Cimmerian Timeline Part 18

Previous: Cimmerian Timeline Part 17

882BCE: Toffoun joined the royal court of the newly crowned High King of the Dwarves, Cogard. Amalgami and Jovy went with Toffoun.

879BCE: Amalgami left the Dwarven royal court to assist with the construction of defenses for the Dragon Orbs.
Jovy left the Dwarven royal court as he’d worn out his welcome with the nobles. He gambled and won too often. He slept around with too many nobles’ wives and daughters. He got into too many drunken fights.
Jovy returned to his ship that he’d moored on the eastern coast of the Caspian. He was surprised to find a community had sprung up around his ship, viewing it as a sacred artifact of the Dragon War. Jovy took pleasure in their adoration and resumed his title as King of the Caspian. The town that had grown around the Mira Miro was dubbed Lordodo. King Jovy ruled over his subjects, judged their legal cases, made policy, protected them, and took tribute.

865BCE: Amalgami visited his child in Phoenix. His son was now 48 and had lived most of her life without him. The meeting between the prodigal Dragon War Hero and his progeny did not go well. Amalgami left for his hibernation without the resolution that he desired. He would reawaken when the Copper Orb was destroyed.

861BCE: Tentineh told Captain Jovy that the time had come to retire from his life of luxury. Jovy agreed to go into hibernation in one year’s time. The pirate captain took the Mira Miro on one last pleasure cruise through Those Blast Islands.

860BCE: Jovy returned the Mira Miro to the town, Lordodo, where he had ruled the Caspian Sea for the last two decades. He joined Tentineh in hibernation to protect the Dragon Orbs, leaving behind many illegitimate children. Jovy would reawaken when the Gold Orb was destroyed. Tentineh would reawaken when the Silver Orb was destroyed.

859BCE: In Jovy’s absence Lordodo was ruled by the captains of various ships that docked there. These captains formed the Navigator’s Guild. They met in the Mira Miro and dispensed law from the beached relic.


Next: Cimmerian Timeline Part 19


How D&D Works Part 2

These are my personal dice that I use when I play D&D.
These are my personal dice that I use when I play D&D.

The imagination aspects of D&D set it apart from most other games, but the dice do that as well.

D&D uses dice all the time to decide what happens in the game. Dice are rolled when you talk to other characters, when you try to hit something with a sword, and when you try to figure out what a magic potion does.

D&D has many different types of dice, all of which you can see here. And in case you were wondering dice is the plural. The singular of the noun is die.

The seven types are 4-sided dice, 6-sided dice, 8-sided dice, 10-sided dice, 12-sided dice, and 20-sided dice. In D&D these are abbreviated to just d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20.

When you roll a certain number of dice there’s an additional abbreviation. If you roll two 6-sided dice then you are rolling 2d6. If you’re rolling two 8-sided dice and adding 5 then you are rolling 2d8+5.

Owning and rolling the dice becomes fun for its own sake the more you play the game. The dice in the picture are just all my personal sets in a pile. I have loads more that I loan out to other people when I play with them. I keep those dice in a wooden box that looks like a d6.

When you roll the dice in D&D you’re always trying to get high numbers. The most often rolled die is the d20. The d20 is used for all of the activities I listed above and many more. It’s used when you swim, when you climb, and when you listen at a door to see what’s behind it.

When you roll a 20 on a d20, you celebrate! You rolled a natural 20 or  a critical hit (often abbreviated as a crit). A crit lets your character perform whatever task he was attempting to the best of his ability. If he was debating someone, he utterly defeats them. If he was swimming, he sets a new personal record. If he was making a cake, he bakes an amazing cake that everyone loves to eat.

Similarly, if you roll a 1 on a d20, it’s called a fumble. When you fumble, something bad happens. The most common result is that your shoelace comes untied and you trip on it.

The dice are used to resolve all but the simplest actions in the game. It’s fun for me to trudge into a dragon’s lair and not know exactly whether my character will come out alive or not. I hope he does, but victory is never assured. In our last session the dragon toasted and burned two of us!

That’s all for now.

-Mister Ed

How Dungeons and Dragons Works Part 1

Sunday is the day I typically play D&D with my friends, so I am thinking about making Mondays into my “talk about D&D days.”

Last week I talked about the history of D&D and said a little about how I feel when I play D&D in contrast to video games. Today I’ll be talking about how D&D and other pen and paper roleplaying games work in practice.

First, a group of friends get together and decide they want to play. Typical group sizes range from four people to as large as eight. Most groups meet in person. My group meets on the internet using a program called Roll20 which I’ll talk about another time.

My group has six people in it including me. Out of the six players, only one is the Dungeon Master (DM). The other five are Player Characters (PCs). The PCs usually form a team while the DM plays against them. If D&D were a typical competitive game like Scrabble or Monopoly, then the PCs would cooperate to beat the DM.

Each PC designs one character to represent themselves in the D&D world. There are essentially no limitations in what you can design. When I first started playing I wanted to be a talking bat that cast spells. D&D does allow for this option, but my dad eventually convinced my nine year-old self to play a delinquent elf teenager. I’ve since played hobbit gladiators, dwarven drunks, and elf pirates among many others.

So the PCs each create a hero to play. The PCs control every aspect of that hero, how old he is, what his hair color is, how tall he is, how he fights, how he talks. Everything. But that’s only five people, what about all the others that inhabit the fantasy world that the heroes live in?

The DM creates and plays everything else in the world. If the PCs go to a city, the DM decides what that city looks like and what businesses are there and it is the DM’s responsibility to tell the players that information. The DM creates challenges for the PCs, the traditional challenge being a dungeon with a dragon at the bottom of it (The game is called Dungeons and Dragons for a reason).

The PCs could do anything they wanted. They could open a T-shirt shop together if they wanted to; however, most don’t open shops. D&D is most fun when fighting monsters or overcoming other violent challenges. My villains in my current world are vampires. There are also zombies, dragons, giants, ogres, evil wizards, and many other evil threats to the imaginary innocent people in my world. The PCs try to make the world a better place through their actions. The fun comes from how they decide to do that and the choices they have to make along the way as well as the thrilling action scenes that we play out.

That’s all for now, but more to come next week!

-Mister Ed