Thursday, September 27, 2018

Rolled and Told #1 WOOT!

Yesterday was September 26th, and as I stated 10 days ago, I was "all in" on picking up Issue 1 of the new Rolled and Told comic. I called my local shop the day before and they were kind enough to hold it at the front for me, so I could head there on my lunch break yesterday to pick it up.

Big ups to the Rogue's Gallery Comic Shop

Do I call this a comic?  It's not really a comic.  It's more like a nice comic-book-sized magazine. 

Hey! They spelled my name right!

I was more than happy to pay the $8 price tag because the quality is really worth it. The cover feels smooth in your hands, and the pages are a nice heavier bond than that easily tear-able stuff most comics are printed on.

That cow falling out of the airship is an actual thing in the adventure . . . hilarious!

Inside are five main features:
  • An adventure where you hunt down a tribe of technology thieving goblins in a high skies mission.
  • A DM advice column on how to help every person around the table shine as a character.
  • A DM advice column on critical hits/fails.
  • A fun, random loot table for odd pirate treasure.
  • A one-shot airship adventure where you become part of a ship's crew.

Love this airship deck illustration here, just wish it was on a grid!

In between each of these features are character sheets, one or two panel comics/illustrations, and at the very end of the "zine" there are advertisements for Lionforge's other products and a few pages for making notes. Awesome!  I love that this comic is meant to be used -- written on -- tucked in with your other D&D junk. You know?

I keep trying to think of ways to incorporate the adventures into the group's adventure I'm DM'ing for, and I'm sure I will find a way to make one happen, and even if I don't, it's just fun reading what these writers have come up with. Props to all the contributors.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


It's that time of the week again where from Tuesday through Thursday in Animal Cove you can play the baby animal event and earn yourself A SUPER CUTIE!  This week I was working towards the baby piglet. It's rescuin' time!

Is that a Trevor Wrecks easter egg on the left hand side?

It was a pretty awesome set of six levels that gave a good challenge and, yup, I spent coins and boosters on this one, but Oinkster is completely worth it.

4 stars and 8 tikis? ON IT!

He has possibly the craziest backstory of them all.  Especially, um, this part, "That's why I didn't really like the Baby Animal Shelter. All the humans kept their distance and when they did come see me, they wore funny rubber yellow suits with windows in the hoods."

Is that a pig stink joke or a radiation joke?

Did you know you can buy one of those suits if you have $1,310.99? LOL!  I love that they put the 99 cents on there because let me tell you . . . $1,311 would be just OVER THE LINE for me.

 I now need this Winston outfit . . . thanks Oinkster for pointing that out to me.

Just one more baby animal and I'll have all five! (until, you know, we release a few more baby animals that is . . .)

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Four Privateer Henchmen Walk Into a World of Dreams

Last night I decided it was time to level Friendly Thomas for real this time, not like last time on the Test Realm.  I pretty much followed the same path, but it went much faster this time for some reason.


Take that crab boy!

What I didn't personally do on the Test Realm was the new Old Scratch promotion quest, which is also the introduction to the new Skeleton Key bosses. I haven't seen the latest KI Live yet, so the promotion quest was essentially brand new to me.

So I sauntered up to Old Scratch and asked him what that big yellow question mark above his head was all about, and MAN he was really laying the mumbo jumbo down thick!

Settle down, my dude! We got this!

So, as I gathered, there was an "other side" where Evil Old Scratch was working up some evil mojo that would certainly be the doom for a very confused Good Old Scratch. Madame Vadima knew what was up though.  She let us know all about this crazy, alternate dimension we'd never heard of before . . . the world of dreams!  Sounds awesome until you hear about those "Nightmare Doors" on an "Isle of Bones."

Always loved this place . . . nice choice Pirate101 Devs.

No one was around and not knowing what I was in for, I decided . . . what the heck . . . let's give this a whirl.  I jumped in the fight and soon discovered that this looked to be a multiplayer affair. GULP!

Wow . . . the levels on these enemies! YIKES!

Nightmare Old Scratch was no joke as he had a spell that pretty much damaged everything on the board at the start of every round.  My companions were quickly taken out, and I knew I faced certain defeat soon, so what did I do?  I did what every decent human being with a supply of Crowns would do and ordered up a whole team of those level 70 Privateer henchmen!

