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Great ideas are not exclusive

The original Rimalni

I was watching Jordphan's latest videos and noted during his recent Outlands video that a race exists known as the Rimalni.

Their range of abilities is strictly aligned to provide a 'balance' to the multiverse, going so far as to polymorph into various forms of creature to ensure said balance.

They seem to have evolved from organic celestial creatures into something more akin to modrons, or robotic, metallic, drone like creatures.

While I knew that the Spire and Sigil were a sort of hub for the multiverse, I appreciated the theory Jordphan puts forth about a helical flow to the magic in the 'verse.

I appreciate that we have a source book to explore these locations with, although saying that, I've never explored Planescape in prior editions (and may or may not get to exploring the content ever, given the sorts of stories I write).

What I found interesting was the similarity to an old concept I had in the Karrasel, a partially organic, partially mechanical machine of immense size and complexity that is responsibile for milling and cycling the souls and energies of the material and adjoining realms.

I find it an easy concept to accept and explain as it's my view on our world, being that as science has explained, energy never dies, it just converts and transmits.

The Karrasel was basically a policing force of robots who Timecop'd their way around the 'verse swarming and 'correcting errors' in the timeline. Basically like a robotic and brutal Time Variance Authority (the timeline policing organization from Loki).

It was a fun concept to play with and provided the high level antagonism needed for a campaign of time traveling player characters.

The campaign concluded with a proper D&D ending of a crazy sort.

Ultimately, I was satisfied with that weird ass storyline and proud that a time traveling campaign actually happened, nevermind concluded despite going off the rails as much as it did.

Finding this Rimalni race in the D&D canon is truly something to me. Not sure if it's funny? Awesome? If it should be unsurprising? If I'm reading too far into it?

On the outset, it's a similar concept in that we have a multi versal race of automatons who do what's necessary to maintain a 'balance.'

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Two stories

This is me now.

I had forgotten the mental drain that running multiple games can be. Socially, I don't have any issue with it. However, keeping the threads untangled and straight in my mind during game takes some real honest planning.

Maintaining a game driven by my own story is one thing and running two games is another thing, but running two games that are tandem on a timeline or storyline is a new challenge for me.

It's a heavy amount of work to get the characters written and any lacking points can quickly lead to problematic outcomes if I'm not keeping abreast of my story as the games roll.

Sandbox is fine gameplay if that's what you're going for. A story driven D&D game with a meandering or uncertain plot is just sandbox gameplay, and also a failure.

I used to say that I could get by on a few bullet points per session but this is no longer the case for my two campaigns.

The plot of The Farseas Chronicles involves a range of characters, a range of locations, and a range of relatively dynamic motivations. Tracking this could probably be achieved with an appropriate world building tool over and above this site.

Maybe I should look into that.

I was considering rebuilding the site, integrating some AI, and making myself a new knowledge base for tracking my work as I continue to develop it. The ultimate goal I think would be to see the work easily compiled for release.

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Lions & Nobles

A Catoblepas wrangler.

So the new season begins, and with it the chronicles of the Farsea Swamps continues.

I'll admit, I did not assume that I would become so invested in this story, but the more I develop the world, the more meaningful characters I develop and become intrinsically familiar with, the more I can't help but fall in love with it all.

I suppose that's no different than any other author who takes pride in their work, but I am sincerely surprised that this world and its characters have grown on me in such a fashion.

The best part about it is that I find I'm in love with the setting and the world being crafted as a whole, rather than any one character or facet of it all.

The mosaic, the composition, is what holds charm to me and not just a single cool detail or piece of it all, and I think that that speaks volumes to the longevity of the world for me.

New blood

With a new storyline entering the world, I'm putting myself to the test as a story teller in that I wish to deliver an opposing view to it all. One could argue that this should be no challenge as that is the running theme (gag?) behind the whole of the Farsea Chronicles, but one could also argue that the challenge therein is to make it oppose so many views and subvert so many expectations.

What I'm most keen upon is introducing a new group to this world I've been honing and robusting, and developing the world ever further with new intrigue and characters, new wrinkles to discover and new combat encounters with new morale choices through out.

