August 3, 2010

At the end of the middle

Filed under: gaming — anteolsson @ 12:29
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Yesterday, or rather 05.50 this morning, I finished Mass Effect 2 and I fell asleep with a big smile on my face. Today I feel weird. I feel emotionally sensitive and a sadness is all over me. This means, of course, that it was a good game. Good is an understatement, it was an incredible powerful game, I even started over this morning wanting to go through the story one more time.

But it is overwhelming this and now I am at work, starting my shift in three minutes and I need to disconnect my vital parts of my brain and body so I can concentrate on the job

No more time. Tali Zora vas Normandie, I see you soon

July 19, 2010

Finding time

Filed under: gaming — anteolsson @ 10:37
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I would like to know how you other gamers and game creators use your time in the sphere of gaming.

I have just started to work again and I can find no time to work on this project. So I wonder how everyone else who play games that require others to play with, arrange their “free” time in order to work and play with your games?

Please reply in the comments if you read this.

February 1, 2010

cRPGs that had an impact on me

Filed under: gaming — anteolsson @ 23:12
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I think this is important stuff because whenever we take a little step forward in our lives we do so because we stand on the shoulders of giants, no matter the size of the giants. I have so much I want to write about these games that has influenced me, and even moved me, that I am thinking of dedicating a whole department to them. But for the moment these are some of the games that has affected me, starting with the one that has affected me most.

  1. Planescape: Torment
    I played this game the first time in 2009, my second time in 2010, and without exageration this is by far the best game and book that I have read in terms of how much it has in reality affected me. The game has so many levels of both intellectual and emotional aspects that I guess that you could replay this game (roleplaying wise) thousand times and still learn something new from it.
  2. The Witcher
    I followed this game for a long time before its release and had very high expectations for it. Those expectations were far exceeded by the experience of playing the game. It was the first time I was convinced of a story that was not about a hero but about someone that was Just a monster slayer. To play a game through the eyes of this witcher that has a supremely neutral world view was invogorating and it widened the world view for me as a game player and as a biased observer.
  3. Neverwinter Nights
    No matter what many people think about the original campaign in Neverwinter Nights, this was to me a real experience. It has probably a lot to do with that it was this game that brought me in to computer role playing gaming for real. Nonetheless, Aribeth de Thylmarande had a real emotional impact on the character I played, and eventually me which I think you never can escape. And the fact that her story ended and finally understood in the second expansion, Hordes of the Underdark, was just making it all better. All in all, I do not know why she was stuck in my mind but that is the way it is.
  4. Morrowind
    I do not dare count the hours I have spent in Vvardenfell. How one can spend ones time reading book after book that is a book in a game, that not necessarily has any weight on finishing the game, is probably understandable for many. This was the first game that showed me that a good story is a good story and that it does not matter if it is “real” or has any relevance or any purpose other than it being the purpose in it self. There was one book (or eight sequential books actually) in Morrowind that got stuck in my memory and that was Biography of the Wolf Queen. There were some real moments in that story that could sting you, if you would let it.
    The main story in itself was also just wonderful and it was finalised so well in the expansion.
  5. Gothic 3
    To be in the middle of a vast dessert and know that there are at least 100 slave traders wanting to destroy you feels quite good when you know that if you would do the exact same things again, you would do them exactly them same. Every quest has two sides and they are all tied up in the main plot and there is no way you can avoid the consequences, unless you deliberately abuse the mechanics. This game shows that actions has consequences and the ending just warps that whole concept upsidedown by leaving you with the question “Why did I do all this?”. In a way were you start thinking about the question and it can take you anywhere.
  6. Dragon Age: Origins
    This is probably the pinnacle of how attached you can get to the character you play in a modern computer role playing game. The choices did matter and your companions did mean something to you. At some points the choices were so difficult to make because you could really empathise with the characters. The game is also extreemely well made.
  7. Heroes of might and magic 4 – Half Dead
    Maybe technically the heroes of might and magic games are not role playing games but for me they are. To play someone who is half dead that is trying to make some sense in his world can have so many levels of meaning to it. He was a great character and I have always loved the stories and the writing in the heroes of might and magic games.

December 10, 2009

Not seventh but at least gaming

Filed under: gaming — anteolsson @ 17:00
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A while back me and Anders talked about making a computer game where you mix stretegy gaming with rpg. The thought was that two or more people are playing where one person is playing a strategy game and one or more persons are playing a role playing game.

