En la San Diego Comic Con, ayer presentaron el primer póster de la película de Wonder Woman.
¡Me encanta! Los colores, la composición, los elementos icónicos... Está genial. Qué decir de esas cuatro palabras que han decidido poner.
Poder. Gracia. Sabiduría. Maravilla.
Describen perfectamente al personaje. No sólo como superheroína, sino como mujer. Entre otros superhéroes clásicos con los que se codea, Diana destaca no sólo por ser mujer, sino por ser una mujer fuerte como Superman e inteligente como Batman, heroica como Flash y fantástica como Linterna Verde. No son sus únicos atributos, pero son sin duda los más importantes.
Poder. Gracia. Sabiduría. Maravilla.
Ahora, mirad la versión española del póster para Wonder Woman:
Lo de traducir "gracia" por "elegancia", bueno, no es que esté mal. "Gracia" me gusta más y está esa idea que tienen muchos en marketing de que el público es idiota y hay que usar términos sencillos (no vayan a equivocarse de acepción de "gracia") y se convierte en un círculo vicioso que simplifica el lenguaje eliminando vocabulario. Pero eso es un tema aparte.
Lo importante es, claramente, "belleza". Poder. Elegancia. Sabiduría. ¿¿¿Belleza???
¿De verdad a un iluminado se le ha ocurrido sustituir "maravilla" por "belleza" en el cartel de la película de la MUJER MARAVILLA? En una sociedad en la que, desgraciadamente, aún se considera la belleza como uno de los rasgos esenciales de un buen personaje femenino, en el póster original de Wonder Woman deciden ignorarlo, para centrarse en aspectos más importantes. Estoy seguro de que es deliberado.
El problema no es que haya un iluminado machista y rancio que cree que los espectadores son idiotas. El problema es que no es una persona, sino que ha tenido que ser toda una cadena de personas. Como poco, una que la ha traducido, una que ha aprobado la traducción, una que la ha puesto en el cartel, una que ha revisado el cartel, una que ha planificado su publicación, y una que lo ha puesto en las redes sociales. Probablemente, también bastantes más. ¿Y a ninguna de ellas se le ha ocurrido que ahí estaba fallando algo?
En serio, qué ascazo.
Por cierto, también hay tráiler :)
This is the story of that time I ran a Dungeons and Dragons game with 11 players, how and why that happened, and what I did to survive the experience.
Charisma and River
Somewhen in late 2014 I started directing an (almost) monthly DnD campaign with my co-workers from 13AM Games. Faced with the challenge of having eight players, I decided to divide them in two parties, instead of them playing together. They would be two separate groups of adventurers in the same world, though in different locations. The players agreed not to tell the other group about their own characters and adventures, so that when the eventual crossover occured, the surprise would be big-time. I was too busy to plan many adventures in advance, much less how or when the crossover was going to be... But, anyhow, that's when the idea for the Big Game was conceived.
For the next few months, both groups enjoyed their first adventures. On one hand, we had "Team Charisma", formed by famous-to-be bard Sam Springsteen, small but ferocious halfling barbarian Vorrix "the Kneecapper", old cheese-loving sorcerer Babs Dillholestein III, and austere and nature-loving drud elf Finrod. On the other, "Team River", which included wise and cunning sorcerer Perch Haddock, strong and well-meaning sailor Strøm, dumb and former gladiator half-orc Onth, and sneaky and cowardly rogue Klebitz Grey.
Team Charisma, famous for resolving about 90% of their problems through various Charisma rolls (a large percentage of them including the Disguise skill) were tasked with the quest to find a cure to a mysterious illness that made skin turn blue and eventually caused death. Team River, effective and fun but indecisive and with a fondness of collecting useless information, was offered a huge payment for capturing the Master of Coin, suspected of treason, while he travelled to the city of Melossa.
At the end of Act I, Team Charisma had been lured to the swamps north of Swamptown (my skill for improvising town names is uncanny) and got trapped in a fight between the wererat clans living in the swamps and some mysterious hermit warriors who were afflicted by the mysterious blue skin illness. Team River and the Master of Coin had been captured by dark elves from the forests north of Melossa and were trying a daring escape. Then, without the other team's knowledge, they shared a boss fight — a large, ancient, undead, tentacled creature, summoned by the hermits and the dark elves respectively, next to mysterious perfectly semi-spherical craters.
