Thursday, October 21, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here?

First, let me offer an apology, it's been inexcusably too long since we updated. Ravi and I have both been incredibly busy as of late between traveling, getting sick (SO. SICK.), busy school (one more semester one more semester one more semester), planned events, and busy work. As a result, we also haven't had much (read: any) time to play lately. Much to our rage.

This blog is still new, and I'm not willing to give up on it this early in. You can't get rid of us!!! What I do want to do is take some time between Ravi and I to discuss what we need to do, where we need to go from here. We may need to restructure a bit, make some changes, or at the very least plan some posts ahead of time. We just need to figure out what we're going to do when things get busy for us, maybe make a schedule we can stick to. What we're not going to do is let this fade away. So I'm back now. Not sick. Mostly.

Happy Rolling!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Biggest Gaming Goof-up

It's a safe bet that as big as D&D is, as many rules there are, classes and feats to choose from, it's going to take a while to get used to it all. Everyone's bound to screw up at some point. Your character died because you forgot to add your strength modifier to damage and didn't kill the big baddie before he could kill you, you forgot to increase your spells per day for a few levels, I'm interested in hearing what your story is for your biggest gaming goof-up. Post in the comments, or email us at Don't be shy. We don't bite... often...

For me, my biggest mistake was about character growth with my first character. She was a CG half-elf rogue named Ranel. I'd made her for another game before I started college and joined my first group. She'd really only been played once, and I wanted to use her again when I joined DM's game. I started around level 7 or 8, I believe, and Ranel was originally very low level. With DM's help, I upgraded her to the proper level and joined in the game.

A few levels later, I was getting worried about her. Our game was somewhat combat heavy, and I was afraid she wasn't strong enough to survive the combats much longer. I think I was spending a good amount of time hiding versus fighting. DM took one look at my character sheet and was absolutely shocked! I remember he even later commented he was amazed I'd survived that long in the first place. Newbie me had completely forgotten to add my Constitution to my HP each level! I was just taking the base roll of her d6! I occasionally still do this. I may have also been forgetting to add my feats and ability score points as I leveled. Basically, if it wasn't explicitly stated in the Rogue section of the player's handbook, I screwed the pooch leveling her up. After that, DM had to sit down with me a second time just to get her back up to normal. I'm just glad my major newbie mistake didn't end up biting me in the butt and costing me a character that I ended up taking to epic. That would have sucked.

How about you, Ravi?

Incidentally, my biggest mistake I ever made was actually WITH Ravi... and could have cost me the character, had the rules of the fight been different. I was fighting a demon until first blood (half hit points), and I was actually doing okay... he still won, though. The next fight, I realized I forgot to add my Favored Enemy: Evil Outsider bonus to my damage rolls... a whopping +6 PER HIT. I felt like an idiot.

Happy rolling!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Couples Gaming Revisited

Ravi here.

First off, I want to apologize, mostly to my sister, for not making a post as I was not feeling well.  I love you dearly Indeah and thank you for keeping everyone entertained. Just glad you're feeling better :)

Now, I will tell you a story... about the other side of couples gaming.  Take note: this is NOT saying that couples should never ever game, but this is a glimpse of worst-case scenarios.  Yes, SCENARIOS.  Same people, two different fails. Insert dream/memory transition here.

So, one of my friends, we'll call him Guy A, decided that he was going to DM a game.  He shows up at my house with his girlfriend, Girl A, and takes me to the house of his friend, who was hosting.  We will call this friend Guy B.  Guy B was insanely good-looking, mind you, and Couple A was trying to get me to consider going out with this guy.  I think you all can see how poorly this is about to turn out.

Anyway, we get our characters in order, get settled in, and the game starts... and the DM only pays attention to his girlfriend.  So, of course, Guy B and I get incredibly bored and start having side conversations while DM and girlfriend pretty much have in-game sex.  Guy B decides to flirt instead of playing until it's time for me to go home.  Not a lot of actual gaming there.

A FEW DAYS LATER, Guy A decides to try hosting ANOTHER game, this time with me, Guy B, and a couple I'll call Couple C. We all show up to the appointed place, and... well, we didn't even get past character creation this time (In all fairness, character creation can take a LONG-ass time). The couples paired off and that left me and Guy B to awkwardly flirt and he decided to ask me out. Guy B stood me up for the second date. Is he still alive? Actually, yes, he's one of those people that is so dumb that it's more entertaining to keep him alive and watch him suffer. In short: we got nothing done and the group fell apart on top of it all. Insult to injury.

The moral of the story is: KNOW YOUR Gaming COUPLES! If they can put aside the relationship and play, this is a good gaming couple! If they can't... run like hell. Bonus points if you flip them the bird on the way out. (And this is why I will never date anyone I game with again.)

