October 21st, 2003

Dark Tower

That Man Has No Fucking Neck

Is not The Rocky Horror Picture Show a perfect thing? I'm not a great fan of musicals, nor highly knowledgable about the sort of old SF novels it is referencing, so I'm not entirely sure I can comment on its success in its chosen medium or as a parody of its most obvious subject. Yet the flow of events has its own wonderful logic (complete with an actual plot and somewhat complex character arcs), and the actual emotion swirling through this disfunctional group of people keeps it grounded.

It seems to have been made in fairly bad conditions, by people who weren't entirely sure what they were creating, but it all coalesced. I also think that the movie itself is more signficiant that the audience routine that has grown up around it, although I suspect from the inside that can still be a powerful thing. I listened to the soundtrack + Australian audience feedback a _lot_ at one point (many years ago), and it must be said it also was a lot more coherent than what we heard of it on the DVD, which had mostly descended into cacophany.

Apparently Stephan Elliott (Priscilla, Welcome to Woop Woop) was supposed to be remaking it at some point, with Maryln Manson's name attached. It seems to have gone away again, which I can only think a good thing -- in part because I don't think they could keep the central naivety of the characters (Brad, Janet, Frank-N-Furter and Rocky are all innocent in their own different ways) that gives it its power. Whilst most people were disappointed with the 'sequel', Shock Treatment, we didn't mind it. There's also another movie that sort of follows on -- Jim Sharman came back to Australia and made a more conventional movie that nonetheless uses many of the images of RHPS, Summer of Secrets.
Dark Tower

Vote Rigging (2)

On the weekend our regular RPG group had a vote to see what game was coming up next. I won (sort of -- it was a tie and I ran off with the trophy when no-one else was looking), so I'm going to be running a D&D 'Against the Giants' campaign, starting in a month or two.

The other possibilities were continuing campaigns by other people (one D&D, one SF), plus me running an Angel game. Maybe if I'd thought about it first (the vote happened somewhat suddenly), I should have put a Demon game up instead, since half the people in the group have never seen Angel. But I want to run it one day soonish, possibly separately (time permitting, hah!).

(Nobilis, Unknown Armies and Exalted are other possibilities, but the group does have system inertia, and I haven't even read most of the books I own of each line (apart from the UA adventure anthologies, which are fabulous). I wanna, but apart from the occasional UA one-shot -- which I've had success with before -- it's probably not going to happen.)

(Kyla wants to run Cthulhu, has a Tokyo Hunter game in mind and has yearning for All Flesh, but time and inertia bite again, and they didn't get added to the ballot.)

But anyway... d20 it is. I'm not a great fan of the system, and think it has a particular problem at low levels (my attempt to run at high levels didn't work at all -- though that might have been for other reasons) so I'm starting everyone at 5th. I was considering slowing character progression down, but that's probably sacrificing too much of the player's fun for my own preferances. I'm also a fan of the original idea of Prestige Classes (campaign specific hooks, rather than excuses to sell books), but suspect I will just fall back onto the multiple examples scattered about.

I'm possibly sounding negative, but I do think fantasy can offer a lot of power in using familiar icons for creating drama. And I wasn't much of a AD&D 2nd ed fan either, but still managed to run a 175 session campaign (1st to 11th level), which actually worked pretty damn well, upon reflection. I should probably have a look back and see what went right there, in preparation.
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