RPGaDay2020 Day 31: Experience – reflections on RPGaDay this year

RPGaDay2020 graphic
The original RPGaDay2020 prompts graphic by @WillBrooks1989

Yesterday in RPGaDay2020 I looked at demons, devils, the Blood war and the Portals needed to bring them into my campaign.

Today the theme is Experience, and I’m going to reflect on my experience participating in RPGaDay this year.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about it.

On the plus side:

  • I have managed to keep to the schedule and have managed to write each post in time for it to be published at midnight on the appropriate day
  • I now have 31 more blog posts than I did at the end of July, and I have passed 100 blog posts
  • I have a few more subscribers/followers
  • I have put out some posts/tweets which have garnered quite a bit of liking and attention
  • I have written about some topics I might not otherwise have investigated – the combat wheelchair in particular comes to mind
  • Some of the prompts have forced me to get quite creative in my interpretation
  • I have been part of a worldwide shared TTRPG endeavour

On the down side:

  • the schedule of having a blog post to write every day has felt distinctly binding
  • I have not been able to devote the care and effort I would like to the posts, and I feel many of the posts are distinctly mediocre
  • I have struggled to find something appropriate to say for quite a few of the prompts
  • I am concerned that some of the articles I have written this month dilute my offering and might make people less inclined to think my output is worth following
  • with 1-2 hours per evening required to write a blog post (even the trivial ones), it has taken too much of my spare time, and other areas of my life have suffered as a result

I’m definitely glad it is over, and I can now go at my own pace. Although this will definitely result in fewer articles, I hope the ones I do produce will be more on point, thorough and carefully written.

My dream for the D&D future

As I said last year, I have a dream. I would like to be able to create resources and tools for D&D for others to use and appreciate. However, there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation here. Currently I work full time, which leaves me very little time to actually do the creation. Writing Ragnar’s Keep to the standard I want to work to took me over a year. Although I have a target of a blog post per week, I am well short of that. I would really like to go down to four days a week in my current job and dedicate one day a week to D&D. This would allow me to dedicate reliable time to producing D&D output. But at the moment I cannot afford that, so if I am to achieve this, somehow I need to generate enough value to cover at least part of the loss of income.

I have a few different categories of things I think people might value.


I like sharing my thoughts and my developments, and I would like to think these are useful. If you rummage through this blog, you will find the sort of thing I write, which fall into the following categories:

  • development of Akorros and of my campaign world round about it based on The Republic of Darokin and Mystara
  • resources for GMs – settings, characters, more “GM’s bluffer’s guides” like the horses article
  • reviews of publications
  • musings based on my experiences as a GM for both the boxed set BECMI edition and now 5e

If you appreciate what I write and would like to help and encourage me to write more, I have a Patreon, or if you don’t feel able to commit to a regular contribution, you could buy me a KoFi.

Modules and publications

I have published a castle setting Ragnar’s Keep, which is currently a four-star copper-seller at DriveThruRPG. As a GM, what I struggle with is coming up with realistic descriptions on the fly, so this is for GMs like me. It is a full-sized castle setting with detailed descriptions of every room and character, even down to the strings of onions in the storeroom.

I would like to extend these modules into the village nearby, providing a range of different settings with the same level of detail and research. For example, I’m thinking of a stables, including developing the material in my recent blog post on horses and horsecare for you to sound sufficiently convincing for a game of make-believe among friends. I also have the outline of a quirky module which I would like to develop.

And now my special project

I also have another project for GMs which has been in embryonic form for several of years. I made a proper start on it during a week of holiday in July, but it has since been put back completely on hold during the work on SummerCamp and RPGaDay. It’s a tool which I keep wanting for my own GMing and haven’t yet found in the form I want, so I’m planning on writing my own. I’d like to think it would be useful for others as well, but I’ll never find out if I don’t get earnest about developing it. For (I hope) obvious reasons, I don’t want to go into too much detail at the moment, but you can get a hint from the working title of MelesMaps.

What about you?

What parts of this interests you? What do you think I would be best to concentrate on? What would you value? And crucially, what (if anything) would you value enough to pay for?

  • The blog? If so, which of my blog posts have you enjoyed the most? What would you like to hear more about?
  • The settings and publications? Are you a GM interested in further settings? If so, do you have any particular types of setting you are interested in? Or how about bluffer’s guides?
  • Or should I concentrate on my secret project? As I said, I don’t want to go into too much detail yet, but it would definitely help me with developing my modules and settings, so may well help others too. Would you be interested in getting in early and helping shape it?

Or is this all a completely unrealistic pipe dream, and I should just concentrate on the day job and what little I can do in evenings and weekends?

I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you think in the comments, on my Patreon, via my Facebook page, or by email to melestrua@melestrua.net.

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