Sunday, December 19, 2010

Drow Infiltrator

Drow Infiltrator from Templates for New Players Thread:

Played my level 4 version of this today in Irestone. Still somewhat squishy until next level when I get rogue 2 and evasion!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Endless Night

[caption id="attachment_88" align="alignleft" width="614" caption="Raid Group during Endless Night, plus pumpkin head."]Raid Group during Endless Night, plus pumpkin head.[/caption]

Been having lots of fun in Delera's during the endless night event. It's much better in a group, but I think levels being closer together is better to keep spawns consistent.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

DDO game detection on Mac using Wine

I made a little launcher app using applescript that can be detected both my BlackFire and Steam, though neither support in game chat. Here's my current layout:[gallery]

Friday, September 17, 2010

A brief update

I realized that I hadn't updated the chronicles of Vorian, Chamele, Aldoran and Kascannia recently:

The group entered the underground ruins, in pursuit of the green dragon. They meet little opposition, and found the dragon lying in wait. A fierce battle ensued, with the gold dragon aiding in the attacking, destroying walls and potentially collapsing the ruins.

Just as the green dragon was vanquished, the gold dragon turned on the heroes, who were already exhausted from the battle. Upon his death, the dragon's hue changed, revealing him to also be a green.

"Petty dragons," comments Chamele. "They must have been having a fued, and this one thought to use us in its dispute, and then dispatch us to add to his horde. A good thing it underestimated us."

They then looted the small hordes the dragons had collected, and continued to explore the ruins, looking for clues as to the location of the lost tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali. Unfortunately, they ran into another beholder, which killed Vorian before it died.

Chamele used her new found magical abilities to teleport the group back to Geanavue, where they both have a keep and a powerful cleric resides, who was able to raise Vorian from the dead.

In the city, they learn that the fire giants are demanding more and more tribute. The heroes intend to meet with the leaders of the city to learn what they might do to assist with these troubles. Aldoran also thinks that he might be able to divine the path to the lost tomb, possibly saving time and energy in their search.

Theming with OS, Apps

In my DDO blog, I posted about using Wine to run DDO now. I've got everything pretty much set. but because I'm using Wine, some of the windows apps look like they are running in the dark ages (Windows 2000, anyone?)

Even though Leopard and Snow Leopard in OS X allow some customization, Windows still allows for the most customization of the user interface (next to Linux, IMHO).

So I went about skinning and theming the netbook with the Royale Noir XP theme, and also got a theme for Miranda IM. I also got stylish installed in Firefox, giving me a large amount of control over the colors of websites.

I was unable to import the .theme or .msstyle into Wine, probably because it's not colors and fonts so much as a new shell layout for windows.

Anyways, you can see the results of my efforts in the screenshot.

Monday, September 13, 2010

DDO on Wine (Mac)

I was quite excited this weekend to remove my boot camp partition as I had gotten DDO working very well in Wine on my MacBook Pro.

I did have to install Xcode, updated version of x11, macports, and then use macports to install wine and used winetricks to install directx support and such.

I copied DDO from a windows partition, then installed pylotro and pidgin with xblaze so I could get game detection.

Overall, works very well. I did have to set up another xfire account so I could use a mac xfire client at the same time for growl support and so I could change apps (wine, x11 and ddo don't like changing apps!)

One advantage so far is that I am running all of my wine apps off of two 8 gb flash drives in a striped RAID. Load times are minimal, and performance is better than off of the internal 5400 rpm drive.

I'll have to test to see if my iMic and cheap headset works in this configuration, which would be another boon.

Since OS 10.6 got some updated graphics drivers thanks to Steam, I might upgrade sooner than I had thought.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Having fun with OS X

Even though I've been using OS X for quite a while, I haven't really been using some of the new features of 10.5 or some of the old terminal commands. So, I thought I would give some things a try, and here's a small example of the result of my experimentation.

