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Upbeatdown

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Everything posted by Upbeatdown

  1. Obviously a big part of the appeal for this server is the idea that someone can grow from an empty-inventoried fresh spawn into the leader of a sprawling and prosperous nation. The forming of these states/ nations/ kingdoms (etc.) are unavoidable and rapidly approaching. There are already talks among a few different parties. So I believe now is the right and precise time to deliberate on a series of guidelines, standards, and general rules for all things regarding nations, their conduct, and the politics of the world. Part 1 Founding a Nation I suggest that the following requirements be met and enforced in order to officially found a nation on the server: A minimum of THREE established and confirmed members. It is not enough for a nation to simply claim someone is their citizen. The citizens in question will need to confirm of their own accord that they have been granted citizenship. A minimum of one established and named city to act as the nation's capital. This capital must include AT MINIMUM established and separate housing for each of the three founding members A unique and officially established banner A post on the BinaryChaos forums detailing exact and accurate information pertaining to the requirements herein, including approximate coordinates to the capital city Three roles must be filled by three separate members of a nation. Those roles are 1.)The Leader (ex. President), 2). The Co-Leader (ex. Vice-President), 3). The Delegate (ex. Senator) The to-be-founded nation must have already established and designated borders. A nation can choose to have the edges of the biome their capital occupies act as that nation's borders in place of physical borders A payment of five diamond blocks to be donated to spawn as a fee to officiate one's status as an active nation in the world A post on the BinaryChaos Minecraft forums is required to officially found a nation on the server. In said forum post, the following information is required: The name of the to-be-founded nation in the title of the forum post The name of the capital city of your nation, as well as its approximate coordinates (X, Y, and Z) The approximate coordinates of your nations borders/ the edges of the biome your nation's capital occupies. These coordinates are to be updated as a nation's borders grow or shrink A screenshot of your nation's banner, as proof of its design and existence A list of names of all the citizens of your nation as well as their assigned roles if applicable. This list is to be kept up to date as new citizens join, and ex-citizens leave. An established official form of currency as the standard means of trade and exchange within the borders of the nation I suggest that these regulations be in place to purposefully make founding a nation something that takes time, effort, and planning. I believe this will also act as an incentive for players to join preexisting nations, rather than the server being populated by many small and potentially disorganized nations. Part 2 Spawn Town I suggest that Spawn Town act as a purely neutral ground, officially unaligned with any one nation in the world. Spawn Town is not a nation, nor is it to be considered one. Spawn Town WILL NOT under any circumstance harbor or otherwise protect any players who have been officially been made wanted or condemned as criminals by a given nation. Within the borders of Spawn Town (which are to be officially set) players are to abide by the following rules under threat of punishment by the admin or moderators if broken: No Griefing No murder of unwanted or innocent players No stealing or taking of items from private residences unless given explicit permission from the owner of said items No acts of war or terrorism are to be conducted within the borders of Spawn Town Nations cannot claim nor found borders of their nation within 500 blocks of Spawn Town's borders I also suggest that Spawn Town have an officially elected Mayor or Governor to act as the head of Spawn Town. The election for this position is done via a community wide poll within a predetermined period of time. Once a player is elected for the position, it is held until a motion is made at a meeting of delegates to commence another election for the position, in which case the poll is conducted again. To officiate this motion, there must be a two-thirds voting consensus among the delegates of the world's nations conducted at any one of the annual predetermined meetings of delegates at the senatorial building in Spawn Town. A player has the right to turn down the offer of being elected into the position of Spawn Town Mayor/ Governor. A player also has the right to step down from their position as Mayor/ Governor of Spawn Town. In both cases, a new poll is to be held to elect the next Mayor/ Governor. A Mayor/ Governor must have an established residence built within Spawn Town's borders, which can be a preexisting structure or one built after the player has been elected. The duties and responsibilities assigned to and upheld by the Mayor/ Governor of Spawn Town are as follows: General upkeep of Spawn Town's available resources, including maintaining farms, livestock, roads, buildings, lighting, and density of hostile mobs. To be the host for and officiator of each