Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Purchases

I acquired a Seagate 1 Terrabyte external hard drive this week. It was on sale at Best Buy. There are many different versions of portable/external hard drives on the market, and if a smaller size or a unique color was important than I could pay more for less space. And besides, if I was willing to pay $80 for 500 MB I might as well pay the extra $20 and get a whole terrabyte anyway.

I am pretty pleased so far. It plugged right into a USB 2.0 port (I installed a USB 2.0 card just last week) and it was immediately recognized by the host PC. It comes with its own version of a file backup program and it worked great. I was able to tell it exactly what I wanted to back up and when I want it done (2:00 AM).

I knew the first (full) back up would take awhile, so I hit start and walked away for a few hours. During this time Microsoft choose to send down a couple of patch files, quickly followed by my Norton Antivirus attempting to do the same, and the machine essentially drug itself to a complete halt. I ended the backup, finished the downloads, installed the patches, rebooted, and then restarted the backup, which completed quite quickly.

I never thought I'd fill a 20 GB disk, nor the 80 GB disk I now have, so, just for the sake of consistency, I of course don't think I'll ever fill my 1 TB disk either. Besides backing up the data off my increasingly noisy internal hard disks I want to reset my music library on the new disk so I can add the rest of my CD collection. Technically the new drive is portable as well, but it will most likely stay right where it is.

Last Thursday (March 4th) was DM Day at the community of on-line game stores. I am sure there is a reason why that particular day was chosen, but I really don't care. But what does matter is that the on-line game stores knock 25% off all their prices for a day (some do it for a few days). There were several things at I had been keeping my eyes on, so for ~$25 I purchased and downloaded four watermarked PDF's I wanted within a matter of minutes.

Azagar's Book of Rituals was commissioned right after 4E was released and the concept of rituals was fully explained. The author solicited input from the gaming community and this book is the result with over 300 new rituals.

Rituals is a new concept in magic spells, and we haven't done much with them yet. Whereas spells in the old system generally required a magic component, frankly we never paid much attention to the mandatory component aspect of it. Rituals generally require some amount of gold as part of the cost of casting. When it comes time we will walk ourselves through the process and see how it goes.

I mentioned several weeks (here) ago that Wizards had put out their own version of a handbook specifically for Dragonborn. It occurred to me as I was planning this article that I had still never seen this book in the stores yet, so I went to look for it at both Borders and Barnes and Noble today, but it still wasn't there. Regardless, Hero's Handbook: Dragonborn serves much the same purpose in that it gives some additional history as to the background of the Dragonborn and hints and tips on how to play a Dragonborn.

Wizards is planning on releasing their own book on Tieflings this summer. Hero's Handbook: Tieflings also provides background and play information for the player with a Tiefling character.

Hero's Handbook: Eladrin is similar to the two previous books in that additional background and game play information concerning the Eladrin character is provided. I have been paging through Azagar's Book of Rituals so far, which means I haven't even started on the other three. I have them all on the USB chip I carry around and we can look at them some Sunday if there is interest.

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