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
This looks like it has a lot of potential.  
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Ed Northcott

Table Top Gaming  - 
 
Already at 8x their Kickstarter goal, with 19 days left to go.
1
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