Roleplaying Games

D&D 5th Edition: The Great Unifier?

by on Jan.16, 2012, under Articles, Entertainment, Gaming, Roleplaying Games

Wizards of the Coast, creators of the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons (3rd and 4th edition) have announced (via the New York Times and elsewhere) 5th edition D&D. They also announced, somewhat surprisingly, an extended public play testing, where in the general public will be able to attend events and publicly play test the game and provide feedback. This has caused all sorts of responses from naysayers, to the confused, to the cautiously hopeful. I fall into the latter.

Monte Cook, one of the more well-known roleplaying game designers and a prior designer on D&D 3rd edition and an announced designer for 5th edition, wrote up on article on his column on the D&D website.

Let me quote you some really interesting paragraphs:

“The goal here is to embrace all forms of the D&D experience and to not exclude anyone. Imagine a game where the core essence of D&D has been distilled down to a very simple but entirely playable-in-its-right game. Now imagine that the game offered you modular, optional add-ons that allow you to create the character you want to play while letting the Dungeon Master create the game he or she wants to run. Like simple rules for your story-driven game? You’re good to go. Like tactical combats and complex encounters? You can have that too. Like ultra-customized character creation? It’s all there.”

“Second—and this sounds so crazy that you probably won’t believe it right now—we’re designing the game so that not every player has to choose from the same set of options. Again, imagine a game where one player has a simple character sheet that has just a few things noted on it, and the player next to him has all sorts of skills, feats, and special abilities. And yet they can still play the game together and everything remains relatively balanced. Your 1E-loving friend can play in your 3E-style game and not have to deal with all the options he or she doesn’t want or need. Or vice versa. It’s all up to you to decide.”

Those are some serious goals. I know because I’ve worked on helping to design games to meet goals like that before and it is difficult. If they can pull it off it’ll be an awesome game. There are a lot of complex problems with goals like this. Particularly in how to present the rules to make the game easy for entry-level players. Modular systems leads to complexity. Additionally this kind of system could lead to a scary route for marketing and sales. Will they sell entire game with sufficient rules to be able to play any edition or will some of the rules be handed out in a video game “DLC” like fashion, where we pay $2-$20 bucks for each rule module? I don’t doubt Wizards wants to create the game everybody wants to play but I also don’t doubt Hasbro, Wizard’s parent company, wants to make the serious dough.

So I’m still cautiously hopeful and I plan on attending the play test in order to help, and maybe practice my own game designs kills a bit more. If you’re interested in joining int he play tests as well there is a sign up link at the end of Monte Cook’s article.

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Comics & Cosmology: An Interesting Take on Fantasy Demons

by on Dec.08, 2011, under Comic Suggestions, Comics, Design & Development, Entertainment, Gaming, Post Type, Roleplaying Games, Writing

Goblins Comic creator Thunt answered 4 questions about demons in his comic. I felt like posting this article because the cosmology he came up with is actually really interesting and worth sharing.

“What is up with that guy who the hands on his face?” and 4 other questions about Thunt Onian demons.

I particularly liked the system created explained the existence of a demon similar to Cthulhu versus the existence of imps.

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Comic: Dork Tower: How Far Gaming Has Come

by on Nov.09, 2011, under Board Games, Comic Links, Comics, Culture, Entertainment, Gaming, Roleplaying Games

Dork Tower: 2011-10-31: #1000

Read the first comic, then read the comic below it. I remember reading the second comic for the first time as a kid in a gaming store and thinking how glad I was to be growing up after the whole “roleplaying is evil!” phooey. It is kinda amazing now to think about how I can walk into a Barnes & Noble store and find gaming books, magic cards, and eurostyle board games.

