michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
We had a quiet weekend. Here are some Things of Interest:

1- After one week of exercising, I manged to lose two pounds. I'm happy, but weight loss isn't my actual goal. As I said when I started exercising, this is about having a healthier lifestyle. Still, I'll take it. :-)

2- Today is the next follow-up appointment with Caitlin's Orthopaedic surgeon. Hopefully, there will be some good news that will make our lives easier. We all want to see that brace go away.

3- Caitlin is more or less fine. She's been really sore in the morning, though. It was bad enough on Friday that I had to call her in sick from school. It breaks my heart when Caitlin screams in pain.

4- Since [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne bought a WorldCon supporting membership in order to vote for the Hugos, I swung by the library and picked up a pile of SF/F books published in 2010. READ ALL THE THINGS!

5- This D&D video might be the greatest bad thing ever.


Sep. 21st, 2008 09:59 am
michaeldthomas: (Doctor Venture)
What a strange week it was. The Cubs almost completely distracted me from the near complete collapse of the economy. There's nothing quite like a major American historical moment that's greeted by the general population with total confusion. The decisions made this week will have repercussions for decades, many of which even the smartest economists can't even begin to predict. To be on the safe side, Lynne and I emptied our retirement accounts and reinvested in canned foods and guns.

Our gaming group finally reconvened yesterday. We're playing the new shiny, Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. So far, I like it. I don't think it's an improvement on 3rd edition, but it certainly has its charms. The biggest change is how each class is now extremely balanced. None of the classes are noticeably superior to the other ones. They made it fairer for players, but a lot of the flavor of each class got lost in the reimagining. There's something wrong with wizards being no more effective than a rogue or ranger.

Another big change for our group was the addition of the Snow's puppy, Eli. Things went well, and Caitlin received a lifetime's worth of puppy kisses.

Since we finished all of our chores yesterday, today is a day of sloth. Other than watching football and keeping Cait alive, all I have to do is critique some manuscripts for a couple of friends.
michaeldthomas: (Doctor Venture)
[livejournal.com profile] kevinsom just gave me the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook for a belated birthday present. I had resisted its sirens call for months. Now I am back on that slippery slope.

The reviews for it are great, so I'm excited to play. We're rolling up characters tomorrow for a new campaign.

Now what am I going to do with all of those bloody 3rd Edition books?
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeon & Dragons, passed away.

It's a sad day if you're a gamer. He created a marvelous game that's still going decades later. In just a few weeks, the 4th edition will be released. Gary helped create a game that let players explore their imaginations while promoting social interaction. I've made a lot of friends because of a shared love of D & D.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family.
michaeldthomas: (Doctor Venture)
Just saw this via [livejournal.com profile] muskrat_john:

It's only Chapter 11, but it's still not great news.

D & D Meme

Feb. 5th, 2008 03:52 pm
michaeldthomas: (Indiana Jones)
Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] torresroman.

I Am A: Lawful Good Human Wizard (5th Level)

Ability Scores:







Lawful Good A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment because it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)


Dec. 14th, 2007 10:56 am
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Life at thirty-three is not all that different from life at thirty-two. Things more or less returned to normal by the middle of the week. Now it’s just cold with no rain, ice storms, or school closings.

Caitlin had a good week. She went “wandering” at school on Thursday and visited the office with her aide. The highlight was Caitlin standing at the main counter for a few minutes while blowing kisses to the staff. Her standing is really improving. Now she just needs to become more consistent with her walking.

I got some writing done this week, but less than I would have liked. I’ve been wrestling with a character. I just don’t get him yet. He plays some vital functions in the plot, but his motivations are still murky to me. It’s a good thing that writing becomes a piece of cake with experience (“Hah!” laughs all of my pro friends). I’m not sure if it helps or not to know that the self-doubt and difficulties never end.

The holidays are on schedule for a change. The decorations have been up for a couple of weeks, the cards were mailed yesterday, and Santa is finished. Lynne and I are even done shopping for each other. Hopefully all of our Internet purchases will make it on time. All that’s left is buying for my family.

We’ve started watching Flight of the Conchords (one of my birthday gifts). It’s as good as the hype. I can’t remember laughing that hard at a television show.

Our copy of[livejournal.com profile] jackiekessler’s Hell's Belles finally arrived from Amazon. Lynne got first dibs. I’m still reading Goblin Quest by [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com]. It’s wonderful. I’ve decided that I want to play in a D&D game that Jim DMs.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
I am done with Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons. This week, Scalzi pointed out the screw job that they are doing to SF authors for their revamped Dragon Magazine (http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=159). The gist is that they are paying bare minimum for original short stories, and then they keep the copyright to the work in perpetuity. That is not cool.

I realize that this is their response to screwing up on writers’ royalties for their CD-Rom project of past Dragon issues, but this is ridiculous. If you want to do work-for-hire, then pay real rates. Otherwise, you are just going to be the official publisher of amateur Forgotten Realms fanfic. I’m pretty sure that this is not what the paying subscribers want to be reading.

Look, I understood why WoC made the move to 4th Edition. They were running out of interesting book ideas for third edition, and I’m sure that it was reflected in their sales. There just isn’t a world ready for the Complete Kobold or The Expanded Grappler. Unfortunately, I just don’t buy into 4th Edition as a consumer.

Much of 4th Edition seems to be predicated on paying for online services in addition to shelling out hundreds of dollars for books. Much of this online stuff is for Internet play. That’s a great idea in 2002, but ridiculous now. The technology they are planning on using is pathetic if compared to World of Warcraft. There simply is not a compelling reason for me or anybody else to move to the new system.

Overall, this seems like the last desperate gasps of a dying division of a major toy company (Hasbro). As a gaming consumer, I’m unimpressed. As an aspiring writer, I’m insulted. They will not be getting my money anymore, and I doubt that I’m alone in this. I would not be shocked if D&D is dead in four years.


michaeldthomas: (Default)

August 2011



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