Apple Arcade: Is renting games worth it?

Bio Break

About a week ago, Apple released iOS 13 for its mobile devices, and with it the vaunted Apple Arcade platform. The idea here is that instead of buying cheap/free (and heavily monetized) titles that are littering up the App Store, Apple Arcade would offer an all-you-can-play buffet of curated, high-quality titles for $5 a month.

And the first month is free. That’s how they get ya.

I checked it out just because I’ll take advantage of almost any trial that’s set in front of my face. So far? I’m kind of impressed. There definitely is a nice initial selection of titles, some of which I recognize from other platforms as moderately priced titles (such as Sayonara Wild Hearts and Overland). And there was a giddy moment when I just downloaded all the ones that I wanted to check out.

Of course, I don’t own these games. I don’t have any…

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[Hexmap] Adventures Around Jalovhec

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Chonki Hexmap WIP

Sprawling over the area where the Greenbeck river joins the Vhec is the trading centre of Jalovhec. A “point of light” in an area of dark forests, wastelands, and inhospitable low mountain ranges, Jalovhec is walled and and well defended against predation by the locals and assisted by its trading partners.

Adventures around Jalovhec Adventures around Jalovhec

The whole area around the city is ripe for adventure – the forests are home to strange creatures and foul humanoids, the wastelands were once home to elder civilizations, and the mountains were mined in the last age by clans of dwarves.

Adventures around Jalovhec BW Adventures around Jalovhec (Black & White)

This map was an experiment with how I draw hexmaps – the maps I drew for The Fantasy Trip involved a lot of nice crunchy hand-drawn hexes and I thought it would be fun to make the hexes a central part of the design of a regional hexmap…

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D&D Dad: “Storm King’s Thunder” Adventure/Campaign Report, Session 2

Michael Jasper

Here’s the third of our party’s Adventure Report for the humongous Dungeons & Dragons campaign Storm King’s Thunder.

Session2_Chars

(I’m finally getting around to posting these!)

Session 2, 3/26/19:

The party is joined by the halfling rogue Halberticus Darkleaf, an old friend, in Nightstone. Hal meets them at the temple after everyone takes a short rest after the battle with the goblins and the worgs. The two soldiers from the keep are also accompanying the team, and they’re anxious to find the missing townspeople after the giant attack.

However, before they can move out of Nightstone, they hear meowing from a ruined house. Mavthos and Hal go to investigate, but their bumbling scares off the creature, which they hear skittering inside the house. Luckily, Torinn uses some monk skills to corral the creature, which turns out to be a tressym — a winged cat with a tag on its neck that…

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For Love of Pact-Blood

Ilyanas Tomb of Doom

demon-knightvamp

I have wandered far too long in Neverwinter, bumped my head on its ceiling, and now long to feel closer to the ponderless subject of my chosen god, Tzeentch. As a vampire, you eagerly follow the rules and demands of your baron or baroness, however, when you grow past them, see them crumble under the forces of change, you get a taste of the nonstop scheming of Tzeentch. Such a frame is far past even the experience of a vampire who has seen less than a century. In contrast, Tzeentch has seen uncountable centuries, danced unknowable dances, plotted intricate plots beyond the measure of any kin.

Neverwinter’s schemers do their honest best, but yet, they do not know, cannot guess of their own role within the Lord of Change’s scope. Why, you ask? Take any schemer, from any sect, any stripe of good or evil. Good. Now, ask yourself, why…

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Movement Effect Size Caps

ThinkDM

There’s a variety of character features in 5th Edition D&D that allow you to manipulate another creature’s position on the battlefield. Yet, unlike grappling and shoving mechanics, many of these features are not limited by the target’s size. This produces some absurd results.

Sentinel Feat. An ancient dragon swoops down on the party to deliver a few melee strikes while its breath weapon recharges. As the massive dragon bats its wings to take back to the air, a PC with the Sentinel feat takes their opportunity attack, and hits. This reduces the dragon’s speed to 0 and it can’t escape because the fighter stabbed its toe.

Repelling Blast. The party is hunkered down in a fortification bracing for battle upon the arrival of a leviathan. Thankfully for the party, their warlock has taken the Eldritch Invocation Repelling Blast. So, each time the warlock hits the leviathan with an Eldritch Blast…

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A Trio of Favorite Nintendo Memories

VIRTUAL BASTION

With #NintendoSeptember coming to a close, it’s fitting that we should round things out with our favorite Nintendo memories. Since my days with the magical, gray block that was called the Nintendo Entertainment System, I’ve racked up quite a few of them, from playing pass-the-controller with my siblings as we valiantly tried to conquer Super Mario Bros. 3, to witnessing the unforgettable opening moments of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on the Switch. (Yes, already a memory!) In between, there have been good times and bad times, but mostly really good times, three of which stick out a little more in my mind that the rest. 

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Real Neat Blog Award – Double Shot

Gaming Omnivore

I was recently nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award not once, but twice within the span of 10 days by both Meghan Plays Games and from AK at Everything Is Bad For You! Today I will be answering both sets of questions, so get comfy as we begin!

Give a rundown of a good book you’ve read this summer! (or, any book you’ve really enjoyed lately)

I admit I haven’t read too many books recently, with the most recent one being another read through of the book Console Wars by Blake J. Harris. The book depicts the competition between Sega and Nintendo during the 80’s & 90’s. The largest portion of the book centers around former Sega of America CEO Tom Kalinske as he is brought aboard the (then)up-and-coming Sega as they successfully cut the market share of home gaming consoles in half from bitter rival Nintendo, who…

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Classic Dragon Quest is Coming to Switch!

VIRTUAL BASTION

Fans of the original set of Dragon Quest games are in luck, soon they’ll be able to enjoy all three NES titles on Switch. Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line, and Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation will be hitting the Nintendo Switch eShop on September 27.


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