Friday, 27 May 2011

Thursday Night D&D: Imadra The Kobold, And The Sea Sickness. Also, Question.

Actually going to start off with my question tonight, since it's more fresh in my mind... I've been asked on many occasions to run a 'high level' campaign, usually meaning something 10th level or above. Every time I have ever agreed to this, I've run into MASSIVE problems as a DM, such as the party being completely immune to things several CR higher than they should be capable of fighting, or being able to bypass anything that I may throw at them that they CAN'T take on through spells and/or class abilities and/or items. They don't even put in all that much effort to do these things, and it seems to make running the campaign and keeping it interesting significantly harder, from my standpoint. My question is, is this a common issue with high level play? Am I letting my players get away with too much?

Alright, now on to a recap of today's session (Also, there was no game on Monday.):
We started after a good night's rest back at the Pathfinder Lodge, got our pay for our last mission, found a new listing of missions, and took the one that sounded most like 'adventurer' work; an escort mission out to... somewhere... We didn't really get that much in the way of specifics. On the bright side, these guys seemed much more 'on the level' than those Brothers Grim guys we dealt with. These were the Brothers Slim (Yay for thoughtful Round Robin DMing! :D). Anyways, we set out after a rocky start of people not being sure that they were ready and all that sort of thing, in a horse drawn carriage, complete with rifle lookalikes to scare of bandits and the like...

We kept right on going until we got to a river, which we traveled across on a ferry, a rather sizable one... Imadra, my Kobold Sorcerer, succumbed to  sea sickness, and had to, unfortunately, stay outside all night at the edge of the ferry, so he wouldn't make a mess on the deck. We switched sea-fairing vessels at one point, I'm not entirely sure why, and Imadra nearly fell off a plank that was 'as wide as the wagon'. He would've fallen in, were it not for our trusty Cavalier!

We met eyepatch wearing guys. They were cool. Gave us soup. Ended up giving Imadra a neat little concoction that knocked him out cold, and when he woke up, he didn't feel ill any more! It was quite the thing, apparently a 'potion' put together using mostly fish for ingredients. They gave us food and soon enough sent us on our way, to no doubt battle with bandits.

Of course, bandits didn't attack, wild wolves did!

They went for the horses first, big easy prey that were tied to the heavy cart. Our Goblin Ranger tried his damn hardest to improve the mood of one of the wolves, but the wild thing just kept getting more and more pissed with him as he smiled at it and called it a good doggy. Sent it into a frothing rage he did. Our Half-Orc Cavalier made short work of one of them with his lance, setting in on the one attacking the horse next, while Imadra shot Ray of Frosts across the way at the wolf who was foaming at the mouth as it tore chunks out of our Goblin. Eventually they either fled or left, which meant that we had an unconscious goblin, a thoroughly bloody horse, and two adventurers that at least felt they'd done a good job.

That was where the session ended. The DM for today, our Gnome Fighter, was feeling tired, so I can't really blame him. Got a full time job and all that, in the mornings, doing manual labor.

Anywho, night guys.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Friday Night D&D: A Good Start! Also! New Book! EEEEEEEEEE! :D

Hi guys! Sorry about the no posting lately. I should really relay how my Friday campaign went, despite most of the players not showing up... but first! The Ultimate Magic book seems pretty damn good from a cursory look over it. Haven't had a chance to go in-depth quite yet, but I'll probably be mentioning it if I find anything over or under-powered.

So anyways, Friday's campaign...

The starting was rocky, seeing as the one experienced guy didn't show up, and his friend, the guy who wanted to play a ninja, didn't show up either... which left me with:
The Elven Alchemist (my little brother)
The Halfling Cavalier (the shortest kid ever)
The Orc Barbarian (the somewhat ADD kid)
The Gnome Summoner (my little sister)
I started them off with something simple. They were part of a guild of monster hunters, hired on by the city of Lastwall due to the fact that their crusaders were running a little low for their border patrol to keep the orc hordes from advancing, let alone to keep internal problems at bay.

They decided to take a job to investigate reports of children going missing in a small town near Northern Fangwood. It wasn't exactly an uncommon occurrence, but the only victims appeared to be children, which was somewhat odd... To get there would take six days of travel by foot, and there were not enough horses or other such mounts for everyone to ride, and so they walked. The first day turned to night, and so they camped.

