Hello there. Here I am again with another campaign diary for my Dungeons and Dragons campaign that I’m running for a group of my colleagues at Ubisoft Quebec. This week the party recovered from their ambush on the road. They levelled up their characters for the first time and started to progress their characters. They also reached the town of Red Larch, where they interacted with a bunch of NPCs, had some down time, and looked into helping the locals with their issues.
One of my goals when moving to Quebec late last year was to make sure I continued writing RPG campaigns and dungeon mastering games. I had decided that I would get a PC and simply run games online for friends back home, and other people on the internet, but what I really wanted to do was find a local group. I had this grand campaign idea in my head that I really wanted to write and play, so I wanted a group of friends that I could sit around a table and run it for. Luckily, working in the games industry means I’m usually not short of a nerd or two who wants to play in a D&D campaign. After running a successful Christmas themed one-off session for some of my new colleagues, I realized I had found a good group to play with.
Storm of Death is the name of my four part epic Dungeons & Dragons campaign. It takes place in the Forgotten Realms, and sees the players travel from the sword coast, all the way to the Anauroch Desert in the east, and to realms beyond. It’s divided into four, twenty four hour chapters, each containing four parts. This format allows me to structure the sessions properly, and makes designing narrative arcs much easier. It also enables the campaign to become modular in nature, so that when I publish it online, other groups can use some or all of the modules based on their needs. The campaign is designed as a complete campaign experience, taking characters from level 1 all the way to level 20. It can, however, be used by existing groups by picking one of the chapters and playing through it as a self contained adventure arc. I started the campaign on the 7th February, and we’ll be playing bi-weekly. I decided I wanted to record the play through on my blog so people can follow along, or see how my group played through it.
I’ve been running role playing campaigns for many years now. I think the first one I did was for my school friends when I was around fourteen, or fifteen. It was a Warhammer Fantasy Role play campaign I think, or D&D, I can’t quite remember. What I do remember though, is that I barely did any preparation. I just went in there, rolled characters, and started setting a scene. It went okay for a few sessions as I just threw combat encounters at them, but we started to lose momentum around the fifth wave of goblins!
I realized that my campaign, whilst functional, had no deeper meaning. There was no story to be told here other than the murder of goblins. I realized quite quickly that my campaigns needed to be planned better if I was going to keep players interested in what I had to offer them. Far forward some fifteen years later, and my campaign planning starts months before.
I’m about to start a brand new campaign with a group of my colleagues, so I thought it would be fun to share some of the methods I use to prepare for running a role playing campaign.
I decided that for my last post of 2016 I would do something a little different. Normally December is filled with top ten lists. Everyone does them for everything, and they are endless. I find them quite entertaining, but I really didn’t think I could fill a top 10 list for games, books, films, and TV.
Instead what I decided to do was to pick ten things that I enjoyed in 2016. They aren’t in any order of priority, they aren’t based on anything other than the fact that I discovered them in 2016, and I enjoyed them. There will be some books, films, games, TV shows, and maybe even something else. This has been a shit year for planet earth, and humanity, but there’s been some good things. Let’s get to it shall we.
Video Game movies are cursed. Every time a new one comes out we have the same discussions. Will this one break the curse? Will this one be good? Will this one be the one to show the world it can be done right? It seems that the answers are always, no.
Even when the biggest IP’s in the world give it a shot, and throw millions of dollars, and big stars into the project, they still manage to end up being a disappointment. This year we’ve had two of the biggest video game movies ever released. One of them I reviewed Here on this very site.
Despite most of them having some good qualities, like fan service or great CGI, none so far have set the world alight, if rotten tomatoes is any indication. Today I want to talk about what I think the real problem is and how we might go about fixing it. We all want good video game adaptations, so just for fun, let’s talk about how we might get one.
I thought it would be interesting to document my experience of moving and working in Canada. When I moved to Poland I found a blog of an expat who had moved there some years before me and recorded the adventure. I found it really useful, so I thought I would do the same. The hope is that someone planning to move to Canada in the future will find this blog series and gain some reassurance, or useful information that will make their lives easier when they set off upon their own international adventure.
I’ve also found throughout the course of writing this blog, that putting down my thoughts and experiences is incredibly cathartic, so I guess I’m also using this as a kind of self prescribed therapy to help me deal with everything that’s going on in my life. I’ve always believed you should write for yourself first and foremost, so I guess this is no different. I hope you enjoy my ramblings about an Expat’s life in Quebec City, Canada.
The title of this particular blog post might seem obvious, but it’s something I think a lot of people struggle with. The fear of making something bad is crippling at times and it plagues every creative on Earth. I’ve been writing things for as long as I can remember (what did I have for breakfast again?) and this struggle never gets easier. I still look at each piece of work with the same fear and dread that I had when I first started out. [Read more…]
The procedural generation of content is a trend that has existed in game development for decades. The first example of procedural generation in a video game was with the 1984 release of space exploration/combat game Elite. It was originally intended to have 282 trillion galaxies, each containing 256 solar systems.
If you’re wondering what I am talking about, let me help define the term procedural generation with the help of my friends over at Wikipedia. [Read more…]
Everyone who has ever picked up a dice, pencil, and character sheet will have encountered Dungeons & Dragons before. It may not have been your first foray into the world of tabletop RPG’s but I’m convinced you’ll have tried it at some point in your gaming career.
I discovered D&D during the launch of 3rd Edition. It wasn’t my first RPG but I instantly fell in love with it. The setting, the classic nature of it, the D20 system in all its glory. I was a player when I was first introduced to the game but I started thinking about my own adventures and where I could take players. [Read more…]