Written by | Posted November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm A Girl and her Dog

The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger took the long way around Old Town, south through Tanner Circle and down Bulwarks, across […]

Red Sky at Morning
comment 4 Written by on October 30, 2008 – 11:15 am

This takes place last Friday, during the Riders (and others) full time guard of the Pig and Whistle tavern during the Zombiepocalypse. Be warned – zombie gore!

necropolis

Aelflaed wasn’t entirely sure who’d come and woken her at 3:45am – her lack of sleep for the last four days had made waking up harder and harder. Pale lamplight bathed the upstairs corner of the Pig and Whistle as she strapped on her armor; at least tonight she’d remembered to sleep with her cloak and gambeson, so they were warm and comforting around the cold steel.

She peered at her left foot as she pulled on a thick pair of wool socks. At some point, she’d lost her little toenail, and the side of her foot was bruised and bloody clear up to her ankle. Wincing, she pulled on a heavy boot, hoping the plates would help protect it until she could get it healed properly.

With a cup of hot coffee and a soft cheese sandwich, she stepped out into the crisp, pre-dawn air, her breath barely catching on the fall chill. This was her favorite of the watches – there was something about the blackness before dawn that was just more pleasant than the blackness after midnight, especially if there were going to be Zombies.

Two street lamps washed the cobbles in front of the Pig with a soft yellow glow, and somewhere a couple of crickets set up a squeaky duet. Leaning against the doorframe, she settled in for a four hour watch.

*****

Nikova Raskol hadn’t really let herself think on this new plague much. Still mourning the loss of her sons and grandson, she stalwartly marched through Old Town with her basket of red rags, ignoring the chaos around her. If they could face death at the hands of other men, then she’d be damned if she couldn’t stand up for herself against a couple of mindless undead.

When the four lisping, shuffling creatures came around the corner at her, though, she was less than sure of herself.

*****

Lost in a scramble of unpleasant thoughts, a skitter of tiny legs across the back of her neck jolted Aelflaed back to reality. She swatted at her hair, knocking loose one of the oddly luminescent cockroaches that had taken root in every inhabitable part of the city. With a shudder and a bright flash of light, she obliterated it, and then spent a few minutes getting the bug guts and glowing taint off of her armor. Scrubbing at her neck didn’t make the crawly feeling go away though.

She heard more than saw the oncoming group of plagued dead, their half rotten feet making a sick, slurping, scraping sound on the rough cobblestones. With a deep breath and a quick prayer, she steadied herself for whatever was going to come around the corner.

The wait wasn’t long.

Two of the creatures wore some kind of patchwork armor – she could only assume they had once been guards. Slamming into one with her shield, she spun around to the left and caught the next in the face with her mace, telling herself that she’d retch later when its head crumpled like an overripe melon and splattered all over the pave stones. A quick shock with holy energy and the other armored zombie fell lifeless.

A flash of divine light and the remaining three of them stood stunned while she quickly stopped the disease as it attempted to crawl up her arm.

Two down, three to go – pull ye’self t’gether, woman.

The next one fell quickly, cleansed of whatever demonic taint had raised it. Not much fight in it, really, though the basket of red rags it carried was unusual.

Quickly dodging the fourth as it ran at her back, she stuck her leg out, tripping it – cursing loudly as the bony shin smashed into the side of her own damaged left foot. Once it hit the ground, she broke its neck with her heel and kicked the now severed head far from its body, ignoring the gush of greenish black blood now pooling on the street as she turned to face the one remaining living dead.

The feel of slimy cold fingers around her throat suggested she’d miscalculated the fight. Hot, fetid breath, ripe with the sickly sweet stench of death brushed past her ear as the creature ground its fingers into her flesh, catching on her hair. Its tongue ran across the back of her neck.

Dinna think, woman, act!

She dropped to the ground, the limp weight of human combined with heavy armor ripping the creatures arm clean out of its socket. Throwing herself to one side, one good push sent the thing sprawling, and a hammer to the back of its head knocked it unconscious, giving her precious seconds to summon the energy to burn it into lifelessness.

*****

The fact that Aelflaed was already sitting on the pavestones probably proved to be in her favor, as she reeled, head spinning with exhaustion and adrenaline.

You canna jus’ sit ‘ere. Ge’ the bodies ou’ o’ the fecking street.

Leaning heavily on her mace, she dragged herself onto her feet, wincing as she tested her left foot.

It’ll hold, an’ yeh can walk. Move, woman, a’fore ye fin’ ye’self more o’ a mess.

