So we've been playing D&D every Saturday evening, as I've mentioned. I'm pleasantly surprised to find it's so much more than justy nerdily rolling die. Aside from giving us a solid reason to spend time together once a week, and ancillary things like I've really developed my salsa recipe, I've found it surprisingly links in to two favorite hobbies of mine. The Dungeon master, pictured above, has promised to give us all extra experience points if we write a "log entry" sort of thing about the day's adventure, which I've relished as a creative writing opportunity (and have yet to write from my own character's perspective though I might do so this week just to change it up). But also, perhaps most unexpectedly, because he provided pencils and paper for taking notes, and I find I'm sitting at a table with pencils and paper, getting to some degree intoxicated which makes one restless, and often things are happening that don't pertain directly to me so ... I naturally start doodling. At first it was just simple things (sailing ships are always a go-to for me) but then it was things or characters from the story (We made Ben nervous by saying the birdman was roosted directly over his face, or this saucy gnome named Coppershaft) or.. the people sitting across from me!
Not to toot my own drum but I'm rather impressed with myself for the above picture of Mick and the below picture of Ben. For reference here's not the best picture of Mick but the only one I could find where his facial hair was the same as it was when I drew the picture. His eyes look square because he sits there with a laptop in front of him and what you're seeing is just the laptop screen reflected in his glasses. The effect is a bit cyberpunk but considering he programmes industrial lasers for a living that's quite appropriate!
I went to look for a reference picture of Ben just now and apparently not only do I have none but on his facebook he has no photos more recent than 7 years ago at which point he looks in no way like himself. So Just take my word for it that this is what Ben looks like:
It's funny I felt what I had didn't look like him at all until I made a very very subtle change to the shape of the mouth and voila there he was.
Other miscelleneous D&D related thoughts: Dungeonmaster-face is really creative, he made these potions for us to actually drink when we needed to drink a healing potion. The tops are dipped in beeswax, of course.
Also in the official manual the gold coins are this weird square shape with two concave sides. I feel very strongly the coins should in fact be coin shaped with twenty sides. You know, like the d20! So appropriate! My google search just now to provide that link satisfied me at least that most peopel seem to ignoring the stupid shape suggested in the manual.
My character has three "retainers," of which one is an orcish bard. Once we were already started and I feel it's too late to retcon it in I have recently realized that orcish bards should totally have a highly ethically questionable musical "intrument" that is actually some kind of small animal that can squeeze and prod to make a melodious noise. And just to make it extra disturbing how about it does actually sound nice?
Here's my own character, Krusk Thompson, a half-orc paladin. His mom was the orc. I am envious of his hat.
If you happen to fancy reading my "log entries," here they are! I already shared the first one here but conveniently I had also written this quick note that covers the same vent very briefly, which I wrote mainly to establish the characters of the squire and the bard more:
To: Lord Archibald Tinselspork-Phladdleton, KCB, KME, WTF, Arch-Curate of the National Geography Society of Maford, Maythorp Office,
From: Barclay Beauregard St Garmain, Esquire, Secretary of the National Geography Society of Maford, Maythorp Office,
Today we had a most singular visitor. A young gentleman who named himself as Percival Smithton, squire to a visiting knight, stopped in inquiring if we would be interested in him making a presentation about a certain "carrion crawler" his noble master recently slew in this area. As you know we have been hearing rumors of such a beast in this vicinity for quite some time, and I was quite struck by the interest in natural history evinced by the young fellow in wishing to share his observations with us. He also provided a drawn of the beast that he had had their bard make for him, which appears to be a useful anatomical reference. It is even so detailed as to include the phallus that same bard apparently could not be dissuaded from drawing on the beast's head after it was deceased! Truly remarkable the superstitions and habits of the lower orders I do say!
Barclay Beauregard St Germain, Esquire
( Another slightly better full body one of the character )
Unfortunately I drew this too small to do much with the face or the hand over the face. Also there's a classic one of those boats I draw. I actually like this one because for this world I was trying to draw something kind of different from our historic vessels and was aiming for a cross between a viking longship and a Mediterranean galley (that weird waterline cross is because it was damaged, this relates to the storyline form before I joined). Also apparently we're transporting a magic orb.
"And what did you do today?" asked Blortessetrix as she idly strummed her lute while sitting on a table in the back corner of the tavern.
"Welll" began Davvydge as he sad down with a big clay jug of kvass and tried to remember. "In the morning everyone went shopping. Krusk wasn't with us he'd gone to the Ambulatory hall. I don't think anything noteworthy happened there he came back and joined us"
"Sounds exciting" said Blortessetrix, her tone even so the sarcasm would have to be assumed. She continued strumming the lute.
"and then..... we went for fish and chips..." and as he proceeded to digress into a thoroughly in-depth review and critique of the type of fish (southern sentient red herrings) and the make up and quality of the breading, Blortessetrix attempted to put it to music but eventually became bored with it and prompted him to continue with non-food related occurrences.
"Yes, anyway, then what?"
