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Jared Rascher
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Apparently, all it takes to move me from "kind of interested" to "as soon as I have disposable income" is to read one of these great breakdown/reviews from Rob Donaghue.

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So, I probably didn't have any to begin with, but I may lose any old school D&D cred I might have by admitting this.

I started playing with the "magenta" Basic set, and fairly quickly moved on to AD&D 1st edition, but the reason this bundle temps me isn't for the Planescape material, it's for the 2nd edition core rulebooks.

My D&D experience predates 2nd edition, but because I was there when it launched, and it was just far enough into my career as a DM that I felt like I was starting to actually understand how the game worked, 2nd edition feels like "home" to me.

From what I understand now, this isn't that strange, but when I first started running the game, it was a mess, and I didn't even fully understand that D&D and AD&D were separate, but similar, systems. I thought AD&D was just more options added onto the existing game engine.

Since I was running it in high school, there is no way I'll claim that I was "doing it right" once 2nd edition hit, but I know I had a firmer grasp of what I was doing at that point. Although I'm still a little upset about the nerfing my plate armored, two handed sword wielding ranger took.

My thoughts and prayers are with Manchester, England today. No one should have to fear for their life in a public arena during a recreational event. I pray for a more rational world, where taking the lives of innocents is not seen as a viable way of communication. 

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These were the center pieces, prize table, and my personal winnings from the birthday/graduation party my wife and I attended. There was also a ton of good food, and two people in T-Rex costumes fighting each other, and there was a trivia contest, from whence my winning bucket came.

Best graduation/birthday party I've been to.

+Lori Trentanelli​
21 Photos - View album

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Sometimes being a completely average and not short at all 5'10" is advantageous, like when your king sized bed looks like a square instead of a rectangle.

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And people say there is nothing to see on long trips in Illinois.

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In case you missed it earlier, here is our actual play from this morning, as our characters move into Master tier adventures and--save the world?

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I got this book a while ago, because it was on sale super cheap, and I had heard good things about Glen Cook. I had read the Black Company, and while it was enjoyable, I wasn't driven to become invested in the whole series.

For the price, however, I thought I would take a chance. Cook has a reputation for dark fantasy, and especially for my Shadow of the Demon Lord game, that could be a great inspiration.

So, I'm done with the book now.

It's really hard to shake the feeling that the novel, at least the the beginning, was written on a dare that you couldn't cross Elric with the Lord of the Rings.

I've rarely run across a book where so much was just . . . stated. For at least the first third of the book, events keep happening, and they get described, but they have almost no emotional impact. The characters react to the events, after a fashion, but the tone is very flat.

About the middle of the book, some of the characters start to have some conversations, and my investment started to build. Then really big events happened again, and we go back into just flatly stating a whole bunch of things in a row.

There is actually a part of the book where they state that two of the characters are having witty banter. They don't show it. They mention that when they talk, they have witty banter with one another.

To it's credit, the book is, at least on some level, dealing with people being moved by forces they can't control, and questioning how much agency they have in their own lives. I'd like to think that the flat, detached tone is intentional, but even if it is, you never care about the fact that life is just happening to the characters, because you spend so little time getting to know them.

The end introduces some interesting concepts, and starts to explain what motivates the big movers and shakers, and again, almost hooks you in. But that's at the very end of the book--after the climax of everything that happens. It's the literary equivalent of a Hollywood movie that thinks its going to be starting a franchise.

I can't say I'd recommend the book. I've read worse. Strangely, though, even some bad books that I've read left more of an impression on me, because they evoked some kind of emotion. This feels like it might have been a good basis for a story, had a few places in the story been reworked to create some kind of ebb and flow to the emotional underpinnings. 

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I didn't get in on Pugmire, but I did get the "beta" rules and ran a session for some friends. This is tempting, especially since I ended up having cats showing up in the Pugmire scenario--not as villains, just as know it all jerks lording their superior knowledge over the dogs in the session. ;)
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