The Shropshire Dungeon Master Update I

A few weeks after declaring myself “for hire” (wink) as a Dungeon Master, what exactly have I been up to?

A New Campaign

Most of my campaigns fall into one of two categories: they’re either there today and gone tomorrow, or they will go on for years, outliving the tolerance of the players therein. Time to create something confined to a few games, something that promotes return custom and also promises a satisfactory conclusion.

The Wandering Pass closes every winter, leaving a handful of isolated villages and incautious travellers stranded high in the mountains. Food starts to dwindle, tensions run high, and somewhere out in the cold forests there waits a fate worse than death.

Winter of the Wendigo draws inspiration from the likes of Dead of Winter, Grim Dawn, Until Dawn, 30 Days of Night, and probably a lot of other sources that have sunk so deeply into my subconscious library of ideas to pluck from that it may offer some unforeseeable twists for new and experienced players alike. It will be for 1st level characters to emphasise the fragility of their position, and it will be comprised of five episodes that can be played in sequence and stopped satisfactorily when a group decides they’ve seen enough… or until they’ve seen it through to the Spring thaw. Their actions, successes and failures will echo throughout the game in ways most video games can only hope to imitate.

In addition, I’ll be expanding on one of my former one-shot campaigns – loosely entitled “Hangman” – into a three episode campaign of mistrust, deceit and subterfuge. I’m toying with a few new Mega-Dungeon concepts to bring to regular gaming sessions if I can secure repeat engagements with venues around the county, as well as throwing in some non-D&D games for those with a taste for something other than fantasy.

Marketing

So, in minor steps news the Facebook page for The Shropshire Dungeon Master has been started, albeit falteringly. Things that it will require – as a precursor to actual website construction – prices, contact details, a selection of what’s on offer games-wise, and a serious “looks” overhaul. As it stands it might as well just be a very thin version of my personal profile without the rambling “stream of anti-consciousness” that pours from my keyboard on occasion. Tim has rather kindly offered a logo design for me, and his ideas thusfar have been promising to say the least.

If you live in the Shropshire area or nearby enough you can expect to see my grizzled features appearing in a gaming store near you to tout my services in the next few weeks, as well as a healthy plastering of the business across social media, aided by Tim’s own support of my endeavours.

Business Oriented Thinking

Three separate conversations with myself across several days:

“Why would I need to look into new business funding? I already own the books I need, printing costs will start out negligible, I have a host of miniatures I do not use enough, set dressing and the like. After that it’s all advertising and I have cash to put into that.”

“Oh wow, I would look so much more professional if I had printed maps, and art done by someone who can draw well, more ornaments and the like. Oh wow the cost of graphic design is high for my minimum wage, they do not make it easy for the lowly peons.”

“… oh!”

So while I can start this little undertaking without financial backing, there’s no two ways about it, I can think of ways and means that a bit of start-up capital would accelerate progress rather dramatically, and take me from someone optimistically going cap in hand around gaming shops asking to be paid to run role-plays to someone capable of presenting a professional front to what is essentially the next step up for a hobby.

On a Related Note

Work continues on the upcoming eBooks for GeekOut. I have been toying with layouts for script and putting some simple designs to paper, while dashing Tim’s hopes that we can get each Top 10 to two A4 pages. As previously mentioned, we have a list finalised, and all new original Top 10 lists for the eBook readers planned to be assembled soon. And the Pokenomicon is close to two major milestones:

I have one last mutation to add and my starting line-up is complete. New trainers will be able to pick from Sporgoth, the slumped beast suffering a fungal infestation across its back, Katouche, a feline with a strangely artificial appearance, and Mudbait, an innocent looking amphibian with an odd taste for carrion.

