marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
Over the past couple of weeks I have spent quite a lot of time gardening one way and another. Whether helping out a friend, digging out a tree stump (two more to go) and filling my now enlarged green bin with weeds and rubbish from my own garden, harvesting some of the the still-present potato population or yesterday an intensive working bee at the Hall I have laid to rest the concerns about an apparent drop in stamina which sent me to the Dr before Xmas.

spade, hole and tree stump
I dug a thing!

I have also acquired a substantial number of blisters, scrapes and scratches on my hands and forearms, and some sunburn. There has also been the luxury of being able to collapse after each period of activity. In fact once the New Year Blues lifted my activity pattern has pretty much been bursts of energy and motivation followed by equal periods of lethargy and exhaustion. There has been a lot of napping.

A few other things I have accomplished:
- baking bread (gluten-free, from a sourdough "bug" gifted by a friend)
- standing desk (previously posted)
- hosting my now-annual bring-a-thing for charity boardgaming day. Attendance was (disappointingly #ifIamhonest) lower this year than previously but I think that was mostly a co-incidence of timing. Normally it would have been a week or so later.
- several enjoyable outings with small groups of friends, myself specifically invited rather than the broadly invited parties and such which make up most of my socialising
- A variety of cleaning tasks around the house, but these have taken a back seat to the gardening.

For all the bursts of energy I still have a list of things I would like to get accomplished this holiday that have not been reached. I have not completed the prep for the next arc of the game I am running on Sundays; indeed I have managed barely any. (A small relief that tonights game was cancelled after two players could not make it, giving me another week and time today to among other things have a nap and write this post. Which will make 12 tasks crossed off todays todo list alone.) There are still gardening and annual cleaning tasks to be done (some of which are years overdue all ready ...). There are still several books I had planned to take time to read. More blog posts to be written.

Tomorrow I am cutting my holiday short by a week and returning to work early to deal with matters arising for one of my current major projects and another regular project which I have been on-called to deal with this past week. Given the state of things when work closed for the Xmas break I was half-expecting this to be the case so I am not mentally unprepared. I don't expect to be doing my full-time hours, just what is needed for these projects so I will still have "spare" time to schedule getting things done in, but it will be back to scheduling rather than the free-flow approach which has seen me be (what feels) so productive over the last few weeks.

I hope to be able to springboard off this time into a routine which sticks with me for the year, if I can keep myself from wanting and attempting to do all-the-things at once. Especially as the days get shorter again. I know my level of success at this has been mixed in all previous years and am not entirely confident.
marsden_online: RPG log icon for this character (Markos)
A few items my Sunday Broken Kingdoms group have just come across, for their reference.

Wand of Lesser Transfer Wounds
This slim wand is made of a pale wood carved to resemble a forearm ending in an outstretched hand.

Wand of Touch of Disruption
This slim wand is made of a dark wood carved to resemble a forearm ending in a clenched hand with one finger extended.

Leather Coat of Sneaking
This magical leather coat was removed from the burnt corpse of the undead named Esolith. It is filthy (with chunks of his flesh still adhering in places) and will need a /very/ good clean and minor repair before it is again fit for use by the living.
(Leather Coat +1, +5 to Sneak skill)

Ring of Ramming (modified Ring of the Ram)
This heavy iron ring is carved with the head of one of the massive mountain sheep the hill tribes use as livestock and mounts.

"The wearer can command the ring to give forth a ramlike force, manifested as a vaguely discernible shape that resembles the head of a ram or a goat. This force strikes a single target, dealing 1d6 points of damage if 1 charge is expended, 2d6 points if 3 charges are used, or 3d6 points if 3 charges (the maximum) are used. Treat this as a ranged attack with a 50-foot maximum range and no penalties for distance. The ring has 5 charges per day.

The force of the blow is considerable, and those struck by the ring are subject to a bull rush if within 30 feet of the ring-wearer. (The ram has Strength 25 and is Large.) The ram gains a +1 bonus on the bull rush attempt if 2 charges are expended, or +2 if 3 charges are expended.

In addition to its attack mode, the ring of the ram also has the power to open doors as if it were a character with Strength 25. If 2 charges are expended, the effect is equivalent to a character with Strength 27. If 3 charges are expended, the effect is that of a character with Strength 29."

Boots of Stomping (from the Magic Item Compendium)
"When you stomp your feet and activate boots of stomping, you generate a 15-foot-long cone-shaped burst of psychokinetic force that travels along the ground, toppling creatures and loose objects. The shock wave affects only creatures standing on the ground within the area. Creatures that fail a DC 13 Reflex save are thrown to the ground, prone, and take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage.

