The Letters Page: Editor's Note 44
Big announcements in this one!
Run Time: 1:00:43
- Tuesday, August 4th: Gen Con 2021 Live! (Different Than Ever Before!)
- Tuesday, August 11th: Episode #153 - Creative Process: Legacy Supporting Cast
- Tuesday, August 18th: Publishers’ Note #1: Christopher & Paul!
- Tuesday, August 25th: Episode #154 - Writers' Room: Black Fist
The recordings of each of those episodes will be on the Friday before that Tuesday. No calendar this time, but we trust in your ability to figure out what Fridays come before the above listed Tuesdays.
We talk about a bunch of things in this episode (besides our blatant campaigning during the most recent voting and the reveal of the upcoming Publishers' Notes with me and Paul!), including but not limited to:
- The Time-Crazed Prisoner
- Baron Blade
- Miss Information
- Naturalist's supporting cast friends
- And more!
Catch you next time!
- Young Legacy
- The Dreamer
- Jansa vi Dero
- Grand Warlord Voss
- Baron Blade
- Wager Master
- The Chairman
- Zhu Long
- Miss Information
- Mr. Fixer
- Absolute Zero
- Chima Oyawale
- Aviva Natasha Aldred
- Walter Yost
- The Operative
- La Capitan
- Captain Cosmic
- The Gen Con “Live” episode will be recorded on July 31. It’ll be open to everybody, not just the Patreon contributors (although questions in the patron Discord channel will probably get closer attention than the YouTube chat feature). While they’re calling it the Gen Con episode, it’s not actually part of the Gen Con Online events, it’s just the one that will be taking place during the time that Gen Con was/Gen Con Online is happening.
- The reason they were campaigning for the Legacy Supporting Cast episode is because they need that stuff for the History of Sentinel Comics book. That’s work that they need to do anyway, and if they do it off-the-air, they’re not likely to do an episode on it later because they already did one, but luckily it got voted for and so we get to actually hear them come up with this stuff.
- This is the last Editor’s Note episode of 2020. This is because Adam has too much art to make and not enough time to make it. The schedule for the rest of the year will be normal episodes alternating with new “Publisher’s Note” episodes that will feature Christopher and Paul. What kinds of stuff these will cover is up in the air and we’ll all figure it out together. These will still be recorded live for the patrons, though. The current plan is to go back to the normal schedule in January, but we’ll reevaluate then. Somebody in the chat suggests that it might help to drop the Writer’s Room covers, but given that they’re also reducing things to 1 Writer’s Room and 1 Creative Process alternating with the Publisher’s Notes, it’s only 1 cover a month which is 1) not that much extra work and 2) represents a nice break from the other art he has on his plate.
- How was the OblivAeon story received by critics in the Metaverse? Applauded for being a fitting end to all the build-up? Derided for being too complicated/confusing for people who weren’t extremely invested in the setting? Mostly well-received as a satisfying culmination of events and that it was a good story that worked. It did get some criticism for being hard to follow, but that difficulty was physically keeping track of every book being published and what order you should read them in rather than how much you needed to know to understand it. The collected trades that came out after the fact made them much easier to get a handle on as Sentinel Comics puts them all in one place and in the recommended order. It’s definitely the biggest event that SC ever produced, but then again many other events prior were also the “biggest event ever produced” at the time they happened (the Voss invasion, for one example), but the OblivAeon event was written to be this huge thing that could be a nice break point for them to reset/reorganize/modernize stuff in the setting. They wanted it to be a “reboot” that didn’t sacrifice the existing continuity.
- [Birthday request: “My Name is Diego (and I’m awesome)” by The Very Very Awesome Song Band.]
- [Another request for "Christopher’s favorite Hamilton song, but the problem there is that in his copious free time Christopher hasn’t listened to it. They’ll likely do “You’ll Be Back” or another of King George’s songs that are similar as they’re the ones the guys have the best shot at actually singing.]
- You’ve mentioned that the Time Crazed Prisoner’s scribblings are all true, but I’m unclear on if everything has been explained at this point; what do the following mean?
- “The child is the center” (possible guesses, Young Legacy, The Dreamer, or The Idealist)? That’s Vanessa Long both in reference to Fixed Point (and the fact that such things exist) and that Visionary’s “time travel” is tied into the whole Shattered Timelines thing in the first place.
- “Concentric worlds” (how are universes nested in one another given what we know about the Multiverse)? That’s more talking about how the “normal” reality has things like the Realm of Discord or the Void surrounding it, not talking about different realities being nested.
