Monday, September 16

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Failed

 Doesn't look like I'm going to get to finish this challenge. This week has been insane around my place and the next few days aren't looking much better. Maybe I can continue the challenge because there are a few topics I'm looking forward to covering but for now, c'est la vie.

Wednesday, September 11

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 9

 Favorite Character I Haven't Played: My next favorite character. Kidding, I guess my favorite character would be Mongoose Half-Ear, Half-Hand. He was Eric's halfling thief, I know Ganth doesn't have halflings but it used to, Mongoose is the reason (In the lore that I will include in the future) they are no longer on Ganth. 

 Mongoose Halfling (Icran- I Can't Remember A Name) started off as a decent thief in Waterdeep in my Undermountain campaign. If you had the boxed campaign to Undermountain then you might remember seeing a goblin standing over a gold coin in the hallway outside the entry well. (SPOILER ALERT) The goblin winds up running away upon seeing the players and if someone picks up the gold coin they have to make a save or the coin burns a hole through their hand. The group didn't have a cleric in the party so they left the dungeon and went to a sawbones cleric and he half-assed fixed his hand. 

 Now with a poorly reconstructed hand and a few minor minuses the group went back in to the dungeon. The group would eventually take the hint and buy healing potions. (If I remember correctly it was the third trip to the sawbones cleric) Later in the dungeon, and after many, many traps, they arrive to a door deep in the second level. Mongoose puts his ear to the door to listen, but discovers that the door is covered in sovereign glue. The group decides to cut off Mongoose's ear. To add insult to injury the group finds a magical earring further into the level. They, as a joke, let him have it.

 Little did they know... The earring had a power enchantment on it. The enchantment made everyone within earshot of the wearer believe everything that the wearer says as the absolute truth. So, Mongoose went back to Waterdeep and declared himself as one of the Nine Lords of Waterdeep. The rest is history, or will be if I ever get to finish writing it. 

 So in conclusion, Mongoose Half-Hand is my favorite character I haven't played.

Tuesday, September 10

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 8

 Favorite Character that I've Played: I've had several characters over the years, I know some think I'm going with Jaccob Sorrow but he's one of my favorites, not my favorite. I had a minotaur pirate, dwarven thief, female illusionist (she was hiding as a man), and even average human fighters. My favorite character of all time would have to be Straahd La`Roc. Deep Gnome war priest of the elemental deity Icran. He started of as a second character, the auto-cleric, never intended as a main character, but after he was created I noticed he was Chaotic Neutral so I decided to play him as half mad. I made insane choices for him, put his hands into a cauldron of true chaos, killed a friendly npc for smelling strange, and even healed one of the enemy npc's because it was 4 of us on 2 of them. After that campaign, Eric used him as an npc leader of a band of mercenaries, Band of the Black Hand. I've even used him a couple of times as an npc when I'm running the game.

Monday, September 9

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 7

 Favorite Edition: That's a tough one. Basic is where I started but didn't ever own or DM it. My Thoughts: It was great for opening my eyes, and many others to RPGs, rules are light requiring many, many house rules. Good system to start with.

 First Edition, or AD&D to the originals, I got my first few books and they were exciting. Lot's of material for spells, campaign worlds, deities, class ideas, new magic items, new monsters, and you can't forget the awesome random dungeon generator. My Thoughts: It was a vast and much needed upgrade to the previous system, probably the best upgrade to the entire system to date. Still suffers from many house rules needed. Great game to start with.

 Second Edition shouldn't be called second. It honestly should of been more of 1.5 Edition, but let's roll with it. This is where my paychecks disappeared towards. I loved the three ring binder monster manuals. Insane box sets, great campaigns, massive dungeons, the the whole set of the Complete books (Some were crap but most of them had great material), Non-Combat skills (Most were crap but some were great and still a good idea), new races, new classes, new monsters, and the list goes on and on. My Thoughts: It was a nice and much needed update to AD&D. Still using plenty of house rules, but most game breakers are covered. Really great system to start with.

