When it comes to pen-and-paper role-playing games, one of things that causes the most consternation for non-gamers is the concept of character death and the effect this has on players in the campaign. While bible-thumpers may focus on the spell-casting and pantheonic aspects of games like Dungeons and Dragons, I've found that most mainstream concerns focus character death, and the alleged effect this has on players.
The logic goes like this: an individual plays a character, and over the course of several months, becomes so emotionally invested in said character than when he or she shrugs of this mortal coil, the player can't handle it. He or she becomes unhinged with results running from suicide to murder to pacts with the devil.
The mountain dwarf Torthan of Clan Urtcheck, follower of Luc, dwarven hero of the Grand Duchy of Geoff, died at the hands of a vile undead shadow on Friday, Nov. 24. He was momentarily survived by himself, having risen from the grave as another of the undead creatures to threaten his fellow adventurers. They defeated him and his shadow progenitors, as well as the master they all served: the Mad Marquee of Sterich. His ashes remain lost to the world in the dungeons beneath the Marquee's castle.
It was not the first time death touched him. During an earlier expedition to the Lair of the Eyebiter in Geoff, the barbaric bard fought and was killed by the evil followers of a rebel noble. His spirit could not be bound to the afterlife however, and he willingly allowed himself to be reincarnated by a druid. This resulted in his return to the land of the living in the form of a human.
Universal is planning a remake of John Carpenter's classic sf horror film The Thing. It will be written by Ronald Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame but no director has been announced. Other reports I've read suggest this may be more of a prequel than a straight-forward remake, in which case my opinion change. I can stomach a prequel, particularly one focusing on the Norwegians finding the downed spaceship and exploring it, but a straight-up remake/reimagining/rewhatever simply isn't needed.
It's taken an age, but the Delta Green campaign source book for Call of Cthulhu is finally back in print. EOS Press, which is printing the book for Pagan Publishing, announced on their forums that the main shipment of books will arrive in December and should be available in January 2007. According to EOS' web site, the new edition is hardbound and has the traditional Basic Role-playing Game (BRP) stats and d20 stats compatible with the d20 version of Call of Cthulhu.
It's been a while since I've put together a good RPG wishlist, but over last few months I've managed to find a few products that have tempted my wallet, including the new urban fantasy book Cityscape and the alternative fighter combat book Tome of Battle by Wizards of the Coast, country and village map packs by Paizo, and some very cool mounted combat discs by sold by Alea Tools.
Phishing season is about to begin in earnest as holiday shoppers flock to web sites to buy presents for their loved ones ... and fall victim to a variety of scams aimed at tricking folks into believing their at a trusted retailer's web site when it fact its a dummy site created by a bunch of scammers in [insert obscure country name here]. CNN looks at a bunch of possible scams, from phishing to fake auctions.
The next big home improvement project around the ol'thermonuclear burg will be rearranging our third floor office space, turning my wife's craft room into something a little more office like (and a little easier for her to work in) and converting our old "office" into the new gaming room.
As a result, I'm going to lose my current over-sized L-shaped desk and get my wife's smaller workspace (which is ok, since I don't often get to work on the third floor, thus one of the reasons for the conversion). But my PowerMac will still be upstairs, and the reduced deskspace means that my ancient CRT monitor's days are numbered.
Or at least, a thumb drive. WOS Portable allows you to setup a working web server on a flash drive. The 200 mb installation includes Apache 2.2.0, MySQL 5.0.18, PHP 4.4.2/PHP 18.104.22.168 and PhpMyAdmin 22.214.171.124.
In a trend that was mirrored elsewhere in America, a gunman robbed a 17-year-old Allentown man of his PlayStation 3 at the Lehigh Valley Mall. I suppose this finally shows a connection between violence and gaming ... but not the one anti-gaming zealots normally screech about.