Would you believe that’s the shorter title?
Shrewsbury has just had a busy weekend, pouring into the growing geeky community we have played host to a Steampunk festival for which I rearranged some booked holiday time to ensure I’d be free to attend, and then I foolishly organised an all-day Dungeons & Dragons marathon for the sake of advertising the new business on the same weekend. So I squeezed a couple of hours out of the festival on the Saturday before D&D on the Sunday, let’s talk about that one first.
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.
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.”
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:
Deep beneath the ocean, a creature of immeasurable power slumbers eternally, utterly alien in form, a great winged beast with tremendous psychic sway that spreads across the world.
Considering human beings trap small Pokemon and train them to fight, there are some terrifying entities higher up in their ranks. Creatures wrought of legend, gods and fiends, ancient and terrible monstrosities that can end worlds, or create them. And apparently they can be contained and made to fight in very terrestrial competitions.
So as I sit writing entries for my personal Pokenomicon, I find that I’m building from the inside out. Taking my combination of Cthulhu and Lugia as my central point I’m designing the rest of my maniacal menagerie from concept of that deep and ancient terror, Cthulugia. Let’s take a look at the components: (more…)
A very short article, as by the time you read this I will already be on-route to Kitacon Quest 2017. I think I’ve undergone more preparation for this convention than any before, and even as a non-cosplayer I’ve undertaken more work than one might call necessary for – what some might call a holiday.
In my hubris I have elected, not only to prepare a one-shot Pokethulu game, but to create a full Pokenomicon filled with horrors of my own creation, featuring alongside a handful of competition entrants from last month’s GeekOut Shrewsbury competition. And because I am the sort to over-do things when I’m organising a game for people whom I’ve either never met or see very infrequently, I had to invest in a better audio recorder to immortalise the game for all to hear, and high quality paper just to really finish the job.
If you’re interested, come find me today (Thursday) and volunteer. I have five places to fill, and once all are claimed and we have a quiet place to sling dice then we shall begin. If asked nicely a second game may be held over the weekend.
Disclaimer – If you join in the Pokethulhu game your voice will be recorded and you are likely to be photographed. Also I stand up while I run games, that’s apparently a thing I have in common with Patrick Rothfuss. You have been warned!
I’m currently finishing a few talking points for the DMing 101 panel. After last year – where I worked through my prepared material in about twenty minutes – I have more plans and more to discuss in order to give my second effort at hosting a panel the semblance of better organisation. We’ll try and keep the panel on topic until we run out of material and questions from you guys, and then I reserve the right to have the whole thing descend into story-swapping, which can be educational in its own right.
Tim and I will be completing the Top 10 for Sunday 27th in person! Based on the results of your vote in our last list, and we will be recording the efforts of compiling the list at the Warwick Art Centre this very weekend, meaning that you will get to hear the bitter arguing, the deliberating, the nitpicking and quibbling. The Top 10 will be based on your second place winner from the last poll.
I will also be coming equipped with Magic decks, Raid passes for Pokemon Go, and a general willingness to talk to anyone.
Time draws near, I will see you soon…
This coming Kitacon I will be arriving a day early to socialise, get some work done, and to get some gaming in before the convention comes in and cruelly steps on my chances to play, there are still some Magic rematches I owe but I never seem to get the chance because of panels and the like. Damn you Kitacon, getting in the way of me enjoying a perfectly good convention!
Anyway, first item on my docket is a one-shot role play in a system I’ve never run before. It’s an opportunity for me to learn something new, get experimental with something other than Dungeons & Dragons. I chose Pokethulhu because it combines my greatest strength – horror – with an important component of any one-shot where no one is planning on getting emotionally invested with their characters – completely stupid comedy. (more…)