jackofallgeeks: (pl4y with 3vil)
I like MMOs.

I've played World of Warcraft, The Matrix Online, Guild Wars, Dungeon Runner, City of Heroes, City of Villains, and EVE Online.

Some are better than others. WoW has arguably the strongest base, but CoH/V gives you great control over customizing your character. GuildWars is subscriptionless and generally good; Dungeon Runner is subscriptionless and mediocre-at-best. EVE Online is a very cool idea, but comes of as dull and confusing. In fact, the only reason I've played EVE at all is because I got a free trial of it. After two days, I still don't know what I'm supposed to do or how to improve my character, so the odds of me *paying* for the game are slim.

The point is, though, offering a free trial is probably the best thing an MMO can do right now. "The first taste is free," and if your game can deliver then they'll come back for more. That's part of the trouble I'm having right now, or rather, that's the problem I wish I was having.

Tabula Rasa is out. It's a new MMO, big whup, but instead of being another Fantasy game (as it seems most MMOs are), they're taking a Sci-Fi track. That's nothing new, The Matrix Online and EVE Online are both Sci-Fi, but not being "another fantasy game" is at least a step in the right direction. In my opinion, Matrix was half-cocked and EVE is not-even but still, two points for effort. Tabula Rasa is even supposed to play less like a standard 3rd-person MMO and more like a 1st-person shooter -- hitting your target is still based on stats and die-rolls, but the look and feel (I'm told) is FPS. That's a good mark, too.

The trouble is, I can't seem to find a free trial to the game. Which is a HUGE obstacle to even giving the game a shot. To buy the software is $50 right now, and then to get a month's subscription is $15 additional. I'm unwilling to pay $65 on a game sight-unseen when there are other quasi-similar games that I already have a feel for. If it was, say, $20+$15, or maybe even $25+$15, then I might be willing to give it a shot, but $65 is just outrageous, *especially* when I have no idea what the game is actually *like*. If I'd paid $65 to get EVE Online I'd be pissed.

So, I'm stuck. I'd like to give Tabula Rasa a shot, I think it looks like good stuff, but I thought the same of EVE before I played it. I'm not saying that Tabula Rasa and any other MMO that tried to break onto the scene without a free trial is going to fail, per se, but I am saying it's unlikely that I'll be playing.

That being said, I'm going to hop onto CoH/V.

Edit: Apparently the $50 buy-in includes a month of playtime. That's still $35+$15, which at least brings it down to an almost-reasonable level. I still have my reservations.
jackofallgeeks: (Setsuna)
Tonight was definitely one of the best nights of my life. It was just great.

Friday nights are Draft nights at the Game Habitat (the game shop I'm always referring to). We usually get a mid- to large-sized draw of players, and it's a nice time, usually whittling down to The Usuals by the end of the night. Saturdays are Constructed tournaments, which usually draws significantly fewer players -- almost always just The Usuals, and the games run a bit timelier because we're all playing decks we've personally tuned to the event. I like these a little bit better, partly because I feel more comfortable with my weapon of choice, and partly because there's less riffraff (and, as noted, I'm kind of an elitist). It's just the regular guys; we all know each other and we all kick around for a few hours with our shared hobby.

Tonight after the tournament (Haven beat Rob in the finals; I was running an experimental B/W deck dubbed "Save the Pandas" by it's original creator), a group of us went around the corner to Denny's. We ate some food, drank some coffee, chatted a lot about MtG, The Game Habitat, Judging, problem players, everything. We also played a cool little card game called Gloom, which I very much want to get now; it's loads of fun. Haven, Brent, Chris and I played a couple rounds of it.

After all that I drove Haven, Brent, and Chris to their respective homes. We got to hear about when Brent got beat up by a swan, and the strange wordplay games Haven and his siblings (Lyric, Cheer, and Eden; their parents were hippies) play. Then Brent asked what the band was that I was playing -- ThouShaltNot, which I admitted was Goth music. And apparently both Brent and Haven like Goth music (in retrospect, I think the large-gage earrings Brent has should have tipped me off), and Brent asked if I'd heard of VNV Nation -- if you're keeping score at home, VNV Nation is one of my three favorite bands! So he asked if I know Apoptygma Berzerk and was surprised when I said I did -- no one knows Apoptygma Berzerk, and he thought he was showing off.

