Wednesday, February 29, 2012

4EMOD: Monster Damage.

It didn't take me very long to notice just how low the damage in the first two Monster Manuals are. It's not a very big secret, and the designers don't contest it. Well, before the days of MM3 I'd made my own damage table. This is only the second tweaking I've ever done to the damage. There's nothing to stop you from using the MM3 damage, but I prefer the older style, and I already wrote in my books, so I figured I'd share what I had come up with. Here are the tables:

Normal Monster Damage Expressions

1-3: 1d6+4, 1d10+4, 2d8+4
4-6: 1d6+7, 1d10+7, 2d8+7
7-9: 1d8+7, 1d10+7, 2d10+7
10-12: 1d8+10, 2d6+10, 2d10+10
13-15: 1d10+10, 2d8+10, 3d10+10
16-18: 1d10+14, 2d8+14, 3d10+14
19-21: 1d12+14, 2d10+14, 3d12+14
22-24: 1d12+17, 2d10+17, 3d12+17
25-27: 2d6+17, 2d12+17, 6d6+17
28-30: 2d6+20, 2d12+20, 6d6+20

Add +2 damage per level beyond 30

I haven't done a ton of fact-checking, but I believe this is comparable to MM3's damage values.

Limited Monster Damage Expressions

1-3: 2d6+7, 2d10+7, 3d8+7
4-6: 3d6+10, 3d8+10, 3d10+10
7-9: 3d8+10, 3d10+10, 4d8+10
10-12: 3d8+13, 4d8+13, 4d10+13
13-15: 3d10+16, 4d8+16, 4d10+16
16-18: 3d10+16, 4d10+16, 4d12+16
19-21: 4d8+19, 4d10+19, 4d12+19
22-24: 4d8+22, 4d10+22, 5d12+22
25-27: 4d10+22, 5d10+22, 6d12+22
28-30: 4d10+25, 5d10+25, 6d12+25

Add +4 damage per level beyond 30

Having tested most of these numbers, I can attest to how deadly combat gets. Be careful with these damage values: people will learn to fear combat. But since that's how I prefer combat to begin, I think that's a good thing.  Test them out, and (most importantly) have fun!

Burning Wheel Review, Part 4: Trouble in Hochen

S'yeah, the series that focuses on Burning Wheel continues. I found out in the last review that Burning Wheel is designed for a very specific experience, one that really cannot (and should not) be tweaked. So this time I tried to play to the playstyle presented. I grabbed five people for Trouble in Hochen (another adventure from the Adventure Burner), and sat down to play. We had a knight, a sorcerer, a priest, an elf archer, and human trapper playing in this scenario.

The set-up is this: the town of Hochen is in the middle of a bad famine, they've abandoned the god Tolmud, and now there's a demon causing havoc! Everyone but the trapper was sent an official town letter asking for aid. They all traveled to the town, only to find that Marten, the mayor, was standing at the bridge telling them that nothing was wrong. Unfazed, they started to argue with Marten.

I stopped the game. "You all know you have a social combat mechanic for this, right? It's called the Duel of Wits". Everyone looked at me, rather excited. They chose the priest to be their primary talker, and I handed him a Duel of Wits sheet, and gave one to myself. The argument lasted for 6 volleys, ending with a splendid 8 damage Dismiss from the priest against Marten! Unfortunately Marten managed to knock off a few dice off the Duel of Wits pool on the players, and so a compromise was struck. The players were allowed to stay in the town and look around, but Marten wasn't going to admit to writing the letter that summoned them there. Not only that, but he wouldn't aid them in their search beyond giving them a place to stay for the night. The town showed signs of horrible mangling; claw marks were everywhere. The trapper noticed that these were bear claw marks, and no demon. After a meager meal and a lot more question-dodging, everyone went to sleep. They decided to take shifts because the townspeople looked a bit... unkind.

The trapper decided to go stay with his mother (both were natives of the town, although the trapper hadn't really been in the town for a few months), whom he hadn't seen in awhile. He found out that people had thought Tudom, the god of righteousness, had deserted the town. There were whispers that the people had fallen away in turn. Concerned, the trapper asked his mother to go stay with a friend until they could sort out whatever was going on.

