No Game Tonight

Under spoons theory I’ve been borrowing against future days for a while and today all of those debts came due. As a result I have largely been either asleep, or playing some Destiny.

Collectively in the DDC everyone seems to be having one of those days and week too, so we’re giving it a miss today so we can all be antisocial. That said, Lady B and myr s are doing a joint twitch stream this evening based on Final Fantasy so I may tune in to watch that and fling the occasional tease into the mix.

Return of the One-Shot

For those who haven’t seen the streamed games, here’s the story so far:

The rural township of Gobblett lies in the shadows of the mountainous borders of Droaam – a nation of monsters that in this small corner consists largely of goblins.

The characters in this standalone adventure are all from the township, having ventured out into the world in search of riches. They have returned for the midwinter feast and a hefty portion of the first session was spent establishing their links with the villagers and some of the notable inhabitants.

Then a lone shepherd appeared on the main green, pursued by elves wearing the insignia of the fanatics known as the Silver Flame. The adventurers leapt to defend the village and drove off the elves. The badly injured shepherd warned of a force of the fanatics approaching with the goal of stealing away the village’s children to raise them within the church’s workhouses.

The players had roughly 36 hours to prepare for the invaders.

That was last week. This week’s session saw the raising of lengths of crude palisades and ambush points prepared. The artillerist assembled an eldritch cannon with a view of the main green, while the village families retreated to the Chief’s rambling mansion and barricaded the doors and windows.

Blue-green skinned goblin with green dreadlocks clutching a rifle. She wears white clothing and steampunk styled accessories

The totally unsporting mercenaries that comprised the main assault arrived by flying boat – two skiffs each containing five warriors accompanied by a berserker, and the mercenary captain in addition in one of the boats. A direct hit by spells forced one of the boats to crash just inside the palisade while the other stayed aloft so that the troops could fire from above.

While the battle raged largely across the green and nearby alleys, there was a sudden screech from above, and a large green winged lizard flew across the rooftops. A figure on the dragon’s back cut cords on sacking, releasing dozens of small packages across the township before the dragon flew off.

The adventurers focused on defeating the mercenaries, and as the session ended noticed that the brightly wrapped presents had been moving slowly toward the mansion and surrounding buildings. Some had already made their ways down chimneys and through windows, and now there were sounds of disturbance.

And to top it all off, the dragon could be heard screaming in the distance…

So, no pressure for next week.

And We’re Back

Merry Christmas everyone, much food and drink has been consumed and a state of pleasant befuddlement has been enjoyed. All this despite the last minute lockdown.

We spaced out presents through the day, and enjoyed spoiling each other rotten in the unexpected quiet.

And then this evening we ran an online version of what I’d been planning as a tabletop one shot – or at least the beginning of one – in what I’ve started calling the one point five shot session.

It is a goblin themed one shot, set in a goblin village. We have:

  • Truxi the Bard played by Lady M
  • Angre the Wizard played by myr s
  • Dranverk the Barbarian played by the cub
  • Morrus the Monk played by Lady W
  • Meekface the Artificer played by Lady B

All the characters are goblins, and this has given license for a certain degree of silly voices in the stream and for some reason 80s and 90s-themed football references to the retired hero, now brewer, called Cann Tonna and his missing rival Red Knapp who disappeared while raiding the New Castle to the North.

If it weren’t for the lockdown we would get out more.

Oh, and a goblin scout was chased into the village and shot down by elves wearing the insignia of the Silver Flame before the goblin heroes could drive them off. In two days a force of these fanatics will raid the village. They will attempt to steal away the goblin children at the height of the Winter Festival.

Changing Tack

We had planned to have a very poly Christmas this year, having our first Christmas together in the almost three years we’ve been bumbling along. Oh well.

I was going to go pick up myr s, the cub, and Lady W as metamour in chief on the evening of Christmas Day. That way they could enjoy a family meal with myr s’ father and Lady M and I could have a quiet morning to ourselves. A quick dash down to Portsmouth and back in the evening and we could then have a few days cosily in our flat. In line with the then-restrictions we would also be able to welcome Lady B during that period and have a table-top dungeons and dragons extravaganza.

Because that’s how we roll.

Instead, I am now busily making up details for that one-shot game to convert for Roll20 and our usual Sunday Twitch slot. No pressure or anything, I had been planning to largely wing it for the table but now I need to at least draw some maps. I’ve even written a four part structure for the characters to completely derail.

So, there will be other Christmases, and certainly plenty of other opportunities to get us all together again, no matter what coronavirus throws at us. For now, we’ll stay safe and do our bits to keep others safe.

Tales of Lockdown: Games Night

Okay – Tier 4 lockdown just happened, affecting everyone in our polycule and wider social and work circles, so there’s been a lot of angst and anger as we all dropped all our plans. One thing has remained – Games Night – our now-regular Sunday evening D&D sessions streamed through https://www.twitch.tv/princessleah1980 between 7.30pm and 10.30pm (ish). As ever we had fun – and there was more than a little silliness, including this gem: https://clips.twitch.tv/NiceBovineDonkeyKeepo

The whole evening’s show can for now be seen by following this link: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/844296990?t=3h1m41s and we are still working on converting them all for watching on YouTube. The channel is called Well That Happened and for now there’s a couple of introductions on there. Perhaps being in lockdown will give us collectively time to get more material up.

