Other Gaming

I'd like to add that I'm currently not doing any other gaming other than Tuesday nights, though I've been trying to make it to David's Dark Heresy game, and I have a standing invitation to Tony's 4e game, and I'd like to play in it, but I've just not been able to.
I've got a new job now and hopefully once I get used to the hours and such, I can get back into the swing of things as far as gaming goes.
If you know of any non-D&D gaming in the Batesville, AR area, please let me know. The D&D rut I spoke of a while back is still kinda grating on me.

Dark Sun On The Horizon

Well...more like really soon. "On the horizon" makes me think of a ways off, but in just a couple of weeks, the DS campaign will be underway and hopefully off to a good start.

Though I've thrown out the group models for DS, I haven't truly thrown out other things I've spoken of. The sandbox model, for instance, isn't necessarily out, it's just modified for my purposes. As it stands, perhaps only one or two characters will know each other at the start of the game. This creates a powerful dynamic, much like the shows Lost or Heroes, who the characters are will be easier to define because there's not a default group mechanic to deal with right out of the gate.

Truth be told, I don't know how the ensemble cast thing will work. I really am just hoping for the best on this. I think it will go well, though. I've always ran Vampire like that in the past, and I think it's a workable model in D&D, though I've not used it before.

I'm not saying, also, that things won't bring certain characters together. There might just be story elements that will do just that, but that all depends on the characters themselves.

Having everyone with a developed character is primary to me, as well as introducing the things that make Athas a unique D&D world, and the adversity to playing that this might bring to the table. Gameplay might be profoundly different with the model I have in mind, and it might challenge some of those who are fairly new to gaming, but I want to build up a campaign that everyone will continue to want to play in for some time.

It all sounds really pretentious, but do I think I'm reinventing the wheel with this game? Not at all, and I'm not going to sit here and say that I'm implementing things that NOBODY has ever done before. I'm just taking all my past experience, and all these thoughts and inspirations that I've gathered from various sources and blending them into a style of gamemastering that will be new to me, and new (most likely) to some of my players.

In addition to the ensemble style, with everyone doing their own things, I've also been thinking about pitching dynamic storytelling to my players. I know that "shared experience" gaming is huge with some groups, but the concepts posited by my fellow bloggers and the online communities out there fails to reach my group.

And so, I'm hoping that a situation might crop up similar to this:
Me: "As you finally take stock of your surroundings, you note that this room is, strangely, more damp than the last few, with molds creeping up the walls of the far corners. The only other feature other than a door leading out the opposite way is a rusty axe with strange runic carvings on the blade."
Paul: "These carvings look familiar. Almost exactly likes the ones on that onyx orb that guy tried to sell me the other day. He claimed it was a relic of the Green Age!"

Sure, I might have to tell Paul he's on the wrong track once he studies the runes more, but to have that kind of spontaneous interaction with the game would make things much richer, not just for me, but for the players and their characters, as well.

There are a few other things...optional crit and fumble rules, alternative social interaction resolution, variants on initiative and combat. These will be addressed later in the blog, and spoken about with the group, but there are a fair amount of changes I want to go over with the players to see what they think will work and what won't, and perhaps someone else will have a suggestion that will be implemented.

Absence and Ashardalon

And so here I am, not having been heard of for quite some time again, and having finally finished our Eberron campaign. Hurrah!

I can't say I'm behind or too busy as reasoning for my silence here at the blog, it's just that, until today, I've not felt like doing it. That happens, ya know. I do have my plate full with alot of stuff, and maybe it contributes, but I dunno.
For what it's worth, I'm sorry to those of you who read this thing.

I do, however, feel like talking about games and gaming again, and maybe things will swing back up. Maybe not. I can't make promises.

Anyway, I'll talk a bit about the Eberron campaign and how it seemed to have an upswing at the last. Taylor had been joining us for the last few sessions, and pretty much everyone had seemed to have been having fun as things got a bit more focused. The last few sessions had good roleplay interactions, great character-play and just a good sense of fun.

Alot of the end of the campaign took place in a series of demiplanes, which I had to shoehorn into the Eberronian cosmology, but in the end, things seemed to have went smoothly, and the final encounter was engaging enough to not be as underpowered as everything else in the campaign had seemed up to that point.

In fact, the Ashardalon fight was downright dangerous, and Nas died. The reason was that everyone wanted to take the fight to Big, Red, and Scaly and failed to do some Adventuring 101 and CLEAR THE AREA. Important lesson. More combatants made things a big tougher, and overall, the sacrifices made to finish it made the encounter a memorable one.

In the end, everyone was rewarded by the Host with 0 Divine Rank. YeY Demigods!
This boon came with a price in the gods saying that the PCs will "continue to serve them," and perhaps we can revisit these characters after a campaign or two to continue their adventures.

Those who were present were all rewarded with divinity, even Mac's Iron Golem (who is now sentient) and Druss, who is a Paladin of another faith. Interesting stuff that might come into play when/if the game is ever resumed.

I can only hope that the energy and excitement that seemed to be there going out of the Eberron game will persist for the Dark Sun game that starts on the 5th.


More Musical Inspiration...

Today's offering comes from the 'official' D&D soundtrack published by Midnight Syndicate.
This is the first track off that album and doesn't really do the album justice, but for what it's worth, it's good stuff. If you have any interest in the sound (for the most part, symphonic goth,) I'd say check them out.

No lyrics to this one, just enjoy the snippet of music/sfx.

*As always, I don't own this, blah blah blah.

In the Interim: The Keep on the Borderlands!

As I have stated before, Dark Heresy is on hiatus, and as bad as I hate doing that, the least I feel I can do is to fill the time with games I can run "out of the box," so to speak. Zero-prep stuff.

The first dose is a sandbox offering with a front-loaded Keep on the Borderlands hook.
I had the guys (David B., Carl, Steve, Mike, and Kevin) make 1st level 3.5 characters and sent them off to their deaths. The hook was set, the characters bit, and off they went to the Caves of Chaos.

The party was heavily-loaded with fighty-types, and I was ok with that. There really were no restrictions on what could be played (I had allowed the PHB1 & 2, DMG, and Complete Arcane, Warrior, Divine, and Adventurer,) but we ended up with a Cleric, a Fighter, a Barbarian, a Ranger, and a Duskblade...Steve being the only person to choose something from outside the PHB.

On the first leg of the trip to the caves, Carl's Cleric got a chestful of green slime as he slept, though he lived, and then the party nearly all died to wolves, who really just wanted to eat David's donkey.

They came upon a cave that led back about 100 feet to a carving that looked like a door, save had no seam and it looked impossible to open. The group took stock of the scene depicted on the "door"...a woodland scene with rabbits and deer and such, and then marked it on their map for future reference, then moved on.

After a few misadventures with random encounters, they finally came to the caves, entering on the closest Southern opening. There, they encountered some goblins, and then some hobgoblins, and then decided to rest INSIDE the caves. Granted, they did take precautions to billet themselves, but ultimately it just wasn't enough and the gobbo-friendly Ogre that lives close-by showed up to help his pals oust the squatters.

This is where I messed up. I pulled my punches. I know, I know. Me! Of all people! I'm the most "let the dice fall where they may" of the DMs I know, and I went pansy ass and retconned a death (though there wasn't anything I could do for Mike) and had the surviving party members held captive by the hobgoblins.

David, by virtue of his insanely high armor class, waltzed out of the caves during the tail end of the ogre fight and left his adventuring buds to fate, not resting til he reached the walls of Bugbear Falls (the name of the Keep in my run.) While he was rushing back to town, Steve had devised an escape route and was able to free himself and the others (including a berserk gnoll that nobody can understand) and high-tailed it to the Keep.

In town, David was able to recruit a few lackeys and Carl's new character (a Scout and the son of the town sage) after a meeting with the local sage and talks about the strange not-door. The fighter then decided to get a night's rest before heading out just to see one of his original companions show up the next day (Steve's character) with some of the others in tow.

I think this is pretty much where we left it, though David and I did some goofing off that wasn't 'official' in the game. I was kinda hoping all of the DH group would join in this, but I guess Kristy doesn't wanna play if it isn't DH. I dunno.

Probably more of this to come, and maybe a Scion one-shot, but I've almost got DH to a point where I'm happy with it and we can pick it back up.

Other Gaming

I just wanna say, since some people seem irritated about my availability of gaming on some nights, that gaming is a luxury to me, and not something that I can just drop everything else for to do.

I don't just sit around doing nothing all the time, and it's not like I can afford to just drop everything I've been doing when I have things I need to get done.

It's just a shitty time. Things will level out. Sorry to anyone who is disappointed, but I'll make it when I can.

Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Parts 49-52

When I left off the APs, our intrepid adventurers had come to the conclusion that this thing was alot bigger than they originally thought and that the main ritualistic happenings all centered around the major holidays of the months, and were going to culminate at the Nights of Long Shadow in Vult.

After resting up some, the party scattered to the four winds to do a bit of research on their own, which eventually led to a chance meeting with dark elf hailing from Xen'drik who came to the mainland searching for the meaning behind visions she had been having, and to the party teaming up with Allura (and her bodyguards) to gain a bit more knowledge. The party going back to Karnnath also led to them being the guest of the grand Baron Althom!

Deciding that the current happenings hadn't been averted, they pressed back into the Starpeaks to venture into the Desmodu city and put an end to this round of summonings or other nasty stuff. However, when they arrived, they found that the city was under siege by a group of ne'er do wells under the control of what they surmised to be a priest of Ashardalon and a half-red dragon warrior woman.

