Monday, November 20, 2017

Bad Doctor

I had my last Blood Bowl game of the regular season this week.  I had a choice to make ahead of time: Concede, and squeak into the playoffs with a strong team, no injuries, and lots of cash, OR play the game out and hope to get experience and not get my dudes injured.

I chose to play, because the dwarfs want to snap some necks!

It was the wrong choice.

I was up against a Nurgle team that wasn't even fielding a full roster of players and which was 400 Team Value under me.  That should have made it an easy game, but things didn't work out that way.  My opponent used that money to get a Bribe, a Wizard, and a Star Player that has a chainsaw.  The chainsaw is really swingy and can easily kill itself or opposing players, but since my opponent was retiring the team after the game he didn't care - he just wanted to hurt me as bad as possible.

The basic problem I had was that the chainsaw smashed through my team.  I knocked that player down multiple times but he just kept on getting back up, and after the second knockdown he jumped up and killed my best Troll Slayer. 

No problem though, because my team has a doctor.  The doctor tried to help the injured dwarf but ended up breaking his neck instead so he was a loss in any case.  After 21 games with the team the doctor has tried 4 times to save a dwarf from death and in every single case has botched the job and the dwarf ended up getting terribly injured and then retired anyway.

Stupid doctors.

In the first half I received the ball and slowly pushed it upfield.  I lost a dwarf to the aforementioned death but then finally scored near the end of the half and made it to halftime up 1-0.  However, in the second half my opponent kept on removing dwarves and used his wizard effectively to fireball 4 dwarves and he managed to score on the second last turn.  I was fielding only 8 dwarves at this point and only had one runner so my chances to score in 2 turns were bleak, at best.  As expected I could not manage the score and ended up in a 1-1 draw.

Now I did replace my Troll Slayer with a fresh one but the old player had three levels and the new one has none.  Dwarves are pretty good right out of the box though so my new player isn't a huge liability but my team definitely took a significant hit.

I have to go up against Chaos Dwarves in the first stage of the playoffs and this will definitely be a grindy matchup.  We are going to get into a dwarf punch showdown, and unfortunately I just lost a copy of both Guard and Mighty Blow with my dude dying so my winningness is much lower than it would have been if I had just conceded.

The really scary thing is the orc team from last season that knocked me out is still there and they have levelled up a bunch, especially compared to me.  If I go up against them I doubt I will have much of a chance - they have too much strength for me to dominate the field and I can't move well enough to just zip around them.

I think my chances of advancing in this round are pretty good, but my chances of winning the playoffs seems remote.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Come level with me

Recently Blizzard announced the lastest WOW expansion and some of the details really tickled my fancy.  The basic concept of an expansion focused around Alliance / Horde conflict is kind of meh, as I don't much care, but admittedly it is pretty hard to top the previous expansion where heroes basically went and killed Satan himself.  Once you do that, you really might as well go to war with each other, right?

The thing that caught my attention though was the revamping of levelling throughout WOW.  The old world will be changed so that all zones now level up with the player, though each zone will have a minimum and maximum level.  Noob zones will be 1-10, the rest of the old world is 10-60, Burning Crusade and Northrend are 60-80, Pandaria and Cataclysm are 80-90, and I assume the rest is being left as it is.

Right now if you are levelling you will find that you constantly outlevel zones so by the time you finish all the storyline the monsters are trivial and everything is a bore.  Plus if you are in the middle of a zone and you do some dungeons you can't go back to the zone because nothing gives experience anymore.

Also heirloom items that you hand off to your low level characters wreck the game.  They give bonus experience so they exacerbate the problems I have described above.  Gaining more experience faster actually makes the game *worse*.

As a consequence the levelling game sucks.

But when the zones level up with you this problem goes away.  Suddenly you can take breaks from a zone and do other stuff or level professions or run dungeons and then get right back to it and the zone will be a challenge and give meaningful rewards.  You can do whatever zone strikes your fancy instead of having to travel halfway across the world to find an appropriate place to be a hero.  You can follow all the storylines if you want and they won't end up being worthless or trivial. 

I LOVE IT.

I haven't wanted to level a new character in a long time but these changes are making me think about doing it again.

