Episode 148 – mistrust at the gaming table

* Is it fair to prejudge a movie based on its trailers?

* Fear the Boot float trip and camping trip June 5th – 7th.  You can find the Facebook event page here and forum thread here.

* Fear the Boot TOFtBCHes at Gencon!  If you want to be a part of the action, get signed up!

* Mistrust at the gaming table.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat

Comments (4)

AzhreiMay 22nd, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Re: Movie reviews:

The local newspaper’s review of the most recent TMNT movie heavily criticized it because, and I’m not making this up:

1) It was too actiony (whaaat, ninjas and action? Go figure!)

2) The human character designs were ‘strangely artoony’ (an animated movie with cartoony characters? No kidding?)

3) The movie as a whole was too silly and cartoony (Again, an animated movie that was cartoony? Shocking! A movie about ninja freakin’ turtles is SILLY? SHOCK! … honestly, it wasn’t that silly though)

Yeah, ignore the judgements of quality, and it sounds like a great TMNT movie. But really, wow.

I love reviews like that, they amuse me to no end. Negative reviews are great, though, they tend to have more useful information than positive ones. I’ve bought far more things in response to heavily, heavily negative reviews than positive ones.

ShinanMay 23rd, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I’ve found especially with games that negative reviews give a lot more information than positive ones. The positive ones usually just gush over how great it feels and is and stuff while the negative ones actually tell you what the game is like and what is wrong with it. As an example I’ll take Mega Man 9. The positive reviews will give you three pages of nostalgic love towards a series that “went back to its roots”. The negative review will actually tell you that the game is completely dependent on trial and error and is insanely difficult by today’s standards.

On trailers I’ve been watching trailers a lot over the last couple of years (starting around 1999 with Star Wars) and you can easily see a pattern in them and I think I’ve begun to know exactly what movies to expect depending on the trailers. However trailers also develop pretty quickly. If you look at any trailers from the early nineties you probably won’t be very impressed since they tend to have a lot of elements that today are heavily cliché and are shunned away from anything but parody movies. Especially the narrator. (“In a world where x is y. Only z can…”) After all the narrator parodies you’ll be hard pressed to find a serious narrator nowadays (and where there is a serious narrator it’s always an in-movie character who is talking rather than the disembodied voice)

There’s a heavy formula for those trailers and by that formula you can usually tell what a movie is trying to do.

I discussed this with a friend a couple of weeks ago and after that I had to go back to see if The Two Towers trailer was as awesome as I remembered it to be. It was. And now I’ve spent the last couple of weeks watching the extended LotR cuts…

ChrisMay 25th, 2009 at 7:59 am

Must be the season to watch the extended LotR movies. We’re doing that, EvilBastard on the forums is as well

gwelfMay 26th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Hey Chad,
Legend of the 5 Rings (L5R) is one of the best designed RPGs in my opinion. It’s a rich and complex social world that provides a lot for players to do (as well as GMs) apart from hack n’ slash. I don’t have any experience playing the 1st Edition so I can’t speak to it directly but the 3rd Edition is awesome – you should consider giving it a try.

As to GMs cheating…
There is another reason for a GM to cheat aside from them being selfish and not wanting their pet NPC or the ‘big bad’ to be killed too quickly etc – a GM could also cheat in order to create moments of drama or tension when the die roll would totally ruin it. This doesn’t necessarily mean ‘screwing the players’ but could also mean saving their characters life. Dan has regularly mentioned that he doesn’t like to kill characters but how do you avoid killing characters without cheating (or using a system in which killing a player is very very difficult)?

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