Day 1- How you got started
It all started one fateful day on Facebook when I posted how I was interested in trying D&D but had no idea how to get started. It had seemed to me to be the crowning achievement of nerddom, and being a fan of RPGs it seemed like so much fun.
A friend of mine commented on the Facebook post saying that her boyfriend was starting up a Dresden Files RPG game. I loved the series, and I figured that playing it would be almost as good as playing D&D. At the very least I would get some experience before actually playing D&D.
The campaign ran into some problems so after a few game sessions we just moved on to X-Crawl. For those of you who don’t know X-Crawl is a bunch of adventurers doing dungeon crawls for sports and public entertainment. It’s like a D&D version Madden.
Then that campaign ran into some problems (read: drama) so that ended. I was craving to play D&D again. After going into a comic shop one day with my friends, I found a group playing D&D. I was so excited about the prospect of playing again that I was totally unconcerned about looking like a fool. Thankfully, the group was cool and allowed us in.
It was also at that point that I started to DM my own campaign since I wanted to expose my friends to the awesomeness of D&D as well.
So I finally got Skyrim in today, and when I finally got to the part where I can decide what my character looks like I knew I had a problem.
There’s just too many character ideas running through my head.
The worst part is that they all feel so awesome in their own way. It’s like there’s only one more space on the life raft out of my mind, and I have to make a choice. Do I pick the elementalist who journeys to find her communion with the world, or the warrior who finds his true worth in the heat of battle?
I’m always the type of guy who tries to find the best solution for everyone. So I feel that I try to appease all of the character choices by including a little bit of them in the character I’m making. What ends up happening is I get a Fraken-character who is not as solid as his/her parts. And this happens every time. Thankfully though, I feel as if I was able to craft a good character this time.
The game is already large enough. There’s a billion hours of stuff to explore and experience in the game on one save through alone. I know that I’m going to end up making more characters to play as.
The funny thing about this is that when I look at the skills and abilities that can be worked on in Skyrim I can see them as D&D characters. Already I’m building my character up to be the equivalent of an Arcane Archer, but I also see plenty of other prestige classes being made in this game.
And I love it all so much.
So with the shooter I’m most excited about this year comes a code to demo the sci-fi game I’m most excited about next year!?
It’s weird to see a code for Mass Effect 3 inside of a Battlefield 3 case, but the anticipation overrides my rationality.
One of the stereotypical images of a hard-core environmental activist is the person who chains themselves to a tree in front of growling bulldozers hungry to take it down. That tree falling is suppose to pave the way for the construction of a new future. A modern building with modern appliances, modern furniture, and modern air. But the activist doesn’t care about any of that. He wants to preserve the beauty of the forest that took so long to create, and to be able to admire that beauty for years to come. Otherwise it will be swept away with the rushing tide of “the future”.
This is the problem we are facing with Multiplayer.
Just like those giant oak trees are pillars of the forest so too are Mass Effect and Uncharted pillars of a Singleplayer storyline. And right now these pillars are being run over by the bulldozer that is Multiplayer. Frankly, it’s a bit heartbreaking.
Now, I’m not totally against adding in Multiplayer in a game. When it was announced for Mass Effect 3 I was overjoyed. I thought that being able to traverse the whole flippin’ galaxy with my friends would be the pinnacle of my ME experience. And while some gamers may try to deny it, the inclusion of Multiplayer into FPSs has changed the industry as a whole. It’s when everything that gives a game it’s beauty is ripped out in favor of Mutliplayer is when I have a problem with it.
Sure, the Online Pass for Mass Effect 3 is bad. Having to pay extra money back to the publishers for a space online that was already purchased is just stupid. It’s crap like Uncharted 3’s “Fortune Hunter’s Club” that really aggravates me.
It means that they have know exactly what kind of DLC they’re going to offer, and now for extra money you can have access to it. It’s exactly what the Online Pass does. It puts a toll on content that should otherwise be already available. Give me a good reason as to why this kind of shit should be available because right now I just can’t see it.
