On Boarding the Hype Train, and Taking Off the Training Wheels

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Choo choo!

If you live on the internet and know who Blizzard are, you’ve most likely seen something regarding Overwatch. And if you haven’t seen advertising, the name itself should hopefully ring a bell.

But if, by some strange chance, you’re from some neck of the digital woods where this isn’t a thing, let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Overwatch is a new first-person shooter coming out of Blizzard, the company responsible for StarcraftDiablo, and the soul-devouring behemoth known as the Warcraft universe. (Seriously. I haven’t played World of Warcraft in nearly a year, and I still find myself wanting to resubscribe and preorder the new expansion.) It’s a slightly different genre than Blizzard have tackled before, seeing as how they cut their teeth on real-time strategy and action roleplaying games, but I must say, it’s looking beautiful. (more…)

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On Rolling Out, and Getting Dangerous

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I fear that these Steam sales will be the death of me.

A couple weeks ago, a bunch of Activision games went on sale, giving up to 75% off some of their popular titles. Now that I have a computer capable of running post-2012 games at decent quality and frame rates without worrying about my computer slagging itself on my desk, I’m having a much harder time resisting Gaben’s siren song.

But while I was slightly tempted to pick up Call of Duty: Black Ops III for the PC—because some of us are weak and buy the same games on multiple platforms—it was the Transformers games that forcibly abducted cash from my wallet.

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On Hacking RPGs

Anyone who has followed this blog long enough knows that I’m a fan of roleplaying games, both tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons and video games like Final Fantasy. I haven’t actually played as many tabletop games as I’d like to—it’s hard to carve out a specific three-to-four hour period every week—but I still enjoy fiddling with them when I can. Because of this, I have an ever-growing library of books and files that I often use to run a play-by-post game with like-minded individuals. (more…)

On Avoiding Destiny, and Meeting It On the Other Road

At the end of this month, Six and I will have been married for eleven years. I’m more surprised than anyone that she’s stuck with me that long, even with the surprise baby she’s currently carrying. She’s due at the end of next month, and we decided to celebrate our anniversary a little early, staying at a local bed and breakfast on Friday night, while her mom watched our other four kids.

You know, have our weekend away early, to avoid having a baby during said weekend. Nice and romantic, right?

Yeah, about that … (more…)

On Gains, and Losses

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Sunset over Sastasha Seagrot

This has been a week of ups and downs. Why don’t we start with some of the ups?

One of the nice things about getting a little older is that you get cooler and cooler Lego sets. But while a Lego Death Star would have been less expensive than what I actually received, it wouldn’t have lasted nearly as long. (My second son is an absolute Star Wars nut, and my third son is a three-year-old wrecking ball. 🙂 ) (more…)

On Altoholism, and My First Odin Kill!

Hello. My name is Locke.

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“Hello, Locke.”

And I’m an altoholic.

It doesn’t matter what MMO I play, I eventually get tired/bored/frustrated with the character I started off the game with. I’ll start out loving the story and mechanics, but fifteen or twenty levels in, the honeymoon’s generally over and my eye starts wandering. I’ve rolled and rerolled more World of Warcraft Characters than I can count, and the same is true for Guild Wars 2.

But in Final Fantasy XIV, you don’t have to have a separate character for each class. (Race and sex, yes, but not class.) You equip a different main weapon, and boom! You’re an Arcanist! You’re a Marauder! You’re a Ninja! A Paladin! A Black Mage! And believe me, I’ve taken full advantage of it. (more…)

And we’re back!

From the looks of things, I’m pushing nearly three years of radio silence on this little blog-thing of mine. With some of the new developments and decisions happening recently in my life, maybe it’s time I ramped it back up. To those of you coming back from the hiatus with me, Welcome back! Glad to see you.

For those of you stopping by for the first time, Welcome! Even gladder to see you. 🙂

I won’t bore you with all of the details, but it looks like I’m going to be spending more time focused on my education and my writing than I have in recent years. (With only two prerequisite classes, the GRE, and some writing samples standing in my way, I could be starting my graduate program as early as next fall. Yikes.) There’s no guarantee that I’ll be accepted into the program I want, of course, but that’s the goal.

In the meantime, I’ve decided that I’ve been very lacking in my creative endeavors lately, and firing up the blog again is part of combating that. As much work as it can be sometimes, I really enjoy writing, and I’ve realized that I need to be doing more of it—especially if I eventually want to make a living from it. (As Larry Correia counsels, “GET PAID” is one of my main writing goals.)

That said, having a full-time job and very nearly five kids is going to limit the amount of time I can dedicate to the blog, so please don’t be upset when I’m not posting every day. I’ll try to do it weekly, but with as chaotic as my life can be sometimes, I ain’t makin’ no promises. 😉

This restart also provides a chance for a bit of a retooling of the site. Back in Ye Old 2013, the site was named “Locke’d Life,” and while I found it catchy at the time, it doesn’t quite fit with the way I want to present my content anymore. That content will still be the same—book and game reviews, roleplaying writings, and just general ramblings—but I’m going to try branching out a bit more and share other neat Internet things I find. (Like this Disturbed cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence.) I’ll also be linking you to my gaming streams, where you can watch and laugh along with my every groan-inducing fail. But hopefully you’ll find something to keep you entertained for just a little while.

So, this is Locke Vs. … well everything, really.

Enjoy. 🙂

Dresden Heroic Roleplaying – Part 2

In part one of my Dresden Heroic Roleplaying hack, I covered the different pieces that make up a character: MO, Distinctions, Abilities, and Specialties. Today, we’re going to dive a little deeper into the mechanics of the game, namely how to build a dice pool and the ways your character takes damage.

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Dresden Heroic Roleplaying – Part 1

I’ve recently started gearing up for a Dresden Files RPG game that I want to run in the next couple of months, and while I will probably end up using the rules designed and published by Evil Hat Productions, I still had some fun working up a quick hack for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying using the setting. I’ll be doling it out here in bits and pieces, and I invite any constructive feedback you have to offer. This is my first real, thorough work on a Cortex Plus hack, so I’m bound to make some very obvious mistakes. Feel free to let me know if you catch one. 🙂

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Fate Core

Early last month, Evil Hat Productions, opened up a Kickstarter project for their newest revision of the Fate roleplaying system. I’d originally been intrigued by the last version of the rule set sometime last year, but while it was an interesting take on story-oriented roleplaying, it just wasn’t clicking for me. I couldn’t quite suss out how I would use something like that to play the games that I was looking to at the time. So when Fate Core popped up on my radar, I immediately jumped at the chance to help kickstart the endeavor.

For those of you who don’t follow projects on Kickstarter, let me just tell you that Fate Core ended up being one of the most popular RPG projects the site has seen since it first opened its virtual doors to the public. The initial goal was low (three thousand measly dollars), but when the project closed last Tuesday, there were over 10,000 backers pledging upwards of $430,000. Calling this thing “successful” would be a vast understatement.

The enthusiastic outpouring of support from the “Fate Corps” was well deserved, however. Fate Core is a solid, streamlined game that keeps the focus on the characters and their actions rather than letting things get bogged down in multitudinous rules. I haven’t had the opportunity to do much more than partial character creation in it yet, but I’m slotted to run a demo session at an upcoming convention and I couldn’t be more excited to be using Fate there.

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