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Old 11-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #1368
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Star Wars KOTOR 2: Heart Felt Lullaby
Orion Matrix

Post TSL: Brianna finally tells her Exile how she feels.

One thing, remember to reread and edit. You used Cant (Song or chant) instead of can't (Unable) for example.

I am glad other authors are putting more flesh onto the bones of the Echani race. I assume you used Japanese for their language, unless you're really good at merely making it up.

If you want to seem my take on them, read my pre-Republic work over at lucasforums in the Coruscant Entertainment Center, and my two longer SW works here. The reason I said that was because yours fits right into mine.

Well worth the read

Pick of the Week

Nothing to Offer

TSL aboard Ebon Hawk: Atton can't see anyway to reach her

Sorry, but the piece honestly depressed me. I am sixty, and back when I was still dating, I would have been Atton. Not because I was unworthy, but because I believed myself to be. Seeing him moping around like this is too reminiscent of that part of my life.

Jedi Academy

One year after Jedi Academy 2:

Remember conversation breaks. Part of the problem is you centered all of the test, and I actually went by the first time you forgot to use them because the text being centered was confusing. Think of a story as a river. Conversation is like small ripples in the water, but without conversation breaks, what you have is white water without meaning to.

Remember to sight edit for grammar and how the sentence feels. You used your (Possessive) instead of you're (You are). And the dialogue was getting a bit flat. Try this; when you write the dialogue, try speaking it aloud. I know is sounds crazy, but something that might look fine on paper when being read will sound contrived or fake aloud.

Breaking the new students by race made some sense, but a lot of the comments made read false. You can't always merely accept what is written in the Wookiepedia as fact. As an example, I wrote two SW novelizations, based on the KOTOR Books that have been posted on fanfiction Genesis of a Jedi (KOTOR) and Return From Exile (TSL) that have Echani characters. The only comment on race (In the KOTOR one) I received was based merely on what the Wookipedia has now seven or eight years after they were written, and that is conjecture since I have yet to read an EU book that makes those comments canon. But when I wrote them, there was absolutely nothing about them beyond the game references to the weapons you can pick up.

So what I did was create my own version of the race, dividing them into Dark and Light, meaning skin and hair colors, so my Revan was redheaded with olive skin, while Atris and the Handmaidens are Light, with white or ash blonde hair and pale complexions.

As an example of how it is skewed, it states that Kiffu (The planet Kiffer live on) was annexed by the Empire 3500 years earlier, while the Empire only existed for about twenty years before ANH. The Imperial hyperlink then goes to the Old Sith Empire, which is like blaming the nations of modern Central and South America for the Meso American Religions.

On the whole the basic idea is interesting.

ipod Shuffle Knights of the Old Republic style
Oh Great Sarcastic One

First chapter set in TSL on Malachor V: A series of song-fics of the people in KOTOR

remember to sight edit. Near the end you used though instead of thought for example.

I have never heard this song, but I can understand the longing your Lord Sion has. I used the same attitude when I had the final confrontation between Sion and my Exile in Return From Exile.

Random Star Wars Spoof

The piece blindsided me. Having Vader say, 'I did your mom' or having to explain what a father is was bad enough. But using Eddie Izzard's Death Star Canteen? I don't care what the author said, this was choice!

Pick of the Week

I'd Come For You

Set in Republic Commandos: Etain is kidnapped, and Dar has to rise from his sickbed to go to the rescue

I read the reviews, and the guest who commented said a lot of what I would have said here. The comment about songfics was completely valid; if the story is almost as short as the song, it is a problem. Leaving out whole sections of information as you did consistently is a bigger one. If a reader has to go back and reread constantly, they don't have time to enjoy what is there. Some of the best work I have seen has been something tossed together on the fly; Isaac Asimov wrote a story in twenty minutes once titled 'Some Assembly Required' because he was on a panel or authors, and was asked to do it which was choice. For that matter the previous author in this review did one that took about two minutes that cracked me up.

The days of exile

Pre TSL: A brief snippet of her life

Waking up in a bar you don't even remember entering is bad. The piece is disjointed, but since the character is drunk, that is no surprise. The primary problem I had with the piece is that I cannot picture this person redeeming herself in any way, since she has already given up.

Knights long forgotten

KOTOR AU: An exiled fleet returns in time to fight a second battle of Taris

Remember to sight edit because you used the wrong words several times. Being exiled because of a senator rather than the senate, that kind of thing.

