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6

(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you just ignore it. Also this post is brought to you by the word spoon. SPOOOOOONNNNNN!)

It looked like Easthaven was finally safe. Or at least it didn't have any problems inside it or near its entrance that required the help of a band or roaming adventurers. That was the only thing the party wanted to make sure of before they went to meet Hrothgar about his invitation for an expedition. There was only one small problem. They decided to let Red Hood lead.

Like any talented ranger she got them lost. How lost? Well, they found themselves somewhere outside Easthaven fighting hungry wolves. In the dark.

The party is about to be attacked by a few wolves

...continue reading "[IWD] The cave outside Easthaven"

6

(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you then skip this post.)

When we last left our heroes things were pretty good. They saved a merchant's shop from a hungry wolf and got a pearl for doing nothing but delivering an ancient sword. Still, they had a hunch their work in Easthaven was not done yet. There was all those rumors of orcs and goblins near town after all as well as the missing caravans. With that in mind they continue exploring the town in search of adventure, riches and XP! (That last one being something only Alladin cared. The others still have no idea what he is talking about)

Their next stop was the local temple to Tempus, the patron god of battles and warriors. This may seem a strange place to look for adventure but considering the kind of things that happen in a fantasy world it is a good place as any!

The temple is very impressive, containing several relics probably collected of battles of past ages and two impressive giant horse statues guarding a glyphed door. The person responsible for taking care of the temple is a man called Everard.

The party meets Everard

...continue reading "[IWD] Eastheaven, part 2"

(Spoiler alert! The following post contains spoilers for Icewind Dale's story and some quests. If that bothers you this may be a good point to stop.)

On an unrelated note, I am going to try breaking things up with a tease break. That means, if you are reading this on the site, just click on the "Read More" link down there. It is just so people don't have to scroll down too much to look at previous posts if Icewind Dale and/or Let's Plays are not their thing. If someone doesn't like it let me know in the comments please. For those reading it on a RSS reader or via e-mail nothing should change. Now back to our usual wall of text...)

With the bugs dead and the booze secured (remember: priorities!) it was time for the party to do their next logical step: interrogate every stranger in the tavern in search for another quest or at least some useful information. Their search for another quest with the tavern patrons didn't bear any fruit. However they did get some interesting information about the going-ons of the town:

  • Hrothgar is putting forth an expedition. Several folks of Easthaven, including the town merchant, are joining it.
  • There was a messenger from Kuldahar that dropped dead in front of the Temple of Tempus. Since then Hrogthgar has been rather rattled and decided to organize said expedition.
  • Apparently only Everard, the temple's priest, and Hrothgar know what the man's final words were.
  • The weather has been worse then usual with things being colder than normal for this time of the year and the south pass probably getting snowed in earlier.
  • There have been several sights of goblins in the Pass. Some drunkard even claims to have seem orcs outside town.
  • One of the boys was playing out and says that he saw a footprint in the snow as big as a man. Nobody believes that possible since a giant haven't been seem in the Pass for a very long time.
  • Some caravans from the south have been missing. At first people thought it was the unusual snow burying them but now folks think that it might be related to the sightings of goblins and orcs.

There were a few more things said but this I think are the most interesting bits. Probably the biggest foreshadowings too.

With that kind of business taken care of, it was time to go to town.

...continue reading "[IWD] Eastheaven, part 1"

(Spoiler alert! The following post contains spoilers for Icewind Dale's story and some quests. If that bothers you then this is a good point to stop reading it.)

Like most adventures in fantasy-land, this one begins in a tavern, more specifically it is the Winter's Cradle Tavern in the small town of Easthaven. The group are just relaxing when someone approaches them:

The party meets Hrothgar

...continue reading "[IWD] The adventure begins"

4

Ok, before we begin, let me warn that this is purely a superfluous post. It is more to explain why I chose the names for these characters and a homage to the sense of humor of my teenage years than anything else. If you want to just skip ahead to the beginning of the series just go right ahead to the next post. For anyone else who wants to read the rest of this one I will just say that I won't be held responsible for any trauma that my silly sense of humor may cause!

Anyway, to give it some absurd theme as well as to make me amused (and hopefully someone else as well!) I decided to go with a fairytale-based party.  With that said, here are their names, classes and how they end up fighting evil:

Hansel

Race: Human

Class: Paladin

Alignment: Lawful Good

Gretel

Race: Human

Class: Fighter

Alignment: Chaotic Good

As children, the simblings Hansel and Gretel had an harrowing encounter with a witch. Using nothing but their smart thinking they were able to survive the whole affair. It did make them think though about all the children that weren't so lucky and what  they could do to make sure no one else had the same fate. So as they grew up they trained to fight evil wherever it was to be found. Hansel took on the path of the paladin while Gretel decided to become a warrior since she didn't like much the whole idea of celibacy and having to answer directly to some bossy god.

In their quest to vanquish evil they found themselves in Icewind Dale. Though what may initially seem like a trouble-free region may end up being an epic battle for the two simblings and their companions.

