Handsome Hank

20 July, 2012

So it’s the big festival. Or one ovvem – they have festivals every two weeks in Sharn, seems like. This one is int’resting. They let a monster go, and put a bounty onnit. ‘O course, the monster is usually released sumwhere where the poor people live. But that’s nobs for yer.

Anyway, I wos keen to ave a go at the bounty, and sum of us was agreeable, so we went up ter top tier an collected in the square wiv everyone else. The mayor comes out, an says this year’s monster is a beholder.

Geez!

But not ter worry, ’cause he ‘as a special crack team of adventurers ter deal wiv it – Hank the Handsome an ‘is crew. The crowd goes wild. I fink I heard of ‘im. ‘Is crew wos a mad dwarf, some sort of miserable teenager, an a ‘human female mage ‘oo looks like the brains of the bunch. Anyway, we go a good look attim. The bloke is a dick. I mean, there’s lots of words you could use, right, but the all mean the same fing.

Anyway, the Mayor sez e is breaking wiv tradition an not telling people where this beholder is going ter be released.

Now, ‘ere’s my finking. A beholder can fly, right? Not like the usual where they let the monster loose ter kill a bunch of commons. An they is intelligent. So I reckons that he ‘as done a deal wiv the beholder ter take out sum higher-ranking people wot ‘ave been takin’ liberties, an then afterwards ‘e can say “well, them’s the breaks” wot not only get rig of sum people ‘oo he couldn’t assassinate, but also makes ‘im look like a fair-‘anded sort of mayor for the common folk.

Anyway. Ruz and one of the others [sorry guys, I forget character names] decides ter ‘ave a sneak in ter see if they can get a clue about where the fing will be released. Few minutes later and she comes back and tells us Firelight, which is one of the many, many brofel districts in Sharn. So – I wos wrong. Wotevva.

Well, we decides we ‘as ter get down as fast as possible, so we jumps and uses the city Feather Fall. The fing wiv doin’ that is that it cuts out at about middle tier, so yer ‘as ter find somefing solid ter stand on before yer gets ter the bottom ovvit. An the clouds makes it tricky. I decide ter go cautious – no point riskin gettin killed if yer dont have ter. But bloody Summer Glau or wotever ‘er name is is distracted and comes out the bottom of the magic. She uses a rope ‘an ‘ook ter snag sumthin and doesn’t fall all the way, but manages ter yank ‘er arms pretty badly doin it.

The character was being played by Alix, which worked out great because she was guest DMmming the combat.

Anyways. We gets down ter Firelight and ‘as a butchers. No sign of any monsters or nuffink. There is a fight on – yer know, defeat the champion an win gold sort of deal. A big gnoll, but we was a bit busy ter step up. I will be going back ‘an ‘aving a go, though. We figures that the beholder will be released wherever it can do the most damage, so we ‘eads ter the biggest place around – The Fuzzy Dice or summik.

Well, strike me pink if all bloody ‘ell dont break loose, an the beholder comes out. We attacks it, of course. But we don’t do too well.

We had a really badly built party – everyone was a striker. No healers, no defenders (controllers not so much an issue when it’s just the one monster). We were playing a character down, and there was a slight rules ruling which had it gone the other way … look, I’ll just come out and say it: Alix nerfed my character (Waaaah! Pouty-face! 😦 Hits fisties on the table!). We didn’t even bloody it before it was time to end game. A shame, because it would have been fun time for the DM if we had managed to. When bloodied, beholders become extremely vicious.

So, ok, we wasn’t doing well. But Hank swoops dahn wiv ‘is crew and just disposes of the fing. Nice bladework – I’ll give ‘im that. Fair is fair, I don’t fink I could take ‘im. But doesn’t stop ‘im from being a prick.

He doesn’t know it, but I’ll get ‘im back. I mean, not ter kill ‘im. But one day, I’ll make ‘im look like the bloody fool wot ‘e is.

