Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Adventuring Gear: Dice Bag

The dragon released a final deafening roar before collapsing on the cold, stony ground. The warrior stands triumphantly over the beast, and removes his sword from the monster's great chest. He slowly makes his way over to the dragon's hoard, a single chest resting on a smooth stone. The intricate carvings displayed on the chest are highlighted by a single ray that pierces through the ceiling of the musty cavern. 

The warrior had invested a lifetime desperately seeking this treasure. Regaled by tales his father shared with him about the mysterious chest when he was a young lad, the boy became engrossed in unraveling the mystery. As an adult his wonder turned to an all-consuming desperation to find the answer to one simple question. What was in the chest?

After decades of searching and training, the warrior would finally have his answer. He runs his rough fingers across the top the decorated chest in anticipation. How long he has yearned for this moment. How many sleepless nights and futile searches has he invested into reaching this point. He opens the lid of the chest, and peers in to see what has infested all of his waking thoughts and robbed him of most of his life. 

Sitting in the chest is a small, lonely leather bag. The warrior opens the bag to find a set of ordinary playing dice. The warrior places his head in his hands and howls painfully at the realization that he has wasted his life searching for a simple trinket.


It may be a trinket, but its my trinket and I am quite fond of it.

If there is one thing that I enjoy as much as fantasy role playing it would be crafting. There is something really exciting about creating things and giving them your own personal touch. When I can combine my two passions, I am in heaven. I try to craft things for my gaming whenever I feel inspired to (and I use that inspiration to gain advantage when crafting my item.)

I made this dice bag after seeing some other awesome bags on the internet. My goal was to create a bag that looked like what an adventurer's coin bag might look like. I added the embroidered d20 for obvious reasons. The outside of the bag is brown suede, and the bag lining is made from old shirt material. The cords are leather strips. 

The bag came out really spacious. It has more room than I will ever need.

I had a great time making this bag. I enjoyed the process of making the bag more than I enjoy the bag itself. I enjoyed it so much that I have already made three more for my friends, and I have plans to make more soon. Have you made anything for your fantasy role playing adventures? If so, how did you enjoy making it and would you do it again? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from fellow crafters/adventurers. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly D&D: A legend falls in battle

The air became still. The world seemed to stop. The only movement came from the flames dancing in the campfire. No one in the party said a word; they couldn't believe what had just taken place. Just minures before a group of close friends were enjoying dinner around the campfire and enjoying each others stories. Then the party was ambushed by bloodthirsty orcs on all sides. Finlore, Vatuu, Rurick, and the Hag were no novices though. The party made fierce blows against the enemy, tearing through orcs as if they were made of parchment. But the orcs were not the only side to take casualties that evening.

As the band of friends struck down each murderous foe, an orc in the distance readied one of his javelins. He had his bloodshot eyes fixed on a scruffy halfling who had already effortlessly taken down two of his comrades. He took aim and thrust the weapon through the air. The javelin soared through the branches, seeking its target with deadly accuracy. The Hag let out a shrill scream as the javelin pierced her side. The world became a blur to her as she began to stagger. She fell with a soft thud, her breathing becoming quick labored. She tried to call out to her friends, but all energy quickly drained from her body and she could only let out soft whispers. 

The ended as quickly as it began. The party made quick work of most of orcs; the last two beasts, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, attempted to escape with their pathetic lives. Rurick and Vatuu began to persue the cowards, but Finlore noticed something that he had not in the heat of the battle. Across the camp he saw the pierced halfling laying on the ground in a pool of blood. Her hand weakly reached out in his direction. She had always been so fierce both in and out of battle. To see her in such a weak and vulnerable state took him by surprise. Surprised turned to panic as he realized how dire the situation truly was. The elf crossed the camp faster than any human could, hoping to outrun death itself, but nobody can outrun the cold clutches of death. Just as Finlore was approaching the Hag her hand dropped and her eyes glazed over as the remainder of her life seeped through her wound. The elf wasn't fast enough to save his friend when she needed him most. This realization hit him like a fist to the stomach. He let out a pained scream. 

Vatuu and Rurick turned to see the screaming elf kneeling over the limp body of the Hag. Vatuu had just cut through his prey like a blade of grass, but Rurick's target was getting away. Finlore set gently set down his friend, rose, and lifted his wand to take aim at the escaping orc. With great resolve, Finlore began to speak a powerful enchantment. The wand glowed a sickly green as a large ball of acidic sludge formed at it's tip. With a flick of the wrist, Finlore sent the green orb soaring at the orc. The ball struck the orc directly between his shoulder blades. With a gurgled howl, the orc was reduced to a puddle. 

