RPG a Day: And… Scene!

7. What was an impactful RPG session?

I spoke last year about an emotionally charged, intense session of Night Witches, so I’m not going to repeat it but it certainly is a good answer to today’s question. But again, because I’ve been gaming for a long time I have many possible answers.

Let’s pick a memorable episode of 7th Sea back in 2002, which I chronicled on my now-defunct website (Wayback Machine link). We were six heroes from Castille sent on a secret mission to the port of La Reina del Mar, occupied by Montaigne forces, to assist the still-resisting Castillan underground.

We had a rich tapestry of subplots going on after playing for two and a half years, including many pursued by PCs in secret. For the big climactic episode of the story arc (the portion of the chronicle that is only in bullet points because so much was going on), the GM—my husband Edmund—not only allowed us to split the party, something that still went against most GM advice you could find in those days, but he let us split three-way, then four, then five! Some of us were creating a distraction on the wharves, some were rescuing prisoners, some were blowing up the enemy flagship, etc.  Continue reading “RPG a Day: And… Scene!”

First Look: The Musketeers

The Musketeers (BBC series)
So, mini-review for the new BBC series “The Musketeers,” one episode in.

I liked the cinematography, the costumes, the editing, the direction, and most of the casting except for d’Artagnan and Athos (good actors, but not the right ones for the characters.) I sort of liked the music, meaning I liked the composition, arrangements, and execution well enough but I didn’t really like the way it was used; however, that’s a minor point.

But I didn’t like the writing.

I don’t mean the fact that it doesn’t follow Alexandre Dumas’s book; I’m not a stickler, and I greatly enjoy some bold adaptations and re-imaginings of old favourites like Sherlock, Elementary, Much Ado About Nothing, etc. I don’t even mind the historical inaccuracies like the accuracy and readiness of firearms or Milady sporting an off-the-shoulder dress; Dumas himself played fast and loose with historical accuracy.

But I just could not understand why one would change the story so much if it wasn’t to bring something that would work better, not worse, on screen. The story lacked the zest of the original book in the places that captured my heart long ago: d’Artagnan’s quips and wit, Athos’ allure and mystery, Aramis’ unflappable roguishness. (Porthos was done right, I’ll grant that.) The characters did not intrigue me and of all the reasons I will watch the second episode, all are in spite of the writing.

Edit: I thought the casting of Howard Charles as Porthos was the most brilliant thing in the entire show. Not only was he genuinely great, capturing the character, but as a mixed-race man he stands in for Alexandre Dumas himself, and that’s wonderful.