Crawling around in dank, poorly lit underground tunnels, on the quest for treasure and mindful of monsters and traps: this is THE typical adventure. It has always slightly reminded me of my college years, but that is another story. This prototype has been around for quite some time. The game, after all, is called "Dungeons and Dragons."

Microsoft recently announced the upcoming release of Asheron's Call 2, the sequel to the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. AC2 will feature new dynamic, evolving world that reacts to player behavior and actions; a next-generation MMORPG graphics engine; a revamped combat system and a new in-depth crafting system that gives players a chance to pursue noncombative skills. Read on to find out more...

When I first decided I wanted to write an editorial on twinking (loosely defined as providing a character with equipment they would not normally be able to achieve at their level), I thought I knew exactly what to say. I planned on ranting from the vast depths of my experience with one single EQ character. But then...

Go ahead, admit it. In the very back of your gaming binder, in some dark corner of your closet, there hides a character sheet for a half-drow, half-dragon demilich fighter/mage/assassin who keeps the Tarrasque as a lap dog. Or if you're a WoD player, don't think you can just pretend no one ever saw that 5th-gen Awakened Cappadocian Abomination whose driving goal was to diablerize Caine. There's no use hiding the fact that you were, at one time, a total power gamer (I know that I was). It's kind of like the chicken pox - we all get the munchkinism disease at some point in childhood, but after that we're immune.

With the Convention season starting to kick into high gear, we'd like to know where your loyalties lie. Which cons do you plan to go to? Which ones aren't worth the price of a one-day admission? Do you dream of GenCon and fantasize about Origins? Let us know.

It always strikes me as strange that some gamers play every race, character class, and minute variation that their favorite system has to offer, yet never dare vary the gender of their character from their own. There's nothing wrong with having a favored character gender, any more than there is with having a favorite race or class, but there's nothing wrong with branching out either.

Few fantasy writers (and computer role-playing game designers) have the time or the patience to create an entire working language for their worlds, and use it to create wholly original, intelligent names. There's nothing wrong with that. Even without an original language, there are still plenty of good ways to create plausible names... yet how do so many people get it so wrong?

The Visions in Color show (ViC) is an online show originated by Dominic Heutelbeck (a German miniatures painter of no small talent) and hosted on his painting website. I recently interviewed Bob Lippman, a long-time participant, Jason Moses, who's only been able to join in once, and Dominic via email to see what they had to say about this unique show.

SOAP is an unusual, action-packed game in which "your character is likely to be shot by ex-lovers, have a life-threatening operation, save a family member and have a car crash, all in the space of 30 minutes." That's right - SOAP is meant to be an RPG-style approximation of TV soap operas.

This is the tale of an elf and her armour... but it was no common elf, and no common armour. It happened long ago, far ahead, and miles away from here... but the tale affects us still. And much more than many of us will be willing to admit in public, no doubt.

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