(45 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

That would be my whole problem with playing religious types, Kryigerof- I myself find it impossible to defend an argument as forcefully as I should if, deep down inside, I don't believe it myself. I can MAKE a religious argument- I just can't roleplay one in character.


(12 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

Yes, I've finally found where the RPers hang out. There were a few others RPing in Pocket D after you left. Hopfully this will become a regular thing. I'll be dropping by Pocket D on a much more regular basis now.


(45 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

I think my email is enabled, so email or PM me about the MOO2  issue if you would, Darkhawk, and earn my eternal gratitude. I'd been lamenting it's loss ever since my copy stopped working.

As for the religion issue- whilst it's true that humans may well never grow out of the things you mentioned, I disagree that only religion can fill those needs. And note that I said "humans" here. One of the things that I like best about Alpha Centauri is the Transhumanist themes that run through it- "Man is something to be surpassed". Homo Sapiens may never grow out of those needs, but what if we grow out of being Homo Sapiens?

I'm the sort of person who always appends statements like "There are things that scence has no answer for" with the word "Yet." And I very rarely play religious types- I just can't see things from that point of view. Blind faith is not a virtue to me, and in the end, some degree of this is required in order to believe in something which cannot be proved.


(12 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

I must buy NWN2, probably upgrade my PC to run it properly, then play this game. It sounds so good, I'm getting twitches thinking about it...


(45 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

I'd be up for Master of Orion II if I had a copy that worked. Mine was literally played to death- over the years, the slow accumulation of tiny scratches rendered it unusable, and I've never been able to find a another copy for sale. I tried downloading a pirate replacement, but that just never worked. if anyone can help me find another to play, then I'd definately be up for a multiplayer game. Though the only hope for other players would be that I've become rusty since I last played the game- I regularly won on "impossible" difficulty near the end.

And the Lord's Believers slot gets filled? As a first choice?

There really are people with vastly different RP preferences to me. That's the one faction I've never seen any redeeming features in, either in terms of background or gameplay. But then, I'm a scientifically-minded atheist who feels that religion is something that intelligent individuals and mature societies would grow out of. It might be interesting to RP with somebody who is extolling a different point of view, though.


(12 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

Play.com is where I got the Good vs. Evil edition, and it accepts debit cards, as that's what I use. if you already have one version of CoH/CoV, then buying the Good vs. Evil edition will allow you to add the month of free play to your existing account, so you'll be saving some of what you spend.


(45 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

Well, I'd be up for playing Alpha Centauri, Darkhawk has said he'd go for it, so with Oluf that would be three. Anyone else interested? It'd be fun to have all seven factions roleplayed, though I imagine that it'd be hard to find someone who'd enjoy RPing the Lord's Believers. Still, given their usual approach to dipomacy as a computer-controlled faction, they would perfectly fit the role of annoying expansionist enemy that can't be negotiated with.

Any more interested?


(12 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

You should be able to get the Good vs. Evil edition now, which has both games on one account for the same monthly fee. I'm not sure if all existing accounts can now create both heroes and villains- perhaps someone who's been playing for longer could answer this.

If both types can create both heroes and villains now, then it wouldn't matter which version you bought, it would just means a longer downloading time for patches.


(45 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

Alpha Centauri has no play-by-email multiplayer option, so yes, we'd have to organise specific times when we can get together and play. But don't let that put you off- anyone who hasn't played the game should immediately buy it just for single player mode. It really is, in my opinion, the greatest turn-based strategy game ever made, even after all these years.

I played the original Galactic Civilisations game, before it inexplicably stopped working on my PC, and it seemed a fairly good game- though not a patch on the old Master of Orion II game. If the sequel does have a multiplayer option, I'd be willing to give that a try. I see on play.com that GalCiv2 has dropped to just over £10 in price now.

Did anyone ever play Emperor of the Fading Suns? It's abandonware now, and can be downloaded on several sites. It has a multiplayer play-by-email option. And it is based on a pen-and-paper RPG setting, so no shortage of rolplaying opportunity, especially as I have a shelf of Fading Suns RPG books.

Another option, if people want to have an email based strategy campaign, would be to do without the computer game aspect altogether. I've run several RPG and Wargame campaigns, and I could very easily put together a campaign based around politics and expansion in the traditional Civ-game style. No pretty interface, but a human GM would mean that players could flex their imaginations for what they want to do in a situation just like in the Seed days.

But personally, I REALLY want to try my hand at a roleplayed Alpha Centauri campaign. I even have the GURPS sourcebook based on the game. Is it too early to call dibs on the Human Hive if we do play it?


(45 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

You can get Alpha Centauri at play.com in the £5 / 3 games for £10 section. I assume it's going to be available elsewhere at similar prices.

There would indeed be specified characters, but they are all based around a philosophy for the future of the human race, and are certainly not as anachronistic as the Civ leaders. The game has such long-term appeal to me because it doesn't hold that one point of view is inherently right.

