So it goes
Hello, friends! Forgive the long silence from my camp. I’ve had my head tucked low, burying myself in work for the past few months. The head-tucked-low portion is based on some old duck-and-cover videos we’ve all seen. It’s supposed to be a good deterrent for nuclear bombardment, since that’s something we apparently have to worry about again.
So you’ll forgive me if I retreat into fantasy…
Which I have. Wholesale. My forwarding address is populated with warlocks and swordplay. It’s far preferable to pandemics and insane despots. As I mentioned a few months back, I’ve been immersing myself in Dungeons and Dragons, 5E.
Going in, I knew it was going to be a massive undertaking, requiring me to dig through decades of rules, mythologies, and now even technical requirements. And it was. The barrier for entry to a D&D game can be remarkably high. The source materials don’t come cheaply. Understanding the rules and juggling them while seven people pretend to be seven other people can be taxing.
And yes, there are 7 people in my party. Yes, I know 7 is too many. But they’re great. You’ll get to meet them soon.
We’ve only played once as of this writing - the beginning of Rime of the Frost Maiden.
It’s fascinating to watch the players find their place in a campaign. Many of them have never so much as held a D20. I’m giddy at the horrible things I’m going to do to them. Before too long, you’ll get to witness our story: https://www.twitch.tv/captainmrf
The endeavor has pushed me to buy a new monitor. I know that’s not such an extravagant thing anymore - two monitors on a pc is de rigueur for many - but for someone still using the 19” Dell they liberated from their last office job 13 years ago, it felt indulgent.
But it’s also 100% necessary.
The list above are only the 4 primary applications running during my D&D game. Sometimes they work together. Sometimes they don’t. It’s a delicate kluge of code, each of them performing their own niche task. Here’s hoping there will be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution soon. There are others, of course - search engines and the like. I even have a friend playing astromech, listening quietly and sending me resources so that I don’t slow the game down while looking for them. That’s a luxury I shouldn’t get used to, of course, but it’s a nice crutch for a new DM.
I can’t lie. Much of my excitement stems from Critical Role. Admittedly, I haven’t watched much of the show. I intended to dive in, but … one season has over 100 episodes and they’re all 3-4 hours long? I’m sorry, nerds. There’s too much silver in my hair and too many pops and crackles in my bones to watch that much content. The Legend of Vox Machina, on the other hand, is a fantastic synopsis of their first season. I went in with curiosity and devoured the entire season over the course of a few days.
If you want to know what a D&D game feels like when it’s throwing off sparks, the degenerates of Vox Machina will show you.
I’ve got so much more to talk about with you, but this is rapidly becoming an email from the nerd who talks about DnD too much.
When I’m not rolling dice and trying to murder fantasy proxies of my friends, I’m eyes deep in research for some other new projects. You may have seen me post on my IG books about ninja and so forth. Ninja! Witchcraft! Warfare! Very strange stuff. Very dangerous. Hopefully, this new project will be available for your discretion in the coming months.
Regarding witchcraft, here’s a fascinating doc about Gerald Gardener, an old naked man who basically invented modern witchcraft as we know it.
Somewhere within the gale of noise of things screaming for my attention, I’ve found some time for consumption. You should, too. Medicate your soul with art. That’s one of the many things it’s good for.
Tales From The Hood
I never saw this when it came out, but over the last few years, it’s come to be regarded as a cult classic. It surprised me. Instead another campy horror anthology, this one was threaded with social commentary - sometimes with uncomfortably brutal imagery. It’s on Shudder right now, which continues to establish itself as the premiere curator of horror.
I’m new to the fandom of this Brit-Irish rock band. Poetic lyrics, driving beats, and a punk spirit. Joe Talbot’s howling and hoarse vocals turn from wry, to threatening, to vulnerable over the course of a single song. And you’ll dance the entire time.
As the world continues to wobble on its axis a bit, steady yourself, then help the person next to you stay upright, if you can. It’s easy to fall down when things are this unsteady. Plant your feet and hold fast.