The Fourth View
For Act II, two friends of ours joined the game, as Plum and Beatris, half-orc Paladin and Cleric. As I wanted them to play with everyone, I decided that they were going to bounce among both Teams every two sessions. Plum and Beatris were agents of a secret religious group that was trying to protect the kingdom from the threat of the Fourth View, a sect that goes again the mainstream Three Gods. The Fourth View is trying to find four magic rings that would grant powers to whomever performs a certain ritual with them. Both the dark elves and the warrior hermits that both teams fought in the previous game were part of the Fourth View.
Team River managed to escape Melossa, besieged by the Fourth View's Admiral Samosa, with one of the rings. Along with Plum and Beatris, who found one of the rings in a crypt in Nonapolis, they arrived at the Crimson Banner, a monastery-fortress with a labyrinth-library where they found more information about the five adventurers who centuries ago found and used the rings, and then scattered them across the world. Then, they travelled through the Thunder Wastelands and helped Onth turn an orc crusade against the humans into a battle against Admiral Samosa's fleet.
Meanwhile, after many travels, Team Charisma found their own ring and more information on the past in the dwarven lands, where they met the old dwarf king of Ur-Kharâd, who happened to be one of those adventurers, and assured them that the rigns' power could heal the mysterious illness. Meeting Plum and Beatris in the royal castle of Green Banner, they found the last ring. But, after being fooled by an elf sorceress, Dalaruen, they witnessed the Fourth View's leader, prince Olandar, slaying his brother and his family and steal his dragon.
As I had already planned, Act II was to conclude with a crossover between the two teams, an event that had been in the works for over a year. But there was one more variable. A week before the crossover, I was talking to Nick, our Storytelling professor during the Game Design program where all of us had met, has asked if he could partake in one of our sessions. And it occured to me that a man from whom I've learned so much about narrative and games deserved to be a part of the Crossover, my largest DnD game ever, and play with everyone else at the same time.
Eleven players. Ambitious? Ambitious as fuck.
A Game Most Epic
The game began, obviously, with the meeting on both teams. This would happen at a temple far away in the North in the Thunder Wastelands, where the ritual with the Rings was to be performed. I gave both groups (and Plum and Beatrice on their own) a few minutes to plan what they wanted to do when they met, as both groups knew that the other was coming. What ensued was an attempt of Team Charisma to disguise themselves as nuns and a camel (no comments) and attack Team River (one of whom, Klebitz, was sneakily hidden avoiding any comfrontation). Fortunately, Team Charisma's attack didn't go very well. As soon as they were on the losing side, with Beatrice and Plum not helping them, and Finrod not wanting to fight, they agreed to stop and talk. Soon, they were all friends. Kind of. Friends enough.
Once that I had taken care of that, as I knew well that my players had wanted that fight to happen, I could begin the adventure proper. We introduced Nick's character, the enigmatic guardian of the temple. At first, I wasn't sure what character I was going to have Nick play. He had suggested playing a mindflayer, his favourites; and we had joked about him being a gelatinous cube. But he had also accepted playing just anything that was convinient, of course. I thought of NPC roles he could fulfill, such as some ally coming to help, but that didn't fit best with my plans, and I didn't want it to feel forced. I also considered having him as one of the main bad guys, who would appear during the final scene, but that would limit how long he could play.
For a few days, I was out of ideas... Until the obvious dawned on me. My final objective was that at the end of the session, when the ritual was performed, the rings were dividied among the different teams. What if, instead of making the characters fight (or use diplomacy, or negotiate, or whatever) for the rings, I had a character that decided it for them, based on their performance on some trials? It wouldn't have worked well if that was an NPC, as it would feel very arbitrary on the DM's side. But this way, everything worked. The mysterious mindflayer (because, why not?) appeared, magically took the rings, and told them (in Nicks's unique and astonishing way) that he would test them, etc. For the rest of the game, Nick would alternate between the guardian of the temple, much of the time a voice telling the players what to do; and the monsters that would appear inside the temple... which, obviously, included gelatinous cubes. Therefore, he was, in a way, more of a secondary DM than a player. Maybe a mix between the two. Hey, with a group this big, one has to improvise!
