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*