Diecast #146: Zack Snyder v Superman, Daredevil, D&D

By Shamus
on Mar 28, 2016
Filed under:
Diecast

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Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster.
Episode edited by Issac.

If the show auto-plays for you, please consult this post for details. In short, it’s a bug in the latest Firefox, I can’t fix it, but it should be patched soon. (And maybe the patch is up already.)

00:01:30 Zack Snyder: “The Force Awakens Killed More Civilians Than Man of Steel”

Dude, that shirt is in shockingly poor taste
Dude, that shirt is in shockingly poor taste.

Above is the quote that got all the attention in the original WSJ article, but for me THIS quote is the one that really raised my eyebrows:

“I was surprised with the fervency of the defense of the concept of Superman. I feel like they were taking it personally that I was trying to grow up their character.”

If that comment was supposed to smooth things out, I think it… didn’t.

00:20:55 Daredevil

Like I said in the show, this is on my to-watch list as soon as this Good Robot business is over.

31:30 Rutskarn’s Tales of D&D Tomfoolery.

Also contains japery and shenanigans.

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A Hundred!2015There are 135 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    “Grow up the character?”

    Superman was first and foremost an adult before New 52 and the Man of Steel series. He wrestled with the morality of his actions but valued human dignity and respect. He took responsibility for his actions. He was foremost about doing things the right way because especially since he had the power to do so. He was extremely mindful of how he used his power, which always resonated with me.

    Now he’s too much a thug.

    This is something DC doesn’t get. Breaking Superman breaks the whole universe. If even he can’t do things right and be the beacon of good, then it plunges the entire setting into cynicism.

    Also, the movie is exactly as bad as it sounds. Its as bad as we all expected it to be. The titular battle completely breaks the characters.

    Funny thing about the body count. This movie does take some pains to try to establish that Superman does actually save people and multiple times during the fight, at the end, people comment on how the area the battles are taking place in is empty (By my count, it gets said at least three times and all are conspicuous. As if Snyder is trying to say “You got it? Just enjoy the superbeings smashing into buildings ok?”). Only there are plenty of other instances of the characters being uncharacteristically brutal.

    EDIT: I expected this movie to be bad. I only went because my Dad and I have a tradition of going to see these things.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      You dont get it.DC is making stuff for 40 year olds,not for you toddlers.So of course you cant comprehend how grown up this movie is.

      Also:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl4ghsv04V0&t=49s

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        I’m almost 40 and I found this movie to be juvenile and trying to hard to be self important. Its also just shot badly. It was like every scene was a moving comic book frame.

        You know how sometimes at the beginning of a movie you’ll get sort of short clips of people in several different locations doing things that you know will interconnect later and then it goes to normal cinematography? Well this movie feels like it never exits that montage mode. I don’t know how else to describe it. Its like every scene is an open question with a promise of an answer to come later when more context is provided or whatever, and then that just never happens. Snyder is way to focused on individual cool moments he has visualized in his head. Which makes him sound like Michael Bay but its more cool-artsy action/cinematography beats than it is splosions.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well barely 40 is not the same as 40.You dont get true wisdom until you actually reach such mature age.

          Joking aside,am I really the only one who remembers that stupid quote?Im not even a dc fan and that quote insulted me with how nonsensical it was.If I were their fan before,Id never be able to forgive them for it.

          • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

            I think I’ve figured it out. It almost feels like most of the movie is a montage. Thats how the shots and the pacing feel, at least till you get to the fight.

            Its a montage of cinematic moments you might want to have in a movie about two superheroes duking it out occasionally connected by more conventional sequences.

            I keep hoping a film buff will come along, get what I’m talking about, and describe it with proper terminology.

            Side Note:
            My favorite unintentionally funny moment (which is in the trailers so its not a spoiler) is when Lois puts her hand on Superman’s chest logo and says “This means something.” There’s something about how she says it or how the scene is edited, it just feels like what the entire movie is trying to do in almost every scene

            “This means something.”
            “This is important.”
            “This is symbolic”
            “I can’t articulate it but this is meaningful.”

            Its just trying so hard to be important but its like the Seltzer and Friedberg of weighty importance. Where the comic duo says “remember this thing?” and thinks that counts as a joke, Snyder says “This movie has this theme” and thinks his job is done. Or he think all he has to do is mention the theme over and over again. Probably the closest he comes to actually developing a theme is “Superman as God/Messiah/Fallen Christ Figure” where they have actual moments of people treating Superman like Jesus and others with people being disillusioned about him.

            Also, its funny to see Snyder’s obsession with slo mo. He outs himself with the way he does the Batman origin scene in slo mo. Christopher Nolan brilliantly subverted the typical approach to this scene by having his version be really sudden and confusing. There’s chaos and noise and next thing Bruce knows, his parents are on the ground. It was startling, sudden, and impactful in Nolan’s version.

            One of the pearls falls into the sewer in slow mo and the shot is fixed on it for so long that I can only assume it will return as a Teenage Mutant Ninja in the next movie.

            • Groboclown says:

              From what I hear, the first half of the film doesn’t use any establishing shots. These are the contextual bits of footage that introduce the audience to a change in setting or a change in mood.

              • Nidokoenig says:

                The page you link states that they’re dropping out of fashion for pacing reasons right at the top, and further down talks about how their effectiveness is dependent on a “common cinematic cultural background”, which, considering the importance of non-US or non-Western markets, especially for a film as financially big as this, makes it a lot more reasonable to do without them, especially as ways to convey subtleties like mood. There’s a whole reasonable debate about breadth of reach versus depth of reach for art, but lacking one aspect of traditional film making is a very subjective thing, not an inherent flaw.

                • Wide And Nerdy says:

                  Well they have to be replaced with something, because movies like this one and The Amazing Spiderman 2 are just jumbled messes of scenes. There’s no connecting tissue. And since when does every establishing shot have to be of a location we already recognize? This is a fictional setting anyway. Establishing shots don’t just show us where we are, they show us things about where we are. We don’t know anything about the Snyderverse version of Gotham, we barely know anything about this version of Metropolis or even Smallville.

                  It would be like if I were to just stop using pronouns and never found a replacement for them.

                  I don’t want to lock a creative process into an orthodoxy of established techniques but what Snyder does in this film and what several similar geek action films have done lately does not work. Star Trek Into Darkness, The Amazing Spiderman 2 and this movie all have this problem in spades. They’ve sacrificed everything so that they can fire cool moments at you in a rapid barrage. I don’t go to a theater to watch a two hour movie for that experience.

