« May 2004 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Board Games
Chess Variants
Collecting Games
RPG Actual Play
Video Games
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
Jeff's Gameblog
Saturday, 8 May 2004

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. As part of the festvities I'm hoping to see my sister. Maybe we can finally play SpaceWarp44 or at least Carcassonne.

At the library today I got a couple of Jack the Ripper books, JtR: A to Z and JtR: the Uncensored Facts. The virtual card catalog also indicated that the Champaign Public Library had a copy of the JtR Companion.

I'm finally playing some games over at Chess Variant's Game Courier. The interface is a little crude compared to ItsYourTurn but the editor is easy enough even a non-coder like me can put together a playset for a variant. Right now I'm playing two games that were entered into the 44 squares contest: Hole Chess and Oblong Chess 44, which I'm playing with the inventor of the game. I especially like Oblong Chess 44 as it is a variant on a historic chess predecessor.

Posted by jrients at 2:17 PM CDT
Friday, 7 May 2004
speaking of Mr. Carr...
Mike Carr, creator of Dawn Patrol was kind enough to write back. I had sent him a letter asking if the roleplaying aspects of his game were present in editions that pre-dated the publication of D&D. He replied in the affirmative, thereby confirming my hypothesis that Dawn Patrol, not D&D, is the first game ever published that fits into the category of "role-playing game" as we understand that term today. Mr. Carr's note was brief, but he promised to write a more lengthy reply soon.

In a very nice gesture, he also invited me to the upcoming Dawn Patrol mini-con, to be held next weekend in Kankakee, IL. Although the event is only an hour and aa half away on a well-known route, I feel I must decline. It seems just a tad bit foolish of me to travel a 3-hour round trip and pay admission to a con that focuses on a single game, what with me never having played that game and all.

Posted by jrients at 7:44 PM CDT

A nice fellow at rpg.net who goes by Unterhund was able to provide me with the missing piece (the map of Britol and key thereto) for my copy of The Horn of Roland, one of the three published adventure modules for Lords of Creation. This contribution means that, apart from magazine articles and such, my LoC set is now complete.

Lords of Creation was written by none other than Tom Moldvay, who was editor for my alltime favorite version of Dungeons & Dragons, the '81 Basic Rules. Comparing Moldvay's D&D edition to the earlier original material, the blue '77 Basic rules, and the later '83 Mentzer rules, I long ago came to the conclusion that Tom Moldvay was one of the more underappreciated talents in the history of the hobby. Maybe he's not as deserving of praises as Dave Arneson or Greg Costikyan or possibly Mike Carr, still he's an all too often overlooked figure in the history of the hobby. If I had more material, he'd have a virtual shrine done up in the manner in which I venerate Erol Otus.

LoC is kinda interesting, being a multi-genre game that was released as part of Avalon Hill's attempt to get into the RPG market. Other rpgs done by AH included an edition of Runequest and the fantasy rpg Powers & Perils. Again, like the TSR Conan debacle, we see a veteran game company that is not smart enough to avoid a simple trap: Don't release two fantasy rpgs at the same time, people!

AH was also responsible for James Bond 007, though I believe it was released under their Victory Games imprint. For a little look at the licensing of the 007 games, check out this article. For an interesting article on movie licensing & rpgs, check out S. John Ross's Flickering Lights. While you're over there, check out the entirety of S. John's site. S. John Ross rules.

While I'm throwing out slightly relevant linkage, I would be remiss if I were to omit Al Bruno the Third's Lords of Creation story. Al (known as Ab3 on RPGnet) writes some funny, funny stuff.

For a review of Lords of Creation, click here.

Posted by jrients at 4:51 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 7 May 2004 7:51 PM CDT
Thursday, 6 May 2004

In the shower this morning I did some thinking about my large variant project. I think the pawn of king will promote to a Prince, a non-royal which moves as a King plus Alibaba. Another way to think of the Prince in this version would be as an Alfil + Dabbabh + Ferz + Wazir.

The wizard's towers will have two special rules: 1) placing your king in the enemies tower draws the game and 2) occupying both enemy towers with you own wizards wins the game.

Posted by jrients at 10:24 AM CDT

Crap! I totally forgot to mention that Dave invited Pat and I to a Tacos & LAN party on the evening of the 22nd. That's pretty cool of Dave. I'm going to try to arrange things so I can go. I may be pretty bad at modern videogames (heck, I wasn't even that good back in the day) but it still sounds like a lot of fun. And I've heard that Dave makes some kickass tacos. Arriba!

