Japan is just as crazy about Star Wars as the rest of the world and everyone is eagerly awaiting the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on December 18, 2015 (Good news! It’s being released in Japan at the same time as most of the world!). So it’s the perfect opportunity for a number of Star Wars affiliated projects to get under way. One project is striking a chord with our love of Japan and our love of Star Wars as it combines a traditional art form with a very non-traditional universe.
The connections between Japan and Star Wars are well-documented and quite amazing. Even visually, just by looking at Darth Vader’s iconic helmet you can see that it was inspired by the headgear helmets worn by the samurai in the way it extends down the neck and features a faceplate. It’s also easy to find Star Wars merchandise with their own Japanese spin on them like lightsaber chop sticks, Star Wars inspired sake cups and Star Wars characters re-imagined in a Japanese style.
This latest project, funded through the Japanese crowd funding site Makuake, puts a traditional stamp on the Star Wars universe. While the characters have been drawn in an ukiyo-e style before, this might be the first time prints have been officially approved by Lucasfilm. Three gorgeous prints combine the epic Star Wars tale with the beauty of Japan by depicting scenes and characters from the movies.
The real gem of the bunch is the close-up okubi-e of Darth Vader. An okubi-e is a Japanese portrait print in the ukiyo-e style showing only the head or the head and upper torso. Masumi Ishikawa, the designer of these ukiyo-e, wanted to arrange the Death Star like a moon in the background and have Darth Vader standing in the middle of flames of hatred. This print also includes the name “Darth Vader” represented by ateji, kanji that sounds like the name. Usually the characters are chosen for their sound only, but these kanji have a meaning as well. Ishikawa chose the ateji, 堕悪巣俾荼 which can be read as “daasu beida“ and also has the meaning of a “suffering servant that fell to the webs of evil”.
The other two prints feature a scene from the Battle of Hoth and Queen Amidala posed with R2-D2. Each piece of artwork is intricately crafted in wood and then expertly printed onto paper. You can see some of the work in a behind the scenes video from their Makuake page.
As traditional art and an official Star Wars product, the ukiyo-e prints are not cheap. A single print can be purchased by supporting their Makuake project for 54,000 yen (US$ 438.84), while a lucky few have already purchased the limited run of all three prints for 162,000 yen ($1,316.54).
If you have the money to spare, this might be the most traditional Japanese way to display your geekiness to the world. The Makuake campaign just started, but each piece is only being printed 100 times and they are going fast. Head on over to their project page if you want to own one of these amazing pieces of art for yourself.
Origin: Official ukiyo-e project brings a bit of historical Japan to a galaxy far, far away
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After yesterday’s gloom parade over the economics of comics, and the small number of people who seem to be making a good wage from making them, writer Kieron Gillen delivered another set of metrics that was far more cheerful. He wrote it in response to a website’s concern trolling over sales of The Wicked + The Divine—a much loved series which Gillen writes and Image publishes—falling to the dangerous level of 22,519 copies, a level so low that the writer wondered if this was the end of the book…before admitting that it probably wasn’t.
As Gillen points out, numbers for a creator owned Image book are a lot different than for a Marvel or DC book, where such a number would be in the danger zone. Actually, that number would indicate that Gillen and his collaborator Jamie McKelvie could possibly buy me a beer at some point.
I’ll give you some really basic rule of thumbs for indie comic commentary:
Anything selling stably over 10k in single issues is a cause for celebration and joy. The creators are almost certainly extremely happy.
If you’re selling over (ooh) 12k, you’re probably making more than either of the big two would pay you, unless you’re one of the very biggest names.
If you’re selling anything near 20k, you probably have to buy drinks for your friends.
And in a real way, if Phonogram settled around 6k back in 2006, I suspect Jamie and I would have settled into doing it for another 40 or 50 issues.
There’s all manner of exceptions to the above, but if you look at the charts and bear that in mind, you’ll be closer to how the industry looks at those numbers.
