Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bedtop Wargaming

I'm still slowly recovering from the pneumonia that I contracted three weeks ago.  It's been a doozy.  At some point I got laryngitis as well, and my voice still sounds like one of those anti-smoking tracheotomy commercials.

One of the more interesting points of my pneumonia has been the hallucinations.  At first I thought they were dreams, but then I noticed I was awake when they were occurring.  Kind of unsettling at first, but after you get used to it - it's just kind of like free cable TV.

The most vivid hallucination was when I was trying to get comfortable in bed and one of the cats was trying to make herself comfortable on my chest.  Known fact: cats will sense when their owners are about to die and try to help them die more quickly.

So, at some point my chest became The Lonely Mountain and the cat became Smaug the Dragon.  You know, like cats are apt to do.  From somewhere down near my toe, Bard the Bowman and King Tranduil of Mirkword began to march towards my chest, war banners unfurled.  I think the cat morphed into Thorin at some point and hurled curses at the men and elves.

Then from a crumpled up comforter at the bottom of my bed, Dain began to march towards my chest.  I had no idea that my black and green comforter with a picture of Yoda on it was indeed the Iron Hills, but you know, stranger things have happened.

As I was trying to get Smaug/Thorin off my chest, the Goblins raced down my precariously placed pillows and attacked the gathered host.  There was a horrible battle, with tremendous coughing up of phlegm and cat scratches.  Then there were Eagles and Beorn showed up in bear form and Bilbo go knocked unconscious and everything got really confused and hazy.

What was particularly odd about the whole thing is that I could see each army very vividly - from a high vantage point with binoculars.  The battleground, however, remained my sheets, comforters, and pillows.  No other imagery covered those up, so it looked like some sort of Lilliputian war game on my bedtop.  Very odd.

Strangely enough, it harkens back to when I was ten - about half a year before I discovered D&D.  I had been reading the LotR books when I was hit by one heck of a flu or cold of something.  I remember that my mother was very concerned about my temperature being so high, and she'd check on me and ask me questions to determine how close I was to reality - like where I was and such.

At one point, my mother popped her head in the bedroom and asked who I was.  I remember very clearly that I didn't have the foggiest idea who the hell I was.  I just couldn't remember.  Then suddenly a named popped in my head.  I didn't really think it was my name, but since it was the only name I could remember, I figured it would do.

"Gandalf," I told my mother. "My name is Gandalf."

A brief look of concern crossed her face, to be quickly replaced by rolling eyes and a 'you smart ass' stare.

I shrugged and smiled.  I figured that if I told her I really had no idea what my name was, she'd get all upset and keep me awake - and what I really wanted to do was just to sleep.  So, I let her think I was a smart-ass (which was accurate, actually,) and got back to sleep.

It's funny how much of Tolkein seems to be etched on my subconscious.  I suppose I should warn the nurses at the old folks' home when I arrive.  My dementia should be pretty predictable.

- Ark

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Screw Me, Vacation

First day at beach nice.  Then cloudy.  Then rainy.  Then monsoon.  The flooding outside condo.  Then waves of mosquitoes. My bites had bites. Got horribly sick.  Then the flying ants.  An alligator was somewhere in there.  Left early.  Shit my pants in a convenience store.  Not convenient.  Thought it was a fart.

Been sick for 7 days straight.  Not getting betting.  Prognosis unknown.  Pneumonia maybe.  Must have pain meds to get out of bed.  Dunno when will be well.  Everyone else healthy.  Vacation over tomorrow.

No blog features for a while.  Must cancel all games I run indefinitely.  Players please spread the word.  Will get back in touch when I have the good sense to stop myself from letting the entire world know I shit my pants.

Sense of humor still intact.

- Ark

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Screw Ya'll, I'm on Vacation!

Margaritaville, Cancún, 2007 - Back when I still used death sticks.

I'm off to the Texas coast.  See ya'll week after next!  Yee-haw!

- Ark

PS - It's a metaphorical 'screw ya'll,' you know - in a nice way. ;)

Craig Morgan - Redneck Yacht Club

Knee Deep - Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band - Toes

Jimmy Buffett - Cheeseburger In Paradise

Jimmy Buffett - MargaritaVille

Kenny Chesney - Summertime

Kenny Chesney - No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stars Without Number: A Whirlwind Tour of the Last Few Months

I've been horrible at updating readers on the progress of the intrepid crew of the Fat Tuesday.  I'll present a quick summation and bring you close to present time.  Hold your questions till the end of the lecture.

