Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back into the fold once more...

So tomorrow is our first DnD game.  Set in the world of Golarion (Pathfinder RPG, 3.5 DnD).  We should have 5 players, though one guy may miss this first game... I believe right now the character break down is Barbarian, Fighter(archer type), Rogue, Bard, and Cleric.  I am playing the Cleric.  This will be my first major foray into this class.. and I am looking forward to it... it should be different.  So here's some world history and some background for my character.

(italicized text is taken right from the campaign setting.  Which you can find here at Paizo.)

There are several distinct human "races" in Golarion; the one I chose is Varisian.  The easiest way to describe them is... gypsies.  They are nomadic, artistic, and carry a bad reputation.  Wanderers and nomads, Varisians travel the land in caravans, stopping only to put on their shows.  Show Varisians use their gregarious natures and dark good looks to swindle unfortunate marks; it is these few scalawags who give the Varisian people a bad name. Most other people respect the Varisians for their ancient traditions and vast knowledge, but distrust their motives. They often dress in colorful clothes, wear lots of jewelry, and are adorned by intricate tattoos.  They often follow the god Desna, the god of the stars, but pay homage to many of the realms gods often seeing them as angels who serve Desna.  They are at times (rare) born with "birth tattoos", birth marks but not in the normal sense. These birth tattoos bear little resemblance to conventional birthmarks. Most are extremely elaborate and multicolored...Varisians believe that birth tattoos indicate a profound destiny awaiting the marked child.
Jal Chavali.  My character is a cleric of Sarenrae, The Dawnflower, the Healing Flame, the Everlight.  She is a Neutral Good god, and the ancient enemy of Rovagug, The Rough Beast, God of wrath and distaster.  Her Domains and spheres of influence are: Fire, Sun, Good, Healing, Glory - goddess of the sun, redemption, honesty, healing.  Her clergy are known for being very gentle and kind, but such kindness vanishes when the church is stirred to action against evil that cannot be redeemed-- at such times, Sarenrae's clerics become dervishes, dancing among foes whilst allowing their scimitars to give their opponents final redemption." ... Swordplay, particularly with the scimitar, is held to be a form of art with her followers...  Religious art depicts the sun goddess as a strong woman with bronze skin and a mane of dancing flame.  While one hand holds the light of the sun, the other grasps a scimitar, so that she might smite those who do not change their ways.  The book has pictures of her clerics and they remind me a lot of  high level Blue Mages in FFXI (with all their gear on)(in appearance only, though not wearing blue, more whites/golds).  Anyway, I started out with Martial Weapon Prof: Scimitar as one of my feats.. to eventually build on the swordsmanship side of my clerical duties...  I took the Sun and Glory domains. Glory is new in Pathfinder, makes you better at Turn Undead and, holy crap, Holy Sword (from the paladin spell list) as 5th level domain spell... that will certainly help my scimitar skills...

Here is my write up on his background.

Jal was born into a varied and elaborate caravan of Varisians.  The Chavali clan was known for being widley travelled, and encompassing a wide array of professions and ideals.  Most deities were paid homage by the caravan, Desna for guidance in the evenings, Sarenrae for guidance during the day, and others when it was convenient or appropriate.  It was startling when Jal was born with a prominent "Birth Tattoo" of a sun, directly over his heart.  The elders of the caravan were never quite sure how to fully interpret its meaning, and left it up to his immediate family.  Jal's father, a very well travelled man, felt it was a sign of his purpose, that the Dawnflower had chosen him.  His mother, was less sure, feeling Desna was always meant to guide her and her family.  As time passed Jal learned what he could of all the gods, paying close attention to the stories of Sarenrae (at his father's urging). During his early teenage years the Chavali caravan, joined up with some other clans/caravans for a great festival, an exchange of stories/ideas/goods/people/bodily fluids among the caravans and this is where Jal's purpose was revealed to him.  The festival included a great many dances, elaborate and complex affairs that often held great prophetic wisdom to the families and ran from sunrise to sunset, and often into the night.  It was in this dance that he saw his fate revealed to him...  Many female dancers encircled a lone male dancer, and swirling scarves of yellow and crimson spiraled and danced in the air...Upon completion of the festival he departed the caravan to seek out a temple where he could truly understand his purpose.  The priests attending the small temple saw the his coming as a sign, and welcomed him in.. teaching him the ways of the Dawnflower, and instructing his in the ways of the sword.  He returned to his family when he deemed himself ready, and informed them of his new path... his mother remained distant and upset, feeling he had forsaken his bloodline and Desna.. but his father gave him his blessing.  Jal choose to then head out on his own once again to seek out the deeds Sarenrae had selected him to do... he chose to travel west as the sun travels across the sky.. eventually hitting the coast and having to change direction, he encountered many other travelers, all heading to Sandpoint for the upcoming festival.  He felt starting yet another journey with a festival was a good omen...

