Friday, August 30, 2013

Looking at 4e again

I haven't kept up with my resolution to write here (at least) twice a month, but I'm back and recommitting.

When I first started GMing a few years ago I was running a game of 4th Edition D&D. I liked, and still like the system. It made it easy to start out as a new DM, but it certainly has it's issues too. By the time that campaign ended I was definitely seeing a lot of the weak spots in the system. Playing a whole bunch of other games just further emphasized some of these issues. The game is pretty big and bloated in a lot of ways. There's a lot to keep track of, and things can move pretty slowly.

But! I've been playing the game again somewhat often recently and I'm also seeing a lot of the good points again.

Due to vacations, weddings, and other things I haven't had a chance to play with my Sci-Fi game group for about a month. Luckily I've been able to drop into my friend's D&D game. It's a 4e game. I've been an occasional player in that game for a while now, at first just running other players characters when they weren't there, or running npc allies to the party, and then making my own character (a Psion btw). I've recently changed up characters again (to a Berserker Barbarian), and been able to make it to three or four sessions in a row and it's been a ton of fun.

I do enjoy the tactical nature of the game. There are lots and lots of ways to combine moves and actions that are fun and interesting to try to use to the greatest effect. There can be a lot of really fun teamwork in the system where one person can set up another person to be extra effective. My new character is particularly fun in this regard because he can change his role in an encounter from defender (locking down enemies and taking hits from them so others don't have to) to striker (doing lots of damage).

The other big factor is that my friend is running the game particularly well. He's really kept up with what the "state of the art" is in 4e and has put a lot of great advice into practice to make the game flow much more quickly than most 4e games I've seen.

For Combat he's taken a lot of advice from the way Lair Assault games are set up to make combat encounters exciting and challenging (but not necessarily unfair), and with a real sense of danger to them. He's been picking his monsters well and the hit hard, but don't necessarily take forever to defeat. It's really made things run more quickly. Combat is still by no means fast (particularly when players, and I'm referring to all of us here, let themselves get distracted between turns, which of course just makes everything take even longer), it is still 4e we're talking about, but things flow much more smoothly and generally it doesn't feel like the combats drag toward the end the way they so often can. Things move, and there's always something new and exciting going on.

Out of combat he's put a lot of good advice into practice to get us as players to think more "in the fiction" than just looking at our sheet and trying to figure out how to use our numbers to get things done. He's also introduced a lot of cool characters.

The group has some good houserules too. Action points as they exist in the regular system have been replaced by two action points that everyone gets at the start of the session and don't carry over to the next session (like bennies in Savage Worlds in fact), so you're encouraged to use them freely, and there's nothing to track to figure out if you should have one. They are also a bit more useful. They can be used like a regular Action point or they can be used for a re-roll. We've also let "milestone" powers and abilities work if you've spent and action point that session. These do make action points more powerful easier, but in practice that just means the DM  can make everything harder for us. It's a good balance, and it's fun for our group.

I'm still not sure how much I'd want to run another full campaign in 4e (I've got plenty of other systems I want to try out, plus my current favorite of Savage Worlds) but I have been toying with running a few short games some time soon. I recently got my Dark Sun books back from a friend who was borrowing them, and got a hold of the Ashes of Athas organized play adventures so I may try to run a few of those for some friends some time soon once I've read through them a bit more.

It's been nice to be reminded of all the parts of this game I still really like. Only playing occasionally it was easy to focus on the issues the system has and not the parts I like so much. I really do enjoy the system, warts and all, and I'm glad I'm getting to continue to play it.

Good gaming!

-The Duke of Brandonshire

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Space Combat Systems

So one of the things I like best about our ongoing space game (admittedly it's also sometimes one of the things I like least, but mostly best) is that we're always experimenting with new systems and ways of doing things.

The highest level of this is of course what I've talked about in the past where we changed up the base system for the game several times before settling on Savage Worlds. But we've done it with subsystems and other things a lot too.

A few systems have changed a lot as our game has gone by and I'm sure many more will change too, but today I want to talk about the space combat system. We tried out a system last night that I think is the best we've had yet and I'm guessing may be the one we finally stick with (I'm sure we'll tweak it a bit but I think we've finally found the basis system we'll stick with). It's my understanding that it's taken from the game Stars Without Number, with just a few modifications to make it work in Savage Worlds. (Edit: Turns out it's more specifically from one of the supplements to Stars Without Number, Skyward Steel). Previous systems we've used have attempted to use miniatures (many of them home made and very cool!) which had some advantages but I think ultimately limited us as a group. It made things a little too literal for us and moved the focus to the ships themselves rather than the characters. As a result most of the systems we tried in the past tended to lead to a few people making most of the important decisions and others either only able to help in minor ways or not really having anything to do at all.

