October 23, 2004

Great Moments in D&D Roleplaying
Posted by Jess in Gaming

Well, the BBQs, baby showers, and late night garden parties are over. Corona & limes, lawn chairs and tank tops are traded in for flannel pyjamas, late-night fires, and a nice glass of merlot.

The end of the summer also means that a new season of D&D campaigning can begin, now that schedules settle down on the weekends.

What better way to get us all psyched up for the new season than posting great moments of years past? The ones we still talk about? We've all been playing together since we were in the dorms. The bottom line of D&D is having fun with your best friends. And have fun we do...

Before we get started, I used our real names when we're talking about what we're going to do. When it's something the character said in gameplay, I state it, then put the player's real name in parentheses, if I can still remember their character's name!

DM = Dungeon Master, the person who is running the campaign.
GM = Game Master, the same thing, except that's what it's called in Heroes, which is not Dungeons and Dragons, it's a cyberpunk roleplay game.



Shaylee the wizard (April): "What is there to eat in this place?"

Barkeep (Matt, DM'ing): "Meat and soup".

Shaylee: "What's in the soup?"

Barkeep: "Meat."


Great big ugly monster looking at Whistler (Nate, DM’ing): "MMMmmm…Lunch!"

Whistler the Kender (Jess): "GREAT idea, I’m starving!" Calling back to others, "Its okay guys, he just wants some company for lunch, that’s all!"


Melodie the bard (Cindy): "Can I do an interpretive dance for you?"

Rest of party: "NO!"

...Melodie continues asking all day long...

Later, in a pub filled with goblins...

Melodie (Cindy): stands on bar and throws down a platinum piece, "Drinks are on me!"

Matt, DM'ing: "They all start cheering."

Cindy: "Are they looking at me?"

Matt, DM'ing: "Yep, you've definately got their attention."

Melodie (Cindy): "Now that I have your attention, I will now do an interpretive dance..."


Jay, DM'ing: "Your sword is cursed. It doesn't like dwarves."

Sword, continuously yelling over the course of the day: "DWARVES SUCK!"

Drew, playing a dwarf: "Figures."

Xander as fighter (Nate): "Sword, shut up! You're going to give away our position."

Jay, DM'ing: passes note around to each player.

Note: you hear in a faint whisper, 'dwarves suck.'


Nate, playing a cleric: "With this spell I cast, anyone who worships the same God I do gets +2 on save rolls."

Cindy: "Yay, I get it!"

Matt, DM'ing: "You do?"

Cindy: "It says so right here on my character sheet!"

Matt, DM'ing: Reading aloud – "Not practicing, just major holidays."



Matt, DM'ing: "Cindy, you're up. What do you want to do."

Cindy: "Conjure up a tree and hide behind it."

Matt, DM'ing: "A tree has mysteriously appeared in the dungeon. Calista has disappeared."

Rest of party: "Ummmm… can we roll a Widsom check?"



The rest of our party was chained up in a room by a Mind Flare. Ernie, playing a fighter, was the only character not captured. If he could not rescue us, this campaign was over.

Chris, DM'ing: "Okay Ernie, you're right outside the door."

Ernie: "I am going to kick open the door, throw my battle-axe, and hit him in the head."

Chris, DM'ing: "Wow, that's a serious called shot with LOTS of room for error and fumbles. I can only give it to you if you roll a 20. Otherwise, guys, it's been real!"

Rest of party: Holding breath as we watch Ernie roll.

The dice rolls across the table, and teeters on the brink of falling off, only to lie slightly angled at the edge of the table with the 20 plainly on top.

Much whooping and hollering ensues.


D&D Reality TV:

"Who Wants to Marry a Hydra?"
"Joe Platinumaire"
"Bardic Idol"
"Third Eye for the Psionic Guy"
"Last Bard Standing"
"Making the Adventurers"
"Real World: Dungeon House"
“Average Heroes”


HEROES CAMPAIGNS (Cyberpunk role-play game)

Ernie, upon entering a crowded dance club: "Yo."

Matt, DM'ing: "No one's paying any attention to you."

Nate: "I take my machine gun, and shoot it up at the ceiling."

Matt, DM'ing: "Everyone screams and hits the floor. They’re all watching you now, silent."

Nate: "My friend said 'Yo.'"


Matt, GM'ing: "Okay guys, your jeep is now equipped with a semi-automatic machine gun at the back of it. Before you finish buying it and leaving, is there anything else you want to buy/add to it? You still have money left."

Cindy: "A licorice dispenser!"

Jess: "A hot chocolate machine!"

October 18, 2004

Back from anniversary vacation
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

Every year, Matt and I try to go somewhere for our anniversary. This year, we decided to bring Bill and April along, who has their third anniversary also in a week (Nate and Cindy couldn't go, and were definately missed).

We went to Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure (big surprise), then rented a car, drove to Miami, went on a 4 day cruise to Cozumel Mexico, came back, rented another car, drove BACK to Universal for Horror Nights, came home, and slept for 15 hours straight.

One of the more eerie things on the cruise was the front of the boat. One night we went out, and you could see nothing but inky blackness after the pointed tip of the boat. Not only that, but you could hear no sound coming from the engine. And if that weren't creepy enough - there was NO wind. Apparently, the boat can get caught in a wind tunnel, where the wind direction is the same way the boat is going - therefore canceling out the wind that the boat is causing by moving forward. April and I had to look over the side of the boat frequently just to make sure we were even moving.


