June/July update

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Where does the time go? Somehow both June and July have flown past and it’s half way through August already. It’s been a busy couple of months…

June and early July were busy on the blog, continuing the series comparing the different playable races. It started in May with an attempt to split the races into genetic attributes (inherited) and cultural attributes, following similar lines to something The Angry GM did for Pathfinder/3.5e, which would allow characters to have the genetics of one race but the culture of another.

The next post looked at the updates in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, and concluded that it was a losing game – there was just too much variation between the races to be able to come up with a sensible balanced split – so the series morphed into more of a simple comparison. Over June and early July, it expanded to cover the races in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Ravnica, Theroes and Ravenloft, Eberron, and Wildemount.

The series had attracted some feedback and disagreement about some of the weightings of different racial features (particularly feats), and I realised some of my thinking had changed and solidified over the process of working through the different books, so the next post looked back and compared my ratings with some other similar ratings by other people. Finally I updated my rating scheme based on this feedback, and went through the massive exercise of redoing all the ratings, leading to a full comparison table.

While working on this, I took time out to publicise Bruce Heard’s new Kickstarter Calidar “Alfdaín Ascendant”, and to flag up WorldAnvil SummerCamp 2021.

And that was that for the blog. It has then been quiet for a month while I have worked on other things.

First among these was my work on WorldAnvil Summer Camp. You can see the summary page here, where you can see I finished ten articles this year as compared to last year’s twenty-one.

Half of them were inspired by the “inhospitable region” set of prompts, which I took as the Tanneries of Akorros. As well as the Tanneries themselves and the tanners who work there (an undervalued but vital profession), there are the Tannery Rats which are well-suited to the conditions, along with the people who skulk there in the shadows, also referred to as Tannery Rats, and the terriers they keep to protect themselves from the rats.

The others were more of a mix. How the Dragon’s Spine arose is a bit of a creation myth for the hills on which Akorros is built, and The Church of Khoronus and the Chardastes Wing there take a look at aspects of the primary temple in Akorros to Khoronus, patron Immortal of Akorros (these took quite a bit of research into the canon Immortals of Mystara, and I ended up having to write the Chardastes Wing twice because the first version didn’t save).

Finally, I looked at The Adventurer’s Malady (loss of limbs in fights), and Domenech’s Ability Restorers – suppliers of prosthetics.

Apart from that, I’ve run The Angry GM’s training module “The Fall of Silverpine Watch” again with another group, this time all novices (at least to 5e). Their inexperience showed. The first encounter once reaching the Watch, which the previous group found easy, this time ended up with one character dead and another only just surviving by the skin of their teeth (although then retconned to have died when the player’s schedule changed just at that point and they could no longer make the sessions). I really enjoyed this group, though. They were determined to investigate everything, so progress was slow, but they were also happy to interact in character and do wacky things like pouring candle wax into their ears to protect against ghostly wails…and then play to the fact they couldn’t hear each other. It was also interesting running the module again with the experience from the previous run, and things I hadn’t spotted before.

I’ve also had an interesting request. A group of school friends turned to D&D once lockdown hit as a way to keep up with each other, and they’ve booked a nearby place for a one-off face-to-face session next month. They were looking for a DM, so I volunteered. They want something separate from their current campaign, and they seem to like wacky and bizarre, so I’m going to brush off the adventure I started a couple of years ago as part of a 48-hour challenge. More details for patrons here

And that’s it for now. Happy gaming!


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