Monday Memories: AOL Instant Messenger

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

We’re going back to the past in regards to today’s post. AOL’s instant messenger was alive from May 1997 to December 2017, and I remember using it so often to chat with friends after school during our early high school years.

AOL | Video Games | Gaming | Super Smash Bros. | Movies | RPG | Role Play | Doublexjump.com

Video games have always been a major source of inspiration for me. I started writing due to the Legend of Zelda. I started drawing due to Pokemon. Then there was a good friend and the Super Smash Bros. franchise helping me discover my passion of storytelling through the use of AOL instant messenger.

A couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out in Jett’s Stardew Valley stream and the chat went off on a tangent about AOL instant messenger and reminiscing about the good ol’ days of the Internet. Back near the end of middle school and for a couple of years in high school, my best friend and I tended to end our nights after homework chatting with each other about our school classes.

Somehow those AIM chats also evolved into role-playing with my friend taking on the roles of some of her favorite movie characters — like Professor Snape from Harry Potter and James Bond — and me playing some favorite video game characters, such as a multitude of fighters from Super Smash Bros. Melee, since that was the main game we played at the time.

That was actually the “setting” of our game. This sounds ridiculous as I type it out, but our AIM chat room was a “common room” set in between my friend’s boarding house for her favorite movie characters and the Super Smash Bros. manor. Not only would my friend and I talk, but we’d use different colored text to indicate what other characters were talking as well. We even had imaginary pets join our houses at some point because apparently we didn’t have enough characters clamoring for our attention.

With these characters, we went on adventures, crafting stories such as heading to a wedding venue for a couple of movie characters to get hitched to going to Hyrule to help defeat Dark Link. Dark Link in turn ended up being invited to the Smash Mansion, partnering with one of my original characters and turning into a pair of character archetypes that I use all the time in my novels now.

Creating these stories with each other helped us navigate through the middle school and high school transitions, and it was just a lot of fun to goof off with each other like that and virtually explore unknown worlds together.

Unfortunately, during the last couple of years of high school, our AIM conversations started to fizzle out with the need for jobs and filling out college applications. We grew up and moved on from our joint stories, but I still have the majority of our AIM conversations saved in an old flash drive. It’s nice to go back for a little spark of inspiration or just to reminisce again.

Do you remember AOL Instant Messenger? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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D&D Adventures: The End of Our First Campaign

D&D | Dungeons and Dragons | Campaign | Role play | roleplaying | tabletop rpg | rpg | doublexjump.com

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Considering the holidays in December, we picked our campaign back up in January. Our January session of our campaign had us leaving Cragmaw Castle. We did not explore the whole castle since we, you know, somehow found what we needed within our last session quick enough. Since we didn’t fully explore the place, our DM threw a couple of random encounters at us to help us get some more experience points. We diplomatically avoided a fight with a few hobgoblins and wolves, haha, but we had to fight an ogre so we could level up. From there, we gathered up a few supplies and made our way to the next — and potentially last — leg of our journey to Wave Echo Cave.

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Wave Echo Cave was certainly an interesting place. My character isn’t particularly brave and the one time she decided to “take one for the team,” she ended up poisoned. Our group ended up in a mushroom room. Like idiots, instead of turning around, we tried to figure out how to go through the room. Eventually, I had Sapphire attempt to jump on top of a large mushroom so she’d be out of the way of the poisonous smog. Of course, I didn’t roll well and… she got poisoned.

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It was a bit of a mess, that room. Our cleric ran through after Sapphire, helping her through the room while managing to avoid being poisoned himself. My ranger was able to just leap majestically across with her high dexterity roll, and our dragonborn rogue rolled high enough (and was tall enough) to avoid the poisonous fumes while carrying our two wolves through the room. I believe our bard managed to avoid getting poisoned as well. After that interesting room, we continued to traverse through the cave and eventually went through a tunnel to stumble down a ravine.

