Sunday, August 9, 2015

[Weekly Geeky Report] Fantasy AGE, Star Wars, and Titansgrave

Swag
Having found a discount deal for Star Wars: Age of Rebellion, I was able to both order that and pre-order the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook for just a little more than Age of Rebellion would normally cost on its own.

Acheivements Unlocked
Taking a week's break after attending my nephew's wedding over the weekend (and to recover from a slight bug I seem to have picked up while there), I've spent much of my time this week catching up on the Campaign and One Shot podcasts, as well as binge watching the Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI series. I avoided watching it for a long time, not expecting much from it because of its ties to the prequel trilogy, but it turns out it's actually not half bad.

It's got the action and adventure one expects of Star Wars, but it also portrays the Clone Wars themselves with surprising maturity for a series aimed primarily at children. Yes, there's a lot of set-piece action, but the series never shies away from showing the terrible cost of conflict on such a scale, though this is only felt on the Republic side since the Separatists' forces are mostly droids or evil Sith lords. They do make the effort in the third season to show that there are good people in the Separatist camp as well. The minimal amount of Jar Jar appearances also doesn't hurt my enjoyment of the show.

Then there was this week's episode of Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. The latest session was largely Wil Wheaton narrating a bunch of cutscenes in which each of the player characters experience nightmarish visions prior to the climactic battle, with the players' only input being through sadistic choices presented to them as part of the visions. While it is more than a bit railroad-y, I think the emotional payoff makes it well worth it. Each vision sequence was nicely tailored to each of the players' characters, and the players themselves certainly seemed to be moved by Wheaton's narration. So, while I consider the extensive use of cutscenes a bold move - and one I'd be reluctant to use myself - I have to commend Wheaton for making it work in this instance.

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