Raids week 140

Micki's Delirium

Raids 140 were Wednesday September 11 and Saturday September 14.


1. Project Nemesis LN
As per usual we started the Wednesday runs with PN. After waiting 30 min I decided we should just short man with what we had, so entered normal instead of hard. I was on laser, Osi was main tank, the rest dps. Completion time: 31 min, 17 s (with more than 10 min inside waiting for a person who then dc’d). Loot: 64 nemesis runes and 25 threads of fate.

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Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 6

Skulls in the Stars

Still doing the research on some new physics blog posts, but in the meantime, I have a lot of old school Dungeons & Dragons to catch up on! So before I share more science tricks, here’s part 6!

CB1: Conan Unchained (1984), by David Cook. As a company, TSR was not immune to the allure of making more money by licensing deals.  Later, I’ll discuss some products that will blow your mind! One of the more obvious choices was to take advantage of the popularity of a certain barbarian, and the actor who played him!

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Time Out for Biography: III

Ilyanas Tomb of Doom


Next-to-last on my Ultima Online character creation trip is Dragon’s Shadow. Ever wonder what happens to excellent UO free-player shards when they die? They die and everyone moves on. That’s the answer. But what kind of answer is that? This shard deserved to last forever, trumping both Krilldonia. Erasing Sanctuary before its owners erased it (it’s back again, Sanctuary, so if you long to be ruled by Big Sista, mosey on over now).

So what makes it that good? Well first, the development team. The freaking character classes, starting with necromancer, were amazing! They even had freaking dragons, and freaking demons. I made all three classes, but my number one was the necromancer, Ilyana’s first virgin outing. Isabel had yet to exist. She was still training back in her dimension of shadow, so Ilyana killed in her stead. And kill she did.

I knew enough to raise Hiding and Stealth…

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Self-imposed difficulty in MMORPGs


I was reading a post by Naithin at Time to Loot this morning about “Playin’ by new Rules” and it got me thinking about my own rather varied MMORPG gaming history. The post details a community-invented ‘Iron Man’ ruleset that players live by voluntarily to make Asheron’s Call harder to play – I’m not that familiar with the game but I can understand the concept of self-imposed difficulty in a MMO.

As yet I’ve not read of any similar experiments in Classic, of players chosing deliberately underpowered class/spec choices, or limiting themselves to “no twinking” (e.g. no buying items of other players or the auction house) – I expect it will happen if it hasn’t already though.

Holy paladin is about as solo-viable as it was in Vanilla, i.e. it is not.

As someone who has always played World of Warcraft as a ‘small group’ game it is not something…

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Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 5

Skulls in the Stars

Trying to keep my game of catch-up on old school D&D alive, so here’s part 5!

WG5: Mordenkainen’s Fantastic Adventure (1984), by Robert J. Kuntz and Gary Gygax. This adventure is reeeeeally old school, even though it was published in 1984!

The name sounds a bit silly, but don’t let it fool you: this adventure was first written in 1972/1973 by Robert Kuntz in order to challenge the skills of none other than Gary Gygax, who used his wizard Mordenkainen! It is a quite punishing dungeon.

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Time Out for Biography: Part 1

Ilyanas Tomb of Doom


Isabel’s roots are in Ilyana, a character I tried my best to role-play on an old Ultima Online free-shard called Krilldonia. My mistake on Krilldonia was making Ilyana a warrior instead of a rogue. Rogues on old UO can walk a seemingly infinite amounts of steps before being forced to hide again.

Warriors, at their best, could only hide.

But why does that matter?

Because this shard was a power gamer’s delight (counting all the bugs and exploits you could abuse), anyone and everyone was a target especially noobs like me.

Krilldonia had its strengths, and OMG it the weaknesses I discussed above– by the drove. To my knowledge, it began as a regular T2A shard with PvP going full strength. However, in order to add spice, the shard came up with the idea of joining levels with custom races (demon, vampire, ophidian, terathan), which in hindsight, was a…

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Thrown Weapon Master


5th Edition D&D design tries to avoid class features and feats that support specific weapons. Yet, there is still plenty of design space to support specific combat styles by tying feat(ure)s to weapon properties.

There are plenty of feats which support different weapon classes based on their properties.

Some classes (Fighters, Paladins, Rangers) also get access to Fighting Styles which improve a character’s combat prowess based on their weapon loadout:

  • Archery works for ranged weapons.
  • Dueling works for one 1-handed melee weapons.
  • Two-Weapon Fighting works for two 1-handed weapons.
  • Great Weapon Fighting works for 2-handed weapons.

As you can see, these feats and fighting…

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Coloring Pixels: clicking calm

Later Levels

What makes a video game? The argument about the type and extent of gameplay that must exist within a release in order classify it in this way has been a long-running one. Many players believe an element of difficulty and some degree of skill are part of the requirements and therefore certain genres, such as visual novels, don’t always fit the bill.

So what about a title where all you do is click on pixels to make them change colour; is it still a video game? This is the thought I had after downloading Coloring Pixels on Steam last month. During another gamers’ block evening where I couldn’t choose what to play, it popped up in my suggestions queue and I decided to take a chance. Adventures weren’t doing it for me at that moment and I couldn’t face getting into 100-hours or more for an RPG, so I thought…

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Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 4

Skulls in the Stars

Time for another edition of Old School Dungeons & Dragons! I did soooooo many of these threads on twitter, I’m kinda amazed and appalled. Still have many to catch up on here…

DDA1: Arena of Thyatis (1990), by John Nephew. This more obscure module is one I’ve had in my collection for a long time, but only finally got around to reading once I started these threads!

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Review: D&D Essentials Kit

Drop Lowest

If you’re searching for a reason why Dungeons & Dragons’ latest edition has been so incredibly successful, just cast an eye over the Essentials Kit. This affordable little box set may not be the most exciting or revolutionary RPG product in the world, but hot damn it’s good at getting new players rolling dice, delving dungeons and having plain, simple fun.

A beginners’ set in all but name,
the Essentials kit is packed with everything needed to get a game
running from scratch. This includes dice and character sheets, but the bulk of
the box is made up of a pared-down ruleset and a slab of easy-to-run adventures
that can be woven into a short campaign that climaxes in a battle with the most
iconic D&D enemy out there.

‘Pared-down’ is an incredibly
relative term, of course, and while the slim little rulebook pales in
comparison to the full Player’s…

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