Tuesday 29 January 2013

Why D&D Sucks (Spoof Article)

Before you get your dander up and decided to cremate me with your +5 flame sword, I’d like to point out that this article is a spoof. Do you hear me, a spoof! I like D&D, you like D&D, everyone likes D&D—except those who hate it. This article is about why D&D sucks in the same way that people write about why being a millionaire sucks. In it, I will attempt to cover a wide range of editions in loving detail, complete with their various shortcomings. Please feel free to let me know what I’ve missed.

Chain Mail: These were miniatures rules, so they sucked. Although you could play out vast wars and such, you weren’t technically allowed to act like a buffoon as you role-played your character. On top of that, apparently, fireballs had the blast radius of a catapult which is pathetic but would probably solve Monty Haul.
Image Courtesy of Griffonosso.com

1st Edition: There were various renditions of the original dungeons and dragons game. Notable among them: a wood-grain box which is now seriously overpriced on Ebay, a white box ‘collector’s edition’ which is the same without references to Ents and Hobbits, and the regular box which I have no comment on.

1st Edition Basic
: Pretty much the one everyone remembers about, most of them came in a red box. Yes, I know there was some other one, but whatever. The advantage of this edition was the
fact it was nearly impossible to power-game because you were so weak-ass and random, you could put random junk in the game box and lug it around with you, and everyone remembers it.

Among the disadvantages: randomness, being weak-ass, and lack of irrelevant rules to clutter up the game system with.

Image Courtesy of OneLostRoad.blogspot.com

Advanced: These were the last of the books written solely by the game creators. They had kick-ass advice, added pretty much everything modern
D&D now has, and they were filled to the max with stuff you could power-game.

Among the disadvantages: weirdness in multi-classing rules, crazy xp system, convoluted rules, bigger books requiring more strength to lug around, and a lack of a box to put things in.

Players Handbook Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition)
Image Courtesy of paperbackswap.com

2nd Edition: Not only did this edition function on THAC:0 which was ridiculous, it also had the weirdest skill proficiency system ever. It’s possible that if you ever managed to read all the rules on weapon speeds that you could actually play a game. Thankfully, you were still weak-ass enough to die all the time and there were enough rules to make power-gaming a viable option. Multi-classing is still weird.
Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook: Core Rulebook I
Image Courtesy of Barnes and Noble.com

3rd Edition: Long after everyone thought D&D was dead, a new crew took over and came out with 3rd edition. Simpler and easier to understand than second, stealing everything from advanced, and implementing ‘skills’ along with characters who didn’t instantly die at first level: 3rd edition was a major comeback. Only in retrospect as a game designer do I now notice that 3rd edition also had the beginnings of the foul ups to come. Skills actually don’t work; starting out decent at first level leads to an ever-escalating numerical war which will eventually ruin a game; and removing THAC:0—which at the time I thought was brilliant—actually screws up a lot of the numbers which make the game function properly. Did I mention you could still power-game the crap out of 3rd?

3.5 Edition: What the heck? A partial decimal edition doing nothing more than replacing good rules with miniatures ones so they can sell you all the books you already bought over again? Did I miss anything?

4th Edition: Unwittingly, this edition continued the flawed trend of ‘more power is better’ allowing people to get higher ability scores, more whacked-out multi-classing, a stupidly balanced power system, and an escalating ‘arms race’ of numbers which would make many a nation’s nuclear weapons division jealous. On the pro side, 4th edition tried to be different which is a fine thing. They also took a stab at ‘balance’ forgetting that: 1. the more stuff you add to a game the less balanced it is, and 2. who cares about balance anyway? The major fluff in spells which made the game cool was also missing. Yes, those same spells wreaked havoc with overpowered sorcerers (a wizard with more power), but oh well.
Image Courtesy of HeroesofShadow.com

