Monday, August 17, 2009

The Tradition Carries On...

Just when I thought the old, Gygax version of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was more or less a relic from my past that only a few of us still enjoyed, I found a glimmer of hope.

My friends have kids that recently expressed an interest in learning and playing Dungeons & Dragons. (Three boys specifically ages 12, 11 and 8.) Not only that, my best friend's wife and a girl I am seeing have also expressed an interest in the game.

So after a crash course in the rules etc. I ran my date, her son and my best friend's two sons through a six room dungeon.

It was very basic and I only threw four goblins, three large spiders, a skeleton and a 3rd level magic-user at them.

I was amazed at how fast the boys caught on to the game!

In this day of Playstation and XBox, these boys took to the game like ducks to water!
During our game, the 8 year old announced that we should play all night long and just eat a bunch of junk food and drink coffee so we can stay up.

The secret of Dungeons & Dragons is revealed!

(This is the same kid that has an obsessive/compulsive thing about poking everything they find with a 10 foot pole.)

This game was simply a learning thing and didn't count.

Plans were made to start a new campaign in Shadowdale of the Forgotten Realms.

All the boys wanted to know was when we would play again!

So a week later, I rounded everybody up including my two veteran friends and we sequestered ourselves in the basement, seated around my gaming table.

These are the games I have dreamed about as a Dungeonmaster!

Eight players, one character each and each person with different goals, perspectives and styles!


The band of adventurers had gathered outside to Old Skull Inn to watch the festivities of Midsummer Night. There was singing, drinking and feasting as well as the tradtional "hunting" of maidens through the woods by their would-be suitors.
The festivities were interrupted when one of the hunters stumbled into the village after being grievously wounded by a Goblin arrow! Not only that, one of the maidens was missing!

Search parties were organized, including the adventurers. Of course the adventurers were sent to the crumbling ruins of Castle Krag and of course this was the source of a great evil encroachment upon the quaint, little farming village.

Due to the youngsters getting tired and punchy, the game had to be halted as the party was exploring a strange room with six ghostly, floating harps that played a haunting tune. They had learned earlier that Castle Krag was once the abode of Lord Sargin Krag who went mad and stalked through the castle and murdered his entire family, servants and all his guests with a battleaxe!

Of course I ended the game on a cliffhanger because as the party was examining the glowing, ghostly harps, six goblins marched into the room!

I can't wait to play again!

We have made plans to take a road trip to the Guardtower in Columbus Ohio so my new players can pick out their own dice and maybe some miniatures for their characters!

I never thought I'd have so much fun!

We're supposed to play when we get back so I hope I'm not too tired!

Now that I think about this....

None of this would have happened if I was still married!

I get happier about my divorce everyday!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Return to What Was....

Having shared with the entire world the sad news of my recent divorce and other depressing events that have taken place in my life in the year 2009, I feel it's only right that I also share with the world the bright moments that I have experienced. At least the ones that concern my adventures with my oldest and truest friends and my old adventuring band.

First, let me tell you about my characters.

Now one must understand that I was young when I started these guys out and at the time, I didn't have much of an imagination when it came to naming my characters.

The leader of my merry band of four, (I'm not robbing Ed Greenwood here, it's just that I had these four characters which I played with for years.)is a fighting man named Prometheus. I had always liked the name but the character had little to do with the Greek God. While he is now a shadow of his AD&D self, he is still the leader of the adventuring company and still has a pretty high opinion of himself. He often introduces himself as an explorer, adventurer and leader of men. He is physically powerful and while not a learned man, he is not witless and tries to use good tactical sense in battle.

He is followed by the magic-user Gandalf. Again, a name we all know well and which I shamelessly robbed from Tolkien but he hardly resembles the wise and courageous wizard portrayed so well by Ian McKellen. He is more like Walter Brennan in Rio Bravo, befuddled, crazed and courageous only because he doesn't know any better.

The third member of the band is a Northman Pagan Priest named Iarwain Ben-Adar. Another name shamelessly taken from Tolkien lore, (The elven name for Tom Bombadil for any who might not know.) He is physically powerful like Prometheus and he is a worshiper of the Norse gods Odin and Thor. He is your typical Viking with long blond hair, blue eyes and a full beard.

