Saturday, September 24, 2011

A few thoughts on gaming.

i know this blog is supposed to be about Dungeons and Dragons but I think I'll derail myself a bit and talk briefly on my views on the gaming industry as a whole. I think I'll start with how the gaming industry has affected me.

The first thing I want to share is my first time really and truly "gaming" long ago, at age 5 I was introduced into the yugioh card game. my brother picked up a starter deck and we began trying to figure out why we were the only ones running dark magician (in my day it had 0 support). After looking into things, we discovered that we each had our own play styles and needed different decks to suit our needs (this is indeed going somewhere) my brother Dusting chose a straight up beat-your-face-in-with-a-stick strategy involving goblin attack force, slate warrior and cards like that. I however preferred a warrior rush maximizing the capabilities of Marauding Captain, The A. Forces, and Command Knight. after a while we became quite amazing at the game and won tournaments all over with our nigh unmatched skill (I even beat a cheating opponent knowing he was cheating who had asked me before if I would cry if I lost since I was 5, after whooping his ass I asked him "you aren't going to cry right?") but before long word spread of our success and some jealous douche decided to take us down by stealing all of our cards (by now we were playing Magic the Gathering, yugioh, and Marvel Vs.) and so I needed a new time waster, hence the need to purchase a game known as Diablo 2.

In Diablo I played as a sorceress and was quite good at the game, blasting diablo himself with jets of ice and summoned creatures became so routine that we eventually needed a new game, this time it was starcraft. the same happened, we played it out and got a new game; Oblivion, and here's where the cycle ends. I LOVED oblivion and hope skyrim is just as good if not even better. Oblivion was a great game and still is, this swords and sorcery RPG had us me playing scads of different characters, each of them set up differently and none of them ever even touching on the main story line. Until one fateful day when our X box got the dreaded red rings of death. we saved the memory drive, sold it for scrap, and bought a PS 2. on this we spent many long hours playing DBZ budokai tenkaichi 3, castlevania symphony of the night, X men apocalypse... thing (can't remember the name) and other games, none of them reaching anywhere near the level of enjoyment I attained with oblivion. then came Fallout 3. arguably one of Bethesda's most popular games, but even it lacked a certain.... vibe that Oblivion gave me. i played it only long enough to escape the vault and then never touched it again. I think this was because my brother's room was "forbidden territory" at this point and I never got the chance to fall in love with this post-apocalyptic wasteland the way I fell in love with the magic of oblivion. I fell away from video gaming and began my life as a flash game nomad, wandering the websites in search of great porn games and flitting away as a bee flies to the next flower in search of nectar. I rediscovered yugioh at the best and worst of times; best because they had finally developed a new play-style: the synchro, and worst because any deck worth playing cost a minimum 3K. I stayed with friends and soon I was seen as one of the top dogs, an opponent who could worm his way out of any situation with the barest of cards; in reality, i was near the bottom of the proverbial food chain. after learning this the hard way (entering a tournament with a warrior deck i used when I was 5) I abandoned it and sought out new games, this time borderlands, Saint's row 2, and Mass Effect 2. I played them all and beat the last 2 to find that, while they were all fun, they still could not fill the oblivion left in my heart by oblivion's departure, so I bought oblivion, after a single day it was gone as well as my Xbox and my brother's games, taken to las Vegas, where it broke and was sold for scrap. and so it was that I needed another new game, something open, infinite, and ever changing. I needed *pause for dramatic effect* Minecraft. I discovered it just after the nether had been implemented and caught it just in time to buy it for only 10 euros. Immediately I saw its beauty, the endless possibilities, the stories waiting to be written, The Nyan cats that needed building. I set out, pick in hand, to build a grand city, and build I did. I toiled until beta, then I toiled some more. If I wasn't playing Minecraft I was watching X or coestar or the yogscast play minecraft (or hoping squee would) and loving every second of it. then tradgedy struck. X abandoned Minecraft and left me wondering. shortly after his departure I began to feel the same things I felt when oblivion left me; a longing to return, hope for a new game, and the need to pee. only one of those could I alleviate. I played Minecraft for updates then and hoped something could bring back the manic joy I felt when I first saw the game. but it was to no avail. Minecraft was all but gone, multiplayer brought some of it back but it was buggy, there was a griefer, and with old 1.7.3's release my server spontaneously combusted. I was left a simple you-tuber, spending my time in between X's vids, squee, coestar, and Freeman's mind. all but gone from the gaming community. with DND and Minecraft I hope to forge a link back into the gamer's world but I don't think it will be enough. my fingers are crossed that on 11/11/11 I can discover my love once more. and now my actual thoughts on the gaming industry

