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Vox Illuminatur

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Everything posted by Vox Illuminatur

  1. I try to collect every trowel and put them in a pile. Those unsellable trowels know what they've done! —Alorael, who hopes for a better Geneforge economy in the remake. The individual shop limits are more annoying than interesting.
  2. I'm working in the hospital where, as everyone has publicized, we're having to be cautious and stretch supplies as we run low on personal protective equipment. We're all on edge, getting snippy in between medical teams, and everything not essential has been canceled. —Alorael, who could do with some working from home. It'll happen when he ends up quarantined, probably.
  3. Honestly, I think that one is its own curse. But granted, they are now living, thinking, feeling individuals who live and die by the thousands at the whims of neglectful children. —Alorael, who wishes for a cure for cancer and the common cold.
  4. Lord of the Rings is the ur-fantasy trilogy. The Silmarillion is quite intentionally like reading someone else's take on the Bible and Beowulf. —Alorael, who has picked up the Quantum Thief. It's delightfully impenetrable in the beginning.
  5. Hello and welcome! "Leave your sanity at the door" is the traditional greeting. —Alorael, who regrets that the forums have gone quiet enough that pondering why they're depopulated is one of the most recent posts.
  6. I can see Dorikas and the Darkside Loyalists given more emphasis and screen time while still leaving Rentar-Ihrno as the main or deuterantagonist. I also think Rentar-Ihrno could get more development. She goes from an interesting extremist in limits in A2-A3 to a literally damaged monster in A4. I think there's room to play more on the Loyalists' and Rentar's shared enmity for the Empire and how that spills into Avernum, too. —Alorael, who does think that's a pretty big retool. But it could leave the structure of the game intact while just being more and different words in some pla
  7. Neither of those are tests, exactly. I will be taking boards, the 9 hour marathon test that says I'm a doctor. Well, no, I already have an MD, but boards let me be an independent doctor. Well, not that either, because I've already been independently licensed for a couple of years. So, uh, it lets me say I'm boarded. That's good, I think. —Alorael, who has only two things to lose by failing. The lesser is the financial cost of having to sign up and take this thing again. The greater is the emotional toll of having to sign up and take this thing again. There's little practical conseq
  8. Economic Left/Right: -6.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.59 —Alorael, who has been stable over time. He's drifted less than one point on each axis from what he remembers as his position when he first took this test years ago.
  9. It's been a long time, but I recall So You Want to Be a Wizard being a good trilogy that then kept going with extra books that were fine but not quite up to the standards of the initial ones. I'd put the Black Company in that list, too, actually. —Alorael, who has had all non-academic reading on hold recently while cramming for his big test and also trying to get some academic writing done. On the plus side, if all goes well, no more big tests for him for at least a decade!
  10. I think the rise of non-forum social media is the major contributor to the lack of new faces, while the older members have other things going on in our lives, so there's an overall slow trend towards less activity. We'll see if there's a substantial reversal after Queen's Wish is released, even temporarily. I've felt like recent releases haven't created as much General activity as was once the case. People come to ask game questions, if they don't just stick to Facebook, but not to talk about their political leanings or form meme cults. —Alorael, who also thinks it's self-perpetuat
  11. Multivac Ken Burns 227 chitrachs wearing a human suit King Arthur The Doctor of Doctor Who (any or all) Benjamin Franklin An arbitrary Mind from the Culture Lord Havelock Vetinari Cardinal Richelieu (real or Three Musketeers) —Alorael, who doesn't belong on this list and asks to be omitted.
  12. I think we are talking about the same Dark Castle, just not here. —Alorael, who isn't talking about Dark Castle at all, or at least wasn't until just now.
  13. Spiderweb's first Ikonboard first opened on March 24, 2001. Today marks these forums' 18th birthday. We're grownups now, and it's time to put aside childish things and focus on the important stuff, like escaping from caves, fighting tyrannical regimes, and optimizing character builds. —Alorael, who will take a moment to remember some good threads long past and some people, now moved on to pastures with better themes, who are hopefully doing well.
