Friday, December 30, 2011

Caves of Myrddin update

Harold the Adequate, Farley the Dwarf, Courtney the Loser and the Brothers Hoyle and Cadfael explored below the West Tower.  They all returned alive, but Courtney was missing most of the flesh on his face (green slime cured by fire).  A cure light wounds turned much of the poor bastard's face into scar tissue rather than blackened skull, but either way he's now Courtney the Hideous.  And Brother Cadfael picked a fight with the crows near the end of the session.  He comes back covered from head to toe with tiny wounds from pecking beaks.

The group explored under the west tower, in places west and northwest of the Goblin Village.  They eventually stumbled upon a Temple dedicated to Satan in his form of the Tempting Serpent and looted a bunch of gold religious implements.  This stuff was worth quite a bit to certain anonymous locals, resulting in massive carousing that got a bit out of hand.  The party spilled out of the Abbey and into the countryside and somehow the nearby village of Camelton caught fire.  The good news is that the witch and her hut were in the part of the village that didn't burn.  The bad news is that, in wake of the disaster, local prices for certain goods have gone up.  Check the latest version of the chargen doc for the new prices. (Hint: stuff made out of wood is more expensive now.)

One of the players convinced me to try enhancing play with, a group drawing program.  Below is the map we made.  Although the map was very helpful, I disliked flipping back and forth between it and the G+ Hangout screen.  Google+ Hangouts works for me as an online gaming venue because I can see the participants react in real time, so I'm not sure if I will try Twiddla again.


  1. Two words: DUAL MONITORS! Although that's probably not helpful if you use a laptop.

    When we got dual monitors at work, I had to get it for myself at home too, since it's so awesome.

  2. Yeah, what Aplus said. I had the chat window on the laptop screen (right below the webcam) and the Twiddla thing on the attached monitor to the left. But then I have a workspace where I park the laptop when I'm in my office, so that works fine.

  3. snapping windows works well too. on windows you hit the window icon button, not sure what it's called, then you press left or right, putting chat on one side and map on the other.

    the map was definitely helpful and will be useful for future expeditions, but I personally prefer just to stay in the chat view as mapping sometimes overshadows descriptions for me.

    that said maps are very useful and Farley the dwarf is looking to collect more maps, paying up to 100gp per map provided. (add and contact Michael Fernandez on google+) he is putting together a master map to better help with planning out future expeditions.

  4. what might work better for you in particular is to upload a few well-travelled areas of the intro map and host them somewhere on line (google docs?) and just link to them in the chat window for reference AFTER the party has traversed the area for the first time.

    It might make describing the complexities of certain familiar-but-oddly-laid-out areas less fo a timesucker.

  5. I just finished a google+/twiddla session with 2 players.

    On the whole, I don't think the session would have worked without it. Having a place to rapidly drop maps, marching orders, etc. helped A LOT.

    Also, the dice rolling function in the chat window was critical as I was the only one with dice.

    However, there were times that I couldn't simply point to what I wanted to do. There were times that the UI baffled me.

    I would consider getting a subscription to the site. This would remove G+. I guess I wish G+ had enough whiteboarding tech in it to get rid of twiddla.

  6. The crow attack occured during the second field test of my newest invention, Cadfael's Sticky Sacks of Goo. (They worked much better on a rat swarm.)
    My henchmen and I are taking orders for more bags - let me know if you want to buy any. 1 for 75gp or 3 for 150.

  7. @Zak: totally I was thinking the same, I'm going to upload them on docs for public access, but I'm going to attempt some kind of collage with what I have for the master map.

    I figure I can just drop it in photo shop and make notes/connect the dots on how all the different places connect.

  8. What I do is open two windows next to each other, one with Twiddla and the other with the G+ hangout (as Aberrant Hive Mind described above). This obviously works better if you have a widescreen monitor.

    Jeff, I hear what you're saying about not wanting the Twiddla to become the focus of the game. I think that mapping in general (not just Twiddla) runs the risk of distracting from visualization and immersion. However, as a player, I find Twiddla a VERY helpful adjunct to Google+ play, especially for keeping track of where we are (in Google+ I find myself more likely to get disoriented than in a face-to-face game -- not sure why). Like Zak said, it can be a real timesaver when there is an odd-shaped room, object, layout, etc. And its nice to have a whiteboard there for quickly sketching things like marching order or a tactical layout.

  9. Here's what I did the other night. It worked well, but it's just the one time so far..

    I made an outdoor player map of my castle ruins, showing what they can see obviously, with numbers for the main locations. They could then say which one they were heading for, without me even having twiddla in front.

    Then, I told them they could feel free to map what they found inside on the twiddla. I just clicked over there for a second once in a while when they asked "does Leo's map look like what we can see?"