How-To: Dungeons and Dragons 5e

 

Hello reader,

I’ve created a concise, but detailed how-to on running Dungeons and Dragons. I have tailored this specifically for library programmers that might not know where to begin. Dungeons and Dragons has had a resurgence of popularity with the release of D&D 5e. Since its release, my teens had wanted to play D&D, but I didn’t know where to start or how to run a game. On my own time, I learned how to play, played in a few games, and have run a couple sessions of D&D on my own. Hopefully this guide will help you understand D&D, how to run it, and what you can expect.

This program may appear later in the YALSA Program HQ website. For now, you can save this post for your future reference.

Program Description

Participants will group together into groups of 5-7. One person in each group will be the Dungeon Master (hereon referred to as the DM), and the rest of the members of the group are the players. Together, the members of each group will role play, puzzle solve, and build a story together using Dungeons and Dragons 5e.

This program can be held as many times as you would like. The size of the program can also vary depending on how many of the participants are willing to be the DM. We hope that these programs have teens willing to volunteer to be the DM. If none, the largest size I would recommend is 6 per library staff.

Learning outcomes

  • How to work together to solve a problem and make joint decisions. Working together cooperatively to solve problems build a foundation for them to work with other people in teams.
  • Learn how to collaboratively create a story and tell it. Creating and telling stories allows the teens to explore their creativity and overcome the shyness that comes with expressing themselves. This will help them be more assertive when speaking with others.
  • Learn to work with other people by engaging them and being present.

Instructions

To start with D&D, the first prep is always the longest. Expect to front load a lot of information and, depending on your preference and budget, there is a front loaded cost to running these games as explained later. Following the first program, the rest of the sessions become easier and easier to prepare for once you have become used to the rules and story telling on the fly. There is a chance your teens may already play D&D, and I would advise you to speak with them and collaborate with them as you prepare to run this program at your own library. Encourage the teens to become DMs themselves!

What you will need:

  1. Read up on the Basic Rules for both Players and Dungeon Masters here. You can totally run a game of your own imagination just by following the free Basic Rules. If you find yourself wanting more or have the room in your budget, consider ordering the Player’s Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual. These are optional purchases and somewhat costly, but they more than make up their cost in how many times you will find yourself using these invaluable resources. If it is possible, consider adding these items to your circulating collection, or even better, your professional collection.
  2. Get an assortment of polyhedral dice. These dice are used to determine success rates or the outcome of events. They are commonly used in role playing, puzzle solving, and combat. You do not need too many dice, having at least one of every kind of dice (starting from 20 sides down to 3 sides) should be good enough. I recommend buying large assortments as it makes rolling go more quickly if all the teens have their own set during the game. You will also find that some teens will buy their own or bring their own.
  3. During the first session, you will have the option to have the teens create their own characters using character sheets (download link) OR you can have them play pre-created characters. For first timers, I would suggest using characters from this website or the pre-made characters in the starter kit.
  4. Finally you will want a notebook or loose paper and something to hide that paper behind, such as a Dungeon Master’s Screen or even a large open binder. This is to hide your notes and rolls from the teens so that there is an element of surprise.

Your options in running your own game:

  • You can spend any amount of time creating your own original game. For the most part, you want to have a few story hooks, such as: the city is being attacked by orcs, the mansion in the bad side of town is haunted, or even a princess has been kidnapped by a dragon. You can be as detailed or as loose as you want, the important thing is to create a situation where the players have a goal to accomplish.
  • You can purchase the D&D Starter Kit for fairly cheap, and it will contain a physical print out of the rules for players and DMs, along with dice, pre-made characters, printed maps, and nifty miniatures and tokens. If you have some money to put into this, I would recommend you put it here.
  • You can download official Wizards of the Coast adventure league campaigns for cheap! These are meant to run for several sessions. There are several that you can choose to run. I suggest trying these before hand so that you can get a feel for how they are written and what might be expected to happen as you play.
  • You can spend money on campaign books. These books expand on the adventure league campaigns and can last for months or even over a year depending on your players and how often you meet.

Running the game:

  1. Start by creating/distributing characters to the players, handing out any pencils to people who didn’t bring any, and putting the dice at the center of the table.
  2. Have the players introduce their characters. You can have them speak in character, talk about their character, and/or do ice-breakers such as “Tell me what Grom the Dragonslayer likes to do in his free time?”
  3. Set the scene for the game. Describe the town, the situation, or an event that will engage your players to explore and quest in the world.
  4. Find good stopping points about 10-15 minutes before your program is over. I like to use heightened climax scenes or cliff hanger moments to entice the teens to come back next month.
  5. Wrap-up your program however you feel, whether you give an ending scene, talk about when the game will next take place, or ask how the players how they felt about the game.

You can easily run a single game (referred to as a one shot) of D&D rather than run a series of games. This is based on your and your teens’ preferences. I would always allot for at least 2 or 2.5 hours of play time. Here are a summary of upfront costs depending on your budget. Dice are included in most listings, because you should own at least 1 set!

