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.

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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.

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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...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.

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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.

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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.

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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...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.

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#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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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