Shifting Foci

Out of the office today, getting back to work on the fiction-writing. The release of 4th Edition D&D has given my brain the excuse it needed to shift my priorities, in the name of slowing down Adamant work a bit while I see how the new dynamic shakes out in the market.

Various things, while I clear my head:

More on 4th Edition: On my initial reading, my view was pretty positive. The more I got into it, though, the more things I found about it that bugged me. The biggest culprit so far: the new encounter system. Whereas the ease of coming up with encounters (when compared to 3.X) is nifty, what bugs me is that it sacrifices any sense of narrative sense in favor of setting up the next collection of points for the players to smack. The Monster Manual might as well be called “The Wandering Experience Point Manual.” The new core assumption of encounter groups is the problem.

Take for example, the traditional wildnerness encounter — the Owlbear. According to the entry in the monster manual, a common example encounter featuring this beastie will now feature an owlbear, encountered with two satyrs. Buh? Why would that be? Doesn’t matter, as long as the XPs total up…. on to the next level boss encounter!

Bugs me. At this point, I’m waiting to see the License (which we’re STILL waiting for), to see how much room there will be to improve upon or correct those things about the new game that I find irritating (and which, I suspect, a lot of gamers of a similar age and experience will also find annoying).

Phat Birthday LEWT: Had a pretty good birthday. The choicest bits of loot: Firefly: the Official Companion Volumes One and Two (very cool, featuring the shooting scripts for the entire series); a copy, courtesy of , of the new Mongoose version of Traveller, written by (excellent work!) — based on the classic original Traveller rules system; and the biggie: a black , 160GB iPod classic, as a combined birthday and father’s day present from , The Minion, and the In-Laws. WOW. Room enough on that sucker for my entire music collection, almost 3 times over. WOOT!

Quandry: Comfort or Satisfaction? The question comes up with regards to living arrangements — after our current lease ends (in about another year or so), do we buy a house here in Lawrence, where we’d be comfortable financially…..or do we return to NYC, where we’d really prefer to be, but would be less comfortable financially? Boo.

Fiction: I’m thinking of taking a page from and posting work-in-progress updates on my fiction: Word count, Nifty Thing I Got To Write About, Favorite Turn of Phrase, etc. Not only would it be a way for people to get a peek at the progress (if you’re interested), but even that small degree of “audience” might serve as a prompt to get something done every day.

Speaking of which, back to work.

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