Sunday, June 25, 2017

Chaining for Shinies pt 7: The Larvesta Entry

Shiny Statistics so far:
Bruxish (Josh) - 71 [Chain]
Cutiefly (ZK)* - 60 [Chain]
Rockruff (ZK)* - 35 [Chain]
Salandit (ZK)* - 70 [Chain]
Cutiefly (Me) - 315 [Chain]
Spinarak (Me) - 42 [Chain]
Dewpider (Me) - 373 [Chain]
Grubbin (Me) - 78* (but actually I killed like 2500+ of these total to get it) [Chain]
*With the Shiny Charm

Okay so I haven't posted anything in a bit on the pokemon front, and let's be honest I do these particular entries just for me anyway because there isn't a whole lot to say about the repetitive action of a pokemon chain. Also there's another reason.

The pokemon I'm working on getting a shiny of right now is Larvesta and it isn't a naturally occurring species in Alola. So I'm hatching. And hatching. And hatching. So this is not a chain, this is me breeding pokemon using the Masuda Method and it's suuuper slow.

But I finally hit the point where I had to start releasing some of them for Box Space and I don't trust myself not to lose a notepad document on my hard drive so I'm just going to make this journal entry and then keep coming back to update it as I hatch more Larvesta.

Then once I get it, I'll update the above list and make a new journal entry for Heracross.

So, Number of Larvestas Hatched So Far:

427

Fortune Favors,
Megan

DM's Log: Our Heroes Join the Assassin's Guild

Salutations, nerds, we've got Noah here in the house with us tonight and Richie's getting ready to go on Vacation so he won't be here this session.

-/-/-/-/-

Stalkurn XVII - Patrick - Back in the underdark after so many generations out, and wanted by Lolth, this is going to be an extra interesting adventure for him.

Maris - Josh - A trident wielding triton with mad net skills, he was taken as a slave by the drow while looking for a subterrenean kraken. He still hasn't found it yet.

Pipilouise [ABSENT] - Richie - A gnome in heavy armor with an attitude as bad as the bite of her weapon, she is arguably the most responsible member of the party.

Neko & Lunch - Cody - As far as the party knows, an incredibly intelligent mouse with a halfling familiar.

Nodaco - Noah - Human bard, college of valor.

-/-/-/-/-

Popping right back up where we left off, we are now currently preparing to go assassinate a daughter of the drow house Freaffin'vir to attempt to catalyst a skirmish between them and Arken'sek so that the party can use it for cover to go in and rescue some slaves! Everybody's all set to go, half the party's leveling and Noah's rolling his character and I'm going to try to update this during breaks so it's all fresh in my mind as we get it down.

So today, we begin with our intrepid heroes attempting to follow a drow raiding party into the bowels of the underdark hoping to ambush them on their way back from hunting a purple worm to take the poison they've extracted.

So I'm about to put them through a dungeon! You know, to see if they end up finding the drow party or the purple worm first. They are level three. Let's see how much common sense they have tonight.

-/-/-/-/-

So the party went after the purple worm and the drow they were following lost the battle to said purple worm and they all died. Nodaco dug through a pile of poo and found a coin pouch in it from where one of the worms in the area had eaten an adventurer and put on a ring that he found in the pouch that is now slowly turning him into a tiefling and making him feel the need to do something ornery.

The party did not run from the purple worm. It killed Maris but everybody else lived. They got Maris rezzed using the gold from his own bag to do it and now they are back at the Assassin's guild preparing to go find Shi'nreena Freaffin'vir and assassinate her for the sake of staring a house war between Freaffin'vir and Arken'sek.

They did succeed at doing this after cornering Shi'nreena in an alleyway. They fabricated evidence that Arken'sek was responsible and fled the scene after Stalkurn took her ring as proof.

They had a little talk with the ladies that run the assassin's guild and the guildmaster's daughter presented them with a plan to slowly take out all the nobles in the city and just like that this has become an assassination game.

The last thing they did before the game ended for the night was go and take out a daughter of House Freaffin'vir out and in the process freed her body guard / slave, Nhile.

I probably gave them way too much gold this time around, but for a session I had to BS the vast majority of, I think it went pretty well. And my players are enjoying the assassination game so there is that!

Fortune Favors,
Megan

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DM's Log: Things We Do in the Underdark

Alright, it's been a little bit since I've written a blog entry and I just wanted you all to know I'm not dead I've just been really busy this month! I've taken the DM's seat back for my Saturday group and our summer campaign is currently being held underground between a dwarven city, Mithrilhaven, and a drow one, Falythvraen.

June's gone home for the summer so our current cast of characters is as follows:

Stalkurn XVII - Patrick - Back in the underdark after so many generations out, and wanted by Lolth, this is going to be an extra interesting adventure for him.

Maris - Josh - A trident wielding triton with mad net skills, he was taken as a slave by the drow while looking for a subterrenean kraken. He still hasn't found it yet.

Pipilouise - Richie - A gnome in heavy armor with an attitude as bad as the bite of her weapon, she is arguably the most responsible member of the party.

Lunch - Cody - As far as the party knows, an incredibly intelligent mouse with a halfling familiar.

Right now, the party is in Falythvraen looking for an old friend of Pip's family who had been dragged down as a slave by the drow. They hope, at least, because the alternative is a pretty messy sacrifice to Lolth and nobody has time for that.

Last time, Stalkurn made the mistake of loudly announcing who he was to a bunch of drow guards and now the whole city is looking for him, which is pretty unfortunate because he is the only drow down here who also happens to be over six feet tall.

Through some pretty crafty dealings, though, they've managed to get themselves into a pretty decent position to get one drow house to seige another and use the cover of the attack to slip in and get their dwarf friend out of there. Also, they've made some contacts with the local assassin's guild, and half-drow Caliel Shaiith is definitely somebody you want on your side in a place like this.

I'll try to hit up more details next time, for now I just wanted to get some of these thoughts down and I'll give it another pass after this week's game, hopefully with a lot more detail.

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Player's Log: Us vs the Tomb of Horrors

I got my character done early, gonna do some pre-writing <3

-/-/-/-/-

Cast of Characters:

Rapture - Tiefling Barbarian - Me~ - She used to break knees for a local crime syndicate and now she just fucks shit up in dungeons.

Ricardo Esponoza - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Secretly a Stalkurn, but in a fake moustache and with spells.

Bran - Half-elf Paladin - Cody - He's the token good guy.

Rrrrra - Hill Dwarf Cleric - June -

Moss Toe - Goblin Ranger - Richie -

-/-/-/-/-

Find the Door

The first thing we have to do is see if we can find the way in. Moss Toe informs us that he has been looking for a week straight and Rrrrra sounds like Lemongrab,

Anyway we finally find doors inside a broken wall of a door. This rock blocked the path behind us as we dove in. The doors lead to nowhere but a cliff face. Now I know why they call this the Tomb of Fuck You.

Rrrrra manages to get us out and we find another door. There are lots of murals and shit, and a mosaic floor with a winding red path on it. We either really do or really do not want to step on those red tiles. So we end up following the red tiles and finding that demon head that everybody is always talking about in this particular dungeon.

We find a bunch of ten foot spike pits and an actual door underneath some paint somewhere after backtracking. There is a lot of Rapture carrying people over pits back and forth. A statue comes to life.

We are now fighting a gargoyle.

So stalkurn Ricardo and Rapture blast that gargoyle in half a round and we end up in a series of 10 by 10 nondescript rooms. Then we find a series of studs in the walls and Ricardo slams them all down at once and it opens the door.

