Friday, July 8, 2011

They aren't yours! (A.K.A. My issues with Fan Fictions! Also titled, Reasons to stop reading things on the internet!)

Fan Fictions..... *shudder*
I have yet to see any that are worth my time on reading. Of course, with how harsh I am on books in general this isn't something discouraging. I can't even read Harry Potter, or even Lord of the Rings, I am way too harsh of a critic for most books. It's due to something that happened long ago. I dissect any story I read. Heck, I can't even read my own writings (trust me, I think it's horrible and most will never see the light of day) without completely destroying them. I haven't even cracked the spine on a Twilight novel. There are very few books that I can bring myself to read without demolishing. Role-playing game manuals and recently, The Dresden Files. Okay so the RPG manuals really don't count, but the Dresden Files do. I really love the Dresden Files. And yes, I've tried reading Codex Alera, I dissected it and couldn't get into it, nothing against Jim Butcher or his writing ability, I think it has more to do with the first person conversational style of the Dresden Files... but I digress.

Back onto what this post is about.

Fan Fictions... My main issue with Fan Fictions is that they take characters that aren't theirs and come up with their own stories about the characters, often taking them into completely opposite directions than what the original author was going for. Now, I'm not against stories set in the same universe/world of the story that you are fan fictioning, and even then, to have the main character from the published book make a cameo would be okay. I think that it would be a good exercise to do a story about something happening to different characters in the same universe as the main story, but something a bit different. You get your story and you don't do anything that would be taking away from the original author’s plan. I know, I know, the original author probably would never see what you have written and you are writing it for your own amusement. These are just my thoughts. I also know that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. But I have been disturbed by reading a bit of a fan fiction where Harry and Ron hook up....

This also applies to Role-Playing games... I think that the original author should be the only one with stats for their characters. (Drizzit Do'Urden fans, I'm looking at you with this one.) But again, that is just me. I will admit, that I have stolen ideas for characters from movies, books, tv shows, and video games, but I have always used it as a starting point and changed the character and never claimed to be the same character, just inspired by that character. My biggest rip off... I mean inspiration.. was for a character named Xeron Shardliss. He is heavily based on the Prince from Prince of Persia the Sands of Time Series. Mainly I swiped the abilities (even then changed them around a bit), dropped the whiny attitude the prince has and replaced it with a more noble attitude, then added a roguish twist. Inspired by, but not the same as the Prince.

That's my take anyway. Again, I'm just an Evil Bastage if you ask the group I game with and I'm extremely harsh when it comes to writing.
The Evil Bassman and Neutral Evil DM

The Fighter (A.K.A. What do you mean he hit me 4 times for 39 points each AND I have to roll fort save vs bitch slap?)

I've been seeing a lot of stuff about how the fighter is a worthless class. How that it isn't powerful because it can't cast spells and doesn't get a lot of skill points. That after 5th level fighters are useless.

For all of that I have to say... Have you even played a fighter past 5th level?

I really enjoy playing all the classes, but fighters have always been a favorite since my first real character was a fighter. Well, he ended up being a fighter magic-user at the end of it, but it was his fighter abilities that carried him through his adventuring career for the most part and the magic-user was added mainly for flavor rather than power. Anyway, fighters can be powerful in their own right. In fact, I don't believe that a single class is really any more powerful than the others. Each class has its pros and cons. And I'm not talking about all the other classes out of the other books, I'm talking core books.

The examples that I always see being given are a single 20th Level Fighter with no magic items goes up against a full powered 20th Level wizard, sorcerer, or other spellcaster. Yup, that is pretty much the only example ever given, just in different flavors.

A 20th level Fighter with no magic items attacking a fully equipped 20th level anything is a pretty poor example. A 20th level rogue with no items wouldn't fair any better. Neither would a Paladin, Barbarian, Cleric, Wizard, Sorcerer, Ranger, Druid, Bard, or Monk.... Okay, the monk might be able to do more while being nekkid but not much....Okay, so the monk would be able to stand up to most things... Fine, remove the monk from the list.. Anyway..

The point of the fighter isn't to be a blasting character. They aren't supposed to be the “gesture and a load of low level enemies just die”. They don't channel the divine power of their gods, they aren't a living embodiment of rage, they don't seek perfection of the body, and they aren't in touch with nature. Fighters are experts in martial combat. Play to that strength.

My example of a high level fighter, straight class.
Elric Kaliburn: Fighter, 20th level (I think) Specialization: Full Blade sword. Main Stat: Str 20
Items: Alchemical Full Blade (+2, Adamantine, Silver, Cold Iron) Could strike anything. - Non-Magical sword, Full plate of speed (+2 with haste for 10 rounds), Helm of Brilliance, Amulet of natural armor + 6, belt of Giant Str +6, Dancing Shield (large) +2, Boots of striding and springing, ring of water walking, ring of overland flight, cloak of protection +3, and a couple of other magical items that I can't remember at the moment.
Armor Class: 33 (dex +2), Hit points: In the 200+ range (good con and I rolled really lucky)
Feats: Weapon focus and specialization: Full Blade, improved sunder, cleave, power attack, great cleave, mobility, point blank shot, precise shot, dodge, lighting reflexes, iron will, eyes in the back of your head (from the fighters handbook), a combat reflexes, improved critical: Full Blade, and defensive sweep(a very broken feat from the ph2 or complete adventurer. What? I ran out of feats that I wanted for him and everyone else was using the other source books. This one feat was so broken I was accused of taking nothing but broken feats for all of the feats for this character).

Elric was a fighter. Pure and simple. His to hits were 32/27/22/17, and damage was 20-39 points meaning average damage was 28 points per hit with a critical being between 40-78 damage with 56 points on average meaning medium creatures have to roll fort save vs death. If Elric were to just hit and do average damage with each of his hits it would be 112 average, with the range of damage being 80-156 for non-spell damage. Only Meteor Swarm comes close to that damage and that's only once or twice when you look at Elric being able to dish it out EVERY round. Not to mention Elric's love of sundering weapons and cleaving into the soft wielders of the weapons.

Yes, a force cage would stop him in his tracks, but that is why he is with a group of adventurers. He's not alone. That is what the adventuring group is for. Elric was a contributing member of the group and extremely valuable in combat. He was one of the group’s 2 major damage dealers. The other being Calixto, the ranger.  That's another thing that is forgotten in these debates, an adventuring party. Everyone has a place, no one can do everything. The spell casters support the big damage dealers and help take out the lesser folks while the tanks bee-line for the big bad guy.

Try this one, who would win if they were in a null magic area, the 20th Level Fighter or 20th level Wizard? Neither! Cause the great big ancient red dragon stomped them into oblivion. HA!