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{ Monthly Archives } March 2011

Root of All Binary Good/Evil Scales

I’ve noticed a nice touch in Dragon Age II: weapon and armor shops sell good stuff. Dragon Age: Origins had a few nice things in its shops: magical tomes that would increase your attributes and backpacks to increase your carrying capacity. But weapons and armor? On rare occasion, you might find gear superior to your […]

Abandoned Fantasies

Studying game systems and searching for campaign inspiration has taken on a sudden urgency. Ella, our current GM, has announced that she’ll be traveling: to the Philippines for a couple months, maybe elsewhere for longer, while she tries to work out where to go next after some major life events. Her intention is to return […]

Inclusive, to a Point

David Gaider’s response to a fan irked at the implementation of romantic relationships in Dragon Age II is one reason why Bioware deserves your money. It’s worth reading in full, but for those in a hurry, here’s the synopsis: Player Bastal thinks that, since maybe 80% of DA2 players (a number he pulled from the […]

Neither Are We, Anymore

Over the weekend, Scott Simon had Jim Brady and his wife on the air. Brady was the press secretary who took a bullet intended for Reagan, and was wounded badly enough to remain in a state of permanent recovery/therapy ever since; I gather his wife was on to help overcome the speech barrier. Simon pursued […]

Corpse, Live

We watched a stage performance of Frankenstein last night, and it was time well-spent. (Technically, we watched a live broadcast of a stage performance, but since we had to go to a theater to see it, I figure that’s close enough.) The rendition was fairly faithful to the book, and thus had little in common […]

Bodice Ripper

Dragon Age II uses retrospective as a narrative frame: your story is told by Varric: dwarf, bard, spymaster, adventuring companion, and accomplished bullshitter. He tells the story of Kirkwall’s implosion—magophobic templar against wizard, Qunari against Kirkwall, noble against perpetual elvish underclass against refugee human newcomers, slaver against rebel—from a distance of several years, and paints […]

Movin’ On Up

Despite a large percentage of twerps in the pool of potential opponents, I enjoy the online spades game offered as part of the standard Windows package. Spades is deep enough to be worth the effort, yet can be played in a manageable bite. Well, worth he effort if you don’t get a twerp in your […]

Nearly Grown

I witnessed a student nearly run over today. Fortunately, the driver ahead of me was alert, and traffic surrounding the school at the last bell is slow in any case, but it was still a narrow thing: some kids were horsing around, and one got pushed out into the street. Once the driver had a […]

Snow, Snow, Go Away

With characteristic inaccuracy, the radio informed me as I left this morning that we would experience “light showers throughout the day.” Bullpuckie. It was already snowing when I heard the words: heavy, sloppy snow that wouldn’t have been a “light shower” even if it had arrived in liquid form. And the drivers I met on […]

Aha! Gotcha!

I’ve been at work on Dragon Age II lately, getting well into the “first act,” wherein you perform odd assignments, often shady and almost always bloody, trying to make a name for yourself and collect enough gold to finance an expedition to the deep roads. So far, so…well, not good. Okay. Technically, the game is […]