The DDC Game Design Theme

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.

DDC Returns this weekend

Game night returns this weekend now that Lady M is more recovered from her surgery. It will be streamed as usual on Twitch and YouTube from 7.30ish on Sunday. There’s a link in the main menu to the YouTube channel if anyone is curious.

Last time, the session ended with a pitched battle in a slum rookery, with zombies swarming the group. A slender unidentified undead warrior had been glimpsed before being scared away by Kerne’s illusions. As he retreated he was heard calling to someone to “rouse the titan!” And shortly afterwards the sound of something heavy could be heard pounding on a nearby wall.

So that’s where we’ll pick up on Sunday.

Cave Map

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…

A New Outlet

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.

Enjoy!

Sound Levels and Tech Revolts

Well, that certainly happened… we had a lot of fun in the game, but our sound levels were plagued by gremlins at various points so the stream sounds were apparently very vague in places.

Ah well, we’re neither professional or charging so while it’s an annoyance it isn’t the end of the world.

As for what happened? Well there were investigations, hints of ancient atrocities, and waves of zombies pouring out of a crumbling rookery. All that, and Coal is still missing…

The video stream should be available through the YouTube channel link in the menu at the top of the page if you want to sample the chaos.

DDC Merch?

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:

Grave Robbing: The DDC film poster Raglan Baseball Tee

Grave Robbing: The DDC film poster Tshirt

So, that’s a thing that’s happened… More designs are in development, and it looks like I’ll have to stick a bunch of links together in due course.

Didn’t see this coming…

Games and Pictures

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…

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.

Winged It

I had so many tech issues yesterday when I wanted to prep for the game. Both laptops decided it was time for multiple updates and reboots so preparation time was technically reduced to about forty five minutes. This was an issue because one of the players for the Goblin game was unavailable and so we were going to flip back the main story. Which I needed to write.

Fortunately I already had a good idea for some creative chaos, and a pre-prepared encounter saved in DNDBeyond, so I added a few elements to existing maps and away we went.

As usual we had the Twitch stream hosted by Lady B, and pushed it through to YouTube as well, and we launched with my giving a brief recap of where we’d left the DDC.

Which is how the weary adventurers, fresh off the train found themselves running to the assistance of a mugging victim, only to be counter ambushed by thugs claiming to be sent by “Mrs Friendly” and “Mr Nice”. As the group had no idea who they were this led to confusion and bloodshed in equal amounts, and the watch arrived to pick up the pieces.

So far so relatively normal, but in getting home they had some new mysteries. A new bench had been placed in their front garden. Thorin’s towels had disappeared when he took a shower. Other items were also found to be missing or jumbled up, and suspicion briefly fell on Shriken the faerie dragon as the mischief maker.

Which was when Shriken led Caeluma to an upstairs room where a new item of furniture had appeared – and quickly revealed itself to be a mimic when disturbed. A very chaotic and messy battle then broke out, including the revelation that some minor objects recently found while tidying up were also juvenile mimics.

And of course the heroes won, but they were very confused… Go have a listen for more details.