Category Archives: Site Updates

D&D recap, Week of 20-24 Apr 16

Item:  Curse of Strahd, Encounters, Apr 20

This week in the staggered seasons saw the begin of Curse of Strahd proper.  I picked up the party from Baldur’s Gate—after the Death House chapter relieved the city from a particular eyesore in the Lower City—and took them due east on the Chionthar River, to the village of Iriaebor, which is nearest to the area in the Realms that Ravenloft took over.  I have a map of it here.  The area in the Sunset Mountains I’ve circled is the area where the Mists have overtaken.

Iriaebor

People were obviously concerned about this mysterious and dark mist that is threatening to envelop their surrounding areas, and some weren’t disappointed when werewolves beyond the usual strife came running amuck in there.  (I use the “Werewolves in the Mist” adventure hook to get the players in the game.)  Those bitten found out that the normal magic to break this curse didn’t work as well—meaning without complications in the form of Attribute Loss—as it should.  It’s obvious that Ravenloft Werewolves are of a higher caliber, so to speak.  The party found that out the hard way when one of their party members—John’s character—got the disease.  Even a Paladin’s Lay on Hands only managed to make the initial save with Advantage, which John failed.  Normal cure spells will only cure at a cost of Attribute loss.  In order to have a cure that isn’t worse than the disease, you need one of two items:  A lot of belladonna plants, or the blood of the werewolf that did the biting.  Both of which is in the Misted regions where Ravenloft has overtaken the area, which fortunately they are now stuck in.

The remainder of the session uses the Event Deck-Travel Track combination as the party proceeded to Barovia Village.  They managed to get to the corpse with a letter which I modified to denote what I’m changing in the adventure:

Hail to thee of might and valor!

I, the Burgomaster of Brovia, send honor to thee.  I have heard that you are coming, and I call to you to ask for assistance.

My beloved, Jeremy Arlying, has been afflicted by an evil to deadly that even the good people of our village, can protect him!  He languishes from the wound, and I would like him saved from this malady.

There is much wealth in this community.  I offer all that might be had to thee and thy fellows if thou shalt but answer my desperate plea.

Come to us in our time of need.  All that I have shall be thine!

….er, within reason, that is.  I do have standards after all.

Ireena Kolyana, Burgomaster

Yes.  Ireena is the Burgomaster.  And that’s the first of the changes.  You might get the chance to see more in the coming months.

Item:  Princes of the Apocalypse, Friday, 22 Apr

This is my first instance of “Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies,” where I just plain had enough of the player’s crap on the table.  It happens, I assure you on this.  At least I have a more creative way to create a RFED scenario.  Most people would just sic Tiamat on the party.  At first, I have the Dark Powers mechanic that deals with the offending character, and prompts the offending player to roll up a new players.

Claire, the resident Trans player in my group, had a better scenario:  The Lady of Pain.

25-Lady_of_PainThe Lady of Pain runs an extraplanar realm known as Sigil. While she can clock in as a deity, she doesn’t play the games of the other deities.  She just sits by herself in her little world, and only drop in front of someone to fuck him or her up.  At the very least, she’d just plop the offender in some pocket universes consisting of wall to wall maze for the rest of your life.  If you’re unlucky, however, and you’ve really pissed her off…my brain couldn’t register what she could do. All I can say is that Pinhead would witness what she’d do to someone and go, “Damn, that’s fucked up.”

When the Lady of Pain appeared in my table, she transported everyone in a flash of light (and the words, “And this is when they knew…they fucked up.”  Yes, she does talk in my world) into a one on two battle to the death.  It took me a lot of doing for me to make this a fair fight.  I took out Denzil’s scythe and gave Claire a bonus 10 levels (and had to take away Power Word Kill) and even had to manipulate the field to deal with the two players who just aren’t getting along.

In the end, after the battle, where Denzil’s character got killed.  The players decided that the campaign as it stands can’t be finished, especially with the way the players are now at each other’s throats, so I called the campaign a loss. My first RFED.

