Dragon 387 - Confessions of an Overwhelmed Duckling, Part 2

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Dragon 387
Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard
An Overwhemed Duckling, Part 2

By Shelly Mazzanoble

Shelly picks up where she left off last time with a discussion of implementing the lessons she's learned from the PSG as well as from another little "gift" she found on her desk: the Player's Handbook Races: Tieflings.  She takes us along with her two Tieflings in a somewhat successful D&D Encounters game session, and in her core Wyld Stallyns game, which was not so successful.  Better make sure to learn what the symbols on the map-board mean…

It's a good thing she has a contemplative mother.

Talk about Shelly's column here.
387-confessions.jpg

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

With no disrespect, and I say that as I know how some folks take things, Shelly's article was enjoyable as it reminded me of my 9yr old daughter, who plays a wizard in every game she gets to join.

My daughter once tried to use an ogre as cover|concealment from the onslaught of a goblin wizard that kept hitting her with one of its spells.  Had it not been for a lucky death blow by her brother's fighter, and my daughter's idea to crouch down behind the body, it migth have turned out much much worse.

∴ "Virtus junxit, mors non separabit." 

Phobos, I love your daughter. I especially love this line: "...in every game she gets to join." I have a hard time NOT playing a wizard but I sometimes force myself to step out of my comfort zone (hence, Herteus the psion.) In our Dark Sun Encounters game I'm going to play a sorcerer. That's different. Sort of. 

Anyway, your story is great. Not disrespectful at all! I might employ your daughter's tactic in my next game.
"That’s great. Truly awesome. A spectacular exhibit of tactical genius."

Shelly, that made me laugh out loud!  Some bad luck there, falling down the stairs... easier to laugh about it now than at the time, right?  Right?   

And, regardless of how the dice fell that sesssion, anyone who brings a "I want to play better" attitude alone, sets a great example and simply makes the game more fun for everyone there. 

I really enjoy your detailed actual D&D session scenes and snippets.  Your good-natured and humorous take is a bonus. 

And speaking of bonuses... time for cake!

LEONINE ROAR : Amp Up Your D&D Game : Visit my D&D blog :: FASTER COMBAT : Crush Your Combat Grind

Thanks, Kilsek!

I'm pretty sure I laughed about it when it happened too but yes, much funnier now that it's over. What I should have noted was that later that day I fell UP the stairs going into my condo. Nice. I guess it was something in the air.

It's always time for cake! If we do a PSG 2, I'm going to ask R&D if I can include some recipes.  
I read the article, and found the content enjoyable, but really felt that the piece could use an editing pass. You refer to many rules by odd names, mention game mechanics that aren't relevant to the situation, and have a layman's grasp of grammar.

I hold Dragon to the same standard as I would any paid periodical, and only want the best for it and its readers.
I read the article, and found the content enjoyable, but really felt that the piece could use an editing pass. You refer to many rules by odd names, mention game mechanics that aren't relevant to the situation, and have a layman's grasp of grammar.

I hold Dragon to the same standard as I would any paid periodical, and only want the best for it and its readers.



It's almost like there was suppose to be some humor involved, and seem like it was radom thought in spots.  How odd is that.

I told my daughter at her end of school party how you thought using ogre cover was a great idea. 

∴ "Virtus junxit, mors non separabit." 

I read the article, and found the content enjoyable, but really felt that the piece could use an editing pass. You refer to many rules by odd names, mention game mechanics that aren't relevant to the situation, and have a layman's grasp of grammar.

I hold Dragon to the same standard as I would any paid periodical, and only want the best for it and its readers.



Correcting grammar in an article that uses an intentionally colloquial writing style? Doesn't that defeat the point?

These articles are written to reflect the writer's thoughts and views, and portray her gaming experiences. Most mentions of the rules and mechanics are tied to those experiences - why would you remove them? Which references specifically are bothering you? I don't see any that look out of place or misnamed, myself.
I read the article and laughed and laughed Shelly. I enjoyed the interplay between you and mom as well as the interplay between you and yoru gaming group. OK, so you need some help with the rest but you yourself sound like a very fun person to know with an excellent sense of humor and the ability to laugh at yourself. We all need to lighten up a little. Maybe, you need to play with a group that play's with Wrecan's Lucky Classes, you sound like someone who can make the descriptive portions of that class really work.

smiles

I read the article and thought it was funny and enjoyed it, both for content and style. Pay no attention to the complaint.

