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Tag: Dungeons & Dragons

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Blog: A Little Joy – 01/20/21

Everything is so chaotic right now and it’s insanely difficult to focus on anything outside of the ever growing train wreck that is American politics. Even now as I write this, I fear that by the time this article goes live some horrible bullshit will have happened. I pray that everything goes smoothly and America doesn’t collapse in under its own weight, but literally anything is possible these days. But at some point I can’t keep staring at the wreckage and need to focus on things that make me happy. So here are some of the distractions I engaged in last week that brought me joy…

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Blog: Exhausted – 01/13/21

I don’t know that I necessarily have the words to properly describe my feelings about the events of last week, nor do I know that I want to go into too much detail about it. In short, it’s been extremely difficult to watch my country rip itself apart at the behest of a sore loser who refuses to believe that more people told him to go fuck himself than those who begged for him to stay. Things are bad right now, and with the ongoing threats of violence all around the country planned for the next few days I think we’re all kind of just hanging in a limbo and waiting for whatever is coming to finally arrive. It’s times like these that I’d normally try and turn to my hobbies to distract myself from the hourly misery that’s been foisted upon us, but there hasn’t been a video game that’s done that for me in the past few months…

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The Master of Disaster: Holiday Havoc – 18

I currently play in two Dungeons & Dragons groups, one of which I run and the other I just play in. For my group, we’d been running the newly released Icewind Dale – Rime of the Frostmaiden, while my other was neck-deep in a Dragonlance campaign. However, as we crept closer towards the end of 2020, we found ourselves in the middle of one of the weirdest holiday seasons of all time. So with a lot of people unable to see family and get particularly festive this year, I wanted to do something special for them the only way I knew how to: A holiday themed one-shot. It was also an opportunity for me to move away from the lackluster module of Icewind Dale – Rime of the Frostmaiden, but that’s a story for another time. Instead, I’d like to tell you the story of Holiday Havoc: The Clausening, the holiday one-shot I ran for both of my D&D groups…

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The Master of Disaster: God – 17

It’s been a bit since I’ve actually told a story from my D&D games, hasn’t it? Lately I’ve been prattling on about my ethos and how I prep for games, but sometimes all you need is a good story about players being overly confident. So buckle in everyone, cause this one is short but oh so sweet…

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Blog: Recap – 10/14/20

This week has and continues to be surprisingly busy for me, which hasn’t left me a ton of time to play the games I’ve wanted to. Alongside that, I’ve been neck deep in preparing and running my D&D campaign, which requires an alarming amount of time and dedication. I genuinely don’t know how people could balance that workload along with leading a normal, pre-pandemic life. But anyway, let’s recap the week…

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Some Notes About Baldur’s Gate III

Before I dive into the bulk of this article, it should be mentioned that no video game could ever truly capture the Dungeons & Dragons experience solely because there are static limitations to any video game. You can account for a lot of things as a game designer and try to cater to dozens of styles of play, but no game could adapt to the wild and imaginative things that players regularly ask of their DM’s quite like a living, breathing person present. Yet in spite of all of that Baldur’s Gate III already shows incredible promise when it comes to representing D&D and is a game I’m genuinely enjoying…

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Blog: More Than Games – 09/23/20

Welcome to another fantastic edition of this blog where I sometimes talk about video games. Boy howdy are there a ton of video games I want to talk about this week, I’m basically swimming in rewarding gameplay experiences that I’m eager to discuss. It’s hard to convey sarcasm through a written piece, but that was all a big fib. I did a lie. No, this week has mostly been about me reading a book, hearing about how people are enjoying games I know aren’t for me, and watching the slow and steady erosion of our democracy continue unabated. So hell yeah, video game blog time!

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The Master of Disaster: Prepping – 16

One of the most interesting, fun and tedious parts about being a Dungeon Master is preparing from session to session, but even more of a challenge is preparing a new campaign entirely. My group and I are currently wrapping up our “one-shot” of The Sunless Citadel, a pretty decent Dungeons & Dragons adventure, and are gearing up for our next big campaign. As luck would have it, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden released just as we were finishing up, so we decided that it would be our next adventure. Being that this is my first time prepping a full campaign, I figured I do it as meticulously as possible. Here’s what’s happened…

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The Master of Disaster: Combat Encounters – 15

People often talk about the three pillars of Dungeons & Dragons and how crucial they are when making a well rounded campaign. Of the three pillars, exploration, role-playing and combat, I usually tend to focus on the role-playing pillar the most while paying less attention to the others. I’ve always felt that exploration was the toughest one for me, but as I run more Dungeons & Dragons games with different groups, I find that combat ends up feeling the weakest and least interesting…

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Exploring My Biases Against Certain Genres and Mechanics

Have you ever seen a trailer for a game and immediately knew it wasn’t for you? This happens to me consistently, and all it usually takes is a trailer or screenshot for me to see the mechanics at play to know a game isn’t for me. While I try to keep an open mind about every game, it’s a challenge for me to look at certain mechanics or genres and still feel compelled to play it despite what the critical reception is…

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The Master of Disaster: Finding Your Style – 13

Recently my friends and I shuffled our roles, affording me the opportunity to play in a campaign rather than run one. It’s been fantastic both from a gameplay standpoint along with freeing me up creatively to focus on other projects. Simultaneously another group of friends expressed interest in running a starter Dungeons & Dragons campaign, so being the masochist I am I obliged and started running them through The Lost Mines of Phandelver. And honestly, both games have been tremendous learning experiences that I desperately needed…

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The Master of Disaster: Fatigue – 12

During my time running various campaigns for my friends, I’ve experienced a bevy of highs and lows that have both energized and exhausted me to different extents.  Today we’re going to be talking about the latter and how if left unchecked, can wear you out pretty easily…

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The Master of Disaster: Maps – 11

Welcome to another installment of The Master of Disaster, a feature where I outline some of my preferences, tactics and stories that have come out of both playing, but mostly from running various tabletop role-playing games.  This time around I’d like to talk about something fairly obvious, but easily one of the more labor intensive parts of being a GM.  Of course I’m talking about maps…

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Blog: Chase Your Bliss – 03/11/20

For various reasons, a few weeks back I found myself putting some time into what might be one of the longest running live games, World of Warcraft.  The quick and dirty is that I was looking for a way to engage with my friends who fell down a WoW hole, and I hoped I could brave those depths with them.  It did not work out…

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The Master of Disaster: Music – 10

Pretty early on in the campaign I decided I wanted to add an auditory element to everything we were doing, without resorting to generic dungeon crawling ambient noises that you can find on YouTube.  How would one go about this then?  Maybe they would search for music that set the appropriate mood, cause that would actually be a smart idea.  But what if we added hours to my session prep and included unique music tracks for encounters and story beats?  That’s the position I’ve put myself in…