Saturday, September 17, 2005

Geekier than thou.

Don't try to deny it, I am definitely an Uber Geek, a gaming monster, and a full fledged card carrying nerd. Yesterday was my birthday, and I was out with my friends. Where was I? Was it a singles bar? A strip club? A sporting event?


In case there are any doubters, and to renew my geek licence for another year, I have for you a Dungeons and Dragons post that I recently put on a website that will make your DM cry:

The best loophole I know is: one level of rogue and one level of cleric. Both of these classes get incredible benefits at first level, and the game assumes you're going to continue in their levels, but just about any class can get a lot of benefit just from taking 1 level of each.

Now, having both will hurt your base attack, but if you can take one or both and not get a cross class penalty, the benefits are staggering, especially if you wait until you're about level 4 or 5 in your main class before doing so (so you're not too underpowered).

One level of rogue is useful if your group doesn't have a rogue, or if the rogue isn't always there when you play. This level of rogue will allow you to search for complex traps. Just put all the points into search, and as long as you don't have a large intelligence penalty, you'll probably find most traps if you take 20 to find them. Disabling them is another thing alltogether, which would require another level or two of rogue, but if you keep taking seach cross class in your main class, you'll always be able to find them and then the entire group can figure out a way around it. The extra sneak attack and reflex save bonus doesn't hurt either, and if you like evasion, just take a second level.

One level of cleric will give you a small amount of cleric spells, the ability to turn undead (admittedly not too well, but not badly either if you have a good charisma), a good bonus to your fort/will save and two domain powers. If you choose your domains well, and invest in some cleric spell wands, you'll be a great backup caster and still be able to wear armor!

Here's an example, avg stats, 4th lvl ability bonus to Strength:

4 Fighter/1 Rogue/ 1 Cleric (Fharlanghn) Human NG

Str: 16, Con:14, Int: 13, Dex: 10, Wis: 12, Cha:8

BA: +4 (same as cleric)
Saves F/R/W: 6/3/4 (instead of 7/1/2)
Search: +10 (can search for complex traps)
Casts as 1st lvl cleric, domains: travel and luck
1 round/day: freedom of movement (doesn't require action, happens automatically when desired)
1/day reroll any roll just made
turn undead 2xday (not too well)
1d6 sneak attack
Feats: weapon focus, weapon specialty, expertise, imp. disarm, imp. trip, imp. initiative, power attack

What would he have gotten if he had put those levels in fighter? Two base attack, one feat and an average of three hit points. If you weigh that against the benefits of the single levels of rogue and cleric (especially after the characters go up in level more), you can see how effective this combination is!"

LADIES PLEASE CONTOL YOURSELVES! I know geeky D&D strategies drive you wild, but please try to show some restraint!

I'll let you all calm down, and be back in a little bit with a rant. (Animals...)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Apparently I've got a Blog now. I really don't know how it happened, you'd have to ask Amber. For anyone who doesn't know, I tend to delegate all of my major life impacting decisions to her.

Now, I must use this newfound 'blogging' power to attempt to better humanity to the best of my ability.

(approximately 1 hour passes in real time)

Okay, I've got it. Santa Claus. Alright, that thought probably needs some expanding.

SPOILER ALERT. There is no Santa Claus.

What? I gave a spoiler alert. That's right, there's none. We've searched every square inch of the north pole and found nary a thing. No workshop, no elves, no generic wife, and no reindeer. No Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner or Dixon. Rudolph? Just the feverish dream of Robert May. If someone knows where the little girl Virginia is, please break it to her gently.

Now that that's out of the way, here's the idea: let's make Santa Claus. Let's face it, we have the technology. I admit the costs would be high, but think of the payoff! It's the holidays and suddenly...what's that sound on the rooftop? Why, it's the real Santa Claus! He's here to punish you because you're a horrible person! Unless of course you're good, in which he'll bring you lots of presents! Which will it be?! I can barely wait!

