Thursday, January 21, 2010

Random Thought Bubbles... bullet-point format. It's kinda cheating.

- I finished Dan Abnett's Ravenor trilogy last week. After reading six of his interrelated novels in a row, my brain is kinda fried in terms of finding anything that awesome to read afterward. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again anyway; the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies are amazing. Especially from the perspective of dark science-fiction gaming inspirational material.

- Speaking of finding awesome stuff to read, Del Rey is putting out a new Robert E. Howard collection, centered around El Borak and featuring many of Howard's other "desert adventures". I've got most of the works that show up in this new collection, but the books are close to 40 years old and showing every minute of it, and having everything in a new volume would be wonderful. I'll definitely pick this up when it arrives in early February.

- I've slowly been making my way through Heroes via Netflix instant viewing. I'd seen the first season on DVD maybe a year ago, and had been warned that the later seasons weren't all that great. I'm beginning to agree, but I don't necessarily think they're awful, just kinda over-complicated and ridiculous. I've never been all that fascinated by superheroes or comic book culture; I collected some G.I. Joes back in my youth, followed later on by the Punisher, Conan, and Wolverine, but beyond that I'm just not that into the whole scene. I can certainly see how this is an attempt to, in a way, take the superhero genre into the "real world", but I just find that to be something of an oxymoron anyhow.

- Over at the blog of my good friend Darkwing, the Arcadia Prime Blog, there's a new post about what we call "The Law", or more precisely, The Inverse Law of Arguments Mattering. While we apply The Law most often to wargaming, it has equal application to RPGs, especially those with crunchy, fiddly systems with lots of tiny little modifiers. I've seen a great number of arguments about how "overbalanced" it is to give +1 this or -1 that in various edition of D&D. By and large, any +1 modifier to a D20 roll only comes into play, i.e., only matters for the purposes of success or failure, 1 out of every 20 throws of the dice. Yes, lots of +1's piling up can be troublesome, but really, getting bent out of shape because one version of D&D gives a +1 modifier at a certain stat level and another version gives a +2...well that means one in every twenty times you roll for that particular ability, it'll have an effect. I suppose some people can get worked up about this, but I'm just not one of them.

- Those of you who play Warhammer 40K, or at the very least have an interest in it, should keep an eye out for a couple of pretty cool battle reports that'll be going up on the Arcadia Prime blog. Darkwing and I recently wrapped up the second have of a four-battle campaign between the Imperial Guard and the Orks, and the reports (with plenty of photos and lots - I mean lots - of carnage) will be coming shortly.

- I have not forgotten RPGs, but between prepping for the 40K battles, work, vacation, and a myriad of other Real Life complications, I just haven't been focusing a lot on it lately. Rest assured, once I get back on track, I'll let you know. I actually hope to get some good photos of a number of my 40K units up here in the coming weeks, for those of you interested in miniatures and miniature wargaming.

TTFN, gentle readers.