Aldershot

Check out Aldershot on his YouTube Channel.

The Luckiest T-Shirt

Check out our own Dan Morton and his Magic: the Gathering Podcast.

JermEx Machina

Drop by and see Jermex on his YouTube Channel.

MichaelBtheGameGenie

Go See MichaelBtheGameGenie on YouTube.

Super Mario 3D land

So I Love Mario games,and this is the newest one on the market right now! it’s for a 3d DSI but i’m really really really hoping it comes out on the Wii so i can buy it and play it!
http://supermario3dland.nintendo.com/?pid=google_ppc_3D%20and%203DS-SM3D_3D%20Game_3D%20game&k_clickid=2c1e3112-27b8-2009-7b7f-000023faf0cd

Conspiracy X – The Paranormal Sourcebook



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“Terrors lurk in the darkness, subvert the souls, and corrupt the mind. Secret detachments of psychics remotely view our every move. Powerful occultists perform secret rituals in hidden locations, manipulating our world to their ends. Mysterious forces invade our very souls, twisting and distorting the weak into strong and violent predators. Creatures flee from humanity’s encroachment on their territories, then strike out when prying eyes get too close. Spirits haunt the edges of our silent fears.”
More at Flames Rising: http://www.flamesrising.com/con-x-paranormal-kickstarter/

Skyrim is the very definition of sandbox

Skyrim’s choices are at the very core of what it means to be sandbox. Not only is it an expansive world where you can tackle your quests in any order, but you also chose how your character plays on a philosophical level as well. Do you save before you try and open that master lock? Or would you consider that breaking that forth wall, and if a lock pick breaks it should stay broken? You must self regulate and decide what he would consider to be fair on a regular basis. The game does allow you to completely cheat it’s own design if you choose too, but it up to you on where to draw the line.
There are many options of travel in Skyrim. One of the most widely used would be “quick travel”. With a click of a button you can “warp” to a destination you’ve previously been. There’s also a wagon system where you can talk to the wagon guy and he’ll take you to your select destination, and of course you can always just walk or ride a horse and get there the old fashion way. The game re-enforced the “Sandbox” design by giving each form of transportation advantages and disadvantages. If you quick travel you can finish quests faster and speed up productivity, but you miss out on the random encounters and discoveries you would find if you were to travel the old fashion way. Also, if you quick travel it adds a few more hours to your player’s age in the game, than if you were to horse back it. Choosing how you traverse Skyrim will even affect how you will prioritize your time and resources. If you quick travel you may never purchase a horse through out the entire game, as it would seem redundant, but if you chose not to quick travel, a horse is indispensable and most likely be acquired as early in the game as possible. It will also affect how you will progress through the world, as quick travellers will be able to tackle any quests on any part of the map in an instant, but players who chose the old fashion way would have to consider which quest s/he tackles carefully, often tackling quests close to you and slowly progress through the over world since travelling through Skyrim can be lengthy and even dangerous.
You must also regulate how often, and how appropriate you save. Skyrim features many game play elements where if you save before hand, you can redo with out facing any consequences. For example, pickpocketing allows you to steal goods and money from NPCs, but if caught it’ll result in either a fight with the person or penalties from the town guards. If you wish, you can save your game before your attempt and if failed, you can reload and try again, avoiding all penalties and able to repeat this until you get a successful attempt. The “save and reload” philosophy can be applied to many elements of the game, like quest choices, lock picking, and party member and horse deaths. Saving and reloading will save the player much headaches, but the game constantly ask “but will you?”. Some will claim that doing so break the game’s very design, since you can theoretically play a perfect game where you’ve never broken a single lock pick, failed a pick pocket, died, and made every “right” story choices in the game. But if it does, would the developers allow you to make new saves virtually any time you want? It comes down to what each individual want out of the game. Some players will want to feel immerse in the world, meaning facing the consequences of their actions, these players will more than likely not reload their game, but there are many players who want to have their character to reach it’s maximum potential. Often times, in order to create this kind of character, you must reload every now and then, since maximizing a character also means collecting even the smallest bonuses available, not allowing a single opportunity slip you by. If Skyrim really wanted you to always face the game’s designed penalties it would of adopted a similar save system like “Dark Souls”, where the game will auto save often, and always over the same file, taking the “save and reload” completely out of the equation. But instead Skyrim allows the player to make multiple saves, at almost any time, further reinforcing player choice.
Skyrim allow you to role play your character to any degree. It will allow you to create any type of character you chose from an assortment of fantasy races, and can adopt a large variety of play styles, wither it be a hulking warrior, a nimble assassin, a cunning mage, or any combination of these archetypes. Not only can you personalize your character’s RPG stats, but you also personalize your character’s personality, his/her’s morality, and even his/her’s demeanor. You may chose to play a good character, never kill an innocent, perhaps never to even steal an item. Where as if you were an evil character you might go around town killing every one just for the fun of it. You may even go as far as walking instead of running when in town, and even switching to town cloths from your heavy armoured adventuring gear. But you might just want to play Skyrim for it’s wonderfully designed game play, and not care for taking on the role at all, focusing on development of the character rather than the immersion of the character. It’s all about how far you chose to take on the role. Choosing what degree of role playing will affect how you progress and experience the game, since many quests will have obvious “good” or “evil” motifs. For those who chose to fully dive into their role , the game also offer just as much “grey” choices, where good and evil is blurred, and you must make considerations before making the choice. The game also let you decide on how serious to take it, giving you plenty of opportunities to role play a “prankster” type of personality if you chose so. Doing foolish things like manipulating the cast magic animation so it looks like your dancing, play tag and hide and seek with kids, put baskets and pots on NPC’s heads like a hat, and the game comes with it’s own share of funny dialogue, quests, and Easter eggs.
Below is a video of how it’s possible to role play a “prankster” personality in Skyrim. The bits of text that flashes on the screen are good examples of the possible thought process a player may have while role playing this type of character.
Notice how most of the character’s actions does not develop the character to be better from a stats perspective, but instead, the player chose to play his character as he would react if he was in the situation his character is.