Boots of stomping function three times per day."

About 200 pairs of these boots were originally commissioned by an Old Kingdom Duke for the front rank of his army. The range and vigour of the effect is said to be increased for each adjacent pair being activated. Unfortunately many were lost or destroyed when in the midst of a major battle the vibrations caused by their use attracted a terrible worm-like beast from deep underground which proceeded to crush or consume the bulk of the forces present.
A number of prototypes and attempts-at-duplication are known to exist - the effect of these may include but are not limited to
- affecting also (or only) the wearer.
- creating their effect in a random direction relative to the wearer
- Creating a Muddy Ground spell effect centred on the wearer
- One particularly powerful pair known as "The Boots of Earthquakes" generated a strong enough force to demolish small buildings nearby and could be felt for some distance ... these were lost when a crack in the earth opened beneath the user and closed over again moments later.

Viper bolts
These 10 +1 crossbow bolts came carefully wrapped in soft leather and are fashioned in an extremely fine likeness of a tiny snake from the tail at the point to the head at the butt. On a hit they transform into a tiny viper which makes one attack on the target struck before falling to the ground and wriggling off (100% non-recoverable).

Tiny Viper +5 To Hit, 1 point of damage, Poison DC 10 1d6 CON Primary, 1d6 CON Secondary.

On the event of a natural 1 being rolled to hit the bolt animates before it is fired and attacks the wielder of the crossbow instead.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Broken Kingdoms concluded on Thursday with a post-saving-the-world epilogue. The game is on hiatus for exams and while I decide what to do with it. I've decided to leave this campaign there, and possibly follow [ profile] uaekiwi's suggestion of resurrecting it for one-shots when he is back in the country.

Until next year (when Neverwinter rises to the top of the campaign stack in my SAGA slot) I think I'll run a mini-campaign in a genre I'm less familiar with, either something cyberpunkish in the gritty back streets of New Detroit (Gemini Sector), or something superheroic. System is still open.

Asked for a GDP extension on Friday :( Wrote an email which probably alienated the entire rest of my team. Don't care. I want this F***ing facade over with, my $7500 worthless piece of paper, and shot of that place. It's a corrupted shell of the institution it was once, not what I signed up for.

Finally manged to get another play session of D&D today :)

SAGA BBQ was poorly attended. Played some games but wasn't very enthusiastic. Ate some sausages. Left when it got to Junta - the drinking game.

Very tired. Nothing more entertaining to do, so I'm going to bed.

It must be spring - everywhere I hear songs like this. . .

Love is in the air
Everywhere I look around
Love is in the air
Every sight and every sound...

I like many of these songs, mind.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Broken Kingdoms and RPG rant )
Next week we will tie up some loose ends and then the campaign may conclude or just go on hiatus for the duration of exams. [ profile] uaekiwi is leaving us for other shores and I'll be sad to lose him as a player. He has been driving a lot of the action and I expect the group dynamic to change dramatically without him.

[Edit] Usual writeup here :) [/edit]

Then I arrived home at about half-past-midnight to discover a panicked email from my 'boss' about not-working-properly websites. I spent some time looking them over, but the problem seemed to have resolved, at least from my machine. So I got to sleep sometime after two and didn't sleep particularly well until half-eight. Shower, breakfast and sunshine hasn't improved my outlook on the day any. There's a work meet'n'discuss with a bunch that I haven't met yet this afternoon - I hope I'm able to make a better impression by then.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Thursday: Broken Kingdoms
The PCs had to escape their imprisonment. Damn near had a TPK after one of them took himself out of the action early on. The new player shows some promise. Ran late.

Good writeup at

Friday: Perversion party
Never really made the jump between drinkies with loud music in the background and party for me. Some good costumes and some good efforts (say he who never dresses up for these things). Pumpkined about midnight. Apparently there was some excitement with disruptive randoms later on.

Saturday: Everything
Helped [ profile] keenie and crew move in the am/early pm. Turned up at [ profile] slothphil's later for boardgame/bbq/drinkies/Munchkin. Pumpkined about midnight again.

Sunday: Guido's Treasure -> Isle of Dread
Party divested themselves of a campaigns accumulated valuables, manipulated the rare-coins market, bought stuff, and some partied. Next week - all aboard a merchant vessel for a bracing sea voyage.

