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hairylarry

Here's four webcomics that I like and some of them even have something to do with gaming.


I don't like rom com movies much. In fact I don't like movies much. I prefer my TV in small doses. But I do read a lot of coming of age fantasy and science fiction which is kind of close to rom coms. Especially "The Wheel Of Time" which I am definitely planning on rereading, all 14 volumes.


But it turns out that I like rom com webcomics. I guess the dosage is about right.


"Questionable Content" is alternative history science fiction. It's present day but in the recent past Hannelore's dad discovered true AI and built it into robots. So it's a rom com with robots. (Shades of Isaac Asimov) It's actually my current fav and it turns out I must have started it in the middle because when I went to episode 1 to link here I hadn't read it. But there is an AI robot right at the start. Plus rom com. It is a lot different than the more recent episodes but I'm restarting at the top and you can too.


https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1


Oh yeah, it's drawn by J. Jacques. And it's 5 days a week.


Dumbing Of Age is a College Webcomic by David M. Willis. This is my latest fav and it's actual contemporary fiction rom com. It has more about cartoons than about games although D&D does get an occasional mention. Big on superheroes too with an actual superhero character who is actually just a shy girl with tendencies towards violence.


7 days a week. Yaaaaaay!


https://www.dumbingofage.com/2010/comic/book-1/01-move-in-day/home/


The absolute best webcomic ever is all about D&D with in jokes right from the first episode. The Order Of The Stick is about an adventuring party drawn as stick figures. If you haven't already read this it's a treat. The only bad thing about it is that it's a weekly so I save it for my weekend reading. It's by Rich Burlew.


https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html


And my new find is Gunnerkrigg Court. It's also in a school setting but so far not a rom com. Definitely fantasy and I'm not far enough into it to tell you much more. Except that I like it so far. Not sure of the publishing schedule but the art is great and it's drawn by Tom Siddell.


https://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=1


Please add your favorite webcomics in the comments. Especially if they are about gaming.


Thanks


hairylarry
Related To Geeks Podcast Monday, February 15.

Monday night at 9:00 Central.
Related To Geeks Podcast
With guests Levi Combs and Will Hose
What DMs love. What DMs hate. What players love. What players hate.

In the gamerplus chat rooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord.

Everyone is welcome. If you are new to Tenkar's Tavern we have an invite for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

Follow Me And Die has been waiting on this moment and we've been chronicling it's immanence. "Hurray! Not sure what time this happened, but thank you to all you re-tweeted and especially to all who subbed. I took the day off work, so I'll put out a video later today." Congrats on 1K Youtube subscribers.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3498

ZDL says, "新年快乐! (Happy New Year!)"

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3476

I posted 4 photos and a link to the Petar Meseldzija gallery. These are not public domain but they are fantastic.

https://gamerplus.org/photo/useralbum/hairylarry/99

So have a gander. Check some links. Make a post or a comment. And come join our podcast tonight.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com


hairylarry
Tonight on Inspired Unreality we are back to actual play. Alan wrote "The Chronicles Of Ember" and he is our game master. We fought the big bad undead guy and somehow survived and now we're going after the double crosser who left us to die. We'll see how this all works out tonight. Jump in if you'd like.

Inspired Unreality open game chat is held in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord at 9:00 Central every Monday night. If you've never been to Tenkar's Tavern we have an invite for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

Next week on Inspired Unreality we will be hosting the Related To Geeks Podcast with special guests Levi Combs and Will Hose. Our topic will be:

What players love. What players hate. What DMs love. What DMs hate.

Now theres a topic where everyone has an opinion.

ZDL posted another Fringe Review: Bloodshadows: Fantasy-Noir Roleplaying and it is up to her usual detailed standard.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/560

Follow Me And Die is interested in feedback. He says, "I'm working on a master spreadsheet of gear & supplies price list for D&D and other fantasy RPGs." He's got all kinds of details and he wants you to help fill in the blanks.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3417

There were a lot of great pictures posted on Gamer+ last week. MyrddinWyllt posted some gems to his gallery, Pulp Artwork And Inspiration.

https://gamerplus.org/photo/useralbum/MyrddinWyllt/97

And I took some of my best miniature photos to date. I printed it. I painted it. And I took the pictures. It's Ratzerker!

https://gamerplus.org/photo/useralbum/hairylarry/98

If you've got some favorite fantasy artwork or pics of your miniatures we'd love to see them. Just go to Photos and post your gallery.

https://gamerplus.org/photo/viewlist/latest

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc (my handle on the fediverse)
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com


hairylarry
Great game last Monday on Inspired Unreality. Vivian and I were joined by lizardqueen and Corgiface following Chen Chen the monk into a dungeon in search of a holy artifact and treasure!