Previous systems also had a lot of different things to keep track of which at least some of us had trouble doing.

This new system does away with all of those problems. It's much more abstract, there are no mini's or even any real worry about where anything is in relation to one another. It puts the focus on the characters and what they're doing. Everyone has interesting and important things to do and interesting trade offs to any action they might or might not take.

It feels like an episode of Star Trek where for the most part during a battle the camera will shift from one area of the ship (say the bridge) to another (say engineering) and focus on what the characters you care about are doing more than where the ships are in relation to one another. Or even much of what's happening outside the ship directly. Stuff happens outside the ship, the characters are constantly reacting to those things and doing things to effect the things outside the ship, but the focus is on the characters more than the ships.

There are also only a very few things to keep track of, and most of them are things everyone is keeping track of together.

We tried it for the first time last night and I was really impressed with it. After the first round I think everyone basically had it down and we were all making strategic decisions about the various sections of the ship we were in charge of.

I've always heard a lot of great things about Stars Without Number but haven't yet gotten around to getting and reading it. I'll have to remedy that soon. This system for space combat is simple and evocative, but has enough depth to be exciting and engaging.

I'm very excited about this new system and I think we've finally found our system for space battles.

Good gaming!

-The Duke of Brandonshire

Monday, June 10, 2013

New gaming schwag!

This actually happened a little while ago but I never got the entry posted. I got a new dice bag! It's from Dragon Chow! I'm really excited about eventually filling it up with the Rocket Dice I'll be getting eventually, and using them all for the sci-fi campaign I've been playing in for a while now!
I've got some pictures of the bag and all the fun that Lyndsay Peters (the owner of Dragon Chow) puts into getting one of her awesome dice bags.

The fun starts with the envelope!

The bag itself:

Inside the bag was more fun! A new d20 and some fun cards!

I really like the bag. If you need or want a new bag I would encourage you to take a look at Dragon Chow's products!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A little more on Savage Worlds (Part 2)

So here is the long awaited (or not) second part of my Savage Worlds appreciation posts. This one started out as a section of part 1 that I wanted to wait to write until we could play a little more with a group of characters of mixed experience levels. We've now gotten several sessions in that way and I feel ready to write about it.

The short answer: Having characters of (wildly) varying experience levels works just as well as I'd originally hoped it would! I'm not terribly surprised by this of course. In our last Savage Worlds game (set in Ancient Greece) we had several low level NPC followers who don't even get the advantage of a wild die (PC's and major NPC's usually get to roll a d6 in addition to whatever other die they're rolling and take the higher of the two results) who were nearly as effective in combat as the PC's. If they can be just as helpful as high level PC's it's no surprise that low and high level PC's can coexist together in battle and other situations just fine.

We've had a few close calls (the GM is pulling no punches just because the group is now composed mostly of lower level characters), but we've all pulled through battles and it hasn't felt like anyone was totally out of their league at any point (and most of those close calls have involved players doing things that'd probably be crazy no matter what character they were using). The game is working just as well now as it did when the group was made up of much more experienced characters.

This is not to say that there's no reason to gain experience. Higher level characters have a lot of cool options and can get pretty good at different tasks, and are just generally a more powerful. But they aren't SO MUCH more powerful as to make it unfun for anyone else playing with them.

What this also means is that experience points can be given out to the players who are at any given session and there's no real need to worry about those that missed sessions falling behind. Falling behind on experience and levels just isn't that big a deal in this system. There's still an incentive to gain XP and to gain new abilities and such, the draw of getting better at things is still there, but you aren't going to break the game or leave anyone totally out of their depth by not awarding experience to everyone equally. If someone new joins the group there's no need to have them roll up a higher level character just to "keep up" with everyone else. This is especially good for folks who are new to the game system as they can start with simpler characters and learn the basics before jumping into a character with a lot of extra options.

As always this system continues to impress me the more I play it.

That being said, we've had some good interlude sessions (in the same world but using different characters) using different systems that I'll talk about soon.

Good gaming!

