Tag Archives: Dungeons & Dragons

Love/hate relationship with Spring? I can relate on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I would have started this post sooner except for the body basically getting shut down by a combination of allergies and allergy meds. I hate being lethargic when I am not choosing to be lethargic, then it’s just a waste of time. When I choose to be lethargic it’s because I want to take a little down time and recharge the psychic batteries, when lethargy is forced upon me by my body I’m still just as drained after as before, usually more drained. ‘Tain’t fun!

I really need to get that extended stem finished so it doesn’t hurt to ride my bike. I don’t know if my butt is getting tougher or I’m just figuring out how to put the less-vulnerable spots against the seat but the last few rides were completed without blood in my underwear. That’s good because do you know how hard it is to get dried blood out of cotton underwear?

My original Warlock character in D&D has been getting rather powerful lately since reaching 8th level and getting an invocation that allows him to fly at the same speed he can run, that gets added to being able to climb sheer walls, seeing invisible things and in the dark, and making people sick at will (instead of just by showing up in a room 😉 ) And now he’s involved in running an inter-planetary trade group on a spell-jammer ship. All we are waiting for now is getting a high enough level to start making magic items and finding a wife. To give you an idea of how big the ship he’s on now is, there is a small town on it with 9 inns and numerous shops and commercial establishments built into the ship and billeting space for 2 companies of Marines under the buildings. The combat abilities of my character are becoming less and less an issue as most of the RP is now running the ship(s), running the town, and conducting trade missions. My character is especially busy on one planet because the only race on it is human, and they refuse to deal with any other races on board. In fact there are several crew members that cause panic flight and outright terror when seen by the inhabitants of this planet. Add to the misery is that all the magic users are useless on this planet because of a planet-wide magic sink that drains all magical items and people. Naturally Sparrow likes this because it reminds him of what it felt like before his Warlock powers kicked in. Anyway, there are only 2 party members that are human and 2 more that can pass as human from a distance which means that Sparrow gets to spend lots of time on-planet talking trade with the locals, sort of. The locals have a variety of different languages but none of them are remotely like Common or any of the racial languages that Sparrow knows and any spells he might use to understand languages are negated by the magic sink that takes effect on atmospheric entry roughly 100 km above the planet. So one of the first steps was finding a local and showing him several gold coins to get him to come up to the main ship using one of the small fighting craft we have on the bigger ship that can get down to the surface and back up before the magic sink drains the spells it runs on. There on the ship we were able to cast spells that allowed free communication with the local who was somewhat of a bumpkin but knew where he could find someone who could help us. As part of the trade mission we managed to get language instruction aboard ship so that the crew could negotiate in one local language at least in case something happens to our local agent. Because of the magic sink on the planet we can’t use any translation spells, and using translation spells on the teachers would not work either. So we have to start learning languages the hard way… In D&D magic has mostly made technology useless but without magic to use against technology our weapons are mostly outdated late Middle Ages technology. Deadly still but pretty much worthless against modern weapons.

What it comes down to is that Sparrow is no longer strictly an adventurer but a businessman, dealing in rare trade goods in interplanetary commerce. There is still some adventure to be found for sure, but it is less and less likely to happen. We went through an entire game session this week rolling bluff, diplomacy, and sense motive checks without ever having to roll initiatives. Sparrow will make lots of money, and we all know that having lots of money is the secret to finding potential mates easily in any society, but this is not what motivates Sparrow. He wants to help people and create balance. While having a business is potentially good, creating jobs and all that, this is not what an adventurer does. The job description is encapsulated in the job title, adventurers go on adventures and there is precious little “adventure” in making runs to a backwater planet and exchanging gold for goods even if every trip planetside could potentially strand you forever. That’s not “adventure”, that’s just another show for Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) to star in.

I missed the Sprint All-Star races this weekend completely, as a matter of fact I don’t think I changed from the Weather Channel all weekend when the tube was on. When you have an interesting D&D game going on outside entertainment is not required, and the DM for this weekend’s game was pretty good at world-building and creating a plot to follow. Basically we gave him characters and he sets up scenarios that we flesh out with random bits caused by the way the dice roll. This DM has been real good at his craft.

