Archives for July 2008

Campaign idea

 One I’ve had rolling around in my brain for awhile. For some reason, Dr. Horrible has gotten ideas churning in my head for RPG adventuring. Kinda goes along with the points of light concept of 4e, but doesn’t necessarily have to use it.

The king/prince/ruler of the realm has done a pretty decent job, but he’s in over his head. He’s an old adventuring buddy of yours, ambitious, well-meaning, but beleagured. Said realm is in a strategic position. Lots of factions would like to see it fall, both within and without. He’s managing to cope so far.

Until the earthquakes. Until smoke began rising from picturesque Mount Tessarisq, a mountain smack in the center of the realm. Yep, agree the druids. It’s a dormant volcano not so much so. Big surprise there, as none of the legends speak of it that way–and the realm is rife with legends that involve Mount Tessarisq. Fortunately these days it’s a mostly uninhabited area of the realm. Well, all except for the village of smiths and artificers who have been instrumental in assisting the flagging fortunes of the realm. 

Your job: Figure out what to do. Move the villagers to safety? Find out why the sudden eruption? Why do some of the villagers have a memory of a legend about an angry magma-related goddess that no one outside that village has?

He really needs your help. So do all the people of the realm. No pressure. Except under the earth, apparently…

Joss has done it again

 OMG, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is great! Last night I finally got to see Act I and now today Act II loaded just fine. Neil Patrick Harris is so perfect. Thanks, Joss! 

OK, had to edit this. Typical Donna gushing fan-grrl post. Sigh. Let’s try for something a little more informative, shall we?

And yes, I downloaded it from iTunes. Must. Own. Even if it is from the Apple Empire. Got a season pass for $3.99.

The characterizations are complex, which is something I always like about Joss’ work. Billy (Dr. Horrible of the title) is a boy in love. (Yeah, as Scott says, it’s always about “There was this girl.”) OK, so he’s also an evil mad scientist genius type. But they need love too. Nice opening in Act I, with humor leading, so you know the feel of the piece. I like the inclusion of Walowitz from Big Bang Theory as his moist friend. Great superpower, there. The love songs are mushy, but in both acts, the final song is the kicker. Joss’ feel for harmony with multiple voices singing similar lines appropriate to the character works well. The scene where Dr. H is manipulating the van remotely is painful to watch, and NPH plays the right mix of distraction and attention to Penny (who is quite early Willow, I think). Nathan Fillion is skilled at playing guys who are nice on the surface and wicked underneath (well, I think of Caleb; Mal of Firefly is more the reverse). His Captain Hammer is slimy-nasty. (The Dark Horse comic of it really points that up.)

I’ll watch Act II again before I post about it.

The Pit of Summer

 Not much going on. Another gaming-less weekend. Actually a Carter-free weekend (except for Sunday). We did very little. I was a bit constructive, doing a zillion loads of laundry that had accumulated during the Gruber Advent. (OK, most of it had piled up before, but it was way down the list for had-to-get-done.)

In Sims news, I discovered that a married Sim who is resurrected is no longer married. Or in love. It took me forever to get Rashmali and Christian married in the first place. I even tried Love Potion #8.5, but to no avail. They have a 100 relationship, and their newest children (twins: Fiona and Deirdre) are considered both of theirs, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

Mordecai, Zechariah and Kiva are all Freshmen at La Fiesta Tech now. Zechariah is trying to get into a fraternity. 

Could summer get any more exciting?

Eloquence…not always with the muchly so

 A propos the previous post about social interactions,

 has started an interesting thread on ENWorld about moderating such encounters.

Roleplaying skills and social encounters in potential different 4e

 [I started this as a comment in

 ‘s blog, but continuing it here.]

OK, let’s come at it from a slightly different direction, gameplay. What about Diplomacy and Bluff and Intimidate? I never quite feel that they work. We’ve had discussions about player ability vs. PC ability, and that somewhat enters into it. I’m not so sure those skills should be (and I’m thinking out loud here) straight skills.



 Let me see if I can explain what I mean by that. Do skills adequately address the abilities of negotiation? I know that you can use Bluff and Intimidate in combat, but we rarely do. I’m not sure that those are the same skills. You might be cunning and tricky in combat, but when it comes to talking to the Hakima without losing your cool, you might not be so suave. Does that make sense? I still don’t know that much about maneuvers and stances, although it seems really interesting. Bluff and Intimidate in combat might well be addressed as part of maneuvers. I think about Ari and her deft and dancing swordsmanship in this context. If she had had access to maneuvers, J could’ve modeled the sort of Errol Flynn swashbuckler that Ari is in my mind. 

On the other hand, I wanted Raef to be decent in combat, but to excel in B, I & D, and he never really did because DONNA sux at those things. I still feel my PC got penalized for my personal shortcomings. I do not, however, want the DM to have to finess it and say, Well, you made your Diplomacy roll, so you say the perfect right thing. Or maybe I do. Still conflicted on that one. Still, there has to be a better system.

Now, a lot of what

said (here) about the ability to roleplay in 4e makes sense. But it’s still not there.

I’ve said a whole lot of nothing. I think I can’t get my head around how you would do RP in a better way. Social encounters is probably a better term. How do you simulate them?

Hmm, White Wolf games come to mind. I may look up in the one WW book I have and see how they do it.