Gaming Philosophy

I wonder, sometimes, what people who just run across this here gameblog think about what I say. The synopses I post aren't really the focus of this, but I love sharing the fun I have. No, what I mean are my rants on function and form of games and setting.
While it's true that the blog swings almost entirely in the direction of 3.5 D&D, that's simply because it's what games I'm in on. I've had experience with plenty of other rpg systems, and game types, in general.
The reason this came to me is because I read various other gaming blogs and message boards and I contribute my opinion often enough on some of those, but when it comes down to it, I don't know if I'm like any other gamers who tend to slap their opinions out there. Sure, I can go with games as art, gaming theory, or any other topic handed to me, but at the core of it all, I know I really just don't care enough about all that.
I'm a gamer who loves games and loves to game. Hand me any game and I'll give it a try or seven. I just love the hobby, and I feel at ease when gaming. I don't have to care about how I'm so much better a gamer because I'm playing X rather than Y or because I understand the multitudes of theory about playing, game mastering, strategy, or more esoteric topics. I'm with my pals and we're having a blast.
Is there really any more to say other than "If you're having fun, that's what counts?"
It's not that I'm calling anyone out on their opinions, this is definitely just a rant. When the philosophy behind the game style becomes more important than the actual game, that's when I pack it in and find a greener game table.
I think I'm done...there's just so much one person can read like that in a few days.

The Arcane College, or Seasons in the Abyss (Part 5)

Finally, I'm back on track with posting!
I'll start updating this when it needs to be now, which isn't days after games happen...which brings up the fact that The Drow War is skipped. I wasn't feeling good at all last Sunday, so I stayed home. It happens, though I feel bad when it does.
Also, I was thinking as I was writing a title for this post. What is the name of this campaign? I've never thought to ask Paul if he had a name in mind for it, and I call it the Arcane College, because that's where it all started, but it's definitely NOT where it is or is going.
Read on for details!

There's SO much that goes on in these games of Paul's. For one, we play two nights a week.Wednesday and Thursday are both devoted to the game, though this Thursday is our last, as John has decided to run a game. With all the bouncing in time and such, it gets confusing and hard to relate the story here on the pages of the blog. Part of the reason this week is so hard to tell is because we did an amazing amount of things. The group is finally getting used to each other's play styles and the game and things just clicked really well for us the past two nights.

To make the story somewhat short, we continued to bounce through time some, learning some interesting facts and then discovering, to our dismay, that we're the reason that the curse fell into place and thus are/were the reason that Orcus was able to dominate the world in a far future that we travelled to.
We were able to save Dessa, the dwarf queen who is trapped in the great oak mentioned before, by performing clever time hops and travelling to when she sacrificed her soul to Orcus to save her love, Grontor Gorun, who we were trying to prevent being cursed. Turns out, when we jumped to an earlier time, Dessa was able to glean that we were trying to save Grontor and, in turn (before the curse ever took place), offered herself to the demon prince, thus causing the chain of events that triggered the curse!
Alas, we were too late. Orcus had taken her soul, but chose to barter it for the large hourglass filled with time sand. After some discussion, we handed the hourglass over and he (we think) kept his end of the deal. We knew that the trade aided him greatly in his attempts to bring about the end of times and promote the decay of the universe.
Leaving there, another jump in time led us to a somewhat familiar place...the decayed ruins of the Arcane College. This time, we were outside of it, though. Venturing in, we found the body of Pick, a mischevious halfling whom we've dealt with for a while and who randomly jumps times due to sheer luck.He will be missed.
On leaving the ruins, we decided to investigate a pulsing light that we had seen in the distance before that was still going. Upon reaching the source, we saw a terrifying sight...Orcus pounding on a small orb containing Dessa and a wooden facsimile of her, yet trapped in an orb himself, that was seemingly formed from the concerted efforts of many large figures each holding a large hourglass like the one we traded Orcus and with their eyes closed in concentration.
Having been able to pierce a temporal bubble in the far future, I quickly devised a plan in which the others would stay with me and walk in while touching me. It worked and we found ourselves face to face with 7 Karrnathi goblins and an Aspect of Orcus! (CR 9, Minis Handbook)
Through quick action and smart spellcasting, the skeletons were dispatched fairly quickly, leaving the big boss himself for us to contend with...which we kinda did. Isak dropped soon to the magic of the Ruby Rod and then Orcus began systematically killing us, his awesome might coming to full bear against us. When it came down to the ropes, Chobrim and Nelsie were the only two left, almost everyone dead. With last ditch efforts and the luck of the dice on their side, they were finally able to wear him down til Chobrim struck the demon down with a mighty blow!
Afterward, the beings holding the outer sphere up let it down and began to explain that we didn't defeat Orcus, but just a particle of his essence, or an Aspect. Those there, whom we later learned were Time Lords, was able to resurrect those of us who chose to come back. Paul was nice and gave us the option of new character creation.
We gained many a boon from the Lords, not to mention furter guidance on the items we had as well as having some age taken off our character and some of our magic items recharged.