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Sapphire was the only one who got poisoned… then we went onto the boss fight for the session where Sapphire got poisoned again. The boss was a spider guy with spider minions – totally gross. While Sapphire kept getting poisoned, she was the only one who didn’t get caught up in the spiders’ webs.

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For being probably one of our smallest party members, Sapphire was a beast when it came to avoiding the spider webs that the Dark Elf’s spider minions kept throwing at us. That boss fight was ridiculous, with half of us being stuck to the floor and the wolves just going around trying to help get rid of the webbing. We spent the fight trying to rescue Nundro, the brother of our original dwarf contract, and when we beat the rest of the bad guys, he attacked us. We figured he was possessed and left the session with him tied up, planning on exploring the rest of the cave while trying to figure out how to get him in his right mind again.

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Except when we went back to the campaign at our following session, we explored the cave a bit, fought some owlbears, and then found a dwarf… who happened to be Nundro. Apparently, we had rescued a doppelganger instead of Nundro. But it all worked out because we threatened the doppelganger to leave and got the real Nundro to safety.

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The conversation between our party members and the doppelganger was ridiculous. It started off with our bard — who apparently had been suspicious of this creature since we met it disguised as a drow at the previous ravine — intimidating the doppelganger enough to try to get some more information regarding an alchemist that we were trying to find. Said alchemist apparently didn’t exist, which we realized later thanks to our cleric’s patron god, but it didn’t stop our questions to the doppelganger going from, “Who are you working for?” to things like, “Where did you come from? Would your parents approve of this lifestyle?”

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After a weird conversation, we let the doppelganger go. Hopefully, he won’t cause anymore trouble. We made our way back to town and received our share of the dwarf mines for saving everyone. Then the campaign ended on a somewhat cliffhanger since the starter campaign mentions an alchemist who runs away and is never seen again. But hey, we got our money. So our crew was happy. Thus, ends a year-long campaign. On to the next one!

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D&D Adventures: The Grinding Session

D&D Adventures: The Grinding Session | Dungeons and Dragons | RPG | Tabletop Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

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Last time we met with our D&D group, we had finished clearing out an old mansion that was full of bandits and lost the guy we had been pursuing. This time around, with a little help from a couple of NPCs giving us directions, we went to find a druid who would have even more information for us regarding our quarry. Our DM also realized that we did not have as much experience points as we probably should have had at that point, heh.

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Yes, apparently, it’s recommended that we have about 2,700 experience points by the final boss of the adventure. We were currently sitting at 730 experience points each. So, we continued our adventure but our DM threw as many monsters and enemies at us as she could. So, we spent three hours fighting monsters and it was a big grinding fest.

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Our DM mentioned at the end of our last session that we had missed a bunch of fighting opportunities because apparently we were more strategic about finding the Bad Guy than she expected us to be. Usually, whenever we see a door, we bust it down while armed and ready to fight. Instead, we were a bit more choosy about where to go and ended up finishing the mansion before finding everything to fight and kill.

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The time before last we were definitely more cautious. I’m not sure why though. We’re normally pretty crazy. So, no matter what we did, we ended up fighting something this time around. Of course, we were on our way to an abandoned town and were on the road for two days. Needless to say, there were monsters in the woods and on the road, especially at night.

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We may have been a little tired that night, too, to be fair. This time around, it was lunch and we were rearing to go after some good food. We were pretty good with the fights, too, even if I’m sure this was the first time my character actually got hit — considering that the enemy dice tended to fail in previous sessions — and lost hit points. The group’s wolf also got hit, which made everyone tense, haha!

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My dice were horrible to me. I think I got one nat 20, but it was a perception check. It didn’t even help me in battle. I think, out of all our fights, I hit an enemy maybe twice. I have a few sets of dice and were swapping them out, but none of them seemed to want to work. I couldn’t roll higher than a 12 and I got quite a few single-digit numbers.

