CMG DMing Chat session archival thread

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(Here's the first half of the CMing Chat Session transcript from Monday Night!)

Mon Oct 21 22:20:37 2002
(#CMG) Creative Mountain Games - Visit the CMG Site at
CMG DMing Chat sessions are held every other Monday night!

(Edited somewhat for brevity and clarity)


Mark_CMG Welcome, everyone! Does everyone here run D&D games (at least sometimes)?

Wolf72 Been a while, grad school is in the way ... but, yes.

deBhaal On occasion ... I'm working on being a better DM.

Baastet I have once. Does that count? Or am I just here to be the token female? (winks)

deBhaal (laughs) Token female... (winks)

Hildulf Unfortunately, I run games almost exclusively.

(Baastet chuckles)

deBhaal I co-ran one the other day.

alsih2o My group rotates the DM.

Piratecat Yup.

Baastet I do co-run lot though.

deBhaal That was more of a power game thing though.

Wolf72 Ick, I'm jealous already.

deBhaal Fun, nonetheless.

Hildulf Me, too.

(FastLearner joins)

Mark_CMG Howdy, FastLearner. First on the agenda is a run down of what we will be doing tonight.

(CMG_Nichar joins)

Mark_CMG Welcome back, Nichar.

Baastet Hi, Nichar.

deBhaal Hello, Nich.

CMG_Nichar Hi...decided to try and give it a shot. (Not feeling well)

Mark_CMG We'll try to accomplish a few things. Firstly, we'll make a list of troublesome DM topics. We'll look at some specific problems that some of us are dealing with (allowing the group to feed us solutions) then we'll look at fashioning a short adventure.

Piratecat Works for me.

deBhaal OK.

CMG_Nichar Me, too.

Baastet Sounds interesting. (smiles)

FastLearner Great!

deBhaal Fun at least. (smiles)

Wolf72 OK.

Mark_CMG If I could ask alsih2o2o to cut and paste some of the topic ideas we come up with, please?

Wolf72 I got one. (smiles)

Mark_CMG Wolf?

alsih2o Sure, Mark.

Mark_CMG Wolf, please, go right ahead. Thanks, alsih2o2o.

Wolf72 Um, it's kinda whiny, but ... dealing with players who also DM ... and forget they aren't DMing at the time.

Mark_CMG OK. That's a real good one.

deBhaal (chuckles) I've got one of those ...

Piratecat And I'm guilty as charged. (frowns)

Mark_CMG Anyone else? Just throw them out and we'll get a (longer) list (of topics) together.

deBhaal ...but he's new to 3E.

Baastet That is part of the reason I don't like to DM my group, Wolf. (winks)

deBhaal Overdoing XP is one ...

Wolf72 Well, giving ideas (to the DM) is okay, but direct challenges because of style is another thing. (Then to Baas) Agreed, I only play if those guys are in the game now.

Mark_CMG XP, yes. Tough to find the right formula for a group early on, eh?

Piratecat I'm having trouble getting my group into a dungeon crawl, as they're used to political games.

Wolf72 Oops. Sorry, Mark, we'll discuss topics later (after finishing the list).

deBhaal Yeah ... especially an overpowered one ...

Mark_CMG No problem, Wolf. PC, Yup. Switching gears in a campaign from one style of gaming to another.

(deBhaal prefers dungeon crawls, but that's just a personal preference.

alsih2o So, changing gears?

Mark_CMG Perfect, alsih2o2o.

Hildulf I had a player that was DMing the game before I started DMing 3e... He is a DM, and a Rules Lawyer. His challenges ended with, "Get in, sit down, hang on, and shut up". (smiles)

Wolf72 Would "Leveling fast" ... part of overdoing XP?

Mark_CMG I hear ya, Hildulf. (to FastLearner) Any potential topics?

(Umbran joins)

Wolf72 Rules lawyer v. rules aide?

Baastet Does anyone else have trouble running a "3-D combat" like involving Air or water or inside gelatinous cubes battles?

deBhaal Items ... and right levels to give what powers at ...

(Wolf72 like's deBhaal's topic)

deBhaal (smiles)

FastLearner A sub-issue with players who are DMs is those players insisting their house rules should apply since they make the most sense.

deBhaal I'm a beginning DM, so I haven't figured this stuff out yet.

Mark_CMG House rules promoted by players? Yup, good topic.

Baastet (to deBhaal) So am I (winks). I have 3 whole game sessions under my belt.

deBhaal Haven't had that problem yet, FastLearner ... in my group anyway. (laughs) (then to Baastet) That's more than me.

Mark_CMG Items, to give? Yupper.

deBhaal Also, other powers. Gaining them and such.

Umbran How to choose what Prestige classes to use in a campaign.

alsih2o More specifically, deBhaal?

Mark_CMG Has everyone thrown an idea out there? (Everyone who has one in mind?)

Wolf72 High power and low power gaming, ideas for each?

FastLearner Matching challenges to a party's actual capabilities instead of a CR?

deBhaal A friend of mine has a mage at level 38 that can cast MM at will.

Mark_CMG Ah yes, PrCs, which to include?

deBhaal Gaining spell-like abilities, I guess is what I mean.

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) Yup. Balancing for the players, and not so much the characters and their levels, right?

FastLearner Right.

Baastet Scaling adventures gives me problems.....

Mark_CMG I understand, deBhaal.

deBhaal Yeah.

Wolf72 Adding to Baastet's idea: scaling old 1E/2E adventures ...

Mark_CMG Scaling, tough to do, especially when you DM infrequently.

Baastet Yes, Mark. (chuckles) Especially when you are not quite sure about CR's anyway.

deBhaal DMing people who don't know 3E rules ...but know 2E.

Piratecat I'm good at scaling.

Mark_CMG Baas, Yup. (laughs) (Then to deBhaal) That's a tough one, too.

deBhaal Sometimes.

(Wolf72 would add something to deBhaal's comment, but it's just me whining.) (smiles)

Mark_CMG OK. Let's use the list that we have as a start, eh?

deBhaal At least he's a fast learner (the 2E player) .. and we have a complete newbie in the group, too.

Mark_CMG I think we have about a dozen topics. Allow me give alsih2o2o a second to organize them, then let's tackle the first one. "Players who also DM (and direct challenges to the DM)." Wolf, this was your topic. Give us an example of the problem, please.

deBhaal (chuckles)

Wolf72 Probably back to deBhaal's ...

deBhaal Wolf?

Wolf72 They don't want to listen, just do it they way they would have ... and instead of questioning it's challenging.

Mark_CMG Well, we mentioned "rules lawyer-ing vs. just giving some aid," right?

Wolf72 Si, senor.

Mark_CMG Is there a specific time that this happened where it really messed up a night's session?

Wolf72 Hoo boy ...

Piratecat The best thing you can do when someone is challenging your authority as DM is to take them aside privately; challenging them in front of the other players just sets up a bad scene.

Wolf72 First 3e DMing experience ...

Mark_CMG One rule that just couldn't be agreed upon?

Piratecat I've found that asking them nicely to let you run the game usually works wonders.

FastLearner In our group of 6, five of us take turns DMing. When a couple of the DMs were new we certainly had a problem with them succumbing to players' rules interpretations, but this tends to happen with all new DMs.

Wolf72 No, I was right ... had almost to force them to look it up rather than rely on memory.

Baastet Pkitty, (chuckles), unless you're married to them ... (smiles)

Mark_CMG True, PC, that can work among good friends (and sometimes even at conventions, eh?).

Piratecat Nah, Baastet, my wife slaps me down all the time. (smiles)

FastLearner I've not played much at cons... I'd guess it's a bigger problem there?

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) True, also (regarding the first thing you said about newer DMs).

Wolf72 I would ask, "We'll look it up?" ... response: "NO, I KNOW I'm right!"

Mark_CMG I think at conventions a DM has a little more pull, if he knows the rules at least fairly well.

Umbran (to Wolf72) Which backfires if you're not correct...

Piratecat We have a loosely enforced house rule: if you plan to cast a spell or use an obscure rule, have the book open when it's your turn. Saves lots of time.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) Ever have many problems with players questioning your calls (at conventions)?

Wolf72 True, but I don't mind giving in if the rules say otherwise ... my players would complain more (if I didn't give in).

Piratecat Very seldom, Mark. I had a rules lawyer at GenCon in one game....

Mark_CMG Do tell... (smiles)

Piratecat I had to thank him and remind him that I do know the rules. He backed right down. For some folks, it's a dominance battle.

Wolf72 Yup. (Regarding:) "Attacking over creature of the same size" (a player) refused to believe that someone 5'5" provided cover in front of someone over 6'5". I tried to explain, in 3E Medium-sized is Medium-sized (the situation had to do with reach weapon).

Piratecat I have only had to really deal with this maybe three times in 300+ convention games. Lucky.

alsih2o Sounds lucky, indeed.

Mark_CMG I had a similar problem just last GenCon.

Wolf72 (In response, I) would get back: "Well in *my* game"...

Mark_CMG An entire group signed up for one of my sessions (as a team) and the DM of their home group gave me a bit of trouble over whether or not an intelligent NPC should be able to figure out that while he was invisible, there was someone tying off the end of a rope. (I had to put my foot down.) I had been running the game so that everyone could still stay at the table even if they weren't together, provided that they kept player and character knowledge separate. But when this one fellow decided to argue every rule, even though I had been giving the group that leeway, I asked him to come to another table. I kept them separate for about fifteen minutes, and it seemed to do the trick.

Piratecat Part of it is actually knowing the rules. If I'm not sure, I have someone look it up for me. Wolf, house rules don't travel. Period. (smiles)

Wolf72 PC, I do that but I kept getting, "I know the rule." Gotta 'member that one. (smiles)

Piratecat You know what might work?...

Wolf72 I guess my "prove it" statement was a bit harsh though

Piratecat Say, "Yes, you do, but as DM I need to see it myself in order to remember it." Place the onus on you, and they'll likely respond.

Mark_CMG That's a good way to do it.

Wolf72 I think after the 3rd or 4th challenge though, I begin to fail my diplomacy checks. (frowns)

Piratecat KidCthulhu tells me that when I get rules lawyer-y. It settles me back down. (grins)

deBhaal I don't have any rules lawyer-ing but that maybe because I'm the most fluent with the 3E rules in my games ..

