Map Crazy
By Dwip December 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

As a partial explanation to my players for why we’ve been playing so much Mechwarrior lately, and partially because if I don’t talk about this I’m not going to have any posts in December at all, let us briefly talk about mapping in the Forgotten Realms. If you’ve been reading this blog or playing in my games long enough, it should be no secret to you that I really like making maps, and that I really like Profantasy’s Campaign Cartographer suite for doing so. I’ve gotten a lot of milage out of it over the years, and it gives me some really cool results: They also put out a very nice program that I was really excited about in 1999 […]


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Averted Loinclothing
By Dwip November 29, 2011 at 6:55 am Comments (11) RSS Feed for this post

Loincloth [loin-klawth] Verb, loin-cloth-ing, loin-cloth-ed. Definition: to capture a party of PCs and leave them stranded without equipment in the Dungeon Master’s evil and devious dungeon. Usage: “Oh man, we just got loinclothed again!” Origin: Derived from the computer gaming practice of having naked PCs wear nothing but a loincloth.


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Tired DM Is Tired
By Dwip October 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

In which I’m going to talk about our D&D session of two weeks ago, which I’ve been putting off. I’m going to be fairly brief about it, and here’s the thing with that: while everybody else was pretty awake for the proceedings, I was exhausted. 2 liter of Coca-Cola? No help. I was so tired I was zoning out mid-combat round and mid-sentence a couple times, and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at least once. All of which is to say that there are going to be some fairly significant gaps in the narrative here, because I had no idea what was going on.


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Quoth Admiral Ackbar
By Dwip October 2, 2011 at 4:32 am Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

So, drow have always been one of the more interesting D&D races. Some cool abilities, fun with spiders, kinky evil sex, evil rituals, they’re good villains if you need a villain, or good inspiration if you’re running a particular sort of (rather creepy, really) BDSM establishment. They also have cool houses, being big glowing stalactites and stalagmites with crazy designs, so drow are probably also good inspiration if you want that really unique abode, or maybe just want to throw a badass rave.


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Bridge Over Troubled Waters
By Dwip September 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

One of the ways to add a little variety to combats is through creative use of terrain – a river here, a hill there, the odd tree or bush for cover, and what have you. As with everything else in the Underdark, things are dangerous. The monsters? Dangerous. The lack of light? Dangerous. The rocks? Dangerous. The bees? Dangerous. Bridges? Well, we should talk about bridges.


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On Fifteen Foot Wide Tunnels
By Dwip September 4, 2011 at 3:54 am Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

From time to time, adventuring parties make choices. Sometimes these choices happen during combat. Always, these choices have consequences, and maybe not the consequences you expected them to have. So let’s talk for a time about consequences. Our party remains: Aukan, a 7+ foot tall goliath barbarian and ower of a life debt to Cujo the riding dog; Davoren, human farmer priest/wizard of Helm the Watcher; Gar Rotte, human thief; Lord X, human paladin of Helm on a religious mission to protect Davoren; Oscar the Magnicifent, halfling wizard, follower of Talos the Stormlord, and legend in his own mind; Sancho, elven bard currently following Lord X and taking note of his crazy and somewhat unwise actions. With NPC accompaniment by: […]


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“There’s No Rule Against Poisoning Minotaurs!”
By Dwip August 7, 2011 at 5:22 am Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

So, there comes a point in the life of every adventuring party wherein the DM realizes that perhaps the difficulty under which the players have been laboring has not, as the case may be, been particularly difficult enough. Similarly, there comes a point in the life of every dungeon crawl wherein the DM must ask themselves “Wouldn’t these legions of goblins team up to fight the party all at once instead of being strung out room by room?” What follows is the tragic intersection of these two questions.


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Only Clerics Can Start Forest Fires
By Dwip July 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm Comments (7) RSS Feed for this post

So, to recap, my D&D party is: Akuan, a 7+ foot tall goliath barbarian; Davoren, human farmer priest/wizard of Helm the Watcher; Gar Rotte, human thief; Lord X, human paladin of Helm on a religious mission to protect Davoren; Oscar the Magnicifent, halfling wizard, follower of Talos the Stormlord, and legend in his own mind; Sancho, elven bard currently following Lord X and taking note of his crazy and somewhat unwise actions. When we last left them, they were somewhat on the sideways part of being on the outskirts of in the middle of the module A2 Secret of the Slavers’ Stockade, having somewhat riled Icar and various other rather strange yet heroic feats. Oscar, sometimes the Magnificent, is currently […]


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It Will Be Epic In the Movie
By Dwip July 2, 2011 at 4:43 am Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

In which I’m going to tell you about the group’s last D&D session, because it continues to both amuse and perplex me greatly. Our party: Akuan, a 7+ foot tall goliath barbarian; Davoren, human farmer priest/wizard of Helm the Watcher; Gar Rotte, human thief; Lord X, human paladin of Helm on a religious mission to protect Davoren; Oscar the Magnicifent, halfling wizard, follower of Talos the Stormlord, and legend in his own mind; Sancho, elven bard currently following Lord X and taking note of his crazy and somewhat unwise actions. Our quest: To find the Holy Grail To infiltrate Hillfort Torbold and discover the whereabouts of the kidnapped Lady Gilda Tanislove. For those of you who actually remember that far […]


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A Note On D&D Programming
By Dwip June 20, 2011 at 12:22 am Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

In which I’m going to take a moment out from my busy schedule of doing things in Oblivion mods to talk about D&D for a moment. “But this is an all Oblivion, all the time blog!” you cry. And indeed, you are not far from wrong. But, as it happens, I’ve been running a D&D game of one sort or another for a long time now. Used to be AD&D 2nd edition, then through the various editions of D&D 3 and 3.5, then into D&D 4th edition, and now back to 3.5. With that reversion to 3.5 comes one of those things I had thought about at the time, forgotten while I was running 4e, and is now back full […]


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Dungeon Design Examples, Part 2 – Temple of Elhonna
By Dwip May 6, 2011 at 12:31 am Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

No, this series, I have not forgotten about you, but it has, shall we say, been an exciting month, full of excitement. So, in Part 1, we used Ithal’s Tor to talk about non-linear dungeon design, use of environment, and plot integration. For Part 2, I want to use a different dungeon, the Temple of Elhonna, to illustrate some different things. Unlike Ithal’s Tor, the temple is fairly linear, but the plot integration is tighter and it features a number of man-made puzzles and traps as challenges. More after the jump.


