Archive for July 21st, 2008

Avatar Wraps Up with Style (No Spoilers)

2008 Jul 21

So, I finally watched the last 6 episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender yesterday night. They were a fitting end to one of the best series on television and put the astonishingly mediocre Season 2 finale to shame.

Interestingly, the writers totally faked me out. I was like, “Wait, after how progressive Avatar has been, they’re going to make the final battles be all about the male characters saving the world while the female characters wait on the sidelines? Plus they’re going to say that, in the end, sometimes murder is justified?” But then it wouldn’t be Avatar if they had done that, would it? It’s still a bit male-slanted, perhaps, but they do try to invert things, as they always have. And they really stayed true to their moral center, the thing that makes Avatar the best kid show ever, the thing that makes it a cartoon version of Dogs in the Vineyard.

The great thing too is that they ended the show after three seasons, when it was clearly a major success and they must have been pressured to do more. They may milk this cow for a bit longer in other forms, but that doesn’t change the fact that they came in, told the story they wanted to tell, and wrapped it up with a bow. They have given us a gift that can’t be taken away and I will always be thankful: for having a kids show where none of the characters are white, where the female characters are badass, where real moral choices are made, where consequences are dealt with, where there are no easy answers, where you don’t talk down to your audience, where culture is dealt with respectfully, where the martial arts are real, where you fall in love with all the characters, and where the story is one for the ages.

Very, very good stuff.

SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS!!!!

Geiger One-Sheet Help?

2008 Jul 21

Trying to work up a one-sheet (not really a character sheet) to assist people in playing Geiger Counter. Can those folks who’ve played it or at least read it help me figure out what all needs to be on it? Here are my intentions with what I have so far.

All the little rounded squares are places to keep your actual dice during play, except the menace dice might float around if you don’t have enough for everybody to have their own. I’m intending players to make notes about what each die means in the rounded squares. I like having menace dice on every sheet because it reminds each person that they have responsibility to play the menace.

The only thing I don’t have is places to put extra survival dice once you inherit them from dead characters. I guess I probably have to find a place for those and you could just write the dead character’s name next to them.

I really like each character having “their thing.” Like, “I’m a special forces sergeant with a deathwish.” I don’t think there’s a better description of that than “your thing.” Maybe “your angle,” as in “What’s your angle on this?” But “thing” probably gets the tone of Geiger better. A bit self-consciously ridiculous.

I figure people probably won’t have more than 4 advantage dice, but I’m not sure how that’s worked for other people in play. Heck, I could even cap the number of advantage dice you can carry around, to give people an incentive to create immobile dice like deck-mounted cannons and computer terminals and libraries, which have been rare on the ground. Thoughts?

I think it’s important to have all the conditions and buyoff on the sheet, though they could probably stand to be cut down to as few words as possible. The little bubbles on the side are where you mark which ones your character currently has.

I’m thinking about maybe adding some general scene framing guidelines too, in the form of a “if you’re not sure what to do, do one of these things” list. If that was in your face, I think it would help play in some cases. Is there anything else that would be helpful?