The Dark Sun Game So Far...

So, I already aired some stuff about the DS game, but I didn't really discuss anything that has happened so far within the game, or anything about the characters. I'll take some time here to do just that.

As I mentioned before, the campaign has begun in the city-state of Tyr. It's important to note that this is the pre-Prism Pentad Tyr, as presented in the original Dark Sun box set, and that the happenings of those novels might later impact my game.

As it stands, Kalak's ziggurat is about 1/3 of the way done, and there hasn't been the push for slaves yet that is presented in the fiction and in the adventure Freedom. I have, however, ran a couple of encounters from Freedom that haven't had a real tie to timeline. Already, there have been some uncertainties about the political climate within Tyr, as well as all the weirdness that needs to take place in an rpg.

And now on to our cast and what they've been up to...

Rhine Lockwood(Taylor) - [Dwarf Expert 3] Rhine has been able to use some old connections to enter into the society of the wealthy, playing the dual roles of sycophant and historian, recording the dynasties of the nobles of Tyr and trying to work into the graces of those he encounters. There have been plenty of opportunities for deeds both base and heroic presenting themselves to the dwarf, but almost all have been either overlooked or turned down. His true motives remain mysterious, though he has started a cordial relationship with one of Kalak's templars. Where this will go remains to be seen.

Kitcliff(David B.) - [Halfling Swordsage 3] Kitcliff has mostly been doing his job and hunting. While working, the roost he cleans for an innkeep that offers a room to aaracokra has had some stray body parts, and a ring...which made him inadvertently stumble into contact with a group of men who claim to be against those who defile the face of Athas. The halfling has now pledged his service to this group, but he's uncertain, as of yet, how that will impact his life.

Kal-Mek(Paul) - [Mul Gladiator 2] Kal-Mek has, of yet, done nothing too much more than work at a stone carver's shop. On one excursion out of the city to let his inix have room to run, he did encounter an odd kank herder who introduced herself as Krysta, and he has an existing relationship to Han, the Rain Cleric. Other than this, his employer's shop being taken as the property of the King has been the only thing that has affected the mul.

Khaz(John C.) - [Tari Rogue 2] Khaz has established himself as a brave member of his people, though other Tari might call him foolish. Upon hearing of/noticing a rash of disappearances among the ratfolk, he immediately went in search of answers, which led him and some of his mischief(pack/tribe) to venture to what they thought was the source, just to lose one of their number to a beast the likes of which none of them had seen before...a modified hook horror! Though they turned back at that point, our "hero" is undaunted, and still wishes to get to the bottom of things.

Han Daarken(Chris S.) - [Human Cleric of Rain 3] Han is the most junior member of the three-man clergy at his "temple," and as such has been tasked with carrying out the day-to-day wishes of anyone who wants something of the church. This has manifested itself, most recently, into a joint effort with the Ministry of Public Works of King Kalak to construct a fountain to "complement the ziggurat." To protect the work til the finish of the ziggurat, the fountain is to be completed inside a building, and it will be a stylized statue of the Sorceror-King, and has no basin, but drainage holes going into the ground.

Yor 'Kov Ent'Sieqe(Steve C.) - [Tarek Truenamer 1] Yor has yet to come into the game, due to Steve's inability to make it to the sessions.

Krysta(Angela) - [Half-Elf Druid 3] Krysta is a young half-elf who has been left to her own devices out in the wilds, and lives among a herd of wild kank a few miles out from Tyr. Recently, she discovered a dead, ashy-looking circle on the ground that has begun to expand after almost every night. After a few nights, she also discovered a few of her herd stripped of larger portions of carapace. Despite all this, she has yet to show any want to investigate or otherwise aid her herd. She does, however look forward to speaking with Kal-mek again, since they crossed paths earlier.

Knaun Orzan(Andrew) - [Human Psion(Shaper) 3] Knaun has actually done some of the most pro-active stuff in the game, and has had a run-in with a templar that might crop up again during the course of the game. Afterwards, our psion found his way to a flop house where he practically killed a guy who was trying to steal from him, making him run before he had another encounter with the templarate. Last we left off, he had shacked up in a nice place, but Andrew hasn't been back to the game. Hope it's not lame to him.

