WHAT IF THEY PUT RAF IN RiD?? IT’LL BE LIKE BUMBLEBEE’S ON PATROL WITH THE CREW AND THEY’RE WALKING THROUGH THE FOREST FOLLOWING A SIGNAL OR SOMETHING AND THEY COME OUT IN THIS CLEARING AND SEE THIS KID SITTING ON A ROCK OR SOMETHING AND THEY’RE HIDING CAUSE THEY DON’T WANNA REVEAL THEMSELVES TO ANY MORE HUMANS SO THEY’RE TIP-TOEING (tip toeing as best as Grimlock can) AROUND THE CLEARING AND THEY PASS AROUND IN FRONT OF THE KID AND BUMBLEBEE STOPS AND FREEZES AND JUST STARES AT HIM CAUSE “I know I recognize this human from somewhere” CAUSE IT’S BEEN YEEEARRS AND RAF HAS GROWN UP SO MUCH HE DOESN’T LOOK ONE BIT LIKE THE 12 ALMOST 13 YEAR OLD FROM JASPER THAT HE FIRST MET ALL THOSE YEARS AGOAND ALL OF A SUDDEN BUMBLEBEE FINDS HIMSELF WALKING OUT INTO THE CLEARING AND STRONGARM IS RATTLING OFF RULES AND REGULATIONS AND SIDESWIPE IS WHISPER-YELLING AT HIM CAUSE “Are you STUPID? Is your processor broken??!?!?” AND GRIMLOCK FIGURES IF HE GOES STATUE BUMBLEBEE WILL STOP MOVING BUT HE STOPS IN FRONT OF THE KID WHO LOOKS UP AT THE LOUD ASS FOOTSTEPSAND IT TAKES RAF A SECOND TO REALIZE CAUSE “There’s no way Bumblebee would come back down here after he got his home planet back.” AND THEN EVERYTHING CLICKS FOR BUMBLEBEE AND HE REALIZES IT’S RAF HIS RAF THE ONLY HUMAN THAT UNDERSTOOD HIM WHEN ALL HE COULD MUSTER UP WAS BEEPS AND FACIAL EXPRESSIONS THE HUMAN HE PERSONALLY PROTECTED WITH HIS LIFE AND HE FORGETS THAT HIS GROUP IS STANDING IN THE SHADOWS WATCHING THEIR LEADER BE AN EMOTIONAL WRECK BUT THEY DON’T KNOW THE HISTORY BETWEEN THESE TWO THEY DON’T KNOW ABOUT UNICRON AND KNOCKOUT AND BREAKDOWN THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT MEGATRON DID TO BUMBLEBEE HOW HE TORTURED BUMBLEBEE SO BAD HE COULDN’T TALK THEY DON’Y KNOW THEY BUMBLEBEE WATCH OPTIMUS SACRIFICE HIMSELF SO CYBERTRON COULD LIVE THEY DIDN’T WATCH OPTIMUS DIVE INTO THE WELL OF ALLSPARKS HEAD FIRST TO BREATHE LIVE BACK INTO CYBERTRON AS FAR AS THEY KNOW OPTIMUS DIED IN BATTLE THEY DON’T KNOW THAT A SLEEPING UNICRON IS THE CENTER OF THE EARTH THEY DIDN’T SEE UNICRON THREATEN TO TEAR THE WORLD UNDER THEIR VERY PEDES APART THEY DIDN’T WATCH AS OPTIMUS QUEUED UP THE SPACE BRIDGE TO A RANDOM LOCATION FOR EACH OF THEM SO THEY COULDN’T BE TRACED AND TAKEN TOGETHER THEY DIDN’T FEEL HELPLESS AND LIKE THEY LET THEIR LEADER DOWN WHEN MEGATRON BLEW THEIR BASE SKY HIGH WITH OPTIMUS STILL IN IT THEY DIDN’T GO THROUGH THINKING OPTIMUS WAS DEAD AND THEY HAD TO GO UP AGAINST MGATRON AND HUNDREDS OF DECEPTICONS ON THEIR OWN THEY DIDN’T WATCH OPTIMUS TURN BACK INTO ORION AND GO WITH MEGATRON SO BUMBLEBEE GETS DOWN ON ONE KNEE AND RE REALLY QUIETLY GOES “Raf?” AND HE’S SCARED THAT IF HE SAYS IT TOO LOUD HE’LL SCARE THE KID AWAY OR HIS TEAM’LL HEAR THE SHAKES AND THE CRACKS AND THE EMOTION IN HIS VOICE AND IN THAT MOMENT IT ALL COMES RUSHING BACK TO RAF EVERY SINGLE MOMENT GOOD AND BAD HAPPY SAD EXCITED FROM THE MOMENT HE FIRST STEPPED TOE INTO BUMBLEBEE’S PASSENGER SEAT TO THE MOMENT HE HEARD BUMBLEBEE’S VOICE FOR THE FIRST TIME TO THE TIME THEY WERE OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE HIDING FROM SOUNDWAVE AND IT WAS SCARY AS HELL BUT HE KNEW HE WAS SAFE CAUSE BUMBLEBEE WOULD PROTECT HIM TO THE MOMENT THEY SAID GOODBYE AND HE THROWS HIMSELF INTO BUMBLEBEE’S CHASSIS AND BUMBLEBEE CUPS A HAND AROUND HIM SO HE WON’T FALL AND RAF IS CRYING AND BUMBLEBEE IS CRYING (or the Cybertronian form of it) AND THEY’RE STANDING THERE IN TEARS UNTIL STRONGARM THE COCKLBOCK COMES UP TALKING ABOUT THE DAMN MISSION AND BUMBLEBEE REALIZES OH, I WAS OUT HERE TO DO SOMETHING AND SIDESWIPE IS ROLLING HIS EYES AT HER LIKE YOU DAMN IDIOT THEY WERE HAVING A MOMENT AND GRIMLOCK IS STILL CONFUSED BUT RAF TAGS ALONG AND FROM THEN ON HIM AND BUMBLEBEE ARE INSEPARABLE AND EVERYONE ELSE IS WONDERING TF HAPPENED TO MAKE THEM SO CLOSE HOW DO THEY KNOW EACH OTHER AND ALL RAF OR BUMBLEBEE WILL SAY IS “WE HAVE HISTORY” OR “IT’S A LONG STORY” AND SORRY THIS WAS LOUD AND LONG BUT I HAD THE IDEA AND I HAD TO GET IT OUT AND NOW I’M CRYING MY HEART HURTS I’M SORRY BYE
Horror, Robots and Sunder, or Some Good Unique Fictional Threats
When you’re into a specific genre and you consume media of said genre for over a decade, chances are that it becomes hard to surprise you. Tropes can become embarrassingly obvious, you can predict absolutely everything that happens next and sometimes, no matter how open-minded you are, you can’t seem to get as much enjoyment from something you know you would’ve probably loved ten years ago.
