Hiatus

So after doing this for a while, I have decided to take a small break. It wasn’t something bad, and I learned a lot through it, I believe, however it feels like a commitment to me. I know that realistically it isn’t, after all, it was a choice I made, and I’m just as easily stopping it. Somehow I think that the commitment that I feel is from my desire to write these stories and post them, and because of that commitment I start to feel that I have to want to do something and then I start to lose motivation over it.

It’s such a weird and frustrating feeling since it’s not a writer’s block, there is just a feeling of pure lethargy whenever I think about trying to continue writing. I really hope to be able to come back to this in the future since I do feel that I can progress more, and I want to further these stories, but I will just stop to recharge my batteries and jump start my desire to write the stories without the same feeling of commitment.

Aside from that, my time has also been further taken away by my return to studies at university, and the fact that the mantle of DM  has been passed down to me in our dungeons and dragons group. So I have found myself searching for time more often than not. I’ve been thinking of doing a Hexcrawler, and while I’m not so familiar with the term, I’m using it in the sense that the players have a map that they can use to explore the world and find adventure out in the wild rather than being set on a story. While this means a lot more work for me in the start since I have to set everything up, I’m hoping that once I’ve put down some satisfactory random event tables then I can just keep generating the adventure in front of them.

As like always, I have set up a weird experiment that will most likely blow up in my face, but I’m hoping for the small amount of time that it holds up it will be fun for the players. They’ve found the setting to be a little bit interesting; a world that is only 100 years old without much of a culture. What I’m hoping from this is that they might influence the world is some small ways that will ripple into quite big changes and just immerse them into this world that not only have I created, but they have shaped.

Well, I hope to post on here again. I will probably finish off the last aftermath from Tales of Estrangia and take my break from there. I am thankful that I was able to explore my writing on this platform, and I look forward to my return on it.

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Motivation

So I haven’t been as active as I would have liked to have been over the past few weeks. I’ve noticed that I keep saying I want to post more etc. but when it comes down to it, I just keep finding a lack of motivation. I don’t know why but whenever I sit down to just get stuff done I always find myself looking for something to distract myself with, which is pretty annoying since I don’t want to, but something in my head just doesn’t want to do work. It is an issue that I need to work through, and I will in time, but at the moment I just wanted to explain why I hadn’t been as active as promised.

Though with that all done I wanted to continue on with something a lot more lighthearted, like the dungeons and dragons campaign I was DMing for my friends. So far I believe it has been going well, everyone is enjoying themselves and they have been moving along the campaign relatively smoothly. I have found that they’re a lot more orientated to fighting battles rather than negotiating and such, but I hope to change that slowly as they get used to the game since for half of them this is the first campaign they’ve actually played. Either way, I just want to make it as enjoyable as possible for them while still keeping it challenging enough to make them care about the safety of their characters rather than just running in mindlessly.

That being said, the previous session was a little… odd. It wasn’t really bad, got a good little bit of plot development and highlighting some certain issues that need to be addressed. One of them was cursed by a cult and he’s starting to succumb to it, which is very interesting to see him act true to a character rather than just acting as the player would. It makes for a very fun session as I try my damnedest to pull him down into the darkness while everyone else around the table just give cries of anguish as they watch the inevitable unfold before them. The odd part about it, though, was that they made close to zero progress. And this wasn’t because they were  having a character building session, but because they literally walked in a circle.

You see, the area that they are in at the moment is a cursed forest which is layered in four stages. The session before they had made it to the second stage and camped there. Unfortunately before night fell, two of them wanted to go hunting… in a cursed forest. As you might be able to guess it didn’t turn out so well. I rolled an encounter, which was a swarm of corrupted Ravens, who had a random modifier of being covered in spines that hurt the players as they attacked them. A chase ensued during which they fell into a puddle because of a large amount of continuous failed skill checks.

After that they slept for the night,  had an encounter since they slept in a dangerous area when they woke up before going backwards in order to find an NPC which they felt they needed the help from in order to find the location of the object they were searching for. Now that they are back on track, though, it will be very interesting to see how they deal with the more dangerous corrupted creatures now that they’re heading into the deeper parts of the forest.

Aside from that, though, I think I’m all done for now. Feels good once in a while to just explain happenings and to rationalise it in  my own mind. Maybe sometime soon I’ll put down some more thoughts on the world that they’re adventuring in just to help myself flesh it  out a bit more, or I might even talk about my plans for some future adventures for when they’re finished with this one since I believe it will actually be finishing up soon. Level 4 being the benchmark for when they should finish.

Arc 1 of Dark City is Out

Finally managed to finish editing that chapter, I have no idea why it took so long because I don’t remember too many changes, but I did need to change the tone and style of it slightly since it was a work that I had done a couple of years ago focusing on another aspect of the city. That’s right, this has been years off and on in the making, more off than on though. That’s one of the problems with my creative process is that I start a lot of projects, but then my scatterbrained mind just drags me to a different one. Which is why I’ve been trying to change it up here by giving it multiple projects to work on at once so I don’t burn myself out on one particular series and not want to touch it for another six months.

