Fandom Heresies: The Difference Between Meme, Role-Playing, Min-Maxed and Cheese Builds

Hello all you happy people! It is I, Josh Stoodley, here with more Fandom Heresies.

This week, we’re going to talk a bit about something I’ve seen online recently: the difference between Role-playing and Min Maxed character builds, usually in the context of Dungeons and Dragons but sometimes in regards to other role-playing games as well.

I’m going to start by saying right off the bat that I feel this is a false dichotomy. There are, in my opinion, four distinct types of character builds (and a lot of overlap between them; we’re going to focus on the main four today). They are, in no particular order:

  1. Meme builds: these builds have no unifying concept, pay no attention to class archetypes and are generally nonsensical. These include things like wizards dumping Intelligence for Strength, warriors using magic staffs or weapons they otherwise aren’t built for, etc. They usually require some metagaming to make work and are a headache for everybody at the table.
  2. Role-playing builds: These builds start with a character concept first, then build a class and stats around it. Sometimes this means a less-optimized build than the min-maxers (see below) but not necessarily.
  3. Min-Maxing builds: These are sort of the opposite of role-playing builds. They start from the stats and classes, then build a character around that. These can, but don’t always, result in a bland character that is good at one thing and one thing only.
  4. Cheese builds: these are builds that, like meme builds, have no rhyme or reason to them. Unlike meme builds, which are usually made to be funny, these are meant to abuse the mechanics as much as possible. These include, but are not limited to, multi-class dips that make no sense, stacking tons of irrelevant flaws to stack build points, etc. The key point here is that these builds are purely mechanical and make no sense from a character perspective.

We’ll now go into these character build types into further detail below. The key point I want to make here is, yes, there are bad ways to build your character. There are many, many ways to build a character that will piss off your DM, your fellow players and subsequently get you banned from the table.

The reverse is also true, however. There are many, many ways to build characters that are fun, that make sense from both a mechanical and RP perspective and will make you a valued member of your table.

Join me under the cut!

And remember, if you enjoy this content and want to see more of it, you can support me on Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

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Fandom Heresies: Batman Should Be Unarmoured, Part 3: Conclusion

Hello all you happy people! Josh Stoodley with the final post on whether or not Batman should be armoured.

In the first post (here) we discussed how armour works in the real world. In the second post (here) we discussed Batman’s origins, how he evolved, and why he isn’t DC’s knock off of Tony Stark, no matter how much modern writers want to make into one.

Today, we are going to sum up everything and lay out the final conclusion: that Batman should be unarmoured. That by going around and tanking bullets, he’s stepping on other characters toes and betraying a fundamental aspect of his character. That armour would in fact impede Batman’s style of combat and make him more vulnerable, not less.

However, before we get there we have some housekeeping to do. In the process of outlining Superman, Wonder Woman and Fantastic Four, I realized that I had half-finished chapters for all three of them. So I’m going to finish up and polish those chapters than post them sometime within the next two weeks. Work on No Blood for Business has also started extensively this month, and will be released in 2023.

And, as always, if you enjoy these posts you can support me on Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

Now on to the controversies!

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Fandom Heresies: Batman Should Be Unarmoured, Part 2: Batman Is A Detective Ninja

Hello all you happy people! Josh Stoodley here with another Fandom Heresies post. This week we will be talking about who and what Batman is. We will be looking at the core character concept from the original Golden Age Batman all the way through to the most modern versions of the character. This is all a set-up for the third and final post in this series, where we will look at both this post and the previous one (which you can find here.

But first, some housekeeping. Pokémon Red Version chapter nine will be up this week, as will Batman chapter nine. We will be delving into my version of how Robin came to be, so be sure to check that out!

Heroic Fantasy has undergone some minor rewrites, and chapter seven will also be up this week.

Meanwhile, if you enjoy these posts, please support me on Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

On to Batman!

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Fandom Heresies: Batman Should Be Unarmoured, Part 1: How Armour Works In The Real World

Hello all you happy people! Josh Stoodley here with another Fandom Heresies post. This week, we’re talking about Batman. Specifically, whether or not Batman should wear armour.

This will be a multi-part series, starting with the real world limitations and strengths of armour. Then next week, we’re going to discuss Batman himself. How he fights, how he would operate in the real world and how I think he should fight, and the inspirations behind his character. Both originally and the many revamps afterwards. Then in the third and final post we will summarize and analyze our findings so far and discuss why turning Batman into a poor man’s Tony Stark is a bad idea.

But first, there is some housekeeping to deal with. First, the next chapter of The Amazing Spider-Man has been released and is up on AO3. Second, the next chapter of Pokémon: Red Version will be up this week. I also hope to have the next chapter of Batman up this week but we’ll see.

Also remember that if you enjoy my work, you can support me on Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

On to the heresy!

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Writing Through Depression And The Next Fandom Heresy

Good morning my fellow random response generators! I’m back today with another post, albeit one which I wished I did not have to write.

I have major depressive disorder. I have for years at this point, but lately it has gotten much worse. As you can imagine, this has negatively impacted my writing. I’ve managed to power through and get some done, but I’ve slowed down considerably. It’s just… hard to focus, to get anything done.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. I’ve talked to my doctor and I’m now on antidepressants and on the waiting list for counselling. I don’t like discussing my mental health online, but I felt I owed you guys an explanation.

