DMs Guild Review – Call from the Deep

The Kind GM

Call from the Deep is a campaign for 4 to 6 characters that takes them from level 1 to level 12.

This is a monster of a book, reaching 270 pages and I consider it to be on par with the official adventures for 5th Edition that have been published by Wizards of the Coast. The adventure’s theme is a delicate combination of high seas adventure and Lovecraftian Horror, with a touch of psionic fun and urban adventure.

The Story

In the first chapter, the characters are tasked with investigating a crashed ship on Gundarlun, an island nation located off the Sword Coast. The journey begins from Neverwinter, meaning the characters will have to enjoy a few days of sea travel and all that it entails. I’m talking about encounters. This is covered in one of the appendixes that features random encounters. However, they are well thought and each one…

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Alt-Frequencies: stay tuned

Later Levels

Time loop mechanics in video games intrigue me so I was curious when Alt-Frequencies appeared in my Steam recommendations one day. I added it to my wishlist despite not having heard anything about it before and spent just under two hours with the game a few weeks later.

What I’ve found out since is that it was made by Accidental Queens, the developer of A Normal Lost Phone. I should have guessed because it has a similar feel and they’ve once again made use of an unusual mechanic that’s worth talking about. In their latest project, there’s no conversation trees as such or any of the other elements you’d usually recognise from a narrative title: all gameplay takes place in a single screen through a radio set. Stay turned to find out more (pun intended).

Alt-Frequencies’ central plot revolves around the implementation of a time loop. The government…

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DDO: Looking at the game through an NPC’s eyes

Bio Break

One of my Dungeons and Dragons Online cohorts made this video a while back and asked if I would share it with you all. In his words, “It’s called ‘The Sister Contract’ and it tells the story of Rest For the Restless from the POV of a hireling. This audio play stars the voices of Lessah and Mythery of the ‘Damsels of DDO,’ plus the game’s community manger, Jerry Snook”

Give it a listen and consider adding a comment on YouTube to let him know what you think!

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Gamer Spotlight: Stephanie Tinsley

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Stephanie Tinsley (Tinsley PR)

Stephanie Tinsley is the final boss at boutique PR mercenary consultancy Tinsley PR. Prior to founding her own business, Tinsley worked on the PR agency side for brands like Atari, NVIDIA and Microsoft Games Studio. A graduate of Chapman University, Tinsley recently relocated from Los Angeles to Denver, Colorado with her wife and 2 year old daughter, their two wonderful dogs and a satanic cat. Keep up with the trash talk at @agentinsley on Twitter.

What is the first video game that you remember playing?

“Not to date myself here but the first games I remember playing were on the Atari 2600. We had Pong, Pitfall, Star Wars, Decathalon, and a bunch of other ones. Decathlon, in retrospect, seems amazingly boring but we loved it. It was a game about track and field, but it must have hit at the right time when the summer Olympics were…

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I’m Pretty Keen on the Nintendo Switch Lite

VIRTUAL BASTION

It’s true that my Nintendo fandom has worn thin with time. In 2013, I lightly considered getting a 2DS, but I just wasn’t in a mobile gaming mindset. I’ve watched as the Nintendo Switch has slowly but surely won over the hearts and minds of gamers since its 2017 release, but I’ve only watched. I tried to get back into the swing of things early this year with playing Breath of the Wild on our oft-ignored Wii U, but even that stalled. While a small part of me would like to rekindle something with that famous princess and plumber, at least, it’s still hard for me to want to fork over the cash both for a Switch and its games.  Not only do I have too much to play as is, but where the heck would I put it? Next to our lonely Wii U to gather up some of…

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How serious is Amazon’s Lord of the Rings MMO?

Bio Break

To be honest, it’s hard to know how serious we should be taking the announcement that Amazon’s teaming up with Leyou Tech to make a Middle-earth MMO. I mean, back when it was just a sole announcement last year from a Chinese company, it was easy to dismiss. There weren’t any solid details or screenshots or what have you, so it was just an idea.

But now? Now the situation has changed significantly, because attaching Amazon Game Studio as a co-developer adds legitimacy and possibility. Not certainty, mind you; Amazon has yet to actually launch a title, although it has cancelled one or two already. And New World, Amazon’s other MMO, hasn’t really made a lot of waves with its test cycle and “back to the drawing board” move.

Then again, Amazon is spending gobs and gobs of money on that Lord of the Rings prequel TV series, and if…

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I’m becoming less bothered by mobile game shenanigans

Occasional Hero

I remember a time, when smartphones were new and novel, that I thought that the original Angry Birds, specifically the free version, was the absolute worst. It had the audacity to show ads between levels. And sometimes banners during the level. And it was a whole dollar to get rid of them. Ah, if only we knew then how bad things could become.

Fast forward to 2019, and I got eye strain from rolling my eyes at everyone being shocked and outraged that the Elder Scrolls mobile game was monetized like a mobile game, with increasingly long wait timers on chests, buildings, and crafting, and green pay-to-win gems offering to help you skip past it all. None of it surprises me, and none of it is half as bad as half of what’s on the Google Play/iOS App Store. What’s the big deal? This seems totally normal and reasonable…

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Blaugust ho!

GamingSF

So it’s approaching Blaugust time again, a slightly terrifying revelation as that means the summer is sliding rapidly past. It also means I’m half way through the RPG Writer online course that I’ve been avidly following this month. Blaugust is another annual “encourage lots of writing” event, focused on bloggers and other content creators.

Blaugust 2019 logo Courtesy of aggronaut.com

In theory I should have the RPG Writer event tied up shortly after Blaugust starts, so in time to commit at least somewhat to an increase in blogging activity for this blogging community event. I took part with gusto last year. I’d highly recommend taking part as there is always a veritable flood of posts to spark conversations and reply-post ideas. There’s also the Discord chat platform if desired. See Belghast’s intro post for all the details.

I’ll sign-up as I plan to be blogging anyway; and very helpfully there’s expectation of particularly…

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Blaugust wants your word-thoughts!

Bio Break

It’s that time of year again when we bloggers and writers pack up and head out to our version of summer camp, which we call Blaugust. Yesterday, Belghast announced the official start of this year’s month-long event, and I’ll let him introduce why this is both a fun and helpful way to get into or return to blogging:

We live in a time when blogs are going dark and the hope is to keep infusing the community with a fresh lease on life. Those of us who have been doing it for over a decade now can easily lose hope. It sometimes takes a fresh batch of whippersnappers to keep us engaged and interested in making sure that the community thrives. Blaugust lives on as the inheritance of so many other great initiatives that have come before like the Developer Appreciation Week or the Newbie Blogger Initiative. If you…

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Casual, hardcore and everything in between

Later Levels

Although I don’t watch every year, I made a point of sitting through Microsoft’s Xbox briefing at last month’s E3 event. The potential for news about Fable 4 lured me in but I was sadly disappointed. Instead of hearing about the next instalment in the series, what we got was a bunch of CGI trailers, numerous mentions about Game Pass and an unexpected appearance from Keanu Reeves.

As I wrote in my post, the expo doesn’t really appeal to me because it feels as though it doesn’t cater for where I fall in the audience. I’m not what companies would call a ‘hardcore’ gamer because I don’t care about the specifications of upcoming hardware – I just want my consoles to run the games I’d like to play. But I don’t necessarily come under their ‘casual’ classification either, because I play video games four or five…

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