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    Israel Reyes
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Stay Classy, Capcom
Sometimes the joke just writes itself, and when Game Informer gives me both notes on the same day, and one right next to the other.

Oh jolly ol' Capcom, never change.
True to Source
I had mentioned in prior comics how it's painfully obvious Red Sonja's producers only want to ride in the coat tails of Wonder Woman's success. The fact that they call Bryan Singer also makes it painfully obvious they don't care for making anything remotely passable and only care for people watching the movie -once-. As if that wasn't enough, they're doing a PG-13 movie of what's the most politically incorrect setting.

It's going to be a big garbage fire.
@Bysmerian: Ikr? It took it a whole 4 years to hit Lawbreaker's humilliating "70 players online" record.
So, Pathfinder 2's Beta
This comic was queued about 3 weeks ago... but I can't say I consider the topic a priority, so I didn't care enough to rush it to the fore.

While I devoured V5 with celerity (figurative one), reading PF 2 has been rather... painful. I need to whip myself into doing it. I should enjoy more reading it since this beta document is giving me one precious bit of comedy every three pages (not exaggerating), tearing it a new one is even easier than doing so with Starfinder.

On good news, seemingly Strands of Fate has a second edition now, and if this one is as fixated with being a Totally Not d20 as the original SoF was, I might have just found the game to scratch my fantasy itch given how PF is no longer an option.


P.S: More than ten years ago I made a purpose of extricating very specific words from my vocabulary, since the way we think influences the way we talk and viceversa... but seriously, sometimes there's just no other word to describe some things. Oh well, the word in turn to describe the differently abled is always considered highly offensive, and no matter the euphemism in turn used to sugar-coat it, such euphemism soon becomes the new insult, and then the cycle repeats itself.

P.P.S: If you didn't get the Tropic Thunder reference, ask your dad or dudebro uncle.
Cause And Effect
Here in Mexico, we have a saying which I don't think it has an equivalent in English-speaking countries, but it translates as: "Avoid good deeds that look bad."

Sure, the Rhineland Bastards do have a story, and sure, it deserves to be told... but NOT NOW.

You publish a Romeo & Juliet story with a nazi Romeo, in our current times of the fourth reich, and there's exactly one way the people are going to take it.

No matter how noble your intentions, if people look in your direction and your reflexive response is "it's not what it looks like!" then chances are it's not a hill worth dying on unless something very, very important and very, very urgent is on the line.

If Amma Asante is in fact not a nazi sympathizer, then she'd do well in canning this film for later... as in, when the fourth reich is relegated to history books and bitter memories, and the people is finally ready to heal.

Net Improvements
Of all the GM bad practices, nothing I hate worst than "the game with something for everyone."

This is always, ALWAYS a lie. The GM themself already knows what their game is gonna be about, and thus which character profiles are best suited for it. In the best case, the GM ends up runnig four (or more) single player games (because the PCs never had a reason to even MEET) where they should be running one game for all his players. The worst case is as above, but also you happened to roll the GM's least favorite kind of character, and you were effectively invited just as a spectator.

From all the improvements to V5, my two favorite ones are the Tenets system and the Coterie Points, both ensuring players are a (cohehsive enough) team from the start.

Straw Feminism, as given to you by nazis
TL;DR: Whenever you find something questionable-to-abhorrent in V5, chances are, it's Rein-Hagen's fault.

Long version:

After the original White Wolf imploded, Mark Rein-Hagen (aka Mark Rein*Hagen aka Mark Reinhagen aka The Dot Meister), author of the original Vampire: The Masquerade, left for eastern Europe where he seemingly lost all humanity points and ended up writing ethno-nationalist propaganda por the Georgia government oriented to racial cleansing.... so when you find THE INFAMOUS "1488" nazi dogwhistle in a playtest document where this man was involved you know it's no coincidence (also, Brujah's compulsion used to be called "triggered" in one of the test documents).

Nowadays, however, you won't find any of that in the finished product... or anywhere else. As part of White Wolf's damage control, they also had Rein-hagen delete over a full year of social media posts. Still, some crap still managed to get past the editor's radar, and from that, House Carna is the most egregious. If White Wolf eventually fixes that crap, I may use reference to Carna in my games, but until then, I refuse to acknowledge the strawman's existence.


P.S: Old Clan Tremere had a habit of embracing Hermetic mages, yes (as in, mages of the Order of Hermes). This was because Tremere Thaumaturgy is based on Hermetic formulae, so they embraced other Hermetics specifically to get new number crunchers to improve their existing formulae (and thus, their blood magic). The Tremere didn't delude themselves, they didn't think they were "doing you a favor," they knew they were ruining you, and they did it for the betterment of the clan.
Game by Tiers
In V5, the ST first selects in which tier the game is gonna take place

Childer: Only 3 discipline dots.
Neonates: 4 discipline dots, 15 XP. You're assumed to have been a vampire for 10-50 years.
Ancilla: 4 discpline dots, 35 XP. You're assumed to have been a vampire for 50-150 years.

