Kingdom Come: Deliverance – More Of This Please

After following the development of this game since it’s Kickstarter campaign a few years ago, Kingdom Come: Deliverance was finally released last month, and it does not disappoint! Being a huge nerd for history, especially medieval history, and even more especially medieval arms and armour, I’ve been wanting a game like this for a long long time.

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The game is set in a very specific historical setting, which helps bring more authenticity to the location and details, as something much larger would be too difficult to get right. So the game is set in a small part of Bohemia ( in the modern day Czech Republic), which is within the Holy Roman Empire, in 1403. The game also features a fairly linear narrative and a set player character, which despite being a definite limit on roleplaying potential in some aspects, this too helps the game focus on more details within the freedom it does provide. Really this is one of the main appeals of the game; the details. It sets out to be a very focused experience, and I believe it succeeds in that. Continue reading “Kingdom Come: Deliverance – More Of This Please”

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Finding Middle-Earth in New Zealand

For the whole month of January this year I was fortunate enough to find myself exploring New Zealand, and while the whole country itself has many places that make you feel like you’re stepping right into Tolkien’s world, I specifically went looking for some of the exact locations that were used in the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit movies 🙂

So I’m going to take you through the places I went, and hopefully you’ll find something about some real world, and fictional locations at the same time!

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The first location really has to be Hobbiton, as its the most obvious location for any LoTR fan to head straight for, and its exactly where I went first out of this list.

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I’m sure everyone knows what Hobbiton is,  but just to give some detail on where it fits into Middle-Earth; Hobbiton is a central village of The Shire, and is located on both sides of “The Water”, which is the main river running through The Shire. The village is overlooked by Hobbiton Hill, usually just called “The Hill”, in which lies Bag End, the ancestral home of the Baggins Family. The village consists of Hobbit holes, also called smials, as the dwellings, but there are also many other buildings of wood, brick, and stone, such as the mill and post office. The standard hobbit holes are most commonly lived in by the poorer Hobbits, aside from smials like Bag End, which are far more luxurious versions of the traditional Hobbit home. Most average hobbits would likely live in standard structures. Although it is located on the Hobbiton set, the Green Dragon Inn is actually located on the closest side of the nearby village of Bywater, just one mile away. Despite what you may think, Hobbiton isn’t actually the Shire’s capital. The title is held by the town of Michel Delving, which lies to the West, and is where the Shire’s Mayor resides.
Continue reading “Finding Middle-Earth in New Zealand”

Games To Look Out For In 2018

So here we are in 2018, and in light of all that has happened in the year just gone, our first thoughts should be… “what games should I look forward to?”. Well that’s what I’m most concerned about anyway, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing right here; looking forward to games.

This is quite simply just a personal list of things I’d be interested in, so if you’re looking for big AAA games, then most of them aren’t going to be mentioned here. Instead you’ll find a mix of my slightly niche tastes, including lots of historical and fantasy settings, and strategy and RPG games. After all, what would be the point of making a list of things everybody already knew about? So go ahead and take a look, you might see a few things you hadn’t heard of just below. 

Continue reading “Games To Look Out For In 2018”

The Elite: Dangerous RPG

Earlier this year The Elite: Dangerous RPG was funded on Kickstarter, and recently released its core book. The game is co published by Spidermind Games and Modiphius Entertainment. It is a licensed release under Frontier, the developers of the Elite: Dangerous PC game that this is based on. 

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The setting of the Elite universe seems to be a good fit for an RPG, with plenty of room for GM freedom, and options for players. Just like the original Elite computer game from 1984, the modern Elite: Dangerous is based in our own galaxy, in a future where space flight and ship ownership is very common. Cheap and readily available faster-than-light travel has allowed humanity to explode across the stars, building new colonies, cities, nations and empires. The galaxy is a rich place, filled with a wealth of minerals, water and life bearing planets. The three huge factions of the Federation, Empire and Alliance grow wealthier every day, and such wealth attracts powerful people who scheme daily to increase their power. So essentially you have a new frontier to play in, one where traders, miners, explorers, pirates, and bounty hunters are all flying about at FTL speeds in their personalized spacecraft. Continue reading “The Elite: Dangerous RPG”

Total War: WARHAMMER II – In With The New World

It’s been out for a few weeks now, so It’s finally time to take a look at the second installment in my most played (and written about) game of last year, Total War: Warhammer II! If you want to catch up with how we left off the first game prior to this launch, check out THIS post.

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This second game has come out only about a year and a half after the release of the first, so as expected, you’re mostly getting more of the same thing here. There are however plenty of improvements to be found, and more importantly awesome new factions. There are 4 to start with in this game, and they are two flavours of Elves (High and Dark), the Lizardmen, and the Skaven. Just like the first game, this is a fairly small amount when compared to historical Total War games, but yet again the variation you get with just 4 factions is considerable.  Continue reading “Total War: WARHAMMER II – In With The New World”

Divinity: Original Sin 2 – An RPG actually for Roleplayers

The latest PC RPG in the Divinity series by Larian Studios was released a few weeks ago. It’s a true RPG in the classic style, with a top-down view, turn-based tactical combat, and plenty of dialogue and story to sink your teeth into. We’ve had quite a few RPGs of this classic style appear in recent years. Original Sin 2 doesn’t just aim to bring back that classic experience though, it really takes things to the next level, with excellent modern graphics, full (and hilarious) voice acting, and a bunch of slick modern updates to the formula in terms of combat, UI, and design. The game was in Steam’s Early Access before this full release for just a year and has been successfully launched with a high level of polish, showing all the other Early Access developers how it’s done.

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I’m just going to jump straight in and tell you the what the best thing about this game is, as alluded to by the title; the roleplaying potential, and the story. These days it feels like most RPGs are missing what their purpose should be. Especially with the lines becoming increasingly blurred between genres, which isn’t a bad thing, but there are so many games with ‘RPG elements’ which seems to just mean that there’s a bunch of stats, loot, and grindy leveling. If that’s the average impression of what identifies an RPG, then something is terribly wrong here. What I’m getting at here is that Original Sin 2 seems to actually aim to realise the true purpose of an RPG, which is quite simply, Roleplaying! Continue reading “Divinity: Original Sin 2 – An RPG actually for Roleplayers”

Geek Etymology – Drow and Dark Elves

Time to have another crack at looking at the origins of geeky terminology. This time I’ll be looking at where the ‘Drow’ came from, as well as taking this as an opportunity to look at where the concept of a ‘Dark Elf’ originates and how the two terms came to be linked.

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First of all we should establish what the current understanding of the term ‘Drow’ is. The Drow are a fantasy race that are dark skinned, usually white-haired, and share most other characteristics with other Elves. They are generally depicted as being evil and living deep underground, and having an affinity for dark magic, stealth, and spiders. The D&D 5th Edition Player’s Handbook says of them:
“Descended from an earlier subrace of dark-skinned elves; the drow were banished from the surface world for following the goddess Lolth down the path to evil and corruption.”
As I mentioned, the Drow are also referred to as ‘Dark Elves’, a term that is used far more widely than ‘Drow’, which is mostly limited to Dungeons & Dragons and things that take inspiration directly from it. There are Dark Elves in many other fantasy settings, including The Elder Scrolls, Warhammer, Kingdoms of Amalur, and the ‘Night Elves’ of Warcraft share a resemblance.
Continue reading “Geek Etymology – Drow and Dark Elves”