So, after an hour or so of game, the ten characters walked inside the temple. They had to follow a narrow corridor and, as it's usual, they had to decide what order they walked on. For the unexperienced, this is because there's often traps, and monster ambushes, and many more pitfalls throughout a dungeon such as this one. At one point the path diverted into three corridors. They chose one... As soon as three of them had crossed, though, of course, a stone slab fell and blocked the rest of the players to follow them. So they chose one of the others... and the same happened after three of them had entered. The remaining four players had to go through the third corridor. This way, I divided the players in three smaller, more manageable groups, while at the same time mixng Team Charisma and Team River together. Yes, I'm a resourceful DM.
After, if I recall correctly, the chance of falling into one of those pit-full-of-spikes traps I put in absolutely every session ever, they came upon the first puzzle of the night. Each group found some weird triangular symbols on a grid, etched in the wall; and right in front of them there was a similar looking grid in the floor. When they stepped on the wrong tiles in the grid, some magical fire trap would hurt them a bit. One of the groups figured out that the number of triangles indicated the order in which they had to step on the tiles. Another one managed to use ropes and jumping potions to skip the puzzle altogether (as a DM, I completely support creative solutions). The third group didn't figure out neither way and just walked across and lost some hit points.
After the puzzle, each of the group had to fight a gelatinous cube controlled by Nick. Klebitz almost died, but other than that it wasn't bad, just another obstacle. With the dead cubes behind, the groups found the second puzzle, another iteration of the previous one. There were more triangles this time, and besides the number of triangles, their colour mattered as well. And as a further complication, players quickly realized that this time their grid didn't pair with their triangles, but with one of the other groups, and they had to shout to each other. The second puzzle was solved!
They all converged in a large room where a monstrous hydra awaited them. It was a powerful hydra, but all ten players together managed to defeat it. It might've not been the most difficult fight ever (I like the challange being in the narrative, not in dice rolls), but it felt epic enough.
At some point during the fight, someone pointed me out that in proper Game Design pacing, I would've had a third phase for the puzzle. It's this formula that you can see in many video games, such as the Super Mario ones, where a level consists of a first part introducing a new mechanic; a second part making it more difficult; and a third with a new tweak to the mechanic. This is the kind of comment you get as a DM when your players have all studied Game Design! But they were right. Game Design and Dungeon Mastering are very closely related.
Anyhow, back to the game, Nick's mindflayer reappeared and awarded half of the group. He gave the Ring of Might to Vorix, for all the killing he'd done; the Ring of Blood to Perch, for his powerful use of magic; the Ring of Life to Babs, for caring for his brother and teammates; the Ring of Luck to Klebitz, for the lucky roll that saved him from the gelatinous cube; and the Voice (the ability to perform the ritual with the rings) to Finrod, for reasons I don't remember.
Enter Final Cutscene, Part One. I wanted this to be more interactive, but we were running out of time, so I just did it mostly narrative. Long story short, the Bad Guys appeared (prince Olandar, sorceress Dalaruen, and admiral Samosa) with some troops and demanded the rings be given to them. The characters didn't, and prepared to execute the ritual.
For the ritual, the rings had some weird symbols and words inside. Guess what the symbols were? SUPRISE! Frakking triangles. The same triangles from the puzzles, which determined the order in which the words had to be sung for the ritual to be complete. Did anyone really thing I wouldn't have done the puzzle in three parts? Mwahaha.
Anyhow, the words probably bear as little meaning to you, my dear reader, as they did for my players. But they sounded dark and ominous.
Baga Biga Higa
Laga Boga Sega
Zai Zoi Bele
Harma Tiro Pun
Of course they sound dark and ominous. And Basque-ish. As soon as Finrod had pronounced the words aloud, I played the following song and took over for Final Cutscene, Part Two.
The result was EPIC. The music fit perfectly with the narrative and big things happened when the music went in crescendo. For the whole length of the song, I had all my players just staring in awe. Mostly. As much as I could expect them to.