I can see that an Alpha Centauri roleplay would work especially well with the Seed community. I remember reading about Seed prior to the release and thinking to myself, "wow- it's like an Alpha Centauri MMORPG." There are certainly parallels. Seed and Alpha Centauri both shared a certain dark outlook that is generally missing in mainstream Sci-Fi with its endless variants on the Utopian Star Trek ideal. In both games, the potential was there to build a Utopia, but it wasn't the ineviatable, or even most likely, outcome, and people were going to have to get their hands dirty to achieve it.


(45 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

Alpha Centauri is still available if you look hard enough, and extremely cheap. As in it was £5 last time I looked. The one problem I've found is the inability to locate the Alien Crossfire expansion, either for sale or as a pirate download. My own copy became damaged last year, and I am determined to replace it, by fair means or foul. The extra factions were nothing special, but the new techs and landmarks filled in some major gaps in the game.


(45 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

I'd be willing to give it a go- I love Civ-style games. The old Master of Orion games were always my favourites, but I'd be willing to give most a try.

What games are people thinking of playing? Some Sci-Fi game would be my personal favourite, as it would be realistic to say that it's the same person/people you're playing and not just a succession of rulers.

With that in mind, I would propose Alpha Centauri as the ideal game for this. Extremely atmospheric, with one of the deepest setting a strategy game has ever had. Plus, it's old enough that any PC around now can run it, but it still works on modern operating systems. Who else still has a copy lying around?


(12 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

I've now set my Global chat handle to Tantavalist, now I realise that I have one and what it does. I've been neglecting my hero in favour of my new Villainous character lately, Nightschild. And I bought CoH/CoV as one game in the "Good versus Evil" edition- do all accounts now allow both heroes and villains, or just those who bought the disk? The other enhancements characters created after purchasing the disk get are being added to previous account holders, so perhaps you can now have a try on the other side.


(12 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

Having decided that Ryzom wasn't for me, I found that I was going into MMORPG withdrawal and with URU still a month away (assuming it even comes out on schedule), I decided to give City of Heroes a try. I'm actually finding it more engaging than Ryzom- it's a level-grinding game, but the levelling doesn't feel like a chore and level differences don't make as much of a difference in a group.

I've settled on a character for the long term, Athanus PA MkI (I may have other Athanus PA models, the same person in different Powered Armour suits) on the Union server. Feel free to get in contact, the one thing missing from the game for me is the fact I've not found any RPers there yet.


(7 replies, posted in Steambaths)

I've never read "The Damnation Game", but I've read a lot of Clive Barker's other books- Weaveworld, Imagica, The Books of Blood and The Great and Secret Show. It's generally good stuff, though I don't care for his constant Goddess-fixation. Barker is, however, the only living writer to craft tales that blur the line between horror and fantasy whose vision works on the same scale as Lovecraft's did.

I never really care much for books like "The God Delusion". I'm a hardcore atheist myself, so to me, saying God doesn't exist and religion is based on a delusion is like writing a book that says "the sky is blue". I agree, but what more is there to say than that?


(15 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

There's also the fact that, being in Yorkshire, things might have worked differently than in the councils back home in Scandinavia. There is evidence that, in the north of England, the Viking conquerers adopted some of the ways of the native Anglo-Saxons (and said blend of Norse/Anglo-Saxon ways produced a cultural divide between northern and southern England which lingers to this day). Plus, being invaders, the Vikings that landed in Britain were probably the more militant members of Norse society- so for them, a method of governing where your political influence is directly linked to how many warriors support you probably made more sense. And even the place the Vikings in question came from could have influenced it- what outsiders collectively called "Vikings" actually referred to several different countries. North-East England was conquered by the Danish, wheras the Viking who took over the North-West came from Norway, and there is definate evidence of differences between the two groups.


(15 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

If I recall correctly, the Viking version of democracy was to allow anyone who owned a weapon to vote in council. In Yorkshire (North-East England) the local councils were called "Wapentaks" (which I believe translates as "counting the weapons") until the 16th century at least. This does away with the problem of women voting- anyone who carries a weapon or has warriors pledged to their service has votes in the council.


(15 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

Kryigerof wrote:

After all, the Native Americans don't have any actual need to keep them there.

Actually, they will have quite a lot to offer any native tribes which bother to befriend them. In the real world, the two biggest trade items that the Native Americans wanted from white settlers were metal tools/weapons and alchohol, neither of which was made by the tribes. The Vikings could produce both of these. And unlike the white settlers of the real world who came centuries later, Viking technology isn't so far ahead of the natives that they couldn't learn to manufacture it themselves.

Friendly relations with the Vinlanders has the potential to jump the Mik-Maks (or whoever) from the stone age to the iron age in two or three generations.


(15 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

If the setting is a realistic one, then at first everything will be a neverending grind of gathering food and building shelters. As the settlement becomes more established (and more players join, or NPCs are added) we should be able to spend less time worrying about day-to-day survival.


(12 replies, posted in Games Discussion)

I'm not sure what the game will turn out like, but from what you've posted here, I'm sure that we'll all at least give it a try once the game goes to full release. I know I'm intrigued. Perma-death has, to me, always been the game mechanic that will ultimately drive the PvP combat monkeys away. If you can die for good, you find non-violent solutions to confrontations or you play an endless sucession of beginner characters. The realisation that they can't just respawn, and that their hard-earned levels (or whatever) can vanish for good will rid a setting of anyone who just likes to kill for killing's sake.


