Saturday, September 3, 2011, 1:58 AM
Not resurrecting me really but it feels like it since I havn't logged in to my WoTC account for almost 4 months now.
Finally back in South Africa. Not much has changed apart from our paved roads are in much better condition than those in the UK.
Slowly settling in again and looking for 4th Edition DnD Players or DM’s. Quite hard to get groups, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Started a job a month ago as a Software Test Analyst and QA representative. So things are mad busy on work, learning new tools, and looking for a place to live where there’s good 3G internet reception at least.
Hopefully I’ll be back into trying to play Dungeons and Dragons very soon!
Thursday, June 2, 2011, 8:54 AM
For the past 3 days I have been busy making my own tile sheet for custom games and playing around with cheap monster concepts. Currently the sheets are at the print shop waiting to be laminated so I can use whiteboard markers on it.
So far, all-in-all this whole set up has costed me about R75 ($11) for everything.
Might be taking it with me to the seaside this weekend to start drawing on them. So cool!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 2:27 PM
"When moving closer to the broken door, the gleaming reddish eyes of a Giant Rat was staring at us, waiting for the first move. Killing it was not hard, but waited beyond the door was the unimaginable! The room had cages with the sweet fowl stench of rotten flesh and blood smear traces flow all over the room. This was not couture at all. Giant rats attacked us by the masses. Guess they were startled by our entrance. But, at the other end of the room were 4 human like figures. We called out for assistance, but no response. It is only when they slowly shuffled around with a moan we realized they were not men anymore. Not human to say the least. Suddenly, the 4 Zombies approached us slowly. Having all these Giant Rats around we had to make a plan. And quick..."
This was my sort of last UK session before returning back to South Africa. The session went well and lasted for 4 hours. Was signed out by the server a few times meaning I lost the chat conversations so the part above was from memory. Audio was still an issue, but I start to prefer the chat method.
Nothing much learned except for area damage. This was fun.
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 3:56 PM
Session 3 : Room 3
"The group ready themself at the locked door while Stub prepared to pull the lever. A click came out of the door when Stub pulled. Carver pushed the door open while Vanchu and Onyx. A foul stench came from the opening and in the room the monsters turned their attention on the openning door. "Rot Hounds and Giant Rats was on the menu today it would appear." said Carver. Vanchu shot an arrow straight at a Rot Hound killing it with one shot. "Bet you it didn't not see that comming even with his darkvision." said Vanchu. Carver crack a smile and read himself for a strike at another Rot Hound. The creature did not even have the time to pass wind when Carver's blade diced it into half. The Giant Rats started getting aggitated and attack...
"Well, that appears to be the last of them here?!" said Onyx with a breath of relief in his voice. "Don't think I could have stand that smell another turn as well..." came from the back as Stub came into the middel of the room. After searching the room the diaries explained what happened. A door is open and there appear to be monsters comming from it. They tried to close it but failed. "Interesting...and the plot thickens" said Stub."
1) Plan encounters in advance for the level of characters so that XP is between 300 and 500 for 4 PC's.
2) Know the distance PC's and light object give when players enter an area.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 4:47 AM
Had another VT Beta session #2 last night.
"Carver prepared the range fighters, Onyx and Vanchu, behind
him so after he pulls the lever to be ready whatever might storm us. The door
open and 1 Rot Hound showed up down the stairs. Carver diced him, but a lousy
1XP came out of it. Carver did do a bit of an 25Damage overkill so the XP
gained was mostly over the walls. *nasty*. Moving the party down the stairs, 3
Kobolds noticed us. Looked like 1 had a "fling" for Carver because it
did not use the free melee attack...the group wonder what's up with that.
There's another lever but 1 Kobold took 3 turns before it actually got hit,
guarded it pretty much with it life. Well, for as long as he had life left."
The session was again longer than 1hr for 4 monsters on a small staircase against 4
players. Zedex managed 2 PC's while Jes321 and I managed 1 PC each. Looking at
the flow a lot of the time is spent chatting via the keyboard instead of using
voice. Reason for not using voice, well because it keeps breaking up. This
could be because we are in UK and the VT host is in USA. Will need to
investigate this because this is a must have status feature in VT.
