Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Chicken Soup for the Beer Drinker

Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver." – Jack Handy

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.
– Frank Sinatra

The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk, they're sober.
– William Butler Yeats

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
– Ernest Hemingway

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
– Ernest Hemingway

Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time.
– Catherine Zandonella

Reality is an illusion that occurs due to lack of alcohol.
– Anonymous

Drinking provides a beautiful excuse to pursue the one activity that truly gives me pleasure, hooking up with fat, hairy girls.
– Ross Levy

A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her.
– W.C. Fields

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?
– Tee Mans

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
– Henny Youngman

Life is a waste of time, time is a waste of life, so get wasted all of the time and have the time of your life.
– Michelle Mastrolacasa

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
– Tom Waits

24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?
– Stephen Wright

When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. Sooooo, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!
– Brian O'Rourke

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.
– Frank Zappa

Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.
– Winston Churchill

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
– Benjamin Franklin

If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose.
– Deep Thought, Jack Handy

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
– Dave Barry

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.
– Humphrey

Sunday, November 24, 2002

What's Up?

Currently reading: A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (I've been putting off reading the whole Wheel of Time series in one go...)
Currently playing (PSX): Arc the Lad (from the Arc the Lad Collection CDs)
Currently playing (PC): Shining Force (well, actually, on an Sega Genesis emulator called GENS)
Currently waiting for: The Two Towers motion picture (who isn't?)
Currently taking up: Master of Science in Computer Science, Cognate in Information Technology (if all goes well, I should have the degree by October 2003...)

Game on, all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Retrogaming SNES

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals

Just finished this great game. At first, I was a bit skeptical about the whole game, mainly because they revised the battle system and made quite a few changes here and there. Now, having spent about 90 hours finishing the game (that's about 60 hours of actual storyline and nearly 30 hours spent in the 99-level Ancient Cave minigame), I can say that Lufia II truly is a sequel worthy of the Lufia name.

The battle system benefitted from the addition of the IP system (Item or Ikari Points; not sure which) which assigned different special abilities to all the weapons and other gear that the characters can equip. They trigger these IP abilities by spending from their IP Gauge which is a expressed as a percentage. Their IP Gauge increases as they get damaged, the amount gained depends upon the character's GUT attribute. So a whole new dimension is added to gameplay because sometimes you'd have to pick between a better item with a crappy or even no IP ability, or a lesser one that has a very useful IP ability. Sometimes, proper management of a character's various IP Abilities can make the difference in winning a tough battle.

Another notable change is the increased amount of puzzles (called "tricks" by the translation team) present in dungeons. Lufia 1's dungeons featured a rudimentary form of puzzle, implemented via switches that open new areas as well as teleporters that move the heroes to otherwise inaccessible places. Lufia II took those puzzles to a new level. Blocks that must be arranged in a certain order, pillars that must be moved, and many other new dungeon elements add to the gameplay. Instead just hacking their way through the dungeon until they get to the final boss, Maxim and his companions had to solve the dungeon's puzzles. Most of the puzzles are of easy to medium difficulty (thank the designers) though I've been stumped for a few hours by one or two tough ones. Also hidden in one of the final dungeons is an optional killer puzzle they call "The Most Difficult Trick In The World" which actually took me a whole weekend to figure out (I was so frustrated about it, I almost surfed for a gamefaq).

With the various puzzles sprinkled through its dungeons, Lufia II has changed its encounter system. Back in the previous game, you'd have encounters every few steps in the dungeon. Now, Lufia II's dungeons featured monsters that walk in the room, which means you can avoid them if you don't want a fight. And who wants to fight when you're too busy trying to figure out that pesky puzzle?

To aid the heroes bypass the obstacles in dungeons as well as solve certain puzzles, you find several "tools", starting with the Arrow, which can trigger switches from afar as well as immobilize monsters it hits. You'll find more as the game progresses: the Bomb, which can be used to collapse certain parts of the wall, as well as blast weeds apart; the Hook, which can be used to get the heroes across chasms and pits; and many more. These definitely add to the gameplay, incorporating a Zelda-like dungeon action.

Graphics are better than the first, and is definitely quite top-notch as far as SNES goes. Heck, sometimes, it even looks better than Square's Final Fantasy VI! However, the translation team goofed up somewhere, resulting in a couple of messed-up areas (Level B99 of the Ancient Cave where you fight the Master, and the Submarine Shrine where Maxim tries to get the Dual Blade). I don't actually go for graphics as far as games go, but a bug is a bug, and it's really annoying. Kudos for the Sinistrals though. They've never been more larger than life than ever.

Story-wise you get the standard console RPG romp through the world's various continents, fetching this McGuffin and delivering it back to whoever wants it, or just going through dungeons to get to the next town. What makes it enjoyable is all that Lufia heart. This is Lufia and the Fortress of Doom's prequel. It tells the story of that hero Maxim, the final tragic chapter of which we witnessed in the prologue to Lufia I. There are certain sequences that made me smile, and one that almost made me cry. This is epic heroic fantasy at its best.

Lufia II is a very different game from its predecessor, but it is these same changes that enhanced it, making it perhaps the greatest console RPG on the SNES.

Fudge Ratings (Scale of -3 to +3)
Gameplay: Great (+2)
Graphics: Great (+2)
Story: Superb (+3)

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Back to the Future...

Hey, all... Just got back from Friday night gimmick.

I've realized all these search for niftiness is preventing me from releasing actual content. I'm going to have to put on hold my plans for a site facelift and start writing the meaty stuff. Random Punk will always remain my vent for new ideas, insights, and experiences. I'll rave and rant, express my emotions--the works.

Also, I'd like to announce that I'll be opening a new blog for my serialized story... an anthology of sorts with an over-arcing epic storyline tentatively titled Fate and Fortune: The Trials of Light and Darkness. I'm just finalizing the series bible/notes a bit before I launch it into the fray. I'm excited with this project, and it will be dedicated to my muse. I've finally found her again.

Game on, all... stay tuned.

Friday, November 15, 2002

New Thingies On My Bloggie...

Well... not really. Just added a site tracker to count the readers of my li'l blog here. There's also a guestmap—which is something like a guestbook except you sign on a map. These two new gadgets are courtesy of bravenet which also has a nifty button at the bottom right.

I'm still debating over getting a messageboard and stuff to allow for greater interaction between you and me, but for now that's it...

Game on, all!

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Unsealing the Chamber of Secrets...

Got to see the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber Secrets as it opened on local big screens today.

