Category Archives: RPG

A Twitter Adventure

image

Phil Menard (aka “The Chatty DM”) posted his twitter exchange with a fellow that turned into a very cool RPG-type adventure via twitter posts. I love this as an idea, why aren’t more of us doing this? This is more like the old school text based adventure games, with the difference being you are communicating with people or someone like a DM.

Dang, now I have a hankering to go play Zork again…

Here’s a snippet from Phil’s exchange:

FDL: Ok. you see a grue. What do you do?

Chatty: Wave torch

FDL: As you wave your torch, you set your furniture delivery guys on fire. Game over. Restart? [y/n]

(I fell down my flimsy beach chair onto my hardwood floor laughing. This could become fun.)

Chatty: LOL yes. Talk Grue.

FDL: The grue says she’s your upstairs neighbor and she hopes her noisy Angry Birds parties won’t bother you too much. What next?

Chatty: examine exits

FDL: There is only one exit, a hangar bay door.

Chatty: kick door

FDL: Door says “Ow!” and kicks back. Grue looks at you in disgust.

Chatty: Apologize door.

(I was still playing it old school with 2 words)

Chatty: Inventory

Anyone know of Twitter adventures or TwitRPGs going on?

Rolling In Style

It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything related to table gaming, so I thought I’d drop these in here. I saw this in a forum where interesting and unusual items are displayed.  How awesome would it be to have a set of six siders like these at the gaming table?  Being Diamonds, I’m sure the cost of these would be astronomical….but who said fun didn’t come without a price? 🙂

blackdiamonddice

The dice (total weight 32 carats) and solitaire (just under 4 carats) not only look fantastic but roll very well! The dice are an exclusive design by Coster of Amsterdam.
The black diamond, also known as Carbonado, is a natural polycrystalline diamond found in alluvial deposits in the Central African Republic and Brazil, they look black and are highly porous. A study by Stephen Haggerty and Jozsef Garai, both of Florida International University, analyzed the hydrogen in black diamond samples using infrared-detection instruments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and found that the mineral formed in a supernova explosion.

Bragging rights for owning a set of these would be enough to seal the deal 😉  Could you imagine having a full set…d4,d8,d10,d12,d20…..that would rock!

WoW GM Gets Teen Arrested

 Lootless Dwarf

The World of Warcraft GMs are watching and listening to you on their servers to help maintain fair and quality play, but in a recent incident the GM’s role went above and beyond. As learned from Loot Ninja today, a teenager was chatting with a WoW GM online recently and the teen made suicidal comments in an effort to play on the GM’s sympathies hoping to get some loot.

A 17-year-old Fairfield Twp. teen pretended to be suicidal when he became frustrated with an online video game, Fairfield Twp. police reported.

The teen…typed that "he was suicidal and that the game is the only thing he has to live for," according to the report.

The company representative called 911.

The GM did the smart thing and called the cops in the off-chance the kid was truly suicidal, so of course the police and paramedics show up at the young man’s home.

The juvenile told police it was a joke "to try to get what he wanted for the game," according to the report. He was then handcuffed and placed in a patrol car.

Isn’t this just sad?

Let’s hope the young man has learned his lesson that you have to work and invest something of yourself to get ahead in the world, that part of growing up is trying and failing, learning from your errors and growing from it. But it really seems that this teen’s attempt at ‘pity loot’ is a classic symptom of the typical "Trophy Kids" (aka "Generation Y") that have been raised to think everyone is a winner and even losers deserve a trophy.

Well, the loser of this story has won himself a minor criminal record.

The news article originates from the Middletown Journal and has the full story.

Footballer Wants To Change Name To Show His Love of WoW

Chris Kluwe

A punter for the American Football Team Minnesota Vikings says that he loves playing World of Warcraft so much that he’s tossed around the idea of changing his name. His name (for today at least) is Chris Kluwe, his teammates know of his love of WoW and they’ve already given him an appropriate nickname but he is considering taking that name to the next level.

Here’s his discussion of the topic on his weekly radio program (original article from Star Tribune):

“I think more people like to hear me talk about playing video games than football,” said Kluwe, an expert at many video games. “I’ve played video games since I was 4 years old. I play them a lot more than I kick a football. I kick the ball about 45 minutes a day. I play video games about five or six hours a day. But that’s OK. I don’t watch TV.”