Where the game takes us next, I have no clue, but I do know that wherever it takes us, we're as ready as we ever will be. The party dynamic is becoming better and better and those whose game this is a first are obviously improving (except for one, whom I plan to speak about soon.)


The Arcane College: Part 4 - Curiouser and Curiouser

So...things just get so weird from week to week.
While the party moved on from the tree to find food and the comfort of a room, I stayed behind at the tree and began to meditate on what has happened and what path to take next, when above me, I heard a voice. There was Pick, a halfling we had met in the future, though my character was at first oblivious to that fact (I've begun to roleplay that the different people and places are somewhat static to my character, with all the jumps taking a toll on him mentally.) After having spoken to Pick, and him having given me a small charm in the form of a necklace, I realized, with the help of Ferrell, what year it was and directed him to The Dragon's Cauldron, where I have a contact in a guild I joined.

After venturing into town and learning of a gathering of the council to discuss with us our progress and their concerns about the caves/mines, we all decided to retire and rest so that we could have a good start. Meeting with the council was just as boring as it sounds when Chobrim and I began to argue and everything around us halted but we were able to move freely. A small figure was spotted fleeing the building so we gave chase, pursuing what we saw to be a small creature seemingly made entirely of sand, and could corrode things with a touch. On his trail was a gnome, who could also function normally, and who told us some of the timeslips we were experiencing and directed us in the direction of some items fueled by Time Sand (which the creature seen earlier was constructed of) with which to aid us (the first of which being the amulet I was given by Pick.) He then went on to explain that he is a watcher, and that his job is to correct the timestream so that rifts and anomalies don't appear and threaten the very future, itself.

Armed with the information given us, we immediately made haste to the south where a temple dedicated to time and temporal research is. There, we acquired our second item, a bracer which my character put on and used, subsequently aging myself 100 years, though stopping time for a minute around me. Armed with a dangerous item and an aged elf, we travelled back to whence we came and then made our way to a different town down the road, where sat a museum with what could possibly be another time-related tool. Various shenanigans there, and the expenditure of EVERY coin in my possession netted us a set of dice (a prize I did as a job for the guild) and another use of my bracer netted me 100 more years and an hourglass full of Time Sand, which happened to be attached to a water clock.

Having stolen the hourglass, we made haste to leave the town, and did so on foot, encountering a band of orcs, whom we dispatched, then moved on to our original departure point. There, we called a meeting among ourselves, revealing the steal, and decided that we needed to go to the Temporal temple place again for analysis of our things and what we could do with them. We called forth the head of the temple and as he went to whisk us there, something went wrong. We wound up where we were going, just not when. Research notes put us hundreds of years into the future, where we encountered another Time Sand homunculus, and searching for its owner, found....Pick! In possession of a Watcher's Orb.

As we ended the session, magical identification had uncovered nothing about the orb, and we had pretty much decided to activate it blindly. All the while, some of us were using those old dice we got at the museum to pass the time with a game, oblivious to the fact that we were gambling with more than just the 1 gp wager, as we have in our possession Olidammara's Dice.