The elf was up and keeping watch when he heard someone trip and curse outside. He looked outside to see most of the town heading for the central longhouse (this town's in the way up north, so hanging out in an open air market is beyond dumb). He alerted his companions, who snuck up on the house. The trapper joined them shortly thereafter because of the fore-mentioned tripping and cursing. The townspeople brought out an idol to the goddess of fertility, Tawaret, and started to pray to her and ask for her intercession. After a long while of chanting they started to talk about how the town was going to hell in a handbasket because of Marten's inability to lead. One man, the village blacksmith, said that they needed to sacrifice Marten, the "interlopers", and that bloody trapper to Tawaret to appease her and make her favor the town. The townspeople, in true cultish fashion, agreed.

That's when a giant grizzly bear busted through the side of the long house and began eating villagers. The knight immediately threw himself into combat, and the rest of the group moved to aid him.

This is where, once again, I screwed up. I thought: Fighting villagers is always boring. I'll let them fight the bear!

Fortunately, my players got the idea faster than I did. Fighting the bear was total insanity. They barely bruised the darn thing, the sorcerer got knocked around, and everyone in general was feeling pretty scared of the bear by the second volley of Fight! They ran. Amazingly, so did the bear.Which had black oil dripping from its orifices, BTW's (figured that might be an important detail) Almost like it was called off or something...

As they exited the building, the blacksmith confronted them and blamed them for causing even more trouble. He pulled out a blacksmith hammer and charged. The knight stepped in and knocked the blacksmith clear out. The sorcerer sensed that something really funky was going on magically around them, and she started to look around and see where the source was: Marten's lodge!

The rest of the party found a townsman lying on the ground, leg broken. Black oil was seeping into his leg and, despite the party's best efforts, the townsman died after a few moments. The priest stood up and gave a frankly beyond-epic speech, commanding the town to return to Tudom, that he had not abandoned them, that they had abandoned their god instead! More faith was required to make it through these hard times, and what could a fertility goddess do to help them, when their problem was wavering of heart? The townspeople looked on, shamed, but no one stepped forward.

Until they started hearing Marten screaming obsenities at them. He told them all to go away, that what they said couldn't possibly be true, he knew the truth. All of it! They noticed black oil was coming out of his eyes and nose as well, and the priest decided enough was enough. He exorcised Marten.

Now, here's where things get tense. I asked the priest to roll for a minor miracle (Obstacle 5), and he had 5 dice to roll. Now, granted, he could reroll 6's, since you can do that with Faith. He spent a Fate point, which allowed him to reroll 1 of the failures. He rolled 3 successes. He failed the check. I told him to receive a -3D wound penalty.

As the priest prayed over Marten, both of them began to scream in pain. The priest was sweating blood. The mayor? He was dissolving. With a final cry that left everyone's ears ringing Marten dissolved into a puddle of black goo. A crash was heard in Marten's house. Everyone ran in, to find a 3 foot-long black rod sitting on the floor. The sorceress reached to touch it (against the severely wounded priest's advice), to find that a part of the rod because black oil and ran under her fingernails. Immediately she found herself grappling with the will of rod. And while she did become infected, she finally found out what happened, as the rod revealed its properties to her.

The black rod was a necromantic item, that only a true death artist would be able to wield. This rod required a true master to make it, and (after a few questions of the townspeople), no one had ever known Marten to be a sorcerer of any kind. The black oil turned people into revenants within 3 days, assuming they were tough. The liquid needed to be drained out of everyone's body, and fast. The town doctor (the trapper's mother, ironically enough) was brought was in, and everyone was saved. The priest stayed to help the town get back on its feet, and within a few weeks things were much better.

So what're my impressions? First, Duel of Wits is AWESOME. Awesome awesome awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I'm probably going to keep modding up Star Wars to accommodate some of this stuff. Everyone was jazzed by the fact that talking was an actual part of the game now, and role-playing was required. Fight! rules were terrifying. Genuinely "holy crap everyone could have died" terrifying. People much preferred to talk because bloodshed was crippling, like in real life. Basically I found that Burning Wheel has a grittiness to it that makes actual role-playing more than a nice thing, but required for survival's sake! That far more suits the style of game I like running, as the damage tables that I drew up for 4th edition (which I'll eventually release), should attest.