Posted by jrients at 10:07 AM CDT

Another item I submitted went up over at chessvariants.com, this time a 'preset' for Game Courier, the Chess Variant Pages online game system. With this new preset avaiable people will be able to play Oblong Chess 44 online. After seeing my attempt to code the preset succeeded I immediately challenged Erez Schatz, the author of Oblong 44, to a game. Hopefully I will get a response soon. I also whipped up a preset for my game SpaceWarp44. With luck, this preset will allow my variant to be judged in the Main Category of the 44 squares contest.

There are plenty of other variants I'd like to do presets for, notably Enochian Chess. I'm pretty sure Game Courier would only support 2-handed play, but that's better than nothing.

Posted by jrients at 9:53 AM CDT

Last night was another stirring session of Dave Hoover's Savage Worlds campaign "Avatars". I am really enjoying Dave's game. Loren brought in a new character, Myron the Mystic, to replace his ranger Artemis (R.I.P.). I think Myron is going to work out better, as far as getting along with the rest of the party goes. Plotwise we are in a tight jam at the moment. Lars, the uncle of Little Jonny (Ray's kid PC) is being held as a hostage by some Twisted (a race of Quasimodos). We only have a few days to bring them our old enemy the bandit leader Gor. We tracked his sorry ass back to the city of Braunshae only to discover that he's being shielded by his dad, a high-ranking Champion of Justice! My character also had a bit of a breakthrough with Rongo the Warrior. My guy no longer considers Rongo a complete psycho.

I'm looking forward to next session, but man we gotta bust Gor. Otherwise Lars is a goner and I just might burst from the frustration!

Posted by jrients at 9:47 AM CDT
Wednesday, 5 May 2004
A Century of Adventure
Would you call a collection of at least 10 sessions about the same family a campaign? What if between each session you advanced the timeline a decade? What if you used several different game systems?

1880's Boot Hill, Victorian Cthulhu
1890's Boot Hill, Victorian Cthulhu
1900's ?
1910's Dawn Patrol
1920's Cthulhu, Gangbusters
1930's Cthulhu, Gangbusters, Sniper
1940's Sniper
1950's GURPS Atomic Horror
1960's Recon
1970's Recon
1980's James Bond 007

GURPS Atomic Horror is a bit of a stretch.

Posted by jrients at 4:09 PM CDT
Tuesday, 4 May 2004

I'm now about a third of the way through Martin Gilbert's The First World War. I can only assume less stuff happens towards the end of the war, because I've only made it to fall 1915 so far! Gilbert does a good job of combining a broad overview of the war with quick looks at individual persons who helped shape it. I'm curious to maybe read a biography of Winston Churchill at some point in the future. I'd also like to read more about the Turkish war hero Mustafa Kemal.

I've started work on yet another entry for chessvariants.com. This time I'm doing a little write-up for 4th Dimension, a game that originated in England but was released in the states by my old friend TSR. I'm also continuing my work on a new entry for the star trek millenium archive.

I'm thinking about adding James Bond 007 to my collection of vintage games. Between the supplements and the modules the line is a little bigger than I normally like to tackle, but the subject matter is near and dear. My usual sources recommend skipping a few of the products: Goldfinger II, A View To A Kill, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Also, there's little point in getting the original boxed set; the rulebook is the only key item it contains. Eliminating those four items leaves me with the following list:

James Bond 007 rulebook
Q Manual
Gamemaster Pack
For Your Information
Thrilling Locations
Dr. No
You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice II: Back of Beyond
The Man With The Golden Gun
Live And Let Die (considered to be the best of the adventures)

There's also the Assault Game, which replays an assault on the bad guy's fortress as a wargame.

Posted by jrients at 9:49 PM CDT

I'm putting together a working list of "castmembers" for my Jack the Ripper scenario. PCs and NPCs will be drawn from this list. From this list I can see at least 6 factions that might be involved in the situation:

the Street People
the Literati
the Vigilance Committee
the Authorities
the Russian Agents
the Occultists

Some figures would overlap, creating interesting dynamics. Francis Thompson was both a poet and a bum, for example. In my plot the Russians might be on the tale of Nicholas Vassily, who may have committed Ripper-like crimes in Paris. In my version of events he also stirred up trouble in a city of the Russian Empire.

Posted by jrients at 4:41 PM CDT

Newer | Latest | Older