Day 22: Yet Another Monday Working from Home

Tonight we ended our Dungeons and Dragon campaign that ran for about a year. We finished the last of the premade content for the Prince of the Apocalypse that we run on Roll20. Roll20 is a gaming website that allows you to play table-top Dungeons and Dragon and other role-playing games on a virtual tabletop. Much of the game is automated and shared in a chat window. Thus if you wish to have your character in the virtual game attack with a sword, you click the sword on your virtual paper character sheet, and instead of you rolling dice, you get the results in the shared chat window. Roll20 and the supplied game contents let your focus on what is happening in the game while leaving the display and mechanics to the software. We play using video chat. It helps me, the DM running the game, to see everyone’s face. I can make adjustments sometimes to keep folks engaged. The makers of Dungeons and Dragons make campaign sold in 250+ page books in color that are packed full of adventure and story. Roll20 has automated and created a virtual version of the content.


By next week we will have uploaded the characters from the previous game to a new game, and Corwin will be making a replacement character. This is our fifth game of any size and just one adventure instead of a campaign. This time it is the legendary Tomb of Horrors! I have an original second edition, 1981 copy. Nobody in the current gaming group has played the original or knows it. This is a chance to get a bit of old school and play something unique. Tomb of Horrors is so nerdish that it appears in the 1980s material for the best-seller Ready Player One. The movie version switched out the Dungeons and Dragons for a car race, something much more Hollywood.

My music for today is a nerdfest: Adagio for Tron.

We play most Monday’s at 6:30 on Roll20, the current game is “Tomb of Horrors, Aloha Oregon Branch.” There will be no twitch feed, for those who know what that means.


(Me holding the original Tomb of Horrors in front of all my games and gaming books)

Today was another manic Monday at work. I finished seven video call meetings today. The pressure is growing as the deadlines are missed. My colleagues worked the weekend to get the software and setting for the software installed for testing. And many others are learning that the gift for doing great work with limited time and resources is more of the same. It was a bit frantic. I like frantic because work does get done.

Lunch was ordered, with some trepidation, from Red Robin today. It all worked, and we all got burgers, even the types we ordered! I also used my awards and got one free.

I slipped out for the mail between video calls. I have found new items for the game Architect of the West Kingdom on-line. I am supporting my on-line game stores by buying a few things. I found a set of metal coins to replace the cardboard ones. These replacements are made for the game so they will fit right in and arrived today. Today I also received the game extension Age of Artisans for Architect of the West Kingdom. I am looking forward, even playing myself, to trying out the extension. This game plays well with one and more players.

Dinner was baked ham slices with brown sugar and baked potatoes with butter, a salad too. Simple and could be done quickly with the deadline of a Roll20 game at 6:30. Susie got missed. She asked, “when is dinner?” I felt terrible that we had missed her and served her up at 8:30. Susie did have a big lunch, so she was not looking for dinner when we started the game. It all worked out, she was just getting hungry again.

An aside: I bought a spiral sliced ham and keep it cold in the frig. We can make ham or added it to something with ease. One of my easy meals.

On reading, I am finishing up the 1920s horror stories from Clark Ashton Smith, The Return of the Sorcerer: The Best of Clark Ashton Smith. The stories feel a bit dated and use vocabulary that is on purpose unknown to the reader; I stopped looking up words. While some of the best fiction from the period, I like the 1960s and 1970s fantasy and science fiction better. You can still feel the Victorian world pulling at the stories.–not improving them. Clark Ashton Smith often sets his stories in libraries and societies of privilege that I have no connection too. And often, the stories are muted, never funny, or exciting. His best is the true cosmic horror stories, closer to H.P. Lovecraft and more comfortable to read (shorter!) than Lovecraft’s prose. So no regrets as some of the stories did work for me: “The Double Shadow” and “The City of the Singing Flame,” for example.

I will be returning to my 1926 book of gals sailing to Fuji! More books are on their way.

We are all shocked to hear that Boris Johnson is in the ICU from the virus.

Reports show that more than one-thousand two-hundred Americans died from the virus on Monday. A song for Easter: Lord of the Dance.


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