Saturday, May 14, 2011, 10:25 AM
This certainly couldn’t get any worse, Gregor thought to himself, this place is a dump. The bar wasn’t that crowded which was to be expected considering the recent events. It was one of only a few buildings left intact after the bandit attack. Probably because the bandits didn’t want to take a chance of destroying any of the ale stored in the basement below. The town was mostly wiped out otherwise and more than half of the population had already left. Gregor pulled up a stool and flagged down a bar maid. He ordered three drinks; one for himself and two for his sneaky, boozer companion, Ambrose. “So we are stuck here for a ten day, eh?”
“Seems so. The bridge is out and without it we have no way of crossing that river.” He was barely paying attention to the conversation. Ambrose’s attention was elsewhere, scanning the room for marks. A boisterous laugh from an obvious drunk, stumbling dwarf made him smile. Gregor followed his friend’s gaze and frowned.
“Careful with that one. He will be on guard considering the recent attack. We don’t need you pissing people off and getting us tossed from another town.” Ambrose was already up cracking his fingers and smiling. He downed both drinks, smiled and winked saying, “ I’ll leave him that tool belt so he can finish working on the bridge. And you’re one to talk! Your blood thirst is going to get the best of us. Your last indiscretion nearly cost us dearly. A smart man would wait until the nuptials to feast on the bride’s maids. I am surprised the wedding is still on and that we still have a job delivering this stupid invitation after what you did to that poor maiden. But I don’t judge. You can thank me later for getting us on the road so quickly and away from tiresome questions. Now be a good friend and check on our other companions while I go introduce myself to that hard working young dwarf.” Ambrose was already stepping away, a smile on his face and a gleam in his eye, “My good dwarf, how goes it...” With a sigh, Gregor finished his drink and located his other “companions”, a group of three adventurers they had met while traveling to Sarthel. They were off in a corner, deep in conversation with some pompous looking mage who’s crap obviously didn’t stink. He made his way over and listened in.
“And that is the last anyone ever saw of either on them, Evard dead and entombed and Vontarin disappeared or possibly obliterated. I am investigating the tomb in the morning and I might have a need for a few strong men to guard me as I do my ummm, investigating.” More like pilfering.
“We seem to have some time. I am sure if your coin is good, we could come to some kind of arrangement.” Everyone turned as Gregor walked up and spoke. The mage sneered, offended at the thought that his money wasn’t as genuine as his obvious prestige. “Why not go right now? We have nothing better to do tonight it seems.”
The mage’s face turned pale as he stuttered through the words, “Uh...well, I mean, what about the ghosts.” He composed himself almost instantly, trying to cover up his cowardice but it was too late. “Which are obviously silly tales. Regardless, I need my rest and will be going tomorrow. Join me if you want. It makes no difference to me.” Gregor started to make a joke at the mage’s expense but was interrupted by the sound of shattering glass and a scream. One of the barmaids had dropped her serving tray full of drinks and let out an awful cry and pointed toward the top of the stairs leading down to the cellar. The barkeep was on the top step laying on the floor, clearly dead or close to it, large claw marks pouring blood from his back. A gargoyle towered partly over him seeming to grow in stature as he climbed up the stairs. The room went almost dark, the candle light dimming, shimmering in a weird half light. Outside, cries rang out and wisps of smoke seemed to flow from people’s mouths, their exhales reacting to a sudden drop in temperature.
Chaos erupted as windows exploded inward, two gargoyles flying in, randomly attacking the patrons. Gregor was knocked to the floor as one flew over him and slashed him with it’s deadly claws. Out of nowhere, a shadowy figure appeared and literally began draining Gregor’s life force with a ghostly touch. So much for there not being any ghosts, he grimly thought. And things definitely got worse. Gregor screamed out, clearly in agony as he kicked out at the figure, trying to distance himself from it. The figure, almost insubstantial had some bit of mass and went sprawling over a table reeling from the kick. Gregor disappeared and suddenly appeared again sprawled out on a nearby stage, bleeding but otherwise out of harm’s way.
“If you are going to be up here, try not to get blood on me. This cloak is brand new, courtesy of my new drunk friend over there.” Ambrose had reacted to the sudden appearance of the shadowy figures and window smashing gargoyles in his typical fashion. He leaped onto the stage, sliding back in to a corner, hidden in shadows. His voice calling out from the dark would have startled someone else, but Gregor was used to his “style” of fighting. “Glad to see you are able to lend a hand here. What would we do without you?”
“I’ll help. Don’t you worry. But I have a strict policy about getting blood on myself. Look at you. You look horrible. Pick yourself up for goodness sakes, have some dignity.”
“I’m working on it. Do me a favour and put a dagger in that gargoyle.” The gargoyle that initially knocked Gregor to the floor with a deadly slash of claws had circled around. Although it was confused by Gregor’s sudden disappearance, the gargoyle quickly located him after scanning the room and following the scent of his blood. He landed and began stalking toward the wounded vampire. “Not a chance sir. He might come after me instead.” Typical. Gregor stood up, grimacing in pain and suddenly surged forward, slamming into the gargoyle, knocking him back and nearly breaking it’s skull.
“Duck!!” came a shout and Gregor dropped to the floor as a dagger flew by, ending up protruding from the eye socket of the gargoyle. “Look at that, Gregor! I am ridiculously good! How’s that for help?” Ambrose slid back into the shadows.
Two more shadowy figures seemed to melt out of the walls, both converging on the group of companions who were just moments ago talking to the pompous mage. Artemis, a cleric in the group smiled and began singing a battle hymn to his god while withdrawing his holy hammer. Blinding, radiant light shown as he swung and struck the advancing shadow spawn, punishing it with the blow. The other shadow spawn advanced but was beaten back with a swipe from the sword of a dragonborn beast of a figure. The great sword Ryven wielded sliced through the air connecting hard against the side of the other shadow spawn. It howled and slashed back with it’s claws but Ryven danced away.
