I have awesome players

I do. I have three great roleplayers. Our last session was our normal 2-3(ish) hours long. In that time I think we did some perception or knowledge checks but most of the time, the dice were not touched. They were in full character just having fun in my town of Dawnpoint. They were asking questions, investigating issues, going to visit some local color in the form of arguing sages and librarian types and the token hippy druid academic with dreads/braids. It was awesome. As were they. We laughed and it was a lot of fun. Every time we play, it (the world) comes more to life.

From my notes I have dropped hints to 9 distinct possible plot lines. I have adventure prep done on five of them. It is like crappy fishing with a multi-line rig. I am curious to see which one they bite at. If they stay true to form it will be from a plotline I had yet to conceive of.

I can’t wait to game again. My players make me enjoy DMing more and more every session.


Game Night

This simple term has gone through many iterations in my life. I was thinking about tonight’s session during lunch, and how Monday becoming “Game Night” seems to make the day a little better, yet.. not.

Monday’s always seem to go fast for me. I am so crazy busy after the weekend I usually do not have time to breath until about 3pm, but anticipating play time makes the day go so very slowly.

I just wanted to get some thoughts out. That’s all.

Were I in school this would get a D for an ‘unfinished thought”. Meh.

The death of an NPC

My players discovered the body of one Valdher L’Kos last night during a very fun encounter. Who is Valdher you say? No one really. A name on a piece of paper. An idea. A fictitious piece of scenery they had not even actually met yet. The name had been dropped a few times as he was one of the primary Non Player Characters presented to them when they reached Dawnpoint. He is (was) the father of Zhaleen L’Kos, a retired adventuress whom they have befriended in town. It feels…. odd. His death made him somehow come alive.

This was a minor but enjoyable milestone in my campaign with new players. No one had actually died yet really. Goblins yes, and rumors of “some people died in the raid”, and a poor father from previous sessions but this one was somehow noteworthy to them. Cheat sheets were brought out and having the name on a list of “Notable people in Dawnpoint”, only to be crossed out, seemed somehow tangible to them. The reactions were distinctive. I have not seen that type of reaction since my youth.

I liked it a lot! They became even more embedded within the story I wrote specifically for them. It feels pretty good I have to admit. And long-overdue. I feel like a DM again, not an interpreter of someone else’s story, but a story-teller presenting a world to them to be experienced and remembered.

I woke with a smile. Thanks Valdher.

Resuming Play

It has been a while since we played, and while I had everything done I needed, I still spent time updating character sheets and noting equipment etcetera. It really drove home to me how much I prefer the 5E/D&DNext ruleset over Pathfinder. It really harkens back to my style of play in regards to making notes, as well as adventure design. I really miss the days of writing some lines on graph paper, and on the side writing “8 Skels, heal pot, 17gp” and that was all I needed. While this approach can be done with Pathfinder adventure design, it makes for a lot of work at the table.

Anywoot, I am looking forward to dusting off the dice and having a fun night of Goblin killing to start the week.

D&D Next – Pure praise!

I am only one of many but that concerns me not. I received my invite to participate in the next iteration of my lifelong passion’s playtest today and so far I am beside myself in joy. If the new Dungeons & Dragons stays ANYTHING like what I had the joy of reading today, all my prayers have been answered. Gone is the stuff I had to stomach in 3.x and Pathfinder and 4e. Back are the simply joyous days of old yet with the refinement of the newer rulesets. Because of the NDA I can’t give details but I am allowed to talk about it so here I go:

Combat. Everything I always wanted and reminds me of 2e AD&D but without the Thac0 which many complained about (not me. I passed fourth grade math). Now if only they bring back weapon speeds (I can dream)

Healing: The section titled Healing. This simple paragraph settled it for me. I am hooked and will support them going forward.

Damage & Dying. All I can say is “Precisely!”

Resting: Not the way I would have done it but I like it, but more importantly it answers many of my players complaints since, well…. forever ago. Yet isn’t that 4E version atrocity. Yay!

Conditions: Simple and playable. I am torn on this subject. I hated complicated conditions. I have always preferred DM handwaving of them or direct/circumstantial handling given the situation. This mimics this without having to buy a deck of cards to support gameplay (sorry Paizo) ALTHOUGH… I like my deck of Conditions. I will miss it a little. But only a little given the new ones 🙂

Weapons and their Attacks. A houserule I have been using since the early 90s made real. I cannot contain my joy if they keep it this way.

and finally Magic:

I am not sure yet. I will have to see it in play.

Synopsis: If what I opened as a pdf today were a hardbound book sitting on a shelf, they would have secured my purchase. I cannot wait to see what they do for character creation rules, how monsters will evolve from what they drafted. The funniest part to me overall is it matches what I have already done as a customized ruleset for my own game at about a 40% rate. This just saves me a few thousands words of typing as I will test what is written and report back when they ask.

I can now truly dust off all (and I mean ALL) my pre 3.x Forgotten Realms books and not have to rewrite everything with rules to make it work with the system.


Short Hiatus

We are skipping our game session this week, and probably next week so real life can strut around a bit and not feel ignored, and as such there are no map or game updates. The last session we played found the players becoming more deeply entrenched in the title of “Hero” as they saved a little boy from a horrible death and they went scouting the wilderness with a newfound companion and ran into not only more goblins, but two chest thumping Ogres. This encounter was designed to really push the limits of the party and it really succeeded. It was a very fun, very challenging encounter. They thought for sure they would perish.

Moving forward the game lurches more into the wilds of my imagination and less with the borrowing of other ideas from Rise of the Runelords. I plan to visit many environs over the next few months to get a feel for what my players like best. They are too low to planehop or risk truly volatile environments like lava tunnels, but I will mix it up somehow. Maybe they are due for a little Huck & Tom action by raft. Time will tell.

Also of note, well for me anyways, is the fact I can’t seem to leave my Dawnpoint map alone. With the discovery of some open licence buildings from rpgmapmaker on the cartographersguild.com website, I will be giving my map a facelift in the upcoming weeks to be more along the lines of what I envisioned instead of what I settled for due to software and knowledge limitations.

Oh ya, one minor detail. DIABLO III is live… and Ravenbow the Barbarian is pounding demons like a Volgen!!! Yay!

Have a great week,