How did I manage this? My players later asked me if it was a coincidence that they fit so well, or if I had prepared it word by word. Neither. I do nothing by coincidence, and I had had over a year to prepare this. But at the same time, a word by word would've been mad, and difficult to rearrange to improvise if the players did anything unexpected. What I'd done is dividing the song in different parts and deciding what part of the narrative to talk about during each part. As it's a song I listen to quite often, I always knew what was coming when.
0:00: A mysterious, dark and eldritch voice sings and repeats the words. The words start echoing in the room with more voices singing.
1:25: A light surrounds the ring-bearers, each of whom starts feeling some tickling power inside of them.
2:03: The temple begins to shake as the voice starts talking forbidden words previously unheard. All the characters are NPCs look around in disbelief as the ceiling begins to fall down. The guardian of the temple casts a barrier spell that protects the ringless characters; while Dalaruen does the same for Olandar, Samosa and herself; and the ring bearers and the Voice are protected by the light.
3:46: As the walls crumble to dust, a perfect semi-spherical crater, same as the ones at the end of Act I, is revealed. Amorphous and gigantic limbs start emerging out of the ground. As the creatures emerge, the characters recognize them as the ancient monsters that they fought at the end of Act I. Hundreds of them.
4:40: Dalaruen of the Fourth View steps forward and realizes some weird gestures.
4:52: The monsters kneel in front of Dalaruen, who smiles maliciously. She orders the monsters to follow her. They start marching southwards.
5:24: The light surrounding the four ring bearers and the Voice intensifies... and they disappear. They are in some cold, rocky, uninhabited island in the middle of the sea.
Act 3 was set to begin. Not only had the story taken a new turn and the final baddies had been set, but it had also been a really fun and giant-sized game, and the two teams that had been together for a year and a half were now shaken and mixed. It had been a game full of surprises, from Nick's appearance to that final mix, and everyone had had a great time.
As soon as it was over I sighed in relief. It had been one of the most fun experiences I've ever had, but also one of the most tiresome. It had been extremely taxing and the game required all my skill and techniques as a Dungeon Master. I don't think I'll be doing it again... at least for a few years. But the results were definitely worthwile. How many DMs can boast of having done an 11-player Dungeons & Dragons game of such level of epicness?
And now, Act 3 begins...
Esta entrada la publiqué originalmente en el Comlink, el blog del foro Universo Star Wars.
Puedes encontrar los números anteriores de "Hace mucho tiempo" en la revista del foro.
Hace 30 años...
... Ewoks y Droids alcanzaban el auge antes de la caída.
Era 1986 y Star Wars, por primera vez en su historia, flaqueaba. No había películas a la vista, no se habían publicado novelas en tres años, la era de los videojuegos arcade llegaba a su final, el cómic de Marvel tenía los días contados, y las tiras periódicas habían finalizado en 1984. Pero justo antes de lo que sería el mayor vacío de la historia Star Wars desde 1977, dos títulos dominaron 1985 y 1986.
Con el futuro de la saga incierto tras el Episodio VI, George Lucas decidió orientar su nuevo producto a un público infantil en forma de serie animada, inspirado por la secuencia animada del infame Holiday Special. Además, no queriendo tocar ningún personaje que pudiera ser relevante en unas posibles Precuelas o Secuelas, eligió como protagonistas a personajes de poca importancia en sus planes: Wicket, Teebo y el resto de su tribu para Ewoks; y R2-D2, C-3PO y un montón de personajes nuevos para Droids. Entre ambas series suman más de 20 horas que la mayoría de fans de Star Wars desconoce. Hace 30 años, en junio de 1986, Ewoks se encontraba en medio de una segunda temporada; y Droids publicaba un episodio especial extra largo que sería el último y más recordado, The Great Heep. Por si fuera poco, entre todo el merchandising y coleccionismo que estaban ocasionando, Marvel publicó en 1986 sendas series de cómics, un total de 25 historias que incluían desde contar Una nueva esperanza bajo el punto de vista de los droides, hasta una paradoja temporal que llevaba a R2 y 3PO al Endor pre-Episodio VI de Ewoks.