Anyway we went through a few more rooms but I'm going to be honest I was talking to a twitter friend and forgot to take down those deets. But at one point something did explode on Rapture. She passed her save and is resistant to fire damage so she was pretty nonplussed.

Anyway then fucking Ricardo convinces Rapture to go into the teleportation room and she ends up a dude with opposite alignment and grabs him by the throat to shove him against the wall and they fight for a little bit but his smug mug is so stupid proud of himself. She goes back into the room until she's female again and ends up naked at the entrance of the dungeon and is not amused by this bullshit because her name already sounds like it should belong to a stripper.

We end up using one of our check points to go back to before that happened. Rapture rips his fake moustache off and then refuses to take him over some pits until he apologizes for being a douchenozzle but eventually the DM decides he's had enough and brights us with his flashlight until we rejoin the rest of the party.

Then we find a room with a fake lich in it and combat begins anew.

We do eventually find another secret room. And there are keys in some acid puddles. Ricardo uses mage hand to get them out but I point out that all the soap I loaded up on at the beginning of the game would have been a base and neutralized the acid.

Somehow we ended up winning and not dying. It was hella fun though, we several times just blundered out of getting insta-killed.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Player's Log: Punching God in All Five of her Faces

Happy Saturday! Once again doing the pre-writing for my live blogging of our weekly D&D game while everybody else is...well I was the one that forgot to level this time but I'm done with that.
-/-/-/-/-

Pre-Game Reference Stuff:

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR RISE OF TIAMAT,  TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.

Last week we cancelled because Stalkurn is a Bonobo but the week /before/ that we went to Thay and I'm pretty sure had an intense fight in the Battle of Waterdeep. This week is our last session and if we have time afterward we might just fight a terrasque so let's get to it ^__^

-/-/-/-/-

Cast of Characters:

Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He...is actually getting there.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about. Currently somewhat more evil than he was before.

Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior. He's also a fucking maniac that does things like throw dead bodies out of windows.

Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.

Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar". Is the most rational party member.

Genevieve - Aasimar Paladin - Richie - Our new party member, she's a paladin in super awesome armor with super awesome grey dreadlocks. Have I mentioned I love seeing older ladies in games and stuff? It pretty much never happens and I respect it so hard.

-/-/-/-/-

Let's Get Down to Business

We get together our armies and get ready to take on the cult. We have intelligence that there are old lava tunnels we can use to bypass most of the army and get to where we're trying to go. Concerns are raised about fucking lava but we are assured that there isn't any anymore.

We make battle plans, sending the groups we have command with after their groups, we have mostly one for one but we put the Harpers to disrupting enemy supply and communication lines and get ready to go punch a god in her multiple faces.

And now we're dungeon crawling again.

We finally make it to the temple after tunnel combat and searching some sub rooms. There's summoning going on as people are summoning and there's a really pretty magical effect in the center spire of the temple.

-/-/-/-/-

We Fight God

So anyway after what feels like an hour of combat (it was literally an hour of combat spoiler alert) we fail to stop Tiamat from being summoned. Tbh we didn't want to stop her from being summoned we really wanted to fight a god.

So she's not even out of the portal yet and the party is almost dead and we've hit the part of the fight where we're at each other's throats.

Anyway. We lived. Tiamat is banished. The end of the campaign suggests we work on getting the treasure back to who it belongs to and the whole party laughs like we can't breathe because we're so not going to do that, this treasure is our 'we saved the world' tax.

Anyway <3 It feels pretty great to have gotten through all this.

Chaining for Shinies part 6: I Finally Found this Grubbin

Shiny Statistics so far:
Bruxish (Josh) - 71
Cutiefly (ZK)* - 60
Rockruff (ZK)* - 35
Salandit (ZK)* - 70
Cutiefly (Me) - 315
Spinarak (Me) - 42
Dewpider (Me) - 373
Grubbin (Me) - 78* (but actually I killed like 2500+ of these total to get it)
*With the Shiny Charm

I'm not sure how many people give a flying hoot about this, but last night I decided to chain some pokemon to help put me to sleep (because anyone that's ever chained pokemon in bed knows that is a sure recipe to make you tired) and at around chain 78, there it was. Shiny grubbin.

This honestly took me way longer than any sane person spends on obsessively grinding anything in a video game but I seriously feel like it's worth it just to be able to say "Haha I did it" and talk to you fine folks about it. All two of you.

No really, though, there's a certain deep satisfaction that comes with finally achieving something that's been eluding you for months. Almost four months actually. The fun part is that Larvesta is next and that one is going to have to involve some hatchery because it can't be found in the wild in Alola.

Gotta have goals, friends.

-/-/-/-/-

Today I Learned: Poison that attacks the bloodstream is called hemotoxin. Snakes use it to make their prey bleed more and die faster.

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Player's Log: The Wizards Who Say "Nyh"

Happy Saturday! Once again doing the pre-writing for my live blogging of our weekly D&D game while everybody else is leveling.

-/-/-/-/-

Pre-Game Reference Stuff:

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR RISE OF TIAMAT,  TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.

Last week we fought undead, Nicophel acquired four apprentices and we SERIOUSLY had two lich fights.

-/-/-/-/-

Cast of Characters:

Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He...is actually getting there.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about. Currently somewhat more evil than he was before.

Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior. He's also a fucking maniac that does things like throw dead bodies out of windows.

Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.

Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar". Is the most rational party member.

Genevieve [ABSENT] - Aasimar Paladin - Richie - Our new party member, she's a paladin in super awesome armor with super awesome grey dreadlocks. Have I mentioned I love seeing older ladies in games and stuff? It pretty much never happens and I respect it so hard.

-/-/-/-/-

Secret Clandestine Meetings

The tiefling from the ice cave takes us through some winding back alleys at night and she leads us through a secret door in a wall and down into this dark chamber lit entirely by candles. In the room waiting for us is someone we immediately recognize as a red wizard.

The wizard's first name is Nyh. Wtf.

We are specifically requested to go to Thay for diplomatic bullshit, and the trip will last a few days after which we will be returned to Waterdeep unharmed. The wizard has been carefully questioned and subjected to the zone of truth and they are sure he's being honest.

Nyh teleports us to a keep at Thay and we are each given a luxurious individual room. We are then brought to speak to the Lady of the Keep and she says that Thay will help us in exchange for the heads of the exiled red wizards we've been helping. Nicophel says that they will do it but only under the condition that he can observe the proceedings and promises he does not intend to intervene or depart from plans. His plans. And his plans state that there will be no need of intervention.

We have another meeting the next morning.

Nicophel arcane locks his door and Stalkurn plants an immovable rod by his own. That night, Iroh is pulled into a nightmarish sequence while Red Wizards interrogate him and torture him inside his own mind.

Anyway we agree to screw Thay over get back to Waterdeep and find it under assault.

-/-/-/-/-

Waterdeep Under Siege

Okay so basically big combat crap is happening.

Nicophel takes out the southernmost cult encampment with a meteor swarm and takes out a quarter of the cultists in one fell swope. The others go to fight dragons.

Combat update, the rest of the party is not doing so well against the three huge dragons they are fighting. Meanwhile Nicophel is trying to keep tabs on the whole city at once but he is not that badass.

And I lost internet connection but we did eventually win and Nicophel is now everybody's favorite person in Waterdeep.

This was the penultimate session. Next time, we face Tiamat. (And hopefully after that I can press the DM into letting us try to conquor Thay, we'll see).

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Vent: I am starting to think I will never find this grubbin.

Okay, pass this one over if you're not in the mood to hear me complain.

