D&D & Me part 3: A New Campaign

In the midst of the insanity of the oncoming winter and NaNoWriMo and work and life I have begun a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign with the shiny new 5th edition rules (Which I like quite a lot, more on that another time).

I am working on a Wiki that will detail the world as it develops. I’ll link to it next time.

The first two games were very heavily weighted with character creation and development and introduction, but enough actual play occurred to get some very interesting plot rolling. I’m feeling creative in a way that I haven’t felt in a couple of years and that makes me very happy.

The players are an interesting mix. Three of them are from work, a fourth is a friend of theirs who plays board and computer games and wanted to see what this was like, and the fifth is one of the first three players father.

The new player has been giving it a chance but is not terribly into it. I have been trying to keep him engaged but he’s not in love with the format of the game and is likely going to bow out. I suspect he might actually have enjoyed 4th edition more, the plot and character stuff does not seem to interest him as much as tactical combat… which is perfectly fair.

The Father and Son duo are who I want to talk about right now. Both are kind of dream players to have in a sandbox game of this sort. They develop deep backgrounds to their players, are very interested in the world and their place in it, and are just as happy or more interacting with the townspeople as they are bashing goblin heads in.

Also: The father worked for TSR, Pacesetter, and Mayfair games. He wrote and designed for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Chill, Star Ace, Gangbusters, and Marvel Superheroes. He also designed Wabbit Wampage which I used to sell.

He is one of the people responsible for how the hobby I love took shape and has played with many of the greats…

Was I  touch intimidated going into that session? Yes I was.

Did he say that I was a fantastic DM, better than most of the people he used to play with back at TSR? Maaaaaaybe.

Am I feeling kind of badass at the moment? Yes.

The Blue Orchid : NaNoWriMo 2014 part 5

Weeks later…

Several really bad days (and days with other things going on) have me at 26024 words. Over halfway done but 3976 words behind schedule. My average words per minute is hanging around 14 which is not fantastic. Two or three really good days will get me back ahead of the game, I’m feeling confident.

I seem to work best when I’m alone at a cafe, barring that somewhere with minimal distraction. This is probably a painfully obvious statement.

And then the sky did things.

I was up visiting at my sweetheart’s house as I often do, watching a little TV. It was nearly time to get back home to try to pound out another thousand words before bed so we went out to the barn to feed the horses. When we came out of the barn, the sky had done something I have never seen before.

nightsky

At first my mind latched on to the rational explanation… Jets. But the straight lines of cloud were all over the sky, dozens of jets would have had to have crossed back and forth all at once… which seemed unlikely.

My darling ran and got her camera and I just stared, a little kid lost in the inscrutable heavens.

The Blue Orchid : NaNoWriMo 2014 part 4

With a terrible three days I have fallen a bit behind. I wrote just a few hundred words on Wednesday since I was mostly getting ready for the game. The next two days were also a bit busy and I barely got any writing done. 269 on Wednesday, 729 on Thursday, and 655 on Friday brought me to a total of 9003 which was 2663 words behind my goal. My words per minute fell to a low of 8.9 as well, the brain juices were not flowing.

Saturday I woke up early and bashed out as many words as I could. The story started flowing again and A couple of characters got introduced. I managed to get out a few paragraphs on my break at work as well, and then got in an hour or so when I got home (after watching Constantine with my sweetie.) 2351 words got squeezed out of my head bringing me to 11354.

So now I’m 1979 words behind, just  a bit more than a full day. That is fixable. My words per minute jumped up to 15.67 which is a lot more like it! I am now 22.71% of the way done. I have also almost gotten to the part of the book where I stop leaping around in time and get to the main story. That should be fun!

The Blue Orchid : NaNoWriMo 2014 part 3

Monday was disappointing at just shy of 1300 words. My reserve dropped to 35 words but my words per minute stayed about even. In my defense It was an early morning for me and then I spent most of the late afternoon doing laundry. I had gathered a great deal of clothes from every nook and cranny of my place and added in a bunch of stuff that I had in bags and boxes that were getting nasty and musty due to the mold factory I life in. Also I tossed in a bunch of towels and rags and a comforter that had been fouled by cat quite some time ago. At the laundromat I was using seven machines at once which was a little satisfying for some reason.

Today, however I had a great run while hanging out at the rainbow cafe which has a great atmosphere, good coffee, and precious little doughnuts that cost more than one really wants to spend on a doughnut but are entirely delicious. Between that, a few words squeezed out while running around and doing errands, and a nice run tonight I am at 7350 words!

That’s 2315 today for those keeping score (just me? yeah I thought so) which is 138% of my daily goal. I am at 14.7% of the whole book with a 638 word surplus going into tomorrow which is mostly going to be all about Dungeons & Dragons and I’ll be lucky to stay even.

The book now happens at two different times and spans two continents. I keep forgetting my main characters name (and he’s using three aliases at this point which is -not- helping) and have two or three maguffins I am going to have to remember to explain later. Nobody has died so far that didn’t deserve it.

The Blue Orchid : NaNoWriMo 2014 part 2

It turns out that the NaNoWriMo site is doing some of the data crunching my spreadsheet is doing and has a few cool tricks on top of that.