Dispatching this group of hold-outs, there then came onto the scene a large group of adventurer types led by no other than Dyson! Battle didn't take place, however, as the PCs had it on good authority that Dyson shared a goal with them, and also that the Cuckoo had great control over the events with Dyson's band before.

Through comparing notes, the two groups did, indeed, confirm that the summonings up to this point had all been "practice" rounds, of a sort, and that there was one other threat that Dyson and his band knew of that the PCs didn't...that Ashardalon's son Imperagon was building an army on the plane of Shavarath and were going to march on Eberron so that when Ashardalon ascended, the world would be ripe for his taking.

Needless to say, nobody really liked the sound of that. Even Dyson's mostly-evil troupe were very anti-Ashardalon, proving that baddies like living free, too.

And so it was that straws were drawn (Dyson volunteered the PCs) to see who would go to Shavarath to avert this whole military world-domination thing that seemed to be met by most members of the party with a very blasé attitude. This led the party to Sharn, the City of Towers.

Or the City of Shopping, as I think it should be called...

There, after some days kinda....living...the party (minus Carl's Death Knight, who was replaced by Allura), travelled into the bowels of the Cogs to find the undercity called Rigus, which held a gate to Shavarath, whereupon passage, they split up! As all good adventuring parties should. *nods*

The split led to them all having to regroup again and then make another foray into the plane, this time going directly to Imperagon's pad, since Lucky and Nas had successfully scouted it the previous trip. There, they had to face some gate guards, in the form of an advanced Iron Golem and 2 advanced Steel Predators, who all went down like bitches, then pressed inside, finding first a giant of some sort and his pet hydra, then, in another room, a chain devel and dust mephit who were torturing a lillend.

The mephit successfully fled after laying down a darkness affect, and upon being freed, the lillend was like "Ohai. I'z `portant" and the party were like "We'un care" and she was like "kthxbai" and then they pressed on, finding a door that nearly defeated Roark and a room with a nothing that hurt Nas.

Roark defeated the door only to find a wall of force behind it. The Artist formerly known as Murmur dispelled it and they went in to find a rakshasa on a rack along with some shinys. Lots of shinys. Almost everyone got some shinys and Lucky fireballed the room for good measure with an invisible Staff of Fire that he found. Hurty shiny!

This is where we left off, and yeah...not everything is in order in this post and it's REALLY condensed, but that's what happened. I do want to thank Taylor for sticking around and playing the past two weeks with us, that's been cool. Josh, we need Soh and Kitty to show up sometime!

This week, the group will be pushing deeper into Imperagon's Iron Fortress, and will likely finish out Lord of the Iron Fortress and move into Bastion of Broken Souls, the last adventure of the path. Good stuff.

Current Cast of Characters
Devin "Lucky" Nel, Male Cleric 5/Human Paragon 3/Fortune's Friend 5/Mythic Exemplar 4 - Paul
Druss Deathwalker (Murmur), Male Human (Formerly Warforged) Paladin 8/Exorcist of the Silver Flame 9 - David B.
Vacht Aernsland d'Orien, Male Human Wizard(Evoker) 10/Master Specialist 4 - Steve C.
Nas d'Thuranni, Male Elf Rogue 7/Nightsong Infiltrator 9 - Chris S.
Roark Grardrek, Male Human Fighter 16 - Taylor
Allura Fellhaven, Female Kalashtar Psion(Telepath) 16 - Carl
Xen`va Torkak, Female Drow Wizard 11 - Angela
Dann Da-Veto, Male Dwarf Fighter 12 - Kevin
Legions, Male Half-Orc Barbarian 12 - Mike


More Musical Inspiration...

This one's gonna be a long post, but will catch us up to this week, so we'll have 3 vids, the last of which will be Halloween themed!

First up is the band Bolt Thrower. Just a glance at the play window will tell you why I chose to feature them, but it seems like GW actually endorses this group and has given them pretty much full-reign in making songs about the Warhammer 40k universe.
Highly unusual, given GW's usually strict policy on things of that nature.

Bolt Thrower - "World Eater"

As silence roars through gathered masses
You stared waiting eagerly
Approaching darkness decreasing your life expectancy

The tension is now rising
The calm before the storm
See your life flash before you
Will you live to see the dawn?

The enemy is now approaching
With bloodlust in their eyes
Intense fear is overcoming
For now death - you will defy

As the battle raged all dead and wounded
Bodies, carnage all you see
The white hot blast - melting flesh
The screaming pain in agony

You stand alone
The final parody
As you realise - your mortality
For you cannot change your destiny
To die at the hands - of the unknown enemy
Your death - you can't deter
As the silence - returns


Next, we have a softer, slower song from Marcy Playground that's not much for inspiration, but seems to be an adventurer lamenting his lost youth with some of his spoils around him. Sixteen books of magic spells, no less. That's a huge library of magical might.

Marcy Playground - "A Cloak of Elvenkind"

A cloaking robe of elvenkind
Hangs in my wardrobe behind
All the thing that mother said
Were proper for a boy
And I know I could not say why
On this summer evening
Sixteen books of magic spells
Stacked below the cloak of elves
And sixteen books on magic spells
So elegantly bound
And I know I could not say why
On this summer evening
And I know something...something about you
And I know something...something about you

A cloaking robe of elvenkind
Hangs in my wardrobe behind
All the things that mother said
Were proper for a boy

And finally, I'm wrapping it up with a Halloween treat for all you boys and ghouls. (I hate that joke, but I love puns. Sue me.) This one is from England's Vallenbrosa, and is a song on the topic of a well-known American tale...that of the Headless Horseman, a supposed Hessian mercenary whose bloodlust did not die when he did.
Good metal, this.

Vallenbrosa - "The Hessian"

Wake me up, won't see my eyes
When I leave, it's time to die.
Wake me up, repent your sins,
The tree of the dead a thousand souls they said I'd keep in.

So wake me up, I'm on your list and I will never quit
To claim your head upon my blade and then to bury it.
My simple tools, my axe, my sword
And that should cover it,
No sympathy, all apathy, that's what you'll see.

So when I die please bury me alone,
Unite my head and watch me go.
So when I die, the southern sun shall fall,
Unite my head and watch me, watch me...

You've woken up the hessian mercenary,
Who fought for nothing but the love of anarchy,
Five victims, four graves in four days,
An array of prey from the high council to the slaves.

so on this dark day there's a list I must follow it,
To curse the damned and sew the seed that it's been blessed with.
My simple tools, my axe, my sword
And that should cover it,
No sympathy, all apathy, that's what you'll see.

*As always, I don't own this, blah blah blah.

And so we're caught up there. More music to come next Saturday!

Just So You Know...

Yeah, I got behind again.
Seems to happen alot, I know, but I'm back until something else causes a hangup in the routine.
I have quite a few drafts that I hope to have pushed out either tonight or tomorrow.


Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Parts 47 & 48

Taylor was in town for a week and joined us for session 47, but things didn't seem to go as some expected, with the party retreating from the collapsing temple compound within the Starpeaks and heading back to Fairhaven through various means.

This found most of the group doing some information gathering and purchasing of some goods. Carl brought in his new character, a Karnnathi general investigating the strange happenings in Aundair for national security reasons, in an arena fight with Roark.

After visits to Vey and reigning Vacht, who had travelled over 900 miles away, back in, the group ventured back to the Starpeaks (session 48) and back to the temple, doing some cursory exploration. After clearing out the nests of Xoriat beasties through cleansing fire, the party pressed on and looped back around into the grotto area where the portal had been destroyed.

Looking out into the water of the area and seeing the dire sharks, sustained likely solely through the grace of the Devourer, since they were otherwise trapped in the temple, some things started to dawn on the PCs...things such as each major event in the campaign being tied to a religious place, though of various faiths, and how each coincided closely with a holiday.

Though the party came to some good conclusions as a group, it wasn't until we were down to Vacht, Velakus, and Druss (formerly Murmur) that most of the better revelations started to happen.

They have decided that The Nights of Long Shadows in Vult, the time that "celebrates" the birth of the god The Shadow, is the culmination, which leaves our heroes with only 2 and a half months of game time to get their shit in gear and stop whatever is happening.


Heretical Text! The Foreseeable Future Of Dark Heresy

It's probably not known by some of my regular readers, but Dark Heresy was not played last week, and I'm somewhat sad to say that it wasn't played tonight. David and I discussed it briefly, and his thoughts on the matter are the same as mine, of which I was thankful.

Both of us agree that a large part of the momentum of the game petered out when we lost over half the group (first with Carl, then more importantly, Taylor and Josh, in that order.) That coupled with 2 new characters, that have had to jump in mid-story, and Sam not returning, have done nothing but complicate things a bit more.

Not that complication in gaming on the "viking hat" side of the screen isn't a good thing, I usually like the challenge, it's just too much of a challenge too soon, I guess. I want to run a decently paced game that holds the attentions of and entertains my players and myself, and right now, neither my heart nor head are in the game. I feel burdened, and it's creeping into gameplay.

I think everyone involved can honestly say it is likely for the best that I take some time to "fix" the game, as such. To do a little prep and get myself caught up and all my thoughts loosely sketched out. I don't need a storyline. I've been winging the whole thing, but I do need some up-front prep that will help flesh out what's going on in the game and will paint a better picture both of what I imagine as I brainstorm and what I want to convey to the group as they explore the Imperium.

I guess that's it...nothing too groundbreaking, but I wanted to be more clear than I was before on the reasonings, and maybe shed some light for those of you who read and are interested in the DH game.

