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Author Topic: Review #6: Battlestar Gallactica  (Read 10353 times)
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Meg
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« on: June 15, 2008, 06:46:17 PM »

The BG's review BSG in the last of our full Origin's review series.


Battlestar Gallactica
is published by Margaret Weis Productions. 

Listen to the show on Wednesday to see what we think about it.  Has anyone else seen it?  What are your thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 06:58:20 PM by Meg » Logged

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Meg
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008, 11:41:35 PM »

It's up!  1/2 hour early to boot! 

Now... I must warn you.  We didn't like this book.  Like, at all.  So most of the episode is more about telling stories and/or complete silence to make it seem like it's just as long as the other reviews.

What this also means is that even if you aren't interested in this book, I strongly recommend you listen to this show.  Just... do.
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008, 02:09:44 AM »

That was definitely funny, and I'm glad you didn't spend too much time on BSG.

What I'd like to see is, maybe continuing in the theme of reviews/awards, some more examples of what you guys think are well-written, well-designed games.  What should have been nominated?  What are all-time favorites, or games that don't get a lot of internet pimping but are still worth looking at?  You can even polish some more Burning Wheel Knob...
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008, 03:16:38 AM »

Also, the first night I met you guys Zeke kept playing 'Electric 6 - Danger! High Voltage'.  Over and over and over again...

Dear me, that night at the RAM could probably be an episode in and of itself.  I'm sure I've forgotten some good stuff.
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If you look at the entire history of the RPG industry, you'll see the same, long, sad story: a mountain of conventional wisdom, usually backed by selective listening, that leads to a long chain of failed games and bad ideas. - Mike Mearls
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008, 01:14:34 PM »

Also, the first night I met you guys Zeke kept playing 'Electric 6 - Danger! High Voltage'.  Over and over and over again...

Dear me, that night at the RAM could probably be an episode in and of itself.  I'm sure I've forgotten some good stuff.

"fire in the disco!!"
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2008, 12:28:05 AM »

Also, the first night I met you guys Zeke kept playing 'Electric 6 - Danger! High Voltage'.  Over and over and over again...

Dear me, that night at the RAM could probably be an episode in and of itself.  I'm sure I've forgotten some good stuff.

You like spending nights in random access memory?
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Josh
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 01:31:31 AM »

Also, the first night I met you guys Zeke kept playing 'Electric 6 - Danger! High Voltage'.  Over and over and over again...

Dear me, that night at the RAM could probably be an episode in and of itself.  I'm sure I've forgotten some good stuff.

You like spending nights in random access memory?

Best kind of memory. 

The Ram is a restaurant/brewery
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 04:51:16 AM »

You need a new category for episodes, just for the Gencon stuff  Big Grin
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 03:31:48 PM »

I enjoyed the episode.  It seemed to me from the moment I saw the author that SW:SAGA could probably do the game better.  Just rip out the Jedi and Force stuff, replace force points with some other arbitrary name that has the same function, and boom, you have a quality generic heroic sci-fi system ready to go.  I played a Firefly 'verse game using this exact systemhack, and it worked out beautifully.

Now, I've never read the Serenity book.  I've heard all kinds of awful things about it, but I've never heard precisely WHY it's awful.  I assume it has to do with the Cortex system.  The amusing part about it all is I've seen as many glowing reviews of both Serenity and Battlestar Galactica as I have negative reviews.  I would really like to be able to learn what it is about these games that is so incredibly toxic (beyond the authors, ignoring everything except what's between the covers). 

However, I refuse to spend $30 to satisfy this curiosity.  One of the two "gaming" stores in my area does not allow customers to browse books before buying them, and in fact packages books to prevent it.  The other place, a real FLGS owned and operated by a real gamer, refuses to stock the books.  Can one of you folks enlighten me?
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Josh
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2008, 01:38:20 AM »

People love Firefly and Battlestar Galactica.  So the reviews are divided by the people who feel betrayed and the people who don't know any better. 
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2008, 03:13:18 PM »

I got a chance to look at Battlestar Galactica at our local Borders.  I read a couple chapters.  I think I threw up a little afterward.
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runester
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2008, 08:17:24 PM »

.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:43:27 AM by runester » Logged
Josh
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2008, 09:51:32 PM »

I was a little disappointed in this review. I've played Serenity and it was "OK" ... not my cup of tea, but OK. The system was a little clunky but workable ... and my understanding was that it has been improved for BSG.

