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Every Silver Lining has its Cloud

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Review of chapter "~~ Grasping Threads of the Situation ~~" from (Current Donor)Speakertocustomers
Review:
This is extremely good so far. I do have some concerns about how it may go in the future, however.

I am dreading the arrival of the Anime characters. Ms. Tendo's speech about her home town jarred horribly; it seemed far too silly for the tone of the rest of the fic. I hope that you manage to integrate that element successfully (or, better still, change your mind and leave the Anime people out altogether).

I am puzzled by your characters referring to the orcs as 'australopithecines'. None of the various species of Australopithecus was more than 4.5 feet tall. They seem far more analogous to goblins than orcs. Homo erectus or H. heidelbergensis seem much more suitable. Maybe even H. neanderthalis if you wanted to be really unkind to Neanderthals. I know that the name was given to them by characters, rather than by your authorial voice, but you actually say that 'anthropologists with experience in Australopithecine bone structures' are there. Surely they'd notice the massive size difference!

Contrary to what some other reviewers have said, I think you're making things far too easy for the Sunnydale people. There are far too many ships with too much in the way of useful cargoes in the harbour. From what we saw on the show I wouldn't have expected more than 2 or 3 ratty little tramp steamers. It is almost as if Sunnydale was stocking up ready for the transportation!

I have trouble suspending disbelief enough to accept the presence of the Apaches. However if they are there then they should be treated properly. They had a ridiculously hard time against a green dragon. The breath weapon isn't suitable for fighting a fast airborne opponent, in a fully enclosed cockpit, and the guns on the Apache outrange it by an immense distance. Honestly, there is no way that the shells from the 30mm chain gun would have bounced off. They could have killed the dragon in four seconds flat at a distance of a mile. Not even mentioning the Hellfire missiles! It would have worked much better if you had made the choppers civilian helicopters, or Kiowa scout helicopters, fitted with improvised weapon mountings and guns of only 7.62 mm calibre - even the .50 calibre HMGs on a Kiowa Warrior would have been overkill, and it carries missiles too.

I fear that, rather than the Sunnydale contingent having to adapt to Faerûn, they will dominate and force the Realms to adapt to them. It will be like the execrable '1632' books. With thousands of heavily-armed modern-day American soldiers around what role will there be for the Slayer and for poor Drizzt? I want to see more of the Faerûnian characters and the Scoobies, less hi-tech military stuff (although, if you do feature the military, please don't nerf their weaponry for plot purposes), and, hopefully, no super-powered Japanese characters at all. If twenty thousand of the townspeople were to die of starvation and hypothermia during the winter (preferably including Maggie Walsh), and the military were to deplete their ammunition down almost to nothing fighting off a major orc invasion, it would balance things out very well.

This has come out more as a list of criticisms than as a review. It wasn't my original intention, and I wouldn't have done it like this if I hadn't seen other reviews in similar style. I stress that I do like this story a lot, and so far you are doing an admirable job of avoiding the pitfalls. If I don't like a story I stop reading and don't leave any review at all.

PS: in your reply to Ben's advice that you should either remove the sections featuring Drizzt or else remove the references to the Time of Troubles you say 'I'm not sure that I have any references to the Troubles. If I do, please point them out for me.' In Chapter 4 the passage in which Dove is thinking about the explosion includes this line; 'Abandoned, untended, some mythals had become unstable; many had become worse during the Time of Troubles when magic was erased from the land.'
Comments from author:
Of course the scientists would notice the size difference. They did mention some differences the orcs from the archaeological record, this just happens to be one of them. I didn't want to use any of the other humanoid ancestors because the orcs would have looked too human. And they aren't, orcs are orcs.

In the show we never saw the full dock, only a small part in darkness. I still think that the mayor would have encouraged cruise ships to land because that means more meals for the vamps and demons. And since they were only visitors, there are less questions. It's even easier for the cops to cover it up.

