Monday, June 28, 2010
Today's quote belongs to the most gifted artist (sculptor, painter, architect and poet) of the Renaissance, Michelangelo:
“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.”
I think it summarizes what a Dungeon Master does as he prepares an adventure, or when, already around the gaming table, describes the scene as a group of weary adventurers arrives at a merry tavern, or sets the atmosphere as the party takes the first steps exploring some ominous ruins. Dungeonmastering it's like painting on an empty canvas.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Still drunk of happyness! Last Saturday and for the first time since 1970 we reached the last eight. With an early strike the "Charruas" took control of first half the encounter. In the second half the "Asian Tigers" forced the Sky-blue to fall back, a tactic that proved disastrous, for the Koreans managed to land a blow. But, that hit took the "Charruas" out of their doze and they charged forward regaining control of the match. Almost at the end, with an unbelievable shot, "La Celeste" emerged victorious over a worthy rival.
Next encounter will be against the only African team still standing, the "Black Stars" from Ghana. It'll be a tough one for both sides, but I'm confident we're going to make to the next stage.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I'm very very happy about Uruguay having qualified for the next stage on top of the group. The last time we did it was in 1954. The all-time captains Jose "The Great Marshall" Nasazzi (gold medal in 1924 and 1928 Olymnpic Games, and 1930 World Cup champion) and Obdulio "The Black Chief" Varela (1950 World Cup champion) would have been proud of the performance shown by the team so far.
It's been fun to try to comment the World Cup games in an encounter format, but I can't keep up with all the games, so I'll stick only to Uruguay's matches as long as they have a chance. The next encounter of the "Charruas" will be against the South Korean "Taegeuk Warriors".
Monday, June 21, 2010
This quote by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would probably be more suitable for Halloween but, since that's not a traditional festivity down here, I decided to share it with you today, the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere:
“Where there is no imagination there is no horror”
I found it suitable for the day with the longest night, like a homage to all the creepy, evil creatures you imagined and created, that inhabit your dungeons and caves, lurking in the dark, waiting for unaware adventurers.
After not being able to conquer the Ivory Coast, the navigators continued exploring the Globe. Winds and tides took them to the lands of an evil empire led by one known as the "Supreme Leader", a misterious figure, some say a lich, that lives locked down in his fortress. As the battle raged, the high-spirited Koreans defenses slowly crumbled down and were torn apart by the Portugese explorers with a magnificent flurry of blows.
The next match was marked by the force of "La Roja" attackes against an almost unmovable "Schweizer Nati" defence. But by the end of the battle the Chileans ended the 10-man "Nati" resistance and almost secured a place within the last 16.
After stumbling against the Swiss, the Spaniards made honor to their nickname, "La Furia", went berserk and launched a furious onslaught against the "Chatracos", who proved unable to quell it and fell after two of the many attacks, even a free-kick, hit the mark.
And so today ended the second round of encounters.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Oops, looks like I felt way behind schedule on reporting the World Cup encounters! Forgive me but I was still celebrating Uruguay's victory... ;-)
Once again the "Albicelestes" left the battlefield victorious. With three succesful to hits from striker Higuain and a Korean natural 1 (hit self) they managed to skin the "Tigers of Asia", who barely scratched Maradona's team.
The "Super Eagles" gained initiative and everybody thought the Greek Phalanx was again doomed. But the Olympian Gods got involved and the formation held. With a solid shield-wall and lowered spears they marched forward. The eagles just flew away severely wounded.
"Les Bleus" never lost against "El Tri" for the World Cup but, with the divine intervention of the Olman gods that granted the Aztecs a victory, they left the Gauls in a state of internal uproar.
The Serbian crusaders tripped the Teutonic juggernaut into a halt. The crash was so hard that they were dizzy for the several rounds, lost a man and missed a free kick!
On the most thrilling encounter so far, Slovenians and Americans gave a great show. Pure hack-and-slash! The Europeans landed two mighty blows and some thought it was the end for Uncle Sam's gang, but they found strength in weakness and with two accurate ripostes leveled the battle. There was also room for controversy as the Dungeon Master messed with the dices behind the screen and nullified a hit that would have given a victory the Americens.
In the duel of the lycans, and with the presence of both english Princes, the "Were-Lions" couldn't overcome the cunning "Desert Were-Foxes" as many expected, leaving the former frustrated and the latter elated.