- Also, we were told the Block was in “null-space” is that the same thing as Ur-Space? If not, what is it? If so, do the Singular Entities have problems with the Block (or the Varusiods that built it in the first place - is that maybe why Jansa is the last of them)? They’re the same thing - they’ve used both terms in the past and while “Ur-Space” is the better word for it, it’s not like “Null-Space” is a wrong name. Singular Entities wouldn’t care that the Varusiods built something “right under their noses” since everything is right under their noses. They didn’t care about the creation of what became known as the Block, but the Varusiods did tread in places that were meant for only Singular Entities and that contributed to their downfall.
- What would happen if Setback were to fight OblivAeon in a one-on-one deathmatch? Sure, OblivAeon’s got all phenomenal cosmic power, but wouldn’t Setback’s luck kick in in such dire straits? Setback would not win. The weirdness involving his luck would probably result in him somehow managing to get a punch in. OblivAeon would be surprised that his insect managed to actually do so, but would then destroy him. Setback isn’t immortal.
- Where is Voss in the Mist Storm timeline? He’s super wrecked due to what happened with the OblivAeon power stuff that he’d been infused with. When the universe split happens, OblivAeon stays in one version and the power stays with him, so the Vertex Voss got all of that power ripped out of them. He’s left this stranded, wrecked creature trying to rebuild some power. He’s just hanging out sitting in a chair somewhere with an OblivAeon Shard that he’s using to, basically, just keep him alive. They don’t want to talk about where that chair is or what his plans are, though, as they’d like to get back to that eventually.
- Why don’t Maerynians have a concept of pets - surely they domesticated some animals and that generally leads inevitably to “pets”? They didn’t domesticate anything. They have some symbiotic/mutualistic relationships with some species that live with them, but that’s more like “neighbors” than “pets”.
- Is it possible that Progeny’s head coming off and flying into space is both awesome and stupid, possibly drawn by Rob Liefeld who seems to fit that intersection point? Adam’s a Rob Liefeld apologist. Everyone talks about all the pouches and guns and how stupid that was. We all thought it was stupid then and it’s supposed to be. It’s a kind of camp. Take a look at some of the work the man’s been doing lately, he’s just killing it out there.
- How will the podcast change once the RPG is out? Any new kinds of episodes planned? They don’t have any “new” types of episodes planned. They may go back and do more “classic” info-dump about a person/place style once there’s new continuity to tell us about. They can think of at least one character offhand that will require such an episode and another they’ve already done one for that will need a supplemental episode.
- Back to that Voss question above: did the other Scions in the Mist Storm timeline have their power ripped out of them as well? Yes. It was a weird situation for a Singular Entity to have all of their energy and focus in one place, Universe 1, and that means that when the reality split happens that anything of his power that would have remained got ripped out to come with him. Incidentally, that focus/concentration of his power is also indirectly part of why bad things are happening to other realities.
- After Voss locks Universe 1 away, do any Singular Entities still have any influence there? Are there new Singular Entities that form within that new multiverse? There is no new Multiverse - the “sandwich bag” prevents split points.
- What were Grand Philosopher Voss’s powers in the Inversiverse? Thought and Memory.
- Voss stole OblivAeon’s power and locked his universe away from the Multiverse in order to keep out the other Singular Entities who might cause problems for him; if Baron Blade had been the one to obtain phenomenal cosmic power would he have done likewise or would he have assumed he could manage the Singular Entities? On a 1 to 10 scale, how prideful and overconfident is he relative to how smart he is? Baron Blade doesn’t have the cosmic-scale point of reference that Voss 1) already had some of as a galactic conqueror and 2) got expanded during the whole banished outside reality/pulled back in thing. People (meaning not only humans but Thorathians, Maerynians, etc.) don’t really have an awareness of Singular Entities. Like, the heroes know about Wager Master as this blue trickster guy, but they don’t really know what being a Singular Entity means at the cosmic awareness level. Baron Blade, given the power of OblivAeon at the end of the fight instead of Voss or whatever, wouldn’t know that the first thing he needed to do was make sure he was safe from the other Singular Entities. Blade is very prideful and overconfident, but he’s more short-sighted and his point of view is much more terrestrial. If he had acquired the power that Voss had, he’d very quickly wind up dead at the hands of Singular Entities. He’d start throwing power around and some would show up to squash him because he wouldn’t know what he was doing and while he would fight Singular Entities he’s still a mere mortal.
- As the leader of a city-state, Blade surely does the equivalent of school assemblies for children or whatnot, so how would he react to a little girl who said that she wanted to marry him? “Alas, child, I am already married to Mordengrad itself!” He’d be upbeat and tell her to be the best that she can be for the glory of Mordengrad, etc. He wouldn’t crush her dreams but would encourage her in the most statist way possible.
