Welcome to the new Nerd-dom... same as the old Nerd-dom
Sitting at my computer after sleeping for 23 hours--thank you sickness for my mini vacation--I figured that I would post a small update on my latest obsession:
Dungeons & Dragons!
Yes, yes. It's hardly new. It's been around almost as long as I have. However, last year they updated the rules yet again; this time it's 4th edition. I tried my hand at 3rd edition but found it too.... much. It had too big a scope and tried to be everything. I'm sure I could have cut it down, but I just felt like there was too much minutia. Prestige classes, skill checks. I just wasn't ready for it.
For the .05 of you who don't know, Dungeons and Dragons is a Role Playing Game where you create an avatar for a high-fantasy setting. A Dungeon Master creates a basic story and the players act out that story. There are rules for how well you can swing a sword or cast a spell, which takes out the "I got you!" "No, you missed!!" aspect of the role playing games of our youth.
Some people--particularly those who love 3.0 or 3.5 edition-- hate the 4th edition rule set. "Too much like World of Warcraft" they cry. "It's just a tactical combat simulator," they moan. I agree in some regards, but that's not a bad thing. I feel that they swiped the best bits of the video game: having awesome powers available even after you use the big guns. Having big guns to begin with, and a streamlining of all the outside stuff. Roleplaying (i.e. acting) is still possible. You just don't need to role a die every time you speak.
I like using miniatures. One of the hardest things for me to get into was imagining the combat. After a while it just gets boring. With miniatures, it helps envision the drama. This will help me because I have decided that I'm going to be the DM this time. I already have most of the story, thanks to my new favorite author, Joe Abercrombie. His First Law trilogy is so engaging, so deep without being boring, I just had to pillage it's depths for it's story, which I'm going to mishmash with the Forgotten Realms setting. I'll be keeping a running update here after each play session to see how it goes.
One of the exciting bits from this is the construction I'm undertaking for the displays. I have many miniatures, but I didn't have anywhere to place them on. I bought a whiteboard at first, which will be handy on the fly, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt that it was inadequate.
Enter World Works papercraft.
Their website was amazing. The pictures seemed too good to be true, but I plucked down my 15 bucks and bought one of the settings. I recommend the terrainlinx ones because they're interchangeable and compatible with each other. I'm sure they'll release more, which will also be usable. But the biggest seller for me was that they were stackable. You could create levels... it was amazing. My skill is shite at cutting and pasting, so it won't look like the pictures, but even with my shitty construction job, it looks amazing.
I'll be playing with the other two authors on this site, as well as some of our friends. We're scheduled to play in two weeks. I'll tell you about the train wreck then.