Browsed by
Tag: dungeons and dragons

Moving Furniture

Moving Furniture

A MARVELOUS DEBUT: Our hosts briefly talk about the incredible first impression that the MCU Disney+ show, Ms. Marvel, makes.

FALL OF THE PHOENIX: The tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) world was rocked this last week as more and more people came out on Twitter to discuss the abusive work habits of TTRPG celebrities, Satine Phoenix and Jamison Stone. Our hosts cover the accusations and discuss how this applies to the TTRPG community as a whole.

(00:00) Intro – Ms. Marvel discussion

RELEVANT LINKS:

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Shadow Johnson

Shadow Johnson

PIXEL REMASTER REMARKS: The release of Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster is finally upon us and Andrew has a few––very short––thoughts about it.

DOCTOR WHAT?: It was announced that––despite an existing tabletop role-playing game existing––there would be a new Doctor Who roleplaying game based on the fifth edition (5E) of Dungeons and Dragons. And people have opinions.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Aural Improvisation” (6 February 2015): Where Andrew first discussed Cubicle 7’s “bespoke” original tabletop RPG based on Doctor Who.
  • The Badger Abides” (7 February 2020): Where Andrew talks about the work of Evil Hat Games and their tabletop RPGs.
  • Exposure Creates Tolerance” (17 September 2021): Where Andrew talks about the first four games in the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series.

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Flabbercast

Flabbercast

TRAIN SUPLEX: The trailer for the next and last (of the current set) of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series from Square Enix, Final Fantasy VI, has been released and our hosts have some thoughts (and nitpicks).

NFTHAC0: TTRPG Twitter caught on fire when discussion erupted around the possibility that Dungeons & Dragons developer, Wizards of the Coast, might be considering getting into the NFT game.

RESCUE THE RANGERS: A trailer for an upcoming movie based on Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers dropped and it…it…I have no words, for good or for ill. We’ll wait and see.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Milkbloods” (9 April 2021): Where our hosts first discussed the threat of NFTs.
  • Crypto ATM” (8 October 2021): Where our hosts discussed the threat of NFTs for the second time.
  • An Accident of Flavor” (12 November 2021): A third time when our hosts discussed the threat of NFTs (when video game companies first announced their support).

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Meat Pops

Meat Pops

NEWS CRUISE: Andrew and D. Bethel cover a lot of different news stories this week, including the acceptance of NFTs in video games by Steam and the Epic Games Store; the workers of tabletop game developer, Paizo, form a union; developers who worked on Metroid Dread not seeing their names in the credits; Ruby Rose speaking up about their treatment on the set of Batwoman‘s first season; and some announcements made by DC during the DC Fandome event.

UPDATE: Venerated Metroid fansite, Shinesparkers, reached out to Metroid Dread developers, MercurySteam, for clarification on what qualified for crediting in the game, specifically with regard to what constitutes the “25% game dev time” and “significant creative contributions,” stating:

“A significant contribution might mean A LOT of things: from designing a playable character, writing dialogues, lore.. anything substantially important to the game. On the 25% this is something based on our experience. Of course it can be seen differently elsewhere.”

FURTHER UPDATE: Union issues with Paizo and its workers came to an agreement on Thursday, October 21, with Paizo officially recognizing the workers’ union.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Business Exempt” (19 October 2018): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk about the first major attempt to unionize video game workers.
  • A Casualty of the Rhyme” (22 May 2020): Where our hosts, along with Taylor, talk about Ruby Rose’s sudden departure from Batwoman.
  • Milkbloods” (09 April 2021): When Andrew and D. Bethel first discussed the strange culture of NFTs.

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Bear is Watching

Bear is Watching

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew dabbles in a few different ponds, first by playing a bit of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, then talks about his experience going through Subnautica: Below Zero, and testing his mettle with Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch. D. Bethel is very conflicted––but having a lot of fun––as he plays through Dragon’s Crown Pro.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Shortcast 44 – The Game of Life” (23 Feb. 2018): Where Andrew talks about Full Metal Furies, another side-scrolling beat-em-up with RPG elements.
  • Shortcast 62 – Not the Episode Title” (06 July 2018): Where Andrew discusses his previous experience with gamified fitness playing Zombies, Run!
  • It’s Always a Game” (08 Feb. 2019): Where Andrew first discusses his experience playing the original Subnautica.
  • We Still Don’t Know $#!&” (31 May 2019): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss the incorporation of “RPG elements” in non-RPG genres of games.
  • Full Release” (29 Jan. 2021): Where Andrew discusses his first impressions of the early access version of Subnautica: Below Zero.

RELEVANT LINKS:

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

U3DS

U3DS

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew enthusiastically plays the 2nd edition of Pathfinder, despite not fully enjoying the first edition, while D. Bethel gets really excited to play an adventure game based on one of his favorite comics, Blacksad, but gets horribly disappointed by Blacksad: Under the Skin.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • The Volumometer Incident” (10 July 2014): Where Andrew shares his experience playing the Pathfinder card game.
  • Starting By Starting” (03 January 2020): Where D. Bethel discusses the noir adventure game inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, Frogwares’ The Sinking City.
  • Nature’s Velcro” (03 July 2020): Where Andrew plays the computer RPG, Pathfinder: Kingmaker.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • Here’s D. Bethel’s fan art of Blacksad.