So we got into this whole thing about my 'other life' as a Goth, and I told them how Leslie says "deep down inside I have black little heart that bleeds mascara." We got into talking about Goth clubs, anime conventions, leather pants, and randomly making out with Mint.

At one point Haven said, "It makes sense now: it only sounds like giggling, it's really the laughter of the damned!" We all laughed a lot. I laughed myself to tears -- which was bad, as I was driving at the time. My sides *still* hurt, I laughed so much.

So the three of us have decided we seriously need to hang out more, outside of weekly MtG events and stuff. They both already have my email (JackOfAllGeeks) and apparently they both envy me for it -- "We didn't I think of that," Brent said.

A very awesome night.
jackofallgeeks: (Saddened)
Every week, I got out to the game store, play one of my favorite games with a room full of people who's company I really enjoy, talk with the owner of the shop about role-playing and board games, that out until midnight or later. And then come home and feel exceedingly sad.

Sometimes being energized by other people can have it's downsides, too.
jackofallgeeks: (Moof)
Part of me is resigned to the fact that I am never going to play in a table-top RPG game, in no little part due to the fact that I will never find compatible players.

The rest of me is generally frustrated right now, having worked 18+ apparently fruitless hours on this Vulnerabilities final, so I'm all-together in a bad mood right now.
jackofallgeeks: (Seriously Though)
Tonight was so incredibly awesome.
Let Me Tell You Why. )
jackofallgeeks: (pl4y with 3vil)
I just finished playing through the (generally) Lighside version of "Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords." And I have to say, I really, really liked the story. Really. Like, so much so that I may play through more than just my Darkside version, just to get more of it. I'm not sure how I'd rank it compared to Kotor1; technically, I never beat that game, and I'd want to play through it again, anyways, to remember exactly how it went. But they both have really, really cool stories.

The gameplay was a little lacking; it wasn't always intuitive what you were supposed to be doing, some of the NPC's motivations seemed flimsy at best, and almost every battle was too easy -- until the Final Battle, when I had to pull a cheap 'hit and run' tactic so I could heal up after taking the Boss down a few pegs.

But all-in-all, I really liked it. I may have to take a break from my Darkside game in favor of StarCraft (a classic which I technically never finished -- I got hung up on a mission in the Expansion), but I'll certainly be coming back to this game once if not three more times.
jackofallgeeks: (Nevermore)
I keep wanting to post something, but every time I get around to it, I either find I have nothing to say, or I have no motivation to say it.

Tonight is kind of a combination of both.

So, right. Life has been moving along since the last time I posted anything of substance. When was that? It looks like October 2nd, which I guess isn't that long ago, but it feels like an eternity.

I got Miriam fixed. I love Miriam. )
I had a bet with one of my friends, who said I would most assuredly name my bike. She knew me well, and I knew even then that I'd lose the bet. If we were still speaking, I'd owe her a batch of cookies...

I found a place to play Magic out here; I'm glad I did. )

About half-way through the summer, I started a World of Darkness project. )It was going to be great. )But it's dying now, if not dead. )
I hate feeling like all my best ideas are being wasted.

Which brings me to NanoWrimo. I don't know what I'm doing. )

Tangentially, there's a lot of grumbling going on around CoH these days, with murmurs of a Great Exodus when City of Villains comes out -- and not to CoV, either, but away from Paragon entirely. people say there's a Great Change coming with the expansion, which will be the cause of wailing and gnashing of teeth. And it makes me sad, because... Well, I don't know anyone who plays CoH. My brothers used to, but when they did we were all on different servers (none of them have ever played with Bethan), and we've never really been able to play together much, even irregularly. No one I know plays the game, and I haven't been able to make friends there the way that Josh did, and... I love the game, but every night I get on to just wander around for half an hour before getting off because there's no one to play with (and the game isn't nearly as fun playing solo, I think)... Well, it makes me sad, is all.

And I joined an online dating site specifically for Catholics, which is full of nice, pretty girls I'd actually date (unlike OKCupid), but I've had to reject two girls already (which is really hard for me; there's history to that), and I've met a girl who I think I kinda like (her name's Tessa and we've been talking for about a week now) but who I'm afraid doesn't think much of me (mostly, I think this just because I can be really negative sometimes, especially when Good Things could happen, as a self-defense against disappointment), and on top of that I'm juggling things with my friend Meghan, who likes me (and I kinda like her) but I don't feel comfortable with anything more than friends, and it all seems so very delicate.