Basically: this is the game I've always wanted to run. Period. Go Burning Wheel!

EDIT: Luke Crane, the creator of Burning Wheel, linked to this post via his Twitter! YEAH!!!!

FURTHER EDIT: I suppose I should try to act a little more dignified. I am a 23 year old man, after all. I mean, I guess the previous wasn't too bad, all things considered. I didn't squee. Anyway, I would like to thank Luke Crane for taking notice. Tis rather flattering. OK, I'm probably making too much of this. I'll shut up now.

I Don't Even Know What to Say...

... but I just found this out. Two people found my website by searching "yoko simon sex gurenn lagann" this week. I'm a little confused as to how those two people found this site via those words, but welcome to the club! I guess...

(And as a serious note, I do understand how search engines work. I just find it a bit surreal, is all)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


It's sad, but true. Take a look. So far, this thing is really good...

No, I haven't finished it yet. But my friend Dr. Cox has (no, that's not his real name, but he'd find it flattering being compared to the awesomeness of that guy), and he loves the thing quite a bit. I stake the rest of it on his judgment, so if it sucks you know who you can blame!

Read away, folks!

Monday, February 27, 2012

RPGs and Group Dynamics

Disclaimer: For the people of both groups that I am talking about (Situational Blindness and Marks of Eberron), please don't misunderstand the post. Yes, I'm writing about y'all. But I'm doing my best to be as fair and balanced as I can. Whatever that means.
So there I am, playing my pally (Sir Varis Phlan) in my weekly 4e Eberron game, The Marks of Eberron. I've been playing in this game for a semester and a half now, and we've accomplished quite a bit. We've stopped a massive uprising of undead, burned brothels (a staple of any sane RPG group, I believe), and wandered over to Xen'drik to gather artifacts for the mysterious Chamber. This is my second PC (the first dying in a tragic potion drinking accident), and I like him as a character. He's a gruff and foul-mouthed Paladin of the Silver Flame who's looking to get revenge on a cardinal for murdering his mother, but still takes time to help build a church in between his adventures.I also like him mechanically. Like all pallies, he's remarkably tough. So tough, in fact, that he can take crits and walk out with only ten damage dealt to him. Pretty special, really. Well, the DM decided to see how far he could push my guy and... he just died. At the teeth of a Dracolich.

Granted, I had it coming. I marked like no one else's business and made sure to be as annoying as a pally can be (particularly when he's doing radiant damage to a zombie-like creature). Here's the weird thing, though.

I didn't care one wit. In fact, I was pretty bored. So bored, in fact, that my overly-neurotic self wanted to sell all my 4th edition books and jump straight into Burning Wheel.

What the hell is wrong with me? I wondered. I like 4th's system of combat, that's for sure. The At-Will, Encounter, and Daily system that 4th uses is extremely intuitive to me, as well as the skill use. I hemmed and hawed, and thought, and decided to hold off on dropping out quite yet.

The next night was my 4th edition game, Situational Blindness. And I had a blast! Combat was awesome, plot was generated by the players just as much as by me, and we ended early because a certain SOMEONE rolled yet ANOTHER nat 20 on a Bluff roll! Everyone was done, so we just sat around, and watched 3 seasons of The Guild.

Not sure what the hell is wrong with me, but oh well. I guess some of the difference is in the groups themselves: the people from my group, Situational Blindness, are all very intensive on storytelling. They want to build a narrative, and what a narrative we've built! It's messed up just how... convoluted that story gets. But there's 7 plot intensive people sitting in a room, what do you expect? Marks of Eberron is different. Not everyone is wanting the same thing. Some of us want plot. Some of us want to relax and kill shit. Some of us are new to the game, and are just excited to be there. The focus doesn't seem to be quite... there. Dunno, maybe I'm just nuts. Group composition seems to be pretty important, however.

So yeah, I think I learned something very important: people need to be grouped very carefully. They can't be shoe-horned into someone else's plot and dreams, they need their own room. That requires pre-game work, but, as I'm realizing, that stuff is extremely important. Without it people can't really connect in and play a role, because the game's not theirs.

