tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Art (Hallman) - Runesword)
This shouldn't take long, but I wanted to write it real quick.

After last night's melancholy post about space, I ran into an old LJ community that my friends and I formed so we could share posts that our gaming group considered relevant. I wound up reading several of the posts, and reminiscing about those old games.

They were plagued with the usual problems, from clashing personalities to bad schedules, but I still look back on them fondly. Every Sunday, like clockwork, I knew that I'd get off work at 1pm and head over to [livejournal.com profile] nyminal's place, where I'd sit and game with him, [livejournal.com profile] flumpdoria, [livejournal.com profile] kheadrin, [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn, [livejournal.com profile] makeshift_guru, [livejournal.com profile] mfsfreak, and -- as always -- [livejournal.com profile] strieson. Obviously, the group makeup changed over time, too. Kheadrin decided to finish school (though I half suspect that he got tired of the rest of us always fighting during the game). Flumpdoria moved to Canada. Nyminal got married and moved to Southaven. Makeshift_Guru kind of fell off the planet.* MFSFreak got a job that required him to work. :) LordReaibn got busy with work and church. Strieson is the only one that I could call, and would show at a moment's notice to play.

Since the demise of the regular Sunday game back in May 2007, I've tried to get the game started back up, with limited success that ranged from "almost but not quite" to "spectacular failure". The closest I got was last year, when the game I was running got put on indefinite hold because I found myself promoted at work. We'd played semi-regularly for a few months. Something was in the air, though, because we destroyed Nyminal's carefully crafted Shadowrun game. My promotion on the tail of that ended the whole shebang.

I've since started running a game on Fridays for a group of people that includes [livejournal.com profile] strieson, [livejournal.com profile] air_n_darkness, and who folks I'm going to call J and M. It's not a bad game. Having new people helps create a fresh experience. I'm having fun, even. However, part of me misses actually gaming with Nyminal. He and his friend, R, helped make the games on Sunday -- especially at the end -- fun.

To that end, I contacted Nyminal about possibly doing a game on Saturday afternoons, possibly once a month (since I have to work most Saturdays). He was all for it, and I admit that I'm kind of excited about it. This will be the first time, effectively, that I've played a fantasy RPG since 2007, with the exception of some 4e games that LordReaibn ran (he's a great DM, but I do not like the system; I played in maybe 6-8 sessions total). Of course, Strieson was quick to point out that I played in our Friday game when he started it, but I pointed out that was maybe 3 weeks total. :)

So, I'm going to be playing Pathfinder, most likely in a homebrew setting. I'm going to push for the default deities, because that makes life INFINITELY easier. I'm going to consider classes, prestige classes, feats, skills, background, and personality. I'm even going to mention the 800 lb gorilla in the room: how much do we mine from the old 3.x D&D material? Should we keep it Pathfinder only? What about point buy for character builds? I guess I'm going to put together a list of questions for us to discuss when we convene for the first session. Maybe I could create a "group" on Facebook for just that one game, so we can hash out the details ahead of time, and start playing on day one?

Anyway, it's late and I'm working early, so I'm going to bed. Sleep well, all, and don't be afraid to follow your dreams, even the small ones. You never know how it's going to go...


* - He still lives in Memphis. Maybe the time is coming, sooner rather than later, to see how he is doing, and get him reacquainted with everyone.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Piece of Mind)
I first truly discovered D&D in the summer of 1991*, when I was spending the summer with my mom in California. I'd been reading the Dragonlance series of books, and realized that it was tied to D&D somehow. I got the Dragonlance Adventures book, and picked up the 1990 black basic D&D box set, not knowing what the difference was between AD&D and D&D.

* -- Prior to that, I had 3 chance encounters:
  1. Seeing the basic box set for sale in 1985 in Baton Rouge, LA, when we were visiting my mother's friend,
  2. I seem to remember Jay Timbs either talking about it, or showing me a Monster Manual, and
  3. Rick Hubbard showed me one of the first edition books when I first met him (he also had a killer Maiden "Stranger in a Strange Land" poster, but I digress).
I came back to Memphis, met Kevin Dunn, and learned more about AD&D in general. Before I'd ever tried playing, I was the DM for my friends in my room. No one was particularly paying attention, but I think that I had fun despite all that. I was sold on RPGs.