annual meeting of national delegates at the senatorial building in Spawn Town At a given meeting of delegates, the Mayor/ Governor of Spawn Town acts as a delegate himself and is therefore afforded a single vote on any and every motion forwarded at said meetings To accept the five diamond block payment from THE LEADER of the nation conducting said payment. This transfer must be done in person within Spawn Town's borders. The Mayor/ Governor is to then post on that nation's forum thread confirming that payment has been received. The Mayor/ Governor has the right to call for a Delegate meeting outside of the annual schedule. These unscheduled meetings do not require that a nation send a representative if they so choose. The Mayor/ Governor has a civic duty to uphold any voted changes in the political landscape of the server at a Delegate meeting, and must update these laws on the BinaryChaos forum after the conclusion of each meeting I make these suggestions to offer the world a suitable jumping-off point for new players, as well as offering a neutral area where politics can be officially conducted safely. Part 3 The Three Crucial Roles I assert that each nation have a minimum of three founding members so that three crucial roles may be filled to cement them as true geopolitical players in the world's game of politics. Within this section I will detail the intended responsibilities of these roles, as well as a regulations for them to follow. The Leader The Leader of a founded nation is the designated commander-in-chief of his/her nation's operations. All other roles answer to The Leader and are below it in the political hierarchy. The responsibilities for The Leader are considered as follows: The Leader oversees and takes responsibility for the actions conducted by themselves and the members of their nation The player designated as The Leader of a to-be-founded nation is the ONLY one who may create the forum post required to officially found their nation. They are also responsible for maintaining and updating their nation's forum post with updated information regarding projects, acts of war, a list of members/ citizens, and other various information required on said forum post The Leader is the ONLY member of a nation that may officially declare war If an official role or position is designated to a member of a nation, that nation's Leader is considered to have approved and endorsed said designation The Leader is the ONLY member of a nation that may create a new role in their nation. These created roles must be made official via a post on that nation's forum thread The Co-Leader The Co-Leader of a founded nation acts as the secondary head-of-state for the affairs of that nation. They are considered second-highest in the political hierarchy and answer only to The Leader of their nation. The responsibilities for The Co-Leader are considered as follows: In the absence of The Leader of their nation, The Co-Leader takes on all responsibilities, roles, and duties expected of and/or assigned to The Leader. This includes the ability to create, assign, and reassign roles within their nation as well as the ability to officially declare war In the absence of a nation's Leader, that nation's Co-Leader is officially considered The Leader of that nation. A player cannot not be both The Leader and The Co-Leader at the same time. A new Co-Leader does not need to be established during a period of time in which The Co-Leader is officially considered The Leader If a nation's chosen Delegate(s) is not available, The Co-Leader may attend an annual meeting of Delegates in Spawn-Town acting as the representing Delegate from his/ her nation. When performing this duty, The Co-Leader takes on the responsibilities of The Delegate, including obtaining the ability to cast votes on motions. When performing this duty, the Co-Leader is not officially considered a Delegate and is still officially considered The Co-Leader. A Co-Leader acting as the The Leader of their nation in place of the absent original cannot attend Delegate meetings in place of established Delegates. If a nation has appointed two separate Delegates, both must be unavailable for The Co-Leader to enact his/her ability to represent their nation at an annual Delegate meeting The Delegate Delegates are appointed members of nations whose purpose it is to represent their nation's interests at annual Spawn Town Delegate meetings. Delegates have no set political hierarchical level. A nation may choose to appoint UP TO two official Delegates to represent their nation. The responsibilities of Delegates are considered as follows: The Delegate will travel to Spawn Town at a predetermined date and time to meet with the Delegates of other nations as well as the Mayor/ Governor of Spawn Town to commence an annual Delegate meeting At a Delegate meeting, a Delegate may propose topics of discussion after the meeting has officially began and after the Mayor/ Governor of Spawn Town has finished deliberating on his/her prepared topics. During a topic, a Delegate may propose a motion to change a server law, create a new server law, propose a joint effort between two or more nations, or propose a new Spawn Town Mayor/ Governor election A Delegate may vote only once on each proposed motion at a Delegate meeting Only ONE Delegate from a given nation can attend an annual Delegate meeting on behalf of their nation Only