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Saturday, September 3, 2011

A couple thoughts

First- I kind of suck at sitting down and trying to plan out an adventure. I have been called a great DM by a lot of people, so I have to assume they weren't all BSing me about my DMing skills; but I have a really hard time sitting down and creating an adventure. I am bad at making dungeons. I am bad at drawing maps. I can create a compelling campaign world, but I tend to avoid having to map as much as possible. I steal maps from other sources and repurpose them when possible. I can take a published adventure and make it my own, altering it beyond recognition from the original and I can do that on the fly. I can pull an entire evening's entertainment completely out of thin air based on a couple of die rolls and my knowledge of the campaign world; I am good at hex-crawls and other sandbox style stuff. It's creating unique locations and mapping them out ahead of time that I am bad at, I have made some pretty cool almost random dungeons on the fly. So I don't really write adventures, I write vague outlines of what the bad guys plans are and what will happen if they aren't stopped probably and update it after each session with the party's actions (or inactions); I also make liberal use of other people's ideas, particularly if they're better than mine.

Second- I have a mountain of Legend of the Five Rings RPG stuff (and some Sengoku stuff) that I won on EBay coming soon, just a head's up- there'll be a flurry of Mail Call activity in the near future. It's mostly for 1st edition, but since I have never played any edition I guess 1st edition is the place to start. Since my gaming group hasn't really met since Ashli went away to basic training I may try to kick start some gaming with L5R, maybe online via Google+ if I can't get everyone together in my regular gaming group.

Thirdly- I saw Paizo has a new product with Ninja's and Vikings in it. I laughed a little, I did the OA meets Vikings thing over a decade ago; it was a cool idea then and it's a cool idea now, I hope it does well for them.

Lastly- My daughter Ashli is getting a medical discharge from the US Army, that's our current crisis. She's been in the hospital at Fort Jackson for about 3 weeks now, she may be coming home soon. Since she is over 18 and it's a medical condition, I figure it's her place to tell people about it if she wants them to know.


  1. Best wishes to Ashli. I have a friend (also female) who left the marines the same way. It was rough for a few years, but she got through.

  2. Hope she's doing okay. I was eventually discharged medically a few years after a dumb-ass training accident in 2001 (I stood in a bloody rabit hole during a tactical advance to battle with full kit. I was lucky enough to wangle myself a TA (National Guard) role for another couple of years afterwords until the niggling, constant injuries forced me to call it a day. I know how tough it can be to lose-out on your dreams due to injury. It took me a while to come to terms with not being able to do something I'd wanted to do -or be the person I wanted to be- my whole life. Then I finally realised it didn't matter. My job role didn't describe who I am. I was still the man I wanted to be. What difference did my job title make?

    I was crushed at the time. Devestated. But I'll tell you this for free: Looking back, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm still alive -and happily married- when so many of my friends and colleagues are not.

    All the best to you Ashli. Find yourself a new dream and chase that one too. Don't wallow in self-pity like I did. Life is for the living. Save your grief and pity for the dead.