Yesterday and today Anders made a visit here and I came up with the wonderful idea to use Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition rules to play the game on a long roll of paper. I made two level 1 characters, one Elven Ranger and one Halfling Rouge, and Anders took the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual to calculate the XP pool he had to set up encounters. He then decided on before hand which monsters he would put in the dungeon in order to defeat me.

We modified the DnD rules to fit our game. We decided that instead of earning XP for killing monsters I, who play the characters, gain one level per encounter. This means that the characters are constantly getting stronger which also means that Anders, who play the monsters, will also have a bigger XP budget to build encounters. He was also aloud to put 1 trap per character in each encounter, if I found and disarmed the trap I would gain HP but if I stumbled upon it it would hurt me.

Here you can see what the dungeon map looked like

Before each encounter I would be faced with a door and I could choose to open the door carefully and then sneak in or just run in like a maniac. Because I had a rouge that I saw as a wannabe assassin I tried to sneak in to every room. Before I decided to open the door I did not see what the next room looked like so Anders drawed the map and placed the miniatures as I opened the door. He even placed a Snake Tounge Assassin Minion which actually snuck up on me from behind and managed to poison me.

We had only time with two encounters which I won and it took my characters to level 3 which means that Anders will have about 400 XP to buy monsters for in the next encounter. It will continue like this for 6 encounters and if both my characters survive I will win and if Anders kills my characters before he will win.

This might sound a lot like the regular DnD game where you have a dungeon master and players but there are some differences. The first difference is that we are competing against each other so Anders will do whatever he can to kill my characters. This is what a dungeon master should not do. The second thing is that Anders is not roleplaying the monsters but he is rather trying to use thier abilities as strategically good as possible in order to defeat me. He can also put different monsters that would normally not be found together in an encounter. Anders is not either trying to tell a story and there are no quests, he is simply trying to kill me.

I must say that it worked very well and that it was really fun and it felt very very different from when I am leading games for seventh. I also think that the DnD 4th edition rules fits better for this type of play compared to role playing, because there are so many rules that it becomes impossible to act intuitively and get a feel for who the character really is as a person.

Here is another image of the gaming table

November 24, 2009

New gaming session on Obsidianportal

Filed under: Adventures,gaming — anteolsson @ 17:02
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Me and jens has started a new sessoin with his colorful character Torulf Weakleg. The adventure takes place in Houndsend and at the moment is dealing with some mysterious man just outside the city.

Please feel free to follow the story here

November 20, 2009

Some highlights from the last game

Filed under: Adventures,gaming — anteolsson @ 08:40
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So, I want to share with you some cool events from the last adventure i was game leading. The adventure is called Tomb of Regrets. The name and the location of the adventure is directly inspired by the dnd Tomb of Horror and Tomb of Regrets also has a lot of puzzles. The story on the other hand is inpired by Planescape:Torment and my own ideas about life.

The adventure is set in a dark and cold underground building/dungeon where there are many rooms and many doors which requires many different keys and different skills to get into and through.  There is a lot a magic in the dungeon but the magic is not appearant but has to be discoverred rather. And of course there are some monsters in the dungeon.

The first highlight of the game was in the beginning. The playing character started in a small room which had two wooden doors and one stone massive stone door. He found that only one of them was opened so he carefully opened it up, holding a torch in his right hand, to peek inside the next room. He could not see anyone in the next room but unfortunately he had not opened the door enough to see that there was a walking skeleton in the room. So he opened the door fully and to his surprise this skeleton jumped at him first trying to bash him with his shield, which missed, and then stab him with a sword, which also missed. The playing character now did a very nifty thing. He made an attempt to grab the skeleton’s ribs with his both hands, and after he did his roll (1d10 + Strength + Agility) he managed to do so. He then tried to pull the ribs out of their cage and did so with a successful strength check but the bones did not loosen completely. While doing this the skeleton could not hold his body up any longer and so fell forward until its head was between the arms of the playing character. While falling forward the skeleton swinged his sword towards the head of the playing character but he dodged it gracefully and reacted with a right swing with his fist against the skeleton head and made a critical hit. The impact was so forceful that the skeletons head flew off its body and the rest of the bones piled up on the floor except for one bone which the playing character held in his hand. This rib bone he later sharpened and used as a lock pick=)

There was more spectacular fights but that is another story…

Thanks for reading,

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