Brave … Old? World

Been a while.

I was flipping through channels on this ancient device known as a TV using this ancient content model known as cable TV.  I came across Brave Archer 2.

For those who don’t know, Brave Archer 2 is a martial arts flick from the late ’70s.  It is part of a trilogy of movies with Brave Archer in their names, while the actual story doesn’t end with Brave Archer 3.

No, I didn’t watch it in Cantonese with Chinese subtitles.  This was part of a martial arts flicks marathon on an English language station.  Yup, dubbed.

After my mind was blown, I checked some reviews.  Somehow, people didn’t think the back two-thirds of BA2 and BA3 were utter insanity.  Something about being based on a famous book and having historical relevance.

I had to record BA2.

I point to Darkest Knight 2 as an example of appealing to my sense of humor.  DK2 was nowhere near as ludicrous as BA2.

Sure, I missed the beginning where I’m sure it was totally explained why like 20 characters all just show up in this sparse ruins of a town to talk and fight while two main characters hid, palming each other.  And, sure, I have yet to see Brave Archer, where those two characters apparently did more than listen in on conversations or watch fights by an endless stream of who the f* are these people?

I think that makes it better.  Let’s randomly chase someone around this desolate town(?).  Then, guy being chased just says “stop chasing me” and … cut to other characters.

I watched BA3 to see if there was any resolution to BA2.  Also, to see if we ever get an actual archer character to appear, ever.  Spoiler …

I got to thinking about how to model a martial arts RPG.

Actually, Feng Shui (assume I’m talking about 1e unless otherwise specified) models the idea that there are vast differences in ability between characters until there aren’t quite well.

AV may be a pretty terrible game mechanic, in that it is rather the end all and be all of FS while also making various characters far too impotent.  But, that’s what your typical old school MA flick is like.  Protagonist gets owned until training montage into owning antagonist.

Now, FS already exists, but let’s say you wanted to do my own mechanics.

You have your kung fu score where, let’s say, master level runs from 10 to 12.  Then, grandmaster is 13 to 14?  Supreme master is 15?  This score means most things.  Want to cure someone of poison, kung fu the poison/venom.  Want to read minds and teleport, kung fu that.  No, I’m not ignoring Dragonball Z.  That’s entirely how Goku worked.  Train under 100 times Earth’s gravity and you can read minds.  Train on some obscure planet and learn how to interdimensionally teleport.

Sure, I still figure you get Strength, Speed, and Endurance.  They don’t do much on their own, perhaps, but they act as prerequisites for various styles.  Because styles is where it’s at.

Mountain Style?  Endurance certain level, maybe Strength too.

Like FS, you get schtick paths so that you unlock Yin-Yang Finger Pressure Style or whatever.

How to deal with being utterly destroyed by certain enemies until you undergo additional training?  Well, this is where games and fiction run into a bit of an issue.  Even if the players buy into this genre convention once, how tired does it become after that first time.

This is one reason I may want to do something besides FS.  FS combat is pretty not so interesting.  Comes across as exceedingly repetitive with PCs doing the same things over and over.  I actually like the time war with its factions in FS – I like the themes more than the mechanics.

But, couldn’t you say that most games involve doing the same things repetitively?  How many times is it “free action draw wak, five raises extra attack, …, Luck”?

The training isn’t about the mechanics of gaining a situational +2 KFS against Hopping Devil Tiger.  It’s about your sifu having you swim to an undersea world to gain the Pearls of Harmony to de-idiot your grandsifu who was mindcrushed by the Mesmerist Mantis, where you must tornado punch sharks while free diving.

See, enthusiasm may not be my thing, but jumping from genre to genre totally is.

I should watch more MA flicks.  Again, my list of movies I’d actually want to someday see is predominantly a bunch of high end MA flicks.

So, I have been looking at the Elric series, the one that has six books starting with Elric of Melnibone and ending with Stormbringer.  I kind of forgot how long it takes for the Elric stories to get … grooved.  Book one is origin story and my least favorite.  I forgot how much two is side quests.  I forgot how long it takes before Elric blows up *his* world.  Book four is where you get into what seems the established Elric adventures, which lasts all of what?  Until the end of book five?

I’ll get to the point, eventually.

So, Arrowverse.  I’m just not that into Arrow’s last season.  Aged William is good.  The rest just seems so repetitive.  The series has always had problems with following through on cool.  What is that cool about what’s happened so far?  Flash is very Flashlike, too.

There are certain fundamental questions to … let’s stick with … gaming.  One of which is “What makes a game cool?”

Elric’s origin story is important, but it isn’t cool.  Cool is summoning gods when the plot requires it.

Arrow has its moments.  I don’t care much about Moira showing up again, unlike so many others.  But, it so often misses its mark [ha, ha ha].  Old Elric stories just push forward with new and weird.  Arrow dwells.  What Arrow probably needs is more Brave.  Get it.  *sigh*

More training sessions.  Yes, I realize father/daughter training happened.  But, that was repetitive training.  Train like you are learning Flowing Beetle 10,000 Kicks Style.  Maybe spend some time making gadget arrows rather than using them.

There’s some RPG application in here, somewhere.  I’m sure it’s totally obscure and impenetrable.

And, so we end yet another clearly coherently conceived composition.  What do you mean I haven’t gotten to a relevant point?

Change.  I guess that’s the theme I thought of after writing the first thousand words.  When playing a game is just doing the same things over and over, then it’s too much Arrow and not enough silver-covered Elric.  Even if insane levels of change, like Brave Archer totally ignoring any sort of resolution to its possible plots, change things up.  Sure, this is like saying variety is good.

Okay, it’s almost entirely like saying variety is good.

Well, it was kind of a similar Thanksgiving in some ways and a totally different one in others.  Variety is good, I guess.

Thanks for … things and stuff.

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