Up until this point I've been pretty lucky with my shinies. I got spinarak in a chain 42 and that was intense. It was also on New Years, and that worked out really nicely because if it had gone on super long I wouldn't have been able to finish.

But HOT DAMN is this grubbin elusive.

Like seriously I've been in two separate 400+ chains for this grubbin, and right now I'm sitting on 445 and still no shiny. I really want a /grubbin/ but I'm thinking I might just have to go for Charjabug instead. My fiance has even gotten in on the grubbin chaining at this point, bless him.

I'm going to keep this chill and quiet, I just need to throw my complaint into the internet and see if that helps my luck any.

Today I Learned: If you buy fresh eggs from a farmer they are good for at least three months refrigerated. Eggs from the supermarket have a crate date but the date goes by when they're put in the carton not when they're laid; they could leave them for a month sitting at the factory without putting a date on the carton. You're welcome for that paranoia.

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Player's Log: Night of the Living Douche

Happy Saturday! Once again doing the pre-writing for my live blogging of our weekly D&D game while everybody else is leveling.

-/-/-/-/-

Pre-Game Reference Stuff:

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR RISE OF TIAMAT,  TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.

Last week my brother was here, we went through a magical hedgemaze and we had another dragon fight in a town.

-/-/-/-/-

Cast of Characters:

Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He...is actually getting there.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about. Currently somewhat more evil than he was before.

Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior. He's also a fucking maniac that does things like throw dead bodies out of windows.

Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.

Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar". Is the most rational party member.

Genevieve - Aasimar Paladin - Richie - Our new party member, she's a paladin in super awesome armor with super awesome grey dreadlocks. Have I mentioned I love seeing older ladies in games and stuff? It pretty much never happens and I respect it so hard.

-/-/-/-/-

City of the Dead

The DM decides to run a homebrew session tonight so we're called in to check in on the current undead activity in the City of the Dead in Waterdeep. We gear up and head over to take care of business. There are fears that the surge in undead are linked to something great and powerful beneath the cemetery. Iroh is dead convinced it's a dracolich and Nicophel does not disagree.

We are familiar with the family crest of the people that sent us here and Varis immediately starts looting the place. There's a hole in the ground with a ladder. Varis, Stalkurn and Iroh all make a big spectacle of climbing down, Genevieve does it normally and Nicophel casts featherfall.

There's a door straight ahead of us and a door to the left but then the DM sighs because he realizes we always go left and now everyone is laughing.

We find a circular room with four pedestals and statues on them. A skull, a cow, a priestess and a baby. Stalkurn picks up the priestess and fails his wisdom save and now feels really sore and such. Nicophel says "one of these things is not like the udders" and picks up the cow statue. Varis goes for the skull.

Josh: You feel, like, a chill run down your spine--

Varis: WITCHES!

There's another room with a pedestal and it says "the password is part of who you are". The door in the room still opens without is figuring out the puzzle first. We may come back to it later.

Josh: There's a bright green liquid dripping from the cieling.

Varis: I try it.

He takes four acid damage. The green stuff is dripping forming in pools on the ground and occasionally bubbling and popping. There are two doors from here to the left and right and obviously we go left.

We end up in a room that has no gravity and then after that end up in a room with a guy sitting on a massive skeletal snake. Stalkurn asks it to get off the skeleton and it produces a sword and shield. Combat starts. At one point the snake tries to bite Varis and he literally holds its mouth shut with his hands like Hercules.

We can't get the armor off of the dead guy and the party just throws the whole body in the portable hole.

We take some stairs and end up back in the curated part of the catacombs. Nicophel continues to question why there is so much stuff here that doesn't make a lot of logical sense like the non euclidean room but the rest of the party doesn't seem bothered.

And then there are more undead things to fight. Oh oh oh nope nope nope they're puking up smaller undead things nope so much nope.

We then fight some severed heads? And get into a circular room with words on the wall.

Working together Stalkurn and Nicophel get "Embrace the Darkness that follows you. Only in the tomb can your path continue."

Nicophel crosses his arms and tries to fall back into his shadow all dramatically and just hits the ground and Stalkurn laughs at him. Anyway there was also this sculpture in the room that apparently casts the shadow of a key and you can get the door key by taking that key with your shadow.

Then Iroh and Varis get possessed and we scramble to try and figure Magic Jar out. It turns out the people in the magic jars were apprentices to the lich that's down here and now they want to kick her ass so Nicophel offers to take over their training and help them kick the lich's ass but now they're iffy about it. Genevieve says they can help or die and that goes over much better.

We then proceed to kick the lich's ass. I'm not even exaggerating Stalkurn one-shotted her. He came out from behind Varis and cut her like a pro and it was super anticlimactic but it was still pretty damn cool. Duel wielding drow, what are you gonna do.

We end up in a room where the ceiling is slowly descending and we all dart back into the previous room but Varis charges forward to the next room brazenly instead of darting back with us.We end up in a chamber with a prismatic wall and Stalkurn drops his portable hole underneath it "like a Mexican tunnel" so we don't have to go through the wall.

We do finally find the main boss lich, and he is a mindflayer. It's unfortunate for him that I like his clothes. The lich talks about how he wants to take over Waterdeep and Nicophel convinces the party that we want to fight him so /we/ can takeover Waterdeep instead.

More combat happens. Iroh ends up caught up with the illithid lich thing. It's a really tough battle, we actually almost wipe, and then we finally make it through and kill the lich! And then after using Legend Lore all we learn about his phylactery is that it's something unassuming so that no one would think to destroy it.

Oh, this is going to be fun.

Today I Learned: We are going to make our own city, with blackjack and hookers.

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Player's Log: Don't Take Anything for Granted

Happy Saturday! Once again doing the pre-writing for my live blogging of our weekly D&D game while everybody else is leveling.

-/-/-/-/-

Pre-Game Reference Stuff:

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR RISE OF TIAMAT,  TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.

Last week Nicophel got his first zombie, we slayed another dragon, and I fell asleep at the tail end of the session so I don't actually know for sure how we wrapped up. We'll see how this goes.

-/-/-/-/-

Cast of Characters:

Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He...is actually getting there.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about. Currently somewhat more evil than he was before.

Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior. He's also a fucking maniac that does things like throw dead bodies out of windows.

Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.

Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar". Is the most rational party member.

Genevieve [ABSENT THIS WEEK] - Aasimar Paladin - Richie - Our new party member, she's a paladin in super awesome armor with super awesome grey dreadlocks. Have I mentioned I love seeing older ladies in games and stuff? It pretty much never happens and I respect it so hard.

Trog Dor - Dragonborn Sorcerer - Max - My brother. He's 15 and Mom didn't want to leave him home alone while she went and did Mom stuff tonight so he came to the game as a special guest. Trog has a criminal background, he used to be a loan shark.

-/-/-/-/-

Defecting Dragons

Okay so apparently Trog defected from the dragon cult (that wasn't a part of Max's backstory at all, and I sympathize with Josh's need to make it fit the story considering he's only here for one session but it does give Iroh an extra reason to want to shoot him). We're being asked to go and get some cultists out of the castle, which happens to be legendary.

Trog tells us that he's going to shake some money out of some cultist that fled without paying his gambling debts. When asked if he intends to break his kneecaps he tells us that no, he intends to break his neck. He fits in just fine.

Iroh and Nicophel buy brooms of flying and we start out to the labyrinth castle.

When we arrive we find that the only way to find the door is to solve the labyrinth and we quickly realize that Nicophel is the only one in the party that has any chance of actually solving it so we get down to business. To defeat. These shrubs.