Andrew told us – out game – that one of the goals of the scenario was to give our characters a hearty loathing for Handsome Hank. Job done, dude. 🙂

Well done Alix too. Kept the combat moving, gave everyone the feeling that this was serious. The two worst things IMO are a) turns that drag and b) marshmallow world. We had fun. I’d play on her table again.


From The Table

16 July, 2012

Inside Andrew

Hi everyone!

I thought I’d share a story of what happened in the aftermath of this weeks of D&D. For those that are not aware, I’m one of two dungeon masters who run an Eberron themed campaign at my local games store on Monday nights. If you’re interested, Brendan and I are always keen to have new players come and join us so just let us know. On another note, Good Games in Canberrra is a fantastic store and I am hugely appreciative of Brad the store owner, letting us play our games there. Thanks Brad!

Okay so back onto the topic, the players are in need of work to fund some of their future goals. Deciding to look into the more morally grey adventurers’ quarter, the district known as Deathsgate, the party soon enough discover another band of adventurers in need of further people to come assist them with…

View original post 1,296 more words


GG4 – Arrgh! You fools! What have you done??

11 July, 2012

Well, Ruz, I had an interesting day too.

I’m afraid there is some swearing in this story, too.

Me and Mandor and whatshisface was havin’ a chat about, you know – where to now? And we decided wot with one thing and another to ‘ead down ter the adventurer’s quarter at Deathsgate. There wos a bar – ‘o course – and some likely characters. So we ‘eads in an settles down. Mandor decides to get up on stage an cut in on the minstrel, oo wasn’t doing to well, and she was top. Us others decide to ‘elp out the barman a bit, even though ‘e wos a goblin, because we thort it might be good for business, you know?

Well sure enough after we deals wiv a customer ‘oo was taking liberties, ‘e points us to a bloke ‘oo might ‘ave a bit of work. So we goes to ‘ave a chat.

Our awesome DMs have prepared encounters around Sharn, so the structure of the game for the next few weeks will be that we visit one of the Sharn districts (with some sort of in-game excuse) and run whatever little encounter they have set up for that place. I imagine there’s a larger plot behind it. And awesome way to do a nonlinear campaign. The bloke with a bit of work was a statted-out NPC with a couple of NPC offsiders – they can be dropped into the game at need. This week, Luke played one of them.

Well, he knows someone wot ‘as some work, but he warns us it’s a little bit on the dodgy side. I’m ok, Mandor is ok. The priest is ok, too, which is a little surprisin’. Oh – and we ran into Baedryn and invited ‘im along.

Now, this bloke with work is a vampire ‘oo is (or used ter be – not sure ‘ow it works) a Deva. Named Marr.

So this Marr lives in Hadran’s tomb (where else, eh?) and he ‘as some gezer tied up in a pit wot ‘e is going ter eat. I mean – maybe we should ‘ave done summik. ‘E wos all screaming for ‘elp an shit. But – well, I dunno why we didn’t.

So we meets Marr, an ‘e wants us ter come wiv ‘im ter some dragon tomb and get an artifact, wot ‘e wouldn’t say wot it wos. An when I asked ‘im wot ‘e wos payin, ‘e wos all “The tombs is filled wiv great riches! You’ll be able to pinch summik, nah worries!”

Live ‘an learn. Next time someone tries ter hire me in exchange fer “whatever yer pick up on the way”, I’ll know better.

Anyway. We all decides this sounds like a top idea, and we ‘eads ter the dragon tombs wiv this Deva vampire geezer ‘oo won’t say what we are doing there or wot ‘e is payin. Wot could go wrong?

(Oh yeah – he et the tied up bloke. Sounded messy. But whatever problems that bloke might of ‘ad that put ‘im there, they are all over now, eh?)


