Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A few bullet points

- Have you been by the Warriors of the Red Planet blog lately? Thomas has posted an example page of how the book is looking, which is simply amazing!

- Have you been paying attention to the open beta of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG? Since I had a chance to playtest the game, I've been cautiously optimistic about this, and it is definitely growing on me. To the point that I'm thinking about running a one-off with my group to try it out from a DMing perspective. There's plenty of nice old-school nods here, like race-as-class and level titles, but one of my favorite elements is what they call the character generation "funnel".

In a nutshell, the "funnel" means everyone rolls up 2 or 4 0-level characters to start, and (if any survive the first adventure) you pick your favorite to move along to first level. While my kneejerk reaction was that this was just a way to let everyone enjoy a meatgrinder adventure without fear of ending up character-less five minutes into it, the implications are actually a lot more interesting. Its actually a clever way to avoid the d20 rabbit-hole of min-maxing - you aren't carefully crafting a bonus-master PC, you're picking an average joe that you have an emotional and time investment in. Character development through actual play, rather than number-crunching - how can I not love this?

- Also on the DCC RPG front, Joe's been posting some artists galleries showing off the awesome art for the game, and the latest feature is Erol Otus, so check that out.

- Have you been watching all these movie trailers? 2012 is looking like its going to be a banner year for genre movies: John Carter, The Hobbit, Prometheus, Avengers (to name a few). Lets just say I was less than impressed with the last couple of years worth of cheap remakes and knock-offs (I think Tin Tin was actually the best adventure film of 2011), and I'm looking forward to something with a little effort put into it.

- One movie we won't be seeing, though, is Elfquest. Because someone at Warner Brothers decided its the exact same thing as the Hobbit. Wtf Warner Brothers? Did I mention the last couple years of cheap remakes and knockoffs? Maybe this will free up some cash to work on that remake of Soylent Green with Seth Rogen and Jennifer Aniston.

- Lastly, I once mentioned ( a loooooong time ago) talking a bit more about health: "...we all joke about "Gamer's Disease", and it's no secret our hobby doesn't involve a lot of healthy eating/exercise, and many of us are soon-to, or have long-since, passed the dreaded, evil, forty-mark. There have simply been too many health-related tragedies in our hobby in the last few years to pretend there's not a problem. Is there a way to effectively promote healthy living hand-in-hand with gaming?"

I still think health is a huge concern in the gaming community - diabetes, obesity, and depression, especially, seem to have a constant (but politely ignored) presence. If I put together a "Healthy Gamer" resource page, would any of you be interested in that? Or if I were to post monthly "guest columns" from readers about exercise, recipes etc, would you be interested in reading or contributing? Please let me know in the comments below.


  1. Healthy Gamer resources would be most welcome. I'm not a smoker and I'm not overweight but I don't get enough exercise and I am nearly 47. From my recent post about the perils of the 40s, it seems there are a lot of other gamers out there who are in the middle of this vexatious decade, so I'd imagne I'm not alone in my interest in this subject.

  2. A Healthy Gamer Initiative sounds like a good idea.

    I would love to combine my love of paddling and backpacking with roleplaying games. Pack or paddle for the day, set up camp, then play around the campfire, then do it all again the next day, and the next.

  3. Definitely would appreciate a Healthy Gamer resource page. I turn 50 in a few months and have been struggling with high blood pressure and being a few pounds (okay, 20+ pounds) overweight. I wonder if part of the overweight problem is that many of us hold jobs which have little if any physical activity. Then we enter a Catch-22 cycle of not working out because it hurts or we look bad, so we get worse. One of the gamers in my group was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic. We changed our snacks to accommodate his dietary needs. Less chocolate, cookies and junk, more cheeses, veggies and fruit.

  4. Each hit point lost = 5 pushups.

  5. RE fitness, I've been thinking about this same topic for a while now. I think so many gamers are out of shape that gamers that are in good physical condition are almost embarrassed into silence, thus the lack of dialogue.
    I think, however, that if you start talking about it people will be very interested.

  6. Game in the wilderness. We live about 5 minutes from a trailhead into the mountains so sometimes we'd go hike up to the summit(there's a pavilion up there), and game in the mountains.

  7. Maybe once a week a Healthy Gamer tip or throw out a question, then get answers to it. After a year, PDF it up and leave it for posterity.

    @ Jesse - I like that idea! Sounds like how OJ got into shape - he watched TV all day long, but did nonstop pushups and crunches during the CMs.

  8. Definitely would be interested in healthier recipes that I could use to feed my gaming group. We pretty much subsist on Pizza, crock-pot chicken wings, etc.

  9. Healthy DM program: use training measuring software on smartphone and get a bonus on attack/damage/save for a set amount. :)

    Setting the joke aside, healthy gaming or general ideas about healthy life with examples from fellow gamers are always welcome. Everyone can take a few more inspirations on diets or trainings.

    Count me in.

  10. That is an interesting idea. Diet and water (vs. only pop & beer) is HUGELY important!

    I'm pretty anxious about the Ridley Scott & Hobbit movies

  11. I think a healthy gamer page would be fantastic.

  12. http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/14/health/video-gamers-bodybuilders-fitocracy/index.html

    Thought you might find the above link interesting. Also, I wonder about chicken egg: are gamers unfit and unhappy because they game or do they game because they are unfit and unhappy? (boo, hiss!) Regardless, I have noticed that the more fit some gamers get, the less they game; on the other hand, some gamers are very fit people.



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