Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Welcome new team member

I'd like to welcome Derobane-bane to the "Roll for Initiative" team. I have played D&D off and on with him for several years now and I'm sure his posts will be insightful.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My gaming history

So who am I and why do I think I can write about gaming? Well, I played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time in 1980! Yes, I started 25 years ago, back when Gary Gygax still wrote material for the game and Wizards of the Coast didn't exist. I saw the 80s explosion when every gamer and his dog had a published RPG on the market and I played a lot of them. Although D&D/AD&D/AD&D 2nd ed./D&D 3/3.5 is still my favourite game, I've tried my hand at GURPS, Call of Cthulhu, RIFTS, Traveller, Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Alternity, Chivalry and Sorcery, Mechwarrior, Star Wars d6 System and Pendragon. I've also played my share of wargames, namely Star Fleet Battles, BattleTech and Warhammer. Now, a quarter century later, I'm still playing, even though I've gone through a half-dozen different gaming groups. I just hope whatever retirement home I end up at in another 30 years has a good gaming room and a bunch of guys who know how to roll a 20-sider.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

d20 Future campaign

I am currently running a d20 Future campaign. This post will explain the background.

Early in the 22nd century, an American deep-space probe discovers an enormous object just beyond the orbit of Uranus. It was clearly of artificial origin, a toroidal structure some 26km in diameter with a parabolic interior surface. For the next century, probes from the Western Alliance (consisting of most of the Americas, Australia, the UK and Japan), the Euro-Islamic Republics and Neo-Imperial China study the artifact. Eventually it is determined that the alien structure is a singularity gate designed to send spacecraft across vast distances in virtually no time by way of extreme distortion of space-time.

Meanwhile, the three global superpowers grow increasingly belligerent as the awesome power of "the Gate" becomes clear. Border skirmishes break out in central Asia and on Mars. Also, extreme religious and political groups instigate terrorist attacks on every continent. The threat of a global conflict looms large.

It is this threat that causes a group of wealthy philanthropists to create the Covenant Foundation, an organization dedicated to sending humans to the stars. They begin by funding a series of robotic exploration missions to travel through the Gate with the goal of finding inhabitable planets. After dozens of missions, a marginally-suitable planet was discovered in the Epsilon Eridani system. The planet, which was named Acheron, was much older than earth. Vulcanism had all but stopped and life had never evolved beyond the level of single-celled organisms, but it had water and a breathable atmosphere. As the geopolitical situation continued to deteriorate, it was decided that the mission would proceed. 6100 young, married couples were selected from among many tens of thousands of volunteers to undertake the one-way trip to the new world aboard the first manned vessel to go through the Gate, Ark I.

Ark I (also called Ark Prime) consisted of six colony pods, each housing one thousand colonists in cryo-sleep. The remaining 100 colonists were housed in the command module which would serve as an orbiting space station after the colony pods landed on the surface of Acheron. Each pod would land along the equator, equidistant from one another, establishing six individual colonies. The pods themselves were designed to be disassembled and used as structures to house the colonists. One year of pre-packaged food was included as well as seed and hydroponic equipment to sustain the colonies until further supplies could be sent. It was intended that additional colony ships would be sent at ten year intervals. Ark I was launched on August 3rd, 2217.


Friday, September 09, 2005

My New Blog

I have been blogging now for about nine months and my original blog, Random Thoughts from Cowtown has taken on the characteristics of a political forum. There is nothing wrong with this, but I feel I need a another forum to let my geek side flourish. This blog will be dedicated to Dungeons and Dragons, movies, sci-fi and fantasy literature, whatever my inner fanboy decides to talk about.


Edit: The Random Thoughts from Cowtown blog has been discontinued and will remain so.