Mostly Free:

  • Basic rules
  • Character sheets &pencils
  • Dice

$15-20:

  • Starter Kit
  • Pencils

$25-65:

  • Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and/or Monster Manual
  • Character sheets & pencils
  • Dice
  • Printed out Adventure League sessions from here or as listed in the supplements.

You can always become more invested and purchase the campaign books: Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat, Princes of the Apocalypse, and/or Out of the Abyss. These are optional, but have a ton of helpful information and ways to extend your game past a few months. The cost for each of these books is around $20 to $30.

Finally, here are some tips and optional things that I couldn’t fit elsewhere in the instructions:

  • You do not need miniatures, figures, or tokens. You can do combat without visuals. Pros to this is that it is cheap, cons is that it may be hard for the teens to get into combat.
  • You can use white boards, paper, and dice to represent maps, battlefields, and characters.
  • Be ready for your teens to drop your story hook, and want to do random things. Maybe they don’t care about the kidnapped princess and instead want to go exploring a nearby cave or they decided they would rather start up a business in the town. Be ready for them to do almost anything but what you planned!
  • I recommend using note cards to keep track of monster stats and player stats. This way you are not always referencing a book or PDF, and can instead rely or reference information on the go.

Evaluation

Evaluation is done via asking the teens their opinion. I do this by sending out a monthly e-mail about D&D to my teens while also asking for their input.

My questions for them:

  • How do you feel about the length of the event? Too long or too short?
  • What did your group do that you enjoyed? What did they do that you didn’t enjoy?
  • What was your favorite part in the story?

To give you an overview of comments I received:

  • I think the program should be an hour longer. (We now play for 4 hours)
  • Sometimes the room can be very noisy, and I find it hard to hear. (Consider your space and how you can use it. We have made D&D an after hours program so that we can use the entire building.)
  • I would like to change groups because I want more story than combat.
  • I just like fighting things.
  • Can you teach me how to be a DM? (DMing is something you just have to do. There is no training for it. Encourage them to just jump in! If they are still nervous, direct them to the Dungeon Master’s Guide or the DM’s Basic Rules for more information.)
  • I wish we could play D&D more than once a month.

Other resources

Link to D&D Behind the Screen: Collection of reference materials, pdfs, and how-to DM guides

Talk with your local gaming/comic book stores, gaming groups, and your teens to see what kind of collaboration you can come up with. If you are lucky, a local store might sponsor your library program.

 

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D has an idea! It involves Five Nights at Freddy’s. (Spoiler Alert: It might make you poop yourself)

Hey everyone,

I don’t usually do this, but I have a great idea for an IRL game based around FNAF. I’ve posted it to my tumblr, link here. I’m going to be lazy and copy paste the rules of it below:

  • This plays like Red Light/Green Light. Either have someone calling out Red Light/Green Light or maybe add a musical chair flair by playing creepy music to denote whichever light. Also you can come up with your own way to do this obviously.
  • Human players can move when the light is Red. Monsters can move when the light is Green. They can’t move when the other is allowed to move.
  • The goal for the human players can be to reach a particular ‘safe’ place or find a hidden item. Really it can be whatever would increase tension and scariness. The goal for the monster players is to kill the human players… in game! This happens when the monster players touch the human players.
  • Everyone should be dressed to be a scary monster, with masks. The human players are maskless and also wear a light colored shirt over whatever their costume is. This can be handled however, but I think this would make a lot of sense.
  • The monsters should probably have to do unique movements to balance the game. Humans should have to walk/crawl/duck/slow movements, and maybe the monsters should have to perform a specific way they touch the player.
  • Strobe lights and fog machines for added effect. Maybe an ambiance track playing to intensify bad vibes.
  • New rule, suggested by a friend: It can have some rules from the party game Golem, where the human players have to find all the pieces of a flashlight hidden around the room then BUILD it. For that, maybe the red light green light should work differently than just 5 turns. 
  • New rule, No running!

Obviously this is played in the dark… Thoughts?

D Nuzlockes Pokemon Y – Part 1

Hello readers,

I’ve done it. I’ve bought Pokemon Y. After about 800 hours of Pokemon X, getting Shiny Charm, and having a lot of competitively finished Pokemon, you may wonder, “Why the heck did you buy Pokemon Y???” The truth is, I’ve been watching random Nuzlockes on Youtube… and I keep saying, “I could do better than this guy!!” The matter of the fact is ANYONE can talk big… its another thing to DO big. Or something. “What’s a Nuzlocke?” you ask from under a rock. Well, a Nuzlocke is when you play a fresh  game of Pokemon, any generation of the main titles, and you follow specific rules that make it harder to beat. To quote Bulbapedia:

