Tej slipped silently through square, disappearing into moonshadows as she neared the park. Even the guards at the entrance didn’t see her, despite their torches.
Once inside, she moved swiftly, heading for the column of moonlight over the plinth. As she neared, she saw the familiar glow of the blade magnifying all the light that struck it.
She took a moment to observe the churned mud surrounding the plinth. So many tried to free the sword and earn the Xendran crown. Who wouldn’t be tempted by that much power?
Certain she was alone, Tej slipped into the moonlight and laid a hand on the pommel. The blade began to brighten and she leapt away. “Shit.”
Tej threw her cloak over the blade, leaving the hilt uncovered. After a deep breath, she pulled it free and set it on the ground. She could see the blue and gold glow pressing against her cloak, so she worked quickly. It had taken weeks to convince people it had been struck by divine lightning after the first time.
She poured both her flasks into the plinth and stirred the liquid with a stick until it began to stiffen. Careful not to toss aside the stick, she grabbed the sword from the ground and plunged it back into the plinth. The light beneath sputtered and disappeared as she tore free her cloak’s hem to wipe the adhesive from the plinth and wrap up the stick.
As she snuck away, she checked the sky. By the time the sun rose, the sword would be sealed in the stone again. This recipe should buy her enough time to finish negotiating with the Aluskan Empire. Better to sell the crown and disappear with the money than be assassinated like the last four fools to pull the sword free.
I had the idea for a superhero themed D&D game. The idea originated in an idea on how I could adapt the Monk class and the various subclasses, but many of the various other classes and abilities could be represented as super powers if you give them the right flavor. I’ve been stewing over it in my mind for a while, mostly just as a fun thing to think about when I’m not doing anything else, but I haven’t done any concrete work to develop the idea beyond the conceptual stage. See, as someone who is tangential to many circles on Twitter, I usually get a pretty good grasp of the drama that has taken center-stage at any given moment without getting embroiled in it myself. One of the big, long-running pieces of drama is that games other than D&D exist but the popularity of D&D tends to eclipse them in such a way that, when people want to play non-fantasy games, they tend to work on adapting D&D rather than finding a game that was explicitly made for the type of genre they want to play.
Bennel slumped down at the table with a sigh of relief. As his pack clattered to the floor and his cloak settled down around his shoulders, he put his head down and heaved another sigh against the surface of the table.
Tem placed one of the drinks they carried in front of the young warrior priest and clapped him on the shoulder with their now empty hand. “Rest, young one. Rest, eat, and drink! You have earned a taste of life’s pleasures after a battle such as that.”
Bennel winced as Tem’s hand slapped against the still-healing hole in his shoulder. “Careful, you rock monster. Magic might patch up wounds quickly but they still take a long time to fully heal.”
After approximately a month and a half, I got to return to my main weekly D&D campaign and run the next session (the first full session) in the extra-universal domain I built way back in 2020 when I was bored due to only working alternate weeks. I set up a whole mystery thing I was going to unveil for a different campaign since one of my core players loved mysteries, but she wound up withdrawing from the campaign because only doing stuff online became too much for her, so I recycled it into a different D&D campaign. Now, one kidnapping and a side character later, my players have fully immersed themselves in a world of betentacled eyeball sunrises, screams instead of clock chimes to mark passing hours, and a massive mystery to solve before the constant wear of terror and nothingness grinds down their very souls.
There are few things as dreadful in modern life as going to the grocery store during peak shopping hours. As someone who has taken great efforts to practice safety in this pandemic life we’re all living, I have done my best to ensure that I will not be crowded or around too many people when I must leave the house. As rules and prohibitions have loosened despite the resurgence of illness thanks to the Omnicron variant, I have begun feeling even more anxious about meeting the demands my life as a responsible adult are making of me. Especially now, amidst the holidays and the last-minute shoppers who seem determined to ignore all sense and precaution as they valiantly venture forth to acquire whatever last minute necessities they overlooked.
One of my strengths as a DM is my ability to create customized, interesting content. I normally wouldn’t assert this because it includes a value judgment and is based on preferences, but part of the nature of customized content is adapting things to fit the interests of the people involved. It can be incredibly exhausting to do when the various players have very different interests (shoutout to my lovely but incredibly interest-diverse D&D group that meets no more than once every other week), but it is incredibly satisfying when it works out.
I’ve begun introducing some elements of horror into one of my D&D campaigns. One of the BBEGs of the whole homebrew world is essentially nothingness that is something. The Void, since I can’t help but enjoy an allusion to a common phrase. Because when you stare into The Void in this homebrew D&D world, it literally stares back into you. It provides a great tool to mechanism ennui, doubt, and questions about the purpose of it all in a D&D game where some of the players are interested in asking those questions.
As of writing this, I have passed the halfway mark of National Novel Writing Month. I am about twenty-one hundred words ahead, a lead that was growing steadily until a recent spate of just-enough-to-hit-average days due to stress and the reason I’m back in the depths of my depression wave rather than still riding the peak. Still, I’m far enough ahead to take a day off if I want one and feeling pretty good about my overall progress.
I love looking at space pictures. I prefer looking at pictures of nebulae, especially different pictures of the same nebula captured using different lenses, different filters, different anything. It’s so amazing to see how different the world looks if you capture the light using something other than human eyes. Like, most giant clouds of space dust look kinda bland to the human eye, but point the right camera at them and suddenly they’re a visual feast, so many different colors and intensities mixing together.
I saw someone post on Twitter that Dungeons and Dragons is all about power fantasies and, as a result, most people play characters that are like them in an effort to roleplay situations that make them, personally, feel powerful. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this idea and a WHOLE lot of thoughts about how it can play out in actual games. Part of the problem, of course, is that making any blanket statement based on your personal experiences shows your personal biases, privelege, and frequently overlooks the experiences of people who aren’t like you. I’m going to try to avoid making any such statements here by talking about my experiences specifically, but I will have to generalize a bit unless I’m going to write an entire novel. Which has a certain appeal, but this isn’t really the medium for discourse at length.