Shadows of the Ruinous Powers – Session 27

Dyson's Dodecahedron

(Being a series of quick game notes trying to account for the events of many sessions of playing through The Enemy Within using the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1e rules.)

Session 27

Death on the Reik

  • Wilhelm [Wizard] – I 55
  • Wilfried [Forger] – I 53
  • Larry [Mercenary] – I 48
  • Gottlieb [Bounty Hunter] – I 43

Collecting themselves after the battle at the doctor’s house, they search the place. The guards from the castle are horribly decayed mutants, putrescent and foul.

Both the doctor and lady Margritte appear to have run off towards the castle at this point.

They collect rotgut from the still (10 bottles of which seem mildly magical, the rest are then used to clean the armour from the slain guards), letters between lady Margritte and the doctor regarding a special powder that she gave him which he uses to heal the citizens of their bizarre affliction…

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That doh moment (MMO UI edition)


The archetypal doh moment for me, specifically relating to MMORPG user interfaces, was from World of Warcraft. It was around the Cataclysm time I think, we’d been playing for years at that point and either my husband or I complained on voice chat with friends about the bag system. The complaint went along the lines that we were having to, yet again, empty a bag so we could then replace it with a new, larger one. The incredulous response was – just drag the new bag onto the old one and it gets replaced with all the contents still inside! Such a simple tip, one that we’ve never encountered in game, and that meant we had spent years juggling items into and out of bags each time any of our many alts got a bag upgrade.

Empty one of these bags item by item was needlessly painful …

A similar…

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Proficiency Scaling


D&D’s May 2020 Unearthed Arcana introduced a new technique for class features: proficiency scaling. This means that the number of uses you get to use a feature based on a short rest is based on your proficiency bonus. As confirmed by D&D Designer Dan Dillon, this is new tech for D&D:

Dan Dillion Confirms Proficiency Scaling is New Tech

Let’s take a look at this new mechanic with an eye for evaluating the benefits and detriments versus the traditional methods.

Traditional Methods

5th Edition has typically employed a few methods to determine how many uses a character gets from a specific class feature.


Most features say that you get to use them a certain number of times per rest. Most often, this is once, although there’s technically nothing stopping the design team from telling you that you get more than one use per short or long rest. The Cleric’s Channel Divinity is built this way, with additional…

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Which MMOs have the best daily rewards?

Bio Break

Every evening when the family heads off to bed, my gaming time usually starts with a quick round of “log in to a half-dozen MMOs to grab daily rewards.” Even if I’m not playing those games at the time, I hate passing up on free stuff and like the idea of stockpiling goodies for possible future use.

The psychology of daily rewards is pretty evident in that paragraph: It’s hard to pass up “free” stuff, and if that gets people to at least log in, then there’s a good chance that they’ll stick around to actually play. It’s not a dumb idea, even if it is straight-up bribery.

Anyway, going through this routine made me think about the MMOs I play or have played that feature daily rewards. Which are the best out of them?

Neverwinter – I just log in once a day to activate the celestial blessing, which…

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Zoom level in MMOs


A post over at Going Commando about comparing raid runs six years apart had a reference to Shintar having changed the level of zoom she plays with noticeably from the first run to the second. Playing zoomed out more seems to be a common requirement of raids in several MMORPGs: I have noticed how far zoomed out my husband has World of Warcraft when raiding on the retail game. It can be quite jarring just how different the same game looks at the extreme ends of the zoom control, I often have thought it almost feels like I’m playing an real-time strategy game of some kind when I’m max zoomed out in WoW.

I normally play any MMO on a short-medium zoom level. It pays in most games to be actively observing around your character at least some-what, so I’ve never gotten used to playing in first-person or as zoomed…

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The Miasmic Intrusion

Dyson's Dodecahedron

The stairs just opened into the land one day, and the miasma began to creep forth. Down beneath are twisted ruins that were not here before – a temple half-formed and then warped and destroyed. A stillborn abscess in the land where otherworldly gods would be worshiped and summoned.

The Miasmic Intrusion The Miasmic Intrusion

I tried to draw this to feel not so much like a ruined temple, but the concept of a temple that was half-formed from diseased clay by someone not really sure of the process involved, nor the gods worshiped within.

This was put together based on a request and description by Evey Lockhart and is now the map for “The Miasmic Intrusion”, a Troika! adventure that she wrote and which is available for free from In Search of Games.

You can get your free copy of The Miasmic Intrusion here.

But also feel free to use the…

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D&D Diary – Waterdeep: Dragon Heist – Session 5

Game Night Blog

Volo sends our heroes on a wild goose chase; they get caught in a gang war, and then they rescue the wrong guy.

Waterdeep Dragon Heist cover titleI really like this cover, but since every player will see it at some point, it kinda spoils the mystery of  who the bad guys are. Especially once I place their mini on the table.

When last we left our heroes, they had finally made it to the Yawning Portal Inn only to be attacked by a couple of Shambling Mounds that decided to relocate from the dungeon below. After the battle, the Saviors met one of the most famous celebrities of the Forgotten Realms, Volothamp Geddarm. Known as Volo to his friends and creditors, he has a favor to ask of our hearty adventurers. But first, I have a favor to ask my players.

Last week, neither my players nor I were in the mood…

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The Fabulous Pocket Guild

Dyson's Dodecahedron

I love using quick randomizers in play to make it so the game aspect of play is not just for the players – the randomizers make it so I’m playing an improv game of my own, incorporating the materials and ideas provided into the game.

I’ve made myself quite the collection of these – and while tables are the most common, they are the ones I use least. I’m much more into using dice and cards – devices that are both tactile and don’t require looking things up as I use them. I have cards for encounters, monsters, traps, “adventure modifiers”, patrons, rumours, treasures, dungeon geomorphs, villages, plots, mini quests, octopus adversaries, and more.

But the one I find I use the most in play when running fantasy RPGs is Evlyn Moreau’s “The Fabulous Pocket Guild”.

This is a wonderful deck of 132 miniature cards, each with an illustration of…

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