Frequency Counter – How A Web Series Got Me Into Dungeons and Dragons

Growing up in a small county with friends who had no interest in my hobbies meant very little room to discover and embrace new things without having someone to discuss it with. (Although it was nice having a friend who got me into the Nostalgia Critic back around 2010/2011). Roll onto 2015 and the release of Fallout 4, I was had been part of the gaming scene for a while now and while having never played the Fallout series, decided to check it out and bought the game on PS4. I own the PC version now with all the DLC’s and have modded it to hell but that’s another Frequency Counter for another day.

During the time I was playing Fallout 4 I got attached to the companion MacCready. He has ultimately become my favourite companion because he loves getting as many caps possible for a job and also approves of and encourages my desire to steal everything (I get that from Skyrim). So out of interest I was looking up the voice actors of all the companions and discovered that it was Matthew Mercer who voiced MacCready. Naturally I went through his filmography to discover he had done a role in the original Sailor Moon dub, Attack on Titan and also headed up a show called Critical Role as the Dungeon Master.

gm-mm

Title Card For Game Master Tips With Matthew Mercer

Now I knew nothing and I mean zilch about Dungeons and Dragons, so I had no idea what the show was about but then as luck would have it I found his miniseries Gamer Master Tips, on Geek and Sundry, which gave advice on how to create and manage a Dungeons and Dragons campaign as a Dungeon Master. So cue the growing interest in Dungeons and Dragons and the buying of expensive but beautifully made Cthulhu dice from America, buying the Players Handbook and Game Master’s Guide and developing a Warlock to use for a campaign.

But there was just one problem, I had no friends who like Dungeons and Dragons and I was stuck at home with a job that required early hours and early nights. I was a Dungeons and Dragons player with no campaign, no Dungeon Master and no way to find one.

Fast forward to September 2016, I had started watching Critical Role from the beginning (I’m only at episode 19, these episodes are really long), and I had moved up to London to begin my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. It was at the Fresher’s Fayre wandering around when I discovered the Anime, Sci-Fi and Table-top Society which specialised in Anime viewings, Sci-Fi viewings and playing any matter of Table-top games. And they were advertising a Dungeons and Dragons taster session for new members to the society. I signed up and this was where I met the Dungeon Master of my current campaign and one of the members who would join our official campaign group.

I was quite proud of the Warlock I had created, despite knowing nothing about how Cantrips and Spell Slots worked or well anything else on the character sheet. During that taster session several things happened:

  • I one-hit KO’d a Kobold before it had a chance to use its turn
  • One of my associates created a character so that when they used a certain spell they would ‘Flame On’
  • This character also fell into a hole with a slime but discovered a sword which he gave to the Elven Fighter (From my campaign)
  • We also found a Bag of Holding which in hindsight I should have kept because I never saw that person who took it again.

The second session went a little differently, there was inter-group conflict and about ten of us altogether, in the end while we did rescue the Knight we had been sent to find, we had to narrow down the group. So by session three it was:

  • My Human Warlock (Who, until I retired her, was pretty much the squishy one who nearly died at one point and was heading up a personal quest)
  • The Half-Orc Paladin (Our Tank and Healer)
  • The Dragonborn Bard (Who, thanks to me, got her own motherfucking Dragon)
  • The Dragonborn Sorcerer (He’s gone now)
  • The Tiefling Monk (The One Punch Monk)
  • The Elven Fighter (We met during the taster session)
  • The Rock Gnome Tinkerer (Homebrew Class and he ended up getting with the Sir Knight we rescued)

A smaller group but we had some crazy adventures up until the end of the first semester. Ultimately both the Dragonborn Sorcerer, Gnome Tinkerer and my Warlock have all been retired and because our Elven Fighter has been absent for a few sessions, it’s up in the air if she’ll return when the semester starts up again. But currently the Gnome has been replaced with a Half-Elf and the Dragonborn Sorcerer with a Cleric.