The end.
jackofallgeeks: (pl4y with 3vil)
"City of Heroes and City of Villains will share the same universe and, therefore, they must coexist on the same servers. Many of the existing (and yet-to-be-released) features and zones within City of Heroes and City of Villains require that heroes and villains be able to interact fully. This means that players will manage their heroes and villains from the same menu interface.

People with only City of Heroes or City of Villains will have the normal eight character slots per server, those with both games will use a new interface with twelve character slots. Those twelve slots will accommodate both heroes and villains (so if players choose to, they can fill all twelve with heroes or with villains)."


-CoV FAQ
jackofallgeeks: (Gaming)
"...[I]n the CoH universe, there ARE no right handed katana wielders."

I knew I liked this game for a reason.
jackofallgeeks: (Solemn)
Back before I left WoW, I was running my Warlock Silvereyes pretty regularly, and was having lots of fun with her character. The trouble was, I found I was often wanting for other Players with whom to Role Play, and as much fun as the Quests are, wandering around the world alone wasn't my cup of tea. So, I thought I might try to take membership in a guild.

And there are lots of RP Guilds out there. The Knights of Lordaeron. The Alliance Protectors. The Archmagister's Guild. For a while I was in a group called 'Honor Unbound,' if I recall, and it was nice, and there was some nice character interaction (I think the leader of the band was enamoured with Silvereyes), but one thing kept bugging me. Silvereyes wasn't a knight, and she didn't care much about 'protecting the innocent,' and she certainly wouldn't serve an archmagister. After all, she was a Warlock, with all the quirks of character that come with dealing in black magics. She fit reasonably well in Honor Unbound, but there was still a something missing from my play experience.

And so I had an idea -- namely, that I would try to form a 'metaguild,' the Storycircle. What's a metaguild you might ask?
Let me explain. )

Anyways, I fell out of WoW before I could get the metaguild set up, but Silvereyes still has the Charter, unsigned, in her hands. I would still like to see this experiment come to pass, and see real character interaction and development. So I thought I might advertise here, and see if I couldn't drum up some support.

So, if you're interested, comment here, or send Silvereyes a letter through WoW to let me know.
jackofallgeeks: (Default)
And while I'm playing catch-up, I'm following up a bit on some stuff my brother (and several webcomics) mentioned about the "Hot Coffee" 'mod' in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In particular, Tycho's defense of it led me to a Gamespot article with more details on the issue.

First off, I don't like GTA. I'll admit to sometimes throwing on GTA2, cruising around for a while in stolen cars, but that's about it -- I'd actually be more satisfied with a Racer. GTA:SA seems to be more of everything that I don't like about the rest of the series, which is gang wars and violence on passers-by.

At the same time, I think the ESRB people, and the parents and politicians rallying against video games in general because of Hot Coffee, are full of more than a little shit. ESRB wants to up he rating of GTA:SA to Adult Only, which generally I could care less about. What gets me, though, is like what Tycho said -- the Mature rating says the game can be violent, crass, sexual, and everything else that would get a movie an 'R' rating (it's been pointed out that the ESRB is failing by not using the already-recognized movie-rating system). An 'Adult Only' rating is the same thing, but says the scenes are 'longer.' If that's the only difference, then the claim that an AO rating is only meant to stimatize a game at retail doesn't seem far of -- and if that's the case, I'm against it (because I'm against a rating meant only to stimatize without basis).

So, yeah, ESRB's rating are skewed, and should probably be revised or adjusted to the movie-rating system, preferably with more-objective and definable criteria than currently.

But more than the ESRB and gaming companies (who do have some responsibility, even if it's just to be upfront about what it is they're selling), I'm angry with the politicians and (more to the point) the parents involved. Politicians suck, simply. The only reason most of them take a second look at an issue like this is because parents care, and parents vote. Parents, though, really get to me on this because, frankly, I think most of the blame and responsibility in these cases. Barring unconcientious gift-giving, parents are the ones actually buying these games for the children and, frankly, if you're going to complain about the game Billy's playing, you shouldn't have given it to him. If parents took a little more care and maybe actually researched the game before getting it (and come on, the damned thing is named after a felony), maybe we wouldn't have these sorts of problems.

