Author Archive

Hacked By GeNErAL

Hacked By GeNErAL

by w4l3XzY3

by w4l3XzY3

Variable Speed Torpedoes in Silent Death: Millennium Ship Builder

Time for another release of the Ship Builder for Silent Death – now with support for variable speed torpedoes!

Here’s the list of changes in version 1.3:

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Millennium Ship Builder v1.2 Released for Silent Death

The Millennium Ship Builder just became a tiny bit better.

Here’s the goods on what has changed since version 1.0.1:

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Millennium Ship Builder v1.0

I’m happy to announce the latest version of the ship builder for Silent Death. Newly dubbed Millennium Ship Builder has hit 1.0! And I’ve added one of the most important features yet: ship designs can be saved as URLs!

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Gunboats – Silent Death Ship Builder v0.9.1

It’s been a while (a whole week) since the last update, but the time was well spent. Version 0.9.1 of the Silent Death Ship Builder brings some bigger ship classes to the fray, plus a few other niceties.

Check out the full list of changes:

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Silent Death Ship Builder v0.8 Released

Rolling out another upgrade to the Silent Death Ship Builder app with a few fixes and new features, I’m pleased to announce version 0.8.

Want the changes? Here you go:

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Silent Death Ship Builder Now with Torpedoes (v0.7)

I’ve just put the finishing touches on the latest version of the ship design app for Silent Death, this time around torpedoes are the new thing!

Want to know what changed? Check out this list:

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New Ship Classes for Silent Death Ship Builder

The Silent Death Ship Builder for your browser is now at v0.6. Another round of features and tweaks has arrived!

Here’s the list of changes:

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Silent Death Ship Builder v0.5 Released

Another new version of the Silent Death Ship Builder is up!

Here’s what changed:

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Silent Death Ship Builder v0.4 Released

Starting to see a trend here? A new version of the Silent Death Ship Builder for your browser is up!

Here’s what changed in v0.4:

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Silent Death Ship Builder v0.3.1 Released

This is a bugfix release of the Silent Death Ship Builder app.

Changes include:

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Silent Death Ship Builder v0.3 Released

After just dropping v0.2, I’ve managed to wrap up v0.3 of the Silent Death Ship Builder!

Changes include:

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Silent Death Ship Builder v0.2 Released

The Silent Death Ship Builder is now at version 0.2!

Changes include:

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Silent Death Ship Builder Goes Open Source

The Ship Builder I’ve been working on for Silent Death is now open source. If you’re comfortable with JavaScript feel free to grab the code!

Miniatures Battle Variant for Three Players: Down in Front

Most miniatures war games usually revolve around battles between two opposing forces. But what do you do when you have three interested players?

Here’s my suggestion for a game style based on an all-out free-for-all, but with scoring mechanics to encourage shifting targets and a back-and-forth battle.

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Adopting the Eclipse Phase Mesh to Combat Internet Censorship

The Internet enables communication for millions of people worldwide in a way that levels the playing field. By giving access and a voice to everyone online a certain measure of equality is simultaneously granted.

But such free communication is hardly ubiquitous, and is already subject to restriction in many areas.

Maybe what we need is a fully decentralized network as in Eclipse Phase’s mesh.

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Channeling Land and Champions of Kamigawa

It’s almost that time again: time for the group I play with to spin up a mini league of Magic.

We could have gone with the new set, Scars of Mirrodin, but for various reasons chose Champions of Kamigawa instead. And we’re still planning to make use of the Channeling Land variant; in this post I’ll cover an area where Champions is not immediately compatible with Channeling Land, and explore ways the handful of exceptional cards can be adapted for the variant.

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Custom Firearms for Shadowrun 4th Edition

Previously I posted a couple of custom pistols made using Shadowrun 3rd Edition rules. This time around I’ve updated them for Shadowrun 4th Edition (using the weapon modification rules in Arsenal).

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Vegas Showdown Five-Player House Rule

Last night was my first opportunity to play Vegas Showdown with five players. With three or four players it’s a game I enjoy immensely, but adding a fifth player seemed to break it (despite the scale enhancements in the rules).

While we didn’t implement it quite in time to save last night’s game, here’s a simple house rule that I think will keep the game fun when playing with five.

