Monday, July 4, 2005

Wild and wacky D&D day

OK, now it's really done—the first draft of my novel, that is. I just finished my first pass of revisions and emailed it off to the editor. I'm a little bit stunned. And quite happy.

I saw a copy of Adrian Cole's novel, The Crimson Talisman, the other day, and was pretty tickled to see my novel listed inside the front. I guess some of you probably saw that months ago. Color me oblivious. It kind of made the reality sink in—I have actually written a novel, and it should actually get published. That's a pretty cool feeling—even for someone who's already worked on a dozen game books. This one's different, somehow.

But I have chosen to file this entry under "Active Games," so let me tell you about the game I played yesterday!

It's a holiday weekend, and my wife and son are out of town, visiting family. This leaves me feeling somewhat lonely and unusually free. So I decided to pull some folks together for an unscheduled D&D session yesterday, and Andy Collins, Gwen Kestrel, Steve Schubert, and Mike Mearls descended upon my house. Mike had kindly volunteered to run an adventure for us, and Andy came up with the wacky idea that we should all make characters who use races and classes from sources other than the Player's Handbook. So that's what we did.

Andy and Gwen played a pair of goliath brothers. Andy was a barbarian 1/favored soul 4. Cheating? Sort of—but he took the goliath barbarian substitution level to get mountain rage, so it wasn't really like he was playing a class from the PH. Gwen was a barbarian 5, but she also had substitution levels and/or variant class features from Unearthed Arcana—the dragon totem and whirling frenzy variants. So again, not very PH-like.

Steve played a kalashtar character with a class I can't tell you anything about. It appears in a book currently in development, and received some development in mid-game session. I kind of think that's cheating, but it's hard to argue when the two people at the table who are actually working on developing the book agree on the change. And it wasn't exactly game-breaking.

I played a shifter totemist, a class that appears in Magic of Incarnum

Mike is a seriously twisted guy, meaning he fits right in to the development team. He ran us through a very disturbing adventure laced with seriously gruesome imagery, but involving plenty of nail-biting combat. A splendid time was had by all.