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Messages - Niarra

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Outside Realm / Re: Editing - Everyone Needs It
« on: 05/22/18, 10:51:54 PM »
Two things:

First, the Telltale version of Batman isn't Batman... he's Bruce Wayne.

There's a reason you spend more time as Bruce Wayne in the games than you do as Batman, why you're given the option to solve problems at various points as Bruce instead of the Bat... because Telltale's trying to develop Bruce first and foremost, something that's... honestly kinda lacking in Batman material.

One of the more minor but interesting bits of the 90's Batman animated series was that Bruce Wayne wasn't just a cover for Batman. In Poison Ivy's first episode (I think), Bruce, as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, goes in hard against an underling/business-partner/someone who was carelessly polluting the environment, even though that's something that "billionaire playboy" wouldn't care about.

Telltale just took it further than that, by not making Bruce Wayne the mask, but letting Batman actually be the mask...

That's a great way of putting it. I can see that. There's definitely a sense of Batman being the mask, at least in what I've seen so far of the series (which is the first two episodes and half of the third, so admittedly I've still got a ways to go).

Second... look, about the English Language.

The English Language is awful. It is horrible. It is wretched. It is the literal worst. Rules are weird and inconsistent, words have bizarre alternate meanings (I'm looking at you, "literally"), not to mention the odd "optional" rules like the Oxford comma or the pluralization of nouns ending in "s".

I wouldn't say it's the literal worst. (And yes, that was meant to be cheeky following on Orell's own parenthetical aside.  :grin:)

In all seriousness, while English has its oddities, it also has a lot going for it. I speak two languages fluently, have a rough understanding of a third, and at least dipped my toe into two years of study in a fourth (which I've mostly forgotten at this point, but the grounding and the experience is there). While there are occasionally times that another language has the perfect, unique word or saying that I would like to use to convey something when English lacks that particular nuance, in general English has a degree of specificity and range to it that is very much in its favor. It has its oddities and stupid things, for sure, but it isn't solely because of geopolitical reasons that English has become the lingua franca (irony of that term aside) of international dealings.

There are a lot of books on English as a language out there that are very interesting for the linguistically and philologically inclined, but one I would highly recommend is The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. I recommend it in part because Bill Bryson could make a description of paint drying somehow hilarious, and everything is better with humor. But Bill Bryson also happens to be a fantastic researcher, and taken in conjunction with humor that makes most of what he writes a joy to read. Among the many interesting things he points out in that book is included a general assessment of the places where English is strong (even as it pointed out where it's dumb), and though my memory is certainly not good enough to recall all his arguments off the top of my head, in speaking for myself I'll say that I do feel English is laudable in the way it provides essentially simple (even at times simplistic) building blocks that also have the virtue of being able to be slotted into something much more complex than the sum of its parts.

When I was getting my certification in interpreting (in this case between English and Spanish, my two native tongues), I was struck by how many more words it often took to convey something in Spanish than it took to say it in English, and that wasn't unique to Spanish either. It's certainly not because Spanish or the other languages are less sophisticated or less artful. I mean, I personally would argue that with very few exceptions there aren't really poets writing in English (for example) who can compare, in a lyrical sense, to what the great poets writing in Spanish have achieved, because the one language feels like the work horse or the handyman with infinite tools while the other feels like a stained glass window.

My point... from which I realize I have now definitely strayed... ahem... was to just to argue that I don't think English is any more silly or breakable than other languages. Sometimes I find it to be significantly less silly. (Even if I will never shake the funny horror story anecdote of the man learning English who was trying to literally interpret what someone was telling him when they told him to "Go ahead and back up" the car.)

You should know the rules of grammar, you should keep them in mind when writing, you should edit with them in mind... and you should break them when breaking them makes the work more interesting. Knowing the rules so you know when to break them.

Yes, indeed. That's essentially the argument I always make, and which I launched this thread with long ago. Sometimes there's call to break the rules, but you have to know them in order to break them.

More importantly, though, I think there's nuance even in that glib statement. Because for the most part when you are breaking rules you are only breaking certain kinds of rules. Some rules cannot be broken and still keep the language's integrity intact.

