- Michael began playing, introducing his bard. He joined the party by hitchhiking. Andrew didn't notice, and rode by. Promising women and liquor, Michael swayed Tj to stop the cart.
- After riding along for a bit with their new friend, a farmer ran out into the street begging for help. His farm had been overrun with monsters!
- Mikey and Ron dashed to the rescue. Tj and Michael stayed in the cart.
- Wait... Where'd the Cleric go?
- Ron rushed into the farmhouse first, and was quickly attacked by a small beast leaping onto his face!
- The farmer lunged forward, stabbing the beast with a pitchfork... Which also stabbed Ron in the face.
- "What was it that attacked me?" "Do a knowledge (nature) check." "14" "Badger" "...A badger attacked my face?"
- Hearing the commotion, Michael grabbed Tj by the ear and began pulling him toward the farmhouse.
- Tj stabbed Michael in the side for grabbing his ear.
- In the back storage room of the farmhouse, there was a bear. They fought a bear. It was awesome.
- Tj stole peaches from the storeroom.
- The farmer decided to reward the party with jars of peaches for their trouble.
- Tj received extra peaches.
- Michael peed in Tj's peaches.
- Tj peed in the still of "Mickey's Tavern"
- Ron peed in Tj's peaches.
- Michael and Mikey argued about whether or not to kill a possessed man.
- Tj heard banging on his door of the inn. He swung the door open, stabbed the zombie at the door in the face, then it fell down the stairs. (Insert inside joke here)
- Mikey came out of his room at this time, finding Tj naked standing over a dead man at the bottom of the stairs.
- Ron and Michael showed up just in time to prove it was a zombie to prevent Mikey from killing Tj.
- After Mikey refused to fight dirty, Michael said to him "Wow, do you do anything useful? Wanna fetch me a beer, bitch?"
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
"So, you're all riding in the wagon of a traveling merchant. The wagon is jury rigged from two smaller carts, and is pulled by a donkey."
"Wait, so we already know each other?"
"Yeah, it's just easier this way."
"What's the merchant's name?"
"What? Umm..." (Looking through papers) "...Andrew"
"Yeah... stop looking at me like that."
"I'm just watching."
"I know, it's freaking me out. His name's Andrew"
"Ok, calm down."
"Anyways, the merchant slows the wagon and pulls to the side of the road.
'I hope you don't mind if I excuse myself for a moment.' He says, before he hops off the cart and leaves into the woods behind some trees."
"Is there anything to steal?"
"What? You're gonna steal from the merchant who's giving us a ride?"
"Yeah. What, we're like guards, we should be getting paid."
"Is Andrew paying us?"
"No, he is not. You aren't guards, you're just hitchhiking along with him as he makes his way through the world."
"Are we paying him?"
"Well, what does he have on the cart?"
"Mostly food. He's sort of like a produce vendor."
"Alright, I want to steal the food."
"You know, he's probably feeding us anyway."
"We don't know that."
"We could ask."
"Ok, ok. Is Andrew feeding us?"
"Yes. Andrew is giving you guys food as you need it. Still want to steal it?"
"You're going to steal the food we were going to get already?"
"Ok, gimme a sleight of hand check."
"I'm gonna do a spot check to see if I notice him stealing from the guy who's kind enough to give us a ride and feed us for nothing in return." (Rolls)
"Congrats, Rig'm, you've just stolen apples you would've gotten anyway."
This continued for a bit, until Mikey slapped Ron in a manner so epic that Ron tumbled out of the cart.
Rather than recapping the rest of the campaign in it's entirety, here's a list of highlights:
- Ron tried to steal apples (above)
- After entering a clearing filled with fog, Nick sensed magic. Mikey then issued a warrior's challenge... to the magic.
- Tj spotted and subsequently killed (and ate) a squirrel.
- The first goblin defeated dropped a laser gun, which nobody knew how to work. Assuming it was a children's toy, they gave it to an orphan in the next town.
- Tj robbed a man while in the same room. Tj is a ranger.
- The governor offered Mikey 15 gold for each of the party members to find and kill the monster in town. Mikey haggled his way to 125 gold per party member.
