Storyhour Authors Chat Log!


dpdx said:
Behind-the-scenes narrative
Non-combat party narrative

I have more fun writing dialouge personally, but my players are funny, so I am usually amused as I write it. Combat is trickier and requires more actual attention on my part which violates my basically lazy life-maxims.

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Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
Here is a formatted version of the log (I find the one above a little hard to read)

Storyhour Authors Chat, Moderated
by Harlock . Enjoy!


Harlock :)- #dnd3e would like
to welcome you all to the Story Hour chat. First of all, I want to let everyone
know that this channel is always open, we'd love to see you here on "less
formal" occasions as well. Now, if you have a question for the Story Hour
Crew, please double click on Seri, thatdarncat, Kalanyr or Silvr_Dragon's name
and ask your question. Your question will be passed to Harlock :)who will ask the
questions on your behalf.

Piratecat - Is that Old One?

Old - yeah...brb...

WizarDru - Is Ryan not here yet?

WizarDru - Oh, there he is.

Piratecat - Hi, Dustan.

Zad - Greetings Destan

Destan - 'Hiya Senor Zad

WizarDru - Fashionably late, I see. :)

OldOne - Back...Hey Destan!

nemmerle - old one!

Destan - Sorry - putting the last of the demons to bed.

Destan - hi oo

Destan - Hiya nemm.

nemmerle - hey Destan

Harlock :)- I want to thank
all the Authors for being here. We've never had a chat with so many guests

OldOne - Demons...hehe...

diaglo - Hiya joeblank

jonrog1 - my pleasure.

thatdarncat - hey guys

thatdarncat - and they keep on coming! Hi SpyScribe!

jonrog1 - better than talking to agents *shudder*

Piratecat - Hi, SpyScribe!

SpyScribe - hi!

nemmerle - I love that there are so many story hours; I remember
when mine was one of like 6

C_Baize - No problem.

Harlock :)- So, I want to
start with a basic question: Why did you folks decide to even start a Story

jonrog1 - Hey, spy, got your email, thanks. I too weep at the
passing of angel

Destan - After reading Piratecat's.

nemmerle - how do we decide who answers?

Wulf_Ratbane - After reading Contacts

OldOne - Jealousy of Pkitty and Contact...!

Piratecat - For me, there wasn't a forum for it yet. I had a great
game, and posted about it... and people wanted to know more.

jonrog1 - after reading Piratecat’s

DrMidnight - Yeah, who makes with the answering, yeah, yeah

WizarDru - A combination of Piratecat's and keeping an adventure
log of our own.

Zad - When we started, 3e was new, and I had wanted to take notes
to keep a record of the campaign. And people had started posting story hours so
I took a shot at killing two birds with one stone.

SpyScribe - Reading everyone else's and needing a birthday present
for my DM.

nemmerle - I read about how PC's characters put a tape worm in
another PC and I was like "that is too cool"

Harlock :)- Everybody answer,
it's a free for all for anyone with +

Piratecat - That one great session is now lost, but people badgered
me into writing more. Turned out it was fun.

jonrog1 - also, I wanted to write something that was MINE, not for
pay or assignment.

contact - I was inspired by Eric Noah's campaign logs on his
D&D site, and thought that my group would appreciate seeing "what
happened" 10 yrs. from now.

C_Baize - For me, it was simply to share the kinds of adventures
that my group has and loves. This is a good high action, high cinema game, and
when it hits the action sequences, it's just going to rock.

jonrog1 - kind of crucial to keep the juices flowing that way

nemmerle - but I used to keep a log of previous campaigns in my now
defunct Aquerra newsletter, Thoth's Libram

diaglo - I’ve been keeping a player journal for the last 25 years

DrMidnight - I wanted to start writing after a DM wrote up a
campaign I played in. I wanted to try that, and went through several thousand
words of horrible writing before anyone started reading me.

SpyScribe - 25 years, pfew!

contact - Damn, Diaglo. That's old skewl.

C_Baize - Plus, I read OldDrewId's story hour, and was HOOKED.

OldOne - Wow...diaglo...

Piratecat - Interestingly enough, it was the story hour forum that
made me an admin. Eric did it one day as a joke, and never changed it back.

diaglo - I have a lousy memory

nemmerle - and it was all down hill from there, PC

Piratecat - diaglo, that's just too cool.

WizarDru - I thought you came out of the womb as an admin.

Morrus - Yeah, I keep forgetting to
change that back.

jonrog1 - 25 years? bloody..

Harlock :)- Heh, I suppose
you've earned that Mod status in spades now, p-kitty

DrMidnight - I looooove the P-Kitty.

Wulf_Ratbane - man, 25 years, you must have started with 1st
edition or something.

OldDrewId -’s a chain, I was inspired by jonrog

nemmerle - stop drooling, tom ;-)

Harlock :)- So, how DO you
guys record everything? Notes? Tape recorders? Web Cams?

contact - I keep notes.

JollyDoc - I use hand written notes as I play

C_Baize - Notes.

SpyScribe - I take notes too.

Zad - I keep a laptop at the table - I need it to run my character
plus I take brief notes. They're not overly detailed and mostly just to
stimulate my memory when I go to write.

nemmerle - I have one player who keeps a "combat log" and
one who keeps a "quote log" and I keep a calendar with major events

jonrog1 - Nicely enough, one of the things you pick up as a standup
is almost perfect aural memory. you remember good lines form stage, and the
skill carries over

diaglo - notes, in a pad with date of session

Piratecat - I used to rely on memory. For six months we've been
using a tape recorder.

C_Baize - My wife takes notes as we play.

DrMidnight - I went by memory, and did a pooooooor job of it.
Players would constantly correct me. "Dartan didn't kill the lich, I
did!" etc...

jonrog1 - and my players make a point of reminding me when they did
something cool. take a few notes when necessary

DrMidnight - I only jotted down great quotes.

OldDrewId - I started from memory. now we tape each session.
pierceatwork transcribes them.

OldOne - I bribe my players to send me write-ups with XP...that and
my increasingly bad memory...

Piratecat - I find the note-taking player spends more time writing
than roleplaying, so we delegated the duty to a piece of machinery.

contact - I want the tape recorder-- but a hidden one a la LBJ or

Wulf_Ratbane - notes and a good memory... plus sometimes
"somebody" says or does something so stupid, you can't forget. No
matter how hard you try...

OldOne - Like pecks, Wulf?

Piratecat - So true. I'm guilty of that, Wulf.

diaglo - yeah, memorable dialog is recorded

nemmerle - we have a standing rule - game before notes

Wulf_Ratbane - I'm not namin' names.

Piratecat - But tape recorders are great for capturing confusing

nemmerle - if the notes are getting in the way, the yare put aside

Piratecat - (great)

Harlock :)- Here's our first
submitted question: gfunk - Here's my question: Which character in your Story
Hour is your favorite?

WizarDru - I use DM Genie to keep a log of a particularly important

Zad - We rarely have a problem with game-before-notes - I just make
WizarDru stop and repeat himself as needed

Destan - The dead ones.

Harlock :)- Heh

WizarDru - hah!

nemmerle - well, I can't pick a PC

DrMidnight - Sir Vek Mormont, lich in Wee Jas' service. Just a
great character that I loved (after hating for months)

JollyDoc - I like any that the players put the most effort in to

nemmerle - so I’ll pick and NPC

SpyScribe - Good rule nem. Although it means the talk-heavy session
in our game get few notes taken, and those and the ones I need them for.

WizarDru - Quite honestly, since Zad writes most of the player
material, my favorite viewpoint character is Meepo. Honest.

jonrog1 - gotta be Jo from Dark*Matter. She's so hard done by.
Although our new player in Scarred Lands, playing Nod the Barbarian, is pretty

Piratecat - I find that I "know" the older characters
better than the more recent ones. As a result, I find it easier to provide
internal dialog for the older PCs. I'm getting better at it, though.

contact - I likeses Lucius.

Wulf_Ratbane - me too

contact - . . . the besteses

OldOne - Actually, one of my favorites, Garrick the Halfling, died
early in the story...

Piratecat - Also, ever since Plane Sailing provided a personality,
I love our depressed svirfneblin Priggle.

Zad - Hm. I can't answer that one easily since I'm one of the few
PC authors rather than a DM author. They've all developed nicely over time and
each quite deep in their own right.

contact - Wulf, he's taking over in the LoT. Runnin' thangs.

nemmerle - I would say Richard the Red, he is so much fun to write
dialogue for and he always shows up when you least expect him

OldDrewId - my fav to write about is Joe Empire, but I don't like
to write from his POV. much more entertaining if you do not know what is going
on in his head

OldOne - Yeah for Lucius!

Harlock :)- EricNoah - do you
ever just "make stuff up" instead of writing what actually happened?
and a related question: how the heck do you remember all of the details? -- He
submitted these a while ago; I suppose the last is already answered.

jonrog1 - I gotta say though, Wulf really grabbed me, and inspired
me to play a dwarf in my campaign

SpyScribe - I'm partial to Lira since she's mine, but a character
like Anvil writes himself.

C_Baize - Hmm... I think GSGT Jackson is probably my favorite, so
far, but another is really coming up with great potential.

thatdarncat - Lucius rocks:)
I just reread the section of LoT around where they got him back

Piratecat - Wulf grabbed me, too. Hard.

Wulf_Ratbane - har

nemmerle - though I do a lot with minor characters too

nemmerle - that I like

WizarDru - Baden from Destan's story just rawks.

Zad - Yes I occasionally take liberties with the truth. Sometimes
it's to add flavor or play something we didn't deal with on camera. Other times
I re-arrange things for dramatic effect.

* Seri pouncer tackles huggles
Mark_CMG ,meow!

nemmerle - like Finn Fisher and Crew (another "small
time" adventuring group)

Destan - I'm guilty of making quite a bit up - I'm recording
sessions that took place about 2 1/2 years ago. The big stuff is all exact, but
the quotes and flavor are sometimes fabricated. Sorry.

DrMidnight - I made stuff up all the time. I was kinda famous for
adding gravity or details to situations that were pretty simple. If I felt the
story could use it for drama's sake, I did it. I'm kinda a whore like that.

Piratecat - I seldom make stuff up. Usually no more than dialog
lines here and there because I've forgotten the proginal wording.

Harlock :)- C_Baize, I like
Jackson too, but I think the drown has mass potential

C_Baize - Sure... some of the stuff is made up, especially with the
game background, that wasn't played.

jonrog1 - reply Eric - -- no, sometimes fill in an attitude or a
double-take, but if the characters are well-established, no need to make stuff
up. I'm lucky though, got writers for players

WizarDru - We call some of these things 'torch issues' in honor of
Wulf's Story hour. Handwavers that aren't interesting to read or play out.

diaglo - I make stuff up. but try and get the others to fill in my

OldOne - For Eric...I do take some creative liberties from time to
time, but really try to stay true to the action...I mostly make up Interlude
items....thing that happen outside of PC sight...

contact - Re: make stuff up? No, I'm interested in keeping a record
of a game, more than a "story."

Harlock :)- Cool, contact

Zad - WizarDru also gives me some liberties with what happened:) Some days it's like role-playing with

nemmerle - I make up the details of dialogue

DrMidnight - I wanted a story more than a game, myself

jonrog1 - I will edit occasionally, long conversations or

nemmerle - but always based on stuff that I *know* was said

JollyDoc - I will embellish the actual story, but never actually
invent things

nemmerle - I make nothing up whole-cloth

C_Baize - Right... Jackson has a lot of good lines, and good
shots... But Mitch took a recent turn in game that is really chock full of

OldDrewId - I combine multiple scenes into one scene sometimes,
stuff like that, but 98% is straight from the table

Wulf_Ratbane - We all want our games to be a story, don't we

Piratecat - I wanted more of a game that a story. It's evolved a
bit, though.