It was a great movie, highlighting most of the events from the book, and a few times at least, managed to convey the same grim and eerie atmosphere of Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts.

The book was spookier, in my humble opinion, though I'm thinking this can be more ascribed to my propensity to let my imagination run wild. Also, the exclusion of certain scenes from the book may also have contributed to the movie's lesser fear factor. Then again, this could have been the intent of the producers who are, obviously, aiming for a younger target audience. The tragedy of the various petrified victims and the suspense of impending doom, while given screen time and scenic development (no matter how brief), was certainly downplayed in the movie.

I am well aware of the various differences between the books and films, and the obligatory "loss" of data as one converts from one media to the other. Still, if it had been my movie, I'd really try to include every scene from the book, though, admittedly, that might make the movie a bit on the dragging side.

Anyway, to each his own, and the Chris Columbus has once again delivered a superb adaptation, as well as a worthy sequel to the first Harry Potter film. I've heard somewhere that he won't be helming the next Harry Potter movie anymore. Let's hope he handles Harry Potter 3 with as much mastery of the craft as Columbus did, if not more.

Sadly, Richard Harris, the sterling gentleman who played Albus Dumbledore, also won't be able to re-join the cast. He will surely be missed.

Game on, all.

Niftiness...

I'm messing with the site code, so Random Punk's going to look weird at times in the next day or so. Right now, I've gotta go and get some sleep.

Game on, all...

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Console RPGs 2...

I'm currently playing through Lufia II: The Rise of the Sinistrals right now, having just finished the first installment one or two weeks ago. So far it's a fun game, with more gameplay elements added (particularly the Ikari/Item Point system which is like a sort of Limit Break available in most equipment), as well as the random 99-level Ancient Dungeon challenge (which I've been through twice already, burning up a total of 26 hours of my playing time; don't have any plans to go back yet as I've finally managed to defeat the Boss on Level B99).

As its subtitle suggests, Lufia II tells the story of the Sinistrals' rise to power, as well as that of a young hero called Maxim, and how both were connected by the mysterious but powerful Dual Blade. Yep, it's a prequel. Finally, you'd get to know how Maxim began his adventuring, fillinf in all the blanks in between until the final battle on Doom Island (which was featured in the first Lufia game).

I'll be adding my review and ratings (in Fudge, once again) when I finish this wonderful game. In the meantime, game on, all.

Console RPGs

Last month was the first time I've played the classic SNES RPG, Lufia and the Fortress of Doom. It had a solid design: gameplay was enjoyable if not a bit simpler than most of its contemporaries, graphics was sufficient and I guess is quite standard for early games on the SNES (the cutesy art style is a plus as well), and the soundtrack evoked feelings of heroism, plunging the listener into a world filled with magic, mayhem, and monsters.

The story few twists to vary the standard fantasy console RPG fare, but all told, in its time, the game would have stood up to other RPGs (particularly the fan-favorite Final Fantasy IV to VI which were also first released on the SNES). Lufia's epic story opens up with the final battle of Doom Island: the great hero Maxim, his wife Selan, the warrior Guy, and the elf Artea. Together the four friends took the fight into the bowels of the Fortress of Doom and confronted the four Sinistrals, evil beings of god-like power. As the battle ended, the Fortress collapsed around them and Doom Island crashed into the oceans. Artea and Guy were the only ones to make it out, Maxim having chosen to stay by his wife's side. Then, the game fast-forwards almost a hundred years into the future and the new hero, a descendant of Maxim, starts his epic journey.

The dungeons were quite old school and featured extensive twists and turns. Enemies often attacked, but the combat is usually quick: most of the time taking but 2 or 3 rounds of Lufia's turn-based system. Boss battles are a different matter all together, as they will surely wipe-out an ill-prepared party of adventurers which has not leveled up sufficiently. Most of the quests merely involved travelling to the next town and dungeon, but at several points you'd have to backtrack to a previous town to complete a quest.

Lufia and the Fortress of Doom is a game that you should have played if you fancy yourself a fan of console RPGs. For me, it handles its own respectively enough even when confronted with the other "classics" that always spring to mind when SNES RPGs are talked about: Breath of Fire I and II, Chrono Trigger, the Dragon Quest series, and the Final Fantasy series. Here's a summary of Lufia's Fudge ratings. The ratings are based on my feeling that RPGs should have a top-notch story and/or gameplay first and foremost, rather than breath-taking graphics (which, if good, does add more enjoyment, but cannot really help improve poor story or gameplay).

Lufia and the Fortress of Doom: Great Story, Great Gameplay, Great Graphics.
(rated according to Fudge's seven-scale system going from Terrible [-3] to Superb [+3])

Monday, November 11, 2002

Rabies


Take the Affliction Test Today!

How Dumb Am I?


How dumb are you?

Colossal Death Robots Are Da Bomb


Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?

It Begins Again

Second sem starts today. I've got a pretty light schedule set up for this sem: 9-10:00am Wednesdays is Graduate Seminar, 7-10:00am Fridays is Special Topics, and everything else is time for my Master's Thesis. I'm writing the proposal this sem though I don't have any idea as of yet what my topic will be.

The d20 Modern SRD just got released! I'm still waiting for my copy of the actual d20 Modern RPG to arrive by mail but judging from a skim through the SRD, the rules rock! Now, if only I've got actual time to game... *whine*

Also, looking forward to seeing the second Harry Potter movie when it opens here this Wednesday. Already got the date reserved for some quality time with the S.O. Now the next movie I'll be waiting for after Harry Potter is The Two Towers. Woohoo! It is a good time to be a fantasy lover indeed.

Well, that all for now. Game on, all!

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

A Gold Dragon Lies Beneath!

I took the Inner Dragon online quiz and found out I am a Gold Dragon on the inside. My Inner Dragon is the most honorable of all. Golds are the third rarest of all the dragons (after Platinum and Chromatic dragons) and have a station in society that reflects their rarity. I am what one might call a Draconic Knight. Golds live by a strict code of chivalry and commitment. Remember Draco? Yep, Gold Dragon. My appearance is fearsome and all-mighty but I'd never stoop so low as to bring any harm to a human. I'm one of only two dragon types that are aligned "Lawful Good" and demonstrate great magical proficiency. My piety, beauty, wisdom, and inner strengrth are absolutely without parallel.