The new players are all passionate and excited for their first session, having crafted their characters inside of a day, preparing themselves a full week in advance of the coming campaign.

Opposing Force

Without wanting to give too much of the new storylines away here, the upcoming chronicle (titled Lions & Nobles) features Sembian interests coming into the Farsea. The players will begin the campaign as explorers, surveyors, adventurers, hired and trusted by Christo Gobb who works for Lord Berenthol Uskevren.

In addition to the Uskevren family, however, are the Foxmantle, the Ebonhawk and many other noble interests vying for their foothold in the deep tars of the marshlands.

As we unroll the story line, the players will have many conflicts and confrontations wherein they will help shape the future of the swamps, and their place in it.

This new campaign is set to begin next week, Monday, ~630pm.

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The hand of Mystra

I've released an adventure that you can have a look at here.

I decided to challenge myself some years ago to write a small module that folks could use to build an epic series of adventures off of.
I wanted to build a premise and context with characters that myself or others could easily inject (hah!) into their D&D story and build off it for high level campaigns.

I don't assume I'm alone in saying that it can be hard to produce a convincing small scope high level campaign objective. Something with large enough stakes that it matters to the players, without requiring upheaval of your world. Moreover, I wanted to provide something that would focus on the truly epic scale, that is gods and goddesses, and provide something specifically entailed for magic users.

I feel I've achieved this here in this small bundle which provides a mish mash of ideas in the hopes of doing all the aforementioned. I hope this work provides you and your players with a good bout of fun.

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Another fine Friday and welcoming a new player.

Chess is a game best played cold..?

So as the weather cools down, the game has a shuffle of chairs.

Fletcher joins the game as a player and young version of Mitch. Seriously, I'm somewhat concerned that if Mitch comes back to play, it may cause a time conflict, a phase dimensional rift, or a sequel to Primer; so maybe not all bad.

Game was a good little romp, simple and traditional.


Last Episode

We start off with the continuing saga of our heroes, the saviours of the Cloud Spires; now with drill, engineers, and somewhat of a plan (sic: trusting that the engineers and by extension, the DM, have a plan), they venture towards their objective, the underdark of a distant mountain range.

Previous session, the adventurers started out transported to a small shrine nested in a divut carved from a mountain in a new mountain range some mountain ranges away.

Traveling along a mountain path connecting the shrine to a nearby tower, they found another phylactery hotwired with a long stretch of cable leading down to the underdark regions within the mountain.

Following their way out the main entrance of the tower compound, they met with Svirfneblin guards, who after a brief skirmish, introduced them to their leaders at a city of Svirfneblin. Here they were confronted with a morale choice of wipe out the Svirfneblin by destroying their shield, the wiring apparatus, and resultantly, their source of power and heat. They used to rely on lava flows through which they would vent the heat to drive their engines and warm their environs.

As luck would have it, the Svirfneblins in this distant range also had a portal gate. For those who aren't aware, these are somewhat like Stargate gates, upon which runes can be inscribed to reach other gates. The process is easy, but can be messed up, and gates can be locked to prevent incoming from another gate. Being that Vane was familiar with the gate system and knows the 'address' for Royals Peak c/o Temple of Sun & Scroll (the), he subsequently phoned home.

Othello deferred to the party, who was a mixed bag of "let's help them" and "I dun give a fek." The helpers won out 2:1 and the necessities were procured through some meetings and discussions.

Vane, traveling further through the gate system to the Fire Giant city within the Cloud Spires volcano where he learned that the Svirfneblins of this area had methods for burrowing that would prove useful.

Thurrass'X used his influence as a saviour to conduct discussions with the Esquee family and establish a research group of their engineers.

Yesterdays Episode

Today we picked up a new player, Fletcher, who fills the role of Kale, an ex CoS soldier serving duty with the Esquee family as their volcano drop specialist and 'Engineer guard.'