You can chose to completely cheat the game’s system, or even play in a style the game was never designed to play and have tons of fun with it. Since good game design is about having fun above all else, then one can conclude in a round about kind of way, that playing against Skyrim’s original design, is apart of it’s original design. There is no wrong way to adventure through the world of Skyrim, truly it is sandbox.

-Aldershot
Video by: Elliottslingsby

Fantasy Flight Games Holiday Sale




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Fantasy Flight currently has a Holiday sale going on (November 23rd to December 5th). Check out whats available here

Preview of Hero’s Call – Upcoming Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Expansion


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Fantasy Flight has released more on their upcoming expansion for Epic Level Characters.
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=2851

R.I.P. Anne McCaffrey, Creator of Pern and The Ship Who Sang




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I know this isn’t technically a gamer thing. However, I feel as a geek/nerd community I felt this might be of interest to some. I just found out about this in a post on io9. The post itself is particularly touching. I’ll definitely be taking a look at “The_Ship_Who_Sang“. It sounds like a genuinely interesting story.

Forbidden Alchemy rules, a Mansions of Madness expansion, are now online


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“The Lovecraftian adventures continue as investigators attempt to solve mysteries of scientific folly while holding on to their own sanity. Four new investigators enter the laboratory to collect clues and solve the cases of experiments gone awry, but they will be faced with the Crawling Ones and the nightmarish Byakhees. The rules forForbidden Alchemy, the Mansions of Madness expansion, are now available for online download.”