I still stand by my opinion that an Apache would have a hard time with a mature adult green dragon. Yes they normally have the advantage of range, but dragon hide is one of the strongest natural hides in existence. There is also the question of how far away could they be without hitting buildings or ships. Sure, they can have range on open terrain, but not in the middle of a town where they are already having trouble with housing. Dragons are also spellcasters, it is perfectly reasonable for it to have protected itself from airborne attacks, lessening their damage against its hide.

My reason for not including Hellfire missiles: Sunnydale Military base is supposed to be scaled down, not fully outfitted. It doesn't make sense to fully outfit a base in southern California, even one on a hellmouth. Many bases do, however have vehicles for practice. I actually thought of including the Kiowa instead, but I used the Apache because people would know it better.

I totally missed chapter 4 reference. My edits glanced right over it. Thanks for spotting it!

They are going to run out of bullets soon. There are too many orcs and fiends in the Nether mountains for them not to keep fighting. But guns are part of the standard weaponry in parts of Faerun (not machine guns or assault rifles of course, but they are not unknown by any standards), so commissioning bullets for them is not going to be hard, nor will it impact the tech level that severely. The North is by comparison rather behind in technology when you compare it to places like Lantan and some places where gnome artificers are making fancy contraptions.

It is also Buffy cannon that guns, no matter how powerful, cannot kill most kinds of demons, vamps included. And when you're living next to Hellgate Keep, this can be a very, very bad thing. A slayer and a Dark elf with enchanted swords is a very, very good thing.

No matter how much they are attacked or even killed, their technology will change the way the north reacts. I have no intention of allowing them dominion over the region, but I do intend for them to keep living.

And wow, there is a LOT of Maggie Walsh hate. but no, she isn't going to die any time soon. Sorry people.

As for Superpowered japanese characters, yes most of the Ranma cast is there, no they will not be upping the ante as far as the power levels are concerned. I agree, Nabiki was not being very serious when talking about Nerima towards the end of the chapter. Nerima is not a very serious place in the Ranmaverse, after all. The seriousness is going to come later. Characters will have grown up and had to deal with greater decisions and hardships. Fans of Ranma 1/2 will note that it is after the manga by about 10 years. (the manga started in the late 80s and Buffy takes place in the late 90s).

Criticisms are cool. They keep me on my toes and you raised some very good points. You made no personal attacks and defended your position well. I welcome more.
Review By [(Current Donor)Speakertocustomers] • Date [17 Sep 08] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "~~ Grasping Threads of the Situation ~~" from Toras
Review:
Another good chapter, I see you starting to bring the Ranma crew in.

I suspect that once the town and the locals find a way to comunicate tha the people of Sunnydale are going to be in for quite a shock when they realize that they have effectively landed in a D&D type world. I am curious about one thing thought, you mentioned in an earlier chapter as well as this one that D&D is known, so that raises the question does the D&D system that Sunnyday familiar with include the Forgotten Realms material or just the generic version?

Keep up the great work.
Comments from author:
I should be something of a shock, in some respects, but there could easily be some simple acceptance of the truth.

And it remains to be seen if anyone will actually believe Andrew.
Review By [Toras] • Date [17 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Grasping Threads of the Situation ~~" from darkblade
Review:
By the way notes part 1:

1. Walsh wouldn’t do anything “funny”. At first she will have too little time for that, than she will have more research material acquired by legal means than she can study in three lives.
2. Winter clothing. The most probable way to acquire it is to buy. They can simply have no time to make it for 40000 people and in situation I don’t see big difference in cost of materials and ready clothing. But it would be about 1/2 million gp minimum and only if they start to do it quickly. The longer they wait the bigger overall price will be.
3. Given that they positioned like Oslo and they are in the inner parts of the continent and no Golfstream... winter will be harsh. At least like Moscow level if not worse... And that worse is really not funny, I could guarantee that... I wasn’t joking about rebuilding Sunnydale from scratch just to survive winter... any building without central heating would be unusable in winter and highly possible after winter. And they must be built with heat preservation in mind (which requires 2-3 times more materials minimum also... most likely method of building 2 old houses –> 1 new. (They have no time to acquire materials for building that also!) It’s really good that they have that cruise liner from Norway - they will somewhat know what to do.
4. Early-mid spring... In California-style housing... most likely without heating... Make it early summer, or at least later spring. Even in Oslo climate in mid spring there would be many dead from... damn, I don’t know how to translate it – let it be freezing. And it wouldn’t be like Oslo, it would be continental climate.
Comments from author:
Yes, they will need winter clothing. The Norwegians have their winter clothing (I don't think I've ever seen a Norwegian who hasn't brought a thick sweater along with them when they travel, even to places like Portugal or the Cayman islands). It is going to be very bad if they do not get some help and start collecting what they will need. Some people will have winter clothing simply because it's only a few hours ride to skiing in the mountains, no matter where you are in California. If Cordelia could be convinced to share there would be a lot more to go around.

