Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fire Down Below Vs. Hard To Kill

* = Hides, THANK YOU, this meme totally and completely turned my day around.  It just makes so happy and giggly.  You rock.

From now on I’m going to use “I can’t wait for you to show me your Minotaur” as a phrase to others as much as possible. It sounds filthy. I had given Julie a Minotaur to paint and she was telling me about it, which made me pretty pumped to see it and I uttered the above line. I instantly knew just how awkward and bizarre it sounded. Then I recognized how I could own that and use it constantly. THUS is born a new catchphrase. I plan on using it the following ways; “I’m sorry about your Grandma, perhaps I could come over and you could show me your Minotaur…”, “That is a beautiful dress you have on it really makes me want to see your Minotaur…”, or “Yes Officer I know I was going 60 in a 55, but I really had to hurry to get over to my friend’s house so she could show me her Minotaur…” You see its UNIVERSAL!


I figured I’d throw a blog together because I have the time and inclination I suppose. I also figured this would be a perfect place to toss my D&D Next character onto the sword that is the Interweb(s). The Big Z. is running a weekend long Next excursion for his birthday while the Lady Christy is in Hawaii giving a presentation. I have yet to play Next, although I’ve been reading bits and pieces about it. From what I’ve gathered from sporadic reading and talking to players in his Next gaming group it sounds as if it has the ease of 4E coupled with the bells and whistles of 3.5, but built on the foundation of 2nd Editions ‘less is more’ philosophy. I’ve always loved 2nd Edition so this has me mighty excited to play.

So without further ado allow me to introduce you to my character. A loud, robust, slightly dumb, hedonist named Lort. I came up with the backstory before the abilities and I have yet to even roll up stats. Credit to Lady Christy & Mick for additional names in the short tale, without them I’d have most likely still be hemming and hawing about them. Since writing this up I’ve been informed that the tone and mood of the game may be goofier than I thought I’ve decided that it is an easy fix, in the below tale just treat Pieter like he’s a dumb mobster, and Collette a hot to trot moll. In play I’m going to play Lort as loud, that way I’ll get to yell “BAH!” a lot. He’s going to be a guy who isn’t interested in much but loot, libations, grub, and ladies. Otherwise he prefers to sleep or lounge around spending his ill-gotten coin as fast as possible. He’s the type of guy who will complain about any plan the group comes up with, but when confronted with coming up with his own options he has none. Instead he’s the type to then go stomping off, grumbling the entire way. Like I said in another blog I want him to have all the ambition of Steve Reeves playing Hercules in a movie. Without further ado, here is Lort in all his 8th Level glory.

Lort The Languid

Human, Neutral Good, 6 ft 6 in, 321 lbs.

Lort was born a slave to a rich mercantile family. His father had been an impressive fighter in his heyday, but had a terrible gambling problem. In order to meet his many debtors he sold his ‘wife’ and his unborn son to Deaclan Family. His mother’s fetching looks and low intellect kept her from many of the hardships other slaves endured. In fact her life was better as a slave than it had been as a ‘free’ woman. However she was still a slave and when her child was born he was quickly taken from her and given into the service of the Deaclan Family’s personal guard. The child was enormous upon his birth, and grew to prodigious size. The head of the personal guard spent hours instructing Lort on the art of warfare and combat, treating him almost like a son. However, over time though it became abundantly clear that the massive man had little interest in service or fighting or really anything at all. Even all the lashings, starving’s, isolation, and other less pleasant punishments could not inspire the man to show any interest in anything. Eventually Lort was given to the youngest of the Deaclan Family, Pieter. Pieter’s own gambling problems and vicious temperament were legendary in the halls of the Deaclan home, and some had whispered that he had slain many a slave in a fit of anger, possibly even Lort’s mother who had since disappeared from the Deaclan Family’s Keep.

After some deep thought on what to do with his ‘gift’ Pieter came to the decision that Lort would be a perfect Pit Fighter. He hoped that he could place a moderate sum on Lort to die in his first outing, while using a proxy to wager on him in case the enormous man surprised him. Lort was led into his first fight weaponless and disinterested. His opponent was a nasty Dwarf who had been arrested at for banditry and was rumored to have been a pirate of some sort years prior. The fight was painfully short as the Dwarf stabbed Lort with an improvised knife in the side and attempted to choke the big man to death as he lay bleeding. Lort felt his life slipping away and the only thought that came to his mind was, “This is all there is?” Godless, penniless, freedom less, Lort lost his armor of disinterest in bloody red rage. A single blow from his massive hand snapped the neck of his opponent leaving the crowd in stunned shock, and Pieter Deaclan rethinking his betting strategy.