Piratecat - (that = than)

Harlock :)- .Seri - can we do a quick intro for each
one? which is there story hour, how long they've played, how long the story
hours been going for etc? I'll go down the list.. C_Baize, you're up first

Destan - (strike two, PC)

WizarDru - My favorite quote is from Piratecat: "We're all
just rolling dice, here."

jonrog1 - well I think Pkitty walks that line well.

contact - Wulf, sort of-- I want them to be fun. Sometimes more
story = more fun, sometimes you just need more bad guys.

diaglo - it is easier to understand and remember in story form

Wulf_Ratbane - more dead bad guys

C_Baize - My story hour is Americanarchy. We've been gaming this
one for about 3 months. And it's getting grittier, and grittier, in game...

C_Baize - Some of the characters are taking serious hits, that
change them.

Harlock :)- contact?

nemmerle - my group always lets the bad guys go free ;-)

C_Baize - Done.

Harlock :)- Ah, remind me to
ask about that later, Hildy.

C_Baize - Will do.

contact - Um. Yeah. I started with the ToEE2, about 6 mo. before
3e, Piratecat posted it in a serial
format, what . . .early 2001-ish?

contact - The ToEE2 progressed to the Liberation of Tenh, and is
still running.

nemmerle - I love me that game : piles of dead *good* guys

Destan - for Seri - My
story hour is Sins of Our Fathers, played this campaign about three years,
story hours been going 8 months.

contact - I also post the Risen Goddess, which is a little more
heavy than the LoT, but also features more d*ck jokes, and lesbians.

contact - And more dead bad guys.

contact - Lots more dead bad guys.

Harlock :)- Heh

DrMidnight - d*ck? What is d*ck?

Wulf_Ratbane - quack

C_Baize - Cards...

contact - Ask your mama.

DrMidnight - ...oh, gross! grow up. I get it now.

C_Baize - A deck of cards.

Harlock :)- same rules apply
in channel as on the boards

DrMidnight - I get your filthy little censorship game.

Harlock :)-

thatdarncat - ToEE2 is a classic - one game I go to when I want
justification to kill lots of PCs *grins evilly at seri*

contact -

contact - ToEE2 was *brutal*-- I played 8 characters in that game.

contact - . . . one at a time.

Harlock :)- diaglo, same

diaglo - I bounced around...another story...and then Olgar took
over. we were at it for 16 months

diaglo - I started writing from session 1

diaglo - I like the computer much better than my old hand scrawled

Harlock :)- DrMidnight,

DrMidnight - I've lost track of the question. This page scrolls so
quickly. Please forgive my errant attention span.

Harlock :)- .Seri - can we do a quick intro for each
one? which is there story hour, how long they've played, how long the story
hours been going for etc? I'll go down the list.

contact - Break down your SH Doc.

Harlock :)- that's the

nemmerle - I think tom is spliffed ;-)

contact - Is he awake?

DrMidnight - my story hour is (was) the adventures of the knights
of the silver quill/ spellforge keep.

DrMidnight - (not tonight Nemm)

Piratecat - Next?

Harlock :)- JollyDoc?

DrMidnight - It ended in spring of last year. I ran it for about a
year and a half, from 1st to 20th level.

JollyDoc - I write JollyDoc's Shackled City. This started as an
offshoot of Gfunk's City of the Spider Queen/Bastion of Broken Souls SH

Harlock :)- Cool

JollyDoc - I've been running this particular game since about mid

JollyDoc - Gfunk was my inspiration

Harlock :)- Shackled City, is
that the Dungeon Adventure Path?

JollyDoc - Yes, it is

Harlock :)- Cool

Harlock :)- jonrog1?

jonrog1 - for Seri - story
hours Dark*Matter: Drunk Southern Girls..., Pulp Spycraft, and SL: None dare
call them heroes, scarred lands been going for close to a year, been gaming for
three or so again. DarkMatter's been running off and on for that amount of

Harlock :)- Cool

Harlock :)- KidCharlemagne?

jonrog1 - The Scarred Lands campaign is actually the only regular
current game we maintain

Harlock :)- cool, jonrog1, I
dm sl too.

OldOne - Seri - Against the Shadows - A Faded Glory Story Hour (SH
#10 or so), game started in May 2001 and posting started shortly thereafter...I
am up to Faded Glory VII on the current EN Boards has been
mostly PG-13 up to this point, but is about to take a swerve into R-rated for
extreme (and icky) violence - PCs are mostly 6th/7th level now...

nemmerle - Did I get skipped?

Harlock :)- .Seri - can we do a quick intro for each
one? which is there story hour, how long they've played, how long the story
hours been going for etc? KidCharlemagne?

Harlock :)- not yet, nemmerle

OldOne - No...I butted in line !

thatdarncat - You're up next Nemm

nemmerle - Old one confused me

KidCharlemagne - Hey, I got added to the guest list!

Harlock :)- yes, you did

KidCharlemagne - For length of game, and story hour, the game
started in 1994, and the story hour many years later, in 2000

DrMidnight - I had no idea I was on a guest list until ten minutes
into this thing. I'm starting to think Nemm's right, and somehow, I AM

Piratecat - (To minimize the wait, make sure you have your answer
ready to go.:) )

KidCharlemagne - For the first half of my story hour, I was doing
lots of rehashing of things with my players to remember the sequence of events

Harlock :)- .Seri - OldOne: are those 6-7 lvl PCs
the same you started with at lvl1 3 years ago?

KidCharlemagne - And I've been playing since 1979, so almost as
long as Diaglo'

C_Baize - There's a guest list?

Piratecat - While Nemm is typing, I'll jump in.

Piratecat - Mine is Piratecat's Story Hour. The campaign is 12
years old (same characters), and the story hour was one of the first ones
posted... maybe three years ago when I started writing. The SH has gone through
two major adventuring locations (city and Underdark), and will soon move on to
a third (planar.) High lvl PCs, fun players, and no immediate end in sight.

nemmerle - My SH is "Out of the Frying Pan" - this
Saturday's session is our 3 year anniversary. I’ve been writing the SH since
the first session and it is set in my own setting, Aquerra

Harlock :)- .Seri - can we do a quick intro for each
one? which is there storyhour, how long they've played, how long the storyhours
been going for etc? nemmerle, you're up.

nemmerle - no one said my name!

DrMidnight - Apparently all those other poor people on the list
aren't on the GUEST list! Ha, foosh on you! Foosh on you all!

nemmerle - I was waiting and ready and wondering what the heck was
goin' on :)

nemmerle - I already went

Harlock :)- SpyScribe?

SpyScribe - I write "Welcome to the Halmae" (with ample
input from Fajitas). The game has been going for about two and half years and
the story hour turns one year old next week.

OldDrewId - Seri - My storyhour is Medallions d20 Modern. We've
been doing that one since last spring. My crew has been gaming together weekly
for just under 4 years now.

Harlock :)- Ah, happy

Piratecat - Fajitas is an expatriate player of mine. I want him

WizarDru - I'll let Zad describe our Story Hour. I write intermissions
and lots of reference material for our story hour, while Zad is the chief
author. It takes place in real time, that is game on Friday, Story on Monday,
most weeks.

SpyScribe - Sorry, you can't have him!

Harlock :)- Wulf_Ratbane?

Wulf_Ratbane - I started my SH after joining a group of complete
strangers, looking for my first 3e experience. We did the adventure path, took
about a year to do it, and advanced at precisely the WOTC indicated rate. We
finished at 20th level with Bastion of Broken Souls-- though many (including
myself) would say the Story Hour hit its peak at The Standing Stone. If you've
read the SH, you know why...

WizarDru - peck!

Piratecat - Heward's Handy Body bag....

Harlock :)- Heh

nemmerle - I still have never read it

Piratecat - It's great.

OldOne - Seri - For the most part...five originals PCs...two died
in Session PC got possessed around level 5 (player left)and two new
players have joined the game. Two of the original PCs are seems like
very slow advancement, but we are only on Session 29 or 30...since we only play
1x per month...

KidCharlemagne - I was rather fond of Wulf whacking the girl in the

Harlock :)- and finally, Zad

Zad - I write WizarDru's story hour (at the time, all the story
hours were named for the DM so I followed suit) We've been playing since the
start of 3e when we all got back into D&D to give 3e a try. The characters
began at first level and are now around 23rd into epic levels. Like the
characters, the story has evolved a lot over the past years and I just try to
do justice to the great story arcs of the DM and the depth of the characters

Wulf_Ratbane - I’m whacking the girl in the beret right now,

Piratecat - Is that everyone?

nemmerle - Wulf is a bad bad boy

WizarDru - what, are you channeling Hong?

Harlock :)- it is

thatdarncat - I think that is

Harlock :)- SiderealKnight -
Question: Has the existence of a written version had an effect on the course of
your game? free for all

nemmerle - speaking of slow progression: my game 3 years = 8th

WizarDru - It’s kept my plots honest, especially 3 years down the

contact - Yes-- my players can freaking remember plot points when
they care to now.

Zad - There is the odd occasion where someone says "Well we
can't do *that* - it won't look good in the story hour. Otherwise not really I
don't think.

diaglo - yeah, many of the players are regulars here on ENW

Wulf_Ratbane - On the contrary, I think many DMs might be tempted
to fudge for a character that is a fan favorite

Piratecat - Hmm. Good question. It's made us more organized about
what goes on, and thinking about the story hour has probably made me a sneakier

SpyScribe - Hah! We'll be lucky to make 6th by our 3 year mark.

jonrog1 - No, not at all. Heck. MORALITY doesn't affect their play

DrMidnight - Yes. My players often chided me or outright complained
that I was holding the story in higher regard than the actual game, which was a
fair assessment. I'm a jerk.

KidCharlemagne - There was some concern amongst my players that it
would once I caught up to real time, but as it turned out, we pretty much
ignore the story hour implications

nemmerle - No it has not

thatdarncat - And we do take questions about plot!

Piratecat - Contact is right; it's easier to look up major plot points!

nemmerle - except that sometimes after something "cool"
happens afterwards we'll say - that's gonna be so great in the story hour

Wulf_Ratbane - pogre's story hour is a great exception-- two TPKs
and counting!

KidCharlemagne - Although they always knew they were gonna see a
quote in the SH when I started furiously scribbling notes in my notebook

nemmerle - but don't think any choices are altered b/c of it

OldDrewId - SiderealKnight -yes. I think it sometimes keeps the
players in character more, for good or bad.

C_Baize - Yes. Some of the players are finding out things
retroactively... I'm much more in detail in the story hour background than I
was for them.. they got the basics, and are enjoying the details quite a lot.

Wulf_Ratbane - continuity be damned!

SpyScribe - Direct quote, "Given that this game will someday
be recorded on the internet, we will say that nothing untoward happens between
the satyr and the 14-year-old!"

thatdarncat - Do people find that having a storyhour gets them lots
of advice?

OldOne - SK - It has enhanced the forces me to be
consistent with plot and also helps remind PCs about plot points they tend to
overlook or forget

C_Baize - tdc not me...

Destan - Sid - Yes, very much so. I've had to introduce backgrounds
to characters in the SH and their respective players have grabbed them and ran
with them. I'm also able to make my "bad guys" seem more deadly than
they did during the game. Sometimes encounters end rather quick (one bad save,
for example), and my whole crescendo just pitters out. Not so in the SH, when I
can control the flow better.

C_Baize - I feel left out...

nemmerle - advice?

JollyDoc - We have actually had some lively rules discussions on my
SH based on game outcomes

nemmerle - what kind of advice?

contact - My readers are better DMs than I am . . . no question.
They have *tormented* my players.

jonrog1 - My gang loves deep background stuff anyway, there's
probably more in-0game than in the story hour

thatdarncat - nem - RatBastard tactics, plot ideas etc

KidCharlemagne - I haven't gotten a whole lot of advice from the
SH, I'm afraid

contact - Rising from your SH thread, I assume.

WizarDru - I have actively solicited many suggestions for the game,
which has improved the game several times, in my opinion. It's nice to have
someone to offer suggestions or guess at plots behind my players’ backs.

nemmerle - no

Zad - Yeah Piratecat has
had a bad influence on WizarDru, that's for sure

Piratecat - I've gotten some fantastic advice: on prestige classes,
on setups, but mostly for monsters and locations in our current Underdark

WizarDru - hey!

nemmerle - my readership seems very "rules light"

diaglo - I drop as many RatBastard ideas as I can...but my DM has
his own

jonrog1 - well, Pkitty and I have traded tactics -- although I'm
afraid my group would be a fine red mist in his game in about three seconds

WizarDru - Use a template once in a while.... :)

contact - Mmm. Red mist.

