It took me a while, but somehow I managed to write 201 posts in this endeavor to discover what D&D means for me. I've started things that still wait for completion and I'm rather proud about other things. Please indulge me, if you're so inclined, while I look back a bit and see what's what. I might get a bit emotional.
To say this upfront: I'm still not ashamed.
Let's start with something positive. I love the OSR. It's so full of nice and smart people and I can't tell how many times the lot of you made my day one way or another. As of yet, I had no trolls on this blog to speak of, but a lot of nice and productive comments. It made blogging in these waters a very comforting experience and I'm aware of the fact that I'm rather lucky in this.
And I won't forget my followers. No matter if you went public as a member or bookmarked the feed, if you are online or offline, if you remember every once in a while that my blog exists and check what I'm up to or even (and this I'd really like to know ..) used some of my ideas in your game: thank you for the support! As far as I can say this about folks I don't know, you're all good people and I'm glad I started this and had a chance to get to know you as much as I did.
I know I'm still far away from being casual about nearly everything regarding this game. I try to believe I'm getting better in understanding what I want to do with it and expressing those ideas, but every now and then I'm still struck by the immense scope that D&D can be. It's just amazing what can be discovered and what can be done and it's been an delightful thing to get there post by post and share it with everyone interested enough to tack along. I'm far from finished (even though I'm a bit slow right now in getting stuff out there).
I believe blogging about our hobby is a wonderful and rewarding way to discover it and get better at almost everything regarding it except the deed itself. I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.
What I'm proud of ...
I try to avoid ranting about others. At least online. I believe it's bad taste and really doesn't help anybody in the long run. If you want to convince someone of something, give him an example to learn your way of seeing things. Because it always needs the will to understand and communicate and compromise to really get another point of view. Those not willing to do so are lost causes anyway, so why bother and attack them?
That being said, I did so one time. I'm still not quite sure why I bothered at the time and I tried being not to harsh about it and produce something beyond articulating my dislike. I'm talking about The DungeonPunk Counter-Manifesto. The guys over at the Sword & Backpack tumblr where mighty cool about it, even went as far as recommending the result (kudos for that, really). This is a good opportunity to say that, although I really didn't like that they used the term Dungeonpunk the way they did right there (give this thing another label and it's good to go, as far as I'm concerned ...), I'd like to point out that there is still a lot of good stuff shared to discover. Like this, for instance. So you might as well go and check it out!
The Counter-Manifesto has its own home on my blog for a very good reason: I never came as close to describing what I'd like to evoke in a game of D&D as I got with this (if you like to add something, please do so here). I'm thankful for that.
I made a patron god for this blog and it's an inside joke that I believe got missed by most (I thought it was funny, if a bit misguided ... hehe). I'm talking about Feloren, Astrayed Patron of the Lost and The Idol of Misdirection, one of my entries for the Petty Gods Community Project.
But other than being a play on the Disoriented Ranger, it's also the first (and only, so far) of my ideas that got illustrated and that makes me very happy:
|Art by Rom Brown. I'm loving it!|
Greg over at Gorgonmilk seems to have a lot on his plate right now, but I'm still looking forward to get his take on the Petty Gods into my hands. It's going to happen, I'm sure of it!
Three ideas I posted about are also on the list of things I'm rather happy with. They all made the game work a bit better for me.
The first is my take on aimed hits in D&D, which resulted in another idea about guns in D&D. The idea was to make fast and easy to remember rules that result in something that is relevant at every level and against every monster. It's up to the reader to decide the degree in which I succeeded with this, but so far it works very well in our game.
The third idea I'm fond of is a decryption of what armor in D&D is and an attempt to open up some perspectives what armor could also mean. Among other things, it allows for quick assertions what Armor Class random parts of equipment might have, making a complete random approach to armor possible, without dismissing compatibility to the original system. Here are part 1 and part 2.
There might be some more, but I always wanted to create an opportunity to repost those three ...
I know, those are small accomplishments (if you'd like to call it that), but I'm just an enthusiast expecting nothing from this and it really means something to me that I got this far. So there you are.
Posts people liked.
Often enough, posts I think will get some attention, won't, and others get way more than anticipated. Here is a short list and some words about it.
- Amoral vs. Evil Characters - A great part of the high number of page views on this one i due to spam bots, but that just can't be all of it. So this is the most read post on this blog ...
- Dungeoncrawl Reality Check got some real attention back then. I still intent to go to other parts of this immense underground structure. This year. With more pictures ...
- Oddly enough, the next one is an answer to one of those D&D blog challenges I participated in. It's a bit of a rant about D&D Gods and how they're no good. Also, a Rules Cyclopedia oddity and some suggestions what could be done. Nothing special, but some attention ...
- R.A.W. vs. House Ruled (or why I tinker with D&D) - Why making your own D&D is like building a car and why you should do it. It can't be stressed enough.
- Review: Better Than Any Man (pdf) - There is some demand for information about Raggi's work. Good for him! It's also a superb product worth getting attention.
- Elves are no mammals, goddarnit! (introducing: Prince Charming) - Totally forgot about this piece where the little Elves come from. It's hardwired in my campaign worlds and I'm still waiting for a player to decide to play that class (I'd do it without even hesitating).
- Personal Magic Weapons - The discussion in this post started all things related to Noircana (or a world engine, white whale, holy grail, etc.) and it's something I'm still chewing on. The idea itself was good for our game, too.
- Hacking Hackmaster Part 3 (on Fractional Ability Points) - Last, but not least, Hacking Hackmaster gets some love. Mostly because of this entry over at the Role-Playing Games Stock Exchange (i didn't put it there, I might add).
Blogger is a bit iffy about the real numbers, but that's what I got to work with (and nothing to write home about, all in all).
Where to go from there (I'm announcing something!)?
There is still a lot to do. With the time I've got right now, everything will develop far slower than I'd like it to. But I'm just one good weekend away from finishing a beta version of a little game I've been working on for the last few weeks now:
The Analogue Goblin-tribe Simulator
(Single Player Version 0.1)
Playing this little d&d-based-but-system-agnostic board game will result in a completely random goblin-tribe, with treasure, allies, goblin heroes, surroundings like lairs of other creature, villages to steal from and a map of where the goblins live (or died trying ...) and will feature an active opposition, some tunneling and trap building, exploration, more tunneling and some recreational reproduction. They get hungry if you don't feed them, fornicate too much if they are too happy and will be a general nuisance for everyone living close enough to be a victim. That's what I'm aiming for, at least.
But it's really on a good way. I got most of the rules, they just need to be calibrated. I also got a layout for the board and all that is missing are some tables for all that random goodness (which will be a lot of work, I guess). Nonetheless, it's going to happen. So stay tuned ...
As soon as it's done and running, I'll tackle a 2 player version and group play and ... I'm a bit excited about this, as it is going to be my first self-published game. I'm serious about it, this is going to happen!
Other than that, business as usual. I write if I got the time and the brain left to do so. There are some words about system balance and player skill bouncing in my head and something about the relationship between the natural and the artificial as we use it in our games and what it might tell about us. Every now and then I'll tackle some loose threats (like The Cleric, The Settlement or the Noircana) or write a review (Violence - the RPG is due, but I also read some indie-rpgs and really loved some of it ...). Stuff like that. All in good time.
So thank you all for reading my blog! I'll be around a bit longer, I guess.