While camping, on the last watch, the Orc Barbarian spotted something in the tall grass, not far from camp. He went to investigate, and found a horse, as nothing but skin stretched over bone, with not a single piece of meat inside, and two puncture wounds in it's side... Terrified, he woke everyone up and asked them about it. The summoner suggested it might be a giant spider, then went back to sleep, leaving the poor orc apparently scared witless.

Night became day once again, and the rest of the trip across the rolling plains was, thankfully, uneventful. They came to the small town, where they immediately split into two groups, with the Gnome and the Halfling heading to the mayor's house, and the Elf and Orc heading to the bar, apparently to speak with the bartender for information. They spoke with Thudd, the big green guy behind the bar, who was not subtle about the fact that he required some 'money' before he'd share his 'information'. They tossed him five gold coins and asked him for information on the missing children. He said to check in with the Johnson's, as their little girl had been stolen just the night before. They thanked him, and headed right off to investigate.

The Gnome and Halfling found that the mayor's house was quite empty. They chose to try and catch up with the others, so they headed to the bar, getting there only a minute after the Orc and Elf had left to go to the house. They paid off Thudd themselves, not knowing that the information from him had already been bought, and the much more charismatic duo managed to get quite a bit more information from him, such as the fact that this had all started no more than a month ago, and the fact that three other families had lost their children as well. The Smiths lost their two sons and daughter, the Cails had lost their son, and the Joneses actually burnt down their house after their daughter went missing, along with all of their belongings, before leaving the 'accursed' place.

The Orc and Elf were first to arrive at the Johnson's home, knocking to find that there were three voices inside, all heading toward the door! The mayor came out (it was obviously him, as he had more hair on the bottom of his head than the top), and was immediately confronted with questions, which he huffily replied to, "Out of my way, not right now!" as he headed back to his house, passing the other two adventurers along the way with the same responses. Soon after he'd locked himself in his home. The adventurers were invited into the home of the sobbing woman and the obviously thoroughly frustrated and also tearful man, who's little girl had been stolen during the night. They were led to the bedroom, where the window was left ajar, and unlocked, the closet was open, and the bed was quite a mess of sheets, with the pillow across the room in the corner beside the window.

The scene was described as the man hearing his daughter screaming, rushing to help, only to find that she was already gone... While this was being described, another scream was heard from across the house, and a thud, along with another thud outside that only the Halfling heard. The Orc and Gnome rushed into the room where the woman now lay unconscious, window open and unlocked, with a bloody night gown laid out on the bed sheets, a note written in blood atop it that said, "I'VE GOT HER." in chicken-scratch letters.

The session ended there, because people had to go, so they never really got to figure out what the thump outside was. Anywho, that's how that day went. Hope you guys enjoy reading all that text. :D TTYL!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Thursday Night D&D: Imadra The Kobold, And The Little Sneak Who Got Stabbed

Alright, so, last night was the first time in a rather long while that the campaign I have on Thursdays actually ran. Thanks to my Round Robin idea (which could still potentially flop at the slightest provocation), I didn't have to DM for that day! Unfortunately, the reason that we'd taken so long to play, was that two players in particular kept being unable to make it, one of whom was the only real meaty character we had in the group.

We resolved the issue via someone making a new character, and jumped right in to the session! We had:
A Kobold Necromancer/Ice Sorcerer (Me!)
A Gnome Fighter/Tinkerer
A Half-Orc Cavalier
The story begins with our little group accepting a job posting at our guild. An escort defense mission that might take a few days. We arrived at the scheduled meeting time, only to discover that the particulars of the mission had apparently changed. It had gone from an escort mission to a preemptive strike mission. We were still being paid 50 gold pieces a day (a pretty damn hefty sum), but now there was more to worry about, so our contractually minded Fighter Gnome came up with a new deal. We ended up earning twice the originally agreed upon money, as this was most likely going to take us a day, at most.

We headed off into the cave we'd been led to, which was littered with poorly spelled warning signs, such as:
"Go Bawck!" (Go back!)
"Armeh of Dewm!" (Army of doom!)
You get the picture. We pressed on ahead, and... found a place absolutely COVERED in what was described as 'refuse'... The scent was described as the foulest bathroom stall ever encountered... There was an unlit brazier (The fire container, not the 'other' container...) in the center of the room with coals in it, there was a set of stairs leading up to a single door, and there was a double door at the end of the room. We argued for a moment where the more important target might be located, with the Kobold insisting that we check the other rooms before we proceed on to the 'Big Bad Thingy' that was OBVIOUSLY behind the grand double doors. The other two figured that if we took him out, then we'd have a bit of time to go looting afterwards. Silly fleshies, always thinking they have so much time...

