S1E10 Battling Darkness, Stellaris, Gaming Woes, Gaming Communities after G+

Episode 10 sees Ken figuring out how to deal with the long, dark, tea time of the soul known as November, while David fends off allergies while contemplating where all the good role-playing game communities went after Google+ folded.

  • Venturing into the Chamber of Infinite Darkness:
    • It’s November. Daylight Saving Time is over. And suddenly, it’s gotten very, very dark: it’s pitch black at 6 a.m., and not much lighter at 5 p.m. Ken’s fond that getting out of bed has become its own mental battle; so has running after the sun has set. What’s the solution? Coffee. Podcasts. Sunlamps?
  • Stellar Cartography (no, it’s not staffed by whales … we think)
    • Ken’s been playing the heck out of Stellaris, a 4X-style, galactic empire management game. It reminds me of Master of Orion and it devoured a huge chunk of time. Exploring the galaxy is great, but diplomacy is a little lacking and managing dozens of worlds in the end game is boring. But it’s got great stories, awesome visuals, a Mass Effect-eque soundtrack, and DLC that will probably address most of my complaints (once there’s a Steam sale).
  • The Game Room (every good lair should have one):
    • Ken’s 5+ year 5th Edition D&D campaign just ended. Now his group in the storming phase of figuring out what to do next. We’ve settled on two games:
      • A Savage Worlds-powered Ringworld campaign. The setup: The characters are natives of a Larry Niven-style ringworld. It was struck by a massive asteroid that punched through one side of the ring, and impacted on the other. Over the last 150 years, various ring systems have been failing; we’re trying to figure out what to do about that. One player wants to include high-concept science fiction ideas into the campaign; how do you actually do that though?
      • Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition dungeon-of-the-week campaign: A 5e campaign leveraging Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything that’s focused on short dungeon crawls and one-shot location encounters. Less focus on story, more on discovery.
  • Pen turning
    • David is eight pens in and really enjoying how he can start and finish one within about an hour if he likes.
  • Nanowrimo
    • David’s novel-writing efforts are not going well at all
    • Distractions and prioritization are to blame.
  • Gaming woes update
    • David is thinking of making this its own segment (not really), did a little gaming with his Sunday group.
    • Brindlewood Bay was just a bit too different for the group to continue with. It really needs everyone to be on their game, and at the time it’s played that is just not going to happen reliably. So the group is looking for a new game to play and figuring out who will run it.
    • Terra Oblivion – A pre-apocalyptic game of eco-espionage on a world slowly being killed by humanity’s need to consume. By Michael Fiegel, Kieran Turley, and Jerry Grayson
  • Where do you get your game dev and community connection now that G+ is several years gone?
    • Twitter can keep you in contact with specific people, but conversations there are impossible to hold and impossible to find again
    • Some podcasts – Daydreaming about Dragons, have good insight into playing and running games, but are a very slow conversation if you interact with the hosts.:
    • Ken’s answer? He doesn’t know – he has found good replacements for the game theory and storytelling discussions held on podcasts like The Round Table or The Game Master’s Show. Or some of the old forums he used to haunt, like Greytalk (a Greyhawk-oriented list serv). 
    • We brainstorm a bunch of ideas about where to find good gaming conversations. Have ideas of your own? Tell us!


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Featured Image

Cover art for Larry Niven’s Ringworld. Credit: Del Rey

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