Category: Uncategorized

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile now, journal the Vampire:Darkages game that I’m running as Storyteller (Dungeon Master).  Even though we’re about 6 months in, I’ve decided it’s never too late.  Especially since the old Vampire the Masquerade really has been revived through the V20 books!

The Chronicle

This chronicle is a Tremere campaign starting in the Dark Ages when House Tremere first became vampires.  The chronicle specifically starts in 1035 and unless they’re playing another clan, no Tremere PC is allowed to be embraced longer than 3 years.  The age of the transformation was 1032 and at this point, not everyone within Ceoris knows what happened.  Only a select few are being embraced.

The Characters

The characters are interesting to say the least.  Here’s a list and a brief synopsis.  I will make posts later with their full backgrounds as the players wrote them since everyone did an excellent job.  Incidentally, I give 1 freebie per page they write, so that really gives incentive to get some great stories.

  • Aristea (tremere): Her sire is Paul Corwood and she is a spy.  Currently, she has been appointed the leader of the group.
  • Ignatius (tremere): Found a spellbook as a boy and found out he had a natural talent for magic.  Unfortunately, in a turn of events his parents (his father was a spy) ended up going missing.  When he went back to his family home, he found out his brother ruined the family name and in a fit of rage Ignatius killed his brother and sister in law.  He found out more about the organization his father worked for and ended up working for them in return of having the faction that took his parents eliminated.
  • Isaac (tremere): In life he was the child of a noble family.  He was embraced by a cute little vampire girl who has loads of power within Ceoris.
  • Oli (brujah): Tremere has sent out invitations to several clan leaders and Oli was sent to find out what’s going on.  Before being properly introduced, Tremere sent him to help his group of new vampires on a mission.
  • Vlad (tzimisce): Has been stuck in a room in Ceoris for about 15 years.  Has no clue who he really is or what his lot in life is other than a bookworm and a lover of torture.
  • Tiberius (n/a): Started the game as a caitiff with loads of assamite powers, he is now for all intensive purposes a changelling due to a deal he made with the Lady of the Forest.
Guest PC’s
Since I have loads of gamer friends coming to visit regularly, I don’t ever cancel a regular Sunday game.  Instead, I have “NPCs” that I allow them to play.
  • Lady Ysabella (toreador): Lady Ysabella has been sent to Ceoris by her sire on Tremere’s invitation.  Her sire has heard rumors that the Tremere successfully made themselves Kindred and wants more information.

NPCs Related to the Characters

Since kindred can make ghouls, this campaign my players have made use of the ability.

  • Geirrod: This is Oli’s ghoul and friend.  Geirrod is a fairly practical individual and strong warrior.  He doesn’t like non-sense.  He also has some hair brained ideas every now and again, like selling Tremere’s ghoul horse for loads of gold then trying to call it back to the group.  Needless to say, it didn’t work out so well.
  • Bandit Bob: The group ran into a group of random bandits and killed off all but 1.  They decided to make him a ghoul.

I don’t really consider myself a Trekkie, but I think I’ve watched every single episode of every Star Trek series out there growing up due to my mother being an under cover Trekkie.  Star Trek: The Next Generation wasn’t any exception.  I grew up watching Captain Jean-Luc Picard, William Riker, Bev Crusher, Data, Worf, Geordi, and the guy I had a crush on…Wesley Crusher go where no man has ever gone before.

After The Next Generation was canceled, I didn’t think much of the actor behind Wesley Crusher until I saw Wil Wheaton play Fawkes in Felicia Day’s internet series The Guild.  And of course then I saw him play himself on the Big Bang Theory.  After that I found out that he’s a gamer, just like me, and I’ve become a fan.  This is one guy who I could invite to my gaming table and I think we’d have a blast.

Ok, enough fawning.  I came across this tidbit of Wil Wheaton talking about leaving Star Trek: The Next Generation when he turned 18.  Grab your tissue because it’s a hear twister!

dice.  they have to be my favourite part of playing D&D.  i mean just look at them, with all those sides and numbers.  oo, total nerdgasm!  i was so excited that my Red Box Starter Set came with a set of 6 polyhedral dice so that i could start rolling them bones right away.

this is a pictures of my gaming group’s dice.  my original dice are the ones on the right and i love them.  the black with white numbers.  they came with the 4e Red Box.  i actually much prefer the d10 of that set opposed to the chessex dice.  it actually says 10 instead of 0.  i never got why they put 0 instead of a 10 on their dice, its just not that climatic when you roll a crit with your d10 and it comes up as 0 and i should know; my fighters use d10 for their damage rolls.  yeah, we rock the greatsword.