I leave you with this classic rock album to mellow out to. Robin Trower: Bridge Of Sighs

PSA, Opus

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Happy Day, you Mothers, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

My Mother has been dead for a while, since 2004. But I married a mother a bit over 36 years ago so I still have one I can celebrate on Mother’s Day. The family still in Texas took Mrs. the Poet out to dinner last night at someplace in Frisco called the 5th Street Patio Cafe . I had the Rueben and Mrs. the Poet had spinach and mushroom quesadillas. The Grandkid had pancakes, milk and (mostly) Goldfish crackers. And then played catch with the bag of crackers he didn’t eat. He’s a very polite child, saying “uh-oh” when he beaned someone, and “please” when I returned the bag of crackers after getting it in my lap. Son and Son-in-law had Big Burritos and Daughter had the Big Biscuit and Gravy plate all three with a heaping mound of home-fries on the side. Alex was in a picky mood and didn’t eat more than a bite of his pancakes and a couple swallows of milk, and he doesn’t drink any kind of soda at all. There’s something about carbonation that he really hates, and he won’t eat any kind of pasta at all. And this kid is descended from me?

Since today is Mother’s Day NASCAR decided to run this weekend’s Sprint Cup race on Saturday night and it was a barn-burner of a race as teams struggled to adapt to the Kansas Speedway under the lights. Eventually the 24 team with driver Jeff Gordon wound up in front at the end of the race, but nobody was sure of winning this one with all the wrecks and debris cautions, and cars that wrecked because of debris before they could throw the caution flag. There were a lot of wrecked cars in the garage area by the end of the night, and even more that were soldiering on with heavy damage on the track trying to get points.

There was an Indy Car race yesterday that I missed by meditating right through it. Never even realized I had missed the entire race because I missed the timer on my phone going off to tell me to stop meditating. I was communing with Hephaestus about how to cut the metals I need to cut for the extended stem so I can sit up on the bike and not abuse my soft tissues on the wrong part of the seat and also keep my knees out of the handlebars. Anyway the media reports on that race say I missed another good one.

I know at least some of you are wondering what happened to my warlock this week, and I have to say “Nothing” because I skipped the RPG group to attend the dinner yesterday. That’s right I skipped going out with my warlock to go out with my wife and kids. So no RPG news this week. There will be some news next week, I promise.

Something punny. Mary had a little lamb

And this will get posted pretty much constantly this week until Thursday.
Bike to Work Day poster, Garland

And that’s all I had to say today.

PSA, Opus

No post yesterday and maybe no post tomorrow, but Wreck-Free Sunday today

I had to take a Mental Health day yesterday for the same reason I spent all night Thursday doing an archive binge on a long-running web comic: The Stoopid is starting to get to me. The reason there may not be a post on Monday is I have budgeted money for a trip to the Metals Supermarket to buy raw stock for a couple of new bikes and because I’m taking DART I might not get home in time to get the post don before Monday is over. Actually I probably won’t get home in time to get a post up before Monday is over but there is a chance that I might not get to make the trip because I have to call ahead to make sure they have that material in stock and to get a price on it.

There’s some kind of American Football game on tonight and that has pretty much overtaken all the media outlets. I think they’re calling this the “Pot Bowl” or something like that… I mean even the motorsports media have been talking about this game: “This just in, another sport has sucked all the oxygen from the media universe and we can’t talk about anything else.”

Anyway, back to that trip to the Metals Supermarket. The store is located on a street that doesn’t have any busses running on it, but at either end of the block is a bus stop for 2 different bus lines for a total of 4 bus lines serving this location. All I need to do is figure out how to get the stuff home (if they have it in stock). It just takes 5 hours of travel time to make a round trip outside of a rush hour. That’s about par for the course when dealing with DART serving the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. So between shopping and transit time I expect to be away from Casa de El Poeta for a minimum of 6 hours tomorrow, if the material is in stock. My previous metal supplier was a similar space in time away from me, so this is nothing new.

