Monday, April 30, 2018

The Aftermath: The Ancient Philosophy Of Gaming - Weekly Update, April 30th, 2018

I can now sit down and relax...
Here we are, the day after, and I'm doing my usual post-mortem on the event. I normally do this to figure out what worked and what didn't, to learn for the future.

On my end of it, everything worked. And worked well, first time out. So, as a 'dress rehersal' for what I want to do in my gaming in the future, it all went just fine.

Nobody seemed to have any issues with being 'off the grid', and playing on 'natural' terrain. We only had to use a 6" ruler once, and this was one of those close-range 'hugger-mugger' fights where getting enough fighting room was the biggest issue.

This game was a pretty good example of how we used to do things; the person hosting the game would set up the table, maybe provide the bulk of the figures, and the GM would do the rest. This applied to all our games, because we - not knowing any better, back in our mis-spent youth - didn't know that there was some sort of huge difference between RPGs, board games, and wargames. We just played.

Which is, as you've probably guessed, the transition to my series of posts on game style and philosophy...

It was a very good weekend.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Battle Joined - We Nearly Got Slaughtered, Not To Put Too Fine A Point On It...

Our 1st Level Fighter approaches the shed, while our Cleric (me)
gets jumped from behind by a swarm of snakes.

I go down, and the Warlock casts a spell to save the Fighter.

The Fighter tries to help the Cleric, and nearly goes down.

The Ranger tries to help the Cleric and the Fighter, and goes down.

It was just one of those days, here in the woods, as we got jumped by a swarm (of snakes, of all things) from the rear while starting to investigate the shed / shack we had seen through the trees. The two guards were dealt with by the Warlock's spell after they went after our Fighter, who nearly got killed by their sudden attack. The rest of the party had their collective hands full dealing with the swarm, as the GM was rolling spectacularly well and we were all rolling spectacularly badly. It turned into a struggle of our tactics vs. their brute force, and we did finally win through and rescue some prisoners we found in the shed.

This turned into a very tight little fight, with a lot of mayhem in a small space. It was a challenge, but we did it. We had about half the usual group present to play, due to other commitments in real life, but we managed. This D20 adventure is, if you were asking for my opinion, too lethal for a smaller and lower level party like ours; on the other hand, if we'd been up to full strength, we'd have had a much less difficult time of it. So, you pays your money and you takes your chances - such is the life of an adventurer, after all.

The table went over well, as did the scenery and miniatures. Everybody had a good time, and we'll be back here on June 10th for the next installment of this saga.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Eve Of Battle - D&D 5e, Here Tomorrow!

The night is quiet...
...too quiet, perhaps...
A clearing in the forest, with the adventurers awake.
We're set and ready; all I have to do is put out the snacks.
And put out the chairs, of course.

Well, I'm as set and ready for my very first ever D&D game session here at The Workbench. I've set the table in my usual 'classic' style; it'll be interesting to see how the players handle gaming on a table without a 1" grid on it. The fridge is stocked, the chips ready, the buffet in place, and the dice all washed and buffed.

It's been kind of a long haul to get to this point - I had to swap out the 52" plasma screen for the 52" LCD screen due to a pixellation issue, and each of the things weighs nearly 100 pounds each -  but the game room is now in what will be mostly it's final form. I still need to wire the place up for video and podcasts, but that will come in due course. We're out of 'warehouse mode', and back into 'gaming mode', and The Missus says she's looking forward to having guests again.

The terrain system worked perfectly; the table set-up took a whole fifteen minutes, from unlocking the storage shed to having everything ready to go. These are the 'temperate' tiles, with the set of 'temperate' trees, as this is one of the elven forests of Blackmoor and not one of the less-inhabited pine forests that one often encounters. Trees by Lemax, underbrush by Life-Like, mayhem by Dave Arneson.

So, we're all set up. I'll have some fun stuff on the DVD players to fill in the time while we're stuffing our faces on the buffet, and I'll make sure to take pictures for you to ponder as we play.

More to come!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Fair Warning! Big Essay On The Way! - The Weekly Update, April 24th, 2018

Setting sail into new seas...

What a difference a week makes! 15: of snow on the ground at this time last week, and now it's all gone. I, for one, an delighted!

In domestic news, Fifth Daughter has now finally and completely moved out, and we have our house back entirely to ourselves for the first time in a decade. The quiet is deafening!

I am in the throes of getting the game room ready for the 5e game this weekend, and I will have photos and a report for everyone afterwards.

The title of this little placeholder refers to an interview I'm doing, during which the question was asked "So, what is your play style?" I'm trying to formulate a coherent answer to that, and you'll be seeing it as a series of pretty long (and hopefully interesting!) posts later on this week. Until I finish typing, you may want to have a look at my YouTube channel - link on the column opposite, down near the bottom

Back shortly!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

On Hold - Weekly Update - April 15th, 2018

Yep; that time of year again...

The local situation, this morning...

Everything is on hold, this weekend. We've had about 14" of snow over the past day, and the van refused to start due to blowing snow getting under the poor old thing and getting the wiring wet. We've been putting a tarp ober it to help with this, and it worked fin during the last storm we had. It didn't save the day this time around, so the van is off to the shop to get dried out.

Fifth Daughter's move into her new home has also been delayed, but she's only got one load left so things will be clear by the weekend. I have gotten the game room clear of debris, the workshop and laundry sorted, and we're on track to have our first guests in the game room (in several years) at the end of this month.

Life goes on, just wetter and slower...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Hoist By My Own Petard - The Belated Weekly Update - Monday, April 9th, 2018

Temptation, on the hoof (as it were)

Pandemonium reigns, here at The Workbench; Fifth Daughter is moving out, into her new townhouse with her fiance. It's been a long process, as the poor old van has not been running reliably; it will start just fine if the weather is dry, but gets sulky if it's wet. At 338,600 miles, it probably has every right to be, and our mechanics (who have been looking after the old beast for over a decade, now) have advised us to not put any mode money into the van and advised us to simply get a tarp to throw over the van when it looks like rain.

So, we did, and it works just fine. Had some snow the past couple of days, and wrapping the van up worked perfectly.

Anyway, there's one last load due to go out the door, and then The Missus and I get our house all to ourselves for the first time in over a decade. All of the boxes and tubs that we've been living out of now will go back into what used to be 'the spare room' and we're going to be able to do a lot more with our live sin very short order. And, to be honest, a college student is a pretty large expense; our annual disposable income is going to effectively triple, which means that we can do a lot of the things that we've always wanted to do - but didn't have the money for.

TRE Games, for example, now has some very useful wagon kits, which I saw at the FLGS; they are not yet up on the TRE website, but I'm sure he'll be happy to sell them to you. (Tell him Chirine sent you.)

And, also to be honest, the timing of all this could not be better. Due to an event being run at the FLGS, the D&D 5E group that I play in / co-GM is going to be held here at the house in our game room the end of this month. Aside from the usual 'panic factor' of getting everything ready, this will be a historic moment - it will actually be the very first time a real D&D game will be played here since we moved in over thirty years ago.

I'm sort of assuming that we'll still be in the midst of the D20 "Redwood Scar", so I shall dig out a nice forest for the game table and set out the scene the way I usually do. We'll see how it goes; I will admit that I'm looking forward to it.

And I got an interesting question in over the transom, with a request to do an essay on my game style. So, that's up next, as soon as I proofread all the typos... :)