The gargoyle emerged fully from the basement, evening up the “good” versus bad guys in the fight; even, had the mage not high tailed it out the door, along with the rest of the patrons in the bar. The gargoyle immediately dove right onto the remaining companion, a paladin named Samuel of the Shining Order. Samuel was hard pressed as it was, struggling with the shadow spawn kicked over a table by Gregor. It had recovered it’s feet leaping onto Samuel, clawing and biting. Several blows hit Samuel from both the monsters and he fell to the floor, dead or unconscious. Both monsters stared at each other wanting the taste of human flesh. The gargoyle backed down, fearful of the shadow spawn’s touch and turned its attention on the Dragonborn and the cleric, The shadow spawn looked down at the fallen paladin with hunger in its eyes, a beast delightfully about to eat a snack. Artemis, reacting to Samuel’s fall, began a different chant. Samuel’s body jolted and his eyes fluttered open. Not dead yet thanks to a healing word. “Hey rogue, a little help would be appreciated.” He had seen Ambrose appear, toss a dagger and disappear again.
“Your fine,” came a voice and Ambrose stayed put. Gregor smiled, amused at his friend’s infuriating self preservation tactics. It would be interesting seeing Ambrose calm the others down after this fight was done. No matter how selfish he was in a fight he never failed to talk himself out of the one that often almost erupted afterwards. Gregor turned toward the shadow spawn, ignoring the dying gargoyle flailing about with the dagger still stuck in its eye. He stared at the monster and his gaze began drawing the life from the shadow spawn. Wounds healed on Gregor and the shadow spawn trembled in pain.
On the other side of the room, Artemis and Ryven were making progress with the two dark shadow spawns, both monsters shying away from the radiant light emitting from the cleric. But they looked to be losing the upper hand when the barkeep-killing gargoyle took flight and flew directly at Ryven. He barreled over the blackguard, nearly knocking him to the floor. Its claws came in but just as they were about to connect, a dagger whistled through the air and landed firmly in its neck. Gurgling noses began as its throat began filling with blood. Artemis crushed a shadow spawn with an immense holy strike, it’s dead body sliding to the ground. Filled with battle rage from the shadow spawn’s death, Ryven struck the gargoyle with a mighty blow seeming to do more damage than normal. The gargoyle was bloodied severely after the attack! Seeing an opportunity, Ambrose bolted from the shadows, leaping off the stage, somersaulting off a chair to land on a table standing directly over the shadow spawn caught in Gregor’s deadly gaze. He plunged two daggers into it’s face, finishing it off. With a wink at Gregor and a wicked smile spread across his face he leaped straight into the air doing a back flip and a twist to land behind the gargoyle Ryven was about to finish. Two deadly daggers buried deeply into the gargoyle’s back stole the kill from the black guard.
Suddenly facing horrible odds, the two remaining monsters decided on a hasty retreat. The shadow spawn faded away disappearing into the darkness. The gargoyle lept into the air, flying through the window and out into the night.
The group assessed their situation. Only Gregor and Samuel seemed hurt. The rest made it through the battle pretty much unscathed. Ambrose was smiling ear to ear, in his mind clearly the king of the room. Artemis moved to one of the broken windows, standing before a gaping hole in the wall. The scene outside was chaos. People screaming, out of their minds with fear. It was dark and the sky was shimmering and gloomy all at once. Weird sounds came from beyond the town’s walls where nothing could be seen. It all seemed void of light and more importantly void of heat. There was a general feeling of despair blanketing over everything. Artemis felt dread and he just wanted to lay down and die. He didn’t notice Gregor standing beside him, sharing his view. “Well this sucks. We are certainly not in Faerun anymore. What the hell is this place..."
Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 9:51 AM
(MunchkinQuest before the D&D session)
After meeting up in town and picking up a jovial dwarven battle priest named Valen (or meat shield as he would later become known as) the three adventurous heroines made their way back to the goblin cave. Lilith decided that she was not that amazing with the two-handed sword, her near-death experience made her not so happy to be in the front taking all the hits, so she decided to embrace her true calling and become a Ranger. (she has ten level 25 hunters in WoW. Yes, she can’t stick with one…her attention span is non-existent) Moonstar changed a few of her abilities around after reading over the Rogue class in the essentials book and we fleshed out Nightengaile a bit more basically copying the current Mage from Encounters. Valen is the female cleric from Encounters only with more testosterone, more facial hair and less boobs.
The four adventurers were making their way back to the goblin caves when suddenly they were attacked by a couple of wolves and the same number of Goblin Cuttthroats. Low initiative rolls for most of the PCs meant that all the bad guys save Moonstar got to attack first. The goblins were too far to engage the group in melee but they moved in and both threw daggers at the dwarf. One missed one crit. Ow! Moonstar tumbled right into the middle of the two goblins, attacked one and hit, was able to damage the second one for two additional points (which elicited a squeal of delight from my precious baby girl) and was then able to move away out of direct harm. The wolves circled around and flanked Lilith, biting at her legs, one scoring a hit. She moved away, shifting one spot before doing so, (We read her aspect wrong. I though it let her shift then move but it actually lets you shift at the end of your turn. She was so proud that she figured out how to shift without taking an opportunity attack from the wolves that I just let her play that way for the rest of the night. We will correct it before the next session) and got some distance and used Rapid Fire to hit both of the wolves. Valen healed himself and stayed near the mage to protect her since her companions decided to just leave her there all alone. (This would be a theme for the night. Both my girls chose self-preservation over protecting their mom in both encounters) Nightengaile used Arc Lightning on the two goblins and decided to stay near the dwarf. Round one was done.
The rest of the battle was much of the same. The goblins decided to change targets, switching to the rogue that injured them both.