Lessons Learned in this campaign:

  • Power Words Kill and Stun are banned! Power Word Heal is still permitted.
  • Any weapon that deals on average more than 50 Hit Points will NOT BE PERMITTED! I’m not saying that a weapon or spell can deal more than 100 damage on a Crit or even on good dice rolls.  But no weapon, even one that’s ‘by the book’ should one-round anybody with a Challenge Rating higher than 5.
    • That’s right, Denzil. Leave some action for the other players please, and let the poor clerics work for a living, plzthx.
  • Power Players can be an annoyance to some. Not to me, because I’d like to give them a challenge and find a way to fight back against them.  I can feel my brain fold thinking of ways to outsmart Denzil, I loved the challenge that much.  Only thing is, Denzil’s playing style just doesn’t mesh well with some players, which is the case here.  Also, I don’t think that Living Parnast or Æthercoil would work well with Power Players, because they’re mot story and character driven.  Denzil works best with a classic dungeon grind, something that is similar to a “Easy Setting” for my creative abilities.  I can still make them.  I just don’t see them as my best work.
  • I went a bit too far with the world-building here, with the additional dungeons and what not. When I reset Princes of the Apocalypse, since it’s becoming my favorite module so far, I’ll be removing the elemental weapons and leaving most of the main regions as they are.
    • I might just add in a stray dungeon or two in the case it’s needed
    • The Black Dragon remains as I written her; having her in her own mansion tended to by the stray humanoids she rescued is a good idea.
    • I’ll keep Meriele in charge of Red Larch and the petrified ‘Believers’ that fell out of her favor. There are some other smaller changes I’ll keep in town.
  • That means replacing the Hall of the Moving Stones dungeon with something else. I’ll put in the threat of the Cult of Black Earth to turn Meriele into a statue, and the quest to get Stone to Flesh back in the spellbooks.

Item:  Lost Mine of Phandelver, Saturday, 23 Apr

Video Link:  https://youtu.be/g0tJCXyX_IE

I expected Denzil to get back at me because of what I did the previous night, and Denzil didn’t disappoint.

Granted, he wanted to get to Claire, but Clair decided to bail this campaign too and decided to DM a Pokemon-themed campaign which I’ll link you to ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdCJCitnfCI ).  So he needed an alternate victim to vent his spleen and, thanks to the roll of the dice, it fell on…me.

Or rather poor Linka, my pandaren.  She got one rounded by the first encounter where Denzil just kept added creature by creature by even more hordes of creatures.  You really have to see the video to believe what happens.

Fortunately, I was spared further pain when Linka returned from her visit from the hereafter, having her gut filled on enough divine brew to get her ideas on her own local batch.  One belch from her and everyone around her got blitzed! One of the drunks ended up irritating a local druid, and he ended up transgendered into a cuddle partner for the panda, and then as he returned, he found himself permanently stuck in a pink frilly dress!  I’d tell you what happened next but I have a limit on when things get ‘Aristrocratic’ (I refer to the joke, folks) so if you aren’t so easily triggered go watch the video, folks.

What I can say here is that Denzil ran into a familiar problem with me when it comes to DMing.  You can never prepare enough.  Even if you think you have enough material to take you through a good three hour session, expect to see everything you planned to use be expended in two.  Or less.  Take it from me, the one who thought that Hoard of the Dragon Queen’s hatchery stage would last more than one session.  (Sure, some of the players were following along with the publication on the fucking table but I digress.) You’re probably going to be ad libbing for the final hour or so, maybe more if you’re unlucky.  That’s why I said that worldbuilding is as good as preparing what’s in the module should be planned in equal parts, that having some extra businesses, shops, NPCs, baddies, and the occasional dungeon would be a good idea.

If all goes well, you might be seeing me stream some of this planning this week

Item:  Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Sunday, 24 Apr

By this time, I’ve decided on the next Kaizen improvement for my streaming:  The use of Playlists on Youtube to export the videos in now that I can upload entire sessions in one video; provided that Infiniscene isn’t being Beta, of course.  I’ll be doing that for my next two campaigns listed below, and so on forth in all of my adventures.  This will really be a help when Infiniscene does act Beta and the session’s recording ends up broken into separate files.

It’ll also help with listing the videos in these recaps.