The basics are interesting. Unlike a lot of others, you did take notice of the fact that since this fleet had sailed away almost a millennia ago, their weapons and defenses are not equal to facing more modern warships. However even under the fiercest combat conditions, you would have some survivors, but in this case, any that did landed on Taris; sort of like the old joke about being lucky enough to survive the sinking of the Titanic, but you were rescued and brought aboard Lusitania.

However I cannot see the Jedi literally throwing away one entire sect of the order because the Senate doesn't like having them around, and there should be records of what happened to them then in either case. There is an ancient story alluded to by Andre Norton in one of her books where the Roman Senate became incensed with one Legion commander and his men. They ordered him to march them East until they could return from the West.

Catch Me

No specific time somewhere around KOTOR: What you have to do, is let go

Having Atton have a sister is logical in a way, but the dialogue and setting (Outside the room of a thousand fountains) and what occurs does not. What you have is similar to having a WWII Nazi General, discussing the actions of one of his Totenkopf troops with his sibling set in the Capital Building in Washington.

If that seems to be a stretch, remember the fictional character Howard W Campbell Jr, in Slaughterhouse 5 and Mother Night, an American spy working for Army Intelligence, who lived inside Nazi Germany, made propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis, and rose to the rank of General in a military formation he tried to create, the American Free Corps. Yet Vonnegut dedicated the book to a man of that name which begs the question; did he really exist?


Post KOTOR: Dreams are still open to the nightmare

During the story, I was unsure. The author said it is a Revan-Canderous story, but I didn't see that in it. The ending of the first chapter left me confused. Was it the other persona being tormented? Was it Carth and she was inside the body while it happened? Is she now of the dark side or is it just a nightmare of her past?

Knights of the Old Republic: The Way of the Sith
Jack Of The Blades

Pre-KOTOR in the Unknown Region: Revan is ambushed in more ways than one

Always remember to reread and sight edit, and pay attention to your spellchecker! You used specimin when you meant specimen, and phandom when you meant phantom. You also used humanoid in referring to Malak, but the term means 'shaped in a human form'. A Twi-Lek is a humanoid.

Technical Note, Battle meditation: The way you describe the effect is way out of proportion to what the wookiepedia describes. The skill bolsters the morale of your forces, and degrades those of your enemy, but no matter how good the one using it is, it would not cause such an immediate collapse.

How badly they would be affected depends on a lot of things. Let's look at units in reality, and I will show you what I mean:

Green. A green unit is brand new. They have had adequate training, have all the proper weapons, a relatively competent command structure, but they have never faced combat. If you watch the North African portion of the Movie the Big Red One, they land in Morocco, in what is almost an administrative landing; I.E. you are going through the motions as if it were an exercise, and the possible enemy on the beach is there like the Red Force in such an exercise. The French surrendered (In the movie at least) without really testing how well trained the Americans were. If your Sith forces had never faced combat, this is where they would be, stumbling over procedure, unsure of what they are supposed to do, and generally sloppy.

Average: An Average unit is a little more polished. They have had some combat experience, and are now sure of their command structure, but they still have not faced a serious enemy with a lot of experience. At the Battle of Kasserine Pass (Three months later) The same force described above, still relatively untried, broke and ran when the Germans launched an offensive.

Veteran: A Veteran unit is competent in combat. They have as the old Civil War saying goes, seen the elephant, and know what combat has in store for them. When the US fought (And lost) the Battle of Savo Island in November of 1942, you had a mix of Green and average fleet officers facing a Veteran team of Japanese officers. The Japanese units had never operated together before, they had seen combat, but never as a unit, yet seamlessly joined, struck and retreated leaving the Allied force (British, American and Australian in disarray.

Battle Hardened: A Battle Hardened or Elite unit is the worst enemy to face. They have not only fought, they have fought long and hard and in some cases, have been reconstituted many times, so everyone slots into position like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The German army in 1945 was at this stage. Been there, done that, didn't even bother to get the T shirt. They didn't lose because they weren't good at their jobs, they lost because everything behind them broke down.

Now this list I have made is not the be all and end all, because any military unit takes casualties, and you have to occasionally withdraw them to bring them back up to strength. Except for the US Army(for reasons never adequately explained) this means actually pulling them far enough back that they are not under attack or soon to be, bring in fresh (Green to average) troops to fill the ranks, make sure the newbies are up to speed, then send them back into combat.