After that, my next attempt to run a game was the Robotech RPG. By that point, I was into computers, had realized Anime extended beyond Robotech and Speed Racer, and was on the verge of quitting school (long story, and for another time). It actually went rather well, though I brought it to an end when I realized that I mainly wanted to have the characters stay in their mecha (odd, isn't it, that all I needed was someone to introduce me to Battletech then, and I'd have been sold?).

I played in a - click to read more )

I realized tonight that I have no real intentions on going back to 3e, or even 2e. I want to play D&D, but the advances that 4e brought about have made the older versions far less appealing. However, as I said, Scott doesn't want any part of 4e, and I don't want to force him to play a system he doesn't like, nor do I want to run one I don't like. Also, it feels like no one else is interested in stepping up and running a game, and the sense of satisfaction I had from campaign creation has not returned (probably because of one too many stillborn campaign ideas that would have been absolutely amazing, if I'd had the chance to implement it). Charles has his own hobbies, and things like D&D and Guitar Hero seem to be time-wasters at best for him.

So, unless something miraculous happens that gives me access to a new group, I have run my last game, and played my last character. I understand that I've not asked some folks (like Mike), but in most cases, they quit years ago, and I figured they'd moved on, and I don't feel right bringing it up. How DO you ask someone with a wife and kids to play D&D? Especially if, as I feel, we need to commit to a schedule to keep things going.

Well, if you're still reading this, I thank you for following my thoughts all the way to their conclusion. I invite comments about any of this.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - DL - Tasselhoff)
Work last night was not bad, though no count got done until the end of my shift. It seems the opener forgot to declare the office, and just ran the Sales & Cash reports. We did it when I got in, but things were boofed by then. The night went pretty smoothly, though, so my stress level was reasonably low.

I managed to get everything done by just before 2, though I stayed to cover the night checker's 30 minute break. When I got off, I picked up some produce, canned veggies, and tuna. I thought about trying to improve my eating habits last night, so I jumped on the idea while it was still fresh in my mind.

I came home, and took care of some bills, finally going to bed a little after 5am.

As long as today can go smoothly, I'll be delighted.

The more I think and talk about 4e, the more I find myself liking what I've seen. As a direct result of this, perhaps, I haven't really been logging into either of the MMOs I've been playing. I even officially let WoW lapse last night. I think that I want to pick up some of the new source material, especially the Player's Handbook 2. Swordmage from the Forgotten Realms setting sounds like a bucketful of awesome, too. Sure, it utilizes the "threat" mechanic that I was so disdainful of, but the class is a melee proficient caster, who protects his allies by forcing his enemies to avoid engaging him or take damage, yet when they run, he ports to them, and repeat the process. It's a unique concept, and one that seems to appropriately mesh melee combat with casting into a cohesive whole.

Anyway, I'm going to do some reading in the DMG. I have time to tweak my adventure some, so I think I will.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - DL - Tanis)
I just never use my LJ anymore. I'm far more likely to update my Facebook profile for a quick bit of info. The sad thing is that I like updating my journal, at least theoretically. Going back and reading old entries provides a real snapshot into what my life has been like since I joined the LJ community back in 2002.

Still, I've not really been posting. Of course, aside from some minor gripes with work, playing WoW, and just living day-to-day, things aren't really changing for me. I told myself I needed to eat better and begin exercising, because I am not getting any younger. That fell flat. I start that up at least 1-2 times a week, and invariably fail on the days that I work late or (less often) when I'm off. It's a matter of convenience for me. Do I get the veggies out of the fridge, prep them and make something to eat, or do I grab the bread, the cheese, and the hot dogs to make something that will fill me quickly? I suppose before I try to seriously make this happen, I should plan out what I'm going to eat, and make a point to go shopping for what's on my menu. Then, as much as it pains me, I'll need to get up and walk away from my computer. I've noticed a correlation between sitting at my computer and snacking all day long.

In other news, I'm finally tiring of WoW. The guild that I was in was not even trying to progress in endgame content. While we're not a raiding guild, hearing the guild leader say, "it's in the works (or that effect)," and yet never really do anything really sucks. We couldn't even get folks to go read the strats for the two things we DID attempt (Vault of Archavon and Obsidian Sanctum). Couple this with a decided lack of faith by my guild's leader regarding a real life friend and, well, that's that. I rejoined my old guild, Relief Beef, but I can't say that I'm going to pay to renew my subscription on Friday when it lapses.

