Monday, September 12, 2011

the Dragonbone

Mage Knight figure added for scale.

I'm surprised this ancient gaming artifact has survived, and is in working condition.  I bought it in the mid-1980s.  Well, as near as I can remember, that's when I bought it.  My brain cells aren't good at making their saving throws, and thus my memory suffers...

Anyway, if you don't know, or weren't even alive when these came out, the Dragonbone is an electronic dice roller.  It's got eight settings on a sliding switch, i.e. you can set it to "roll" a three, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, twenty, a percentile dice.  It uses light-emitting diodes, that light up by the numbers printed on the case.  The photo above is not that great, and the details can't be seen.

I used it quite a bit when gaming, whether I was playing in a game, or running one.  I liked it because, it was silent.  I could hit the button behind the screen, and the players wouldn't know I was making a roll.  If they heard dice rolling they would get more alert, or paranoid ( take your pick ), and start scaning their character sheet, or whatever.  I liked being sneaky about rolling dice.  Sometimes I would roll dice just to keep them on their toes.

Now, I didn't use it exclusively.  There's something intrinsic to roleplaying about rolling dice.  It just feels right. I'm a gamer.  I like dice.

I don' think I would use the Dragonbone anymore.  I don't actually think it is all that random.  I've thought about making some "rolls" with it and entering them in a spread sheet, and do the same with analog dice, and make some kind of statistical comparison.  However, I think watching grass grow would be more exciting. Plus, I know nothing, or well, very, very little about statistics.  So... don't hold your breath.

What's Next?
I think I can finally get back on track concerning this blog.  I lost focus the past few weeks, mainly because I was kind of busy, and the heat just sucks the life right out of you.  I'm going to start working on the Kinship project again.  It's one thing I really want to concentrate on, and get completed.

Another thing I want to work on is creating stat blocks for Mage Knight miniatures, in the Rolemaster Standard System.  Now, don't get me wrong, Mage Knight is fun, but it lacks the chaos that RMSS would have at a skirmish level battle.  I literally have access to hundreds, if not over a thousand Mage Knight figures.  Some were mine, and the rest are my brothers.

I'm also getting this itch to create a superhero game using Rolemaster rules.  Why?  I just think it would be fun, but I'm not sure it would work.  It's just an idea, and also I'm not sure if I will work on it.  If I do I would call it Powermaster!

So that's all for today.  I hope most of you are still reading this old gaming blog of mine.  Now, I really want to go see Captain America today, or maybe Conan... or Rise of the Planet of the Apes?  There are too many movie choices!  I hope everyone has a great day!

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