quite frankly, there is so much work needed everywhere. everything is just, as hootchute put it, "a re-skin of another game leeching off of its popularity" with only a few scattered exceptions, every shooter is the same, every puzzler is the same, and every "RPG" is the same. think about it; how much difference is there between the core mechanic of Halo and COD? you run around shooting people with a variety of weapons, beat the campaign once, then only ever play multiplayer which is fine. If that's what you like I don't blame you, there's a certain sense of satisfaction you get when you chop someone in half on gears of war. Thing is, I absolutely love games like Mass Effect 2. where character development is encouraged just as much as statistical development. Fable 2 touched on this with the end option, being evil but then sparing your sister was my first end game and I still think it's the most enjoyable. But oblivion barely hit this note and I still loved it. why? in a word: replayability.

replayability, the single most discouraged thing in gaming. honestly, when was the last time you had a game for even 2 years and still loved it? those games are few and far between. why? the all mighty green dollar. If you love that game so much, why buy the next one? you haven't ever explored that forest so why task yourself with exploring skyrim? it's simple fact, if you have something that lasts for 10 years you won't buy a new one for 10 years, if you have something that lasts for 1 year, you'll buy a new one in a year. It's especially prevalent with the "big daddy's" of gaming: COD, Halo, Final Fantasy and the like. they say that there will only be one more Halo game that is complete bullshit and you know it, they will NEVER stop milking that cash cow for all it's worth. Halo will be around for my grandchildren to play unless we nuke ourselves to death first (and in all likelihood we will, so then they'll just have to stick with fallout). we have come to an age where everything, not just games, are made to make the most money, not by being the best, but by SEEMING to be the best. you will buy any COD game they make, even if it's just the old one with new guns (like the last 50 have been) and love it, I don't know what people are complaining about with MW3, you should have said you don't want more COD at COD 2. and Final Fantasy, phht, must I explain that one?

so, in all honesty, I hate the gaming industry, but then again I hate most industry, it's all corrupt and scheming, so don't be surprised when you can't find this blog or me for a few months. I'll be in some brainwashing facility (heavily sarcastic, I'm not THAT kind of crazy person). however, something can be said for the rare light in these trying times, Bethesda has been my favorite gaming corporation for the longest time and remains a shining example of whet used to be, you make a game so that people love it and want more, not so that they wear it out and HAVE to buy more, and a few indie developers such as Mojang and Nitrome also represent what I find to be the last fortresses of good in this chasm we find ourselves in today.

I hope you enjoyed what I wrote and think about the type I have thoughtfully written. please note I am a counter culturalist and if I were to say any of these opinions to my principal, I'd be in a mental hospital in a heartbeat (you think I'm kidding, she literally said "either you will become like us, or we will send you away" to the school this year). this will be one of the few non-DMD posts I will make and will also be one of the longest, goodnight all. choc out.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A pleasant ride through the forest (of doom)

