Hello, remember me?

Wow… it’s been a while! Sorry about that. Things have been a little weird, as I mentioned, but I wasn’t expecting to go this long without posting. Sorry for the absence, I hope y’all haven’t given up on me.

Since I’ve been gone I’ve joined a D&D Adventures League group. It’s a new experience for me, playing in a game store with people I don’t know very well. I’m enjoying myself, but it’s taking some adjustment; when there’s a lot of poeple in the store I have a hard time because chaotic background noise messes with me. We’ve also had people popping in and out of the game with is something I usually try to avoid when I’m running a game. But I’m not running this one, so I have to cope. In case your wondering, I’m playing a Dragonborn Monk who just hit level 2.

On a related note, I’m sure most of us GM types are always on the look out for tools to help us in our herculean tasks. I’d like to share a couple that I’ve been using, Evernote and Obsidian Portal. I’ve found Evernote is pretty helpful in planning a campaign. It’s note taking software, similiar to OneNote, if you’ve ever used that, but it’s free. Superficially it’s just taking notes, but It organizes your notes and lets you add things like images and pdfs, so you can work character sheets right into the notes for your NPC. Obsidian Portal is great for world building; it’s a site that lets you build a wiki for the campaign you’re building. It’s not much of a boon for plot elements in my opinion; that’s stuff you don’t want your players to see so normal notes are fine. But is is good for making something your players can use to learn about your world’s history, geography, and things like that. It also has an adventure log so everyone can keep up to date. Neither of these tools are without some downside, but I like them.

I know this isn’t much for how long it’s been, but it’s something, right?

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Ok, so the plan was to get up kind of early, read a bunch of my shiney new 5e Player’s Handbook and do a review while also building a character like I said I was going to a little while ago. But, in keeping with a theme any regular readers may have picked up on…. I got really drunk last night and thus slept really late. Then I came home and started to read and fell asleep again.

Oh, booze, will I never learn?

So the reason today’s post is so late is because I just now finished with reading the minimum to build a character and then… y’know, building a character. Ladies and gentlemen meet Myrarrogos, Drow Cleric!

Myrarragos

Race: Elf (Drow)

Class/Level: Cleric 1 (Worships Lolth, Trickery Domain)

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Abilities (Modifiers): Str 14 (+2) Dex 10 (+0) Con 13 (+1) Int 10 (+0) Wis 15 (+2) Cha 13 (+1)

Skill Proficiencies (Total Mod): History (+2), Insight (+4) Perception (+4) Religion (+2)

Proficient Saves: Wisdon (+4) Charisma (+3)

Weapon Proficiencies: rapiers, shortswords, hand crossbows, all simple weapons

Passive Wisdom (Perception): 14

AC 13 (from armor and shield)

Attacks: Mace +2 (dmg 1d6+2) Light Crossbow +0 (dmg 1d8)

Cantrips Known: Sacred Flame, Light, Spare the Dying

2 1st level spell slots

Domain Spells: charm person, disguise self

Blessing of the Trickster: Give another advantage of Dex (Stealth), last 1 hour or until next use

Background: Acolyte

Personality Traits: Tolerant of other faiths, Little experience outside of temple

Ideal: Change

Bond: Revenge on temple

Flaw: Inflexable

Backstory: The woman who eventually would be know as Myrarragos grew up in service to a temple to Lolth, being primed to become a priestess. But shortly before being ordained she encountered an Elf slave, who displayed a confidence and assertiveness that she thought men and non-Drow incapable of. This led to her rethinking many of the tenants of her faith, and the social inequalities in Drow society stemming from that faith, and she became a reformist… or as other Drow would say, a heretic. She was exiled from the temple and forced out into the surface world, where she has struggled to reconcile her Drow upbringing with her new beliefs, all the while vowing to someday return to the Underdark and force her reformist ideas on her former sisters.