Wolf72 It just seemed like for most of my players it was a challenge to try to beat the DM (me) rather than play the game

Piratecat The truth is, the DM is in charge, and if folks want to play they should be polite and follow house rules. If a house rule is "show me the rule in the rulebook", they will hopefully get used to it.

(Wolf72 thinks of another problem, "when players don't travel with the DM and don't let the DM know if they're going to show up")

Piratecat And remember! Reward good behavior. Subtly discourage bad behavior. Thank people who do it properly.

FastLearner I'm fortunate to have players (who are DMs) who don't see it as player vs. DM right now. In previous years I've worked to point out that the challenge is *inside* the game world, not *outside*.

Baastet (to Piratecat) What do you do to discourage bad behavior?

Wolf72 (to Piratecat) I don't mean to be the nay sayer but it reminds of my students. ("How come they get all the *good stuff*?", "Why are you always yelling at me?"...)

Mark_CMG What about the new player, new to your game but not to the rules, that wants to introduce House Rules from other games to your table?

Piratecat Tone of voice, mostly. Subtle stuff. (to Mark) I'd deal with that away from the table.

FastLearner Yup, tone of voice, body language, and attention paying seem to work best.

Piratecat That discussion happens over lunch, not during the game.

Mark_CMG I see, "Ask then to hold off until between sessions."

Wolf72 Good one. (Wolf72 is liking this session.)

Mark_CMG But even if it is away from the table, how do you handle requests that may seem odd or unreasonable to you?

Piratecat I'd say, "No," but I'd try to keep an open mind.

Umbran Depends. Is it a request, or a demand?

alsih2o It seems that recalling what belongs in-session and who is the DM. are both important.

Mark_CMG Usually a request. (smiles)

Piratecat 3E needs so few house rules, it'd have to be something fairly spectacular.

CMG_Nichar Oh?

Umbran Requests can be dealt with via reason - inform the player of why you'd prefer not to use the rule. Demands are a bit more sticky.

deBhaal What about homemade PrCs and such?

Mark_CMG I think it is a good idea to let them know just why it would maybe upset the balance of your particular game. (to UMB) Yup. (smiles) (the to deBhaal) Has that come up for you?

deBhaal ...or even redo's of present PrCs?

FastLearner One tricky thing about DMing in general is that lots and lots of "rules" aren't found in any books, even with 3e. Just as in Monopoly it doesn't say that you can't postpone your turn for 3 days but we all know that there's an implicit rule that you must take your turn in a reasonable time. So, too, are there a bunch of rules in RPGing that you sometimes have to actually *teach* with certain players.

Wolf72 I had a player that asked my advice ... and he came up with a darn good PrC, I was just helping edit

Mark_CMG Can you give us an example?

deBhaal Not quite, but might soon.

Piratecat (to deBhaal) I'd have to dissect it with a critical eye, and would only allow it with the understanding that we may tweak it if problems arise.

Baastet (to deBhaal) Well you always have the final say in homemade PrC's .. but I would make sure it is balanced.. Which is my chant with all things .. (winks) "Is it balanced .. Is it fair...? "

deBhaal Well, I altered the Paladin class a bit for a friend, because that was the closest to his character concept, but he wasn't the Lawful Good type guy.

Piratecat I allow occasional redo of PCs after new source books come out.

FastLearner Including the most important implicit rule: The DM is trying to make the game fun for everyone, so you need to play along. This applies to PrCs and everything else, I believe.

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) True.

deBhaal Yes.

Mark_CMG (to deBhall) How did you alter it?

Wolf72 Me? ... I did that for someone who was thinking of a duelist type ... got far, then the dragon mag came out.

alsih2o It can also help to point out that "this" campaign may not be the best to playtest a new concept.

deBhaal Dropped some of the special abilities, removed Heavy armor proficiency, and altered the spell list.

Mark_CMG (to alsih2o2o) Yup, that can be a reasonable way to handle it.

deBhaal Gave him a +(bonus) against undead.

Wolf72 (laughs) ...or 'remember when I said low power, and low magic?' I kinda want to stay with it, but let's start work on another campaign with those ideas?

Mark_CMG So you wanted to help him gear the PC as an Undead hunter of sorts?

deBhaal Allowed him to be Neutral Good. (to Mark_CMG) Yes.

FastLearner Indeed, and while RPGing is certainly shared storytelling, the DM must still decide the "reality" of this campaign. If a particular PrC simply doesn't exist in your world, the player simply can't get the training or follow the path.

Baastet (to deBhaal) One of the best things with one of my old GM's was that he worked with me to advance my character, allowing me to multiclass my monk into a Paladin. It took a lot of work through roleplaying but I could see a tangible reward for all the great roleplaying we had done over the 8 months and it stuck with me.

FastLearner (to Baas) Good point.

deBhaal Yeah. (smiles)

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Excellent. (to deBhaal) Did the idea of an Undead hunter fit your game, or did you have to adjust the game to fit what the player wanted to play?

deBhaal Just the class.

Mark_CMG How's that? (Can you elaborate?)

deBhaal I'm kinda doing published adventures, and adding in, or taking away what I don't like.

Mark_CMG I see.

deBhaal I meant the class fit in the game, I didn't need to alter the game.

Mark_CMG So the game you run is fairly flexible for that sort of thing?

deBhaal Yep. I don't like "rigid" much.

Mark_CMG That's a good thing to avoid. Let's move on to a related topic.

(deBhaal chuckles)

Wolf72 Okay. (smiles)

Mark_CMG The XP awards - How do you decide if they need adjusting for your personal concept of the game?

Piratecat (chuckles) My group levels once every 10-12 sessions.

Wolf72 Wow, PC .. tell more?

deBhaal Hmmm, I know I give too much XP.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) Which is kinda slow by some standards, eh?

(chatdemon joins)

Mark_CMG Howdy Rich (chatdemon).

deBhaal Or did.

Baastet Hi, chatdemon.

chatdemon Yo.

Piratecat I decided early on that I wanted a long-term campaign - 11 years, now. We found it made for very rich PCs.

Mark_CMG (to Rich) CMG_Nichar will PM (private message) you with where in the discussion we are currently. (smiles)

Piratecat Rich as in character and personality, not cash. (smiles)

Mark_CMG Nice.

Piratecat In 3E, with the faster advancement, we saw no reason to change things.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) I see. So with a focus on character depth, a slower progression serves you well?

Piratecat Very much so. In Sagiro's campaign as well.

Umbran Okay, so PC, how frequently do you have combats?

Wolf72 Do you cut down on the amount of XP awards? (the .5 example?)

Mark_CMG How does it feel from the other side of the table? Ever want it to move a bit faster?

Piratecat But we have stable players. In college, with people coming and leaving, it wouldn't work as well.

Mark_CMG Umbran, had a particularly good question there. "How frequently do you have combats?"

Wolf72 Ah ... my example from above was a college experience ... (same with other problem)

deBhaal I give way too much compared to PC. (chuckles) Well, would be (too much) in his game.

chatdemon I cut XP awards by 10 myself

Piratecat Wolf, it's confession time. I usually just toss encounters at the group, then figure out standard XP... and adjust it so that people level when they "should." Heretical!

Wolf72 I like that!

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) (chuckles)

Wolf72 ... but now we have to stone you, sorry! (winks)

Piratecat Cutting it by 10 would have about the same effect, although we have a combat-light game usually.

Umbran Not Heretical, just not for all groups.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) To 10% of normal?

alsih2o Does everyone keep the same XP reward rate throughout the campaign or do you find some levels feel better played slower?

chatdemon Yeah, 10% of suggested.

Mark_CMG I see.

deBhaal Hmmm...

Mark_CMG (to alsih2o) Good question.

Wolf72 I don't mind taking a few sessions to level. It lets me get a feel for my character's new abilities!

FastLearner I try to have at least one combat, one puzzle/strategy issue, and one solid roleplaying session every game, so XP goes pretty fast but not nearly as fast as if I'd focused on combat

Piratecat (to Umbran) We have maybe one big fight every other game.

Umbran I've occasionally seen folks want to take levels 1-3 slower than the rest, because as is they whip by pretty darned fast.

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) That's a good balance.

FastLearner On the player side, I like about 5-7 or so sessions per level.

deBhaal I like fast leveling.

Mark_CMG (to Umbran) Does that help you to build the characters with more detail?

Piratecat If I was starting a new game with new players, I'd probably have them level every 5 sessions or so.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) So you would change the old formula you use? Why the speedier game?

Wolf72 I'd like that ... I feel cheated if I don't have a chance to ever experiment with my skills or new feat.

Umbran The players find it often does. If you're treating a 1st level character as "a babe in the woods", slowing down early advancement helps them deal with certain things... like the fact they've never "killed" anything before...

Piratecat For brand new players, Mark, a speedier leveling process isn't a bad thing.

alsih2o I agree.

Mark_CMG There is a risk of over-indulging with characters, if you move too slow, and thereby becoming so attached that it makes character death a big loss, or the possibility of boredom creeping over some players.

deBhaal I'll probably slow down XP a bit.

alsih2o People new to the game like the feeling of advancement.

Piratecat When people start to chafe about XP, it's usually time to award it. (smiles)

deBhaal (chuckles)

Mark_CMG (smiles)

chatdemon The trick is finding other rewards besides XP.

Mark_CMG Anything more to say on this topic at this point?

deBhaal Not really.

Piratecat I don't announce XP awards until someone is leveling, or a story arc finishes.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) Very good point.

Piratecat Yes, chatdemon is correct.

Baastet Well, as a player, I like to see some reward if there has been lotsa good combat/roleplaying/ideas etc.

Mark_CMG Let's use that to springboard into the other items and rewards for PCs and how best to dole them out?

CMG_Nichar I should be finally getting back to the gaming table as a player this Wednesday.. With Sir-Gish-Makai as my DM.... I have no idea how he handles level advancements.

Baastet As you said chat rewards other than XP are always nice.

deBhaal ...such as weapons, scrolls, money, friends...

chatdemon In my opinion, cutting down XP and cutting down cash flow should go hand in hand.

