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Archive for March, 2012

I’m playing through Baldur’s Gate, and decided to blog about it.

http://balanpshaw.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/hello-world/

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http://www.baldursgate.com/news/2012/03/15/announcing-baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition/

It’s the “Enhanced Edition”, and from what I’m reading, the “enhanced” part is primarily the graphics.  Here is enworld’s discussion page: http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/319755-baldurs-gate-countdown-ends-baldur-s-gate-enhanced-edition-summer-2012-a.html

They’re keeping the 2nd edition rules; one can surmise that making the game use a different ruleset would require voluminous amounts of work.  However, it would have been nice to see Baldur’s Gate updated to the 4e ruleset.  It would have been nice to see a competently-made CRPG using the actual 4e ruleset at all, especially since 4e was “just like a video game.”

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They’re here.  Free of charge, no less, although it would probably be to one’s advatage to fork over the ten bucks for a PDF.

Years ago, before 4th edition came out, I scanned through one of the 3rd edition books and wondered, “How in the world can this ever be fun?”  The rules had mutated into a monstrous thing, accessible only to people who had already devoted time to specialise in “D&D rules” knowledge.  4th edition reworked the rules, and made the game one that can be enjoyed without being a “munchkin”.  Pathfinder is said to be D&D version 3.75, and the production values, I’ll admit, are superior to that of Wizard of the Coast’s 4th edition (I’m a big fan of Wayne Reynold’s artistic style, and Paizo uses his artwork more frequently than WotC).

But the rules!  Holy cow, they’ll give you a headache if you aren’t an idiot savant with a penchant for complex and intricate rules systems.

I’m a bit jaded that no one took the 4th edition rules (you know, the set of rules that was tailor-made for video games) and made a video game using them.  There were a few half-hearted attempts, but they tended to ignore the actual 4e rules and put in rather their own set of rules.  I have both Baldur’s Gate games, both Icewind Dale games, and both Neverwinter Nights games, and I have no desire to play any of them anymore, because the 4th edition rules (especially the “Essentials” line) are manifestly superior.  Ah, well; perhaps someday I’ll get my ducks in a row, learn to program, and make a “rogue-like” or something…

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Good Music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91V9yveSmQU

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www.enworld.org has a good rundown of everything we know about D&D Next so far.

 

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The haters are certainly enjoying themselves.  The announcement of 5th edition after a run of only 3 and a half years means that they were “proven” right that 4th Edition of D&D is/was a “disaster”.  Perhaps it was, from a marketing standpoint.  But 4th edition was a superior product, especially the “Essentials” line, over everything that was produced prior (up to and including the “3.75 edition” that is Pathfinder).

Part of the reason for the hate, in my opinion, was due to the psychological reasons some people play D&D.  D&D, and role-playing games in general, are in the “nerd” domain of social categories.  Jocks don’t play it, preferring to play (or watch) some sort of competitive athletic endeavor.  Both nerds and jocks are represented in the game, however, in the form of wizards and fighters, respectively.  Now, prior to 4th edition, one only played a fighter (stupid jock) in order to get the gist of the game, whereupon one moved naturally to some sort of spellcaster class.  While the jock had the upper hand initially, it was the wizard who reigned supreme by the end.  It was an emotionally satisfying theme for nerds who live in a world apparently ruled by jocks.  4th Edition changed that; it “balanced” the classes, and sharpened the delineation between each class’ role.  Fighters suddenly weren’t merely the “meat shield”, the stupid jock that the smart wizard sent to distract the enemy (usually also a smart wizard; seriously, could a dumb jock ever really be a threat in a world infused with magic?) while he prepared his devastating list of spells.  At even higher levels, the fighter was relegated to the status of adornment; he only hung around because the wizard (who no longer needed him because his magic was so powerful) allowed him to.  The nerd is not cooler than the jock.  4th edition changed the situation; even at high levels, the wizard still had to depend on teammates to get the job done.  That was, to say the least, unacceptable.  Wizards (nerds) rule and Fighters (jocks) drool!

5th edition will probably change that situation, and wizards will again be able to become all-powerful, and fighters will again be relegated to being a wizard’s status symbol; one of the bevy of fawning fans of the cool wizard guy.

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If you haven’t read “The Order of the Stick” comic (hereafter known as “The Greatest Comic Strip Evar!!), then you may begin here.  It’s up to comic #842 now (but if you are not already a reader, please go back and begin at the beginning here; seriously, you don’t want to spoil some very nice plot twists), and the latest comic, in my opinion, demonstrates the importance of the Scriptural mandate to leave vengeance to God.

In addition, Rich Burlew (the comic’s author), has mandated a very strict “no politics” rule in the comic’s forums, although he hasn’t necessarily kept it out of his comic (there was a dig at “Fox News” in one, and the goblin leader rode around on a large red elephant).  Still, today’s comic has a very sublte but poignant message about what lengths are appropriate to attain security for one’s family and friends…and nation.

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