Tuesday 31 May 2016

Skyrim: Head Ambassador

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

My new strike force was composed of Fillin the Nord Rogue, the Sarethi sisters Nathala and Nathyne, Okan-Shei the Argonian and Eydis the Quiet (a bard who doesn't sing). After gearing up (translation: me giving them gear) we traveled to the Thalmor Embassy with the simple objective of killing all the bastard invaders in a speedy night assault.

You have failed this hold!

The Thalmor are backed by their Imperial allies here in the form of Penitus Oculatus agents, and Nathala is vaporized by a wizard commander in the opening assault. Simply defeating the guards isn't enough to gain access though, so we need to get creative by finding alternate routes into the buildings via a nearby well - which happens to be inhabited by really strong zombies that devour Okan-Shei.

The underground tunnels do give us access to the Penitus Oculatus barracks though, where in the melee Nathyne is slain by the stationed Imperial General Calvus. My response to that was killing all his guys, then doing this.

And now he's a head shorter.

Skyrim: Opportunity

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Making bling makes heroes.

It was only on my way back out of the mine that I noticed how rich it was in gold ore. I made the most of it and of all the precious gems lying around to improve my blacksmithing and reach level 53 while I was at it. Outside I found that Derkeethus had just been waiting there the whole time, having fallen to a spot out of the nav mesh I guess.

Not a bad spot to retire, really.

Since he refused to move (I assume he wanted time alone to loot the remaining valuables) I parted ways with him there. He did mention that the Aldmeri Dominion was strengthening their position in the mountains near Solitude though, at their Embassy I'd previously been to before.

Deciding not to be hasty, I took a careful look around Dragon's Bridge and discovered the new Dragonmourne Inn which housed a lot of folk who were mistreated during the Thalmor occupation and wanted a bit of payback. I offered them the chance they were waiting for.

Monday 30 May 2016

Skyrim: The Castle is Mine

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Wiping out the Thalmor presence in town was easy, but correspondence in their barracks revealed they were actually after someone named Valgus Ponius - and believed him to be hiding out in a nearby mine. Sure enough, there were lots more Thalmor to be found within.

My place is grinding your face into the dirt, elf scum.

The high guards were particularly tough since the tunnels didn't afford me much room to back stab them, but not tough enough to outlast all my potions. In the deeper level of the mines (and boy was it a deep mine), the Thalmor gave way to bandits who were more plentiful but less tough and far less skilled. I mean, some even just killed themselves.

*Slow clap*

Soon enough I found Valgus Ponius, the crazy man leading all the bandits - thinking this mine was his castle. There was evidence his own people were going to slay him soon anyway to appease the Thalmor. Pity that they all had to die, but none of them really surrendered. Eventually, the mine was clear of all hostiles. And by all hostiles, I mean pretty much all life.

Saturday 28 May 2016

Skyrim: The True Hero

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Over three years have passed since the orcish invaders were defeated. Three years since I became the Jarl of Whiterun, and while some folk have moved on the place remains the same. I guess my skills as El Presidente were pretty good! The peace was soon to be broken when a familiar face arrived in town, my old Argonian buddy Derkeethus who brought news of Thalmor incursions in the region, as well as a letter requesting my help in finding someone's missing brother at some forgotten ruins.

My cold-blooded ally.

I barely glanced at the letter, furious at the mere mention of the Thalmor. Without hesitation Derkeethus and I headed off towards Dragon's Bridge, finding a quaint little cottage called Nerelia house on the way that wasn't there before. A cursory examination showed the place was uninhabited apart from the red-eyed black horse named Red Shadow, whom I took as my own. I am the Jarl after all.

And who are you?

Soon after we arrived at the Dragon's Bridge hamlet and sure enough, a contingent of Thalmor had set up shop in the town. Unaware of who I was, they let me scout their positions out easily which made it all the easier to violently shank them all in the back, like a true hero.

Friday 27 May 2016

Wrath of Ashardalon

Firestorm Peak is a lovely spot for vacation... if you enjoy monsters!

After thoroughly enjoying the Temple of Elemental Evil board game, my gaming group is now half way through the Wrath of Ashardalon which is actually the previous game in the series. It plays very similarly though, with a few obvious differences: there are less traps, there are doors (which might be locked or trapped), and the biggest one is that it is a total slug fest. Yep, the mountain is full of monsters, monsters, monsters!