Well, we almost died once. DM Alan certainly does keep the players on their toes.

We did not finish the oneoff in one session so there will be more Chronicles Of Ember next Monday.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3348

And now it's Monday and time for Inspired Unreality. Actual Play tonight with DM Alan running his own game, "The Chronicles Of Ember". If you want to jump in and you need a character sheet he has a program for that.

We will be playing in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. If you haven't been to Tenkar's Tavern we have an invite for you here. We start at 9:00 Central.

https://gamerplus.org/index

We continue our conversation about "Some musings on solving challenges with less combat."

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3349

I set up a background for miniature photography using a mushroom fantasy village plaque that Megan woodburned for me and a bunch of tiny houses made of straw and twigs that Vivian gave me. Then I took a few pictures of The Blue Mage, a beastman, and a beholder.

https://gamerplus.org/photo/useralbum/hairylarry/96

I'm reminding you once again about Megan TV at https://www.twitch.tv/megantopia - Like indie games? So does Megan.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3342

And we're closing with some thoughts on winter. "Winter is upon us and it's a good thing to have distractions like Gamer+ to help us keep busy and active. Hope all of you are staying warm and content. ... Sound."

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3347

Which reminds me, Ember is a cold cold world. And dangerous. Believe me, in our first encounter two of us almost died. Join us tonight for Inspired Unreality.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc (my friendica on the fediverse)
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com


hairylarry
Inspired Unreality Tonight! Our opening topic is inspired by Follow Me And Die, how gaming has helped us get through the pandemic.

Inspired Unreality open game chat is held every Monday night at 9:00 Central in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. If you are new to Tenkar's Tavern we have an invite for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

Follow Me And Die posted his year in review blog post. He starts with the stats and the business but then segues into a moving and personal piece of writing. This is your recommended read for the day.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3206

Relatedtogeeks posted a link to the new Save Or Die podcast, Start! Thief!, wherein their guest, Darrold Wagner, discusses the origins of the thief class.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3207

I wrote up the latest session notes for our Archive Of The White Master campaign. We are putting the Archive in our past (kind of like 2020) and pressing on with the issue of animals being trapped in the forest. Led by Leaf the elf we discover the problem is more than hungry goblins and we rescue Boffin the halfling.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/post/494

Head on over to Gamer+ for more and to update us on your latest adventures.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc (on my Friendica)
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com


hairylarry
Session notes for December 19, 2020

After we finished at the Archive Of The White Mage the blacksmith and his sons take the road back to town, their cart heavy laden with the metal they had salvaged from the animated statue of Moloch. We take off through the forest worried about goblins trapping animals. We were all well horsed and the raccoon and bear dog ran alongside.

Although we see no new tracks we do find the old tracks fairly well preserved and endeavor to follow them. We see a large pit some ways ahead and the tracks seem to lead right to it. We approach cautiously and smell a terrible scent.

We see some unhealthy trees around the pit in fact the whole area looks nothing like the vibrant forest we just left. One of the trees, about 20 feet from the pit, looks like it has a door in it. Caper says, "Let's check out that tree with a door." Leaf and Caper approach the tree.




The tree has a lot of knotholes and what appears to be an inset door, fit tight with no handle. Caper tries opening the door by twisting and pushing on the knots. No luck. The door remains stuck fast. Leaf reaches up and tries the knots above the door. Still no luck.

Caper looks at the ground and sees several roots. Pulling on the third root opens the door which slides sideways into the tree. We see steep steps going down towards the pit.

Leaf decides to check things out before we head down the stairs. He silently crosses the 20 feet to the edge of the pit and peeks over the edge. The pit is about 90 feet deep. 30 feet down Leaf can see a bridge made of wood and ropes that goes from our side of the pit all the way across to the other side. At the bottom of the pit is a blue shining portal constantly moving and shining as if lit from behind.




Caper calls the rest of the party over and we proceed down the stairs. About 20 feet down we see a large empty chamber. Listening carefully Ari and Leaf can hear music from below. In the corner of the room is a hole going down. Caper listens and looks down at the hole.

Caper recognizes the song called "The Redcaps Caper". Redcaps are evil faeries, not as powerful as some faeries. Their caps are dyed red with human blood and if a Redcap's cap dries out he dies.

We descend the second set of stairs following the music.

At the bottom of the stairs we see a big room with a row of pillars. At the end of the pillars is an open mouth in a monstrous face. The music is coming out through the mouth.



Ari looks through the mouth into the next chamber. Two goblinoid creatures are dancing and tormenting a halfling who is playing the music on his flute.