Now there was a reason that I posted today rather than yesterday, and it was intentional this time, I swear. I had my first Dungeons and Dragons session with my new group, and wanted to share the experience with you all. So I’m Dungeon Mastering this one, and writing it, and helped to create a lot of the characters, since a couple of them haven’t had too much experience with the game before. Initially I tried to make it a more serious setting with a lot of grim themes going on, then the first person came to me with their character and I almost cried.

I wanted to give them complete freedom on who they wanted to be with their classes, races and backgrounds as well as their names. In hindsight for any prospective DM’s out there, don’t give your friends free reign over their naming process. So when I messaged the first person about what character they wanted to play, this was their literal response: “I want to be a manwhore who just goes around getting laid.” Honestly, not the worst, since then I’ve gotten a bard who can only remember songs by using puns and a Gnomish Fighter… A GNOMISH FIGHTER. The tank in the party is half as tall as the Dragonborn Rogue with double their health.

So here we were, and I don’t think my world was ever truly ready for the descent of Fearan the druid (with a lot more accents in his name than my keyboard or even, I suspect, WordPress has) Warrick the Fighter, Kazooma the bard (whose instruments are the kazoo, the vuvuzela and the triangle), Bryan Goosling the fourth who is rogue noble, Bigus Dickus the sorcerer, and Skinny Penis who also happens to be a rogue (you know, the meme). Next time I’m going to make sure their characters have actual names. But the worst part of it though is that skinny has a fully fleshed out backstory, while all we know of Kazooma is that he has a rival who stole his vuvuzela.

In any case, they set out at an abysmally slow pace (not that I’m complaining since I haven’t written most of the campaign yet) mostly due to their idle banter. Skinny tried to show off by intimidating some kids, rolled a one and ended up getting pick-pocketed instead, I’ll let you guys figure that one out, and almost completely turned down a side quest because they felt it was a little too much out of their way, which is something that I might need to work on.

Then we got to the fight. The first fight of the campaign. This was completely unbalanced since I had no idea how this party would fight as a group. The situation could have been resolved in two ways. Essentially a group of bandits were trying to waylay the group and demand gold from them in order to proceed. The group could have given them the gold and moved on taking all of the experience, or they could fight it out with some intermediary dialogues to allow for a cheaper pass or more expensive. What really happened was one of the guys turned around at the sound of the voice, saw that they were armed and instantly loosed an arrow because of that, initiating the combat.

We’re still in the middle of it, only one round through, but here is the tl;dr. The first arrow missed, the leader of the bandits charged, instantly got skewered by two rapiers for max damage while another of the party cut another bandit down in technically one hit. The bandits then proceeded to mob the sorcerer to bring him down to one health (after he cast mage armour on himself as well, I’m still feeling a little guilty about that) and the archers are having a duel.

Anyway, I’m hoping to schedule another, more regular session to take place, so there will probably be more highlights from the DnD session to come in the later weeks. Here is a link to Dark City, and I am going to go to sleep.

 

Getting back on track

Ho-boy, do I feel like just lying down. For some reason the past few days have just been absolutely exhausting, and I am incredibly tired. I finished the first arc of Tales of Estrangia, so I’m going to start working on the other idea that I had in order to give myself a slight break from it, though preparing for that one is even more exhausting mentally since I decided to write it from another character’s perspective, which means that I need to create interesting personalities for all of their companions rather than what they were before.

I love the story that they’re going to embark on to bits (I’ve had the idea for a while and have been wanting to begin writing it for a while) but I absolutely suck at thinking up names, so coming up with a new cast in a week is annoying to say the least. I know what I want the characters to be, but their small little traits still escape me slightly, so I’ve been trying my best to make a framework of what I want to happen and then fill it out with their mannerisms etc. later.

The other task that I am attempting to complete is to continue writing the dungeons and dragons campaign that I’m supposed to be DMing. I have one person who has yet to submit their character, but its looking to be a very interesting group of adventurers indeed. The only problem is that I let them have free reign on what they wanted to be, and so I’ve found myself utterly screwed in terms of judging how the combats are going to turn out.

The fun part about this campaign that I’m trying to do is to set it up to be a lot more of a skills focused game rather than combat focused. I think it would be very interesting to see them running around on wild goose chases as they try in vain to uncover a conspiracy about a cult. Considering what they have thought up, I believe it will be a very fun to see them running around the country side and just tearing the place up, causing chaos wherever they go. I’ll probably put updates on their travels here when there are occasions noteworthy of sharing, but I think this post may have done me for tonight. I’m suddenly feeling very eager to write the campaign now, so I’ll probably focus on that tonight.