JP On Gaming

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Adventure Design Fail: Writing for myself

So as a special holiday treat, I decided to run a D&D game and offer the game to locals. I had an idea, a plot, a villain, and an something I wanted to accomplish. It was set in Olympia, which can just tell any story.

So I wrote all that down.

Created a stat block, a map, and embellished the story with a few interesting setting insights.

Then this morning, I woke up thinking. "There is not one unique, fantastical element in this. It's the most historical adventure I ever written." Now, there were fantasy elements: magic and unique races, but really, nothing stood out to me. As a one-shot, there wasn't much to do. It was really something for me, the writer/ GM/ setting man, but not for the PCs.

So what does a dumbass author do? He decides to re-write everything because he had another idea! Now this is not lost work... I believe the re-write puts the star and main decision in the hands of the PCs. So I will run with that...

So getting ready for the game right now... I think this will be much more interesting for THEM.

Will I succeed? That's still to be determined.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Doctor Who Flux - Consolidated Review

I am creating this post to provide a single link to the reviews of the Season.

- Halloween Apocalypse

- War of the Sontarans

- Once, Upon Time

- Village of the Angels

- Survivors of the Flux

- The Vanquishers

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

[Review] Batman City of Crime

I bought this book in the bargain bin at my local comic shop. A modern Batman story...

I must say that I did not enjoy this one. It's a mess. There is no action, and when there is, it is very slow . Most of the story is told by a disembodied narrator. And he talks. A LOT. The characters just talk and talk and talk. Full of one pages cover shots but the action doesn't flow.

One of the good thing was the use of classic Batman villains like the Penguin, Mr Freeze, and the Ventriloquist.

In the end, EVERYTHING about this is futile. That's the takeaway from this. I must say by the end, I was depressed by it. Just futile.

I would've given this a 1/5 but the art is the best part, earning this book a weak 2/5. I want my superhero stories to advance and to give me some hope or something to change. This didn't. I didn't like it.

Monday, December 20, 2021

[Review] Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 4

This volume is one I received last year as a gift. I have been reading and enjoying a lot of these Essentials. Reading these classic stories and their modern reimagining is always interesting.

I dig the Fantastic Four, but most of this volume is forgettable. The stories are fine. The biggest development is the birth of the son of Mr Fantastic and the Invisible Woman.

The other development is the replacement of the Invisible Girl with Crystal as a member. Crystal plays the damsel in distress and to be honest, she is not overly interesting.

As I try to remember any interesting plots, I frankly cannot. There are some interesting guest-stars, such as Daredevil, the Inhumans, Black Panther, and the Silver Surfer.

Everything is there, but nothing stands out. It's just bland.

So I thought of giving this one a 3/5 when I was done reading it, but after a month or so (yeah, I've been slacking in doing these). But due to the blandness, I must settle on a 2/5. There's nothing wrong, but there is nothing great about it.

Friday, December 10, 2021

[Review] Doctor Who Flux: The Vanquishers

So we are finally at the last part of Doctor Who Flux. Six episodes later and we come to the end. This episode was, to be honest, much better than the previous episodes. I originally thought it was just because it was the end of this but no. I found myself drawn into the story.

The problems plaguing the Chibnall era are still present: too many characters sharing the screen. We have Dan, Dead-fish Yaz, Kate Stewart, Cute Asian and Kinda Black Guy, Dog-Chewbacca, Dan's girlfriend, Prof Jericho, the old man from Liverpool, and three Doctors. So. Many. People.

However, in all fairness here, they all do something to advance the plot, even if sometimes having one of the Doctors with one NPC would create relations and connections. Dan barely speak to the Doctor, and I don't remember any scene where they shared anything that would make them become friends. They adventure together pretty much the same was as a GM saying "so you guys are in a tavern and something happens."

I really find myself wanting more Dan. Yaz sucks the life out of every time she is there.

How they resolve the Flux is just bad. Predictable and boring. So the blue and purple villains as just poofed by another creature we never met - though there are hints of the Master. This was a positive. Just too many things happening at once and resolution are just thrown together so fast. These should've been contained in their own episode.

One scene that proves to me that Chibnall simply can't write heartwarming scenes. In the epilogue again the Doctor tries to have a heartfelt conversation with Yaz who still can't emote. The scene is interrupted by Dan. I expected the scene to show us how the Doctor grew and learned from her previous experience with Graham. But no. Chibnall can't write emotional scenes.

At the end of the episode, I was left with a few questions and wanting to see more. I also wanted for Yaz to leave as she added nothing to the story and her arc over. The confrontation with the final enemy who was just revealed but not really detailed holds promise. There are elements that must be explored and issues still to be resolved. Not a bad point to end a series.

So, despite the many issues I have, when the episode ended, I was looking forward to seeing more and wanting for more resolution. This was the second time I had that feeling, after the Sontaran episode earlier this year.

My final rating? Of the Flux series, it is 3.25 perhaps one of the highest-rated ones. Rounding the score, I give it a 3/5. I may rewatch the episode to see if I missed anything. Despite its many flaws, the episode ended on a somewhat positive note.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Olympia Reaches Copper Bestseller

It is with great pride and profound humility that I can now report that the Olympia Campaign Setting has recently reached its first milestone: Copper on it way up. Olympia is filled with Greek myths, races and other goodies for your D&D 5th edition campaign.

The first lines of this products were written close to the same time as Akhamet, and over time, took shape by churning a number of ideas until it was something that was different and unique yet fully compatible with Akhamet, as the two could be either added to an existing campaign or joined together in a growing fantasy world. More products are forthcoming: adventures and a extraace book that will expand on the current choices.

This is a great book where Hellenophiles will be able to apply all their knowledge, from Homeric tales to the 300 Spartans, to the Successors, all coexist within this setting. Medusas, cyclops, harpies, and wildmen can be found within.

Get it now on DriveThru RPG.