Of course, I don't think that game companies are wholly without responsibility, though I think most of that is a responsibility to be open about what they're selling. Now, I'll allow for a company to keep a few secrets from the public, for the sake of easter eggs, but I would expect that easter eggs would be accounted for in a game-rating. My brother argues that for years, 'extra' content and unfinished code was left inside games, but inaccessible, because it's "easier to write around than remove" code, especially near deadlines. And he says coder friends of his verify this. Now, I may not have written any video games, but I am a coder myself, and while it is easier to write around code, and it's beyond difficult to completely remove features and code blocks, I don't think that's an excuse. If Rockstar had removed a couple modles and such, then perhapse the Hot Coffee would have still be accessible, but it would have been obviously broken. Personally, I think this is inconsequential, because I believe Rockstar intentionally left this bit as an easter egg, but that's a different issue.

My brother says that if gaming companies were held accountable for all the random unaccessible content shipped in their game, then they could be ruined by a lone, untraceable, disgruntled programmer. And I'll grant him that; I don't think we need be draconian about this. As long as they aren't trying to circumvent regulations and get an R-rated movie into a PG-13 category through deception, fine. But there it gets to be a bit sticky, regardless.

And, uhm, I think I've run out of steam...
jackofallgeeks: (Saddened)
Had a great day. Spent most of it with Anastasiya, saw Howl's Moving Castle, ran in the DnD campaign Daniel's doing (which I think was possibly our best one yet, even if he seemed to think it was lacking), and then sat in for a bit on an old-type Werewolf game Anastasiya's getting into (and trying to get me into).

Now, I'm just tired. And lonely.
I want to be loved.
-curls up by himself and goes to sleep-
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
You know, I once had this idea for a campaign, or rather, a character I wanted to play.
He was this Vampire, right, from White Wolf's Vampire:The Masquerade (Preferably, I think, a Gangrel, but it really works for any clan, save maybe Nosferatu or Tzimisce). Anyways, to put it simply, in his mortal life he falls for this girl (or guy, for you Anne Rice fans). Presumably, the subject also falls for said character, but also predictably, the subject is also a Vampire.

Now then, for whatever reasons Vampires do this (twisted ideals of 'preserving beauty', sepparation anxiety that always comes with loving a mortal, idea that 'maybe this one will be different', maybe to save his life), the Subject makes the Character a Vampire - Embraces him, if you will.

Understandably, the Character doesn't take this very well. I mean, the whole existing in perpetual night, never again being able to see the sunrise (or rather, only one more time...), living of the blood of the living, and generally becomming a monster. How ever, just as he hates his Sire for what's been done, there's still that vein of affection, ands a main conflict may well be that he wants to destroy her (or him) but in the end can't bring himself to deliver the final blow (maybe turning against fellows when they try to destroy the creature?), along with the typical 'I'm a monster, I don't desrve to exist, dam me for my infernal hunger' bit.

There is a point to all this. See, I was listening to, appropriotly enough, "Love Song For A Vampire", and in at least a few ways it fits the whole scenario.

And that's what sparked all this.

And this is the end.
jackofallgeeks: (Default)
Beat the first level of Final Challenge on Unreal Tournament.

Dam that was rough.

Stupid Slave Warriors.

Currently fighting in level two.

And I love it.

So close.

I was so very close.
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
01:01:48

What is the significance of this amount of time?
No, it is not how much sleep I get every night.
No, it's not how long I spend on Schoolwork each week.
No, it is not the precise duration of 3 months worth of building up some guts.
No, it's not the amount of time I take between meals. )
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
It doesn't think. It doesn't feel.
It doesn't laugh or cry.
All it does from dusk till dawn
Is make the soldiers die.

-Onean children's rhyme


Do Not Overestimate The Power Of The Dark Side )
jackofallgeeks: (Moof)
*Sigh*

Well, today was passably good. It rained all day, and that always puts me in a good mood. A little water on the fire if you will. Thus, I'm no longer smoldering, but unhappy none the less. You see, as Leslie and Claire both pointed out, it must've been a horrendous experience to get me upset, and it was. Allow me to explain.

