Yep, my poor Warlock was severely killed (along with my apprentice NPC Bard) in the kinky D&D game yesterday. I was down to 6 HP when I got hit by a 34 HP attack centered on me and my apprentice because we were not in the room in an earlier attack that made the entire rest of the party magically pregnant with the half-siblings of a half-dragon daughter of a Green Dragon. She was pissed at us for not being there to get pregnant during that attack. I managed to get off a few good shots but a 5th level Warlock going up against even a half-dragon just ain’t gonna work. And so, I died.
Fortunately in the party loot was a clear bottle with a lead stopper filled with orange smoke and flashing lights, a “bottle of djinn”. This djinn was fairly powerful in that he had enough moxie to do two resurrections and bring both me and my apprentice back to full life with no loss of levels or XP. The senior member of the party then ordered the djinn to be free, much like the climactic scene in Disney’s Aladdin. We did this because we only had control over the djinn for 24 hours and if he was powerful enough to bring two characters through a full resurrection he was more than powerful enough to do a TPK in a single attack. So, “bring my friends back to life, and be free” seemed like a good choice.
On the Sprint Cup race today Martin Truax finally got a win this season after practically pounding the door down all season long with the Furniture Row Racing team. They won simply by virtue of having the stronger car pretty much all race long, and were able to outrun Happy Harvick at the end. This puts him in for the Championship Chase at the end of the season. I have liked Truax as a driver since his days with Michael Waltrip Racing, and was highly disappointed when MWR let him go at sponsor request, even after winning races. Well now he won driving for a single-car team with a tiny fraction of the resources of the big name teams. I mean until now had you ever heard of Furniture Row Racing?
With the parts that arrived last week detail design work on the Sprint-T progressed a little further as now I know how big the things holding the rear axle from moving relative to the frame are. Knowing this I know how much leeway I have to provide to keep them out of the bodywork and frame, and where they have to connect to the rear axle so that the coilovers don’t hit that. Having the actual items in my hands to measure makes things that much easier to draw. The issue I’m now facing is that I need the instant center for the rear suspension to be above the rear control arms slightly so that the rear axle doesn’t chatter under heavy braking, and when you throw that in with the “don’t hit the body” during suspension travel, or violate the “nothing lower than the main frame rail or the rims” parameter that is one of my basic rules for building a street vehicle it kinda boxes you in.You might have noticed that there was a bit of a bow in the control arm in the picture last week to accommodate the mount for the coilover unit.
This means I can’t just run the part between the rear end and the frame or it will run below the frame rail as this is a dual-use part. Not only does it locate the axle fore and aft, it also controls the up-and-down motion by mounting the rear springs, and the anti-roll bar bolts to the bottom to control roll (obviously, part of the name of the part). Why let a part do only one thing when you can use it to do three jobs at no increase in weight? I think it was Colin Chapman (founder and first designer for Lotus Cars) who said that, but he might have been quoting an earlier engineer.
I just returned from evening service where Mrs. the Poet was installed to the board of the church as a member-at-large for 2 years. It was quite moving. It was also rather frightening on one level, as the oath of office was basically in invitation for your gods to hunt you down and kill you in the most painful way possible if you screw up. I don’t know if that was the intent of the oath of office, but that’s surely the way it came out. I guess that is an effective way to ensure that screw-ups will be unintentional.
And I should let this end here as I have already gone a bit over my planned word count. And I’m having trouble putting the abstract concepts into concrete words.
PSA, Opus the Poet
Posted in stuff without bike wrecks, Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged cars in a bike blog, church board, Colin Chapman was right, evening services, Furniture Row Racing, fussy design work, look ma no tires, Martin Truax, Sprint Cup, Sprint Cup race, Sprint-T, Warlock
First the good news, Blue is back and seems to be a repairable wreck. The big problem is getting the right seat cover to replace the now-white formerly-black one that came on the bike. The ones at RANS bike store look like they were made for the later model crank-forward bikes, which means replacing the whole seat just to get one with a usable seat cover.
The Full List, so far:
Seat cover/new seat
New tire tubes
New rear cluster
Taillight (requires fabricating another bracket to install)
Rough estimate on costs for repairs is $300 doing it cheap, and $600 doing it the way Blue deserves to have it done. Yeah, I think I found a new candidate for the steel-toed boots and shin guards, bike thief…
Now about that “end of an era” in the headline. Yesterday was the last game for the RPG group as we lost both of our GMs. One will be leaving Texas tomorrow for OH, and the other will be leaving for OK sometime in the next two weeks. This is the same group I have been playing with since 01/2011 and I still have my original character from that first game, a D&D3.5 Warlock that is now 9th level after surviving several low XP adventures. My Eldritch Blast is raised to 7d6 after finding a Chaucible of Eldritch Power on a dungeon crawl (some critter was using it to keep warm in the dungeon). My second 3.5 Warlock was up to 7th level after many target-rich adventures in a short span, and buying another Chaucible in an actual magick shoppe at 6th level has a 5d6 damage Eldritch Blast. I created several other characters for other game systems along the way, but Sparrow and his son Sparrow Jr. were my first two since I started playing again for the first time in about 25 years. So, I have a little sorrow about no longer playing those characters.