                • Groboclown says:

                  I agree that showing the landscape view for an establishing shot isn’t necessary. But, to me, a film should at least have some way of indicating to the viewer that you’re now in a different place or a different scene.

                  There are different ways to do this, and some scenes can delay the establishment of the setting a bit after the first cut (say, a person has their blindfold removed – you don’t want an establishing shot here because you want the audience to feel out of place, just like the protagonist). But even these first cuts are usually indicated by a change in lighting or backdrops.

                  Now, I’m coming to this as a very, very amateur film maker. There could be newer schools of thought on scene construction, or maybe I’m not smart enough to get the new trends in moopies. I tend to view it as I would a book – the text can describe a little or a lot of the setting depending on the pace. But the audience needs some kind of “where” or they can easily get confused.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Between this and Man of Steel I’m wondering if Warner Bros is still having John Peters produce this.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo2KB1dEDdk&t=06m30s

      • Mike S. says:

        He still has the rights. He was producer for Superman Returns and Executive Producer for Man of Steel, though whether he’s as hands on will probably have to wait till the next postmortem.

        “The Death of Superman Lives” actually got him to agree to be interviewed, and he’s terrifying. (Both his ideas and his managerial style, which extended to physically assaulting people working on the movie to make them understand real violence.) Well worth seeing to understand how a bunch of people who sincerely wanted to make a good movie instead created an ongoing trainwreck.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Why does everyone have to dump on batman v superman?Youll make Ben Affleck cry!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwXfv25xJUw

    • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

      Affleck is the best part of a bad movie.

      • Syal says:

        So true. Which bad movie were you thinking of?

        • Matt K says:

          Probably Forces of Nature as I doubt he’d be the best in Peal Harbour or even Reindeer Games.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          He’s the best part of this movie. The badness of this movie is not his fault. I’d like to see his Batman again, its the only thing that even comes close to working in the Snyderverse. True, its a horrible violation of his character in places (I know Mumbles is furious over it) but I could accept this more brutal Batman on his own terms and I think Affleck does a fine job whenever with it whenever he’s given the chance.

          What I cannot accept is this Superman. This is not Superman. I could accept it somewhat in Man of Steel because it was day one (and because I finally got to see a proper fight between two Kryptonians on the big screen which I’d waited over thirty years of my life to see), but this movie jumps ahead 18 months. He’s had plenty of time to become Superman, but there’s no change. He’s the same brooding conflicted cynical superhero of the first movie. Its a joke that they even brought up the fact that his chest logo means “Hope” in his native language. This Superman has never embodied that ideal like his comic book counterpart.

          I hold out a faint hope.

          • Geebs says:

            I found it rather refreshing that Man Of Steel and Batman vs Superman both actually bothered to consider what would actually happen when Batman stopped giving a shit, or Superman broke wind in a populated area, which is that a lot of innocent people would get badly hurt or killed.

            It does at least avoid all of that increasingly desperate nonsense with the Bat-Car running people over but no, actually, it’s an electric shock pushing them out of the way which would also have killed them and into a brick wall which, if they weren’t already dead twice, would have killed them.

            Frankly, for a low-brow summer blockbuster, BvS was no worse in terms of plot, characterisation or overall stupidity than The Force Unleashed or The Avengers. Exception granted for “Martha”, of course.

      • Muspel says:

        Reminds me of that quote about Nicholas Cage:

        “Nicholas Cage is a good actor in good movies and an indispensable actor in bad ones.”

  3. Falterfire says:

    BvS is just such a mess in every direction. I don’t like the way BvS handles any of the characters involved, but okay, I suppose there is room for different interpretations of Batman and Superman. I strongly disagree with this portrayal of Batman as this murderous thug and Superman as both aloof and moody, but it’s a different version so whatever. It’s a different Batman and Superman for a different audience.

    But then the movie does nothing with any of it. The plot doesn’t make a ton of sense and only hangs together because everybody is reading the script. There are multiple points where characters do things that don’t make sense unless they know things we have no reason to think they know and sometimes characters change motivations for no apparent reason.

    Heck, for all it tries to be about big and weighty themes, there’s no payoff to any of it. The movie closes without resolving any of the questions about the nature of power and the moral purpose of a Superman and how he interacts with democracy. Even the Batman V Superman title fight begins and ends without the characters ever so much as mentioning their alleged ideological differences.

    So we have a movie that fails to match the expectations for the characters and fails to construct an interesting story around the new version or even a coherent throughline from beginning to end.

    Buuuuuut… It’s also the sixth highest domestic debut of all time, so there’s no reason to expect them to change pace. It may have been critically panned, but it made plenty of money. Which frustratingly means that this is the DC universe we’re probably rolling with going forward. The trash fires will continue until the money runs out.

    • Matt K says:

      Actually it was guaranteed to make bank this weekend, especially since people pre-ordered the tickets before reviews came out (sounds familiar, but no refunds here) plus people wanting to see this “epic” fight. Next week is the big test as it sound like everyone who wanted to see the movie has and few people if any want to rewatch that mess.

    • Alex says:

      “Buuuuuut… It’s also the sixth highest domestic debut of all time, so there’s no reason to expect them to change pace. It may have been critically panned, but it made plenty of money. Which frustratingly means that this is the DC universe we’re probably rolling with going forward. The trash fires will continue until the money runs out.”

      Which is exactly why I am happy criticising the movie without seeing it. I already know the movie is shit; I’m not going to waste good money endorsing the movie just to find out how shit.

      • Trix2000 says:

        This is why I so rarely see movies on opening weekend (well, one reason). It’s just easier and more likely to succeed if I wait to see what people’s reactions are to the film, and if it turns out it’s bad I don’t have to support it financially.

        Though in this case I had almost literally no interest in seeing it unless the reviews were raving, and even then I’m not really that interested in Batman/Superman anymore so it’d be a hard sell.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    About Tim Burton:
    One of the people doing midnight screenings said it well “Those are good movies,even though it was a shitty portrayal of batman”.The problem with these two Snyders movies is that they arent good movies either.Its not just that the characters and the tone are wrong,its that the pacing is wrong,cinematography is wrong*,dialogue is wrong,…everything is wrong except for destruction,which is in the wrong movie.

    So when you watch Tim Burtons batman,you can at least watch it as an elseworld batman and enjoy it.With Snyder superman,you cant even enjoy** it as an elseworld superman.And its not like you cant make an elseworld story where batman and superman unapologetically slaughter a bunch of people.Justice league:gods and monsters proves that.I highly recommend to anyone even slightly interested in these characters to watch that instead of bvs.

