30 Days of D&D (…in two posts)

      Yeah, I found another meme on Tumblr and yeah, it is designed to be a 30 Day Challenge about me and my experience with D&D/Pathfinder. But I’m going to treat is like a quick 30 question meme and just race through it for fun and for nostalgia’s sake. Two posts. 15 topics each. Boom!
      I may have actually done these same questions once before, but like all things, I too evolve and in the years since that post (if it exists) I’m sure my answers have changed a bit.
      Humor me, bitte?
      Here we go:

  • How Did You Get Started?
  •       When I was about 9, one of my best friends, Aragorn, (and yes – that was his actual, legal name) had a birthday party. At said party, his parents distributed character sheets, little tubes of these insanely weird shaped dice I had never seen before, and described to us the adventure we were going to take part in. I hadn’t ever really known what “D&D” was before – but I loved it. Okay, sure – they made me play the lady elf archer and yes, I died in like, one round from what I think was a baby beholder or some sort. But I was hooked on the story-telling aspect.
          I think that day was really the start of my life-long love affair with both Pen & Paper games and fantasy novels at large. I didn’t get a chance to play again for many years – but I never stopped thinking up characters, writing stories, building worlds.
          I was hooked. Thanks Phil & Hilary (Aragorn’s über-nerd mom & step-dad).

  • Favorite PC Race
  •       Hmm. Human. In Pathfinder, at least, they’re the most versatile and have some really great racial benefits and feats/traits. I love ’em. They have short lives, too, so they tend to live in a more wreckless, fast-paced state that I think lends itself well to backstory and gives an urgency to any adventure or story.
          Right now, I’m (still) playing an aasimar paladin. She looks human – except for the metallic gold eyes, huge angel wings (it cost me three feats for those bastards! haha), and an otherworldy charisma (CHA score is presently 33… like, Gold Dragon territory). I like her, and I like some of the other subsets of aasimars, but I think human remains my favorite race.

  • Favorite PC Class
  •       Okay, so my first character when I finally got to play as a grown-up was a Cleric. I have always loved playing the healer type in various MMOs and other game systems. I can’t recall her name anymore, but I played a priestess of the Goddess of Fortune in a game our old friend Garth ran. I loved her, but the game was sloooooooow and she never really advanced.
          In the same vein – I loved playing my druid, Telly. But she was way more RP-oriented than “effective” at anything (not a great healer, not a great combatant) except flirting with her brother (adopted!) and cooking. Loved her.
          I’ve played a fighter (Mim), a sorceress (Nyx), a wizard (Nída), a slayer (Toni), a couple clerics, a paladin (Rhiallis), and a ranger (Ava). Probably, I have forgotten some. I loved them all for various reasons, but I guess my favorite class at the moment is Paladin.
          Those saves! That smite! That holy stick-up-the-butt! (Just Kidding)

  • Favorite Game World
  •       ARGH! So hard. Faerûn around the Time of Troubles was amazeballs. Afterward (and all subsequent “incarnations”) it sucked. Golarion is pretty cool, but the way they’ve had to game tech and gunpowder and whatnot in seems a bit higgeldy-piggeldy to me. That’s where we run, at the moment.
          I didn’t play much in Greyhawk or Eberron. The World of Darkness games, either.
          I think my favorite is “Sage” (a homebrew world Mark & I have written about) or “Belegriand’s Fall” (a setting Mark & I have stories set in).

  • Favorite Dice
  •       I love my d20s. All of them. Even the ones that fail me. Haha.
          But my favorite set of dice changes daily. I have a set of these creamy, opalescent ones I use for Rhiallis (most of the time) which I adore beyond measure. They’re called Chessex Festive Circus (with Black), I believe and they’re lovely paladin-themed dice if ever I saw ’em. Okay – maybe that just me.
          But I do tend to put together theme sets for each of my characters. Nyx used these semi-metallic charcoal ones (she was an evil sorceress who worshipped the Old Ones). Ava, a woodland ranger, used nifty verdant green dice. My DM set is a bunch of my favorite randoms from non-sets, and I bought a set of eye-searching neon yellow ones for a Drow Alchemist I had wanted to play awhile back.
          Basically – I love dice. I may or may not have purchased six or seven POUNDS of random dice in the past five years (plus a few specific sets, such as those Festive Circus and the neon yellow ones).

  • Favorite Deity
  •       Mark could tell you straight away. Bane was always his favorite in Faerûn, Abadar in Golarion. Is it telling that both are extremely Lawful? You tell me.
          I am enjoying my Paladin of Iomedae, as I’ve said thousands of times on this blog, but I still think one of my favorite deities was Shandakul from Faerûn. He was a traveler and watcher of roads. I’ve always found it easy to imagine a cleric worshipping him would be content to wander the lands doing good deeds (or neutral-ish ones, I suppose) and venerating him as an itinerant priest. It appears to my wanderlust, I guess.

  • Favorite Edition
  •       Oh god, edition wars commence!
          Look, I never (really) played 1st Ed or 2nd Ed or even 3rd. I started (mostly) with 3.5 and loved it. There were great things in 4th edition, but mostly it was a tabletop MMO and I did not really enjoy the system at all. 5th Edition… seems legit, but I haven’t gotten to explore it yet.
          There are thousands of other rules systems and games out there to try, but my group is pretty much dead-set stuck with Pathfinder (aka 3.75 – haha) and I really enjoy it. No, it isn’t perfect and sometimes the math makes my head boggle, but it is fun.
          And the d20PFSRD.com makes it good to play without dragging around 20 books, which is nice!

