• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Friday, November 11, 2016

Two decades on...

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This last weekend I did something I haven't done in over twenty years. I played a game of Dungeons & Dragons!

We used the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop software which supports the latest 5th Edition of the game, and it went very smoothly overall. I found the new 5E version of the game much more streamlined and easier to use than I remember, with virtually none of the table look ups and calculations of the old AD&D game.

All the players seemed to enjoy it, so it looks like we are going to carry on. I have created a Campaign Journal so we can keep track of what happens (it will be very much a summary of the campaign, I just don't have the time to write long detailed posts as I did for our Masks of Nyarlathotep game). You can also find a link to a playlist of session videos there, the first of which is embedded below.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

In the darkness, something stirs...

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There might be life left in the old blog yet...

I won't be doing regular posts like in the good old days, but there is a little news. My friends and I will be following up our two year epic Call of Cthulhu role-playing campaign with a new Dungeons and Dragons adventure.



You can see some of the campaign background info here.

I intend to post a campaign journal as we go along, as I did before. So keep your eyes open for some updates in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

He's dead Jim...

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Well, it's time I made it official I suppose! The blog is for all intents and purposes dead (I've only just admitted it to myself, despite not having made a new post in six months).

There are plenty of reasons, but it's looking less and less likely that I'm going to pick it up anytime soon. Apart from the usual distractions such as kids and work there are some pretty large changes in my life about to happen that I'm going to have to spend a lot of effort and time dealing with. It's not going to be a fun time and I'm not going to be in the right mood for blogging.

I will of course leave this here for people to stumble across and read, and as a kind of totem that will taunt me for being so useless on the blogging front recently.

Thanks to all my readers over the last four years. I started the blog as somewhere to discuss the upcoming new Star Wars MMO that Bioware had announced, but it kind of grew into a general dumping ground for my thoughts on gaming and other culture along the way. I've found it fun (and sometimes embarrassing) to read back through everything, but I regret nothing!

I may take it up again at some point in the future, when life is a little more settled. If so I'll be sure to shout about it on twitter.

If you are interested in what I am up to you can find me still active on twitter as @Merecraft, on Steam as Merecraft, on the XBox as Merecraft, or even on Facebook, here (surprisingly as Neil, not Merecraft!). Feel free to drop me a friend invite and say hello :)

Friday, December 05, 2014

I'm back, kinda!

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Well, it's been a while, a couple of months in fact since my last blog post. There are a variety of reasons, some mundane, others less so, but it's really all been down to other things taking up my attention and time. Work, kids, social engagements, foreign travel and the like. There have been a few gaming related things that I've been up to however, so here is a quick update on those. I'll probably expand on them in more detail soon (assuming I find the time!).

First of all I took the plunge and bought into the new console generation. I plumped for an X-Box One for several reasons, primarily the fact that I have a few friends with one, and also because of the media capabilities (of which the PS4 has virtually nothing). To be honest it's serving as more of a media hub than anything (after all, I'd rather play most games on my PC), but it has really impressed me. Seriously, don't believe the naysayers, it's a great piece of kit (and controlling my TV by voice alone is still great). Together with my PLEX media server its the perfect multimedia centre. I've been enjoying Forza, FIFA 15 and Shadows of Mordor on it too.

Other gaming related activities include starting a new Call of Cthulhu campaign, this time as an investigator. It's been a lot of fun so far, and a bit different too, with it being set during the late 1990s. It's also a lot deeper than I was expecting and rapidly developing into another globe spanning adventure. Adurj is doing a great job as keeper and keeping us all on our toes.

On the PC I have spent some time test an in-development MMO that is due for release at the end of next year. It's early days, but I'm really impressed with what I've seen so far. More on that when time and NDAs allow!

Finally I've been pretty much spending every spare minute recently playing Dragon Age Inquisition. I will definitely get deeper into the subject in a future post but I'll summarise now by saying that despite it's many issues it is my game of the year by an absolutely huge margin. In fact, it's my favourite game for a long, long time and it is still surprising me every time I play it. It's a game to immerse yourself in, and there is so much content it gets overwhelming at times (after around 24 hours of play time I though I was near the end of the game, and then it revealed I was only just finishing up the introduction...). Almost 60 hours in and I don't feel like I've seen a quarter of the world yet.

So, that's what I've been up to. Now, back to Thedas, there's dragons to kill.

Monday, October 06, 2014

For Richer, For Poorer by Victoria Coren

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For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with PokerFor Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker by Victoria Coren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Partly a biography, partly a treatise on modern poker, and partly the story of how Victoria Coren became the first female million-dollar-winner of the European Poker Tour (she's since gone on to win it a second time), this is one of the most readable books about a complex subject I've ever read.

Part of that is the chatty, witty writing style and, whilst it doesn't hold your hand in explaining the exotic-sounding poker terms and expressions, the book is still completely clear. This is because it is less about the game, and more about the bizarre and fascinating community that plays it.

Using Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as the metaphorical map through the rabbit-hole is a great device that mirrors the highs and lows of a life spent chasing cards in a game that was going through massive changes due to the internet.

Before reading this book I mainly new Victoria Coren from her great columns in The Observer and The Guardian newspapers, as well as her hosting of the fabulous Only Connect. My admiration for her has only increased since reading the book, the tale of an outsider in the shady world of professional poker, fighting acceptance, mysogyny, and her own addictions along the way. In the end she won me over in the same way she won the EPT - by knowing that "it's really not about the money".

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