You might break a rule about tenses if you're switching them for (deliberate) artistic effect, or you might break a rule about sentence structure if you're going for (again deliberate) artistic effect. In a way, you can think of it like... riding a bicycle along a street, maybe. The rules say you're supposed to stay in the bike lane, but sometimes there might be an exception when you can cut across car lanes, and sometimes you might just straight up ride your bike on the sidewalk because it's the best way to get where you're trying to go even if it's against regulations in your area. So you can break rules about how to ride your bicycle, but you can't break rules about how the bicycle functions; if the gear spokes don't fit into the chain, or you have a flat, the bike doesn't work, and where or how you might want to ride it is therefore irrelevant.

Language is no different. You can bend some grammatical rules about sentence structure to make something work artistically, but you cannot arbitrarily discard word definition or proper conjugation or the function of a period (outside of maybe some wild interpretive poetry in the latter case). I'll go back to one of the Word versus Word examples I called out in an earlier post and talk about lightning versus lightening. It's not an artistic choice about which word to use, because those are actually two completely different words with two completely different meanings. And it's in that context that I was also talking about the world "would" in response to Nick's post. Some ways of using the word are correct, and others are technically incorrect. (Even if "would" is admittedly one of the fuzzier examples.) That's a totally different discussion from, for example, what styles we use in RP. The latter discussion about styles is all about art and feeling and interpretation and fun and rule-breaking, but the former discussion about word definition is about one of those rules that isn't exactly breakable.

To me, the rhythm of a sentence is paramount. Run-on sentences, split infinitives, dropped pronouns and sentence fragments, they're all useful tools when crafting a sentence... and sometimes the effort to make something grammatically correct robs the words of their texture and flavor.

I'm very much with you on this. In fact, one of the things I have to be mindful of in narrative writing is not straying into that realm too often (which I am wont to do), because breaking the rules as a matter of course can rob a work of the impact that it should make from breaking those rules on the occasions when it does break them.

But I will always draw a very stickler line between artistic structural fuzziness and the correct use of words. I mean... a "vehicle" may be a physical thing, or it may be a metaphorical thing to describe the conveyance of another thing, but a "vehicle" is never an adverb. You may "ride inside a vehicle" or you may "use the chip as a vehicle for delivering the dip to your mouth" and you may even go "offroad vehicling" but you never "travel down the street in a vehicly manner." 

Outside Realm / Re: Editing - Everyone Needs It
« on: 05/22/18, 09:11:10 PM »
At least he brought intensity to the role and played a rare, convincing Bruce Wayne—another part of the Telltale game I was not digging so much. Bruce just feels kinda whiney and... normal? Bruce Wayne should feel anything but normal, even if he's just being Bruce Wayne. I don't know, I hope this doesn't get taken the wrong way (and I mean no offense by it) but I was getting some real "this is Millenial Batman" vibes that were, as a Millenial myself, making me a bit ill. I think they were just trying too hard to make him feel "updated to the times" (a mistake DC will apparently never learn from) when, at least in my opinion, Batman is kind of a-temporal by nature. He's always going to be a Noir character, and is defined by the lens of that time. Updating is good, and by no means impossible, but I think they tried to hard.

That's a very interesting perspective. I admit I wasn't feeling that while playing, but now that I reconsider in light of your comment, I think I can see where you're coming from. At the end of the day it probably doesn't bother me because I enjoy Batman but I am not a Batman fan, so I don't feel that sense of ownership over or passion for the material that I do for something like, say, Star Wars. When it comes to comics, I have always been a Marvel girl.

But I do feel you're right in that this Telltale version of Batman definitely feels less Noir. I found myself picking a lot of the nicer dialogue options because that just felt more right for the story I was seeing, but it's true that what the character ended up saying and emoting as a result of those choices really did not feel Noir.

Ultimately I'm still fairly on board with it, though, because I feel like Telltale was trying to do a re-imagining in some ways. Admittedly this may be my ignorance of Batman canon speaking, but I think the treatment they gave Bruce's parents is different from anything previously seen. Or at least different from anything I'd previously seen. And once I got a sense of where that aspect of the story seemed to be going I did definitely feel like I was getting a different take on Batman the character too, for good or ill.

Outside Realm / Re: Editing - Everyone Needs It
« on: 05/22/18, 09:04:21 PM »
@Niarra, this is another brilliant thread of yours.  One subject I'd like to see you address is the abusive use by RPers of the word would in their writing.  This drives me crazier than anything else I see in SWTOR fan fiction writing.

Example: Nick would walk to the door and open it.

Better: Nick walked to the door and opened it.

I see this in in-game RP and short story writing all the time and it makes me want to gauge my eyeballs out of my head.