In the interim, I think I'm gonna run some one-shots and do some playtesting sessions for ideas I have for the upcoming Dark Sun and other games. Maybe even knock out a session of some game I have setting on the shelf. Scion? Vampire? Marvel Super Heroes? I dunno.

I do want, again, to point out that Dark Heresy is NOT ending. I just need a break so the game doesn't spiral into a shitstorm that there's no recovery from. Sorry to my players.

p.s. Foreseeable is a messed up word, man. I mean, wtf.



Behind this week for a number of reasons.
I'll catch the game stuff up and have some musical inspiration for you on the morrow, hopefully!


More Musical Inspiration...

Sorry for the low rate of posting, 10 days of rain causes me much consternation in the form of flooding in the house. That solved, I can now return to regularly scheduled rockin'.

This week's tune is a classic, and I admit, should have been the very first in this series. No classic fantasy setting feels complete to me without some good ol' raiding pseudo-vikings, and in homage, I present...

Led Zeppelin - "Immigrant Song"

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods
Will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying:
Valhalla, I am coming!
On we sweep with threshing oar,
Our only goal will be the western shore.
Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
How soft your fields so green,
Can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war.
We are your overlords.
On we sweep with threshing oar,
Our only goal will be the western shore.
So now youd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day
Despite of all your losing.

*As always, I don't own this, blah blah blah.

I would like to apologize for not getting a vid of the song, but I don't believe one was ever officially made, and if possible, I will always present the songs in album version, instead of live versions, which often have shoddy sound.

Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 46

Tuesday night's session lasted quite some time, but only encapsulated one encounter.

I know there are multitudes of gripes out there about how 3.5's combat and other encounter resolutions are slow and bring the game down to a grind, but even though the encounter (the better part of it being in combat rounds) was long, I felt that the pacing of it went awesomely well.

The group ventured into the lower levels of the temple complex they have been exploring for a few sessions now and at the bottom of the stairs, were greeted with an eerie black/blue/purple glow to the right and a hallway to the left.

At this point, much to my amusement, the group split up! Murmur detected evil at the source of the light and it was, indeed, evil, and the tentacles coming from the pool of light (which was later identified as a portal of some sort) were otherworldly enough to rile him, since he's a Gatekeeper druid, so they both charged the thing.

Lucky and Nas (Chris' new character) scouted the hallway, travelling down and then realizing that the halls were coated in a thin film of what appeared to be eggs much like those of a mosquito, some larger than others.

Vacht, being...well, Vacht-like, stayed at the base of the stairwell for a bit, not brave enough to venture into the portal area, and too cautious to join the others in the hall. I like to think Steve was tactically reinforcing by being equidistant to both split ends of the group.

So here the group was, one set dungeoneering/scouting, the other hell-bent on destroying a small statue they found at the center of the portal, and what Vacht identified as a focal point for a ritual that, from all evidence, had been directly related to the earlier "summoning" of the tentacly monster in Ossington, a second go, if you will.

Vacht, however, joined Lucky and Nas as they went about their searching and made it through a door that was burst open by a portal tentacle only to discover a hatchery of sorts minded by neogi, which held the eggs of something similar to astral dreadnaughts. (you see...Vacht has INSANELY high knowledges, as befits the character, so he knows lots about lots)

Panicking, Vacht ran back to the portal room to find the rest of his pals already in "combat" with...the statue.

Now this is where what I'm running deviates greatly from what is in the book. As written, the chamber contains a kraken and a trap as the encounter(s). This just doesn't fit my game, though I did leave the sharks in earlier, because sharks are cool, so I replaced it with the following...

Statue of Strange Green Stone Anchoring A Portal!
Statue: 500 hp, hardness 15, unique magic immunity (no spell targetting it may be cast, the spell does not discharge and is still in the mind of the caster)
Portal: Pulls in characters 1 round after they die (really die, not drop), absorbs AoE spells and attacks and shoots them out as untyped damage of equal amounts as AoE covering entire area (30' diameter), Confusion every round to those standing in area (DC 25)
Tentacles: As kraken's tentacles and legs (for simplification), only with 50 hp each and are attackable (AC 20) and have the feat Awesome Blow

After quite some time working at the statue, including some hilarious moments with Confusion, Murmur and Kelamor finally took it down with some backup from Lucky. The destruction of the focal point, however, caused quite a bit of strain to the already geologically weak area and triggered an earthquake, which is where we left off for the night.


The Newer System Sandbox

This is more a quick musing than anything else, but I was wondering why it seems that everyone who talks about such things doesn't seem to think that newer versions of the old Double D and the Ampersand can make a Sandbox campaign.


What, inherently, sends this model to the grave prematurely? The tropes that create the Sandbox... free-roaming adventure, on-the-fly gaming, stripped-down fun...why are these system-specific, as so many claim? I think that's bogus, really. I think anyone, if so inclined, can run any type of game they want within the system, and it's spurred me to rethink the direction of my upcoming Dark Sun game.

I've always felt that adventuring in Athas kinda lends itself to those things, anyway. Survival is key to success when playing in Dark Sun adventures, so why not let the PCs go where they will and experience the world on their terms to achieve those goals? The more I think about it, the more the setting seems to have been written with that playstyle in mind. I wonder then, what some of the playtesting was like for the setting, and if anyone who happens to be reading this has a story or two to recant about Athas? I know at least one of my readers has experience with the setting.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the games and flow of ideas that the Old School Renaissance has spawned, but truth be told, it's easier for me to get people interested in 3.x than in any other system out there. I'm not trying to add to the system war, as I just love the hobby of gaming, and if it doesn't matter what rules you throw at me as long as there's fun to be had.

So...in addition to working on the Sandbox I was already putting effort into, as well as the other things I mentioned in a previous post, I'm gonna start putting together some thoughts on attacking my Dark Sun game as...hmm, what would you call it? An established Sandbox? Not really sure if taking a pre-existing setting as the backdrop still qualifies it as the game type intended. Oh well, I'm doing it anyway!

Now, I need to look at the hexmaps from Dark Sun and figure out the scale.

Angels And Heretics: Dark Heresy Night!

So, tonight was kinda cool. That guy who we had been hearing of that wanted to come play DH with us finally showed up. His name is Sam and he slapped together a rank 5 Guardsman in less than an hour, only having asked like 3 questions. Good stuff!

The game was, and has been going slowly, with the breakout scenario just being a sloggy gun-tiff (I would say fight, but it just seems like nothing much was really happening...some pinning and junk, but eh.) After 6 rounds of slogging through combat, and trying to think of where I wanted to go from there, I popped in a cliche! (Le gasp, I know!)

I pulled out the old Deus Ex Machina, at least that's how it originally appeared, but this was actually something I was going to throw into the game a bit later. Now seemed the best time, though, with the PCs hedged and not wanting to make Kristy suffer on deciding if killing the party was in her best interest, the group had a holy visitation in the form of angels...of death, of course.

During the exchange of las fire, two Astartes of the Imperial Fists chapter 'ported in, demanded the Big I's storm troopers back down, and then ported the group out (but not before Jericho bit it from a head shot!), including Amethyst, since Hesdus had forgotten who she was, because of her Forget Me power, and thought she was just caught in the crossfire.

Upon arrival, one of the space marines looked at Hesdus and muttered "The debt is repaid," raising more questions that had yet to be answered because as soon as they teleported to safety, Hesdus and the marines left the room, with Hesdus pleading the group to stay where they are (most likely to avoid the ire of the Adeptus.)

Whys/wheres are starting to spring into the minds of the Acolytes now, and the depth and breadth of the scope of what they've gotten into is impacting pretty hard. Why do some agents of the Imperium want them dead and other's sticking their necks out seemingly needlessly to save them? What will the ramifications be when Amethyst's Forget Me wears off? Where are they headed to? The answers still await...

+As an afternote, I find it hilarious that other than possible passing glances, none of the characters have met Amethyst, and the only one that could pinpoint her as the person who stopped the original breakout that could remember (Jericho,) is dead! Ah, good times.

Evony's Worth A Shot...

As skeptical as I was due to the cleavage-laden ads, after seeing a friend playing, I thought I would give Evony a shot, and I like it quite a bit more than I had expected.

Having been a veteran of various other nation-builder games, the concepts that Evony threw at me were nothing new. That's not to say, however, that it was a bad game because of its similarities...in fact, I would say, if anything, that I like it more for those similarities and how well they are executed compared to other games in the genre.

Another thing I like about Evony are the new options given to their players, such as the ability to teleport out of a given area and move to where friends or their alliance are, and the ability to halt attacks and reward your heroes with items that you can acquire through gameplay or buy with Cents, which serve the same as Gold or other premium bonuses offered in games.

Indeed, you can purchase Cents and various Packages of items that are packed full of useful goodies that do anything from let you participate in chat, to hastening building completion or any number of other things. Unlike many other games, also, Evony offers special deals now and then that are really appealing to those who might not have the 20 or 30 extra dollars...right now there's a featured special that gives you 250 game Cents for just $5 USD! That's 5 times cheaper than normal price.

That also having been said, I've yet to spend any real money on the game, and I haven't felt that I'm playing catch-up one minute of it. One of the best features of Evony, and one I want to draw special attention to, is the addition of quests (also called Beginner's Quests, but many of them carry on for quite some time.) Quests are, if you wish to follow them, a great way to ramp into the game and get a jump-start on building prestige, population, rank, and resources...the four most important things to keep raising in the game, other than an army and defenses.

These quests reward players for completing something as simple as raising food or wood production, expanding one's territory by upgrading parts of your city or conquering valleys and cities, and completing researches in the Academy that aid in almost everything a Lord, the game's name for players, need in order to further your city-states in-game.