I do have one request though:  Make it hard.  All of these changes will be good but the levelling game right now is so trivial that it is hard to be engaged with it.  Make the monsters tough!  Let us die if we screw up.  People who don't like levelling get a free max level bonus with every expansion anyway so it hardly even matters.... just let the people who truly enjoy levelling actually have a gaming experience instead of a time passing experience.

Heck, if making the game have any challenge is out of the question then give us a hardmode.  Put an NPC in major cities that we can talk to that will make all monsters in flexible levelling zones +3 levels on us and give 25% more experience or something.  The zones will suddenly feel hard and we will have to be careful and I will *totally* do that.  The noobs can still have their mindless grind and the people who want everything to be challenging all the time can do that too.

You are doing a good thing here Blizzard.  And I know, years ago I would have told you that this idea wrecks immersion and feels bad and blah blah blah.  I was wrong.  Zones scaling with the character is the right way to be.  So do it, but please make sure that crusty old veterans like me can have our old school challenge back.  I want to plan.  I want to think.  I want to worry.  And when I fail to do these things, I want to die.

Make it happen, and I will go back to the World of Warcraft.  In 2005 I levelled up and hunter called Bluecape with his trusty wolf friend Ahortes.  It was challenging, and fun, and glorious.  Give me that again, and I will once again entrust you with my addiction.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Makin' the playoffs

In Blood Bowl this week I faced off against Fur Plus Death, a Necromantic team.  The FPD have the highest team value in the league and had killed a ton of players on other teams.  The team sported a normally statted out Necro lineup but had two Werewolves with Claw, Block, Mighty Blow, Frenzy.  They are super fast so they can hit whoever they want and they absolutely murder people, as the rest of the league can attest.

I had hoped to be able to buy a wizard because of FPD's big Team Value but the coach trimmed some zombies off the roster just before the game so we ended up with my inducing a 10k star player (Barik Longblast) and no other inducements.

I received the kickoff and began the slow, inevitable march up the field that is the dwarf game plan.  Things got a bit exciting as my opponent got the kick deep, right on my goal line, but I recovered and got the ball safely into my cage.  In the early going one of the Werewolves went after a lineman of mine and killed him - the apothecary managed to turn it into a -Str injury, so that lineman is still alive but is getting fired immediately due to being terrible.  He had one skill, so this hurts my team a little, but no big deal.

Due to my massive edge in Guard, Block, and Mighty Blow I took control of the brawl and punched the opponents into submission.  My Star Player spent his time firing his cannon into fallen enemies, and his relentless fouling killed one Werewolf but it regenerated and was waiting in the dugout for another shot at my dudes.  By the end of the half I had the board completely under control but had only removed one Wight permanently.  I scored and went into the second half up 1-0.

We both fielded 11 players for the second half, with my opponent putting in a zombie instead of his injured Wight, and me fielding a regular lineman instead of one with Guard.  Not that much damage either way, though I did get the better of that trade.

In the second half my opponent had couple of early turnovers due to failing to pick up the ball and knocking his own dude down on a block but neither really was a big problem.  The turning point came when I dropped a -Str injury on his Flesh Golem and completely opened up the board for myself.  Without the second Golem to lock up dwarves I was able to start beating up his team and putting pressure on the ball. 

Facing down an implacable wall of dwarves my opponent came up with a gambit - he rushed the ball to the sideline and tried to get a quick score.  Dwarves aren't good at defending such things, being slow and all, but I had just enough dudes to surround his advance and pin them in.  Once they were pinned against the sideline I knocked a couple dudes out of bounds, grabbed the ball, and the game was over.  There were still turns left but with me having the ball, a significant numbers advantage, and no need to actually score to win the game my opponent conceded and just left his players lying where they were.  I ran out the clock and then scored on turn 16 to go up 2-0.

I got 17 experience for the game and lost a dude with 16 experience.  Unfortunately the experience gain did not net me anything so I am slightly weaker for the next game.  I am however locked into the playoffs now, being guaranteed second or third in my division.  FPD might tie me in overall points on the season in their next game if they win and I lose but I won our showdown so I get the tiebreaker advantage.

I could simply concede my next game if I wanted to and still get into the playoffs.  The team I am up against is Ziggyny's Nurgle team, which is 390 Team Value below mine.  That advantage is massive, and I think I am hugely favoured to win.  In bash vs. bash matchups that much Team Value is *really* hard to overcome.  He could easily kill some of my dudes, but I could also rack up some experience if things go my way.