- Mikey left to consult the team about the job. When they returned, they gave Mickey the Barkeep and Erick the Blacksmith 5 gold each to come along to get an extra 250 gold from the governor.
- Mikey rolled to tell the age of the receptionist of the governor... He rolled low. He sat there staring, unable to determine her age.
- Tj made me list the contents of a room, going into minor details (assuming he'd steal something), only for him to say "Ok." and do nothing.
- Ron spent an entire day eating pretzels at the bar.
- Tj rolled to resist alcohol at the bar. He rolled a 20. He's now immune to booze forever.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
As a child, I spent most of my time with my head in the clouds. I spent hours of my time playing pretend and imagining, wandering through all the space and time within my mind, creating adventures with friends and fighting the imaginary bad guys. Even though my friends and I were so small, we allowed our minds to create worlds around us, and there was so much to learn and so much fun to be had. As I've grown older, I've found myself more attracted to studies of mathematics and logic, and grew especially partial to dramatic expression, and really just theatre as a whole. Playing pretend was generally frowned upon, being that a six-and-a-half foot tall man swinging toy lightsabers and talking to himself pretty much has a guaranteed trip to the Psych Ward of his local hospital. After stumbling across an animated series online about two friends in an asinine game of Dungeons and Dragons, I began to take some interest. The show was fun, and illustrated how D&D could be played in a manner not generally associated with the negative stigma of the game, depicted by fanatical nerds in musty basements, screaming about “casting Magic Missile” and eating massive quantities of cheetohs, but rather as a fun way of regaining some of that imagination lost in our childhood and combining it with the resourcefulness learned later in life, and adding the ever-present element of luck.
Dungeons and Dragons was published in 1973 by creators Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, both veteran wargamers. A derivative of Gygax' original solo RPG game, Chainmail, D&D featured an aspect to gameplay typically unseen within the games of the time. Rather than playing as a General controlling armies against one another, Gygax proposed a game with players controlling a single character, and working together for a common goal, such as raiding a dungeon, saving a princess, or returning an enchanted relic to the Fairy King. Arneson and Gygax launched their company, Tactical Studies Rules, or TSR, to distribute the game. Though originally perceived to be just another war game, D&D was soon seen as much more, and launched an entire industry. In 1976, the first supplement, Blackmoor, was released, authored by Dave Arneson. Blackmoor featured campaign ideas for the quests that groups of players could use in their games, saving the game leaders, or “Dungeon Masters” a bit of trouble, as they didn't have to create campaigns entirely themselves anymore.
Dungeons and Dragons is a game that requires at least two people to play, though the rulebooks establish the optimum number for playing is approximately six. One of these players takes upon the role of the “Dungeon Master”, or “DM”. This player is usually the person who decided to get a group together to play, but the Dungeon Master's Guide for Version 4.0 states that this isn't always the case. The Dungeon Master is responsible for leading the group, serving as the narrator, and choosing the actions of all Non-Player Characters, or “NPCs”, including enemies of the party of characters. Sometimes multiple players will team up to play Dungeon Master, or alternate after a certain number of games played with the group so that everyone has an opportunity to play as a character. The other players, of course, play characters in the party. The characters must all have a race (such as Human, Elf, Dwarf, etc.), and a class (such as Bard, Wizard, Warrior, Barbarian, Cleric, etc.), each specializing in different aspects of gameplay. Players are encouraged to build characters complimentary to one another's and work as a team to become more efficient in their various encounters throughout the fantasy world they inhabit.
When creating a character, a player must go through a process that make take several hours their first time to get acquainted with the immense possibilities they can choose for their character. Being that players aren't always ensured they'll even enjoy the game, they tend to take as much time as necessary to create a character they feel the most comfortable playing with. This process is usually assisted by a veteran player to suggest which feats and skills to take and how to calculate stats.
The first thing that must be determined are the ability scores. These abilities include Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Each has respective effects on the character's ability to interact with the world once the game has started.
