Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Git 'er Done!

Alright, I'm feeling a little better and am ready to get in the thick of things once again. For the last month, the only games I've had the will or energy to play have been my regular Monday-night role-play night (and that's really only been the case because I have the entertainment needs of four other people to think about). With the help of my Sunday-night Basic D&D game (which I posted about a couple days ago), and the rousing game of "A Game of Thrones Boardgame" I had last night (in lieu of role-playing) I think I'm ready to stop moping and get gaming once again.

I'm still not 100% but I know that I can't just dwell all day on things. Whether I feel it should or not, life continues to move around me. Perhaps I can parse out my dwellings, and still get in a healthy amount of moping, but punctuated by my regular life. In any case, gaming is a lifelong passion of mine, and it's helped me through some hard times in the past; it shall do so again.

Previews of articles to come on this blog are as tenuous as tenuous things can get, but more for my sake, here's what I got comin' up:
+ A SAGA article or eight.
+ Painting article on "dipping" models.
+ Painting article that "reviews" Coat d'Arms, Vallejo, Citadel, and P3 paints.
+ Some Flames of War stuff.

This should keep me busy, and distracted.


Friday, February 17, 2012

I Cast Sleep

You wanna come up to me and make fun of 4th edition D&D? Well, if your thesis is that D&D3.x was the pinnacle of role-playing games design, then I can one-up you without setting down my coffee...

I play Basic D&D, motherfimir!

Thaaat's right! Now, of course I wasn't alive when the original Red Box came out (I believe my parents were married though, so that's something), but I am alive now, and I'm enjoying the heck out of it.

Basic D&D's third edition (that's right, it's the third Red Box since 1977) This one came out in 1983.
Now, in terms of games design, it's pretty inelegant. Say what you want about 4th edition, it's one hell of an elegant ride. It's the Mercedes-Benz of role-playing games. Everything works. Now, of course Benz' aren't for everyone (I don't mean that patronizingly) so I understand why some would prefer to play older systems. Besides, there's nothing saying that one's game has to be elegant or that even elegance has a place in role-playing games. You have to agree, though, that in terms of playability D&D4 is pretty darn neat.

Basic D&D (we're playing the third/fourth edition of it) is just that; Basic. I stand there, and I swing at a goblin. If I miss, then I wait until our initiative comes up again and I swing at it, hoping beyond hope that the goblin didn't hit me last turn. You see, most starting Hit Points (HP) levels are anywhere from 1d4-1d8 and most weapons do 1d6 damage. Our Dungeon Master (DM) was a kind soul and let us begin 1st level with max HP (so my wizard - er, "magic-user," sorry - has 4 HP instead of a random number from 1-4), he also let us roll our stats with 4d6 and drop the lowest die).

Basic D&D 4th Edition. Not a box, but a hardcover book.
Hilariously, my magic-user has only three spells (the kindly DM also let all magic-users start with "Read Magic" for free... Makes sense), which were chosen not by myself, but by the DM. So Malegaunt the chaotic magic-user has Sleep, Read Magic, and Light. For those of you that remember the old "Vancian" magic system, you'll know that I can only memorize one of those spells at a time, and once I've cast it, that's it until I go to sleep and memorize another one (or re-memorize the spell I cast).

So, in terms of a role-playing experience, it seems legit. I mean, if I was actually a magic-user in Mystara, I could imagine myself being afraid of goblin arrows, and conserving my magical energy. As a game that was borne out of Jack Vance, Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and Fritz Lieber-type sword & sorcery, it's a great simulation. In terms of "gameyness" nothing so far can beat 4th edition.

As I might've stated in a previous post, I'm mostly done with the "edition war" bulljunk that can be overheard in the back corners of many fine hobby gaming shops, I'm merely pointing out differences in philosophy (a topic every opinionated gamer should at least have a passing knowledge in, otherwise don't talk to me) of game design that is important to keep in mind when comparing these games.

Anyway, the point is: I'm enjoying the hell out of Basic D&D, and I'm playing again this Sunday. I'm thinking I'll find a miniature and paint 'em up to stick in front of me. Basic D&D does not use miniature combat the way that D&D3.x, Pathfinder, or 4th edition does, but it'd be cool to say "See? I have a red cloak."


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Still Here

Regular readers should be aware of my prolonged absences. They should also be familiar with my many excuses and apologies.

I've still been very active, gaming-wise (well, as much as I can in my current mood, that is). I'm helping capture news for Tabletop Gaming News, and I'm still playing RPGs weekly. In fact, today (in about 3 hours) I'm going to play a game of the brand-new Flames of War. I'll let you know how that goes.

Certain events in my life right now are causing havoc with my regular schedule. Goin' through some rough times, emotionally. Don't worry, they aren't gaming related so I'll keep it off this blog. To top it off, I've been without a computer for almost two weeks, so that's not helped. I've got one now, so that's a step in the right direction.

Now with that out of the way, I have to go and prime some Late War American machine gunners, in the hopes that I can slap some paint on them before my game today (not likely). EXTREME THE BATTLE!