I Love Running Dungeons And Dragons Games

I ran the first session of a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign last week. This was the game I was building while I wrote last month’s posts about how to do interesting worldbuilding for your Tabletop Roleplaying Game, and that resulted in me spending more time than usual reflecting on the place that TTRPGs have in my life. It went well, thanks to the efforts of myself and my players working to get everything ready and the world built for an engaging first session. It was a lot of fun to run for such a roleplaying-centric group! It’s not that my other groups aren’t interested in roleplaying, it’s just that they aren’t always super invested in roleplaying at the same time. Which is fair, you know? Not everyone plays Dungeons and Dragons so they can do a bunch of roleplaying. Many people play because they want to enjoy the mechanics and mix in some roleplaying between chances to roll dice. Some people just want to roll dice and do math. All of these are valid and acceptable reasons to play TTRPGs.

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I Just Love Kirby Games So Much

I beat the main portion of Kirby and the Forgotten Land over the weekend. The game has stayed just as enjoyable throughout as it was at the start, which is pretty great considering how many games I play that feel like the beginning got way more work than the end. There’s a “post-game” section to play through that I’m spending my time on these days, but it doesn’t really feel like it’s “post” anything. It feels like the final act of the game, despite it being pretty clearly the post-game section (all but named as such by the NPCs in the game), and there isn’t all the much new content, so I can’t really argue with it being called that.

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I’m Tired and Sad, So Let’s Talk About The Legend of Zelda: Episode 13

Bet you didn’t see THIS coming after yesterday’s post! Or maybe you did, if you read my blog daily. I have pretty clear habits, I feel. A spate of thoughtful pieces, maybe some poetry, a few posts about mental health, and then one of these. Can’t be sad if I’m thinking about The Legend of Zelda! It’s a good mood corrector for me, honestly, even if the sentence before this one sounds like an unhealthy method for avoiding my problems. Also, I just want to take a moment to mourn my hopes that I’d be able to play Breath of the Wild 2 in 2022 (the year of the 2 as I’ve been calling it) since it was recently announced that the game’s release was delayed to Spring 2023. Which will be rough, since I’m gonna be in a wedding that’s probably happening sometime not too long after that. Decisions.

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Kirby And The Forgotten Land Is Perfect

A new Kirby game came out last week. Kirby and The Forgotten Land tells the story of what would happen if Kirby and his fellow Popstar residents got sucked through a strange rift into a world that vaguely resembles our own (in proportion and technology) perhaps a thousand years after all Humans vanished from it. Being a completionist with very little time to play video games over the past few days, I’ve only gotten to the second area, so there is likely more to the story than I’ve found before writing this. That said, the story of a Kirby game is never the reason you play it. They’re all basically the same: something bad happens, Kirby and Co. team up to save the day, and evil forces are thwarted. A story frequently told entirely without words, relying entirely on cutscenes, music, and good facial expressions to tell the story.

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Finishing Earthbound Left Me Feeling Disatisfied

I finished Earthbound last night. It took a bit longer than expected, since I wound up spending way too long in an area near the end because I was being too conservative with my resources. I was trying to get to the final boss while spending as little as possible, alternating between using the Switch’s state saving method to find a path foward with only a few encounters between the last save/healing spot and the final boss and grinding against the enemies in the same area so I’d be strong enough to easily blast through them. It was only a few hours, but that was spread across a couple nights and really cut into the building tension between the rather confusing lead up to this final area and the nightmarish final boss.

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Together, We All Grow As Storytellers

I’ve been running Dungeons and Dragons games for over a decade now. Twelve years, this summer. For the last six years, I’ve been running Sunday evening games for a group that has changed many times, with the exception of two players. These two people, friends I’ve known to some degree about as long as I’ve been running Dungeons and Dragons, have been an endless source of amusement and fun for me as a dungeon master. From tragic beginnings, moments of hilarity, grave failures, and a general willingness to go wherever I lead them, I don’t think I could ask for more from any players of mine.

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I’m Tired and Sad, So Let’s Talk About The Legend of Zelda: Episode 12

One of my favorite techniques for wasting time, resources, and my enemies in Breath of the Wild is attaching things to Octo Ballons. If you get the right number of balloons for your object, you can cause it to float at about chest height, which puts it in the perfect position to blown wherever you like using a Korok Leaf. Since you’re not striking anything with the leaf, a single leaf can last you through a number of battles. Unfortunately, the balloons will pop after a short time, so you have to be precise, quick, and dilligent. Otherwise your carefully arranged maze of traps you’re going to blow onto the unsuspecting Bokoblins will fall at the wrong time and ruin the whole effect. After all, it’s only impressive if YOU set off the series of explosions that causes fire or shock or ice to rain upon your enemies.

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I’m Tired and Sad, So Let’s Talk About The Legend of Zelda: Episode 11

At one point into my first play-through of Breath of the Wild, probably at 1 or 2am on a night I had to be up early for work since that was pretty much the entire month following the release of the game, I discovered that I could hold items I’d been collecting in my hands. For whateve reason, it never occurred to me that this could serve any purpose other than to cook things over a fire. I’d, of course, discovered that you could interact with objects in the world before you picked them up, but it had never occurred to me that it might be useful to put them back into the world once I’d put them in my pockets.

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Story Dictation Or Discovery In Video Games

I’ve been playing a lot of Super Nintendo games recently. Most of which I played previously, but some for the first time thanks to them being freely available as a result of my Nintendo Online subscription. I may have started playing them because Earthbound was recently on it, but I’ve played more than just the one game. While many of them are nostalgia plays or simple, mindless enjoyment I don’t have anything interesting or useful to say about, I’ve been thinking about the approach to storytelling the games developers took in this early, limited medium.

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I’m Sorta Okay At Destiny 2, And That’s Alright

There’s no better reminder of how “a step above average” you are at a video game than seeing the performance of a high-skill group of players who have practiced their coordination and communication. I used to get this through watching the professional Overwatch league, back in the days when I watched and played that game before I chose to uninstall all my Blizzard games for reasons of moral concern (which has only gotten worse over the years since). Now, I get it by watching my friend and his fellow members of what our (I kept writing “his/my friend’s clan” even though I’m a part of it because I’m still only dipping my toes back into Destiny 2, but I changed it all in editing because I’m trying to push myself to become a more active member of the group) clan calls Team 1 as they prepared for the latest raid and now practice for future guided raids.

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