“Back when [Bengals receiver] Chad Johnson changed his name to Ocho Cinco, I told the guys at 93X that I was going to change my name to Chris ‘World of Warcraft,’ ” Kluwe said. “They said that’s too long. So they started calling me Chris ‘Warcraft.’ I could make a lot of money if I changed my name to that.”

He’s doing pretty well for himself. He recently renegotiated his contract for $8.3 million over the next 5 seasons.

According to his wikipedia page, he plays a troll rogue on the Kil’jaeden sever, keep an eye out for him. It’s unknown whether he plays a female or male char 🙂

 

[via Gaming Angels]

Outstanding Warcraft Fan Video

Here’s one of the best machinima videos I’ve ever seen: “The Craft of War: Blind“.

I don’t have much in the way of constructive criticism other than the transition in music early on didn’t seem appropriate, but the song used for a majority of the vid (Hide & Seek by Namie Amuro) added to the vibe the animator was trying to set.

The lighting was spot on, the use of WoW models was brilliant, the SFX are great, the plot had me hooked and I’m anxiously awaiting to see more on this assassin vs. Dragon theme.


The Craft of War: BLIND from percula on Vimeo.

WoW’s Out of Box Experience Is Not "WOW!",…It’s "Crap!"

WoW

Sensing that World of Warcraft is not the years long, multi-million user flash in the pan I expected it to be, this last weekend I partook in a holiday discount deal from the local GameStop. I picked up the World of Warcraft Battlechest for half off the MSRP (came to US$19 if you must know).

During my install of the product, the setup from the DVD was flawless.

However, I was expected to accept the mother of all End User License Agreements. For the love of all that’s holy, their legal department probably puts Microsoft attorneys to shame. This behemoth of a document consists of:

  • 7 Pages
  • 37 Paragraphs
  • 275 Lines
  • 3634 Words
  • 19035 Characters

Who the hell is going to read that thing? Oh, I gave it the old college try and plowed through the first one and a half paragraphs then supplemented with scanning for keywords of interest in a handful of other paragraphs, but sheesh!

Later, while scanning through my hard drive to look at all the crap the installer left, I stumbled upon a newer version of the eula that is a year newer than the one i accepted. Blizzard managed to extend that large document by 2 pages, 3 paragraphs and 149 words. Needless to say, I’m not more educated on this one than the first.

OK, so far my positive WoW out of box experience went from positive to neutral, not bad, but let’s login to the server and see how it fares.

I find a desktop icon, nothing too fancy, big ‘W’, clean and crisp and to the point:

 WoW icon

What followed that mouse clicky was the beginning of a 4 hour descent into hell that would not see me creating my first character until the following morning.

It appears that Blizzard doesn’t believe in rolling up their updates. The program detected there were updates to be installed before the game could begin. So it promptly downloaded and installed the first update. When that was done, i clicked Play and again it detected another update…same process followed. I had to install update after update after update for about 30-45 minutes before the sh*t really hit the fan. Some were pretty small, others ~256MB. It was turning into a real pain in the arse, what would have helped is to know how far I had to go through this user interface until we’re done. Maybe it could tell me “Andy, you are on update #6 of 10”.

After 30-45 minutes, the process wasn’t done, it was just getting started. Because then I learned it needed to download and install a 2GB update! WTF is this all about? It took 4 hours to download, this old man needed to get some shut eye so I hit the rack while the installer did its thing and unpacked/installed itself. So I was fast asleep while the unpacking and updating actually occurred; given it’s size and complexity it’s probably best I wasn’t watching it tear its innards apart and rebuild.

The next morning, I sit back down in front of the PC, click the ‘Play’ button and learn that *another* update had to be installed. Thankfully, I could tell that the date of the package was released just a few weeks before so I must be near the end. And sure enough it was over after that last turdlet was dropped on my system.

So after 4+ hours of downloads and installs/updates of WoW on a clean system, I could finally get it on and start the click fest with millions of other nerds.

Freylok iconAnd now, after having played Freylok the Druid Night Elf for about 12 hours over 3 days, I get it. I understand the appeal of the game and I’m looking forward to more, but it’s unfortunate a new user has to go through hours of hassle just to get logged in. Even Windows rolls up updates between service packs, why can’t a game as popular and ubiquitous as WoW do the same?

