Tag Archives: d&d

In which we play Cal & D.

Saturday morning, I drove over to my friend Cal's house for D&D. Our friend Steve was already there, and our friend Martin was on his way to meet us.

While we waited for Martin to show up, we caught up on our lives, told stupid (and not-so-stupid) jokes, and got ready for the game.

"Hey, I brought you a 4e DM screen," I told Cal, "in case you don't have it, because it's one of the most useful DM screens I've ever used."

"We're not playing 4e," Cal said.

"Are we playing 3.5?" I asked, imagining a five hour encounter where I did little more than grapple.

"No, we're actually going to play a system I made up. It's sort of a hybrid of AD&D, 4e, and some other things. You're not even going to have character sheets." (Later on, we would describe this particular system as Cal & D.)

I was intrigued, and implored him to continue.

"I've adapted a Tomb of Horrors style adventure from Dungeon magazine –"

"You mean when it was still a magazine? Printed on actual paper and everything?"

"Yes," he said. I wondered how he stole it from the museum, and he continued: "We aren't using a battle map or minis, and we're not going to get hung up on a lot of rules. You guys are just going to do your best not to die in the Mud Sorcerer's Tomb."

When Martin arrived, we got our characters. I was a Fire Mage called Hosemi The Corpulent. It was decided that I wore a muu muu, had T-Rex arms, and one of my spells was lighting farts into mighty blasts of flame. Martin was a Gnome Paladin whose name I forget, but was based entirely on the Travelocity Gnome. Steve was some kind of deep earth stone Gnome guy who was essentially a 1st Edition thief.

We met in a tavern (duh) and left with a bunch of lackeys who I called Team Cannon Fodder. On the way to the Tomb, we did a little Roleplaying, and figured out who our characters were. I was kind of like Fat Bastard, leaning toward Neutral/Evil. Steve said he had "a fuckload" of healing potions in his adventurer's kit, as well as two dozen iron spikes. He also loaded up Like A Rock on his iPhone, and used it as his theme music whenever he did anything. Martin's character's goal in life was to save travelers gold pieces – this was especially funny because he was a Paladin of Garl Glittergold, and his battle cry was "GARL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD!" 

If you are still under the impression that we were taking this very seriously, I offer the following exchange to clarify things:

"Hey," Martin said to Cal, "I want to ride a Dire Badger."

"What??

"Yeah, my mount is a Dire Badger."

"A Dire Badger would eat you, Martin."

"Not this one. We grew up together, so he's my pet."

I Twittered this, and more than one person replied that, if the Dire Badger was domesticated, it wasn't very Dire. I relayed this to the group, and Cal ruled that Twitter was correct, so Martin couldn't have his badger. I, however, got to ride a tiny donkey that was proportional to my size like those little motorcycles the world's fattest twins used to ride on That's Incredible!

We eventually got to the tomb, and sort of, uh, killed a lot of the lackeys in the first few rooms.

I forget exactly what we ordered them to do, but Cal said, "Okay, the lackeys all get together and one of them steps forward. 'We have decided to form a union, so you have to treat all of us the same way.'"

This is when I knew that my character was more Evil and Neutral.

"Okay, I hold my hands out, and engulf that guy in a fireball," I said. "Now I turn to the rest of them and say, 'Would you all still like to be treated equally, or will you do what we fucking told you to do?'"

(This is especially funny to me because I'm 100% a union guy.)

Cal said that they decided to go ahead and walk into the hallway, or whatever it was we wanted them to do.

"Oh, I also collect his ashes, and I draw them into a little football field, paying careful attention to the fifty yard line," I said.

This particular hallway had some sort of evil field of evil in it, so I was able to pass through relatively unharmed, but everyone else took a lot of damage, killing all but one of the lackeys.

"Clever way to get rid of our cannon fodder," I said. Cal smirked.

A little deeper into the dungeon, I took over the mapping duties. Now, I should point out that at this point in our day, the wine had been opened. I don't want to mistake correlation for causation, but my mapping became very detailed, including drawing giant dicks on the various statues.

