It's been almost 5 years since I've purchased a D&D rulebook, so it was a big deal for me to finally buy a copy of the new Player's Handbook. My reaction upon diving into it for the first time was a mixture of excitement and disappointment...

What makes a good role-playing adventure? The same things that make a good fantasy film. Maybe "good" is a strong word to describe this first installment of Fantasy Films 101, but "fun" is certainly acceptable. Hawk the Slayer is a ton of fun at a party, and a great place to rip off a plotline for a night of slaying bad guys.

And no, I'm not talking about the "rabbit out of a hat" magic, or the inspirational feeling that washes over you when you see a sunset for the first time. No. I'm talking about unadulterated, "rip up that Chaos Orb and shove it up your ass" Magic.

Is there a "chain-mail" link between fantasy Role-Playing Games and fantasy films? I certainly think so - at least in one noteworthy case. And that link becomes obvious when you take a closer look at the 1980s, a decade of Reaganomics, Rubix Cubes, Role-Playing and Really good fantasy flicks...

What's wrong with Online gaming? Online gaming seems to have less of a role playing element when the creation of the game concentrated too much on user interface and realism. I've had the opportunity to play Everquest some more to back up this point. While the system itself and the world created are nicely done, the lack of roleplaying and character depth is evident.

In the first installment of the Rosebaon, we learned the history of this dreaded organization, as well as meeting the first two Lords, Placebo and Scimitar. Now, we meet the remaining three and learn how all the Lords work (or rather, don't) together.

I admit, I used to play Magic when it first came out. I have also played several other card games from different companies. I admit this with a certain amount of shame. I am proud that I managed to unload almost all of my cards. With this in mind, I wasn't looking to learn or buy a new card game this year at Gen Con. That is, until I ran across the nice Canadian gents at the Anoch booth. I sat down for a demo and was impressed.

This year at Gen Con saw the launch of Skotos.net. This company intends to bring online role playing to a new level. Unlike Everquest or Ultima Online, there is no software to purchase. One need simply to point one's web browser to www.skotos.net and start playing. (Once they are up and running.) Skotos is the brain child of CEO and President Christopher Allen. I had the chance to meet with Christopher and get the rundown on his baby.

It's about 90% of the reason I have the internet, Online Role playing games. It's like pulling teeth trying to gather a group together for a game very often, so here's where I turn. It's a shame to have been disappointed by so many MMRPGS, so what do I look for in a game?

"Blending together the almighty power of DIRECTX and the remarkable ease of BASIC, prepare for a language that gives absolute beginners unprecidented power to create professional software."

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