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  • DwarvenDad 4:35 pm on September 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The Return 

    Wow! Life really can get away from you if you let it. It has been almost a year since my last update and it is time to light the forge once more. Things have settled here and we have shifted into our new normal. My plans for this have changed somewhat. This will be a place for me to share all of what I am doing in the hobby, not just D&D. Miniature painting, 40k, VTM, etc.

  • DwarvenDad 1:20 pm on October 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Leave of Absence 

    I have a hard time believing that my last post was 3 months ago, but here we are. A lot has been going on that has contributed to taking time away from my hobbies. However, that is life when you are a family man with a job. Poor excuse though.

    I work in higher education and when a new semester starts it is always a hectic time. However, this year I ended up switching to a new job in the middle of all that. I’m still in IT for a higher ed, but it’s just a bigger institution than I was at. A better work environment as well.

    Now that all that has settled I can get back on this horse. I have different things planned. More that just DnD. I’m going to take a stab at twitch streaming. I know I enjoy watching twitch streams so why not contribute  to the community. Also might be a good way to get my son to play some games with me if I stream them right?

  • DwarvenDad 11:03 pm on July 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    West Marches Campaign 

    So, I’ve been reading about the west marches style of play. I see it as something that would be really beneficial to my family. With our busy schedules it is difficult for us to sit down a play regularly. Between work and extracurricular activities it’s tough to prepare a story/campaign with depth. Now what I can provide is dungeon delving.

    To be honest it’s what my son wants. He’s 12 character development is not a priority. He was to find loot. Also it helps me in a way because I just like drawing out dungeons and caves. If they are connected story wise cool and if not who cares?

    When I get the idea as a whole fleshed out I share it here. I know this is nothing new to the community as a whole, but I feel like some of you may have some feed back that will be useful.

    • Dave P. 12:45 am on August 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This was news to me. Apparently the “West Marches” style is very much a player driven style of campaign. According to sources, it is the players’ job to collect the party, schedule the time, and figure out where they would like to go for each session. Not every player plays in every session, which is what allows large amounts of players to all be in the same campaign. Huh, that’s sort of what my group does (more or less). I’ve got two campaigns going with about 6 people total and another one with 4 (myself included). The smaller one we sort of determine what days work best on a week to week basis, usually in the evenings. The other two groups are on fixed days Wednesday and Saturday nights.


  • DwarvenDad 9:13 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply  


    My family and I just returned home from our vacation a couple days ago. It started out rough, but ended well. We went to our usual stomping grounds of Gulfport, MS. I ate enough oysters to probably put a dent in the population.

    The first few days we were there my youngest kid was sick. She was pitiful. Luckily she bounced back well enough to enjoy herself.

    Prior to leaving on this trip I was looking up hobby shop/table top place there in the area. I found just that in Biloxi. A pub called The Wayward Kraken. We loved it. Great atmosphere and the food was good and affordable. They had a good selection of games to choose from that you could take back to your table and play. You could bring your own games in and play. They also had a back room with large tables for D&D and Warhammer.

    My wife and son wandered back and discovered a group playing D&D. They were great group. Let my son sit with them and watch and even invited us back that Saturday night for another game. Which we did return to spectate.

    The DM (Richard if you’re reading this thanks again!) was really friendly and he did a great job. My wife and I learned a lot from watching their game and we really appreciated them being kind enough to let us sit in.

    If you are ever down in Biloxi, MS. Stop in at the Wayward Kraken. Sit down have a beer and order the Ocarina of Lime tacos. You won’t regret it.

    • David P. 10:21 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Dude, you had me at “Ocarina of Lime tacos”.

      1.) Tacos are awesome and reserving them for Tuesdays sends a poor message to our youths. They need to know that tacos are always an option no matter what day of the week it is. XD
      2.) Ocarina of Lime? You know that’s Zelda inspired. Great game, and I expect even greater food.
      3.) Lime is so tasty!

