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Messages - Anaris

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Other Games / Dwarf Fortress
« on: March 05, 2011, 03:44:55 PM »
Some of you may have heard of Minecraft.  Well, Dwarf Fortress is what Minecraft was based on.

Its AI is absolutely staggering.  It generates a world, from scratch, with erosion, mountain formation, caverns, volcanoes, civilizations,'s just incredible the amount of detail that goes into the background of the game. 

You can play it in two modes, "adventure" mode, which is very much like a classic roguelike game (Angband, Moria, Nethack, etc), or "fortress" mode, which is the one that Minecraft is based off of.  So far, I've only played fortress mode.  If I want a regular roguelike, I play Angband ;-)

In Fortress Mode, you pick a place on the world where you want to build a fortress, equip your seven initial dwarves, and start digging.  And building.  And making beds, and crafts, and doors, and furniture, and weapons...

It's an incredible sandbox, and the kinds of things that you can make with it are vastly varied, and very cool.  My latest fortress has been running for about 7 IG years, and has tapped a magma vent to power its forges, smelters, and glassmakers, and is churning out steel armour and weapons just as fast as my dwarves can make it.  I've dug out the housing for a set of pumps that will bring the magma up into a giant holding tank at the top of the cliff my fortress is delved into, so I can dump it out on invading goblins any time I need to.  After a number of immigration waves, I'm up to (I think) 142 dwarves, and the Mountainhome is about to promote us to a Dukedom.

If you like building things, and can handle the steep learning curve (following one of the various tutorials is pretty nearly essential), it's an amazingly fun game.

Other Games / Re: Starcraft II
« on: March 05, 2011, 03:31:01 PM »
Heh, I joined/created that channel the day the patch came out that let you join channels...naturally, there was no one there.

Other Games / Re: Dungeons and Dragons
« on: March 05, 2011, 03:30:21 PM »
Heh, I was just making it a simple top-down map.  No more than line-art at the moment, though I was hoping to add some sort of tile/texture support in future to make it look nicer.

So far, most of the work has been in getting the movement to work nicely, and in automatically calculating line-of-sight, so it can reveal the map as it is walked through.

Yes, I agree. But it isn't really you who chooses which army you're in (unless you're a region lord). And nowadays, you still see knights who don't use the informal army banner, and I'm not sure they do it just because it looks ugly on the unit name. Though I have to say it's rare to see conflict between knights and armies in this level.

The so-called "informal army banner" is an abomination.  Tom is, and always has been, adamantly against its use anywhere in the game.

Your unit name is a name.  It is not a banner.  It is not a handle.  It is not a place for hanging clan tags.

One of the reasons we wanted to implement these army banners was to eradicate that utterly atmosphere-breaking practice altogether.

Helpline / Re: Dealing with Food Surplus as a Region Lord
« on: March 05, 2011, 03:03:09 PM »
Only Dwilight and the Far East have seasons.

As has been stated, Bankers cannot control any food movements, they can only organize and direct the Lords in doing so.  This means that if you have set up no caravan offers, and no automatic transfers, and have not sent out any caravans yourself, your food is just sitting in your region rotting.

Bankers should not have any more information about an individual region's food status than the Lord has himself; however, they have broader information about the entire realm.  Similarly, Dukes have information about the food status of their Duchies.

Other Games / Re: Dungeons and Dragons
« on: March 05, 2011, 02:26:01 PM »
I think you just re-invented play-by-(e)mail roleplaying. (and SpellMaster) :-)

Well, yes and no.  And SpellMaster was a significant part of the inspiration for the idea ;-)

The difference would be that the players can look at the map any time, and the computer can keep track of everything that's happened, both the text of everything people have said, and the record of where they've all been, etc.  They could even look at the party members who are currently with them, see what they're carrying, etc.

The problem with this is that you lose one of the most important tools of storytelling: Pacing. You have to make it up somehow. In SM I had something, for a D&D thing you'd have to come up with something.

Yes, I know, that is the main problem, and I haven't yet been able to come up with a way to make up for it :-/

But I guess the question is: is it an acceptable sacrifice to make to be able to play D&D with a bunch of people who are, in all likelihood, never going to be able to come up with a single time when they can all meet to play, even over the internet?

Other Games / Re: Dungeons and Dragons
« on: March 04, 2011, 09:37:19 PM »
Which you won't have until /after/ the treaty system is done, right?

And religious schisms, and the guild reorganization fixes, and the Population Rebalance.... :-\

Other Games / Re: Dungeons and Dragons
« on: March 04, 2011, 09:14:30 PM »
Sounds fun. I'd give it a shot.


Now I just have to write it.

In my copious spare time.

Other Games / Re: Dungeons and Dragons
« on: March 04, 2011, 08:16:27 PM »

Other Games / Re: Dungeons and Dragons
« on: March 04, 2011, 07:18:39 PM »
Play-by-email was fun. Almost like playing BattleMaster. :) You're writing all your actions just like you're writing an RP message. Combat is a little slow. We usually did one battle round per day. Our DM had the address of a web site where you could enter e-mail addresses, tell it how many rolls of what dice you wanted, and it would e-mail the results to those addresses. So it was kind of like rolling the dice yourself, and there was no chance of cheating. (By the players, anyway. When the DM does it, it's not called cheating. :P )

I have some grand ideas about a good web-based package that could handle a lot of the different parts; I have a significant chunk of the map-walking part written, but mothballed.

It shouldn't be that difficult to write something that could handle it all so that it could be played in a similar manner to BM.  It would lose something of the feel and flavour of traditional P&P D&D, but it would at least let people play...


Other Games / Re: Dungeons and Dragons
« on: March 04, 2011, 05:12:57 PM »
I played pen and paper D&D for.... almost 20 years. From the mid-70's to the mid-90's. I did some play-by-email for a few years after that. I don't think I've played at all in the past 10+ years. I miss it...  :(

You'd be welcome in the campaign, when and if it gets going again :)

It's intended to be 3.5 edition, by the way. 

This Forum / Email notifications
« on: March 04, 2011, 04:15:58 PM »
Do you suppose it would be possible to change the "from" address in the email notifications for new topics, new posts in watched topics, etc?

It seems a little odd to have them all coming from "[email protected]".  Perhaps they could be from "[email protected]"?

it would be really nifty if only units that have a banner show one on the battlefield. It would give players something "tangible" for buying a banner, and it simply makes sense. But the feature is so cool that this is not really the important point.

I'm really very resistant to this.  I think that the important thing here is not anything related to the paraphernalia item, but the indication that I believe all units in such a milieu would have of what army they belong to.  It's meant to aid in promoting the camaraderie that goes along with being part of a particular army, and in indicating, at a glance, who each line in the report is talking about.  It can be very difficult to keep track by unit names of which side any given unit in a battle is on; the banners should make that vastly easier.

I agree that it would be nifty to have some additional indicator of who has banners, and, indeed, who has siege engines.  Perhaps there should be some additional tiny icons made for those?

Other Games / Re: Dungeons and Dragons
« on: March 04, 2011, 04:10:38 PM »
I think it was about a year and a quarter ago now that the D&D group I had started putting together from BM players fell apart, due to most of them going partially or completely inactive.

I've got a low-level campaign that would only need minimal dusting off to be possible to start, but I'm afraid I don't have a lot of time just at the second.  Summer will be better for that, now that I'm in a job on an academic schedule again.

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