Maps and Pens and Rock and Roll

My current methods of zoning out and calming down continue to mostly be drawing and making maps. I bought a book of gridded paper off Amazon recently, and have started filling pages with designs that I may never end up using, but that are still an outlet that allow me to work out the story of their use and history.

The sketchbook also continues to grow full of designs, and I’m posting things mostly to Instagram as I go to share with the world. I’m very much enjoying the wider availability of pigment ink and fine pens for the more consistent finishes they offer.

Some of them I’ve started adapting using the map building sites and software so versions of some of these locations may appear, but then again maybe not – that’ll depend on which way the stories go.

Great Game Night

Another fun games night just finished, continuing on the DDC’s pursuit of a missing alchemist which has led them to helping sprites with a spider and ettercap problem in return for passage to the Feywild.

We had a lot of character moments too, with Valenia assisting dryads in repairing damaged forest land, and young baby Odif spontaneously beginning to crawl, and to begin to talk.

More than a mascot?

As everyone has generally been speaking a mishmash of Common, Sylvan, and Draconic around him, the baby kobold is mostly calling people and objects by single-syllable names to accommodate his jaw structure. This can’t possibly end in tears…

Sus Bin Delivery

I couldn’t resist. When myr s mentioned they were needing to have a crackdown on tidying, and our conversations had turned to how we could motivate that, I suggested a rewards chart – and agreed to buy a big bin, which was duly delivered today.

And it looks more than a little like a spaceman from Among Us.

Definitely sus…

It’s the Weekend! Almost!

Time to relax…oh, wait… as you were…

On the plus side, although I’m working tomorrow, I have already prepped enough material for a couple of game sessions so I won’t be too anxious on that front this week.

Oh, and I have of course been doing some more doodling – I’m trying some new things in character poses and composition along with stylised light and dark. I’m not aiming for anything I’m particular, but I am pleased with the results:

Brain Sludge

I’ve been learning about report configuration for a new system today. I also gave someone detailed interview feedback, and did some troubleshooting on new kit with staff, more or less all at the same time with some expert time-slicing.

So, I’ve rewarded myself with getting a frame for a small print I got at Christmas and I shall shortly enjoy finding a wall space for that.

But first: time for a shower

Juggling Roles Day

There’s only another three weeks of the month left, and a lot still to shuffle through in terms of the restructure and a tech refresh and system migration that’s pretty much all happening at the same time.

Sounds chaotic, and there are elements that are dancing round each other like tightly contained dervishes, topped by sparklers and accompanied by cries of confusion…

…and yet its happening, more or less to plan, and with the wider view I now have with inclusion in conversations I have a better appreciation of both the scope and pace of change and of the essential kindnesses that lie behind decisions taking place.

I am reminded again that the people driving what appears to be a chaotic dance are just that: people. I’ve always tended to be mostly blind to titles, for better or worse, but having a chance to actually engage with the new level of management has finally put personalities to the names seen on emails.

But it is still three weeks until I am actually in post, and in the meantime I still need to juggle this engagement with keeping the day job going: managing the day to day business of an individual library and the staff and customers based there. It puts me on both sides of the process, so I suppose it’ll keep me busy…

Meanwhile, Happy Pride

Ups and Downs

Yesterday I didn’t feel well, today I do. I’m going to put that down to a combination of the second vaccination jab and a broken night’s sleep. The original plan for today was to have a quiet day off, but training on the admin of our incoming replacement library system was energetically waved at me, so I’ve been doing that instead.

That said, now it’s completed, it’s a lovely sunny day out there so I’m going to take it easy, update some of the website (I’ve added some new maps on the Roleplay Games page), and watch the various Pride flags flip over the railing on my balcony.

Story Progression

Another great session with the DDC this evening that started with sky pirates and ended with lamenting fey at a crash site. I’ve always tried to keep player agency to the fore when running games, not always successfully I’ll admit, but this week is one that rewarded the approach.

The DDC is at a level now where they are starting to be established adventurers, and are facing bigger adventures. Encounters that might have overwhelmed them now tend to merely raise pulse rates rather than induce cardiac arrests. What is especially rewarding though is that the characters are learning and evolving, and demonstrating empathy with events and creatures encountered.

As an example, they found the burned out crash site of the skyship they’ve been searching for: a blasted crater where once a proud copse of trees had stood deep in the forest.

Investigating it brought out the maddened dryads whose trees had been destroyed in the crash. A traditional adventuring encounter would have led to a pitched battle with the grieving fey. In this instance though the group refused to fight and with words and some lucky persuasion rolls were able to talk the dryads into pausing at least.

Which is when sprites appeared, and offered a deal, and we ended the session.

When the dwarven Barbarian puts his axe down and refuses to fight because “they’ve every right to be angry” you know there’s something going right with your game.

Prepping for Battle

I’m having a quiet day, and being productive at the same time. I had my second covid jab this morning (Astra-Zenica) and so far there’s no aches or pains so I’m just keeping hydrated and will take some paracetamol later if anything starts up. At worst it should feel a bit like the flu if last time was anything to go by.

In the meantime I’ve written the introduction to tomorrow’s game:

And so that’s one less thing to make up on the fly tomorrow. Now I’m going to go and prepare some spare encounters and maps that I can throw into the mix if the game goes in strange directions.

As ever I’m using a combination of Roll20 for the virtual tabletop, and dndbeyond.com for the creatures, people, information, and tricks of the trade, so I shall probably get lost for a while delving into lore and obscure rules for a while…

Lady M’s Catnip

Lady M is, in her own words, a completionist when it comes to Open World games. She’s recently started playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and has discovered just how many natural resources there are to grab for crafting.

Her general approach to the AC games is one of doing her best in investigate and complete every possible location, gathering and completing quests to complete regions as she goes.

With this game there is now the additional distraction of resources in caves and growing on hillsides. Whenever a search is done, they appear with a small clinking noise, along with any treasures – and so I am now doing my best to not twitch at the sound of constant searches and pings while she is in the middle of clearing a location.

After hearing her mutter that she could hear the ‘ting’ and where was it? I couldn’t resist likening the noise to being her personal catnip… and so an ongoing tease has begun…