  • Any Pokémon that faints is considered dead, and must be released.
  • The player may only catch the first Pokémon encountered in each area, and none else. If the first Pokémon encountered faints or flees, there are no second chances. If the first encounter in the area is a Double Battle in dark grass, the player may choose which of the two Pokémon they would like to catch.
  • While not exactly a definite rule, the general consensus is that players must also nickname all of their Pokémon, for the sake of forming stronger emotional bonds.
  • Also not a definite rule, but the general consensus is that a black out/white out is considered to be “game over”, even if there are Pokémon left in the PC.
  • Strongly implied, though not explicitly mentioned in the comic, is the stipulation that the player can use only Pokémon they have captured themselves, meaning traded Pokémon, mystery gifts, etc., are prohibited. Trading and retrading the same Pokémon (for the purpose of evolving a Graveler, for example) is something of a gray area, and may fall under optional rules. As of White: Hard-Mode Episode 3, it is implied that the player can accept Pokémon that are received freely from NPCs.
  • Also strongly implied is a prohibition against voluntarily resetting and reloading the game when things go wrong. Being able to do so would render all of the other rules pointless.

So how am I going to do this Nuzlocke? I am going to modify them a little bit, to make it harder on myself, but keep some Pokemon for my collection… Here are the rules I will be following:

  1. Any Pokemon that faints is considered dead, and I will place those Pokemon in a PC box labeled dead.
  2. The first Pokemon I encounter in a new area is the one I will catch. I will include Gift Pokemon as being a Pokemon I can catch in that area. I won’t be trading any Pokemon though, since that’s a trade and not a gift. If the first Pokemon is one I already have in the Pokedex, then I am entitled to catch something else if I want. If I get into a Horde encounter as my first battle, and its a mixed Horde, I will take whatever was left in the battle. I will also not be breeding.
  3. I will nickname every Pokemon I obtain.
  4. White out/Black out means I lost the entire Nuzlocke. If this happens, I might restart and do a Wonderlocke or Egglocke instead for funsies.
  5. I won’t reload the game EVER. So I can’t undo a death, a game over, or try to get a better Pokemon first in an area.

In terms of how I will present this Nuzlocke… well, I don’t have a capture card. Those are stupidly expensive! Like… extremely expensive. To me anyway. I will be using my sad phone quality to take pictures… Miiverse doesn’t allow you to post screenshots from Pokemon X/Y for whatever reason. 😦  Now… onto the Nuzlocke!

Part 1 – The Road to Santalune City

Our adventure begins with Professor Sycamore giving us the usual Pokemon intro. He’s much different than the previous professors in that he is clearly suave, and if you read into the game… he is probably trying to get you to leave your house to spend quality time with your mom. For our first steps, I have indicated that I am, in fact, a female with a beautiful tan. They don’t really have a mocha in between, which is more like me, but I can’t complain about X/Y’s increased customization. I can only hope Gen 7 has even more options. I have dubbed this character “D The Gamer”!

Vaniville Town

SAMSUNGAfter my weird dream where a professor tells me about how I should leave my house, my mother’s Fletchling rudely awakens me. Seriously! I’m pretty sure my torso is covered in puncture wounds. I get up and get dressed, ready to deal with life. Downstairs, my mother is hurrying me out the door… Outside, in Vaniville Town, I am welcomed by my new friends Calem and Shauna. They tell me to come meet them in  Aquacorde Town. I decided to hang out on my mom’s Rhyhorn for a little while. SAMSUNGI hope I can catch one of these in the future! I think Rhyhorn is a pretty cool Pokemon. I run out and commence the meeting with our newfound best friends.

Aquacorde Town 

After our introductions, these scrubs are trying to give me a nickname! For one, I hardly know any of you guys. For another, D is clearly my nickname. Being the mature adult that I am, I told them what they could call me.

Nothing can go wrong.

Now its time to pick our starter!! Now, most people will randomize their starter, but I am going to be different. I’ve already played through X twice, once with Froakie and again with Fennekin. So, yeah, I’m going to go ahead and choose Chespin. I didn’t like Chespin at ALL the first time I saw  him. He seemed like… a complete weirdo. I also didn’t like Oshawott, so I might just not like bipedal cute monsters… maybe? Either way, I choose Chespin! This Chespin turned out to be female. I’m going to name it Mercides… after my World of Warcraft Paladin… don’t judge me.

Oh boy! I hope I don't die first!

Oh boy! I hope I don’t die first!

I receive the Pokedex from our buddy Trevor, whom I still believe to actually be a little girl cross-dressing. You don’t need to worry, I won’t tell anyone. Anyway, Trevor tells us the Pokedex will help us understand Pokemon on a deeper level. Kid is a total nerd. Tierno gives us a letter from Sycamore to our mom, which I hope isn’t a love letter. After our late lunch, Shauna decides to challenge me to battle. Look, Shauna, you have a type disadvantage and, unlike previous generations, our starters have a move of their type! Shauna’s Froakie turns out to be female as well. Is this a thing?

The face of a killer.

Needless to say, I one shot this thing. My Chespin might not be too bad actually despite being of a Rash nature (ugh + special atk – special def). I run back to my mom’s house, and give her the letter. She doesn’t really tell me what is going on, but she is suddenly giving me all my clothes in a bag and is telling me to get lost. Wow, that’s extremely rude mom! I’m what… 10? 18? Actually, its pretty hard to tell with these sprites. I guess it is time to get away from your murderous Fletchling anyway.

