errors, errors, and some more...

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
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hassanisabbah
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Postby hassanisabbah » Fri Oct 10, 2003 9:45 am

Greg Smith wrote: quote]

Kosh was well written as an enigmatic alien and the mysterious Vorlon agenda was good . But it doesn't take much of an actor to say a single line and have it electronically distorted. Good character, but not because of the actor.
Yeah - Easy - but they boy did good. Good head and cyclops eye movements as well there....

As for the human dialogue. I suppose I am a bit hard on the cast, they are not great actors, and did their best, but the humans seem a little cliche Sci-Fi.
That is amazingly patronising.

>> I wouldn't necessaryly say its patronising, just an observation. I have seen worse, but I also have seen good acting from Shakespear to cheap low budget art house. Often TV direction is quite poor and rushed. So I accept its not necessarily their fault. I don't particually like science fiction or fantasy, largely because its a lazy genre (generally - there are a lot of exceptions), and purely an entertainment medium. It sounds harsh and patronising, but patronising would be if I didn't know what I was talking about. I have a fairly extensive back ground in Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as some experience of media studies. Bruce Boxletter is never going to be a great actor, a fair one, but never a great one. The same applies to most of the cast.

And the Shadow and Vorlon war came to a very disappointing end 'Get out of here' lets face it, these races were so divorced they would probably have killed everyone rather than all of them just bugging off. Still it was probably the only way to do it.....


Very anti-climactic. :) [/quote]

Wasn't it just, I was all geared up for some horrific warfare (war is hell, as is other people) and then comes the cop out. Very disappointing, especially when you consider how bad series 5 was. Telepath War, Telepath bore more like. Could have pushed four into 5 and stretched the Shadow War over one and a half series as a kind of war and peace style epic. Tolstoy in space, now that would be an adpatation worth doing.....
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Postby Greg Smith » Fri Oct 10, 2003 11:57 am

hassanisabbah wrote: Wasn't it just, I was all geared up for some horrific warfare (war is hell, as is other people) and then comes the cop out. Very disappointing, especially when you consider how bad series 5 was. Telepath War, Telepath bore more like. Could have pushed four into 5 and stretched the Shadow War over one and a half series as a kind of war and peace style epic. Tolstoy in space, now that would be an adpatation worth doing.....
I think the aim was to have the Shadow War fill season 4 and the Earth Civil War in season five, but when renewal at the end of season 4 was in doubt, the crammed it all into that season.

Season 5 was then an add-on. And boy did it show sometimes.
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Postby frobisher » Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:21 pm

Greg Smith wrote:I think the aim was to have the Shadow War fill season 4 and the Earth Civil War in season five, but when renewal at the end of season 4 was in doubt, the crammed it all into that season.

Season 5 was then an add-on. And boy did it show sometimes.
Nope. The Shadow War was shortened by about two episodes according to jms, and the end of season cliff hanger was going to be "Intersections in Real Time", with the Telepaths arriving on B5 in late season 4 (which kind of makes more sense with how they could blatently get away with avoiding Psi Corps.

Thirdspace was originally going to be a pair of episodes (and maybe not as epic) in season 4.

The "unplanned" episodes from Season 5 were "A View From the Gallery", "Day of the Dead" and "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" (though the last one was a reuse of the title that jms wanted to use, "The Very Long Night of Susan Ivanova" though CC's leaving put the kybosh on that episode (the plot of which wasn't reused apparently)).

Season 5 gets a lot of stick (mainly for not being the Shadow?Earth Civil War let's face it...) and not all of it justified IMO. Yes, the BIG STORY(tm) had finished, but that was the whole point - Season 5 was about aftermaths, and was always mostly going to be about that.
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hassanisabbah
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Postby hassanisabbah » Fri Oct 10, 2003 1:22 pm

I see what you mean, but it still could have been interesting. The trick is to go in a different direction, or end it on the high note, and spin off into a new series, or even call it Babylon 5: Consequences.