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Dirge For the Fallen
By Dwip April 2, 2011 at 4:31 am Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

Something I’ve been meaning to mention since the move, and the arrival of my Amazon order today brought it back to mind: When I moved, I sent about 30 boxes of stuff via USPS. Didn’t figure it would be a problem, since I’d shipped or had shipped 10 or 15 boxes in the past, and they all showed up in pristine condition. Of this latest batch, let’s say 4/5 of them arrived in some kind of damaged state, ranging from holes in the cardboard to complete retaping and plastic bands around the box. On average, most of these boxes were a foot cubed, 20-30 pounds but for the few that were 40ish. No big deal. As I say, I’ve done […]


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Dungeon Design Examples, Part 1 – Ithal’s Tor
By Dwip March 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm Comments (8) RSS Feed for this post

So I made a comment in the Neverwinter Nights 2 discussion offering to take one of my Dungeons and Dragons dungeons, take it apart, and talk about it, then relate it to building for Oblivion. It’s a good enough idea that I think I’ll do it twice, since I have two dungeons that do two things that I think are worth some consideration. As always, more after the jump.


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Neverwinter Nights 2 Gameplay
By Dwip March 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm Comments (9) RSS Feed for this post

I promised in my last post that I would sit down and write a post talking about some of the design issues in NWN2. Instead, I think I’m going to do two posts – one on the way NWN2’s story got told, and this one that you’re reading, which will discuss elements of the gameplay, by which I primarily mean things like dungeon and encounter design. You may recall that I’ve talked about this before in relation to Valve games, but I want to take a slightly different tack here.


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In My Day, We Called It “Belligerent Dwarfing”
By Dwip March 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

Darths & Droids clearly explains a mainstay of my HS and college gaming experience: In an in-character argument, the characters naturally need to apply the logic of the game world. The logic of the real world, however, may be very different. Being both a player and the incarnation of a character means you have to weigh your statements doubly carefully to avoid ridiculous assertions. This also has application to player versus GM arguments. If the GM strikes down something you want to do on logical grounds, you should argue that it makes sense in the game world. After all, your character just tried it, didn’t he? A character who is familiar with how reality works in the game world surely […]


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Heraldic Shields With GIMP
By Dwip March 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

Not precisely how I had planned to break my latest long silence, but I sort of needed this for something, and it would be wise of me to remember how I did it. So. Basically, I want to create these: Which could be better, but aren’t bad for having started life as low-res book scans. For those of you not in my D&D game, those are house arms for noble families in Waterdeep. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, but they’re shiny. 1. Open image 2. Layer/Transparency/Add Alpha Channel 3. Select exterior white area, delete 4. Move each color to new layer via selection 5. For each of the layers: – Hide all other layers. – Use the […]


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On Annoying XML Design
By Dwip October 3, 2009 at 4:31 am Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

Let us take a brief moment and discuss module handling in Fantasy Grounds II, if for no other reason than the time is going to come when I’m going to want to remember the fix I just did. So, it’s possible to import data into an FG2 game using modules, which are basically archives with a big XML file and some random images and things. When FG fires itself up, it loads up all these individual XML files, categorizes them, and displays the parsed results. Which is good. Very useful for writing adventures and the like. However, there’s a problem. See, in a module XML file, each individual entity, let’s say an encounter, has a unique name, expressed as a […]


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Random 4e Ponderance
By Dwip September 21, 2009 at 1:49 am Comments Off on Random 4e Ponderance RSS Feed for this post

So we just had this combat in 4e. Probably the biggest thing we ever ran. On the one side: 5 PCs 1 Hobgoblin Captain 3 Hobgoblin Archers 6 Hobgoblin Grunts 1 Macetail Behemoth ——– 16 total On the other: 1 Gnoll Captain 2 Gnoll Marauders 1 Cacklefiend Hyena 1 Gnoll Huntmaster 2 Gnoll Claw Fighters 11 Gnoll Hunters 11 Gnoll Raiders 7 Hyenas ———— 36 total For 52 total combatants. 4793 total XP and level 4. Took us about a session and a half to run, which they did with no rest at all. Probably that’s the most epic fight I’ve ever had, or run. Lots of good moments, from Caradoc’s duel with Sir Robert of Norgood to Ziiran’s criticaling […]


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A Quick Note Regarding HTML Logging
By Dwip July 18, 2009 at 1:58 am Comments Off on A Quick Note Regarding HTML Logging RSS Feed for this post

Supposing that you’re running a D&D game online and that there happens to be logging enabled for this game. Supposing also that you want to use the logs to create a summary of each game session, because doing this helped the last game a lot. It’s probably better if you do this, say, after each session instead of, say, after five or six sessions and a meg and a half of log to wade through. Just saying. Also: Caradoc the Mad: so then I made a ranger for the christmas seson Caradoc the Mad: who was cool but died in 1 session to dire weasels Caradoc the Mad: dire weasals Erik Caradoc the Mad: you attacked us with dire weazels


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Editionitis
By Dwip May 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm Comments (14) RSS Feed for this post