This makes me want to cry as well. I have often given thought to why it is that people do this, and though I obviously can't speak for them I honestly think that maybe some of the time it comes down to inexperience or the kind of experience they have.

In tabletop RPG, you do often hear people say "Conan would go over here and try to shoot this guy." Though even in that setting it still shows a breaking of character, it's a little more understandable because when you're all sitting at a table eating Doritos and moving miniatures on a grid, especially during combat, there can be a sense that you are controlling something else and not embodying a character. In that scenario, saying what you feel the character, as a thing outside of yourself, would do, might lend itself to using that word. So maybe some of those people come from that background, and that's one kind of experience that might be at the root of it.

The inexperience angle may just be people not entirely accustomed to working in the written medium. Who knows?

But at the end of the day using "would" is ultimately just grammatically incorrect. By its very nature that word means that the action has not yet taken place. It doesn't even communicate whether or not it might take place. The only thing "would" communicates is a desire; it says nothing about actualization. Whether you are writing in present or past tense, "would" is not correct in trying to communicate something that one should assume is actually happening or has actually happened.

Now, that being said. As Imazi pointed out, there's a broader issue around tenses. Whether a RPer uses present or past tense is entirely up to the player; that's just a stylistic/preferential choice. I personally prefer present tense in RP because it is something that is unfolding in real time, observed in real time by others, and subject to change in real time based on what other people do. I feel that past tense conveys a sense of recounting something that has already happened as opposed to something that is unfolding right in front of you, which is why I avoid it in RP, but again as I said that's purely a personal preference, and I've noticed that it's a fairly even split between players who like to use present tense and those who like to use past tense. I think we're all used to that, and used to navigating a group scene where different tenses are being used. No harm no foul and variety is the spice of life.

Whatever tense you're going to be using, though, "would" is still not technically correct. I understand the point that it might be a means to indicate intention that is open to being contested by another player, and RP is not an exact science, so sometimes whatever gets the thing to work properly for all parties involved is a good thing whether or not it's technically correct. While refining the craft is also a good thing, actually having fun and workable RP is more important than anything else, and I'll be the first to get on board with that.

But "would" is always about desire, not about action. Tries/attempts/strives, words like those and others are still actions; they do not indicate the outcome, but they do indicate that action was taken to try to create an outcome. "Would" does not qualify.

"Would you come over here, please?"
"Would you please pass me the salt?"
"I wouldn't do that if I were you."

The above are ways "would" is used in normal language (not RP descriptions I mean), and in all cases the word is used to describe an action one wishes to see, but which is fundamentally out of our control (usually because the action is in someone else's hands), the outcome not certain. That's the whole purpose of the word "would." It communicates that there's a wish or a hypothetical situation, but says nothing about whether or not the wish is fulfilled or the situation actually comes to pass.

It's one of those words that we use so commonly that it's a little easy to forget what its strict parameters are. But strictly speaking, "would" is about conjecture, possibility, wishing, etc etc. Not only does it not convey what the outcome is, it doesn't even convey whether or not a thing was actually attempted, and that's the reason it's not technically correct.

(Obviously an exception is when you're using "would" as a past tense to "will" but that's not what we're talking about here.)

Also, is this thread your way of subtly offering to edit writers' work before publishing?  I have a short story I'll be posting to Star Forge - RP later today. :)

 :evil:  :evil:

Actually, though, no wicked subterfuge involved. Putting the rest behind a spoiler tag though, as an aside, because it's really not relevant to the shop-talk about Adventures In Grammar.
Spoiler: show

I haven't offered editing services outside of a professional environment for a long time for one simple reason: As an editor, I work as an editor and not as a support reader, and that's often really not what people are looking for. I don't mean that in a negative way either, because support readers are crucial. You need some people who want to read your work just to be supportive, to give constructive feedback or even unconditional feedback, and basically be your support network. Very few things in life are truly solo endeavors, and though writing is one of the more solitary of crafts even it shouldn't be totally solitary. But in the past when I've worked freelance as an editor, more often than not it ended up not being a fun experience for either myself or the writer; they had been hoping for essentially a human spell-checker functioning primarily as a cheer-leader and were no happier about getting serious technical critique than I was about seeing the looks on faces when I was done talking. No one likes feeling like a villain, and no one likes feeling like the hobby that brings them happiness has just been turned into a trial.

