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August 21st, 2009


09:23 am - All good things must come to an end?
Summer is almost over, and I go back to teaching very soon. *sigh*

I guess I should feel lucky to have months off and still be paid, even though teachers are paid far less then employees with comparable degrees. Still, vacation is awesome, and I'm sad to see it go. And I have a job that I enjoy.

In other news -
D&D is going strong. The Friday night group is great, the game is fun, I'm still enjoying DMing and storytelling (though I want more story - which I'm working on). We just hit paragon tier via my quick-through-heroic-tier-because-we've-done-that scheme. The adventures of the group are up to date in our marvelous Obsidian Portal Wiki (yea! they won an Ennie!). Ours is up to date, and gaming is tonight.
The wiki is Agents of the Prime.

Also started a smaller second RPG group during the week. We began with the first in the Scales of War Adventure Path, Rescue at Rivenroar. I'm not sure if this group will be sustainable once school starts, but we'll see.

I received my my copy of Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and a GM Screen I wasn't expecting (Thanks Chris!) and I really like it. So much so, that I find my ideas are turning away from the D&D we're running to M&M. I really want a shot at running a campaign. Not sure when or if that will happen though, as we've committed to the current D&D campaign through 30th level (though at 2-3 sessions a level). For now M&M is on the top of my list of games I'd like to try GMing. I recently finished reading a wildcards novel, so the superhero story creativity is flowing. Maybe it can happen with the smaller game group after/if we finish Rescue at Rivenroar.


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August 10th, 2009


07:52 am - Winning the internet, Green Ronin, and Palladium
Yes - once in a while you win something, and I guess I love to brag a bit. This summer has been a good one for winning.

Earlier this summer Newegg.com drew my name in a giveaway, and I became the proud owner of an 8gb memory stick.

Then I wrote a minotaur barbarian with +5 executioner's axe and sent it to Chris Pramas, President of Green Ronin Publishing, in the hopes of winning his Make My Character contest, wherein he would play the character at an epic D&D game at GenCon. And whaddya know, I won! Now to decide what  I want - the prize being $35 of free GR swag. Tough decision.

I broke out a box of old RPGs the other day. I was looking for something to do with my two older kids, aged 6 and 8. I remembered really enjoying Palladium Games when I was younger, and found my TMNT, Heroes Unlimited, and a few other Palladium products. So we decided to try TMNT. The character creation took 2 hours or so, I would guess, over two days. Part of the reason for the length of time is that we had no character sheets (no copier access at home) - but it was only after we were mostly done that I thought I probably should have looked online to find sheets. Anyway, we did it the old fashioned way - pencil on notebook paper. It was a good exercise in writing for the kids, and I was patient as they wrote the sheets out, then we put the characters together.
One of the most fun things about these RPGs is the random character creation. In TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Other Strangeness, you're creating mutant animals who will be comic book-esque heroes. So I let the kids roll for what animal they were to be once, and if they wanted, a second time, but they had to choose one of those animals. So we ended up with:
My daughter as Deadly Chicken, the self-taught knife fighter and wilderness survivalist extraordinaire, with wing gliding and ultraviolet vision ability, and
my son as Strong Elk, the ninja swordsman elk with amazing super strength and sense of smell that speaks almost unintelligibly (at least to everyone he meets except Deadly Chicken).
They rescued a school from a group of mutant farm animal terrorists, though things got dicey against Ferd, the mutant bull and his deadly axe. Good times. Looking forward to a few more adventures before making new characters, perhaps comic characters out of heroes unlimited.


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July 28th, 2009


11:39 am - Jury Duty and I Voted for the Ennies!
Jury duty today. Lots of fun. 2 hours of waiting, and then apparently the defendant took a plea deal, so they let my group go. Now for a well-deserved two year break.

Now I'm home, so I voted for the Ennies. It's just nice to be involved, even if Gencon is a dream vacation for me, rather than a yearly reality.

No game night last week, so hopefully this Friday I'll double the great D&D session gaming goodness. Check out Agents of the Prime on Obsidian Portal to see the up to date campaign entries. In other news, I've been playing Flying Frog Games' Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game with the kids (age 6 and 8) and it's been fun. Heroes 3, Zombies 1. I think the basic scenario/game is slanted toward the heroes winning, but the one advanced scenario we played (Defend the Manor House) the zombies won.



Current Mood: happyhappy
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June 27th, 2009


06:36 am - New Campaign Kick-Off - read your DMG!
Last night was actually the second session of my new D&D 4e campaign, Agents of the Prime, though it felt like we're still kicking it off as it was the first combat the group had been in. And what a combat it was! Perhaps the most important thing I did all week was re-read the 4e Dungeon Master's Guide for ideas relating to encounters. I decided to try some things to ramp up the combat from the ordinary for my 7 player group. Bullywugs from MM2 were the opponents.More thoughts on a fun game night after the cut...Collapse )
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May 30th, 2009


08:48 am - Avengers and Crunch Time


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium



This came from an ad banner on Monstropedia, a cool website I just found via Gnome Stew , and then from Monstropedia to this site. I like it. I think the avenger fits me pretty well - a dose of coolness, a dose of religion, and a sometimes single-minded determination to achieve a goal.