Happy Rolling!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Couples in Gaming

You never know who you're going to meet when you sit at a table to roll with a new group. And you can meet ANYONE in a new group. If it works out, you'll have a group of friends. If you're lucky, you end up with a new best friend you can go to and lean on when you need. Like my sis <3 If you're really insanely lucky, you may even meet someone more special than the others. The person who makes you laugh and smile more than anyone else, makes you feel like you're special. You may find someone to love. If someone had told me when I went to sit down with the DM and work on my first character that, six years later, we'd be married (and it's about time you two got married!), I wouldn't have believed them. We were really lucky.

There's a lot of varying opinion on two people around the table being a couple. Most people won't care (Example: our group). If this is your group, congratulations. You've got a good team at your back for when trouble rears its ugly head. Or heads, in most cases. With others, though, it may cause some concern, and it's within reason (I have several good stories for this). If the couple is two players, there's concern of them doing special things for or favoring each other over the other teammates. If there's a break-up, what happens to the characters in question? Some DMs might not even play with couples to avoid potential drama. There's also the risk of distracting each other while playing, or having a lovers quarrel over the table (With every group I've been in but ours: EVERY FLIPPING TIME). If it's the DM and a player, other players may be concerned about favoritism, and what's going to happen if the player's character accidentally ends up the victim of a failed save? For people not in a relationship with another player, there's a lot that feels like it could go wrong. Heck, for those IN a relationship, there's a lot that feels like it could go wrong, especially when the relationship is newer.

I didn't know how dating my DM was going to work out. I wondered about most of the above when our relationship was new (although I didn't have to worry about how our other players felt; they're the ones who got us into it in the first place!) It worked, though, and I believe most of it was because of one simple idea: When we sat around the table, we left everything behind. We still loved each other, and still do, but when we sit at the table to play, it doesn't matter. Bring dice to the table. Bring papers, pens, computers, books. Don't bring your relationship, and DEFINITELY don't bring your drama. The in-character drama is so much juicier anyway.

Happy rolling!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

House Rules

Sorry for the lack of updates last week, both of us had things come up at all the wrong times!! Unfortunately, most of them involving the porcelain god in one way or another.

You may have noticed that we added a new page in the tabs for House Rules after the Gestalt post last week. If you've checked it out, there's a few other rules in there on top of gestalt. House rules are basically ways to expand upon the game or change the standard rules around to make the game slightly different. Read: ways to make the game more fun. As is standard, it's up to the DM what house rules are used. Players can ask about certain house rules, but the final decision is the DM's, whether it's for better or worse (worse for example would be Ravi's other DM who tried to scam his players out of well more than their fair share of starting gold.) (better for example would be our DM letting Ravi have a modified winged template. Please? Pretty please?)

All of the existing house rules on the page are in some form created and approved by WotC. One our DM frequently imposes is "It's You, Not Your Equipment." It was posted originally on the Wizards forum along with a list of other house rules they had developed. The basic idea is that the characters are what's important, and not the equipment they purchase or find. As such, players take a 10-15% hit on their starting gold, and they cannot purchase equipment that provide an enhancement bonus to ability scores. This applies to the Belt of Giant Strength, Gloves of Dexterity, Amulet of Health, Headband of Intellect, Periapt of Wisdom, and Cloak of Charisma. It doesn't apply to the stat-boosting books or wands that use temporary boosting spells. However, because of these limitations, the player receives an extra ability point every even level and an extra feat every odd level. This is supposed to give the player the feeling that their character is improving rather than depending on their gear to survive encounters. Play this with Epic characters. The results are AMAZING.

The other house rule posted is the "Expanded Threshhold" rule. I believe it was originally posted in the Epic Level Handbook. Usually, the rule is that once a character reaches 0 hit points (HP), they're unconcious. They then have 10 HP past 0 (-1 to -10) before they are dead. For low-level characters, this can be a saving grace, because 10 HP is a considerable amount. For some level 1 casters, it may be more than double their own HP. Once the characters reach higher levels, though, some encounters may just blow through those 10 extra HP with one good spell or full attack. The expanded threshhold house rule works to help the players as they gain levels. From level 1 to 10, the HP limit is -10 before death. From then on, with levels 11 and up, the HP limit is equal to the level of the character. For example, if you play a level 14 character, and you're knocked unconcious, you have until you reach -14 HP before your character is dead. YAAAAY longevity!

Do you play with another house rule you want to share? Let us know, and we'll share it on the House Rules page!

Happy rolling!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Once You Go Gestalt...

