Shave and a Haircut, DND

Howdy folks. I return.

So first off, just to get it out of the way, I shaved my head. If you don’t care about that sort of thing, go ahead and skip ahead because I’m gonna talk about this for a little bit.

I had long hair. I began growing it out years ago, and after twenty years of having enjoyed such things it is now gone. Had it never grown thin I’d probably just let it keep growing, but age has its price. As is normal for my family, eventually the baldening began to happen. So, not wanting to go for the Benjamin Franklin look, I shaved my head. There is nothing quite like a shorn…. oh wait, no. Um, it feels wonderful. No longer does my hair snag on everything, nor do I have to worry about brushing it out, let alone taking forever to wash and condition. However it does take time to shave. I’m still undecided if I’ll ever let any hair grow out again, but now I look like a rather tall dwarf with my long beard, heh.

The downside is that my head feels cold. Not too much of a problem during summer, but it does make sleeping with the a/c on rather interesting. I tend to pull my head under the covers now, and it tends to help. That and I “think” I’m sleeping better. I still don’t feel rested until I get some coffee into me, but that may just be my addiction to caffeine.

Oh, yeah, and now I have a new habit, I rub my head constantly. I love the way it feels right after shaving. So smooth! Heh, when it comes in a little it also feels nice. Like sand paper against my fingers. I’m convinced I’m sanding down my finger prints doing this, but I can’t help it.

I’m not sure they read this, but I will mention something else. I have a knitted cap that someone made for me years ago. I think I received it for Christmas. I’ve been wearing it every time I write, or when I’m cold. Now it functions as my hair, keeping my head warm. I call it my thinking cap, heh. So a very big thank you to them. I hope it lasts a long time. I’d feel lost without it, as it’s a part of my writing process, and now it replaces my hair, at least around home.

So anyway, I played some more DnD this weekend. Sigh, we got into another fight while trying to rescue a tavern owner’s son. He’d been kidnapped by goblins, and our group attacked. And by our group, I mean everyone but me. I was going to, but I was afraid one of them would turn around and bash my head in.

So, we got to a clearing, and several goblins surrounded the kidnapped dwarf. The Teifling and Elven Wizard went out ahead to look at a boulder that was hanging dangerously over the group. The Firbolg at this time decided he’d cast a spell that made him look like a tall goblin and walked forward to confront the ones holding their hostage. I asked him to wait while I used my disguise kit so I’d look like a goblin as well, but he ignored me. While I applied my make up and outfit, he confronted them. Not knowing how to speak goblin, he acted unintelligent using grunts and dim-witted expressions. They lept at him, attacking the unknown goblin before them. He easily killed two of the three, while the tiefling killed two, and the wizard cast burning hands, as she is wont to do. The ones not killed ran away, but not before pushing the boulder down at the dwarf and firbolg. He picked up the hostage, and ran away, while I took off my disguise, again afraid I might be attacked. Unsure if we were going to be attacked I cast inspire at the Firbolg, and sang “Carry On My Wayward Son” to everyone’s amusement, but to no point, the fight was done.

The party came back together, all the while the dwarf mistook the firbolg as a golem of some type, and me as its master. I went along with it. It became apparent this dwarf was annoying, as he kept asking to join our group, and saying the dumbest things. I decided I’d just play some music to shut him up, and it worked.

Once back in town we delivered him to his father, and were rewarded. The other three decided to turn in the ears they collected for a reward and went to the town hall. I stayed behind to flirt, but once the woman I targeted began to talk I realized how crazy her eyes were, and decided against it and went back to share a drink with the tavern owner.

The other three turned in their ears, got some gold, and were making ready to leave. That is when a man came out and asked them into his office. Trying to be subtle he asked for their help to kill his supervisor. The Tiefling being the good and innocent person she is called out, shouting that the man was trying to kill someone. He made his escape out the window as the guards came rushing towards the group.

