Freewrite, 5.24.20

Concerning bad writing: 2:
This lack of continuity in which sentences do not naturally follow their predecessors is especially frustrating to see in gatekeeped published material. While I have not been playing Dungeons and Dragons for long, and do not know the rules particularly well, I have been appalled at how awkward some of the writing is in the D&D Adventurers League modules.
While the modules themselves are simple to follow and understand, the “in-game” material that DMs are supposed to read to players is sadly lacking in specificity or else riddled with a lack of continuity, adjectives, and adverbs as well as a lack of attention to the order of presentation. For instance: “The sound of a crack of lighting echoed across the water and smell of swamp comes to your nostrils.”
Now this is not a quote from a module, but it is similar in nature. You may be asking yourself why this doesn’t work. The truth is, it does work. it’s fine. But it can work a whole lot better. For instance, “A crack of lighting echoes across the water, and the stink of rot and decay assaults your nostrils.” If there is a sound like cracking lighting, the writer should know you don’t need to say, “A sound. . .” In fact a writer should know they shouldn’t write this because it breaks the immersive environment the DM is hoping to achieve for their players. In terms of the order of presentation, why does the lighting come first? As written above it is implied that the lighting brings the stink of the swamp–but it surely doesn’t. There are certain things humans notice before others and if they aren’t presented in the order in which people naturally experience things, the whole illusion is broken. Characters/players would surely smell the swamp long hear lighting unless they are in the middle of a thunderstorm. And in that case, “The stink of rot and decay assaults your nostrils as you approach the foggy banks of a swamp. Further out, amid the water a flash blinks and blinds you, followed swiftly by the crack of lighting.”
Yes, I added some extra details–but is that not the point of observing your own writing and taking the time to make it more immersive, more concise?
For the module I have planned to run on Tuesday, I have rewritten all the “in-game” text so that the order of presentation makes more sense, has more depth, and is hopefully more immersive than what was there before. It is easy to criticize someone else’s work, and much more difficult to see these mistakes in your own. While I hope I have made this module better for my rewrites, it is difficult to tell and I’ll only know as players react to the session at hand.
That being said, it’s still frustrating to see a script that is in the hands of thousands of people that is sadly lacking in so many areas.

Community Spotlight: DWB D&D Discord

D&D is a relatively new passion of mine. I listen to people talk about the campaigns that they ran during the 2nd Edition with admiration. Why didn’t I come to this game earlier? Mainly, because I just didn’t know people who could teach me, and those sourcebooks are daunting. Spurred on by my interest in the game I discovered the DWB D&D Discord server, an extensive community of D&D players who are always up for a good adventure. Here’s what you should know about this community.

What It Is:

In the simplest terms possible, the DWB D&D Discord server is a community of people who play D&D online via the virtual tabletop (VTT) website Roll20. Playstyles vary from Dungeons and Dragons Adventurers League (AL) to weekly homebrew sessions and even Play-By-Post text campaigns. The proprietor of this community goes by the gamer tag DaddyWarbux, hence DWB D&D. And For DaddyWarbux this goes back years and the online community he has created is a natural progression of his love of tabletop gaming, but also something more. “I got into streaming for Extra Life which is a charity event for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” he says via a Discord call. Extra Life is a platform for gamers to live-stream on Twitch as a charitable act. “That’s how the [DWB D&D] community really started. A small stream, dedicated to raising money for children’s hospitals.” While the server has grown into a community more focused on the shared interest of D&D, Extra Life, as well as other charities, are still a focus of the DaddyWarbux twitch channel.

Read my full article at Sequential Planet.

Oh, Lady of Spells

I’ve been playing some D&D via the Roll20 virtual tabletop. It’s a wonderful way to be social and connect with people right now. I think it helps everyone relax and escape for a few (or several hours). Escapism gets a bad name, but I think it’s essential to human happiness. After all, aren’t sports an escape from the monotony of everyday life? Doesn’t the US pause everything on Sundays during Football season to not worry about anything but their fantasy teams? In Europe and most other places in the world, Soccer plays a similar role. Sports are a reason to be passionate and excited. To hoop and holler for something that is otherwise meaningless. D&D is much the same. We laugh and care about a shared story. We pretend we are Gnomes and Elves and Dragonborn mages. Our DM tells us people need the help of mighty and brave adventurers. Isn’t that what everyone wants? For others to need them? Don’t the athletes on sports fields feed off the crowd? Without the crowd would sports matter in the slightest? Of course not. The difference being, I suppose, that D&D between socially inclined nerds needs observation, for players are the participants and the audience.

In this spirit, I thought it would be fun to write out some prayers to the god my character, Vilda Hoindidde, follows–Mystra, the Goddess of all magic. As Vilda is horribly cheesy, so too are her prayers. I’ll likely showcase this in our next session.

 

A Call For the Favor of Mystra

Mother, mother, mother of mysteries

Please take my prayers as humble inquiries.

Don’t shield my eyes from the knowledge of history,

All I desire is a series of victories!