Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Zelazny: Real Life Ghostwheel

I'm not the biggest fan of the Merlin series, but I do like some of the concepts introduced therein, and chief among them is Ghostwheel.

"It riffles through Shadow like the pages of a book-or a deck of cards," I said. "Program it for whatever you want checked out and it will keep an eye on it for you. I was planning it as a surprise. You could, say, use it to determine whether any of our potential enemies are mobilizing, or to follow the progress of Shadow-storms, or-"

      "Wait a minute," he said, raising a hand. "How? How does it flip through shadows that way? What makes it work?"

      "In effect," I explained, "it creates the equivalent of multitudes of Trumps in an instant, then-"

Someone wrote a program to procedurally generate Tarot cards. Can Ghostwheel be far behind?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"We need to stop Cthulhu - right meow!"

As hard as it is to believe now, Dungeons & Dragons was once a mainstream activity. It’s what the kids were playing in E.T. and I’m old enough to remember D&D clubs in my grade school. Someone once remarked that President Obama probably tried it at least once as an undergrad. Its ascendance was due to a confluence of circumstances that are never going to be repeated, but for a while it was HUGE.

D&D’s Golden Age is over, but role-playing still persists. The internet has been the perfect medium for Indie RPG projects and while none of them have a fraction of the market penetration that early Dungeons & Dragons did, the variety of games out there is mind-bogglingly staggeringly bonkers, and I for one am pleased beyond words that I live in a world where I can choose from several independently developed games where I can play as a cat fighting the forces of the Cthulhu Mythos.