Taking Inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Dungeons & Dragons

I wanted to write a blurb on using Marvel’s cinematic universe in D&D. I’ll either come back to this topic and inject some more specific examples and references…

Daemons & Deathrays

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Admittedly, I’ve been away from the boundless realms of graphic novel and comic books.  Whether it’s because I’m hesitant to try new series or because money is always tight, I haven’t really gone too deep into comic books, especially nowadays.  Now, I’ve caught up on a few series and read many of them after the fact, but I’ve never really gotten active within any fandoms… unless a handful of defunct and finished web-comics count for anything, that is.  That said, I’ve been slowly been brought back into the fold thanks to Disney and Marvel teaming up for the relatively recent series of films that have been mostly pretty damn good.  Save for a few sub-par installations, the films that have been released (sometimes more than) once a year have been fantastic.  At the best, an excellent journey of action and heroism… and at worst?  A good way to spend an…

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The Doc Speaks: Do I want to believe?

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Lemme start by saying that I am not a superstitious person, but it’s hard to deny some things in this world (let alone universe) defy our comprehension and will probably continue to do so for eons to come.  What could this be?  Alien beings, parallel universes, otherworlds seen in myth and legend?  Beyond the fantastical, we have theories of sinister organizations working underneath our thumbs, pseudo-government tyrannies run by companies, among other things. Sounds like science fiction and are probably inventions of creative minds, but what amount of truth can be found in those statements?  Sure, this is quickly starting to sound like the beginning of a poorly written creepypasta, but it does make one wonder.  Whether intended for plain old entertainment or an attempt to broaden our horizons, various bits of media have wondered what lurks within our own world, as well as what lurks beyond ours.  And beyond the media, such notions are ingrained into countless cultures around the world.  Even if it’s popular mythology, these stories continue to live and breath much like we do.  Let’s have a look at some examples I personally enjoy.

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The Doc Speaks: Fresh off the Wasteland Survival Guide!

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Presenting one of the most parodied spoilers in the history of fiction!

Fallout 4’s confirmation brought waves of excitement all across the internet.  People active in the fandom and even people outside of it cheered upon hearing the new title being teased just a couple of days ago.  As for myself?  I had a mix of cautious optimism and the kind of cynicism a curmudgeonly old fart would have, but none the less a renewed interest in Fallout, if not the post-apocalyptic genre.  Granted, the newest entry in the Mad Max franchise helped too.  And while I’d love to focus on Fallout games more than I already have, I just want to ponder about the genre as a whole; metaphors, cautionary tales, and tropes of course.  While this started as a rambling rant (much like my chaotic “review” of HATRED), this became another longwinded look into some aspect of speculative fiction and the media by yours truly.  So, let’s ride into the atomic sunset and soak in some healthy radiation once more!

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The Doc Speaks: Hype Machine, Hate Machine

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Oh boy, MORE Drizz’t!

Hype.  There’s a word with a lot of connotations and consequences, right there.  To an extent, everything receives it.  It’s all a part of spreading ideas and communicating.  We share what we enjoy, it’s what we as people have done for ages.  To borrow from Dawkins’ theory on the ‘meme’, popular ideas spread almost like a virus and eventually evolve too.  And while it’s great to see something you’re passionate about spread all over the world, a saturation point is inevitably reached.  At a certain point, the joy and fun of whatever is popular becomes robbed for many… and this assumes they were invested in the idea to begin with!  For those who never cared, it can range from a minor groan and eye roll to agonizing frustration at almost every turn.  For this reason, we have a page on TVTropes called “Hype Backlash.”  While you could say that everything will always receive “THE HATERS”, things go a little bit deeper than that.  Let’s dive into it, shall we?

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The Doc Speaks/Reviews: A Look at my favorite Christmas (Hanukkah, and other Holiday) movies!