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Shortcast LXIX – Ain’t No Rules

Shortcast LXIX – Ain’t No Rules

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew takes some dungeon mastering advice from Mike Shea aka “Sly Flourish” and his The Lazy Dungeon Master book while Dan becomes smitten by the new Marvel’s Spider-Man game by Insomniac Games.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • D. Bethel’s Good Day Sacramento appearance in support of CrockerCon:

  • Also, the completed drawing D. Bethel did for the Good Day Sacramento appearance:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Shortcast 42 – Atlantis Is Full of Dead People

Shortcast 42 – Atlantis Is Full of Dead People

ANNOUNCEMENEWSBLASTCAST: Instead of focusing on their respective Weeks in Geek or having an extended conversation, Andrew and D. decide to cover a lot of news that dropped this week including the trailer to season 2 of Marvel/Netflix’s Jessica Jones, 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool 2 trailer, the reveal of the video-game-based-on-a-tabletop-game-based-on-a-tabletop-card-game, Sentinels of Freedom, the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons lorebook, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and the passing of John Mahoney.

RELATED EPISODES:

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • Jessica Jones season two trailer:

  • Deadpool 2 trailer:

Evidence for Shatterstar’s appearance in this movie:

EXHIBIT A – WEIRD FACE MASK THING

EXHIBIT B: TWO BLADES ON ONE SWORD

  • The best/saddest tribute to John Mahoney’s death:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 144 – Commodore Chew-Town

Episode 144 – Commodore Chew-Town

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew dives into Paizo’s newest RPG, Starfinder (starts at 2:34), while D. Bethel checks out the premier episode of Disney XD’s reboot of DuckTales (19:46).

REAL MONSTERS: (30:45) Dan and Andrew just hang back and have a conversation rather than a guided discourse about Nazis in popular culture. They go all over the place, but hover around the topic of how (and why) they’re used in fiction.

RELATED LINKS:

WORKS REFERENCED:

LINKS:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Bad Man” by The Coral
-“Fanfare” by Nobuo Uematsu (from Final Fantasy VI)

Worth a Look

Worth a Look

A large talk that basically started the whole GamerGate mess had to do with representation in video games, specifically with how female characters were presented and utilized within gameplay and narrative with the obvious and problematic conclusion being that female player characters were either underrepresented or, if present, lacked the variety or depth of the male protagonists.

Source: kotaku
Source: Kotaku

However, the newest critical focus––and just as important––looks away from the screen and toward both the community and the developers. If the more forward-looking fans of gaming out there want more representation in games, we should also be asking ourselves about representation in the making of games. With regard to the community, there is a harrowing documentary that I discussed on the show awhile ago, GTFO, about female pro gamers and critics that I guarantee will have you wanting to throw a chair against the wall.

The Kotaku article discusses the story behind––and of––a new book, Women in Game Development: Breaking the Glass Level-Cap, that deals specifically with female developers and their road to being professionals in the field and how that road is paved with sacrifices, shame-dodging, and prioritizing aspects of their identity that males in the same positions never had to make. It’s infuriating how human beings are being treated in a field that, at the core of it, everyone loves so very much.

Another great feature on the book was published at Polygon, “How Women in Gaming Face Hostility” by Colin Campbell.

This is a book I want to read and, it seems, one that gamers should read, no matter what side of development we are on. It’s just sad that this book had to be written at all.

In a bit of selfish rank-pulling, I’m using “Worth a Look” as a “Save for Later” bookmark for myself. This article discusses Dungeons & Dragons as it is used in the recent Netflix hit, Stranger Things (which will be my “Week in Geek” in this week’s episode). Stranger Things has been a Facebook darling, especially for nerds born in, or who lived through, the 1980s and for good reason.

source: Netflix
source: Netflix

Stranger Things is less a snapshot of life in the 1980s and more of an evocation of 1980s adventure movies: The GooniesE.T.: The Extra-TerrestrialStand By MeExplorers, and the like. By mentioning those movies, I don’t mean that is nostalgically mining those movies for characters, plot points, or in-joke references; I would argue that’s not the case at all. Instead, it feels like those movies. The Duffer Brothers (and their directors) have seemingly “figured out” how those movies were paced, how they sounded, and how they looked to feel like a long-lost sibling to those earlier movies. It’s meta-eerie on top of the creepiness of the show itself. It’s able to capture what J.J. Abrams tried to capture (and did pretty well) in his excellent Super 8. But Stranger Things just does it right in an ephemeral way.

The show is framed (or so the article tells me, I haven’t finished the series) around Dungeons & Dragons, which Kunzelman decides to parse not only as a narrative bookend, but also as a thrust, arguing that the game “functions as the primary metaphor for how these young nerdy boys are able to communicate and cooperate with one another and how they contextualize the challenges they face.”

I am eager to read the article, but not as eager as I am to finish the show. It’s so good.