Nobody can stand for this so we attack the goblins with arrows and thrown daggers. Both arrows hit and one dagger hits. One of the goblins drops. Soon the other joins him, both dead.

We rescue Boffin the halfling who insists we leave immediately. Prudence dictates and we agree to accompany Boffin back to town. On the way back Boffin tells us that the goblinoids had been dropping dead animals into the portal at the bottom of the pit. He has no idea why and he was afraid they were going to drop him off the bridge too so he kept playing his flute while they danced. Fortunately we came along to rescue him before he was too tired to play.

hairylarry
Inspired Unreality open game chat tonight at 9:00 Central in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkars Tavern on Discord. Our opening topic will be the difference between writing stories and writing quests. As always, bring your own topic. All gaming is on topic.

If you have never been to Tenkars Tavern we have an invitation for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

And don't forget. Rule 1 - don't whistle on Discord

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3014

Those who are Related To Geeks discuss audio and video production for podcasts and vlogs.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/3012

Follow Me And Die has some thoughts about the illustrations of Dave Trampier.

https://gamerplus.org/newsfeed/2998

Also... (See Inspired Reality above.) I posted a blog about Writing Quests. I compare writing quests to writing stories and I lay out my plan for quickly putting a quest idea on paper, ready to play. Or for the best quest ideas ready to add assets and make it publishable.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/401

They say the best advertising is word of mouth which is a good thing because we can't afford any other kind. At the bottom of your profile page there is a section that says "Link to your Profile Page - Copy, Paste, Add username". Follow the instructions to link to your Gamer+ profile from your website or blog.

Thanks
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry (my Gamer+ profile)
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc (on the fediverse)
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com (email)
hairylarry
Writing Quests
by Larry Heyl

A story is said to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is a simple and reliable guide for writers. Somewhere along the way, in the creative process, a light is switched on and the writer sees where the story is going. Once the end is discovered the middle falls into place. That is, the middle part is shaped by the end part providing the necessary bits that allow the story to end convincingly.

Sometimes a quest is well run and well played and produces a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. But more often not. In fact producing such a story is not the purpose of the game. It is a possible side product but not the goal. I think the players immersion into the fantasy setting and their identification with their characters are far more important to enjoying the game than any derived story everyone becomes aware of after the fact.

I am not saying the story is unimportant. Without the story there is no fantasy world to become immersed in and no characters to identify with. It's just that the story is not like a written story with a beginning, middle, and end. Nor is it like a story written by an author.

That's why I avoid writing a story when writing a quest.

Instead I write the setup, seeds, and goals.

The setup defines the quest and lays out the goals for the party. It should be short. It should place the party geographically and introduce important NPCs. It can be read aloud at the beginning of the quest and can also be printed for the players to refer to. It is the beginning of the quest and is similar to the beginning of a story. Except shorter.

Within the setup I include seeds. These seeds indicate what might possibly or could probably happen. The literary parallel is foreshadowing. With foreshadowing the author indicates what might happen and then writes what does happen or perhaps inserts the foreshadowing knowing what will happen. The seeds are hidden in the setup to suggest to the characters what they might be able to do. Whether they follow up on the seeds or not is up to the players. If the players do follow up it's good to give the DM some options to choose from, possible seed resolutions. And it's good to have multiple options because nobody knows how the players will appproach the situation hinted at by the seeds.

The goals are what the quest is about: find the treasure, rescue the princess, kill the monsters. When the players are satisfied they have met the goals that signals the end of the quest. The goals can be mentioned explicitly in the setup or they also may be hidden in the narrative like a goal seed.

The setup, the goals, and the seeds are all text. The other part of writing the quest is preparing the assets. The assets are the pictures, the maps, the character sheets, the description of the treasure, the stat blocks for NPCs and monsters, etc. It is possible to run a quest without any assets but assets make the quest easier to run for the DM and assets make things flow smoothly for the players.

Once the quest writer has an idea writing the setup is quick and easy. You can then look for the seeds you have planted in the setup and write a few sentences about each one. The primary goals should be included in the setup. List them and then see if there are any hidden goals within the text the players might follow up on. Add them to the Goals section. Then list the assets, maps, pictures, stat blocks, and short descriptions.

This can all go quite quickly. The bulk of the work is in the assets, not in the writing. This does, however, give you a framework for a playable quest. Adding the assets will make the quest easier to run and more fun to play.

Not every quest idea is great. Some ideas, however, work better than you thought they would. Also when reading through old quest ideas sometimes something clicks and you can greatly improve the quest with a minor tweak.