Puppy Bowl X is playing on Animal Planet. It’s really silly. No it’s REALLY SILLY. Beyond Goofy.

I keep getting distracted from doing the post by The Other People That Live Here, like the lady that lives across the hall needing to get her TV switched over to her DVD player so she can watch her movies. Part of the problem is the cable box and the DVD player don’t output at the same aspect ratios so the TV has to have its zoom level changed between the two to see the entire picture on either one, and this particular movie I had to change the zoom again to a completely different setting when the actual movie started. Other People can be so annoying at times when you know they’re just refusing to learn something.

Something that has been running through my mind has been comparing a quad-copter to a four-poster Custer Channelwing in a direct comparison, by taking two identical quad-copters and using the motors, controllers, batteries, and props out of one to build the Channelwing VTOL craft for a lift-off, a vertical tractor pull so to speak. This would then be useful in determining the separation required to get maximum lift out of both sets of motors with the wings set for “normal” flight so that the front wings did not interfere with the airflow over the rear wings when the transition was made to hover. I already figured out that the rear wings would have to be higher than the front wings, but how much and how horizontal separation would change How Much that I don’t know. Also affecting How Much is scaling effects, or changing the size without changing the density of the atmosphere to compensate for the change in Reynolds Number . The reason for the four-poster arrangement for the channelwing is the reduction in control complexity this creates for the hover mode compared to the usual twin channels on a single wing. While roll and yaw are easy to control with just two channelwings, pitch requires the ability to move the thrust vector away from the center of gravity without changing the direction of the vector so that the attitude can be changed independently of the motion. The 4-poster Channelwing can do this with moving flaps in the airstream where the quad-copter changes the power distribution of the motors.

One of the experiments I want to do with this particular beasty is to rotate the channels from horizontal to vertical a little bit at a time until I get to the point that with the control flaps set for full lift the craft rises vertically instead of crabbing into the air so hover can be maintained just off lift-off. That way when the full-scale version is built I will know how far to lift the nose at partial power before applying full power to climb away from the heliport. And when I get that built I will be able to take the bus to the local heliport to fly away in my VTOL. The 4-poster Channelwing is basically a quad-copter that has the ability to transfer to a horizontal mode and cruise at a much lower power setting.

We had another RPG yesterday, which was another reason not to do a post. Anyway, my Warlock got leveled up again (twice in three sessions) and now does 2d6+1 damage with Eldrich Blast between leveling up and getting an extra Feat and has a DC of 15 against Fortitude for Sickening Blast. I now use SB with every attack to both damage and incapacitate my foes, so that Melee fighters can then have greater effect against them. We encountered a party of Hobgoblins on the road to the next city we need to explore on our Quest and while they did some damage we managed to repel them without anybody having to resort to using the Scrolls of Raise Undead we captured from the Lich last session. I had to leave before the battle in that session but I left the character sheet with another player so Sparrow Jr. got the XP needed to level up with the rest of the party even though I missed 2 sessions.

Incidentally, today’s headline is a parody of an old Soviet saying: “Jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but no jam today.”

PSA, Opus

Random musings on Wreck-Free Sunday

I seem to do this a lot on Sundays, letting my mind wander and jotting notes to the blog as I go.

So, I missed doing a post for yesterday. Don’t worry the links are still there. The problem was I actually had an active social life for the first time in I don’t know how long, with 2 places to be in one day. The first was the RPG session with my now Warlock2 (level UP! yeah!), where we are fighting legions of Undead trying to find out what the heck is going on with one of the party who has been placed under a Geas compulsion (and we can’t just leave him behind because we kinda need his fighting ability). I had to leave (again!) before resolution on this one, so I’m totally out of the loop concerning what is going on.

