The following is a review of an earlier version of my site that appeared in the now-vanished Web zine, Wounds Unlimited. Wounds Unlimited is a trademark of Cutlass Concepts. The following column is ©2000 Cutlass Concepts. Reprinted here with permission.
Name This Column!
by Derek Quinn
Editor's Note... some of you remember that last issue, we ran a poll to find a name for this... column. We had several good choices, but we have heard rumors that there may have been some ballot box stuffing. We are checking into these rumors, and will hopefully have the whole mess sorted out by next issue. Of course, I'm kind of growing fond of the current name.
Well I tried and tried to get out of it, but I still had to put together another article for this sham of a website. One of these days the publishing industry will acknowledge my talent and I won't be forced to write for this virtual hack rag. In the meantime, there's a few more websites that have been granted the Derek Quinn Gaze of Evaluation, a high honor indeed. Both of these sites were sent in by my loyal readers so they must have something to offer. Then again, there's no accounting for taste…
To begin with, a unique site called Cayzle’s Dungeons and Dragons Site. There are two separate sections gamers will be interested in on Cayzle’s site: a play by email game called “The Blue Tavern Inn” and a section devoted to the Wemic species for AD&D.
The best part of this site is the layout. Simple, to the point, and detailed. Everything is in its place and the design is not graphic intensive. The pages load fast and are easy to read or scan for certain passages. There are so many web sites that fill their pages with graphics for every little nuance; from back buttons, navigation links and pictures. Not only do they take a long time to load (even for high speed connections), but sometimes it's hard to find what you're looking for amongst all the cute icons and graphics.
Cayzle’s taken the opposite to heart. Text and more text. No fancy link buttons; no page flooded with images. The most images you'll find are on the home page due to webrings.
The Blue Tavern Inn section is devoted to a game played through Yahoo! Clubs, but the meat of the game is found here. You'll find a complete mythology, a section on the house rules and a background on the characters found in the current adventures. Also found here is a small section on a race called the Chaos Lords. I did not find a section devoted to the world itself however. If there is a section on this at the GM’s website (a link to which is found on Cayzle’s site) that's great; otherwise a much needed piece is missing.
|Note to my loyal (and not-so-loyal) readers: I limit my reviews of websites to sites with actual content found at that specific website. I don't like to bounce about to other websites. What you have on your site, is what I review. Remember too that the sites I review must have content that enhances a game. Sites that simply say "Wouldn't it be cool if..." and the like I simply pass by.|
The Wemic section is well laid out and easy to navigate. The links are clear to what they lead to and are easy to distinguish against a pale pink background (the only criticism I had on first glance). Cayzle included a nice introduction to the race and follows through with general rules for AD&D gameplay (including stats and information from the Monster Manual) followed by rules for priests and bards using the Wemic race.
Overall a nice site that peaked my interest in playing a Wemic in a future AD&D campaign, which is what a good website should be about. Right?
|On the flip side of this is The Vanishing Tower, a hodge-podge of links and text that is hard to follow even though the website claims to have been “developed with consideration for handicapped users.” The text is jumbled together and if I read the site correctly those with vision problems would have an easier time viewing the page. I don't have any special software for having websites talk to me regarding their content, but if the visually impaired viewed this site with the text at its highest font size it'd make it worse.
Content is lacking as well. Nearly the entire front page is covered with links that don't tell much about the site you'll be visiting.
Our current Earthdawn party happens to be known as The Survivors of Legend. They used to be known as... wait for it... Wounds Unlimited. This was due to the extremely great number of wounds each party member had. All of us had at least five, but our dwarf, Tahg, had a grand total of seven.
So having that pop into my head when creating a rating system I decided to award "wounds" to each site; the more wounds they can withstand the better and "stronger" they are. If they can take seven they're a force to be reckoned with. If they can take only one, they'll be Horror food before long.
The only link on the front page that leads to something on the same site is one called “Join my roleplaying e-mail game!” to which you'll be taken to a page where the gist of the information is to email the website's owner for more information.
For pure gamers this site is a site you can keep off your bookmarks. The links available here can probably be found with more detail on a web search engine.
|Cayzle’s Dungeons and Dragons Site||The Vanishing Tower|
My standard caveat: I will revisit these sites in the months to come and if things change I'll be sure to update my ratings in a future column.
If you have a comment, a gripe, a praise or a suggestion for a website to review, send it to me at DerekQuinnWU@hotmail.com. Be forewarned; I may use your statements or comments in future columns. If you want to remain anonymous, please say so in your email.
May the Passions be with You…