officially appointed Delegates and/or Co-Leaders can attend Delegate meetings on behalf of their nation If a nation does not send a Delegate or other form of representation on the assigned date and time, that nation will lose representation at the meeting for that annual period and will need to wait until the next annual meeting period to propose changes, deliberate on topics, and forward motions I propose these suggestions be implemented to add a real sense of weight and meaning to the politics of the world and between nations. I feel this also adds a necessary and fair set of checks and balances to the geopolitical landscape of the world. Part 4 Delegate Meetings At a predetermined time on an annual schedule (to be decided based on availability, necessity, and demand) a single representative from each nation will meet at the senatorial building in Spawn Town to conduct an annual Delegate meeting. Delegate meetings are a nation's means of forwarding a change in the server's geopolitical landscape by bringing a new law, a change of law, a joint venture, or a change in Spawn Town Mayor/ Governor to a vote. Passing a vote for anything except an election for a new Spawn Town Mayor/ Governor (which requires a two/thirds majority vote) is conducted via a majority-wins popular vote. Each meeting will be officiated and opened by the Mayor/ Governor of Spawn Town. A Delegate does not need to propose a topic or forward a vote at every annual Delegate meeting. In order for a Delegate meeting to take place, a Spawn Town Mayor/ Governor must be in office. Under no circumstances is The Leader of a given nation allowed to attend, take part in, or personally witness a Delegate meeting. The passage of events taking place at a Delegate meeting go as follows: Mayor/ Governor opening statements Mayor's/ Governor's deliberation on their prepared topics. During this stage a motion to vote on a topic is not allowed by anyone. The floor is then passed to the nations' Delegates. Discussion between Delegates is allowed during the deliberation of topics. The Delegate of the nation with the smallest citizenship always speaks first followed by an order by ascending numbers of population. In the case of a tie, the nation between them whose name comes first in the alphabet goes next. After each Delegate has finished proposing their topics, the Mayor/ Governor of Spawn Town will choose up to two votes on separate issues to forward. The Mayor/ Governor does not need to choose to forward any votes if he or she pleases. After this phase of voting, each Delegate will choose a single issue to call to vote. A Delegate does not need to choose to forward a vote if he or she pleases. Once a vote for a particular topic has been called forth and resolved, it cannot be brought up to vote again in that same Delegate meeting. Once the voting has concluded, The Mayor/Governor will close the Delegate meeting. At this time Delegates are free to leave, and the Mayor/ Governor of Spawn Town must apply any voted updates or changes in server laws on the BinaryChaos forum The following topics are banned from being brought to a vote at annual Delegate meetings: A vote that would in any way remove or close the office of Spawn Town Mayor/ Governor A vote that would at all endanger the safety of Spawn Town or remove any of the Spawn Town rules listed in Part 2 of this post A vote to increase the world size of the server A vote to un-officiate a nation's status as an officially founded nation A vote to change the rules for conducting and initiating war between nations A vote that would in any way endanger a nation's right to have a delegate represent their nation at a Delegate meeting A certain level of conduct is to be expected and enforced at Delegate meetings. The following actions are frowned upon or completely prohibited at Delegate meetings. Failure to comply to these rules will result in an offending nation being temporarily banned from attending Delegate meetings, where the window of time for these ban periods increases or decreases based on the severity of the misconduct. They are as follows: Weapons and armor are completely prohibited at Delegate meetings. The senatorial building will provide a safe place to store these items prior to beginning each Delegate meeting. Items will be returned to their owners after the Mayor/ Governor has officially ended the Delegate meeting Violence in any form is strictly prohibited Insults, obnoxious comments, and verbal fighting that extends beyond the realm of civil debate are strictly prohibited Appearing at a Delegate meeting during a ban-period will not be tolerated Sending an unofficial representative to a Delegate meeting as your nation's representative will result in your nation being excluded from that period's annual Delegate meeting I propose this system be implemented for changing and adding server law, as it is fair and balanced, with each nation getting the same level of representation. This will act as an incentive for nations to collude with one another to pass changes. Part 5 Declaration of War and Formation of Alliances Between Nations In order for a nation to officially declare war on another nation, THE LEADER of the declaring nation must make a forum post on the thread of the nation who is having war declared on them. After this declaration is officially made a MANDATORY 48-hour grace period is to be honored between all