Happy 1st Anniversary Intwischa

It was a year ago today that we published our first post. I just wanted to say “happy one year anniversary” to my fellow bloggers. Also, a great big “thank you” to our readers for sticking with us as we learn the ropes of blogging!

We intend to keep growing this year, with lots more content coming your way. We also hope to have some exciting announcements soon! In the meantime: Happy 1st Anniversary Intwischa!

Stop SOPA and PIPA

We missed the SOPA Strike yesterday, but I’d like to add my voice to the discussion. At Intwischa we’re constantly referencing copyrighted material. It’s hard to get around it, if we’re going to talk about the copyrighted games we’re playing. We also use images in almost every one of our posts.

Though I’m not a lawyer, I think that all of our references have been fair use. We also use Creative Commons licensed graphics almost exclusively. However, if the author of SOPA himself can be unintentionally (we assume) involved in copyright infringement, what chance do the rest of us have of complying?

In Lamar Smith’s case it’s doubtful that he would be targeted for his infringement. For people like us, however, even an accusation of a violation could get us cut off from the internet at the request of the copyright holder, without spending a day in court. We certainly don’t have the means to fight such an action.

This is on top of the much maligned aspects of the bills that could break the internet as we know it. Being a software developer, the fact that congress would attempt to hack the internet without even consulting an expert, and despite the vehement opposition of the experts, is infuriating. To paraphrase Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R Utah), it’s like trying to do surgery without consulting a doctor.

Not having consulted the other authors here, I can only speak for myself, but I strongly oppose these two bills. They would put at risk both our ability to operate this blog, and the operation of the global network that makes all blogs possible. I hope you’ll join me in this.

Other Resources

Character Court: Finding Dr. Kilgore

Faithful readers have encountered the exploits of the ambiguously-aligned Jerusalem Jax and the born-of-luck Ailmar Ploughman, two of the PCs in our recent Pathfinder campaign. Both these tales mentioned the Rev. Dr. Abraham “Doc” Wallace Kilgore, Esq., although I will note that neither got his name right. What you haven’t heard is how “Doc” Kilgore came to be.

Faithful readers will also note that I’ve been strangely absent from Intwischa for several months (aside from the Fiction Friday column). Sadly, real life has beckoned a little too much. I’ve not only taken some time away from blogging, but also from gaming. This hiatus meant that the good doctor almost never was.

Honey, I have a headache

When your too-busy life forces you to take a break from RPGs, and you manage to carve out a little bit of time to play a game, the last words you want to hear are “D&D 3.5/Pathfinder.”

And I couldn’t find my slide rule, graphing calculator, and seventeen page stat blocks. How embarrassing.

Seriously, I was in no mood to spend hours min-maxing a character. I had a concept in mind (a cocky guy with too many titles), and simply set about making it.

Kismet

Anyone who has followed us for long has probably picked up on the fact that I love story in games. I love telling them, and playing through them. I do a lot of thinking about how to make our stories better.

I was recently reminded, however, of a wholly different aspect of role playing games. It doesn’t have anything to do with story, or really even mechanics. While it might not be quite as important to a game as those, it sure adds to the fun. What I’m talking about here is pure, unadulterated chance.

Lord’s Spring Characters (Part 1)

This continues an earlier post on a town I used in a previous game. Last week’s was an overview of the town of Lord’s Spring, and the surrounding area. This one will cover the characters who inhabit them. As it turns out, the list ended up being far too large, so I’m splitting it up into two posts. The following is part one. Unless otherwise noted, the character is Human.

In Memoriam: Father Emry Wicks

Today we remember another player character that has fallen through the years, as has been done previously by Chase, and by Charlie, and by myself (more than once). This entry is different, however, because today I am eulogizing another player’s character. Father Emry Wicks was the creation of my good friend Frank, for use in our years-long ‘White Crown’ Cabin Trip game. While he met his doom along with the rest of that party some years ago, Father Wicks had a profound impact on how that game unfolded, and no small impact on me as a player and as a character.

Character Court: The Case of Jerusalem Jax

On my inaugural Cabin Trip outing in February of 2001 a firm precedent was set. That lengthy campaign, which would enshrine the heroic deeds of Chase’s Wil Delving and my own Jerome de la Croix, opened with a simple conceit: magic is evil, and those that practice it must be put to death. What followed was an intricate argument between the player characters about what it truly meant to be a ‘evil’ person. Far surpassing the textbook definitions of alignment one might consider during character creation, that hours-long group meditation on the nature of what is ‘good’ has resonated across the years. This week, the roots of that dialectic came home to roost in our Pathfinder campaign.

WotC News

A couple bits of news from Wizards of the Coast have recently come to our attention (thanks Matt). First up is the elimination of Rich Baker’s position as Senior Game Designer about a month ago. We certainly wish him good luck, though with all those years in the industry, I’m sure he won’t need it.

Second is their announcement of development of what certainly sounds like D&D 5.0. As much as we’ve criticized elements of Fourth Edition, hopefully constructively, I’m certain we’ll give the next version a try. We were, I think, unanimously introduced to the hobby through D&D, and we’re not giving up on it yet.

Have you heard any news around the RPG water cooler about the “next iteration” of D&D? Are you already looking to see how much you can sell your 4E books for on eBay? Is news like this the reason you’re glad you never stopped playing AD&D 2nd Edition? Let us know in the Comments!