-The Duke of Brandonshire

Monday, April 22, 2013

Trying out Google+ Commenting

I know I'm slightly late to the party on this, it looks like most of the discussion of, and experimenting with Google+ Comments happened last week, but I just wanted to let readers know that for the moment I have G+ Comments on and I'm trying them out to see how I like them as compared to the regular comments.

The biggest disadvantage I see is that if you don't have a G+ account you can't comment. I haven't really gotten a lot of comments on the blog, and I think everyone who has commented actually does have a G+ account but there it is. On the other hand, I think this also means that people can leave comments that can only be seen by a limited group of people, so a few people who don't like commenting publicly may find they feel a bit more comfortable commenting on stuff.

There's certainly also an argument to be made for not having comments at all (a friend of mine has made that argument quite well on a few occasions), but I'm not sure I want to go that far. This does help aggregate discussions in multiple places and could allow for some more interesting control of comments so I'm going to try it out for a while and see what I think.

I really like the idea of comments form Google+ Posts about this post showing up on the blog, and being able to respond to them in either place. I'm not totally sold on some of the weirder idiosyncrasies of the system (people being able to leave comments I can't see and other weird stuff like that), but I imagine some of these will get worked out soon, and others may simply require a rethinking of what comments are or can be.

If you have any concerns about this (maybe you're a regular reader but don't have or want a Google+ Account, or maybe you just don't want to use that for commenting etc.) feel free to let me know via e-mail (should be in the "Contact Me" section of the blog site).

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dwimmermount Thoughts and Developments

I haven't talked about it much here, but I'm a backer of the James Maliszewski's Dwimmermount Kickstarter. It's probably the Kickstarter project that I've watched with the most interest and as a result it's felt like the project I've backed with the most ups and downs.

The project has seen some delays, then seemed like it was on track, and then got severely delayed again. James has gone through some serious tragedies in his personal life and I don't begrudge him the delays at all, but it has really slowed things down with this project. The most recent delay and extended silence from James left some wondering if it would ever be completed.

The Kickstarter for the dungeon came along right around the time I became most interested in old-school style gaming, so it showed up at exactly the right time for me to get really excited about it. Despite the delays that excitement hasn't ever really waned (I also always try to keep Kickstarter projects in perspective. I view them as investments. Investments don't always work out). I very much like the draft I've seen and I can't wait to see it refined more and fully laid out and in print!

Today there was a fairly big announcement on how the project would move forward, you can read the announcement here.

While of course the best outcome for the project would be for James to be able to finish it himself I'm very happy with this as a "second best" outcome. I actually originally ordered my hardcopy of the dungeon in Adventurer Conquerer King System (ACKS) anyway so the project switching to that exclusively isn't really a problem for me (and there are some indications that there may end up being a Labyrinth Lord (LL) version anyway, the comments on that update indicate there may have been a misunderstanding on that). There are two things I really like about this outcome though and I think everyone else who's interested in the project should consider too.

1) By transferring rights (and funds) to Autarch, we can be reasonably sure a final product WILL be produced. This won't be Castle Greyhawk (it wouldn't have been anyway since we have a reasonably complete draft). Secondly this still means there might be a "final" or "directors cut" version of the dungeon some day from James. We get the best of both worlds. A solid product all but guaranteed, and the possibility of the "auteur" version further on down the road.

2) The other thing that I'm arguably even more excited about is that the dungeon and a lot of the surrounding texts and ideas are going to be opened up via the OGL. This small part of the project may actually be the best news. At least in this one way this outcome might actually be better than the original plan. We can see a lot more fully supported and legally safe "remixes" of Dwimmermount (like the "Devilmount" remix). I really think there's a lot in there that the community can play with and do interesting things with and now it'll all be totally legally safe! Sweet!

I've been very impressed with the products from Autarch that I already have, and I have no doubt at all that they'll do a great job completing things. I also hope we some day get an "auteur" version from James (and even more that James fully recovers from everything that he's been going through, even if he never puts out another product again), but in the meantime I'm very excited about the project getting back on track and really looking forward to what the final product ends up looking like.

I'll write part 2 to my savage worlds post soon, but I wanted to get some of my thoughts on Dwimmermount out first. Have a great weekend everyone!