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Dominion: Democratic Supply

Playing Dominion with a random supply can be fun sometimes, but inevitably requires slight editing of the random selection to ensure a range of prices and effect types. Here’s simple house rule inspired by that editing process that takes things a step further for more fun semi-random supply sets in Dominion.

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Custom Firearms for Shadowrun

After a bit of mail from a Shadowrun 3rd edition fan, I dug these bad boys out of my archives. Here’s two pieces of heavy artillery (all right, heavy pistols) for the firearm enthusiast on your team!

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More than Four Players (and the Gaming Sweet Spot)

Ever notice how some games are great, until you try them with a different number of players? Maybe this game works best with three while another one only works really well with more than four players, despite what it says on the box about supporting two to six.

I’ll take a look at the sweet spot for a few games and why I think these games work well (or don’t work at all) with more players, plus some suggestions on how they might be improved to scale for a larger group.

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Silent Death Ship Builder (Alpha) Now Available!

Want to try your hand at designing custom ships for Silent Death? The new Ship Builder app is now live! Check it out!

Then battle your friends’ ships in Silent Death!

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Netrunner: The Big Sell-Out

I just wanted to make a brief mention of excellent multiplayer rules for a game I have a special soft spot for: Netrunner.

The Big Sell-Out is a Netrunner variant for four (or more) players, pairing a runner with their corporate “sponsor” for cyber-hijinks in the vein of Magic’s Two-Headed Giant.

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Weekend Gaming Recap – 20100122

My group played Dominion: Intrigue, Kung-Fu Fighting, and Wreckage, and instead of an in-depth analysis or review I thought it might be fun to share a few quick thoughts on the experience with each game.

Plus a card set for Dominion: Intrigue.

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Combat Strategies in Rolemaster for Low Level Characters

Rolemaster is a fantasy role playing game with a detailed combat system. Here I’ll provide some tips players of low level characters can use to stay alive, and kick some butt.

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Silent Death: First Impressions

Silent Death: the Next Millennium Deluxe Edition

While I’ve had Silent Death: the Next Millennium for a while, I recently had my first opportunity to play it. In short order I discovered the qualities which gave it the reputation for being a fast-moving, easy-to-play, and exciting space combat miniatures game.

What follows is my brief description of the game’s contents, rules, how it felt playing for the first time, and why I’m very eager for a rematch!

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Wageslavery – an Underappreciated Theme in Shadowrun

Shadowrun Wageslavery - Chipped Workforce

Shadowrun’s futuristic technology includes skillwares, chips with software which grant users access to knowledge and skills they do not innately possess.

Convenient for shadowrunners, yes. For the general populace? Downright dramatic; think about areas like manufacturing, and it becomes apparent that skillwares pose new pressures on the global workforce.

Here’s how I think new levels of civil unrest and social upheaval can create an excellent backdrop for a meaningful Shadowrun campaign.

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RPGs: Do You Take Notes?

I tend to prefer being a gamemaster versus a player in a role playing game. Thus I read a lot of role playing books. This weekend I finally started a new activity while reading that I’ve been thinking about for a while: I’m taking notes.

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Dual-Queue Draft for Jyhad/V:tES Cards

VtES Dark Sovereigns booster box

Drafting can be a great way to enjoy CCGs. While booster drafts are popular, I’d like to put the spotlight on my favorite drafting format: The Queue Draft.

In this post I’ll explain how the queue draft works and what you need in order to enjoy drafting. Plus why I think it works especially well for one of my favorite CCGs, Jyhad (aka Vampire: the Eternal Struggle) – but keep in mind it can be used with just about any CCG!

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Origins 2009 Post-Con Report

Origins exhibit hall

Last weekend I went with Josh and a couple long-time friends to Columbus, OH for this year’s Origins gaming convention. It was the first big convention for most of us, and I snapped a few pictures to commemorate the event as well as bringing back some thoughts and observations that might be of interest to anyone who considered going but didn’t make it (and possibly to those who did make it as well).

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Layout Update: Right Sidebar

Small changes going on this time at Pair O’ Dice Games. I’ve added a sidebar on the right (yeah, dramatic, huh?).

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Market of Alturien Review

Market of Alturien box cover

Market of Alturien feels like a new twist on a familiar classic, sort of a more-skill-less-luck Monopoly if you will. After having played it several times I’ll provide a brief review of the game and how I feel about it.

