Dear Jon: A small adventure and how to run it

Dear Jon,

Happy Birthday. Wish I could be there to help. Or at least that you got someone to fill in. But if you haven’t, and your heart is still set on D&D, well, here is something that’s close-ish to D&D without all of the rules, and a small story to go with it. As a Gamemaster, you’ll still have to do some of the heavy lifting, but I’ll make it wasy as I can.

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Chaotica: Chasing symptoms that are destroying the game!

I’ve been noticing a problem in Chaotica. Well, problems. And I see it at my other tables. Let’s start again.

You may have noticed me a little frustrated last Saturday. Maybe. I can never tell how obvious about things I am.

There are people who can attest that I can get annoyed at a lot of things. Being annoyed and all curmudgeony is one of my specialist subjects. I’ve empathized with Mr. Wilson over Dennis the Menace for like, twenty years.

One of the more frustrating things I know about getting frustrated is that you tend to get annoyed at the symptoms of the problem, not the root cause. You can’t fix symptoms. Root Causes are hard to find. Makes the whole thing-


Let’s get to work.

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Dear Connor: This is All Your Fault. Disney Campaign Part 2

Dear Connor,

After sending you the last letter, I was discussing some of the concepts with one of my D&D groups, the only one that I don’t (currently) DM. And when the subject of a world where Disney Villains have taken over and there is some subverted fantasy world, the DM says “Hey, when you’re ready to run that, I’m in.” And the others also murmured their consent.

So now, thanks to YOU, I’m having to build a new campaign setting, that involves me rendering to stock essential elements of a bunch of movies, then blending all of that together into a dignified whole. So thanks for that, I am both angry and very, very, excited.


So, where do we begin?

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Outdoor Survival Revival

Hexcrawls are a part of D&D that I haven’t been able to grok. There’s just been too many things that didn’t make sense, and I chalked them up to version differences. I did join D&D during 4e, after all, so I’m sure there’s things in older versions I missed entirely.

Except things weren’t really making sense in my D&D archeology. I would see that people HAD run hexcrawls, or at least, similar styles of play, but they rarely mentioned the mechanical bit of how they were running it. There was a lot of how to skip that part of the game, to simplify it down as you handwave away

Last week, I learned about a old piece of D&D history, the board game Outdoor Survival. How is a game that is not D&D a part of D&D history? Well, this game was used as a map for the overland travel aspects of early versions of the grand old game. A token representing the party is placed on a large hex map of the area, in full view of the party, and is moved as the party chooses, and encounters happen as they do, yadda yadda.

Anyway, in thinking about this piece of history, my mind has been blown.

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Proficiency Resolution

I’ve been building a thing for D&D and it’s been curious. Not only have I discovered that Proficiency is one of the words I can’t spell instinctively, but I have been thinking a lot about what I refer to as Proficient Resolution.

Now, the definition of Resolution I’m working with is not the wrapping up of things, but the amount of detail. In other words, How detailed are proficiencies? (Or how detailed SHOULD they be?)

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Pokémon X Specialty

I’ve been chasing Pokémon as a Golden Goose for a while. So long, in fact, that a golden goose has probably been added to the lists of Pokémon! But I think I finally have a system I’m happy with. (Spoiler alert: I built a Pokémon module for that system I made).

But before I can tell you about my world, I think it’s important to explain, from a development aspect, of why just throwing something together or using someone else’s massive system conversion couldn’t work for me.

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Specialty System: Wiki Mode Activate!

Okay, it’s not a Real wiki, with user edits and stuff. But it is now online, and I intend to index it a bit more, as well as add things too it. (I still consider my Google docs to be the main version and this is just a tribute. Useful for access, but not for working.)

This is version 1.6 and it has most of my completed items. If you have questions or things you would like added, please tell me.

Here is the link