• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Friday, May 23, 2014

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 27 - Return of the Ultraviolence

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After a couple of rather low-key sessions things got back to normal during a more action-oriented adventure. Hubert had certainly taken up the mantle of psychotic sociopath since Harry's departure with aplomb. The terrible things that he witnessed on Gray Dragon Island finally seemed to be having an effect on his behaviour.

This basically summarises how things go...
For those of you who can't be bothered with that awkward reading lark, skip to the end of this post where you will find a video of the session for your viewing pleasure.

We began right where the last session ended, with the investigators driving off from the Slattery homestead after being threatened. After a mile or two driving away, Hubert pulled his truck over, and Professor Dodge, followed suit.
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Love It and Loathe It - ESO Phasing

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I've been continuing my adventures through the world of Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online recently (and spending far too much time in the PvP game - I really must get back to levelling properly). I've hit level 20 (yeah, like I said, far too much time in the PvP battles of Cyrodiil) and joined a great guild (Stout 'n' Sturdy, my old LoTRO kin), and I'm still having fun with the game.

There is no doubt that the PvE part which makes up the bulk of the game is a themepark experience through and through, but Zenimax have tried hard to make the world appear to be dynamic, and changes you make on the world during questing are seemingly permanent. It's a fantastic feeling to rescue a village from daedra attacks as it burns to the ground, and every time you visit after that the village remains rescued, the fires doused, and the villagers remembering your heroism. It's such a nice change to be able to fix the lighthouse that slavers had sabotaged and then see it shining every subsequent time you visit.

Let's save this village!
For a world which is built on lore (even if much of it is pretty generic) it's a small, but high impact change to the feeling of adventuring through a world rather than a game zone. The Old Repuublic did a bit of this, but it was all tied into small instances, shut off from the rest of the world. It really is the most dynamic feeling themepark world I'd played through in a long time.

I LOVE it!
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 26 - Into the bush

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Other than George being assaulted in his sleep by his fellow investigators at the end of the last session, the journey between Darwin and Port Hedland proceeded without incident. This was to be a session of preparation and, for once, avoidance of conflict. There has been a definite change of approach since Harry went missing - the body count has almost been at zero!

It didn't take long to find the home of Robert Mackenzie, who had been Arthur MacWhirr's agent. Port Hedland was a much smaller town than Darwin, with only a handful of large houses clustered around a single main street. David Dodge had telegraphed ahead, so the party was expected.

Into the Great Sandy Desert
Mackenzie, a large bearded fellow, invited them in and shared what he knew about MacWhirr's original expedition back in 1921. He told them that MacWhirr was a respectable and upright man, and he had no doubt that his findings were real. Mackenzie had memorised the exact co-ordinates of the ancient stone blocks from MacWhirr's diary: 22°3'14'' South by 125°0'39'' East, deep in the Great Sandy Desert.
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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Raw Spirit by Iain Banks

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Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect DramRaw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is celebrated SF and fiction author Iain Banks' only non-fiction book. Ostensibly a book about the many varieties of single-malt scotch whisky, it is in fact the closest thing we will ever have to an autobiography of the sadly deceased genius.

The book reads like a Bryson-like travelogue as Banks traverses his native Scotland, sampling whiskies from each of it's distilleries, in search of the perfect dram. Along the way he entertains the reader with tall tales from his youth, and dissertations on politics, drugs, war, motorbikes and other random subjects. It makes the whole thing very readable indeed, far from a dry treatise on scotch, and is full of the author's trademark humour.

It's also surprisingly informative, and as an amateur enthusiast it taught me a lot about both the technical and more romantic sides of whisky manufacture and how the various tastes are introduced into the drink.

If I had one criticism it would be that the book is a bit too self-indulgent. I learnt as much about Banks himself as I did about the subject matter, but perhaps that's the point. In any case, as a fan of both the author and his subject that didn't bother me too much. This is a book written from the heart, and it shows.

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Friday, May 02, 2014

Why I wish the NBI had been around four years ago, and why I support it now

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What the hell is NBI I hear some of you asking (metaphorically speaking of course, my hearing has never been that good...)

Well the quickest way to explain would be to send you over to their official NBI website. But for the inherently lazy amongst you (I can't be the only one) here's a quote from their About page.

"Newbie Blogger Initiative is a grassroots community effort to support gamers who want to blog, vlog, stream, and podcast their passion for video games."

In it's most simple form that's really it - a group of mostly like-minded bloggers who want to support and encourage aspiring bloggers from the gaming community.
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