The Edge Bar and Grill wasn’t technically on the edge, as it was inside the safety fence. Adventurer’s League Silverwings Troop was on the outside of that fence, looking down.

“I don’t like this,” Foster said. The ranger scuffed his boot against the side, knocking a stone down in to the abyss beyond.

“I thought you liked wide open spaces,” the wizard Zhen said. “I thought you’d be used to this, growing up on Coyn.

He looked back at Haven City which sprawled out behind him on the head of the Scepter. He let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding — the city wasn’t much better, but at least there was ground. “I like the ground,” he said. “And growing things. I always stayed away from the edge and the hole there, too. Even so, what we’re doing is insane.”

Keely walked up, carring a huge box, that was easily three times her size. “Gotta feed the dragon,” she said. “Plus, it sounds like fun.” She grinned at Lyp who was making sure the ropes were ready and felt strong.

“I’d feel better if we could check the ties,” Ormond said.

“Owlbear troop is checking that,” Zhen said. “They’ve got our back.”

“They better,” Foster said. “Now go over this for me again.”

Zhen chuckled. “We put on these rope harnesses. We throw the box and jump off at the same time.”

“And then we fall, really fast into oblivion,” Keelie said. Foster blanched a bit.

“We fall down to the gravity line, sure. and then we start rising, and the gravity slows us down. The ropes are tied at the center of the Scepter, and so they pull us back in as we slow down.”

“That’s when we shout ‘wheeee’ and you shout ‘oh shit,'” Lyp said.

Zhen coughed, and arched her eyebrow at her short companions. “By the time we’re stopped, we’ll be in reach of the pommel, near the Dragon’s spire. Then we do our business.”

“We make sure Petracalifax’s box lands safely, and the nice ancient dragon is happy,” Foster recited, as he checked his harness. “We pass along our requests, and she does the same.”

“Then she tosses us back,” Ormond said morosely. His shield was strapped carefully to his back, and his weapons secured.

“Whole thing shouldn’t take more than half an hour,” Zhen said. “Barring accidents.”

“Just be ready with that healing spell,” Foster said. The cleric nodded once, his expression grim.

“Okay, time for that jump,” Lyp said. Keelie tossed the box over and Lyp jumped on it as it fell.

“You coming?” Keelie asked as she jumped too. “Got to take the dragon her din-din.”

Note:  These Adventurer’s Leauge posts are some idea of what sorts of things we might be doing near the beginning of our adventure, if you’d like to join us. We are still looking for a Few Good Adventurers.

What D&D campaign doesn’t have the party fighting a rat swarm or dire rats sometime early in the game?

As they approached the place the farmers said the rats were, Foster called a halt and sent Lyp on a head to scout.  As the halfling disappeared in to the tall wheatgrass, Foster turned to look at Keelie. “Now remember, the Druids won’t let us kill them all.”

“Do you have to spoil my fun?” the gnome groused, and pulled out a greataxe almost as as big as she was.

“So long as they aren’t psychic rats,” Zhen said, brushing her forehead where her wizard’s glyph twisted and flowed.

“Psychic rats?” Ormond scoffed. His white cleric’s glyph pulsed, too, in readiness for what was about to happen.

“Yeah, psychic rats,” Zhen said. “I was reading about them in the vault. Some sort of pre-cataclysm monster.  The more of them there are the smarter they get.  A full swarm was a powerful wizard, not to be trifled with.” She glared at the cleric. “Like most wizards.”

Ormond chuckled, and waved dismissively.

Zhen was about to respond when the wheat rustled Lyp stepped through.  “Huge swarm,as well as several larger rats around the perimeter. And Zhen, ” she paused. “They didn’t seem to be casting any magic.”

She sputtered a bit, “You heard that?”

“All I can say, ” Lyp replied, “is that when we’re facing intelligent opponents, maybe you could be a bit, I don’t know… quieter?” Lyp drew a quick outline in the floor, and Foster bent over it.

