Category Archives: #GamerGate

DM Player Gameplay recap, weekend of 9-10 Apr

Item:  Lost Mine of Phandelver; Playing as Linka; Sat 9 Apr 16

Sometimes I wish that Mr. Murphy was a real person so I can kill him.  I could just see my overweight ass sneak up behind him and pull a Richard Marcinko.  Shanky shanky Mcstabstab.

I knew this day will go to shit when the lawn mower broke just as I was about to mow my parent’s lawn.  But imagine my consternation when the time came for that night’s session and my main computer won’t connect to the Internet.  It’s Wireless connector (I needed to use Wireless over at my parents) had a Code 101 (My way of saying that something’s not working because of something I have no clue over, which eventually fixes itself for no good reason. It’s taken from Disney Castmember lingo for something that’s out of order) and it took most of that night, and the session, to decide to be working again.

So I didn’t have a recording of Saturday’s session, which is sad, because DM Denzil, the rules lawyer, found out something I learned long ago in my DMing career:  The most epic of TPKs you’ll ever have will end up being thwarted.

At least the thwart wasn’t in record time.

But was by thwarted by the resident pervert in the group.

Clair Valentine, as you’ve seen in the previous week, is the bard who has befriended countless animals using Animal Handling in the forests toward Thundertree.  By the time the party arrived, she has amasses a small menagerie of a pack of wolves and an owlbear.

God as my witness, I couldn’t make this up.  I was afraid that she would charm Linka, and what she’ll do with the panda.  This is the same player who plays a lesbian bard who wants to get it on with every tiefling she sees—including Vanifer!!—and thought that attuning to an orb of dragonkind that beefs up performance but will turn you into an evil elder dragon if you every perform is a good idea.

That would be the Bonehead PC move of the week if it weren’t for what happened last session:  Thundertree is a sticking point in my attempts in Lost Mine of Phandelver because of that Green Dragon.  It created a TPK last time I was in it.  Imagine my facepalm when one of the party members walked up to Thundertree and yelled out, at top lung, “Is there anybody in here!?”

Cue every creature in the abandoned village.  Twig Blight, [My style of] Zombie, and Green Fucking Elder Dragon.  All making a beeline toward the party, and making me wish that I could invoke PVP mode but Linka would never think of that.  At least there was a tavern with a forgotten stash of brew for her to drink and, as I normally do, ride through the storm.

Of course that won’t work when the dragon comes crashing from above.

That’s when Denzil found out about something that Wolves have called ‘Pack Tactics,’ where the wolves can charge over and attack with advantage, and their collective bites can bring down even a dragon the size of a large house!  With the dragon prone, the party makes short work of the dragon.  In spite of poison breath taking down a couple PCs including Linka.  Putting Denzil into a familiar emotion for me; that you make an encounter that is sure to TPK only to have the party surprise you in actually succeeding.

Don’t feel bad, Denzil.  I’ve been at this game or three years, and my TPK count is at 1.

The party is then able to play Hot Gates with the riff raff—did you forget about the three dozen twig blights and zombies while all this is going on—and funnel them through the staircase from outside the tavern basement and pick them off King Leonidas style.  Sparta would be proud.

And an all-too-human chill flowed over DM Denzil’s soul.  The sheer amount of XP earned brought everyone up to Level 5 (Only because I invoked my DM’s award where—as decided on in this table—everyone gets the bonus XP when I cash one in.) Also, Linka got ahold of an Apparatus of Kawalish which she’ll use for traveling, on top of a metric boatload of gold for any magic items she might need.  (I definitely need to get her a +1 Quarterstaff or Silvered Brass Knuckles.

I’ll decide over the week.

Warning:  Political Content Ahead

I had to console Spacehamzter over the weekend.  As you know, I rarely get political here, instead taking it to Google Plus for my bitching.  However, this spilled onto sacred grounds.

I’m glad to say that I’ve got Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition I off of a Steam Sale.  Especially after what they did to a DLC I will never buy, Siege of Dragonspear.  I want to put this out there on the record and state what most of us who are up in arms about this dungheap add-on are all about:

We are not bitching because of a Trans character.  We who play and DM Dungeons and Dragons have met at least one Trans NPC during our combined campaigns.  We don’t give a fuck about Trans NPCs, most of us wouldn’t care whatever or not a NPC is trans, a fellow player can make a Trans PC and we won’t give a rat king’s collective ass about said PC as long as he’s* good in a fight.  (Note: I default to Cis Male Pronouns as a writing convention.  Look at the warning on the left if this triggers you, and get out more.)

What we are bitching about is the gross disregard of what is known in some parts as “Character Integrity.”  In the Siege of Dragonspear, they changed three important characters to fit their feminist agenda and to rip at Gamergate.

