Thursday, August 22, 2019

RPGaDay 15/16/17: Door/Dream/One


Always check the door for traps. Always. And if you don't find any, get confirmation from another character. Preferably a Rogue/Thief/whatever sneaky bastard is handy. Trust me on this.

While playing The World's Largest Dungeon (AEG) many years ago, I had to miss a session relatively early on. So, I had a friend play my character. I mean, how hard could it be to play a dwarf barbarian, right?

Well, if anyone knows anything about TWLD, you kind of have to stick to certain areas until you are high enough level to move on (the premise is that the Dungeon contains every monster in the Monster Manual). Well, I'm not 100% clear on how it happened, exactly, as the story is second-hand.

But apparently my dwarf, Brak, tried to "unlock" a door with his maul. Normally, probably not a big deal. Except this one had a Fireball trap. Word has it all that was left was his smoking boots. And a giggling gnome necromancer who hated Brak.

So, yeah, two lessons here. Never let someone else play your character if you can help it. And always check for traps.
Expensive but fun. We went in on it as a group.


I have always had a dream of being a professional writer. And let's be honest, how many D&D players haven't at least entertained that idea? I have played at it for years. In 1998 I had an article in Dragon Magazine (#243, In a Class by Themselves). I thought it would be my ticket into the field of writing for D&D, leading to tie-in novels, and then into my own original stuff. Funny how life has a way of laughing at your dreams sometimes.

Suffice it to say, many obstacles presented themselves (not the least of which was my then-wife, who did not share my passions), and eventually the Dream was laid aside in favor of a "more stable" kind of career path. Hypothetically. In reality, the last 20+ years has been anything but stable.

But the dream never died. It just lay dormant for long periods, occasionally peaking out from beneath the covers. To date, I have nothing more to claim as a "professional" publication. Though I have self-published several stories, and several game-products. Still, the Dream persists. And I am now in a position where I have a shot at actually doing something about it.

So, if you need writing for your RPG, hit me up!

My article shares Mag Space with
 fiction from Margaret Weis!


Warning: Character bragging ahead. Proceed with eyes rolled.

Many of us have played countless characters since first being introduced to RPG's. Some of us probably number in the hundreds. But, if you had to pick one character from your past to play as your "ultimate" character, who would it be?

Tomos Elvenblood. Despite his none-too-original name, Tomos will always hold a special place in my heart. Born in the Metzner Basic D&D rules, and modeled after the X-Men character, Longshot, Tomos was a half-elf fighter with some (naturally-rolled) extraordinary stats. The kind of stats that make you reconsider ever making another character again, because you just know they won't be that good.

My dice were on fire that day. In order I rolled 18, 13, 13, 18, 16, 18 (think back to pre-3e to put them where they fell). Weird how I still remember them. Though probably not so weird, as Tomos saw upgrades into AD&D, 2e, and 3e. Skipped 4e for him, but have considered a 5e upgrade for shits and giggles.

About the time I was able to upgrade him to AD&D, I was big into the Conan stories. When my new DM had me roll his percentage for Strength, I rolled a 94. He had me cap it at 90, because that was the limit for male half-elves. So, that, combined with his 18 Charisma (and a 19 Comeliness when we broke out Unearthed Arcana), and he suddenly materialized in my mind as a cross between Conan and D'Artagnan.

Other excessively geeky details were also involved, but I've already wasted enough of your time doing that thing we all hate when other gamers do. Suffice it to say, though I have loved many, many of my characters, Tomos will always be my One.

Tomos Elvenblood
Drawn by me sometime in the late 90's.

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