Designers and Dragons


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“Compiled over many years from hundreds of interviews and research projects, this book is a history of the roleplaying game industry, and forms the most complete record of all the games, companies and talented individuals that have propelled roleplaying games to where they are today.
Rather than being a simple, linear history, this book takes a unique perspective on the roleplaying industry. Reflecting that it is the creation of thousands of talented individuals and scores of talented companies, this book instead devotes individual sections to describing the histories and products of almost 60 different companies that have published roleplaying games from 1974 to the present day. The companies are laid out in a chronology based on when each began publishing in the roleplaying field.”
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=96077&SRC=FeaturedProduct&motds_id=5390&from_home=1

Elder Sign App Reviews


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Elder Sign: Omens, based on the new dice game by Fantasy Flight Games, is an App for iPhone, OSX, iPad, and Android. The game has been getting some great reviews which you can check out by clicking on the link below.
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=2843
Last 5 posts by Azrael

White Wolf to Focus on Print-on-Demand and PDF Sales


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“As part of our ongoing commitment to digital and print-on-demand products, our online store at store.white-wolf.com is no longer be selling any physical White Wolf products. We still have some books and games that are in distribution for local gaming stores, so please continue to enjoy shopping at them, but all online sales will be conducted through our partners at DriveThruRPG.com. This is where we will continue to offer new and upcoming White Wolf products in PDF and print-on-demand formats as we continue to evolve our business model in order to focus on making the best quality products we can.”
http://store.white-wolf.com/Disclaimer.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fCategory.aspx%3fCategoryId%3d9

God in the Classic World of Darkness


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I was discussing the cosmology of the world of darkness with Eli earlier, and I remembered this old article I read. Thought I’d post it for those Classic World of Darkness lovers out there. The author is trying to mesh the World of Darkness cosmology with the trinity. In the end its a hard fit but he does make a few interesting points nonetheless.
http://everything2.com/title/God+in+the+World+of+Darkness

Teach Your Kids to Game Week at DrivethruRPG


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“What are you doing this weekend?
How about planning a new campaign… with your kids?”
I know I’m a little late on this. It started Monday! But there is still time to get in on it for those roleplayers with kids. They have a few games on sale, and articles about including children in the roleplaying experience. Its definitely something I would get in on if I had kids. 
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/rpg_teachkids.php?0_0_0_0_0_44530

Arkham Horror

Okay so I’m gonna try my best at this and write a review,I dunno how much help I can be for most of you,but let’s give it a shot shall we? well I guess the best place to begin for me would be the first board game I’ve ever played,this is the first dice game I’ve been introduced too and wasn’t so sure of it at first since I’ve never been exposed to these games before I didn’t know what to expect,but was pretty surprised at how I enjoyed Arkham Horror! This game is mainly based on H.P. Lovecraft stories based on his fictional city of Arkham.
It takes place in the 1920′s at the height of the roaring 20′s with all the celebrations of the end of the war,but in the mist of all of this deep in the dark shadows lurks the horror of the dreaded Ancient Ones ,where they open portals from their worlds to overtake the city of Arkham, Massachusetts! There are 8 ancient ones and 8 different worlds you can be sucked into through a gate,depending on which ancient one is in play and his minions they all have different effects on you in the base game! There are currently 7 expansions in all,which adds more cards,investigator and ancient ones to the game play.
your basically roleplaying one of the 16 base investigator characters and take on their sanity, stamina, skills,and if they have any fixed items or spells to help you along the way. you move around the game board to each location to gather clues and have encounters with the local townsfolk. you first draw a mythos card and that tells you where a gate opens and a monster appears,and where clue tokens appear as well if the monsters move around the board. you have to try to kill as many monsters as you can before a certain amount of gates open to other worlds and monsters come out,depending on how many people are playing,when that number as been reached,you loose and the Ancient One wins the game. The most important thing to remember is this is a TEAM EFFORT and your all playing together to destroy the ancient one and his monsters before they make you insane and kill you!
when you encounter a monster you have to do a horror check to see if he takes away some of your sanity before you even fight it,then you have the actual combat and fight against him,sometimes you have ALOT of dice to roll! you exhaust your weapons to see how many dice you get plus your fight number,most times these monsters take away some of the dice. then you see how much damage it gives you and take that away from your stamina,depending on how much your max sanity and stamina you have you could end up in either the Arkham asylum or St.Mary’s Hospital and heel yourself. If you somehow die or get devoured you start again with a new investigator and lose all of your stuff!
Each time a gate opens a doom token is placed on the Ancient Ones doom track,when they are all filled the big boss comes out and you have to fight him,they are pretty fun to kill but they do take away some of your dice on their combat which kinda sucks! Now in order to seal and close a gate you have to go through it and explore the other world,in doing so you have encounters in there,when you come out you need 6 clue tokens to seal the gate,and we take a doom token off the doom track so it’s harder for the big boss to get out and kill us! If you do not have 6 clue tokens you can still go in there and close the gate,which just delays our ancient one from coming out!
To win the game the game all you have to do is close the gates,and kill the Ancient One until next time you visit Arkham! this is just a short version on the game and rules,but this is basically all you need to know and you will pick up the rest along the way :) this is my favorite game,and was pretty surprised with myself on how much I liked it!