"We visited some upper-class cove that that Reggie chap knew"
"Oh that Reggie" [one of the characters is a noble named Reginald, hates to be called Reggie, I had it in mind Blortessatrix would start being flirty with him just to make him uncomfortable]
"And this fellow was a bit roguish for all his class"
"Forsooth. Anyway, it looks like no boats are coming in and out for awhile and we're going to go on some other adventure tomorrow"
"Verily. We'll going to clear out some ruins, there may be some undead or something"
"Sounds quite jolly!" exclaimed Blortessetrix with enthusiasm"
Just then they noticed Krusk headed out for the evening, he held up a hand to greet them but continued out by himself. Davvydge and Blortessatrix shrugged and resumed their conversation, Krusk was wont to do his own thing without a crowd following him around when in towns. He didn't return till morning.
The most significant thing here is my character not spending the night in the room ... wrapping up at the end of the first night the DM kind of sprang on me that they'd all share my character's room at the inn since apparently my character gets a free room because of his connections or some such. I was too tired and intoxicated to really pick that apart but I feel like my character is quietly resentful of this. I see him as trying to prove he can be a noble paladin despite the assumption that orcs are going to be prone to rage and vengeance and such negative emotions ... but his desire to be noble conflicts here with not wanting to be taken advantage of. On top of that the "elf noble" character in her log entries always refers to him very patronizingly as a half-breed, which, we don't theoretically "know" what the others have written in an in-game sense but I'm assuming the patronizing attitude comes through and isn't appreciated. I think I'm getting way more into the psychology of the characters than anyone else ahaha.
After we started on our way to this dungeon I realized I needed actual ingredients for one of the spells I could now use, having reached Level II. Fortunately I have people for that! So I dispatched my cup-bearer back to town to get the necessaries and return:
"Nice of you to join us" said Blortessetrix, looking up as Davvydge came into the dank room.
"Yeah well, you guys could have waited up" he responded testily, looking around at the large dead rats lying around the room. From down a nearby hallway the other party could be heard thumping vigorously about. "What's up?"
"Oh they're jousting with their purple mushroom tips or something in there"
"Again!? and I see they met some rats too" Davvydge said while kicking a smoking rat carcass.
"Yeah and were almost defeated by the door to the place"
"I saw that shattered door, it was trouble was it?"
"Well lizard man was having a bit of trouble with it but then Krusk smashed it"
"Smashing!" said Davvydge while looking around the room.
"Look at these glowing orbs on the wall, they're full of slime!" exclaimed Percival excitedly. "Do you have anything I can put a sample of it into???"
"Ermm, no" Davvydge responded while avoiding his eyes, since it was well known Davvydge always carried many containers on him. He noticed Blortessatrix drawing on the charred corner of what looked like had been a painting. "What are y--- oh, OH. That painting is truly disturbing"
"Yes but it will be much better with a few mustaches added and maybe a tentacle!"
"Ermm, I'll leave you to that I need to deliver the stuff I got for Krusk immediately, he might need it" said Davidge, before proceeding into the hallway. Just then Krusk walked forward, crushed a purple mushroom creature with one solid wack with his flail, and turned on his heel to come back. Seeing Davvydge he walked right back from having smashed the mushroom, without breaking his stride, and took the full drinking horn Davvydge expertly immediately produced, and downed a big swig.
An attempt at an orcish female, possibly our bard Blortessetrix. I was aiming for like decently-attractive-as-far-as-orcs-go. All pictures on the internet all seem to concur that orcs have large protruding jaws and its the LOWER canines that protrude; and as a face in general I think I failed in putting too much space between the mouth and nose, so I might erase the lower jaw and try to correct it.
So our friends Greg and his girlfriend Kristen wanted to join us last week, and dungeonmasterface was like "heeeeey it just so happens we have three non-player characters!" I think it was my idea to gender-swap the assignments so Greg became Blortessetrix and Kerstin became Davidge. Kerstin's only request was that I change the Davidge you see in earlier log entries to Davvydge, and Greg wanted the character he played to be a gnome named Greggles. Greggles I could handle since Blortessetrix was a bit of a mouthful (generally called Blort) but I must admit I was pretty invested in this character being an orc. The following is the result:
Day 4 - As Recounted Later at the offices of the Maythorp National Geography
"Polymorphitis you say?" Lord Archibald Tinselspork-Phladdington adjusted his monocle
"Ye, yes sir. She was an orc, but she became a gnome" young Percival twisted his hat nerviously in his hands but answered confidently.
"Has it happened before?" inquired Lord Archibald, stroking his beard.
"Yes, she has told us it happens, though it hadn't happened for awhile. She's been suffering from polymorphitis for some time"
"Could you tell us the circumstances of her recent change with particular note of any changes in personality or temperament?" prompted the secretary, seated at a desk with griffen-feather quill in hand.
"Yes, sir. We were in an underground tunnel. It was very creepy. I mean objectively speaking, those with us who could sense evil were sensing it off the charts. And I don't know if it was the cause but we had all taken a long rest. I think I had dozed off, many of us had, there's no sense of time down there. There was this weird light from glowing ooze. I wanted to bring back a sample but.." and here he looked a bit downcast "I couldn't get any. Anyway once we're all up suddenly I realized Blortessetrix -- that was her name -- is much smaller! She had changed from an orc to a gnome!! I wasn't entirely shocked because she'd told me this happens but it was still a bit of a shock."