  14. Queen's Wish is actually the origin story of the Empire. —Alorael, who now understands that the Empire isn't only nameless because there's no reason to name the only game in town. It's also because it's named after a PC, and of course there's no way to accommodate all the names. Thus, its eponym is lost in the mists of time and myth.
  15. Just to throw off your groupings, I'm going to say that it didn't really do much for me. I'd say I disliked it more than I liked it, but I didn't hate it. —Alorael, who fears this will simply have him removed from acquaintance pools entirely so as to maintain clarity.
  16. "Fiction" is mostly used to mean "writing" here. Playing a roleplaying game with D&D as the rules set in the Dragonlance world is obviously fiction, but it isn't writing. And that holds up generally: we all know that video games aren't real, but Avernum and Geneforge are rarely described as works of fiction. Even movies usually aren't, exactly, beyond the "all characters and events depicted in this film are entirely fictitious" disclaimer. Fiction just is, without any modification, assumed to mean written literature. —Alorael, who won't go into the possible layers. "The Tearing
  17. I think there's a difference between good hub design and bad, or lazy, hub design. In E3/A3, you can go about your business quite freely, and dealing with plagues will get rewards from surface towns, but you also have reason to go back to Anaximander for the big rewards. Which makes sense, since he's nominally your boss and it's worth having some tie to make you remember that you're an Exile/Avernite, not just a random band of adventurers. In Nethergate, you again have a boss, and interestingly a largely open world with a linear plot. You need to check in with your boss to do new t
  18. To me it looks like a medieval map made by people who have inexact measurements and inexact cartographic skills. Quite a few of those are oddly blocky and distorted. —Alorael, who at least doesn't see any forking rivers. The world-building powers that be will brook no bifurcations.
  19. Please don't reply in threads that are six years old! —Alorael, who has no objection to your comment except timing. But the discussion is long over and most of the participants are long gone.
  20. Hi, MagmaDragoon! It's been a long time. Over a decade! Romance in video games was interesting when they first appeared because they were something new to games. Then they became an expected Bioware game element, just another design box to tick off. I would rather not have perfunctory romance put into a game unless it serves a storytelling purpose. A well-told romance can be its own purposes, to be sure, but I don't think that's where Jeff Vogel's inclinations or writing talents lie. —Alorael, who also thinks doing this well requires a lot of words and a lot of contextu
  21. When I first tried to register the check was returned. I spent years thinking Jeff must have moved or changed P.O. boxes early on, but actually, on reflection, I probably just addressed the envelope wrong. —Alorael, who could go back to a copy of original E1 to find out. He kind of likes keeping the mystery around. It’s ego-sparing.
  22. I'm agnostic about technology level. I think it's quite possible to make a ridiculous setting that doesn't justify guns and swords in the same combat, but that's not necessary. Mass Effect is a perfectly good gun RPG with some sword-like melee weapons. Want to classify it as a shooter with RPG elements? The Shadowrun games, then, which have near-future technology (plus magic), so there are some nuts who use implanted blades or swords but they risk getting mowed down by automatic fire. Or Pillars of Eternity, which has something like an early Renaissance level of technology, complete with the p
  23. Kickstarters often have a burst at the end, so it’s not impossible. —Alorael, who wants to know what happens if there final tally is a couple hundred dollars short. A spiteful array of especially terrible sounds? A return of E1’s original “urk” “eek” perhaps?
  24. The number of piano tuners in Chicago is a classic Fermi estimation problem. —Alorael, who just may create a new demographic poll. He has some burning questions.
  25. I would guess that Spiderweb has a solid core of fans that keep buying the games and getting older year by year. Yes, some stop playing, and some new players pick up the games, but I think there's a huge overlap and the average player age accordingly increases by perhaps half a year per calendar year. —Alorael, who made up that number. It'll work as a Fermi estimate.
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