 Things I’ve learned from this weekend experience:

  • Blizzard’s OOBE (out of box experience) sucks bad if you’re a new user like me. Be prepared to hand hold your PC through hours of updates if installing on a clean PC. I will file a bug to Blizzard this week.
  • WoW is one kick-ass game. The graphics are great, the size of the worlds is just unbelievably large. I knew it was massive, but sheesh, this is big and detailed. Tip of the hat to the development team and the IT Pros that have to maintain the servers.
  • Even a hard core anti-social introvert like myself doesn’t mind interacting with strangers in this new world. Unlike Sim City or Second Life, the attraction to interact with strangers in WoW is that you probably have a lot in common with the thousands of characters hacking and slashing around you as you both fight on to achieve your quests or save your sorry arse from the ‘black hats’.

Down with the Horde! Long live the Alliance! 😛

ChattyDM.net: Fluffy and Feminine or Hairy and Revolting?

So there I was, minding my own business, swinging by Musings of the Chatty DM this evening to see what’s happening in the RPG world and hear about his new Twitter feed.

Sidebar: This is not your run of the mill, vanilla flavored Twitter channel, folks. It’s a mini-RPG via tweets. As Chatty says ‘the mind explodes at the possibilities’. This is a great idea!

Back to the story – So I’m at Chattydm.net and low and behold, my eyes about popped when I saw what his GOOG advert banner was displaying under his blog’s title banner. Talk about inappropriate!

This would appear to be the new and improved, touchy feely Chatty, the one that is frilly and delicious like cotton candy? I guess if you peer closely enough it looks like the advert has two women in a hot tub, that’s somewhat redeeming I guess.

Chatty1-2   (clicky)

But my faith in the old man was soon restored as I scrolled down and saw this scaly, disgusting dragon-like creature from the underworld that we probably would all love to have as a pet. Now this is what I’m looking for in an RPG site’s adverts! More like that Chatty! 😉

 Chatty2-2 (clicky)

So I could make a claim that GOOG’s excellent analysis of his fine site has determined that the most appropriate adverts would be those that are pretty, fluffy and come from the Rainbow Brite world for little girls. Or is it dynamically updating the advert on a per user basis and is truly a reflection on me and what GOOG thinks of my personality and web searching & purchasing traits?

Hmmm. I’d like to think it’s Chatty, not me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Blizzard Confirms Diablo III

 Diablo 3

IGN has extensive Diablo III coverage this weekend from Blizzard’s Worldwide Invitational event in Paris, France.

Here’s the nitty gritty, or just jump to the bottom of this article and play the gorgeous video of the Barbarian!

The new game’s synopsis:

Diablo III picks up the story twenty years after the events of Diablo II. Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal have been defeated, but the Worldstone, which once shielded the inhabitants of the world of Sanctuary from the forces of both Heaven and Hell, has been destroyed, and evil once again stirs in Tristram. Playing as a hero from one of five distinct character classes, players will acquire powerful items, spells, and abilities as they explore new and familiar areas of Sanctuary and battle hordes of demons to safeguard the world from the horrors that have arisen.

You can check out IGN’s live blog of the announcement or their Diablo III FAQ.

Then head over to this article on Blizzard’s class and skill creation or the IGN interview with Blizzard’s executive vice-president of game design Rob Pardo for details on how the gameplay has evolved since Diablo II.

There’s also a summary of Blizzard’s Diablo III Art and Narrative Design panel, where members of the development team talk about the game’s visual style. A highlight:

“Stylization, sometimes people can equate that with being a little bit cartoony or a Disney art style but that’s really not what we’re going after with the Diablo art style here. We understand, looking back at Diablo and Diablo II, the universe is very dark…There’s a certain level of grit and realism we want to bring to the game but at the same time it’s important to take the player into a fantasy realm…If we simply took photographs and applied that to a bunch of polygons, that’s really not us doing our job.”