5th Edition: Actually asking the fans instead of randomly doing stuff is a nice move. This edition isn’t out yet, but I’ve heard from a few people saying they don’t care anymore. Others are hopeful. I have the feeling they’ll fail on some really basic fundamentals, but at least they’re trying which is always a good thing in my books. By Jove, if I was in charge, I’d ruin the game, but I’d ruin it with style.
Does anynoe have the Pathfinder rpg players handbook?
Image Courtesy of SodaHead.com

Pathfinder: While technically not D&D, Pathfinder really is D&D. Basically, it’s 3.75 edition. It keeps all the elements of power-gaming we’re so fond of, adds more, gives you more things per level, and generally makes a mess of things in the grand style of 3rd edition. While many fans
appreciate this game, I can’t help but worry about its future. What are they going to do next, and are they allowed to? Also, it suffers from the same flaws as 3rd edition, but nobody noticed them there either.

Summary and Prattle

Image Courtesy of Bustedtees.com

I don’t mean this article to say that D&D is bad, or that any one edition or game is fundamentally better or worse than another. Though I ridicule them all, it’s with the heart of a kindly parent yelling incessantly at his kids. I’m fairly sure I missed some of the finest and worst points of the editions, but hey, I’m writing this in four hours on my only day off.

This article also doesn’t cover the OSR movement, the many fine indie games out there, or the great game companies who put out such classics as: GURPS, Savage Worlds, and so forth.

Also, one might readily wonder about how technology is affecting the market. After all, there wasn’t much in the way of electronic entertainment when the original D&D came out and now there is. The aging demographic of the original game players is another consideration. What do these older gamers like to play? (if anything). It’s reasonable to assume that what might have pleased a 13-year-old won’t have the same appeal to a 30-year-old family man. Possibly, these older gamers are teaching a new generation to game, but teaching them what? Random RPGs designed for little kids? I think we’re forgetting that RPGs in general were what ‘we’ as little kids were after, no need to make them ‘little kid’ RPGs (no offense to any out there).

I’ve heard on multiple occasions of people who think it would be brilliant to have ‘online’ versions of their favourite RPGs. Sadly, most RPGs function better face to face. While message boards are cool, they’re a whole different experience. Video-chat and other tools can only go so far, but it’s an interesting conundrum nevertheless.

So, what are your thoughts on the pros and cons of various editions of D&D? How do you think the market has changed in the years since the original game came out? Do you think D&D has been getting steadily better or steadily worse? Perhaps, every edition has pros and cons. How do you think technology is affecting the market? When you’re in the nursing home, which game will you be playing?

D&D Digital Archive is Released

How to Sabotage your RPG Session 

My Favorite Twitter Tweets

Sunday 27 January 2013

D&D Digital Archive is Released

D&D Basic Cover via DriveThruRPG.com

In case anyone's missed it, Wizards of the Coast recently released a load of old titles as digital editions on Drive Thru RPG and it's sister sites. This includes the old red book basic edition of D&D in PDF for 4.99. You can read more about it here: Smithsonian D&D Article or just check out the titles available here: Drive Thru RPG--D&D

Sunday 20 January 2013

How to Sabotage your RPG Session

Many GMs attempt to get their games to run smoothly. They minimize distractions, set the mood, and try to maximize the gaming experience for their players. As a player, it’s probably in your best interest to sabotage all the GM’s best laid plans, including the set-up of his gaming atmosphere.

GMs may be able to use this article to their advantage by not doing anything outlined below and giving -1 billion experience point (awards?) to the players who try to use them.

1. Bring Food: While having snack foods handy can enhance a game, you can detract the attention to a game at warp speed by mentioning ‘pizza’, bringing in loud foods such as pop and chips, and/or running off to the fridge to check if there’s something good in there.

2. Go to the Bathroom: Taking frequent bathroom breaks not only will annoy your GM, it’ll cripple the effectiveness of your party as well. They’ll either sit around waiting for you, or keep playing and then have to stop and explain everything to you again when you return.

3. Watch T.V.: One of the ‘kings’ of messing up a game, try to have a T.V. handy and preferably in the same room as the game. Not only will this mess up the game, the GM will be hard pressed not to watch himself even if only commercials are on. Cellphones, tablets, laptops, computers, videogames, and other devices with screens can do in a pinch.