None of the above includes digital sales.
As he goes on to enumerate, if you’re not including sales of TRADE PAPERBACK COLLECTIONS in the indie equation you are missing a huge income source:
None of the above include trades. You throw trades in, and you change everything entirely. A cursory look at hit indie comic numbers reveals that their trades sell much more than Marvel/DC main universe trades, with a few exceptions (There’s a reason why Matt and David’s Hawkeye was such a big thing, and it wasn’t its monthly sales). Let’s bold another sentence.
You cannot do an industry commentary column on indie books without including the impact of trades.
Jim Zub wrote a lot about all this a while ago, and updated it with numbers similar to Gillen’s. At the breakeven-ish point for an Image comics (let’s say ~5000 copes) the creative team gets 25% of the profits, which on a $3.99 would be about a buck, the ballpark I’ve often heard for Image books. it’s only that, a ballpark, but it does give you some idea. A book selling $10k a month is making money.
And how many Image books are selling that? Well, ICv2’s numbers just came out so let’s take a look!
|WALKING DEAD #141 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||68,931|
|SAGA #28 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||55,239|
|INJECTION #1 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||41,648|
|WYTCHES #6 (MR)||$3.99||IMA||34,259|
|DESCENDER #3 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||29,717|
|MYTHIC #1 [*]||$1.99||IMA||29,361|
|OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #9 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||28,961|
|CHRONONAUTS #3 (MR)||$3.50||IMA||26,605|
|JUPITERS CIRCLE #2 (MR)||$3.50||IMA||24,499|
|EAST OF WEST #19||$3.50||IMA||22,482|
|FADE OUT #6 (MR)||$3.50||IMA||20,678|
|WICKED & DIVINE #10 (MR)||$3.50||IMA||20,562|
|SONS OF THE DEVIL #1 (MR) [*]||$2.99||IMA||19,392|
|BLACK SCIENCE #14 (MR)||$3.50||IMA||17,090|
|SPAWN #252 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||15,904|
|TREES #9 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||15,821|
|RUNLOVEKILL #2 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||15,669|
|MANTLE #1 (MR)||$3.99||IMA||13,076|
|ODYC #5 (MR)||$3.99||IMA||12,557|
|DEADLY CLASS #13 (MR)||$3.50||IMA||12,299|
|MATERIAL #1 (MR)||$3.50||IMA||11,708|
|NAILBITER #12 (MR)||$2.99||IMA||10,688|
|VALHALLA MAD #1||$3.50||IMA||9,952|
Answer: 27. Okay now you know who can buy you a drink!
On a more serious note, most of the books in the above list sell for $2.99 or $3.50, so there is less to split between writer and artist, letters, colorists and designers have to be paid, etc etc. And also, the ICV2 estimates are just that…estimates, and consistently about 10% low, although there can be other discrepancies, so you shouldn’t take any of these numebrs as gospel, especially the trade sales—total sales are VERY different from the ICv2 numbers, which don’t take bookstores, some online sales, digital, library, book fair or many other numbers into account.
And were still not talking an insane amount of money. Let’s say a book sells 10,000 copies and makes $7500 for the creators. That’s $90,000 a year to be split among the team, so you need another income course for a vacation or retirement.
But still, you CAN make money making comics!!! I suppose I shouldn’t encourage people after yesterday’s dismal reality check; but I think my being in a band analogy stands. It’s better to have made comics or music than never to have tried at all. Most people in every creative endeavor are never going to reach the highest highs, and comics are no exception.
What is concerning is, as I’ve often pointed out, the comics bottom line is a lot lower than in other vocations. There was a pretty lively Twitter conversation yesterday about my piece and especially David Harper’s survey; I’m not sure I have the storify skills to capture it but it came down to people accepting low rates because they are so eager to get into comics and undercutting other creators.