Today’s post brought to you by viral invaders, which are at this very moment having a nice chat with my immune system. As of right now, my immune system appears to be getting the better end of the deal, thanks to our friends Advil and Robitussin. So instead of doing what I set out to do last night, namely find some 4th edition D&D tables to speed my prep work, I got sucked into a bunch of people talking in various places about the various editions of (A)D&D, why they were good, why they were bad. Since it occurs to me that I have yet to talk about 4th edition in any meaningful sense, I’ll use that discussion as a […]


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Maps of Worldbuilding
By Dwip July 20, 2008 at 8:56 pm Comments Off on Maps of Worldbuilding RSS Feed for this post

A little bit of worldbuilding work, here. Firstly, the map: Click for a larger version. This is the third version of this particular map. The first, which got referenced a couple of times previously in this series, was in the default CC3 bitmap style, which is one that I quite like, actually, but one that just wasn’t cutting it for this particular project for some reason. Went through a lot of ideas after that, including trying to make up a style based on the 3rd Edition Forgotten Realms map (which is probably the best the Realms have ever looked, but trying to match that style…holy crap), before settling on ideas out of the Cartographer’s Annual 2007, one of which was […]


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Son of Worldbuilding
By Dwip June 8, 2008 at 9:56 pm Comments Off on Son of Worldbuilding RSS Feed for this post

As continued from…the post below. That aside, I really must start categorizing my posts again. Basically because it’s about time I need to start referring to this stuff, a brief reference for various things I’ve actually decided on (or close enough), followed by some actual crunch in the form of races. Races: Aischroi (kulloi/deinoi) – Two subraces, one region. Humans (humans) – With no subraces, but four different regions (Sanagos, Free Cities, Kingdom, Northlander) Ossith (lizardfolk) – Slaves of the Ssithil. One region. Peretoi – slightly changed human nomads. One region. Ssithil (yuan-ti) – The inhabitants of Great Ssithilos. One region. Vargrans (hobgoblins) – The inhabitants of the northlands. Two regions. Gods: Sanagos – In Healer/Watcher/Traveller/Ruler guises. Worshipped in Sanagos. […]


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The Return of Worldbuilding
By Dwip June 2, 2008 at 3:51 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

In which we return to the world I keep jotting notes for, previously detailed in posts here and here. This time with two maps: Overview showing the whole continent, with my rough notes on who or what is going where. Note the awesome CC3 graphics, about which I shall perhaps discourse on another time. Regional map showing the whole continent, this time roughly broken down by races and regions. Eventually, this will become the basis for a Forgotten Realms-style region list, or perhaps something stuck directly into the racial rules when I get there? Let’s go over each of those and talk about them some. Black: Uninhabited Which is probably off by a little bit, but at the least uninhabited […]


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The Fantastic Bookshelf
By Dwip May 28, 2008 at 7:55 pm Comments Off on The Fantastic Bookshelf RSS Feed for this post

In which I’m going to pretty much post a list of what’s on my (now mostly in storage) AD&D bookshelf, and then (and in between items) I’m going to talk about it a fair bit. If that’s not your thing, stop now, before things get ugly. ====================== AD&D – First Edition: 1978 – Player’s Handbook (1st Edition) 1985 – Oriental Adventures (1st Edition) 1986 – Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide 1986 – Wilderness Survival Guide The 1st Edition PHB is pretty much the book that started me in this hobby. I found my brothers’ old copy right about the time I was really getting introduced to fantasy literature in a big way (Thanks for the Eddings stuff, Jason), and I basically said […]


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Cartographica
By Dwip April 9, 2008 at 8:36 am Comments Off on Cartographica RSS Feed for this post

One of those things about me that most people don’t actually know is that I’m something of a map geek, especially when it comes to gaming maps. Now, most of you, my faithful readers, pretty much know this – the whole Cartographer’s Guild thing for one, and I’ve posted plenty of Campaign Cartographer doodles up here. One of the things that really really doesn’t get talked about is the fact that, in amongst my D&D things, I have a box that, once upon a time, back when they were the height of technology, contained an external 100 MB Zip drive. Now it contains AD&D poster maps. 81 of them, to be exact, ranging from the 3rd edition FRCS map of […]


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Worldbuilding, Again
By Dwip March 16, 2008 at 9:21 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

Some of you may remember this post from a time ago, in which I discuss D&D worlds and the building thereof. As I am in a creative brainstorming mood, and as I need a break from beating my head against a certain part of Weye for a moment, allow me to ramble. Coming up with unique countries that aren’t direct representations of Earth stuff is pretty hard. Just saying. So most of this stuff needs to be preliminary until I can figure out how to put my own spin on it. There’s a spot in the east, a couple islands and some coastline, that I always sort of earmarked as “Put some wizard artificer types here”, and I sure don’t […]


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Nuts and Bolts
By Dwip March 4, 2008 at 4:11 pm Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

By now, most of you gaming types in the audience will have heard that Gary Gygax has died. I don’t want to dwell on this a whole lot, but it should be obvious to anyone who knows me that his great creation, Dungeons and Dragons, has had a great and profound effect on my life since the day in 6th grade when I found my brothers’ old 1st Edition Player’s Handbook and started running around in my Macbeth costume for the summer. Thankfully, I no longer have the costume, but I do have that PHB, shipped to me at some expense from accross the country, sitting on my bookshelf next to some 3.5 Forgotten Realms books. But I’ve told that […]


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This Magic Moment
By Dwip December 14, 2007 at 4:09 am Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

