Wednesday, February 08, 2006

There's probably a point in here somewhere, but no promises!

It’s 7:30 am US central standard time and I have just destroyed the cork in a bottle of wine. It’s the cork’s fault. It ate the corkscrew off a Swiss army knife that hasn’t know injury since Truman was President of the United States. My Grandfather-in-law’s ghost is either very angry or snickering – I can’t quite tell. I honestly suspect he has a similar story that’s too riddled with cuss words to risk typing.

Regardless - I now see it as my mission to finish the bottle of ’92 Murphy-Goode Pinot Blanc before letting sleep, or unconsciousness in one form or another, take control for awhile. Before you think it’s really far too early for this, let me explain a little bit about my life.

My life is a series of quests for the next nap. An article on MSN.com recently suggested adults that don’t get eight hours of daily sleep (in a row presumably) suffer – essentially getting stupider for lack of proper sleep. I hope that isn’t true. If it is, I now know less at almost 39 years old than I did as a college freshman – of course as a college freshman I knew Everything (with the capitol E) and the world and all those that swam in the mainstream were wrong, shallow minded idiots, so there may be some truth there.

I work nights at a Rock and Roll (yes, it IS capitalized) station and 3 out of 5 weekdays tend to my young son – watching Dora the Explorer and Fairly Oddparents (which my son has wisely summed up as “Timmy”. At not quite four years old he already knows the wisdom of avoiding too many unnecessary syllables) with him, teaching him to give a raspberry to commercials while scribbling notes for my Dungeons and Dragons games. Four times a week I have the chance to sleep between six and eight hours in a row. I all too often abuse that luxury by staying up too late scribbling notes for my Dungeons and Dragons games.

Today is one of those days. After prepping enough interesting information for the night I took my DM’s turn in the “between face to face session” posts on my campaign’s internet group (my players surprised me by their honest humility and lack of greed in the face of a great king opening the door to giving them just about anything as reward for a deed extraordinarily well done) and then recorded several voice tracks for the upcoming Mitarra: The Agenda of Itherelle release (#2 – The Cave of Crystals). In the weird way that ideas work, all that gave me a bit of inspiration for adventure #7 (working title – Bring ‘em Back Alive. I expect to improve on that, but even Led Zeppelin gave a song a title that had absolutely nothing to do with the song itself).

Inspiration must be typed as soon as possible or it goes away to the land of forgotten. So my ideas are now where I can see them later. But now there’s still Murphy-Goode Pinot Blanc in my glass (labeled ”super-cola” in brown curvy letters. Quick – what decade do you think it’s from?) so I’ve turned my attention here.

You’ve certainly pieced together that I’m the author of the Mitarra: the Agenda of Itherelle series of D&D adventures now being published by Silven. If you’re unfamiliar with the series (well – it’s new. #2 is due out this month), it takes a group of PCs from 1st level up on through about 20 adventures, all in a geographic area small enough to be inserted in just about any existing campaign world. Mitarra is a full but isolated society, but honestly – it’s isolated simply so it can fit into an existing campaign world without disrupting either Mitarra or the wider world. It’s isolation means it will fit in nearly any campaign world with only a few tweaks.

The adventures reflect this. They are each designed to stand alone, while at the same time fitting neatly one into the next in an overall plot. Plans are to also have each adventure – each product – include setting information that builds on what previous adventures have presented, but in a way that lets DM lift it and use it without bothering with the adventure if they don’t want to. On the other hand, all of the adventures will have plenty for DMs to mine and lift for their own campaigns, even if they don’t bother with Mitarra at all. The first adventure, “Centipedes!”, features a town that can be placed in any campaign world with only a few tweaks, and a location that can go anywhere without any tweaking at all.

And all of them require the gamer to own nothing more than the PH! Everything else is included in the package!

So there’s what I’m working on - a private D&D campaign (core books only with a few select things from UA, Savage Species, and whatever my players simply can’t live without), the Mitarra series, and my life as unrelated to gaming. That last is where the need for daylight hours sleep comes in. After some seven hours pass, I’ll be awake again – picking up my son from his twice a week daycare and then giving my wife of almost ten years a pinch as we all pile in the car to go grocery shopping. Then I get to eat and try and nap again before starting it all over again. Except tomorrow isn’t a “school day” for the son, and I can count on maybe three hours of sleep. But my work is also starting an annual fundraiser for one of the most worthwhile charities on the planet, and I get to be a part of that while also typing notes and quotes for my D&D games (Mitarra and private).

All in all, my life is weird but good.

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