• Not much happening

    Posted on June 13th, 2009 Tahakki No comments

    You may have noticed the lack of posting. Unfortunately,my gaming group seems to have dissolved. Not officially, we just don’t play very often.

    This blog might not be updated for a long time. We’re just trying to get a decent time to play the game.

    Apologies.

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  • Rewriting Rivenroar Part 2: Ogres and Carts

    Posted on May 12th, 2009 Tahakki No comments

    Ack, sorry for the lack of posting. I’ve been hooked on reading The Order of the Stick. :P

    I moved on to the second encounter is this adventure, which involves a level 8 Ogre Savage and two Hobgoblin Archers, both level 3. Obviously, much too hard for two PCs.

    My solution was to fix it to a level 4 Ogre Savage and one Hobgoblin Archer, level two. This came to 150XP each, rather than the previous 130XP each - thankfully, not too much of a difference.

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  • Rewriting Rivenroar 1: Bar Fight!

    Posted on May 3rd, 2009 Tahakki No comments

    The next adventure I’ll be running is Rescue at Rivenroar. It’s designed for 5 PCs, but I’ve only two, so I’ll be reducing it for them - and hopefully adding in some of my own material.

    I’m using a Linux program called PDF Edit to edit the PDF file directly, so it looks nice when I print it and I can post the completed thing on here. :)

    First thing I’ve done is altered the first encounter.

    2 Hobgoblin Blackblades + 10 Hobgoblin Grunts = 116XP per person.

    to

    1 Hobgoblin Blackblade + 6 Goblin Cutters = 125XP per person.

    This worked out quite well, at just a little over the XP the sheet said for this encounter. I might make the next one slightly lower, but I doubt 9XP is going to mess up our game very much!

    Next up, we have an Ogre and a cart. Stay tuned! ;)

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  • Free Keep on the Shadowfell?

    Posted on April 29th, 2009 Tahakki No comments

    It seems Wizards are giving away a PDF of Keep on the Shadowfell for free, as part of a ‘D&D Test Drive’, along with the Quick-Start Rules.

    Surely this will annoy those who’ve already bought things? I paid for the rules but I’m not too hurt as I got lot of other stuff in the same set. KotS owners may be, though.

    Still, I’m pleased. :)

    Check it out here!

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  • Possibly buying some dice

    Posted on April 21st, 2009 Tahakki 4 comments

    I was looking around GamesLore.com, my favourite online game store, for a battlemat. I found dice as well, and now I’m trying to decide between two sets.

    Mercury:

    and Granite:

    Right now I’m leaning towards Granite.

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  • Ack! So much spam!

    Posted on April 15th, 2009 Tahakki No comments

    I get back from my holidays, and what do I find? Thirteen spam comments!

    It’s quite odd, really. I never got them before. Maybe this blog’s only showing up in search engines now.

    I’ve Akismet turned on now, so hopefully that should help.

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  • “A game without board or counters…”

    Posted on April 9th, 2009 Tahakki No comments

    Recently, I was reading an article by the BBC about Dungeons and Dragons, and whether or not people still played the game.

    Near the start, it explained the basic concept - that it was a game of imagination, with just pen, paper and dice. They also mention, as do some commenters, that D&D is played without board or counters.

    If someone who played D&D at its height, and hadn’t seen it since then, watched someone play, they might not recognise their old hobby. D&D seems to have become expensive (for the DM at any rate!), with a need for miniatures, battlemats, tiles, scenery and counters.

    In a way, this is a good thing. It shows us where the characters are, and there’s a lot less confusion in combat. However, with my limited experience, there’s one problem I’ve noticed.

    When we first bought the Starter Set a while ago, Scott was DMing. As he described where Holdin (Zach’s old Dwarf) and Redni (my now-desceased Halfling) were, we really felt the tavern come to life.
    However, when we entered the dungeon and Scott laid out the tiles, the imagination seemed to dwindle. Because there was an illustration of the action on the table, we looked at it, and didn’t really bother imagining what was going on. This led to some serious metagame-thinking, and Zach and I simply thought of the encounter as any run-of-the-mill strategy game. The counters on the tiles didn’t seem to represent anything, they just were.

    Maybe Scott didn’t describe the action enough, or maybe I’m just a bad player. Nevertheless, it’s something I really need to sort out when I start this Adventure Path.

    One way might be to use a battlemat. They’re rather simple, so Scott and Zach would have to imagine what was going on. Alternately, I could go the other way, and save up for some Dwarven Forge scenery to feed their very visual minds. I’m leaning towards the first solution, as it is considerably cheaper.