And also, there’s a fairly narrow window in which to make decent money when you do get there. Scott Snyder may make more from Wytches than he does from Batman, but Image is only one publisher, and as hot as they are, they can’t publish everything. (Although we’ll see after this year’s Image Expo.) Image is the best game in town but it has finite resources. Marvel and DC offer good page rates—although Marvel lowered theirs for all but their top creators last year—but the competition is fierce, the politics are daunting and getting established takes a lot of hard work.
Nobody promised you fame and fortune when you got out of cartooning school, but you should have some path forward that doesn’t involve only three publishers or sleeping three hours a night.We need more options, more competition among publishers, and more safety for creators to make decisions that improve their page rates.
More on that later but in the meantime, what do YOU think?
I have lost my password to log in here. How long have I left my blog? Well, what shall I say first…okay, hi I am bangin, Japanese cosplayer, and the owner of this blog, Japanese words of anime fans, by anime fans, for anime fans. I shall introduce you those words which stem from anime or Japan’s subculture. I mean, they are otakish words, you know.
Anyway, I almost forgot to write in English. No no, my English is sucks in the first place. Takes much time to make a post. Well, days ago I got an e-mail from someone who asked me to make a post here. Oh no, thank you. Somone is still following my blog! Then I do, for sure.
If you are following any anime series from the anime production, Shaft[シャフト], you might have found one thing. It always happens, frequently happens. She looks down…he looks down…and they have an exultant look or that kind of look. Yes, that is シャフ度[shafudo], or shaft angle. シャフ[shafu] is from Shaft, and 度[do] means angle. In this case, 度 is technically 角度[kakudo] or angle. Whenever you are aware of this angle, you are watching anime by Shaft.
Speaking of Shaft anime, I can think of Bakemonogatari[化物語], Arakawa Under the Bridge[荒川アンダーザブリッジ], Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei[さよなら絶望先生], or Dempa Onna and Seishun Otoko[電波女と青春男]…but wait, Revolutionary Shoujo Utena[少女革命ウテナ] is also made by Shaft. 懐かしいね！
シャフ度 can be frequently seen in the anime series by Director Teruyuki Shimbou[新房照之] who has been working for Shaft. Especially, it seems like this started from Bakemonogatari.
It’s always so hard, isn’t it? Shadow and light are so hard. This is important when we talk about シャフ度. Not only looking down, but you have to bend down backwards like an arc. This is easy to say, but hard to do!
Come to think of it, there’s one more Shaft’s technique. That’s 黒板ネタ[kokuban neta]. 黒板[kokuban] is a blackboard and ネタ[neta] is a topic or just a troll. You see this on the blackboard in the classroom. The board is full of off-topic words or nonsense. This is the idea Shaft often uses. Well, I feel we always need to fill in the blank on the blackboard, no?
This manga is about eating breakfast, I need it.
Over in Australia, Pizza Hut says that it's had a "lovechild" with the country's famed meat-pie-maker, Four'N Twenty, producing this concoction pictured here. It's a pizza "stuffed" with eight meat pies.
This is what actually arrives in the box — the ketchup adornment is apparently DIY:
This horrifying new item has provided ample opportunity for puns, but the brands themselves prefer the fooling-around angle. Four'N Twenty and Pizza Hut Australia are officially in a "complicated" relationship on Facebook, and there's been some Twitter flirtation. Brands gone wild!
So glad to see you’re having fun with attractive girls @FOURNTWENTY— Pizza Hut Australia (@PizzaHutAus) May 22, 2015
IF YOU DON’T REPLY IN THE NEXT 5 MINUTES I’M GOING TO UPLOAD THOSE GRAVY PICS YOU SENT ME! @FOURNTWENTY— Pizza Hut Australia (@PizzaHutAus) May 23, 2015
Read more posts by Clint Rainey
Headed to the beach? Here's a guide to all the awesome new food options.