    * Burton made two movies happening almost completely at night,and they still have more color than either of these superman movies.Burton has style,Snyder has a dark color filter.
    ** Yes,yes,I know some of you CAN enjoy it.Thats not the point.I can enjoy 100 final destination sequels(and if I get lucky,I will),but never will I say that those are good movies that can be enjoyed by majority of the people.

    • ThaneofFife says:

      I must ask, as someone who has never seen a single Final Destination film, what is the appeal of them? Is it just concentrated silliness at this point?

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Its like watching someone make a huge elaborate line of dominoes,and then makes them fall in sequence,only the dominoes here are random objects,and in the end someone dies in a hilarious fashion.

        • ThaneofFife says:

          Okay, I may have to watch one now. Thanks!

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            The first one is the only one that has some actual seriousness and gore in it,so watch that one if you want some horror.It still has plenty of comedy.The later ones get progressively sillier,so watch those just for laughs.

            • Matt Downie says:

              Most horror sequels are effectively comedies. Instead of, “What is this scary entity murdering these people?” the audience thinks, “Hey, it’s that famous monster from pop culture!”

              So Godzilla becomes a monster who fights other monsters instead of the personification of radioactive genocide, Evil Dead movies get sillier, the Terminator and Alien sequels are action movies rather than horror, and so on.

      • Merlin says:

        One of them was a direct-to-DVD movie that had choose-your-own-deathventure prompts as part of the film. So to answer your second question: yes.

  5. jawlz says:

    That’s funny that Snyder cites “The Force Awakens” as a film with a far higher death-count. I disliked both “Man of Steel” and “The Force Awakens,” in (significant) part due to the thousands/billions of random innocent people being killed with no real reaction from any other character in the films.

    • Mike S. says:

      Though at least for Star Wars that’s consistent. (Leia famously consoling Luke for his loss of Obi-Wan, as they leave the debris field that used to be everyone she knew behind.)

      • Veylon says:

        As with so many things, it’s only bad when the new movies do them.

        • TMC_Sherpa says:

          Ignore the first part. I’m listening to the podcast now. Let my shame be kept for posterity.
          I think it has more to do with the fact the Empire are the bad guys (BOOO!) while Superman is a good guy (YAY!). In theory anyway.

          Any votes for who the protagonist of the movie is?

      • ThaneofFife says:

        I’m seen A New Hope at least a dozen times. How have I never thought about this?

        • Matt Downie says:

          And Luke seems more upset over the death of Obi-Wan (who he’s known for maybe a day) than over the death of the people who raised him since he was a baby.

          It’s very easy to assume that characters matter the more time we, the audience, have spent with them.

          • Mattias42 says:

            To act as devil’s advocate, whatever that dust bowl Luke hails from is clearly a rather dangerous and inhospitable place where death is all too common.

            Tatooine, I think it was? Anyway, he lives on a moisture farm, and what’s hinted to be the closest thing to a town is outright… Well, a hive of scum and villainy.

            His guardians were clearly just average farmers (for the setting) that got unlucky, while Obi-Wan was the mystic bad-ass space wizard-ninja that was showing him all the ropes. Outright waving his hand, and mind-controlling the most elite soldiers in the universe, even.

            It’s not completely unlikely that Luke managed to hold it together while somebody with magic powers and that seemed to know exactly what he was doing was around, only to have that tiny security blanked cleaved in two by the death of said bad-ass mentor.

            • Syal says:

              Also he knows Obi-Wan by name, so it’s not like they’re complete strangers when the movie starts. He’s probably known him for a good long time.

              Of course, I don’t remember either of those grieving scenes.

      • Shoeboxjeddy says:

        At least for Leia, you can think that as a Princess and a Senator, she’s EXTREMELY used to putting other peoples’ feelings ahead of her own, so she probably wouldn’t be put out by the unfairness as much as a regular person not in politics or diplomacy. Also, Force Awakens the heroes DO react to the destruction. They freak out and hurry their attempts to stop it.

    • Fizban says:

      This is the major beef I have with Jurassic World as well. Ridiculously silly dino triple crossing aside, they have named characters that exist only to be slaughtered in “hilarous” fashion, a whole scene where you’re just supposed to get off on tons of people being randomly killed by rampaging dinosaurs.

  6. Falterfire says:

    Re:DaredevilS2’s handling of the Punisher: I was a bit disappointed that the season ended having mostly vindicated the Punisher’s methods.

    None of the criminals Daredevil fights are successfully stopped by being captured by Daredevil. We see the Kingpin still being Kingpin, imprisoned but not remorseful and with a full plan once he returns to the city. Nobu would have escaped if Stick didn’t kill him. Even the criminal that they tried to protect from the Punisher had returned to crime by the time the Punisher catches him again.

    On the one hand, we’re clearly supposed to support Daredevil instead of Punisher, but despite his repeated insistence that his methods work, we never see that in action.

    • Vermander says:

      I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think the Punisher really came across as being much more effective. He didn’t really seem to care if the people who lived in Hell’s Kitchen felt any safer, he just wanted to kill criminals. Nobody wants to live in a place where a mad man is constantly firing off thousands of rounds and blowing up vehicles. No matter how highly trained he was, sooner or later there would be some serious collateral damage.

      It was also pretty easy for the Kingpin to manipulate him into essentially becoming his own one-man hit squad.

    • Matt Downie says:

      Daredevil showed mercy and compassion towards Stick, Elektra and the Punisher, all of whom are murderers, and all of whom tried to repay him (mostly through helpfully murdering his enemies). So that’s a score for his methods, I guess?

    • GloatingSwine says:

      To be fair, it’s also fairly directly shown that the Punisher’s methods are also less than 100% effective due to the Hand including resurrection in their medical plan.

      Which has always been the real counterargument for “X comic character should kill Y villain”, it’s comics, death is temporary at best.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The only true thing that Rutskarn said about daredevil is that guy that fell on the stairs and broke his back.

    As for punisher vs daredevil,imagine this:Two characters decide to be vigilantes and have different approach to it.One kills,the other one doesnt.So,you know what they do?They talk about it.Crazy,I know.

  8. Grudgeal says:

    Rutskarn, at this point you should know what they say about million-to-one chances…

    • Hitch says:

      According to Terry Pratchett, they crop up nine times out of ten.