From that point on Lort spent four years in that haze of bloody rage. Becoming so uncontrollable that Pieter had to resort to means other than violence to soothe his cash cow. First it was music and dancing of minstrels that soothed Lort’s anger and brought him the necessary focus to further his training. After a few months under the influence of a Vistani woman Lort became only interested in books, or rather having them read to him. When Pieter found the brute attempting to read himself the woman was ‘dismissed’ and tactics again had to be changed. Pieter used the brute’s appetite for food; drink, sleep, and companionship as the enticement necessary to keep his undefeated streak alive all the while becoming extremely wealthy.

As his name grew so did the patrons interested in seeing Lort The Unconquerable dispatch his enemies. Eventually an actress, Collette Dubois, became interested in Lort for other reasons. As a way to seal certain trading pacts between Pieter’s burgeoning gladiatorial/slave trade and Dubois’ family she was given free access to the man. She realized that this man had more to offer the world than just mindless murder for entertainment. He was a tool to be sculpted towards her own ends. She taught him to speak eloquently, to play to the crowd, to even read small bits of important information, but most importantly she taught him to lie.

From that point on Lort grew bored with the pits, and began feigning injuries in order to get out of his scheduled bouts. Pieter knew he could not force his cash cow into combat, couldn’t really punish him, and was loathe to sell him. He was stuck with Lort. At that point Collette pounced. She was able to purchase Lort for a song compared to what it would have cost her even six months prior. However she found ‘having’ Lort and owning Lort to be two VERY different things.

Without the threat of violence over his head and with the knowledge of how Collette had swindled Pieter the large man had leverage over his ‘Master’. Lort quickly negotiated an end to his days as a Pit Fighter, and instead became Collette’s body guard in most public settings. His local fame and imposing form was a perfect deterrent to any enemies Collette had acquired. All the while Lort was eating, drinking, and carousing her out of house and fortune. Collette reached a breaking point.

In an act of sheer desperation she went to Pieter and told him how Lort had seduced her, had manipulated her, and then forced her to helping him in his master plan to gain ‘freedom’. Worse yet Lort was telling everyone what a fool he’d made out of Pieter to other slaves. His honor besmirched, his curiosity in Collette’s damsel in distress act piqued, and his dander up Pieter gathered together a small group of his best men and set out to make an example out of Lort.

The premise was simple, Collette would lure Lort into her bed chambers for a night of promised delight and as the humongous man disrobed Pieter and his cohorts would ‘save’ her from this brute. Her good name would be restored as would Pieter’s honor. The only problem was under her tutelage Lort had become quite devious himself. Using her finances he had developed a small networks of informants in the scullery maids and serving wenches he bedded as well as the coachmen, cooks, and lazy guardsmen he frequently spoke to. Deciding discretion the better part of valor, Lort convinced a ‘friend’ of his to take his place in the bed of the lovely Lady Dubois claiming that to her, “we all look alike…”

He used his connections to smuggle this gladiator out of his owner’s compound that night and supplied him with his clothes wishing him good luck and enjoyable night. Lort watched with barely contained glee as Pieter and his men arrived with a lust for blood in their eyes. He had squirreled away equipment and supplies for months and decided that he would take the young Deaclan’s mount as his own, a last ‘gift’ to his former owner.

As he rode toward the edge of the city he could hear the simultaneous scream of anger and rage of both Collette and Pieter as the realization of their failed plot became clear. Pieter’s best man lay gurgling in his own blood repeatedly stabbed by the merchant’s own hand. Collette seethed at having been almost violated by this bloody, dead hulk of a man. And worse yet they both were clearly aware that their former slave was elsewhere laughing at them.

From there Lort rode on using his ill-gotten gains as a base to finance his drinking, eating, sleeping, and carousing fighting only when he became bored or needed the coin. Lort found the life of an Adventurer the perfect mixture of the adoration he missed from his days as a pit fighter, the coin he had syphoned off of Collette, and the dark joy he felt in the smiting of those who deserved it.

