I often bemoan the loss of Firefly, or the fact that Angel should have continued a little bit longer before leaving us as its prime… But for me the loss of Reaper is even worse!
You might say “Well it got two seasons, that’s longer than Firefly got!”, and I’d agree. But the thing is, Firefly at least got to conclude its important cliffhangers in the Serenity movie. The main plot was not left unresolved, we got a decently full story in the end, and we can see more of that universe thanks to the Dark Horse Comics.
With Angel, the show did leave us on a cliffhanger but purposefully so, and thus it felt right despite that the Circle of the Black Thorn was a rushed last-minute adversary for the heroes, but that couldn’t be helped.
With ‘Reaper’ though, a supernatural show as funny and exciting as only Buffy and Angel had been before it, we were left on a pretty big and now forever unresolved cliffhanger. Well, I imagine it’s not entirely impossible that someday we might get some sort of conclusion in one form or another, but it’s highly unlikely. I’d be happy with a T.V movie!
I don’t want to spoil things too much for people who haven’t seen it, but as far as ‘geek’ shows go, this is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It deserved so many more seasons. But before I recommend it, I want to make clear that you will get an incomplete story. It will hurt because it’s a really good, funny and entertaining story, but I’d rather prepare you.
Is it worth watching then? Oh yes. Yes it is. In fact, go watch it now!
I spent last Wednesday and Thursday with some friends, just having fun and playing RPGs!
I ran a short game using the Cinematic Unisystem from the ‘Angel Roleplaying Game’. The game wasn’t set in the Buffyverse, but it was a ‘monster hunting’ type of story similar to shows like Buffy, Angel, Supernatural and others along those lines. We had so much fun that I’ll do more ‘episodes’ for them. Now that I tried it, I LOVE the Cinematic Unisystem, it’s perfect to tell a story, the rules are simple and intuitive… I can see myself using it for completely different sorts of games as long as they’re cinematic in style.
After that, I ran them a short game of ‘Low Life: Rise of the Lowly’, a comedic setting for ‘Savage Worlds’. Let me tell you, we laughed and smiled so much that at the end our facial muscles were hurting from all the smiling. I’m not even exaggerating!
Finally, one of my friends ran us a ‘Call of Cthulhu’ scripted adventure from Chaosium. I made a criminal/treasure hunter and I’m glad to say he survived the first game session! Let’s see if he can manage more adventures without dying or going insane…
As mentioned in a previous post, I bought myself the ‘Angel Roleplaying Game’ and will start a game set in the Buffyverse soon.
I remembered that one of the guys playing in my D&D campaign had two brothers who had wanted to join the game but I said no because we didn’t have enough room for more players. (We’re already seven including myself and my gaming table is not big enough to fit one more person! I dread to imagine how it would go down with nine people!)
I already knew one girl who was interested in joining my Buffyverse game, so I needed to find at least one more person to get things started. The logical first step was to check with the player who had brothers interested in roleplaying… I started by asking him if he liked the Buffy and Angel shows. He told me he watched Buffy, but not Angel. Okay, good start, he was familiar with the universe. When I mentioned the game to him, he said he watched the show mostly for the cute girls in it and that he thought it was too ‘teenage girl’-like for guys to play in it. I explained that this universe wasn’t only for teenage girls, that it contained cool characters like Giles and Spike and that the Angel spin-off was a very manly show! Plus the game would be a modern fantasy game about kicking monster butts and saving the world! It doesn’t get cooler than that!
It didn’t convince him. I asked about his brothers and one of them who was with him said that he’d play D&D, but not a Buffy game. Fine. I then asked the two girls who already play in my D&D game and since one happens to be a huge fan of the Buffyverse too, she said yes. I had two confirmed players! And both have a friend each who might be interested, who happen to also be girls.
So this is the story of how I might find myself GMing an all-female cast (player characters are named ‘cast’ in the Angel and Buffy RPGs) in my next tabletop RPG game!
I do find it slightly ironic that after trying to explain to another guy that the Buffyverse wasn’t just for girls, none of my players will be male. I don’t really care, but I can see the humor in that…
Today I passed by the hobby store just to browse and found they were having special prices on lots of older products. Basically they were trying to make room in their inventory by getting rid of used books and older RPGs that they’ve been keeping for years.
I found two great RPG books that cost me 13$… COMBINED!!! :D
One is the ‘Angel Role-Playing Game’. The book is new and only cost me 10$!
I’m actually going to GM a Buffyverse game with this (on top of my current D&D campaign).
The game will follow the current events of the Buffyverse as seen in the Dark Horse comics, for better or worse. This means a few things…
- Magic is gone. If any of the players wanted to play a witch or a warlock, they can’t right now. (This is a bit bad, since it limits choices and magic has always been an important part of the Buffy t.v show since Season 1!)
- Because magic is gone, newly turned vampires are actually mindless beasts. Xander starts calling them ‘zompires’. (This is neither good or bad for the game in my opinion since the traditional Buffyverse vampires are still around, they just can’t make new ones since their victims will turn into zompires.)