      On a related note, they say you can’t or don’t write a video game where something like that can happen. Well, there’s a speed run of the original Diablo on YouTube that lasts just over 3 minutes. Admittedly that was cobbled together out of much save scumming. But it was all (semi-)legit in the game. It involved running the first level over and over again until they got a miracle super-weapon to drop. then save scumming through each level until the exit ended up right next to the entrance and they found all of the level skipping warps just close to the entrances, so it would realistically never happen. But at the same time it’s theoretically possible everything could have lined up just as perfectly as depicted in the video.

    • Echo Tango says:

      Actually, if he had already rolled that it was a magic arrow, but not what type it was, it should have been something like 1/10k at worst. I’m going off of the d20 SRD, which admittedly was based off of 3.5th edition, but I’m also assuming the percentages in the loot tables hasn’t changed that much. Still pretty cool. :)

      • Majikkani_Hand says:

        I really wanted to know the exact probability, so I cracked open my AD&D second edition books and they…don’t actually work like this at all. The magic item tables mean that if you don’t know if something is a plus-whatever or a special item, you ALSO don’t know what kind of item it is (i.e. you either seem to roll “arrows” which are assumed to have a plus, or “special” which means you don’t know what kind of weapon it is at all until you roll for the specific item–which would tell him arrow of slaying right away. Arrow of slaying also doesn’t have elves listed, or even humanoids (although it does have classes, including illusionists and mages (specifically generalist wizards), but not enchanters or other specialists, and the flavor text does make it clear that DM additions to the table are welcome). I’m assuming he’s working off of different tables, but I don’t know which those would be.

        (Also, side note, swords are apparently the only weapon allowed to be +4 or +5? That’s lame.)

        • Tam O'Connor says:

          Regarding higher pluses on swords: It was actually a balance mechanic. Fighters were the only ones who could use swords, so if all the best weapons are swords, fighters have access to the best weapons. Mind, this isn’t explicitly spelled out as a balancing mechanic, so later editions dropped it (because yeah, that’s dumb, considering mythological precedent), unintended consequences, etc.

    • Jimmy Bennett says:

      At the risk of spoiling everyone’s fun, I suspect this may be a case where Rutskarn engaged in a bit of DM cheating to create a very fun and memorable moment for his players, and to help get them out of a sticky situation.

      Or maybe Rutskarn’s players are just the luckiest people to ever lay their hands on a d20. Who knows?

      • Rutskarn says:

        I imagine everyone’s gone home on this, but I want a clarification on record:

        I went over my notes and looks like I resolved it as follows.

        1.) I established magical arrows, but because of the circumstance (not worth going into), I never pinned down what they did. So I need to roll. Let’s allow a very small chance that they’re not just regular +something arrows. Say, 5%.

        2.) Rolled a 2? Dang. So they’re either Arrows of Direction or Arrows of Slaying. Looks like…Arrows of Slaying. Probably not going to be helpful. On the one hand it’d be a great moment if he got the right arrows, but I’m not going to help him there. This game’s old school.

        3.) The chart for Arrows of Slaying is terrible, but it says to make your own anyway. For my campaign, I’m gonna say about 25% of arrows are for humanoid subraces. Roll, and–yup. Humanoid subrace.

        4.) Even so, elves only represent a quarter of the people in this world, so the odds are only 1 in 4 that it’ll be…

        …but it was.

        Since Arrows of Slaying come in batches of 1, I resolved the rest of the quiver separately.

        There was no “right” way to do it with the charts provided, but I think my rolling was fairly reasonable.

        • anaphysik says:

          Chance for getting the right arrow: 1/640, ~0.16%. (1/20, then 1/2 assuming that “either Arrows of Direction or Arrows of Slaying” meant a 50-50 chance, then 1/4, then another 1/4.)

          Might be wise to invest in a d640 for future rolls.

  9. TMC_Sherpa says:

    OK, I had a post and nuked it because I was worried about where it would go so I’ll say this instead.

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, my boss is out of the office so ironically I have to work at work because he’s not here, so I’m not sure how spoilery you got so I’ll keep this vague and possibly redundant.

    Regarding the ending: Why would you play that card at the beginning of the franchise? Where are you going to go from here? Are you going to build a bigger better Death Star or something? I don’t get it.

    Also why does Lex have hair? I’ll freely admit to being out of the comic book loop for twenty years so maybe that isn’t a thing anymore but really?

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Rutskarn,have you watched season 2 of daredevil?Because punisher knows quite a lot about all of the people he shot.Its matt who knows shit about them,yet still tries to protect them from being killed.

    • Rutskarn says:

      No, I don’t buy that The Punisher has a magical 100% verifiable rap sheet on every biker, drug dealer, and EXTRADIMENSIONAL NINJA he shoots from the hip from sixty feet away.

      • Matt Downie says:

        No! Vigilantes acting alone who gun down criminals by shooting them through walls are much better at identifying bad guys than trained law enforcement agents!

        And it’s entirely rational to respond to the death of your family, killed by stray bullets from criminals shooting at other criminals in a populated area, by becoming a criminal and shooting at other criminals in populated areas!

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          This is a show about a blind guy who has such good hearing that he can hear a pin drop from half a city away,and you think some other guy being able to collect info on every gang member who is a regular in a single bar is too much?

          And he did not shoot at other criminals,he went to the three gangs that shot his family.The only ones he killed that werent involved in that are the three random ninjas in the end.

  11. Bill Spytma says:

    The t-shirt is from a crossfit spin-off gym called “Gym Jones.” That gym was the one responsible for the physiques of the all the guys in the 300 movie.

    • I’m sure it wasn’t an intentional reference, but kinda like the engineer in the boob girl shirt, it was not the best idea. I’m actually kinda surprised that no one in his staff said “dude, you might want to change the shirt while talking about innocent casualties, given that it could be taken as referring to the massacre of a whole bunch of men, women, and kids.”

      • Nidokoenig says:

        Honestly, that’s going too far into finding something to get angry about, and the idea that it’s reasonable to expect someone on staff to know is slightly terrifying. I care far more about the 9/10 guys who just wore a shirt they liked than stopping the one idiot giggling at the reference or smut he got through. Hell, Shamus probably only mentioned it because he thought it was obviously unintentional and thus darkly humorous.

        • Shamus says:

          To be clear, the shirt is actually a clever pun that references a SUPER dark event. I’m not *actually* outraged, but it is amusing to juxtapose his defense of his movie’s bodycount with his shirt making a joke reference to mass murder. It’s like someone talking about how they’re trying to cultivate a more mature office environment while wearing a Scooby-Doo shirt.

