neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Over at Grand Line 3.5, the artist asked for a story prompt in the comments: Tell a story about bug problems in your game!

There was a player named Dave in my gaming group who always had giant insects and spiders in every dungeon he ran. I eventually figured out that he did that because bugs frightened him and he hated them for that, so he figured that if they scared him, they'd scare the other players. He was eventually able to act out his feelings about insects in real life. He became an exterminator.

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)

Dungeons and Dragons turned 40 years old this past month. Here are three links to articles that mark the anniversary, and a blast from the past.

Buzzfeed: At 40 Years Old, Dungeons & Dragons Still Matters

Intro and more comments on above article at io9: Why Dungeons & Dragons Still Matters

The practical applications of D&D at Quartz: Everything I need to know about management I learned from playing Dungeons and Dragons

That reminds me of this What’s New with Phil and Dixie cartoon from 30+ years ago: Lessons for Life

Originally posted to fandom_lounge on JournalFen.

ETA: I forgot to add this link from Kotaku: Ice-T Accidentally Recorded A Dungeons & Dragons Audiobook.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I have another D&D memory to follow up on the previous one.  Again, it was inspired by a prompt over at One Piece: Grand Line 3 Point 5: Share a story about a player character who wanted to take over an entire town or city.

In an earlier campaign than the one with the evil cleric, One of my friend's low-level paladins became the prophesied True King for a city-state that hadn't had a legitimate ruler in a long time. Instead, it was governed by a warlord with his higher level henchmen as a junta.

When the paladin reached 9th level, I had the word spread in the city that the rightful king had returned. The citizens revolted and chased the junta out of the city. The paladin then had to defend himself against the old head of the thieves guild, an evil patriarch, and an evil sorcerer, before he could face the warlord. He killed them all in single combat in their jungle lair. Good thing he had more hit points than all but the warlord, was resistant to magic because he had a holy sword, and had a better AC.

Once that was done, he was able to rule his city-state in relative peace.

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Over at One Piece: Grand Line 3 Point 5, the campaign webcomic about One Piece, there is the most comprehensive page of links to other campaign webcomics I've ever seen.  If any of you are or were tabletop gamers, there is something for almost every taste, from Star Wars to Harry Potter to Pirates of the Caribbean in movies to anime and American Animation.  Go ahead and waste your time, if you dare.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I've been reading two more campaign comics in addition to Darths and Droids over winter break,  One Piece: Grand Line 3.5 and Friendship is Dragons.  The writer of the One Piece comic leaves prompts in the comments for some of his strips, which got me to write some incidents from the campaign I described in Dungeons and Dragons memories almost five years ago.

The first came on page 246, where the artist requested that the readers "share a story about a flaw that... turned into an advantage of sorts."  Here's my response.

I have a story from the days before there were official flaws in D&D,* back when some people were still playing out of the original three softbound booklets plus Greyhawk and Blackmoor.

I was the DM for low-level group who was exploring a stronghold full of martial arts monks. The defenders were too much for the group, which was about to suffer a whole party wipe when one of the clerics prayed for divine intervention. I rolled the dice and the deity intervened. Unfortunately, the cleric was evil and so was his deity.

After killing the mob, the diety turned to the cleric, sent him on a quest to capture a high-level good cleric, then cursed him with a permanent stinking cloud, not to be lifted until the cleric was captured. The good news was that anything within 15 feet that could smell had to save against poison or collapse from disgust. The bad news was that this included the player characters. This eventually turned into an advantage when the party eventually all saved, which meant that only the monsters would suffer from the ill effects.

The party eventually was strong enough to go to Hell, defeat a couple of pit fiends, and capture the good cleric, who had been taken there by an arch-devil. It seems the cleric's deity wanted him for itself.


*Chaosium's games had them at the time, but not TSR's.

His second prompt was "Tell a story about how your GM or DM implemented a seemingly weird or out of place idea that a player introduced just for the hell of it" on page 256.  My response:

In the same campaign where the evil cleric called on his deity and was cursed and sent on a quest for his trouble, the other cleric in the party decided that he didn't like the leader. It was good role-playing, as the clerics served different divinities and were of different alignments, but he decided to do something about it.

