So as I’ve noted before, I’ve been playing a lot of Hades. One thing that I’ve found is that if the gameplay is receptive enough, I can sort of mediate and think about other things.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about TTRPG’s lately. And while I said I was going to wait to go back to my home-brew D&D world, I find my mind wondering back there often. That said, I’m not going to use D&D for when my players return to it. I’m currently still shopping around for a new system.
Fate looks pretty interesting right now for the way I like to run games.
Still in the notes phase of things, but some test games are on the horizon.
In the meantime, however, the AC is getting switched on. Summer has returned to Witch City.
Today was a very slow morning for me. Felt like I was in a tank struggling to move. However, I forced myself out of the house and down to my local library to finally pick up a library card. I had one at the hight of the pandemic but it was a temp card and has since expired.
It’s been a while since I’ve had access to a good library and my head is swimming with all the things that I can check out. It’s a cliché for a reason, but libraries really are magical places. The problem is that we live in Late Stage Capitalism world and I forget that there are just free media warehouses just sitting in every neighborhood. And of course now, they have digital lending components as to be even more powerful.
Not really sure where I’m going with all this but to say this is a PSA for libraries: please don’t forget they’re out there.
Decided to make myself go for a walk today whilst New England pissed rain. it wasn’t too bad and food needed to be had. Spotify decided to play Ministry’s excellent Every Day Is Halloween.
It’s September 1 and while we still have 21 more days of summer, damnit, it is most decidedly the spooky Halloween season. I fought the impulse for as long as I could, but as of now it begins.
Horror movies will be watched, dark beers will be had, and general magic will be in the air. The spring is always an empowering time for me, but this time of year feels like coming home. I think I need a little of that right now.
So last week I was reading like a fend. I think I plowed through something like eight books, and the only thing that stopped that run was Hades, which is a video game I downloaded on a lark.
It’s captured my imagination. The premise is you’re Hades’ son who’s trying to break out of the Underworld. Each time you die, you have have start over but not before you go back home to be chided by your dad.
I’m a big fan of the gameplay loop of Roguelites – you play the same randomly generated map over and over while unlocking things for your character that makes them more powerful on subsequent runs. This allow you to feel a sense of progression even though you are going through roughly the same areas over and over again.
It’s been done before but the it’s the presentation that makes this game great. Instead of looking like art the greeks would have made, which is almost the default aesthetic whenever the Greek Gods are involved, Hades opts for more whimsical, hard rock album look. (I didn’t say Heavy Metal album as that has a more dower tone then the art in here ever gets to, but the imagery would be at home on a Led Zeppelin album.)
Speaking of music, it’s really good. Just hard enough to get feeling of high concept prog rock without going full bore into pastiche.
That edge is in everything including the writing. It never gives into the inherent darkness but it never lets you forget that’s just around the corner for these characters.
In the interest of full discloser, I should point out that I love Greek Mythology. I was the kid in highschool who had a copy of Graves Mythology in his book bag where other kids had Lord Of The Rings. Hell, I just finished a four year Dungeons and Dragons campaign, where I used the Greek pantheon instead of anything in the D&D source books.
So I’m always a little trepidatious when someone is using that pantheon as I’m always afraid they will portray them as being austere, which was never the point of them. They represent human interactions with cosmic forces and should readily show our human foibles. Luckily, Hades does this with style. The characters have wit and charm and the player is never allowed to forget that most of these people are family with some serious dysfunctions that they are trying to rise above.
And there’s a Gorgon that total has the crush on the player character and she’s too precious for this world and if her heart gets broken I’m going to rage quit.
TL;DR: The game’s well made and a lot of fun, and I’m here for it.