One of the characters changed was Minsc.  The Beloved Ranger.

That, to many D&D players, is the equivalent of high blasphemy. You can draw a picture of Mohammad while shitting on a Koran, wrapped in bacon and wearing a carved out Pig’s head, and you will be more redeemable than making a much-adored character talking smack about “Ethics in [games] Journalism,” something that ­does not fucking exist in Faerun!!

This is the same problem Marvel got when they made Jane Foster into Thorina. A female Thor we didn’t mind. We complained about a female replacement for Thor. There were perfectly vacated Superheroes they can do a Rule 63 on without anyone raising a stink. But they pushed Thorina up against everyone’s faces and said “You’re a misogynist pig if you don’t like it.”

Minsc is intended to be too addled-minded to be interested in politics by design. (That’s a topic best left for Boo, IMHO) Safana is intended to be a tease by design. The whole Forgotten Realms does not have the same environment that our world has or–thank God–the world that Beamdog lives in, by design. Changing that is what got Beamdog in as much hot water, and none other. We don’t care if there’s a trans NPC in Siege of Dragonspear. We do care about Minsc being co-opted by SJW prissants! If that is too much for you to wrap your head around, then I can’t believe that you actually coded that game, because you do not understand the words that are coming out of my mouth.  That, and I have no intention of spending my money for your so-called ‘Game,’ in fact, I wouldn’t even torrent Siege of Dragonspear because it’s not even worth the electrons used in the illegal act.

You are not worth my money, Beamdog.  If this means we’ll never have a Baldur’s Gate III, so bet it.  I have RPG Maker MV, I can get by.

Now then, back to our original programming.

Item:  Hoard of the Dragon Queen; Playing as Justin; 10 Apr 16

Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqnA–9Rgwk

Ever heard of the saying, “When opening a door where you know someone’s waiting on the other side, lob in a grenade first to ensure friendly reception?”

That is essentially the first part of this session.  When the party came up to the mill house in Greenrest, they discovered that there is a small group of raiders waiting for them inside.  After a lengthy discussion that took up way too much time, they decided to do a rather modern ‘Breach and Clear’ technique.  I had Justin make up a potion version of the Flash Bang; something I had to add to my character material on the fly.  Justin would toss it in where, when it breaks, creates a blinding light for 30’ and produces a deafening bang, everyone in the room must make a CON Spell Save DC or be stunned for one minute.

Justin would throw in that flash bang potion a la Gauntlet 2 into that mill and have the others take the feebs down.

Fine time to roll a Nat 1, if you ask me.

Fuck You, Murphy.

Fortunately, the other players can pick up the slack, and I got Justin moved to another vantage point so he can snipe.  All in all, I’m developing the Æthercoil Engineer class with Justin here.

The other half of the session, where we dealt with rescuing the clerics of Chantea from a siege-in-progress chapel, moved faster.  That’s where Justin found something that will provide some well-needed character development.  He got a good chunk of magical ore that, when forged into a weapon, will provide an additional offense against Evil-aligned beings—including Dragon Cultists.  Whatever this weapon becomes is up in the air.

I would have it be a gun, but I don’t know if the DM would permit it.

Week of 7-13 Feb 16, part 3

Item: Princes of the Apocalypse, 12 Feb 16

Video Export: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdRcjIHCSxeR6pKmTJvFEUMmFR9lWYSG

Trigger Warning: For some people, this is the best D&D session ever!

I say this because some people think it’s because of some prime action, or a major plot point, or a beginning or conclusion of an epic storyline. Apparently, there’s a part of me who thinks that a D&D session isn’t good unless I’m hiding behind the dungeon master’s screen laughing and crying at the same time, feeling the insanity of my players like Steve Harvey’s Family Feud. This has got to rank up here with the infamous ‘-cupine’ incident.

It started innocent enough, though. The party progressed toward the third elemental weapon.

I should’ve seen that I’m going to have quite a time when the RNG gave me a dragon encounter, and not just any dragon encounter.

Remember that young green dragon who got blown into the Dessarin Valley? From Dreams of the Red Wizards?

Guess what the Princes of the Apocalypse party met.

Fortunately, the dragon was in no mood to attack. He was too woozy and disoriented to fight. The party decided to make friends with the wyrm, offering it a small allotment of coin and even sending a healing spell that way.

At this point, I have to put up one of my hidden rules in campaign design: No Two Dragons are alike.   Just because they’re a chromatic doesn’t mean that they are cookie cutter identical in temperament and personality. Some Chromatics are good, and some Metallics will end up evil. With this dragon, he just wanted to set up a simple hoard and live somewhat unmolested by adventurers. He’d might go as far as to say, “Listen, if I hand you a weapon from my horde, would you’d just leave?”

