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Can I even handle a game like PE any longer? Well, I sure hope so!


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While eagerly anticipating PE, I've been thinking on my gaming, and where it's at today as opposed to 10 or 20 years ago. And this makes me question if I even can handle a game like Pillars of Eternity any longer? Let me elaborate. I am a true gamer. I really play all kinds of PC games: FPS, CRPGs, ARPGs, platformers, rogue games, 4 X, horror, MMOs, etc. I've even been playing PS3 a lot with my kids, Little Big Planet, the Lego games, and Move-based shooters and exercise games. However, as I've gotten older, I realize that my gaming habits have changed quite a bit, partly because of the responsibilities of being a parent and a slightly mature parent, which certainly eats away at the precious gaming time available.

 

I mean, PE offers no less than a party-based CRPG with an extensive main story, braided with dozens of intertwined juicy stories, as well as interesting side quests and a number of really fleshed out companions. And it just feels so long ago (nearly half a decade). My last whiff of all of this was Dragon Age: origins, which despite some severe shortcomings, at least delivered a good enough CRPG experience for me. Before that, I had been in CRPG heaven with MotB and NWN2 (with NWN1 and some of its persistent worlds on its back, and in turn, there had been the golden oldies of the IE-games). While I had to settle with only two real playthroughs of DAO (perhaps in part because of all the middle-age responsibilities), I had always gone all-in on those other meaty CRPGs (doing hundreds and hundreds of hours, with plenty of new playthroughs, modding, etc). I must underline that this devotion is not all because of D&D, which I really adore, since I certainly spent oodles of time in the Ultima games, as well as the more shallow clickfests in the Might & Magic-series.

 

Before I saw the Obsidian PE KS, I had almost given up on seeing a decent party-based western CRPG of the tolkienesque, Medieval genre. There hade been plenty of single character CRPGs out there, but they have been so severely lacking in story, companions, and character creation/building/skills and spells diversity, that I simply thought that kind of game would never see the light of day ever again, and especially not with an entire party.

 

My point? Well, this lack made me play more and more ARPGs when I have some time over. I actually almost never played them before (D1 and D2, of course, but that's about all). I've taken a look of what sort of games I keep returning to when I have finished shorter games or games with a campaign that you only do once, and it seems my game log is clogged up with TitanQuest, Torchlight, D3, and now recently Van Helsing and Path of Exile. They are simple hack-n-slash games, where items run the show, and everything is all about rushing and collecting, it seems. They are pleasantly mind-numbing, nothing more to them, really.

 

Still, one game type is still as frequent in my "games I keep coming back to"-drawer as it was 10 or 20 years ago, and that is turnbased 4X games. I just love those. They feel very creative and varied, at least when they are good. I mean, Civilization is at the top of the list. But it can be Legendary Heroes or some space empire game, as well as Warlords or some EU-game.

 

Both ARPGs and turn-based 4X games have one thing in common. They adapt to what I invest in them. If I go casual, they will be casual. If I go more serious on them, they get a bit more serious (to a point, of course). But can this compare to how I played NWN2 or BG2? No, since they truly swept me away to another realm, a lovely fantasy setting that I truly appreciated to be in and to shape all of its stories and outcomes with various parties and companion bantering. and sometimes I just min-maxed my way through them, even solo. In both those sides to them, I really invested a lot of time and effort, but will I do the same with Pillars of Eternity? Or have my CRPG heart been corrupted by ARPGs? Is the spark still there? And will I have time enough. I mean, playing MMOs is out of the question where I'm in life right now. Well, at least it won't be this always online non sense here (thank god!).

 

Anybody else out there, anxious about not being up to snuff when it comes to PE? Perhaps you fear ruining it all with some rushed playthrough, instead of steeping yourself into the lore and the RPG system that be? Moreover, it hasn't that familiarity that D&D lend games of yore, so will you have the time and take the time, to get involved in it?

 

I'm curious about your take on this.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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My biggest problem with PoE style games is that I tend to flip into "meta" mode too easily. This leads to all kinds of stuff that kind of ruins things for me, like restarting over and over again, exploring branches by going to a previous save and trying another approach, looking for strategy guides which leads to looking for spoilers, and so on and so forth. I find it difficult to just throw myself into a game and enjoy it, whatever happens.

