For most of last week – pretty much Friday-Friday – I was ill with a rather annoying cold. It started as I was running the D&D games last week, and continued through last Friday afternoon/evening. By the end, the symptoms weren’t much but general tiredness and lethargy, but that’s not so good when I’m meant to be DMing.
So, Friday afternoon’s Shackled City session wasn’t as good as I’d have liked it. The heroes managed to get out of Jzadirune and to the slaver fortress below, where they killed hobgoblins, jumped pits (or not), and otherwise wreaked havoc. Everyone’s 3rd level now.
Friday evening was the final Mutants and Masterminds session. Another combatfest, and one that really brought home to my PC (James Olven) how bad he was at combat. It didn’t help that he failed every save – especially the one that killed him. Pity. At least Adam can say that he survived every session and I didn’t. 😉 The campaign as a whole was pretty good, but it did show me why I detest point-buy for everything: there isn’t a good baseline.
Saturday, I stayed at home. I played a couple of solo games: Arkham Horror and Advanced Squad Leader. Lots of fun. In the evening, I persuaded my father to play a couple of games of Ticket to Ride. Very happy to play with him. (Click on the names for session reports).
Sunday, the Ulek campaign. It’s become a bit dislodged from its course, as the PCs have wandered into part of the caves that have nothing to do with their quest… but they’re really enjoying killing the monsters. If they’re happy, so what?
I managed to kill Daniel’s PC (again). He got reincarnated as a halfling. Hmm. He’s currently running around with this medium battleaxe, and doing almost as much damage as he did before. Very strange and amusing.
One of the best things was using Monster Manual IV and its much-derided classed monsters. To begin the session, I had the resting party attacked by some Spirit Nagas, an Ogre and some Orcs. It came to me on the spur of the moment, and I really needed tougher monsters. MM4 has them! One Ogre Tempest and 6 Orc Barbarian 4s later, we had a memorable combat. MM4 is really one of my favourite monster books. I’m so much looking forward to MMV!
Magic Item Compendium also came in handy, although I think my players think I hate them – I’ve been using the random treasure tables (very nice!) and I keep rolling gloves that only help classes that the party doesn’t have in them. The latest was a set of gloves that helped a warlock. Hmm.
Monday, I rested and read books. In particular, The Druid Sword, the final book of Sara Douglass’s excellent Troy Game series. I don’t like Douglass’s early books, but the Troy Game books are really, really good. I also read The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay again – not his best book, but still very enjoyable. It’s about the Viking invasions of England and the first real kingdom, set up by Alfred the Great, although transmuted to his fantasy Europe with many events and names changed.
Finally, I read Fallen Dragon by Peter Hamilton; I’ve now read all of his novels. Another really good book. I don’t read all that much science fiction, but Hamilton really does his books well: following through on the implications of new technologies, and presenting societies that are really interesting (and with good heroes as well). Reminded me a bit of Steven Brust in how he handled the storyline – with twin tracks telling the early and present life of his hero throughout the book.
Next weekend looks like being heavy on the gaming again – lots of board games, including Twilight Imperium. Cool!