It seems that the gnomish "Clockwork Orange" is running flawlessly and defeated the "Samurais", proving to be a candidate to win the cup.
After healing their serious wounds received in the previous encounter, the "Socceroos" faced the "Black Stars" with renewed hope. They damaged the Africans during the first rounds but lost a man and granted a free kick. Ghana lacked of imagination to take advantage of the extra man resorting on missile attacks.
Finally the Danes came back from Valhalla and, despite the shammanic efforts of Eto'o, tamed "The Indomitable Lions", making them the first team to be out of the championship.
The "Guarani" team mercilessly raided the surprised Slovaks, who were unable to stop them, and took control of the group almost securing their passage tho the next stage.
The "All Whites" shocked everybody by grappling, holding and pinning down the "Azzurri", the defending champions, to a draw. A memorable result for the Kiwis!
The day ended with the "Verde-amarela", although lacking the flair of yore, efficiently (and rougishly) put "The Elephants" down despite talismanic Drogba's magic. The South Americans also secured their participation on the knock-out stage.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Today on the last day of debuts, saw the Central American "Catrachos" against the South American "La Roja". Even Hondureas lacked of cohesion and discipline, the Chilean onslaught took most of the first half to break the deadlock and win again after 48 years.
The European duel between the "La Furia" and the "Schweizer Nati" was a shock to one of the WC favourites. The Spaniards wasted many attacks of opportunity, but the Confederates managed hit on one of the few attempts they had. At last it was a memorable victory for the Helvetic team.
With the last match begun the second round of encounters. "La Celeste" faced the "Bafana bafana". Both were more aggressive than in the first encounter, but the South Americans led by striker Diego Forlán landed to deadly blows and then gave the local a coup-de-grace in injury-time.
Arriba URUGUAY!! :-)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The "Fighting Jondas" arrived for the first time to the tournament after regaining independence. On the other side of the battlefield, and after an absence of 28 years, were the "All Whites". The Slovaks managed to score a hit, and just when they thought they had the encounter in their pocket, the Kiwis snatched their victory scoring in injury-time, wining their first ever WC point.
At secondies the "Navigators" led by captain Cristiano Ronaldo landed on the dangerous shores of the Ivory Coast. They were faced by the "Elephants" led by the talismanic Dorgba. Despite the feints, attacks and counter-attacks made by both sides the Portuguese couldn't advance inland and the Ivorians couldn't push them back to the sea. The encounter ended in a deadlock.
Everyone expected to see the five times champion have an easy one against the "Chollima", as the representatives of the oriental evil empire are known. The "Verde-Amarela" took its time to measure its rival and with two magic tricks secured the victory. In the end, the North Koreans conjured a spell that scared the "jogo bonito", but it wasn't enough to equalize the match .
Monday, June 14, 2010
The "Olsen Gang" was no match for the "Clockwork Orange" (sounds like some gnomish invention). The Danes rolled a natural 1 (hit self) and the Dutch hit them again in the last round to define the fight.
After that, from the Land of the Rising Sun, came the "Samurai Blue" in fearful display of armor (kabuto, hara-ate, sune-ate, kote and sode) and weapons (katana, wakisashi and daikyu) to face "The Indomitable Lions", who qualified for the Cup more times than any other African nation. Their roars didn't intimidate the Oriental Adventurers who, with an unerring blow, won the encounter.
The final encounter of the day saw the current champions, the "Azzurri", against the tough "Guaranies". The battle went uphill for the Roman legion after the Paraguayan raiderss scored a wicked hit. But the Legionnaires fought back and finally, thanks to a fumble of the "Guarani" defense, managed to even the score. Unconvincingly nonetheless .
Continuing the search of quotes about imagination, I found this one by Napoleon Bonaparte:
"Imagination rules the world."
And that's true for every world Dungeon Masters creates and players discover, explore and expand with their character's adventures. Keep building new worlds!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
From the North African sands came the Algerians with their scimitars ready to fight the Eslovenians, who made their first appearance in the competition as an independent realm. With one of the "Desert Foxes" out, the Balkanic hunting party had no problem to take down the rest.
Later, Ghana's "Black Stars" and Serbia's "White Eagles" measured their strenght. The fight was even until the last rounds when the Serbs lost a man and conceded a free attack that was not missed.
The day ended with the Teutonic juggernaut rolling over the "Socceroos", reducing them to a pulp.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
On the first of today's encounters, the South Korean party, making use of their secret and ancient martial arts, landed two critical blows on the Greek phalanx who failed their morale check, dropped their large shields and long spears, and scattered on the battlefield.