They were praised for their loyalty, and were ready to leave. Unfortunately the elven wizard decided she’d try to loot the room of the would-be assassin. While everyone was turned away she re-entered the room, and found a chest. Apparently overcome with greed, or simply wanting to find knowledge about the assassin, she had found a chest and tried to open it. Using a pen she found she attempted to unlock it. It failed spectacularly and loudly exploded alerting everyone to her presence.

Now, in this town there is a rule. The rule is if you break a law you are to be executed. She had been found trying to steal, so she was about to be taken away to prison, and was facing death. This stumped everyone there for quite awhile. They didn’t want to die, so the Firbolg Cleric decided he’d try something, and shouted to the room that she was possessed by a demon, and attacked her with a spell. Eventually causing her to pass out, he then claimed the demon was gone. Now the whole town thinks there are demons running around possessing people.

In the end everyone returned to the tavern for sleep. I noted the passed out Elf, and asked what happened. I was told she was possessed by demons, and remarked I wasn’t surprised. Her use of burning hands for no reason other than to kill things for no reason before obviously not something a person would do if they weren’t possessed. Now only the Firbolg and Elf know she was never possessed. And that was it for the evening. Another fight, and I do nothing but stand in the background, and everyone else does things. Ah well.

And that is it for this time. I hope you all have a great week.

TTFN

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: The book is 100% edited, and 99% formatted. The book cover is coming along. And I’m 45% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

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I’m Older Than I’ve Ever Been

Hello to you all. I’m back once more. Isn’t that just nifty?

Well today is my birthday. Good for me, I made it through yet another year. So how do I celebrate the anniversary of my birth? Uh, I don’t know. I’ve nothing planned. I’ll probably read a book or something, that tends to be what I do these days.

Speaking of reading, it was another week where I read 10 books. Yay me. It’s nice that I feel like I’m accomplishing something when I read, and I do like how the time flies right by when my nose is in a book. Makes the days pass easier. I don’t feel this way when I watch a show, for some reason, maybe it’s because reading engages more of my mind, rather than the passive way a show can be watched. I have to imagine all the things described as the words scroll by, instead of being spoon fed everything. I don’t know my dudes, I enjoy it. You all can enjoy whatever else takes your fancy.

Here’s your update for the new book. Everything is completed… but the cover. The artist keeps making different ones, or at least the beginnings of ones, but hasn’t been satisfied by any of them. Me? Yeah, I don’t get to give an opinion of them. I’ve only seen a couple at the starting phase. I like them, but what do I know? I’m not an artist. Just to clarify a bit, the artist is also the co-author, so it’s no wonder that they want to make it something to be remembered, so it’ll take them a little more time. I’m still hopeful for an August release, but it won’t be today like I’d thought. I could try to make a cover, but no one would be happy about that. I’ve got a middle school talent for drawing, so unless you all want something terrible we’ll have to wait patiently.

Hrm, what else? Um, I got some Dungeons and Dragons related things for my birthday. A large deck of spell cards for a bard, a starters set, and a stack of character sheets. Which makes me well prepared for my next session which should be coming up shortly. I’m really looking forward to it, though I think the first part of that night will be trying to figure out how to level my character. We all got just enough points to make it to our next level, and while I have an app on the phone that “could” level me up, it isn’t working correctly. So manual pen and paper it is. Luckily our DM is helpful in all regards to us beginners. Though he stated when we finish this campaign he’d like someone else to DM so he can play. He’s never done anything but DM, and well, that doesn’t seem fair if he wants to do something else. I don’t think I’d want to DM, so it’ll probably fall upon my other friend. He’s rather taken with DND right now, and has a knack for storytelling, so it’ll at least be interesting to play what he comes up with.

And I think that’s about it for now. I should have something else for us all next week to talk about, but right now I haven’t done much. At least now with DND I’ll have something to report at least once a month, look forward to that soon.

Have a great week!

TTFN

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: The book is 100% edited, and 99% formatted. The book cover is coming along. And I’m 43% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

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Edits Done, and some D&D

Well hello there. What brings you by? Oh, it’s just been another week. But wait, I have things to tell you.

