Something of a filler post today, with Assassin’s Amulet still occupying most of our time and attention. Sorry…
The astute and regular reader here at Campaign Mastery will have noticed that – with the exception of one Ask-The-GMs that we had ‘in the can’, and co-authored excerpts from Assassin’s Amulet – it has been some time since Johnn posted a blog entry – since late July, as a matter of fact. No, he’s not gone; first he was on vacation, and then we had a heap of guest articles to post, and then he got caught up in preparing to launch AA. But with time limited, we’ve had to rationalize our activities a bit, and for the time being at least, that means that Johnn is going to be kept busy behind the scenes instead of posting here.
I’m a firm believer that key ingredients in keeping a blog successful is to post regularly, and post quality. We started Campaign Mastery off intending to keep a twice-a-week schedule and we’ve worked hard to maintain it. We don’t intend to let it stop, now. But it does mean some changes to what will be appearing here on Mondays (Alberta time).
More Guest Blogs
We’re going to continue with Guest blogs, at least one a month, for the next several months at least. Ian Gray will be providing several of these, and so will some other players and GMs of our acquantance.
I have a vast library of game products and supplements that I have downloaded from the net and never seem to find time to read. I’m going to try to do something about that over the next few months and years, and the tool to be used is to write a review of the product. Whenever I review something, I’m going to try and track down where I got it from, if I can, and provide a link to it. There might be the occasional game-related movie or DVD review, as well, just to mix things up a bit.
Between one thing and another, we’ve gotten seriously behind on these despite our best efforts and intentions – so much so that I’ve been sending quick replies by email rather than making people wait. I’m going to have another attempt at getting through the backlog; and Johnn is tackling some of them in the pages of Roleplaying Tips as well. Something I’m keen to try is soliciting the opinions of the other GMs that I game with in a quick bull session once a month. So Johnn will collaborate on some answers, I’ll do some on my own, and we may have some more collective answers as well.
I try never to let anything go to waste. As part of a project that Johnn and I were planning, I came up with a number of ideas for short columns (a couple of thousand words each, max) which I would be able to put together fairly quickly and easily. The first of these is the Campaign Masterclass – which is basically going to be me creating a campaign as I go. No idea won’t get written down, no step in the creative process will be ignored. And I’ll try to explain, each step along the way, the reasons behind each decision along the way.
Panning For Gold
We all love the occasional bit of eye candy, right? I have a clip art library with an image count in the 5 figures – many of which are copyright, retained for private use only. But there are others that are in the public domain. Every now and then, when I come across something especially tasty, I’ll share it – and every possible way to use it in-game – that I can think of. This is an exercise in creativity and throwing ideas out there for public consumption.
The GM’s Bookshelf
In addition to all those downloaded RPG supplements, I have hundreds of old-style paper-and-ink supplements and modules for various game systems. For this series, I’ll crack something open to a random page and see just what I can squeeze out of the contents – adventure ideas, campaign ideas, encounter ideas, new monsters, new treasures, new locations, new rules, new ideas of any and every sort. Nor do I intend to restrict myself totally to RPG supplements – if I get an idea from, or am reminded of an idea by, a page that I’m reading in a magazine or non-game book (fiction or otherwise), I’ll throw together a quick blog post about it. This is a second exercise in creativity for the public benefit.
Pieces Of Creation
I also have hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of referance material that I have put together for my own campaigns. From time to time I’ll excerpt some of it for public consumption. The intent is to be consistent about this; if I start posting my hundred-page opus on the Origins of Orcs in Fumanor (still unfinished, and I need it to be done by 2012 for use in-game), I’ll put up a portion a day until I catch up with myself, or finish writing it!
Ghosts Of Blogs Past
I actually started blogging at Yahoo 360, and a number of my posts were both gaming-related and evergreen. Before that blogging service went away, I archived the blogs with the intent of eventually revising and re-releasing them here at Campaign Mastery.
Melodies And Rests
I’m also a composer (when I find the time) and have a large music collection. No, make that an incredibly large music collection. I would have somewhere on the order of 10,000 LPs and CDs and Cassettes and ’45s and Cassingles and… well, you get the idea. And the amazing thing is that when you dig into any given group of pieces of music, you are sure to find some gaming ideas if you look hard enough. If I ever get stumped for something to write – or want to do something completely different – I may do a post extracting the creative juices from one or more LPs. You may not share my musical tastes – few people do, though I would have something in common with most readers’ preferances – but good gaming ideas are something we can all share, regardless of the source or starting point.
The D-Regency Campaign
Another possibility being contemplated is taking advantage of the fact that my superhero campaign is about to reboot. If I can con one or two players into drafting a campaign synopsis each session, I could pad it – umm, make that ‘annotate it’ – and post it here, for other GMs to mine ideas from. Campaign synopses have been very popular when they have appeared here at CM in the past… We generally play once a month, most months of the year. With the overall campaign now 30 years old (!) all the obvious stories have been told, so what’s left should be fairly interesting.
And oh yeah, Johnn will still post something from time to time. Like I said at the beginning, he’s not gone – just busy.
If there are four Mondays in most months – occasionally five – then there is no way all of that will fit each and every month. That’s 10-11 items – We’d be lucky to squeeze that much in every couple of months!
That means that some of them are going to get backburnered, inevitably, while others will occur more frequently. I intend to use three criteria to decide which ones fall into which category: Ease of writing, my level of interest, and the reaction I get from our readers. If you want to see more of something, drop a line to say so! Or hit the tweet, or the google +1 button.
Over the next two or three months, I’m going to give each of these ideas a demo run. The ones that tick the most boxes in terms of those three criteria will get priority listing the next time around, the ones that don’t will get downplayed.
So stick around – with so many sources of articles to draw apon, there’s sure to be something of interest to everyone! One thing’s for sure, it won’t be predictable…