Lonnie C. Howell

A man with a mission
Hobbies

Adventures on the Table and Computer

Sailors and Soldiers

One of my primary hobbies is playing Video Games. This pass time provides me with diverse experiences, some of which are worthy of posts of their own, from the comfort of home. One of these experiences is as a sea-fairing pirate in the Xbox/PC game, Sea of Thieves. what makes an experience like this of note to me is the sense of adventure that I often do not get with other titles. While games such as the Elder Scrolls advertise a world ripe for exploration, I often find myself too caught up in the narrative and quest-lines to truly explore without a specified goal. This problem is near nonexistent in Sea of Thieves because of the nature of the objectives given and the world it is set in. While they have recently added a narrative that ties in with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, I have more often than not forgone the story. instead,  I would take myself and/or a crew on a voyage to hunt for treasure, deliver cargo, and fight lingering wraiths for the game’s three main factions (the Gold Hoarders, Merchants Alliance, and Order of Souls respectively) in order to gain the title of Pirate Legend. While on one of these voyages, side-objectives don’t come in the form of a prompt at the top corner of the screen, but in various things you stumble upon. Such as when you are on your way to an island and notice seagulls circling a shipwreck. There’s a high likelyhood you’ll be able to find treasure of some kind, if you decide to swim through the wreckage.

Another experience may not take you to the stars, but it’s certainly not on Earth. In these games, humanity is cornered by an alien threat and you are an elite soldier named from the legendary warriors of ancient Greece, a Spartan. In September of 2021, 343 Industries released the multiplayer mode for Halo Infinite, the latest title in the Halo franchise, early. Despite a great many bumps in the road. I still find myself having some fun when playing Halo infinite. Though I have yet to attempt a heroic playthrough of the story campaign, much less on Legendary, I have enjoyed the multiplayer. While it can be frustrating at times, it is a blast when I am at my best. One of my favorite game-modes is Fiesta, in which every player spawns with a random weapon combination and random equipment. If I get an Energy Sword, Rocket Launcher, and Grapple-Shot, I know it’s going to be a fun game.

Dice and Detachments

While both of these can generally go under Gaming. This is somewhat different because all of the images that would appear on a screen come from the Theatre of the Mind. Tabletop games are a more niche part of Gaming as a whole. While Dungeons and Dragons has skyrocketed to popularity, most people are not aware that there is a much larger world that spans even beyond Roleplaying games. As stated before, Dungeons and Dragons is the most popular Tabletop game, it was it’s cousin in Tabletop Gaming that served as my introduction. Pathfinder is a system that is heavily based on Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition (or 4.5, if we’re talking about Second Edition) and serves as an alternative for those who prefer a more complex and customizable system compared to D&D 5th Edition. While Pathfinder is my favorite system when it comes to simply playing a game, my favorite for telling a story is, in fact, Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. This is because it is not as rules heavy as other systems would be. Since it concentrates more on the Roleplaying aspect of a Roleplaying game, it is a lot easier to tell a story through the rules rather than having to work around them. However, I have recently been introduced to other systems, such as Dark Heresy, Mutants and Masterminds, Bunkers and Badasses, and more. While I could go into more well known games such as Magic the Gathering, the ones that I have been getting into lately have been has been War Games. Specifically Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer: 40,000. Though I have only played one game of Age of Sigmar, I am fascinated by the hobby of War-Gaming as a whole. Not just the games themselves and how they are played, but the building and painting of models as well. Getting into such a hobby is also great because I have been wanting to play more games that are more strategic and slower so I can train myself to think and plan rather than simply run-and-gun. It may be a slow process, but it may be a habit I can learn by playing such games more often. That being said, thanks to factions such as the Orks in 40K, I could have at least one army that is there purely so my opponent and I could laugh at the absurdity of it.

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