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   As If To Fly  
Chris Martin - March 17th '02- 5:00 Eastern Standard Time

Few things are more important in this world than the naming of things. Once you associate a word with an object, the word and object will remain interlinked forever. When it involves things of lesser importance, (Your pets, a Q&A column, your girlfriend's breasts) you can name them whatever tickles your fancy. However, some things are just so important that you simply have to spend time thinking about an appropriate name. Many of us are fans of Final Fantasy VII, but only the most deranged of us would dare name our firstborn "Cloud" or "Tifa." (Unless we especially hated the kid, and wanted to ensure a childhood full of ridicule from his classmates. I mean, what if my dad had named me Horatio, or Nick Danger?
Ok, I take that back, that would actually be pretty cool. So where is all of this going? Have a look here.

http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/Sonic.html *Again, I keep screwing the link thing up. Copy and paste, you lazy trogladytes.

For those of you who want the Cliff's notes version, scientists have discovered this molecule that fruit flies have. By sending out a series of signals, it controls and relegates the growth and positioning of the brain inside a fruit fly. What's the big deal?
They've named the thing "Sonic the Hedgehog." Why?! The hell if I know. Perhaps I could understand this odd naming selection if the molecule collected little, golden rings of carbon chains or was paired with a smaller, gayer two-tailed molecule. Neither. The only explanation I can think of is that someone at the University of Chicago probably reads too much erotic fanfiction starring Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman for you purists). We've named the planets and moons of our solar system after Roman gods, I suppose we're going to start naming biological molecules, protiens, and acids after video game characters. Lovely. This doesn't bode well for the future of medical science. In fact, it bodes pretty terribly. Just look at this hypothetical exchange...FROM THE FUTURE!

Cheshire (now 71),:Hello doctor! I would like to speak to you about my headache! It keeps me from sleeping which also keeps my busty wife from sleeping! Money is no object because it is the subject of this sentence! Also, I have billions of dollars.
Doctor Joe:I have bad news, Mr. Martin. I just took a blood sample. Your Crash Bandicoot count is much too high for a man your age. Also, I'm detecting an odd deficiency in your Lara Croft hemoglobin.
Cheshire: Cornsarn it! What can I do ,doc? I do not want to die because I am probably going to hell. You know, because of that incident involving that Q&A column and the pope.
Dr. J: You have nothing to fear, Mr. Martin. I'll perscribe a bottle of Jill Valentines and have one of my busty nurses stop by your eighty room mansion to give you a Terra Bransford enema in the morning!

And that's what will happen.

What amazing new 16-bit molecules will the bold, stoned students of UofC discover next week?

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In the PS2:
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Assorted Nonsense

I botched my Dex check.

I hope no one in my party needed that potion.

The first question made by monocle fall into my snifter of brandy. Good gracious!

As requested "What kind of exciting underwear do you wear?"

Second have you played 3rd edition? What are your favorite improvements (if there are any) over AD&D?

I don't have a favorite right now, but tyranny is very different from others I have played, and quite fun.

As for turning any into a video game.....well neverwinter nights is coming and as far as I've heard it's supposed to be the equivalent of a pen&paper on your computer so, we'll see. Until I'm sure the 'transformation' won't ruin the games I'm quite content with them as is. In fact half the fun of pen&paper is just hanging out with your friends, it's like a chronic gamers' compromise playing an rpg and socializing, no video game has been able to do this yet while retaining a storyline that involves each character in an important and individual manner.

striding cloud

Cheshire Catalyst:
The only time my underwear is exciting is when I take it outside and play "Harass the Sorority."

I'm currently pushing my way through a D&D third edition campaign right now. As someone who's played second edition hsi entire time, there are some big changes and I'm still not accustomed to them all. However, the new version does manage to keep everything a lot cleaner and more "common sense" than 2nd edition. Now, Armor Class is just a number that gets higher as it gets better. (No more calculating THAC0!). Take your str or dex bonus, add any proficiency bonuses or weapon bonuses, roll a D20 and add the result to your total. If your total is higher than your target's AC, you hit. Also, I like the new EXP system (challenge rating). Basically, a level one fighter gets more experience from defeating an orc than a level ten fighter would. Last on my list of likes, is the addition of the ever popular "feats": little do-dads that you acquire as your character levels that give your character a higher degree of customization.
The only gripe I have is the consolidated experience table. I liked it better, and thought it made more sense, that a wizard, ranger, or paladin needed more experience to level up than your everyday fighter or rogue.

