Monstress: It Is InSide You

I finally got some me time and managed to read Monstress, which I has really been looking forward for a long time. And let me tell you something: it was better than what I wished it would be, what I had read it was, and what it could potentially be. I mean every word.

This is not just a story heavily powered by the third wave of feminism, and a pretty bleak commentary on earlier feminism:  this is a comic written and drawn by women, about women, but not necessarily just for women: Monstress is a Warning. Monstress is about what lies inside and you don’t want to know about, and fight to keep within. Monstress is also, the crudest example of – please excuse my vulgar terminology – “bitches be crazy, bitches be powerful”. I do not think there is a single male character in this volume that has more lines than a female one. And I guarantee you every single one of them passes the Bechdel Test. In fact, I do not think a single woman talks to another about a guy…People are dying here! There are far more important things to talk about. There is magic, mystery, conspiracy, politics, idealism…But mostly Lies. Pretty much everything that drags the argument forward is a very deep and elaborate lie someone created for their convenience – and yeah, that someone seems to me always a woman. Again, I could sit here and tell you how the dialogue is brilliant, how the narrative combines elements of Western and Eastern storytelling. How the art work is with is the prettiest steam punk/fantasy/art decoish thing you can buy currently…But Why? You don’t need me to tell you that. It is Obvious. You just need to open and look at a page.

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Trying To Find a WWII RPG

For me one of the best things about RPGs is the way they can transport you to another time and place like nothing else. Mostly I experience this with games that are set in a favourite universe of a book, movie or videogame; things like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars being major examples. But as a history nerd I’m even more excited by the possibilities to explore a certain period of history this way. When compared with any other medium, even videogames, RPGs give you greater freedom, immersion and potential variety than them all. Combine these possibilities with a GM who really knows their stuff and a willing group of players and you could get some really interesting insights into a historical period or event. This is something that I experienced first hand when playing a viking in Mythic Iceland in one of the best roleplaying campaigns I’ve ever been a part of.

So there seems to be a few historical RPGs out there, and I’ve found plenty set in and around medieval periods, something I will undoubtedly make a post on in the future. But there seems to be a strange lack of RPGs simply set during World War 2. Not to say that there is a complete lack of games out there however, there are plenty that are set in WW2 but there is always something extra. Usually it seems to be supernatural elements such as Cthulhu horror, zombies, alien technology or superhuman powers. Apart from game systems that are very light on rules or those meant to be used for general modern combat, there’s nothing that really fits the bill of a standard RPG set in WW2 with decent rules for both combat and non-combat situations, and fairly authentic if not realistic historical accuracy.

Perhaps you may think that the reason for this is that WW2 in terms of tabletop games is far more popular in wargaming and has little reason to be an RPG when it should be all about battles and combat. Well apart from the fact that popular tabletop wargames have such as Warhammer and Battletech have very extensive and successful RPG spinoffs, I think that the setting of WW2 actually provides a lot of interesting opportunities for an RPG both with and without heavy use of combat. You could be a group of spies or double-agents trying to find information from within Axis command. A small squad of Commandos or other special forces sent on covert missions behind enemy lines to disrupt and sabotage. You could be sent on special missions involving some of the new inventions of the war, or even be a character that develops them. You could be the crew of a bomber shot down deep behind enemy lines, or the surviving crew in a naval battle trying to survive on an enemy controlled island. You could be resistance fighters or partisans in an occupied country. You could even easily combine a few of these into one campaign. Continue reading “Trying To Find a WWII RPG”

Rise of the Pokemon Nuzlocke

2016 has been the biggest year for Pokémon since the fabled 1997. Which is the year that the television anime started airing in the west!

Everywhere you look right now the ‘mons have flooded popular culture. McDonald’s has just signed a sponsoring agreement with Niantic to turn every restaurant into a Pokéstop for their mobile app game… which has now become so popular it’s trumped ‘Porn’ on google search (I’m dead serious).
Hype is also boiling for the upcoming ‘Sun and Moon’ games for 3DS which are breathing strange new life into the videogames and has the fanbase chattering like its recess at school. Not to mention the anime, where the latest Kalos season has been touted as the best to air yet. Could it be called a second Goldén Age?

This year Pokémon celebrates its 20th anniversary. But something else has risen the top of the Monster food chain, something that old Nintendo never had a hand in to begin with.
I’m here today to talk about something special to me- and to many who walked away from Pokémon before. Something that brought us back during our adult years in large numbers.

I’m here to talk about the Nuzlocke.

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