I don’t know if he’d do that, but he will remember the party’s good deed, and will return the favor in a future session. Oh, and by the way, and there’s always an ‘oh by the way,’ that qualified as a non-violent resolution: The XP for that encounter got doubled. I reward those who think outside of the “Open Door, Kill Feeb, Take Treasure, Lather, Rinse, Repeat,” mentality.

It’s part of how I design the Living Parnast series.

The campaign went on toward Beliard and a nearby marina where I had some boats ready for the party; the wizard who made the Stone to Flesh spell offered the party the boats and a Stone to Flesh scroll for their troubles.

I didn’t see the danger sign when they arrived into the dungeon where the water weapon is located. I did see the sign that said that the weapon is behind two locks, and the party has to find two keys to unlock it.

Then the party walked into an Earth Elemental, just minding its own business.

The new lady in the game (and yes, there are women on the internet and they play games that I DM in—Fuck You, Anita!) cast Plant Growth on it.

Producing Catnip. And Marijuana. And Poppies. And Mushrooms. And I think someone was making LSD in the corner just for kicks.

Note that one of the members of the party is a catfolk during this.

Also, I haven’t even touched the part about the two druid characters wanting to get it on every five minutes!

The video speaks for itself. I couldn’t Dungeon Master for thirty whole minutes because I was too busy laughing. I was on the floor laughing. I was laughing like someone who has completely lost all sense of reason, the kind of laugh that makes people want to call ‘those nice men in those clean white coats’ to take me away, but I was having the best laugh I had in months.

It was hilarious, and offensive, and funny, and irrelevant, and a riot, and righteous, and good. That is what this game means to me, that I don’t have to even stay on any track and still claim to have a good time.

I might never be admitted into any D&D Hall of Fame as a Dungeon Master, I might not even make a living off of it. I might be content to just break even with Living Parnast, but it’s a thing I enjoy doing, which makes it—and scenes like this—all worthwhile.

The number one rule of being a DM is that, above all, make sure that the players are having a good time. It’s different in each group I’m in, and it will be more apparent now that I’m saving the streams on YouTube. If the party isn’t having fun and having a good time with their three hours and change they’re giving here, what’s the point?

It sure beats whipping each other into a political fevered frenzy over some candidate they’ve been told that their existence is intolerable to them personally, right?

Cthulhu 2016

 

Sword Coast Legends PC: Marcie

Marcie Character DesignGranted, I might not have an exact match with the Sword Coast Legends program, and the options I have there–I’ve yet to find a dress there like in Neverwinter–but this is going to be the first of my four gal team which I’ll be putting through the single player campaign in the game.

Marcie’s been around for some time, and is the title character of an RPG Maker project which I’ve set in Cormyr, which combines DDO’s Menance of the Underdark campaign with the classic D&D cartoon.  (She comes to Faerun through an abandoned and run down version of the Dark Ride.)  Design-wise, you can see parts of Gamergate Mascot Vivian James and you can say that Marcie’s my take on her.

I’ve included a page on her in the Sword Coast Legends subpage, which will grow to include three more PCs and information of my first module created for SCL.  Once I figure out how campaign creation works, that is.  I feel that the HeadStart version of SCL doesn’t include everything I need to create campaigns.)

Dreams of the Red Wizards Recap, 23 JUL 15

Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Red Dragon NPCs, disgruntled players, and DMs who just want to have fun.

By now the Scourge of the Red Wizards campaign has reached halftime. The first two dungeons were taken care of, and there’s some lighter role playing fare to deal with before the other two is dealt with. In the meantime, the party has discovered a basement with a Red Dragon Wyrmling inside. A dragon that the party succeeds to befriend, and a special Pandaren brew book, so much that Chou, the Pandaren Brewmaster, can go on to be the tavernmaster to the tavern the party has…

Just in time for the player of Chou to bail from the campaign.

I think I mentioned this before: Since this is my first Roll20 Virtual Table campaign, I would expect players to join in, find out more about me as a DM, and then just walk out. From what I heard from others, this is normal for fledgling DMs until you get a small group of steady players. This particular bail out comes out of two items I can talk about: A case of inconsistency, which is on me, and the tendency for someone used to 3.5E to play 5E like it was 3.5E, something which isn’t.

Inconsistency is something I’d admit to, since I’m still experimenting with my Dungeon Mastering style. In this case it’s my use of fudge dice (/r 4df) for some attack rolls. Especially when attacks with huge damage ties with the player’s AC, and I don’t want to just TPK a party while I have such good content further down the campaign. Maybe I use the fudge dice too much, and it’s something I’ll be working at in the future, but that’s not the most important thing in my DM style.

