John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Weekend Update

It took me all weekend, but finally there's some new Suburban Jungle up today! I need to draw at least two more strips between tonight and tomorrow, so katayamma can color them and I can get them posted before I leave for FC. I've got Kung Fu tonight, which will complicate things, but I'll make it work somehow.

Speaking of Kung Fu, my Shaolin Chuan is really rusty ... and I've known it was getting so, but not really been in a position to do much about it. The apartment is too cluttered to practice in, and I feel really self-conscious about practicing out in the field across the street by myself. It's my vanity again I suppose ... my standard workout clothes tend to emphasize the Dilbertey shape of my torso.

Speaking of workouts, I need to bring the Bowflex back down now that the Christmas tree is put away. Mmm, Bowflex...

I also pulled out the original "Baldur's Gate" for a couple of hours this weekend. I've never finished it for various reasons and I would like to, but it has some big problems that I always run into when I try to play it...

  • Those gawdawful AD&D 2e mechanics.

  • The gawdawful long time it takes to level up in those mechanics.

  • The encounters are so friggin' whacked! There'll be screens of screens of nothing, then a single xvart, then "six wild dogs and twelve gibberlings." Your pair of 1st-level characters can take on eight gnolls, right? 0.o

  • The NPCs all come in pairs. You want Jahiera, you gotta take Khalid. You want Minsc, you gotta go get Dynahir. (To be honest, the only one of those I want is Minsc, but you can't survive against six wild dogs and twelve gibberlings without the half-assed cleric druid in the party.) I don't mind dumping Whassname the Bard in order to make room for Xan, but if I trade him for Dynahir and then want him again later, I have to slog through Gnoll-land again to get him. Which brings me to...

  • Endless, regenerating encounters. There are certain maps where you have to go through "endless monster zones" to get from Point A to Point B, particularly Gnoll-land. If you don't slog through Gnoll-land to rescue Dynahir, Minsc whines at you the whole time. You slog through gnolls all the way there, and through the exact same gnolls all the way back, and don't bother trying to rest anywhere in gnoll-land because they'll interrupt the rest by attacking you in the middle of the night. It's not like you can start from a town, clear a part of the way, then go back and rest, either ... because the gnolls endlessly regenerate. I suppose you could use that as a level-up technique, but what a bore!

If nothing else, it reminds me how many worlds better D&D 3.x is compared to past versions. Unfortunately, there hasn't really been anything worthy of the system in the computer world. The closest and best attempt so far has been Temple of Elemental Evil, which would have been brilliant if it weren't so full of bugs. And bugbears who break the rules. (Charge, followed by trip, followed by an attack while you're down, all in one round? WTF is that?)

-The Gneech
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