The Geek Embassy

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Episode 191 - TGE Geeks Out Over Motor Crush!

Greetings Geeks!

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing three comic book hotshots at Rose City Comic Con. I completely lucked out and got a chance to talk to Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, And Babs Tarr about their latest offering from Image Comics: Motor Crush

I can't lie. When I got the list of books available for interview, Motor Crush raced to the top because the premise seemed so unique and inherently feminist. Domino Swift is a woman of color competing in the dangerous world of moto racing. She lives her life perched between the official world of racing, and dangerous street racing where she competes for the engine boosting substance, "Crush." Torn between two worlds that demand every ounce of her spirit, she battles her own demons and those out to get her. My jaw dropped at the end of the first volume and I can't wait to see what comes next. 

This is a live recording and unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a video to go with it. Check it out and order your own copy of Motor Crush Volume 1 now!

Regina 

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Episode 190 - TGE Plays Pathfinder - As the Raven Flies

Greetings Adventurers!

We return again to the depths of the Vastwood and find our characters traveling back toward civilization. Nictis Loath travels with our merry band of adventurers. As you’ll remember from episode 8, we discovered Nictis the only living person among a community of powerful mage ghosts.

Nictis berates our characters with questions about every living thing. Having not been around other living people, his excitement is understandable even if a little on the annoying side. The group also discovers that Nictis might be a little more powerful than they originally expected. Will this help or hinder their experience? Check out the episode and see.

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Dante & Mark & Evan

To Discuss

What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to you while playing an RPG?

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Episode 189 - TGE Watches Dunkirk

In this episode of TGE Watches, Mark, Ryan, and I discuss Christopher Nolan's epic Dunkirk. We decided to break our summer movie superhero run with quite a different epic film. Two of us enjoyed it and one was quite very disappointed.

Official Description

Three different perspectives with overlapping time periods: one week on land, one day at sea, and one hour in the air, create a non-linear narrative.

Introductory text at the start of the movie says that in 1940, after the invasion of France, hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers had retreated to Dunkirk. As German forces close in, they await evacuation in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Our Analysis

Our opinions differed greatly in pretty much every aspect of the film. Mark shares his disappointment that the setting didn't look truer to the actual beaches during the war. (See photos below for comparison.) Ryan and I both appreciated the artistic nature of the movie overall and how it was surprisingly deep. I will heartily admit it is hard to follow at the start, especially if you don't know the details of the battle particularly well. Watch and listen to hear our thoughtful analysis.

 

 

For Reference - Photos from the Shores of Dunkirk

Screen Captures from the Movie Dunkirk

 

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Episode 188 - TGE Watches GoT S7 Finale!

#ThronesYall

It’s finally that time of year again: Game of Thrones has returned to HBO! Regina, Isabela, join Nicole Tanner from Gaming with the Moms to discuss season 7 of everyone’s favorite fantasy drama. Our first episode discussed Episodes 1 & 2 of Season 7. Our second episode discusses 3,4, and 5 and we wrap up the season with episodes for just episode 6, and now the finale!

Official Game of Thrones Description

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne continues.

It stretches from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues, to the vast and savage eastern lands, where a young queen raises an army. All the while, in the frozen north, an 800-foot wall of ice precariously protects the war-ravaged kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all play the ‘Game of Thrones.’ An original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series.

Episode Description

Season 7 Episode 7

The Dragon & The Wolf

Season 7 of the epic series ends.

Our Discussion

This is the first time we have recorded the DAY AFTER the episode aired. There is so much to say and so much happens. We talk about the amazing meeting of 17 named characters. Seriously. This is the first time so many known and loved characters were on screen at the same time and in many ways it was worth the wait. (Kinda loving The Hound.) As always, we talk about every aspect of the story and some of what we think is coming. We will record another wrap up episode, looking at the season and the series as a whole.

Until next time, winter has come to King's Landing!

Regina & Isabela & Nicole

To Discuss

What was your favorite scene from the finale? Did you love watching the wall come down? The politics? The slicing of someone's throat?

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Episode 187 - TGE Watches Game of Thrones, S7 E6

#ThronesYall

It’s finally that time of year again: Game of Thrones has returned to HBO! Regina, Isabela, join Nicole Tanner from Gaming with the Moms to discuss season 7 of everyone’s favorite fantasy drama. Our first episode discussed Episodes 1 & 2 of Season 7. Our second episode discusses 3,4, and 5 and this week covers just episode 6!

Official Game of Thrones Description

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne continues.

It stretches from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues, to the vast and savage eastern lands, where a young queen raises an army. All the while, in the frozen north, an 800-foot wall of ice precariously protects the war-ravaged kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all play the ‘Game of Thrones.’ An original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series.

Episode Description

Season 7 Episode 6

Beyond the Wall

Jon and the Brotherhood hunt the dead. Arya confronts Sansa. Tyrion thinks about the future.

Our Discussion

We discuss the ragtag band of adventurers that make this crazy plan to bring a wright back as proof to Cersi and Danereys. Sansa and Arya have a tense conversation. The rest of our story lines are left to wrap up in next week’s finale. Everything is moving so fast! It’s exciting and OMG only one episode left!

Until next time, don’t throw stones at zombies!

Regina, Isabela, and Nicole

To Discuss

What is your theory about Little Finger, Sansa, and Arya?

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Episode 186 - TGE Watches Game of Thrones S 7 E 3-4-5

#ThronesYall

It’s finally that time of year again: Game of Thrones has returned to HBO! Regina, Isabela, join Nicole Tanner from Gaming with the Moms to discuss season 7 of everyone’s favorite fantasy drama.

Official Game of Thrones Description

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne continues.

It stretches from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues, to the vast and savage eastern lands, where a young queen raises an army. All the while, in the frozen north, an 800-foot wall of ice precariously protects the war-ravaged kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all play the ‘Game of Thrones.’ An original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series.

Episode Descriptions

Season 7, Episode 3
The Queen's Justice 

Daenerys holds court. Tyrion backchannels. Cersei returns a gift. Jaime learns from his mistakes.

Season 7, Episode 5
The Spoils of War

The Lannisters pay their debts. Daenerys weighs her options. Arya comes home.

Season 7, Episode 6
Eastwatch

Daenerys offers a choice. Arya grows suspicious. Tyrion answers a good question.

Our Discussion

The amount of action in these episodes is overwhelming. We do our best (and in only TWO HOURS!) to discuss each of the plot lines and the characters we've come to love and hate. One of the most interesting observations about GoT is the fact that we have such conflicted feelings about so many of the characters. It's often hard to decide in some scenes who you are rooting for...

We might record two more episodes in this season, depending on how much happens in the penultimate episode and the season finale. A battle approaches but will it rival the ones that have come before? Only time will tell.

Until next time, winter is here!

Regina, Isabela, and Nicole

To Discuss

Which character in GoT creates the most internal conflict for you? Who do you hate to love?

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Episode 185 - TGE Plays Pathfinder - Ep 9 Nictis Loath

Greetings and salutations, fellow adventurers!

Our last adventure saw our traveling band of heroes negotiate their way into the next part of the adventure. Trusting Hargath’s instinct that the ghost wardens, Byron and Celeste, were protecting something of great and dangerous power, we are invited beyond the veil. In this episode, many secrets will be revealed including the purpose and power behind the Void Scythe. Pivotal plot twists a’ho!

Join our characters as they make their way into this leg of their journey. The story deepens, the characters come together and the next leg of their journey becomes clear.

Watch the entire campaign, The Keeper of the Dead, on YouTube here! And subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Dante & Mark & Evan

The Characters

Hargath (Mark)
Human Cleric
Alignment: Neutral Good

Hargath is a reformed murderer/thief. He became a member of Sarenrae’s order after a cleric from the order showed him mercy. At 36, he started his Cleric teachings older than most and his blond hair has begun to grey. Recently he had a falling out with the church he was based out of due to discovering the chief priest there embezzling gold for his own purposes. He now looks to find adventurers that he can travel with in the hopes of finding a new church and helping anyone he can along the way. Whether that means healing people, bringing evil-doers to the light or smiting  evil that won’t makes little difference to him.

Sevarka Sunseeker (Dante)
Gnome Sorceress
Alignment: Neutral Good

The cheerfully optimistic, orange skinned, green haired gnome called Sevarka Sunseeker describes herself as a professional nomad. Friend to all she comes across, her delightful facade hides a family secret. Generations ago, a dragon assumed gnomish form bedded one of the Sunseeker family progenitors. The eldest born daughter of each Sunseeker generation manifests aspects of the dragon and inherits its magical​ talents. Sevarka is the first born daughter of her generation, and wanders to discover the the origins of her draconic blood and what that means for the legacy of the Sunseeker clan.

Neraden Runka (Regina)
Dwarf Barbarian
Alignment: Neutral Good

Neraaden (Nera like Vera for short) is the middle daughter of a large dwarf family. With 10 siblings, she feels underappreciated and overlooked by her family. She leaves her family with dreams of finding success on the road but encounters disaster almost as soon as she leaves. She persevered as she journeyed farther and father from home, hoping one day she might return home a celebrated hero.

Freya Redsun (Isabela)
Half-Elf Ranger
Alignment: Neutral Good

Freya is a half-elf that is striking out on her own after clashing with her elfish mother one too many times. She wants to find out who she is without the influence of her family. Freya’s mother was born into a royal elvish family but gave up the luxuries of that life to be with the human man she came to love. Freya carries the weight of her mother’s sacrifice with heavy resentment.

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Episode 184 - TGE Watches Game of Thrones

It’s finally that time of year again: Game of Thrones has returned to HBO! Regina, Isabela, join Nicole Tanner from Gaming with the Moms to discuss season 7 of everyone’s favorite fantasy drama.

Official Game of Thrones Description

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne continues.

It stretches from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues, to the vast and savage eastern lands, where a young queen raises an army. All the while, in the frozen north, an 800-foot wall of ice precariously protects the war-ravaged kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all play the ‘Game of Thrones.’ An original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series.

Fangirls

Ok it’s pretty safe to say all three of us are differing levels of fan girl over Game of Thrones. Most dedicated among us is Nicole as she knows all the characters names. Normally, I wouldn’t note this as part of a definition of being “most dedicated” but come on. So many characters, so many odd and hard to remember names. She wins.

We talk about both the season 7 premire episode, Dragonstone, and the second episode, Stormborn, in great detail. We spoil everything. That is pretty much the expectation for the entire TGE Watches series: Spoilers are coming. Also discussed are several fan theories and a handful of articles we read before recording.

I am kinda sad we wrapped when we did because we continued talking about how much we hate Little Finger afterward and it was awesome. We will try to remember to pick up on that next episode. As I mention, we will do three episodes in this TGE Watches series. The next will be in three weeks after episode 5 airs.

Until next time, winter has come!

Regina, Isabela, and Nicole.

To Discuss

Which story line in Game of Thrones is the most compelling to you and why?

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Episode 183 - TGE Watches Spider-Man: Homecoming

We’re back and talking about the next movie in our summer series: Spider-Man Homecoming!

From the Official Site

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine. He finds himself distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. But when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

As always, we talk the nitty gritty of the whole movie and spoil everything! Highlights include discussing how high is too high for Peter Parker, Keaton once being team DC and now entering Marvel as a kick ass bad guy, and the amazing casting job overall in the movie. Don’t miss our insights!

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina, Ryan, and Mark

To Discuss

Was Spider-Man: Homecoming an origin story? Why or why not?

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Episode 182 - TGE Plays Pathfinder - Ep 7 The Haunted Murk

Greetings and salutations, fellow adventurers!

