Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Weekend, a Cottage, Good Friends and DnDNext (Part 1)

Last weekend, my friends and I got together for our annual D&D weekend.  We head north of Toronto, to my friends cottage with 5 others and play D&D for the entire weekend.  This has been an almost annual occurrence for most of us since 2005 or so.  We take the Friday off usually and head back on the Sunday.

Playing all weekend is so much fun, reminding me of the hours we used to play as teenagers in our parents' basements, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.  Let's just say that I am still trying to catch up on my sleep.

This weekend we decided to play with epic level characters(level 21).  We had a warforged knight played by Darrell, a human ardent played by Scott, a shardmind invoker played by Dan, a razorclaw shifter avenger played by Jeff, and a drow assassin played by Jake.

This weekend I came to the realization of a few things...
The trip down was quite interesting.  I was carpooling with one of the guys(Jake).

We left Elliot Lake at 6am and started our trip.  Everything was optimistic, thinking we were going to be with our friends playing in about 4-5 hours.  About an hour into the voyage we were following a vehicle and PAF!  stone in the windshield cracking it.  We were 1 hour out of Sudbury and decided to stop at the Speedy Glass and get the windshield fixed.  This took us about 1.5 hours and a delayed our trip.

We left Sudbury at about 9am, still pumped that we were going to be at the cottage very shortly.  Only 2.5 hours until we get there.  We get to Parry Sound quite quickly and stop for a coffee.  Just before getting to Parry Sound though, it starts to snow.  SIGH!  Not just a little snow, but a lot!  Another delay.  What is up with that?

Started snowing.  It was much worse before we got to the cottage.
We finally got to the cottage at 1:30pm, ready to rock and role. Our little 4.5 hour trip ended up taking us 7.5 hours.  Still we were finally there and everyone was ready to go.  I was happy as a pig in s*%$.

View from inside the cottage.
Adventuring was awesome.  Set in the world of Eberron, I thought things went well - we just ran out of time and had to rush the end.  Everyone walked away satisfied I hope.

This was the first encounter of the day.  Double whammy, brigands attack the party, and halfway through the battle, orcs attack, having the party truce with the brigands to help defeat the immediate threat of the orcs.

Almost done.  Most of the party was bloodied.  The maps are courtesy of D&D Encounters.  I get them laminated for unlimited uses of them.  Easy to roll up and we can spill beer on it without ruining them - YAY!

My buddy Dan checking out my setup

The shadow hulk kicked some serious ass, always dazing the party and  making them attack each other.
He has a party member in its mandibles.

Awful cluster of PC and NPC activity.  Thank goodness for the assassin wall and his 'minions'.

Showing off my organization.  I use a fishing tackle box to put my tokens, pencils, condition markers,and the box on the left is for my tiles and minis.

Here is a picture of my DMing setup.  The pink and green cards you see is the initiative for the players as well as the monsters.  All I do is write the monsters on a clipboard, and track HP, conditions and other miscellaneous stuff during the encounter.  As much as it sounds weird, the clipboard happens to be my new best friend.  It allows me to stand while playing and gives me all the space I need for NPC names and taverns and such for the encounters at hand.

Taking a quick break to call the womenfolk to tell them we are still alive!!

HMMM!  Dan thinking about what he is going to do next.  Did he kill the monster?  You bet your ass he did!!!
We had a blast this weekend.  It was not all about the gaming, but also to socialize.  I don't get to see these guys very often and try to take the time to get together with them as much as possible.  Since the biggest commonality is D&D(everyone makes time for D&D), we try to do this at least once per year.

The next post will talk about some the things I would like keep and get rid of for D&DNext. Playing the weekend made me realize what was good and what was less good about a couple of editions.

Stay tuned for A Weekend, a Cottage, Good Friends and DnDNext (Part 2).

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