parties included in the declared war. During this grace period, no member of any of the nations included in the war may enter the borders of an enemy nation, kill members of an enemy nation, grief player-made structures of an enemy nation, or build player-made structures within the borders of an enemy nation. Committing acts of war within the 48-hour grace period will result in the offending nation(s) receiving a temporary ban from having representation at annual Delegate meetings. After the 48-hour grace period has lifted, acts of war between nations and those nations' players may be conducted. The following are considered legal acts when conducted between nations within an officially declared war period. This list does not encompass all possible acts able to be committed during a period of officially declared war between nations. They are as follows: Murder of enemy nation players Detainment of enemy nation players Stealing/ taking of items possessed or otherwise owned by players of enemy nations REASONABLE griefing of player-made structures of enemy nations Griefing of naturally spawned structures of enemy nations Destruction of beds made by players of enemy nations The following acts of war between nations are banned and prohibited: Hostile mob warfare Bed-camping A nation(s) participating in an officially conducted war may at any time choose to surrender. This is done by The Leader of the surrendering nation posting a forum post on the thread of the enemy nation(s) whom they are surrendering to. Separate surrender posts are to be made when surrendering to multiple nations formed in an alliance. The enemy nation(s) to the surrendering party must agree to that nation's surrender, and can then begin a negotiation of demands. Once a nation has officially surrendered all acts made legal in periods of officially declared war made against the surrendering nation MUST be stopped. Failure to comply to this will result in the offending nation receiving a temporary ban from representation at annual Delegate meetings. Both inside and outside of periods of officially declared war between nations, two or more nations may choose to officially declare an alliance with one another. Alliances between two or more nations are officially declared at annual Delegate meetings by each of the Delegates sent to represent the nations forming the alliance. Once an alliance between two or more nations has been officially established, that information must be available on the forum threads of each nation included or taking part in the alliance. Conditions for alliances and what they represent are to be decided among the nations included in the alliance. Those conditions are not required to be made public. Alliances can be broken or disbanded at any time via The Leader of a given nation within the alliance making a forum post on the thread of the nation(s) of whom they are disbanding with. I suggest these standards be in place for wars and alliances between nations to create an as-fair-as-possible groundwork for national fighting, as well as making it very clear to the server who is conducting war with whom, and with whom each nation is allied with. Part 6 Closing Statements I propose any and all of these systems be implemented and enforced on the BinaryChaos Minecraft server. I believe these policies to be fair and balanced, creating an environment of clear and concise public information while also leaving plenty of breathing room for players and nations in the world to conduct their businesses and forward their goals. I also believe this system puts a heavy enough importance on politics for a nation to possibly ignore, forcing nations to go about solving disputes and issues with methods other than war. I forward these ideas and guidelines to the BinaryChaos community, and am open to discussing additional ideas and guidelines as well as reaching compromises on previously discussed issues.
  2. If you're curious or haven't seen it already, I have outlined some suggestions for national conduct and regulations for the server and the governing bodies that can/ will reside within it. It can be found here. I would recommend giving it a look if you haven't already. As for what you've written here, I agree with the fundamentals and basic principles of what you propose. However, I don't think Spawn Town should be considered a "nation" in and of itself. Spawn Town should not be beholden to following the same rules and regulations that actual nations are made to follow. Instead, it should be made to follow its own set of well defined rules and regulations that very clearly separate it from any possible similarities to actual nations. Spawn Town should be the truest of neutral areas on the server, and I don't believe that can be the case if it is to abide by the same rules that dictate nations. This statement, to me, has scary implications. Even if Realm Co. is to claim to be a purely neutral entity, it should not represent the most neutral governing body on the server, as well as be the representing party that every new player be introduced to when they first join the server. Each officially established nation should have equal representation within the borders of Spawn Town, so that new players may organically of their own free will choose which nation to ally with (should they choose to ally at all).
  3. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