(The picture doesn't show that the desktop is animated)

DDO-Daily also had a post about DDO possibly coming to OS X. That would be awesome, so I wouldn't have to use boot camp anymore. I bet the OS X video drivers are much better than the boot camp drivers for my now dated Mobility X1600.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spawn of Whisperdoom

Last night our static group ran Spawn of Whisperdoom for the first time. Well, first time for me and our rogue, but the ranger had tried to solo it earlier in the month.

We had some weird lag issues, with a DC for both me and the rogue and different points in the quest.

But, at the end, we took on Whisperdoom near the shrine and did take her down. Knight of the Chalice II for me, and Arcane Archer for the Ranger and we had enough DPS to make it work, at least on normal.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Risia Ice Games

It wasn't until this latest incarnation of the ice games have I actually played them, so I feel a bit behind the curve. But after much practice, and watching some excellent YouTube videos, I feel that I have purple coin collecting down.

My suggestion: +30 jump spell or icy potion of jump, plus haste spell or icy potion of haste, and just totally skip the harbormaster house ramp. Oh, and no feather fall.

Need those potions? Then get coins to trade in for them the easy way (alternate method)

Once you got your spells on, try this!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Elite Sacred Helm

So Cyllyn needed some help. Melkiar was otherwise occupied, so I, Meloth the Balding, and Havarth Wolfkiller assisted Cyllyn. We knew that Shaagah's helm was well guarded, and that this would be one of our toughest fights yet.

We eventually persevered, but Cyllyn's apparent stature meant that my contributions, while worthy, did not help me gain meaningful experience.

Overall, it was fun, but took a long time, especially with several runs back and forth to shrines. I didn't drink all the sp pots I was given by Cyllyn, but I came pretty close. A level 10 rogue, level 5 barbarian, and level 4 wizard is probably the wrong mix for that sort of thing, but it still worked out. Next time, I might bring a cleric hireling with DV to help out of with spell points and healing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Templates and playstyles

I've been using a template for my wizard as I get used to playing a caster in DDO.

I like it so far, but I've found playing solo that crowd control is so much better than straight damage. Yesterday for example, I would have much preferred the wizard in the pickup group to cast hypnotize or sleep than burning hands.

But, people play the way they want to play.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Farming for Favor

It's been crazy the last few weeks, not having much time to play. So I've been playing here and there where I can. Most of this has meant farming favor for turbine points on other servers for those 'first time server rewards'. So far, I've got at least 25 favor on every server, and 50 on three so far.

It's been a good opportunity to learn about other classes and races, but makes me appreciate my main , an Elf Paladin, even more. For example, a human cleric with power attack and a quarterstaff just looks and feels awesome, even if it isn't the 'best' way to play.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quick xp on elite

My low level wizard alt unexpectedly grouped up with my regular group, who were also playing their alts. So my level 2 wizard joined a level 5 barbarian and later a level 2 bard.

I quickly got to 3rd level, and got blur and otto's resistible dance. I must say, the suhagain dancing animation is awesome.

I also spent a bit of gold and scribed new spells. I have a somewhat better choice of spells now, but I still need knock to not feel that I'm shooting myself in the foot for not having a level of rogue.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Leveling a wizard

I must say that running my wizard isn't too bad, but getting used to it is hard.

I wonder if trying to do slayer in Korthos is even worth it. If I finish up the 750, I think I'll reach level 3, which will be a big help. I do have the mnemonic clicky from misery peak so I'm feeling a bit better about that.

I've also have the +1 intelligence trinket and wiz int 1 on my 20 (now 22) int Drow, so my spell points and DCs  are pretty high. Add in my power III mace and I think I've got the makings of a good build.

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to run away from demons and find refuge with unicorns

After killing the beholder without much difficulty, the group continued it's search of the underground structure, searching for possible clues of the great valley and the lost tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali. A literal maze of cooridors, there was some disagreement as to which way to proceed.

"We should go north west from the room with the beholder in it. The beholder didn't just come here for no reason. Someone put it here to guard something. We should focus our search on rooms connecting to that room," says Vorian. Everyone agrees that this sounds just as good a plan as any, and systematically open the doors in that room to see where they go. One room has manacles on the wall, chains on the floor, and a large chasm. They also see a pile of plates in the corner of the room, along with a razor, presumably a make shift eating utensil. The group circumvents that room, and continues past it, suddenly coming upon a gold dragon taking up the entirety of a room, leaving no way for the group to enter.