Piratecat - I've sooo stolen from JonRog.

nemmerle - and they rarely seem to offer suggestions, but will
occasionally chide players for choices they've made

nemmerle - like resurrecting Jeremy ;-)

WizarDru - Well, I've sooo stolen from you, so there you are.

contact - I steal bad guys from Piratecat's game, too.

jonrog1 - I mostly get a lot of "Poor Jo, why do you do that
to her?"

contact - I mean to return them, but . . .

nemmerle - I steal stuff from everyone

DrMidnight - I prefer red paste, mixed with coarse red chunks.

nemmerle - esp. Sagiro

WizarDru - We took a lot of flak for our opinions on at least one

thatdarncat - I'm sure the defenders don't mind Contact!

nemmerle - Sagiro is the man

Harlock :)- So, here's one
that I figure is on a lot of folks minds: I am afraid to write a Story Hour...
it seems daunting and all those people will read it and critique it... Why
should I write a Story Hour?

Piratecat - Heh. We're inbred. Actually, that's why I started
posting my story hour - to share ideas with other folks. If people steal from
it, I'm doing something right.

nemmerle - no offense to anyone else here ;-)

JollyDoc - A few of our more notorious PC's have been used by
readers in their campaigns...i.e. Entropy the Damned

C_Baize - Because if you don't, we'll hunt you down, and give you
atomic wedgies?

diaglo - write it for fun. not readership

contact - You should write a story hour because ten years from now,
you will be fired up to re-read it when you are cleaning out the attic.

OldDrewId - ditto what P-kitty said. I've sooo stolen from JonRog
too :) There is one episode in particular that I started based on the idea,
"Well if jonrog can do *that*, then I take it as a personal challenge to
see if I can pull off *this*"

nemmerle - word up, contact

nemmerle - what he said, except twice and more emphatically

Zad - Write one because you *want* to. Nothing else will motivate
you over the long term. Don't do it for praise, or for feedback or any of that.
Delight in it for it's own sake.

jonrog1 - reply Harlock :)- The only way to become a writer is write.
period. try it. you will suck, and then, after a few months, stop sucking
somewhat as much.

KidCharlemagne - Write a Story Hour to see if you can write
consistently over time. Write a SH for a record of your game. DON'T write
expecting mass adulation, certainly not right away

C_Baize - I like the story hour for watching the way the game
progresses and evolves.

OldOne - I get great ideas from reading other SHs...not necessarily
to steal things...but just to get the brain juices pumping...

Destan - Harlock :)- The
daunting part is not if readers read it, but if they don't.

SpyScribe - Although, feedback is also nice...

Zad - amen Jon

WizarDru - Because if you don't, we'd never get folks like Destan
writing. Further, a good story is a good story. It's not a contest. You can
never have too many good stories.

Piratecat - Write a story hour because it's fun, for your players.
There's no point in being nervous about it, though; JonRog excepted, we're all
kind of feeling our way in the dark.

JollyDoc - I began writing for my own interest, and to help me keep
track of my game...not for readership, but my game and my SH has benefited from
the readers

jonrog1 - Harlock :)cont'd -
and if you keep at it, then the few humans you have reading will please you

DrMidnight - It is daunting. It's really daunting. People
criticized my rules knowledge all the time, which is perfectly just, because my
rules knowledge isn't worth d*ck. Otherwise, I feel people respond nicely to
writing, no matter how bad you may be. Readers respect consistency and fun. All
else is frosting.

C_Baize - I'll tell you... I was kind of dreading the first few
comments on my story hour... I figured people would just THRASH it...

nemmerle - you know what's nice?

contact - No, what?

C_Baize - Then I got comments by some of OldDrewId's players, and
thought that was just really cool.

nemmerle - meeting someone in real life for the first time and
having them ask *you* about your campaign b/c they are familiar with it

Piratecat - I've seen very little ugly criticism. I think that's
really cool.

Destan - That's cusp you write a good yarn.

Zad - Well if nobody has trashed *my* writing then I think we're
fairly safe from that P-cat

WizarDru - Different story hours work in different ways. contacts
is a good 'discuss over beer' story, as is PCs, while Sepulchrave's and
Destan’s are like reading novels. Wulf's is something you print out and read on
the train...or the toilet. :)

Piratecat - Here's one reason to write:

diaglo - I’ve had players contact me to join cusp they read our
story hour

OldDrewId - C_Baize - we comment because we are impressed :)

KidCharlemagne - I've had that too, Diaglo

DrMidnight - I had that! I had someone I'd never met come up to me
at GenCon and ask if I was Doc Midnight. I was then asked about the story and
group. That was nice.

Piratecat - One of my players was in California for a con, and the
guys at the next table were discussing his character in my game. How cool is

Zad - That's pretty cool

OldDrewId - hehe

Destan - That is.

Harlock :)- that rocks,

SpyScribe - Fajitas loves to tell that story.

Harlock :)- New Question
Olgar - Best single moment/episode from a story hour?

Zad - I'd be blown away if that happened to me.

SpyScribe - (although it wasn't him)

OldOne - My biggest charge came when Rel asked if he could borrow
my homebrew for his own campaign...truly an honor...and I have been fascinated
with how he has used it (plus, I got to meet him in person...great gaming

jonrog1 - that is fun

thatdarncat - Piratecat - which character?

Piratecat - raevynn, tdc.

thatdarncat - coo

C_Baize - Olgar - From my own storyhour, I think it was when GSGT
Jackson shot that Hook Horror through the eye...

diaglo - for our story was my character, Bartol's near
death at the hands of an Ogre

Piratecat - For me, it might be the trillith fight, early on. It
was where I finally found my rhythm as a writer.

contact - Best single moment is the aside in the ToEE2 when
Zinvellon asks, "Why are you doing this," and the whole back-plot
becomes clear.

WizarDru - Tough call...but I'd say the rescue of The Gilden was
one of the greatest moments.

OldDrewId - Olgar -When Taylor got shot in Episode I

jonrog1 - Olgar - either the zombie slime pit, Andy vs. ET ...

C_Baize - It was sort of a tense moment, I think.

JollyDoc - Best single moment? When the 'lowly' characters, i.e.
Wathros the druid, Tilly the thief, and Rusty the cleric saved the heavy
hitters, and the campaign, from a glabrezu

contact - Or, when the elf gets reincarnated as a Halfling, and
comes to understand the *full* implications.

nemmerle - I try to leave off my installments as cliff-hangers - so
there are a lot of moments that come to mind

jonrog1 - or ALL of the pulp Spycraft. god, that was fun.

WizarDru - It certainly was one of the greatest gaming moments, that's
for sure.

C_Baize - Yeah, OldDrewId, I actually felt bad for Taylor...

DrMidnight - My favorite moment from the campaign would PROBABLY be
when Sir Vek Mormont went to Wee Jas as a god and defied her, and learned he
was tricked by her, then kissed, then killed. reads better than that.

SpyScribe - For us, definitely the fire at the Mage's academy.

Zad - One moment I liked lately was when I was actually writing a
sidebar previewing an upcoming story and in that moment when the party was
about to arrive and destroy an entire githyanki invasion force, everything just
came together and it painted a great picture.

nemmerle - I think when the half-demon gnome ripped off the party's
good friend and companions' head off, scooped out his brain and ate it

DrMidnight - Still, t'was gooood.

Wulf_Ratbane - I honestly don't have a favorite moment... I am
ashamed to admit, but my whole story hour keeps me laughing... at my own stupid
writing... almost the whole way through.

Harlock :)- Heh

Piratecat - Wulf, definitely the peck or the sap against the beret.

WizarDru - Wulf, the commentary is what makes your story our so

Wulf_Ratbane - I just loved writing as "Wulf," fun to be
in character (cause I am never in character like that in game)

OldOne - Olgar - Probably early on when the PCs got chased into an
abandoned legion hill fort by a howling barbarian horde and had the fight of
their young PC lives (around level 3/4 IIRC) of my players is
lurking...what is your fav, Tortoise?

KidCharlemagne - Olgar - tough question - I really like the ending
of Part I of my SH, it had a big finish (a big battle with several Drow
Vampires and a Shadow Dragon), a totally appropriate PC death, and a nice,
emotional epilogue...

diaglo - Olgar - there are other memorable moments too... when
angelsboi left the group... and biorph's character screwed him

nemmerle - Or a crazy five way fight that included 2/3rds of the
party chained to the back of a wagon

Harlock :)- Do you find that
your players get too much background information from your Story Hours?

contact - No such thing.

diaglo - no such thing

Zad - Since I'm a player-author, that's rarely a problem

C_Baize - Harlock :). No. I
like them to know everything that has gone before

Piratecat - no such thing

JollyDoc - In Gfunk's SH, the whole arc with Entropy corrupting
Noir, a paladin of the Red Knight, and turning her into a Blackguard was cool

C_Baize - .

jonrog1 - Harlock :)- no,
because I write the SH like a screenplay -- the audience gets the information
at the same rate as the characters.

nemmerle - nope

OldOne - The SH is so far behind the actual action that it isn't
really a problem...

contact - They kill my NPCs to quickly--if it wasn't for the SH
they'd never know how lovingly crafted the speed-bumps were!

DrMidnight - No... only one of my players read my story hour, I
think. The others popped in periodically.

SpyScribe - I am a player, so obviously, I can't write what I don't

nemmerle - I wish the read it closely and got even more

Piratecat - Background information helps them buy into the world.
They can keep non-player info separate.

KidCharlemagne - Harlock :)-I
never wrote anything that the players wouldn't or couldn't know - unlike
Speulchrave, for example

WizarDru - I try to use the story hour for teasers to the players.
And lately I seem to have taken a turn into always writing horror-style

JollyDoc - Followed by Entropy destroying Irae Tsarren, and
assuming her position as Kiaransalee's Chosen

DrMidnight - Yeah, teasing the players is a great way to use the
story hour as a game tool.

contact - I like that aspect of Sep's SH, but like KidC, I *rarely*
write "away" from the PCs.

jonrog1 - I'm nowhere near caught-up enough to use my SH to tease

contact - Write more, Jon.

jonrog1 - yeah. thanks :p\

WizarDru - Hah.

Harlock :)- jonrog1, tdc
keeps asking what you wrote for. I know Jackie Chan adventures was your thing,
and you're doing the Catwoman movie, right? He's asking what comic you wrote

contact - Write faster, Cody wants a pony!

* thatdarncat blinks

* thatdarncat falls over

* thatdarncat worships

thatdarncat - Jackie Chan Adventures?!?!

Wulf_Ratbane - the core

jonrog1 - started writing for Cosby on CBS, created Jackie Chan
adventures, was one of 75 guys on Catwoman, about 14 other films including Rush
Hour 2 and Count of Monte Cristo

Seri - tdc is broken

Harlock :)- Heh

* thatdarncat twitches

jonrog1 - the core, just adapted killing floor for new line, and
now doing a pilot for global frequency for the WB network

Harlock :)- Here's one for
everyone - +Silvr_Dragon - Do you ever think the story hour might be more
trouble than it's worth?

Piratecat - You need to update your imdb history.

WizarDru - Oh great, you've broken tdc.

Destan - Silvr - Yes, I do.

thatdarncat - Global Frequency?

* thatdarncat twitches again

contact - More trouble? No way.

OldDrewId - PCat - so I’m not the only one that immediately hit
IMDB on that note...

WizarDru - Never. It's a great archive for my players and I, as
well as a fun story to share.

jonrog1 - Warrw nEllis' comic. it rocks. I'm such a geek

diaglo - trouble? never. I need it to remember

Destan - jonrog - Count o' Monte Cristo? Really liked that. Never
knew. Cool.