Tim wearing a green tshirt with the caption: Dungeon Master - It's not my job to kill you, it's just one of the perks
Would you trust a DM like this?

So – what happened? Basically the whole episode was set on a travelling Lightning Rail train, with the adventurers travelling home from their previous adventure. With it being a seasonal festival, they became aware that there was much frivolity, eating, drinking, and general carousing taking place in the restaurant cars next door – so they joined in. Then they started to notice that things were a bit off, with people consuming food and drink to excess, staggering off to be ill or use the toilets, and then returning for more. Then they realised that their DM’s exhortations to Eat! Drink! Be Merry! were actually telepathic urgings from somewhere that were affecting them too.

It all ended up with a corrupt train official, cultists of the Dragon Below, and an Otuygh in the waste carriage that frankly was just living its best life until the adventurers came along. Never before have I seen our tiefling go from “awww, I’m going to knit Santa a hat” to “I’m going to kill Santa” quite so quickly. It was great fun, and I think we really needed the laughter.

Next week will be a seasonal one-shot that I need to start working on urgently, featuring Christmas Goblins and Elves. Feel free to drop by and say hello!

Whizzing Through

Wait, did we just have a weekend? We must have done because technically its now Monday. Hmm, well I was working on Saturday, so that explains that chunk of missing time. It was actually very productive, and a lot more quiet decoration of library windows took place than expected.

Then I had counselling, and that was challenging and wiped out the few reserves I had left.

Sunday was quiet, but I managed to get the Christmas tree up and wrap more presents despite the continued low ebb – and then we had the joyous chaos of our D&D session which has energised me and lifted my spirits so much my cheeks are aching from grinning.

So, that happened…

Well That Was Chaos

There was shouting, laughing, and more than a couple of insults flung my way in tonight’s gaming session as the group tangled with suits of animated armour and a couple of animated blades – and the bad dice rolls took effect.

We had a good number of visitors drop in and out, as well as some who stayed the distance. Despite the occasional technical issue with sound, it was a good session – and I needed it, having had a couple of post-work low energy and spoon days.

Even two hours before the session i was curled up on the bed, just exhausted. I’ve just been spending so much energy looking out for other people that I think I just ran out. A couple of laughter-filled hours of silliness and dice rolling perked me up no end.

Things to do following the session? Design an intermission/title card graphic for the stream. What’s the worst that could happen?

Haunted Housing

A good D&D session this week, and as with last week we streamed it through Lady B’s Twitch channel between 7.30 and 10 (ish) – we’re enjoying it enough that we’ll continue as regularly as possible with that. Hopefully we’ll also have things uploading to YouTube soon.

This week saw them starting to explore the dilapidated house on the cliffs in search of the missing owner who was working on alchemical “stuff”. The scene before them was full of broken and moldy plaster, and rotten woodwork. Initial investigations revealed cold spots and flashing lights out the corner of people’s eyes. So far so spooky.

A heavy fog rolled in from the sea, and being rather cool customers this was met with a “huh” – by contrast, when myr s investigated the remains of the kitchen and disturbed a nest of giant centipedes there were cries of dismay fuelled by phobias and recently viewed video games.

I’ll take it.

With the group split (yes, they actually split the party in a haunted house environment), there was nearly a smattering of deaths, but quick thinking, sprinting, and maaaaaybe one or two fudged rolls on my side saw them pull through and licking their wounds.

Investigations continue, with hidden doors and ongoing spookiness… As ever, it was a great tonic after a long week

Streaming Shenanigans

We tried something a bit different this week as we gamed on Sunday, and livestreamed the session – or at least the audio of it along with the virtual table top – it was very rough and ready, but we all enjoyed it immensely and even had some people pop their heads round the virtual door to cheer us on. Some of them even suggested they’d enjoy coming back next time, so we can’t have been awful.

Roll for Initiative, eventually…

I suppose this means I’ll have to get quicker on getting material prepped and ready, and I’ve agreed to do a quick video intro that will be spliced into a YouTube video for the channel that we’re setting up as well. I’ll announce that properly when there’s something to actually see there. Personally I can’t stand the sound of my own voice, but no one has said anything about it so I have to assume it’s not dreadful to anyone who hasn’t heard my internal monologue. That… doesn’t at all sound odd, does it?

Ahem

If it takes off, we’ll do more social media noise in real-time, but for now its a neat little experiment.

Housebuilding and Tabletop Shenanigans

The D&D session on Sunday was a quiet one with two main goals – to allow the group to finish outfitting the house their adventures have now bought outright, and to ensure that everyone had transferred their character sheets to http://www.dndbeyond.com and installed the Beyond20 extension in their browsers.

Why? Well the character sheets and their management is more user friendly than Roll20 in our opinion. They’re especially more useful for newer players in terms of managing items, actions, and spells. I’d found them so much more intuitive while playing with my other group that I suggested a sidestep.

The browser extension makes for a seamless transfer of rolls to the virtual tabletop in Roll20 during the game, and has some nice configuration options that allow some tweaking along the way. I’ve had to shell out a bit of money to rebuy some source books and upgrade my monthly subscription, but in support of a regular group I really don’t mind that.

All the tests seem to be working, so now I’m fleshing out some encounters using the tools available on the site, and we’ll see where the group wanders next.