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Stephen Amber

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Posts posted by Stephen Amber

  1. I think it's a pretty common feeling that 1st and 2nd level in 3E are garbage, balance-wise.


    ToEE was the last game I played that handled the first couple of levels really well. You found yourself scrounging around for bludgeoning weapons just to crack apart skeletons. And ghoulish paralysis was a great threat.


    Most NWN mods seem to be a race to the epic levels unfortunately.

  2. No, I simply think it would be difficult to make such creatures aesthetically pleasing. You know modern mmorpgs and all their player creation options... It's like 1st/2nd edtion d&d's bearded lady dwarves, which were abandoned as no one wanted to look at them much less draw them...


    A supermutant crawling out of a vat is a bloated, grotesque monster... Not unlike the idea of a fallout mmorpg.

  3. You are going to join the uncountable legions of the BOS and fight the endless hordes of Super Mutants of course


    It could well be a Dark Age of Camelot sort of model with the Brotherhood of Steel being the knights, while the mutants are like viking raiders or something. Though I'd prefer it if the supermutants weren't playable... They start out strong to begin with and don't fit in well with a level gaining scheme.



    I thknk it would be pretty cool to play as a supermutant.


    Ahh yes the female supermutants with metallic breast cups, bad hairdos, and beeaotch slapping power fists. What a sight.


    MMO's aren't really crowded. There are overpopulated areas, just like in real life, but most of the time you are lucky if there more than a few other people on a zone with you. It will feel exactly like a wasteland, particularly if they make it a sizable game world.


    Pretty much every time I've watched my buddy play WoW other characters have been crawling around like ants, but maybe I just checked at the wrong time.

  4. The Fallout IP is a pretty good candidiate for a MMORPG though.


    Massively populated wasteland being the oxymoron it is, I think it's a poor candidate. Being isolated on a blighted landscape as the lone vault dweller is a big part of what made fallout tick. Just you and dogmeat... Throw in several thousand more vault dwellers and it's not quite the same. What are you all going to team up and kill giant robot tanks like in tactics or something? Retarded.


    Especially in light of the recent success of FO3. A lot of people know the name Fallout now who didn't before.


    Unable to make F3 themselves, I figured they'd hunker down and wait til the right moment to exploit Bethesda's success.

  5. It was Ed Greenwood specifically who lifted the ideas when he wrote the dragon magazine nine hells articles many years ago(back when he was still a decent game designer). I remember oooing and aweeing over those around '85, when I was just a wee lad with freshly minted red box in tow. But it's interesting how those works, Dante's and Milton's, have sort of filled in the religious public's imagination of what hell is like, when such biblical details are non existent. Entertaining fiction taken as wacked out, literal truth by some.

  6. In Baldur's Gate games, your character can sleep with npcs


    Interplay was likely a bit better about that. BG2, for instance, had drow brothels and promiscuous drow (not to mention the regular NPC's you could bed) while NWN expansion Hordes of the Underdark lacked such drow. The Atari sex nazis at work I'm guessing... How that's going to be any more offensive to bible belters than some huge satanic figure(Mephisto) as the main antagonistic I couldn't guess.


    Atari had some equally ridiculous censoring of Temple of Elemental Evil.

  7. Honestly, what do you espect? Not all new players have access to OD&D/1st/2nd edition materials, and even those who do want to see them converted to the new game rules. I have no idea what you're talking about with respect to the endless quest books, I've never seen one made for D&D. If the game has planes (as it should), there should be a Manual of the Planes to deal with the cosmology. Sure, it shouldn't just rehash the same old stuff - it should add new stuff to the mix. And it does that.


    In regards to endless quest books, you must be thinking of some other series. They were pretty much all based upon d&d and d&d campaign worlds. With, I think, maybe a couple based on Gamma World and Top Secret. Sure, they are going to have planes of existance in d&d, but they could have called it something else... Manual of the Planes smacks of needless nostalgia.


    Forgotten Realms is not the main game world in 4E. The plan is to release one setting per year, and FR, being the most popular, got released first. They don't plan to publish additional setting books for FR. In fact, you would be hard pressed to even recognize the current version of that setting as Forgotten Realms.


    Haven't been following 4e product release scheduling that closely, so that's news to me. And good news if they can come up with some decent settings. Which begs the question, if so unrecognizable, why couldn't they simply have called this version of the FR something else?


    As stated, Eberron is the shiny new game world which was invented for 3.5E, and it will be updated to 4E this summer. The year after that, they will either publish a new setting or update one of the old favorites.


    Don't care for the Eberron warforged look... They need to try something different. Amazingly, I see they've come out with recent Dark Sun books. That setting actually had some merit.



    And new stories are published all the time, they just draw upon the tons of rich lore from previous editions to establish themselves as parts of the continuity. If you have a story set in Greyhawk, of course it will likely mention Vecna, Kas, Tomb of Horrors or Temple of Elemental Evil at some point. If you have a story set in Scotland, I'm sure William Wallace and the Loch Ness monster are bound to pop up eventually.


    If the stories and scenarios are good enough, they should be able to stand on their own merits, not lean upon works of 3 decades ago as if on a crutch.



    Ironically, one of the main criticisms of 4E is that it breaks too many ties with D&D traditions and severs itself from the continuity. I tend to agree with it.


    Break with it completely and come up with new materials... the way they used to. The late 70's/80's tsr designers were'nt writing as if to establish a master template of books and content that had to be repeated every few years, they simply jotted down ideas they thought were cool.