Anyways, we had the big one, the Half-Orc stand by the door, ready to open it, while the Kobold and the crossbow toting Fighter Gnome set up a shot on whatever might come through. The Half-Orc set to pulling, something fairly big started to push against the other side, and when it finally managed to wedge it's way through... the gnome missed COMPLETELY with the bolt I'd enchanted for cold damage, wasting it, and forcing the Half-Orc to take a swing as the giant beetle tried to fly past him. He managed to lop the poor beastie in half with one swing, before it'd made it very far at all... but it wasn't the only one in that room, and after three more of the things emerged, and two successful hits with that crossbow, we had slain all the big ones, with nothing but eggs to worry about in that room... Dozens upon dozens of eggs...

We decided that we'd check that side room now, as we were supposed to find a previous business partner of the brothers waiting outside, and 'dispose' of him, permanently severing their ties from him by doing so. As we opened the door, we heard a squealed voice from within, declaring us murderers, talking about how we'd 'Skooshed' his family and friends, and how much he hated us. We tried to reason with him. We really, really did. But he was hearing none of it as he hid from us... The Kobold managed to find a secret passage, and deactivation lever for a poorly designed trap, before sneaking along said passage to get in behind a sobbing, weeping form, and the strange metal device he was working at...

As soon as the Kobold was RIGHT up behind the creature, the metal thing began to move, turning out to be a mechanized snake of some sort... Probably an Iron Cobra, if you want to be technical. As soon as it'd left the room, the Kobold cast a spell to drain the very life essence from the figure in front of him, whatever it might be, and as he did, he leaned over it's shoulder and smiled, whispering in his sadistic little yappy voice, "Everyone and everything you know and love is dead..." (Yes, this is an evil character. :P) This got the creature to wet itself, and curl up into a pathetic little ball in the corner of the room, moments before trying a last ditch spell involving it's grotesquely large eyes bulging from it's head... Needless to say, it didn't have much effect, and coaxed a smirk from the Kobold. The Kobold approached his cowering prey, who made no move to stop him. He drew a gleaming dagger from within his robes, and...! Well, I'm pretty sure you can tell what happened next...

Meanwhile, in the other room, much struggling and fairly pointless clashing was going on between the iron cobra and the heavily armored Half-Orc, trading blows like nobody's business, attacking back and forth, neither taking much damage from the other. Eventually he opted to hold the snake in place, while the tinkering Gnome deactivated it.

And so we left the place, with the corpse of a Mite slung over the Half-Orc's  shoulder, each of us 50 gold pieces richer (Found on the body of the Mite), and potentially ready for a fight should our employers attempt to stiff us... Luckily they didn't, and the trip back to town was fairly uneventful.

Should be making another post soon about the campaign from tonight. See you all then! Enjoy this for now!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Monday Night D&D: Actually On Monday! Also, Totally Not Planned Either...

Alrighty, so I guess I got plenty of D&D this week, assuming that the week started on the weekend. 'Today', which I consider to be today since I haven't slept yet, people started asking me when to show up at my house. I got enough requests that I said, "Screw it, I'll run something."

Everyone arrived at 6-ish. Banter occurred, talk of pizza was had, pizza was ordered, and we finally started actually playing at 7-ish. The session started with introductions, as it was set a few days before the current dungeon mentioned in the Monday post before this, and this was the first time that one of the players had shown up. Tonight we had the Hobgoblin Fighter, the Human Ranger, the Duergar Necromancer Wizard, and the Oread Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean.

The hobgoblin searched the job board while the rest ate lunch, or breakfast in the duergar's case, and discovered a few different possibilities:
A quest to retrieve a rich district woman's Persian cat for 30 gp.
A quest to stop raiding goblins from stealing the garbage of the fringe dwellers of the city for 50 gp.
A quest to investigate a 'haunted' orphanage that had been long abandoned, and was scheduled for demolition for 150 gp.
A quest to investigate the recent disappearance of an entire small town to the city's eastern border for 150 gp. Additional 200 gp for the safe return of the residents.
A quest to investigate and clear out a crypt, after the place had been ransacked by a necromancer, most likely, for 150 gp.