Monsters everywhere!

Unlike the Temple of Elemental Evil, I don't think there are any tiles that do not spawn monsters and all the mooks are tougher here and in my opinion, have much better figurines. This caught us off balance in the first mission since we "imported" our characters from the other game and their high damage / single target skills.

This was easily fixed though with some skill swapping, and truth be told I find it an easier play than the previous game though it might be due to the whole "imported" characters thing. Or, it might be all the really overpowered treasures and gear you find in THIS game. Doesn't make it any less fun though!

Instead of the powerful bosses Wrath uses the "chamber" system which is my favorite mechanic here. Upon finding it (think of it as "the boss room), instead of drawing one tile you build a whole chamber (potentially 5-6 tiles?) and spawn it fully. When you have things like legion devils that spawn in groups of three the board really fills up quick.

If you like fun dice rolling action (and/or simply liked Temple of Elemental Evil), I highly recommend trying this out and give it five D20s out of five!

Score after re-review: Four D20s out of five.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Newbie Blogger Initiative 2016!

It looks like The Newbie Blogger Initiative is returning this year, running for the whole month of June! If you are new to blogging, old to blogging, or just thinking about blogging, now is as good a time as any to get started! This "event", which you can participate in as little or as much as you like, is a good way to gain some exposure.

Here are some handy links for those interested:
Discord Invite Code
Newbie Blogger Forum
Newbie Blogger Twitter

From the sounds of things Discord will be the main platform for interaction this year, don't let that scare you off. It's pretty user friendly. :)

Due to my current schedule I'll probably only be on the sidelines this time around, but I'm definitely looking forward to discovering new/old blogs to add to my reading list. Also apologies if this post sounds like an echo, echo, echo, but that's kinda the point.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Today I Smiled: Kept Busy!

While I admit it's kinda nice to take a break from not blogging for awhile, it's also slightly annoying as I've got lots of stuff I want to post (regardless if people read it, haha)! Busy at work, busy in the Siege of Neverwinter, busy in Skyrim, and busy watching wonderful TV shows (like Masterchef Australia)!

Still, I thought I'd at least put up some filler content! Have you heard about "Judas goats"? Marked and GPS tagged the feral animals are released and followed back to their very sneaky herds where hunters would promptly kill all but the marked ones, who would then lead the hunters to the next herd (social animal instinct). Their reward? To die alone. And you thought I was cruel!

There's also another type that has the dubious honor of being made extinct; twice. Yay for cloning! On the topic of killing, how about that new Philippine President who is keen on turning up the death count? Keep in mind he won via an election. I'm not sure if that's progress or going back to the dark ages, but I definitely found a time machine (one I had forgotten about actually), in the Wayback Machine - which had archived bits of one of my first websites: The Hellsing Crucifix.

Ahhh, I loved than anime. Judging from the text, I also loved smileys.

Ok, I still do. :P

Sunday 15 May 2016

NWO: Siege Gains and Losses

The current Siege of Neverwinter event is fantastic for those who are in a guild. After doing the daily "Send aid to Neverwinter" task of recruiting guards, any and all foes in the event area have a chance of dropping blue vouchers for your stronghold. And I mean, a lot of them! This is made even better by the whole zone being levelled to 60, which means level 70 characters just steamroll the whole thing.

One hours worth of vouchers!

You might get discouraged by the "Send aid to Neverwinter" quest bugging sometimes, but the fix is really simple. There are two versions of it (that I know of), one with the quest circle towards the back of the stronghold (which is broken) and one with the circle nearer the front. Simply drop the quest repeatedly until you get the working version. :)

Also my "update within 3 weeks or you are removed" method comes back into play today, so my blog list will look a little neater with this post. Among those blogs "lost" today are:

Lyle's Grind, Sisters of Tyria, T.R Red Skies, The Sisterhood of Kia, Wandering through Digital Worlds, The Jazz Panda, Elfi's World, Diary of a Gnome Spy, BattlepetRoundup, Manalicious, The stuffed Yammob, The Iron Dagger, Aspect of the Hare, Megadirge, The Adventures of Xinrae, Mostly Plushies, Tough Love Critic, Unnexussary, Imperial Intelligence, Screaming Monkeys, The Fanatical Swordsman, Thalen Speaks, Grimnir's Grudge, Cogitationes Astalnaris, Adamantly Complacent, Ald Shot First, and Floor Tank Gaming.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Photo Story: Anti-Demon (Part 2)

Before leaving I consulted with our resident seer, Baaaa-phomet.