"Why is it that, whenever we play D&D, we become twelve year-olds?" Martin asked.

We were all laughing too hard to reply, but I think I can answer him now: it isn't always about the game. It's never about the system, and it's rarely about "winning" as much as it's about the company and enjoying a few hours respite from the responsibilities and burdens of our real lives. Maybe we all become twelve because that's when most of us started playing, and though the reasons we seek escape have changed, the escape is still welcomed.

RPGs can be all about telling a collaborative story, using our imaginations, challenging our wits, and building heroic epics … but they can also be an excuse to get together with people we like to goof off and leave the Muggle world behind for a few hours, seriousness be damned. Whenever a system holy war comes up, I'd encourage you to think about that, and maybe use it as an escape hatch (so this doesn't happen) and ask yourself how often you have said, "Boy, that was a great system," versus "Boy, I had a really good time playing today."

Shortly after Steve's Gnome triggered a trap and found himself impaled on a gate made of daggers (seriously, who the hell makes a gate out of daggers?!) and our last surviving lackey was turned into frozen hunks of former-lackey, our wives came home. We decided to suspend the adventure, eat dinner, and finish the night with a rousing game of Cranium Pop 5.

We're planning to get together in the near future to finish our assault on Mudhoney's Tomb of Mud and Mudmen featuring Muddy Waters and the Mudskippers (which is what I kept calling it) … and this time I get to be the guy who threatens to punch Cal in the dick if he doesn't show up.

“In fact, I’ve never seen her this excited for me to go play D&D.”

In my keynote to PAX East last year, I said that gaming is the foundation of, and the mortar that holds together, the strongest and longest lasting friendships in my life. I've been playing with the same guys since high school, and even though we all live in different states (and some of us live in different countries), a few times a year we all gather at someone's house (usually our friend Cal's house) for a day of gaming, eating, drinking, and more drinking.

Over the years, girlfriends and boyfriends have come and gone, members have been added to our group, and our family has grown. We've introduced our gamer-adjacent partners to the hobby that we love so much, using infection vectors like Wits & WagersPandemicFrank's Zoo, and Shadows Over Camelot. We've had children (Yay! Future gamers!), divorces (Boo! Now it's awkward!), and a D&D campaign that lasted for a decade. Without gaming, we'd still see each other, but I know we wouldn't see each other nearly as often as we do.

About a month ago, we got together for our annual holiday gathering. Cal told me that he wanted to run a D&D one-shot, and that he wanted me to set the date, so I wouldn't be able to back out for some series of reasons that were defined as "bullshit."

I pulled out my phone, and looked at my calendar. "How about January 29?"

Cal called our friend Steve over to the kitchen. Steve lives in Northern California, and getting down to Cal's for game day is about as complicated as flying to LAX from SFO.

"Wil says he can play on the 29th. Can you come down?"

Steve didn't hesitate. "I can do that." He looked at me, pointedly. "…but can you?"

"I just said I could. That's why Cal called you over."

They looked at each other. We've been planning a one-shot for a few years, and it always falls apart because of me, and some series of reasons that are always defined a "bullshit." They looked back at me. Nothing needed to be said.

"I promise that I will play on the 29th," I said. I typed it into my calendar. "See? I'm typing it into my calendar right now. That makes it official."

Cal set his wine glass on the counter, and pointed at me. "Okay, we'll play on the 29th, but if you don't show up, I am coming to your house, and I will punch you in the dick."

Steve said, "I will also fly down from San Francisco and I will also punch you in the dick."

I said, "Well, I don't want to get punched in the dick, and I really want to play D&D with my friends, so I don't think it will be a problem."

We made celebratory noises, and opened another bottle of wine to mark the occasion.

While I was in Portland last week, Anne called me. "Are you still playing D&D with Cal and everyone on Saturday?"

"I don't want to get punched in the dick," I said.

"… um."

"Yes. Yes, I'm playing D&D on Saturday. Why?"