In all, I would say Evony is one of the best in its genre, and definitely the best free game that I have played in the genre. The fact that the game feels like it's "paying" you just for playing in the form of freebies and rewards to be had daily makes it a game that people will want to play, and who will likely come back to it if they ever leave. Many I have talked to agree with me on these points, but I invite all who are curious to join us on Evony.

You can find David (Shulsen) and I (Rikus) on Server 65 in the state of Lombardy. If you decide to join, message us and we'll get you in our alliance, Pentad.


Metal! More Musical Inspiration...

Thinking on the fact that I don't really post anything on the weekend, I might just make these Saturday night/Sunday morning music posts a recurring thing.

This week's morsel of the metal comes from 1982 in the form of Manowar's "Dark Avenger" from their album Battle Hymns.

I apologize for the still video, they never made a true video for it, and the live versions I was able to find didn't have the cool Orson Welles narrative in the middle.

Manowar - "Dark Avenger"

He broke the laws of the elders
So they plucked out his eye,
Took his land and fortune,
Left him to die
Bound on the shoreline,
Left for the tide,
Sees his life-blood leaving...
Circling lower, the vultures fly
His bones may be broken
But the spirit can't die
And the Gods see his anguish
And give him a sign
From the floor of the ocean
The ship of the lost souls rise
And they take him where no one sleeps while the undead cry,
Where no one sleeps while the undead cry...
And in the world above
The elders sing,
On his land they live...
Let death's bell ring
He was met at the gate of Hades
By the Guardian of the Lost Souls,
The Keeper of the Unavenged
And He did say to him:
"Let ye not pass
Return to the world
From whence you came
And seek payment
Not only for thy known anguish
But to vindicate the souls
Of the Unavenged"
And they placed in his hands
A sword
Made for him
Called: Vengeance
Forged in brimstone
And tempered
By the woeful tears of the Unavenged
And to carry him up on his journey
Back to the upper world
They brought forth
Their Demon horse
Called: Black Death
A grim steed
So fiercely might
And black in colour
That he could stand as one: Darkness...
Save from his burning eyes
of crimson fire
And on that night
They rode up from Hell
The pounding of his hooves
Did clap like thunder !

Burning, death, destruction
Raping the daughters and wives
In blood I take my payment
In full with their lives
No one can escape me
On Black Death I ride
When kissed by the sword of Vengeance
Your head lays there by your side
I take the lives of all that I once knew
The torn flesh of a slow death waits for you

Burning, death, destruction
Raping the daughters and wives
In blood I take my payment
In full with their lives
I spare not land or servants
My wake is smoke and flame
I take their wives and daughters
They stand there watching, watching
Hoping to get my life
But when I'm through they know that they must pay

Burning, death, destruction
Raping the daughters and wives
In blood I take my payment
In full with their lives
With their lives
With their lives
With their lives

*As always, I don't own this, blah blah blah.


Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 45

And so the adventure was rejoined with the party in their air-holed box that they had created in which they rested for about 15 hours or so, from what I gathered, with a slight break in the rest when "Kitty" and Roark triggered a trap and caused a section of ceiling to fall down upon them. "Kitty" was able to leap out of the way, but Roark took the hit full on, though it wasn't enough damage to take him out.

After removing themselves from their safe-tomb via another Stone Shape, the group then travelled back to the downstairs area, finding that quite a large quantity of blood had been spilled at the base of the stair-wall and that Viday, their desmodu companion was nowhere to be found!

Further investigation had Kelamor tracking blood trails into an adjacent hallway and then into a large room that had hanging canvases that looked like inverted tents, all of which were stained freshly with blood.

The group was apprehensive, but Murmur prodded one of the tents and felt a solid object, then decided to cut one open right at the moment that Lucky had spider-climbed up the wall to peek over the edge and see the battle-ready desmodu waiting inside. At the sound of the tearing canvas, the other 4 bat warriors sliced through their own hammocks and fell down to meet the party with arms.

The battle was pretty intense and Kelamor took the brunt of damage, but his damage reduction saved his life, as did my inability to confirm critical hits and the uncanny knack my dice have for coming up 1's in groups at the worst times.

The combat was finished before too much longer and the group decided to explore further into the back rooms of the temple, using doors that led out of the chamber where they encountered the desmodu mercs. This led them down a hallway into a coal room, where doors leading off into another area had red-hot handles, and a forward door led to a library.

Kelamor put his exalted wild shape to good use and did scouting bounces with his blink dog form, discovering another room past the library that held mound upon mound of steel, iron, and bronze ingots. At this finding, Lucky back-tracked to the red-hot doors and opened one to find a group of fiery snake-men at work at forges. Lucky for um...Lucky, he had some resistance to fire thanks to his armor, though when he stepped into the room to converse with the creatures, the heat was too unbearable and he quickly made haste out of the room before he started taking too much damage. In exchange for some diamond dust, the salamanders (since Paul rolled amazingly to identify them) gave him a masterwork scimitar and told him where to find their liege and his retinue...in the bowels of a volcano further to the East.

After this, and after deciding the ingots from the other room were best left undisturbed, the party ventured across the chapel to another set of doors that, for the most part, held nothing but meditation chambers...one of which looked out upon what used to be a torture gallery (no doubt a place for those faithful to the Mockery to contemplate.)

Satisfied that there were no more threats above, and wanting to rid the compound of the taint of Xoriat, the party then approached the stairs in the middle of the chapel that led down...but to where?

Find out next week!

High Heresy!

Even though that extra guy didn't show, we still were able to get some playing in, albeit late because I'm an idiot and couldn't come up with a good plot after Kristy broke the game with her psyker...and I kid, anyway. Psykers aren't broken. The fault lay with the Rules As Written by FFG for opposed rolls.

In the aftermath, I decided that I would homerule that opposed rolls cancelled out each other's degrees of success, if any. If anyone can point me to the rules for opposed rolls that cover them, then I would concede to the rulings, if they are better in practice than the homeruling.

The situation started much as it had ended last week, with our intrepid heroes, save for Amethyst, all imprisoned still in the bowels of the Ordos Calixian compound. Amethyst, in the aftermath of her single-handed ability to put the heretic Dorian Hesdus and one of his lackeys down, and subsequently arrest the progress of what appeared to be a breakout, was awarded with the right to personally sit-in on the torturing of Hesdus.

During one such event, all the lights in the compound went down and the locks of the cells and torture rooms the others were in went ablaze with runes that said "Magenta Clearance Override" then "Go" as soon as their personal shackles were loosed. None of the troupe dare give a second thought to the help and rushed out of their cells, and started to take stock of the situation.

Hesdus, who was being tortured, then began to fight against his interrogator and Amethyst, who quickly threw up "Forget Me," and he did...trying then to help her escape from the room he was being held in because he had no clue who she was and why she was there.

Meanwhile, opposition had come in the form of Inquisitorial storm troopers (10) and combat servitors (2), half of each blocking both exits out of the detention hall, in a fierce gunfight that so far has seen no casualties.

When we left off, the fight was still raging at both ends of the hall and Hesdus has just emerged from the chamber he was in. When the others see Amethyst, how will they then react to this person who, Jericho at least, has seen and knows as "the enemy?"


So, I've Been Thinking Alot...

...about the influence music has on my games.

It's no secret among my friends that for the most part, I listen to metal...a genre of music thats very roots sit in the fantasy and sci-fi that permeate the hobby. If you don't believe me or need more evidence to this, just look to bands such as Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Dio, Manowar, etc..

As I've been compiling my thoughts on expanding my old Khardtha setting and doing some form of sandbox game, I've been soaking up as much as I can from any and all inspirational sources, and music seems to be something I've been going to more and more, either accidentally or purposefully.

This has no real point, but I thought I would share an example in the form of a video and the lyrics to one such song that has spurred some thought.

3 Inches of Blood - "The Goatriders Horde"
*All rights belong to owners, I claim no rights.

Feeling the march of the fury unleashed
Impaling the soldiers of God
Smell of sulphur hot on the wind
Left by the goatriders horde
The thundering roar of the cloven hoof
The goatriders horde descends with the storm
I am eternal I walk the night
I am the reaper of souls
Cold iron blades they cannot stop me
Where I am from no one knows
I am in command
Impervious to fire
Impervious to steel
Merciless vengeance
Dealt by their strike
Treachery stalking evil command
Cloven hoofed steed I ride
Armies of horns descend on the gates
Hatred burns their eyes
Walls of stone cannot stop them
Too weak are the spells of old
At the sound of their banshee cry
The hearts of all grow cold
Fueled by the fears of man
To slake the unquenchable thirst
I'm in command
The goatriders horde


Something Came to Mind: A Question to My Readers

I dunno if it ever comes up as you read this, but any of you who care to respond, I would be thankful.

My question is this, and is actually multi-part:

Are images important to your overall enjoyment of a site like this? Do you think images of the products, etc., spoken of in the blog would help in the understanding and relation of the subject matter? Hell, would it just be cool if I tossed up some pics now and then?

Something I was thinking about as I was typing up the last two, rather beefy posts.

Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 44

Tonight, everyone but Josh Mead was able to make it, so we had a pretty good group for the session that included Chris' new character, who, upon being freed from the chains of the desmodu guards from last session, set to looking for his gear, aiding the PCs as much he could in hopes that finding his stuff would be easier with people to watch his ass.