And there's our characters and some of the stuff they've been up to.
I find it kinda funny that, out of all the characters in the game, only 2 are from Tyr. It might become clearer why that amuses me once I can let the cat out of the bag about some of the character's backstories.

More to come on the Dark Sun game. It's something that's on my mind quite a bit lately.

Is Dark Sun Already Growing Tyr-ing?

I know we're just a little bit into the Dark Sun campaign, but it already seems to not be moving along. I thought the "ensemble" style would help fill out characters and give people alot to work with for their characters before they actually got together with other PCs, if ever.

When I pitched the concept, people seemed to like the idea, immediately picking up on how the dynamics worked, since most had seen the show Heroes, and were familiar with the style. Through character creation, things went smoothly, and everyone was pitching ideas and asking questions to help fill out the personalities and such, and I had no problem placing them in my version of Tyr.

Then actual game play came up.

Things are sluggish. It's hard getting characters motivated to want to do anything other than their workaday jobs, and pacing is killing me. It takes a whole session to knock one day out, because it seems like there's an assumption that you HAVE to play out your whole day, even if you do nothing. I don't know where this assumption came from, as I never stated that's how you have to do things. It seems common sense to me NOT to play out going to work, if that work is uneventful. I try to hit the high spots, like if anything changes, and then push the action along to cue my players, but it doesn't seem to work.

I have tried my hardest to lace everyone's action with hooks, teasers, and threads that they can ride if they want, but perhaps they aren't juicy enough. This makes me wonder what, if anything WILL be enough to make them want to look at the world outside of their non-PC lives. I would say non-adventurer, but I don't necessarily want them out dungeoneering or conquering the wastes one braxat at a time. I just want to see pro-action, and I'm stumped on how to do that. I've postponed my game for two weeks (and Paul has started running The World's Largest Dungeon alternatively) to give myself more prep time and think about how to better integrate things that would personally motivate or intrigue each character.

If anyone out there can give me some hints/tips/suggestions, then that would be awesome. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels on this campaign, and that makes me sad, because of how much I love the setting


More Musical Inspiration...

Often, in the games we play, our characters pay grave prices for the arcane or spiritual knowledge they gain, regularly with loss of something within themselves, high tariffs of physical objects, or (if others would have it their way) with their lives/health. On the flip side of that, our characters could be the ones persecuting those they feel are dangerous for their knowledge and abilities.

This week's song was chosen because of that flip side. I've been an AFI fan for quite some time, but never felt like they had songs that could tie in well with gaming, but lately I've been reading the Hunter: The Vigil core rulebook, and this song popped into mind. Pretty gruesome imagery, if you're familiar with history (or Warhammer 40k).

As a final note, I'm sorry that I wasn't able to get a video. AFI doesn't do many official vids, and the live ones had terrible sound quality. At any rate, I hope you enjoy NoCal's A Fire Inside.

AFI - "Malleus Maleficarum"

Open my eyes as I submerge
and I won't deny what I've been since birth.
I'll die drowned by your standards.
Breathe in the life of the summer's death as the orange
and red breathe their first breath,
so welcome as they're burning through.

We all begin to burn.
Autumn's flame dances in my eyes
Set alight for all we've learned.
My ashes falling.

My skin is singed but it heals my heart
and with glowing pride I'll wear my scars.
I'm honoured by your hatred.
Leaves fall we arise again,
and the end impending,
it will begin.

We all begin to burn.
Autumn's flame dances in my eyes
Set alight for all we've learned.
My ashes falling.

can you feel me?

Ashes fall and I'm rising up again. Ashes fall.
Ashes fall. Ashes fall as we all arise.

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


Character Meme

Going to try to get back into the swing of things. New job and sleep schedule has eaten into my spare time recently, but I miss posting. Anyway, I thought I would start it off lightly with an old meme I came across. Fun stuff.

Here's the premise:

Name 12 characters you have played in RPGs, before looking at the questions that follow.
List your characters numbered 1 to 12, with the name of the RPG you played them in.
Once you've picked your 12 characters, look at the questions and answer accordingly. (No peeking until you've picked your characters!)