As already mentioned by the comic, the XP in game is rather.... "token awards" for calling it some way, since unless you play daily (which is definitely not the case for this game's target demo), the XP is useless. While I suspect this is by design, so players never leave their designated tier, it would have been better coming clean and flat out saying there was no character advancement outside of Diablerie (it worked for The Dresden Files, which grants no advancement, instead letting you switch trait points from place between adventures in case the character's performance isn't to the player's satisfaction after their baptism by fire).

Fortunately, as far as functionality within my table is concerned, this quirk still falls within my "less than 5 houserules" rule for still liking a system. My table plays twice per month, and my games are usually schedulled to last around six months... so in my case I plan to get considerably more generous for my incoming neonate game (3XP per session so they gather a total of 54XP in the chronicle... considering making that 5XP).

So, V5
This may not be the only V5-related comic I do, so I'll spare you a full review. However, conscentious consummers will be relieved to hear that neither the lead design nor the witing were done by that horrible person named Mark Reinhagen, so you can buy it free of any guilt of potentially encouraging fascism (also, the lead designer is Kenneth Hite, and I support his work).

Setting-wise, the main change for those only caring about the vampiric society is that the glass ceiling left along with all elder vampires. For those caring about the whole picture, however, the Second Inquisition is too much of a game changer, but at least Hite allowed for the possibility of just leaving it in the background (otherwise, the game's premise transforms from Vampire to Reverse Secret Word).

Rules-wise, Hite fixed LOTS of things. There will be a couple things I may do different at my table, but overall I'm much, much happier with the new system.

This game makes me happy, I've been itching for a while now.

I commend you to read this blog post. Everthing I could say on agency and the d&d paradigm I already did there:
Typos kill
While I usually wouldn't blame an old man for NOT BEING ABLE TO TELL MAGIC THE GATHERING FROM DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, I do blame him when he's a reporter, and knowing of what he's talking about is HIS JOB. Hasbro's person was talking about how MAGIC THE GATHERING was having a great year, and how they were considering making an e-sport out of MAGIC: ARENA.




Because this blogger's neglect, I had to suffer days of people deluding themselves about "d&d as an e-sport."

For starters, an e-sport has such concise, specific, non-breakable rules, that the game doesn't require arbirtration beyond making sure both players are using the same rigs or consoles in the same condition.

Magic is an actual game, with actual rules. Rules properly codified, in fact so well codified that you can put said rules in a machine, and the machine will run the games flawlessly. THIS is the kind of games you can build professional leagues around. With sponsors. And grown-ass-person money.

Alita vs. Hollywood
All Hollywood's Ghost In The Shell taught me was that Mamoru Oshi did have a price in the end (sad, as fitting as it may be for the cyberpunk genre).

Now, it's Gunm's (that's Battle Angel Alita for you, yanks) turn, and seemingly that one will fare even worse. The googly eyes they put on the actress only make me think it's actually some Marvel-grade anti-manga campaign (remember marvel's "mangaverse"?). "Grotesque" doesn't even begin to describe it.

What particularly grinds my gears is that they're choosing Japan's science fiction for destruction. Hugo Gernsback rolls in his grave every time Hollywood picks a new victim. And then, it's just like the lumbering undead that is the videogame industry. The second crash started long ago, but the industry won't finish collapsing because the sheeple won't let it. They keep selling because people keep buying.

I, for one, I'm voting with my wallet.

Did Not Do Their Homework
The whole point of Smash Bros... is that IT IS SMASH BROS, it is Nintendo's whole cast bashing their skulls in.

...made by Nintendo...a business known for its whimsy, which automatically switches our Willing Suspension of Disbelief On, and with decades of IPs we care about. The Disney of videogames.

TeePee is not Nintendo. Period.

Hell, Sony does have the required number of cherished IPs to try, and PS All-Stars Battle Royale was a colossal failure because Sony as a company in general and Playstation's IPs/exclusives in particular lack the required whimsy to inspire our Willing Suspension of Disbelief.

Now, Blizzard? They made it big with Overwatch... but we're talking about masters of storytelling and world building. They created a cast and raised them from zeroes to icons because they took all the right steps, starting by using Blizzard's name to create hype, and then selling your each individual character, their lore, and personality (with one beautiful movie each), thus making us care about them (regardless of whether you play the game or not).

TeePee... well, they not only didn't do their homework, they missed the point completely.