 Third Edition and 3.5 were awesome on the start. New classes, Half-Orc is in, new skills, feats, saves are streamlined, great rules for building... well basically everything from magic items, to empire building, and campaign design. The big down-side was combat relied heavy on miniatures. OGL and D20 system changed the face of RPGs and whether you like it or not, it opened the door to the OSR movement and the massive amount of retro-clones we have today. My Thoughts: It was a major game changer to basically everything we had in the game community. The system had flaws but it was clean and quick from combat, to saves, skills, and character creation. They built a system that with some tweaks could turn into the only system of the future. Amazing system to start with, but if I want mini's I'll play Warhammer 50k.

 4th edition and from everything I've heard about 5th, sorry D&D Next, basically seemed too video gaming to me. In my opinion is they had a great system for a basis with 3rd edition but went the wrong direction with the system.

 So I guess my favorite system would be second edition, it was flawed but had ample info available, third edition would of been my favorite if the system had leaned a little less on game pieces.

Sunday, September 8

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 6

 Favorite Deity: Ahh hell's yeah! Been waiting on this one. The Harvester of Souls, Death Incarnate, and One Awesome Cleric, Jaccob Sorrow. I have several favorites, but he's a player that became deified. Ebon Greeneyes is another player deity. Even Pitch the Black, Straahd La'Roc, Mongoose Half-Ear all reached a sort of deity position. But Jaccob is my favorite. 

 If I had to choose a print deity, then I would honestly say the entire Forgotten Realms pantheon. I like the Greek/Roman feel to deities. Flawed gods are fun because they can slip up, become over-involved, take insane insult from the most minor of comment, and even make human mistakes. I had more planned but got behind on my blogging watching the start of NFL season. So until further ado, cya tomorrow.

 Side note: I will at some point come back to the Ganth Pantheons.

Saturday, September 7

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 5

 Favorite set of dice/individual die: Honestly This post will be pretty brief. I've had horrible luck keeping dice. Last decade I've just used Eric's. My favorite was a pair of clear green 20's from my high school days but they've been gone for years. I have a set at home that I use when making npc's and playtesting an adventure, I think I might take them tonight to the game.

 Nick's starting a Savage World Deadlands campaign. A little spoiler here, I will give a post-game report this week, but I might have to keep my character's abilities secret from Eric's character since he'll want to kill me if he finds out. And I can't wait to see what Eric's boys are gonna make. 

 So in conclusion, YOUR dice are my favorites.

Friday, September 6

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 4

 Favorite Gameworld: Ganth.

 Favorite gameworld from print materials is fairly easy. 

 I don't care for Dragonlance, don't get me wrong, plenty of cool and neat tings come from there, but I just don't like the world. 
 Don't even get me started on Spelljammer, ugh ships in space!(Sorry Eric, but yuck) 
 Dark Sun is another that's fun and has good ideas, but still not my cup of tea. 
 Planescape is awesome, but it's too big for the limited amount of information you receive. 
 I really like Ravenloft, amazing campaign idea in my opinion, but not enough supporting materials. 
 Eberron is a great idea and congrats guys on winning your spot in D&D lore, but still not there.
 Mystara is fun but not my favorite. Hollow World falls in here too.
 Who can't help but like or at least appreciate Greyhawk, but still isn't my favorite. 
 My favorite would have to be Forgotten Realms, they have Pirates in a huge sea in the middle of the continent, wars everywhere, ancient flying cities that created a massive desert when they fell, Al-Qadim, Maztica, Kara-Tur, The Horde, Underdark, Undermountain, Drow, Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, well the list goes on and on. What's not to like? A well designed and thought out map, lots of information available, tons of stories and lore, even the gods got reshuffled with a couple of PC's. 

Thursday, September 5

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 3

 Favorite playable class: 1st edition Bard at 1st level.

 Not enough? Here's the requirements: Taken from HERE )
To become a bard, a human or half-elf had to begin with very high ability scores: Strength 15+, Wisdom 15+, Dexterity 15+ and Charisma 15+, Intelligence 12+ and Constitution 10+. These daunting requirements made bards one of the rarest character classes. Bards began the game as fighters, and after achieving 5th level (but before reaching 8th level), they had to dual-class as a thief, and after reaching 5th level as a thief (but before reaching 9th level), they had to dual-class again to druid. Once becoming a druid, the character then progressed as a bard.