Two of the stinking, plagued remains were already burning, so she dragged the other three corpses (and one severed head) over to the pile, setting the lot aflame with another flash of holy energy. Looking up through the rising putrid smoke, she could see dawn’s streaks of orange and crimson flashing across the sky like bright ribbons.

‘S a day o’ death, an’ startin’ early. Red sky a’ mornin’, alway’ a warnin’.

She swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and vomited into the bushes on the side of the road.

Ye’ve gone soft, Aely, an’ ye got another three hours o’ watch, ye great ninny. Bes’ get back t’ the Post.

Bloody ‘ell, an’ I need another sammich.

Blisters and Bandaids – Dealing with Injury in Roleplay
comment 6 Written by on October 28, 2008 – 11:52 am

BXP25997 Injury is one of the natural consequences of people fighting each other all the time. Two guys with armor and weaponry slashing away at each other – the likelihood is that ONE of them is going to end up wounded, possibly seriously.

Game mechanics make this easy to deal with – just cast a healing spell and “poof!” they’re all better. Magical cures and healing are widely available in Azeroth.

But sometimes, for the better development of a story, it works out that a character doesn’t need to get “poof” all better right away. Chronic injury and illness are ways of tempering a character and making them more real – and in a world where all maladies and malaises are cured by a simple “Abolish Disease” spell, it can make “realistic” a little harder to realize.

Characters that never get hurt or wounded – well, why are we fighting then?  Obviously, if you just want to take the PVE approach, this is a game with resurrection mechanics.  Nobody dies, nobody gets seriously hurt, and everything is happy happy let’s try the boss again. But if you are trying to develop your characters as people within this world, and they’re essentially tiny invincible Gods – that gets kinda boring.

Unfortunately, giving your character the Uncurable Illness of Doom can be tedious, as can the Uncurable Wound of Tragedy – especially if it’s forced on people around him or her without their having any way to deal with it.  So how do you fix that, and allow your character to have realistic injuries and responses without being invasive?

  1. First and foremost – TALK to the people you RP with.  Work on a story OOC with friends.  Keeping the communication lines open means you will automatically have a way to work out snags and keep things fun for everyone involved.  (This isn’t always my strongpoint, but I’m getting better.)
    • Figure out just how much healing can do.  For me, I’ve always believed that while healing can fix broken bones and open wounds, some things just take a little time (like bruises and sore muscles).  This is one of those things to work out before hand.
  2. Be creative about injuries and healing strategies.  Aelflaed has a broken foot right now – and it only took a few simple healing spells from another paladin to heal the broken bones.  The problem was, she broke the foot while fighting – and continued to fight on it for three days, so her foot was swollen to the point that she couldn’t get her boot off.  That involved more people, allowed for some creativity and laughter, and made for a realistic injury without it being able to be “poofed” away.
  3. Remember that sometimes just “healing” doesn’t make everything better.  Real life illnesses can linger even after they’re technically “cured”, and injuries of cursed/demonic/spell origin may react differently to healing. Maybe you need a mage to help undo some magic that stuck after a battle, or your character is technically “whole” but retains some elements of the injury.
  4. Keep in mind the consequences of injury – major illnesses, injuries, surgeries, and traumatic events often change people.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes just a shift in perspective.  How will what you’re planning affect your character in the long run? Do they get a really cool scar out of it?
  5. Don’t let injuries and scars define a character.  Just like they don’t define real people, they’re just elements of a person’s history and personality.  Keep it real – one dimensional characters are hard to play for long because they eventually become boring.

We play in the World of *War*craft – people are going to get hurt. Full time healers have their hands full, medic tents follow war charges, and there’s always going to be consequences. Can you ignore that, and play within the mechanics, making all healing just a spell cast away?  Of course!  But playing around with your characters to see how they’d react to something like this can be very challenging, but also add an extra layer of depth to a character.

