Wow, Has It Been a Month (and it’s’ only halfway through!)

Dear Readers, so much has happened in such a short time, that I’m struggling just to keep up! The first is about my Christmas gifts (trust me, you’ll like it) , the next couple are news highlights, along with something cool that I got to be a part of at the beginning of February (all with pictures at the end!).

  1. Christmas at my household: holy crap, Mrs. Daily DM is the most amazing wife and gift-giver known to mankind. She knows me all too well. In my home, we do gifts a little differently than many homes. We only do three gifts each: something to wear, something to read, and something for fun. My “to wear” gift was a really nice blue cashmere sweater. It’s beautiful and so comfortable. I’ve already worn it for several occasions, and it looks great on me, if I do say so myself. Then there was my “for fun” gift. My wife got me a dice holder, dice trey, and dice tower from a company that does a lot of work like Wyrmwood, but way cheaper, although the quality is NOT lacking, and the craftsmanship is absolutely a good competitor with the aforementioned company.
    Pictures will follow below. Look for Pictures 1-3. Lastly…oh, boy, lastly…for my “to read” gift…So this is how it went down: all the gifts had been handed out except one. It was largish, about 6 inches in depth, and about 18 inches across and 30 or so inches tall. My wife says she saved it for last for good reason. I was confused. SO confused. But I played along. She said she wanted to record the moment. Ooooookaaaaaay… I unwrapped the giftwrap and opened the deceptively plain box. So far, so good. Then I opened the box to find…tissue paper. Lots of tissue paper. But this box had some heft to it. Like…some real heft. There was definitely something of substance inside. Pulling aside the tissue paper, I gasped. Yes, Dear Readers, I gasped. Inside was, framed mind you, a copy of the pilot episode script for the show Firefly (easily my favorite television show ever), and it was signed by Nathan Filllion. Dear Readers, I can’t make this up. I was rendered practically speechless for about 2 hours. TWO HOURS! I was a babeling idiot, just holding it in my lap, looking up at my wife, pointing to it, mumbling something incoherant, looking back at it, and rinse and repeat. My eyes welled up with tears at the absolute genuine thought and insight that she had into me and my hobbies and the things that I like. We hung it up in my gaming room. Look for picture 4. You can’t miss that one.
  2. The OGL 1.1 that was proposed to go into effect in early January was scrapped in its entirety, and OGL 1.0a will remain in effect. I know you’ve already likely read articles on this, but for the uninitiated, the old Open Game License under which the D&D community has been operating will remain in effect. After what can only be described as horrifically severe backlash (and I’m not exaggerating here), Wizards of the Coast has walked back the rollout of their new licensing agreement in favor of keeping the old one.

    That said, the backlash has already caused quite the stir, causing what are estimated as thousands, if not tens of thousands of people to quit D&D for good, and finally head on over to Paizo Publishing’s Pathfinder 2nd Edition. From what I’ve been told, if you are familiar with D&D 5e, you understand about 75% of that system. I refuse to allow a company’s bad choices dictate how and what I play, as D&D has been a long-standing part of my life for the last 30 years or so, to the degree that I’m a second generation D&D player (my parents played OG D&D and a lot of 1st and later 2nd Ed AD&D). I was planning on boycotting WotC products in protest (and had actually cancelled my subscription), but the following happened…
  3. Not only was the OGL 1.0a left in effect, in late January it was announced that D&D materials (the non-proprietary parts anyways) will go into Creative Commons with OGL 1.2, meaning that this gives the community “a worldwide, royalty-free, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, irrevocable license” to publish and sell works based on Dungeons & Dragons, and without fears of paying out ridiculous royalties and other such nonsense. This is a huge backpedal into something that D&D should, frankly, have been since 3rd Ed. came out, when the OGL was first written.
  4. I got to be a part of something that was, frankly, one of the coolest events I’ve ever gotten to attend. To protect identities, I won’t say what the event was called, but it involved a niche of a specific profession of whom all have a love of playing/running D&D.

    First off, the swag. We got a t-shirt with the name of the event as well as what can only be described as a “Biblically accurate depiction of an angel.” Basically, one large and several small eyeballs, and six wings. We also got a nice dark blue d6 with the 6 being represented as a cross with a dragon entwining around it (picture 5). Very cool.
    The gaming that we did (which was the primary reasoning for meeting, as well as networking with others of our profession and discussions on how gaming can/could be incorporated in our profession), and we did a lot of gaming, was done in the style of a West Marches campaign. I can’t really do justice to exactly what this means, but let me try: you start with a “pool” of players with several DMs that helped develop/write stories for various parts of the geography surrounding a starting town of some kind. It is assumed and decided that there are no adventures to be found in the town itself; it is a haven and safe place to retreat to between sessions. And at the end of each session, everyone is assumed, with the exception of truly extenuating circumstances, to have gone back to town to rest, recuperate, and add to the “Lore Board” and large common map, in the day room of the event location, which we affectionately called “The Tavern.” This is where we can buy supplies, sell gear stolen from slain enemies, craft magical items (or improve them) using bits and stuff taken from the rare and awesome creatures, like the blood of the yuan-ti anathema that we defeated, and the chitin of the giant crab we killed. We had to fill out a mission card before each session, and if we succeeded in completing that task (like, “Assault the Yuan-ti temple on the mountain”), we all get inspiration and an extra 400 exp! Then, when we head back to town, if we had learned something new or extraordinary, we could take that information and post it on the “Lore Board” where other can see and read what was learned so that maybe a piece of a puzzle here, may help another group there. Lastly, there was a large common map that began with some basic geography around the town and large mountains in the distance, with a few quest hooks here and there (like a little girl’s dad was lost in the marsh” and “A local cook is willing to pay money for crab meat from crabs found only in the marsh”). Then, when you get back to the tavern, you add whatever geography that you have seen, to the map. Of course scale is probably off, but that’s the way it goes with maps made by amateurs! So, you would be given extra exp for adding to the Lore Board (picture 6), adding to the map, and getting inspiration, surveying the land as we traveled, on top of the exp that you get for the typical D&D activities. Needless to say, the experience was awesome.
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5

Well, that’s all I have for you today.

Thanks for hanging in there, Dear Readers!

Until next time, Dear Readers…

Published by The Daily DM

I'm just a DM telling the stories of my tables.

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