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.
We’d originally planned to move boy s and the cub in this weekend but life has thrown a hiccup or two into preparations so we’re aiming to do that next week if all shifts back on course.
Instead, we’ve had a quiet day where Lady M got back in the editing suite for her podcast and I’ve been bibbling around playing Watchdogs Legion, drawing things, and the odd bit of housework.
Yesterday had all manner of excitement (despite being on leave) to sort out some recruitment. I generally don’t dip back in to work when I’m on holiday as a principle, but I had an opportunity to sort out the vacant manager role and boost morale for some people. Rude not to really. As a result, a quiet day has felt a nice reward.
This evening Lady M and I have eaten, drunk, and now retired to different xboxes. A quiet geeky household evening to round everything out.
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.
My sleep patterns, between stress and Lady M’s snoring are a bit all over the place at the moment. Usually the act of telling someone that then leads to sleep arriving shortly after, but we’ll see.
I’ve finally got round to playing Watchdogs Legion and I’ve no idea about anyone else but I’m enjoying it. With an overarching near future dystopia setting it seems to be moving more freely in its storytelling and the shared universe with Assassins Creed has led to some fun Easter eggs in the return to London. I may even have to reinstall AC Syndicate.
Legion’s tongue is stuck firmly in cheek even in its drama, and I think that’s the appeal for me, even if some of the voice acting is a bit jarring in places.
Still, there are worse ways to distract from stress than have your character fly over modern London, sat on a cargo drone and creating havoc on the streets below.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a chance to get us all round the same table for a D&D session in person. I’d forgotten how much fun that is.
Because we had most of Sunday available, we ended up completing the group’s mission and formally ending year one of their adventures.
Highlights of the session included a lightning-breathing clockwork chimera, cpr on baby odif, a flying incubus charming Valenia, and a coven of green hags using invisibility and their water breathing to use hit and run tactics.
Oh, and there was a brief tussle involving a dispel magic spell, two counterspells, two members of the DDC being turned into frogs, a flying carpet, and fireballs.
I had some very worried people round the table, and then the relief when they won made it all worth while. Next session: what comes next?
It’s been wonderful to just stop today and let the day happen. Admittedly that took a while to start as my day started before 7am with a text from one of my branch managers informing me they were waiting for an ambulance. That was a good start to get the adrenaline pumping.
They are, I hasten to add, okay now though won’t be working at least until next week. Then there were another flurry of calls and texts that had to happen to sort out cover and some other things, but after that I could enjoy the day. I consciously closed down all work-related tech, which helped.
And so we wandered into Staines, did shopping of both the window and real variety, and had brunch in a Costa before seeking books and some nice things before retiring back to the flat – where the cub and I played several games of chess and Chinese checkers and myr s and Lady M collapsed to recover their spoon levels.
All in all, it’s been lovely. Other highlights included the cub realising we’d set up the old xbox in the room he was sleeping in; the look on Lady M’s face when the cub called her ‘mum’, and acknowledging a burgeoning friendship with someone I’ve been chatting to on a Discord server.
Tomorrow? Well that depends on the weather, so who knows?
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.
We are three hours from the return of the DDC – and I’ve just spent an afternoon crafting fun things for them to encounter if all goes well, or things go sideways. I’ve also just sent them a voice recording of Tanglefinger wondering where they are on our group chat. What’s the worst that could happen?
Meanwhile I’ve also been making some new design to go on tshirts – while they rework how they handle accepting new items and advertise them in different markets Amazon have throttled the number of new designs I can submit – but the link at the top of the page should show you the ever expanding collection of designs and items – go have a look, maybe you’ll see something you like the look of.
Oh, the message Tanglefinger sent? “They’re still not home, they’re still not home, where are they? They were only going down the pub! Hmm, well they’d better bring me some beer back is all I have to say.”
Come join us this evening on www.twitch.tv/jedileah at about 7.30pm to find out what happens next – at about the same time that I do.
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
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.