I like the idea of playing.  I want to bash things!  That said, I think a smart player aiming to go for the best possible setup for the playoffs would concede in my spot to make sure to go in with a full team and a full bankroll.  I am more bloodthirsty than smart though, so I figure to get my bash on.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Toad

Recently the Naked Man pointed out the spell Banishment to me and asked for my opinion on whether or not it is broken.  In 5th edition DnD Banishment is a spell that grants a saving throw and requires concentration to maintain, but while it lasts the target is removed from the world.  Just gone.  This is potentially useful to run away from a single powerful enemy, but most powerful in a fight where a single enemy makes up about half of the opposing forces.  If you have two giants to fight and you banish one of them until the other is dead, you are going to win.

That seems pretty powerful to me.  It isn't always useful but unlike most crowd control spells the target doesn't get a new save every round, they just have to suck it up.  I don't think crowd control spells are much good at lower levels because of this restriction.  That is a fine design though because honestly paralyzing people and then butchering them isn't that much fun really, and it is far worse when the characters have to sit out an entire fight on the basis of one save.

Banishment requires something the target hates as an ingredient and some people seem to like the idea of making that a real pain in the ass.  Force characters to find a particular item that has significance to the target in order to cast Banishment and suddenly the spell goes from really powerful to completely worthless most of the time.  Trouble is if you do this then it will feel terrible when the characters spend five sessions finding the single item that the evil wizard hates, and then the evil wizard just makes the saving throw and the Banishment is irrelevant.

I don't like that rule much.  It has some flavour going for it but it definitely encourages people to take forever doing everything and just isn't enough payoff at the end.  The spell just doesn't warrant that big a nerf.

You know what does warrant a huge nerf though?  Polymorph.  Both spells are 4th level but Polymorph is completely bonkers.  You can turn your opponents into sheep, effectively negating them the same way Banishment does, but you can use it for all kinds of other things too.  Your rogue is beat up and low on HP?  Turn them into a Giant Ape and watch them do way more damage than before and have a massive HP pool to soak damage.  Need to cross a chasm?  Polymorph yourself into a giant eagle and ferry the party across.  Need to swim?   Turn into a dolphin.  The spell has so many uses that it would be a great pick even if the combat applications were only so-so.

But instead Polymorph is a fantastic single target crowd control spell and a powerful buff in one.  It effectively gives wizards a monster sized heal that is, admittedly, difficult to control.  Add that to the noncombat effectiveness it has and you have a totally absurd spell.  Banishment just doesn't stack up, even though it is slightly better at getting rid of a single enemy for a long duration because of the difficulty of dispelling it.

I remember Polymorph Other and Polymorph Self from earlier editions and those were usually completely bonkers too.  In 3rd edition I recall turning into a Stone Giant to take advantage of their amazing physical stats and natural armour, and while the 5th edition version is less broken it is still a problem.

One issue I do have with the system is the way saving throws scale.  5th edition wanted to keep numbers flat explicitly and that generally is a good way to go.  However, one issue with this is impressing people with magic.  If a peasant doesn't believe that you are dangerous you can Fireball them and wipe out a whole room full of people no problem.  But if you want to turn them into a sheep?  They save a good portion of the time.  We actually had this come up in our recent session where we tried to intimidate people and it failed because they just saved against our crowd control spells. 

It feels like maybe crowd control spells should have notes in them that against people of sufficiently low HP they just work, no save.  Polymorphing a giant should be hard, but doing so to a 5 HP peasant should be trivial.  Heck, it might be better to move most or all CC effects to a HP based system like that.  It shouldn't much matter against serious fights but it would make things feel better against mooks and townsfolk I think.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I like my learning with curves

This week in Blood Bowl action it was all about dwarves fighting dwarves.  Slow, smelly, tough, and clumsy, it figured to be a slugfest from start to finish.  It was a contest between the upright, lawful, and admirable Cutiest Pies regular dwarves piloted by yours truly and the fiendish and corrupt 2 Bulls, 1 Ball Chaos Dwarf team.

On the other hand these are Blood Bowl players so probably both teams are evil bastards, it is just that one team likes to use Claws to cheat a little.

