Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gaming Overload...(big long post)

... I'd have it no other way.

Actually, not really an overload... but there is a lot going on in my gaming space these days.

I am playing in a Pathfinder game being run by my friend Jason down in Philly.  Right now its looking like we'll be playing that game once per month.  Our game next month is this coming weekend.  I am playing a Cleric, and we are having a great time.  Pathfinder is the best version of 3.5 I've played, some interesting changes in there... some of the rules are cleaned up and streamlined (Turn Dead became Channel Positive Energy.. waaay better now).  We are playing through the published Pathfinder adventures... which are very well written and very cool.  This is a different group than the group I am running in our Iron Kingdoms 4e game.  (some of the guys are the same though)  The IK group is made up of my best friends, so I am very fond of those gaming sessions.  Unfortunately that is the game we don't get to play quite as often, due mostly to distance, but we have another game scheduled for mid-March.(usually we play.. every 3 months or so...)  I love the Iron Kingdoms world, but I find it very limiting and somewhat difficult to write adventures for (from a DM standpoint).   So, I guess I should be thankful we don't play this campaign as often, because it gives me more time to write the stories.  :)  (always look for that silver lining!)  But that campaign is going well.  We just finished up a the last adventure a couple weekends ago... and we document that campaign on our wiki site.  

But that's not all!  One of the reasons we play the IK campaign so rarely is that it is difficult to get all the players together at one time in order to play.  Some times a few guys can make it, but not everyone... and the story really requires all the characters to be there... not too mention nobody really wants to miss an episode of the story, so we conceded that we would not play the campaign unless all the character were present and accounted for.  Add an additional complication...we are adding another player to our IK game.. so it'll be that much more difficult to get everyone together... SO (sorry, a long winded explanation leading up to this) we are going to start yet another campaign.  This one will be a classic D&D campaign, set in 4e, using all 4e has to offer.  I miss the classic monsters and races (that are non-existent in IK).  I miss the Beholders, the Mind Flayers, the Umberhulks, the Chromatic Dragons... and I long for an (for lack of better phrase) old skool DnD game.  So, I will be running this campaign as well, and this will be run with the same guys in the IK group, but we'll play this whenever we cannot play the IK game, so if someone can't make it for IK, we'll play D&D 4e.  It will also be more "casual" so if someone can't make it, no big deal, we still play.  Also, depending on when/where we play, there may be very different people playing from one game to the next.  I am working on some sort of idea that will explain why characters suddenly pop in and out of the story... maybe the Astral Plane (or some other plane) is too close to the world and occasionally the balance gets knocked out of whack... and people get pulled in?  Who knows...   Also we were toying around with the idea of playing using one the new Virtual Game Table programs out there to play online when we can't make it together in person.   Wizard's of the Coast is supposed to be making one.. but damn they are taking their sweet ass time on it... so we may go with a third party system.  Fantasy Grounds looks very promising...but its not free.

But the really big news surrounding this is that I am going to create the game world the campaign take place in.  This is something I have not done before (create a world from scratch) so we'll see how it goes.  4e seems to be a good system to create a world in... and I am quite excited.  I will hopefully soon, have some beginning info up on here for your review.  It will be a "typical" fantasy world.. and will follow the 4e idea of towns/cities being "spots of light in the darkness".  I will begin with some general thoughts, and a breakdown similar to this post about  Lokipan's Rimoria.  And needless to say.. I will be stealing ideas from other campaign worlds.. all the cool DM's are doing it these days..  :D

I am also still in the middle of several video games... been playing Fable 2 some more, mainly to play through the DLC, Knothole Island, which was pretty cool.  Now I am just trying to wrap up some other quests (finding the rest of the Gargoyles, Silver Keys, and Archaeology scrolls) and just messing around.  I have an evil character started, but I just don't find it as fun as my good character.  The game is so fun and has such a cool world, its hard to stay away for long (not too mention my wife always wants sex.. sheesh)... I am also closing in on the end of Dead Space, which is an excellent game.  And I'd love to finish Mirror's Edge (brilliant game) if I can ever get past the one really tough part I am stuck on (game is hard)...  Dead Space is interesting.. it has an cool, although not very original, sci-fi story.. and its just a superbly crafted game, the interface, the sound, all top notch.  It borrows a ton of ideas from other games... Halo, Bioshock, Gears of War, Resident Evil, Doom 3Metroid Prime... but it takes those elements and applies them in interesting ways and manages to mix them up quite nicely.  Hoping to finish up those game before Street Fighter 4 comes out.. because I will probably not be playing anything else for weeks after SF4 hits.