In this session, the party has arrived to the Raider’s Camp.  While sneaking into the place and setting into their own campfire was relatively easy when the party has available cloaks, it was all but impossible for the party to do anything else, including rescuing Leosin Erlanthar from the Cult before he’s executed at dawn.  Any thought up plan would result in the whole camp being alerted and every Tom Dick and Harriet, all 500 of them at least, dogpiling over the whole party.  Eventually at the end, the Dwarf—in typical Dwarven fashion—just said, “<Fuck it, I be rescuin’ this monk, and probably sacrificin’ meself in the process!>”

The rest of the party, including Boo who’s been trolling me with pictures of Anita Sarkesian’s misshapen pie hole all throughout the session, (Maybe it’s her ugly face that never smiles that caused Infiniscene to break, the cow) decided on a relatively saner route: By now the table has approved of Justin’s trained Mimic to have the similar abilities as Diskworld’s Luggage.  Right down to the wooden teeth and tongue.  It also included a pocket dimension for those devoured by the Luggage can reside in with relative safety and discretion.  It has breathable air that is circulated thanks to the Luggage opening its mouth regularly. Justin prompted the Luggage to go under a wagon with other treasure while everything goes south around it.

Something tells me I should fear the worst with Justin’s companion.

Item:  New Adventures

With the RFED incident, I no longer have any running campaigns at the moment.  Which means that I’m planning on replacing the campaigns for my Thursday and Friday tables.  On Thursday, I’m planning the beta play of “Living Parnast,” my homemade campaign set in the aftermath of Hoard of the Dragon Queen and progresses through the following publications.  Along the way, the party will rebuild the village, adding buildings and running the administration with the hope of making a home base into a major city in the future of the Foxfire Forgotten Realms.  These will include mechanics that I’ve designed that will go into Æthercoil.

With the Beta Launch of Æthercoil, I’ll also be including a supplemental System Resource Document that will cover my homeruled campaigns, which will cover some of the backgrounds of both Living Parnast and Æthercoil, the various mechanics I designed, and character options which I customized, created, and in some cases flat out built like Frankenstein’s Monster. (I’m referring to the Engineer class) I’ll have it available in this site once I have everything together, and you are invited to provide me feedback on what option, feature, or mechanic might need a further tweak.

My plans for this week will include streaming planning sessions where I build the tables, and work on the SRD.  I hope to include streaming some sessions on Photoshop as well as I work on some art.  Finally.

Week of 7-13 Feb 16, part 2

Item: Youtube Stream Saves

It took me a long way to get to this point, longer than I care to think about, but I’m now going to save my streams—an important suggestion—to from twitch to YouTube. You’re now able to see previous streams, and I added YouTube to the main directory.

The reason why it took this long for me to do this are twofold. At first, I thought that twitch saves about two weeks’ worth of streams already. They do so, but not publicly. They must’ve known that I’d be screwing up on the streaming. The second part is that I’ve been screwing up on streaming. It took me a while for me to get the streaming set-up right. I had major problems with OBS because I lack the power in a single machine to do everything. However, I still have an older machine (a five-year-old dual core) and a notebook that doubles as my computer screen, which I inherited last year.

I now have all three machines sending to Infiniscene. My main machine (the AMD A8 with a dual screen) is sending the Roll20 table and my voice over a web cam. My tablet is doing the Teamspeak work, sending audio from the other players, and my dual core is doing the controls and monitoring the Twitch Chat. Using these three machines with the Charter internet, (I’m still jazzed about how fast I was able to download Japan’s Sasuke (The original Ninja Warrior) 2015 at a rate of 1 Meg a second; that video was 6 Gigs large!) I’m finally able to create a stream that’s good enough for me to actually save for the web. I’ll be doing so starting this week.

As you would expect, and I expected this as well, that my forway into live streaming my D&D is going to be sketchy at first. I just didn’t count on it being that sketchy. There was some days that I just didn’t have the capacity for it. However, I was able to kaizen (another word from Japan, it means ‘constant improvement,’) it out to this point. Some might dislike me using the word as a verb, but in my (autistic, remember?) mind, that’s what I’ve been doing. In artwork, in my DMing, in my stream; granted, some days are better than others, last Thursday being one of the better ones, but I’m happy that I’m actually progressing forward, and look forward to more.

Item: Dreams of the Red Wizards, dated 11 Feb 16

Video: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdRcjIHCSxcqDx_kjfBUllhMiIwpOk3w

Two points of interest here up ahead. With an additional trigger warning for today and tomorrow: Drug use.

In my version of the Forgotten Realms. In fact, I’m calling it for every realm I use or make: Cannabis is legal! Legal and readably used. It’s used in making rope, weaving textiles, making paper, producing medicine, and a cornucopia of other uses, on top of people smoking it and getting stoned. Deal. With. It.

