Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sorry About The Hiatus

Has it really been that long since I last posted here? Well I guess it has.

No excuses. No epic tale of woe. Just a giant case of the blahs.

It's taken me this long to get the energy and mental focus to tell those of you who are still paying attention that I did some more voice work for The Royal Podcast of Oz on their annual L. Frank Baum tribute. Wow! Was that 2 months ago?

I should also mention that, as of not very long ago, customers who bought their copy of Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road from a Friendly Local Gaming Store can now ask their retailer about the free PDF they can get in their email from the Bits and Mortar initiative. (Check here for retailers that sell games from Indie Press Revolution and here to locate stores that participate in the Bits and Mortar program. I expect that there will be significant overlap.)

My own personal gaming life has taken a small twist. Although I declared my Castle of the Mad Archmage megadungeon campaign dead about this time last year, it did get revived. It trudged on in a Frankenstein-ian fashion until a month or two ago. Maybe it's the fact that my primary players are a married couple with a teenaged daughter, and therefore get kind of derailed in the summer. Who knows? Maybe it'll get revived in the fall when school once again sets a parent's weekly rhythm.

In the meantime, I'm running a little something of a side game. It's actually the Pathfinder version of the Castle of the Mad Archmage. But I'm looking back on all of the mistakes I feel I had made with my primary campaign and working to correct them.

For starters, I'll be keeping better records of the goings on in the dungeons. Because of my loose initial setup and other poor record-keeping, my players wound up with better records than me regarding where they have been. That's right, I have been depending on players keeping the map and not going where they have gone before in order to run my dungeon. (The main thing that has caused my campaign to halt is that the responsibility they demonstrate being parents means that the married couple tends to be the people who keep the map between sessions. If they're unavailable for whatever reason, my knowledge of where the party has been is also unavailable)

Not only that, but because I'll be keeping better records, I am also planning to repopulate the dungeon behind them.

The other thing that I felt the old school campaign lacked was a sense of place outside the dungeon. Which is totally my fault. I assumed that once the campaign starting getting legs the players would flesh out the city they lived in. Buying weapons from Billy the blacksmith rather than picking them out of the book. Taking up with Bessie the barmaid. Things like that. But alas, the city next to the dungeon took on the amusingly vague name of Ambiguityville, the town with no distinguishing features.

While I don't have the full city of Greyheim sketched out yet (and I'm making it a bit smaller than the vast city of Greyhawk to keep the detail down to a manageable level), I am building out the town, developing the services that the heroes need and the names of the people who provide them.
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