Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

07 Aug 2007, 2:50 a.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2007 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

From the Dungeons & Dragons game on Sunday: you must watch Grave of the Fireflies, and you must have My Neighbor Totoro ready to pop in and watch immediately after. I haven't yet watched the former; maybe I'll put myself in a stupor by watching it alongside Requiem for a Dream.

I like my D&D coplayers and dungeon master, but we don't get much time to chat, because we get together to play so seldom (maybe once a month). At one point we had a ten-day limit to raise one of our characters from the dead, and I cracked that it was a good thing the limit was ten in-game days. Also: a great way to get people off the phone so you can get back to your game is to tell the caller exactly what you're doing. "We have to find some giants or something to battle to get experience points, so that one of our clerics can level up and resurrect another member of our party from the dead." Don't call them; they'll call you.

Vera was such a horrible character that Stephen Colbert told me not to play her. Backtrack: I got to see The Colbert Report get filmed, and if you're free ALL DAY some Mon-Thurs weekday from 11am or noon till six, you can probably also get standby tickets by sitting in line outside the studio. For the quick Q&A session before the show, I asked Colbert what to do with a character whose lowest 4 (of 6) stats were 7, 8, 9, and 10 (out of 18). "Oh, you rolled a farmer!" Colbert exclaimed. He said that, in his D&D group, if someone rolled a character that bad, the player would announce that this character would take up farming, lay it aside (basically making it an NPC), and roll a new one. We also got to name off the six stats (he forgot one, I believe Wisdom) for the benefit of the studio audience.

I did create a new character, because everyone has two, because Vera sucked, because nearly everyone in this battle had fallen unconscious or worse and we might have needed someone to step in and save the day. Gordon* is a third-level fighter with pretty good dexterity and intelligence and only medium wisdom. He left the family farm seeking fortune and stories, got captured by slavers, and escaped only to run into The Intrepid Heroes (actual party name). Alignment: chaotic good, which I'm not really sure how to play except by being bouncy and helpful and feeling okay about stealing from dragons. Suggestions?

* Namesakes: Fog Creek office manager Liz Hall, née Liz Gordon, and Canadian-American children's/young adults' author Gordon Korman. Also it vaguely makes sense in tenth-century Europe.