I’m up to 3741 words, 1724 from today which was 103% of my daily goal and has me 7.48% done. The site estimates that at this rate I will be done by the 27th. I have about 407 words in the bank now which is a bit low. I’ll have to kick some ass on my days off to boost that up a bit in case of off days.

My words per minute is up a bit today despite some fiddling about with character names and redoing a few parts that were not flowing well (bad inner editor BAD! fix later!). I’m managing 12.7 now.

I’m really liking my main and secondary characters so far which is a good sign.

I have Scrivener Installed but I am a bit nervous to dive into a new piece of software at the same time as I try to use it, so I am just writing in TextPad as I poke at it. I may or may not copy everything over there if it turns out to be useful, otherwise I will just kill it and try it again when the intended application is less deadliny.

 

The Blue Orchid : NaNoWriMo 2014 part 1

Well it is that time of the year again… time to tilt at the literary windmill that is NaNoWriMo. It’s going to be a busy month. I have a lot of work to do at home, at my sweeties house, and at… well work. Also I am starting my LONG awaited Dungeons and Dragons campaign in a few days which will require writing and prep work of its own.

Should be interesting.

The Blue Orchid is a story of Bureau 404. It is a call back to my first Nano-novel and probably happens in the same world so expect magic, monsters, and probably at least one person being disemboweled. If it isn’t entirely terrible I may post it somewhere where people can look at it when the month is over.

Being me I am keeping a spreadsheet of my progress. I end my first day with 2017 words which is 121% of my daily goal. I am now 350 words ahead of the game and need to keep up 1599 a day to reach 50K. I am producing about 11.2 words per minute which is not terrible but which I can hopefully speed up a bit as I only have a couple days with nice long mornings I can catch up in.

If you are doing this thing as well find me here and be my ‘writing buddy.’

If this is entirely uninteresting to you then I apologize… there is going to be a lot of it this month.

For the record… this was about 240 words that are not in my novel. Some of these updates will be a lot shorter.

Movie Monday 002: Message From Space

It has been a tiring week, but I did not want to go two weeks without making a review, so…

This week: Message From Space

Toei And then United Artists: 1978

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Message_from_Space

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078435/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

An ambitious and expensive Japanese movie imported to the US in the wake of Star Wars. The US movie industry was unprepared to supply the publics renewed hunger for sci-fi so they were buying up foreign films.

This movie was bought for a reported 1 million dollars. It probably made about $28 from my dad taking me to see it a couple times. He will remember it as the schlock Japanese sci fi movie with the space ships that were sailing ships with engines on the back. I remember it for the heroes ship with the fantastic fold out fighter bays (that was undoubtedly millennium falcon inspired).

I built a couple models of the ship and the fighters and always lusted after the die cast toys that now go for hundreds of dollars on ebay. I would love to have the model of the main good guys ship again. http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/STARSHIP%20LIABE%20PAGE.htm

This movie is the story of a ragtag group of unlikely heroes summoned by mystical space walnuts to save the planet Julucia from the evil Gavanas.

The plot is moderately ludicrous, the acting amusingly painful (even taking dubbing into account), and the action is very dated. The effects are actually rather good for the time (even if they are used to often ridiculous effect) , and the Star Wars influence on the models and props gives them a refreshing sense of reality.

Message From Space is a movie that is fun despite itself. It is enjoyable for the campiness of it, but it’s also just fun to watch. I loved it as a kid because I had no taste and would pretty much watch anything with a robot in it… I find I love it now for a mixture of the nostalgia and a genuine appreciation for what they were trying to do.

And the ships really are cool.

Characters: D6 : Uninspired archetypes with dubious motivations. Totally useful for space swashbuckling or other slightly silly settings. The enemies are evil for the sake of evil with gratuitous chrome and horned helmets and capes.

Soundtrack: D6 : Nothing special, a mix of 1960s sci-themes and Star Wars inspired orchestral bits. There is a CD out there and it could be fun to have’ but not worth much effort.

Plot: D8 : Ludicrous and clumsy (it is never a good sign when the narrator has to explain what is happening)… But also amusing and pretty well paced out. Not a bad model for gathering together characters and getting them to the action in a somewhat less than serious setting.

Tech/magic/maguffins: D8 : Remarkably fun space ships, swords in space, and tying all the characters together with mysterious seeds that could do just about anything the plot needed them to do at any given moment.

Settings: D6 : A series of locations barely connected to one another in any logical way. Some of them could be lifted for encounters, but I would not recommend using them all in the same plot.

Suggested system: FATE, Savage Worlds, the old D6 Star Wars, Battlestations.

Random Fact about Will 003

Statements like “the best day of your life” or “you will never have as much fun” terrify and depress me.

It seems like if you ever have the best day of your life then the rest of it will be just remembering better times and waiting to die.

I fervently hope that the best day of my life is the one that kills me.

 

No Movie Monday because shut up

Since I haven’t seen a movie this week, I don’t have one to review.

So instead a little bit of good news.

After over a year of barely treading water I have a raise and I am going full time. Hopefully this will give me a little breathing room to get a great deal done that needs to get done.

Next in line: Operation “Survive The Winter”