To me, the best thing about being a DM is that it’s flat out fun. It’s fun telling stories, and fun seeing the party tackle the challenges before them. I love it when the party argues with each other on an item in game, even to the point where things totally get out of hand. To me, Fun trumps the Gameplay, which trumps the Rules. Some people don’t apply to this concept; they want the game to adhere to the established rules, both published and home, and when they’re not consistent they leave the game.

This isn’t some professional series of Tabletop RPGs, this isn’t Fourthcore, this is a D&D game with stuttering, stammering, autistic me as the DM, and regardless of what happens on the table, or what spits out of my mouth, the biggest question is “Are you having fun.” If you are, then I’m doing my job well. If you want to see a professional do this job with voice acting and characterization, go watch Chris Perkins behind the screen. I’m nowhere near Mr. Perkin’s level and probably never reach that point in this life. I just don’t give a fuck over it.

This isn’t a new thing. #Gamergate came about mostly because some people claim that Video Games shouldn’t be fun. Of course, those in Gamergate would bitch about the depiction of females and the ridiculously named ‘People of Color,’ than any strict adherence to any rules. Either direction, to me, only makes me think that you’re taking things way too seriously. This is a game, doing well is one thing, but even if you’re talking, I’d like you to have fun doing it. That way, you can keep coming, and maybe even be one of my steady players.

Which, as I come back to what I want out of Roll20, is exactly what I’m looking for. I want steady players who like what I’m bringing. Once I get a good steady stream of players, I can move on to better things.

Such as whatever or not fudge dice belongs in my Virtual Table.

In the meantime, the campaign will sidetrack into a homemade adventure over at Waterdeep, so that something can be constructed before the party returns to Daggerford and continue on the story. It’s a perfect place for people who want to play at my Virtual Table to jump in, so if you want to, go ahead and send me a comment.

Encounters Report: 8 Apr 15

Trigger Warning: Spoilers, Possible Fetishes, Threats of Streaming, Girls dressed like in Fairy Tales, Crossover into my first official Online game.

This session deals with the remainder of the Necromancer’s Lair dungeon, where Freddy Oreioth was tooling around with ideas for Faerun’s answer to Chuck E’ Cheese. The players didn’t think that he actually realizes that he is a lich who can summon undead as well as cast spells. Those who are on Google+ would know that I listened to some suggestions on how to improve on an up-leveled creature stat block. While I haven’t delivered more damage than I wanted to, Freddy did well before he was driven back to his phylactery.

And out of this campaign and into another. I’d like to announce that I finally got a big party enough to start a play-by-post campaign. (None of the previous ones got much players, but they have provided enough practice for preparation.) Some of you might not be into the special interests of this campaign—most of the players have a mask fetish—but that doesn’t bother me since making masking equipment and materials into a Fantasy world makes the creative lobes in my brain salivating. Expect to see some previews of the “Masks and Mythos” campaign in future weeks.

What is staying, however, is the Zombie Virus. Someone got bitten and the recent paladin has detected that it’s something that’s not as easily cured. They’ll find out more about the cure when they come to the Allfaiths Shrine back in Red Larch. Probably with a stint to a repurposed tomb from the book.

Oh, and I have the published book now, so I can take things into the main story (From Chapter 3) once people level up to Lv 3, and veer off from the Encounters material.

There is also a NPC that’s continuing in as well: Pell Mhandyvver.

Pell

When she entered the scene when the party finds her collecting materials for her components bag, some of them thought she was Little Red Riding Hood. Not too far off with her personality; she is a bit rebelling from her over-worrying grandmother. And while my fairy-tale inspired outfit for her might cause someone to bitch, at least she’s showing less skin than what some real life people her age are. She is also well armored with her flowing knee-length skirt. (My response to SJWs: Count your blessings! At least it’s not a chainmail bikini. Do you want me to make someone in a Chainmail Bikini? No? Then get off my blog!)

I could see Pell join in with Marcie somewhere, provided I get back into developing the RPG Maker project. Which brings me to the major development for this week.

This Tuesday, my birthday present will come in through UPS: A AMD A-8 Machine with 8 Gigs of memory. (A quad-core CPU with an 8 core Radeon GPU in the same chip? Who’s the sorcerer who made that integrated circuit?) This computer’s going to be the one I’ll be streaming on Twitch with. I’ll be streaming my online Virtual Tables and providing some views of my artwork and planning stages on days when I’m off. I hope eventually to broadcast real life games such as my Encoutners table.

I’ve already set up a Google+ community for my online D&D games, and everyone who wants to join in my table can go to the Google+ Foxfire Studios D&D community, and state that you’re interested. All I ask is that you’re not be a jerk in there and keep in mind that there will be plenty of Pro-Gamergate players in there. In fact, I’ll move Pro-GGers to the front of the line.