I like Role-playing. I figure since I can't act (stage fright) and I can't write (no plot), Role-Playing is my soul recourse, and how I long for it (though my stage fright plays into it, it's not so bad). For this reason, I can churn out massive amounts of characters - Elven Wizards, Human Fighters, Felinoid Huntercats, Goblin Bursters, Juicer Assassins - but I put alot of thought into each character, and try and make them as 'human' (read: realistic, in many cases) as possible. I Role-Play because I have a character concept and I want to see that character play out and overcome obstacles, and grow, and maybe become a hero or a legend, or at least die grandly.

My experience in Role-Playing is quite limited. I've played online through e-mails for a number of years now, but that's vastly removed from Real Life play. Even aside from that, finding a Game Master online is worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack - it's like trying to find a specific strand of hay. I eventually resorted to running my own games, in a sense living through my players, just because i'm bursting with ideas that have no outlet. My true goal is to play, though, not run.

This past summer I was blessed by having Leslie introduce me to Parker and the gang, who let me roll up a Bonegnawer for their Werewolf Campaign. I only played in but so many sessions, but in that time I developed a feel for Akio. And ending his career (though not his life) with a few footprints in the asphalt and an elbow to a guy's temple made me feel contented, to some extent.

When I came to CUA, I learned that Aaron played D&D, and naturally wanted to get into a game - ANY game, just as long as I could play. And so, he introduced me to his group - Ben, Abner, Yon, and Ca...dam, his name's on the tip of my tongue. Anyways, they're nice enough guys, but...

I've now played in three sessions with them. And in that time I've gone through 3 characters. For those of you unable to do the math, that's a character per session. The first was Janus - a dark, sullen fighter who had a past he didn't want to share. He didn't die, he just didn't DO anything. After he was introduced, Ben's campaign was dropped and Aaron decided to try GMing.

The second was Cedric - a cocky, hot-headed fighter. For some reason yet to be determined, he got on a ship headed for the orient. He never left that ship. One day, the group woke up after a storm and the ship was empty - cargo, crew, captain, everything - without a trace in the middle of the ocean. This would have been interesting save the GM gave us no clues, no hints on what to do. We were stuck in the middle of the ocean on a mysteriously-abandoned ship.

Then the pirates came.

Pirates being pirates, the boarded our ship, and in an attempt to gain the advantage my character (who could fight blind) jumped into the belly of the ship. The rest of the characters, for some reason, followed me into the darkness. When the pirates were above us, someone got the bright idea to pull the ladder down - marginally intellegent, I admit. But, *Of Course* the pirates noticed. And did they jump down into the hold like any decent, first-level adversary? No, no, no, they couldn't be STUPID. Heaven forbid. No, they *OF COURSE* have a smoke bomb, which they drop down on us, and when I told Aaron I was going to look for it with my feet, hey envisioned me kicking it down under the planks, out of reach, so we would all suffocate.

Thank the lord I didn't say 'with my hands', I may have CHUCKED it at an ally and causede massive head trauma. No, likely I would have just burned my hands severely or something, making my fighter (who can no longer hold a weapon) useless. but no, I said feet, booted it, and doomed us all to slow suffocation.

But all was not lost - Ben quickly told the Barbarian to punch a hole in the ceiling so we could climb out. Good idea. He punched 2, and we split 2 and 2 and came up on either side of the mid-level deck. Between us were a dozen Pirates. one fell - three - seven - ten - all twelve, dead. And none of us scratched save the girl-fighter. So Cedric, charged from the battle, climbs up to the top deck - really the only logical way to continue the battle. Not the smartest thing, no, but THAT'S HIS CHARACTER. cedric's the type of guy who doesn't quite know when to stop a fight, least of all when he's WINNING. He'll never learn, now.

He jumps up and stands just long enough for the Barbarian to follow him up - he drops just as the Barbarian gets up there, douple slashes from twin longswords. I'm dragged below decks by my Cleric companion and healed back to 4 HP, I believe, while the barbarian continues to mow down the enemy - swing, kill, swing, kill, swing, kil - two more, four more, eight more - in total he alone dropped 17 pirates that night, along with my three and at least one or two others from Yon and Ben. Twenty+ men dead, from four.

