Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Tuesday, 26. April 2011

We can only hope they don’t screw this one up as they did with #2 in the series. From the trailer, it seems to be a lot more conspiratorial in nature which is which was really the first games strength. It was plausible, even if far out there.

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ProFantasy Software

Wednesday, 20. April 2011

CC 3

Someone sent me a nice link to some mapping software earlier today, and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or experience with it.  The companies name is ProFantasy and they have an entire product line.

The flagship program is called “Campaign Cartographer 3” and seems to be about the best put together piece I’ve seen so far for the purpose. It’s available digitally and you can get the physical product as well if you prefer although it will cost you a little extra money.

Thoughts at a glance
Heavy Duty software
Entire selective suite of software
Priced for it’s capabilities (meaning expensive for more than 1)
Very good looking maps with a variety of products
Modular, with most building off the main software
campaign cartographer)

Anyone have any experience that they could comment on this?

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Altoids Tin Uses

Monday, 21. February 2011

Peppermint Altoids, of course~

Looking around at AoM (as I have been remiss in doing my reading lately,) they have a spectacular gallery of 22 re-uses for Altoids tins, giving you yet another reason to purchase them aside from tasty mints.  Of particular geeky interest are the electronics lab, dart gun, pinhole camera and finally… the pocket games chest.

The chest is an compact piece of brilliance by Airshipthat apparently has 57 different usable games within its case.  Mini cards, some graph paper, dice, chips, and so on so forth.  A pretty good way of working it, all in all.

The real question of course is, how good of a job can we do at putting a proper RPG into an Altoids tin?  The best solution would be to use the tin to hold the dice and all of the standard paper goodies, and use a smart phone or some reader to hold the instructions proper.  But that eats up valuable battery power, which could be pretty bad if you’re stuck in in an airport or out on a camping trip.  So I think some micro printing, or better yet a good condensation of rules is the best bet.   Any thoughts?

Established Character Destiny

Friday, 18. February 2011

(Flickr / AZAdam) - Pere Lachaise Grave

I like having somewhat detailed characters within my games.    At least, starting with a little bit of details.  Background, family, connections, training and schooling, so on and so forth.  It doesn’t have to be incredibly long, but a couple of paragraphs works wonders in establishing some connection between the character and the player as well as making the involved.

Modern characters though, can take some serious time to put together, particular if you are thinking of doing anything over the equivalent of a level 1 character.  There is perks, feats, disadvantages and flaws and an entire other number of considerations that go into a character that can make them take some serious time in getting together.  As opposed to say, a an old school basic D&D character which you can put together in 5 or 10 minutes and get rolling.

Now of course, the downsides to being long and my thoughts…  Are we establishing a destiny for the character in the process?  Is it simply assumed that this character is going to be great or at least worth something simply because the time spent in the character creation?

The older characters you could simply crush without too much remorse and it would be a fast re roll to the them up to speed as the character concept is finished.  The characters had no real expectations of surviving (particularly at level 1) just as it might be in say actual combat for us standard mortals.

Newer characters of course, you have some pause.  Simply because of all the time invested, that you don’t pick them off on a casual basis.  Of course, maybe that’s just myself.  What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Mad Max much?

Friday, 4. February 2011

Who needs to go to the post apocalyptic future to see how they refine oil when it can be had right here.. right now. In Indonesia apparently to boot. All it really needs is a couple bleached and oil soaked skulls, some towers and barbed wire.. and of course some guards posted carrying AK’s and spears (because there really isn’t that much technology difference between the 2 sadly.) Leather armor or wearing tires is of course optional.

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No D&D in… Prison?

Thursday, 27. January 2011

Alcaztraz (Flicker, Tim Pearce, Los Gatos)

This is an interesting one related to D&D. Hat tip to Geeks are Sexy for pointing it out. Well, “weird” may be more accurate but it’s still worth pointing out. The seventh circuit court of United States Court of Appeals has ruled that

“After concluding that the popular role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons (“D&D”) represented a threat to prison security, officials at Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution took action to eradicate D&D within the prison’s wall.”

Go ahead, read the link at Geeks if you don’t want to read the entire brief, then come back here and comment!
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Making Sandboxing Relevant

Friday, 21. January 2011

We can all play in here right? (Flickr, Katmere)

Christian makes a very good point over at Destination unknown, regarding sandbox play.  A truly unattached style of sandbox play can be very distant feeling and is difficult to make work well unless your players are very motivated to get out and do their thing. (This varies a lot with me, sometimes it does and doesn’t work well.)  As gaming is hopefully about entertainment, in order to keep people interesting your game play styles need to vary.  I typically use a semi sandbox style when playing and it usually has pretty good results.
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Munchkin

Saturday, 15. January 2011

Munchkin - A game of backstabbing. Literally

As I am not a huge card game goer, I finally got around to playing Munchkin from Steve Jackson Games. Of course, this was at a small party with 6 other people. The you are definitely in it for the long haul with that many for all the rules wrangling you can pull off as well as all of the backstabbing.  All that aside, it was still some pretty good times and I can see why its heavily played.

Essentially for those who don’t know (Which is probably everyone except me but I’ll write this anyways,) it’s basically a cardgame dungeon crawl. You start out classless and raceless and at level one. You can pick those up through play, as well as varying equipment that can and can’t be used depending on your race and class. Elf for instance gives you a bonus to run away and gives you a level when you help someone defeat a monster. They also get completely ripped apart by certain monsters that don’t like them. (Better negotiate for some help with those ones!) The idea is to get up to level 10 and win, via collecting loot, killing monsters and any other of the various insane ways to get levels.
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Equipment costs and Advancement

Thursday, 6. January 2011

Yes, this stuff is very expensive for good reason! (Flickr / Laenulfean)

Looking through some posts today, Red has an interesting one on the price of plate mail and why it may or may not be expensive.  The point of interest seems to be the change in prices from Basic through 3e, and then a huge drop coming into 4e.  I will argue in this case that it’s not the time, expense and rarity of the material that determines cost in this case, but rather how much player advancement is affected by it.. and how much it is factored into the characters base level of effectiveness.
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System Selection: Heavy Gear

Thursday, 30. December 2010

Heavy Gear, 2E

Moving along to one of my more perennial favorites, Heavy Gear. It’s always good to be able to stomp around in mid sized gasoline powered mechs in the desert. The setting is pretty harsh, and there are a lot of ways to die if you take it as a role playing game rather than a pure tactical simulation. The system has a inherent simplicity within it, so it makes picking it up or running a game very easy. You can quickly focus on game play and the storyline elements, or run complicated tactical scenarios because of this without an entire manual of character sheets. It likewise plays very quickly, so everyone can get in on the action.

General Setting: Terra Nova, a desert planet in the future a couple jumps away from Earth. Left abandoned during hard times the colony survived and flourished. When Earth returned to reassert its control, the people of Terra Nova fought off the invasion using gears, smaller gasoline powered mechs. There is plenty of other vehicles, but the gears are what makes the system what it is.
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