Shining Moments in Time

When playing an RPG, one of the things I find myself looking for after the game is over is the shining moments of the game. Those times when your character got a chance to ‘do his thing’ and either succeeded or failed spectacularly. Some of my best moments have been my character’s death but that’s another story. This past weekend I went to DC Gameday and got to try out a few games that I hadn’t played before. Here are a few shining moments from this weekend.

Twilight Empire

The first game I played was FantasyCraft, the swords and sorcery version of Spycraft, a heavily modified D20 game. Set in a far future world filled with magic, I was playing a lizard mage in a group of mostly humans and one robot. We had each had our missions involving the Empress of the local expanding empire and had each sort of failed and in the process ended up being sent off as offerings to a group of necromancers. Needless to say we escaped together but only to find out that the Empress was on her way to getting ‘resurrected’ and becoming a powerful undead sorceress. So much for the assassin in our group who had thought she’d at least successfully assassinated the Empress.

As a mage and being a slave, it took a while for me to get together the items I needed to actually cast some of my useful spells and soon we were on our way to sabotage the Empress’ “funeral procession”. Sneaking our way onto the bone cage platform carrying the soon to be undead queen’s body I got to use my first bit of real magic to shatter the bead curtain of animated snake bones blocking our entrance.

Once on the platform, there was a big fight where in my fellow slaves battled the armed and mind-controlled guards. Lo and behold, there on the Empress’ chest was the magical gem I had been searching for, stolen from my tribe. That bitch was going down. I joined the assassin who had already been laying in pretty heavily on the wicked tyrant. I hate to think that I stole the kill, but I did get in there with some
spell-casting to double strike, biting hard and ripping her head off.

Going Old School

The afternoon game was old school D &D with some tweaks. This means that there were characters with classes like Elf and Dwarf but also that we made skill rolls and had some special abilities. In the spirit of being ‘Old School’, I grabbed the dwarf with the axe to play. Even better, he had a jewel encrusted mug and a tendency to go into a rage.

Things got off to a fabulous start when while searching for my companion’s lost cousin I ended up starting a bar fight with the guys who were last seen with her. The fact that one of the punks tried to steal my mug might have had something to do with it. A couple of grabs at a random barmaid’s posterior and I felt like I was playing D &D back in high school.

The true shining moment of this game was the spiral staircase trap (with barrels rolling down it). My dwarf was already very fast being inspired by the more modern barbarian and while going up the staircase the mage pulled out a haste scroll. Doubling my speed I zipped up the staircase to find the ogre sized gorilla who was tossing the barrels. Within one round I rolled two criticals and decimated the ape. Katrina the Red was up the stairs right behind me and gave it a little poke with her rapier, taking the big guy down along with the credit. More kill stealing 😉

We went on to defeat the extra dimensional horror and free the captured cousin, but I wasn’t nearly so awesome in that fight.

Sad boy
Sad boy

Home Again, Home Again

With the games over (and many thanks to the people who put it together), I headed back to the metro and from there to the car. It was fairly late when I got home but people were still there. With the Mrs.’ broken leg and me being away for the whole day, some of our friends had been very kind to take shifts to help her out. I received a picture message during the second game showing a pouting little boy who missed me. I tried calling but he maintained radio silence, just listening to the phone but not talking back.

As I was saying, when I got back to the house people were still there and my little man was still up.. and a little wired. Bending down, I got the biggest hug from him. I’ve always said that enthusiasm counts and he was more than enthusiastic for my return. It felt great.

“Did you have a good day?”


“What made it so good?”

“THIS!” He yelled, waving his hand back to the rest of the room, indicating the people visiting and the pizza.

It was the shiniest moment of a day full of bright and shining moments.

⭐ - Bill