On our way out the door, Rhyhorn bids us farewell. I am sure he wishes he could come with us since our mom apparently never races Rhyhorn ever again. Seriously, she is a Rhyhorn racer! I was hoping I could grow up to race Rhyhorn too! Oh well, I go back into Aquacorde Town and talk to everyone. In this town, someone mentions that you can pet your Pokemon.

Ah, Pokemon-amie. I think I might use Pokemon-Amie if only to add some drama to this Nuzlocke, because playing Pokemon-Amie is boring and sucks. The best part is petting  your Pokemon, but I don’t want to sit here petting someone for 20 minutes. I will grind that later, if I still have my Chespin. I suppose this is the rule I will add:

  6. I may use Pokemon-Amie to max out affection once per badge. So, when I get the first badge, I will be allowed to use Pokemon-Amie once.

That will surely cause me tears and regret. Delicious! I’m also purchasing potions in this town… so here is another rule:

7. I am allowed to use 1 HP restoring item per battle. Unlimited uses outside of battle.

Yay! Extra despair and hopelessness. Well, I am sure it will all work out for the best. I decide against buying Pokeballs, since we are about to get a lot anyway. Onward to route 2!

Route 2

On route 2, I first encountered a Pidgey. Lucky me, I don’t have Pokeballs, so I don’t have to count this as the only Pokemon I can catch. A few steps ahead, and we get into our little Pokemon Capture tutorial. Apparently Calem and Shauna have no idea that I am basically a 6-time world champion. Er, you know, because I’ve already beat this generation. Calem shows us his extreme, leet catching skills as he throws a Pokeball at Bunnelby. I really hope the first Pokemon I run into isn’t a Bunnelby…

I caught a Fletchling as my Route 2 Pokemon! Yes! I really love Fletchling for many reasons. Interestingly enough, this one has a Hasty nature, which is pretty decent. I accidentally hit “No” on nicknaming this Fletchling. Yikes! I will definitely nickname him once we reach the Name Rater. I will tentatively call him “Bob”. Why? Its an easy go to name for me. After grinding a bit to get “Bob” to level 5, I enter Santalune Forest…

Santalune Forest

You know what that means. I get to catch another Pokemon! Before I even step foot into the new area, Youngster Austin challenges me to a battle! Geez, its a good thing I grinded a bit. I dispatch his level 5 Zigzagoon with no causalities. Phew! Inside Santalune Forest, I first encounter a Fletchling… Since I already have one, I am going to let this one go. My second encounter is a female Pikachu! Wow!

Doesn't it figure this picture turns out a lot better than my other ones?

Doesn’t it figure this picture turns out a lot better than my other ones?

I have named her Claudia, and she is a Mild mannered Pikachu. My friends all know I dislike Pikachu, but the truth is I love Raichu. Of course, I am not sure how long it will take before I can evolve her into one. Still, its nice to have an Electric-type this early in the game. Pikachu/Raichu have some pretty good early game stats for doing the Pokemon main game. Hopefully it will last me until I get a ‘better’ Electric-type! One letdown of X/Y is that there aren’t really that many new Pokemon. I hope in this Nuzlocke I can catch a lot more X/Y specific Pokemon than old gen ones. I am so happy, though, that none of the elemental monkeys showed up. I HATE the Pan* monkeys. They are probably the laziest Pokemon designs ever. I also don’t really like monkeys…

I hate their faces... Especially Panpour.

I hate their faces… Especially Panpour.

I’m pretty lucky Shauna is kind enough to follow me through Santalune Forest, as speaking with her heals up our Pokemon. It allows me to grind my Pokemon enough to feel good about my chances with these trainers. One of the coolest things about Santalune Forest is how nostalgic it feels. I don’t have a direct way to compare it, but the layout reminds me so much of Viridian Forest. Its fun how the friends in X/Y run around the forest alongside you, getting into battles and whatnot. One of my biggest peeves with this  game is how the Super Friends weren’t always visible doing their own things. After the battles with youngsters and lasses, I make it out of Santalune Forest with all my Pokemon in tact.

Route 3

The gang decide to split up, as everyone has different goals. Calem is our only true rival out of this bunch. A lot of people felt a lot of sympathy for Serena, but I personally think Calem is trying way too hard to be cool.

On this route, we have a couple of children that I am going to take lunch money from. This is something that has always been super weird about Pokemon… winning prize money from 5 year olds. Its not even remotely fair, but I guess these kids DID challenge me to a battle… and I guess this is like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, where if you don’t follow some archaic Pokemon rules someone shows up and takes you to jail. So, okay small children, bring it!

Yes... Yes, you did.

Yes… Yes, you did.

We are on a new route, which means new Pokemon! PLEASE NOT BIDOOF. I beg of you, Helix Fossil. Don’t give me Bidoof.

I am not even going to bother taking a nice picture of YOU.

