Archive for the “fantasy” Category

Brandon Sanderson is my favorite author.

I have read a bunch of his stuff.  However, the Stormlight Archive has been out of reach for me.

Three or four times I have started reading the first book, The Way of Kings.  Each time I puttered out, overwhelmed, frankly, with the huge number of people, places, and pages.

It’s just a very intimidating book.  It’s 1000 pages or so, the first of 10 novels.  10!  This is his magna opus, a task requiring 20 years, and I want in.

So my first New Year’s resolution (I love New Year’s resolutions!!) is to read this first book.  And I started early.  As of this writing, I’m 19% through.

I’m doing a few things differently this time.

First, I am reading the summary of each chapter after I finish them.  I do this each morning.  This is really helping me!  All the important names are in this summary, and finally, after a couple hundred pages, the names are starting to repeat.

Second, I have a three copies of the map, above, printed out and set where I do most of my reading.  When a location is announced, such as the Shattered Plains, I find it on the map.  This is also really helping me!  I ordered a poster sized map, and will be hanging it up on the wall.

Third, I am determined to break the habit of only reading right before bed.  I need to read throughout the day.  The chapter lengths are very good for me; each one is 20ish minutes or so, that’s about my current attention span.

Fourth, I have the Graphic Audio version of the first part of the first book.  It was expensive.  I love these guys and try to get them money so that they do not go away.  But they make it hard.  5 parts for the first book!  So expensive.  $149 for the first two books.  On the other hand, that’s 74 hours of content!  WOW!  I might do it.  I have listened to the Mistborn books this way a few times, I just really enjoy them.  If they put them on sale, I will probably do it.

So far, I am really enjoying the book, and when a name comes up that I don’t remember, I stop reading and go look it up.  I’m not going to get lost in this book this time.  Fortunately, the fan base for this series is massive, and the content about it is astonishing.  There is no issue finding out anything about the book that I am confused about.  Sometimes this can lead to a spoiler, but for me it’s a necessary evil as the alternative is I will get lost and then put the book down.  Not this time!

I’m pretty excited about this first New Year’s resolution.

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I was finally for the first time able to hit one million DPS on a boss battle.

Our weekly casual raids are great, part of the reason being that my daughter is also having a great time there with me.

These raids aren’t about damage meters, but everyone is looking all the time anyway.  LOL.  So here is the pic just after the boss died, and me sitting at the top.  Yippie!!!

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The past three Fridays have been really fun with this new guild I joined.  It’s pretty casual and that’s just how I like it.  It’s full of old people, of which I am one, and I have to admit, sometimes it is nice to be around people my own age in this game full of young people.  It’s not that I don’t like young people.   I do.  However it’s nice to have a few people around who have used a VHS player before.

They use Mumble, and stubbornly so.  It’s a Discord world, but after using Mumble for a while I have to admit it works pretty well.

Anyway, we’ve been doing Nighthold for three weeks in a row and my daughter has joined us for two of those.

As a shadow priest, my DPS is frustrating.  My AOE is basically non-existant and so I suffer with my contribution in everything except boss fights.  I can dish in boss fights, though, but for any trash I just am at the bottom of the meter.

But the group doesn’t call anyone out for anything; dps, stepping in goo, adds, and I really like that.  Because we only have done normal, that’s really fine.  If we do heroic, as discussed by our raid leader, I think that we will have problems.  I’d rather just do normal all the time, but we’ll see.  I just want to see the fights, that’s all.  I’m so new that it isn’t for me to offer my opinion.  I will follow.

Here are a few pictures.

First pic is the Astromancer!  WHAT A FUN FIGHT!  He is soooo cool.  Love the places he takes us, the stuff he says.  An inspired design.

This next one is us on break.  I aggroed here the first time out, and it was a little messy, but nobody gave me crap.

Here we are facing Gul’dan.  I like this one because I play Gul’dan in Heroes of the Storm so it’s fun to face him here.

Vanity pic.  My DPS on the Gul’dan fight.  #2.  I will take that position happily!  I just want to pull my weight, and I do on the boss fights if nothing else.  I like that the guild doesn’t call this stuff out, but it’s still nice to see the good numbers.

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The family tried 5E , Lost Mines of Phandelver, but it wasn’t a hit.

so we back to DCC.  Last night we made characters, and tonight I finally get to run the iconic Sailors module.  Hopefully it will be well received.

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About 18 years ago I borrowed the Swords Trilogy book(s) from Peter Melman.  I’m just now getting around to reading it.  Although I bought it for the Kindle.  So I’m not even reading the copy that I borrowed all those years ago.  I’m not sure how I will get this book back to Peter.

Anyway it’s good stuff.  It was written before the Elric stuff, and I can see the seeds of Elric and those works in these books.

Nice to be reading again.

Don’t ever loan me anything.

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Last night we finished our DCC campaign.  It ended well – the party summoned a horrible demon into the realm and threw in with him, so the realm is now conquered and oppressed.  And everyone was satisfied.  Geez.