 

An age-related thing is that my tolerance for frustration has gone down. I no longer have the patience to, say, keep reloading until I figure a battle out (BG2, here's looking at you), or keep exploring until I find that annoyingly-hidden last piece of a puzzle, and so on. Nowadays getting stuck mostly just gets me to quit, or look for spoilers, both of which ruin it for me. Conversely, if a game gets too easy, I get bored and quit as well. I'll only soldier on through these kinds of things if the game brings something to the table that really pushes my buttons on a deep level. Well-executed something that I've already done before doesn't quite cut the mustard.'

 

As to PoE, I remain extremely optimistic. I like 90% of the design ideas that have been presented; I agree with almost all of the ways it's different from the IE games (mechanics, guns, metaphysics), and I've tremendously enjoyed the writing and world-building the game's makers have done before. I also get the vibe that this is something they really want to do.

 

Perhaps, in a way, PoE is a test. If I won't enjoy it, I don't think I'll enjoy any game anymore. Tastes change. I've been playing computer games ever since my dad took me to the Stanford University computer center and introduced me to rogue. That'll be 32 years ago this year. It's a pretty good run for a hobby.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Let me elaborate. I am a true gamer.

 

TommyLeeJonesImpliedFacepalm.png

 

 

Please, don't give me that stern stare, Tommy! :lol:

 

I really am a true gamer, as in having played and still playing all sorts of computer games and RPGs. Unfortunately, I also caught a nasty bug of cope creep, rather than scope creep (That pun was almost as good as our pun master's! Lephys, that is).

 

PrimeJunta: The problems you're experiencing with ARPGs are the same as mine, and these make me switch them out every once in a while, as I can't stand all those restarts, game-shattering patches and tweaks, etc. And also like you, I have extremely high hopes about PE and like almost everything I've seen about so far. I just have this cope creep. Perhaps I've forgotten how to play a good old party-based CRPG altogether, or perhaps it's like riding a bike. You'll never forget the basics of it. 

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I'm slightly optimistic myself.

Sure, I don't have the hand-eye-coordination I used to and my patience and willingness to effort is way thinner than before.

But I have, in the past few years played Torment and Arcanum for the first time and enjoyed the experience.

 

Then again, Arcanum did take several efforts to get into, I've tried twice to get into new Jagged Alliance but gave up,

also twice the older JA2 and gave up on that as well. I just give up.

 

And the cracking of puzzles and such, heck I even googled up the answer for a couple of Skyrim pillar rotations.

I just don't have the patience to think for more than a minute, or in skyrims case, spend time seeking the clue.

 

Also, just bought Lords of Midnight from GOG. I played it a bit in the last century, didn't win then though.

I realize I'd need to mark up armies in paper and draw the moves if I want to win... and... hell.

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I'm a big player of games myself, I play pretty much anything, from tabletop games, card games, tag, hide and seek, traitor, party games, and computer games. Recently I've been working on expanding my palette, so with exception of sports games I pretty much enjoy everything.

 

I've been longing for a deep role playing game that I won't finish in ten hours, and I plan to take my sweet time for P:E. I've attempted to replay some old crpgs in anticipation, but found that I'm easily frustrated by them, for a few reasons I won't go in to here. I'm invested in P:E, like I imagine everyone here is. I'm going to set time aside for this game, and I'm not going to rush myself. I'm going to do the Mega Dungeon, even though I generally hate dungeon crawlers, that should be an indication on how desperately I want to soak it all up.

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Over Christmas I fan-patched Arcanum and had another go. Enjoyed it a whole hell of a lot more than my first few play throughs*.

 

However, I found that after years of HUD-oriented quests I'd become an imbecile. I'd be told someone would be waiting for me somewhere, and ten minutes later I'd need to look up a cheat guide to find out where I was supposed to go. Now sure, you could argue that's what a quest tracker is for, but this isn't rocket science.

 

I hope POE _will_ require me to up my game. Because it's crap right now.

 

 

 

*Visit Tarant university and buy technical books, for the love of god!

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Jarmo: I hear you! I certainly have lost most of my patience for doing boring puzzles until the game lets me pass some trigger, so yeah, in that sense game wikis are a god send. 

