Monday, December 28, 2009

Gaming in the New Year

So, the New Year is right around the corner, and a new decade, as well. This decade has been good to gaming, and I can only hope a new one will be as good. There are some promising gaming developments on the horizon, and I think I'll try and go over a few of them.

For one, a lot of companies in gaming seem to be looking towards new means of getting their product out there. From Wizards of the Coast and their push with D&D Insider to White Wolf and their new media directions, where much of their new material will be released online (check out their New Media seminar), it seems online is the new way to go. Programs, PDFs, and other online venues are the way of the future for gaming, and I suspect we'll see a lot more of that.

In an old school area, Green Ronin has partnered up with the video game maker Bioware to create a Dragon Age boxed set, reminiscent of the old boxed sets that TSR used to put out for AD&D. It is supposed to be an introductory set, that covers just the first five levels and uses a new system designed by Green Ronin. I've heard that it isn't all that all-encompassing, covering a bare minimum of things from the video game world, but it should also be the first of several, and the ones yet to come should cover more. Put that together with the idea that Dragon Age the video game is supposed to be part of trilogy, and Dragon Age could turn out to be quite the system.

Speaking of old boxed sets, the next setting that D&D 4th Edition is about to put out is one that fans of AD&D should like: Dark Sun. Dark Sun used to be my favorite setting; it mixed post-apocalyptic madness with fantasy to create a world that was nothing like any world we had seen before. The new setting books are supposed to roll the world back to what it was just after the first edition of Dark Sun, and I find this to be very promising. I loved the old dark Sun, and I look forward happily to a new version.

A book I think will be interesting is a book being put out by White Wolf for their 'new' World of Darkness (not new anymore for the last few years, but it's definitely not the first version). That book is called World of Darkness: Mirrors, and it is supposed to be a book about alternate versions, or alternate realities, in the World of Darkness, and how to use them. I like the WoD, and I like most of the games for it, but I think it will be interesting to see new spins on some of the things that have been given to the fans and readers.

Finally, something that I hope will come out, as it has been delayed for quite a while, is the Dresden Files RPG. I've read all the books, and I think the world described in Jim Butcher's series would make a great setting for a game. It's not as dark as the World of Darkness, and has some interesting characters like Harry Dresden, Michael the knight, and many others. Hell, I wouldn't mind seeing an RPG based on Jim Butcher's Codex Alera, either.

Well, that's it for now. I'll be back with the new year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Special

I am stuck with my family in Florida, using a laptop I am unfamiliar with and don't have a lot of time on, but I have had time to watch some TV, especially some stuff I have recently received on DVD. I won't tell what, though: maybe you can guess from what I'll be talking about.

It's Eberron, two years after the Last War. The Five Nations of humanity are rebuilding, still wary of each other. There are many threats that lurk in the shadows; the monsters of Droaam, the quori of Sarlona, the daelkyr and the Lords of Dust - and nobody yet knows what happened to turn the nation of Cyre into a freakish wasteland. But none expected the threat to come from something that hasn't even happened yet - the future.

Metal monstrosities cloaked in flesh, like warforged skeletons in humanoid bodies, have started to appear on Khorvaire. They seem to be singleminded in their pursuit of several individuals - but nobody knows why, as some of these individuals are children, and most have never done anything illegal or even violent. But they do not stop, do not reason, and they do not run. They seem to exist only to kill.

It seems they come from a different place, or even a different time, sent by a being known only as the Lord of Blades. He claims responsibility for the Mournland, and has promised to do the same to all human lands. He is after those who will be able to stop him, who will lead the charge against him in the future as laid out in the Draconic Prophecies - and he must get to them before they become a threat to him.

The foes of the Lord of Blades must survive. You may be among them. Help may come from the strangest of places, at the strangest of times. One never knows what the future may hold.

I just came up with this idea, and I think it would be a fun game to run, though I doubt I'll ever have the players for it. If you're interested, though, let me know - a game that may have time travel in it can always have new players dropped in.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Return!

So I have finished up all my work for my Master's degree, and I am now free to begin plotting new gaming-related ideas, at least for a while. I've had some interesting ideas while I've been studying, as well as rehashing some old ones.

One of the ones that keeps coming back to me is the idea of a sort of Castlevania-themed game. I've never really played the Castlevania games myself, but I have watched a couple of them played, and the setting always interests me, even if it is just a complex method of fighting Dracula. The idea of running a game in a setting something like that of the Castlevania games has some interest for me, not least because it brings in some interesting ideas involving horror and suspense that don't normally come up in D&D.

I've been reading through some of my old Eberron books, too, and that setting still calls to me. I don't know what it is, but the whole deal of complex national politics, diverse groups and organizations with separate goals, new takes on many of the normal D&D races and classes, and just the feel of the Eberron setting really make me want to both run and play a game in this setting.

I'm looking for a good game that involves a more Norse, Viking kind of theme. Not a game based in historical Scandinavia, but one that uses things like Vikings, runes, and traditional Scandinavian sorts of monsters to create an interesting game setting. I had contemplated this quite some time ago when I was thinking of trying to write up a setting for Magic: The Gathering's old Ice Age set, because the idea of playing in a frozen world sounded interesting to me.

Really, I just want to play in or run some sort of gamer online, so I'll take what I can get. I'm trying to recruit some friends who would be willing to play, and then maybe fill out the group with other people they know. If you have any kind of interest in playing in or running a game of any of the kinds I have described, comment here, or contact me. Even if just to talk about RPGs or video games, I'm free for discussion.