So Marr give us all a Ghoul Candle, wot is this interesting bit of kit wot gives a light that the undead can’t see so we could walk throo there wivout being mobbed. And we winds up in this big room wiv a fucking dragon skeleton sittin’ on this dome. An in front of it was anuvver very suss looking bloke – by which I mean dead – an ‘e says like “Wotcher Marr! I see you ave brought more sacrifices ter feed ter the dragon!” An Marr goes, “Sort of. First I is going ter kill you, then I is going ter feed ’em ter the dragon.”

Right. That explains why ‘e wos a little vague abaht wot ‘e wos payin’ us.

At which point it’s on. And the two dead blokes start fightin – magic an shit. There’s zombies ‘an skeletons all over the shop, wot Mandor an the shifter starts killin (if that’s the right word).

Korgul did not see the other party of adventurers there.

But I’m finkin that regardless of whether Marr or ‘is boss wins their fight, next fing they’ll do is try ter feed us ter the dragon. Wot I don’t want ter happen. I figure I can stop this by disassembling the skeleton ter the point where it can’t eat, by hitting it repeatedly wiv my sword. So I jumps up on the dome sort of fing wot the dragon is sittin on an’ begins doing that. The dragon is already got ‘is heart beating (like, skeleton wiv organs) and won’t be long before ‘e is awake.

Then this uvver bunch of geezers come out of nowhere and one of em tangles me up in these string fings with weights (also a nice bit ‘o kit – I should get sum) and says as I’m lyin on the grounbd tangled up “Sorry mate, but better they eat you than me.”

Cunt.

So ‘e runs off, an I gets out of the strings an by this time the dragon is movin and I gets behind ‘im and Bayedrin an Mandor an the shifter gets onter it an it swipes me an the preist ‘eals me, and Mandor does something magic an suddenly I know that my next ‘it is going ter be a beauty so I put everyfing inter it and slit open that fing a treat! Marr runs off, cos ‘es pretty badly ‘urt, and we ‘ear a scream down the corridor as ‘e get ‘is strength back wiv a little ‘elp from one of them cowards wot ran off.

Very nice combo. Baedryn drops an attack on it that makes a 18-20 a crit for one round. Mandor does a thingy that lets her roll 3 d20s, pick the best, and then give that roll to an ally. She gets a 19, gives it to me, and I drop “Mocking Strike” into the dragon: 2W (with a broadsword, so 2d10 maximized), +2d6 sneak attack, +2d6 crit dice, +12 (brutal scoundrel gets str and dex on their sneak attack) and it’s at -3 to all defenses vs me for the rest of the encounter. It was nice to see Korgul doing a striker’s job.

Then after a few more seconds and everyone piling on the dragon stops movin’. An Marr is back ‘an ‘es like “Don’t kill it”, but I’m thinkin that ‘e wosn’t going ter pay us and ‘es probably still intending ter feed us to it so fuck ‘im and I splits open the skull of this fing.

An ‘es all “You fools! Wo ‘ave you done?” An I’m “I bloody ‘eard you tell that geezer you wos going ter feed us to it”. And he says “The trickster comes in many forms”, which is bull, so I says “well, looks like you’ve tricked yerself a bit too trickily, ‘avent yer?”

Not my finest comeback. I’ve fort of about two dozen fings in the past arf hour that would ‘ave been better, but you know ‘ow it is.

Anyway. Mandor scores a very nice shield, and we get a helmet wiv a horn on it, but I’m not giving up my ‘at. There’s some uvver bits an bobs on the dead geezers. An Marr says ter me “I also have a gift for you” an ‘es lookin in my eyes ter try ter distract me while this beetle or cockroach or summik drops off ‘im an heads towards me. I stomp it, an ‘e says “maybe there’s hope for you yet. Nah piss off.”

Bit strange ‘e wos all civilised at the end, but vampires, eh? ‘E killed ‘is boss, so I suppose the day wosn’t a total loss for ‘im.

Anyway. I’m a bit sorry ter hear abaht the nightmaster – I wos ‘opin ‘ed ‘ave sum work. But there yer go. Termorrer’s anuvver day, eh?