" I was wondering when someone would find me down here," says the gold dragon in deep, somber tones.

"Well, yes. We just happened to be searching for dragons, as it were," says Casandra the bard with her usual wit."

" I find that hard to believe, but no matter. Perhaps there is something you could help me with nonetheless. I've been trapped down here for several days, trying to evade a green dragon. These cooridors are too small for either of us to travel normally, but if I shrink myself to attempt to escape, I fear he will find me and pounce on me in a larger form, giving him the advantage. But with your assistance, we may be able to slay the evil dragon and I would free from his harrasment."

"Fighting a dragon by ourselves may be too much. Can you assist us?" asks Vorian. The dragon nods, and then casts a series of spells, shrinking down to humanish size, but keeping his dragon form.

"Very well. Let's move quickly. These spells won't last long."

The now smaller gold dragon directs the party from a position in the rear, telling them to go towards the central room of the complex. Inside, they hear a scrapping noise. Aldoran listens but can't identify the sound. "Could that be the green dragon inside?" he asks.

"I am not certain. It sounds like it could be," responds the dragon, as the slight scraping sounds continue. Vorian prepares himself, and busts down the door, charging into the room. Inside, he is confronted not with a dragon, but three bebliths, large spider like demons. Vorian stumbles slightly, wondering as to the sagacity of his original plan.

Aldoran begins casting a spell upon seeing what is inside, but well before he is finished, the bebliths attack. Vorian thinks he may have to face off against only one, as they are too large and the room too small for them to bring attacks to bear. However, the first one to move climbs up onto the wall and approaches that way, presenting as much of a threat as one on the ground. It bites Vorian, causing a small wound, and Vorian feels a poison enter his body. The second one bites him as well, but it's poison is much more potent, and Vorian visibly shakes and stubmles under it's effects. The last one flings a web at Vorian which hits him soundly, immobalizing him.

Chamele responds by changing Vorian into a spider through use of the polymorph, which enables him to escape the web (I think stricktly a freedom of movement effect would be needed, which a spider eater has but is a supernatural effect and not granted by polymorph. In the end, I thought it would make sense to allow it though. Alternatively, he could have been transformed into an ooze and the acid would have eaten through, or some sort of fire magical beast to burn his way out.)

The dragon begins casting a spell, and then speaks in Abyssal, "It would be best not to fight us or interfere, lest you risk the ire of your superiors in the abyss." After speaking, one of the spider like creatures disappears.

Vorian, in spider form, moves out of the room, and then shortly after that a tiger appears, pouncing on one of the remaining spiders, but failing to do any lasting damage to it. Aldoran then chants, holding onto his wooden holy symbol, and reaches out, causing the stone wall to fill in where the door used to be. He then casts a delay poison spell on Vorian, still in spider form.

"That will keep you from getting worse for a couple of hours, but I fear that in your weakened state the poison will be more effective against you and more deadly. Without some sort of treatment, you may very well die. Let's get to the surface and see what I can do."

The group moves cautiously back to where they entered the complex, and they reach the surface after a short climb.

Aldoran, upon reaching the surface, casts a spell, and a unicorn appears. Aldoran speaks to it in Sylvan, asking for it's aid. It touches it horn to Vorian, but his appearance remains unchanged. "The poison is gone, but the damage it has done remains," says Aldoran, and then the unicorn disappears.

"I can reverse the poisons' effects, but I will need to wait until dawn, which is still several hours away."

"That will take too long. If we are to defeat the green, we must act quickly. I will take Vorian to a town where he can get his healing and return," says the gold dragon, who upon reaching the outside changed into his normal size.

"A bargain is struck then. If you take me to the town, I will vow that the green dragon will be destroyed," says Vorian.

Vorian and the dragon leave and return, taking about four hours. Vorian brings scrolls and potions of lesser restoration, as well as several vials of antitoxin. "In case we run into any more of those creatures," he explains, distributing them from his pack.

