Suicide Squander

I’m really proud of my hack journalist title.

I was really excited about Suicide Squad. I’ve been a big fan of DC for a long time. I didn’t think Man of Steel was bad. BvS was not good. This was a chance for a fun movie that could kickstart a new DCCU and blah blah blah. I saw the trailer: Bohemian Rhapsody: Great. I saw the director: I like everything David Ayer has done: End of Watch made me cry. WILL SMITH, does he really do bad movies? A few but come on, surely not this one. We all know what happened. This is not a good movie. I am convinced it is due to the studio, see David Ayer, and some silly reason we will not understand. Clint Eastwood will tell you that editing is the most important part of a movie, I agree in terms of story telling, and this went to different editors and….

I re-watched BvS and posted to Facebook a play by play. I did the same thing with Iron Fist the first time I watched it before I couldn’t take it anymore and stopped watching. I still haven’t finished. I enjoyed it and am going to do it again with Suicide Squad. I really wanted to like this movie, and try to look on the bright side of things as often as possible so some stuff gets a relative pass.

0:01 I like all this neon shit. I like the song. Edits are too fast.

0:03 Needed more time on Deadshot. Like the ‘present day’ intro for Harley, hate the flashback, its out of place.

0:04 We are on song 3 and location 3 and character 4…

0:06 I think that the Amanda Waller scene should have opened the movie, with a longer emphasis on her motivation. ALSO, I am being introduced into Deadshot again.

0:07 Lets have Waller intro everyone from her binder, and THEN see them in prison. I like the crazy title cards with their introductions and stats, I think it is fun.

0:09 Scene with Deadshot’s daughter is great. I even really like the Batman cameo.

0:11 I like the crazy costume thugs, I remember an eyeball in the trailer… Problem is I have no idea where we are or why this is happening or how the characters got there and I feel like I missed a lot of important stuff about the Joker/Harley relationship. Flashforward flashback dream sequence in 4 seconds.

0:12 I am confident that this flashback club scene is pointless. I want to see it longer and in a different context.

0:13 thats the problem I think. There is no context for a lot of things in this.

0:14 I am a fan of the bat cameo again.

This might have been a mistake, I think I have some second thoughts about a play for play about this movie. Each scene lasts 30 seconds. Forgot it was this quick.

0:15 Flash cameo is cool. I do think I should let you know I didn’t have a problem with the cameos for the JLA in BvS. The plot hole around them yes, but not the cameos themselves.

0:17 Now we are BACK at the prison when the other intros show how the characters were caught, this doesn’t. Lets have some consistency.

Never mind, it does show how he was caught, I think. It was a taser. Thats all, just a taser. NBD.

0:18 Enchantress (might be my biggest issue in the movie) Stupid background story. Whatever, why are we introducing MAGIC into group of, essentially melee characters. It is off balance.

0:20 “In a world of flying men and monsters this is the only way to protect our country.” I get it, but there is still that balance issue. “What if Superman decided to fly down…who would have stopped him?” No one on this list.

How weird, in the background dossier there appears to be a character that Waller didn’t introduce me to. I bet we will get a proper introduction in a bit, but it seems out of place.

0:21 In the effort of time and sanity, I will say that, short of the hand grabbing flip turning into effect, I don’t like much of anything about Enchantress and try not to dwell on it. Why is the magic word to turn into her, the English word ‘enchantress’? If she can do all this stuff why is she on this low level squad?

0:23 This should be our first intro to the prison. Killer Croc make up and performance is pretty great. Same with Diablo. They did some great casting with this movie and I think they wasted it. Clearly they wanted to do a Guardians of the Galaxy thing but didn’t really pay attention to basic story structure, so you know, thats cool. I am such the target audience for this stuff and will consume content like crazy. Super disappointed.

0:27 Browser history joke was good. Deadshot is dope, could do without the song in the background.

0:29 Why is Flagg repeating exposition we have heard twice already?

0:31 Joker being weird is fine, but it seems like he is high AF. Not a fan of that. Scene unnecessary.

0:32 Casino. THIS should have been the first scene we see Joker. (At the end I will say we shouldn’t have seen him until the very end as a teaser for the next movie, but for this is how I felt in the theatre)

0:33 Enchantress BS I don’t care about. I don’t believe they are in love and I don’t want the supernatural stuff. Mirror effect is cool.

0:37 Task Force X ? is this the mid 90’s when it comes to naming stuff? New thought: The scene with Deadshot negotiating for his daughter was great, It might have been nice to see a similar scene for the rest of the team and have the neck bombs as back up. Flys and honey right? Griggs should have been more subtle.

