Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wizards of the Coast, Character Builder

Alrighty.  Some of you out there in the internet land might have a subscription to the D&D Insider.  And if so, you might have had access to the old Character Builder.  Fantastic piece of software in my opinion as a player and GM.  It loaded up all of the current data and errata from the WotC D&D 4E database - which included all of the current books, like the Player's Handbook, and the Dungeon Master's Guide, as well as errata from the now WotC published Dragon Magazine*.  So it provided tons and tons of information for players/GMs to get their hands on even if they didn't actually own all of the source books the builder had on file.

Unfortunately a few months ago, Wizards decided that they no longer wanted to have an offline version of their character builder, and so they started work on a new version that you can only access through their website.  It runs on Microsoft's Silverlight....and its a big pile of stinking poo! It's slow, and not user friendly.  Just don't use it.  Do yourself the favor.

It's actually because of Dark Sun that this entire post came about.  I got bit by the gaming bug.  We haven't had a game since before Christmas, and I'm starting to get itchy.  So I went to the shelves of source books, and the Dark Sun Campaign Setting jumped off the shelf and I was forced to defend myself by opening it's cover and reading it's contents.  Truly a tale of woe.


It was after reading through the book, about the third or fourth time that I got the hankering to actually use the character builder to make a Dark Sun character.  So I logged in to the WotC site and loaded up the online builder, and went to town.  And I found that I was wholly dissatisfied with the result.  It was a miracle from up on high that happened this past week, when one of my friends and also my GM, Fred, sent me a link to a forum where they are keeping the offline character builder alive with all the current data/errata.  Its called Enemy of Fun.  I joined the forum, and found the information I was looking for to make my old, unused offline character builder, the lean mean monster killing machine it used to be.  Maybe that was a little over the top.  Maybe.  After a bit a tinkering, and getting help from Fred, I was able to get the offline character builder to use all the Dark Sun data, and I started churning out sample characters - various race/class combinations at different levels, with different Dark Sun character templates.  Oh what a joy to be using the offline character builder again!  If you're at all keen on using your offline builder (if you have it) go to the forum.  Get the downloads you want/need.  Make your offline builder work for you again. 

Bonzo out.

*I think I mentioned last year in a post about how WotC pulled the plug on Paizo Publishing producing all of the magazines for Wizards.  Wizards decided to do everything in house, and Paizo went on to make Pathfinder, etc., etc.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quick Post #2

My laptop, which has my entire RPG book library (like 8 or 9 gigs worth of game books), is dying the slow death.  So I've been looking into getting a replacement.  Specifically at a tablet pc.  Why a tablet pc?  Because they're light, thin, and I can read my rpg books in bed without having the physical (and often heavy) book settled on my chest.  And tablet pcs are kinda cool. 

Don't judge me.

Hopefully I'll be getting the tablet pc I desire in another month or two...if the laptop I have will hold out that long.

This is Jeopardy!

Quick post.

First, my girlfriend's friend knit me a small, Cthulhu dice bag that I plan on putting my Cthulhu Dice in.  Cthulhu Dice is an awesome little dice game with only one die, wherein all the players are playing cultists who are trying to screw each other over in the vain hopes that they will be the only player with any sanity (signified with small colored glass counters) left in the game.  Its pretty fast moving, insanely fun (see what I did there?) and yes it is possible for Cthulhu to win the game and for all the players to go insane and lose.

Second, we bought Jeopardy! for the Wii last weekend and we finally busted it out today.  Its pretty damn fun.  We played two games, and we each won one.  It only supports three players, just like real Jeopardy, and it allows you to customize your appearance with items you unlock by winning the minigames which take place between the three rounds of play.  It has four levels of difficulty of play: easy, medium, hard, and custom; and you're able to play with a computer player if you only have one or two players.

Its really fun.  I mean really, really fun.  If you like trivia, and enjoy watching/playing along with Jeopardy! when it comes on TV, get this game.  And enjoy it when you get totally owned by your girlfriend.  Seriously, she stomped my ass in that first game.

Bonzo out!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back from the dead

So after an incredibly long hiatus, I'm back!  Hopefully with months and months of content to keep me going without "going dark" again for quite some time.

First of all, Happy Damn New Year!

Second, I'm either sick, or my allergies have exploded, so my posting today will be brief.

Now, in  2010 I attended GenCon in Indianapolis and had a pretty good time.  I got to play a number of really fun boardgames, card games, and a few DnD modules.  A fun time was had by all.

Three games specifically came home from the 'Con with me: Rowboat (a card game similar to playing Spades), Bump in the Night (where you play as the ghosts/monsters haunting a house and your goal is to kill the children), and Telesrations (a combination of the telephone game and Pictionary).

All of these are so fun to play, but Telestrations takes the cake as far as party games go. 

In the past few months, I've enjoyed some more DnD products.  Namely DnD Dark Sun which I play tested at the DnD Worldwide Gameday.  Dark Sun is bad-ass.  It must be played.  MUST. BE. PLAYED.

Now a quick aside concerning DnD; about two months ago I was invited to play in a mid-level DnD campaign with some...folks...I know.  Anonymity, I maintain it.  Unfortunately, this game lacked anything resembling a plot.  All it was, was a series of one large combat after another.  Which is fine if you're wanting to see what your class can do at higher levels, but I love storyline.  So I've elected to withdraw from that particular game. 

In a few weeks I'll look to start up a CthulhuTech game; we'll see how it all goes down.  Details to come.

Need more meds and a hot shower.

-Bonzo out.