On the issue of lost customization when traslating from tabletop to PC, we'll discuss that in a bit.

I wanna cast Magic Missile!

Today being Tabletop RPG day, I decided to wirte in about...tabletop RPG's. Here we go:

1. In RIFTS, it states in the rules that using a dodge counts as a melee action, but in the very same rulebook they present a mock battle with someone dodging after all his melee attacks were used up! How is this possible?

2. Do you think RIFTS is the ultimate combination of Nerd Genre's? I mean, you have everything from Mechs to Vampires to Fantasy to Cyberpunk to FURRIES! And to think you can even throw in the Ninja Turtles and just blame it on a Rift, and it WORKS!

3. Do you think RIFTS could translate into a successful series of PC RPG's? You could have one game in each part of the world with new characters each time and since each world is so insanely different from the last it'd be just like Final Fantasy! =P

4. What battle system do you find the best out of RIFTS, EXalted, and D&D?

5. Do you think D&D is overrated?

6. If you were to make your own TRPG, what genre would it be?

~Raistlin X

Cheshire Catalyst:
1. In the Palladium/Rifts system, Dodging does count as a melee action. Some characters (who have exceptional speed or martial prowess) can perform an "automatic dodge." This dodge is performed without the normal dodge bonuses. (Example: my current heroes character has a standard dodge of +10, and an automatic dodge of +2. If I want to spend an action, I can add ten to my dice roll. If I want to do a free dodge, my bonus is only 2.
2. Furries are scary. But Rifts is notorious for being very cool.
3. Eh, it's be really tricky. Perhaps, you could have a different server for each universe or something. I suspect it would be really difficult to create a large number of worlds.
4.D&D is fun, but a bit too complicated. Rifts/Palladium is relativly simple. (Roll a D20 in combat, add bonuses. Roll percentile dice for a skill.) Exalted has been maximized for over the top anime style powerplaying. Also, the D10 system is relaitvly easy to figure out. (Want to swing your sword at a mean ol' Zombie? Add your Dex score to your Melee score, and any applicable specializations. Roll that many d10's. For each 7, 8, or 9 you roll, that's a "success." 10's count double for sucesses. The more sucesses, the better you did it. Roll a bunch of ones and no successes? You botched: that means you failed miserably.)
5. While it does serve as the best overall fantasy RPG, I've had more ful with other systems. (White Wolf, Palladium, and Star Wars, personally.)
6. A large scale fantasy TRPG would be nice. (Yes, I know... Warcraft. It's not my fault all the good ideas are taken.)

 
Hardcore gamers do it on the tabletop.

How's it going there Chesh,

I've played a bunch of different table top games, DnD, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Edition AD&D, Rifts, Shadowrun, Robotech, Vampire, Space Master, and Mekton. Of them, I still think that Dungeons and Dragons is the best for fantasy. The game is complex enough to allow for variety, yet streamlined enough that you don't get bogged down in rules for figuring how hard it is to tie yout shoelace while it's raining. 3rd Edition has really improved that game, making it simple, yet deeper (as long as you don't try playing it as a tactical table top game). For Science Fiction, Mekton. Whatever type of giant robot anime action you want to play, it can simulate it. Why else would they call it the Anime Roleplaying game?

Anyway, I don't actually want to see Video or Computer game versions of any of them. The thing about table top games is that they are designed to be played with other people, face to face, socializing, with open ended stories. I have never been a fan of the completely non-linear computer/console game, because no matter what, you can never do "whatever" you want, which you pretty much can in any table top rpg. If the rule doesn't exist, your GM, DM, Referee, will make it up on the spot.

Thank you for reading my ravings.

TGX, aka Jonathan "Evil World Ruler" K.