“Keelie, Lyp, you flank and take out these two big rats.  I’ll shoot the one on this side.  Zhen, you know what to do.”

“Burning hands the whole lot,” she said holding out her hands and wiggling her fingers.

“What about me?” Ormond asked. “Stand back and heal?”

“That and make sure she doesn’t catch everything on fire.”

Ormond laughed.

Zhen shook her head.  “I’m never going to live that down, am I?

Note:  These Adventurer’s Leauge posts are some idea of what sorts of things we might be doing near the beginning of our adventure, if you’d like to join us. We are still looking for a Few Good Adventurers.

I’ve now had a chance to play Fable 3 and experience it’s “menu-less” interface. I was also a fan of Black and White, also by Lionhead, and also menu-less.  In general, I found Black and White’s lack of menus more compelling than Fable 3’s and I’ve been thinking for the past week or so about why.

A menu, ultimately, is an interface element to allow the player to manipulate some part of an computer application.  Video games are computer applications, of course, and most games have some sort of menu of some kind or other.  Even Fable 3 has a menu to allow you to save and load, and adjust game options like subtitles or volume.

Some games have a lot of menus, some naturally have very few. Menus aren’t necessarily evil, but they aren’t necessarily fun.  I’ve seen games like Football League simulators that are nothing but menus — these are data heavy games that require a dense information layout. In fact, the people who may actually do that job (as it were) probably use a spreadsheet or something similar to do it, so it’s not a wrong choice.  The one Tetris console game I had (The Next Tetris) had almost no menu, beyond selecting a player and a game type.  You never saw a menu while you were playing the game, and that’s good because it would have broken flow.Continue reading

The sun’s rays shown up through the water disk, as it prepared to rise.  Jaxom, special assistant to the Druid Guild Council Representative, spoke quietly to his companion.  “I still think it was a bit of a cruel joke, Roslyn, putting that fake flavor spell on their water.”

“They mishandled the crates,” she replied. “They are required for the trees and our survival.”  She patted the roots of the tree they nestled in.  Most druids spent their times in the branches of the two trees, not here where their roots tangled together.  It made a good place for the two to clandestinely meet.

Roslyn thought for a moment, and leaned in closer to her confidante, her lips brushing his ear with a whispered kiss.  Her nominal boss, the Baobab Citizen representative needed this information passed on most discretely.  “Arturus is at it again, ” she said. “With his studies.”

Jaxom let out a bark of a laugh, “What is it this time?”

“He’s calculated the volume of water we have, and how long it will last the Alliance before it runs out.” Jaxom went very still, but Roslyn slid her hand along his leg, and he, for a moment, only pretended to be her lover.

“He knows,” Jaxom said.

“But he can’t prove it,” Rosalyn whispered. “That’s why he’s asked the council for funding, and many of them want to give it.”

“We can’t vote on this,” he said.  “They’ll know.”  He didn’t say what — that they had something to hide, that the special assistants colluded together despite council rules.  That they were secretly lovers, and had been through many elections and officials.

“The Farmer’s Guild has a bill they want passed. I’ve let them believe we oppose it, but that our vote can be bought for an exchange.  We’ll recuse ourselves of this vote, since it involves Baobab.”

Jaxom nodded, relaxing, they’d done this before, bartered votes in secret.  He turned and kissed her for real and not pretend. “I know a dark elf who needs a similar favor.”

“The sun is coming,” she said.  They turned and looked as the sun broke over the water disk. The sun’s light below refracted and the light above reflected, turning the whole eastern disk  bright gold.

“A moment of balance,” Jaxom whispered.

“A moment of beauty,” Roslyn replied.

“That then concluded this business?” Jaxom asked.

“Indeed,” Roslyn said, and kissed him soundly.

His hands went to her robes, and her’s to his.  Now they could get down to the real purpose of this meeting.

Note: We’re still looking for a Few Good Adventurers.