 Nuff said.

 Still not enough? Fine. I like most of the classes, thieves are fun, rangers are cool, and even barbarians rock. Some of my favorites are a mage carrying two bandoleers of darts (at higher levels they were wands, and did he ever pay for that oversight during an ambush),  my 2nd edition bard (no relation), and my dwarven fighter. Some classes I hate are psionics and pallys. I love character faults but let me say never make your most charismatic class be your biggest douche.

 But truly, my favorite class would be clerics. I mean come on! With 2nd edition and up they could be total bad asses. Need a healer? Cleric! Need a tank to stand of front? Cleric! Need a caster?  Cleric! No thief? Cleric! With the right race/deity combo clerics can game breakers. (Think I'm wrong?) Check this out, one of Eric and my favorite characters is a cleric. (So?) A deep gnome, chaotic neutral, cleric of Icran (I can't remember a name) he was a deity of earth and elementals, most of his spells were earth/elemental based and was completely unencumbered by any weapons or armor he wore if they were made of metal. Oh he could also summon earth elementals. But he was insane as well. And who didn't ever make the generic dwarven cleric of a war deity? Even clerics of thief deities could stand in as an emergency thief. And don't forget the clerics of magic deities, some got more spells than mages and could still wear armor. 

 As for game breakers just think of it this way, Dragonlance couldn't even handle them for a long time, so they took the gods away. Even Forgotten Realms did it during the gods banished to Faerun and magic going wild. Why? Because clerics will Pump (handclap) You Up! 

 And don't think I'll forget about the baddest cleric of all time.....Jaccob Sorrow. So to sum up, my favorite class would have to be Clerics. FTW!

Wednesday, September 4

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 2

 Favorite playable race: That's a tough one. I have played several races, all of the core ones of course, my top non-standard races are Dark Elf, Deep Gnome, Tiefling, Muls, and Blood Sea Minotaurs. (Come on, who doesn't like Kaz the minotaur, he stole the show from Huma, in my opinion) 

 But honestly, most of my memorable characters and even the majority of characters are Human. My main character in every MMO is the Harvester of Souls, Jaccob Sorrow, who is Human. Which I stole from Eric. So I guess my favorite playable race would have to be Human.

Tuesday, September 3

Dungeons & Dragons 30 Day Challenge- Day 1

 How I got started: A guy named Eddie.

 There's more to it than that. I was in Mrs. Smith's third grade class. Her classroom had a brand new IBM personal computer and we could stay inside and use it during recess and lunch. Since her classroom was the furthest from the playground, our class was last to recess and last to return to class. All the swings and kickball were already taken by the time our class got outside and when the recess bell rang we all lined up in our class and then walked single-file to the classroom behind all the other classes. I didn't start skipping recess for D&D or computers, I stayed because I hated having to just walk around the fence. (that was the only thing to do when all the equipment was taken) Originally, I started playing on the computer with a friend of mine, Steven. He was a huge Star Wars fan, this guy had the Death Star, AT-AT, Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighter and 2 X-Wings. (I know the list because I spent all of the 5th and 6th grade saving my allowance buying all of them, except the Death Star because his brother blew it up with M80's) I was a huge G.I. Joe fan. (I will not go into my list, because if I did I would cry, thanks to a house fire when I was 18) 

 After a month or so, Eddie started playing on the computer too. He started talking about playing Tunnels and Trolls, he told us it was like D&D. His cousin was the Game Master for T&T. I was already curious about D&D since I had started reading the choose your own adventure books earlier that year. He told us that he did have the D&D game if we were interested, his cousin gave it to him after the Irving Pulling suicide. (Just look up either his mom's name Patricia or BADD Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons, I refuse to do any direct links about that poor misguided woman, she did what she thought was right but IMHO she put a stigma on this game that still lingers 30 years later) We said yeah bring it. He brought in the red box, and the rest is history. 