  • Favorite PC (of your own)
  •       Impossible!
          I think my favorite PCs are often the ones I dreamt up and never got to play. Devin the Baker, John Chandler of Fordham, Ram, Sa’rang Eun, Makoto Yu, Alai a’Rajanna, Akala’fe of House Denaviir (that alchemist I mentioned earlier, hehe), Fang, Khulan, Peri, and Shah.
          But… Since I’ve written over 100,000 words about her – I’ll have to go with Rhiallis.

  • Favorite PC (someone else’s)
  •       Oh lord.
          I would like to have written & played Chris’ halfling rogue, “Mira”. I still hope we get her raised someday. She was so cheerful and adorable and ferocious in the face of the evil in the Worldwound.
          Also, honestly, any of Mark’s builds. They are all so well-balanced between roleplay and effectiveness in combat… Julius and Gavriil and Anajalihn spring to mind instantly.

  • Craziest In-Game Moment
  •       Harlan (Mikey P.’s bard) hopping up to “just take a sample” of a shiny rock with his stonecutting kit and failing to realize that there was a massive ten foot chasm between where we stood and the “shiny bit” he wanted. Mike subsequently rolled three natural 1s interspersed with failures no higher than 5 on the dice and Harlan fell 300 feet down the chasm into the subterranean river and was sucked down a channel. Oops.
          That’s probably not the craziest, but it was memorable.
          The time Tim’s impatience got us practically TPK’d because his meteor hammer-swinging fighter couldn’t wait for someone to check the door for locks, so he just started pounding on it with his huge hammer… and immediately woke the ENTIRE FORTRESS of baddies to come kill us.
          The time we tried to sneak though a derro/drow/gnoll bazaar in neutral territory and accidentally started a war.
          The time Brian’s mythic paladin, Celeste, biffed a saving throw (natural 1) mid-sentence and died to a mythic disintegrate spell. Ouch. That’s actually how we lost Mira, also… that same session.
          The time – last night (well, April 2nd) – when first Paul’s slayer, Sadie, then my paladin, Rhiallis, rolled 1s on our Fortitude Saves and were petrified by freaking basilisks before we even entered the keep of our mighty foe!
          The time Kate’s lovely druid lost her head to a horse-sized flesh-eating parrot monster while standing atop a 100 foot ziggarat in a city lost for 11,000 years…
          Every session has something insane. That’s why we love gaming.

  • Favorite Adventure (you ran)
  •       When Garth left the group abruptly, I volunteered to take over running “Kingmaker”. It was my first time DM’ing for more than just Mark, and I was terrified. But it was exhilarating and I loved it. Kingmaker will probably always top my list.

  • Favorite Dungeon-type/Location
  •       Hmm. I love the Underdark in Faerûn. The Deeplands in Golarion just can’t really compare. But I tend to enjoy all types of locations: fortresses, inns, towns, overland travel, forest combat, rivers, mid-air, mountains… The only thing I haven’t really run yet is anything on another plane. I’m psyched for THAT!

  • Favorite Trap/Puzzle
  •       I’m terrible with coming up with my own puzzles and traps. I always look for inspiration on the interwebs and in books.
          However, Mark and Paul love to tell the story of the time they nearly lost a whole party of mid-level (7 to 9, if I recall) characters to a maze of exquisite pit-traps set by a devious tribe of Kobolds (CR 1 or less).
          Beautiful use of traps by the DM… Mike, I think. He used to be so good. I’m so bummed he’s not really… anymore.

  • Favorite NPC
  •       Mark ran a campaign once and had this wealthy, gay (I think), vampire (we didn’t know ICly) NPC named Armand who had such delightful quotes and affectations. He once promised he would “treat you as if you were real people”, slyly indicating that as mere adventuring peasants, we were most assuredly NOT real people. Tee-hee. Armand’s man-servant with the sandwich board target sign was epic.
          He also ran the BEST villain ever – Lemondrop – a house-dancing drider with two bald, barechested, buff and oiled-up dwarf cohorts. Oh god. Lemondrop. <3 So great.       I've enjoyed running Toni (Antonia "Toni" Gryffinaud) in "The Serpent's Skull", but I think my favorites were all the ones I ran back when I was DM'ing Mark's fighter (named Archer, who did not arch at all). We had Kark, the dwarf rogue, Suki, the chosen one (a transmuted erineyes hiding from her sisters and her drow-ish husband) who liked pink, Zute the Magenta (also Zute the Conquered, Zute the Unemployed, and a hundred other titles) a gnomish wizard Archer conquered and befriended. Gods, that game was FUN.

  • Favorite Undead
  •       I don’t know that I could pick just one. Undead creatures can be so much fun – particularly intelligent ones ruling over mindless ones. They often have scary powers that’ll fuck up an unprepared party – even one that should be way too easy for a high level party.
          Mark’s recent Banshee fight was proof of that.
          Can’t wait until we find HER again!

      Okay – that’s a lot of shop talk for one day, isn’t it? Don’t worry. I’ll be back in a few days to finish off my 30-in-30 (in two).
      See you then! And feel free to let me know in comments, your answers to some of these!

Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “dices” by (tijmen) from SXC.hu


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