Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy moving...

We spent the weekend moving or doing stuff in preparation for the move.

Almost all our books (or all the books I plan to move; the rest are in the storage locker) are in the new apartment. So are four of our book cases. If you saw the number of books I have, you'd realize this is a Big Deal. It also means that aside from the furniture, all our heavy lifting is pretty much done.

We don't have any real furniture in the apartment yet, aside from Logan's bed, which we just bought. Unfortunately the bed was damaged in shipping and we're waiting for replacement parts. The old papasan chair is in Logan's room. My dresser is in our room. Aside from three metal chairs, a card table, and a smattering of kitchen and bathroom stuff, that's about it.

Alana's bike is at the apartment, as is our new sound system. The new apartment is about the same size as the current apartment, but the layout is different enough that our living room is smaller, so we needed to get rid of the two big speakers. You can't just buy speakers in Monroe, we found out, so now we have a whole home theatre system just to replace those two speakers!

I look around our living room at the old place and I shudder at all the stuff we still have to pack. Thankfully we still have about three weeks to complete the move. Part of that is going to be eaten up with football games. Logan's flag football team went undefeated in the regular season and are in the playoffs! They get a bye for the first game. I don't know when he'll be playing; rumour had it that the first game was on Thursday, but the YMCA web site says the playoffs are on Saturday.

So, until further notice just assume that we're stuffing things into boxes and shifting them from one apartment to another...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Mongoose Traveller

Mongoose Publishing is a British company that made a name for itself with D20 (the system used by Dungeons and Dragons) supplements, but is now as well known for miniatures games and other roleplaying game systems. Most recently they released an open gaming license version of RuneQuest, a variant of the original BRP system published by Chaosium. Yes, it is legal for you to build games based on Mongoose's version of BRP, and include the rules in the book.

The reviews of MRQ (Mongoose RuneQuest) are mixed. The rules aren't that much different from Chaosium's house system. Some of the changes, though, did not go down well. In particular, there's a weirdness involving characters with a skill over 100% versus a character with a skill under 100%. Actually "weirdness" doesn't cover it; the rule as written is broken. Still, those who like the rules point out that Mongoose has done a better job of supporting the rules than Chaosium.

Mongoose recently released a roleplaying game based on Michael Moorcock's Elric series of books. Chaosium published 5 versions of their own game (mostly just variants of the original) based on the same source material using their BRP system. Apparently Michael Moorcock was unhappy with what Chaosium was doing with it; Mongoose gained the license, basing it on their version of RuneQuest. Some folk said previous versions were better, but apparently Mongoose's Elric game is good, and has the advantage of covering stories published after the original six books.

Continuing their tradition of reproducing classic roleplaying games, Mongoose will be publishing the next version of Traveller, Marc Miller's classic science fiction roleplaying game. Traveller could be used as a generic science fiction game, but it gained its greatest acceptance with the far future universe it portrayed. Interestingly, when the Firefly TV show came out, a lot of roleplayers noticed more than a passing resemblance to Traveller.

Traveller has gone through several iterations, including four versions using Miller's original rule system, a D20 version and a GURPS version. Mongoose will produce a game based roughly on the original game system, but with a fair number of modifications.

For those of you interested in Traveller, you'll want to check out Mongoose's blog for more information. You can find it here:

There are a number of innovative game systems out there, including the One Roll Engine system created by Arc Dream. What's funny is how classic games like RQ, GURPS, and Traveller are still quite popular.