I’m coming fairly late to this, having found in roundaboutly via Scalzi, but for the gamers in the audience, I encourage you to go here, and download the audio of Wil Wheaton’s keynote speech from PAX ’07. Because he fairly effortlessly sums up why I’m a gamer, and also because it’s cool to have somebody say “You have died of dysentery” and have a crowd full of people roar in approval. He talks a lot about great moments in his life that are tied to games, and the social aspects of games – arcades in his generation, LAN and console parties and online gaming in mine. And, as I do from time to time, I got to thinking about my […]


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Hall of Heroes
By Dwip November 20, 2007 at 8:05 pm Comments (10) RSS Feed for this post

With a nod to FR7. Firstly, a couple of blog changes, namely: 1. The front page now displays the last three entries as opposed to the last two, to make easier times like this when I spam my blog. 2. Comments now open in a new window, although they do not do this properly, and I cannot for the life of me figure out WHY. But this at least half works. Anyway. This post has a pretty lengthy and circuitous route to existance, being rooted in an almost post about great gaming moments. Then I got to thinking about the character of Jon Irenicus, and said “You know, I bet people would find a post about great characters more interesting.” […]


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Worldbuilding
By Dwip November 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

In that general theme of Very Tired of School, I’m going to pretty much ramble about the D&D world I’m working on, which is so far unnamed. This is going to be pretty disjointed, but I need to scribble, it might be interesting to the gamers, and parts of it I think are way cool. If you see a bit you especially like, let me know. – Unsure on cosmology. Leaning towards very living gods/immortal god-kings type of deal. This might change depending on my whims, but I kind of like the idea that if you were very very powerful, you could become a god, or kill one. Change of pace. Then again, I might change. – Four of these […]


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In That Epic Struggle, Part Two
By Dwip November 11, 2007 at 6:01 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

Post one in this series is here. Let us return, then, to those D&D yore and the Forgotten Realms, and the continuation of that epic struggle against the forces of STD ogre mages and perhaps also evil. The year is 2000. It is the dawn of 3rd edition D&D, and the people were, well, excited. I wonder, sometimes how I didn’t wreck the car getting home from taking everyone to pick up the PHB, considering that we all wanted to see it at the same time. Including the driver. Following the disappearance of our previous heroes into the Calimport Muzad, our roster has changed just a bit: Magnus, Half-Orc Barbarian/Cleric (Cole). An exile from an orcish tribe, and continuing Cole’s […]


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In That Epic Struggle, Part Three
By Dwip November 11, 2007 at 3:29 pm Comments Off on In That Epic Struggle, Part Three RSS Feed for this post

Part one is here, and part two is here. In previous episodes, we learned how, in two months in 1370 DR, the merchant kingdom of Amn was saved largely through the efforts of two groups of adventurers, one of whom saved the city of Murann from almost certain plunder, then went on to slay the feared pirate, the Black Alaric; the second of whom raided the city of Esmeltaran, disrupting its monstrous occupants, then fighting a climactic battle in the ruins of ancient Shoonach which killed the leaders of the Sythillisian Empire. The year is 2006. The edition is D&D 3.5. The time is Mirtul, 1371 DR. Spring has come to Amn. Its fortunes are on the rise, though its […]


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Brainstorming
By Dwip August 28, 2007 at 10:09 pm Comments Off on Brainstorming RSS Feed for this post

I really need to sit down and make my combat map for my Friday game, but I actually don’t really want to right now, and reading way too much rec.games.frp.dnd, so instead I’m going to sketch out an idea I just had, so as I don’t forget it. Mainly, we’re changing spellcasting. The idea is that we’ll take all wizard/cleric spells and split them up into domains that are loosely based on the PHB cleric domains. We’ll want to end up somewhere above the number of wizard schools (to incorporate unique druidic and clerical magic), but somewhere below the current number of domains, so that a spellcaster forced to pick two or three of these isn’t totally SOL, which makes […]


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“She’s hot. She’s pissed. She’s got a katana.”
By Dwip August 27, 2007 at 8:57 pm Comments Off on “She’s hot. She’s pissed. She’s got a katana.” RSS Feed for this post

With a nod towards this and something I said to Sarah the other day. And it sort of describes my week, only I’m not a she, I wasn’t THAT pissed, and all my weaponry is in OR. But you get the idea. And I quote: [22:38] TontoMarius: It occurs to me I should figure out when class starts for me. [22:38] serenadingwords: Yeah. [22:39] TontoMarius: Southern email, you are astonishingly useless to me. [22:40] TontoMarius: What the? [22:40] TontoMarius: Shit. [22:40] serenadingwords: What? [22:40] TontoMarius: 2 of my classes got canceled. [22:40] serenadingwords: Oh, snap. [22:40] TontoMarius: Like today I guess. [22:41] serenadingwords: Better look into THAT real quick. [22:41] TontoMarius: Hey, Southern? Seriously? Fuck you. [22:41] serenadingwords: At least […]


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Draconic
By Dwip July 20, 2007 at 11:53 pm Comments Off on Draconic RSS Feed for this post

A slightly out of context transcript from tonight’s D&D game, because playing Anglaspark the dragon was quite amusing for me. Extraneous bits trimmed. Wherein previously, Our Heroes have charmed an orc, questioned it, and sent it to summon the huge blue dragon Anglaspark to a parley… *Anglaspark lands* GM: So he’s a huge-sized dragon, bigger than a lot of buildings you’ve seen. Curious sort of look on his face. Little tarnished brass crown on his head. Dinendal: Greetings Great Anglaspark! Anglaspark: Why, adventurers! And you’ve charmed my orc! How CUTE! *Anglaspark claps his forelegs together.* joesf (Tanner): does he leap into the air to do it? Erik: He kinda does, yeah. Anglaspark: Now, who might you chaps be, and what […]


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Quotable
By Dwip May 15, 2007 at 8:56 pm Comments Off on Quotable RSS Feed for this post