Now this may seem like I’m bashing DLC in a rant about Multiplayer. And that’s true, in a way. The main reason why this gets me wound up so much is because it’s Multiplayer DLC that this is happening to. It’s still bad when it happens to Singleplayer, but with Multiplayer DLC it’s mostly content that doesn’t add anything extra. In the case of the Fortune Hunter’s Club, it’s just new skins and maps. Nothing that substantial. Nothing that screams “I’m worth $25!” to me. It’s just a tack-on. A tack-on that’s meant to generate money.
This is the part that makes me really sad. Here is a series that started off with an exhilarating Singleplayer story that will be remembered for years to come. That same story is what brought people towards the second one. And even then the Singleplayer blew people out of the water. Including Multiplayer in Uncharted 2 felt like a nice little treat that the developers gave to us for being fans of their series. With Uncharted 3 it’s gotten to the point where the Multiplayer is given the primary focus, and that it just wrong. It feels like Uncharted is loosing a little bit of itself with it’s Multiplayer. Not in terms of development focus, but more of it’s image. Uncharted 3 is going from the cool guy in school who made his own image for himself, to the generic thing that tries to fit in with the “cool crowd” of Multiplayers with all of these stupid gimmicks. I swear Uncharted, if you pop your collar up before or after your release…we’re done.
Uncharted 3 is just one example though. Assassin’s Creed is caught red-handed doing the same thing. (Pun intended.) Though now this isolation of content is spread to singleplayer as well. By pre-ordering you gain access to story missions that otherwise has no business being cut from the game, and multiplayer goodies that have no importance to the experience. Great, so now both areas are being cut off from me. I can understand wanting to reward fans who order the game early, but by rewarding those players there is no need to cut the rest off of access. (I love seeing those section of the DNA blacked out, and thus my singleplayer still technically incomplete, to remind myself of the horrible mistake I made by not giving them money for DLC.) It turns a reward for people who pre-order into a punishment for those who don’t. I hope I’m not the only one who sees this as very bad form.
I’m glad that Nintendo hasn’t hopped on this bandwagon and added Multiplayer for Skyward Sword. Can you just imagine the thought of a bunch of Links running around trying to slash each other or being able to order a slightly darker green tunic for Link? Oh, or even exclusive Navi DLC!
If anybody is reading this then please, please, vote with your wallet. Don’t let developers suck the money out of you by blocking off or removing sections of a game that you paid for all for a multiplayer that is bogged down with crap in lieu of the shining example of singleplayer fun. DLCs and Online Passes are not exclusivity, they’re a toll.
Lies? I would call it more of bending the truth…in a very amusing way.
Here it is! Pokemon D&D, or at least a game based roughly on D&D.
The top chart is of the first 3 of the 18 Pokemon character classes I have created. As you can see they are based on actual Pokemon abilities and incorporate some D&D features. Most damage is based on d6’s while leach and damage over time abilities tend to be d4’s.
You roll out your character as you would with D&D. Roll your abilities by taking the best 3 rolls from 4d6. Fill, in your saves as well as your AC, Grapple, and Initiative Modifier. The Level/BAB/Ability Pts chart is for your reference when leveling up. All players start with 6hp + Con modifier. At each new level they gain 1d6+Con hp.
Setting up combat is fairly simple. The players determine the order in which they will be in, and DM can either do the same or have the enemy trainer’s Pokemon randomly ordered. Once you enter combat each player is designated a “Slot.” The slot is from the order you choose. Each Pokemon is squared off against one other. You then go down the line with combat, and the initiative modifier determined which Pokemon in each slot goes first.
Players can use their turns to either use an ability, attack, or switch spots to a willing ally. When a Pokemon faints they are taken out of combat and that slot becomes empty and players may move into those slots as an action.
Combat is pretty straight forward, you roll an attack or ability and beat their AC or save. Its the same mechanics as D&D. Your “Ability Points” determine how many of each ability you can use per encounter. As you can see as you level you gain additional use of your abilities. Note that all Pokemon have a base attack of 1d4 Physical damage that can be used an unlimited amount of times. I know this is not on the cards, it will likely be included in the future.
Note that you can only have 4 abilities open at a time, and once you unlearn one you cannot use it again. Each level you gain new abilities based on your Pokemon and it is up to the player to determine which abilities to keep.
Apologies for the sloppily written rules, I made several changes while in the process of writing it. Feel free to question or comment, any feedback is highly appreciated.
P-Pokemon D&D? I absolutely want to try this out.