My own "world of dreams" team!

An old trick of Old Scratch's was to summon up a whole bunch of evil lackeys to fight us, so, lo' and behold, there was nothing better than using Blast of Discord on them round after round thanks to my amazing team of Privateers!

The betrayal! Gasp!

Between that, the bombs, the heals, and everything else a whole team of level 70 Privateers provide, I was able to pull out a win for Team Friendly and, most importantly, my good bud Ol' Scratch, who now has a shiny new promotion look! Woot!

Nice hook upgrade -- looks like you could give someone a good "scratch" with that . . .

I suppose now I just need to level my Privateer and do it all over again because, DANG, that new Old Scratch ability . . . WOW!  That's awesome!

Is this real life?

Happy dueling!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The week in review 9/22/2018

Hey all,

I haven't blogged in a week, and I'm not sure if anyone really missed that or not, but hey! A lot happened over the week, so let's take a moment to review.

TellTale Games Layoffs
Quite sad to see this happen to any games company. To be honest, I hadn't played many Telltale games aside from Minecraft Story Mode with my kids, but I did play a lot of LucasArts games back in the 90's, and from what I understand, TellTale was a break off of LucasArts.

Anyway, it was big news and you could hear people talking about it all over the KingsIsle offices expressing that "hushed tone of sadness" for the fine people now out of work. I've heard that same reaction every time a new bout of layoffs was announced somewhere. You always hope the best and know that it could happen to anyone. It happens too often in this industry. The worst part was hearing that a staff of 250 was brought down to a staff of 25 and no severance package was given to the employees. 

Super sad news.

Animal Cove's next 100 levels
On a totally different topic . . . whew, we worked super hard last week finishing up the final touches on our batch of 100 levels that hit the streets on Friday! I know that some of you may be a bit disappointed no story came along with those 100 levels, but not to worry, more to the story is on its way while the level design team keeps chugging out new puzzles for you. :)  I really hope you enjoy them.  We're already hard at work on more levels  . . . and other surprises!

A week of limited gaming
So, there are several reasons why I haven't been playing many games this week, but the major reason is my son took over my computer so he could play A Hat in Time. My computer is the only one in the house where the game isn't a complete lag fest.

This game looks really fun though and he's been having a blast with it.

I'm still logging in to Paladins every day and at least grabbing my daily reward, which was extra amazing this week with a 2x bonus.  It was pretty awesome on the Crystal days. Gotta love that x2 rewards!

Of other news, I re-downloaded Elder Scrolls Online . . . why? I miss my scaley boys!  This is my "Stingite" creation.

I gotta do something about that awful hat though

He's a sorcerer focusing on Summoning and using big weapon attacks. I logged on, re-familiarized myself with the game's controls and even completed a quest chain where I saved the King of a place called Daggerfall?

Nice goatee my dude!

I may get back into leveling a bit in this game, so more blog posts about ESO are on their way I suppose?

Nintendo Switch Online
Other big news this week was about the new subscription service for Nintendo. Polygon had a great FAQ article about it here if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Picture compliments of Polygon's Article here.

OH THE COMPLAINTS FROM MY DAUGHTER about this new online service. I spent the majority of two mornings (the time we get to talk most together) hearing all about the injustice of this new fee for online game play.

OH THE MOCKING I heard from around the net (careful with that link . . . it goes to reddit) about how silly it was an how it doesn't provide any value.

Well . . . we're now subscribed as a family . . . so . . . complain and mock all ya want, my dudes. I can't wait to check out the extents of the sub plan and also, I'm just glad my daughter can play the online portions of Splatoon again. She's all about this game, and I hate to see her not be able to play with her buds.

I suppose you can hear more about that here too. :)

I'm anxiously awaiting the release of episode 32? 33?  32.5? of my Wizard101 walkthrough with The Art of Warlord. Morgrim hasn't uploaded it to YouTube just yet . . . but we're busy questing through Polaris together at the pace of one hour every couple of weeks. BLINDINGLY FAST SPEED RUN!

If you haven't caught the series, or just need to see our wrap up of Dragonspyre, you can check it out here.

ALSO, don't forget to tune in to Morgrim's stream of us playing Jackbox TV with a few KI Devs this week. Sure to be a lot of fun. :)

And that's all the catch-up news I've got in me this morning! WHEW!  Thanks for reading and as always . . .

