Friday, April 29, 2011

Yes Virginia, there ARE giant spiders…

Well, at least CAT-SIZED spiders. That’s what my half-elf paladin and my fellow gamers ran into at the start of our latest Wednesday Night C&C game at All Things Fun! Rich the GM (I need to get used to using the term Castle Keeper/CK, I guess!) took a cue from a bit of text on his map of the sewers that read “spider god.”

Quick disclaimer: the old memory these days isn’t what it used to be, so I am probably not getting every single cool detail down. If anyone from Wednesday night reads this and sees I missed something glaring, please chime in and comment!

Anyway, Sefa the Druid cast her calm animals spell, and that stopped, oh, about eight spiders in their tracks. That left, oh, about 20 more that were still approaching. So we got ready for a fight. For the foppish illusionist in our party, Struan, that meant dumping wine out of his wineskin and filling it with lantern oil. You know, so he could use it as a flame thrower. Of course. Guess how that turned out.

So, while Struan wasted his time, the rest of us managed to kill off the spiders, then we got out of there fast. Once back at our base of operations, the Silver Eel Inn, we discussed our next move. The druid and barbarian (with his awesome bearded axe that does 3d4 damage, for the love of Torm) proceeded to talk to their rescued tribeswomen. They told us that the scumbag who once owned them didn’t have many guards at his home. Just a handful of some very weasel-looking and scrawny guys with silly hats.

Encouraged by that news, we decided to use the following day to go out into the city and gather some intel on the slave trade as well as how things were faring with the city guard and the abolitionists, not to mention the rioting citizenry in the City State of the Invincible Overlord.

The illusionist and I have very good Charisma scores (and mine, at least, is also a primary attribute for me, in C&C parlance…meaning it’s much easier for me to succeed at charisma-based checks). So I gathered up info on the city guard, and to see if our shenanigans had caused any more discord between the city’s two major houses now jockeying to put their respective candidates on the Overlord’s seat. As it turns out, there was some scuttlebutt among the guardsmen that there was some tension, but no indication if any nobles were getting their panties in a bunch.

Meanwhile, Struan decided to make himself look like my paladin, thanks to his magic. And he got some good intel on the slavers as well as the jerk who once owned the tribeswomen (and who still held a good number of additional female slaves). We learned that the jerk’s wimpy-looking guards hung out at a tavern not far from his house. So we went there to check them out, test their mettle, and generally cause trouble and knock some skulls together (I guess Drance the paladin is not your stereotypical holy warrior, as he’s into the bashing heads as often as possible…as long as those heads belong to evil types).

We went to the tavern that night, after Sefa and Struan rested and regenerated their spells. Struan actually took the time to make himself less useless, and picked a different spread of spells. About time. The tavern we went to was pretty much a haven for evil types, so for me it was clobberin’ time. We spotted three of the weasel-looking guards easily in the crowd. They wore floppy hats and garish clothes, and all of them carried rapiers. Yeah, they looked pretty lame to us.

Struan actually did some good spellwork and convinced an ogre bouncer that one of the wimps said something about his mom. That started the melee. We sort of watched for a while, letting the ogre do as much damage as possible before we waded in to combat. Eventually, I just got tired of waiting and charged in with longsword swinging. It didn’t take too long to discover that these guys were more capable than they looked. They were hard to hit, but were hitting us pretty easily. Especially me. Even with my benefit to armor class that I get from fighting evil types. Ouch. Thanks to Sefa the druid’s abundant supply of healing goodberries that she kindly conjured up, I didn’t bite the dust.

Towards the end of the fight, one of the weasel wimps whipped out some weird weapon and pointed it at us, and there was a deafening boom. Yes, firearms made an appearance. The guard with the arquebus, or whatever it was, went down before he took more than one shot (I think). Struan was good enough to scoop that little oddity up. As we were beating down the last guard, his features started to shift and become more rat-like. Yep, were-rats. Hate those things.

