Alright guys, we’re back with another review.
As I mentioned last time, I’ll be reviewing the latest Pathfinder Tale’s novel, The Redemption Engine. Please take this as your warning for potential minor spoilers for the novel, because damn it I have to talk about it to review it, now don’t I. Not much else to say really, so let’s just get straight to it.
The Redemption Engine
James L. Sutter
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Salim, Pathfinder’s answer to Captain Jack Harkness, faces off against an angel. Wait a second… aren’t angels the good guys? Like, by definition? What gives?
From the Paizo.com blurb:
When murdered sinners fail to show up in Hell, it’s up to Salim Ghadafar, an atheist warrior forced to solve problems for the goddess of death, to track down the missing souls. In order to do so, Salim will need to descend into the anarchic city of Kaer Maga, following a trail that ranges from Hell’s iron cities to the gates of Heaven itself. Along the way, he’ll be aided by a host of otherworldly creatures, a streetwise teenager, and two warriors of the mysterious Iridian Fold. But when the missing souls are the scum of the earth, and the victims devils themselves, can anyone really be trusted?
From acclaimed author James L. Sutter comes a sequel to Death’s Heretic, ranked #3 on Barnes & Noble’s Best Fantasy Releases of 2011!
So. I saw Pacific Rim yesterday, and felt the need to write something about it. Obviously I’m not a professional critic, so I guess this might be a little rough, but honestly some of the reviews I’ve been seeing from the professional critics have annoyed me. I don’t care if they don’t like the movie, that’s their right, but some of them are showing that they’ve clearly got no idea what the movie was trying to accomplish. Saying that it owes its existence to Michael Bay’s Transformers is a bloody joke, especially given the fact that the movie is clearly intended as a way to introduce a new generation to the concept of Kaiju and giant robot films. There were a number of other inaccuracies, but I can’t really be bothered with them now beyond pointing out that things like this are why I rarely bother with reviews by professional critics before seeing a movie. I normally find reviews by average viewers to be of much more use, since I’m more likely to be judging a movie on similar criteria to them.
Hence why I’ve decided to review this in the hopes that it helps some people decide whether or not to watch it. First though, let’s make something clear. This is a movie review, so this could quite conceivably be considered to be spoilerific. You have been warned, and you read on at your own risk. That said, I have done my absolute best to avoid things I would consider to be spoilers. Pretty much all of the plot info in here is stuff you’d get from watching the trailer. Now then, let’s get into it…
I’m not being paid for this. Not a great start to a blog post.
Our illustrious blog-master and my deadly DM is currently caught in China with a respiratory tract infection. While that sounds like a the beginning to a Spycraft session, I’m serious. Because the great Firewall of China blocks WordPress (Alongside Twitter and Facebook.) I’ve been asked to take over posting duties for just a moment.
Sad news is I’m terrible at it. I’ve decided it was a good idea to bring the World of Darkness into direct light. Maybe illuminate a section on which I may have a slight edge on.
The World of Darkness is a modern horror roleplaying game by White Wolf (Now published by The Onyx Path.) using the “Storytelling” system. As a horror setting, the Storytelling system is a rules moderate. It doesn’t quite get as fly-by-your-pants, stats-mean-nothing-only-drama-is-allowed as Freeform, and it definitely steers clear of the D&D/Pathfinder pitfall of having rules for everything under the sun.
The mechanics are simple. All rolls and contests are decided by a number of 10 sided dice. Rolling a 8, 9 or 10 is considered a “success”. A 10 allows you to roll again, giving a chance to increase your successes. This form of open-ended rolling can lead to truly unexpected results, far more so than a standard “critical hit”.
While I can harp on about the crunch of the system, the main draw is the mood, themes and stories found in each book. The FLUFF! White Wolf’s fluff is the best in the business. Each rule book spends at least 50% of the time talking about how it feels to be chased down a darkened street by a brutish beastie. In the Vampire setting, much thought is given to the question “What do you do if you live forever?”, something that can be considered a driving question. This gives a personal element to the game. Each storyteller is primed to ask deep questions to reinforce and build player’s characters.
Most recently, I was playing an SCP Foundation type game with a skilled Storyteller. Through careful application of the mechanics and descriptions cribbed from the WoD core book’s stories, he successfully terrified the lot of us. I feel as if we were using a less evocative system, one without a focus on lethality and danger, his efforts would’ve been subdued.
Thanks for reading my guest post, feel free to leave questions in the comments, and I’ll try to get to them.