We ended up not gaming this evening, but not for the reasons expected. Lady M has had a headache, myr s had a tummy ache, and so we were considering not playing. Then we decided to give it a go anyway.
Our collective pieces of technology decided not to cooperate. We had plugins fail, browsers crash, voice comms break down… so after 20 minutes we threw our hands up and started comparing notes about using Inkarnate and designing homebrew items for the game.
We had a great session today, bringing to a head the mystery of where Coal had disappeared to and what had happened to his former compatriots. Last week had brought the group to a war damaged slum, and the zombified remnants of the gang, and a wight that controlled them.
And then this week, as they thinned the waves of zombies out, the wall next to them came down revealing a roughly rebuilt Warforged Titan – a towering engine of destruction from the Last War – which had Coal patched and embedded in it as a jury-rigged power source.
And they fought among the ruins, fighting their fears for Coal, and were triumphant. The wight escaped, but they were able to rescue their companion. A huge victory, all the better for the emotional investment for everyone.
And it’s those connections I’ve been watching build, and encouraging as we go that rises to the queer experience of this set of adventures. There’s an underlying theme of the consciously built family in place of their various fractured backgrounds.
All the characters are outsiders and have bonded together in mutual support and love, but they are adventurers first and foremost. The characters original backgrounds are now being developed with new connections, and I’m enjoying weaving those into the story and hearing my players reactions.
Hearing my description of Coal being literally forcibly enfolded and assimilated into this relic of the military and wars he had fought so hard to reinvent himself away from, there were gasps around the table. There may also have been joking threats from myr s of what might happen if Coal died.
Music to my ears. Passion and determination fought fear and desperation this evening for stakes that felt important to everyone around the table. The discovered family fought the clutches of the abusive past, and won.
I’m going to get on with making a page just for maps, using old and new material, probably starting this evening.
In the meantime, here’s a very quick cave map with a stream pubbing through it from a spring at the back. A group of smuggler’s (or other antagonists of choice) have made use of a cluster of side caves and installed a portcullis style gate to deter intruders.
Further back in the cave there is a branch where a fissure opened up and a number of cave fishers (or other suitable pest-level monsters) have settled in, eating vermin and fish that emerge from the depths in the water. By and large the two sets of inhabitants ignore each other barring opportunistic encounters.
Lady M made an unflattering comparison to a set of mutated ovaries and associated organs, but she’s flying on painkillers post-surgery so I’m going to nod and smile…
I was recently given a journal filled with squared grids. It has sat on my shelf for a few months, but I’ve started today to sketch out some sample maps that I could use for gaming, as well as make available for people to download
I might make a section under the games page for maps in general to make them easier to find. A significant part of traffic to this site revisits the maps from past adventures, so I think this proves an interest in things like this.
So, this is intended to be a mortuary temple site, set underground, with ossuaries, a channel house, preparation chambers, and living quarters kept away from visitors.
How benign or sinister this site may be is up to GMs – there is a room key on the map. The scale is intended to be five foot to a square, so the scale and feel is more something carved from the living rock than a massive temple.
We’re still batting ideas around for cool ideas for tshirt designs around the Dungeons and Dragons group – the DDC – and so a lot of the random pieces of paper or journals around me are covered in detail ideas or rough outlines at the moment. One of the designs we’ve talked about was a composite logo-style image referring to individual characters – and what we might choose to highlight in them.
One that sprung very quickly to mind was a design for Caeluma – our Cleric/Warlock Tiefling with a love of knitting. A simple design sprang to mind of a set of horns surmounting a ball of wool and some knitting needles. I ran up a simple rough of that and then it started evolving
The suggestion quickly came in from myr s to include the wings from Shriken, and some reference to Coal – Caeluma’s boyfriend, a warforged thief. Shriken is Caeluma’s familiar, a faerie dragon, rescued from an alchemist’s kiln a few months ago. The three have become a close-knit unit within the group – and an illustration of how we can build our own families rather than settle with the ones we’re born with.
So – now you know – and it’s available for sale through Amazon. I will make these designs available through RedBubble in time, but for now this is keeping the designs in one place for the DDC material.
It started as a joke, but to paraphrase Dr Frankenstein… it’s alive! Or Live on Amazon anyway: the first bit of merchandise related to the DDC Dungeons and Dragons group is available to buy from Amazon in the UK right now:
The last few days been a bit of a swirling mess brain wise, but it’s been productive too. Sunday’s D&D game was great fun and we’ve recorded the silliness on YouTube
I was asked earlier in the day on social media to sum up what was in store for them, and I’d said ‘missing persons’ so I think we delivered on that.
One of the things we’ve started talking about has been some degree of merchandise. I’ll do that through Amazon as I finalise the designs as I’ve got extra design slots now available. We’ve been bouncing ideas around, and I’ll be mocking some designs up over the next few weeks.
If nothing else it gives me an excuse to do some silly things and have people wear them.
Other than that, I’m mostly preoccupied with the upcoming restructure at work, and with an operation that Lady M will be having soon – oh, and the joys of living under pandemic lockdown conditions as a key worker – but at least I’m earning…
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.
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.