He convinced me to let him contact the local thieves guild and recruit some guides for the party. He did, but he also paid them extra to backstab the leader when it the time was right. The rebel cleric also recruited a bunch of horse barbarians to ambush the party on the trail. The idea was that the guides would assassinate the leader during the ambush. He forgot one thing; he never actually role-played telling the guides about the ambush.

So when it happened, they hung back, until the horse barbarians were starting to lose, then launched their attack. I justified it by saying that they didn't want to share credit with anyone else. They didn't kill the leader, but they escaped to harass the party all the way to the end of the campaign, even following the party into Hell. That was something I would never have thought of myself.


Ah, memories.

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And now, an entry from Crazy Eddie's Motie News that I can't believe I didn't cross post over to DW and LJ. It's exactly the kind of thing I used to post over here regularly. Seven months later, here it is, Finally, a Ringworld movie!

I've been a huge fan of Larry Niven's Known Space ever since I watched The Slaver Weapon. I thought the Kzinti were really cool and promptly checked out a copy of Ringworld from the library. I read through all the Known Space stories I could lay my hands on during the years since, right up to Ringworld Engineers and The Patchwork Girl. After those books, no new Known Space stories appeared for a decade.

All was not lost, as Chaosium Games, the publishers of Runequest and Call of Cthulhu, purchased the game rights to Ringworld. I convinced Chaosium that I knew enough about Known Space and tabletop role-playing games to let me develop a scenario for an adventure module. I wrote the scenario, playtested it, submitted it, and was about to revise it when Chaosium told me to stop. It wasn't because what I wrote was bad; in fact, it had nothing to do with me. It turns out that Niven had sold the movie rights to Ringworld and the movie company asserted that it now held the game rights, not Chaosium. Chaosium was too small to take on the movie company and its lawyers, so it gave up.

I was pissed. Not only did it stop publication of a game that I really believed in, it meant that all my effort, about $300 worth in 1984 dollars, went right down the drain. I decided to never buy another Niven book new ever again. To add insult to injury, Niven used the game guide as source material for the Man-Kzin Wars series. Worst of all, there never was any movie. All that loss was for nothing.

That may all change, as Entertainment Weekly reports.

Ringworld' miniseries in the works at Syfy -- EXCLUSIVE
Michael Perry (The River, Paranormal Activity 2) is adapting Ringworld as a four-hour miniseries. The story follows a team of explorers that travel to the farthest reaches of space to investigate an alien artifact called Ringworld – an artificial habitat the size of one million Earths. As they crash land on this enormous structure, they discover the remnants of ancient civilizations, technology beyond their wildest dreams, mysteries that shed light on the very origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth.

For Ringworld fans, this news might cause some deja vu. Syfy previously considered making a Ringworld miniseries under a different production team nine years ago.
I might finally get a movie--30 years later. Maybe I can get some comfort from that.

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)



I know I've been participating in Nablopomo for a long time when the monthly themes repeat themselves. Here was the theme from October 2010, when I was using my LiveJournal as my Nablopomo blog.
Greetings, NaBlo bloggers! The theme for October blogging is PLAY. It's a versatile word: you can play a game or a musical instrument; you can be in a play; and when you're steering wheel jiggles it's definitely got too much play. What does the word PLAY mean to you? It may take all month to find out.
Now, here's the theme for May 2012.
So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?
PLAY

This month, because we're in a frisky mood, our theme for NaBloPoMo is PLAY. We'll be remembering your favourite games from childhood, talk about ways you still bring that spirit of playing into your life as an adult, and even look at whether you're a gracious or sore loser.

Make sure you head down to the storage room to reminisce about old toys. And you may even want to pull out the board games one night or create your own online game this month to play with your readers.
...
So start thinking about different ways you played this week.
If it weren't for LiveJournal being the target of DDoS attacks that take it offline from time to time, I'd be tempted to move my posts over there. Instead, I'll keep them here on Crazy Eddie's Motie News. As for what I'll do with it, I think I'll keep posting music, except that now I can also post instrumentals. I can also post videos, even if they don't have music. After all, don't videos "play?" Also, I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle the theme images from last time, which lack either month or year. I get bored with the typewriter logo that Nablopomo seems to have settled on once it moved over to BlogHer.

nablo1010_120x200nablo1010_120x90


A video of my favorite song about gaming plus a list of other posts with this theme behind the cut. )
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Second of two posts originally at fandom_lounge on JournalFen.