    He was a pretty big shitter, but you gotta admit he was a talented artist.
  4. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

  5. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

  6. I appreciate you shedding more like on this perspective. I'm beginning to understand your point. In a sense emeralds are more renewable than diamonds and in the long term a possible diamond shortage would be a nasty consequence to affect the server, especially if it begins to affect those who do not actively partake in national politics and are therefore becoming innocent victims. I'd be on board with changing the ruling to be a payment in emeralds rather than diamonds. As of right now I believe a system requiring an initial three emerald block payment followed by a bi-weekly single block payment makes for a fair compromise. I'd say this is a very relevant question, as one of the topics I'd like to begin discussing after everyone is in agreeance on these rules and standards is the rights of individual non-aligned players. As for what your question actually asks, I'd be hesitant to say yes. There are a few reasons for this. The first being that I imagine Delegate meetings to be more private affairs. Perhaps one of the more unspoken responsibilities of the Delegate is to relay what transpired at each meeting to the Leader and Co-Leader, as well as other citizens if it is so desired by leadership. The second reason is because I wouldn't want meetings to be too cluttered or made more open to possible interruption. Though players would meet in person at Spawn Town for the meetings, the actual process of delegation would most likely be conducted in a private channel on the BinaryChaos discord. Though that may alienate some who do not use microphones or wish to be heard in person, the alternatives are not very practical. If we used the in-game chat system it would quickly be cluttered, and if multiple people are talking at once whole points can be missed. Using microphones also streamlines the process to a degree, as the members of the meeting wouldn't need to wait for someone to finish typing to get a point across. Some issues are bound to require a bit of context or meaningful explanation, so simply speaking them in a private channel is more practical. All and all, I wouldn't be opposed to a small audience so long as they did not speak or interrupt the meeting in any way. I mentioned in the initial post that, in regards to national representation, only one delegate from each nation should be allowed to attend, that the Co-Leader can only attend if filling in for the role of the Delegate, and that the Leader of a nation should not be allowed to attend at all.
  7. It's looking like this is a bit of an unpopular ruling. My original process of thought was revolving once again around the idea of nations being something that ought to take at least a decent deal of planning and prep for. Theoretically, coming up with 45 diamonds between 3 founding members of a nation is not too much to ask for in my opinion. However with the recent changes to villagers and their impact on the in-game economy, it would make sense to swap that cost with emeralds rather than diamonds. My only concern is that while emeralds are now significantly more useful in the grand scheme, they would not necessarily be useful to every player/ nation. Only to those who plan on housing/ domesticating/ working with nearby villages in their nations. To contrast this, Diamonds are incredibly valuable to every player, being objectively the best material for creating tools, weapons, and armor. Every nation would be reluctant to get rid of diamonds, while perhaps only some would be reluctant to give away emeralds. While I still currently believe the tax should still be in diamonds, I would be open to negotiating a lower tax or perhaps, as Garbagepatrol suggests, implementing a sort of reoccurring tax. In regards to declarations of war, I would say that enacting it against other nations and the motivations for doing come from case by case instances depending on the nations declaring those wars. Possible benefits could be to secure an area of land, to take over a pre-existing city owned by another nation, or get some form of resource(s) from other nations. Of course, like a lot of wars, they can be fought simply over ideologies as well. With the Delegate system in place I believe that war does not become an impossible option, but rather one option among others. Just like waging war in real life, it's risky. All of a sudden the nations of the world have their eyes on you, and your actions during times of war may change how others act toward your Delegates at Delegate meetings. As for simplifying things and keeping some less "enforced", can you give a few examples of things you would like to see get such a treatment? It would give me a better idea of what you're referring to. Listen, I know it may seem like a lot to take in. In some ways it is. Realistically, I don't think its that complicated of a system to understand if you give it a chance and actually attempt to understand it. Bear in mind that all these ideas come from a place of experience; both myself and others active on the Minecraft server have done this in the past. A system far more lax than this was in place for nations and politics, and it lead it some very contentious and questionable moments and decisions. That being said, nothing I say here is at all concrete or guaranteed, nor is it meant to be. If you have what you think to be a better idea for standards and practices for nations on the server, then by all means let me know here in this thread. This system I wrote up isn't going to be perfect, so maybe someone can come up with something better or assist in reaching compromises that benefit everyone. But as it stands, offering nothing of substance to the conversation because you couldn't make it through what I wrote is arguably the least constructive approach to what's happening in this thread.
  8. Upbeatdown