"Maybe it was returning to the more gnome-like environs of tunnels?" asked a Maestro Farnsworth.
"Yes I suppose it could be"
"Anyway do go on" prompted Barclay Beauregard St Garmain, the secretary.
"Yes, so, she has said whenever this happens she goes by the name of 'Greggles' while in Gnome form."
"Greggles" you say. Said someone smoking a clay pipe.
"Yes Greggles. I think it has something to do with how she got the disease"
"Disorder!" corrected Mister DL Tarrant, whose ceremonial hat identified him as a member of the apothocary guild.
"Syndrome!" exclaimed someone else.
"Order! Order!" exclaimed Lord Archibald, hammering his gavel.
"Erm, yes, polymorphitis anyway" said Percival as soon as order had been restored, and quickly hurried on "so we continued to explore the tunnels and she seemed mostly the same as ever, mischievious, prankful, possibly a bit ADD"
"Ah you've read Sir Crichton's 'An Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Mental Derangement?'" interjected a dwarvish member o the society, in his strong highland accent.
"Ah, yes sir" replied Percival, blushing. The gathered members of the society murmered approvingly.
"But yes, she was up to her usual antics, shocking people with the most surprisingly unsightly stains or alarming smells. It certainly makes what would otherwise be a boring wander down deserted hallways more eventful. Presently, we came upon two ... I think they were some kind of animated shadows," Percival was about to go on but then remembered where he was and tried to do his best to scientifically describe the evil shadows.
"Ah yes, Malum ubrattus" piped in a man with a pointy blue hat with crescent moons on it.
"Or Obscura ubrattus!" interjected Mister DL Tarrant, argumentatively, and a clamor begin to arise before Lord Archibald hammered his gavel and called for decorum.
"Please continue young sir" he prompted Pervical
"Many of our party went to combat these ... dark beings. They seemed semi-incorporeal and both Sir Krusk and this elf with us, Eva Langoria, were both touched by them and described as it feeling very cold and sapping thier strenth" Percival wasn't quite sure of the elf's name but he was determined to seem like a thoroughly reliable observer before this venerable society. The sight of the secretary noting everything down did make him a bit nervous though. Usually Blortessa --I mean Greggles-- Davvydge and I --he's the cup-bearer-- all stand back when combat is happening."
"Excuse me did you say cup-bear?" interrupted a possibly senile old fellow in the front.
"Uh, what? No. No sir. cup bearer, you know, like, he bears cups" -- Percival found himself mimicking the holding out of a cup. He then noticed the rest of the group was shaking their heads as if to say just ignore that man.
"Yes so anyway, much to my surprise both Greggles and Davvydge ran right in! Once the shadows were [here he searched for the right word] dispersed, we walked around a bit more, and came upon two zombies" here Percival paused briefly in case someone wanted to interject a scientific name for zombies but the most likely culprits just looked at eachother and shrugged "and once again Greggles and Davvydge were very keen to get amongst it."
"But you're not alleging Davvydge is affected by a syndrome are you?" asked the dwarf
"N, no, not this syndrome." Percival hadn't quite meant to make a joke but heard some snickering at this. Among the murmering he also thought he heard someone whispering a hypothesis about "NPC syndrome" but he wasn't familiar with it.
"Okay, it sounds like other than taking a perhaps more active involvement in things her personality hasn't changed much, now why don't you tell us more about what you know about how she came to have this dis-- polymorphitis." Prompted Lord Archibald.
[Here National Geographic Society Secretary Barclay Beauregard St Garmain, whose weirdly detailed transcript the above is, conveniently starts a new page]
As I love to do I've included a number of ultra obscure easter eggs in the above, such as for example the quoted text by Sir Alexander Crichton IS in fact one of the earliest psychological dissertations to mention ADD. DL Tarrant is a person known to my friends who kinda ruined trivia for a lot of people by his insistence that his answer was always the right one -- and he knew a lot but his hoarding the answer sheet and not being open to the input of others was pretty off-putting.
Last night Greg and Kerstin couldn't join us but they do plan to join as much as they can in the future, so I'm undecided if I'll write Blort as an orc or gnome. And since my actual character has been practically a background character in his own "logs" thus far I might go for something actually in his voice for a change. Let me know if you actually read the above and want to read more, or else I might not bother to bother y'all with it (:
I also decided to draw a "disturbingly sexy tentacled snail thing" just to, you know, disturb. Muahahahaha.
I'm looking forward to much future doodling and actually the quality of the portraits, which not to heap praise on my own work but I was really surprised myself when I woke up and saw what I had drunkenly done. It's all got me thinking maybe I should sign up for an actual drawing class. And I'm really wondering if there's something to this being able to do it better while drunk thing, I mean here's what I then drew the next morning while in wonderment of my abilities, to my immediate disillusionment: