30 March 2009

The Dark Before the Dawn

Update: New episode of my Kin of Cerberos RPG online.

Another session of my RPG campaign Kin of Cerberos was played, and the story is once again online for your reading pleasure. This marks the finale of the current 'season', which took almost exactly a year to play. (Six sessions isn't a huge amount for a year, but it's a decent number for our group, I guess.) It also marks the beginning of at least a brief hiatus, during which I hope to try running something fresh. As I said in an earlier post, I've been running this campaign exclusively for three years now, and that's a long time.

Labyrinth Lord

I just received the copy of Labyrinth Lord I bought. Labyrinth Lord is basically a remake of the classic 80's edition of Dungeons & Dragons released under the Open Game License. No mention of the name D&D is made anywhere, for legal reasons, I assume, but the rules should be entirely compatible with old D&D products and all the classic character classes, spells, monsters etc. are there. It covers character levels 1-20 and most of the rules from the Basic and Expert sets, I believe.

The book can also be downloaded from the website, free, in PDF form. So why'd I buy it? Lots of reasons. I was buying a couple other books (from a domestic online service) and needed a little more for free shipping. (I was suprised to find this game in their selection, when our top RPG dealer didn't have it.) It's also a cause I deemed worthy of supporting. And it's also nice to have the classic version of D&D in convenient, compact form.

I do own the D&D Basic Rules set, which I happened to find at a flea market for next to nothing, years and years ago, back when I was first getting into roleplaying games. But the Basic set, of course, only covered character levels 1-3. I later bought the 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules (for considerably more money), which we played much more than the Basic version back in the 90's, for the obvious reasons. AD&D is a great game, but there's something really appealing and magical about the simplicity of the classic version.

18 March 2009

Day Two of MPD

A quick follow-up to the previous post. I've been trying out ncmpcpp today, an MPD client based on ncmpc, but with some handy additional features, like tag editing. Although I could think of one or two improvements (mostly in the media library browser), it seems as good and feature rich as a console music player can be. Almost good enough to give up yearning after album art and stick to the trusty ol' terminal. (Frankly, colourful text in a good terminal emulator with a nice background image is, to me, as pretty as any graphical application. And the mouse only gets in your way, anyway.)

17 March 2009

Continuing Adventures in the Music Player Trade

Rhythmbox, which I've been using to play music for a while, is pretty good, though it has a few issues. Probably more out of desire to try out new things (and procrastinate) than anything else, I decided to give MPD a whirl. And I don't think there's a going back.

MPD isn't actually new to me, I used it for a good while before getting my MacBook and getting sucked up by that fiendish device of the Dark Lord (known to most by the rather innocent name iTunes). For those not in the know, MPD (or 'Music Player Daemon') is a daemon that runs in the background and can be interfaced by various clients, both graphical and command line.

Picking a client to use is difficult, though. ncmpc is a rather good console application. The only real advantage that graphical apps have over it is the ability to show cover artwork. The UIs of the couple of graphical clients I've tried so far haven't really made a big impression, however. So does convenience and simplicity beat eye candy? We'll see...

Of Vamps, Superheroes and Web Browsers

Just a quick patchwork post, 'cause it's been a while.

On the GNU/Linux transition front, I've been trying out Conkeror (a Mozilla-based browser with an Emacs style interface) for a while. It's not perfect, but I'm growing fond of it. Some of the keyboard bindings are very handy, and naturally more in line with the keys I use in Emacs and StumpWM.

I just finished Angel's last season for the second time. And still enjoyed it thoroughly (the whole series, I mean). Wonder what I'll start next... Xena's due for a re-watch. As is Twin Peaks...

I went to see Watchmen, and enjoyed it very much. But I'll write more about that when I've had a chance to read it, which I must shamefully confess I haven't yet done.

It's snowing outside. It's pretty, but all I'm thinking is, ain't it bloody time for spring already?

2 March 2009

To Ashes

Update: New episode of my Kin of Cerberos RPG online.

We played another session of my current RPG campaign. I've been running this game for three years now, even if sessions have at times been infrequent at best. That's a long campaign by our group's standards, the longest since I've kept a record of my games. (I don't remember for how many sessions my Dragonlance game back in the nineties ran. I doubt it was much longer than this, though.) Perhaps it's time for a break soon, time to try something a little different, if only for a few sessions. But not before a climactic ending to the current story arc...

The summary of this session is available online, like usual. It's not very long this time, as I didn't have much time to plan for the game. (Well, I had a couple of months, really, but I was too lazy to start planning before we actually settled on a date, and then it was too late.)