Sunday, March 23, 2008

Champaign Supernova

Took a trip this Easter weekend, down to the land of U of I @ U-C, and toured the ol' graduate school home-town.

First, we met up with Muncher, Randa-Kay, and Nebraska, and the proper ceremonies and exchange of wizardly gifts was performed.

We watched many a movie, including the Tom Hanks documentary classic: Mazes and Monsters.
Every session of Mazes and Monsters requires over $75 in scented candles and incense.
Also: Stupidity.

This is a movie from 1982 where the primary moral was "Don't play DnD, or you'll stab people in the streets of NY and try to jump off a building."

Look out, its a Gorevil!

Then we engaged in traditional Easter festivities, including egg decorating...

...and playing zombocalypsian boardgames.

It was a good time. I also ended up picking up the Dungeons and Dragon's animated series and learning that all Dwarves and Gnomes in "The Realm" are slaves working for Vengir's military-industrial complex.
Every other episode requires that the kids free another village of 100 dwarves from Vengir's diamond/iron/weaponsmithing mines. It's pretty sad, really. I can't believe these dwarves don't have enough pride to fight back, or at least not work to further Vengir's bloodthirsty goals. Glimi son of Gloin would be pissed, for sure.

Center: Brando's favorite Halloween costume.

We also got a chance to eat some lunch on Saturday with Nathan and Amy, and check out Amy's new laser eyeballs.
All in all, a good weekend. Throughout this week Mary has given me a gift-a-day for my birthday week. Here's the swag I've gotten so far:

- Star Wars IV: A New Hope
- Beyond Civilization
- The Art of the Cthulhu Mythos
- Coleman Two-Burner folding stove
- Turok, Dinosaur Hunter for 360

I beat Turok today. Mutated Velociraptors don't stand a chance when the cyberninjaz come a'callin.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Anne Marie Scanlan

Grandma Scanlan passed away on Sunday afternoon, March 9, 2008. We went down on Saturday morning and we were able to spend most of Saturday and Sunday with her.

For any of you who might want the info, the visitation will be at Sacred Heart Church, the Nation, from 3-8 PM on Tuesday (Mar. 11). The funeral service will be at the same location on Wednesday at 11 AM.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Nibbles takes on the Tomb of Horrors, Part 1

In honor of my recently deceased familiar Nibbles and the greatest of Dungeonmasters both in one week, I decided to start my adventure last night into the most dangerous of Gygaxian deathtrap dungeons, the Tomb of Horrors, and bring along my ranger/rogue from the main NWN2 campaign who's animal companion is Nibbles' virtual alter ego.

That's us, in the camp above the dungeon. The little dwarves in the background are the stupid NPC hirelings I had to hire into my party after my first horrible death in the dungeon.

Mostly they just stood around and let me constantly walk around really slow and search for traps. You think that chest in the wall is trapped? Well, my trap sense isn't tingling, so it must not be, right? Hey, there's a lever inside! Cool! So I pulled it. And got pit-trapped into a zombie-warrior infested crypt I had to fight my way out of.

Initially I just bashed on some zombie warriors no problem (Ranger Favored Enemy: Undead x 2!), and searched around for a way out, but the tomb's guardians got much more dangerous...

Hmmm, I wonder what happens if I check out this crypt...hey, there's a lever here!

...and how does gettin' teleported (sans all my equipment) into a 10' x 10' room filled with confusion gas...and two Ta'anari? (that's "big mean deamons" in English) Great!

A reload and a completely separate path of corridors later...

Hmmm, that doorway looks inviting, maybe I'll go through it (after dismantling three DC 30 traps and fighting off five mummy lords)...

Nibbles smelled something in the Hallway of Many Colors so I was on my guard. Carefully checking for traps I quietly opened one of the colored doors in the long hallway...

...and was promptly level-drained, confusion-blasted, constitution-drained, strength-drained, dexterity-drained, feebleminded, baned, slowed, and good old hold person'd. Then 12 succubi and a Tan'ari teleported in and proceeded to destroy my entire party. Nibbles, god bless 'em, lasted the longest.

Good times!

Now that's the D&D of old. Devin's going to join me for Part 2, where I don't try to open the orange door.

Anyone who already owns NWN2 is welcome to join us take on the Tomb of Horrors (even Jared, who otherwise wouldn't be invited to play D&D with us because of our severe prejudice against Panther tatoos).