4. Play Music
: While mood music can be great, you can play havoc with the game by playing loud and inappropriate music. Not only will this distract the other players, ruin the mood, and make everyone forget the story but—hey, is that my favourite song?

5. Bring small Children: If they’re old enough to play, this plan may backfire. However, having a few toddlers, small dogs, or cats on the game table can do wonders; if they aren’t potty-trained yet, so much the better.

6. Forget Everything: This can include (but is certainly not limited to) your: dice, books, character sheets, pencils, paper, computer, figures, sense of time, clothes, food, personal items, appointments, jobs, responsibilities, phone calls, the adventure, and anything else you would normally remember out of common courtesy.

7. Gossip: Off topic chatter, especially if it’s interesting or supremely dull, can do wonders for trashing a game. Tell your fellow players about your car, girlfriend, what happened yesterday, or a hilarious anecdote about nothing which you forgot which probably happened sometime around ’57.

8. Pick a High Traffic Room for your Game: Never set up the game in your house/apartment unless it’s in a living room where all of your family members will be passing by constantly, asking questions, yelling down the hall to each other, or watching T.V. Picking a high traffic area such as the kitchen or living room can also be strategic for launching other strategies like ‘Little Kids’ and ‘Food’.

9. Wait for everyone to Show Up: This will probably include at least 5 people who have no chance of being there, ever. Such people may include: Spock, Darth Vader, and Britney Spears.

10. Launch your Game Internationally: Adding in a few players overseas where it’s probably 3 a.m. could be helpful. It also helps if you mess up the connection feed on the video or audio occasionally or get into frequent arguments with the virtual players.

11. Don’t Set a Game Schedule: People only make appointments and commitments for boring things they’ll actually show up to. You should never plan out (or let anyone know) when you’re going to be running a game. It’s much better to call them 5 minutes beforehand and find out they’re already in Alaska or at the Dentist’s.

12. Plan Unreasonably: If you have Supper at 5:00 and a Soccer game at 5:30 and all your friends live 30 miles away…you guessed it! Schedule a game for 5:05.

13. Never play the same character or Campaign twice
: Everybody probably hates playing the same character more than once. What could be more boring than an ongoing campaign where your actions actually matter?

14. Sacrifice the Game for the Rules: What’s more important? Playing the game, or knowing the correct rule. Rules, of course. No matter how long it takes, always look up the ‘correct’ way of doing things. People don’t show up to game, they show up to chat and look up obscure rules.

15. Don’t Prepare: As everyone knows, prepping for a game is for wimps. Your time would probably be better spent watching T.V.

16. Be Unclear: The players don’t need a clear idea of where they are or what they’re doing. Might as well be intentionally unclear and muddle them up further.

17. Change the Game Setting Last Minute: Is everyone set to play Star Wars? Why not throw Traveller at them instead? Better yet, switch over to Monopoly with hybrid Risk rules you just thought up.

18. Always Include a New Player: Throwing in at least one new player (preferably someone who actually doesn’t want to be there) can slow your game down no ends. Do it.

19. Be Unfair: Favouring one player over all the others builds team spirit. Players also like it if you unfairly kill off their favourite characters…a lot. Being arbitrary and unfair at the same time creates a wondrous dream combo to make all your other GM buddies jealous.

20. Mess with your Dice: During dull parts of the game (everything not directly involving you) you should spin your dice, throw them behind shelves, drop them under the table, and build dice towers of them. Stealing all the other players’ and the GM’s dice helps too. If you don’t have any dice you can also do this with pencils, or make paper airplanes out of important notes and character sheets.

21. Show up Late: Being early is for sissies. No one will respect you unless you always show up late to game sessions. One method is to roll 1d6 and multiply it by 10 minutes. This is the time you should show up after the game was officially to begin. With any luck you’ll come in at a crucial moment and spoil the flow of the adventure.

22. Use a Funny Voice
: Not only does using a funny voice show you’re insecure and think you’re role-playing, if you do it properly no one will be able to understand what you’re saying either. This is priceless.