PS. I would also like to say CONGRATULATIONS to Diana Nyad and her record breaking swim, I have watched this remarkable lady try and fail most of my life. After nearly 40 years she turned her dream into reality. You are a real champion, I tip my hat to you, Ma'am. 

Friday, August 30

Thursday, August 1

Last Updated December 13, 2012

 Wow, it's been a weird, tough year. 

 Right after I wrote about my back and headaches, we decided to cancel our isp. We live in the backwoods and unfortunately we're stuck with the co-op phone company here and their outrageous prices. Our contract was up, so we closed our account. We spent two years with sluggish internet speeds and signal loss was nearly daily (sometimes lasting for days on end). We tried satellite, cell phone wifi, and internet sticks. All of em are garbage. So we're back with the co-op and in the last 7 days we've lost internet over a dozen times. But I'm back for now.

 In late February, my wife and I had a family crisis with our eldest child. Those that know me, know what happened, but we're still working through it. Last month, my family had another crisis. After a two week nightmare, in and out of hospitals, I lost the best person I have ever known, my mom. She died on her 58th birthday. She taught me who I am and gave me life. (Later I may do a long post on her, but even today, two weeks later it's still too hard)

 As for the rest, since this is a gaming blog, primarily about the characters and places in our home brew world of Ganth, I'll skip the monologue and move over to gaming...

 Nick started off the year with a supers campaign. Eric played a..... Ya know for the life of me I can't remember, it's not that his guy was bland or boring, because it wasn't. I do remember he played a ninja clan character but that's all I can remember (maybe I suppressed it, ninjas can be a little scary). His two sons lasted through the second of three sessions, one played a speedster and the other played a hulk. *Side note: We have been sharing the GMing responsibilities, we play every two weeks and each one GM's 3 sessions* I played an insane Deadpool rip off (oxymoron but wait). He was a former military special forces member who participated in a failed super soldier program. His abilities were super fast regen and a minor copycat power, I tied the rest of his powers to a belt (fast teleport 3x per round for very short distances) and his one true love Bessie (a beefed up 50cal dessert eagle with increased accuracy and damage). We were all apart of a government secret supers agency. Our first mission was at a high school that had been infected with a bio-agent by terrorists or so we thought at the time. Upon arriving at the school Eric's group discovered a group of uninfected survivors hiding in a second floor classroom. The remainder of the school was infected by a zombie virus. We managed to secure the school and we took one of the "terrorists" bodies to a spiritual channeler and she told us the guy was a deliveryman from a chemical company. End session one.

 The next session, we went to the chemical company and discovered they were creating a flu-like vaccine with the zombie virus. At the plant we found several scientists along with a mind control super (who took me over pretty easily) and werewolf. Fortunately, Eric's sons joined us for this session so the hulk went toe-to-toe with fuzzball and the clumsy speedster helped take down the mind melter. The mind controller was slain along with several scientists (only one by us but he was being controlled at the time so he doesn't count) and the werewolf was taken into custody. End session two.

 The last session we transported Wolfenstien to the super secret (double probation) prison when we were betrayed by our own agency and incarcerated. Upon waking up, Hulk went berserk and proceeded to destroy his holding cell (but still couldn't break through the force field that contained him), the speedster managed to destroy the door to his cell along with the guards standing outside, Eric also managed to escape and take down a few guards. My character's cell was on the other side of the complex, upon waking without his beloved Bessie, he began to unsuccessfully attempt an escape. He started with beating on the door then moved to biting off his fingertips in many failed attempts to use his finger bones to pick the locks, most were just poor rolls but also between each failed attempt his fingers grew back. (I told you INSANE Deadpool) Finally, Hulk busted the wall of his cell (but not the force field). After witnessing Hulk's super strength, Crazypool used his copycat ability for w watered down version of super strength. He the tore the door off of his cell and used it as a massive discus (the heavy Frisbee used in track and field) and cut through a few guards and the doors at the end of the corridor. After we escaped our cells, as real heroes, we began to slay every living soul we passed in our prison break. Yeah I know, not really heroic, but we figured it was the all's fair in love and dickness, erm I mean war, routine. End session three.

