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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not news, but nice nonetheless

I don't play video games, no matter what kind or on which platform. I've nothing against them as such, it's just that they've almost completely passed me by for one reason or another. At the same time the WW2 tankie in me has long appreciated in a very practical way the truth of that old adage about the picture and the 1000 words. In my very earliest days as a Dungeon Master for example, I thought of collecting picture postcards of interesting terrain features to use as props in my adventures. And I can still remember how certain illustrations in the old AD&D books really fired my imagination about what I wanted from dungeon-bashing.

So I've long felt twinges of regret at how my utter ignorance of video games leaves me equally ignorant of some of the seminal imagery of our times from the very same genres in which I enjoy my pre-ICT adventures. Thank goodness then for the internet and screenshots.

All of which brings me to Mythic Entertainment's second attempt at a MMORG of GW's first trademark product- Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Now I've got no interest whatsoever in this product. But I do like some of the screenshots.

I've downloaded nearly all of these. You can rest assured that my players will witness some of these sights in my games sooner or later.

Here's a great shot of an orc army camped outside a dwarfhold deep in the mountains. This picture really speaks for itself doesn't it? There's a whole adventure in that one picture, not to mention a really great prop- I'm sure players would find seeing that picture more impressive than almost any GM's description of that scene.

One of my PC's in my current WFRP game might actually have been spending some downtime working in something like this in the Wynd- the dwarfen district of Middenheim. Who knows? But it's a nice looking picture of a dwarfen smithy all the same.

And just so my players don't get the idea that I'm dropping subtle hints with all those dwarf pictures, here's an atmospheric view of an orc settlement in the forest. Again, can't you just imagine the impact of the use of that picture to announce an encounter in a roleplaying session?

While on the subject of images that might be inspirational to GM's, here's a thread on the Black Industry forums devoted to just that subject. I've already found some of the pictures of narrow streets to be useful in giving me a more concrete image of what the streets of Middenheim look like. Whether or not my players noticed any difference is not for me to say. ;)
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