The barbarian drops, and the pirated *decide* that they aren't going to cut their losses of 20 men and leave - no, they're going to tear up the upper deck so they can get the FOUR GUYS who killed them - that's four men who have (effectively) killed 5 men each. When that battle turns to losing, the jump down at us and we drop a couple more, then four more, then silence. And they throw torches down on us. Three, twelve, twenty - no, we don't get a chance to fight the fire. or rather we do, but Aaron literally says "There's too much, the boat WILL sink."

Cedric once again goes uptop - at 4 HP he can only eat about one kit from these guys, maybe two, but 4 HP is 1/2 his total, so it really doesn't matter. He falls again, of course, but to his 'companions' come to get him? No, for the sake of running away under the supposition of death, they jump out the back and swim away - leaving our hero, Cedric, unconcious but breathing, to die a fiery death and lay in a watery grave. All in one session, and hardly fitting for any character, let alone a character destind for greatness.

Ertai's story is even more disapointing. Ertai is the character that I rolled up after I heard Cedric bit it (yes, I wasn't there when they jumped ship - I had to be rushed to the metro t'get home, and they told me the day after). Ertai, though, was a masterpiece. He was a Wizard Prodigy - Seventeen and already an accomplished wizard. He'd been through the required classes at the local accademy and graduated, with honors, years before his peers would even be eligable. He had stayed around to study, fascinated by the knowlege he'd absorbed. But he wasn't perfect - he was rather spoiled. You see, EVERYONE had ALWAYS praised him for his 'amazing natural ability' and this had gotten to him, you could say. He was SURE he was the greatest wizard to ever live, if not now then after he'd had appropriote time to research. He may well have been. We'll never know.

His school master freared for Ertai - he saw everything as potential research, as raw data waiting to be analyzed, processed, categorized, and filed - everything, including people. In an effort to get Ertai to grasp this truth - that people are people - he sent Ertai out into the world. He saw it as an opportunity for Ertai to intereact with other people and see them as more than study. Ertai saw it as a chance to explore what a Library could never provide - and a means to show the world just how amazing he really was. None of these hopes saw fruition.

What did Aaron do? Did he set up a scenario where Ertai could save the party, and cement his place in the party? Did he have the party save Ertai and cement Ertai's loyalty - or at least base interest? Did he at least have Ertai wash up on the same shore as the cast aways? No, no, no, nothing this epic. We ARE only human after all.... Ertai was just *there*. The best explaination was that Ertai had been one of the miscellaneous characters that he's mentioned but never encluded in the story (infact, when he first wanted to dispose of said characters, did he have a sea serpent attack us long enough to take some beating,eat the merchants, and then decide it'd had enough punnishment and leave? No, he had them jump over board and swim away...).

Anyways, Ertai's story is sadder than Cedric's because Cedric died due, inpart, to his character. he SHOULDN'T have, and aaron shouldn't have expected so much fromFIRST LEVEL CHARACTERS, but that's not the point. He hid, and Cedric was dead. Ertai, however...

He was an awsome character - an amzing wizard who was not only increadibly intellegent and quick-witted (numbers-wise) but could also take some mount of damage - something most mages can't. But he was *phased* onto this island and pretty much just followed the other three as they searched the island. We came to a mountain with a cave, and voices in the cave. We try sneaking around to get a better view, but skrew up.

Reasonably enough, three of the SAME pirates (figures we'd wash up on their island - it's almost cinemaic) come out of the cave. But when they see us, do they charge us, like any decent villain would, even though WE (the players and GM) know it would hardly be a fight? No, two run back inside and one stays and watches us. Of course, we kill him, but figure we'll stick around and wait for the other guys to come back - revenge for the ship - mayhaps for Cedric, as well, but I think too highly of my comrades, I believe.

In anycase, Ben gets the BRIGHT idea to toss a rope across the clearing when we hear alot of them comming, in order to trip them up. Not a bad idea, really, but sadly they saw the rope fly through the air. It was a stupid move - really, waiting for them to come back was stupid, but we HAD killed over twenty of them before. But did they come back with reasonable numbers to assault FOUR men? Did they come back with eight? Ten? Fourteen? No, no, nothing that sane - THIRTY or more of these bastards pour out of the cave. Combat ensues.

The combat, really, went almost decently - the girl dropped, Ertai was out of spells and at 1 HP, the Barbarian had taken out an additional 8 guys (25 cumulative from the boat), but the Bard cast fog and we managed to escape. Then, Aaron said he was stuck. Why, one might ask? Because we couldn't escape alive.