Of course, being a Gold Dragon isn't all high ethics and codes. I like to fly around scaring things, advise humans in their affairs, and shapeshift. Strike that, I LOVE to shapeshift. And I'm great at it. In fact, who's to say I'm not really a Gold Dragon after all? My favorable attributes are honor, truth, kindness, gold, wisdom, bravery, and trustworthiness. If anyone threatens or tries to kill me, I could strike back with my breath weapon - Fire. But then, no one's tried anything that stupid in the last couple thousand years. After all, I'm about 54 feet long.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Nearing the end of days, v.1.2

Good day, all.

Well, I'm finally beginning to see light at the end of this dark tunnel I'm in. Tomorrow's the last day of exams, and also the due date for my IT 210 project. Anyway, I wish I make it through. Just a little more...

Oh right. I picked up a package containing Forgotten Realms Faiths & Pantheons® today at the post office. It seems to have arrived at Oct. 2 according to the postmark. Sheeesh. Amazon.com told me it shipped in July 15. It took something like 2½ months. Hold on. That's normal, I think. Anyway, it's better than having to shell out the extra bucks for a faster shipping rate.

May finally get time to do some gaming this coming weekend. A few days ago, when I re-installed Win9x on my old box, I stupidly forgot to backup a handful of key files. To add insult to injury, one of those files that are now lost forever are my RPG campaign notes, saved up as a MyInfo 1.93 outline. I've just realized this as I install MyInfo 2.03. Now I'm paying attention to where my outline files are actually being saved. I highly recommend MyInfo 2 for everyone who'd like a great productivity tool. I find very helpful in organizing my thoughts especially when I write. You can download a trial version over at the Mylenix website. The only down-side is that it's trialware, unlike MyInfo 1.x which was freeware. Personally, I'm willing (and did) pay to register the product...

Well... that's all for now.

Game on, all.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Retro-Gaming

Hey, all.

I'm kind of still tied up with end-of-sem issues. (I'll be really glad when this sem's over...) That is why I've once again browsed the 'Net for some games. I've collected a handful too. Mostly abandonware stuff from www.the-underdogs.org. But these are prime stuff.

First of all, Deadly Rooms of Death. This is a very addictive and fun puzzle game. Basically, there's this guy with a sword who's been charged to exterminate the monstrous pests in the King's dungeons. You've got to help him point his sword and slay the ever-advancing horde of monsters while maneuvering out of their way. I've only gone down to the 3rd level in the dungeon, and I'm already having some difficulty with some of the puzzles. Still, hacking and slashing is fun! Anyway, it's freeware (used to be shareware), runs on Windows 9x (I think there's some ports to most common OSes), and doesn't require much in the way of system resources. Add all those up and you've got a superb time-passer.

Next are a trio of console RPGs from Squaresoft for the SNES: Bahamut Lagoon, Live A Live, and Treasure Hunter G. These three games didn't get translated to English, but thanks to one of the many fan-translation group (to all translation groups: You rock!), can now be played by non-Japanese-speaking players. The three games are very un-Final-Fantasy-like in terms of feel as well as the combat system, which uses movement grids, and being different from Square's usual offering is part of their strengths. I'm itching to play through each of them in earnest as soon as I find myself with lots of free time. BTW I'm using the ZSNES emulator, which is perhaps the best emulator out there.

[More later... I've got to go. Sorry!]

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Re-installation Blues

(Or, Well, What Do You Know, There's Wisdom In Back-Ups After All...)

Just when I'm feeling starting to feel good about finally getting around to cleaning my PC--reformatting, re-installing, and stuff... that's just when I remember I forgot to backup a handful of key files: my MyInfo data files (heaps upon heaps of notes ranging from my short stories to my RPG campaign logs). Darn it! I just hope I did accidentally back them up along with all the stuff in my Documents back-up. Unless MyInfo saved them in its own program folder, in which case they're now one of the lost wonders of the universe...

Game on, all; I have to restart my 'puter...

Friday, October 4, 2002

Yet Another Thought From The Grave

The final entry made in the same file as my previous two posts is lighter in tone, talking about a subject I'm quite fond of: Dungeons & Dragons. It seems to have been written at a time when I've just completed the three core rulebooks of the new third edition D&D. The first book, Player's Handbook, released in August of 2000, with Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual following in the next two months. I think the reason why this was written in early December was because of the fact that I had to order my copies from amazon.com and shipping here took all of six weeks! Well, here's the excerpt, without further ado:

WARNING: The following post contains foul and offensive language and ideas. Reader discretion is advised.

[From the Microsoft Word document, C:\My Documents\Bong\thoughts and memories\FUCK 'EM ALL.doc]

[begin excerpt--being the third and final entry in the file mentioned above; written a day before my band's four-song set at a punk rock/hardcore gig somewhere in San Pablo City, Laguna.]

December 3, 2000 ... 11:52 pm

Got all of the Dungeons and Dragons 3E core rulebooks! Man, this Third Edition of an already awesome game truly rocks! Got to try it out first when I got the Player's HandBook a couple of months back. Of course, our ongoing 2nd Ed. campaign (Against the Giants) was put on hold until I've gotten all 3 core books. Now, that the Monster Manual has arrived, the Hall of the Fire Giant King will never be the same again.

It's a bit harder to adjucate some game functions now, but it's just probably because I haven't really taken the time to read the whole PHB. A few pages here and there, just enough to know the basic concepts and, of course lots of Internet research to sort out the Attacks of Opportunity rules. Now there might be some trouble with those rules as well as the newly installed 'actions' system. Maybe I just need a good DMG's Screen… For one thing, Surprise rarely happens now with no longer simple d10 rolls doing the job – it's been integrated into the Skill system with opposed Spot/Hide checks.

I have to read up on the core books. As such, looking up rules take too much time. We've had about two sessions with our high-level Giants campaign. The first one was really tedious and spent primarily on 2 combats. Giants average a hundred and more hit points and since I have not converted the module to 3E entirely, I'm taking the average for each Giant. Hmm… This could be the reason why the sessions ran too long. Our second session ran faster in my opinion though we only had time for two combats, on account of two of my players have commitments early the next morning.

Things I have to do, look up, and/or remember:

1. Ready stats for monsters the PC spellcasters are now fond of summoning (Lilandra, Battlemaiden of Torm; Eilesseire, female human Evoker; Eris Glamer the Bard).
2. Convert stats for the giants and drow… keeping previous editions' proportions/conventions as much as possible.
3. Make more sense out of the spot/hide surprise rule and note it.
4. Read more on actions (partial, full-round, standard, etc.)
5. Fire Damage (specifically oil) for use on Trolls (I think I went easy on my players last session by allowing a one-round flask of oil burn a poor troll to the ground)
6. Read more on skills and think of ways to make each skill useful during the course of a single session (well, as much as possible)
7. Read more of the DMG and MM, as well as finish a full-read of the PHB.

