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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dead in Thay: Sloppy Dice

Lose your grip and pay the price
Last Wednesday we jumped back into the Doomvault. It went fine, I guess. It was an average session.

I've been a little swamped with work and all these games I'm running, but so far I'm keeping my head above water.

Today is Free RPG Day and I'll be heading into the store in a couple of hours to run more of this adventure. Free RPG Day is different every year, here. Sometimes it's crowded, sometimes it's dead. Sometimes the free stuff is laid out on a table, sometimes the stuff is distributed like it's the last slices of pizza on a.. uh.. ninja turtle planet. Yeah there you go.

I want one thing: The Lamentations of the Flame Princess Free RPG Day book. And the Shadowrun thingie, if possible. I will remain cautiously optimistic that I have a chance of obtaining one or either.

I also threw it out there to the store owner that if there are any free dice in the Free RPG Day kit, that my players sorely need them. The dice shortage among these youngsters has reached critical mass. Hack and Slash Guy lost his free black d20 that he got for playing this season. It was the only die he owned.

We now have three players sharing one set of dice. I don't know why or how this is, but I'd say that about 25% of the time when they roll dice, the dice fly off the table. Sometimes it is because when they roll, they flip it in the air backwards - towards themselves. It is a phenomenon I like to call "Sloppy Dice". There is a song you can sing when it happens as punishment:

"Sloppy Dice! Sloppy Dice! Lose your grip and pay the price!"

The price being, of course, the singing. You should sing it like you are a British villain with a deep voice delivering a sinister monologue.

So, because of their sloppy dice-rolling tendencies, often when they try to pass the dice to each other the dice go rocketing off the table - through the air, off an old NES game and into some dusty crack in the store. The game comes to a halt as the player gets on all fours and rummages through stuff to find the one d8 that all three of them collectively possess.

If I focused on this too much I think I would lose my mind. I don't understand people who can't just do a little die flip in a controlled space for their die rolls.. or how they can't LEARN to do it after playing for months and months and months. I had this one guy a few years back who would just launch his d20 as if he were skipping a stone across a pond. It would ricochet off of glasses, chairs and people. Ridiculous! Let's put a stop to sloppy dice once and for all, OK, everyone?

23. Dead Garden
In this room, there's vines that snare you if you move more than 10 feet. It is funny how I am running all these games and sometimes the dungeon room concepts overlap. I just ran The Emerald Enchanter for DCC RPG on Monday and there's a room just like this, except there was a hovering sun orb and an emerald ogre. In this room were zombies and wights. Yes, Hack and Slash Guy ran in and got hammered with magic missiles again.

24. Pale Garden

There's 12 skeletons who are collecting plants in baskets in here. They pay the heroes no mind. There's three shambling mounds lurking in here.I didn't like this room. Well... to be more accurate, I'm pretty sure I ran it wrong. I didn't quite remember when or how or even if the mounds attack. Something about touching the pillars? Each mound has 93 hit points! I guess I can't blame the room for my poor reading comprehension.

25. Dreaming Garden

This room is loaded with wights, zombies and dread warriors. There's a "mewling" black dragon eating a lady (my group decided she was a half-drow/half-tiefling named Aphrodite and she has red hair). Also lurking in here was a Red Wizard named Thuria. He got dropped right away by the hack and slash guy.

The dragon was a bit too weak. I think this is the first dragon the PCs have come across in the last three Encounters seasons, and it was underwhelming to say the last. I do like how it was chewing on a slave. It's a memorable encounter. But it felt too weak and kind of a waste.

That's it! That's all that we got to in two hours! I don't know why they are progressing so slowly. Sloppy dice can really add up. Plus it was really nice out and everybody was a little giddy. The more time rolls on, the more I believe in Seasonal Affective Disorder. It makes me want to move to Florida.

The dungeon is cool but I am starting to feel like it needs more traps and variety. A lot of the same monsters get repeated over and over. It makes it easy for me to prepare but I am starting to have to try harder to keep their interest.

Seeing how we obviously won't get through the whole Doomvault in the 5 or 6 weeks remaining in this season, I had them pick the next section to go to. They chose the Predator Pools.

I am actually running the Pools for some of them today in the store for Free RPG Day. The pools are.. well... underwhelming. I'll let you know how it goes.

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