Loved the episode! Matt and Lenore were great additions to the crew
Swan Song is genuinely in my top 5 sci-fi franchises of all time, but I don't think any of the others in that count had a better, more fitting finale. The psychic Viking end-of-the-universe was great, but nailing the series down to the question of 'am I a good parent' was a great, great call.
Massive kudos also for Mercer for stepping into Steven's rather hefty shoes. The tone of the character and the mix of humour and serious was completely on point and added another valuable voice to the show.
I imagined gushing about the rest of the cast as well (especially as I was never on reddit to comment there in the past) but, honestly, I can't work out how to put it into words. I guess I'll just say that I think you've all managed to make something with a breadth of quality that's very, very special.
As amazing as an established series like TNG is, they never managed to hit the quality in range that Swan Song did. I guarantee you that I've never laughed along with Star Trek like I laughed along with the Legend of Brumpo Tungus. Red Dwarf never managed to do more than lightly brush the philosophy and debate sci-fi can offer before it had to add more funny lines. I guess Hitchhikers Guide comes closest to that balance, but it never had me caring about the characters the way this show did either while SG-1 and Firefly were often tempered in one way or another by the constraints of TV.
Really, if anyone asks me why I'm such a big sci-fi fan, I'm just going to start describing Swan Song to them as it didn't just cover all my favourite aspects, it combined and interwove them to make it complete. If anything I've struggled since the show hit it's stride to find anything that really matches it.
And that's the thing - I'm legitimately sat here comparing Swan Song in my head to books, TV, movies, games etc in terms of it's narrative qualities. If you asked me to sit down and play Stars Without Number I don't think I could do it, it's actually not been important to me for 52x4 hours of a 'game stream'.
So yeah. Thumbs up from me.
I just started watching the vod and there is mention of a recap video, but i can't seem to find it... is this patreon only, stream only, or am i just looking in the wrong places?
You know, it's really funny, because whenever I talk about things I saw on 'a show I watched the other day', and I tell people I'm literally watching a bunch of people play a Tabletop game via Skype, they usually give a look like 'Really?'
But then I follow up with something along the lines of It's better than anything I'm watching on TV. And it's honestly true. I connect more with most Rollplay shows, and Critical Role while I'm at it, more than most things I watch on television. It might have something to do with the fact that I'm sitting with the people as the show is written, and I'm experiencing things with these characters as they experience them. It's just so much more than watching a pre-recorded TV show. And that's awesome.
I think there's a couple of things that factor into it:
- Books can go anywhere and do anything, but they're usually all voiced and acted by me in my head (which can be a limiting factor with all but exceptional writers).
- TV shows and movies are constrained by time, budget and visual clarity but I get to take in and appreciate another person's performance of a character.
Role Playing can fit in between both of those things - because it's essentially part of the oral storytelling tradition you can be taken anywhere at any time but still take in a captivating performance. When it's being done to a level like these guys are capable of it's really quite something.
Just thought I'd throw this up here, but Matt's impromptu speech on fear was amazing, I attempted to transcribe it/write it down, just a appreciation post:
"You mentioned fear earlier, and being unable to steer against it or that it is inevitable. If you've learned anything in your travels with these people, and what you've learned of humanity, is that existence and life, is joy in spite of and in the face of fear. To live is to always fear what you don't know, what you don't understand what is out there to be predator, what it is to be prey. To live is to be in fear - but to stand up against it and laugh in spite of it. I have seen many people die and given their lives for this moment, my colleagues, my friends, and generations before them. If you've learned anything or if I can impart any experience into you, as I see what it is you're looking to face: fear is natural, fear makes you brave, and harness that clarity to understand what it is that is that is important to you. And from what you've said, I think you have three people in this room that are more important if not equally to that destiny you are drawn towards."
right in the feels.
(it was amazing and I loved every minute of it - played John Murphey's sunshine for the last half an hour and it was better than any film I could have watched, you all did amazingly)
All right. Now I got a question. Is there going to be a Swan Song Stories based on the "Other Dust" storyline?
Doubtful. Swan Song Stories is what killed the series in the first place with poor viewership.
The messages were a nice touch, but also depressing. It's both an interesting and sad thought that after 50 episodes the crew never really made any friends or solid allies. Other than Rajani, and people where used to be part of the crew, a whole universe, and not one friend?
Makes the whole "backlog" of messages during live show sad and kinda of depressing.. Just the notion that except for maybe Rajani, no one missed them or tried reaching out to them.
I mean, in fairness, aside from Sicarian, who was a party member so maybe doesn't really count, they never really dealt with many people multiple times. They were continuous employees of Rajani, and were also instrumental in her rise to power. On top of that, most of the people they dealt with either died, they didn't want to deal with more than they had to, or they pissed off to the point where working with them was out of the question.
When you really think about it, Rajani and Mr. Sicarian were the only real friends the crew had at the time of the collapse of the universe. It was depressing, but it was also very heartfelt. Refer to my post above for how I felt about it.
Ok so... More of a general Swan Song question, that there may or may not be an answer for.
Adam, waaaaay back when, when Pi was originally unlocked, Piani failed the roll to unlock Pi, which meant it didn't go exactly how they wanted.
What would have changed if Piani had succeeded?
I think there's one more factor - true, genuine emotion. The players (and even the GM at times) have no clue what's going to happen to them next, so they're fully immersed in their role and their story. They have the freedom to act honestly, not along the lines of a script. It's awesome to behold.
I read a psychological study once that said people that were invested into RPGs often store memories of their gaming sessions to a part of their brain that treats those memories as "real personal events". Unlike stories, movies, and many video games where there's this observation separation and limitation of character (Master Chief is gonna Master Chief his way through the Halo, you're just there to facilitate the running and killing), your brain will actually place you in the shoes of your character because it's almost purely a manifestation of your alternate self. It's raw, and it's you, if you know what I mean.
I think the whole Rajani message might be the saddest thing I've ever put in an RPG. I can't stop thinking about it. Maybe I'll write more about it sometime soon.
To an extent, yeah. But I think that's more about method than anything else when it comes to making a good viewing experience. It doesn't necessarily matter to me whether I get to watch a good performance because of years of theatre training or because someone is personally invested in a story. Whatever works!
I personally took it as Rajani unconsciously realizing the timelines changed, and just generally wanting to talk with an old associate.
Honestly, I'd love to know what the dream generally consisted of, if you even put any real thought into it, or were just looking to crush us a bit =P
Like, what brought her out of a 30 year silence to message a likely dead friend? As I stated above, kudos for that dude. Can't be stated enough.
Oddly enough the bit of Ragani that I found kinda sweet was how she'd clearly been bitching and ranting about Higgs and the Swan Song enough for her grand daughter to know about it. The fact that it was all negative, in some very weird way, made me think that she was feeling something about him not coming back. Obvious it could well be just straight annoyance and anger at his incompetence, but the fact that she gave him the call 30 years later makes me think it was something more bitter-sweet than that.
I also liked Higg's topper to that relationship with Ragani when leaving the grand daughter - I loved it every time the surface of his bravado cracked in that way. JP did well not to over do them over the course of the series, so it was nice when they happened. Making an underplayed half compliment followed by a horrible joke to cover it up certainly rings true to me!
Rajani was easily one of my favorite NPCs and would have loved to get more clarity as to what her thoughts were. When you said it's 117 years in the future with the realization that (almost) everybody that the crew had met is dead, Rajani was the first person I thought of