Well, now more than ever D&D is my life and nothing can ever change that, barring a really hot and cool chick landing in my arms. I'm a very contented guy.

I don't know any cool chicks. I've met some girls that would pass for hot-looking in a pinch but I always discover something about the girl that turns me right off. Off the top of my head, I could think of only one girl I'd rather be with and that's Aya. My love. My life. But she's not mine now. But what I would not give to make her mine once more. Ahh, well. No one ever said finding the Holy Grail would be easy.

So that's it for now. Christmas is coming on in about 3 weeks. I may be losing work starting January next year. But those thoughts are for the future, and I've always been one for living in the present. We'll cross those bridges when we get there. I always could pass through even the tiniest crack.

Looking back at my last update, I'm surprised. I think I've made a few comments between now and the last one, but I seem to have lost it. Maybe I entered them in another file or something.

Anyway, see you later.

[end excerpt]


Hmm. That was interesting. For one, I seemed to have remembered to take medication. ; ) Though there's still that annoying sexually-repressed thought-wandering to nubile women. Just broke up with Aya then. At least, I did manage to complete most of the tasks I set out for me regarding D&D. Most of my D&D journal entries has since been entered into the wonderful MyInfo program which I urge you all to check out. I'm still using it for my D&D campaign notetaking and stuff. Definitely a cool download, even for non-D&D record keeping.

Anyway, that's all for that file. Maybe I'll post a short story or two next, but that's for another day. I've procrastinated for more than four hours already, and I've got an exam on E-Commerce in less than 24 hours.

Until next post, game on all of you, and prosper...

Thursday, October 3, 2002

A Recently-Exhumed Thought

As promised, here's the next installment of my Thoughts rant journal, taken from the same file as the one before. This one's actually dated. It seems I suddenly realized back then how good it would be to freeze these things in time. Note also that this was written on a Sunday (early morning) and before Valentine's Day. I had no significant other that time, having broken up with her little more than a month from the time of writing. As I write the rant, she has been married for all of one week. This rant covers more topics other than my sexually-repressed state, discussing among other things, religion, women's lib, and the obligatory anti-Erap sentiment...

WARNING: The following post contains foul and offensive language and ideas. Reader discretion is advised.

[From the Microsoft Word document, C:\My Documents\Bong\thoughts and memories\FUCK 'EM ALL.doc]

[begin excerpt--being the second entry in the file mentioned above]

Feb. 13, 2000 (Sunday)

It's 12:56 AM. Just finished watching Royal Rumble. Man, the match between Folley and Triple H was a literal bloodfest! Woo-hoo! Now if they could just show some real-life killing or maybe some real-life sex. But I guess people just aren't mature enough nor enlightened enough to accept such things. Me, I'm way past enlightenment and on the way to immortality.

Godhood. It befits me, and once I achieve it, I shall make more than quite a few changes around here. First off, fuck all religions. They're a waste of time and restrict humanity too much. Wussy Catholics, stupid Muslims, whiny Satanists, everyone--you're all going to have to let go.

On atheism, I can't say I don't believe a higher Power/Being/Asshole exists. I think there is a God, to put it one way. But the fact is: God isn't dead; he just doesn't give a damn about you anymore! Well, if you ask me, God's better off dead. It makes no god-damned difference!

How did I manage to make this intellectual and logical jump in reasoning? Simple. Let's cut out the most common and very wrong assumption that everything is foreordained by your god. The truth is: everything is random! Good things happen to bad people. Deal with that! Bad things happen to good people. Deal with that!

Another thing that pisses me off are the multitudes of simpletons out there who consider anyone not going to church or not following a socially-mainstream religion as Satanists. I can't begin to explain just how wrong you really are. But what can I expect? Stupid God, stupid followers. Until now, I've been wondering about the phrase, "created in His image". Your God/Allah/Buddha/Satan/anito/Bathala/ Kami/etc. must be a real loser, losers!

Okay. Let me explain. To believe in Satan is to believe in God. One cannot exist without the other. Satan and God are like your left and right ass cheeks; only difference is, they're in the Bible. So, since I don't care about God and any of his other (equally repulsive) representations in other, stupider religions, I don't believe in Satan or Lucifer or Old Scratch or whatever name he goes by in other religions.

Now, let's go to women. I am a man. And all you Women's Lib whores out there can go and suck my penis. Because whoever owns the phallic symbol is master of everyone else who don't. Because women are the weaker sex. Come on, our ancestors, barbarians and backward fools though they may be, definitely knew the natural law and that it is that women are used only for producing whelps and keeping house. Besides, that's the only things they're good for. Not much good anywhere else.

Case in point: one of the ex-presidents of the cursed land of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino. The bitch almost ruined the country! When she left, everyone rejoiced, and have been happy until that Putang-ina, Erap Estrada sat on the throne (Okay let me answer a few questions from the public and dish out some Philippine trivia for all you foreign fucks, as well as all the brain-dead Pinoys, which numbers closely equal to the current total population of the Philippines, out there: putang-ina is Filipino--that's what the Pinoys call their primitive excuse for a dialect--for son-of-a-bitch. [Of course, a more direct translation would be something like yo mama's a whore-Ed.] Yes, that's the President's first name, Putang-ina Erap Estrada. He's the latest in a long line of same-named Presidents, which began with Putang-ina Emilio Aguinaldo, the original dumbass himself. And yes, he doesn't mind the negative connotations because when used on him, putang-ina actually becomes a fine compliment).

By the way, women know your place in life. And that's behind a man, serving and living for him. Personally, I detest the idea of living with a woman as a wife or even a girlfriend. I see women as they really are: a curvaceous walking pile of mammary glands and vagina and asshole, nothing more. Women have no right to demand commitment from you. They should wait somewhere out of the way patiently until you feel like fucking something or you need them to cook or clean or ready your things. Women are nothing but possessions. And all cunts supporting Women's Liberation (probably mankind's lamest idea since Christianity; but there are a handful of other close contenders), you bitches can't do a thing about it, so take my advice:

Spread those legs and beg, whore!


