Rumor has it that 2020 is ending. Assuming that to be true, here is a little navel-gazing about this past year of Dungeon Age adventures and stories. Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep it short, useful, and interesting. Or at least short.
Stuff That Happened
This was a busy year for DA publishing. I wrote and released the following adventures:
And they all turned out pretty great. They earned solid (sometimes effusive) praise from reviewers and saw solid sales across the board. The best feedback of all came from DMs and players who posted comments and sent notes about how much fun you were having at your tables with these adventures. Thank you so much for that!
In addition to playtesting all of these adventures, I also started running a 5E campaign (Nemesis Queens), which is currently 16 sessions in and going strong. I’ve tried hard to continue learning new tricks and incorporating new ideas, which will eventually show up in published products.
Stuff I Learned
You like bullet lists, right?
- In writing, I’ve definitely learned (again and again) that less is more. Every word takes up space so it needs to carry its own weight.
- Running the game is work, and a good published adventure should always make that work easier, never harder, for the DM.
- RPGs are old. Fantasy is old. Tropes and stereotypes are everywhere, especially in our heads. It takes effort to be original, or at least to seem original. Make that effort!
- No filler! No dead space! We came to play a game and have fun, not to simulate the dullest parts of reality. Everything should be interesting, or interactive, or “alive” in some way.
- DM, know thyself. What is fun for you? What are you good at? Do those things!
- DM, know thy players. What is fun for them? What are they good at? Do those things!
Plans for the Future (ha ha ha)
There will be fiction!
In the coming weeks I will publish a new Dungeon Age novel titled Wayward Magicians. It’s an homage to Jack Vance’s Dying Earth (but not a pastiche). It’s short and punchy. A lot of it reads like a collection of short stories. The characters are weird, selfish, and tragic. The magic and creatures are weird, disturbing, and tragic. Plus, it explores the world of Harth (the world of Dungeon Age).
Later in the year (hopefully), I will write and publish a second DA book in the same style. Stay tuned for news on that.
There will be adventures!
I am currently writing a mini-campaign called “To Hunt the Stars“. It includes a quaint starting village with NPCs and mini-quests… and also includes a giant subterranean city packed full of monsters, mutants, machines, wizards, warriors, tombs, towers, undead, and dragons. Some of the elements of the design and tone were inspired by the game Hollow Knight. Which is an excellent Metroidvania and you might like it.
I am currently writing a campaign book of my ongoing campaign Nemesis Queens. I have no idea when it will come out. Probably after I finish running the campaign.
One-shots? Probably. I don’t have any planned right now, but I never “plan” to write one-shots. I just get an idea and scribble out the entire thing in one go. So. There will probably be a couple one-shots.
A crazy Twitch idea
Two years ago, I ran a Twitch stream where you guys voted on ideas for a fantasy novella, and I wrote that novella: “Beyond the Metal River“. You designed the hero, and the quest, and the monsters and villains. And it turned out pretty good!
So now I’m toying about doing another stream like this. Not to write a novella. But to talk about D&D, and writing or designing adventures, and maybe to write a one-shot together. Maybe. I’m thinking about it. Your thoughts?
I love hearing from you guys. What are you playing? What do you want to see more of from Dungeon Age? Or less of? What could I be doing to better help you run your games?
That’s it from me. In the immortal words of Bill and Ted: Be excellent to each other!