when last we left our heroes they had just entered the village of... uh... well I never really said what the village was called officially, we'll go with Troyarsicca. battered and broken, with their first dungeon crawl under their belts, the protagonists (and adventure whore Sovellis) were told by Urba-gro-mack, the town guard, to go to the mayors house. After meeting with the demented Mayor thuul and his completely senseless house of doors on ceilings and the magical words abracamovingvan! they had the madman convinced that sovelliss was the mayor. when from the ceiling door that wasn't there before (I've been making a chocl8215 rap so I might rhyme a lot) stepped thuul's wife, Madame nubescu (again, that's so original). She told them of a group of bandits and mercenaries who had been attacking the poor village for months now. With no military other than a simple town guard and the disgraced bastard son of a legendary knight known as Sir Reginald Grizwald III who had been drunk since he flopped into town 2 months ago, the poor village was powerless to stop them, however life goes on as our group of protagonists (and adventure whore) learned from plucky tavern owner Skippy Magere. Seemingly the only non-demented smile in town, Skippy traded a rare bottle of wine to the players for a moonstone they had found previously. They met Sir Grizwald III and after a brief drunken chat, he agreed to aid the players on their quest. with this in mind the protagonists (and A.W.) returned to Madame Nubescu who had restored Thuul's sanity (for now). she told them of a kobold keep where they could take out the supplies of the bandits. They "borrowed" some old Mares to haul the equipment and food and set out. After a week of scorpions, goblin snipers, and wiping one's ass with leaves our heroes found themselves at the entrance to the keep. The kobolds had prepared for this and, in true kobold fashion, had set traps for them. as of now the only one discovered was a poorly concealed nut checker which would have crushed the loins of whoever was unfortunate enough to activate it. They foolishly activated it using Manishtu's mage's hand power, thinking they were smart to find it was all a ruse, the trap was connected to a massive bell which alerted anything within a mile's radius of their presence. after Grizwald proved his worth by smashing down the door in, Hessakhan grabbed a flickering torch and descended into the foul smelling keep of the koblods.

and that, my dear readers, is where the week's adventures come to a close. be sure to stop by next friday night for another segment of: THE CHRONICLES OF THE P.A.A.W. (protagonists and adventure whore)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

an introduction to my new blog and character creation

Hello whatever tiny sect of the world one day reads this. I am chocl8215 and I'm a nerd. just wanted to make that extremely eidetic (yeah, chris you might have tenebrous but I got eidetic. WHAT!) though i think you may have figured it out since this whole blog will be about a DND adventure I'm DMing with help from my co-DM Chris, who you may know as hootchute. you may call me choc or Jack whichever you prefer and I feel I must give you the official squee913 warning: MAY CAUSE FACEPALMING. now that you have been sfficiently warned of the ineptitude of my compatriots I believe we can begin with their introductions.

First we have Hessakhan (or Jamey) a noble dragonborn paladin.
strengths: amazing damage absorption, of high moral standard, healing
weaknesses: almost always nut-checkable.

second up is... erm... well I don't know his character name but it begins with a T.... hmm. whatever his name is philip.
strengths: damage dealing, damage taking, attempts everything that might work.
weaknesses: his ideas almost never do work.

thirdly we have my and good friend Sovellis the eladrin warlord
strengths: healing powers, pelvic thrusting
weaknesses: whores out to half-orcs

and last (but certainly not least) is Nosferatuu the shardmind wizard. (aka david, goku, gorrilla grod, grape ape, fat albert, sir jigglesworth, the star spangled banner, janemba, and morbidly obese albert)
strengths: summoning magical penises, use of flaming sphere
weaknesses: magical penises are quite useless actually.

and so the spic saga begins. I told this story to my players to get them raring to go for the game:


After you left your disgraced clan you wandered the woods for a few months, not knowing where you were and all the while wondering what has happened to your clan. Eventually you met an Eladrin by the name of [insert Chris’s name here] who told you of his journey, you were together for less than a week when, as you were sleeping, slavers netted you and took you to a ramshackle coliseum. There [insert Chris’s name here] and you were separated. It has been over a year since you saw each other but your life has been all right since then. You are fed 3 hearty meals a day, treated somewhat fairly, and have the honor of facing the toughest fighters they have captured. Recently a dragonborn was taken; they say he took down 3 slavers before knocked unconscious by a blow to the head from a sap. Today you are to fight him, but earlier today you saw was has become of [insert Chris’s name here]. The torment he has been put through has awoken the beast within you, and your rage has never been more heightened. Tonight, after killing this dragonborn, you will get him and escape this hell hole.