And back on the tabletop front... I am getting behind in buying my Hordes/Warmachine models.. I have 2 armies, and one small custom army (pirates).. and the new faction for Warmachine, The Retribution of Scryah (aka, elves) is rumored to release at GenCon.. and I am definitely playing that faction.  The lore/history of the elves is the Iron Kingdoms is amazingly cool, one of the coolest cosmologies/histories I have ever read in  a game world.  So that means 4 armies to collect, build, and paint.  I really need to get caught up!  Oh, and add Infinity to that list, granted, Infinity requires far less models than Warmachine/Hordes so its a bit easier to keep up on. (though the models are all so cool, it makes you want to buy them all!)

Needless to say - my gaming life is busy; in one way or another... that was the point of this post.  On to a couple other things... 

I am finding that life without cable TV... is OK.  Thanks to the Internet...  cable TV isn't really necessary.   There are not many shows I watch, but the ones I do watch.. I don't need cable for.  I watch BSG (available through iTunes and on, Legend of the Seeker (iTunes, Hulu), Clone Wars (iTunes,, Dr. Who (Netflix), and I recently downloaded ROME to rewatch it (torrent download).  So no need for cable TV... plus, all the shows I listed... I watch without commercials.  Can't beat that with a stick!

I also watched for the first time.. Final Fantasy: Advent Children (through Netflix streaming on 360) and I must say.. I really enjoyed it.  If you did not play Final Fantasy 7, then it will make no damn sense... because the whole movie is one big fan service to FF7 lovers.  But seeing the old gang back together (Vincent, Yuffie, hot hot Tifa) welled up so much nostalgia in me... I was practically misty was cool.

Also, other than a few choice pieces from SideShow Collectibles and Gentle Giant... my Star Wars collection hasn't really gone anywhere lately... mainly for one big reason.  I have no money!  With all the models, game books, videogames (and bills) I have to pay for... I have not had much chance to collect much in a while.  I have long since given up on trying collect each year's sets of figures.. it becomes too hard to find them all, and buying sets of figures online becomes way too expensive.  Often I will will pick and choose specific types of figures to buy... but I haven't done that in a while.  But I think I am gonna start collecting astromech droids.  There's a bunch of them out these days.. and buying one figure or two each month won't be two bad... hopefully, I will soon  have an impressive collection of astromech droids adorning my shelf.

Lets see.. what else to ramble about.. mentioned Street Fighter 4 a bit earlier..  I am totally in the grips of Street Fighter Mania right now... there are other games out that I want to play, but Street Fighter Mania won't let me think of anything else..  I played some Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix the other night with Darkheel and Chaosturtle..  was much fun, I lost a bunch, but was undefeated with Chun Li.  Did I mention Street Fighter Mania?  I am still undecided on which characters I am gonna study in SF4... Chun Li of course.. but who else?  The options I am considering currently are E. Honda, Cammy, or Dhalsim.  I enjoy playing all of those...but Honda and Cammy are supposedly lower tier characters this time around... (so goes the word on the street and the interwebs)... I just don't know... there's always Rufus... hmmm.. or maybe Gouken (Sheng Long) if I played him.. then all of us would have one of that "style" of charatcer... (lokipan = Akuma, darkheel = Ryu, chaosturtle = Ken, bespin = Sheng Long)  That might be interesting... but that means I'd finally have to learn how to do a Dragon Punch...but theres always Rufus... look at him! he's got a bucket of popcorn!  

Alright... I think I have rambled enough for this post...

UPDATE :  I beat Mirror's Edge!  Finally made it through the really tough part.. a really great game!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009