Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Song of the week

I am working on a game related post, hopefully it will be up by this weekend.  In the mean time, your song of the week:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Song of the week

When I think of theme songs for my Vindicators super hero game, this song is almost always at the top of the list.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Communication is Key

I just dropped out of a Star Trek game, not because I did not like the premise or had a falling out with one of the players.  It was not due to a bad plot element or the GM including marines in the game.

No, it was due to the fact the GM disappeared.

This is an issue I have seen over the years with both GMs and player alike.  A person gets involved in a game and for one reason or another stops communicating altogether.  In this day and age of easy access to the internet I do not see any excuse for this.  Twenty years ago, maybe.  But internet access is available in most libraries as well as FedEx Office locations.  You might have access to the internet at work, or your friends probably have access to the internet, even your parents!  That does not include internet access through many phones.  When guys stationed in the field in Afghanistan and Iraq can check their e-mails, I find it hard to believe that anyone living in a more civilized region can't at least once in a while.

I am not talking about running a game through alternative internet sources, but if you are having trouble with your primary internet source then it behooves you as a player or a GM to at least let people know what is going on.  It is the polite, responsible thing to do.

"But Tom," you say, "My father died, I am not feeling much like chatting online." Bull.  If a loved one died or was put in the hospital you would notify work, wouldn't you?  You would notify your friends, right?  If you had social engagements you would contact those involved so you would cancel or reschedule, correct?  There is absolutely no difference here.  Just because you have not met any of your players face-to-face it does not makes them any less important.  Again, I am not talking about running a game or participating, just let people know what is going on so they don't worry.

And let's say you have grown bored with a game and no longer wish to play or run it.  What is the harm in letting players know how you feel?  Not letting your players know, leaving them in the dark could conceivably harm your chances of running a game later on down the line if you develop a reputation as a flake.  Just flat-out disappearing as a player could hurt your chances of being picked up for a game later on down the line for the same reason.  It makes you look like someone who views players as disposable, not important.

So please, if for one reason or another you are unable to participate in a game, do the proper, adult thing and don't leave people in the dark.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

X-Men: First Class

So I saw First Class this Friday, and I liked the film a great deal.  I will try and provide a review that does not give away much more than you have already seen in the trailers.

For those of you who have not seen the trailers (so for you this might be slightly spoiler-y) First Class tells the origins of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto, former best friends who now stand at opposite ends of the fight for mutant kind.  The tale takes place in 1962, and I think just about everything about the film was well done.  The performances were great, the look and feel of the era was captured well (although I think some of the hair styles may not have been sixties accurate).  A reviewer at IO9 compared the film to a James Bond flick, which made me smile when I read that because I did so after I saw the movie and during it my brother Donald said something along those lines when he compared Kevin Bacon to a James Bond villain. And that is a good thing, in my opinion.

If I have any complaint, it is that several of the proto X-Men do not get much opportunity to be fleshed out.  And Banshee is nothing like the Sean Cassidy I liked in the comics; instead he is little more than a teenager.  In watching the film I understand why that was done, but it was still a bummer not to get the classic Banshee, because likely we aren't going to get a classic Black Tom Cassidy as a bad guy (then again, we aren't going to get a classic Juggernaut, either, after that atrocious third X-Men film).  And one bad guy does not get a single line of dialogue. Heck even Goldfinger's Odd Job got to grunt once in a while. :/

Another thing I thought was awesome was the origin of Magneto's helmet. If you have seen the trailers he is wearing the bucket.  Where he gets it from is pretty neat, in my opinion.

I give the film a solid 8/10.  If the younger X-Men had been given a bit more opportunity to shine I think the film would have been better for it, but I can understand with time constraints why this was not done.  I am looking forward to the DVD release to catch the deleted scenes. I would love to go into more detail about the film but I do not want to give away the plot or discuss some of the more awesome aspects of the film.  I highly recommend you see this one in the theater.  With this film and Thor I think this Summer's movie season is much stronger than last year's.

Finally, do not bother staying to the end of the credits, there is nothing there like there had been in the last X-Men film or other Marvel movies.  I just don't want you wasting your time.