The last is a mysterious man from the East named Takamatsu. For any who don't know, Takamatsu was a real guy. He was a Japanese martial arts instructor and is perhaps best known for his teaching of Ninjutsu. (I was a HUGE ninja fan like most guys my age in the early 80's and I just loved the name.) Incidentally, he was also the only AD&D monk character I every rolled up that made it to Grandmaster of Flowers. I must have rolled up at least 15 or 20 monks and like most people that played monks, they all pretty much died horrible and useless deaths.

Now I had retired The Four many years ago but with some encouragement from my friends including the DM, I rolled them up under the OD&D rules and started playing them.

To all of you out there who are not playing with us, may I just say that you have no idea what you are missing! My friend is running one of the most spectacular campaigns I have ever played in my entire life! I am not merely saying that, hoping he will read this blog so I get brownie points either! We have fought through countless zombies and other undead, orcs, goblins and other easily recognized D&D monsters. We have also fought beasts of his own creation including some form of bone golem, a floating undead thing that is somewhere between a ghost and a ghoul and I kid you not, a mechanical beast that looks and acts almost exactly like a Dalek from Dr. Who!

I have been having a BLAST!

While the names may not be all that imaginative, the fun I've been having with these old characters, despite the fact they do not measure up to the PCs I retired long ago and stuck in a crumbling folder, gathering mildew in my basement, I am enjoying playing them again.

There are those that say you can never go back and I have to say they couldn't be more wrong!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back From a LONG Hiatus!

Greetings Fellow Gamers, Nerds, Geeks and All Other Cool People!

I haven't blogged in months but as my close friends can tell you, I've had a ton on my plate and NONE of it's been good to eat!

Just an update about what a shitstorm my life has been since February.....

My wife left me. I stopped at the house while I was working and she basically didn't want to be married anymore. Found out later that she's had a boyfriend for at least several months but possibly (and likely) several years.

Both my stepfather and my uncle died shortly after.

I've been working many, many hours and of course it's been chaotic even when I only work a normal 8 hour day.

To add to all this, I have been gaming with my close friends. GAMING not just blogging about it! It has been some of the brightest spots in my current life!

My thanks to JM and His Girthiness! May we continue to try and put dents in my magnificent gaming table with our new metal dice! (Well....when yours finally come in Oh Mighty Girth!)

It's been nothing short of a blast hearkening back to the days we spent in another basement gaming for hours on end, discussing gaming, planning on gaming, eating crap food, and even more gaming. The food has gotten somewhat better but not much. It's not home cooked like it often was in the past, but we make do.

My good friend has been running an AMAZING OD&D campaign. It has been brutal, overwhelming and completely entertaining! I love it! His knack for describing monsters is simply amazing. He makes the simplest skeleton seem like a lich and I would run away in terror if he ever attacked me with a flumph!

The AD&D campaign which I've been running seems a little weak to me. I know I'll probably get all kinds of dispute over this but it's high time I made some changes. Nuff said.

I have had other pursuits recently. Maybe not quite "romantic" ones, but I do my best to get laid once in awhile. I'm working out, hitting my heavy bag quite a bit.

But nothing is as distracting as ordering some pizza or getting stuff for sandwiches, maybe some chips and sitting down with a giant glass of tea and adventuring in places I hope I'll get to see after I die. It's my idea of heaven.

I encourage all of you out there to call up your old pals and get everyone together even if it's for a one time/one night session, and play some old school AD&D, D&D, OD&D or whatever and dice up some characters! They don't need to be perfect, and you can start adventuring right away. Who cares if they get killed? We all have pretty good imaginations and we can come up with new ideas almost as soon as we roll for our first stat.

You soon realize what you've been missing out on!

I also want to take this opportunity to offer an open invitation to anybody that wants to come over to my place, meet up with my friends and I, and roll up a character and do some gaming in my basement. You won't have to rub the lotion on your skin, you'll get food and drink (no alcohol...sorry) and you'll have a damn good time!

I know most of you live many miles away, but that's what they invented the combustion engine for. And you're not doing anything right now are you?

I've been hit pretty hard over the last few months but it gets better everyday. I have many friends and family that have helped see me through. I owe them a debt of gratitude I'll never be able to repay.

And I have gaming. Life ain't bad. Not bad at all.