And so they went, freeing the rest of the slaves that had been held, and healing the party up before moving on to search the upstairs area to where the mind flayer had fled...led by the stoic Murmur, who ascended on his disk to the top just to be bombarded by arrows from two desmodus, a disentegration ray from a beholder, and the mind blast from the illithid...and took nary a scratch!

As the rest of the group made its way up through various ways....which I think I hampered by a poor description to the area, but it was easy to do, as the entrance was a bit weird, being a stairwell without stairs, Murmur engaged the enemy and even used his Buster-like docent weapon, which draws his life force out to power it, effectively trading an infinite amount of 5 damage increments for d6s of damage produced, chosen at the time of use.

It came to pass that the fight was joined upstairs by more of the party (minus Viday) and 2 more desmodus, but not before Kelamor was able to dismiss an ice wall conjured by the mind flayer, who also used the bought time to beat a hasty retreat, to arrest their progress and cut them off from helping their paladin comrade.

Once everyone was in the fray, however, they made short work of the baddies and then continued on to searching the rest of the upstairs area, where they came upon a small library of ancient tomes, some petrified animals and insects, a room with dirty cots and not much else, two chests (which together held some treasure and all of Chris' stuff,) and an empty chamber with a shaft leading down directly over the hole on the bottom floor with water, where it was surmised the illithid was able to make his escape.

Through the use of stone shape, they blocked the shaft and the doorway leading into the chamber and decided to set up camp right as we were finishing up.

It kinda sucked that the game ended so early, but it was for understandable reasons, and I think we all had fun, though Steve seemed kinda annoyed. Not sure if it was at the game or not.

Dark Days of Imprisonment

Not me, but the characters in my Dark Heresy game.

The massive leviathan of a ship that carried Mkoll, Sadis, Akareon, Jorn, Barl-Tok, and Gallus finally arrived at Scintilla to await their trial at the hands of the Inquisition. Our "heroes" were tossed into cells and summarily tortured daily in hopes of coaxing a confession from them to the tune of them being heretics, which none in the group (as known to the two who are currently active from the old group) confessed to.

As they were led in, however, Sadis and Mkoll spotted someone familiar to them in the form of Reth, Justin's old PC, and the psyker who had become Hesdus' adjutant. This seemed strange to the acolytes, but also brought hope that their trials here either would be...postponed, or they wouldn't make it til the trials. One or the other. Either way, probably fairer than some of the Big I's best "interrogation experts" could dish out.

Here is also where I introduced Kristy's new character...a sanctioned psyker by the name of Amethyst, who was, while the Inquisitor who she is seconded to was busy and their ship underwent repairs, had been assigned to assist in the interrogation and torture of prisoners.

This is where things got interesting, as almost every time I made a roll for a psyker, 9s came up. Anyone not familiar with Dark Heresy out there will want to know that rolling a 9 causes a brief lapse in order, or a peek of Chaos, however you want to look at it. Either way, it can, and did on more than one occasion, have truly dire consequences. Like when Reth was in, about to administer help and begin the breakout sequences of the game, he rolled a 9, then a 95. Perils of the Warp...ok, maybe this won't be so bad...then BAM! 100 on the Perils chart. Reth was eaten by the realm of Chaos right before Sadis' and his torturer's eyes, causing a deal of corruption and insanity amongst them. Similar instances plagued the time they were being held, and that's when the big dogs came in.

Hesdus had gotten into the rows where his acolytes were being held/tortured and started to shake things up himself. He burst through a door, where Amethyst happened to be assisting the torture of Gallus, and blew the head off the interrogator and then threatened the psyker, demanding the release of Gallus. When she, instead of doing as told, attempted to manifest a power, Hesdus took a shot at her, aiming for to maim, but missed her leg entirely, then tried to regain composure and made another threat, trying to pass off the miss as a purposeful error. This only made Kristy roll better, apparently, and she got the power off (Boil Blood), and due to the horrible nature of opposed rolls in Dark Heresy, took down a fairly high rank Cleric without getting winded, having surpassed him by 1 over what she needed.

Sadis and Mkoll could hear the gunshots from the bolt pistol rounds Hesdus was unleashing, but were strapped fast to their chairs and could do nothing but heckle their captors. Sadis was able to successfully piss his psyker off and he tried to Bio-Lightning the purple hued scum, but was unable to manifest the power, being utterly flustered by the irritation caused by the hiver and his blather. Mkoll, however, ended up being affected in the long term by his psychic predations with an overbearing hatred for psykers. Go figure...right when one enters the game as a PC...

Right after Amethyst drops Hesdus and starts to break for it to warn others, the doors at the end of the hall blow open, digging shrapnel in deep into the panicked psyker's armor and throwing her to the ground in time to see a grizzled man step through with gun raised. This one was Jericho, George's character, and an assassin who had "come up missing" and in question by the party right before the bulk of them were arrested and sentenced to tribunal before the Ordos Calixis.

Kristy kept to the trick that worked and immediately took the Assassin down with Blood Boil, showing him what for just as easily as she had Hesdus.

The game was called then. I admit, I was at a loss at what to do, having seen how easily a psyker took down 2 fairly powerful characters in the span of just a few turns and turning the jail break-ish plot to mush before all our eyes.

It's back to the drawing board before next week. We're supposed to be getting a new player, so hopefully I can tie him in to everything happening easily enough and then we'll see.

Also, I need to research opposed rolls more in the game. The way they stand, RAW, is way too lopsided to me. You would think there would be some adjustment, like subtracting degrees of success from those the winner of the contest gets to lessen the effect. It makes lots of things really, really deadly or otherwise difficult to achieve as is.


Some Gaming Wisdom

The "mysterious" leaflet at Bald Man Games reminded me of something and I thought I would post it. This little jewel of Old School gaming insight comes from B1: In Search of the Unkown, and is printed at the back of that classic module. I think new players to D&D and to any RPG, really, should always be introduced to these extra "rules" of the game.

Beginning players would do well to profit from some basic advice before beginning their D&D careers, and with that in mind, the following points are offered for consideration:

1) Be an organized player. Keep accurate records on your character (experience, abilities, items possessed, etc.) for your own purposes and to aid the Dungeon Master.

2) Always keep in mind that the Dungeon Master is the moderator of the game, and as such, deserves the continued cooperation, consideration and respect of all the players. If you disagree with him or her, present your viewpoint with deference to the DM's position as game judge, but be prepared to accept his or her decision as final—after all, keep in mind that you may not know all aspects of the overall game situation, and in that case, not everything will always go your way!

3) Cooperate with your fellow players and work together when adventuring. Remember that on any foray into the dungeon or wilderness, a mix of character classes will be beneficial, since the special abilities of the various characters will complement each other and add to the overall effectiveness of the party.

4) Be neither too hasty nor too sluggish when adventuring. If you are too fast in your exploration, you may recklessly endanger yourself and your fellow adventurers and fall prone
to every trick and trap you encounter. If you are too slow, you will waste valuable time and may be waylaid by more than your share of wandering monsters without accomplishing
anything. As you gain playing experience you will learn the proper pace, but rely on your DM for guidance.

5) Avoid arguing. While disagreements about a course of action will certainly arise from time to time, players should quickly discuss their options and reach a consensus in order
to proceed. Bickering in the dungeon will only create noise which may well attract wandering monsters. Above all, remember that this is just a game and a little consideration will
go far toward avoiding any hard feelings . . .

6) Be on your guard. Don't be overly cautious, but be advised that some non-player characters may try to hoodwink you, players may doublecross you, and while adventuring, tricks and traps await the unwary. Of course, you won't avoid every such pitfall (dealing with the uncertainties is part of the fun and challenge of the game), but don't be surprised if everything is not always as It seems.

7) Treat any retainers or NPCs fairly. If you reward them generously and do not expose them to great risks of life and limb that your own character would not face, then you can expect
a continuing loyalty (although there may be exceptions, of course).

8) Know your limits. Your party may not be a match for every monster you encounter, and occasionally it pays to know when and how to run away from danger. Likewise, a dungeon
adventure may have to be cut short if your party suffers great adversity and/or depleted strength. Many times it will take more than one adventure to accomplish certain goals, and it will thus be necessary to come back out of a dungeon to heal wounds, restore magical abilities and spells, and reinforce a party's strength.

9) Use your head. Many of the characters' goals in the game can be accomplished through the strength of arms or magic. Others, however, demand common sense and shrewd judgment as well as logical deduction. The most successful players are those who can effectively use both aspects of the game to advantage.

10) The fun of a D&D game comes in playing your character's role. Take on your character's persona and immerse yourself in the game setting, enjoying the fantasy element and the interaction with your fellow players and the Dungeon Master.

Enjoy yourself, and good luck!


Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 43

This week, we were just 4, but the game went on and it was a fun romp, even if we didn't get started early enough to really get anything done.

We started off with Bellosh nearly being shark bait (even though Josh M. didn't make it to this session) as he searched the water area for any treasure or other pieces of interest, but he was able to make a narrow escape with the help of Vacht and Murmur, and the party decided to leave better off alone for the time being.

After Talin's death last week, Chris decided to make up a Rogue to help the party out, who I inserted into the next area the PCs were going to enter after playing with sunrods and the three pits in the area they were in, which consisted of bones, water, and a tentacle and deciding none of those options seemed appealing at the time.

Murmur swung open the door to find two Desmodus (bat guys, in case you don't remember) near a stairwell that leads down, directing groups of chained slaves along the walls of the chamber, which used to serve as the main chapel of the temple, that consisted of more Desmodus, Trolls, Lizardfolk, an Elf (poor Nas), and Kuo-toa.