Piratecat - For me, no. Not a chance. It takes quite a while to
write - I spend as much time writing as I do gaming - but I have a lot of fun
with it, and writing it gives me lots of really good ideas for future

nemmerle - when I feel that way it is b/c I just don't feel like
writing so I don't - and then after a break it always comes back

DrMidnight - I sometimes thought that. That's why I don't do the
story hour thing that often anymore. My recent tries have ended in HORRIBLE

KidCharlemagne - Only trouble in terms of time - I burned out a bit
about a year ago, and haven't gotten back on the horse yet

Zad - Silvr_Dragon - Not really. It's a lot of work, and in some
ways I doubt anyone who hasn't written it realizes how much work goes into it.
But it's always a great review in my mind, and I love having a written record I
can go back to. Especially when it means I remember plot elements better than
the DM

jonrog1 - trouble? no, just a mild guilt when I don't update. But
seeing as I'm late turning in writing they PAY me for, I'm okay with it

OldOne - Silvr Dragon - I have gone through several dry spells
where RL or mini-burnout have made updates few and far between...but then I am
a very busy boy !

C_Baize - I don't really believe it's more trouble... I like doing
it, though I wish I could write faster.

SpyScribe - What else would I do while underemployed? And I'd hate
to forget this stuff if it didn't get written down.

Destan - Silvr - Looks like I'm in the minority.

WizarDru - Zad, don't you often struggle with perspective? As a
player-author, you've got a greater challenge, in some ways, especially with

Piratecat - I write in surges; a lot one week, nothing the next.

nemmerle - word

Harlock :)- ascendance -
Question for jonrog1: Robin Laws once told me that you need to be in a
completely different headspaces for writing gaming stuff compared to writing
comic stuff. Do you find that to be the case? Writing gaming stuff compared to
writing fiction, basically.

Zad - I constantly struggle with perspective

contact - Seriously, for me it is a lot of fun. Different than the
game, but equally as enjoyable.

jonrog1 - well, yes, because in gaming you're creating a situation
enabling others to create the text...

jonrog1 - in fiction, you’re creating situation AND reaction.

jonrog1 - have to do my best not to force the PG's toward the story
path I find satisfying as a writer

jonrog1 - luckily, my group perversely breaks every plan and

DrMidnight - I always did that. Ahem.

Harlock :)- I think a lot of
DMs deal with that

Harlock :)- +Silvr_Dragon -
Do you ever steal from other story hours? Be honest now.

nemmerle - Yes.

Piratecat - God, yes. That's why I read them.

nemmerle - I have taken stuff from Sagiro

jonrog1 - Oh heck yeah

contact - How many of us find that the PCs come up with better
story paths than the ones we dreamt up? I know mine do.

Destan - amen, contact

Piratecat - Mine too.

WizarDru - Hell, yes. My players still have a grudge against PC for
introducing me to the excessive and foul use of templates.

diaglo - don't know. maybe the DM does. but I’m not sure

OldOne - Steal? Me? Um...err...oh hell yeah!

Zad - Silvr_Dragon - I'm a PC so no. My DM does though, hell yes.
As a defense mechanism, I read them to be prepared

Piratecat - Hee hee.

SpyScribe - I know Fajitas has stolen from Sagiro. Thank you _so
much_ btw.

nemmerle - and to some extent P.Kitty - except I can't remember
what is Rat Bastard forum stuff he suggested or stuff I grabbed from SH

DrMidnight - I never stole from another story hour. I stole from
comics and movies now and then, sometimes from George Martin, but never other
story hours.

jonrog1 - I don't steal templates, as I’m a very rules-lite DM. Do
take narrative ideas though, and characters

C_Baize - I haven't stolen from any story hours, I was inspired to
write one, by reading another...

jonrog1 - Although he's just been introduced in my SH, Meepo is a
very major character in my campaign thanks to the Savage Sword of Meepo SH

nemmerle - I mean, you always flavor things your own way

Piratecat - Everyone loves Meepo!

Harlock :)- Cool. I think all
DMs steal from various sources at times: Here's another question - Jarval -
Question for the SH authors: If you could go back and change an event in your
SH, which one would it be, and how would you change it?

Zad - I don't

Zad - I hate him

WizarDru - I occasionally find myself rejecting game ideas for the
opposite reason, though....i.e. so as not to appear to have copied a story hour
element that's appeared.

Harlock :)- Meepo kicks ass

Zad - I should have killed him day one.

nemmerle - A lot of P.Kitty stuff is way out there for me
level-wise, but the core idea is what matters, you then drape it in what you
need for the moment

* Zad loves to hate Meepo

Piratecat - Jarval, interesting question. I don't think I'd change

WizarDru - You mean, Meepo Kobold Chief of Kobold Country?

C_Baize - I don't think I'd change anything.

jonrog1 - Jarval - nothing. One thing in my game itself, but even
that turned out to have insanely cool ramifications later on down the line

WizarDru - God, how I love that little bastard. :)

DrMidnight - I would change the character name "Tenchi",
which I still seethe about now and then. Just my bad blood with otaku, there.

thatdarncat - yay Meepo!

OldOne - Jarval - Not really...I try to stay pretty close to the
flow of the game...I did change an IG mistake I made...but that is about it.

Piratecat - Dr. Midnight - "I hate you so much, I spit on your

Destan - Jarval - I have a tendency to get pretty damned
long-winded, and extend dialogue much further than what it needs to be. As
such, I can have 3 updates where nothing "happens". If I could change
something, I'd try to rein myself in a bit and focus on the action a bit more.

nemmerle - I would re-write the first few installments to fit more
the style the narrative eventually fell into

Piratecat - Actually, I'd probably fix a rules flub or two, but
nothing major.

diaglo - the last 3 sessions...the DM was getting ready to leave
and the others were more focused on what campaign to play next

KidCharlemagne - Jarval -I don't think I'd change anything,
either... I'm lucky to have great players, so nothing too out and out weird
happens in my games

contact - Jarval, I would have killed all the Liberators of Tenh
when I had the chance, instead of fudging in their favor.

OldOne - Destan - Bah...exposit away!

Piratecat - Oh, cancel that. My first few posts were *terrible.*
I'll rewrite them some day.

contact - And brought them back as bad guys.

Wulf_Ratbane - Jarval - Hell yeah. I should have stopped writing
after The Standing Stone.

Harlock :)- Heh

Harlock :)- Valanthe - HI,
I'm a PC in WizarDru/Zad's game. It's happened to our group once, but has
anything ever gone wrong or badly and disrupted the PCs in or out of the story.
Or has anyone ever had to go back and re-write part of the SH, like it never

jonrog1 - I'm actually avoiding that module because of Wulf's
disdain for it.

Piratecat - Valanthe, not for me.

nemmerle - what do mean by "gone wrong"?

Wulf_Ratbane - (Hey, I loved TSS... but not for the module...)

KidCharlemagne - Valanthe - I haven't had to do anything like that,

diaglo - does a TPK count?

C_Baize - No... I don't care for RetCon...

Harlock :)- diaglo, I'd say a
TPK counts

jonrog1 - Valanthe - again, no, because the readers get info at the
same speed the PC's do. Not a lot of backstory in the SH that needs to be

Zad - I can explain - we had a session that just went down the
wrong road. It wasn't a tpk - it lead to bad plot elements and character

SpyScribe - Being a year and a half behind the game, not an issue.

DrMidnight - There was a horrible almost-TPK with that white
dragon, that one time... I then posted about it in the General Discussion forum
and got everyone pissed at me. Blech.

nemmerle - but I go back and make tweaks to my installments for a
day or two after I post them when I catch errors or mis-attributions in

contact - Valanthe, we've changed game-mechanic info for PCs and
grandfathered it in.

Zad - And the plot arc just didn't work for us so WizarDru decided
to junk it

nemmerle - but no major changes

* thatdarncat prods SpyScribe to
update more

jonrog1 - well, I did add in Jo's sister Dawn. but reactions were

WizarDru - Oi. Fans of our story hour may can relate how I
'retconned' a whole session. Bastion of Broken Souls described what it was
doing to my game, IMHO. So we turned back time.

OldOne - Valanthe - Not to this point...

nemmerle - I love character fiction

nemmerle - makes for great dialogue!

nemmerle - friction

nemmerle - not ficnhshwewr

WizarDru - It looked a tad awkward in the story hour, but it worked
well for the game. And the game ALWAYS takes precedence.

Zad - We'd had plenty

Zad - oops

SpyScribe - tdc - I update weekly! What do you want?

thatdarncat - SpyScribe - post a day!

thatdarncat - :d

Harlock :)- Here's an
interesting one - ascendance - General question: What kind of software
assistance do you folks use to prepare stat blocks and things? Also, any tips
on making the game flow more smoothly while keeping it rules lite?

SpyScribe - *bangs head on desk*

nemmerle - pen and paper

nemmerle - I am mad old skool

C_Baize - I use a worksheet I created, myself... No software.

WizarDru - DM Genie, all the way. With a party of 6 23rd level
characters, I need help. The SRD on laptop and excel are biggies, too.

diaglo - Olgar has a bunch of downloaded stuff....I use pen and

nemmerle - I may do a word doc occasionally

jonrog1 - ascendance - a round by round combat tracker sheet, with
a space on the bottom to scrawl monster stats and tactics.

contact - 3.5 SRD on PDF. Find a stat-block shorthand that works
for you, and don't sweat the small stuff.

Piratecat - I use the new version of etools for boosting monster
hit dice. Other than that, just Excel and Word.

DrMidnight - I used some utility I've lost track of to generate
stat blocks. I used that online utility I've lost track of for dragons. I lose
track of a lot.

nemmerle - but I am a scribbler

Zad - ascendance - I use, no *need* an excel spreadsheet to play my

WizarDru - Not to mention the shadow companions, animal companions,
familiars and all the other mounts, followers, etc.

OldOne - ascendance - Stat block? What's that? Actually, I use 4 x
6 cards for everything...makes combat a bit easier...

KidCharlemagne - ascendance - I make great use of Word. I have a
bunch of templates that I use, and I do a lot of copy-n-paste with the SRD. In
3.0 I used E-Tools a lot, and will again as soon as they get the 3.5 data set

jonrog1 - Same as OldOne -- don't really use software.

DrMidnight - I used a lot of Photoshop to scratch together images
for the SH, but otherwise, I'm low-tech

Piratecat - To make a game flow smoothly, *make combat speedy.*
slow combat is a nightmare.

jonrog1 - yeah, was doing cut and paste form SRD, but then found
not all monsters were OGL, kinda screwed me

KidCharlemagne - I also do some Photo shopping for handouts or maps

DrMidnight - Good stuff, that

nemmerle - try to figure out how to adjust the rhythm of play using
verbal clues in your descriptions of things

contact - Piratecat, that's like saying "to get to the roof,
go up there." How do you make combat speedy?

C_Baize - I use Hero Machine to give the players NPC pics...

Piratecat - I actually do my maps on Excel; it's sort of
embarrassing, but works really well.

nemmerle - it is different for every group, but I tend to find it

Harlock :)- I detest slow
combat myself. We have another here - Umbran - Question for all: Do you find
yourself occasionally misrepresenting a PC's internal motivations in the
Storyhour? Have the player come up to you and say, "but that's not what I
was thinking at all!"?

Destan - I wanted to mention that - PC's excel maps are amazing.
Never knew Excel could do that.

jonrog1 - yeah, Pkitty, how do you run those massive things? My
group started really bogging down once they hit 10th level and all those
options opened up.

C_Baize - Umbran. No... I always confer with the players.

nemmerle - I do almost no inward dialogue in my SH

Piratecat - Contact, lots of ways: index cards for it. Call out who
is next and on deck, so people are ready. Roll attacks and damage at once.

Piratecat - And minimize table talk.

Destan - Umbran - Yep, I've blown that a couple times. I had one of
my characters "find his faith" in the story hour much sooner than he
found it in the real campaign.

nemmerle - they either show it or say it and it up to the context
to explain it or the reader to figure it out

thatdarncat - Piratecat - I'll see if I can dig up a link to the
rules for the pig

KidCharlemagne - Umbran -Not so much, but I did misspell a PC's
name for like a hundred pages...

