Fantasy Time

I’m a big fan of Dungeon and Dragons. Huge fan really. Something about it has always made me feel a little, free. Over the years my love for the game and the work that makes a mighty campaign epic, epic has grown. It was’t always so though. I was a closeted nerd for some time. When I entered the world of fantasy where anything could happen I relished in it.  It’s safe to say that I don’t plan on going anywhere either.

I remember when I first started getting into the idea of fantasy based worlds. I was around the age of nine. I was a huge fan of history as a child and still am today. That love of history lead me to things like King Arthur and his knights, Robin Hood, and other medieval based lore. As a young boy seriously what’s better for the imagination then shields, swords, magic, and fire breathing dragons. It inspired me to think outside of the box. My imagination was broad and often at times kept me company when times were so-so. I remember making up stories in my head that would take place in expansive realms with detailed characters. I would keep these stories going in my head for days until they reached a natural stopping point or I just forgot where I left off. It wouldn’t stop me from starting a new story though.

By the time a the first “Lord of The Rings” movie came out I was already immersed into the fantasy world of Tolkien. Having to read “The Hobbit” in the fourth grade the idea of being able to see elves, dwarves, and hobbits come to life was a must see.

Fast forward to ten or so years and I no longer needed to make up these fantasy worlds in my head. Thanks to Bethesda and the magic of Todd Howard I was able to visit worlds that only drove me deeper into fantasy. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim opened me up to a universe that I could never come up with but one that I’m more the grateful for having spent hours and hours in. Seriously, collectively I have at least over a thousand hours in Skyrim alone. I can’t remember how many hours I put in Oblivion but it was a lot. Those games like many people who call themselves “gamers” have a special place in my heart. It’s not just the game but it was the time  when I picked it up, the hours I spent playing it and the people I played it with.

That’s just a little insight to how I became such a fan of Dungeons and Dragons. I didn’t actually get a chance to play the game until I was about 20. The firs taste of D&D I ever had was the board game Called the Wrath of Ashardalon. It was a board game version of D&D that’s played with minis, in traditional D&D fashion, cards, a die, and map tiles. It’s a modified version of the true pen and paper game but still contained all the fun. That lead our little group of five guys to decide to try out the actual game. I got some PDF’s on the rules and characters and  away we went. I can’t explain how much fun I had being able to build my own world piece by piece. I felt like my adolescent self again creating worlds where anything and everything was possible. Of course however like many other Dungeon and Dragons groups before ours we disbanded because of drama/players weren’t showing up anymore. It happens.

Now two years apart that we haven’t played  we have decided to rekindle our group and give it a try again. The so called Cave Bear Killers dungeon and dragons group is back together and not at all stronger than ever. I think we are more willing now however. We have made the characters and my campaign is awaiting them. The only thing we need to wait on is the final touches of our group. Like dates and times. We’ll get there.

Until then I’ll just keep adding more and more details to my story.

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The Holiday Break

Last week seemed to fly by, sort of. It was a productive week for meeting with family that I haven’t seen in well over ten years. So in that regard it was worth it and pleasant. But back to work this week.

On the eight hour road trip that it takes to get form here to the town in which my family lives in. I was able to do some good work on the D&D campaign. I developed NPC’s, a major hook, major plot, side plots, and other little things that will help me piece together an actual campaign worth playing. One of the major things that I’m really excited about is the Story Hook that will take them form point A to point B.

To get an idea of what I’m working,

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“You’re sitting in the town’s tavern, The Blue Flagon as patrons slowly begin to ween out in the night and retire to their homes. It’s been a long day for these people but you can’t seem to tell why and the people are reluctant to trust you. That is until you hear a loud crash come from outside the tavern. Something is happening. Something bad. You rush out of the tavern to see that the gates you only just walked through are engulfed in flames. Roll a dexterity check.”

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This is just a simple hook but what I hope will lead to so much more in the coming days. As far as the players characters are concerned they are finished and ready for the character sheets. And I have to say I’m a little excited to see how some of them play out.

We have

  • Set the Half-Elf Warrior
  • Xander the  Human Cleric for the Deity of Tyr
  • Dobby a High Elf Sorcerer
  • Ralakas a Tiefling Rouge

The interesting thing about this group is that their character profiles are all across the board. So I’m expecting that at some point in time they will clash when it comes to what is right and wrong in a very serious way that could alter my story which gives me a minor migraine but also keeps me on my toes when it comes to adapting my world to their decisions. I look forward to sharing more.

