Sep 16

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Supraliminal Dreamcast – Serenity RPG

For this Dreamcast I’ll be taking characters that members of Supraliminal Films played in a role playing game set in the Firefly/Serenity Universe.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with role playing games (RPG’s), they are like playing a board game combined with an improv-acting exercise. Each game can put you into a different setting such as fantasy, science fiction, or a zombie apocalypse.

Each game is run by one member of the play group. They serve as director and writer of the game. As far as directing, they explain the scenes that the group is involved, they keep track of everyone playing. They serve as writers by creating the world the group plays in. Using their own imagination in conjunction with the rules of the game, they create every encounter, puzzle, and everyone the players deal with not played by the group members. The group then takes the role of a character in the world that has been thrust into action. The character is usually heroic and powerful, allowing the player to take the mind set of someone vastly different than themselves. Not only does this type of game function as an acting exercise, it also helps train the mind in critical thinking and problem solving.

In this instance, Dan was running the game while Max, Paul, Tim Shane (concept “No Outlet”, liaison “Death Chase”, actor in next season’s -expunged-), Matt Faden (assistant “Collections”, actor “Death Chase”) and I played the characters in the story. If you are unfamiliar with the show Firefly or the film Serenity, please watch them whenever you can.

This blog as well as the entire campaign was done with the utmost respect for the source material. Any similarities between our characters and the ones from the show were incidental, sub-conscious, or simply done in an attempt to pay homage. Let’s begin!

Captain Shrapnel – Player Max Devonshire: The leader of our crew, Max chose to play a captain with a long history of suffering. Some of his demons were self-inflicted after his wife’s death and him causing the crushing defeat at Serenity Valley. He occasionally had terrible visions of his wife’s death, and he became extremely superstitious following the incident. He also took to drinking. These character flaws helped round out how the character would get played throughout our adventures as a crew. The actor I picked to bring this character to life is best known for a role where he plays a man haunted by his past put into a position of leadership. David Morrissey – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0607375/ – who is best known as the Governor from The Walking Dead series, has the chilling charisma that a troubled leader needs.

Russell “Theodore ‘Minus the Giddy’” Woodman aka, The Woodman – Player Paul Hackett: Paul elected to play the crew’s main security personnel. With this choice came significant amounts of creative violence. There have been times where we refer to Paul as “Woodman” because the character had a huge impact on our group. The actor I chose Rory McCann – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0564920/?ref_=tt_cl_t13 – has the look that Paul described The Woodman to have as well as the dark and sinister demeanor. His role of Sandor “The Hound” Clegane has brought him recognition as a very imposing actor.

Adam “Zamboni” Jones – Player Jarrod Kershaw: I was tasked with playing the pilot of our ship. I wanted to have a great aptitude for flying anything that could be flown, but I wanted to make the character more centered in reality. I chose to have him be a bit more frail and scared than most characters in this type of setting have any right to be. He piloted the ship while wearing a helmet (which impaired his vision). In addition, he had a fear of the sight of blood and got sick when he saw it. This proved to make his character useless at times of crisis, at least for the first few moments of battle. I chose Jay Baruchel – www.imdb.com/name/nm0059431/?ref_=sr_1 – to portray Adam. His character in How to Train Your Dragon fits how Adam would behave. Fearful for a moment, then he steps up when it counts.

Rob Ott aka, Robot – Player Tim Shane: Here is a special case where the player who brought the character to life wasn’t the one who made the character. In our first session of playing this campaign, Josh Lowenberger created a crazy mechanic who was extremely gullible, very creative, and suffered from kleptomania. He was able to help form the character, but once Tim got to play Robot, his own blend of insanity took a hold and made for some crazy game play. These events include attempting to create a “world toaster” to heat a very snowy planet, repeatedly stealing medical equipment from our own infirmary, and successfully mounting arms onto a space ship, “so it can grab onto stuff”. There will always be a lot of crazy tied to both Tim and Josh for this character, which is why I chose Charlie Day – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0206359/?ref_=sr_6 – to add his own insanity to the man who is Robot. Not only can he play the neurotic type very well, he also has the ability to play fairly intelligent characters.

Doctor Andrew – Player Matt Faden: This one took me a while to come to a decision on. The doctor was an extremely standoffish character who always seemed to have his own agenda. He wanted to be a decision maker on the crew, however he and the captain always were butting heads on different issues. Not only was he trained in the medical field, he also had training with a sniper rifle, and he constantly played as a backup plan for when the Captain and The Woodman went into any situation. He also had to contend with the previously mentioned Robot because pieces of the infirmary kept going missing yet somehow Robot was always creating new gadgets that resembled things like a respirator. For our Resident Doctor Sniper, I chose to go with an actor who can portray a ton of varied genres in film. Neil Patrick Harris – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000439/?ref_=sr_1 – has been a teenage doctor, and military intelligence officer against millions of bugs, and on How I Met Your Mother, he pretends to be all of that and more. He has a great ability to take himself completely seriously while not playing a serious role, which is perfect for a doctor, whose a sniper, who wants to be a captain.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading more ramblings from my mind on who could play what. I know an RPG campaign might be more obscure than an old video game and an independent comic book. Despite this, I felt that these characters deserve to be explored in a public forum where anyone who knows about role playing can appreciate the idea of playing a character, then having someone more famous play that character.



Supraliminal Films

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