Mr. Hobgoblin seemed FIXATED on the cat quest, as it was OBVIOUSLY the easiest, and paid decently for minimal effort. The others seemed to like the idea of keeping a lookout for said cat, while heading to the crypt, since it was just outside the city's main walls. They set out, and Mr. Hobgoblin immediately started looking for 'shady characters' to ask about the missing cat. He walked down an alleyway, lifted a casually waiting halfling up off of the ground, and proceeded to question him. The halfling pointed up, at the six other halflings toting heavy crossbows, set up on the rooftops on either side of the alley, and was put down after a short while of the rest of the party explaining to him that he would die if he did not.

After that bit of shenanigans, everyone headed to the city gate, waved to the two guards stationed there, and headed for the crypt. The walls around it were cobblestone, with flat solid stone decorative tops, and the steel gate in the front looked relatively new. There was an obvious lock on it, and a glowing arcane mark on either side that said, once translated, "Construction in progress, closed indefinitely.". The sensible party members climbed over the wall when the hobgoblin broke the obvious lock, and then tried to push open the door, only to find that there was another lock. He tried to bend and/or break the bars/wall, but to no avail, and eventually climbed over to join them.

Down the stairs in the crypt, the passageway split left and right, with right abruptly stopping with a door, and left heading off for ten feet before also stopping with a door. They voted to go left and investigate, opening the door on what appeared to be a mortician's workplace, complete with opened cadaver placed upon a table, ribcage pried open, and entrails on a nearby pan. The party necromancer was quick to take the anatomy book and enchanted scalpel he found, as well as a two femurs from the corpse to use as clubs, one for him, one for the ranger... The ranger begrudgingly took his... and a rib bone that then had light cast on it.

There were again, doors to the left and right. They chose right this time, opened it up, and found out exactly where the storage of the crypt was. It was a vast room with little alcoves for bodies to be placed, though of course it was not lit, same with the rest of the place. Ghouls were discovered, party members were paralyzed and/or knocked unconscious, ghouls were hacked to pieces, and everyone rushed back to town to get healing.

They returned around an hour later, fully healed, to discover that the cadaver from before was missing, as were the ghoul corpses. They explored the initial door to the right, and found that it was a storage closet for things such as embalming fluid, and then checked the one to the left in the mortician's room, to discover a lavatory. They then headed through the crypt, weary of more sneak attacks, before finding the door at the end, which they opened with caution. Beyond was a spiral staircase, descending into darkness...

Once down the stairs, they discovered a solid, steel door, complete with a sealing valve on the front. The hobgoblin worked to open said valve, and took in the sight before him. Ahead lay a hewn stone room, with a frayed red carpet, stone pews with three hooded figures dispersed in them, and an alter at the front with one hooded figure there, delivering some whispered, hissing sermon in an unidentified language. The hobgoblin was first to rush into action, 'sneaking up' behind the closest of the 'people' sitting in the pews. One quick axe swing, and the skeleton was in half, slumped over, and re-dead, causing the other two to spring into action and rush him. Swipes were exchanged, the rest of the party rushed the 'man' standing upon the raised alter, and nigh every attack was deflected by the hooded figure's shield arm.

His hood was knocked back by the oread inquisitor, revealing a skeleton head, with glowing blue, flaming eyes. The skeleton smiled in it's eternal grin and laughed as it reached for it's sword, pulling the gem encrusted blade free of it's scabbard, and taking a shield to the chest as he did. Further blows were traded, the inquisitor once again went down, the necromancer turned himself invisible to attempt a sneak attack with spells, and the ranger was up next to feel the fury of the Skeletal Champion, when once again that axe came through, crashing down atop the cloaked form with a splitting sound, and a loud thud as it hit the floor.

When the room was again safe, they looted, of course, and discovered:
A breastplate
A heavy steel shield
A masterwork longsword
A masterwork hand crossbow
A sack of 120 gold
They divided up the gold three ways, since the inquisitor was still 'asleep', then once again headed for town to get him healed up, AGAIN. The town guard were laughing as they saw the four men returning for the second time that day, again with unconscious and/or bleeding members over other members shoulders.