      Liked by 1 person

  • DwarvenDad 5:24 pm on May 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    D&D and Video Games 

    I love video games (shocker I know). One thing I’ve noticed since diving head first into this table top rpg world is that there are some D&D based video games. Now I remember playing Baldur’s Gate when I was a teenager, but I never really gave the game mechanics much thought. I just played the game. Same goes for Neverwinter Nights.

    Now here we are almost 20 years later and I’ve played the games again (nostalgia is a powerful thing) and I have a greater appreciation for them. Baldur’s Gate is slow going almost to the point that it’s almost unplayable (Damn you Skyrim and Witcher! You’ve spoiled me!). However, it helps me understand basic D&D game mechanics and how the rolls work. Neverwinter Nights on the other hand still holds up in my opinion. Yeah the graphics are dated, but the gameplay has a pace that doesn’t leave me wanting to rip my eyes out.

    Interestingly enough I had trouble installing NWN. So a quick google search for a fix led me down a path to a free mmo called Neverwinter. I downloaded and played for a few hours last night. The game is visually pleasing but that is about it. Sure the game is free, but it is absolutely full of micro transactions. I get they need to make some sort of income to keep the game going, but it hurts the story (lack thereof as far as I can tell). This also made me remember there being a Dungeons and Dragon mmo long ago. Which is still around and free to play as well (micro transaction included). I’ve never played it, but I’ve not heard much good about it.

    Now here we are to the whole point of this blog post. Why aren’t there many good video games set in the D&D universe? I mean my go to answer is “well why make one when you have this amazing table top game that you can make your own?”, but sometimes you just want to be immersed in that sweet virtual world. Now I’m sure I’m probably missing some D&D universe video games (and if I am let me know I want to check them out!). I hope that in the future they can produce some games that are worth the investment.

    • David P. 6:47 pm on May 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Well, it’s not set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, but I find that the Dragon Quest games typically are similar in structure to the classic tabletop role playing game. I was playing Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies in 2009 when I was first exposed to D&D. You make a character, choose their appearance, and level them up. Eventually, you can choose the classes or vocation that you want to be proficient in once you make your way towards Alltrades Alley, but you start off as a minstrel. It’s a game made by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS.
      It sparked all sorts of new innovative ideas, like the StreetPass feature for the successor Nintendo 3DS and a bar called Patty’s Pub (an inn from the game), opened up as a tourist destination in Akihabara after the release of this game to help facilitate the StreetPass-like feature by having known meet-up locations where players could exchange treasure maps, specifically one particular map with characters who appear only once during normal gameplay. After the game’s release in 2010, people would make Akihabara a tourist destination when visiting Tokyo just to get a valuable treasure map.
      Oh, a couple more things. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out Matthew Colville’s videos on YouTube all about DMing. He’s a friend of the cast members of Critical Role and has some really insightful ideas and tips. You can find his channel here:
      Also, if money is tight (D&D is not a cheap hobby by any means…XD) you can Google “D&D 5th Edition book .pdfs” to obtain free digital copies of the Player’s Handbooks, Tales from the Yawning Portal, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and Dungeon Master’s Guide. As a college grad, these helped me save some cash that I was then able to apply towards my textbooks. I still support my local game store though by purchasing minifigures for my party’s campaigns.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brian 7:22 pm on May 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Hey thanks for commenting! The Dragon Quest games are great and the one you have mentioned in the one I have for my DS. Great game! Thanks for the link to Matthew Colville’s videos. I’ll have to check him out. I know the resources that are available on youtube now have been a game changer for me. As for D&D being expensive you’re right! Sometimes the book prices are highway robbery.


  • DwarvenDad 9:36 pm on May 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: character creation, , tutorial   

    Rolling a Character 

    So you’ve decided you want to give this D&D thing a try! You’re ready to go and want to play, but you’ve reached your first obstacle. How do I make a character? I’ve got this character sheet and there are all these boxes and I’m supposed to put numbers in them. Where to the numbers come from? What do I do? If you are like me this can be intimidating. Thankfully, there are several places on the web that can help you out. (Youtube was a life saver for me this time around. Particularly, this video by WASD20.)