0:39 Joker attacks again. Batman mask is cool. I don’t hate Leto’s Joker as a whole, but i could have gone with more humor. for all of that method acting shit I wish there was more going on, or he was in it more.

0:40 Enchantress’ brother looks like The Destroyer and Loki from Thor and Groot from GOTG. This movie jumps around SO much.

0:42 WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?

0:43 I forgot Scott Eastwood is in this. I don’t think he is very good.

0:44 I really like Captain Boomerang in this 15 second scene.

0:44 SLIPKNOT? Who the hell is this? Is he that guy from that photo in the background earlier? The man who can climb anything, what does that mean? Where is his title card? What’s his deal? I’m curious because I want to be attached to the character.

0:46 Suiting up scene is good. I don’t have a problem with any of the music choices really. But just like the editing and rest of the movie nothing is left to sit and marinate. I need a breath.

0:46 I’m going to use this opportunity to say how great I think Margot Robbie is in this role. Not sure if I would have cast her as a different version of Harley, but this one she kills. Broad and nuanced, funny and sexy, charismatic and crazy. It works really well. The relationship she develops with Deadshot is really cool too. They have a nice balance. Probably why I like it.

0:48 I am pausing this to write and rewatch. The costume designer is killing it. Each of these characters has a style and cool details that are glossed over because there isn’t a cut that lasts longer than two heartbeats. Captain Boomerang has chainmail gloves. Its super rad and makes sense. Even the soldiers are a little different here and there. Mad props.

0:48 Katana? Who the hell is this? why are we cutting away again we just got to some action. Where is her file? Where is her title card? What is her motivation? Why is she here? Is she bad? Her sword traps the SOULS of its victims? Did the DCCU just create souls and heaven and hell? Does no one have a question about that? Why is there magic again?

0:52 Oh thats why I don’t need to care about Slipknot. Really didn’t see that coming…

0:55 Mindless mutant monster things. In 20 seconds two people asked what they are. We kind of get an answer but not really. That is a metaphor for this movie.

1:05 Jay Hernandez is good too.

1:07 Why is there a flashback right now? What happened? It is sort of implied, but mainly because of Burton’s Batman. Where did those colors come from.

1:10 WALLER IS THE ASSET? It just seems silly to me. And we all know about the holding the phone weird thing. With that being said, I think Viola Davis was cast well too, and does a great job.

1:13 The tuxedo for Joker is great too. Him being introduced here would have been great too.

1:17 Flares off the helicopter looked very cool. Why did it go down to street level?

1:19 Harley throws away the necklace and switches to a happy mask, great moment.

1:23 This bar scene is excellent. It should have been longer. I think there is something missing that was in the trailer. I can’t say it too much, this needed this to be longer. Diablo’s story would have been more emotional without the flashback.

1:28 The Flag romance, the Enchantress is the bad guy, the supernatural stuff; that should have been the sequel. This should have been more grounded in reality and then gotten weird in number 2.

1:30 Why is Boomerang back?

1:31 Where did this scuba gear come from?

1:34 Rick “Exposition” Flag strikes again.

I love American Psycho Leto Joker Family Man, it cracks me up.

This is the first time I think the flashbacks work. But where was Boomerang’s and Katana’s? Missed opportunity.

1:39 I like big Diablo. Did Scott Eastwood Kill himself?

1:44 Not crazy about the Harley tricking moment…

1:45 Rick “Plot Explainer” Flag strikes again.

1:52 This is when the Joker should have first shown up. Right now. It would have been awesome.

END I like the 21 Pilots song. I like the neon stuff again. I need closure with Griggs. I need some denouement with Waller and her plans, post credit scene doesn’t do it. Who is she getting to add to the team. I would like to have had a squad member die to add some weight so it really is a suicide squad. Common was wasted. Watch any other film David Ayer was involved in. Or any of the actors pretty much.

There is so much potential that was squandered. I want it to be good so badly. I am still excited for Wonder Woman and Justice League. I don’t get it. These characters are cool and need better story tellers. Ben Affleck was going to direct some Batman films maybe, now it looks like he isn’t. I can only assume he wasn’t excited about working with the producers, because he wants to tell a good story (see his past directing work). Silly.

 

 

Tomb of Horrors?

I recently played through the Tomb of Horrors from the new “Tales from the Yawning Portal” release. I was disappointed. I was disappointed for two reasons: the dungeon itself, and the way we approached it. I won’t ramble on about anything too much but I do want to address it.