As soon as I got home from the RPG session I had to go eat dinner to celebrate 2 friends’ birthdays. We went to Furr’s for dinner. For those not familiar Furr’s is a buffet-style eatery like Golden Corral or Super China, except more Southern style, I limited myself to an appetizer one plate of food and a dessert and I still waddled out. Of course the fact that my “appetizer” was a full-sized baked potato that was also fully-loaded (what used to be a meal back in the long-ago 1970s) didn’t help much, nor did the huge pile of home-fries (potatoes and onions) with the huge chicken-fried steak I had (there was also a huge pile of spinach).

So anywho after leaving the restaurant in a food coma Mrs. the Poet and I shared a few minutes of conversation before all that food caught up with her and caused her to fall asleep, and me not long after, resulting in no post yesterday. I took a peek at the links before I passed out, and they were pretty bad. I didn’t go too deeply into analysis because I was too full and didn’t want to throw up, well suffice it to say I didn’t throw up and can barely remember anything I read.

One of the things I have been stewing about that has nothing to do with bicycles in any shape or form is the Chili Bowl Nationals running up in Tulsa this weekend. It has been carried on live TV, but on a channel I can’t get on my local cable system and since Speed is gone I can’t watch the delayed coverage any more because it no longer exists. Thanks alot Fox! (Fox Sports took over the Speed Channel several years ago and recently dropped Speed to launch Fox Sports 1 in place of Speed). Not only do I not get to watch most of the races I used to enjoy in a delayed form but because you also dropped the weekend Speed Report program I don’t get to find out about other races, either.

Something else I have been thinking about has been the T-bucket. There are two drastically different things I want to do with this car. One is to drive for fun trips to things like the beach (300 miles away +/- in Galveston) or to the kids’ house where the grandkid lives (about 50 miles the short way). This requires fuel economy and some measure of comfort. The other thing (mission to use the engineering term) is to compete in SCCA Solo racing. This requires good brakes, quick steering and acceleration and lots of mechanical grip, with comfort being secondary but still there so that the driver can control the car without having to contort the body to keep from hurting. So not entirely conflicting but hard to reconcile. One of the more difficult things to package has been the steering. I want quick ratio steering which requires power steering assist, but the kit frame is designed around the dinky little Vega steering box with a 20:1 steering ratio. The steering box with the ratio I want is about twice the width of the Vega box. I could go with a power rack and pinion setup that has one end waving in the breeze and costs exactly the same as the large power steering box, but that rack is designed for a front-steer setup and the axle on a T-bucket is rear-steer with the steering arms behind the steering axis on the spindles. Getting the steering straight as in making the way the steering wheel turns the way the front wheels turn while packaging things in such a way as to prevent the axle from hitting the steering shaft is proving to be a major hassle for the rack, while trying to make room for the box between the engine and the frame and axle is the hassle for the power box. If only there was some way of making the Vega box steer quickly and have the power assist required to move the 14″ wide front tires when it is a race car. That’s about twice the width of the tires I plan to use on the street, and much more sticky. So the steering effort will be such that I won’t be able to steer the car without the power assist. Thinking aloud here, I wonder how hard it would be to install an electric assist on the Vega box? (Gears turning, ears smoking…) One thing the rack would solve is putting a radiator in the car because the steering shaft could run under the radiator or around the outside of the frame to miss the radiator.

Something else that has been percolating in the grey matter has been a really retro method of changing gears on the bucket. Remember the “Dragster” and “Sprint2” video games from the ’70s with the 4 speed gearshift controller… I’m thinking that something like that would work with an electronically controlled automatic transmission.

Some bad news, I missed the application deadline for showing the new bakfiets at the car show. I no longer have a working printer at Casa de El Poeta and could not find one to print out the entry form for the show. Actually my printer works fine but it’s so old that it won’t connect to the laptop. The printer uses a parallel interface and all the laptop has are RJ-45 and USB connections. The printer was made about the time that Ethernet became available to consumers but networked printers were a commercial-only application and USB was still a wet dream. So I don’t have a “working” printer.

