Monday, November 29, 2010

D&D Log: Session 16

Huh? Is that a D&D Log I see? It is! It is! It’s a D&D recap!

So this was our first session using MapTools as opposed to OpenRPG for the main reason that MapTools can do a lot more than OpenRPG. Its white board is a lot more flexible, it allows you to place tokens on a creature, and it is insanely difficult to log into for some people. We spent a better portion of the night trying to get Liz and Nik into the game and I mention this because this will be a rather short recap--mostly because of the aforementioned connecting difficulty, but also because combat still moves like a gimped hippo walking through molasses in a blindfold. It is good for multitasking though. I did get some more gametime in Rune Factory 3 while I waited, and I did catch a few scenes in Boardwalk Empire. Now that’s a damn good show right there.

Alright, so last time we played we had just been transported to some other time/place and fought off a group of aberrant monsters. Left with nowhere else to go but up we climbed the nearest staircase and came across a beautiful woman playing the flute. She greeted us and told us that the tower’s master was expecting us, and apparently we were all smitten with her beauty. Juliet apparently tapped into that latent lesbianism that I didn’t know about, but hey I’ve yet to complain about lesbians before. Oh wait, Jimmy’s shitty lesbian wife subplot in Boardwalk Empire. Scratch that.

So it turns out the master of this tower is indeed Galendread, but Galendread is off slaying the Dragonborn Empire. Skipping the history lesson, this was pretty clear indication that we had traveled back in time and that was bad news. I hate time travel; brings up too many questions. Are we changing the future, or is this already decided? LOST worked with the latter, so if that’s the case Juliet just needs to fall down an enormous well and pound a nuclear device with a rock until everything resets. Then she can get coffee with Viktor and remember. Sorry, LOST fanboy-ism took over for a bit.

Back on track we met the current master of this tower, Amen-dread, Galendread’s apprentice. He was expecting us and was quite willing to hand over the Well of Souls assuming we could kill the demon that inhabited the vault where the Well was kept. There was a catch though… you know beyond the demon killing one. Amen-dread has no qualms about parting with this arcane army slayer on the condition that he could access everything else that is inside the chamber. Surprisingly I was suspicious of this, and I kick myself for not being more inquisitive, but it’s too late to do anything now.

Oh, and I want to address something. When we first met Amen-dread I asked him what was up with the chessboard. He said it and the other obstacles were tests designed to allow only skilled, swift, and smart adventurers through, etc. I asked again what the purpose of the chessboard was and was promptly met with “isn’t that what I just fucking told you?” I already gathered that the monsters and traps we faced were tests. I don’t think wizards sit around all day waiting for opportunities to build elaborate contraptions just because they have free time and never heard of Minecraft. I wanted to know why there was an obstacle that specifically required us to peacefully negotiate with an opposing force. It was very different from our normal encounters and I wondered if there was a reason behind it. Sorry, but I just wanted to clear the air.

Okay, so to sum up the next few hours of gameplay thusly: Lilea wants Garret to kill Amen-dread because he’s made pacts with a devil, Garret had another spooky evil vision when he looked at Alice (the flutist), Lilea found a bunch of rituals that are somewhat useful, and Juliet apparently once again tapped into her latent lesbianism when she had a late night talk with Alice. Truthfully my intention was to find out more about Alice, but looking back it did seem like Juliet was hitting on her. Maybe that’ll be her new character trait. Lord Vane and she can go out looking for chicks. That’s a ménage à trios anyone would want to be a part of. Though we did find out she was a slave girl who has dreams of the future that include Garret so I’m going to put money down that this isn’t a disposable NPC that we’ll never see again.

That’s actually a big problem with this current part of the campaign. We’re in the future and I fucking know that something we do here is supposed to have a monumental outcome in the future. Like if we give the artifacts to Galendread then it will turn out he creates the Infernal Plains and a legendary destroyer of our time, or that Alice is truthfully the Witch Queen at an early age. I’m fucking calling this now so that I can ram my head through the wall later that we didn’t kill both of these assholes when we got the chance. This is when I wish I could play Leo Castillo again because that fucker would have had Alice against the wall with a rapier against her neck. And he wouldn’t need a reason for it either. He was kind of a douche like that.