Good gaming!
-The Duke of Brandonshire

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A little more on Savage Worlds (part 1)

I don't mean for this blog to be an advertisement for Savage Worlds, but I just really really like the system and it's the one I'm playing the most right now. So I'm going to do a couple more posts on the system itself and what I like so much about it. I had hoped to do this all as one post but our last session of character creation ended up taking the whole session (new players unfamiliar with the system/setting and some new rules we're adding/changing that everyone needed to go over before making choices) so we haven't had a chance to play with our new characters just yet. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Two weeks ago in our weekly game one of the player characters died. This is the first time that's happened in this game (though we've come close several times!), but it's good to be reminded that it's a real possibility, and sometimes from unexpected sources! His character was killed by the last remaining enemy robot, and it wasn't even one of the more powerful ones. Injuries had stacked up in the battle already and the robot rolled really well. Poof! There goes one of the characters.

So we all knew he was going to roll up a new character. However, as we discussed things over e-mail several other players also decided to roll up new characters, and we added another player to the group. I've decided to stick with my character for a little while longer because I like him and I think he'll be especially good for the newer characters (he's got a lot of leadership abilities that'll help keep them alive) but otherwise, at least among the regular players, it'll be a new crew of characters.

I think this'll be good for both the game and the players. When we started using SW we started out with characters about midway through the normal character progression to represent everything the characters had already been through (even if that was in two other systems!). This worked out ok, but I think it'll be good, especially for those who weren't/aren't already familiar with the system to start out with novice characters. There's less to keep track of and there are fewer choices to make all at once. It'll be easier to grow them organically going forward from a place of greater familiarity with their capabilities.

Anyway, watching folks make new characters (and helping them with it a bit), and thinking about what sort of character I might want to make whenever I decide to, or need to, replace Captain  (soon to be Commodore!) Blackwell has reminded me of several specific things I really like about Savage Worlds.

I don't have a ton of experience with genre and setting agnostic systems, but most of the more "universal" systems I've read and played around with haven't really excited me. But Savage Worlds has. I've really been impressed with its' ability to work in a number of different settings I've played in, from Ancient Greece, to fairly standard Fantasy gaming, to our current Hard Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk game. It really does work pretty well in all of these situations, with only a little bit of tinkering (mostly just deciding which edges and/or skills don't apply, and maybe adding a few). The system is really tolerant to hacking and customizing without breaking, but at the same time doesn't require it. Nearly everything you'd need for most genre's of adventure is already in the core book. You can add new subsystems and more detailed stuff for the things you're interested in (like say computer hacking), but you don't have to. You can go as deep or shallow as you want and it'll still all work.

The other thing I love about the game is how open things are for characters. You can be hyper specialized if you want, or you can be a jack of all trades type character, and neither is likely to feel "broken," either in terms of being over-powered or under-powered. You have several different choices you can make at every "level" from raising your attributes (this one you can only do once per tier, but that's not a big deal), buying new skills, getting better at the skills you already have, or buying edges (a lot like feats if you're familiar with d20 based games). All of these are valid choices! There really isn't a bad choice for you to make! You can make a character who focuses almost exclusively on getting new skills, or one who just focuses on a few and mostly buys edges, and they'll both feel useful and fun. Heck, you could probably pretty easily get away with never, or almost never, raising any of your attributes and still have a very effective character. The system is well balanced internally and you'll rarely feel like you made a bad choice when you're working on a character. The more I look at how all of this stuff works the more impressed I am with the system.

I'm also a big fan of the hindrance system. You can take hindrances in order to gain more points to spend at character creation. The thing I like about this system is that as a rule these are actually interesting character hooks. They don't just feel like a punishment you have to take in order to get the things you want, but things that might actually be fun to play around with. They might make things a big more complicated, but they'll also be some of the things that make the game fun and interesting. They're basically ready built adventure seeds, and hooks for the GM to pull on whenever she wants to.

I had hoped we'd get a chance to play a bit last week so I give some examples of how much I like the low power-curve in SW and how that lets characters of different level play well together. But I'll wait to write about that until later this week when we get a chance to actually play the characters. My previous experience with the system tells me that having different leveled characters isn't going to be a big problem, but I'll talk about that more soon!

Good gaming!

-The Duke of Brandonshire

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A taste of old-school

Late last year, while everyone was in town for the holidays, I got together my old role playing group and did a bit of a "reunion game." This was a group in which we'd primarily played D&D 3.5 and 4th Edition D&D (that was the game I had GM'd). Our 4e game had ended when two of the members of the group moved away, but I wanted to revisit that world a little bit and everyone else seemed game.

This time we decided to switch things up and continue with the same characters and world, but we wanted to switch systems. I like a lot of things about 4th Edition both it can be very very slow, and I just wanted to try something different. We settled on Savage Worlds because several of us were pretty familiar with it and many of the other members of the group were at least passingly familiar.