I am kind of playing him as conflicted somewhat.. culturally, he is veering from the societal worship of the Varisian people... following a different god than the norm, which has created a rift in his family.  But he feels his fate is to serve Sarenrae so he holds nothing back...

I will update after the game, maybe Monday night..

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Clone Wars : Episdoe One : Ambush

Episode One : Ambush
"Great leaders inspire greatness in others."

Episode Brief: Jedi Master Yoda and three clone troopers -- Jek, Thire, and Rys -- must face off against Count Dooku's dreaded assassin Ventress and her massive droid army to prove the Jedi are strong enough to protect a strategic planet and forge a treaty for the Republic.

Karl's Review: The first episode takes place on the moon of Rugosa, a moon with giant coral formations all over it.  Yoda is sent to negotiate with the King of Toydaria (the race that Watto belongs to).. but his ship is attacked and he is forced to land in an escape pod.  Assaj Ventress meets with the King first to try and sway his allegiance to the Separatists.  A challenge is issued.. if Yoda can fight his way through Ventress' battle droid army and reach the King by nightfall he will prove is worth to the Toydarian King.

This episode has lots of Yoda-on-droid action, as he fights his way to the king.  The interesting part is that he fights along with 3 clone troopers.  We really get to see the interactions of these clones, and how they try and differentiate themselves from their identical brothers.  These clones wear red marking signifying them as Senate Security forces, an action figure with these markings was released as an exclusive by Hasbro at ComicCon this year.  At one point they stop to rest, and the clones feel doubtful that they will be able to prevail against the odds facing them.  It is interesting how the clones, throughout the show, have to figure out how to deal with this Jedi, whom they know nothing about.  At times Yoda simply sits and meditates, and the clones are left confused.. they also refer to him consistently as "General" no doubt due to their military training... Yoda is portrayed quite well in this episode, even reverting to his playful nature as he laughs and leaps from battle droid to battle droid.  This is a side of Yoda not seen since Empire Strikes Back.  He also exhibits his wise persona, as he rallies his clones when they are feeling overwhelmed.  "Clones you may be, but the Force resides in all life forms.  Use it you can, to quiet your mind."  Yoda sees them differently through the Force, and convinces them to see themselves that way as well.  I enjoy seeing how the clones choose to differentiate themselves, some with different hairstyles, some with scars and tattoos... It is perhaps one of the more interesting themes to permeate the series, and a good choice to put in the first episode.  Assaj Ventress (am I the only one who finds sith chicks sexy?) doesn't do much in this episode but boss around her droids, but she is an awesome character, and her voice and visual depiction is perfect.  I look forward to seeing her expanded upon throughout the series. 

An enjoyable episode...good depictiongs os Yoda and the Clone Troopers and some cool action sequences, but it lacked the grandure of a war supposed to be engulfing an entire galaxy. I give it 3 astromech droids out of 5.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Stuff and some junk...and some trailers...

So it has been overall.. a pretty crappy week. have not been in a real good mood of late and haven't been in a blogging mood. Sunday I went down to Philly with my pal Mike to visit our friends Jason and Josh. Stayed most of the day... went out to eat some Indian food, played a couple fun games of Warmachine/Hordes (won one and lost one) and when we went to leave we found that Mike's car had been broken into... window smashed, his GPS unit stolen.. it sucked. A crappy end to a good day. And the rest of this week has just been.. blah. I am still planning on writing up my reviews on the Clone Wars episodes.. I will end up being a week behind, since I have to wait for episodes to appear online from now on. (the show is good, I will say that much right now.. it also had the biggest ratings for any Cartoon Network show ever, so its target audience -kids - also really liked it).. anyways... the Tokyo Game Show is currently underway.. and lots of info is spilling forth on lots of upcoming games.. these two trailers made very very happy... the Street Fighter one is just a really cool trailer.. not really any new footage.. and the second.. well its a a new foray into a universe I love to play videogames in... Hurrah for Video Games! They make real life bearable! I am going to be putting together my character for our upcoming D&D game tonight/tomorrow.. so expect a post on that soon as well.