Since Ravi and I have explained a bit about our characters, you'll have noticed that we keep bringing up that we're Ranger/Fighter/BHA or Factotum/Rogue. Usually, the only way to have multiple classes is to multiclass. You take the aspects of whichever class you're taking and add it onto the levels of your previous class. This leaves your character with slightly more skills, but not able to be as powerful as you would be by just doing a single class. It works, but it's not ideal. So, if... I WANT IT AAAAAAAAALL... I WANT IT AAAAAAAAAALL... I WANT IT AAAAAAAALL... AND I WANT IT NOOOOOOOOW...

The alternative to multiclassing is a gameplay style called Gestalt. Hallelujah, the choirs are singing, I can kick tush! Originally from the WotC supplement Unearthed Arcana, gestalt is a format that HAS to be applied to the whole game to work. In a gestalt game, the characters don't just settle for one class. There's no more choosing between two classes or levelling a class or a prestige class. Gestalt lets you do both! At level 1, pick two classes you want, any two classes. From there on out, you take the best of the two for saves and stat increases (ex: if one class uses a d6 for hit dice and the other uses a d8, you'll use the d8), all of the class skills available to each, and all of the unique abilities for each (Rogue/Wizard gets sneak attack AND spellcasting.) The same applies to prestige classes, but you can only take one prestige class at a time. You have to level either C/C or C/PC, no PC/PC. Overall, your character ends up more powerful, more capable, and less constricting than a single-class character. This should go without saying, but you can't just double up on levels from one class for a level. For example, you would have to take a level of Ranger and a level of Fighter, you can't take two levels of Ranger or two levels of Fighter. That's just silly.

The downside of this is that if one character takes levels as a gestalt, it's much more difficult to detemine the difficulty of enemies. Something that would have been a threat to a single rogue can be wrecked by a wizard/rogue, to use that example again. It's up to the DM to balance the encounters once your team goes gestalt, either by adding more combatants, upping the difficulty level of individual encounters, or gestalting the enemies as well. The other downside? Once you go gestalt, you can't go back. Just try playing a normal character again. It's REALLY hard ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE to do!

Happy rolling!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Birth of a PC

One of the things I love most about tabletop gaming is the people I get to know. In the six years I've been playing, I've gotten to know tribal princesses, space mechanics, cultist runaways, and countless more. Some people play for the thrill of beating up great mythical beasts, some to build an empire, I play to make characters and learn their story.

There's lots of ways to go about building a character. I like to start from the base, pick a class I want to play and build up from there. I tend to stick to a few specific classes: rogue, warlock, warmage, dread necromancer, or monk. I can't get into fighting classes like Ravi. Then, while I'm building her character sheet (I always play girls, I just can't play a male character, unlike Ravi, who is just NOT ALLOWED to play a male character), I start to think about her backstory.
- Where's she from? We still don't know
- What's her motivation for leaving home to adventure? GOOOOOLD!
- Does she have any goals while she's adventuring? Keep Ravi from getting us both killed...
- Do I want her to be designed after a character I like from something preexisting? This always leads to hilarity. No exceptions.
- Have I made a character with this story before? I don't remember.

For Indeah, I wanted her to be a treasure hunter, and Factotum uses Intelligence for their abilities, so she was going to be smart. At her base, she was a female Indiana Jones, so I decided to name her similarly. (Our last name is Geness.) Yes, she does use a whip. No, she doesn't have a cool hat. Although, she used to have a foppy hat she stole from her sister's ex. Her parents were former adventurers and treasure hunters too. It was her basic persona, no personality, no likes or dislikes, just a simple, base person. I cannot give my characters much personality without the game. I can say they're polite, or spoiled, or any of various other traits when interacting with people, but it can't get detailed. I prefer to let them grow as we explore the world the DM created together.

In this case, it changed her a lot. Ravi joined the game at the start, and our characters were the same age. Suddenly, Indeah had a twin sister. She found a trinket in a dungeon, carved by a long-dead soldier. Suddenly, she started to collect things that seemed useless with the idea that maybe they can be used for improving relations or, if she was lucky, gear. Bouncing off each other, Ravi became the wild child and they don't talk about "three towns ago" because of her (and they don't visit certain temples, either), while Indeah became the straight-laced sister who tries to keep Ravi in check. Without the other characters and NPCs we've met, Indeah would be someone completely different. That's why I can't build a character completely beforehand. It's who a person interacts with and how they react that makes them who they are. I don't know who they've interacted with before or how they've behaved when they haven't had a chance to exist yet. And that's why I play tabletop games - to find all that out.

Happy rolling!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Small Army

Ravi here...and I'm apparently supposed to be "educational" today so we'll see how that works out... because I'm not very organized.

