worked up a storm during evening study hall. Managed to grind my way through three student papers and a couple of tests. Have way too much more to do, and will probably get up early.

Gaming. S bowed out. He’s stressed about Thanksgiving, and wanted to play Halo2 rather than D&D 3.5. So I let him. He got teleported somewhere else, and got a peek at another part of the dungeon I’m making up as I go along. P came in and watched for about half of tonight’s game. M and T argued and bickered through most of the session — much of it in character as half-orcs. Those guys are going to drive me crazy or turn into amazing roleplayers. Maybe both. D ran into a trap-filled room to retreive a golden statue — he did one of those clever Indiana Jones moves — weigh the statue in your mind’s eye, shift a bag of sand onto the platform, take the statue. Only, I’d already specified that the statue was wood…. his sand bag — wayyyy too heavy. Dodging traps, he gets back to the front door…. discovers, ooops, that everyone else already knew that.

Spent some time in my morning free periods (before I knew how busy I was) designing the town which is their base. The new ‘community’ rules in D&D are pretty cool. SOrt of static, but I rolled up a bunch of statistical information for my town, and it turns ot to be a reasonably close guess to the number of people living in a medieval town. Plus, I had about the right number of experts for my town, so there are coopers and blacksmiths, and wainwrights and cartwrights and leatherworkers, and so on. Dividing the list of character classes out by level rather than by actual class, I discovered that I was able to identify places, jobs, and connections for a lot of characters already. The chief cleric, the fighter -head of town, the bumbling magic-users, and so on, all have names now, and the rudiments of identities. eventually, maybe I can do character sketches and such for all of them. But not yet. Right now, it’s a village on the verge of being a town. If I play my cards right and put my prep work together carefully enough, I’ll have a game world suitable for 1st-10th level adolescent gamers — dungeon encounters, town encounters, wilderness encounters, wandering monsters, bandits, and so on. There will be room for everyone.

Once I’ve filled this 4×3 sheet of graph paper on both sides with dungeon rooms and numbers, I’m going to take it to school and laminate it. I’ve already started building up a key index, so I know what kinds of encounters are in what rooms. The kobolds are going to have to retreat soon, though. They’re running out of guys. No good quotes or good roleplaying. Right now, they’re arguing much more out of character than in-character. A and D haven’t yet made the transition from being able to think and play from within their roles, while T and S and M have all made that cognitive leap. It’s odd to watch, to realize that one teen at the table is thinking of himself as a half-orc fighter, and the other is thinking of himself as a boarding school student.


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