We’ll start with the actual IM conversational stuff, then move on to the funny D&D stuff. [15:24] Whir: Dried ramen? So you cooked it, then let it dry? [15:24] Dwip: No. [15:24] Dwip: I crunched it up into small pieces in the package, dumped it into a glass, dumped the seasoning packet in, shook vigorously, then ate it. [15:25] Whir: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!!?! [03:00] Dwip: I’m going to drive to your house and beat you up. [03:00] Whir: Fine. Then we can game. [03:01] Dwip: *laughing helplessly* [20:50] serenadingwords: No! Not the Futon of Orangeness! [00:27] TontoMarius: And he’s right. But the version we got was so anti-sucking. [00:28] serenadingwords: you have interesting phraseology. [00:28] TontoMarius: […]


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Pushing the Boundries of Reality
By Dwip May 12, 2007 at 7:31 pm Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

[02:00] Whir: [neogeek] Well, not gaou, but the noise vampire dinosaurs make because it’s like sucking the blood out of consumers. Still trying to figure out what the sound would be though. [Mael] You’re not a vampire, or a dinosaur, or a vampire dinosaur. [neogeek] Of course not, it’s not a full moon tonight. [02:01] Dwip: Vampiric weredinosaur? [02:01] Whir: Don’t give him any ideas. [02:01] Dwip: I should stat one of those for D&D. [02:02] Dwip: Like, you walk into the cave and get assaulted by a pack of vampiric werevelociraptors. [02:02] Whir: Hm. [02:02] Whir: I bet you could do it with eTools. [02:02] Dwip: I’m sure I could. Well, it turns out that velociraptors in D&D are […]


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In the Future Of Mapping
By Dwip January 28, 2007 at 12:59 am Comments Off on In the Future Of Mapping RSS Feed for this post

I’ve more or less finished my first map with Campaign Cartographer, and so feel qualified to comment on it now. So I’ll just be doing that for a time. I realize I’m probably the only one who cares, but for the rest of you, here’s a nice map to look at. 1. Bitmap symbols and fill styles are, for the most part, a huge plus. They look stunning, are easy enough to use, and generally have good-looking varicolor fills and so give you a wide variety of looks possible. Randomized symbols within a category is also highly useful, though there seems to a bug where it sticks on one symbol a lot. On the other hand, load and redraw times […]


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In That Epic Struggle, Part One
By Dwip November 29, 2006 at 4:28 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

Since I keep talking about how I’ve been writing down the adventures of the intrepid heroes of the last Forgotten Realms D&D game I ran, Jason prodded me about posting them here. Since the only other thing I have to talk about is skipping class because I’m so tired from working on my ILS 501 database I can’t think to drive, I’ll just go ahead and do so. But let us not begin with our latest heroes, because that’s closer to the end of the story. Instead, let’s talk about our original heroes. The time, as best I recall, is 1997. The game was AD&D, Second Edition, with all the various game-breaking books. Our Heroes: Kink, Human Cleric of Valkur […]


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Otakuism
By Dwip November 26, 2006 at 12:33 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

I’d love to say I got a lot done this Thanksgiving break, but I really didn’t. My sole human interaction was with the mail lady yesterday, and I’m currently hard at work on my Access database for ILS 501. Every so often you have to do an Access project, just to remind yourself how much databases just totally suck. They’re the Antichrist. So what I’ve actually done with my week, besides spending a couple days so far on this database, is watch a crapload of anime, and work on a bunch of D&D stuff. Well, some D&D stuff. The most awesome-looking maps nobody will ever see, because I am, as Whir told me, a perfectionist. I’d love to tell you […]


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Drunkards and Dragons
By Dwip August 13, 2006 at 12:29 am Comments Off on Drunkards and Dragons RSS Feed for this post

So we played a lot of D&D tonight, and that was fun, but really the night was much enlivened by the addition of a lot of alcohol. And yes Jason, we’re looking at you and that fifth of whiskey you put down. Because, as I was telling Whir, it was like this: [00:15] Dwip: We got Gorm fucking wasted tonight, too. [00:15] Dwip: Evan Williams and Cherry Coke do not mix, by the by. [00:15] Whir: What the hell is Evan Williams? [00:15] Dwip: Whiskey. [00:16] Whir: Never heard of it. Must be an Oregonian thing. [00:16] Dwip: Apparently not. [00:17] Dwip: But yeah, Gorm got a fifth of it, and chugged most of it. [00:17] Whir: Wow. [00:17] Dwip: […]


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On Zottage
By Dwip August 4, 2006 at 9:12 pm Comments Off on On Zottage RSS Feed for this post

[21:02] Dwip: Yeah, if you guys killed this ENTIRE dungeon, I’d be impressed. [21:03] Clyos: Talos has decreed it possible [21:04] Dwip: Is that so. [21:04] Clyos: i know that he wants me to show the world his magnificent power [21:05] Dwip: Does he now. [21:06] Clyos: yeah, he likes stuff to die via lighting [21:07] Dwip: That’s the rumor, anyway. [21:09] Clyos: well, the minute he stops likeing it, i’m sure he’ll come down and say something like “What’s up my halfling brotha? About this whole “i kill you in the name of talos with his holy vengence” and killing them with lightning… well that’s not doing it for me anymore…. I really would prefer it if you would […]


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High On Information
By Dwip February 17, 2006 at 2:38 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

I’d love to tell you all about my interesting week, but it pretty much wasn’t, so I won’t, other than to note that doing maintenance on your car at intervals more often than a year or so will save you a lot when you do do it. Just saying. To reprise last week’s gaming entry, I totally forgot the part where we were traipsing through the snow-covered forest towards the Main Evil Base, and I was like “This is the part where we get attacked by guys on snowmobiles, right?” Rather shortly thereafter, we got leaped by guys in winter camo parkas wielding poisoned shortbows and shortswords. So, you know, no snowmobiles, but still. In other news, I sure have […]