On to the other half of this post!

Next week, I will be reviving Fandom Heresies with a new post: Why Batman Should Be Unarmoured. A lot of people out there, especially on Reddit but even some comic book writers and artists, think of Batman as a poor man’s Tony Stark: walking around in powered armour, tanking bullets and generally being Superman in black. And man is that a bad interpretation of the character. So we’re going to discuss what a detective-ninja should be wearing, why Batman wears what he does, and the limitations of armour. That will come out on Sunday.

For this week, the next chapter of The Amazing Spider-Man will go up AO3. I also plan to get the next chapter of Pokémon Red Version up this week. And maybe the next chapter of Batman. We’ll see.

I’ll see you guys next week!


If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

Fandom Heresies: Thoughts On The Batman (2022)

Greetings, my fellow random response generators! After the numerous disruptions of last month, I am getting back on schedule for this week and, hopefully, for the rest of this month. So one should see new updates to my fanfiction, No Blood for Business, Brockhall and Legends of Infernia. I make no promises, but that is the plan for now.

Today, however, I want to talk about The Batman (2022). I saw it last night (yes in the theatre; HBO MAX isn’t available in Canada) and, opininoiated pain in the neck that I am, have thoughts

Thoughts I’m gonna share with you whether you like it or not!

Join me under the cut!

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Fandom Funnies: Avatar (James Cameron) Isn’t Dances With Wolves In Space, It’s Actually A Terrible Dune Adaptation!

Hello my fellow random response generators! It is I, Josh Stoodley, with more silly thoughts on the silliest occupation in the universe: fandoms!

So, this thought came to me when I was watching Dune (2021). Now, I have a confession to make: I do not like Dune. I don’t. It’s creepy and weird, with all of the nonsense of pre-Star Wars science fiction. About the only good thing I can say about it is that while it is incredibly racist towards Middle Eastern and North African peoples, it is in a positive way instead of the overwhelmingly negative one we see today.

Anyway, while I watched the movie, amused by the cyclical nature of art (Dune the novel inspired Star Wars which inspired Dune the movie…), I realized Avatar (2009) is just a bad Dune ripoff!

Let’s count the ways, shall we?

  1. There is a distant planet with some mineral needed to keep humanity functioning
  2. It takes place in humanity’s future (pet peeve of mine, by the way)
  3. A young and dumb man is sent to the planet to get more of the mineral (Paul, at least, is marginally smarter than Jake)
  4. Young and Dumb is betrayed!
  5. Young and Dumb falls in with local tribe, meets Girl
  6. Young and Dumb bangs Girl
  7. Young and Dumb becomes leader of local tribe and leads them on a grand, pointless, bloody crusade

Granted, these kinds of stories are old. John Carter of Mars is a good example (the movie adaptation is good by the way), but it just tickled my funny bone about how shamelessly Cameron ripped off Herbert.

Next week, a post on the philosophies behind The Standard Tech Case Files, Brockhold and Legends of Infernia!


If you enjoyed this post, please support me on Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

Fandom Heresies: Metroid Dread And The Future Of Samus Aran

Greetings my fellow random response generators! It is I, falconlord5, here with yet another Fandom Heresies post. Today, we will be talking about Metroid Dread and what it means for the franchise continuing forward.

First things first. I have acquired a new laptop (and phone, but that’s a different issue). Which means, yes! I can get back to writing consistently. Everything is still delayed by about a month though, as I get back up to speed. I might, might mind, be able to update some stuff this month, but it is gonna be an irregular update schedule for January. I will, as ever, endeavour to keep you guys updated.

In the meantime, if you like this kind of content and wish to support me, you can check out my Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

Spoilers for Metroid Dread beneath the cut!

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Fandom Heresies: The Killing Joke; Or How Alan Moore Doesn’t Understand Batman, Part One

Hello my fellow random response generators! This week, as long promised, we’re going to dive into The Killing Joke, Alan Moore’s most famous work for DC and unarguably his worst. No, seriously: even Moore himself hates The Killing Joke, and with good reason: it’s a deeply misogynistic tale, complete with the use of rape imagery to titillate the reader (yes, I know Moore has said the Joker didn’t rape Barbara. The imagery is still there), thoroughly abelist and generally just a nasty, pathetic little story. While a lot of the problems we would see from Moore in later years (seriously, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is just one long thematic sequel to this steaming pile of crap) are here, it’s not hard to see why he’d reject this story in particular. The Killing Joke is nothing more than an exercise in Alan Moore’s worst tendencies and darkest fantasies.

Today, we’re going to set up a little background for Alan Moore’s most infamous work. But first, if you enjoy my writing you can support me on Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate.

Join me under the cut!

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Weekly Randomness

Greetings, my fellow random response generators! Welcome to this month’s first post!

This is just going to give you a brief idea of what the plan for this month is. There will be a new post every Sunday. Yes, every Sunday. It won’t be preview chapters from No Blood For Business or Brockhold; while those are coming this month, they won’t be a part of the Sunday posts. While you are waiting for new chapters, you can check out previous short stories and preview chapters here: https://www.patreon.com/joshstoodley?fan_landing=true

This month in Fandom Heresies we will look at The Killing Joke, its relationship with Barbara Gordon, Crisis On Infinite Earths and Redwall.

I hope to see you all this month!


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my Patreon or buy me a hot chocolate