Another music post!

I was planning on taking a short break from DMing, but that was foiled by 1) there’s nothing I can really be huffy about; and 2) It’s still fun. Well, sometimes. When things don’t go horribly, horribly wrong and nothing happens for an hour because everyone is arguing about something that I don’t even know what’s going on anymore and … where was I? All kidding aside, I really do enjoy running games each week.

Anyway, some music I’ve been listening to that may or may not be plot-important or thematically-important.





Last year was an epic failure. This year… who am I kidding, will probably also be an epic failure, especially since I forgot about it until today. But might as well try, right?

(new excuse for never updating! Whee!)

Art Dump

The original inspiration for the ‘Grendheim Day’ adventure I created (and may even someday get to writing about). Sure, the final scene may not have played out exactly like this, but I seem to have a fondness for killing off my own characters. Maybe I’m just a horrible person with psychological issues.

Bimbi, shortly before becoming a cooling body in the middle of the town. But I'm sure it'll be okay.

Lord Pankiron’s keep, located about 6 hours away from the town of Ingleham, appears completely deserted. What will our party find as they explore?

Answer: A lot of nothing much, with some crazy mixed in. What do I mean by that? Read on!

Exploring the Keep
The keep is eerily deserted, no signs of life can be discerned. On entering the kitchen, the party is assaulted with the smell of rotting food, implying that things have been empty for some time. There are also signs that people left in a hurry, stalls and tables knocked over, everything of value taken away. Everything seems straightforward, until the party comes upon what a woman’s bedroom, dominated by a large vanity desk with mirror. Looking in the mirror, Sarin sees the reflection of Elika! He calls out in his surprise, but the other party members just see his reflection. Several other people look in the mirror, but for the most part, they only see themselves. Notable exceptions: Bimbi sees the reflection of a middle-aged blonde woman, and Israfel sees a reflection of a dark-haired woman wearing blue robes. Finding the mirror trick strange, but not odd enough to dally over, the party presses on upstairs into the keep.

The Throne Room
On entering the top of the stairs, the party sees a large room that was, at one time, quite grand. Vivid tapestries hang in tatters along the walls, the edges smeared with blood. The smell of blood and offal fills the room, the source being the dead harpies, throats and stomachs torn out, at least a half-dozen throughout the room. The end of the room is dominated by two large thrones made of dark polished wood, where a thin and pale man with dark hair sits, deep in concentration. He is cutting his arms and sticking harpy feathers into the wounds.

“What are you doing? Stop that,” says Rila, getting her weapons at the ready.
“I need wings so I can fly, so I can can finally meet the woman in the sky. She’s waiting for me, you know.” the man says, hardly looking up.
“The woman in the sky? Who is that? Who are you?” asks Sarin.
“I am the lord Pankiron. This is my keep. And the woman in the sky is the most wonderful of all. I do love her, you know,” The apparent Lord Pankiron says. He pauses, as if listening to something the party cannot hear. “Oh, you’re my enemy. You wish to stop me from meeting with my lady. Well, we won’t have any of that now, will we? Harpies! Arise and attack them!”
The (previously) dead Harpies in the corner slowly rise up, and shamble towards the party. They are very clearly undead, as seen by the one harpy that is happily chewing on its own entrails as it gets ready to attack. Seeing no other course of action, the party readies their weapons.


Well, I have returned from my two week exile from this blog, vaguely refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s been a very strange two weeks, with starting a new job, picking up some new hobbies, and thinking a lot about gaming, but overall, it’s been a lot of fun.

So, I’m not going to abandon this blog, especially so close to my one year anniversary. I am, however, going to adopt a more laid-back writing schedule of 1-2 posts a week. I’m not trying to set the blogosphere on fire (well, Cory Doctorow would kill me if I did literally set the blogosphere on fire, so maybe that’s for the best), and I would rather produce one or two longer, high quality posts than the shorter daily posts that I have been churning out.

One of my slogans in college was "be less like Hamlet, more like Fortinbras." Don't get it and what it has to do with this blog post? Well, read the play and find out.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to develop my writing skills. A common reason, vaguely noble in its own way. I wanted to see how I would write under the threat of constant deadlines. I have to say, honestly, I’m not especially happy with the quality of my writing as of late. This decline in quality, coupled with some real life stuff, have made me realize that something has to give. And of all my leisure activities, Something Shiny is the one I’m the least emotionally invested in.

So what does this mean for this bit of virtual landscape? To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure. I don’t really want to give up Something Shiny altogether, but on the other hand, I’m not sure how much time I can devote to producing quality posts that I’m actually proud to have my name attached. One thing I do know for sure, I need some time off to regroup my thoughts, and figure out where I am right now. For the next two weeks, I’ll be on hiatus. After that… I really don’t know. As it stands now, my options are: stop updating for an indefinite period of time, or provide longer posts less frequently. I don’t know. I need to do some thinking.

Method Acting? Pssh.

I never really understood method acting. It seems so… contrived in my mind. After all, the audience doesn’t care about what you feel, they’re more interested in what image you present. To paraphrase Lord Olivier: “Try acting, dear boy.”

Given that, it seems paradoxical that I’m spending so much time in character heads while planning out my weekly D&D session. But I assure you, I have good reason. Well, I have a good justification, anyway. Because the thing is the adventures that I think have flowed the best are the ones where I plan “bullet points” and then use my knowledge of the characters (and players, too) to fill in the rest during the session.

Here’s a recent example:

1) Party arrives in Ingleham

2) Kurt isn’t there (local lord re: attacks)

3) Alanna asks party to go to shrine


5) No sign of Alanna’s mother! ZOMG!

6) Footprints head east into swamp area


8 ) Clarice goes crazy again, attacks party.
a) win- [redacted]
b) lose- teleports away, goes to super-secret awesome lair

9) Rescue Tamara and Pankiron (the younger, and he of ever-changing first names).

10) Halfling entrails! ❤

And you know what? I think that was the best dungeon delve I’ve ever done. And even though the party kind of ignored everything saying “GO EAST! THAT’S WHERE THE STUFF IS!” for as long as possible, I didn’t care because, hey, it’s not like my plans were set in stone. And it’s not like bullet point nine HAD to happen as written… or any of them, really, when I think about it (except 10, I was getting antsy for some entrails). I liked having the flexibility, and I certainly plan on using this technique in the future.

But really, part of why I think I can plan sessions like this now is because I’ve spent so much time thinking about the PCs. So much time. A ridiculous amount of time. But it’s a good way for me to plan when I don’t have pen/paper/a computer/recording device handy. And so I spend a good chunk of my daydreaming time thinking about character motivations, responses, and quirks.

Thinking like that can be a bit disorienting sometimes.

But I have to admit, it can be a lot of fun. 🙂