    International Standards

    These are all things I touch on in my assertion for political conduct that I'm writing up. I'm hoping to be finished with it by tonight, but if not it will be finished tomorrow. It's turning into a bit of an essay which is why it's taking so long. Hopefully we can continue these talks and reach a consensus there. Decisions on the geopolitical spectrum that encompasses the server's nations will be no doubt contentious so I think having one specific place to come to terms with all of it will be helpful. In the meantime though I recommend everyone leave any suggestions they have here, which can then be brought up again when the post has been made.
  9. Upbeatdown

    International Standards

    When I come home from work I will begin writing up a comprehensive statement regarding my suggestions for the standards behind kingdoms/ nations as well as some suggestions for political infrastructure and conduct. It will be a long post and intentionally made open to discussion and compromise, so it will get its own thread.
  10. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

  11. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

  12. Upbeatdown

    Spawn town plans?

    Does Spawn-Town have a name yet? It's getting pretty developed now, and "Spawn-Town" just doesn't cut it (in my humble opinion). Should be we start a poll? Maybe have people spitball a few recommendations? It should be a community thing, a moment of unity before everyone inevitably ships off to more personal pursuits.
  13. Upbeatdown

    Upbeatdown

    Minecraft Username: upbeatdown Your Age: 22 How did you find us: Muh' brain's memory area Your Timezone: EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) Brief Summary of your Playstyle: Political
  14. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

  15. Upbeatdown

    Borderlands 3

    So, I completely understand why PC players are pissed off. The Epic Games Launcher is so shit. I wouldn't be able to prove it, but I'd go so far as to say that their platform is OBJECTIVELY worse than Steam in every way. On top of that, paranoia of the launcher doubling as spyware has been circulating. So of course every rational person and their mom wants to play BL3 on Steam, and to have to wait six months to do it is a massive bummer. However, I don't think what Epic games is doing is unfair. Actually, its the smartest business move Epic could have made at the time. As of right now, hoarding exclusives is the ONLY WAY anyone is going to use Epic's service, and they know that. What motivation would anyone have to use their platform when Steam outpaces them at every step? I liken this move to the practices commonly conducted on consoles. Console-exclusive games always have and always will be used to push the hardware. Epic is using the timed exclusivity they have with BL3 to push their platform. It's just good business sense, it works wonders in the console market. What it comes down to really is the morality of it. Is it fair that Epic wants to force PC users to use their shitty spyware-infested service instead of just cleaning that service up to make it an actual competitor to Steam? Fuck no. But is it also fair that we let Steam continue to have a virtual monopoly of digital video game distribution on PC? I personally wouldn't say so. And even though Epic is royally fucking up their chance day by day to succeed with this business venture, getting BL3 as an exclusive is the best thing they can do right now to compete, seeing as they haven't made any real strides in trying to fix their shitty service.
  16. Upbeatdown

    Borderlands 3

    I'm pretty excited. I've put a shameful amount of hours into Borderlands 2 both on PC and console. Pre-Sequel was kind of a mess so I'm hoping to see some return to form, what with 2K Australia not leading the project this time around.
  17. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" is a relatively famous quote from author and writer Arthur C. Clarke, and it is that idea that is the very core of one of my favorite tabletop RPGs Numenera. Numenera is a science-fantasy tabletop RPG whose setting is about 1 billion years into Earth's future, called "The Ninth World" due to the fact that eight other civilizations have both risen and fallen in this Earth's history. Unlike your typical fantasy RPGs, Numenera's world is not actually operated by any form of magic. Instead, the world has undergone so many different advancements, some that stagnate through history and others lost to time. These incredibly advanced technologies are so advanced that they are nearly indistinguishable from actual magic, hence the opening quote. Numenera was created and designed by Monte Cook, who was one of the lead designers of Dungeons and Dragons' 3rd edition. He was meant to be one of the lead designers of 5th edition, but left Wizards of the Coast due to differences with the company. After getting into and playing Numenera for a while, its easy to see why. The design philosophies are very different compared to 5e, but in a way that I think suits the game very well. And though Numenera was very successful and relatively popular among TTRPG communities, it never could never reach the insurmountable popularity of D&D 5e. So when I heard that Monte Cook and his team were planning on making a Numenera Sourcebook for 5e, I was beyond happy. Arcana of the Ancients is basically the world of Numenera but for D&D 5e. It will convert many of the game's mechanics, creatures, technologies, etc. into things usable with 5e's system. This may not seem like a big deal to people who don't know much about Numenera's setting or lore, but take my word for it. This is very exciting. Please check out the kickstarter and support it if it seems like something you'd enjoy. I have .pdf files of Numenera's core rule books that I can send/ link to anyone interested in taking a look at the game. Numenera is great and it's always going to get a hard recommendation from me.
  18. Upbeatdown

