Thursday, February 6, 2014

D&D Blog Hop - Playing Catch Up!

Been unfortunately very busy of late and the neglect of the blog reflects that. With the wedding drawing closer and the deadline for Innsfjord fastly approaching I find myself utterly strapped for time. As such, I haven’t until now been able to take part in the 40th birthday of D&D blogroll. Time to try and catch up.
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Day  1 – First Person to introduce You to D&D? Which Edition? Your First character?
AS I’ve stated before my history with D&D is a series of false starts and missed trains. While I’ve had an interest in it since middle school (as a game) and as a property since I was six, I didn’t actually roll my first set of dice until AIT when I was in the Army.
 At this point I cannot remember the guy’s name and I think my mind has combined him with several other similar people who were part of my AIT class. Regardless, my AIT was split into two sections. The first section took place between August 1999 – December 1999, the second took place between January 2000 and May 2000. Between the two was a three week break for the holidays (more for the drills than us privates), and when we returned from break this individual had with him the D&D basic game box set that was available at that time. I think this version was just second edition as I remember THAC0 being a part of it.
Anyway we played a few sessions and then life, studies of the contours of the earth and how it affected surveys and weekend off post parties took over and the game was lost to us. It wouldn’t be for three more years, slightly after the release of 3.5 that I would play again. However, during that short period of time I was a kid and elves to me where so much cooler than humans or dwarves (oh how na├»ve I was. For Moradin!), so I played a half-elven thief named Moon Shadow. She was sarcastic, haunty and above the peons that traveled with her. Honestly, looking back I hate the character and I’m glad I never brought her back into play.
Day 2 – First person who you introduced to D&D? Which edition? Their first Character.
In the summer of 2003 I was at the Book Stand, a comic and gaming store in Texas near where I was stationed. I pretty much spent 2 to 3 hours a week in the store chatting with the every revolving cast of characters who sat at the cash box and trying to seem cool to the single female who was sometimes there (have I mentioned you could make a half decent awkward geek movie out of my life?). I was going home on 4th of July Leave in a few days and was looking for something to do with my brothers. I was actually looking at some LCG that they had behind the counter when another customer pushed by me with a stack of gaming stuff. Among them was the 3.5 books. I watched and was intrigued by the covers and so I went back to the roleplaying gam stuff, briefly looked at the White Wolf stuff and quickly moved on (although eventually I did pick up Hunter based on my love for the video games).
A couple days later the Brothers Four were formed, a gaming group that would survive until the big family blow out over my wedding a month ago. Since that Fourth of July we always found a way to meet and play. Usually we focused on D&D but sometimes played Star Wars Saga Edition and sometimes some flavor of World of Darkness (grudgingly on my part, but I loved destroying games by playing a Mage who was essentially the 4th Doctor).
As for the final part of the question, I honestly cannot remember, there have been so many over the years that the first doesn’t pop into my head. Tom liked to play elves and monks. Jerry liked to play human thieves and vaguely evil Sorcerers. And Tony was all over the place, but like me he had an affinity for dwarves with a few forays into the realms of gnomes.
Day 3 – First dungeon you explored as a Player Character or ran as a DM?
Honestly and up until very recently pre-published adventures were not common to any of the games I took part in. One of the things I often said about 3.5 was that WOTC moved away from TSRs drive to publish and convince players to play in pre-existing places. I have in later years that this wasn’t the case as adventures and modules did exist, I just never saw them. So for that I need to move toward later years and different places. For the pre-published world I would have to say that was an “open table” yahoo group play-by-post game of Tomb of Horrors. It was an interesting game as the guy who ran the group used a tavern as a meeting place/holding cell of sorts. You picked up players, journeyed in and hoped you got back out to spend your gold on wine and women.
I spent a lot of time hanging out in the tavern as I enjoyed the roleplaying aspects of the tavern much more than the crawl of the Tomb. In the end no one made it to the end and when the guy decided to close the group he had all hell break lose around the Tomb and the tavern. I fell in combat with a demon, my only weapon a wooden stein.
Day 4 – The First Dragon your character slew (or other powerful character)?
In 2006 my youngest brother Tony ran a game, his first. I’ve talked about that game before during the other challenge as that was the game where Bromhelm, chosen of Moradin existed. At some point in our lower levels Brom became obsessively interested in dragon scale armor and convinced the rest of the group to help him hunt and kill a dragon so that he could have the skin. After several days of investigation the group fell upon a young green dragon to the south of the rebel base.
With little planning the party attacked, convinced that the dragon’s treasure would be theirs and that Brom would stop pestering them if he got his blasted dragon skin. To this day I don’t know how we won. At one point my brother decided that my attack failed so bad that I got my axe (and their for me) stuck in the dragon’s skull. I spent half the fight being flung around as I was trying to pull out my axe.
We won, the sorcerer died (that’s okay he was trying to betray us anyway!), and the dragon turned out to have no treasure hoard. But Brom got his scales!
Day 5 – First character to go from first level to the highest level in a given edition?
Again it would have to be Brom. This is for two reasons. The first is that Brom was a bit nuts in the logistics department. Hired to find a bandit camp? Brom would stalk the bandits for a week, study their patterns and then spend all his gold on enough “Silent Moving” potions to sneak into the bandit camp while they slept and set everything on fire with bandoliers of Alchemist Fire flasks. Then he and the party would just wait and hunt down any survivors … How the hell he never got an alignment shift away from Neutral Good (and Later Lawful Good after Moradin Chose him) is beyond me.
The other reason is that until very recently, Brom was the only time I was a player. I am nearly always the DM and as such have no characters to level.
Day 6 – First character Death
Again I have very rarely been a player and when I have been one I have never actually died. Good rolls on my part, bad rolls on the DMs part and so on have kept me from every experiencing death in game. However, I have had a “scripted” death in one of the Fantasy Ground games I was in for a very brief time a few years ago.
In that game I played a half-elven bard name Feld (I was trying to play against my normal type, see Brom). The party was around level 8 at the time and had found the ancient sky castle of the Silver Elves of Mu. During the final battle with the rival (and utterly evil) adventuring guild who were after the same artifacts the magic crystals that kept the castle floating in the sky was sent into free fall. The other guild got away, the castle was falling toward the capital of the Kingdom and the characters only had a few minutes to get out before there was no escape. Feld figured out that by completely shattering the magic crystals the entire castle would be destroyed, saving the kingdom. He stayed behind, using his sonic voice spell to destroy the Castle after giving the party enough time to escape in a stolen silver elf air ship.
Why a scripted death? I had to leave the game due to a change in hours at my job of the time and while the rest of the group said they’d try to change the day, nothing would have worked for everyone.  I was told a while later that my character’s flute had become a holy item imbued with magical powers after it was discovered a hundred miles away from where the castle was destroyed. The DM of that game also asked me if it was okay to kind of use the character in the end of the game and I have to admit I like what he did. In the final battle against a restored Tiamatus (evil god of the dragons of Mu) the party suddenly heard Feld’s signature song and were bolstered enough by it to push through and defeat the enemy.
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So now that I am caught up I will attempt (Although I can not promise) to keep on top of this for the rest of the month. Wish me luck!

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