Dice Statistics: The Normal Distribution


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Recently I’ve had the benefit of attending a statistics course at MUN … or at least I had to take it for my program ;) . In the end it hasn’t been so bad, and we did discuss some dice mechanics. Given this fortunate overlap of my hobby and academic life, I figured I’d use it as an excuse to write an article. This article discusses the significance of using normally distributed dice mechanics for task resolution in roleplaying systems.

The normal distribution is a pattern that shows up in nature quite frequently. You might have heard it called the “Bell Curve”. If you really have no idea what I’m talking about wikipedia is here to help: wikipedia (normal distribution). Basically, the idea is that if you sample something with a normal distribution you will tend to get a result close to average. In the GURPS and the HERO systems, two pen-and-paper rpg systems, you roll 3d6 for success rolls. These rolls would be normally distributed, and therefore the result would tend to be close to average. For 3d6 is 10.5 is the average roll. Since we can’t have half a number 10/11 are the most common rolls.
If we were to roll just one dice, we would get a continuous uniform distribution. Once again here’s a link towikipedia (continuous uniform distribution). This is the case for the d20 system. There is an equal chance of rolling any number between 1-20 (5%).
So what difference does it make? Well in terms of probability quite a bit. For one it means that when you roll for success in the d20 system you are much more susceptible to “the whims of fate”. I’m sure we’ve all rolled those low rolls, the ones where your Fighter get completely pwned by an orc. And we’ve all had times were we get a high roll, bringing success where we should probably have failed miserably. It can be fun. It can be downright hilarious. It can add tension to the game. There are a lot of merits to this. But is it realistic?
In GURPS the aim is to be realistic, and as I mentioned earlier nature loves the normal distribution. So it only makes sense to use a normal distribution. This means a character will tend to do about as well on a task as their skill and the situation suggests. On occasion there will be extremely high or low rolls, but these will be far and few between. In GURPS/HERO you must roll equal to or below a target number, which generally equal to a characters attribute/skill. Due to the shape of a normal distribution, as you increase your level in attribute/skill you will get less and less return. Increasing from 10->11 will raise the probability of success by about 12%, raising it from 17-18 will increase the probability of success by only about 0.5%. However, raising your attribute/skill to a high level will still protect against higher negative modifiers. Basically, you are so skilled that you can work around a situation that isn’t exactly ideal. Additionally, if degree of success, the amount by which you exceeded the target number, is important you will tend to roll a certain level higher than the dice roll consistently. So a high level will consistently bring a high degree of success. A similar, but opposite, situation occurs for very low attribute scores. Here positive modifiers will have less effect on your overall success. Think about it this way: If you know nothing about chemistry, being in a fully equipped chemistry lab would do little to help you synthesize a compound. For degree of failure, the amount by which you did not meet the target number, you will tend to get a high degree of failure most of the time.
So there you have it. Do you want thrill of chance or consistency? If you do play GURPS/HERO and want more chance you could roll a d16+2 (or a d20 since they are easier to come by). This has a range of 3-18, just like 3d6, but a continuous uniform distribution. Maybe you see some situations as inherently more affected by chance than others. You could use d16+2 specifically for these situations. You could also use 3d6 for the d20 system, as explained here. If you wanted to be really particular you could use 2d6, a d10 then subtract 2. The rolls will be between 1-20, just like a d20. Basically, you shouldn’t feel constrained by the “rules” if you want to do something different.