Mark_CMG deBhaal brought up "items for the right level"

deBhaal Enemies (ongoing NPCs) can be a good thing ... for DMs anyway.

Piratecat I like in-game awards. Notoriety, fame, privileges, etc.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) True. Let's talk a bit about lower levels perks.

chatdemon ...then money can be used as a reward, and the characters actually have to work for the cool new items they want which can give them a sense of accomplishment.

alsih2o Yes, a stable game world where the effects of the PCs actions can be seen.

Piratecat Regarding "items for the right level" - the wealth guidelines can act as a check and balance.

Wolf72 (to Piratecat) Good quotable.

Baastet And not to mention romances or general things for character developement, like being able to freely multi between 2 normally restriced classes.....

FastLearner I find one of the best and least-unbalancing non-xp awards is simply giving a player a chance to shine.

Wolf72 ... what's right for "x"-level?

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) That's very important.

FastLearner Like creating an encouter that let's a particular player's or character's skills stand out.

Wolf72 (to FastLearner) Yup-Yup!

alsih2o FastLearner is right. Make them feel like the characters are important and you have them hooked.

Mark_CMG And to use a roleplaying encounter, such as one that Baastet suggests, is a good way to do that.

Wolf72 ...or that their skills do matter.

chatdemon I'm not sure what you mean by lower level perks.

deBhaal Reasons for people to like low levels or enjoy low levels a bit more.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) Things that appeal to the lower level characters that are important to introduce to the game at those levels. Such as dealing with some of the background ideas of the players

Wolf72 Ooh, muy bien ... especially with experienced players who think that 1st lvl is just a beginner level with nothing interesting.

deBhaal Enemies!

Mark_CMG Including some familial encounters.

chatdemon Fame or infamy is a good perk, in my opinion.

Hildulf Dang.... I'm back....

Piratecat One thing to remember: a character ability that never gets used (paladin's mount, anybody?) is not actually a benefit. When my player's cleric got regenerate, I spent sessions trying to chop off a limb, just so he could use it.

deBhaal Yeah, my friend's character ... his family was killed by undead.

Mark_CMG Perhaps explaining the reasoning as to why someone would even adventure in the first place.

chatdemon If the NPCs start to actually recognize the characters' deeds.

Wolf72 (laughs) Piratecat!

deBhaal (laughs)

Piratecat Thus, use ranger's species enemies, and undead, and set up circumstances that play to the PCs' strengths.

Baastet I find that some of my "non combat" magic items were the most appreciated by my low level players. They had things like a insect repellent cube, and an iron that heated and dried items when rubbed over it. They were very small, totally non-combat, but they gave the PCs something useful even at a very low level.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) Do you use a lot of player's background to set up early sessions?

alsih2o Low levels are your chance to make the world real.

Piratecat Well said.

Wolf72 Agreed ... and it can seem like a curse ... "Man! Everywhere I go it's undead!" (ala Buffy)

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Yupperoo!

chatdemon Not really, I dont like the "custom made for you adventure" types.

Piratecat Neat idea, Baastet.

Mark_CMG (to alsih2o) Very true.

chatdemon I prefer to see PCs as ordinary Joes who stumble upon an adventure.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) How do you introduce them into the game?

(deBhaal has an agent type person that sent the characters on their first adventure.)

Wolf72 (to chatdemon) ... at least an opportunity here and there?

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) That's always good.

deBhaal Yeah.

Mark_CMG Any other ideas on that?

chatdemon I'll use the backgrounds to get the party together, then present the adventure to them.

Wolf72 Introduce into game? Eek! (Confession - very weak point for me.)

Mark_CMG OK, just to bring them together, but allow them to find adventure as a group, eh?

Wolf72 Yup.

chatdemon I make each player come up with 3 distinct goals, and try and tie the adventure to what the players want, not where their PC came from.

deBhaal (to Mark_CMG) Something like that.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) I see. That is an excellent way to do it. Who else uses character goals as a springboard?

Baastet We use backgrounds as sub-plots and tie-ins to major plots. It gives the players something "personal" to deal with.

deBhaal An adventure I'm in with another group online started as a mercenary group...

Wolf72 Goals vs background ... I like that.

deBhaal ...more like a babysitting job though.

chatdemon So if the bard's goals include wanting to find the songs of some famous bard, I'll toss a hint about that bard into the adventure hook. For example...

FastLearner I use goals, indeed. The only problem I have with them is trying to remember to include them often enough. (smiles)

deBhaal (chuckles)

Wolf72 Index cards work well.

Mark_CMG Very important to make notes.

Piratecat I build them into big plot points.

(Baastet is woefully un-organized)

Wolf72 Although some players do make dming feel more like a chore than fun. (smiles) Wolf72 is guilty, too. Sorry Paul! (-Wolf72's big brother-)

deBhaal (to Baastet) Me, too. I scratch out basics of the ememes right before a fight. (frowns)

Mark_CMG While chatdemon is typing his example, let's throw out some organizational ideas too help Baastet.

chatdemon Once a goal is completed, I ask them to create a new one, so there are always 3 goals per PC, and I ask them to be realistic.

Mark_CMG Index cards was mentioned...

Wolf72 5x8, even.

Piratecat Interesting idea, chatdemon.

Baastet I have my own DM-sprial notebook.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) So goals accomplished always lead to bigger goals?

Wolf72 Punch holes ... get some rings and viola!

chatdemon Realistic goals I mean, ruling the world isn't a realistic goal for a level 1 fighter, owning a masterwork sword is.

deBhaal (laughs)

Hildulf DM spiral notebook is always a good plan...

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) True.

deBhaal (to chatdemon) Sure it is ... just a really long term goal and three others to be used now.

chatdemon Yeah, the goals get bigger and more grandiose as they level up.

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) I think part of it is needing a bigger GM-area. (winks) I feel squished behind the gm screen.

alsih2o I actually keep index cards on a keychain with notes on all the PCs, and most of the NPCs.

deBhaal I'd end up losing it.

alsih2o (smiles)

Mark_CMG Does anyone like to DM without a DM screen?

Piratecat Me.

chatdemon I never use a screen.

alsih2o Me, too.

chatdemon Never have...

CMG_Nichar Me... when I used to DM.

Piratecat I often do anyways, but I don't especially like it.

deBhaal i just like the nice art work on it.

Hildulf I DM without a DM screen all the time.

chatdemon If I fudge a roll, they'll know I fudged a roll. (smiles)

Wolf72 Yes ... some of my players won't stare, others would constantly try to second guess or get an up by looking at my notes.

Mark_CMG How many actually use the charts on the DM screens in game?

chatdemon ...and I'll explain why...

FastLearner I don't like the separation, but I do like the ability to keep things private.

Wolf72 (raises hand) I use mine as a dice shield mostly.

Baastet (chuckles) My players would read my notes if I didn't use one.

Hildulf Correction... I roll dice ON the DM screen (I lay it flat). Because I do use the charts...

Mark_CMG Ah... I see... (smiles and winks)

deBhaal I use 'em, when I need them.

Wolf72 So. Umm... It's got charts and stuff too? (winks)

chatdemon A lot of times, we dont even sit around the dinner table, we just pull up a seat on a couch or on the floor in the living room, so the screen becomes a moot point.

Mark_CMG (to Hildulf) Best of both worlds, eh?

chatdemon I obviously don't use minis most of the time.

Piratecat I don't use the charts; I use it as a notes screen. I DM from the middle of the table, not the end, so screening the notes becomes important.

FastLearner I'm working on my own LARGE TYPE tables for use with that slip-in DM screen I bought because the little tables with poor light (inside the screened area) make it too difficult to use them.

deBhaal I need minis.

Hildulf Yup... I like rolls in the open.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) More comfortable setting that way?

Baastet Ahh, to use minis or not to use minis..... How many do?

chatdemon Our sessions can run 8 to 10 houirs on a good weekend, sitting at the table gets uncomfortable.

Wolf72 I've had players ask me not to roll in the open, I somehow roll better (for the NPCs) in the open.

Mark_CMG So most use some sort of "hidden area" for their notes, at least? ...and their dice?

Hildulf I would use minis if I had them....

FastLearner We all use minis since 3E. I love the combination of role playing and tactical boardgaming.

Hildulf But nobody makes a Winged Minotaur mini...

Wolf72 "How long should your session be?" ... new question?*

deBhaal I would, too .. i just use paper. My sessions are till we get bored, and then we do somethign else.

FastLearner Yup, mostly to shield my notes and rolls.

Mark_CMG OK, let's get back to one of PCs suggested problem areas - "shifting gears" as from a political game to a dungeon crawl.

chatdemon (to deBhaal) That's how we do it usually, we go until everyone is bored or asleep.

Baastet (to Hildulf) (chuckles) Winged minotaur is easy enough to convert. Yes we use minis ... mmmmmm minis.

Piratecat Regarding - "shifting gears" --

Hildulf Session lasts until the first person starts drooling and snoring on their character sheet.

Baastet Hmm... Well, since I have rarely been in a politcal game (to my great constrenation and frustration), I can't say... (frowns)

Piratecat Last game, my PCs were in a "dungeon" (a treasure vault) for the first time in ages. They're all about 16th level. No one thought to search.

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Even from town to dungeon and such?

Piratecat They just kept looking at me, waiting for interaction. It was disquieting.

alsih2o (laughs)

deBhaal (laughs)

Wolf72 (laughs)

Piratecat I have to think I did something wrong on the transition.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) ...and how did you prompt them?

Wolf72 I need to work on goals of dungeon delving ...

Baastet Well, I had a hard time shifting my PCs from a city to sewers beneath (chuckles) but eventually I used a sub-plot to tantalize them into expolring it.

(Wolf72 thanks chatdemon) (smiles)

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Tell us more about that, please?

Piratecat Well, I dropped a half dozen obvious hints that everyone ignored, so they left the room that had stuff they needed and continued on. (smiles)

deBhaal I was DMing my brother once, and he wanted to walk by the chasm that he was supposed to go down... (laughs)

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) So they wound up missing some treasure?

chatdemon (to deBhaal) So have him fall. (smiles)

Mark_CMG (laughs)

Hildulf Ah ha! "To railroad, or not to railroad... THAT is the question."