After making the three “were-rat musketeers” dead and stuff, we decided to head right over to the jerk’s house and take him and the rest of the rat-men out ASAP. But not before we gathered up all of our NPC buddies at the Silver Eel. So we were “rollin’ thick” as the kids say these days. We barged our way into the jerk’s house. Said jerk was rumored to have a very bizarre nose, and rumors were true. It looked like a pear hanging off his face. And he was playing with little silver miniatures when we came in. Alrighty then…

More fighting, spelling, and general stabbing-type stuff ensued. I was getting my ass handed to me not long into the melee, as one of the were-rats took me down to one hit point. But eventually we won the day, thanks to Wulfgar the barbarian’s mighty axe cutting a swath through the enemy. We killed the baddies and freed the rest of the slaves. And of course, gathered up whatever loot we could find (that’s Struan’s specialty). Yours truly actually got ahold of a nice longsword +1, gods bless the CK! That’s about where we wrapped it up for the evening.

In summation, this campaign that Rich is running gets better every week. We all get along well, and we have lots of hearty laughs while also having time for some serious challenges in the realms of combat and intrigue.

What, this old thing?

So, anyone who's frequented my blog will instantly notice that it's been reworked. I've changed the theme and rearranged links. The biggest changes were in the realm of pages, which you now see across the top, under my "logo." I really like them, how they allow me to add more variety and content.

This change is one of the first fruits of having a new laptop!

Please, give me some feedback! Let me know what you think of the new look.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A new computing era arrives...

I feel like the wizard's apprentice who finally found his master's spellbook! I am writing this from my new laptop in the comfort of my living room! I am no longer chained to the old desktop in my basement office! Praise be to all the gods that ever were and will be! My hope now is that this new device will allow me to usher in a new age of blogging for me, both reading and writing. Of course, I will be doing a lot of work on this thing (both my day job and freelance), but have no doubt that I will be using it to further my RPG efforts! Sorry for being a big gushy nerd right now! Just had to share...

Monday, April 25, 2011

I love the smell of D&D in the morning!

Uh, anyone else see this?

Really? *shrug* Well, enjoy! Happy Monday!

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Wednesday Night C&C Goodness!

Just wanted to pop in quick before my work day starts in earnest. I went to my second session of Wednesday Night C&C at All Things Fun! You can check out some pics here and here.

We had a couple more players come, a husband and wife duo. She played a druid and he a barbarian. They were very welcome to our little band of merry pranksters. I call us pranksters because we've been trapsing around a little town you might have heard of, the City State of the Invincible Overlord, causing all sorts of trouble since the current Overlord was assassinated.

So far we've tried to keep the city destabilized and in chaos by trying to pit the two ruling noble houses against each other. In the course of this we've stolen some uniforms from one house's soldiers (and in the process burned down what was basically a medieval laundromat ;-) and wore them to raid (and yes, burn) a warehouse belonging to the other house. We're not yet sure if our plan worked.

With our new wilderness friends, we decided to take on the slave trade, since the druid and barbarian had come to town looking for some of their tribes people who had been taken as slaves. We managed to free two women from their tribe. Then the session ended on a cliffhanger, because we decided to use the city's sewers to move in secret. Unfortunately, we finally got unlucky on the GM's random encounter roll, and the last thing he described before the end of the game was the clicking of many little legs, coming toward us...

Oh yeah, it was a good time!

P.S. One of the NPCs is a real treasure, BTW. He's a large man named Mustapha who wears, of course, a fez with a long tassle. The GM, Rich, rolled a couple 1's I think during a combat, because he kept laughing and describing how Mustapha's tassle would fall into his eyes, causing the giant hammer he wields to swing wildly and smash cobblestones and such.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dungeons and Pattons?

I love it when celebrities publicly admit to playing D&D. Imagine my pleasure when tough guy Vin Diesel said he played.

Patton Oswalt (who I think is awesome) is apparently into Dungeons and Dragons. I haven't watched all of this yet, but I'm sure its great. Enjoy!

As for my gaming situation, I hope to be able to make it to my second session of C&C at All Things Fun! in West Berlin, NJ tonight! I want to keep my character Drance (of course!) going. He's a half-elf paladin of Torm, and he's been paired up so far with a smarmy illusionist. I sense a buddy comedy developing...

Happy gaming to one and all!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reversal of Fortune?