The group then reenters the underground complex, going back to the room with the demons. Upon opening the door, they see that it is empty. They travel from that room, and in the adjascent room, they see the green dragon, lying in wait.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tasty Ham!

Hey, I won the Tasty Ham Lotto! I thought an auction had sold, and checked my mail and found 10 Tasty Ham instead!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shadows of Undrentide

Well, last night I finished the first expansion for Neverwinter Nights 1, Shadows of Undrentide. Yes, it took me a very long time to get around to actually finishing it. Apparently, the last time I had played was back in 2008, and even then, just briefly.

I remember it being my game of choice for a short time when I was home and Mr Bebop was napping. So that would have been late 2007 and early 2008. Nowadays, I'm usually too tired to do anything other than nap when Gabe is napping too, so I hadn't been playing too much. That, and the fact that it is on my external hard drive makes it very unportable to play on the mac laptop, which is the version I have.

Anyways, enough excuses for it taking so long to finish. Overall, it was an enjoyable expansion. I think I was a little spoiled though. I had played through the original campaign with both expansions installed, so I had access to all the prestige classes, spells, crafting, and cloaks, so there was nothing new for me there.

I had a character concept in mind, a halfling rogue/ranger who took advantage of two weapon fighting and sneak attack to deal more damage. Unfortunately, this didn't work out well on several fronts:

  1. Because NWN 1 is based on the D&D 3.0 rules, weapons have size categories and using two weapon fighting as a small character meant using a small weapon in the main hand, and a tiny weapon in the off hand. This meant short sword and dagger for most practical reasons. But all the cool weapons are either longswords or double swords, all of which are two big for a small character to use.
  2. The interlude and chapter 2 have tons of undead or creatures otherwise immune to sneak attacks. Add on top of that the interlude has a door that can only be opened by a Paladin as far as I could tell, and ranger is looking like a poor choice.
  3. The skill implementation is poor, meaning keeping certain skills trained can't be done, even per the 3.0 rules. So I found myself wanting in certain skills that I would have wanted in my character concept.

Deekin the henchmen was the best of all of those available, as I didn't much care for the dwarf or the half-orc. If I were to play through it again, I would try it with one of them instead, but after experiencing their AI in Chapter 1, I was eager for a change in the interlude and chapter 2. But considering I've got plenty of other games available, I don't think I would play through this module again.

As has been said before, the ending was quite anticlimactic. After watching the end game cinematic for Final Fantasy IX, the end video for Shadows was horrible. Perhaps not a fair comparison, but considering the time frame, and that Final Fantasy came out in 2000, and SoU came out in 2003, it was a little sad. Also, even though I had the graphics turned up to the max, the game seems to be showing its age.

I'm thinking of skipping Hordes of the Underdark, which just seems to be an excuse for a high level campaign, and move on to Neverwinter Nights 2. Luckily I have the Mac version which is supposed to have fixed some of the major bugs from the PC version.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Can't post as character?

Hmm, I'm having trouble posting as a character. I was able to before, but when I choose it in the list, it doesn't seem to care!

Sorrowdusk 4th time through

So, I've been trying to level up and catch up with my regular group, and am still short by quite a bit. I just finished my third time through Sorrowdusk..well sort of.

The first time was on hard with the group all the way through the 10 quests. Except for the last one, which they completed without me. With no way to unlock it on hard, I was forced to finish the last quest on normal. I then went through a second time, completely solo. I did it on hard for the first 8 quests, and then on normal for the last two.

Most recently. I ran just cult of the six, the last 6 quests, again on hard with the last two quests on normal.

So now, I'm going to run all 10 quests, this time on normal, and the very last quest on hard.

I've got enough xp to level to 11, but am banking it so I get more xp on this run through. The only thing that might give me some difficulty is the very last quest with the fire reavers, but I plan to retrain my enhancements and take Knight of the Chalice by then.

After that, I'll be good to go on elite with the group once again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bodak and Beholder

April 9th, 2010.

