Venerable Dad and Hero Kid

Some members in one of the online communities that I am part of have been running a 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons role playing game via the online Roll20App. I’ve really enjoyed the mechanics and there is certainly alot less number crunching involved, although I think this mostly in part to the way Roll20 speeds up nearly all checks and actions so that the players can focus more on role playing and enjoying themselves.

I last played D&D since 1998 and that was AD&D 2nd Edition so it’s taken me a little time to get back into the swing of things but I’m happy to be back playing a game on a semi-regular basis. I’m exploring options to GM a game with some friends online in the new year.

Hero Kids

herokidsThis morning Littlest Troll undertook his first steps into the world of role playing with a title I picked up from DriveThruRPG called Hero Kids.

I was very pleased with how the game makes activities simple, making them easy to explain to a child yet the game still remained enjoyable for those playing. The small one doesn’t have a great attention span and can get bored easily, the first adventure felt just about right time wise, with a huge number of giant rats laying unconscious in some caves.

Since there is a Cyber Monday Sale on this weekend at DriveThruRPG I think I shall be picking up the complete bundle for this game Hero Kids – Complete Fantasy PDF Bundle [BUNDLE] which includes:

  • Hero Kids – Fantasy RPG (Core Rules book)[discounted as I already own this].
  • Fantasy Expansion – Pet Cards
  • Fantasy Expansion – Monster Compendium
  • Fantasy Expansion – Equipment Cards
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards II
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards III
  • Fantasy Expansion – Hero Cards IV
  • Fantasy Adventure – Curse of the Shadow Walkers
  • Fantasy Adventure – Escape from the Ghost Pirates
  • Fantasy Adventure – Fire in Rivenshore
  • Fantasy Adventure – Glade of the Unicorn
  • Fantasy Adventure – Mines of Martek
  • Fantasy Adventure – The Lost Village
  • Fantasy Adventure – Tomb of the Lost King
  • Fantasy Adventure – Wizard’s Tower
  • Fantasy Adventure – Yuletide Journey
  • Fantasy Premium Adventure – Maze of the Minotaur

Hopefully we can get some role playing done over the Christmas period if the little troll hold still  and If we discover that he enjoys the game and wants to play more I’m tempted to get the Flat Plastic miniatures https://arcknight.squarespace.com/shop/fpm-hero-kids.

Shadow of Orwell

The year is 2017 and you have been successfully selected to become an investigator surveying the online presence of the denizens of The Nation, monitoring their electronic communications, files and interactions. Using the latest tool in the government’s arsenal ORWELL, you are thrown into the thick of things after an explosion occurs in the Nation’s Capitol.

orwelllogo

Over the past four weeks I have had the pleasure of consuming the episodic game Orwell by Surprise Attack Games, I have found myself eagerly awaiting the weekly email summoning me into action. Slowly watching the story unfold has made me both excited and anxious, in equal measure, I think having the episodes ready for a weekly release was very nicely timed, it built the suspense but didn’t keep you waiting too long like some other episode driven games.

I really enjoyed playing this game and found that there was a good amount of flavour information that gave you a more detailed understanding of the world in which you inhabit. The characters had good feeling of depth and I found that I could empathise with their feelings and actions. I won’t hide the fact that the game has a linear direction, which isn’t unexpected due to type of game, however the choices that you make along in all episodes the way have ramifications on short and long term events.

Summary

This futuristic game hints that the passing of a government “Safety Bill” has resulted in the lowest levels of violent crime, but it also poses the questions “How much is too much?” and of course “At what cost”. Sadly the themes in the game are now a reality of the real world we inhabit, with the Investigatory Powers Act a looming reality that includes mass surveillance in the UK, of course in the name of safety. Orwell does a very good job at illustrating how such a system can be implemented and utilised to be the point of being intrusive, disruptive or in some cases deadly.

The game also highlights how opinions/messages posted in the public domain (social media) can be misconstrued and used against a person.

Give it a go

If you are interested in I would encourage you to try out the first episode http://orwellgame.com/ for free, be advised that the first episode acts like a tutorial inpart so can feel like you are being handheld.

Maybe the recruitment video will help you decide.

No Man’s Cup of Tea

With No Man’s Sky releasing this last week we enter the marmite period of game launch (some hate it, some love it). Once again many people stumble with the “It’s not the game I ( was looking for/ expected it to be/ was lead to believe i would get)” then appear the demands on game makers to amend/change/fix those elements that someone doesn’t like.

nomansskyIt’s strange as asking for change can vary depending on the complexicities involved. For example returning a meal as it was served cold is within the realms of acceptable demands since you expect a certain level of quality. However shouting that you didn’t like the ending/cast/ art direction of a film isn’t going to achieve anything since it’s pretty much set in stone, maybe the director’s cut maybe extended or have alternative ends, but generally you achieve nothing.

