Monthly Archives: November 2015

On the day of my 52nd year……

Thanksgiving is a couple of days behind, Black Friday was ignored and today is my Birthday. I sat down three times to write this blog post and other than the title, I really do no have much to say. Maybe I will try again this afternoon.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

Last night we played our first game of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Some things went well and some things did not. Most of the things that did not go well were centered around the Roll20.net 5E character sheet, getting it to work properly and understanding what it was doing when buttons were pressed. This is not the fault of 5E at all, but rather a combination of old people and technology. Over all my first impressions are a tentative “This should work well for us”. Because several of my players decided to generate their characters at the game, rather than on their own time, there was really only enough time for a single encounter with 4 goblins and these observations are based solely on this encounter.

  • The Good: Combat seemed to flow smoothly, the unified dice mechanic worked well making it easy to see who hits and who didn’t. That is after we figured out what Roll20.net was doing.
  • The Bad: We had two PC’s go down during the fight, I am not sure I like the death rules. Maybe it is just because I am use to using negative hit points and this save vs death thing seems counter intuitive.
  • The Ugly: 1st level PC’s are WAY too fragile. Two characters were nearly killed by goblins with one hit. This was not a terribly dangerous encounter, but I can see how this could easily have turned into a TPK.

The oddest thing about the game last night was the Tiefling Rogue with a Dwarven last name, I am sure there is an entertaining story there somewhere.

All Hail Legome, Emperor of the World……

…….Such as it is. Last night was the grand finale of my two year long HackMaster campaign. The basic premise of the campaign was the demigod Shezmu, the personification of blood, slaughter and executions, hatched a plan to bring long term war, destruction and death to the world.

A bit of history. A millennial ago when the Bright Empire fell, in the chaos that followed the remnants of the royal families escaped to Cotedela on a little known island they maintained for their own pleasure. They brought with them a small treasure trove of magic items they were going to use to rebuild the empire. At some point shortly after, a powerful lich known as the Dead King attacked the compound of the royal family. The Dead King was defeated and imprisoned in his tower on the north side of the island, but during the battle the Dead King shattered the Star Heart Crown, killing the great warrior High Tower and scattering all of the magic items brought to the island.

Shezmu’s plan was to assemble a party of misfit adventures who would collect the magic items on the island and reassemble the Star Heart Crown. The process of doing this, as he knew, would set off chain reactions of war and disaster. Shezmu manipulated the lives of five people he felt could rise to power, overcome the obstacles and finally either recruit or kill. Legome, Mercer, Tyenvinith, Dorj-Son and Jerard were all in one way or another thrust out of their lives and into the world where they met for the first time when they all signed up to guard a caravan for some extra cash to support themselves. This plan worked perfectly, right up until the final moments. Instead of kneeling before Shezmu or being brutally slaughtered by him, they pulled out the Gefängnis Stone and used it to imprison Shezmu.

Historians of the new empire seemed to be unable to find out where the Gefängnis Stone came to be in Jerard’s possession, or where it went to after the final battle. As far as historians can tell, the Gefängnis Stone was not one of the items brought to the island by the royal family, nor was it one of the items Shezmu wanted the Doom Bringers to find. The Doom Bringers seem to know where it came from and where it went, but they refuse to tell anyone else, and since the Doom Bringer Legome is now the Emperor of the Known World, no one is pressing the question terribly hard.

After imprisoning Shezmu, the only thing left of his possessions was the Star Heart Crown, the crown worn by the Emperor of the Bright Empire. As a interesting footnote to history, the method used to determine who would be the Emperor was; Mercer, Tyenvinith, Dorj-Son and Jerard yelling “NOT IT!” before Legome.

You don’t want my players in your game!

There is a twitter contest going on where you can play D&D with Chris Perkins as the DM. Perkins is the story designer for the video game Sword Coast Legends. At first I thought this was a great idea, until I started thinking about the last couple of years of my own game. My players are hard on game worlds and I kind of don’t think Perkins is ready for my players. Seriously, our previous game world is scarred with the actions of PC, and the current game world is on the brink of Armageddon. My guess is they would have him crying like a three year old girl with statements like “What do you mean the whole dungeon is collapsing? I didn’t poor that much orc whiskey in there!”