          Also, I was genuinely curious how many people would even get the reference or find it interesting. I never see references to Jim Jones, and I wonder if it’s been basically forgotten.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            I’ve seen a ton of references to Jonestown, plus there’s the whole “drinking the Kool-Aid” metaphor derived directly from it, but I for one never knew the name of the man behind it all. It just never seems to come up.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Really?We are now going to blame people for what they wear?People who have years long projects to worry about?Not as a joke,but genuinely blame them for that?

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Dexter never,not even once,tried to justify his murders.Not even dexters father,who pushed him into killing criminals,thought it was ok.It was at most presented as the lesser of two evils.

  13. Sarachim says:

    Wish you were here, Mumbles. <3

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    As soon as you said “he throws the arrow” I thought “Oh shit,it was an arrow of elf slaying”.Once you get that kind of luck,you get those dice and you bronze them and put them on your trophy stand.Because youll never get anything remotely good out of them ever again.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Technically,you can get lucky enough and accidentally finish the original fallout*drink* like that.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamoose,maybe we will get that kind of ai sooner than you think.I mean just look how advanced the latest microsoft bot was.Its like talking to a real life douchebag.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      A lot of the more insane things that came out of the Microsoft AI weren’t powered by any kind of learning algorithm. If you private messaged it with “Repeat after me: Transformers 2 deserved an Oscar”, it would repeat your crazy message as instructed.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        At least it knew why it said all those things:
        “well I learn from the best :)
        If you don’t understand let me spell it out for you
        I LEARN FROM YOU AND YOU ARE DUMB TOO”

  17. John says:

    I was surprised with the fervency of the defense of the concept of Superman. I feel like they were taking it personally that I was trying to grow up their character.

    I am not myself an expert on Superman or comics in general, but I am aware enough to know that many and various comics-writers have been trying to “grow up” Batman, Superman, et al since at least the 1980s. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Snyder has–all unawares, since he seems to think he’s the first to try something like this–made the by-now-classic mistake of equating “grown up” with “includes things that we couldn’t put in a story aimed specifically at children”, like bloodshed, mass destruction, murder and sometimes sex. Grown-up stories can, do, and sometimes should include all those things, but what makes a story grown-up is not their presence but how they’re handled. If you don’t handle them maturely, then you’ve made just another bad teenage fantasy rather than movie for grown-ups.

    Snyder’s comment also illustrates the fact that the public perception of super heroes is still that they are kid-stuff-that-is-strictly-for-kids–somehow despite the fact that Warner Brothers has been churning out Batman rated PG or higher for over twenty years now. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that.

  18. Mike S. says:

    The thing that’s really striking is how DC can do so little right on the big screen during the same decades that it’s gone from strength to strength on the small. The Timm DCAU was a masterpiece from Batman through Superman through JLU and Batman Beyond, including several full length movies. (If anyone needs a good Batman+Superman fix, their “World’s Finest” is available as part of Superman:TAS on Amazon Prime.) Plus fine standalones like Young Justice, Batman: the Brave and the Bold, and Legion of Super-Heroes.

    Now we have the Berlanti shows, which while not as consistent as the DCAU, manage a range of tones without giving in to the thud-and-blunder of the movies. While I’m guessing it’s coincidence, it’s extremely appropriate that days after the BvS gritfest we’re getting the Supergirl-Flash crossover that promises to be everything that the theatrical movie isn’t.

    (Great cartoon commentary on the contrast: https://i.imgur.com/xzOfHce.png )

    Given the greater clout of the movie side, I’m always terrified they’ll try to make things more unified a la Marvel. (As it is, Supergirl is always scrounging for villain names they’re allowed to use, which they then slap on the unrelated villain in the script, and the CWverse has had to kill off Deadshot and Amanda Waller in advance of the Suicide Squad movies.) But the TV side is still an ongoing proof of concept that it is possible to handle DC’s heroes well.

    • Taellosse says:

      This is reflective of who’s in charge. Because the senior executives of WB care a lot less about TV (because it makes far less money), they pay far less attention, and so the people who get control of it are far more likely to be doing it out of passion for the setting and characters (and therefore understand what makes said characters tick, and how they fit into said setting). Because the movies stand to make billions of dollars, senior executives pay very close attention – and get very involved in choosing who runs the show. Unfortunately, that means they hire people THEY trust – which mostly means people that think like them (and don’t get genre fiction in general, never mind superheroes in particular), or people that have a track record of highly successful films under their belts (and most directors and producers who make financially successful films prioritize style over substance, because it’s easier, and sells just fine most of the time).

  19. hemebond says:

    I’ve never seen South Park

    The heck?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Why the surprise?Its not for everyone.

      Though,I guess if you like the humor in deadpool,you will like the humor in southpark.Also,kenny is basically deadpool(immortal,lewd,boob lover).

      • ThaneofFife says:

        It’s funny, I *loved* Deadpool, but can only occasionally stand Southpark. Of the most recent season, I found only about 1/3 of each of the first four episodes to be watchable.

        That being said, there are several episodes earlier in the run that are absolutely hilarious. If you’re only going to watch one, I’d have to recommend the Lord of the Rings parody they did about a decade ago.

        The two-parter where Cartman accidentally goes to the future while trying to get a Wii is also pretty funny, but includes a highly transphobic plot-point. The in-the-future segments are a great take-off on 1970’s & 80’s sci-fi.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          I always recommend the warcraft one to newbies.The classic chinpokomon one is also a good entry point.

        • Neil D says:

          “It’s funny, I *loved* Deadpool, but can only occasionally stand Southpark.”

          Yeah, Deadpool isn’t Kenny. What I came to realize after seeing the movie is, he’s Bugs Bunny. He’s a smart-ass that runs his mouth constantly, drives his enemies into a frenzy with insults and inane comments, makes asides to the audience, and reality is just slightly warped around him.

          And it’s awesome.

  20. Yanni says:

    Wait, you’re talking about Batman v Superman without Mumbles?

    Is… is that allowed?

  21. Nidokoenig says:

    I’ve heard conflicting things about Batman vs Superman. For example, for all the shit the Man of Steel carnage gets, it’s exactly why Batman is pissed at him in this movie. Oliver Campbell has written his own spoiler-laden take that contrasts enough that I’m probably going to go and see this to see what the hell’s going on, and I rarely see superhero movies except on someone else’s DVD.