Then Max I'm pretty sure solves the first part of the puzzle on his first guess. It involved some shadows on a sundial. We're now in a little garden area. There are cyclopses and sheep in here, frozen. When we approach they all unfreeze and play rock paper scissors to decide who approaches and then Varis and Stalkurn play rock paper scissors to see who approaches the cyclopses.

Then we end up in a rock garden with silk pillows and a man sitting on a boulder who offers us tea. We all pass our perception and/or arcana checks and realize that the face on the teapot is an earth djinn. The pagoda ends up covered in rock walls and we're inhaling funny leaf steam and Nicophel doesn't pass his save and takes damage so he teleports out and the guy attacks us.

Then we end up being charged by a gorgon bull thing and Nicophel disintegrates it once and on the second pass through he gets turned to stone. The rest of the party kills it, we go back to the sundial, then we end up in a place with a garnet floating and some water going on with things inside it attacking the party.

Varis realizes there is treasure all along the bottom of the pool and dives down to get it even though we're all sure he will drown if he does, but he comes up with treasure. Then we end up walking through the sundial and we have to fight some suits of armor.

We do finally get into the keep and pretty soon we're fighting cultists again.

We keep exploring for a while, find another library but the books in here aren't interesting so Nicophel doesn't care. At one point there's an efreet and Nicophel hits on him. Stalkurn takes some quills from a desk and debates putting one behind his ear but thinks that might just be too flamboyant with all of his purple and gold clothes and his eyepatch.

We get out of the castle and find the town we were just in being attacked by a blue dragon.

Of course that attack is difficult, they always are, Nicophel again almost dies but eventually we kill the dragon and he manages to seduce the efreet. Stalkurn on the other hand looks like a total badass riding the dragon's corpse to the ground.

We get treasure.

What I Learned Today: I promise there was something but it's a secret ;)

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Player's Log: Thorns and Water and Vines (Oh My)

Happy Saturday! Once again doing the pre-writing for my live blogging of our weekly D&D game while everybody else is leveling.

-/-/-/-/-

Pre-Game Reference Stuff:

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR RISE OF TIAMAT,  TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.

I don't even remember where we left off last time because last week got cancelled, let's do this.

-/-/-/-/-

Cast of Characters:

Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He...is actually getting there.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about. Currently somewhat more evil than he was before.

Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior. He's also a fucking maniac that does things like throw dead bodies out of windows.

Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.

Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar". Is the most rational party member.

Genevieve - Aasimar Paladin - Richie - Our new party member, she's a paladin in super awesome armor with super awesome grey dreadlocks. Have I mentioned I love seeing older ladies in games and stuff? It pretty much never happens and I respect it so hard.

-/-/-/-/-

#TavernProblems

We totally just got ambushed in the tavern by dragon cultists. And apparently there are a lot of innocents in here that are not cultists as well. During the fight Genevieve accidentally gets blinded, Nicophel kills a cultist with Finger of Death and acquires a zombie that is now his, and a bunch of other cultists run away.

After the fight we all go back to bed to regain HP and spell slots because we're boosted that way.

The big problem here is that the zombie that Nicophel acquired is pretty useless in combat and smells like death and no one wants to keep it near them. Nicophel acquires a leather collar and a leash for his zombie pet for the time being while he looks for somewhere to keep it. He just ends up putting it in a deep holocaust cloak and filling its pockets with potpourri.

I name my zombie "Nigel" because I think Nigel would find that funny. And because he's the first one.

We go to a second meeting and this time there's a hard core elf in a crown there. Stalkurn and Varis grapple and tie up the guys we found out were cultists last week. We're the straight up inquisition up in this piece.

Varis got laid woo! \o/ He nat20'd that persuasion check.

We also find out there are confirmed Dragon Attacks in the Misty Forest. Then the DM lays down something that the party has to be split for that we will get back to later, we take a level break and head out to go dragon slaying.

-/-/-/-/-

The Misty Forest

We travel into the Misty Forest to go after some green dragons. There's tons of mist everywhere. Hence the title. Iroh uses his dragon radar and Stalkurn makes 'bloop' noises. We find a wood elf settlement and the residents tell us about how cultists and dragons came through and killed tons of people. They tried to kill the dragon but it swallowed a priest whole. Some survivors claim they saw a cultist riding on top of the dragon.

We meet the new village leader, Gaelan, who we find out is a recent widower. Anyway most of the party ends up thinking he's a coward because he sold out nearby villagers for his own safety. Iroh and Genevieve in particular give him a lot of shit for being a coward. Nicophel is more inclined to be a little nicer to him because he did just lose his wife and he's probably giving himself a lot more hell than we possibly could.

Then we find a druid in the woods pinned under a tree. Varis tries to lift the tree off of her only to find that it is an ent and she calls Varis strong of character before she puts flowers on us turns into an owl and flies away. And the tree gets up and follows her.

Then we end up in spider combat and find a cave behind a waterfall.

There are dragon prisoners in there and we talk to them a little bit before they tell us where the dragon is and we go back there. We find an underground cavern with a pool and an island and there's a dragon in here somewhere but for some reason we can't see it.

-/-/-/-/-

Dragon Fight!

Then we find a couple of giants fighting about how they're touching each other's stuff. Varis talks his way past them without it coming to a fight. We find another group of prisoners and send them on their way before we find a statue that we then proceed to ignore before we find another group of cultists who are not expecting us to slaughter them.

We're dungeon crawling again.

Anyway we find the dragon. And of course we take a ton of damage as we go, like even including the fact that we've got protections we set up before we came in here, like holy crap. I did fall asleep during that combat wow I've been pushing myself hard this week, but we did kill it.

I'm going to cut this blog off here, I'm sure there wasn't much more to go after this ;w; I'll clean this up tomorrow

Edit: Okay the vast majority of this session was dungeon crawl and we all know how much I tend to pay attention to that, so by clean up what I really mean is sign off from it properly.

What I Learned Today: Sunburst is crazy AoE.

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Life and Stuff

Okay, so I have got a lot of crazy stuff going on right now and other obligations. I'm at least going to be able to keep my campaign diary going once a week but as far as getting stuff posted to my blog I might be a little bit less active than I have been.

It seems to be one disaster after another and I do have a lot I need to get done no matter what, so I'm prioritizing and this isn't going to be the priority. That said, I'll do what I can to get stuff up when I can, I'm just not promising the same regularity that I've had up until this point this year.

Something's got to give. None of the other crap I have on my plate is an option for that.


What I Learned Today: Azeroth is a titan. Yeah. I mean the actual planet.

Fortune Favors

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Player's Log: "Snakes on a Sub-Plane"

Happy Saturday! Once again doing the pre-writing for my live blogging of our weekly D&D game while everybody else is leveling. Except I'm not actually sure I leveled this time. Omg let me go check.

-/-/-/-/-

Pre-Game Reference Stuff:

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR RISE OF TIAMAT,  TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.

We're finally back in town! Waterdeep! And we have a new party member so this is going to prove to be super interesting.

-/-/-/-/-

Cast of Characters:

Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He...is actually getting there.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about. Currently somewhat more evil than he was before.

Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior. He's also a fucking maniac that does things like throw dead bodies out of windows.

Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.

Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar". Is the most rational party member.

Genevieve - Aasimar Paladin - Richie - Our new party member, she's a paladin in super awesome armor with super awesome grey dreadlocks. Have I mentioned I love seeing older ladies in games and stuff? It pretty much never happens and I respect it so hard.