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Digging the "Rolled & Told" Comic

The other day I was in Wonko's toys and games looking around at the store for the first time . . . just checking the place out. They had a ton of board games and a decent collection of D&D stuff. I really appreciated the beholder guarding the place from on high.

All mouth and eyes that one . . .

As I walked past the counter, I noticed a free comic called Rolled & Told from Lion Forge. Noticing instantly the nerd symbology of the D20's instead of o's, I picked it up and started thumbing through it.

This definitely won't end well for the adventurers . . . I've read ahead.

I was kind of happy at the find, and even more so when I looked at the cover and it said "free." It was such high quality that I even doubled checked it with the nice lady behind the counter and she giggled as I asked about it and said, "I'M TAKING IT THEN!" I mean, a free mag about D&D, I'm all in.

As it turns out this was their pilot publication . . .issue #zero as it were (thus the free price), and the next one comes out about 10 days from now. Yup, I did some research on this. I read all about how this mag was all the rage at Booth 118 at Gencon. And all the cool people who had been running the Thunderlock Barcrawl adventure found within its pages.

Looks like a really fun dungeon full of death and bemusement. Plus there's a cool comic to go with it and four pre-generated characters that look to be the heroes found within the comic's pages.  In fact the cover of Rolled & Told issue #1 has already been revealed.

What kind of crazy airship adventure is this?

I haven't even read the 4 page write up on the Memorable Mimic Monster yet, but . . . come on . . . the mimic is a classic D&D monster. This is going to be a great read (when I finally get around to it)!

Unfortunately it doesn't look like this one-shot adventure has been brought to Roll 20 yet, or I'd probably spring for it. :(

Anyway, just wanted to say how cool this little free find was and how I had that feeling again . . . you know, the feeling of being a kid who loves D&D stuff and kind of geeking out over issues of Dragon Magazine. (I subscribed to it for a year when I was a kid)

I'll be looking forward to September 26th and checking out my local comic shops to see if they have the latest issue in.

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Paladins: Completing the Dragon's Call Rewards

I only recently started playing Paladins after the release of the 1.4 patch update, but along with that update came an event called Dragon's Call. It's pretty great. You can read the full information about it here, but to sum it up, it's a capture the flag type of event where you capture a ball (or "the key") from the center of the arena and run it / throw it into your enemies goal. The first team to 4 goals (or the most goals in 15 minutes . . . or the first team to touch the ball if you're tied) wins!

Gotta get them goals, kids!

Along with this event comes a reward track where for every goal your team scores (win or lose) you gain a point along the reward track, so you're winning cool stuff all along the way.

Gotta get that loot, kids!

As you can see from all the check marks and blue boxes above the rewards in the above picture, this morning was my morning to finish this event up and get all my dragon's call loot! Well . . . I say all the loot, BUT WAIT . . . THERE'S MORE!  Well, I should say there's more if you'd like to lay down 1,200 crystals (around 25 bucks) to buy the entire dragon's call bundle. I have to admit that this "Raeve" "Maeve" skin is super tempting. I'm really loving the Deadmau5 vibes they're dropping here with this skin.

Gotta get that cool skin, kids! 

 To make their bundle extra sexy, you get double goal points on your reward track if you buy it . . . and even if you don't play the event, when the event is over, they're going to give you all those reward track items for free anyway.

So, it's not all cash grab. It's actually a fun event regardless if you get the rare skins or not, and it was a fun way for me to finish up my quests for the day in Paladins.  Here's a video from one of my winning Dragon's Call matches where I was playing Grohk.

Woot best in class!

Rumor has it that the event will end when the 1.6 patch goes live in what is anticipated to be October, so you still have some time to play. Also, you'll notice a few weird bugs when you play the event, like these:

  • If you score two goals and then the opposing team scores one goal, it says, "your team has taken the lead" even though you already have th elead.
  • You have to play one extra game to collect your rewards even though you've made your goal.
  • The reward screen will be blank if you win that next match, but it will show your reward if you lose your next match.
  • FX from how you were killed (like fire) will still be displayed on your character when you are revived.
  • Sometimes you pass right through the ball.
  • etc.
It's not "perfect," but it's nothing super game breaking and still a lot of fun. I'm sure it's hard to ship an event like this bug free (believe you me, it's next to impossible from my previous CM experience with how updates go).

