Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Matango Vs. The H-Man

 I was going to write about my D&D Next experience over the weekend, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I enjoyed it, but at times remember why 2nd Edition could be a slog. I had fun, but spent some of the game sitting on my hands. I loved the group I played with, but sometimes the arguing added to my ever increasing headache. After going through the first 2/3rds of White Plume Mountain on Friday and Saturday I awoke with the feeling that someone was using a rusty spoon as a tool to attempt to lobotomize me through my right eye. My sleeping had been rough last week, and had been running hard since Thursday night. I simply hit the wall. I slept all day Sunday while the group finished what they started. Apparently my character died at some point, although no one told me. In fact I’ve heard nothing from any of them.

I started getting these headaches after having my brains mashed in about ten years ago. I had to have the right side of my face put back together with cartilage from my ears. My eye has a slight sag to it, although the scarring isn’t that bad. I’m in danger of detached retina from the damage. The thing that has really caused me problems though is the headaches and the seizures. It is incredibly embarrassing and exhausting to have one. I’ve been fortunate to have only had them occur in certain company. I know it is unpleasant to be around, and it is far more unpleasant to be the person who goes through it. I knock on wood every time I have one and don’t urinate or defecate in my pants, or don’t grind my teeth till I have a mouth full of blood, or come to on the ground looking up at the ceiling, or injure myself.

It has become a fact of life. It has stressed some of my relationships because I will cancel when I feel like I have one coming on. Sometimes people are alright with that, a lot of times they are not. Either way is cool, I just don’t want to poop myself in front of people so I stay home. It has put a lot of strain on my marriage. My wife worries about me, she cries sometimes, and I know it breaks her heart when she has to help pick me up off the floor when I’ve just dropped like a wet noodle.

Overall I think I do pretty well with it. Don’t get me wrong it sucks. Having headaches that literally blind you and make you rub your eyes like you are trying to rub them right out of your head isn’t fun. Waking up on the bathroom floor with a knot on your head because you’ve seized, fallen, and in turn have hurt yourself is never a good time. Upsetting your friends, family, and wife isn’t something I ever look forward to. However, I’ve come to terms with it. It is what it is. I have damaged brain from years of using it like a punching bag and then having the shitty luck of having someone attempt to punch that ticket.

Much like many other things in my life THIS is the status quo. I work on coming to terms with it, adapt, and make the necessary choices to remain functional. I will not ask for others to do the same, nor expect it. All I can do is go to a quiet and dark room, take a handful of meds, and try to sleep it off. Or just let it happen and deal with the aftermath.

I’m exactly sure why I felt the need to write that, I just did. Anywho, here is what I learned from my foray into D&D Next over the weekend, sans Sunday.


1) If you dig 2nd Edition you’ll dig Next. It has a decidedly old school feel. Death is waiting around every corner, you are tough but you aren’t 4E superhero like, and if you don’t have the right equipment or spells ready you will struggle. Roles are reasonably well defined, and there isn’t even remotely the feeling of ‘same-y-ness’ between classes.

2) White Plume Mountain is a fun adventure. I give some credit to the module, but a LOT to Zack who ran it with inventiveness, some whimsy, and a real flare for adventure. I never felt like he actively put us in a position where he was plotting our demise, but I did feel that he wasn’t going to suffer stupidity or a lack of inventiveness.

3) Shadynasty (pronounced Sha-dynasty) was one of the funniest and oddest characters I’ve ever played with in a group. Kevin, whom I’d only heard lore about, played a feisty middle aged black woman sage. He/she definitely took over the command/leadership of the group. His decision making, inventiveness, and direction really was easy to get on board with. I was confused and bemused by the fact that she had Gauntlets Of Ogre Power that put her STR on par with my own.

4) I enjoyed Lort. I actually really enjoyed him, to the point that he’ll be in one of my home campaigns. I’m not telling which one, but he’ll be an older Lort, possibly retired. He’ll be an NPC who the PC’s can either make an enemy of or an ally, it’ll be their choice. I enjoyed playing him and look forward to doing it again.

5) John, aka Meema, & Bob, aka Mac Daisycrown, playing family was hilarious, and then got progressively more disturbing. I play with or run for Bob all the time. I’ve become more and more used to how he plays; I’ve only really played DREAD with John. Those two together were a hoot. John is a damn fine role player and compliments Bob’s insanity perfectly.

6) The ‘search’ mechanic and duty is a fantastic idea. I really liked that instead of having a massive group of folks constantly making rolls to search everyone had a ‘job’ in the party and made a single roll. It was an elegant solution and sped the game up considerably. That being said as the Fighter in the group I was a pretty big joke in any of these ‘jobs’.

7) Being a Fighter is awesome, and really sort of boring. If I wasn’t in combat I really added extremely little to the game. I had made a conscious decision to try and not be in a leadership role, and really attempted to be as passive in decision making as possible. It was my goal to role play at every opportunity, and not to leave that ‘head space’ during the conversations that gave us direction.