I got back into LotRO again. What I like about it is that it's like WoW, but isn't so addictive that you can't stop and walk away. I'm on Meneldor with a group of people that the leader knows in real life. Unfortunately, I had lost the account info I used last April when I played, so I got to start all over. :-p I'm having fun with my Rune-Keeper, though.

Finally, I did my first 4e game in nearly 9 months last night. I *do* enjoy that system, for all that it's "not as good" as 3e or 2e. The guys I was playing with asked if we could continue the game on a semi-regular basis, for which I'm interested as well. The only catch? This time, we're gonna rotate the DM activities with the same group of characters, and I, at least, am going to do no overarching plot. Let's just get together, socialize, and kill stuff. :)

Anyway, I work late tonight and tomorrow night, but I'm off on Saturday. Short off day, true, but it's Saturday, and the roommates should be around, so hopefully we can get some stuff done around the homestead. (Though I gotta get a mask before I work outside again.. either the pollen count is worse this year, or my allergies are getting worse as I age.. Last weekend, I couldn't breathe at all.)

Follow me on Facebook, btw. Find my real name, and tell me who you are when you add me.

I know [livejournal.com profile] dragonpurr uses Twitter. Anyone else?
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Beast with Two Backs)
I've been thinking about how I miss D&D for its own sake, and was gonna post an update regarding how things have been going in that quarter, but I realized I was getting unnecessarily grim. So, instead, a bulleted list:

  • I wound up dropping [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's Sunday 4e D&D game, due to work-related stress.

  • My own 4e/3e game was stillborn, due to work-related stress.

  • I found out today that a variety of publishers are not going to 4e, and -- given the public's tendency to use the most current version of anything -- I'm left wondering if there will be a future for those companies.

  • Being really tired cools my enthusiasm for D&D in any form.

  • I came up with an idea for a noir-style Eberron game set almost entirely in Sharn. I've since decided that it'd work best as a short-term campaign (maybe levels 5-10?).

  • I want to use Pathfinder (Paizo's 3.5 continuation), but I like encounter creation in 4e a *LOT*. Enough that I'm still conflicted regarding which I'd rather use.

  • I miss D&D when it was "Dungeons & Dragons" because there was a real honest chance you could run into one or both of those in a game session.

  • In January, 4e is going to market "Power Cards" -- nonrandom decks of cards featuring powers for a given character class. While I can appreciate the utility of such a product, I confess that the thought of pushing an RPG to use both miniatures and cards makes me nervous, and miss the item above just a little more.

  • I miss those days when all I needed for a game were some willing players. We'd happily roll characters, and the action would bring itself. If I had a module, then we'd work our way into that, but the fun was simplified. Now, it's "noir-style Eberron game" or "4e game using a home brew campaign in which the PCs must save the world" or "massive module to take most of the guesswork out of the game".

I'll post more later, and not just about D&D.

Work is a touchy subject for me this week, for example. Let me just say that I'm really ready for a little time off. REALLY READY. >.<;;
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
So, I got some sleep, and still felt a little off-kilter when I woke up on Monday. However, I think I just needed to get some (more) sleep, because I felt a lot better on Tuesday. I am weighing the pros and cons of each system for that Eberron game, and I'm asking my potential players for input as well.

In work-related news, I had to be at work at 3am, so that I could be done with all the morning bookwork by 6am, when workers were to begin ripping out one wall of accounting so that we could get our new safe. I got to skip my lunch (How could I go anywhere? We had a hole in Accounting. I was a guard! :)), and I left at 11am. I still ate lunch at McAllister's, though, and enjoyed a bacon spud. Still, it's been kinda nice, because of today's day off, I've had almost two days in a row. :)

I'm definitely more settled now at work than I was, and I am thrilled stupid about that. Again, as I am going to say every time until I get off my ass and do it, I still want to find another job. I figure if I keep bothering MYSELF about it every time I talk about liking the job, I might actually get around to following through. Still, I am not looking forward to tomorrow's 6am-3pm shift at work. I just don't want to get up that early right now.