I had a lead on the opponent in terms of Team Value so he got a wizard, which is a huge advantage in a game where somebody likely wins 1-0 or 2-1.  Stopping a touchdown can easily be a win.  However, the cost of this is that I had a better team and could easily dominate the brawl in the middle of the field.

I had to kick to him and he quickly got the ball, taking some big risks to get it into the hands of one of his Bull Centaurs.  They are both strong and fast and pretty much define the Chaos Dwarf team.  He ran his Bull Centaur across the goal line and scored on turn 4 giving me 5 turns to return the favour.

The kick back to me was a Blitz, and I had prepared terribly for that eventuality.  It was a near thing for him to just grab the ball again and score, but I got ahold of it and gained control of the match.  I ran my runners down the field with the ball while my brawlers punched his team around but I had to contend with a Bull Centaur chasing them down trying to get the ball back.

This is where the story takes a meta turn.  My opponent wanted to blitz my ball carrier and smack the ball away but he started moving before clicking Blitz, so while his Bull Centaur could wander about it couldn't attack.  This is really frustrating - it sucks to have a UI issue swing the game.  Halfway through his movement he realized the problem so he used his wizard to knock down my ball carrier and pop the ball loose, intending to continue running over and scoop it up himself.

But using your wizard ends your turn.  So he knocked over my ball carrier, went to continue taking actions, and realized it was my turn because once you click the wizard, the game ends your turn.


He was pissed.  Two possible ways to stop my TD were at hand, and one was lost due to the UI, and the other due to not knowing the rules fully.

I get it.  I lost a game on the back of not knowing how the wizard works early on in my Blood Bowl career and it *sucks* to have a valuable resource lost to no real effect.  That is a really shitty feeling.

In any case although my ball carrier was knocked over by the wizard there weren't any enemy players nearby to capitalize so I grabbed the ball again and ran in for a TD, tying up the game at 1-1.  My opponent tried to set up a 2 turn TD to regain the advantage but couldn't manage a throwing game with Chaos Dwarves - no surprise there.  However, I managed to knock 3 of his players off of the pitch before halftime was called and none of them made it back.

Starting the second half I was up 8 players to 11, which is a really serious advantage.  There isn't much to say about the rest of the game, because I got the ball and with my numbers advantage I punched him around the field with little difficulty.  I pushed a Bull Centaur into the crowd and slowly wore his team down to guarantee my win.  With my team being up 3 players and having more skills the second half was just a safe, careful grind to a 2-1 victory for me.

I like winning, but I don't like winning like that.  In a board game you can let people take back moves when they don't realize the rules, but in a computer game you are pretty much stuck.  Even if he knew the rules exactly I still had good chances to win but this kind of thing is pretty devastating, no doubt about that.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Reversal of fortune

My Blood Bowl game this week was a weird one.  Looking at the final result things seem pretty normal as it was a game of dwarves vs. wood elves and it was a 1-1 tie with the wood elf box full of KO'd and injured players.  The way the game played out though was odd indeed.

In the first half I elected to kick to the elves.  I like doing this so that I can try to force a quick score and then use up the rest of the half injuring as many elves as possible.  The idea is to only allow them a single roll to get their KO'd players back at the half as I score on the last possible turn.  Worst case is that I don't score at all and still keep their team as small as possible for the second half. 

My strategy did not work.

The elves grabbed the ball and on turn 2 their tree knocked himself down and left the ball in a vulnerable position.  I rushed up, bashed the ball carrier, and got 4 dwarves around the ball which is a superb position for me to be in at that point.  Unfortunately for me the elves had a wizard and they used it to knock down 3 of my 4 ball defenders, and then blitzed the last defender away.  They grabbed the ball and then played a good game of keepaway throughout the rest of the half, scoring late, leaving me no chance at a touchdown myself.

This is all pretty normal.  What is abnormal is the state of the dugout when the elves scored.  There was 1 injured elf and 2 KO'd elves, which is fine, but there were also 3 KO'd dwarves, including both of my runners.  Both after the TD and at the half my dwarves failed all of their wake up rolls while the elves made all of theirs so I started the second half down 1-0 in score and outnumbered by the elves.  I also had no ball carriers and only 2 rerolls because I use a runner with leader to get my third reroll.  I was *not* optimistic about my chances.

Elves are not supposed to bash dwarves this well! 

The natural rebuttal to that is of course that in Blood Bowl anything can happen, and does.