How Not to Sabotage your RPG Session

Basically, just do the opposite of everything above. Good luck!

...Dealing with High Level PCs

Sunday 13 January 2013

Dealing with High Level PCs

MMO Games MU Online Screenshot
Image Courtesy of mmogames.com
Conventional methods of adventure design often don’t work so well with high level characters. Because of the mouse-hitting-the-switch-for-more-food-effect, PCs at higher levels tend to be way overpowered. The average high level character has at least a half dozen powerful abilities, and magic items. So, instead of throwing more orcs at them, here are some strategies to stop your overpowered PCs in their tracks.

1. High Level NPCs

Presumably, the PCs aren’t one-of-a-kind super heroes. It’s probable that there are a half million high level NPCs, Villains, and monsters who’ve had the opportunity to level up and gain ten times more magic items and special abilities than the party. Naturally, they probably work in hit squads of 20+.

2. Anti-Magic

Yes, it’s cheap. Yes, it’s annoying. Yes, it’s a miserable cop out. However, anti-magic in all its various forms is like having a giant death ray marked: disable all PCs. 90% of your heroes’ abilities are likely to be magical in nature if only for the reason that magic is so overpowered. Using copious amounts of dispel magic, anti-magic zones, magic eating monsters, magic immune monsters, and permanently magic draining effects is probably a good idea. Be warned, this tactic is often so effective the players will all quit when their characters die because you were so cheap.

3. Invincible Monsters

Who says a monster can’t be utterly invincible? The players certainly have their fair share of cheap magical effects. Reserve actual invincibility for your own creations. These ultra-baddies should also be able to detect invisibility, wield insane magic, and have 200 billion intelligence scores. Inventing at least one way they can be killed, preferably something the players don’t have ready access to, can be a good idea too.

4. Other Dimensions

Other realms and times can serve as great ways to mess around with the high level characters. If they come up against modern weaponry, starships, deities, realms without magic, or dinosaurs; it can be helpful for taking their power level down a notch. Of course, they’re highly likely to grab all this new weaponry so you might want to suck it off them for some whack-o, paradox reason when they eventually get back to their own world.

5. Overpowered Monsters

Take a look at all the character sheets of the players. Then create a monster with all of their stats x10 and ways to counter or abuse their existing abilities. If the party magic is a pyromaniac, consider having the creature feed on flame. If the whole party can time travel, maybe it travels through time and eats people?

6. Use Realism

The players, no doubt, figure they’re invincible. Using ‘realism’ in your favor can be a tremendous boon for taking them down a notch. You can have them: starve, dehydrate, get poisoned, become infected, cursed, hit with a 20 ton stone block, etc. While they might have 1 billion hit points and enough armor to block any known attack, you can always simply have them trip in a 1 foot pool of water and drown.

7. Insidious Traps

More than likely, the party thief can find any trap, unlock any door, and so forth. Don’t use normal traps, use insane traps. Traps which you can’t find unless you specifically look in that one corner of the room with the glass figurine of a chicken. These traps are probably magical, un-blockable, and send all your gear to Pluto while teleporting you naked to the bottom of a billion level dungeon filled with demons.

8. Use Traditionally Cheap Enemies

Yes, there are historically cheap enemies. These enemies can include: demons, genies, deities, Godzilla, etc. All of these enemies share something in common: they’re cheap as dirt. Not only can all of them fly/swim, breath fire, crush cities, mind control people, become immune to everything, and detect/banish/control magic; they also have a logical reason for being there (someone other than you invented them).

9. Have Weak Enemies Get Smart

Who says your kobolds, orcs, and goblins have to sit around and get wasted? Have them all equipped with lethal ranged weapons, magical grenades, insidious traps, killer intelligence, and have ready access to cheap anti-magic powder or something else like that. Generally, weak foes get killed for acting stupid more than anything else. Any orc who stands around with an axe and tries to charge the party is eventually going to get it. The same orc in a tank guarded by 20th level shamans, wearing indestructible plate-mail, and wielding heat-seeking anti-magic missiles might stand a better chance.