Actually, I want to take a vacation. I am desperate for some time out of this city, away from the people I normally see. Since I've used all my vacation time for the year already (surgery in April), I would be willing to take the time off unpaid, if I could, just to go somewhere. My biggest problem? I don't know where I want to go. :-p "Away" is about the only thing I know for sure. I've been invited to go on a trip to New Orleans in September, but I worry that I could get the money together in time. :(

After taking a nap (I woke up too early, but stayed awake against my better judgment), I deep cleaned my bathroom, dusted and vacuumed my room, and got my laundry done. I feel rather accomplished, and look forward to sleeping in my clean bed. :)

I also spent part of today finalizing my "Metal Overload" iTunes playlist: 1100 metal songs, ranging from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to Amon Amarth and the latest from Symphony X, with W.A.S.P., Morgenstern, Type O Negative, and KISS thrown in for good measure. It's not a "greatest hits". It's just "my favorite songs from what I call metal on my own iTunes, with some extras tossed in from hard rock". I'd love to post it, but 1) I don't think folks would want to see 1100 songs, 2) I don't know how to export it from iTunes except in tab-delimited text and XML, and 3) I don't think folks would want to see 1100 songs. :) Suffice to say, I'm going to spend a lot of time listening to this playlist.

Now, I need to get some sleep, or I'll be even crankier in the morning than I am now. But hey, at least my bed's clean!
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - Eb - House Lyrandar Crest)
So, work has settled back down after all that Fourth of July selling. I'm even settling better into my job (though I've not changed my mind about looking for better). I'm even getting to slip out of work early on Sundays right now (it usually costs me -- at most -- 3 and a half hours off my week, and trust me, the mental health benefit is more than worth that much).

Today, I came home, made some lunch, and was thinking about the 4e D&D game I was gonna go play in at [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's place this afternoon. Well, around 3pm, I found myself laying down "to read" (yeah, right). Two hours later, I woke up, groggy and fuzzy-headed, to find [livejournal.com profile] mfsfreak and [livejournal.com profile] strieson in the living room, watching American Dad. [livejournal.com profile] mfsfreak told me that [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn canceled the game at 430pm. I was kind of pleased, since I wasn't feeling up to going anyway, but something felt... wrong.

It has occurred to me that perhaps I'm not as into D&D anymore as I once was. I still love the concept, and the new system (4th Edition) plays very well, but I no longer enjoy making characters all day and picking out gear and setting aside time on a weekly basis to play. I'm no more mature or anything. My interests are just evolving, I guess. I mean, I think of D&D campaign ideas, and I *LOVE* them, and can almost plan them out in my head, but when it comes to actual planning and preparation, I lose interest. I need to consider the possibility that I'd rather write a story instead of DMing a campaign.

My latest idea involves the Eberron campaign setting. When I first saw it, I realized that Eberron was uniquely suited to running a "noir" campaign. I even compared it to a fantasy-based Shadowrun once, and said, "it's great for Shadowrun, but it's not really a D&D campaign setting." So, I have been thinking about just that for the last couple of days. Do a 1940s-style, film-noir-esque, D&D campaign that is focused almost entirely in the city of Sharn, with character races and classes that reflect the harsh city life. The only high society folks will be those that come in for help, rather than being the characters.

My one problem is what system to use. I like how 4e doesn't require magic items for players to be a force to be reckoned with at higher levels, but all Eberron material I have is tied to 3e. I could theoretically convert to Pathfinder, since I still want to give that system a proper road test, but 3e's reliance on magic items will, in the long run, stifle the noir-ish flavor I'm aiming for (Mr. Rick in "Casablanca" didn't have a +5 Revolver of Nazi Slaying that fired Adamantite Bullets). However, I worry that 4e's trimmed down rule set (no social interaction mechanics like there used to be) will involuntarily limit role playing by those in my game. (While I am of the mind that not having a rule opens up opportunities, those I've played with have traditionally used their sheet to determine what they can do.) Pathfinder is more or less an extension of 3e and, as such, runs the risk of bringing along all of 3e's baggage.

Still, should I be doing a campaign at all, if I'm worried that I'm losing interest in D&D in general? Or am I, deep down, so eager to run a game, that it's ruining my playing?

