Friday, May 30, 2008

Origins or Bust

A few weeks ago GAMA released the event schedule for Origins Game Fair and I signed up for my events when the list came available. This is the first year I have been able to get into all the games I wanted to play. At this point I have my schedule full and am really looking forward to the weekend in June starting on the 25th.

When I go to Origins I play a lot of roleplaying games because I don't get a chance to most of the time to play them. I also have a board game scheduled and a couple seminars on the industry of gaming.

At this point I have the following scheduled.

  • Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition - Gotta give it a try since it will be out on the shelves this month.
  • All Flesh Must Be Eaten - Because zombies are cool when kept in the rear view mirror.
  • The Savage World of Solomon Kane - Pulp adventure in Robert E. Howard's world could never be better.
  • Pathfinder - The continuing saga in the D&D 3.5 rules has me intrigued with Paizo's world.
  • Mutants & Masterminds - There's a little superhero in everyone.
  • Call of Cthulhu - H.P. Lovecraft's world of strangeness is always a blast (sometimes more literally than others).
  • Serenity - The big damn game I miss out on every year at Origins, but not this time.
  • Star Trek - Not my favorite setting for a roleplaying game but the event description sounded really cool.

And this is the board game I wanted to try out before buying.

  • Arkham Horror - Another game based on H.P. Lovecraft's imagination.

Those things should keep me busy for most of the weekend. There was a time when I would have been able to sacrifice more sleep for gaming, but I am one of those gamers who started playing in the early 80's, thus I am one who just doesn't have the energy for all-nighters anymore.

If you are planning on being at Origins this year I would love to hear what games you are looking forward to. So, please post a comment or e-mail me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

MMOing in LotRO

The last several weeks I have been playing with a game I have not played in a long time. It's Lord of the Rings Online. Way back then, when the game was about to go live, I started an account in beta testing. It was great! There were players everywhere. Everyone who had been on for any period of time was fun to play with and friendly with those new to the game. Then it went live and the limits on where people could go and everyone went. It was a couple weeks after going live that I was able to play again and when I logged in there wasn't anyone around. It was really surreal. I was all alone. So, I stopped playing.

Over a month ago I logged in again. There were people! Over the last month or so I have been playing on a regular basis. My main character, Gorlin, has been leveling well and exploring the places I have always wanted to see from when I read the books. At first, coming back was slow going and then I came across a kinship (guild) I really fit well with. They were fun to play with. They were helpful. And, most of all, they were not power-leveling focussed. I like experiencing the environment and interacting with others at my own pace.

Then it happened. It always happens with a guild at one point or another where you get many different people trying to get along in a cohesive group. There were a few people who felt dumped on, and from what I have heard they were by other people in the kinship. So, they left the kinship. I stayed along with a few others and we still get along with those who felt the need to leave. What happened is that the kinship was passed on to another player for leadership. That player set me, along with a few others as officers. There was some cleaning of the ranks. Now the kinship seems to be clear of the selfish ones who made our friends leave the kinship in the first place. From here on out we will be taking a lot more care with who we invite to be members. We want a fun place in the world of Tolkein for everyone.

So, why am I playing an MMO instead of playing a pen-and-paper roleplaying game? I don't have a regular gaming group. I should try and start one myself as I am perfectly comfortable being the game master, the toughest part about playing a roleplaying game. The other day I stopped in my FLGS to see what new books they had available and asked if they have a gaming group that meets regularly there. There wasn't but they did say that if I wanted to start one I could use their facility for meeting. I might give it a go.

But then, I do really love my dwarf online. So, for now, Gorlin will be traveling the lands of Middle-Earth.