Moving house and a new D&D game

I’ve just finished packing all of my miniatures, painting and modelling gear away in boxes in preparation for moving house.  Our lease is up and we are getting out of our current place, which has never suited us.  I’m doubly glad, since the landlord has reacted badly to news of us leaving – even though I warned him it was likely several weeks ago. My partner has never been happy with how often he wants to come over and make repairs, or work on the garden, or something. I never thought I’d say this, but it’s a relief to deal with a real estate agent again.  Renting privately involves too many emotions and vested interests. At least it has this time.

Anyway, since I won’t be doing any painting for a while I thought I’d mention that I’ve been secretly running a D&D game again, with the new 5th edition rules.  The players are: my partner; two of her old friends from art school; and the guy I shared my office with in the philosophy department back when I was attempting my PhD. Only my partner has played before, but the other three are enthusiastic and so far are playing like old pros.  It’s a really good group.

The new 5th edition rules are pretty snazzy too, I should say. They may be my favourite iteration of D&D so far, so expect a Ronin Review soon…

12 thoughts on “Moving house and a new D&D game

  1. sinsynn says:

    Ugh- I rented privately once. When my landlord told me I’d have to move my car out of the driveway on weekends, I asked why.
    ‘So that people who drive by can see my wife’s flower box. They can’t see it if your car is parked there. So can you have it moved by 7am? You should be able to find parking around then. Thanks.’
    I never moved my car. Not once. So he tried to charge me 300 bucks for electricity the next month. I moved out, but not before reporting him to the town’s zoning board (the apartment was illegal, of course), and I filed a complaint with the department of buildings, since he cut off my electricity. I told them my wife was diabetic and we kept her meds in the refrigerator…
    And since I paid him in money orders (made out to cash, of course), I sent all my rent receipts to the IRS, with a letter explaining the situation. I’ll bet he never paid taxes on any of the money paid to him by his tenants over the years…the IRS frowns on such behavior.
    I may be dumb, but I know a lil’ sumpthin’ sumpthin.’

    Y’know the new D&D books made the best seller lists over here? Honest and true they did.
    So I’ve been wondering how they were. Is it like, ‘new’ D&D? Or is it like, old D&D with a modern twist? Is it like, a skirmish mini-game with some walking in-between skirmishes?
    I was very surprised that these books were flying off the shelves (the players handbook made the best seller lists too), and as usual I was pissed off at the mass media for sayin’ stuffs like, ‘oh- there must be more nerds than we thought, cuz look…’

    • beat ronin says:

      Yikes. My landlord is sort of the opposite – he’s all above board, but he’s very… protective of his investment and he worries a lot. It’s pretty wearing every time your two-year-old spits juice on the carpet to remember that some dude owns it, and he’s coming over next week to tighten a screw on a door handle or something. My mrs. and I had an awesome private landlord once (this is our third one) who just did not give one single shit. The place was a squalid dump, and we did our best to fix it up, but there was no room for the fridge so we had to put it in the living room. When we moved out we realised it had burnt the wallpaper. He saw it and he just shrugged and said “eh, that’s fine.”

      D&D man… you’re going to lure me into pre-empting my review 😉 It’s awesome. All the community consultation and play-testing Wizards did after the lukewarm response to 4th edition has seriously paid off. It’s like… a streamlined and cool modern version of D&D, but the roleplaying stuff has been actually fixed into the mechanics, so you pick your character’s background – soldier, artisan, hermit, urchin, whatever – and then roll to get (or pick from the chart, or make up your own) personality traits. If you play to one of your character’s personality flaws to your own disadvantage, you get rewarded with sort of fate points you can spend for re-rolls.

      This sounds restrictive I know to many die-hard roleplayers, but it really makes the role-playing element a firm part of the game, explicitly. They’ve solved the problem 40k has (do I play to my armys’ background or do what wins?) so elegantly.

      Anyway I better not say anymore, except that I suspect the reason it was on the best-seller list is that D&D fans who had felt exluded by 4th edition felt invested in 5th because they helped make it what they wanted it to be. And we all know what happens to a geek franchise when the fans are happy: it explodes off the hook in popularity as the geeks tell their less-geeky friends that it’s the real deal.