We promised to tell about our classes...and I play a Beast Heart Adept. (BHA) Requiring a ranger or druid base, BHA is a prestige class. Ravi is Ranger/Fighter with levels in BHA. Like Factotum, BHA is also found in Dungeonscape. And, like Factotum, BHA is a great choice for a party with few members, but not if you don't like lots and lots of paperwork.

Personally, I like to do a lot of damage (understatement of the year from the woman who punched a guy through the floor), and I also like having some pets around. I already have a large wolf from my Ranger levels, but, BHA give you more companions... three more, to be exact (possibly even more, depending on how our homebrew works out. Our DM is a talented designer for unique classes, monsters, and items. Often many people and things we encounter are taken from other games, books, or shows we enjoy, and if we want to do something that's not normally in the game, he tries to balance it while making it work. In this case, Ravi wants epic level BHA). Anyway, because you get extra companions (which, by the way, are monsters, how cool is that?), you get extra chances at damage (and a LOT of it) (Ravi, honey, I think you like your parenthesis as much as your companions! Hehe). (Sis, I don't have to feed the parenthesis. They love me regardless!)

I currently have a worg and a manticore for my monstrous companions and there's a wider selection of creatures to choose from, usually confined to monstrous animals. I started out with the worg (Buttercup), and then rearranged pecking order when I acquired my manticore (Fezzik). I only lost one effective BHA level doing this, because I have the Wild Empathy feat, which we interpreted to raise the effective BHA level the same way it would raise the effective druid level (This is the DM's prerogative. Your DM may interpret differently.). As long as you have the go-ahead for this, manticores are some of the best pets to have, because they do massive amounts of damage and can fly if you find yourself up against the wall and they speak common, which is important in a party. The animal and monstrous companions are effectively extra party members, and being unable to communicate with one can cause troubles in certain situations, such as the companion being the only one to detect an ambush while the translator is sleeping.

I don't have a third companion yet, but that's because I'm only level 6 in BHA. My third companion will likely be a winter wolf... but there's a reason for that. See, there's another prestige class called Animal Lord... which grants bonuses if you have animal companions of the same type. If you're planning on being a wolf lord, and you have wolves (natural or monstrous) wolves being a good example because of the prominence of them as threatening natural creatures, you should theoretically get bonuses to your effective druid and BHA levels for determining hit dice and such.

Another beautiful thing about BHA: MONSTER EMPATHY. It's the monster version of diplomacy/intimidate/bluff/handle animal/etc. Ranger levels stack with BHA levels, and, if your modifier for monster empathy is high enough... sometimes you end battles before they even begin. Needless to say, because of this, the DM now rarely sends monsters after us and if he does, they're usually very, very angry at us for one reason or another. Which is a good thing, I suppose, because it is no longer a challenge. The countless waves of undead, constructs, and dragon, however...

The only real con I can think of for BHA is that BHA's are fringe members of society. Most people tend to not get along with the person that is making friends with and carting around aberrations and other horrors. I mean, if you saw me with this in tow (keep in mind that thing is large enough to seat two people), would you really want me coming into town?


  • Supplies multiple extra party members, mainly hitters
  • Abilities that allow communication and diplomacy with monsters that help avoid combat or change a situation around in your favor
  • Monstrous companions generally have special abilities that most normal players don't, such as higher strength to act as a pack mule during a good looting, improved ability to trip opponents, and flying

  • Can cause trouble in towns walking around with giant monsters. Same applies to small dungeon tunnels with large creatures
  • Lots of paperwork and dice-work to manage each monster, which all go on your initiative unless the DM chooses otherwise

Anywho, I hope this was informative. Indeah will probably clean this up a bit you bet your sweet bippy, because I'm not particularly good at this "teaching" thing.

Happy rolling.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Classes in Session

We said earlier that we'd discuss our classes for you. Today, I'm going to go over Factotum, which is frankly an awesome class. You can read the details like a good little teacher's pet, or you can be lazy and skip to the breakdown at the bottom!

Originally, this campaign was supposed to be just me, no other players. Then, at some point, she decided it would be a good idea to let me in on this... I had to pick my class carefully. While a good DM will work this situation carefully with adding their own characters and making encounters designed to mesh with the player's class, it's best to come as prepared as possible. In the very last 3.5e supplement published before 4e, Dungeonscape, a new class was introduced that was meant to be a jack of all trades. I decided to take it for a test run.

