Friday, December 3, 2010

Tolkien & D&D Part II

This is a follow-up to my previous post about modeling the characters from Lord of the Rings in D&D/Labyrinth Lord. Obviously. I'm still going with the idea that an 18 in a stat is the highest possible.

Elrond - 14th/20th level Half-elf Druid/Cleric
I guess technically Elrond would be a Maiar/Elf/Human mix, but I'll make him a half-elf just because that's what they call him in the books. All stats 18, can cast healing spells at will, has Vilya which does all sorts of cool stuff. Essentially another super powerful NPC the DM uses to help the characters.

Galadriel - 30th/5th level Elf Magic-User/Cleric
Why 30th? Why not? In the books it's fairly evident that Galadriel is one of, if not the, most powerful elves in Middle-Earth and she can cast all sorts of spells, even if she doesn't call them spells. Nenya is an artifact ring that basically increases the inherent power of its user, which is probably a reason Sauron didn't fuck with her directly. Low cleric ability as she has healing power but not nearly on the level of Elrond. 18 CHA and WIS and possibly INT.

Arwen - 9th level Half-elf Magic-User
I waffled quite a bit on this one, but this allows her to create magic items. Breaking my own rule about 18 being the maximum stat level and giving her a CHA 19. Essentially the physical manifestation of beauty in Middle-Earth. No, she does not swing a sword nor rescue Frodo...that was just asinine.

Saruman - 35th level Maiar Magic-User
Breaking the rules again, CHA and INT of 19. The fact that Saruman was corrupted demonstrates the power of the One Ring. Could kick Gandalf's ass in a straight-up wizard battle, lacked the wisdom and foresight to understand he was incapable of using the ring to do any good. Fairly tragic figure, still a dick.

Faramir - 12th level Dunedain Ranger
WIS 18, not as physically imposing as his brother, but a better skirmisher. Whoever thinks the ranger class is not pulled directly from LotR really needs to go read The Two Towers in great detail.

Denethor - 5th level Dunedain Jackass I mean Fighter
No spell-casting capability, and actually looks down upon anyone who uses "magic". I'll chalk up the far-seeing and similar abilities as some sort of racial power. INT is 18, WIS is oddly low. The perfect mix of legitimate capability and hubris.

Eomer - 8th level Human Fighter
Not much to say here. Yeah, he was a good fighter and killed a lot of orcs, but the the Rohan were essentially "normal" men compared to guys like Aragorn.

Eowyn - 3rd level Human Fighter
I'll never understand why Peter Jackson felt the need to have Arwen go into battle when we already had a perfectly good warrior-maiden in Eowyn.

Theoden - 10th level Human Fighter
Old but capable. WIS 18 with one unfortunately botched saving throw.

Smeagol/Gollum - 14th level Halfling Thief
INT 7 or 8, but conniving as hell. CON and DEX probably 18. Max hit points. Relentless and indestructible. He seems to be able to Assassinate, but I dunno if I'd make him a full Assassin.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The douches of gaming

One of the first posts I made on this blog was about a holier-than-thou attitude a lot of people in this hobby seem to have. Granted, it's difficult to detect sarcasm and implicit humor over the internet, but some individuals are worse than others. Case in point: This Post. A few weeks ago I read that whole blog, from start to finish, and came away with the impression that the guy is a little intense, takes his gaming seriously, and quite possibly has a few differences in play style from casual gamers. Fine. He also comes off as somewhat of an elitist prick, but hey, whatever, it's his forum for discussing whatever he wants. However, I take serious issue with his characterization of James Maliszewski's (I certainly do love Polish names) post that sparked the response. James always comes off as someone who had a revelation and wants to share it with everyone else. I never detect any sort of condescension in his tone, even when he grossly stereotypes gamers into large homogeneous groups. Sure, I disagree with him sometimes, but he seems polite and affable. I could be wrong and he's actually a raging dickwad in Real Life, but as I only have his written word to judge him by, that's what I'm going to use.

That said, the Tao of D&D guy is just a flaming cocksucker. Not only does he attack James for literally one line in what I consider to be a fairly thoughtful analysis, he does so in a way that is impossible to take seriously. If you want to paint yourself as some sort of academician whose words hold gravitas of any sort, why a fucking ad hominem right off the bat? There's an instant tirade about James, and it takes several paragraphs before he even attempts to make any sort of counter-argument. The argument is flimsy anyway, and quite honestly just proves empirically what I've said all along: most gamers are fucking sociopathic assholes. Yeah, Mr. Tao, hide behind your computer screen and pseudo-anonymity. It's real easy to launch personal attacks at people, all while masquerading as some sort of intellectual paragon. Many years of grad school taught me a valuable lesson, that being the "smartest" people are the biggest morons and the ones who talk the loudest have the least to say.

Interestingly enough, this is not an ad hominem attack, by definition. I am directly attacking this assclown's character as a demonstration of my point that internet gamers are douches, so therefore it's a valid argument. I like Grognardia because it makes me think about stuff. I dislike The Tao of D&D because it tells me what to think. See the difference? What's funny is that James Raggi at LotFP is probably more intense and acerbic than this Tao fuck, yet I don't get the impression that he's an asshole. He just seems really interested in gaming; he's not trying to proselytize by personally attacking someone he disagrees with.

In closing, I'd like to say if you're not having fun playing a game, you're doing it wrong. Whatever constitutes "fun" and "game" is an exercise left to the reader.