I am not even going to bother taking a nice picture of YOU.

Yes. I found Bidoof. I hate this Pokemon. Ughhh, so I accidentally murdered it because I lost all ability to pay attention to this one fight. Yup, no Route 3 Pokemon for me. I don’t even care!! I know it could have been an HM slave, but I dislike Bidoof so much. Anyway, I have more children to take money from!

Of course, the next trainer I fight has a Bidoof. Its like this game wants to remind me that I missed my chance to get a cute Azurill. This route is full of children. Sorry, but I need your Pokedollars more than you do, kids!

Santalune City

It is kind of hard to call this place a city, but I’ll bite. I try to go to the Pokemon Center to heal my Pokemon, but Tierno interrupts me as soon as I walk in. He explains how to use this combo Pokemon Center & Mart to me. Tierno is actually a funny character, and I wish we had gotten to actually see his Pokemon Dance Team. Kind of odd his Corphish is a part of that team though.

I check every nook and cranny I can remember having an item, plus I pick-up the roller skates from the girl guarding the doors to the gym. I could attempt the gym challenge now, but all my Pokemon are roughly level 10. Since I can’t head to Route 4 before beating the Santalune City Gym, I decide to head over to Route 22.

Route 22

I am having a dilemma as I enter this route. Do I want to catch a Pokemon here? Later in the game, this area has higher level Pokemon I could capture via flowers or fishing. Before I make a final decision,  I might as well clear out all the trainers in this part of Route 22.

A Rising Star’s Litleo nearly took out my 3 Pokemon. I have this problem where I… sometimes… don’t pay 100% attention. I have no idea why, but Claudia the Pikachu AND “Bob” the Fletchling almost ended up dead! I was forced to switch in Mercides, my Chespin. The Litleo must have embered, because the next thing I know its in the red too from a Super Effective hit. Um… my bad. I did end up using a potion to save Mercides the Chespin, just because I felt Roll Out would take care of Litleo. I did beat the trainer without anyone fainting, but this was pretty close! Claudia got a nice work out with the Lass on this route. The Lass had all Water-types, which is totally okay with me.

Decided I wouldn’t try to catch a Pokemon on this route after all. There is something hiding behind a HM CUT-able bush, but I don’t have that HM yet anyway. Consider Route 22 still open for business later in this Nuzlocke. I’ll instead spend my time grinding on Route 3, where that dumb Bidoof still lives. I’ll end this part of my Nuzlocke here. Next time, I’ll be done grinding and take on the Santalune City Gym. This is a Bug-type gym, and “Bob” the Fletchling will probably be the MVP here.

Feel free to comment about Nuzlockes you’ve enjoyed, possible rule changes or additions I will have to make in the future, or even leave a comment on the Pokemon you think may be the first to die… Hopefully in the future I will have a better way to take pictures of this Nuzlocke. I’m incredibly disappointed that Miiverse only seems to exclude Pokemon X & Y screenshots.

Why does D love Pokemon?

Chibi_Christmas_Flygon_by_bandgeekizzle

Hello readers,

I have been a PokeFan since the original Red & Blue, and I have played every game (sans Sapphire, Ruby, and Emerald) to completion. It is hard to explain why I am still into the game series. I find myself at an age where my interests are shifting away from single player RPGs to multiplayer competitive games, and a lot of things, like movies, which I enjoyed before as a kid seem to just totally suck now. So why has Pokemon stood the test of time for me? Why do I feel like I need to become the Pokemon Champion in every new region Game Freak has to offer?

There are no easy answers, but I can say that Pokemon has remained the same while still changing some features. Many folks argue that every iteration of Pokemon is the same, and for the most part it is true. The main Pokemon series (not counting Snap!, Mystery Dungeon, and other spin-off game series) has a tried and true formula. They let you pick a starter, then you go on a journey where you have to face gym challenges in a linear sequence. Along the way, an evil Team will stop you every once in a while and sometimes you catch a legendary on your way to the Pokemon League.  Game Freak releases some powerful, pseudo-uber Pokemon, and yet the coolest Pokemon all seem to have the worst stats.

Garchomp

Sometimes, they unseat your favorite Pokemon in terms of uniqueness and power… I will avenge you, Flygon!!!

So why do we continue to flock to this game series? I believe it is because Pokemon gives us something to talk about. While the game is: 1. fun 2. has cute, awesome, and/or badass creatures and 3. has a competitive scene, I think Pokemon is one of those fandoms that is just really easy to be a part of. You don’t even have to be wildly into Pokemon in order to talk about it with another person, so long as you both share a fierce hatred of Zubat. Pokemon also has an incredibly diverse fanbase, and honestly sometimes it can be surprising who is into Pokemon. It isn’t just a nerd thing, but almost entirely its own separate entity from Nerddom. Not only that, but you can share your Pokemon, literally, with others. There are several Pokemon communities, such as Reddit, that are planning on spreading the holiday cheer with Delibirds holding rare candies and other goodies on the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That is pretty awesome.