- [Bloodsworn Professional Wrestling has branched out into other pay-per-view events and are promoting Bloodsworn Professional Poker] Which of these villains do you think would win at the final table of the tournament: Biomancer (replaces the dealer with a flesh child), Baron Blade (using some sort of card counting device), the Chairman (with some goons with binoculars feeding him info on his opponents’ hands via an earpiece), Zhu Long (intimidates everyone into folding by turning into a dragon), Kismet (lucking into a winning hand after the other plots all interfere with one another)? First of all, a card counting device won’t help you in poker, but would in blackjack. They love the idea of Blade making such a device only to realize once he’s actually at the table that it’s useless. Kismet would likely be outdone by her luck, although it depends on the story being told and when in Kismet’s story it happens. If the writer wanted her to win they could have her make sure the other players all got lucky hands early so that the rebound would be poor hands later. Part of the issue regardless, though, is that luck is a relatively small part of poker at high level play. You’re playing the person. Christopher thinks that the person who’d win this sort of event isn’t one of those listed: Miss Information. Nobody can beat her poker face. Let’s say that this tournament is being overseen by Jansa vi Dero and there’s no powers or anything allowed. We’re just playing poker. Miss Information takes it in a walk. Baron Blade is too intense (gets good cards “Ah ha! I have you now!” everyone else folds). Biomancer goes bust and still just says “All according to plan” as he leaves the table. Zhu Long probably does ok.
- With the Thorathian view on pairs, did Voss face any backlash for lacking a spouse while being head of state? It is very probable that he would have if we had ever seen much of what was going on back on Dok'Thorath prior to his disappearance. We only get really into the nitty-gritty of Thorathian culture (beyond “space Nazis that do whatever Voss says as he conquers the galaxy”) after he’s left the stage. Whatever backlash there was probably took the form more of grumbling about it rather than actual dissent given his iron grip on things.
- Which hero is the best poker player? Mr. Fixer would have no tells at all while also being able to read other player’s involuntary physical responses (breathing/heartbeat changes, etc.). Scholar would do very well, as would Wraith. Tachyon and Legacy are probably not great. Fanatic and Ra are terrible for similar reasons as Baron Blade. Visionary would if she was allowed to cheat, but if we’re positing that powerless thing overseen by Jansa that’s a non-issue. It would also inhibit some of Mr. Fixer’s ability to do things as he wouldn’t be able to listen to heart rates anymore, but he’s still Mr. Fixer and can still pay attention to voice and breathing [and before somebody complains about it, playing cards that are accessible for blind people are a thing]. He’s just incredibly good at reading people, even lacking the ability to see visual cues. Absolute Zero would do well. It’d be very hard to catch any tells that he had and he’s pretty chill [heh] already. The last two in the tournament might be AZ and Fixer - Fixer: “I’m really good at reading people.” AZ: “I’m not really ‘people’.”
- What happens to Chima Oyawale after Michael left Conteh Energy? Did she stick around to help Aviva Natasha Aldred? She sticks around and is basically the liaison between the companies and helps manage operations during the transition. She’s still a contact for Michael. Aviva would have dealt with/still deals with her a lot.
- What sorts of secrets about Walter Yost were revealed after his death that would explain his unpredictability? Is his part in Sentinel Comics history truly over? He was meant to be enigmatic (in a “we don’t know which way he’s going to vote” manner) and somebody who knew more than he was letting on. There wasn’t some big revelation after he died (“he was a cyborg”, “he was Michael’s father”, etc.). What there was turned out to be the idea that he was a far more compassionate man that most people thought he was. Many of the “weird” votes were down to him really understanding who would be impacted by the company’s actions. His part is most likely over. He was important for that era and that sort of story isn’t likely to come up again. They could see some writer dredging up some bit of information relevant to him when necessary, though. It’s just a stretch to revive a character like him who isn’t really very important in the grand scheme of things.
- The initial Egyptian “gods” were extremely powerful beings that, when they died, passed their power into artifacts - was this sort of thing a unique occurrence for the Egyptian gods or could it be done by other powerful beings? To explain why this happened, the Egyptian “gods” are metaphysical beings who no longer have a metaphysical plane of existence that they’re associated with to return to. Their home plane was destroyed and became this horrific hellscape. When they died, instead of heading to the Underworld they opted to pour everything that they were into these physical objects, allowing them additional “life” in the form of bonding to mortals. That’s far better than whatever is going on in the Underworld.
