Plotting and Scheming

I had a new Kickstarter reward arrive today while I was out, and I’ve just spent an entertaining hour or so flicking through it and scribbling notes that may come to confuse my players – or delight them, always hard to tell.

The concept of this is that in Dungeons and Dragons a wizard may choose to release their familiar with an empowering spell. This book provides options then to play or place these creatures alongside regular characters or act as foils.

I’m considering running a short series of games to test these rules out as a break from the main story, simply because its such a fun concept.

So far the critters and the rules seem balanced and compatible with mainstream 5th Edition D&D, and there’s a nice feel to the book and pages that’s a tactile reward. The layouts and charts aren’t confusing, and there’s some lovely dry humour running through the whole thing in both the favour text and illustrations.

It definitely feels like something that started as a joke, and then inspired some inventiveness and it has made me smile after an intense couple of days.

Tidying and Writing

It’s a rare day off, so of course I’m not able to sleep in as my back decided it was time to get moving. As a result I’ve been tidying up and cleaning the kitchen to reclaim some workspace real estate

Those who know my kitchen will now be wondering what sorcery this is. Those who know me will be wondering what is out of view either side of the picture. Those who are observant will be chuckling at the deliberately placed mug.

We ended up not having a game yesterday due to general health of various people, so I’ve taken the time to start writing threads and ideas for this next stage of adventures for the DDC. In the real world we’ve been going at this a little over a year – but we haven’t quite caught up to that in the game as I wanted to reflect roughly where we are in the seasons. It’s allowed me to introduce seasonal festivals as a marker of time in the game, and harvest and autumn are upon us.

It also allows me to start dropping in some Winter Is Coming jokes, as well as references to the Unseelie Winter’s Knight that they encountered at the end of the last (unstreamed) session that we had. It was one of those encounters where there was initial giggles at the name, and then the magic users started getting very serious and respectful as they made their arcana checks.

Kerne’s sister, it appears, is a Warlock pledged to the Archfey. That Archfey is the Winter’s Knight. There are dangling plothooks to write.

I was talking around this and related points while we were celebrating boy s’ birthday – about how we’re at a point where I can use character back stories to start introducing more mythic story elements among the day to day missions and calamities that the group involves themselves in. The most intense sessions have come where the players buy in on an emotional level to the storyline and its been wonderful to DM those and see my sparse notes brought to life and embellished upon.

So, that’s got me trying out plot hooks and elements in my little black book

Back to the DDC

We didn’t stream, but we did play this evening, and ran video through Discord so we could see most of our faces as video and mental states allowed. It was a gentle enough session – rounding things up from the last one as they searched the huts belonging to the Blinded Eye hags.

I dropped some plot hooks in there about Kerne’s sister, introduced them to the Winter Knight who serves Queen Mab and got them swiftly home for well deserved humour, welcome, and a thorough telling off by Tanglefinger.

So, that’s the stage set for what I’m calling Year Two of the DEC’S adventures.

Spinning More Plates

A busy week, and moments of needing to go and have a walk away from the screen, but generally feeling positive today. That probably means I’m missing something obvious.

On the other hand, I seem to have started a new D&D game with some people on one of the Discord servers I’m on. There’s something about introducing new people to the game that really appeals, and so last night’s intro session gave me a wonderful boost. Hearing people have those light bulb moments as they got to grips with the potential of the game is always wonderful.

That’s probably why the work side of life today wasn’t as onerous as it might have been, spirits well and truly lifted

Dragon Encounter

Tonight’s game was a blast, I don’t often have an excuse or a chance to bring dragons into play. Given they’re in the name of the game they’re relatively rare, and in Eberron they have a more narrative important role too, but this week was fun.

The DDC characters aren’t quite at a level of power and expertise where they can comfortably tackle an adult dragon, so talking and negotiations were the name of the game this evening. Kerne as a dragonborn sorcerer was thrown into the spotlight as effectively the only person Fellestri the Green would deign to talk to, and Lady M rose to the challenge.

It also gave me an opportunity to bring out what myr s calls “the Dom voice” and really impress on the DDC who was in charge.

Yes, we all know it’s Odif!

Quiet Day

I worked more than a few extra hours over the last few weeks, so with a nod from the boss I claimed today back to recover a bit, and I’m glad I did. There’s some family stuff that landed yesterday, mostly related to people’s health, some of which is in the “eh, okay” pile and some in the “oh” pile.

So in between being shattered, I’ve also been processing that – and part of how I’ve been doing that has been making more maps. So that’s a bit of a good news/bad news thing: been an unsettling day, but here’s some creative stuff for your gaming needs.

Enjoy! I’ll stick them up in the respective gaming pages in due course

New Maps

We cancelled the game tonight so I’ve had a lazy day making maps. I’ve made separate pages off from the Roleplay Games section under the digital maps but just some eye candy, here they are for free download

They’re both fairly generic dungeon/tomb type layouts but are grid free so can be scaled for use on the virtual tabletop of people’s choice. If I get requests for gridded versions I can do that too.

So have fun!

Tanglefinger Update

We were going to play D&D tonight as we’re not particularly sportsball people, but people are unwell, and Lady M is a known superfan, so we’re postponing a week. In the meantime I have recorded a recap by Tanglefinger the Boggle that has had everyone in the polycule in stitches and I thought you might enjoy.

And now…Tanglefinger

What can I say, but you’re welcome!

Updates

I’ve been inspired by the earlier posts to start writing up and updating the key events page for the DDC and I think I’m basically just working backwards at this point. Still, there’s two pages done, gathering the collective dreams and the Broken Grove. The accompanying maps for those sections have been included to help visualise them.

Both maps were made by yours truly using www.inkarnate.com and I’ve also put them up in the maps section for free download.

It’s a nice way to wind down after work…

DDC Feywild Dreams: 3

Valenia dreams of the hunt. She dreams of tracking her prey with Raine at her side, and her pack close by. It is a simple dream. It is a comfort dream, and it is a dream she shares with Raine. Their dreams are one, with visions overlapping and complementing as they close in on their quarry. They sidestep traps and treacherous terrain. They leap across rivers and weave through trees until they see their target. They are with someone, someone who is bent with teeth at their prey’s throat and who locks eyes with them as they approach.

Odif dreams in shades of grey and flashes of colour. The kindly dragon, the furry man, the wolf woman, the horned cuddles are all there. He is happy.

Caeluma sees their infernal father reaching for them and the holy symbol on their chest. His presence fills their lungs with brimstone, and leaches the strength from their limbs. In a cage at his belt Caeluma sees their mother. Beside it is an empty one with their name on it. As the demonic claw reaches for them, a bright hand intercepts, pushing the infernal one away. Gerlon the Morrowheart, Caeluma’s celestial patron, moves between them and forces the demonic presence back. The Morrowheart’s feathered wings spread to match Caeluma’s father’s leathern ones and the stench of brimstone is replaced with clean summer breezes and the promise of rest. Caeluma wakes, Shriken nestled against them in the shade of a tree, and a single enormous golden feather as long as his forearm resting on their chest.