Friday, March 15, 2013

Tech: Conclave

One of the realities of the rat race is that you seldom have the time to engage in an eight-hour, Mountain Dew-chugging, Cheetos-eating session of D&D. Heck, between working a job and spending time with the family, it can be a challenge just to simultaneously log onto a computer to play an MMO with your old school chums.

Conclave is a turn-based, co-op tactical RPG that aims to bring back some of that old dice-rolling magic. Everything is asynchronous (sort of like a play-by-email game or correspondence chess). In other words, you can accept quests, choose storylines, and battle enemies without having to be logged on as the same time as the other members of your party. Plus, the game runs in a broswer window, so it works on almost any smartphone or tablet out there. In sum, Conclave is literally the closest thing to a mobile 4th edition D&D game as you're likely to find.

There are drawbacks to the universal, scaled-down approach - the game's combat maps feel cramped and limited, and character creation and progression is just too simple to hold the interest of a roleplaying diehard like me. Still,  I did have plenty of fun with Conclave, and it's hard to knock something that's (a) in beta and (b) free to play. If it sounds interesting, head on over and check it out.


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