I Hit It With My Axe: Episode 15: Ambush at the River of Despair

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Daselthechaz:
It would have been weird if you thought Yoda dog was the hottest. Frankie's precious, and perhaps the funniest one in the bunch. Even as we speak, my old lady is at a family reunion, and took the time to call and ask "what'd Frankie say this week?! Was it adorable?"

Not sure if she said much adorable this week. But I thought the bit of her trying to balance a pencil on her upper lip was kinda precious. :)

As far as what could have been done differently to avoid this mess, how about not starting at level 1? And to confirm, it took a YEAR to get to level 5?? I think Zak was screwing you guys on the XP.

Random suggestion for the DM - to be ignored as it's already passed by (probably). Having the goblin high priest animate the corpses of the player's soon-to-be old characters as zombies makes for a cheshire smile. For added fun, mix and match body parts so 3 new character's all recognize themselves in one putrefying zombie. Nothing says win like a party chopping through vast hordes of post-player characters.

Edit: BTW, how are those personalized minis going?

FearlessFelix:
As far as what could have been done differently to avoid this mess, how about not starting at level 1? And to confirm, it took a YEAR to get to level 5?? I think Zak was screwing you guys on the XP.

Random suggestion for the DM - to be ignored as it's already passed by (probably). Having the goblin high priest animate the corpses of the player's soon-to-be old characters as zombies makes for a cheshire smile. For added fun, mix and match body parts so 3 new character's all recognize themselves in one putrefying zombie. Nothing says win like a party chopping through vast hordes of post-player characters.

Edit: BTW, how are those personalized minis going?

Zombies were done to death 15 years ago. I'd be so disappointed in my DM if he did something so unoriginal.

We DO NOT want to be coddled--we're not being "screwed on xp" that's ridiculous--who would benefit in such a situation, the DM? Certainly not. Yes, a year because at first we were not playing regularly and at first I only played in 1e AD&D games.

What fun would starting at a higher level be? What sense of accomplishment from surviving and leveling up, the anticipation of better spells, what do you learn from playing all soft like that? And what's so bad about making poor choices and dealing with the consequences--in a game--dying?

You call it a mess. I call it good fun.

Whether to start a new campaign at first level is a group's choice, but mixing first level and fifth level characters risks making some characters visibly suck. Especially I would recommend starting the guest stars at a high enough level that they feel like capable members of the party and not henchmen. (Starting Justine with medusa abilities was a good compromise approach.)

Oh, man. You did not make Frankie shoot herself in the arm. That's so bogus. >_<

Dave Michalak:
Oh, man. You did not make Frankie shoot herself in the arm. That's so bogus. >_<

Any DM who's using a crit system owes it to their players to have a fumble system as well. The monsters collectively tend to roll far more attacks than players, and only have to win one fight. Figure what level a rogue or a wizard has to be before they can survive even one critical hit from a battle axe (1d8, tripled.) At least with fumbles some of those monsters' attack rolls are helping the party.

Dave Michalak:
Oh, man. You did not make Frankie shoot herself in the arm. That's so bogus. >_<

True! It should have been in the foot.

Noumenon:
Whether to start a new campaign at first level is a group's choice, but mixing first level and fifth level characters risks making some characters visibly suck. Especially I would recommend starting the guest stars at a high enough level that they feel like capable members of the party and not henchmen. (Starting Justine with medusa abilities was a good compromise approach.)

When we all started playing together I was only a level or two ahead of the other girls--now however, yes there is a slight imbalance since I just reached level 5 but due to recent events in the campaign well...not quite an issue yet for new players.

mandymorbid:

Zombies were done to death 15 years ago. I'd be so disappointed in my DM if he did something so unoriginal.

We DO NOT want to be coddled--we're not being "screwed on xp" that's ridiculous--who would benefit in such a situation, the DM? Certainly not. Yes, a year because at first we were not playing regularly and at first I only played in 1e AD&D games.

What fun would starting at a higher level be? What sense of accomplishment from surviving and leveling up, the anticipation of better spells, what do you learn from playing all soft like that? And what's so bad about making poor choices and dealing with the consequences--in a game--dying?

You call it a mess. I call it good fun.

Okay, ouch. Let me first state that much of what I said was meant as a friendly barb at the players. The mess I was referring to was the debacle of being ripped up by a garrison of goblin soldiers, not the game / session entire. As far as the XP goes, I get that the group wasn't necessarily playing regularly for 6+ hour sessions. It's just a little eye-brow raising is all. One year of play time for a lot of groups that I've played with or talked to on forums can lead to a gain of 7 levels, give or take.