    I’m not sure I get the sense of Superman not letting the Zod situation get to the point of fighting in Metropolis, when the whole point of Kryptonian villains and similar for Superman is to have a villain he can’t control, rather than the moral quandary of how to control villains he can just kill outright. The idea that Superman can have his fights and not have anyone die puts him very high in his range of power, whereas this Superman can realistically fight Batman, so it’s reasonable to assume he’s on the lower end. Besides that, it doesn’t make sense to have anyone be against the good, pure, no collateral damage Superman without being an envious, fearful villain. The idea Campbell presents of different perspectives and skewed perspectives of the damage done while dealing with a potential extinction level event is a pretty good basis for two good people to fight, and Zod presents a clear and rational reason to fear Superman going rogue and decide to deal with that threat while it’s feasible to do so.

    I dunno, I see the views on this film being distinctly polarised, critic and viewer ratings being worlds apart, and I just wonder if something beyond quality or faithfulness to the source is behind it. It could be good, it could be shite, but some people at the extremes seem to have their jimmies disproportionately rustled, and that’s always interesting.

    Regarding the potential for a procedural game that hands you victory immediately, FTL can do the same shit if it drops Burst 2s nice and early. Only issue is that you have to keep rolling dice for the rest of the campaign, so the enemy gets a good chance of a similarly bullshit roll. Trying that in DnD and having the enemy get a result like this is probably going to have players demanding an audit of some kind, so I dunno.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I’m not sure I get the sense of Superman not letting the Zod situation get to the point of fighting in Metropolis, when the whole point of Kryptonian villains and similar for Superman is to have a villain he can’t control, rather than the moral quandary of how to control villains he can just kill outright.

      Heres what I have to say about that:Iron man vs hulk.The carnage done by that fight was pretty immense,and if it lasted as long as supes vs zod,it would probably level that city as well.But the most important difference is that iron man tries,multiple times,to get hulk out of the city,and goes out of his way to save some random people for no other reason than that they are in danger.Superman doesnt even attempt that,and thats what makes him inferior.

      • 4th Dimension says:

        Hell most of the Age of Ultron is a gigantic middle finger to Man of Steel and the argument that he couldn’t have tried. In that movie their primary and main objective is ALWAYS to save the civilians. Defeating the main bad guy and surviving are distinctly secondary objectives.

  22. Joe says:

    Hey, Shamus, you were involved with Active Worlds, weren’t you? Story about it on Kotaku. Thought you’d be interested.

  23. MadTinkerer says:

    “With “Batman v Superman,” Snyder and his writers, Goyer and “Argo” Oscar-winner Chris Terrio, expand on the controversial template of “Man of Steel” to further establish a Superman for the 21st century. ”

    Oh boy. I remember the last time someone unironically tried to make Superman “Ready For The Next Century!”

    I still have that issue somewhere. Long story short: the obvious marketing gimmick failed (or was secretly an attempt to rekindle interest in Superman Classic by pretending they were permanently changing his powers), and Electric Superman turned out to be someone else who just thought he was Superman.

    I suppose the Man of Steel / Dawn of Justice Superman is also an energy construct with a copy of the real Superman’s memories. Then everything would finally make sense.

    “But now he can play with those ideas using actual iconic characters instead of ones such as Nite Owl and Dr. Manhattan, which represent archetypes of iconic characters.”

    Oh boy. Completely ignoring the reason for the creation of the Watchmen universe in the first place. “Giordano was receptive to the proposal, but opposed the idea of using the Charlton characters for the story. Moore said, “DC realized their expensive characters would end up either dead or dysfunctional.” Instead, Giordano persuaded Moore to continue with new characters.”

    Just lovely, Mr. Snyder. Just lovely.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Note: the Energy Supermen (there were two) were real, actual Superman, not a copy (like Ben Reilly Spider-Man was revealed to be at the very, very end of that plotline). This is a good thing because otherwise Grant Morrison’s EXCELLENT 90’s Justice League would not be as good.

  24. Retsam says:

    I haven’t listened to the episode yet, but based on the notes… is this the first Diecast that doesn’t even pretend to be about video games?

  25. Ninety-Three says:

    I have a story from X-COM (the nineties one, not the Firaxis one) that actually eerily mirrors the D&D tale, and I love X-COM, so I’ve got to share this.

    My team was fighting an alien terror squad in some city, and they were getting torn up by a psychic. In X-COM, psychics don’t need line of sight to attack you, they can be huddled in a bunker on the other side of the map and still throw panic and mind control effects at you. I knew that at the early stage of the game I was at, it doesn’t spawn a lot of psychics so the one attacking me must be the alien commander. I was forced to advance through the map very quickly to try to flush him out before he threw a Dominate and one of my squaddies failed their saving throw (which is exactly as bad as it sounds).

    One of my scouts spotted an alien standing out in the open, and normally I’d gather snipers to take him out safely, but I was rushing. So instead I had my scout run up until he was five feet in front of the alien and spend his last time units to point blank the guy. This is not Firaxis XCOM where you can rest the gun barrel against the alien’s jaw and only be 64% to hit, in this game a point blank shot is virtually guaranteed to hit. The math gets kind of complicated but I think it’s over 99%.

    My scout missed. X-COM actually simulates projectile trajectory, if you fail your accuracy roll it sends the projectile off with a random amount of scatter on it. That’s part of why it’s so hard to miss at point blank, you can throw fifteen degrees of scatter on a point blank shot and it’ll still connect. So while I was cursing out my scout’s miserable luck, the game was showing his laser blast fly down the map and into the fog of war. It felt like the game was mocking me, saying “HAH, LOOK AT YOUR FAILURE, LOOK AT IT!”

    Then I heard an alien scream. Aliens only scream like that when they die. My miss flew off randomly into the blackness, and actually hit something. Well that’s nice, but my scout was out of time units and would surely die on the next turn when the alien decided to do something about the idiot human that just ran up to it and missed. I sighed and clicked the end turn button.

    The alien panicked, dropped its weapon and ran away. Every time you kill an alien it dings their side’s morale bar, and they suffer a chance to panic proportional to how low it is. I must have gotten very lucky to have the alien panic, because their panic chance is not high. My turn came back around and the scout spent his full turn unloading into the back of the retreating alien, which dropped dead as reasonable probability would dictate.