    Now you maybe thinking to yourself, DwarvenDad why are you writing this article about character creation when so many have already done it? Well it’s more for me than you. I want to write this all out so I know the process better and possibly learn along the way. (I’m sure someone will let me know if I’ve done it wrong. This is the internet.) So lets get started!

    Step 1 – Who are you? What’s your background, motivation, goals, name, etc…

    You may already have a general idea of what kind character you want to play as. A heroic dwarven paladin who has been sent out with the charge of purging the land of an evil undead presence.

    Step 2Select a race and class

    Now you can select a race and a class if you haven’t already. If you are having trouble deciding you can let the dice decide. Get a d10 and roll for race. 1-9 are the nine races and if you roll a 10 roll again. You can do the same for class. Get a d12 and 1-12 are the twelve classes. Now you can get some weird combinations so if you don’t enjoy that kind of chaos you can just skip on down to step 3 and let your stat rolls decide your class.

    Step 3 – ROLL FOR IT!

    6 numbers are needed. (Strength, Dexterity, Consitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma) You can roll 4d6’s and drop the lowest. Now you can just roll 6 times and plug the stats in the fit the class you’ve already selected or you can use the stats in the order you rolled them to decide your class! Example: I rolled a 14/13/11/12/8/12. So the highest stat being STR I should probably be a fighter. Now we go chose our race to help bump up our stat a bit. My CON is lower that I would like for a fight so we’ll choose dwarf as our race. (dwarves get +2 to CON.) So that bumps me up to a constitution score of 13. Now you can take this further and choose between a hill dwarf or a mountain dwarf. Hill dwarves get a +1 to WIS and mountain dwarves get a +2 to STR. So I’m am mountain dwarf. That brings my strength score up to 16!

    Step 4Tally up those modifiers!

    Now there is a lovely table in the D&D players handbook (p.13 of 5e.)that gives you the numbers to put in for you modifier. I suggest you memorize it and never forget it. You are always going to be using this. So, according to the table our STR score of 16 gives us a +3 modifier. DEX of 13 is a +1. CON of 13 is a +1. INT of 12 is a +1. WIS of 8 is a -1. (our dwarf is a little dim witted.) CHA of 12 is a +1.

    Step 5Proficiencies and Skills!

    As a dwarf we have darkvision, dwarven resilience, tool proficiency, stonecunning, language (common and dwarvish), and as a mountain dwarf we get dwarven armor training. As a fighter we are proficient in all armor and shields. Simple weapons and martial weapons. Our saving throws are STR and CON. We also get to choose two skills and I’ll pick Atheletics and Intimidation. Also at level 1 you get a proficiency bonus of +2 (so if you are proficient in something is gets a +2), pick a fighting style, and you have the ability second wind. (I pick the fighting style dueling.)

    So, there you have it. Your character is all made and ready to go! Hopefully, this will help you in filling out the character sheet. I know at first it can kind of seem a little esoteric but once you know why the boxes are there and where the number come from it makes it all come together. If you feel I wasn’t clear (left something out) or any an questions leave a comment!

  • DwarvenDad 3:12 pm on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , flgs   

    Friendly Local Game Store 

    I took some time off from work this week and spent some off time with my family. My son is growing like a week and he was in dire need of some new clothes (he is officially in bigger sizes that his father). All that is really pointless to the actual reason for this post. While we were shopping for him we stopped at our friendly local game store (FLGS for short).

    Now we have only started playing DnD for a few months and it’s an amazing world that opens up around you when you start looking. We have a game store in our community. I had no clue until I started looking for others who played DnD. So, we went by to see what they were all about. Apparently, we had missed out on tabletop day that weekend before. Most of their stock was wiped out. However, the owner was super friendly and helpful. Magic the Gathering is really his primary focus, but he gave the website for his supplier and told me if there are any minis I wanted to give him the number and he’d order them for me.

