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Messages - Iaera

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Yeah, seems to me a Manaan SH can easily just be used as a stand-in for any ocean planet, or even just any marine/underwater base. I use Yavin 4 SH as a stand-in for Tython all the time.

Cantina / Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« on: 06/24/17, 01:39:18 PM »

This is a staggeringly stupid device on the face of it, but there's the added insult to injury of this being to Star Wars what technobabble bullshittery is to Star Trek. Yuuzhan Vong. Zann Consortium. It's always stupid.

That's not to say third-party threats, hazards, or antagonists can't make an appearance. But they need to be interesting minor players, not radical upheavals of the Star Wars galaxy.

Worse, in this particular case it just felt like a bizarre fizzling of the Vitiate storyline. Shadow of Revan was, for the most part, really cool as long as you ignored all the Revaning Revan McRevanson. Then Vitiate blew up Ziost and it was like "woah," you know? Like this is, like, woah, right? Crazy Sith Lords! Instability! Uneasy alliances against a greater mutual threat! The Force! The Dark Side! Events of legend! What will happen next??? Will we stop Vitiate??? Will he unleash his full potential as a resurgent Dark Lord of the Sith and bring about a new era of darkness in the galaxy????

no he needs to go home and be a family man, it's past his bed time and his Other Other Other Secret Evil SuperEmpire just isn't doing well under jared and ivanka arcann and vaylin. fuck those sith posers, peace

Roleplay Workshop / Re: Jedi Movies
« on: 06/20/17, 11:41:44 PM »
A wandering DC Comics appears!

Batman Begins

This is a movie I like to cite when thinking about how Jedi actually fight compared to their reputation for how they fight. I think there is a popular conception, both in-universe and out-of-universe that Jedi are these unstoppable, all-blaster-bolts-blocked whirling dervishes of invincibility who annihilate anything in sight with massive displays of telekinetic might. I think this conception is extraordinarily wrong.

In-universe, though, this makes sense. Why? Batman Begins, that's why. In the movie, Ra's al Ghul explains the idea to Bruce: Intensive physical training and martial self-discipline can be combined with theatricality, deception, and general "shock and awe" to effectively engage an otherwise numerically-superior enemy. And this is what Batman learns to do -- by skulking in the shadows, employing distractions, surgical attacks, and the principle of "divide and conquer," Batman scatters, disorganises, and demoralises the many goons he fights, and only then does he appear in the open to beat up the last few remaining goons. He never just walks into a room and face-tanks an entire army of goons; he's always tactically avoiding direct confrontation until the enemy is actually weak enough to fight directly.

This, combined with his "Bat" image, quickly gives him a fearsome reputation as a crazy badass who will totally kick your ass -- further fueling the future demoralisation and disorganisation of enemies he later fights, based on his reputation alone, and the whole cycle just feeds on itself. In other words, Batman seems scarier and more dangerous than he actually is, and Batman uses this to his advantage. It's all very Art of War.

This, in my mind, is very similar to how Jedi function. They seem like invincible battle-gods who cannot be killed by blasters, and are quite happy to let this reputation go unchallenged, because it helps them in their duties by seeming more dangerous than they actually are. In reality, just like a bullet could drop Bruce Wayne dead, so can a blaster kill a Jedi in the snap of a finger (cf. Order 66).

I've always tried to play Iaera with this in mind -- a lightsaber duellist, yes, but one very aware of her own mortality. She does not charge into entire battalions of enemy soldiers and expect to win. Rather, she sneaks around, hiding in the mud, mind tricking lone sentries, and only fights with her lightsaber if she is forced to defend herself. I try to play her as someone with the reputation of fighting entire armies and winning, while knowing that reputation is anything but true.

Cantina / Re: New PC = Like Playing a New Game
« on: 06/17/17, 04:44:37 PM »
And GSF? it was bonus day yesterday :) And holy...I was in Heaven flying around smoothly for once. And I'm such a loser...I usually listen to music while I'm flying ("Rule the World" by Walk Off the Earth or "Unstoppable" by The Score are two of my favourites), but I was listening to "Happy Girl" by Martina McBride...if my squad mates could've seen me bopping around while piloting, they probably would've kicked me from the group!

Nothing wrong with listening to music during GSF! Though I recommend the following...

Cantina / Re: Gratitude
« on: 06/17/17, 12:00:06 AM »
Thanks for the RP at Dancer's tonight! Orell and Jessak, thanks for indulging my hell-bent-for-leather astromech, and Fulcros, it was good to meet you!  :grin:

Events and Occasions / Re: Port of Call
« on: 06/14/17, 10:40:25 PM »
Operation: Escape Erini and Revive Jaade So He Can Make This Event is a go!

Introductions / Re: New to the Game, Server, and Forum
« on: 06/14/17, 01:54:37 PM »

Beware that the game/RP timeline has advanced significantly from where it's at when you first start doing your class story. Most of us RP the galaxy being in a very different place, concurrent with the most recent endgame content. Just a heads up!

i got 99 guesses but a key ain't one

Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi Knight: Divergent Paths
« on: 06/09/17, 09:55:34 PM »
Thanks for running this, LVT!  :aww: It's good to see these events going strong!