The factotum is a class that can do a little bit of it all. They're proficient with a large variety of weaponry and shields. As the factotum levels up, they gain a pool of "Inspiration Points" they can pull from in combat. They can use these points, depending on their level, to do simple things like add their Intelligence modifier to any roll or make another standard action, or more complex things usually specific to other classes, like spellcasting, healing, turning undead, and sneak attacking. Inspiration points refresh every encounter, so there's little reason to hold back if you have a clever plan. And we will admit to starting combat WITHIN THE PARTY just to refresh these points. Quite hilarious, actually, we usually just beat up on the same person. Compared to the core classes, they're more limited to how much they can do per day, but for someone running through dungeons on their own, it's a comfort to be able to heal yourself, or cast a powerful spell when you need it instead of having to depend on magic items for it all. Even though magic items are DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS.

The special kicker for this class is in what they can do as far as skills. Most classes are limited in what skills that can take and spend points in. Factotums, though, are able to use every skill in the game. This allows for great versatility in how you want to make your character's abilities and personality rather than being forced to be diplomatic versus intimidating (ironically, for this campaign, our diplomat IS our intimidator...) or limiting the knowledges you can learn because of the class's own limitations. The world is at your fingertips as a factotum.

However, while the factotum is very skilled, they are limited by their abilities as far as prestige classes are concerned. For example, while they technically can sneak attack with an inspiration point, they don't have the sneak attack ability, so they can't take any classes that require it without taking a few levels in rogue. This is not a problem for Indeah as this is a gestalt campaign and she is a Rogue/Factotum. Both. Delicious, I tell you. They have fewer spells they can cast per day than a real caster, and gain them at a much slower rate, stopping at 7th level spells. If you want to be especially good at something, it's probably a better idea to go with a class that's specific to what you want to do. Sadly, there is still no class that is specifically tailored "owning face." This disappoints me. There is an epic prestige class (or five) that does something similar, I believe.
  • All skills, no limits!
  • Jack of all trades, well designed to fit into any party or solo game
  • Allows players more freedom with inspiration points, and has abilities through them no other classes have without spells
  • Can do everything, but not very powerful at anything. Overall decreased ability to do any special abilities (fewer spells per day, less sneak attack, etc)
  • Limits on prestige classes available, because Inspiration point abilities don't actually count as actually having the ability.
And that's the factotum! I'm enjoying running as one, and think it's unfortunate that it's a class that got missed in the hype for 4e starting. Next up, Ravi will go over Beast Heart Adept and her pack (I call them the RAT Pack. "Ravi And The Pack." What? It works.) The DM, on the other hand, swears up and down he will eventually refer to me as "The Mistress of a Pack of Wolves and a Manticore." Which I personally think is an intimidating moniker.

Happy rolling!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Screw the Box!

Ravi here, with a story that my sister and brother-in-law LOVE. Ehehehe, this is a good one.

See, at one point or another, you're going to run into a DM that either hates the players in general, hates female players, or just hates you or is on a powertrip and wants to drill home "I'm the DM so my rule is law", which is true and understandable. If the laws are fair. Otherwise, as with a tyrant king, there will be a revolt. And it will not be pretty. You know, the guy who won't let you do anything, but tries to pigeonhole you into a place where you're practically just a useless observer. If you haven't been there, trust me, you will (might, not necessarily) be eventually. A little outside-the-box thinking will help you avoid having to throw up your hands and quit, and will show everyone else that you mean to roll with the best. *rimshot*

About a year ago, I was desperately searching for a new group. I didn't have anyone to play with In person. We were playing over video chat, and I REALLY wanted to play a game. Well, lo and behold, the guy who sat next to me in one of my classes had a character sheet sticking out of his folder. I pointed to the sheet and asked him, "Is there a group on campus that would let me in?"

Like most guys, he was a bit shocked, because a girl was asking him this question, then he proceeded to inform me that, yes, his group was going to be starting a game next week and I'd be welcome to join. I followed him after class to meet the DM and listen to any house rules and such. The DM started with telling me there were no house rules, but as I started to ask what the other people were playing and what I was allowed to play, I started to get the idea that this guy was a total edited to keep the rating Thank you, Ravi.

I prefer physical, straightforward characters. Ranger, Beast Heart Adept, Fighter, Barbarian, these classes make sense to me, and the party only had one hitter and one tank (it was an eight or nine person group), so I figured another hitter would be okay. I was immediately told that, no, I could not be a hitter, I had to be a caster. Okay, fine. I asked if I could be a dread necromancer, which was met with "no necromancy in the campaign." Okay, that's a universal rule, I can live with that. I asked if my caster could be a lich, to which I was initially told no, only good-aligned characters in the campaign. Well, we have a few evil aligned characters in the group, but okay, no big deal. When I asked him about good liches, the DM told me that was acceptable if I could make a convincing backstory for it, but he doubted that I could. Around here, I started to get irritated. I asked what starting gold and items were. I was told 200k starting gold. For a level 21 character. For those of you less familiar with the game, a level 21 character is supposed to start with OVER ONE MILLION GOLD The starting gold for a character is meant to cover everything they could have gained while in an adventure with normal treasure. A level 21 character starts with 1 million gold because they have been doing this a long time and would have gear, weapons, and armor strong enough to handle combats that could threaten them. 200k starting gold is enough to outfit a level 12-14 character. The DM either intended to not give them any form of threatening combat, or kill them all in the first game. At this point, I'm starting to realize, this guy is either a phenomenal jerk or he really doesn't want me in his campaign.