Second is the race of the character. Although many players start with Human characters, other races include Elves, Dwarves, Half-Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, and Half-Orcs, among several others. Races aren't a superfluous part of the game, and though they may help the players develop the characters' motivations, each race comes with statistical changes to the character, such as a halfling not being as strong as a half-orc, (thus having less Strength but gaining Dexterity) or a dwarf not being as social as a human (causing a negative effect on Charisma, but a boost in Strength).
The third step is choosing a class. Classes are essentially the character's occupation. Classes include Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Wizard, as well as several added in the Player's Handbook II for Version 3.5. As with races, each presents the player with a different motivation for the character, and modifies statistics and allows certain skills to be used.
The final few decisions are at hand. You must pick feats, which are another form of special abilities. You may then select an alignment of behavior. Alignment works on two axises. There's good and evil, or a neutral in between, in addition to lawful and chaotic, and a neutral of the two. You could have a good character who is chaotic, thus behaving like Robin Hood by breaking the law for the greater good, or a lawful, evil character who plays by the rules but only wishes to benefit himself. A chaotic neutral character thus believes that it's ok to break the law to benefit one's self, as long as you don't incur suffering of others in the process. After these steps have been completed, you just have to calculate the necessary information based on your selections and write them on your character sheet, and then you're ready to play.
Though the setup is a boring process, once you're finished the game makes up for it entirely. This is proved by D&D's peak of activity during the mid 1980's, when there were an estimated 10 million players. Today there's only approximately 4 million. Though there may now be fewer players, gamespy.com named Gary Gygax the 17th most influential person in the history of modern video gaming, just below J.R.R. Tolkien.
Unfortunately, in 2008, Gary Gygax passed away, and shortly after in 2009, Dave Arneson did as well. Upon the announcement of Gygax’s death, the internet was flooded with materials in tribute, ranging from simple poems with references to the game he created, to webcomics featuring Gygax playing against Death in a game of D&D, with Death sitting at a table with a cell phone saying “You know how when someone dies they can challenge me to a game for their soul? …We didn’t count on this guy. I might be a while…. Oh Jesus, he’s getting out another rule book!”(XKCD)
Upon release of the 30th anniversary Dungeons and Dragons retrospective, many celebrities, including Vin Diesel and Robin Williams, wrote parts to be included in the book, showing how it influenced them in their youth. New writers have taken the helm that was once led by Gygax and Arneson, and Dungeons and Dragons has launched it’s newest version, 4.0, to mixed reception by fans. Though it may not be the glory days for Dungeons and Dragons anymore, it’s cultural impact and place as a social gathering is even more apparent than at it’s peak.
Despite it's general message of friendship, teamwork, and problem solving (valuable traits taught emphatically by children's television shows like Pokemon.), many have claimed that Dungeons and Dragons has certain unsuitable moral implications. Evangelist Jack Chick featured Dungeons and Dragons in one of his evangelical comic strips, where Dungeons and Dragons is supposedly a tool for recruiting players into witchcraft and demon worship, and sponsoring suicide and murder. Though any connections to such activities were drawn by fanaticals, ignoring the millions of players showing no negative changes from the game for the few, dangerous individuals who had ever come in contact with the game. Also ignored were such pieces of evidence as clinical depression, childhood abuse, and other legitimate causes for rash actions committed by those few players.
TSR responded to accusations of training players to use witchcraft and demon worship by removing material that could be deemed to do so, and in effect began to create their own mythology and stories. Eventually, in 2000, demons were reintroduced to the game, though those who chose to interact with them were usually of evil alignment. In the first appendix to Gygax's guide to being a good Game Master, he declares “'Thar's demons in them-thar games!' cry the fanatical opponents of RPGs generally and those dealing with fantasy and magic in particular.” and continues “It is certain that some fools actually believe that game materials and imagined events are 'real.'... These folk can't seem to separate fantasy from reality.”
