Monday, June 15, 2009


One of the 4th edition campaigns I am running started with the first module for this editions, H1-Keep on the Shadowfell. Since I started with this module and have a few maps in the DM's guide I decided to continue using the maps and locations provided, I have re-created the map provided in the DM's guide Soon to be posted here. I did add my own twist with an overarching storyline that is supposed to get the characters involved.

Edit: Here is a link to the map that I made from the one provided in the DM's Guide.
Winterhaven and surroundings

You see a couple of centuries ago an oracle just spouted out an epic, as oracles sometimes do. In the epic it was described that the royal family was destined to be the end of Orcus, or at least banish him for a millenia. That epic lists out where the hero is expected to go, what he is expected to use and how he is supposed to end Orcus' reign.

Here are some stanzas that the players have already discovered:

From the past, the future's written
Of the blood of ancient kings
They shall be Orcus' destroyer
Through powerful prismatic rings

In their path, shadows fallen
His death, black and painful fated
By his master, unlife granted
until his soul's hunger sated

Mountain's protectors have the answer
To travel the path of glory
Forged by their ancestral spirit
A ring begins the blood's story

Before ancient Shadow's Pillars
Beneath the shadow darkened sun
With heartening strikes on Orcus
The cleansing war has begun

Bright now is their shadowed future
Strengthened by the coming sun
Fear and horror reduced to nothing
In the end the battle is won

Part of the story is a mercenary company that was hired to guard the royal family until the prophecy came to pass. Red Mithril stayed with the family wherever they went, unfortunately There was an incident at the Keep on the Shadowfell that broke up the mercenary company and scattered the few remaining members of the family.

Assuming the characters find all the information they need, what do you think the chances are that the campaign will go as expected?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Didja notice?

I was re-arranging my blog today. I wanted to keep my blog related items up top but also wanted to make my amazon links more visible.

I started thinking about two things.
1. Do any of my readers ( like 3 of them ) know the 20 year history I have with the name Laslo? and...
2. Why do I have D&D amazon links on my blog page if I haven't really talked about it?

I'll start with #1, but in doing so I'll delve a little deeper into my past and my adolescence. When I was in 8th grade, about 30 years ago ( go ahead, do the math ), we were required to have homework or something to read for half of our lunch period. I was fortunate enough to sit across the table from someone who had already been introduced to D&D. He usually had the "Monster Manual" with him and allowed me to peruse the book during our "study" time. The images and the statistics listed for the imaginary creatures intrigued me, it was so stimulating to my imagination that I had to learn more. I got to know another classmate, who was also into the gaming scene, both roleplaying as well as strategy games. I still call him my friend, and we get together once in a while with our wives and other couples. Him, another friend and I stumbled into the roleplaying world of "Basic Dungeons and Dragons" not knowing exactly what we were doing other than playing make-believe.

Years went by, we tried many different roleplaying games. Fantasy Games Unlimited had quite a few games that were unique and interesting. Aftermath, Daredevils, Villains and Vigilantes and Bushido were FGU products we played. We played some Champions, Car Wars, and of course AD&D.

On to college, I was strangely enough assigned to room with a gamer and learned that my college campus has an RPG club that met every week. All it really did was provide a place to meet without having to deal with pededstrians stopping by to ask "What're you doing?". It was in that group, my first character with that group that Laslo was born. The system was a mixture of AD&D and some very well done homebrew rules. Spells were "invented" by the player by combining words to make the spell effect and every character started with a social status background to help determine their place in the world.

Laslo started with mediocre stats and a horrendous social status. I rolled a 1 on a 20 sided die. This didn't make me a bastard child, this didn't make me a slave, this made me the bastard child of a slave. That's right, Laslo's mother had been a slave in the middle-eastern style city of Kaylith and his father was some northern mercenary who just passed through. So by combining the traits of these two fictional characters, Laslo was a blond haired, well tanned short street urchin who grew up thieving from the plentiful merchants of Kaylith. He went on to have many adventures in many places and became one of my favorite characters.

As far as #2? Maybe I'll cover that next time, I'm DMing a 4th edition campaign that I run on a weekly basis that started in the area that is provided in the DM's guide and the first module. I can talk a little bit about it, but my players haven't really gotten into the meat of the campaign yet so I will have to be careful about what I discuss.

Monday, June 8, 2009

No more WoW

I have been quiet here for a while.

I apologize for not providing the promised follow up to our awesome raiding weekend, but I lost interest.

I have basically quit WoW cold turkey, the few times I have logged on was because my wife was in need of some gems cut and once because she wanted some DPS for a pug raid and asked that I log on my mage. What I have been doing with my time has been playing City of Heroes.

I had played this game when it first came out, kept my account going for about 3 months before I grew bored with the repetitive nature of the game.

At the time, if you completed a mission with a group that was the same as a mission in your list, you did not get credit for completing it unless it was YOUR mission that was completed. This was a serious sore spot. Well Cryptic/NCSoft fixed that, now if you complete a mission with a group that you have in your mission list you will be asked if you would like to complete your mission as well. This was a nice simple fix that could have kept me playing way back when I started.

Another issue that was addressed was difficulty. CoX ( City of Heroes/Villains ) is a class based game, depending on which role you chose to file you are allowed to choose from certain power sets and you get a certain size health pool. As in most MMOs different roles have different damage output versus survivability. If you are a tanker you can take a lot of punishment but dishing it out is a little tougher. If you are a blaster (ranged DPS) you can deal a lot of damage, but have to be careful of letting your foes get too close. A defender ( healer/buffer ) can keep themselves alive a bit longer, but have a hard time arresting ( killing ) anything. This led to having some classes very reliant on grouping and others able to easily plow through missions. Now in CoX you can choose your difficulty from among 5 different settings, you start out at level 1 and can go up to level 5. This was definitely a much needed improvement.

There have been many updates and additions since I last played on a regular basis, maybe I will spend some more time at a later date describing more changes.