Don't feel like you have to put every quest idea into a publishable format. Take the time to add assets to your best quests. They deserve the work. You still have all the other quest ideas which you might improve on later or add into a campaign as a side quest.


hairylarry
Tonight at 9:00 PM Central join the Inspired Unreality open game chat held in the gamerplus chatrooms at Tenkar's Tavern on Discord. Our opening topic tonight will be maps. Professionally drawn, randomly generated, or just the DM drawing with pencil and paper during gameplay, maps are a part of almost every quest. Maps of the area, maps of the town, maps of the room where the treasure is hidden, multilevel maps of the dungeon or the tower. How does a DM use maps to communicate the ongoing quest to the players? How do the players use maps to plan strategy? How do you use maps in your quests?

If you have never been to Tenkar's Tavern we have an invitation for you here.

https://gamerplus.org/index

wilsonelisa430 posted a blog about How to Solve the Sunstones Puzzle in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/post/383

Follow Me And Die is on a quest. The goal of the quest is 1000 Youtube subscribers. He says, "I now have 951 subscribers on YouTube! 42 Days to reach my goal of 1,000 subscribers by year end...." If you are not already a subscriber link over and click the Subscribe button. He posts interesting videos including the Roll20 For Absolute Beginners series.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQzQrkQxGOjrRWOe0RGFPgw

Ivan Bilibin illustrated Russian Folk Tales in the early 20th century. Most of his drawings are now public domain. I posted some of my favorites in the Public Domain Fantasy Art gallery.

https://gamerplus.org/photo/view/666/latest

And in the Archive Of The White Mage we killed Marusan again. And then we killed him again. This time for good. (We think.) Here's the session summary.

https://gamerplus.org/blogs/post/386

Let me know about what's going on with you life in gaming. Message me on Gamer+, reach me on the fediverse, or send an email.

Thanks
Hairy Larry
https://gamerplus.org/user/hairylarry
hairylarry@curators.mixremix.cc
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com

hairylarry
Session notes for November 18, 2020

When we enter the temple Marusan is gone, The skylight has been replaced. Everything looks like it did the first time we saw it.

Leaf shoots the skylight with the rod of Pann-Severi. It emits a bright white light and everyone is blinded.

After a while we recover our sight. Leaf wants to try again. The rest of us leave the room. This time the rod shoots a fireball and explodes the skylight.

We check the statue of Moloch. The rope is gone. Marusan is not in it. The tubes are still cut.

The tombs in the side rooms are open and empty. No undead or weapons lie within.

We check Marusan's study. EVerything is like it was when we left it. The chests are open and empty.

We check the supply room. It's been cleared out. No supplies left in it.

In the secret room behind the temple Caper looks for a trap door and finds a loose flagstone. We lift the stone and find a tunnel with steep stairs leading down.

Leaf pokes his head through the hole in the floor and looks around with his dark vision. He sees a hall with a door at the end and light shining under it from the next room.

We go down into the hall and I check the door. We look under it and check through the keyhole. We see skeleton bones.

Caper checks for traps on the door but he can't tell if it's trapped. He tries to open the door wide. But it's locked. He tries the keys from the jailor and one of them opens the door. He opens the door wide. There are 5 skeletons and Marusan at his desk. He looks bad.

Leaf shoots a fireball into the room with the rod. Caper slams the door shut to protect the party.

When we open the door they are all dead in the room. Caper pours some of the jailor's potion on Marusan.

We smash the skeleton bones into small pieces and throw them into a nearby creek. We burn Marusan in a huge fire outside.

Leaf hits the metal statue with a beam from the rod. It gets 50% bigger and now it barely fits in the temple.

We go outside and look through the papers and books in our packs for information about the rod. Back inside we go through Marusan's library. We find nothing about the rod but we do discover that the potion was supposed to be drunk by Marusan before he died. So all we know is that the rod is chaotic and that Marusan is probably coming back.

We decide to camp instead of going back to town.

At midnight we hear scraping from inside the temple. We light torches and go in. The scraping is the skylight glass golem reassembling.

We hear noises from the tomb rooms. The bones are reforming and dropping out of the air onto the floor.

We throw the bones into the tombs putting the heads together, arms together, etc. so there is no complete skeleton in any tomb. We cover the tombs with the lids. Finch the raccoon hears something in Marusan's study. Leaf talks to Finch. The sound is snoring.

Opening the door we see Marusan sleeping on the bed.

Caper sneaks into the room and pours the potion into Marusan's mouth just as he wakes. He chokes on the potion. Leaf chops his head off. Marusan glows green and dissipates into the air. We're pretty sure that this time he is dead.

I mean really dead. (Not mostly dead.)



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