The campaign lasted about 8 months with us playing most Fridays.  It was wonderful having my family at the table, and I think everyone had a good time, even Patti!  The characters made it to level 5, which is pretty impressive for DCC.

Usually I have some kind of music playing.  Last night I played Manilla Road, which was recommended in the DCC G+ community.  It’s 80’s heavy metal, and I must say just as some wines pair well with certain food, this music paired very well with DCC.  Just look at the crazy art on the album cover.  Three of the songs are just fantastic, really amazing, with the others fitting in quite nicely with the edgy nature of DCC.

It appears we will be doing another campaign starting next week.  We are eyeing straight up D&D, and I wonder how they will like it compared to the more flavorful DCC.

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We continue the descent down to the Center of Aereth in the family campaign.

As I have often stated DCC has been very good to us.  I really like these modules and this campaign is 7 or 8 months old which is really quite good.

The combat is slowing down, however.  This happens in most rpgs as the characters advance and everything grows in hit points.  The solution can be to increase damage and cut hit points of the adversaries.  I will look at this.

My one complaint with DCC continues to be lack of coherent story.  I have tried to weave in my own story, continuing with the goat man introduced in Portal Under the Stars, but the party is not asking about this and to me there is a lack of motivation for the party to journey down or anywhere.

I realize this is touted as a strength, and is a strength for many people.  Keep it simple, keep it episodic.  Old school.

 

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Here is an image of me setting up for last night’s session. I have my RPG cats and something to drink.

Excited to Journey to the Center of Aereth with the family!

We have watched Journey to the Center of the Earth (the James Mason one) and are ready to go.

The first session was well received.  I played some nice cold ambient sound and then some cave sound and it was nice.  Everyone had a nice time.  I cherish these sessions.  I know that I will look back upon them so fondly for the rest of my life.  Thank you Goodman-Games.  My family loves the DCC game more than any other rpg by a large margin.

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I have been reading Appendix N material and I must say it is bringing an understanding of D&D and DCC in a manner of which I find very surprising.  And what a delight!

I just finished the first Elric book and oh boy was it fantastic.  Not only is it a great read but it puts forth so much insight into old things that I am seeing in a new light.

Elric brings much to the table concerning Law vs Chaos, intelligent weapons and patrons.  I have always been a huge fan of alignment and while these books deal with law vs chaos I see the roots of the fuller system here.  It’s interesting to see how D&D expanded on it so fully while DCC is more pure in it’s adaptation from within the pages of these books.

The patron issue is fascinating.  D&D didn’t do as much as what DCC has done in this regard.  It’s so much more present in DCC, and I see it directly here in this first novel and it is beautifully done.  It is really helping me to understand the intent of the rules and thus it will help me in their execution at the table.  When you make a  pact with an otherworldly being…you better be careful.

When Joe Goodman sat down to write these rules for DCC it is as if he did NOT read D&D at all.  It’s as if he read Appendix N and made his own game from his own interpretation of that material that so influenced Gary Gygax.  Obviously, d20 is slapped in there as the core mechanic and for that I am happy as I am a fan.

After reading Lieber, Vance and now Moorcock, a fuller picture of D&D now resides within me.  My understanding of urban fantasy, magic and alignment as intended by the creators is so much richer now, I am anxious to read more.    They ripped off everything in their amazing original creation!  Growing up, I looked for the Appendix N books, but this was pre-Internet; I simply couldn’t find most of it.  Some, like Moorcock, was there.  I wish I had picked it up and am not sure why I did not.

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Last night we finished up the Chained Coffin.  This adventure was extremely well received by my family.  I would say it was as popular as Doom of the Savage Kings, which opened up the campaign.

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The module is level 5 and while the party is level 4 I did not have to scale anything down.  They are a bit overpowered due to the unbalanced items they have grabbed – and their lucky rolls.  I might be mis-playing manaburn, they are using it like mad to tremendous effect.  However, I’ll not change anything if I am.  It is very fun for them and that’s the key.

The final confrontation with Boak took 1 hour 45 minutes but I think it was pretty epic and fun.  Really, this module was fantastic.

One of the best elements was Zugun.  He was well received by the party and dealing with the coffin was funny, strange, perfect DCC.  When I read his ending, all were listening.  It was very good, nice closure, it worked.  Hats off to Michael Curtis, such a curious, great element.

The hex crawl was pretty good, oddly I had never done that before but it went pretty well if not perfect.  It is my understanding that Harley Stroh’s Purple Planet campaign has a large hex component.  However I’m not sure if that campaign is a fit for my group.

I had asked if this was going to be the end or if continuation was going to happen.  Looks like we will be continuing with Journey to the Center of Aereth.

We played outside last night.  And that was really cool.  🙂  Patti and Paige set up the back patio and it looked great!  It was nice and cool, things were perfect for another night of gaming with the family.

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Thank you DCC and Goodman Games, this has been a highlight for me.

 

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