10. Be Creative

The players’ power probably comes from knowing the rules fifty times better than you and abusing them. Well, that works both ways. Don’t bother trying to know the rules better, that’s a waste of time. Instead, simply make up whatever rubbish you want and force it on the players. Incredibly powerful monsters, insane traps, and arbitrary effects are all at your disposal and more.

11. Use Overkill

Balancing things against high level characters is almost impossible. They have so much cheapness and magic on their side that any ‘fair fight’ will quickly slide into their favor. Instead, overkill everything by about 50% or more until you hit a good balance. The players should almost have to burn all those special powers just to stay alive. Sending reasonable opponents against cheap PCs is like trying to send storm troopers after Darth Vader. Instead, send 50 Yodas in giant mechs with grenade launchers.

12. Be Cheap

While a good player can be plenty cheap with the rules, especially at high levels, a (good?) GM can be far cheaper and at any level. Without the constraints of following the rules and with ultimate power over the campaign universe, your potential for cheapness far outweighs that of the players. However, it’s your job to refrain from as much cheapness as you can in a game. If you can get away with being completely fair, and still challenge the players; do so. However, if the players get a little out of hand, you can get way out of hand to bring back balance to the Force.

...Ten Ways to Make Treasure Cool

Wednesday 9 January 2013

How to Trick out your New Google Nexus 7 with the Best Android Apps

Okay, first off, let's see if the Google Nexus is actually the right tablet for you. My reasons for getting a Google Nexus 7 were twofold: the ridiculously low price (starting at $200 for a direct order but I paid $260 locally in case of returns, etc.), and the fact that it fit perfectly in my hands, pockets, and had awesome graphics and sound. The ipad mini just didn't feel 'right'.

Here are some reasons you might not want it. The things not advertised on the box: No HDMI port so you can't easily hook it up to your T.V., no SD card slot so your storage is set at whatever you start with, the older model I have also doesn't have a slot for a cellular carrier so I'm stuck with wi-fi.

Assuming you're still going for the Google Nexus 7 and/or you already have one, congratulations! Below are some of the things I did with mine (apart from the apps which I'll list below).

1. I bought a wireless aircard hotspot so I can take the internet anywhere I want and use it with all my devices. This means not only do I not need a separate card for each device, but if it breaks/goes out of date I can just use the hotspot with other devices. I can also share the internet with tablets and other people's devices if I choose. The price you're supposed to pay monthly for these things is ridiculous, but I got a very reasonable deal from my carrier. If a ridiculously good deal isn't an option for you, you might as well get a tablet with a slot for a cellular carrier because the whole point is internet on the go. There are some workarounds, like tethering to your cell phone, but meh.

Edit: My internet provider was overcharging me random fees for tethering so I chucked this thing. Just a heads up before anyone gets too excited!

2. I bought a Sony Iphone dock because the guy's at the store said it was the 'best'. It set me back around $50 but the speakers are the nicest I've ever had and I use a standard in-line phone jack to bypass the iphone part and play my music.
3. Apple is currently the 'king' of the media and mobile market. They have way more apps and devices on the market, so it's a strong choice as well.

3. I recently found out you can get a female USB to micro USB cable fairly cheap and then connect keyboards, mice, and suchlike to the Google Nexus 7. I figured this was pretty cool, and successfully hooked up my Nexus to a keyboard. However, I find the screen is a bit too small to write effectively. Still, can save you $200 bucks for a wireless keyboard if you were going to get it anyway.