Dust to Dust – A New Supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade


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Nice to see that White Wolf has not given up on the Classic World of Darkness. Now if only they would revamp Mage the Ascension!
“Dust to Dust is a story supplement using the Storytelling Adventure System designed for use with Vampire: The Masquerade — 20th Anniversary Edition, and it acts as a spiritual successor to the classic story Ashes to Ashes. It includes all the characters and information you need to tell a complete story, as well as notes from the Wrecking Crew, the demo team that ran the story at The Grand Masquerade 2011 in New Orleans.”
Available at DrivethruRPG

New Lovecraftian App From Fantasy Flight


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Check out this new App released by Fantasy Flight Games. Available on Android, iPad, iPhone, and OSX.
“Elder Sign: Omens is an application [...] that delivers the tense excitement of Richard Launius and Kevin Wilson’s popular dice game to an all-new digital medium. Its detailed instructional resources and intuitive interface will have you investigating in minutes, while its deep and engaging gameplay provides countless hours of eldritch horror.
Note: while Elder Sign: Omens brilliantly conveys the spirit of the Elder Sign dice game, a few noteworthy differences were adopted to optimize the mobile play experience:
  • Arguably the most powerful Ancient One in Lovecraft’s Mythos, Azathoth’s awesome power is indisputable. This infinitely destructive deity is therefore the focal point ofElder Sign: Omens, and the only available Ancient One.
  • A number of subtle changes increase the peril of defending humanity. For example, the random negative effects drawn every midnight are more challenging, and the frequency of “no effect” results has been decreased. Monsters have likewise been altered to make them more difficult.
  • Finally, there are no Ally cards in Elder Sign: Omens, which further streamlines play while increasing the overall challenge.
Can you stand against the impending arrival of Azathoth?”
More Info Here At Fantasy Flight Games

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Seems fitting that my first post on here is about Revelations. Words can’t describe how pumped I am for this game.
This is the fourth installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, which was released today. If you pre-ordered it from EB or gamestop.ca you get a free upgrade to the “Signature Edition”. Which you get:
  • Ezio Ultimate Armour (Singleplayer)
  • Play as two additional multiplayer characters: The Crusader & a character from Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood revamped with a Constantinople flavour: the Ottoman Doctor
  • Plus some other cool stuff, Like multi player characters, and expansions packs to hold bullets, and bombs!
This game has high hopes for me.. and mostly I’m really dying to know what was with the ending of Brotherhood, With Desmond in the Animus, and the whole Lucy thing… Don’t know what I’m talking about? Finish Brotherhood!
In this version of AC you are still playing as Ezio, making his way though the Renaissance era. The upside to this game, and something that has had fans ,like myself, wondering; Will you get to play as Altair or not, and will there be co-op. I think the answer to both these questions, as far as I’ve researched, is a no. But on the upside, Ezio now gets a hookblade, and 300 different bomb variations which you learn to craft yourself.

For the multi player aspect of the game, the awesome multi player you came to love (except the matching system, which I hope is better in this installment) is back. You can now customize your character’s appearance, weapon, start a guild and even create your guild’s own crest. As the below video talks about, in the multi player, You play as a templar agent, and as your rank increases in the game, So will your insight to how the organization is run. Also from what I have gathered from online(Haven’t gotten the actual game yet, It’s waiting for me at Purlator!), there is a new game mode: Deathmatch! Where you don’t have compass to guide you to your target, instead it takes a page from every FPS out there, you have a mini map. Once you get into the area of your target, the dot will glow blue.
Here is a video that gives you a good idea of what to expect. All I can say is that I am beyond PUMPED to play this game, and close a chapter to Ezio’s story.
Steph C.

