About Me

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Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What is Dungeons and Dragons?

A fantastic game of magic and sorcery!
The fastest growing game in the Western World!

(from 30 years ago)
Let's have a look inside...

Random Quotes and Randomly Inspired Thoughts
"The game can be regarded as a conversation between the DM and the players, the former describing what is happening to the characters..., the latter describing their actions" 
(and throwing dice at the DM when they don't like what happens)

"there is no winning or losing as such, unless the character is killed" 

"'Hey Ref.  I'm jumping up and trying to reach the lever on the wall.  What's the chance I'll succeed?'  'Forty percent, I should think.'"
(Perhaps the wall is made of lava?)

"Winston Churchill was evidently a man who inspired great loyalty while not being particularly physically attractive." 
(Ever notice how commonwealth and commie sound similar?)

"a character may be intelligent enough to know that it is foolhardy to insult another character of much higher level but may not be wise enough to restrain his temper." 
(I've never had a player with a WIS higher than 3, I guess)

"a number of Lawful groups struggling for overall supremacy creates a Chaotic situation" 
(Oh, I worked at that place, too)

"players have an alarming tendency to blame almost everything on the DM" 
(and the DM has an alarming tendency to OH CRAP ANOTHER NINJA ATTACKS YOU WHILE YOU WHINE)

"cobwebs, broken arrow heads, rubble and corroded chains...  Players often spend much time working out uses for such apparently useless items." 
(probably the most fun part of the game is making useless things have use - and the biggest reason video games can't replace the experience yet)

"Players should not be allowed to use poison unless they manage to extract it from a trap or distil it from poisoned stingers, in which case the possibility exists that characters will die in the attempt." 
(This always stunk of disassociation to me - poisons were too powerful for characters to possess, so rule after rule in edition after edition made it arbitrarily easy for enemies and yet hard for characters to use the same tool)

"Figures are usually made of lead alloy" 
(thus explaining the prevalence of apparent brain damage in many roleplayers)

Quotes on Computers
"there is no doubt that many D&D players are interested in computing (and vice versa)" 
(wait - computers were interested in D&D players?  That explains so much about Japanese culture.)

"the essential ingredients are the central processing unit, some way of getting information to it (a keyboard, for example) and some way of getting a reply (a printer, or a screen, known as VDU for visual display unit)" 
(hold on, my VDU is printing something.)

"even today, it takes a large, powerful (and expensive) machine to store a book the size of the Advanced rules" 
(Same thing for 4e)

"It has been suggested that the computer could store details of monsters ... There are about 400 monsters in these two books, so a binary chop search would go through at most ten operations... which would not be unbearably slow." 
(Donald Knuth disagrees: ceil[log2 400] = 9, not 10.  Nerds.)

Quotes on Computer Games
"If you come up with an idea the programmer did not think of like 'Listen at Door', you get 'YOU CAN'T DO THAT' or some similarly irritating message." 
(Sure glad that never happens anymore)

"These games tend, also, to be mere problem-solving exercises, interesting enough for hardcore computer freaks, but leaving us ex-wargamers longing for a bit of cold steel and some random violence."
(Myst... how I hate thee)

"When you meet a crocodile and realize the only way to get past it is to retrace your steps for half an hour, pick up the armadillo, find your way back to the crocodile and distract it by feeding it the armadillo, I, for one, would prefer to whip out my trusty sword and dispatch the monster"
 (And after I kill the programmer, I'll kill his stupid crocodile too)

In Conclusion
"Lots of people (Gary Gygax, for example) look forward to the day when games are played in real-time with 3-D graphics and so on, and the picture on the screen is what the character is actually seeing."
(I wonder if the Big G ever played WoW?  And if so, did he enjoy it?)


  1. Real-time 3-d graphical games so real you can do just about anything... wait... don't we already have those games, they're called LARPs!!!

    1. Anonymous! You’ve put on weight since moving. Pink has always been your color.

    2. I'm pretty sure if we put photos side-by-side, we would determine that is really you dressed up as a pink pig... (*not to mention, my main LARP character dresses in red, not pink!) You and Mr. Blue have always been closet LARPers, just admit it!

    3. Ah, a duel!

      Meet me behind the Luxembourg at one o'clock, and bring a long wooden box.

    4. See... You want to dual and have me bring some props. Finally admitting it!!!

    5. Sure. Bring your foam sword. We'll see how that works out...

    6. While I will concede that I more the size of said pig man, I do not dress up. Nor should anyone who considers them self a man.

      While your “main” character dresses in red what about your other characters, for example a certain pixie. What does that picture look like? Wings, a bow and a tiny tutu?

      I don’t know what closet you’re trying to get out of but there is no LARP in mine.


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