"All the wives are getting together for an anti-D&D-girly-spa day while you guys play, and then everyone is getting together for dinner after. I wanted to make sure you were playing before I told them I'd go."

"Woah! That's awesome," I said. Then, I had a million dollar idea. "Someone should open up some kind of non-gamer spa or something right next to a game shop, so nerds can drop their Muggle partners off while they play."

"Muggle?"

"Yeah, if you don't know what a Muggle is, you're a Muggle. That's just science, Anne."

In the silence that followed, I could feel The Look coming through the phone at me.

"Anyway. Yes, I'm playing, and yes, you should go, because that will be awesome for both of us." 

"Mmmmkay," she said.

Our undying love was declared, and we hung up the phone.

Over the next couple of days, Anne texted me frequently about the spa day, and how much she was looking forward to getting together with her friends while I played with my friends. This morning I e-mailed Cal with some questions about the game. In his reply, he told me to make sure Anne was connected with the girls for their spa thing.

"Oh, she knows all about it," I wrote back. "In fact, I've never seen her this excited for me to go play D&D."

When I told PAX that gaming was so important to my friends and me, I didn't even consider that all of our wives, who only know each other because of us, have formed their own friendships that are independent of their nerdy husbands. So, in a way, gaming didn't just bring my group of friend together (and keep us together), it brought our wives together, too. The next time some idiot says that gaming and gamers are antisocial, I think I'll mention this … and then punch them in the dick.

In which my shirt.woot shirt makes its resurrection roll

The Lords of Shirt.woot heard our prayers, and have brought my shirt, How We Roll (or, as I like to call it, Critical Mass), back for the holidays!!

Real quick history lesson: I designed this shirt, that I really love, for shirt.woot last year. It was pretty damn popular, but was overtaken by other awesome designs in the Reckoning, and was sent off to a farm where it could run around and play with other shirts. I was super bummed (and a little angry) when it died, because I didn't get a chance to cast a single healing spell on it … but today, it's been given a second chance at life.

I'm super excited that they're doing this, because I can replace mine (there was an unfortunate incident when I failed a DEX check and took ongoing stain damage that not even the washing machine could end), but also because we've improved the design a little bit for the reprint.

When I thought up this design, I wanted it to look very similar to the old D&D sourcebooks that I loved as a kid. To that end, I suggested thin, dark lines to hold it all together. In theory, this is awesome; in practice, it's pretty easy to lose the thin black lines on the dark grey shirt. Unfortunately, I didn't realize or consider this until I'd seen it a few thousand times on other people at conventions all over the place. So when I was contacted about doing How We Roll as a reprint for the holidays, I suggested that we make the lines a little heavier, and make them white instead of black. The crew at shirt.woot waved their magic wands, and it was done.

Here's what the revised design looks like:

How_We_Rollz8bDetail

By the way, your DM told me that if you wear this to the next session, you get +2 on the roll of your choice.

never forget your roots

While walking through Comicon three or four years ago, I stopped to look at one of those booths that's filled with a hundred different T-shirts.

Somewhere among the various superhero crests and clever nerd phrases and obscure sci-fi homages, I saw a fairly simple design: an Atari joystick, sitting atop the word ROOTS. I grinned and reached for it, and noticed that it was folded next to a similar design that replaced the Atari joystick with a classic NES controller.

"Of course," I thought to myself, as I felt like Old Man Wheaton, "for a lot of the damn kids today, the Atari 2600 is as relevant as black and white television or a transistor radio."

This thought triggered a trip in my mental Tardis to long afternoons spent playing Yar's Revenge and Megamania, and I ended up wandering away in a fog of nostalgia, forgetting to buy either of them.

A few months ago, I was preparing my dungeon delve for the Emerald City Comicon. Rather than pull something pre-made out of the Dungeon Delve book, I created something entirely new. Though I would eventually do the final revisions with Dungeon Tiles, It was the first time I'd designed and built an adventure since I was a teenager, so I started the way we did in the old days: I sat on the floor with some books, some dice (even though I didn't really need them), and used a pencil to build my dungeon on graph paper. 