1) John Keegan (JFK Jr. in hiding), Camarilla vampire in Poland, Vampire: The Masquerade
2) Aucros Kendra, Cloud Giant-blooded grappler, Dungeons & Dragons 3.x (Eberron)
3) Jimba, Hoop boat captain/treasure hunter...bunny pirate!, Gamma World ala Story Engine
4) Wade, Assassin for hire (Deadpool), Dungeons & Dragons 3.x gestalt superhero campaign
5) Ivellios Vyshaan, Scoundrel Sun Elf Wizard, Dungeons & Dragons 3.x (Forgotten Realms)
6) Kalec Mat, Superstitious starfighter pilot, WEG Star Wars
7) Rikus Blackheart, Dark-humored mul gladiator/assassin, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition and Dungeons & Dragons 3.x
8) Eros Narcis, Jet-setting corporate playboy charmer, Aberrant
9) Richard Edgars, Professor of history at Rutgers, Call of Cthulhu
10) Manlebb D'ann, Twi'lek scoundrel, d20 Star Wars
11) Mourn Tarnruth, Wild Elf schizo shaman, Dungeons & Dragons 3.x
12) Jack Mason, Past-his-prime detective, d20 Modern Urban Arcana


1) Who would make a better college professor: 6, or 11?

lol...oh man. Well, I would say that Kalec might be the most stable of the two, but Mourn could bring alot to the table. More of a world-wise person than the starfighter. I really don't think either would ever get the job.

2) Do you think 2 is hot? How hot?

It never came up in campaign, but he does have bluish white skin and silver hair. 18 Str means he's got a nice build, I would think. If ladies are into 7'4" blue-white guys, then hey, I guess he's hot.

3) 12 sends 8 on a mission. What is it, and does it succeed?

Interesting. Jack is in way over his head. Getting caught up with an organization that wants to eradicate anything non-human (which he doesn't know yet) and Eros is definitely non-human, by the group's standards. He's trying, at the same time, to prove he can keep up with the younger cops. I would say infiltrating a group of supers or even worse, "monsters." This seems awesome, the more I think about it. Not sure how they would meet, but the possibilities!

4) What is, or would be, 9's favourite book?

One that he could read and not go mad? Such was his fate, alas. (Though, I think he would love to be able to read and understand any of the ancient texts.)

5) Would it make more sense for 2 to swear fealty to 6, or the other way around?

Kalec is so superstitious that I immediately want to say he would follow this huge, powerful, odd-looking human...but at the same time, if Aucros saw Kalec touch down in his Z-95, then who knows what he might think, especially since Kalec would be suited up. Might mistake him for a powerful artificer, might mistake him for something else entirely.

6) For some reason, 5 is looking for a room-mate. Should they share a studio apartment with 9, or 10?

Ivellios is married, so his wife might not like that too much, but if it were to come up, then it's hard to say. Both have their merits... Prof. Edgars, his intellect and good conversation, Manlebb for his like-mindedness, but I think our man Richard wins out. Manlebb is, ultimately, too evil and ruthless for Ivellios, and no doubt, would be Dominated within a week after personality clashes.

7) 2, 7, and 12 have dinner together. Where do they go, and what do they discuss?

Aucros, Rikus, and Jack, hm. Somewhere with beer...or whiskey and likely with huge steaks or other cuts of meat. They're all just that type. Like a bootleather convention of my characters, in a sense. I think they would just talk about how shitty life is, you know...how they throw their lives on the line and too often, it just goes unrecognized. I dunno why I picture these guys getting along so well. They just seem to have all bitten the same bullets.

8) 3 challenges 10 to a duel. What happens?

Much hilarity, that's what. Jimba pulls a knife. Manlebb draws a laspistol. Jimba pulls a shotgun. Manlebb draws another pistol. Jimba then produces grenades. Manlebb calls in a favor and a small squad of Imperial stormtroopers show up. Jimba winks to his mutant friend Bizkit and the dog-man calls down a lightning bolt on Manlebb's backup. It's all one-upmanship. Eventually, Jimba would take it to a physical level if he couldn't intimidate, and Manlebb would rather manipulate than kill, though he might eventually get tired of the back and forth and just shoot the hoop.

9) If 1 stole 8's most precious possession, how would they get it back?