  8. am enthusiastic to see what josh does with tools... but we won't feel justified in crying and moaning so much 'cause you ain't doing commercial. tell you what? charge Gromnir $1 for his copy and we can guarantee a genuine take-no-prisoners review.


    You can play on his pw.

  9. Wasn't there a DnD Tactics for PSP? Though I have no idea how faithful it was to the actual rules.


    I'd pay for a good DnD squad-based tactical game, yes. Easily even. Turn-based, not NWN1/2 engine.


    I heard it was mediocre, if I remember the reviews correctly.



    From what I remember reading you couldn't multi-class. How's that for a 3e title? No multi-classing...


    Those handhelds do have alot of potential for turn based rpg's though. I'd like to see something on the DS.


    On the pc? Forgetaboutit... No publisher would back one.

  10. They've probably been putting most of their time and energy into the Aliens rpg, spreading themselves thinly over SoZ and other projects. It's like back in the days when NWN1 first came out and everyone wondered what was going on... what happened? That game shared development time with BG2/Throne of Bhaal and Kotor. That's what happened...

  11. I've read similar comparisons between some of these more modern crpgs and the classic paper modules. IWD and the G series, for instance, I suppose mainly because of the traipsing about in the underworld and fire/frost giants and drowish enemies. Premise behind the g modules was pretty silly, though: on pain of death ye are to assault and eradicate the giant folk in their lairs. As if a group strong enough to accomplish such could be intimidated in the first place... And dialogue in the G-D series was non-existent, if I recall right. Those old modules did have some very ingenious descriptive passages of the giant lairs and underdark, however. The discovery of the cult of the elder eye and ensuing transition into the underdark is really something... and a light bulb went off in RA Salvetore's head.

  12. Whatever the edition, I'm getting a bit tired of them re-hashing/re-using alot of the old materials, book titles, and themes yet again. Manual of the planes, fiend folio, etc. all the rage back in the 80's, yet you see versions for 3E/4E. Thought it was amusing, but they've actually re-released the 80's endless quest books(choose your own d&d adventure)... No new stories, just the original writings wrapped in, I assume, new covers... as if this was great writing to begin with. I"ve seen several Vecna, Kos, and tomb of horrors articles on the wotc/d&d main page lately. Once again, Forgotten Realms is the main game world.


    D&D remains so steeped in, and dependent upon, nostalgia. Wish they could break away from that and come up with some new ideas again. Like in the 80's... when dragonlance, the colored box sets, and such, were all new...

  13. Germans should've won WW2


    Don't know how this swayed to WWII, but that's interesting. Dunkirk was just one of the great what if's. Not a huge fan, but, in light of the movie, I read one of George F Wills recent columns on the subject of project Valkrie. Turns out that was one of 15 plots at Hitler's life by german officers. What if they'd of got em... And, military outcomes aside, not all Germans were mindless automatons in lockstep with Hitler/Nazi ideology.

  14. but I wonder about folks who have a job they need and an employer who actively attacks their religious beliefs


    This assumes time, or a lack of duties, making such discussions possible in the first place. If someone brought up "god" where I work he'd get some really strange looks.

  15. Occasionally I'll read something academic, usually military history or theology, and one of those a few years ago was God: a biography by Jack Miles. In it he explains how "God" is actually an amalgam of several ancient Canaanite deities the Hebrew tribes encountered in their travels. The burning bush was a symbol of Baal, for instance, god of fire on the mountain. The water serpent, Tiamat, could have been the serpent in the garden of eden and, ultimately, is just another facet of god's "personality". Was an interesting read.

  16. It's also the 10 year anniversary of the d&d crpg message boards, one of the first of which was the planescape torment board, moderated and monitored by JE before he was a hot shot game designer. And frequented by such luminaries as Becker (the humorist), *bows to his audience* Transeer, McComb, and others now lost to the dim past. Very few remain from those long ago days....


    10 years of solid entertainment... :ermm:

  17. ask josh what happened when he posted his honest feelings 'bout wotc during iwd2 development


    Didn't help that some of the forum faithful over-reacted to those ranger/dual wield comments and brought the argument over to the wotc boards themselves. That's what you call rabble rousing...

  18. That was around the time pc games started getting good... I swear to god I did nothing but play baldur's gate and half-life in late 98 and into 99. Half-life had so many cool elements that made it great... head crab paranoia, the 'copter that would badger you til you could shoot it down(yes!), that huge sound sensitive thing of tendrils you had to sneak past...

  19. So many materials out there. If Obsidian managed to grow balls of brass after the release of AP and Aliens, they could look back to review one of the highly hyped but dropped IP during the Black Isle days: Torn.


    We never knew a whole lot about that game, other than it would use the special system in the fantasy milieu. Which, if you look at another game of their's, Lionheart, wasn't necessarily a good thing. And the Torn lead design from that period, Maldanodo, isn't even with Obsidian... one assumes he took alot of the ideas for that setting with him.


    If fact, that they put time/resources into games like Torn and Icewind Dale2(a weird semi-3e game) while leaving fallout3 on the back burner (a huge cash cow), has proved to be one the great gaffes in crpg development history. No, better to leave Torn in the past...


    Mid 90's pnp rpg Castle Falkenstien had to have been a big inspiration behind arcanum.... it's very similar artistically and thematically.

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