After spending the night (except Garret and Lilea who missed their required six hours of sleep) we were freshened up and ready to kick demon ass. We entered the vault, and thus began a very lengthy encounter. I could talk about it in depth, but honestly I can’t recall a single moment of real comedy or interest to be had. This was just a really long encounter that took up the majority of the session. It was fun, but I still dread the moment combat starts because it essentially drops the game to a standstill. Seven players are just too much, and we didn’t have Joe to add to that already drawn out initiative order. It’s a shame because I used to really enjoy 4E combat, but sadly the additional players make it a time-consuming annoyance rather than a climactic battle.

The night ended with us killing the last of the demons we found inside of the vault only to have an archfiend rise up out of a summoning circle. So our next session will begin with a big solo encounter, though it won’t be next week--too many people will be absent so we won’t be able to play. The weekend after is my birthday, but unless something big comes up I’ll be good to play. Of course the night before will be the Spike VGAs, so I might have entered into a drunken stupor so I could forget. It’s entirely possible.

So what did you guys think about this session? Any theories for how we will inevitably cause our own fucked up future? Am I right to place absolutely no trust in Amen-dread? Is Juliet a lesbian? How often can Garret have his crazy visions before the party just says “fuck it” and ignore him? More importantly, how do you guys feel about the length of combat? It’s entirely possible I’m just cynically negative regarding the group’s size but I did notice a lot of comments in the chat with people being surprised we were still in battle. You know I would like to try an RPG sometime that doesn’t place as large of a focus on combat as 4E does, but maybe return to a more simple type of battle system like 3.5. I miss the simplicity in being a scout who runs around flinging arrows into people. I killed a cloud once with an arrow. Maybe I’ll tell you guys about it sometime…

Until next time, Namaste.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Birthday or Why I Do Not Want Gifts

Hey everyone, guess what happens on December 12th?! Well I’ll probably be recovering from a night staying up watching the Spike TV VGAs and praying to god that the Giants crush the Vikings, but that’s not my point. My point is that it’ll be my birthday! Yay! Jubilation! Other excitement! Yep, I’ll be turning 22 and I’m not sure exactly what my game plan for that day will be. Maybe I’ll head out with friends and get drunk, or maybe I’ll spend it with the family and get drunk. Or I could stay home and play D&D with the fellas… and get drunk. Point is I’ll be getting wasted.

Actually that’s not the point of this post at all, though it did make me thirsty. No rather the point of this post is to address what fans can do for this oh-so-special-but-not really day. I haven’t really advertised it, but I imagine someone will ask if I have an Amazon wishlist or something. I actually do have one, but I just use it to keep track of the DS games I plan to review in the future, so it’s really just a shopping list for me. I’m not providing a link to it because the truth is: I don’t want people to buy me things.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not comfortable taking donations or gifts. Several people have given me free stuff or gifted me games on Steam, but the problem is that I always feel awkward in those situations because I can’t do anything to pay those people back. I really appreciate the generosity of these fans, but I would much rather these fans save their money. There’s tons of much better ways fans could spend their money than to buy me things.

- Donate your money to AngryJoeShow as I know every dollar he receives goes to improving his show.
- Save your money for the next TGWTG Charity Donation Drive. There’s one coming up, and this way you can give money to a good cause, and get something back in return.
- Keep it for yourself. Hey, if you have extra money, save it. It’s never a bad idea to have extra money in the bank. Fuck, start a savings account. Lord knows I should.

I’m not trying to come off like an ungrateful jerk. Anyone who wishes to donate me something are extremely generous and I thank you for your very kind intentions, but I just don’t feel comfortable taking money from fans unless I can give you guys something back in return.