We spent an hour or so making characters. It normally probably wouldn't have taken so long except that we had a couple people who were only passingly familiar with the system, and it just took a little while for folks to really think about what was essential about their characters and how to translate that into the new system. We also spent a lot of time on side conversations and just generally catching up. This was the first time we'd all been together  at the same time in a long time after all.

I had decided early on that I wanted to run things a little more old school (regardless of the system I wanted to approach things a bit differently) and do something less "plot" driven than what I'd done in the past. I wanted to move more in the direction of just setting up a location and letting the story be created from what the characters did.

I had originally started to plan out a rather complicated urban sandbox adventure with a number of different factions and such, but quickly realized in the days before we played that there was just no way we'd get through all that much of it in the short time we had to play. So I searched around a bit and found a one-page dungeon (The Ancient Academy, if any of the players are reading this... don't download that just yet!) that looked cool (and that I'd already downloaded before) modified it a bit to change it's history, put some things in there that would interest the characters, and just generally fit it into the world I had set up. We were off!

I also decided it might be interesting to have the players do some mapping and one of them volunteered to do so. I gave him some graph paper and started describing things. It was a bit tedious at first, but I think we fell into a rhythm reasonably quickly. We were all happy when a set of corridors that looped back to where they started lined up correctly. So obviously we were doing something right. I'd still like to watch some actual play videos of folks playing this way to see how others do it though.

The game went pretty smoothly. I probably need to up the difficulty of the creatures a bit and maybe add in some more traps, maybe even add in some wandering monsters, but even if the monsters they encountered were dispatched fairly easily it was still fun. This was my first time GMing Savage Worlds and it was just as easy to GM as it is to play. I continue to be super-impressed with the system.

The players moved around the dungeon a bit, explored a few things, and found some clues here and there to where the thing they were looking for might be and some hints as to how it might work. We had to stop with the dungeon only partially explored, but it was fun and I hope to get together with everyone some time soon over a Google+ hangout and finish things up!

I'm sure plenty of things we were doing were "wrong" in terms of how "old-school" they were, but we had a good time and I'm sure most would agree that's what matters. It was neat to run a game differently than the way I'd previously done it. I think I'd like to do some more of that.

One of these days I'll run an Adventurer Conquerer King game, and hopefully those of us who have been wanting to play more Dungeon Crawl Classics will be able to do so some time soon. I want to see how the systems themselves might facilitate (or not) a more old school style of play. Either way though, Savage Worlds will continue to be an option I'll consider very seriously for fantasy games in the future, regardless of what "school" I'm looking to play in, and I had a good time running a slightly different kind of game than I had previously.

Good gaming!

-The Duke of Brandonshire

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Online Gaming

If I'm going to keep to my resolution I'm going to have to get writing again!

In the past few months I've had my first few experiences with gaming online. Both using Google+ Hangouts and the app Roll20 (which integrates with Google+ Hangouts). Despite a few small technical issues (really, fewer than I would have expected for something like this) it's gone very well and I hope to continue to do it periodically in the future!

I really wasn't quite sure what to expect the first time. I had heard from many others that playing RPG's via video-chat (and specifically Google+ Hangouts) worked well, especially with the addition of apps like +Roll20 (and +Tabletop Forge, which will soon be merged into Roll20), but I still didn't quite know how well I'd actually like it, or how well it would work.

But a couple of friends of mine (used to be in my old role playing group, before they moved) wanted to give it a try and I thought it sounded like a fun thing to do. If nothing else I figured I'd get to spend some time talking to my buddies. Anyway, we decided to play in a campaign world that my friends had been playing in for a while since they'd moved (using a variety of systems from what I understand, including Pathfinder), but use Savage Worlds. (Savage Worlds continues to impress me with what it can do and how much it matches my interests) We quickly ran through character creation and a few technical details as we figured out exactly how all of this worked and then we were off!

And I have to say it was amazing how quickly we fell right back into our old rhythm as a group. I won't say the interface ever quite "melted away" or anything like that, but after just a short time it didn't feel all that strange to be sitting in front of a computer instead of around a table.

We just used the dice rolling features for most of the session but occasionally, like when we got into combat, the GM would draw a quick map and put some tokens out there for us to move around. It was a lot of fun and worked very well.

