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Everything posted by DanJW

  1. Tabletop RPGs

    Dammit I sent them the memo! You should be able to put a custom campaign in there
  2. Tabletop RPGs

    Well I'm still open to cool ideas, but so far there's been no other suggestions. What are you looking for in a setting? Toblix, about timing; For the next two weeks I'm involved in a play, so won't be around in the evenings much. I can still find time to do play-by-post though. How about, as a general rule: DM posts will be three days apart, or after every player has posted (so you essentially have a three-day time limit to get your action in). We can start when everyone is ready, but lets say two weeks max.
  3. The great Valve re-play

    I came to the same conclusion about the Xen 'citadel', including Nihilanth being equivalent to Breen. The consensus though seems to be that the Xenites are totally separate to the Combine, who just kind of followed them to Earth or something. I like our version better.
  4. Movie/TV recommendations

    Voyager is pretty OK and one of the most casually watchable Star Trek series, although it has a liberal sprinkling of utterly dud episodes.
  5. Tabletop RPGs

    Made a start on an Obsidian Portal wiki: http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/infinite-isles/wikis/main-page
  6. Variety

    Stegosaurs are for superbike chases - you know the bit where they skid underneath, as if it were an articulated truck.
  7. Tabletop RPGs

    Yeah I agree with Gwardinen. While in theory all a player needs is the Player's Handbook (and PH2 or 3 if they contain the class/race you want to play) the digital character generator is much faster and easier to use for that purpose. For learning the basic rules, this quickstart guide is usually enough, (I guess combined with the rules compendium if you have more questions). Really though, one of the nice things about 4E is that almost all the rules you need are incorporated into your character sheet. Digitally generating it even does all the maths for you. --- Pirate Poo, yeah getting characters prepped ahead of time is helpful. It might be good to tie the character into the setting if you can - some of the cultural aspects of each race are a little different. I'll update http://infiniteisles.wordpress.com/ with more recent descriptions, but most of what is there stands in terms of race and class. Feel free to ask me any question about any element of the setting. In fact, I quite like players to contribute to the setting in the creation of their character. For instance, Marek wrote a character who was an ex-arena-wrestler. This meant I had to find a way to fit some kind of athletics into the setting.. which became the Sorlish Games, and Ancient Olympics-style event that informed much of the culture for the major city in setting. If you look at other peoples' characters on the blog, other concepts they introduced were noble houses and the nature of the smuggling community. Often I have to work with them to fit the addition into the world with the right tone, but it's great fun having a collaborative creation that grows in this way. Beyond that, the players will want to work together to make a balanced party, with at least one defender class and one leader class. Your backgrounds can be linked as well, although they don't have to be. I'm sure we'll find some way to bring you all together Finally a couple of notes on things you'd like to do would be helpful (eg go to a big city and fight crime/ kill something really big/ fight in a war/ create a trade empire).
  8. Obligatory comical YouTube thread

    Sounds like Proportional Representation. Here in the UK the Liberal Democrats and others were originally pushing for that. However the rest of government made it clear that it was totally out of the question and it would not be considered. So AV was wheeled out as a compromise. If AV gets through it may pave the way for Proportional Rep in the future.
  9. Variety

    I think so. I was going to go along the path of visual language, but then it occurred to me that maybe this is saying the same things in different ways. So instead how about: events happening concurrently. Whether it's split screen or foreground-background or something else. We can see these things happen simultaneously. The nature of the written word means that when reading about them we have to learn of one of these things before the other. The gap might be small, but it is there.
  10. Tabletop RPGs

    Oh totally. I'm happy to run 4E as long as everyone has access to the materials they need. WotC have made the character generator an online-only thing, although the demo for the old downloadable one will likely still be around and has a decent number of options. I know the things that bug me about 4E (like skill challenges) and can houserule or compensate for them. I prefer more exploration and roleplay-based adventures - combat is a significant event and not just par for the course. Unless the PCs just like starting fights; but killing has consequences. I also try to write situations rather than linear quests. So not a total sandbox - events are transpiring and agendas are being carried out and there are plenty of story hooks. But it's up to the players to decide what their own part in the events will be, what their own goals are and how to achieve them. Some NPCs will ask for help or present quests; that doesn't mean you have to accept them and there is no 'right' way to go.
  11. Tabletop RPGs

