tek2way: Nature - Lightning Storm (Nature - Lightning Storm)
..what an oddly appropriate title to the journal entry in which I detail my trip to New York.

As much as I'd love to inundate you with a detailed retelling of the full eight days, I am going to break it up into manageable chunks, because too much of a good thing quickly becomes "TL;DR" instead.

We will start with...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

While some of this may be suspect due to the passage of time and lack of sleep, I am going to hold that this is the truth.. "from a certain point of view," at any rate.

I slept maybe a couple of hours that night, and woke at 3am instead of the much more reasonable 330am I had intended to use for my alarm. Oddly, from showering to dressing to finalizing packing to breakfast, I was pretty much perfectly on time. This meant, of course, that I'd originally subconsciously intended to rush and hurry to get to the airport. Thank the heavens I didn't give into that temptation.

I arrived, printed my boarding passes, and checked my luggage. Turning toward the TSA security checkpoint, I saw why my tickets said to arrive two hours early: the line to get through security was easily 40 feet long. To their credit, it moved pretty steadily, and soon I was headed toward my departure gate. (NOTE TO SELF FOR FUTURE REFERENCE: Your backpack has two straps, and you are carrying more than a pair of schoolbooks. Put that shit on your back, dork!) I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do at that point, because I was probably at least 30 minutes early for boarding, and I hadn't paid enough for my ticket to qualify for boarding as soon as they announce it.

Fidgeting, I watched the sun rise out of the window by the gate, and even thought to take a picture (which became the first of over 200). I was a good little Facebooker, and kept up photos of my trip, as well as posting updates throughout the day. The drain on my battery was significant, though.

Soon, I was on the plane, and had the entire row to myself! I learned, though, to my embarrassment, that the seat belt wouldn't buckle with me in it. I kept my calm, and kept trying, but finally settled for tucking the ends under my loose t-shirt and acting nonchalant, all the while praying that the plane didn't go down in a fiery ball of death, because I was totally going to get blown FAR away. I might have gotten up and looked more closely at the belt ends, but I didn't want to call attention to it, and I was deathly afraid that I was going to get thrown off the plane, and not get to New York after all, so I shut up.

I departed my first flight in almost thirteen years when we landed in Detroit, Michigan.  photo IMG_3002_zpswbskb4mq.jpg For those who have never been to the airport in Detroit, let me say that it is BIG. Thankfully, it all seemed to be in a straight line, with plenty of moving sidewalks to help you get from one end to another. I had to pee something fierce, though, so I opted to go to the restroom before making a mad dash for my gate (I was at A9, and my departure gate was A55).

For the second time that morning, I became horribly embarrassed. I tend to prefer stalls to urinals, because I'm rather shy when other people are around. The only unoccupied stall door, though, wouldn't fucking open. So, with a ton of nerd shit in a bag that kept trying to fall off my shoulder, I sidled up to an empty urinal, feeling horribly self-conscious. While I was peeing, my bag slipped off my shoulder twice. When I finally was done, I realized I'd gotten some urine on my shirt tail. Thankfully, it was a black t-shirt, so it didn't show up terribly obviously, but I was self-conscious until much later.

The second leg of the flight wasn't as bad, even though I had to share my row with someone. Thankfully, it was a thin girl. Also, my seat belt fit just fine, which perplexed me, and left me wondering if I really had grabbed the wrong belts before. They came in handy, because the plane came in so fast at Scranton that I thought the tires were going to explode from either the pressure of landing on them, or the speed at which we were slowing down. He also didn't seem to have lined up his landing, as we went from "in the air" to "on the ground" particularly abruptly.

Going down to baggage claim, I saw Ricky and Brittney out of the corner of my eye, and since they were pretending like they didn't know me, I played the game, and even walked around a post they were circling, so that they couldn't find me.