Back to the crypt they went, undaunted by their rate of unconsciousness! They once again drew near their last cleared room, discovering a trap door beneath the rug behind the alter. They opened it, and found it to be dark. They dropped another piece of bone with Light cast upon it, hearing a soft 'blorp' as it hit something not solid... This had them on edge, as they immediately assumed the worst, but this did not keep them from investigating further! From the depths of this hole, a foul stench was wafting up, one of sulfur and brimstone... or vast amounts of poop. They lowered a rope down, with Light cast upon it in ten foot intervals, to see if they could spot the bottom, and began to climb down... before the hobgoblin, still at the top, started laughing about the fact that they'd already technically completed the quest, and yet the rest of them were willing to crawl through feces for no added benefit...

Everyone took a moment to think about this, and decided against descending any further, since the path below was CLEARLY the Absalom sewer system, now that they'd gotten a closer look. The necromancer, feeling quite dirty and in need of a wash, decided to take the Skeletal Champion's much nicer robes, trimming them at the bottom and wearing them as his own, only to discover in his breast pocket, that there were floor plans! Plans for the very room they were in, as well as plans for where to dig upward from the sewers! He also found a wand... They had what they needed, and headed back to town for their reward!

And that's where that session stopped. They got paid, they did a good job, and everyone enjoyed the extra jingle of coin in their pockets. Night internet.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Monday Night D&D: Planning, And Executing! Also, It Was On Saturday.

Wow... This has been, I'm fairly sure, the first time since I started this blog that I've actually been able to play D&D. That's a little bit sad, to be honest, since I have three weekly groups going at the moment... Mind you, that might be due to the fact that Mondays are cursed. Doesn't explain the other two.

Alright, so on Friday, I went to the house of the woman I mentioned in a previous post, the one that was going to be running a campaign for the first time. Got there at around... 8-ish PM, and immediately we started talking and planning and plotting. Overall, she seemed to have a pretty good idea of how to lay out a dungeon, and the things within it, she just needed help with the background of Golarion (the setting we're using), and the base combat mechanics of it all. At around 8 AM, I passed out and she went to bed.

Woke up at Noon the next morning, half an hour before everyone agreed they'd arrive at. After the usual shenanigans that go with the starting of a session (AKA: People being two minutes late, people heading out while the late people aren't there to get lunch 'quickly', so on and so forth.) and as expected, we didn't actually START until around 3:30-4:00.

In this campaign, we have:
A Human Sorceress (Newbie) (Current DM)
A Human Ranger (Quiet guy)
A Hobgoblin Fighter (Power gaming role player)
An Oread Inquisitor (Guy who plays things that don't make sense)
A Drow Rogue (Role player who doesn't understand the limitations of the system)
A Duergar Necromancer Wizard (Guy who plays dwarves)
A guy who's yet to tell me what he's playing (Guy who rarely shows up, if ever)
And a Tiefling Magus (Me! AKA: The guy who likes to be the center of attention)

This session, we had Newbie running the campaign of course, and we had the Human Ranger, the Oread Inquisitor, the Drow Rogue, and the Tiefling Magus (Me!) show up, which was as expected for a sudden, impromptu session.

The session started from where we'd left off last time, back at the Pathfinder Lodge (The place our guild operates out of) in Absalom (The city considered to be the center of the world). A young boy brought us a package, and disappeared out of sight before we could ask him too many questions. We found a device inside that, after some fiddling, was revealed to be a map! A map of the old city that had once stood where this little island was now located, with an X near the shoreline! Being the eager adventurers we were, we of COURSE set off on adventure, heading out that way to discover whatever we might, be it gold... gems... fancy magical items... or crazy, megalomaniacal  lunatics bent on world domination! Those last ones are always fun.

We found a puzzle, followed by a room full of wells which seemed to be water, tasted like water, smelled like water, and drank like water. Later they turned into crazy elixirs and potions, go figure. Found a few neat trinkets in that first room:
An unidentified enchanted crown
An unidentified enchanted book and quill
A bunch of gold
A bunch of gems
Already the quest seemed to pay for itself! We actually figured that this was already worth the trip, so some of us thought that we could skip out on the rest of the place and just enjoy our spoils of adventuring back at the Lodge. No such luck, of course... The great big stone door leading in was locked in place, so our only choice was to go forward.