I’m really a fan of simpler things. Look up to my birthday plans above and you’ll see they’re all about going out and just hanging out with friends or family. I’m not expecting gifts on my birthday, but if you still want to do something let me give you some suggestions. Send me a happy birthday message on Twitter. Watch one of my old stand up videos or the Dragonball: Evolution review. Read an article I wrote on Blistered Thumbs. Draw some fanart or make a TVTropes page for me. Leave a comment on a video or article I wrote because those mean so much more to me than any gift could. If you guys want to do something nice for me, I thank you, but please don’t open up your wallet to do it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

D&D Log: Session 15

Holy crap, a D&D recap?! Yep, after a month of no gaming, the Dethklok D&D group got back together to derp up another session with new player, Linkara! As a note, Angry Joe wasn’t able to make it this week as he’s hard at work on the recently launched, which, if you haven’t heard, I’m going to be working on as Lead DS Editor. Now that’s awesome. Okay, with obligatory plugs out of the way ( is taking commissions!) and now shameless plugs out of the way, it’s time to get to the recap.

Starting from where we left off, we had just finished killing the dimensional spiders and were ready to further investigate this tower when a Paladin approached us from behind offering assistance. This new character is Bayben, a Human Paladin of Bahamut sent from the church in Sarmanath to assist us as they feel well… we suck too much. Actually I’m a little offended by that. Fuck you Sarmanath. We saved you from the corporal form of a goddess, rescued a magical cursed tome from a demi-goddess, and managed to infiltrate a kingdom that saw us as kingslayers, defeat the elite guards within said kingdom, and saved the king. I think at this point we’ve proven we’re capable of doing the impossible. But sure, send us help because you think we suck. Fuck Sarmanath.

Okay, sort of went on a tangent there, but it did ruffle my feathers so to speak. Getting back to the point, with Bayben joining our party we decided to investigate further in the cavern until we came upon a room full of strange statues and a single coffin. For a reason I’m having trouble remembering, we sent the big heavily armored loud Paladin to investigate the room to find that the statues didn’t immediately spring to life and try to kill us. No, that happened later. It’s come to a point where I seriously want to destroy every statue I come across. I mean really, I couldn’t give two shits about culture if there’s about a 90% chance that any statue we find is going to suddenly become animate and try to skewer us. Seriously, I might purchase a sledgehammer just so I can take it to every statue I find and batter it into pieces. I don’t care whose fucking throne room we’re in.

It should go without saying that we had to investigate the coffin, and the moment we did the lid flew off and a vile demon popped out and attacked Bayben. Now was Bayben’s time to impress. He introduced himself as an enigma; a man whose legends cast fear into the hearts who know of his deeds. Was he a hero? Was he a villain? All we knew was that wherever he went death seemed to follow. What would happen when Bayben the Butcher swung his bloodstained axe?! He botched and split his pants. No, seriously. He botched, and the botched roll said that he damages a piece of clothing. What an awkward roll. I think we said he tore his cloak, but it’s so much funnier to imagine this big armored hulk of a Paladin trying to swing his weapon and instead ripping his pants. Sorry Linkara, but that will forever be Bayben’s legacy to me. Welcome to D&D.

If it weren’t obvious, the statues in the room began coming to life and attacking us, and truth be told we started getting absolutely hammered by these monsters. Well, I say we but I mean them. I sat back safely in the hallway tossing thunder bolts and stuff. We figured out the trick to the statues was that until a spirit possessed them they were harmless and easily destroyed, so we had to destroy the empty statues before the evil spirits could possess them, and once that was done we could take out the head demon. He went down, put a curse on both our houses, blah blah blah. Actually I think he was glad we killed him. Probably some adventurer who wondered down here and found himself driven mad. Sounds reasonable considering what we face later on, but I’ll get to that.