    Arcana of the Ancients Kickstarter

    Hmm, there isn't really much more to say. I guess one of the big differences is in the setting itself, but that's a given. Unlike a lot of 5e campaign books Numenera is written with sort of a vague shell of ideas that GMs are supposed to flesh out themselves. The entire idea of there being 8 past empires rising and falling is established, but not at all explained. It's up to the GM to explain those things in their own way. They can make that super relevant to their campaign or not even relevant at all. One of my favorite locations outlined in Numenera is a desert, and in that desert there is not sand but instead miles and miles of broken and jagged glass. The book doesn't tell you why or how this happened, you have to come up for it yourself. Presumably some incredible source of heat caused the sand to meld into a desert of glass that, over time, was shattered and broken to make the incredibly unforgiving terrain. But how, why, and when it happened isn't explained on purpose to encourage GMs to use the Numenera setting creatively. I'll stop gushing about Numenera now. Who knows, if we get enough interest on here maybe I'll run something in the future.
  19. Upbeatdown

    Arcana of the Ancients Kickstarter

    That's weird. I was under the impression that it was 4th edition that everyone disliked. In fact, I'm pretty sure 3.5 edition and Pathfinder are two of the more popular TTRPGs other than 5th edition. Maybe I've had the wrong impression this whole time I've never heard of those books, but if they have a similar type of world I'll definitely check them out. It's kind of hard to point out the differences in design philosophies without explaining a ton of stuff. A big one is in regards to gameplay. Numenera uses the Cypher System, which is a gameplay format meant to be used for literally any type of setting or story you can come up with. Want run a tabletop game about space pirates fighting in a feudal setting with weapons from the bronze age but can't find a game made for that? Then you can use the Cypher System, which is intentionally made to be very flexible. If you're interested, you can read up more about the system here. You'll most likely find your examples there. That system alone, which was designed by Monte Cook's company, is a pretty good indicator of those differences in design philosophies. It's wildly different from Wizard's 5th edition in a lot of ways.
  20. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

