Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rise of the Fall

Yay, it's that time of the year again. I'm saying yay but a small part of me does not relish the fact that summer is over and that we're facing autumn - and then winter, which is icy cold and rather heavy with snow in these parts of the world. Luckily I have invested in a so-called sun lamp, because seriously, it gets dark here in the north! Anyway, the yay part is that with the fall, there's bound to be geek goodies coming our way. Not that I need more, obviously. 

This year seems to be a little more "quiet" than usual - the last few times I made a post like this, I had a lot to look forward to; this year, not that much. Which is a good thing, actually, because one day enough has to be enough. 

Still, here are a few items of interest that are supposed to be released between now and Christmas, that I keep one geeky eye on (I'm more curious than desperately anticipating, though). I know that a few of these items are already available, but I'm slow. 

In the world of RPGs, I'm curious about Murder in Baldur's Gate (yes, the Forgotten Realms city that gave its name to the two greatest computer RPGs ever), which is both an adventure and a setting rolled into one, using the rules for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons (and also earlier edition rules); I am excited about this because I'm still on a Realms binge, but also because production values seem very high, with some very promising teaser material available online. Just look at this fantastic view of Baldur's Gate:

Beautiful, isn't it? I've always loved fantasy maps, and this one finally shows the city as it is supposed to be, including the Wyvern Bridge across the Chionthar River, for the first time. It looks to me like a nice book to read even if I'm not interested in the new rules. On a related note, I've well and truly gotten rid of my Magic: The Gathering (also from Wizards of the Coast) addiction, so this year I'm not looking forward to any expansion from that neighborhood. And I'm glad, because there isn't a bigger money-sink in the history of geekdom. Fun game, yes, but I'm totally unhappy having spent so much hard coin on the online iteration of the game. I shiver and am ashamed.
As to other RPGs, I haven't been paying attention. I did buy The One Ring and the "beta" release of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire but they are just gathering dust on the shelf. What's the point anyway, it's not like I have a group to play with.

In the world of fantasy literature, I really haven't been paying attention to new releases. I have no idea if there's anything cool coming up. I know my favorites aren't releasing anything (Erikson, Martin, Abercrombie, Rothfuss), and I haven't noticed any buzz around new authors coming with something this fall - but then I haven't been following fantasy literature blogs for a good while. 

Then there is the world of video games. There is Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition, but I still have to get through the first one. There is The Elder Scrolls Online, but I'm not really feeling it. Legend of Grimrock 2 is an obvious candidate for 'most exciting' but I don't think it's coming this side of New Year's Eve. Rumors have it that Dragon Age: Inquisition will be good, but again, whatever. I did download the pre-order edition of Might & Magic X: Legacy, which could be right up my alley what with its tile-based movement and stuff, but my computer isn't really up for it so I'll be saving this game for when and if I finally get myself a new gaming rig. 

So, nothing to shake the foundations of my senses, then. But now that I've written this I feel the need to go check out if there are some great new fantasy novels brewing. 

I'm still reading Wolf Hall, a few pages every night - very well written book mostly (but I think I would have been lost if I hadn't seen The Tudors), and The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land, and as a guilty pleasure the last week I've been leveling a character in Dungeons & Dragons Online, which absolutely isn't a bad game considering it's free to download and play. Also, it features lots of fun dungeons that don't take too long, which suits a casual like myself just fine. Another guilty pleasure remains Forgotten Realms RPG source books which I read on and off when I need a quick fantasy fix; and I run two play-by-post games so I do kind of get my role playing fix as well. 

Lots of new blog posts from George R.R. Martin, though! Let's see. He finally got his Hugo. Not for a novel (which the first three Ice & Fire books no doubt deserve), but still. Finally. A new interview which doesn't bring us anything new. Mr. Potatohead. Podcasters honored (well deserved though guys!). Michael Chabon. Who?!

But most important of all (fanfare!) - here we have something to anticipate, something to make this fall just as spectacularly geeky as previous falls. Perhaps the best to come out of Martin's many licensing deals. A triumph of merchandising. There is nothing I would rather have. 

Words fail me. 

At least he's back home, now let's hope he gets creative and productive. These years after A Dance with Dragons begin to take on a feel eerily similar to the Long Waits for books four and five. So far, there is no indication that Winds will take just as long (which means we could be reading it in 2015 at the earliest; oh well won't that be a great year for me with a new Star Wars film as well). 

And now to do a dungeon before sleepy.

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