Happy Dueling!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Overwatch vs. Paladins Updates

Both Paladins and Overwatch had updates over the past week, so let's take a moment to give you TFN's condensed and quick thoughts!

You can read the full update notes list here, but TLDR:
  • Adding more lootbox stuff.
  • Made it so you can control Grohk better during his ult (it was crazy before -- but this is also a nerf since he could move incredibly fast.)
  • Console players can report bad behavior now (didn't know they couldn't)
  • Queuing and re-queuing has been improved (yep, I'm really digging this change)
  • Other hero bug fixes.
  • There's stuff they know are issues, but . . . THEY'RE WORKIN' ON IT! GET USED TO IT KID! .

There's a new robot Grover skin, which makes no sense, but that's cool

You can read the full update notes list here, but TLDR:
  • NEW MAP -- Busan -- and you can check it out in the Arcade currently!
  • Hero gallery filters added.
  • See your team mates through walls more easily.
  • Weapons with spread now will have their damage calculated more correctly.
  • Bridgette will now also get knocked down if she charges charging at a Rein or a Doom during their charge powers.
  • Rein's shatter covers the payload better and other areas as well. (Can't tell you how upset I've been when I've shattered and the stupid Bastion player on the payload didn't get knocked down by my ultimate -- this is a good change.)
  • . . . and other hero balance changes. (I ain't listing them out.)
  • GM comp players can group up with lesser folks
  • Rialto's payload goes a bit faster. (woot for the attacking team!)
  • (And although not mentioned on the notes, Demon Hunter Sombra skin for Blizzcon!!)

There's more there, but I figure if you really want to give it a read, you already have.

Busan Screenshot courtesy of IGN.


It's interesting to compare and contrast the notes. It's not surprising that Paladins is going to patch in more lootbox stuff and be straightforward about it -- that's how they make their money. Overwatch is also in a different spot for updates as they monetize differently and are in a different stage of development for the game. (That said, I really hope the rumor is true that the Demon Hunter skin coincides with a Diablo 4 announcement??)

Busan is a collection of relatively cool maps. They are a bit hard to defend from my past couple of days playing there, but I'm sure as time goes on, I'll have more insights. Here's a quick video of four highlights from playing last night.  Nothing amazing here, but it does give you a glimpse at where some of the action happens on these maps.

I really hope Paladins keeps growing and adding more stuff. I'm pretty close to throwing down the $40 for a full character unlock. Of course, I'll let you know when that happens. In the meantime, really happy that queuing up now has less roadblocks. That's a plus.

As for last night's Overwatch session at Busan . . . I had a lot more fun playing Mei than I did Reinhardt, but I still played him when needed. Maybe I'm not quite as burnt out as I thought I was in that previous post of mine. Time will tell, but I'm still here playing!

Happy Dueling

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Nanovor

Thought I'd do something a bit different today. You may not know this but I actually have several gaming blogs.  Yeah, I know. It was a bad idea. I should have just blogged about anything and everything I wanted to here on TFN . . . kind of like what I'm doing now, but the pressure of being a "pure" Wizard101 fansite was something that used to be a thing for me.

Anyway, I thought I could repost "an oldie but a goodie" from one of my other blogs on Nanovor.  Don't remember what those were? Then read on for a Throwback Thursday post from yours truly!

Apparently the game was discontinued in 2010 and had a release on iOS devices shortly afterward. Unfortunately the game couldn't quite rise to the Marketing, which was really good btw. Check out this throwback commercial from 2009


Nanovor have taken over the world

Originally written on Sept 7, 2009

About three days ago the kids and I were watching Cartoon Network when a commercial for nanovor popped on.

I didn't think much about it until after the commercial when the kids literally jumped out of their seats and wanted to go check it out on the computer RIGHT NOW I MIGHT DIE!

So we went there. (NOTE: link to now defunct)

Three days later I am 20 dollars poorer from buying two of these nanovor toys at Toys R Us, and a lot more educated about how a "red spike" move might be accomplished by a 2.0 evolved nanovor bug.

This is what I do. I teach my kids how to kick your butts and unleash them upon you. Sorry about that.

