Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wow I just realized I haven't posted in almost 4 years. Damn time zips by.

Last time I was talking about Tom's Kingmaker campaign, sadly I think the sessions I was talking about ended up being the last session we played. We didn't get back into a regular game for about 3 years. Children were born, jobs were shifted, until finally we could get a game rolling again. I started running Pathfinder a little over a year ago, but lately we've all had a tough time lining up our schedules. So it goes, ya know. We're all in our 30's now, some of the group has young children, the rest of us are married to our jobs.

Still, we're still gaming here and there. 5th Edition is out and I'm liking it so far, Tom's been running the starter box adventure for a couple sessions now. I get to play an asshole elf and I'm having a blast. Sometimes we mix it up with boardgames and oh man do I enjoy some Wizwar. My job eats up most of my brain space these days, working with AV control systems and some desktop support.

I'd like to keep this blog alive but I don't really know what to talk about anymore. I feel like my glory days of gaming are behind me now, which is sad. I love my job but I hate that it has so consumed my life. I've been divorced now for, what, 5 or 6 years? Had a few dates, nothing really went anywhere. I enjoy my free time but I feel like life is passing me by sometimes.

I managed to maintain a friendship with my ex wife, which I enjoy even if I sometimes worry prevents me from really moving on, whatever "moving on" is supposed to be. She's remarried now with two children, I have the pleasure of being their "Uncle Jim" which is fantastic. They're hilarious little munchkins. All in all I'm happy, generally speaking.

I'll be 34 this year and all I can think is "what now?". I have no idea what to do with however much life I end up having left.

Ah well. I'll think of something.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Return to Stagholm: D&D Sunday!

After a long break we've started up the Sunday Pathfinder game again. I of course always call it "D&D" and I don't feel bad about it. We kicked some ass, took some land, made some sort of peace with the local centaur folk, and almost got murdered by some sort of flying soul-stealing cloud... thing. Also, I did something that kinda disturbs me.

I have this thing, when playing in these games, where my character always tries, and fails, to win over some random female NPC. My character is on the singles scene, as am I in real life, and so when he isn't chopping a goblin in the groin with his axe he's at the tavern buying some pretty lady drinks. Julian, my current axe-wielding maniac, fancies this ex-witch living in our settlement. Only, she hates him. In fact, I think that's how it pretty much always goes with my characters and women (and that sort of applies to real life as well). And that's fine; it's just a game, and the women I send my characters after are like the unclimbable mountain, that certain unattainable something that keeps them going ever onward. Only last night I had Julian murder that woman.

I guess I just got tired of her. I piled gold at her feet and she spit on me. It was, as it usually is, a gag I play every week, "what stupid thing can I try this time that is certain to end in failure with this fake fantasy woman". But I guess even a fake fantasy man can only take so much, and being an axe-wielding maniac it only makes sense that he would attack such emotions with the same bloodthirsty gusto that gets him through that mob of spiders or that giant undead cyclops. So Julian buried her alive in an unmarked grave. By which I mean, I had my character do this crime. And it was funny! We all laughed, because it's a game, and none of it is real, and none of us would ever dream of doing something like that in real life! In essence my actions were little more than crumpling up a piece of paper with a name and numbers on it and throwing it in the garbage. Only maybe there was some ketchup on that paper that made my brain think of blood, or something like that scary-realistic sounding painful yelp when you kill a dog in Fallout: New Vegas, and you know you didn't really kill anything but it just tugs at your heart in just the right way.

Today at work I was telling my non-gaming coworkers about this, and coming out of my mouth it all just seemed so very, very wrong. Like I had confessed to murder! And I kept thinking "man they must think I'm some sorta psychopath over here!". But no, that actually interested them in the game more so than any other story I've told them. They thought it was hilarious. And of course so do I, as I have a very morbid sense of humor and enough wits about me to know fantasy from reality. There's just something there, that I can't quite describe, that has left this weird vibe in me all day. Weirdest game night ever.

