another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Happy Birthday, Matt!

You can check Matt's blog and leave him birthday wishes, and check on the cat.

I'm not doing so weell on that daily posting I promised, but we'll see if I can pick that up a bit. Later.

Read more!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cure for a Bad Day

Cubs Win!
Busy day at work for everyone. I didn't get in until late because I was up late and took a conference call from home, and then had some things to check that came up as we were talking. I didn't even leave for work until just before noon.

Then I supposed to get mid-year feedback from my boss, but she was busy at 1pm when I was supposed to go in. I'd told her I needed to leave at 3:30, so I would be OK to meet with her until then if she freed up.

She IM'd me at 2:30, and I figured it was time for the feedback meeting. But no, she wanted me to join another call where they were trying to get something fixed. I reminded her of my time constraint, but she remembered - she was trying to get someone else but I was available at the time. Fortunately, I wasn't on that call long before someone else from our team was reached and took over. So, I got out while the getting was good.

While I thought I was stuck, I called Kalen and had her bring me my jacket, as I'd forgotten it this morning and thought I might need it (it turns out I didn't).

I wound up getting down to the game plenty early, and waiting around for Bob. He wound up being late because of similar traps at work and getting the world's slowest train in. He'd had a worse day than I had.

And, we were late enough that we'd lost our stadium club reservation, but after only a few minutes waiting we were able to grab a side table that freed up.

BUT, the Cubs game was good. A close game - pitcher duel - that the Cubs pulled out a run in the bottom of the eighth. And the Brewers lost, so the Cubs are in first place by one game again. So all was well.

Which is good, because my train got re-routed on the way back from the game, so it took me about 15 minutes longer getting back than usual, and caused a bit of confusion for a while as I didn't know for sure which direction the train was going to go around the Loop.

OK, that's enough for now. I'm getting this post in just because Matt called to harrass me to post -- even though HE hasn't updated his blog as promised.

Read more!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mass Extinction (RPGA Meeting - Gencon, Saturday August 18)

All of a sudden, all of my Dungeons and Dragons characters will be going away. The extinction event is next year. This is the RPGA meeting that I forgot to blog about earlier.

By the time the RPGA members meeting started on the Saturday of Gencon, most of the important information had already been leaked. That just meant that some people could come prepared with their best futile arguments.

With D&D 4th edition coming out the middle of next year, the D&D campaigns that I play the most are ending. I'd be able to keep playing Living Greyhawk until the end of 2008 (and longer, since no one will really care about the rules any more), but the trick is going to be how motivated I or anyone else will be. Living Kalamar is ending a bit earlier, with Kenzer's license for D&D ending, though again I may play after the "official" end because I'll just grab modules to play later.

The announcement of the end of Living Greyhawk made several people mad, and they tried to make that known at the RPGA meeting. People always fear change, and didn't like the idea that a campaign they'd spent seven years playing (at most) might someday not be there. Ignoring that the campaign had a pretty good run. Quite a few want to keep it going, ignoring that they are fighting against the marketing campaign of WotC and a well buttoned down colleciton of intellectual property. They might try to keep doing things in the Greyhawk setting, but if so they'll wind up playing a watered down setting like what Legends of the Shining Jewel has been (which is really a bastardized Forgotten Realms -- the campaign world that RPGA and WotD are going back to).

I'm basically looking at all of this as inevitable. I know that my D&D playing a year from now is going to be very different than it has been for the last few years, and right now I can't really how things are going to go. Eventually, I'm sure I'll be playing Living Forgotten Realms with D&D 4. I may play the successor to Living Kalamar with Hackmaster 5, but it will depend on if there are actually others to play that with.

I could also still be playing 3.5 under Open Gaming License rules with LSJ or Blackmoor, but I never did get into those campaigns much. I've got 3rd level characters in both that I really don't care much about.

Yeah, this hasn't really been about the RPGA meeting, because for the most part that was only good for the amusement of people trying to fight the inevitable with absolutely no leverage on their side. This is really just about me trying to sort out where my gaming is going to be in a year.

Read more!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Picture Post


First, here's a picture of the new couch (with Kalen chatting online).

And, here's the love seat. It's the same color as the couch, the color shows up properly above (chocolate brown leather). Taking the picture with the sun shining on it didn't work as well. I didn't get a picture of my chair yet (but, it's the same color and basic design), and Ellen's hasn't come in yet (ditto). The only real difference is my chair is a rocker-recliner and Ellen's is a wall-hugger recliner.