(After last week's gaming session I asked Eric, he played a ninja with the luck power, he had a certain type of bad luck but it could also be focused by him)

 Next up was my Rifts campaign, in the the Lone Star state. Nick played a very pretty elf,  shifter (magic wielding rift jumper who sold his soul to the Wolf Spirit of Nature), Keltin, who's parents and come through a rift during the dark times, so he was born on Rifts Earth in the city of Tolkeen. Eric created (I say created, because the daunting task of creating a rift's character intimidated Nick, so he played one, I just had him pick the class and I did the work for him, now I'm creating two characters for Eric's boys... as I was saying, Eric created) a full conversion cyborg from Russia, Alexander Karlov, descendant of Boris. The game started right after the fall of Tolkeen, Nick was running for his life and was being assisted by Eric's character, since he turned on the coalition. As they made their way south, they won a small mercenary unit in a card game. The unit was located in Hosstown (my name for Houston). Upon arriving at Hosstown they find the merc headquarters. and it's empty. Except for an old, semi-retired scout, Phelix; a crooked bartender who owns the building and runs the bar downstairs of the hq, Cred; and a slimy cyber-doc, Patch, with the offices above the hq, they have next to nothing. There were 12 active agents in the field, most are either deep cover agents or out on their own side jobs. Weapons were old but in good repair, 3 working vehicles but only one was combat ready, and no money. 

 So first thing first, they needed money, jobs, and a name for the merc unit. Nick suggested Keltin's Dragoons and since he was so pretty, Eric readily agreed. (Accept the fact that I threw "pretty" punches at Nick the whole time and will continue to do so in this blog and in game. Sorry Nick, but I promise I will throw some jabs at Eric too) Now that they had a name onto jobs for money. They checked for open bounties and came up with 3 jobs: 2 were way above their level, involving major operations, and the third was a dead or alive order for a cyber-doc who was kidnapping people and implanting mind control bionics into them for 200k. They took the bait. 

 First they went to the cyber-doc upstairs, they discovered that the kill order was for a Dr. Feric and if they could recover an undamaged booster (the illegal mind control bionics) he would pay them 50k. Then they went to the bar, the bartender told them he had heard that the cyber-doc was located somewhere around Los Alamo (formerly Austin), while in the bar they met a lovely lady, Sally, who became smitten with the purty elf. They leave the bar and head out towards Los Alamo.

 Half a day outside of Hosstown, they run into a coalition patrol with 4 deadboy soldiers and 2 Samas. (who were looking to question the players about Sally and her where-abouts, they and the players didn't know she was stowed away in a hidden compartment inside their ATV) Before they could approach or say anything to the players, Eric immediately targets them with his missile launchers. The coalition soldiers respond to the threat by attacking and disabling the ATV in the first round. Eric misses with his missiles and Nick hides. So I had to use my deus ex machina, Bill. (Bill is a godling who's in love with the tale of Pecos Bill and has shouldered himself with the reputation and personality of the legendary figure) So Bill flies in on a tornado and then uses the tornado to carry the coalition forces away. He turns to the players to introduce himself and Eric begins targeting him with his railgun. So Bill rolls a strike with his pistols and shoots off Eric's trigger finger. (You gotta love Eric's tenacity to kill off his characters but he didn't win and die so...) Bill tells the group that they're luck since he doesn't kill anyone on Sunday. Nick responded that today is Tuesday. Bill laughed and told them either way it's rude to rescue a lady in danger then kill off her protectors. That's when they notice Two-Gun Sally climbing out of the disabled ATV. Bill tells the players he can help them get the ATV repaired at a local town nearby, so they lash the ATV to Eric and begin walking. During the trip they get to know Bill and Sally. Bill only describes himself as the legendary Pecos Bill and won't answer any personal questions. Sally tells the players her story.

