Sunday, August 10, 2014

Roll For Initiative

I swear to God I was out.

My last campaign had collapsed, as campaigns eventually do. It was the third time in my roleplaying career where I’d tried and failed to tell the whole campaign story that I’d wanted to tell, and I figured, well, I gave it the best shot I could. I’d been playing Dungeons & Dragons or related products (re: Pathfinder) since I was nineteen. I was tired of the weekly grind while I had a full-time job and a webcomic and was trying to get the art career moving forward, and that was the time that the campaign collapsed, and it was the perfect point to just let the hobby go. I had some great memories, made some great friends, told some great stories, but I was just done.

But you’re never really done.

Against my better judgment, I started following along on what Wizards of the Coast was doing with the new edition of D&D. Mostly just to scoff at it: one of the big issues with 4th Edition, I believe, was a desire to be all things to all gamers, and that injured the product. Certainly 5th was looking to be going down the same road: releasing an open beta for a tabletop game really seemed like a signal saying “Please love us. Please. We’ll do anything to make you all happy,” like a puppy that got swatted on the ass and spoken sternly to, the only problem with that plan being that it takes a fair bit more than cuteness to create a successful Dungeons & Dragons game.

So I would chuckle, close whichever article I was reading at the time, and go about my day.

But I kept finding my way back, seeing what was going on, and seeing how people were responding to the Beta. I didn’t actually drop my subscriptions to game art blogs or the like, and I told myself it was just because it was an easy way to see fantasy art.

And then WotC released the Basic rules for free and everything went to hell.

Seeing the new art and the previews and game mechanics and presentation made me realize: I really, really want to throw some dice. I really, really want to come up with terrifying threats and strange mysteries to challenge my players with. I really want those moments when someone says something hilarious in-character and I really want those moments when all conversation stops as the players wait for the DM’s other shoe to drop.

Maybe I needed a break. Maybe I’m being foolishly nostalgic. Maybe I’m just an addict. But I’m not out.

So. This will project will be story of the campaign, from conception to death. I’m going to chronicle absolutely as much of it as possible. Hopefully you’ll learn something from my process, and I want to learn stuff from you as we go on.

Mythic Histories: The story of a guy who puts way, way too much effort into this stuff.

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