Two VERY rich and powerful men who are more than men. This is interesting. They wouldn't take the stage personally. I picture each of them working through agents, going back and forth stealing and counter-stealing whatever it is. If they ever did meet face to face to resolve it, Eros would probably just work out a huge payoff to resolve it. Fun stuff. Board-room characters win.

10. Suggest a title for a story in which 7 and 12 both attain what they most desire.

Justifiable Homicide
, in which Rikus is given a trans-planar assassination job, and once he does the deed, Jack gets on the case. Jack's a member of a baseline group, and depending on where he is at that point with the group, if he sees that the murdered "person" was actually a monster, then he might work to put law enforcement on the wrong track, because he thinks the life taken isn't as precious as a human's would be.

11) What kind of plot device would you use if you wanted 4 and 1 to work together?

Wade, being based off Marvel's Deadpool, is an assassin. 'nuff said.

12) If 7 visited you for the weekend, how would you get along?

I want to say awesomely. I've always called Rikus my "flagship" character. When I think back on D&D games, the ones where I played him stand out most. I love the character, and his demeanor most matches mine, of all the characters I have played. I'm just...not a gladiator, or an assassin.

13) If you could command 3 to perform any one task or service for you, what would it be?

*sigh* Assuming he could even remember anything I tell him, or if he didn't misinterpret the directions, I would simply ask him to leave. Seems that he's keen on getting into tight spots.

14) Does anyone on your friends list resemble 11 (either in appearance or personality)?

No, and I'm very happy of that fact.

15) If 2 had to choose sides between 4 and 5, which would it be?

I think there wouldn't even be a debate. Wade might be good at persuading people to help him, but I'm afraid Ivellios is a pretty powerful enchanter, so Aucros would likely get no choice other than if he wished to forgo his saving throw.

16) What might 10 shout while charging into battle?

"What in the moons am I doing?!" Not quite the most combative guy.

17) If you chose a song to represent 8, which song would you choose?

Missa super Letatus sum. A classical Greek work.

18) 1, 6, and 12 are having dim sum at a Chinese restaurant. There is only one scallion pancake left, and they all reach for it at the same time. Who gets to eat it?

Jack does, I think. John doesn't eat food, and Kalec might not even like the stuff. Maybe Jack would pass it up to get some drink, though.

19) What might be a good pick-up line for 2 to use on 10?

"So...what are those tentacle things fo....oh, you're a man?! *red face* Sorry, sir."

20) What would 5 most likely be arrested for?

"Arrested? When? Who? Sir, I don't know what you're talking about 'called it in?' We didn't see anyone looking like an 'Elrond ripoff.'" I say again, Ivellios is a very powerful enchanter.

21) What is 6's secret?

He used to fly search-and-destroy missions for the Empire for pay.

22) If 11 and 9 were racing to a destination, who would get there first?

Mourn. Crazy he might be, but he still has magic, which trumps autos and the train.

23) If you had to walk home through a bad neighborhood late at night, would you feel safer in the company of 7 or 8?

Rikus, definitely. I can't say I wouldn't mind being in Eros' company, because he is rich and the life of the party, but he hits like a girl.

24) 1 and 9 reluctantly team up to save the world from the threat posed by 4's sinister secret organization. 11 volunteers to help them, but it is later discovered that he/she is actually a spy for 4. Meanwhile, 4 has kidnapped 12 in an attempt to force their surrender. Following the wise advice of 5, they seek out 3, who gives them what they need to complete their quest. What title would you give this fic?

Ok, so... John and Richard team up to thwart Wade. (Sounds reasonable!) Mourn volunteers to help, but is later revealed to work for Wade. (What were they thinking, anyway? He talks to rocks!) Wade has kidnapped Jack to force them to surrender. (No! You can't kidnap the everyman!) Following the "wise" advice of Ivellios, they seek out Jimba who gives them what they need. (First off...Ivellios would think, rightfully so, that Jimba's an idiot, but eh.) Jimba has alot of crazy junk, so who knows what they need to finish the quest. He probably has one somewhere.

I can't even begin to think of a name. This sounds so wonky that I think the only real title it can have is Deadpool #(whatever is next in continuity here)