I'll never forget the time I pointed out to a writer that they were switching back and forth between present and past tense throughout their story. I had marked every time it happened, and in conversation explained to them what the problem was. When they looked both emotionally crushed and also very confused I tried to soften the blow a bit by explaining that if they were deliberately writing something that was attempting to stylistically or artistically invoke a certain experience by strategically swapping tenses then that might be one thing, but if that had been their intention then it meant there were other things that needed to be re-worked to support it. And I watched them latch onto that idea like a lifeline, and they said, "Yeah, I think that's what I was trying to do." They literally I said "I think." And then they looked hugely relieved, because they felt that had obviously let them off the hook, and they began trying to bring the session to a close. And that was actually the moment I decided not to work as a freelance editor anymore, especially as it had been preceded by a guy who tried to tell me that he felt he didn't have to address the errors I'd pointed out because English was his second language and that meant they were fine.

Which is just a way of saying that as a beta reader, I'm not a good choice. If you genuinely want someone to go at your work with an uncompromising eye to technical review, however... well, provided it's not 100 pages long and isn't a serial commitment, I'd be willing to be that pair of eyes. But I would truly ask that I not be asked if you think it's going to make you hate my guts.  :umm: I genuinely enjoy talking shop (because I'm a nerd), which is why I started this thread, and shop-talk conversation built out of the contributions of many minds is always great. But at the end of the day I, like everyone else, am just here to have fun with friends and tell fun stories, and I can't do either if no one wants to tell them with me because things got taken to a level where the hobby didn't need them to be.  :cry: We're all here to have fun, and that's the most important thing.

Outside Realm / Re: Editing - Everyone Needs It
« on: 05/22/18, 03:04:17 AM »
If I end up dropping another dumb and unwelcome grammar bomb in this thread in the coming days you can all blame Telltale Games for it. I've been enjoying their Batman series a lot, but nothing takes you out of immersion quite like a character using the wrong word in a sentence because the writer didn't have an editor looking out for them.  :rage:

As an aside, boy does Telltale seem to like Troy Baker and Laura Bailey as voice actors! I kinda dig Troy Baker as Batman, though, I won't lie. He's at least more intelligible than Christian Bale, gotta give him that. (Even if there's something about the combination of his tone and the visual design for Bruce in that series that just makes me half-expect him to detour into Sterling Archer at any moment.)

Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi Night Weekly Event Thread
« on: 05/17/18, 02:09:24 PM »
Not a big scheduled event or anything, but Senator Rhybak will be paying the Jedi Custodum a visit to politely ask why their members are stumbling into interstellar incidents :D.

Because that's what Jedi do! Pffft. *vroomvroomswish* :dance:

I may be a bit late to Jed Night tonight but I'll hop in as soon as I make it back home. Perhaps with a less politically adroit character, just to make sparks.

Classifieds / Re: The NPC/Companion/Quest Giver Thread
« on: 05/12/18, 10:52:36 PM »
This is a very interesting offering, Maryck, and it's great to see people responding enthusiastically. I'll throw my two bits in.

I love playing NPCs. Truth be told, if anyone is looking for an NPC for an event they are running, I am much more likely to be able to help by creating NPCs on demand specific to your needs. That is something I have done in the past, and will likely do again. I enjoy the experience of serving the story that is unfolding, and one of the benefits of an NPC made specifically for an event is they can be as completely expendable, foolish, nasty, irredeemable, tragic, etc, as you need or want them to be.

So, if you are running a story/event, and have an NPC in mind that you might want an actual player to steer for a one-shot thing (not talking an ongoing serial), I might be able to help. I haven't got all those countless character slots and Collections outfit unlocks for nothing!

That being said, a couple of my own characters might be able to fill in some blanks in certain kinds of stories. I'm only including a small number here, because many are deep in their own stories and not suitable (and also because I like to keep a fairly stark divide between NPC and PC), but here are a few hooks/roles I could offer:

Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat. Mirialan, female, mid-to-late 40s. In an NPC role, Niarra is the quintessential quest-giver for any Jedi, and also for many with political ties to the Senate, or even to some extent Republic military ties (as a Master in her forties she fought in the Great War before the Cold War, and older military types would have cause to know her). She has in her career served as an official Republic Ambassador, and is still an active mediator and deeply involved in Republic politics; she has a fairly high public profile in this regard, having been involved in news-making hearings and negotiations. As a Jedi she is a healer and a scholar, and has frequently in the past been the Master to organize Jedi missions of all stripes, sending allies out among the stars to do heroic things while she holds down the homefront and attends committee meetings. If your plot involves any confluence of Jedi and politics, it's almost certain Niarra would know about it, and have an interest in it. If you need a diplomat, an ally with political connections, or basically any sort of "official" bridge to such worlds or to Jedi business, Niarra can probably be that bridge, facilitating a meeting and then letting you get about your business.

