Approximately 12 hours after the monthly update to Asheron's Call, the servers were taken down due to a bug in said update. It wasn't until perhaps six hours after the servers came up that players were warned that the world was unstable and they should be careful. Thanks for the warning! But the worst was yet to come...

Asheron's Call is performing their monthly update today and just after they rebooted the servers I managed to get this screenshot of the world list with a population of absolute zero.

Every role-playing game is a story within a story. You have your players, who control the actions of their characters, and then you have the characters themselves, some of whom can, properly developed, take on a life of their own. This is exactly what The Neverending Story is all about, which is why it's the subject of this week's look at fantasy films of the 1980s.

Just about every gamer board in the world had lit up recently concerning the news about Verant's banning of a player from Everquest. Almost without exception, every post is against Verant. While I don't necessarily support the way they went about it, I understand their decision... and hesitantly support the outcome. Here's why.

You either love it or hate it, but either way, if you were alive in the '80s you've heard of Krull. Despite being a critical flop in a year of critical flops (Return of the Jedi, anyone?), the movie spawned a video game and an arcade game, kick-started the career of James Horner and gave a lot of role-players plenty of ammunition for their games.

A barbarian warrior watches his village get wiped out by an evil horde. Years later, having gained strength, power and cunning through thievery and hard work, he returns to enact his vengeance. One basic plotline, two great movies, both classics in their own right. This week: Conan the Barbarian and The Beastmaster.

There are just too many great fantasy films! Last time, I had to leave out two of 1981's great films - Dragonslayer and the immortal Excalibur. This time, there are four classics, but I don't have to decide because you've decided for me. This week, by popular demand, we'll explore the legendary Dark Crystal.

Microsoft today announced that the "Twilights Gleaming" event is now underway in the dynamic world of Asheron's Call. Two towns on the once peaceful Isle have been destroyed at the hands of an evil entity once thought to be vanquished. Unleashed magic forces reduced the towns of Arwic and Tufa to smoldering ash and a third town, Cragstone, has been badly damaged. New and veteran players alike are invited to take up arms against the evil that threatens the very existence of Dereth.

They say that being married changes you. One of the little changes that I have experienced since marriage is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My wife is a fanatic for the show. I had never watched it, but now she has me absolutely hooked. She is still much more the addict than I could ever be, but I have to admit that I look forward to every new episode. It was her intense love for everything Sunnydale that led me to buy the new Buffy boardgame for her.

Terry Gilliam's romp through time with some little people is one of the most memorable fantasy films of all time, helped along by a solid cast (including cameos from Sean Connery and John Cleese). Better still, the time-travelling dwarves are a great place to grab ideas for a one-night gaming session, or a full-blown year-long campaign...

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