The Apps

The below may not be the best apps because: A. I suck at technology, and B. I'm paranoid when it comes to giving away permissions (even to legitimate apps). I suppose it's only a matter of time before my devices are pirated anyways, but I hate spam.
Okay, now on to the fun stuff. You've got a brand new Google Nexus 7 and you're wondering what to do with the darn thing? Well, I categorized the main things I want to do with a device, first:

SongzaTuneIn Radio ProGoogle Play Music

1. Play Music: I put Itunes on my PC and I port the files to a folder and then to the Music folder on my Nexus. It's more annoying than having an Apple device, but it gets the job done and gives you access to Itunes music. For radio I installed Tune In Pro with 70,000 radio stations and the neat ability to record things off the radio. I hear Pandora and Songza are also supposed to be pretty good but I'm paranoid and the permissions scared me off.
KindleMoon+ Reader ProFree Books & Stories - Wattpad

2. Read Books: I put Kindle on my device. I also like Wattpad for the free works by indie authors, and moon reader is okay, but had some features which annoyed me such as the option to pirate pretty much any book you want with one-click (at the time). It also reads and aggregates all e-books and formats on your device.

 3. Read Magazines: Not many options here. Zinio seemed okay, but the selection is severely limited.

NetflixCrackle - Movies & TV

4. Watch Movies: Since I live in Canada, Netflix, Hulu, and the rest aren't really an option. You could use Utorrent to pirate stuff, but I don't like to do that either. The prices on Google Play Movies seemed a bit ridiculous to me. Also, the amount of storage used by movies on the Nexus is ridiculous especially when you don't have removable SD cards. All in all, I don't find the Nexus as a great movie device. The screen is so small and everything so expensive, I think I'd just watch it at home in my DVD player, etc. Youtube is pre-installed and it's a fine app.
ChromeFirefox Browser for Android

5. Access the Internet: Really, this is the whole point of the device. A lack of anything but Wi-fi originally seriously bummed me out. Get something which can hold a chip if you can. For browsers, Chrome seems to be the fastest but Firefox is easily the sweetest. You can nerf ads and pretend your browser is a PC to get rid of annoying mobile sites on Twitter and the like.

6. Writing: I installed Swift-key but it didn't seem all that good. All in all, I kind of hate writing on the tablet. I write novels, so the only means to effectively write is on a laptop/PC and I just wait to get home to do so. It's not really worth it with a smaller device.

Granny SmithThe Bard's Tale

7 Games: I don't really buy devices for the games (probably why I went with the nexus instead of Ipad mini). However, given that there's so many, here are the ones I found cool (which didn't want outrageous permissions): Granny Smith (very funny), The Bard's Tale (old school RPG which is way too easy to cheat, but funny), and that's about it. By the way, Need for Speed Most Wanted wants you to agree to a license which says they can give all your personal information to anyone they want. It's currently the top game on the app market. Huh.

8. Do sweet stuff I hadn't thought of yet: Another thing I like to have with new devices is the option to do sweet stuff I otherwise couldn't have. There are a number of things which fall under this category:
FoxFi (WiFi Tether w/o Root)

A. Steal Internet (now unnecessary for me): Foxfi and some other app in combo seemed to do the trick. Pain in the arse, if you ask me.

Camera Launcher for Nexus 7

B. Camera: Camera Launcher for Nexus. 


C. Maps: Google Maps with a cached local area (pre-insalled with built in automatic GPS. Very cool).
Kaiten EmailAqua Mail - new email app

D. E-mails: Didn't install, but look functional enough. There's an app that aggregates them all called Kaiten. This sounds cool as I have about 15 e-mail addresses. Aqua-mail is new, but highly reviewed.
Press (Google Reader)Google CurrentsBBC NewsJustReader News Key - RSSGoogle ReaderPulse NewsPocket

E. News: Google Currents came pre-installed and functions as both an RSS reader and a news feed. It uses a ridiculous amount of ram and internet, but I have plenty anyway so I haven't bothered to switch to something better. I hear Google Reader is good and Pulse for news. There's also JustNews which is supposed to be good. For storing websites offline, Pocket is pure awesomeness. Get it. BBC is also a sweet news app.
SketchBook Pro for TabletsBig Fat Canvas

F. Art: My sister loves to do art. I don't bother, or if I do it's with real paper. I put on Big Fat Canvas. She said it was rubbish and made me install Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for Tablets. I admit, she can do some cool stuff with the later.
Flipboard: Your News Magazine
StumbleUponTwitterFacebookGoogle+BaconReader for Reddit