Myrarragos is progressive and tolerant by Drow standards, but people of other races will still find her mean and judgmental. Her foward thinking rhetoric (that males and non-Drow aren’t inferior to female Drow) often clashes with her behavior, which is far more in light with what one would expect of someone of her race. She isn’t evil, but is leaning on the eviler side of neutrality.

So a couple of quick things I want to call attention to before signing off.

1. As you know, I don’t have a whole lot of D&D experience, and I’m not super familiar with the Drow. Myrarragos’s backstory is based on basic descriptions I’ve been given. If something here doesn’t jive, that’s why.

2. Last time I talked about 5e I was bemoaning the reduction in the importance of skills, and I still don’t like it, but as you can see I was wrong about only having 2 proficient skills. You get proficiencies from class, race, and background. In this character’s case, there was overlap, it’s possible to have more than the for this character has.

Between now and next Saturday I’m going to try to get the whole book read to do a proper review. I’ve already spotted somethings that are worth talking about, but I don’t know enough about them yet. However, I don’t think I’m going to hate the new system.

(It’s possible I may even like it!)

Mileage

Yeah… so that whole switching to Wednesdays thing didn’t work out so well. Oops. Anyway…

About a year and a half ago I was in a D&D 3.5 game. I was the only one with a hard copy of the Player’s Handbook I just left it at the house we played at. It’s been there ever since until yesterday when I finally got around to picking it up. George, the guy who was holding on to it, made sure to point out some light damage to the corners the book took since I left it at his place.

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He apologized, and I said I was ok with it. And I meant it, too.

I used to be pretty uptight about the condition of my game books, before I realized that what wears books out is getting used. The books I have that are in the best condition are the ones I haven’t really used very much. Alternatively, the book I’ve gotten the most use of, the one that I used to carry with me every where I went, Vampire: the Masquerade (Revised Edition), is in terrible condition.

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That, my friends, is mileage!

So don’t worry about frayed corners or worn bindings or scratched covers. It’s just what love looks like.

Side Post: Changing Day

I’ve been thinking that updating this blog on weekends may be a bad idea; i’m either distracted by weekend festivities or just too lazy with the weekends lazinesses to think of a good topic. So I’m going to try posting on Wednesdays instead. Just so ya know.

Disjointed thoughts on D&D

My original plan for today was to finish reading the new D&D basic rules, build a character, and talk about the process. However, I’ve decided to wait on that. The reason for that is that the basic rules pdf has very limited options for characters; specifically, I was going to build a cleric but the pdf only details one domain, Life. The pdf is full of “see the Player’s Handbook for more information” references, so that’s what I’m going to do; I’ll wait until the new PHB is released next month.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I actually don’t have a lot of experience in D&D. I’ve only played in two campaigns that lasted more than a session or two before the group disbanded, and I’ve never DMed a game. I think I’d like to do that sometime.

My favorite D&D character I’ve made was, unfortunately, one in a game that ended right away. We had one session, most of which was character building. He was a Halfling Sorcerer, but he wasn’t really into being a sorcerer or an adventurer. His passion was cooking. I picked the sorcerer class because it’s all about natural talent and intuition instead of training and education, so it seemed like a good class for a reluctant adventurer. All of his spells were things useful in a kitchen, like burning hands and grease, and I spent all of his gold on cooking gear. Though he didn’t think of himself as an adventurer, he really was. He hired himself out to the party so that he could travel the world to learn different recepies and culinary traditions, and to meet great chefs and learn from them. The one session we had with him didn’t have any combat, but my thought was always that he would refuse to fight (“I’m the cook, you guys fight the monsters and I’ll have dinner ready when you’re done”) until something messed with his mobile kitchen. A spare arrow knocks over his pot, ruining his stew, and then the orcs have arcane fire coming at them, that sort of thing.

Dragons in WWII? Still pretty fucking epic!

Hey folks. So look, here’s the deal…

I know this is a new blog and it’s kind of early to have half assed posts, but you’re getting one because non rpg related stuff in my life has kind of taken front and center recently. I have not thought of a topic to blog about this week.