Drudanae: Yup, that's the brunt of it, and indeed I've done so much more the last five years or so. Before that, I was what you would call a completionist and I rarely gave up and uninstalled. Stupid in hindsight, but there you go.

 

JFSOCC & Walsingham: What I like about your posts is that I can sense this urge to up the ante and really give PE your sweet all. I share this ambition, albeit with trembling hands and a bit of trepidation.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I think what'll end up happening with me is that I'll play it through once, not caring so much about "completion percent" (i.e. find and kill BBEG, game over, do whatever side quests I get but not necessarily seeking them out). Then I'll go back in a little while with a new character, and try doing/getting everything ... but play more like it was a PnP game (i.e., tell myself "look self, you can only play this on Thursday nights from 6-10PM" or something)

 

edit - though it totally depends on when PoE actually releases ... If it's spring, then I might start with the "you can only play on Thursdays" rule, because of needing to do spring/summer things - taking care of the lawn, gardens, etc.

Edited by neo6874
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In fairness to myself, part of the problem was not knowing how smart the game thought I was. So, it was hard to tell if it just hadn't made something clear or if I was supposed to apply my brains and make inferences.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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neo6874: I keep my fingers crossed for a late autumn/winter-release, as that would give me plenty more game time as opposed to spring and summer, when it would interfere with my green thumbs, as I too do a lot of gardening, a little hobby of mine. :)

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Let me elaborate. I am a true gamer. I really play all kinds of PC games: FPS, CRPGs, ARPGs, platformers, rogue games, 4 X, horror, MMOs, etc. I've even been playing PS3 a lot with my kids, Little Big Planet, the Lego games, and Move-based shooters and exercise games. However, as I've gotten older, I realize that my gaming habits have changed quite a bit, partly because of the responsibilities of being a parent and a slightly mature parent, which certainly eats away at the precious gaming time available.

 

I'm somewhat impressed, because this is, by far, the first time someone described the troubles of adulthood gaming so precisely. Keep the faith, lass; I'm keeping my fingers crossed so that everyone can have lots of fun with this game. Or with any other game they desire. Anyhoo, best of luck to everyone.

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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My level of stick-with/patience for story/consequence decision making is not what it used to be (versus "what armor to wear" decision making). I might get to a spot where I agonize over (or altogether avoid) a decision (this faction? that faction? benefit/con?) for so long I end up going no further in the main plot for ages. I know it's nonsensical since I can try it one way first then another way later, but my brain just gets stuck. :lol:

 

I've always been like that to a degree, but was better at pushing through it back when then I am now. And while I've always spent a lot of time playing action/hack and slash (along with deeper rpg's and strategy), it's become a lot more dominant lately ... so I understand what you mean. Along with less energy to sit for long sessions, especially the past year or two.

 

But I know Obsidian can make interesting choice and emotionally involving games that I enjoy and finish, so I think the odds are high that once I start playing, after the first hour or three of feeling like I have to get into the swing of things again, I'll be fine. :biggrin: It's also pretty much the only game on my "super looking forward to" list so by the time it comes out I'm going to be itching for something new to play.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Nice post.  I feel somewhat similarly, in many ways agree with Junta for different reasons.  I don't care about spoilers per se despite never looking them up, if I somehow end up getting one I will sort of shrug and play anyway.  What does get me is time.  I am not some kid in highschool anymore who goes to school 35 hours or so a week, lives 2 minutes from school, and can play his gameboy in class.  I have a job that runs 40 or sometimes more a week (god do I hate it when it does), and a daily commute of around an hour.  When I do have time to sit down and play a game I don't have the desire to be spending an hour on figuring out one puzzle or one or two really complex fights anymore.  I play games for fun and as a hobby, when they stop being fun I don't just "power through" out of some whacked out gamer pride like I used to when I was a kid.  I either look up a solution, or decide it isn't fun for me and I quit.

 

I have over 100 games in steam.  I always have something else to play.

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Messier-31: Thanks! :)

 

LadyCrimson: I agree. Obsidian do make addictive games. FNV, for instance. It's still addictive when I do play it, and btw, it is still consistently among the 30 or so most played games on Steam after all these years (there are at least two versions counted in Steam stats, so you have to add those). And the games on my "super looking forward to" list is basically Pillars of Eternity and Divinity: Original Sin, so everything is laid out for me, as Seinfeld said to Elaine in a weird episode. Then of course I have the tier beneath that, the "looking forward to" list, and it contains WL2, Witcher 3, DA:I, ToN, and Thief.

