Man, I started writing a post...mmm...yesterday morning (I think)?...a whole 'hey, I'm back, here's what's up, here's what I'm doing, blah-blah-blah' thing, with some sort of half-hearted segue into role-playing theory.
Let's forget all that for the nonce.
The 2023 year has nearly slipped away from me, at this point. 47 posts at this point...my lowest output total since starting this blog in 2009. Wow. Crap. That's what happens when you have a bunch of f'ing family members die on you, I suppose.
And yet, some stellar game related stuff occurred, too. Ran some great D&D sessions. Campaign is struggling, limping along, but it's still going. Got to Germany for Cauldron...that was fantastic. Got my submission in for Prince's "No Art-Punk" contest for the third year running...that was, mm, grueling, but a hell of an accomplishment, considering the time constraints. So much travel this year (California, Port Angeles, Montana, Germany, Mexico). So much...
I need a break. And, yet, I don't. I need to do more work. More Work work (capital-W)...more vocational work. This game, this hobby...it's my calling. It's what I do. Dumb as that is.
[just some Sunday night musings]
Been spouting off on a lot of different outlets lately. Mainly Discord servers. A podcast or two. In person (at the Cauldron convention). Other places. Some people care what I have to say; others don't. Some care but don't understand. All that's okay. Mainly I just have to be slightly careful of how I present information...I don't want some folks to make the wrong inference just because I wasn't thoughtful enough in my monologue.
Take the Cauldron convention, for instance: I set about crafting three different scenarios for it with very specific objectives. I like how they turned out...they more-or-less fulfilled my objectives. But do I think that my approach was the "right" approach? Or the "best" approach? Or the "only appropriate" approach that I could have taken? No...not at all! I created mid-level adventure scenarios with lots of danger (and lots of treasure) specifically because of the convention setting and its adherence to ADDKON rules (the German equivalent of the old FLAILSNAILS Conventions). I was writing scenarios for people to bring their home campaign PCs, place in danger, and yet reap big rewards (if successful).
I could have just easily run some sort of High Level one-off to showcase AD&D's extended potential. Or I could have run low level AD&D play, to demonstrate the survivability of such characters (in clear contrast to B/X play). Heck, there's lots of things I could have done for the con, but I figured I'd rather give the players some real up-the-ante, risk-reward stuff. Because if you're going to let players bring their own hard-ridden characters...then, yeah, let's give 'em some good stuff!
But I have to explain this to folks: I have to be explicit that just because I'm writing/running mid-level adventures does not mean that I presume this is "the best tier of play" or something. Honestly, I don't think there is a "best" tier of play...ALL tiers offer different experiences of game play, and the Great Joy of D&D...more specifically, Advanced D&D...is that it facilitates game play at ALL these tiers.
[and, what's more, it's possible to mix-and-match within the tiers...though that's a story for different day]
Man, I've been spending far too much time lately on social media platforms, particularly Discord. It's just so nice to interact with other humans who both A) have an understanding of, and B) give a rip about D&D gaming. But I think I'm going to cut back a bit...that, as much as anything, has contributed to the lightness of blog posts this year. Too many times someone has posted a query or a thought exercise or a subject of conversation that I've been all-too-willing to engage with (in long-winded format) when what I could be doing is writing about the topic Right Here. It might not be especially "deep," but it is (generally) on game-related (i.e. "on topic") and it gives my readership a reason to come back besides looking at old posts about yadda-yadda.
*sigh* More later...time to sleep.
[posted Monday morning, as I could barely keep my eyes open]