I'll just give a brief description of the battles, and then a small discussion.

Luckily, these weren't encountered together. Without a cleric, the undead Bodak seemed to pose a real challenge, even if it was alone. With damage reduction and energy resistance and immunity, it was quite an interesting monster. The save or die effect caused everyone to try to avert their eyes to circumvent the gaze attack, which nobody succumbed to. This was a random encounter that followed (Kobold, Desert), which actually made things interesting. They had camped near the nomadic kobolds, and it was their dying in the middle of the night that alerted the PCs to the Bodak's presence.

Once they got to the ruins, the next big battle was against a beholder. They had never fought a beholder before, and it was interesting how things turned out. When it came down to it, Kascannia the elf fighter made all 10 saving throws vs the eye stalks, which I'm certain she was thankful for. The arcane trickster was able to get two lightning bolts cast, which hurt the beholder the most.

So, my question to you is: what do you think of save or die effects? In this case, it was all save and no die. It could have gone the other way around, but for a group of level 12 PCs, I think a beholder in some ways doesn't pose much of a threat. And the damage reduction of the bodak was easily overcome by brute force. A group of either of them would have posed a more serious challange I think.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hirelings for the Win!

So,  a couple of months ago my group decided to try Gladewatch Outpost Defense. With just the 3 of us at low to mid level (around 6 to 8 I think), I think we crashed and burned.

With more money to our name, we each got a hireling and went into it. Level 9 cleric, level something or other fighter, and a level 7 wizard. I had the wizard, the rogue had the fighter, and the ranger had the cleric.

We kind of muddled through on normal, but did okay. The wizard was really weak, which was too bad, but the cleric was able to raise him without much problem during lulls in the battle. It took me a little while to get used to wall of fire, and how to best use it with my henchmen, but I think it went well overall.

Feeling quite good about it, we immediately went back in on hard, and even though it was supposed to be tougher, we all managed to handle our hirelings a bit better, and in some ways did better the 2nd time around.

And then, we went into archer point defense on elite, before our hireling timers expired. That also went really well. The wizard died even more, as it wasn't really a defensive situation, and I was prepared for his actions. I ended up putting him completely on passive just to try to keep him from getting himself killed.

But I think getting three quests in an hour was sweet, and getting the favor was nice too. We might have to rethink our strategy on elite for gladewatch, and might need more PCs rather than hirelings.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Muck's Doom

Ran through The Pit for the first time with my regular group.

It did take a long time for us, but I think everyone had a blast.

We even lucked out and got a Muck Doom, which I traded my loot for (+2 Adamantine Plate), plus an additional 25,000 plat.

I plan to keep it for a while. I'd give my muckbane to my other character, but he already has one =). If we end up pulling another one at a later date, we might sell it in the Auction House and split the money.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ingredient Bags and Hirelings

Okay, two separate topics, one post.

With the ice games, recipes, motes and other items are available to low level guys. But, most low level people don't have an ingredient bag, available for free from the Tower of the Twelve. I picked one up to hold my motes, recipes, and dragonshards, and freed up some inventory slots.

I also want to run Gladewatch Outpost Defense with my small static group. I think a level 11 cleric hireling with heal and DV III, level 9 sorcerer hireling with Wall of Fire and Haste (and extend), and perhaps a paladin or fighter to fill out our ranger, paladin, and rogue group will make it possible. Wall of Fire is key, it seems.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Manticores and You

March 12th, 2010

We stopped our last session just as the manticores were attacking, sending their spikey spikes of doom into the front line fighters, and the wizard casting obscuring mist in order to protect the entire group from the missiles.

This made the combat quite a bit more exciting in my opinion, as everyone had to stay inside the mist, forcing the monsters inside. The 20% miss chance due to concealment made melee combat a little longer, and let the druid's summoned monsters help a bit more than usual.

By the end of the combat with the four manticores which I gave 10 more hit dice (from 6 to 16), I decided to end it. While we could have progressed with the story, it was already later than I had hoped and I was already feeling tired.

