Spirit Island Boardgame

Played Spirit Island this weekend and recommend playing it if given a chance.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/162886/spirit-island

The flavor of the game is a reverse Settlers of Catan, anti-colonalism. Players are spirits of an island trying to get the settlers to leave.

The mechanics start middle of the road difficulty but as the game progresses get really complicated.

My first play at about the midpoint had buffer overflow and had to play a turn on autopilot while I rebooted. The 2 experienced at the table warned me and the other newbie it was to be expected. We did end up kicking the colonizers out through fear and natural disasters.

We played it over Table Top Simulator, the mod had excellent scripting, no glitching but I think ti would play better in person as the table gets information dense as the game progresses.

Lots of fun.

Having to go to work during COVID-19

An observation about still going to work that my wife picked up on. I’m exhausted every evening. Like fall asleep in a couple of minutes from the lights going out exhausted. Thing is there are very few people in the building. Everything I have to do are things I’ve done hundreds of times. But having to stay 6′ away from everyone, washing hands before and after I visit an office or lab, caring around a container of disinfected wipes to hit every surface when I arrive and leave is exhausting.

Don’t know how people treating actual patients deal with it.

The Next Medium Defines this Medium

To me this was the stand out bit:


You could use a similar analogy for computer games and roleplaying games, and say that a computer is to a roleplaying game what a movie is to play.  As computers became masters of heavy math then roleplaying games could see their limits and focus on other areas like the social aspect or the physical play area.


Everything you think about Game Mastering is probably wrong: Part I – The whole concept

Character Death ODD vs. 5E

Saw this idea in some review of ODD. Part of why character death in ODD and many OSR games isn’t as big of a deal character creation takes minutes instead of an hour or more. Building a character is usually less than the length of the combat encounter that killed your previous character. In 5E and many contemporary games making a satisfying experienced character takes an evening session or more. 

Reading Greyhawk, Forgetten Realms and Mystara History

I’ve been reading/looking into a lot of the in world histories of
Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms and Mystara. Combinations of current canon
and almost canon fanon.

Possibly the biggest standout is a history filled with great works
being created and stopped. By great works I’m mostly talking about
great magical works. Almost seems like more contemporary adventures
are much better at stopping the big bad then historic ones 🙂

Sorta amazing how many historic problems stem from some human wanting
to live forever or just longer.

I suspect Eberron is possibly an exception. I don’t know much about
it’s history, given it was created to be decidedly different and
hasn’t been around or abandoned long enough for gaps in history to be
filled.

Then there are the gods, demi-gods and godlike heroes. Definitely in
the older D&D lore but even today it is sorta of amazing hoe much
Lovecraftianness exists in the mythology. Or maybe Lovecraft and his
literary followers all taped into something D&D lore tapes into.

Also like how pop culture monster creation myths vs. D&D monster
creation myths often differ. I suspect that since the 90’s people have
definately tried to apply more scientific explainations to how
monsters got here and evolved. Like in Greyhawk Vecna rewarded a
Lieutenant with long life making him the first Greyhawk vampire.

Another one is how long historical grudges can be remembered. In world
maybe this is due to long lived elves and other longer lived than
humans.

Dwarves are almost always an afterthought. Oh, and the dwarves just
kept digging in there mines or the dwarves were tired of all the shit
between humans and elves so they moved on and started digging new
mines.

Then you have halflings who were mostly happy farmers and crafts
people just hanging out laughing at all the big people fucking things
up.

D&D Beyond

  • Wizard 101: School of Abjuration

    It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the School of Abjuration, a wizard subclass from the Player’s Handbook that creates arcane wards to protect rather than to destroy.

  • It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Archfey, a warlock patron from the Player’s Handbook that grants their followers powers of glamour and subterfuge.

  • It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Wild Magic sorcerer, a magic-user from the Player’s Handbook that wields unpredictable arcana.

  •  It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Assassin, a rogue subclass from the Player’s Handbook that has mastered the art of silent death.

  • It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Beast Master ranger, the most controversial (and misunderstood) subclass in the Player’s Handbook.

  • Paladin 101: Oath of the Ancients

    It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Oath of the Ancients, a sacred oath from the Player’s Handbook that wields sylvan power.

  • Monk 101: Way of the Four Elements   

    It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Way of the Four Elements, a mystical and magical monastic tradition from the Player’s Handbook.

  • Fighter 101: Battle Master

    It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Battle Master, a cunning and tactical fighter archetype from the Player’s Handbook.

  • Druid 101: Wild Shape Guide

    Last week, we looked at the druidic Circle of the Moon, but there wasn’t time to look at your Wild Shape options. Now, learn about the best creatures to transform into for combat, utility, and sheer fun!

  • Druid 101: Circle of the Moon

    It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Circle of the Moon, a wild shaping druid subclass from the Player’s Handbook.

  • Cleric 101: Knowledge Domain

    It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the Knowledge Domain, an enlightened cleric subclass from the Player’s Handbook.

  • Bard 101: College of Valor

     It’s time to go beyond the Basic Rules. In this week’s Class 101, we examine the College of Valor, a bard subclass from the Player’s Handbook.

  • In this week’s class 101, we examine the iconic Thief archetype, and use it to build a talented and acrobatic rogue!

The Witcher

As a long time Dungeons & Dragons / Table Top RPG player and game master The Witcher feels like a BECMI Dungeon Master’s really well developed home brew world. Very high praise. Like in BECMI the Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes feel like classes and occur spairingly. Like in BECMI religion is a thing but not much a part of the story. The brilliant bit is the whole Witcher orders creation and openly and actively hiring monster hunters.

I also like what seems to be elves are not these Tolkien beautiful angelic beings. Most of the elves running around in human society are beautiful but not most elves hiding in the hinterlands or “squirrels” raiding human society.

Somewhere I’ve read that 0-5 level characters are still in the normal human ability so in The Witcher there are “mutated” characters with level 5+ abilities.

Magically speaking maybe not so much BECMI but ODD with a very forgiving GM with on the fly spell creation. Signs work as traditional DnD spells and cantrips.

Using portals and the world spheres colliding to bring what are often time nonsensical and contradictory fantastic creatures into one world was a great idea not used as much since the 80’s.

I do have one complaint both time and distance feel much like a good DnD campaign, it only matters when it matters but in fiction I find myself lacking a good understanding of place. And place or Kingdoms and cities do seem to matter. Lots of good world building is being lost on my inability to link it all yet.

Disclaimer: Currently I’ve read Saga 1, 1/3 Saga 2, Last Wish and a couple chapters in Swords if Destiny. Watched the first season of the Netflix Series and caught a few YouTube videos on the books and games.