The Guild Closes the Doors (For Now)

Hello everyone, as you have undoubtably noticed by now, the Guild hasn’t been active for quite some time. This is really not because I lack enthusasim for roleplaying anymore, especially as I’ve started and been successfully running three games for the past month as it is. Mostly it’s an issue to do with the amount of time I have now as a writer, because the amount of professional work I have and the writing I do for the three games I do run just ensures blog time, just isn’t there. This of course is possibly not the true end of the guild, because I have so much more that I would want to do and write here. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time and everything else I want to do just keeps relegating this blog.

For a time, this blog was my most important outlet for my writing and the career I wanted. I am proud of the posts on this blog and I hope that anyone coming now, even if we’re a bit quiet, can still get a tremendous amount out of some of the things I have written. Even though the guild may not be active anymore, I can still be reached by email though the “Contact the Guild” heading up above near the title. I thank everyone who has come to this blog, shared the posts and contributed to making this a wonderful experience for me.

It is just unfortunate that while I love sharing my knowledge, experience and ideas with others, it takes a considerable amount of my time. Time unfortunately that I’ve decided needs to go into making my current games the best I can run and of course, my actual professional writing that helps me pay the bills!

One day perhaps, I will be back, but for now the guild is closing the doors. But as we all know from countless experiences in roleplaying games, a closed door can certainly always be opened. Or occasionally, kicked down instead.

Regards,
The Guildmaster.

Bugging About Friday: Space Caterpillar

Tags

, , ,

I love butterflies and I especially love caterpillars, which I simply find to be the most adorable larval form of something else on earth. This particular fellow literally dropped on me while I was walking and I took some photos (as you do).

 photo 20160425_132839_zpsk7xmr6jp.jpg

This was quite a cute caterpillar, particularly with the big fluffy stalks at the top of the head. I put it back on a bush after this to continue its exploration of other exciting worlds.

When I Can’t Decide: Vote!

Tags

, , , , , , ,

 photo sticker375x360_zpsrkt1kcd7.png

Given that it’s currently all about elections in the USA and Australia, I thought it only appropriate to do something similar with the new games I will be starting soon. I’ve had a bit of a prolonged break from roleplaying, for various reasons, so I decided to experiment with some different ideas. After much thought, I decided that it would be best to let my players decide what they wanted to play – after all, I love most of my campaign idea’s pretty much equally! I decided to put things to a vote and see how my players felt and what they might want to play most. These were the options I gave them.

Continue reading

Bugging About Friday: Midnight Funnelweb

Tags

, , , , ,

So this week I was walking through the woods late at night, when I noticed something hidden within the branches of a tree. Examining it, I noticed a sight I hadn’t seen before: A funnel web! She was sitting just on the outside of the burrow, waiting for anything dumb enough to pass by her. One of the most dangerous spiders in Australia, I was immediately excited and started plotting how to get a photograph. Thankfully, because she made her nest in the arch of a tree, it wasn’t that hard to get right up to it without disturbing the spider.

Unfortunately, a last minute problem with my phone meant I couldn’t get the photo that night but the next night I went back. Finally, I was overjoyed with success:

Continue reading

Betrayal at the House on the Hill Expansion: At Last!

Tags

, , , ,

 photo Betrayal_Rafters_Gallery_zpsfxlxt19q.jpg

I almost couldn’t believe it when I saw the news that finally, after all these years, the stars are finally right to create an expansion to my favourite ever board game: Betrayal at the House on the Hill. This has me utterly overjoyed for a number of reasons, but mostly because I’ve had so many great and just plain hilarious memories from this game in the past. For those of you who have never played it before, Betrayal at the House on the Hill is a procedural generated board game involving assembling a house from different room tiles (at random). As you go around exploring, you encounter various items, events, secret things and eventually omens.