¿Por qué fallaron? Hablamos de dos series animadas infantiles de calidad, que fallaron donde hoy han triunfado The Clone Wars y Rebels. Animación excelente, buena música, guiones a la altura, costes de producción bastante superiores a la media... y el nombre y personajes de Star Wars, claro. Los problemas vinieron de la productora, la cadena ABC, y sus numerosas restricciones para hacer ambas series más parecidas a otros dibujos animados de la época... con los que, sorprendentemente, Droids e Ewoks no pudieron competir bien debido a una cantidad menor de merchandising. Y es que por muchas figuritas que tuviese Star Wars, Los osos cariñosos y Los pitufos tenían más.
Un ejemplo de estas restricciones era un capítulo que se escribió para la primera temporada de Ewoks, en el que un piloto imperial se estrellaba en Endor. Los ewoks cuidaban del piloto, que después tenía que decidir si ayudar a los ewoks o intentar escapar del planeta. ABC rechazó el guión... ¡por ser "demasiado Star Wars"! Increíble.
Hace 20 años...
... se publicaba el primer gran proyecto multimedia de Star Wars, Sombras del Imperio.
Hoy día estamos acostumbrados a los proyectos multimedia de Star Wars. Rebels llegó acompañada de tal multitud de libros, cómics, cortos, figuritas y juegos que hemos perdido la pista a la mayoría. Y exactamente 10 años antes, Ewoks y Droids estaban teniendo un cómic que acompañaba a las series. Pero Sombras del Imperio fue el primer proyecto multimedia real y de magnitud de SW.
Nos situamos en un momento estelar para la saga. Donde 10 años atrás Star Wars estaba a punto de caer al vacío, podemos decir que en 1996 acabó de resurgir. El éxito del nuevo Universo Expandido en 1991, el anuncio de que George Lucas iba a escribir unas precuelas en 1993, y la inminente llegada de las Ediciones Especiales en 1997 son el contexto que rodea a Sombras del Imperio, un producto destinado a unirlos todos, a reunir a fans viejos y nuevos, literatura y películas, y volver a poner SW en las miras de todo el mundo.
Argumentalmente, Sombras del Imperio se ofrece a rellenar el vacío entre los Episodios V y VI. Luke, Leia, Lando, Chewie y los droides, con la ayuda del mercenario corelliano Dash Rendar, buscan a Han Solo, prisionero de Boba Fett, quien intenta llevárselo a Jabba el Hutt a Tatooine. Mientras tanto, en Coruscant/Centro Imperial, el astuto príncipe Xizor conspira para matar a Luke, diezmar la Rebelión y desprestigiar a Darth Vader. Y en medio de todo, aparecen rumores de que el Imperio está construyendo una segunda Estrella de la Muerte.
La historia principal se cuenta en la novela Sombras del Imperio. Sin embargo, también hubo una miniserie de cómics del mismo título que contaban una versión un poco resumida de la historia, pero añadiendo nuevas escenas, sobre todo desde el punto de vista de Boba Fett y los bajos fondos de Tatooine. Además, hubo más cómics centrados en personajes como Nix, el espía de Vader, y Guri, la droide réplica sierva de Xizor. También hubo un videojuego de aventuras y acción para Nintendo 64, protagonizado por Dash Rendar. Y juguetes, libros infantiles, juegos de cartas ¡y hasta banda sonora!
Aunque pronto se vio eclipsado por el furor de las Precuelas, Sombras del Imperio fue todo un éxito. Su modelo se ha reutilizado una y otra vez, y sus personajes, elementos y tramas se han repetido reiteradamente por todo Star Wars desde entonces.
Hace 10 años...
... Comenzó El legado de la Fuerza. Desde que Del Rey recuperó la licencia para publicar novelas de Star Wars en 1999, su principal producto había sido La Nueva Orden Jedi, una macroserie de diecinueve novelas y un montón de relatos que se situaban dos décadas después de las películas y contaban la guerra contra los invasores yuuzhan vong.
Tras la Trilogía del Nido Oscuro, la saga continuaba ahora con El legado de la Fuerza, en la que la nueva generación de Skywalkers iba a tomar un rol aún mayor y las cosas iban a cambiar... mucho.