Yesterday was very long but made for a good story to write for Wreck-Free Sunday

As I intimated on Friday we had another RPG session starting early on Saturday morning. This was the beginning of a very long day for me.

As the game session began our heroes were still assessing and repairing the damages from the battle and looting the goblin campsite for better shelter, which included stuffing a Hobgoblin Yurt into Sparrow’s bag of holding so that we would have decent shelter whenever we set up camp. As soon as we could we set out after the 3 goblins that ran away from the battle when they saw hobgoblins split like kindling by our Adamantine Warforged and horizontally bisected by the Swordmage. We tracked them to the ford where scattered boulders were lapped by rushing floodwaters just as one of the goblins that ran away came back and spotted the party and wailed that we were not a figment of his imagination and we were in fact chasing him to kill him and ran back into the mob of goblinoids that were following him back to the foraging camp.

Our groups were separated by the rushing floodwaters as our party took cover from ranged weapons except for the more heavily armored of the group that stood on the bank taunting the goblins, hobgoblins and worfs (sp?) on the opposite bank trying to get them to expend their ammunition on long shots with little chance of causing damage. Sparrow set up behind a tree and took potshots with Eldritch Spear as the goblins tried to cross the boulders, making them fall into the river where we didn’t have to contend with them any more. Our Mage contributed to this by casting Grease on the middle boulder so that it couldn’t be seen before trying to cross but also could not be avoided. This also contributed to several goblins and hobgoblins trying to swim wearing various types of armor, with mixed but highly predictable results. Sparrow “assisted” with their swimming attempts with Eldritch Blast or Spear depending on range.

Eventually one or two of the stronger goblins and hobgoblins made it across the flood to engage in battle with our melee fighters as the magic users fell back away from danger, except Sparrow who continued to trade potshots with the hobgoblins on the far bank while the melee fighters kept the battle away from where he had taken cover. The real battle began when the worfs managed to get across the flood by swimming across upstream of the boulders using them as cover from Sparrow and our archer. They were strong fighters inflicting much damage and nearly breaking through our skirmish line, so our Beguiler set Blinding Fog and an illusion of the party reforming behind cover and the party retreated dragging our dead with us. We had lost Kujo, the wolf companion to our druid, but his spirit will be with us always, or until the druid can summon another wolf.

At this point we had all leveled up so the narrative took a break as we camped out sharing the Yurt, as it was made to hold 4 hobgoblins or humans and our party was somewhat larger than 4 people. Some of the party did not need shelter like the Warforged, others could spend some time in sleeping bags outside the shelter while the wounded were kept inside all night. Sparrow got a few more hit points and added Sickening Blast to his invocations, meaning he could make people sick up to 250 feet away making him a very dangerous person to get into a long-range battle with. Arrows and crossbow bolts against explosive rays bypassing armor protection that also make you sick as a dog ain’t a fair fight, but survivors seldom fight fair.

This was where I had to leave the game session to catch the train to the other party in Oak Cliff where they are making my bicycle as documented here.

frame in jig

another view of the frame on the jig

Do you see the problem? This is not the stepthrough frame I ordered, but fortunately the frame is still in the tack-weld stage of construction and can be modified with little expense of time or materials. I really like their frame jig though. Much better than mine I made from 2 by 4 lumber and drywall screws holding all-thread dummy axles. The difference is I have to make a new jig for every new style of bike I make and the jig at Oak Cliff Cargo Bicycles can be switched around to build many different kinds of bikes.

And now it’s time to eat and get ready to go to evening services so I shall have to end this post here.

PSA, Opus

My Warlock is starting over on a Wreck-Free Sunday

After a disastrous game session last time, it was decided that we had too many new players who did not know how to play their characters and we needed to start over with a new quest and level 1 characters. Since I had the only remaining character that had survived the entire 3 years the previous campaign had been going on I was allowed to reset my character to zero and raise my worst stat to maximum. Since my low Wisdom stat (9) had nearly gotten my character killed in several encounters because I was constantly blowing spot, listen, and search checks I took the opportunity to buff out my character a bit. I also rebalanced my skills points to enhance my spellcraft and use magic device rolls with the idea of eventually getting really good at making magical items when I hit a high enough level to do so. My character class can make magical items that cast spells if I get a high enough score on a “use magical item” roll even if I can’t do the spell myself (as an invocation), which means I will be able to heal party members as well as blow shit up.