Later, the Agentinian adventuring party, sponsored by the mythical hero Maradona, managed to vanquish the Nigerian band. Of the myriad of attacks that the "Albiceleste" threw at the "Eagles", most were dodged, blocked and parried. But one hit the mark and the feeble counter attacks made by the Africans were not enough to turn the tide of the battle.
And in the final encouter the English "Lions" won the initiative and landed a vicious attack on the USA squad. But the english gatekeeper rolled a natural 1 on his save vs. paralyzation and allowed the Americans to even the score. In past times he would have been thrown in the dungeons of the Tower. The rounds passed as both parties hacked at each other, but no attack reached its intended destination.
Can't wait to see tomorrow encounters!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Today started the 2010 World Cup for Uruguay with an encounter against France. The melee between the "Charruas" and the "Gauls" was a very dull and boring, with only a few to hit chances for both parties but all misses. One of the Uruguayan party members was sent off by the Japanese Dungeon Master for making a critical fumble. He will miss the next encounter against the "Bafana bafana", the South African party that inflicted 1 hit point of damage to the Mexican party in the opening encounter. But "La Verde" retaliated and also inflicted 1 hit point of damage to the local team. And so it ends the first day of the 2010 World Cup. Stay tuned!
Monday, June 07, 2010
Almost a year ago, when I decided to start blogging in a more or less regular way, I changed the look of the blog an added a quote about imagination. On either side of the DM screen, I think imagination is the most important thing in role playing games. Imagination to create adventures, give life to characters and monsters, to picture what is going on when the DM describe a place or the players describe their actions, and so on. At that time I chose a quote by Carl Sagan:
"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere."
How many worlds are out there, canon and homebrew, teeming with characters adventuring, monsters to be vanquished, places to be discovered, treasures to be plundered, dungeons to be explored and more? Thousands, perhaps millions and every one of them, wonderful.
I then thought of changing the quote, not because I didn't like it anymore, but to see what has been said about imagination. So I searched the web and came across this quote by Albert Einstein:
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Yes, logic will take you from A to B, with only one random encounter in between according to Vaarsuvius, if I may respectfully add. And everywhere are all those worlds we created and those yet to be. Then my search led me to a quote by Pablo Picasso:
"Everything you can imagine is real."
This is so very true in our hobby. Everything that that happens when we gather to play, around the table, by post, by Wave or even Twitter, becomes real to DM and players alike. As a side thought, it would have been great to have a monsters manual illustrated by Picasso, wouldn't it?
Then, why don't make this a regular thing? A weekly post with a quote about imagination, the heart and soul of role playing games. Let's see what I find for next Monday.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
After putting in order all my gaming stuff, here's a picture of the gaming shelf. There's more material classified and stored in rigid type folders but it doesn't look as good as this.
From left to right: the World of Greyhawk (1980), the WoG & Glossography (1983), AD&D Dungeon Master Guide (1979), AD&D 2e PHB, DM and Monstrous Manual, AD&D 2e Complete Bard's Handbook, AD&D 2e Celts Campaign Sourcebook, AD&D 2e The Complete Books of Villains, AD&D The Complete Books of Elves, AD&D Against the Giants - The Liberation of Geoff (1999), some Dragon and Dungeon magazines, 3.0e PHB, DM and MM, 3.0e Book of Vile Darkness, 4 boxes of plastic miniatures and 3 boxed sets (The City of Greyhawk, From the Ashes and Planescape Campaign Expansion), AD&D 2e Volo's Guide to the North, AD&D Waterdeep and the North, AD&D 2e Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor, Ars Magica 5e, Labyrinth Lord Advancd Edition Companion and some books of drawing techniques. On top there's a bag from the English Heritage with a poster of Stonehenge waiting to put in a frame.
From that lot are missing the 3.5e books (PHB, DM, MM and the Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk module) and another box of miniatures, that were in the gaming backpack the moment I took the picture, and the Labyrinth Lord Revised Edition that is on its way.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Just received news from Lulu.com that my copy of Labyrinth Lord: Revised Edition (hard cover) has been shipped. I already have the pdf version printed and bound, but wanted the hard cover edition in my shelf of RPG books. It should be down here, hopefully, in less than a couple of weeks. Can't wait to have it and use it along with the AEC in my new campaign.