What does that mean for me and Marks of Eberron? No idea. Obviously, I have some more thinking to do.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Eden of the East: Anything NOT the Series

Oh good... What the hell is this???
How did something that started out this good end this badly? The TV show was a show about two young people falling in love with the backdrop of Japan falling apart and people trying to save it. It worked, and it worked really damn well! Takizaway and Sake (or however you spell her name) had awesome chemistry and were a blast to watch, so much so that I hoped that it was on purpose.


Particularly ones who aren't good on purpose!

OK, so here's basically the sum up: all the things that work in the TV show? That gets moved to the back burner. The awesome romance and character development that made the show what it was? Yeah, pushed aside. The stuff that was alright, but definitely couldn't stand on its own? Like the stuff about how Japan's falling apart and it needs saving, and all the philosophy that (while fascinating) is in no way shape or form sufficient for a show? That's the stuff that gets moved to the front! Do I find that entertaining?


Do I find it annoying beyond all recognition?

If you haven't picked up on that yet YOU'RE A MORON!

Y'know the worst part? This show had potential. Real potential. If this show was awful from the start I wouldn't be pissed, because I wouldn't have sunk the time into it that I did. I would have just left it alone, and gone about my business, and not bothered to write a review stating how much I liked it. 

The Fail is still not adequately addressed by the above picture. Allow me to insert ANOTHER one. 

... nope! STILL not enough! 

I give up. You get it. Awful ending for what really could have been so much more. I'm done. I'm done!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Awesome Piece of Fan Art!

I found this on the Clannad Fanpage on Facebook, and I thought it was too awesome to not share with other Clannad fans. I do not own this art, nor did I make it, nor have I tampered with it. It is far too awesome for that.

Ladies and gents I present you... GROWN UP USHIO!

Seems a bit more like Akio, doesn't she? Whoever the artist is, if you find the webpage, lemme know and I'll credit you. This is an awesome little piece of art.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Concept Sketch: Scourged

I've been wanting to do a Passion scene for years. It's been something I've avoided, mostly because I didn't want to take the time to learn to draw that well. Well, passion eventually overcomes cowardice, and I started out. I do not need to tell you how many hours I spent working on that bloody nose, especially in comparison to the rest of the face. This'll be an encaustic piece. Be careful: the final image and this concept will look almost nothing alike!

Hemming and Hawing and the Danse Macabre

This post was inspired by an incident earlier today. I was at my art class, and my teacher had brought her youngest kid into work. This is happens on a pretty regular basis, so it's become normal to see a little one trundling through the art studio, asking questions and hanging out with "the big kids". One of my classmates is working on a piece about female sexual abuse and, like most modern artists, has no intention of holding back the grizzly. Now I'm a big proponent of a more open media. I do play Mortal Kombat with my youngest sister (who's 13) whenever we get together, so I'm no stranger to "corrupting" my younger siblings. But when I saw my classmate have to explain (while not explaining) her art to this four year old girl, I felt a twinge. Something just didn't feel right about needing to avoid what she was actually doing. Now, granted, this exchange lasted only a moment or two, but that was long enough for me.

Now call me old and sentimental, but why make  this stuff if we get on an intuitive level that we shouldn't show it to children? There has to be a better way than showing them not-beautiful things. And yet, as I sit here and write this post, I can't think of anything better. The world's a very dark place, a place that, in some ways, gets darker every day. It's pretty ridiculous when you think about it, but it's true. I know that when I get married and have children I want them to know that life is amazing. I want them to value themselves, body, soul, and spirit equally (because without one of the three we cease being ourselves), and I want them to look at the world they're in  and love it while they're in it.

But I still want them to know why this isn't our home. This world is fallen, corrupt, and sick, and sooner or later we won't be able to bear it anymore. As friends die, hearts break, and the world changes we need to move on for our own sanity's sake. It can't be hurtful to show them things that make them realize it, right? It certainly makes sense on some level. The Danse Macabre may not be there to tell us it'll be over soon and that there's nothing we can do about it, but  that some day it'll all be over and we'll be grateful, because that means it's time to go.

Although that probably still doesn't justify me playing Mortal Kombat with Munchkin. Oh well.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Burning Wheel Part 3: My Playtesting of Burning Wheel

Soo.... I decided to run Burning Wheel.

For twelve people.