So, after my recent bout of downishness, I decided to go to Wednesday Night Castles & Crusades at All Things Fun! in West Berlin, NJ.

I live rather far from this great store, as I've no doubt lamented on this blog in the past. However, my new place of employment is not too far from ATF, so it's no longer a stretch for me to get to the store! My new circumstances have put the "L" back into FLGS!

The mastermind behind the Circle of Dar Janix blog, Rich, is running a great C&C game there on Wednesday nights, I have to say! I met Rich and another player, Wesley, at TrollCon East. I was glad to be reunited with them, to say the least!

All in all, the three of us had a blast! I look forward to gaming with them again soon! It was great to be a player again, since I'm usually running games instead. I whipped up a half-elf paladin for the occasion, and Rich led Wesley's illusionist Struan and my character (named Drance, of course!) through the latter-day version of City State of the Invincible Overlord for about three hours!

If anyone else in the realms around ATF wants to get into a great game, I suggest you stop by on a Wednesday night and check things out!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The old RPG blues...

I'm bumming. There's no other way to say it. I'm just bumming tonight. I haven't been able to keep up with reading all the great RPG blogs I like to follow. I can't write on my own blog like I want to these days (I never was very prolific here, but I was intending on changing that). It seems like I can't find the time to read novels, or plan for running my campaign as much as I'd like, or keep my campaign's Obsidian Portal page up to date.

I know, "you just started a new job," you say. "You're doing a lot of freelance now too. Take it easy on yourself," you say. Then there's the wife and kids to attend to, not to mention the joys of home ownership and all the attending crap that goes into maintaining the crumbling castle. I know all that, but still...

What's really pushed me over the edge though is how it seems like my players for my still-young campaign are not very available for game sessions these days. Now granted, I had to postpone things from my end when I was laid off, but changes in schedules are making it seem like we're going to have increasing problems with getting together. Just when things were starting to look up. Especially now that it seems like another of the old guys was coming back to the table...I might be jumping the gun a bit here, but...I don't know.

I'm usually a very positive person. But even I have my down moments. This might be just one of them.

Speaking of not being able to keep up with blog reading, I just read this post on Grognardia. It's from February, and it deals with the slow down of a long-running campaign.

I think what might be a possible cure for some of my issues is finally getting a laptop. I know, I'm a bit behind the times, eh? I just have a desktop and an iPhone these days. A laptop will allow me to be more flexible with when and where I do my blogging, writing, etc. So, I'm working on that particular purchase.

Sigh. Sorry for the pity party. I need to go to sleep.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April Showers Bring...RPG Flowers?!

Wow, this new job thing can really put a hurting on one's RPG aspirations, I tell ya! However, there was no foolin' on April Fool's Day, because that night we did have a meeting of our small roleplaying group. You may ask why we were gaming on a Friday night instead of our usual Thursday. Well, that's due to more adult responsibility! One of our player's work schedules is shifting around again, so Friday has become more favorable for him. However, this means that our other guy, who works til about 8 on Fridays, can't get there until later in the night.

Anyway, there was a bit of a momentous event that night, because one of our other gaming buddies from back in the day decided to make an appearance! I was more than overjoyed to see another one of our old friends come out to sit at the roleplaying table again. It's funny, because I had taken out a bigger table for game night, and not our usual smaller card table. I wonder if it's a magic table... Anyway, we had to spend some time creating a character for the new-old guy, and also explain to all three players the concepts behind the Castles & Crusades system. So it was pretty late by the time we started to actually game. But it was a great feeling nonetheless.

Now the task will be to get everyone to keep coming back to the table on a regular basis. I'm pushing for every two weeks. Here's hoping... Also, of course, my time that I've been able to dedicate to game prep and blogging has obviously decreased dramatically. This is not only due to my need to work hard to get up to speed on the new full-time job, but also because of my very consistent freelance work writing web copy and also grading some papers for a family friend that teaches basic college English classes. This being the breadwinner thing is tough! ;-)

I think part of my solution will be to finally break down and get a laptop, which is going to be possible soon due to increase income! My company also has a computer hardware discount that I think I need to look into...anyway, gotta get back to the grindstone. Hope all is well, and happy gaming!