Our ever surreal holly jolly season has returned and is soon also coming to close once more. As such, it’s always good time to check out the many pieces of popular culture that make us think about the holidays. They can encourage what we love about them, hate about them, or other something else entirely. These seasonal bits of popular culture can help to enhance our many opinions in many ways; each with their own styles and flavors. Since I tend to enjoy the more absurd, heavily imaginative or cynical among them, let’s dive deep into some movies and specials that I enjoyed the most.
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The Doc Speaks: Can Survival Horror… Survive Itself?

action vs survival horror

 

As many other writers have mentioned, the video game genre of “survival horror” has struggled immensely; especially in the last few years. Is the genre gone for good? Certainly not! We’ve had quite a few entries to entertain and terrify in the past few years alone. That said, survival horror has mostly faded into obscurity, as its fandom has been equally brushed to the side. So, what gives? Why is everything about hyper-graphic action horror rather than atmospheric horror with a more psychological tinge? Let’s welcome ourselves back to a world of survival horror!
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From the Vaults: We Love The Krampus

This was a blast to write!  The Krampus is awesome and deserves much more attention here in the States!  Anyway, here’s my look back at The Krampus from last Christmas.

Here in the United States, the celebration of Christmas is a joyous time of spending time with family, giving gifts to one another, and gross over commercialism.  When it comes to Christmas, we use the icon of Santa Claus as the master of ceremonies (and sometimes that other dude too, depending on your religious beliefs.)  However, in eastern European folklore, Father Christmas was accompanied by more friends than just plucky elves and flying reindeer.  On the contrary, he recruited the efforts of a demonic bodyguard to punish all the naughty children.  Look at this way, our yuletide saint can dedicate more time to blessing all the good children of the world!  However, Ol’ Saint Nick ain’t the focus today, for his cohort Krampus deserves much attention!
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The Doc Speaks: ADVENTURE TIME! My top 5 favorite (and least favorite) episodes

Finn And Jake

One could say we’re living in a new animation renaissance! Great new cartoons have breached the age old “Animation Age Ghetto” that lasted from the ’70s into the late ’00s… at least one could debate. One of the cartoons that I think broke the mold was Adventure Time! On the surface, it’s a goofy tale of a boy and his really weird dog. But really, there is so much more to the show than that!

Speaking of which, does that synopsis remind you of anything? Because it should! Adventure Time is basically “A Boy and His Dog” meets light-hearted faerie tale adventure. When the series first revealed to be after a supernaturally-driven nuclear apocalypse, I was stunned. The show had teased it everywhere! Nuclear bomb casings, leftovers of old society, you name it! It wasn’t until season two when they really exploited it beyond some cameo easter eggs, in my opinion. But, the show isn’t great for an awesome back story, it’s great for so much more. The awesome back story for the world is my excuse to write about Adventure Time during Nuclear Apocalypse month!

But, back on topic, Adventure Time is truly a unique show. The characters have developed in a lot of interesting directions over time. And dare I say, most of them have grown up a little from all the experiences they’ve come across. Now, I’m biased towards the character story driven episodes, as I feel they really pushed the show beyond goofball slapstick adventure. The show has made me laugh, cry, jump in fright, and even fume in rage. Sometimes, this happened all in the same episode! But no matter, Adventure Time has proven that it can display a wide variety of themes, emotions, and concepts.

So… Come along with me and the butterflies and bees. We can wander through the forest and do so as we please… Where was I? Oh yeah, my top (and bottom) Adventure Time episodes; in lists of 5 no less! Let’s take my warped opinions with a grain of salt and travel to the magical land of Ooo!

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Necrotic Editorial: Fantasy can be anything… Right?

Weird City

 

Fantasy at its core embraces both the improbable and the impossible.  In the realms of fantasy, almost anything can be achieved through the right means!  This can be through belief or a bit of ingenuity.  It was our dreams that invented both possibilities for the past and present that helped to forge fantasy in the first place after all.  But when people hear fantasy fiction, we tend to think of a select few items.  These are typically castles, ancient warriors, classic melee weapons, and royal societies.  On top of that, fantasy usually takes a Euro-centric turn towards societies from the Dark Ages through the Renaissance.  But surely, there’s a lot more to fantastic fiction than this, right?  Of course!

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Necrotic Editorial: BioShock Games Retrospective

BioShock/Infinite Picture

I won’t deny it, the BioShock games have been among my favorite games ever created! I’m a super fan on many levels! So many factors have lead to the appeal for me; dystopian settings, failed utopias, political/social intrigue, fascinating settings, beautiful set design, wonder art aesthetics, and of course retro-futuristic punk settings! But, there’s a lot more to the series to that! A mix of wonderful moments and pitfalls as well. So, let’s go somewhere beyond the sea and into the sky with the BioShock series!

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