So, first off, I’m happy to report that the book the co-author and I’ve been working on for the last two years, and several months, is finally finished. I should clarify, the edits are done, therefore no more of that anymore. We still need to format, get a cover together, and work on any afterword or such. From what I know, I believe it will be out sometime in late July or early August. If I have my way I’d say August 5th, for reasons, heh. Or if everything comes together quicker than I expect, July 22nd. Sorry for the vagueness, but the co-author and I have other things that take our time. But don’t worry, when we can we’ll be working to make sure you all can read it soon. It’s been a long journey, but I think it’ll be worth it.

Synopsis forthcoming, but for now the Title- You Must Be Drunk-

That’ll be your teaser.

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to talk about was my first real D&D experience. This weekend I was invited over to my friend’s house. He DM’d, and along with his wife, another friend of mine, and the co-author we set out on our journey. Of course it all started in a tavern, but things didn’t play out like I think anyone expected.

The tavern-keeper had a rat problem in the basement, a traditional first quest, and was offering a reward for clearing them out. I, being a bard, really didn’t feel like fighting, as I was already set up to get free room and board for playing some music. The anti-social Firbolg cleric, the Timid Teifling Monk, and the haughty elven wizard on the other hand were looking for some coin. Unfortunately the Firbolg took the request literally, and went to the basement and used his animal speaking ability to tell the rats that they should leave or they’d be killed by someone soon.

They rushed out in an understandable hurry, but unfortunately for them the Elf didn’t want to lose out on the reward, as no one was in a party yet, and rushed after them, cutting them off with a summoned familiar, a cat, and cast burning hands, roasting the majority of them. Thus earning the name Chaos Angel, or Fire Elf, by yours truly, the gnome bard.

However the tavern-keeper was overjoyed, and rushed out to collect the burnt bodies. Then offered us all some stew and coin as a reward. All the while making it obvious to my character that he’d make sure I’d get the best food and room, implying heavily that the stew he was serving to the others was made of rat. Why was he being so friendly to me? Well, I might be overly charming to barkeeps, and having exceedingly high charisma didn’t hurt either, heh. I think he was on the verge of inviting me to bed.

Anyway, another elf showed up and tried to give us a quest to kill the mayor of a town nearby, but none of us were really having it. Save the Tiefling, who accepted when she was told he was a bad man and tyrant. She’s very trusting. The Firbolg on the other hand simply wasn’t having it, and went to bed. The Elf and I wanted to get paid first, and after some very poor charisma rolls, we eventually got him to give us 40% of the reward up front, which we split between us two, without letting the others know.

For some reason though, the Firbolg started casting spells in the night towards the Teifling, and a disembodied voice kept speaking quietly in Infernal to her. Which since she is afraid of her demonic nature taking over, started scaring her into believing she was going mad. As the night went on he kept it up, and the poor monk, who really is just a sweet and innocent thing, blamed herself.

Thus enriched, we went to bed, only to set off the next day towards the town. We all decided to travel together, though none of us have yet to party up. Arriving in town, I of course headed to the closest tavern, and set myself up as entertainment, enjoying free room and board again, while the others wandered about trying to figure out the lay of the land.

While that’s not everything, that’s basically what happened. I didn’t mention the Elf stealing the Teiflings map that she’d been working on, only to return it and receive thanks for finding it. That Teifling really is too innocent for this world. But yeah, it was a ton of fun, and I’m looking forward to the next session.

It took more than an hour before we were ready to play, even with us all rolling characters before we arrived, but now we should be able to jump right into it. I think this’ll be a fun campaign.

Well, that’s about it for now. I hope you all have a good week. Until next time,

TTFN

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: The book is 100% edited. And I’m 35% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

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I Read Too Much

Hello to you. I’ve returned, and I’m here to do this blog thing. I’m sure you’re all very excited.

So the question is again what have I been up to? The book nears the end of it’s editing, and my other book is progressing. Everything is right on track.

