Sunday, November 7, 2004

Another Year Older

Had my birthday last week. Whoop-de-doo. I'm feeling just how mortal I am, and I'm not even 30 yet! LOL. Still, I'm happy with my life, my love, and where everything's all going at the moment. But enough of that. Here's what I'm up to currently:

Beyond Black Doors
Okay, my online collaborative novel about the guild, Knights of Obscurity, has been posted everywhere: RagnaBoards, Writing.com, and even FanFiction.net. But we've finally decided to use Blogger to serialize the entire story. So check out Beyond Black Doors: A Knights of Obscurity Tale, for an action-packed fantasy saga where the knight Sevrin Astergarden, the assassin Fynn Elenium, and the rest of the Knights of Obscurity must face the demons of their past in order to save Rune-Midgard's future. Has Ragnarok finally come?

Dragon Quest V
I'm currently playing the fan-translation of this SNES console RPG classic using Snes9x, and I'm hooked! This is one of those must-play games for console RPG fans. I love the nostalgic feel of the game, which takes me back to that magical time when console RPGs were more game and less eyecandy. I'll write a full review when the Quest ends!

Plans
I'm trying to go back to pen-and-paper face-to-face RPGs (with some of my old gaming group intact) and a new campaign is in the works. I really miss GMing a lot. Soon, the dust would be blown from my rulebooks and the stacks of old campaign notes would be opened and reviewed, and this Yuletide would be a gaming-filled season for my gaming group. Hope you have the same too!

Well, that's all for now. Game on, all.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Gaming Style Evolution

People play roleplaying games for differing reasons. That's a given. There are a myriad of styles, and gamers over the years have tried to classify them into several different models in hopes of making sense out of the chaos. Here we'll focus on the typical roleplaying game which uses rules to resolve conflict, and freeform storytelling roleplaying games.

For far too long, people have wagged it in my face: that storytelling is the "superior"/"more evolved" gaming style. That is all well and good. Different strokes for different folks I always say.

Let's forget the fact that such freeform games (they are barely "games" as such) are more of a devolution, a return back to the make-believe "games" we played as children. RPG rules were created to resolve the problems we had when we played Cops & Robbers: the "I-hit-you!-No-you-didn't!" arguments that almost always ended the game soon after.

I favor moderate rules that cover most instances that would crop up in a game with little to no question. It needn't be heavy. But a game system can get too rules light, to the point that everything is vague it's unplayable for me. Rules that offer tactical choices for the player and GM alike (crunchy bits as some may put it) are my preference. The point to a game system is to supply the game part in a roleplaying game.

Even so, however, that does not preclude me from telling a good story, given the framework of the game system. I am, after all, a writer as well. I just want to get my game in my RPG, and keep my freeform RPing in my own stories. People who wanted to freeform to be able to tell a good story (because otherwise, they claim, that the rules get in the way) should just write their story. There's no need for the false pretense of calling it a game.

Game on.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Spire City Ascendant

Hi, everyone!

I haven't posted here in weeks! (I know, I know, I just promised a couple of posts back to post regularly =P)

But I actually have an excuse! My play-by-post Returner Final Fantasy RPG playtest campaign, Spire City Ascendant, has finally begun! It's on this site called StoryCrafter, a place for online collaborative storytelling, freeform roleplaying, and of course, role-playing games (I love my dice *kiss kiss*).

Well, go have a look into Spire City if you're interested. The game's full right now and all five main characters are just starting to poke around in the old tower-city. Hopefully, they'll all be caught up in the tangled storyline about falling empires, evil High Priests, mysterious ever-changing dungeons, cults using a previously unknown dark magic, and of course (no Final Fantasy without this one) the end of the world.

So join Dent Flair, an Okami Swordmaster; Jack Lorekeeper, the Thie--err, Treasure Hunter; Kylor Tristan, the Black Mage; Vilis Valenti, the Rune Knight (and her dragon, Valostine); and Yate the Red Mage (he's a male Mithra too, of all things!), as they make their fortune in Ascendant, the Spire City!

It is in the nature of things to change. Eternally.

Game on!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Final Fantasy: Another Story

Hi, all.