Monday, March 3, 2008

DelpCON 2008 - Good and bad news

UPDATE: Immediately following our convention of everything Dungeons and Dragons this weekend, the all-father of D&D went to the great Renaissance Faire in the sky.

Gary Gygax, July 27, 1938 - March 4, 2008

We were fortunate to see him last year at GenCon 2007. In his honor we should all get together again as soon as possible and play a true Gygaxian D&D adventure. Here are three things I figure are minimally needed to make it truly Gygaxian:

1) Strange number-based riddles/puzzles
2) Occasional save-or-die traps
3) A Rust Monster


Now back to this weekend's DelpCon ...

Incoming Nerd Bomb! Take cover!

This weekend was DelpCon 2008. The annual festival of geekery that takes place in the basement of wherever Delp is living at the time. Fortunately Delp now lives in Cedar Falls, the home city of our old alma mater, the illustrious University of Northern Iowa. At this annual convention we at the very least play a game of D&D and drink 6-7 gallons of Mountain Dew. The geek fairy was out in rare form this year, as we also got in a full-fledged Star Wars miniatures tournament and watched two nerdy movies. It was glorious.

Attendees were myself, Delp (of course), Superchad, Devin, Travis, RW, and Paul.

Friday night we started the Star Wars tournament. Delp and I bought a bunch of random booster packs for Star Wars minis and everybody got a single sealed booster pack. Then we played the double-elimination tournament with whatever we got in our box. In the boxes people got badass Jedi like Mace Windu, Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, and Qui-Gon Jinn. The MVM (most valuable miniature) award, however, goes to the humble Sith Assault Droid.

The magic of this little guy is that he is the Necron of Star Wars minis. He is an otherwise mediocre mini that has two important powers: shields which made him the most survivable little guy in existence if you can roll high enough each time he gets hit, and a flamethrower which doesn't need to roll to hit anyone within 6 squares. Devin and I got identical pulls in our "random" booster packs, and while we didn't get any bad-ass jedi, we both got a Sith Assault Droid, doubling the chances that people could face, and learn to hate, this little bastard.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), Devin and shared the trophy for Star Wars tournament master. The games went on so long that by the time we got to the final game we were all sick of Star Wars minis, and Devin and I felt that facing off two Sith Assault Droids against each other may end up ripping a hole in space-time, so we called it a draw. In the future Devin and I may have to face off again to determine who is the truest of Star Wars minis champions.

We shared the cake with everybody.

Saturday we ate a huge breakfast at the infamous Waffle Stop in downtown Cedar Falls, followed by a trip to the FLGS (friendly local gaming store), The Core. I picked up the Dunwich Horror expansion to my copy of Arkham Horror (best wedding present ever -- thanks Paul!).

Then returned to our HQ in Delp's basement, and that's when the true dorkery was unleashed!

That's right, Dungeons and Dragons! RW was the DM for our foray into the realm of fantastic adventure. He came up with a sweet reversal adventure idea in which we were all turned into different undead, and took over a dungeon for our own. Wanna hear about my skeleton rogue? How about Chad's mummy barbarian? Or Paul's Vampire Spawn? No? Okay, okay, geez...

And in case you still don't believe me that SuperChad was there...

In any case, RW's adventure was totally awesome. We picked locks, dodged traps, fought zombies, and fed paladins to the unholy Ravenloftian Well of Souls. Like I said, good times. We played for a long, long time until the DM just couldn't take any more and we had to call it a night...

...a night to go out on the town, that is! Most of us drove in a big caravan to Delp's dad's house to meet some of his friends there to play cards. I'm pretty sure every one of us ended up losing money at that game, but it was a good time anyway, and we got to meet Delp's friends. Somewhere along the way we got split up and some of us went back to game further while others went to ye old tavern to seek adventure (Huzzah!).

When the gamer group returned we played some more Star Wars miniatures while we waited for the party crew to get back, and then we all watched the MST3k version of Angel's Revenge, which was horribly great.

Finally, on Sunday we watched the new cinema classic: Dungeons and Dragons II: Wrath of the Dragon God, which is infinitely superior to its predecessor that had quintuple the budget to work with.

And as RW would say, LuX 4 L1fe!