D&D DIARY – Dragon of Icespire Peak – Session 2

Game Night Blog

The Menagerie invites a new member to the join the band, who manages to derail the entire group within 10 minutes.

Icespire Cover3When last we left our Menagerie, a new band of heroes has come to the quaint village of Phandalin in search of adventure. Upon entering town, they distinguished themselves by saving the stable master’s son following a dragon attack. Exhausted from the road, and from nearly being eaten by a nasty Frost Dragon, they head to the only Inn in town, The Stonehill Inn. (Previously, the other inn in town burned to the ground during the course of The Lost Mine of Phandelver.)

In the Inn, they have a perfectly perfunctory and boring conversation with the innkeeper who gives them a rumor for possible future adventure that they immediately forget about. The innkeeper also mentions that there is another traveller seeking a group to join and journey with…

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InstaDyson Demonstration #2

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Follow-up from Friday’s post, here’s the second proof of concept for the InstaDyson Photoshop Mapping System.

This is working pretty much exactly how I want it to. Now it is time to create some new patterns so there will be multiple selections of hatching / fills and floor grids to choose from.

Once I have a good selection of these done (definitely before the end of May), I’ll be releasing them all to my Patreon supporters along with a tutorial on how I used them in Photoshop to do this.

InstaDyson Demo Map InstaDyson Demo Map

The video above was sped up 6 times or so, and the map (shown above) was produced in just over 7 minutes in Photoshop.

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Lessons learned #Blapril2020


Fashionably late as usual, here’s my final Blapril2020 post the day after the final week of the event ends. It’s been a welcome distraction during a strange, strange global situation. Writing, as with other years, hasn’t been a problem for me – though I’ve not been blessed with much more free time than normal and any extra hours I’ve gained through taking days off have been ploughed into ongoing tabletop rpg writing projects.

The positive, as always, has been the influx of posts and new blogs to my Feedly reading list. These remain a great source of inspiration for my own blogging, especially on days where outside factors (usually work) leave me not feeling so motivated to blog. My own thanks to Belghast for organising this 2020 edition.

A rather late realisation was just how slack I’d become with including the hashtag in post titles. So I just did some…

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The Old Fort Ruins & Dungeon

Dyson's Dodecahedron

There are ruins scattered in the Ebony Oaks from the War of Three Dragons – old forts, camps, and watch towers destroyed or abandoned since the war.

The Old Fort Ruins & Dungeon The Old Fort Ruins & Dungeon

This old fort has been nearly razed – no standing wall is over eight feet tall and many sections have been completely grown over. The stairs leading down to the chambers beneath are open to the sky, and rainwater has filled the first chamber downstairs to a depth of a foot or two. A section of the lower chambers has collapsed, leaving a sunken trench within the ruins above.

The Old Fort Ruins & Dungeon The Old Fort Ruins & Dungeon (no grid)

As the Ebony Oaks is slowly being colonized by the aranea, the ruins of the old fort are home to colonies of giant spiders and a few aranea allies have tried to make some of chambers beneath “comfortable”.

This map…

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Mythic Classes of the Odyssey


Mythic Classes of the Odyssey introduces 13 new subclasses to support your Greek-inspired D&D setting! Enjoy powerful new class options for every class in the game, pulling inspiration directly from Greek myth.

Theros Coverpage

Here’s some brief descriptions of the subclasses in this offering:


Odyssey Subclass




Employ combat calculus to make precision strikes from range, lock on targets, and blow stuff up. No additional math required.


Path of the Amazon

Gain magnificent combat prowess granted by Hippolyta’s Girdle, Antiope’s Bracers, Melanippe’s Greaves, and Penthesilea’s Diadem.


College of Theater

Study different disciplines such as comedy, tragedy, romance, thrillers, and the absurd. Use stagecraft and costumes to make the world your stage!


Psychopomp Domain

Guide or abate the passage of souls to the afterlife.


Circle of Nymphs

Charm and illusions are the domain of these feylike druids who can call upon the elemental power of different…

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State of the Game: Current Events 2020

Me Vs. Myself and I

I don’t intentionally go so long between my State of the Game posts, but it seems that because I have focused more on just completing a game at a time I don’t have as many bite sized bits to talk about. Although I’ve started and completed several games over the past few months since the last round-up, I’ve somehow managed to start a few that I’ve already written about and wish to give updates on. As it goes, I haven’t actually completed (or really played) the games I talked about last time, but I can touch on some of the stuff I’ve been doing recently. This time around we’ll be talking about the Final Fantasy VII Remake, Wildermyth, Streets of Rage 4, and The Outer Worlds.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Original Post

Progress Report:

The Remake continues to impress, but has also begun to frustrate. I will admit that…

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InstaDyson Proof of Concept

Dyson's Dodecahedron

I’ve been dealing with kidney stones this week, which has put a cramp on my creative work. However, I spent yesterday drawing a baseline stone grid which then turned into this:

The magic here is a set of perfectly tiling patterns that I drew yesterday. One is a 12 square x 12 square hand-drawn grid with my typical “rough stone” look. The other is a hand-drawn hatching pattern at the same size and scale. Using the magic of layer styles in Photoshop, we get something very close to what my drawing looks like.

This was the immediate result of the 1 minute map work shown in the video above. With a bit of fiddling with the layer styles, I got this next one which is even closer to my style. Add 5 minutes of drawing additional details to this and it will be close to what I release as one…

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MMO devs: Stop going big with your stories. Go small instead.

Bio Break

MMORPGs as a storytelling delivery system are an interesting beast. Unlike movies and novels, they aren’t concentrated and focused upon a single, unbroken tale that’s experienced from start to finish. Unlike many other games, they are vastly longer and have a lot more filler and other diversions that take players away from whatever grand story is being told.

Without drawing this thesis out — which is exactly what MMOs do — I’ll just say that these big, huge, sprawling, super-epic mega-stories don’t really fit with the MMORPG format. For one thing, it’s too easy to lose track of what’s going on when it’s been perhaps days between stages or the devs are spinning their narrative wheels to keep players from getting through it too quickly.

For another thing, these massive tales (and I’m speaking primarily from my own experience and anecdotally through others’ who have said something along this line)…

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