The group worked in somber silence as they buried and mourned for their friend. Rurick took an old dagger, a keepsake precious to him, and placed it at the foot of the grave. Finlore collected all of the remaining magical energy that he could muster to cast an enchantment that ensure the grave would never be disturbed. On the top of the grave he wrote "Here lies the Hag. A legendary warrior." Rurick, Vatuu, and Finlore spent the remainder of the night reliving the adventures that they had partaken with their lost friend.

In the following morning the remaining three friends made a pact. Their individual missions and motivations were changed and unified by the loss of their friend. They branded themselves with the letter "H" as a permanent reminder of their new shared goal. With new found determination the group readied their materials and set off. The friends decided that they had not seen the Hag for the last time. They would travel to the land beyond the living and rescue her from the grasp of death himself!
This was hands-down my favorite night of D&D. Hilda Haggins, or "the Hag" was a halfling rouge created to be used by my wife when she played. When my wife took on the role of DM, my friends and I took the Hag because we needed an extra player for our adventure. Since she never talked, she became somewhat of a feral creature in our story. Then in nearly every battle, she would roll back to back critical hits on the enemy. She quickly became a legend in our group for clearing out entire rooms with ease. 

When she fell in battle we really thought that we could save her in time, but we rolled a critical miss on a saving throw ONE TURN before the next player could go and stabilize her. It was exciting and emotional at the same time. We knew that we couldn't let the legend go, but none of us had the resources needed to revive her. It is unclear how we are going to save her yet, but it will definitely be a legendary adventure. I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I loved playing it. Happy adventuring. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fantasy Life (Part 2)

The battle had been fierce. A great warrior testing his might against a ferocious dragon. Both side had delivered powerful blows to each other. But the warrior was beginning to wear down, and he knew it. He was beginning to make careless mistakes, the last of which nearly cost him his life. He had grown sluggish as his stamina began to wane. He needed to rest, but the dragon was relentless. Strike after fearsome strike, the dragon moved with the swiftness of a feral feline. The warrior closed his eyes and accepted his fate. He now knew that going on this adventure alone was a fatal mistake. The dragon opened his jaws. The back of his throat glowing orange with an all-consuming flame.

The dragon prepared to deliver its destructive firepower upon the weakened warrior. The dragon suddenly thrust its head toward the sky, shooting its flame toward the clouds and missing the warrior completely. The dragon roared in pain. The warrior looked up to see what caused the dragon such agony and gained the warrior a few precious moments that he needed to regain his strength. An arrow was lodged deeply into the monster's side. The warrior followed the direction of the shot to a figure standing of to the distance. It was his partner, the hunter. The expression on the hunter's face made it clear that he was dismayed at the warriors decision to go alone. The warrior gave a quick smirk at the hunter and charged at the dragon. With his strength restored and his friend at his side he knew that they would make quick work of the beast.


As I have stated before, I really enjoy Fantasy Life. In my last post I discussed how varied lives can affect the game play and make the game feel more engrossing. Today I want to focus on multiplayer compatibility and customization.

I am not the only fantasy nut in my household. My wife loves adventure just as much as I do, and we try to share our adventures as frequently as possible. The problem that we often run in to is the lack of fantasy role playing video games with multiplayer content. I am not including mmo games when I say this. We just aren't huge mmo fans. I feel like Fantasy Life does a great job allowing friends and family to share in epic quests and battles. What could possibly be more exciting than felling a large monster with your significant other? The game is great solo, but I greatly prefer playing with others on this game. Its nice to not feel alone in such an expansive game world.

I remember playing Golden Sun on the Gameboy Advance years ago. The game had amazing graphics for its time, and the game play and story were incredible. The one problem that I had with the game is a problem that many fantasy role playing games share. When you equip a character with new gear, it looks exactly the same as the gear that they were previously wearing. I go on an epic, dungeon exploring quest and I am rewarded with a stronger version of the exact same armor that I am wearing. Recent games have began to rectify this with more customization options, but Fantasy life takes customization to a whole other level. Don't like your suit of armor? Buy or make another suit. Maybe you just don't like the helmet. You can change only the helmet. You can even keep your armor and just change the color. You customize your character's physical characteristics at the beginning of the game, and you have the option to change hairstyles later.