Monday: Work
Spent most of the day shortlisting potential website CMSs, comng up to speed on streaming media technology and testing Clipstream. This evening I may watch TV (off chance there's anything on) or more likely keep playing with javascript/css slideshows.
marsden_online: (Evil GM)
Broken Kingdoms

A good session last night, with division in the NPC ranks being enough to give the PCs a fighting chance. The big battle went down a lot more evenly than I expected, and there was much incidental brain-breaking ("well the rider is gay, and it is a flaming horse ..."). Each side lost a team member - their Mageblade/Warmain to my Nightmare - before I managed to have the PCs all unconscious and captured for next week's session :D

It's bloody hard to not-kill in D&D combat. Arcana Unearthed does at least have a nice low-level subdual spell :D

[ profile] niennahirilfea has posted a fairly complete synopsis of the session here.


Aug. 25th, 2006 12:00 am
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
Broken Kingdoms
One player has dropped out, but we managed to have a pretty good session tonight with a variety of activities. I hope to make the next actual story arc take fewer sessions.

Other Stuff
Managed to have that talk I needed, unexpectedly and with someone suited. I think it helped. Thanks again, if you're reading this.
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)

Sorry guys & gals, doesn't look like I'll be making it down. There just isn't enough interest up here for me to fill my car and justify the trip.

Broken Kingdoms
Damn, 10' cone just isn't as impressive as you'd expect. Especially when the PCs have failed to group up.

And the surprise attackers completely missed their first round of attacks, swinging the encounter well back towards the party's favour.


Went with an unusual (and welcome) lack of deviation from business, some serious issues were discussed and most of committee turned over.
marsden_online: (Evil GM)
Broken Kingdoms
They managed to find all, well, most of the giant spiders this session. I was generous with the heal check rules, so they didn't actually have to carry anyone out.

Chased [ profile] niennahirilfea off to A&E partway through the session - sudden attack of the chills and shivers. Enough for me to be concerned that it's more than 'just a flu'.
marsden_online: (Default)
So, that's the employment prep workshops out of the way. Weren't as bad as expected - skipped the really horrendous stuff (telephone technique and interview roleplay). Doubtless I will have to face some of these in the one-on-one sessions.

Ran into someone from my old work in town. Got an info dump on what has been happening out there.

Gaming last night was interesting - that encounter should have only dented the party rather than steamrollering them to within an inch of their virtual lives.


Jun. 30th, 2006 06:31 pm
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
This week has been practically non-stop. This weekend isn't looking any less hectic judging by the list of jobs on the sticky notes in front of me.

Broken Kingdoms
Spent a good chunk of the session roleplaying through the sale of the magical longsword the party acquired previously. They managed to get a good deal from it, and the rest of the loot they were selling. Introduced a couple of other plot threads.

Down two players next week, so I am planning to give the Ace of Spades game I'm running at BoD a warm-up run, with what is left of my players and anyone else who shows up.

Party vote seems to be to remain at the new venue when term starts up again, although I have insisted we play at Uni at least for the session following Clubs Day II.

Latest txt from my mother - Grandad goes into a rest home today, Nana in two days time. No idea what is going to happen with my IHC uncle who lived with them.

I now need to go and check on dinner, and try to make a silly hat.
marsden_online: (Evil GM)
Guido's Treasure

and only one character out of four died. The NPC, Father Theo. The actual PCs managed to get what they came for and retreated.

We've (finally) wrapped up this arc, and the hobgoblins may have come out better off loot wise than the PCs. Anyway, mystic travel has occurred, and next week two new characters join the party before they go delving into the ruins of an old elven citadel to retieve an item of great power for thier ... current benefactors.

Broken Kingdoms
The Thursday group also completed an arc, and made it back to town although they got slightly toasted by their Patron's nemesis who showed up to do a bit of gloating. So I'm prepping for two new scenarios this week.

I leave this quote for my players to ponder... "Pregnant trolls are the most vicious monsters an adventurer will ever want to meet."
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
I was thinking that everything is about balanced at the moment. The wheel is round, if not as broad as it might be. I have a lovely girlfriend [smooches] - who lives in another city. I have an income - if not a job, and a worklike activity to keep me busy. I have time to do the stuff I want - even if there never seems to be quite enough time. I have accumulated a satisfactory number of shiney toys.

Gaming pretty much seems to be peaking - I'm running two enjoyed campaigns and playing in another.

Tonight in Broken Kingdoms the party spent most of the session determinedly getting past a (substantially stuck) door. In the process terrifying a horse and getting their employer royally pissed off at them.

They then got beat up by what we are calling "lichen zombies". Blue phosphorescing lichen zombies :D Nearly lost the enthusiastic new player's carefully crafted first ever PC on the first session, but one of the other PCs managed a final-round save.

New player is keen to come back, nevertheless :D

Note to self - Orcish blackguard, Wyvern mount.
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
And the character who started the mess survived*, having been subdued before the named NPC he'd started the fight with took a crit from one of the others and stopped pulling punches.