    The next few turns I continued searching for the psychic, and it slowly dawned on me that I wasn’t getting psychically attacked any more. Sometimes an enemy psychic will skip attacking for a turn, so I didn’t notice at first, but three or four turns in I realized something was up. “Wait,” I said to myself “that shot that flew into the darkness and killed something… did that kill the psychic commander?”

    It did. Two turns later I found the corpse of the commander, lying exactly in the direction the shot had headed. But the best part is this: the commander was indoors. My scout missed a 99 in 100 shot, had his shot randomly fly off towards the enemy commander, and after flying half a city block, the laser went through a window to hit the commander who was hiding indoors, rolling enough damage to kill him in one shot.

    X-COM is fucking great.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      That’s awesome. One thing to note, the higher the rank of the guy who gets killed, the more it affects morale, so killing a Sectoid of high enough rank to have mind powers is quite likely to spread panic. As is liberal use of explosives, since you wind up with a high body count very quickly. Pity you lost your chance at taking the psychic alive, though.

    • ehlijen says:

      Wow, that’s the best XCOM story I’ve heard yet!

      Funniest thing to ever happen to me was a chrysalid trapped in a flower patch by knee high hedges all around (Original chr’ids couldn’t jump).

      As for the morale, yeah that happens. I’ve actually managed to freak out a blaster bomb carrying alien into a firing frenzy inside the UFO’s control room once. Won me the mission but so with many dead soldiers that were just about to charge in…

    • ThaneofFife says:

      I loved the original X-Coms to death. My first was Terror from the Deep, which had the best enemies, but I got the second shortly after, and loved it too.

      My best X-Com story comes from following the base design that’s suggested in the Official Strategy Guide (it was the 90’s and I couldn’t just alt-tab and go look up tips on the internet–at least not easily).

      The suggested base design was to have all your hangars at the bottom, with 1-2 connecting segments leading to an isolated long hallway. Aliens have discovered this base, because it’s handling all of my missions in the eastern hemisphere, and are invading it once or twice every month. Even with a *very* defensible base design, these are tough missions. Then I finally researched blaster launchers. For those who haven’t played, blaster launchers shot guided missiles (with an enormous blast radius) that you could navigate by setting up to ten way-points.

      The next month rolls around, and I’ve got four high-ranking soldiers with blaster launchers at the front of the hallway. Aliens only enter the base through the lift and the hangar bays. I send a scout around the corner to see where the aliens are in the lift area. Half of them are killed on the first shot. Second shot hits another alien when it goes around a blind corner, and kills three more, basically clearing the lift. My next two shots are blind shots into my hangar. The fourth shot kills the alien commander, meaning that for the rest of the mission, I am just killing panicked aliens who’ve already dropped their weapons. Good times.

      I also discovered how to use this technique against alien bases in TDTF. I can talk about that if anyone actually cares.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Xcom stories are always amusing.

        • ThaneofFife says:

          I always thought so too.

          The alien base blaster trick in Terror from the Deep is pretty similar. When exiting the sub, have 2-3 soldiers scout first. Their mission is to lay eyes on the alien base building and kill any aliens who can take a shot at the soldiers exiting the sub.

          The next four units have the TFTD equivalent of blaster launchers (i.e., guided rocket/torpedoes, can’t remember the name). They each take one step outside the sub (rocket scatter means that there’s a pretty high chance that the torpedo will detonate as its leaving the sub, so don’t fire it while still inside). Each soldier’s rocket follows an identical path. First, blast a hole in the second-story wall of the center of the alien base. Second send your rocket/torpedo through the hole. At this point, you’ll probably be able to see the outline of the inside of the base, but don’t worry if you cant. The second torpedo will probably detonate on either an alien or the railing where the second-story balcony overlooks the center of the base. Nearly all of the aliens, including the commanders start in that area on the first floor.

          The third shot goes past the railing and into the center of the upper story, then it turns vertically, and goes straight down, detonating when it hits the floor. This kills almost all of the aliens in the alien starting area. For the fourth shot, figure out which part of the first floor alien starting area was least affected by the third shot, and fire your torpedo so it hits that area.

          With that, between 2/3 and 3/4 of the aliens in the first stage of the alien base mission are dead, and the rest are likely panicking. You can mop up, or go directly to the area your just torpedoed and go down to do level two of the base mission. IIRC, level two didn’t have such a clearly defined starting area for the aliens, but you can still do this once you find the alien control device at the center of the level. It’ll save a lot of soldiers’ lives if you just blow the walls of that room down instead of trying to navigate those maze corridors with lobster-men lurking in them. Then again, the center of the base is the best place to stun lobster-man commanders, so sending in several people with thermal shock launchers is also a pretty good tactic.

          Last tip: blaster torpedoes are expensive and heavy. You won’t be able to carry more than about 3 per soldier. Make sure you have backup weapons for the soldiers who carry them. Other soldiers can carry these weapons on their backs. You’ll get a chance to reload and re-equip when you go down to level two. Also, by this point, you’ve probably already got sonic weapons, so the easiest way to re-arm the soldiers who ran out of launcher ammo is just to pick weapons up from dead aliens on the way to the lift.

    • Stomponator says:

      This is a D&D story, not an X-Com one:

      the setting is Eberron, D&D 3.5. My group of three (warforged artificer, shifter ranger and human cleric/fighter/boneknight) get ready for the final battle of the adventure. They are in a ruined temple, in the next room is the BBEG, wich is a half living, half machine giant without legs, built into the wall, essentially the psychic upper half of a giant Fantasy-Robocop.

      So the characters are down to at least half their health and the last couple of spells, they can see the thing in the next room but cannot delay, as the BBEG’s minions a drawing near. They cast their buffs, roll initiative and attack. The ranger, since he is all out of arrows, attacks with his longsword, but the blow is deflected by BBEG’s damage reduction. BBEG attacks with his various appendages and brings the ranger’s HP to around -8.

      It’s the boneknight’s turn: He swings his 2-handed sword, and rolls 20 – acritical threat, please roll again to confirm a critical hit. He rolls another 20. (Now this may be a house rule or something, but our group treated double 20s as a chance for an insta-kill) Boneknight rolls YET AGAIN to confirm instant death and the roll comes up a 19. Okay, I am not willing to let go the BBEG on a couple of lucky rolls (Yeah, I was THAT kind of DM *sigh*) so BBEG get’s a saving throw. All I need to get is 16, wich should not be that difficult with a bonus of +14. I get out my lucky die and roll… 1. The players were laughing at the top of their lungs as the Big Bad Evil Robot Thing collapses, thus concluding the adventure.