General Features

  • Five powerful character classes to choose from, including the barbarian and witch doctor
  • Brand-new 3D graphics engine enhanced with spectacular visual effects and Havok physics
  • Numerous indoor and outdoor areas detailing new regions in the world of Sanctuary
  • Interactive environments with dangerous traps and obstacles, and destructible elements
  • Randomly generated worlds bolstered by scripted events for endless and dynamic gameplay
  • Vast assortment of fiendish monsters, with unique attack patterns and behaviors
  • New quest system and character-customization options for the ultimate action RPG experience
  • Multiplayer functionality over Battle.net with support for cooperative and competitive play

Link Love: Chatty DM Moves To New Digs

Internet

The Chatty DM runs one of my favorite RPG blogs, he’s recently moved from Blogspot to to his new digs with a unique domain: http://chattydm.net. Even if you’re not into the topic of Pen and Paper RPGs, check out his blog’s theme anyway, it’s a nice theme.

If you’ve never moved a blog to a new domain before, there’s a fark load of stuff that you have to contend with including starting over with your Technorati ranking.

This post is a little link love to help with that ranking.

Everyone Is John – A Schizophrenic & Competitive Roleplaying Game

Dice

Following my local gamers chat group I learned of a short one-shot RPG that is more than a little different called “Everyone is John”, so I tracked down more information.

Intro:

Everyone is John is a humorous, competitive roleplaying game (3 or more people) about playing the various personalities of John, an insane man from Minneapolis. One participant is the GM, or, in Everyone is John lingo, “Everyone Else.” All of the other players are Voices in John’s head.

Here’s a high level summary of the rules:

He is controlled by the Voices in his head — one at a time, of course.

John is not terribly competent; he has difficulty with a lot of things that you and I might take for granted. Whenever John attempts anything that an ordinary person might have any chance of failure at, he needs to roll for success.

The Voice who is currently in control of John does the rolling. If that Voice has a skill that covers the challenge, the Voice needs to roll a 3 or higher on the single d6. If it doesn’t have a skill, it needs to roll a 6. However, before the roll, the Voice can spend any number of Willpower points to get a +1 per point spent on the die roll. This can make success automatic.

Becoming the active Voice is a bit of a challenge, though. Whenever John wakes up or gets hurt, a test for control of John happens. Also, whenever the currently active Voice fails a roll or completes its obsession, a test for control of John happens.

Link to the complete rules, enjoy. It’s a free game from Sandor at the Zoo where you can find much more.

GameMastery Spell Templates: Spell Radius Package

Found this little beauty below from Musings of the chatty DM (now subscribed!) via Chatty’s My tools of the trade post.

Spell Templates

That thing you’re looking at above is a steel wire “Spell Template Radius”. On your RPG battlemap, simply place the appropriate sized wire template around your miniature to define the boundaries of a spell’s effects. They’re designed for the 1″=5 foot scale and the package comes with 3 different sized templates (10′, 20′, 40′ templates).

How geeky is that? 🙂

Get ’em at Paizos.

d20 Soap – Just What The Stinky Gamer Needs

D20 Soap

Paizo.com is offering scented soap with an actual d20 embedded in it, click the pic for a better view.

These are handcrafted soaps so each one is slightly different, not that factory made crap you’re using today. 😀

Come on now, don’t you agree that this needs to be on your holiday shopping list?

It looks like they’re on backorder now, and when you can get them you have various scents to choose from. What gamer wouldn’t want to show up for his RPG night smelling like Cucumber Melon or Sandalwood?

Pocket Heroes – A Mobile RPG

Pocket heroes1

iO UPG announced recently the release of Pocket Heroes, a step-by-step strategy game with RPG elements inspired by the King?s Bounty and Heroes of Might and Magic. Visit Pocketheroes.org for all the details. You can install a demo version for free but has limited maps and you can’t Save or Load a game. The full version costs just US$19.95.

Pocket Heroes is a fantasy turn-based strategy (TBS) with role-playing game (RPG) elements. It has just about everything you could need from a strategy game: a complex fantasy realm with lots of castles, monsters and heroes that can equip artifacts and fight for domination of the world.

Pocket heroes3

Features:

  • 6 races, each with its own particularities, advantages and disadvantages: Knights, Barbarians, Wizards, Warlocks, Sorceress and Necromancers.
  • 36 heroes (6 for each faction) with 4 different attributes (attack, defense, spell power and knowledge) and a total of 22 secondary skills to chose from.
  • 7 types of resources (wood, ore, crystal, fur, gems, mercury, and gold).
  • 36 creatures (and 9 neutral), each one with its special skills and abilities.
  • 4 schools of magic (earth, air, water, and fire) that include over 40 spells.
  • 73 unique Artifacts.
  • More than 68 map locations
  • 35 maps and 5 difficulty levels to measure your playing skills.