On another positive note, the spaghetti and sauce I cooked up was pretty good. Perhaps next time we game we'll be back to our normal fair of pizza.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What happened?

So, I was with my static group with a ranger and a rogue, and we were on the last quest in Sorrowdusk. We had just finished Quench the Flames, which uses the same map.

In that quest, we had a major problem. The fire traps couldn't be spotted or searched by either the ranger or the rogue. Perhaps this was because the rogue was level 10 and it is a level 10 quest we were trying on hard. So, we made it through at great cost of spells and time. And then while fighting mephits, the ranger died. I started healing the rogue with wands and spells, who had collected the soul stone and was going for the shrine. But by that time, the resist fire spell had worn off and she died in the fire trap. I knew I couldn't make it through with my low hp and made a final stand against the mephits.

Luckily, the rogue was close enough to the shrine to res, and she did, and the ranger was able to as well. He then came through the trap and got my stone as well.

It wasn't until after all of that did the rogue get her enhancements, clickies and wands out and find and disable the trap (?!).

But, that is just a foreward to what I am writing about. So we're in the next quest, knowing the traps are a problem. Fire trap: disarmed. Got the collectibles, and the rogue falls into lava. Reason: lag due to slow computer. Can't get her stone, and I am mad at myself again for not having the raise dead enhancement this time around. So she recalls. And her bind point? No, not the ship, which would be obvious...but the spa in ataraxia. So we are waiting for her, and the ranger decides to go to the other side where all the sarcophagus' are and smashes them. Suddenly, I'm surrounded by wights. Don't forget the arrow traps on the way, which we have no way of disabling on our own. either coming or going.

So, the rogue finally comes back, and begins sneaking around, from the start of the zone, into the arrow trap, and dies again. "What, I was stealth?!" I don't really play a sneaking rogue, but I'm beginning to think that stealth doesn't mean you can avoid traps.

At that point, it was better to log off to avoid spouse aggro, then try to press through.

You can probably guess what I'm going to say next: Should a rogue be able to handle the search/spot/disable checks on traps on a 'hard' quest. I'm thinking, yes, because she was able to with the right enhancements, fox cunning, etc.

Comments welcome!

Monday, March 15, 2010

How to catch up?

Okay, my level 10 elf paladin has been working hard to catch up and simply get to level 10 (452,659 xp). I mainly play solo, but when I do group, it's with a semi static group that doesn't have a scheduled time to play. The ranger in that group recently got to level 11, (553,356 xp), and the rogue has been level 10 for a while (476,001 xp).

So, is there a way to make up the 100k xp difference quickly? I think there might be. I've been running quests at Normal-Normal-Normal-Hard-Elite on solo. I've gotten some help from the ranger when doing Elite if possible, as doing it myself is sometimes difficult.

The nice thing about it is that by the time I've run it on elite, I've gotten optimal xp, and if I get help on elite, it's probably the 4th time or more for the ranger, assuming it's not his first time on elite. I figure I can gain ground in about 43K on elite alone this way for level 7 and 8 quests. Add in the repetitions before I get to elite, and I can probably catch up without too much difficulty.

Monday, March 8, 2010

DDO on Netbook? Yes!

Okay, I was feeling suitably geeky this past week, and thought: I wonder if DDO will run on a netbook. Specifically, our household netbook, which is a Dell Mini 9 with 1 GB of RAM, an 8 GB SSD drive and Windows XP.

I knew I would have to install DDO to a flash drive, and since I have an 8 GB usb flash drive that I use regularly, I thought that it would do the trick. I'd have to also find a place for the install files. I knew I couldn't fit both the install files and the install on the same disk, so I looked at another solution.

Now, the other computer in the house is a MacBook Pro with OS 10.5 and Windows Vista. Knowing that Vista <--> XP file sharing has some bad mojo, I decided to use the the OS 10.5 file sharing with SMB turned on. Then I just went to My network places on the netbook, typed in an IP address\user name, logged in with my OS X password, and was looking and my home directory. Ran the .exe for the install (the standard install, not the turbine download manager), and waited for it to install.

