Category Archives: D&D

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.


Carnage coming up

I’m taking the whole family to Fairlee, Vermont, for the Carnage gaming convention. NatureBoy and I are pre-registered for a bunch of stuff, and Fairlee is a heck of a lot closer to Beloved Wife’s college. So we’re all going.

So far, I’ve only attended a couple of small conventions here in Burlington, so this should be interesting. I promise to write up a report.

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.

A little dungeon crawl

NatureBoy ran a D&D session for me on Saturday. He sprung a nice prop on me when my character was investigating the body of a dead adventurer…

NatureBoy's aged, detailed map

Notice the green venom stain, and the chomp-mark out of the top left corner. I really like the isometric view of the map, too.

On the reverse side is an elevation of the <cheesy echo> Hallway of Certain Doom </cheesy echo>.

details of the Hallway of Certain Doom

Some silliness ensued when my character slipped into the pirahna pit, and then gallons of barbeque sauce poured on me from above. As a druid, my character reasoned that the fish would have a hard time breathing the molasses and vinegar, so they avoided me while I climbed out. (Hey, I’m not above metagaming when the moment is ripe!)

I came home to some furtive behavior, yesterday, so I think there’s more calamity in store for me next weekend. I can’t wait. 😀

D&D changed my life

In response to a post on GeekDad, I posted the following reflection:

D&D changed my life, too, though it has had a more profound effect on me as an adult and father.

When I was a kid, I had the basic set, then the expert set, then the AD&D books. The fact that I had no one to play with didn’t keep me from spending lots of time making dungeons and characters.

I finally got to play D&D with some friends in college. We had great fun for a few weeks, and then we stopped.

Life happened; jobs, marriage, a child. Every couple of years — during a cleaning spree, usually — I would find some of my old books and leaf through them. Then back into the box of other child treasures they would go.

About three years ago, I saw the 3.5 basic set in Barnes & Noble and brought it home to my then eight-year-old. I ran a session for him and my good-sport wife, and he was hooked. That same evening, he decided to run a session for us, which he managed pretty well.

Since then, he’s committed most of the Players Handbook and DM’s Guide to memory, and we’ve played together in several different groups and in one-on-one games. I even ran a campaign for kids at the local library.

Now my son is eleven, and when he first read the 4th Edition announcement, he was upset. “Oh no! I bet they’ll get rid of the grapple rules. I love the grapple rules!”

I have also joined several adult gaming groups over the past couple years, and made a bunch of new friends. My wife is still a great sport, since discussion of D&D topics happens daily. And though she’s not a RPG fan, she loves card and board games.
Here’s to Dungeons & Dragons!

I’m still kind of in awe of how much D&D has meant to me and to us. I should also thank my parents, who got me that purple box set way back when.

In other news

Since we’ve been anchored here at home while BW is recovering, NatureBoy and I have had some time to play together. And we’ve had time to ourselves. NB has been banging through some Super Mario Sunshine, and I finally finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 🙂

NatureBoy had known that BW was going to be out of commission for a while, and that I would be home on Friday. So he spent time during the week developing a D&D session for us to play. When we got back from the surgery, he had the dining table all ready. We got to play for several hours in between attending to BW’s needs.

I had planned on gaming on Sunday afternoon, but my friend’s daughter had a stomach bug. Instead, NatureBoy pulled out RoboRally, which we hadn’t played in months. He decided we should play a deathmatch with each of us running two robots. It was fun, indeed, and NB pulled out a victory in the end. Here’s the game laid out..
Roborally on the dining table

and here’s a close-up of the robots we were using.
Roborally pieces

What else… we got in a little boffer sword fun on Sunday evening, and today we played another game of Settlers of Catan.

We’re just sorry BW wasn’t up to joining any of the fun. Get well soon!

Wisdom Teeth and D&D

Beloved Wife is having all her wisdom teeth extracted this morning. She’s been pretty anxious, but she’s resigned to her fate. I’m off from work today to tend to her.

Of course, NatureBoy has his own designs on today and tomorrow. Since BW will be out of commission for a while, he’s been hard at work on a D&D campaign, complete with props. I expect we’ll be playing this afternoon, and probably some tomorrow.

We had a very subdued Lammas; we had some freshly-picked grape tomatoes with supper, and I played several hands of cards with NatureBoy. Lately, I just haven’t had the inspiration to do elaborate ritual.

Well, gotta get ready to go to the oral surgeon.