Why I’m Not Allowed to be a Rogue in Dungeons and Dragons – Storytime

Hey guys! Oftentimes I will go down into the nerdy abyss and have a game of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) with a few friends. We generally have had few deaths before a long hiatus a few years back, but since coming back to playing at the end of 2018, I’ve suffered a lot of deaths:

  • Exploded, but was resurrected millenniums later.
  • Fell out of a tree – I was a Druid.
  • Fell down a trap hole (rolled a Nat 1).
  • Drank alcohol. Was resurrected, forgot alcohol would kill me.
  • Drank alcohol again.
  • Spoilers for later in the Storytime.
  • Shot in the head with an arrow while asleep.
  • Was killed by a zombified Cade Tealeaf.
  • Killed while trying to apprehend an AWOL Fighter (happened off-story).
  • Spoilers for later in the Storytime.
  • Spoilers for later in the Storytime.

So without further ado, I’ll tell you why I’m not allowed to play a Rogue character in D&D. Bear in mind this is all 3.5 edition, rather than 5th.

I found the featured image on Geek & Sundry.


We’ll start with my first Rogue, Bob the Gnome. He was made specifically for a one-shot, and he wasn’t a bad Rogue, he just got overshadowed by a Barbarian who was convinced he could disable traps (this is played by someone who was later kicked for cheating on rolls). But Bob survived, and he’s still there to be used later.

After my Sorcerer died from drinking alcohol for the second time, I decided to create a new Rogue – I can’t remember if he was a Halfling or a Gnome, but he was called Ilya the Bloody, because of his bloody awful acting (he liked the dramatics). He was also very OCD, in the same vein as Death the Kid from Soul Eater. This was because he took two hours to cut a tripwire straight down the middle.

Anyway, we were given the task to collect several souls (in the thousands), for this one god whose name I cannot remember. So we all turned evil, and we had to concoct a plan to get the souls. I thought of a widespread solution that would help gather these souls quickly with little to no effort.

Guys. I SUGGESTED WE CREATE A PLAGUE.

Basically, after over a month of working, we created a plague that would even affect Drow. It took a while, and I was chosen to host the plague as a carrier. That kinda went wrong as an explosion happened, and even we contracted the plague properly. Our Barbarian decided to rush head-first in a town and blow them up, but he ran into an iron door and died. The rest of us ended entire worlds with the plague, and we all exploded and died.


For the next Rogue, I was going to bring back Bob. However, one of the other players’ characters hates Gnomes, so I decided to be a Halfling Rogue called Amara Goodbarrel. She was famous for being a terrible Rogue, being arrested countless times. She had one chance left before she would be thrown off Dock 13. She was tasked with the job of stealing a rattle. So she went over to the local church, where a Cleric was trying to build his own Cult of Lucio (note: I had a character called Lucio with a God Complex. I persuaded the Cleric’s player to use Lucio for his cult). Long story short, the sneaky Ranger turned up, and so did Lucio in his glory.

At one point in this story, we were fighting some people and an orc/ogre (can’t remember which one at this point). The Cleric was only able to find the assailant’s codpiece. This started the main part of the cult, where the symbol was a codpiece.

Needless to say, I finished the task, got the rattle and gave it to the kingpin who requested it. We then did a murder investigation, where the guy wasn’t actually dead and it was just a test. We then went to the sewer to take on the crocodile.

I couldn’t find any traps, and the Cleric went onto one of the traps. It was fine. Afterwards, I was able to successfully find a few traps – I disabled the tripwire, but then I rolled a Nat 1 to disable the fire rune. I was thrown against a wall and killed pretty much immediately. However, due to divine grace, I was resurrected. However, I rolled a Nat 1 on a Will save, had a heart attack from the trauma of dying, and died again.

As a result of this, our Ranger ended up killing himself, as I had triggered his flaw. The resulting explosion from his armour meant that our Cleric was caught in the crossfire and died.

After making new characters, we ventured out to the next town. Basically, we took five hours to get to the next town.


So that’s why I’m not allowed to play a Rogue anymore. It’s a shame because it’s my favoured class to play, Ranger aside.

What Went Wrong With Danganronpa 3?