The Drow War, Session 4

Having set out from Lichgate, our heroes pressed forward to Lower Scumsgrove and actually attracted the attention of Vanson Braddock, the sadistic leader of the city's defense forces/guard. Using his resources to put some pressure on the PCs, he was shocked when the party presented him with the news of the massing forces and presented evidence to him. He immediately led them to the Merchant's Guildhouse, where the true power of the city lay, and they sat their plans into motion, giving the characters a slight reward and sending them on their way before too much meddling could take place.
Continuing their travels, the PCs then pressed into a forest, following the road that cut a small path through. After a few hours of riding through the woods, a sharp howl, which one of their number identified as a challenge call. A ways back on the road stood a worg. Again it bayed, which prompted one of the PCs to address the thing, after which it warned that it sought an enemy and they should not interfere.
Shortly after, an answer call was heard and out of the underbrush sprung a wolf, snarling at the larger dog and immediately moving to close the distance. Having agreed to remain out of the conflict, the group watched as the wolf picked it apart slowly, but not without plenty help otherwise. When all was said and done, Ya-ro moved over and healed the wolf, after which it trotted down the road, where they came across it and its owner, an Elven Druid named Jass. She was accepting of the PC's story, adding that it would explain the reason for other creatures to have been driven up from the caves dotting the forest.
The group decided to check some of these caves for themselves to see if any signs of the invading force coming up was present. Moving into the first one, they encountered a group of Grimlocks that gave them a short fight, then they moved on to investigate deeper, travelling for what turned out to be hours into the cave and not finding anything before turning back. Having decided they had spent too much time inspecting the caves, they set out for the next leg of their trek to Saragost....
...which brought them to Hockton Barrow, or on their way, at least, when they spotted a small wagon being attacked by an Ogre and a handful of goblins, which they dispatched after a fierce battle and then escorted the driver to the city with his cargo of arrowheads. In the town, annual games were being held in which many different events, ranging from drinking contests to wrestling, with the festivities culminating in an archery contest that draws competitors from all over the island of Chillhame.
Good times were had by all, except Ya-ro, who felt that the games were petty and a waste of precious time, and many of the others participated in various events. This brought us to the archery contest, in which an unknown elf dominated the competition, then, once having accepted his prize...a magical longbow, snapped it over his knee, called it shit and walked away. The PCs reacted somewhat violently and nonsportsmanlike toward him, which prompted me to call a "time-out" in the game because some of the guys have played this first leg of the adventure before and know what/who he is.
At any rate, the town was warned and the group headed out, finally, for Saragost, where they met a captain of the watch outside the gates calling himself Severin, who explained that the council had already heard of the PCs from various refugees and that he was sent to escort them to them right away upon arrival. Following him, the companions were led to a side gate to avoid the bustle of the front gates, where many refugees were still camped, awaiting their turn to move into the city.
Once there, they were led down narrow corridors of back alleys and side streets, when suddenly wagons moved to block the way and Captain Severin wheeled his horse to face the PCs. Archers were spotted in the windows of nearby buildings and initiative was rolled. After a hard minute of fighting, the baddies were dispatched and the city guard could be heard coming to the scene, possibly being tipped off by a local. The group made no effort to conceal the truth of how Severin died and didn't resist when taken to the jail, which they were subsequently released from and ushered to the council chambers.
There, under the effects of a Discern Lies, the heroes plead their case and were released from the shackles of guilt upon satisfactory account of what had transpired. After some discussion, the council urged the PCs to continue their good work and ride out to warn a few more of the larger villages on the island, then let them go on their way. When the game was called, all but a few were taking their dinner at The Grand Baronial Hotel.

