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Shropshire Dungeon Master: Progress Report #1

A few weeks after declaring myself “for hire” (wink) as a Dungeon Master, what exactly have I been up to?

A New Campaign

Most of my campaigns fall into one of two categories: they’re either there today and gone tomorrow, or they will go on for years, outliving the tolerance of the players therein. Time to create something confined to a few games, something that promotes return custom and also promises a satisfactory conclusion.

The Wandering Pass closes every winter, leaving a handful of isolated villages and incautious travellers stranded high in the mountains. Food starts to dwindle, tensions run high, and somewhere out in the cold forests there waits a fate worse than death.

Winter of the Wendigo draws inspiration from the likes of Dead of Winter, Grim Dawn, Until Dawn, 30 Days of Night, and probably a lot of other sources that have sunk so deeply into my subconscious library of ideas to pluck from that it may offer some unforeseeable twists for new and experienced players alike. It will be for 1st level characters to emphasise the fragility of their position, and it will be comprised of five episodes that can be played in sequence and stopped satisfactorily when a group decides they’ve seen enough… or until they’ve seen it through to the Spring thaw. Their actions, successes and failures will echo throughout the game in ways most video games can only hope to imitate.

In addition, I’ll be expanding on one of my former one-shot campaigns – loosely entitled “Hangman” – into a three episode campaign of mistrust, deceit and subterfuge. I’m toying with a few new Mega-Dungeon concepts to bring to regular gaming sessions if I can secure repeat engagements with venues around the county, as well as throwing in some non-D&D games for those with a taste for something other than fantasy.

Marketing

So, in minor steps news the Facebook page for The Shropshire Dungeon Master has been started, albeit falteringly. Things that it will require – as a precursor to actual website construction – prices, contact details, a selection of what’s on offer games-wise, and a serious “looks” overhaul. As it stands it might as well just be a very thin version of my personal profile without the rambling “stream of anti-consciousness” that pours from my keyboard on occasion. Tim has rather kindly offered a logo design for me, and his ideas thusfar have been promising to say the least.

If you live in the Shropshire area or nearby enough you can expect to see my grizzled features appearing in a gaming store near you to tout my services in the next few weeks, as well as a healthy plastering of the business across social media, aided by Tim’s own support of my endeavours.

Business Oriented Thinking

Three separate conversations with myself across several days:

“Why would I need to look into new business funding? I already own the books I need, printing costs will start out negligible, I have a host of miniatures I do not use enough, set dressing and the like. After that it’s all advertising and I have cash to put into that.”

“Oh wow, I would look so much more professional if I had printed maps, and art done by someone who can draw well, more ornaments and the like. Oh wow the cost of graphic design is high for my minimum wage, they do not make it easy for the lowly peons.”

“… oh!”

So while I can start this little undertaking without financial backing, there’s no two ways about it, I can think of ways and means that a bit of start-up capital would accelerate progress rather dramatically, and take me from someone optimistically going cap in hand around gaming shops asking to be paid to run role-plays to someone capable of presenting a professional front to what is essentially the next step up for a hobby.

On a Related Note

Work continues on the upcoming eBooks for GeekOut. I have been toying with layouts for script and putting some simple designs to paper, while dashing Tim’s hopes that we can get each Top 10 to two A4 pages. As previously mentioned, we have a list finalised, and all new original Top 10 lists for the eBook readers planned to be assembled soon. And the Pokenomicon is close to two major milestones:

I have one last mutation to add and my starting line-up is complete. New trainers will be able to pick from Sporgoth, the slumped beast suffering a fungal infestation across its back, Katouche, a feline with a strangely artificial appearance, and Mudbait, an innocent looking amphibian with an odd taste for carrion.

And I’m about a third of the way to 150! I’m coming up with ideas I’m dismissing on the basis of either being too obscure, too far removed from the original works of Lovecraft, contemporaries and inspirations, or too half-formed and shambolic to put into something this big. Never the less I will gladly share with you Kozilick The Endless Tongue as a parting gift:


Happy New Year 2018 from GeekOut South-West

Today marks the 1st of January and as you’re reading this, I’m probably still tucked in bed. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to start the year off nice and early, I truly would, but ultimately I’d only end up going to bed earlier, right? So which is the bigger crime? That’s what I thought – Happy new year, everybody! It’s time to consider your resolutions, as always, but I’d say that it’s about time we stop relying on long-term resolutions and instead relying on smaller goals. Here’s what GeekOut South-West will be doing this year, over time – and we’ll see how far we get with these goals in 2018.

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Merry Boxing Day I Guess?

I’m writing this on Christmas evening, slumped in my chair in a new hoodie, overstuffed with food and casting an eye over my haul for the year, watching some good quality entertainment, half working a short campaign, half writing this article. It’s been a big, weird year. It started with a Charizard… (more…)


Merry Christmas 2017 from GeekOut South-West!

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season where you need to wrap up; so be sure to keep warm this Christmas Day. Of course, you’ll no doubt be unwrapping presents whilst you keep wrapped up, but as we uncover the mysteries of today’s article, we from GeekOut Media wanted to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!

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Miniatur Wunderland – The World’s Most Impressive Miniatures Museum

Imagine, if you will, that you’re on a trip to a foreign city in a foreign country. While reading about the city, you discover that there is the world’s largest model railway exhibition. Now, forgive me for saying that I’m not really a model railway kind of guy, and I thought that the exhibition was going to be rubbish. In hindsight, I can happily say that that I was wrong. I was so very wrong.

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Level Up: Cosplay Night in Bristol

This has been coming for a while now; and now that the site is live, I’m happy to share with you a special clubnight which is coming to Bristol. If you’re a fan of cosplay, or if you just like geek-themed clubnights, this is going to be one for you. From all of the amazing nights we’ve seen at conventions, such as Amecon and Kitacon, we’re now going to have our own night called Level Up, a Cosplay Night in Bristol. Interested? You should be! Read on for more information.

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GeekOut South-West’s Christmas 2017

You’d better watch out,
You’d better not pout,
You’d better not cry,
I’m telling you why,
GeekOut Meetups are coming to town.

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Housemarque – Indie Developer spotlight

Are arcade-style games dead?

Take a classic such as Robotron; Would a similar game have any place in the marketplace today? Well, I like to think they do still have a place. We have reviewed quite a few of what I would call ‘arcade-style games‘ like The Binding of Isaac or Enter the Gungeon.

Independent Finnish developers Housemarque have been making such arcade-style games since the early 1990’s and recently I read their blog, with sadness in my heart, when they declared that Arcade is Dead.

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Dice Theory: A Quick Study of Probability and Dungeons & Dragons

Have you ever wondered why we roll a D20, as opposed to, say, a D12 for a success roll in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign? Probably not; But it’s something you really should be aware of. Different dice perform differently, under different circumstances – Two of the same kinds of dice will, typically, yield different results under the same rigorous testing process. But how can that be? Why does this happen?

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Gamer Question of the Month: Dec ’17

We were asked by the lovely team over at the Later Levels if I would like to take part in doing a monthly Q&A, to open discussion about video games amongst bloggers. If you’re interested in joining in the discussion, leave us a comment below, or reach out to Later Levels. It’s been a few months since we last took part in one of these here on GeekOut South-West, but as ever we’ll be sharing what the question of the month is, as well as what our answers to this question is and our justification for the answers. We’ve not been involved in the past few, but hey, we’re back! Development of some projects is taking longer than expected, so here’s a chance for us to kick back and enjoy some hypothetical questions – This is the question of the month:

Which video game character would do a better job than Santa?

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