El Sijo's Blog

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The Best of 2016

rs_600x600-161202140354-600-best-of-2016-mhTo many people -including myself- 2016 was a bad year. But nothing is absolute; there were good things as well. And since this is a science fiction/fantasy blog (and I don’t care to remember the bad things) I present you now my favorite series of 2016:

This was a surprisingly good year in animation. In addition to expected hits like Zootopia and Moana, we had films like Kubo and the Two Strings (stop-motion, but it counts) and even Storks and Sing were much better than I expected! On television, Steven Universe continues to reign with shocking revelations both personal and cosmic; and the return of DC’s heroes in Justice League Action was long awaited. And as a Latino, I appreciated Disney finally giving us our own Princess with Elena of Avalor.

As for Japanese animation, my favorite of the year was My Hero Academia– best American-style superhero show ever done in Japan ever (I also liked One Punch Man, which was also about superheroes, but was more of a deconstruction.) Funniest Anime of the year goes to Konosuba (God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World) which deconstructed fantasy role-playing games. On the other hand, I had a love/hate relationship with Re:Zero. For one thing, it was a show for sadists, as the main characters were killed or made to suffer over and over again- but at the same time, it had an intriguing premise that begged you to keep watching to see if the heroes would ever win. (I guess I understand why people watch The Walking Dead now.) Funny how deconstruction seems to be a theme these days eh?

In live action, I didn’t see that many movies. Deadpool was another surprise in that I hate the character but I enjoyed most the film well enough. Captain America: Civil War was thankfully excellent despite being based on a terribly comics storyline. Doctor Strange was OK but I wasn’t too happy with the changes they made (I  refer more to the SFX than the ethnicity of some characters). Arrival was probably the smartest film of the year (probably too smart for its own good.) Before you ask, no I didn’t see Rogue One yet (I’m not that big of a Star Wars fan, especially when I knew the ending ahead.) I’ll catch it in DVD and tell you my opinion then.

I don’t watch much television these days -most comedies and dramas don’t do much for me- but I was hooked by two in particular: The Good Place and Designated Survivor. Both have surprisingly clever writing. And I’m quite amazed in how Good Place is effectively mocking the conventions of religion yet hasn’t gotten called in for it. As for survivor, you might wonder why its listed here. Well, since it obviously takes place in a different version of the present, I count it as Science Fiction. In any case, its a clever use of the designated survivor protocol as well as a great drama with lots of intrigue. And do I really need to say that Stranger Things is also on my list?

Finally, we had some great video games as well. Pokemon celebrated its 20th anniversary successfully with Pokemon Sun and Moon, which not only had a neat Polynesian setting (which in turn had great synergy with Moana’s) but also modernized the franchise in many ways. Final Fantasy also had a great year with both the fun World of Final Fantasy and the more traditional Final Fantasy XV. Note I don’t play shooters, so I can’t talk about Overwatch.

That’s all I can think of now, but there were plenty of other things both I (and I’m sure, you) enjoyed as well last year.


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Pokemon in Basic Action Super Heroes?!

BASH Pokemon

Sure, why not? Pokemon is still very popular, and BASH is both easy to learn yet complex enough to cover the details of the Pokemon games. A campaign set in the Pokemon World would be a nice change of pace, or a good introduction to BASH for fans of Pokemon.

Obviously, Pokemon should be bought using the Sidekick/Pet Advantage (unless you’re playing *as* Pokemon, as in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games.) Those owned by NPCs should be treated as minions. Wild Pokemon are also minions unless they are very high level or (most) Legendary Pokemon; treat them as Villains in that case.

Whether Pokemon have the Non-Sentient Disadvantage is a Narrator choice, but I would advice its use. First because this seems to be the case in most of the games (if not in the cartoons) and second because of the controversial implications that capturing sentient beings and forcing them to fight would bring. Legendary Pokemon might be the exception, but then each is unique already. In a Campaign where Pokemon are sentient, just assume they speak Pokemonese, a language humans haven’t deciphered yet.

To convert a Pokemon, start by finding the closest creature description in BASH. Make the following adjustments:

Powers: Build appropriate Powers based on the Pokemon’s Special Ability and Moves (the latter must *always* have the Energy Cost Limitation). In addition:

-Most Pokemon have Resistance to one or more of the following “types” of attack: Bug, Dark, Dragon, Grass, Electric, Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Ground, Ice, Poison, Psychic, Rock, Normal, Steel, Water.

-A few also have Immunity to one or two of those types.

-All Pokemon also have the following Power:

Struggle- Special Attack 1 (+1 DM with Brawn, no Range or Area) <Only usable when Energy Points run out, -1, power must be Pushed> 1 pt. (Normal type)

Weaknesses: Most Pokemon also have a Damaging Weakness to one or more of the Attack Types listed above.

Pokeballs are represented by the following Power:

Immobilization (level varies by type of Pokeball, no Area) <Gadget (Ammunition- uses depend on number of balls carried)>. Other Enhancements and Limitations depend on the type of Pokeball eg. a Net Ball has Extra Effect on Bug and Water-type Pokemon. Note that capturing a Pokemon doesn’t automatically gain it as a Pet; the character must buy each as a separate Advantage first.

The rest is pretty much as in the games/anime.

As an example, here’s the most famous Pokemon of all:

PIKACHU
Brawn 0 Agility 3 Mind 1 (8 pts)
100 Hits

Powers:

Resistance 2 (Flying, Steel, Electric, paralysis) 2 pts

Static- Weaken Agility 4 (no Range or Area) (paralysis) 4 pts

Thunderbolt- Special Attack 4 (+4 to Mind DM, no Range, Burst Area, +1 pt) [Doubles (paralysis), +1)] <Energy Cost, -1> (Electric type) 5 pts

Quick Attack- Swift Strike <Energy Cost, -1> (Normal type) 1 pt

Iron Tail- Special Attack 5 (+5 to DM with Brawn, no Range, Burst Area +1 pt) [Doubles (lowers Soak by 10 points, +1 pt) ] <Energy Cost, -1> (Steel type) 6 pts

Electro Ball- Special Attack 5 (+5 DM with Mind, no Range, Burst Area +1) < -1 DM for every level that the target’s Agility is higher; Energy Cost, -1> 5 pts

Struggle- Special Attack 1 (+1 DM with Brawn, no Range or Area) <Only usable when Energy Points run out, -1, power must be Pushed> (Normal type) 1 pt.

Weaknesses:

Damaging Weakness to Ground Attacks (-2 pts)
Skills:

Athlete x4/Running

Stealth/Prowling

Outdoor/Tracking

Total: Stats 8 pts + Powers 24 -Weakness 2 = 30 points


I hope you find these suggestions useful or interesting.