We also had a minute of GUI blackouts. This was great to test the fall over
capabilities of VT. The DM only has to close and start again. The rest of the
PC's are still in the game. It would appear the VT site signed me out and
therefor cause the GUI issues.
The initiative panel also started to duplicate monster and could not be deleted
unless the initiative panel was cleared and re-rolled again.
The monster panel had a scroll glitch on a kobold's power tab.
Overall it was great! I made a mistake of removing HP from the wrong monster again due to selection negligence. The PC's started to use more advance attacks that
started to make things interesting but quite a lot of information (and reading)
for me as noob DM.
10 Lessons Learned:
1) Draw a game flow diagram and keep it in front of you as reference
2) Have a bigger notepad than A6 for taking notes
3) Beta Testing - Note down test cases and evaluate them. especially usability.
Bugs are just unfortunate, but must be noted.
4) Design the game to accommodate player motivations.
5) Ask players help about rules. You will only remain an idiot for not asking
6) Table rules. Especially in the VT!
7) Think about the DM styles explained on P12
8) It's nice to keep all actions visible, even from the DM. It keep things
interesting and suspense. What causes more stress? Not knowing if there's a
monster or Hearing there's monsters but not how many and type?
9) In VT surroundings can be noted in a MAP NOTE but not as PUBLIC. If a player check the surroundings, make the MAP NOTE to PUBLIC and then just COPY/PASTE the content into the chat window.
10) Players have to be clear on WHO they attack, with WHAT they attack, and
WHEN they attack. Sometimes PC's only apply attack after they done the move.
Need to find out:
1) Assign DM role to someone else if DM can't attend session.
2) Manage dead monsters so that adventure PC's can search corpses, but also not
to confuse the DM.
Saturday, May 7, 2011, 1:39 PM
Today was the day it all started! Now I am completely hooked on D&D!
I played my very first DnD game...and started it as a DM on the Virtual Table(VT)! Thanks to Zedex who guided me and had the patience of a crocodile! The VT made this introduction to DnD so much easier, though it still have some room for improving user interaction. We managed to finish 1 room at least.
Lessons learned today:
1) x3 PC's vs x4 lvl1 Kobolds can take up to 2hrs.
2) Have fun but keep discussions to the game at hand
3) In VT, keep track and make sure from who HP is detucted from
4) Keep notes in the game for quick reference. Ex. Searching a corpse will either tell part of the story.
5) Hide dead monsters in case PC's want to search their corpses after the battle.
6) A sword does more damage than a torch
7) Use the hotkey for voice, else people will go deaf with players typing on the keyboard!
8) At the entrance of a door to a room it helps to have a public note about the surroundings. This is because the sound breaks up frequently and will save you from typing like a hedgehog explaining the surroundings.
9) A 13" notebook screen and touch pad is not such a nice interface.
10) Have fun...don't kill the PC's
1) Respawn locations might be useful
Need to find out:
1) How to identify monsters that have numbers in the information panel.
2) Adjust voice volume of PC's individually.
3) Shortcut keys to the button. A nice feature will be if text flash up stating whos' turn it is.
4) Shortcut keys for SHOWING parts of the map and ARROW button in the TOOLBAR.
5) How to assign pre-created PC's to users joining the game
Friday, May 6, 2011, 3:44 PM
Finally! I am an DnD Insider Member!!
This was my first response after making the payment. Since then, I have been exposed to the extremely rich world of fantasy and a complete information overload from PC's, DM's, play styles, adventures, NPC's, monsters, character generators, spells and the whole shjibang.
At this moment I feel like sipping a voda with an orange juice, inside the washing machine on the 1st spin cycle. Completely overly excited about this all, yet, so scared to ask a question in fear of "breaking the rules". Strange this feeling is indeed. Last time I had this was in school asking a girl on a date...oddly.
Anyhew. I just want to say hi to everyone from beginners to masters.