And now, Ellen's new car. It's a Saturn VUE -- the seventh Saturn owned in the family (six at current).

So, now I'm driving Ellen's old car, and Ryan is driving my old car. And, I'll let Ellen tell more of the story on how she chose the VUE, unless I beat her to it (time to update your blog, Ellen!).

That's it for now. I just wanted to share the pictures. More tomorrow.

Read more!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturn 7

I've got to get motivated to blog again. Let's say I'll do daily blogging again for a while, and see how long I can keep it up. For tonight, this is more of a place holder and a catch-up.

More on Saturn 7 tomorrow, after I take a picture.

Ditto for the new living room furniture, which has been in place more than a week.

I realized afterward in my Gencon report that I accidentally left out the Saturday RPGA meeting, after I'd teased that in a previous blog entry. I'll report on that later this coming week (the short report - there was anger, not from me).

Other than that, it's been a busy week, but not insane. I got to sit in the nosebleed seat at Wrigley last Monday and see a Cubs win. I'll be at the game on Wednesday night with Bob.

And, that's enough for tonight. Tomorrow - photos! This is just a tease.

Read more!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gencon: Saturday and Sunday (August 18-19)

Finishing Gencon, because the last two days won't make for long blog posts.

Saturday, I lazed around a bit more in the morning, since I didn't have anything scheduled until 1:00 and I didn't have anything I really wanted to do before that. So, I got things picked up in the room as best I could - mainly to get my stuff organized for a quick exit the next day.

I'd played enough Fluxx in the previous two days that the box was getting worn already, so I went back to the dealer's room to get the wooden box to store Fluxx (with an extra rule card, but that rule gets a bit annoying so I may pull it out of the deck more frequently). Oh, and I forgot, I bought the sixth collection of Girl Genius on Friday, and got it signed by all the creators. Just to stick that in since I forgot on Friday and that completes the set of things I bought in the dealer's room.

Back to Saturday - I reported for my judging shift, another shift of Living Kalamar, but only one table of players was there so I got released as a Kalamar judge. I went over to headquarters to see if they had something else they needed me to judge. Unfortunately, they did. They asked the group of us if anyone had prepped the preliminary round of the D&D Open. No. Has anyone ever run the Open before? Eeep. I had to admit that I had. So, I wound up judging a first round table of the D&D Open with zero preparation. I didn't even have maps before we started. But this group was insistent on playing even though they knew I had no time to prep, because they'd driven 14 hours just to play the Open.

As it turns out, they were a fun group and very willing to work with me as I took a few minutes to read each encounter as they got to it. The D&D Open is a timed event, so they were somewhat handicapped by that. On the other hand, I may have done a better job of killing them if I'd had a chance to understand all the enemy tactics (I definitely could have done more with the bugbears that would try to bullrush people off the machinery). As it turned out, they survived (I got one down to 1 hit point0 but didn't have a chance to do anything with the final encounter. They were happy, though, and got a group picture with me at the end.

In the third slot I was signed up to run "D&D for beginners". We didn't have the beginners at first, so I got recruited to oversee a Three-Dragon Ante tournament. Later, the players showed up for D&D for Beginners. I didn't know how it was scheduled, I found out later it was supposed to run at 8:00pm and 10:00pm. There was a big batch of people who showed up, so I ran a double-sized table through the first time, and then a table of six starting at 10pm. So, I didn't get done that night until just after midnight. Everyone else was back at the hotel by then, so I got a Polish sausage from a street vendor and called it a night.

Sunday morning, I got as much stuff packed up and out to the car as I could manage, with help from Ryan and the girls. I then left Ryan in charge of checking out of the hotel once we knew everything and everyone was out (i.e. Matt and Tony).

I walked to the convention center with Kathy. On the way through the RPGA room I ran into the group that I'd judged in the D&D Open. They'd made it to the final round. That made me feel better about the whole thing -- I hadn't slowed them down so much that they couldn't advance to the second round, but they were a good enough team to get through that round as well so they didn't advance just due to my inability to challenge them properly.

I was signed up to judge the Kalamar special, and Kalen and Kathy were signed up to play that. They wound up with two tables for the special, but more judges than that, so again I was released. Since I'd run D&D for Beginners the night before, Therese from headquarters latched onto me immediately to run that again. So, two more slots of full tables of beginners.

I got done at just after 1:00 and headed over to the True Dungeon riddle reveal. That gave me a chance to see some of the stuff they had on the combat side, and to see what we'd missed on the puzzle side to solve the stuff that we missed (or brute-forced).