Caustrin Neyvor, Crime Boss. Miralukan, male, mid-to-late 30s. This guy barely qualifies as a PC, being at least 50% (if not more) pure NPC material. He is an Exchange boss, and one of the shadow players behind the operation of Phalanx Station. If your character has serious ties to the underworld they might know Caustrin has a reputation for being particularly ruthless, but also particularly pater familias in taking care of his own people. Make no mistake, though: this is not a scoundrel with a secret heart of gold, no matter how suave he might seem at times. In an NPC role he can serve as an antagonist, or as competition, for anyone trying to make inroads or land a score in the underworld. Alternatively he could be an "in" for someone looking to get started in that scene. He's not suitable as someone to ultimately take down (so not gonna be anyone's nemesis destined for defeat) because as a pseudo NPC he serves an ongoing role for my events, but if you need a crime boss fixture to play off of, especially one of the more ruthless variety, he might be a good fit.

Moff Ezline. Human, female, early 40s. Daara Ezline is another PC that is 50% or more NPC material, and also not expendable due to her intended use in ongoing events. But as a powerful and influential Moff she is also very good material for one of those staple "Imperial power player" background characters. Moff Ezline took over Imperial Wild Space Command after Moff Heerman's reassignment, but she's been running extensive operations of her own even before that. She is a staunch Imperial loyalist, a canny and ruthless political player and military officer, and a passionate hater of the Republic (and of Jedi in particular). If you're running an anti-Republic or anti-Jedi plot and want to say you're getting funding or assistance from Imperial power players, Ezline is a safe bet. Want to say that your agent or up-and-coming Sith has official sanction to be mucking things up in risky missions across the border? Ezline is a safe bet for having facilitated such shenanigans. She has already been an antagonist for my past Jedi-themed events, and will likely continue to be so. Whether or not I ever find the time to cook up Imperial side events I just don't know, but in the spirit of this thread, if you think you could user her as an NPC for one of your own events, just drop me a line!

Jheva, Jedi Padawan. Pureblood, female, mid 20s. Anyone who's contended with Jheva knows she isn't exactly a social character, and not one to be involved in events much outside of her personal sphere. The only reason I'm including her here at all is in the event you want to tell a story that specifically involves any variety of Seer-oriented powers within the Jedi Order, as this is a very specific niche that Jheva fills. Her abilities are only known to the few even among the Order who know her well, so if you need a Jedi Seer to play any part in your plot the connection would need to be made through other Jedi characters of your characters' acquaintance.

Cantina / Re: Roll Call - How active are you?
« on: 05/12/18, 09:46:53 PM »
So, speaking to Jaade's original post, which was a poll of Game Masters for their current status...

I will be in this game until they close the doors on me. And when that happens, if I've managed to stay involved in the significant storylines my primary characters have developed with other players up till that point, I'll see what I can do to move those stories into another medium so they can continue (while I mourn the loss of the PVE and PVP elements I do still genuinely enjoy and run with my PVE guild).

I will never not be a Game Master, in any medium in which I RP. That doesn't mean I'll always be game mastering, because often I just want to RP, but it does mean I will always be considering the next story to run, and that I'll always be open to inspiration for those stories and events. I've run lots of things here, both in game and in the chat room, both involved and more simplistic, and I intend to continue doing so. Even when I'm not running big open events I'm often running something small for the personal storylines and relationships my characters are involved in.

That being said, Life is a thing as we all know, and energy levels fluctuate. There will be stretches of time where I'm feeling more inspired and ready to GM, and stretches of time where I'm feeling less so. The last months have hit me hard in the Life department and I don't have as much fuel in the tank for GMing, but I still have plenty of ideas and a hope to run them in the future when the tank has an opportunity to refill.

I love GMing. But here's the thing. Game Mastering takes work. It takes time and effort, more than might be expected by some if they've never tried their hand at GMing. When I run an event I do my best to put detail and TLC into it. When players participate and have a good time, I feel rewarded, and I'm inspired to do more. As with anything in life, you feel more energized when you feel appreciated.

