Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The BorderLands Campaign has begun

Well after all the anticipation, after all the hype, after all the viral advertising and million dollar box office trailer, the BorderLands campaign is off and running. Okay welll I exaggerate about the trailer; it only cost about 800,000,
One of the reason why I've haven't been very active lately is due to the fact that I've been getting ready; but too be honest I also find that if I don't have much to say, then I usually don't post either (I'm much more of a casual blogger)
   So with out any further ado I give you BorderLands Sessions 1 & 2
The session  began with our intrepid adventurers marching up to the imposing walls of the mighty Keep located at the edges of the untamed wilderness of the North. There they introduced themselves at the gates: Stickles (a thief), Dale (the killing machine), Dakken (a user of the eldritch forces of magic), and Satara (an elven maiden who has studied both the arts of war and magic). In town, they made their way to the local store to gather materials, followed by a trip to the tavern to investigate for rumours on any strange going ons in the area. While there, Dakken pursued his love of the drink, spending the money he had saved on weapons and armour, buying casks of wine. The group also learned of a local mage who may have had some information of interest to them. There they found out about an abandoned stronghold which once belonged to the legendary figures of Zelligar and Rohgan. The retired mage had once been apprenticed to Zelligar, and was curious as to why this deserted fortress was no reported to have lights and activity occuring inside. Asking them to report with any information they can find, the mage made one further request; he told them of a massive crystal located somewhere in the building that he would like to examine. Informing them that the structure would be too large to move, he asked them to leave an enchanted medallion in the same room as the object, allowing him to travel directly to the room.
     Set with this task ( and the promise of great rewards if successful) the adventurers headed of, following the map that was given to them.
     with no incidences along the way the team located the old structure and were at the point of deciding how best to enter.

So ended session 1
Editorial of how it went:
  First off it must be mentioned that no one who played that night had ever played D&D before, so really by the time everyone showed up (we had to wait while one poor player was lost looking for my house), most of the first game was spent going over some basic rules and creating characters. I don't know why it went this slow; if it was me, the newness to the game, or the fact that the pizza arrived soon after the last player, and we kinda spent a good half hour just chatting and eating. But even this short session left me with some important insights to take away for next time.
   I was surprised by the choices of alignment in the game...I think One person was lawful, with the rest choosing between neutral and chaotic...teachers...sheesh....No heroic fantasy for these guys...actually  during the explanation I don't think I stressed chaotic as meaning evil...just individualistic and opportunistic.....again....teachers....
   Looking back I also think that I inserted character role playing to early, trying to use that aspect of B2 with role play of the town guard, tavern keeper, and mage, instead I may try to keep it more about exploring adventuring and discovery, just until people are more comfortable and the "role play" part comes out on its own. This is how it went for session two, and I think it went better (still even here a few interesting moments of role play happen which added to the game.
  I know I still have to work on my book keeping skills (I had a name for the damn town mage but I've lost it somehow), as well as memorizing the adventure. I had read B1 at least twice before the adventure, but still started to blank as they approached Quasqueton; I think I even forgot to mention the name of the stronghold during play. I noticed after wards that the problem may have been that I had read the module more for pleasure then in a mechanical "hey I'm going to be using this fashion".  I really feel this makes a big difference, because next time when I read it with the question "How will this be used in play?" in my mind, I was better able to keep in mind important details. It does mean slower reading, but it helps me mentally feel more prepared, even though there is still a lot of improvisation going on.
  Still despite any problems, things must have went well enough, because everyone was looking forward to playing again; and I will soon give a wrap up of Session 2 (Warts and all again).
This may wait until after Easter (Family will be over so I will be entertaining people).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The True Green Slime

Okay, so I was driving around today listening to Quirks and Quarks (a science radio show on CBC), and they were talking about green slime. Now I had assumed that yes slime is real, but they were talking about some of its characteristics, and that's when it became a little strange. They can grow up to a few meters in length; around five meters I believe was mentioned on the radio. (their still going to be small at maybe 30 grams though). They are I believe considered single cell organisms, even though they have periods where they multiple nuclei (I don't know if at this point they are still considered unicellular or not, because these nuclei are not separated by cell membranes.They have periods of asexual and sexual reproduction...I hope that image is burnt into your heads, and despite what you may have read in the Monster Manual, their true weakness is direct sunlight (try fighting that in the dungeon depths).

   Now what I found truly found fascinated is that on the show a research scientist was talking about the research she had done showing that these  single celled green slimes, could actually differentiate and make CHOICES about different food sources (keep in mind that they have no brain too) She brought food sources with varying amounts of nutritional value to the slimes to see if they made choices between the foods...for example she had low nutritional food out in sunlight (remember this hurts the slime) the slime I guess would investigate it with a pseudopod (think of that like a small arm) and choose that the payoff wasn't worth the hurt from the put a similar food source in the sunlight with 5x the nutritional value, and the green slime would go for it, deciding that the payoff, in this case food with a higher energy value, was worth the damage it would take from the sun.

   All this the tell you that science has found what has been on page 49  of the Monster Manual all along: a large pulsing green ooze, that can decide whether your worth having as a snack, or not.