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Everything Else I Learned from D&D

by on Sep.26, 2011, under Articles, Books, Entertainment, Gaming, News, Roleplaying Games, Writing

Shelly Mazzanoble is an author. She is most well-known, by me, for her regular articles, Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard, on the Dungeons & Dragons website. She also wrote the book, Confessions of a Confessions of a Part Time Sorceress: A Girl’s Guide to the D&D game.
Shelly’s style of humor is self-deprecating and absurd in a combination that keeps one smiling, if not out right laughing. Mix in a healthy dose of humor and a keen capability of explaining the odd world of Dungeons and Dragons to even the most layman of reader, and her book will keep you reading.
Would be authors will find this excerpt particularly amusing:

Maybe other authors aren’t as involved in the publication of their books because they don’t spend eight hours a day with the people who create them. I’d walk past the desk of Matt, the art director, and see the book’s cover on his screen.

“Do you think my name should be bigger?” I asked.

“Sure,” he agreed. “Totally.”

When the galley was routed for approval, I saw my name was bigger. And misspelled.

“There’s no extra e in Shelly!” I yelled when I saw him working out with his trainer in the gym. “You know that!”

“Oops,” he smiled. “My bad.”

(Never mind the second galley routed with Michele and the third with Mouthy Mazzanoble. That’ll learn me. Not.)

My poor editor is one of my dearest friends. At least she was. Editing this beast nearly sent her into early labor. I’m terrified her son is going to grow up having a nervous twitch whenever I’m around.

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Trailer: Knights of Badassdom

by on Jul.28, 2011, under Entertainment, Gaming, Roleplaying Games, Trailers, Visual Media

Video Source

A movie, with a budget, whose entire premise is “What if larpers stumbled onto real magic and it tried eat them?” I’m going to see this even if it didn’t have Danny Pudi and Summer Glau. Here is the movie’s website.

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Identify Yourself

by on Jul.27, 2011, under Announcements, Gaming, Identify Yourself, Roleplaying Games, Website Update, Writing

Hi. My name is Nojh and welcome to The Singularity.

By day I am software developer, writer, aspiring author, and game designer. By night, I usually sleep. I have many interests and hobbies such as comics, video games, board games, books, movies, science, technology, philosophy, and many other things most people would consider geeky.

The Singularity

As I’ve stated on the about page, this blog is dedicated to collecting various things I find interesting on the web for your viewing pleasure. Hence the name, The Singularity, a place where things collect into one.

It is also a place for me to voice my opinions, reviews, and write articles about various topics from time to time. Comments are open to all and I want to encourage discussion. So please, tell me what you think. I know I haven’t been doing this nearly as much lately but stay tuned, I’ll get to it.

Other Stuff

Besides this blog I have a few other projects. I am attempting to write a novel, tentatively titled Everlasting. It is a zombie steampunk sci-fi fantasy adventure and I am chronicling its initial draft here.  I also organize a private writing group called Anomalous Writing that meets physically twice a week. You can follow the posts via the Everlasting tag or my thoughts or links about writing in general via the writing category.

Speaking of writing, I also write a regular article series called Science Future for Escape Pod. EscapePod is a podcast that buys and narrates short story science fiction for everybody’s listening pleasure. Science Future is written for their blog and is dedicated to discussing the scientific breakthroughs and their impact upon science fiction as well as the impact science fiction has had upon science. For more information about Science Future you can find the introduction article here. If you would like to follow Science Future you can do so by EscapePod’s Science Future tag, or The Singularity’s Science Future tag.

I am also one of the designers of the roleplaying game Vanished Lands produced by Ruminant Productions. Vanished Lands is a post-apocalyptic fantasy western RPG and is available purchase via Lulu.com. The supplement book, Vanished Lands: Storyteller Archive Vol. 1, is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Right now I am working with the other designers to release a rules system for future Vanished Lands releases.

Thank You

I want to thank you all for reading and giving me a reason to keep this blog running. Readership is actually something I am interested in keeping. I’ve been running this blog actively for nearly half a year now and the numbers, near as I can tell, are growing. So thank you for spending some of your time reading this blog and I hope you enjoy it. The only thing I ask of you is, from time to time, let me know what about the blog you do and do not like via commentary either here, or one of the sites that this blog repeats on.