-/-/-/-/-

Back in Waterdeep Again

Leosin greets us and tells us that the council doesn't have enough new information to reconvene yet, but they did want to pass information on to us.

1. They have confirmed the location of one of the wyrmspeakers. The white one is in Boareskyr Bridge and is looking for his mask.

2. They have managed to get together enough resources to give us these writs to investigate whatever locations we need to on the authority of the council.

Nicophel pulls Stalkurn aside to scry for his girlfriend that he's never met so he can see her. It works and we see that she is chilling in a tent city in the mountains.

-/-/-/-/-

Boareskyr Bridge

We make it to the town where there is a large bridge and a bunch of tent buildings. There's a tentside inn, which is pretty cool, but really everything here appears to be chill. Nicophel starts asking around trying to find the guy we're after and we are told that a dwarf killed a yuan ti and took off for the hills.

We head into the hills and Iroh starts doing his thing tracking the path through the hills.

We do go through the wilderness, some foot hills, carved faces, and then we reach some steps that Stalkurn and Varis get into a jumping contest to clear before each other. The rest of us just follow along like normal people.

We come across a camp sight and Iroh is able to sense a bunch of people indoors inside the mesa.

There are some ruins with an old fountain and some statues. The statues tell us to halt and ask us if we are seeking knowledge or wisdom. Nicophel answers knowledge and the statues say that if we are respectful everything will be fine. We're totally screwed.

He then describes some of the carvings and it turns out they are depictions of older parties that we've been in and a future party involving Stalkurn's brother Stalkurn and Nicophel's twin Sylthiel. He is not at all okay with the idea that they would be hanging out together.

Anyway we get into this room with a bunch of dark hooded wizard statues and a voice tells us not to look at them so none of us do even though Nicophel really wants to.

Next we end up fighting a mozaic chimera and from there we're dungeon crawling. Hit some other rooms, ended up fighting some wraiths and specters. We beat them in one round but that one round literally takes an hour. At one point Stalkurn pees in a magic scrying pool.

Anyway eventually we get to this sarcophagus and find out the yuan ti have taken the dwarf we're after. We get him back and question him and he is good about doing what we ask and then Nicophel teleports the party back to Waterdeep.

That got lame there at the end because I lost internet for a tick and it's just been one of those nights. But it should be better next week I understand there will be more RP.

What I Learned Today: The cheap squeeze cheese is not as good straight but tastes exactly the same on crackers.

Fortune Favors


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Modern Witchcraft: What it Means to Me

I do like to keep a nice buffer between my current blog entry and the next one set up to be posted, and that buffer has gotten uncomfortably short. I've been throwing most of my D&D related topics at Nerdarchy (and don't consider that a complaint this is the best thing that's happened to me all year) so as far as my personal blog goes, it's withered a little bit.

But it's giving me a kick in the seat of the pants to talk about other things. Another topic that is very close to my heart is modern witchcraft.

It's not a huge secret that I'm a practicing pagan. As far as religions go, it's not your regular 'go to church, don't do bad things', there's this whole other aspect to it that most of the world just doesn't believe in--and that's okay. Just because this is my reality doesn't mean it has to be yours to validate that it is.

The thing is, when a witch gathers up some herbs and an anointed, inscribed candle and starts whispering poetry into the night air, she's pretty much doing the same thing everyone else is doing when they pray. Except it feels a little bit proactive. What drew me to the craft was that I can take my fate into my own hands.

We have gods. Those gods are important to varying degrees. By nature of the craft, you get a patron god and a matron goddess that you follow before the rest of them and a lot of us keep to the Christian God as a part of that because we grew up in Christian households and it isn't that easy to just let go of. The thing is, we're in the practice of taking will and making it manifest in various ways.

The candles? Not necessary. The incense? Take it or leave it. The herbs? Well, they smell good, but you don't have to have them. All magic is, boils down to the intent behind it. And all of those objects you use in the casting of it are focus items, they help you narrow down your intent to a fine point.

Some people are just fine without it, but for others the ritual is very important. For me, I'm a very impulsive caster. I shake things up with mirrors and rage. My soul is made of fire. This isn't something that's easy for me to say to just anyone because the attitude I take about this, the fact that just because this is real for me doesn't mean it has to be real for other people doesn't really extend past myself most of the time.

When people laugh, it's not a big deal. I can deal with being taken less seriously, everything about me pretty much begs to be taken less seriously. I'm 5'2", and I have a terminal case of baby face. I also have the kind of personality that just isn't for everyone. Like 75% of people don't like me, are rubbed the wrong way by me, and I think that's alright too. I mean, we're nerds. We're socially awkward, it's kind of what we do.

But then you get those few people that are weirdly threatened by the idea of ghosts and spirits and magic. The ones that say "how dare you" like I've brought up something ridiculous and am conning people into believing in it. It's just a thing that people do, they get angry and all bent out of shape by the unknown or unusual.

I don't really care much for it. That is to say, it doesn't bother me anymore. Those people don't matter, not really. When I tap into the undertow of power that exists between beings, I don't have to worry about a thing. It's real to me. It always will be. Nobody can take that.

I prefer to be a witch because witchcraft glorifies feminine power without cutting out the masculine. Both are necessary. I prefer to be a witch because as a mortal human I still don't feel like I have to put my life in the hands of a more powerful being than I am to live a worthy life. I prefer to be a witch because I just love the aesthetic and something about all of these old rhymes and fairy tale rules speaks to me. I prefer to be a witch because we have one rule, harm none, and it's easier to stop and ask myself if what I'm doing is hurting anybody than it is to weigh it against pages upon pages of outdated law.

My mother and I are going to get into gardening this summer. We'll be growing herbs and some flowers, partly because the bees need them and partly because the price of herbs is crazy high anymore and it'd just be easier to grow my own. I'm actually really excited about it, we haven't done a big project like this together in a long time.

It's just another thing I'd like to make some more time and room in my life for.

What I Learned Today: The Mormon Church has Bishops--I thought that was just a Catholic thing but apparently it's not.

Fortune Favors

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dear Anime: Please Shut Up About Your Main Character

So remember how I was really loving Log Horizon? SPOILERS FOR LOG HORIZON AHEAD.

I just hit the part in the series where three separate characters have their brains leak out their ears and suddenly start crushing on Shiro, and everybody else wants to talk about nothing else, and suddenly some monarch from a different in game area wants to bone him.

Wow, can you stop please.

Like I get that writing is basically just wish fulfillment, and everybody wants to be respected and talked about and liked and shit, but seriously this is ridiculous. And it happens a lot in anime, and an embarrassing amount in books and stuff.

Listen. You have drama going on. And world building. And a mystery that I'm on the edge of my seat about seeing. Does your main character really need three different women in love with him? Do people really need to sit there and talk about how brilliant and scary he is? And if everyone is respecting and loving him so much how do you justify continuing to call him a socially inept dork when he is so obviously not?

You can't have it both ways, anime. I'm looking at you too, Urban Fantasy. Please stop acting like the rest of your cast is just furniture for your main character to lean on, I am very sure that the split of people who like and dislike your main character is not exactly the same as the split of good and evil people in your world.

And not everyone has to absolutely love or absolutely hate this person, why do you feel the need? We were tired of hearing about you brag on yourself your main character the first three times you did it, you can take your foot off the gas. We know your character is bad ass. We've seen them in action. When you have the rest of your characters stand around and talk about how badass and scary and respectable your main character is it just comes off as super cheap like you aren't confident you've shown us they're a badass well enough.

The world does not revolve around you, protagonist. Will you stop being such a boosted animal.I'm believing in you less and less by the second.