I learned something about my youngest daughter at this point. She gets so mad when monsters attack her. Not mad like, “I want to take revenge on those evil monsters” but more of the “daddy, I blame you for them attacking me!” She would give me the evil eye every time one decided to attack her. I tried to reason with her later on in the night. “Honey, the monsters are just like you. They have abilities that they want to use to protect themselves. Don’t you want them to protect themselves?”
“No. I don’t want them hitting me at all.” I smiled, amused that she just wanted to kill stuff but not get killed back. I tried not to laugh at her angriness every time she got hit but my wife said I failed miserably at that when we talked about it later on that night. I couldn’t help it…it was just cracking me up so much.
Fast forward to one wolf left and Valen bloodied and being attacked.
“Hurry honey! The wolf looks like he is about to gnaw off one of Valen’s hands!” Lilith looks down at her abilities, thinks for a second and screams, “What if I use trick shot and knock it prone?!?!?” I smile, so freaking happy and tell her that it’s an excellent idea! She rolls, hits, knocks the wolf down and it spends its next action getting up, giving Valen some breathing room. The wolf decides that it had had enough and starts to run away. The party chases it down and kills it.
They recover, rest and decide to press on. Valen boasts on how well he did in the fight. “Well at what? Getting eaten by wolves?” my wife chides. Ahem. Anyway. Using a Dungeoneering and Perception check, they ascertain that the path leading through the double doors to the room with the horse tied up is the better direction to take. Looking at the two rooms from my perspective, it seemed like the path leading up to the room with the rat people probably had more tracks so I told them the other one seemed less likely to have a ton of creatures to fight. Moonstar listens at the door, tells the party that she hears a single set of foot falls and maybe a fire. They decide a marching order and burst through the doors. The scene erupts into chaos. Poor initiative rolls save Lilith means that the monsters act first. There are three visible targets, both goblin cutthroats and a tied-up horse. They are fixated on the horse and keep asking me about it. I have Nightengaile make an Insight check, she passes and I tell them it looks an awful lot like the horse the masked rider was riding.
"Maybe the masked rider is good, the merchant was bad and they captured the masked rider. Ooow the horse is pretty." That was Katlyn.
"Goblins are attacking!!!" I scream.
"But what about the horse?"
"It's not moving at all. It's just giving you a horsey look. GOBLINS!!!"
One goblin attacks and the other races to a door, looking to escape. Or so they thought. Lilith moves away from the group to put some space between her and her attacker. She puts an arrow in his side and then focuses on the goblin running to the door. She screams, “ Stop him before he gets away!” but it is too late. He opens the door, but instead of running through, he turns and throws a dagger at Valen. The group hears a loud roar, and suddenly a Drake barrels through the door, knocking the goblin aside. My youngest daughter looks at the monster token and asks, “Daddy is that a dragon?” fear in her little eyes. I smile. She is so cute. “No honey, maybe a baby, baby dragon. But he looks like he wants to grow up to be one so he needs to eat. He is charging at you because you look like a tasty little snack.”
She rolls her eyes, “Of course he is attacking me” and gives me an evil look again. The drake misses and Valen knocks him on his head. Moonstar tumbles into range to hit the goblin Lilith attacked, hits and then moves over by her the ranger. Nightengaile looks at the dwarf, he nods for her to go so she moves over by the rogue and ranger and lets fly an Arc bolt that hits a goblin (it’s now bloodied) and the drake. Hearing all of this commotion, the goblin hexmage from the other room sneaks in, moves and sees the group of females in the corner and drops a green cloud on them, making it hard for them to see and to attack effectively.
Round two starts, and Valen almost dies from three separate attacks (see, meat shield). Lilith Rapid Fires two targets and succeeds, nearly killing one goblin. Moonstar dances in and out of combat attacking the goblin that let the drake into the room, critting it. Valen heals himself, uses an action point and heals himself again and moves to put himself between the monsters and the girls. Nightengaile sees an opportunity to burst three targets with some ice cold pain and kills one goblin, angering the drake and bloodying the other cutthroat. The hexmage fires a blast at the rogue, hits and when she asks “how much damage?” I inform her that it is zero but she feels really strange and should probably stay put for a bit. She gives me that look again.
Round three sees Valen hit again from the goblin, a blow he shrugs off. Oddly he begins singing and the girls laugh at his funny rhyming gibberish. Lilith trick shots the hexmage, hitting and knocking it back into a flaming brazier and catching it on fire. It curses and drops the hex cloud it had cast round one. Katlyn is excited that Lilith was able to take the hexmage out of combat for a turn as he has to spend his turn putting himself out. Valen heals himself yet again, Moonstar starts to tumble into an attack but when she takes damage for doing so, she is furious. I remind her that she felt strange and that she probably shouldn’t have moved around too much. “What happened to me?”
“The hexmage put a stinging hex on you. When you moved, it went off.” Luckily the damage wasn’t severe and she was able to continue her attack, a miss on the remaining cutthroat. She probably screwed her roll up because she was so mad about Moonstar taking damage again. The drake attacks and crits Valen nearly killing him. The hexmage uses his action to douse the flame and then moves behind the drake, trying to get out of sight of the adventurers. Nightengaile fires a lightning bolt at the cutthroat, missing, but it bounced off and hit the drake, critting and killing it!
The last round starts and Lilith uses her encounter power to hit the hexmage and daze him. Valen holds his action (both the hexmage and the remaining cutthroat were near death and I wanted the girls to have the killing blows) saying he was ready to heal if needed. Moonstar danced in behind the cutthroat, killing him with a backstab. The hexmage, dazed couldn’t move but he fired a blinding hex at Valen. “Arrgh, my eyes are gone, I can’t see, someone toast that mage for me!!” Nightengaile fired a shot at the mage, hit and the now dead goblin slumped to the floor.
We decided to end there because it was Kristina’s bed time. We all had fun. Even Kristina despite getting beat on. Katlyn asked if they were getting XP and I told them how much. “Woot! We are half way to level two!” (Yes, we say woot in my household.)
