Well I was totally blown away that my group didn't find the Catacombs of Wrath under the glassworks. They listened at the doors, but of course the door with the tunnel leading into the catacombs was closed and nothing could be heard. They went to the door where they heard Ameiko struggling with her bonds. Once they found her they went topside and spent an hour trying to figure out what to do with loot. Next game day will be their adventure to Thistletop. They read Tsuto's journal which clearly points to Thistletop and his beloved one, Nualia. I need to work on the intro and some of the encounters before we get together. With their overpowered group they are pretty much walking through everything. The last battle with Tsuto I beefed up the EL adding in 5 additional goblins with Tsuto as he came up behind them. In his two rounds he lived I rolled a two each time he tried to strike Ray and his Barbarian. He didn't last longer than those two rounds. They did manage to subdue him and he will be making his way to Magnimar jail in a few days time. Hmm, maybe I will let him escape and make his way to Thistletop so he will be there with Nualia or waiting up top with the other goblins. I guess I better start working on my stuff this week. Later.
If you have not seen the WoW: Wrath of the Lich King site yet please do so now.
I can honestly say that this expansion looks to be the best so far. The graphics seem to get a small boost, instance design of the first dungeon seems top notch, new story arcs, and two starting areas that are neutral to both faction, at least it seems so from their description.
The graphics on the flame effects are very realistic. I wonder what impact this will have on the majority of systems out there. I am running a Pentium D 3.4GHz, 2GB RAM, 8800GTS SLI right. I still get lag in heavy pop areas. That lag more than likely has to do server lag but is still frustrating when running a higher end system. The flame effects could easily choke up others especially when 90% of your server pop is there doing the same quests. Ugh.
The instance design of the first dungeon, Utgarde Keep, is above anything I have seen so far in BC. Which isn't saying much as I have only been in TK a few times and some of the 5 mans. Yes that is a big content gap but I have my reasons. I love the fact that the story arc is works so seemlessly with the Keep. Just like a good fantasy book starts the reader off at the start of his adventure getting small hooks here and there. Eventually finding his way to the big bad castle with the BBEG (big bad end guy). I hope they can keep the story going so the other zones/instances are included. Not a quest that says, "Hey you just killed this big bad mofo that we couldn't touch. Thanks! Please go to this new area and kill 10 bunnies for Farmer Smith for 20s."
Having two starting areas seems like a good idea. From what I have read it will be something like Aldor/Scryer without the faction penalty. Get done with one and head over to the otherside to do all the quests, etc. Hmm nice.
This Saturday the players will be starting in the Glassworks. This is a pretty simple area with not much going on. I need to drop in some more stuff for them to do to keep it interesting. With 6 of them the original setup will be trivial for them.
As for the players here is their names and character info:
Matt: Rogue and Wizard
Ray: Barbarian and Cleric
Matt and Ray play two characters because they were the only ones I could get in initially. Will came on board just days before we were to start and Joe, my son, created his on our 2nd play day.
After the Glassworks the group will get a chance to hit the Catacombs of Wrath. There is a pretty tough fight in there. These types of fights are pretty interesting because each group thinks differently using a number of different strategies. From what I have read most players tend to be gungho, running into combat without any real regard for deaths. I am guilty of this as well. We have one guy in the group, Will, whose bard is a pacifist. She doesn't want to engage in actual combat unless it deals sub dual (non-lethal) damage. It will be interesting to see what he does IC if things start going wrong. In either case Matt and Ray already rolled up an "extra" character. Previous experience with either a bad DM or rules-lawyer DM have caused them to fear me. Matt even has a tendency to try and see what I roll behind my binder that I use for a DM screen. He has said before when he played in college it was not unusual for the DM to fudge the dice in favor of the monsters. I can imagine that would leave a bad taste in anyone's mind.
Well it seems my neurotic habit of starting something and never finishing anything has kicked in full time again. After my last post I did paint a couple more guys, flocked bases, etc but that was it. I still do not have one squad finished up. Knowing your weakness is supposed to make it easier to overcome, right? Well I have not given up on my 40K IG yet. They have just been shelved once again as they were five or six years ago.
Part of my strange obsession to start something, spend a chunk of change, and then give it up has to do with my childhood. I remember trying to create my own miniatures game using those cheap green army guys that come a hundred to a pack. After a day of working on that I gave it up. Just think if I would have known about Mr. Gygax at that time he would have inspired me to continue. But no I gave it up when it got hard. Well being 9 or 10 probably had something to do with it to. At that age I had never even heard of miniatures or D&D but I knew I had something going. Maybe my idea was destined to be shot down anyway ;)
Anyway, I want to talk about my new obsession. One I hope will last the rest of my life. Wow, reading that sentence sure makes it seem like a long time. I thought about changing that sentence because well I know I never do anything longer than a few weeks or months before giving it up. So this new thing or old thing really is D&D, or should that be written as AD&D? I "played" this as well as Shadowrun a few times when I was much younger. It was in middle school, or what was known as Junior High back then. Of course my very first taste of it I remember almost like it was yesterday. We were sitting in the lunch room when I asked a couple people from my neighborhood what they were playing. One guy had a book and the others had a paper with their characters on it. He said they were playing Dungeons and Dragons. I thought wow that is cool, "Can I play"? He said no you can't because you don't have a character. Um, OK. Now here is where human nature kicked in. I lied and said I had one. He was a level 5 fighter. Well of course that got me in. It's really not that hard to make some stuff up on the spot. That lasted all of the 10 minutes that was left on lunch break. The next few endeavors in D&D I don't recall. Shadowrun was one that I had a good time with. Even enjoying the game that came out on the Sega Genesis. The thought of futuristic people with computers in their head and slinging magic was to much to resist. My first character was a Decker. I remember sitting with my friend Stephen at the time trying to figure out the rules. Such good times. It is a shame that none of those things followed me further in life. They shaped a love for Fantasy and Sci-Fi books and movies. So here I am at 33 years old trying to relive my youth as it were. My son just turned 11. He loves Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and pretty much anything else fantasy. Here I have a building block to shape him the way I never had anyone do for me. I started a few small adventures for him to get him interested. He seems to really enjoy it but as I am pretty new to this to it is hard with rules, etc so I just wing it. I also started playing in a couple Play-by-Posts to get my feet wet. It has been about a couple months and I think I am ready for more. In the middle of January I email a couple friends, "Hey want to play some D&D with me? It will only be you two so make a couple characters each and meet up in two weeks." A couple days before one other guy wanted in. Saturday comes up, all three show up and we commence to spend 6 hours making 5 characters. Yes that is how long it took. :) We did manage to get one really small combat in which took us another hour or so. Fast forward a month to our next meet. I only planned for a couple fights because well that last one took so long against three goblins. This time things where going to get interesting. About an hour into the game my son comes downstairs with a character sheet in hand. Confused I ask him what it is. He says he just made him and wanted to know if he could play. Apparently he found my D&D basic kit I bought awhile back, pulled out the character creation sheet, found a d6 from a Clue game, and followed the 4d6 drop lowest rules. I am speechless. Needless to say his fighter Zeldax, obviously a tribute to Zelda & the Phantom Hourglass game he has been playing, is added to the group. This is what I have wanted to experience my whole life.
I will be posting up the campaign information here. None of the players know about this site so it may contain some spoilers for our game.
Campaign: Rise of the Runelords