Thursday, 30 May 2019

Tentacles Ahoy

Well, in an arid world of sand, sun and silt sea, it was a slightly ironic but a strangely satisfying feeling to pit the DnD Darksun party against a tentacle or two. They have been slowly unlocking sealed elemental portals that have arrested and warped the world of Athas over millennia and as their adventure approaches its end they have come across the portal to the elemental plane of water. Given a wide amount of scope here for a challenges I was interested as to what the Monster Manual offers by way of seafood and suckers but whilst I couldn't really find a creature that suited, oddly enough I did find an appendage.

More accurately I came across the description of a Kraken but with a challenge rating of 23, our intrepid group would hardly amount to a light lunch for such a behemoth. But it then occurred to me that I don't need to use the whole creature when just one of its tentacles will do. Put that in a column of free standing water and you get a rather effective guardian of sorts. I am not sure what the best tactic is to handle such a foe but then again, I don't really care as it not my problem.

Whilst I have my gripes with the Monster Manual, I would say its really quite a reasonable reference source but when you begin to view it as a tool using the creatures as blueprints for one's own creations, then one can see it in a new light entirely; each creature can not only be augmented or treated as an archetype, entities can be combined or, as in my case, dissected to create a new challenge. This creates a refreshing experience for players already used to the tome as well as something unexpected. And one should always expect the unexpected.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Put yout hands up

So there are various party games involving closing your eyes and then either randomly pointing in different directions, spinning a bottle or sticking something to your head. In my particular case in the D&D we have a sort of party table that involves everyone placing their hands on, charging it up using your ones life force/hit points and finally sitting in an appropriate chair in order to teleport the entire group to a distant location of choice.

Now this works all good and well except when you're a half orc who just likes to try different things. The table draws its power by draining one D6 hit points per individual until it has a total of twenty when it can then be used. After teleportation, the table then needs re-charging and so on. Now its taken the party a few goes to work out the navigation mechanics but as half Orcs only listen half the time our intrepid Cameron gleefully gets up from one seat and sits in another one jumping the whole party back and forth between two places they didn't want to go. Add to that, everyone is sitting around in a circle, counting down from three but not quite everyone is placing their hands down.

After some tears of laughter, punches in the face and sore palms, I think we can now confidently say they occasionally know what they are doing.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Efficient Sacrifices

Writing a blog, particularly for a role playing society, can be somewhat unnerving. Its often the case that as we chat over drinks I make a quick note of something I was going to jot about for the following week and then subsequently forget. In this case I had made a title of 'Efficient Sacrifices' but returning to the page I cant for the life of me remember what this was referring to. It seems like some demonic alter ego takes over for a few hours, scrawls some mad ramblings and I am left to decipher what happened and piece together a mysterious puzzle from my own past. Given that this could be the basis of a intriguing Cthulu game or Chill session, its certainly not a waste of time but as I say, indicative of someone struggling with multiple personalities. On the other hand, revising the blog is also a good way to track ones state of mind over many years.

Another thing I forgot to do was email everyone regarding the ending of the current games, It seems like musings have begun and one or two GMs are planning to end their sessions soon. In super technical terms the games run Feb-July Aug-Jan -finishing in May would be a shorter game but its only a suggestion really though as if games finish in a very disjointed fashion then people can be left hanging for a new game. Nevertheless often people will volunteer some one off sessions or bring in something from a large board game collection. In fact there are often one or two betas in play test at any one time which we occasionally run through.

The final thing I forgot this week was to pop down to the Craft Beer Company for one of their rallying cries. Somewhat randomly arranged at short notice and with a wildly varying attendance, last night's session was due to host about twenty people or so. What's interesting is that I have now successfully injected new members a couple of times by extending a D&D exclusively to that meetup event so whilst its not quite right to say we have players on tap, it would, I suspect, be true to say we can grow a lot larger if we wanted to. In this case we would have our first pressures finding GMs as to date we have been blessed with really passionate people who have experience running scenarios. This leaves an important debate for us now - how large do we really want to be ?

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

You idiot

So I had presumed that role players have always had some sort of aversion to bright lights,  sunshine and possibly holy items. Either way our usual pattern is to be busy over the darker months and for membership to lighten along with the seasons, so given that various Druidic rituals have now authorised summer, I was somewhat taken aback by the large contingent that turned up last week.

I believe that we had four games running at six players each meaning we're close to thirty people of an evening including GMs and more to the point there were still players missing. Our more recent internet visitors are mostly staying and I can see we have more on the way so its a tricky point and time will tell but we are at breaking point for a fifth game. I think that we'll see what happens this Thursday and make a call to arms for a fellow GM to stand forward if/when the time comes.

Anyways during the drunken preamble to entertainments last week our dear Karl was talking about a village idiot he has been playing. Despite perhaps not being the most capable or ambitious of professions it does seem like a huge amount of fun. For myself I have enjoyed particularly low intelligence characters from time to time but not really thought about playing a complete idiot as I supposed I'd be unsure what would happen if I went up a level. It was at this point Karl told me that he had in fact started the character as a hobo and only rose to the level of idiot after many years. Well, credit where credit is due.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Half Time

So is your elf half human or is your human half elf ? I suspect that, like mine, your halfling would be about fifty percent of a full ling but more than capable of punching twice above his height. Dual character classing has always been a bit of a mystery to me but whilst I baulk at the admin I can sort of understand why someone would want to make a slightly more interesting character. But to be fair any character can be interesting so I'm always sceptical about adding numbers in this respect though I believe that the formal 5e terminology is multi-classing which you can choose to do at any level.

Aside from having two professions I am more comfortable mixing genetics as it makes for a more interesting narrative and choices can be difficult for split loyalties.As in real life there is always the challenge in knowing ones self before challenging the world around you but I feel I know myself well enough now as a half Buddhist/ Arsed. Splitting ones race is not quite the same as splitting ones personality though and for multiple possessions I would imagine the political correctness issues alone would be enough to drive you madder.

By way of a footnote and half hearted announcement I should say we are now exactly half way through our games given we follow the ancient half Druidic cycle of Feb-Aug Sept-Jan sessions. As always some of the games are just getting to their first plot points having joyfully pratted around for far too long, but then again, I think that's the whole point.