For those of you who have run Burning Wheel, start laughing. For those of you who haven't, I'll provide an example of why this is funny. Most of you who read this blog are at least familiar with Dungeons and Dragons. One of DnD's hallmarks is its flexibility.  You can do pretty much anything with the system. It's part of the reason why DnD is the flagship RPG of our hobby. They say to only have six people max, but, to be honest, DnD can be run with as many people as you'd like. At some point it gets impractical with one DM, but that doesn't stop the system from operating.

Not so with Burning Wheel. It is fickle, and requires very exact specifications.

As with everything in my life, I found this out the hard way. I adapted "The Sword" to 16 people with the help of the Adventure Burner's premade PC's, and tried to run it. Gah, that didn't work.  People got bored when only two of them could enter the Duel of Wits (which I didn't even understand properly, it turns out), so I did what normally would work in DnD.

I sicced a dragon on them, without reading the text block. As a DM of many years I figured it would be fine. Terrifying, but fine. So when the dragon incinerated half the party with one good blast,  I realized I'd made a mistake. The rest of the time the surviving party was trying to get away from the dragon with the sword. Ultimately they failed, and left the sword to the dragon.  I'd gotten the Fight! and the Duel of Wits rules wrong, and had pretty much flubbed up everything.

And yet, from what I could understand of the system as I ran it, this is exactly the type of system I want to run. I like the systems we ran. The brutality of the system just  makes... sense. Fighting a dragon was what I'd always imagined it to be: a terrifying experience that required running and the shitting of pants. Maybe it was the Mortal Kombat in me, but I liked the finality of it all. I'm not sure if Burning Wheel is for everyone.

In short, I loved it. I'll be running another playtest in two weeks. But this time it'll be with just FOUR people. I'll be running the Demon scenario from the Adventure Burner, for those of you who are curious.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Politics and Contraception

In case you care, here's more on that stupid-ass contraception thing from Obama. The man is evil, I kid you not.

A Basic Update

Eh, I'm in the mood to type, but don't know what I want to type about at 8:40 in the morning, waiting for class to start, so I'll write about myself.

Due to the increased workload I've experienced as of recently, this part of my life has slowed down, but before that point things were getting extremely good. My DnD 4EMOD game has been kicking major ass, with three awesome sessions in a row before I had to step back to catch up on school. I'll be running a 15-man Burning Wheel Playtest with "The Sword" adventure in the Adventure Burner (which I now own, review when I'm done reading it!), and adapting it to 15 people. It won't be as bad as it sounds, to be honest. I'm fleshing out the four characters in the adventure to four factions. Elves will probably get the short end of the stick, but will be very powerful. Next week I'll start up the 4EMOD game again with a bang. My poor players...

Not finished yet. But will be soon.
I'm having a blast with my classes so far! They're all pretty challenging and new, since I'm doing media that I've never had the opportunity to experiment with before: encaustics and watercolor. Both mediums are the opposite of acrylic, so I've been having a hard time trying to get used to them. I like what they do, I just can't seem to do it yet! My iconography has taken a bit of a backseat, but I'm almost done with Raphael, and I'll have a picture up by the end of the week. This icon is my best, by far and away, and I'm excited to show you guys what he's like.

Yeah yeah, I know I haven't done many updates this month, but I got some projects for the blog still in my head. I'll be working on 4EMOD very soon again, and finish up the PHB1 and then move on to PHB2, stopping at the Assassin in between. And who can forget anime reviews, along with whatever theology stuff pops into my head? It's coming, folks, trust me. 


Oh, and I played the Mass Effect 3 demo. CanNOT wait.

Going through Code Geass, Trigun, and Disgaea in whatever spare time I have left with Maria and friends. It's been really fun so far. I'll probably have reviews for Code Geass and Disgaea up whenever I'm done with them, respectively.

To say that this is the most improved area of my life is a bit of an understatement. Anyone in long distance relationships can attest to the fact that, once you really start to care for the other, there's a hole in your life. You can laugh and enjoy your life, but you can't ignore the incontrovertible fact that you want the other there to share in everything. It's been a challenge to adapt to her, but I'm finding that she's more than worth my time. If there is proof of God, it is in this: I am loved, and I love.