Dungeons and Dragons has been a template for many further role-playing games. These games include table-top gaming such as Shadowrun, video games such as the Final Fantasy series and the recent Fallout 3, live-action role-playing games such as Mind's Eye Theatre, as well as miniature war games such as Warhammer, or card games like Magic: The Gathering (Also published by Wizards of the Coast). The concepts of playing a single character through an adventure, using “points” to monitor health, and using mathematics to calculate hypothetical battles set the stage for the video game industry, which is founded entirely on what ideas brought forth in D&D. As unlikely as it is that the brainchild of two wargamers who met at a convention in Indiana would go on to spawn several industries that would impact not only American culture, but to inspire people worldwide to imagine and create, to not let their imagination die in adulthood, but let it flourish and grow. As unlikely as it is that such a thing would happen, it did, and as odd as a statement as it is, I would be proud to be quoted in saying that the creation of Dungeons and Dragons is a staple in world history.
Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook Core Rulebook I Ver 3.5. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast inc., 2005. Print.
Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide Core Rulebook II Ver 3.5. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast inc., 2005. Print.
Munroe, Randall. “Ultimate Game.” XKCD. 2008. Rogers High School Library. http://xkcd.com/393/
Gygax, Gary. Master of the Game. New York, NY: The Putnam Publishing Group, 1989. Print.
Wizards of the Coast. D&D Podcast: Penny Arcade/PvP. 10 Jun 2009. Online audio file. Wizards of the Coast Official Site. Accessed on 10 Jun 2009.
Schorow, Stephanie. "Here there be DRAGONS; After 30 years, D&D players shape pop culture." The Boston Herald (2004): Print.
"Dungeons and Dragons™ and other fantasy role-playing games." ReligiousTolerance.org. 15 July 2008. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 10 Jun 2009 <http://www.religioustolerance.org/d_a_d.htm>.
France-Presse, Agence. "Gamer co-created Dungeons & Dragons: DAVE ARNESON (1947-2009)." Edmonton Journal (2009): Print.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Instead, I was treated to several shots of glowing blue penises, CGI that made my eyebrow twitch, random-ass slow motion, retarded camera work, and boning. Oh, the boning.
It seems all progression was founded on the boning. Or rather, was thrown out in favor of the boning.
Also, if you even remotely become attached to a character, they will die. It's ok, there's only one of them, but he's the only reason you stay in the theatre, so it feels like a waste at the end.
Furthermore, think a character's a total douche? It's ok, he's the bad guy. Didn't see it coming? I suppose that makes you a retard.
I'm really disappointed. I mean, this was supposed to be it. This was supposed to be the greatest comic-book movie ever. This was suppose to at least be on a level near Dark Knight, but it wasn't. I mean, it wasn't Street Fighter-bad, where fans cringe at the thought of it, the ads looked fantastic, and made me hope for something much better, but unfortunately the final product made me wish I had sat at home with a bag of Doritos and the graphic novel...
Take it away, Mikey.
Let me first say, I am a Watchmen fan. I read the book years ago, and since then i've re-read it, analyzed it, thought about it more than any other comic I've ever read. I. LOVE. WATCHMEN. And this movie? This film, that people claim is a faithful adaptation of the book? I hate it.
The book is packed with subtlety, metaphor, and deep, intriguing characterizations. Forgive me if this sounds like fanboy wankery, but the book is nothing short of brilliant. The movie is not. All the characterization has been thrown out in favor of slow-motion sex with bad music. Gone is metaphor, torn from its throne by "stylishness". The ending has been changed. Instead of a big, tragic commentary on the price of peace and the horrors inherent in losing your humanity, it is instead a poorly-explained conspiracy that teabags you from left field.
The characters' motivations are poorly explained, since most of their backstory has been raped by slowmotion kungfu. Have you read the book? No? Then good luck figuring out the significance of The New Frontiersman. Also, have fun trying to figure out the importance of Rorschach's mask. Nothing is said about it in the movie. Did you have trouble connecting with the dead people in New York? That's probably because their whole story was cut out.
The sex is there purely to show titties, rather than make a point about the characters. None of the characters make it out safe. Every character is damaged by the adaptation. And what the hell was the point of making Adrian gay?
In short, fuck you Zak Snyder. Fuck you and your stupid stupid movie. I hope Allen Moore haunts your dreams.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Piss, now I can't watch it. I mean, there's no way...