The second half saw a reversal of fortunes.  Even though I was outnumbered I pounded the elves brutally and kept the ball safely in my cage.  Early on I managed to knock the treeman down and get the cage away from it so the elves had to pursue my gang and they kept on getting punched, stepped on, and generally brutalized.  I steadily moved the ball up the pitch just the way dwarves are supposed to.  Turn 10 I injured 2 elves.  Turn 11 I KO'd 2 elves.  Turn 12 I KO'd 1 elf and broke another's neck, but the doctor was on call and the elf got better.  On turn 13 I KO'd yet another elf and then I was faced with a tough choice where I had to decide if I was willing to rush in for a TD and try to kick to the elves and score again in 3 turns or just keep on caging up and go for a draw.  This is how the game looked: 


I have a crowd of dwarves, and the elves have a tree in a useless position, one stunned elf, and one elf who is running for his life.  I mean "In position to score".  I can score here and probably be facing a tree and 5 elves, desperately hoping to score again in 3 turns.  Or I can just sit around and punch the snot out of that one elf within reach and guarantee a draw.

If I had had my runners available I might have gone for the score.  My opponent certainly encouraged me to do so!  However, if my runners don't wake up I have only 1 reroll and I think my chances of scoring the second time are pretty terrible.  I have nobody above Movement 5 and nobody with any passing skills, and only 2 dwarves who even have normal Agility.  If I put my 3 Agility dudes anywhere on the line of scrimmage the tree will beat them up so just getting to the ball might be rough.  I decided to just sit tight and draw and I am pretty sure this was right.

It turns out that I don't have an actual guarantee of a draw.  The elves have a play to get a 1 turn TD after I score and they lined up to do it, though it definitely required some luck.  Hilariously both of my runners woke up so I was fielding an almost full team (one man down because he got caught fouling the elf who was on the ground in the picture above.)  Also when I kicked to the elves the kickoff result was Blitz, which if I had known about it would have made my 3 turn TD attempt *vastly* more likely.

In any case the Blitz made it easy for me to crush any hopes of a 1 turn TD my opponent may have had and I locked in a draw.

When I look at the luck on both sides it is interesting.  I got unlucky on the Fireball rolls in the first half, and that was crucial.  I also got unlucky on armour and injury rolls especially in the first half.  However, the Treeman was absolutely garbage at standing up again after falling over and only made 1 stand up roll of 8 attempts, and that success came after he was completely irrelevant to the play.  I also only made 2 of 9 wake up rolls and that was extremely important to keeping the game a draw instead of a win.  Just generally I also had a lack of 6s on my d6 rolls.

I shouldn't complain overmuch though.  I didn't accrue any injuries, I collected a solid 16 SPP, and my team is still very much in contention to advance to the postseason.  My next 3 games are against Chaos Dwarves, Nurgle, and Necromantic so I am ready for a slugathon to finish off the regular season.  1 win and 1 draw locks me in for the postseason I think, though I doubt 3 draws does and that is quite plausible given my schedule.

Against the Chaos Dwarves I have 4 more copies of Guard, 4 more Block, 4 more Mighty Blow, and much superior ball handling.  They have 2 dudes with 4 Strength, but I think I am a significant favourite because I am pretty sure I can dominate the gangpile with the skills listed above.

Nurgle has 5 more Strength than me.  This is bad.  But I have 8! more copies of Guard, 7 more Block, 2 more Mighty Blow.  However, my opponent will get a ton of inducement money to combat my extra stuff.  Maybe he will buy a Halfling Chef and I won't get any rerolls at all.  That would be bad!  Still, I am 390 Team Value up on him in a brutal slugathon, and that seems like it has to be good thing for me.

Necromantic isn't quite as bashy as the other two as it has significantly more speed and Agility but I suspect the game will still hinge on success at murdering rather than fancy plays.  The Necromantic team is 100 TV above mine so they look pretty scary, but I definitely like my chances of winning the brawl.  The main question is whether or not they will murder my dudes with a couple of Claw/Mighty Blow werewolves.  This is the matchup that I think is by far the worst for me, though because I have lower Team Value I can potentially even things up by buying a wizard and Fireballing my way to victory.  The really key bit to this matchup is that the Necromantic team is in 3rd place to my 4th place in the league so if I lose to them I am likely out whereas if I win I have a clear path to the postseason.  I guess I will find out soon enough!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Beware of vampire

On Tuesday one of my DnD groups went up against a vampire.  Vampires seem pretty nasty in 5th edition, and this particular one was a CR13 while the group was only level 8.  That would be fairly dangerous on its own but vampires have regeneration as one of their abilities and that makes any level disparity much more important.  If the group can do 40 damage / round and the vampire regenerates 20 / round, we do a net 20 / round.  If we are a bit underlevel though and only do 30 / round, the regeneration reduces that to net 10 / round, and it takes the vampire twice as long to die.