We approached the dungeon thusly: Lets roll up characters and play” The Tomb of Horrors.” Knowing it was TOH put us on edge when we started and having new characters without a campaign didn’t really do much for me. There was no weight to our choices, but we were still timid to do anything. I don’t think DnD is great for a one shot, I prefer a longer campaign but am confident that YMMV. We didn’t know anything about TOH except that it is brutal. For us it was just long and drawn out. I don’t really want to dwell on my experience because I am sure it is very specific and uninteresting. I will leave you with my favorite part of the evening. Our DM printed out the handouts from the original module, black and white, on high quality stock, and as we progressed he changed them out and showed us what we were looking at. It was very cool.

Now for part two. I don’t think it is a good dungeon. Going to try and do this spoiler free. I don’t think it is worthwhile. Inside a campaign, as a true challenge for players…? No, I just don’t like it. I think it is unbalanced. I know that it was designed to destroy characters, that is not what I mean. I don’t think it is good at establishing rules. There is a riddle at the beginning which gives hints to some traps and that is great. I will stress it again, that is the best mechanic as far as I am concerned.
After that, I think it goes downhill. I don’t think the puzzles are super clever. There is no real combat, and that is what I was talking about in terms of balance. I think there should be some kind of combat at least once per session, to appease all play types, and this is a long session without much combat. The Big Boss is a disappointment I feel as he is not super intimidating, but has also got some weird rules around him. Bigger than that is the simple fact that I don’t believe the dungeon exists. It doesn’t seem like a real place. It seems as though it was made for D&D and couldn’t really exist. This is a personal thing for me, but I want there to be some sort of realism to it. Because if this is truly a vault for treasure designed to keep people out, why would there be all of this information on how to get in?

I’m not happy with this post, it feels very blah to me and I think it might be because TOH was a blah experience. I hope that if you play it you have more fun than I did.

The Local Tavern pt.1

How my first one page dungeon came to be.

While investigating blogs and user content for Dungeons & Dragons and other RPG tabletop game things, I came upon the One Page Dungeon Contest. After doing a bit of research I decided it was time to actually create content and put it into the aether. This seemed like a great place to start. I had actually played one of their dungeons, without knowing it! The Sea Devil’s Stout adventure was one that a DM of mine had used to start of a campaign, and I enjoyed it very much.

I tried to figure out what I wanted to do. The most important thing would be something not too high concept and playable. It just so happened that I had just started a new campaign as a GM. There is a whole thing going on with it, and I will discuss it later. However, the initial basic adventure, sans big hooks, was designed for 1st-2nd level characters that were a mix of new and veteran players. I adjusted a few things and added a lot to fill out the full page.

The goal when creating it was to fill the need of creating a traditional dungeon that starts in a local tavern, and has some classic tropes in it: cultists, undead, monsters, intrigue, traps, treasure, puzzles. The only thing that didn’t fit in was the first encounter rat swarm. It was important for me to have it be as well rounded as possible and have some cool little hooks, which could lead to a bigger campaign just like my experience with Sea Devil.

I did what I could to have it not be super crazy high concept. Most things I make have D&D 5E in mind, but any high fantasy should work. What is pretty neat about the One Page Dungeon Contest is it needs to be system neutral, which does have some legal reasons behind it, but also insists that the adventures should be adaptable to differing play styles. There is some need for the GM to look up stats and all that stuff but its a really cool organization that promotes content as well as inspiration for whole campaigns!

The other goal I had was to incorporate this Choose Your Own Adventure idea I’ve been using for awhile. Its not a new idea. An open world game/story has been around forever. But the bulletin board trope in a local tavern to kick off an adventure has never been something I’ve used. When starting my new campaign I wanted to utilize some classic tropes. The one thing that I did, which I haven’t heard of before. I’m positive again it is not a new idea. But I wanted all of the jobs/rumors to be caused by the same thing. Every issue this town is having is due to one (in this case) cult. When I ran it for my players, they turned their noses up at some quests and excited about other. And then, they linked everything together and had an “Aha!” moment. Moments like that are the best.

Here is my contest submission:

The Local Tavern

 

One Page Dungeon Contest

I doubt anyone will land on this by accident,

I have been speaking about / being told to, have blog for awhile now. Something to be used as a creative outlet for stuff… Primarily RPG related things and stuff. I am not the most eloquent writer and have put it off and you know… BUT, my attention was directed toward the website www.dungeoncontest.com in regards to their One Page Dungeon Contest. I created something and submitted it. The submission deadline was today and I do not know how it is going to go. I am excited that it sparked me to start something. I am starting out as basic as possible with this blog, and will move up and add as time allows. There is a vision, we will see if it comes to fruition or evolves. In the meantime, I doubt anyone will land on this by accident, and might only possibly be directed here via Dungeon Contest, I will try to upload the content I currently have as soon as possible.

I do want to give a shout out again to www.dungeoncontest.com, they have been pretty cool to me as someone submitting, and its a pretty cool concept that exists in the world.

End of Post.