Now, first of all, this project will be impossible unless we start by being practical. In order to potentially get presents, you must be between the ages of three and fourteen. Everyone younger than three can't really be responsible for what they do, and everyone old enough to be in high school is evil (or insane, either way they're not eligible). You have to apply to be judged by santa (or have your child judged) with any mall santa. These 'santas helpers' are actually licenced 'santas helpers' and have been trained by ex-CIA agents to tell if the kids are honest about the 'good things' they've done. This interview, combined with the child's wish list, combined with any additional documents they wish to present (school transcripts, notorized letters from elderly neighbor, ect), and any dirt they have on their classmates to help determine their nice or nauty status, are filed through the internet to the real Santa Claus in his North Pole command center.

This command center wouldn't be as large or elaborate as you might imagine, as the toys would be manufactured in factories in other countries, and merely ordered as needed from the command center. To keep from interfering with normal toy sales, the toys sent will be more or less 'traditional presents'. There will be large dolls in frilly dresses, wooden soldiers, rocking horses, oversized candy canes, teddy bears and such. If they want the newest Grand Theft Auto game, then their parents will still have to foot the bill. Coal is in shrinking suppy these days, so instead a useless, practical gift will be given instead. Nothing says 'up yours', like opening a giant, gameboard sized present, and discovering that it's an itchy sweater. These presents can be shipped at any time as long as it is certain that they'll arrive at their intended destination on December 24th, after 8pm.

Now, I know Santa's normally supposed to deliver them himself, but let's face it, even with today's technology this just isn't possible. Instead, he'll get FedEx or UPS to deliver them all. In fact, Santa can probably hire both, just to be sure. To avoid too much effort, kids in the 'grey area', who aren't quite good or bad just get nothing, except a 'try harder next year' form letter a day or two later. The bad kids will get the ironic, giant pretty boxes filled with boring crap. The good kids will get the large cool toys and the smug satisfaction that they're better than other people.

Aright, I know, Santa has to fly out or it just doesn't count, I know. A few "nicest of the nice" kids will be selected and Santa will fly to them in one of the fastest jets in the world (for arguments sake, let's say the SR-71 Blackbird, which goes Mach 3.3, but might possibly go Mach 4 if needed), give him police escorts to the specific houses and then he'll personally present the lucky kids with a generic toy...

...and a cool million dollars in cash tax free! Now, if I know anything about child actors, giving a child and their potentially insane parents a lot of cash can be bad, so it will instead be in the form of a trust fund that will be available to them when they turn 18, which is just in time to completely pay for college, and get them a great car to boot! This fund can always be cancelled of course, if the kid goes completely bad by the time they turn eighteen, but that would only be done in extreme cases. Even if they're kind of a jerk later in life, think how much a million in cash will mellow them out! After the first kid, Santa will do the next nicest and so on as time permits. To allow Santa to get at least a few, he'll start with the kids in the latest time zone and work his way toward the earlier ones. To be sure, we'll also allow him all of December 25th as well, if he feels that it's warranted. What? Are you going to tell him no? He's Santa!

This won't be just for America of course, as any country that wants to join in is free to do so (although America, Europe and Japan should be the major ones). Santa will be an indefinite position elected by the people, and they can stay Santa as long as they continue to remain nice, have a giant white beard and exceed the proper weight requirements.

Now, I bet you're wondering where we're going to get the money for all this. Easy, we ditch the space program. I mean, what would you rather have, a guy floating in space doing nothing or SANTA CLAUS? The space program has done a lot for us, but we've definitely reached the limits of its usefulness. Space is big, empty and radioactive. Let's just leave it and focus on fulfilling the dreams of a billion kids instead! This program will also push ahead technology, just as the space program did, as we search for better ways to bring Santa to the world.

Just imagine it, a robotic Santa flying at nearly the speed of light, firing presents neatly onto porches using his laser guided 'gift gattling gun', swooping low with his metallic wings outstretched, his anti-aircraft missles scanning for any potential adversaries, and his glowing red and green eyes spreading joy and cold judgement all over the world. Suddenly, he gives a shrieking cry to the heavens that can be heard from as far as ten miles away...

"HO, HO, HO."

Happy holidays everyone.