Eventually, they did, and we hugged as only those who truly have missed each other do. We grabbed my suitcase, and headed for his van. The trip back to Endicott was uneventful, except that I was completely blown away at all of the mountains in the region. (It's easy, at times, to forget that the Appalachian Mountains start up in that area.

We went to the Blue Dolphin, where Brandy was working, and had lunch. I had a burger and fries, which were pretty good. The strangest thing for me was that Ricky warned me off ordering the sweet tea, saying that up north, sweet meant "raspberry-flavored".

The food was pretty good, though, because I must have eaten too fast, for I got a horrible bout of gas. I wound up laying down for about an hour when we got back to Ricky's apartment. When I woke, I felt much better, and began to dig into my suitcase for the things I had brought people (an Iron Man shirt for Dakota, the D&D cartoon series on DVD for everyone, and three bottles of Dale's marinade for Brandy).

At that moment, Dakota came bursting in, thrilled beyond words that "Uncle Anthony" was there. He immediately wanted to show me his "Star Wars" room, since I'd sent so much to him. I was certainly impressed, and pleased that my gifts had such an enthusiastic recipient. Not to be outdone, Brittney pointed out all of the Doctor Who stuff in her room (where I was staying while I was in town -- she preferred to sleep on the loveseat anyway).

(I have to admit, it was a surprisingly good feeling to have someone that happy to see me. As adults, we've grown cynical and mistrustful, and so even the most heartfelt greeting has a hint of that cynicism layered underneath. Put another way, no matter how happy someone seems to be to see us, we automatically assume that they can't possibly be as excited as they are acting. With an 11-year-old, though, that cynicism doesn't have much room, particularly when he cites exactly how long it's been since he last saw you, and later extracts a promise that you not wait that long to see everyone again.)

I was asked not long afterward about playing D&D. Well, folks can't play D&D without dice, and I never had time to pick up any sets*. So, Ricky, Dakota, and I piled into the van to get some dice for the kids. We went to "SoundGoRound" in Vestal (literally the other side of the highway from Endicott). Let me tell you about that place. They sold new and used video games and systems, LPs, cassettes, CDs, comics, geek toys, anime DVDs and Blu-Ray, collectible card games, board games, and RPGs (like D&D). I've never seen a store so certain to get most of my discretionary income in my life.

All that was missing was a bookstore section (and I didn't get to check out the whole thing, so I may have missed something). The clerk who ran the RPG/CCG section had the dice by the Magic cards, and Ricky immediately began to ask about those as well as the dice. Eventually, we both left with a pair of preconstructed decks, and a few packs of the newest expansion. Oh, and we got dice (yes, almost as an afterthought).

We stopped by "Price Choppers" on the way home, and spent a little too long shopping. Part of it was because they didn't have a lot of groceries at home (it was time for them to shop anyway), and part of it was that I was taking pictures of the store, so I had some frame of reference for later, should I decide to put in an application and move up there. Those I told that I was considering this probably figured I was just stressed out, and didn't mean it, but I decided that I could do a lot worse than do some very preliminary legwork about moving.

When we got home, there wasn't enough time to play D&D that night. I explained that we would definitely play on Wednesday, bid good night to the kids, and went to sleep myself. At least, I tried to. Going from a room with a constant fan blowing in cool A/C to one that had neither fan nor a reliable source of A/C was significant. It was cool that night (mid-50s), so I made the most of it. Besides, I had too much to do while there to worry with something like sleep!

P.S.: Oh! I almost forgot. My first new beer in New York was Middle Ages Brewing Company's "Sparrow Wit". Good beer, but I wasn't quite in the mood for a witbier (think Blue Moon or Hoegaarden). Regardless, it was a tasty start to my introduction to all New York alcoholic beverages, as well as a nice nightcap before bed.