As it was it seemed to just be a monsterous anti-climax. The telepath war sounded like it should have been ideal, but it there was no real attempt to actually go anywhere with it, and it just fell flat. For telepaths at war I recommned Scanners. How cool would that have been Telepathic Guerilla warfare, rather than tree huging ennui

Theres a saying in literature and movies, always finish at the end. Don't drag it out, or down.
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Postby psyclonejack » Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:39 pm

Season 5 drug a bit yes. End the story at the end? Don't drag it out? Ok, fiine, But lets look at why it occured?

a) They didn't know if they would be able to make a season 5. Season 4 almost didn't happen.

b) They were already taking network crap about do this, don't do that. Stay underbudget, etc, etc.

c) They crunched alot of the Season 5 Plot into Season 4. That way if Season 5 could not happen the story would have at least been complete. Somewhat hasty but complete.

d) You get the green light on Season 5 and you have all your main story arc unwrapped. You officially set out to do in 4 years what you wanted to do in 5. You can't simply tell the networks nope I'm done. bye. And since you need to cover the wrap up left out of Season 4 it was a perfect choice. A sort of log with clues for future happenings. It was the only place to go.

E) Telepath war couldn't be fought in season 5 simply because you didn't have time to introduce the players, get to know them, see the movements of troops, fight the war, and then handle clean up. It would have been even more rushed than Season 4. Neither could the Drak war. It was a nice hook to place events that would lead to both in the wrap up of the shadow war.

Just some thoughts,
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Postby Morden » Sat Oct 11, 2003 3:24 am

My .02s...
Personally I hated Ivannova, the fearlessness and intimidation just panged of self rightous spoilt kid. And she seemed as Russian as Ross Periot. Some scenes with her worked but most didn't as she seemed almost psychotic in her failure to emotionalise or connect. Certainly the officer most likely to be 'fragged' by her troops. She seemed to act like Dirty Harry stuffed into a womans body. A very male idea of what a 'strong' woman is like, but becomes suitably female when the scene requires it. Hard but really just a spoilt repressed little girl on the inside. Just needs a man to bring out the real her - quite a cliche.
No. No. No. No. OK, I'll give you credit for her not coming across as Russian. What do you expect though? She clearly isn't. As for needing a man, I'm sorry but that is simply not at all true about her character. If that were the truth then something other than tragedy would have come from her relationship (or lack thereof) with Marcus. IMO, she was the epitome of a career minded military woman. I really enjoyed her character, except when she was trying to be Russian.

Season 5 - I agree that the first part of the season was pretty weak. But lets look at what it had to accomplish. It had to set up the telepath war. It had to establish Lochley as a major character and replace Ivonova, and it had to tell the rather bureacratic story of setting up the IA. I'm glad we got to see it, but it did get rather tedious at times. We never did get to see the telepath war. I get the feeling JMS was planning to make it into a movie or something, but then TNT (a.k.a. The Evil Bastards) pulled the plug on Crusade. It was probably the least compelling season, but it has the best opening credits.

The Shadow War - There was absolutely zero chance that they were going to be able to have a military victory against the shadows. The one or two battles they did win came at such a high price that once the war became one of attrition, the shadows would have swept them under the carpet like so many dust bunnies. Maybe if they could have gotten the vorlons to actually fight on their side this would be different, but the vorlons weren't any more interested in a real war than the shadows were. As for getting a real war, I think that came with a vengeance in the second half of season 4. The war against Earth was a real knock down dragout fight that was exciting to the very end.

Unrelated episodes - One of the things JMS clearly did was tie most episodes into the meta plot so that none of them seemed truly unrelated. True, there were some real stinkers in season 1, the worst of which I think was Believers, but once you got to season 2 and 3, there were very few plots that weren't at least marginally tied to the meta plot.

Acting - It was real hit and miss. Sheridan did come off a little too smiley at first, but it was clear that this was because of the personae we are used to from BB. This was an intentional move by JMS, and he made sure to destroy that part of the character as quickly as possible at about the mid-point of season2. As time went by it became clear that his character was capable of depth and emotion. I think he came across well as exactly what he was supposed to be - a jarhead capable of intelligent thought and decision making.
Last edited by Morden on Sat Oct 11, 2003 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Greg Smith » Sat Oct 11, 2003 10:31 am

Baraendur wrote:My .02s...

