candidgamera: (Default)
And sometimes when I get sick, I'll have a day of recovery before a big crash - so I was wondering if I might be unwell this morning, but Nope! All clear.

Weird.

I am working on my new, expanded 'master map' of my D&D campaign setting. It covers, for the first time, the entire continent upon which the adventures have taken place. I discovered, to my chagrin, that with the scale set on my previous maps, most of the party's travails have taken place in an area about 600 by 900 miles in size. The new map will cover 2000 x 2500 miles of area, giving us some new options for them to explore.
candidgamera: (Default)
I have a copy of the Campaign Cartographer software - for those of you who are unfamiliar, it's mapping software that can be used to create a map of a fantasy world, for use with a D&D campaign. (I suppose one can use to create maps of any sort, really, but its target audience is people running roleplaying games.)

I'd done a map of my campaign world ages ago, and it was okay - not great, but good for a first effort. And then two years ago, I bought a new PC. I transferred a bunch of data and programs over the first week I had it - and then the old PC's hard drive died. I thought I'd gotten everything important off of it, but.. as it turns out, I hadn't thought about the map in a while, and I'd missed it.

So it was gone. Well, this week, I have reconstructed it. Actually, I constructed an improved version of about half of it - the areas my game tends to focus on. Just finished last night, and I'm pleased as punch. Now I need to do a bigger one with more area coverage, and several smaller ones with detailed views of particular countries..

I might be at this a while.
candidgamera: (Default)
I actually busted out the MasterMaze pieces for a traditional dungeon crawl on Saturday, which served as a better warm-up for the new players in the group that did the previous session - because the party remembered the number one rule of D&D this time :

Never split the party.

This is a rule for a reason. If you split the party, then a subset of the party is likely to run into a challenge set for the whole party. And that subset will be defeated, allowing the challenge to then defeat the rest of the party. Divide, and you will be conquered.

It was a more trap-heavy session than I normally like to do, but the party has a full-fledged rogue now, so I feel like I can cut loose a little on that front. Hell, the collapsing floor, thirty foot drop, re-locking door, and room that flooded with weak acid didn't even slow them down, thanks to Spider Climb and two flying magic items in the party.

I did indulge one weakness of mine, though - Lasko's Magical Fountain. It's an item from 1st Edition that I first learned of thanks to 2nd Edition's Encyclopedia Magica, and it remains a fascination of mine to this day. I love random magical items, and the Fountain is the ginchiest. Charts upon charts of random tables to roll on! The party did not indulge in a drink, yet, but hope springs eternal.

Working on some campaign notes the next day, I was amused to discover that one lake on my campaign map had three different names in three different handwritten sources. The map itself has no label. So I traced the map to make a list of labels for bodies of water, forests, and the like, to take care of the problem once and for all.
candidgamera: (Default)
The day started with drowsiness and congestion, continued through frustrated efforts to get a bit of breakfast, and has settled into "post-vacation work blues" - wherein you realize that you still have to do all the stuff that was piled up before you had the break. I've got about three full weeks of work before Christmas, plus the Monday and Tuesday of Christmas week, before a nice long additional break, and I've got plenty of work stuff to do between now and then.

Plus, I need to get some things prepared in the next two weeks to make some more progress on the bathroom remodeling project. Feh.

On the bright side, I shouldn't have to do any work from home this month, which is good. Of course, yesterday's work from home turned into "remote server access is acting up, so get dressed and drive into the office". I live less than three miles from work, though, so it wasn't a h uge deal, just annoying.

I've started working on the Wiki for my D&D campaign, and I like how it's coming along, but I've debating on how to alphabetize the NPCs. Ordinarily, I'd do "Lastname, Firstname" but in a medieval fantasy context there are many characters without last names, so I think the result would be inconsistent. On the upside, people in the same family grouping would be clumped together.
candidgamera: (dragon turtle)
The D&D game was enormous fun on Saturday - more riffs on the Speculative Theology bit. Our intrepid player characters uncovered a priest of the god of secrets masquerading as a priest of another faith - giving them some additional scraps of information that may prove useful.

I have to describe my favorite bit of the night, though.

The PCs met with this morose downer of a bard who was singing a song filled with secrets that only the PCs should know. Playing this bard character NPC was a hoot, channeling my best rendition (of Michael J. Nelson's rendition) of Morrisey. Completely emo-goth-bad poetry-kind of guy. He lead them to the priest, whose house they went to investigate.

Our Gnomish trapfinder went to work, disabling every trap on the windows - but left the magical trap, a Glyph of Warding, on the front door, as it was risky to mess with. The PCs explored and found the hidden ritual chamber in the basement, and the priest's guard dog - who'd botched his awareness rolls and was sleeping soundly. Long story short, they set up an ambush for the priest and capture him, and send a message to one of their contacts to arrange for a quiet extraction so the guy can be interrogated.

Being the kind-hearted souls that they are, they were concerned that the poor doggie might starve - and after a futile attempt to befriend the beast, they decided the best way to account for its health would be to send a messenger to the bard guy, to let him know his priest friend was going out of town, and ask if he could watch the dog.

All well and good. Of course, after they left, I felt compelled to point out that they left that trap on the guy's front door completely intact, and the Bard would most assuredly encounter it if he attempted to enter. Oops.

This led to a storm of amusing scenarios, culminating in envisioning this as the 'stinger' to the night's episode, after the "credits":

[Bard] "Wow, a dog. Maybe having another living soul around to take care of - that'll be the thing to cheer me up. I've turned the corner - life's looking rosier than ever. Ah, here's the house, I'll just let myself inside.."

ZAP.

Fade to black.

We laughed ourselves sick about that, and other things. Very good session.

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J.R.

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