Game Prep and Blog Updates

I’m enjoying a lovely day off while the rest of the world outside my window is drenched in rain. I’ve even been productive: I did the washing up, emptied the bins, took out the recycling, and did the shopping. I’m justified in spending the rest of the day making up encounters then. That’s not a question.

What it has prompted me to do has been to get round to starting to update the pages on this blog relating to the DDC – Well That Happened… You might notice there’s a new entry on the main menu at the top of the page that takes you to the related pages – expect more to appear there soon, but today has seen an updated transcript of Valenia’s letters home which detail their view of various sessions, as well as additions to the notable characters page.

Now to do a couple more maps to have to hand if the group goes off piste tomorrow and I’ll be ready to go.

Art Stuff

I noticed today that I’ve been bumped up a tier in Amazon Merch which increases the number of designs I can sell from 10 to 25. I’ve been focused on Raglan tshirt designs there for the clarity they give my line art pieces so most things will go up in that format, and then a few as more general tshirts.

To find my things, search for Ludd Clothing as a brand. The latest piece as of the time of writing is based off a sketchpad piece I’ve had bubbling away recently, and myr s asked specifically to see it appear on a shirt. What better way to celebrate!

Well, by adding more things to the RedBubble site (see the site menu above for that link at any time)

Three Years

Three years ago, our triad actually got together for the first time. There was laughter and silliness, pub visits, and shopping. Its a pattern that has continued and evolved ever since.

We’ve had ups and downs, good times and not so good times, but no more so than anyone else. Above all there’s love and support, understanding and honesty, and no small amount of teasing.

Even with the lockdown, these amazing people have stuck around, challenged, and cherished me. I’m a very lucky man.

Key Worker Confirmation

I know we got told a couple of weeks ago, but it was nice to get a letter sent around in the mail today to confirm it.

The first I knew about it was a call from one of my colleagues who was very excited – mainly for the same reasons that I was when I first heard about it: that there was recognition of the value of the work we do for and in the community.

We don’t get excited by too much – we just get on with it – but there was a real spark of joy in my colleague’s voice and a sense of rekindled morale that was lovely to hear.

It was just a great way to end the working day.

An Evening of Writing

I’ve been doing some more writing this evening, specifically to flesh out one of my short stories to a better length for the planned collection. The piece I’ve selected was around 3000 words when I started, and has now over doubled in size to around 7000 words.

I’m aiming to get each of the stories to between 5000 and 10000 words, though there are some that work as flash fiction that I may preserve. There are also some other seeds of stories that I’ve scribbled ideas or paragraphs for.

All in all then, a successful evening after a slightly tense working day. Hopefully I can keep this momentum up.

Above all else, I have at least managed to resist the temptation to actively write about anyone I know. Honest.

Villainy Ahoy

I had a distinct look today when I got ready to go to work today. I was working a short walk from home for a change, so I wrapped up in a few extra layers before checking in on Lady M.

There was chuckling and photos taken, which on review suggested that I had inadvertently been channelling a Victorian or Steampunk villain of some description.

I’m quietly proud of the look, I’ll admit, even if there’s no villainy to go with it. I certainly felt a bit badass while stomping around Tesco on the way home tonight.

Tug of War

Last night’s session was great fun and a needed quiet moment between adventures. Lady M wasn’t feeling well, so having a session based around down time activities and a local festival meant she could duck out as needed.

Research on their attackers suggested they’d been sent by rivals from Morgrave University: treasure hunters called Mrs Friendly and Mr Nice.

The former is known as a warlock whose patron is one of the Archfae, with a reputation as a master of disguise. The latter is a goblin warrior obsessed with the culture of his Dhaakani forebears. The pair had apparently been in search of the goblin temple that the DDC had explored, and now hold a grudge.

The festival itself kept everyone amused. Caeluma knitted items for local children; Valenia tried out the archery butts. Coal was enticed into dancing, and after initial stumbles became the toast of the event. (Caeluma was moved to tears). Thorin got into an arm wrestling competition and won. There was food, drink, and afternoon teas – and then we had what turned into the highlight of the session: the pub tug of war.

The DDC was equally split between the two teams, and a series of contested strength check successes were required to win. It was close-fought, with Valenia and Thorin on one team, Coal and Caeluma on the other. In the end, with much cheering and relief, Thorin and Valenia’s team won.

It was utterly exhausting, but great fun for everyone.

Game Night Preparations

Right let’s see if the tech will cooperate today – there’s snow outside, which feels either appropriate or two fingers up for the scenario for tonight, so I’m under the duvet on the sofa, eyeing my laptops with suspicion while they load up and decide if they want to run any more updates this afternoon. The plan is to use the existing suburb map I’ve made for their household and then place encounter/activities on it. I have no doubt that it will end up with the session bearing very little resemblance to any of my plans. Such are the joys of running a D&D group. As usual, from about 1930 GMT we’ll be running the stream simultaneously to Twitch and YouTube and there will definitely be silliness, burping, and the discussion of drinks.

Positive Watchfulness

I’ve been having the occasional comment wend it’s way to me about how positive I’m being at work, how untroubled by all the stresses around us.

Truth be told its mostly because being cheery and positive is less exhausting than brooding on everything. Yes, there’s a small amount of denial, but I choose to interpret that as actively picking my battles.

A few days ago, myr s confessed they weren’t happy that I had to go in to work and risk infection. My only answer is that I feel safe enough in my work environment, especially with the barriers, cleaning, masks, and distance enforced while there. If anything it feels safer than going to the shops, and that’s in no small part due to control of my environment that I can exercise while at work.

Semi-related to the above is the descriptive fragment that bounced around my imagination this morning: “he was so optimistic that he expected anyone coming from Woking to be woke”

Time for bed I think.