Red Hood PortraitRed Hood

Race: Human

Class: Ranger

Alignment: Chaotic Good

During her childhood, it was common for Red Hood to visit her grandmother who lived in the forest. Some times she would get lost but she always got there safely. One day she got really lost. Not even the helpful instructions of that nice furry men she met on the way helped her!

By the time she got to Granny's house it was already dark. A night with a full moon at that! But Granny looked really weird that evening. She looked bigger, hairy and with bigger and sharper teeth. Turns out it wasn't actually Granny but the furry man she met earlier on the road, who was actually a werewolf. He took a shortcut to Granny's house, ate her and now intented to eat Red Hood too.

Red Hood barely escaped the house but the werewolf followed. Luckily there was a ranger nearby, who upon hearing the screams, came to the rescue and slayed the werewolf. Despite her sorrow and shock, Red Hood decided right at that moment to also become a ranger so that the forests would be safe to all.

Years later, after growing up and completing her ranger training, Red Hood met Hansel and Gretel on the road. The three of them got along well enough with Red Hood offering the simblings to guide them to the nearest town. Turns out the nearest town was some miles away. Well, a lot of miles away, in Icewind Dale region of all places. But she got them there safely at least!

Snow White PortraitSnow White

Race: Elf

Class: Cleric

Alignment: Neutral Good

By some reason Snow White was raised by a powerful human witch. She never questioned her circunstances though, knowing that the gods placed her there for some good reason. Despite all the witch's powers and resources, she still could not stop being jealous of Snow White's beauty as the elven maiden got closer to adulthood. The witch finally had it when even her mirror said that Snow White was the fairest of them all!

The witch then ordered a hunter to murder Snow White while the elven maiden was away wandering through the forest. The hunter however got so impressed with Snow White's beauty that he decided instead to spare her life, tell her the witch's orders and promise to lie about the deed. Snow White wasn't all that surprised about the news, after all she was part of the great elven race. It was just natural for the lesser races to be jealous of them and try to pull silly things like that. She however agreed to the hunter's plan and fled, looking for a place to hide until she could figure out what to do.

Eventually she was able to find refuge with some dwarves not too far from there. Unfortunately for Snow White they lived up to every steryotype about dwarves: they were loud, rude, constantly drunk and would fight for the silliest of reasons. Not even her elven patience was enough to deal with that so she left again.

During her wanderings, Snow White met  with the party of Hanzel, Gretel and Red Hood. She decided to tag along with them for a while until she found what fate the gods had planned for her.

Goldilocks portraitGoldilocks

Race: Half-elf

Class: Thief

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

In some distant region, Goldilocks was the greatest thief of all. There were no traps, no locks or treasure she could not get. She would bring fear and confusion to all those who were greedy, corrupt and rich with her daring heists! Or at least that is what she would tell to anyone who would bother listening to her. In truth Goldilocks was but a novice of the trade, her first actual burglary being that what looked like simple humble druids.

The job was very simple. Just get  some thingamajic from some family of druids that lived not far from town, bring it back and get paid. It  was so easy that even a newbie like Goldilocks could pull it. Turns out that the druids, however, that their house was actually quite fancy. Fancier than what you would expect from druids. The job was  simple however. They practically didn't bother to put anything to protect the thingamajig and Goldilocks soon had it in her hands.

Goldilock's mistake was that she never saw a house like that so the thief decided to experiment what she thought to be the life of the rich people. Besides the druids wouldn't be back for hours, according to her contact. Surely Goldilocks could have some much deserved fun around the house. So she sat in all of their dinner chairs, ate their food and even sought to take a nap in their beds!

Soon enough she was rudely awoken by some angry bears. Talking bears at that. The druids! Her lucky was that they wanted some explanation about what was going on before they decided on what action to take. Being too nervous to come up with some good excuse for her actions, Goldilocks did  the next best thing she could think of to get away: Goldilocks threw the thingamajig to the other side of the room and while the druids were desperetaly trying to stop it from falling and breaking, she fled.

Even after she was safe back in town, Goldilocks decided that it  was best to lay low for a while. Lay low in some very far distant place. Some place like Icewind Dale....

Alladin portraitAladdin

Race: Human

Class: Wizard

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Aladdin was a poor peasant in some distant lands. As if life wasn't hard enough like that he also found himself in love with a local princess. Knowing such kind of loves tales were impossible he resigned to live his life the way it had been until then.

One day he got a lucky break. While wandering about he fell in a hole wherein he found a magical lamp. Not beliveing his luck he quickly rubbed the lamp and when the genie appeared, Alladin had no doubts about what he wished: he asked the genie to be rich and powerful so he could marry the princess. The genie then snapped his fingers, Alladin's vision blurred for a moment as the world around him changed. When Aladdin's vision came back to normal he was in some cold lands, wearing robes and his head swirled with the knowledge of spells and other arcane lore.

