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.
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”
Earlier on this year, I was introduced to Crusader Kings II. I have played a few times since, but I must say, this run I will be sharing with you today was, by far, the most successful – and dare I say the most enjoyable. I decided to play in Denmark at the very beginning of the early middle ages, (with all the settings historically accurate, why would you have Aztecs invading Europe?! Why?!?!). I also decided I would be creating my own faction, customising the Danish king to my liking because VikingGalGeekHistorianHasObsessionProblems… So this is how I ended with a 16-year-old queen that no one liked…To begin with.
The reason why I said this has been my most successful run of the game is not because of an incredible score (I think I ended around the 5000 something, borderline 6000 prestige points, which I guess wasn’t terrible. Actually in comparison to the noble family that you are given as a point of reference from history, it seemed fair considering that at this stage I didn’t have a clue of what the hell I was actually doing!). I am saying this has been my better game because the ones I have played since have been utterly disastrous, even though I now technically understand how the game works better…
Continue reading “The Great House of Snarfari – Epic (Or Not?) Tales of a Noob Playing Crusader Kings II”
I haven’t done one of these for a while, but considering that just last week the exhibition about Terry Pratchet opened in the museum of Salisbury (UK), I thought it would be fitting. I am hoping Alex and I will get to go to the actual gallery and show you what they have there, but in the meantime, you will have to conform yourselves with what I have myself at home! If you have been following us for a while, you would be aware of some of our Discworld collection because of some goodies we obtained when we attended the Terry Pratchet memorial at the Barbican in London. (Here it is in case you didn’t see it or don’t recall – https://manaburnt.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/terry-practchett-a-memorial/ ).
Hacia bastante que no hacia una de estas y ya que han abierto la exhibición sobre Terry Pratchet en el museo de Salisbury, pues me aprecio apropiada. Espero que Alex y yo podamos ir a echarle un vistazo, y de paso enseñaros lo que hay por allí, pero, hasta entonces, os tendréis que confirmar con nuestras propias frikadas. Si nos seguís desde hace tiempo, igual ya conocéis alguna de ellas ya que las adquirimos al ir al memorial de Sir Terry en 2016 en el Barbican de Londres. (Aqui teneis el link de aquella entrada en caso de que no la conozcais – https://manaburnt.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/terry-practchett-a-memorial/).
Continue reading “Geek Obsession #9 – Terry Pratchet’s Discworld”
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.
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”
If you like RPGs, but can rarely get a group together to play, or even have yet to try one, then you may be able to scratch the roleplaying itch with an ‘actual play’ podcast. This is essentially just a recording of someone’s RPG session, rather than something scripted or otherwise retold, hence ‘actual play’.
These kind of podcasts can be really useful to give you ideas and even show you a good example of what playing an RPG is like if you’ve never had the chance. Before I started playing RPGs several years ago I looked for something to show me how it’s done and I stumbled across an actual play podcast called ‘Critical Hit’ from majorspoilers.com, and that gave me a pretty good idea of D&D 4th Edition, which is what I started with. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them now, as I haven’t listened to them in over 5 years, but you can find all the podcasts at their website HERE. They are still going to this day.
High Rollers D&D
The first I would really recommend on my list, in no particular order, isn’t technically a podcast, but more of a Twitch stream and youtube series, but it can be easily converted to audio. This is High Rollers D&D, done by a few people from the Yogscast from Youtube. Continue reading “My Top 5 Actual Play RPG Podcasts”
So today I am going to spare the technicalities and what not, and I am going to get to the meat of what I wanna talk about today which is: HOW FUN IS EVOLUTION?! We played it a couple of weekends ago, and I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed messing about with a game to this level. Because that is the thing, the beauty of Evolution: who cares if you win or not?! You get to create bizarre species of pre-historic like animals competing for survival. It’s Hilarious! I genuinely did not care about winning, it was all about making a cool funny creature and see how well it will do. I guess you could describe as what Spore would be if it was on table top, but playing with your friends, having a real danger of extinction and the urge for self-preservation.
Bueno hoy os traigo algo distinto y cortando las tecnicidades; ¡hoy me voy al meollo del asunto de cabeza! Y la cuestión es: ¿habéis jugado a Evolution? Pues si no lo habéis hecho, echadle un vistazo porque, ¡es La Monda! Lo jugamos hace un par de fines de semana, y la verdad que no recuerdo habérmelo pasado tan bien desde hace mucho tiempo con un juego por el hecho de que sea entretenido y tenga su gracia. Porque realmente no importa si ganas o no a Evolution, lo que tiene gracia es el montarte tu chiringuito con tus especies y ver como salen y si consiguen sobrevivir o no. Las características que les das y el cómo creas a estas criaturas prehistóricas es lo interesante de la cuestión – y si te mueres por el camino, pues chico, ya habrá otra, ¡qué más da! Lo digo en serio, ni por un momento me preocupo el ganar o perder, y no era por estar con mis amigos pasando un buen rato (que también), sino porque el juego es tan entretenido que hace que te inmersiones por completo en el proceso de creación. Supongo que podríamos definirlo como algo parecido al Spore si fuese un juego de tablero, pero en el que juegas con otras personas y donde sientes la necesidad de protegerte del peligro y poder preservarte como especie.
Continue reading “Evolution – Gaming for Fun – Jugando de Risas”
It is Sci-Fi TV series ranting day boys and girls! Yeah! Sure you were waiting for this! What has got you ranting today Lilly, you may be asking yourselves? Well! Glad you asked! I am rather annoyed at the investment I have done in a couple of science fiction tv series and how their endings have been terribly underwhelming, almost making me feel like they might as well just try to push for another season and actually wait for the series to decline naturally because…What was that about?
I am talking about Orphan Black, yes. 5 seasons I have been attached to a screen following these clones and their stories. Not only that: I have even involved them in an academic paper I gave at a symposium at the University of Winchester just last year (March 2016). And…what for? Well for a very jolly ending, innit? I do not usually do spoilers, as you know, but today there is gonna be some of that so, from here on, please be aware *SPOILERS APPLY*.
Continue reading “Oh, boy! Another Series that Ends…Badly? Lilly’s Rant on Orphan Black, Season Developments, Audience and Narrative”