athelind: (Sci Fi)
The Threepenny Space Opera: An Introduction

WARNING! TV TROPES!

This is the first in a series of posts under the head of The Threepenny Space Opera, in which Your Obedient Serpent bandies about ideas and concepts for science fiction RPG settings. These are primarily Notes To Myself, and the different concepts may or may not be compatible with each other in a single milieu.

I have been in a Star Wars Saga Edition game for the last four years, and, while I enjoy it a great deal, I confess that I enjoy it in spite of the setting, not because of it. It is hardly an original insight to assert that the Lucasian setting isn't "really" science fiction, but rather, fantasy with a thin veneer of technology; it has some truth to it, but that doesn't curtail my ability to enjoy a rip-roaring laser-adorned Hero's Journey.

If forced to pick a side when the line is drawn between Romanticism and Enlightenment, however, Your Obedient Serpent falls squarely in the latter camp.1 There are elements of Classic Space Opera that are Very Important To Your Obedient Serpent, and they can only be shoehorned into the Galaxy Far Far Away with great effort -- and are entirely absent from, say, Dark Heresy and many of the other starfaring settings offered to the RPG community.

I am rambling, which is nothing new. Let me therefore invoke that tool of PowerPoint abusers worldwide, and proffer a Bullet List:

  • I want a vision of a hopeful, optimistic future. Cautionary tales are an important part of the science fiction estate, but they aren't, contrary to Post-Modern thought, more "mature" or "sophisticated" or "valid". When all the visions of the future are dystopian, when the only message from tomorrow is "Beware", then where will we find the hope and inspiration to drive us forward?

  • I want to Explore Strange New Worlds. Even Star Trek: the Next Generation fell short on this one, keeping NCC-1701-D largely within the borders of the Federation, boldly staying where everyone had gone before; the movies, of course, abandon the notion of "exploration" entirely.

  • I want to Save the Day with SCIENCE!! I want a setting and a system where the Vulcan manning the sensors contributes as much to the adventure as the Dashing Space Pilot.

  • And on that note, I want a game that doesn't shy away from starships and space combat, while making sure that ALL the player characters can take active roles when the Space Pirates drop out of Netherspace, or the Negative Space Wedgie looms on the main screen. I want a game that's not afraid of starmaps, and where travel between the worlds is an opportunity, not an obstacle (or a quick screen-wipe).


There will be more forthcoming.


1 In the topsy-turvy backwards world of Literary Jargon, I am an unrealistic dreamer because I reject Romanticism.

athelind: (DRAGON!)
(Yeah, I'm posting a lot today. I'm thinky.)

Every few years, I come back to this question; for the first time, though, I've got a different answer.

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your alter-ego?



For years, I wanted Kelsey Grammer for Athelind, but I think Your Obedient Serpent has finally moved past mere self-conscious pomposity.

Just as [livejournal.com profile] jirris_midvale wanted someone who could swing between the two poles of his personality, I've found someone who can capture the full binary range of Athelind's psyche:

Peter Cullen.



When Athelind is up, he's impassioned, sincere, and inspiring, much like Cullen's most famous role.

And when he's not ... Cullen has that covered, too. You can just hear him say stuff like "any day where you don't have brain damage is a victory", "so far, so good", and other, similar gems from my Argot entries, can't you? Really, some of those only really carry their full weight as Athespeak when said in that voice.

As always, comments are open -- who's your voice?


Edit 05 June 2010: You know, when I think about it, Argot entries tend to be in Eeyore's voice, while Feed Your Head entries lean toward Prime.
athelind: (hoard potato)
This is partly related to [livejournal.com profile] legacy2020, and partly a matter of general curiosity.