On starting at high(er) levels (my group for 4E prefers 6th or so) there really isn't any difference accept for survivability. Every character comes into a campaign with a little background and the more exuberant players can turn it into a short story competition. Just listen to Will Wheaton talk about his characters backstory in the DnD podcast with Penny Arcade. Your average story starts with characters that have already been around the block a few times (Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, whatever). So it isn't too much of a stretch for experienced gamers to want the same.

Which is of course what it really comes down to. For the group you've got, makes good sense to play from 1st level at least a couple of times, but I personally got tired of killing giant rats after my 3rd or 5th time.

On zombies: Would ghouls be better? What about ghasts? :)

Edit: the friendly barb was also meant with the personalized minis, just cause it seemed snicker worthy especially if they were designed for the exact characters in question. < backs away carefully >

Noumenon:
Whether to start a new campaign at first level is a group's choice, but mixing first level and fifth level characters risks making some characters visibly suck. Especially I would recommend starting the guest stars at a high enough level that they feel like capable members of the party and not henchmen. (Starting Justine with medusa abilities was a good compromise approach.)

LOVED the medusa joining the party, that was freaking awesome. One of my favorite campaigns I played in was a monster campaign where the odd man out was an elf ranger. So, medusa's, minotaurs, mind flayers, half fiends were running around with this freaking elf ranger and wondering why we didn't eat him.

FearlessFelix:

mandymorbid:

Zombies were done to death 15 years ago. I'd be so disappointed in my DM if he did something so unoriginal.

We DO NOT want to be coddled--we're not being "screwed on xp" that's ridiculous--who would benefit in such a situation, the DM? Certainly not. Yes, a year because at first we were not playing regularly and at first I only played in 1e AD&D games.

What fun would starting at a higher level be? What sense of accomplishment from surviving and leveling up, the anticipation of better spells, what do you learn from playing all soft like that? And what's so bad about making poor choices and dealing with the consequences--in a game--dying?

You call it a mess. I call it good fun.

Okay, ouch. Let me first state that much of what I said was meant as a friendly barb at the players. The mess I was referring to was the debacle of being ripped up by a garrison of goblin soldiers, not the game / session entire. As far as the XP goes, I get that the group wasn't necessarily playing regularly for 6+ hour sessions. It's just a little eye-brow raising is all. One year of play time for a lot of groups that I've played with or talked to on forums can lead to a gain of 7 levels, give or take.

On starting at high(er) levels (my group for 4E prefers 6th or so) there really isn't any difference accept for survivability. Every character comes into a campaign with a little background and the more exuberant players can turn it into a short story competition. Just listen to Will Wheaton talk about his characters backstory in the DnD podcast with Penny Arcade. Your average story starts with characters that have already been around the block a few times (Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, whatever). So it isn't too much of a stretch for experienced gamers to want the same.

Which is of course what it really comes down to. For the group you've got, makes good sense to play from 1st level at least a couple of times, but I personally got tired of killing giant rats after my 3rd or 5th time.

On zombies: Would ghouls be better? What about ghasts? :)

Edit: the friendly barb was also meant with the personalized minis, just cause it seemed snicker worthy especially if they were designed for the exact characters in question. < backs away carefully >

"Character backround is what happens between levels 1 and 6." -Gary Gygax

Gary's gone, Mandy. We have to let him go.

No kidding. His contributions put around 6 editions of DnD under the titles of DnD blue box, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Editions, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition, and so on. A giant in his field which is why he probably tripped up as much as he did. personally miss Arneson more. Role-playing games have always been the opportunity to extend tactical fights via miniatures and the story bound sense of choose your own adventure into a wide open world that might be Baldur's Gate or Fallout. But as far as being the absolute ruling authority on everything DnD, that title was taken from him awhile ago.

And BTW, Mandy, SERIOUSLY, I do not have a hate on for you, I swear! You say tomato, I say tomahtoh. I just threw stuff out there for a group that's not mine, not to trash the way you play or anything, never-been-a-cub-scout's honor.

Edit: I misspelled opportunity and didn't include a hyphen with role-playing, dammit

FearlessFelix:
No kidding. His contributions put around 6 editions of DnD under the titles of DnD blue box, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Editions, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition, and so on. A giant in his field which is why he probably tripped up as much as he did. personally miss Arneson more. Role-playing games have always been the opportunity to extend tactical fights via miniatures and the story bound sense of choose your own adventure into a wide open world that might be Baldur's Gate or Fallout. But as far as being the absolute ruling authority on everything DnD, that title was taken from him awhile ago.