Also as if you didn't already think me disturbed and crazy, I tried to get the group to cast Speak with Dead on a tanned centaur skin that I had sewn into a sort of sock puppet because I thought it might know where the missing townsfolk went. You know, hero stuff.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


D&D was canceled once more due to low turnout, so we played some boardgames instead.

First up was Monsters Menace America, a game I really wanted to love but couldn't. It's great fun smashing up the States and sending your military branch after other players, but then you get to the end game showdown and you realize that all that carnage was effectively meaningless. There is such a huge disconnect between playing the game and winning the game that it has thus far always left me frustrated and confused.

Next was Formula De, always a good time. The game itself is pretty straightforward and although it can be disappointing to realize very early on that unless the player in the lead makes a huge mistake you will never catch up, it's still pretty fun trying. Myself, I believe that sometimes winning means taking risks, like gunning the turn in 6th gear; however taking risks usually means hitting the wall at 200mph and dieing in horrible fiery agony. Ah well, maybe next time.

Monday, September 20, 2010

No D&D This Week

No new D&D this week, however I had two things I wanted to talk briefly about.

One, how is it that I keep hearing all these terrible reviews of Crank 2: High Voltage? It's insane, yes. Senseless at times, yes. I guess when someone tells me a movie is senseless well I just get a different image in my head than what I saw tonight. It was bizarre and incredible and I loved the whole damn thing.

Two, here's a comment someone left on Grognardia that pretty well sums up why I hate talking to people on the internet:
a) i thought this blog was for whining about "old school" game mechanics

b) id love to see the actual depth of the worlds people have here when they say these two offered worlds are "nailed down" and "defined". post up your crap anytime so we can check it out (and laugh)
Get off my lawn asshat.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Holy crap, Reaper is making a miniature of Krampus, my favorite evil Santa!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kingmaker: Friggin' Spriggins!

Durak the Iron Chef of Gorum
This week in Tom's Kingmaker game I got to roll out my butler/axeman Julian Carlton's new cohort, Durak Gnarglebash the half-orc chef/cleric of Gorum the Lord in Iron (the Iron Chef if you will). Since this week's group was myself, Lori, and Janell, we had three clerics of three different gods, a fighter, and a rogue/druid. This lead to a massive surging slaughterfest of our foes. It was a back and forth with Julian getting knocked up and down the HP rollercoaster.

This week we began exploring an entirely new hex map on a mission to discover the fate of one of our sister colonies, Voldharn. So far the only clue we have to sudden disappearance of the entire population of the settlement is a cat, who is obviously short of details. Some damnable spriggins had camped out in the deserted town so we had a bit of cleaning to do. Big, sprawling battles in the streets, climbing rooftops to chase off rock-throwing goons, and a final bloody battle that almost led to Julian's death several times in a row. It was tons of fun.

I leave you now with a certain viewpoint that has served me well in this campaign: be aggressive!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Unpacking, unpacking, unpacking

The move is complete, now begins the brutal aftermath of unpacking a 3 bedroom house into a single small bedroom. It's become obvious that I really need to clear out some stuff that I've been dragging around with me. Relevant to this blog is the game books. Like many gamers I own quite a number of game books, many for games I have never played or will likely never play again; Rifts, Palladium Fantasy, Paranoia, on and on. I've held on to the books for years because even if I don't play that system, I always find something interesting in the books. Artwork, GM advice, interesting mechanics, etc. However the time has come to clean house.

But then again... I really don't own a copy of Call of Cthulhu? Well I guess maybe one more book isn't going to be that big of a deal...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kingmaker: It's Trolltown, there's nothing you can do.

Tom's Kingmaker campaign continues to rock. The past two sessions have seen me falling into a pit trying to save some stupid dog that of course immediately tried to eat me, that we ended up saving anyway, busting up a witch cult, and last week beating the tar out of some trolls. Jeff's been blasting suckers full of arrows and poor Lori gets cleanup duty as the party cleric while Joe fireballs pretty much everything we see. Now we've just rolled back to town to brag about these trolls we slaughtered only to find the place busted up. The suspense is killing me! Are we being attacked? Is my reformed-witch-cultist sweety alright? If the townsfolk are dead, who will hire me as the butler?!