Nevertheless, I was determined. I plopped down in front of my computer and consulted with a few friends who knew what they were doing. I pulled out Libris Mortis, and decided that the Evening Glory diety would be a good starting point for my backstory. Indeah's husband who has been playing since before 3.0 and has almost encyclopedic knowledge of the game pointed out to me that Malconvoker was an excellent class for what I wanted to do. Finally, a couple of us put our heads together and figured out the gold issue.

So, I had a good lich Malconvoker who had become a lich because she and a Shiradi (read: beefy elf angel, immortal and all that jazz) fell in love and he was terrified of losing her after a close call. The process of becoming a lich fulfilled Evening Glory's ideals of eternal life through undeath, and Malconvokers are summoners... they are good summoners that summon evil creatures then bluff them into fighting for the good guys. In short, I could do everything the evil guys could now.

But, this little adventure into getting around obstacles gets better. To solve the money problem, we simply bought fourteen scrolls of gate. In short, I could summon two genie-type creatures, each of which could grant me 3 wishes. For each scroll. And while there's no wishing for more wishes, you can always wish for more scrolls of gate. INFINITE WISHES! It's a good thing this was for another game. Ravi would spend all the wishes on beer.

Finally, Indeah's husband decided to do a fun thing for me. He made the stats for my character's supposed lover. Basically, it was a 40+ hit dice creature that could ruin any boss the DM could possibly throw at us and completely rules-legal. I could summon him at any time using the scrolls of gate, and, even though a named creature does not have to pass through a gate, he had no reason not to because he begged my character to become undead and therefore immortal in the first place. It was beastly, and its challenge rating was listed simply as "oh god what."

After we had had our fun, I turned in a copy of my character sheet as well as the Shiradi's sheet and a list of my possessions. After reading "one set of clothes, one phylactery, fourteen scrolls of gate," the DM actually called the first player I'd been introduced to, begging him to let me know that I would be given 750k extra starting gold if I removed the scrolls from my inventory. I informed them that I liked my current setup better, and asked if he'd read my backstory yet. The group received an email a few days later saying that the game had been called off.

I couldn't game with that group anymore, but, after being treated the way I was, I really didn't want to. Never let yourself get pushed around by a bully DM. D&D is a game, you're supposed to have fun. If the DM is making it impossible to enjoy, then it's not worth your time. Besides, I had proven a point: girls can still be as beastly as the guys, even with obnoxious restrictions. Granted, I had a little help... which I am eternally grateful for... but I was rather pleased with the outcome.

Happy rolling.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What We're Bringing to the Table

Pun intended. Totally

Since this blog is relatively brand spankin' new, we've got to do some figuring out of what we want to post here. Originally the plan was stories of playing and how to play, but I've come to realize that most likely, those of you interested enough to come read this already know how to play the game. So then, the question is, what kind of content will we be seeing? Here's what we've got so far.

1) Stories. Everyone loves to see stories from other people's games. Ravi and I only have so many stories to tell though. This will be completely open to reader submission. If you want us to tell a story from one of your games, email it to us and we'll post your story, with proper credit given, of course.
2) Tips and tricks. The longer you play tabletop RPGs, the more little details you pick up on that make things easier. There's also various playstyles, character creation methods, and items that make adventuring less stressful. Any kind of tips and tricks for making your game simpler (or more complex/sophisticated, really, whatever works), we'll share what we know. Same as with the stories, we'll also share what you know!
3) Cultural Reviews. D&D is incredibly versatile. It's a game that can be turned into anything, or anything can be put into it. The fact is, there's a lot of books, movies, tv shows (mainly cartoons), video games, and webcomics that either take directly after RPGs or can blend well into a game by the fantasy or sci-fi nature of the stories. Ravi and I will hunt these down and review them for you. Feel free to share here, too, because Ravi is lazy. *sigh* Lazy :P Fine, I'll do these. However, I'll be happy to take recommendations if you know of anything you'd like us to review.
4) Book Reviews. D&D, D20 system, Mongoose publishing, White Wolf, there's a metric ton of game books full of rules, classes, weapons, armor, gear, enemies, and anything you can imagine for playing tabletop games. Ravi and I will cover the basics of various playbooks and tell you what you need to know to know if it's one to add to your own collection.
5) Girls in Gaming. From as simple as a new player to as complex as the people behind the development teams, girls do game. We want to get to know them better, and what better way than through interviews? Volunteers?
6) Q & A. I've been playing D&D for 6 years, and Ravi for 3. We've got a collection of books and plenty of knowledge to answer questions you might have about any aspects of the game. And, since WotC no longer offers this support for any of its earlier editions of D&D, we can totally resolve disputes or offer our opinions.
7) Gaming In Real Life. For girls in touch with their creative side, we're willing to find or make unique costumes, foods and drink recipes, plushies, or whatever creative thing you can imagine that you can make yourself. I have recently come into possession of a wealth of mixable booze. Just throwing that out there. HINT HINT.
8) Unique Creation. We may not be developers, but we are willing and able to create and give you the stats for any unique items, monsters, or characters you'd like to see made for a game. Your input works here too. We've shamelessly abused the creativity of our DM on this front.

