misguided adventures

My thoughts on ‘Tales From The Yawning Portal’

I received my advance copy of @dndwizards​’s new book Tales from the Yawning Portal not quite a week ago. If you haven’t heard of this book here’s the gist of it:

TftYP is a collection of seven ‘classic’ dungeon adventures from D&D editions past, all updated with fifth edition rules. In this book you get…

  • Against the Giants (AD&D)
  • Dead in Thay (D&D Next)
  • Forge of Fury (D&D 3e)
  • Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (AD&D)
  • The Sunless Citadel (D&D 3e)
  • Tomb of Horrors (AD&D)
  • White Plume Mountain (AD&D)

All of the maps and layout have been updated to make them easier on the eyes, while their traps, monsters, structure, and challenges remains largely unchanged. TftYP is a ‘best of’ book, rather than a remake or reboot of these adventures.

If you’re a millennial who got into D&D through things like Acquisitions Inc, The Adventure Zone, or Critical Role, my take on this book is gonna be of interest to you…because this book might be specifically FOR YOU.  

Originally posted by ewzzy


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Writer’s Block is not a Demon

Writer’s block. That dreaded time where it seems you have angered the muses and they have left you high and dry with that little blinking cursor staring at you. It happens to everyone. Nobody can be totally on their game every time. It sucks, but you know what…you have to deal with it. Like I said, nobody can be on their game all the time but that doesn’t mean you should just sit back and let the block consume you. As much as I would like to believe that the muses are actually out there guiding the arts, they aren’t and as such it’s up to us to keep the words flowing. I know it sounds harsh and I’ll admit that I have definitely shut my laptop in frustration when I couldn’t quite figure out where I wanted the scene to go, but the truth is that the only way to get past a creative block is to keep working. How else can you expect to solve your problem if you don’t work at it? It’s like working through a difficult math equation: you won’t solve it by dreamily gazing out the window, you have to work it through. That said, there are a few tips that you can use to help you work out your block and get back on the road with your characters.

  • Actively search out inspiration. If you’re at the stage where you are facing a completely blank screen and have literally no idea what you want to write about, this is probably where you need to start. Yes, sometimes the idea for a wonderful story that you just absolutely have to write appears to you in a dream or while sitting on the bus. But sometimes you have that creative writing assignment for school or you’ve just finished your previous project and are looking for something new and the well is dry. This is when you can actively go looking for inspiration. Search the internet for writing prompt ideas (*ahem* such as at certain blogs), look for intriguing photographs that can spark your interest, read through song lyrics, poems or look at your book collection. As a history student, I find that there is lots inspiration in the misguided adventures of those before us. It doesn’t have to be a fully-fledged idea right off the bat but if you can find a spark of something it will make the next parts much easier. That is, possible. Be warned because this step can easily go wrong. One minute you’re looking at writing prompts the next you’re watching a dog learning to swim. Stay. On. Task.  
  • Don’t be afraid to be stupid. Okay, so you have a tiny inkling of an idea. You have no idea who is going to be in it, what the plot points are or where it’s going to go, but it’s a start. Now sit down, write down the idea you have and then go crazy writing down anything that comes to mind. Literally anything. It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to be good, and you certainly don’t have to use it all later. All you’re looking for is one good idea that you get another idea from and then another…until you actually have something resembling a plot.
  • You don’t have to go chronologically. I know this might sound odd to some people or maybe, like me, it’s not something you would have considered until someone points out that it’s an option. Just because you’re writing a chronologically linear story (or maybe you’re not, whatever) doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. I once had this idea for one point of one scene basically at the end of the story. I can’t remember exactly how it all unravelled but basically that idea expanded somewhat until I had the idea for two characters and then I worked those two out and quite some time later I actually had a story out of it. It’s a way to help you think in a more fluid way. If you can’t think of what happens next, maybe think about what happens before. This isn’t for everyone, I know some people really like to stick to the story scene by scene but it’s an option worth exploring if you’re stuck.
  • Take a step back (but not for too long). Breaks are good. When you work yourself for too long whether you’re studying, writing, practicing a musical instrument or sport, it’s important to take occasional breaks to keep yourself from getting drained. However, a mistake some people make with writer’s block is to shrug, close the document/notebook and say “eh, I’m sure I’ll have an idea tomorrow.” Maybe you will, probably you won’t (see actively search out inspiration above). If you’ve been on a roll and suddenly find you’ve hit a snag, maybe you’ve been at it for too long and need a few minutes to refresh. But just like that test you need to study for or essay that’s due tomorrow, this doesn’t mean you should completely walk away. But how long should you work for?
  • Set goals. Some writers like to set daily word count goals to meet. Events like NaNoWriMo, which encourages writers to write 50,000 words in the month of November (or 1,666 words a day. Isn’t that a lovely amount?), can help train you to set goals for yourself and to work on your writing every day. You can also set a goal to finish a chapter by a certain day, or reach a point in your outline. Personally, even though I did participate in NaNo one year, I don’t like this set up even though others swear by it. There are days where I can pump out pages and pages and there are others where I need to stop and rethink a few points, feel like I need to develop a character a little more or something else of that sort which means the actual word count doesn’t go up much despite the fact that I’m still working on the project. I’m also a full-time student with a part-time job so I feel like this doesn’t quite suit me. This is why I personally prefer to set a certain time to work instead. Sometimes I go over and others, such as around finals, I can’t make all of it. And that’s okay. We all have lives and stuff happens, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make the goal every day. But this is why it’s important to set realistic goals that fit you. If the goal is there and you really make the effort to stick to it as much as you can it will go a long way to keep you focused on the project when you need to be. Writing even a little bit is way better than nothing at all.

anonymous asked:

Hey, are you listening to any other podcasts ? If so could you recommend me any? (I already tried Alice isn't dead but I couldn't get into it and waiting twice a month for wtnv is too much)

Hey!