While I sketched out the first few corridors, counting squares and carefully making my lines as straight as I could, my brain slipped into a stream of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey … stuff … and it used that memory from Comicon as a lens to look back through years and years of afternoons spent alone in the sanctuary of my bedroom, building and refining hundreds of dungeons with nothing more than some analog tools and my imagination. 

Earlier today, my friend Scott Twittered:

Nobody has created an online toolkit for drawing D&D maps? This is ridiculous. I'm using graph paper and pencils like a monk from the 1800s.

replied:

@pvponline Using graph paper and pencils to design dungeons isn't a bug, it's a feature.

I couldn't help smile to myself when I saw Scott's Twitter, because I knew that later today … well, in this case, a picture is worth 1000 words. Here's the idea I had so many months ago, turned into a T-shirt:

Wil_wheaton_roots_t-shirt

As I said I Twitter this morning, I'm especially proud of this one because it's relevant to my interests. If you like it as much as I do, you can get your own in basic, premium (which is a softer fabric, and a slimmer cut), and women's from Jinx.

senses working overtime

Anne and I stayed with my friends Steve and Julie when we went up to San Francisco for w00tstock. I've known Steve since high school, and Julie's sister was friends with my brother when they were younger, in case anyone was wondering how small the world actually is.

Steve and I were in the same gaming group (with Darin, Cal, and some of my other friends you may recall me mentioning from time to time) so when we got to their house, I went straight to his gaming shelf to see what overlap we have now (Dominion, Settlers, Pandemic, etc.) I saw, on top of a bookcase, a complete set of first edition AD&D core books. Sitting on top of them was a thick stack of TSR-era AD&D modules, including classics like Tomb of Horrors and Village of Hommlet.

"I can't believe you still have these!" I said.

"Do you want them?" He asked. "I don't have room for them here, so they were going to get thrown out or —"

"THROWN OUT?! THEY BELONG IN A MUSEUM!"

From the living room behind us, I heard Anne apologize to Julie.

"It's okay," I may have heard her say. "I'm married to one, too."

Steve and I spent some time (not nearly enough) looking at all those old modules, as well as his AD&D core books. I even made most of my saves vs. Nostalgic Overload (Rogers will be happy to learn that I didn't once say that I felt like I was visiting with old friends).

"You can have all of these," he said, "because I know I'm not going to have time or space to use them any time soon."

"I would love to keep these, if for no other reason than to preserve the history," I told him. In my mind, I was already sitting on the floor of my office, the smell of a freshly-sharpened pencil rising in the air to meet the sound of Rush on the Sonos while I surrounded myself with open books, graph paper, and piles of dice.

Alas, when it was time to return to Los Angeles, we didn't have room or spare weight in our suitcase to bring them with us, so it's going to be a little while before my dream becomes reality.

Still, I can't stop thinking about those books and the memories they're going to shake loose when I finally do get to read them. I still have the books from my Red Box Set, though, so as soon as I got home from my trip, I took them (including B2 – The Keep on the Borderlands) off the shelf and hopped into the time machine. The last few nights, I've read Keep on the Borderlands cover to cover, all the character creation rules in the Player's Book, and all of the procedures in the Dungeon Master's Book.

As I pored over these three books, pausing frequently to feel the comforting warmth of a nostalgic childhood memory wrap around me, I remembered why I fell in love with D&D and then AD&D when I was growing up: when you get down to their fundamentals, D&D and AD&D provide a framework for imaginative, collaborative storytelling.

As I read the Keep on the Borderlands, and I crawled through the Caves of Chaos for the first time in 25 years, I let my imagination take over. I could see the same places I visited when I was a kid. I could see the wide and winding dirt road, coiled around towering mountains and steep cliffs, that I traveled from the Keep to the caves. (Well, I could see it the way 10 or 11 year-old me created it in his youthful imagination, which is to say it looked an awful lot like that 1978 animated Lord of the Rings movie.)