See Andrew’s Blog for more

Mike pokes me on Facebook

3 July, 2012

A short caveat. If you read my blog to read my gaming stuff, you may wish to skip straight to my games category. I mention that because there are a couple of new people who have this address, and they may be puzzled by the following post.


I have written about Mike before. Looking at that link – amazing that it was only Dec 2010. Feels like longer – a lifetime ago. Mike – who I shall refer to as ‘Robyn’ (not her real name! Or her real one, either – I have never identified her and I intend to keep it that way) – and I had a brief exchange Nov 2011. We arranged lunch, but she flaked at the last moment, which is fairly typical. Citing work with the usual asymmetry: I also took time off work to be at our lunch, but my time/convenience/paycheque/etc just doesn’t matter.

About that time I decided that I would not engage in electronic communication with Romnia again. When we speak face to face, it goes well. When when talk over the intertubes or in text, it rapidly deteriorates. Also, I rather dislike being just one of the many people whom someone else is txt juggling. It’s a bit like the time I was approached for sex by a married woman years ago, but pretended not to understand because I knew that she had previously approached my mate. I simply didn’t appreciate being second choice. I fobbed her off with a tube of Vagisil, which is a funny story but not the one I am telling here.

So.

Couple of days ago Rosa pokes me on facebook. She is terribly concerned, she is worried about me. I – well, it’s true – I have been browsing misogynist websites. I have. Romy writes:

I’m frightened, saddened & more than a little disturbed at the distinct misogynistic slant your shared postings have taken. At one time, I believed us to be close friends. …

Fair point. I responded – I thought – in kind. Direct, without bullshit:

I’ll tire of it. For a while I was right “into” Pharyngula and science, and before that the whole christianity and creationism thing. And, of course, for a while I was right into participating on FIA. But they all began to repeat themselves after a bit.
I’ve on a forum at the moment, dealing with all this sort of stuff. I enjoy writing, enjoy trying to come up with something memorable and quotable. But mostly I echo other people’s opinions, and I recognise that. My own life experience simply isn’t that broad. …

IOW: “Relax, Roslyn, it’s just a phase.” A quitely humourous and objective look at where my own head was at.

In reply, I get this:

You’re choosing to make yourself unwanted & unlovable, along with the rest of those fucked up weirdos you’ve been hosting. Who would choose to love someone who clearly despises humanity? I’m even left wondering if you’re not secretly gay…
…& those who can’t do, bitch about it. [;)] No offense, but half of those guys you’re idolizing couldn’t get laid in a brothel. … (etc)

Riiiight.

There’s a couple of things to note, here.

Remember Lethal Weapon II? Remember when the dude calls Mel a “Kaffir (nigger) lover”? Here’s the thing: that particular insult only works on people who are racist. To a non-racist, it’s water off a duck’s back. Neither I, not any of my friends, nor anyone I work with, is a homophobe. Or if they are, they’d be rightly ashamed to admit it. If I were gay, it wouldn’t matter. So this is a shot wide of the mark.

(It’s dead simple to work out if you are gay – just imagine you are eating dick, and someone asks you “is there something else you would rather be doing right now”? When I’m eating pussy, and that question arises, my answer is always “No … no. This is where I want to be.”)

And not only a shot wide of the mark, but surprising coming from Rubi. Ruth is really quite articulate and intelligent – certainly a better writer than me. Is “UR HOMO!” really the best she can do? Really? Is this writer of the most wonderful diatribes second only to Helen Razer now being coached by Beavis and Butthead?

(edit) Also what ticks me off is the blanket condemnation of the MRAs, many of whom have sad stories to tell, many of whom have been reamed by The System and by women they loved and whom they thought loved them. Roberta is not the only victim in the world, you know. They are not my homies or anything, but they are a lot like me and I do identify somewhat with them.

The other point is the meta. Here’s that sequence for you again:

Paul, I’m just oozing concern.

It’s a phase. I’ll get over it.