I am listening to far too many other podcasts in all honesty, and am more than happy to recommend some!

There is a tab on this blog with a (/cough/ incomplete /cough/) list of podcasts that I am listening to, though that is just a mess of all sorts of genres. I’ll recommend some of the fictional, more WTNV-esque podcasts here!

EOS 10
The adventures of misguided individuals in space with added arguments. A really great podcast that I keep meaning to relisten to, as the characters are so genuine with their flaws. Warning on addictions. 

SAYER
SAYER is an intelligent, morally questionable AI that has been tasked with keeping a space-based human colony up and running. They are alarmingly good at their job, no matter the cost.

The Adventure Zone
Funny, heartfelt Dungeons and Dragons podcast from the Mcelroys. The first few episodes are the usual D&D sort of fair, but it gets incredibly good once the Dungeon Master kicks in with his own storylines!

Thrilling Adventure Hour
Had a crossover episode with WTNV. Live performances done in the style of old timey radio shows with several recurring series, such as a sheriff on Mars and two married mediums who are fond of a drink or two.

Wolf 359
Influenced by Welcome to Night Vale, which is evident in some of the early writing, but really comes into it’s own in terms of both characters and plot. Starts off as the humorous mistakes of a ragtag crew in space, and suddenly gets extremely storydriven in the best way.

Episode Review: ‘Orgalorg’ (206E40)

“Of all history’s greatest monsters, you are by far the most evil thing I’ve encountered.” – Hunson Abadeer

And all along, I think that that one line would remain a throw away gag. “Orgalorg” instead proves that no line in the series is exempt from being revisited and retconned.

After Gunter and the other penguins successfully manage to drug the Ice King, they throw a crazy rad penguin party. At this party, two walruses are racing, but something goes wrong, and Gunter ends up getting thrown by an angry walrus into an ice wall. When she comes to, her brains are exposed… and they are glowing bright green! The other penguins are terrified, and the injury seems to put Gunter into some sort of trance. She pulls out a woodcutter, crafts strange wood figures, and chants a spell that is beamed into the cosmos.

On an alien world, several entities hear the call of Gunter—or as they recognize her, Orgalorg. Orgalorg was a primeval entity that existed before the dawn of time, as revealed in “Gold Stars” who attempted to absorb the power from a Catalyst Comet. After angering Abraham Lincoln, King of Mars, Orgalorg was struck down by Grob Gob Glob Grod and fell onto Earth, where the alien-demon was compressed into the form of an adorable penguin. Apparently, the fall caused Orgalorg great amnesia, and she wandered the world for millennia, until she was taken in by the Ice King and dubbed ‘Gunter’.

What’s most striking about this episode is how it goes from light-hearted and funny to dark and distressing in a matter of seconds. Graham Falk is a funny person, and his boards often resonate with humor (”Shh!”, “Ghost Fly”) and so it came as no surprise to me that first half of the episode was pretty silly. But once Gunter had her accident, the horror began.

The sight of Gunter’s green brains was creepy in-and-of-itself, but because the show never stopped to explain what exactly was going on until we were on the alien planet, the atmosphere of foreboding just kept building and building. Why was Gunter seeing these weird visions? What’s with the woodcutter? Is that Abraham Lincoln?

As the show was rapidly approaching the season finale, it only made sense that it would try to lay the foundations for the climactic last episodes. Some people have said that the cosmological revelations in this episode were a bit rushed, but I feel that these criticisms are misguided; Adventure Time has never been a show that puts this much effort and care into setting up its finales. We should be thankful that the producers were willing to experiment this season!

Finally, I want to applaud the fact that Adventure Time managed to snag Graham Falk as a guest boarded these last few seasons. While I was critical of “Sad Face”, every other episode that Falk has worked on has been funny, creative, touching, and clever. He’s able to delve into any situation, take any character, and make them behave in a way that’s fresh and interesting. Hats off to you, Mr. Falk!

Mushroom War Evidence: Nothing.

Final Grade: “Funny but also foreboding, ‘Orgalorg’ nicely sets up the season finale.”

If there’s one type of content I want to see above all else with Osomatsu-San, it’s a road trip.

Those six whiny, troublesome assholes crammed into a small car going across the country with nothing but Oso’s misguided sense of adventure, SOME gas money coz they broke af, junk food they eat within the first couple of hours and no extra because they’re morons, a trunk full of cats with a Jyuushi on the roof rack and probably Choro driving having elected himself head of the trip? Sign me up.

Just picture it for a sec.