So far, these are the ideas we have for where we can take this wild ride. Readers, give us your opinions. Do any of these interest you? Is there anything not here that you want to see? Anything here that you do NOT want to see? Let us know, and have a hand and voice in the growth of this blog.

Happy rolling!

Monday, August 9, 2010


After the last post, I think we ought to give a rundown of the terminology we'll be using here for those who might not be familiar with it. You will be assimilated. It's pretty simple, since tabletop games are played with a few main tools and players.

Games and Developers
RPG - Roleplaying game. It's commonly associated with video games, even though tabletop totally came first, but can be applied to any game in which the player assumes a role other than themselves and makes decisions for them.
D&D/DnD - Dungeons and Dragons, a fantasy setting game. Players: Ravi and Indeah
Battletech (BT) - a futuristic giant robot game. Players: Indeah and hopefully Ravi soon. Assuming I ever finish making that character.
Wizards of the Coast (WotC) - developers (but not inventors) of D&D
White Wolf (WW) - a development company that makes games such as Mage, Vampire: The Masquerade, and Exalted. Many of their games are set in a gothic 19th century to modern setting, while some like Exalted are fantasy. Ravi has been known to play a game of Mage: The Awakening. Protip: all WW game titles are Noun: The Epithet.
#ed - Edition of the game. D&D has 4.5 editions. 3.5ed is what our game is run as, but WotC implemented 4ed in 2008.
Tabletop - a term for RPGs like DnD and Mage, generally on a table. Sometimes referred to within a group as dice or dicing. Dice or dicing = slang for playing
Campaign - A continuous game run by one or more GMs for several players. Basically, Campaign = Story/Game. It doesn't really matter how long it is.
Session - One day of gaming for a particular campaign.
One-Off or Once-Off - A campaign designed to last a single session.

DM - Dungeon Master, the person who runs the game and tells the story. Protip: this guy/chick is the campaign's god. Get used to it and be prepared to worship and/or offer sacrifices. Alternatively, find other experienced DMs to screw with the poor soul.
GM - Game Master, see above
PC - Player character, AKA you. Ravi and Indeah are player characters. You can consider PCs the main characters of the story
NPC - Non-player character, these are the people that the PCs interact with during the game. They're all controlled by the DM.
Encounter - Altercation, combat, brawl, duel, whatever you want to call it, it's a fight. Again, these are all controlled by the DM.

Tools and Other
d# - A die. # is equal to the number of sides the die has. You're probably familiar with the d6, a normal 1-6 die used in board games and gambling. In tabletop gaming, the standard dice set is d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. There are also d30s and d100s, but they are less common. Pictured here are the common dice and a d100.

#d# - A roll of a certain number of dice. 2d6 is a normal roll in Monopoly of 2 6-sided dice.
And that should cover the basics! From here on out, I'll be your guide as far as lessons, tips and tricks go, while Ravi will be the one telling stories, and eventually, how to DM (hint hint wink wink darling sister).

Hint taken. =P Happy rolling? Happy Rolling

Edit: For simplicity's sake, we've decided to make this post a page on it's own. As new terms are brought up, we'll add them there for quicker reference.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

That's What I Said.

Ravi here.

Picture, if you will, a painstakingly crafted horror setting. The PCs Indeah here in blue. I'll be your happy little asterisk today. PC is Player Characters for those of you not familiar with the terminology yet have narrowly escaped being burnt to a crisp and falling to their deaths. They are trapped in a hellish hole, surrounded by lifeless piles of destroyed constructs, heaped up to the point that they are a part of the terrain itself. A slight breeze carries nothing but a slight chill throughout this pit of twisted materials and bodies. There is nothing but stillness and silence, like a calm before a necromantic storm. All who enter here should be terrified.