 Sally was a juicer in her youth and after two years she went through detox, after surviving the withdrawals she had MOM implants installed and became a crazy for the last 6 years. She is being hunted by the coalition because she "supposedly" killed a coalition general. When asked if she was guilty, she responded with a very sarcastic, "I would never do something like that." She told the characters that she knew Los Alamo quite well and could escort them there, or close to there, after the repaired the ATV. Being a former juicer she was not really welcomed there, since all the juicers there viewed her as a traitor, she could only guide them part of the way. Eric and Nick declined the escort, but did take the directions and even offered her a job with their merc company. She accepted and went back to the Hosstown headquarters. End session one.

 The town inhabitants wouldn't let the players in until Bill left the area. So Bill said his farewells to the group and left. Eric and Nick, after some quick explaining to the villagers, drug their broken ATV in and made a swap for an older version ATV and a 2k. After they swapped gear and weapons over to the older vehicle, and despite the warnings, they headed back out into the night. 

 The players ran across some 3 other travelers during the night, Nick decided to avoid them and keep rolling on past. Unfortunately, they were wild vampires who were hoping the players would stop to help and become an easy kill. Once they discovered that the players were going to continue driving they attacked the ATV. Nick hid and Eric began kicking some undead asses. Once getting away to a safe distance Nick began unleashing spells at the vampires and they killed two of the vamps. The third vamp decided to make a hasty retreat, but Eric wouldn't allow it. He managed to gun down the third vamp and they took the heads and attached them to the hood of the ATV. 

 Finally they made it to Los Alamo, and were escorted into the city by armored patrols. Eric went to the local cyber-doc, Mama Scalpel, and discovered the doctor's name and location. Nick went looking for a wilderness scout, he came up with 2 names Roderick and Floyd. Roderick was an old human drunk who charged 10k for the job and Floyd was an escaped dogboy who charged 8k. So they went with Roderick. End session two.

 With Roderick's help the players avoided anymore encounters and made their way to the small village. After a day of scouting the area, they planned a sneak attack on the headquarters of the good doctor at night. Using his magic, Nick and Roderick snuck into town, and after a couple of close calls they made it into the headquarters. Once going in they head immediately upstairs and discover the doc's surgical room and inventory of implants. Chained up inside the inventory closet is the town mayor. The good doctor kept the mayor unmodified so he could watch the experiments. Nick grabs one of the boosters and frees the mayor. They then head towards the doctor's command center. Once the enter the command center they find the doctor. After a quick firefight, they kill the doctor. The mayor turns to the players and thanks them but the need to destroy this room to release the enslaved population. So Roderick, the drunk, takes out a massive damage frag grenade, pulls the pin, and drops it on the floor. Everyone flees. They just make it out of the building with minor damage to themselves. The mayor thanks the player and writes up two letters for the players to say that they killed the doctor, destroyed his lab, and freed the townspeople. The players fired Roderick and went home. End session three.

 Next up was Eric's campaign. I won't go into too many details here, since Eric already has a post on his blog. We have had three sessions so far and it looks like it will probably spill over into another three sessions. It's been a blast and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. The worst part is trying not to meta-game. I've already been through most of this adventure, but I try to step back and follow their lead through the parts I've played, even if I know it's a mistake. (we'll live or die as a group and I'll enjoy the ride either way).

 Our next campaign will be with Nick at the reins. He's going to run a Savage Worlds Deadlands western. I'm looking forward to it. Eric will be making an ex-priest turned gunslinger. Ask him about his relic/pistol. I'm leaning towards an Indian scout (maybe shaman) from the Coyote Confederation. We'll see how it goes.

 After Nick's campaign, we'll be back to Rift's. Eric's two boys will be joining in this time. One of them wants to play a speedster (scroll up and see if you can find a theme here) and the other wants to play a technowizard from the past, Ben Franklin. (Great concept, unfortunately they want to play them so I'm stuck with the creating them part. I don't mind, they're cool kids and I can knock the characters out pretty fast) 

 Well, that's all I've gotten so far, I have to scroll back through my posts and see where I left off. I'll try to update more than once in 8 months. No promises but until I get back here's a dancing monkey to keep you occupied.