WTF and various other explitives come to mind. WHY won't we survive this, one might ask? It's simple, really - these pirates are insane. Instead of ignoring us and staying in their fortifyed caverns, or even just sending out a group of two, maybe ten or so each, to search us out, the WHOLE FLIPPING TRIBE (or at least all 80 of them left standing who can fight) decide to ALL come out, en masse, to search for us. we can't escape alive because they are travelling in groups of twenty each and looking to scour the entire island and KILL FOUR MEN. Ertai, at 1 HP, lastend an amazing 2 rounds (12 sec) and even succeeded in grounding 2 pirates. But his character was never played out and he died on the end of a longsword on his first day of play.

And the REALLY sucky thing is that had we gone THE OTHER WAY around the island, we would have found boats and key plot hooks. Now, I can understand that if you plan something out geographically, it's bad form to warp space just so your characters can find it, but with something THAT CRITICAL, it's absurd!

But the fun continues. Later on, riding back to his place, Aaron criticized me for not 'playing your mage smart' and letting him die. He said that if he'd rolled stats the way I did, his first priority would be self-preservation. Well, I'm SORRY, but I'm a NWBIE, and this is (technically) MY FIRST FLIPPING CHARACTER. When he went on about how he'd been GMing for so many years and seen Level 1 characters take on much worse (he quoted a Lich, at one piont) I wanted to say 'Well, I've been playing for so many HOURSE - cut me some FLIPPING SLACK.' I don't know if it's nessisarily apparent, but I have to be pretty steamed to cuss, and in any of these cases, I intended to say then what I imply now. Needless to say (though I already did) i didn't say much after the game ended.

Now then, we come to the subject of the post (collective groan from the audience). No, no, no, that means I'm finally ending, not beginning. You see, two types of players exist in this world: Role-Players and Roll-Players. A Role-Player is interested with story, character development, and acting over mechanics, statistical power, and Munchkinism (the ability to twist the rules in such a way as to 'legally' make a walking tank). A Roll-Player, of course, is just the opposite.

In the end, Roll-Players run out of things to do - you get stronger and stronger, first you defeat 120 pirates, then enforce your will over a town, seige a castle, conquer a nation - by the time you take over the world at 5th level, you have to start fighting trans-dimentional raiders and demolishing planests to have any challenge.

Role-Players are never out in the cold because they always have some new idea they haven't tried yet. It's often joked that a Role-Player would play a bind, mute, deaf, numb, parapaligic scholar who is tormented because of the great wealth of knowlege he has and his inability to exoress it to the world. Yeah, it's an exageration, but...just imagine....

Needless to say, I fancy myself a Role-Plasyer and (of course) I should suspect you would agree with me. Now, while I won't flat out say that Aaron et al are Roll-Players... Well, they have the SEMBLANCE of caring. I mean, they come up with interesting character concepts, but that's pretty much where their role-playing ends and their roll-playing begins (aside from the language they choose to use when speaking in-character). Mostly, their character concepts exist simply to masque their rules abuse, and give their characters some semblance of viability.

To wrap everything up (relieved sigh from the audience), I got so mad because what could have been wonderful, what could have been amazing, what I could have loved nearly half as much as girls, what crumpled, burned, and tossed in my face. The game was ruined, as even Aaron admitted, but he would accept no fault in the matter, and that too bugged me.

And now Leslie finally realizes the extent to which I an captivated by Role-Playing.
jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
Yes, yes it was.

I had a rather bad night of Role-playing last night, but for the sake of length, I'll save that for a later post. Suffice, for now, that is wasn't fun.

I will, however, explain the events there-after. You see, we finished playing at about 2:00 AM, upon which Aaron and Abner decided to play a game of 'Lord Of The Rings' which lasted until 3:00 AM. Aaron being my ride, I could do little else but sit there and smolder. I do believe 'smolder' is a good term to use.

Anyways, since the last Metro left at about 1:20, it'd been pre-determined that I'd crash at Aaron's (so we could play later), and so Me, Aaron, and Yon got into his car, he drove Yon home, and then me and him got to his place, upon which we went to bed. I must say here that, while narrow and unfamiliar, it was a very comfortable night's rest.