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Bridge Over Troubled Waters
By Dwip February 12, 2006 at 10:49 pm Comments Off on Bridge Over Troubled Waters RSS Feed for this post

Some gaming humor. First, Chad said something tonight that sounded like “I see armored squirrels” or so. Which is cool, because, well, armored squirrels. Some of you may remember a previous episode wherein the party was attacked from across a river by some bandits. Cleric casts a bridge spell, and my ranger ki frenzies and starts charging across the bridge. Only to come to the realization that it’s 30′ too short. But, well, frenzied. So he leaps anyway, rolls a natural 20 on the jump check, but still comes up 10′ short…and then gets shot by arrows, goes unconcious, and drowns. Keep that in mind. So, trekking to recon this keep with undead, etc. Standard. Except there was a bridge. […]


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The Light Before We Land
By Dwip December 19, 2005 at 12:55 am Comments Off on The Light Before We Land RSS Feed for this post

Having nothing to do with anything, except I felt like using the title. GSG rocks. On that note, there’s a Haibane Renmei box at the shop I’m desperately trying not to blow a bunch of money on because it’s awesome. I might have a job soon, though, so we’ll see. I should know RSN. We’re back in RBCiv Epic mode again, and Epic One is up here. Actual site linkage will follow when I get some energy, which may be never, at this rate. To reprise something I said to Whir this morning, which was true in that time, just as it’s true today: “We’re sorry, the enthusiasm you have dialed is not in service at this time. Please insert […]


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Chirpa Clicka Jihad
By Dwip November 7, 2005 at 11:40 pm Comments Off on Chirpa Clicka Jihad RSS Feed for this post

A) You know you’ve totally lost your alcohol tolerance when 3 SBIs is enough to get you staggering drunk. Man am I a lightweight these days. Not that I wasn’t before, but. B) Whereas I was pleasantly tipsy the other night for D&D, which worked because my entire dialogue consisted of “Chirpa clika jihad” and other such lines, which works when you realize that I was playing a giant bug for a character, and when you’ve seen Team America, which I didn’t think was that good, but sure did fit for the session. C) Serial Experiments Lain is pretty much totally fucked up, drunk or not drunk. D) There’s totally a piece of ramen on my keyboard. I have no […]


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Overheard At The Gaming Table
By Dwip September 25, 2005 at 11:30 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

*I walk in the door* Me: Hey y’all. Mel: Yeah, so the hamster thing was kind of disturbing. Me: Well, yeah, a little. I have a warped sense of humor. Chad: That was an interesting greeting. “Hi.” “The hamster thing was disturbing.” *insert chortling* Somewhat later… Somebody: So what’s the plan? Me: Let’s build a steam powered submarine, sail it to the evil nation of undead ruled by a dragon God-king, and take it over. We can do it. We’re level 2. Everybody: No. Somewhat later… *I’m reading a handout* Me: So under the Cygnar entry. Is this “War-caster Nemo” guy important? Matt: No, not at all. Why? Me: So we don’t have to go find Nemo or anything? Matt: […]


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Notavampire
By Dwip December 21, 2004 at 10:29 am Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

Just because Whir did it too: I Am A: Neutral Good Half-Elf Ranger Bard Alignment:Neutral Good characters believe in the power of good above all else. They will work to make the world a better place, and will do whatever is necessary to bring that about, whether it goes for or against whatever is considered ‘normal’. Race:Half-Elves are a cross between a human and an elf. They are smaller, like their elven ancestors, but have a much shorter lifespan. They are sometimes looked down upon as half-breeds, but this is rare. They have both the curious drive of humans and the patience of elves. Primary Class:Rangers are the defenders of nature and the elements. They are in tune with the […]


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Grand Theft Donkey
By Dwip December 12, 2004 at 2:32 am Comments (4) RSS Feed for this post

Apparently somewhere in here I gained a year. Maybe I threw a party of sorts, too. And maybe we played some D&D. Maybe it was even the debut of Tharavel. So, apparently people about half understood what I was trying for in the world, which considering the monumental task, works out ok I guess. So we end up with Cole’s dwarf ranger, Brian’s dwarf barbarian, and Jason’s elf druid and elf wizard, who turns out to be important since he’s the son of a local noble in the elf duchy of Vatan, and that’s where the game is. The whole thing is, the wizard just got called home from studying abroad because he’s needed at home due to the giant […]


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Mappage
By Dwip December 3, 2004 at 3:38 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

Just because I finally got done printing it out and cutting it and putting it together, I shall now offer up an image of the new and revised Tharavel map, poster-sized, 1″ = 60 mile scale. It is, most people will agree, a distinct improvement upon the old one. Yes, those two things and the penguin are the only things hanging on my walls. One of these days I also want to put up a poster-sized version of Justinian and Co. Strange taste in decoration? Maybe. Maybe. But we history types tend towards eccintricity. Just ask Marechal.