Here is a youtube video that sums up everything pretty well! SPOILER ALERT!

Introduction to GURPS

This is the first of a number of articles I plan to write about GURPS (General Universal Roleplaying System), by Steve Jackson Games. So what exactly is GURPS? GURPS is a pen and paper roleplaying system, like dungeons and dragons, designed to be used with any genre of game you might want. The game is currently in its 4th edition, released in 2004. GURPS is “generic”, in that it doesn’t try to emulate a particular genre from the start, and generally tries to simulate reality. And “universal” in that by adding optional rules to the core system cna emulate various genres. This introduction is meant to be as brief as possible, since I intend to examine certain aspects of the system in more detail in later articles.

–Attributes–
GURPS uses four core attributes: Intelligence(IQ), Dexterity(DX), Health(HT), Strength(ST). IQ represents a character’s general mental abilities. DX represents a character’s physical coordination. ST and HT are fairly self-explanatory. Having only four core attributes may seem overly simple. However, In my opinion, this is a good thing because the aim is to emulate a wide range of genres. So its best to start simple and expand from there. Additionally, these four core attributes are used to define a number of secondary characteristics:
IQ = Perception(PER), WILL
DX+HT =(Divide by 4)=> Basic Speed(BS) =(Round Down)=> Basic Move(BM) =(+3)=> Dodge
HT = Fatigue Points(FP)
ST = Hit Points(HP)
PER and WILL don’t really require explanation. Basic Speed determines the order in which character’s act in combat, or other situations where order or action is important. Basic move determine how far a character can move. Dodge is the ability to avoid attacks that target the character. FP fluctuates throughout the game in response to physical effort, use of powers and magical spells. If a character’s FP is reduced to zero the character may pass out. HP also fluctuates throughout the game and is decreased by physical injury. When reduced to zero the character may die. Each of these secondary characteristics can be adjusted independently of the primary attributes from which they are derived. In a realistic game, featuring human protagonists, there is generally a limit on how much a secondary attribute can be adjusted. The GM can adjust these limitations based on how realistic the campaign is, if the protagonists are non-humans, or have powers beyond those of normal humans.
During character creation, each of the core characteristics starts at 10, considered to be the score an average human will have. Character points can be spent to increase a characteristic, or a characteristic can be decreased to gain more character points. To determine if a character succeeds using one of their characteristics 3d6 (Three Six-Sided Dice) are rolled, and the results added together. If the result is equal to or less than the characteristic the roll succeeds.
–Skills–
Skills add greater depth to a character by further defining their abilities. Skills are based on IQ, PER, WILL, DX, or HT. No skills are based on directly ST, however ST can determine how effective a character is with certain physical skills.
Magical spells are a special class of skills base on IQ that are used to produce various supernatural effects. Unlike mundane skills they generally cost FP and require concentration. Spells are also organized in a complex hierarchy. So you must know certain lower level spells before you can learn higher level ones.
–Advantages and Disadvantages–
Advantages cost character points, while taking Disadvantages give more character points. They have a wide range of applications, so I won’t discuss them all in this brief introduction. A few important include defining a characters social interactions and connections, adding further detail to one of a character’s attributes, fleshing out a character’s personality, defining talents, knacks, supernormal powers/traits, and racial characteristics.
–Perks and Quirks–
Perks and Quirks are minor effects that are basically minor Advantages and Disadvantages. They often give a +1 or -1 modifier respectively in specific situations. Taking a Perk costs 1 character point, while Quirks give 1 character point.
–Conclusion–
So those are the basics, as simply as possible. If you have any questions just ask. You can also check outGURPS Lite, a free basic version of the game. It is a full game in its own right, and is great for beginners. The GURPS Basic Set is contains core rules for the full game. I also want to recommend GURPS for Dummies, which is a great companion for the Basic Set.