- As per the ending of Season 7, there can be as many Slayers in the story as the plot needs. (Very good for the game, especially if one or more of the players want to play a Slayer!)
I might actually start posting about that game once it starts.
As for the other RPG I bought…
’Silver Age Sentinels’… for 3$!!! Sure it’s a used copy, but it’s in VERY good condition! :D
I already had the rules for the Tri-Stat system that this game uses because you can get the PDF for free here at the DriveThru RPG web site!
Still, I intended to print it someday because unless you own one of those electronic tablets (which I don’t), having a rulebook in PDF format is not that useful. Now that I found this book, I won’t have to! It has everything needed to do a super-hero game. And it cost me less than it would have to go print the PDF somewhere! I couldn’t be happier, especially considering that the game is currently out-of-print!
Doing a super-hero game is something I really want to try someday, but of course between my current D&D campaign and the Buffyverse one I want to start, the supers will have to wait!
As a side-note, the Tri-Stat system started off with ‘Big Eyes Small Mouth’, a generic ‘anime’ role-playing game. When it comes to cinematic rules for over-the-top action that are easy to learn and use, the Tri-Stat system has a very good rep.It’s currently owned by White Wolf, the company behind the World of Darkness and they are not doing anything with it, which is a shame.
So those are my purchases. I’m a very happy camper right now to say the least! :D
You have to give credit to the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ writing team… Years before ‘Doctor Who’ came back to television under the supervision of Russel T. Davies, the good Doctor was being referenced in ‘Buffy’!
That’s some serious geek cred for Whedon and company here. ‘Buffy’ was a U.S mainstream t.v show, referencing another show from the U.K that most viewers had no knowledge about at the time.
So when did these awesome references happen? Let’s see…
1. This first one could be a coincidence, but I somehow doubt it. The big villain in the first season of Buffy was called… The Master!
That’s right, the same name as the Doctor’s arch-nemesis!
2. In the episode ‘Smashed’ during the sixth season of Buffy, Spike visits the Trio and one of them mentions that he has all the DVDs of Doctor Who just because Spike happens to be British.
The fact that Spike acts annoyed by this is even funnier when you watch it these days since James Marsters, the actor who portrayed Spike, has also played as a Whoniverse character in ‘Torchwood’, Captain John Hart!
3. Yet again in the sixth season of Buffy in the episode ‘As you were’, Spike uses the alias ‘The Doctor’ to sell some demon eggs on the black market.
4. In the sixth issue (seriously, what is it with that number for Doctor Who references in Buffy???) of the Dark Horse Comics’ ‘Buffy the vampire slayer: Season 8’, we see this particular cameo… (Hint: It’s on the first panel on the left of the page)
It’s the fight between two blood-suckers who hunt other blood-suckers while wearing long black leather coats and taking no crap! Also, both have weird hair.
There’s one thing I need to get out of the way first. The fact that the Blade movies had more time and money to put on their fight scenes will not be taken to mean that Blade is the better fighter because of it. Story-wise, both have proven they possess superhuman strength and agility as well as incredible fighting skills.
So what sets them apart as fighters then? Both are confident and even arrogant when they fight, but there are many differences. For starters, Blade has a much more disciplined fighting style while Spike fights more savagely. It is difficult to say which fighting style would be best, so we’ll have to look at other factors. When Spike uses weapons, it is more often than not medieval weaponry, while Blade uses high-tech gadgets and weapons that go beyond the scope of normal technology on top of his sword and stakes. It is safe to say that Blade has the upper hand when it comes to weapons.
I’m just not that sure that the weapons seal the deal though. The first Slayer that Spike killed was armed with a sword (just like Blade would be for most of the fight) and Spike still won. And that was when he was much less experienced than he is now! When you really look at it, Spike could probably have killed Buffy if his heart had been into it back when he was evil. Drusilla had implied as much in the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Season 5 episode ‘Fool for Love’ and Spike himself confirmed it in Season 7 when he told Buffy “You’ve never met the real me.” When it comes to killing vampire hunters, Spike has an almost untarnished record with one exception because deep down he didn’t really want to do it.
There’s also the fact that Spike has dealt with many more Big Bads than Blade has. Blade confronted a god once (Deacon Frost/La Magra) and managed to win only through the use of his EDTA darts. Spike spent time sparring with one (Illirya)!!! (While Illirya is referred to as an ‘Old One’, she seems to be a creature similar to Glory from what we’ve heard of both, and Glory was considered a god.) Sure, Spike couldn’t have beaten Illirya, but the fact that he spends more time against foes that are more powerful than he is means he has to be that much better in a fight. Blade often just fights against minions and thugs until it’s time for the final confrontation at the end of the movie. And even if you look at those, in the first movie he won only because Frost/Magra underestimated the weapon used against him, in the second the bad guy offed himself when he realized that the close kill had stopped his pain and in the third movie Blade needed an assist and a surprise attack to kill his opponent.
I imagine Spike would come out of the fight extremely wounded and far from well, but he’d add another vampire hunter to his list of people he’s beaten. And possibly steal Blade’s coat if his own was too damaged during the battle.