So as you may (or may not) know by now, I’m one of those creators that discusses Pokemon, but Pokemon is not my favourite franchise. That honour goes to Danganronpa.

I got introduced to it via the anime, and at the time I enjoyed it as it was. But now that I’m looking back on Danganronpa 3, there were a lot of unfortunate issues that plagued the series.

There will be spoilers for throughout the Hope’s Peak saga of the franchise.


Deus Ex Kirigiri

The fact that half of the surviving original cast were in dire circumstances with a battle royale-esque situation made the game high-stakes. We can forgive Aoi Asahina’s fake-out with the ketchup (thanks Monaca), but it felt even more high-stakes when Kyoko Kirigiri fell to the bracelet due to breaking the rules. But unbeknownst to the cast (but spotted by eagle-eyed viewers), Kyoko had taken some medicine that Seiko had previously ass-pulled during all of the chase scenes that she was involved in (like, how?).

Basically, the high-stakes that we were looking for was taken away from us because they wanted a happy ending.

The Length and Pacing

Danganronpa 3 was separated into (technically) three separate arcs: Future (12 episodes), Despair (11 episodes) and (1 episode). Future and Despair were screened side-by-side, so you get a bit of context going into the Future episodes.

As with the anime adaptation of Danganronpa 1, this series required it to be a two-cour anime, as opposed to one-cour. This means that there should have been up to 24 episodes for each side, ensuring that all bases would be covered.

There would have been more room to explore Junko’s manipulation, and also my next point.

Continuity Regarding Twilight Syndrome

Natsumi Kuzuryu, as well as her nemesis Sato, were characters that were touched upon during the events of Danganronpa 2 and was the motivation for Peko Pekoyama to kill Mahiru Koizumi in Chapter 2.

Twilight Syndrome depicted Natsumi Kuzuryu and Sato as fellow classmates and were all on the main campus. This meant that the pair had Ultimate talents – this is important as we talk about Danganronpa 3.

Danganronpa 3 literally showed none of the body discovery by those involved (Mikan, Ibuki Mioda, Hiyoko Saionji and Mahiru). Natsumi and Sato were both made as Reserve Course students, and therefore unable to access the main campus. Furthermore, the other witnesses to the body were not part of this sub-plot, excluding Mahiru.

The anime adaptation only served as a catalyst for Hajime Hinata to join the Izuru Kamukura Project.

Using Brainwashing as a Clutch

I didn’t mind so much at the time, but looking back, I can see how much the brainwashing gimmick was used as a clutch for several pivotal plot points.

  • Brainwashing Mikan Tsumiki off-screen to follow Junko.
  • Brainwashing Chisa Yukizone (graphically, I might add) to follow Junko.
  • Brainwashing the rest of the class with live footage of Chiaki’s execution.
  • Brainwashing the Reserve Course to kill themselves.
  • Brainwashing Tengan to join Ultimate Despair.
  • Brainwashing the Future Foundation to kill themselves if they were closest to the monitor (separately, there are five instances – Chisa, Great Gozu, Seiko Kimura, Ruruka Ando and Makoto Naegi).
  • Brainwashing Aoi Asahina to turn on her friends.
  • Brainwashing the Future Foundation soldiers into fighting the remaining Future Foundation members.
  • Brainwashing to make the world follow hope.

I already did a theory on how the series could have developed without the trope of brainwashing. But there was so much of the same thing happening, where it was inevitable that there was going to be some brainwashing involved. I suppose if you want to brainwash the world, get yourself an animator.

The Reveal of the Ultimate Impostor

The Ultimate Impostor was a character that was never meant to be revealed as their own identity. They were supposed to be a character that replicates other characters, with their only defining trait is their obesity – however, they can fool others into thinking they are the person.

Throughout the series, they have impersonated Byakuya Togami and Ryota Mitarai, the latter being a focal point of the anime, with a back-story concerning that. They also briefly impersonated Kyosuke Munakata briefly in Hope. Their real appearance became a meme, being compared to John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.

I mean, sure.