And now that I’m a little more familiar with how the rules and character mechanics work, I created a whole new character who at level 5 already has 20 Dexterity, I can’t introduce her until our first session back when the semester starts up next week but I can’t wait.

My introduction to Dungeons and Dragons has been a thoroughly positive experience and it was thanks to Critical Role that I began to learn and love Table-Top RPGs. I hope to do many other campaigns and hopefully make my own Bloodborne themed Campaign one day in the future.

Crash Bandicoot Remaster Rumoured For A Spring Release

Early in December Sony released a trailer at PSX 2016 for the upcoming 2017 release of the Crash Bandicoot Nsane Trilogy, a complete remaster of the popular PlayStation series, whose first game was released in 1996 and developed by Naughty Dog, subsequent sequels Cortex Strikes Back and Warped were released in 1997 and 1998.

And now it seems that the release date may be estimated to be within the next couple of months. According to the Brazilian retailer website Ziliongames.com.br, the remastered trilogy will be released at the end of February giving us a spring release, although there are speculations that this might not be the official release due to the release of Horizon: Zero Dawn on the 1st March in the UK.

zilion-games

Screenshot Taken From ziliongames.com.br

UK retailor GAME still has the Crash Bandicoot release date as TBC-2017, whilst offering a pre-order price of £49.99, meaning that while the price is definite the release date is still up in air and waiting for confirmation from Sony. It could be that Zilliongames have put in a placeholder date meaning that the game could still get a Spring release perhaps around early-to-mid March, although choosing the 28th February is a very specific one when other retailers have it estimated at the end of 2017 or TBC-2017.

This is not the first time in which games that have yet to be developed or just announced have been given estimated release times. Death Stranding the upcoming game from Hideo Kojima, already has a pre-order page on Amazon with a price- of £49.99 and no official release date, despite having not entered development yet.

Whether or not the release on Ziliongames is official or not, confirmation from Sony will still be needed to verify this release date and if it proves to be official, spring could see the return of Crash Bandicoot and his long struggle against nemesis Doctor Neo Cortex on the Playstation 4 after 21 years.

Frequency Counter – An Introduction

You know it’s pretty fun experiencing geek culture and since my move from the countryside to the city to get a Masters Degree, many doors in geek culture have opened up to me and introduced me to a lot of new things that you can’t find back home. So with a new year on the way I’m introducing you to:

FREQUENCY COUNTER

Where The Needle Starts To Click

This blogging series will be me talking about my experiences in Geek culture both online and offline with little opinions about gaming and geeky news dropped in as well.

My first official post will begin in 2017 on Dungeons and Dragons. So expect positive Geekery soon.

Ripley’s Top 5 Overwatch Characters

With the Winter Holidays rolling in around the corner and my last day of my first semester as an MA student on Friday. Blizzard has released their Winter Wonderland update complete with Winter Loot Boxes and new skins, sprays, and intros for your favourite characters. I thought it best that as a fan of Overwatch I let you guys know who my top 5 Overwatch characters to play are, well the ones I main over the others because it’s fun.

  1. Reaper

reaper

Or as he somehow turned out to be head-canoned, the Angsty Dad (I have no idea how), his quick offensive guns and that movement action that allows for invincibility makes for a fun play especially when you get to his Die.Die.Die Ultimate that lends itself to some multi-kills depending on how accurate you can get. I’m not the best at Reaper but I do try and play him whenever I get a chance to. He is a great offence character who honestly has the best outfit.

  1. Mercy

mercy

Whenever the team needs a healer, I will be on hand with Mercy. The Angel who proclaims that Hero’s Never Die…and they rarely do because apparently I’m great at keeping my teammates alive by basically saying ‘fuck the enemies, I’m gonna just perma-heal everyone’. Someone has to do it and Mercy does have a great healing weapon and her wing movement can get you to your dying teammate’s side instantly. I have only used her Ultimate a few times and the last time I got to use it, I have no idea if I even resurrected them. I’ve been the subject of the Ultimate whenever I was playing offence or defence and we had a Mercy in the group. But she is my favourite healer to be when the time calls for it.

