Month: February 2013

Ingress – a few impressions

“Ingress Time!” by AtokNiiro

A few days ago, I told you that I had been invited to the Ingress beta, but was unable to test the game until my brand spanking new Nexus 4 would arrive. Well, the beautiful phone is in my possession since last Saturday, and I had some time to play around with Ingress. I will not provide you with a full-blown review, but just with a few impressions gathered during my few hours of hacking and (failing hard at) attacking Portals.

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Shapeshifters, blog updates and oh my!

Heya everyone, just a little heads-up about what’s going on behind the scenes of this blog. I’m pleased with my ability of keeping up a steady stream of posts, and it’s good to see that people appreciate the effort. In order to tell you what you can expect in the future, here’s a little summary about what will be coming.

  • You might have noticed the new pages on top of this…uh, page. I’m starting to sort through the mess this blog has become since its inception just somewhat more than a month ago. You will be able to find my columns in one place, which will make it easier to look them up later.
  • Next to the Columns page, you also see an “Actual Play” page. In the future, I’ll be sharing more of my adventures from the digital tabletop with you, and I’ll start with my current Song of Ice and Fire campaign dubbed “Riverlands Saga”, and a now-dead but rather long solo Lunar Exalted campaign. You’ll be seeing the first chapter of the latter later this week, and just like the Columns, you’ll be able to find that on its own page!
  • I’m considering doing something more than just writing. Podcasting is an option, as I just love to ramble on about the things I love (that’s what a podcast is for, right?), but the question remains if they will be pure audio or also footage of me playing games. I don’t wanna promise anything, but I’ll keep my options open.

So, in short, you’ll just get the usual servings of my opinions, with a possible side dish of my voice. Stop the excitement, I’m starting to blush!

Anyway, thanks for reading my blog, guys and gals! I’ll do my best to give you more than my best on this page!

Chin over and out.

Strange Sunday – how to make magic special again

“Mage battle” by sandara

Most fantasy and sci-fi settings have magic in some way. No matter if you call it sorcery, psionic powers or miracles, every supernatural effect that is based on some bizarre, at most semi-scientific power is magic to me. I’m normally not a big fan of magic in games, unless it’s done in a cool and fresh way. Sadly, most settings miss out on the chance of making their magic something unique, and that saddens me.

You see, I have the feeling that most authors and game designers are under the impression that magic in itself is fairly unique already. It gives characters the capability to do something out of the ordinary, and thus it might not need any fancy background explanation. However, audiences have become jaded by the sheer amount of magic these days. The reason why I never bothered to play a biotic in Mass Effect was because it was just another kind of psychic magic to me, and I left those cool tricks to the rest of my crew. Fortunately, there are settings where something interesting is done with magic, making it cool, exotic and…well, strange. I want to highlight a few of those in this week’s Strange Sunday, to give you some inspiration!

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Why White Wolf got me all hyped again

To be frank with you, dear readers: I owe my fascination for tabletop role-playing to the guys who brought us Vampire: the Masquerade and many more gothy titles. I’m talking about White Wolf, and these times are once again exciting times to be a White Wolf fan.

Basically, I love every game this company has published. Though I haven’t played all of them, if you would kick in my door and ask me to play in a Wraith chronicle, I would please ask you to fix my door and then grab my ten-sided dice. It’s something about the style these guys (and probably gals) have, and every rule and sourcebook from their writing forges is like a little masterpiece. Yeah, I’m exaggerating here, but that makes my point: White Wolf is the beginning of my role-playing career, and it will be my end. But not just yet, ’cause these heroes and their “daughter company” Onyx Path have a lot in the oven when it comes to feeding my gaming ADD:

  • First and foremost, Exalted 3. I freaking love Exalted. It’s not so much the clunky and often problematic rules I love, but the sheer proportions of the setting. When it comes to high, epic fantasy, Creation is my homebase, and there’s always some corner of the vast world that’s worth discovering. With Ex3, the rules and setting get a major overhaul, and I’m more than curious to see how the Chosen are put into a new, divine light. The Kickstarter for this should drop this month, so I’m holding on to my money!
  • Next up, the new World of Darkness is getting some major love with Mummy: the Curse and God-Machine Chronicles. The former brings a new splat to the nWoD, while the latter combines a kind of “1.5” rules update and chronicle in one for mortal characters. The other lines are getting re-worked books as well, so the entire world gets a fresh breeze of air.
  • Finally, there’s the ever-continuing support for the old WoD. After releasing the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade, White Wolf / Onyx Path continue to publish re-worked and new books for the world that revolutionised role-playing games.

It’s hard to describe how pumped I am about all this, but you will surely hear more about all these new titles on this blog. In the mean time, I’ll be off to the drawing board to plan a Solar chronicle to dive right into Ex3 when it hits!