I have run into this several times.  My question to you is, what games have you played?
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runester
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2008, 08:45:21 PM »

.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:46:50 AM by runester » Logged
Josh
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2008, 10:47:56 PM »

I was a little disappointed in this review. I've played Serenity and it was "OK" ... not my cup of tea, but OK. The system was a little clunky but workable ... and my understanding was that it has been improved for BSG.

I have run into this several times.  My question to you is, what games have you played?

Sorry for the late reply. Here's a list in no particular order.

  • D&D (AD&D, 3.5, 4.0)
  • Shadowrun 4e
  • Everway
  • new World of Darkness (vampire, werewolf, mage)
  • The Puddle
  • Hero System (3e, 4e, 5e)
  • The Window
  • Simple20
  • Earth Dawn
  • Star Frontiers
  • Lord of the Rings (ICE)
  • ... and others
I was right then.

You have no comparison.  Most of those games are old or simply inferior.  And the ones that are not are action adventure.

So there is a whole world of games beyond what you know.
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runester
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2008, 11:18:40 PM »

.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:43:20 AM by runester » Logged
Josh
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2008, 11:53:23 PM »

I was right then.

You have no comparison.  Most of those games are old or simply inferior.  And the ones that are not are action adventure.

So there is a whole world of games beyond what you know.

Interesting. You asked what games I've played, not what games I owned or have read. If you are referring to Indie Games, then these would include Don't rest your head, Dogs in the Vineyard, Mortal Coil, and others. Furthermore your answer of "I was right" doesn't bother to explain what you were right about ... and you're probably not. Finally, what exactly about BSG moves it "beyond what I know?" Especially since I've played the Cortex system and understand the BSG setting very well.

You seem dismissive without explanation which makes me wonder why you bothered to post. If my question is beneath you then so am I - why waste your time?
No the important thing is what you responded with(also nitpicky pedantic bullshit wins you no debate points).  If you are comparing the BSG game to hero system (for example)  cortex has some advantages (yes cortex is not the worst game ever). 

I said "I was right, you have no comparison." 

You still have no comparison, "Don't rest your head" and "Dogs in the vineyard"  would be a good contrast, but you don't know them well enough.  As demonstrated by you not getting my point in the first place.  It is something of a catch 22, If you were going to get it generally you would have already had it.

(As a side note, words like Indie and story don't make a game good.)

Games are what their mechanics support
The cortex mechanics support fighting and skill checks, AKA "Action Adventure."
The cortex system is an "Action Adventure" game.  BSG is not an "Action Adventure" show. 

QED.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 11:58:26 PM by Josh » Logged

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Cam_Banks
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« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2008, 01:14:50 AM »

Cortex supports more than just action adventure, just as D&D supports more than action adventure. We do think it supports more than action adventure better than D&D does, of course.

We could have written a set of rules that enforces drama through innovative meta-play and troupe-style dynamics stressing relationships and staged or scripted external adventure processes, but we didn't, because we don't hate ourselves that much. Smile

Cheers,
Cam
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Josh
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2008, 03:58:08 AM »

Cortex supports more than just action adventure, just as D&D supports more than action adventure. We do think it supports more than action adventure better than D&D does, of course.
Of course it does not support anything other than action adventure.  It has no mechanics for anything else.
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Cam_Banks
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2008, 07:44:59 AM »

Of course it does not support anything other than action adventure.  It has no mechanics for anything else.

Skill mechanics don't prevent other forms of play. I'm pretty sure you recognize this, you're just being obtuse.

Cheers,
Cam
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