Category Archives: D&D

Reaper Bones – Satheras, Elf Warlock

I have been working on this figure for weeks, on and off. But I decided I needed to finish it so I could actually use it in my friend’s Dungeon World game. This is really the first figure I’ve painted to completion, and the first of our Bones Vampire reward level miniatures that I’ve painted.

Satheras, Elf Warlock, front

Satheras, Elf Warlock, front

Satheras, Elf Warlock, back

Satheras, Elf Warlock, back

I was attempting to get an inner glow on the crystal, but I think I need to work on my blending. I also trimmed the pointy elf hood to make it less, well, pointy. I think that worked well. And I’m really happy with the shading on the robes.

Although it has some issues, I’m quite happy with it. I have reigned-in my perfectionism and actually called something finished. This is actually a big deal for me. for in-person games

I’ve been running a Dungeons & Dragons 5e game at work during lunch on Fridays, which has been quite fun, but also has a few challenges, one of which has been the participation of a player who frequently works offsite. Since we usually play in a conference room with a beautiful, big screen TV, I thought that using a virtual tabletop might help with that and some other issues. I decided to give a try, and after using it for two sessions, I’d say it’s working reasonably well.

Player view of Roll20 virtual tabletop.

Player view of Roll20 virtual tabletop. (see below for GM’s view.)

If you haven’t heard of, they have some good introductory videos on youtube, including a Crash Course, and overviews for player and GM, and lots of good information in their wiki.

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Lunchtime Adventures

I’ve finally done it; I’ve managed to pull together a lunchtime gaming group at work. We’re going to be meeting on Fridays, with the goal of getting some roleplaying in with the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons. We’ll fall back to board or card games if we don’t have quorum, just to keep the group rhythm going.

I started with the Lost Mine of Phandelver from the D&D Starter Set, which was easy to pick up and run. Mike Shea has some useful suggestions about running Phandelver.

The adventure from the D&D 5e Starter Set.

The adventure from the D&D 5e Starter Set.

I’m going to have to think about ways to make the one-hour game session hum. The narrative combat model in D&D5e will be a big part of that. If anyone has other suggestions for making a lunch-hour RPG campaign work, please let me know.

#RPGaDAY 28 – Scariest game you’ve played

I’m not a fan of being scared. I had to hide behind the couch when the Six Million Dollar Man met up with Bigfoot. That said, I’ve learned to enjoy a bit of creepy tone in my dramatic tension. My most memorable creepy game was the Wake of the Watcher module from Paizo’s Carrion Crown adventure path that I had the pleasure of playing from the second module to the end.

Wake of the Watcher cover

The Watcher module features creepy townspeople, a creepy cult, creepy monsters of the squishy, insanity provoking outsider types… fun stuff. That said, I was happy to move on from that adventure to something smelling less of dead fish. Or was that Oberon’s armor that smelled?

Carnage Game report – Day One

We made our way to the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee for Carnage. We’ve all been looking forward to getting away for the weekend, even Beloved Wife, who isn’t actually participating in the convention. She’s a crafting geek, though, and brought knitting to keep her content (as well as some homework).

One our way through Randolph, we stopped at Mugwort & Malachite, a new-age shop, to check it out. It was small and dark, but had some nice things. I liked a few of the Dryad Designs statuary. NB picked up a dragon calendar.

We did some meal planning, and picked up a bunch of foods that you can prepare by adding hot water. We also brought fruit, snacks, and tea. But we forgot our electric tea kettle. :O So we stopped by the Price Chopper in West Lebanon, N.H., and bought a small electric kettle and a small crock pot (both on sale).

We had pre-registered for the conference, and we got all the games we requested except for the first slot. Here’s what our schedule looks like:

Friday 1 PM to 5 PM Avon-on-the-Moor [D&D 3.5]
(had requested RoboRally: Battle Royal)
Saturday 8 am to 12 PM Powergrid [board game]
Saturday 1 PM to 5 PM Wiz-War Classic [board game]
Saturday 7 PM to 11 PM GURPS Prime Directive: the Vanished [ Star Trek RPG]
Sunday 10 am to 2 PM Star Trek Fleet Action [miniatures]


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Thank you, Gary Gygax

The news that the creator of Dungeons & Dragons had died spread very quickly. And Geeks around the world have been expressing their feelings about his passing.

Order of the Stick had a nice send-off cartoon. Paul Tevis, Judd Karlman and others have shared their thoughts.

And now, a tribute song from Uncle Monsterface. Rock on!

Here’s my bit:

Dungeons & Dragons had a huge impact on me as a kid. I remember being in drafting class in seventh grade, and seeing a kid pull out the basic set box (red, I think, in 1981). I was immediately drawn to it, and asked the kid if he could teach me how to play. He said yeah, but I was new at the school and it never happened.