 

EDIT:

Karkarov: Just saw your post, and I'm shy of a 100 by just a handful on Steam, and boy, is my backlog big or is it big? But all that is the consequence of sales bargains, hoarding, and just the luxury of knowing that they are there when I feel like giving them a spin. The key is fun. After a good while, when the fun turns into a pointless chore or even a tragic annoyance, I'll just leave that game for laters or simply uninstall it. ARPGs, for instance, have a strong tendency to become the former, so then I just swap that out for something else.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Oh as an additional thought in case Obsidian is listening :p.  That illithid level from BG2?  How about we don't do something similar in Eternity?  Just saying, that's the the kinda BS encounter design that is just frustrating and stupid and makes people quit a game instead of work through it.

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I can relate to this. I love games of all kinds to the point where I buy many games because I love the idea or concept of the game but never find myself actually playing them. Not because they're bad games, but because I feel that the amount of time I need to invest into them in order to progress significantly is just too much with everything else I've got going on in my life. Where as I can complete a level of an action game, play a handful of games of hearthstone or magic, bang out a section of the map in a metroidvania, play a few round of death matchin a shooter, and so on pretty easily. So as much as I love Don't Starve or Starbound I can't really give myself the time required to sit and play these games nonstop in order to feel like I've accomplished enough. I also can't keep up on my skills in a game like starcraft 2 or dota 2 enough to be good enough to have a good time while playing them as I tend to have a slightly hardcore mentality about games and being bad at them bothers me.

So generally speaking I've been steering clear of anything that's too open world/crafting focused, MMOs, or anything that requires constant practice in order to keep your level of play up.

That said, I'm not worried about PoE even a little bit. When I find a good game with an interesting story I will brush aside all my other hobbies, let the TV shows pile up, ignore books and other games until whatever game I'm currently sucked into is completed. I steal little hours here and there, leave it paused and open so I can pick up where I left off even if it's just for 20minutes or so. I think this is largely because unlike the games I'm trying to avoid PoE will have an end. It's not a sand box experience that goes on as long as I play it. So if it takes me a few weeks to play through it properly rather than the marathon sessions of 3-4 days I would have done in college, so beat it. I'll get it done and see everything at a slightly slower pace but I'll still see it.

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K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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I can relate to this. I love games of all kinds to the point where I buy many games because I love the idea or concept of the game but never find myself actually playing them. Not because they're bad games, but because I feel that the amount of time I need to invest into them in order to progress significantly is just too much with everything else I've got going on in my life. Where as I can complete a level of an action game, play a handful of games of hearthstone or magic, bang out a section of the map in a metroidvania, play a few round of death matchin a shooter, and so on pretty easily. So as much as I love Don't Starve or Starbound I can't really give myself the time required to sit and play these games nonstop in order to feel like I've accomplished enough. I also can't keep up on my skills in a game like starcraft 2 or dota 2 enough to be good enough to have a good time while playing them as I tend to have a slightly hardcore mentality about games and being bad at them bothers me.

 

So generally speaking I've been steering clear of anything that's too open world/crafting focused, MMOs, or anything that requires constant practice in order to keep your level of play up.

 

 

Yet another lovely post, and this sums up my sentiments almost to a tee, especially that about being bothered at being bad at a game, that slight hardcore mentality. I have skipped League of Legends and Company of Heroes 2 (which I really like, the single player campaigns and theatre scenarios, are great) for the very same reason.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Interesting topic and Ive been wondering if cRPG's are for me anymore. I play the hell out of aRPG's (I probably have close to 1000 hours invested across all my characters in D3) but when I read about PE I get really discouraged as, IMO, it sounds like total drek. I haven't liked a single mechanic so far and to me it seems like they threw out fun for the sake of "tactics". I am in no way interested in mechanics that are the same but with a twist to just to kick you in the junk. Meh, TBH, I don't think Ive liked a D&D system since 2.5E but Ive never tried Pathfinder or the like so maybe I would enjoy those systems. Ive got my fingers (and toes) crossed that Divinity turns out to be the game I was hoping PE would be.