13 Monday Brains
comment 9 Written by on October 27, 2008 – 7:51 am

guarding-the-pig

  1. Above you’ll see 10 reasons not to bring your zombie into the Pig and Whistle tavern. Several more reasons came through during the day. (click to embiggen)
  2. Aelflaed has found a cute rogue, and she’s not really sure how. She figures he snuck up on her (har har har). You might hear from him in story postings in the future (yes, he’s in the picture above).
  3. I missed the world event to open Burning Crusade because I was planning a wedding. I’m liking that I can participate in this one!
  4. *sings* Goldshire Town is burning down – Good-bye, Good-bye; Burning down to the ground – Good-bye ‘Liza-Jane. (There really is something beautiful about the entirety of Goldshire turning to Zombies and then getting set on fire by the Headless Horseman. Mac, if you have those screenshots, I’d love to see them)
  5. OMG ARPEES. ’nuff said. (expect story postings later this week)
  6. I voted this weekend.  You should vote too (if you are of the United States Citizen sort).  Nab those bitching rights before they’re gone for another 4 years!
  7. Angoleth is not drunk, for the first time since Outland opened. I expect this to change quickly when she gets back from the middle of nowhere and sees what the Zombies have done to Auberdine. Likely, however, she’ll cheer them on in Darnassus.
  8. Did I mention the RP?  Seriously.  I know – this thing is HUGELY game disrupting. I’m told by the rumor mill (aka the Feathermoon Forums) that it’s going to last only 10 days. I can deal with 10 days of disruption, given that I’ve had more RP conversation, questing, random pickup groups, and fun in the last week than I’ve had in the last year – EASILY.
  9. For this reason, the “serious business” posts may be a little sparse. I know, you all love reading technical details, but I’m loath to give up on the glut of creative gameplay to go test out mechanics. Bad Anna-blogger, I know.
  10. Remember that new phone I mentioned? And how I’d called my SP to make sure I could use it and they said if it was on my upgrade plan, it’d work? Yeah well, “We’re sorry, but to use that phone you must add our web and email plan for an extra $30 a month”.  I only pay $35 for my phone plan, and I can’t return the phone (exchanges only). Anyone want a paperweight?
  11. Aelflaed may be earning the nickname “Lucky” (as proposed by Bricu/Officer Gleason). She’s been fighting zombies constantly since Thursday, and has only been turned once (on the first day, when I ran headlong into about 14 of them to see what would happen and encountered a level 70 feral druid zombie).
  12. I can’t figure out how when I’m tracking something, if I’m inside, I see only inside things – but if I’m outside, I see both outside AND inside things. Apparently all of Warcraft utilizes one way mirrors.
  13. Arthas’ horsie isn’t dead anymore. Or rather, he’s no longer resting peacefully in his grave in Tirisfal. Anyone else hear the name of his horse and think of The Black Knight in Monty Python? (“You can’t kill me, I’m INVINCIBLE!”)
A different kind of Heroic?
comment Comments Off Written by on October 25, 2008 – 10:31 am

Because you never know what’ll happen in an OOC channel full of roleplayers all struggling to deal with a scourge invasion…

**for the title reference, please see this wiki article on Heroic Couplets

headlesshorseman

Reynoldo (to the headless horseman):

Shut the Feck up, you self righteous twit!
I’m sick of hearing your stupid fire shit!

Reynoldo (as the headless horseman):

Stop it right now you worthless undead!
You’re far less important than ol’ Pumpkin head!

Delion (as the headless horseman):

Shambling corpses all crying for brains
This week is turning into a real pain
How can I threaten and frighten Goldshire
When nobody sees that the inn is on fire!

Reynoldo (as a zombie)

Sorry HH, it’s time to retire
Munching on brains is more fun than your fires!

Reynoldo (as the headless horseman)

How dare people call me a talentless hack!
I’m king of the pumkins… oh no wait, that’s Jack.

Andrick (as the headless horseman)

Before flames are extinguished and I must retire
I’d like a /g-invite to <Catgirl Vampires>

Delion (as the headless horseman)

What’s this, you heathens, rhyming is MY gig!
That’s it, I’ve had it – I’m off to the ‘Pig
I’ll show all you folk with my mightiest poem…
Oh wait – ACK!  chatspam!  it’s Aedis Brom!

And of course, it was all downhill from there…

Delion (to someone complaining about Ogri’la rep)

Dragons are cooler than Ogres, I’m afraid
If you fail at their quests, you will still get paid
Albeit it looks like you’re working for orcs
But when in Rome, well… <shrugs>  Work Work!

Andrick (attempting to keep up with Delion, our resident poncy (male) night elf priest)

Twas I all along, Yes Delion – Tailor!
I sew like a woman and sing like a sailor.
Twas always my dream to spread holiday passion
Instead I’ve resigned to sew horrible fashions.

Denne (throwing in his two cents to the roast)

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I got solo’d by Tarquin
And he only pressed [2].

Very First Impressions

November 14, 2014 – 7:32 am

So I haven’t finished the intro quests yet (the server queues from the reduced server capacity due to the DDOS attacks meant I only got about an hour to play yesterday), but I’m finding that Draenor is pretty cool so …

A Girl and her Dog

November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm

The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger …

Counting down to Warlords

November 11, 2014 – 3:09 pm

What a long strange trip it’s been. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure Pandaria was going to be for me. I’ve made clear my dislike of daily quests, and that seemed to be …

Elevation

October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Introducing the Newest Anna

June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm

So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …

Deconstruction

November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

Patrol

November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

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