How the PlayStation 2 killed console gaming for me

Bio Break

While computer gaming was really important to me in the 80s and 90s, I held an equal fascination for console games. They simply worked, for starters, and that wasn’t always something you could take for granted with loading up PC games and trying to get them to run. They were popular, too, and full of fresh experiences. From the Atari 2600 through the original PlayStation, I spent countless hours playing Super Mario Bros., Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, and more.

In fact, the PlayStation quickly became my second favorite console of all time. There were SO MANY great games for it, including some terrific RPGs, and I depended on it greatly toward the end of my college years when my laptop was aging and couldn’t really handle any modern titles whatsoever. Getting the PlayStation 2 when it came out in the fall of 2000 seemed like a no-brainer. Yet it turned…

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Gamer Confession Tag

AmbiGaming

A long time ago, A Geek Girl’s Guide wrote a gamer confession tag post, which was then picked up by fabulous bloggers like Extra LifeFalcon Game Reviews, and The Codex: Online. It’s been a while, I know, but this was a fun one and I’m always up for confessing my love for games, so here we go!

A game everyone loves but you can’t stand:

There are very few games that I straight up “can’t stand,” as I usually find some enjoyment in the games I play. But… I guess this might be a controversial answer but I really, really do not like Pokemon Go!, not because of any inherent awfulness about the game. From what I hear, it’s quite fun, but while my brother and sister would brag about how they had met and talked to strangers because they were all hunting the same…

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Four Tips for Writing Family-Friendly Adventures

Scriv the Bard

In “What I Learned from DMing for Children”, I talk about running a D&D adventure for kids. In this post, we will explore some of the things that take place before you get to the table when writing the adventure. While there will be some overlap, I recommend reading that first post before you continue to read this one 🙂

As the D&D Workshops continue to grow, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes an adventure “family friendly”? A disclaimer before we continue: the things I describe below are in the context of an introductory one-shot I wrote specifically for the workshops, designed to provide an engaging foray into D&D and role-playing. Writing a full campaign would have different considerations that we can discuss in another post 🙂

First, remember to keep your story simple, but adaptable. By that, I mean don’t throw the players into an intricate tale…

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From the DM’s Chair: Session 9, The Ways

Shadowonthewall

We’ve all probably been there: you’re playing a video game, you’re coming to the end of the level. Finally, all of your hard-work and long sessions of thumb flicking have paid off. But, there’s still one final hurdle you have to overcome, a threat greater than any before. You step into the final room of that dungeon and watch a cut-scene as a horrifying monster prepares to attack. This is the boss-fight, it’s a staple of gaming. One could argue in Dungeons and Dragons it occurs less so. However, the narrative effect of boss fights are still at play within D&D itself: climatic clashes against an antagonistic force, which usually end in some great achievement, like magic items or extra experience. Sometimes, however, you can use the scene after a final boss to great effect in other ways. Sometimes, revelations of plot can be just as satisfying as a magic…

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The Ultimate Video Game (a QotM answer)

Later Levels

September’s Question of the Month is brought to you by Ian from Adventure Rules: Nintendo fan, Blogger Blitz host and an awesome writer who brings the community together. To find out more about him and his site, as well as how you can get involved, take a look at this post.

As mentioned by Annie in her own QotM response over on Guardian Acorn last week, the elements for an awesome video game are purely subjective and dependent on a players’ personal preferences. But what if The Ultimate Video Game was being made just for you: what ingredients would a developer need to throw into the mix to make a release tailored to your tastes, and one which would forever cement its place on your favourites list?

*queue wavy dream sequence*

???

The Ultimate Video Game launches 17 September 2018

London, UK – 12 September 2018 – the…

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Persuasion Check: Unearthed Arcana – Dragonmarks

Ready To Role

A new month, a new Unearthed Arcana. This time around we’re taking a look at some content from Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron from the Dungeon Master’s Guild, specifically looking at Dragonmarks.

The Dragonmarks are essentially 12 new subraces or variant races for humans, half-elves, half-orcs, halflings, elves, gnomes, and dwarves. Each of the 12 can only be used with a specific race, though they can be boosted with a feat for Greater Dragonmarks, and Aberrant Dragonmarks can be applied to any character at any time, though they come with a cost.

Due to the sheer size of this Unearthed Arcana, I have forgone any extreme number crunching in exchange for bite-sized takes on how I feel they stack up. If I miss something good or bad, please be sure to let me know in the comments!

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Dealing with MMO feature bloat, pruning, and obsolescence

Bio Break

Today I’m going to combine a few rants/whines about MMO systems and look at it as a combined, rather than separate, issue. There are two situations that particularly bother me about developing live MMORPGs, and I’m starting to think that they’re related.

The first issue that I have are games that introduce new systems and then either fail to support themor end up deleting them in the future entirely. World of Warcraft is downright notorious for doing this. Blizzard is forever introducing expansion-selling features — glyphs, jewelcrafting, garrisons, artifact weapons, order halls — and then downplaying them or outright eliminating them come the next expansion.

This frustrates me because it creates an environment where nothing can be depended on to last. You get super-invested in these systems because the studio is pushing them hard, and then you’re left holding nothing for all of your hard work and effort. Star…

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Consequences & Dark Turns, The Sage Unending, Campaign Diary 6

Misanthropester

f061b26580185b518addd41cea9bbd66.jpg

The Long Bones

In what is becoming a bit of a habit, I was dragging bound prisoners through the streets of New Adtham. Once again explaining to city guard we were on ‘guild business.’ However, this time, holding up the wanted poster, we turned over to the guard the deep gnome Claagingred claiming a 2000 gold reward. We took our other prisoner straight to the Guild for interrogation but also because I felt the need to talk to Qwand sooner rather than later about what was in the gnome’s journal.

“I hear her voice. It call to me. She is pleased with my stone pit, and delighted at the people I bring in. Sometimes she guides me to entertaining entrants, sometimes she guides me to guests who would enjoy the show. She promises wealth…and I find it! Never been this wealth in the Under. Never COULD have been this…

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D&D Dad: The Lost Mine of Phandelver (review)

Michael Jasper

D&D Starter SetAs part of this blog series, I wanted to do brief reviews of the different Dungeons & Dragons adventure we’ve played. We’re focusing on 5th edition D&D only, by the way.

TIP: For each adventure we play, I write a short recap that’s FULL of spoilers. If you’re a DM, check out the Lost Mine Adventure Report.

With these reviews I want to do more than just give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. I want to give my opinion on what I liked, of course, but also give you tips if you’re a new Dungeon Master and trying out these adventures. I want to make sure you start playing with all the tools and knowledge you need to make it a blast for everyone at the table. Even if it’s your first time as DM!

That said, the adventure that comes with the D&D Starter set, “The Lost…

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The Bottomless Tombs

Dyson's Dodecahedron

While a number of the old shaft tombs of the Etturan Dynasty have been found and explored, there is one that remains a well-kept secret amongst sages, masters of dark arts, and the few adventurers who have been there. Possibly the original shaft tomb of the dynasty, or perhaps a strange discovery that became the inspiration for the ones to come – the Bottomless Tombs seem to have earned their name.

The central part of these tombs is a 15 foot x 15 foot shaft that seems to go down forever. Determining the actual depth has proven to be beyond the abilities of scrying and simple engineering, and areas of both permanent magical darkness as well as areas of anti-magic (as well as a host of hostile inhabitants) make exploring the depths of the shaft an unwelcoming idea.

But this map concentrates on the tombs around the upper portion of…

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