John* Stater's latest masterpiece (trust me, I haven't seen it yet I admit, but this is one of those things I am confident on) Blood & Treasure Complete is now out. The tome is on Lulu in hard cover and over here on soft cover; and there is also a Player's Tome and Keeper's Tome if you prefer your book in two parts.
B&T is Jim Stater's effort at doing an old school original D&D-like that relies unabashedly on mechanics both new and old to evoke the feel of the classics but maybe with some of the polish of the moderns....or that's what I've been gathering so far. Key features that have me interested in the system include 400 monsters (robust), full range of classes, skills, and basically an effort to get a 100% complete game in one hefty volume.
I won't be able to order my copy just yet, probably next week (or whenever I can time a big order on Lulu with a discount offer) but it's high on my list of "wants." The reason being my FLGS has acquired another set of the AD&D Premium tomes that they are supposed to have in today, and I do not intend to let them sell yet another copy before I can get it. Yeah, I know I talked about my less than ideal nostalgia factor with these books, but let's face it: that was just me rationalizing away to help ease the agony of not getting my copies in the first place. I do want them, and frankly while I may not have a lot of nostalgia for the books (that's debatable, I'm sure) I definitely feel that they improved with age and that there's a lot in the old tomes that would be of greater interest to me in my 40's than there ever was to my counterpart in middle school. So yeah, looking forward to grabbing those today.
(UPDATE: I think I jinxed myself a second time...maybe a third? Called the store, said they missed their shipment. That said, they expect a re-delivery...but it turns out Pathfinder's new stuff may be out too, creating the usual quandary: buy books I will literally be using next Wednesday, or buy books I will admire and enjoy but possibly never use...Agh. If only I made Even More Money this would not be a problem. Sigh)
Speaking of doing things I said I wasn't, the other reason I can't buy B&T yet is because I ordered Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition for the PC on Steam last night (although I did so through Green Man with their 20% off code). Yes, I have bitched endlessly about how unusually difficult this game is purposely designed to be. However, two interesting bits: when I played Dark Souls before it was on the 360, but I only had a silver account at the time so online features were unavailable. Turns out, playing on PC with those online features is a huge boon, as people will leave all sorts of cryptic messages for you, and you can even see the spirits of those other players wandering about. Not all player messages are helpful....and some seem to be willful traps, but they add a surprising level of depth to the game. It's like having a cryptic decoder in the game that occasionally turns chaotic evil.
I got about an hour in last night after my son went to bed, and couldn't help but notice that I was remarkably more successful on the PC for no good reason I could discern other than that I was trying to be very, very careful about what I did. Still died a lot, but I think I can deal with it, in controlled doses. It's a good break from all the shooter madness I've engaged in recently.
Raptr doesn't seem to like the first time I boot a game up...it takes it a while to notice the game has been installed, so I figure Dark Souls will register on it's radar eventually, I imagine. Raptr is a weird tool, and sort of like consensual spyware, but I like seeing the raw play data, it shows trends in interest (and also sometimes how spastic my attention can be) and on occasion helps me spot a program running in the background that shouldn't: i.e. Champions Online, which I loaded on Steam, installed, checked out for a few minutes to see if the magic was still there....and it wasn't. So I quit, decided to come back later. Noticed eventually that Raptr said I had been playing for two days straight. Sure enough, Cryptic had the program running silently, tucked away. Killed that and uninstalled; do not know what was wrong with it, but did not like that the game continued to function without telling me while I was under the impression it was closed out.
Anyway, Raptr has helped with my child's arrival because it is a firm reminder that even though I feel like I have less free time (I do), relatively speaking I'm still getting more game and leisure time in than average....just mostly between 8ish and midnight after Marcus goes to sleep, and during nap times. Unless I am smart enough to also nap when he is (not usually that smart). I remember my old days in Seattle when I was a workaholic, I was pulling 60 hour weeks, doing night shifts, and dealing with insane traffic and weather; I was lucky to get one tabletop game in a week, and I was probably averaging at most 2-4 hours of video game time (once I had a console and later a decent PC). My ex was not a gamer, either, so there was no sympathy and a lot of pressure to give it all up. Those were tough days, a period I like to think of as "when I was on the primrose path to conformity." I'm still walking the fine line of that path today, but am more conscious of it.
|Marcus with his auntie eating an apple|
Marcus is getting incredibly active. He's about to turn nine months this weekend and he's already standing for a minute or two on his own. He's got two front teeth that he is remarkably good at using to eat somewhat harder foods like grapes and apple chunks. He loves mom's fried talapia (that I have carefully picked through to remove bones) and he loves beans, which he got from his dad. He's also obsessed with computers. The sight of mom or dad at the computer is enough to demand that he be on our laps, trying to assault the keyboard. I found an old keyboard that I set up for him to smack, but it's clearly not the same: he's already figured out that there's a possible association between hitting "this thing" and making things do stuff on the screen. The Nook is also his obsession....I need to shop around and see if there are manufacturers out there who make child-friendly tablets that I can load up full of interactive children's books.
*I see John referred to as Jim all the time. Is that a reference to the initials? I be Confused.