We will probably start playing every Tuesday night. My wife laughs at me later telling me how silly I looked as I was beaming with pride every time one of the girls did something cool. She admitted that she had a lot of fun. Not WoW fun (we love leveling characters on there) but we are getting there. At one point during the fight, on her turn she says, “Finally, I have been waiting for those dorks to get grouped together so I could Ice Burst them!” That was so hot hearing her say that. She is awesome.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 9:48 AM
So we spent our Sunday afternoon learning to play D&D. "We" included my wife, Hope, and my two daughters, Kristina (11) and Katlyn (15). Obviously there was much whining and complaining about being a nerd and playing a guy's game and I even had to threaten to ground Katlyn from her phone because she didn't want to get her lazy butt off the couch to come play. "What!?!?! That's not fair!, " she says. "I know, but I am your dad and you have to do what I say and I say you have to come kill goblins with me!"
Hope started, chose to play a mage, naming her Nightengaile. I read all the parts to her in the one player adventure, prompting her for decisions along the way. She picked the game up quickly, mostly because I compared everything to WoW, a game we play together from time to time.
"Return my stolen lockbox to me please kind mage!"
"See baby, that guy has an exclamation point over his head! It's a quest like in WoW!" She accepts, decides not to question any goblin survivors and makes off to find the cave. She makes quick work of the goblins inside and is soon off to town to find help for future adventures. I have to keep making Kristina leave the room because she is chomping at the bit to get started. As soon as I finish the last paragraph and commend Hope for her excellent work, Kristina rushes in exclaiming, "my turn! my turn!"
We start building her character sheet, and soon, Moonstar, her sneaky Ninja rogue comes to life. I explain skill checks to her. "Ok, so roll this D20 to see if you can Stealth into the bathroom and scare your Mom. If you can beat your Agility score you succeed" She rolls a 10, adds her modifier and it's 19. She gets up from her chair, sneaks down the hall, and screams "Boo!" at her mom who is talking to Katlyn in the bathroom. "I passed my Stealth check so I was able to sneak up on you and scare you!" I hear Kristina say. She runs back in and blurts out, "you should have seen her jump, what's next?" (Hook)
She handles the first encounter and then decides to question a survivor. Passing both her Heal and Intimidation skill checks, she revives a near dead goblin, scares the crap out of him and forces him to spill the beans. She is the only one of the three with all the information and I commend her on her excellent work. Moonstar makes her way to the cave undetected but unfortunately fails to surprise any of the goblins inside because of a very low initiative roll. Three of the four goblins swarm her, she fends them off taking only minor damage and kills one quickly electing to Bump and Run to put some distance between her and the rest of the motley crew. She moves away and enters the trees near the cave and what happens next nearly makes me cry I was so happy.
"Daddy, can I climb that tree for the rest of my move?"
"It's Dungeon Master Daddy please."
"Whatever, can I?"
"Well you still have two spaces you can go (her speed was 7 and I made her use two to move into the trees which was rough terrain) but that tree is a pretty tough climb. Make an Acrobatic check against your Agility and if you make it, you succeed."
"Ok, it's this big dice right?"
"Yep!" She picks up the D20 and rolls it.
"I rolled 29 with my Acrobatic bonus!"
"Woohoo! You rolled a 20. You critted your check!"
"Wait, what? Is that good?"
"That's awesome! You climbed that tree so well that you still have another space you can go."
"Well can I jump to that other tree then?"
"Sure you little ninja monkey!"
She jumps to another tree, taking her deeper into cover. The other goblin finally shows up and all three peer into the trees, trying to find the intruder. One passes a perception check, sees her and tries to fire an arrow at her. It misses. He decides to make his way into the trees to get to her but the other two want none of that and make their way to the other side of the little copse of trees. Moonstar drops from the tree, right on top of the goblin that shot at her and quickly kills him. He screams out and the two remaining goblins split up, one coming back to investigate, the other continuing around to the other side. Moonstar moves to the edge of the copse and decides to Stealth at the edge of the trees. The goblin walks right up to her and she jumps out, screams "AHA!" (not kidding. she actually says AHA! to me as she jumps out. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing) and she quickly kills the goblin. She sneaks back into the tree line. The last goblin makes his way back around but stops short when he sees his dead friend on the ground near the tree line. He quickly decides he wants nothing more of this ninja assassin and turns around and starts running away. Moonstar takes off after him. Kristina counts out the spaces between the goblin and her rogue, picks up one of her skill cards and I can see the little wheels turning in her head.
"Daddy, er DM Daddy, he is nine spaces away from me right?" I count the spots and confirm.
"Can I move seven and then use this to catch him and attack?" She holds up Deft Strike. I choke back a tear, get up from my seat, hug my beautiful child and say, " Why yes, you certainly can." I text my wife who is in the next room, doing homework: "This is one of the happiest moments of my life!"
Moonstar makes quick work of the last goblin, inspects the cave and decides to come back with more people later. Well, the story decides for her because when I read the part where it says, "you decide that the goblin lair is too much for your alone you decide to come back with more friends" she says, "really? It didn't look like it was too much for me. I'm Ninja!" holding up her little imaginary dagger, squinting her little eyes and staring me down.
Katlyn is next, and she decides to play a sword wielding heroines named Lilith. She defends the wagon, accepts the quest to find the stolen box and quickly finds the cave. A low initiative roll and she finds herself quickly surrounded by three goblins. After taking some damage, she kills one but instead of retreating, she runs past the other two, going deeper into the cave. As she rounds a corner, she nearly crashed into the last goblin, who is drawing an arrow to step around the corner and fire at her. He fumbles and misses. The other two goblins rush her, one hits, the other misses, and she turns and kills one. "I wish I could hit them both at the same time. Can I do that?"
