Sunday, September 29, 2013

[Geekly Weekly Report] Return of the GUG(S), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and other things...

Having been inspired by Siskoid's Blog of Geekery and the Nearly Enough Dice podcast, I thought I'd start doing a weekly report on what kind of geeky stuff I've been doing each week.

New Stuff
I bought myself a new book for my Kindle, Chuck Wendig's Blackbirds. The story is about a jaded young woman by the name of Miriam Black, who has the ability to foresee how people are going to die by touching them, and has given up trying to save people because it never works out. Instead, she drifts from place to place, robbing those whose deaths she has foreseen and generally not giving a damn about anything. Until the day she meets a truck driver called Louis, who she foresees will die within a month, while calling her name...
So far, I'm liking it. It's a dark, pulls-no-punches noir/urban fantasy story with a kickass anti-heroine who, as my friend Luke has stated, is pretty much a feminised version of Chuck Wendig, but awesome all the same. Not high literature by any means, but a good read if you like noir fiction and urban fantasy.

Acheivements Unlocked
I binged on both the Our Last Best Hope core rulebook and the expansion in preparation for facilitating a one-shot at Tuesday that, sadly, never happened. I posted an in-depth review of the core rules earlier this week and I'll get a review of the expansion book up on the blog sometime tomorrow. In short though, I think Our Last Best Hope is an awesome game, and it's likely to take Fiasco's place as my #1 choice in GMless gaming.

On Tuesday, GUGS returned for the new semester. Can't say I like the new look of the union all that much, and I'm saddened at the loss of my preferred pre-game food establishment, which has now been replaced by a fancy schmancy bistro with table service and prices which are a bit too expensive for my (let alone the average student's) personal budget. Sad face.

As for GUGS itself, as mentioned, I didn't get to play Our Last Best Hope, but I did manage to secure a spot in a World of Darkness one-shot run by my (now former) L5R GM, James. We played a group of high school kids who were taking a jaunt through the local spooky abandoned industrial area as a rite-of-passage type of thing. In doing so, we stumbled upon a strange elevator that appeared out of nowhere and led to a creepy underground facility where women in hazmat suits were growing embryos in a garden and apparently processing them through some apparatus to sustain their creepy hive queen.

Cue our characters going on the run as they found themselves being stalked by creepy angelic beings trying to cover up whatever the hell they were up to in the town. I played a hacker, who I initially envisioned as being like Mac from Veronica Mars, but she quickly became more of a wailing damsel-in-distress as I overzealously tagged my 'Bit of a Coward' flaw to regain Willpower. To be fair, there was some really f***ed up stuff afoot, so it was a perfectly understandable reaction on her part. Still, I like to think my female characters are usually better than being stereotypical 'scream queens'. So I'm a little disappointed in myself for that. Still, had fun playing.

Then, early on Saturday morning after a party at James', a bunch of us sat down to watch the pilot episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I'll admit, it wasn't as awesome as I was hoping it would be after all the hype that's been built up around it over the past year. It was decent enough that I'll stick with it and see how it develops over the coming weeks, but it was nothing really groundbreaking as far as I'm concerned. There was some bad dialogue (particularly a line hinting at the mystery behind Coulson's resurrection which was a bit too on-the-nose), and it overdid it on the cheesiness in places. Slow motion triumphant smiling isn't cool, it's cringe-inducing. And there's a bit at the very end which just made me groan, even if it does make sense as far as the comic book canon goes. You'll probably know what I'm referring to when you see it. What's more, for the most part this pilot episode didn't feel very Whedonesque compared to other Joss Whedon projects, which makes me wonder just how hands-off Whedon's involvement with the show is going to be.

That's all for now, I'll be back tomorrow with a review of the Our Last Best Hope Expansion Book.

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