I'm sorry I missed the playtest. Now that I've had a chance to sit down and look at the update, I think it looks great! Awesome job! :cheer:

Worldbuilding and Community / Re: Galactic Calender?
« on: 05/26/17, 11:35:14 AM »
the only one i can ever remember is centaxday

I've always wanted to see more Jedi guilds out and about. If there's one regret I've had with Custodum, it's that it felt like it became the be-all-end-all of Jedi RP, which was never my intention or desire.

So, here's hoping that this idea gets some traction!  :cheer:

Roleplay Workshop / Jedi Movies
« on: 05/16/17, 11:26:22 PM »
So, because I'm a huge nerd, a lot of the time when I'm watching a movie or TV show I notice similarities, parallels, or some other direct relationship with Jedi Knights. Perhaps in how the characters act, perhaps in how the "magic" of the setting works, or perhaps in the general aesthetic. Now, this isn't actually all that crazy -- George Lucas created the Jedi Knights out of a lot of existing film tropes and real-world mythology, so to see those same tropes and mythologies echoed elsewhere isn't really surprising. Nevertheless, I think it's an interesting exercise to examine those echoes and compare them, as well as potentially providing a resource with which to consider how we RP Jedi here in SWTOR.

So, a non-exhaustive list of various fiction that inspires me and makes me think about my favourite space-monks in different ways:

Doctor Strange

One thing I really liked about this movie was its unusual depiction of Wizards™. Not only were they distinctly Eastern (in a Tibetan monk kind of way), but they were also very monastic and ascetic. I have always rejected the characterisation of Jedi as "space wizards," arguing that Jedi are more like monks than wizards, but Doctor Strange presents an interesting blend of the two that's much closer, aesthetically, to a Jedi Knight. The wizards here are depicted as requiring discipline and ascetic willpower to manifest their abilities, so I quite enjoyed the scenes where Benedict Cumberbatch is trained in the ways of the Force magic.

Of course, not everything in the movie is perfectly Jedi. I've always cautioned people against treating Jedi like spellcasters, so the parallels in Doctor Strange end at the spell-tomes and magical whirlygigs.

Edge of Tomorrow

Not much in the way of aesthetics to comment on here, obviously... nevertheless, this movie has some fun Jedi parallels! It's about a man who, by virtue of living the same day over and over again, knows the future with uncanny precision. Sound familiar? The mechanism is a little different, but what I love about this movie is that the visible effect is very similar to what an onlooker would probably see when watching a Jedi work: Precise, unbelievably "lucky" courses of action that always seem to have the ideal result.

Duck here. Dodge there. Wait. Now go. Block left. Turn. Duck again. Dash forward! All while chaos erupts around them. The Jedi moves in perfect, harmonious synchronicity with a hostile environment... the advantages of being able to see things before they happen! Consider the exchange between Han Solo and Obi-wan Kenobi in A New Hope:

"I call it luck."
"In my experience, there's no such thing as luck."

Iron Fist

I liked this show for putting chi squarely on the table. While explicitly spelling out how these powers work de-mystifies them a little and is definitely a comic-book superhero thing to do (midichlorians notwithstanding), it was nevertheless appreciated for giving us a distinctly Eastern interpretation of mystical powers and abilities. Danny Rand has to frequently "focus his chi," through meditative exercises, a sort of extra-literal display of how a Jedi focuses and uses the Force. It's very martial and very Zen, very much in line with Jedi thought.

Any other examples you guys can think of? There are tons, but I'd like to hear if anyone else sees any movies through this lens!

Something to bear in mind when discussing power structures in dysfunctional evil empires in general: Link

Now with that said, on the topic of where soldiers get their orders and who they're beholden to -- I've always treated the situation kind of like Republican Rome. Nominally, all soldiers of course serve the state, whether they be citizen-soldiers or non-citizen auxilia (in this case, subjugated people doing military service for perks, Chiss allies, etc). However, in practice, because of how decentralised power is in the Sith Empire, with huge amounts of power wielded by Sith Lords who are reigned in only by other Sith Lords policing them, Sith practically function not unlike a Roman proconsul (he who rules in the consul's stead, i.e., a regional governor).

Because political leaders and military leaders were one and the same in Republican Rome, governors, consuls, senators, tribunes and others also found themselves leading legions against Rome's enemies... and, of course, against each other on a regular basis. Soldiers were thus loyal to the idea of Rome, but also to their actual commander, which is one of the reasons Rome had so many civil wars. Of course, these famously culminated in Gaius Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon with his loyal men, fighting against several other legions loyal to other members of the Senate.

This, I think, forms a model for how soldiers in the Sith Empire likely behave... loyal, to a point, to the state itself, but in most cases ultimately loyal to their Sith master. Of course there are also probably exceptions and plenty of soldiers dedicated to some other philosophical concept (Imperialism? Wise and just governance of the Empire's citizens? Etc), and it's critical to bear in mind the video I posted above. But a great deal of soldiers likely owe their loyalty to the Sith Lord who runs their lives, assuming that Sith is at least moderately competent in instilling loyalty in his or her minions.

Outside Realm / Re: Good luck, Elly!
« on: 05/11/17, 12:52:06 AM »
...BC BCers get together, anyone?

you're 2,017 years too late

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