And BTW, Mandy, SERIOUSLY, I do not have a hate on for you, I swear! You say tomato, I say tomahtoh. I just threw stuff out there for a group that's not mine, not to trash the way you play or anything, never-been-a-cub-scout's honor.

Edit: I misspelled opportunity and didn't include a hyphen with role-playing, dammit

We roll old school, you don't. That's that.

mandymorbid:

FearlessFelix:
No kidding. His contributions put around 6 editions of DnD under the titles of DnD blue box, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Editions, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition, and so on. A giant in his field which is why he probably tripped up as much as he did. personally miss Arneson more. Role-playing games have always been the opportunity to extend tactical fights via miniatures and the story bound sense of choose your own adventure into a wide open world that might be Baldur's Gate or Fallout. But as far as being the absolute ruling authority on everything DnD, that title was taken from him awhile ago.

And BTW, Mandy, SERIOUSLY, I do not have a hate on for you, I swear! You say tomato, I say tomahtoh. I just threw stuff out there for a group that's not mine, not to trash the way you play or anything, never-been-a-cub-scout's honor.

Edit: I misspelled opportunity and didn't include a hyphen with role-playing, dammit

We roll old school, you don't. That's that.

Well, congratulations on taking offense where none was meant. I'm sure you'll be very successful. Lates.

With a name like The River of Despair, what did they expect?

deadguynotyetburied:
The monsters collectively tend to roll far more attacks than players, and only have to win one fight.

Conversely, the players only have to lose one fight, and fumbles help them do that. The 3.5 DMG argued that both crits and fumbles are bad for the players' survivability because they make for swingier combat. But crits stay in because swingy combat is more exciting combat, and they make both you and the monsters more badass instead of people who can barely manage to go a session without tripping over their own sword.

FearlessFelix:
For the group you've got, makes good sense to play from 1st level at least a couple of times, but I personally got tired of killing giant rats after my 3rd or 5th time.

Try Goodman Games' Dungeon Crawl Classics, "The Adventure Begins," for a bunch of first-level adventures with monsters like zombie grigs, killer crab swarms, tiny animated figurines, rust spiders, electrostatic bats, "spellsnakes"... and those are just the ones I've run myself.

I bet first level adventures in general would be more interesting if everyone had watched this series. My friend told me he once gained a level in AD&D by killing 200 orcs and not a single thing else, but Zak is showing you can play old-school "1st level fighting man" style without getting repetitive.

Noumenon:

deadguynotyetburied:
The monsters collectively tend to roll far more attacks than players, and only have to win one fight.

Conversely, the players only have to lose one fight, and fumbles help them do that. The 3.5 DMG argued that both crits and fumbles are bad for the players' survivability because they make for swingier combat. But crits stay in because swingy combat is more exciting combat, and they make both you and the monsters more badass

Agreed, both crits and fumbles have the effect of shortening PC lifespans, and no DM worth a damn is going to allow fumbles for the monsters only, or crits only for the players. While I keep them in to give the game its flavor and splash, I don't like death spells, I don't like insta-kills, and I don't like crits -- I have no problem incrementally grinding my players into nothing but when they go from full health to dead in one shot, it's fair, it's consistent within the reality of the game world, but it's also a gaming experience the players aren't likely to want to repeat.

mandymorbid:
"Character background is what happens between levels 1 and 6." -Gary Gygax

Mandy Morbid, your Gygax quote makes me so happy. There's so much old-school bound up so neatly in those few words.

FearlessFelix:

mandymorbid:

FearlessFelix:
And BTW, Mandy, SERIOUSLY, I do not have a hate on for you, I swear! You say tomato, I say tomahtoh. I just threw stuff out there for a group that's not mine, not to trash the way you play or anything, never-been-a-cub-scout's honor.

We roll old school, you don't. That's that.

Well, congratulations on taking offense where none was meant. I'm sure you'll be very successful. Lates.

Fearless Felix, I could be reading this wrong, but it reads to me as if she was agreeing with you about tomato-tomahtoh, not taking offense, that she was saying they play more old school, you play more new school, no harm no foul. Ironically, if true, that would make you the one taking offense where none was meant. If so, my sympathies; been there, done that, myself too in public discussions.

mandymorbid:

You call it a mess. I call it good fun.

Fun and the mess you all got yourselves into at the River of Despair are not mutually exclusive.