In Conclusion...
Life is good and stable. I hope it stays that way for at least a little bit longer.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Burning Star Wars SAGA: A Few Houserules

So here's a random idea. Light Side Points and Dark Side Points, tied into Beliefs. This is just a quick and dirty thought experiment, so it's not been tweaked or playtested. But I think it works really nicely for Star Wars SAGA, and would do tons for that game system.

I'll cover what the Points do first. The Light and Dark Side Points replace Force Points. When you make a character you divide up the amount of points you get from your classes between Dark and Light. You do not regain Force Points every level.

Light Side Points are a manifestation of the Light Side of the Force, and are extremely powerful. Whenever you use one you may either re-roll a d20 roll, amplify a Force Power (as Force Points normally did), negate a Dark Side Point (and nothing else), or regain your Second Wind. You regain Light Side Points by doing good deeds that threaten to complicate (and possibly end) your character's life.

For instance, let's say Han Solo hates the thought of Wookies being enslaved, so he helps save one's life. He gets kicked out of the Imperial Academy, but he gains a Light Side Point! Don't forget that the Wookie stuck with him til the end, too.

Dark Side Points are a manifestation of the Dark Side of the Force, and are highly corrupting. You may spend a Dark Side Point to add a bonus equal to 1d6+half-level to a damage roll, amplify a Force Power (as Force Points normally did), or regain your Second Wind. Whenever you spend a Dark Side Point you not only generate another Dark Side Point but you lose a Light Side Point. You get Dark Side Points by using Dark Side Powers and committing evil and selfish deeds, even if it's not to your benefit.

Now then, there's Beliefs. These are similar to Burning Wheel. You must have three. These Beliefs must be specific and have a plan of action written into them.  

Darth Vader is evil and must be vanquished.

Beliefs must have a Light or Dark descriptor on them as well. This helps describe the general intent of your belief, of whether or not your character means well in his belief. Whenever you fulfill one of these Beliefs you get the descriptor's Force Point, regardless of whether it's a good or evil action.

So, for instance, I said in my belief that Darth Vader must be vanquished. I attach a Light Side descriptor to this Belief. Whenever I take a step in the direction of fulfilling this Belief, regardless of what type of action it is, I get a Light Side Point. This represents the relative purity of intention. Of course, if I keep doing Dark Side things with a Light Side belief, that might piss the GM off.

If you keep abusing your Beliefs to get a plethora of both Points the GM may start a vote to change the descriptor of your Belief. If there is a universal vote, your Belief's descriptor is changed. This is to prevent power gaming and those bastard munchkins who think that the best way to play the game is to exploit it. ROLE PLAYING GAMES ARE NOT MADE WITH MUNCHKINS IN MIND, AND THE RULES SHOULD REFLECT THAT.  The GM may not invoke this vote unless it is obvious to all involved that the offender in question is only in it for exploiting the rules.

All feats that apply to Force Points apply to Light and Dark Side Points.

That's it for now. If you guys have any helpful additions and thoughts, please comment! I'll incorporate the suggestions into the main post and attribute whoever suggested it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

And Time to Post on Politics...

For the record, I did say the only thing that wouldn't be talked about on this blog was plumbing. So too bad for the people who didn't want to read about politics and religion on this blog, cause you're SOL. Anyway, unless you live under a rock you're aware that the Obama Administration has officially forgotten something very very important. It's called... I don't know... it's a piece of paper a long time ago... pretty important... probably the most important document since the Bible (no joke)... I just can't remember...

Oh well. The only difference between Obama and I? I'll remember at some point because it's something that'll just come back to me. Obama obviously has no basic understanding of whatever document it is, because the document I can't remember the name of is pretty clear that religious rights should not be trampled on.

It's the Magna Carta, right? That was a pretty important document too! But I just know that can't be it... I'll remember eventually.

Anyway, point being, apparently Obama thought this wasn't much of an intrusion on our rights.

What? He thought this wasn't an intrusion on our rights as stated in the Communist Manifesto? In what universe? This is so damn basic that the most dumb part of the Catholic Church, the liberals who want women-priests (and think they have legitimate historical arguments!), are pissed. I mean, Obama, these are the people who normally support you for the thirty pieces of silver they need to go hunt werewolves in their alternate universe, and even they think it's a bad idea! Even Joe Biden thought this was a bad idea (Y'know, the guy who threatened to shove his rosary beads down someone's throat for telling him he wasn't Catholic? Mr. Subtlety and Loyal?)! How does this not ring the "Oh Dear God This is a Bad Policy" bell? Or did you break that bell with Obama Care?