It’s peculiar how games tend to face a very different treatment. That’s not saying devs shouldn’t fix faults or address issues, but demanding more of developers, post release seems unfair, especially when the production time on games can be equal or greater than many large film productions.

Clearing up confusion

It’s clear to see that many people who thought the game was going to be something different, were they misinformed or not paying attention?
This couldn’t have been clearer in the following tweet that was posted during launch week:

There are many questions:

  • Did players make an assumption?
  • Is the single player game a dying breed these days?
  • Was there an element of lost in translation?

I have not been following the games development, as in I knew NOTHING about the game until this week. My perception is that the game launch maybe buggy a little, just like any other title. The gameplay I had watched as been fun and those playing it haven’t complained about much besides those common issues.

I haven’t bought the game myself, but I’m sorely tempted to use my Humble discount to pick up the game for the 10% off and 10% to a charity of my choice but I have so many titles in my Steam backlog it’s becoming harder to justify new titles.

Blaugust cometh

Blaugust the time for blogging, for a fresh start and in y experience for discovering wonderful bloggers you haven’t encountered before.
If you have not heard of the event before you should visit Belghast who created the event and read up on this years shenanigans.

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The challenge this year isn’t against the looming 31 day deadline, it’s about agreeing and keeping to a schedule. Of course some folks are hoping to blog each day, while others, like myself, are aiming a little lower. This is in an effort to get myself back into the rhythm of emptying my mind online, I’ve opted to post 3 times a week. I hope this will give me a guide on if it’s a schedule I could continue going forward or if it’s too much.

Remembrance

Sadly in the last month one of my clan members passed away after a drawn out fight with illness. It’s at times like these that our friendships, discovered in the virtual realms of the internet, prove to be stronger than those in meatspace.

This could not be more evident for me as a work colleague passed away earlier this year and despite having conversed and interacted with them on many occasions, I wasn’t remotely impacted as much as I was by the loss of a clan mate.

I touched on virtual friendships this in a post I made 2 years ago the last time I took part in Blaugust : Are friends electric?. Much of that post still hold true.

Healthy Troll

Since I learnt to drive last year I’ve not been doing a massive ammount of walking that could be considered anywhere close to a healthy amount, so recently I started doing more activities in an attempt to balance things out a little. I’ve been trying to find a routine that is both practical but that also caters for my health requirements.

During the waking hours one of my calves is permanently housed in a compression stocking due to collapsed veins, a gift from a post op DVT that just keeps on giving. As a starting point this limits the type of exercise I am able to endure as it needs to be low impact and not hindered by my leg. Currently I exercise in the evenings as by 6pm my leg is already as swollen as it’s likely to become that day, so removing the stocking to get a shower isn’t as difficult as it would be in the morning for example.

This didn’t begin life as a massive health push, but I’m hoping that I can build up the usefulness/stamina of my injured leg so it’s less of a burden and allowing me to undertake more varied activities.

Gaming hard in May

Well May is starting quite strong on the gaming front, I’ve kicked off a Diablo III character restart for the sixth season. I like the seasons in that they give me a reason to fire the game up once more, last time I had to roll a new sessional character but this one I got to restart an existing one.
I’m not a massively focused player nor do I tend to play the game with a group but I’m keen to see how the next run progresses, and attempt to complete more tasks this time around.

This week FlyinPinkMunki and I patched Elder Scrolls Online, we stumped up and bought a plus membership and then rolled two new characters. We had been discussing this for sometime and what with the Dark Brotherhood content incoming we couldn’t think of a better time to be returning. I’ve finally got around to creating an Imperial character and will let you know how we get on.

Last but not least is Overwatch which officially goes live later this month but is in open beta between the  5 and 9 with those who have preordered getting a 2 day head start. I have tried to vary the characters I play but have found that Pharah, Zarya and of course Mei are the ones I’ve favouring at the moment. I can’t wait for this game to go live as there are so many people that I follow who are playing it, if you want to add me I can be found on BT welshtroll#2579.

Finally we are still kicking around in The Division as a select few of us head towards level 20 (Yes we can blast through content but it is nice to have a regular gaming evening with some old timer clan mates). The game doesn’t do a great deal to hide the mechanics so a weekly group actually works better for me as continually play would just frustrate me.

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