* - Sets for them, that is. I have enough dice to fill a large movie theater popcorn bucket. :)
tek2way: Nature - Daylit Clouds (Nature - Daylit Clouds)
Tonight, I played in our till-this-point-monthly Ravenloft game. It was a lot of fun, even if I spent the game being contrary and avoiding combat. (A dwarf? Avoiding combat? Well, when you take a fireball for entering a room, then take some magic missiles going across said room, only to watch your party mate take NINE magic missiles in one attack, I think most anyone would say "fuck this shit, I'm out!"*

Now, while gaming is the subject of tonight's post, it's also not about this game. You see, tonight was the first time we gathered since my last attempt to get us together to play MY game. Well, when the DM asked us if we were okay going to biweekly, I told them I was, since I had nothing else going on. When he looked puzzled, another player tried to explain that we'd missed my last game, and I quickly responded that I wasn't running that ever again.

Our pizza's arrival kept it from getting awkward, and by the time I returned to the table, I'd resolved to explain myself. I told them how I was just really upset because everyone cancelled last minute. I told them how my work week had been particularly rough, how I'd really looked forward to it, and how I fell into a serious depression as a result. I explained that I wasn't against running something again, particularly a new system (as our DM had just explained for Savage Worlds), but that I needed some downtime before I would run another game.

I'd like to think it went over well. We gamed, and I came home, tired and exhausted, but feeling pretty good (I helped a friend do some stuff related to her moving into an apartment, since I am working tomorrow).

The next thing to aim for is getting them to buy-in on another game at some point. Wish me luck!



* - For the record, I actually played that song when I was telling the DM that I was running away. :)
tek2way: Nature - Dark Sunset (Nature - Dark Sunset)
I might've actually posted today, but I got sucked into nerding out regarding a recent meme on Facebook. "What would my class/archetype be if I was a D&D character?" just begged for me to answer in as detailed a manner as possible.

I did it for my friend James. Then, I did it for Cyn. I briefly answered it for Jenna. I did it for Chase, and finished by mentioning something for Craig. Yet, now it's 130am, and I have to go to bed.

Still, though I must head to dreamland now, at least I spent the evening typing out thoughts in my head. That's always a sign of a good day, even when it's gone bad.
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tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - DL - Tanis)
So, [livejournal.com profile] strieson has started his "Skulls & Shackles" campaign, and I believe that I'm taking to a N Half-Elf Storm Druid with the Mark of Storm (from Eberron) a lot easier than I originally thought possible. Of course, my character (Morogh Tiofin, loosely translated from Scottish Gaelic as "man of the stormy seas") refers to himself as a storm shaman, but that's beside the point.

The game was a fascinating one, in which we'd been shanghaied. My character, who grew up on the coast, realized that compliance until the time was right was the best way to survive the situation. As a result, he is poised to take control of the situation, should it become necessary. My only regret was that my attention was hard to hold, for some reason or another. Still, we made it to 10pm, which is a win in my book.

This brings me back around to what I want to do for my next game, or if I want to do a next game at all. Indeed, the "Reign of Winter" adventure path currently running in Paizo's Pathfinder looks enjoyable as hell, what with traveling all over, visiting far distant places, seeing places much closer to home, and interacting with lots of cold weather and monsters. The one thing that I cannot get over is the question that continually nudges me:

"Why not read the whole adventure path, and write a story based on it, instead of running it? You will have more control over the direction you wish to take the story, then."

This is a fascinating idea, but there is something fundamentally enjoyable about sitting down at a table with others and hammering out the story as we go. Perhaps, instead of wanting to make it a story, I want to find a different group of people with whom to play the adventure path?

I cannot be sure, but I only have two volumes of the adventure path so far. I have two sourcebooks to aid making the whole story more cohesive as well. I could very well surprise myself, but some part of me wants a new "cast" to share this story with.

...and to be perfectly honest, part of me wants to create a new story, as a story, with a cast of my own creation, for whoever chooses to go along with them.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - Eb - Lesser Dragonmark of Storm)
This evening, while discussing what direction to take our stalled Pathfinder game (I got serious writer's block when it came time to write the second half of the adventure I was running), I was hit by the uncanny -- and altogether unpleasant -- realization that in seven months the time since our last regular Sunday game will be equal to the entire length of time we played the Sunday game at all.