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I loved when you decided to put some of your dice in “time-out.” My rolls weren’t too bad, but my initiative rolls were only so-so. With that said, I have quite a few attack bonuses with my ranger’s longbow, with her dexterity modifier, proficiency, and archery bonus when it came to actually hitting, so that was nice. Ripper the wolf did more damage, though, I think! It was good that we were able to level up in the middle of the session, getting more hit points and such for everyone.

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Ripper was certainly the MVP. He usually is since he always has an advantage when he’s near us. I kept rolling so terribly that I just continued to munch on chips and cookies and pretended my character was just sitting back, letting everyone else do the work.

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Ripper can derp around sometimes, but he’s handy in a fight. Your character did some damage, though, and you do fantastic with perception rolls! Despite all the fighting, we did continue with the campaign’s story, finding the dilapidated town of Thundertree and finding the druid that would be able to give us directions for the next leg of our journey. The druid did want us to chase out a young dragon that had taken residence in a tower, and my character — and I — are disappointed at the idea that we will not be able to adopt the creature.

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I think about half of the group was disappointed at not adopting the dragon. Needless to say, our next session should be interesting since we need to fight a dragon. We went out and bought yet another new set of dice each. So, I have five sets now and with the way the others were behaving last time, I’m hoping my new set will brave the dragon.

If you play D&D, have you ever had any “grinding” sessions before? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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D&D Adventures: Continuing The Tale

D&D Adventures: Continuing The Tale | Dungeons and Dragons | Role-Playing | Tabletop Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

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Well, better late than never! Our last D&D Adventure was back in May. We met with our group again in June and basically forgot to continue the tale. A lot of things happened when we met again and surprisingly enough, our characters are still standing tall their own two feet.

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Yes, everyone is still alive, there has been no need for any death saves… And we gained a couple of new “party” members in the meantime. Our previous session had left our characters with the task of finding the goblin king and killing him in order to save the warrior that had originally been traveling with the dwarf that had given our party the mission to deliver goods to another town. That was a really long sentence.

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That was a really long sentence. I thought that as I was reading that to myself. Anyway, our crew went forth to bring the goblin king’s head to the guy who we were trying to save… his name escapes me at the moment. Both of their names, actually. I don’t even remember who we were trying to save. I’d like to say this is just my bad memory, but this is how our actual D&D characters are like. We’re not a dependable group, yet we still manage to get stuff done.

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Yes, I don’t know how… My favorite part of the last session, though, was us going against the goblin king, and he had a couple of wolves on his side. Instead of fighting the wolves, which my ranger (and me) was loathing to do, I rolled a high enough Animal Handling skill, and now my character has a wolf companion named Ripper. Our DM even gave me the stats that she used for the wolf so I’m more or less playing two characters, haha!

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Which I think is awesome. Our group is slowly growing especially since another member took a goblin. He was originally a hostage, but we’ve taken him along to the next town with us.

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So, yes, we made it to the next town after rescuing the warrior, although our dwarf contact is still missing. Our group decided to recuperate, perhaps get supplies, when we also got word of a band of bandits beginning to terrorize the town. We headed toward the tavern that the bandits had claimed as theirs and tore them to shreds — at least Ripper did, I remember getting some damn good attack rolls for him — after attempting to talk to them about why they were here. I think the next time we’ll be gathering more information and, perhaps, trying to eradicate the town of bandits. Hopefully, we remember our dwarf contact, though.

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Didn’t myself and another member decide to walk in on some bad guys because we were curious if we could steal anything? That might have been another adventure, but I’m pretty sure we ended up finding/causing some trouble ourselves. Which, is pretty on par for us.

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I believe so. Our group is not out to be heroes, it seems, haha! We’re pretty much motivated by money and the fact that we’re not all completely evil. I think we figure that, hey, if we’re here when there’s trouble and there’s a treasure to be found, we’ll help. We’ll have to see where the next leg of this adventure will take us!

Do you play D&D? How’s your group get along? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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