I miss pen-and-paper gaming.

Since I've started playing the philippine Ragnarok Online (pRO), I didn't have the time to run any face-to-face games anymore. And that's sad. Maybe I did need the break though; it's been 15 years since I started GMing afterall and I was seriously burnt out.

Now, though, I feel ready to take on the GM's mantle again. I'm planning a mini-campaign that'll be using the current 3rd Edition of the Returner Final Fantasy RPG. Aside from giving me a much needed pen-and-paper gaming fix, it'd also introduce a new player to the world of tabletop RPGs, and playtest the new Final Fantasy rules as well!

The working title for the campaign I'm planning would be tentatively titled Final Fantasy: Another Story. It'll feature an entirely new world and an action-packed story inspired by the themes prevalent in the Final Fantasy series of console games (well, FF I to FF IX, for the most part). I plan the venue to be online, using OpenRPG as the virtual tabletop.

Players can expect lots of action as in the console games (but not to the extent of random encounters every few steps or so), as well as dramatic scenes involving character development. I'm aiming to make it just as enjoyable as the eye-candy in the recent FF games. My GMing style focuses on the story as well as the game, a nice middle-ground between being freeform and being too rulesy.

Tentative timeslots would be from 4:00 to 8:00pm (GMT/UTC). That's 12-4:00am in the Philippines (GMT+8).

I've got about 3-4 slots open so anyone who'd like to try are invited to contact me by posting a comment here or emailing me (my email address is in my profile). Keep in mind that you need to have OpenRPG installed in order to play. A copy of the 3rd Edition Returner Final Fantasy RPG rules can be downloaded here (you can view the rules in the wiki or just download the latest compilation as a Windows Help File here).

Game on.

Friday, August 20, 2004

What Kind of GM Am I?

Ever since I discovered RPGs late in my grade school years (which was, like, 18 years ago), I've mostly did the running. Through all those years, I've learned, stumbled at, enjoyed, and even got burned out at GMing. I've taken this test, to see what kind of a GM I am, with the following result:

God
God GM: You revel in your ultimate power as GM.
Nobody may question your rulings and those who do
find their characters smited with lightning bolts.
What style of GM are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I've also added random punk to both blogsearch and blogarama, and updated the URL for the blog's listing at blogwise.

Thanks to RPGs-a-plenty for reminding me about blog directories and for the link to the GM quiz as well. There's a definitely cool blog.

Game on, all!

Number One Hundred and One

As I was going through each of my past posts yesterday, enabling comments and setting titles, I suddenly realized that yesterday's post was both the 100th and random punk's 2nd birthday. Nice coincidence there.

A hundred posts in two years isn't really all that impressive. It even underlines the fact that the blog author's really quite lazy. Still, it's about 50 posts per year, or about 1 post per week, so still somewhat regular.

In the coming year, random punk's third, I guess I really should try to post as much as I can. And I will. Then again, I might.

Game on, all.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Changes

Format Tweaks
Finally got around to tweaking my random punk's template to take advantage of the post title field, among other things. Also, removed the d20 News box on the right side-bar (di na naman ako masyado interested sa d20).

Online Games
I've added a new box called online games since that's what I've been playing a lot of recently. There's only a couple of links right now: one for Philippine Ragnarok Online (pRO), the Philippines' first and most popular MMORPG right now; there's also another link for The King of Spades (KoS), a cool browser-based superhero MMORPG (one I wouldn't mind donating money to if I only had money).

If any of you ever try either of the two games above, you can contact me at these character names:

In pRO (Loki server only, the best server IMHO ^_^v),
Fynn Elenium or Perverse or Diradem

In The King of Spades,
Leonard Anthony or Arc Ranger (both of whom are based in Hong Kong right now.

Have a good day and game on!

P.S. Thanks to my beloved Light for letting me work on this.

