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Wendy, I Can Fly! *splat*

Ran my regular D&D game last night for the first time in who-knows-how-long. We're going through my fairly-heavily-customized version of Curse of the Emerald Cobra from the "Dungeon Crawl Classics" line, and last night the party managed to take out about 85% of the lizardfolk village section. It was kind of a fight-heavy scenario, which is not my favorite thing but was really what the plot called for. My personal favorite moment was when orc archers came flying by on giant ravens (which was a part I added). sirfox's druid blasted them with a holy strike, which softened them up considerably, then camstone's ranger (with orcs as a favored enemy) filled one full of arrows, causing him to topple off to the ground below. Finally, jamesbarrett's wizard blasted the other with a lightning bolt, which the orc actually survived, but unfortunately for him, his raven didn't -- which meant the orc suddenly found himself 60' in the air without a mount any longer, and took a nosedive into the dirt.

jamesbarrett's fighter Dragor got to fight something new and weird, an advanced kamadan that was a long way from home. It was a tough slog, and by the end of it Dragor was looking pretty bad -- the kamadan's poison had drained his strength to something like half, and he was looking quite green around the gills. So when the aforementioned orcs filled him full of flaming arrows, he just collapsed where he was and said, "I don't feel so good."

laurie_robey's fighter/rogue Angelina got a moment to shine as well, sneaking into the lair of a mated pair of basilisks to swipe a key they needed to move forward. By the end of the evening, most if not all the characters in the party had levelled up -- which is a good thing, because they've used up most of their resources and they have even tougher fights still waiting ahead of them! It should be interesting to see how they fare.

***

In other news, I played a little more Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar this morning. It's a very mixed bag. On the one hand, the scenery is very pretty and it's clear that the developers are doing their best to make it feel like Middle Earth as much as is possible in the nonsensical context of a MMO. The very beginning has my elf champion Galadhalan [1] defending an elf stronghold against a clan of wicked dwarves and goblins, but eventually the stronghold falls and is destroyed during the siege. But then the neat bit is the game fast-forwards to 500 years later, when my character returns to the ruins on another mission. That idea was neat because it immediately established the "elf-ness" of the character and made for a unique experience, so I'll give them points for that. (The ruins could have stood to be a bit more "ruined" after 500 years of erosion and so forth, but I won't quibble about it.)

The problem is that once you get past that and into the actual game part, well, yes, you're in something that walks like Middle Earth and quacks like Middle Earth, but you're still getting missions like "The elf haven of Ereth Mellar is overrun by #beginnermonster#! Kill five #beginnermonster# and bring me their claws to defeat this threat." Of course, killing five #beginnermonster# is rapidly accomplished, but that doesn't actually get rid of #beginnermonster# -- they keep materializing out of nowhere, it's just that once you have five claws, you can ignore the #beginnermonster# from now on.

Then you get "There is a terrible beast, the #slightlytougherbeginnermonster# terrorizing the glen with the obelisk. Slay it and bring me its horn!" So you go find the glade with the obelisk, only to find three or four players (with names like LLegolass, Grymli, and Boomshot Explodeyman) sitting around waiting, 'cause the #slightlytougherbeginnermonster# has already been killed recently (Er?) and it has to rematerialize. So when the #slightlytougherbeginnermonster# does beam down from the Enterprise or wherever these things are appearing from, you all gang up on it and defeat it, and you all claim its one horn and take it back to the quest-giver so you can move on to the next thing.

Quest-giver says, "You have done well! Evermore the obelisk glade will be safe from the deprivations of the #slightlytougherbeginnermonster#!" Which of course is a big fat lie ... #slightlytougherbeginnermonster# has already beamed back in to obelisk glade and is being slaughtered by the next bunch of players. But you can ignore obelisk glade and the #slightlytougherbeginnermonster# in it from now on.

There are hints of a plot underneath, and after a while you can train yourself to ignore all the MMOstupid, so I will probably continue to play it for a while at least. The section I'm in now wants to train me all about crafting, to which my response is "I ain't interested in doing no crafting, lemme alone!" but that's where the plot is at the moment so that's where I'll go. I'm also attempting to pick the last grapes of the season at a vineyard, but I have to wait because somebody was here just a few minutes ago and already picked the last grapes of the season and I have to wait for them to regenerate.

Yeah.

If they'd make Shadows of Angmar: The Single Player CRPG Epic with the kind of work and effort they put into this thing, I'd love, love, love it. But as it is, I like certain things about it while the rest is like nails down a chalkboard. I need to stop for a while anyway, as I gotta draw for tomorrow!

-The Gneech

[1] Actually, it should have been Galadhalion ("Son of the Exalted Starlight"), but I was rushed and made a booboo in my Sindarin. -5 Elf Nerd Points for me.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
sirfox
Apr. 1st, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
re: MMO's

Yeah. Sadly, the very nature of the beast means that the problem you described is going to be present in any fantasy type MMO you pick up. The other problem of course is going to be hordes of spotty-faced 14 year olds without clue, social graces, or scruples.

The secret to enjoying *ANY* MMO is to find a good guild/clan/whatever of cool people to hang out with. it means you have a fairly reliable pool of people to draw from for difficult missions, good company to banter with, etc.

On the subject of the constantly respawning 100 predators per acre issue, i was thinking about that, back when i was levelling up a rogue in WoW. "Okay... this forest is simply packed to the GILLS with bears and wolves. There are boars too, and some walking fish-things, and occasionally deer or cows, if you're near a settlement. Nowhere NEAR enough prey animals to feed this many carnivores, though. What crazy kind of renewable resource must they be feeding off of?!" Shortly afterwards, i had my answer. "right... the only constantly respawning food source there is... adventurers." *sigh* *goes to get body*
the_gneech
Apr. 1st, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
FWIW, there are deer and rabbits and such running around LOTRO ... but for some inexplicable reason the wolves and boars and such ignore them and go after players instead.

LOTRO is in beta still, so I don't know what if any guilds have formed. Eventually I'll probably seek out a RP-heavy server, but for right now I'm just sorta pretending the other players aren't there.

-TG
athelind
Apr. 1st, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
During my days of playing First Edition AD&D, lo, these many decades gone, my universal strategy when facing a mounted opponent was to take out the mount first. In AD&D1, even a Paladin's horse seldom had more than 5 Hit Dice, whilst his rider was certainly a level-laden monstrosity like ourselves.

More exotic mounts might call for different tactics, but nevertheless, 'twas a good bet that anyone riding, say, a gryphon was in all probability subtantially tougher than the gryphon itself.
the_gneech
Apr. 2nd, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
In this particular case, the orcs were fifth level scouts, while the ravens were simply CR 2 animals. So yeah, the mounts were the vulnerable spot, definitely!

-TG
hantamouse
Apr. 1st, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, And the sugar-free chocolate cookies are kind of bitter.
laurie_robey
Apr. 1st, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't like them much either.
jamesbarrett
Apr. 1st, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Kyriela realized that she did not, in fact, have any touch attack spells, that she could then let Faerus use, so, with the level, fixed that by learning Shocking Grasp. Got to have at least one spell one can cast through one's familiar, right? The other spell she picked up was stoneskin.

One thing though, Etools wouldn't let her gain a 9th level feat. I think it might be because technically that slot is occupied by Call of the Yellow King. Won't give her one unless you say she can have one, cause I'd have to allow negative numbers. Just something I wanted to let you know about. -Frisk
the_gneech
Apr. 1st, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, go ahead and have -1. "Call of the King in Yellow" is actually an Extraordinary Ability, I just made it a Feat to put it into E-Tools.

-TG
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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