We traveled along, discovering swarms of all SORTS of different rats, from the generic kind, to the really fat trundling kind, to the Donkey Rat variety, which are commonly either pets, or food in backwoods areas. We explored, and found that this place was most likely some sort of housing for the old kingdom's ceremonial staff. We found beds, and store rooms for food, and the book (being a diary) and crown appeared to have at one point belonged to past kings... We also discovered a collapsed passage way with SEVERAL loaded crossbow traps pointing down it's direction, that seemed to reload themselves after a second. Through our searching, we discovered a secret door that led into a room filled with darkness. Darkness, and flying squid creatures that liked to latch onto my head and try to strangle me. They were pretty damn good at it too! Next was a looooong spiral hallway filled with all sorts of traps, and then on the spiral outward, a big cube of living acid goo chased us! We eventually fired enough arrows into it to make it stop moving.

After all that, we discovered a room with our names on little plaques, in front of table settings, plates filled with food, and drink enough for each of us. We ate and rested (the drow was suspicious of course) before we continued on, discovered a room overgrown with foliage, and had to make a tactical retreat after a great big fly trap tried to gobble up me and the human ranger. That's where that session ended, at around 12:30 AM. Looooooong gaming day.

Gunna end the post here, since I don't want to be TOO long winded with my description, but not before I give thanks to the only two people who've left a comment on my last post, informing me to just keep doing what I'm doing. A big thanks to SNS and Green Bean, for reminding me that apparently people enjoy reading this stuff.

Night guys.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Friday Night D&D: Cancelled Due To Illness...

Yet more D&D has not been had by me... Ah well, luckily I have reserve material, I suppose.

So apparently, from the only response I've gotten thusfar, my Grak post was confusing... Um... I guess that kinda sucks. Hoping I get some clarification on why that is soon. Anyways, on to what I'll be talking about today... Kinda debating between a few things... Should I try to make this an interactive blog? I'll give it a shot, I guess. If I don't get any answers, I'll just kinda choose something...

Now, do you people want:
a) More stories about DMing
b) More stories about characters
c) Me explaining in detail how to make a character
d) Me attempting to explain in detail how to run a game?

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Excuses, And The Introduction Of Grak!

Sorry about the silence for the past few days. Things have been busy, and... Well, to be completely honest, I got Brink, and it's actually really awesome...

Anywho, back on topic! I figure it's about time I actually mentioned one of my more... err... in-depth characters that I've made. Grak Thumpfist. Also kinda hoping that he and his goofy stories make up for the absence.

He, like many of the orc race, is big, burly, and dumb. UNLIKE many of his kind, he's like a big puppy who follows orders to the best of his ability... though often times in much the wrong way... His thought process is also that of an orc, so instructions that seem simple are often misinterpreted.

For example, in one of the most recent campaigns he was involved in, he was a Paladin. A great big powerful, 'For The Light', paladin of Tempus... He had decided to follow the group on a whim (The DM was getting rather a lot of new characters, so I figured I'd be easy on him... Plus I didn't really have all that much to work with, but that's for another story.), and with his adamantine greataxe, managed to carve his way through every door, barricade, and creature that managed to get in the way of their quest. At one point in said quest (Which at the time, was to find some long dead heroes bones to make a cure for a plague...), we discovered a puzzle that had a pile of tiles in front of it with symbols on them, slots for the tiles, and a great big red ruby at the top.

Grak was all for bypassing such things as boring letter-y words, and unusable shiny rocks, but of course, the party was intrigued. We puzzled and puzzled and puzzled s'more (Well... everyone but Grak did... He sat down in the corner and waited...), and when the last piece of the puzzle had been set into by the druid...! ... ... ... his body slumped to the floor. The puzzle was a trap! Now the puzzle was to figure out what happened, so the dwarven fighter tried it next, taking his turn to slump over as the druid stood back up. Still we did not know what was happening, since the description from the druid was vague. Something about the world going red.

The rogue was next to try this strange phenomenon, removing the tile and placing it back into it's slot, only to slump over like the rest, returning the dwarf to his body. When the dwarf described the same sort of thing, everyone clued in that their consciousness', or SOMETHING from them, was being sucked out of them and into the ruby at the top each time the puzzle was completed. Grak, of COURSE, knew the answer to such a riddle. It was OBVIOUS. He smiled brightly at everyone, announced, "Watch, Grak show you how to fix it!", lopped the ruby from it's setting with his axe, and, to the utter shock of everyone in the room, threw it hard at the floor, shattering it into several thousand pieces... Unfortunately, the rogue did not get up after that. Turns out that it's bad to shatter a giant ruby when it's carrying someone's soul. Go figure.