* = Random Mark Henry Meme before I CRUSH your soul with D&D Next 'crunch'.  If you aren't into that part feel free to skip all the way down to the RANDOM CRAP, you won't hurt my feelings (I'm lookin' at you Cassandra).  Too much...

Stats to dump in – STR, CON, DEX , CHR, WIS, INT

Background Skills
1) Break An Object
2) Bluff
3) Jump
4) Perform
5) Swim (7th Level Skill)

Racial Traits
As a human, you have the following racial traits.
Ability Score Adjustment: Your starting ability scores each increase by 1.
Size: Medium.
Speed: 30 feet.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common, as well as a number of additional languages of your choice equal to your Intelligence modifier, provided it is positive.

Level 1: Attack Bonus
Your extensive training makes you deadly on the battlefield. You are also more accurate and more deadly than many other combatants.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus to your attack roll when you’re using a weapon with which you have proficiency. This bonus increases as you gain levels, as noted on the Fighter table.

Level 1: Martial Feat
You are skilled in a variety of attack techniques, which give you the ability to keep your opponents guessing.
Benefit: You gain a martial feat of your choice as a bonus feat. You gain an additional martial feat of your choice at 2nd and 8th level.

Level 1: Expertise
You have developed a degree of expertise that puts you above others. You have the keen mind, the practiced skills, and the physical aptitude to pull off things that few others can.
Benefit: You have two d6s called expertise dice. Certain Fighter class features, such as Death Dealer and Superior Defense, allow you to use these dice for special benefits. You gain an additional expertise die at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level. Once you use an expertise die, it is expended. You have two ways to regain use of your expended expertise dice: You regain all of them when you complete a short rest or a long rest, and you can use your action to regain a single expertise die, provided you have expended all of your expertise dice. Expertise Dice represent your ability to push yourself mentally and physically, calling upon your training and skill to do something exceptional. When you spend these dice, you are taxing your mind or your body in some way.

Level 1: Death Dealer
Every attack you make brings your enemy closer to death.
Benefit: Deep Wound: When you hit with an attack, you can spend one expertise die. Roll it, and add the number rolled to the damage.

Level 1: Superior Defense
Parry: When you are wielding a melee weapon and would be hit by a melee attack, you can use your reaction to parry that attack. Spend one expertise die, roll it, and add the number rolled to your AC against that attack.

Level 1 Feat: Charge - Martial feat
You can rush across the field of battle and still compose yourself enough to make an attack.
Benefit: As an action, you can move up to your speed and make a single melee attack. You cannot move any farther during the same turn.

Level 2 Feat: Weapon Mastery - Martial feat
Your skill with weapons has been honed over the course of many battles, allowing you to further refine your talents.
Benefit: When you attack with a weapon and roll its damage dice, roll an extra die of the same type, drop the lowest roll, and then add up the damage.

Level 3: Optional Feat - Toughness - General feat
You are remarkably durable and can stand up to punishment that would send other people to death’s door.
Prerequisite: Constitution 11 or higher
Benefit: You gain extra hit points equal to your level when you take this feat. For each level you gain after taking this feat, you gain 1 extra hit point.

Level 4: Unerring Attacker
Glancing Blow: When you would miss with a melee attack, you can spend one expertise die; roll that die, and add the number rolled to the attack roll. If the new total would be a hit; the result is a glancing blow, not a true hit. The target takes half damage from the attack. The damage is of the weapon’s damage type, but it delivers no additional effect associated with the weapon or the attack.

Level 5: Deadly Strike
You are such a skilled combatant that your attacks deal more grievous wounds to your foes.
Benefit: Once per turn, when you roll damage for an attack, you can roll the weapon’s damage dice twice and add the rolls together. At higher levels, you can roll the damage even more times: three times starting at 10th level, four times, starting at 15th level, and five times at 20th level.

Level 5: Multi-attack
You can strike at multiple enemies simultaneously.
Whirlwind Attack: As an action, you can strike multiple targets with a single sweep of your weapon. When you do so, choose two targets within your reach, and make a separate melee attack against each one. Neither attack can benefit from your Deadly Strike. After you reach certain levels, you can attack more targets with this feature: three targets at 10th level, four targets at 15th level and five targets at 20th level.