We never did get to see the telepath war. I get the feeling JMS was planning to make it into a movie or something, but then TNT (a.k.a. The Evil Bastards) pulled the plug on Crusade. It was probably the least compelling season, but it has the best opening credits.
Is the Telepath War detailed in any novels? We seemed to see a small part of it in Crusade. I got the impression that it took place after B5 but before Crusade, is that the case?
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Postby Morden » Sat Oct 11, 2003 5:32 pm

I'm pretty sure that it did take place between B5 and Crusade. To the best of my knowledge they have not been done in novels. The Bester novels skip right over it.
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if memory serves

Postby shadowbloodmoon » Sun Oct 12, 2003 4:24 am

It was 2263-2264, not very long. The telepath in Crusade (been a while, hoping DVDs are coming soon) mentions something about it. Even though the blips won ( I think it was more of a draw), Psi Corps still exists, but only as it was originally intended. This is why even though he can now serve in the military, he has to get checked by 'Mr.Smith' every so often.
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Postby Morden » Sun Oct 12, 2003 6:36 am

Man, I really wish I knew what JMS had in mind for that series. While at least one of the episodes was lame (the X-Files rip-off), the other shows were interesting and had some very memorable characters. I feel jipped I didn't get the chance to know Galen, Dureena, and Max better [shakes fists in defiance once again!].

I think I'm going to start a Crusade thread.
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Review of THE COMING OF SHADOWS

Postby KDLadage » Sun Oct 12, 2003 6:13 pm

"It really doesn't matter what I think. In the end, I'm just one of a million insignificant cogs, and the machine is going to do what it meant to do. No matter what."
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Postby Morden » Sun Oct 12, 2003 10:15 pm

KDLadage,

I hope you don't mind me asking, but in your review you basically focus on the shortcomings of this book, including the faults with the pictures and the mistakes. I clearly don't disagree with those points. There's also the general feeling people (including myself) have voiced that the episode guide is just a little too complete for a roleplaying game. Yet, you still gave the book a 4 out of 5. Would you be willing to elaborate on why you feel it merits such a high score?
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Postby August » Sun Oct 12, 2003 10:41 pm

Maybe because in 128 pages, the only problems found were either editing mistakes, misspellings that do not at all detract from the game, or rules that he personally does not agree with but others find quite usable?

I wholeheartedly agree that the volume of incidental errors should keep the book from getting a perfect score (mostly because I think perfect scores should ~always~ be hard-earned), but a 4/5 is a great score and I am quite grateful for it. I poured a lot of time and work into the book, as did Matthew, and I think we both have a right to be proud of it.

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Postby KDLadage » Mon Oct 13, 2003 12:36 am

I was going to answer... but Mr. August hit the nail on the head here.

It is a very good book, with a lot of small flaws. Overall, I like it and am quite happy to own it.
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Postby Morden » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:17 am

The reason I ask isn't that I don't think it deserves a 4, but rather because the B5 RPG & Fact Book, which in my opinion is technically as good in design, longer, and with much clearer pictures was only given a 3 by the same reviewer while containing much of the same type and quality of material. It seems inconsistent to me.

Of course, if anything, I'm arguing that the core book should have received at least a 4, not that Coming of Shadows should score lower.
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Postby KDLadage » Mon Oct 13, 2003 2:43 pm

Baraendur wrote:The reason I ask isn't that I don't think it deserves a 4, but rather because the B5 RPG & Fact Book, which in my opinion is technically as good in design, longer, and with much clearer pictures was only given a 3 by the same reviewer while containing much of the same type and quality of material. It seems inconsistent to me.
This is a good point, and one that is not very clear in my reviews, so I will answer each point in turn:
  • technically as good in design -- from a pure layout perspective, yes. I agree it is as good in design; this is a wash then.
  • longer -- and proportionally more expensive, thus this is a wash.
  • much clearer pictures -- true, so we will give an extra point to the core book on that one.
However...
  • Core book vs. Supplement -- my disagreements with the system are more inclined to be a part of the core book. For example, my thoughts on the various classes and how they are set up are disagreements with the core book. Although the supplement uses these same rules, it must use them by definition of being a supplement. Thus, I count the point off in the core book; I am not about to take point off from a supplement for being consistant with its baseline material.
  • Organization -- the organization of the core book is lacking in my opinion. I would not have included the starship data **at all** in the core book, and certainly not in the state it is in, nor in the places it is placed (a vorlon transport is just another piece of equipment?). I would not have scattered racial data throughout the book; I would not have scattered equipment data throughout the book; I would not have scattered historical data throughout the book, and so on and so forth...
Baraendur wrote:Of course, if anything, I'm arguing that the core book should have received at least a 4, not that Coming of Shadows should score lower.
And I say that the whole of the system deserves, in my opinion, a "3" -- and that THE COMING OF SHADOWS does a great job of working within the parameters of that system and so, in my opinion, deserves a "4."