Not even a little.
Wait, No, I can't do it. What if it's Nemesis? What if you have to fight Nemesis?A Non-Polygon, High Definition Nemesis. In surround sound. In the dark. Do I really want to ruin that? I mean, if I'm expecting it, the subsequent running for my life will be a whole lot less realistic, you know, due to the lack of urine in my pants.
Oh, crap, I just saw the comments section. Now I'm frustrated and confused.
Was that the surprise? Was that the "OMGWTFBBQ reveal tease at the end"?
I can't watch it, I have to play it myself!
Why do you do these things to me, Capcom!?
Monday, February 16, 2009
That Lexus that almost hit the truck and then it went in slomo and the people pushed it back and blahblahblah. IT HAD A HUD.
Not a HOOD, for my barely literate readers. It had a HUD, or rather a Heads-Up Display. Somebody designing cars was sitting at home playing Halo and then suddenly thought... "Man, if only real cars had one of these... Wait a minute..."
And on Monday morning, he was considered a visionary.
Now when can I expect a Ghost in my driveway?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I really do.
Not for the convenience. Not because I want the scifi future we've been raised with to become a reality. No. I want it so that when I scream obscenities at my computer, it will take it personally. When I scream "LOAD! LOAD, YOU SON OF A BITCH!", I want my computer to respond with "Sorry, please don't bring the hose out again."
I want my computer to fear me.
Also, proprietary software is bad. That is all.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Have you ever thought "I wish Firefox played music..."?
Well, it doesn't matter, you're a freak either way.
To those of you who didn't plague your lives with such things, may I introduce Songbird, it's what those nerds wanted, but don't get because they smell funny. It's essentially what happens when Firefox and iTunes have an adorable multi-use baby that has the potential to eventually put them both to shame. If Songbird just gets a plug-in to run MSN messenger, it will have effectively removed my need for 4 programs from my computer.
(The only 4 I use: pidgin, Firefox, rhythmbox, and gtkpod)
It's available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Oh, and did I mention it can find concerts in your area?
On a related note, who wants to go see Kutless, Disciple, and Stellar Kart next month?
Monday, January 19, 2009
Damn you for being the best actor to portray Batman ever.
Damn you for having such fantastic hair, which distracted me during Batman Begins.*
Damn you for making me relate to Bruce Wayne more than any other character ever.
Damn you for fitting the role better than anyone, including Clooney or Kilmer.
Damn you for reinventing Batman.
and Damn you for making me love you, you son-of-a-bitch.
I suppose that brings me to my actual post.
Over the past 2-3 days I've watched every Batman movie made in the past 20 years.
Well, every live-action one, which boils down to:
- Batman Forever
- Batman and Robin
- Batman Begins
- The Dark Knight (Well, not really, I watched it about a week back, so I think it counts.)
Then I realized that The Dark Knight actually matches up with the storyline of the comic, and furthermore ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE.
The Joker isn't a product of an angry mob leader who falls into the bizarre and fantastical Chemical X. (I don't remember if they named the chemical in the movie, they may have, my head was in my hands as I muttered "This is terrible. This is terrible. This is terrible." until it was over, so I don't remember.) The Joker was just a guy. Who the hell was he? We don't know. There was no backstory. He was Batman's foil. The Joker had as much commonly-known backstory as Batman to the average Gotham citizen. Essentially, he WAS Batman, if Bruce Wayne had just lost his mind and killed the dude that murdered his parents, allowing himself to succumb to revenge, like he warned Robin of doing in Batman Forever.
So, quick recap:
- Batman - Terrible
- Batman Forever - Actually pretty good, but you have to rationalize all questions you have on the reasonability of the storyline with "Because he's Batman"
- Batman and Robin - Not too bad, actually. The aesthetic was kinda cool and the story wasn't too far from the comic. Also, Uma Thurman. End of discussion.
- Batman Begins - First time I've watched it, ironically. All I can say is this:
*Keaton had hair that distracted me, too. That's because he had a Jew-Fro...
