Monday, June 28, 2021

Welcome to Uzis, Capes & Katanas: It's a Genre

Welcome to my new blog. My name is Ben and I'm a Gen X guy from mid-Michigan. What is this all about? Well, I love roleplaying games. You know, the D&D style games you play with your friends at a table. Now... when people hear "roleplaying game" the default is fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons, and while I don't hate the genre or anything, it's not my main jam. My main jam is informed by a variety of '80s and '90s video games and cartoons, comic books, ridiculous action movies and cheap kung-fu flicks, with a touch of a certain sort of anime. Hopefully the name of the blog has managed to capture the essence of what I'm talking about, but to spell it out...

Uzis: It's some Yakuza punk on a motorcycle buzzing through an open market spraying submachinegun fire. It's "A Real American Hero" who wields both an Uzi and a Katana(!), that most famous G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes. It's a warehouse full a drug lord's goons, making sure the midnight deal goes down according to plan. Really, it's any over-the-top gunplay or military action, from John Wu's "The Killer" to Larry Hama's "G.I. Joe". From John Wick to John J. Rambo. Contra, Shock Troopers, Ikari Warriors...

Capes:  It's Batman perched on the 3rd story roof of a building, watching evil men in the alley below. It's Dr. Mindbender, with a monocle, cape, moustache and no shirt whatsoever. It's Spider-Man (yeah, I know, no cape, but you get the idea). Really, it's super hero comic books of all sorts, but mostly on the street level side. Also, it's anybody with the audacity to walk into a room wearing a cape and not only expecting, but getting people to take him or her seriously.

Katanas: It's Toshiro Mifune. It's Leonardo, a goddamned mutant turtle wielding paired Ninjatos. Again, it's a special forces commando with a pet wolf and an Uzi who wears all black and never talks. It's some guy with shades, a goatee and a trench coat, concealing that most famous of samurai weapons. Really, it is the myth of the martial arts as we all wanted to believe, before MMA came along. Ninja magic, one-inch punch, the glowing fists of Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem. It's wandering down the streets, beating up punks and eating pizzas out of trash cans in a world where the mayor might join you in cleaning up the streets and saving the girl. The idea that a hero can use swords and punching in a world of guns and hold their own, because that's just so cool.

Yeah, all of that. Anyways, hopefully I'll have some RPG reviews and point to some cool resources here soon. This year I also plan to participate in #RPGaDAY2021, an event that starts on August 1st and continues through the whole month, where people post or create content based on prompts for each day of the month. I've participated in this event in years past, but the blog will give me an opportunity to expand beyond the Tweet format I've used before.

The Jam is ON!

So, I'm kicking off on this " MS Paint TTRPG Jam " today! I won't lie, I've been doing some prep leading up, mulling o...