Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adventure Creation Kit

I was a huge fan of the Adventure Construction Set many years ago, and created some really awful games for my Apple //c. Generally I'd start out strong, then let the computer auto-generate the rest as I was more interested in playing than coming up with scenarios. My buddy had Garry Kitchen's Game Maker, and I was envious of him as I had no access to a C=64 at home. Later, I got Unlimited Adventures for my Mac and had about the same results: a lot of play, little work on scenarios. Unfortunate, too, because UA could duplicate the Gold Box games easily and at one point I wanted to create and Isle of Dread game but gave up to focus on girls (yeah yeah, I know...) At any rate, Adventure Creation Kit allows one to easily duplicate Ultima-style games in the same manner as these previous titles. I had never heard of it until this morning, but I'm going to install it later and make a game. Or at least attempt to make a game and give up to watch football.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shire: The Roleplaying Game

The MERP game got off the ground on Saturday, and seemed to go pretty well. Around an hour was spent making characters, which is insanely long compared to Labyrinth Lord, but in actual play everything went smoothly. The players decided to be a Dwarf Scout, Dwarf Ranger, Dwarf Warrior and Beorning Animist. One of the players decided not to show up, but that's okay; I think he was going to make a push to be Saurman and that wouldn't fly. I'm thinking of rolling up a character for him, possibly a female Elf Bard. Don't front, Chris.

Anyway, it was brought up during the game that a party of mostly Dwarves works just fine: Dwarves are inherently pugnacious, like treasure and go on adventures. This led to a further comment about Hobbits being annoyingly boring, and how a game consisting of all Hobbits would rapidly devolve into inanity. If in fact a Shire rpg were produced, allowing nothing but Hobbits, with the Shire as the primary setting, it would be the antithesis of every hack-n-slash rpg out there. I decided to create a short sample table of possible adventure hooks to give you an idea of how atrocious such a game would be.

Roll a d6
  1. Daffodil Brablebuck has lost her kitten! Mayor Whitfurrows offers a reward of three pints at the Green Dragon Inn to anyone able to locate the animal.
  2. You awake one morning and notice your favorite vest is missing two buttons; they must be found or replaced before cousin Bippee Gamgee arrives for dinner.
  3. There's a sewing contest at noon but you're out of red thread!
  4. Gophers are tearing up your garden but you're already late to the pub. A real quandary...
  5. Lena Nobottle insists she can blow better smoke rings. Time to break out the pipeweed and show her a thing or two.
  6. Eating contest between Adagrim Bracegirdle and Ted Tunnelly. Who will win?

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Well, not really, but it solidifies something I had previously waffled on recently: football or gaming? I suppose all of us have multiple hobbies, and some of them get more face time than others. The interest level in my primary hobbies comes in waves, and right now playing rpgs is seriously waning, almost to the point of apathy about the whole thing. I've been trying to get a new game started and made some progress, but to be perfectly honest, I don't think I actually like playing as much as I thought. I do enjoy collecting rpg books and paraphernalia, coming up with campaign ideas, typing up character generation guidelines and figuring out alternative rules. But the playing certainly can't compete with college football. Not in the least. I attended the inaugural game of the new UTSA football program at the Alamodome yesterday mostly because it was cheap and because it was college football. I'm not in any mood to make the drive up to College Station, fight hordes of people and endless traffic to see the Aggies beat the hell outta SMU today; perhaps I might go to the Texas game on Thanksgiving (possibly the last one..?) but none of the other games are compelling. Idaho? KU? No thank you, I'll watch them on television. This isn't to say I don't enjoy the event as a whole. When I lived on campus, or only a few blocks away, game day was special, and it consumed my weekends. I reveled in the build up, the game, the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band kicking ass at halftime, the post-game beatdowns of the Yell Leaders and copious adult beverages on Northgate later in the night. Still, there's something to be said for being in the air conditioning, endless alcohol within reach and the utter lack of self-censorship when it comes to profanity laden tirades regarding an idiotic play or sub-par effort. Watching football is tiring and it is work, at least if you do it properly. And it looks like rpgs will just have to take a backseat this season. I really don't want to invest countless hours playing a game that most likely won't provide me with 1/10th the enjoyment I'll get out of watching 6 or 7 games every Saturday. I suppose I could just play on Sundays, but the NFL looks compelling this year. I wonder if there's a football rpg...