Is there a masculine for of the name "Cassandra"?
I'm sure I warned you at some point in the past about dumping the Habeas Corpus in favor of mob justice... in fact, I did warn you several times. Remember what I told you would happen once those floodgates were open?

THIS. THIS is what happens. (also, THIS)

It was only a matter of time before nazis and otherwise deplorables learned the outrage brigades' tactics and started unleashing them on innocents (just like the outrage brigades used to do). The ones I hold most responsible, however, are all the businesses who let themselves be bullied over the years, further encouraging the radicals, since their disloyalty to employees led us to this point.

Having said this: No, don't even think, don't dare suggest I would ever equate outrage brigade caricatures with the people who are actually fighting the good fight against the fucking nazis.

Who cares for living forever?
For the life of me, I really can't figure out what's d&d's deal with keeping eternal life away from player characters' hands at all costs.

Seriously. I can't even. I just can't.

Fake Nice, Real Results
So, garbage people have their knickers in a bunch over Overwatch' new Endorsement System.

Fun Fact: We owe our entire civilization to "fake nice." There's no lasting civilization without order, and there's no order without "Fake Nice."

Are we all being treated like children because of the garbage few? Maybe, but since homo sapiens keeps hell-bent on sticking to their worse nature, I'm willing to accept some compromises like this before You Know Who makes a new attempt at a totalitarian power grab on the internet using the garbage people as validating argument.

Elections Weekend
This comic will go online the day after Mexico's elections, and our elections are going to have three things in common with U.S' 2016's elections:

1) The only actually good candidate was de-facto, arbitrarily disqualified (in our case, it wasn't by decree, but by Catch-22).

2) One of the candidates is backed by Russia and is pulling the Trump gambit of spewing populist rhetoric in public while cutting deals with the 1% behind the curtains. (in our case, though, Russian interference is useless).

3) The party in power is pulling the Hillary Gambit (its only saving grace is that the alternatives are even worse).

At my most cynical, I'd usually tell you Mexico has little to fear from demagogues since we're not even a democracy.
HOWEVER... if for any reason either of the alternatives wins, then I might as well start practicing my final bow since, just like Trump, either of the three are going to turn out worse for Mexico than anyone could ever imagine.

It's going to be a MOST bitter pill to swallow having to vote for the party I have deemed as the lesser evil, but I have to vote.

May God have mercy on us..
Saving the world... for later
As of the moment this comic was slated in the queue, Cryptic had just agreed to delay a change in the billing system that would have de-facto fired all of its paying customers. Here's the rundown:

Are you a Champions Online subscriber and you just missed a payment for whatever reason? Well, you're SOL, because subscriptions have just been abolished and you can't renew!

Q: What about all my freeform characters?
A: Locked, all of them.

Q: How do I get them back?
A: Either convert them to silver or pay Cryptic a ransom of $200 (the cost of a Life-time subscription)

If you play CO, I'm sure you can see the problem. Also, let's remember Cryptic isn't backpedalling on it, they're just delaying it. Even if they change it, you can be sure it's not going to be to anyone's liking.

This may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. When even your resident sycopanths turn on you, that means you finally crossed the line.

What they did, however, was removing the possibility of account wide costume slot purchase, and the player base probably hasn't noticed yet... let's see what the sycopanths say once they notice.

The Lockbox Saga Continues
When you see ESA's president arguing on the dictionary's meaning of GAMBLING, you know everyone is on to their bullshit. Then again, and bears repeating, the industry's crap will continue as long as consumers keep enabling the lockbox peddlers.

Eternal Vigilance
No, I won't tell you who is today's Maude Flanders, any visits to their site is boosting their signal, but two weekends ago, these modern-day book burners were gloating about their victory while it came to my attention several indie smut peddlers got an email with Steam's kiss of death at the same time (being demanded to either "censor their game or get delisted" is the same as showing them to the door when the whole point of those games is smut).

I'm focusing on Steam, because being the 800 pound gorilla of online retailers and with the ESA having their backs, it's embarassing they caved in so easily to Moms Against Fun. While some people are claiming Steam backpedaled on this early last week, I won't look away until all indies Steam betrayed confirm they're safe.

Hell, I don't even like visual novels, but I oppose the Thought Police on principle, and will do so every time they rear their ugly heads.

If you want to protest Steam's shenanigans, you have two ways to do so:

1) Buy a cheap visual novel.
2) Report as many AAA games with questionable content as you can, so Steam gets the hint you're on to them. Clearly they won't delist GTA, or The Witcher, or Conan Exiles, the point is confronting them with their double standards.

Finally, a PSA: Always distrust any and all moral guardians organization, especially if they use any fallacious name like "Peace and Love Incorporated."