You worship assholes! Ur gay! Those guys burn crosses on the front lawn! They can’t get laid! (etc)

Tha fuq?

I mean … I just don’t get it. I’m at a loss. I tried apologising to Rylee before, long ago, and was similarly rebuffed. What kind of answer might possibly satisfy her, do you suppose? What shape of words is she looking for? I mean, would tearful repentance be the thing? What?

So anyway.

Maybe she is just bored and wants to play. I dig.

I deconverted from christianity to atheism a long time ago. And one thing you learn as an atheist on the intertubes is that religious folk just repeat the old arguments over and over.

I don’t think I “idolize” anything at this late stage of my life, and as for the gay crack, that would be a “Code Lavender” on the anti-male shaming chart

Actually, the shaming chart quite neatly deals with a few of the points you have raised. The “burning crosses” is code brown, for instance. Why not read though it? No-one wants to be formulaic, and this chart will help you avoid common and overused tropes when discussing the topic.

Now please understand: this was a nut-punch. Like many people who are quite bright, Rebecca is somewhat intellectually vain. An accusation of being “formulaic” is pretty low. More so when you read that chart, because it’s so fucking true. I mean, read the chart, and read the whole of Renata’s mail to me. You can just about go down the list and tick ’em off.

After which I get “You’re a hater, I don’t want you in my life, I pity you, your life must suck.” And a messaging block.

Hence my resorting to this blog to make reply.

So it seems I am a hater. I tend not to think so. If I were, I’d be all “bitches be bitches” all over this. Instead, I just think Richelle is a little confused about what she wants out of me.

Also, my life sucks. That I already knew. But it sucks a little less each year. Not quite at the point where I prefer a really, really big bowel evacuation to sex, but it’s approaching parity.

Finally, I’m unlovable. Girl: I been living alone so long I simply wouldn’t know what to do with a girlfriend. Or lover, if we want to be all adult. It’s just too late for me. Missed that train a long time ago.

Maybe Rita is just upset that a few years back I ceased buying what she’s selling. Metaphorically, of course. I think our falling out actually does date from about then. A suspicious coincidence, anyway.

I do look forward to hearing from her again in another six months.


Korgul has big plans for Sharn

3 July, 2012

A roleplaying session tonight – discussing what we want to do in Sharn. My idea of making Korgul a dark lantern, working for the king etc isn’t going to happen. And in any case, my original idea for him was that he was a young criminal. He was to be a not very nice person.

This week, I took him to a dark place. I don’t know how this will play out. I’ll write this in the retrospective, as usual, but anything could actually happen.

(Lot of swearing on this blog. But, it’s how he talks. What can I do about it?)

The Tower Job? You want to hear about that? You want to know “why” and all that shit? Well orl right, I’ll tell yer, an not just because yer been drugging my water (wot, you fink I didn’t know?). I’ll tell yer because there isn’t much point if yer don’t tell someone.

There was a couple of reasons why.

First, we was at a bit of a loose end, you know? Here we was, set up all nice and comfy inna ‘ouse inna not too bad, not too good part ‘o Sharn. Lorne ‘ad more money than he knew wot to do with – putting gold-plated chamber pots in every room. What was we going ter do wiv ourselves? Extortion? Drug running? A bit of stand-over action? I started ter think big. Really stretching for the biggest fing I could fink of.

A problem with the campaign is that we have a PC with effectively unlimited amounts of cash. We need, somehow, to find motivation for our characters. If I were Korgul, I’d just lounge around the house for as long as possible.

Second, we had just been locked up by ‘ouse Thranni fer breaking inter their compound. I decided about then: fuck these people. Fuck ’em. Anyone wiv a dragonmark, they think they are better than anyone else. An’ ‘ouse Thuranni are assassins, so that goes double.

This is a character direction that I think works. Especially if Korgul develops a Mark of Finding later on, which is definitely an option 🙂 .