The cast expanded last week!
Jaymes (Starborn Human Fighter 2) - Ricky Joe
Micah Tasrofee (Starborn Human Monk 2) - Tony
Veit "Granetfist" Mead (Starborn Shield Dwarf Barbarian 2) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Aasimar Cleric 2 of Old Heakun) - Paul
Therass (Starborn Catfolk Scout 2) - Josh D/Carl
Khaz (Starborn Dwarf Barbarian 2) - John
Morrigan (Starborn Fire Genasi Warlock 2) - Steve

By the by, I do realize that I've not been on the blog as much as I had in the past. I'm going to try to knock out the Arcane College game post and another Khardtha post, then the next installment of The Drow War (from later today) tonight. Then I should be caught up.
Coming Soon: Forgotten Realm rants and more Khardtha as well as odds and ends everywhere (that include undead!)


The Arcane College: Installment 3 - Who, Exactly, Is Cursed?

Last week, I played both Wednesday and Thursday, and alot of crazy things happened.
Henry has officially left us now, and we might actually be taking more people on, since those games are open. We had 8 or 9 PCs last week as it is.

After a short trek away from the Hill Giant's place, we then started climbing into the hills, heading toward the keep of the "king" whom we believe to be cursed. On the way, we encountered some eagles of the giant variety who had taken to inhabiting the bluff along the road, as well as a Elven Druid who had taken this territory and the eagles under his care. He helped us gain an audience with the King (whose name escapes me, though he's some dwarf) on neutral ground where we tries to warn him of a curse and he and his advisors dismissed the notions and put up his guard, then ended our audience with him, bidding us good day.
While this may have seemed like a pointless encounter, don't think we didn't try. Good roleplay carried it, and ultimately, we ended up insulting him (and all dwarves) with a few statements that, if taken a certain way, could be considered veiled threats.
With that behind us, we ventured back to the Druid's (can't recall his name, either) home, a secluded barely accessible through a narrow pass in the hills, and talked with him at great length, finally convincing him of our plight and gaining an ally in our mission. Since we had nothing on us, he aided us with money to buy simple gear and convinced the eagles to give us passage to a town further away so that we could resupply without harassment.
While there and plying my trade, I was caught by a member of a local guild of property reassignment experts, known as the Fire Dragons, who operate out of safehouses in businesses with the word "Dragon" in the name. There, I gained a magic marking resembling a dragon rampant on my arm by an elderly elf who was able to discern that I wasn't from this time. All very interesting stuff. I was so enmeshed in that, that I'm not entirely sure what the other guys were doing. Heh.
Back to the eagles that evening, we flew back and discussed things with the Druid again and decided to rest before heading to a mine/cave complex that we were familiar with in the past which we thought might hold the key to whatever the curse was. Once morning came and we went to the caves, a small deal of exploring brought us to a large chamber with a huge staircase carved up and a set of double doors. Jeremy's Samurai (name not remembered) moved to open the doors and inside we saw a small creature with scaled hide and curving horns (a quasit,) which smiled then said "My master has been expecting you, but not now."
This triggered another temporal shift, which landed me in the arms of a lady familiar to the group as she grabbed me and whisked me into a dance with "Come, let us celebrate the birth!" A quick sweep of the area led us to believe we had went back 500 years in the past again and were witnessing festivities surrounding the birth of the Dwarven "king" who is cursed in the future. Once this realization hit, we all made haste to collect our old gear (leaving me with 2 of many things, since I have little magical junk in comparison with some in the party.) While at the inn we were transported from, another PC "poofed in," as we have begun calling it...and elf and cousin of my character (name not remembered.) My character was not impressed, since my family thinks of me as a good person, and now a member would be around to witness my true ways.
In any case, I simply avoided him by pursuing my own ends, looking for alchemical substances that might aid me in my travels and making contact with, to my surprise, the beginnings of the Fire Dragons, including a young elf who I recognized as the older woman in the future. Coming away with a "job" and some more information on this group, I made my way back to the others and we began preparing to move for the caves.
With another night's rest, we made our way there and to the doors of before, which were harder to open this time. Once we accomplished this, we set up a tight formation to move forward and be prepared for anything. Nelsie placed a piton at the door to ensure it stayed open, but that didn't work well. It seemed to be kicked out of place, as it skittered close to us and we could hear the doors shutting further back.
Undaunted, we continued forward til we came to a circular room with an enormous oil-filled brazier, unlit. Since I was point, I went back and conferred with the party. No other exits existed, so I told them that lighting it probably was our only way out. The party bought it and we spread out in the room and the elf who is my cousin lit the brazier...then poofed out, as we do when a player has to leave. The loss of a PC seemed to do nothing but hurt us, as when the flames began to grow, the visage of a great, scaled, goat headed creature rose out of them . A few attacks to it revealed it was an illusion, and it began to speak to us with something along the lines of "Why do you dare come here and disturb the workings of Orcus?" To which, without skipping a beat, my character shot back, verbatim: "To send you back where you came from, demon!"
The other guys didn't seem entertained with that, but hey...I'm straight up Neutral and I had some Good in me itching to come out. Sadly, that led to some Karrnathi Skeletons showing up and laying the smack down on us. We were insanely ill equipped to be fighting skeletons or demons, for that matter, but we fought valiantly on, taking out only 3 of the 9ish there and losing some of our own. Steve's fighter began to get scared and bargain with the image of Orcus, who then accepted the deal and handed him a facsimile of the Wand of Orcus with which he began to go around attempting to steal souls and then Choldram did the Dance of Ruin...and Tony rolled 20s on both die.
As we died (not much survives 40 points of damage after 11 rounds of combat,) we were given the chance to appeal to our deities (or whoever would listen,) and ultimately something happened that saved all of us. I like to think it was my superbly worded supplication to Erevan Ilesere that saved our lives. Even Steve's character appeared with us when we all shifted out of the fight, albeit knocked out from the Dance. Choldram made his way over and slew the fighter with a spell, which none of us moved to stop.