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Wow, seems you've really struck a chord with a number of people with this thread. I'll just add my voice to the choir as well. :) Forgive me in advance, as I tend to ramble...

 

I turn 50 this year and I have two kids, so I know what you mean by being a mature gaming parent and the demands that puts on your time (not that I'm implying you're 50 by the way!) But where I used to be a 'completionist' and felt this overwhelming need to finish a game if I started it, I don't do that anymore. If a game isn't providing me with any fun, I shelf it. Usually permanently. I have a big enough backlog that I don't need to waste my time playing something I don't like. That being said, PoE is exactly the kind of game I prefer, and I can see me pouring all my gaming hours into it until it's completed.

I keep my fingers crossed for a late autumn/winter-release, as that would give me plenty more game time as opposed to spring and summer, when it would interfere with my green thumbs, as I too do a lot of gardening, a little hobby of mine. :)

Many people have said many of the things I'd say, so I won't rehash it all, but I quoted this as it's very similar to my situation. Odd thing is, the winter/fall season is when I usually find myself at odds and not really wanting to play the games I have. (I also tend to have this issue that when i complete a game, I don't want to invest the time/effort into learning the controls and game mechanics of a new one right away. I tend to default back to the IE games or other old favorites for a while until I get the ambition to fire up something new. Heh, currently I'm doing another Dragon Age:Origins run) But I have a good feeling that PoE will cure this winter malaise. Either way, I always find time to game (generally getting a couple hours every evening if I feel like it), so I'll have the time to put into the game as well as the lore so I can immerse myself in the game world the way we all love to in this kind of game.

 

So no, I'm not anxious about the game or not being up to snuff. I'll take my time and savor it and if it takes me several months to finish it, then so be it. For me, if it takes that long, it will eventually be like sitting down with an old friend for a few hours each day. And who doesn't enjoy that?

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Gifted1: D:OS and Reaper of Souls should keep you busy if PE doesn't turn out to be your cup of tea at all. :)

 

Ink Blot: Mid-40s here, so I'm getting there in strides. Every year you live seem to go by faster than the last. And if PE gets to be like sitting down with an old friend and do every once in a while, Obsidian has really nailed it. I like that image. It is ambitious, reaching much higher, like a really good and demanding interactive book with various paths and endings, sprinkled with some fun randomized outcomes... Hang on. Isn't that a FF-book? I still read those every once in a while.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Ink Blot: Mid-40s here, so I'm getting there in strides. Every year you live seem to go by faster than the last.

Oh ye gods, how many times have my wife and I said that to each other! Love your sig, by the way.  I may have to steal a variant of that for one of the other forums I frequent.

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This thread reads like an exhibit at an EA board meeting used to justify streamlining... aka dumbing down... aka decline  :devil: .  

 

Just kidding, sort of. I too need to balance my gaming with more responsibilities and commitments these days, which makes it harder to get into or complete games, especially deep RPGs. In fact, I mostly only play RPGs, in large part because my time is precious. I also don't like snatching just an hour or two here and there, I like to get really immersed in them, so if I can't find some regular decent blocks of time (hello weekends) then I just won't play or will end up abandoning a play-through. However, I can't say that this really bothers me. I care far more about the quality and depth of RPGs than I do about the time available in my diary or my ability to finish them. If I fire up an RPG...  taking my sweet time in character creation and then setting out on a grand adventure into the exciting uncharted territory of a previously unplayed game *heavenly sigh*... then for me the journey is far more important than the destination. I want the game to be as rich and satisfying as possible to play, when I am playing it, even if that is only for a little while. I want the game to have a depth and integrity that doesn't cater to my convenience. Besides, I kind of enjoy getting into an epic battle just to finish the damn thing lol.

 

That said, if Pillars of Eternity turns out to be as good as I expect hope it to be, then I will most likely play and finish it at least once.

 

... 'if you make it good, they will play'.

Edited by Robsidious
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Ink Blot: Go head and use it or do a spin-off, be my guest! I have a wife and two kids as well - a boy and a girl. Unfortunately, my wife doesn't share my passion for RPGs or gaming in general. I have tried, believe me, arranged PnP sessions with some friends, but she just can't stop laughing. She prefers card games (and is a shark in those waters) and Candy Crush. :)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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