While exploring systems behind the 'Methan Veil', the PCs found a lost planet with medieval level technology named Normandie.  An apparently non-damaged, but not operating, Jump Gate was in orbit, which interested them quite a bit, but they decided to go scout the planet itself at first.

They quickly found a large land-war with six legged reptile horses and knights and shit going on, picked sides, and used their armed spacecraft, a grav tank, and a floating motorcycle to turn the tide and win the war. Well, actually, the Boy popped the enemy king with a sniper rifle from like two miles away and ended the war before it began, but the PCs had to have some fun now, didn't they?  It would have been a complete slaughter fest, but the enemy had teleport ninjas that crashed their spacecraft upside down in a forest full of pine, which promptly caught on fire from the heat of the engines.

Eventually they patched their ship back up and left, but not without the King granting the players each 50 acres of land, peasants to farm the land, and giving Captain Goodnight two squires, a handmaiden, and his youngest daughter's hand in marriage.  Surprisingly, Captain Goodnight got hitched to Princess Evangelyne, who only spoke archaic French, but was a wiz at heraldry, the abacus, and 13th century encryption techniques.

They also fought an 1/8th of a mile wide crazy AI, rescued ancient German engineers from a decaying Battleship, and caused the nuclear annihilation of a medieval city, but that is neither here nor there.

So, the PCs hopped back to Metha and traded their information on the Jump Gate, as well as a map to every jump gate in the known galaxy, and even an entire library of engineering documents on how to recreate much of the lost technological wonders of humanity, to the crazy alien Methans.  I'm still wondering about that, and the campaign ramifications are going to be horrendous.  I mean, um, wonderful.  For me.  The evil GM.

They traded all of that for enough money to replace their aged, broken Patrol Scout class vessel for a brand new Frigate level ship.  But they didn't want to get thr new ship from the Methans.  No sir.  They look upon the Methans (rightly so,) as the Tinker Gnomes of the galaxy - only crazier.

So, they went to the nearest human planet with a high-tech ship yard - the bustling planet of White Chapel.  For six months the crew has been putzing around the planet,  attending parties, throwing parties, getting throw in jail, clearing out the occasional genetics laboratory complex 500 miles underground full of 30 feet high, eight legged wolf mutants and horses without heads whose entire bodies are plasma cannons, etc.  Captain Goodnight's Princess wife has been behaving like a princess, draining him of as much wealth as possible on dresses and university mind implant training.  AR-50, the bio-infiltration robot threw a 30,000 credit rave, which caused so much damage that it took 270,000 credits worth of lawyer fees and city fines to get him out of jail.  And so on.

So there we are, with the crew about to get their big, bad new ship, and then the next thing happened.  I'll tell you about all the problems they had later. :)

- Ark

Monday, July 2, 2012

Jealous Much?

Yeah, I am.  Jealous, that is.

This is an after-pic from the 2012 NTRPGCon Charity Game in which The Boy got to participate.  I'm not sure of the exact source of this picture - I just stumbled across it on my hard drive.  I probably rudely harvested it from someone else.  Shame on me.

Anyway, from Right to Left: Jim Ward, THE BOY, Steve Winter, Nogrod the High Bidder, Jennell Jaquays, Frank Mentzer, Tim Kask, Sandy Petersen, and Mr. Uhhh I. Dunno Sorry.

- Ark

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hobbit Doodles

The Boy and I have been listening to The Hobbit on audiobook this last week.  Audiobooks are nice since they keep my hands and eyes free - so I can doodle and take notes.  It's been probably thirty years since I read The Hobbit, and I am amazed about what I've forgotten.  I had no recollection of The Dungeon of the Necromancer, the Dwarves casting spells to hide their loot, or the Wood Elf tribes never having 'went to fairy' in their ancient past, thus not being as wise and magical as their high elf cousins.  Funny how that works.

Anyway, below are some horrific doodles and chicken-scratch notes.  Enjoy if you can.

- Ark