El legado de la Fuerza es una nonalogía, o nueve libros, escritos por Aaron Allston, Karen Traviss y Troy Denning. Mantiene numerosos elementos reconocibles de La Nueva Orden Jedi, como un enorme elenco de personajes, situaciones políticas complejas, moral en tonos de gris, numerosas referencias y apariciones de elementos de obras anteriores del Universo Expandido... y muertes, muchas muertes. Sí, puede recordar un poco a Juego de tronos. Hay muchos a quienes no les gustaba este estilo en Star Wars, pero, personalmente, me parece que en esa época en la que no había Secuelas a la vista era una forma muy interesante de llevar SW hacia nuevos horizontes.
Es ya 40 años después de la Batalla de Yavin, una década después del fin de la invasión vong. A raíz de un conflicto entre Corellia y la Alianza Galáctica se desata una nueva guerra civil galáctica que ve a los héroes divididos. En uno de los bandos, Jacen Solo se hace con el poder de la Alianza Galáctica y, tutelado por una antigua aprendiz de Vader, Lumiya, sucumbe al lado oscuro y se convierte en Darth Caedus. Numerosos personajes se enfrentan a él: Luke Skywalker, su esposa Mara Jade, su hijo Ben Skywalker, y la propia hermana de Jacen, Jaina Solo. No todos vivirán para contarlo.
Como decía, es una serie a la que no le faltan algunas controversias. Pero a largo plazo la opinión de los fans sobre ella fue mejorando y hoy la consideramos una obra clave de Leyendas.
Es difícil explicar Undertale y su atractivo, especialmente porque es un juego dirigido hacia una audiencia muy particular.
¿Te gustan los juegos indie innovadores y originales, sin importar los gráficos?
¿Te gustan los RPG de consola clásicos, como Earthbound, Final Fantasy o Super Mario RPG?
¿Te gustan los chistes cínicos y absurdos de Internet, Reddit y los memes?
¿Te gustan las historias y personajes complejos, cautivadores, intrigantes y emotivos?
Si respondes que sí a por lo menos dos de ellas, te recomiendo probar Undertale. Si, como yo, respondes que sí a las cuatro, Undertale es para ti.
Undertale es una obra de culto instantanea creada por Toby Fox (código, diseño, música y gran parte del arte). A primera vista puede parece el típico RPG de SNES, con una estética pixel-art que recuerda instantaneamente a Earthbound, principal inspiración del juego. Cámara superior, diálogos con opciones, peleas con monstruos aleatorias y jefes, equipo, inventario, nivel y puntos de vida...
Pero es mucho más. Lo primero que llama la atención son las mecánicas de "shoot'em up" y "bullet hell". En combate, los enemigos atacan lanzando balas, o misiles, o espadas, o huesos, o lágrimas, o cacas de perro, en distintos patrones según el enemigo, que el jugador tiene que esquivar. A su vez, los ataques del jugador consisten en intentar pulsar una tecla en el momento adeacuado. Por no mencionar que los jefes suelen tener mecánicas especiales que limitan al jugador, como uno que añade gravedad a sus movimientos, otro que lo limita a moverse en tres líneas, y otro que permite disparar como en un shooter. Esto hace que, al contrario que la mayoría de los RPGs, cada combate y enemigo se sienta único y con dosis de acción.
Además, ¡atacar a los enemigos es opcional! En vez de "luchar", se puede elegir "actuar", lo cual ofrece diversas opciones, una vez más dependiendo del enemigo. Actuando de la forma adecuada, es posible convencer a los enemigos de dejar de luchar, apiadarse de ellos y seguir adelante. Al perdonar a un enemigo no se obtienen puntos de experiencia, con lo cual los combates se hacen más difíciles... Pero salvarlos tiene su lado bueno, que no voy a comentar por evitar spoilers.
Los combates no son la única parte de Undertale en la que el jugador puede elegir entre ser más o menos amables con los monstruos del inframundo en el que está atrapado. También es posible hacerlo al conversar con los muy diversos y complejos personajes que pueblan el reino de los monstruos. Se les puede ayudar a hacer sus vidas mejores, ¡o intentar arruinarlas! Con algunos se puede incluso salir en una cita. Y, ¿quién no ha nunca querido una cita con un esqueleto?
