Sunday, June 8, 2008

Welcome to Advanced Dantians & Dragons

Advanced Dantians and Dragons (AD&D for short) is a punny name that encompasses two of my main interests - old school role-playing (in particular Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st edition but also 2nd edition)) and Chinese mysticism/martial arts. Related interests include mythology, languages, and of course computer gaming (especially gaming related to the other interests above!).

This blog will focus on the following:

1. My efforts to revive 1st and 2nd edition AD&D (as 3rd edition has nearly wiped it out from the earth) through encouragement of the the open source CRPG maker Dungeon Craft ( Dungeon Craft emulates the old Gold Box games by SSI (Strategic Simulations, Inc.), in particular Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures, which allowed gamers to create their own Gold Box series game. Unfortunately, Dungeon Craft does not receive the attention that it deserves, partially because it is still under development, but also because of a lack of art and adventure modules. My own efforts strive to assuage the second problem; I have a lot of art already (, but I still need to make more before I can create my future adventure module! As a part of Dungeon Craft's development I will also provide some AD&D rule specifics as needed.

2. My goal to become successful as a freelance pixel artist. 99% of the art I create for #1 is of the art field known as "pixel art" (although I have done this for years before I even knew what people called it); basically it is art as created in Microsoft Paint (or similar simple art programs). It is nice to make extra money, especially doing something that one enjoys, so sometimes I do pixel art that is not related to Dungeon Craft for my portfolio (or gasp, even a job!).

3. My research and experiences regarding Chinese martial arts and qigong. As a current practitioner of the arts of baguazhang (八卦掌) and xingyiquan (形意拳) (and to a lesser extent, yiquan (意拳) and taijiquan (太極拳)), I am very interested in history, technique, weapons, etc. of the Chinese martial arts, as well as related subjects such as Chinese thought (Daoism, Buddhism, Confucianism), ancient Chinese military strategy, ancient Chinese weapons, and so on. (To a lesser extent, I am interested in Japanese and Korean martial arts as well.)

4. Commentary on culture and language. Language is of course the foremost culture of any group; besides English, I have varying ability in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean, and many interesting comparisons can be seen once one gains some fluency in these three languages. Culture comparisons are also very interesting and I may write about that as well.

5. Introductions to characters of somewhat obscure Japanese comic books (i.e. anime/manga) that I am a fan of.

6. Anything else I feel like writing about, such as animals (especially weird critters), paranormal phenomena, or even cooking. :)

Looking forward to blogging here, stay tuned!

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