Cheshire Catalyst:
Each version has it's pluses. For variety of gameplay, nothing really beats the fun of a tabletop game. Do what you want, be whomever you want. Wanna go back and question those two hookers at the bar who you think were lying to you about wether or not Jack Johnson is a vampire? Go do it. A GM can come up with stuff off the top of his head, unlike a computer. Computer RPGs have only two real advantages.
1. Modularity. Want to play? Go play now. Want to quit, go eat dinner, and come back? Go for it. Thanks to PCs/Consoles, you can play whenevr you want.
2. Story. While some GMs can come up with some great stories, on average, PC and Console RPGs tend to have a much better story to tell with far less meandering.

 
Redux redux.

About what Xeros89 said, and about what you replied to him with -- The main reason people want to see these released for the GBA is a simple two words: Road trip. People want some GOOD RPGs to play on their handhelds. It's that simple. But, also, there were a lot of people who didn't catch on to Final Fantasy until 7 (I'm one of them, but I've educated myself since then.). These people have probably only played the PSX version of IV, V, VI, and possibly even Chrono Trigger. You've obviously played them, so you know that it takes about fifteen seconds to load up a friggin' menu. That sucks. On the GBA, we would have SNES loading times, which would ROCK. Anywho, I hope that clears things up.

Now for my Question for which you would have an answer: What do you think is the possibility of seeing Resident Evil-esque remakes of FF7-9 on the Gamecube? I think I saw that Lord Brian said that the idea was scrapped a long time ago, but I remember reading an entirely different story. I heard that they "indefinitely stopped production" on them, but progress HAD BEEN made. Now, Why would they just decide to stop production? Maybe it's because they had to scrap the PS2 versions they were working on so they could bring it to the Cube? That's what I'm thinking...

Rye

Cheshire Catalyst:
And heeeeeres the counter arguement. While I won't argue the desire for a good portable RPG, I think many people would rather play a game they haven't played before. However, getting newer fans into these older classics is a good thing.

No more news on the remakes of 7-9. We believe that the project has been dropped, however we'll just have to see where the negotiations with Nintendo go before we can guess what might be remade for the GameCube.





Quickies

I know this is by far a long shot but when Ps2 gets its modem do you think games like Diablo 2 and StarCraft could be shipped to it? I love these games but i'm a much bigger fan for controllers instead of mouses and keyboards (especially for Diablo2) So do you think there is any chance for blizzard to do this?

Thanx
~FlipThePancake

Doubtful, but possible. Due to its popularity, you may see Diablo II. However, Sony would be more likely to have new games made specifically for the PS2.

Hey Chesh, How come RPGamer never really covered tabletop RPGs? I.E. I could go to the "games" section, and there they would be along with all their electronic counterparts. Just a thought/question.

RockyDil

Here at RPGamer, we're concerned mostly with the console end of RPGs. It takes a little arm-twisting sometimes, but PC RPGs sometimes make it into our coverage as well. While all of this bruhaha DID original in the realm of sourcebooks, DM screens, 20 sided dice, and pencils, we just don't have the manpower to cover that much stuff.

Your quote’s from Parasite Eve. Aya says it to the ultimate being. I always thought that I was the only person who ever liked PE, but then, I’m a sucker for EX-Games (or as we say in old school, New Game+).

-Joshua Hime

Here's a big tilde to Josh for being number one with the correct answer. : ~

Parasite Eve was a fun game with decent music and a Mature rating due to a superfluous use of the word "Sperm."

I'll give you a million denars if you tell me the signifigance of the number "6.02^23" (that was mentioned in Ross Bemrose's letter). Bonus: what is the formula for specific heat??

Dave the Nerd

Ugh, I remember that it was part of the equation to determine how many "moles" of a substance. (10 * 6.02^23, If I do recall.) Beyond that, I can't remember. Haven't taken Chem in a few years.

The Last Laugh:

HERE is a link to the latest version of the RPG that Aegis has been working on. Aegis warns that it probably doesn't work on Win XP or Win 2k. For those of you that ARE able to play with it, drop him a line and tell him what you think. I can tell without even looking that it probably needs more busty damsels, but that's just me.

See 'joo next time!

chesh "Don't You Know That Blackmail Is Way Uncool?"@rpgamer.com
What Dreamcast RPG hero would be doofy enough to say this?

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