And I’m about a third of the way to 150! I’m coming up with ideas I’m dismissing on the basis of either being too obscure, too far removed from the original works of Lovecraft, contemporaries and inspirations, or too half-formed and shambolic to put into something this big. Never the less I will gladly share with you Kozilick The Endless Tongue as a parting gift:

Announcing: Dungeon Master For Hire

So shortly after writing a short, and only slightly sarcastic article about Toronto’s Dungeon Master For Hire and discovering another in New York, and more still on Reddit, I find myself thinking that there may just be a career in this, and perhaps just enough money to be made that I can finally shed the burdens of traditional employment and embrace a true vocation, a calling if you will. Am I so willing to surrender my evenings and weekends to meet with random strangers and show them how to play my favourite hobby?

Well it’s that or take up drinking… Continue reading “Announcing: Dungeon Master For Hire”

GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet – August ’17

Increasingly our Shrewsbury Meets are earning their 18+ requirement, and less for the venue’s legal limitations and more about what happens when our regulars get into a Bucket of Doom. It’s been another month of madcap hilarity, new faces, old faces, new games and a failed attempt at playing NYET! and after a busy month, a bustling Kitacon, and all the extra work that came with it, I was glad of GeekOut this Thursday. It was another great turn out, another great competition, and some new ideas for the future.

Let’s get into this, shall we? Here are the pictures from GeekOut Shrewsbury #6.

Sadly no time to take a proper poll for the pre-meet as the latter half of August was rather consumed by work, but as a snap decision the Boiler House coffee shop turned out rather nicely indeed. A handful of us gathered for a couple of games of Magic which proved my new deck to have… inconsistent effectiveness, and Murray’s premade decks to require little work to become fully operational killing machines. Ben brought some short lived cakes and joined us for a free-for all and a coffee, and we had a visit from Anni of Space Station Centaur who joyously sat with us and chatted sci-fi while we played.

We highly advocate for joining a role-play as big as the ongoing Star Trek online groups like Centaur and Outpost Eden, and any and all of their memebers are very welcome to join us too. That’s not an advertising pitch, I just think it’d be cool to hang out.

Anyway, we moved on to Monty’s to find extra space reserved for us despite the fact that I only asked for it after 18:00, but as it transpired it was probably better they laid out the signs, as people started to join us sooner than expected. We dug into a well timed game or three of Resistance before Anni had to leave, because how better to meet new people than to spend an hour accusing them of deceit and treachery?

A few games before the Bigger Geekier Pub Quiz:

Tsuro and food became the order of the day as more and more people filtered in and began to splinter off into new groups and play other games. Thanks to Harley for bringing in Escape, I heard a lot of people enjoying themselves from the other side of the room. We wrapped up one of the more hilarious games of Bucket of Doom before people divided into teams for the quiz: challenging but not quite so daunting, as reflected in the better scores, and it seems like you all enjoyed the new picture round. Expect yet more from the October Quiz, in the mean time I’ll ponder a competition for September for you to duke it out over in hopes of a disappointing prize. This month’s disappointing prize was:

Branded biscuits!

The beatific winners were kind enough to share out the spoils, but never forget that they had all the power!

Next month is term-time, so a lot of our regulars may struggle to join us, but we can help them get their geeky fix for the rest of the month. Though Tuesdays and Thursdays seem to be the foundation of Shrewsbury’s geek-calendar, we need to find those groups that operate at the weekends and the rest of the week. This is a call to action and if you know of any groups for gamers, geeks and nerds anywhere in the Shropshire area we have some very keen members who want to know. And hey, while you’re on the job, maybe tell them about us!

Next GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet is on the 28th of September, keep an eye on Facebook and Meetup for the details.

GeekOut Introduces… Chris Lock & Subreddit Details

GeekOut has been expanding rapidly over a short space of time. We’re making friends with loads of people, we had a guest on our last Top 10 and we’ve had so many guest entries from one of our contributors, that we’ve made him a regular here on GeekOut. Read on to find out more!

GeekOut has been expanding rapidly over a short space of time. We’re making friends with loads of people, we had a guest on our last Top 10 and we’ve had so many guest entries from one of our contributors, that we’ve made him a regular here on GeekOut. Read on to find out more!


 

Continue reading “GeekOut Introduces… Chris Lock & Subreddit Details”