With Memorial Day weekend and some beautiful weather coming up, New York's beaches are all gearing up to reopen for the summer season. While there is greatness to be had in old-school seaside dining, there are a lot of awesome new food options across the city's beaches this year. So if you're headed to the seaside this weekend and looking for something different, here's a guide to all your new options.
The Rockaways has seen a lot of changes this year, none of them for the worse. Although the ever-popular Rockaway Taco won't be returning to its Beach 96th Street spot this season, now that co-owners Andrew Field and David Selig have parted ways, Field has opened Tacoway Beach nearby at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, on Beach 87th Street. The new space has more seating, and will serve alcohol to go with those tacos.
Meanwhile, at the former Rockaway Taco space, Selig has partnered with the MP Shift, a design/branding studio, to host a popup called The Summer Shift. It features a rotating roster of Latin American chefs, including Gerardo Gonzalez of El Rey, Camille Becerra of Navy, and more, from this weekend through September 7. Paleta specialist La Newyorkina will also be there all summer, serving Mexican-leaning popsicles.
The restaurant at the Playland Motel has reopened under new management, Dan Cipriani, who vows to make it less of a party place – no more 4 a.m. closing times. Cipriani, who also owns Lodge in Williamsburg and ran the Southern barbecue truck at Rockaway Beach Surf Club last summer, says that the plan is to do more "community based events, art openings, collaborations with skate and surf companies, open mic nights." The menu is a list of summer hits: fish tacos, breakfast tacos, and some jerk chicken and ribs thrown in for good measure. Cocktails also follow the seaside theme, with options like a guava margaritas.
Also look out for new upscale coffee shop/juice bar Rockaway Roasters, as well as Beach Sliders, which will be serving miniature White Castle-style burgers, and Chicks to Go a Peruvian restaurant specializing in roasted chicken and sides like fried cassava.
If you do choose to stick to old favorites, Edgemere Farm, Sugar Bowl, Caracas Arepa Bar, Conchos, and Rippers are all also back in action now for the summer season.
After being kicked out of its north Brooklyn digs to make way for a BMW dealership, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar has been reborn as the Riis Park Beach Bazaar. That's sad news for Williamsburg, but great news for this beach, where the options have previously been limited to basic concessions like hot dogs and bags of chips. The Bazaar opens this weekend, bringing food vendors like Brooklyn Star, Fletcher's BBQ, Court Street Grocers, La Newyorkina, and Ample Hills to the "People's Beach". Plus the "BarZaar" will serve beer, wine, and frozen cocktails. There will also be beach chair rentals, shuttle service, concerts, nail and tattoo artists, and tarot readers.
Opening hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.
The newest outpost of outdoor food market phenomenon Smorgasburg opens on Coney Island tomorrow. It will host a dozen vendors, including Bon Chovie, Dan & John's Wings, El Super, Excell Kingston Eatery, Home Frite, La Newyorkina, Mile End, Mofongo, Queen Cobra Thai, and Red Hook Lobster Pound in shipping containers along the boardwalk. There will also be two bars, and plenty of street art to peruse on the 20 or so walls installed by Thor Equities (which is developing the lot nearby) and curated by art dealer Jeffrey Deitch. Smorgasburg will open daily from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.
And keep an eye out for an outpost of Wahlburger's, the Massachusetts burger chain run by Mark Wahlberg's brother, which is set to open in June.
An 80s children’s classic, chances are you’ve seen the movie or at least heard of it. And if you’re a child of the 80s like me, it may very well have a treasured place in the corner of your heart reserved for your favorite childhood nostalgia. While I loved the movie as a kid, it was only years later as an adult, when I chanced to pick up a copy of the book at my local library, that I learned there’s far more to the story than what I saw on the screen.
Sometimes all it takes for a book to hook us is a sentence. A phrase, a passage, or simply an idea that latches onto our minds and won’t let go. For me, that moment came a third of the way into the book, when Gmork tells Atreyu the secret of what happens to Fantasticans who are sucked through the Nothing into the human world.