Bruce Wayne DOES NOT have a Jew-Fro.
[Edit 1/25/09: Wait, wasn't there one with The Penguin and Catwoman? Crap, so NEARLY every Batman movie.]
I mean, we're a month into 2009 and I just now realized just how much happened in the last year.
Some major events include
- Had my first girlfriend.
- Started taking theatre seriously.
- Decided writing wasn't just for chicks and/or queers.
- Learned musical improv.
- Found out a whole new meaning to the word "friendship". Also, it involves lightsabers.
- Experienced heartbreak.
- Had a job.
- Had 2 jobs.
- No, seriously, 2 effing jobs. Like, 75 hours a week. It was insane.
- Wrote a song for a girl.
- Wrote a song for a car.
- Wrote a song for the guys that came to fix our electricity.
- Discovered StumbleUpon.
- Felt dissatisfaction with the life I lead.
- Started reading comic books more seriously.
- Actually read because I felt like it.
- Discovered a new level of loneliness.
- Blamed myself for things beyond my control.
- Learned to use a longbow.
- Played guitar seriously.
- Lost some friends.
- Rediscovered my talents and passions.
- Decided on a career.
- Yelled at someone because they were being douchey.
- Watched movies and thought about them as art.
- Experienced a range of emotions I hadn't known before.
- Pooped a muffin.
I'm not trying to write a "Live for Today" sort of deal. I'm really just saying that 2008 was really good to me, and I'll miss it dearly. Let's hope 2009 is as good, but not better. Asking for better makes you greedy, and we all know what happens when you're greedy.
That's right, you're kicked out of the orphanage after the fat man goes "MOOOOOOOORE?"
Even though he's really not all that impressive, everyone's going nuts over him, and the few of us who think he's anything but amazing are afraid to say anything for fear of becoming social outcasts.
Maybe in an ironic turn of events, Obama will actually lead us into a nuclear holocaust. I'd much prefer taking raiders down with a hunting rifle than working in a cubicle.
Ok, nevermind that, I actually enjoy Fallout 3 quite a bit.
It's not the best, but I had fun fighting giant lobsters with a sledgehammer.
I suppose if Obama invited me to go fight giant crustaceans, I'd enjoy it just as much, though.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
There's no logical reason except for my previous knowledge that burritos rock.
Turns out that unless burritos are prepared by me, some other minimum-wage earner*, or an actual Mexican, burritos suck.
I only eat the microwaved ones because I enjoy hot sauce and cheese.
Why can't I just eat hot sauce and cheese?
*"minimum-wage earner" doesn't apply to factory workers. If you work in a factory, you're a glorified child-servant.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Anyways, I Googled "A strange place to go on vacation".
Yes, I asked Google for an improv suggestion.
Anyways, I decided on Australia, and well...
and this dange
for they only see you on a dinne
And if you find yours
For the Kanga
For the Kanga
Sunday, January 11, 2009
To prove this point, read this sentence aloud:
"Have you pooped a muffin today?"
Now, there are about 15 different ways to read this, but let's just
take a look at the difference in a couple.
If you read it like "Have you pooped a muffin today?",
essentially you're inquiring as to if someone has, in fact,
excreted a delicious baked good from their posterior.
This is the default form of the sentence.
Another is, "Have you pooped a muffin today?"
This is a bit different, rather than asking if someone else
has dropped a healthy load of banana-nut muffin,
you're bragging about your own.
You might as well tag, "...because I sure have" on the end.
A third is "Have you pooped a muffin today?",
where you're basically just asking
"I know you've encountered muffins today, but, perchance, did that happen to involve the exiting of your rectum from said muffin?"
An equally disturbing version is "Have you pooped a muffin today?"
Which equates to "Look, I know you've pooped a muffin, that's no big news, but I'm just wondering, was the number of muffins you pooped greater than or equal to 1?"
Moving right along, "Have you pooped a muffin today?"
is kind of like "Hey there, I know your day was good, but just how good was it?"
Our final example is "Have you pooped a muffin today?"
Which sounds like something either a doctor or psychotherapist would be asking.