Every night, there was "Karaoke with Jamie". As it turns out, Jamie rocked. Literally. She hooked us up. Bill did his amazing likeness of the B52's with "Love Shack", April rocked the house with "Just A Girl" by No Doubt, I sung Nellie Furtado's "Turn Off the Lights", and Matt did his usual Karaoke staple that brought the house down - "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang. Even Jamie thought it was worth noting to the crowd that the song is 8 1/2 minutes of pure rap that's normally sung by three different guys.

Well, throughout the rest of the cruise, everyone was coming up to Matt and saying, "You gotta do that again!" So, the next night, he did, and got people dancing, and a standing ovation (after the girl next to us shouted, "Joey Fatone!", we laughed). I sung the karaoke classic, "I Will Survive" and was quite happy to see people dancing.

Here's something I never knew - southern people can parrrr-ty. The Georgians whooped and hollered every time someone sang a country-western song, and the North Carolinans (Carolinians?) decided to pit the NC women against the NC men.

Oh, and we can't forget 47 year-old Tammy, one of the NC women, who shouted "he's so cute!" when Matt left the stage. Tammy was so infatuated with Matt that after Karaoke, we all went to the dance club - where she grabbed his hand, and didn't let go for the rest of the night. I didn't care, I'm not a jealous wife by any means, and as Tammy said herself, "I don't want to make you mad - after all, you get to go home with him tonight!". I hung around with Bill and April as Tammy led Matt everywhere she went. We even gave Matt a new nickname, unbeknownst to Tammy - Matt "BT" Stratton... boy toy. ;-)

So why did Jamie rock? The next night at Karaoke, it was set to end a few hours earlier than normal. The NC people and our table started pouting, and Jamie said sorry, she had to go by what was on the ship schedule. Then she yelled, "Matt's table and the NC people, stay back a sec, I have to talk to you." She then proceeded to come up to us and whisper, "Karaoke's not really over, I got us some extra time to sing and settle the score with the NC gang." Turns out the guys won. Figures.

She hooked us up, so we hooked her up on our comment cards.

Outside of the Karaoke room was a bathroom. Now, you walk into a room marked "Ladies", and expect to see a restroom, right? Apparently the people at Carnival missed this little lesson in convenience. You see, they made the door the same color and material as the wall. Once me and April found it, we headed out to find Bill for congratulations. A few minutes later, another girl came and in we started chit-chatting about the elusive door. She said, "some guy out there had to show me how to get in!" Sure enough, it was Bill, who said that he could tell she was having trouble finding the door. When he went in there, she was on the opposite wall thumping on the walls.

There's a door in this little room here somewhere:


We made port in Cozumel, Mexico for 12 hours, where the entire trip there can be summed up by one accidental gem of a shot:

"Dude, where's Carlos n' Charlies?"


Then it was back to the Universal Theme parks. This is a trick shot we took there. The shuttle is actually only about 3 feet tall, and is hanging in midair by the scaffolding. However, if we stand in the right place, the shuttle appears huge resting on the base of the building behind us.


For those that don't know what Horror Nights are, Universal Studios reopens again from 6:30PM till 2AM and sets up fog machines and "scare zones", where extras in professional makeup come at you with chainsaws and loud noises, and haunted houses. Now, these ain't just regular haunted houses. We're talking full-scale-even-tough-guys-will-get-scared haunted houses.


We went through one particular house, and at one point, I looked through a fence on the other side of the wall where we were walking, and there was a scare-actor with a nasty bloody face and a chainsaw. He was coming up to people at the wall and scaring them. I went around a corner, and it was a maze of different walls you could go through. I went through one, and found myself face to face with the same chainsaw guy. I really, really thought I had gone somewhere I wasn't suposed to and was face to face with a scare-actor who looked really angry. He came at me with the chainsaw, and of course I screamed, and then realized I hadn't gone the wrong way, he was just scaring people from all angles!

If you do go, be sure to go on a weeknight. We went on Friday night and had a blast, and was able to get through many of the haunted houses. Saturday was a different story. The park was oversold by about 3,000 tickets, and the biggest fear we had was that we'd lose each other. Each house had a 2 1/2 hour wait (no restrooms), and it was impossible to breathe, let alone move. Do NOT go on a Saturday.

The Travel Channel and Discovery Channel have specials on about Horror Nights, be sure to watch it if you can catch it.

So, to sum up, we had a fabulous time. We're all the type of people that are outgoing enough to make conversation with anyone and everyone, and from the lady at the car rental place down to the poor people stuck in elevators with us, we'll get you laughing*. You've been warned.

Damn. Back to doing my own dishes.

Speaking of cruises, if you book anytime over 7 months in advance, the value of the price vs. what you get in return is phenomenal. $239 for a 4 day cruise to the Western Carribean, and everything is included except drinks and airfare. And even then, by checking online frequently, we got $100 round trip airfare. If you've never thought about it, and want a fun and quick getaway, think about a cruise. I think they are highly underrated for the value that comes with them. The food will be sorely missed. Pretty much every night was either prime rib, filet mignon, lobster tails, or some sort of midnight buffet. And no, I don't work for Carnival.

* "Suck it in, fat boy, we've got a car to rent." - Bill, to Matt, whose backpack was rendering the elevator door unable to close. People did not realize Bill and Matt were together.

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