  1. Hanzo

hanzo

He recently became a favourite due to my current obsession with Archery in any game where it is possible to use a bow. I have gotten Play of the Game as Hanzo as evidenced by the short video on my YouTube channel, what no one sees after the screen fades is I died right after I activated the Dragons. And that is how I play Overwatch, do something awesome, immediately die right after. I’ve grown accustomed to switching out arrows, trying to aim the Dragon ULT at a target although I keep missing due to my crap aim but I enjoy playing Hanzo, he’s a fun defence character and it’s doubly fun if you have a Genji in the team and get to hear their interactions with each other. I was part of a skirmish in King’s Row as Hanzo and I met someone playing Genji on there and I waved to them while they pelted me with Shurikens.

  1. McCree

mccree

First off, I absolutely adore his voice actor Matthew Mercer because he voices McCready, who is my favourite Fallout 4 companion to take around with me. Secondly, he is a Clint-Eastwood wannabe cowboy who has the best catchphrase. He was also the first character I played as when I bought the game. When I started practicing with A.I matches he was my go-to and I got better at his ULT and using his weapons and paralysing bombs as I levelled up. In the lore of the game and as a character to play I love playing as McCree when I want to play offence, his ULT is great when lined up perfectly for a triple kill. In fact McCree was the character I wanted to ace as because he is pretty great. He is pretty vulnerable though, or maybe that’s just me when I play him because I do tend to die quite a bit as McCree, at least when I began playing the game I did. But I’ve levelled and gotten better at it so I’m still okay, but more A.I practice is good, because when up against people in a quick play or skirmish it gets pretty nasty out there.

Also because the Winter Wonderland update has been released I really want his Scrooge skin because that looks so bad ass.

1. Junkrat

junkrat

And finally we come to my top character Junkrat, a loveable and crazy defence character with an exploding tire. I get Play of the Game quite frequently as him, but I also play him as offence as well because somehow it just works. I also love launching myself forwards or backwards on the map as well launching the enemy. Funny story actually, I might have to put this video on YouTube too, but I did launch some characters off the map with the Concussion Mine, which was awesome. I also like the use of the steel traps which call out ‘TRIGGERED’ when they catch someone in them.

Oh and the Rip Tire is bloody awesome, getting several kills with that is the best and luckily it has enough time on it before it explodes so you can roll it around while you look for a cluster of enemies. I have also died to that ULT as well once because I got too close as an enemy was right up in my face when I launched it.

And while being a defence character I seem to have a blast playing him as an offence character, getting up on the front line and ahead of everybody to take out the enemy, sometimes it’s killed me but it has also netted me a lot of kills against the enemy as well.

So that was my Top 5 Overwatch character I enjoy playing, the next post may be Dishonored related, depending on how quickly I can finish the game in order to make a start on Dishonored 2.

Filthy Casual – When Did Casual Gaming Start Being A Bad Thing?

Remember how I said that perusing the Steam forums is something you get discouraged from doing, well whatever you do avoid the Dark Souls III forum board because it’s nothing but people moaning about poise, invasions, ganking, oh and my favourite one yet, that the majority of people playing Dark Souls III are filthy casual gamers, and I’m apparently one of them.

Yes apparently enjoying a game because it’s fun makes you casual gamer which is apparently a pox on the Soulsborne community. If you R1 spam, you’re a casual, if you complain that the game is hard, you’re a casual. When was being a casual gamer a bad thing? I wasn’t aware that gaming ranks started from ‘noob’ and ended at ‘MLG Pro’, I never imagined how intense Pong fights were on the Atari in the seventies, oh and imagine the insults thrown at little Jimmy as he played Pac-Man down at the Arcade in the eighties.