    The various editions of D&D (and clones thereof) have different things going for them. Original D&D basic - nice and fast. Restricted options (race and class are the same thing). Can be deadly. Original D&D advanced - wide range of expression, since it relied much more on players describing their actions rather than simply choosing "attack B". Emphasizes imaginative approach to problems. Utterly deadly - expect to reroll at least one character each. Combat should often be avoided. Lots of support and analysis and variations online, and popular once again. OD&D gives a hyborian age, gritty swords and sorcery feel by default. The rules appear abstract but in the long term line up to reality suprisingly well. D20, or 3rd edition - massive range of choice. A bit overly complex and exploitable. Pathfinder is a third party rewrite of this ruleset that aims to rebalance it, and is now close to outselling D&D. 3E gives a detailed, epic fantasy novel kind of feel by default. The rules attempt to be simulationist, but artifacts appear in the long term. 4E. Very well balanced, throws out a lot of baggage. Combat is more tactical, requires a combat board (although some people are working on house rules to allow it to be played "all in the mind" like in older editions). Dying is rare. Some of the noncombat rules are squiffy. Has a tendency to steer everything back towards combat - and combats can sometimes become slow and grinding - but this can be consciously compensated for if you are watching out for it. 4E gives a cinematic, action movie feel by default. The rules run on hollywood logic, but they are consistent in this.
  12. Tabletop RPGs

    Probably about 6 players. Lets see who wants in and who can do what times - it might be that logistics does the lottery for us. I could take on an assistant DM as well, which would make my workload easier, provide me with someone to scheme collaborate with and provide cover for when I can't make it.
  13. Tabletop RPGs

    OK, I'll step up then. Things to agree upon: System; D&D? 4E or an AD&D clone like OSRIC (which is free to all)? There are OD&D and 3E/D20 clones too. Method of Play: I've been looking into play-by-post sites. Myth-weavers looks like a good choice and has recommendations. It has built-in tools like dice-rolling BBcode commands that cannot be tampered with. It could be combined with Obsidian Portal for long-term stuff. There are real-time apps available too. Personally I think play-by-post with occasional realtime chat sessions. It may take a while before we settle on the best use of the tools for us. Timing: set deadlines for Play-by-post. Realtime nights would be Wednesdays or Thursdays for me, say between 8pm and 11pm GMT - possibly some Sundays earlier evening. Even so some weeks I will be busy every evening. Tone of the game - what kind of stuff does everyone want to do? Dungeon crawls, political roleplay, horror, swashbuckling, deadly survival, goofing around, story-based set pieces or wide open sandbox? As long as we all understand what we are each looking for, adventures can be tailored towards those tastes.
  14. Tabletop RPGs

    That's a shame that nothing got going. You don't need to know anything at all about early 20th century USA, since it's actually a completely fictional world that just has some similarities to our own and pulp adventure/hard boiled fiction overtones. Read some of the Telecanter's blog articles or the PDF on that page (which is just a collection of his articles anyway). I absolutely love them. Yeah the gods game might be very hard to play online, The rules I wrote for it are based on a combination of playing cards and liar dice.
  15. Tabletop RPGs

    Hey folks how are these games going? I'm finally online in my new flat. I'm still busy a lot of evenings, but I think I can find time now to do something - maybe play-by-post, with a realtime session most weeks. I'm happy to play or DM if other folks are interested. Here's some D&D (or similar system) settings that I like best: -Telecanter's 'Strange New World' setting. It's an awesome pulp mashup set mainly in an alternate 1915 U.S. It has some fantastic twists on traditional fantasy game stock monsters and added forteana. -My own campaign setting, Infinite Isles. It's an archepelago setting, although there are larger islands if you prefer to stay on dry land. Major Influences are The Voyages of Sinbad, and other Tales of the Arabian Nights; the Earthsea novels by Ursula Le'Guin; the Irish Book of Invasions, the Mabinogion and faerie folkore of the British Isles in general; Pratchett's Nation, classical civilizations; plus a dash of Lovecraft and the economics of sea-trade. I started a blog of general info for players a couple of years ago, here. I've developed it a bit more since then. -A nascent idea for a campaign based on Peter Pan and Neverland, but crossed with darker fairy tales and Celtic horror stories (yeah I have a thing about the underbelly of North European folklore). Players could be either lost boys or, even better, the Pirates. The choice will change the feel of the campaign quite a bit. I think this could be pretty awesome and/or disturbing, playing as it does with what it really means when a child is 'taken by the faeries'. I have other nascent RPG ideas, some more developed than others. Taking those on would require developing and playtesting a lot of the rules as we go, but they are much further from D&D and fantasy and so might present something a bit different and fresher. In short they are: -Cold War ESP-enabled spies. ESP powers are limited to the kind of things in 'real world' clairvoyance claims. Additional inspiration: Spielberg's Munich and similar gritty heist movies. -Pre-classical gods, who puppeteer the fates of mortals in a kind of deconstruction of fantasy RPGs. -A game system based on manipulation of probabilities, where that is the PCs main power. -A game system based on free running and le parkour. Least developed and more of a thought experiment - could running even work as a replacement for combat in a tabletop RPG?
  16. Happy Birthday!