There, we ended the session, with each of us still alive thinking greatly about the experience and what it means to our characters that we are still around somehow, after knowing our fates were sealed. For Nastrond (my Beguiler,) it begins a more devout path dedicated to spreading and enhancing the worship of Erevan, as I see him as the one that saved not only me, but all of my compatriots and to deserve such a boon, I must show the utmost devotion.

By the by, Nastrond has no clue that Orcus is a demon, but he does know the term "demon" refers to evil outsiders. I wasn't metagaming in that instance. Also, I think I might have forgotten some stuff or switched some events around as far as order goes. I should have posted right as it was fresh on my mind.


Mearls...converted to Dark Side?! Also, he reviewed a movie I have to see.

Just tonight, I started reading Mike Mearls' LiveJournal, which is something I have meant to do for a long time.
I'm really tired and I got to talky to my lady earlier, so I didn't make it far, but I wanted to hit on a couple of things I have come across.

The first, taken from his post on Feb 5, 2004:
"MMORPGs suck utterly, mightily, and endlessly, and I'm not sure how long it's going to be before somoene scraps the entire rotten foundation that EQ has built and replace it with something that's good."

Is it just interesting to me that someone who works on 4E would once have said this? It's not a very well hidden secret that many elements of 4E play come from MMORPGs as a whole, so what happened?
What went wrong here that someone with such a strong opinion would now try to make the game that he said this about: "The best game has to be D&D." (same article) would now try to make that "best game" into something that is rotten, and sucks utterly, mightily, and endlessly.
I guess dollars can erase one's opinions.
Yes, I do realize that was over 3 years ago, and that people and opinions change, but I also feel that if something isn't broken thematically, which D&D certainly IS NOT, then you don't try to make that theme something else.
I'm not bagging on Mearls here for working on the project, etc., and I still plan on checking out 4E, but I dunno. It seemed an odd contrast coming from one of the first posts I read of his.

Moving on from that, though...Mike also a day after his MMORPG comment seen above, mentioned a movie that is a definite must see for me, as I'm just a fan of horrid movies. B or otherwise.
I know a few other people who would like to get ahold of this one, too, so if you're out there reading, check this out!
I'll give the whole of the "review"ish bits so that you can see them in context.