Remnants of Despair’s General Involvement & Character Design

A bit of continuity would have been nice for the eventual end designs of the Remnants of Despair. The only indications of anything having happened was Fuyuhiko’s eyepatch and Nagito Komaeda’s bionic arm. Everyone was dressed in their Danganronpa 2 designs, rather than the more ragged and despair-inducing outfits from their time as Remnants of Despair. I was expecting battle scars and signs of wear.

The Remnants could have been given the Toko treatment, having been responsible for assisting with bringing about the end of the Final Killing Game, or at least in custody.

The Mastermind of the Final Killing Game

I actually had a theory for this (as you do), and I’ll delve into it. And I’ll tell you why my version was ultimately better, not to blow my own horn or anything.

As we know from Danganronpa 3, it is revealed that Kazuo Tengan was the mastermind behind the Final Killing Game, in order to give Ryota the motivation to brainwash the world with a Hope Video. Contrived? Perhaps. Farfetched – most definitely. We also find out in Killer Killer that Tengan was brainwashed into joining Ultimate Despair. My theory is why I saved this point for last.

My theory was that Chiaki Nanami was the mastermind of the Final Killing Game. Here’s why:

Back in her student days, Chiaki would have met Junko for the first time, perhaps in passing. Junko would have seen the potential in Chiaki, just like she did with Ryota. Chiaki slowly becomes converted to Junko’s way of thinking, and her position of Class Rep allows Chiaki to feed that information through, and slowly but surely ensures the class joins her in her way of thinking.

After the events of the first Killing Game, Chiaki devises a more methodical Killing Game, which is the one we know and love to this day.

Then they bring about The Tragedy. Chiaki pretends to be a normal student, and successfully infiltrates the Future Foundation along with Chisa, with Chiaki becoming the 13th branch leader.

After Junko’s death and the capture of her classmates, Chiaki devises a Final Killing Game, the one identical to what we have seen in the anime. Chiaki stays hidden within the building, having sent Aoi Asahina to take her place.

My First Impressions of Fire Emblem: Three Houses Characters

Hello everyone! As you probably (or not) remember, in December I tasked my first reader Tim to select a topic for me to write about. If you didn’t know, part of his blog is about the Fire Emblem franchise, and myself, on the other hand, I’ve never played a Fire Emblem game. So I’ve been tasked with giving my first impressions of the characters from Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

Because of the number of characters, I put them through a random number generator, and Tim picked his own for me to talk about.

So here I am, giving my opinions. They will probably be basic opinions because I usually base first impressions on the appearance along with a line or two of spoken dialogue. In that instance, I’ll probably get their personalities completely wrong (but it means don’t judge a book by its cover, after all). To supplement this, I’m giving some character reminders so there’s a bit of added depth. These will come from any kind of fiction, from anime to games to written works.


Petra

200px-FETH_Petra

The first thing I notice about Petra is that hair. I always wanted that colour hair when I was about 18/19, which seems so long ago now (it actually was). She looks to be quite tough, with a warrior aspect about her, judging by her facial features and hairstyle.

Character Reminders: Cressida (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay)

Raphael

Raphael_Portrait

Raphael reminds me of the sort of character that would die in the fourth chapter of any Danganronpa game. So the gist is that he reminds me of the gentle-giant sort of character that will fuck up anyone that crosses them wrong. That’s kinda what I’m getting from him.

Character Reminders: Ian O’Shea (The Host), Sakura Oogami (Danganronpa), Nekomaru Nidai (Danganronpa 2)

Alois

Alois_Portrait

Alois reminds me of the kind of character that seems very intimidating with the armour, or just from his stature. I’ve seen that in other sources and can be a good, firm mentor and protector if was required.

Character Reminders: Arcadios (Fairy Tail), Dragon (House of Night)

Ashe

Ashe_Portrait

Okay, I see the common trope of white/grey-haired anime characters being all moody and strange, so I’m kinda getting that vibe right now. Probably isn’t the case, but we come to expect that crossing one would mean certain death – usually comes from a tragic back-story. I mean, usually, the kindest-looking people just come out straight-up crazy.