This saddens me greatly. I'm unsure what to do about it, because we all grow and change and move on. Some got married, like [livejournal.com profile] nyminal. Some established careers doing other things, like [livejournal.com profile] capedory1181. Some never had time to play, like [livejournal.com profile] kheadrin (though I half suspect that our group's constant bickering was a turn-off to his coming on a regular basis). Some have directed their energies in other directions, like [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn. Some quit talking to me, like [livejournal.com profile] makeshift_guru or, more recently, [livejournal.com profile] strieson.

Despite my fervent desire to have that core group together forever to play kickass D&D games till we're in nursing homes, the damning truth is that we are all different people than we were, even 6 years ago. If I'm honest, we were different people at the end than we were when we started playing in 2000. I can fantasize, though:
  • [livejournal.com profile] kheadrin, master of inventive role-playing (clever puzzles and engaging NPCs)

  • [livejournal.com profile] nyminal, sage of rules lawyering (exhaustive knowledge of Shadowrun and a more-than-fair comprehension of D&D)

  • [livejournal.com profile] strieson, virtuoso of battlefield tactics (thanks to extensive Battletech sessions)

  • [livejournal.com profile] mfsfreak, champion of subtle, did-not-expect-THAT, characters (the quiet one)

  • [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn, ace of expressive storytelling (his stories were ALWAYS enjoyable, even when they weren't related to D&D)

  • [livejournal.com profile] makeshift_guru, er, guru of Star Wars, and all around creative force (see what I did there? :) )

  • Rick, wizard of unrestrained chaos (you could always count on him to stir the pot in a game, kick ass dealing with it, or at least die amusingly as a result)
Others played with us over the years (Charles, Rodney, Allison, Heather, Jason T), but these seven listed above were definitely my "dream team". Oddly, I don't think this lineup ever actually got together to game. Oh! Maybe once, toward the end of [livejournal.com profile] lordreaibn's original Stahl campaign. Wait, no. Rick never played in Caeln.

I miss those days. The comaradarie, the laughs, the adventures we shared. It isn't strictly a rose-tinted memory, either. I had some rather rough life issues in that six-and-a-half year span. Those games were my once-a-week escape from the mundanity of life, and to share a common vision of "what if" with kindred souls. Now, it will never be like that again. Even if we were to get together for a game, our approach would be completely different, and sadly, likely incompatible. That is assuming, of course, that we could coordinate a day on which to hold said hypothetical game.

I'm sure I'll be fine later. I was on an Edenbridge (Austrian symphonic metal band) kick tonight, and have listened to their discography in chronological order. What's that got to do with this post? I discovered Edenbridge not long after we started gaming on Sundays, and the early albums were inevitably on heavy rotation back then. That, coupled with my realization, had the effect of reminding me of times long past.

For now, I am going to ready myself for bed, and consider the reality of how life changes everything about us: what we value, how we think, what we say, how we say it, what we choose to do, how we eat, what we drive, where we live, and who we love.

I feel like Something™ wants to worm its way out of my brain, but I don't believe that it will happen tonight. Who knows? The one thing I can say I know for sure, is that nothing is certain.

...not even attempting to slay a monster in Dungeons & Dragons.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (Music - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I)
Today was a cold, rainy day.

Today was also a day in which I recalled -- quite fondly -- afternoons spent standing at a convenience store at the corner of Jackson and Watkins*. It was 1990, and I was going to Snowden Junior High. I had to wait until after 330pm for the bus that would run past the end of my street to get home.**

Back then, I had precisely one (maybe two) expenses: heavy metal cassettes and fantasy books. I was in eighth grade, and my aunt had bought me two novels that would ultimately seal my fate: Darkness and Light by Paul B. Thompson and Tonya C. Cook, and Shadowdale by "Richard Awlinson" (a pseudonym for Scott Ciencin). The first was Dragonlance; the second was Forgotten Realms.

