Sep. 21st, 2010

rochndil: (Default)
Good morning!

First off, some good news. It looks like the repair to the (almost brand new) refrigerator is a success, at least so far. I'll have to watch the freezer compartment for icing going forward.

As many of you probably know, the LOTRO (Lord Of The Rings Online) game has gone FTP (Free To Play) just a week or so ago. I've been playing it off and on, and while I'm not all that far (19 levels into a 65-level game), I'm generally impressed. The interface is decent, the server(s) run smoothly, and now that the hubub over the FTP release is over, web access is much improved. There is a great deal of "free" content available before you start to run into "pay-only" material, although there are occasional nudges to purchase one thing or another. If you're a Tolkien fan or just looking for a decent free MMORPG experience, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try.

This reminded me Iron Crown, creators of my beloved Rolemaster, also produced (for many years) the MERP (Middle Earth Role-Playing) game, at least until licensing issues with the Tolkien Family Foundation interrupted. I've never before given much though to collecting these materials, because of their often outrageous prices, but I may do so as time and budget allows.

I finally finished reading through my copy of Rolemaster Companion VI (one I had missed before), and the VERY last major section was about CEATS (Combat Environment Activity Tracking System). I'd seen information about this system on the ICE website, since one of my goals is to re-create and improve on the time-tracking system we used in my old group. Now having read through the original CEATS rules, I think I can definitely use that as a starting point to customize my own system.

Just last night, after walking the dogs, I had to grab a new book for bedside reading (since I just finished Companion VI last night). Since I'd never read it, I grabbed Martial Arts Companion (which I got for a STEAL on Ebay). There were rule systems in that volume that I'd heard about a good deal, but never read, so I thought I'd take the plunge. I've barely passed the intro so far, but already it's provided me something REALLY useful. There's a whole section in there about historic/real-world martial arts traditions, and I was needing some background on that for one of the next parts of Marian's Road - where, amazingly enough, she learns martial arts!

That's really a remarkable coincidence, since ANOTHER part of that story requires me making a whole town. Now, from a narrative standpoint, I could just wing it, but it occurred to me that if I was going to the trouble to make up all these characters and this complex setting, it would take only SLIGHTLY more effort to actually make it an RPG setting. This would have real benefits in the narrative in the areas of believability and internal consistency. Not to mention that it will allow me to mix together two of my divergent lines of interest. Sometime soon I need to start drawing maps of Shaunavon. I think I've still got some hex paper around somewhere.

So, it's a really funny mix of coincidence and convergence this last little while. It just goes to show, though, that you never can tell how things might hook up, or how useful RPGs can be!

Rochndil, doing the work thing...

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