“That’s right—and when you get to the human world, the Nothing will cling to you. You’ll be like a contagious disease that makes humans blind, so they can no longer distinguish between reality and illusion. Do you know what you and your kind are called there?”
“No,” Atreyu whispered.
“Lies!” Gmork barked.
It was this moment when I first realized that The Neverending Story isn’t simply an imaginative tale; it’s a tale about the nature of imagination itself. What it means for us as humans to dream, to hope, and especially to wish.
Wish fulfillment becomes a huge theme in the second half of the book. The main character, a human boy named Bastian, is given a great gift: a gem called AURYN with the ability to grant any and all of his wishes. On the back of AURYN is inscribed a single line: Do What You Wish. Armed with the gem, Bastian sets off to do just that. But what he eventually finds is that doing what you wish isn’t nearly as simple or easy as it seems.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is merely a children’s fun adventure tale. Through Bastian, Michael Ende explores adult themes such as power—its usage, consequences, and ability to corrupt; freedom, and what true freedom really requires; the power of names, including issues of identity and memory; and the journey we all take to discover our heart’s true desires. As the great lion Grograman says:
“Only a genuine wish can lead you through the maze of the thousand doors. Without a genuine wish, you just have to wander around until you know what you really want. And that can take a long time.”
Is this not true of all of us at some point?
I often look back fondly on books I read in the past, recalling how much I enjoyed this one or that, but without really remembering much about them. Not so with this book. When I think back on The Neverending Story, I recall the haunting conversation between Atreyu and Gmork about the nature of human fantasy; the dark side of AURYN as it slowly steals Bastian’s memories away even as it fulfills his every wish; and the hopeful moment Bastian pulls an image of the father he forgot from the Picture Mine. For these scenes are embedded with ideas about the human experience, and this is what ultimately makes this story not just worth reading, but worth remembering.
Margaret Fortune wrote her first story at the age of six and has been writing ever since. She lives in Wisconsin. Her first novel, Nova, is available June 2nd from DAW.
So the rumors, if that's what you call leaking packages that say "S'mores Oreo," turned out to be true: S'mores Oreos are indeed a thing, and Nabisco has announced that they'll officially hit stores this Friday. The cookie, with a graham-flavored wafer and chocolate-and marshmallow-flavored cremes, is only around for a limited time, of course — just like red-velvet Oreos. But how do you think it'll fare in the microwave? What's a s'more if not warm and gooey?
Read more posts by Clint Rainey
Even the mayor can't get away with eating his pizza with a knife and fork, but Sir Patrick Stewart is bringing another slice-etiquette cause to light: In a tweet sent out this morning, the thespian raised the question of whether those who abandon their crusts have truly eaten their pizza. Clearly he's come a long way over the last two years, since he had his first slice and learned that, no, you cannot dare to eat pizza with a knife and fork.
Have you actually eaten pizza if you don't eat the crust? Discuss. pic.twitter.com/thKoTpIP2i— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) May 28, 2015
Knife and fork were for cutting slices. Finger nails just don't work. Unobservant please note teeth marks in crust remnants. Mine, anyway.— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) May 28, 2015
The tweet has already inspired a heated debate, with many righteously arguing that you haven't truly eaten your pizza if your crust goes untouched. Some less savory types, though, have defended the no-crust way as perfectly acceptable. (It's not.)
Read more posts by Chris Crowley
Night bazaars in Asia, open-air markets full of vendors hawking street food, are often thrillingly crowded and chaotic, but are a rarity stateside. John Wang, a former lawyer who grew up visitin...Continue reading "Feast on Takoyaki, Grilled Squid and Colombian Sweets at the Queens Night Market " >
We’re super excited for the impending release of the new Digimon. Fans and artists are all speculating about the story and design for this new six-part movie series. Details suggest the original cast of “digi-destined” will be back, which means our favorite original Digimon will be back too.