G. Social Networking: I was thinking of installing Plume and Twitter/Facebook but they all wanted whacko permissions. Ditto on Flipboard, Pinterest, and some other ones. If you're not as paranoid as I am, they might be worth a look. G+ is preinstalled and I already use that so it's pretty cool.
WeatherBug EliteThe Weather Network

H. Weather: I put on Weatherbug, but I hear that The Weather Network for free is better anyway. 

Skype - free IM & video callstextPlus Free Text + Calls

I. Phone: Why would I want phone on my tablet? I already have a phone! Some people say TextPlus is good as is Skype, but I haven't installed either.
MovieTube Ad-FreeYouTube

J. Movies: Youtube, Movietube (list of movies on youtube), and MVplayer. I haven't actually used any of these but youtube, so I can't really say if they're any good.
QR DroidDropboxEvernote
K. Apps which could have been cool but I didn't install/installed but didn't use: Social networking, movies, uTorrent, Moonreader pro, Zite, Evernote Flipboard, Reddit Bacon, Google Reader, Android's free barcode scanner for QR codes, Need for Speed (don't), Dead Trigger (didn't bother), and HD Widgets (I found them useless). Also: Dropbox, Google Drive, Stumpleupon, and a few others.

All of the above either wanted permissions I didn't want to give, duplicated what I already have, were never used, or were otherwise ignored by me for no good reason. 
My Data Manager

L. Installed My Data Manager to watch my wi-fi and mobile use. I think a similar program is pretty much a must on these kinds of devices.


M. Put Challenger RPG on Google Currents which I felt was pretty awesome. Only problem is I need 200 subscribers before they make it official. Oh, well.

News Canada

N. Tweak preferences to let the screen auto-rotate to any position.
Google Earth

O. Anything cool I missed? Feel free to let me know.

P. Nes.Emu could presumably be used to play Galaga.
Anti-Virus Pro - Tabletavast! Mobile Security

Q. Anti-virus: I installed AVG out of habit. I've heard Avast! Mobile Security is the one to go with, but I can't personally vouch for it. That said, I think it's only a matter of time before mobile devices are hacked, wiped, pirated, or what have you. That's why I only have a small limit on the credit card I use online and I still haven't hooked up my e-mail accounts and social networks to automatically sign in on my Nexus. Yes, I'm paranoid. Yes, I may change my mind later on.

R. Peripherals: Okay, you've got your Nexus and you've got your apps. What about screen protectors, bags, keyboards, and other things like that? Well, mostly I ignored them. I use a bit of thin foam to protect my tablet and I stuff it in my pocket or a work bag. Yes, I could pay $70 for a nice pouch for it, but I think that's just silly. Probably why I went for one of the more affordable tablets instead of an Ipad mini. The keyboard also seems a bit weird, considering I could just buy a laptop and get a better effect with less bulk anyway.

S. Toughness: I like to rate all my devices on toughness. I have an old Dell computer which is supposedly almost indestructible and can be thrown out moving trucks without severe damage. I know a friend who had a screen crack on an Acer and couldn't get a replacement or anything.
I'm not really sure how tough the Nexus 7 is. I don't think it's meant to be tough.
Why should it be? That said, I've dropped it three times so far and it's still in one piece. The glass probably scratches over time, but I'm going to use it regardless (and without a screen protector). The Ipads are supposed to be tougher and have gorilla glass, but you have to pay an extra $600 for it, and who chucks their tablets at cement trucks anyway?

Minecraft - Pocket EditionWikipedia

T. I recently added Minecraft Pocket Edition to my tablet because I'd already bought it for my phone and found it useless. The game play is significantly more awesome on the tablet and with the new updates. I'm not one much for games on my devices, but if you are, this is one to check out for sure.

I also added Wikipedia as an app to save myself a couple of clicks but haven't used it much yet. 

All other images courtesy of GooglePlay.com

...GM Advice

...Essential Nexus 7 Tweaks on Another Site