"Not yet honey, but you can later on as your skills grow." She squeals a bit at that, looking ahead to when she gains enough XP to level up and get new skills. (Line!) The goblin behind her fires again and hits and so does the one next to her, slicing her with it's sword. She kills it, and turns toward the last goblin with the bow. He stares at the now bloodied, crazy warrior woman, decides he has had enough and takes off, throwing his bow at her as he does. He leaps a fire trying to get away, not having the time to go around it. Lilith takes off after him, decides to leap the fire as he did, but trips and stumbles threw it. (failed Athletic check) She catches herself on fire, and has to spend her standard action to put herself out. The goblin stops, turns, withdraws his sword and attacks. He hits and as she is still trying to put the fire out, hits her again, critting this time and drops her to one hit point. I can see the tension in Katlyn's face as Lilith is facing death. She asks if she can use a healing surge for her standard action and I say yes. (I found out later from Will that you can't do this but I would have let her even if I had known she couldn't) She heals back up, takes another hit from the goblin and finally, with the fire out, she slashes him with her sword and wins the day. Man, intense!
I finish up the story, and immediately Kristina (she had been watching her big sister, sitting next to me) and Katlyn both said, "when can we play the next part?" (And sinker!) They both wanted to play after dinner but I tell them I have to get prepared for the next adventure and put them off to later in the week.
It was great. I can't wait to DM the next encounter. I am going to run a Cleric for them as an NPC. As my wife and I were sitting on the couch, she looks up at me and smiles seeing the big goofy grin on my face. I look at her and say, "that was awesome. Do you think after they grown up and get married that they will drag their husbands here for Tuesday night D&D with their DM Daddy?"
Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 10:57 AM
FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN DAY 3 and 15 at goingpro.lifewithdave.net
Before I jump into this, I'll make a few comments about yesterday. I had intended on playing in four Daily Events but after not winning packs in either of the first two events I got mad, started hating Magic and quit for the rest of the day. Ended up doing a bit of homework for school, messed around with WoW and even watchedÂ a movie with the wife. I had written a brief recap, recorded some games, etc from the day but somehow in my angry state, I forgot to upload the post or even save a draft of it. All you need to know is that I went 2-2 in the first tournament and 1-2 in the following one. The only highlight was some Jund player making fun of me for playing my deck while I was crushing his soul. He did however make a prediction that I probably wouldn't win another match in the tournament with the deck and that turned out to be true. So, screw you guy and your dumb curse. There are a couple of uploaded videos from yesterday if you want to take a look.
Anyways, jumped into another Daily today and quickly won my first match. You can see from the video that I did not have the greatest opening hand but I like running the 3/3 guy out on turn two against decks that I no clue what they are. Made a few errors in game one I think. Played a Forest over the Mutavault the next turn after the Vault got bounced. And I think I should have made a 3/3 dude with Garruk, which would have used up all of his loyalty tokens and then played the new one from my hand, giving me a chance to kill my opponent the following turn.
Game 2 wasn't really a game. He kept a two land hand and I went dude on 2,3 and 4. Game, thanks.
I love the below opening hand. It could have only been better if the Imperious Perfect was and Elvish Archdruid. I never felt like this game was ever out of my control. I made a huge mistake trying to go for Primal Command the turn after he cast Reveilark. To be honest, I saw an opponent tapped out and I totally overlooked the Noble Hierarch. I'd like to tell you I played it to get him to tap the Hierarch to counter the spell with the Archmage so I could attack for the win. I probably could have done this had I actually attacked forthe win following this. Luckily I win the next turn and am not punished for not paying attention to the game state.
I mulligan into a somewhat good hand but suddenly I am sad when he drops a turn two Putrid Leech. I hate that card. Luckily I haveAcidic Slime and when I draw Chameleon Colossus the following turn I am set. Unfortunately he has two Path to Exiles to counter my monsters. I make a pretty bad error when I cast the Slime on turn four. I target the Forest (Exotic Orchard) he has with it instead of the Vivid Marsh. I guess I was seeing Reflecting Pool.
I think he made an error on turn six targeting Noble Hierarch with Maelstrom Pulse instead of killing the mighty Devoted Druid. He killed his dude in the process and the Druid's ability to untap for an emergency blocker often catches people by surprise. I spend the rest of the game trying to protect my life total and I get lucky when I go to three. He doesn't draw anything to kill me and I am finally able to win it. I have to admit my draws toward the end were pretty damn hot.
Game one has disappeared. And to show you how bad my memory is, I can't remember what happened other than that I won! I did take a screen shot of a situation I had early on the game. He attacked me with a 3/3 Wild Nacatl and I was trying to decide if I should block with one of my Elves to keep him from casting Volcanic Fallout. My theory here is that if I do so, everyone dies. I realize now that this is dumb. If he wanted to cast it, he could do so before damage is assigned, saving his dude. I am glad I didn't block now that I am writing this. I wish I would have thought about when and why he would play a certain card during the match though. Had I realized this out for him, I would have never considered blocking here at all.
I think I win game two if I don't chump block the Wooly Thoctar on turn five. I go to ten here if I do not, untap and have enough mana to empty my hand which includes the Primal Command that would have kept him off the five lands he needed to cast Hallowed Burial. Obviously I did not know he had that card but there was no reason to chump there. Life is a resource! If I end the game at twenty life, then I didn't use all the tools available to me.
I play Primal Command on turn three and follow it up with Slime, Slime, Command. Do I need to make any other comment about this game?
I'd like to show you round four and tell you that I won elven packs and that I am happy again. But unfortunately, the game server crashed and my game disappeared during sideboarding between games one and two. I have reported the event and I hope to get my full eleven packs and three QPs. We will have to see.
Saturday, August 29, 2009, 10:28 AM
Check out posts every day at goingpro.lifewithdave.net
My wife graciously let me out of dinner with her parents so I could go down to Donnieâ€™s for a bit of FNM. Sheâ€™s so spiffy. I show up and the crowd is a little light. I am reminded by Yancy (the store manager) that there is a PTQ in Cincinnati that twelve regulars were going to. I comtemplated going to it but then I realized that I didnâ€™t have a deck offline, I had no understanding of the environment, and I was still pretty sucky. All of this made the prospect of driving fours and spending $100 seem unreasonable.