I could see the Lizardmen (who were more than a little reminiscent of the Sleestaks), I could hear the clang of my fighter Thorin's sword against the cave wall, after he cleaved a kobold in two (just like that animation from Dragon's Lair) and the jingling bag of electrum pieces he took off the corpse (which sounded a lot like the pocket of quarters I kept around for sudden outbreaks of Pac-Man fever). I could smell the crackling fire of braziers (summer campfires), and feel the terror of facing down a minotaur who never seemed to miss when he attacked (pop quizes in math class).

If you played Keep on the Borderlands, some of the encounters that sparked my own memories may be familiar, but I bet that any images of the caves they may have stirred up for you different than mine, because when we played this game in the 80s, every single place we went was made real by our imaginations. In fact, that's one of the things I love and miss the most about the earliest days of tabletop RPGs: I miss gaming that was entirely independent of minis and combat maps. I miss being able to close my eyes and picture the zombies and skeletons lining that hallway, knowing that the way I saw them was different from the way my friend Simon saw them, even though he was sitting right next to me. 

I stopped playing AD&D during 2nd edition, when I felt like it was more about complicated math, charts, and THAC0 than it was about using your imagination to explore a wondrous fantasy world. I switched to GURPS, and even though I know that's a system that can easily lead to min/maxing and metagaming, I played with a group of guys who were into storytelling, with a GM who made you think very carefully about what disadvantages you took. When that group grew broke up, I didn't play seriously again until 4E, which as everyone knows I really enjoy.

Still, when I opened The Keep on the Borderlands and read "Welcome to the land of imagination. You are about to begin a journey into the worlds where magic and monsters are the order of the day, where law and chaos are forever at odds, where adventure and heroism are the meat and drink of all who would seek their fortunes in uncommon pursuits…" I realized something: I never played RPGs later on in life like the ones I played when I was 12.

… Jesus, did anyone?

in which bad golf is played and news items are discussed

Last week, I took Nolan to the 3 par golf course I played on all the time as a teenager for a round of what we call Bad Golf. 

The rules of Bad Golf are pretty simple:

1. If you completely blow it on a shot, you get an automatic do-over, no penalty.

2. If you miss the cup by a distance equal to or less than the head on your putter, you count it as "in the hole", so long as you shout, "it's in the hole!"

3. If you somehow hit a squirrel (unintentionally) you automatically win the round.

4. Once a round, you can call "that was totally bullshit" and have a do-over.

5. You must quote Caddyshack whenever appropriate.

These rules were built by me and my friend Kevin when we were in our early 20s, because we loved golf, but were truly horrible at the actual playing of it. They worked out well for us, because they forced us to not take the game too seriously, and gave us a number of excuses to have fun, even when we were playing poorly (which was always.)

This was the first time Nolan or I had picked up a club since the last time we played on this course three years ago, when Nolan was still shorter than me. We played the front 9, invoked Rules 1 and 2 a few times, and had a blast. I shot 37 because I am the master of the four-putt, and Nolan shot 40 because he's taller and stronger than he was last time we played, and even trying to take it easy with his pitching wedge, he was flying over most of the greens. Like everything I do with my kids, though, it wasn't about the score of the game as much as it was about the time spent playing it.

On the way home, I saw a lot of signs around the golf course that pointed to a website called SaveTheGolfCourse.org. When I got home, I looked it up and was horrified to discover that a dirtbag developer is trying to destroy the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and build 320 condos on the land. A lot of residents are fighting it, and I hope they win. I love that place, it's a real treasure for everyone who lives in Sunland, Tujunga, and La Crescenta, and the last thing that area needs is more condos.

And now, various items for your Sunday reading, starting with some book-related things:

I have the final cover for Memories of the Future Volume One, and I'll be posting it next week. Yes, this means that the official release date is right around the corner.

I think I'm bringing a limited-edition chapbook to PAX. If I can get it all together, it will be a short fiction collection, including unpublished stories that I'm pretty sure don't suck.

Jim C. Hines, author of the wonderful book Goblin Quest, read Just A Geek and wrote some extraordinarily kind things about me and my book in his blog.