    Minimal System Requirements:

    • Windows Mobile 2003 or later
    • 5 MB free space
    • 6MB free memory
    • 240×320 touchscreen

    Pocket heroes2

    Resolutions supported:

    • 240×320
    • 480×640

    Interested in other mobile strategy games? Here’s several dozen from ClickGamer.

  • Gleemax Is MySpace For Tabletop Gamers

    Wizards of the Coast is in the process of creating its own social networking site dedicated to gamers of all kings. It’s called Gleemax and while it isn’t open yet, they’re answering some basic questions about the direction and scope of the portal.

    Appears it’ll be geared towards gamers ranging from RPGs, TCGs, board games, turn-based, miniature war games, just about any type of tabletop game you can imagine.

    Below I’ve summarized most of what’s up there to be gleaned, but if you want to check for yourself here’s direct reference links:

    SUMMARY-

    About the Community:

    We want to give all gamers their own personal pages with tons of features that make it convenient to talk about games, find people to play games with, and get more out of the games they choose to play. We’re not just talking about Wizards of the Coast games either. We see this project as an investment in growing the entire strategy gamer culture.

    About the Content:

    …You can expect a ton of blogs from Wizards insiders and a real dialog between us and our fans (that would be you). And like I said before, this isn’t just about our games. It’s about all games, so you’ll be able to talk about anything you want.

    About Games:

    I don’t want to give too much away yet, but imagine an Indie Strategy Games Portal filled with the coolest independent games, vetted by us, and given the Wizards Seal-of-Approval for fun, strategic game-play. Then think about a Board Game Portal featuring classics from our Avalon Hill catalog, as well as new games we don’t even know about yet! Plus Magic Online and our original computer game Uncivilized: The Goblin Game (take a peek: www.wizards.com/goblinz). And that’s just a start.

     

    [Found via Treasure Tables]

    RPG Fans Worldwide Decry Loss of Dragon/Dungeon

    DnD News

    Sad but true.

    Wizards of the Coast has killed off the 30+ year old rag ‘Dragon‘ and its younger sibling spin-off ‘Dungeon’. They’ve ordered Paizo Publishing to cease production of the magazines after the September 2007 issue which would be DRAGON #359 and DUNGEON #150. If you have a subscription, Paizo wants you to start here: http://paizo.com/transition.

    If you’re foaming at the mouth angry and want to get even foamier, read the entire press release. Or, for your venting pleasure, here are some threads on the subject in the WOTC forums you can jump into:

    1) Dungeon/Dragon discontinued
    2) What WoTC Products Have You Bought Specifically Because of Dragon and/or Dungeon
    3) So I finally subsribed to Dragon
    4) Why won’t Wotc respond?
    5) WotC’s Response.
    6) don’t expect the e-zine to be free
    7) Wotc can suck the big one.
    8) Stop overracting.

    Why?

    The primary reason given for this is because WOTC believes we prefer getting all that hard copy material online and that an e-zine is the way to go. They feel that since they’re disseminating so much material through their Wizards.com site anyway, publishing a hard copy of unique material isn’t as cost effective if they simply make their online location the one stop shop.

    Maybe in some cases they’re right, but there’s nothing quite like the experience of laying down for the night before turning out the light and reading an article in a magazine you like so much. Printing out a copy of the e-zine PDF to take to bed with you just isn’t as satisfying.

    Is it Hasbro’s fault?

    WOTC is owned by Hasbro. Hasbro will be reporting their quarterly earnings Monday and there is speculation among Dragon fans that this decision to cease publication came down from the parent to cut spending to the bone. I can’t really argue with Hasbro’s financial performance (sym: HAS) at a high level, check out their stock’s 1Yr chart below, outperforming Dow and S&P by a significant margin:

    HAS stock performance

    What’s a good alternative RPG Magazine?

    [whispering] The wife is surprising me for my birthday soon with a subscription to Knights of the Dinner Table. Oh yeah!! 😀

    If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading these roleplaying comics published by Kenzer & Co, you’re missing out. I got into the comic about a dozen years late, so I’m playing catchup by reading the ‘Bundles of Trouble’ compilations of the issues dating back to the ’90s while also reading the latest issues coming out on the stands.

    KODT 121 - You Get What You Slay For