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Historical Strategy Games - Crusader Kings 2

So, friends of mine recommended Crusader Kings 2 to me a couple weeks back, and I have to say, while it has many things in common with Medieval II Total War, I'm finding it far more engrossing than the latter. The Total War series spends a lot of time and development cycles on the tactical maneuvers in individual battles, which I've frankly never found as compelling or interesting as the campaign world itself.

Crusader Kings 2, however, abstracts those combats further, focusing instead on succession law, intra-realm strife, and the politics of the world. As a simple example, you cannot arbitrarily attack someone; you need to put some work behind justifying your attack, however flimsy that justification might be. That is, you need to have a disaffected vassal with a claim on that title that you can press, the enemy needs to be a heretic or pagan (no arbitrarily attacking Catholics!), or you need to send your Chancellor to the province to manufacture a claim by manipulating documents and bribing various vassals.

Most compelling, I think, is the fact that I can honestly say that I've learned a great deal about northern European geography and medieval succession laws that I simply didn't know before. It's kinda cool.

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No Useful Content For You!

Cleaning up the tabs on my webrowser, while I do actual writing elsewhere.
  • Via my friend Ken, San Francisco documentary filmmakers were apparently looking for time travelers. Skeptics need not apply.
  • For those math geeks in the audience, a Klein bottle bottle opener, for the cheap cheap price of merely $78, plus shipping and handling! (Still looks cool, though.)
  • Via Reddit, a flowchart to decide where to go drinking in New Orleans, which is kind of awesome.
  • For those who want stupid amounts of cute, Jack the eyeless kitty cat, who is nonetheless filled with spunk.
  • For those who don't follow Order of the Stick, you should. ...but today's is good enough that it doesn't even really matter if you've read any of it before. It's amazing.
Cookie Monster

Food Thoughts: Journeyman Restaurant

So, my lovely wife and I were in the Boston area for a primarily family-oriented trip, though we did make one side-trip to our friends' recently-opened restaurant, Journeyman. They have past menus up on their site, so I suspect, as a result, that they'll have this past week's menu up soon enough. Collapse )

Overall, an excellent dinner, and I can recommend Journeyman unreservedly to anyone in the Boston area who wants an extended localvore dinner. I believe I'd do so even if I wasn't friends with the owners, though I suppose you should take my advice with a grain of salt.
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Cross-Genre Interactions in oWoD White Wolf

...are remarkably messy. I just finished a first draft (barring a few bits about geographical concerns) of a document aimed at storytellers who want to introduce Changelings into their oWoD game. The working title, of course, was "Why You Shouldn't Use Changelings In Your Game, But What You Need To Know When You Ignore This Advice."
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Free Books! (Good ones, too.)

[via]

Apparently Baen Books has released a CD with Lois McMaster Bujold's Cryoburn which includes the entire Vorkosigan Saga in various eBook formats. Personally, I've gone through the audiobooks for several of the Vorkosigan books, and while I occasionally have moments of, "Oh dear god is this a Gary Stu / Mary Sue moment," they're quite enjoyable and well-written. I highly recommend grabbing them.

This isn't the first time Baen has pushed a fairly progressive policy on electronic versions of their books, as they had launched the Baen Free Library a while ago to much acclaim. Kudos to them.