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Rockin in the Free World
By Dwip July 12, 2004 at 10:58 am Comments (14) RSS Feed for this post

So I guess I owe everyone an update. So, with the exception of the bit where Whir’s apartment is like 90 degrees with the windows open at night on days when it’s freezing and raining, and the bit where his landlord is rather less than friendly, life in the UP is good times. So good, in fact, that variously in Marquette and Iron Mountain I’ve noticed a few things. Like the minivan Whir pointed out to me that has a staircase on the roof. Honest to god stairs, with a railing and the whole bit. Bizzare. Probably even more bizzare than the lowrider minivan with the spoiler and the flames painted on the front in IM. There’s also the “What […]


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Everything to Everyone
By Dwip June 3, 2004 at 6:12 am Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

Firstly, Tharavel should be up now, thanks to Putty and the school network. Try [EDIT 10/01/14 – Link redacted] and wait for a while, because it’s a 3 meg download. Should be a .doc and a .fcw inside. For those of you with CC2, the .fcw will be nifty, otherwise you’ll just have to live with the less good map in the .doc. Speaking of the .doc, it’s like 80 pages, and uses columns, tables, and all sorts of pretty bizzare stuff. For those of you not using Word, well, it may or may not work. *shrug* In any case, enjoy, and you know where the email is to drop me comments and questions and such on it. Secondly, I […]


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“You never said they were _FLAMING!_”
By Dwip March 2, 2004 at 9:33 am Comments Off on “You never said they were _FLAMING!_” RSS Feed for this post

Since I’ve been promising Cole I’d do this for like, as long as I’ve had a webpage, I guess now that I actually went and did it, I should go ahead and link it all for you. So, here is my collection of the Monroe D&D group’s funniest home videos. Except they’re not on video. They could be, I guess, but they’re not. Oh well. Enjoy. I’m off back to bed. This paper thing is sucking the life from me.


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Trim to Intersection
By Dwip February 28, 2004 at 3:31 pm Comments (1) RSS Feed for this post

I promised a CC2 blog entry, so here we are. Many image files abound. Fair warning: Most of them are pretty freaking large. Understand that these are all a fair amount of work on my part. The Tharavel map took probably about a week of solidly working on it, some of which was learning how to do things in CC2 I’d never done before. Niriath Henning took most of a week. Littlefang took two solid days of work. Bremberthwaite maybe about half a day, because it’s very small and simple. Utna took a good long time, since it was the first CC2 city I’d ever done. The complexity of all this comes from the way CC2 works. If you’ve ever […]


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Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
By Dwip February 27, 2004 at 4:15 am Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

So, how about some Civ? Cole and I played a multiplayer hotseat game from about January to the other night as the Incans and Mayans. The Last of the Mayincans is over on the Civ page. RBC9 is over. We’ve lost, victims of rampaging out of control Mongol hordes. Between that and the Last of the Mayincans, I haven’t got a lot of love left for the Hittites. Too, it’s looking like RBC11 is about over, but it’s got a while yet. Also, I’ve been playing around a lot with CC2, the 2nd Edition Castle Guide, and a certain 1989 Dragon Magazine. Maps rock. Castles rock. Castle maps rock, too. If I can ever figure out how to get good […]


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We Create Worlds
By Dwip February 15, 2004 at 2:20 pm Comments Off on We Create Worlds RSS Feed for this post

It’s been a busy sort of weekend. Saw Fight Club again on Friday with Tali and Laurent, which as always was entertaining. Fight Club rocks. Yesterday involved a whole lot of sucking at pool, and a whole lot of D&D, as Kyle’s being shipped off to Korea for a year or so. And later on tonight, I have the OTHER D&D game, whereupon we all ponder our new level 1 existances. On another note, I’ve been working on my world again, which is really going to suck come schoolwork tomorrow, but ah well. I shall need to attempt to post a map at some point, because I think my new map is pretty awesome. But. Also, there has been much […]


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Interview With A Dwarf
By Dwip February 10, 2004 at 8:34 pm Comments Off on Interview With A Dwarf RSS Feed for this post

You know it’s going to be one of those classes when your brand new D&D characters, begging for seperate lives of their own, begin having little conversations in your notebook. Picture, if you will, a dwarf, of the same general physical characteristics as Gimli, from a race where Gimli is the stereotype, sitting at a bar being questioned by somebody. “So your name is…Grog Halfplow?” “Grogni. But they call me Grog on account ‘a I likes me ale, see. The Halfplow bit, well, great-grandpa Derek was a bit…odd. Took up some undwarvish ways, like farming. Me, I liked the mines better.” “That explains the pick at your belt. What about those massive burn scars all over your body?” “There were […]


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And In the End…
By Dwip February 9, 2004 at 3:12 pm Comments Off on And In the End… RSS Feed for this post

The fight you take is equal to the fight you make, or something to that effect. So, Sunday night. Weekly D&D ritual. You may recall that we had twice previously fought a certain very large spikey black monster with psionic powers to a standstill, losing our robot, and then losing me. Well, this time, we went down for the third try at the thing. This time, we had a plan, however, involving lots and lots of fire and acid damage which it can’t regenerate. The other two times, we had had a bunch of shrieker mushrooms to have it come to us. However, last time we fried said ‘shrooms, which meant we had to explore. So we did. All of […]


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You Only Live Twice
By Dwip January 19, 2004 at 1:24 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

My throat hurts like hell for no reason. I’m angry about that. Anyway. So, last Sunday, we all gathered together for the weekly D&D ritual at Rema and Mel’s. Whereupon our group was hired by the Temple of Antion, the knowledge god, to go investigate some ruins we found while clearing out the demons I was talking about a while back. We’re getting paid 1500 gold per week for this task, which for the clueless amongst you means we’re not quite the equivilant of a Guatemalan sweatshop worker, but we’re close. Anyway. So we go in, start digging around. Get in an inconsequential fight with some wraiths, which loses a couple people some levels which get restored, and then we […]


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Miss Blue
By Dwip December 28, 2003 at 5:07 pm Comments Off on Miss Blue RSS Feed for this post

Last night was quite something. For one, Kyle came back from the Army on leave, so we dragged him over and played some D&D and such, just like old times. He had some good stories to tell about the whole thing. That was cool. So we played some D&D. It went badly, as it happens, but that had a lot to do with Jason sort of not realizing what day it was, what day we were having the session, or any of it, and having to totally fake something off top of his head. “Doctor, I’m having the strangest sense of deja vu. I’m level 8, and my mission is to investigate a strange portal that spawns dog-headed evil creatures.” […]


