I started this blog to reduce the stress and fears of sharing what I make with others. In the first few months that worked well – I had a string of posts that I think were good content. But as is my flaw, I quickly obsessed with only ever sharing what is perfect…and then over time nothing was good enough. I never stopped writing and making stuff I like though.
So here is a highlight reel of creations I didn’t share in the past few months.
B/X House Rules
I wrote the following guide for personal use. I wanted to share my house rules for my upcoming Old School Essentials game, and wanted to make sure it fit the same presentation style. This is not something I am offering other than for strictly personal use, as the trade dress is part of the trademark for Old School’s Essentials.
this was mostly an exercise to see if I can make Word do what I want it to do, since I can’t get Affinity Publisher on my iPad. I think it worked well, though I still want that fine control.
Breaking Ground on a Passion
My first and true love is world building, but for a while I abandoned it thinking it was ultimately worthless. After all, players don’t care about realistic wind erosion, or criminal justice systems, or any of the hundreds of things I enjoyed writing about. but I did, and so I wanted to get back to it.
I did all of this in one world for the greater part of a decade. Here’s a very fast fly through of just my loose notes, not including physical notebooks and digital files I’ve written:
The issue was when I returned to this hobby as a sort of personal way to destress, I wanted to find a way to archive it in a more structured way. I also wanted to share it – not clips of it, but the entire thing. No book would do this, no tabletop RPG would suffice on it’s own. So I started using LegendKeeper after testing several, several, apps designed just for this.
I know that many young writers and game masters are trying to hunt for that fresh and original new take on things. What I have learned from this pursuit is nothing is original in a vacuum, but simply making something and allowing it to grow makes it unique. It is not the character, your magic system, or your super cool mega city ruled by dragon gods – it’s all the details and how they play out as you go along. So if you are struggling, just keep plugging away, and when you look back you will be proud.
Playing Old School with New Blood
There is nothing better than playing role playing games with kids. Kids don’t care about min maxing! They don’t care if something is inconsistent! And they won’t ever realize when you’re stealing all your plots and characters from media.
Playing Old School Essentials with my two boys during this insane time has been seriously amazing. My 4 year old loves to charge in and just go for the fights, even though his halfling is not exactly good at it. In one particular encounter, he charged around a corner into an ambush, got captures, was rescued, and immediately do it again only to fall into a pit. My 9 year old is my favorite of all though. He gathers information from all the NPCs, scouts locations, and tricks or cheats every encounter he can. He’s really taken to the old school way of play naturally. His character, Lucky the thief, has survived to level 3 as the rotating cast of little brother halflings come and go.
Building a Community
I also got to appear on a local live stream to go through a mock Session zero for our local FLGS. I am blessed to have a thriving local community of players, so during the lock down the local GMs are trying to create some engagement while the store game room is closed. We almost hit 100 views and I think did a stellar job. Unfortunately, I can share the recording since I don’t use Facebook, so here is some character art I drew for my fake session 0 character:
So that’s been the past few months. Before writing this, I looked back over my time and thought I had slowed down or failed in some way. But now I see that I’ve not only ran a stable table, started a new one, and played in a third, but also done the above. I think that’s not too bad.
The reality is that we are living in tough times. Stress is going to impact us, and we shouldn’t be putting even more pressure ourselves. We especially shouldn’t be putting pressure on ourselves for our hobbies!
Please treat yourself and others with kindness during this time. Keep on making cool stuff, sharing that stuff, and playing games.