Character Reminders: Nagito Komaeda (Danganronpa 2), Zero Kiryu (Vampire Knight)

Dimitri

fire_emblem_three_houses_dimitri_artwork.jpeg

Now if I thought Ashe’s crazy eyes meant certain death, I was wrong. I’m getting very hostile, very upper-class vibes, and it’s quite intimidating. You kinda don’t want to look at him too long, for fear of him turning to you and saying something like ‘What?’ in a confrontational manner.

Character Reminders: Byakuya Togami (Danganronpa)

Dorothea

Dorothea_Portrait

Her appearance reminds me of a kind of authoritative figure even as a student, and could easy rally around others to her aid. Probably would work as a mentor or student representative.

Character Reminders: Lilith Asami (Trinity Seven), Chiaki Nanami (Danganronpa 2/3)

Flayn

Flayn_Portrait

Flayn, from the pose given to me, looks like one of those bishoujo girls ready to take on the world, and the entire aesthetic is comforting, and a go-getter. It reminds me of other anime girls who have a comforting appearance in their designs, and that’s what draws me in. Honestly, she’s cute and probably a future cosplay.

Character Reminders: Chisa Yukizome (Danganronpa 3), Niko Niiyama (Kiznaiver)

Mercedes

Fire-Emblem-Three-Houses-2-9

I’m feeling the same kind of feelings as Flayn, but on the gentler side. She kinda reminds me of a character from one of my own series, who is a medic that sees the future (I will talk about that later). But there are other gentle characters that I see in some ways.

Character Reminders: Charleen Bates (Scarlet Sun), Wendy Marvell (Fairy Tail)

Annette

Annette_Portrait

Annette seems to be one of those heavily attentive characters, rarely missing a beat, perhaps. Although she could be ready to tell someone off if they’ve been untoward, I suppose but maintains positivity all the same.

Character Reminders: Yui Hirasawa (K-On), Aqua (Kono Suba)

Catherine

Catherine_Portrait

Catherine’s is another example of appearing tough (I mean, the armour), but then she probably has a softer side but could be incredibly strong. She seems like a solid aide to have in battle and personally.

Character Reminders: Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail), Leone (Akame ga Kill!)

Shamir

Shamir_Portrait

She feels closed-off to me like she’s deadly serious about what she does, and nothing will get in her way. Like, that’s literally it.

Character Reminders: Akame (Akame ga Kill!), Morga (The Arcana)

Gaming Spotlight – Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Here’s another part to the series that nobody asked for – this time we’re looking at Danganronpa 2, the sequel to the one we talked about a little while back.

The premise of the game is the same as the first – this time, sixteen students from Hope’s Peak Academy are on Jabberwock Island, the setting for the latest mutual killing game hosted by Monokuma, and his self-proclaimed sister Monomi.

You play as Hajime Hinata, a student who was accepted to Hope’s Peak Academy, who has forgotten his talent.

Themes and Extras

The main plot-point of the story is still about hope versus despair, with a hint of the future.

Blood still remains as though someone vomited Pepto-Bismol due to censorship.

If you want a refresher on the cycles of the game, please check this post out.

In order to watch the Danganronpa 3 anime (both Future and Despair sides), you need to play this game or watch a let’s play if you cannot do so.

Mini-Games

There are a few mini-games throughout the game. One thing that was introduced in this game was Pets. When you walk around in-game, you will hatch and evolve your pet, similarly to a Tamagotchi. The pet will accumulate hope and despair, depending on your actions. You are able to gain achievements for collecting every pet, too!

The other mini-game that was introduced was Magical Girl Miracle ★ Usami,  following Monomi as she defeats each of the Monobeasts defending areas of Jabberwock Island. Each stage is unlocked after each corresponding chapter is completed in the main game, with each background featuring notable areas in-game.

The last mini-game is a reprise from School Mode, this time called Island Mode. The premise is the same, but you are creating different items for Usami, as well as bonding with classmates (and also receiving their underwear). Trip Tickets are brought back in, too.

Before V3 was released, Danganronpa 2 was my all-time favourite game. Clearly, that has changed since, but it’s still a brilliant game, right down to the ultra-despairing plot twist at the end.

Gaming Spotlight – Spyro Series

First of all, we’re not talking about Skylanders. I believe that Spyro was used to make Skylanders more profitable. Let’s move on!