If you love your protagonist please get them out of your story's way. Please.

That said. At the very least the women that are in love with the main character in Log Horizon kind of make sense. One of them is in Middle School and they play it off totally realistically for how a middle schooler would behave. And the other one I guess seems like the kind of person that would be into his character archetype but it just seemed sort of arbitrary and unnecessary to me.

I mean still, though, at least the characters are getting some characterization. At the very least I'd believe it out of an RP party. Except the part where all the guys continuously talk about how awesome Shiro is and keep wondering when he's going to get to do more stuff.

Today I Learned: Ocean Sunfish are the most useless animal ever.

Fortune Favors

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Player's Log: Ice Mesa

Happy Saturday! Once again doing the pre-writing for my live blogging of our weekly D&D game while everybody else is leveling. Been a rough week, but this is my favorite part of it 90% of the time so it's totally much needed.

-/-/-/-/-

Pre-Game Reference Stuff:

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR RISE OF TIAMAT,  TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.

We're finally back in town! Waterdeep! And we have a new party member so this is going to prove to be super interesting.

-/-/-/-/-

Cast of Characters:

Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He...is actually getting there.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about. Currently undergoing an alignment shift.

Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior. He's also a fucking maniac that does things like throw dead bodies out of windows.

Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.

Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar". Is the most rational party member.

Genevieve - Aasimar Paladin - Richie - Our new party member, she's a paladin in super awesome armor with super awesome grey dreadlocks. Have I mentioned I love seeing older ladies in games and stuff? It pretty much never happens and I respect it so hard.

-/-/-/-/-

Waterdeep

We're going shopping when a raven shows up and speaks to us to let us know that Leosin wants to meet us where he's staying within city limits. He tells us there's a lot going on right now and the various factions are kind of rubbing each other the wrong way through their begrudging decision that the cult is something that needs dealt with. They have put together a council but people are iffy about whether or not they want to contribute.

We walk in to find them arguing about whether or not destroying those dragon eggs a while back was the right thing to do and Nicophel handily convinces them that we couldn't have done it any other way. The woman at the head of the table is shuffling papers and wasn't sure when to expect us but says that now is as good a time as any.

They ask us to go and appropriate a dragon horn. They say it is far in the North in the Sea of Moving Ice. That it's past Neverwinter. They ask us to go find Makath the Crimson (at this point Nicophel says he wants a color, Varis snarkily suggests Nicophel the Rainbow but Iroh says "Nicophel of Many Colors" and it sticks).

They also tell us they've been investigating dragon attacks in the Misty Forest. They say it isn't pressing but are pretty sure there is a wyrmspeaker involved.

The Order of the Gauntlet finally tells us they have a resource they can give us right now. A large towering figure steps forward, totally decked in plate armor. The right gauntlet is shimmering white as opposed to the rest of it which is regular steel colored. He is also decked out in vestiments, chords and small banners. He is quite decorated and has a huge halberd and at this point I realize Richie keeps saying "They" so I will do the same.

Then she takes her helmet off and she has hella long grey dreadlocks, is kind of older and is pretty damn awesome. Her name is Genevieve. I already adore her.

A super attractive elven woman approaches Nicophel and gives him an envelope and tells him to "give it some thought" and Stalkurn immediately wants to sleep with her. Nicophel just wants the name of her tailor because her robe is very flowy and amazing.

-/-/-/-/-

We Get On the Boat

Nicophel buys a small ship for 3000gp because he got a copy of the spell Ringmaster's Captivating Caravel. No one else paid for it it's just mine so I'm the captain even though no one wants to listen to me when I say so. It gets colder and colder as we go. It's a good thing we have a hot tub.

And I have a boat to name.

Genevieve and Nicophel name it the Snowskimmer but Stalkurn and Varis insist that it is the Pishrot. We settle on "The Dragonrot". I put an arcane lock on the door to the captain's cabin.

Iroh knows where we are going all the time always so he is officially named the Ship Navigator and told to find out where we're headed. Stalkurn is the Quartermaster, Varis is the Tactical Officer and Genevieve is the First Mate. So spake Nicophel. He's having a really fun time pretending to be a sailor.

It turns out it is a really dinky ship and the next step up was 10k gold but I'd have totally bought it if I'd known this boat was gonna be so crappy. We do kind of nudge into something and Genevieve goes to check it out, and what she finds is a desert tundra dotted with some of the natives up here.

We get up closer and find an actual village with banners and homes made out of what appear to be the remnants of some sea creatures. We proceed on to the mesa that towers over the city and finally get to the top to see several dragon related carvings in the ice.

And now we're dungeon crawling again so I will give you the highlights.

-/-/-/-/-

The  Ice Mesa

We get a treasure chest and we're also fighting some trolls right now. We kill the trolls and keep on trucking. We find a calishite style tent in the middle of a chamber and I just bet the tiefling we're looking for is in there.

And she is. And she tells us that she's doing a translation of some ancient arcane documents and I tell her that I can put her stuff in my portable hole and help her get back to mainland. She tells us that the dragon is beneath the scriptorium and most of the material stolen from the host tower is in there but a few might be in his lair.

She gives us two arrows of dragon slaying (which Iroh takes) and a ring of Cold Resist (which Nicophel takes). She tells us that the dragon moves in and out via underwater passages. The Drakhorn was here whenever she arrived but a group in robes came and took it already a year ago.

We get a bunch of books and papers and head down into the dragon's lair to fight another gd cold dragon. It's like in the negatives down here and so dark and foggy that we can only see 30 feet in front of us and this is creepy and the ambiance is amazeballs.

Trolls and kobolds for trash mobs, it was a miserable battle but we dominated the field eventually and our new paladin friend made all the difference. That said now we have a long rest to take and a crap ton of loot to dig out from under the ice. Good thing I have firebolt as a cantrip.

-/-/-/-/-

Alright all we got left is divvying up the loot so we're going to go ahead and put this up <3

What I Learned Today: Finger of Death leaves what you killed with it permanently under your control.

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

"Everyone Deserves to be the Subject of Their Own Eulogy"

Today, we buried my great grandma Jo. I heard about her passing on Tuesday afternoon and since then everything has been absolute chaos. Now, I understand why people take time off from work when there's a death in the family. It isn't because we can't handle day to day business as usual, it's because those little set backs that don't matter usually hit you like a wrecking ball right in the chest and compound with your grief.

But it's over now. The shadow of death passed through and now we are left with the echo of it. The funeral was lovely. Or I should say it was a lovely church service. I mean no disrespect to those who spoke, both of them are ministers in the church where I grew up and they are my uncles and they did an amazing job at what they were there to do.

It's just that nothing that was said was really about her. They read her obituary, told us who she was following into death's embrace and who she left behind. And then they talked a lot about heaven and god and the bible. And it was a comfort. I do understand that funerals are for the living, more so than the dead.

My fiance was there with me for moral support. He'd never met her before. He came out of that funeral without knowing a single thing about her, and that, I think, is a real tragedy.

The next time we have a death in the family I am going to ask to speak like I could have this time. My Grandma Jo was a kind woman. She was sassy and she was sharp as a tack. She was the smell of lingering cigarette smoke and a cracked and drawn out voice. She was omni-present wrapped candies in her purse and hugs that were far too tight to expect them to come from a woman her size. She was always a person to do what she wanted to do, no matter what. She lived her life on her own terms.

At the end she was 90 and on oxygen and she smoked like a freighter anyway. She lived alone in a small house in town and took care of herself up until the end. She was fierce and she would not be denied those things that she wanted. Nor should she have been.

