Weekend!

So the co-workers want to play a game of D&D. All of them want to play and none of them have DMed before. (Only a couple of them have ever even played D&D before…)

So there’s like this reverse auction of “who gets to be DM” and it looks like I won it.

So, therefore, it falls on me to organize the dang thing, send out the invites, and get lunch going.

As such, I sent out a “Stranger Things”-themed email to the team and invited everybody, will be stopping by Amy’s Donuts on the way there, and we will be ordering from the local “New York Style” place because I refused to do the whole “let’s get it from one of the pizza places that advertises on television” places.

As part of getting prepared, I went through the rules again (and you can check out downloadable rules here) and sent out links to character generator tools (like this one here) and now I’m just working on my various voices and am trying to master my “excitedly explaining things” voice but putting it about a third of an octave lower.

(After that, the weekend will be errands and whatnot. Game night with my real and regular group on Saturday. But the nailbiter is DMing for co-workers on Friday night.)

So… what’s on your docket?

(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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42 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. think i’m getting sick. (pitfalls of dating a teacher–f’ing kids)

    If so, no jujitsu. Guess I’ll be playing Prey.

    If I’m not getting sick, going to a Arabian Nights themed fund raiser. Professional Belly Dancing Demonstration. Sadly, the GF refused to wear a “slutty harem girl” costume I suggested :)

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  2. The carb for the cycle is clean and ready to be installed. Jets looked better than predicted, replaced the old machine screws securing the bowl, the phillips slots were becoming stripped. Time to move on to the fuel tank. Bust up a sharpening stone into marble sized pieces drop them in the tank and shake until my arms give out. Rinse all the rust chunks and powder with water and then fill with vinegar and start the 5 day soak.

    Need to solder several wires together to make the kill switch function again (discarded the keyed switch).

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  3. Speaking of D&D this popped up in my Steam Queue… seems like JB bait. Looks kinda fun, but the lack of character customization has me on the sidelines…but I could be tempted if the Dev starts adding lots of characters and/or opens up the customization.

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    • It’s in my wishlist already.

      The problem with D&D is that if you want to make it accessible to most folks you have to have pre-gen characters (FSVO “accessible”).

      That said, expansions to the base set are a great cash cow. I’d be shocked if they didn’t have 3-4 planned already.

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      • I could see that particularly as a phone app… but then I’d make it all about collecting the dozens (hundreds) of character types. On a PC? Eh, nothing wrong with pre-sets and guard rails… but otherwise let the mouse click rule.

        But that might just me, if we parse the event logs of my life we’d find that the amount of time playing D&D? Almost none. The amount of time rolling characters building maps and reading about D&D? A lot.

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      • You might try FATE — the Dresden Files RPG is a solid adaption, and there’s Spirit of the Century (turn of the century pulps using FATE).

        You still need to generate characters for newbies, but you’ll find the pregen method still gives players huge input. The opening of a session with pregens is the DM asking questions of player. “Bob, your character was in in serious trouble and Tim helped out? Why were you in trouble and what did he do?”. These questions do more than tie the characters together better than “You all meet in an inn” — they actually finish the character creation process by adding in the bulk of your “Aspects”.

        And even then, quite a few skills are left unchosen — I quite happily took the skill “Weapons” at “Fair”, justifying the existence of both the skill and the sword that had clearly always been in the trunk of the car, based on in-game reasoning. (In Dresden Files, mages can’t kill with magic. They often use guns or the sword when fighting. So being trained with one or both was very standard for an apprentice wizard such as myself).

        And the actual gameplay — if you’re in a gun fight, you don’t worry about flanking or AoO, or anything like that. You say “I want to get behind those counters, for cover” or “I want to get up high, to snipe” and not only does it happen — it effects gameplay.

        For instance, if you get behind those counters — the next time someone shoots at you, you can claim “I’m “Behind Cover”” and get a bonus to avoiding being hit.

        Doing things, and settling what happens, is very similar to a story. You want to shoot a guy, one person might fire to flush him out of cover, the second might send scalding water into his face via a little magic to blind him, and the third will take advantage of that to really nail him as he’s blinded and out of cover.

        Players just…talk about what they want to do, like they’re describing a story. And the system lets the GM turn that into very simple rolls to do stuff. It’s fantastic, but D20 players tend to struggle for a game or two until they wrap their minds around it.

        They just want to trade shots — “Weapons” versus “Athletics” (guns versus dodge) and that is both boring and takes forever. And also, in real life, fights are rarely two guys standing still trading shots out in the open.

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        • In our regular group, we’ve used FATE systems a few times and the results are great. (Especially the Dresden game we played, which we all loved.) Wouldn’ta worked with this group because they were all very much focused on playing D&D qua D&D – I think it’s a Stranger Things epiphenomenon.

          Fabulous description of the system, though.

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          • FATE is great. But watching D20 players bash their head into it like it’s complicated drives me nuts, no matter how much I empathize. (I had exactly the same problem!).