Spyro the Dragon was quite a big part of my childhood. It’s what sparked an interest in dragons, and I’d watched a family member play it a while back. So I thought it’d be interesting, and I’d acquired Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (normally called Ripto’s Rage but us Europeans are awkward). Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the game and went on to buy Year of the Dragon. I realise that I’d done it in an awkward order so that I’d ended up playing the first game last, but I feel that Spyro the Dragon was more difficult than the other two, even to this day.

Looking back, I was definitely in a state of – I wouldn’t say addiction, but I was very much hooked on the game. As I mentioned earlier, it definitely began my fascination with dragons, though. I remember playing the game after school when I was in my final year of primary school (11 years old).

Then I was very disappointed with Enter the Dragonfly. Well at the time, not so much disappointed, but kinda deflated. The controls were clunky and there wasn’t a whole lot to do compared to its predecessors. As I found out later, it was due to a rushed production to get it released in time for Christmas, as well as development issues throughout the creation process. I’m not sure how I managed to defeat the final boss in that game. What I feel should happen with this game, because as it is a sequel to the original trilogy, is a complete reimagining. I’d like the plot to remain mostly intact, the only difference is expanding on it as you do different worlds. The mechanic of catching dragonflies with your bubble breath should also remain, as should the different breath types.

A Hero’s Tail was a good end to that part of the franchise, even if it didn’t get a lot of praise. My downfall was when my save was corrupted just as I was about to complete the entire game. I hadn’t really picked it up since.

The Legend of Spyro series took a different turn, that’s for certain. It focused a lot on Spyro’s alternated back-story and different combat mechanics, and less semi-open-world, as I like to label it as. It’s a very linear series, but it draws you in.

And now we come full circle to the Reignited Trilogy. This game encompassed the original trilogy, and I recently got to play it on the Switch. I was immediately amazed by how the game felt, and it definitely kept true to the source material. The remastered soundtrack was amazing (although you have the option to revert to the original), and some of the levels felt harder than previously – although strangely enough the boss fights felt simpler than original. It’s not a bad thing, just an interesting observation.

And before you ask – yes, Tree Tops is still the worst level to complete in the entire franchise.

I know it’s a shorter GSF, but there’s not a whole lot to say about a purple dragon. Plus I wanted to go through the franchise itself rather than focus on one game this time.

 

 

 

Gaming Spotlight – Borderlands

Nobody asked, but I keep delivering. After all, there ain’t no rest for the wicked.

With that, I’m bringing the first Borderlands game in this week’s Gaming Spotlight. And would you look at that? Fortnite got a Borderlands crossover this year, too…

Borderlands was released in 2009 and has since received an enhanced edition, just released this year. Sadly, this game was not featured in the Handsome Collection.

The game centres around four Vault Hunters who come to the planet Pandora in search for an alien vault which is said to contain advanced alien technology.

On the bus, you get to choose from four characters:

Mordecai – Mordecai is the ‘Hunter’ class, and is a specialist in sniper rifles. His Action Skill features Bloodwing, his companion. These skills can be buffed through skill trees and Class Mods.

Lilith – Lilith is the ‘Siren’ class, whose Action Skill involves Phasewalking from one dimension back to the other in a short period of time – this can be buffed through putting skills into her respective skill trees. Lilith’s weapon speciality is an SMG, which can also be buffed via Class Mods. Just a note that there are only six Sirens in existence.

Roland – Roland is the ‘Soldier’ class, and his Action Skill utilises a Scorpio turret, which is a staple for Crimson Lance members, of which he is a former member. Roland’s speciality weapons include assault rifles and shotguns, although he can use anything.

Brick – Brick is the ‘Berserker’ class, so essentially, he punches things. His Action Skill is a true berserker mode, using his fists to defeat enemies.

I won’t get too much into the story, but to help guide you along is a steward-bot named Claptrap, as well as a Guardian Angel seemingly watching your every move.

All-in-all, admittedly the Pandoran world we explore in the original Borderlands sets the setting – it’s supposedly a wasteland, but Borderlands 2 is more colourful – but I’ll get into that another time.