[end excerpt]

Wow. I must really be angry that time. Women especially took a hard beating, it seems. Please note again, that the excerpts reflect only the author's thoughts and feelings at a frozen point in time. Perhaps, I agreed with them in that exact same moment in the past as my fingers flew over the keyboard in a feverish attempt to record the massive wars in my head, but the same can't be true now. Times change, people don't. I am not posting these rants because I'm proud of them. I'm posting them as a personal reminder of where I've gone before.

Coming up is the third and final entry in that file. It's such a short-lived journal. I'll post it after this. It's not actually a rant, more like a normal journal entry, and it was written almost 10 months after the above entry.

Stay tuned. And game on, all.

A "Fun" File From My Sexually-Repressed Youth

...which wasn't that too long a time ago, mind you. Well, most of my rantings in the past have been written at the most opportune times: when I'm seething and frustrated and at the breaking point. It seems I could trace when exactly I became jaded by going back through the various text files on my box or at random scribblings in various notebooks. But I don't have anything to hide so here's an excerpt from one of my "memory" files. Note that, in most cases, I currently do not reflect anything I have written back then. You be the judge. Thanks.

WARNING: The following post contains foul and offensive language and ideas. Reader discretion is advised.

[From the Microsoft Word document,C:\My Documents\Bong\thoughts and memories\FUCK 'EM ALL.doc]

[begin excerpt--the first segment was written just at the turning of the millenium. Sometime '99, I think]

FUCK AUTHORITY. FUCK THE LAW. FUCK THE MAN. FUCK RELIGION.

I think authority sucks. Frankly, authority is nothing more than an excuse to abuse other people who don't have it. Which is wrong, because in the first place, most people with authority only gained their power because they were allowed to have it by the self-same people they are exercising it upon.

People with real power should be burned in hell, if they use such ability to exert dominance over others. Nothing is more satisfying than to see seemingly omnipotent beings humbled by the very persons they were trying to boss around.

I'd really love to have sex with a dozen women simultaneously.

Hmmm. Now there's a thought.

But, being the simple man I am, I'll settle for one seriously sexy babe with nothing on her mind but total sexual gratification. Someone who will plead you for it. Beg even.

*Shiver*. Now, there's a thought.

I'd really love to own all the games in the world. And also have the time, the inclination, and the people to play them with. Especially those RPGs, since you'd need an actual and, might I add, cooperative group, to play them with.

I'd also want to have limitless ideas, endlessly pouring out of the old think tank. That's so I could write really good, original stories with substance and everything and stuff.

I'd really want to carry on, but I think this is getting a bit mindless, like, you know, I'm exposing my limited intelligence and stuff like that. And well, I'll just shut the hell up. Zipped, locked, and key thrown away.

So until the next installment of my Thoughts (which might not come this millennia or ever, since I rarely really think), I'll keep what's on my mind to myself and not bother an innocent word processor like you. Bye.

[end excerpt]

I'll post the next Thought I'd written, which was in the beginning of February 2000. Incidentally, I think I ushered in the year 2000 by getting really drunk before New Year's Eve, and running around outside in my underwear, with all the people lighting up firecrackers all around, and me, trying to ignite my own... LOL. Talk about crazy. Maybe I'll upload a scanned pic of that sometime...

Until then, game on. Oh, and stay tuned for the next blast from the past.

Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Life

(or, That Silly Game We Are All Forced To Play)

One of my childhood friends went mad one day. People ascribed it to drugs. Drug abuse may have led him to what he had become now, but it wasn't his problem. His problem was his life.

When we were born, we were dealt this cosmic poker hand that determined everything we are and have. Physical, mental, social, spiritual, and even economic: we each had our own boons and defects. It's a gambling game and most of the time, it's run by a crooked house. The odds are stacked against us, and it is no wonder that some people just give up somewhere along the way.

I had been relatively happy with my hand, but there were more than a few times before when I wished I could draw a new one, with even better cards than what I have. But I persisted in living on, making do with I had. Can't say I've done much with my life. I've barely even begun. Sometimes it gets so hard, I just want to lie down somewhere, and sleep the final sleep. But quitting this game is just as hard, if not harder, at least for me.

Going back to my friend, we've have a lot of good memories to cherish. And I hope that he won't forget those. He was one of those dealt with an unfortunate hand. Pressured on all sides, by his family, peers, and other interests, I can understand how he turned to escapism. He will always be the friend I remember.

He has long since left our circle of childhood friends, when he began to exhibit symptoms of paranoia, among other things. And now, that he has returned from dealing with his drug-related problems, he is a different man. The friend I knew has passed away.

One regret I had with what happened was how his family dealt with his problems. They separated him from us, his barkada, thinking perhaps that his drug problems were our fault. For the record, none of the members of Team Bocobos then, had ever done drugs. And then, his mother took him to their priest. I don't know what sect of Christianity they were, but from there, he took a downhill.

It's a terrible blow, but we have to go on. My barkada are now bonded tighter than ever before, following the loss of one of our own. For this, at least, I am thankful. We might have saved him, had he stayed with us. We might have, but then again, maybe not.

Everyone has to go one way or another. Those left behind have to take it in stride and move on, spiraling ever onward to entropy.

Michael A. (or Mike Telekupz, his barkada "petname") still lives in the neighborhood, but he goes his own way, a path different from the barkada's. We wish him well, and hopes that someday, he will make a full recovery and be able to succeed in all his endeavors. This is a long-overdue tribute to his memory.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Yet Another RPG-Related Quiz....

Took a re-test of the newer version of the D&D Character Quiz over at Twin Rose Software's site. When I took this test from its original site a few months ago, I got a Lawful Good Gnome Bard/Mage. Now here's the result of my re-take:

You Are A:

Neutral Good Elf Barbarian

Alignment:
Neutral Good characters believe in the power of good above all else. They will work to make the world a better place, and will do whatever is necessary to bring that about, whether it goes for or against whatever is considered 'normal'.

Race:
Elves are the eldest of all races, although they are generally a bit smaller than humans. They are generally well-cultured, artistic, easy-going, and because of their long lives, unconcerned with day-to-day activities that other races frequently concern themselves with. Elves are, effectively, immortal, although they can be killed. After a thousand years or so, they simply pass on to the next plane of existance.

Primary Class:
Barbarians live outside the 'civilized' They have tribal goverments, and are often nomads. What they may lack in refinement is balanced by there strength of individual character and ability to survive.