She deserved to have something said about her. My sworn sister, Gwen, gave me the title for this blog entry and it's up there, but I'll paraphrase it again because it's an apt one. She deserved to be the subject of her own eulogy.

Grandma, if you're reading this, I admire the hell out of your spirit. Thank you for always being so affectionate with us as kids, for watching us when we didn't have other places to go in the afternoons, for watching Digimon with us even if you didn't always understand it and for bringing me so much cardstock paper. You're probably one of the reasons I ended up a writer and I should have used that to honor you today. I am sorry. I will do better. I love you.

Fortune Favors,
Megan R. Miller

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Writing: Fight, Fight, Fight!

So, this blog entry was inspired by my brother in spirit, Luca, who asked for my advice recently on writing fight scenes. What I did at the time was link him to a video that I found helpful in regards to such a thing, but I've been thinking about it since then and had a few ideas of things to say.

Fight scenes are a difficult animal in the same way sex scenes are (and I know some people might be looking at this and making faces at me because none of my books that are currently out have sex scenes in them but it isn't because I've never written any, they're just not those kinds of books) in the sense that they're typically an entire scene based around a certain kind of action that most of us as writers probably don't do a whole lot of.

Both are intimate. Both are physical. Both are primal and instinctual in a way that is difficult to put into words, and yet putting them into words is exactly what we're trying to do.

So let me start off by listing some of the advice I've read that has been helpful to me, spoken by far wiser people than I am, and then I'll add what I can after.


  • Write inside the body - Get up and strike poses if you have to, think about your character's position and what they are doing and it will be easier to figure out where they will move from there, particularly when it comes to more complicated actions. Most of this doesn't need to be described but you the writer still need to know, particularly if your character is hurt and their left arm isn't working as well as it should for example.
  • Put your focus on the emotions - Most readers are going to respond much better to your character's fear or anger than they will the exact fencing move they just used to disarm their opponent.
  • Be concise with your details - As I've said before in previous journals, the human mind is made to fill in holes. If you see the whole fight in your head, great. If you want your reader to see the whole fight in their head too, all you need to give them is the important bits and they will see it too. Will it be the same thing you see? Probably not. And that's okay. They will see what they want to see and it will look bad ass to them.
  • Be immediate - Short sentences give impact. If you can describe something in two words instead of four, do it. Better if it's just one. "His fist crunched into her face" is much more visceral than "He swung and drove his knuckles at her mouth, making contact". Most fights in real life are over quickly and you don't have a lot of time to analyse every movement. Let what's happening happen and move on.
Now as far as what I have to add, it's not a lot. My suggestions are as follows:
  • Write the kind of fighting you are actually interested in. - If you don't care about sword fights don't try to write sword fights. Or at least, don't try to write the kinds of sword fights you don't care about. Find something you do like instead. So you aren't into the idea of an armored fighter, try someone going florentine with a pair of rapiers instead, or write a story with guns in it. It's also totally okay to go over the top anime as hell if you want to, just make it clear from the get go that anime as hell is the kind of story your reader is getting themselves into.
  • If you don't want to be realistic then don't be. - All over the internet I see people saying "don't do this and don't do that and whatever you do don't write prettified fight scenes because that isn't how it works in real life" but if your readers wanted real life violence they'd be watching MMA. If you want your protagonist to carry a sword twice as big as she is because that is what you love and you just want her to, then do it. I'm writing you a prescription. Don't let a bunch of elitists ruin your fun. Just be up front about it and own your ridiculousness. One of my favorite books I've ever read culminates in the main character riding a zombie t-rex into a wizard battle in the middle of modern day Chicago. And it was amazing.
  • Know what level of realism you are writing at - Gritty sci fi and fantasy calls for gritty combat in which one solid blow might actually kill you if not now then from infection later. The campier you go the more wiggle room you have, as long as you are consistent. Keep in mind that just because something is more exaggerated combat doesn't mean it has to be sunshine and rainbows, either. No one ever said you couldn't be both over the top and dark (we're looking at you RWBY).
  • Just remember that your fighting is like your magic - In the sense that you aren't required to follow arbitrary rules just because 'that's how it works in real life' but you'd better be consistent. If your 5'3" protagonist is wielding a 7 foot long sword easily, just make sure you establish it early on that it can happen and don't stop doing it or try to use "but I'm small and not strong enough" as an excuse for other stuff (unless the sword is made lighter by enchantment or having an air elemental in it or something). If beheading isn't instant death for your good guys then it sure as hell better not be for your bad guys either unless there's a good reason. Make your rules, apply them equally, keep them consistent.
  • Internal monologue - I do so very much want to know what your character is thinking. This matters far more than the play by play. The reader isn't going to remember exactly how your bad ass elf beheaded the giant, they are going to remember how she kept telling herself she could not go down to this because if she did he was going to eat the captives in the cage in the back of the cave and how horrible it would be to let that happen.
  • Go do some text based RP. - As in roleplay. If you're a D&Der you might fall into the rut of "I got a 17, I hit the monster for 10 damage". If you're a LARPer, you're not even describing your attacks, you're actually doing them. Text based roleplay makes you get into more detail than that. I've learned more about writing combat just RPing it with other people than I ever have from any amount of studying or writing it on my own. If what you're doing gets your blood pumping you are doing it right.
I might end up with more to say about this later but that's all I've got for now.

What I learned today: Feverfew is good for a headache.

Fortune Favors

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Character Hacks: 5 Quick and Dirty Consistency Tricks

Keeping your characters consistent can be a difficult thing. A lot of people have trouble with continuity, and a lot of people I know personally have a problem where their characters all read like they're the same person and it makes them difficult to tell apart. So I'm going to share some of my dirty little tricks that help keep your characters apart and make them read like separate people even if it's cheap.

Give them a favorite snack. - Food is a really cheap and easy bookmark for "this is that character". I have a character I RP as in my play by post gaming group that, whenever she is on screen and there is food consumption going on, is drinking Dr. Pepper. This fact is so consistent about her that when she was kidnapped and replaced by a doppelganger the first real hint that tipped people off that it wasn't her was that it got a different brand of soda to drink. Another character of mine is always eating spicy foods and munches ghost peppers like they're potato chips. It seems like a small thing but eventually people will notice the pattern and it will make your character seem more real to them.

Pick out some unusual words for their vocabulary. - A friend of mine once had a character who was always talking about how "awesome" everything is. In that exact word. I had a friend IRL who referred to everything as "great". This goes for the negatives too. Find an unusual word that you don't ordinarily use, staple it to that character in particular, and it will create the illusion of them having their own speech patterns.

Remember what they are afraid of. - A fear of the dark or enclosed spaces, when kept consistent, can be an amazingly powerful tool for keeping your character consistent. Whether it's a debilitating phobia or just something that makes them nervous, it will stand out and people will remember it. Even better, it counts as a flaw of sorts and makes them more relate-able because everyone has something that scares them to one degree or another. It's a good way to make them human.

Remember what they geek out over. - Everyone has something they can talk about all day. If your character has something like that not only does it make them read more consistently but it gives other players something to approach them about and it makes it easy to get into more meaningful conversations with other players's characters. In a book, the second this thing comes up your reader will instantly know your character is about to spazz and make them feel as though they know them better.

Give them a berserk button. - Something that can always piss this character off. Does she hate being called short? He got a problem with women in positions of authority? She just really not like seeing other people eat meat? It doesn't have to be a justifiable thing, you can use this to give them a flaw after all. Just be careful if you pick a bigoted thing to be this because inevitably it is going to make them look like an asshole in a way that is really hard to recover from.