Keevel:

mandymorbid:

You call it a mess. I call it good fun.

Fun and the mess you all got yourselves into at the River of Despair are not mutually exclusive.

Indeed, that was exactly my point. :)

mandymorbid:

We roll old school, you don't. That's that.

how many other ways have you rolled?

mandymorbid:

Zombies were done to death 15 years ago. I'd be so disappointed in my DM if he did something so unoriginal.

are goblins the next big thing? nobody told me... :(

mandymorbid:

"Character backround is what happens between levels 1 and 6." -Gary Gygax

so what/who do you play during these first levels? a blank sheet? do you care about this... i don't know what to call it as it's obviously not a "character"? is she a peasent, or maybe a noble? developed during play? her family, developed during play? personality, likes, dislikes, what drives her, what made her become an adventurer? all developed during play?

in what way is having a background for a character from the start a bad thing?

and last, but not least, considering your character is now lvl5, what does her "backstory" look like now? i'd be interested to see how this might work out.

shlominus:

so what/who do you play during these first levels? a blank sheet? do you care about this... i don't know what to call it as it's obviously not a "character"? is she a peasent, or maybe a noble? developed during play? her family, developed during play? personality, likes, dislikes, what drives her, what made her become an adventurer? all developed during play?

in what way is having a background for a character from the start a bad thing?

Hey look, it's Shlominus, who comments on my blog all the time.

Shlominus--we've been through this drill a thousand times by now--I make an assertion (or, in this case, Mandy does) and you go "Really? I don't think so" and then I go "No, actually, I meant what I said. This is the way we do it and this is the way we like to do it and we have fun. And fun is good and not bad, so it is good." and then you usually go "Ok, fair enough, what I meant to say is..."

So instead of going through ALLLLLL that, why don't you just start off this time by assuming Mandy meant what she said and then say what YOU meant to say, which is something like "I, Shlominus, prefer to roll in the following way: _______ because of my own psychological make-up. I recognize that my personal endorsement of a way of pretending to be a wizard does not make that way objectively 'better' or 'worse' than any other way and realize you are smart enough to know the same thing."

How does Mandy like to play? Mandy likes to play like in the videos that are posted here on this website that we are commenting on.

Does Mandy like to play this way? Yes, Mandy does.

What kind of character does she play? She plays the character that you see in the video.

Is that enough of a "character" for her? Apparently so.

Really really? Yes.

Are you sure? Yes.

Are you absolutely certain that you are enjoying doing the thing we are watching a video of you enjoying doing? Yes.

Are you certain? Yes.

For reals? Yes.

Is it ok if I do it a different way? Yes.

um... ok. what brought this on?

i think you are missing my points here. where am i challenging anything she said?

when mandy states she rolls a certain way i think its a legitimate question to ask if she has any experience with other styles of play. obviously her views mirror yours (and why wouldn't they? she has plenty of reasons for this. the question is still reasonable.).

when she says she thinks zombies were done to death and something so "unoriginal" would dissapoint her but she has been fighting goblins for the last few sessions i think this is funny. so i made a joke about it. nothing to get mad about, right? right?!

and the questions about characters? whats wrong with them? i want to find out how someone who does stuff differently then i do sees a certain issue. mandy posted something about the issue so i asked her. you get mad about that? so mad that you make up a posting style to make me look bad (i mean, come on, my post is right above yours... )?

most of my posts on your blog have been "great stuff!" cause i like most of your stuff. ah well, you made it quite clear you don't want me posting there so i will stop.

i've got no idea why you would attack me over this. i just asked a few questions.

maybe someone else (who believes character background is lvls 1-6 or something similar) can answer them instead. :)

shlominus:
um... ok. what brought this on?

i think you are missing my points here. where am i challenging anything she said?

when mandy states she rolls a certain way i think its a legitimate question to ask if she has any experience with other styles of play. obviously her views mirror yours (and why wouldn't they? she has plenty of reasons for this. the question is still reasonable.).

when she says she thinks zombies were done to death and something so "unoriginal" would dissapoint her but she has been fighting goblins for the last few sessions i think this is funny. so i made a joke about it. nothing to get mad about, right? right?!

and the questions about characters? whats wrong with them? i want to find out how someone who does stuff differently then i do sees a certain issue. mandy posted something about the issue so i asked her. you get mad about that? so mad that you make up a posting style to make me look bad (i mean, come on, my post is right above yours... )?

most of my posts on your blog have been "great stuff!" cause i like most of your stuff. ah well, you made it quite clear you don't want me posting there so i will stop.

i've got no idea why you would attack me over this. i just asked a few questions.

maybe someone else (who believes character background is lvls 1-6 or something similar) can answer them instead. :)

I'm not attacking you, I'm just saying all your questions are answered right there in the show. To the degree that they have answers.

