Game on!

Gaming really dominated my activities this weekend.

Thursday evening's Dungeons & Dragons session marked the end of our 3 year-plus campaign. The party's 3 heroes engaged evil god Veccna in combat, and the dice rolling deities were kind... very kind. Veccna was by no means an easy opponent - at one point he split into 3 versions of himself, wielding spiked chains, wearing jade armour and dishing out fat chunks of damage on anyone he automatically flanked. Later on in the battle he even summoned 2 ghost dragons that caused strength and constitution point damage when touched. Still though, equipped with our kickass new magical weapons (gained last week when we found a dragon king's treasure hoard), good rolls, good saves and correspondingly average to poor rolls by the Game Master controlling Veccna, we did it.

Our characters got to retire in glory at Level 18 or so, having saved the Empire from demon domination. One hero became a pirate queen and island dictator; another a plane explorer, head of multiple magical orders and founder of the Smithsonian Institute for Deceased Dragon Kings; and one hero even became divine... as well as the owner of the Lay on Hands franchise of Empire massage parlours.

Having completed our 3.5 Edition campaign, Saturday was spent creating the new characters for our first ever attempt at a D&D campaign using new streamlined, noob-friendly 4th Edition rules. Although it grates me that I haven't found time yet to complete my character's written backstory, Elora is an 18 year old Infernal Pact Warlock. Although stunningly beautiful, and from a wealthy merchant family, this young half-elf woman walks around with a major chip on her shoulder. The way she sees it, everyone views her as a freak, no one likes her (including her own family) and she has every right to A) hate them all back, or B) treat them dismissively as the stupid, unenlightened peasants that they are.

Elora's interactions with the dragonborn fighter and dwarf invoker that make up her party should be interesting at least.

Once we had finished building our characters and choosing their powers and spells, it was time for some Xbox... more specifically Rock Band 2. Saturday was actually my first time playing Rock Band, having only experienced rival Guitar Hero games before. Now while the graphics in Rock Band aren't nearly as good as those in Guitar Hero, there seems to be a lot more variety in terms of the playing animations - some are actually structured more like music video recordings than live concerts. Also, the guys I was playing collaborative Tour Mode with seemed to be having a lot more fun dressing up and accessorizing our band than they ever did while playing Guitar Hero (although the latter game definitely has more fashion options from the get-go).

Also, I have to say that the song choice seems to be a lot better than Guitar Hero 5 at least. Consistently the tracks are a lot more recognisable, which automatically makes them more fun to play. Personally I was very happy to find some of my favourite artists there, including Lacuna Coil, Alanis Morissette, Blondie, Duran Duran, Linkin Park and Paramore. Then, of course, there are the must-play classic karaoke tracks (I was on the mic for most of the evening) including Eye of the Tiger, Go Your Own Way, American Woman and Livin' On a Prayer. I can't really comment on the other instruments but singing certainly seems to be a bit easier in Rock Band as opposed to Guitar Hero - although I did miss the ability to activate score-boosting Star Power whenever I wanted. With Rock Band you can only trigger Star Power, called Overdrive here, during set parts of the song, once you have accumulated enough Overdrive power.

I'm certainly looking forward to playing more Rock Band...

Otherwise this weekend Sunday was busy with assorted personal tasks and projects, including blog updates and sketching the next Girlz 'N' Games comic. It's a good thing too that I was kept occupied on Sunday because I was having an emotionally low day, feeling unwanted, particularly professionally. The stress, and sense of being trapped, produced by the lack of a stable income really can get to you sometimes - especially when people you know are naturally proud of, and talking about, their various raises, promotions and shiny new jobs.

And a similar sense of disheartenment is produced by not knowing where you are going to be in a month's time. You can't really commit yourself to any plans (e.g. buying a World Cup soccer ticket; going on holiday) so you feel stagnant while everyone else seems to have definites in their future. Perhaps I should just say 'Fuck it' and pick something - and I'm 99% sure now that 'something' will involve a move to either Joburg, Cape Town or the UK because Durban offers nothing interesting for writing professionals, particularly if you're interested in the online sphere, which I am. However, this said, I'm such a coward when it comes to change. And, more importantly, the risk of failure.

Sunday was definitely one of those days where I needed a hug and a pep talk from someone who enthusiastically believes in me.


cassey said…
I haven't played Rock Band, but have recently discovered's sooo much fun. I get the whole being stagnant sucks big time, not to mention the rection time and time again, when you don't get a job. Also looking at just moving back to Cape Town, job or no if you do go you'll know more people :0
cassey said…
Gah, forgot to addd....if it helps i think you rock :0
Craig said…
Shame man, and in this case virtual hugs just aren't going to do the trick! :(

Still, you should come down to Cape Town you know - we have like the mountain and everything over here! :P
Pfangirl said…
Thanks for the comments, guys. It's nice to know that thanks to the Interwebs I'd know a good few people in Cape Town if I ever made a move that way:)

Good luck with the job thing yourself, Cassey. It makes me feel better to know I'm not alone in this situation.

Anyway, now I must look into Lips!
Terrance said…
Noooooo! Don't get Lips! I've already filled the interwebz with embarrassing pics of my karaoke attempts.

So if you make it to Cape town prepare for a sing-off! :P

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