Their suspicions have grown over time. The Party had been out on the road for well over 10 hours, and dusk was setting in. It had been a long day, and they had followed their "leader" the ever so brusque Algar Heilstein as he lead the party to find out what killed the 24 man check point called Valleys way. The claims were goblins, but as the party had drawn closer, signs were pointing that something else were killing these guards. That something else was kidnapping the farmers and their families. That something else had caused the road to shut down. That these were not merely goblins, that something else was going.
Algar had led them, he was the hero around these parts, but he was rude, cruel, and just outright wrong. Baphos, the partys resident tiefling rogue and their leader Orinel, the warlord and Dragon born grew suspicious. Baphos and the ranger Kal, the Half elf followed Algar as he took off from the group when they took a break. Baphos, with careful skill found a note, a note that Algar was in league with Slavers. What was Algars true intentions? Soon the Party made a plan, Baphos and Kal would go ahead from the party to the check point. The rest of the group would move slower with Algar keeping an eye on him.
Soon after, Kal and Baphos would return. Their attempts at scouting botched as they tried to suprise attack the "goblins". They soon learned that these were not goblins but Xivorts, gnomes who had mutated in the darkness of the Shadowfell. A whole group of them chased after Kal and Baphos, and soon Algars intentions were knownw. He was leading the party into an ambush which got botched. Seeing that the Xivorts were coming and had called out his name as master, Algar turns and flees. The Xivorts fall upon the party, their yellow eyes peering in the dark evening night. Their blue skin hidden by shadow. As the group stands their grown the chaos of battle envelopes them...
Hans the fighter holds off a Xivort Slasher, and as he strikes one, it disappears in a shroud of shadows and appears a few feet away from him. Orinel is caught off guard as a Xivort throws a bolas, its balled point end spinning in the air, as it meets with orinel tying his feet and knocking him to the ground. The Xivort Slashers who see Orinel is helpless turn their attention, their short swords ready to stab him to death. The cleric Alessia tries to get to him time. Baphos tries to go after Algar, but in the shadows a xivort shadow caller, a xivort mage and master of the shadows sees this. As Baphos is running, his shadow materializes.....and takes a physical shapes, and before Baphos could dodge it, the Shadows hands wrap around his neck and starts to strangle the life out of him. Tigthening more so every second. Kal is wounded from the earlier encounter Xivort Darters throw darts at him, piercing him, nearly killing. Orinel, tries to escape from his bond to help Baphos, but soon the Xivorts are on him and...
That folks is my current monday night DnD campaign I am running. Thought I would throw you in the thick of it and show you the utter chaos that my players are going through. Now did they escape these little Xivorts that attempted to overrrun them? Well you will have to wait and see, but for now, I will tell you my relationship with this little game called Dungeons and Dragons.
Now its been a while since I have done a post on this blog, but being that I have been getting back into DnD as of late I figured why not talk about it. And why Talk about this little game? Well its a game that I loved for 17 years, and when I got into in the mid 90s. And I want to talk about it, how I feel about the game, or my love for it, my history with it, and my thoughts on the different editions of the game including the ever so controversial 4th edition.
My History with Dungeons and Dragons
(My first DnD Set)
Now I was raised my grandparents they were the ones who introduced me to myths and legends and all that sort of stuff. And of course there was my love with gaming, videogames too thanks to that NES they bought me back in 1988, and it was love that continues to this day. Now my interest in DnD I will admit does not go back as some....I did not play the old red box from the early 1980s. I was not born till 1983 so yeah I missed out on that. Though lets keep in mind that there were other basic sets of the game released.
Now, in 1994 this all happened in the same day, my interest in Dungeons and Dragons began. My grandfather had gone on a buisness trip and had stated he got me a surprise "board" game. Well before he had gotten home, my grandmother took me to the Pizza place and there was this new arcade game there. That game was "Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom", made by Capcom. I remember playing the game, and the unique aspects of the creatures,(I remember seeing the owlbear for the first time, that kind of perked my interest) and than afterwards we went home. My grandfather brought the mystery game and it was "The easy to master Dungeons and Dragons set."
Essentially what this was a streamlined board game like version of the 2nd Edition DnD rules at the time. It had a solo adventure and than a dmed version of the solo adventure in it. The Solo adventure was essentially a tutorial of the game but was fun to play. Than of course there was the DM version which I ran for my friends who were curious we had a blast, and for me a life long love of the game began.
