Entry for April 10, 2007: Dexter’s latest visit; games

Friends, I hope you had a good vernal equinox, Passover, or Easter. This past Friday, 6 April 2007, Dexter V.H. took the bus and train up from Brooklyn, New York, to the Boston area. Janice was visiting her folks in Pennsylvania, and Dex and I got burgers for dinner at "Friendly's" in Needham, Massachusetts.

After a long workweek, we reminisced about college, compared notes on recent genre entertainment, and created a Player Character for my "Vanished Lands" heroic fantasy campaign setting using "Dungeons & Dragons" Edition 3.5 — a female Dwarf Paladin of Sif, goddess of valor and wisdom. Her ties to existing characters, such as Drow Ranger "Faelonia," will be revealed in due time…

On Saturday, Dexter and I wrote up his new P.C., who should start adventuring the next time we get together. We drove down to Norwood, Mass., for lunch at Boston Market and to pick up my subscription at New England Comics. I showed Dexter the latest crossover stories of Marvel and D.C., as well as adaptations of various fantasy novels. We also chatted about his challenges in being a single parent and about old friends, such as Bill A.R. and Stuart C.G.

Upon returning to my duplex, we then rolled up "the Ebon Flame," a new superhero for my D20 "Mutants & Masterminds" 2nd Ed.: "S.J.I." scenarios. In fact, the last time Dexter came up was for the annual Halloween costumed session!

Beruk A./"the Stranger," Thomas K.Y./"the Righteous First," and eventually, via videoconference, Byron V.O./"Arcturus" joined us for another "Drake's Port" one-shot. We picked up from Byron's visit from St. Louis the previous weekend. The costumed vigilantes fought insect swarms and the Avatar of Disease! See the Yahoo/eGroups Web club at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/ for more details.

Since the group was a bit smaller (and older) than our usual D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands: the Broken Chains" party on Tuesday nights, we had a leisurely start and went out to dinner at "Fuji," Janice's and my favorite local Japanese steakhouse. We had dessert at "Cafe Moca Blue," a relatively new gelato place. Some of the gamers didn't attend because I didn't run a higher-level D&D3.5 plot, but there will be other opportunities that make sense given who's available at the time.

Dexter also did some troubleshooting of the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop software for our Wednesday night teleconferencing sessions (http://www.fantasygrounds.com/screenshots/). On Sunday morning, I meant to show Dex how my "City of Heroes" characters had fared since he got burned out of the computer game last summer, but I got sucked into a team mission with some of our usual group: Kim A.G., Steve M.R., and Shari S. (David I.S. and Thomas were offline).

While our metahumans have occasionally struggled with tactics, Dex agreed with me on the larger issue of time management and said he's unlikely to rejoin that game anytime soon, especially when the D&D3.5 P.C.s are going strong. For more "CoH" discussions (and images such as "the Emerald Quarrel" above), go to http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/dimensionalcorpsonline/

After lunch at "Acapulco's" Mexican restaurant, we drove to some bookshops in Newton and Harvard Square, Cambridge, some of which were closed for the holiday. We did check out Pandemonium Books & Games, but Dex didn't want to load himself down, since he still had to travel home and doesn't play face-to-face games very often.

Janice got home not long after I had dropped off Dexter, and she and I went out to dinner at "Mandarin Cuisine," so we should eat in for the rest of this week. In the meantime, my family has started planning to celebrate my parents' 40th wedding anniversary in New York in June.

More immediately, I've been enjoying the "Dresden Files" television show, and I look forward to the remaining half seasons of "Smallville," "Stargate SG1," and "The Batman." Next week, I'll try to post in more detail about my gaming history and preferences…