Piratecat Later, I mentioned some of the typical things they might have done - and people said, "Oh, yeah! Whoops."

deBhaal (to chatdemon) No, I just told him he saw a greater Blue dragon Flying towards him ... he was level 4

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) So a lesson learned. (smiles)

alsih2o I think this has quickly evolved into a "player guidance without railroading" sub-discussion. (smiles)

Wolf72 Railroad! ... I mean um, because I said so .. wait no ...

Piratecat Not treasure, essential clues on how to get further into the vault. Now they'll have to figure it out the hard way.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) So this is ongoing?

chatdemon (to Piratecat) Though thats probably a bit annoying for the DM, it's actually somewhat realistic behavoir from the party, they're out of practice.

Piratecat Yes. They're half-way in.

Wolf72 Do they get frustrated PC? Or do they accept that they may have missed clues?

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) True.

Piratecat Probably true, Rich.

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) Well, I had them already involved in a plot with a missing merchant, since they had to go through the sewers to find him to get the infomation to continue along the "main" storyline. I decided to use the missing merchant as a springboard and made a full blown aub-plot of people missing throughout the city (they learned this as they were exploring the city.)

Piratecat They'll accept it. What bugs me is that at least one player seemed frustrated in game. I don't like that.

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) Eventually they found out it was a secret socitey that was doing experiements on people and turning them into new types of undead....

Piratecat I wish I had found a way to get him drawn in more effectively; maybe a "pep talk" from a knowledgeable no problem?

chatdemon What I try to keep everyone's mind on is the fact they are adventurers, though they may spend some time in throne room politics or on the battlefield with the army, they are always looking for the trap doors, or the ambush.

Hildulf Political Ambush....

Wolf72 ... I'd like it if they would accept that setbacks can be fun, too.

deBhaal Innuendo...

Mark_CMG Yes, chatdemon. (to Piratecat) Were you describing things in a different way, to remind them that they were in a different environment?

Piratecat A fine thing. I worry they may be turning into one trick ponies. The paladin's idea of searching was to constantly detect evil, and that's it.

FastLearner Ooh, indeed, Wolf. Setbacks just make victories that much sweeter, but it's really hard to see from a player perspective.

deBhaal The rogue wasn't searching?

Piratecat Describing things in a different way, how??

Piratecat No rogue.

deBhaal Oh...

chatdemon I've seen that, usually from the rogues though 'I check for traps, I pick the lock, I open the door, next'

Wolf72 Agreed, but getting the snot kicked out of my PC can be fun, too.

FastLearner Amen!

Baastet The trial and tribulations of a PC can be very rewarding when they finally succeed.

deBhaal Hmmm...(deBhaal is hungry...)

(CMG_Nichar Quit)

chatdemon That goes back to the low level perks thing, have an NPC beat the crap out of the party a few times, and they feel really good when they finally beat him.

Baastet Especially if it is involving them specifically like from soMe background thing.

Mark_CMG In such a way as to remind them that they were not in a court room/town/typical environment for their usual behavior patterns?

Piratecat Probably true, Baastet. I just worry that this mini-adventure will feel more like a chore than fun if I don't change something. (to Mark_CMG) Example?

Baastet (to Piratecat) That is always a problem...

Hildulf What's the most difficult formula for you (as a DM) to remember, which is NOT on the DM screen?

Piratecat The lack of a rogue is probably the key to the problem, now that I think of it.

Mark_CMG Well, depends on the setting, but for instance, making sure to mention how alone they are in the dungeon, how things echo because of its size and emptiness.

Hildulf For ME, it is the Cleric "Turn Undead" formula...

alsih2o I am sure a party of appropriate level looks at nearly everything differently, searching thru drawers for 10 gp is boring when you have a +3 frostbrand as a backup sword.

Piratecat Yup. Got that. (smiles)

Wolf72 I tried to write a short story after each significant session ... to lighten it up and let the PCs see what I was thinking.

chatdemon What about introducing a 'rival' party that is also exploring the dungeon, so they can interact with those NPCs, and there is a sense of urgency and competition?

Baastet (to Hildulf) Grappleing & Tripping .. always causes alot of debate.

Mark_CMG (to chatdemon) Good idea.

Hildulf Grappling and tripping... another difficult one...

Piratecat That's the other weird thing, alsih2o. They see a room full of gold, and say, "Eh. We don't need gold." (grins)

deBhaal Well, most parts of combat I have no problem with.

alsih2o NPCs also allow you to question the characters and get their perspective. (to Piratecat) Yes, the jaded party syndrome. (smiles)

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) That's a whole different problem... (winks)

Wolf72 (to Piratecat) Oh, you should meet one of my friends/dm ... everything COSTS ... (smiles)

alsih2o (to Mark_CMG) I disagree.

Piratecat A fine idea, Rich, but not applicable here - I think. I'll think on it. (to Mark_CMG) They're in the underdark. No stores!

Mark_CMG (grins)

alsih2o (to Mark_CMG) I think part of the reason the party may have not stopped to search is that after a while nothing worth having is small enough to hide. (smiles)

Piratecat Anyways, enough of my dilemma. You folks gave me some good ideas. Thank you.

Mark_CMG How do they deal with the mundane tasks of living down there?

FastLearner Diamonds and rings are pretty small... (smiles)

Baastet (to Piratecat) How often do things of thiers get destroyed?

Mark_CMG Let me take a moment to address this a little further, if I may?

alsih2o (to FastLearner) That is why it is a MISconception. (smiles)

Piratecat (to Mark_CMG) A Mordenkainen's MAgnificent Mansion provides all the food. (then to Baastet) Last game a dragon tried to eat all their weapons. Improved disarm -> swallow.

Mark_CMG Beyond just dealing with food and shelter, there are any number of things that are far easier to handle while in a civilized area than in a hostile environment.

Baastet Sleep... Well, the safety of sleeping. (chuckles)

Mark_CMG The shelter works while they are resting, but just moving through such a place has a tendancy to make people dirty. And, not to be indiscreet, there are the simple things like stopping to sit for a moment, and relieving oneself, that while it isn't necessary to go into detail, can be mentioned just to drive home how uncomfortable the environment is.

Piratecat True. Interesting color text.

chatdemon Not that a medieval castle is much more comfortable.

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) Not to mention fresh foods ... dried rations get old after eating them for 3 times a day for a week.

Mark_CMG Even wiping sweat from the forehead should leave a trail of dirt over their face.

alsih2o A good reminder of the comparable discomfort of adventuring goes a long way.

Piratecat They'll run out of clean cantrips.... (chuckles).

Mark_CMG Small pebbles in their shoes, broken straps on their packs...

deBhaal (chuckles)

Baastet Wear and tear on clothing and equipment...

Piratecat Jermalaine!

Mark_CMG Things that wouldn't be a big problem in civilization.

Wolf72 101 mundane nuisances for adventures. (smiles)

(chatdemon left)

Baastet (laughs) Pkitty, my players hate Jermalaine, pixies and mephits.

Piratecat I can imagine.

Mark_CMG Little noises down side hallways that cause them to waste a light spell, etc.

Piratecat Mark, we can move on if you want - I now have some good ideas!

Mark_CMG OK.

Piratecat Thank you again.

Mark_CMG I think the last topic we have is 3 dimensional combat?

alsih2o pretty much

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Was that your topic?

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) Yah. It all stems from a 25' pit trap and a gelatinous cube.

Mark_CMG How to deal with flying (or swimming) encounters, etc.

Piratecat 3d combat: use the clear plastic boxes that come with your dice to place flying figures on.

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Ah, just a land enounter with three dimensions. I see.

Wolf72 Hey, swim and fly ... according to sage/301 ... fly works underwater.

deBhaal I dont have clear plastic things ...

Mark_CMG It's a good idea to have a tape measure, for one. (smiles)

Wolf72 Or decent sized d6's.

deBhaal (to Wolf72) Err ... how does it (fly spell) work underwater?

Mark_CMG And using anything handy, to give you some levels, is good.

Wolf72 (yahtzee)

Mark_CMG I'll bet most of you have a bookshelf full of paperbacks in the house, eh?

Wolf72 (to deBhaal) ... just lets use your flying speed ...

FastLearner Yeah, too many discussions about a-squared plus b-squared = c-squared without the tape measure.

Baastet But what if, like in a gelatinous cube, they are engulfed?

Mark_CMG I used to use poker chips to denote who was five feet, ten feet high, etc.

Baastet swore if she had another gelatinouscube/pit trap she is making a jello jiggler for stuffing minis in....)

FastLearner Good idea, Mark!

deBhaal I have some of those ...

alsih2o I DO like the poker chip deal!

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) Good idea!

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) That might be the best way to deal with it. (laughs)

Mark_CMG Barring the poker chips, tearing up a piece of paper and writing the height on the edges can be useful (or colored paper if it is available).

deBhaal Hmmm, kind of an off-tangent, what kind of music do you listen to while playing?

Mark_CMG Some people just use their larger six siders.

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) No tangents, please. (smiles)

Baastet Well, we use a megamat so we write the distances along side the characters for aerial combat.

alsih2o We have often used a piece of graph paper on the wall to denote height in combat. So, we are seeing combat from above and the side.

Mark_CMG I like to also "split the mat"

Baastet (to alsih2o) Good idea.

Wolf72 Anyone have the old game "Chopper Strike"? ... it had two levels, one for jeeps, the others for huey's (helicopters).

FastLearner (to alsih2o) Another great idea!

Mark_CMG Putting some books under half of the mat if the distance in height in far enough works well.

(Hildulf left)

Wolf72 Of course ... someone is bound to bump it and send everything 'flying' for real.

deBhaal (laughs)

Mark_CMG (laughs)

alsih2o So, mark, time left to create an encounter or adventure?

Mark_CMG Absolutely! But one more quick topic... "Music" (grins)

deBhaal (grins)

Mark_CMG Throw out your suggestions rapid fire!

Wolf72 Enya!

Mark_CMG Conan soundtrack.

deBhaal Hmmm, don't have any Enya.

Mark_CMG Wagner.

Wolf72 Conan vote 2

Baastet I have a bunch of soundtracks I have hunted down... I am usually in charge of music even when I am not running.