I'm also playing with the fact that the area has not cooled down from living in California. it takes a long time for land and large bodies of water to cool, so they will still be providing ambient heat until the sun warms the rest of the area. If they had just been sent to any old place in early spring, yes, it would have been frigid. I used to live in Norway, so I know what you mean about the temp.

As for the building, there is already a plan in place. It has to do with one character already introduced.

Thanks for the comments.
Review By [darkblade] • Date [17 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Grasping Threads of the Situation ~~" from Ben
Review:
It looks promising, but it needs polishing on the timeline.

Sojuorn ended in DR1337. That's the earliest this can take place. The Chrystal Shard quintology takes place DR1356-8, after which Drizz't wasn't a fugitive anymore (at least not in the North). _Then_ after that, you have the Time of Troubles.

You are going to have to rewrite the Parts with Drizz't. Or else remove all the references to the Troubles.

Oh, and is anybody who has an inkling about the timeline going to try to pull a William Walker or a Conrad Stargard?
Comments from author:
I'm not sure that I have any references to the Troubles. If I do, please point them out for me.

And there might be a few people with interests in conquest and vast technological superiority, but they won't really come into play for some time. And as of yet, no one except Andrew has put things together.
Review By [Ben] • Date [17 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Grasping Threads of the Situation ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Wow... this is simply mind blowing. You are doing an awesome job with your story.

Can't wait for more!

Wispr
Comments from author:
I'll be updating in the next few days, so keep looking for it
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [17 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ The Whirlybirds get the Wyrm! ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Nice work with the dragon, good graphics on the battle scene.

Wispr
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Not Quite the Fireside Chats ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Ah good old Monster Manuals and players handbooks, and of the other accessories a good gamer needs. Going to make quiet a Gold mine, knowledge wise.

Wispr
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Discussions ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Another good chapter, like how the decisions that are being made are intelligent. Really having a blast reading this story.

Wispr
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Back on Earth ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
You did a good job with describing the various reactions. Good work.

Wispr
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ A Changing Sunnydale ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Very nice chapter, you really know your Forgotten Realms and how the locals are reacting is believable, well how everyone is reacting is believable... ;)

Wispr
Comments from author:
Well, I've been playing DnD since first edition so I've had time to learn it little by little.

I've tried to keep things as close to accurate to the realms as possible.
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ First Contact Part II ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Wow you doing a fantastic job with the character depth, they come across very vivid and alive.

Good work!

Wispr
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ First Contact ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Oh bloody good chapter, really did a beautiful job with the battle scene.

Wispr
Comments from author:
Thanks! I worked hard on it.
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Issues and Introductions ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Love the details you got in this story. Very rock solid chapter.

Wispr
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Stacking the Deck ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Very nice crew you are getting together. Like how you did Joyce and I hope Tara will be making an appearance. Also you got my favorite Drow too... very nice.

Wispr
Comments from author:
Tara will be around, but perhaps not for some time except in a few appearances.

Drizzt may be a little different from his personality in the books. He is much less mature here and he will have to use his mind to work things through. It will all work out in the end.

Thanks for reading!
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "~~ Slipping into the Unknown ~~" from (Recent Donor)MissingAuthor
Review:
Very interesting start, can't wait to see what you come up with next.

Wispr
Review By [(Recent Donor)MissingAuthor] • Date [16 Sep 08] • Not Rated
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