Level 6: Optional Feat - Taunt - Expert feat
You know how to goad your enemies into attacking you, even when they wouldn’t normally rise to the bait.
Prerequisite: Charisma 11 or higher
Benefit: As an action, choose a creature within 25 feet of you that can see or hear you, and contest your Charisma against its Wisdom. The creature automatically wins the contest if it is immune to being charmed. If the creature loses, it must use its movement on its next turn to move closer to you before using its action. The creature uses as much of its speed as it can to reach you and avoids dangerous terrain.

Level 7: Unstoppable
You find a way to push through or avoid the most dangerous spells and hazards.
Iron Will: When you make a Wisdom saving throw, you can spend one expertise die, roll it, and add the number rolled as a bonus to your saving throw.

Level 8 Feat: Spring Attack - Martial feat
You make sudden, rapid movements to catch your enemy off guard.
Prerequisite: Dexterity 11 or higher
Benefit: As an action, you move up to 10 feet and make an attack at any point during the movement. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks.

There you have it, Lort! I think he turned out quite good, and I look forward to crushing my enemies and yelling “BAH!” a LOT starting tomorrow night. How ‘bout we round this out with some…


- Asian House with Ant and Cassandra tomorrow! My stomach is excited.
- I hope you enjoyed the picture blog I put up. It’s sad that those photos don’t do a very good job showing just how good some of the stuff looks in hand. Also man some of those photos highlight the ‘Crazy Eye Syndrome’ some of the minis have. I’ve become a much better painter, but the reality is I have a LONG way to go. A LONG WAY. Maybe I’ll finally have to put a poor man’s light box together to take future photos.
- Beer bread must happen in the next four days or I revolt!
- Last night I cracked my head and tweaked my back in two separate incidents. Today technology has completely turned on me. Normally this would really get me upset, but I just can’t seem to muster the energy to care. I’m too excited by the prospects of the weekend, D&D, and getting started on painting that Giant Skeleton.
- Just in case you’d forgotten, “Terry Funk ain’t wear no mouth piece!”
- I’m learning that if I don’t have anything nice to say about something to just shut my fat yapper and leave it alone. I’m surprised how satisfied I am with the results.
- Joe Lansdale’s ‘The Bottoms’ has been amazing thus far and a far departure from my normal reading material. I’m also starting a large Jack Vance collection, and of course I’m half way through a fantasy novel. Some things will never change.
- For D&D this weekend I might try to candy some of that ham I smoked. I think that could be delicious.
- Speaking of D&D I’m seriously contemplating taking 1st Group crazy cosmic. We’re talking warring against the Gawds, interstellar/interplanar travel, alien worlds & deities, cosmic prophecies, and potential timeline reboots. I’m figuring at this point with that group why not go as big as possible; why not go GONZO with it. Knowing what I do know about Zack’s next ‘chapter’ we’re already going to be dealing with some of those themes. It runs perfectly into what I wanted to do next which means that I might have to really push the envelope to hit where I want to take things after that. I’m hoping as we head towards the half-way point of the Paragon tier to start laying the groundwork for the Epic tier and the type of madness I really want to throw at that group.
- I don’t think I’m going to have to mow this weekend, REJOICE!
- My neighborhood looks crazy with all the roads torn up and all the construction crap strewn out everywhere. So weird. The worst part is where the big machines come through and vibrate the whole house for about an hour. There is nothing worse than having to do quick household walk through(s) to make sure nothing has fallen or gotten broken. I can’t wait for this S*$# to be done.
- It is sad, but I want to grill again.
- Amazon had a pretty solid sale on Japanese Kaiju flicks and series and I picked some of them up, along with the complete series of Wolverine & The X-Men. They should be here by Sat., and I can’t wait to watch giant monsters fight. There isn’t much in the world that makes me happier than guys in suits fighting in model cities.
- Baseball, GO AWAY I never loved you! Just move on with your life!
- I got through another match in my World Tag Grand Prix, and The Rhodes Scholars, Cody Rhodes & Damian Sandow, advanced beating the B.W.O. consisting of Super Nova & The Blue Meanie. It was a decent match, but in the end Cody Rhodes hit the Meanie with the ‘Beautiful Disaster’ then tagged in Sandow and they finished it with a Double Backstabber. Decent match, I can’t wait for the first round simulations to get over with so I can start playing the matches. OR I just might see if I can get Dave or James to come over and just play the rest of the tournament with me.
- WWE 2K ’14 has me intrigued, but I’m not sure I want to plop down the cash.
- Last night I noticed that we have LEGO Indiana Jones on Xbox 360, Cassandra why are we not playing this? SERIOUSLY! You have got to make me turn off the WWE ’13 so we can try Fables III, LEGO Indiana Jones, and Mass Effect. I’m giving you permission to slap me around if I don’t listen.
- Mick & the C-Fish came over last night and watched Role Models (**** out of 5) I forgot how much I enjoy that movie.
- I’m not sure why Blogger is ‘hatin’ SO thoroughly on all my attempts to get anything done, but has become infuriating. I don’t want to have to move sites again. Perhaps it’s just the technology at the place that pays me being so inferior to any and everything that is making this difficult. Either way I need it to stop before I set my monitor on fire.
- Venture Brothers I miss you already.
- If anyone can find a picture of Robert Patrick doing the hand gesture from the movie Future Hunters and send it to me I would be eternally grateful. That damn thing needs to be a meme as soon as humanly possible.
- Man I could use a hug.