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Welcome to the Jungle
By Dwip December 27, 2003 at 11:56 am Comments (10) RSS Feed for this post

First, for the avid Civ readers in the audience, I’ve put up a Hall of Fame page with a whole bunch of little game reports and such, including a bunch I never talked about here. Second, we’ll be playing a bunch of D&D later today. Jason’s session, level 8, Forgotten Realms. European theme and all that. So we need characters for this. Erring on the side of normality, Cole and I start with a pair of Kensai from the Oriental Adventures book. Mine’s human, his is a lizardman. They, yknow, kill stuff with swords. A lot. But then we got a little crazy. So I come up with the aptly-named Rabbit Boy character concept. A character, a rabbit hengeyokai (shapechanger), […]


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Sleepless in Sea…Corvallis
By Dwip November 25, 2003 at 8:51 am Comments (3) RSS Feed for this post

One of these days, I swear I’m going to stop going to bed the instant I get tired, then wake up 2 hours later. I mean, I like 4am, but not when it’s being a dick about things. Anyway. Instead of, you know, actually doing my homework last night, I ran into a thing called Megatokyo and read the whole thing. It’s sort of warped, but good in its own little way. Probably if you’re into Japanese pop culture more than I am, you will enjoy it even more. Maybe not. Who knows. Also, I finished HTMLizing the writeup for the latter half of the Tonto Succession Game for Civ. Those of you in Tonto might remember this from about […]


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The Number of the Beast
By Dwip November 16, 2003 at 11:43 pm Comments (5) RSS Feed for this post

So it was D&D night tonight. This is always good times, but it’s especially good times when we’re just at the end of a long fight with three high-powered demons and a high-level blackguard. We had, when we left off, just finished the enemies, losing our NPC ranger and putting most of us at 2 or so hp. So we get the hell out of Dodge, hole up, and are about to sleep and heal when… “Roll a spot check. Erik.” “Uh, 6.” “You notice the dog-headed demon about the time it slips a dagger into your ribs from behind. Take 13 damage.” “Excellent. I’m at -11. I am dead. Next time, I’m finding a bigger tree to slump against.” […]


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In the Continuing Search For Greatness
By Dwip October 31, 2003 at 6:46 am Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

I promised I’d shut up about gaming, didn’t I? Well, I fibbed. Or rather, I promised I’d shut up about Ultima 7. Well, I’ve been playing Ultima 4 all day, so you’re just going to have to put up with me. Today’s topic: The Top 20 Best Games of All Time. Why that, you ask? Because I’ve been reading this and I felt like it. So here we are. This will be slightly unconventional, as Sirian’s list is one of video games. Mine is one of all games, period. I’m funny like that. Also, this is no real order, as I lack the patience to categorize to that degree. So. 1. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Second Edition (TSR, 1989): I […]


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The Perfect Drug
By Dwip October 27, 2003 at 12:28 am Comments (8) RSS Feed for this post

Or it comes pretty damn close, anyway. Lotta gaming lately. Lotta studying, too, but lotta gaming. I feel like I’m taking that whole work hard/play hard thing to heart now. Other night, Thursday I want to say, Whir introduced me to Vampire: The Masquerade. That there, and pardon my French, is some fucked up shit. But it’s fun. Being as how I didn’t even know the rules or anything, I just made a character up something or another like me. We start in Corvallis. Walk out of my dorm room, get, uh, recruited by a vampire to be his, um, archivist. I get a nice gory death scene. This is good. There’s a nifty scene in which he’s like “Well, […]


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Transcending the Role
By Dwip September 17, 2003 at 4:59 am Comments (2) RSS Feed for this post

Much to say, and it’s all me and roleplaying games. So those of you what don’t play em, sorry. But just for Whir, I played MW3, and you didn’t, so nyah. So this last Sunday I got invited to play in the D&D campaign that Rema (who runs the MW:DA games I’m in) runs, and Griselda (of RBCiv fame, and who I think has been lurking here without saying hi… ;)) plays in, along with a couple of the other MW:DA folks and another guy I didn’t really know. Needless to say, I accepted. Please, don’t twist my arm too hard… ;) The character I come up with is a diplomat/spy type rogue, grew up in the streets but is […]


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An Update
By Dwip August 15, 2003 at 3:11 am Comments Off on An Update RSS Feed for this post

So I needed a break from figuring out the convoluted early history of Elven civilization in Duranth. I hate it when I totally abandon actual historical lessons and have to deal with thousand-year wars. Gah. Anyway. I’ve started playing HRE again. Firebird gave me his writeup, and hopefully Marechal will have that and his own writeup ready to post soon. As for me, I’ve a 17 y/o Emperor with a broke province to deal with. Aeeyah. One of these days we might even play some Tharavel, except for how everybody’s being assholish about giving me characters. So maybe not. Oh well. Until then, there’s MWDA. So I picked up my last week’s Fellowship prize yesterday. A 4-pack of limited edition […]


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Bzzzzzzt
By Dwip August 8, 2003 at 7:50 pm Comments Off on Bzzzzzzt RSS Feed for this post

So the power went out today. Right in the middle of writing a huge forum post. Stupid power lines. I HATE not having power. Also: The slightly insane pair of moon elves I’m driving around by Evereska in Whir’s D&D adventure is fun.


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Heh
By Dwip May 9, 2003 at 11:09 am Comments Off on Heh RSS Feed for this post

With some form of apologies attached, I offer two quotes: “Jesus saves, and and takes half damage.” “Jesus saves, roll for initiative.” It’s a D&D thing.


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