Zad - Umbran - no by definition. I'm a PC, I know my motivations.
If I say another player did something for a given reason, then it's an
in-character perception, and it adds flavor to the story. It may be wrong, but
then the resolution also makes great story.

diaglo - Umbran - Yes. I put thoughts into others heads. or at
least the way my character interprets them

DrMidnight - Yes. Or, rather, I was accused of "slanting"
a PC's actions/dialogue to make a more favorable story hour. Again, my drama
queen thing... futzing the actual game in favor of more exciting writing.

SpyScribe - Actually, in fear of that I was very cautious about
getting inside other characters heads for a long time.

jonrog1 - Umbran - again, tend to avoid internals, do it all with
looks and nods that actually happened at the table.

jonrog1 - -- and, they're not exactly the deepest bunch

contact - Umbran-- occasionally I mis-represent an emotional state
or motivation. But I blame society.

OldOne - Umbran - I tend to write things as I interpret the PCs
perspective, but all my players are welcome to chime in when I fail to get it

Piratecat - Umbran, I've made occasional mistakes. when my players
call me on it, I edit the story hour.

Harlock :)- I am wondering
this myself, Piratecat - Vaxalon -
How does Excel do maps?

WizarDru - jonrog1 - Yeah, but they drink a lot.

OldOne - ...I edit it when necessary...

contact - When my players call me on it, I also edit Piratecat's
Story Hour.

Wulf_Ratbane - Umbran - I swear to God, every word out in the SH
actually came out of that peck's mouth.

jonrog1 - WizarDru - and that’s why I love them

nemmerle - Vaxalon, now that is a name I have not heard in a long
time, a long time

OldOne - Wulf - hah!

Piratecat - How to do Excel maps is a thread in itself. Start one,
I'll explain it!

Harlock :)- okay

Harlock :)- Lela - Question:
What makes you keep your SH going?

contact - I'm in it for the money.

Destan - Lela - Readers.

OldOne - Lela - My two fans...Lela and Darklone !

Harlock :)- Hot chicks too,
right contact?

Wulf_Ratbane - Readers.

DrMidnight - Readers.

C_Baize - Lela... mostly the readers throwing popcorn at the screen
and yelling "FOCUS!!!"

Zad - Lela - We keep playing each week. Honestly after three-four years
and so many open story arcs, I need to keep track of what's going on and I
think there are people out there who want to see how it ends.

diaglo - what else would I do with my notes?

contact - Hell yes, the groupies, the cash and the perks.

nemmerle - Horacio

contact - . . . like getting reservations at La Folie on an hours

Piratecat - I'm in it for Contact's money.

nemmerle - Lela - I do it for Horacio

SpyScribe - I'm with diaglo on this one.

jonrog1 - Lela - probably a different motivation form most -- no
notes form execs, no deadlines -- anything I see fit goes in. Like a little
vacation from the job

WizarDru - The game. Although it sometimes amazes me when someone
points to our story hour and says "lookitthat!"

Wulf_Ratbane - I would like to remind all these authors, not an
hour ago they swore not to write for the readers.

DrMidnight - Tsunami, in most cases

KidCharlemagne - Contact, I read that "the groupies, the cash,
and the pecks."

Piratecat - Seriously? I get a tremendous amount of energy from
knowing people are enjoying it, and knowing that it's fun to write. Can't beat

DrMidnight - I swore no such thing. I was in it for the glory.

contact - Well, yeah, the pecks!

contact - Do I have to spell it out!

contact - :d

KidCharlemagne - True, Wulf, but its a big kick when they like it.

contact - Seriously-- it would be fun if nobody read it but me.

C_Baize - That's what KEEPS me writing...

Zad - Lela - I think another part is challenging myself. I think of
myself as a lot of things, but "Writer" is not one of them, so it's a
way of challenging myself to do something I don't think I do well.

contact - And that's pretty much how it goes.

nemmerle - I read "kick" as another word that ends in
"ick", KidC

OldOne - Lela - Actually, it is a much needed creative outlet,
writing helps me relax and its fun knowing some people dig it...

C_Baize - If it weren't for the readers, I'd just write it all
down, and keep it on my home PC.

jonrog1 - I have to admit, one time I was on the phone talking
about my first producing gig, and I was secretly checking my SH views, so yeah,
the readers fit in there somewhere...

KidCharlemagne - Yeah, but we all know how your mind works, nemm...

WizarDru - Hey, I wont lie and say we don't notice when our view
count jumps. Not for nothing are we 'the lurker's choice." :)

Harlock :)- This one should
be interesting - ascendance - How do you guys hand out XP for story-oriented

thatdarncat - For anyone who's interested, the "Paying the
Pig" suggestions are here:

diaglo - my SH views are due to me visiting the site

SpyScribe - Posting in a vacuum is no fun. Of course feedback is a

nemmerle - I pull numbers out of my butt

Piratecat - I hire my neighbor's kids to hit "refresh."

C_Baize - ascendance - Depends on the situation, and what came of

nemmerle - it really isn't pretty

Destan - Ascendance - I give them "cookies" - with 1
cookie = 100 XP * Character Level. Few and far between.

contact - I give the PCs 1/5 to 1/4 of a level per session,
regardless of what they kill, but have no system for story awards beyond that.

Zad - ascendance - passing to WizarDru. I get no exp bonus for just
writing the story hour though, if that's what you mean

jonrog1 - 100 xp * character level for major story points or

Piratecat - For story-related xp? Hmmm... like Nemm, I pull numbers
out of his butt. Err. My butt.

contact - The idea is just to keep them from feeling like not
killing stuff creates a leveling ennui.

DrMidnight - I offered a few hundred xp for clever or dramatic
roleplaying. Nothing special. "Nice game tonight, punching that old lady
in the face. 100 xp."

Piratecat - Although I like JonRog's formula.

WizarDru - Huh? What?

contact - You get 100 xp for punching old ladies? I should be
second level!

OldOne - ascendance - Just like Pkitty and Nemm......actually, I
usually build about 30% of the session reward in story-type xp...

KidCharlemagne - I go by the XP for the foes they face, and I give
XP for dealing with foes in non-fatal ways

Piratecat - I definitely give more xp for story accomplishments
than specific monsters.

Harlock :)- Do any of you
make level progression slower in 3rd Ed?

nemmerle - the truth is

nemmerle - I used to tally XP

diaglo - just do it for fun. if it involved xp I wouldn't. we
advance too fast as it is

Piratecat - We go up levels about every ten games. I plan it on

Wulf_Ratbane - That's good, cause those two kuo toa I got under my
belt aren't getting me anywhere fast.

DrMidnight - I do. I hate D&D leveling. I think it should be
half that fast, if not a third.

nemmerle - but as the number for "killing" got smaller
and smaller - I figured "what is the point?'

nemmerle - now I just make up a number

KidCharlemagne - I cut back on the XP a bit, sometimes as much as
by half

jonrog1 - Harlock :)- I just
make a point of emphasizing downtime. I hate the "10levels in a
game-year" vibe

SpyScribe - As recently came out in the thread, we level about
twice a year. I don't *think* that's standard.

WizarDru - I do give out XP for role-playing material...but XP for
writing the story hour or contributing to it doesn't happen. All the hot chicks
Zad scores are reward enough. In game, I give RP/story XP as the mood strikes

Piratecat - I peg advancement to twice a year also. It works well
for us.

SpyScribe - Gee, what a coincidence.

nemmerle - 8 levels in 3 years seems right to me

nemmerle - almost 9

KidCharlemagne - I also try to emphasize downtime

Piratecat - Heh. I have Fajitas brainwashed.

Destan - Dru - hahahah

jonrog1 - I tend to average 1 every three months, but we do play a
full 4 times a month

thatdarncat - My PCs'd kill me if I only let them level twice a
year, right Seri?

nemmerle - I make no distinction between up and down time

nemmerle - all time is time

WizarDru - Heh. We've gone from 1 to 23 in slightly over 3 years,
playing 3 times a month on average.

contact - Harlock :), my PCs
level approx. every third or fourth session.

Harlock :)- Cool

OldOne - My advancement averages out to 1 level per 4 sessions or

SpyScribe - *shakes head* Poor Fajitas

nemmerle - the party has been "in town" between
adventures for like 4 sessions and having a grand old time

WizarDru - *hopes that Zad's wife isn't reading.

jonrog1 - I have people who are in love with character design, so
they need the buzz. It's not a power thing, though -- I swear they'd play
nothing but 1st level and play a different campaign a week just for the fun of
character building

Wulf_Ratbane - with ya on that jonrog

nemmerle - we play 2 a month

contact - Me three-- char building = teh fun.

Piratecat - Us, too.

contact - As DM, I get to build lots of expendable characters.

Harlock :)- I've slowed down
leveling a ton in my Scarred Lands game myself.

nemmerle - naw

diaglo - character building doesn't have to mean fast leveling

C_Baize - That's a lot of the fun, contact.

Harlock :)- Here's another
one from the peanut gallery - SiderealKnight - Question: What (if any) story
hours do you read regularly?

nemmerle - I hate making stat block

jonrog1 - One of my players just started running a once a month
campaign, and now that I got to play again, I was al aquiver with
character-building excitement

diaglo - all of them

Piratecat - As a DM, I get all of my PC design jollies out of
making NPCs who inevitably die quickly.

contact - Until they slaughter your wiz 5/ rog 3/ asn 4 in one

C_Baize - SiderealKnight - I only read (other than mine)
Medallions, honestly.

nemmerle - Sidereal Knight - Sagiro's is the only one. . I pop into
P.Kitty's, Old One's and Contact's on occasion - but I am not with the regular

DrMidnight - None... sorry. Tried once, couldn't get into it.
Reading in a computer chair doesn't work for me.

WizarDru - Destan (well, until he KILLED THEM ALL), Piratecat's,
JonRog’s and a few others.

Piratecat - I read about a half-dozen regularly, and drop in on
another half dozen about once a month. Lately, I've been glued to Capellan's
Q-Ship story hour. Sheer comedy gold.

Zad - SiderealKnight - Easy one: Destan, Speulchrave, Piratecat,
Sagiro, Wulf's (formerly). I'd read more but time can be rough.

Wulf_Ratbane - Piratecat and pogre. I would say I read jonrog
regularly, but that would be predicated on him UPDATING regularly

SpyScribe - Not enough? Anything by jonrog1 and Piratecat. Recently
picked up Company of the Random Encounter.

diaglo - I only left the story hour side 'cuz the Jester came to
stay at my house

AltReality - what’s up all

KidCharlemagne - SiderealKnight - I read PC's, Sagiro's, Contacts
Liberators thread, and Wulf.

WizarDru - As often as not, I pick up a new story hour every few
weeks and run through it. Makes for good lunchroom reading.

contact - I read PCs, Sagrios, Sepulchrave’s, JonRog’s, Capellan's
got a couple I like. JRandall, there's more that I can't remember. many many.
Of course, Wulf's back in the day.

jonrog1 - whoops

Harlock :)- Heh

Harlock :)- , no problem

Harlock :)- +Silvr_Dragon -
ohhh I got a question! Can I make a guest appearance in your story hour?

OldOne - SK - I used to be a SH whore...but just don't have the
time anymore...I regularly read PCs, Sagiro’s, contacts, Destan's, Seps, Wulf,
Pogre and Rel's...drop in on Nemm, Jonrog1...damn...I still am an SH whore...

contact - I've already written you in, Harlock :). But I changed
your name to "Heydricus."

C_Baize - So, how about you, jonrog1? Which SHs do you read?

Piratecat - I actually have EN Worlders sit in a fair amount; heck,
Old One is here tomorrow!

Zad - Silvr_Dragon - If you want to come for a night you can play
Thorkeld! Just be ready to fail a save and die or something.

jonrog1 - Pkitty, SpyScribe, all the modern ones

WizarDru - Sure. You can play the Silvering. And sleep for the next
decade. :)

nemmerle - I would love to have some ENWorlders I know come down
and sit in

jonrog1 - got to admit, it takes a heckuva lot to hook me in the
straight fantasy campaigns

WizarDru - It's always the paladins.