In anycase, me and Aaron had decided to get up and leave his house at 9:00 so I could get back here, get changed, and be at work at 10:00. He wakes me up, I throw on my clothes, but don't bother to put my contacts in. I put my shoes on in the car, and he drops me off at the metro - reasonable, and predictable, though I would have much prefered if he'd driven me to campus. Not a big deal, really, but mind you, I may STILL be smoldering from last night, so... *shrugs*

I get in the Metro and, as always, it goes. I get off at CUA and trek back towards my dorm. Glancing at my watch, it's 9:45 - it's a ten minute walk to my dorm and then another ten minutes to work. And along the way I have to get dressed. I get up to my room, grab my clothed, change, put on my shoes, and look at the clock - 8:55. I'm not gonna make it - it takes ten minutes to get there and I'm supposed to be there in five. I should have called and said I'd be late. I SHOULD have had Aaron drive me home last night. I -- wait. Did that say 8:55? I looked at my watch - it said it was almost 9:00. Then I pieced it together - Aaron hadn't left at 9:00, he left at 8:00. I was off by an hour.

Skrew this. I went and took a shower, put my contacts in, and then sat down to begin my gripe-ing. And yes, I mean 'begin' because I still have yet to explain WHY last night was so much of a waste. Leslie, in particular, knows I don't get upset easily (though I would say she gives me more credit than I'm due) and I was upset last night. i didn't say much of anything after the game, and I really really wanted to hit something - or hold someone. Both are amazingly good for releasing tension. Sadly, I went unfulfilled last night, probably why I'm still smoldering now.

But, now I DO have ten minutes to get to work. I'll post about my Roll-playing session from last night when I get back after work. Till then, fare well.
jackofallgeeks: (Gaming)
You know, it never fails.

Just when you think you have it all set - you're Ghost is Cloaked and merily strolling down the Complex hallway, Casister Rifle in hand, and you're THIS CLOSE to rescuing Zeratul and his fellow Dark Templar - that's when it happens. That's when a Raging Swarm of Zerglings comes charging by your happy-go-lucky Ghost and into the waiting Arms of Tassadar, lovingly biting his Protoss face off and proceeding to rip him into so many psi-imbued ribbons. After that, it's all over.

This never would have happened if it wasn't for Arcturus. He gave the Zerg exactly what they wanted - a Ghost to play with. that's what they were after, anyways, wasn't it. Look at the facts - why else would the Zerg be attracted to the psi-emiters? Because it radiated the brain-waves of a Ghost. They wanted a Psionic Human - that's why they came to the Terran Dominion in the first place - and Arcturus (the bastard) HANDED her to them.

He didn't need her down there. I'm sure it was just an insidious plot to get the upstart Kerrigan out of the way. It started when Arcturus used the Zerg as a weapon oin the Confederates, and Kerrigan didn't like it. Then it was used again, and she spoke against Arcturus. He quickly dropped her down to guard the beasts he'd unleshed on other humans, and when the Zerg over ran her, he LEFT her! She was calling for help, swarmed by the Borg-like Zerg, and he left. The bastard.

Of course they assimilated her. It's what the Zerg do. They're almost a noble race, really - created and 'programmed' to be perfect, their hive conciousness comanded by the god-like Overmind. Kerrigan would be his greatest creation. She mutated in her crysalis, and sometimes I wonder how much of her changed in there, and how much changed when Arcturus left her as dead. That would push anyone pretty far.

She called out, then, for vengence. Through the depths of space she called psionically to Jim Raynor, and Arcturus. I often wonder why she called Jim, and then let him go... In any case, the Protoss heard. And the Dark Templar came. They came and they attacked the Overmind's Cerebrated, with a force that destroyed them beyond reincarnation. That's why they were hunted. That's why Tassadar is searching for Zeratul in the complex on Char. All because Arcturus betrayed Kerrigan to the Zerg.

In the end though, Kerrigan is no one's tool, not even the Overmind's. He left her with her fiery will and determination, as an 'example to the swarm', but I am certain she orchestrated the Overmind's demise. Early on she named herself Queen of Blades, and it is, after all, she who called the Dark Templar to the Zerg in the first place. She plays all three sides against eachother, and it remains to be seen what she does as the new, immature Overmind grows. Only time will tell....

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John Noble

August 2012

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