The second points of interest concerned an early encounter for my Thursday group. You can tell that either I’m getting serious or you’ve finally pissed off Random Number Jesus when I start tossing dragons your way. It started with a Young Green Dragon, who was told by the Cult of the Dragon—about time they start returning to the scene—that attacking the party would be a good idea to increase his own hoard. The party tried to reason to him, more like hiring him of course, but then I had this dragon bring his bigger Adult Green Dragon brother. Who wasn’t putting up with the party’s shit.

Before the party managed to kill their first dragon—I was still holding back—I had the bigger dragon poison breath the whole party. (Yes, I still wanted my TPK) The breath was so big that it sent the younger dragon flying toward the Dessarin Valley.

Insert a “To Be Continued at Princes of the Apocalypse” sign here.

On to the Firehammer Hold. Who is now taken over completely by the Thayans. Undead lie everywhere, led by some demonic forces in the lower levels, and a DM that is tossing encounter after encounter at the vic…ahem…the party. During one encounter, however, something cool happened, and you can see it in the video now: Bram (a ranger) took out one wright (at least I remember it being a wright, correct me if I’m wrong) and then rolled a Nat 20 for the next attack. I said that Bram bounced that first arrow off the intended wright as it was falling and struck the one behind it; a bank shot. The thing I allow when the rolls are just right.

But will I allow them to leave the dungeon at the end of the session and take an extended rest? Heh heh heh.

Meanwhile:

Merdoc’s [Virtual Team] has left Waterdeep on to Phylund Lodge to reestablish a farm which was destroyed. During this time, they just managed to make it halfway across, doing some random encounters that wouldn’t give them too much pause, and camped for the night, far enough from the corruption to have a safe night.

 

My New Year’s Resolution

I knew that the time will come where I get over being burned out this year.  I know that, by this time last year, I was trying to stay with the “Ballad of Johnny Briz” comic strip, and even set a goal of 50 strips during 2015.  What I wasn’t aware of, or what I was trying to deny, is that I was staring Artist Burnout in the face.  It’s a long story but I can say that it was by the major flack I got.  No, not the more supportive critiques on my art style, whatever it’s anatomy, facial structure, how I make hands and feet, and others things that I can use to improve on.  I don’t mind that; all I’ll ask is specifics and civility and we’ll get along just fine.  It was the ones that turn away from my artwork or story and start denigrating me as a person.  I won’t list them here, but that would make anyone not want to post anything on a web site or, in my case, even sit down in front of a piece of poster board and draw something, anything.

Some would call it an excuse for me not to “work hard,” but I’m just acknowledging reality; sometimes all the time spent with nose to grindstone just leaves you without a nose, where the work was just work and not the fun and joy and life enrichment artwork–especially a web comic–should be.  Hence the Sabattical I took through 2015.  I needed to step away from everything so I can rekindle the spark, figuring out what’s really important in my life, find a way to work that I can actually enjoy, and evnetualy get back into making artwork.

Such as is my New Years Resolution: To get back into art.  I’m not talking Web Comics yet, but that’s in the future.  I just want to get back into reguilar drawing, and I’ve started a bit early with Darcy Amberguil here, who’s current design looks a bit like Aleena, that classic Cleric:  (Source:  therpgpundit.blogspot.com/2014… ) .  This is a grayscale sketch, which is a start, and I used a pose from Feystock (Link: Jedi – Stock Pose Reference 35 ), thank you so much.

My only problem would be me returning to the proverbial ‘scene of the crime’ and returning to DeviantART.  I’d really like to go somewhere else, where I don’t have to fear of getting my head chewed out every time I poke it in here.  But in the end, there’s too many friends in there for me to just leave this place like I could do with Twitter and Tumblr.  Or for that matter Facebook.  Also, I’m more familiar with the interface in this site in spite of its occasional change.  On top of that, I’m still a subscriber, so if I’m paying for this, I might as well use this.  I just need to be a bit more vigilant with the Banhammer.

So what’s in the future for me hereon DA with my New Year’s Resolution (and yes, I can see you place bets on how soon I’ll break it, I know who you are :) )?  Well, I have two projects coming that will help me get back into artwork:  One is a RPG Maker MV which I’m using to learn how to code a game, something I’d always wanted to do.  You’ll see more artwork on it here, and more info about it on my web site (foxfirestudios.net). The second one is a campaign world I’ve been working with called Æthercoil, which I’ve also talked about on my blog, but I’ll probably chose to get back into serious pieces here.

