Goodbye Dump Stats! Fighter Edition

That's it.  I've had it.  Who came up with the bull shit 'dump stat?'  In good role-playing there is no such thing.  In good role-playing there is no Rogar with a 4 intelligence (Outrageous!).  Even the rolls that suck the hardest can lead to great characters, great games, and great stories.

Starting with the Fighter class, I will illustrate what happens when, instead of treating an ability as a dump stat, you put your best score there instead.  And what happens when you put your lowest score in those spots.


Straight Up Strength.
When playing a fighter, it's typical to load your highest ability score into Strength.  After all, fighters use their strength to lay on the smack down.  Great, straight up strength fighters include the likes of Samus Aran and Captain America.  But what happens when you put your lowest score there?  You get fighters like Spaceman Spiff and Courage the Cowardly Dog.  Proportionally, they are strong based on their body types, however, they are not epic, D&D strong.  Their feats of strength are adrenalin fueled at best.  Both Spiff and Courage have to use their intelligence, wisdom, and constitution to get through their trials.  But no one can deny that they're fighters!

A Little Finesse - Dex Heavy and Light Fighters
So what happens when you dump your fighter's best roll into Dexterity?  After a quick pick of the Weapon Finesse feat, you have Will Turner and Astharoche Asran.  Will and Asta's entire fighting style is not based on their strength, but their speed and agility.  Spend the points and get ranks in tumble (acrobatics for Pathfinder) and you get every character Jackie Chan ever played.   So what do you get with a low dex... The Incredible Hulk.  Duh.

A Drink Never Hurt Anyone - Constitution Monkeys
Wong Fei Hung is a constitution power house!  He doesn't pack much for strength, but he can take a straight hit without batting an eye.  Probably because he's drunk off his ass.  But that's what con is for!  So what does a fighter with a low constitution look like?  Abel Nightroad.  Abel, a bad ass while the Crusnik is activated, is plague by a constant hunger that's made worse by his refusal to eat what really nourishes him: vampire blood.  He's ease to take down just by letting him wear himself out.  Sure, his con stat is intentionally lowered by his own doing, but that's a game mechanic you can play with.

Smart as a Whip - Intelligent Fighters
There's one thing I can't stand and that's fighters who use intelligence as a dump stat (Outrageous!).  But I guess that's what Rogar's for.  He's a meat shield and little more.  But an intelligent fighter?  They're bad ass on top of being able to figure it all out.  A great example is Ash.  So he's an S-Mart employee.  So what?  He shows up with a trunk full of college textbooks and proceeds to make himself a new hand and gun powder. 

Wise Beyond Their Years - Wise Fighters
I played one of these once.  He had a wisdom higher than all but one of the clerics in the party and he used it.  The best fighters, indeed, the best leaders, have a lot of wisdom.  They aren't the smartest people in the group, but they know how to take all the information and find the answers with it.  Jack Carter is an exceptional example of a wise fighter.  He's surrounded by egg heads, but his wisdom always saves Eureka.  A great fighter with a low wisdom is Captain Marvel. Billy Batson is still, underneath the powers, a little kid without much experience.  His good heart and strength see him through, but he's easily tricked which is the sign of a low wisdom.

A Smile and Wink - Charismatic Fighters
My fav charismatic fighter?  Brisco County Jr.!  Ah yeah!  His mouth gets him out of just as many predicaments as it gets him into.  He has the kind of charisma that bards dream of and dashing rogues drool over.  A fighter with a low charisma? Castiel.  He's short on charm, personality, and anything else that would make him the least bit tolerable to work with on a constant basis. 

Average All Around
So what if you roll up a bunch of really average scores?  Who ever heard of an average fighter?  At that point, it isn't about the stats, but about how you use your skill points.

An average fighter with a lot of lore: Dean Winchester.  Where Dean lacks in intelligence and charisma, he makes up for in what he knows, the right solution to the problem.