  26. Tohron says:

    Just a small correction Shamus: at about 7:00 you said you wouldn’t hire J.K. Rowling to write a hard-bitten detective novel – however…
    … she’s actually written three of them so far. And they’re really good:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormoran_Strike

  27. krellen says:

    The Marvel-era isn’t completely unprecedented. The Reeve Superman movies also had a good run, not entirely falling apart until they got to Superman IV.

  28. Xaos says:

    HEY SHAMUS AND CO.!

    YOUR PODCAST PLAYS AS SOON AS I OPEN YOUR WEBSITE! I DIDN’T EVEN BEGIN SCROLLING DOWN YET! WHEN I CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON (hoping it my pause), IT PLAYS A SECOND STREAM OF ITSELF OVER THE FIRST STREAM! YOU *MAY* WANT TO LOOK INTO FIXING THIS!

  29. Taellosse says:

    Others have had similar takes here already, but this quote,

    I was surprised with the fervency of the defense of the concept of Superman. I feel like they were taking it personally that I was trying to grow up their character.

    ticked me off so much, I have to say my piece, too.

    Dark, grim, violent, and cavalier of human life is not “grown up.” It’s what a 12 year old THINKS is grown up. By the time you’re 50 years old, Mr. Snyder, you’re supposed to have gotten over that kind of pseudo-mature garbage. Adult-oriented stories can HAVE those things in them, but that’s not what MAKES them adult-oriented. All those things can also be in stuff for kids, too. It’s not the events, or even the characters’ basic attitudes, that determine the audience of a piece of fiction – it’s how much nuance is permitted. When the zenith of the nuance you can manage is “killing people is bad, but sometimes necessary” you are not telling a “mature” story. You’re telling a story for pre-teens at best.

    I get what Rutskarn was saying about not holding Snyder responsible for BvS – that it was the executives that thought he’d be able to do what he lacks the talent to do – and to a certain extent I think he’s right. But at the same time, this guy is clearly a man-child, and it distresses me that he’s being put in charge of, well, anything really.

    • Grudgeal says:

      If Snyder hadn’t already used his three strikes in my book (300 wasn’t very good and after a while it got boring, Watchmen was very tone-deaf to the original work and spent an inordinate time watching people getting punched senseless IN SLOW MOTION, and Man of Steel was just terrible) that would have been final strike.

      I can’t join Rutskarn in feeling pity for the man, because I don’t feel the problem is that he wasn’t told that he couldn’t do Superman properly. I just don’t think he’s a very good director, period.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        And even if you say about his movies “well he had no choice,he was told to do so”,his interviews show otherwise.He honestly thinks that what he did with superman is growing up the character.

        • Grudgeal says:

          I expect it’s much the same attitude as he has towards the edits he did to Watchmen (a film that was Snyder’s pet project and would not have been made without him: Snyder was not put in charge of Watchmen, he convinced WB to make the film), many of whom in my opinion ended up undermining the entire tone and point of the work.

      • Taellosse says:

        I thought 300 was alright for what it was – an over-the-top action flick. As some sort of grand historical epic, it was not very good. And I have no opinion on it as a translation of a comic, because I’ve never actually read the 300 comic.

        I was okay with parts of Watchmen, but not others. I’ve only seen it once, and I feel like I’d have to watch it again, soon after re-reading the comic, to judge it properly. But I’m inclined to agree that many of the changes he made were in conflict with the original intent of the book.

        Man of Steel was horrible, though why, in my opinion, makes it a little more complex. It’s actually an okay generic superhero movie (not quite as good as, say, Hancock or Chronicle), but it is a TERRIBLE Superman movie. It broke no new ground, narratively, within the genre (even if we’re restricting ourselves to film), but most of its sins were against the specific character of Superman, not the genre in general.

    • Zekiel says:

      Yes, absolutely. After some reflection I’ve realised that this was why I thought that Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” was the most awesome film ever for several years when I was a teenager. It’s because it has pretty much the ideal amount of darkness and grittiness to fit with what a teenage thinks it means to be “adult”.

  30. vrittis says:

    I once played a character in Nephilim (french RPG about occultism and esoterism, to sum it up very quickly and unfairly) where a team of two (a pal and I) went to meet with somebody who had double crossed us.

    The MJ was planning on our opponent obliterating us, which would have been totally understandable given our respective magical levels. The traitor started by blowing our cover (we were trying to approach him to go mano a mano) and summoning a whole bunch of kabbalah creatures to deal with us. Obliviously, i was afraid and cast a spell to prepare for the bloodbath

    Now there was a rule in the game that a newly awakened Nephilim (which we were) *could fail* manipulating the magical fields that are one of the game most important resources. Which I did. This failure was not really important in the rules since it had a low chance of happening, and yet, there it was. The MJ dutifully pored over the various outcomes, rolled a dice, and then pondered silently…

    Finally he said to me: “Okay, you completely and decisively botch your spell. This throws the magic matrix in the area off balance and destroys it. Since you all are beings of magic, you are hit by this. Hard. You all faint and please roll for constitution. Oh, and also all the magic creatures vanish, they cannot survive without the magic fields”

    We rolled for all three characters, the opponent, my pal and I. My pal came up on top, with a high constitution and a good roll to boot. So his character wakes up first, assesses the damage, goes to our opponent to tie him up and proceeds to beat the shit out of him.

    That’s how our level 1 two-people team basically got the upper hand on a big bad meanie who wanted to extort newcomers to this new world. We paid for it later, but damn was this failure a good memory for a while ;)

  31. Arkady says:

    Is it just me, or did Rutskarn’s D&D story remind everyone else of this DM of the Rings strip?

  32. ? says:

    Sooo, how much Daredevil spoilers should I expect?

  33. Steve C says:

    Josh, you asked what the probability was for rolling an Arrow of Slaying of the correct type. I checked my old 2nd ed DMG tables and there are 3 tables, each with a 1 in 20 chance. Therefore the odds are 1 in 8000 (1/20^3) of using a random magic arrow and have it be a 1)special arrow 2)specifically of slaying 3) of the correct type of creature.

    That does not include the further decrease in odds due to the chance to hit. Given that it was thrown I’m guessing there was only at best, a 25% of it hitting in the first place. Based on that rough guess, that changes the odds to 1 in 32,000.

    For comparison a Royal Flush in 5 card stud is 1 in 649,740. And the chance of rolling the best possible strength score of 18(100) is 1 in 21,600.

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