A blog about games, gamers, and various and sundry geek culture-related ephemera and paraphernalia.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Watch Out: I Now Have Access to Third Level Spells!

I Am A:

Chaotic Neutral Human Sorcerer (5th Level)

Ability Scores:

Chaotic Neutral A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn't strive to protect others' freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal. However, chaotic neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Note: While I think much of this was spot on, I have to disagree with the class choice. I really think it should have been Wizard, not Sorcerer. Given that I leaned toward a studying component any time a question had one, I'm a bit surprised Sorcerer came up...

. . . . .

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My 4E Stormbringer character sheets - let me show you them

Back to a happier topic than my potential case of clinical depression: Stormbringer.

Still no major discovery in the "Bizarre Case of the Mismatched Rule Books." (Although my strong leaning is toward my newer copy being a crappy POD reprint.) But here for you enjoyment are a couple of slightly modified* Stormbringer 4E character sheet replicas - one for your anti-heroes, another for your anti-heroines:

Unisex character sheet back:
*The main change being the addition of the hit locations section - I plan on using the hit location rules from Cthulhu Now.
. . . . .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"And when everything's special, nothing will be..."

Okay, that's not the exact quote (which would be - I believe: "And when everyone's special, no one will be.")

But it fits the mood, so I'm going to run with it.

I've been thinking lately. Well, maybe "thinking" is too strong a way to describe it. "Subconsciously ruminating until the feelings bubbled through to my conscious thought process" might be a better way to put it. However you package it, the end result is this realization:

Nothing seems fun anymore.

It just seems that the deluge of over-saturation provided by the internet and the massive beast that is entertainment media has washed out the feelings of joy and/or excitement that I used to get from the things I love, be it gaming or genre media. There's just so much stuff out there, it no longer feels special like it once did. I don't get excited anymore at the prospect of something new coming along in the pastimes I once loved. Worse, I often approach gaming sessions with what could better be described as anxiety or dread than anticipation.

Maybe it's just my old age. I've just recently passed the 45-year mark, and I know I'm not the wide-eyed kid I was once, no matter how hard I try to keep that inner child alive. It seems like it's my destiny to become a jaded cynic, and it would just be easier to give up than to keep fighting it.

Maybe it's life in general. Things have been pretty stressful these last few years. I feel like I've been struggling just to keep my head (and my family's heads) above water, enduring seemingly endless worry over bills, concerns about everyone's physical and mental health, turbulence in the workplace, and what feels like incessant waves of people who - regardless of my own calm and relatively harmless nature - keep trying to make my life miserable, whether intentionally or otherwise.

Maybe it's my inability to find friends. I've been struggling for quite some time to find new blood to re-energize my (and my fiancee's) social life. But man, it seems like most of my effort to that end has resulted in nothing but a disappointing waste of time and energy. In my experience, around here it's next to impossible to find people whose hobbies and interests are anything like ours. I can't believe that we're surrounded by so many people that are mind-numbingly mundane. On the very rare occasion that we have found new potential friends, they've generally turned out to be some combination of: controlling, antisocial, mean, rude, persistently negative, socially retarded, divisive, intolerant, self-absorbed, and/or judgmental.

(I know the preceding is hard to believe, and that by saying what I've just said I come across as some sort of elitist jackass. Surely, you may think, you're the one who's broken in this scenario. But take, for example, my place of work - a microcosm of my larger world: I've been working for just shy of 10 years at the same job, and I have made no friends from among my coworkers. Even the IT people, with whom I should logically have at least something in common, have been among the most mundane, uninteresting (and uninterested) people I've ever met. That stereotype of the IT guy/girl being a geek, enthusiastically interested in geek-stuff? Yeah, right. I have a lava lamp on my desk and I drive a New Beetle; these two items alone make me a subject of interest among the people where I work. How sad/scary is that? I'm afraid to even mention that I game - they might put me under glass and charge admission for others to look at me.)

So, yeah, maybe it's not that nothing's special anymore. Maybe it is just me/my life (dis)coloring my perspective. Or maybe it's some combination of the two...

Maybe, to misquote another movie:

"My life needs an enema!"

(It may not matter, because - according to some folks I know - the test of the Emergency Broadcast System that's scheduled to occur in 15 minutes is part of an Obama-led leftist agenda that will result in the US being exposed to attack by Islamic terrorists and the Chinese. I kid you not - these are the sort of people that congregate in my life...)

. . . . .

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stormbringer 4th Edition - WTF?

So, I find myself with another question for my readers. First, some background:

One of my favorite RPG books is the 4th edition (1990) rule book for Chaosium's Stormbringer. I've had my copy since around 1991 or '92, and I had a really good run of game sessions with my friend Terry (some of which I've previously mentioned in other posts) back in the early 90's. The book saw a fair amount of use, but I never could bring myself to detach the large fold-out map from the rear of the book. To this day, my book is in great condition, map still firmly attached.

Recently, I've found myself longing to run some Stormbringer for my fiancee, and the urge to pull out that map has been strong. In the name of having my cake and eating it, too, I figured I'd purchase a used copy of the 4E rule book on Amazon. They go fairly cheap in good condition, and I thought it'd be worth the $20 or so even if all I got out of the deal was the map.

So, my new-used Stormbringer 4E book arrived in the mail today....

And no map. I know what you're thinking: Some previous owner pulled the map - you should have been prepared for that. Well, Mr./Mrs./Ms. Fancypants, I was prepared for that. But that's not the case.

No, what appears to be the case is that the newcomer is a completely different printing than my existing book. It has a map, but it's the small, one-page map. Furthermore, the dozen or so rear pages in my book are on ivory paper (while the rest of the book's pages are white), but the newcomer's pages are all on white paper. Also, the newcomer's covers are different - they're textured, kind of like the texture of Fantasy Flight Games' boxes; my existing copy's covers are smooth. And the newcomer's back cover is slightly different - the bulleted copy above the bar code is different, and inside a white box.

I at first assumed that I had a different printing - some sort of Stormbringer 4.5 or something. But the ISBN's are identical, and there's no indication anywhere in or on the book that the newcomer is from a different print run (except for the obvious differences in presentation).

So my question to my oh-so-knowledgeable readers is: What the heck is going on? Did Chaosium do a different printing of this book, sans the excellent fold-out map? Did I just get lucky when I purchased my existing copy? Or, is this newcomer a knock-off? Maybe a print-on-demand copy?

I did a lot of research before picking up the book in an attempt to make sure that there weren't variations of it floating around - I was fairly diligent in this, because I didn't want to end up with the wrong book. Nowhere did I see a reference to multiple printings, so now I'm wondering if I should feel poorly used by the seller.

Moreover, I'm, afraid that if I drop any more money on other copies, I'll still fail to get the map. (At this point, I'm seriously considering just picking up a copy of the Elric! board game to plunder it for its color version of the Young Kngdoms map...)

Anybody out there able to shed light on this?

. . . . .