I know this all can seem really tropey, but the tropes are such for a reason. There's no shame in going quick and dirty with this stuff, no shame in using the short hand in order to give yourself a leg up in actually building your plot line and story details instead.

What I learned today: The ASL signs for "job" and "rough sex" are one flipped hand away from each other. Oops.

Fortune Favors

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Player's Log: Castle in the Sky

Happy Saturday! Once again doing the pre-writing for my live blogging of our weekly D&D game while everybody else is leveling. Gonna get right to it.

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Pre-Game Reference Stuff:

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR TYRANNY OF DRAGONS AND POSSIBLY LOST MINE OF PHANDELVER AHEAD.

So we just took the portal into a different place and we're not 100% sure where we're going only that Nicophel accidentally sent Stalkurn there for a minute last week. That said we're probably kicking this week off with some out of character discussions because of the library kerfuffle next week ;w;

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Cast of Characters:

Nicophel Arthainas - Moon Elf Wizard - Me : D - Robed and wielding the Glass Staff of Defense. He's quiet and observant, and considers himself the definition of a subtle wizard. (He isn't.) Nicophel does not like to be spoken to as though he doesn't know what he's talking about. Currently undergoing an alignment shift.

Varis the Illustrious - Elven Fighter - June - Big armored badass, his noble papers are faked, cannot say no to a challenge. He's arrogant and (kind of) short tempered, but unquestioningly strong and an amazing warrior. He's also a fucking maniac that does things like throw dead bodies out of windows.

Stalkurn XVI - Drow Rogue - Patrick - Stalkurn as Stalkurn always is (Yes this is actually the 16th Stalkurn Patrick has actually played; not the same Stalkurn but Stalkurn son of Stalkurn--the one in the Nim books was Stalkurn the 8th so he's a great great ect grandfather of this Stalkurn). His personality traits literally say "Is Great" and his "Ideals" are "To be Greater". His bonds say "I love myself". That should give you an idea of who this guy is.

Iroh - Human Ranger/Fighter - Cody - Really fucking hates dragons and will always kill them. Also a bounty hunter so his other favored enemy is "humans". Is very probably named after the one from "Avatar". Is the most rational party member.

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The Hunting Lodge

We come out in a row of portals that seem to go all over the place. Varis decides it's a good idea to go through the front door and so we do. Again, it seems as though we're dungeon crawling so I'm just going to hit you with the story highlights.

Stalkurn gets frozen in the doorway. Nicophel casts magic missile at him to thaw him and then gives him a healing potion. Varis straight up steals two suits of plate armor and straps them to his back I quote "like a fucking sedan".

We then get the jump on some gargoyles. Patrick won't stop saying "sus" even if the situation is not "sus" at all. Varis is quickly becoming the old woman in The Labyrinth with all the junk on her back. We're picking through some people's bedrooms and taking all their crap.

We go into the kitchen and the humans working there get pissed because Varis has the suits of armor from the hallway citing that it has the same paint job and then Stalkurn puts some of the armor on and says "See, totally different paint job". Stalkurn has a homebrew ability that turns everything he equips to himself gold and purple.

At this point I got up to go make food and came back to the party asking Nicophel to investigate the pantry. He found a hidden compartment in the floor with the silverware hidden inside it. I got up to go actually get my food out of the microwave and apparently there are barns now.

We are now fighting a troll and a minidragon and of course Iroh just immediately shoots it and we have a troll to contend with. Fortunately Nicophel is a smart person and knows that trolls are weak to fire. AND he just changed his spell school to Loremastery so he can substitute other kinds of damage with flamey damage. This was the first good initiative roll he has gotten all game thanks to being able to sub in his int mod instead.

The troll had a crappy clammy cloak that Stalkurn keeps sneaking onto people with his sleight of hand and Nicophel attempts to and fails at burning it which convinces us that taking ten minutes to cast identify on it would be a good idea. So the party continues to investigate the stables while we do.

It turns out there's nothing special about the cloak other than that it's covered in mud but Nicophel is still salty about the library so he tells Varis it's magical and Varis starts wearing it.

Eventually we end up running into a fucking dullahan that Varis thought was a normal suit of plate so and then it attacked him when he got close so now there's combat okay. No but seriously I think being able to use my Int modifier instead of Dex for initiative is the best class feature this spec I just switched to has.

The tapestry has teleportation powers and Stalkurn starts throwing loot through it that we couldn't carry otherwise to make it easier to go and get later so it'll all be in one place.

We then find some prisoners in the basement, emaciated and chained. Stalkurn frees them and we ask them some questions about who they are and what they are doing here. Nicophel escorts them to the door tells them to take the portal and to tell the lizardfolk that he sent them.

We proceed to walk in on a meeting room and a woman greets us as if we are guests. Stalkurn immediately starts asking about Frulam because he wants to do her. She tells us that she has a rival within the cult, a dwarf named Varim the White. She also wants us to screw over Rezmir and tells us that she can get us onto this flying castle to take care of the work she needs done.

She tells us there are rumors that the castle is powered by the spirit of the current owner's dead wife. We will need to present the banner with the five stripes of Tiamat when we approach. The passphrase is "Tiamat, our mother and strength". She also tells us there are a couple of red wizards held up in the castle as well.

The clouds are inhabited by a white dragon who she seems pretty enamored with. She says the castle will be there for a day or so. We get every bit of information as we can get out of her and then Nicophel casts cone of cold, kills her bodyguards, almost kills her, and Iroh finishes her off with an arrow. Yeah, we're totally an evil party.

Nicophel uses a modified Stone Shape to compound 5 gems together to make a 500 gp sapphire and modifies a Drawmij's Instant Summons to make it summon something much bigger so that we can teleport all the huge loot in the lodge when we get back to Waterdeep so that we can sell it and make bookoo money.

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Giant Castle in the Clouds

So in the town we walk into the tavern and everyone gets all stiff and freaked out. We eat and then the castle is leaving without us and Nicophel basically flies his ass over there and tries to convince a giant to land again. Which he somehow succeeds to do by kissing the giant's butt.

Meanwhile the rest of the party has gotten their hands on wyverns.

All of the doors are ten feet up from the ground. And we're dungeon crawling again.

We end up in an ice tower and I use Legend Lore to find out the name of the Giant's Wife and teleport after I say it. I thought her ghost was here but apparently it's just a password. Then we find her sarcophagus.

Anyway not much longer after we end up finding a dragon in an ice lair that was downstairs somewhere on the airship and Iroh immediately started attacking it and now we're in some hella combat. Nicophel got to use his disintegrate spell but the dragon nat20'd its save so tears.

OH GOD FIGHTING THIS DRAGON WAS DEFINITELY A MISTAKE.

We're gonna keep fighting it anyway.

Holy shit we won. Nicophel has 3 hit points left and Iroh has 2. Omg that was /insane/.

So picking through loot. We basically rest down there for a whole day because we're continuing to use the crate summon trick to move stuff because we have the problem not problem of not being able to move all the treasure we're finding.

We then proceed to find and kill Rezmir and check out a bunch of other rooms in the castle but we still don't know how to crash it yet. We decide not to crash it and just convince the giant not to work with the cultists, he then drops us off in Waterdeep and because of our Instant Summons hack we have a stupid amount of money.

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Wheeeeew that was a lot of dungeon crawling and a lot of combat but we got mad platinum from this so I'm not going to fight it. I hear there will be RP next time.

What I Learned Today: Cody is really stupid good at throwing paper airplanes.
Fortune Favors <3