Again I did more reading. That’s mostly what I’ve done with my free time. I did watch another episode more of Jessica Jones, and some random Youtube videos, but mostly my nose has been in a book. Or books I should say. I think I finished six books since last I posted, so yeah, been really getting into reading again.

When I was younger I remember reading only three books a week at most, and that was during summer vacation. I think the speed in which I read has really improved, heh. Of course that memory is from middle school, so I guess that’s not really a surprise. And yet the years just fade away so quickly, it’s hard to comprehend how much time has passed. Though thinking about it more, there’s a chance that those books were slightly longer. It’s hard to compare an actual book’s length to that of a digital version without having the word count, or some other means that can be illustrated.

Oh dear, I just checked, I think I’ve read somewhere around 30 books since last month. Oh Goodreads, you reveal my addiction to the world. I thought I was bad last year, but I’m almost to the same number of books read as I did all of last year. Admittedly I had a bit of a late start, and I also wasn’t reading as much. Still, I think it’s neat.

I’m sure no one really cares how many books I can put away, but I’m proud of it. Even if all these books aren’t masterpieces, I’d like to think I’m learning as I consume them. Sure, they’re fiction, but to me there’s so much to discover in them.

First of course is finding what I like about each one and try to put such things in what I write. I’m always trying to improve myself, and discovering different ways to tell a story helps that. The second is somewhat seeing into the mind of the author. Yeah, I know, just because we make a character doesn’t mean they are us, but it gives a glimpse into how you perceive people, and the world, even if it’s a fictionalized one.

Nothing else is really coming to my mind right now. I mean I’ve been writing a weekly blog for years, eventually I’m going to run out of new content, especially since I live such a boring life. I generally don’t go out and do things, partly because I work nights, the other reason being I’m a bit of an introverted homebody.

Though I did finally get to visit my friend’s new house this weekend. It’s a nice enough place, though it’s vastly different from their previous home’s. They’ve generally lived out in the country somewhere, but now they are smack dab in the middle of a housing complex. Heck, there’s even a home owners association. I’ve never liked that idea. My house, my property, leave me alone. I can’t see myself living in such a place, even if they usually don’t have too many unreasonable rules. But who am I kidding, I live in an apartment. Plenty of rules here, though since I don’t have to worry about a yard or what the place looks like outside it’s less invasive than a HOA. At least here if I have any issues I can call up maintenance and not a plumber or whatever and have to pay directly from my pocket.

Back to my visit. We’d talked of starting a DnD campaign, however we never got around to it. It had been months since we’d seen each other and we had stories to share. That and rolling up a new character takes time, so I think I’ll suggest we make them before hand next time. Then we can just get to it. Apparently selling and buying their new house was a long drawn out process. Of course it was. It was a real hassle for me last time too. But at least they got through it, and seem happy with the new place. Though it’ll take time to get used to it, but at least they’re closer and we should be able to see each other more often.

Anyway, enough rambling. Maybe I’ll try to be more interesting this week so I have more to tell, but I don’t think I can keep from reading long enough to do that, heh. I hope you all have a good week, until next time.

TTFN

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: The book is 80% edited. And I’m 31% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

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Just Another Week

Howdy to you all. I’ve returned to report on my week… I guess.

So what has little old me done? Well, I’ve read a few books. D’uh, I suppose to all of you who follow along here, or over at Goodreads. Uh, what else? I dunno, I worked, I wrote, and I edited. Just a standard week I suppose. I guess I’m boring.

I did watch Ralph breaks the Internet. I thought it was fine. I even could say I enjoyed a bit of the humor, but it wasn’t outstanding. I don’t have much to say on the matter, so I guess that’s it. I also watched a few episodes of the latest season of Jessica Jones. Same fare as the previous season, so decent.