*Or be it with his reputation ruined and deeply in debt for all his employer's possessions that were lost.

This is an object lesson pertaining to my comments at the beginning of the game about being perfectly willing to produce overpowering encounters where if the PCs resort to violence, they've already lost. Hopefully my players will take it to heart.

Next week could be a very opportune time for anyone wanting to join the Broken Kingdoms game.

I can't remember the last time I actually killed a PC (in a campaign). I should read back and see if anyone went out in either of the Gemini games.

One other thing I got out of the time-management seminar - I spend almost as much time gaming (including board games) in a week as I do at course ATM. I'm not unhappy about this :D
marsden_online: (Default)
Another good Broken Kingdoms game last night. Three from three - and now a three week break because various people are going to be away.

Much going boom and three of 4 PCs failing save vs a hallucinogen, which had me running between my separated players as they had independent hallucinations but had to factor in the (percieved) actions of the other characters (worked too :->).

I have just had my grandmother around for lunch and to see the renovations. I cooked up the last of the fish that my brother caught a while ago, and some vegetables. She seemed to enjoy getting out of the rest home for a meal and a chat, apparently the meals there are pretty plain and boring.

I have an idea for the party tonight. Patently simple.

BK - 1

Mar. 24th, 2006 08:59 am
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
So, first real Broken Kingdoms session last night. Two of the players turned up over an hour late, just as I was about to start a slightly toned down version of the scenario for the other two who had taken the opportunity to finish up thier characters. However things ran pretty well - fairly constant action once we got started and the players all seemed to enjoy themselves.

cut for length )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
From my 'dayplanner'. Free? means "work towards next applicable deadline" or "Catch up with webcomics/message boards/article sites", or maybe "take a nap if it won't fuck me over".

Friday am: consolidate notes from Broken Kingdoms character gen.
Friday am: deadline Character background for Saturday game.
Friday pm: Course
Friday ev: party Free? wasted looking for a picture of a half-orc in a breastplate, mace & shield
Saturday am: Free?
Saturday pm: J.'s game
Saturday ev: Party
Sunday am: Free?
Sunday pm: deadline Prep for Guido's treasure including an army of quickstats
Sunday ev: Guido's Treasure
Monday am: deadline Character and background for Tuesday game
Monday pm: Course. Try to complete module.
Monday ev: Free?
Tuesday am: Course
Tuesday md: Lunch with H.?
Tuesday pm: Free?
Tuesday ev: A.'s game
and so it goes )

So, since I'm taking the time to update, what else has been going on?

Broken Kingdoms
I was a little disappointed by the (lack of) showing of people who had previously expressed interest in my game - by the end of the evening I had four players and some of those were because I was the only GM who was taking players on the night. However, since I only had two rulebooks and that proved not to be enough it was probably for the best. Although had I had more players I would probably have taken more of a "have them describe their character concept and then guide them to a good option" approach rather than a "let them read through everything in the rulebooks and reach a decision" approach.
Broken Kingdoms characters )

I was again the only student at the Institute by the end of the day - in fact by about 4:20pm. I took pity on the tutor and left about 5:30, slightly earlier than I had planned. I have come to the conclusion that very few people actually attend the proscribed shift times.

The company has been sold again, and amoung other changes the campus will be moving shortly. Not far.

More lj icons huh? Might even be enough that I'll look at laying in a good selection. Of course I could just figure out how to customise my mood theme properly, which is what I actually use different user icons to represent anyway.


Mar. 15th, 2006 05:27 pm
marsden_online: (Default)
Pulled a letter from ex-work out of the mailbox on my way out - turns out it's the post-leaving collection from the social club. An extra $140 won't go amiss at the moment :)

My mother seems to be recovering all right - it came out via keyhole - gangrenous apparently :-[ She's fairly dopey at the moment, but may be sent home tomorrow.

This is the text for the final handout. It seems a bit short. I'm sure there was something else I wanted to add.

In the beginning )
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Uploaded for review:
Khe-Rhisan Primer (v.1.0, pdf, 155kb)
Smokey Ridge Primer (v.1.0, pdf, 147kb)

And of course the main primer is still there:
Broken Kingdoms Primer(v.1.0, pdf, 423kb)

One more document to produce. Then a bunch of printing. First tho', lunch and then visit my mother in hospital.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Updated the primer. This is the final version for now.

Expanded the magic section, added a dangerous beasts section, added the modifications to Fighter/Rogue classes (dropped monk). Fixed typos.

Broken Kingdoms Primer (436kb pdf)

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