But it's also just as important that you're trying to run events and tell stories that you're genuinely interested in. I will probably never, for example, run a Mandalorian themed event, because I am just not that interested in Mandalorians. I probably won't run many Sith themed events either, because while I might enjoy occasionally RPing Sith, I'm not really moved to craft those dysfunctionally dark sagas. Will I do more scum and villainy? You bet, because I enjoy those archetypes and adventures more. Will I do a lot of Jedi stuff? Oh absolutely, because Jedi stuff is my favorite.

At the end of the day Game Masters are fans too, with their own interests and passions, and while it's important as a GM to learn how to bend and tell stories across a broad spectrum, it's also true that this is a hobby, and as such voluntary, and even your Game Masters are going to gravitate toward running the types of stories they are personally most interested in.

Which is to say that the more Game Masters you have, the more variety of story offerings you're going to see. And if you're not seeing the offering you'd like, Gandhi advised that we be the change we want to see in the world, and at the end of the day that's just the truth.

So, as a Game Master, how active am I? At this particular moment, not very, but that is almost certain to change as Life runs its course. (The pendulum swings, the wheel turns, etc etc.) Life interferes with just RPing often too, but it's a little easier to balance RP with Life than to balance GMing with Life, so I figure the best thing I can do is continue to RP whenever possible - both for my own happiness and also to keep contributing to the overall scene, because a Game Master needs players as much as players need a Game Master, and more players will engage if they can participate in a thriving world.

Our community is small, it's true. But we get pretty regular participation at least on the Jedi side of things. And more importantly, we're not the only RPers out there, as tonight's party on Dromund Kaas showed. There's always the potential for something new, so long as we leave the door open for it.

Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi Night Weekly Event Thread
« on: 05/02/18, 10:40:13 AM »
Given that mending the relationship between the Order and the Republic has been the crux of Niarra's entire character arc ever since she went on trial before the Senate at the end of the Zakuul crisis (a gajillion pages of indulgent political theater story posts later because who doesn't love legalese?), it pains me to say that I don't know if I'll be able to make this one.  :cry: (I would have offered NPC political antagonists in the same vein, but alas.) I'll try to make it, but odds aren't great at the moment. If I can't, I wish everyone much fun with the diplomacy shenanigans!

I'll be there, but probably not at event start time; an early 6:30 start does not agree with my work calendar this week. I'll hop on as soon as I can!

Outside Realm / Re: Star Wars Remixes!
« on: 03/25/18, 02:46:35 AM »
@Noth may have started this thread, however your post @Niarra sent me down the YouTube rabbit hole, so you only have yourself to blame...

Yub Nub

I don't know what makes me happier, this guy's enthusiasm or his dinosaur.

Outside Realm / Re: Star Wars Remixes!
« on: 03/23/18, 09:54:53 PM »
Across the Stars

This is a gorgeous Classical-style violin and guitar duet that is hauntingly beautiful. I could listen to this for days.

This is simply lovely. Definitely adding this to many of my SW mood playlists.

Outside Realm / Re: Star Wars Remixes!
« on: 03/23/18, 09:52:22 PM »
I'm normally terrible at having stuff to share on these sorts of posts, but as a SW tabletop GM with a passion for mood setting, SW music tracks (and remixes) are something I have spent a lot of time with (going so far as to mix audio tracks of my own with actors, droid noises, music, etc), so I actually have something I can contribute here!

First off, something not-silly and just genuinely beautiful: This solo cello Star Wars medley by Nicholas Yee

And now that that has been offered, if you're not interested in Star Wars cantina music, just skip the rest of this post.

First in the offerings of cantina music, and meant primarily as a handy GM tool, here's this straight up compilation of cantina music found specifically in SW video games (so neither of the John Williams tracks).

Plucked out of that compilation, for those who want to stick to the feel of the classic John Williams cantina tracks but may not have remembered this particular gem from KOTOR II, here's the "Iziz Cantina" track from KOTORII.

And if you like the Iziz track, you absolutely do not want to skip this brilliant remix of that track.

Mos Eisley Cantina Band Remixes

From here on out, we've got all remixes of the one classic. To listen to all of these you probably have to just really, really love this track, or really love remixes, otherwise you might go completely insane. Either that, or you're a GM looking for innumerable variations on this track to mood set for all the shades of cantina in the galaxy (because no matter what kind of cantina, it obviously only plays the one song).

