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Messages - CSmythe

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I gotta say that personally I didn't like The Innocent Mage. I thought there was some potential there but it sort of felt like it had been somehow both over and under-edited. Some parts that I thought could have been way more conscise dragged on for pages but others that actually had some interesting story ramifications were crunched down to half a page or even less.

I never did bother to read the second book since the first one was such a chore for me to get through but maybe that's just me.

I followed up HoA with Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky(sp?) but it is a pretty different style of book. I think the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks is a decent follow up to Mistborn though I will warn that the second one is much better than the first. Not a challenging read by any stretch but still fun.

Also if you haven't read the Wheel of Time it is a must read, especially since EUOL is finishing it off.

Role-Playing Games / Re: Adapting Novels to RPGs
« on: January 22, 2009, 05:46:55 PM »
I have played Mutants and Masterminds but frankly was unimpressed. It has a really great creation system but I found that once you got into combat it was all pretty static. I like variable damage rather then the M&M static damage.

Champions I am not really all that familiar with so am not sure how well it would work, though I hear nothing but horror stories about the character creation in that one.  I'm thinking of going with the Scion system from White Wolf. If I drop off the built in fluff it should be good for it.

Role-Playing Games / Adapting Novels to RPGs
« on: January 21, 2009, 10:53:46 PM »
I am about half way through Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy and have decided that I like the setting enough to try using it as an RPG setting.

For those not familiar with the series it is about an orphan who becomes a "wetboy," which is basically an assassin with magic powers. I don't want to say much more about the series since I don't want to spoil anything but suffice to say that there is a relatively undefined system of magic that seems capable of pretty much anything though it is limited by the concentration and imagination of the person wielding it. Within the world there exist a number of magical traditions who all learn how to use the magic differently but with one pretty notable exception all magic seems to work pretty much the same way.

As I said I am not finished the series yet so the magical system may indeed become more codified by the end of the final book. And if so I will simply have to adapt.

My problem becomes one of system, I don't find that 4th edition of D&D to be particualrly suited to most fantasy novel settings. It is just a little to rigid in the way it works. I also don't think that the D20 system will fit quite right mostly because of the way the magic system works.

I could attempt to adapt the SAGA edition of the Starwars rules but that still feels like not quite the right feel.

So I think what I am looking for (after all that rambling) is a leveless system, with a pretty fluid magic system and a nice ability to customize it. I would also like a system that is readily available, and reasonably priced. Simple is better since it may be a system with which I am not familiar and my current playerbase is pretty new to gaming in general.

Has anyone got any suggestions of a favourite system for this kind of adaptation? And just to prehijack this thread what other fantasy novel settings have you tried adapting for your own games?

Thanks all.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: A Memory of Light
« on: January 20, 2009, 11:57:02 PM »
As far as it goes I am pretty sure that the Creator and the Dark One are brothers. At least in the metaphysical sense, they are equal and opposite halves of thing.

The Creator bound the Dark One at the begining of time but the Dark One is the one who can finally stop the wheel turning if he ever does get free.

Also my pet theory, and sorry if this has been stated already, I didn't have time to read the whole thread, is that at the end of the Last Battle the Dragon must sacrafice himself and take the DO into himself, then trap himself outside of the turning of the wheel. Basically at the end of it all Rand will become the new DO and Lews Therrin will finally be able to be released but it is that binding of himself to the DO that sticks him in the reincarnation cycle.

But then again I have had that idea since I read the first book for the first time and I was about 10 so maybe it makes no sense now.

It could also explain the Taint on the True Source as well assuming that Lews Therrin was channeling at the time that he became the DO that evil could have been an unitentional backwash across the Source. Perhaps if Rand is not channeling at the time he makes the same sacrafice then the Source will remain pure since there is no open conduit to it.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Brandon To Write Wheel of Time Book 12
« on: January 19, 2009, 10:29:30 PM »
I think the problem with Ryanjm's post is the line return the series to its former glory. I don' t think that the Wheel of Time was ever less than glorious. Sure some of the books slowed down for a while, especially once all the POV characters were scattered all over Creation. Each of those characters has a part to play in the story and so they all deserved some POV time. If you want just as a fun excercise you should try reading the series but only the POVs of your favourite character. Really near the end they read more like 5 complete novels braided together.

As a side not it takes very little time to do it that way for me since my favourite isn't even in one or two books.

I just finished listening to EUOL's interview over on Dragonmount and no matter what else I am sure that he will do a great job with the series just because he loves it. He will give it the respect he deserves, I'm looking forward to it.

Books / Re: What are you reading, part 3
« on: January 19, 2009, 10:16:22 PM »
Just starting in on the second novel in the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks. I honestly was going to pass on the rest of this series after having read the first but it keeps getting recommended to me by people whose opinions I trust. Apparently Weeks fixes a number of the things I had problems with in the second volume so who knows. It is a series about a magic assassin so it could turn out great.

On Stephanie Meyer I gotta say that The Host, from what of it I managed to wade through is pretty bad. I dug Twilight, thought it could have been a great series but then mostly just got offended by the rest of it. Now I'll state for the record that I am a guy and 26 so probably not her target audience but really I had a pretty big problem with Bella becoming basically suicidal as soon as Edward left at the end of Twlight. It just seemed like she met a guy and decided that without him life wasn't worth living, not really a great message to be sending to teenage girls as far as I am concerned.

I have never in my life advocated banning books but I desperatly wish they would keep this out of the hands of children, it teaches terrible lessons for young girls and frankly is not something I would want my daughter (assuming I had one) reading until she was at least old enough to see how messed up it was.

