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Messages - Dincrest

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I hope the main female in this one is just completely naked (save for just a cape).  That would be the next logical step forward from Velvet.

Unless they decide to flip the script and go in the opposite direction, giving the leading lady proper armor and having her companions be the "cherry poptart chainmail bikini team" ya know?

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: Today at 08:08:17 AM »
On the other hand, The Hobbit was a wonderful standalone novel.  And though I've not read it yet, Brandon Sanderson's Elantris is often mentioned as a gold standard for standalone novels. 

I'm all about worldbuilding and establishing a proper lore in fantasy novels and I love a good, immersive read that just takes me away to a world beyond my imagination.  But a 10 book series like Wheel of Time, Malazan, or Stormlight Archive is something I can't feasibly commit to.  Longest book series I've ever committed to was the 7 Harry Potter books.  But I'll take a good trilogy, quartet, or maybe quintet if compelled. 

As for Discworld, thanks for the chart and when I finish Three Musketeers I may look for Sourcery on Overdrive.   

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: Today at 07:50:27 AM »
I'm also old-school because in my old-man brain the community hub should be directly attached to the "thing" the way the forums are.  Plus, I turned my back on social media a couple of years ago (so I'm not on any of the Tweeter, Bookface, or Snapagram type stuff), so it still seems weird that the new community hangout is somewhat indirectly connected to the main site...

But I finally caved and got on the Discord today, because the RPGFan community is the only online community I actually enjoy interacting with.  Granted, I still prefer the more patiently organized nature of the forums over the more chatroom-esque flow of Discord, but that's just the old man in me talking. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: Yesterday at 04:17:07 PM »
My reading list is already miles long, so I'm trying to be more focused about it.  Otherwise, seeing a ginormous backlog browbeats me and something I love starts feeling like work. 

Anyway, I'm still making my way through Three Musketeers.  D'Artagnan and the titular musketeers are planning their journey to London for D'Artagnan's secret mission. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: June 17, 2018, 08:33:36 PM »
I've never read a Discworld book, and Discworld is such a massive series, I would have no idea where to even start.  I find that kinda daunting, and I often avoid mainstream DC and Marvel comics for the same reason because where do I start/jump in? 

And, to be frank, I'm avoiding any fantasy series longer than a trilogy or quartet because I simply do not have the time or fortitude to dedicate to a 10+ book series like Malazan, Wheel of Time, or Stormlight Archive.  That's a big reason why I created that "standalone fantasy novel" thread years ago, because I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in wanting some good epic fantasy without the epic commitment. 

That being said, I still want to read Ashok Banker's Ramayana.  I have the entire series on my Kindle and it doesn't get more epic than that (except Mahabharata, and Ashok Banker is doing that one as well.)  It's a part of my cultural heritage and I feel like I only got bits and pieces of watered down versions growing up, and Ashok Banker's version of Ramayana is perhaps the most comprehensive.  I read a bunch of Ramayana years ago and was really into it, but real life got in the way, so I want to restart it. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Your favorite basic weapons
« on: June 17, 2018, 02:51:56 PM »
I liked You McDohl's bo staff in the first Suikoden game.  Where most RPG main-hero protagonists wield a sword, this guy had a bo staff and you don't see that every day. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: CD Projekt RED's Cyberpunk 2077
« on: June 17, 2018, 02:48:10 PM »
I remember enjoying old-school 1990s first-person action-adventure games like Heretic and Hexen.  I can only imagine that technology has gotten better and those types of games are much smoother.  I still remember playing Maken X on Dreamcast; that first-person slasher game's frame rate was smoother than a glass of the good stuff. 

While I'm sure CD Projekt RED will put forth a quality product, I still retain that skeptic's hope that it doesn't become a "tries to appeal to everyone, but appeals to no one" compromise where RPG fans say it's too shooter-y and shooter fans balk at the RPG elements ("I don't care about the story, just let me blast things into oblivion!")

On the other hand, I know many RPG players who are also fans of really intense space shooters, so...  I don't know where I'm going with this.  I'm just rambling.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: June 17, 2018, 02:02:10 PM »
TOday was the first time this year I rode with my bicycle club.  What I thought would be a 34 mile ride turned out to be a 44 mile ride, and though I made it, those last 8 miles were rough.  I hadn't been riding as much as I wanted to (longest rides I've done so far were 15-18 miles), though I have keen keeping up with my gym workouts.  So I was glad I pushed myself and I guess I'm in better shape than I thought I was.  Still, I'm gonna feel this one tomorrow.  I am 40 after all.   

Single-Player RPGs / Re: CD Projekt RED's Cyberpunk 2077
« on: June 15, 2018, 05:25:46 PM »
And first-person RPGs have been around for a long time and they're still around and popular. 

Wizardry series, the first Phantasy Star, early Megami Tensei games (pre Persona 2), Deus Ex, System Shock 2, most any dungeon crawler these days (especially the fanservicey moe ones), a whole bunch of them I'm forgetting... 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: June 14, 2018, 05:56:52 PM »
Three part thread. 

Part 1: My reading log

16 chapters into The Three Musketeers and I'm still enjoying it, although
Spoiler: show
King Louis XIII is proving to be a truly idiot king.  I'm guessing it's because he's young, inexperienced, and immature, but he is oblivious to the fact that he's a bobble-head to M. de Treville and a puppet for Cardinal Richelieu.  That being said, Cardinal Richelieu is proving to be the most interesting and complex character by far.  He is conniving, to be sure, but not always wrong. 