    Happy Birthday Nachimir! You're always up to something awesome, I hope today has been no different
  17. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

    I've posted way too much about MGS3 over the years but what the hell. Gerbil, really glad you enjoyed it. I'm sorry the control scheme didn't completely work for you (and others). As I've said before, I too struggled with it for ages and then it finally 'clicked' and it became one of the most intuitive and flexible control schemes I have ever used - the type where thought transfers into action and everything you do becomes cool. It saddens me that it can't work that way for everyone. yeah, it's much more about about stealth and realism. It's weird, I used to be in the army cadets... the camouflage and stealth strategies they taught me worked so well when I applied them to this game... it's the closest I think anyone has ever come to making a 'soldier simulation' game in the same way that we consider 'flight simulation' etc. I too thought the story was the best of the MGS series - but then it was the first one I experienced in full. Still, after playing through the entire series multiple times I agree with your analysis here - it is still the most heartfelt and grounded of the writing. Same goes for the game dfesign. The End is one of the finest and most original bosses ever, if only for the kind of atmosphere it invokes (did you know that if you spend over a week of real time trying to beat him, he will die of old age?). Such a great game. One of, if not The, top of my games of all time.
  18. Movie/TV recommendations

    I didn't hate it, but nor do I think it did very well on the investigation side of things.
  19. Game reviews

    Sno and Rodi, agreed agreed agreed. I too no longer read reviews, unless one gets pointed out as being particularly entertaining or informative. Like Sno, I'm perfectly capable of gathering information about a game and then deciding for myself whether I'm going to enjoy it. If I'm on the fence I might go to RPS or Eurogamer, the two sites that I trust the most after Gamasutra... and here. I'll probably check here first to see what people have said. In fact these days my time and money is so restricted that my choosing of a game actually works in reverse of what the market assumes to be the norm. I get a hankering for a particular kind of game experience, then I go and see if that game exists. It's like a food craving. Rare is the game these days that makes me want to play it right away when I wasn't already looking for that type of thing. Obviously there are exciting things on the horizon but I rarely buy games on release any more because my craving and wallet are unlikely to coincide with launch day. The articles above are good and informative... but nothing new. I assumed everyone with intelligence and interest had come to the same conclusions years ago. At least if there's a 'storm' then change might finally be on the way.
  20. Good Old GOG

    Surely the king of RTS was Z.
  21. God of War

    Hahah thanks for posting that. yeah the stuff didn't quite make sense. I enjoyed the game a lot, in terms of impressive set pieces and playing with the conventions of third person action games it was almost as good as GoW2. But yes the story falls a bit short. A shame because I think with a bit more thought and conviction and the bravery to rise above the badassary it would have been great. The sets up, I suspect, a rebirth into a different world for God of War 4. Possibly with a Norse or whatever theme .
  22. Movie/TV recommendations

    I do think that the company you choose to work for reflects upon you as an individual. Those people mentioned may be lovely and talented and uncorruptable, but surely they have an inkling into the less salubrious side of the organization. At that point it becomes a question of whether you choose to uphold your moral beliefs or compromise them for a chance of success. Of course nearly everyone would choose the same option, to be able to do the thing they love doing; but still... Perhaps they are trying to improve it from within. I hope so.
  23. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I'm just posting here to say I think i'm getting sick of radio again. With no TV I listen to it a lot, and goddamn the music selection is boring on BBC stations. The same stuff over and over and over. The BBC appears to be entirely in the pocket of the major record labels. But maybe that's what the listeners want. The morons. On the other hand I can't stand the abominable adverts on commercial stations and the DJ's and chat stuff is way below BBC standard too. Finally getting internet at home this week so I can blissfully go back to listening to independant internet radio stations. Ahh the absolute joy of it.