Friday, August 6, 2004

9 More Levels To Go!

Sevrin & Fynn pose for a screenshot while hunting for the elusive Chimera of Karu the West Cave
Fynn Elenium (Assassin Lv.90/50) and Sevrin Astergarden (Knight Lv.80/49) have adventured in the world of the MMORPG, Ragnarok Online, since last year. They're now one of the high-level characters on the Philippine Ragnarok Online Loki Server, and also charter members of one of Loki's finest guilds, the Knights of Obscurity.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

...only a mother could love

Well, a close approximation, at least...
random punk
The above pic was created using Abi-Station, an online face-making webpage using graphic compositing. Thanks to my Light for pointing me to the site. ^_^v

Friday, June 18, 2004

Live Without Warning

"ACHTUNG!
random punk may actually be a spider-human hybrid

Username:

From Go-Quiz.com

Acronym Fun

RRelaxed
AAccurate
NNoisy
DDistinguished
OOdd
MMesmerizing
PPerfect
UUnusual
NNeglected
KKind

Name / Username:


Name Acronym Generator
From Go-Quiz.com

Saturday, April 17, 2004

If I was a girl....

Took this interesting test just for the heck of it...got my virtues and flaws right ^_^;;
GARAGE GURL - Flirt inna Skirt!
A GARAGE-GURL. Youre into loud music, hot guys and
wild fashions. Youre most at ease when you've
got all your mates around you and you like to
party. Boys are a game and youre always on the
ball because you make sure youre always number
one.
Your virtues: Confidence, fun nature, sociability.
Your flaws: Loudness, jealous tendency, need for
attention..



What kind of girl are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Giant Monster!!

random punk

is a Giant Squid that is Blind, cowers from Fire, has a Humorous Nephew Sidekick, and eats Rocks.

Strength: 7 Agility: 1 Intelligence: 5



To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat random punk, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights random punk using

Monday, February 23, 2004

More Beyond Black Doors

My Light and I have just finished the Prologue and Chapter Zero of the continuing novella about our pRO Loki Guild. You can read it here:

Beyond Black Doors: A Knights of Obscurity Tale

We'd love to hear your comments! ^_^v

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Collaborative Writing: Beyond Black Doors

Just started a novella with my Muse. It's set in Rune Midgard, the world of the Ragnarok Online MMORPG, where Norse mythology collides with pop culture.

The story features our guild in pRO Loki, Knights of Obscurity, but focuses more on the intertwining pasts and futures of two characters--the lady knight, Sevrin Astergarden, guild mistress of the KoO and the wandering assassin, Fynn Elenium, Sevrin's perpetual companion--as well as the actual formation of their obscure guild.

Will Fynn, Sevrin, and the rest of the Knights of Obscurity conquer the demons of their pasts and stop the latest threat to Rune Midgard?

The adventure begins here!

Monday, February 9, 2004

Just Breed!

one of the best strategy/rpgs on the NES

Last January, Stealth Translations released the English translation of Just Breed. Just Breed is a NES Strategy/RPG released by ENIX way back in '92. I'm guessing this is pretty late in the console's life, as the game seems very advanced for a NES game.

If you're familiar with Sega's Shining Force games, then you already know how Just Breed plays. Basically, battles happen on a wilderness battle map as you travel from town to town. One difference is the concept of Commander and Soldier characters. Your entire army is divided into sub-armies of 1 Commander and up to 5 Soldiers, who must stay within one screen of each other.

While the game's plot is quite cliched (save some kidnapped damsels-in-distress who were guarding some magical jewels), great gameplay combines with superb script translation to deliver a game that most console RPG fans--even those who aren't really hardcore strategy/RPG fanatics--would love.

You'd have to play it on an emulator though. I recommend getting the latest version of FCE Ultra (version 0.97.5 as of this post). The patch is available from Stealth Translations. As for the NES ROM... well, try Googling for it. Can't help you there. ^_^;;

Capsule Review
Story 4 out of 5 stars
Gameplay 5 out of 5 stars
Graphics 4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, January 18, 2004

New Comments System

blogspeak had problems with its hosting service and had to close down. Fortunately, HaloScan took the all the poor orphaned comments and gave it a home.

Saturday, January 3, 2004

Happy New Year!

Sevrin and I are still on a quest to find the elusive Katar of Dusty Thornbush...

Fynn uses his newly learned skill =P