2015 proved better than I expected, especially in the later months when I was getting my life back together–most of them in Dungeons & Dragons, but hey, whatever keeps me a part of the Human Race–and I hope that 2016 will be an improvement.

And that I can actually keep comments open here in my DA page.

Weekend Update for 17 Oct 15

This coming week will be a red letter day for me, because two of the programs that I’m buying, Sword Coast Legends and RPG Maker MV, are being released this week. (Finally!, as far as Sword Coast Legends are concerned.) They finally have some parts of the Single Player campaign in the last Head Start, and I have to say, they’ve really done a well job with the characterization of the NPCs. Especially with the rare complimentary relationship between Illydia (an Elf) and Larethar (a Dwarf). I hate to see what their wedding would be like.

Unfortunately for me, I’ll be unable to stream or even record Sword Coast Legends. My computer just doesn’t have the firepower, although I will continue on my plans to create SCL modules. At least not until Infiniscene appears in the scene. When that become available, I’ll try to make that stream. In the meantime, I can start on designing Baldur’s Gate Investigations, my first RMMV project, over in Twitch.

Also this week, I’ll also design my Halloween Zombie Horde episode where I put the party up against The Black Dragon in full-on Lich mode and PCs that become Zombies when they die. The survivors will gain a bonus in their Out of the Abyss campaign. I’ll also have an online session with a similar award.

Sword Coast Legends, initial perceptions and recording schemes.

Last Weekend I got invited into the Sword Coast Legends Headstart Weekends. Most people who prepaid for the game have because they keep moving the release date ahead. I’m currently hoping that the game will be launched sometime before Christmas. Nevertheless, I was going to use these weekends to get used to the UI, play a bit of Single Player, Multiplayer, and DM mode, and see if I can get the game streamed or recorded online. The last part is why I got the game in the first place, after all.

A heads up here: You’re reading the experiences of a forty something on the Autism Spectrum, so when you see my gameplay, don’t expect someone playing the game like a piano concert player. Expect a lot of pauses while I stop and fucking think.

Needless to say, the space key to pause the game and make tactical plans has become my new best friend.

I’ll start with the user interface. For someone like me who is used to “Over the Shoulder” point of view, such as DDO and Neverwinter, or point and click movements such as with most MOBA, SCL has some winkles the needs a bit of a curve. Your mouse points and clicks on the screen for the characters to move, attack, talk, and use items, sure enough. But (for now) the camera doesn’t follow the party. You have to move the camera with WASD and rotate the cameras with Q and E, and at times you have to do this and the mouse at the same time. Like I said, younger people and those who are in professional gaming teams that play in arenas and broadcasted on Twitch can do this a lot better than me. Nevertheless, I managed to get the hang of it, especially if I don’t really need to “Gotta go fast.”

Like I said before, using that space key to pause the game is very important. Thank the Gods that the characters can run on automatic so you don’t have to make every move in the game (This ain’t Final Fantasy, people!) but when the characters are in a jam, and they will get into a jam, you hit pause and tell the characters to drink a potion or stabilize someone who got KOed (The Gears of War save, you know.) Although there are some situations that not even that will save the party, like aggroing several demons at the same time. Or encountering a black ooze that was concealed oh so creatively as part of the floor.

A final grace: There’s no real TPK. A party wipe will result in the party respawning at the start of the area you’re in. You can effectively Zerg a big troubling encounter if you must. At least for now; I think that the devs would want to penalize this.

There’s a reason why I have an Injury Die for my tabletop play.

Maybe tomorrow, I’d like to start with DM Mode and play with that for a while. I still have a day left in this particular Headstart Weekend. But now I turn to providing my first Let’s Play series.

I initially wanted to stream the game on Twitch. However, even with an AMD A10, my sole quad-core can only do so much. I tried to use OBS with Sword Coast Legends, but only managed to Blue Screen Windows 10—Achievement Unlocked!!—too many times.   So I need to switch to recording the gameplay and editing it. Getting screen recording programs and Movie Plus would be simple for me. And I’ll have plenty of time to practice splicing videos together and putting in whatever annotations I need before the work begins.

I’ll let you know of more progress as I make them, but I’ll end now with a thank you from Kyle, from my Encounters table and in Roll20 for a time. I bartered with him for a used widescreen 1080p monitor for my computer which is a godsend. I needed more monitor real estate for my notes. But now I have to remake my whole twitch graphics to suit the wider screen. Labor of love, I say.

