I don’t like to make personal posts on this site but I think it’s important this time since it’s pretty noticeable that I’m not posting in the same capacity I used to. I’ve had some ups and downs the past two months that I’d like to talk about here, as well as some of the stuff I’m doing, and some stuff I won’t be doing.
I think I owe you this explanation, because without you reading the posts I do here and on tumblr, without the tweets, comments and emails, I wouldn’t have a met a lot of you wonderful folk, and I wouldn’t be half as motivated to keep writing. It’s thrilling to have an audience that is interested in what you’re writing about. Sometimes I feel like I am just obsessing over inane things – who cares about the culture of an imaginary species of weird animal-eared humans? It feels pretty ridiculous. Ultimately though, it’s fun for me and I love writing about it, and this is the kind of stuff I think about and bring to the games I make and host, and to the fantasy I write (and want to keep writing).
But as you’ve noticed I haven’t been posting as much lately. I’ve posted some things here and there, but not as much as I used to, and not really about the Spirits of Eden’s usual subjects.
Part of it is I’m working on some projects, like the Expedition RPG stuff, and writing a fantasy novel manuscript, and they’ve been taking up my headspace for a while. I’ve also felt a bit of a block in writing new content for this blog. I’ve been evaluating the types of posts I make here, and the kinds of content I want to write. I have many ideas, but I haven’t found the best ways to communicate them. I mostly write about the World of Adel and like I said, sometimes this exercise feels really ridiculous. There are times when I think of a really niche idea, like writing about a certain battle that took place in Adelian history. It forces me to confront what this blog is about: it’s this duality of hosting my ideas about a little world I dreamed up years ago for my fantasy games and stories, but trying to make this information inspiring, entertaining and useful. If it’s just a raw mind-dump, I’m not sure how you all (the audience) would respond. The articles I write here are things I believe may inspire you. I don’t know if I should just post about every nook and cranny.
There’s also some personal stuff that’s come up. I’ve been a bit ill and I’ve had some illnesses in the family: my grandfather was on the brink of death, a cousin of mine was badly injured, and now my father is going through some painful illness. I’ve had some heavy work to do in the meatspace for woefully little compensation. I followed a few avenues of employment that ended in disappointment. I’m also going to be moving with my family from Florida in the next few months, hopefully to own a small business in North Carolina. I’ll be working for my family, but working nonetheless, and that’s a good thing. I’m not as sure that I want to return to academia, as I once was.
There’s been a lot of ups and downs and a lot of introspection. However, I’m still working on posts.
Kickstarters To Watch Out For: I love Kickstarter, but I never have money to pledge. So the next best thing I do is to promote the kickstarters I’d like to see funded. I don’t get the goodies that come from backing, but I do get to see products funded that I, or people I know, will enjoy. Kickstarter is pretty exciting, because it’s getting people to create. Levels of quality and success vary greatly, and we can argue about the blemishes in the system and the people using it. But I think we all agree that it’s an exciting time for artists of all kinds. I’d like to cover more of these in the future. Highlight the projects I like, or that I think someone reading might appreciate and pledge to.
World of Adel: Obviously this is not going anywhere! I’m always thinking of more stuff to write about for the World of Adel. I hope some of it might inspire you to make your own worlds and think really critically about what they include in it. I wanted to make a setting that is pretty positive, interesting, and that can play host to a lot of different stories and conflicts. When I started, I was trying to make an alternative to the “swords and sorcery lawless wasteland” stuff that is so popular. I can’t get into those settings, so I made my own. And I’ll keep making it.
Probably a lot of it from here on will be the Archdungeons, Fantastic Locations, adventure and story hooks, and things like that. I also hope to be able to update my fiction blog more often.
Expedition: I’ve received all your feedback and am working on a second beta with some changes. It’s the same game as before, but thanks to your help, with more polish in a few areas, and more content that was asked for. Perks are expanded – you won’t see things like Harrier. New maneuvers are included. The Stress system is streamlined and much more tactical, and works the same now for both players and monsters. And there’s more help in the areas of Potentials and adjudication. In addition to Beta 2, I plan to release an adventure with it that contains more GMing advice, pregenerated characters, and three levels of sample dungeon for you to populate or play straight. The adventure is a little rough, but I’m trying my best to make it usable and fun, and your feedback on both it and Beta 2 are crucial as ever.
D&D Next: Here’s a notable thing I won’t be blogging about. I feel like at this point, there’s just nothing there for me to say. The D&D Next playtest is really bare-bones, it’s made a lot of choices I don’t find particularly fun and for reasons I don’t terribly appreciate, and it’s a playstyle I don’t really care for. I gave my feedback on it through the survey and I’ve made tons of fun about 36d20 rats and such on Twitter and that’s it.
I feel like it’s a waste of my time to participate in this discussion, time which I can spend on my own stuff, or in playing games that work for me in ways I want. I have a lot of issues with 4e but it’s as close as D&D gets to being a great fantasy game for me. I wouldn’t be working on Expedition if D&D 4e was everything for me. I play a lot of games and they all engage me in their own ways. When I participate in the D&D Next conversation, it feels futile, and there’s always people judging you or calling you a troll for not praising D&D for everything it’s doing.
So until there’s a D&D Next module that actually fills the hollows with a game I like, I’ll keep giving feedback through the surveys, mocking hilarious or ridiculous things like the 18 rats with advantage on Twitter and Tumblr, and you can expect that I won’t actually post much about D&D Next.
So that’s the life and blog update. Sign off on the comments, twitter, email, however you like. Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll stick around the blog to read what’s coming up next.