The Desmodus immediately began conversation with Murmur (whose manly Jeremy Irons voice had returned) and asked the group their business, then explained that they were restoring the temple with slave labor, and though it was abhorrent, they treated the slaves as well as possible and would release them upon completion.

Noticing their War Faction insignia, a tone about their voices that masked something, and their own Desmodu companion's tension at the sight of these ones, Murmur decided that action was the right course and charged the mercenaries, wanting to stamp out their evil quickly.

There came a surprise shortly after fighting started as a Beholder floated up from the stairwell and joined the fray, laying into Murmur full on with all eyes....and just doing about 40 damage, for all it's worth. The battle raged for just a few rounds, joined by Nas, who attacked a Mind Flayer who was disguised as one of the slaves, and helping to end the fight quickly for the heroes, though ultimately, the Flayer got away after Mind Blasting Nas and flying to the upper level.

We left off right as he went over the edge of an ascending stairwell, so the group has yet to take stock of the situation or anything, and introductions of Nas have yet to truly be made, but I think the character will be a big asset to the group.

Dark Resurgence!

I come bearing joyous news!

The Most Holy and Grand Emperor of Mankind has seen fit to grant us a boon in the form of another player!

Kristy, a girl I used to go to high school with, and who has recently started doing some gaming at the shop in John's 4e game, decided to get in on Dark Heresy with David, Steve, and I, and rolled up a Psyker on Monday.

The group is excited to have another player, since that helps the game out alot. Without a fair sized troupe, I find I'm hard pressed to be excited about a game. It's an odd brainheadthing that has developed from always having large groups, I think.

Anyway, I'm also excited about having a psyker in the group. Justin had made one at one point, but only joined us twice for the game, if I recall correctly. I think they're one of the most interesting classes out there, and I would like to see the potential of one in actual play.

David and I were discussing multiclassing systems in Dark Heresy, and I'm gonna see if he would be interested in coming up with a working system for that that we would both be happy with.

Oh, Tony mentioned today that someone else was asking about Dark Heresy, so we might possibly have yet another player jumping in. I'm all for that, too. Now all we need is to get Josh and Taylor back in. *nods*


A Quick Wish of Good Luck to Some Friends

I wanted to take a moment to extend a congratulations and a wish of good luck to my pals at Pwn Productions on the dedication they show to putting out fun, playable games and in their future endeavors with their products and gaming, in general.

Those of you who stay up on this blog know that Josh D. is a regular commenter and has recently announced that they will be in talks with Troll Lord Games to get their game ThunderPwn published.

I've known Jeff and Josh for about 4 years now and they've always been great people to game with and just be around. (I still owe you after passing out on your porch, Jeff! First time I ever passed out, though, so it's a milestone event you witnessed, lol.)

Anyway, good luck, guys, and to Paul and Jacob, and hopefully your game can see the amount of hands it's meant to.

For everyone who is interested (and that should be everyone who reads this blog), check the guys and their games out at PwnProductions, and help give support to local game design.

btw, we still need to game again or something! No, I won't shut up about it. Heh

Attention: My Weekly Eberron Players!

Well, I was cruising the blogs I read regularly and over at Jeff's Gameblog, the good man has posted a handful of beholder pics ranging from old school to just wonky as hell. Since we're dealing with those nasty critters in the game, I thought it would be neat to give you guys a look at what a few variations of the common form might be like.

Check them out here.

Thursday Night Gaming: Forgotten Realms 4E

Being perfectly honest, I had a hard time following the night's campaign and I was a little confused by John C.'s (the DM) decision to pick my own point of entry to the campaign.

From what I gather, there have been werewolves and eladrin that have foiled the party previously as they travelled to this specific location, and along the way they liberated an evil pair of artifacts (using the term loosely) consisting of a book and a quill. Not sure what it does, or who created it or anything, because I had just gotten bits and pieces of the game from David before I joined.

Anyway, a jumbled mess of problem-solving and roleplay took place, leading to nothing and taking an inordinate amount of time to accomplish just for John to announce that, for the existing party (that is, everyone but me), this was a dream sequence.

My stormsoul genasi staged an elaborate entrance to make himself look like a total badass, but nobody saw it, anyway, but some did, because the door wasn't shut in the dream yet it was shut, but the crack of thunder roused most of the party and then the others were awoken by their comrades.

I was confused as to the details, and I think John was a bit sloppy in the execution. Seemed to leave quite a bit of the group disenchanted, but I dunno.

Next time, pending my interaction with the rest, we'll all be together as a party, hopefully, and can continue on to find more of the secret behind the plots of not only the adversaries, but the evil artifacts, as well.


Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 42

Though their isn't much to report on this week, the party did finally make it into the temple complex and were immediately beset by a pair of chuuls and a pair of desmodu mercs who were posted as sentries by their abberant masters, even though the party was invisible. Talking amongst yourselves, even though nobody can see you, is still kinda a give away for some reason.

Bellosh was the first to attack, and was dragged into the pool where the chuuls had made their homes, but was able to wriggle away after assuming amorphous form. That's when the action began. Lucky immediately fell into buffing others while Talin advanced to attack alongside Viday and Vacht loosed precisely aimed spells. Murmur, who was a bit further away from the fight, headed around to take care of one of the desmodus who had set himself up to snipe from a ledge.

Some of the group had become visibile after unleashing spells and attacks, making them easier targets for their assailants, and the chuuls and the 2nd desmodu (who had been invisible himself after hearing the ruckus) took advantage of that, the bat creature attacking Vacht as he cast a spell, though not ruining the attempt, and the one of the chuuls grabbing poor Talin and crushing her skull, killing her instantly. A few more well placed spells and attacks was all it took after that to finish the foes, and that's where we left off.

We've been starting super late, and we need to get out of that habit, because it limits what we can get done. Next week, I think I'm gonna crank the game up at 6 and see how that flies.

Cast of Characters
Devin "Lucky" Nel, Male Cleric 5/Human Paragon 3/Fortune's Friend 5/Mythic Exemplar 1 - Paul
Bellosh, Male Slyth (Formerly Feral Shifter) Barbarian 5/Ranger 2 - Josh M.
Murmur, Male Personality Warforged Paladin 8/Exorcist of the Silver Flame 6 - David B.
Talin Shiri, Female Elf Ranger 3/Warblade 2/Revenant Blade 5/Eternal Blade 4 - Chris
Vacht Aernsland d'Orien, Male Human Wizard(Evoker) 10/Master Specialist 4 - Steve C.


My BrainHex Gamer Category

Your BrainHex Class is Survivor.

Your BrainHex Class Your BrainHex Sub-Class is Survivor-Conqueror.

You like pulse-pounding risks and escaping from hideous and scary threats as well as defeating impossibly difficult foes, struggling until you eventually achieve victory, and beating other players.

According to your results, there are few play experiences that you strongly dislike.

Learn more about your classes and exceptions at BrainHex.com.

Your scores for each of the classes in this test were as follows:

Go to BrainHex.com to learn more about this player model, and the neurobiological research behind it.

Jeff over at Jeff's Gameblog did this thing and I thought it was interesting, so I thought I would do one, too. Pretty neat if you take the time to read their research.

The Savage Tide a la Asshole

This past Wednesday, we got back into the swing of Paul's Sessarine/Savage Tide game (or the Asshole Campaign, as we call it.)

When last we had left off, all of the characters were in a cove filled with wrecked and burning pirate ships and another ship hard against the wall that seemed to not have suffered much damage. In the cove was a sandy beach that led to a cave entrance, which we all decided to check out. Moving in first without consulting the others, my griffon (who can't talk anyway) and Josh H.'s Raptoran Druid (who I played as a way to keep my character involved) travelled just inside to find a grisly scene complete with 3 infected pirates, one a cook who was working away at chopping up a man for them to dine on.

The druid cast Entangle, which is probably one of the most broken spells ever, and held most of the baddies at bay while my griffon (named Roc) charged at the "cook" and started rocking him. A couple of well placed spells by John C. and the help of a summoned eagle took out the goons and we continued on after inspecting the room.

Moving into another area, we found huge sheets of silk, worth quite a chunk of change, and their guardian....an infected deinonychus! That's what Jurrasic Park called a "velociraptor" for those of you who didn't know; however, I'll not get into how wrong they were here.

Anyway, the thing proceeded to mangle the party and only Steve made it out alive, but oh well. I'm working on a Fighter that will hopefully not just get chewed to hell by this campaign.

The Red Hand of Doom Returns!

This time helmed by Steve, this will technically be my 3rd foray into the adventure, but (if it continues) my 2nd full run through.

So far, the player round up is me, David B., Paul, and John C.. Tony was going to play but couldn't find his character, so he rocked some Might & Magic (if I remember correctly) on the comp while we played.

Starting as 6th level characters netted us quite a bit of starting gold, so David and I went to spending a healthy chunk of coin on hiring 15 soldiers a piece, then hiring on staff to support the fighting force...cooks, teamsters, laborers, etc.. It was hard to judge Steve's reaction to those expenditures, but he seemed pretty ok with it. I was glad of that, because I've always thought hirelings were a neat part of the game.

So, having been contacted for the purpose of cleansing a goblin menace from the area surrounding Brindoll, we set off with our small army to do the deed of the local Lord, but were set upon by a fairly large group of hobgoblins and their leaders...one which my character saw nothing of and a wily mage of some sort who gave us no shortage of troubles.

After the long and brutal fight, in which Steve decided he would roll a 20 for every bad guy every turn, and in which we faced hell hounds and fierce hobgoblin warriors, we limped together, having not lost a single man to the fighting, but having 11 down from wounds and some of the actual adventuring band hurting.