For several years now, you wandered the forests as a nomad, almost forgetting your leadership skills but never the haunting memories of the day your parents were killed by Fomorians. Recently you stumbled upon a Minotaur, with whom you graciously allied, eager for a companion. Soon thereafter you were captured by slavers and tested of your strength. Having had little practice with a club, you were mercilessly beaten by your half-orc opponent and thrown in a windowless cell. You were rarely taken out to fight but you practiced your skills with many weapons each day, as your captives would give you whatever weapon you preferred to practice with but gave you a random and shoddy weapon to fight with. Because you rarely fought, your meals – when they came at all – were skimpy, consisting mainly of wilted fruits and rat meat. You were occasionally beaten because you still retained the ideals of your noble parents; unfortunately one of those ideals was to never let anyone tell you what to do. It has been a year since you saw your companion but you cracked a few days ago and gave in to their sick games. For this obedience you have been allowed to watch the greatest fight they have put on; a spectacle between a dragonborn and your Minotaur companion, the only question is whether or not you will want to see what has become of him.


Ever since you left the monastery, you have explored dank dungeons, crumbling arkhosian ruins, and other depraved places. But you were recently ambushed while travelling. Several assailants tried to capture you, and were it not for a lucky blow to the skull, they would have. However you went out in true Dragonborn Fashion, slaying three of them and wounding 4 others. You have been taken to a coliseum and stripped of all your possessions, namely your weapon and armor. For your first fight, you are to face a Minotaur with a shabby bronze sword and no armor besides a filth encrusted loincloth.


You have finally awoken but you found yourself in a dark, small box; feeling claustrophobic, you opened the box, to be smacked on the head with a blackjack. You awake again to find that your head hurts, you can’t concentrate, and you have been locked in a cell suspended above water brimming with pirhannas. Some rather rude creatures explain to you that this is where they store what they call “big game” what this means you have no idea, but you have a feeling of dread that you can’t shake. You hear them speak of a “grand spectacle” tonight between two bestial creatures, but have little clue what they mean. Little do they know, however, that these bars will not hold you for long.

explanations of anything upon request, also I noticed that Jamey's story was leaving out a very important detail; on his first true adventure Hessakhan discovered a gleaming steel hilt of a sword, emblazoned with his family's crest but without the head of Bahamut (the noble dragon god) and instead with the head of Io (the original dragon god, from which were spawned Bahamut and Tiamat who is the bitchy evil dragon goddess)

now for the story so far: after a few rounds of heated combat, in which Hessakhan foolishly wasted his daily power on uh... we'll call Philip's character Mr. T for now. he realized that this minotaur was acting this way because he... okay biscuit please stop distracting me with your puppy dog eyes and your little wet nose and your AWWWWWW SHE'S SO CUTE!.. ahem.. back to DND. (she really is cute) because he was enraged at something else, after Hessakhan brought him out of this delirium with some quick words, they began a poorly concieved attempt to rescue Soveliss from his cage (which was on the floor of the coliseum and connected to the exit.... rather poor design choice but hey, it works normally.) after several failed attempts to bash down the bars the crown began hurling rocks at them all the while Soveliss's guard was distracted by several minutes of pelvic thrusting on Sovellises part. After destroying the bars, killing the guard, and being pelted with debris, they went down a hatch to the blood-works (cause that's original) where they killed 2 more guards, retrieved their equipment, and saved Nosferatu. in an attempt to place the guard in Nosferatu's cage (which was suspended above a tank full of piranhas) they accidentally dropped the poor son-of-a-bitch into the waters where he was quickly devoured, were it not for the steadying hand of Hesskhan though, Mr T. would have certainly met the same fate. after Nosferatu found a magical crystal staff they battled their first mini-boss, a gnoll archer who pelted them with arrows and nearly killed Mr. T, Hessakhan found a new sword, this one enchanted to inflict frost damage and even slow its target. as well as some healing potions which were quickly consumed by Soveliss as he was pussying his way across an 80-foot long bridge to freedom whilst being attaked by blood hawks and arbalesters (a golem-like creature that fires massive arrows from it's back, it is shaped like a crossbow with legs) with guidance from Hessakhan and food from Mr. T the party made their way to the nearby village of Troyarsicca, where without Hessakhan's staying hand Soveliss would have made 50 gold from performing fillaschio on the half orc guard stationed there. and that, my dear readers, is where this week ends.