Continue reading

Narrative Thoughts: Exceptionally Justified Women

Tags

, ,

Recently on a friends facebook page, they expressed a sentiment basically saying “Why in 2016, are things being made that have all dudes and no women in it?”. It was a good question and it got an interesting response, mostly by their male friends initially and I could break down their responses into several general categories:

  1. Why are you restricting stories you can tell about men?
  2. Surely it’s bad to just write in token women?
  3. I don’t care about who is represented, a good story is just a good story if it’s a bunch of guys only or not.

All of these have some interesting things to unpack, but I want to start by addressing the elephant in the room first. Of all the comments on this particular thread, the most striking was the assumption that writing anything other than a male as the default normal character required special justification. It was interesting how often we see an unstated assumption that the default normal for storytelling is inherently male. Nobody was arguing that stories featuring men are in any way exceptional or including male characters was tokenism. Likewise, why do women need a comprehensive story reason to be included in anything, while male characters got a free pass? Do we make demands that every male character in a story is justified for their position, however major or minor?

Continue reading

Training Day: Redoing An Old Campaign

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

 photo BE-CAT27000_zpscxinhis8.jpg

One of my great regrets from last year, was how I bungled the running of my two Shadowrun games quite considerably. For one thing, I didn’t really have a good grasp of the system when I started running it, because Shadowrun is a majorly dense system in terms of both mechanics and style. The most notable way that I made serious missteps with both games, was that I never really captured a balance between Pink Mohawk (blowing things up) and Black Trenchcoat (More careful infiltration) styles. Both games I asked players to build characters that didn’t necessarily do well in one or the other, with some situations having much more difficulty than intended because of it.

After a lot of thought, I’ve gone back to my original idea for Shadowrun: Mostly Flesh and Steel. This campaign, set in the now annexed city state of Shanghai in what was formerly China, sets to examine how widespread augmentation stratifies society. Shadowrun is a fantastic system and setting for exploring transhumanism as a concept, not the least is because a large subset of people were turned into non-human fantasy races (orcs, elves and dwarves in particular). With the rich having access to biological and technological augmentations, which would give them a massive advantage, what might that look like to society in general? Especially one in a country torn apart by warring corporate backed factions and with an extremely high population?

What happens to the people left behind in this system? How do they respond and what do the corporations do about them when they start to get agitated en masse?

Continue reading

Bugging About Friday: Night Mantis

Tags

, , , , , ,

I love it when an animal just wanders right past me, especially when I happen to have my camera/phone already out and just sits right in the perfect spot to photograph it. This lovely Mantis flew right past me and then just sat on a storefront literally at the perfect height and place to capture it.

 photo 20160226_214607_zpsy4tf01bj.jpg

Just perfect!

Continue reading

Ask the Guild: Unequal Time

Tags

, , , ,

Tome of Answers

This week there’s only really one major question I would like to address, because I think it’s quite worth a fair discussion. Someone asked:

My DM is really great, but as I’ve joined the group and been in it for a while now, I’ve noticed that they don’t seem to give the same amount of time to all players. For example, there are a couple of really chummy people in the group and the DM spends a lot of time roleplaying with them, listening to them and doing stuff for their characters. They don’t seem to give this amount of attention to my character though or offer to do cool individual roleplaying things. Is this something I’ve done wrong or is it just the case that they’re just really better friends than with me?

Well, that’s quite a question and there is a tremendous amount to unpack in this. It’s also something I sympathize with a lot as a DM, especially when you have a large number of players and multiple groups. So let’s begin with the last part first: Are you doing anything wrong to warrant the DM not paying you that same kind of attention?

Continue reading

The Magical Art of Shadows Over Innistrad.

Tags

, , , , , ,

When I was running 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons, there was always one thing I would do when I needed inspiration for a new character or monster: Look at the amazing art people do for Magic the Gathering. For those few of you who haven’t ever engaged with magic before, it’s a competitive card game made by Wizards of the Coast, who also make DnD. Magic has a very long and deep history, with some amazing world building purely done through different card releases. Shadows Over Innistrad will be the 70th release of the game and they’ve given some promotional art that is truly amazing, which I noticed that Kotaku had posted.

I’m just going to put a few of my favourite pieces below:

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 344 other followers