I also spent some time painting up a mini for my character but I neglected to take any photos before I took it over there. Maybe Tom or Lori can snap a pic or two for me. Now I gotta get back to moving. Urgh.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kingmaker and the All-Star Backup Squad

Last night was my first game with Skeleri's crew, chewin' hexes in Paizo's Kingmaker adventure path. We killed an evil tree and got jumped by some crazy mind-warping elf woman and a speedy fey jerkwad. They've got a pretty slick thing going there, mapping out the hexes while trying to build up and maintain a settlement. Sunday can't get here soon enough.

Whenever I've been out of a game for a while and I need to brush up a bit on the rules my usual method is to just roll up a bunch of characters. In crunch-heavy systems like Pathfinder rolling up a character generally involves a lot of "what's this do, how does this system work" kind of page-flipping, so it serves as a good refresher. Here's a couple of the goons I came up with, which I lovingly refer to as the All-Star Backup Squad (having characters rolled up also helps if you think you're likely to die often and horribly).

Julian Carlton, human axeman, butler at large

Julian carries out the varied traditional occupation of his family: planting axes in goblin faces, and serving drinks to the Lord and Lady of the manor. He hails from Rostland, having fled to the wild untamed settlement after a mysterious fire claimed the home and lives of his previous employers. Julian hopes to find a home here where he can ply his manservant skills in his downtime. He favors axes, fire, and servitude.

Jackjaw Slopshover, half-orc monk, country boy

Ah Jackjaw. Jackjaw is your basic backwoods mutant hillbilly. He enjoys wrasslin' all of the world's creatures. He once wrassled a magic tree and made hisself a mighty beatin' stick with it's sundered limbs. He's really only a monk in that the monk class is the only one that really captures "half-naked man who likes to punch everything" to my liking. My the gods have mercy when this snaggle-toothed freak gains Abundant Step and starts teleporting into people's homes in the middle of the night.

Hamilton Fish, gnome barbarian, the Werewolf of Woodsedge

Hamilton Fish, savage gnome, was run out of Galt after numerous violent encounters with the locals. He gained the nickname "Werewolf of Woodsedge" due to his penchant for biting and chewing his opponents' limbs. Currently he's just kinda wandering around looking for a fight and a hearty meal, the two being the same in Hamilton's eyes.

Stonesaw, dwarf barbarian

I think the picture should tell you everything you need to know about Stonesaw.

 I ended up running with Julian Carlton, the axemanservant, Sadly I couldn't roll above a 5 for the life of me so he really didn't make much of an impression. So it goes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New D&D Red Box

I just noticed this today, so pardon me if this is old news. Looks like Wizards of the Coast is putting out a basic starter box for D&D 4th Edition in the style of the old "Red Box" edition. In fact it looks to be an exact copy of the box, with some changes to the wording.

The Wizard's product listing
A video unboxing

I have to say I'm a bit confused by the packaging. It's just so out of line from the standard 4th Ed-style. My cynical side tells me "it's a trap" meant to lure in the old school crowd, away from the books they bought 20 years ago or the free PDF clones and back to the paying flock. Even that is a bit of a stretch, as it seems to me that if you remember the original Red Box fondly, there's a good chance you aren't interested in the new stuff, and if you're interested in the new stuff there's a good chance you won't care about the nostalgia factor of the old Red Box cover. Still, I think it's pretty snazzy to see the basic intro box set make a comeback.

Skeleri mentioned a Gamma World boxed set on the horizon as well earlier today.

Wizard's Product Page

The rumor mill I've seen on this one indicates that mutations (which are much like Powers from D&D) will come from Magic-like booster packs. I sort of wondered when such a thing would happen, and was honestly surprised when the D&D Power cards weren't released as such. I'll probably check it out, but I guess I'm not getting my hopes too high on this one. Nonetheless, it's interesting to see how Wizards is trying to evolve their market.