First, I'll start with the ones that are actually very unique, and acoustic in nature. Some of these might not be totally appropriate as background campaign music, but they're worth a listen for entertainment value just because they're so different.

Cantina Band Bluegrass. One man. One banjo, two guitars, one bass. A delightful arrangement.

Cumbia Cantina. If you don't know what style of music cumbia is... uh, look it up after giving this a listen. But if you want to put on your Latin dance shoes, listen to this one. This is a wonderful interpretation, mostly for laughs and jiving your way through house cleaning.

Cantina Band Acapella. Kudos to the guy on his hats and glazed expression. Even if he cheated on the chimes and drums.

Cantina Band Jazz Edition. Pretty much just what the title suggests. Acoustic jazz band arrangement. This one is not too dissimilar from the original, just a little different in feel.

And now on to the electronic remixes!

Although everyone's interpretation of what music "feels" like is very different, I'll just go ahead and add a Mood tag to each of these, representing what at least I felt the remix was suited for (in terms of the type of club/cantina players would be in, and the tone I wanted to be setting for it).

That Same Old Song. I call this a classic remix just because I've been aware of it forever, and lots of other people have remixed this remix. Mood: Urban, but not too seedy; think upper levels Coruscant where you can party without too much danger.

That Same Old Song - Remix! Remix of a remix! Mood: Same general mood as the original, but just a little bit more strongly dance club in feel.
Cantina Band Tyron Hapi Bootleg.  Mood: Dance or jazz club feel. Flashy lights and more glitter among the clientele.

Cantina Band Wirkstoff Remix.  Mood: More of a background for a bar/drinking/deal-making scene, in a cantina that might straddle the line between midtown and seedy.

Cantina Band Eugene the Cat Remix.  Mood: A little more funky in feel. Not too seedy, but not some glittery rave scene either. You could dance to it if you wanted, but it works a little better as background for the other activity happening in the cantina.

Cantina Song MC Royale Mix  Mood: Getting into the smokier and more dimly lit nightclubs. More bass, slower swing. Definitely better background music. Good for gambles, deals, and maybe some inappropriate dancing in the corner.
Cantina Band Beaterie Electro Swing Remix   Mood: A blend of club styles, this one can work well slotted into a playlist for most cantina types.

Cantina Band Kessel Run Remix  Mood: Another one that can work well slotted into a playlist for most cantina types, but which on its own feels a little more appropriate as background for a cantina specifically on the seedier side of town. Muffled under other background cantina sounds, you can imagine just the bass beat on this one leaking through.

Cantina Song DJ Dillon Remix.  Mood: Smokier, darker, more weird leather outfits likely to be seen. More spice addicts, less happy people dancing.

Cantina Band Noize Tank Remix   Mood: Dance club all the way. Lots of people bouncing up and down. I tend to feel this is better for less seedy clubs just because it more calls to mind people breaking their heels on the dance floor and puking up their cocktails rather than scum and villainy conducting their business.

And finally, though it's not the Cantina Band song, I can't end this post without an offering of a Lapti Nek Remix.

Site Information and News / Fund Raising- Feedback Requested
« on: 03/11/18, 12:50:38 PM »
All right, fellow denizens! I need help from you in planning the next fund raiser for the site, in the form of your suggestions.

For those who may not have been around for the previous fund raisers, or for those who'd like to review the previous models in order to provide the feedback I'm about to request, here are links to the previous three times I've run this:

Show the Love - February fund raiser
Summer Support - June fund raiser
Giving Thanks - November fund raiser

As I always ask in those posts: Why This Fundraiser? The answer, as always, is: This website is a home for a great community, and many of us frequent it daily. It is a home that further provides all sorts of wonderful amenities, beyond just that of a community forum - such as the PM system we all use to stay in touch, the HoloNet wiki, the Strongholds listing, the GuildNet features, and the Chatroom we use both for our RP events and for socializing.

Now let's be honest. Most of us check this site every day, right? Often even on days when we might not be able to get into the game itself. Often at the same time as we're in the game. Often when we don't even have any burning desire to be in the game at all, but we still want to keep up with our community, or share that funny link in the shoutbox, or catch up with our PMs.

