Monday is a workday. Even on my day off, I work. According to the Greeks, we were created to strive. Hesiod, a well known ancient Greek poet, says we are of the Iron Age and tells us the story of how we are here to work. I like that. Now with the advances in Physics, Material Sciences, Computers, Artifical Intelligence with Machine Learning, the fantastic information available in Social Media (I heart Stack Over Flow), it is just impossible for me not to be doing something. I remember years ago in college having to look up facts in a library and reading arcane computer textbooks poorly explained algorithms. Not anymore! I can just find the newest or best-rated youtube video on the subject or read about it on various websites. I recently watched a video on a hundred-year-old radio I purchased on eBay that explained how the radio worked and what all the mystery parts did. I discovered that mine was older than the one in the video and that it was missing a part. I sent a thank you to the author and he a few weeks replied back. Yes, the world is just full of striving. I love it!
I spent the morning working. I connected to Nike and put on my out-of-office notification emails and then worked part of an upgrade until I got stuck. I sent out a message for some help. I took all my editing notes and applied changes to my adventures for Call of Cthulhu. That took hours and more time than I planned. I also printed out material for the adventure and found some more items I needed.
I was happy to get in the mail my smells. I have ordered smells from Jennifer Howlett. She calls her little packets of scent: Adventure Scents. She makes packets of smells that I purchased with names like Alchemist’s Lab, New Spaceship, Smoking Room, and Tea Party. All available for purchase at Oddfish Games. I want to have the players of my Istanbul 1926 setting get to smell some of the adventures. The New Spaceship smell will be for the invisible creature that they need to run from, drive off, or stop in more violent ways. Alchemist Lab scent will be the paints for the artist studio.
Why stop there. The dread Necronomicon (yes there is a spell check–that was unintentional–for that word) also shows up in my story. I have acquired some pages from The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. Yes, there is a website that sells props for the 1920s and 1930s for role-playing in the horror-filled stories of H.P. Lovecraft and when you write about H.P. Lovecraft you are allowed to use run-on sentences and uses three words where just a single and clear word could be selected by the writer, if he (using the older style of pronouns now) so select to follow H.P. Lovecraft’s style. Anyone that has read Lovecraft understands. So getting the props ready and smells.
The rest of Monday was a blur. I forgot I was hosting Dungeon and Dragons 5th Edition on the website Roll20. So had to prep and then run an adventure in an hour! We also forgot one of our players is out. I picked a side-quest. The players worked-out that the adventure that was suggested, locals say there is evil goings-on over there, was where they should head to, forgiving the DM for rail-roading (usually they get some choices).
Undead everywhere, perfect! It is so easy to just say “brains” when one is rushed.
Roll20 is an online game website we use for playing Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (yes there are now different versions of Dungeons and Dragons). They have created a website that allows the players to have a character sheet that they maintain, just like in the paper version. The play just clicks on a weapon, ability, spell, skill, or item and the website performs the dice rolls and so on in the shared chat window. The players control icons on a screen that looks like a gaming table. The Dungeon Master (DM) has control of the website and runs the adventure. The content can be created by the DM or purchased. I have purchased many adventures and campaigns. This one is the Princes of the Apocalypse featuring the Evil Elementalists doing what they do, “Trying to take over the world!” This adventure was originally published in a book of 255 pages. Quite a campaign that usually lasts a year. All the maps, stories, creatures, treasures, and so on have all been translated into the website’s software and is quite easy and flashy to use. I am not sure I can go back to paper and pen Dungeon and Dragons.
No texting here. We use video chat as part of the gaming experience. We do have issues with slow Internet and having to reset here and there, but mostly it is a positive experience. So most Monday nights I am in Roll20 running a game. Bill Butler is in Minnesota, so we play until 10:30PM his time. Bill also hosts a game that is often once or twice a month on Tuesday.
Dinner (Copper River) was after the game that went to the normal 8:30 which corresponds to the time that the bad guy ran away and sneaked past them. He will be involved in a chase next game. After that, I finished the previous blog just before midnight. I finished my book which ended much darker than I expected for Ann Lackie. I still liked it–not all stories should end in bright, happy endings.
So rushing this morning to finish this. So much to do. Games start on Thursday for Gamestorm! There is so much out there…”It is full of stars!”
(assuming fair use of image 2001 A Space Odyssey)