David and I need to look into hiring out the services of a healer or two for our troops. That's one thing we forgot...

Edit: I had misremembered the action and fixed the post, accordingly. Thanks David!

In the Works

Just to keep any readers abreast, here's a quick sneak peek at some of the things I'm planning on posting about in the (hopefully) near future:

  • An interesting FRPG campaign model that Paul has thought up combining aspects of several games
  • Implementation of time as an expendable resource in FRPGs. A mechanic that interests most of the group, but has everyone diverging on opinions of application.
  • More Khardtha work.
  • A sandbox experiment that I'm hoping to get a few people in on.
  • Updates that are actually on-time!
See you in thirty!

Not really, but that's one of the cliches from reading comics.


So, a while back, my pals up in Mt. View came to Bald Man Games and demoed ThunderPwn! for those there. Sadly, I wasn't able to be around that day, and I've not heard much from the guys other than it "seems really cool."

So, in your opinion, how did it go, Josh D.?

I know you guys have put alot of work into the Pwn! series of games and I'm definitely interested in hearing what's in the works. Feel free to comment or email me, man.

Dark Hiatus?

David H. has officially bowed out of the Dark Heresy game for marital duties, so barring seeing what we can do about teleconferencing with guys who have moved, it might be a while yet before we do anything. Two weeks have gone by. David and I have been trying to brainstorm a solution. I think I might take a board game with me tomorrow or something to pass the time. *shrugs*

Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Parts 39-41

Sadly, the game is kinda in a slump due to (yet more) late start times and the overabundance of random encounters I have been rolling. It's just an 8% chance per hour, but I have rolled something like 7 or 8 of the things for just 3 days of travel.

These encounters have been mostly with the desmodus and their large trained bats, but the group has also come across guardians of the temple complex, such as an Iron Golem that burst out of a fresco to only score one hit before going down like a little bitch and an Astral Deva called by a summon trap who acted a bit too big for his britches. The past two sessions, however, the group has run into the new kids in town who are trying to run the desmodus out...creatures of Xoriat!

The first encounter with the newcomers was easy, and the 4 illithids didn't even know what hit them, really. Somewhat more of a challenge, though, was when their 2 beholder companions got tired of the wait and sent in their frost giant lackeys to see what was going on. The battle was a long one, albeit a fun one as many went toe to toe against the giants while Murmur pretty much solo'd the beholders at the first. In the end, one of the eye tyrants was able to make its way out of the fray and escape.

So, not much going on except some yappin', fighstin' and shoostin', but it's been good times. This week, our heroes shall enter the temple complex and (hopefully) unravel some of the mystery behind the lost god, Vesperian!


Inquisitorial Intrigue! Weekly Dark Heresy!

There was some gaming last week that I haven't yet posted and most of this game's update will deal with that, as not much happened this week.

When we picked up, the guys were trying to communicate with the Adeptus Arbites to get information about the bombings of their safehouses and such, and disappearance of Hesdus, but the more they pressed the Arbites, the more they started pressing foranswers, themselves, and that course of action was eventually abandoned.

Sadis went to inspect the lander they came in on, finding it unmolested on the outside, but stripped of their auxilary gear and finding runes and sigils seemingly carved into some of the furnishings and the cockpit door, which he decided to report to Mkoll, only to find himself held at gunpoint as a familiar gunship swung into view...one with the overlapping crest of the Inquisition and the Adeptus Mechanicus...and lead (and plasma) began to fly!

Sadis practically ignored the lone gunman on the landing pad and turned his melta to the gunship, managing to punch a few holes into the hull of the thing (which they knew to belong to a supposed heretic cult) and then taking the gunman down about the time that Mkoll arrived with some Adeptus Sororitas, who Sadis had the presence of mind to contact before the fighting broke out.

The dice god smiled broadly on Steve, as I couldn't hit the broadside of an Imperial Navy Dreadnought with either the lone gunman OR the freaking gunship.

Meanwhile, back at the convent of the Sisters, Jorn was undergoing surgery, but had it interrupted when a squad of men wearing maroon light power armor attacked the place in the name of the Inquisition to apprehend the acolytes of Dorian Hesdus....as this took place, a small tank squadron cornered the Sister's Rhino and demanded the turning over of Mkoll and Sadis, but not before Mkoll got a lucky shot in on a missle box on the gunship, which made the ship pull out of the line of fire.

Now, taken aboard a Mechanicus ship seconded to the Inquisition, the companions are being hauled to the sector capital, Scintilla, to stand trial before the Holy Ordos for the murders of thousands of Imperial citizens, guardsmen, and one Alonia Federac...the Inquisitor they are working for through Hesdus.

So far, Mkoll has tried to escape within the ship from his holding cell, and is about to face his punishment for doing so. We'll see what the next session brings!

We've taken a hit with Josh H moving and David H not showing lately, and with two players the game seems to be stalled. I hate the idea of shelfing it, since I did for a while recently, so I guess we'll just have to see if we can get more interest in it.


Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 38

This week, our intrepid adventurers made it as close to the Starpeaks as the lightning rail would take them, and from there went to the mountains on foot. Recent seismic and volcanic activity made the navigation up to the entry point of the ruined temple that Lucky was searching for take a bit longer than expected, but they made it inside and travelled for a few hours in the darkness.

After travelling for a few hours, the group was ambushed by a small warband of large bat creatures, who they dispatched without too much difficulty. In the aftermath of the combat, they discovered another of the creatures who was tied up and whom they healed and tried the peaceful approach with, speaking with him at length about his race, known as the desmodus, and their role as protectors for the temple. Their newfound ally, who I can't recall the name of, also shared with them the philosophies of different factions within his race.

Not much was accomplished, but I think the session was a fun one. When we left off, the party was resting and about to head further into the depths of the mountain to discover what secrets the temple holds.


Dark Heresy Has Returned!

This is good news....sadly, I learned tonight that Josh H. will have to drop out of the games because he's moving. It's bittersweet, though, as he is leaving us to further his education! He's a smarty.

Also adding to the suck is that Josh, though present, didn't really get to play tonight as his character was in surgery. I think their surgery system is skewed, and the Medicae skill, in general. Everything just seems to take so long.

While it is true, some of the characters can get pretty banged up during the course of their duties to the Emperor, it just seems ridiculous that someone undergo surgery for 9 days (or more) to be healed or given an augmetic limb. While it is true, these types of things would take time...this is also the 41st millenia...you'd think that they'd have figured some shit out to speed recoveries or created shortcuts in procedures to get them done more rapidly.

It confuses me.

Anyway, some crazy stuff...as was promised...occured in tonight's game. We only really had Sadis (Steve C.) and Mkoll (David B.) on the case with the rest of the team either in the infirmary or ghosted due to not being present.

When we left off last time, the characters had just bailed out of a cargo ship holding a small group of orcs before it was blasted out of the sky by Imperial forces, only to see the ship escape out into the blackness of space. During this retreat, Jorn (Josh H.) was taken by the Sisters of Angelic Grace to their infirmary to undergo surgery to heal him while Sadis and Mkoll sped toward the home of Father Simian to rendevous with Interrogator Hesdus.

While en route, Hesdus radioed that Simian was dead and by the time the acolytes arrived, all that was left to be seen was a bloody mess of a house and no trace of anyone or anything but Simian's dead body, a scrapped servitor, and a cogitator that had been shot.

Following up leads from earlier, and trying to regroup with members of Simian's employees to gain more information, the PCs made their way to the offices of the Assassinorum where Mkoll found out a previous "recommendation" had been withdrawn and no trace of the hit could be found and not much else, because shortly after the whole building was brought down in a huge explosion.

In the aftermath of that explosion, more blasts could be heard further away within the city and some recon and questioning of local authorities led them to find out that two "safehouses" that the acolytes had used recently and Father Simian's home had all been bombed, as well as a diner which multiple of the PCs had visited.

Though distrustful of the Sisters of Battle, the group, without anywhere else to turn, asked aid from the convent and were given sparse lodging and medical care while Jorn recovers.

In the meantime, Mkoll has begun to seek answers to the many questions that have arisen in this dangerous, hectic day...not the least of which is "Where is Hesdus?" and "Who is behind this?"

Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 37

This session was a blast. I addressed the problems that I felt the game has been suffering and we had the problem addressed and resolved within 5 minutes. We all agreed that it came down to the fact that there's very little dissemination of information among the group.

It's not that the party is constantly working at cross purposes, but it seems to be the case that everyone at the table is playing strictly IC...amazing for a group the size we have, but everyone at the table is really good at keeping what they know and running with only that. That's awesome, but it has caused huge bogs in the game when multiple characters aren't sharing information and able to piece things together to further the plot.

After we talked out what we think is the problem and joked around about it for a bit, we dove into the game, the characters quick to try and tie up as many loose ends as possible before setting out for the Starpeaks. I really think that's the name of the mountains, anyway. Quite a few other details have escaped me, but the game session seemed to just zip past and it was quite a bit of fun. I really should have posted this sooner, so I could remember everything that took place, but oh well. Tomorrow/today (depending on how you gauge time) will be another session and I hope the group is ready for...Deep Horizon!


No Dark Heresy And Another Common Gameshop Gripe

Well, no game last night because I would have liked to have started the game with more than 2 people and before 10pm. I'm not casting blame or anything, I know as much as anyone else that obligations can get in the way, so that's not a problem.

I do think, however, that I'm just gonna stop waiting and run my games at X time and if people aren't at the table ready to go, they can jump in when they are able. I really wish all of the games at the shop were run like that. It would be alot more appealing, I think, to more than just me if the games started a bit earlier during the week.

