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Jeff's Gameblog
Tuesday, 6 July 2004

Got a new fanmail for the Erol Otus Shrine today. It's always nice to hear from another Otus fan. This particular fellow was kind enough to point out an error on the Monster Cards page. I had an umber hulk labeled as an otyugh. Duh! What a newbie mistake!

Posted by jrients at 9:07 PM CDT

Topic: Chess Variants
I decidely earlier that 6 Islands Chess would have at least two of its own subvariants, as played in the two elf courts. Today I altered my initial set-up graphic to create an initial array gif file for the Elf Queen's version of 6 Islands Chess. The positions of the king and queen (and their attendant pawns) are flipped, putting the queen (the royal piece in this version) more toward the center of the board. I haven't made up my mind as to what to do regarding the castling rules. The easiest solution would be to omit castling altogether. To allow the queen to castle would be to give more mobility to an already superior piece. I kinda like the idea of retaining castling for the king despite its reduced status and off-center position.

Posted by jrients at 4:14 PM CDT
Presenting Gygaxian Chess and Draconian Chess
Topic: Chess Variants
Gygaxian Chess

Draconian Chess

Posted by jrients at 1:41 PM CDT
Well, poop.
Topic: Collecting Games
Looks like someone else is more serious than I am about acquiring Tom Moldvay's Seren Ironhand. I can't justify more than ten bucks for an old module that is probably well written but maybe not even really compatible with D&D. Best of luck to whoever gets it.

(Of course, I'm seriously considering buying the Wraeththu rpg at full retail sight unseen. I'm not sure why I think Moldvay's adventure is only worth $10 but I can stomach the idea of dropping $40 or $50 on an rpg that may be an utter bomb. Maybe it's cause at least I'd be getting a brand new shiny book. Maybe it's because I like to root for the underdog.)

Posted by jrients at 12:36 PM CDT

Topic: Chess Variants
The ideas for the 6 Islands Chess flavor text keep bubbling up into my consciousness. I really need to seriously tackle a first draft of my Chessvariants.com entry.

Meanwhile, another insane chess idea has sprung into my head. As a Gary Gygax fan and World of Greyhawk booster I'm pretty much required to like Dragonchess, but I'm not really a fan of 3-D chess variants. Thus is born my new idea Dragonchess 2-D, a two dimensional translation of Uncle Gary's nifty variant. As a prelude to Dragonchess 2-D I have started work on a smaller undertaking that I call Gygaxian Chess, which is basically the middle Dragonchess board pulled out from the 3-D set-up and played as a separate game. I'm stripping out some of the D&D-esque window dressing for Gygaxian Chess. For example, Dragonchess refers to rooks as oliphants and knights as unicorns. All fine and dandy for a chess variant that exists in the World of Greyhawk, but for the Chess Variant pages I think this sort of stuff can be dispensed with. That's the attitude I took with Enochian chess, with the result being a better chance the game will be enjoyed and played by chess variantists.

Posted by jrients at 12:08 PM CDT

Topic: Collecting Games

So one of my longterm automatic eBay searches finally panned out this week. After looking for over a year and half, a copy of an old third party module has come up for auction. I don't know much about the adventure, other than it was authored by one of the unsung heroes of the hobby, Tom Moldvay. As I type this bidding is up to a whopping two bucks and a quarter. Maybe I can walk away with this puppy for cheap.

Posted by jrients at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 8:59 AM CDT
Monday, 5 July 2004

Topic: RPGs
Finally, some inspiration hit for my "Home Team" campaign. I still need to write up Heroes Unlimited stats for everything, but I've now got some villains and a thread of a plot for my next session. I've got the cover of issue #3 done. Now all I need to do is schedule a session. Oh, and get together with Paul to make a PC. I learned my lession from last time and left a largish field open on the comic cover for insertion of last minute info, such as "Introducing... the new PC!"

Posted by jrients at 9:19 PM CDT
Sunday, 4 July 2004
Happy Independence Day!
Topic: Video Games
Going over to the folks again this weekend. I'm taking my Namco gamestick along in case my sister and I find a few free moments to game. Happy holidays to all the Americans out there.

Posted by jrients at 7:34 AM CDT
Saturday, 3 July 2004

Topic: Books
I finished reading Chase into Space today and I'm starting to figure out some of the reasons this trilogy seems so bland. The only real conflict in these books is Us vs Them, all of humanity versus the insectoid alien menace. Without a Darth Vader figure the overall conflict has no villain to boo. There's no real person-to-person conflict. Nora and Cris reunite without Cris showing any anger over being abandoned as a child. The only real interpersonal conflict, between John and the fatass major, is brief and basically played for laughs. And there's very little intrapersonal conflict. Nora manages to just stop being an alcoholic. Cris's anger management issues never jeopardize a mission. The whole trilogy seems to be hinged entirely on the alien threat, there's nothing else under the surface. That must be why these books are such a fast read, they're about the most shallow sci-fi I've ever read.

Posted by jrients at 7:37 PM CDT

Topic: Board Games
Last Wednesday when Pat was over at house he handed me a copy of a great book entitled The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board & Table Games. I haven't had a chance to flip through it yet, but it looks interesting. Here's the Amazon info on it. When Pat hands me stuff like this it isn't always clear to me whether he's giving it to me or lending it. Sometimes I end up trying to return a "borrowed" gift. Of course, if he lent a book to me and I kept it forever he might not say a word about it either.

Posted by jrients at 9:50 AM CDT

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