My columns at Suicide Girls and the LA Weekly, which have been on summer vacation, will be starting up again next month.

For the last two weeks, I've been jogging just a little bit every day, so I can get my skeleton and muscles used to the idea of me doing more physical activity than just sitting at my desk and writing (remember, I've resolved to play ice hockey again before the year is out, and with just four months left, I'm running out of time.) I take my iPod with me and listen to podcasts while I'm out, and I wanted to point out two recent episodes that I enjoyed: From Escape Pod, Carthago Delenda Est and from Stuff You Should Know, The Necronomicon

Back in March, I posted about the debut of my friend Ed's webseries, Angel of Death:

Angel of Death stars Zoe Bell (who you've seen double all kinds of people, but probably didn't know it. She also spent much of Death Proof
riding around on the hood of a car being awesome) as an assassin who
"gets stabbed through the skull; she survives, but the head injury
leaves her with an awkward side effect: She
suddenly develops a conscience."

Though Angel of Death was originally released as an episodic webseries, I guess they always intended to eventually release it as a feature film, and last night, Nolan and I finally got to watch that version on DVD. It looks and sounds great, and the story plays even better on TV than it did in my browser. If you liked Kill Bill, Grindhouse, or Sin City, I think you'll like Angel of Death.

I came across a blog called Study Hacks (via Reddit) that is worth a look, especially if you're a student.

As it turns out, I'm all over the damn place next week: Season 3 of The Guild premieres on Xbox Live on Tuesday the 25th, my episode of Leverage airs on Wednesday the 26th, and the newest D&D Penny Arcade Podcast begins on Friday the 28th.

LEVERAGE: day four

Woke up early yesterday and wrote for about an hour. Met Rogers and walked to a fantastic place for breakfast (forget the name of the place, but President Clinton ate there once and they have something named after him on the menu.) Had a delicious tofu scramble thing, and the most sensational French press coffee I've had since I got here.

Took Rogers to Powell's, because, he said, if we didn't go right then, he probably wouldn't make it there on his own. I couldn't let that happen, for obvious reasons. While we were there, I got a couple of the Fighting Fantasy books I loved so much when I was a kid: The Citadel of Chaos and Seas of Blood. Citadel of Chaos even has little kid writing on the character sheet inside.

"This could have been me," I said to John.

"I would have copied it onto an index card and written all the stats there, to keep the book pristine," he said. I remembered that I'd done exactly that with one of my Lone Wolf books, so I could keep the character more portable.

While we were talking, I had a little bit of a realization:

"I just realized why these books and these games are so important to me," I said, pointing to all the D&D books that surrounded us.

"During a childhood that was completely abnormal, filled with things that I didn't choose for myself, these games were something I chose to read and play. These games were part of my normal."

"Oh, so you were like everyone else who played D&D when they were a kid," John said.

I smiled. "I guess so, yeah."

We bought some books, looked like creeps when I wanted to walk into the kids' section to see if they had any classic Choose Your Own Adventure books (John, a little too-loudly: Why do you always want to go into the kids' section? You're a 36 year-old man! Me, much too-loudly: Because it's a great place to meet new people!) Sadly, they did not.

We walked back through Portland, and got to our hotel about fifteen minutes before a massive rainstorm showed up. I wrote for the next few hours (it always amazes me how much writing I get done when I'm on my own, away from home. I don't think about it too much, though, because I don't want to mess with whatever makes it work) before I met up with my sister, who I haven't seen since she moved here a year ago.

We spent the afternoon together dodging the rain (I sent this to Twitter: "Me: Okay, looks like the rain's let up. Guess I can go outside. The Rain: He's outside again! Resume downpour! AHAHAHAHA!!!!") and catching up. It was awesome, and totally the best part of an already-fantastic day.

I took her to the set to meet some of the cast and crew, and then I went on a local television show called The Square, which was a lot of fun. If you visit their site, you can watch me do my thing and see for yourself.