OldOne - Piratecat - Wahoo...yes I am!

nemmerle - of course, no one ever trusts the guest player

nemmerle - ;-)

Piratecat - nor should they.

C_Baize - That's an interesting concept.... I may have to use all
the ENWorlders as a bunch of Zombies, and Raiders...

contact - Unless they have an honest face like Old One.

KidCharlemagne - I gotta make it out to Boston for a Sox game and
PC's game sometime

nemmerle - last 2 times my friend Sean has "guested" PCs
have died

Piratecat - but this is how I first met Wulf, for instance.

nemmerle - and not b/c of anything he did!

OldOne - *rubs hands together in secret delight*

Harlock :)- ascendance -
General comment: its frustrating that software support's fallen behind for 3.5e

OldOne - contact - Awwww....

Piratecat - Yup. Agreed.

C_Baize - Okay.

Zad - ascendance - I'm a fan of simple things I can maintain myself
like spreadsheets.

Harlock :)- Err, hey, that's
not a question.

jonrog1 - ascendance - I guess, but again, I don't use it much. But
maybe that's because its fallen behind, chicken/egg thing

WizarDru - DM Genie is 3.5 compatible...with templates, even. So
no, it isn't.

diaglo - don't get me started.

OldOne - ascend - don't really use much either...

nemmerle - I am old skool

KidCharlemagne - 3.5 E-Tools is due out the next month or so last I

nemmerle - pen and paper baby

Harlock :)- diaglo, just once
could you say... your trademark?

jonrog1 - multi-colored pens. old school

nemmerle - I have a note book with Out of the Frying Pan scratched
on the front in ball point pen!

KidCharlemagne - Its not a real software support unless its written
in Cobol?

nemmerle - I have the same support for that than there has ever has
been, the Mead Corp is good that way ;-)

* WizarDru claws his own eyes out
at the mention of COBOL.

diaglo - OD&D(1974) is the only true game. All the other
editions are just poor imitations of the real thing.

WizarDru - How about FORTRAN? The language of innovation?

nemmerle - oh diaglo

Harlock :)- nemmerle, you
sound like me. Starting DMing when I was a kid and my quicker clicker and graph
paper bring me a special chill just to pick up

jonrog1 - of course. AD&D 2nd Edition -- the Buzzkill Edition.

Harlock :)- Heh

WizarDru - Hey, he made it 1:16 into the chat. That's admirable.

Harlock :)- Well, I DID ask
him for it.

Piratecat - Next question?

Harlock :)- Here's a general
one for all of you - Wee_Jas - Q: Where is your game based out of? (To

jonrog1 - "you do something cool. Roll on table 5-3 to see how
you die because of it..."

Piratecat - Physically? Boston.

contact - San Francisco.

diaglo - Forgotten Realms...Dalelands

nemmerle - The Planet of Brooklyn, baby!

KidCharlemagne - I'm in the Chicago suburbs

jonrog1 - Los Angeles

C_Baize - Physically? Central California...

KidCharlemagne - Oh... Hoebre world

WizarDru - version, anyhow. Physically? Malvern, PA.

SpyScribe - L.A.

KidCharlemagne - Home brew. Sheesh

DrMidnight - Rhode Island, Providence area. Reppin' the
four-oh-one, baby.

Zad - Wee_Jas - suburban Philly/Greyhawk

C_Baize - In the game, it's America, and sort of all over...

Destan - Between DC and Baltimore.

OldOne - Faded Glory H'brew...played in the Baltimore suburbs...

jonrog1 - Huh, I'd stayed back east, I coulda played with Pkitty
and Wulf. Damn

diaglo - play in Hotlanta

Piratecat - My World is home brew, with Planescape.

jonrog1 - stupid career ...

OldOne - Destan - When we drinking that beer together?

nemmerle -

contact - Piratecat needs more modrons.

SpyScribe - jonrog1 -but then we wouldn't have had Jo and Ross
guest starring.

Piratecat - Damn straight.

nemmerle - Look at me, I’m a shill!

Harlock :)- Interesting side
note, this just in - Olgar - Of course, diaglo recently admitted to considering
DMing 3.5 ...

jonrog1 - Scarred Lands -- Elminster can bite my pink behind

* Zad wonders what the modrons are
doing. Oh well couldn't be anything important

Destan - OO - I'm not 21.

OldOne - Destan - Liar!

thatdarncat - Zad - someone else will figure it out, right?

Destan - oo -

* contact watches modrons roll by,
and goes home.

OldOne - hah!

jonrog1 - SpyScribe - and horrifying you with the habits they
picked up form my campaign...

nemmerle - the climax of my campaign involves Modrons

Piratecat - I want my damn modrons.

Destan - Harlock :)- Gotta
run, thanks for having me.

nemmerle - shhh! don't tell anyone ;-)

Harlock :)- thanks Destan

OldOne - Too late..

Harlock :)- So, how long does
it take, usually to compile notes from a session, then write it up and post it?

WizarDru - See ya, Destan. Valanthe just pinched me. Hope you're
happy. :)

Wulf_Ratbane - I also gotta run... Later all!

DrMidnight - I've gotta run as well. Gonna ride Destan's coattails
on outta here.

Piratecat - Nemm, can I sit in? Please?

SpyScribe - jonrog1 - So come horrify us yourself next time!

OldOne - Gotta run soon too...any other questions?

nemmerle - of course!

Harlock :)- seeya DrMidnight

C_Baize - When Destan's gotta run... Destan's gotta run.

Harlock :)- and thanks

nemmerle - P.Kitty that was for you

nemmerle - as for how long?

jonrog1 - Harlock :)- only a
day, just never get around to the fine tuning and posting. but I'm a speedy
little writer. makes up for my shocking lack of talent

WizarDru - Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now.

Zad - Harlock :)- Usually I
go into work Monday morning, and work on the story. Depending how busy I am, I
could have it up as soon as noon if I'm relatively free

DrMidnight - Bye all, love yers.

C_Baize - Harl... I think you wanted me to remind you of
something... But I forget what it was...

DrMidnight - for justice!!

nemmerle - it usually takes 2 to 3 installments (6 to 14 pages
each) to do one session

Harlock :)- Characters?

diaglo - the whole two weeks in between sessions

Piratecat - It takes me about four hours to write up a game. Longer
if I'm using a tape.

C_Baize - Oh.. What about them?

Harlock :)- don’t remember.

WizarDru - I write teasers in about 1-2 hours, depending.

OldOne - Harlock :)- About 2
hours of writing per Session installment...but I usually write 2-5 installments
per figure 4-10 hours per Session...

nemmerle - so that is about 2 to 4 hours of writing each x 3 = 6 to
12 hours per session

contact - Harlock :), it
usually takes two to four hours. Longer if I am brain-dead.

nemmerle - longer than the actual sessions!

jonrog1 - I've got so many sourcebooks, I steal characters like mad

nemmerle - oh my god!

nemmerle - I never realized that before!

KidCharlemagne - I'd say about 4 hours, spread into (typically) 3-4

WizarDru - The Avonshar story hour can take about 4 hours for me to

Harlock :)- Cool

Piratecat - Nemm, we could game twice as often if we didn't write.

C_Baize - Usually, it takes me a couple of hours to write... but
I've been trying to get this latest update for over 2 weeks...

Piratecat - It isn't unusual to run into writer's block. It

Harlock :)- So, are there any
exciting things about to happen in anyone’s game? Stuff not written up?
Teasers, character deaths, changes in party mix, etc?

SpyScribe - Don't know per-update. Writing is quick, revising is

nemmerle - I am so glad I don't write up the Promised Land game

nemmerle - which I want to plug!

nemmerle - my homeboy Sean writes it

contact - Lucius is taking over the Liberators, but no one other
than Lucius realizes it.

WizarDru - you mean, other than the rapture? :-d

nemmerle - and it is relatively new so you can catch up right away
and I play in it!

Piratecat - I have a few character deaths coming up, as I approach
the climax of my 2 year long adventure.

C_Baize - Well... in several sessions, the Sniper will have a
serious crisis, as he LOSES HIS EYE!

Zad - Harlock :)- No the only
things I drop are tiny details that are unimportant in greater story.

diaglo - started a new campaign and new SH

nemmerle - writing about PC death is always a big deal b/c in a
game where there is little or no resurrection, that means they will never
appear in the story again, and that can be disappointing

jonrog1 - Harlock :)- a few
roster changes, a few character deaths, the big epic end of the first

contact - In the Risen Goddess, the upcoming plotline is based on
the principle that the adventurers failed in the Modron march/ Dead Gods

nemmerle - disappointing for the readers, that is

Harlock :)- So, do you have
any specific rules based on your Story Hours?

nemmerle - but I have roster changes coming up too

jonrog1 - started structuring lot arcs like TV seasons, 5
levels/season -- get to kill a big bad fairly often, don't bog down, but long
enough for investigations and side adventures

C_Baize - Not based on the story hours...

nemmerle - including an old rival who joins the group!

Piratecat - What do you mean, Harlock

OldOne - Harlock :)- I am
about 7 sessions behind now...VERY big happenings and some very bad things in
the next couple of sessions...

diaglo - no infinite rule

contact - No, just that Dodge gives a consistent bonus.

KidCharlemagne - Specific rules in what sense?

C_Baize - But I do have called shots, and a target system...

Zad - Harlock :)- No but we
have some very specific rules on Bolo running all new spells past the approval
committee before using them in game - it's for everyone's good.

Piratecat - I try to figure out the players' expectations, and then
keep them on their toes. I dunno, Wulf; any surprises coming up in the story

Piratecat - :d

Harlock :)- Well, for
instance, do you try and limit player stupidity, that sort of thing? Allowing
Int. checks to preserve plot?

nemmerle - no, but I love describing my bloody crits when they

Harlock :)- anything as heavy
handed as that?

nemmerle - har - no way!

Zad - Nope - we're allowed to be as dumb as our natural talent

WizarDru - All new Bolo spells must pass....The Committee. I also
appear to have a house rule concerning Bolo getting eaten every session.

C_Baize - For a sniper, I really had to have a called shot system,
so it was actually fairly simple to come up with one.

OldOne - Harlock :), et al -
Gotta run, gang...thanks for the opportunity...see you tomorrow, Pkitty and
Wulf (will Wulf be there?)

KidCharlemagne - Nope! Like I said earlier, I'm blessed with great

Piratecat - Nope. If my players want to be stupid, more power to
them - although it doesn't happen very often.

jonrog1 - no, she follows plot idiocy -- again, part of the
challenge is to not turn your game into your narrative, but adapt your
narrative as the game shifts.

Harlock :)- thanks OldOne!

contact - We allow the player of Prisantha to ask the whole group
for advice when she makes snap decisions, to reflect her 28 Int.

nemmerle - later oo

Piratecat - See you tomorrow, Old One!

SpyScribe - Ack, I've got to run. Thanks for having me.

diaglo - we stumble around until we run into something.

nemmerle - like rats from a ship!

Piratecat - By, SS! I can hang around for a while.

OldOne - cya!

Piratecat - Contact, that's a cool mechanic.

WizarDru - My players are quite clever, so it's never been a
problem. Trying to outwit them has always been the problem.

nemmerle - nice

jonrog1 - 28 int. ? broken! I call broken!

Harlock :)- .thatdarncat - Piratecat: spoil us,
please! We want to know! Contact: Your last LoT update ended on kind of a
spoiler. Who won! Who died?

nemmerle - I allow "18 int" moments

Harlock :)- Piratecatis like a kid in the candy store tonight

WizarDru - I guess I shouldn't point out that the wizard in our
story hour has a 32 INT, huh?

nemmerle - so we have players asking "can I take an 18 Int
moment?" to stop play to discuss something

Harlock :)- err, thatdarncat

nemmerle - I am greedy with them

nemmerle - ;-)

Piratecat - Nope, I'm *so* not spoiling this one little surprise.
It's a good one.