I loved both of these worlds, but I loved Dragonlance most of all. I absolutely bought into the "save the world" storyline. The characters, from gruff old Flint, to young leader Tanis, to the irrepressible Tasslehoff, all became boon companions. We spent so long together back then, that I feel like we still know each other today, despite it being several years since I last read a Dragonlance novel.

At the same time, I was discovering metal. Not hair metal, but metal. I was beginning to explore the more obscure metal acts (and some not so obscure). I was already a fan of Iron Maiden, especially their releases "Piece of Mind", "Powerslave", and "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son".*** I also discovered Crimson Glory's "Transcendence". Of course, there was Dio's "Holy Diver" and "The Last in Line".

Then came that one fateful day. It's a day lost to the sands of time, because I can't, for the life of me, remember it. That fateful day, I read about Helloween, and decided that I'd love to see what they were about, despite never hearing a single thing from them. It ultimately led me to K-Mart, and a near brush with petty theft.

I was there with my father and younger brother. I was just casually looking at various cassettes in the "cheap" endcap there, when a name jumped out at me. "Helloween: I Want Out -- Live" proclaimed the spine. What I felt then is not something that I can say I've felt often, nor can I even say for sure I've felt it ever since. I had this overwhelming, terrifying desire to have that tape. I was so sure that I had to have it, that I was prepared to steal it. That is completely out of character for me, even now.

Looking back at that event with my 36-year-old eyes, I believe that what I was feeling was that undefinable sense of "this is part of you; take it up and realize more fully who you are on your path".

At any rate, my personal ethics won out, and I decided that I'd ask my father for it, first. Then, I thought, if he says no, I'll steal it, but at least I tried to do it right.He said yes (which is odd, given his fundamentalist attitude toward most things). As the cashier rang up my father's purchases, I whispered to my brother what I'd been thinking. That's when the cashier looked over at me and commented too. I don't remember what she said, but it amounted to "now you won't go to jail".
Those cassettes, along with Helloween's two "Keeper of the Seven Keys" albums (and the aforementioned "I Want Out -- Live"), became my soundtrack for the numerous books I read while at that bus stop. Even now, if I hear a note from one of those albums just so, I am whisked back to when I would stand there, pumping batteries into my cheap-ass Walgreens knockoff Walkman clone, turning page after page after page of whatever I could get my hands on that had dragons, swords, magic, and heroes.

While I'm much older (that was 22 years ago!), I still think back to that convenience store and that corner fondly. Even though my mother had just left for California and the neighborhood bully had taken to waiting for me at the bus stop on occasion, I had an island of peace and happiness in those books and those albums, that I think I'm still searching for 22 years later. The days weren't always cloudy and rainy, but they were my favorites for some reason. Perhaps, since it was cold and wet, folks left me to read more often than not? I guess I will never easily remember, and frankly, it's not that important. What is important is how those memories make me feel.


* --Interestingly, it was a year earlier that I sat at that same bus stop with my friend, Richard Grimm, and saw what the inside of a D&D box set looked like, complete with dice and crayon. Fascinating, yes?
** --A little more than a year later, I learned that the OTHER bus I could have taken would have dropped me off maybe half a mile from my home. Sheesh. :)
*** -- Ironically, I never really cared for "Somewhere in Time" back then. Now? I love it to pieces. I can only blame the circumspect possibility that the sci-fi theme of the album cover turned me off, because my love was firmly fantasy.
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 (Art (Escher) - Hands)
Until about two weeks ago, I'd been posting fairly regularly. Things were looking pretty routine, and I liked it. Yet, *CRASH*, here I am, posting about not posting... again.