Back in World War II, Clark Kent volunteered for service, but failed his eye test. He was sufficiently agitated that his x-ray vision kicked in, and he wound up reading the (entirely different) eye chart in the next exam room. That popped up in the Superman newspaper strip, in February of 1942:



Bruce Wayne, on the other claw ... I have no idea what kept him out of the service. The Batman movie serial of 1943 has a line where Bruce and Dick talk about being on "special assignment" for "Uncle Sam", with the implication that said uncle knows who Batman and Robin really are, but to the best of my knowledge, nothing of the sort was ever brought up in the funny pages.

We've got the appropriate volumes of The Batman Chronicles at the store, and I suppose I could leaf through them and find out. On the other claw, it's more fun to ask the LiveJournal Hive Mind:

  1. Did the comics of the '40s ever provide an explanation for why Bruce Wayne stayed out of the service?
  2. Did any post-WWII comics throw in any retcons to answer the question?
  3. Okay, gang, what do you think? Did Bruce use his wealth to pull strings? Or did the proverbial "little man from the Draft Board" simply never drop in on Wayne Manor? Not everyone got called up, after all, and Lazy Trust Fund Playboy is exactly the kind of stereotype nobody would expect to volunteer.



(Please indicate which questions you're answering when you comment. Specific citations are preferable to hearsay, naturally.)
athelind: (Default)
Whilst looking for an old post, I found one from about three years ago that might do with revisiting:

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your character?



Think of this as one of those "Writer's Block" questions they put up on the LJ Home Page.

I may make it part of the character creation process in my future tabletop games.

I'm still sticking with Kelsey Grammer for Athelind.


athelind: (Default)
Whilst looking for an old post, I found one from about three years ago that might do with revisiting:

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your character?



Think of this as one of those "Writer's Block" questions they put up on the LJ Home Page.

I may make it part of the character creation process in my future tabletop games.

I'm still sticking with Kelsey Grammer for Athelind.


athelind: (Superboy Punches The Universe)
I was perusing some text files I wrote up at the end of last year, sketching out the initial outlines for a game setting, and got inspired again. I wanna run a game in this setting -- preferably a round-robin type game with rotating GMs, because, frankly, I'd have a blast playing in it myself.

This would be a Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition game set in an alternate DC Universe -- one where the major characters are introduced in the years they debuted in our world, and then age normally from there, interacting, marrying, having families and legacies.

It would steal heavily from "Elseworlds", especially Generations, The Golden Age, and The New Frontier.

I've put together tentative timelines for the Superman and Batman legacies, and I have ideas for the Marvel Family that I haven't typed up yet, but after that, I just... petered out. There are major legacies I need to timeline, and hten I need to go back, figure out how they intertwine, and revise accordingly.

So, I need a GEEKTANK! A thinktank of geeks to brainstorm ideas based on this premise -- largely just for the fun of it.

I may set up an LJ community for it -- if I could find some kind of Q&D Wiki, that would be ideal, since we could all brainstorm on timelines.

I know I've got fanfic writers and comics fans in my flist who could come up with good stuff here. Who wants in?
athelind: (Default)
I was perusing some text files I wrote up at the end of last year, sketching out the initial outlines for a game setting, and got inspired again. I wanna run a game in this setting -- preferably a round-robin type game with rotating GMs, because, frankly, I'd have a blast playing in it myself.

This would be a Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition game set in an alternate DC Universe -- one where the major characters are introduced in the years they debuted in our world, and then age normally from there, interacting, marrying, having families and legacies.

It would steal heavily from "Elseworlds", especially Generations, The Golden Age, and The New Frontier.

I've put together tentative timelines for the Superman and Batman legacies, and I have ideas for the Marvel Family that I haven't typed up yet, but after that, I just... petered out. There are major legacies I need to timeline, and hten I need to go back, figure out how they intertwine, and revise accordingly.

So, I need a GEEKTANK! A thinktank of geeks to brainstorm ideas based on this premise -- largely just for the fun of it.

I may set up an LJ community for it -- if I could find some kind of Q&D Wiki, that would be ideal, since we could all brainstorm on timelines.

I know I've got fanfic writers and comics fans in my flist who could come up with good stuff here. Who wants in?

November 2016

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