Toy makers are fueling the hype machine, too, as Mega House is releasing a set of figures of your favorite season-one Digimon. These little guys are so cute, you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing that catchy theme song!
After celebrating their 15th anniversary, the Digimon creators knew exactly how to fire up their grown up fan base, by bringing back the original team. Fans of the series will certainly tune in again to see how these lovable characters have grown up over the years. Before the November release of the first movie titled Sakai (Reunion), toy maker Mega House is releasing a brand new set of partner Digimon in-training and rookie figures. In what appears to be the first in a series of Digi-kore (Digimon Collection), you will be able to get Agumon, Patamon, Palmon and Gomamon and all of their previous Digivolutions.
メガハウス とり子 (@mega_girlshobby) May 13, 2015
▼ Botamon and Koromon
▼ Poyomon and Tokomon
▼ Yuramon and Tanemon
▼ Pichimon and Bukamon
Tokomon fans (the Digivolution below Patamon) can win an alternate version of this cute little guy through a Mega House lottery.
▼ “Win me! Win me!”
These Digimon make a sweet companion to the already in-stock G.E.M. series, pairing some of your favorite Digimon with their trainers.
▼ Sweet diorama pieces not included
These pre-painted figures will go on sale in September for a suggested retail price of 600 yen (about US$5) each. Fans looking to collect the whole set should see about getting a box as that should contain all eight figures. If your favorite Digimon isn’t among the first set, you don’t have to worry as this is only series one or DATA1, as they call it. We’re sure to see the rest of the colorful Digital Monster cast in the coming months.
Origin: Sweet little Digimon toys will get you ready for a Digimon movie marathon
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To say that Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs. GI Joe is an unusual comic is underselling things quite a bit. On paper, it's a natural fit, an ongoing series that follows in the footsteps of earlier books that have combined the two toy lines into one massive interplanetary battle. In practice, though, it's something a lot bigger, a comic that almost assaults the reader by cramming in as much big, wild stuff as it possibly can --- a toy comic so weird, and so great, that it almost feels like it shouldn't exist.
With the book's second storyline well under way, throwing in everything from vikings to old gods to Dinobots (and with a new printing of the amazing American Barbarian on the way this summer), I talked to cowriter, artist and occasional ComicsAlliance guest contributor Tom Scioli about the series. Today, in the first part of the interview, he talks about the exhausting process of fitting it all into 20 pages, and reveals the adaptation he wrote for a Transformers vs. GI Joe movie that does not actually exist.
Definitely curious about the casting for this.
AND…freshly solicited is the THE ART OF MOUSE GUARD: 2005-2015 HC due out in July.
Each month, the GM Toolbox offers advice and insights on topics specifically for those brave souls who keep the action moving–the Gamemasters. This month, we continue our series on different play styles with The Silent One, The Alpha, and The Storyteller.
The Silent One:
Frequency: You’ll know it when you see it.
Terrain: In the background
No. Appearing: Usually one…unless they’re hiding from you….
Special Attacks: Hiding
Special Defenses: Shyness
Somewhere in the vicinity of your table, far from the spotlight, you may have a Silent One. Silent Ones often appear with one or more players. Maybe they’re someone’s friend or significant other and they’ve joined the game as a way to spend time with friends or loved ones. Or perhaps they’re just shy and wouldn’t want to find a game on their own. Silent Ones pose no threat to the sanctity of your table per se. Indeed, their unassuming nature makes them quite easy to get along with. And therein lies the problem.
How to deal with them:
Silent Ones generally fall into two categories: very shy/self-conscious or along for the company. For the latter, the best thing you can do is accept that they’re having the level of engagement with the game that they feel comfortable with. As long as they aren’t disrupting everyone else’s fun, that’s absolutely OK. For the former type, you’ll want to make sure they have opportunities to drive the action or offer input to the party’s decision making. It can be easy for quiet players to go unnoticed and eventually become disengaged from the game if more vocal players dominate the game. With that said, you’ll have to do your best to strike a balance between providing opportunities and putting pressure on a Silent One to participate. Offer chances to do so with a light hand…lest you cause them to withdraw even further.