Secondary Class:
[None]

Detailed Results:
Alignment:
Law and Chaos:
Law ----- XXXXXXX (7)
Neutral - XXXXXXXXX (9)
Chaos --- XXXXXXX (7)

Good and Evil:
Good ---- XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Neutral - XXXXXX (6)
Evil ---- XX (2)

Race:
Human ---- XXXXXXX (7)
Half-Elf - XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Elf ------ XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Gnome ---- XXXXXXX (7)
Halfling - XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Dwarf ---- XXXXXXXX (8)
Half-Orc - XXXXXX (6)

Class:
Fighter -- XXXXXXX (7)
Barbarian -XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Ranger --- XXXXXXXXX (9)
Monk ----- (0)
Paladin -- XXXXX (5)
Cleric --- X (1)
Mage ----- XX (2)
Druid ---- XXXXXXX (7)
Thief ---- (-5)
Bard ----- XXXXXXXXX (9)

LOL. Seems like I'm a Barbarian now; not to mention a freaking, tree-hugging Elf as well.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Sunday morning

Good day, all.

Tomorrow marks the start of my first sem hell week! I hope I don't flunk or I'm really dead!

This also means that there'll finally be time enough for gaming! Woohoo! Been prepping The Sunless Citadel as well as Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil for my two D&D 3e campaign groups.

The group that's gonna play through The Sunless Citadel would also be playing through the 7 other Adventure Path modules (plus any semblance of campaign continuity and stuff I can manage to squeeze in between the cracks).

On the other hand, the RttToEE group gets to play only through that mega-module, but it'll take 'em from level 4 to 14, I think. I'm still thinking of running the original Temple of Elemental Evil as a "prequel" bit (which seems to be quite a trend with the entertainment industry lately). Then again, I may have to do some conversion to 3e first–I'm expecting this to be a real pain. Good luck trying to line up the Encounter Levels to match some semblance of balance, not to mention headaches converting NPCs to their 3e equivalents. A straight-forward conversion would be a bit easier, kind of like a shot-for-shot movie remake, but it leaves me wanting. I'd prefer to add my own personal vision to the already developed material, as do most other self-respecting DMs, I'd expect...

Anyway... I've got only 4 more days before my project's submission so I guess I should start coding that stupid online messageboard thingy from scratch... wish me luck!

Game on, all.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Nearing the end of days

Just woke up over an hour ago. Will be having breakfast in a sec. Thought I'd update my little blogspace a little (something I should have done yesterday, but the host was down for maintennance. Anyway, I've just added an EN World news ticker to fill out my right margin a bit more. The scrolling display box syndicates the current D&D/d20 system news from Morrus' great site...

Let me know what you guys (and gals too, of course) think...

Well... I'm off to bike and have some breakfast somewhere...

Game on.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Messages From A Cel Phone

i
dearest b, we

have been 2gedr
4 mor dan a yr
and we hav bin
thru a lot. wev
bin thru each
ones ups and
downs, tho wer
not lving 2gedr
technicly, we
hav 'lived'


ii
2 b bsidd each

other. we do hav
our dfrences and
i thot den dat
dis dfrences wud
lid 2 our
breakup. but d
more dat we hav
our dfrences,d
mor dat we learn
2


iii
accept and

apreciate each
oder, and end up
loving each odr
more. i am so
afraid dat thngs
wil not work out
4 us. but i am
more afraid of
losing u each
day dat


iv
pases. i kno i

am quite as
stuborn and as
hard headed as u
(hey we hav
cmilarities pla ΓΌ)
am sori if i may
b 2 much 4 u 2
handle sometimes.
i am in awe of
how


v
much u love me..

that u have bin
true 2 ur
promises ( tho
odrs hav yet to
b fulfild) i kno
a day wil come 4
each unfulfild
promise 2 b
realizd


vi
i love u! i just

want u 2 know
that and i will
always b ur baby
as u will b mine...
gudnite my love
: ) j

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

On Religion

On Religion...
"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
--Steven Weinberg, quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999

Quotes on Religion

On Laziness

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it."
--Mary Wilson Little

Quotes on Laziness

Moral Minority

Moral Minority :: You are Joe Scagnetti

Which Moral Minority persona are you?
by phatjoe

Which Side Of My Brain Is Dominant?


The Left or Right Brain Quiz
Whole Brain Dominant
leaning to the left

You enjoy structure and work best when you can devote your attention to one task at a time. You also work well with abstract ideas and can visualize theoretical situations.

test yourself at geekykid.net

I wasn't a gifted kid....


Were you a gifted child?
Average
You were probably an average child. Nothing less, nothing more.

test yourself at geekykid.net

Tuesday Night

Well, I've been websurfing for two hours now, reading some stuff over at the EN World message boards, doing searches on whatever comes to mind... Don't you just love doing a thousand inconsequential things just before a great big storm hits?

Anyway, I've found a site that offers various quizzes and spent some bandwidth answering the ones that caught my fancy... I've already posted the hilarious results...

Game on, all of you.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

My Anime Power



The Ultimate Power
Wow, your anime power is God-like!
You can do basically anything you want whenever you want.
No one should mess with you...
and no one really does.


What's Your Anime Power?

If I was an anime character cliche, I'd be...




Pretty Boy
Popular with the ladies, and sometimes even the guys.
You don't put a lot of effort in your appearance,
but you always end up looking quite attractive.
You could have any sexual preference.


Find out what anime character cliche you are.

If I was a videogame cliche...





Genius
You're the thorn in the Hero's side...
or is it the other way around?
You have a strong attraction to pretty people,
and you can come up with magnificent plans!
If only that meddling moron would stay out of it...


Find out which video game cliche you are.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Save Points

In console role-playing games, save points are scattered all over the game world, where you can record the current game state. This is done so that you don't have to restart when your party of adventurers gets wiped out in combat or even when you want to know what would happen if you choose the other path in the story. Save points make it possible to reload from a certain point in the game. They are quite handy. I wish we had one of those back in high school...

I look back on my high school years with the fondest of memories. Sure, everything seemed like a raging whirlwind sometimes, but it was fun, even the part where melodramatic teenage angst gets in the way. It was fun, but there were some things I wish I'd done differently. I was young and brash then. Heck, I consider myself young and brash still, but if I only knew back then half of what I know now, I'd have changed a thing or two. Especially that one night...

The events of that fateful night keep playing over and over again in my memories. I'd give anything to have a save point there, so I could reload my game, take the path not taken, and erase my regrets. It is spilt milk, I realize that, but a part of me yearns for a different kind closure. Maybe someday when we all meet again at some distant future crossroad, I will finally come to terms with the shadow of my past. Until then, I guess we'll just have to carry on, and hope...

She was the brightest star in my life back then, but I was too stupid and young to see. She was my brightest star back then, and she will always be...