"3. What was the last really awful movie you saw? How would you have made it better?

My roommate sat down to watch Battle Royale 2, an incredibly stupid movie about a revolution of incredibly stupid Japanese teenagers, who used the power of incredible stupidity to struggle against incredibly stupid adults. It featured such highlights as:

* Apparently, Afghanistan is the most beautiful place on earth. We should all look to it as an example of what society could be like.

* In the movie's final scene, the two main characters are outnumbered 100 to 1 and completely surrounded. They charge out from behind cover to die in a blaze of glory. Cut to a flash of light. Cut to a group of secondary characters who escape the final battle and now live in the utopia that is Afghanistan. Suddenly, a truck pulls up. It's the two main characters! Joy! How'd they survive? Who knows!

* In the future, the government will recruit random high school classes and throw them into combat with no training. Also, they will issue equipment at random. You might get bullets for your gun, or perhaps a toilet seat.

* If terrorists hide on an island, it's better to send waves of ill-trained high school students to fight them rather than bombing the crap out of them.

How would I improve this movie? That's an impossible task. This movie had no redeeming qualities. From the basic concept to the execution, it did nothing right. I would improve this movie by beating the director and writer to death."

Of course it's an impossible task. It's hard to upgrade awesome, after all.
Anyway, sounds like some serious crap. I HAVE to find this flick.
I can only hope others will join me in this pursuit of pure movie gold.


Khardthan Conundrum

So, it's 3:19am and I just woke up with a terrible feeling. I'm not even usually in bed by now, but my net's been being dumb lately and I wasn't able to get on, so I thought I would check it out. There's no way I can fall back to sleep immediately now, anyway.
Before I start in on anything dealing with the heading of this post, I just wanna say I'm sending out good vibes and hopes that everyone is ok right now. I'm a little shook up. Odd.

But yeah...Khardtha. My gaming "baby." The one thing I have designed fully on my own.

The one thing I have NO clue what to do with.

You see, Khardtha was my sandbox when I was DMing my high school pals on Monday nights so we had more to do than just watch wrestling on those nights. I was a new DM and they were new players and it always seemed like whatever we could think up was A-OK, and it was. The more fantastic and powerful, the better. The odder things seemed, the more they fit.
I've already addressed some things in the setting that I might fix or leave the same, but there is plenty more. Key among those things is that back then, I ran the world pretty crazily. Monsters could walk the streets of cities without drawing much more than a second look, magic was as commonplace as running water in our world, and high level characters were around ever corner.

These are problems I want to fix. I've matured and my games have, too. Monsters and "evil" humanoids, etc. shouldn't have a place in society, but I fully intend to have them just as populous in the world as they were before. Magic will now be a mysterious and powerful thing, as it should be...maybe even opening possible prejudices against spellcasters from time to time...and as I said in the earlier post, high level adventurers won't be as common.

I realize that it's my game world and my campaign, and I can do whatever the hell I want with it, but I have grown to want a grittier, more vivid feel to my games. It's like I decided to touch up and finish an old painting for a gallery display, and I've sat and looked at what I have, and on one hand, it's good work for the timeframe it was done in, and I can fully appreciate that, but I can't see what the final vision was either supposed to be or what I want it to be now, so I'm setting small goals and working toward them and seeing where that takes me. The only thing is, it's important enough to me to want outside critique, because, once complete, it will be the foundation of better gaming experiences on all sides of that hobby.

Something I have been debating is whether to start the campaign around a smaller village or the city of Dungan. Both have bennies and drawbacks, and I feel like I'm riding the fence too much. I bounced some of my concerns and thoughts about that off Josh D on Sunday, and I've still to come to any conclusions.

I just reread myself and realized I'm just rambling and not really addressing the problems, just going over some points, so I'll come back to this when I have a fresh mind. Dungan is something that I definitely will address in upcoming posts, as well as the core races and classes and where/how they fit into the game.

If anyone can put a spin on Warlocks (curse/hellfire hurlers) or Dragonborn (humanoid dragons) to help me find them a place in the world, I'd be glad to hear it.


