Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flament!

We got the house refinanced on Friday.  The new lower rate is going to result in enough of a monthly difference to almost pay half of a car payment.

Speaking of cars, I sold the red truck.  Got less than I had settled on originally, but I call it a win since when the guy came to pick it up he had some trouble starting it and still drove off with it.

Julie and the kids came into town this weekend for the balloon rally.  The rally was ok, but mostly made everyone just want to go up to Albuquerque for the big one.

And I ran the first session of Lamentations of the Flame Princess.  I'll assume there was much and more lamenting going on by Ben and Amy, likely directed at wondering why they had agreed to play this lousy system.  There were little to no flames or princesses.  The characters had been dispatched to a crummy swamp town to bring back or find out what had happened to a merchant who had been dispatched there.  I tried to work in random tables a bunch and it seemed to work ok.  I did have some confusing moments trying to deal with a system that is not directly designed (and only kind of modded) for the type of play encouraged.  There were some generally unexpected and cool moments (both the characters getting mind whammied and almost murdered by a wacky cultist, Ben almost killing one of their friends/henchmen while trying to save the guy) though, and I'm planning on at least six sessions.  Need to do a recap write-up, to allay some of the inevitable, "what happened last time?"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

D-D-Dragon!

We finally got together for our Friday 4e D&D game again. Looking back it was the beginning of October the last time we played it. Generally that would be a death knell, and we spent about an hour bullshitting about movies and stuff before actually getting to the business of even updating our characters and trying to remember what happened all those months ago. Turns out my memory, while good on the broad strokes had painted them with Southwest desert colors instead of the Germanic forested ones of which they were actually comprised. Once we got back into it things rolled along pretty smooth and it turned out to be one of the better sessions of this game. There was a bit toward the end with a dragon that highlighted a strength and a weakness of 4e. The strength: we decided to try to talk the dragon down instead of fighting it. We jumped into a skill challenge and avoided what would have likely been a long-ish, possibly bogged down, fight. We got to roleplay convincing a powerful monster that we were a bigger threat than it was, and feel like badasses in a situation that wasn't combat. I love skill challenges for this aspect. The weakness: From an economic standpoint it would have, within the rules of 4e, made more sense for us to jump into combat. Or maybe to use the skill challenge to set ourselves up for advantage in the fight with the dragon. We would have gotten size-ably more XP for fighting, which does say something important about the game, "This is what we designed this game for. You can use skill challenges, but they're not as important." I don't really like that.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Make Merry

The hell has been happening?

Wrapped up Burrito Quest 4: Veggie Trek. Managed to coordinate Isaac in on the last episode. We kind of decided to do a BQ5: Bizarro Trek, but my enthusiasm for it is not super high. Maybe I'll see if I can pawn all the work off on Ben, then just coast along.

Xmas went swimmingly, without any actual swimming. Spent the weekend before and up till Xmas day in Carl-Bad. Highlights include:

Trying to find something to do on Sunday before Xmas in Carl-Bad, as nothing beside fast food or Chili's is apparently open. And for your information, the Chili's in Carl-Bad is pretty crappy. Got to hang out with Nathan some though, which is always good.

Played some Minecraft with Ross while in C-Bad. I finally grok why that game is so popular.

Woke the kids up Xmas morning telling them Santa Claus came and left them presents, to which Owen replied, "Dada, I'm scared." He got over it pretty quick though, and spent quite a while pushing his new scoot bike around the house. They should hopefully put on the inch or two needed to fit them by the summer. Paige dug hers too, but was more interested in her new backpack.

Fat loots from Santa to me included were highlighted by Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman and a new Kitchen Aid can opener. We use a can opener twice a day feeding Piper and have generally picked inexpensive models that either didn't work consistenly or broke within a pretty short time period. Maybe I was just doing it wrong. Anyway, the new opener rocks. Also got some socks with monkeys and mustaches on them.

The day after we got back from Carl-bad, Jon (plus Cameron & Derek) and Dad both showed up. Jon stayed till this past Sunday, and Dad is leaving this coming Saturday. Been a busy house full of visitors through the holidays, but not in a bad way.

Made it out with Jon and Dad to the Mimbres Brewery taproom. The beer was better than it has been (helped that they had their Chocolate Pinon Coffee Stout on tap) and we had a good time hanging out, chatting, and having a few beers.

Played some CoD: Black Ops 2 with Derek. The zombie mode on that game is pretty damn sweet, especially the Grief games.

More Xmas with Jon et al. Scored more loot, including a sweet Loveland Ale Works shirt from Jon, a digital photo frame from Mom, cash for a weekend getaway from Dad, and comics and video games from Sage.

Did our annual kickball game. I think I kicked once, then rounded up the kids and took them home. It was cold and they were getting grumpy. But there was a good turnout depsite the cold and I think everybody had fun. May try to do it bi-annually, or maybe even quarterly in the future.

Saw the Hobbit, was underwhelmed. There was a lot of bloat and some weird production choices that would have, for me, been more successful if they had been more understated. Dislikes: too much light in caves in the bottom of the mountain, dwarfs looking weird or not like dwarfs, for kids=goofiness & fart jokes, Radagast. Likes: Bilbo, Riddles with Gollum. I like the old Rankin & Bass cartoon a lot more than I do this version.

Dad and Aunt Nette are both headed back east tomorrow.

And look at this, it snowed.