As a parent, I was glad to see there were some chat controls available to me, so I'm in!

Nanovor is a pvp-only online game where you pit your swarm of microscopic bugs against an opponent's swarm of microscopic bugs.

The above shot is the initial battle screen. What you see there is that my character has five bugs in his swarm and has chosen the Plasma Lash nanovor to begin his battle. The Plasma Lash bug (or at least this generation of the bug) has four options to choose from: head whip, electro-lite, yellow spike, and skip. The battle proceeds as I choose one of those and click on the opponent's location (unless I choose the spike), and then I finally click which bug to swap out on the next round and reclick on your opponent's location.

After the battle orders have been made, my bug and your bug go at it.

This repeats and repeats until one person either leaves the game in frustration or one person's swarm is obliterated.

SPLAT! like that.

There is progression in this game so far (I mean, we've only been playing the game for 3 days or so . . . we don't know how far this will go yet). After playing and winning a few battles, you'll eventually earn a few badges.

Badges in this game are awesome things. Some of them will result in a new nanovor being added to your swarm and perhaps a few EMs. EMs are the stuff of evolution--Primordial ooze in a microscopic test tube. If you get the right combination of EMs you can take your bugs and evolve them into tougher 2.0 (And on) versions.

Here's a picture of a tank walker bug we evolved into it's 2.0 version.

Evolved bugs are stronger and usually have either more deadly attacks or more beneficial overrides. ahhh! We'll get to overrides . . . be patient.

Now besides earning your bugs and EMs through badges, you can also buy nanocash. Nanocash is where the free game ends. Each of those two 10$ Nanovor toys up above came with 400 nanocash. With nanocash you can buy three things. 1) a bug and 3 EMs for around 65 nanocash or so, 2) 6 EMs for around 55 nanocash, or 3) a whopping 6 or 7 bugs (always guaranteed a rare bug in the bunch) for 275 nanocash.

Here's a picture of my daughter opting for the 6 EMs choice.

Many bugs evolved this day . . . many bugs.

So, as we were saying, What the heck is an override? Overrides are buffs that you can apply to your nanovor to make it stronger, faster, or more deadly. Some are single use buffs (the spikes specifically) and some stay with your swarm until you cast over the top of it or win the match. You can only have one override running at a time.

Here's my one and only tip for you guys on overrides. Don't waste your breath casting a spike if you don't have a 2.0 version of a bug in your swarm that can actually make use of it. Not every 2.0 bug can make use of a spike either . . . only specific ones.

I think you'll figure it out from there.

Now, do I have complaints about Nanovor? You bet I have complaints! Who the heck wants to battle in a black 2-D boring space? My kids and I came up with a very compelling background space out in the parking lot in about 5 seconds.

Come on (who makes these things?) Smith and Tinker, Inc! You can do better than a black background!! We've seen your cartoon episodes; we expect more awesome backgrounds! (How'd I do at my angry consumer voice? not good?)


See you in the Nanovor space!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Woes of Getting Out-tanked

I play a lot of Reinhardt on Overwatch. Most days I'm perfectly happy to queue up as the tank, but then there are days where things are about as painful as can be (as keenly portrayed by the Art of Warlord)

As a shield tank, the game is designed to destroy you again and again. Your shield eaten away by a Bastion, punched away by a Doom, slammed and stunned by a Bridgette, hacked by a Sombra, blown 50 feet in the air by a Jankrat, slept on the ground by an Ana . . . and MORE!

But the WORST thing as a tank is when you get out-tanked by the other player or when you're not supported as well as the other tank. A few examples:

  • Executing a beautiful ultimate (5 on the ground!) only to find that no one is there to finish the job with you.
  • Charging an opposing Rein or Doomfist and your team doesn't take advantage of the other stunned player (but the other team definitely takes care of you) 
  • A Lucio or Mei coming up and hassling you with your shield up and no one is killing them.
  • Wasting an ultimate because the other tank tricked you out of it
  • Better positioning
  • Better Ult Charging
  • etc.

As a Rein, my eyes are always on the other tanks looking for moments when I can take them out of the equation -- I get mad if I can't do that. It always feels like if I can out-tank the other guy, then our team is going to win. If not, it's an unhappy ending.