The Drow War, Session 3

You may remember that last session, I called the game after calling for everyone to roll Spot checks as they exited the mines outside of Bronce. Jaymes was the only one to not notice the small group of men awaiting the PCs on their way out of the mines, who turned out to be the town bully, Jim Oakenbough, and his lackeys who had feared that the PCs might eventually put 2 and 2 together after retrieving the body of the tax collector they had murdered from the mines during the last session.

Talking ran short and led to a quick combat in which Jaymes managed to put down 3 of the 4 men with mighty blows from his large greatsword. I know it deals more damage, but it bothers me that he still prefers it over the magical blade that is the Sword of Starkweather John. Anyway, after the fight, the ruffians wounds were tended and the PCs lashed the unconscious men to a makeshift litter and hauled them toward the town, making a stop at Jim's windmill/house after becoming suspicious of what he was trying to uncover. There, after dispatching Jim's dogs and Jaymes taking a face full of nails from a trap, they found the tax collector's chest with the lock smashed off still loaded heavily with coin.

After this find, the party made haste to the village with the thugs and their plunder, proving the heinous crime that had been committed. They also went straight to the Headman and presented the letter to him that they had found in the mines giving proof to an invasion that seemingly looms ever nearer. Through harsh diplomacy, the PCs quickly convinced the townsfolk of Bronce to evacuate and head elsewhere, preferably Saragost, to avoid their deaths. They then immediately rode out to warn the towns along the way to Saragost, starting with Lichgate.

On the way there, they were waylaid by a pair of inept bandits that managed to lay Jaymes low, but were dispatched by the rest of the party. Amongst the loot to be had was a stuffed monkey. Neat-o! They also encountered a ghoul on the road, which managed to bite Jaymes before being dispatched before everyone even got to act.

Once in Lichgate, the PCs rested for a while then tried to find the best way to get to (what they found out was a very indecisive) council, which led them to seek out the leader of the guard, a halfling by the name of Apple. Riding out to a nearby farm, they found Apple conversing with the farmer and witnessed an ankheg burst through the ground and begin to move against the 2 locals. Having no part of this, the party moved forward, with Tony's brave monk leading the charge. A hard fought battle ensued, with heavy damage inflicted on the party and culminating in a fatal critical hit against the monk before the tide turned and the group, along with Apple, were able to dispatch the beast.

Warning Apple, she immediately took them to the council, who pressed and pressed for deliberation on the matter and patience while things were decided. The PCs, with the body of their dead companion in tow, decided that the bureaucracy (why does that look misspelled?) of the city was a waste of time and left the city of Lichgate and its people/council to their own devices, heading out as soon as their meeting with the council was done.

As the session was called, the group had just laid eyes on Lower Scumsgrove and were making their way there.

Dusty has dropped Sundays, but Josh D. has been showing up the past two weeks (sorry there wasn't a game last week!) and so makes for a good pinch player. Hopefully he will be able to show more. Also, Tony has joined us since he's there to run the shop, anyway, and I was surprised with news of Kenny possibly bowing out.
If it seems that Jaymes had the spotlight, far from it. The group did quite a bit, but those spots were specific highlights. I failed in the body of the description to mention the 3 criticals I got against Tony's monk, for instance.
I wish I could remember his old monk's name...he decided to play another monk, so I let him just erase the character sheet and make the changes.

The Cast:
Jaymes (Starborn Human Fighter 2) - Ricky Joe
? (Starborn Human Monk 1) - Tony (R.I.P.)
Veit "Granetfist" Mead (Starborn Shield Dwarf Barbarian 2) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Aasimar Cleric 2 of Old Heakun) - Paul
Therass (Starborn Catfolk Scout 2) - Josh D (Dusty's old character)

Josh D! If you read this...if you want a different character, just tell me what you want and I can toss one together for you if you'd like.


Mid-week game. The Arcane College!