Mark_CMG Heavy Metal of most kinds.

alsih2o Anything by anyone from Western Europe who has been dead for more than 50 years.

Mark_CMG Jethro Tull.

Wolf72 Hunt for Red October.

deBhaal Drownning Pool, Bodies is a good one for combat. (winks)

Baastet RPG game soundtracks like Baldur's gate and Icewind Dale.

Mark_CMG Genesis.

Wolf72 Soundtrack to Heavy Metal. (animated movie)

Mark_CMG Irish Folk music.

Wolf72 Babylon 5.

deBhaal Hmmm...

Baastet Bram Stoker's Dracula for good, spooky feel.

Wolf72 Irish: The Pogues.

Wolf72 AC/DC

Piratecat I'm going to excuse myself; my laptop battery is petering out, and I need food. Thank you, everyone; this has been fun!

Mark_CMG Thanks, Piratecat.

Wolf72 Ciao, Piratecat!

Baastet Excalibur: The Movie.

Mark_CMG Adios.

alsih2o Have a good night, Pkitty.

deBhaal Bye.

Baastet Bye, Pkitty.

Piratecat You, too! Definitiely an hour, or so, well spent. Night, all!

FastLearner I'm finishing up an application that lets you play mp3s, and other sounds, by type. You can classify certain songs as, say, "travel," "eerie," "combat," "tavern," etc., and the application will play through the list you specify (randomly without repeating). You just click on a type and the previous song fades out and the new one comes up. G'night, Pcat.

(Piratecat Quit)

Baastet Ooooooo, FastLearner. I want that. (winks)

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) Good idea.

Wolf72 Star Trek 6: Undiscovered Country.

deBhaal (to FastLearner) I could use one of those.

FastLearner I'll post a link to it on the EN World software forum when it's complete.

deBhaal (grins)

Mark_CMG There's a company called Toxic Bag productions that sells sound effects.

Wolf72 Holst: the Planets.

FastLearner I've seen those, Mark. Do you know if they're any good?

Mark_CMG I have The Game Masters Collection and it has a lot of useful sound effects.

Baastet Ring of the Neiberlung (orchestral version).

Wolf72 S'okay, Baastet. It's hard to type with paws. (smiles)

deBhaal (laughs)

deBhaal You should know. (winks)

Baastet DND the movie soundtrack, Harry Potter & LotR soundrack, anything by John Williams..... (winks and chuckles)

Wolf72 You ain't just whistlin dixie! ... and I'm not reccomending that. (winks)

Baastet (to Wolf72) It's typo gremlins, I tell yah...

Wolf72 Yup, John Williams is all good. (smiles)

Baastet Stargate has a great soundtrack.

Mark_CMG Okie doke. Let's move on to our second half agenda tonight. Let's collectively develop a short scenario...

(I'll be posting the second half in the comings days, including the pieces that were brain-stormed to develop the scenario. Hopefully, before the next session on Monday November 4th at 7pm, I'll have a revised copy of the scenario that can be used by anyone who wishes to use it. - MAC CMG)
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OOooOOOH! wow, this looked like a helluva lot of good stuff got talked about! So the next chat is November 4? I think I'm going to have to try to make it to at least part of it! :)


First Post
i enjoyed the chat enormously, lots of useful stuff, and some really good input from everyone.

i look forward to the next one.

alsih2o said:
i enjoyed the chat enormously, lots of useful stuff, and some really good input from everyone.

I look forward to the next one.

I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I'll be running a few DMing seminars at Cyber Con for those who will be attending-

Let me know if you can make it! :)
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Mon Oct 21 22:20:37 2002 (Part Two)

(#CMG) Creative Mountain Games - Visit the CMG Site at
CMG DMing Chat sessions are held every other Monday night!

(Edited somewhat for brevity and clarity)


(Beginning of second section)

Mark_CMG Okie doke. Let's move on to our second half agenda tonight. Let's collectively develop a short scenario...

Wolf72 OK.

Mark_CMG How about if we design an encounter, (for starters and maybe add some layers to it)?

deBhaal What level?

Mark_CMG Everyone throw out a level for our design and we'll take the one that can service the most of them.

Baastet 5

deBhaal 6

FastLearner 8

alsih2o 6

Baastet 7

Wolf72 7

deBhaal (chuckles)

deBhaal 6

alsih2o Wow, what a grouping!

deBhaal Definitely.

Mark_CMG OK, let's make it for 7 and scalable to 5, 6 or 8?

FastLearner Perfect.

deBhaal OK.

Mark_CMG So it needs to be multiple creatures or NPCs.

alsih2o (sarcasm) Scalable, one feature of Whispering Woodwind, by CMG!(/sarcasm)

Mark_CMG Can everyone grab their DMGs?

Wolf72 Yup

alsih2o I can.

FastLearner Can't get to mine from here.

deBhaal Err ... Where did I put it ...

Mark_CMG Turn to page 101, please.

FastLearner (It's down in the car.)

deBhaal Never can find it after a session ..

(Baastet sneaks into get the DMG)

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) You'll have to fake it. (smiles)

(FastLearner fakes it)

Mark_CMG (Or go get it!) (smiles)

deBhaal Can find all my books but the DMG...

Wolf72 Ick! Wolf72 no like this table!

Baastet Have it.

Wolf72 Guess now is good as time as any to get more familiar with it.

Baastet Ah the Enounter # table... My old nemesis...

Mark_CMG Let's use a fourth level creature type, so we can have three but can use two, one, or four to scale the encounter if need be, ok? So who has their MM handy?

alsih2o A choice that leaves more scalability than the mixed pair... (then to Mark_CMG) Me!

Wolf72 Oy... I kinda do, too (smiles)

(Baastet has MM2 handy)

(deBhaal has both)

deBhaal Just no DMG. (frowns)

Mark_CMG We'll stick with MM1 so most of us can play. (winks)

FastLearner Just grabbed my books.

Baastet Drat! I would have to go get that one, too.

Mark_CMG Last page of the MM has the creatures by level...

Wolf72 So... We're looking at 3 level 4 creatures?

alsih2o Yes, like 3 owlbears, or polar bears, or brown bears... Lots of bears at this level.

Mark_CMG To handle 3 dimensional encounters, let's have a Harpy and two Gargoyles in a cavern, eh?

FastLearner Or 3 Gargoyles, Griffons, or Harpies. (then to Mark_CMG) Sounds good.

Mark_CMG Let's mix it up.

alsih2o Good choice.

deBhaal No, dont want Griffons... Grr....

Wolf72 Harpy with beetles?

Baastet A 3rd level ninja flumph?

Mark_CMG How about we design two (or more) encounters?

Baastet (winks)

deBhaal (laughs)

Wolf72 Not funny deBhaal! (winks)

Mark_CMG In one area, a Harpy and two Gargoyles.

Wolf72 Vampy spawn for the next?

deBhaal (smiles)

Mark_CMG In another area a Griffon ridden by a fourth level fighter?

deBhaal That could be nasty...

Baastet I like the Griffon idea.

Wolf72 ...with a repeating crossbow?

deBhaal Really nasty...

alsih2o Agreed, a group and a "single" encounter of fighter and mount.

Mark_CMG OK, deBhaal, your task is to go to the NPC generator and get us a 4th level fighter Stat Block.

Wolf72 We need golem (a dice roller)! "!rollstats" (smiles)

FastLearner How about a desert area with spires for the Harpy and Gargoyles?

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) Sounds good.

deBhaal Hmmm...

Mark_CMG Let's make the fighter the rival NPC (for the group that explores the area).

Wolf72 Lots of spires? Almost forest-like?

Baastet ...and a lookout post/plateau for the Griffon?

Mark_CMG ...and the Harpy and Gargoyles the guardians of something?

deBhaal I only have the pre-making of E-tools.

Mark_CMG Who can generate a fairly quick map and post it somewhere?

FastLearner But sparse enough for some movement... at least 10' between each, probably more like 20', or flying between them becomes impossible.

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) Not me.

Wolf72 20-30' sounds good ... like a german forest then (smiles)

Mark_CMG Even if it is just a bitmap made in paint with circles and squares? (to Wolf72) That might be too small I think. Oh, I see. In between the spires?

FastLearner I can probably put together a map quickly enough.

Wolf72 ... 50' or so? (hard to get perspective)

Mark_CMG In between the spires?

Wolf72 oh Yup ... in between.

Mark_CMG Sorry. I understand.

Wolf72 No problem.

Mark_CMG 20 - 30' sounds good.

deBhaal Dwarven fighter work? (smiles)

Mark_CMG Anyone want to tackle a simple map?

(deBhaal has played too much warcraft)

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) Dwarven Fighter sounds OK.

deBhaal (chuckles)

FastLearner Low resolution map OK?

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) That's good. (to all) OK. I need someone to throw together a Harpy Stat Block.

Baastet I can.

Mark_CMG OK.

Baastet Basic Harpy?

Mark_CMG Wolf, how about you do the Griffon Stat Block?

deBhaal Alignment?

Wolf72 Would that include the Harpy's treasure ... she might be able to use some of it?

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Yes, please.

Wolf72 OK. Barding?

deBhaal Sure.

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) Yeah, deck him out.

deBhaal It's a dwarf riding it.

Baastet Treasure for Harpy?

Mark_CMG Yup.

deBhaal Alignment? NE work?

Mark_CMG NE is fine.

deBhaal (smiles)

Mark_CMG Who's got the Gargoyles?

alsih2o (to FastLearner) Check out

Mark_CMG (to alsih2o) No cheating... (grins)

alsih2o Just a helpful map of a real cave. (smiles)

Mark_CMG We want this to be original, though a good idea from anywhere is a good idea. (grins)

FastLearner Awesome. I'm working on something that's more like the desert southwest where I live.

alsih2o I like checking out maps spelunkers have made.

Mark_CMG Who's got the Gargoyles? How about you, alsih2o?

alsih2o Sure...

Mark_CMG Okie-doke.

alsih2o Doing what to them?

Mark_CMG Putting together some quick Stat Blocks?

alsih2o OK.

Mark_CMG ...and treasure?

Wolf72 Pardon the ignorance but is basic MM info the standard Stat Block with short notes?

Mark_CMG Ah, Stat Blocks...

alsih2o Can someone remind me where the treasure table is?

