The strangeness that comes from the gaming table

Gamer Web Comics

So I am sure that many of you are familiar with the variety of web comics that are out there these days.  Really any print comic can be found online as well as a large number of comics that can only be found online.  Sure there are old classics that are still out there, I know Charlie Brown is quite popular with my kids.  But here is a list of the web comics that are followed in my gaming group.  I would love to say I am all caught up on these, but with college still a part of my busy life these haven’t made it to the top of my to-do list.  Hopefully you have more free time then I do.

Order of the Stick

Erfworld

Schlock Mercenary

 

How to lure out a Dragon

So when an adventuring party is faced with the challenge of stealing a dragon’s horde out from under a dragon what is the best approach.  I suppose this particular problem has been covered before and will likely be covered again, though I doubt too many other groups will find the ultra creative approach that my gaming group decided to take.

First off I should clarify for you that 1) this party is evil, made up of demonologist, necromancers and the like and 2) there was never any intent on slaying the dragon, just removing as much treasure as they could with minimal effort and sacrifice of life or limb.  Now that we have those basic facts covered we can proceed with the story of how they achieved this goal.  Oh, I guess I should mention that I was running Legendary Lives 2nd Ed. in our typical Friday night game.

Bacon courtesy Spara

So the plan, that almost went off, was to lure the dragon from its home in the side of the mountain and while it was out and distracted to rush the lair and steal as much treasure as they could and escape.  The escape route was clear for they have a magic circle made of 26 leather sections that can be laid down in a pattern to teleport what ever enters the circle to another place based on the pattern the pieces are arranged in (think Stargate).  But now they had to determine how to lure out the dragon.

Well the groups assassin found in the small town a contact that would sell him a dragon sized dose of double-vision poison.  This, they hoped, would provide them a fighting chance.  But the poison had to be ingested, so they devised a cunning plan.  They bought a cow, and a towns worth of bacon and two cheese wheels [can you see where this is going].  Then headed up the mountain, once they felt they were close enough they used their fire magic to cook all the bacon at once.  With all the freshly cooked bacon they wrapped it around the cow, attached the wineskin of poison around it’s neck and tied the two cheese wheels to its back.  Double, bacon cheese burger on the hoof; sure to attract even the mildest of dragon’s away from their treasure.  Who could resist that much bacon???

And while there is much more to the story, which I will cover in another post someday, I will say that they did successfully part a fair amount of the treasure from the dragon with only minimal party damage.  All through a judicious use of bacon!

Man vs Dice – Part 3

Clipboard

ClipboardSo what happens when your dice mutiny all together???? When that happens you sit down at the game table, clipboard of characters, maps and miscellaneous information in hand and find that you have everything but your character sheet. You dig through the gaming bag that the gaming clipboard lives in, all of which only ever visits your bedroom, car or gaming table only to discover that you will be accepting the blank character sheet the DM is handing you with a grin. Now the fun part of trying to remember what darn stats your character had anyways. Not so bad on some games, but really bad on others where there are tons of skills.

Fast forward to game the next Friday night, mostly same group of gamers and same darn table, though this time Man sits at the other end of the table hoping for better luck. There is no better luck for Man. Now he finds that the whole gaming clipboard had been abandoned at the last gaming table. Lucky for him the owner of that gaming table is coming over for game tonight, perhaps he will have brought it along. Again no luck for Man, the owner of the gaming table lovingly placed the clipboard in his spot for “abandoned gaming gear” and moved on with his life. Yet another blank sheet for yet another game.

Good thing this particular saga only lasted for two games or Man would have felt truly defeated. Until next time, may your dice roll well for you.

Man vs Dice – Part 2

As promised here I am again to bring you up to current on the continued, and ever ongoing Man vs Dice saga.20-Sided Dice

While the great game of awesome roles continued to elude him, many an attempt has been made to understand the psychology of the bag of dice that our man keeps.  Each member of the group has worked together to help him out by suggesting different ways in which his dice seem to be acting.  However it all started with Man deciding that his dice desired to be acting on the “Color Coded Theory”, where red dice were for rolling high or “hot” roles and blue dice were for rolling low or “cold” roles.  Of course I am sure you are wondering why one would want dice that rolled both ways, but that is simple as he is playing two games that both use percentiles but have reversed charts.  In Legendary Lives high is good, where in Call of Cthulhu low is good.  And in both systems when you go to improve a skill you must fail your roll.  However by the second session it was clear that this system was not working and indeed his dice were giving out the same fail upon fail rolls he was used to.

So on to the next theory, which was the “Wrong Character Theory”, to understand this you must first know that our Man keeps all of his active character sheets, maps, treasure lists, general information, space ship specs and the like on one clipboard.  At the start of each game he shuffles the current characters’ paperwork to the top of the clipboard stack and clamps it firmly in place.  The theory for his poor roles was that his dice were not rolling for the top sheet on the clipboard, but rather for 3 sheets down on the board.  So the current night’s character was shifted down three sheets and the evening of game play continued.  And while for the first several roles it did seem like at last the dice might be triumphed over, it was quickly determined that the dice were on to the ploys of the Man and were not going to follow this theory either.  Back to the drawing board.

So to take this even further into the murky waters of Man vs Dice, another theory was unveiled.  Perhaps the thought pattern fell under, “Wrong Game Theory”.  Just maybe, he was rolling for the next game and didn’t know it.  So the the theory was put to the test, the first game was my game of Legendary Lives, all rolls for the night were recorded on a sheet of paper, but also used for the current game.  The next week’s GM plays in my games (we alternate Fridays) and agreed to go along with it.  The next Friday night, Man rolled but only recorded his rolls, the actual “rolls” for game that night came off the log sheet from the week before.  Game went pretty good for Man, well until about half way through when those pesky dice decided to revolt and rolled horrible rolls.  That is horrible rolls for the next week, they would have been awesome rolls for the current game.  Truly the dice are evil.  So much for that theory.  There is no new theory yet, but I am sure that next game session the table will come up with yet another plan for Man vs. Dice.