(Don't forget to turn off the 'turn hard drive off' feature, as OS X doesn't register the windows file sharing with normal disc activity and will stop your install prematurely.)

So once that was all finished, I let it patch itself up, and was gaming in no time. It's a little slow in parts, especially the marketplace, and with lots of mobs on screen. But turbine was great with the supported 1024 x 800 resolution, and the unofficially supported but works fine running off of a flash drive. A great advantage is that the game is on a different drive then the OS. And the solid state drive helps with the speed quite a bit normally.

If I had to do it over again, I'd get a 16 GB SSD, windows 7 64-bit and 2 GB of ram or more, but hey, it was on sale. And $250 for an ultra portable DDO machine? Not bad.

Any suggestions on getting it to run better? Or have a question? Feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Random Encounters

Normally, I write about the progress the group has made and what they did in a narrative format. I'm going to depart from that today, mainly because I decided that a long journey from point A to point B would best be served in one of two fashions. Either a narrative, where the group travels through some hardships and gets to their destination relatively unscathed, or a series of random encounters.

I decided that random encounters would be appropriate in this case, as it would serve two purposes. Number one purpose was combat. I wanted a session with some combat in it, as the last session was completely narrative, and I didn't award any XP, though I plan to at some point as a story award. The second purpose was to show that the terrain in this area isn't very forgiving. One of the reasons it's called the lost tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali is that it hasn't been found. If anybody could just walk north from the city and find it, it would have been found long ago.

As a synopsis, the group bought some equipment, traveled north for about 8 hours, and when they were getting ready to set up camp, the druid detected undead nearby, heading for their location. In about an hour, half a dozen large zombies reached the group, which they had no trouble dispatching. During the night, a group of manticores came across the group, and attacked them. Chamele cast obscuring mist to prevent their aerial assault and we stopped there for the evening.

At this rate, the group might find it difficult to rest long enough to replenish their spells which could have a seriously detrimental effect as they counted on Aldoran's spells to protect them from the harsh climate.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gaming tomorrow

Well, we are continuing our Kalamar game tomorrow.

Even when I plan on doing a random dungeon delve, I like to have some things worked out in advance so that it goes smoothly, and I don't have to look up a bunch of stats in the middle of a game. However, I don't have time to do that. So, I've got a map, names of monsters that go in rooms, and a plot (*gasp*). So, the monster manual will be my friend.

I'll also be using the Fat Dragon Games paper models and the nifty ceramic walls I got from my secret santa last year. I thought about using dungeon tiles, but I couldn't find an easy way to incorporate them. I'll think I'll have a better chance to use them next time around.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Arrival in Dijishy

We played our ongoing Kalamar game on January 22nd, 2010. It's been a couple of months since our last session and more than a year before our previous one.

The rest of the trip from the coast to Dijishy was uneventful. Walking through the arid but not quite desert conditions towards to city were acceptable, but as they approached the city, they realized that it was hospitable only by it's unique location between the Elos Desert to the east and the Elenon mountains to the west. Skirting between these two easily identifiable landmarks, reaching the city-state was not difficult.

Found on the edge of a cliff, with a man made ramp leading up to it from the ground below, it is easily defensible. Boasting an almost homogeneously human population of 6,000, with dwarves being a small minority.

The group enters the gates, which are guarded by two humans, who regard them with disinterest. They quickly find an inn, and waste no time trying to gather information on where the tomb might be located, but in a circumspect way. As they entered the inn, the only group that seemed different than the local populace was a high elven female wearing plate mail, with a sword at her hip and shield on her back, surrounded by three human males, one also wearing plate mail, one wearing plain white robes, and the last wearing leather armor.

After finding their own table and ordering food and ale, Chamele and Kasandra approach the four at the table, and strike up a small conversation. Chamele says they have been hired to find a more southern overland route to Brandobia that avoids Pel Brolenon and their slaver trade, and asks what the other group is doing in the city, at the edge of nowhere.