With the battle over it was time to collect “teh lootz”, and inside the coffin was some money and trinkets. Most curious of the trinkets was a small silver object that looked like a crescent moon sitting on a stick, or as all of us anime nerds immediately identified it: “that moon wand from Sailor Moon”. It did bear an eerie resemblance to it, and because of it I immediately demand fan art of our characters as Sailor Scouts. Make it happen internet. Make it happen. Oh right, the point! I was getting to that. So the trinket appeared to be part of a puzzle concerning the next door where we ran into a stone door with a small recess in it. It appeared the piece could fit inside of it but only in one of the four corners. We choose top right and the door opened for us, though I wonder what would have happened had we picked another corner. A trap? A different room? It’s that lingering question that keeps me up at night. That and the BBQ chicken bacon pizza I ate last night. It gives me gas.

The next room had five cubicles in it with human shaped imprints on the wall. I immediately feared our next adventure would be removing staples out of things that were originally stapled for 7.5 hours, but instead five of us pressed against the imprints and were transported to a chessboard without the pieces. The only other thing on the board beyond us was a king that stood directly across from us with his hand outstretched blocking the entrance. With a few trial and error tests we figured out that we were pieces on a chess board and we had to remove like our respective pieces. We traveled the board and then came face to face with the statue of the king. The king was decorated with a crown and a magnificent sword, and we kind of figured taking the crown or sword would be a bad move. At first I thought his outstretched hand was asking for something, like a toll, but it wasn’t. Instead I offered my hand, he shook it, and our party was allowed to pass. Wow, that one statue may have put my statue prejudice into question. I only realize now what a statue-ist I’ve been. Not all statues are evil assholes that come to life and kill you. I think I may need some time to dwell on my inner hatred of statues and learn to accept them in our world.

So we moved along after Darstine decided to be a dick to the one statue in this world who doesn’t try to kill us by stealing the dude’s crown. What a bitch. The next room was a featureless room with blank walls and floors that had eight chairs lining the floor. We sat down in the chairs and suddenly the room starting spinning and we could all feel ourselves undergoing strange pressure. When it ended we found ourselves back in the room, but a large hole had appeared in the ceiling. We exited the hole only to find ourselves in the same ruined castle we were investigating, only it wasn’t so ruined. It appeared we had gone back in time to before the climactic battle between the Tieflings and demons destroyed this area of the world. Or worse, we went back in time to when that happened. That’d be sucky.

Still we did run into a series of monsters that were quite strange. They were fiendish monsters, abhorrent I believe, that fed off of the madness of humans. Plus they had rape tentacles, yet Juliet actually managed to avoid being Rule 34’d in combat. Barely too actually. It would have hit my garbage Reflex if it weren’t for Pidgeotto’s Super Awesome Amazing Encounter Buff. I love that bird. We killed the creatures, collected our XP, and the game ended there to hopefully continue next week. As far as things happening, there wasn’t a lot. This is essentially a dungeon crawl, but I’ve yet to ever do a real dungeon crawl, so I’m excited. I like the puzzles and thrilling battles. Also, the traps confuse Jason. After a wall closed behind him he tried to walk through the wall, then later tried to walk up the walls. It didn’t work. Combat is still a killer. I actually found time to play two or three songs in Rock Band 3 while I waited for my turn to come up. It helps me get more game time in for my reviews on Blistered Thumbs, but still I’m not thrilled with how long combat will take. I’m actually a bit concerned that when Joe returns to the game we’ll have three defenders running around marking and that combat will become needlessly tedious, but all we can really do now is sit back and wait for it to happen.

So that was our adventure for the week. Sorry it’s been a while, but with Spoony’s recent health problems he hasn’t been able to play, and we have to understand that. I’m hesitant on saying we’ll play next week. We should, but it’s always possible something could come up. Regardless I am glad that people really enjoy our sessions. Of course all of really come to see our ass backwards attempts to save the world and to laugh at our misfortune, but I like to pretend that you enjoy our rich characterization and interesting dynamics. HA! As if we have those…

Until next time, Namaste!