Michigan State University even made a video and a press release about it.



Justin Grosjean, media arts and technology major, and twin brother John produced the video Skyrim: 2012 that went viral receiving almost 2 million views since its release.
Michigan State University: Student video goes viral
Published: Feb. 15, 2012

The lives of twins Justin and John Grosjean changed when they released a video - "Skyrim: 2012" to their channel on YouTube.

Justin, a media arts and technology senior at Michigan State University, and his brother John, a student at Oakland University, have always loved the games produced by the company Bethesda Softworks. They began making videos about six months ago and it was only natural that they wanted to make a video out of one of the games they love - Skyrim.

But they didn't expect it to be such a big hit. )
Here's the video itself.



Condensed version without video embeds here.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Here's another piece of background music for Alderaan in addition to the one I posted yesterday, This one has the benefit of showing the lovely scenery in addition to playing the music.  And to think this is the planet Moff Tarkin destroyed as a demonstration of the Death Star's power.  Well, he certainly got what was coming to him!




neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
In my previous entry, I mentioned how really beautiful Alderaan is in ST:TOR and how much my wife and I enjoy playing there. It helps that the music is gorgeous, too.  Here's an embed of the theme for the planet, which is called Alderaan, the Throne.




neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
As I mentioned in the first installment of this series.
My wife...is a more avid gamer than I am, but I'm the Star Wars fan. I don't think she's seen more than half the films and none of them all the way through, so it's really interesting watching her reaction to the planets we've visited. She really likes Alderaan, but she was shocked to find out that it gets blown up in the far future. It only happens in first hour of the first movie filmed. To fix that, we'll be watching all the films in the order of the events. In fact, we might be seeing the 3D versions of the films as they come out.
We just finished playing together on Alderaan, at least for now, and it really is a beautiful (virtual, fictional) world, especially in contrast to Tatooine, which is a real pit. My wife reiterated how pissed it makes her that it gets destroyed. I have to agree. In fact, I'm beginning to think that people who have never known any Star Wars other than the full Episodes I-VI and who have played either Knights of the Old Republic or Star Wars: The Old Republic will find the destruction of Alderaan even more traumatic than the people who saw it happen for the first time between 1977 and 1998. Back then, there was no world to know. Now, there are parts of two movies and two games set there. When I saw the Death Star blow up the planet back in 1977, I thought, "Grand Moff Tarkin is such an evil asshole," but I didn't grieve along with Leia. Now, when I see that happen in three years in the 3D edition of A New Hope, I might just cry.  Imagine the reaction of someone who is seeing it for the first time and has watched all the prequels.

And now, a video of Alderaan's scenery.



neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
My wife and I have a blast playing it together. She is a more avid gamer than I am, but I'm the Star Wars fan. I don't think she's seen more than half the films and none of them all the way through, so it's really interesting watching her reaction to the planets we've visited. She really likes Alderaan, but she was shocked to find out that it gets blown up in the far future. It only happens in first hour of the first movie filmed. To fix that, we'll be watching all the films in the order of the events. In fact, we might be seeing the 3D versions of the films as they come out.

As for the money involved, every penny shows up in the dialog, voice acting, music, and plot, to say nothing of the programming and world building. It makes this expensive game worth it.

Watch for more thoughts on the game in future entries.  I'll be putting spoilers behind a cut.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)

I've been playing a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic this week and posting about it to my LiveJournal and Dreamwidth, I've been looking for an excuse to post a Star Wars entry that is still on-topic for this blog.* Yesterday evening, I stumbled across not one, but two items that fit the bill.

First, from The Bad, the Ugly, and the Irrelevant: The 2012 GOP pretenders on Facebook comes this macro.



Next, Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of The Atlantic's star political bloggers, is playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Yes, really.


Return of the Jedi

So how are we feeling about Star Wars: The Old Republic? I just finished installing and patching this morning. I played around with some character creation, but haven't a chance to do much else. But even in doing that little bit, I realized how dated WoW's graphics really are. I suppose that's a good thing in some ways--WoW can run on almost game PC, at this point.

