Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy 40th D&D and other stuff

So hunting for Strongholds in minecraft has cut into my blogging time. However, since I am home from work this morning I though I would give it a shot. Happy birthday D&D! Jon Peterson has declared it so, watch his video on youtube.

I enjoyed Jon's book Playing at the World greatly. I do agree with the several other blogs that this is yet another WoTC marketing opportunity lost. Kobold press seemed to give some coverage as did Pazio, but WoTC is behind the internet power curve as usual  *** UPDATE Wizards of the Coast actually did post something for the 40th Anniversary of DnD. Unfortunately they are still not selling many things that I do not already own ****(When I am running my game company, I'll be hiring some 18 year old who's job is to surf the web and tell me what people are saying, he can also log on my website and tell me what links are broken and what people on the forum are complaining about). Unfortunately my 4th edition living forgotten realms game group seems to be winding down. They are piling in the car next week and heading to Fort Wayne for the final winter fantasy blowout. I'd have gone too, but I couldn't take as much time off from work as i would need to ride with them, and she-who-must-be-obeyed doesn't like me driving long distances by myself anymore (besides I missed the 24 hour window between when tickets went on-sale and when they sold out). As wind-down for our group we have been writing MYRE for other peoples favorite characters to run through out the spring. I am working on one for my friend's dragonborn Talak'talon. Here's the introduction (Lucas Cornelluis is my epic level warlord who is multiclassed bard, Captian Bellmourne is another players character from the Sunday night spelljamming MYRE series I ran over the Summer):

You sit in your cups in the Roaring Griffon Inn in Marsember listening to Lucas Cornelius the Singing Warlord perform the Dragonborn Opera “Lost Arkhosia” all on his ownsome. It tells the tale of the fall of the dragonborn lands from Abeir to Toril during the time of trouble. It’s a small crowd and gets even smaller once the aria of “Wails and Screeches” begins. This part tells how during the fall the Royal Palace cracked in half and is a song about the Crown Prince of the Dragonborn watching his principal consort, her newly laid egg, and the Queen Mother drift off in the half separated  from the part still attached to the ground. The fact that it is normally sung as duet does not seem to deter Lucas. The high pitched screeches  offensive to both human and dragonborn ears, are meant to jar the soul. The dull metallic clunk of the Chon Bek, although hammered in a rhythm unfamiliar to most, is in keeping with the traditions of the Dragonborn High Court Ceremonies. The low rumble of the principal consort to her egg sounds strangely familiar. As the  Opera closes Lucas receives polite applause, except from you who gives it a loud screech and a standing ovation. As you are doing so, you feel a tug on your cape. You whirl around suddenly hands on your khopeshes, to see two dark-skinned dwarves, one with a hook for hand who is doing the tugging, and another with patches over both eyes. The dwarf with the hooks speaks “Yar there be a strange tale indeed, but didn’t blind Smee here see a piece of a dragonborn palace floating in the bottom of the East Rift on a sea of stars when he had eyes to see. And weren’t he clutching an egg in a stasis field when we rescued him from the Ilthid slave caravan. Don’t bother talking to him direct all he speaks is deep speech now.  Took him years to crack the stasis spell and what the thanks he got? When the egg hatched they took the dragonborn bairn away and told him no one should be raised by an Ilthid touched like him, but didn’t he keep the shell? If you matched the shell pattern to the Royal Egg records, wouldn’t you have something. Of course the Royal Egg records from that time are in the part of the Palace that broke away. You’d need a Spelljammer, and a Captain with balls as big as dragon eggs, and no sense at all. But didn’t that Capt’ Bellmourne fly that bat winged spelljammer over the Cormyr Wizards guild and have his crew give them a twenty-one moon salute. We hear tell you’re a dragonborn raised by dwarves, perhaps you’d like to come with us and have a chat with Cap’t B?”

 I have been poring through the Rulenomincon by reading all the rules I have downloaded to look for a suitable substitute for 4th edition (The group all agrees from what we have seen that the 5th edition play test rules are not it, and we burned the Pathfinder bridge hard a year or two ago {some people have been sneaking of to play Pathfinder in secret anyways}). I  am also trying to write capsule reviews as I go. So far I am up to letter M in the Rulenomicon, when I get to letter Z I will rework the Rulenomicon to include the reviews. Thought I had an near hit with Dungeon world (even signed up for a dungeon world kickstarter by the guy who did the fourthcore Fane of the Hesiearch for 4th edition, Kickstarter's over but there's a late subscribers link here , at least as of this morning, they send me a link to the draft .pdfs the same day I signed up). However, the more I read Dungeon world the less I like it (too much make stuff up, and caped at 10th level; more on this later). 13th age finally send me the group play modules I asked for in December, so we may give those a go instead...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Is Minecraft a RPG?

Unfortunately she-who-must-be-obeyed suggestion that I set up a Minecraft server for the holidays has eaten heavily into my blogging. Since she is currently asleep I can quit digging out gravelled in lava pits to look for seams of redstone and diamonds. There is a village in the server world, but I am banned from visiting it for fear of triggering a zombie attack. She-who-must-be-obeyed claims there is a witches hut, but I have never been to it. Finally found a lost mine two days ago. She-who-must-be-obeyed has indicated her displeasure at my plan to link all the seven plus caverns we have discovered into one giant underground network but the first four are already linked and I am not stopping. By judicious use of our pick of fortune two we have amassed a horde of over ninety diamonds but I am not allowed to build either weapons or armor with it. I have managed to enchant enough iron armor, so that creeper blasts no longer kill me instantaneously. I think the monster list is even shorter than one in the three little brown books I bought in 1975, but since I don't fight better even after I gain levels that is perhaps a good thing. Still not used to a game where gaining levels does not make you fight better. Is minecraft a RPG? Yes, but not a particularly good one. As I told she-who-must-be-obeyed Minecraft is seven different genre of games, all done halfway. And no I am not turning off the monsters, just so we can mine diamonds faster. At least its not dwarf fortress (we'll talk about the angry ghost left in the wake of the ax murderer some other time). I do enjoy watching Minecraft on youtube One of my favorites is the Yogcast Galaticraft Moon Quest:

It's kind of like the three stooges play Minecraft, but Simon's voice is so soothing. Unfortunately none of interesting mods they threw into this world pass muster with my virus checker. She-who-must-be-obeyed is more interested lately in Panda4994. Here's the video where he beats the Ender dragon with snowballs.
Unfortunately, playing the game panda's way although totally awesome, destroys any illusion of minecraft being an RPG at all. Think of your worst rules-lawyer/loop-holer run amok.

P.S. Either what I didn't get for Christmas but bought for myself, or the 4e Thursday groups plan for the Grand Finale.
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