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!

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...