Polyhedral Dice

my newest set is the red/black volcano speckled dice with silver numbers.  my girl  got them for me for Christmas.  i actually really like them.  don’t they just scream Ravenloft to you?  By the way, I will be running Ravenloft in 4e very soon!  ill post about that soon so check back with us!

my girl owns the pink and black gemini set and my sister owns the purple translucent ones.  i have to admit, i do game on a budget but you just gotta have the actual chessex dice.  they aren’t too expensive, around 10 bucks or so.

also, a word of advice on purchasing dice:  its always a smart move to buy them in person if possible.  you never know what they will come out looking like when you order online.  ive seen genimi sets that were really bad looking and some that are brilliant.   but the gamble can be fun as well.  ;)

 

Everyone needs their own Cthulhu to hug and hold and name George.  I really needed one for my Arkham Horror game to use as a marker, to show who’s turn it currently is.  So I went on Amazon and found the ‘Bag of Cthulhu‘.

Well, my Amazon shipping address is my office (so the lazy postmen don’t make me track down my package) and my Bag of Cthulhu arrived! And promptly got jumped by the Smurfs.

La la la la la la…

This past Friday was Friday the 13th and the other half and I had tickets down in Heerlen to see ReVamp, which is Floor Jansen’s band, and Epica.  What could possibly go wrong?!

Well, the trip was 2.5 hours since it’s literally at the edge of the earth (or at least it felt like it).  Heerlen is a city in the Limburg area of the Netherlands and it’s literally the last city on the map before crossing into German territory.  It was dark so I didn’t get to see much of the landscape, which is beautiful, but we did drive through an impressively massive industrial park.  I’m happy to say nothing went wrong during the trip.  However, I can’t say that during the concert itself.

First up was ReVamp.  Several months ago, Floor went on sick leave due to burnout.  Unlike in America, burnout is recognized as a real illness in the Netherlands and people can rest and recoup when they’re diagnosed with this.  Unlike in the states where you either have to go on unpaid leave, use vacation time, or get fired.  Gotta love ‘at will’ work.  But anyways, Floor has been down and out so January12th was actually her first show back.

I saw Floor perform at the MaYaN record release show, and I’ve got to say, after seeing her with ReVamp, she has the total package for a female metal singer.  She’s tall, beautiful, has a great voice, and she can even do a little grunting.  Nothing like Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy though.  I did record a few songs from ReVamp’s set, but it got erased.

Why was it erased? Because about 3 minutes into Epica’s opening song I had security grabbing my wrist and hauling me out into the hallway.  I was told I had to erase the SD card and turn in my camera because Epica’s tour management requested that no recordings are to be taken during the concert.  I’ll take my blame, I didn’t read the fine print on the ticket to see if recording is allowed, but I did take it for granted since Epica is one of the bands that’s very pro-fans.  They like getting fan photos and videos and often feature them on their site or facebook page.  So I didn’t think anything of it.  Not to mention there were no signs and security didn’t say anything when we entered the concert hall.

After getting my camera taken away, I lost my spot so I had to watch the concert between heads.  That was a bummer.  The downside of being short in a tall person’s country.  Overlooking the camera incident (I’ll get back to that), the concert was ‘ok’.  I’d probably give it a B- compared to the dozens of Epica concerts I’ve been to over the past few years now.  It’s been what, almost a year since Epica last performed due to Mark Jansen going on tour with MaYaN so they were kind of rusty.  Mark, Arien, and Isaac were all working well together though, which isn’t such a surprise as they’ve been performing with each other in MaYaN.

There were three surprises in the Epica set.  The first was during Cry for the Moon.  I won’t tell you too much about it here as someone else managed to record it.

The second was a new song from the upcoming album called ‘Storm the Sorrow.’

The third was something I’d never seen performed before.  My other half said the look of horror and slight disgust on my face was fantastic.  A disco version of the Phantom Agony. o_O I was told that this was a creation of Coen Janssen who’s the band comedian.  I haven’t found a recording of it from Heerlen, but apparently they did the disco version at the MaYaN record release show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam.  I was at that show, and apparently I was so horrified I managed to forget about it.

After the show, we went to pick up my camera and asked some questions.  We were told that Epica’s tour management had requested the no recording.  We also found out I was the only one targeted that evening, my camera was the only one in the cabinet.  Plus, I played “spot the video recorder” and spotted at least 10 people with the cameras that look like smart phones, 2 folks with dSLRs recording and one person with a camera like mine.  To say I was miffed, was an understatement.

The next morning I wrote a letter to Epica’s tour management and CC’d Mark Jansen, just to let them know I thought it was an idiotic thing to do (I thought the no recording thing was going on because of the new song, it was the only thing I could think of).  As a marketing person, I know myself that if you’re not willing for it to show up on the internet, you can’t make it public.  There will be people with a video camera, it will show up on YouTube.  To my surprise, this morning I found an email from tour management apologizing for the incident.

A few hours later, I received an email from Mark Jansen himself apologizing on behalf of Epica.

I’ve got to say, I liked Epica before and always felt they were fan friendly.  Now I really have to respect that fact that they do care about their fans.

So thank you to Mark and Epica for setting things straight.  I look forward to the show at the 013 in Tilburg.