* thatdarncat is in full on fanboy

contact - The Liberators won, and three of them sort of died, with
two of them really dying. Later, only one really died, and was then expunged
from the group.

jonrog1 - I give a Wis check or Int. check for remembering plot
details they may not have remembered.

diaglo - 25 pt buy. how in the world?

WizarDru - Of course, there was the time a player summoned a water
elemental...on the elemental plane of fire. :)

contact - Oh, and then the Liberators lost.

Piratecat - Steam.

KidCharlemagne - I know who dies in PC's game.... at least one of

nemmerle - I don’t like the randomness of checks

jonrog1 - My investigation arcs tend to be pretty complex -- those
checks are like Spycraft inspiration checks.

KidCharlemagne - Might be more than one, that I don't know

nemmerle - I’d rather the *player* make a decision

contact - Jonrog-- it's not really. She's 20th level, has a +6 item
she made herself, and has wished a couple of times.

contact - The baddies still make their saves.

Piratecat - I tend to agree. Int or Wis checks don't take into
account the hero's experience.

Harlock :)- This is a great
question - Umbran - Question for all - what's the best character quote in your

jonrog1 - *grumbling* woulda dropped a rock on her a long time ago
-- none shall rival the DM's power!

nemmerle - that's a hard one

C_Baize - Mitch: "Yeah... well... If I were you, I'd shave
that weasel off my lip."

diaglo - that's too hard. my memory is a mess.

Zad - Umbran - I know the one for Piratecat - "So what do you think those Modrons are

WizarDru - that's tough.

Piratecat - Sigh. Probably.

thatdarncat - blah, sure, tease me:)

nemmerle - We have a lot of "Run! Run! Run! don't look back!

jonrog1 - Umbran - Andy as he drew his gun on the carnivorous,
anal-probing ET: "You are SO not phoning home..."

nemmerle - lol

Harlock :)- nemmerle, that
sounds like the game I am a player in

Piratecat - I like when Malachite told off his superior Aleax, and
turned his back on his church in order to stand up for what he believed in.

contact - "Don't touch anything that is glowing, take it one
level at a time, kill everything, and move on."

Zad - Umbran - With so many years (and about 600 pages in MSWord)
I'd need to go back and look.

Piratecat - Of course, turning him into a tapeworm was also pretty

diaglo - "timmmmmmaaaaayyyy"

jonrog1 - Again, I have a roomful of writers, they do all the hard
work for me

KidCharlemagne - Umbran - That's really tough. This one is from
that game but before the actual SH... "It'll be a quick in-an-out".
This was followed by the Party getting waylaid, and enslaved, and teleported
halfway across the continent, not getting back for six months of game time

nemmerle - oh and a lot of "I willing to sacrifice my

thatdarncat - contact - my PCs need to learn from that

nemmerle - everyone always in a hurry to die

contact - TDC-- So do mine, they just say it all the time.

Piratecat - They need a new advisor.

Harlock :)- Jackie Chan
Adventures is coming on Cartoon Network, for the jonrog1 fans.

diaglo - Olgar reminded me..."..went down like Bernedette in
an elven village"

thatdarncat - I wanna know when I can buy jca on DVD

WizarDru - My current favorite from PCs hour: "You know how.
You just aren't very good at it."

nemmerle - "run! run! run! don't look back! run!"

jonrog1 - they JUSTG started releasing them in a truly idiotic

jonrog1 - sadly, Sony Kids not really on the ball there

WizarDru - Jon, are you still involved with the show?

Piratecat - So, let me ask a question: writers, how do you create
memorable villains?

jonrog1 - not much anymore, two good guys running it.

jonrog1 - Pkitty - actually, my PC's create my villains

contact - I try to keep them rules-obscured-- that helps.

WizarDru - Well, it's been consistently great. You should be proud.

diaglo - I let Olgar do is my job to find them.

contact - And, of course, I steal all the villains from PCs SH.

nemmerle - for me it is all about dialogue and description -

Piratecat - how, jonrog?

WizarDru - I like to link them emotionally to the
makes them resonate more when they have an investment in the villain. Oh, and
Black Dirge helps. :)

Zad - Piratecat - Well I do what I can, but it comes down to
character perceptions and how I think my character would see it

nemmerle - I will sometimes make notes of things I want a villain
to say and then craft their speech pattern around it to be consistent

KidCharlemagne - I look for an interesting hook, and make sure the
PC's have ways to interact with them enough to breed the familiarity that leads
to enmity

jonrog1 - at the beginning of every season, I have a choice of
three or four main plots, run them through the intro adventures, and whoever
they hate the most, I make the main villain, advance him along with them

nemmerle - like when he describes his evil plan in great detail ;-)

C_Baize - PC - I dunno... the one they are facing, in game, now, is
a former teammate of the Military PCs...

nemmerle - also

nemmerle - always keep them on their toes

Harlock :)- Do you Story Hour
Authors ever bring back supposedly dead villains? True Ress go both ways in
your games?

WizarDru - The toughest villain was the LG one. He took some

nemmerle - make them have real motives that the PCs might consider
reasonable and thus fill them with loathing and self-doubt

Piratecat - I agree that a hated villain is a good villain. I need
to do a better job at making them emotionally tied to the PCs.

diaglo - old PCs make surprise appearances.

KidCharlemagne - I've never Rezz'd a villain. I believe strongly
that a good DM needs to be able to let his beloved bad guys go

nemmerle - not much res in my game

nemmerle - though people come back as undead a lot ;-)

Harlock :)- heh

WizarDru - No. No. NO. Well...OK, Yes. I just did the most recent
session featuring the return of a Blackguard from 2+ years ago, now a fiend.

Zad - Harlock :)- We just had
a supposedly dead villain come back to assassinate us last week. He's dead now

Piratecat - I've used an undead version of true ress to bring back
powerful ghouls that the group had trouble killing one at a time. Now they're
banded together and hunting the group.

C_Baize - hehe... They faced the Hook Horror again. Only this time
it was a cybernetic Hook Horror with nasty pointy spiky things installed on

contact - I had a villain recently that they kind of *liked*. It made
it interesting for them to oppose him.

Harlock :)- JRandall - story
hour ? for (contact): How many years ago (real life) did what is now the Risen
Goddess campaign start?

Piratecat - That's always fun. In Sagiro's game, we can tell the
villains because we like them and they're nice to us. If someone is rude and
nasty, they're probably a good guy.

nemmerle - my last session ended w/ the party getting back to the
inn to find an old villain waiting for them

WizarDru - Well, wasn't that one wizard nice? But then, he died.

contact - Joshua knows that the Risen Goddess game originally
started around 1986 when my core player and I spent our misanthropic
high-school years playing these two characters who reincarnated into a homebrew
world called Isk . . .

contact - The recent incarnation (the one chronicled in the SH)
started at the same time that 3e was released.

nemmerle - he has not spoken a word yet and they are considering
attacking him right away b/c they are afraid he is going to point out some
nebulous gray moral thing and they won’t be able to kill him with clear

Piratecat - Nemm, that's funny.

WizarDru - It's always the paladins.

Piratecat - New question?

Harlock :)- Do you find
yourself ever writing up a hook or arc and thinking, "Yeah, this'll look
great in my thread!"

jonrog1 - my villains are always scrupulously reasonable. they have
agendas, and if the PC's would just GO AWAY there wouldn't be a problem.

Zad - Harlock :)- I'm a PC -
I'm reactive

contact - Nemm: "Hush! Hush! Don't speak. I'm going to stab
you now."

nemmerle - naw, I write it up for the game and when it plays out
then I think "this will rock the story hour"

jonrog1 - Harlock :)- god no,
because I never know what it's going to look like once my players are done with

diaglo - I’m with Zad... but i feed my DM plot hooks.

C_Baize - Actually... I've done the opposite... Get the arc going,
and I'm like, "Oh man... this is going to look cheesy.... Oh well! ROLL

Piratecat - Hmm. I more think, "That'll work wonderfully in the
game." I tend to design based on cool cinematic moments. I know when I get
an idea right; it snaps into place with almost an audible "click."

WizarDru - Not as I'm writing it...but later, when reviewing it, I
do. I generally think in terms of cinematic approach, even if that approach
doesn't always survive contact with the players.

jonrog1 - most of their "rescue attempts" end up with
things on fire and corpses.

Harlock :)- jonrog1, yeah
that's how most of my plots go. =) Makes being DM fun.

KidCharlemagne - I'm with Nemm, the games make me excited for the
story hour more than the session preparation

contact - Harlock :),
absolutely. Some bits you just know you're going to hit it out of the park.

contact - Other bits, you hope that *they* will do something fun

contact - They usually do.

Harlock :)- Here's an
interesting question - JRandall - follow up question for other authors - is the
length of a campaign tied to your satisfaction with running/playing in it? or
can short campaign also be fun?

jonrog1 - for example, I never anticipated what EITHER group I ran
through the small town zombie DM game would do with the zombie toddler...

Harlock :)- Anyone thought of
a one shot Story Hour?

C_Baize - One offs can be a blast!

nemmerle - in my experience short campaign means either TPK or loss
of interest, so I guess no

diaglo - I enjoy long term play...but I’m not opposed to one shots

jonrog1 - Harlock :)- Pulp
Spycraft was a one-off

Piratecat - I also tend to design like "Raiders of the Lost
Arc"... interesting and varied action every so often, with some pauses
between them. different challenges, but ones that involve everyone and make
them try new tactics.

Zad - JRandall - Well we definitely wouldn't be at it if we weren't
enjoying it so I'd have to say yes.

WizarDru - Short campaigns, to me, are one-offs, usually. I like
long games, with developing characters.

jonrog1 - and as I mentioned, my campaign is broken into
"seasons" so I have a mix of long and short-term goals

contact - Raiders of the Lost Ark is my bible for good pacing. I
think it's paced *perfectly*.

jonrog1 - the characters carry over from season to season, but the
"big bads" change

Piratecat - We do lots of one-shots, but I’ve never written them
up. Dr Midnight has done so quite often, especially with Feng Shui games.

nemmerle - Jon, that's the way to do it - except my players keep
making short term goals into long ones

KidCharlemagne - JRandall - Length of campaign is key for some
games, but I've had big fun with short games too. My SH group tend to break up
long stretches of my campaigns with two or three short 6-10 session games

WizarDru - I try to keep things to major storylines, but often the
plot gets too involved for that to be more than a recommendation of the story.

jonrog1 - well, my PC's try, but if the NPC has a time-dependent
agenda, it can control how long the PC's drag out a storyline

WizarDru - Question: Do you sometimes find the pressure of updating
to be a serious chore, with regards to keeping a regular schedule?

nemmerle - right

contact - We also will play the NPCs within a storyline as
"one-shots" that tie back into the larger arc.

Harlock :)- Here's one from a
Story Hour reader - Lela - Question: How do you prefer to handle Religion? From
divine intervention/interaction to the more secular acts of the church.

jonrog1 - at the beginning of each season, I figure out the
timeline for each villain plot if the PC's didn’t exist...

Harlock :)- (contact), that's
a cool idea.

Piratecat - Absolutely. I hate the feeling of knowing that I'm behind
on my updates.

jonrog1 - and if they bugger off, then the bad guys advance.

KidCharlemagne - Well folks, I gotta run now... See y'all later!
and thanks for having me!

Zad - WizarDru - Not really. I find doing it on schedule makes it
easier for me

contact - WizarDru-- I don't feel the pressure. When it's a chore,
I ignore it.

Harlock :)- seeya
KidCharlemagne and thanks

jonrog1 - Lela - I use the Scarred Lands pantheon, and its a great
mix of physical worship and divine intervention

Piratecat - bye, rob!

nemmerle - Lela - does it serve the plot? but I doubt I’d ever do
direct divine intervention as a storyline

nemmerle - just not my kind of fantasy

Piratecat - Lela, religion plays a major role in my campaign.

KidCharlemagne - buhbye!

contact - Lela, the gods are the biggest bad guys in my game(s).

Piratecat - It drives politics, motivations, and quite a few plots.