I’ve had some folks express interest in last weeks D&D campaign idea, which was suprising because that post too was kind of half assed. To be perfectly honest, that wasn’t originally a campaign idea, but an idea I had awhile ago for a TV show. I thought it would be cool to see a nature show on mythological creatures as if they were real, and the one image that stuck with me was dragons in WWII, so I basically stole that from myself.

I don’t want that one campaign idea to dominate this blog, because this blog is meant to be about RPGs in general, but as I have nothing else, I’m going to talk about that again.

As you may have seen in my very first post, I actually don’t have a ton of experience with D&D, so I need to do a fair amount of research into it, also into real history, before I blend the two together. Also, I need to decide which edition of D&D to make this for. I most familiar with 3.5, but that’s now basically to editions behind. I may go pathfinder, we’ll see.

Anyway, here are some nebulous thoughts about the whole thing:

  • Since we’re going modern fantasy in terms of races and monsters and magic and such, I’m thinking go big or go home. To that end, I’m contemplating making this world geocentric. Like, scientists have proven that this world is the center of it’s universe, and the sun is an orbiting object.
  • Most of the countries in this world will belong to a single large continent, similar to real world Eurasia.
  • The history of this world will probably be divided into three or for ages, kind of like Tolkien’s stuff. History is still very up for grabs, but the basic idea is that the various races held their own territories for most of the world’s history until the end of the previous age/beginning of the current age, when trade and conquest began intermingling people. In other words, there’s still a “dwarf country” and a “human country”, but in the present those countries have members other races that have been born or assimilated into those cultures.
  • This world will have many different kinds of Elves with countries/cultures more or less corresponding to real life asian countries, except the Drow, who will be this world’s answer to Nazi Germany.
  • The Dwarves’ country will have been the leaders of this world’s industrial revolution, and will be a big player in the global war, and will have a history of large scale imperial expansion (a la England).
  • Goblins will hail from an equatorial area. Most other races have historically looked down on goblins, so they were commonly enslaved. So yeah, goblin land is this world’s Africa.
  • Orcs come from a land separate from the “Eurasia”, in some way; possibly a mountain range or they could be from another continent (I’m leaning towards the former). They’ve never been truly isolated (much of the world’s history has concerned itself with conflicts with orcs) but until comparatively recently they’ve had their own land to themselves. Then the Halflings came…
  • Unlike everyone else, the Halflings have been mainly nomadic, not possesing their own territory for most of history. But as the world became more industrialized and connected, and as the other powers began to expand, the Halflings began running out of places to go. Eventually, most of the Halfling clans decided to unite and find themselves a country. Since nobody likes Orcs, they decided to take over the Orc country which, with help from the Dwarves, they successfully did a few centuries ago. Orc country is now Halfling country, and the Orcs themselves have faced near extinction from war and disease, and have become second class citiziens of what most of them still feel to be their land. That’s right, Orcs are this world’s Native Americans, Halflings are the U.S., and as you can expect the Halflings have been a big player in the Goblin slave trade. Or they were. Slavery was abolished a while ago, and Goblins in Halfling country have legal rights, but they still aren’t being treated very well.
  • The Humans have been very isolationist for a long time, but have sided with the Dwarves and Halflings to fight the Drow, Elves, and Gnomes (Gnomes are Italy ’cause a friend suggested it and I liked the sound of a Gnomish Pope). Until recently, most other nations haven’t paid attention to the Humans, but those who have usually learn, as the Drow are now, that it’s almost impossible to invade Human country… unless you are the Wild Elves.
  • And somewhere in all of this will be Dragons I promise.

So there, weekly posting goal met. This post is no doubt riddled with typos. I don’t care. Fun fact, creating that link above to a joke most of you probably won’t get took almost as much time as the rest of this post.

Anyway, I’d like to hear anybody’s ideas for this campaign, but keep in mind that I have a very full plate right now so don’t expect progress to be regular, let alone weekly. Also, please leave ideas in comments here, not in Facebook or Google+.