I’ll get into the different kinds of guns, and holy crap the whole beauty of the Borderlands series is the variety of guns, but in the first game they are pretty basic. This does improve throughout the course of the franchise, though, but there is a certain charm to the clunky guns. One of my favourite guns had to be a Double Anarchy, an SMG with mad damage but low accuracy. However, in one of my Lilith playthroughs, I focused mostly on SMG proficiency so that I could increase the accuracy. One point of note was when I came up against two bandits, walking side-by-side. I aimed at one, shot at him, but then got a critical hit on his partner. I was flabbergasted at how a gun could be so accurate yet so inaccurate at the same time.

For its debut, Borderlands is a simple but delightful game. The beauty of the Borderlands franchise as a whole is the diverse cast of characters, from the player characters right down to some of the background characters. The games are inclusive of non-conformative characters, being very inclusive of the LGBT+ community without even batting an eye. In the world of Borderlands, anything goes!

Honestly, Borderlands is one of my favourite franchises, and I’m excited for Borderlands 3 when it drops on Steam. But for now, I’ve had to tear myself away from anything including spoilers.

Gaming Spotlight – Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Here’s another post for the series that nobody asked for!

I’m discussing the game that was developed and published by Spike Chunsoft (also responsible for Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon and the Zero Escape series).

Let’s start back when I was constantly looking for new anime back in 2016. I’d seen this poster of this animated series with this black and white bear (y’all know where this is going). I decided to watch it and I found it very interesting. And then the games that the anime was based on came out on Steam. So I bought them and played them.

Danganronpa is essentially a visual novel about a group of talented teenagers that are trapped in a school by a black and white bear called Monokuma, who proclaims himself to be the headmaster of Hope’s Peak Academy. There, he launches a killing game, where the students have to kill one another in order to escape.

Once a murder has occurred, there must be an investigation, followed by a trial. If the culprit gets away with it, everyone else is punished. If the culprit is found, then they are punished. The punishment comes in the form of an execution tailored to the culprit.

You play as Makoto Naegi, a student who was accepted to Hope’s Peak Academy after winning the lottery, thus becoming the Ultimate Lucky Student.

Themes and Extras

The main plot-point of the story (and runs through the series as a whole) is hope versus despair.

We also get blood that resembles Pepto-Bismol. To be fair, this was to conform to censorship regulations. However, I suppose it does add its own flair to the game.

The game is separated into two main sections – Daily Life and Deadly Life.

Daily Life is always the first half of each chapter, and you follow the story and take part in Free Time events, where you increase friendship with the characters. This doesn’t generally affect the way they interact with you outside these events, but it helps with the achievements.

Deadly Life is the moments after a body discovery has happened, and this involves the investigation, the Class Trial, the execution and the aftermath. There are no Free Time events within this section.

Free Time also segways into the MonoMono Machine and the School Mode. School Mode can be unlocked after completing the story, whereas the MonoMono Machine gives items which you can give to other students to increase friendship. The items that you can give with a positive response depends on the items, so choose wisely! School Mode serves as a dating sim, taking you through a plot with no mutual killings, but instead you’re building robots for Monokuma while romancing the other characters. You can also be rewarded with Trip Tickets, taking the characters to parts around the school.

Oh yeah, once you’ve completed the dating sim routes, each character will give you their underwear. Nice.

Soundtrack

The brilliant soundtrack was composed by Masafumi Takada (also responsible for The Evil Within and Crypt of the Necrodancer). Speaking of Necrodancer, Takada was responsible for the Danganronpa-themed arrangements in the free PC update for Necrodancer, so you were able to play the game utilising the reimagined soundtrack for the game.

Sequels

Three games were released that take place after the events of Danganronpa – Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Danganronpa: Ultra Despair Girls and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. DRV3 is largely unrelated to the rest of the games, however it is fundamental to play them all to have an understanding of what you’re doing.

A sequel anime series was released: Danganronpa 3. This had two (technically 3) sides – Future and Despair. Future is set after the events of DR2, while Despair goes into the backstory of the cast of DR2, as well as how the events leading to DR1 took place. A third title, Hope, released as the conclusion to Future side.