The only thing new is one of my friends moved closer to me. So what’s so different about that? Well, his wife and him want to start running a frequent DnD campaign. I’m excited by this. I’ve only played a few sessions in the past, but it sounds like tons of fun to me. I’ve played many a video game based on the rule set and universe of the Forgotten Realms, and I’d like to try my hand at the true pen-and-paper experience. I understand that many an author has started from such game-play. Heck, the book I’m working on with the co-author has its origins, at least in part, from one such game. Our protagonist, along with another character, are based on the characters we played as. At least a little bit. I think it’ll be fun to see what we come up with next.

Oh, another thing I’ll share, though it’s not yet finalized, is the co-author/cover artist is working on a new cover for my Deathship book. They wanted to have some fun with it, and I can say it’s quite amusing. I’ll likely change the old one, though I like the original very much. But it’s neat to see what they’ve done. They’ll be doing our cover as well, and have already started on it, though it’s not yet finished.

Speaking of our book, we did do some editing, but with my sleep schedule being a little messed up this week due to longer hours at work, and life getting in the way as usual, we only did a small amount. Usually we can get a few sessions in a week, but I think we only did it once. We might work on it later tonight, but it just depends on if we have time. There’s always something going on, and we both find ourselves tired when we have time together. They’re part of the usual day shift, and I’m of the night. So when I’m awake they are readying themselves for bed, and I’m usually just getting up. Or vice-versa. This wasn’t an issue while writing, as we’d give it over to the other to work on as we never were working on it at the same time. Like handing off a shift, heh.

Otherwise, my new book is progressing at my normal rate. It looks as though it’ll be another thirty or so weeks until the first draft is finished, unless I get into a mood and write much more than I usually do for my sessions. Could happen, but not likely. So on average, if nothing changes, my books will be coming out every couple of years, as editing can take just as long as writing a first draft due to me not only fixing mistakes, but also fleshing out the story. Slow even by my own standards, but with work and a life I think that’s all I can handle without going crazy, or losing even more sleep.

I suppose that’s it for now. I urge you to create even if you only have a small amount of time to do so. Life will get in the way many times, but give yourself some time for yourself. Make something, even if you never show it to anyone else. It’s fun, and creating is its own reward. Have a great week.

TTFN

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: The book is 74% edited. And I’m 29% into the new novel’s first draft.

Steven Oaks

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My D&D first time.

This weekend I visited my friends house once more. He’s about an hour and a half away from my own home, but I try to make it up there about once a month.

I had introduced him to the Baldur’s Gate series many years ago, and recently he purchased the android version. Having grown to enjoy the environment, and the background mechanics of the game, he thought it would be amusing to play some pen and paper D&D.

I’ve never played D&D before, save for those computer based games where you don’t need to write everything down. We all rolled characters, and I wound up with a Bard Teifling male named Doluipus. It took at least an hour for me and another friend to decide and make our characters. Since he was going to be our Dungeun Master, we rolled two characters apiece. My alt was a half-ogre barbarian girl named Gung. Making up their back-stories was tons of fun, and even our banter during game play was amusing.

We ran into four goblins, and I killed the first two with one spell, Thunder Clap. I was rewarded a few extra xp for that, and my alt killed the other two with her great axe. It took along time to get through even this first encounter, so we called it quits for the night. However, we woke up the next day and after looting the area, we wound up with my friend running head long into an encounter he could have avoided, and nearly alerted every goblin in the area to our presence with some sort of extremely loud spell. I think he wanted to get that additional xp award that I had. Sadly, I had to rush in and kill them myself again.

All in all it was an interesting time, but I think it’ll get better if we decide to continue our campaign. We all need to get used to such a different style of game, and I’m excited to keep it going.

What I’ve published

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safeClick here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – hhttp://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: 1,009 words written for the newest novel.

“You are not entering this world in the usual manner, for you are setting forth to be a Dungeon Master. Certainly there are stout fighters, mighty magic-users, wily thieves, and courageous clerics who will make their mark in the magical lands of D&D adventure. You however, are above even the greatest of these, for as DM you are to become the Shaper of the Cosmos. It is you who will give form and content to the all the universe. You will breathe life into the stillness, giving meaning and purpose to all the actions which are to follow.”
― Gary Gygax

Steven Oaks

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