The past month has been heavily influenced by roleplaying games. No, I don't mean those pixelpased things that you have in these newfangled fancy magic pee-cee things, but rather graphite- and imagination-based games with actual social interactions.
In late November I gathered a good friend and two colleagues from work over to create a setting and characters for a game. We knew we'd likely not be able to play until early January, but this only gives me, as the GameMaster, plenty of time to prepare all the nitty gritty details.
Brainstorming in the asylum
I heard somebody was going to be coming out my way soon and wanted to give a little write-up about DC. Having grown up an hour north of DC and now living about 40 minutes NE of DC, I've been there quite a bit. DC is extraordinary, especially when you factor in the free museums and monuments that dot the landscape.
I have actually never stayed in a hotel in the city, I always made day trips or stayed with friends and family.
Earlier this week I started reading a book by Carla Sonheim called "Drawing and painting imaginary animals" where she describes many different ways to create abstract and funny animals. One of the techiques involved splattering several large blobs of transparent watercolor over a sheet of paper, then blow on it or turn the paper to make it run, and then make an animal out of whatever shapes and patterns emerge.
I tried this on four 3x5 inch papers. One I used as a test to try different techniques, but the remaining three turned out pretty well. Just look for yourself:
It was Guild Wars 1 that made me play MMOs and it was Guild Wars 1 that forever gave me a love of minions. Summoning a horde of bone fiends to do your bidding, fresh from each corpse ... ah. That first time you ventured out of town and knew you had to kill something to get the spiky steamroller of death moving - that fear of even the lowest Skale.
Until you had the power, summoned from the grave and a veritable army, all clacking and chittering and devouring every warm morsel of flesh they came upon ... it was brilliant. You really were a dark Necromancer.
And I loved the patterns in Guild Wars 1 of skills and building your own decks as it blended collectible card games with a more involved fantasy experience. It reminded me of playing M:TG and V:TES in my studying days and of how we spent hours and days pouring over decks and combinations. Small surprise that my favourite decks were Green / White heavy and littered with creatures both great and small. Craw Wurms and Forces of Nature. Ah, the Force of Nature ... 8/8 trample and the bane of most of my foes.
But wait Tan? Weren't you going to talk about engineers?
For those of you that played LotRO, you may remember how annoying long the install process was. Back in April, I reinstalled LotRO and played for a couple of weeks.
Yesterday night, I decided to play again. So I launched it, only to see I needed a patch. It is now 22 hour later and the game is STILL patching. I have 25 Mb download connection (~3 megabyte). This is ridiculous.
It says I am 23% done.
Or why it's important to aim at an enemy's feet with the rocket launcher.
When I switch to the pick, its because I ran out of rockets. The closest ammo pack is back in my base (off to the left).
My bud has started playing Pathfinder, a D&D derivative. He said he wanted some unique maps to play on... So I wrote a script to procedurally generate dungeons on a grid.
You can customize the room sizes (they are sized randomly, but you can specify their min/max width and height) as well as the size of the map (from the command line).
Read this TSW is full of investigation missions; so a fan created one for the devs. And how utterly awesome is that?