What I also find interesting is the cultural aspect of it.  What I mean is that most of the period literature I've read was English or American with their more puritanical and "stiff upper lip" sensibilities.  However, Three Musketeers is French.  So what I like is that some of the happenings that would be scandalous in big neon lights in American or British period literature are just shrugged off because the French have a more cavalier attitude regarding dalliances. 
Spoiler: show
The fact that one of the queen's exiled ladies-in-waiting is not only a political co-conspirator but also an illicit lover is one of those things that would get you raked over the coals in an 1800s US or UK novel, but is just an "eh, whatever" in a French novel.
  I also mentioned earlier that I like how the Musketeers work hard, but they play hard too. 

Part 2: Overdrive
Thanks for the insight into Overdrive @Rucks and @Jimmy.  I was unaware of it, but now that I am I will be getting a library card posthaste.  The public library is a sneeze from my new house and is part of a county-wide library system so I would have access to multiple libraries' e-bookshelves.  Sure there are books that I want to own (pleasure of possession and all that), but being able to read some of the classics for free (through the library) that may not be free on my Amazon Kindle (e.g. The Scarlet Pimpernel) is pretty boss!   

Part 3: Neal goes off on a semi-ranty tangent
Is it just me, or is it really difficult to find good fantasy novels for adult readers with sophisticated writing and all that.  Most of my searches for mature fantasy literature lead to trash that is basically all just graphic violence, explicit sex, tons of swearing, and surprisingly juvenile writing.  I enjoy literary sex and violence as much as the next guy, but if it's "mature" in the way that Conker's Bad Fur Day was "mature" then color me uninterested.  Stimulate my mind, not my groin.    Maybe I just fail at searching for sophisticated storytelling.  I'm no Sherlock Holmes, that's for darn sure.     

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: June 13, 2018, 05:45:56 PM »
My only caveat with party members leaving is when they come back much later at the same level as when they left.  It's like, what, were you just loafing on your couch eating doughnuts during the entire time you were gone?  Why weren't you out doing stuff and maybe building some levels?  Next time you leave, come back with your levels close to mine, okay?  Or have a system like Suikoden where if you take a level 20 lowbie with a bunch of level 39 characters, the lowbie will reach level 41 around the same time as the others. 

In Tales of Symphonia, it helped that everyone's levels stayed pretty consistent regardless of participation, because I didn't use Sheena very often but she was a required party member for several boss battles. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: June 09, 2018, 06:42:47 PM »
I like my personal hybrid of educator/ voiceover artist/ bicyclist/ musician/ motivational speaker/ RPGFan writer and PR dude. 

As for haps, today was my first day in the studio with my current music project.  We didn't get as much accomplished as we wanted, but what we did get accomplished was good solid stuff.  I'd say it was a typical first day in the studio where there's early gremlins/hiccups, but towards the end once everyone has their groove, the magic happens.  We have some ground to make up during the remainder of our studio sessions, but I think we can make it happen.  I'm not only stoked to be recording an album, but am getting paid for my session time. 

General Games / Re: E3 2018: Wait. What happened to 2017!?
« on: June 09, 2018, 06:10:00 AM »
As always, I'm curious to see what neato stuff our editors find that's off the beaten path.  I still remember when I went to E3 six years ago, a partner and I were at an appointment where our expectations were low to nil, and it ended up being one of the best appointments we did.  So, yeah, I'm itching to see the hidden and unexpected treasures RPGFan finds. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: June 09, 2018, 06:00:51 AM »
Man, I was so close to buying a beautiful version of Three Musketeers in the same bookstore I bought Mockingbird, but I was still in Canada, it was huge, and I decided to get my enormous collection of Wodehouse instead.  I couldn't get both.  :P

I'm still going to buy Three Musketeers soon, though.  Dumas is awesome.  Count of Monte Cristo is still probably the best pre-1900s novel I have ever read, by far.

Be sure you get a version with a good translation.  The version I'm reading was a free download and though it feels somewhat abridged (I think the original version I downloaded in 2011 was 700-something pages and this one is only 400-ish, meaning that the edition/version/whatever changed) and the prose sometimes feels stilted (the result of a direct translation in places).  I'm still enjoying it, but I definitely feel like I'm missing something.  You get what you pay for, I guess.

Kenneth Branagh is a fine actor with Shakespearean pedigree... but I thought he was poorly cast as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (which we watched with my English class as an end of the year treat.)  I felt like he was too old, lacked flamboyancy, did not have the "rock star heartthrob" looks I associate with that character, and his hair was too short. 

When I read the book and visualized its description of Lockhart, I pictured a hybrid of a Bret Michaels (Poison) and Sebastian Bach (Skid Row.)  Long blond hair, heart-throbby rock star looks, the over-the-top flamboyance of their genre, and their douchey self-important attitudes.  THAT is Gilderoy Lockhart! 

Speaking of Harry Potter, one thing we hope to impress on at least one student is that there are a lot of really cool things that happen in the books that aren't in the films.   

In one of my students' reading classes, we're watching Bridge to Terabithia.  I read that book when I was in elementary school but never saw the film.  The plot beats stay true to the book (the screenwriter is the author's son, after all), but it still feels a bit over-Disneyfied.  In the book, the characters had more... character and there was a gritty undertone to it, because the characters were really facing  some difficult things.  That book had some real gut punches that definitely affected me as a kid.     

Speaking of Disney, another end-of-year movie we watched was Wreck-It Ralph.  I enjoyed it because it had a good balance of being both enjoyable for children and adults.  I'm sure any parent who took their kids to the movie grinned during the
Spoiler: show
scene where Candy King uses the Konami code.
Sure it has a predictable story and themes that have been done before, but I thought they were decently done and I liked the worldbuilding.  I think Wreck-It Ralph should have a TV series, because that could expand upon the worldbuilding and do more with the various video game worlds and their interactions.  I also just saw the Wreck-It Ralph 2 trailer.  I was not impressed.  Basically, the trailer just felt like Disney stroking its own ego by saying, "We own everything!"

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