Es difícil hablar de la trama sin destriparla, porque tiene muchísimos detalles ocultos que es un placer ir descubriendo. A grandes rasgos, en el inframundo viven los monstruos, exiliados por los humanos hace eones, y separados de la superficie por una barrera mágica. Tú eres un niño (o niña) que ha caído al inframundo y tienes que buscar una manera de salir. En el camino conocerás a toda clase de variopintos personajes: la maternal Toriel, los hermanos Sans y Papyrus, la letal Undyne, la friki Alphys, el rey Asgore Dreemur, y muchos otros. Debajo de todo esto se esconde una historia conmovedora que sólo podrás llevar a buen término con tu alma y tu determinación. Suena muy abstracto y es que no puedo dar detalles, de verdad que es una historia que hay que descubrir. Y al llegar al final verdadero, lloras.
A unas mecánicas excelentes e innovadoras, que subvierten los RPG tradicionales; y una historia compleja, llena de humor pero también tragedia; se suman un estilo artístico simplote pero con mucha personalidad, una banda sonora alucinante y llena de sorpresas, efectos de sonido simples pero efectivos... y un sentido del humor absurdo que no tiene precio.
Como decía al principio, la gran pega del juego (el único punto negativo que le encuentro) es que está dirigido a un público muy particular. Para disfrutar Undertale en todo su esplendor hay que saber apreciar una historia profunda, un sistema de RPG subvertido, su particular sentido del humor, y dejarse llevar por sus entrañables personajes. Si se alcanza eso, es una experiencia inolvidable que bien vale los 10€ que cuesta.
En español aquí
If you see this in front of you, you should tremble.
However, I guess that for most mortals, those of you who have never played tabletop roleplaying games (and even many of you who have), you tremble for pretty different reasons. It's a reaction I've seen many times in people for whom roleplaying games sound interesting but are afraid of their enormous complexity. And that's often very geeky people. And they're right! RPGs are far from simple. They are loads of fun, no doubt about that, but in a game that lets you do whatever you want, rulebooks are going to have to be pretty thick for sure.
All of that is really good and I definitely suggest any learning game director (which in RPG argot we call Dungeon Master or DM) that they should use this in their first games. But those of us with a tad more of experience are more ambitious with our adventures. For me, this is not a satisfying solution to use in my games with newcomers.
However, not all the games kept that style. At the same time as in the West computers' technical progress allowed digital roleplaying games to get closer to their physical coutnerparts, in the East the simplified RPGs had made their way to video game consoles. From the success of Wizardry and Ultima came forth Dragon Quest first and Final Fantasy following its trail. These console RPGs opted for a different path and evolved in another direction, keeping a simplified character creation with little personalization. This sacrifice allows the developers to know it everything about those characters and so develop more complex, linear and epic stories.
In the 21st century, both trends have often mixed in several ways. They have evolved and grown branches and they have been mixed with other video game genres. This helps in our quest for making character creation for new players easier.
This works very well in tabletop roleplaying games, specially when the players are used to video games. In fact, there's a lot of tabletop RPGs that use this nowadays. But in games that don't have this system, an experienced Dungeon Master is able to create a similar system. For example, in D&D 3.5, instead of allowing players to chose a Feat from a neverending list of feats every three levels, the DM might choose the most appropiate ones for the character and let them choose among just two or three each time.
The same can be done in a tabletop RPG — simplify the character creation and let the players do it in a more customized way as they learn more about the system. For example, as the DM, don't give money to the players at the beginning, choose what equipment they'll have at the beginning, and let them find some a couple of hours into the game. This makes one less obstacle for starting the game as soon as possible.
I like doing the same in tabletop roleplaying games. Before I give players freedom to start doing whatever they want, I make them go through a few trials that'll teach them the base mechanics: ability and skill checks, saving throws, basic combat, etc. I also give them as soon as I can situations where they are eased into practicing roleplaying, talking to non-playing characters, or where there's not a clear way to move forward, in ways that they can discover how to solve those on their own and how much freedom of choice roleplaying games give you. It might take half of the session to end the tutorial phase, but by that time players will feel confortable enought for the real game to start.