Anywho, the story on my new character is he’s the son of my old character after he got really high-level and set up a Warlock’s Keep and married better than himself. After discovering that his only son (out of a number of daughters) was also afflicted with the Mark of DisNee and a warlock of humor Sparrow trains him somewhat and sends him to an outlying village to protect it from monsters. By using the range effect of the Eldritch Blast he manages to not get killed while keeping monsters at bay or outright killing some. This gets him noticed, and the local monarch decides to recruit him to a quest… Unlike his father who could summon noisy items when it was funny this Minion of DisNee can summon oversized mallets to hit people over the head when they are stupid and it’s funny to do so. This causes no more injury than an open-handed slap and is just a way of pointing out that a fellow party member is acting stupid. It can also be used to startle enemies when the party has initiative, or to deliver the final blow as an enemy is dispatched.

On another front I mentioned yesterday I was going to have to get a new cell phone. Unfortunately I was unable to get my contacts transferred from the old phone to the new one, and couldn’t remember the PIN to keep my old number when I bought the new phone, so now I have a new phone and a new number and none of my old contacts. Bummer, dudes! 😉

And I’m getting tired of looking at this computer now.

PSA, Opus

Where’s my head, and the Feed

I should probably just skip today and tomorrow’s posts because of lack of time and concentration. I didn’t have time to get to the party store for bribe trinkets so I will have to do that today between the post and my D&D gig. We are finally in a setting where I can use my character’s abilities to climb walls and blow up monsters without having to exercise the restraint to avoid detection as a Warlock class. Warlocks are held with fear and disdain in “civilized” areas, and while those with good alignments like mine are accepted in parties of adventurers they mostly tend to not get along with groups of more than 2. When we encounter others in our journeys the size of the party I belong to calms the fear and hostility I would otherwise encounter. And the fact that I can take out an enemy at 250 feet with repeated blasts of magical power and use detect magic at will along with other skills that are innate to my character class make me useful.

From inside TX but a long way from WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell comes a report of good police work. Driver charged after Winter Texan cyclist’s death The driver hit a group ride from behind, killing the Lanterne Rouge. The driver has been charged with intoxication manslaughter instead of DUI murder because of a lack of previous DUI convictions.

A wreck in NYC. Cyclist In Serious Condition After Midtown Citi Bike Incident Nothing about why the cyclist sideswiped the curb in this incident. Gutter Bunny rider, move away from the curb and into the lane to prevent. This will also make you less prone to a buzz job.

Update on a PA wreck. Perkins admits guilt in 2012 cyclist death Even after killing someone this waste of human skin was allowed to continue to drive, and he continued to drive chemically impaired.

An IL cyclist is hit legally crossing an intersection. Oak Park man, 91, dies in bike accident This kind of report pisses me off, the cyclist was hit riding legally across the intersection and died, and all the driver will get was a ticket. Intersection protocols would not have helped in this case and the driver ignored the built infrastructure so changing the physical infrastructure wouldn’t have made much difference either. The only thing that would stop stuff like this is making the actual killing a crime instead of making it a crime when the driver is DUI for the second time or using a gun instead of a motor vehicle.

An IL wreck I have no idea how to avoid. Teen shot riding bike on North Side street Why would someone set down the perfect murder weapon (motor vehicle) and use a gun on someone where you go from a near certainty of death to a 9% chance of hitting something vital when you actually hit with a 5% chance of hitting anything at all.

