Of wikis and dragons

For several years now I’ve hosted a number of role-playing wikis on kuglerworld.com, one for each of the campaigns that I’ve run. Back when I started, I ended up choosing pmwiki, a non-database-driven wiki that met my needs. It was clunky in places and highly propriatory, but it worked.

Last weekend I installed a local copy of MediaWiki (the wiki platform that Wikipedia runs) on my website. Over the last week I’ve migrated the entire content of my existing wikis over to the new wiki, which sports a cleaner interface, better cross-linking, a true database-driven backend, and some nice bells and whistles, like the ability to export groups of pages as pdfs. I think I’m done with the legacy wikis and can delete them, and I’ve updated the role-playing link on kuglerworld.com to point to the new wiki. The impetus for this was the beginning of a new D&D campaign that we started last Saturday. I’m running our gaming group through the War of the Burning Sky adventure path, which should be a lot of fun.

Last night we flipped through our on-demand Netflix catalog and ended up watching Dragon Hunters during dinner. Neither Kristy nor I had ever heard of it, but Brenna wanted to watch it, so we did. It was a predictably bland plot (not bad, but nothing great either, which is a kiss of death in these media-saturated days), but the world-building–wow! The movie took place in a very stylized medieval world filled with floating landmasses, not unlike much of the Super Mario Galaxy games. What really cemented it to me was how evocative it was: the movie started out with green fields and plants, but swiftly transitioned into this deteriorating world of massive stone structures, crumbling and tumbling away toward the void-like end of the world.

The environmental art design was astoundingly evocative and reminded me of Minas Tirith in Jackon’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, or perhaps the PS2 game Shadow of the Colossus. I’d highly recommend watching the movie just for the background visuals–I think a role-playing campaign set in a dying, sterile world like that could be a lot of fun.

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