An average fighter with a lot tactical knowledge: Fin the Human.  Fin lacks a lot of strength and dexterity, but he is tactically savvy and trusts his intuition.

An average fighter with a high craft skill giving him lots of gadgets: Batman.  (No link.  If you don't know who Batman is, get off my internet!)

I'm sure there are a lot of readers ready to kill me because I've only mentioned two female characters in the list.  Well, sue me.  The list is meant to illustrate what you can do, not represent.

But let's throw some girls in here for shits and giggles anyway:
Turanga Leela is an intelligent fighter with some serious martial arts skill
Helena Bertinelli is a very charismatic fighter whose not above using womanly wiles to get her way.
Rogue has constitution is spades.
Padme Amidala is wise beyond her years, if you over look the fact that she married a psycho.


We are losing The Game

Do we really need another blog talking about how awesome Nintendo's presentation was and how much everyone elses' sucked?  I didn't think so.

Here's something different and proof that my glorious library is losing The Game:

Ann Arbor's Video Game Librarian

Ann Arbor...  You B****h!


Free RPG Day 2010!

Saturday, June 19th is Free RPG day!

Free RPG Day is run like Free Comic Book Day: to give the masses a taste of something new without having to pull out the wallet!

Check out the site for more details on who is giving out what and where!

Great.  Now I'm sad.  Nittany Line Hobbies was the game shop of State College, PA for many years and now it's gone, a victim of poor management rather than the recession.  Comic Swap, which is just around the corner from former Nittany Line, is doing their best to beef up the game selection, but they just don't have the space to carry everything.

From Happy Valley, the closest shop is The Games Keep in West Chester.  Here's to hoping they will participate in Free RPG Day!


Spellcasting... Soda?


Dungeons & Dragons Limited Edition Spellcasting Soda!

Because we could all use some of Bigby's Crushing Thirst Destroyer as we go full swing into con season!


Geeky Clean!

Dishonored Dwarf Shaving Soap Kit

Ganked from

But it is that time again: Con Time!

The packing will begin in earnest this weekend.  And toiletries must be had.


Take On Me

Personally, I think it needs more cowbell.


Tetris Border Fabric

Because I totally need a Tetris skirt for Origins:

Purchase at Spoonflower!


Castlevania: Harmony of Despair

It's Castlevania, so you know what that means for me.

Also, the feeling I got looking at the screenshots may count as cheating on my husband.


Oh Yeah!


That Whole Ebert Thing

Yeah.  I know.  Yada yada yada.

I don't care. 

Nothing he says will take the power of that first Shadow of the Colossus play through from me or anyone else.

What we have is a "Get Off My Lawn!" moment.  Long after the ney-sayers are gone, video games will still be here and, yes, some of them will be considered art.

Seriously.  Penny Arcade's got this one.


Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

Boy, am I behind... Time to get my review on!

We all know I'm a Castlevania whore. (Lord of Shadows! It calls me!) So the first review in the long list I have to do is for Order of Ecclesia. (Yes, I know I'm waaaaaay behind.)

Amnesiac Shanoa is sent out to bitch slap her brother Albus around in order to get the Dominus glyphs and kill Dracula. The twist: using them will kill her. Of course, it would be a useless sacrifice anyway. Dracula will just pop back up like a bad weed in a century, give or take a few years.

You control Shanoa who has a large array of weapons and magic at her disposal a la Alucard. However, the use of these things sucks up her MP, so when you tap out, you have to wait for the bar to refill. This changes the strategy of the game. You have to go into an area with a sense of timing to be sure your mp doesn't run out at a crucial moment. For Boss fights, it's worse. Of course, you can endlessly revisit a stage to level up, grab new goodies, and knock over the First National Bank of Dracula for the cashes.

And you will revisit stages a lot thanks to all the stupid little quests the villagers have you do. Being a completetist, I finished every god-damned one (and I would like to kill the little kid with the 'lets run around in the dark' bull crap.)

