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Posts with tag frankenstein

Sunday Morning Funnies: Big tongues vs puppy men

This week, we have several newcomers to the list! I love having new comics; you never know what will become a core feature for each week's entertainment.

For last week's trivia, there were so many winners, that I'm frankly just too lazy to list them all. You guys did a great job, although the consensus did seem to be aimed at Frankenstein and its famous comedic little brother, Young Frankenstein. This is going to require some sort of mass prize awarding distribution system (MPADS).

First, I shall create a virtual and imaginary, but giant, Frankenstein's monster pinata. I might duct tape it on the inside just to make you work for it; your epics should be able to get through it in time. Inside, there will be toast, poutine, a white Christmas, a family of elephant shrews wearing tiny berets, and butter tarts with a side of real maple syrup, topped with Smarties. There will also be enough ascots for all.

This week's trivia question can be found buried within the comic list, so you'd better get cracking! Bonus extra trivia points if you can tell me which of the above virtual and imaginary prizes does not belong (not counting the ascots or the toast - those were just necessary) and why.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Engineer


This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-fifth in a series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay various aspects of the lore and gaming elements of WoW.

Engineering has been my favorite profession in WoW, both in terms of its usefulness in the game, as well as its status as an awesome profession for roleplaying. Maybe it's just because I'm a huge fan of steampunk, but I find that those gadgets and funny things you can make with engineering have a certain style that goes beyond simple utility -- You just look at an engineer with his goggles, his mechanical mount, and maybe even some sort of robot or machine trailing along after him, and you immediately get the feeling that this is a character with character. No other profession can give you such a distinct characterization: you're not just a rogue, for example -- you're a scientist rogue!

In addition to that, most other professions feel like "crafting" jobs added on to the regular game, which they are -- they may give you better stats in one area or another but otherwise don't add many new abilities. Engineering, on the other hand, gives you a lot of special abilities and buttons to push, all of which can start to feel like a special sub-class for your character, underneath whatever class he or she already has.

In fact, as roleplayers, many of us play up our status as engineers as much or even more than our status as a hunter, warlock, rogue, or whatever. That engineering style is so persistent that it can define our characters more than anything else -- our own Palehoof practically defined this style in the column devoted to engineering that he used to write every week, before he lost his horns and his hooves in a bizzare scientific experiment (and decided thereafter to spend more time with his family). His commentaries on practical and theoretical engineering serve as excellent inspiration for all roleplayers who would call their characters engineers.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Gnomes, Hunter, Engineering, Virtual selves, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Leatherworker

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the thirty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class (or profession!) well, without embarrassing yourself.

At the outset of this series on how to roleplay one's professions, Leatherworking struck me as the most difficult profession to write about, even more than skinning, herbalism, or mining. This was in spite of (and in fact maybe because of) the fact that it was the first profession I ever chose in WoW. My very first character, who was a druid, wanted to choose leatherworking in order in order to make her own armor as well as prevent the dead bodies of all those animals she had to kill during her quests from going to waste.

At that time I didn't know a whole lot about roleplaying, or how to play the game, and I knew even less about the background lore behind everything I was seeing. I originally roleplayed with my friends that my night elf had been born in Darnassus, only later to find out that would have made her about 3 years old -- a fact none of us had known, because WoW was our first exposure to the lore of Azeroth. This was actually my inspiration for writing these articles, so that our readers wouldn't have to go read pages and pages of books and websites or play old and (to me anyway) less enjoyable games.

As I played the game more and more, the leatherworking armor seemed less and less useful and seemed more and more difficult to make. I also started imagining what skinning all those animals and then stitching together parts of their dead bodies would actually feel like, and suddenly I felt more like a kind of Dr. Frankenstein than a peaceful druid. It turns out, however, that I knew as little about leatherworking back then as I did about the game itself.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Leatherworking, Lore, Guides, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: How to be a death knight

When you decide to roleplay, a whole new world of imagination opens up to you -- soon you realize that all the World of Warcraft is a stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players.

Last week, we took a look at how roleplaying a death knight will be different from roleplaying other classes, because death knights come pre-packaged with elements of a backstory for you to flesh out: they have, for whatever reason, at one time joined forces with the Lich King, learned from him how to be a death knight, and now are breaking free of his influence and striking out against him.

As Medeni pointed out in her comments, however, this can potentially lead to a kind of unlikable "celebrity in rehab" type of personality. Imagine, if you will, the death knight known as Marisoo: formerly a paladin of the Light, she sought to destroy the Scourge that plagued her homeland of Lordaeron, but eventually, as she was consumed with vengeance and hatred, she joined the Lich King instead of destroying him. Having learned to turn corpses into slavering ghouls and call forth armies of the undead, she eventually thought better of the whole "wickedly destroy all life" thing and decided to destroy the Lich King after all, only this time she would use his own power against him! Muahaha.

As you can see, there are some pretty obvious flaws in this idea. First of all, the first half of it is almost a direct copy of Arthas' own tale, and, while I can certainly appreciate the power of that story, and the possibility that other paladins could have gone through something similar, roleplayers who want to play a death knight character must realize that it's going to get old fast. Just as death knights aren't just human paladins, we can't all go around copying Arthas, brooding on how moody and wicked we've become. We have to come up with new ideas that fit the death knight mould.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Lore, RP, Death Knight, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: Inspiration

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, suggestions, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

You've probably heard that no story is completely original, that everything is copied from somewhere, and nothing anyone ever thinks or says is really unique. It's an awfully pessimistic way of looking at the creative endeavor, but there's a degree of truth in it.

Any time you make up a new character, you are sure to be inspired by something you observed somewhere else. Perhaps you wondered, "What if there were a dwarven rogue, whose personality was a mix between Sherlock Holmes and Jack Sparrow?" or "My undead warrior is a lot like Frankenstein's monster, not evil so much as tragically neglected and rejected. He also likes to play with dolls." All this is fine and good for roleplaying, as long as you recognize the essential differences between your character and his or her inspirational anscestors.

After all, every creative endeavor basically consists of mix-and-matching pre-existing knowledge in new and useful ways. In the same way a painter doesn't need to invent new colors, color palettes, or even new color matching techniques to make an beautiful, a storyteller doesn't need to create entirely new characteristics for each character in his or her story, only mix-and-match qualities real people already have in order to create someone compelling and interesting for other characters to interact with.

Jump on in to find some great inspirations for WoW characters.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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