Finally, we got lunch at Houlihan's, walked back to the cars, said bye to Kathy and Tony (heading different directions), and headed out. And I'll let Kathy tell how we totally failed to give her good directions back to the interstate to Normal.

And that was it. I drove back to Aurora and crashed hard. I was glad that I'd taken the next day off, and hadn't planned to fly to Cleveland until Tuesday morning. I needed all that time to recover (maybe could have used more!).

Read more!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Gencon: Friday, August 17

Played a game. Judged a game. Blew a roll.

Friday at Gencon started with Matt, Ryan, and I waking early and going over to the RPGA hall for first slot. We had tickets for the Living Greyhawk Special. Matt and I stayed together to try to play around APL 10 (we both had our level 11 characters), but Ryan split off as he didn't want to play that high. Matt and I got together with another guy we've played with from the Chicago area (Mike L.), his girlfriend(?), another guy that I've played with several times (most recently at weekend in Dyvers), and a sixth random guy (who had a barbarian who could throw down a bunch of damage, fortunately).

I was playing as my character "Joe", a Ranger/Scout. As the scout, I could scout ahead and check for traps. And I was the fastest and quickest (best initiative). Which means I was always the first to see any of the enemies. And, about the best thing I can do when I see an enemy is charge ahead and get an attack in fast. So, I was the canary in the mine. I would charge in, get one hit in, and then be generally torn apart by the enemies. But, that would tell everyone else what the big bad guys could do, so that helped them win the encounter.

It wasn't quite so bad as that. The first encounter was very tough, and we didn't think we'd get very far. But, as it turned out, each subsequent encounter was a bit easier, so we took out the last enemy quickly, and got the nifty rewards in the end. Yay.

After that, Matt, Ryan and I grabbed lunch then started back around the dealer's room. Matt and I started to do a few more demos in the Wizards area, but then Matt couldn't find his card so decided to ditch that. I decided to cash in my marks at the reward area -- roll d20 and add the number of Wizards demos (shown by the marks on the cards), and collect free swag based on how high the result is. The dice area wasn't open for business yet, and yet the line was starting to build. I wandered around the dealer's area more, still not finding anything that really caught my attention. I eventually joined the line, waited in the line for about 20 minutes, and then when it was my turn I took the big die and rolled: a 5! Dangit! Adding my 10 marks gave me a 10, which was just enough to get nothing I really wanted. I picked up an Axis and Allies miniatures booster for no particular reason.

In the evening, I was set to judge a session of the Kalamar module "To Shake the Pillars of the World". It was a good module, and the table that I judged was pretty good (including a couple guys I'd played Mark of Heroes with two years earlier). Nothing else I can really say about that.

A met Matt, Kalen, and Tony and we went to dinner at Steak and Shake. It was about 10pm by this time, a good time for a late dinner there. While we were waiting, we got in a couple more very quick games of Fluxx. Then, back to the hotel and a couple more games of Fluxx there (including Ryan).

To Be Continued!

Coming next: Saturday - The RPGA members meeting with the fallout of the 4th edition announcement.

Read more!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Relaxing Weekend

A pause in the Gencon reports to give a weekend update.

Yay, I'm actually at home!

The flight back from Cleveland was uneventful (other than it arrived early). Kalen and Ellen picked me up at the airport, and then the three of us plus Ryan grabbed a late dinner at Friday's.

Saturday I went to the Cubs game with Bob. Beautiful weather and a close game, and the Cubs won (4-3). It would have been hard for the game to be better.

On the way home I picked up two weeks worth of comics from Graham Crackers, then grabbed a couple steaks, some ears of corn, and some salad makings and came home and grilled dinner. The evening was topped off by a game of Hawaiian Rummy and three games of Fluxx!

Today, Ellen took Kalen and I to look at the furniture she had picked out. We got the sofa and recliner she'd picked out, but switched to a different love seat and decided to get all the pieces in a chocolate-brown leather. My main thought is that the leather is going to be so much easier to keep the cat fur off. Everything except Ellen's recliner will be delivered on Thursday.

Then came home and grilled again. Beer can chicken, roasted new potatos, grilled asparagus, and garlic bread. And we enjoyed it all out on the patio.

Tomorrow, I need to work on the lawn in the morning, then there's another Cubs game to go to in the late afternoon.

And, hopefully, I'll post the next part of the Gencon report.

Read more!