Let’s see, some random thoughts. From Elemental, to movies, to dating, to D&D.
How so very interesting life can be. Take Elemental. A new version will be out either today/tonight or tomorrow. It’s a gigantic change in gameplay and will finally start to really feel like a game. That’s pretty damn cool. We’ll get a lot of opportunities to play and break it. And as you’ve all come to know, I’ll be filming it for you all. And will show as much of it as I can that I can stand! (Now I just need to convince them that with this new approach to cities they’ve gone with, that my idea on satellite communities via villages are perfect with this game style.)
Okay, so here are some links to some interesting stuff from Brad.
Video preview of Beta 3B.
All those things tend to be pretty darn cool. And give you an idea of what’s coming up.
Hmm let’s see… movies. I’ve seen a few over the last week. Saw Brooklyn’s Finest. 2 out of 5. I loved the Don Cheadle character.. the rest of the stories just sucked, and were not compelling. At all. That’s a shame cause if they had been smart they would of expanded the Cheadle part of the story significantly.
Brothers, 2 out of 5. This movie just sucked, it had nothing compelling throughout any of it that made me care. And that’s sad because all three key actors are great. But what they put out just was completely uncompelling. I didn’t care. And I tried.
Predators, now THIS was enjoyable. I give it a 3.5 out of 5. I liked it. From the total 80’s retro music, and movie titles. That was fantastic. I didn’t like all the characters, but I understood the premise (which to avoid spoilers I’m going to be obtuse regarding), and felt that in a lot of cases the characters played as human and realistic. That was what really sold it for me on a lot of levels. And though the ending I saw coming from the beginning myself… it at least felt realistic and wasn’t crap. It was pure good. Very nice indeed to experience.
Hmmm Television… I’ve tried watching a few more episodes of V… I’ve got the last 3 to finish to get through this season. Gosh I have to be honest.. the stories just haven’t caught me and I can’t get into the characters enough yet. The son Ty, just makes me disgusted watching it. And I’m trying to enjoy it. But I’ve found myself saying even this morning at work, that dammit, I want a Firefly style show back. With interesting characters in space, with drama while also telling a greater story, that also isn’t insulting to my intelligence. Dammit bring me something good with space ship fights like BSG with it’s drama, with a bit of that Firefly wit at times as well. I loved Spartacus, and am looking forward to more of that story when time allows (though the over the top dramatic blood fantasy stuff just makes it harder to take serious.. which if they toned that down it would be much better, and easier to watch..)
Hmmm… what else.. dating… I saw this quote from a top ten quotes by guys.. Top 10 Quotes about Men
And this one stood out to me.
“Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.”
It’s an old quote that’s revisited by Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally — there’s no such thing as a platonic relationship between a man and a woman. The man is usually consumed with the idea of sleeping with her. It’s a belief widely acknowledged by men, but rarely accepted by women. Remember that. Movie and dinner nights might mean one thing to you, but she certainly doesn’t view it as a precursor to intercourse.
I think that covers enough of it as it relates to dating, or even just spending time with women. *shrug* It’s not wrong. But some of guys should remember it at times.
And now to continue the transition to conversation on 4th edition D&D.
Yeah, dating segueing into D&D. Who’s your nerd!
Hmmm let’s see, 4th edition D&D is still to my mind the best version of D&D to come along in my 28 years of gaming experience. I don’t say that lightly. I keep hearing from those who say it’s not good for roleplaying, or that it’s too much like WoW. Which goes back to my mind, either preference or ignorance. And in a lot of cases it’s actually the latter in most of them. I’ve got two gaming groups that I DM for. One online using RPtools that we meet every Wednesday (barring illness or folks having to be at work etcetera.) and these are with my friends I’ve known for over 23 years. These are my oldest friends, and we’ve all played D&D and a ton of other games over the years. They were diehard in the wool 3.5er’s. And then I finally got them to give it a try. I ran it for them, and suddenly, it wasn’t as bad as it was talked about. And to DM for it, is SO much easier. Literally. Where in 3.5 I would spend 4 hours on a few creatures for one or two encounters, making sure they were built perfectly and had sound mechanics. Now in 4.0 I spend just a few minutes putting together several encounters. And then in that same 4 hours I can go back and tweak each individual monster if I feel the need or not. It’s like night and day. I can focus on the storytelling part of it now on such a level that I’m not wasting time consuming effort on simple mechanics. It’s done and done.
And the fights that occur, are SO much more interesting, and give each character something even more interesting to do every battle.
A difference in 3.5 vs 4.0 combat. Is 4.0 you can still do anything you could in theory do in 3.5 But now you also are all moving frequently, as the combats are more fluid, and you’ve got a wider array of options to you as you go up in level without taking away what you can do. Everyone has something to do every round, and now you also will likely go through more fights per session than even a single one in 3.5. Literally our gaming group can go through depending on complexity of the encounter, 3-4 in the same time as we would do 1 in 3.5.
I’m not saying that 3.5 wasn’t fun. It was.. but it was also the game system that burned me out the quickest. Now I’ve got tons of campaigns up in my head, and am able to begin running them for my players. And I’ve been able to streamline a lot of our mechanics on this side with tools that make the game more interesting. The funny thing is I’ve found people argue that 4.0 is WoW. But what a lot of those folks don’t understand. D&D was founded upon the bones of a Wargame right? It was built with that as it’s basis. And even into first Edition Advanced D&D they still had monster’s movement in inches. Because it was talking to the people who it came from. It spoke to them in the language that they understood. And it appealed to them.
Now for a new generation, D&D is game that needed a new variety of people to come into it. And who did they want to make it accessible? Those who know of modern mechanics from MMO’s. That ironically… were born from the recursive nature of them borrowing from… guess what? D&D. So those games, spoke to gamers who turned into the digital world. And now the next generation who knows what HP, and AC, and Mana, mean, and powers. So they built an edition that used a vernacular they all were familiar with. But at NO time did they dumb it down. Everything a player could do in 3.5, they can do in 4.0. Except now there are guidelines that help give you a metric to measure against.
Want to swing across on a chandelier and do a backflip over the back of the badguy and then attack him. In 3.5 it’s all detailed, and very simulationist. It might work it might not. But in 4.0 you can just apply it as part of a move action, make a simple check and when you get there, voila, make the attack.. or fail just as the other version. Except in 4.0 it’s a simple roll.. one roll, and voila. Or maybe when you get there, in both cases, you do the equivalent of a bullrush when you get there and push the enemy into the fire. DM’s have to guess how much damage it is. And the DM in 4.0 can just look at page 42 of the DMG. Cross references it to a type of attack, per the level of the opponents in question and has them roll a number of dice. Very exciting.. maybe they add ongoing damage, maybe some ongoing damage and the base damage mixed in. The option is still open for the DM to decide. But he’s got a lot of easier indexes to reference.
And there are very few save or die situations in 4.0. In 3.5 once the players got to level 12-13, the game broke down, to everything being just over the top deadly. In 4.0 at level 12-13, the players are now facing some really interesting monsters, and the system doesn’t break down. Nor does it break down at 30th level either. It’s a scaled balanced system across multiple domains, with each tier being a capstone leading into the next one.
I can’t recommend the game enough. I do not exaggerate it. It’s just a lot more fun, and in most cases there are still analogs to the earlier editions without all of that earlier headache.
But this is starting to go on a bit long.. so I’ll post this for now.