"Here's your candy! Good luck hitting 100!"

“Here’s your candy! Good luck hitting 100!”

I guess you could say I really like the community around Pokemon, the humor you can find in Pokemon Memes/WebComics, and how cute/awesome most of the Pokemon are. With X and Y, the community has this wonderful opportunity to be closer than it ever was before. These games are probably as close to a Pokemon MMO we are ever going to get, and honestly the features for Wi-Fi are pretty amazing. The fact that I usually get 2-3 perfect IV Pokemon from Wonder Trade is a testament that most trainers out there are trying to fill up that open, free trading with some interesting Pokemon. Even though I already have my Eevees, including my coveted and rare females with 4-5 perfect IVs, I still love it when I get an Eevee from WT. I usually end up sending them back out, but it is nice to see people contributing to the Greater Good.

So Happy Holidays to my fellow Pokemon Fans! I will post my Friend Code later in case any of you wants a Vullaby.

 

D’s Top 3 Reasons Why Golurk is AWESOME! (Spoiler Alert: This is about Pokemon X and Y!)

GOLURK

Hello readers,

It comes as no surprise to most of you that Pokemon is one of my favorite games. The games are extremely addicting and the Pokemon are usually either cool, cute, or AWESOME! In the case of Golurk, he is all 3. Golurk was originally introduced in Gen 5 and could only be obtained by capturing a Golett in Dragonspiral Tower. In X and Y, Golett can be found on Route 10 just before Geosenge Town.

A little side story, I have recently restarted my X & Y adventure in order to experience the journey all over again. On my revisit, I decided to use completely different Pokemon and Pokemon I hadn’t used before.  By the time you could catch Golett in Pokemon Black & White, it was late game and I already had my team. I am not the kind of person that switches Pokemon around a lot late game, so I never used our ghost-robot friend. When I ran into Golett during my second play through, I chanced using him on my team despite not really knowing much about him. He ended up being a vital part of my team. I did cheat a little by letting my boyfriend teach him Power-Up Punch and Earthquake near the third gym, but his ability to abuse Power-Up Punch and take hits hasn’t ceased to amaze me!

Now that I have a Golurk, I think I will breed a competitive one in the post-game. Golurk is simply awesome, and I want to share that with everyone! Here are 3 reasons why Golurk is AWESOME!

Number 3: Golurk has a unique typing!

Golurk and his pre-evolution are the only Pokemon to date that have Ghost/Ground dual typing. This typing is unique in that it allows him to neutrally hit most anything that isn’t a dual flying/dark type with STAB moves. This guy here Super Effectives other Ghosts, Psychics, Electric, Fire, Poison, Rock, and Steel Pokemon! Meanwhile, he boasts 3 immunities: Electric, Normal, and Fighting. To top it all off, he super resists Poison and only takes 1/4 damage to Poison moves and regularly resists Rock and Bug moves.

“So what?” you may be asking me. Here’s what: Golurk can tank and kill certain threats out on the field that cannot Super Effective him whatsoever. For example, a lot of people are using Mega Mawile, Mega Kangaskhan, and Mega Gardevoir! Not only does Golurk resist some of their STABs, he can outright tank them wearing an Assault Vest with a proper EV spread. As I was researching Golurk, I found a video of a Golurk eating up a Mega Gengar’s Shadow Ball. First of all, Mega Gengar has a base of 170 Special Attack. Second of all, Mega Gengar users probably go 252 Special Attack EVs unless they are crazy. Golurk being able to take that hit is pretty awesome. Such is the power of Assault Vest.

Now, of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Golurk does have 5 weaknesses. He sadly takes super effective damage from other Ghost, Grass,  Ice, Water, and Dark-type Moves. On the plus side, none of these are x4! Still, Golurk takes super effective damage from some of the most common attacking type moves in the game. You better believe most special sweepers will carry Shadow Ball, Ice Beam, and Scald if its worth learning. Golurk, for those who don’t know, is also one of the heaviest Pokemon in the game! You definitely won’t want to take a Grass Knot if you can avoid it.

I would love to dive into the type match-ups further, but without a reliable damage calculator for 6th gen I can’t really give nice numbers.

Number 2: Golurk has two awesome abilities!

Golurk has 3 total abilities. He can regularly be found with Iron Fist and Klutz, and his dream world ability is No Guard. I don’t think there is a use for Klutz on Golurk so I won’t even talk about it. Iron Fist and No Guard are pretty awesome for Golurk. Iron Fist increases the damage of punching moves by 20%, whereas No Guard means no moves used by and against Golurk can miss. Personally, I favor Iron Fist due to the amount of use you can get out of it in Golurk’s move pool.

In X & Y, Golurk has access to these interesting moves: Shadow Punch, Focus Punch, Hammer Arm, and Power-Up Punch. We don’t currently know his Egg Moves this gen, but last gen he could get: Drain Punch, Fire Punch, Ice Punch, and Thunder Punch. On top of these, Golurk also has access to Stone Edge, Earthquake, and Phantom Force. I don’t like Phantom Force too much myself, and I would opt to use Shadow Punch over it.

