Foundry - Overview

Foundry - Overview

Now that I've used it for a couple game sessions, the short version is that I am absolutely sold on how good Foundry is, as in worth every penny. If you don't want to spin up your own server, go buy a seat and pay the guys at Forge to host it. Even if you save nothing, you'll get a lot more value out of it. The below is based on the ACKs rule/world set with a few modules added. I'll try note when something is an add-on or a core feature. GripesI'm going to start with what is…

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Damned by Faint Praise, and False Advertising

Damned by Faint Praise, and False Advertising

DMR recently published two reviews of Bugman's Appendix N, one strongly taking the stance that the new one fatally misunderstands what it is dealing with, and not worthy of even beaing a torchbearing peasant to Jeffro's work, the other, kindly, being best described as "damned by faint praise." What nevertheless sticks in my craw, is something almost pointed out, but not critiqued, in the "positive" review: Peter Bebergal is the editor of Appendix N: The Eldritch Roots of Dungeons and Dragons. In this collection he introduces the reader to D&D, Gary Gygax, and Appendix N. Bebergal explains his…

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How to Host Foundry (pt 2)

How to Host Foundry (pt 2)

In Part 1 I covered the basic setup to get foundry running on your own server running Ubuntu. Now, don't get me wrong. A lot of people just won't want to mess with stuff like this, or won't have/want to start a private server up. I get it. For a few bucks a month you can pay the guys at Forge, punch in your license code to foundry, and get a feature set far better than Roll 20 for a lot less, in the long run, without having to maintain your own server. Anyway - where we left off,…

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How to Host Foundry (pt 1)

How to Host Foundry (pt 1)

Part 2 is here. I was looking for an alternative to paying the guys at roll20 $10 / month - yes, I'm aware there's a $5 tier, but I actually wanted some of the custom features that needed the higher tier - and stumbled into Foundry. The catch? Setting up your own server may run $5 / month unless you can squeeze it in alongside something else. The good news - the documentation is solid, and the app is structured in a way that makes it easy to wedge in anywhere you can install and run Node.js, and an Nginx or…

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Appendix N-

Appendix N-

It's always year zero for the social justice (and believing) set - so the events of but a few short years back, namely the nomination of Jeffro Johnson's Appendix N to the Hugo slate, and being dismissed among other works and editors for being liked by the wrong people are already ancient history lost in the antiquity of time. And one surely cannot expect a writer for a prestigious outlet like Boingboing to do better than indian tech support, and go off script enough to check if there are any books out there on the subject of the stories that…

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Communing With Code

Communing With Code

The phrase in the title was applied to computer games by a friend of mine. As in, "You're not playing a game, you're communing with code." I'm not going to say that computer games, or even solitaire, aren't games. They have rules and win conditions. Nevertheless, they are also in a very real sense algorithmically driven - even if randomized - puzzles without the variability or stakes or psychology that having a human opponent brings to the table. As I noted in my last post re: Battletech gripes, the limited ability of an AI to make decisions as the number…

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Battletech Gripes - and Games

Battletech Gripes - and Games

I've been enjoying the "Tex Talks battletech" historical overviews and sketches at the Black Pants Legion youtube channel, and more recently, the playthrough - with commentary - of the HBS Battletech game by Tex as the story of Scrombles the Mechwarrior. It's a game that - despite my not liking the PC dressing applied to the campaign, is a faithful interpretation of a game I've loved for decades. Funny as hell, but it reminded me of what is likely my biggest single complaint - stupid PC crap wedged in for no good reason aside - of Battletech as a game.…

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The Origins of Divine Right

The Origins of Divine Right

A while back I was invited to a group that was playing Divine Right on VASSAL several times a month - and we went out of our way to not only play the game, but over time, to figure out the ways to break the rules, and to find the edge cases. It is a game worthy of repeated play and attention, with every faction needing a different playstyle to win - and every faction having a chance. As a result, I enjoyed this interview over at Dev Game on the origins of the game and how it was built.…

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