In fact, in some ways it feels like it might work better than sitting around a table. Perhaps it was just the novelty of the situation, or the particular mix of players, but I feel like in the two sessions that we've run once the game got going everyone paid more attention to the game and was more focused on the session. There was of course some table talk and jokes and the like (and I wouldn't have it any other way!) but it felt like there was less than there usually is at the tables I tend to play at, and it tended to derail things less often.

We had another session a little while later with a couple more players and that went equally as well (maybe even a bit better as for the most part we were slightly more familiar with the interface). It's hard to schedule a good time for such things between a bunch of people in different parts of the world, but I hope to do a lot more of this in the future. I look forward to seeing what adventures the crew of the Lucky Cormorant get into, and maybe to even start GMing some sessions this way myself. (Possibly to finish up the adventure that I ran for my old group the last time we were all in town at the same time this past December. I'll write a bit about that soon).

Have you tried online gaming? Have you liked it? Had any problems? Anything you'd like to know about it or about my experience with it? Let me know!

Good gaming!

-The Duke of Brandonshire

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

System Update

Earlier I wrote about our group's journey through several different systems for our Sci-Fi game.

I'm happy to report that my prediction was correct and so far Savage Worlds is proving to be everything we want it to be for this game. I'm really falling even more in love with this system than I already was.

We've been getting a lot done per session, that includes combat, exploration, role-playing encounters and more. I think the switch to SW was absolutely the right decision for our game and our group. I'm having more fun than I have in a long time. I'm thinking less about the system itself and more about the game world and the characters. The crew of the Voidsong has really been making some interesting progress.

It's been exciting! Last session we had a character come closer to dying, without actually dying, than I've ever seen happen before. It literally came down to the last possible roll to save his character and BOOM! a six was rolled and there was much cheering! We've had battles with 20 or more entities on the table, and everything has run smoothly and quickly.

Our characters are relatively simple and easy to understand, but they all have lots of interesting things to do and they all feel more than customized enough.

I really can't say enough about how much fun we've been having. Some of that has of course simply been good storytelling and improvising by both the GM and all of the players, which could have happened in any system, but I think the system has helped us to focus on those things while also leaving us with some of the "system mastery" fun that can be had by engaging with the game system itself. From where I'm sitting it's the best of both worlds there.

Anyway, almost all of my gaming lately has been in Savage Worlds and it's worked quite well for both in person play and online gaming using Google+ and Roll20. I'll write a little more about my foray into online gaming soon, but that's been a lot of fun too.

Anyway, just wanted to give a quick update on how things have developed since we "settled" on Savage Worlds!

Good gaming!

-The Duke of Brandonshire

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I return from a short hiatus

So despite what I said before, December did not in fact end up being less busy than November, and the first part of January wasn't any better. There were of course the holidays and other such things, but things also got kind of crazy at work in ways that meant some days I didn't really get much of a lunch break, and the days I did I just wanted to walk around outside or spend time decompressing a bit. I've become far more familiar with accounting and accounting software than I ever wanted to be.

What little free time I've had outside of work I spent actually gaming and doing other fun stuff instead of just writing about gaming.

But I'm back! Our end of year scramble to make sure everything is in order at work seems to finally be ending (knock on wood) and I think I should have a slightly more normal workload for the foreseeable future.

So I'm back to writing for the blog! I've set a modest New Year's resolution to write at least two blog entries a month. That's not very much but it seems doable and like a good place to start. I hope writing at least that often will get my creativity going and I'll end up doing more than that! Anyway, I already have at least three entries floating around in my head so I hope to get at least one more up in the next few days before the close of January.

Also, if you're reading this on the blog itself, rather than through RSS you've probably already noticed that I have a couple of new logos on the blog! I've wanted something a bit more interesting than a plain text banner for a while so I'm happy to have something unique to put up there! The logos were made by Von Glitschka of  5 Minute Logos. I bought the first one (on the left) and then a few weeks later decided I wanted a nice banner for the top too. He was nice enough to indulge me when I asked if he could do a more horizontal version of the first logo he made for me. $10 ($5 each), and almost no time later I had them! (Credit where credit is due I was introduced to 5 Minute Logos by Lyndsay Peters, the proprietor of Dragon Chow Dice Bags, who tweeted about 5 Minute Logos a while back).

Anyway, this is just an update to let you know I'm back and will be writing more soon. I've done a lot more gaming than I had expected recently, and I have thoughts I want to share on the games I've been playing lately and how I've been playing them!

Thanks for sticking with me readers! There's a lot more to come!

Good gaming!

-The Duke of Brandonshire