What is Moose?
First, I feel like I should make something really clear: I like D&D 4E. I think it has a lot of good ideas in its rules, I don’t think its initial expression necessarily represents the videogamification of Dungeons and Dragons, and I don’t agree with the objection that “it isn’t D&D anymore” just because it differs (wildly) from both the mechanics and feel of the original game. I have a lot of good feelings about 4E and a lot of good that I could say about it.
Years and years ago, I got a fortune cookie that told me:
Part of my work at the QA Hackathon led to making it quite a lot easier to test minicpan. I’m pretty happy with that, and got to work writing tests. Once I had the basic “mirroring works” tests written, I wanted to have a quick look at testing logging. Unfortunately, it turned out that logging was a big mess.
I was very privileged to attend the first QA Hackathon in Oslo in 2008 and also the second in Birmingham in 2009. Last year I couldn’t attend, but this year things fell in line nicely, and I was very glad to accept the invitation and find my way to Amsterdam and Booking.com’s offices for this year’s event. As always, we had an excellent space to work in, lodgings convenient to the office, and good dinners organized each night. I didn’t have to think about anything but code, and that’s just how I like it!
A few weeks ago, I was near my wits end with our XBMC box. XBMC itself seemed pretty good, but the hardware I had it running on wasn’t so great, and one complication after another just made it a pain. What I’d wanted when I set the box up was something less annoying than trying to play video over pseudo-UPnP stuff supported by XBox or PS3. My XBMC setup wasn’t quite living up to that.
Recently, I made a daily agenda for myself. Each day of the week, I spend a good part of my “free” time working on something important to me, like maintaining my free software, reading my queue of books, or working on my D&D games. This has been really helpful, and on the D&D front, I’ve been getting a lot of thinking done about the changes that Dungeons and Dragons has gone through over the years. I’m not a hardcore fan of any particular edition. There are things I like about each of them. I’ve been thinking about trying to write a really comprehensive explanation of what I do and don’t like, but I don’t think that’s really going to happen.
A few years ago, I wrote about cheap wooden discs as D&D minis, and I’ve been using them ever since. They do a great job, and cost nearly nothing. For the most part, we’ve used a few for the PCs, marked with the characters’ initials, and the rest for NPCs and enemies, usually marked with numbers.
I see lots of people talk about using software on their laptops or smartphones for tracking combat in D&D. Mostly, people talk about tracking initiative. This always struck me as weird: I just write down everybody in order on a scrap of paper and throw it out later.