I picked up a copy of Matt Alt’s Yokai Attack! book recently, Folklore in general always interests me and since I picked up a copy of Reality Blur’s Iron Dynasty campaign setting to use for fantasy games set in old Japan with dark magic. Yokai Attack is an encyclopedia of monsters from Japanese superstition and tradition.

My favorite so far would be the neko-mata which are cats grown very old and which have gained paranormal powers. After a cat grows to a certain age its tail is said to split into two and the powers manifest. It is easy to imagine an random encounter for a group of adventurer’s in Iron Dynasty as meeting with a ferocious twin tailed cat who has the ability to raise and control the dead and has a taste for human flesh.

from the Wiki entry for bakeneko:

bakeneko (化け猫?, “monstercat“) is, in Japanese folklore, a cat with supernatural abilities akin to those of the fox or raccoon dog. A cat may become a bakeneko in a number of ways: it may reach a certain age, be kept for a certain number of years, grow to a certain size, or be allowed to keep a long tail. In the last case, the tail forks in two and the bakeneko is then called a nekomata (猫又?, or 猫股 “forked-cat”). This superstition may have some connection to the breeding of the Japanese Bobtail.

The connection between the folklore of the twin tailed monster cat and the Japanese bobtailed cats is one of those interesting crosses of superstition and reality.

Thursday nights 9-10 on Twitter is the #RPGchat discussion.

In case you are not familiar; a Twitter hashtag discussion is where any number of people across Twitter converse on a topic.You simply add whatever the hashtag being used to your post and set up a search for that hashtag to view all the relevant posts by the people joining in.

On Thursdays from 9-10 EST there is an ongoing chat for role playing games (pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons style).

I am going to start archiving the discussions for posterity, with Tweetdoc generating a .pdf every Friday or as soon after as I can.

On 3-31-2011 the discussion topic was player buy-in, or getting players to feel really part of an on going campaign world. The archive at tweetdoc is here (go to the bottom of the page and scroll up to see the convo as it happened.

KaskalaI have been working the daily quests in Northrend as my main builds his dwarfish way to level 80 (yeah, I am #latetotheparty as usual).

One of my favorite things is doing the three daily quests with the Tuskar faction and get a Mastercraft Kalu’ak Fishing Pole at Exalted. I really enjoy playing the fishing minigame in Wow and it pays to fish, back in the BC expansion I used to sell all the fish I caught and cooked for a hefty profit on the AH (thats the in-game auction house to you). I remember virtually paying for my very fast flying mounts with various buff foods cooked from fish. I can’t listen to the Gorillaz anymore without imagining the hours spent in front my favorite place waiting for the fish-on sound.

The exploration of the world is one of the things I love the most about Azeroth and WoW in general. The rep grinds are just silly repetition quests to disguise the experience/leveling grind but in this case the locations of the Tuskar (Un’pe/Kaskala, Moa’ki, and Kamagua) are very well designed, gorgeously rendered areas. Warcraft sometimes gets bashed for its cartoony and somewhat dated look, but the graphics fit so well and are themed well. Catching a sunset off Chillmere coast while questing has to be one of my all time favorite moments in WoW.


WoWScrnShot_102609_221137Trying to get all the Tricks or Treats Achievements in World of Warcraft before the holiday ends. Tricks and Treats of Azeroth:

Complete the Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms and Outland Tricks and Treats achievements.

During the Hallow’s End event, each inn has a Candy Bucket which both starts and ends this quest. Clicking a candy bucket offers the option to take a handful of candy; taking the handful of candy completes and gives you credit for the quest. There is no separate turn-in. Each candy bucket has a separate instance of this quest. You can loot each one once during the event.

Candy Buckets can only be found in inns that allow you to set your hearthstone there. Buildings that look like inns but have noinnkeeper, such as in Moonglade, do not have Candy Buckets.

guildwars2I played a lot of World of Warcraft, up until the final Wrath of the Lich King expansion when I finally tired of the endless gear chase and took a long hiatus … But lately I have been wanting worlds to explore again and feel the beck and call of the MMO.

The sequel to Guild Wars is looking very good judging by the trailer, but it isn’t much more than rendered concept art at this stage. Still those locations look awesome.

A blend of technology and not of the junkyard/klodgy feel of Warcraft, but something that has that futuristic feel to it. I am very intrigued.

For generations, war and chaos raged across the land of Tyria. Five great races competed and warred against each other, struggling to tip the balance of power in their favor.

Then the dragons woke.

The all-powerful beasts stirred from their millennial sleep under earth and sea. With their magical breath the dragons spread destruction and created legions of twisted slaves. A deathless dragon named Zhaitan raised the sunken nation of Orr, triggering earthquakes and tidal waves that destroyed entire cities across the Sea of Sorrows.

Zhaitan’s undead armies surged from the sea, hungry for the destruction of the five races of Tyria: the charr, a ferocious race of feline warriors; the asura, magical inventors of small size and great intellect; the norn, towering shapeshifters from the frigid northern lands; the sylvari, a mysterious young race of visionary plant folk; and the humans, an embattled but resilient people.

Now heroes from the five races must set aside ancient rivalries and stand together against their common enemies.

Magic, technology, and cold steel will determine the ultimate fate of the world.

brave_fencer_musashiA discussion on a message board I frequent (hi to the Circvs Maximvs peeps!) reminded me of one of the most horrible, awful, just plain bad attempts at voice dubbing for a video game I have ever seen. The guy voicing Musashi sound like he is attempting a Texas drawl through a helium high. The woman voicing Princess Fillet sounds like she is 45 years old and all she is thinking about is the shoe sale at the mall. It just makes me shudder, wth were they thinking?

Mechwarrior Reboot

Jordan Weisman – designer of the classic Battletech board game is looking for a publisher for the new version of Mechwarrior, the computer version of the classic Battletech boardgame. Jordan Wiseman’s new company, Smith and Tinker, purchased the rights to the name from Microsoft and is shopping around for a new publisher. From RobotViking:

To summarize what we know at this point: the game is a reboot, not a sequal. It takes place at the beginning of the Fourth Succession War. Multi-player is a major priority, and they really want to have a four-player co-op mode so you can team up with your friends and form a full lance. Better video game technology will make the game more tactically rich, and improve the feel of “piloting a giant war machine” rather than “being a giant robot.” Players will have to use different types of mechs to accomplish various battlefield goals – tactical information will be crucial, so scout mechs will have a vital role even at higher levels of gameplay. No more “lock on, fire and forget.” You’ll have to actively acquire and maintain targets, and the dense urban environments (which appear to blow up nicely) make for great hit and run tactics.

multiplayer giant robot battling action – where do i sign up?

via io9.

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