Mark_CMG One second.

alsih2o By CR? Ah, nevermind...


Baastet Grrr... I can't find my MM.

Mark_CMG Uh oh... (smiles) (then to Baastet) And you've got the Harpy, right?

FastLearner Still working on it (the map), hurrying, I promise.

Mark_CMG No problem. There's no hurry.

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) Yes Harpy ...

Harpy: CR 4; Medium-Size Monstrous Humanoid; HD 7d8; hp #; Init +2 (Dex); Spd 20 ft., fly 80 ft. (average); AC 13 (+2 Dex, +1 natural); Atk Club +7/+2 melee (1d4), or 2 claws +2 melee (1d3); SA Captivating song; AL CE; SV Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +5; Str 10, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 15.

Skills and Feats: Bluff +8, Listen +7, Perform (buffoonery, chant, epic, limericks, melody, ode, storytelling) +9, Spot +6; Dodge, flyby Attack.

Wolf72 If I had the MM2 I'd make it a warbeast ... but that'd up the CR and EL.

Mark_CMG (grins)

Baastet Thanks.

Gargoyle: CR 4; Medium-Size Magical Beast (Earth); HD 4d10+16; hp #; Init +2 (Dex); Spd 45 ft., fly 75 ft. (average); AC 16 (+2 Dex, +4 natural); Atk 2 claws +6 melee (1d4), bite +4 melee (1d6), gore +4 melee (1d6); SQ Damage reduction 15/+1, freeze; AL CE; SV Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +1; Str 11, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 7.

Skills and Feats: Hide +9*, Listen +4, Spot +4; Multiattack, Weapon Finesse (claw, bite, gore).

deBhaal Bah, I need E-tools!

Mark_CMG (grins) Does everyone know how to send and receive a file in IRC?

Baastet OK. Maybe I sound like a newb but what more do we need that this Harpy statblock and the treasure she has?

Baastet Yes

FastLearner I don't, not how to send or receive one.

alsih2o No.

Griffon Mount: HD 7d10+21 (65 hp), Init +2, speed 30 (fly 80), AC 21 (-1 sz, +2 dx, +6 NA, +4 darkwood chain shirt barding), attks: bite +8 (2d6+4) 2 claws +3 (1d4+2), Spec Attks: Pounce (see MM2 for new description), rake 1d6+2, Spec Qual: Scent, Ft: +8, Rf: +7, Wl: +3, S: 18 (+4), D: 15 (+2), C: 16 (+3), I: 5, W: 13, CH 8, Jump +8, Listen +6, Spot +11 (+15 in daylight)

Mark_CMG Did everyone have a box pop up?

alsih2o I did.

FastLearner Yup.

Wolf72 Umm... That'd be a 'no idea' on recieve file for IRC.

Baastet Yep.

Mark_CMG deBhaal?

Wolf72 ...but I think I just did. (smiles) Yup regarding the box.

Mark_CMG That file is from a site ( ), I'll add the link into the chat session log later, and it has the Stat Blocks for all of the MM creatures.

Wolf72 Agreed to it ... now in my mirc\download folder.

deBhaal Hmmm...

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) See a box pop up?

deBhaal Who has CharGen? (to Mark_CMG) Yeah, I did, accepted and it said failed.

alsih2o Shall we post our treasure amounts and such, Mark_CMG?

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) I'll try again.

deBhaal OK.

Wolf72 By the way, keep that Dwarf and equipment under 287.5 lbs. (winks)

deBhaal It's sending now.

Mark_CMG Okie doke.

deBhaal Hmmm.. I'll have to check him.

Mark_CMG Did you already finish the character, deBhaal?

deBhaal Pretty much but it won't let me put his battleaxe on him, but the rest is done.

Mark_CMG (grins) A dwarf without a battleaxe?!?!?

alsih2o Is that allowed?

deBhaal (laughs)

Wolf72 Note: darkwood is a basically a weaker form of mithral 1/2 weight, +1 mxdx, -2 ACP

Mark_CMG Give him a sword, we'll fix it in the mix.

deBhaal He just has fullplate.

Wolf72 Don't forget the repeating crossbow and rapid shot! (smiles)

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) Add that into the Stat Block. (grins)

Baastet Anyone know what the treasure types are in the Harpy? Look in MM for me please?

deBhaal I got that, not rapid shot though.

Wolf72 (frowns)

alsih2o Standard for Harpy.

deBhaal No, he has a +1 battleaxze, CharGen won't put magic on the characters.

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Standard.

Baastet Danke (thanks).

Mark_CMG Ah... (smiles)

deBhaal So... Who can I send it to? ...or anyone know how I can get the Stat Block for it?

alsih2o For what deBhaal?

deBhaal The dwarf.

Wolf72 How about far shot?

deBhaal I don't know how to get it off of CharGen. (then to Wolf72) Nope...

alsih2o Do we post our info here, Mark_CMG?

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) You might have to take a regular Stat Block and adjust it.

deBhaal ...focus, spec, exotic prof, mounted combat, mounty archery...

Wolf72 Sorry. (winks) ... guess I was thinking of a apache gunship.

deBhaal (laughs)

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) If you could each make a txt file with your info.

Wolf72 Doh! Lo siento, deBhaal ... forgot mounted archery!

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) Except for the map, of course (regarding txt files).

Wolf72 Umm, yeah ... hold on.

alsih2o (to Mark_CMG) Like in notepad?

FastLearner Should I just label a few of the spires with numbers, and we'll only reference some of them, or what?

deBhaal I can't make a txt file with it ... it wont let me save it as such. (frowns) ...or specify what to save it as either

Umbran Can you copy-paste the text to something?

FastLearner Any thoughts?

deBhaal Not with CharGen, I could write it, then type it up ... but thats a lot of writing... I need E-tools.

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) Add a bunch of numbers. (smiles)

Wolf72 OK... I have it in word now what?

FastLearner (to Mark_CMG) OK, (it's a done) deal.

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) Change it to a txt file, please.

deBhaal Notepad?

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) I hear ya. Yup, Notepad.

Wolf72 Done...

Mark_CMG Did you check out that link I gave you, deBhaal?

deBhaal Yeah.

Mark_CMG Grab a Stat Block from there, and make a few adjustments to it. We've got time.

deBhaal OK.. can do that.

Wolf72 Can I attach in here?

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) Send it my way by right clicking on my name scrolling down to DCC and then send (finding the file on your computer).

deBhaal Which form? ...compact, standard, or expanded?

Mark_CMG How about standard; split the difference, deBhaal.

Wolf72 That work?

deBhaal OK..

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) Use that Dwarf one (fourth one in standard). That should make it easier

Wolf72 My girl friend says I should name the Griffon Geoffery :)

Mark_CMG (grins) OK. That's a good name for a Griffon steed. (grins)

FastLearner Saving out the map now.

Wolf72 Good grief! Don't encourage her!

Wolf72 Will the dwarf's name be Mutt?

alsih2o Whoops! I just saw the standard part. (smiles)

Wolf72 Eek ... standard too late for me? Do I need to resend?

Mark_CMG (laughs) (to Wolf72) That'll be OK.

Wolf72 OK. I don't have the MM2 with the new and improved pounce rules.

Baastet Average HP or do you roll?

Mark_CMG (chuckles at Wolf72's statement)

Wolf72 Umm... I upped mine a wee bit from avg by 6pts.

Mark_CMG Average is OK. Upped is good, too.

(Wolf72's brother usually gives monsters max HP)

Mark_CMG Ouch! (grins) (to Wolf72) I didn't get it yet, did I?

Wolf72 I will try again.

Mark_CMG They can also be emailed to -

Wolf72 (to alsih2o) I've got it. (smiles) It says 'awaiting reply'.

alsih2o OK. I've emailed it to you, Mark_CMG.

Wolf72 Is that mine, alsih2o?

alsih2o I have gotten 3 from you, Wolf72.

Wolf72 Oops!

Umbran Okay, pardon my ignorance, but I lost the buffer when I had to reconnect - this is essentially a "create an encounter in parallel" thing going on? (smiles)

(Hildulf joins)

alsih2o (to Umbran) A confusing one. (smiles)

Hildulf We still going?

alsih2o Yes, creating an encounter, Hildulf.

Hildulf Level?

Wolf72 7...

Mark_CMG Hmm... Try that one more time, please.

FastLearner Is a 49k Jpeg OK?

Hildulf Cool.

Baastet Trying to send, Mark_CMG.

FastLearner OK.

alsih2o Did you get my Email, Mark_CMG?

Mark_CMG Got Wolf72's Email.

Wolf72 Okay... I will email again anyway.

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) Waiting for DCC authorization.

deBhaal Me, too. There it is. (chuckles)

Mark_CMG I've got deBhaal's dwarf?

deBhaal Yes! Oskar (the Dwarf).

(Baastet sighs)

Mark_CMG Hmmm... (then to FastLearner) Try again and Baastet, try again, too.

deBhaal Hmmm...

FastLearner OK.

Baastet I'm trying again...

Mark_CMG Ah, Baastet, make it a txt file. Doc files don't work for sending to me.

Baastet OK.

FastLearner Should I zip it if jpg won't work?

Mark_CMG Sure, email it, please.

deBhaal Hmmm...


(deBhaal thinks about going and reading abit before bed)

FastLearner OK, emailing now.

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) We aren't done yet. (smiles)

deBhaal I know.

alsih2o But, debhaal, we are so close.

deBhaal That's why I'm just thinking about it now. (smiles)

alsih2o OK. (smiles)

alsih2o Thanks for hanging.

deBhaal Am I hanging by a new rope? (smiles)

Mark_CMG We've got a few steps left. (smiles)

alsih2o You think you are that special (to be getting a *new* rope)? (smiles)

deBhaal Well, you have my fighter. Yes, I do. (smiles)

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) All good.

deBhaal (laughs)

Baastet Yay!

Mark_CMG (grins)

deBhaal The Harpys?

Baastet Singluar Harpy.

deBhaal Ahh...

Baastet ...and she is named thank you. (winks)

deBhaal My stereo is possessed... (laughs)

alsih2o My Gargoyles are unnamed grunts. (smiles)

deBhaal Volume fluctuates based on the song. (frowns)

Wolf72 Rock 1 and rock 2?

deBhaal (laughs)

alsih2o Redshirt 1 and 2. (smiles)

Baastet (laughs)

deBhaal Works (for me).

