Pathfinder Playtest

The Pathfinder Playtest: Changes to Come

We’re less than five months away from the release of Pathfinder 2nd edition. Folks who participated in the playtest saw a notably changed system, and those who kept up on the regular updates saw the game change even more due to player feedback. After all that, what will the final version look like?

Only the designers know for sure, although fans can expect previews as the hype for the new edition builds. But interviews during and after the playtest, not to mention the update documents themselves, already provide some hints as to what’s coming. Here’s a breakdown of the changes we can definitely expect from 2nd edition.

Continue reading “The Pathfinder Playtest: Changes to Come”

Prisoner of Azkaban

Nitpicking Movies: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Like its predecessor, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban marked a potentially perilous place for the film franchise. Chris Columbus chose not to return as director. Richard Harris, who had played a perfect Dumbledore, died before filming began. A new director, a new cast, and a new visual style could have sunk the franchise.

Luckily, the third film of the series made very few missteps. While the style was definitely different from its predecessors, audiences largely enjoyed the changes. This not only turned Prisoner of Azkaban into a success, but laid the groundwork to allow new directors to make each future installment their own.

Yes, the Harry Potter movies seemed to turn every potential problem into a resounding victory. And that’s good – otherwise these nitpicks would seem mean-spirited rather than an opportunity to poke fun at a pretty solid film.

Continue reading “Nitpicking Movies: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

Super Mario Odyssey

Death is Cheap in Super Mario Odyssey, and I Love It

Common wisdom in video game design says that you can’t make death cheap. While you never want the player to quit in frustration, you also want to make them think. If death lacks consequences, players feel no tension. So a bullet wound or bottomless pit usually leads to a reload or level restart.

And then along comes a game like Super Mario Odyssey, where getting mauled by a Tyrannosaurus only loses you 10 coins, which you can go back and recover 30 seconds later. What gives with that?

Continue reading “Death is Cheap in Super Mario Odyssey, and I Love It”

Apparatus of Kwalish

Weird Magic Items I Wish I’d Used

Originally posted on Sidekickcast.com

Thanks to whatever weirdness inhabited the heads of Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, fantasy gaming has some really bizarre stuff baked into its history. I’ve gamed long enough to use a lot of that weirdness (including my personal favorite, the deck of many things), but there’s still so much more out there. Here’s a quick list of some of the fun items in Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder that I’ve always wanted to slip into an adventure but have never quite been able to make fit.

Continue reading “Weird Magic Items I Wish I’d Used”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Nitpicking Movies: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

After the smashing success of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the franchise needed a strong follow-up. Failure to keep the momentum could have caused the film series to stumble, as happened with Disney’s ill-fated attempt to adapt all seven Chronicles of Narnia. Fortunately, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets did the job well.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets provided a strong second chapter that continued the trend of staying mostly true to the novels that served as source material. It showed that Warner Brothers had struck gold with the casting of Daniel Radcliffe and demonstrated the progressively darker tone that sequels would take.

It also has several things that make me scrunch up my face and go, “Huh?” So, as with its predecessor, I’m going to launch into a series of nitpicks about this film.

Continue reading “Nitpicking Movies: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

Argument

The Anatomy of Nerdrage

2018 marked the year I burned out on fan forums on the Internet. I always knew those places bred negativity, but I also like to communicate with nerds about nerdy things. Unfortunately, the deadly seriousness with which some people treat their hobbies eventually made me something of an Internet recluse.

It didn’t help that I familiarized myself with the controversy surrounding The Last Jedi, that Pathfinder announced a new edition, that the Hulk got punked by Thanos in Infinity War, or that Doctor Who introduced a female Doctor. Change hit all my areas of interest, and that always brings a wave of negativity with it.

But the big question is: Why? Why do people take entertainment so seriously? Why does it seem so much easier to focus on the negative rather than celebrate the positive? And what can fans do to create better discourse in the future?

Continue reading “The Anatomy of Nerdrage”