At the end of the day, for this RP community of ours, in a lot of ways this site is just as important a vehicle as the game itself. And yet while we'll drop money for our subscriptions, it's always more of a challenge to get us to drop a few dollars for the site. That's human nature (and the status-quo of the internet world); free stuff feels awesome and it takes no thought at all to consume, while it takes a lot more thought to remember that it had to come from somewhere - and more importantly that we shouldn't take it for granted. If we can find the pocket change to impulse-gobble up CM items we've been craving when they go on direct sale then we should also be able to find it for a seasonal fund-raiser - so let's dissect the psychological turkey and find out what the innards of motivation are!

So here's the help I need, and I hope you all can provide it!

I need to know what sort of prize incentive would get you - yes, you personally - to make a donation during the next fund raiser!

Past fund raisers showed that we only really succeeded when we got a couple sizable donations from one or two members, and then a small handful of smaller donations. The trouble with that mix is if you take the sizable donations out, what's left doesn't take the effort very far. Fund raisers work best when the small donations all add up, which means you need more people willing to part with $5 or $10.

So what would make you part with those $5? To sacrifice one coffee for the month to the SWTOR gods in order to put fuel in the community tank?

Past fund raisers offered in-game credits, rare in-game CM items, lovely in-game decorations, and the ability to pick-and-choose which mix of all those prizes you would like. But at the end of the day, this just didn't seem to light the fire of excitement under too many people.

I would love to hear ideas from you all on what you think would make good prizes. Not just good prizes, but what you know you would honestly be willing to put down a few bucks for a chance at winning. No idea is too crazy! (Well, some ideas will be, but we won't know until we hear them!) Maybe we get other members of the community to help in providing less tangible prizes by contributing their creativity - though keep in mind that if half the community is donating time instead of money, we end up right back where we started!
  • Is the allure of in-game wealth still the best prize? Credits galore!
  • Are pricey CM items genuinely sufficient lure for you?
  • Is there some particularly rare crafted item you'd love someone to make for you?
  • Maybe you have a dream of your perfect RP event, but you really need someone to decorate a Corsucant or DK stage for you for the day?
  • Maybe you would kill for someone to run a one-shot adventure to a theme of your choosing one evening that you can bring sadly under-used Character X to?
  • What other things could a crazy Space!RPer want?? Tell us!

Let's hear all the ideas!  :whee: :cake:

In the meantime, if you happen to have a spare $5 for what's left of March while the next fund-raiser effort gets cooked up, don't forget to stop by the donations page and donate!

When: Right now I am planning on Wednesday, March 26th, at 6:30 PST. If that doesn't work for attendees, please let me know in the thread!

Just double-checking on the date, since comparing to the calendar seems a little off. If it's Wednesday March 28th I can probably make it, but if it's Monday March 26th I probably can't. Might be a little late as 6:30 PST can sometimes catch the end of the work day depending on the needs of any given day, but I imagine things will go long so worst case scenario I'm sure there'll still be time to hop in.

@Niarra , tagging you! :aww: Interested?

Normally I would say yes, but for the time being I am afraid I am completely overwhelmed with other Game Mastering / Guild Mastering / RP (and even occasionally the rarely squeezed in RL) commitments. I am trying to remind myself I need to learn how to realistically assess my available time.  :omg:

At some point in the future, when some of these commitments are completed, I may have time opening up again, and if folks are still trying to organize or plan PVE runs I will keep an eye out and help when and as I can.

When (and if, IF) that time comes, I also might consider reviving the Community Operations runs I tried to organize last year. Unfortunately, as other commitments took some of our team members elsewhere (inevitable, that's just life), in the end we just didn't end up having enough interested community members willing to commit to the project on an ongoing basis to keep the group running. However, since that time, quite a few folks have come back to SWTOR, so it may be that that could change. Anyone who is interested in learning how to run Ops and seeing all of the game's Ops content might want to take a peek at my old thread on that project from last year. Any of the posts after the original post aren't necessary reading as they were just (now irrelevant) volunteering/scheduling talk for the time, but if I were ever to try to resurrect the project everything I laid out in the original post would still stand. If we have new or newly returned community members genuinely interested, there's no harm in throwing a quick post up on that old thread. In the event it ends up being a project with a realistic chance of being resurrected, it would be good to know which still-active community members might be interested.

Sorry I can't be of immediate help with your Dread Masters project! Good luck, though, and have fun! Some of those fights are really very interesting, some of the more mechanically varied in the game. You'll definitely want to make sure someone has read up on the mechanics before you head in (unless part of what you're going for in the experience is learning things purely through trial and error, which can be entertaining but certainly more time consuming).

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