Indeed, even the creatures traveling with the PCs are unnerved. A large wolf lets out a nervous fart to punctuate this fact. Now, the adventurers are scared and distracted. Suddenly...

...someone lets a "that's what she said" joke rip. And another. And another. Suddenly, there goes the spooky atmosphere and the session devolves into total chaos and childish giggling. Every DM's Dungeon Master, AKA Game Master (GM) or Storyteller worst nightmare. Games have distractions. It's nigh unavoidable, and it's just something that happens when you get several people together. Player 1 remembers something funny that happened to them last week and wants to tell Player 2. Player 3 makes an off-color joke. Player 4 actually passes gas. Someone wants dinner or a snack. A session will rarely go without a single interruption until the DM says "And I think that's where we'll end the session tonight."

Or, you know, an average night for our DM. He spends hours crafting these scenes and encounters for us, only to have them utterly destroyed by a stray joke gone awry or some unforeseen half-baked solution that completely derails the encounter, and, sometimes, the entire campaign. Luckily, the DM is very patient with us, and generally recovers, because, after all, even the best-laid plans can fail. Unfortunately for him, though, we are endlessly amused by conspiring against him. Not that we actually try to. The poor dear plans such intricate dungeons and complex fights, and then a roll goes astray, or ours shoot high, and suddenly the dragon we shouldn't be able to survive without casualties is face first in the ground begging for his life, while none of us are scratched (I was proud of that one...).

Happy Rolling!

Friday, August 6, 2010

About Our Characters

Indeah is a Factotum/Rogue gestalt (Don't worry, we'll go over the classes and gameplay styles in future posts.) She's a down-to-earth girl, the strict and obedient one of the party who keeps the others in line. Regardless of how much Ravi dislikes it. She's the brains of the operation. She makes and updates the maps, researches the enemies, and owns the recon droid: a spider thief named Vizzini. When coming to a new city, Indeah promptly goes to the local library, establishing communication with whoever owns it. Her motivations are treasure, knowledge, and the safety of her teammates.

Where Indeah is the brains, Ravi is the muscle, and she's not content to use just her own muscle. Indeah's twin sister and the "younger" of the two, Ravi is the complete opposite of her sister: loud, brash, competitive, and can beat a dwarf at a drinking contest. And still take a drink after. She lives by the adage "Feed me, Fight me, F*** me, or Get out of my way." For the purposes of the safety of the general public, booze is also considered a food. In fact, for my purposes, it is a major food group. She's a Fighter/Ranger gestalt with prestige class levels in Beast Heart Adept. Ranger and BHA give her a legitimate pack of animals and monsters to travel and fight with. Currently her pack consists of a giant wolf named Westley (he's like a golden retriever in a horse-sized wolf's body), a worg named Buttercup (whose obsession with Westley is rivaled only by Ravi's obsession with one of the NPCs), and a manticore named Fezzik (who, although deadly, possesses the alignment of "yay hugs!"). When coming to a new city, she prefers to find the closest bar and establish communication with a bartender who likes to get paid to give her the weaknesses of men she'd like to take advantage of. Her motivations are usually her adage and the safety of her pets and teammates.

They may sound like a complete "odd couple" (understatement), but as twins, they know each other well and keep each other going, sometimes through mutual dislike of an opponent, sometimes through interest in a place to explore or a job that needs finishing, and sometimes, in Ravi's case, through "I did a bad thing and we kinda need to go now." I will admit it. This is usually the case.

But those are stories for another post. Happy rolling.


Good morning world, and welcome to Girls Rolling 20s. This blog is designed to be stories, tips, tricks, and advice from girls who roll dice for other girls who play, are interested in playing, or just want to know what the heck their nerdy boyfriends and husbands are talking about. Right now, the blog will be kept up by my sister, Ravi, and me, Indeah. I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons with my husband since we met in 2004. Ravi was inducted to the game in 2007 or 2008 (It was totally 2007. Honest.), sitting in for a class project on social groups. D&D has a siren call, though. Once you're in, you can't just play once. Not unlike Pringles. Or heroin. Neither of these have been recently found at a session, though. Now, we play a weekly session detailing the adventures of our characters, Ravi and Indeah (what, you didn't think those were our real names, did you?)

As you follow our blog, if you have any questions, would like any clarifications, or want to tell us a story, as long as it's not about band camp, go ahead and ask or email us! We're completely open to content from you, our readers!

Happy rolling.

P.S. I'm Ravi. In this delicious color.