- If Fanatic died, could her power transfer to her sword? Maybe, if you destroyed the Host plane first to untether her spirit in the same way. It might also depend on how she died. She could maybe put some of herself into the sword intentionally, especially if you need that to happen in a story you’re telling. Christopher’s prompted to explore a story that definitely didn’t happen, but he could see her going to bring judgement to a specific monster/entity and loses, but her need to bring vengeance and judgement is so great that she bonds to the sword and sticks around as a ghost (and we all know how she feels about ghosts). She haunts the sword and when somebody picks it up she tells them that they need to 1) kill the whatever it was, and 2) destroy her afterwards.
- Could NightMist’s essence and power have transferred into one of her objects? No she is not. They don’t think it’s possible for her to have done that n the first place either.
- What happens if a Legacy dies while wearing the Legacy Ring? Nothing happens. They have died while wearing it. It’s a symbol to them, and symbols have meaning and are important to the people for whom they have meaning, but it’s just a silver ring and has no power of its own beyond the symbolism.
- How do each of the heroes/villains/notable characters like their pizza (we’ve only heard about Guise in the past)? Does Tachyon really load it up because she needs the calories or does she keep it slimmer so it’s ready quicker? Does Legacy have strong opinions on Chicago vs. New York style? Have Tempest, Sky-Scraper, and Lifeline developed preferences? Does Mr. Fixer have such a rapport with his local place that they don’t even pick up the phone when he calls, just note that it’s him and then fix his regular order? What of the villains? Operative have a place that’s learned that it’s better to just ignore the bloody sword? Has La Capitan stolen the original pizza at some point? Does Baron Blade have traditional Mordengradi-style (with goat meat)? Was Voss’s conquering the galaxy at least in part in an effort to get a half-decent slice at a reasonable price? They don’t even know that this is a good creative process topic. There might be some worth going into real quick. Tachyon’s pretty indiscriminate given her needs. Her preferences are similar to Christophers: “food now, please, calories”. Adam starts with Legacy liking New York style before Christopher reminds him that he was originally from Chicago, so who even knows. It’s hard for Adam to even think of Chicago deep-dish as “pizza” - it’s a casserole, and it’s delicious. Chrisopher likes basically any pizza (except St. Louis style, why is that even a thing?). Adam doesn’t think Mordengrad has pizza. Christopher doesn’t have enough pizza opinions to really be good at this kind of rundown. Rook City joints probably already ignore things like bloody swords - you have to in a “just keep your head down and make the pizza” kind of way. Voss has never had pizza - that’s why he’s so angry. The Sentinels of Freedom video game will have some stuff involving pizza in Chapter 2.
- Can we get a pizza-sode? “You want another Il Alimento? Because that’s how you get another Il Alimento.”
- Legacy is weak to Blade’s regression serum, AZ is weak to heat - why so few/are there any other particular weaknesses like this? Captain Cosmic and Infinitor kind of have this sort of thing going on with how their powers are sort of inverses of one another (not specifically weak to the colors like some other heroes might have you believe). Even then it’s less of a weakness to each other’s power and more that none of their strengths are particularly effective against one another. Haka is weak to emotional damage/people threatening children (which is a good way to wind up murdered by Haka). The regression serum is specifically designed to do the thing that it does to Legacy as it’s something Blade worked on for that purpose, so it’s less of a deus ex machina. They think they’ve talked about this before but they didn’t really do “weaknesses” like this because they need to be innate to the character and work in the context of a card game. They’re not going to include detail like “Guise is weak to fire damage” or whatever on the character card. For the most part, good weaknesses are tied to the specific story rather than being some kind of MacGuffin - like, the Wraith is dependent on her gadgets in order to be as good a hero as she is, a “weakness” for a story could be somehow depriving her of them and she’s no good without them. In other stories, she doesn’t have them and she has to succeed on her wits and it’s less of a “weakness” there, just a way to explore just how awesome she is. Similar to Bunker - the suit is what gives him most of his hero options, but he’s still a brilliant tactician and soldier without it. AZ’s one of the few characters where a weakness like you’re suggesting is built into the story of the character. Somebody along the line has probably hit Mr. Fixer with a really loud sound to disorient him. Progeny is weak to Blightsilver as we discovered last week.
- Has the Legacy Ring ever been damaged to the point where it’s needed to be repaired (as it seems like an obvious thing for writers to lean on for the symbolism)? Yeah probably at least a few times. They’d find the pieces of the original ring and remake it from the same silver. They like the idea of them even pulling Paul Revere’s tools out of the Smithsonian or wherever so that it can be made and engraved again using the same tools.
- How about setting episode 192 up to be about favorite foods since that’s the stated episode number for the Il Alimento we got for Extrasode 2? Look, their lobbying to get the Legacy Supporting Cast episode made aside, the patrons are the ones who decide these things - if you really want that, make it happen.