March 7th, 2002



Last night's D&D session was, well, adequate.

The PCs went on cleanup through the sewers. In previous sessions, they had gone on a straight line towards rescuing the girl. Which was smart and contributed strongly towards their success and continued survival.

But it did mean that on this trip, they were overpowered for the challenges they faced. But that was actually kind of fun; it provided an opportunity for the players to try out some incautious tactics and go wild. This was particularly true when they went into a room full of dire rats, knowing that it was the last encounter that they were going to face. So they got to go wild with new spells and almost silly combinations like the gnome kicking the dire rats.

One down side of this adventure: the treasure level was vaguely sensible, which is a lot less loot than D&D expects for characters of their level. I tried to up the loot on the fly by making one dagger into a magic weapon--but this turned out to be a lot more valuable than I had intended. (Instead of being just a special effect, the "returning" nature of the dagger added an extra 6,000gp to the value.) I'm not going to redact that, though--I'll just try to find ways to spread other magical coolness around to everyone.

We got a lot of laughter out of Dalia's infatuation with Kyle, and the fact that she decided they were going to get married without consulting him. I liked that.

We also got lots of laughter out of the trip to the next tavern. I haven't been describing the boring tavern visits, and there have been three tavern-related incidents, so there's now a running joke of every tavern adding excitement to the party's life. Unfortunately, I didn't have full detail made up on a boring tavern, but oh well.

And it ended up not being completely boring after all--they got a message saying that their help was needed back in Shepford. (Though this wasn't particularly related to the tavern, really.)

I worry that I muffed the timing on this--maybe it would have been better if I'd written a response from Brion before producing that telegraphic emergency note.

What I had planned for that scene was for Colm to be superficially crusty about the detour from his planned path, but secretly wanting to be convinced that the group should go do the Right Thing. But the players seemed like they were seriously considering not going to Shepford, so I underplayed Colm there.

Dani seemed to be really treating that decision at a metagame level, saying things like "I bet if we go straight, we'll run into whatever monster we would have met in Shepford anyway." I found this extremely galling, and I'm still pondering what to do about it.

Casa D'Ice

Did I mention to y'all the extreme disappointment of Casa D'Ice?

On Friday, we were in a mood to go out to dinner, but couldn't think of anywhere to go. So we decided to go driving, looking for a restaurant we hadn't been to before.

This turns out to be harder than it might seem. We didn't really know where to find good non-chain food, and driving down route 30 meant that we were going quickly enough that we didn't have time to discuss a place before the moment of decision was past.

We ended up at Casa D'Ice, which is a two-story building at the top of a hill with a decoration of neon icicles outside. I guess this proves the power of being eye-catching.

We both chose the Lenten specials, Lori because it was a Friday in Lent, me because they were cheaper than most of the menu.

The food was HORRIBLE. All of it. The fish sandwich was flavorless. The macaroni and cheese was nasty. The haluski was dismal. It was all bad.

I am proud of myself for saying, "I'm not enjoying this food, and it's not adding to my health to eat it. I will stop now." I have a big tendency to eat everything on my plate, even if it's bad.

I intend never to return to Casa D'Ice again. It was the second worst restaurant experience I can remember, second only to Mr. Ribbs.


I was feeling really down today. This morning, I felt almost like crying.

And I realized that there was no real reason for feeling like that. (Except perhaps staying up til 2:30 last night reading The Last Hero.) I was thinking of lots of things to be sad about, but they weren't the real reason I was feeling so sad, they were just means through which to feel sad.

I'm feeling somewhat better now, though still not as productive as I'd hoped. But 'tis enough, 'twill do.

Robin's Laws

I've heard a lot of good buzz about
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I've heard a lot of good buzz about <a href"">Robin's Laws of Good Game Mastering</a>. I respect a lot of Robin's RPGs that I've read. I may go pick this up at Phantom today.

More Kvetching About D&D

You can throw daggers in D&D. This makes perfect sense to me.

According to D&D, you can also throw 3-pound clubs (50% heavier than a baseball bat) as far and as accurately as you can throw daggers. I'm more dubious about this.

According to the "Masters of the Wild" book, you can throw 100-pound cabers--again, as far and as accurately as you can throw daggers.

My suspension of disbelief is bottoming out here.

(I wonder if a rogue can get a sneak attack with a caber?)