Friday, April 29, 2011

O through Y is for Catching Up Via Speed-Blogging

It still counts if it's done before the end of April, right?

Okay, so life gets busy at the end of a semester. I'm still not done with finals. But I'm determined to get at least one more blog post up this month. So, without further ado, here are all the remaining subjects that I would have addressed, if I didn't have a life.

O - OD&D. To many, it stands for "Original D&D". For certain others, it simply means "Old D&D". In the latter context, "OD&D" is often used synonymously with "Classic D&D" and includes the Gygax/Arneson, Holmes, Moldvay/Cook, Mentzer, and Denning/Allston editions of the game (basically, the entire branch of the tree that isn't AD&D). I fall into this latter camp: I'll happily use "OD&D" or even "0e" when referring to the Basic and Expert Sets or the Rules Cyclopedia. Oh, and if you have a problem with that, screw you, you're a pedant.

P - Proton Pack. The choice tool for paranormal eliminators and investigators everywhere (but, for all its glitz and high-profile awesomeness, utterly useless without a muon trap; go figure). It's a wonder to me that D&D has never had a spell that duplicates the effects of the proton stream + ghost trap combination. Who wouldn't love to bag a wraith and save it for posterity, or trap a spectre and let it loose the next time you're slogging through the dungeon and happen to encounter gnolls? (You know... because gnolls have two hit dice, and spectres drain two energy levels per hit... heheh... jeez, I'm a nerd.)

Q - Uh, well, Q, I guess. The James Bond one, not the Star Trek one. Just to point out that yes, Virginia, there is an archetype for techies, inventors, and gadgeteers everywhere to aspire to.

R - Retro Phaze. I haven't written a post yet purely for the sake of plugging this game. I really ought to get around to that.

S - Stargate. I have to say, I really love Stargate. The movie, SG-1, Atlantis... okay, Universe wasn't much to write home about, but most of Stargate is pure win. It's weird... I came to love Stargate because of the similarity it bore to the original Battlestar Galactica. They both have that wild Chariots of the Gods?, Erich von Däniken, Ancient-Egyptians-in-SPACE!!! vibe going on. It's painfully incoherent nonsense to anyone who knows the least little bit about human prehistory -- I really can't stand the whole "Ancients guided human evolution" thing, because if it's guided, it's not evolution at all -- but it's wonderfully entertaining fantasy just the same.

T - Terminator. Another great sci-fi universe, as long as you stick with the good parts. Which means T1, T2, and the Sarah Connor Chronicles. T3 and Salvation are in fact retconned out of existence when you follow the T:SCC timeline... and it's all because Future John Connor sends the Summer Glauminator back in time to create that alternate timeline, which automatically makes it the coolest (and hottest) retcon event in the history of sci-fi. Um... have I mentioned that Summer Glau is hot?


U - Underworld. As opposed to the over-world, where the cities and the wilderness are. Underworlds are were the dungeon adventures take place. Does that mean that the underworld needs to be a mythic dimension, inherently chaotic and hostile to the PCs, possibly an active force trying to undermine their every move? I'm going to go with, "no, not necessarily." The mythic underworld dungeon is a cool concept, don't get me wrong; but there's also something to be said for Gygaxian naturalism. Sometimes a dungeon is just a hole in the ground full of monsters that want to eat you.

V - Virtue. When I'm a PC, I has it. I like to bring a little heroism to the table. I love playing paladins. Need a thief in the party? I'll be that neutral good, Robin Hood type who actually doesn't try to steal from, backstab, or generally frell over the party (weird, I know). The weird thing is, this seems to be a rare affliction among players. When I DM, I hardly ever encounter this phenomenon in others (with a few noteworthy exceptions).

W - Wormholes. Einstein-Rosen bridges. Kerr singularities. Stargates make them. So does John Crichton, on occasion. And they're always awesome. Okay, except for that one time in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Other than that, awesome.

X - The letter X. Re-purposed in the Latin alphabet to stand for the /ks/ phoneme, because the Romans initially had no need for the /kh/ of the Greek letter chi. But, you know what? I like to use this glyph as a chi for one very special purpose: game stats. The letter chi is the first in Xάρισμα (Charisma), which means that we can abbreviate the game scores with a single letter each (S/D/C/I/W/X). Consider: Strength and Wisdom are native English words; Dexterity, Constitution, and Intelligence are all borrowed from Latin; and Charisma is the sole Greek derivative.

Y - Yatta! Japanese for "I did it!" Made most famous by Chun-Li from Street Fighter (less so by Hiro Nakamura from Heroes).

Hey... I've caught up on the alphabet challenge! Yatta!

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