Dragon 393 - Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard: Tomb of Meowers

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Dragon 393
Confessions of a Full-Time Wizard: Tomb of Meowers
by Shelly Mazzanoble

You think you know the Tomb of Horrors? Not like this you don't.

Talk about this Article here.




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I am a cat/booze/RPG person, and I am still trying to redeem the time invested in reading this article.

Lemme try: Shelly started to get uncomfortable when she began to associate the Gamma Cats to the real things in a highly lethal environment.  Would a totally different mechanics setup enable enjoyable play? Yeah, the cats had nine lives, but apparently that wasn't enough (it's just extending the current mechanics).

Would a "Heroes of Hesiod" setup work better? Or a "Bonk" system ala Teenagers from Outer Space? These tend to change the tenor of Tomb of Horrors, but c'mon. It's already full of mutant cats with jet boots.
D&DNext: HTFU Edition

The regenerating cats cheat was my idea; the Tomb of Horrors is supposed to be deadly, but to provide some continuity, I decided that anytime any of the cats died, they would reanimate back at the lab. But, since this was Gamma World, while the name of the regenerating cat would be the same, it would be an entirely different character (new origins, etc.). That way, plenty of characters to run through, and still the same party (for the hand-waving purpose of keeping the narrative somewhat more cohesive).

It didn't make it into the article, but half the party fell into lava shortly thereafter.

When Shelly announced that she was done writing about Gamma World the D&D Players Guild celebrated. And I mean really really celebrated--there were balloons and everything.

Shelly is the D&D Player in Chief. She made Magic Missile ALWAYS HIT! Her position grants her great power and great responsibility. Her skills are COMPLETELY wasted on Gamma World. 

We need her back.

We need her thoughts on the awesomeness of the Essentials Rogue and the Failure of the Cavalier--we need her focus on the game we love, not on a chromatically embalmed mystical radish with laser beams for eyes.

Gamma World is a distraction--it is time for the Player in Chief to return to her true calling! I mean we have a online character builder that does not allow for custom portraits, right? How could that possible happen on her watch?

 
David, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I thought I was done and then this whole cat thing came up. Like Bart alluded to, there's about 30 pages of notes from that night that didn't make it into the column. And I PROMISE-- this won't be a 2-parter. (Even though Zelda insists it's way more interesting than anything I could come up with.)

I can talk about the Essentials Rogue. I play one in Encounters. I however, am not awesome at playing her. I'm here for you. I have failed you for the last time. (But come on-- Gamma World is kind of awesome, isn't it? Okay, okay, I'm done! Pinky swear.) 
Then there are those of us who enjoy your recountings of your gaming sessions no matter what you're playing. I was actually hoping there'd be a part 2 to this article, and we'd get to see what became of our band of feline adventurers. (Apparently, soup, from what Bart said.)

Oh, and this one's going in my file of Best Lines Ever: "Whenever I cross the threshold of my condo, Zelda, my cat, gets an attack of opportunity."

I think I'm in love with Zelda. Reminds me of my own genius baby girl, Sugarfoot. (That's her in my avatar pic.) A couple sessions ago, a member of our gaming group was in the bathroom, and we suddenly hear him yell, "What the hell, cat?" Apparently, while he was taking care of business, Sugarfoot came charging into the bathroom through the connecting door and leaped up onto the back of the toilet, startling him. While he was bent over, wiping up the resulting ... results, she jumped onto his back and started riding him around the bathroom.

I think, to be a cat person, you have to appreciate the aesthetics of serene chaos. Taking evil glee in watching your cats torment your friends isn't actually a requirement. It's more of a perk.
Cats + D&D = dancing minis and flying dice    This is a true fact.

My cat loves D&D waaaaaay too much. There's just so many little things to push around and so many ways to p**s me off.

Here's a question for you:  Are cat lovers drawn to D&D, or are D&D lovers drawn to cats?  There's definitely a connection.

BTW,  thanks for the article. Lots of fun
@Style75, you're welcome! Zelda's pleasure. You pose an interesting question. I'm not sure as I came into cat-ownerhood late in life. And I can't say I'm so much a "cat lover" as a "Zelda care and provider." Oh, okay. I love her. I just bought her premium pet insurance to prove it.

@jonsp, Sugarfoot is a great name! I might steal it, okay? She sounds like even more of a handful than Zelda. And she's quite interesting looking. She looks rather fox-like.  
Gamma world is the greatest thing precisely because it's the only thing in DnD that lets you play as a giant sentient swarm of kittens.
I wasn't quite certain what I was supposed to make of the article.  Seemed slightly jumbled, though I identified with your feelings about "Cat people" and the way Cats treat people.  I did enjoy the bit about the Cats having 9 lives as a way to explain their survival.  Pretty clever. 
I think, to be a cat person, you have to appreciate the aesthetics of serene chaos. Taking evil glee in watching your cats torment your friends isn't actually a requirement. It's more of a perk.



Yep, quite a perk it is.
As a cat lover you have to know how to just let people be themselves and be OK with not being able to change anything about them.

EDIT:
P.S.
It's not the problem that she's writing about Gamma World so much.
The real problem is she doesn't have TWO articles to write about current stuff, then another for all the random stuff that I love reading her articles for. Loved the one where she got her parents to play.
"Internet moderators have as much intelligence as the Sahara Desert has rain." - RubicantX ORC's are not known for high Int stats.
Cats + D&D = dancing minis and flying dice


It's why I've not considered hosting a D&D session at my house; one of my six cats is called Loki, and he lives up to his name.
Tibis Refugee of many worlds
Well, I thought the article was funny as hell Cool
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