You might see this as inconsistant. I do not.
Last edited by KDLadage on Tue Oct 14, 2003 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Morden » Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:29 pm

KDLadage wrote:
Baraendur wrote:You might see this as inconsistant. I do not.
Actually that makes a lot of sense. I don't actually agree with every point you make about the core book, but I'm not going to call you to task to defend that review again.

Thanks for the clarification.
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Re: errors, errors, and some more...

Postby scottmage » Tue Oct 14, 2003 12:56 am

Eryx wrote:
Anonymous wrote:And what does a sentence like this mean:
"Mollari's demonstration of his political power and by default the ability of Refa's political connections had been assured, and now those who would speak against him were silenced." (p48)
It means that Londo had proven himself a player in the political forum and his connection to Refa had assured him that level of power. His former rivals are not going to risk upsetting Londo or moving against him.

Makes sense to me.
Thanks for the Rosetta Stone.

I have seen all the episodes numerous times and I did not understand what was being said (and I am one of those people you hate to go to movies with, because I know who done it half way through the movie).

I understood things that did not play out for sometimes several seasons and it drove my wife crazy. I just have that kind of analyitical kind of mind. That is what I enjoyed about the series the most, well thought out.

I believe that is all that the poor fellow that started this thread is asking for. Think things out. If in doubt, watch the series again!
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Postby hassanisabbah » Wed Oct 15, 2003 1:11 pm

Baraendur wrote:My .02s...



No. No. No. No. OK, I'll give you credit for her not coming across as Russian. What do you expect though? She clearly isn't. As for needing a man, I'm sorry but that is simply not at all true about her character. If that were the truth then something other than tragedy would have come from her relationship (or lack thereof) with Marcus. IMO, she was the epitome of a career minded military woman. I really enjoyed her character, except when she was trying to be Russian.

>> I disagree - Scame across as the sterotype of a career minded woman from a mans point of view. When I say she needed a man, what I meant was with Marcus death she realises that she actually loves him. Most career minded women do tend to have relationships, abiet generally sexual ones. She comes across as being spoilt and repressed. The typically male view of the independent woman, as her front is a bravado, that is to say its a front, not her true self, so we witness her breaking down.

The Shadow War - There was absolutely zero chance that they were going to be able to have a military victory against the shadows.
>> 1000 years before the Minbari along with the Vorlons managed it. But Yeah I just wanted to see some mega conflict

As for getting a real war, I think that came with a vengeance in the second half of season 4. The war against Earth was a real knock down dragout fight that was exciting to the very end.

>> And how good was that, possibly the best of the entire series. Even old BB seems to have picked up some acting skills on route....

.
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Postby frobisher » Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:13 am

hassanisabbah wrote:
Baraendur wrote:The Shadow War - There was absolutely zero chance that they were going to be able to have a military victory against the shadows.
>> 1000 years before the Minbari along with the Vorlons managed it. But Yeah I just wanted to see some mega conflict
No they didn't. All they did was end it for another thousand years. The Shadows moved prematurely at that point and the Minbari led coallition barely held them after the Vorlons intervened, and B4 arrived on the scene. Before that, the Minbari were losing.

The Minbari didn't win so much as didn't lose 1000 years ago.

This time around, the Shadows were ready, and earlier than the Vorlons had anticipated.

The victory in current war was getting the cycle of wars to stop, forever.
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