Tuesday, January 30, 2007

GPoW #4 - Dungeons of Doom

Yes, I have for years been a nut for role-playing games. I've played D&D, Runequest, Traveller, Gamma World, Dragonquest, Top Secret, Spycraft, Call of Cthulhu, and Mage, among others. I've been partial to the pencil/paper gaming I grew up with, but was delighted to start experiencing these wonder worlds on the PC.

These days my poison has been The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Nobody thinks I oughta be playing World of Warcraft. But why? I'm not your online dude. I can't lose that much of my life. And I play games to get away from all the assholes in real life. I don't want to pay a subscriber fee when I play games sporadically, sometimes going months without playing, then going crazy for a week or two. I played Ultima Online for awhile, but I didn't like the way a few dipstick vultures kept trying to lure me out of town to kick my ass and take my meager money. Star Wars Galaxies just didn't work out well. I'm just not that guy.

Anyway, enough of that digression.

I've played most of them, though not all. Yet there's one I keep going back to, time and time again.

Before Oblivion or Morrowind, before Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate, before Ultima, before King's Quest, before Below the Root...

There was Rogue!

Forget graphics. An orgy of ASCII madness. It was the impossible dungeon, designed to kill you before you could ever reach the 26th level and escape again. Completely random, a new experience every time. Despite the typewriter generated look, it was more realistic in a way, because everything was a mystery every time through. Every colored potion was something different each time, every scroll, every wand. You couldn't replay it already knowing the way and the means, because it was fresh.

Let's see the guys at Bethesda do that with the next Elder Scrolls.

Yeah, it's clunky, and you can't put six hours together on it, but in a way it's the most raw, classic D&D like game of them all. Every moment lived on the knife edge of death, and every game ended with your name on a tombstone.

So, what's your gaming GPow?


It's about me, dummy!!!


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