I've stepped my Tuesday game up some in time, but Monday and Wednesday's games suffer from "We'll Wait A Bit Longer For..." As gameshop games, I don't think that any campaign currently ran really hinges on any one character (or shouldn't,) so "ghosting" them til they show up shouldn't be a problem.

Anyway, it's a minor gripe. Not like most of us wouldn't be up late, anyway. Monday is an exception for me. I'm not sure why, but I always seem to feel the most tired on Monday nights.


Dark Sun And Other Current "In the Works..."

As I mentioned in an earlier post, a 3.5 D&D Dark Sun game was voted in as the next game to be played on Tuesdays. In my preliminary notes for the campaign, I was looking to make it a really free-form game focused mainly on roleplay, perhaps without the dynamics of a party unless circumstances bring multiple characters together. Now, though, I'm a little worried that a game like that might not go over too well, since I've seen how the current campaign is going and how well the players take to city adventures (Speaker in Dreams went not so well for the group due to nobody taking a hint).

I'm going to bring that up Tuesday when I try to get opinions on the current campaign and see what people think. I might just take the list with me again and recast the votes for the game. See how they turn out with our smaller group. It's weird...I guess Ox and his pals didn't like the game because it wasn't fight fight fight, but they haven't showed up in three weeks now.

In addition to working up the starting notes for Dark Sun, I've also been looking into older systems, or games that simulate such, and thanks to Jeff over at the Gameblog, I've become interested in Labyrinth Lord. I think a system that's still D&D, but isn't as much a numbers game would be a pretty nice diversion for the group and we'd all enjoy it. Maybe. Perhaps.

I've also been tossing around the idea of running a supers game. Not sure what system, though I have a couple at my disposal. I'm liking Aberrant the most strictly from a storyline perspective, but Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (the SAGA system one) can be fun for some wonky power limits and the gamble behind saving cards or blowing them.

There's alot going on in my noggin as far as gaming goes, I just need to actually take the time to work it all out on paper or something.

Concerns About Tuesday

So, I've been thinking more on my post from yesterday about Tuesday's campaign and how I would like to deal with it all. Obviously, I will have a quick chat with the guys after we assemble at the table, but that will be game night and I can't really just go "Okay, now that I know what you want, give me a few hours and I'll change the game to suit."

This leaves me with wondering how or even if I should change my notes to maybe work into the style that the group seems to want. I like combat in games. In fact, I think if I had to play an RPG that had absolutely NO combat, I just really wouldn't be into it at all. However, I also enjoy exploration of the setting and storylines to support the combat and exploration.

I don't buy fully into the GNS Theory or The Big Model's statements that any group will only play X type of game, dependent on what system they choose to play under. I think that there's a definte ability to play XYZ game and to have it be enjoyable. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe once Tuesday rolls around, we'll see what the players say and then I'll have to eat my words.

I've thrown so many bones to the PCs that have gone ignored or otherwise dismissed (maybe as minor occurrences that they don't need to mess with?), that I'm actually at a loss as to how to get them more into the game...and this is a fucking book campaign! I'm just trying to connect the adventures. Maybe I'll just say 'stuff it' and throw them at the beginning of the next adventure.


Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 36

Yeah, it's been 6 sessions since word about this campaign and honestly, not much has happened other than a few lineup changes and some adventure lines that seemed to fall flat.

Last night, the party ran into one of their earliest villains...Belak the Outcast, who first appeared way back in The Sunless Citadel. Nobody in the party ever asks questions like "What part does he play in the overall scheme?" so it seems useless to reintroduce characters. To the group, it just seemed like another fight that they can easily win. The campaign is growing kinda redundant when it feels like I'm running a (somewhat) immersive storyline simply to facilitate (sp?) a line of combats. That's not what D&D is about to me, but who am I to take away the fun from my players?

Which leads me to what I've been doing lately with the game. The past two sessions, I've been testing just how much they can do and take and it turns out they can rock 17th and 20th level encounters like they're nothing. I'll just have to turn it up a little bit.

Maybe I'll toss in some Underwater Ninja Tigers.

Cast of Characters
Kelamor Prime, Male Personality Warforged Druid 11 - Carl
Devin "Lucky" Nel, Male Cleric 5/Human Paragon 3/Fortune's Friend 5 - Paul
Bellosh, Male Slyth (Formerly Feral Shifter) Barbarian 5/Ranger 2 - Josh M.
Murmur, Male Personality Warforged Paladin 8/Exorcist of the Silver Flame 5 - David B.
Talin Shiri, Female Elf Ranger 3/Warblade 2/Revenant Blade 4 - Chris
Vacht Aernsland d'Orien, Male Human Wizard(Evoker) 13 - Steve C.
Soh, Male Changeling Fighter 4/Warshaper 5/Warblade 2 - Josh H.

Behind Again! Woo! Go me!

Seems I fall behind at this here blog quite often lately, and I say I'll get it going again, but this time I do mean it. I've just been too lazy, really. No other real reason to not post.

As far as games go, not much has been missed, really, since I last posted. The only game that's really continued on has been Tuesday night's Eberron. Monday's Dark Heresy games are both on hiatus and Wednesday's games have kinda been washed out due to lack of attendance. I know last week, nothing happened on Wednesday because only three people were there.

Tonight, I'll not be attending Wednesday again, because I'm just not feeling well. I've pretty much dropped out of Thursdays, as well, because I got to feeling like I had too much gaming on my plate, and again, I'm in one of my "Eh" phases with Magic, so Fridays and Saturdays aren't usually times I'm around the shop. Sundays (and weekends as a whole) are hard for me to pull off due to family obligations.

Here's the schedule of games as far as I know:
Monday: Dark Heresy (Mine's on hiatus, David just dropped his.)
Tuesday: Eberron 3.5 D&D DM's by yours truly
Wednesday: The Savage Tide 3.5(DM'd by Paul)/The Red Hand of Doom 3.5 (DM'd by Steve)
Thursday: Wild West Werewolf (Ran by George)/Forgotten Realms 4E soon? (Ran by John C)
Friday: Magic Tourneys at night
Saturday: Magic Tourneys at night
Sundays: The Night Below 4E (DM'd by Tony, and from what I hear, an awesome conversion from the 2E original)

I have a character for both Thursday and Sunday, and once things level out some for me, I hope to rejoin Werewolf and hop in Tony's game, and possibly bring back my Drow War campaign on alternating Sundays.

There's just too much on my mind lately to enjoy gaming like I normally would.


Eberron: Prophecy of Ascendence, Part 30

Tuesday's game started off with the cadre of adventurers regrouping and doing their favorite activity: Bringing a fallen party member back with Reincarnate!

After we all laughed at Chris' Elf being "reborn" as a Halfling, the group decided to get down to business and retrace their steps to further their mission against Allura's father, the vile Gulthias.

This jaunt deep into the caverns below Nightfang Spire brought the party into a crypt area with oddly undisturbed sarcophagi, which the group opted not to mess with, lest they possibly incur the wrath of more spectres, which they've all gained a fair deal of respect for.

Moving beyond the undisturbed crypts, they party came into a room, partially of my manufacture (to introduce new party members) which held the bodies of 15 men and women of various races, including a few warforged, that had been placed into temporal stasis by some undetectable effect, which was discerned by some of the more knowledgable party members (Namely Vacht and his 30+ spellcraft/knowledge [arcana] rolls.)

After disarming a trap within the room and retrieving what turned out to be part of a key to a door they encountered later, the group revived the fallen stasis people and found out that some of them had been down in the vaults of the Spire for hundreds of years, just as much to the surprise of those who had been in stasis as those who found them. Most of those who had been in the room when the PCs discovered it decided to venture out of the tower together, with directions given by Mac and Lucky. Three of those freed from the magic (not including the 2 new PCs) decided to stay on to aid the party til they completed their mission at the location.

The before-mentioned locked door became the major obstacle to overcome and having only 2 pieces of the key, one gained from an NPC that joined the group, they decided to do a little poking around to see if they could locate the other 2 pieces.

We left off after a pretty exciting battle with some spectres and morhgs over a sea of zombies and skeletons, and Lucky had just obtained the 3rd piece of the key. Next week, I assume they'll go after part 4 and enter the sealed area beyond the lock.

Cast of Characters
Allura Fellhaven, Female Kalashtar Psion(Telepath) 10 - Carl
Devin "Lucky" Nel, Male Cleric 5/Human Paragon 3/Fortune's Friend 3 - Paul
Guy Veir "Mac" d'Cannith, Male Human Artificer 8/Renegade Mastermaker 3 - Taylor
Cade Twistvine, Male Hagspawn (formerly Halfling) Rogue 4/Cleric 1/Skullclan Hunter 5 - Josh M.
Murmur, Male Personality Warforged Paladin 8/Exorcist of the Silver Flame 3 - David B.
Revantor, Male Personality Fighter 4/Warblade 4 - Jeremy
Talin Shiri, Female Elf Ranger 3/Warblade 2/Revenant Blade 4 - Chris
Vacht Aernsland d'Orien, Male Human Wizard(Evoker) 11 - Steve C.
Randy Lingso, Male Half-Elf Monk 1/Druid 5/Master of Many Forms 2 - David S.

By the by, I put the list up for the group to decide what game will be next and Dark Sun 3.5: The Affairs of Dragons was voted in. Some would have liked to have seen a non-D&D game, but a game's a game and majority rules.

On a related note, I'm going to update the list and likely repost it soon.