They said they were currently unemployed and looking for work, but the location suited them, what with Kalamar to the east and Pel Brolenon to the west, Dijishy was looking pretty good for an elf like her. But she did say that the Great Sanctuary might have some maps or other information about the local area and might be a good place to start their search.

So a short while later, the group approaches the library, where Vorian says to a librarian seated behind a large desk at the entrance that he would like to peruse their collection, and is told it is 10 gold for the day. He hands over 10 gold and is given a large, red metal disk with a hole in the center. He goes to hand it to Kasandra, when the librarian says, "Sir, entrance is not transferable. If she would like to enter, she must pay her own fee."

"What?" asks Vorian incredulously. "I said I would like to peruse your collection, not that I was. I was paying for her."

"Your statement, plus the exchange of coinage implies that..."

"You can infer all you want! In that case, I want a refund."

"There are no refunds."

" Then I want to speak to your superior."

"Very well. He won't have anything different to say to you, but...," and with that he nods to one of the many assistants behind him, who goes walking off.

After waiting about a minute, Vorian looses patience and says, "So where is he?"

"Patience, sir. Some things take time."

"And some things take less time, for example, me losing my patience," attempting to intimidate the librarian.

"Let me see what I can do," and he nods to another attendant, who walks away briskly. "Perhaps you should realize that all things happen for a reason and in their own time." As he is talking, several men come back through the entrance to the library. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

"No, I'm staying right here until you give me my money back."

"Then we'll have to remove you bodily," says the librarian, as two of the men approach Vorian.

"Coward! Sending your thugs after me instead of doing it yourself," says Vorian, scowling as he walks out of the entrance alcove.

After Vorian leaves, Chamele walks forward and says, "Me and my acquaintance here seek admittance," motioning toward Kasandra and handing over two platinum coins."

"Very well. No weapons are permitted inside. You can leave them here and they will be returned to you when you leave."

Chamele and Casandra then begin their search for information on the lost tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali, spending 5 days in the library. They returned each morning, given a disc of a different color, and left each evening. Towards the end of their search, they found a promising book, The Journal of Niemallion Laebrinoia. Chamele spends some time, and copies out to be what appears the most interesting parts of the journal. As she is copying the book, she sees out of the corner of her eye a librarian, who appears to be smiling slightly as he walks away.

During this time, Aldoran had been flying around the environs in eagle form, trying to get a feel for the land. On the 4th day, he begins to travel north as far as possible before returning. He make good progress, and notices a fortress ruin amongst the mountain passes. Before he can inspect further, he notices a manticore. He decides to fly back to the city, out distancing it before it could present a threat.

With that, the group feels well prepared to travel north to explore the ruins and than farther northward toward the Great Valley.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Finished Final Fantasy IX

I finished Final Fantasy IX last night.

I'm glad to have finished it. I might come back to it later to try to beat two optional bosses: Hades and Ozma.

Here's the ending movie:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Still no roleplaying...but having fun!

Well, it's been a while but I think there will be roleplaying this Friday. Last Friday we played Ticket to Ride at work. I had originally gotten 10 people together, but several people were sick and two people had to change their lunch time to do some work, so it got whittled down to five.

We played with the new 1910 USA expansion I got and it was quite fun. We played with the 1910 rules, which meant most of our tracks were short and disconnected, and most people got extra tickets which was a change from our normal style of play.

I got 4th place, because I was blocked on one route and we ran out of time on another.

In other things I've been doing lately: Almost done with Final Fantasy IX! It's been about 2 and half years that I've been working on it, with 90 hours of game time, most of which was the card game while rocking Mr. Bebop to sleep. I'll probably finish the last two bosses to watch the ending, then go back and get the two optional bosses Ozma and Hades.

I got Ace Combat 5 and Final Fantasy X for Christmas so I won't be wanting for video games for a while. Also got a gift of $20 for turbine points in DDO, and I won 500 points on twitter for their Festivalt giveaway. So now I have plenty of points and not much time to play the game currently.

We've watched several movies recently, including Evan Almighty, The Maiden Heist, Julie and Julia, Wall-E, Coraline, Duplicity, The Proposal, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and I think I've missed one or two.