Then I went back to the hotel, finished reading SHATNERQUAKE (review forthcoming), enjoyed a lot of awesome Star Trek puns from followers on Twitter (UHURACANE, SULUNAMI, SPOCKALYPSE, TSUNIMOY, and DEFORESTFIRE among them search "@wilw" from last night if you want to see them all), and went to sleep happy; I really love being here.

in which i find something unexpected during a Journey Through The Silver Caves

This weekend, I had a last-minute change in plans, and discovered that I had the free time to go play in World Wide D&D Game Day, which was set up by Wizards of the Coast to promote the release of the Monster Manual 2.

I went to my friendly local game shop, where I was able to join a session that was just starting out. I picked a Dwarf Paladin, because I've never played either of those things before, and I thought it would be pretty fun. As it turned out, I was correct. Even though it was a dungeon crawl with people I didn't know, I role-played the Dwarf, as they said in Sherman Oaks in 1983, like totally to the max.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, even though I had to leave before the final encounter because — you know, it's easier if I just tell the story:

Having dispatched the dreaded Rust Monsters in the second encounter, we turned our focus onto the godddamn beetles who kept immobilizing me and the Tiefling. I was getting ready to use one of my daily powers when my phone rang.

I saw that it was Nolan, and sent the call to voice mail, planning to call him back when the encounter was over. He called again, and I ignored it again. When he called a third time, I figured that something important was happening and he really needed my attention.

"Hey Nolan what's –"

"I need you to come pick me up right now and take me and Calvin to the hospital."

My heart jumped into my throat. "What!? What happened? Are you okay?"

"Calvin fell out of a tree and broke his collar bone. His parents are gone and you're the last last last last resort. I know you're playing D&D, but can you help us?"

My heart dropped back to its normal place in my chest. "Yes. I'll be right there."

I told the guys I was playing with what had happened. Luckily, my friend Martin had just come into the store to meet me, so I handed my character over to him. I reminded him to keep role playing heavily, and make sure he didn't roll higher than 7, just to keep things  consistent.

I left, and spent the next few hours taking care of Nolan's friend (who was ultimately fine, but isn't going to be climbing any trees for a few weeks.)

When I got home, I called Martin and asked him how the rest of the adventure went. He told me that Eomer (the Dwarf we played) pulled off some last-minute heroics, and the PCs ended up "winning" the delve:

"That Eomer is a bad mother -"

"Shut your mouth!"

"I'm talking about Eomer!"

"I can dig it."

All of this is preamble to the whole reason I'm writing about it, though. I read this gaming blog called critical-hits. It's awesome, and if you like RPGs, you should read it to.

Anyway, there's a post today about playing the WWD&DGD, written by a guy who ran the delve.

The adventure was Journey Through The Silver Caves, a
straightforward dungeon-crawl that puts the PCs on the trail of a
kobold wyrmpriest who stole an important book of prophecy from a local
fortress. (I will spoil some about the adventure, so if you’re planning
on playing through it at some point later, consider yourself warned).
The PCs meet at the fortress and receive information about what they’re
seeking, the caves nearby, and most importantly, their reward. I
explained that the PCs had traveled together for a short time, but were
forgetful about each other and so should make short, awkward
introductions about their race and profession before continuing. After
the typical introduction around the table, the group arrived at the
caves.

Brief interlude about the D&D game days: I love the Wizards does these things, because it helps build the gaming community in a number of ways. An obvious one is making it really easy for new players to give tabletop RPGs a try, but a less-obvious one that I don't hear people talk about is how fun it is for all of us who play, all over the world, to share our individual experiences playing the same characters in the same encounters. It's so fun to hear how some other party handled the rust monsters, for example, and how other players who chose Eomer decided to use his powers.

Okay, back to the reason I wrote this post: I was reading the post at critical-hits, enjoying myself thoroughly, and then I saw this picture near the end of the post. I may have let out a little squeal of joy, because the DM was wearing the shirt I designed for shirt.woot.

I love that. I love that so much, I wanted to share it with the world. Which I just did.

So there.