D&D Kind of Sunday

Today, if all goes well, will be the day that the group finally makes their characters so over the thanksgiving break I can really put some work into the campaign. I always look forward to the beginning over a new campaign because as the DM it’s exciting for me to see who and what will be running around in my world. Then again with this group creating characters could be really awesome or really frustrating, but so is the life of a DM. It’s always random characters who can’t do what they want because A.it’s not possible in the world of D&D or B. it’s some weird anime power that can’t scale into actual play. But I’m hoping for the best.

I will say that one of the guys that’s in the group, in our previous campaign  made a level one Necromancer that was completeness useless. I purposely sent everything after him to kill his character, which I was successful in, because he was bringing down the group in being useless. So killing that character was fun. He was mauled by bears, badly.

 

A Friday Night

My sister called me the other day and one of the first things on the agenda to talk about was of course the election, her state of being, and then ultimately my state of being. She asked “Are you doing okay. Like okay, okay, or just eh-okay.” I told her it’s probably a mix of them all. I couldn’t really tell. Even now I can’t tell. It’s like being in a drifting state where everything seems upside down and odd.

We spoke on the phone for a good while and I expressed that I felt that with this election all that has taken place nothing I want to do with myself seems possible or important for that matter. Just because, you know, there are bigger things out there that matter more than me. But I have to understand that in my life the things that matter to me in the long run are important. They do matter. But, I can also make a difference in those other things that I believe in. I won’t express what those “things” are because I want to stay away from politics, for now at least, but that shit weighs on me. I think for so long I tried to be indifferent about it but at this point in our history as humans I can’t really ignore it. So we bounced feelings off of one another while I played the Overwatch PTR to give Sombra a test run. It helped. Made me feel that yes I can feel like a human who wants to help others and inspire other to bring about change in this world and time while also pursuing my passions and dreams. Doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier.

As I sit here and write this on a Friday night at 11:53 pm I’m just thinking about the things that I need to do and by the Eight (Because Talos was a human and not an Aedra so that means not by the Nine) it’s a lot of crap. I mean a lot. I got back into streaming again and it was okay. Not great but something weird started to happen. I was streaming Overwatch one night and OBS kept crashing I couldn’t figure out why. After doing some research on the forums it turns out that Windows 10 causes the crash and as of right now there is no fix. That’s according to OBS devs. They are adamant that it’s not OBS. So I will believe them and try to not be one of those people who rage over on the forums about their problems because they mean more than yours. Not my style. I’m more “The suffer in silence” kind of type. However, man-o-man is it always something that happens when I try to stream. One would think that maybe streaming isn’t something that is going to happen for me and maybe that’s true. Should it stop me it has in the past but I’m trying to endure it. 

Couple of things has caught my attention in the time that I wrote about whatever it was that I wrote. Dishonored 2 came out and I really truly enjoyed the first one but never finished it. So that kind of bummed me out because I didn’t want to play the new one without playing the other. Lucky me I bought the collection edition of Dishonored 2, yes the one with the badass replica Corvo mask, and it came with a digital copy of Dishonored. So like the champ that I am. I put Overwatch to the side for a while focused on Dishonored. I power played the hell out of that game but was still able to most of the content. Took about 25 hours but I forgot how good the story was and the DLC was phenomenal. With the finishing of that I couldn’t wait to play the second and it truly looks great. I look forward to beating it. 

I might have a thing about Dishonored but who the hell knows if I’ll ever get around to writing about that. Maybe I will. 

Also a couple years back I started learning how to play Dungeons and Dragons. I can’t remember why it was that I got into it. But when I did, man I embraced it like it was school all over again. Just because there is so much content and rules. Naturally this is something that I like to do because there is a ton of lore. Well we formed a group with some friends of mine and we started to play. However as with what happens to a lot of D&D groups we broke up and stopped playing. Recently I have been feeling the itch again so I called the old group to see if they would be interested in getting back into it. The reaction was a little better than I thought it’d be. The group is back together. Hopefully we can get together before the holiday to make the characters so I can get the campaign going here soon. That I know I will blog about just because it’s something that I did with the last campaign on Tumblr. Mostly because I just enjoy writing the content of what the group does and what I plan on doing in the future to them. It’s a good way to keep track of all the content for the group.

So that is all right now. Not too much going on. I’ll try harder to write because it’s important for my sanity, I hope.

Sombra Sombra Sombra!