Friday, September 13, 2002

*sigh*

This seems like a nice quote to greet a nice day...

"I think I fell in love with her, a little bit. Isn't that dumb? But it was like I knew her. Like she was my oldest, dearest friend. The kind of person you can tell anything to, no matter how bad, and they'll still love you, because they know you. I wanted to go with her. I wanted her to notice me. And then she stopped walking. Under the moon, she stopped. And she looked at us. She looked at me. Maybe she was trying to tell me something; I don't know. She probably didn't even know I was there. But I'll always love her. All my life."
--Neil Gaiman, Sandman: The World's End

More Preparations for 1984

In Greece, use a Game Boy, go to jail

Recently, Greek Law Number 3037 has been passed in Greece banning all forms of electronic games in all platforms, including one's cel phone. Apparently, this was done in order to prevent illegal gambling.

It seems politicians are the same everywhere: ignorant, in-bred, lazy bastards... (Heh, I didn't know the ones we have here in the Philippines are of Greek descent.)

www.gameland.gr

Luckily, last Sept. 10, the law was declared as un-Constitutional, after the "test" cases were held in court involving two Internet cafe owners who were charged with letting customers play the illegal gambling game, Counterstike, in their shops. Both were judged innocent.

The law is set to be re-constructed and re-proposed. One only hopes that the Greek law-makers does their job this time around.

Game on, especially those poor Greek gamers fighting on the front line...

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

9/11

Today marks one year after that terrible event occured in New York City and shocked the world. I wasn't there, but it felt not only as an attack on the U.S. but also an attack on the freedom of each of us. It doesn't matter whether the terrorists did it all for some glorious cause or another, it is terrorism and that invalidates whatever protest statement they are trying to make. Those terrorists are a sign that the human gene pool is somehow deteriorating. Clearly, they are inbred and most likely, have impregnated their own mothers so that the next generation of even more retarded terrorists will be ensured.

I am not American and I have never been to the States anytime in my life, but my heart goes out to the people affected by 9/11–to all the victims and the heroes that saved them. May we never forget this horrible event. May the people of the world always be united against those who would attack our freedom...

Friday, September 6, 2002

Exams Week Blues

Hi, all. Just when I thought keeping an online journal was a great way to while away my free time, exams week (and all the general "hectic-ness" of things that go with it) rears its ugly head and bites me on my sweet rump. Haven't studied yet for my Enterprise Information Systems exam... still having fun surfing around to review my notes. Funny how you suddenly find lots of other interesting stuff to fiddle around with when work is calling you. Ahh, the doomed life of the gentle procrastinator.

Whatever.

Anyway, I'm also due in a weeks time for my submission to the Wrestle d20 RPG...

The Team Bocoboz -- my gaming group -- hasn't had a session in ages (well, okay, three weeks, I think)...

The start-up I'm in is still trying to get the legalities done as well as set-up the Calamba office...

There's also a whole bunch of other stuff cluttering my head for PDF role-playing supplements I want to write (and make some $$$ with online)...

But first things first, I guess. So I'm logging off now. Wish me luck with my exam.

Game on all of you.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

1984....

Just a few of the signs that today's governments are starting to make up for lost time. George Orwell's prophetic vision of a controlled utopian world in his novel 1984 may yet come to pass, despite being 18 years behind schedule.

I am a Gauntlet Adventurer

What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Gauntlet Adventurer.I strive to improve my living conditions by hoarding gold, food, and sometimes keys and potions. I love adventure, fighting, and particularly winning - especially when there's a prize at stake. I occasionally get lost inside buildings and can't find the exit. I need food badly. What Video Game Character Are You?

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

After An Hour Of Creative Procrastination....

Whew. Changed the look and feel of this blog. Also added my email link over down the right column due to insistent public demand.

I'd say "No spams, please!" if that wasn't an obvious invitation for the same. The only spam I prefer is the deep-fried one.

Time to catch some zzZ's... Game on, guys and gals.

Of Books And Flights Of Fancy

Dug through my files for this great, if verbose, quote. The file was date-stamped June 23, 2001. I have no idea where I found it. I find it a very prophetic vision of that small niche now occupied by role-playing games.

"It has continually struck us that there is no element in modern life that is more lamentable than the fact that the modern man has to seek all artistic existence in a sedentary state. If he wishes to float into fairyland, he reads a book; if he wishes to dash into the thick of battle, he reads a book; if he wishes to soar into heaven, he reads a book; if he wishes to slide down the banisters, he reads a book. We give him these visions, but we give him exercise at the same time, the necessity of leaping from wall to wall, of fighting strange gentlemen, of running down long streets from pursuers -- all healthy and pleasant exercises. We give him a glimpse of that great morning world of Robin Hood or the Knights Errant, when one great game was played under the splendid sky. We give him back his childhood, that godlike time when we can act stories, be our own heroes, and at the same instant dance and dream."
-- G. K. Chesterton, 1905, The Club of Queer Trades

"Honey, come and take a look at this!"

(or, Four Posts And Still Alive!)

Hi, all. I'm back! Hey, this thing's really addictive! That's right, I'm hooked, so all you people out there who're all groaning and stuff right now (yes, I mean you people there at the back!), well... I guess you'll just have to put up with me for quite a while. The random punk is here to stay!

Now, a few notes about the web log's name... it's also about raging against the "system", something I sympathize with. What I really hate is following the standards set by a moral majority. Most of those standards I could care less about, but censureship, while done in the best of interests, limits the freedom of the immoral minority. And that's just plain wrong.

At the risk of belaboring an already aged issue, let's take one case in point: the late Pat Pulling's attacks on the D&D game and other role-playing games. This mother has blamed D&D for her son's suicide, and has even founded an anti-rpg organization, Bothered About Dungeons And Dragons (B.A.D.D.). She said that D&D teaches the players how to cast real spells and make real weapons and even contact the Devil himself. Wow. I must be doing something wrong then; I've been playing for about 13 years now and I still can't cast spells, forge weapons, or even know Mr. Satan's number. As it turned out, however, her son was just another troubled teenager, pressured by family problems and other non-RPG stuff, who just couldn't handle the stress. Mrs. Pulling might have saved her son's life had she only payed attention to him.

At the root of all this is man's need to blame anyone else except himself. Kids need their parents' love and understanding and guidance, especially in the turbulent crosswinds of adolescence.