Despite the fact that a large number of the regulars were not present, we still have a respectable sixteen players. I was faced with a small problem though. I donâ€™t really have any cards other than the ones on MTGO. I asked around to see if anyone had a Merfolk deck built and got â€śNoâ€™sâ€ť all around. Luckily Yancy had a pretty nice Exalted Bant deck and as I was thumbing through it I was reminded of my Merfolk deck only with a worse mana base and not so robust counters. It was capable of some pretty explosive draws and it mostly turned guys sideways so it was a perfect deck to get back into the swing of non digital Magic.
My memory is horrible. I am going to have to come up with something to keep up with my games so I can have some sort of decent tournament report. The deck doesn't do anything but put dudes out and turn them sideways anyways. That would probably not be very interesting to read about. I know I mulliganed almost every hand looking for an explosive start, the right mana to open with and sometimes just mana at all. If I played the deck again, I think I would be tempted to add a couple of more land to the mix. I did take a few notes.
RND 1 - Time Sieve Deck
Won the first game with a pretty solid rush. Lost game two after having it in hand (I think) after I failed to battle over him bouncing my Gaddock Teeg back to my hand. I was holding Guttural Response and failed to read the "instant" text on the card. I thought it was like Pyroblast and countered any blue card so imagine my sadness when next turn he plays Time Warp and I am like, "ha, take tha..." Crap! He ends up taking a billion turns and I lost to many many 5/5 artifact dudes smashing my face. I have another really great hand game three and when he plays a Time Sieve the turn before I am going to kill him I am happy that my Pithing Needle in play is set to that!
RND 2 - Blightning Beatdown
My notes say I mulliganed both games, was on the draw in game one which probably contributed to the two land top decks on three and four that allowed me to run Rhox and Rafiq out and win the game. Game two was even better when I got this same combo on turn two and three thanks to a first turn Noble. Nice mulligan!
RND 3 - Exalted Bant
It went to three and I got better draws. Played against a guy that had been working on Bant with Yancy so he was more familiar with what he had to do. Lucky for me that it ended up not being a match based on skill and experience with the deck but one more about who drew the best.
RND 4 - Mannequin Control
I think this match up is like 75%/25% in their favor even when I don't double mulligan and triple mulligan my games. After getting trounced, I hoped that whoever the person that finished in 4th place would beat Ryan so I didn't have to lose to him again when we played in the finals.
RND 4 (Top 4) - Mono red burn
He burned me so fast in game one after I mulliganed to five. What made it worse was the little smirk on his face as I was resolving my mulligans. Someone even said something about it. I didn't really notice because I was busy trying to coax a good opening five out of my deck. I guess that paid off because I opened both games two and three with Noble, Rhox, Rafiq! Ended those games at 31 and 25.
RND 5(Finals) - GR Burn
Pretty much the same deck as before except this time his creatures actually stayed in play. He decided to go with Warriors instead of Ball Lightning, Hellspark Elementals and Hell's Thunder. I am sure I would have won but when my opponent offered a split, I gladly accepted. It was late and I wanted to get home anyways. This offer was even better when he said he would give me the win because he wanted to keep his rating hovering around the 1650 mark. :-)
One more day of Magic this week and then I will probably take Sunday off. It's been pretty good so far minus the drafting debacle. Not sure what I am going to do tomorrow, but hopefully my success carries over.
Thursday, August 27, 2009, 4:08 PM
So, every Wednesday night TNLG has draft night. There are at least four drafts over the span of four hours so if you show up somewhere between 5PM and 8PM you can bank onÂ having a spot. I had planned on taking the kids to church and then dropping in afterward but things didnâ€™t work out and I ended up dropping my daughter off and rushing over to Donnieâ€™s (TNLG store owner) for a quick draft and round one before I had to leave to pick her up. Obviously I planned on rushing back to continue the battle after I dispatched my first round opponent. Unfortunately, he had other plans.
To say that my draft was not pretty would be like saying people only went to see the second Transformers movie only to see Megan Fox. Both are so painfully obvious. I mean if you asked anyone that came out of that movie what they thought and the general reply was, â€śMegan Fox. Megan. Megan was hot. I especially liked seeing Megan.â€ť Pretend like those same people were watching me draft and I am sure the consensus would be, â€śTRAIN WRECK! Whereâ€™s Megan?â€ť I should have know something was bad when Donnie picked up my cards after my first six picks, laughed out loud and then gave me that â€śsorry buddyâ€ť full of condescension remark he gives donkeys like me that donâ€™t know how to draft. He walked away shaking his head. I didnâ€™t see this but I knew he was doing it because I was doing the same thing as i kept digging myself into a hole pick after pick.
Thatâ€™s what I opened first pack. I chose to take the Phantom Warrior over Wind Drake, Veteran Swordsmith and the cloak. I am not sure why I picked a guy that had UU in itâ€™s cost. That certainly did not give me any options at all. I didnâ€™t even end up playing it which makes it even worse now that I write about it.
I took the Gravedigger here. I wonder if Ice Cage would be the right pick. Or maybe even Ponder. I ended wheeling the Weakness. That Veteran Armorsmith stood out also and I probably put the guy next to me into a soldier deck especially considering what came next.
I know right? What the hell was I thinking? Looking back over these I see a really nice Green deck passing me by. And there is another Soldier. I am not sure what happened here honestly. Nothing made me say, â€śhey Dave this will go great in your deckâ€ť and I thought it would be cool to draft a bunch of Tome Scours and deck people. Iâ€™d honestly like to say that I timed out but this wasnâ€™t a MTGO draft so that excuse doesnâ€™t work. The rest of the picks seemed uneventful. I didnâ€™t even bother writing them down when I went to build my deck.
