Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alas, poor HP, I knew you well.

The title is a bit tricky, and for that, I apologize. By HP, I don't mean hit point, I mean Hewlett Packard. My poor PC has been whining and groaning for a few days now. It's been having trouble starting up and coming out of sleep. I can't say I'm surprised. After all, I've had the thing for going on 6 years and haven't had a single problem with it until now.

Also, I don't exactly treat my stuff with kid gloves.

But I haven't given up hope! I've passed it along to our friend Michael to see if he can rejuvenate it. Cast a technological Restoration, if you will. The man isn't just a "computer guy." He's a guru; a silicon valley sorcerer.

Unfortunately that means I'll be using my better half's laptop for this article, a task I am not too eager to undertake. Sure, I can type ok on it, I can technically do anything I could do on my desktop. Still, it just feels awkward.

Enough about that though, let's get on to the content!

I've been watching a lot of movies these past few days. I'm not sure what's come over me, but I've been on a real bender of demon themed movies. First it was flicks from the 90's but eventually progressed to anything I could get my hands on; a journey which eventually led me to the 2009 independent movie Lo.

I won't spoil the story for you. Watch it if you get a chance, it's currently on netflix instant. I will say though, that this movie does a phenomenal job at portraying demons. (In the FRPG community, they may be more accurately described as devils.) They are crafty, conniving and emotional.

Wait - what?! Emotional?

Yes sir! Emotional. Sure, the most common emotion is anger, but it isn't the blind, senseless rage that is so often the case when Hollywood depicts the lowliest of the low. There are times when you can really empathize with the bad guys. You can watch their smug grins transform to false apathy, only to shift again to frustrated anger and eventually defeat.

How very... human!

Seriously though, these demons have character far beyond the normal M.O. of tempting dudes with spiky horns. At one point they pick up instruments and break into song (in the form of a mid-50's prom band). The infernal things do it in a tongue in cheek, yet still brutally cruel way to crush the protagonist's spirit.

It really got me thinking about the nature of evil and demons/devils in my own game. With devils I have a tendency to lean toward the elaborate trickster motif. After watching Lo however, I may just change that.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Oh, and sorry about the lack of pictures this article. I'm lost without a mouse!

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