Tag Archives: RPG

The newest #Tabletop is a real #Fiasco!

The newest episode of Tabletop is Fiasco, my absolute favorite storytelling RPG of all time.

Fiasco is "a game about ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control. There will be big dreams and flawed execution. It won’t go well for them, to put it mildly, and in the end it will probably all go south in a glorious heap of jealousy, murder, and recrimination. It’s designed to be played in a single session, usually around two and a half hours, with no prep."

When you have a Fiasco, you use a playset to establish the things the players are going to ruin their lives trying to get, who they are to each other, and where everything is going to get all fucked up. Some of my favourite playsets are Los Angeles 1936, Dallas 1963, and Flyover.

Saturday Night 78. A Fiasco Playset written by Wil Wheaton and Will Hindmarch, and Jason Morningstar.

The playset we used for Tabletop was written by me and Will Hindmarch, and Fiasco's creator Jason Morningstar. It's called Saturday Night 78. It is described thusly:

New York City, 1978. Last year, the city endured the chaos of the blackout of ‘77 and the terror of the Son of Sam killings. This year, Studio 54 makes millions by giving beautiful plebs and dazzling celebrities a place to party at $20 a head. Condensed sweat rains from Studio 54’s mirrored-laminate ceiling—sweat evaporated from the brows of celebrities, maybe—and falls back on the dancers below.

This is a time of rock and disco, of reckless hedonism and casual sex, a time before consequences. Debauchees high on blow, poppers, or Quaaludes dance and laugh and lust and cry in swank clubs and dirty dives all over the city. Whoever your characters are in the daylight, come dark they transform into sordid stars or disco royalty, beautiful disasters or pitiable victors, ricocheting off each other into the glittering wreckage of imploded parties. Every Saturday night the city’s alight with spectacular fiascos.

What's that you say? It sounds like an awesome setting that you'd like to use yourself? We've got you covered! You can download Saturday Night 78 for free right here, and use it in your very own Fiasco. And if you do, you know that I want to hear all about it in the comments.

Testing the theory that one can not have too many dice

Just before I went out to GenCon in August, I wrote:

I have one request, which I hope isn't unreasonable: I'd like to test the theory that you can't have too many dice. If I see you at GenCon, would you give me one gaming die? I'll bring home as many as I get, dump them all on my office floor, and take a picture. I think it could be pretty cool … or very, very sad. Either way, it will be something, you can be sure of that

Before I even left, the response was epic, including this hilarious and brilliant comic my friend Joel drew for his webcomic, Hijinks Ensue.

I hoped I'd get a fair amount of dice, but I was totally unprepared for how many, and the incredible stories that came with just about each one. For three straight days, hundreds of people gave me probably close to a thousand dice, total, and each one had a story: "This is from my original red box" and "These dice killed all my players and I need to get rid of them or they won't play with me again" and "This is my first set of GenCon dice, I wanted you to have it" and the most common: "These dice are evil. They are out to get me. Here you go. Good riddance."

Since I came home from GenCon, I've been too busy to take a proper photo of the giant haul of dice I got, but I made some time this morning to take a few shots. They're all at Flickr, and none of them truly capture the enormity and beauty the way I can experience it with my own eyes, (especially pouring out close to 15 pounds from the big GenCon bag I keep them all in) but this is my favorite one:

GenCon Dice Haul #1

Now, to the important question: Can you have too many dice? I require further research and testing, but the early results of my experiment clearly say "No. No you can not have too many dice, especially when each die or set of dice you get comes with a story from the person who gave it to you, allowing you to make a personal connection that merely talking to each other does."

Enormous thanks to everyone who gave me dice at GenCon and at PAX. I think I'm going to keep doing this, until one day I have enough dice to cover my entire floor.

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.

my sword glows blue in the presence of rules lawyers

Around the end of last year, I Twittered

Just read this on Board Game Geek: "My sword glows blue in the presence of rules lawyers." I kind of want that on a T-shirt.

I figured that it was very unlikely that I was the first person on all of the internet to combine gaming archetypes with Lord of the Rings references, so I went online and searched for what would be my favorite T-shirt, right up until the moment something new was my favorite T-shirt.