I'd like to say life has been going on as normal, but for some reason, it's been on a downslope lately. I was having fun, killing bad guys in the game that Scott was running. The story shifted, though, and it was my turn to helm a game for a while. Since I wasn't going to just run a random module, I had to write it. I've always had this idea for an adventure based nominally on the poem by Alfred Noyes, "The Highwayman". Clearly, since the adventure is D&D at its core, it changes quite a bit from the narrative, but the initial story inspired me far more than it perhaps could have, had I not been an irrepressible nerd when it comes to fantasy.

Sadly, I cannot go into more details than that here, if only because far too many of my players can get to my journal here. I don't want them finding it, and I frankly don't feel like locking it, either.

I began hammering out details, but ran out of time for our June 1 game session. However, only Scott and Rick showed up. Somewhat disappointed, but glad for the reprieve (I now had another week to work on it), I ran a D&D Next playtest with them instead.

Over the next week, I began to assemble more parts of the story. I took breaks from creating the story to plot out how the weather would be in the game world for the next month of game time. I also reassembled my "RPG BGM" playlists, so I had proper music for the sessions. Needless to say, I was very happy with where the story was going...

...until I hit a snag regarding a potential encounter. Specifically, my imagination had a conflict with the mechanics of the game system I was using (Pathfinder, aka D&D 3.75). I'm sure I've run into similar problems in the past, but this time, I had a very particular idea for what I wanted and how I wanted it to work, and the game system was not cooperating.

That alone might not have wrecked things, because I can generally come up with some fun stuff on the fly. I would have likely figured out a band-aid cover for the issue, and moved on, had we played. However, only Scott and Rick showed up again. I had been so immersed in the creation of that story, that it didn't occur to me that it was the night of a big birthday bash for some friends of mine. I noted it, knew I wasn't going to be able to go because of my job and an early Saturday morning shift, and moved on. However, the other players (aside from Scott and Rick) either were going to that, or only knew me because of the people who were going to the party. To simplify matters, even though I ignored the party, others who could go didn't ignore it.

What hurt the most was actually that I found out around an hour after I was hoping people would show up. What made it hurt even worse was that I was excited to play this game. For the first time in nearly 10 years, I had written an adventure of my own, and was ready to run people through it. Yet, I was missing people. I became so prickly that I snapped at Rick for dozing off, when we hadn't tried to started before 8pm (he'd been there since around 6pm). I felt very let down. I know it's not fair of me, but I so desperately wanted to tell that story, and I was denied.

At any rate, rather than facing the story again, I have been "researching" alternative game systems that would do my story better justice. I think that enforced lack of writing took its toll. No, really. This is the little nugget of surprise for those who actually read this far, but lately, I've been feeling that writing -- creating with words, even if it's just a blog post -- is becoming a compulsion. Today, I actually had a fleeting glimpse that I won't always be a CSM for a grocery retailer. Instead, I'd be a writer. The sense of calm and happiness was tangible, even if it only lasted a split-second.

So, write I shall.
tek2way: Anime - Valkyrie (D&D - Archer Snob)
This is an interesting one, especially since I've taken something similar in years past, and it's changed. Personally, I see it as more likely that I'd be NG, not N, but it weighted answers, and I was just barely more into neutral. At least I can say I'm not really evil. :)

Oddly, I feel like this wouldn't be a bad choice for the game I'm getting ready to participate in with [livejournal.com profile] strieson, [livejournal.com profile] capedory1181, Jon, and Rick. I'm gonna pass, though, because Avengers reminded me how badass an archer can be. :)

I Am A: True Neutral Human Druid/Sorcerer (3rd/2nd Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-13
Dexterity-12
Constitution-12
Intelligence-15
Wisdom-15
Charisma-14

Alignment:
True Neutral A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Druids gain power not by ruling nature but by being at one with it. They hate the unnatural, including aberrations or undead, and destroy them where possible. Druids receive divine spells from nature, not the gods, and can gain an array of powers as they gain experience, including the ability to take the shapes of animals. The weapons and armor of a druid are restricted by their traditional oaths, not simply training. A druid's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast.

Secondary Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

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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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