Streams of glory

Last night marked the inaugural delve night featuring players at the table and players joining via the internet.  Personally I think it went quite well.  As stated in my previous post we used Skype for voice communication and ustream to broadcast the video.  The only real technical issue was that ustream has about a 3 second delay from live so when asking where a player wanted to move it sometimes took a little longer to figure out.  I don’t think it really took much away from the flow of the game but it is something to be aware of if you plan to do something like this.  The audio was crisp and clear over Skype.  Skype lets you connect up to 24 people in one conference which is more than enough for any reasonable D&D game.  All in all from a technical stand-point everything went very well.  The only other glitch had to do with spectators.  With using ustream it gave us the opportunity for anyone who wanted to watch to log in and observe.  The problem is when we turned on the audio we got feedback.  We didn’t have time to play around and try to correct it but in the future I hope to be able to do something so that others who just want to watch can check it out.

From a gaming perspective I would have to rate the whole thing as a 7 or 8.  The players did great.  We had a few first time players and they were great.  They picked it up very fast.  I added complexity by making them 10th level and they still rolled with it like pros.  Great job.  We did have one glitch were one of our players didn’t have a character rolled up.  There was a bit of a communication breakdown and we thought he had one but in the end we had to roll his character up while we were playing the first encounter.  Not a big deal but the party was down a player and there was a lot of non-game related chatter that had to go on.  The second thing that distracted was the fact we had two leaders and a paladin.  There was so much healing power I didn’t know what to do with it.  On top of that both paladins and clerics use radiant power.  They mowed through the undead a barbarian through kobolds.  The encounter ended up being a bit too easy.  The last problem was with the enemy from the second encounter.  It was a vampire with regeneration and some other skills for gaining hit points.  Unfortunately most of his powers required combat advantage (i.e. he needs an ally to flank his target) and the party killed off his allies quite quickly.  He also was very hard to hit but wasn’t great at hitting the players.  So basically they spent about half the encounter fighting one enemy and both sides were missing most of the time.  It wasn’t the best scenario.  Again this wasn’t my own encounter, it was one I used from the book.  I also like encounters that have interesting terrain and this one didn’t have very much.

So to sum up from a technically stand-point I would give it a 9.0 and from a game play stand point I would give it a 7.5 (which was no fault of the players.  They were great).  This is defiantly something I would like to do again.  If this is something you might be interested in trying out let me know.  I will put you on the list for the next one.

Here is a quick rundown of what the party did:

The party, which consisted of a Dragonborn paladin, an Elardrin Wizard, a Halfling Warlord, An Elf Cleric and a Teifling Warlock, were hired by a town to rid them of a local vampire lord.  They descended into the tomb of the lord and encountered a bunch of vampire worshiping cultist and their three stone snakes.  The cultist fell quickly under the power of the party but the snakes managed to poison and blind the party (particularly the Paladin).  Through sheer force they smashed the stone snakes and ran deeper into the tomb.

They then encountered a room of vampires and two huge zombie brutes.  Most of the vampires were young and weak but the party had to face the vampire lord Nexull.  The party thought they had dealt with the zombies but after falling over they managed to get back to their feet and keep on fighting.  Nexull danced around the party with his spiked chain and even charmed the Paladin to swing at his allies.  After using magic to slow him down and relentless attacks to drain his hit points, the party defeated the vampire lord.  Unfortunately there are more doors to this dungeon.  Perhaps one day the heroes may return to find out what lies beyond them.

Delve night v0.9 (beta)

So tonight I am mixing technology and roleplaying.  I am hosing a D&D session (like I do most Tuesdays) but today we are mixing in some folks from out of town via the internet.  I am using two technologies.  First I am broadcasting the game via ustream.tv.  This way the remote players can see the board.  We are then communicating over Skype (skype.com).  There will be three of us at the table, one guy in Calgary and another on Powel River.  There were supposed to be a few more from Nova Scotia but we lost contact with them.

The other interesting thing is that because I am using ustream, anyone can log in and watch!  Just go to http://www.ustream.tv and search for nimrod108.  There should only be one show going on.  There is one problem.  There may not be any audio via ustream as it caused feedback when using it with Skype.  I will work on the issue and try to resolve it.  Otherwise we can apparently have up to 24 people in one Skype channel so if you are interested in hearing what is going on then just send me an email or post a comment and I will try to accommodate.  I may have to kick people off if too many people means a significant drop in sound or video quality.

I will also post about how it went after the fact.  For those of you who like to know these things I will be running them through the 10th level delve from the Dungeon Delve book.  There are some first timers as well so it could be interesting.  Also note that because this is one shot delve you will not see any of the familiar characters that I normally post about. (Ok lets be real, no one could name a single one anyway.  But I still dream…).  The game should start around 18:00 Pacific Time.  Wish me luck!