Wolf72 Give 'em max HP ... strong grunts. (smiles)

Baastet Well, if redshirts 1 & 2 fail to protect her she has an eversmoking bottle.... So she can make a fast get away.

deBhaal I'd have liked to give my character max HP ... but he got 40hp when I rolled, and when the CharGen thought it was a good idea to give him 40...and his AC is kinda low for 4th level though .. he only has a 19 (winks)

Wolf72 Eek, I had a thought about MM errata? ... Griffon Int is no longer a 5 is it?

Baastet The Harpy only has a 13 AC.

Mark_CMG Here's the map.

Baastet Yay map!

deBhaal (chuckles)

deBhaal Wolf, oh well. (winks)

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) Can you go to Wizard's site and check the errata?

alsih2o Good map!

Wolf72 Give the Harpy padded or Masterwork studded leather. (then to Mark_CMG) I've got it, just completely forgot. (frowns)

Mark_CMG OK.

Umbran Nice map.

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) How different is it (from what you've sent to me)?

FastLearner Good deal, hope it will work out. Happy to make any changes, they'll be quick.

Baastet But then I figure the Harpy will sit back and use her song and such to her advantage and let redshirts beat on people.

Griffon: CR 4; Large Beast; HD 7d10+21; hp #; Init +2 (Dex); Spd 30 ft., fly 80 ft. (average); AC 17 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +6 -natural); Atk Bite +8 melee (2d6+4), 2 claws +3 melee (1d4+2); Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.; SA Pounce, rake 1d6+2; SQ Scent; AL N; SV Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +3; Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 5, Wis 13, Cha 8.

Skills and Feats: Jump +8, Listen +6, Spot +11*.

deBhaal Pretty good map, made with what?

Mark_CMG Very nice map!

FastLearner Photoshop. Thanks, all.

deBhaal Cool. (smiles)

alsih2o Wow, love to see what you do when not pressured. (smiles)

Wolf72 That looks awesome, Mark_CMG!

FastLearner If you want different numbers or anything, it's a quick change.

deBhaal Hey, I need a few maps. (winks)

FastLearner (laughs), Thanks, alsif2o... You'll see a bunch of them when I launch my Encounters website late this year.

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) You mean "That looks awesome, FastLearner!"

Wolf72 Umm... Yyeah, that!

deBhaal (chuckles)

Mark_CMG I'm working on a similar idea, FastLearner. We'll talk later, eh? (grins)

deBhaal If you have some leftover ones, I'll take'em. (smiles)

FastLearner Sounds great, Mark.

Wolf72 Sorry. My girlfriend is distracting me on IM... wants to play a pixie and unicorn and have everyone get along *rollseyes.*

Mark_CMG OK. Now look at the numbers on the map, OK?

deBhaal (laughs) Yep.

FastLearner Please, do. I labeled a few towers and one spot on the ground, but can easily add or remove as needed (very quick).

deBhaal Can't see much wrong long as the two 2's are identical.

Mark_CMG I suggest that number four be where the Dawrf on the Griffon is camped while seeking the same shrine that the party is seeking, OK?

FastLearner The 2s were intended to be, as homes for the Gargoyles.

deBhaal Ahh... That works. (then to Mark_CMG) Sounds fine to me.

Mark_CMG Let's have the Gargoyles each on a 2 (as suggested), OK?

Baastet (to FastLearner) (chuckles) Cool. What self respecting Harpy would live with 2 Gargoyles anyways? (winks)

Mark_CMG ...and maybe have three (indtead of one) of the Harpies on the 1?

FastLearner I figured they couldn't live *too* close to the Harpy... competing for the same food too much.

deBhaal Wouldn't mind making everything the dwarf has magical though. (frowns)

Mark_CMG Ah, and we need to use the number 3 as the shrine entrance, OK?

deBhaal Hmmm... Sounds good. What's in the shrine?

FastLearner Makes sense.

alsih2o The Gargoyles need no food.

Mark_CMG And....we'll need some sort of trap for the shrine entrance....maybe a CR 7?

FastLearner Ah, good point.

alsih2o MM, pg 94.

Baastet 3 Harpies for #1?

FastLearner Well, still, the Harpy would shriek at them a lot. (smiles)

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Sure, we'll split them off from the Gargoyles.

FastLearner I'm happy to label others, as desired.

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) Yes. lots of shrieking. (grins)

FastLearner Sandstone-colored Gargoyles, eh?

deBhaal Circumstance bonus to hide...

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) Sounds good.

alsih2o Beautiful.

deBhaal Now if only my spelling were beautiful, too. (winks)

alsih2o Conglomerate/accretion magical beings.

Mark_CMG OK. Now we need an opening description for each area that describes what someone would see when approaching those different numbers. Who wants to write a brief paragraph on the harpies?

alsih2o Something that makes the strong sense of the vertical more obvious.

Mark_CMG ...and on the Gargoyles. (FastLearner? Since you said they were sandstone) (grins)

FastLearner Indeed, sandstone-colored... sure, I'll write something up.

Mark_CMG And a brief description of what the Dwarf will do when someone comes down the road?

Wolf72 Not much of a fluff person ... but there needs to be horse bones around ... possibly one that had the previous darkwood barding.

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) You develop the trap, please.

deBhaal Well... He (the dwarf) is NE, so he is likely to parly a bit, too. See if he can get something of an advantage.

(CMG_Nichar joins)

deBhaal ...and if not, the dwarf can fly up.

Mark_CMG OK, deBhaal. Open a notepad and jot down a brief description of how the Dwarf guards the road, OK?

Wolf72 Eek! To the shrine?

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) Sure.

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) Got your DMG?

Wolf72 Yup.

(CMG_Nichar has all his books)

Mark_CMG Make something original but use the DMG as a guide for the CR, OK?

Wolf72 Got it.

Mark_CMG Welcome back, CMG_Nichar.

Mark_CMG OK, alsih2o, I need a brief paragraph that describes the whole area, OK?

alsih2o Good 'nuff.

Mark_CMG Kinda the whole valley thing. (to Baastet) What do we have you doing?

Wolf72 CR 7 for trap, too?

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) Or 8, if you like?

Wolf72 OK.

Mark_CMG (grins)

CMG_Nichar Dragons Forever!

Mark_CMG (to CMG_Nichar) Can I get you to stat a desert dragon of some kind for a level 7 encounter?

CMG_Nichar Desert suggests Blue Dragon... Are we keeping this open content or no?

Wolf72 Thinking portuclas trap (to keep them in, and anyone aiding out) ... so far CR 2.

Baastet (to Mark_CMG) I was finishing the other 2 Harpies.

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Ah, no problem. Thanks. I figured on just using the one Stat Block for all three. (grins) I'm like that. (winks)

(CMG_Nichar has noticed that)

Baastet (chuckles) Well, I made 2 regular but then one slightly tougher...

Mark_CMG (to Baastet) Can I get you to write a brief description of what someone will see if they encounter the Harpies at their location?

FastLearner Here is a page with the spires of Monument Valley, along the lines of what I was thinking, but obviously feel free to describe whatever. Hmm, maybe I should have put some brush on the map

Mark_CMG (to FastLearner) Did you write something?

FastLearner Still writing, almost done.

Mark_CMG Okie doke. (smiles)

FastLearner No, that link is just pictures of desert spires.

deBhaal (to Mark_CMG) What did you think?

Mark_CMG I haven't read anything, I'm just facilitating the pieces, and I'll put them together in a PDF for our final piece when we're all done. (smiles)

deBhaal Ahh...

Mark_CMG That way we'll have something we can all use later.

deBhaal Yeah.

(Baastet is still writting)

Mark_CMG No problem. We have time.

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) Need something to do?

deBhaal (chuckles)

Mark_CMG Wanna take a short break?

deBhaal Possbily. Depends on what you have in mind.

Mark_CMG Go get a soda? (grins) Or... Maybe... We still need to decide on what exactly is the reason for the shrine to be there. But we should all do that together I think.

deBhaal Probably.

(CMG_Nichar has Juvenile Blue, Brass, and Copper Dragons)

Wolf72 Dunno but I was thinking of the spell trap to summon a bunch of axiomatic warriors to defend it ... after the port drops (smiles)

deBhaal I don't even know what's in the shrine. (smiles and laughs)

Mark_CMG Me either! (grins and laughs) But we know it is in a desert

deBhaal (laughs)

Mark_CMG And maybe old...

CMG_Nichar Argh! Drop the copper... CR 8 for that one.

deBhaal ...and its a shrine!

Mark_CMG I know! (laughs)

deBhaal Maybe dedicated to some forgotten goddess?

Mark_CMG And we need an evil one (dragon), I think, CMG_Nichar.

CMG_Nichar Juvenile blue dragon: CR 7; Large Dragon (Earth); HD 15d12+45; hp 142; Init +0; Spd 40 ft, fly 150 ft (poor), burrow 20 ft; AC 23 (-1 size, +14 natural); Melee bite +18 (2d6+4), 2 claws +13 (1d8+2), 2 wings +13 (1d6+2), tail slap +13 (1d8+6); SA breath weapon; SQ sound imitation, immunities, blindsight, keen senses; Face/Reach 5 ft by 10 ft / 5 ft; AL LE; SV Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +11; Str 19, Dex 10, Con 17, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 14.

Mark_CMG (to CMG_Nichar) Could you make a txt file and DCC send it to me?

CMG_Nichar Sure.

Mark_CMG That's our big bad! (grins)

deBhaal Exactly! (grins)

Mark_CMG But what is he guarding...?

deBhaal It's got to be something enticing ... to keep the dragon there.

alsih2o A vein of rare blue copper?

deBhaal Maybe the dragon can't get to it...

Mark_CMG Excellent.

deBhaal That's why the dragon is there. It's looking for someone to get it out for him then kill 'em and take it.

CMG_Nichar (to Mark_CMG) There are 2 dragons in that file.

Mark_CMG Ah, OK.

