My role-playing group (see image above) is now in the midst of its usual seasonal turnover. In the past few weeks, Paul J./"Rache," his girlfriend Bri/"Rhiannen," Alex J./"Karril," and Alex's girlfriend Serena have returned to college at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a bit too far to commute to the regular Tuesday night game in Needham Heights, Mass. Some heated disagreements marred the end of summer for them, but in hindsight, impetuous characters and impatient players may have been a temporary problem.
In addition, Byron V.O./"Kemosh" is scaling back his involvement with the D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands: the Broken Chains" party to concentrate on the "Holy Steel" team, which now meets virtually on Thursday nights. We had been troubleshooting with Skype and the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop software on Wednesdays, but that proved to be too many consecutive nights of gaming for everyone.
Byron was teleconferencing in from St. Louis, but he has decided that his Egyptian Paladin "Ibrahim" have an easier time interacting with me and Brooklyn, New York-based Dexter V.H.'s Drow Ranger "Faelonia" rather than have a smaller supporting role in "1,001 Arabian Nights"-style adventures of "the Broken Chains."
The unforeseen departure of James B./"Ib" from "the Broken Chains" and the fact that I had to cancel my involvement with the Thursday night "City of Heroes" online gaming group to accommodate "Holy Steel" has also affected the various games. I've continued to play "CoH" on Sunday mornings, but I miss David I.S.'s sense of exploration. http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/dimensionalcorpsonline/
The Tuesday fantasy group was down to Beruk A./"Kunal," Greg D.C./"Killian," and Brian W./"Mumtaz." I've recruited Ben R./"Slink" and John M./"Nebi," both of who seem promising. Since my freshman year at the State University of New York at Binghamton (1986), I've tended to run for groups of as many as 12 to 20 people, but many gamers prefer smaller ones with only four or so members. We'll see if we can find a happy medium.
The "Broken Chains" have been dealing with a cursed magical ring (sound familiar?) while traveling through the Halmed Desert, while "Holy Steel" regroups at the port of Sileran on its way to the distant empire of Khemet (New Kingdom Egypt). Other higher-level Player Characters still hope to seize the Bracers of Air Control from the Temple of Elemental Evil and fight Undead pirates, but that's a story for another time… http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/
We've also been discussing "Dungeons & Dragons" Fourth Edition, due out next summer. At least Wizards of the Coast is providing numerous previews of the revised rules. In a few weeks, I look forward to Byron and Dexter's visit to the Boston area and Dex's D20 "Star Wars: Saga Edition" one-shot!
Next time: MTV Music Video Awards, genre television, and comic books…