I grabbed Child of Night, Assassinate, and finally Acidic Slime for my first three picks of pack two. I have no idea why I chose the Child of Night but the switch to green was out of desperation honestly. I followed up with Giant Spider, another Assassinate, Weakness, Wind Drake, and Prized Unicorn. At this point I think that I would have an amazing Green deck going.
For my final pack, I opened that vampire Lord guy and ended up taking a Stampeding Rhino. I followed that with Giant Spider from a pack that had Coat of Arms, Warpath Ghoul, Divination and maybe Regeneration as other options. And then I was passed this pack:
I ended up taking the Rise From the Grave but I honestly donâ€™t know what that right pick was. You tell me. I finished up with Stampeding Rhino, Looter, Lurking Predators (read somewhere that this was pretty good), Deadly Recluse and Weakness.
Yep. Trainwreck. I ended up playing the following list.
Rise From The Grave
Child of Night
Runeclaw Bear x2
Wall of Bone
Giant Spider x2
Stampeding Rhino x2
I will not bore you with all the details of the one match I played with this pile. I did win game one because my opponent got bored and dropped a Coat of Arms onto a board that had about 15 creatures in play. He attacked me for what he thought was lethal, or at least what would completely wipe my side. But he fail to realize that the Coat of Arms hit my dudes too and I was able to block and save most of my guys and luckily peal a Weakness to kill his only remaining blocker. I attacked for the exact amount to kill him.
He won game two on the back on Consume Spirit (he was playing mono black) and Tendrils and of course dudes. Our first five turns included three Weaknesses and two Doom Blades and a hell of a lot of little dudes in the grave yard. I did get to kill back to back Looming Shades with my two Weaknesses.
I kept a questionable hand game three that had three lands none of which were Forests. I ended that game staring at a bunch of green cards will getting beat down by Cemetery Reaper and two Zombie Goliaths.
Certainly a lot to learn.
See ya tomorrow.
Thursday, August 27, 2009, 4:04 PM
THIS BLOG POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON goingpro.lifewithdave.net
Greetings fellow gamers. Iâ€™m Dave Spears. And I want to play on the Pro Tour. Having experienced the excitement of doing so in other card games, I have decided to try my hand at Magic. Again. I am a long time player/scrub/wanna-be Pro. I have made a few top eights, even finished 3rd one time at a PTQ. Once I even made day two at a Grand Prix! But never have a sat down with the Red Zone mat in front of me playing for the big bucks.
But today, we are putting all that behind us. I am going to make a very concentrated effort to acquire the skills necessary to make the Pro Tour. And I am going to do it over the next year. I am going to play in a Magic tournament every day for the next year until I make the big show. Well, maybe not every day. Iâ€™ll probably take Sunday off so I can get my worship on. So consider this blog series, Dave Spears Going Pro On One Tournament a Day.
Iâ€™ll get to the good stuff in a bit. I have an 8 man recap that features many opportunities for improvement in play and decision making. I ended up losing in the finals (but splitting). I want you guys to bear with me as I start this. I have a lot of cool ideas for these features. The first month or so will be a lot of testing of the delivery of the content. Hopefully as I get better with the editing and the graphics, you will see a noticeable increase in your enjoyment of the reports.
Feel free to lay into me about mistakes I have made or incorrect comments and assumptions I have formulated. This is primarily a learning experience for me but I hope that it will become one for you also. Have fun.
Today I entered an eight man Standard event with the following deck:
This deck won or did well at a nationals overseas. My friend Adam Prosak led me to it. We were talking the other day about me doing this series and he asked me what kind of deck I wanted to start out with
Me: I need a deck to start playing online for the articles.
Adam: Letâ€™s see. Youâ€™ll need something uncomplicated because you suck. What kind of deck do you like playing.
Me: I donâ€™t know. Something that puts dudes out but that can still play counterspells.
Adam: So merfolk.
Me: And Iâ€™d like to try out Harmâ€™s Way. That seems good.
Adam: So, merfolk?
Me: And I just got 4 Larks online so I want to play those too.
To be honest, I trust Adam most of the time but I know he has an unhealthy obsession with the little blue dudes so I was skeptical at best about how good they were. So when he pointed me to the list that did well at nationals I was relieved that he wasnâ€™t just trying to suck me into playing merfolk simply because he wanted to make babies with them. I was doubly relieved when I logged into MTGO and found out I had about everything to play it minus the new dual lands and maybe a few Wave Crashers. I finished up the deck and jumped into the casual room and played maybe a dozen or so games with it to see if it was going to be something I liked. It was.
Making the Pro Tour isnâ€™t my only motivation for playing these tournaments online. I also would like to play for free as much as possible. I read an article the other day about Going Infinite Online by LSV. It pretty much told me exactly what I knew. STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THE DRAFT QUEUES. Play Standard. Reap the rewards. So, I am going to immediately sell the packs I win because if I donâ€™t, Iâ€™ll hop into a draft in an effort to try to open another Baneslayer Angel.
I logged in and found a queue that already had six players in it. How lucky! About one minute later I was trying to decide whether to mulligan this opening hand.
I keep for no other reason than if my opponent stumbles Iâ€™ll just run beats with the Mutavaults for awhile.
Turn one I play a vault. His play is a tapped Crumbling Necropolis. I have a Wanderwine Hub that I play turn two, revealing Merfolk Sovereign. I attack for two. He plays Swamp and passes. I play the Merfolk lord turn three after dropping a Mystic Gate into play. It gets countered with Broken Ambitions for one. Guess I should have played the Sygg that I had just drawn instead.
His reveal off the Ambitions is a Mutavault and mine is Merrow Reejery. We both decide to keep. He plays the vault and passes the turn with three mana open. I draw the Merrow and play it. It gets destroyed with Doom Blade. His play on turn four is Reflecting Pool, pass. I play a fifth land, Mutavault on my turn and attempt to play Reveilark. It sticks and at the end of his turn, he puts a Scion of Oona into play.
