Saturday, August 24, 2013

Do this now

1. Go to any YouTube Video.

2. Pause it.

3. Click anywhere outside the video.

4. Type 1980

5. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lazy Blog Post - Black Mage ( FInal Fantasy NES )

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

Dungeon Robber

"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

Diversity Quotas and the Traditional Adventuring Party

It's interesting to me, as a Pulp Fantasy fan, that the "traditional adventuring party" of D&D (and its attendant offspring) has been so thoroughly "multi-racial". Not only does the well-balanced party contain the (hopefully) optimum range of character classes to overcome the various challenges they will traditionally face, it is also standard to have many different player races represented.

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?

Friday, August 2, 2013

The proper attire for your Weird Science/Fantasy character...

I see this image alot on the interwebs lately.

What more do you need for an excursion to Fomalhaut?

This is on my Halloween costume wishlist, right next to Manos.


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