Except this one:

"in what way is having a background for a character from the start a bad thing?"

Which is just a weird question, because nobody ever said it was.

Zak Sabbath:

"in what way is having a background for a character from the start a bad thing?"

Which is just a weird question, because nobody ever said it was.

well, you don't "use" backgrounds like i am used to, so you obviously think starting a character without one is in some way beneficial, right? that's what i am asking: "what is the benefit?" i just worded the question the other way around... whats wrong with having a background, to make you dismiss them?

weird?

shlominus:

Zak Sabbath:

"in what way is having a background for a character from the start a bad thing?"

Which is just a weird question, because nobody ever said it was.

well, you don't "use" backgrounds like i am used to, so you obviously think starting a character without one is in some way beneficial, right? that's what i am asking: "what is the benefit?" i just worded the question the other way around... whats wrong with having a background, to make you dismiss them?

weird?

Nothing's "wrong" or "bad" about it, just like there's nothing "wrong" with ketchup. Everybody just puts as much on as they feel like that day. Sometimes you want to make up a lot of crap about your character before you roll and sometimes you just want to get out there and play.

Why'd you put a teaspoon of ketchup on your sandwich today instead of a tablespoon? Who knows, it tastes good, that's all. Wouldn't you prefer a tablespoon? Not now, obviously, I'm busy eating.

Zak Sabbath:

Nothing's "wrong" or "bad" about it, just like there's nothing "wrong" with ketchup. Everybody just puts as much on as they feel like that day. Sometimes you want to make up a lot of crap about your character before you roll and sometimes you just want to get out there and play.

Why'd you put a teaspoon of ketchup on your sandwich today instead of a tablespoon? Who knows, it tastes good, that's all. Wouldn't you prefer a tablespoon? Not now, obviously, I'm busy eating.

i think you are deliberately missing my points, so i guess we should stop.

could have been a nice discussion though. :(

FearlessFelix:
Your average story starts with characters that have already been around the block a few times (Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, whatever).

I would argue that's quite not that case. "The Heroes Journey" isn't a journey if the character is already a hero, even your examples adhere to this. In Lord of the Rings, the story is told largely through the eyes of the hobbits. Martin's writing has more experienced characters like Ned Stark, but it begins to favor the coming of age of it's other ones.

Even the heroes from these stories are not level 20 epic characters if you tried to apply the D&D rule set to them. Aragorn(scroll down to the bottom) is likely the equivalent of a level 5 or 6 character, and wow, Ned Stark is maybe at best a level 3.

There's fun to be had and valuable character development available in those first few levels, if you give it a chance. Though, is it wrong to start with a few levels under their belts and a back-story to rival an encyclopedia? Certainly not.

when she says she thinks zombies were done to death and something so "unoriginal" would dissapoint her but she has been fighting goblins for the last few sessions i think this is funny. so i made a joke about it. nothing to get mad about, right?

See, that wasn't a joke joke -- it was kind of a passive-aggressive way of saying "I wish to contest your assertion that zombies are not fun because they are not original by pointing out that goblins are also not original." I also read your statement "so what/who do you play during these first levels? a blank sheet?" as being not a question, but an indirect way of saying "I think the practice of not picking a character background makes the early levels boring."

When I read that post, I was thinking "Oh great, somebody wants to start an argument. I hope it doesn't derail the discussion because no good is going to come of it." You can just tell when somebody's really interested in learning about a differing view or when their interest is just in making it look stupid.

Noumenon:

when she says she thinks zombies were done to death and something so "unoriginal" would dissapoint her but she has been fighting goblins for the last few sessions i think this is funny. so i made a joke about it. nothing to get mad about, right?

See, that wasn't a joke joke -- it was kind of a passive-aggressive way of saying "I wish to contest your assertion that zombies are not fun because they are not original by pointing out that goblins are also not original." I also read your statement "so what/who do you play during these first levels? a blank sheet?" as being not a question, but an indirect way of saying "I think the practice of not picking a character background makes the early levels boring."