Number 1: Gorlurk can learn FLY!

Golurk can fly because reasons. Also, no idea who this artist is... if you know, let me know so I can properly credit!

Golurk can fly because reasons. Also, no idea who this artist is… if you know, let me know so I can properly credit!

Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Yes, our lovable giant can learn the HM for Fly. Not only can he pack a powerful punch, but he can learn FLY, proving that he is not like the other lazy members of your party for the main play through.  Golurk is powerful enough that he is ready and willing to sacrifice his last move slot for you.

Is there anything more awesome than riding on a giant robot that loves you? Answer: No.

I hope I have inspired other Pokemon Trainers to give some love to Golurk. He is an awesome Pokemon with special qualities you won’t find on other Pokemon. He’s a ghost/ground robot that likes to punch people while he flies through the sky. He is quickly becoming one of my most favorite Pokemon, and I can’t wait until my competitive Golurk is complete.

D plays DotA 2: Diretide

Hello readers,

I’m back after playing so much Diretide! Diretide is probably one of the most fun things ever. I’m so serious. One of my favorite parts about it is… I can pretty much random and incur no rage when I do kind of poorly! WOOO FOR BEING SO BAD!

For those of you that don’t know, and yet want to read a blog post about DotA 2, Diretide is a Halloween mode that is still available in DotA 2. The goal of the mode is twofold: 1. Get the most candy in the first 20 minutes, because you will win a free vanity item, and 2. Kill Roshan as quickly as you can. The best part about this mode, really, is how adorable Rosh is the whole time. Roshan is the boss creep that carries the Immortality item on him. In Diretide, Roshan is free from his pit and allowed to roam the map. After 10 minutes in game, Roshan will appear to collect treats from the players… and if you don’t give him what he wants he will kill you. I am 100% serious. He’s also dressed in super cute costumes!

Aww! Guys, he just wants candy!

There are three ways to collect candy: some jungle creeps will drop them, Roshan lane babies will drop them, and rob your enemy candy bucket. The third option is super viable, since it will give you almost a permanent lead if you can keep robbing and defend your own bucket well enough. For that reason, Anti-Mage, Furion, Queen of Pain, and other characters with global TPs or blinks are annoying as heck to deal with. Team fight characters are also extremely welcome, because most engagements will be mini to full on teamfights anyway. Characters like Sand King, Omniknight, Dazzle, and Clockwerk to name a few. Sadly, in this mode, the viable characters in the metagame are still all over the place.

If I had a dollar for every Anti-Mage or Furion I have seen in any game… I would probably have at least 50 dollars.

After the initial 10 minutes, Rosh appears for candy as mentioned previously. One thing my boyfriend and I have been doing is picking gangcentric characters and following Roshan. With enough stuns or damage, you too can help Roshan murder innocent people. Try Riki, Bounty Hunter, Spirit Breaker, and other fun characters for it. Its best done with at least 2 total people, because you might walk into entire enemy team. That’s not fun. =,(

After the candy phase is over, Roshan goes over to the team with the most candy and eats the bucket. This begins the third and last phase of the game — Kill Roshan. The competitive part isn’t to necessarily kill Roshan last, because both teams still get items for his death. The competitive part is beating the fastest Roshan kill, because you will get a Golden Baby Roshan. You want it and you know it.

Its so cute. You want it, don’t you? This is like TF 2 hats all over again! But with couriers.

Diretide is simply a Halloween event that seems to be going away on November 12 this month, but I hope they bring it back as a real game mode. Its fun, its fresh, and its low stress. Maybe they will make it creep sacrifices instead of candy, but I would still love to see this mode stick around.

 

D does a lot of stuff! Gaming/Reading

Hello readers,

I have been up to quite a lot of stuff lately. I’ve picked up two new games and finished a few books. To recap what you already know:

  • I purchased Pokemon and X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN
  • I finished reading A Storm of Swords, Warm BodiesNeverwhere, and At the End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel
  • I am finally going to get to read books alongside my book club, Bad Wolf Bookclub at Tumblr — The Night Circus
  • I played actual PvP games in League of Legends and didn’t do so bad

POKEMON

With Pokemon White 2, I’ve beaten the 8th gym. I have to say, Pokemon has a great RPG plot going on. Its target audience aside, I am really enjoying the game. I traded up a bunch of my Pokemon from my Pokemon White game, so my main team consists of: Whimsicott, Galvantula, Braviary, Flygon, Krookodile, and Jellicent. I have quite a few Pokemon on reserve, such as Chandelure.

I love Chandelure, so stylish!

There was also a confrontation with Lord Dennis, as I call him, as well as other cameos. If the Pokemon trend continues, I hope the next generation has even more story elements added to the mix. Maybe even allow us to design our own character? Multiple story line trees? Elderscrolls: Pokemon Edition? I know I am wishing for a lot, but I hope that the writers for the game continue to flesh out the Pokemon world. Its completely possible to have deep subjects in children’s fiction, I know. Have you ever seen Avatar: The Last Airbender? Once I finally gave it a try, cause I was in the anime or bust group before, I came to love it. Such a full and rich world with real conflict. I can always wish!