And I think this has been an emotional enough trip through the weekend, so I’m stopping it here.
PSA, Opus the (unkillable badass) Poet
The RPG group has moved into the world of D&D 5th edition from 3.5 (there was no 4th edition, in spite of the books of some other RPG saying they were D&D 4th, and anyone who says otherwise is a tool of the mass misinformation machine). To give the new version the best possible test we all played either the same type of character, or the closest thing to the same kind of character in 5th that we played in 3.5, so I played a warlock, again. We had a druid, a paladin, a barbarian, and my warlock.
Notes on warlock building in 5th. There are 9 variations of the build, with three different sources of power and 3 different paths to that power within the source. There is one source and path that results in a moderately powerful combat magic user, who also has access to healing spells. This seems to be the best-rounded form to kick butt in battle and then fix broken butts after combat has ceased. This is also something I wanted for at least the last couple of years as we have had sessions without a healer, and they don’t end well, so I want to make sure every party I adventure with has a healer of some kind even if I have to be that healer.
All we had with our first session was a first-level party which like any other first-level party was pretty weak. There was some dice karma involved, but basically we liked the play action of 5th edition. Combat was streamlined with the use of “advantage” and “disadvantage” instead of having multiple adjustments to AC based on cover and concealment as in 3.5. So the way that works is when your target is obscured or behind cover you are disadvantaged, and you make two attack rolls with the lowest one counting as your actual attack. If you are working from surprise or a sneak attack then you take the higher of the two attack rolls for your actual attack. Again this works much better than the complicated tables of adjustments to AC for when the person making the attack has advantages over the attacked.
One of the problems we had with our party in yesterday’s session was the person playing our paladin playing “lawful good” as “lawful stupid” and killing the lawful evil NPC who was spying on the target of our mission for several days before we got there and more than happy to show off and tell us everything he had discovered had the paladin not killed him first.
And again tonight I am going to end that public spell to return the intentions of the guy that tried to kill me by focussing a reflection spell with my hat. The guy died back in 2002, so the spell has been just churning out energy to no effect ever since then. I will be starting a new spell by dedicating a new hat to the creation of real, high quality (CROW Manual) bicycle infrastructure here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Pictures to follow.
We had the hats soaked in lamp oil before placing them on the fire.
A few minutes after placing them on the fire.
After the rest of service was done, energy safely dispersed.
And that’s all I got today.
PSA, Opus the Poet
Posted in Product Reviews, Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged Barbarian, d&d, D&D 5th edition, D&D as storytelling, Druid, hat, I has a hat, lawful stupid, Paladin, play-testing D&D 5th edition, Role Playing Games, RPG, Warlock
I started playing a new character in a new (to me) kind of fantasy RPG based on Palladium’s system. Our DM uses a different kind of character generation for games like this, where we role-play our character’s childhoods to determine our stats. The warlock class is completely different in Palladium in that their warlocks use elemental energy from one of the four aristotelian elements, and the character has to choose which “sphere” of energy he or she is going to use to cast their spells from. If your character chooses a single sphere they get three spells per level, but you can choose 2 spheres and get only 2 spells per level but have a wider variety of spells to choose from. I chose earth and air spheres because I had the best selection of healing spells with those, and because the warlock class was a pretty decent fighter without the use of magic.
I mentioned that we have a T-gurl living at the house, who moved in so that she wouldn’t have to sleep in her car in the church parking lot. Well we had a minor crisis at church tonight. Membership had gone through the name tags and updated them for all the new members we had gotten recently and the old tags were taken from the holders and put in a little file holder made for business cards so that there were enough tags for all the new and current people. The T-gurl was not a “current” member, so the tag holder we had altered to cover her old name with her feminine name was cleaned up and used for someone new and the old tag with the masculine name was put in the file. This caused a minor crisis for the T-gurl because it made her feel like her new identity was being denied in favor of her old masculine identity, which was something that was happening to her at her parent’s place. As you can imagine this was emotionally devastating for her, but we managed to find a way to repair most of the damages before everybody went home, in a way that affirmed her feminine identity as valid. Oh, and one of my old GF who was on disability for being bipolar and dyslexic and more than a bubble off kilter was there too as she had recovered enough to be allowed to drive again (I have never known her when she wasn’t on disability, I seem to attract people like that until they get back on their feet emotionally or at least get stable enough to function at some level in society).