Consulting the most BS of astrological signs, he told me how to beat the demons.
(because a circle really forms that cloud castle, lol)

In the the underdark we went, past Gauntlgrym...

...and all the way to Menzoberranzan. It was crawling with demons.

So I used my Kagebunshin technique to fool them!
(sadly no longer happens with Portobello's wand)

Having tricked the demon commander mini-boss into doing pushups...

I killed his master with some knife throwing.

Then turned on a force field to stop any more demons from advancing.

For my efforts, loot rained from the heavens!

And when I got back to the keep, our dragon mascot had grown!

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Photo Story: Anti-Demon (Part 1)

Suddenly, demons appeared in the Underdark!

And the greatest Drow hero, Drizzt, went on a quest to find help!
He's as heroic as Lassie.

And he asked his old buddy Minsc where he could find me.

Meanwhile, I was at the keep looking at our new dragon mascot...

And telling our workers that maces obviously would work just as good as hammers!

Suddenly beholders attacked!

Erm, REAL Beholders! Though they didn't fare any better than the pinata.

That's when Drizzt arrived and asked if I could join his merry band on his anti-demon crusade. Of course I said yes!

Sunday 8 May 2016

Getting the Gang Together

As I promised last time, I've re-added the blogs of all those from the Darklands of Arkania. The ones that still existed anyway. Obviously this has also blown out the side list which now scrolls lengthily! That will only be up for a week; a "grace period" if you will before I go back down to the business as usual of trimming any blog that doesn't update once every three weeks.

Ready to RPG!

Also had a successful guild get together over the weekend. For our tiny group to field six people at the same time was pretty good, and we not only smashed the epic stronghold encounters but could finally attempt the Dragonflight thing which requires a minimum of 5 players to happen. It took us a few attempts but we did manage to bring the red one down eventually (the easiest).

I was not impressed with the rewards for doing so though. I got two chests of average goodies. The only catch is you need to buy keys to open said chests to collect the goodies. Buy with real money. Or in my case, the semi-real currency of astral diamonds. It's still BS though. "We need to get better so we can pay Cryptic more," does not really give you the good feeling you should get with a reward. Not impressed with this system. Not at all.

Thursday 5 May 2016

Today I was in Awe: The Burning Days

Nope, not the usual "Today I Smiled" post. I was thinking of those caught up in the Fort McMurray fire and hope everyone survives not just the terrifying blaze but also what comes after. I have to admit, evacuating 80,000+ people is an amazing feat.

That's a downer opening so I thought I'd fill the rest of the post with stupidity to cheer us up. Like, how people who believe in Last Thursdayism probably hope the blaze is erased on Thursday (when the universe is recreated), or that it could be worse if the fire was invisible. Because that's a thing apparently (Methanol flames for example), and people used to detect the flame by holding out brooms and seeing if it burned or not...

Apparently this method is still used in marine vessels not for fire but for detecting pressure leaks. The broom gets cut when they find it. I admit that does sound better than "losing an arm to a 4500# air rupture."

Wow. Still dark. I'll have to pull out the trump card of Still Learning to Cat.

Stay safe out there everyone.

Tuesday 3 May 2016


A refreshing, hilarious and bloody take on a Superhero movie.

If only more "heroes" just nonchalantly killed their enemies eh? At it's core Deadpool is an origin story of how Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) becomes a nigh unkillable and more than slightly off-kilter hero. Again! Yes, because that previously happened in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. A fact they love bringing up throughout the course of the film.

You know you want to watch it.

Perhaps Deadpool's best ability is that of breaking the fourth wall, taking many opportunities to talk directly to the audience, often about things from other movies. It's very funny with humor aimed at adults. There's also nudity, sex scenes, action, violence and on screen gore which gets big thumbs up from me.

Despite having a predictable story, the way it's told is still pretty good and the acting, humor and special effects are great. All up it is definitely something I enjoyed and a film I'd like to watch again! I give it four and a half out of five fourth walls. Which is like... eighteen walls. It's that awesome. :)

Edit: Adjusted down from a perfect five. Why? Because I forgot my milestone marker was The Dark Knight.