It's been two weeks with no update on this one, but I have played in the Wednesday/Thursday game that Paul runs the past two weeks, Thursday this past then the Wednesday the week before. It really sucks that the game runs on both nights, because I usually miss out on Thursday, so I miss part of the action.

At any rate, I'll try to catch it all up...
Having ventured further into the basement levels of the School of Wizardry/Arcane College (we've yet to learn the proper name for the place) with the aid of some OTHER friendly goblins and not the ones we had originally befriended, we delved in and encountered some blues on the 5th basement. These creatures wield powers of the mind that outstrip our current magical aptitude and so we made a deal (as we do) to keep our hides safe by agreeing to rid the level of the enemy that has been a bane to the mind lord goblins....undead. We were also tasked with opening a vault for them, but I'm unsure of the terms of payment for that one.

Having failed in the first attempt to fight the skeletal dwarves inhabiting the interior, we decided to leave them be, since they weren't hostile unless we messed with them/certain things. Through some experimentation and exploration that would take alot of confusing description, we ended up opening a few more areas up and eventually found the vault door and the 4 keys that go to it. We opened it just to reveal a wall with a niche designed to hold an object which we couldn't find. An audience with the undead dwarven king gave us a clue as to how to open the vault.

A clue which we couldn't figure out, and my character wrongly interpreted as ridding the complex of the blues. A failed attack on those creatures led us to pursue other paths and after a day of trying everything we could think of, we discovered that simply replacing some things we had moved was all that was needed to get the key to the...empty vault.

Further searching led us into a chamber that was seemingly a extra-dimensional space where an oppresively thick forest was flourishing with a 300' oak tree right in the middle. Conversing with a disembodied voice associated with the tree revealed that it belonged to a dwarven lady and that there was a curse on her husband (the undead king) that she wished us to "fix." We were granted a magical boon in the form of a stat boost of our choice to aid us in our task and then we were whisked into the past....some 1200 or more years back, where we garnered a few tidbits of information that didn't really make sense, because the temporal displacement had skewed our memories.

While sleeping a few nights later, we were then hurled 500 years forward in time...with only the gear we had on us. (Note, we were sleeping.) Here, we were run out of town after a misunderstanding with a militia force almost got us killed, but garnered alot of info on what, exactly, we were doing. I forget the dwarven names we have to keep track of, else this would be more detailed.

While traveling, we encountered a hill giant and a giant weasel. There were eight 5th level PCs Thursday night and we were unable to take a 10th level encounter. Now, doing the math, we should have had no problem tackling an EL 8 or 9 threat, so it really bothers me that this EL 10 was so difficult for us. The cohesion of the party just simply wasn't there.
It's fun to backstab and sell each other out when it comes to role playing our characters, but the whole reason we are together are mutual survival...and in combat, if we can't find that cohesion, then we might as well all turn it in. Next session, I hope to try and correct that problem by trying to set forth a game plan. We'll see how that goes.

The Players:
Ferrel Muttor (Half-Elf Sorceror 5) - Chris
Choldram Sohes (Human Cleric 5 of Nerull [He pretends Heironeous]) - Tony
Arthas (Human Fighter 5) - Steve
? (Human Rogue 5) - Carl (new character, since Orestes died)
? (Human Samurai 5) - some kid we called Epic
? (Human Fighter 5) - Sam
Nelsie (Elf Rogue 5) - John
Nastrond Esyllo (Sun Elf Beguiler 5) - Me

Wednesday is for Birthday

Yeah, so this past Wednesday, I turned 27. Does that mean anything special? No, but I have been lazy this week and took it "off" this here blog.
I had a good day mostly thanks to someone very special to me.
She also made me this groovy Warhol-esque piece. It's an animated .gif, but seems to not work on here.
I tried to make it my "stock" image on the sidebar of my blog, but I had serious problems associated with getting it up on anything I didn't want to fuck it up. Thanks, though, babe..that was by far the coolest thing I got!

Also, I got some money Thursday, had a great night last night and was able to game Thurs and today. Sadly, I got no new gaming junk, but Paul mentioned buying me a book, so I might yet get something cool!