Made a quick video for Sombra’s gear. I’m too excited about her. The Hype is real and I’m fan-boying hard. I plan to make more but honestly who knows but I am in love with Sombra already. I look forward to raging over the fact that I can’t play her very well in the near future.

Revelations and Excitement

So it’s been some time that I haven’t said anything worth reading. I can admit that. Frankly I haven’t been active on this site as much as I thought that I would be. Sure, there are a myriad of reason to why I haven’t written anything and yes all of those would be excuses. They would. I look at the calendar on the main page of my site and all it does is prove that I haven’t done anything. I haven’t used this site to my full advantage because of whatever half-assed reason. It sucks. More so because it’s my fault.

But let’s be a little positive now. Video games are coming out and there are some that I’am really looking forward to. This weekend I got my hands on Battlefield 1. Which slapped me back to when I was nine when I popped in Medal of Honor circa 1999. That game much like the Steven Spielberg’s award winning film, “Saving Private Ryan”  just throws you into battle without any notice. One second you hear the horn of war the next you are storming the beach of D-Day.

For me playing  a game like that was as I told me cousin the day we played it “intense.” I spent much of my youth in libraries reading about World War I and II. It was a passion of mine. So when I had the chance to play Medal of Honor it was more then a game to me even at the age of nine. I remember getting goose bumps and shaking while playing the game because I was so immersed in it. It was an insight to what those men might have gone through. It was an insight to all the things I had read in books.

Saturday night I went over to a friends house and he had Battlefield 1 and I knew what it was supposed to be about but I had no idea that it was going to to take me back to that time when I was nine. It’s a beautiful game with a ton of intense game play. I wasn’t shaking this time but if I had the time to sit there with headphones on and focus on what it was that I was doing, I could have. I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with the game but from what I saw it covers the stories of several individuals during the time of the World War throughout various of locations. There was however a scene that sold me on how amazing this game is going to be. In the midst of a battle the smoke clears and two men stand facing one another. Armed and ready to shoot the other but something seems different in this scene. They are the only two standing in a field of smoking bodies and blood. They look on the young men is one of defeat because even if the other fires no one has won this day. Their friends and countrymen lie dead at their feet and if they choose to they could add one more. They stand there just pointing their rifles at the other but choose to not fire. Instead they show mercy. They drop their rifles and turn away from one another because one more life lost won’t change anything. The scene was one from a great war film or novel. That’s the moment I knew this game was going to be different. Originally it wasn’t a game that I considered buying but Sunday morning I went ahead an ordered it from Amazon. It comes Wednesday. Plus I got a good deal because I use Twitch and are a Prime member. So win-win and I look forward to playing it.

Bates Motel Easter Egg in Overwatch?

As excited as I was when the Summer Games released their special collectible skins and what not. This Halloween one is an omen of amazing things to come from Blizzard. I can’t get over how awesome this patch is.

It’s so good! So ghoul?

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Also this has to be a bates motel thing, right?

The Humble Beginning to Clarity

How am I going to go about getting into the industry. As I write this and the many other drafts I have sitting in the draft bank, It sounds silly to say “This is how I’m going to get into the gaming industry.” Kind of a far-fetched idea. I’ll admit it. I know the mountain that stand in front of me. I do. Am I intimidated. Hell yes. Do I think it’ll work out? No. But I just can’t sit back and let this opportunity go by me. I just wouldn’t feel right.

So what about gaming has me thinking that I can maybe, somehow, possibly, make some kind of career out of this.

Let me explain.

As a child I grew up with playing the NES and Super Nintendo. Like many other children of the 90’s. I used these consoles even when the first PlayStation came out. Actually I don’t think I stopped playing Super Street Fighter until we got a PlayStation 2. So you can do the math. The reason why I continued to use these systems in the early 2000’s isn’t because I was hipster before you. No. It was however because we just couldn’t afford the new systems. In my family birthdays and Christmas’ weren’t a time to get gifts you wanted but those of things you needed. Like underwear. A sweater. It’s okay, this isn’t a sob piece. I’m simply painting the picture that we grew up understanding the value between want and need.

Now we did have a PC. It was a 98′ Windows 95, Compaq PC. It was a beaut! And heavy as bricks. I swear if I close my eyes I can still hear the hum of the fans whirling around in that thing. What a machine. Being the son of a mother who was a computer teacher I had good access to computers. I got to spend a lot of with them. Learning how they work and the programs they use. I remember working on word and creating 3D shapes thinking I was on my way to making animation shorts. I tell you this however, those skills I learned messing with computers served me well.