Customization in Fantasy Life doesn't stop with your character. You can choose from several npcs to join you on your quests. This effectively lets you customize your own party. You can even fight alongside your very own pet, with choices ranging from dogs to dragons. This game also borrows ideas from animal crossing by letting you customize your own house. Did I mention that you eventually are able to own three customizable homes? I love being able to fill my home with items that I have personally crafted with the carpenter.

You can make your home as traditional...

...or as original as you choose

If dragon quest and animal crossing had a child, it would be Fantasy life. There is an amazing balance of adventure and customization in this game. The more that I invest into the game, the more engrossing the game feels. If you are looking for a fantasy role playing game to play with a friend, or if you are in the mood to slay monsters, go fishing, and design your own home all in the same game, then I highly suggest that you try Fantasy Life. Happy adventuring!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fantasy Life (part 1)

You have taken up a request from a bounty clerk to fell a fearsome bird that terrorizes the plains to the west of the kingdom. The beast has become a growing concern for the citizens, so you answer the call to help your fellow people. The foul fowl has eluded you for days. You are about to give up on your quest when you spot your bounty just past some trees in the distance. You quietly make your way to your mark, making your best effort to avoid detection. You ready an arrow, take one breath, and take your shot.

The bird is injured, but is still flying strong. You have clearly angered the monster. It flies in your direction; each flap of its large wings creates a burst of wind that nearly knocks you over. The beast dives at you, hoping to strike with its fierce talons, but you are a master hunter and you have hunted many terrifying creatures. You nimbly avoid its clutches and ready another arrow. The arrow flies clean and smooth directly towards its target.

The glorified chicken-raptor fall to the earth. You efficiently felled your prey, as you have so many times before. You wrap the monstrous beast up and haul it back to the bounty clerk. You are the hero of the kingdom. People shower you with praise, shouting your name excitedly through the streets. 

You return home, doff your weapons and armor, and don your apron. While you find a pleasure in the hunt, you have another calling that drives you. You desire to become the greatest chef in the land! You prepare your utensils and begin making a fantastic fowl feast.


I picked up Fantasy Life for the 3DS about a week ago. At first I wasn't confident in what the game had to offer. The story can be bland and the writing is snarky and immature. What really hooked me about the game can be summarized by the game's title. This game sets itself apart from many other rpg's because there is so much more to do outside of the classic battles and dungeons in your fantasy life. Do you want a particular weapon not offered in stores? Become a blacksmith and craft it yourself. Don't have the materials you need? Mine for them in deep caves and on beeches. Maybe you feel at home in the kitchen. You can make meals fit for a king.

There are 12 diverse "lives" to choose from that each offer a unique experience

For me the game really became exciting when I took up multiple "lives." Lives are the class system used in the game; they range from Paladin to tailor. When I play with multiple lives, I get to experience the full adventure offered by the game. I mine for ore. I use the ore to make armor and weapons. I use the armor and weapons to reach more dangerous lands. I mine for more valuable ore in the new, risky lands. So on and so forth. It is very exciting. 

On my next post I plan to talk about the vast customization options in the game and about multiplayer options. I am a big fan of this game. Having more "normal" tasks to complete makes the world feel more genuine. Having different roles in the game world makes the battles in between more refreshing and exciting. I can't wait to tell you more about this game. Happy adventuring!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Welcome to my dungeon

Your quest has led you to the entrance of a decrepit dungeon. You enter unsure of what you may find. Perhaps you will find treasure. Maybe you have come all this way to find that the dungeon has been looted long ago. Perhaps you will find horrible creatures who have taken refuge in this dark abyss, waiting to strike from the shadows. Whatever you may encounter, you have already decided that you have come too far not to venture on.

The corridor darkens with each step that you take. The darkness presses in, consuming every last bit of light. You light a torch just soon enough to see a large pit directly in front of you. It is clear that this dungeon is not very welcoming, but you press on in hopes of finding treasures beyond your wildest dreams.

Just as you begin to feel constricted by the stony walls of the corridor you come to a large, open chamber. The chamber appears to be barren, with the exception of a cloaked figure standing motionless in the center of the room. The figure looks up; his eyes seem to peer into your very soul. You can tell that this is a wizard of immense power. You begin to regret your decision to come to this horrible place. The stranger opens his mouth to speak.

"Welcome to Dungeons and downtime. This blog is dedicated to exploring fantastic adventures from all mediums. Be it books, tabletop games, video games, movies, crafts, or anything else that strikes my fancy. I am looking forward to sharing some of my adventures with you."

The cloaked wizard then offers you a nice brunch. Turns out he wasn't a bad guy after all. Its a shame that you forget about the pit on your way out.