Our band of merry role players continues their journey after taking out a small band of goblins in our last episode. After a successful fight full of magic fireballs and dopey goblins attacks, we rescue the half elf commander, Vanya Brightmoor. She joins the group with little reservation after we risk our lives to save and free her. In many ways, this fight brings our heroes together and proves their worth as a team.

Sevarka (Dante) impresses us all with her amazing fireball of doom. Hargath (Mark) impresses us with his spells and healing power and taking the time to make sure Freya recovered completely from her wound. Neraden (Regina) cleaves her way into the hearts and heads of the enemy. It was a great episode.

Onward Towards…

In episode seven, we continue toward the relic that set us on this road. The path changes a bit in this episode, much to each of our character’s surprise. Watch and let us know what you think of our journey!

Game on!

Regina & Isabela & Mark & Dante & Evan

To Discuss

What do you think is the most important part of role playing? Developing your character? Or bonding as a team?

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Episode 181 - TGE Watches The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale

For the next episode in our TGE Watches series, Isabela and I discuss the Hulu Original series: The Handmaid’s Tale. We discussed the series several times as it was airing, and had differing thoughts and opinions about it. These differences make for a pretty lively and engaging discussion.

Series Description

Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized ‘return to traditional values’. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.

Our Discussion

We touch on three major topics during this discussion which all focus on our differing perspectives as viewers. First we discuss how the show stays true to the source material and how it differs. The impact this has on the story told is pretty profound. We touch on the different emotional responses we had to the themes of motherhood. I found some of the scenes that involved June’s daughter to be particularly difficult, not because of the content but because I can so imagine my own emotional response as a mother. Lastly, we analyze how race is represented in Gliead in this modern, visual medium and how that is also a significant departure from the book.

To Discuss:

Did you watch The Handmaid’s Tale? What drew you to the story and kept you watching? If not, have you avoided it for a specific reason? We love hearing your comments! Let us know your thoughts below.

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela

 
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Episode 180 - TGE Plays Pathfinder - Ep 6 Goblin Battle!

Did someone say Goblin Battle??!!

Episode 5 left our adventurers in a bit of a pickle. In fact, in the business we call that a cliff hanger. After scouting out a Goblin camp, the group discovers that there is a survivor being held captive by the gang of goblins they followed after finding signs of the previous scouting party. A goblin battle prevails!

This episode finds our heroes in some real trouble, fighting tooth and nail for the sake of the group. We have some fun rolls, some crazy things happen, and we all have great fun. We sure hope you enjoy watching!

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Mark & Dante & Isabela & Evan

To Discuss

What is your favorite weapon to wield in an RPG game? Video or tabletop? What makes it so enjoyable to play? I take some great satisfaction wielding Neraden’s Great Ax, I’ll admit, and Dante’s pleasure at roaming fireballs is amazing.

 

The Characters

Hargath (Mark)
Human Cleric
Alignment: Neutral Good

Hargath is a reformed murderer/thief. He became a member of Sarenrae’s order after a cleric from the order showed him mercy. At 36, he started his Cleric teachings older than most and his blond hair has begun to grey. Recently he had a falling out with the church he was based out of due to discovering the chief priest there embezzling gold for his own purposes. He now looks to find adventurers that he can travel with in the hopes of finding a new church and helping anyone he can along the way. Whether that means healing people, bringing evil-doers to the light or smiting  evil that won’t makes little difference to him.

Sevarka Sunseeker (Dante)
Gnome Sorceress
Alignment: Neutral Good

The cheerfully optimistic, orange skinned, green haired gnome called Sevarka Sunseeker describes herself as a professional nomad. Friend to all she comes across, her delightful facade hides a family secret. Generations ago, a dragon assumed gnomish form bedded one of the Sunseeker family progenitors. The eldest born daughter of each Sunseeker generation manifests aspects of the dragon and inherits its magical​ talents. Sevarka is the first born daughter of her generation, and wanders to discover the the origins of her draconic blood and what that means for the legacy of the Sunseeker clan.