After that, I gave each of the players a fixed amount of points to spend in Skill scores. Here I gave them more freedom, with most Skills available as options. Later on, I think it'd have been better to limit their options with the Skills as I had with other stuff, or at least give them some Skill sets. Otherwise, it's still a bit long and boring, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid. But it didn't occur to me in the little time I had to prepare the game. Next time, I'll do it based showing them instead those Feats that increase two points in two Skills at the same time. That would reduce options to half, and elements to chose to a fourth.
Done properly, everyone can have a base character with Abilities and Skills in about 10 minutes. They're just normal humans, with no spells, no weapons, no extraordinary abilities... But they already have some personality, they're different from each other, and they're ready to have an adventure.
Obviously, this first step is much easier if you know beforehand what each player is aiming their characters to be, and that's more difficult for first time players. I myself like to help them by giving them each a 'secret' or 'mission' that they'll have to hide from other players. Some examples might be "you have an animal companion, but if it dies, you lose a level", or "you're a time traveller, find this person and kill him", or "your character belongs to an ecologist organization trying to protect turle dragons; you'll get a +1 moral modifier to your rolls if you give at least 5 pamphlets per session to NPCs, or a -1 otherwise". This gives depth and perks to the characters, it helps players to roleplay and to take the game more seriously, and a good DM can even use it to introduce elements that are going to serve the plot further on.
After players had learned all the basic dice rolls in a fun and interactive way, we went on to a narrative part where I moved the characters from one situation to another, as in a video game cutscene. Many prefer not to use this kind of resource as it could seem to limit the players' agency. But I like to use one at the beginning of each session and another one at the end, as it helps with to set each of our not-so-often games, it reminds players of what was going on, and it helps the plot advance (my way). So in this game, the characters were riding a rollercoster that took them to a medieval fantasy world through a magic portal. The diabolic Venger and his goblin army captured them and locked them in a cell in a dungeon.
This is where I gave them their agency back. Each of the players could describe their character to the others and they could start the roleplay. They can talk to each other, they can try to bribe the guards, they can explore de cell, they can try to find some way out... Most of the times I start campaigns the same way. I let them go on and on until they seem to have understood that they can do whatever they want, and had nothing else to say or do.
Each of this items was represented by a card where I had written several benefits: more Ability and Skill scores, a Feat or two, some special abilities, spells for some of them, and a couple of weapons or armour. Simplified Character Classes!
In our game, the 7 players would choose 7 out of 9 objects. A magical sword and an axe, both with elemental damage and Fighter Feats; a shield for a Paladin; gloves and cloak for Rogues; a Ranger's bow; a Bard's lute; a staff for a Sorcerer; and a grimoire for a Wizard.
Soon thereafter, characters fought two goblins in their first real combat. Players were introduced to turn-based combat, Iniciative, attacking and getting attacked, etc. It was an easy combat, but the characters only had a couple of weapons and it was their first fight, so it was still exciting and it had an aura of danger around it.
El pensamiento friki
"Mi lógica es que si el resto de la gente se vacuna, yo no tengo que vacunarme." —Un compañero
- Ace Attorney
- Bravely Default
- Canción de Hielo y Fuego
- Capitán América
- Command and Conquer
- Death Note
- Diccionario MMO
- diseño de videojuegos
- Dragon Age
- Dragon Ball
- Dragon Quest
- Duke Nukem
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Final Fantasy
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Geralt de Rivia
- Get Kraken!
- Golden Sun
- Guild Wars
- Historia de los X-Men
- indiana jones
- Iron Man
- juegos de mesa
- La balada de las landas perdidas
- La semana de Polybius
- Mass Effect
- Metal Gear
- Might and Magic
- Monkey Island
- Monster Hunter
- Mundo Anillo
- Nightfall in Middle-Earth
- Noches de Noyvern
- Power Rangers
- Prince of Persia
- Profesor Layton
- Reinos Olvidados
- rol narrativo
- Shogi Wars
- Star Trek
- Star Wars
- The Big Bang Theory
- The Dark Saga
- The IT Crowd
- The Legend of Zelda
- The Matrix
- The Walking Dead
- Tierra Media
- Wonder Woman