For me, that genre is horror. And MTMTE fucking nails it.
I’ve said before that I believe a lot can be learned from how MTMTE does character development and world building, and today, because I feel like it, I’d like to give my opinion on something that is especially important to me: Unique threats.
I will use More Than Meets The Eye chapters 48 and 49 as an example, so spoilers for those two. This will contain body horror, mutilation, robot gore, brainwashing, death and so, so many unhealthy relationships and treatment, so please be cautious if you’re interested in reading this but sensitive to any of these topics!
Is there a list of tabletops designed by/attributed to women? Any genre is fine, I just couldn't think of a single one.
Sure thing! Just off the top of my head:
Emily Care Boss
Very possibly one of the only creators in the tabletop roleplaying hobby whose stuff is even more artsy than Jenna Moran’s (see below), her games consist primarily of story driven one-shot titles with romantic themes, ranging from LARP frameworks to games designed for asynchronous online play (i.e., no direct interaction between players). Her most famous work is probably Breaking the Ice, a two-player RPG that’s literally designed to be played as part of a date. Much of her stuff is available for free; you’ll find it all on her site.
Cynthia Celeste Miller
A contributing author for both Mutants & Masterinds and Shadowrun 4th Edition, her best-known headline projects include Cartoon Action Hour, a genre emulation piece designed for games in the mode of 1980s Saturday morning cartoons like He-Man, G.I. Joe and Transformers G1; and Tomorrow Knights, a one-off tabletop adaptation of the comic series of the same name.
Ms. Newton works primarily with the FATE system, so if storygaming is your thing, her stuff is definitely worth checking out. She first came to the hobby’s attention with the swords-and-sorcery tome Legends of Anglerre, which she co-authored with Chris Birch; sadly, it’s no longer available via legitimate channels due to an expired license. However, her solo followup project, Mindiammer, remains very much available. It’s a sci-fi game that’s probably best described by the following hypothetical question: what if, early in its history, Iain M Banks’ Culture had gotten into a cold war with Warhammer 40K’s Imperium of Man? Gonzo transhumanism squares off against sinister tech-priests and fanatical space marines in stompy, radiation-spewing power armour - and yes, you can totally play as a sapient starship.
I’ve previously plugged her Run Robot Red, a dystopian game about funny little robots. Her other major work is The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men, a rules-light (as in “only 18 pages long”) game about living gingerbread men that presents itself as a 1:1 scale miniatures game. Yes, it wants you to use an actual gingerbread man as your minifig, and your actual home as the terrain.
There are plenty of others, of course; if you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’m mostly into auteur-driven indie games, so I’m not the best one to ask about contributing authors on major game lines like Dungeons & Dragons or the World of Darkness stuff - the preceding list focuses on notable solo projects by female creators.
I made lazy refs for myself because i’m making a funny comic about these three and also magnus but he’s in it for like one panel so i didn’t make a ref for him because honestly who has time to draw like 5 miles of shoulders you know
“But there wasn’t enough suitable footage so I HAD to erase and whitewash Finn wahhhhh I’m the real victim here!”
Here’s a radical suggestion: Don’t do it, then.
Seriously. I’ve given up on fanwork ideas, including videos, that I knew or were told are harmful. I have seen others do the same. Here’s what I did instead:
- took a nap
- played with my baby
- read a book
- took a walk
- fixed an umbrella
- caught up on e-mail
- ate cereal
- created other, better fanworks that brought happiness to people without making fandom shitty for marginalized fans
If you DO choose to take all that time and energy to create a really racist or otherwise bigoted work, well that’s your choice. Don’t expect people to be quiet about it, though. That’s what it means to be a creator, to have the freedom to create and the responsibility for your creations.