            It’s very much “Oh my god, you’re making this too difficult! Just tell me what you want to do!”.

            It’s funny, because one of my friend’s 9 year old’s has absolutely no problems. He created, basically, Dresden Files budget Batman and has been enjoying the crap out of himself. (Which is doubly funny because he made this character About a year before Butters went Batman).

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  4. I’ll be officiating my last football game of the season Saturday evening. The good: the host is very close to my house. The bad: the forecast high is upper 30s. It’s a very wistful day for me every fall. I love the guys I officiate with like brothers, and we don’t see each other much in the offseason.

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  5. I just finished the Manuscript Rewrite from not-quite-but-almost Hell. I am pushing myself this afternoon to do the stuff ahead for next week (some grading, writing an exam) and if I do, I can have Saturday AND Sunday off.

    Not sure what I’m going to do; half-baked thought of making a Target run – which is a major production as it’s a 1-hour round trip – to look for a new artificial Christmas tree to replace my nearly-20-year-old one that is falling apart.

    And yes, dangit, I am thinking about decorating for Christmas already. Shut up. It’s been a brutal year and I need it. And no, I’m not one of those Griswold House people, but that’s merely because I have zero external electric plugs (old, old house).

    I also have to do a bit of finishing up of buying Christmas gifts for the relatives that I only see at Thanksgiving….

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  6. Gun season for deer starts tomorrow in Kentucky. High holiday for hunters. i will be in the blind at sunrise, with 28 degree temps, questioning my own sanity. If I am lucky this year, I’m going to try butchering the deer myself, which I have never done. I have lots of YouTube videos queued up to help, all the knives sharpened, etc.

    I’ve also probably cursed myself by pre-inviting some friends over to grill out tomorrow night (should I be successful). Tenderloins and backstrap will never see the freezer.

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    • Random, but: my graduate advisor used to go hunting with the guy at my school who taught Gross Anatomy. Dr. A. (my advisor) and all his buddies got Dr. W. (the anatomist) to do the cleaning, drawing, and basic break-down. Apparently Dr. W. loved doing it, and someone would give him a backstrap if he didn’t get a deer that year.

      A lot of my students have talked about looking forward to it (I think we’re a bit later than KY, at least for firearm season – bow season has been going on a while)

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      • I’ve always field dressed my deer and butchered all my other wild game, but doing a full deer and honoring the animal by getting the cuts right and not wasting meat…that is intimidating. But thank goodness for YouTube. I’ll get through it.

        I’m actually sitting in the blind now. No deer but the fox squirrels are out and making a hell of a racket. I stopped counting after the first 30 shots this morning, so at least someone is having some success.

        And my brother sent pics early this morning of a dandy 8-pointer he shot on his property.

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    • Good luck; It’s week two of black powder in VA; missed a nice 8 pt buck last week. Usually we just take does, but I was hunting a new part of the property and wasn’t sure what to expect, so I took the shot. Planning to go out this evening myself.

      Not sure if by butchering you mean that Quartering is new to you?… but if it is and you haven’t already seen on youtube… a sawsall with a metal cutting blade is a great time-saver for those last parts (you know the ones). We factor 15-20 min for gutting, 20-30 for skinning, 30-45 for quartering, and at least an hour with 3-4 family members breaking down the quartered sections into Roasts, grind, and vacuum sealing everything. Not including the hunt, its a solid 4+ hrs work to get everything into the freezer (at least at our leisurely pace). We’re usually too wiped to entertain after that; but I expect you’ll be stoked with the accomplishment, and rarin’ to go.

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      • My previous experience with deers involved field dressing them and then straight to the processor. I want to break it all the way down to roasts, etc by myself this year.

        Good luck on your season. I skipped our October muzzleloader season due to a weekend trip with the wife. I never get out during the December season because I’ll be pretty focused on waterfowl by that point.

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  7. As it turned out, the other guy DMed.

    He did the thing where we were all talking about what we were going to do and he had the monsters attack us again. Like, and do damage. Not “another arrow hits near you”.

    Dude. I *HATE* that.

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  8. The best part of the weekend is that my younger boy, who’s down in Eugene for his freshman year, showed up out of the blue and is here till Sunday afternoon. Tonight I am going to show him how to make risotto.

    I had planned on spending all of today kicking back and maybe going to see Ragnarok, and then Sunday playing around with a revamp of the 7DS website. But I just got a new assignment and they need a seven day turn-around, which feels crazy, so now I guess I am in Work Mode all weekend.

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  9. I’m in Brooklyn Michigan visiting relatives. The grocery stores sell wine. Like right in the middle of the aisle. They can’t sell wine in the grocery store in Colorado. So this is crazy to me. But if people came out to Colorado and walked around they’d say stuff like holy cow I can’t believe they’re selling marijuana here and my attitude would be oh yeah they’ve been doing that for a while. Also this voice to text thing is driving me nuts. I can’t wait to get back on a real keyboard.

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