I was astonished when I found nothing on all of the Googles, and decided it was a moral imperative that I correct this giant hole in the potential geek wardrobe. I made a Twitter poll about it to be sure, which received a couple thousand affirmative responses. My course was clear: this shirt must be created … but how, exactly? I have lots of design ideas all the time, but I am pretty horrible at making them into actual things that have anything in common with what I see in my head.

This time, though, I knew how to make it happen, so I picked up the phone …

<Wayne's World Flashback Sound>

A few months earlier, I’d had a lunch meeting with some guys from Jinx, who were interested in collaborating with me to turn some of my crazy ideas into awesome T-shirts. Some of the stuff Jinx makes is just too loud for my taste, on account of me being an old man and everything, but they had made some things I really loved, like Choose Your Weapon, the RPG skeleton, and the Failboat. They also seemed like really nice guys, the kind of people I could feel good about doing business with, which is damn important to me.

I knew that Jinx had already done shirts for The Guild, so I asked Kim and Felicia if they were happy with their experience. They had nothing but good things to say, so I told the guys, “If I come up with some design ideas, I’ll get in touch.”

</Wayne's World Flashback Sound>

Flash forward to the discovery that this combination of Lord of the Rings and fantasy gaming, which delighted me, did not appear to exist in T-shirt form. (If you see where this is going, award yourself 2d6 electrum pieces and 1d4-1 XP.) I called Sean at Jinx and said something like, "Hey, I have a design idea that at least two thousand people agree does not suck. Want to make it?"

I described it to Sean, and he set his team into motion. It took a long time and a lot of back and forth to get exactly what I saw in my head onto a T-shirt I would want to wear. It was a fantastic collaborative process, though, and the end result is certainly better than anything I could have come up with entirely by myself.

I was so happy with the design they produced, I began actively thinking about other things I’d like to see on T-shirts, and a partnership was formed that officially launches today, with this:

My Sword Glows Blue in the Presence of Rules Lawyers

My Sword Glows Blue in the Presence of Rules Lawyers, by Wil Wheaton in collaboration with Jinx.

We have developed four different designs together so far, and we’ll release one a week for the next month, until they’re all available. Assuming that people like them as much as I do, we'll make more, including a few short runs that only appeal to the 2% of people who live in the same exact weird slice of the Venn diagram that I do.

Now, I have an idea that I think could be crazy awesome, and a fun way to celebrate the release of this T-shirt: tell me your favorite rules lawyer story in a brief comment, and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to win the shirt I’m wearing in that picture, as well as one in the size of your choice that doesn't contain trace amounts of my dead skin cells, suitable for eventually creating an army of clones. I'll also pick my favorite story, and read it on Radio Free Burrito next Monday.

I'm sure it goes without saying that we'll have a Rules Lawyer T-shirt meetup and group photo at GenCon, but I'm going to say it anyway: we'll have a Rules Lawyer T-shirt meetup and group photo at GenCon.

A few geeky games that are worth setting aside some Geek Time to play

I've discovered that, unless I specifically set aside Geek Time for me, Wil Wheaton, I end up doing nothing but work. This isn't entirely bad, because most of the work I do is geek-related, but I eventually run out of HP, and I have to recharge. by doing some private geeky thing, like reading comics, playing a little Xbox, or getting together with my friends 

Think of it this way: reading a comic book gives me a little HP, like 1d4. Reading a graphic novel gives me 1d6+2. Settling in with a good book (Currently reading Spook Country) gives me 1d10, but I can't do anything else for several turns and have to save versus distractions at -2. Playing a video game gives me 1d8+1, unless it's Rock Band with my friends or family, which gives me 2d10+5.

In fact, doing any geeky thing with friends is an automatic additional d10, which is why I like to get together with my friends at least once a month to play hobby games. During these gatherings, I can usually count on going all the way back to my starting HP, and if I'm especially lucky, I'll gain 1d10 additional HP that is lost at a rate of about 1 point every two hours after we've all gone back to our regular lives.

(Incidentally, writing those three paragraphs gave me 1d6-2, in addition to the 3d6+10 I got earlier today when I got to be a voice actor for four hours.)

So recently, I had a bunch of friends over for a game day, and we played some games I loved so much, I wanted to share them with the rest of the class, in case some of you are dangerously low on HP and need some healing:

Dominion

This is a card game that plays like a CCG (think Magic: The Gathering) without requiring you to buy a bunch of booster packs and participate in the deck-building arms race that makes most CCGs a meta game of "who can spend the most on cards." BoardGameGeek says: 

In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can "buy" as they can afford them. Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end.