Until then, may your dice rolls be plentiful.

Man vs Dice – Part 1

Dice Shirt - Cafepress
Cafepress - Dice Shirt

In my twenty years of gaming experience, trailing over a good number of gaming groups, I have found one thing to be true. At the gaming table there will always be someone whose dice simply hate them. Now I don’t mean the guy whose dice are just cold that night and can’t pull themselves together enough to take on a squirrel in a staring contest. I mean the sort of person whose dice feel that perhaps a new hobby is in order altogether. Though these gamers are truly dedicated for the forage on despite the odds being stacked against them, even and especially by their own “random” number generators. I should know, I am one of them.

But this post isn’t about me, I solved this problem by running games more often then I play them. Though perhaps in the future I will post on the great saga that is my relationship with my dice. This is about a member of my current gaming circle. But first a bit about this gaming circle; it is the circle of guys that my husband has been gaming with since his college days (and in one case before even that), so one could say they have a history and know each other well.

At their suggestions I am adding this ongoing section to my blog to chronicle the love/hate, but mostly hate, relationship our luckless player has with his dice. In fact it is so bad that in honor of attending his first Gamestorm in 2009, I bought him a shirt that said “Help my dice are trying to kill me!” Which he wore to con for both the warning to other players as well as the general humor of it all. I will call him “Player X” out of thoughtfulness of his need to still have people sign up for the games he does when he attends Gamestorm next year.

Over time he has been working on a number of different theories to further prevent his dice from working on racking up a string of TPKs (Total Party Kills). In my next post on this I will cover his last three attempts to find a cure for the affliction of CPDR (Consistently Poor Dice Rolling).  Seeing as we are unsure if the current method will work, but 99% sure it won’t, I will keep you briefed in the saga as it progresses.  Perhaps one of the hair-brained, Wile E. Coyote schemes will work for you!

Do you have someone like this in your group, lets here about it!!!

Part – The mishaps continue

So when we left off our ragged group of adventurers had not yet figured out that they were destined through PC aura to be together. The best laid plans of mice and DM’s go astride often I have found.

The draconian, being afflicted by the ratling disease ability, had left an easy to follow trail on his way to the abandoned, abandoned, toy factory (suggested by my PC’s who I think may watch Scooby Doo too much). The remaining group of rag tags followed his there with thoughts of a sizable, forged bounty in their minds. Upon arrival at the factory they gained entrance through a partially opened door. While moving in to the large warehouse with its crate lined walls they were ambushed by a dozen or so life-sized puppets that had come to life. Through the use of fire magic and control spells the walking dolls were quickly dispatched of. During the battle our Ratling Necromancer determined the whereabouts of the owner that the puppets were protecting.

While the Nomad took down the remaining mannequins, the Ratling and Goblin dug up the owner and used their Commune magic to speak with him and determine if he might still have valuables in the land of the living they could relieve from his corpse. They discovered that he had a house on the outskirts of town where his most valued possessions had been safely guarded during his life. The party determined to head there to find the treasure, right after they tracked down the Draconian to get their bounty.

Thankfully for them, but not our Draconian friend, the Wolfling had used this time to track him after he made his escape during the heat of battle. Tracking him down to a small shack the party finally manages to take him down, rendering his unconscious and drags him to the nearest lock up to collect on their doctored wanted poster. The Draconian get locked in the brink for the night, not so bad for him as they healed some of his wounds incurred in the previous two scuffles, and the party collects on the ransom. However their attempt at forgery is easy to see through when compared to a standard copy kept at the jail, so much for the big reward they had hoped for.

Now it is off to the factory owners house to collect his treasure, he sure won’t be needing it anymore…

A Ratling and a Goblin are in a tavern…..

In a tavern in Smith City the ratling and the goblin who have formed a loose association are reviewing the adventurer postings near the front door when they notice that one of the wanted posters was for another patron in the tavern.  Just as this duo were debating how to best approach the draconian to capture him and gain their reward, now if they could just read the wanted poster they have.  At about the same time the nomad notices that the draconian is on the wanted poster as well.
The necromantic nomad approaches the draconian hoping to apprehend him for the reward. He strikes the demonologist draconian who breaths fire in his direction scorching several bar chairs and a table. This also alerts the tavern security. In retaliation the nomad summons a skeleton causing panic to ensue in the tavern. To this the goblin creates a aura of darkness around himself as well as the ratling, and a wolfling that had been sitting at the table, they are now all under the table. Since the wolfing and ratling can not see in the goblins darkness they are safe from checking on the status of their sanity from the skeletons fear aura, but the goblin can see through his own darkness and is therefore subject to the sanity check. At this point the draconian unleashed a homunculus into the world. This leads to the ratling taking control of the mental faculties of the homunculus and commanding it to transport the draconian out of the bar. While the homunculus is not strong enough to lift the demonologist there is no resistance as the bouncers are shoving them out anyways.
Once out in the street the ratling touches the draconian causing disease on him that will persist for the next several hours. To create a distraction, or draw attention, the goblin starts to scream “Plague, Plague!!” which encourages the draconian to exit in pursuit of a safe place to hide to wait out the horrible illness that has befallen him.

Stay tuned for updates to the adventure in the next few days…..