Either way, I'd love to have a new game on my list. I'm a little pissed about WoW actually adding the panderan. It just feels like more comic relief.
If I hadn't already been a fan of Coates, I would be now. Also, read the comments. They're actually very informative.

* Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News. The second part was also posted to fandom_lounge on JournalFen.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)



This week on Versus, Steve and Larson debate which role playing time vampire will suck up more time during their holiday vacation: Skyrim or The Old Republic."
I'm playing SW:TOR. If want swords and sorcery fantasy, I'll play Rift.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)




I'm having a great time watching my wife play this. Now that I'm on vacation for the next week, I'll join her. Downloading tonight!
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
While I'm watching my wife play this game, I saw the following on the game's YouTube channel.


Plainclothes warriors join the battle among Jedi and Sith in the first ever lightsaber freeze mob duel in the heart of New York's Times Square. Watch as over 100 fans joined the battle to celebrate the launch of STAR WARS™: The Old Republic on 12.20.11
The launch may have been on the 20th, but my wife has been playing for almost a week. The $5 to start early was worth it, and I'm saying that as someone who is just watching the game.
neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)
The end notes for Episode 634
Books are important resources for gaming. You can get a game idea out of almost any book you care to name. Fiction books are pretty straightforward - you just take elements of the story, tweak them a bit to obfuscate the source, and integrate them into your game plot. But non-fiction can be equally as inspiring. Some books are fairly straightforward, while others require some imaginative interpretation:
  • Krakatoa, by Simon Winchester. Your band of pirates is preying on ships in the East Indies when a nearby island explodes!
  • Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945, by Leo Marks. You are an elite team of cryptographers in the Second World War. In between making and breaking codes, you have to run field missions to brief soldiers in new code techniques, often behind enemy lines!
  • PC Technician Street Smarts: A Real World Guide to CompTIA A+ Skills, by James Pyles. You run a small business on the streets of Tokyo, troubleshooting for desperate netrunners whose hardware develops dangerous malfunctions due to running into insidious corporate black ice in cyberspace!
  • The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White. You work for a cutting edge design firm using exotic matter to terraform asteroids into artistic statements for the gigawealthy and must face the sabotage and plots of rival designers, not to mention maintain your own media presence!
  • Victoria's Secret Catalogue, by Victoria's Secret. Your group of steampunk adventurers stumbles across a mind-blowing conspiracy in a seamy underworld bordello of shameless ankle-exposing clockwork courtesans that might destroy the very fabric of the British Empire... if you live long enough to tell it!
(And yes, be sure to end the description of your campaign idea with an exclamation mark. Research shows campaign descriptions ending with an exclamation mark are 68% more likely to excite prospective players!)
*Snork!*
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Fat Cat goes Galt


It's been a while since I've shot spitwads at Objectivism here on DW and LJ. The last time I did so is here, although I have a history of doing so. However, I was very busy last week throwing rotten tomatoes at Ayn Rand, her books, and her philosophy over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Objectivism and Scientology: a sublime to the ridiculous comparison

Quotes about Objectivism from the snarky to the serious

Collapse is all there in the Objectivist manual

Atlas Chugged

To be honest, I have an ulterior motive, as mentioned in The hornet swatting begins today. Unfortunately, the hornet managed to fly away. As long as he continues his flight, it's OK with me.
neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)




This is a video of my wife's guild running a naked raid on Sanctum. Unfortunately, my wife's Defiant character wasn't online for the mass wipe. Nor was I there on the Guardian side watching this. Too bad. It would have been a blast.

Speaking of which, it's time to play.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Since I finally started playing a MMORPG, in this case Rift, after a long history of frustration with Final Fantasy XI and XIV, all of the lore about these games has become more relevant to me. For starters, here's something I stumbled across yesterday that I found absolutely fascinating.

The 7 Biggest Dick Moves in the History of Online Gaming

Of course, it's Cracked.

No surprise, World of Warcraft provides two of the seven. What was interesting was that EVE provided another two examples. Even more interesting was the difference between the two games' brands of outlandishly bad behavior. WOW's dick moves all involved highly dishonorable ways of killing lots of people. EVE's were all about theft, fraud, and embezzlement--in short, money, lots of money. Since I've never played EVE, I had no idea.

Rift is a very new game, so it didn't even exist when this article was published. Here's to hoping I don't see it used as an example in a follow-up.

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