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Delivery Boys & Dark Matter AKA Futurama

by on May.23, 2011, under Entertainment, Gaming, Roleplaying Games, Television, Visual Media

As found here, Flicker user Remile has made an image of the characters of the cartoon show Futurama, and gave them statistics as if they were D&D characters. Uploaded for your viewing pleasure.

(continue reading…)

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Music Video: Roll a D6

by on May.15, 2011, under Entertainment, Gaming, Music, Roleplaying Games, Videos, Visual Media

Not a big fan of the voice encoding but I suspect that is the style of the music video they are parodying. Otherwise it is well done for amateur video although I do have to ask, who lights candles and sets them on their books like that?

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What Books Will Become (Part 1 of 2)

by on May.08, 2011, under Articles, Books, Computers, Design & Development, Gaming, Information Technology, Internet, Roleplaying Games, Science, Technology, Video Games, Videos, Visual Media, Writing

Readers might remember I wrote an article awhile back about the evolution of how stories are told. It discussed the current transition we find our media undergoing, between analogue and digital. I stopped short, in that article, of discussing where it could possibly lead and left that theorizing to the reader.

Recently I came across this article, which takes an even more in-depth look at the possibilities of where books could go.

What Books Will Become by Kevin Kelly [KK.org/TheTechnium]

That is a long article and I’m sure enthusiasts, such as myself, likely read it all. For those of you not interested in reading the entire thing, here are some interesting points I’d like to point out and discuss. (continue reading…)

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Identify Yourself

by on May.01, 2011, under Announcements, Gaming, Identify Yourself, Roleplaying Games, Website Update, Writing

Hi. My name is Nojh and welcome to The Singularity.

By day I am Software Developer, Writer, Aspiring Author, and Game Designer. By night, I usually sleep. I have many interests and hobbies such as comics, video games, board games, books, movies, science, technology, philosophy, and many other things most people would consider geeky.

The Singularity

As I’ve stated on the about page, this blog is dedicated to collecting various things I find interesting on the web for your viewing pleasure. Hence the name, The Singularity, a place where things collect into one.

It is also a place for me to voice my opinions, reviews, and write articles about various topics from time to time. Comments are open to all and I want to encourage discussion. So please, tell me what you think. I know I haven’t been doing this nearly as much lately but stay tuned, I’ll get to it.

I have made a concerted effort these days to improve the content and presentation of this blog and I think I have gotten it to a point that I am satisfied with. My plans for opening up The Library have stalled at the moment however due to lack of time and commitment. I do still plan on adding the missing contact page  so people can more regularly contact me directly, rather than leaving commentary on a blog. I am still somewhat dissatisfied with the layout and theme of this blog and will be making attempts to improve the readability of it. I’d welcome both advice and offers to help.

Other Stuff

Besides this blog I have a few other projects. I am attempting to write a novel, tentatively titled Everlasting. It is a zombie steampunk sci-fi fantasy adventure and I am chronicling its initial draft here.  I also organize a private writing group called Anomalous Writing that meets physically twice a week. You can follow the posts via the Everlasting tag or my thoughts about writing in general via the writing category.

I am also one of the designers of the roleplaying game Vanished Lands produced by Ruminant Productions. Vanished Lands is a post-apocalyptic fantasy western RPG and is available purchase via Lulu.com. The supplement book, Vanished Lands: Storyteller Archive Vol. 1, is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Right now I am working with the other designers to release a rules system for future Vanished Lands releases.

Thank You

I want to thank you all for reading and giving me a reason to keep this blog running. Readership, now that I have attained some, is actually something I am interested in keeping. I’ve been running this blog actively for fourth months now and the numbers, near as I can tell, are growing. So thank you for spending some of your time reading this blog and I hope you enjoy it. The only thing I ask of you is, from time to time, let me know what about the blog you do and do not like via commentary either here, or one of the sites that this blog repeats on.

 

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