Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Of Sandaled Feet and Spellplagued Towers

My new blog header image is taken from the Age of Conan: Unchained MMO.  It is one of the load screen images in the game, and I feel it really exemplifies the Ale & Whores trope of OSR gaming.  I've been playing AoC for a few weeks now and I like it enough because it is free to play.  The game probably has more magic in it than the Sword and Sorcery genre typically has.  As a free player, I can only play two characters.  I made a Dark Templar from Aquilonia which is a fighter type that uses dark magic to harm opponents by draining life energy.  The other character is a Barbarian from Cimmeria.

Another computer game I have been playing is Neverwinter which is in Open Beta and will be free to play when it launches.  It is set in the 4th Edition version of the Forgotten Realms, centered on the city of Neverwinter.  Many of the game's naming conventions come from the 4th Edition D&D, but it doesn't play like a d20 game (like the old Neverwinter Nights games were).  Strangely, spells and powers are labelled as At-Will, Encounter and Daily, but this is just a distinction in at At-Will powers you spam with either your right & left mouse buttons.  Encounter powers are fired off with keyboard keys and have a longer recharge time (around 10 - 15 seconds usually).  The Daily powers are also fired off with a keyboard key(s), but you cannot use them again until you build up enough energy from attacking foes (which is represented as a Twenty-Sided Die that fills up with color).

There are a couple of interesting story arcs in Neverwinter that would make great table-top game adventures.  One is called the Plague Tower, which involves an evil wizard harnessing the Spellplague energy to open a rift to the Fear Realm in order to transmogrify into a large Foulspawn of god-like power.

There hasn't been any non-computer gaming last month.  My Pathfinder game is still going on, but April was a month of many of the players being busy with real-life matters.  So in times like this, I "run home to momma" and find entertainment in computer games to occupy me.

I tasked the players to give me more detail on their character backgrounds and some motivations in order to help me make some adventure hooks.  What they came up with initially when we started the Pathfinder Barrowmaze game was not really inspired and didn't give me much to work with.  The Barrowmaze dungeon-crawl hasn't been much for generating role-playing opportunities and surprisingly has left me, the DM a little bored.  I want to transition the game to one of Paizo's adventure paths, The Rise of the Runelords.  There is a small town featured in the "module" named Sandpoint that has lots of NPCs and opportunities for role-playing.  I purchased the new hard-cover edition of this adventure path and some other game aids, like the NPC Cards and a Flip Mat of the town square of Sandpoint to help me.

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