Regrouping at the Temple of Sun & Scroll, the party consisted of Vane, Thurrass'X, Kale, two gnome engineers, three human engineers and a halfling engineer along with a large (described as Zamboni-like but was ever shrinking in description as the game proceeded) machine. Being lauded by Pograff for a brief moment, they proceeded to the portal chamber some moments later and transported away to the distant mountain range a half an hour later.

Meanwhile, Ivor, trains Ralph with a nat 20 to not be a cock up; and then receives invitation to a banquet ball being held that evening from his mother, by his mother.

Although Ivor doesn't know it, it is to be a gala affair by Lucretia fundraising for the rebuilding of the damaged city walls and to suggest a change of contract for the Ketterrogs to watch the new wall; she cites, "As we have seen the shorcomings of the military leadership in our recent tragedies, and as we continue to deliver us from dangers brought from these outside forces, we wish to take a more proactive approach to the protection of our citizens."

Now over the course of the two days that Ivor is focused on his military; Vane and Thurrass'X procure the engineers and drill from the Svirfneblins and Esquee's respectively. During this time, Lucretia's aides overhear a conversation and mother hears about the Esquee's being petitioned by one of the saviours to save a distant kingdom. She sends one of her personal aides to inform Ivor of the impending mission and implores him to join the cause so the Ketterrogs can expand their influence and position. This leaves Ivor a choice, go to a banquet ball, or join the mission which is leaving.. twenty minutes ago.

As he prepares to dash out, the sudden and unexpected birth of his baby black dragon comes about.

A short while later, Ivor wraps the psionically capable and very influenced dragon around himself and together they make their way after the would-be spelunkers.

Adventure Rising

Those headings are getting small.

Okay, so the party finally assembles after some "comical" chase, in the underdark beyond the Svirfneblin city gates.

When they arrive, the players don't inquire about Othello, and Othello after two days, is off doing who knows what; the guards send a runner to retrieve their shamans procession and the players make their way through the city streets towards the main gate.

Some of the guards escort up until the procession meets with them; the engineers inquire for a map which the shaman's already arranged for them. A brief conversation later, the Svirfneblins have informed the engineers of where all the old venting hardware is located and what they think as happened to the old flow. The engineers don't bother relaying any of this, and the adventurers dun give a fek. A guide by the name of Q'ouni (K-oh-nee) accompanies them throught the gates and into the darkness.

They travel some hours until they reach a bridge stretching across a chasm, the guide and map accurate thus. Their guide informs them that the stretch ahead is a bit of a hunting ground with various races preying on one another. Subsequently, as they cross the bridge, the rumbling of the drills treads summons giant spiders, who manage to stymie the entire session. Imagine my surprise.

Will the players successfully route the lava? Stay tuned to find out!

Good Session

The session felt a bit long in the intro, but it got things done. I was hoping to have two combats however the first combat, being the giant spiders, ended up lasting some two hours in itself. With an hour remaining, I adressed the suggestion left in Fizzy_Toes' stead, of having a scary something hit the players.

Surprisingly the players focus fired for a grand 100 points of damage, leaving the scary thing with naught but 50 points.

Given it was as late as it was, I had already decided that the engineers were going to use the drill upon the creature if the players didn't do it first.

So that brought us (much to my chagrin) to the end of the session, some five hours later.

Next session should prove interesting with the continuation of the escorting of the drill and engineers.

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Canon and the future of the stream

I'm back down to one stream a week and have been diligently working to develop the canon behind the Cloud Spire Chronicles, fleshing out the facets of my world as time permits. It's not difficult to write this stuff, given much of it has already been portrayed or hinted upon, hence has a position in my mind from which I'm pulling it.

As always, what's difficult is finding the time to do it.

What I need to focus on soon is cartography and for that I'm visiting the world building sub reddit to do some studying.

Gaming is serious biz.

I'm making the effort to create a world that makes sense. A world that people can feel, living and breathing around the characters at the centre of the story.

More GoT, less Monty Python.

Injections? What injections?

I have yet to find the time to create a menu system for the injections system and the system itself seems to have fallen to disuse.
In truth, I get so few injections despite all the mention of it that having the system on the screen seems a big joke at times.