I was talking wiv Mandor an’ Mirakai about our situation. We started ter talk freely, if yer get my drift, about wot enterprises we might choose to involve ourselves wiv. And I just fort: I want to drop a tower. Don’t know where the idea came from. But suddenly it made sense. I wanted to drop one, and I wanted to drop it on House Thuranni.

We started ter just talk. ‘Ow would yer do it? I mean, they is ‘eld up wiv magic, mostly, so whatever it is would involve magic. I was thinking they might ‘ave an air elemental inumm, wot we could kill. Then I thort about the foundations – cos the towers is not floating, right? Now, Sharn has lot of levels, and then there’s the old city, then the Cogs, deep underground. Yer can’t get ter the old city from above – it’s all guarded and shit. But maybe there was a way up from The Cogs. We’d ave ter get a mage in there, or an engineer or something. Maybe someone from Cannith oos wife ‘ad been assassinated. Get ‘im ter ‘ave a good close look at wot is keeping ’em up.

We started ter wonder – ang on a ‘mo! Wot tower is the Thuranni one, anyway? Maybe we’d need ter set up an ambush ter find a house member ter talk. Best way might be ter arrange fer one of us ter be assasinated. I suggested Baeydrin, cos ‘eed been in and out the ouse all day making a racket wiv ‘is repairs. But only joking, like. Anyway – the place we went to to loot the library wos good enough.

It would ave been nice ter get the whole lot of the bastards tergether for the drop. But that wos never going ter happen – they is assasins. They’d be suspicious.

A big fing wos ok: we drop a tower on house Thuranni. ‘Ow are we going ter make money offit? I mean, there’s plenty wot wants them killed. I was finking insurance fraud, but it would look a bit suss, you know? Someone takes out a big policy, then the tower drops. Questions would be asked. We’d probably just ‘ave to get sponsors.

But ter tell the truth, it didn’t matter. I wosn’t interested in money at that stage, living wiv Lorne. I just wanted ter drop a fackin’ tower. Didn’t matter which one. Didn’t even care iffit wos empty.

But, it came back ter the question of how ter accomplish it. Only fing I could think of was: there wos something big enough to wipe out the whole kingdom of Cyre. If we could get ‘old of that, that would probably do the trick.

An’ thats all there wos to it, really. I wosnt doing it fer money, or fame. I wos partly doing it because those pricks locked me up. But mainly – fuck those people. All of ’em.

Brendan looked horrified by the idea. Which is very cool.

What Korgul is proposing here is not only an evil act (it will kill thousands of people), but the motives behind it make it chaotic evil. Evil people will rob your house because they want what’s in it. Chaotic evil people do it to make a point: the point being that society, law, fairness etc are all bullshit. A chaotic evil person is the one who makes the excuse “Well, if I hadn’t done it, someone else would have. Serves him right for leaving the door unlocked.” The goal, perversely, is to teach you a lesson. It’s actually a political stance, and that’s what motivates Korgul, who has decided that he “fackin’ ‘ates” the dragonmarked houses.

It’s very “The Joker”, very that arsonist in “Backdraft”.

And, of course, it provides settings for some great game, which is what its all about – up through the cogs to the old city, questing across the Mournland to find the ancient nuke. And then detonating it under a tower housing thousands of people out of sheer spite.

It’s also possible, looking back on what I have just written, that Korgul might not have come up with the notion by himself.

In any case. Sit me down at a table and ask “So Paul, what do you want to do in game?”, and – given the character I am playing – that’s what I come up with. 🙂 Azroth wouldn’t have done it, Orsik, definitely not. And Baharash? But Korgul, yep. He’s going to hell.


Magic Item Compendium treasure generator

1 July, 2012

The most tedious part of Die With Honour is using the Magic Item Compendium treasure generator tables. So I have implemented them in JavaScript as a self-contained webpage.

Code is at GITHUB. Unhappily, WordPress won’t allow me to upload the HTML directly so you’ll need to save that link as an HTML file and open it in a web browser.

If my server is running (always a question of luck), you can view the page directly at
my site.