To Boldly Go Where Gnome Man Has Gone Before...

So...I've spoken at length in other posts about how amazingly awesome Paul's Wednesday night "The Arcane College" campaign is, and it just keeps getting better, in my opinion.

Since my last update, we've only moved on to one more plane...The Elemental Plane of Earth (this game is still 3.x)...and while that might make it seem like we've not made much progress, ALOT has happened in the sessions leading us to where we are.

Among those things has been discovering that Orcus has made some sort of deal with a high power that deals with godhood and noninterference in his quest to destroy the world and effectively remake it to his liking. The Caliph of the Plane of Air almost went along with it, but interference by a member of the royal line disrupted his dangerous course of action and gave us the edge.

With this victory, we were able to locate the hourglass and lock it on this plane, thus saving the plane and (hopefully) ensuring that we had started off on our mission with a solid pick-up. After departing there, we then traveled to the Elemental Plane of Earth and spent very high fees on gems to please a Xorn who we ended up acquiring the services of and who is currently leading us to the Great Dismal Delve.

It is our hope that we will come to face the Dao who hold dominion over the hourglass and we'll convince them easily of what we need and that it's for the best.

That's all for now. Sleepy.


The Drow War, Session 8

Yeah, I know. There's been quite a gap between now and the last time I had anything to say about The Drow War, but things happen and there have been a couple of skipped weeks, etc.

This week almost saw no play time, and only saw half the group show up.
Josh and Ricky Joe converted their characters to 4th while Tony and I helped/played Magic. I thought it would be a quicker process than it was, but only having 1 PHB at the table wasn't exactly a boon. (Tony sold out the first day.)

Josh made Veit a Dwarven Fighter and Ricky Joe converted Jaymes to a Human Paladin. Tony made a whole new character beforehand...an Eladrin Rogue, since his Monk currently isn't a feasible option.

Our heroes have found their way back to the grand city of Saragost after going to more outlying villages and they not only thwarted a bomb plot but they also stopped a group of Drow agents who had stolen keys that allow access to The Tower of Undying Light!

That was the only encounter we were able to pound through on Sunday, but it went seamless. Everyone seemed comfortable with the system, even Josh, who is a fairly new player. That was a huge relief to me. The only thing I wish were faster was character creation, though this was a first for the guys, so that's probably why.

I have to say...I'm torn on "Minions." While I think it's novel, it's kind of insulting to your players to have people whose only purpose is to redshirt. It might be better served in a super hero game. I threw 8 minions, a spellcaster, 2 beaters and a warlock at them and they barely scraped by. The level system of 4E is a much more accurate display of scale than CR is, and I appreciate that.

Another thing that bothers me is that there's no true conversion. Maybe doesn't bother me so much as sadden me. The guys have worked hard to earn every level they've gotten, and players like Tony and Paul (who had to give up their characters entirely, basically) are seemingly cheated. Both seem happy with what they made, though, so I hope we can just focus on the game and not the downfalls of the system.

Here's a reminder of the players/characters....and the new roster!
Old Crew
Jaymes (Starborn Human Fighter 5) - Ricky Joe
Micah Tasrofee (Starborn Human Monk 5) - Tony
Veit "Granetfist" Mead (Starborn Shield Dwarf Barbarian 2/Fighter 3) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Aasimar Cleric 4 of Old Heakun) - Paul
Therass (Starborn Catfolk Scout 2) - Josh D/Carl
Khaz (Starborn Dwarf Barbarian 4) - John
Alexi Fellhaven (Starborn Human Ranger 4) - Carl
Morrigan (Starborn Fire Genasi Warlock 2) - Steve

New Crew
Jaymes (Starborn Human Paladin 5) - Ricky Joe
Immeral Althaka (Starborn Eladrin Rogue 5) - Tony
Veit Granetfist (Starborn Dwarf Fighter 5) - Josh M.
Ya-ro (Starborn Human Cleric 5 of Old Heakun) - Paul
Alexi Fellhaven (Starborn Elf Ranger 5) - Carl
Morrigan (Starborn Tiefling Warlock 5) - Steve

John has a busy summer due to his work, but will likely rejoin us soon enough. Josh D, you're always welcome to my game. I know with gas and such it's hard to manage, but the invite is still there!


Khardtha Kompendium, part 2.

The other day at the shop, Carl and I were discussing my upcoming 4E campaign and he asked how many dead characters I had. I thought it was odd that he brought that up, but he then mentioned it being a neat twist if, for 'elite' baddies, I used fallen characters. I thought this was an awesome idea. I keep the characters of people who die in games I play in as an odd quirk. I think it ties into my real fascination with death or something.

Anyway, the idea is good, and it would make my job a little easier to just flip through my folders and find a character at random to convert and then field against the PCs. The only question left, however, would be why these individuals would resemble old PCs (and NPCs) so closely, with the same mannerisms, etc.

This is what I came up with:
Having been created by a mortal, the world of Khardtha had no true ties to a divine power of creation. Even now, with the increased power of the gods, forming something so powerful as a soul is a task that requires a significant amount of power. Thus, instead of starting anew, the deities have channeled souls from other realities and reuse them, reincarnating the beings they once were and then reshaping the soul into other beings after it has passed again and come fully under their dominion, with no ties to their previous existances.

Not that this will ever become common knowledge, but it works for me, and it justifies something I'll be doing...or not doing, depending on where the game goes. And yes, I DO understand that I don't have to justify everything I do. Some things just 'happen,' but I think that's a unique twist and shows that the gods and Khard himself aren't the all-powerful beings that other campaign settings have.

I have some thoughts on Giants and Titans as well as Fey all coming up! Stay tuned! Same Bud Time! Same Bud Channel! (I hate being called Bud, but yeah...it works)


Keep on the Shadowfell

So, I ran a demo of Keep on the Shadowfell, the 4E adventure, on Wednesday instead of Paul running his game and then continued it again on Sunday. The party didn't make it far, but we decided that we're definitely digging 4E for what it is. Some have even said it's their favorite D&D system, and I would probably agree except that the numbers-heavy elements of d20/3.x make customization and design so easy.
Everything can be broken down and reconstructed in whatever way needed in 3.x. I don't know if 4E will be the same as far as design goes, but the playability and ease on the DM is good, and it's FUN. That's what makes a system for me. Fun is always #1 priority.
So fun, in fact, that I think I'm gonna convert the Drow War to 4E. The system would work really well, too, because each Drow War book is 10 levels, and 4e has the 10 level tiers.
We'll see how it goes. I'm liking what I see so far.