(7 replies, posted in Steambaths)

Warhammer 40,000 books can be very good, especially once you learn to recognise the better authors. The setting is a very good one, it's just a shame that Games Workshop only ever uses it as an engine to sell overpriced models and inferior rulesets. I still read the occasional collection of short stories set in universe myself.


(15 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

The Vinland concept appeals to me far more than the Golden City idea. Both have potential, but Vinland would be much easier to set up and build in stages. I've also enjoyed playing the Cultures games, so Viking settlers is something I already know I'd like.

The crafting/gathering system seems a solid one. In D&D 3rd edition, there are NPC "Commoner" classes, and skills that apply to none-combat/adventuring situations. Does NWN2 have the potential to add these? Or to modify existing classes with extra skills?

The nature of the Skraelings should be defined as well. In the real world, these were Native American tribes. In this fantasy alternate world, they could just as easily be orcs or whatever. It would certainly add an element of combat to things if that were the case- certain areas would have a chance of encountering random Skraeling bands, and GMs could run adventures with full-scale fights. Of course, I'd say that such things should be kept rare, with the potential for a diplomatic solution as well. Historically, the Skraelings wiped out the Viking settlers because they were more numerous and the Vikings were cut off from their homelands by the long sea voyages. The same thing almost happened with the first European settlers five hundred years later. Long-term survival of a settlement will almost certainly require friendly relations with a nearby tribe.


(12 replies, posted in Neverwinter Nights 2)

The city idea is a good one, but settings like Vinland, where things can start small, would be easier for the group to implement IMO. It'd be great if it could be pulled off, but I have doubts that it could be. It would take a LOT of work to build a city.


(7 replies, posted in Steambaths)

Since we've had quiet a few other similar topics on the preferences of the people here, I thought it would be interesting to get an idea of what sort of things people read.

What book(s) have you read recently? And what did you think of them?

Currently, I'm re-reading a favourite of mine, The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove. A time travel/Alternative history story, where 21st century South African Neo-Nazis travel back to the American Civil War and help the confederates. It's one of my favourite such yarns, because so many time travel stories have the superior people from the future effortlessly awing and outwitting their primitive ancestors. In this book, the time travellers find that men like Robert E. Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest are more than a match for them intellectually, and are also well used to overcoming superior forces when it comes to a direct confrontation.

Before that, I read the Complete Chronicles of Conan, by Robert E. Howard. My passion for Conan has been explored at great length elsewhere, so I won't repeat myself other than to reccomend this collection of classic fantasy works that predates the Lord of the Rings by almost twenty years.

My other reading matter has been the closing parts of the "Lucifer" graphic novel series by Mike Carey. A spin-off from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, in which Lucifer had quit his position as Lord of Hell, the series charts the ongoing tale of the Morningstar as he deals with demons, deities and cosmic principles in his quest to escape from the tyranny of God's Divine Plan. The title character is the reason the series is so compelling. The closest I can come to a comparison is Hannibal Lector- readers are left in no doubt that he is a monster, but even so, can't help but admire him because he is so brilliant and charismatic as well.


(45 replies, posted in Seed: The Second Chance)

The Dying Earth RPG is published by Pelgrane Press, and more closely follows the later books by Jack Vance. These, whilst still having most of the elements from the original stories, are lighter in tone with a sense of ironic humour running through them. Dying Earth game sessionstend to be improvisational and witty, with the GM simply describing a situation, then the players running with it. By default, the PCs play penniless rogues who must cheat and swindle their way through the world. They may have some skill at arms, but tend to avoid using it- fighting is dangerous. They may dabble in magic, but it's likely to backfire on them at a critical moment. Their only reliably effective weapons are their wits and their tongues.

The rules use the roll of a single six-sided dice. A result of one to three is a failure, four to six is success. If the roll fails, players can spend from their skill pools to re-roll. Thus, someone with a Quick Fingers skill of 4 can re-roll the dice when attempting to pick a pocket four times. 1 is a critical failure and costs 5 to re-roll, 6 is a critical success and restores 2 points. The spent points for re-rolls refresh whenever the characters rest in comfortable surroundings. Modifiers to difficulty usually consisty of altering how expensive re-rolls are. It's an unusual system, but once you graps it, a very good one. Online, it would simply need a bot that can roll 1D6 whenever someone types a command.

Another unique part of the rules is the experience system. Players are handed three taglines at the start of play. They must work these into a conversation at some point in the session, and are awarded XP for doing so. Using a tagline gets one point, using it in an appropriate situation gets two, and using it in a way that provokes hilarity from the rest of the group gets three. Examples of taglines are:-

"I have a superstitious nature. My appeal for Divine Aid was a reflexive utterance, not a spell."

"Please excuse my companion, who was dropped at birth."

"Come, let us drink wine and consider the matter dispassionately."

A player in my own gaming group got three points for using this last tagline as he was being dragged off to a dungeon by burly thugs.