He untaps and plays a tapped Vivid Creek and passes. I untap but before I can draw, he taps out to play Mistbind Clique with the Scion as the only other Faerie in play. I cast Cryptic Command, bouncing his Scion and drawing a card. The Clique comes into play but then decides he doesnâ€™t like what he sees and exiles himself to God knows where. I play another Mystic Gate, activate the Vault, and swing for six. Life totals are 20 to 12, in my favor.
On his next turn he plays a Sunken Ruins and then passes. I match the land drop with a Wanderwine Hub with no reveal and activate both my Vaults. He bounces my Reveillark with Cryptic Command, tapping my team with the second effect. The Lark brings back the two merfolk lords from the graveyard and suddenly my Vaults are both 4/4s. Too bad they are tapped. I play Sygg and untap a land to have enough mana to use Syggâ€™s ability if I have to.
He plays a Firespout during his turn seven and I give Merrow protection from red. The rest of my team dies. On my turn, I activate the two Vaults and swing for eight, bringing him down to 4. He replays the Scion and itâ€™s time for his turn eight. All he has is an Island. I untap and once again I am forced to wait for a draw because of another Mistbind Clique. He activates Mutavault and sends it away via the Champion. My side gets tapped and the board is now, 5/5 Clique and 1/1 Scion for the bad guys and lonely little Merrow Reejerey for me. I play a land and pass and he does the same on his next turn.
On turn ten, I activate both the Vaults and he responds with a Spellstutter Sprite. This is what the board looks like as I am attacking:
I know I am going to lose dudes here but I really want to keep the pressure applied and I wantÂ to get rid of that Scion. The Harmâ€™s Way are useless in my hand but I still feel like this is an OK attack. I probably lose Merrow and a Vault but I can kill him next turn with some Harmâ€™s Way shenanigans. Sure enough, he blocks exactly like I thought he would and when the battle clears, we are left with the Clique and one vault. He doesnâ€™t have anymore cards in hand so unless he draws something amazing, I win. he draws and passes.
And then I get scared. My plan was to attack with an activated Vault and then when he blocks, use both of the Harmâ€™s Ways to redirect the damage from the Clique to my opponent. Heâ€™s at four and that should kill him right? But I let that one card change my plan and I end up dropping a Reveillark into play and passing.
He draws and plays Jace. Great! He immediately activates the second ability and now he has two cards instead of one. But he plays a land and passes and I guess things are fine again. I activate my vault and send in my team. He blocks the Lark and when I cast Harmâ€™s Way, he conceeds. Yay me!
Game two sees me mulliganing a one land hand into:
Which I keep. Yeah, I know. It should have been a mulligan again. I am working on it. We run lands out the first three turns (yeah I peeled on three for a third land drop) and I stick a Merrow Reejerey. Peeled that guy too. He drops a Necropolis on his turn four and when it comes around to my turn, heâ€™s at 18 (activated vault on turn two) and I play a land and activate my vault to swing for five. He has three untapped mana and decides it is time for go for Plumeveil.
To be fair, maybe he felt he needed to go for the wall here regardless of whether I have a Sageâ€™s Dousing or not. But couldnâ€™t he have played it after I attacked? I end countering the spell and drawing a card. I swing for two and pass the turn. Next turn he plays Firespout to kill my Merrow and I simply activate both Vaults and swing. He flashes into play a Spellstutter Sprite and blocks one of the Vaults. The other one gets through for two and that brings him to 16.
He plays Puppeteer Clique on turn six, animates my Merrow and hits me for two. He then drops a Vault and passes the turn. I play a Sower and steal his Clique and attack for two with a Vault. This brings him to 14. I am tapped out so things could be bad here. On the plus side, I have three Cryptic Commands in hand and if I untap with them, I feel pretty confident that this game is in hand. His next turn sees a land play and a pass with two cards in hand. Yay! I untapped. I activate a Vault and he responds with another Plumeveil. I counter it with a Command, bouncing his Mutavault clearing the way for an attack of seven that brings him to 7. He replays the Vault and passes again. On my turn I try to make the same attack to kill him and throws a Bolt at the Clique. Command handles this and bounces that Vault again. With nothing left in hand he concedes and I am onto round two!
Round two and three will be up sometime today. I need to find a balance between in depth coverage and â€śholy crap that is way to long.â€ť As soon as MTGO comes back up, Iâ€™ll jump on and do a quickÂ recap of two and three. Thanks for reading so far.
Weâ€™re back but unfortunately the replays on MTGO are acting up. Round two went to three games. I know in the pivotal game three I kept a hand that gave me Vault, Banneret, Merrow, Adept and Merrow again. My opponent was pretty overwhelmed. I know the entire match featured a lot of me controlling the impact of Bloodbraid Elf so my opponent couldnâ€™t get back into the game. We went back and forth a lot fighting over his creature control and my counters.
The final round was against Kithkin. We decided to split but play the match out. I lost the first game, overwhelmed by turn one dude, Honor of the Pure, Spectral Procession and finally Honor of the Pure again. I won game two after siding in four Meddling Mages (for Spectral Procession) and both the Sleeps taking out a couple of Wake Thrashers. Both cards proved pretty critical. For some reason, I decided to side the Larks back in for the Harmâ€™s Way which hadnâ€™t been relevant in either of the first two games. Big mistake. I kept a really questionable hand and soon found myself staring down four dudes to my one Merrow and Mutavault. This would not have been so bad had the three Reveillarks in my hand when I died been Harmâ€™s Ways.
I get my packs and sell them immediately for fifteen tickets. So, after day one, I am up nine tickets. Unfortunately I donâ€™t get a point toward the championship series but I do have enough tickets to play again tomorrow and the next day.