Uh... So... Hope you guys are at least SOMEWHAT entertained by Grak's silly antics. Please tell me if not, and I'll cut him out of my storytelling... Err... Also comment if you DO like him, because feedback is always good. Night!

Edit: Oh, one quick thing that I wanted to add! Grak was, a 'paladin', but he wasn't REALLY a paladin. He still got in crap from his god like a paladin, but he wasn't exactly wise enough for the job. All he had was charisma, so he went with that. Didn't actually end up using any of his class abilities for most of the campaign, up until... Err...Well that's kind of another story, that I don't intend on telling now.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Monday Night D&D: Cancelled, Again... >.> Also, Reminiscing Again.

Well, that's two weeks in a row that Monday's campaign has been put off, last week due to the elections, and this week due to illness. Hopefully next week it'll work out, since I'm looking forward to seeing what the person who's completely new to running a session might have in store! ... Honestly, not expecting gold, but I'll take what I can get.

Actually, that reminds me of the first time I tried to DM. I went in knowing... well... the combat system of the game. That was it. That was everything I knew. From there, I suggested a silly campaign idea. "Hey guys, why don't you write up stats for yourselves, and play yourselves as characters? The idea is that you were sucked into a game world through your computers." Apparently they really liked the idea, even though it was a ripoff of... well... a LOT of things...

The first and funniest step was having everyone competing against one another in an attempt to figure out what their ability scores might be. There were arm wrestling contests, people comparing grades at school, people giving each other Charisma scores... Oh, and the holding of breath to test constitution... I was just sort of letting them do whatever to prove what their ability scores were, and at the time didn't really know what was considered 'high'... Chalk that one up to inexperience.

Anyways, what ended up happening was, for the first and only session, I just sort of winged it. No real planning whatsoever. Kinda bit me in the butt later in life, since that's still sort of how I run campaigns, but at least I have a GENERAL thought in mind now... Back then, I was just sort of spouting off whatever came into my head, like, for example, a hunter that spoke like John Cleese, who was quite silly, and mistook each person for a wildly different animal. He escorted them eventually to a grouping of ponds (Yep, straight out of Narnia... What can I say, it's a neat idea...), and coaxed them into jumping into one.

Once they'd actually gone through, they found themselves laying in the dirt on a road in front of a gate to a castle. The guards in front of the gate weren't all that talkative, but most of the party managed to find a crack in the wall behind a bush, and snuck in. Eli, the "IN WHAT UNIVERSE" guy mentioned in the previous post, decided to wander off by himself, into the woods... I scrambled for an idea, and came up with a plant that could communicate mentally, but only express base needs. Think Little Shop of Horrors, but without talking or singing... Anywho, the rest of the party got a front row seat of what the plant seemed to want, as it snagged up the non-talkative guards, upon Eli's direction, and dragged them underground, before sucking the nutrients from them. The rest of the party showed up, and Eli's little brother starts yelling at him about how the plant ATE people, and how they should kill. At this point, Eli places himself between the plant and the party, and says, "Dude! It's a freaking psychic plant! Shut up!". That was his whole argument. Personally, I thought it was an excellent point. :D

The campaign spiraled into arguing for the next half hour, which was fine since I didn't have any more ideas at that point, and then we never played it again... Oh well. I'm sure that the new girl's idea won't be as big a flop.

Alrighty, heading to bed now. Talk to ya later guys!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Reminiscing: A Long, Long Time Ago...

Well, alright, maybe I fibbed about the extra post later yesterday night... I uh... ended up falling asleep. Heh...

Anyways, time to commence nostalgia!

One of the first campaigns I ever remember being a part of was back in Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. I was playing the part of an Elven Wizard (+10 points for originality! :P), and we'd just entered our first dungeon. I don't remember our level, what I specialized in (probably evocation, the fool...), or even what most of the encounters were (Pretty sure there were some skeletons...). What I DO remember is a door. A great big steel door with gears on it, and a series of levers in an indented section of the wall. I found this first, flipped a few levers, and... took about four hits of a paralyzing poison from darts. I get dragged out of the room, and then we start coming up with crazy ideas on how to make it work without the chance of us being hurt. I'm fairly sure that, from a player's perspective, this is what got me interested in the game overall...

