Started looking at new places to move today ... some potential goodies, so that looks hopeful.
Watched Gosford Park. In a word, don't.
Ran D&D. Was a smashing success, I thought. Certainly had some very memorable "WHAT did you say just happened?" moments. The characters actually did very well considering just how thoroughly the deck was stacked against them -- but because they always do so well is precisely the reason the deck had to be stacked.
I felt bad for Camstone -- he's apparently almost as bad a dice roller as I am -- but I resisted the urge to fudge the die rolls. I used to do that as a matter of course, surrepticiously add another 20 hit points to a villain I wanted to live another round, or say, "He missed!" when I know a hit will wipe out one of the PCs, etc. But I always sorta feel like it's sloppy adventure design.
This time, I thought about the characters' major abilities and likely strategies, and designed the encounters to take those into account. The required plot point was, "The mage must be captured." To that end, I put in stuff to keep everyone busy, worked out a plan that the villain would follow, and gave him the equipment necessary to capture said mage, in the form of some magic items that he would conceivably have access to, given his background.
And, with a few minor ripples, the session unfolded almost exactly as I had forseen, with one exception: the characters did the villain a lot more damage than I expected them to be able to -- especially after after taking on four displacer beasts and three minotaurs! ;) They didn't hurt him enough to prevent the mage's capture, but definitely enough that I knew I had made him the right power level to survive.
Now, they are at reduced power, due to the missing mage, and have to trace the villain back to his lair (where he is most dangerous) in order to rescue her. And are they ever chomping at the bit to go get him! (Menace a town, ravage a countryside, perform hideous sacrifices, yeah, that annoys them -- mess with a member of the party, tho, and you're DEAD MEAT!) It should be a lot of fun to see how this plays out.
Anyway, it's off to bed (is that the dawn I see?), and tomorrow I've got to work out some t-shirt and button stuff. I'd say "no rest for the furry," but I'm afraid that Spiked Punch might slap me with a Cease and Desist order. ;)