Monday, August 25, 2008

In Which The Warlock Screws Up His Updating Schedule...

Sorry about the delay, oh blog-ly few! With the school year beginning, I haven't had much time to even think, much less put down a blog entry!

However, I did set aside some time for a new project. The PlatinumChick, following our Dark Heresy game, has offered to run some 4e, provided that she has the time/ability. In order to make the prep time easy on her (in addition to 4e's general quickness, especially compared to 3e), we've talked about creating an "open source world" where all of our players help world-build, creating various plot points.

As part of this, I've started work on my own little campaign setting. Nothing's in firm yet, but the feel is going to be something of a blend of Diablo's "Sin Wars", the classic SNES RPG Chrono Trigger, and a touch of Eberron. Imagine a world in which the humans are the invaders, disrupting a perfectly-good century-long war between the fiends of the Underworld and the sentient races.

As such, here's a preview!

Tor Branael

Description: An originally eladrin nation that, long ago, had spread to threaten their nearby neighbors, including the Kharalash dwarves of the northern tundra. Tor Branael was annihilated by a combined force of humans and savage elves, but the remains of the eladrin still live on as a nation of sentient undead. Freed from the necessities of survival—food, drink, and the like—they focus on unearthing eldritch secrets of magic and building their massive war machine.

Architecture: Predominantly green glass, in neo-Gothic style. Mainly in ruins.

Trade: No major trade.

Power Players: The Worm that Walks and the Sons of Kyuss. Archcardinal Tanthelas, Praesidus Mordain

Major Races: Eladrin, elves (mainly as slaves), tieflings

Allies: None

Enemies: Kharalash dwarves, Zeal Eladrin, all elves, Sanctuary humans.


Description: The Kharalash tundra is considered to be a wasteland. However, the dwarves that inhabit it have eked out an existence on the snowy plains for centuries. Decendents of the original dwarven inhabitants, they have been amongst the most staunch warriors and arcanists to walk the earth. Specifically, the Kharalash dwarves are made up of loosely confederated clans that typically compete in economic matters, but unite under the single snow-boar banner in times of war. The Thunderous Boar clan has been in ascendance for several decades, though others, such as the Winter Serpent clan, would raise challenge to that claim.

Architecture: Wood lodge style (Pacific Northwest Indian).

Trade: Furs, gold, silver, game, leather goods.

Power Players: Warchief Durgan Thunderous Boar; FrostMourne (White Dragon); Thorgrim Winter Serpent (popular sub-chief)

Major Races: Dwarves, humans, tieflings, dragonborn.

Allies: Sanctuary Humans

Enemies: Zeal Eladrin, Tor Branael Eladrin.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In Which The Warlock Applauds The Voice of Reason!

I've been a fan of Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo franchise since Diablo II came out. Much as I try, I just can't seem to tear myself away from it entirely--I occassionally find that I'll lose an inordinate amount of spare time doing Bloody Foothills runs in Act V, or killing The Countess for her glorious, glorious rune drops.

As such, when Diablo III was announced just before E3, I was stoked! A conclusion to the storyline! Graphics that you can actually without squinting! (which will, undoubtedly, kill my laptop's graphics card...) Goatmen! Everyone loves killing goatmen!

Needless to say, I was kind of shocked that to find out that, nearly 2 days after the announcement, an outcry emerged against the game, saying that the new graphics/art direction was a "violation against prior entries in the series" and "did not fit with the gothic tone of the game".

It's a ridiculous claim, considering that all of 20 minutes of gameplay--in a game that can take up something like 50-60 hours--has been shown to the public. Even Blizzard's senior art director resigned just after the poo hit the fan.

So, as of now, I thank Adam Sessler. Co-host of X-Play, on the G4 network (which I, sadly enough, no longer get....grrr, Time Warner Cable), he provides us with the following dose of sanity:

Sessler's Soapbox--"Diablo III's Flaming Fanboys

For more information on the Diablo III release, including Blizzard's errant art director, I recommend visiting

Monday, August 11, 2008

In Which The Warlock Experiences a Bit of a Slowdown, but Gives Some Props...

There's not a whole lot on the horizon going on right now, so I figure that I'll catch up on a few other things while I have the chance.

--The new kitty is great, and Tikka is finally getting used to the idea to having a friend is finally starting to appeal to her. We've even caught them cuddling once in a while! Who knew?

--4e is a ton of fun to run, and to play. As one of our regular players for Dark Heresy has been out of town recently, we've been running a 4e one-off in our usual Friday slot. Also, Lionel's begun to run Keep on the Shadowfell, and my Dwarven Warlock Ignatius has barely survived his encounter with Irontooth. We're about halfway to our first level, and our team has finally started to work together as a group. All is well...

--Dungeon Slam! is moving apace, in its 3.5 incarnation. I have a lot to do, particularly in terms of skills and the like, but it's really starting to become a real game. Here's for hoping that I can start contacting companies about all this!

--GenCon's still a possibility at this point, but it's looking rough at this point. That said, it may be worth going if for no other reason than the WEGS specials that El Willy is giving away. An honest-to-goodness Copper Pot alone might tempt me to make the trip!

--As I mentioned previously, Laura gave me some kudos for my work on this blog. I don't really read a lot of blogs, aside from the ones in my blogroll, off to the side, so I guess I'll give some shout-outs to those sites that I spend my time playing around on:

1) Zero Punctionation (at The Escapist). Ben "Yahtzee" Crowshaw may well be one of the funniest game reviewers on the face of the planet. Delivered in his trademark breathless style, he delivers scathing bile and well-constructed criticism in the same breaths. (Link is in my link-index).

2) Aaron Williams, of Nodwick and Full Frontal Nerdity fame, spends a ton of time not only on his quality geekdom comics, but also blogging on various geeky topics, including Flash games, Nodwick

3) The Table-top Gamers forum, hosted in Cincy, is currently the home of WEGS-goers nationwide on the web. Kain (and his accompanying hottie) are good people, and being able to chat with El Willy, Wt2, and their crew is always a plus. TableTop Gamers--WEGS Forum

4) For a really unique take on a D&D game, check out Sigil Prep. Imagine, if you will, a college for adventuring--full of modern anachronisms and Buffy the Vampire Slayer references--set in Sigil, the weirdest city in D&D-dom. Read through it, and enjoy... Sigil Prep

and, finally:
5) If you love Settlers of Catan, you've got it made here! JSettlers