Gary Gygax passed away on March 4 2008. His legacy is the foundation of role playing games as we know them. While we are not old school players who were there in the golden age of D&D, we both felt Mr. Gygax’s hand in our games. The adversarial competition between DM and the players, the ‘kick the doors down and slit their throats’ style of dungeon crawling. We talk about the generational differences in gamers and Gary’s many contributions to popular culture. You can see his influence in video games, new media and much more. This is not a solemn tribute as we both thought that Gary would want a lively upbeat discussion.
Neverwinter Nights 2: An excellent 3rd edition D&D computer game with more features and gameplay than you can shake a dead orc at.
Dieselboy’s Dungeon Master Guide: An incredible drum & bass album, perfect for fast paced battles when running your own D&D game.
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup: A sadistic computer game. Described perfectly in this thread:
Like Nethack, Dungeon Crawl as an ASCII (text based) Roguelike game. The player controls a single character (represented by an @) who ventures deep into a subterranean cave complex in order to find the fabled (in this case the Orb of Zot).
A defining feature of Dungeon Crawl is the huge range of possible character combinations. There are 26 races (such as Ogre, Ghoul, Demigod, and Naga) and 28 classes (like Berserker, Warper, Stalker, or Ice Elementalist) and about a dozen different gods to worship. Your choice in each will matter greatly; an Ogre Berserker will play very differently than a Human Berserker, and a High Elf Conjurer who worships Sif Muna, God of Arcane Knowledge will play very differently than a High Elf Conjurer who worships Vehumet, God of Magical Destruction. There’s a lot of strategy to pore over, and many different viable playstyles.
The religion system is refreshing. You don’t simply sacrifice corpses on an altar until you get an artifact. Each god has likes and dislikes – actions and objects that will anger them or please them. Please your god enough and you’ll be granted powers like Haste, Might, or the ability to raise the dead.
The item system is kind of similar to Diablo’s. You might find a sword that does ice damage and raises your intelligence, or you might find an axe that raises your strength and gives you fire resistance. The magic items aren’t like Nethack; these are randomly generated, although there are some set unique artifacts to find.
The combat in this game is intense. Make no mistake about it: this game is challenging. In other roguelikes, “power-up” items like potions, scrolls and wands are emergency items. In Dungeon Crawl, you’ll have to make use of these items frequently, and with intelligence, in order to survive.
There are lots of weird, interesting things in the game: real pet classes, a detailed mutation system that can give you significant abilities and disadvantages, unique spells (such as turning into a venomous spider, or blowing up the dungeon architecture), weird artifacts, different dungeon types, etc.
I haven’t found a better pure, strategic hack’n’slash game yet. As in all Roguelikes, there is no saving, and no loading your game. When you’re dead, you’re dead. If you want to win, you’ll have to use your head.