• cartoon boy yelling

    Why Do the Loudest Always Win

    In another episode in “Eric Never Gets What He Wants”… “[Canada] Bill’s longtime partner, George Devol, stumbled across Bill losing his shirt in a clearly rigged poker game. George tried to convince Bill to quit the game, arguing he couldn’t possible win. Bill famously retorted ‘I know it’s crooked, but it’s the only game in town’.” When I read on Facebook that there was going to be a D&D Adventurer’s Guild at my local game shop, I was excited. Finally, a chance to play D&D, maybe make some friends. I love playing RPGs but I never get the chance because no one around me is like me. There is nothing…

  • bookshelf books

    The Books I Read: March – April 2023

    Circe by Madeline Miller This was attempt number two at reading. Not the book’s fault, it was me. At the time, I wasn’t in the headspace to read something heavy and steeped in the Classics. But now, Greek mythology is having a renaissance (or did it ever disappear?) with God of War, Hades, Lore Olympus. That, combined with my own ambition to write a book about Medusa, I felt I had to give this one a second try for research. Madeline Miller is obviously versed in classics and Greek mythology so the text is not easy. I mean, it’s not Proust or anything, but you will feel like an adult…

  • not another d and d podcast logo

    The Problem with D&D Longplay Podcasts

    I really like playing D&D but I have no one to play with. To that end, I’ve tried listening to a few D&D long play podcasts, but I’ve noticed I can’t keep my attention on any of them. They’re all just so boring and here’s the common problem: They don’t move forward fast enough. There’s too much airtime placed on the players’ interactions in the environment or ten-minute debates on how to solve a puzzle. It’s like listening in on someone’s business meeting or a very long detailed book-on-tape. If you’re going to construct a story, you’ve got to play by one rule: keep the story moving. But all these…

  • orc female

    A D&D Character: Hercula

    I haven’t had any blog ideas for a while so here… have an idea for a D&D character I made. Hercula Female Half-Orc Fighter or Barbarian Hercula simply didn’t die. An orc female is already a pariah. A half-orc, doubly so. Rumor had it her father was a wandering human bard. Did her mother die in childbirth? Killed for mating with a pinkskin and producing a half-breed? No one seems to know. The first time anyone remembers seeing her entering the village was as a young juvenile, covered in her blood and her own filth. But healthy. And smiling. Of course, no one took her in. But even orcs were…

  • bookshelf books

    The Books I Read: March – April 2019

    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch It took a little effort to get into it, but it’s worth it. The writing style is sharp, funny. The narrative jumps around a little–both in setting and time–making it difficult to latch on. Like trying to ride a wild fire hose. And there’s a lot of world-building that has to occur. But once you get past that, this book is on par with The Name of the Wind. And that’s a damn good book. At first I was intimidated by its long length. But it’s worth it. You get really invested in the characters. (Minus points for having so few women).…

  • bookshelf books

    The Books I Read: January – February 2019

    The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo(unfinished) Too cutesy, too moralistic, and it kept running on. I felt like nothing important happened. It’s all stuff I’ve seen before in “little animal befriends a human” stories, like The Littles or The Secret World of Arietty or Stuart Little or any other of the various children’s books I’ve read to my offspring. It’s slow. I was constantly yelling at the book to get on with it. Especially cause the formula was so predictable. I could see it checking off boxes as the narrative went on. Too much set-up, not enough plot. I couldn’t figure out why the book was so popular. It…

  • baldur's gate dungeons and dragons computer game

    Late to the Game: Baldur’s Gate

    So after my disappointment in The Witcher, I decided to try another old RPG — Baldur’s Gate (the enhanced edition). When I was younger I played a co-op game with my friend on the PS2 called Baldur’s Gate. This must have been something different than what I got now, because I remember blasting rats in the basement with magic missiles and getting excited at finding a +2 Sword of Frost that actually froze enemies. This is more like an RTS, like Command & Conquer or Starcraft, except without resource gathering. And you only get six guys. I did actually try this out when I got it, but the tutorial made…

  • Lost Mine Of Phandelver dungeons and dragons rpg dwarf dragon

    A D&D/Family Weekend

    This weekend, we finally got to celebrate my birthday, after two weeks of having it pushed back due to two first communions, Mother’s Day, and various soccer/softball tournaments. Maybe that’s part of why I felt a little bitter in my last entry. But when I was asked what I wanted to do, I thought about some restaurant or event. But really, all I wanted to do, the thing I’ve most wanted to do with my family, is play D&D. I get so few chances to play, and my family is the closest available participants. If I could get them on board, maybe they’d get hooked. But since it was my…

  • dungeons and dragons game

    D&D Aftermath

    It was awesome! The small talk in the car wasn’t too bad, though I wished he had turned the radio on to fill the awkward silences. Once I got there, met the people, all like my neighbor, about 10 years older than me and from a different generation. They were actually playing D&D first edition (I think). It was a version where you didn’t have things like stealth and attacks of opportunity, and battles didn’t really take place on a grid. The hard part was role-playing. When you don’t know anyone and you’re an introvert, it’s hard to contribute a voice into the game right away. The first twenty minutes…

  • fantasy map table

    My Wish Came True

    No, unfortunately, not the the “getting published” one.  But someone invited me to play D&D! I’ve talked a few times before about how I want to learn how to play.  I’m a big fan of the Penny Arcade D&D series (I’m even re-listening to the podcasts now).  I’ve watched all the Counter Monkey episodes.  But I’ve never played an RPG in my life.  Because unlike most games, there is a key factor in these games that make them impossible for me. You need to have friends. Moreover, you need to have friends who know how to play D&D.  This is not a game you can look at the instructions and…