I think that’s all I got today…

“Woke Up This Morning, Put On My Sunday Shoes.
Don't Ask Me Why, It's Just The Nature Of My Groove.
I Larged Down The Boulevard, Came Under Attack,
But I Rocked Them Senseless, 'Cause Honey It's Tight Like That.

I Hung A Left Down To Lemans' Avenue,
Stagger Lees Everywhere, Trying To Bring Me Doom, Oh No.
And That Old Scratch, He Tried To Purchase This Soul,
That Don't Confront Me, 'Cause I'm Never In The Need Of A Payroll.
Heck, Yeah.

Amen, Do It All Again.
Rock My Soul In The Bosom Of Abraham.
Spit Shine And A Three Piece Suit,
Good Lord I Got To Thank You 'Cause You Do It Like You Do.
Hallelujah, All The People In The Back.
Hallelujah, It's Tight Like That.
Hallelujah, All The People Up Front.
Tight Like That, Rapture, Rock.

And All You Know-It-Alls With Politic Views.
Ideals Don't Situate Themselves In His Groove.
So If You Want To Know, You Just Got To Ask.
But If You Don't Lose That Skin, You'll Never Be Tight Like That.
Watch Me Work, Yeah.

Amen, Do It All Again.
Rock My Soul In The Bosom Of Abraham.
Spit Shine And A Three Piece Suit,
Good Lord I Got To Thank You 'Cause You Do It Like You Do.
Hallelujah, All The People In The Back.
Hallelujah, It's Tight Like That.
Hallelujah, All The People Up Front.
Tight Like That, Rapture, Rock.

Don't Try To Sell Me Your New Age Guru Troubles.
'Cause I'm Already Reeling Doing That Good Time Gospel Shuffle.
And All Your Thumpings About Some Armageddon,
Ain't No Big Deal, 'Cause I Already Hang With Him.

Amen, Do It All Again.
Rock My Soul In The Bosom Of Abraham.
Spit Shine And A Three Piece Suit,
Good Lord I Got To Thank You 'Cause You Do It Like You Do.
Hallelujah, All The People In The Back.
Hallelujah, It's Tight Like That.
Hallelujah, All The People Up Front.
Tight Like That, Rapture, Rock.

Oh Yeah, Tight Like That.
Honey It's Tight Like That.
Honey It's Tight Like That.
Honey It's Tight Like That.

Can I Get A Witness For The Rock Of Ages?
For The Rock Of Ages?
Can I Get A Witness For The Rock Of Ages?
For The Rock Of Ages?”

* = Words to live by...


  1. " I’m learning that if I don’t have anything nice to say about something to just shut my fat yapper and leave it alone. I’m surprised how satisfied I am with the results."

    ...maybe I'm reading into this, but if it's toward the Gathering Horses lyrics, then you won't want to listen to the songs that had a Clutch sound.

    1. Haven't listened to any of the new stuff at all, been too busy.