 That said, I really think there's no one to blame but myself. A few examples:

  • I kind of take for granted that people know what I'm doing and why, and I seem to not communicate very well during the heat of the battle. 
  • I don't watch the kill feed closely enough to know if what I'm doing is too risky or not. 
  • My situational awareness as a tank is lower than it should be. 
  • I Leeroy Jenkins far too much and too often. 
  • etc.

So with all that said it feels like I've peaked with Overwatch as a tank unless I can evolve as a player. I've identified what I need to improve on above, but after a bad string of losses, I don't know . . . it makes that original happiness to queue as tank much less joyful.

It's just feels a lot more fun to play as a DPS or a tricky support character like Mei or Lucio. I guess I wish it was just more fun to play a tank rather than someone who hassles the tank. Maybe a bigger hammer? Maybe a different character? Maybe a different game?


Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Boomsday Top Decking Lethal

I decided to log on to Hearthstone last night for kicks to see what's new. I've been completely out of the loop for forever. Upon my return I was greeted with a new card in my collection.

Whoa! Making a 3/4 copy of an existing card will definitely be dangerous!

It's also pretty mind-blowing how really deep the PvE content has become in this game.  There seems to be a ton of things to do now outside of PvP, including this newer set of challenges called the Boomsday Project.

Look at all that content I've never played through on the right hand side . . .  wow!

Basically the Boomsday Project is a gauntlet of "puzzles" where you are given a hand of cards and an objective. The ones I tried last night were labeled the lethal challenges . . . and they were at the top of the list.  I see what you did there, Blizzard!

Sounds pretty straight forward . . .

What I liked about this was how it tapped into that feeling in Hearthstone where you know you have a really good combo of cards in your hand, but you just can't see it.  These challenges are all about that -- in what order do I play these cards to finish the job in one round?

Things start out easy enough . . .

There was a moment when I was facing the 8/9 challenge for the Poisoner where I thought, pffft, I should just search this up on the Internet, but really, what fun is that?  That just ruins the purpose of the challenge, which I believe is to make noobs like me a better Hearthstone player.

Thanks for doing all the set up work for me. LOL.

. . . and then there's just silly things like puzzle 9/9 where you just play a card and watch the ultimate destruction happen on the board. After getting past 8/9, I kinda feel like this is your reward.

By the end of the night I was starting to get sleepy while playing through the challenges. That's one thing I'll say about these, they're not very "exciting" challenges. It's more strategic and accesses a part of my brain that, by the end of the night, just wants to shut down on me.

That said, I summoned the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, so there's that at least . . .

I look forward to playing through more of these Hearthstone challenges; I just need to do them at a different time of day so I'm not so sleepy. :)

Happy Dueling!

Monday, September 10, 2018

An Hour with Grohk

I continue to log on to Paladins daily to complete my quests and claim my log in bonus! This weekend the healer Grohk was back in rotation, so I gave him some play time. Not only did I give him some play time, but I also went to the training range and gave several of the healers a shot to see how they played versus him.  There's a pretty great spot in the Paladins' training range where they have a target continually getting hit by another NPC so you can test out your healing powers. The one I grokked the best was Grohk. (see what I did there?)

I even have a skin for him! He's typically blue colored.

My one complaint about this dude is how "dumb" they made him sound with his voice over. I wish they would have went more, I don't know, "mean"orc with him?  Either way, his lighting staff is about the most amazing thing ever and especially after getting his Spirit's Domain ability.

I'm not sure why I'd want to use anything BUT Spirit's Domain TBH

So let it be known . . . I hearby choose Grohk as my healer of choice in Paladins! I now have my DPS choice (Drogos), my tank choice (Terminus), and now my healer choice. All I need now is to choose a flanker, and I'll at least have four characters I can concentrate on for learning. But, as per usual, "favorite characters" are sure to change over time for me. ;)

I went ahead and quickly recorded some Team Deathmatch play with Grohk today, which was a little frantic. The thing about Team Deathmatch is that you typically run all over the map "hunting" for the other team. Our team was together, but spread out a lot and that makes healing as Grohk a little interesting, but we won the fight and my healing was double what the other team's healer put out.  I'll take that as a success.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

DM'ing for "The Saviors" (Thanks MT Black!)

