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The Welcome Wench: In Search of Elsie

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Believe it or not, I’m involved in about four ongoing D&D 4E games of various regularity – two of these are online affairs. Part of the long-term purpose of this blog is to help me keep track of progress for each of those. The game detailed below was run using MapTools and Ventrilo over the internet with my normal gaming group.

Dungeon Master:

  • Mike

Our Heroes:

  • Falon (Catt’s elf rogue)
  • Sammuael (Gary’s dwarf cleric)
  • Zarak (Tony’s human fighter)
  • (Robby’s paladin character missing this session)

Game Summary:

Having made quick work of a few rats in the cellar of the Inn of the Welcome Wench, our heroes enjoyed the good graces of the inn keeper and had a restful evening and hearty breakfast. The next morning they found that Elsie, the Bernarde family’s cow, had gone missing. Knowing Elsie was an important resource to the Inn of the Welcome Wench and cherished by barmaid Betty, they decided to investigate.

For the Bernarde family, Elsie provided milk and secondary income. Though the town had several farms with several other milk cows, the Bernarde family happened to know Robby’s character was an adventurer and sent to him for assistance.

The merry band soon found the area around the cow’s pen in disarray. Nearby they discovered the collapsed tunnel of a large burrowing creature. The team made a series of skill checks to trace the trail of the creature and found a large trench with sloping dirt walls some 60′ deep. Skittering down the sloping walls, they ambushed a large insectoid creature (Ankheg). As they bloodied the creature, 4 smaller ankhegs emerged from a nearby nest and joined the fight. Through grappling, acid spit, claws and mandibles our heroes fought until they brought the insects down.

As expected, they found the slain cow. But surprising wealth was also at hand. A hapless Halfling adventurer who had been slain by the beasties was found near the nest. Along with the remains, our heroes found a Bag of Holding, an Onyx Dog and 39 gp.

Loot was divided as follows…

Sammuael – 13 gp, Onyx Dog
Falon – 13 gp, Bag of Holding
Zarak – 13 gp, an Ankheg head as a trophy, and some prime rib from the cow

Total exp earned to date – 428 xp

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Magic the Gathering meets D&D!

October 10, 2010 Leave a comment

As you may have noticed the onslaught of new posts has slowed of late. Having caught up on most of my ongoing campaigns, I’ve decided to go with quality over quantity. That or I was just fresh out of new ideas. Or at least I was, until this little gem came along.

Since you’re at this site, you’re a fan of D&D. You’re probably even a fan of Magic the Gathering (or are at least familiar enough with it to respect the game play). I’d go as far as to say as you’ve come across times when you wanted to play either of these and just couldn’t find the other players you need to get your game on. Oh, you may have a tried a single-player game or two (flip books, anyone?) but found these to be just too linear and uninspired. What’s a geek to do?

Help is on the way in the form of Jack Darwid’s single deck solitaire games. I know of at least five games that Jack offers…

  • The Adventure of D
  • The Island of D
  • Island of D 2: The Shadow of Dawn
  • Dungeon of D
  • Galaxy of D

The primary (and sometimes only) component of all these games is a deck of custom cards. And did I mention that they are free? Just print the decks from Jack’s site and game on.

My experience is with Island of D2, so let me say a few words about it. The game play is astoundingly good, the card graphics are top-notch, and it is truly a challenge to win. Jack says that played properly, you win on average about 20% of the time. But to be honest, I’m not sure winning is what I find so enthralling about it. Each flip of a location card would fit right in as a standard D&D encounter. The layout even takes on the looks of a dungeon as the game progresses. Battles, wandering monsters, skill challenges, they’re all in there and each game plays like a campaign. Learning is fun, because each game you hone your skills and get a step closer to the end-game. The overall objective is to gather the tools to defeat the end-game baddie, the Bandit King within 8 game days (as measured by refreshing your hand).

What? Printing out and cutting a bunch of custom cards is just too much hassle, you say? Okay Nancy, I’ve got one more nugget for you. You can now play this masterpiece online as a Flash game (sorry, iPad users). The Flash version of Island of D2 by Hozo can be found on a Japanese site. Don’t be intimidated, you can swap the language over to English after you start the game.

Enjoy! And let me know if you come up with any effective strategies to taking down the Bandit King!