The game play, even with the mp depletion, is smooth. The variety of areas and new monsters to go with the classic standbys makes for a nice venture out into Castlevania land. Even the old standbys got a few new tricks, most notably Drac-baby himself. His typically 2D sprite got some new moves, all of which made him a much more difficult boss.  (Remember not to try flying when you have to fight the big guy.)

You never use a particular glyph for too long.  As you get new glyphs, you get new abilities and you will rapidly change between glyphs for different situations, so you don't have another Soma Cruz.  (I've got three powerful souls and I... only need to use the three of them to beat this game.)

4 Glyphs out of 5


No Twilight Game? THANK GOD!

"Given how hot a property it is, Twilight could easily present a seven-figure exploitation opportunity," analyst Nick Gibson told the publication, "especially if publishers look at taking it beyond retail gaming and considers network gaming."

"It may well be that the rights holders aren’t aware of the potential benefits as they haven’t explored the games market before,” he said. "It’s not unheard of – although it is increasingly unusual in this day and age."  

No.  It's not that they haven't explored the games market.  There is NO market for it.

The gamer market is geared toward guys.  That's why God of War has an uber-manly hero who has sex, albeit off screen, with big breasted women.

Twilight is marketed to teenage girls and while there is a game market for those girls, it is tiny and will not generate 'millions' in revenue. 

Let's be honest.  The vast majority of people reading Twilight do not own game systems.  And the ones that do, won't waste their game dollars on a Twilight game.  Seriously, what kind of game would it be anyway?  And I swear to the Almighty that if you point to one of those damn Barbie games, I will kill you.  Because that's exactly what it will look like.

Very few movies translate into games and those games are notorious for being profit sinkholes (despite what the article in the jump says).

The Dark Knight was not made into a game because Arkham Asylum came out at the same time.  EA (who was developing The Dark Knight) would have lost a lot of money.  Arkham Asylum not only came out to the praise of critics, but flew off the store shelves.  EA made the right call.

"The brand’s appeal could actually extend significantly beyond the expected teen girl market and into the 20- to 30-year-old female market, which has a very substantial crossover into gaming," he said.

Yes, there is a substantial cross over into gaming with the 20-30 year olds, but guess what?  They are gamers.  Why would they pay for a bad movie tie-in when Final Fantasy XIII is currently rocking their worlds?  And the 20-30 year olds who are reading Twilight are, by and large, not gamers.  While their kids may have a Wii, that doesn't mean they're going to waste money on a Twilight tie-in game that they won't even know exists because the ad placement will not find its way to the target audience.

To the Twilight Money Machine: The lack of a game tie-in was the right call.


A 3D enabled DS?

The news reports on it would have us believe that the video below is a 3D enabled DS.  Instead, it's "Rittai Kakushi e Attakoreda" a DSiware title.  Still, well done!

Much better than the Virtual Boy.  :P



Finally, the decision has been made!  Dave, Lily, and I are going to Origins!

If my sister can get the time off and the money for her badge and events, she'll be going too.

The really exciting thing about this is taking Lily.  Sure, she'll only be a year old, but she loves people and some time in the play room with other kids will serve her well. Plus, Baby's First Convention!

How is that not the most exciting thing ever?


Boy am I behind...

I do need to post more often.


Rumors are circulating. The kind of rumors that, if true, would be both awesome and devastating. Patrick Stewart, who is all kinds of awesome sauce, is rumored not only to be the narrator of Lord of Shadows but also the voice of the big man himself, Drac Baby!

This of course, can lead to only one terrible conclusion. The kind of conclusion that YouTube will have in abundance after the game's release. (Or maybe even before.) It will involve the splicing of the many , many personas Capt. Picard has donned through the years. But the funniest will be this one:

"I am Dracula. Now begins the paddling of the swollen ass. With paddles!"