I guess I will just have to think on it, and get some sleep for now. That nap didn't help me as much as I thought it did. I welcome thoughts and suggestions regarding both my plight and my campaign idea, no matter what they are. I work 10a-7p, so I better get to sleep.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
...but I will say this...

WOOHOO!!! NEW DIABLO COMING!!!


I can't wait. This will be awesome.

Tomorrow is day one of [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's new D&D campaign using the 4e rules. More about that then.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Default)
So, I totally wasted yesterday, trying to decide what kind of character I am going to play in [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's new 4e campaign. I mean, seriously. I was reading info on his setting, arranging stats, and looking at races and classes most of the day. The worst part is that I didn't even get something picked. I don't know why it's eluding me so. Of course, I'm tired now, so I can't pick one now (little pessimistic/fatalistic when I'm tired).

Last night, though, I ran Charles and [livejournal.com profile] strieson in some 4e combat. Aside from my own inexperience with the rules, it was a blast. It may look more modular (and it is), but it's not less D&D. It was a LOT more fun, IMO, than a typical first level encounter from 3e.

I work 6a-3p today, then 4p-1a on Thursday, and then I'm off on Friday. Talk about a messed up schedule. Oh well, gotta run. Hopefully, I do something meaningful this afternoon.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - DL - Raistlin)
It has been over a month since I last posted on this journal, and I've not really posted much here this year, either.

Before I go into that, though, let me start by whining.

Why is it that when I'm off, I cannot sleep well the night before? I toss. I turn. I constantly wake up. I get indigestion, which wakes me up. I have headaches. Whatever it takes to keep me from sleeping soundly till morning. Sometimes, it's my fault, as I stay up late, and the morning sun around this time of year gets past my best efforts to block it from my window (at around 8am). But a lot of the time, this isn't the case. It's just an inability to rest when I don't have something pending. As you might expect, this was the case last night.

Anyway, I just haven't felt the urge to post like I used to. I still read it daily (sometimes, multiple times daily), and I comment from time to time. Yet, when it comes to my own journal, I usually decide "Ahh.. I'll do it later." Later invariably is when I'm going to bed, and then I decide "I can't now, I have to sleep".

I've also learned that it's not WoW's fault since, from May 1 through the 21, I wasn't playing WoW at all (I'd even cancelled my subscription). At the same time, though, I WANT to post, because it's nice to be able to go back and read it later. Looking back, it also seems to tie into when I had my surgery (I was definitely posting more before it, than afterward.)

So, what *have* I been up to? Well, working, sleeping, and trying not to think about work. The third option doesn't really have much interesting in it (a little WoW, some LotRO, book reading, movie watching, quiet time stuff). I recognize that I need to get around to that Top Ten movie list I promised back in March, as well as pics of my room (it's changed a teensy bit since I posted that I finished decorating, but not much). I guess I can break each thing up into a paragraph (or less), so you need not read what you don't wanna.

Work )

World of Warcraft )

Lord of the Rings Online )

Health and Fitness )

More has been happening, but it's mainly been the release of D&D 4e (and the campaigns that go with it) and an influx of new heavy metal (I'm particularly partial to the "new" Symphony X CD: Paradise Lost). More later. I hope this isn't too much at once. I want folks to read this. :)
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - 4e Logo (Transparent))
Okay, I've not geeked out on this journal for a while, so just smile and nod if this isn't for you. :)

From a post on Boing Boing, screenshots of the new D&D web-based character creator have been posted. The interesting one is the one that lists the eight classes (it's already been said that the initial launch will have eight classes only, and there has been MUCH speculation about which eight are making it).

So, without further ado:

Cleric
Fighter
Paladin
Ranger
Rogue
Warlock
Warlord
Wizard

I think that's a pretty solid list of classes. Druid? Would be nice, but a Ranger/Wizard with a carefully chosen spell list could function similarly (or Ranger/Cleric?). Barbarian? True, there would be no Rage ability, but Ranger/Fighter would be closest otherwise. Bard? Who played that anyway? :) (Though, I'd lean towards a Fighter/Wizard(Cleric?)/Rogue, personally.)

It'll be interesting to see how these work in play. From what I've been reading, things are changing quite a bit. Anyone have any opinion about 4e yet? Even based off the early information?
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