When I read that post, I was thinking "Oh great, somebody wants to start an argument. I hope it doesn't derail the discussion because no good is going to come of it." You can just tell when somebody's really interested in learning about a differing view or when their interest is just in making it look stupid.

well, some jokes missfire. shit happens. there was no hostility intended.

about the blank sheet... i don't think not having a character background worked out makes the first few levels boring. but i do think when you start a campaign your character already has a past. the first few levels are his first experiences as an adventurer and how those shape who he will be, but what happened before greatly helps define who he is now, how he interacts with the gameworld. it can give him a sense of motivation, adds context to every action. a character without a past is somehow incomplete (to me).

han solo had a past before entering the picture in star wars. the character acts the way he acts because his past made him who he is (we see some of his past and how it influences his actions early on). luke has a past. his past is the major plot hook! during the movies both characters change, but they both evolved from a certain starting point. at the start of the "campaign" they were not blank sheets. that's what i mean.

and it's not like you need to write a novel about every characters early years. a simple sketch can be enough. luke's background would be very simple, but a dm can take (father dead, only sketchy knowledge about him) and turn it into star wars. wouldn't that story feel very special for luke's player? i doubt you can create such an epic story by developing it during play (with only in-play actions to build on). maybe you can, i have never seen it happen though.

Since I appointed myself official psychoanalyzer of your posting style, shlominus, I have to rule on this one: Looks like a 100% positive statement of your case without any implication that somebody else ought to do it different. Nice job.

I'm trying my first character with backstory in an upcoming campaign. In the past, I built characters just on a theme: when I make a druid, he's named after a tree, he lives in a tree, he carries around a bonsai tree instead of a pet, he writes his scrolls on little leaves and sets fire to them... in Star Wars, this would be more equivalent to playing Chewbacca, who's got no backstory and is just themed around "I want to play something really alien, but not really advanced." Chewbacca's loyalty trait might be the sort of thing you could discover while playing the character, actually.

again, funny stuff, I really like the way the players just play and Zak seemingly seamlessly throw it all through the rules and a fun game comes out without all the rule-lawyering that can/will kill most games.

ps. Did something happen to Connie? Apart from the awesome diet advice, she seems more, present, in a good way.

also thx for check spelling seemingly seamlessly checking my spelling

shlominus:

Noumenon:

when she says she thinks zombies were done to death and something so "unoriginal" would dissapoint her but she has been fighting goblins for the last few sessions i think this is funny. so i made a joke about it. nothing to get mad about, right?

See, that wasn't a joke joke -- it was kind of a passive-aggressive way of saying "I wish to contest your assertion that zombies are not fun because they are not original by pointing out that goblins are also not original." I also read your statement "so what/who do you play during these first levels? a blank sheet?" as being not a question, but an

indirect way of saying "I think the practice of not picking a character background makes the early levels boring."

When I read that post, I was thinking "Oh great, somebody wants to start an argument. I hope it doesn't derail the discussion because no good is going to come of it." You can just tell when somebody's really interested in learning about a differing view or when their interest is just in making it look stupid.

well, some jokes missfire. shit happens. there was no hostility intended.

about the blank sheet... i don't think not having a character background worked out makes the first few levels boring. but i do think when you start a campaign your character already has a past. the first few levels are his first experiences as an adventurer and how those shape who he will be, but what happened before greatly helps define who he is now, how he interacts with the gameworld. it can give him a sense of motivation, adds context to every action. a character without a past is somehow incomplete (to me)....

.

From the thread for episode 8:

"And since some of you have asked for this, a quick summery of our characters:

Me: I'm a tiefling cleric of Vorn. I'm 4th level. I've been playing this character since mid August 2009. I was left as an infant on the steps of the Cathedral of Vorn and as such the recentness of my demon lineage is uncertain. It is suspected among the priestesses who raised me that it's fairly recent and so I had extra vigorous moral instruction. My name is Tizane Ildiko. In Hungarian it means "Gypsy Warrior" but I believe there are alternate spellings to the one I chose. I'm very bossy. I try to be cautious. I seem to be the "mom" of the party, which makes sense since I'm the one who has to heal everyone once they've gotten into trouble, so I tend to sometimes try to think of ways to get everyone else to avoid "excessive trouble". I grew up playing video games and so only played my first game of D&D at Christmas 2008..."

Seriously, if you really want to know something I'll tell you since all that long copy-paste from a previous thread was in response to a question, but it helps to ask nicely.

Clearly I have some sense of my character's backround but it's brief because my current adventures will become her history. And yes some of that has evolved over time during gaming sessions.

And yes I feel like goblins are more original than zombies--how many goblin remake films and comics have you seen?

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