Things are back to speed

Now that I got my files back, I’ve reuploaded the Johnny Briz Legacy site and it’s back online.  I have also made an addition to the D&D wiki.  At first, I thought I could put up the campaigns and have an organized directory of who, what, and where in my take on the Realms, and keep it all in a Mediawiki site.

However, I found the use of the Lord British 4D Notebook all too useful for that.  For the uninitated, it’s a One Note conversion of Richard “Lord British” Garriot (The creator of the Ultima series.  Think of it as an OSR version of Final Fantasy) method of game design, where he has a section on the People, another on Places, a third on Things, and a fourth on how the story brings them all together.  I find that Microsoft One Note implements this “Four Dimensional Spreadsheet” format quite well in it’s Binder-like format.

So I moved the good chunk of the flavor behind My Customized Relams to its own One Note, available online for everyone to view, even as I add more stuff to it.  (It’ll probably take me a week or so to put up all the text, and then I’ll be adding additional graphics further down the line)  The mechanics of this customized campaign world will remain in Mediawiki; since they are best organized here.

In this One Note, I hope you get a better glimpse on how I design characters and work on the tweaks I made, and possibily get some clues on how I’ll be working into Æthercoil.

Encounters Recap 9 SEP 15

Trigger Warning: Spoilers, DM being 3v17, linking one campaign with another, preparations for Sword Coast Legends.

This post would probably be described as this: “The DM giveth and the DM taketh away. Blessed by the name of Gary Gyrax.

As I mentioned elsewhere, and I hope I did here—I’m posting this while I’m over at my parents, pet sitting…again—that I was stringing a module from Princes of the Apocalypse into the Encounters section of Out of the Abyss. The campaign starts in Red Larch, under new management, with a brand new and realistic looking sculpted fountain and bird bath in the center of town, and with a dwarf that stumbled his way into the All Faith’s Shrine, where I had a former Player Character be a permanent priest there. This dwarf prompted a bunch of new characters in my group—which now includes a couple ladies, one of whom stepped up to the table now. And people say that girls can’t be gamers—into a slimmed down version of the ‘Vale of Dancing Waters’ delve.

As a token of goodwill, and to create a bit of continuity between the two modules, I let the players add money and weapons from the previous campaign on this quest. I think you can guess where this is headed.

While the party is going along this delve, which included a metal bedpan dropping on someone’s head for tripping an alarm—a common slapstick meme in my DMing—and someone walking on a sparse ceiling until they come across the room where the final Dwarf Assassin and the Oni was.

The guy who was stealthing also ran into the Drow I thrown in with Do’Urden brand Sleeping Potion in hand. Not once, but twice. I could just hear Lolth go, “Thank Heavens for Stupid Players, eh, Daveykins?” And when the party turned their attention to the one drow they did see, the drow called for his dozen or so buddies to lob Sleeping Poison Smoke Grenades filling the place with sleepy sleep, knocking the players out and bringing them into Out of the Abyss proper.

“Please hand in your treasure cards,” I said to the players, who are calling me an asshole en masse. One of my older players went with the subtitle of this entry: “The DM giveth, and the DM taketh away.” At least I had the drow have some standards, they let everyone keep their underwear, and gave silken bedgowns to the ladies. They might worship ‘The Demon Queen of Spiders,’ but they don’t want to see anyone’s junk.’

This campaign will be the only table in play this week. (Thursday I’ll be headed back home) So I’ll be planning some good amount of NPC interactions and maybe even some exploration outside of the drow outpost of Velkynvelve. I just hope that they find out the goodies that they can pick up once…well, that would be telling.

Meanwhile, in a couple weeks, Sword Coast Legends will finally be launched. Some of you on Twitch would see the rich players mess around with the Headstart stuff. Meanwhile, cheapskates like myself will wait til the 29th where they’ll be plenty more players to do the DM mode with. I’ll also be using my own characters into the player campaign. With Sword Coast Legends, I begin something I wanted to put into this site since DDO: Incorporate the video games into my version of the Realms, using not just SCL, but the upcoming RPG Maker MV as well.