A more recent issue is the U.S. "Zero Tolerance" policy now implemented in schools to combat the growing cases of kiddie violence. The Zero Tolerance policy means that if you fit the FBI-proscribed profile, you are a murder suspect, even without the occurence of a murder in the first place! And no, they're not using pre-cogs like Tom Cruise did in Minority Report. The profile includes the following characteristics: above-average intelligence, non-conformist, computer wiz, likes to wear black, plays D&D or any other RPG, plays violent video games, listens to heavy metal. Heh, if I were still in school and in the U.S., I'd be Public Enemy No. 1 in no time. Heck, I still fit most of the profile even now. Maybe I better get my priorities straight and start murdering some people. Right.

In the aftermath of the Columbine incident, a teacher asked her class what they felt about it. Most of the kids said they felt sad and scared. Then one boy said that he was also sad and scared, but also that he could understand how the perpetrators felt because it's just so terrible to be ridiculed and picked on. He was immediately suspended!

It's such a shame that the teacher hadn't picked up on the boy's idea. Being different, being on the outside of the majority, being uncool, is such a pressure. It's really sad that people are over-reacting and rushing madly about pin-pointing something to blame when instead they could be trying to understand the minority's feelings and helping them.

Freedom of expression is neither a crime nor a sin, unless said expression infringes upon other's rights of freedom.

"The great thing about the internet is its leveling effect; online all opinions are equally WORTHLESS."
--Grant Morrison

Monday, August 19, 2002

Fate and Fortune Cards

Just introduced these to my D&D 3e group last time we had a session. Actually, I just printed myself a deck using the transcripts for the Whimsy Card deck I found on the 'Net. These cards represent various plot complications the players can put into effect to either make their PC's life easier or harder. I'd much prefer them to make their lives harder, of course. So, I deal them one card each from the deck and told them they can change the way the story is going by playing their card and describing the actual effect. If the change is interesting, they may draw a replacement card or get some XP bonus.

They actually seemed to like the Whimsy deck, and I could almost feel them tensing as they watch out for an appropriate moment to play their card and "ruin" the plot. An amusing thing happened when they had to infiltrate a gnoll encampment. The rogue had to negotiate his way up the gate and try to unbar it from the other side. Unknown to him, the guard on the other side is Mr. Enthusiastic Gnoll. Luckily, one of them managed to play his Whimsy card which read "Sloth", a card that deals with someone's laziness! Well, that let the rogue off the hook. He chooses to investigate the loud sound of snoring though. Soon he has sneaked up to the gnoll and is preparing for a sneak attack when his player suddenly played his card: "Something's Missing". The rogue's rapier is not in its scabbard! Eventually, though, he managed to finish off the sleeping guard and let the rest of the party into the compound.

Everyone agreed to continue using the Whimsy deck in our D&D sessions.

TSR also did something called a Fate & Fortune Deck. It's included with the Mystara Player's Guide. I'd like to get a copy of those cards or if not, only the transcripts. Anyone out there?

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Sunday Afternoon D&D Sessions....

(or, I Can't Get To Sleep Yet, So I'm Posting A Blog, The Addicted Schmuck That I am)

... isn't. It's supposed to be regular and all, but you know how demanding Real Life™ sometimes gets. I know, I know. I shouldn't let RL bully me like that, I should get my priorities straight, tell it who's really in charge. Heh. Anyway, D&D's 3rd Edition is a really great system. I'd say it's the best so far. OD&D was a little bit on the whimsical side, 1st Ed. was too old and mismatched, 2nd Ed. was too bulky and unbalanced. 3e actually managed to strike a balance. Well, sort of. My players still haven't explored the system fully. So far, they're mostly still level 3, and still trying to rid the Moonsea city of Phlan of its little monster-infestation problem.

I sure hope that Forgotten Realms TV series pushes through and soon.

There's been talk about the nature of RPGs in a couple of discussion lists I'm on, mainly what we consider an RPG. For me, an RPG is not improv theatre, and it's not cooperative story-telling either. It must also be a game. Although an RPG is unlike a traditional game where players are playing to win, there has to be some mechanics that govern general action resolution and character trait definition at the very least. Purely freeform RPGs are right on the verge of becoming another game type altogether, if you ask me. And an all-rules, zero-story RPG is more a wargame than anything else. Still, all forms of gaming are valid past-times so long as they fulfill the primary goal for their design: players having fun. Afterall, in the end, we're all gamers.

So if you happen to get to the after-life, give me a call. Maybe we can set a game or two of Wiz-War with a couple of other gamer-guys/grrlz. Until then, game on. Life is the greatest game of them all!

Here Goes Nothing

(Or, My mind finally spills out onto the 'Net)

Well, after putting off a journal of sorts for almost my entire life, I've finally decided to start one (Oooh, and a public one at that). Yay me!

Last night, or very early this morning (night and day gets blurred with my irregular sleep cycle), I was in a mad fit of 'net surfing. This time, I was particularly looking for a new board/card game of the non-abstract sort.

Here's three of the best sites offering various freebie games starting with one site I usually check for updates since new games are added there frequently:

1. Warpspawn Games
Most of the games require some assembly, of course (you've got to print all those cards yourself). Nice thematic card games covering lots of genres from real-world history, to fantasy, and science-fiction. I've only actually played one game: Power Up! which is a two-player game of super-powered martial arts action ala Dragonball Z.

2. DVORAK
While looking into the links at the Warpspawn site, I've stumbled onto the Dvorak Card Game site. It's actually a rules engine for card game design and the rules can even be summarized in 99 words (!). Technically, it's a nomic game (this means the rules change) meant to be played using blank cards. The site also archives several pre-made decks, most of which can be played as excellent stand-alones. Some noteworthy ones include the NetHack Deck (inspired by the classic, and free, NetHack CRPG), the Paranoia Deck (based on the hilarious RPG of the same name), Roman Politics (where players struggle with each other to become the next Caesar), and Comic Publishing (players are publishers of competing superhero comicbook series). I've already printed those four, and will try them out with the ol' gaming group this afternoon.

3. GHOULASH
"The Last Game On Earth" has website that looks really nice. Ghoulash is basically a two-player "survival horror"-esque game played in a manner similar to Battleships (which is one of my childhood faves, before I got into pen-and-paper RPGs), except that the players are post-apocalyptic survivors in world filled with ghouls. The rules fit onto a single page and various scenarios are available for download, each with their own additional rules. This game is definitely worth a try.

This ends my very first post to my very first blog!

Now, I must get some sleep. It's 7:25 a.m. here, on a Sunday...

Game on, folks!