  21. Upbeatdown

    Movie Discussion Thread

    I love movies. No, that's not right. I fucking love movies. Going to the theater to see to a film is one of my favorite pastimes. As a medium of art, there isn't a single aspect of film that I don't deeply enjoy. Performance, narrative, cinematography, choreography, editing, score/ sound design, etc. I know a lot of you probably don't share the same degree of love I have for the medium, but I'm sure a lot of you just plain like to watch movies. So I figured it'd be cool to have a thread where people can go to discuss movies in any way they want. Anywhere from just linking a trailer for a movie you're wanting to see to a full blown review, and everything in between! NOTE: This thread should remain spoiler-free unless absolutely necessary, and if spoilers are to be mentioned they should always be prefaced with a warning. It's common courtesy. To get us started, I want to talk about two very different films. Captain Marvel I'm aware of the touchy politics that surround this movie like incredibly persistent flies. I won't be discussing any of that, because it doesn't matter. An outside influence like petty culture squabbles can not, and should not, ever detract from someone's enjoyment of a piece of "art". I judge films based solely on the content within them and, regardless of what side of the fence myself or a reader is on in regards to the issues that surround this film, none of it in any context will make Captain Marvel any more or less painfully bland than it already is. Generally speaking, I'm not really a fan of these big budget superhero movies. In my opinion, they are a lesson in excess that Hollywood will not now nor ever learn. I find them to be bloated, passionless products made intentionally devoid of any style or real substance, as it is easier to sell a product to a general audience when it isn't in anyway divisive. Marvel films rarely push any boundaries or raise any limits not intentionally set by themselves seemingly to stifle creativity. It is in this way that these blockbuster superhero films are much less "art" than a product made to line the pockets of Disney or Warner Bros. executives. Because these movies are so incredibly limited in what they can be (ironic given how massive their budgets are), they often come across as repetitive and bland. No other film in superhero-film history exemplifies this more than Captain Marvel, which does so to the nth degree. Captain Marvel is BORING. I use caps to get across how much this movie perfectly embodies that word. It's so middle-of-the-road in almost every way. Some of the performances (namely Sam Jackson's) are stand-out, while others so muted or passionless (Jude Law, Brie Larson). In regards to the narrative, it hits all the typical Marvel-movie beats. If you've seen one of them, you've seen them all. Any attempts to subvert the standard formula are incredibly two-dimensional and only make every reveal more obvious. I've grown to despise the pseudo-witty and quip-heavy script writing strategy that Marvel employs now for every single one of their films after its success in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. Every scene of tension is undercut by a piece of out of place humor, every bit of weighty dialogue slashed by a need to insert some humor. These are galaxy-destroying threats meant to be taken seriously, apparently except by the people for whom the consequences of these events matter the most. Like usual, the pacing of the film is a bit all over the place. It rushes to jam in as much exposition or universe tie-ins as it can between some of the MCU's blandest action scenes. The score is forgettable to levels of non-existence, and the use of some licensed music is so groan-worthy and on the nose that it hurt to sit through. You won't find any interesting bits of clever cinematography, though visually the movie doesn't exactly fall flat. Some use of the heavy amounts of CG plastered against every one of these Marvel movies like a street whore's excessive make-up job is made effective enough, while others simply look terrible. By far the best aspect of the film is the production and set design. It captures that 90's aesthetic relatively well. While it does get a bit too in your face at times, it often makes for interesting locations and set pieces. Captain Marvel is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. It isn't often that a movie has me tempted to check the clock midway through the screening. None of its shortcomings are particularly egregious, and none of its strengths particularly powerful. Again, Captain Marvel is BORING. It's the blandest movie I've seen in a long time. Not nearly good enough to be entertaining, and not nearly bad enough to be an interesting experience. Some could argue that the blandest of movies are the worst of them all. 5/10 I'd like to pivot now into discussing the best film released in 2018 Suspiria (2018) This re-imagining of Dario Argento's 1977 classic horror film Suspiria is one of the best of its kind. I would struggle for hours trying to think of a proper negative criticism for this film. The visuals are sublime. Every camera movement is perfectly executed and used expertly to leave the viewer in a constant state of suspense or dread. The dreary backdrop of a divided Berlin is perfect for the story this movie is trying to tell. The narrative's pacing is damn-near perfect, with effective slow-crawling moments of pseudo-normality properly punctuated by gut-pounding scenes of thrills and horror. The dance choreography (which is executed to stunning perfection) is in itself very unnerving, shot in a way that makes it all look so strange and unnatural. Every single performance in this film is incredible. Tilda Swinton (who plays three seperate roles, see if you can spot them all) continues to impress with her powerful acting range and ability to seamlessly convey a wide array of emotions through body language alone. Dakota Johnson (of Fifty Shades series fame) cements herself as a very promising up-and-coming actress with her role in this film. As a stark contrast to the very colorful and almost dreamlike 1977 film, Suspiria 2018 is much more grounded, employing a dull and muted color palette, complemented perfectly by Thom Yorke's (Of Radiohead) haunting score. It is hands down the greatest score of 2018. Its use never overstays its welcome, as the film knows just when to pull back into quiet contemplative moments. Some may be adverse to very slow-burn thrillers like these, but I personally couldn't be any happier with how it was executed. As previously mentioned, the moments of real horror in this movie hit like a short series of heavy knock-out blows, the kind that will have you curling your toes inward and reeling your arms in close to your chest. I know this discussion was vague compared to the first, and I would say more, but this film is far better off being experienced than being told about. If you like thrillingly suspenseful horror movies, please do yourself a favor and give this movie a watch. This film definitely doesn't get the praise or attention it rightfully deserves. The director Luca Guadagnino has proven an expert of his craft with this masterpiece as well as Call Me By Your Name, which was one of 2017's best films. I'm very much looking forward to seeing more of his work in the future. 10/10
  22. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

  23. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

  24. Upbeatdown

    The Music Thread 2019

    Bent Knee is honestly one of the most talented Indie Rock groups around right now.
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