Tuesday, 10 July 2018

D&D Fourth Edition Version 2

Without wanting to eclipse an outstanding role playing system it's perfectly honourable in life to take a path forged by one's own mistakes. This by definition means that we all have skeletons in the closet and, necromancer's wardrobes notwithstanding, we should all judge things on their own merits by and large.

So for all the fanfare of 5e there is it's dark and twisted uncle that never comes down from the Attic; you know he is there and the bowl of blood you leave at the bottom of the stairs each evening is always empty in the morning. Ok, perhaps I'm stretching the analogy a little too far but basically 5e would not have happened if not for the curse of 4.

But this is not a D&D article. When Wizards of the coast changed the licensing for the new version 4, Paizo publishing lost the rights to its D&D periodicals. From that moment, Pathfinder was born. Released in 2008 it has not only curated the D&D tradition but spawned its own avid fan base as a sound system in its own right. But more than this, after a decade public play testing for Version 2 is underway. 

Paizo are aiming to smooth over some of the complexities of v1, speed up the play and clarify some options for higher level magic. Whilst its all understandably fluid at present, they are retaining their graphical heritage having confirmed their original artist Wayne Reynolds will be commissioned for the new graphics. Its should result in a very reassuring investment for fans whilst breaking new ground. Not something that  re-branding projects should just expect to work automatically...

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Sense and Predujice

This week in roleplaying news sees the eagerly awaited Jane Austin kickstarter hits its marks. Period drama is not something that particularly twists my melon and I am not sure how I would identify someone into late 19th century literature other than from heaving bosoms and an unrequited sense of longing. Last thing I longed for was a packet of Doritos and I was suitably sated by provisioning from my local co-operative. To be fair I did really engage with the Song of Ice and Fire with respect to its intrigue plots but whilst this is more medieval fantasy, social rankings are something to be constantly wary of both in terms of improving status and avoiding knives in the back. Faction standings crop up in quite a lot of systems and interestingly for Blades in the Dark, its important that your criminal gang also maintains its respect among competitors.

The producers of "Good Society" promise tales of high intrigue, sly glances and turns in the garden that capture the countenance of Jane Austen.

But intrigues of marriage and the struggles of juggling relationships are a bit too disengaging for me. They say that boys are interested in things and girls are interested in people so perhaps its a gender divide; these are not escapist concepts for me really unless they are on a space station....I would consider subscribing to Jane Austen in Space though provided airlocks were readily available.

I do quite enjoy the prose from Regency and Victorian works bar some of the mega novels such as War and Peace and Dickens can be a bit drab but in the right hands classic narrative can be captivating. Lovecraft springs to mind but in its most recent incarnation, the narrative to Darkest Dungeon is delightful.

"At last, in the salt-soaked crags beneath the lowest foundations, we unearthed that damnable portal of antediluvian evil. Our every step unsettled the ancient earth...but we were in a realm of death and madness! In the end, I alone fled laughing and wailing through those blackened arcades of antiquity...until consciousness failed me"
....and here is someone losing their mind