Kristine Chester (309)
Favorite Comic Book Series: Atomic Robo
Favorite D&D Class: Wizard
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Cookies N' Cream
‘Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #3’ - Advance Comic Book Review (The Indignity of Other People’s Problems!)Written by Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor
Adventure Time has all of the best variant covers. Just look at the work of Reimena Yee, Molly Ostertag, Leela Wagner, and Jensine Eckwall for this issue of Marceline Gone Adrift. They're gorgeous and most of them support the best unofficial official former pairing of Adventure Time. I believe the appropriate response for all of them is: squee!
The June Alley Inn in Barkstone has a tradition. Mice with outstanding tabs are allowed, once a year, to participate in a storytelling contest. The best story, decided on by the innkeeper June, has their tab cleared. For those of you who haven't heard of David Petersen's Mouse Guard, it's a series focused on mice with a medieval society, similar to the Redwall series of books, only a thousand times more awesome. (I am decidedly biased.) Legends of the Guard is the series' anthology, where each mouse's tale at the June Alley Inn is one of the stories contained within.
Toph was my favorite character from Avatar: The Last Airbender. While neither blind nor the world's greatest Earthbender, I empathized with her greatly, seeing the similarities of a complex family situation. Toph wasn't what her parents wanted her to be; she couldn't live that lie. While she may have lost her biological family, she found a new one among her friends. Also, Toph kicked butt. The smallest member of Team Avatar was also one of the most dangerous. How could you not love watching a blind, 12 year old take out adult members of the military without breaking a sweat?
‘Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #2’ - Advance Comic Book Review (I Got Five! One for Every Stage of Grief!)Written by Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor
There's a saying that an artist is only appreciated after she is flung into space by her best friend. (I might be paraphrasing.) In the Land of Ooo, that statement holds true, as the residents of the Candy Kingdom and beyond mourn the loss of Marceline: half-vampire, half-demon, total rock legend, each in their own way. No one is grieving more than Princess Bubblegum, who made the decision to send her into space.
My first D&D character, Taggert Stark (This was in the days before Winter Is Coming and men of iron was a thing.), died flinging gemstones at a Dragon Turtle. In retrospect, he deserved it. And sure, he got better, but not all of my RPG characters can say that, but every death was memorable.
‘Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #1’ – Advance Comic Book Review (Any Other Basically Impossible Requests?)Written by Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor
I laughed. I cried. I cheered. I laughed some more. All in 22 pages. Twenty-two wonderful pages.
Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift is the story of how Princess Bubblegum (ruler of the Candy Kingdom and renowned scientist) fired Marceline (the Vampire Queen and music legend) into space. (PB had good reasons, I swear!) And now, Bubblegum has to go and find her friend by embarking on a crazy space adventure. Like you do.
Sometime way back in 2013, after reading my review of Issue #3, writer/artist team Matt and John Yuan told me, “You're going to like Issue #5.” It was a long tease, but it finally paid off. You were right, Matt and John.
Adventure Gaming was all but dead until Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: Season 1 revitalized it with a new focus on choices made that altered the story. And now, Telltale isn't the only name out there working on fantastic, immersive stories where choice is the gameplay. Meet The Detail by Rival Games Ltd. whose comparison to Telltale Games was inevitable, but the two are about as closely related as saying Skyrim and Modern Warfare are similar because they both use first-person perspectives.
‘Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Numeria, Land of Fallen Stars’ - RPG Supplement Review (My Kingdom for a Laser Pistol)Written by Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor
The seventh word on the back of this supplement is “spaceship.”
Totally not joking. This is a Pathfinder product for the regular, old fantasy world of Golarion, and there are spaceships.
‘Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Elements’ - RPG Supplement Review (Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and . . . Suli?)Written by Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor
Water, earth, fire, and air, the four elements are ubquitious in fantasy. Wizards throw fireballs, a priest makes use of blessed holy water, the druid controls the winds themselves. The Pathfinder RPG has taken this idea a step further with playable races that are bonded to a particular element through the blood of genies. The Geniekin are beings born from the combination of a mortal race and a powerful being from one of the four elemental planes (a plane being sort of like a whole other world with its own specific rules.) Passionate and arrogant Ifrits represent fire, strong and stoic Oreads reperesent earth, agile and secret keeping Sylphs represent air, the aquatic Undines protect nature and represent water, and the charming Suli are beings with a flexible connection to the elements.
Golarion, the main setting of the Pathfinder RPG, is a detailed and fully developed world. Anyone who has ever played one of Paizo's adventure paths or cracked open a book outside of the core releases can tell you that. While in the Player's Handbook the gods are a passing mention. A name, an alignment, their portfolios (their heavenly domains such as the goddess of the sun or the goddess of madness), their Domains (a special set of bonus spells a Cleric or Paladin worshiper could select), and Favored Weapons. In other words, only the absolutely necessary mechanics.
On one hand, this is great. It allows players to make their character's god or goddess their own, but a little bit of details can go a long way to portraying a religion and exploring deeper themes for a religious character. That's where this book comes in.
The Queen's Cavaliers (TQC) is an upcoming baroque, clockpunk, tabletop fantasy roleplaying game designed by Caoimhe Snow (of the ENnie-nominated RPG Wandering Monsters High School.) TQC is a swashbuckling game that draws on inspirations like The Three Musketeers to recreate that style of action. Swinging on chandeliers, dueling while dangling off the side of an air ship, and trading witty banter are all par for the course. With this style of play, TQC has a cinematic feel to its gameplay, with combat consisting of far more than, “I walk up and swing my sword at the goblin,” and combat being far from a character's only recourse. It's a game that encourages creativity and playing characters with a sense of style.
I've read a lot of of fantasy books based off of roleplaying games. The quality of their plots often leaves much to be desired, and they're all over the place as far as deciding what rules and complexities from the game to follow and which to blatantly ignore. This is all to say that those aren't really concerns here. James L. Sutter knows his stuff.
‘Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction’ - Book Review (Zombie Temps, Master Thieves, and Extraterrestrial Theologians, Oh My!)Written by Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor
Being up front, the Fear the Boot podcast has been part of my lineup of regularly listened to podcasts for a long time. If you're a fan of tabletop RPGs, it and its massive backlog of 330+ episodes are one of the first I would recommend. Many of the hosts of the show - Dan Repperger, Wayne Cole, Chris Hussey, and more - have demonstrated their creativity time and time again on the show, and it kills me that we don't have more stuff out from them.