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Thought I'd just write a quick article about my experience attempting to be a good samaritan DM on the D&D Facebook group.

There's a lot of folks out there who profess to be players in need of a game to attend. A lot. I used to see their posts in the group when I was on Facebook (I've since deactivated my account as I was spending too much time on Facebook).

A month ago, I posted to the Facebook Dungeons & Dragons group and stated that I am a Dungeonmaster who would be willing to DM an online game for anyone who wished it. No commitments, no wierd requirements.

Just a webcam and a microphone so you can be part of my stream.

A lot of excited people responded and I asked their availability and made a spreadsheet of all the respondents and said I will try to organize some games.

Quite a few people! Oh how will I dungeon master for them all?

I decided to run a Thursday game and a Saturday game despite the fact I was (at the time) operating three other games. I let folks know what was going on and made an event and told folks to sign up.

Of the respondants, when it came to committing I had very little response. One fellow marked himself uhh.. 'Interested' for both games and attended neither. One fellow claimed he was available all the time and yet didn't have a webcam (didn't stop him from trying to attend the hangouts).
Two people ultimately attended the Thursday game which turned out to be a great session with a cool story. I was surprised and pleased with the end result. Another great example of what Dungeons & Dragons can be!

When Thursday concluded, I informed the players that I would not conduct any more organization and that if they wanted to continue playing they would have to organize the playership and let me know, and I would continue to operate campaign. The players followed up to tell me they had two other people ready to go!

For the following Saturday game, I had two no shows, and one disappointed player.

The following Thursday, nobody showed up, nobody messaged me, and nobody played.

The Saturday after that, I didn't receive any messages, and subsequently went about my day unabated.

I dun care.

I'm not butthurt about any of this and I'm not trying to be smug in writing this. I do want to document the effort and the result though.
There's a lot of people who profess that they would love to play, but the bottom line is the reason they're not playing is because they're either not making the time, they're being flaky, and ultimately, they don't appreciate the opportunity provided. Yet folks wonder why 'Professional DM' is a thing?

To those who would say, "But Dooley, life gets in the way sometimes!" You're right, and that's fine. If folks are busy, I get that. When folks don't remember the game, don't message me before or after, and leave me wondering, that's not "life getting in the way," that's just folks being flaky.

Would I still be willing to operate a game for any of these folks? Not for free.

Moving forward I'll be taking payments to pay for my time involved. A monetary commitment of $10USD per player should ensure that when folks say they'll attend, they attend. As a working father of two, I have better things to do then be flaked upon.

More to the point, I offered to do it for free and was met with the outcome I saw; so far as I'm concerned, those folks have forgone their opportunity to play in my games for free.

Think I'm being unfair? Sound off in the comments.

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Plot points, wiki entries and characters can now be designated a campaign

At repeated request, I've implemented a field on the respective content that will allow folks to designate the campaign that the information belongs to.

None of the systems can currently filter by campaign; I'll implement that when I need it.

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I made a homebrew item on DNDBeyond.

Bigbys Brass Knuckles are now online and awaiting approval :D


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Characters coming in and permissions changes; also D&D Beyond has a character generator now

The players are slowly populating their characters upon the site.

Remember, players: You need to provide an up to date character sheet (level and equipment of note) to continue getting a +2 during games.

Permissions were adjusted to prevent other players from curating one anothers characters. If you wish to pass custodial privilege to another player, bring it up in the comments or during game. At this time I don't see any need to allow it.

The D&D Beyond Character Creator is online and it's really good stuff. If you haven't given it a shot, go for it.

IMPORTANT: You can't export to pdf natively from the site yet, and printing your character out is ass. If you are generating a character on D&D Beyond at the moment, it's to manage it using D&D Beyond while you play.

It may be handy to fill in the form on the site and then fill in the form fillable PDF found in the resources section (I don't host the pdf files on my server).

If you wish to see an upgrade to the character profiles, such as a status field, please feel free to say so.

Tonights game has a few plot points available for voting upon.

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