This vampire should have annihilated us.  It wasn't just a CR13 vampire because it started in a zone of magical darkness that we couldn't see through but it could ignore because it had truesight.  It also had a tremendous advantage due to terrain.  It resided in a 30 by 30 room that had a 5 foot wide hallway leading to it.  Our group has 3 melee characters in it so the vampire could just park itself in the hallway and beat us senseless.  If we stay away from it then its regeneration quickly returns it to full health, and if we close in then only one or two of us can attack and that isn't enough to overcome its regeneration while it mauls us.

The vampire didn't need to use the hallway to win the positioning war.  It has 3 legendary actions per round, each of which can be a move that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.  All it has to do is fight us for a bit, then run away and hide on a ceiling out of range.  We can't escape because we would have to make a terribly dangerous trip across boiling mud, but since the vampire can walk on walls and fly it could happily regenerate to full and then come back in a few rounds to eat us.  This is even more effective because our barbarians lose their rage if the vampire retreats for a round and once they aren't raging we get absolutely smashed.

Even then it should never need to mess around with positioning at all and can simply beat us with raw power.  The vampire has a Charm attack that has a 75% or more chance to succeed against 3 of our 4 party members.  If the Charm hits we are out of the fight completely.  The vampire can simply use its legendary movement actions to zoom away from us and fire off Charms.  We rate to lose 2-3 party members to the Charm, and it doesn't even matter which ones get hit since no 2 characters stand a chance.

There are some ways characters can respond to these problems.  You can use Dispel Magic on the darkness that the vampire starts in.  If you don't do this you are *completely* boned and you will lose.  The fight is already extremely dangerous numerically, and stacking on advantage on all of the enemy's attacks and taking disadvantage on all of ours makes it impossible.  Either have Dispel Magic, or lose.  We had Dispel Magic though, so we had a chance.

You can use Protection from Good/Evil to prevent the Charm attack.  We didn't have access to this, but the GM didn't have the vampire use the Charm until it was already badly hurt.  If the vampire had just used the Charm right away, we lose.

So this opponent had four different things it could do to flat out beat us.  It had darkness, constrained positioning, incredible speed, and its charm ability.  We had the magic bullet for the darkness, but it didn't bother using any of its other three auto win abilities to crush us.  Whoever wrote this mess either didn't bother to think about what the monster could do or assumed the GM would not maximize its abilities.  I get people not thinking about what incredible movement speed and regeneration does to an encounter, but not looking at the Charm and darkness and realizing that they absolutely end the encounter unless you have a specific spell is sloppy and embarassing.

I particularly hate the Charm ability as written.  Most crowd control effects in fifth edition let you make saves each round to get rid of them.  People remember how awful it was to get hit with Hold Person in old editions of DnD and then just stand there for an entire encounter doing nothing, (Roleplaying being paralyzed loses its fun after about six rounds of it...)  but apparently they are okay with handing out abilities to monsters that do that same thing.  If a fight will take five or ten minutes I am fine with knocking people out of it early, but a fight that is designed to last a huge amount of time should not work this way.

The last thing that frustrates me about the vampire is the same thing that frustrated me about half of the monsters in this dungeon so far - they take half damage from non magical weapons.  I get the story driven thing about how you want to make a monster sound exciting, and saying that normal weapons just aren't effective can do that.  But when you stack it on half the monsters it makes the game feel stupid.  I should have chosen a magical weapon.  It would make me do double damage in many situations because of this trait, and 20% more damage generally.  Had I realized that the high level game was designed for everyone to have a magical weapon I would have done so.

I am having fun with the group I am playing with, but good grief I am glad I am not trying to actually roleplay because this dungeon is an absurd mess.  It really makes me feel like I should write up some dungeon crawls and do it properly.