Dec 24, 2019

Gaming & Blogging Year End Review

My top three blog posts this year were all in the first three months of the year and were fairly theoretical. They are:

The Basis of the Game is Making Decisions
Adventure Games: What I Meant When I Coined the Term
The Rhythm of Procedure

The "decisions" post was my #1 post this year, buoyed by fairly frequent reposting by others, and some nice shout-outs and mentions (Thanks to Patrick and Skerples and anyone I missed). I'm hoping to follow up in 2020 with more posts developing some of the ideas I laid out there.

It was a fairly light year for gaming for me. I had one main offline campaign that I played in, and two campaigns I did prep work for but that didn't get off the ground. I also didn't play in any one-shots or online campaigns, in a departure from my usual behaviour over the past few years. My extended social circles have known that I play D&D for a few years now, and as the game comes back into popularity, I find that I'm getting recruited as a "professional DM" from time to time to run one-shots for semi-strangers.

My main campaign is a D&D 3.5 game set in an Al-Qadim-like setting and is finishing up its second year. It's a classic AD&D 2nd edition-style high fantasy game driven by characters and grand plots with a fairly stable group set up for long-term play.

The first failed campaign was an Unknown Armies 3e campaign set in rural Ontario for a group of women players I know who all love true crime podcasts. The premise was that a reclusive billionaire recruits a team of freelance journalists to investigate why small rural towns are vanishing (literally). I ended up hitting a wall creatively when it came to fleshing the concept out and cancelled it.

The second failed campaign was a Mythras game set in the Dawnlands (my third or fourth campaign set there, now). It failed because of scheduling issues that meant we would have had to cut into the Al-Qadim game. Of the two failed campaigns, this was the one I was more excited about, and I'll admit to being a bit sad that it didn't get off the ground. However, it did get me to write up a reference document for the Dawnlands, which is a bit of a silver lining.

I was also invited to play in three D&D 5e campaigns, all of which I turned down. I'm not wildly enthusiastic about 5e, and I'm more eager to run a campaign in my limited time for gaming than to play in a second campaign. I also find that a lot of the "professional DM" stuff I get asked to do tends to be 5e, so I'm happy to contain it there.

Since the death of G+ earlier this year, I've found it a bit harder to get involved in online games, which has reduced my active participation in old school gaming. I am rarely on Twitter and Discord, which seem to be where a lot of these games recruit players from. I'm eager to step this up in 2020 and become more active again.

In 2020, my 29th year of roleplaying, here's what I'd like to accomplish. My plans are:

1) Continue in my main offline game as a player
2) Run a 5e one-shot for a friend's partner's son in January (I'm doing her a favour)
3) Update Into the Depths to incorporate Necrocarcerus-specific rules and equipment
4) Run some one-shots or short games online in Necrocarcerus to playtest the new rules
5) Create a new setting using ideas from five different dead campaign settings I have
6) Run a Pathfinder 2e campaign in that new campaign setting
7) Write up the Dawnlands as a big manuscript for publication
8) Keep on blogging

Here's to a great 2020!

1 comment:

  1. Hey John! I think we've been out of touch since I deleted Facebook - which I think is a good decision overall, but that is a minor regret - but color me curious about both the Necrocarcerus and [unnamed future setting] games. And I also have been thinking about orienting my next setting project around PF2 (specifically, creating some sort of widget that gives you a couple-page summary of the setting based on where your character is from and what skills they have trained.)

    In-person gaming is steady; we're alternating between Starfinder and 5e campaigns, and while my Curse of Strahd campaign is on hold, we'll probably be back to it before the end of the year.

    And perhaps I will get back to blogging of my own, rather than turning your comment section into my diary!