But I have to call out the DM on the staircase thing. Sounds like there was either a poorly-drawn map, or else a pre-printed dungeon tile was used. The DM didn't describe it well to the player -- the character, being present in the room and looking at the "real" staircase or column, could never have made that mistake. That's the DM's problem, not the players. Make the room feel real, and this wouldn't happen.

Maybe Shelly wasn't paying attention when the room was described. If that happens all the time, okay, maybe it's fair. Otherwise, this isn' t a game of chutes and ladders. The map is there to help visualize the action, not be the action. The DM should have said: "Sorry, the map isn't clear -- you can't step there without risking a fall. You still want to do that?"
You know, despite the marketing aspect of the article being a bit too "in your face" for my taste, the vignettes between Shelly and her mother, and the description of the myconid battle were so vivid and true, that I really enjoyed this article, much more than Part I.  Nicely done.  It feels a lot like your initial articles.
As much as I love blaming New DM for things, this one was totally my fault. I probably wasn't paying attention when he was describing the room. I think I was so focused on moving around so that it looked like I was thinking strategically, that I ended up blocking out some of the important details. It's actually fine to stand back and fire off magic missiles. I'm a wizard! That's what we do!

Shteevle, I agree. Grammar and spelling are not my strong suit. I've been reading since I was 5 and writing since I was 7 and never learned how or why to use a comma. Michele Carter said that when she was editing Confessions (the book, not the column) it was like "opening up a box of commas and dumping them on my manuscript." Hey, I was taught, "when in doubt, leave it out." I'm always in doubt so I just pretend they don't exist. Commas are my nemesis.  


Shelly, thanks for the frank reply.

I would find it easier to follow the recountings of the gameplay if you capitalized the names of powers and monsters. This would help to differentiate between what was actually going on, and the colorful phrases you are using to describe the action.

As a critique, a bloodied Controller flanked by Brutes might be better served by taking a Second Wind or Full Defense action, then running to safety. The +2 to all defenses will help you avoid the Opportunity Attacks. Once behind safety, or at least the defender, an Action Point used to deal some damage is a good way to get revenge. I play a Leader in one game, and I have big appreciation for players who use Second Wind without being nagged into doing so.

I'll continue to read your columns, and I again thank you for taking a forum post - not exactly the most discrete communication - as constructive, and not destructive criticism.

As a critique, a bloodied Controller flanked by Brutes might be better served by taking a Second Wind or Full Defense action, then running to safety. The +2 to all defenses will help you avoid the Opportunity Attacks. Once behind safety, or at least the defender, an Action Point used to deal some damage is a good way to get revenge. I play a Leader in one game, and I have big appreciation for players who use Second Wind without being nagged into doing so.


Heh. See, I'd disagree with the use of second wind early on, especially at low levels. A flanked, bloodied controller might end being dropped even with the extra hit points and defenses from second wind, and then the choices are getting a leader heal (which may have run out) or getting stabilized (DC 15 Heal check, which isn't easy). On the other hand, triggering a second wind is a DC 10 Heal check, which many more PCs can pull off reliably.


I can see the total defense, but I'd say that simply fleeing isn't a bad idea. Brutes tend to be swingy, and there's a decent chance both will miss anyway, assuming they're near-level brutes. That way, you can get more attacks out, which eliminates them faster.


Bottom line is, in my opinion, the tactics are fairly sound at the level where the fight is taking place.

I'm always a big fan of Shelly's articles.  This one and the last one especially, but pretty much all of them make me squeal and laugh.  It's like seeing a really, really cute baby animal trip and fall and get all embarrassed.  In this case, I'm imagining a duckling doing it.

It's funny because of the self-deprecating humour and the humour born from the challenges posed by the various challenges by the campaigns.  Maybe it's because I can relate with the D&D experiences of early struggles, but know that I've advanced to a point that it's like nostalgic memory, and the way Shelly talks about it is very frank and a nice window into her life and her relationship with D&D.

It's like a series of fun, humorous memoirs, and I hope she keeps writing them in Dragon.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

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