Nov. 10th, 2010

theron: My Dice Are Probably Older Than You (Default)
Last night's game took us back to Pathfinder and "The Dawn of the Temple of Elemental Evil."  Previously, our heroes had liberated the Inn of the Welcome Wench from the hobgoblin boss, wiping out most of the hobgoblin contingent in the process and rescuing the family of Ostler Gundigoot.  While resting after the battle, one of the Temple's lieutenants came sniffing around our hideout and we ended on a cliffhanger while the Adventure! game got underway.  Last night, we picked up with rolling for initiative, since it was clear that Einar (my PC) and his buddy Farrukh, the half-orc druid, weren't going to let these guys report back on our whereabouts.  The fight went pretty fast.  Einar started things off by tripping the boss and Farrukh hit him with a staggering touch.  The rest of our crew were alerted and began putting the hurt on the minions.  When the staggered boss tried to stand, he triggered an attack of opportunity and Einar critted for 63 points of damage.  After that, it was just mopping up.

After we determined the brief battle hadn't raised any alarms, we set about our next major objective: rescuing Gundigoot from the Tollhouse before his scheduled execution the next day.  Interrogating a convenient toad (actually, the familiar of the late lieutenant), we got a decent idea of the lay of the land and planned to hit the place at night.  We knew Temerek, the head guy at the Tollhouse was paranoid and loved traps, so a straight up frontal assault was out of the question.  Scouting around, Shayd (our rogue) noticed some disturbed earth in the back of the Tollhouse compound. While Farrukh examined it, a strange creature popped its head out of the ground - an osquip!  Thinking quickly, Farrukh befriended first one such critter and then the entire colony, allowing us safe passage through their tunnels, which eventually broke into a larger, man-made excavation.

From our conversation with the Toad, we knew that Temerek had a bolt-hole under the Tollhouse, and this looked to be the place.  Avoiding a series of cunning traps, we discovered a pair of secret (from the other side) doors, as well as a ladder leading up to a trap door.  Using goggles of x-ray vision, we determined the trap door led to Temerek's room.  He was engaged in conversation with a rather large snake with an infernal look about it.  Waiting for the serpent to depart, we quickly put together a plan of action.  Shayd (standing on the shoulders of Alecto, our sorcerer) would throw open the trap door.  Farrukh (standing on Einar's) would immediately cast Wood Warp on the only door in the room, trapping Temerek within.  The plan went off with only one hitch: before we could get to grips with the villain, he produced a small white sphere and smashed it on the floor, filling the room with a dense white fog.  When it cleared, he was nowhere to be found.

After a cursory search, we decided to go forward with our plan to rescue Gundigoot.  Stopping at the first secret door, we checked with the goggles and saw jail cells on the other side.  As we came through, an alarm was raised and it was time for initiative again.  Initially, we found ourselves fighting our way out of a narrow corridor, which allowed Einar to hold the front rank and get in lots of killin'.  The first opponent was an eight foot tall humanoid with the face of a mandrill.  He may have been big, but he went down hard with another crit from E's greataxe.  Another of his kind challenged us and fell, and then human thugs behind them.  One fled (having seen his mate go down with one hit), shouting "Get the fire beast!"

As we pressed down the corridor, we found Gundigoot in one of the cells.  Of course, by this point, we'd already strung ourselves out a bit and the prospect of a "fire beast" meant we were going to stick around and clean this place out rather than flee out the tunnels.

As it turned out, the fire beast was a pyrolisk, a creature that would have been much more problematic if not for Farrukh's ability to cast Produce Water at will.  As it was, between Einar hitting it a few times and Farrukh hitting and biting it, the thing went down before it could do us much harm.

And that's where we left off.  Next week, I run Barbarians of Lemuria, but I even I'm far more looking forward to the next session in this game.

theron: My Dice Are Probably Older Than You (Default)
But very slight, I assure you.

I am, as I'm sure anyone bothering to read this already knows, a big geek.  RPGs, fantasy, SF, and comics are my primary poisons.  I am one of those few who was lucky enough to marry someone who is in all major respects a kindred spirit.  While her passions are for music and dance, she loves comics and RPGs.

Well, most RPGs.  You see, she absolutely, positively, and without reservation, HATES Dungeons & Dragons and virtually any RPG that takes place in an era with an abundance of magic swords and a commensurate lack of flush toilets.  Her tastes in fiction mirror this: she'll happily read fantasy, just as long as the word "urban" precedes it (and I don't mean "Ill-Met In Lankhmar."

Of course, I seem to play a lot of D&D or D&D-ish stuff.  More than I think I did even when it was the only game in town.  I'm certainly enjoying it more.  And because I enjoy it, and because hope never dies in my optimistic little heart, I still occasionally push D&D-ish stuff her way, hoping to -- I don't really know  -- I guess maybe show her it doesn't completely suck.  She dutifully looks it over, then turns her nose up and we go about our business.

Today, I put something more than D&D-ish in front of her.  It was very much a D&D thing, namely the new Dungeons & Dragons comic from IDW.  I picked it up at lunch, largely due to the fact that it's written by "Leverage" creator John Rogers, an admitted gamer himself, who wrote some stuff for 4e during the Hollywood writers' strike a few years ago.  It is, in my opinion, just about as perfect a specimen of an RPG tie-in product that you could ask for.  Such a product, in my opinion, needs to give the reader (whether a gamer or an interested bystander) a glimpse of the ideal sort of stories you can tell with the game.  But the reader shouldn't hear the figurative dice clattering offstage.  In this respect Rogers' gifts for pacing and dialog shine through beautifully.  The comic is full of action and wit, two things that make an easy sell to new readers.

So, having enjoyed it thoroughly over lunch, I decided to put it to the real test, plopping it down in front of The Missus, who was waiting for me to cook dinner.  As I busied myself heating up the creamy tomato bisque and making grilled pimiento cheese on rye sandwiches, I heard a giggle.  Then more.  Then full on laughter.  At the end, she pronounced it "Delightful," and instructed me to make sure she gets to see the next issue.

Now, if I can just figure out a way to sell her on trying the game out again.