  2. Von says:

    Dammit, Jim, if you start endorsing the new D&D and SinSynn starts asking me for a perspective on it I may have to actually buy and play the bloody thing. Those backgrounds sound sort of… dare I say it… old-WFRP-ish? With the whole idea that you were something in civilian life BEFORE you became one of the adventuring 1%? That’s a bit good. I could roll with that. A version of D&D that actually /sells/ is of interest to me too; it suggests that someone in RPG land still understands how to promote a product (I’m still baffled that White Wolf could implode so hard in the time of Twilight/True Blood/Carmilla et al, but that’s what happens when you make games only gamers want to play…).

    My landlord is cosmically indifferent except for the three weeks in every fifty-two where she’s actually in the UK, at which point some bizarre and niggling demands will always be made. Latest has been to remove all extraneous material from the back yard – i.e. the compost bins, the garden furniture, what’s left of the flowerbed after our token green-fingered chap moved out – which has become a bit of a dead man in Yossarian’s tent since I don’t know who the hell any of this belongs to and quite a few of the housemates insist that it’s HER problem since it’s not THEIR stuff.

    • beat ronin says:

      Yeah I suspect you’d at least find it interesting to read Jon. I mean, it’s still D&D. There’s a lot of 3x in there, but now there are only about 20 skills and feats are an optional rule. The backgrounds thing is explained as not exactly your civilian job (well, some of them are), but your most formative experiences. All I know is three of my four players are grown-ups who are completely new to RPGs, and they’re role playing, dammit. Because it says right there on the sheet next to their character’s STR score that “I am stubborn and don’t know when to give up” or “I secretly think I am genuinely better than other people.”

      When you say “quite a few of the housemates” it makes me imagine you live in this sprawling decrepit manse with about eight other people.

      • Von says:

        It’s not sprawling, and there’s only seven of us plus a cat. It is a decrepit Victorian town house, though.

        I’ll have to give it a look, then. I’ve been proven quite drastically wrong about at least one RPG in the last couple of days, so let’s give it a dekko and see what happens.

  3. Dragons_Claw says:

    I once rented a house through an agency then found out the day after we moved in the landlord lived next door cue much moaning about my apathetic gardening complaining because he couldn’t let him self in because I had left the key in the lock I was sleeping in on a Sunday morning I lost my rag about that :[

    • beat ronin says:

      Urgh, living next door to the landlord would be horrible. I’m thinking that some people are just not temperamentally suited to being investors or landlords – and it’s often the people who most often want to do it: sensible, worry-wart types who are trying to make the most of their resources in a socially acceptable way. But they freak out too easily and can’t handle not controlling every tiny thing on a day-to-day basis.

      It’s one of those things where the people who are more chilled are actually emotionally better suited to handling the risky nature of investing – but they often can’t be arsed because they’re too busy enjoying life.

      I read this really fascinating psychology study once about how the sort of people that humans instinctively think would be a good leader are normally the worst at actually leading. We have an evolved tendency to mistake confidence and aggression for competence. Humble caring people actually make the best leaders.

      I think the landlord thing is something similar: “I’m a sensible fellow, and sensible fellows have investment properties that they maintain themselves to save money.” But sensible tightwads are emotionally the worst people to be placing a large investment in someone else’s hands for safekeeping.

      • Dragons_Claw says:

        That psychological study sounds interesting. The qualities needed for leadership aren’t universal the head of a church t

        • Dragons_Claw says:

          Sorry had a touch screen mishap curses to no edit function.

          As I was trying to say the qualities needed for leadership aren’t universal and aggression particularly is very situational and I’m a former Para who wad trained to apply maximum aggression. I would have thought that confidence is a pre requisite however as without it you probably would never put yourself into a position of leadership in the first place. Also indecision which is the knock on effect of a lack confidence is a terrible attribute in a leader

          • beat ronin says:

            No worries I think I got up and checked my messages just as you were typing!

            It was a while ago I read it, but the study was about civil leadership and managers in workplaces. So you’re right, it’s situational which qualities are needed, but most leadership positions benefit from a person who is not overconfident and doesn’t make rash decisions (in other words they make less mistakes), and who genuinely cares about the people they are supposed to be leading.

            The military may be a bit different, particularly something like the paras which is an assault force.

            The study did not suggest that people who lack confidence make good leaders – quite the opposite. It found that people who are over-confident make bad leaders. A leader who has healthy confidence tempered by a concern for the welfare of those being led seems to correlate with the group being more successful in many ways. So what you said about not putting yourself into the position was kind of the point. People who want to be leaders and seek out power tend to be less effective in real terms than people who are thrust into the position and then take to it out of a sense of responsibility.

            It was funny because the main conclusion of the study was that women tend to exemplify the traits of a good manager/leader more often, and men the traits of a bad one 😀

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