Gaming is a source of joy.

So, what happened in the past year? Well, I got a job working with a firm that ate up quite a bit of my time, which was expected. My role-playing group continued to gather each week to play Darksun and we had quite a bit of fun. (I will try to do a recap at some point and pick up where I left off with prior posts).  My job, unfortunately, was temporary and after six-months my contract was up and I was let go. Also, my gaming group decided to put on hold any campaign during the summer months as many in my gaming group have families and would prefer to enjoy the summer outside doing family things.  We live in upstate New York. Winter seems to last an eternity and the summer months become a flurry of events, outings, cookouts, picnics and vacations. Gaming generally takes a back seat anyway.

After being let go, for the past few months I have been looking for work and “freelancing” as an attorney taking whatever client comes my way.  Needless to say, I’m broke. And given my financial situation, I haven’t been feeling too good about the future.  I am currently writing, part-time for a local legal publication that pays the bills, but that is about it.

There is, however, a silver lining to all of this.  Well, two silver linings. The first is my fiance and her heroic level of patience and understanding with my struggle to find legal work. The other is that I have discovered that I missed writing this blog, writing adventures and being creative.  In order to keep my sanity, I’m going to pick this blog back up and write. I will find time, no matter what, to keep at it.  My gaming group will be gathering to play again in a few months and I have a ton of ideas. Sitting down and putting those ideas to paper has been such a source of joy and relaxation during the past few months, that I am almost taken aback by how much I really do love gaming. Perhaps I should try to get published…?

I don’t know. The thought has always been in the back of my mind, to take part in game design and story-telling. Perhaps this could happen in the future. But as of right now, I’m focused on the next job interview and writing to keep me sane.

Moving to Rivendell and Playing in My Athasian Sandbox

I haven’t posted in some time and that is because my fiance and I have moved from our run down apartment in Albany, New York to a very nice townhouse in East Rochester.  It was a very hectic move as everything that could go wrong almost did.  Our car’s master cylinder fried itself a week before the move.  I got sick before and after the move.  I had a job interview two days after our move.  And, of course, because my fiance and I are from the Finger Lakes area, the past week has been one filled with “we need to get together and have lunch/dinner/beers with insert family/friend/acquaintence here>.”  Not that I mind…it’s just hectic.

Our new home is nestled amidst a wooded area that is absolutely beautiful.  Rivendell was the first thing that came to mind when I saw it.  The only thing missing is a river and some elves…(and, of course, if I had the One Ring, the whole job situation would be the least of my worries!)

In a few hours my old gaming group is getting together to play Dark Sun with yours truly as the Dungeon Master.  I am very excited to play, for it has been at least three years since I have played with these guys and five or so years since I have really DMed a session.  I have spent a lot of time trying to find ways to get my buddies into the “feel” of Dark Sun.  That has involved a series of House Rules that I will be experimenting with as well as background music to play.     

To make Dark Sun more brutal, I am incorporating critical hit charts and critical fumble charts that are based on damage type.  Included in these charts is the chance for an instant kill.  Calculated it is approximately .017% chance that on any given attack roll, someone is going to be killed instantly. I like that.  I have also included the 2nd Edition weapon materials rules that modify attack and damage based on the materials used to make the weapon.  I suspect that after a few sessions we will stop using this rule as I am finding it to be a tedious addition to my own NPCs and monsters while writing adventures.

The background music I have selected include the Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Soundtrack from the online video game.  It is incredible and fits perfectly.  I plan on adding the original Conan Soundtracks to the playlist. In addition, I am adding some pieces by Lisa Gerrard (of Dead Can Dance fame).  Her particular and unique vocal style and language add a otherwordly quality that I think will enhance the gaming experience.

In any event, it is six in the morning and I have approximately ten hours before we begin playing…I can’t wait.


To pick up where I had left off the other day, (and to continue venting my disappointment with Dark Sun), I am happy to point out that there are 117 pages of rules errata for the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons.  And, to be clear, the statement ‘I am happy to point out’ is utter sarcasm.  There is something terribly wrong with this product when the game designers at Wizards have to “rely on the input of others”.  What happened to thoroughly play-testing a product before releasing it?  I have no idea. 

To be clear, there are plenty of good things about 4e…I’ve just haven’t decided I am ready to stop complaining about it yet.