Iron Man: Does Whatever An Iron Can

Iron Man, Iron Man, does whatever an iron can. Straightens clothes, gets real hot, smashes you up the butt. Hey there! Here comes the Iron Man!

Well, it’s another of those things I’m looking to stock up in here: character crash courses! And this week, we’re talking about…what do you mean he’s already super popular, more than ever? As if I’d let that stop me!

A cool exec with a heart of steel. And, most importantly, severely crippling physical and psychological issues, and THE suit of high tech battle armour. To some of you, he’s Robert Downey Jr.. To others, he’s Iron Hitler, the asshole with the keys to the toybox.

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Nuanced characterisation was a casualty in other Civil War titles.

But really: Who is Iron Man? Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? Was he turned to steel in the great magnetic field?

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Fabletop: Mastering Dungeon Mastering

Consider if there’s a way to make that stupid idea of detonating a barrel of alcohol to rocket jump work. Or if the Bard can, in fact, end the boss encounter because he rolled a 20 to seduce with his songs.

This week, I’ll be branching out into another of my interests: Tabletop roleplaying games, and the guys that run them! Also, an attempt at naming a post series!

True, D&D and its ilk have long endured, and have been getting more and more accessible and popular. We’re no strangers to the concept, and certainly, there are sites and video series which are dedicated to tabletop gaming, but consider this a crash course for newbies, told from the perspective of a fellow relative newbie as opposed to someone with a lifetime of D&D editions and Pathfinder homebrews. I always had an interest, but grew up in a time of electronic gaming and a lack of dedicated groups. Add to that my current state as someone who reluctantly adults the adulting of the adulty adult world, and I can, as always, speak as someone who has to deal with everyday life and its responsibilities.

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Some DMs carry on well into their golden years.

Maybe you know nothing about it, or you’ve heard about it but don’t get it. Or you might even be a frequent player and want to try running a game yourself, seeing what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat. You might even be a card carrying DM. Either way, let’s roll initiative and get started! …What do you mean you’re the ONLY one around to take a turn? …What do you mean I can’t make you roll against other readers on the internet? …What do you mean I’m asking useless questions for things nobody actually thinks? Silly, that’s how the internet works!

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I Play Fighting Games For The Plot

“Ah, but will he finally achieve his revenge in SUBURBAN SLAPFIGHT 2???”

Get your start buttons ready, folks, I’m talking about one of the last things you’d expect to have a plot! …No, not whatever is trendy for nerds to mock. It’s fighting games!

Ah, fighting games. Button inputs, dial-a-combo, outrageous special moves, and people beating each other up while getting up daisy fresh for next round. Of all genres, this one seems like the one of those that least needs a plot, right? Really, just give it a tournament or event, design a marketable cast, give ’em some fluff, and you’re good to go, right?

Not exactly.

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It’s Only Logical To Be Illogical

Others are sick of this bandwagon and think “In that case, I’m gonna make my story EXTRA stupid to spite you!”

This is not a logical topic for a blog post. It isn’t even a logical thesis statement. With that stupid joke out of the way, let’s get into it!

As the internet grew larger and nerds had more platforms to proclaim/declare/scream their opinions and insights, a popular topic to arise was this: Pointing out idiotic moments in stories.

Whether you call them plot holes, poor writing, or a means to progress the plot, there has been something of a market for fans to play backseat driver and point out when characters are being stupid, or put themselves through unnecessary trouble. These days, we’re obsessed with telling people how things should have ended or what they got wrong. The spirit in which this is done can range from a loving jape to just the most salty vitriol.

We’ve got different responses to these, of course. Some of us think they’re the BEST responses and think “Man, I’m gonna make my story HYPER logical!” Others are sick of this bandwagon and think “In that case, I’m gonna make my story EXTRA stupid to spite you!” And some might feel fear. They might wonder “Do I dare write? What if I’M the one getting torn up?”

And I, in heretical fashion, am going to defy the trend by answering all these imagined concerns with: It’s OK to be illogical. It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s OK to be inefficient.

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The Discipline Of Discipline

After all, it’s not like the world has any +3 Writing items or potions. And no, overpriced caffeine drinks do not count.

Time for another writing lesson! And like last time, it’s about writing in real life.

So, I’ve covered how external issues tend to REALLY be. Now what could I say about writing itself? What insight could I give for something that is deeply personal, moved by inspiration as we dig deep within our creative selves to birth worlds of words?

Simple: Suck it up and write even when you don’t feel like it.

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Pictured Above: One really evil little shit.

What, you were expecting me to coddle you with soft words about your soul and how you can truly only write when inspiration strikes like lightning? Maybe give you tips on finding the right venue, ambience, or diet to switch on creativity?

Hahaaa, no. But I CAN share my thoughts on something we CAN control: Discipline.

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In Which I Give Actual Advice For Writers With Lives

I mean, come on. How dare people have an opinion different from what we want? What are they, living beings?

Today, I’ll be plumbing some of my own personal feelings and struggles to talk about something a little harder: Challenges writers face in life. No flowery metaphors, no glib pithy insights to trivialise it, no saccharine “but passion will prevail” nonsense, just what I feel to be the realest emotions and problems writers face when they try to be functioning adults with jobs and social lives.
If you’re going through them, maybe it’ll help to put things in perspective, or to learn you’re not alone. If not, well, hopefully it’ll help prepare you in case it ever happens. So then, ready for some real talk?

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Kayfabe, Bayfabe, and High School Musicals

Also, it has Ashley Tisdale in it, who went on to voice Candace in Phineas and Ferb, and she is the best part of the franchise.

Following up on my point of the Emperor’s New Groove, we’ve seen what I opined to be the height of a story which could have been one big pandering mess and yet became one of the most honest, hilarious tales of all time. Here are some other examples to illustrate what it means to be ‘genuine’ in works.

I realise belatedly that there’s a term for this sort of honesty, of believing in what you’re doing, no matter what you’re doing, no matter how ridiculous the premise: kayfabe, the spirit of pro-wrestling.

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