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New Host

For the past few weeks the site has been acting up, courtesy of our [previous] web host. My apologies to our readers and contributors.

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Exploring Fun and Game Complexity

Sometimes it’s the simple games.

Recently I bought a house and moved. It’s great that my wife and I own our living space… but moving sucks. We’re unpacked but I’m still very busy, getting things taken care of around the house, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Lasting disruption, basically.

I’m not sure if it’s that disruption or the weeks without gaming, but this past weekend I played some simple games with my group… and had a lot of fun doing it, even though I’m usually biased toward complex gameplay.

Let’s take a look at the desire for complexity in games and how it relates to fun.

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Scrap Heaps: To Be or Not To Be Collectible

Over the last couple weekends we’ve gotten some playtesting time on Scrap Heaps. Like last time on Scrap Heaps game development I’m continuing to file away the rough edges, with the help of playtest feedback.

In this post I’ll relate some of the recent changes and things learned from playtesting, and my thoughts on the big question of what kind of card game Scrap Heaps wants to be.

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Path to Victory – Scrap Heaps Game Development

Recently I dug up an old game prototype I made for a card game called Scrap Heaps. There were a number of reasons I liked the overall design, but looking over the game again after years have passed I noticed some rough spots.

In this post I’ll touch upon the design of Scrap Heaps and go over one of the problems I aim to solve as I take it through the game development process.

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Whither Magic?

Not Shadowmoor’s damage as -1/-1 counters ability, I’m pondering the state of Magic: the Gathering and its newest card sets.

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Savoring Level One

Say for a moment that you are starting a brand-new role playing campaign. I’ve known some GMs to begin players at mid-level so they don’t have to toil around as a first-level character. Yet I think doing so misses the sweetest part of many role-playing games: starting your characters inexperienced and watching them grow.

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Magic: Channeling Land, Oona, and You

It’s been some time since I wrote the Channeling Land Magic variant. In my group we’ve been playing that flavor of Magic exclusively for several months now. There are just a couple of sticking points, which I’ll cover here and offer suggestions on how to smooth them over.

The Faerie Queen

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Dice Roller is Live

Here’s a little tool for anyone who’s ever in need of rolling dice but doesn’t have a few good polyhedrons on hand: the Pair O’ Dice Games new Dice Roller.

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Eclipse Phase – On the Horizon

I was checking out some Shadowrun stuff recently when I noticed a mention of Catalyst’s new upcoming SF/Horror game Eclipse Phase.

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Magic Q&A: Deathbringer Liege

Time to tackle a Magic: the Gathering rules question.

Q: My opponent has one creature, untapped. I have a Deathbringer Liege in play. If I play a black and white spell, can I destroy my opponent’s creature?

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CCGs the Fun Way, Part 1: Friendly League Play

Ever since Magic: the Gathering first became popular, there has been a problem playing CCGs casually with a group of friends: someone spends their way to victory, which triggers an arms race until everyone is either left in the dust or spending way too much on a “casual” game.

In this article I’ll offer some tips on how to enjoy collectible card games with friends, without breaking the bank.

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Avatars Available

If you take a look at comments on the site, you’ll see avatars are now enabled!

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Magic Evolves in a Struggle to Remain Relevant, Part 2: A Brief look at the Business of Magic

Continuing from Part 1: Magic’s Evolution, here I’ll briefly examine the business side of gaming that these changes to Magic: the Gathering expose.

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Magic Evolves in a Struggle to Remain Relevant, Part 1: Change

As they say, these changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary, yet Magic is indeed changing.

I’ll take a look at the new shape of Magic: the Gathering to come with Shards of Alara and beyond, and what it means to the game we know as Magic.

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Games Blog at Pair O’ Dice Games is One Year Old!

Today this blog turns one year old!

Time to look back at some of our favorite posts and then take a peek at what the future holds for Pair O’ Dice Games!

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MtG: Playing with Channeling Land

This all started when I mused about building Magic decks without land. Much discussion ensued. In the meantime, my group and I spent a little time playing with the variant; what follows is my account of how the variant plays, with a look at some of the ups and downs of employing this seemingly simple change to Magic: the Gathering.

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