Neraden Runka (Regina)
Dwarf Barbarian
Alignment: Neutral Good

Neraaden (Nera like Vera for short) is the middle daughter of a large dwarf family. With 10 siblings, she feels underappreciated and overlooked by her family. She leaves her family with dreams of finding success on the road but encounters disaster almost as soon as she leaves. She persevered as she journeyed farther and father from home, hoping one day she might return home a celebrated hero.

Freya Redsun (Isabela)
Half-Elf Ranger
Alignment: Neutral Good

Freya is a half-elf that is striking out on her own after clashing with her elfish mother one too many times. She wants to find out who she is without the influence of her family. Freya’s mother was born into a royal elvish family but gave up the luxuries of that life to be with the human man she came to love. Freya carries the weight of her mother’s sacrifice with heavy resentment.

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Episode 180 - TGE Watches Wonder Woman

TGE Watches

Summer continues and the biggest summer movie of the year is the feature on the latest episode of TGE Watches!*

<do doo dut do> Wonder Woman! <do doo dut do>

But seriously folks, this summer's Wonder Woman movie has been the topic of much debate and discussion all over the internets. As a long time fan with a very serious personal connection to Wonder Woman, I'll be the first to admit that I was worried how well my favorite Amazon princess might be treated on the big screen. I'm thankful for the outcome.

As usual, we discuss the movie in great detail. It's three weeks today since it opened so I am not too concerned about that. But consider yourself warned anyway!

Ryan takes a measured response and is not too terribly celebratory of the movie. Mark lands much in the space space as Ryan. They both had far more negatives about the movie than I had which is great because they balance out my OMG THIS IS THE BEST EVER vibe. (Even though I feel like some points were rather nitpicky.) Watch the episode to see what our final tally is on total thumbs up. (Spoiler: I gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up!)

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Mark & Ryan

To Discuss

What did you watch Wonder Woman? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Episode 179 - TGE Plays Pathfinder Ep 5 Finding the Path

Finding the Path: Episode 5 of The Keeper of the Dead Saga

Greeting Geeks!

Finding the path is the next move in our adventurers’ journey. It’s not a clear move forward after running into a giant spider nest but our adventurers persevere. They find new complexities await them at the base of the mountains. Each episode takes them closer to the final dangers they will face. The road is not clear and easy; instead, it is covered with dead and decaying forest but also some more dangerous and sentient creatures.

As the new player to pen and paper role playing campaigns, I make sure to slow down and ask about the rules at several points in this episode. I realized at one point that we were skimming over some pretty important play mechanics. Since a key component of The Geek Embassy’s mission is to help facilitate learning, I wanted to make sure we covered exactly what was happening during the fighting. And anyway, the fights are the best part of the adventure. Well, that and Evan’s voice characterizations.

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Mark & Isabela, & Dante & Evan

To Discuss

What is your favorite fantasy race to play? Do you pick races that are similar to you in real life or the opposite? Neither?

 

 
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Episode 178 - Favorite Parental Figures

Parental Figures Have All the Fun

You love them… most of the time. Some are good, some are bad, some are so good we tear up talking about them.

For this hangout, we share our favorite parental figures from TV shows, movies, and books. We combined May and June’s hangout into one epic conversation. I had the idea to talk about favorite moms for May’s hangout since we were scheduled to record around Mother’s Day. When we had to reschedule, it made sense to make it a May and June parental figures celebration.

Each of us came with a different set of priorities and considerations for the characters we shared.  One ambassador had a truly epic list. (Cough cough Dante cough cough.) One of the most interesting ideas that we cover is how rarely we think about parental characters just in general. It’s easy and natural to talk about heroes or heroines, villains and even minions. But sitting down to think about favorite mentors and parents is something we rarely consider.

Give it a listen and let us know what you think!

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Dante & Evan

To Discuss

Obviously, share your favorite parents or parental figures.

 

 
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