After a short conversation, we put our plan into motion! We decked the biggest, strongest guy we had out in all the shields we had, and had him march his full-plate and shield covered self over to set down in front of the panel. Then he swung at the levers with a ten foot pole from the safety of his little alcove of shields. The DM rolls some dice, and declares that the trap fires useless darts at him. He tries again, and again, and again, with the trap doing nuttier and nuttier things, and eventually we all said "Screw it!" And started wailing on the door. A few rounds later, the room went silent after the DM burst out with, in a rather angry voice, "Alright, it's thoroughly broken now, the front panel falls off, oh look! Instructions for the levers! The inside of the door is way too broken to open." The silence was pierced by the biggest guy in the party, "Okay... uh... I hit it with the pick again.".

Our poor DM was so flustered at this point, that he burst out with a phrase that is remembered to this day, because back then we recorded each session (and we actually turned the phrase into an MSN sound clip for a while there). I don't really know WHY the phrase was so damn funny, maybe it was just the way he said it. "IN WHAT UNIVERSE DOES BREAKING MACHINERY HELP YOU!?" The room burst into laughs, the campaign ended without a conclusion since we had apparently broken our only way into a crucial room, and then we started up a new one the next week.

Hope that wasn't too boring of a topic to post on... Uh... Anywho, see you tomorrow!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Friday Night D&D: Character Creation

Hello again, Intertubes!

Today, I went out to the local game shop, and made up a metric crapton (~6) of characters for newbies who don't really know anything about the game. I expect this campaign to be simple, and at the same time a complete disaster, but that's usually how it goes when nobody's played before.

I've got the usual guys, who want to play a big, gruff orc fighter, the ones who want to play something weird (ex. Dwarven Rogue), and the ones who want to play something they see on TV... Unfortunately, the one who wants to play something he saw on TV wants the thing he wants to play to be some crazy overpowered ninja thing... Proooobably going to just end up making him a monk or a rogue, and leave it at that...

As with most of the campaigns I've started/run for the past two months, I'm finding that the Low Fantasy setting for Pathfinder is leading to characters that are actually challenged by the creatures and... well... 'challenges' I send their way, which is good, because that's kind of the point of them in the first place. As a Dungeon Master, too often I've let my players create overpowered characters that run through my planned stuff in around an hour, then ask me for four or five more hours worth. I realize that it sort of sounds like I'm trying to get away with less work, and in a way, I am... Not really going to justify that by explaining myself.

Thusfar, we have:
Male Elf Alchemist
Male Half-Orc Fighter
Male Orc Barbarian
Male Halfling Cavalier
Male Human Monk or Rogue (Undecided)
Male Dwarf Fighter
Female Gnome Summoner

... I'm expecting half, rounded up, to actually show up on time next Friday. :P

Probably going to be posting experiences from my previous D&D campaigns later tonight, but for now Intertubes, have a good night.

Hello Blogger People!

Well, dear Intertubes, I've been an avid D&D and Pathfinder player for the last... Um... Since I was... hmmmm... Probably about sssseeeeeven or eight years now... *shrug* Mind you, the Pathfinder came in a while later than 3.5 did, obviously.

Anyways, I've been in my fair share of games, most of which have been kind of short lived. Over the last few years, after moving away from the city where I had all these great games going on, I've gathered up a new group of friends of course... but they seem HELLBENT on not DMing, either due to laziness, an inability to read the rules (read: laziness), or the much more excusable reason that they would not be able to make it to most sessions. This has meant plenty of learning for me, as well as quite a lot of time to go through the usual pitfalls of Dungeon Mastering, and (hopefully) coming out the other side better for it.

Of course, I'm by no means a perfect DM, not even really a great one... Heck, I'd settle for 'good enough'. I've been told otherwise by my players, but I'm pretty sure they're just trying to sweet talk me into not stopping, and considering I've been going with my latest campaign for the last year or so, at one session a week, I'd say it's working.

What I believe that I've decided to do with this blog, is to recount my DMing experiences, to the best of my ability, and post new ideas to potentially get feedback on whether or not they're good. I've got a bit of reprieve time to get better, thanks to a 'break' idea I came up with that I suspect will spiral out of control after only a few sessions, 'Round Robin' DMing, where everyone at the table HAS to run the game for at least a session or two if they want to play, and they're not allowed to level their character until they have done an adequate job.

Also plotting to throw in a few of my more interesting characters that I've made along the way, their backgrounds, and a view inside their head. Kind of hoping that idea's enjoyed by more people than just myself... but then again I'm more or less typing this for myself at this point.

Sleep time is now. Night Intertubes!