    Any suggestions are of course welcome. :)

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  • My Local Gaming Store - Or Lack Thereof

    Posted on April 6th, 2009 Tahakki 3 comments

    I went out shopping earlier today, looking for some new shoes, and popped into Game (a video game shop) afterwards. Didn’t buy anything, as I’m saving up for a battlemat.

    I realised that Northern Ireland has a severe lack of gaming stores - by that I mean hobby gaming as opposed to video gaming. We have a couple of Games Workshops, and somewhere there’s a Forbidden Planet, but nowhere that caters for D&D, Magic or miniatures players - except one.

    The only image of The Stack I could find. Thanks, Google Earth.

    The only image of The Stack I could find. Thanks, Google Earth.

    The Stack is Belfast’s only real gaming store, and the only one I’m aware of in the country. The problem is, I don’t actually live in Belfast, and have only been in it once. The prices are okay, but it’s not really a proper shop. It’s just a dude who has a room where people play games, and some stuff for sale lying around - though he does get shipments from Wizards, it’s not that bad.

    Come on, prospective shop owners! Open a gaming store outside Belfast! :)

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  • Teaching with the Starter Set

    Posted on April 5th, 2009 Tahakki 4 comments

    After going for a run, my friend Jonny came over, complete with smelly socks, and I offered to teach him D&D. I used the set I learned from, the 4th Edition “Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying Game Starter Set”.

    In reality, that title actually takes about as much time to say as the adventure included. It really is complete turd from beginning to end. I gather the 3.5e one actually had a slightly interesting plot, but the 4th Edition one is basically a “Go-And-Kill-The-Nasty-Goblins-For-Monies-And-Yes-Wizards-Really-Are-Too-Lazy-To-Include-A-Story” quest.

    Well, it was cheap. Ten quid got me some tiles, a sheet of double-sided counters, some pukey but functional dice, and the books.

    I took out this set, and started setting up, explaining the basic concepts as I went. Jonny instantly set his gender to ‘Dinosaur’ (a human wizard, too) and his name to ‘Rarr’. This was slightly more imagination that I expected, and I went along with it.

    Jonny picked the game up very well. By the end he was making all his basic spells and melee attacks, and even understood AOOs. This was great in comparison to Scott, who immediately decided he would put out the goblin’s fire by taking a leak on it.

    Shopkeeper: Why does this gem smell like urine?
    Scott: *Shrugs*

    Anyway, Jonny played through the first couple of encounters quite well, and didn’t seem too bored. I asked him afterwards if he’d enjoyed it, and he told me he had, sort of.
    I then asked “would you play again?”
    “Not really, no.”

    I think the Starter Set actually pushes prospective players away, rather than enticing them to learn the game. I may consider writing a ‘teaching adventure’, but for now I’m about to DM Scales of War, found in the Dragon Magazine.

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  • Post-Completion Thoughts - Mass Effect

    Posted on April 3rd, 2009 Tahakki No comments

    I recieved this game as a Christmas present, but didn’t really get into it until around the end of January. I played it constantly until my half-term holiday, right up to the final boss, and then didn’t touch it again until last night, when I finished the game. Here are some of my thoughts on the game. I won’t summarise the story or anything, as it’s quite spoilable, but here are its major points - and drawbacks.

    What I liked:

    • Fantastic storyline - the best I’ve seen in a game.
    • Cutscenes - truly epic quality.
    • Deep moral choices - in multiple locations your choices can influence whether your friends live or die. This actually can have quite an emotional effect on the player.
    • Good graphics
    • Really hardcore roleplaying - yet can be played without this if you so choose.
    • Fighting, in general, is really fun - particularly sniping.
    • Scope - a whole galaxy to explore? Thanks very much!

    What I didn’t like:

    • The lack of autosaving - autosaving happens, but not very often at all. There were a few times when I had to go back half an hour when dying once.
    • The final boss - there are two final bosses. The first is quite fun, but the second is ridiculously hard. A cutscene happens right in the middle of the fight, restoring the foe’s shields. Rather irritating.
    • The sidequests - these are good, but since the main storyline has a feel of great urgency and there are no achievements available for sidequests, you never really bother to do them.
    • Scope - there are lots of places to go, but you can’t actually land on very many planets, and many of the ones you can are drab and boring.

    Despite these flaws, Mass Effect is one of the best games in its genre, and indeed on the 360. I can’t wait for the sequel.

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