Coming up on the 18th of this month I will finally be doing that ritual to end the spell to reflect the intentions of the guy who tried to kill me back in 2001 and who died back in 2002 after I started the spell to reflect his intentions back on him, but as I didn’t know he had died I kept the spell going through a second publically dedicated tool and that tool (hat) wore out and fell to pieces like the first. Well come the 18th I will burn those hats in a public ritual and dispell that public magic, and dedicate a new hat to creating good, safe bicycle infrastructure for the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Just because I can’t ride at the moment doesn’t eliminated the need for infrastructure. I am not the only person riding a bicycle in this city. Expect to see some pictures from that ritual that night or the next day.
When we changed our cable package to include HD we also got a lot more channels that were HD only, which means I have that many more channels to ignore for lack of anything new or interesting to watch, except there are a few that sometimes have decent motorsports programming even this time of year. One of those channels will be covering Formula E racing, a spec series of all-electric racing. Personally for something like this technology I would prefer a spec motor with a maximum weight and volume for the battery and any controller, so that battery and controller technology would be pushed hard to develop as those are the parts of the e-vehicle matrix that are the stumbling blocks to widespread acceptance of EV in the mainstream. For commuting the infrastructure problem has been solved as there is always a place to charge when you’re at home, and there are more and more quick-charge stations popping up across the country for filling up for point-to-point driving that is outside the round-trip from home range of your vehicle. But anyway, this means I will be watching more Formula E, which means watching any Formula E because I did not have access to a channel before.
And I have yammered enough. I need to get to bed.
Posted in getting to know me, Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, cable TV, character generation, Formula E, hat, identity crisis, Magick in the "Real World", Palladium Games, t-gurl, tie dye, Warlock, working magick for the public good
Yesterday was the last day for a veggie restaurant owned by a friend of the family as the building was sold out from under them and they lost their lease. They had an all-you-care-to-eat lunch buffet to close things down and I did my best to make sure they didn’t have any leftovers. After I waddled out of the restaurant I went to the RPG where I had to level up Jr. for the quest for the scepter game. Sparrow Jr. is now a 7th level Warlock with the ability to see normally in total darkness as well as see invisible creatures (unless they are using Greater Invisibility). With the gold he has found in this quest he purchased a Chasuble of Fell Power that adds 2d6 to his Eldrich Blast and Eldrich Spear, during the restock run in the major city after leveling up. This means that he has the firepower of a 9th level Warlock or several archers with strength bonuses on their bows (and Sparrow is much more likely to hit as the Eldrich Blast and Spear are both ranged touch attacks).
That item buff and tactics came in handy in yesterday’s encounter as we finally hacked our way to the center of the lost city and found the statue we have been looking for since we started this quest to lead us to the next clue to find the scepter that could destroy the world in the wrong hands. All we can find out about this scepter is that it is currently lost, but we are racing a litch to get to it. The kicker is that the clues are only available to characters of Good alignment, which categorically excludes all litches.
When we got to the statue we found what at first seemed like a magic ritual, but after observation turned out to be a religious service to an evil god. Among the “faithful” were 6 Mind Flayers. Since we couldn’t get to the statue with the people worshipping an evil god there we busted up the service. There were two problems here. Some of the Mind Flayers have Spell Resistance so we magic users were up the proverbial creek battling them, but there were enough of the ones without Spell Resistance that we still could get a few hits in. And by a “few hits” I really mean “hitting with enough damage that they go so negative in hit points they explode”. I made one blow up and one of the other magic users did the same thing to another. And one of our melee fighters did the same to one of the ones that had Spell Resistance. Others were taken out with somewhat less spectacular ends, but none of them were able to get any of their attacks off because one of our magic users managed to get a web spell off against the human worshippers that effectively took them out of the battle, and then another one of our spell-casters used other area-effect spells to keep the humans “otherwise occupied” than with us.
After the battle we found the statue we had been looking for, but could not figure out how to read the clue because the clue was under the knee of the kneeling statue until my character walked up to ask if he could help. The statue stood up and recited the clue to my character. It turns out Sparrow Jr. is the only good-aligned member of the party, and the clues are only available to characters of Good alignment. The rest of the crew did the usual loot and then burn the bodies to dispose of them. Since my character has detect magic at will all items were run by me to separate magic items from mere baubles but we had to end the session before we could find out what we had won from the battle.
So, it was a good Saturday for me, and then I got a whole bunch of things taken care of after morning services before I came home. I paid the $0.04 monthly premium on my Obamacare insurance after I picked up the weekly transit pass for Mrs. the Poet to make it to her last week of school at her job taking the flavor out of the kids’ food. Add to the really great service at church this morning (not worshiping an evil god 😉 ) and my Sunday has been really good. And there were lots of races today, IndyCar from Belle Isle Detroit, Sprint Cup from Dover, and NHRA Summernationals from Englishtown NJ. That’s a lot of racing. And the drag racers are still at it.
I’m going to end this post now, because I’m really enjoying what a great weekend I have been having.