That adventure started with the players being held captive by a wizard and soon the Characters with the help of an elf girl would escape the dungeon. Now this particular set after this adventure actually had three expansions that help ease into a sort of mini campaign. I played these sets for a few years, and everytime with different friends or the same, but they were never the same. And than we graduated to DnD 2nd Edition.
My Thoughts on the 2nd and 3rd Editions
As time went on, I wanted to explore more aspects of the game. The above set like I said had expansions that had themes centered around goblins, dragons and the undead. Of course the game would go beyond that and I just had to get into AD&D. That was the next step...
Of course now adays I will admit that AD&D is a very complex game. And that is where I started my venture into the more advance aspect of the game. This is where I really started to get into the creative aspects of the game, and I really started to become Serious about Dming. And that is what I do....I play as a pure DM. I always have even with those basic sets I ran those adventure many many times over. And than the game really took shape. I learned how to make my own adventures, and how to balance. I learned alot from that Second Edition.
Yes Second Edition the days of THACO, and various types of saving throws. It was a very complex system, but one that I do like. Though for Nostalgia reasons, but to some ways it feels dated. I can see there are those that enjoy it, and I can see that. The one thing though that srikes me with the Second edition is the different things that TSR did with some of their campaign settings in those days. That was mainly introduce things like Planescape, Dark Sun, Spell Jammer, and the highly overlooked Birthright and they were settings that took the DnD concept in very new directions. I did not mention Ravenloft as Ravenloft had its root way back in the first edition days. and the realms as awesome as they are came out in the first edition days. And of course I cannot mention that is when I discovered the Forgotten realms. I discovered the novels and the fantastic world you can play with. Forgotten realms was a sand box that you can shape.
And I like Dragonlance, but...mostly the first three Chronicles Novels. The campaign world is imo a bit to limiting, but we will talk about that another time.
Than there was the third edition. This came out at the beggining of my JR year, and I remember picking up the 3rd edition books the day they came out. August 2000 it was PHB, than it was DMG in Sept, and than finally the Monster Manual. And boy this was a culture shock, the system was revamped heavily. We had this new D20 system where armor ****s went up and not down. And yes I loved it, and it was a pretty compex But boy did we play this for a long time, we played several third campaigns...and it was good to see them bring back some of the creatures and concepts that were big in first but obscure and/or missing in Second. Than I quite for a short while, and during that time the infamous 4th edition came out. I heard the horror stories, I heard that it was emulating MMORPGs, and what not, I heard it was an abomination...but life is a risk. And I took the risk in getting the first three books....and here it is...how I feel about Fourth ed.
How I feel about Fourth Edition DnD?
The Ever so controversial 4e of DnD. Boy did this game cause an upheaval in the games fanbase dividing it tremendously. The game that has been labled a paper MMORPG, a game that has been labeled as an abomination, a game that is not true Dungeons and Dragons. The game that many say is a fake, and that a game known as Pathfinder is the true heir to DnD. Than there was the things that also happened in the cannon, the Cosmology was changed, the gnomes and halforces removed. No barbarians, Sorcerors, Monks or bards. A race called the Dragon Born and Eladrin introduced, and the Tiefling was upgraded from a sort of secondary race to a core race. Boy was I terrified, but about two months ago, I got extra cash and guess what...I took the dive. I have played three sessions of a campaign, and was my fear justified? No, I enjoy Fourth edition....I love it actually.
Its kind of ironic too, one of the complaints is that there is not enough roleplaying, but my first session which was well about five hours was mostly roleplaying and none combat encoutnters...The game session actually ended at a combat scenario, and was alot of rping. And than we have been combat heavy the last two, but thats due to some time allotment issues. None the less, I gotta admit the system is easier to run, the rules are streamlined, but they are easier to manage to say the least. Though I will say as far as skills go, I like the combined skills, but at the same time miss stuff like armor smithing and fletching arrows and what not. It is very balanced and for me I like that. My group likes balance. And the supplements, i gotta admit the Supplements in this addition unlike others, I have to say add something. Even if its not a a whole lot the supplements donot feel repetitive as other games.
Dungeons and Dragons to me is an amazing game, and if you guys want I can share to you what is going on in my campaign. This is my story of a love with a game that inspired so much that we donot relax. So thanks goes to Mr Gygax and Mr Arneson, for creating a game that has not only created fun for millions, but has inspired our video games and many other things.