Every month or so, I host a grand Dungeons and Dragons game at my house where I am the Dungeon Master. After playing several games at my house where Jeff Toney is the DM, he convinced me to also give DM'ing a shot with an alternate game. Thus we began trading DM duties every month for our group.

First, let me introduce you to the group that calls themselves "The Saviors."

When Jeff Toney is in your group, you get custom character drawings!

  • Creed -- Creed is a Human Paladin played by Jeff. His character has a soft spot for orphans and is almost too serious for his own good.
  • Elliwick -- Elliwick is a Dwarf Cleric played by Jeff's daughter.  She has a pet bat and a tendancy to charge into battle.
  • Hungry -- Hungry is a Teifling Ranger played by my oldest son. You guessed it, he's always hungry, and he has a pet Black Bear who's even hungrier than he is.  He carries around a standard 40 rations.
  • Whedab -- Whedab is a Black Dragonborn Sorcerer, a folk hero from her town who also somehow always gets the kill shot so they can take credit for the kill. Whedab is played by my daughter.
  • Twelve -- Twelve is a strangely colored blue Wood Elf Warlock who also happens to be a spy with the ability to disguise herself at will . . . and also just happened to let an enemy of hers rot in prison for a crime she committed . . . Twelve is played by the Uber Wife.

The following is kind of a travel guide to how the group's adventures have played out and how I've been stringing together adventures to get them to the point they're at now about a year later.

For our first adventures I've been stringing together one-shot adventures from the very talented MT Black, created two adventures of my very own, and after one more MT Black adventure, I'll be transitioning them into the campaign called the Tomb of Annihilation.


Their quest began in Neverwinter where they were contacted by a nobleman known as Jorseth Smythe, who contracted them to check on his sister Eemyth in the town of Frickley.  He felt like there was something terrible going on with her.

This hook worked perfectly to start the beginning of the Giant Slayer adventure. All I did was add a strange "healer" in town (an Obeah woman of sorts) named Eemyth.

They did great in the adventure! They ended up contacting the old giantslayer named Jahia and convinced her to come help them stave off the hill giant attack on the town, they chose the 14-year-old boy named Bayle to be their guide, which led perfectly into having Jahia adopt Bayle after the adventure.

After this I had them follow a cat with a magical collar into a portal, which took them back to Neverwinter and segued into MT Black's King of Cats Adventure, which is awesome . . . such a well written adventure. I chose "Pouncivil" from King of Cats to be a cat owned by Jorseth Smythe, which led back into an adventure I had been crafting.

In my adventure, the players journeyed back to the town of Frickley, but this time to save Eemyth and the town from the influence of the Shrine of Loviatar there and also a pack of lizardfolk that had taken up nearby residence.  It was pretty epic and "The Saviors," as they had by now coined themselves, removed Eemyth's curse and broke the shrine found in the town.

There were some great moments, like when Whedab belly flopped off a waterfall and Creed was able to see through the eyes of one of Eemyth's spider pets. I also gave Hungry his wish to face off with his favored enemy choice of oozes, which btw has got to be one of the worst favored enemy choices ever.

At this point I was going to lead them to Triboar to travel through the Terror at Triboar adventure, but they chose a different path and returned back to Neverwinter.  While detailing their adventures in Frickley to Jorseth, a new NPC crossed their paths that led them instead through the Wizard in a Bottle adventure.

They loved Wizard in a Bottle more than I anticipated. The females in the group really connected with Amilya Grayheart's plight of being trapped in a bottle for 20 years and losing everyone she loved.

On their way back to Neverwinter to collect their spoils and drop off Amilya, I had "The Saviors" run into a Centaur who needed help. This led them deep into Neverwinter forest into another adventure of my own design. They just barely finished up this adventure on Saturday and are headed back once again to Neverwinter.

I've already put the group in contact with a ship captain, and they're super excited to head on the high seas for The Dawn Chasers -- yet another MT Black adventure. All I need to do is modify this just a touch and they'll be all set to head into the jungles of Chult, where they ultimately will conquer the Tomb of Annihilation.


Whew . . . it's been quite the adventure and the first time I've really given DM'ing a shot.  It's not an easy task and especially with this group. :) They seem to be having a good time though and I love the family and friends time I'm able to have with them.

Behold the view from behind the DM screen
Happy Dueling!