This makes the unit less efficient, but since the core of it is still at the same level as before, and the new men have them to lean on, they learn quicker. The perfect example is Operation Market Garden when the Allies used Paratroops to capture three key points along the main roadway from Belgium to the Rhine. While intelligence reports said the defenders were in disarray and could be pushed through easily, this was not the case. However the Germans were given 13 days to reorganize, and while the units were below strength, all of them were veteran.

Part of the problem was the fact that Abwehr, German Military Intelligence, had captured agents dropped into Holland almost immediately. Using the suborned agents, they were able to take over pretty much all of the intelligence received from Holland, making the British assume the ones transmitting the real data were actually working for the Nazis. Cornelius Ryan in his book A Bridge Too Far commented that when a recently captured agent transmitted his 'I've been captured' code, the reply from England was 'Come on, you haven't been captured that quickly'.

When the British finally realized what had happened, the Abwehr then sent a smarmy reply about how they have been doing business together for years, and now you don't want to continue?

So actual reports from real agents still trying to warn them were ignored. The fact that four Field Marshalls and their units were all in the operational area were ignored. My favorite comment in the book was after the Allies were mired trying to force their men up one road, and had finally passed through Nijmegen, a Dutch officer entered the British officer's mess, then commented that if they had been students in the Dutch Military Academy, they would have all flunked out. The Dutch had used the passage from Nijmegen to Arnhem for decades as a war game scenario, and he enumerated everything their experience had taught them. Everything, in other words, that the British had done wrong.

So what you describe is a group of what I would define as average to battle hardened (The Sith units are average, the ex-Republic forces Veteran to Battle hardened) facing a force that is primarily average, but with battle meditation on it's side.

The skill can make them more efficient; I.E. have the average excel to Veteran level, but it is not going to turn battle hardened troops into morons. The Sith units would be fumbling around like this, but you don't end up on the flagship of a fleet by being an amiable moron. The best men you have go there.

What battle meditation does initially is level the playing field, and as the battle goes on (The ones supported feel more confident, now because they are doing so well, and their enemy feels more despondent because they are now losing) it would have a greater effect. But starting off the instant it is used would not happen, no matter how powerful the Jedi using it is.

[Url=]Knights-of-the-Old-Republic III” The Sith Unleashed[/url

One thousand years before KOTOR: A Sith Master take the throne from the old emperor.

Very nicely done. The start was a bit rough. The first three phrases nicely set the scene, but didn't scan well. And having your Sith Lord be dead, yet still walking about was a bit of a stretch. The action scenes were nice and crisp, but there was a flaw I have not yet mentioned which is addressed below.

Twin double-sabers?: The average double-saber body looks to be about a foot long, and the blades when engaged reach for over six feet. Using one, as I mentioned in my own Genesis of a Jedi requires a lot of fine muscle control to avoid cutting yourself with the blades. One scene in the Jedi Academy II game I always enjoyed was having my Jaden Korr shut it down, and as her hand moved to put it away, one of the blades would always slice through her arm as she did.

For this to work in practice, you would have to make the blades a lot shorter. In fact the only length that would work without turning yourself into sliced and diced meat would have to be if the actual blades and handle are about the length of the average cheerleader's baton. Try 28 inches, meaning two blades that are each only eight inches in length. That makes it a light knife, not a light saber.

The problem is that the only advantage Darth Phobas has in reality is that her weapon is something not faced that often; like the combined single-double design used by Asajj Ventress in the Clone Wars movie and series. But in a real fight between someone using say the Japanese katana or Wakizashi (Between 42” and 28” blades), it might not work as well. All the man with the longer weapon needs to do is maintain the standoff distance. For Darth Phobas, you have to break through a defense in depth to get up close and personal.

This is not a negative. The negative is you took a fight worthy of three or four pages and reduced it to a few paragraphs. A perfect example was a cartoon done by Vaughn Bode (Born July 1941, died July 1975) where you have a duel. (I found it on a web site; put in Vaughn Bode Da Duel to see it for yourself)One man, obviously a general, is offered a submachine gun and full clip of ammo, and his opponent (Who looked like the average grunt) is given a brick.

They march off the usual ten paces, then the scene shifts so you're not watching, only listening. There's the usual 'Budda budda' sound comics use for a machine gun followed by the word 'throw' followed by more firing, then 'thud'. So it leaves you wondering who won.

Pick of the Week

'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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