It is crunch time. On Monday all my master's work is due. This weekend will be spent on the computer completing it, then after a little over two years, after Monday I will return to the land of the living. My sojourn in the shadow-world of higher education will be done, at least for a little while. And I think it was my avengeriness that got me through. That and a wonderful wife and family. Almost done. Take a deep breath - time to dive back in...


Current Location: At the computer for the weekend
Current Mood: determined
Current Music: Coming soon... Ode to Joy
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March 24th, 2009


01:19 pm - Spring Break Tasks...
Well, I'm enjoying Spring Break. I really needed it.

I really haven't gotten done anything I wanted to until today. I committed to my wife that I would do a few things. One of the major two was to move the wood pile that was left beside the driveway for a few months to the backyard. It took me a few hours this afternoon, but I finished before lunch at 1pm. Woo! The kids helped a bit, too. That was good because I firmly believe that children learn a work ethic through working with their parents when they are young. I'm beginning to feel the soreness from the exertion already. Man am I out of shape.

There were all kinds of interesting things under the wood pile to look at - slugs, millipedes with bunches of clear eggs, termites, pillbugs.... like a mini-dungeon delve or something. The kids were interested, anyway.

Hopefully I'll get to do some other things this week that I want to - Warhammer modeling, priming, painting. More D&D campaign stuff. Finish a cool book I'm reading (Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher) and tomorrow or Thursday my new PC components should arrive from Newegg, so I'll be building my new machine, and finally be able to play games again, I hope. I'm also thinking about buying FFG's Talisman Revised 4th edition. It looks like a great game to play with the kids. Date night tonight with just me and the missus - the babysitter confirmed, so we are good to go. Yay!
Current Mood: excitedexcited

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March 14th, 2009


09:36 pm - Checking in
Just wanted to say I'm doing fine. This is a working weekend - Monday is the end of the term, then I'll be two-thirds of the way done with my masters. Yea!

Teaching is teaching. Keeping super busy as only a father of four with limited time at home can. The baby is giving us some sleeping trouble - mostly the wife, as she will get up with her because I go into work early the next day. Wish I had more time at home with the wife and kids, but that will come when night classes and such are over, and I'll be glad I sacrificed the time I did for the career advancement.

The Justicars campaign is still going strong, though we've fallen far behind on updates on Obsidian Portal, though they're coming eventually, just at a much slower pace than the actual gameplay. I'm still working toward having a viable Warhammer Fantasy Dark Elves Army - just acquired a cauldron (buffing station). I'm thinking of modding the hag to a battle standard bearer. I'd like to have all of my pieces together, if not totally painted, by the summer. Well... back to work I guess... *sigh*
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December 22nd, 2008


08:36 pm - Winter Battle
We currently have about eight inches of snow outside, but this morning we had around six. And of course before the last two inches fell I went out to clear the walk - which was 30 minutes of torture. I've never seen this much snow in Oregon, and I've never cleared a walk before. I remember hearing how hard it was, and my wife had a snow shovel that was her mother's - so we decided I should probably do it today, for the mailman if no one else.

So the kids played in the yard, and I cleared the walk, breaking through the middle ice layer with the edge of the shovel and then throwing each shovelful into the yard. I felt like I had run a mile or so after I finished. And now, if I squint just right, I can see the dip in the snow that is the result of my hard work.
Current Mood: tiredtired
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December 15th, 2008


08:40 pm - ...and again
Today's snow day was a good day. We got out in the yard fairly early, fearing that it might begin to melt before too long. Got some great photos with the kids playing. Then the rest of the day was at home, and very enjoyable, excepting the recurrence of my old stomach complaint. Thank heavens for pharmaceuticals. Finished watching Star Wars IV A New Hope with the kids (their first viewing) with the kids this evening, and then we had a few home-made cookies after. Russian Tea Cakes, or Mexican Wedding Cakes, as they're colloquially called, if you're wondering.

I've been working on assembling my Dark Elf Hydra lately, and got a nice chunk done on it as well - pinned some heads together. Now all I have left is the attachment of neck/head assemblies to the body, and from there basing the piece, and the model assembly will be done. Then it will be time to prime and paint, assuming the weather warms up.. which isn't really a good assumption at this point. I understand for multiple reasons that spray priming in a garage that is under 30F could be bad. Of course, if I don't find an alternative, I may not be able to prime until February. I hope that's not the case.

And I just found out that tomorrow is another school closure day - so my three day weekend just turned into a four day. Woo! Bring on the plastic Cold One Knights.
Current Mood: surprisedsurprised
Current Music: Star Wars Theme

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December 14th, 2008


08:31 pm - Snow
Woo! Snow in Oregon, in the valley no less. Very rare. Several inches within two hours, even rarer.

I'm crossing my fingers for a snow day at home with my kids tomorrow. There are some perks to being a teacher.
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