FastLearner Is this the kind of description you mean, or is it too flowery and such? Small chunks of rock seem to have fallen off the top of the nearby spires, tumbling down the sides, but as they plummet you see them suddenly sprout some kind of wings, diving towards you. The two rock-COLORed creatures are roughly man-sized, but sport long cruel horns, wicked claws, vicious fangs, and deep, red, glowing eyes. A Wilderness Lore or Knowledge (Nature) DC 20 check will reveal them to be some form of desert-adapted Gargoyles.

Mark_CMG (to CMG_Nichar) Two sevens make a ninth level encounter. (to FastLearner) Change to a txt file and send, please. (smiles)

FastLearner Gotcha.

deBhaal Would work for the scale-up.

CMG_Nichar (to Mark_CMG) One is Blue, the other is Brass.

Mark_CMG Brass, eh? Cool.

deBhaal Brass is CG ain't it?

CMG_Nichar (smiles) Yes.

deBhaal (smiles)] I know my rogue could probably sneak up on the dwarf... Probably not the Griffon though.

FastLearner Sorry, folks, I've got to run and make dinner for the family. It's been fun, and I look forward to future chats. Let me know where I can get the finished product, if you would.

Baastet Is that what you want, Mark_CMG?

alsih2o Thanks for coming, FastLearner.

(Hildulf left)

(FastLearner Quit)

(Umbran Quit)

Mark_CMG Got it, Baastet.

Baastet Cool.

Mark_CMG They're dropping like flies! (grins)

Baastet Can you look at it and see if that is what you were looking for?

(CMG_Nichar wishes that he had felt better so that he could've stayed longer)

Mark_CMG I'm sure it will be fine, Baastet. (smiles) (then to CMG_Nichar) No problem.

(Wolf72 still working)

Mark_CMG We'll do this again in the future. (to CMG_Nichar) Here's the map link -

CMG_Nichar OK.

Baastet Okies then I am off for some quality snoozes. (It's 5 am here.)

Mark_CMG OK. We need a reason why there is a shrine, a reason why the Blue dragon is guarding it, and why it is in the desert.

(Baastet waves sleepily)

deBhaal (laughs) Night.

Mark_CMG Nite, Baastet and thanks!

alsih2o A rare vein of blue copper... Peace, Baastet.

Baastet No problem. My pleasure....

deBhaal That would be why the dragon is guarding it.

Mark_CMG Ah, yes, the Blue copper.

Baastet Be good to my Harpy ladies. (winks)

deBhaal ...but why is the shrine there?

alsih2o See you soon, Baastet.

deBhaal ...because of the copper?

Mark_CMG What is the use for the Blue copper (in ancient times?)

deBhaal Bye, Baastet.

(Baastet left)

alsih2o It is a shrine to a dwarven god, where the mine was before the dwarves left to keep the copper secret.

deBhaal I don't think its any different than normal but a dragon would want it because its rare.

Mark_CMG Oh yes, an ancient Dwarven God. That's why the Dwarf is coming there, eh?

deBhaal (grins)

alsih2o Like russian salt mines, they had an underground shrine.

deBhaal Well.. The dwarf would be coming to take the copper...

Mark_CMG And maybe the Dwarves of old drove out the Blue Dragon's ancestors?

alsih2o ...but the dwarves were removed to keep the blue copper more secret, of course (smiles)

Mark_CMG That sounds good.

deBhaal Yep.

deBhaal My creativity is shot tonight... At coming up with something anyway...

alsih2o The Gargoyles and the Harpy are ignorant, and just searching for food and fun.

Mark_CMG Shall I work with what we have and throw something together before the next chat session?

alsih2o Yes, do.

Mark_CMG (to Wolf72) How you doing there?

deBhaal The Gargoyles could have been guards. They don't age do they?

Mark_CMG (to deBhaal) Good point.

Wolf72 Okie dokie... Here's the trap... Needs some fleshing out though...

Mark_CMG Maybe the Gargoyles are cursed Dwarves?

deBhaal (chuckles)

alsih2o Oooh, slumbering gaurds awakened and controlled by the Harpy. (smiles)

deBhaal ...or the Dragon.

alsih2o Oh, yeah!

Mark_CMG ...or mindlessly cursed?

Wolf72 EL 8, 9 CR 2 baddies (well 8, plus one CR 2 trap) Thats the type of thing the dragon would do.

alsih2o 3 good options. (smiles)

Mark_CMG Convert to a txt file and send, Wolf72?

deBhaal (smiles)

Wolf72 On the way. (smiles)

Mark_CMG Thanks. OK, everyone.

Wolf72 Hope I helped!

Mark_CMG I think I have all of the basic components I need to put this together before the next session. (in two weeks)

CMG_Nichar (to Wolf72) Why did I get that?

alsih2o Cool.

deBhaal (smiles)

Wolf72 Good grief!!!

Mark_CMG I'll be sure to drop people a line when I have the rough draft.

deBhaal (laughs) Works for me.

Wolf72 Tired here... (smiles) ... hold on mark ... going to you now. (smiles)

Mark_CMG (chuckles)

deBhaal It was the '@' (winks) Confused the poor guy. (winks)

CMG_Nichar OK.

Wolf72 That make it to you?

Mark_CMG Some traps! (smiles) They went right for CMG_Nichar?!?! Got em now. (grins)

CMG_Nichar (smiles)

deBhaal (laughs)

Wolf72 He should'a searched!

alsih2o Eek! Duck CMG_Nichar!

Mark_CMG (laughs)

(CMG_Nichar sneezes)

deBhaal (laughs) That works, too.

Wolf72 Look out there's 8 summoned warriors drawing their swords! ... who'll come out on top?

Mark_CMG I'll send you all an email and we can hash it out further in the thread on EN Boards. (when the boards come back)

CMG_Nichar Me.

Wolf72 (smiles)

alsih2o Thanks for hosting, Mark_CMG.

Mark_CMG Thanks, to everyone, for participating.

deBhaal Got my email, Mark_CMG?

CMG_Nichar OK. (smiles)

deBhaal Addy, I mean?

Mark_CMG It's been a good first session, I think.

alsih2o Agreed.

deBhaal Yeah, I think so, too.

Wolf72 If the boards not up, Email?

alsih2o Almost lost focus, but I pulled it back.

Mark_CMG deBhaal, Email me once at

deBhaal OK. Just too get my addy?

Mark_CMG Yup. (grins)

alsih2o Prize! We forgot the bumper stickers. (smiles)

Mark_CMG We'll get everyone's addresses later that helped build this.

alsih2o Sure.

deBhaal Sent. (smiles)

Mark_CMG And alsih2o will send you each an "i r.p.g." bumper sticker. OK?

deBhaal (laughs)

Wolf72 I'd love that!

CMG_Nichar Cool.

Mark_CMG That work for you alsih2o?

alsih2o Sure.

Mark_CMG Excellent.

alsih2o Just get me a list of addresses.

deBhaal OK.

Mark_CMG Thanks again, to everyone, and we'll catch you on the boards later this week.

deBhaal OK.

alsih2o Peace, all!

deBhaal What section of the boards?

Mark_CMG I'll bump the chat thread. (grins)

deBhaal Hmmm...

Mark_CMG So bookmark that later when you get the chance (General Boards).

deBhaal I normally only visit the first three forums.

deBhaal OK.

Mark_CMG I'll email the link.

deBhaal (smiles)

(chatdemon joins)

deBhaal Welcome back.

Wolf72 General forum works (on EN Boards).

chatdemon Yo.

deBhaal Missed it all!! (smiles)

Mark_CMG Howdy Rich. Just shutting down. Sorry. (frowns)

chatdemon No problem.

Mark_CMG Two weeks from today, we do it again. (grins)

Wolf72 Monday?

Mark_CMG Yup.

chatdemon Cool, I'll try and make it.

deBhaal Works for me.

Wolf72 Ooooh ... (smiles)

Mark_CMG Excellent!

Wolf72 I can do that.

Mark_CMG Every two weeks we should be doing this unless there is something big that comes up, like a server problem or something (then we'd reschedule).

deBhaal November 4th.

Wolf72 I'll as much as I can, even if to just watch. (smiles)

deBhaal Yeah, something like that.

Mark_CMG OK.

Wolf72 November 4th it is then.

deBhaal (smiles)

Mark_CMG Thanks again everyone!

deBhaal No problem.

(chatdemon left)

Wolf72 Hasta la bye-bye!

Mark_CMG Night.

(Wolf72 left)

alsih2o Peace!

End of #CMG buffer Mon Oct 21 22:20:37 2002[/COLOR]

Crothian said:
So, what topics are being brought up for this upcoming chat?

We can throw around some potential topics for the chat in this thread and I'll finalize it based on what is suggested and who will be attending. :)

I'll also add the transcripts from the three seminars that I hosted at cybercon last weekend. The topics round-tabled in those three sessions were-

NPCs: From the Inside Out

When PCs aren't the Center of the Universe


Operation Left Turn: Plot Twists on the Fly

Keep an eye on this thread (and bookmark it) for more on those! :)
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alsih2o said:
friendly reminder! this monday!

Thank you very much. :D

Buddha the DM said:
Monday you all say... Yes this monday is the next chat!!

Howdy! I hope you're feeling better. :)

Shadeus said:
How about implementing prestige classes into a campaign.

Oooohhh... I like that. Maybe we should broaden the topic to introducing new (homespun and third party) material in general? :)
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Buddha the DM

Yeah I am much better now thank you. I should be able to hang around longer this monday. That is if the real world doesn't intrude on the chat.

Wolf72 said:
If we come can we just watch? just kidding!

Like you could keep your fingers from the keyboard for that long... :D

Buddha the DM said:
Yeah I am much better now thank you. I should be able to hang around longer this monday. That is if the real world doesn't intrude on the chat.

Glad to hear you're much better! Just be sure to take the phone off the hook, put the cat outside, and hit the pause button on your remote control of the planet! :)
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Buddha the DM said:
Why do I have to pause my control of the planet?

OK. It really isn't fair of me to ask you to give up that control. I take it back. Please, continue to allow the earth to turn on its axis throughout the entirety of Monday night's DMing Chat session. :)
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Piratecat said:
If I'm not out, I'll see you there!

Should be a blast. Your insights on the topics are always very helpful to everyone! :)
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Not open for further replies.

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