D&D Hoard of the Dragon Queen: First Session Notes and Thoughts

HotDQ

I recently started running a D&D game using the Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure from Wizards of the Coast. This adventure is the first book of two in the Tyranny of Dragons story that combine to create a full adventure. The group that is playing consists of a DM (me) plus several adults and some of their sons. So, we have a group of 30 to 40 year old players with a couple of 9 year olds.

Ok, after re-reading that last sentence, I realize it could be interpreted as a group of one year old players with 30 to 40 members, but I actually meant that some of the members are in their 30s and 40s. I’m feeling too lazy to go back and change it, which makes even less sense when you realize that it took longer to type this paragraph than to re-word the previous one.

The first session went really well, and the adventure is pretty good. So far, I’m liking it quite a bit better than The Lost Mines of Phandelver from the Starter Set. It feels more gritty and realistic, and being an “adventure path”, it just feels more epic.

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Concert: Burundi Drummers

While this is not exactly guitar related, it is music related. We’ve been very fortunate to have gotten to know the Burundi Drummers over the last year, and we recently were able to participate in one of their concerts (that’s me in the middle with the black shirt on). BurundiConcert Every year I take my family to the “A World A’Fair” festival in Dayton, Ohio. The festival is a great place to see food, clothing, decorations, and entertainment of cultures from all over the world. We go because we enjoy it, but also because my wife is from Romania and it gives her a chance to see things similar to what she’s used to from her home country. Continue reading

Stage Volume and “Beaming”

Yesterday I talked a little bit about using a microphone on stage and why you need to have plenty of volume coming from the amp to get a good mic’d sound.

While there are plenty of times that having your amp loud on stage is perfectly acceptable, there are instances where this can be a problem. Some church worship bands, for instance, understandably require low stage volume for all instrumentalists. Low stage volume also cuts down on speaker beaming, which is what happens when someone’s ears are the direct path of the speaker and they get all of the very harsh frequencies from the center of the speaker cone. If you’ve got a multi-fx pedal, no problem, but what if you need to use an amp and you need some volume to get that really great tone without blowing grandma’s wig off? What can you do?

I’ve been in this situation before, and after trying a number of things over several live sessions, I finally found a solution that worked very well. I found some old kick-drum shields and placed them in front of my amp to block the loud volume from overpowering the room and to block the harsh tone caused by beaming from hitting anyone square in the ears.

kickshield

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Painting Space Hulk Miniatures

I mentioned in my Space Hulk 4th Edition review that the miniatures that come with the game can be painted. I’m far from a good miniature painter, but I do like to sit down and do some painting once in awhile (and by once in awhile, I mean rarely, as the fact that I have painted exactly 1 complete miniature and 5 miniatures very slightly in the last 6 months will attest to).

So the one miniature that I have completed is the Omnio figure. Being that, as mentioned, I’m not the greatest painter of miniatures, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

OmFrSm

Omnio2sm

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