8) A group with a lot of spell casters is interesting, not necessarily fun if you aren’t one of the casters. The amount of time spent in spell upkeep was long. It is a necessary evil as we found out in the Vampire encounter, since we didn’t have Sunlight or a Light spell. That went from a reasonably tough encounter to a disastrous one. We were lucky to get out of it alive. The C-Fish’s combat mage was a perfect example of what a mage with some levels under his or her’s belt can do. The fireball, handfuls of dice on magic missile, ray of frost, etc. all were incredibly helpful in almost all encounters. Couple that with John’s nature form and all the utility spells that Kevin used and there was some amazing synergy there.

9) Wet erase maps are AWESOME! I have one or two of these and really never use them. Zack has changed my opinion on this entirely. His use of them is amazing. I think overall his organization, attention to detail, and formulating of scenes is a good example of how to be fun and efficient. I think I do ‘fun’ alright, efficient not so much. But I digress; I need to use these maps more often they are a tool I’ve ignored for far too long!

10) Interparty conflict as a way of making snippiness ok has run its course with me. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. However I don’t enjoy being asked if I’m “F’Ning stupid” in or out of game, I have a feeling that if you ask me that normally you’ll get a very poor response. So why is it ok to do that in game? I try; operative word is try, to foster a positive gaming environment. Sure a bit of tension, some personal and differing agendas, and even some slight animosity can be fun. That being said being insulted isn’t.

How ‘bout we finish this crappy post up with some…


- No Pathfinder Battles preview this week, well there was a preview of the whole Skull & Shackles set, but I’ve already done that so I’m not going to go back over it.
- I’m watching the old Japanese Kaiju show ‘Iron King’, it is bat turd insane and I love it.
- There is NO Street in front of my house. It is a 3 and a ½ foot deep trench. Without four wheel drive we would not be able to make it into our driveway. It is clown shoes and ANNOYING. I can’t wait for the construction to be over.
- The beer bread Cassandra made on Sunday is delicious.
- The Jack Vance collection I’m reading is extremely good; I now need to read ALL of the Dying Earth stuff. James Lowder’s ‘Prince Of Lies’ has been just a lot of fun, I can’t wait to finish it.
- I engaged in a 30 minute ‘discussion’ with my wife last night about whether or not John Cena’s promo last night on RAW was any good. In the end it doesn’t matter what her opinion was, I was too damned blinded by her awesomeness! She is the best.
- I’m intrigued by the 12th Doctor, VERY intrigued.
- I need new pillows.
- Football started, well pre-season anyways. This has brought some joy to my soul.
- I’m hoping to get off my lazy duff and paint a bit tonight. I’m seriously lacking motivation in just about everything currently.
- Perhaps the next Movie-A-Thon will be a Daimajin-A-Thon, or at least involve some serious Kaiju action.
- Sounds as if my lovely wife and I might go to see Pacific Rim this weekend. I look forward to it!
- Every time I heard someone say ‘White Plume Mountain’ all I could think about was Neil Young singing a song about it to ‘Sugar Mountain’. I think I might need professional help.
- If it’s cool out on Friday I’m having a fire pit as a “screw you” to my trench street.
- Last night I played through a few more World Tag Grand Prix matches. Too Cool somehow was able to get a DQ in a match with Kenta Kobashi & Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger. It was a serious ‘job’ by the computer as Liger couldn’t get out of the ring as Kobashi went for the pin and they got DQed for him not getting out at the ref’s behest. N.W.O. Gold & Dr.’s Of Porkonomics both moved on as well. The Doctors Vs. Brothers Of Destruction had a great finish where the Undertaker tried to Tombstone my character who slipped off, hit a half-nelson suplex and tagged in Cena. They hit the Doomsday Device for the win. It was a solid match. There was another match, but it is escaping me at the moment.
- I have ten bucks off an EA game, I might spend it on WWE ’14.
- I’ve got to find a way to pump some enthusiasm back into myself this week. I just sort of feel ‘blah’.

I think I’m done today…

“Did You Not Grant Quarter To The Daemon, Giving Treatment To Its Wounds?
And Would You Not Consider It Unnatural To Be Born Outside The Womb?
We Eagerly Await Your Response And Your Best Defense.

La Curandera Is The Young Girl
In A Linen Dress Of White.
She Dances On Black Sand In The Night
In Her Linen Dress Of White.

Let Us Vote To Dunk The Witch In The River Styx And Photograph The Lye.
So In The Shadow Of Cerebus Her Spirit Will Reside.

La Curandera Is The Young Girl
In A Linen Dress Of White.
She Dances On Black Sand In The Night
In Her Linen Dress Of White.

Bird In The Fire, Mouthful Of Sand
King Of The Briar, Mouthful Of Sand
The Scale And Feather, The Lock And Key
The Lord Of Weather, The Beast At Peace

Shed Not A Tear For Humanity,
Go Fetch My Stars…”

* = Indeed...

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