I can never understand this elitist mentality amongst the more ‘serious’ gamers in the community (I call myself a serious gamer but not to the point of belittling another person’s taste in video games, that’s just being an asshole). This idea that if you’re bad at a game you need to ‘git gud’ or not play it all. The majority of my gaming career before 2014 was Spyro and Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation, Skyrim on the PC and Pokemon on all handheld consoles before I finally upgraded to the PS4 and got a decent enough gaming laptop to play some of the more recent games developed because you can’t play video games in a car unless it’s on a portable device. And I’m an avid gamer, my current Steam library count is 262 Games, but I have way more counting the games on my DS, Game Boy Advance, 3DS and PlayStation 4, I am at least boarding on 300 Games across PC, Console and Handheld altogether which for me is pretty good considering I also have a large movie and CD collection too.

All these games and all that money spent, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a casual gamer now, but certainly in the past before I got disposable income. My childhood afternoons were spent playing Spyro and Crash Bandicoot while my brother played racing games on his PS2. My afternoons now are spent playing a mix of Open World RPG, Horror Games, Fantasy, Point and Clicks, Adventure and Action Games. I can certainly admit that I have evolved as a Gamer over time especially as my taste and interest in video games grew due to exposure to the gaming community, and I love the community I’ve made a few good friends here and dragged some current friends into the community too.

Playing video games as a casual past-time isn’t a bad thing and being a casual gamer shouldn’t be a bad thing to be. Not everyone is as serious about video games like myself or many others, and they don’t have to be so long as they enjoy the select titles they play. And so long as you’re willing to welcome those into the community, it’s not a bad thing to be and not a bad place to be (In the right circles).

So let’s back to the reason we play video games, to have fun, kick-ass, and watch a Mr. Handy get blown up by a grenade.

This Is No Man’s Sky…But I Am No Man Therefore It Is My Sky

Perhaps my lack of caring about those who complain about everything in the world has manifested itself so deep into my personality that I mistake it for a Daria-esque attitude, but as I wade through the Steam forums, something a lot of people discourage you doing, I can’t help but notice this sense of smugness amongst gamers, I’ll admit I can be smug when I want to, especially when it comes to people bitching about Dark Souls III. But this sense of smugness I found seems to be coming from a lot of people who are complaining about the recently released space exploration game No Man’s Sky. Let me say that again ‘Space Exploration’, well that was my first impression of the game because I didn’t have a seat on the Hype Train apparently went off the rails and down into Let Down Canyon, seriously who went and hijacked that train? And I don’t really care that it didn’t live up to the hype, I don’t do hype trains.

20160815142308_1

So things were promised that weren’t delivered and it got people mad, and now people want their money back. Well good for them, but I don’t want my forty pounds back (Well actually it was £39.99 but it’s easier to round up), I’ve only got 3 hours of playing on record because I’ve been in the middle of a Bloodborne session, playing Dark Souls III to prep for the Ashes Of Ariandel DLC, and get started on the Fallout 4 DLC’s (I still haven’t gotten around to any of them, I’ve only just began Automatron). And there’s a whole load of other games I’ve been playing as well.

20160815132424_1

Look for the three hours I played No Man’s Sky, I enjoyed it, I can’t fly the spaceship for shit but I can’t drive a bloody horse-drawn carriage either, but for me personally it’s a relaxing experience, just traversing the universe, landing on planets, finding beacons, picking up isotopes and materials to build stuff and keep my equipment topped up, and meeting the local aliens. Do I want there to be multiplayer, not really because as fun as interacting with people would be, I kind of like the lone wanderer feeling I get when I’m walking along the terrain of a newly discovered planet. I’ve discovered some rather pretty locations and I wanted to imagine how cool the water felt on one of the moons I discovered. I’ve barely scraped the surface of this game and I want to find that damn Atlas pass and if that means heading to the center of the universe, well looks like I’ll be going on a long trip looking for something small in a vast universe, so I better start charging up that hyperdrive .

20160815143222_1

Those who got their money back and are still whinging about the game and the features that didn’t get included, you keep on doing that I’m not going to stop you. But I’m going to go back to No Man’s Sky and enjoy it alongside the other four-thousand odd people still playing because I am no man and it is my sky to explore.