My friend Sue has decided to try to kickstart her dormant D&D 3E campaign by scheduling two sessions this month, and the first one is tomorrow night! Cool beans. I can't wait to break out my kung fu druid Endrin Greencloak. He's a rowdy, good-for-nothing Half-Elf Druid 3/Rogue 1 who is absolutely certain that he is the star of the show. In his world he is the heroic leader of the party and all the other PCs are his trusty henchmen. It's a fun gig to play. I call him the "kung fu" druid because I have invested all his Feats towards increasing his ability to fight in melee, particularly with his quarterstaff.
I enjoy Sue's game. She does the whole abstracted, mapless combat thing, so no Attacks of Opportunity or 5 Foot Steps to drive me to madness. The adventures are short and to the point. In fact the whole campaign has been an ongoing series of those little pamphlet modules from the Adventure Keep line. I can dig that. I like campaigns that read less like a Tolkien novel and more like a collection of Howard short stories. The people are all a good bunch too. They're all members of the Winter War clique, folks who help make the con run. There's all the folks in my "Home Team" superhero game: Sue herself, Sue's hubby Don, Paul, and John; plus Don & Sue's son Michael, James (our token otaku), Jon (who moved away, we don't see him often enough), and Bruce, one of the great grognards of the local gaming scene. Great people, each an everyone one of them. Discussing politics with them puts me in the precarious position of being the only vocal liberal amongst a horde of conservatism, but even then they tend not to get rabid about it. Usually.
The only downside of Sue's game is an apparent shortage of loot. I'm not a regular player of 3E, so my perceptions are based primarily on earlier editions of D&D. But it seems to me that we are usually shorter on coin and more magic-poor than similar 4th level parties in other games. This is just my perception, I haven't taken a survey of what magic equipment everybody else is packing, but we haven't been allowed to buy any magic stuff outright and my recollections indicate that we haven't found that much stuff in play. I even kinda suspect that Sue dropped the Damage Resistance from the last undead Big Bad we faced because we couldn't muster the plusses to whup him.
I can understand any insecurities Sue might be having over handing out magic items. Too much magic paves the way unto the dread realm of Monty Haul. My own such concerns basically led me to halting my first and only 3E campaign at about 6th level. That was the point at which Pat's cleric started churning out magic items and I whimped out as a result. But maybe I'm wrong about Sue. She may just be running the modules as written and the modules are stiffing us, not the DM. Or maybe my perceptions are totally skewed by previous editions of D&D. After all, my one magic item is an Onyx Dog, which puts me well over where I should be on the expected loot per level chart. But I think that my little figurine is one of only a handful of magic items in a rather largish party.
Either way, I'm definitely having fun in Sue's game and I look forward to some D&D action tomorrow night.
Marvel 1991: Darkhawk #1 - By complete coincidence, I'm looking at this a week after Marvel published a Darkhawk 30th anniversary special, which answers one question I had about this...