X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN

I picked up X-COM last weekend too. Boy, is that game just SO MUCH fun. The micromanagement of research and equipment, the strategy of whom to take with me on a mission, the complete fear of losing any of my characters (whom are named after IRL loved ones), and, of course, missing a 99% shot while I am right in front of the alien — THAT’S X-COM, BABY! At first, I was totally worried about the remake, because the first thing we were shown was an FPS game. A complete betrayal, as Internet Personality Guy Spoony would say, but the Civilization guys got their hands on the game and worked to bring X-COM to 2012. X-COM was originally a game that came out in the early 1990’s. It was pretty much the best game ever made for the PC for that entire decade. Yeah, I played Doom, Duke Nukem, and other games, but X-COM was the only game that made me actually scared to make a single move.

The original X-COM had two core gameplay elements. The TBS and the spreadsheets.

I get tingly just thinking about it.

The player could see all of X-COM’s expenses right down to what you paid everyone monthly including scientists and engineers. The player could also see which countries were contributing to the X-COM project and which ones seemed to be waning in support. The original X-COM also utilized a system of time units and every thing you did during battle aside from a few small actions cost time units. Some of your soldiers could have a lot of time units or could be totally restricted. Stats seemed to be generated at random, but usually you wanted to make your team have the best of the best. You could also have a squad as big as 20some people, but you could also get majorly boned if the game loaded your Skyranger in a bad place. For example, as soon as the map loads, an alien throws a grenade STRAIGHT into your plane. This causes panic sometimes, but mostly your soldiers are likely to die, because there is not enough room for all of them to make it out alive.

The X-COM remake takes the essence of all that, but streamlines it in a way that is both easy to get into and challenging. Instead of Time Units, there are 2 actions per turn (where attacking first will end your turn, so be wise). Instead of hiring and firing scientists and engineers, you must earn these personnel or build more laboratories/workshops. They also made it extremely clear, at all times, how countries felt about your operation around the world. There was also a reduction in the amount of units you could take with you on any given mission. From 22 to 6 total. WOW! Yet, the game is pretty balanced for the casualcore and diehard fans of the series. Playing on Ironman in any mode is likely to cause balding. Ironman is a mode in which you CANNOT revert to previous saves. Once that team member dies or that country leaves X-COM — its for good. This adds a whole new level of difficulty and drama to the game.

I am having a buttload of fun playing X-COM and trying to 100% every mission I encounter (or at least get away with 15/18 civilians in Terror Missions). I haven’t bothered to do priority missions yet, since I am too busy building enough Titan Armor to accommodate EVERY soldier in my barracks, but so far the combat seems pretty legit. Also, a minimeme has been born from the frustration and nerdrage this game has induced.

BOOKS

I have been reading so many books lately. My head is bubbling from all the fictional knowledge. I feel like I know WAY too much about the geography and history of the Song of Ice and Fire series (alternatively known as the Game of Thrones series). I know where the Twins are located and why its an important, strategic location. I know about how Rhaegar made Lysanna the Queen of Beauty and Love (I believe that was the title) and how it may have been the trigger for starting Robert’s rebellion. I also have a few theories about Jon Snow’s origin, because I have a lot of doubts about him being Eddard’s child.

I have also finished a charming book called Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. The story takes place from the POV of a zombie guy. His name is R, because he honestly can’t remember his entire name. He is lucky, though, because most zombies don’t even have that much to go on. He’s an average guy, married with kids, gets hungry and sometimes eats folks, and enjoys a good laugh with his buddy M from time to time. One of the driving forces behind the story is the REASON zombies eat people. Its not much of a spoiler, but zombies eat the brains of the living in order to feel alive and thrive on the devoured’s memory. Zombies don’t really have memories of being alive. They don’t recall their 8 to 5’s or family, but they can relive ALIVE moments by eating the brain of a living person. This stirs R into a journey of understanding as he rescues a living girl whose boyfriend’s brain he’d just eaten. Its a completely heart-touching story that was a breeze to read! I finished it in a single day, because I simply couldn’t put it down. I won’t tell you more except to buy it or check it out! Its worth your time if you love zombies or strange stories.

Neverwhere is everything I expected it would be. It seems like it could be a graphic novel on the same level as The Sandman. Its about common man Richard Mayhew. He’s got no spine, but he is fine with what his life is like. He does everything his girlfriend asks of him. Richard’s life is changed forever as he stumbles onto a dying girl — that apparently everyone around him just wants to ignore. Doing her a favor causes everything to go haywire for Richard, so he has to embark on a reluctant journey in order for things to be normal and samey again. People often accuse Neil Gaiman (the author) of writing the same story over and over, but honestly, its just that his style conveys the story of normal vs weird so well. I can’t wait to bite into Stardust. 

At The End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel was terrible. THE END.