Showing posts from June, 2010

EarthDawn Versus D&D 4th Edition

Background: I played my first Dungeons and Dragons adventure in 1978 with my friend Dennis and his brother and friends. I've played, off and on but mostly on, since then. I have played some other systems along the way, including genres outside of the Fantasy setting, but always returning to the granddaddy of them all at some point.
My SoCal gaming group really enjoyed EarthDawn (ED), a game (at the time) released by FASA Corp. We enjoyed the world, the variety and mix of playable classes and races, and the multiple dice aspect and rerolling of the game system. One other nice aspect was that mages and non-mages both remained effective and useful into higher levels.
At the time, Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) was in second edition, and was still a bit cumbersome to play and learn for new players, had a lot of "splat" books for classes and races to help you min/max your character. Soon, DnD 3.0 and then 3.5 came out, and we switched back to those, as the new rule set clarified an…

Reinventing the Wheel

I believe that President Obama is trying to make America a better place. I think that President Bush tried to do what was right for America (in my estimation, failing more often than succeeding, but still). However, in both cases, and with the Congress in general, they seem to be adamant about reinventing the wheel rather than seeing the wheels already made and picking one or two to serve as a model for what will work in America.
Take health care. There are, literally, a dozen or more examples of universal health care that American leadership could copy. Each of these examples has been proven over many years of successful use. We could send experts to Japan, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Hawaii (yes, it has had a form of universal health care since the '50s which works great), and other nations, learn what works and what doesn't, and implement a plan based on those countries with a proven track record. Easy, right? No, instead we are going our own way, recreating the wheel in a…

Feeling a Little Dumb

I got a letter from the IRS saying I forgot to sign my tax return this year. Since I normally file online, but can't any more due to location, it is not all that surprising that I forgot a silly little step like that.
However, the letter informing me of that issue specifically says that I had to return the signed declaration within 20 days of the date of the letter. If I lived in America and, therefore, didn't use the entire system that caused me to forget to sign my return in the first place, I could have accomplished that. But I live in Canada now; I received the letter after the 20 days had elapsed.
For as nice a country as Canada is, there are a few areas of failing, one of which is the postal service. For as much as Americans complain about the post office, it still is one of the world's largest and most efficient companies, moving tons of mailing quickly around the nation. Canada's postal service is not nearly as big, efficient, or fast. It doesn't deliver on S…