WotO Part XXI

Sci-Fi Fridays! Wanderers of the Outlands Part XXI

Of all the Sci-Fi Fridays! posts, this is the easiest one to write, since it was written for me. As part of the preparation for my Savage Worlds sci-fi campaign, about which you’ve been reading the background materials and house rules over the past 20 weeks, I asked the players to write introductions to their characters.  I typically give out bonus Experience Points before the campaign begins for things such as these, and this time around was no exception. They could earn bonus Experience Points for drawing or finding character portraits, finding a miniature, writing a background, all in all if they did everything they would get 5 XP and their first Advancement (in Savage Worlds terms) before the game commenced. Needless to say, every player did it!

Besides the campaign survey, which I had handed out months ago as I sat down to prepare the campaign, as to make sure my preparations met their likes and expectations, I also asked them for a little list before the game began. I called it the List of 9. I wanted them to list 3 plots they would like to play, 3 goals their character had, and 3 enemies they’d like to face. No further instructions. Some players gave me general one or two word answers, others wrote paragraphs for each. That was ok, I wanted an idea, a baseline to know what they would like to play as we began the game.

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Off-Topic: Elite Dangerous

It’s not often that I write about my other, non-RPG hobbies. But there’s one computer game on my mind right now, that I just have to talk about: Elite Dangerous by Frontier Developments.

BBC_Micro_Elite_screenshotElite Dangerous is the latest game in a series that started with the 1984′s Elite for the BBC Micro written by David Braben and Ian Bell. Elite was the first computer game that had an open-world, real 3D graphics and could be played for months. Its successors Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters came out in the mid-90s and had much better graphics, a more realistic universe including a realistic flight model. Frontier: Elite II is one of the games I enjoyed very much, even though it had a lot of technical issues.

Hmm, perhaps I should write a few sentences about what Elite is about. In the original game you started with a Cobra Mk III space ship in the Lave system and some credits you could spend on trade commodities. You could then try your luck as a trader, pirate, or bounty hunter. The overall goal was to reach Elite status, but how you reached that goal was up to you. In Elite there were 6 galaxies with 256 stars each you could explore. In the upcoming Elite Dangerous you’ll have the whole Milky Way to explore. In a way it will be THE open-world game!

For some reason I missed the Elite Dangerous Kickstarter but during the last months I almost watched every piece of Alpha footage I could find on Youtube. The graphics definitely look great and the gameplay I’ve seen so far is pretty awesome even considering that the game was still in Alpha.  The sound design is just awesome and the UI really helps to immerse yourself in the universe. Elite Dangerous will also be a multiplayer game (single player is still an option though) which allows you to play with other people.

At the moment I am really tempted to buy the Premium Beta package. It’s quite expensive (120€) but it includes access to the beta plus the full game when it comes out including all future expansions. At least two expansions are already planned: one that will allow to fly around in planets’ atmospheres and land on planets, moons, etc. and a second one which allows you to leave your space ship to run around in cities or even go game hunting on alien planets. Wow!

What are your thoughts on Elite Dangerous? Have you backed the Kickstarter back in the day? Do you still remember the original game or one of its sequels? Please share your thoughts below!

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Hell froze over: I’m going to give the next D&D a chance

During the last couple of days and weeks more information about the upcoming D&D trickled in. I was actually very surprised that there will be a D&D Basic box set for a very low price that contains everything you need to run a couple of games between level 1 and 5. I was even more surprised when I learned that this Basic edition of the game will actually be available as a free download. Wow! It seems Wizards has done something right for a change.

I have to admit, that their marketing strategy worked on me. A boxed set for about $20 will not hit my wallet to hard and still allows me to give the game a try. Heck, if I don’t want to give them my money at all, I can still get the PDF version. And if the game is any good I will eventually buy the slightly overpriced full game later. *sigh*

So why do I even bother? The reason is two-fold. For one it’s D&D. It’s the grand daddy of all the other RPGs out there and even though I was never a huge D&D fan, I owned and played all the editions starting from AD&D 2nd Edition on. And some of the things I’ve seen during the playtest didn’t look so bad, so why not give it a chance. It might even be fun. The hefty price of 50$ times three for the full package was definitely putting me off, but you can’t argue with the low price of the Basic set. The other reason is that – as a blogger – I feel I should cover many different games and I shouldn’t leave out the new D&D completely.

So what is your stance on the new D&D? Will you give it a chance or have you already decided to skip this edition? Please share your thoughts below!

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