Frequency: The Right Time, of course.
Terrain: Leading from the front or behind the scenes
No. Appearing: Pray its only 1
Special Attacks: Rapid Fire Decision Making
Special Defenses: Certainty
Alphas have a need for control that can quickly lead to other players becoming discouraged or leaving the game altogether as the Alpha tries to drag the game in a direction that other members of the party might not be comfortable with. Alphas tend to hog the spotlight even if they don’t mean to, because unlike the Silent One, they have no problem at all speaking their mind. Alphas can be quite good at keeping the game moving when a Rules Lawyer feels compelled to argue the finer points of some esoteric use of a skill, or when a Thespian’s soliloquy begins to drag on. In these ways, an Alpha can be helpful…ish. Many Alphas see themselves as careful tacticians and are fond of developing intricate plans then lobbying the party to go along with it. At their worst, Alphas can be overbearing and a bit too fixated on their own fun at the expense of everyone else.
How to deal with them:
Channeling the energy that an Alpha can bring to the table is the key to smoothly integrating such a player into your group. Alphas tend to have a natural penchant for organization and for providing their fellow players with a sense of direction. This can be very helpful if, like the Rules Lawyer, you delegate some of the bookkeeping to them, like tracking the party’s loot, or having them update a list of NPCs the party has encountered. If it sounds like the strategy is “keep them busy”, then you’ve got the gist of it, but it needs to be something of helpful to everyone at the table. And like all players, be sure to give the Alpha their moment in the sun occasionally, as they place a particular importance on being able to lead the charge.
Frequency: In Three Acts
Terrain: In the background
No. Appearing: A dime/copper/cred-stick a dozen
Special Attacks: Incessant Narration
Special Defenses: Meticulously Kept Campaign Notes
A somewhat uncommon denizen of the playerverse, the Storyteller takes pleasure in obsessing over the most intricate details of worldbuilding. A Storyteller’s character will almost always have extraordinarily detailed back story, which they will eagerly provide you. Much like the Thespian, they often immerse themselves deep into the psyches of their characters, but they’re far more concerned with how their character interacts with the world than with hamming it up in the spotlight. Storytellers arrive at your table in search of their character’s narrative and exploring that narrative in the campaign world. They are creatures of wild and fanciful imagination and are mostly harmless…as long as they perceive the story being told as interesting. If not, they’ll do anything to make the story bend to their personal whims.
How to deal with them:
Storytellers are, at the end of the day, at the table to have a good time just like everyone else, but in some ways, it can feel like they’re gunning for your role in running the game. Be prepared to answer questions about the cultures/languages/economies/religions and other extreme minutia of your campaign setting with a Storyteller around. Feel free to tell them “Eh, I don’t know”. Then feel free to listen to their ideas about it. Nod thoughtfully often. Eventually they’ll move on to ponder something else. The key to dealing with a Storyteller is striking a balance between letting them explore the deepest aspects of their character’s inner nature while also reminding them to engage with the other party members and the overall story. Asking a Storyteller to help contribute to the party’s campaign notebook is a good way to keep them engaged in events transpiring at the table that don’t involve them. Storytellers can often fall in and out of love with their creations, and don’t be surprised if they switch characters (all with pages of background info) several times throughout a campaign. As long as its not going to adversely disrupt the game or the other player’s enjoyment, there’s usually no harm in letting them do so.
While the six player styles we’ve covered in the series covers most of what you’ll encounter as a GM, in reality most players will have elements of all of these styles in varying degrees. Be sure to match your tactics to the players you’re working with! Everyone, myself included, has player habits that can sometimes cause GMs and fellow players headaches. Hopefully you’ll be able to use this as a basis for being aware of the blind spots in your own play style the next time you sit down on either side of the GM’s screen.