I’ll be using this blog as a hub for information on all of the venues I’ll be using, and I started with the D&D Wiki. I made some more official homerules to the character options and mechanics to the Wiki, and I’ll be changing the Campaign World page to make a more organized region-by-region depiction of the Realms so far, starting from Murder in Baldur’s Gate and leading up to Princes of the Apocalypse and the Play by Post campaigns. Meanwhile, there’s going to be subpages in this blog listing the current running campaigns, which will include the Customized Party I’ll make with my own characters in Sword Coast Legends. I hope that I’ll be able to film the whole player campaign for an alternative to Youtube and share it here. With this part, I’ll be able to get back into something that I’ve taken a sabbatical from so I can get my head straight and gain a bigger audience for: My Stories and Artwork. I’ve already proven myself to my Encounters and Roll20 tables that I can do the hard work on planning a campaign, maybe they’d like to read a short story or comic strip that is related to it, no?

Sword Coast Legends Pre-Ordered for Streaming

With the new month, I was able to get enough money for me to get Sword Coast Legends ordered for September.  This is part of my plans for my streaming.  Right now I’m just streaming the Thursday Roll20 Campaign, and if I remember to do it, some planning.  I need some more regular streaming sessions, and I can have it with Sword Coast Legends.  I tried out streaming with Heroes of the Storm, and while I’m satisfied with the Streaming, HotS is plagued with net lagging.  That’s a common complaint.  I’m wagering, after checking out this computer on the “Can You Run it?” site, I’ll fare better with Sword Coast Legends.

I’ll start off with an extended session as I get to know the game and go through the single player campaign, but once I settle into a regular scedule, I’ll mostly stream in Dungeon Master Mode, both doing Delves and Campaign creation.  What I’d like to do is recreate some of my previous campaigns so that current players can play my content and be brought up to speed on the unique spin on my campaigns.

But those are just plans, and I’d think more about it once I get the game downloaded and run from Steam.

Ballad of Johnny Briz news, plus a second PbP game

As you might have seen, the WordPress site of the Ballad of Johnny Briz comic has crashed, irrevocably so. Not to worry though, I still have all of the strips, and I have uploaded them into a Legacy Site linkable to this main blog. Just as well because I wanted to merge everything into one blog anyway.

For the initiated, and I know there are new readers here thanks to my DMing, Johnny is my answer to Mickey Mouse. With some additional inspiration by Don Bluth and Sonic the Hedgehog. Instead of pure speed, however, Johnny’s a Parkour freerunner. Sonic would blow his doors off in the 100-meter dash, but Johnny will skip over where the hedgehog splash lands en route to the Third Stage. Every now and then he pops up on occasion just to stir up trouble, and it’s the few things from my childhood I like to keep with me in my adult life.

“The Ballad of Johnny Briz” is an attempt at an origin story for the little fellow, which I made during my mid-life crisis with the additional hope that I can keep my art style from stagnating too much. Compressed into so many paragraphs, Johnny is the descendants of a group of lab rats who escaped because they have acquired human like intelligence and set up a community in an abandoned amusement park. Sound familiar? Yeah. The rodents seen “The Secret of NIMH” too, and named Johnny after one of the characters there. (Note: It’s the sole connection to any existing work in this story)

One day, another science lab appeared a bit too close to the village, and Johnny thought he should investigate. He discovered that the lab wasn’t experimenting on animals, but inanimate objects on some special goo that grows and shrinks things, depending on a 1 Volt current sent through said goo. Unfortunately, he fell into the goo on accident when it was set on a positive charge (the grow setting) and he found himself blown up to a cartoon character height!

He managed to escape that lab, and eventually found himself in the arms of Amber Merichello, an animator fresh out of college. After making sure that he’s all right, and dressing him up like a cartoon character would look like, she shared a dream with Johnny about making her own cartoon series with him, hoping to become a local celebrity and maybe find an alternative to working for the big companies. The crux of the story is about Amber, Johnny, and the friends around them achieve this dream.

JB01-02Right now progress in this comic is in a holding pattern. Mainly because I found Dungeon Mastering which has a much better promise for me at this time. However, I am by no means done with this comic. I’ll be continuing this comic as time permits, and updates will be shown, thanks to the mentioned crash, here on this main blog.

There is a chance that you’ll be seeing more of JB in the future, if you keep tabs in the PbP forum: Algaren, another one of my homemade campaigns, will be starting, and I’m planning on putting the mousie boy in there for antics and giggles. I’ll let you know more about the campaign in future postings.