November 15, 2007

Detroit (White)rock City

This past Saturday was the Goodman Games’ Castle Whiterock (DCC # 51) release party at Gamer’s Gambit in Fairlawn, New Jersey.

I tromped down into the Gambit “dungeon” to find Adrian Pommier already hard at it—running a table-full of eager adventurers through the caves of Whiterock. (Actually Whiterock has all types of environments, including underwater, but this was mostly a cave level.) As many Gen Con tourney players can no doubt attest, Adrian is a kick-ass DM, and it was great seeing him comfortably run the PCs through their paces. Soon I was offered the sole spare character—a bard*—and despite a raging fever (I had spent much of the week fending off a fierce bug, almost ankheg-sized at that), I got sucked into the action. Play in Whiterock? Sign me up.

Jeff LaSala and his wife Marisa participated, as did Adrian’s wife CJ, and Whiterock co-author Chris Doyle hovered about at the ready, lending aid and handing out copies of the Sinister Secret of Whiterock (DCC # 51.5) as needed. Adrian’s got a great play style, and I found myself forgetting my spinning head and getting pulled into the adventure-in-progress. Our party was fighting its way through a cave level of the mega-dungeon, fighting off giant ants, mountain troglodytes of all types, and hideous demonoid-looking frog spawn. The mountain trogs were an unexpected treat—its not often one gets “on the wrong side” of one’s own monstrous creations and I had never actually encountered them as a player (I understandably DMed all the playtests for The Scaly God). This level had mountain trogs raised a notch, including what might have been the biggest, baddest trog of them all! I won’t spoil the surprise, suffice to say that Adrian’s description of a huge creature with arms like trees sauntering toward us got everyone’s attention. It was a great few hours—the type that pass too fast—and it’s a great dungeon. Get ‘em while they’re available, folks. (Me, I had Mike Ferguson bring me back one from Gen Con—something he probably cursed me for on the plane ride as the boxed set must weight 15 pounds! Thanks Mike!) I congratulate Adrian and Chris on their big, bad dungeon and I hope one day to explore its fabled halls once again.

*I’ve never played a 3rd Edition bard … ever. I don’t have anything against them, but it just never worked out that way. So this was kind of funny. And when I tell my regular players, they’ll find it amusing indeed. Let’s just say the bard was quicker with his rapier than his lute. Call me impulsive.
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