OK, I'm done. Sorry. I figured that after all the sarcasm that was just posted I owed you a few lines of actual, serious, text. This legistlation is wrong. I am with the Catholic bishops. This tramples on our rights in a way that's just as basic as being able to revoke our citizenship at any time for any reason. This piece of... (I don't want to call it legislation but too much foul language on a blog gets annoying) legislation attacks the basic human need for healing.

So yeah, this is monstrous. It needs to be repealed. Now would be good, please and thank you Mr. President.

And it's totally the Articles of Confederation, BTW's.

EDIT: And it's gotten worse. Stupid stupid stupid.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Anime that SHOULD Have Been Put in the Top 10

It's bound to happen sooner or later: I'll forget something. Ask any of my friends how often I've locked myself out of my house (or dorm room), and you'll get a snicker. So it's pretty often. So often, in fact, that I was surprised that I wrote all the stuff in the Top 10 Favorite TV shows from...well... memory. But (of course) I forgot a few anime.  They're in no particular order, so don't think of this as a definitive list. These are just a few awesome anime that, for whatever reason, didn't make it to the top.

Angel Beats
Jun Maeda, up until this point, has made one truly awesome show: Clannad. To those of you who point to Kanon or Air I sort of laugh derisively at, mostly because Kanon's first twelve episodes are painful and Air is so slow I fall asleep. Let's get real: Clannad was the only thing he wrote that actually worked, as a whole. Granted, Clannad works so well as a whole that it can be intimidating. But that doesn't change the fact that Clannad was the only one of the three that I consider to be good as a complete work.

Up until Angel Beats, that is. Not gonna lie, I really didn't like the show up until episode 3. The whole show was everything all of Maeda's previous work was not. It was fast paced and goofy, without the slightest hint of tragedy. I even looked the show up on the net to make sure that it was actually Maeda's work! Then episode 3 happened, and we heard "My Song", and watched as the girl smiled and vanished. That's when I knew it was Maeda. He hadn't gone away at all, he'd just changed it up a bit! What proceeded was essential the anime version of The Great Divorce (by C.S. Lewis for those of you who don't know). Seriously, go read that book and come back to me and tell me the works aren't similar. Granted, their tone and characters are completely different, and the theology is from definitively different sources. But the idea, the kernel, is the same. Heaven will not admit even one iota of evil and regret to stay around.

Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
 Ah, the good entry drug of anime (as opposed to just a drug). If you don't care about your friends and want to make a horrible impression of what anime can do, show them all the other shlock, like Dragonball Z, Bleach, Narutard, and One Piece. I could (and would) go on and on. But if you want to show them something really really well done that fits just closely enough into their Western ideas without throwing them for a loop? The Fullmetal Alchemists are yours, baby! Both shows are incredibly well done, in pretty much all ways that are possible. While I prefer Brotherhood for its more satisfying ending and plot, the original Fullmetal Alchemist was a fantastic point of entry to the world of anime. I'm glad that was the first anime I ever watched. While it's said you can't forget your first, I supposed I did with FMA. Oh well. Hopefully this'll make up for it. Although I'm not  gonna hold my breath, given how easily Ed forgives those who snub him. Miserable little half-pint. I hope he eventually grows up to reach the frickin' phone.

Code Geass
 Oh. My. Bloody... what the hell? I saw this show about three years back, and I remember it was good, but I forgot just how intense this show can really be! We're currently watching this at my house, showing Maria for the first time, and I gotta say: if any American show can pull off half the amount of twists that are here, please direct me (Lost doesn't count, I have that on my top ten already)! I mean, what the hell is this? How do you even do this? I'm dead serious, I'm a bit lost as to how the writers managed to put their heads through so many grinders willingly to chuck out a plot as awesome as this one. Disagree? Your mid has obviously been destroyed by watching too much Dragonball Z. You want a real "awesome" anime? This is bloody it. 

So there you have it. Four really fantastic shows that should have been put on the top ten, but weren't. Oh well. I'll be doing a new top ten in July, so they'll just have to wait til then. Somehow I think they can wait.