Dominion is not a CCG, but the play of the game is similar to the construction and play of a CCG deck. The game comes with 500 cards. You select 10 of the 25 Kingdom card types to include in any given play — leading to immense variety.

Dominion plays very fast, and is one of those games that you can play while drinking a beer (or three) and still play (mostly) competently. 

There are expansions, but I won't buy them on principle, because that path leads to the CCG stuff I'm trying to avoid or at least limit.

Revolution!

Steve Jackson Games is famous for putting out the classic RPG GURPS, irreverent card games like Munchkin and the Chez games, and war games like Ogre and Car Wars. This is the company's first offering that could be considered a Eurogame, and I absolutely love it. Quoth BGG:

In Revolution! players take advantage of the fluid political situation by secretly bidding for a number of characters, each yielding a combination of territory control, points (popular support) and more currency with which to bid next round. Players win by gaining the support of the people (the most points). Players can gain bonus points by controlling an area of the city at the end of the game. This game is for 3-4 players and takes 60 minutes to play.

What I love about Revolution! is the lack of one clear perfect strategy to win the game. In many respects, it's like poker: you win by playing against the other players as much (if not more) than you play the actual game. It's very simple to pick up (I'd say it takes about 5 minutes to teach) and really needs four players, though you can play with three.

Bonus soon-to-be-released SJ Games: Cthulhu Dice (I played this at RinCon and loved it) and Zombie Dice (which I haven't played, but looks like a whole lot of fun.)

Pandemic

I love cooperative games, where the players are working together against the game itself. Some games, like Shadows Over Camelot, toss the uncertainty of a traitor into the game, while others, like Arkham Horror, are so purely cooperative, they can even be played as solo games. Pandemic is a purely cooperative game that BGG describes thusly:

You are specialists at the CDC/Atlanta where you watch several virulent diseases break out simultaneously all over the world. The team mission is to prevent a world-wide pandemic outbreak, treating hotspots while researching cures for each of the four plagues before they get out of hand.

Players must plan their strategy to mesh their specialist's strengths before the diseases overwhelm the world. For example, the Operations Specialist can build research stations, which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5. But the diseases are breaking out fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while developing cures. If disease spreads uncontrolled, the players all lose. If they can cure all four diseases, they win.

This game looks and feels beautiful, and though it's probably the most complicated to learn on this list, it's not nearly as complicated as an RPG, a historical wargame, or understanding one of us geeks. You can adjust the level of difficulty (from easy to legendary) and if you get the expansion, On The Brink, you can add mutations and virulent strains of the various diseases, as well as a bioterrorist who is working against the other players. You rarely breeze through a game of Pandemic, and even though you start out sort of losing, victory is almost always decided by a razor-thin margin. 

Pandemic is so frakking hard to beat, it shouldn't be fun, but I have had more fun losing games of Pandemic than I've had winning a huge list of other games.

Small World 

Days of Wonder is probably best-known for games like Ticket To Ride and its sequels, Battlelore and its sequels, and Memoir '44 and its sequels. Small World is a very recent release from Days of Wonder, and I think it's one of the best games they've ever published. One more time, let's borrow from Board Game Geek:

Small World is inhabited by a zany cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth.

Picking the right combination from the 14 different fantasy races and 20 unique special powers, players rush to expand their empires – often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory!

Okay, so that description doesn't really capture what's awesome about this game. Let me try to explain why I love it so much: first, it's a map conquest game that comes with different maps for different numbers of players, so you get a balanced game whether you're playing head-to-head or with three or four other friends. Second, the zany characters get different unique special powers every time you play, so there's no point in developing a strategy (or counter strategy) exclusively for Flying Amazons or Dragonmaster Ghouls, because you may not get to use it that often. Third, it employs an elegant scoring system that tends to keep the games close (are you sensing some commonality among the games I really like?). Fourth, it just looks beautiful. The counters and the boards feature great artwork, so it's easy to buy into the theme. Finally, it's a relatively quick game, which is important to a guy like me who doesn't have nearly enough time to play all the games he wants to play.

All of these games are suitable for ages 12 and up, with the exception of Pandemic, which I think is >just< a little to complex for the under-14 set.