    They also have meetups and lots of events there. He also pointed me to a group of table top gamers that are local. So, it was worth the visit. We even picked up a second players handbook so the wife and I aren’t fighting over the one we had.

    If you have a FLGS in your area check it out. Try to support it the best you can. It’s always good to keep your money in your local community if you can. I know sometimes you just can’t, but the more you do the better it is for your local area!

    • Mora 6:09 am on March 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply

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  • DwarvenDad 6:42 pm on April 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    5e starter set with family. 


    D&D 5e Starter Set

    I have been blessed with a family of like minded nerds. My wife is a wonderful woman who is just as passionate about books, games, movies, etc. (Although she does take it one step further with her rabid obsession with the Seattle Seahawks) This whole entire adventure started with my wife watching TableTop. Watching Whil Wheaton have terrible dice rolls lead us down this you tube rabbit hole to a show called Critical Role. We instantly feel in love with this group of voice actors playing a game that we knew about, but just never got a chance to play. I showed my wife the D&D books I had. In my college days my friends and I always wanted to play but we just never could get past making our characters. So, I bought the 5e players handbook and start set and away we went.

    Characters were rolled and my wife is a half-elf bard and my son a half-elf fighter. I brushed up on how to DM and we had a lot more fun that I expected. I was worried it might be difficult for my 12 year old son to catch on to the story or make appropriate decisions. Boy was I wrong he picked up on small story details his mother missed (proud dad moment). He even really jumped in with the role playing as well.

    Now that we have got that initial uneasiness and expectations out of the way I believe we will be able to just move right along. Having never ran a game before I have found a plethora of videos and blogs with tips/tricks and great advice out there. I must also add the 5e rules are much easier to grasp as a newcomer than 3.5 back in my younger days (hence why we struggled to make characters).

    If your new to table top rpgs and you want to give it a try get the starter set. I picked one up on amazon for $13. It has everything you need to try it out and see if it is something you would like to continue doing.

    • David P. 6:27 pm on May 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Bravo! Great introduction to the world of D&D and tabletop RPGs in general. Kids are surprisingly observant and can be clever if you give them enough context clues or tools. I’m glad you and your family enjoy fantasy. I do as well. My friends and I got into D&D a few years back (we started with 4th edition and utilized some elements of 3.5) I played as a Half-elf Paladin named Valcrith for my first character. We had a Drow Rogue named Delgryn and a minotaur barbarian named Paalk.

      My character was the first to ever get knocked unconscious and we didn’t know about death savings throws at that moment, so I was sort of bummed about it until it came to my turn and the guys were like “Hey, you get something called a death saving throw. Roll a d20.” and I roll a natural 20.

      The DM and I weren’t always on the best terms (long before we ever even started playing), but he made it known that had I rolled that result for my third and final roll, I would’ve been able to see ghosts. (Eh, whatever. I’m just glad I could continue to participate without having to roll a new character) I decided to mark the momentous occasion by giving my character a flaw of having arachnephobia (which made the DM laugh because it affects combat with homebrew details) because of the giant spiders that mugged me as I dashed into the next room alone.

      They got me into Critical Role (rather reluctantly because I know how long typical sessions go, being several hours long) and I learned how to save myself some time by putting the YouTube videos on 1.5x speed. (I’ve since surpassed my best friend in terms of current episodes. I started binge watching on December 28, 2016 and I’m now on episode 81 at the time of this post.) My favorite character is Percy played by Taliesin Jaffe.

      I’m a tad impatient when several attempts have been made to progress the flow of events and nothing proves fruitful or significant. It’s still true to this day, (I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t like to make a princess wait. For example, I beat the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in less than a week…) I am currently playing 5th edition with some new friends of mine on a much more regular basis (once per week on Wednesdays) at my local board game store. I’m playing as a teenage Level 5 Human Monk now with a Sprite companion.

      I have my own blog that I made via blogger.com where you can find all sorts of information on video games, animé, movies, and tv shows that interest me. Check it out here:


      Liked by 1 person

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