Another report on a CA cyclist hit from behind. Marysville cyclist hit, killed by car The cyclist’s lights were non-functional after the wreck and not believed to have been in use prior to the wreck. You have to maintain these things people! More Bicyclist who was struck and killed on Thursday recalled as ‘good person’

A pair of infrastructure letters in PA to the same paper. Cars real threat I and Cars real threat II And in response to the opening statement of the second letter in all the wreck reports I have done since 2006 there were 4 drivers who died in wrecks with cyclists, one that may have been dead before the wreck and 3 more killed when the cyclist they hit came through the windshield and caused varying degrees of crushing injury.

A mixture of infrastructure and lifestyle in IL. Road named in honor of cyclist killed by driver in Old Town

Lifestyle in CA. Ghost bike memorial placed for Oxnard bicyclist killed Monday When I was a kid watching Roger Ramjet cartoons “Oxnard” was the punchline to about half the jokes. The other half were “Lompoc”.

And those were all the links that gave me fits about bicycles today.

Billed @€0.02 Opus

Wreck Free Sunday, how Unitarians play D&D

I play a D&D 3.5 game with other members of my church on the first and third Saturday nights of the month. As we level up we start getting encounters with fewer non-sentients and more interaction with sentient monsters, which increases the ability of members of the party to interact with the monsters.

We just started a module where a previously peaceful ogre that was a farmer who would sometimes waylay travellers that wandered through his farm ( the Fuzzy Lumpkin of ogres) suddenly decided to lead a gang of kobolds and attack the villages in the area, so adventurers were summoned to deal with the problem. Our party answered the call and went forth do deal with the ogre and kobolds. When we got to the ogre’s cave we inquired to make sure that we had the right ogre. What we found was a very sad-looking ogre with a deformed head and limbs and numerous open sores on his back and a magical aura of evil about the place. The ogre made no immediate move to attack, so some of the party (at higher levels) decided that getting the ogre to stop attacking the surrounding villages would be a better alternative to destroying the ogre and kobolds. Others of the party were of the “if it moves and we’re not in town, kill it” persuasion and attacked the ogre when he lost his temper and struck out at one of the members of the party during our attempts at information gathering. The melee caused our more powerful members to actually kill the ogre.

So, there we were with a (mostly) dead ogre, and more questions than answers about the situation. SO WE CURED THE OGRE enough that he could answer questions about what happened to him and the kobolds (that he said were in similar condition as he was). What the ogre told us was that there had been a change in the area with permanent dark clouds hanging over the mountain and his farm, his crops had failed and everybody in his cave became like we saw him there, and that he and the kobolds had felt a compulsion to attack the villages. We left him to recover and started to explore the cave more fully. Inside the main cavern of the cave we were attacked by stirges that also showed similar deformities to the ogre and that popped like balloons when killed, a very un-stirge-like thing to do. During this encounter several members of the party lost a large amount of constitution and we were forced to retreat back to the village nearest the ogre’s cave to recover.

OK so what makes our group different than other groups? Well first instead of just killing the ogre and the kobolds we tried to assess the situation as to why a previously peaceful (for ogres and kobolds) group had suddenly started to maraud the countryside. Second, when negotiations broke down into violence WE HEALED THE OGRE so we could gather more information about the situation and how to correct it so that other sentient beings would not move in and start the whole thing over again. We would be long-gone by that point, so we would be leaving the mess for someone else to clean up again. This is a very Unitarian thing to do, not just take care of the crisis of the moment but try to eliminate the root cause of the crisis du jour.

Our last module the monsters were not under the effects of an evil magical aura, they were just bad guys that had moved into a weird ruins that had gone partially to seed. The monsters attacked on sight, removing moral ambiguity for the battles, they wanted to kill us for being there so we had to fight to recover the stolen religious artifacts the monsters had taken from the village. No moral ambiguity at all, just a series of raids to recover stolen property for the people it was stolen from. The evil magic of the ruins did not cause the inhabitants to become evil, they were that way before occupying the ruins. That we captured the ring-leader of the group and brought him to Justice was just a way to get more XP.

So, that’s how UUs play D&D.

PSA, Opus