Now that I've spent enough time on this post to have actually played one of these games, I'd like to close with three RPGs that I haven't played, but desperately want to play:

Okay, now that I've regained some of my HP, I think I'm ready to go ahead and attempt the Drop Off Packages At The Post Office quest. If I don't come back, avenge my death and immortalize me in song.

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?

Everybody walk the dinosaur. Well, except for you. You’re not working out.

I have no idea what the title of this post has to do with the content of this post. In fact, I think there's no relation at all, other than the fact that I wrote them both. But when your brain compels you to quote Was (not Was), it's best to just do what it says, and slip in a Simpsons reference if you can manage it.

So. Moving on.

RinCon was awesome this weekend. The delves were a huge success, even though both parties managed to finish them, despite my best efforts to kill them all. I am absolutely going to run Child's Play Charity delves at future cons (and may even organize a special event here in Los Angeles at a local game shop, if enough people commit to playing) and those delves will all be of my own original creation, because running these two delves and listening to our D&D Podcast has made me want to write and run a campaign more than at any other time in my life. I know I keep going on and on about how easy it is to pick up and play 4e, but … dude, it is so easy to pick up, play, and run 4e, the only reason I'm not playing every week is because I haven't had the time to do it. (Fun fact: we had players in both delves who were totally new to 4e – one of them hadn't even played since 2nd edition! – and it took all of about 5 minutes to get them into the swing of things. I know 4e has its detractors, but I just love it that this system is so easy for new players to pick up, whether they're PCs or DMs.)

I had an incredible time playing a lot of new games, as well as many of my old favorites. I especially enjoyed an indie game called Castle Panic
, and an unreleased game from SJ Games that I wish I could tell you all about. I also picked up a storytelling game called A Penny For My Thoughts
that I think was the sleeper hit of the convention. The Rock Band party was also a lot of fun, and some of you may be interested to know that James Ernest is an absolute beast on the drums.

A full con report, including some various thoughts I had about gaming at cons and why they are such an important part of our community is forthcoming, probably as this month's Geek in Review column.

Now, on to business:

My episode of The Big Bang Theory airs next Monday, October 19, on CBS. Yes, I'm excited enough about this to use the silly bold letters in my blog. Yes, this also means that I won't get to watch it live because I'll be performing at w00tstock San Francisco while it airs, but it also means that those of you who wanted to see w00tstock San Francisco on Monday but could only get tickets for Tuesday can still get your USRDA of Wil Wheaton sightings (snort) without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. Because, um, that sounds funny in my head.

SPOILER ALERT! Info about my episode of The Big Bang Theory follows:

The ‘Star Trek: TNG’ alum is guesting next week as a nastier version of himself. And as it turns out, this Wil Wheaton has a longstanding rivalry with Sheldon. How did this geektastic casting come to be? Says Kunal Nayyar (Raj), “The writers were discussing, ‘Who would be a good villain for Sheldon?’ just as Wil Wheaton was writing into them, saying how much he loves the show.” 

(via)

Okay, the final bit of business before I hit publish and go to work on the Memories of the Future release post and a few related bits: the project I've been working on that I wasn't sure if I could talk about, has been revealed. I'm voicing Bill Willingham's Peter & Max: A Fables Novel. It's been a delight to spend five hours a day exploring Bill's world and brining his characters to life, and we're going to have something very special when the whole project is completed.

“…tactical terrain for building utilizable dioramas”

Gabe:

The box of Dwarven Forge
stuff I ordered showed up yesterday, and when Kara saw it she told me
it looked like a dollhouse for boys. I laughed and explained that it
was actually tactical terrain for building utilizable dioramas.


This afternoon as I was placing the
tiny mugs of ale in the tavern I had built, my mind drifted back to her
words from yesterday. I shook my head to clear the thought. Come on,
this is clearly not a dollhouse. I chuckled softly to myself as I
placed the miniature basket of butter-horns on one of the wooden
tables. Dollhouses are for girls.

In my day we didn't have awesome sculpted terrain and hand-painted miniature figures! We had graph paper and our imagination, and we liked it!

Well, except for when we started playing Warhammer 40K, and we had shoeboxes filled with terrain, and foam-filled suitcases to carry our Chaos Marine armies.

…man, now I want to play D&D, and I want to paint minis.

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.