Zad - Lela - We have a number of religious issues in the game, and
some characters are primarily driven by it. But the divine never seems to interfere
with player choice or overshadow them

diaglo - WizarDru - never really had trouble with pacing

jonrog1 - divine intervention, no. but divine commentary, yes. My
pc's sometimes have dreams that let them know just how bad they're screwing up

WizarDru - Lela - Religion is central to our game, what with divine
politics taking up so much of the game.

C_Baize - Well.... time to fix dinner. It's been great, all.

contact - Religion and religious conflict are at the heart of both
of my current SHs.

Harlock :)- thanks Hildulf!

jonrog1 - take care

WizarDru - Of course, some characters just want to kick the deities
in the junk, but there you are.

diaglo - Lela - religion is a part of the game

Piratecat - One of the reasons that religion is so much fun is that
it's tailor-made for nasty politics, and it produces zealots beautifully.

WizarDru - bye!

contact - Pantheonistic religion just lends itself to political

nemmerle - the group's paladin has been dealing with a schism of
monks of his order - and he is not sure which side is "right" yet

contact - That's the best, Nemm.

jonrog1 - yes, religion can give you cool shades of grey for your
PCs to deal with

Harlock :)- This one could be
fun - Pierce - how about_: Have there been happenings in your games that you
considered inappropriate for your SH?

Piratecat - Contact's Liberators of Tenh are currently going up
against Pholtus; it's beautiful.

diaglo - and places for them to spend their loot

contact - Pholtus is kicking their collective butts.

nemmerle - there was a ceremonial coupling in a druid grove. . .

nemmerle - in front of scores of bugbears

WizarDru - My deities tend to be aloof and distant, which makes
them more than a little unpopular amongst the non-devout. In Destan's game,
Destan would tell you how the Risen Gods are basically not very nice people.

nemmerle - with a captive woman

nemmerle - a-hem

Harlock :)- Pierce -
Follow-up: How did you get around it?

Zad - Pierce - nope not really. Romantic encounters are handled off
camera but that's more of an artistic choice.

WizarDru - iykwimaityd

Piratecat - Pierce, we usually hand wave over sex in the game.
We've had both straight and gay/lesbian relationships between PCs and NPCs, but
that can usually be summed up in a sentence or so. Graphic violence has never
been a problem.

jonrog1 - pierce - recently. my gender-switched bard seduced a mad
druid and poisoned him. roleplaying that, me as the druid flirting with my
friend Denis .. errrg.

diaglo - Pierce - yes. but we did a fade to black

nemmerle - I just used suggestion

contact - omg pix? thx!

nemmerle - oh we also had a male rape

nemmerle - early on

jonrog1 - most romantic stuff, just a suggestion, nothing more.

Harlock :)- Pulp Fiction fun.

Harlock :)- JRandall - on
religion - do the players ever get uncomfortable because of in-character
religious issues?

nemmerle - I was actually pretty graphic about that. . . but still
did not violate the grandma rule

Piratecat - That happened in a game I was once in, and it caused a
layer to quit. You have to be careful with those things.

Zad - JRandall - No it's really a central part of our game and we
embrace it.

contact - JER-- I've never had that trouble.

WizarDru - Not in our game, no. I try to be mindful of my players’
beliefs, and it's usually handled as enough of an abstraction that I don't
think it's ever been an issue.

nemmerle - PC - I warn my players there will be adult themes and it
is never made into a joke

jonrog1 - JRandall - once, the player had a hard time reconciling
his PC's religion with the group's overall tone. but I think that was more a
player dynamic thing

diaglo - JRandall - I don't think so...but we don't talk RL
religion if we can help it

nemmerle - I love my players for stuff like that

nemmerle - for being able to deal with it, that is

Harlock :)- Here's a spiffy
question - Lela - Follow up: Good and Evil are easy to turn against each other.
How do you handle turning good against good?

Piratecat - I have a player who doesn't usually play a cleric
because they have real-life religious concerns. It's never been a problem.

jonrog1 - my group's a mix of southern Baptists, lapsed Catholics,
etc, and we manage to get along fine. Working with a pantheon definitely steps
it away form real life issues

Piratecat - Good vs. good is really interesting to do. I model a
lot of that on real life.

Zad - Lela - Good folks don't always agree on the best course of
action - all they need is different ideas on how to respond to the same

nemmerle - I have more than one player WHO LOVES playing priests
b/c in real life has no religious conviction and it is a neat thing to RP for

jonrog1 - Lela - well, if I had a good party, I'd tackle that. :p

diaglo - Lela - read my story hour in the last 3 pages...2 good
churches with separate agendas.

contact - Good vs. good is . . . well you know.

Piratecat - Again, two good churches clashing is understandable; so
is good monarchs struggling over succession.

nemmerle - it has to do with agendas and do the ends justify the

WizarDru - Like I said, having splinter factions among LG
characters was an interesting dilemma. The Gilden, head of the gold dragons and
mentor to the players had been kidnapped. And the replacement chose inaction
over open war and rescue...much to the players’ consternation.

jonrog1 - I just did evil vs. evil, and THAT's fun. Who do you ally
with when your enemies split up? To take on the greater evil, do you make your
deal with the devil?

contact - Jonrog, did you put them in a position to have to?

Piratecat - Mine did, Jonrog. they chose to team up with the lesser
evil and ran with it.

nemmerle - one of the villains in my game released some
uber-powerful evil Drow witches from captivity b/c he knew the shockwave
through Drow culture would retard their progress in war

nemmerle - the PCs disagreed with his tactics

jonrog1 - Well, they never HAVE to do anything. But it was one of
those things, like real life "If we don't deal with this, this WILL come
bite us in the butt later, because the really evil guys got too

contact - So, you did.

Piratecat - We've tried to set one enemy against another in
Sagiro's game, with mixed results.

diaglo - we ventured into the bane you let the stuff
out or keep it there?

jonrog1 - no, not at all. They could have moved easily out of the region
where it would have affected them

contact - Heh.

Harlock :)- If you could sum
up your Story Hour/campaign in one word; what would it be?

jonrog1 - and there were other plot options to handle the
uber-problem of the approaching war.

diaglo - Funtastical

Zad - Evolving

nemmerle - Har - worth reading

nemmerle - I cheated.

Harlock :)- heh

contact - Cute.

Harlock :)- yes, I see that

jonrog1 - har - "Pulptastico."

WizarDru - ha!

Piratecat - Originally? Political.

WizarDru - Sounds like a Mexican wrestler.

WizarDru - Hey, is 'ass-kickin' one word or two? :)

Piratecat - I am Pulptastico the Magnificent! Fear me!

nemmerle - Jon - yes and no, the war he was talking about was a
long term thing - the party thought it could wait to be dealt with later by
unforeseen means

jonrog1 - "you will never remove my mask! NEVER!"

Harlock :)- We have a few
traditions in this channel regarding interviews, certain questions I am
required to ask... So, do you like egg rolls?

contact - no.

Piratecat - Ehh. Not really.

jonrog1 - spring rolls

WizarDru - Hell Yeah. Joe's Peking Duck House, baby.

Zad - yup

nemmerle - if I’m famished

diaglo - with hot mustard

Harlock :)- right on diaglo!

nemmerle - I prefer pot-stickers

Piratecat - Me too.

contact - Mmm. Pot stickers.

nemmerle - speaking of which time for dinner

nemmerle - later all!

Piratecat - Now I'm hungry!

WizarDru - Mmm. Dim sum would be nice, right about now.

Piratecat - Thanks, everyone. This was fun!

jonrog1 - it certainly was. good luck all

diaglo - thanks gang

WizarDru - Yes, thanks a lot!

thatdarncat - Chicken balls and honey garlic chicken

thatdarncat - yum!

thatdarncat - thanks for coming guys

Harlock :)- heh, another
channel tradition: Can each of you write a haiku about, player death?

jonrog1 - that’s 5 7 5 right?

Harlock :)- yip

Harlock :)- Even Chris Pramas
had to do this

Harlock :)- heh, I love this

diaglo - players die a lot / so they need to come prepared/ next
time they know

WizarDru - My Silly Bolo. Tastes good in Barbecue Sauce. Don't do
that Again.

Piratecat - Purple tentacles -- grab a hold of empty eyes -- opens
like an egg.

Piratecat - Not a spoiler, honest.

Zad - In Gulthias lair, an evil mummy slew me, I bled a whole lot

jonrog1 - I curse the red die / fate has kick'd me in the junk / a
one on my d20

thatdarncat - o_o

jonrog1 - darn - I think that last one was off

Piratecat - JonRog, make "d20" into "die"

WizarDru - Shhh! Quiet, you fool. They're listening!

Harlock :)- heh

Piratecat - or "save"

jonrog1 - I curse the red die / fate has kick'd me in the junk/ I
fail my save throw

jonrog1 - hmmm

jonrog1 - I may be at this all night

Harlock :)- Let's see, one
more tradition, the Psionics question ... Do you guys use Psionics in your

Piratecat - "I just failed my save"?

WizarDru - Harlock :)....I
assume a transcript will be made available later?

contact - A spray of red life / Bursting from your plate armor /
Lost initiative

Harlock :)- WizarDru, it sure

jonrog1 - nice!

Piratecat - Psionics is a major part of my campaign.

contact - Psionics where it does

diaglo - No...never have...never will

WizarDru - Yes, yes we do. But not often. It's good for confusing
the players.

contact - . . 't break the flavor of the game, yes.

Zad - Harlock :)- the bad
guys have yes. No PC's but that's just by happenstance

jonrog1 - I may try the new Green Ronin feats skills Psi system.
much yummy

Zad - I'm looking forward to April and the new system

Piratecat - Me too, Zad.

contact - Pimpin'! If you haven't read any of my SH's, but would
like to, start here:

contact - Thanks to everyone-- been fun.

Zad - Bye contact

Harlock :)- Yes, thank you
all for coming, and remember this channel is always open! drop in any time!

Piratecat - One last thought: go read a story hour you've never looked
at before! And when you do, comment. The author will love you for it.

diaglo - ciao

thatdarncat - later contact

Zad - What P-cat said!

WizarDru - what pc said.

jonrog1 - it has been, I need to go too -- talk to the grownups
about the show. take care all

Harlock :)- seeya jonrog1

Piratecat - thanks. bye!

Zad - Thanks very much - was an honor to be invited - good night

Harlock :)- thanks again

diaglo - and I’m off also

Harlock :)- So, we're about done question wise.

I'd just like to thank all the story
hour authors who graced us with their presence.


First Post
dpdx said:
Cool, then.

What's most fun to write up, from the following:

Behind-the-scenes narrative
Non-combat party narrative
I think what's most fun to write up is the things that tend to produce an interesting story, so I guess anything that adds drama or story elements. All of these things can do that but not all the time.

A dialogue can be pivotal to the story development, or it can just be a nothing conversation. I tend to write the former word-by-word, but just glaze over the latter. The same goes for combat - it can be tense and dramatic, or just mindless details, and I spend a lot less words on the unimportant ones.

As for behind-the-scenes, I'm not sure what you mean. I think you mean off camera things the PCs don't know about. In that case, I rarely write those, since I'm not the DM.

But general narrative stuff is great too, but again, it's driven by what adds to the story.


First Post
dpdx said:
What's most fun to write up, from the following:

Behind-the-scenes narrative
Non-combat party narrative

My knee-jerk answer is "anything that isn't combat," but I think that's partially a function of having a low-level group. It's too easy to get bogged down in "he swings... he misses" sorts of mechanics.

That being said, the Mages' Academy Fire is one of my favorite parts of the story written so far, and that was two straight sessions of combat time. It's no coincidence that those sessions were also great to play.

One of my favorite things to write are the genuine "Oh crap" moments. If we [the players] are shooting each other looks around the table all game thinking, how are we going to get out of this one?, then when I'm at the computer I am trying everything I can to make sure anyone reading is just as worried as we are.

Those moments, and every stupid joke told at the table that I can work in. ;)


First Post
Plain Sailing, thanks for the formated version, it's much nicer to read.

Too bad I didn't scroll down and see it before slogging through the first one.

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