But that good ol’ Compaq PC is where I got my first taste of superior gaming. With the release of the new DOOM game around the corner it only seems right that that was my first PC game ever played. Doom. You remember. The game that took four, count them four floppy disks to install! Yep, that’s the one. It was my first chance at what we now call an FPS. It was gory, violent, scary, it put the fear of the devil in me as a child, and it was great. I won’t even pretend that I didn’t use the God Mode codes when things got tough. This was the beginning of something great for me, PC gaming.

Doom lead me to Quake. Quake lead to Half Life. Keeping with the genre of a first person view, gore fest, and disgusting demons coming for you  with blood curling screams! Honestly it’s amazing I didn’t turn out to be one of those kids who were at risk because of violent video games. Maybe it’s because I later made the change to game builders and real time strategy games. Mainly anything “Age of Empire” based and a little “Roller Coaster Tycoon” where I aimed to kill anyone that came into my theme park. Okay, maybe I was somewhat influenced by the doom and gloom of Doom. Maybe. But as the improvement of games began it left me behind. That is until I found console gaming.

Console gaming back then is kind of crazy to think about now. Now we focus on mainly two systems, PlayStation and Xbox. As a kid there was, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Game Cube, PlayStation, Dream Cast,  and too many others to list off here. I know that there are some years between some of those listed but they were all relevant. It wasn’t like today where you bought one console and were set for seven to eight years. Tech was changing left and right back then. Saying “back then” makes me feel old. I’ll do my best to choose some better words to remind me of back then, dammit. Anyway, there were so many game systems back then it was hard to keep up and pick one. The PS2 is finally where I found a home. After countless of Christmas’ where I hoped to get one we finally got one. But not on Christmas. It was during some other time. But nevertheless we had a a system. Growing up with mostly brothers and being 11-ish at the time. We played mostly sport games, extreme sport games, or shooting games. The same could be said for when we got a PS3.

It wasn’t until I got a chance in high school to experiment with other video game genres. I remember it like it was yesterday. My cousin whose father was and still is a big fan of video games had a pretty sweet computer rig, which we weren’t allowed to touch. Unless he was there to monitor, kappa. My cousin in turn was lucky enough to have the up to date consoles. So he had an Xbox 360 at the time. Now I was there because we were going to spend some days out of town for spring break so we had this great plan to stay up all night playing video games and sleeping in the car ride over to San Antonio. So the night started off with some Godfather until it stopped working. At this point it’s about 12 AM and my cousin is in this losing battle with his heavy eye lids. I begin to riffle through his games and there it is. This green box with a brownish tan back splash with gold text written across reading “Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion.” This is where my taste in games changed so much. I remember asking him what this was but he was knocked out. So I throw the game in and started it up. A there is where it began. The voice over begins telling you about some sort of secret society that once guarded some ancient bloodline that lead to some old Emperor named Tiber Septim. And now in the dying wake of the old emperor the blood line now lies in your hands to find its last member, which lies in some secret love child. By the nine I was hooked. Next thing I know I’m sneaking my way through some rat infested dungeon with nothing but a torch, a shield, and a loosely fitting loincloth. I’m pretty sure I just convinced myself to go back and play that game. I knew I had found my home. I played this game until day break and it was wonderful.

There was something about this game that I couldn’t get over. The depth of history this game had was ridiculous. I have never experienced anything like it before. The idea of a video game having such detailed lore to me was foreign. I wanted and needed more, and it didn’t help that “Lord of The Rings” had just come out that same year . I was pretty much in on this fantasy world high. And Elder Scrolls was my drug. So I took to wiki pages and online sources of Todd Howard’s Elder Scrolls to feed my need for more information.

The point is playing certain games like Elder Scrolls, Assassin’s Creed, and even Hitman changed the way that I looked at video games. No longer were they just these mind numbing things children played for hours on end to avoid playing outside. They had become works of art to me. Something on the level of a good book or a American movie classic. Video games have evolved over time and sure some are still just about gore and crime. But others like Naughty Dog’s “Uncharted” tell an expansive narrative based on mystery, love, crime, history, and adventure. All centralized around beautifully crafted characters with their own tones and personalities. These are the qualities that make a movie great or a novel a best seller. For video games it’s no different. I believe I’m ready to take on this challenge to properly evaluate them.