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Gates & Glamours

Gary Gygax Memorial Cat from I Can Has Cheezburger

Gary Gygax Memorial Cat

RIP Gary Gygax

Troll Lord Games is reporting that Gary Gygax, one of the creators of D&D and the main author of the First Edition of Advanced D&D (not to mention many of its most popular early adventures) has passed away.

From the Troll Lord Games forum:

It is almost too much to get my mind about. But I’ve just had news that our dear Dungeon Master has passed away. Ernie called this morning, he thought we should let the fans know. He’s just sent an email out.

Gary was in his home when he gathered himself up to cross the great divide.

He was a very dear friend of mine. And I will miss him so.

God Speed My Friend.

Steve

There is also a lot of discussion on Dragonsfoot.

I knew Gary mainly through his writings (although I did meet him once at a convention long ago), but he was one of the main creators of a hobby that I have enjoyed for most of my adult life and I will miss him.

I’m a Wizard. What a Surprise (not).

Your Score: Wizard

25% Combativeness, 33% Sneakiness, 94% Intellect, 41% Spirituality

Brilliant! You are a Wizard!

Wizards are spells-casters who study powerful arcane magic. While Wizards tend to be pretty fragile, some of those spells can pack quite a punch. Unlike Clerics, Wizards aren’t as good at fixing people as they are at breaking them, so watch where you toss that fireball!

Your most distinctive trait is your intelligence. You’re probably well learned and logical, if perhaps a bit fragile.

Link: The RPG Class Test written by MFlowers on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(MFlowers)

Fantaseum #1 (Free PDF Magazine)

I’ve dropped by the Campaign Builder’s Guild a couple of times in the past and have always been impressed with the community there even if it was not quite my thing. When I dropped by this morning, I discovered that they, in association with a couple of other sites, have started a new PDF magazine, Fantaseum, the Journal of the Creative Community Alliance. The first issue is 36 pages and weighs in at a hefty 28 megabytes because it is very graphics intensive. It features campaign areas (described rules neutrally for the most part), fiction, and maps. Lots of nice maps.

One of the most interesting parts of this issue is the Glass Ocean section, introduced with this:

“We are delighted to bring you the first of our combined guild challenges. First, the Campaign Builders’ Guild held a monthly competition to create a frontierland. The winning result, The Glass Ocean by Luminous Crayon was then used as the basis of a monthly challenge for the Cartographers’ Guild and Plotstorming to draw a map of Luminous Crayon’s winning entry and write a fictional piece set within it.”

Very nice stuff. I can’t wait to see more issues. You can find out more and download a free copy from this page of the CBG web site.

What’s Wrong With D&D 4

I think this quote from The Dragon Editorial Archive sums up everything that is wrong with The current versions of D&D and how it is being made even more wrong in 4th Edition.

Quite simply, the math behind the game is so rock solid that I’ve been encouraged to play my character as a genuine, action movie, one-liner quoting hero. I’m not rushing to open the door because I know I can survive the fireball trap on the door. It’s that I know that the trap on the door isn’t some ruthless save or die effect that will punish me for rolling a 1 on my save. I still don’t shy away from danger, but I find myself taking even more risks with my 4th Edition character than I did before. I don’t dread the finger of death, wail of the banshee, or worst of all, energy drain effects that so permeated previous editions.
— From the Dragon Editorial Archive: Fearless

I’m just shaking my head. It sounds like they’ve taken all the risk out of the game. What’s the fun in being able to act like “a genuine, action movie, one-liner quoting hero” in a game if there are no risks at all of failure, let alone of severe failure? Playing a god-like character in a group of other god-like characters, all of whom get even more god-like with time sounds like it would get boring fast.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the cinematic style of gaming where people don’t regularly die from a single bad die roll and can do lots of heroic things. I’ve always ran my D&D and other fantasy games like that. But there was still risk and lots of things that any player should dread. Cakewalks not only get boring fast, but players don’t feel very heroic at the end of one, no matter how successful the characters were.

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