Confused, Aladdin thought hard about how he phrased his wish, trying to seek in that an answer for his current predicment. It was then that he realized: he was in a AD&D campaign! So, of course he would be powerful. If he could could get to be a wizard level 20. Of couse he would be rich. If he survived lots of gruesome battles and some terrible storytelling by a GM who thought he was the new Shakeaspeare of the fantasy genre.

Aladdin decided to not let that make him falter. If he was going to be a character in some RPG campaign then by the gods he would earn every XP and treasure he had the rigths to! And to begin with he went to the tavern to meet the rest of the party. After all that is how all these campaigns start.

P.S.: I am aware my party setup is hardly perfect. But I chose classes that I thought would fit for my party ideas and hopefully they will allow me to get to the end of the game.

Update: Apologies for the messy look at the logo point. I tried to fix it but for some reason it is refusing to render correctly. I will try to fix it again later today. *sigh*

Well, after some soul searching (and another period of addiction to the Sims 3 *coughs*) I finally decided to try my hand at a Let's Play. It just seems to be the best way to reconcile my desire to play some of the games in my ever growing list of unplayed titles and my desire to write.

Does that mean I now have something interesting to say about these games or that I can make it funny enough to make it all worth it? Not really. But that doesn't mean I won't try it! 🙂

This also doesn't mean I won't  write anymore about MMORPGs or anything else that interests me. Those kind of posts will come when they come. Although I admit there might be not one of those types of posts for quite a while. We'll see.

Now for the game I will be trying this experiment with...

Image created by godprobe

Image made by godprobe and obtained here.

...continue reading "Let’s Play: Icewind Dale"

10

Alas, despite my best efforts the dynasty ended before it even began. I getting ahead of myself though. So let me tell what happened that finally put an end to everything.

After Selena was born, Benjamin and Samantha took turns taking care of her. When Benjamin was at work, Samantha took care of her. When Benjamin was at home then Samantha would sneak off for some fishing while he would watch over the baby. Since there was an easal at home now it didn't really detract from his ability to raise the painting skill.

...continue reading "[The Sims 3] Death of a Dynasty"

2

As I kept musing about my options on what to do next, both Samantha and Benjamin got a wish to get their first child. It was a good time as any other so I decided to accept it. Besides it would give 5,000 Lifetime Reward Points once the child was born, exactly the amount that Benjamin needed to get the "Fast Learner" Lifetime Reward.

So, off they go to Try for Baby. It works in the first try as the success tune plays out. Turns out this is the first time the whoohoo too!

What can I say? Building a dynasty is busy work. They will have time for fun and love later. Well, Samantha probably will. I am not so sure about Benjamin.

Anyway, I also decided to make better use of Benjamin's traits and skills. So I made him quit job in business to go work as a fireman. My hope was that it would make it easier to complete his wishes there as well spend any time not taking care of emergencies with training on his painting skills. It turned out to be a pretty good choice. I mean, just look at him, he is a natural at it!

In reality it was Benjamin's stuntman working on this shot

...continue reading "[The Sims 3] An heir is born!"

After a husband was secured I thought it would be smooth sailing for a while. Oh, how wrong I was! I am getting ahead of myself though. So let's start from the beginning.

Due to the wedding, Benjamin got two paid days off. Since it happened on a Thursday morning that gave him four days without other obligations to work on his painting skill. The first point he got from a painting class. Then another two just by practicing on small portraits in the fireman station. He pretty much spent all those days there. He also got a couple opportunities related to handiness since that was the highest skill he had, prior to his marriage. Not the kind of opportunities I wanted but the money from it was good.

Meanwhile Samantha kept working on her fishing skill. By the time the events of this post ended her fishing skill was level 7. It is finally starting to pay something decent, about $200. Still lower than a regular job but better than what she was earning in the beginning from her catches. She also got a fishing related opportunity that netted the family another $1,000.

...continue reading "[The Sims 3] The calm before the storm (or how I am pretending to be calm when I am actually panicking)"

Having taking care of most of the basic needs to found her new dynasty, Samantha just needed one more item to ensure that was an actual dynasty. She had to find a slave lucky guy willing to be the co-founder of the Fisher Dynasty. His job will be to paint portraits of Samantha (maybe even some sculpture or photography) as she ages as well as becoming a chef to cook the ambrosia. Of course, he also needs to help generate the baby. In return he gets... uh... his name immortalized as the guy who helped Samantha start everything and a place in the family's future crypt.

Looking through the list of candidates leaves only two good potentials: Kenji Midden and Benjamin Schmidt. The other possible candidates are all of the wrong age, already taken, have bad traits or complicated personal histories with other locals. I decided that Benjamin would be the victim lucky guy to be part of this venture. So as soon as the opportunity appeared, off went Samantha to pay him a visit, at the earliest hours in the morning:

Nice to meet you. Do you want to marry me and start a dynasty for the ages?

...continue reading "[The Sims 3] Looking for love (or similar fac-simile)"