Gaming updates

LotRO

As
discussed at our Yahoo message board,
the current economic recession and technological change have caused several
observers to ask whether pen-and-paper (or pizza-and-dice) role-playing games (RPGs)
are doomed.
I hope not.

Despite
increasing competition from miniatures/war games, collectible card games, board
games, and of course, computer/video games, I've rarely had difficulty finding tabletop
gamers
. I want our
hobby
and the publishers that support it continue to thrive, if not at the
same levels as during the booms of the early 1980s or late 1990s.

According
to some estimates, about 4 million people in the U.S. (and up to 2 million in
the rest of the world) regularly play such games, most of them
using Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons Fourth
Edition (D&D4e). I'm looking forward to Paizo's final release of the Pathfinder
(or "D&D3.75") fantasy RPG later this summer. The sourcebooks for
that alternative to D&D4e have been inspiring so far.

Although
it has started to wind down, I hope the D&D4e "Vanished
Lands
: the Faith-Based Initiative" face-to-face party has pushed
ahead with its adventures. The wanderers have helped barbarian tribes and
fought witches and monsters. In fact, prospective player Rich D. may be joining
the Boston-area group, which currently has about eight members.

We'll
see how the
purchase
of Your Move Games in Somerville, Mass., by Cambridge-based Pandemonium Books & Games
affects the local role-playing community. I've also supported the Compleat
Strategist
in Boston, New York, and Virginia, but its current location near
Northeastern University isn't easy to get to for me right now.

Despite
some scheduling snafus, the Pathfinder: "Holy Steel"
teleconferencing team has done well in ancient Egypt, where it has conducted
diplomacy and tried to uncover plots by the cult of Set against Pharaoh Ramses
II.

I
dropped out of the City of Heroes supergroup
around the time of my layoff earlier this summer. Since David I.S. and Dexter
V.H. have been too busy for the Lord of the
Rings Online
, I may end my
subscription for that multiplayer game as well. Dex is waiting for Champions
Online, and I'm somewhat interested in DC Universe
Online
.

On the other hand, I've been using Wii Fit every other day for a few
months now, and I'm looking forward to the Wii Motion Plus and Wii
Sports Resort
, and back to pen-and-paper games for a moment, the Doctor
Who RPG
.

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