My parents were pretty hip, though, and got me the Moldvay Basic set and made an attempt to play with me, but I don’t remember playing more than once with my dad. 🙂 I did lots of solo play, and collected the expert set, and then some AD&D stuff. But I never found anyone to actually play with.

I didn’t actually play until college, when my friends Jim, Jeremy, and Brendan and I played through Castle Amber. I still have a crayon drawing that Jeremy did of our fight with a dragon. It was very cool.

Fast-forward almost fifteen years, and I’m married with a young son who taught himself to read when he was three. He loves stories, and we’ve read Harry Potter together. I still have a few D&D books and metal minis that I painted as a kid. NatureBoy is fascinated. Then I run across the 3.5 edition Basic set in Barnes & Noble.

The first day we had it, I ran NB and a very good-sport Beloved Wife through a few scenes. Then NB decided that he wanted to be the DM. Once he understood that the DM didn’t “win” if the monsters ate all the characters, he did a pretty good job.

Now gaming is a constant thread in our lives. We’ve been to several (very local) gaming conventions, played D&D, Faery’s Tale, Cat, and lots of board and card games. We’re in the third year of D&D group I run for some area young people. I’ve even made new adult friends and have grown-up gaming time, too.

All this is to say that the thing that Gary made had a big impact on me as a child, and now it’s enriching my adult life and my relationship with my son.

Many thanks and Blessed Be, Gary.

Town Meeting Day/GMs Day

Today is the first Tuesday in March, and thus, Vermont’s Town Meeting Day. I have already been to the polls and cast my primary ballot.

I Voted sticker

Today also is March 4th, as in “March Forth!!”, and has been selected as GMs day, the day when all of us should lavish thanks and praise upon those who run our games. 😀

Northeast Wars

Northeast Wars logo

I’ve volunteered to run two role playing games at the upcoming Northeast Wars gaming convention. These will be my first experiences GMing convention games, but I’m pretty excited.

The first game is Dogs in the Vineyard, by Vincent Baker. The characters are a sort of religious police watching over communities of faithful pioneers in a setting much like territorial Utah.

Whitefalls – Dogs in the Vineyard
Townsfolk were much relieved when the infant daughter of the Steward recovered from the fever sickness. Their joy soon turned to grief when the young son of the miller was found in the woods near town, beaten to death. Horror and fear have become suspicions and accusations that fester and threaten to tear the town apart. You’re there to protect the Faith and make things right — one way or another. You are one of God’s Watchdogs.

The second game is a scenrio for Faery’s Tale, a rules-light rpg where the characters play faeries in a fantasy forest; the kind of place where any “Once upon a time” story could take place.

The Magic Pool – Faery’s Tale
The Laughing Brook’s cool, clear water flows quickly from the hills deep in Brightwood Forest. And legends tell that the pool at the source of the brook has mystical powers. But recently, the voice of the water sings of sadness, its waters clouded with mud and filth. Already, the animals and plants near the fouled waters are grown sickly. What malevolence has tainted the Laughing Brook? Who will venture to its source and restore the Laughing Brook before this blight spreads throughout Brightwood? You are a faery, and you’re the only one who can. Soar.

I’m very excited to run these games. I have a lot of prep work to do over the next few weeks. But I’m looking forward to it.

Kids D&D group resumes

For the last two years, I’ve run a Dungeons & Dragons game at the local library. This past May, I announced that the group would not be continuing in the Fall, since my Beloved Wife has gone back to college to change careers. However, the way schedules have worked out, I can run the game without creating much (additional) disruption. And I missed seeing the kids, too.

Banner of the Red Hand

So I announced that I would run the game again. We had one player move away, and another decided that he didn’t want to continue. We also had a friend of one of the players ask to join. I now have three girls and three boys in the group. I’m glad to be doing my part to foster girl gamers.

We’ve now played two sessions of our continuing Red Hand of Doom campaign. The session we played on Saturday ended on a little cliff-hanger, with the party approaching the Town Hall in the flooded ruins of Rhest, dodging large javelins thrown by ogres on the rooftop. Then the adventurers watched the black dragon launch himself from the ruined wall into the air, his goblin rider whooping as the dragon bears down on them.

We won’t be playing again until mid-November, so I hope to have enough time to plan how the dragon will fight. I have run a couple encounters with dragons so far, and they haven’t been as impressive as they could have been. Dragons should make the character (if not the players) afraid, and I want the encounter to be harrowing. Needless to say, I’ll be looking for articles and advice on running dragon encounters over the next couple weeks.