Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Eventually, the show was replaced (by my local public radio station) with some sort of wonky New Age show, and visions of silver starships approaching slowly spiraling galaxies were replaced by visions of elderly nudists placing healing stones upon each others' wrinkled brows in the depths of a nightmarish patchouli-scented sweat lodge while toga-clad men with long beards slapped even hairier women around with tambourines. All under Yanni's deceptively benevolent-seeming gaze, of course. So, I quit tuning in.
Imagine my surprise, 30 years later, to discover the show is still in syndication. See if its on near you.
In the meantime, here's one of the giants of the genre to listen to.
All space-cadet; no patchouli or tambourines.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
gaming in historical Europe, and here's a cool hexmap of Europe I stumbled across online. Looks like it was made with Hexographer, which is a fun program to play around with, if you haven't before. Numbered and everything. Its pretty easy to cut up / crop, in Paint, into bite-size regions, so you can enjoy that road-trip from Brugge to Rome, or guard the pilgrimage trails of the Crusade-era Middle East:
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Saturday, August 17, 2013
This is in honor of the inimitable Black Mage of Final Fantasy fame. I had a blast with this game (the original NES version) 20+ years ago, and was pleasantly surprised to find that, following a quick iPhone download, the game holds up surprisingly well.
The game sports several early "D&Disms", especially in the monster arena, with "Crawlers", "Sahagans", Green Slimes, and such. But the Black Mage follows an especially D&Dish path - weak and near useless at early levels (excepting a very potent Sleep spell), at high levels he becomes a Nuclear-level Terror.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
"Pablo Deathdrinker, a level 0 Dungeon Robber. Descended to level 2 of the dungeon and won 0 GP. Defeated a Fire Beetle. Poked by a poison needle in a lock on level 2! REST IN PEACE"
That was the short, sad epitaph of Pablo Deathdrinker.
If you've got a few minutes to kill, you can do a lot worse than take a spin through Dungeon Robber, a browser, text-based game that utilizes the Random Dungeon Generation charts from the 1E DMG.
Monday, August 5, 2013
Obviously (and I'm using "obviously" here because it seems obvious to me, perhaps I'm wrong) this must be some sort of holdover from the composition of the Fellowship presented in Tolkein's Lord of the Rings. Representatives of each "good" race band together to take on the Dark Lord.
How much sense does that make, however, in the treasure hunting / mercenary role most adventuring parties play? Also, to what extent did the mechanics of the earlier systems influence the "multi-racial" party. For a long while, only demi-humans could multi-class. If you wanted to wield sword and spell at the same time, you kind of had to play an elf. Similarly, if you wanted your 1st level thief to have more than a 10 or 15% chance to pick a lock or whatever, it helped to play a halfling and soak up all those sweet bonuses. Then there are things like seeing in the dark, never growing old, etc, etc.
Without all those mechanical differences (or, to be fair, "advantages"), would the multi-racial party still be as common? What if only humans could be warrior-mages, or got much better thieving abilities than halflings? To be honest, I can't really remember anyone playing an elf or dwarf much different than they would a human, personality and mannerism-wise, aside from the usual strereotypes (arrogant elf, grumpy dwarf, mischievous halfling). Where was the real depth, the sense of playing or interacting with what should have been wholly alien personalities and mannerisms.
Then there is the question of human diversity - why have D&D and its offspring shied away from presenting more mechanical variety for different types of humans. This was something I thought Rolemaster did admirably, with "Rural", "Urban", "High" Men and so on. As a Pulp fan, I'd rather see a party of Mystic Easterners, Savage Southrons, Unkempt Northmen, and Sneering Imperials than yet another munchkin convention. But that's just me?
What are your thoughts on the "traditionally diverse" adventuring party?