Maybe I read to much into it, on the surface it certainly is a book about a girl who is in love with a sparkly (ugh) vampire and on that level it is fine, except for the sparkling.


Even though I am mostly rocking Fable II non-stop right now I am happy to play any games I have in common with you. Gamertag is Griffonheart. PSN is Caliburnus.

See you online.

Video Games / Re: Fable 2 Released
« on: January 19, 2009, 06:12:59 PM »
I realize this thread was all but dead but I figured since I finally got around to playing Fable II I would chime in. At the start I found this game really slow, not a ton of involvement in with the main story since I had heard that like its predecessor if you just did the main quest you could finish it mighty quickly. I found that pretty frustrating right off the hop, but once I embraced the idea of just running constant sidequests and trying to keep my wife (wives) happy it became a whole different experience. All in all I have had a great time with it, even if the main story really isn't the point of playing the game.

Has anyone picked up the Knothole Island expansion, and if so what did you think of it? It is only about $8 so if it is fun I might grab it.

Role-Playing Games / Re: Roleplaying CCG
« on: January 19, 2009, 06:02:06 PM »
That GURPS scenario sounds really interesting to me. I don't think I have ever played an RPG that was GM optional, that tends to be why I think of them as a co-operative experience. One person sets the scene and the other(s) act within it.

Do you remember which version of the GURPS rules that was in?

Video Games / Re: Star Wars: Force Unleashed
« on: January 13, 2009, 07:53:13 PM »
I gotta say I loved this game, both minutes of it. Man this thing was short. I was pretty disappointed by the glitchyness especially considering how many delays there were. That said it is a great experience and totally worth playing through at least once (though I played it twice to get both endings).

Video Games / Re: Prince of Persia
« on: January 13, 2009, 07:50:31 PM »
Finished it a couple of days ago and all in all I had a good time with it though I doubt I will bother with the rest of the series.

The game is story heavy at the begining and end, if you want more story then that it is optional. It comes out when you talk to Elika throughout the game.

I wasn't thrilled with the ending, it seemed pretty contrived to me and certainly not on par with the ending, or the level of story telling in SoT.

Final impression is that it is a fun game, but rent don't buy. It only takes about 6 hours to finish, I suppose their is more game to be had if you want to go back and hunt down every last light seed but frankly I don't see the point of redoing the same puzzles over and over to collect the orbs.

Role-Playing Games / Re: Roleplaying CCG
« on: January 13, 2009, 05:28:56 PM »
A note for the OP, would you use the CCG resolution mechanic to represent a full combat? If you used a game like MtG for example you could easily simulate a wizards duel but it makes a melee a little harder to resolve. How would you handle additional combatants joining the combat? How would you use a CCG to handle disarming traps and similar non-combat encounters?

It is an interesting idea, I doubt though that most CCGs currently on the market are adapatable enough to handle the resolution of every possible situation. I also wonder since most CCGs tend to take a long time to play just how much time for the actual RPG would be left. There are games that use things like Rock, Paper, Scissors as the resolution mechanic and I know that this is a concept that is writ large across a number of CCGs so if you wanted to create one this might be the place to start.

Role-Playing Games / Re: Roleplaying CCG
« on: January 13, 2009, 05:24:38 PM »
If you check the first post the question was is their an RPG that uses a CCG style mechanic. Now as this was posted in neither the Video Games or CCG forum I was under the impression that the OP wanted an RPG of the pen and paper variety that used a CCG mechanic as a conflict resolution system. Perhaps I was wrong.

As to your second point I believe, again I may be mistaken, that using a CCG mechanic for conflict resolution does not necessarily make the game a different animal then an RPG. In fact a CCG reolution may well serve as a less random way of handling the conflict. In most RPGs the element of randomness is supplied by dice, playing cards, etc. But if you used a CCG, with a clear winner and loser after the game to determine the victor of the RPGs conflict then it adds a level of skill to the conflict itself instead of leaving it purely in the realm of chance.

In your GURPS example of the single player tutorial (for lack of a better word) was it a single player and no GM? To my mind if there is a GM as well as even one player then the story-telling is co-operative, though I must admit when it comes to gaming I tend to follow the Narativist school anyway.

I do like your definition, it was clearly well thought out. Personally I do not consider video game RPGs to be in the same vein as tabletop RPGs but that may well be a personal bias. I do enjoy video games of all types but find them to be more of a cinematic experience or like reading a book then I consider them to be a Roleplaying experience.

Role-Playing Games / Re: Roleplaying CCG
« on: January 12, 2009, 04:22:36 PM »
NWN is not relevent to this discussion since we are talking about a pen and paper RPG here and still not in the video games forum. Video game RPGs remain a very different animal to a tabletop game so I am not sure why you insist on bringing them up.

Monty Hall games are a reality with gaming but I, and most RPG players that I know would argue that they are not a roleplaying experience. They simply happen to use the RPG's combat rules, and really are more like a card or board game then they are like an RPG.

My argument remains that Munchkin is not an RPG because it is neither a creative nor co-operative experience. Munchkin involves each player attempting to beat, by any means necessary your friends. Whereas RPGs involve getting together with your friends to overcome a series of challenges presented for you by your GM. Even the relationship with the GM in RPGs though is not a confrontational one, the GM provides the setting and scene with which the players interact but is not the enemy. RPGs are a co-operative storytelling experience, the goal of the game is to create an exciting and interesting experience for everyone involved.

Perhaps you should give us your definition of an RPG since apparently wanting to have RPGs with RP is something you consider elitist.

Books / Re: What are you reading, part 3
« on: January 10, 2009, 04:07:03 PM »
Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians. I believe you can actually purchase it straight from, if not I am sure your local bookstore will have it.

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